Archive | July 14th, 2016

Fool’s Errand: NATO Pledges Four More Years of War in Afghanistan

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Image result for NATO CARTOON

By Ron Paul 

The longest war in US history just got even longer. As NATO wrapped up its 2016 Warsaw Summit, the organization agreed to continue funding Afghan security forces through the year 2020. Of course with all that funding comes US and NATO troops, and thousands of contractors, trainers, and more.

President Obama said last week that the US must keep 3,000 more troops than planned in Afghanistan. The real reason is obvious: the mission has failed and Washington cannot bear to admit it. But Obama didn’t put it that way. He said:

“It is in our national security interest, especially after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested over the years, that we give our partners in Afghanistan the best chance to succeed.”

This is how irrational Washington’s logic is. Where else but in government would you see it argued that you cannot stop spending on a project because you have already spent so much to no avail? In the real world, people who invest their own hard-earned money in a failed scheme do something called “cut your losses.” Government never does that.

Isn’t 15 years of US “blood and treasure” enough of a “best chance” to succeed?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced at the summit that thanks to an additional billion dollars in NATO member-country donations, the organization had come up with close to the $5 billion per year that it has pledged to the Afghan government. Of that $5 billion you can guess who is paying the lion’s share. That’s right, we are. We send $3.45 billion every year to, according to Transparency International, the third most corrupt country on earth — while Americans struggle with unemployment, stagnant wages, and inflation. That is why I always say that foreign aid is money stolen from poor people in the United States and sent to rich people overseas.

NATO head Stoltenberg said, “Our message is clear: Afghanistan doesn’t stand alone. We’re committed for the long haul.” How nice of the Norwegian politician to commit Americans to financing the war in Afghanistan for “the long haul.”

When I suggested in a recent interview that the only sensible US policy in Afghanistan would be to bring all the troops home, the host asked whether I was worried the Taliban would rush in to fill the vacuum. That’s what has already happened, I said. The Taliban are stronger than ever in Afghanistan. They control more territory than at any time since the original US invasion in 2001. Despite 15 years of US interventionism, nearly 2,500 dead US soldiers, and well over a trillion dollars, Afghanistan is no closer to being a model democracy than it was before 9/11. It’s a failed policy. It’s a purposeless war. It is a failed program.

The neocons argue that Iraq, Libya, and other US interventions fell apart because the US did not stay long enough. As usual they are wrong. They failed and they will continue to fail because they cannot succeed. You cannot invade a country, overthrow its government, and build a new country from the ground up. It is a fool’s errand and Washington has turned most Americans into fools. It’s time to end this game and get back to the wise foreign policy of the founders: non-intervention in the affairs of others.

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Bastard Zio-Wahhabi Turki Faisal’s Remarks Serve Zionist Occupation

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Turki_Faisal

Bastard Turki al-Faisal

By: John Phoenix

Palestinian resistance movements Islamic Jihad and Hamas have denounced remarks made by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Bastard Turki al-Faisal, saying such remarks serve the Zionist occupation.

Bastard Faisal, who in the past served as Saudi Zio-Wahhabi intelligence chief, said at a conference of the Iranian Zionist puppet Mojahdi Khalq opposition over the weekend that the Iranian regime supports Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine in order to cause instability in the region.

The Islamic Jihad said Bastard Faisal’s remarks serve the Zionist agenda that seeks to eliminate the Palestinian cause and open all the Arab and Islamic capitals to the Zionist entity.

“We tell those people: if you can’t stand up for Palestine and its people at least don’t stand by the Zionist entity to condemn the victim,” the Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement on Sunday.

“The Saudi Muslim people won’t accept to pave the way for the Israelis to reach Mecca and Medina.”

For its part, Hamas condemned the remarks, saying they were “baseless.”

“Everyone knows that Hamas is a Palestinian movement fighting the Zionist occupation in the land of Palestine, and has only a Palestinian agenda … and it adopts the concept of moderate Islam,” said a statement by the group.

Hamas further accused  Bastard Faisal of saying things that ”serve the “Zionist occupation and provide it with further pretexts to carry out aggression against the Palestinian people.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Bastard Zio-Wahhabi Turki Faisal’s Remarks Serve Zionist Occupation

Evolving History of the Anglo-American Alliance

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Tony Blair’s Policy on Iraq versus Harold Wilson’s on Vietnam
 
uk-us-flags

British prime ministers have very limited freedom to make their own policy – this is heavily dictated by the United States. It is very difficult for any British prime minister to resist pressure from a US president. In contrast to Blair’s eager participation in the Iraq War, the British Labour prime minister in the 1960s, Harold Wilson, resisted significant US pressure to send British troops to Vietnam and repeatedly urged US restraint in Vietnam, to the point of being rebuked by President Johnson.

The US control over British policy is discussed by historian Clive Ponting in his book Breach of Promise about the Harold Wilson Government, 1964-70. One of the first duties of a British prime minister is to go with his deputy visit the US president to receive instructions on what British policy should be. Ponting obtained copies of the original minutes of these meetings, which became available from the US side under the US Freedom of Information Act, but which remain classified in Britain. These minutes reveal a series of outrageous demands on Britain, affecting both domestic and international policy, which shaped the course of the Wilson government, led to the failure of its economic policy and to its electoral defeat. For example, the US forced a currency exchange-rate policy on Britain that caused serious economic damage.

Ponting describes a detailed level of US control over British policy: –

Whenever ministers took office a large proportion of their time was spent talking to and corresponding with their opposite numbers in Washington.

However, even ministers and cabinet members were not allowed insight into the overall scheme of policy, which was largely kept between the PM and his deputy. Ponting says,

Relations between Britain and the United States had a dominating influence over the policy of the Labour government, particularly in its first three years in office. Previously secret American documents reveal that in the course of 1965 the Labour government reached a series of ‘understandings’ with the United States. What was agreed was never made public, yet these unwritten agreements fundamentally shaped both British domestic and strategic policy over this period. … The Cabinet was neither consulted nor told about what had been agreed, although individual members had their suspicions about what had been going on behind their backs as the consequences made themselves felt in… policy.

(Breach of Promise p48-9)

One of the inside circle was George Brown, Foreign Secretary for much of the period,

… George Brown told one of his colleagues Wilson was ‘bound personally and irrevocably to President Johnson and ceased to be a free agent’.

Yet, even at the height of US control over British policy, in 1965, Wilson resisted US pressure to send British troops to Vietnam – even a token gesture.

US Secretary of State Dean Rusk once told Harold Wilson that “the USA did not want to be the only country ready to intervene in any trouble spot in the world”. It aroused less resentment against the US to have an ally willing to act as a proxy on their behalf and for USA not to be seen acting unilaterally on its own.

Britain’s military policy was closely negotiated with the US. Britain maintained several military commitments during the period but Vietnam was not one of them.

Wilson had wanted to dispose of the empire East of Suez but the US insisted Britain should retain this. Subsequently, Wilson argued these military commitments conflicted with providing troops to Vietnam and left the government politically too weak to comply.

The US put immense pressure on Britain to contribute troops to Vietnam, to show solidarity with the US, and the US requests were repeated throughout the period. At the height of US control over British policy, in 1965, the US asked for merely a token UK presence in Vietnam but Wilson successfully refused even this. When Wilson refused, the US accepted and conceded they had already assessed he would be unable to deliver the concession they were asking.

Why did Wilson do this? Why was the US prepared to allow Wilson to do this? The US had a very accurate assessment of the capacity of the British PM to give the policies they were asking. The US understood that delivering some policies to the US weakened the capacity to deliver others. Every time the British prime minister had to refuse US policy demands, the US had already anticipated this in their own assessments. In effect, Wilson chose which battles to fight – he made concessions in most areas and hence earned the right to reserve his own decisions in others. Yet, despite knowing Wilson could not deliver this, the US pushed him on Vietnam anyway. The US pushed really hard. The US were quite prepared to force the British prime minister into political suicide – it was up to him to refuse. Ultimately, the cumulative effect of different US policy demands did lead to Wilson‘s electoral defeat.

The Wilson government presided over a Labour party that was not monolithic and had significant internal political differences. British public opinion had a large amount of opposition to the Vietnam war. If Wilson tried to deliver a token contingent to Vietnam, this would affect his ability to yield to the US in other areas of policy. Britain was largely held captive by the US, but there was some freedom to make choices. Ironically, as Britain became trapped by circumstances, such as the economic situation, in some areas it gained more freedom from US policy. Later in its term, as Wilson’s government became weakened by a deteriorating economic situation, caused by previous concessions to the US, policy divergences with the US gradually increased. A leader in a stronger position, with a more united party, with a simpler political situation, with a stronger economy, would have been under more constraints to observe US policy.

Great leadership is not about easy choices in simple situations – it is about difficult choices under extreme constraints. As an ally, the US was more like an adversary than a friend, forcing policies on the prime minister that were against the British national interest.

Many of the criticisms of the Chilcot Report related to the way Blair made decisions without consulting the Cabinet. However, what we learn from Ponting’s study of the Wilson government is that seems to have been the normal way of doing business. This seems the inevitable result of US influence over policy.

What was different about Blair’s government was the reckless and poor choice of decisions, disregarding the consequences, not considering advice, dismissing objections. The most memorable example of dismissing dissent was the revolt of all the Foreign Office lawyers (27 in total) who collectively advised the invasion of Iraq was illegal. They were sidelined. By contrast, lick-spittles who were prepared to change facts to meet the political ‘reality’ were promoted, such as John Scarlett, head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, who revised the intelligence reports multiple times until they conformed to Blair’s requirements.

What had changed in the years between Wilson and Blair?

Blair had no serious internal dissent to face. In the 1960s and 70s, Wilson had led a Labour Party containing many diverse viewpoints and it was a constant struggle to maintain unity. In the late 1980s and early 90s, Blair’s predecessor as Labour Party leader, Neil Kinnock, introduced a series of ‘reforms’ which dramatically curtailed internal democracy within the party. Dissenters could easily be removed. Unfortunately, several people of great ability were also lost. As leader, Blair was not really held in check by anyone. Once in government, this principle was then applied to civil service advisors. When the advisors who make objections are removed, it becomes impossible to avoid foreseeable problems.

To Blair, politics mattered more than policy. Defeating one’s opponents mattered more than examining the arguments. Winning was all that mattered. Democracy covers a wide spectrum, at one end including the whole population in participatory decision-making, and at the other confining competition of ideas strictly within a politburo. Unfortunately, it appears Blair failed to maintain even the latter. Democracy is fundamentally based upon the principle that policies have to be examined, justified and argued over; all different perspectives have to be heard. Without this testing of ideas, mistakes become inevitable.

Wilson was a real intellectual heavyweight – this is not a description ever used about Blair. Wilson was often regarded as the real author of Britain’s welfare-state, and the person who managed to ensure its successful implementation at a time of deep economic crisis, when post-war Britain was deep in debt, and its main creditor (USA) was opposed to the policy. It is difficult to imagine Blair carrying off an achievement of that scale. Wilson showed that the National Health Service and welfare state saved money and made the economy more efficient, laying the foundations for post-war recovery. (Additionally, the welfare state made the country more politically cohesive, thus made British leaders better able to delivery US policy demands.) By contrast, Blair began the process of dismantling the NHS at the request of the US. Blair compares badly with the leaders of the past and of other nations. One can only suppose that the selection process that led to Blair becoming leader had protected him from real challengers because there were others of much greater ability.

Previously, in the 1960s, the US government had been pretty realistic about what its allies could deliver – the US knew its limits and was prepared to relent at the point of pressing its allies to self-destruction. (Unfortunately, the US did in fact push Wilson to electoral defeat.) By the 2000s, the Bush administration was relatively crass and unskilful, disregarding the effect of demands on their allies, asking the unreasonable, because really they did not understand where to draw the line. When combined with allies whose leaders were themselves relatively isolated from the reality of what they could deliver, this became a toxic mix. Driving out dissent had left no reality-check to prevent stupid decisions.

How had we arrived at this process of driving out dissent? As a result of globalisation – imposing the Washington Consensus. It had become impossible to deliver the unpopular neo-liberal policies required by Washington within political parties with any semblance of internal democracy. The only way for parties to function in government was to expunge internal democracy. This has been the trend across Europe, leading to the democratic deficit so widely remarked today. This was the inevitable result of many decades of covert US subversion of national governments, forcing them to execute policies against their national interests and against the popular will. This did indeed create a system capable of executing unpopular policies and overriding popular protest, at the risk of ignoring reasonable concerns and creating an unhealthy political monoculture.

The long-term abuse of the allied relationship by the US led to the political deterioration of its allies. Ironically, it appears to be better for US policy and interests when its allies are more politically independent and the US has to negotiate more its relationship with its allies.

Unfortunately, the Iraq War was not a one off – it was preceded by the invasion of Afghanistan and has been followed by numerous other wars since. The Iraq War itself was not an isolated event but a policy of sustained occupation which lasted a decade and arguably still continues today. The military occupation of Afghanistan does still continue. New military interventions in north Africa (Libya, Mali, etc.) and the Middle East (Syria) have had disastrous impacts. This is why the Chilcot Report was delayed for so long, and why the Chilcot Report does not and dares not address the real problems. Western government has become dysfunctional and does not know how to correct itself; the Iraq War is symptomatic of this.

We should also consider how this reflects in the deterioration of internal politics and civil society. Our political leadership appear to have lost the capacity to recognise the problems that confront us and the solutions that are available. The current political system appears to have driven out those with sufficient ability to make the necessary changes.

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The War We Forgot to End: Why Are We Still in Afghanistan?

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afghanistan_news

President Obama just announced he’s keeping 8,400 troops in Afghanistan—but it’s time for the U.S. to withdraw fully.

Last Wednesday, President Obama once again delayed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,400 troops will remain in the country through the end of his presidency, he announced, rather than the 5,500 he committed to back in October 2015. Meanwhile, casualties continue to mount: Thousands of Afghan civilians were killed in 2015 alone.

It’s time to end the longest war in U.S. history. Begun less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, the war aimed to destroy the al-Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden and take out the Taliban government that had provided them with safe haven. President Bush’s focus, however, was anything but narrow: “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there,” he said shortly before the invasion.

“It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

American troops walk to inspect a reconstruction project in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province in 2012.
(The U.S. Army / Flickr)

Nearly 15 years and over $740 billion dollars later, there are few genuine successes the United States can claim as validation for its efforts. While an American withdrawal won’t remedy the problems of Afghanistan entirely, there’s good evidence to suggest our continued presence is making things worse.

Failed Military Strategies

This unending, costly war came in response to blowback from American policies in the region. According to the conventional history, we began aiding the mujahideen, a loose-knit assortment of Afghan Islamist guerrilla militants, in 1980, in response to the December 1979 Soviet invasion. (While Osama bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan in 1979 and was affiliated with a predominantly non-native mujahideen group at that time, the CIA maintains it only funded and armed indigenous Afghan rebels.)

The conventional history is wrong, at least according to a 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. Brzezinski told a French weekly that we decided to aid the mujahideen six months before the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, in July 1979, knowing this could help push the Soviets into a Vietnam-style conflict. When pressed about whether he felt any regret having provided aid and arms to Islamic fundamentalists, Brzezinski, three years before the 9/11 attacks, responded brusquely:

“What is more important in world history? … Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

This strategy helped lead to the formation of the Taliban government, and ironically, now we are the ones ensnared in a perpetual, bloody and expensive Afghanistan conflict—all because of some “agitated Moslems.” There are 9,800 reported U.S. troops in Afghanistan (potentially more unreported, as there have been in Iraq), and with Wednesday’s announcement, we know that number is unlikely to go down much through the end of Obama’s presidency. While the President has formally declared that America is not engaged in a combat role, clashes between American forces and the Taliban continue.

Obama has also embraced drone warfare in Afghanistan, with the hope of more precise combat. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Afghanistan holds the ignominious distinction of being the “most drone-bombed country in the world.” But to what effect?

Michael Flynn, former Director of Intelligence in Afghanistan, had this to say: When a strike hits its target, “it makes us all feel good for 24 hours. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. It just makes them a martyr. They get replaced. It just created a new reason for them to fight us even harder.”

A study by a U.S. military adviser found that in one year, drone strikes in Afghanistan caused 10 times more civilian casualties than manned aircrafts. Leaked government documents show that between January 2012 and February 2013, over 200 people were killed by drone in a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan—only 35 of whom were intended targets.

And despite all this, the Taliban control more of the country than they have since we invaded in 2001. It’s possible that U.S. withdrawal would allow the Taliban to take control in additional provinces, but there’s little evidence to suggest our constant military presence is effectively holding them off. And the violence is only getting worse: More Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the conflict this past year than any other since the U.N. began record keeping in 2009.

Failed Humanitarian Projects

Our reconstruction efforts have fared little better than our military efforts. We have spent over $113 billion aiding the recovery of this country we helped destroy—more than was spent on the Marshall Project following World War II, even adjusting for inflation—and $17 billion of that was described by ProPublica as “questionable spending” in a December 2015 report.

Some of this was frivolous on its face: For example, we spent $150 million renting luxury housing for U.S. Defense Department staff and their visitors. But even the more substantive programs that should have been successful were tangled in bureaucracy, corruption and incompetence. The Department of Defense invested $200 million on a literacy program, but no efforts were made to “verify students’ language proficiency, evaluate the effectiveness of instructions, monitor class size and length of instruction, or track graduates after they completed training,”according to a report from John F. Sopko, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Sopko also reported several problems with a nearly $70 million agricultural effort—some of which was spent on programs that Afghan officials say “had been found to be ineffective in precursor programs.” Another $488 million spent on mineral extraction programs was similarly ineffective: Some of it was marred by corruption, and much of it Afghans are unable to continue on their own because they lack the capacity to regulate the program and “research, award, and manage new contracts.”

While there have been some areas of improvement in quality of life for Afghan children since 2000, such as a decline in the child mortality rate (although it’s still among the highest in the world), the effects of the war have largely undercut these positive developments. Child trafficking, abduction and the use of child soldiers have skyrocketed, and child labor is rampant. It’s not fair to blame the U.S. entirely, but the impacts of American military intervention have been far-reaching—for example, the U.S.-funded Afghan Local Police militia has used child soldiers.

The 2001 invasion and subsequent occupation also undermined the Taliban’s 2000 ban on poppy cultivation. In the thirteen years after the U.S. ousted the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan government stepped in, opium production doubled.

As of late 2014, 90 percent of the world’s opium supply came from Afghanistan. According to Matthieu Aikins, a journalist who has followed the country’s opium production closely,

“Everyone is growing it. Everyone is profiting. It touches all levels of Afghan society, both sides of the conflict, the Taliban and the government. … But the government is even more involved.”

Despite the U.S. having sunk over $8 billion in fighting the drug trade, Afghanistan is now the world leader in heroin production.

This is not to say that we should stop aiding reconstruction projects, though clearly we should address widespread mismanagement. Rather, we must recognize that an American military presence and constant war undermine humanitarian and reconstruction efforts. In Afghanistan as elsewhere, foreign military occupation and regime change—even if undergirded by the best of intentions—have led to unintended, often terrible, consequences.

After 15 years of death and destruction, not to mention billions of dollars down the drain, we have to admit the military option is not working. Our meddling in Afghanistan has not made that country better off or the world safer.It’s time for an orderly but immediate withdrawal.

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New UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson a “very outspoken friend of ‘Israel’”

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Boris Johnson at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, November 2015

Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis, writes:

Boris Johnson, Britain’s newly appointed foreign secretary, is best known for his buffoonery, but beneath his clownish exterior lurks a deadly serious and arrogant far-right politician with a crude, ill-informed and xenophobic view of the world.

It should not be too surprising, then, that his most ecstatic cheerleaders, outside the odious cesspits of the Conservative Party’s right wing, is Israel’s Zionist establishment.

Tel Aviv will be looking forward to a “very outspoken friend of Israel”, the Zionist entity’s former ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said on 14 July, the right-wing Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported.

“He is a very enthusiastic supporter, and his relationship with Israel goes back a long way,” said Taub, describing Johnson’s enthusiasm for Israel as “infectious”.

As a measure of his enthusiasm for the state that was build on the bones and stolen houses and farms of the indigenous Palestinians, Mr Johnson has gone out of his way to condemn the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Launched in 2005, BDS campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. It has since gained widespread international support.

But for Mr Johnson, the privileged, Eton- and Oxford-educated toff, the thousands of grassroots activists, including many Jews, who support BDS are “corduroy-jacketed lefty academics”.

During a visit to Israel in November 2015, he said: “I cannot think of anything more foolish” than to boycott “a country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society”.

It would have been out of character for Mr Johnson – described as a liar by the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, on 14 July – to let the facts get in the way of his courtship of the Zionists. As the journalist Jonathan Cook reminds us, Israel is an apartheid state and its apartheid is far wider than the institutionalised discrimination practised against the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the preferential treatment enjoyed by the Jewish squatters in the territories.

  • Israel has nationalised 93 per cent of Palestinian-owned land in the country so that Jewish citizens can exclude Palestinian Arab citizens;
  • Israel operates vetting committees, enshrined in law, in hundreds of rural communities precisely to prevent Palestinian Arabs from living in these communities;
  • Israel has separate citizenship laws – the Law of Return (1950) and the Citizenship Law (1952) – based on ethnic belonging;
  • Israel has designed its citizenship laws to confer rights on Jews who are not actually yet citizens or present in the state, privileging them over Palestinian Arabs who do have citizenship and are present in the state;
  • Israel has more than 55 laws that explicitly discriminate based on which ethnic group a citizen belongs to;
  • Israel defers some of what should be its sovereign powers to extra-territorial bodies – the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund – whose charters obligate them to discriminate based on ethnic belonging;
  • Israel denies its citizens access to any civil institutions on personal status matters such as marriage, divorce and burial, requiring all citizens to submit to the whims and prejudices of religious leaders; and
  • Israel does not recognise its own nationality, and makes it possible to join the dominant national group (Jews) or to immigrate only through conversion.

But perhaps these are not problems for Mr Johnson. In one speech during his visit to Israel in 2015, he said that he admires it for “the audacity, the bravery, the willingness to take risks with feats of outrageous derring-do”.

That, it would seem, is coded language for Israel’s apartheid system, its contempt for international law, its violations of Palestinian human rights, and its war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights.

It is the “the audacity, the bravery, the willingness to take risks with feats of outrageous derring-do” of thieves, murderers and rapists.

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Poverty and Despair: Basics in Nepal Were Absent Before the 2015 Earthquake

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Political instability in Nepal

If you think about Nepal today, you may be contemplating a yoga course in a hilltop nunnery; if you follow international news, you’ll recall the 2015 earthquake and those distressing images of damaged temples. Alternatively you could know someone operating an NGO in Kathmandu for trafficked women or shoeless youngsters.

Perhaps you have a vague memory of a film, exotic even if it profiles an unemployed carpet weaver or a doomed mountain ascent.

True, trekking companies experienced a lull following the recent earthquake. The reduced flow of tourists to Nepal due to reports of damaged roads and cracked buildings is the least of the nation’s worries however. Tourism, only 5% of the economy despite its exalted position in Nepal’s international profile, cannot yet address the need for electrification in growing cities and cannot provide satisfactory water supply to the capital’s four million plus residents. Householders here need to pay exorbitant rates for their water needs, and additionally endure more than 12 hours daily of what’s called ‘loadshedding’ i.e. electricity cuts. Neither Nepal’s government nor generously-funded international development projects have made substantial progress after years of research and planning towards providing basic services to its citizens. Year after year cities swell with migrants from rural areas. Residents, workers and expanding institutions place higher demands on water and electricity resources. Road conditions are similarly notoriously inadequate.

What I find so startling about this is how 900,000 or so yearly tourists and the sizable international NGO community manage to float above this status quo. Likewise visitors enjoy their yoga course and trekkers their mountain walks unconcerned or oblivious to the everyday hardships of citizens they see around them. (Facilities and comforts available to foreign NGO personnel may exceed those they might find if working in their own countries.)

These exceptional populations are well provided not only because they are richer but also because they operate in a second tier, one that isolates them from reality; this isolation meanwhile acts to reinforce hardships for the masses. It’s easy for them and for development officers writing up yet another analysis of Nepal’s needs to forget how Nepal’s citizens live.

You will hardly detect shortages in any tourist lodging; both modest and luxury hotels have abundant water, supplied through private (mostly illegal) wells and provide backup generators and batteries. They ensure visitors have 24-hour showers and flushing toilets on demand, power for their gadgets, and unlimited restaurant delights. Even in the low-end tourist quarter a $15-a-night room guarantees hot baths and laundered sheets. NGO offices throughout the valley, some isolated in essentially gated communities, have private wells and generators too. As for rural lodges along trekking routes, they use wood or imported kerosene to cook a variety of omelets and to provide hot showers. Increasingly, simple hydropower stations are installed in mountain areas so that villages and roadside lodges are electrified.

Only if you spend time in private urban homes, apartments of the poor or in middle class bungalows, are you aware of chronic shortages and the unavailability of government utility services. Arranging water for household needs is a constant preoccupation of families. Occupants have to install water tanks in their yards or on rooftops; they need to hook up solar panels and purchase batteries and generators. In any residence, before 5pm for example, when municipal electric service ends, a family should have cooked their meal and set it aside until suppertime. For the few who can afford backup batteries, when house lights flicker warnings of the scheduled cut, the system is set to shift over to battery power. Imagine running a school for 400 children without a reliable store of water. (Forget about electricity for overhead fans, for lights or for classroom computers.)

Anyone concerned with energy sources and with public health knows about the abysmal state of utilities and the rising shortages along with Nepal’s history of abandoned projects for hydropower plants and water supplies. This in a nation known for its mighty rivers and glaciered mountain tops!

The irony is summed up by one elderly resident:

“Look how people come here from around the world to enjoy our country’s beauty; at such low cost, they paddle our rivers, photograph our glaciers and dine in fine cafes. What do we get from their cheap holidays here? Nothing. If my children can’t find work driving a taxi or waiting tables, they have to sell their labor in Arabia and suffer there for four years.”

In May, before the monsoon rains began and when water shortage was so acute, people were talking about the all-too-familiar Melamchi Hydro Water Project with new enthusiasm. Even when Kathmandu’s population was half its present size, water and electricity crises were common and widespread illnesses were attributed to poor sanitation. Construction of a major water supply was seen as essential long ago.

(https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/09/kathmandu-nepal-city-glaciers-water-crisis)

Since 1998, citizens were informed that the Melamchi Water Project would bring water to the city within five years. After being abandoned for 17 years, reports are circulating that the project is again underway and will soon be complete. Water specialists, a common fixture in Nepal’s iNGO network broadcast their services while they warn of poor sanitation and other water needs. Local bloggers are also trying to monitor conditions

http://www.wateraid.org/np

https://energyfornepal.wordpress.com/.

Arranging Nepal’s basic electricity supply is no less dismaying than addressing water needs. It looks as if the Melamchi Water Project will duplicate the experience of hydroelectric projects designed three decades ago. Construction of the Marsyangdi hydropower project commissioned in 1986 was to start by 1989. Thirty years on it is still ‘in progress’. Managers suggest more time is needed before power is generated from any of the three sections of this project Marsyangdi-A implemented by China’s Sino Hydro and Nepal’s Sagarmatha Power Company has experienced delays; if completed in September of this year as announced this will be the first one to actually start producing electricity. Another is the Middle Marsyangdi project initiated in 2001 and commissioned in 2008; by 2013 it was unclear if it was operational

http://www.nepalenergyforum.com/marsyangdi-hydropower/

https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/upper-marsyangdi-a-hydro-project-sets-target-to-commission-power-by-end-of-this-year/.

A third project in the same area, Marsyangdi-2, is described by a Nepal government source as “becoming functional by 2025/26”!

Unable to arrange such basic infrastructure even though Nepal has abundant financial resources and technical aid, you can appreciate how reconstruction of homes and schools damaged by the recent earthquake is languishing. Money is not in short supply for development, for daily utilities and for disaster relief.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/25/earthquake-survivors-stranded-nepal-aid-bureaucracy.

Close inspection of any of the projects discussed and delayed earthquake repairs will quickly expose the lack of co-ordination and deep distrust between all the actors in the process.

Meanwhile tourists are returning (in selected seasons) to meditate on Himalayan sunsets and to join whitewater rafting expeditions.

Posted in Far EastComments Off on Poverty and Despair: Basics in Nepal Were Absent Before the 2015 Earthquake

Send Our War Criminals to the Hague Court

The Hague NL International criminal court -ICC

This week’s Chilcot report on Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was as polite and guarded as a proper English tea party. No direct accusations, no talk of war crimes by then Prime Minister Tony Blair or his guiding light, President George W. Bush. But still pretty damning.

Such government reports and commissions, as was wittily noted in the delightful program ‘Yes, Prime Minister,’ are designed to obscure rather than reveal the truth and bury awkward facts in mountains of paper.

And beneath mountains of lies. The biggest lie on both sides of the Atlantic was that the invasion and destruction of Iraq was the result of ‘faulty intelligence.’ The Bush and Blair camps and the US and British media keep pushing this absurd line.

This writer, who had covered Iraq since 1976, was one of the first to assert that Baghdad had no so-called weapons of mass destruction, and no means of delivering them even if it did. For this I was dropped and black-listed by the leading US TV cable news network and leading US newspapers.

I had no love for the brutal Saddam Hussein, whose secret police threatened to hang me as a spy. But I could not abide the intense war propaganda coming from Washington and London, served up by the servile, mendacious US and British media.

The planned invasion of Iraq was not about nuclear weapons or democracy, as Bush claimed. Two powerful factions in Washington were beating the war drums: ardently pro-Israel neoconservatives who yearned to see an enemy of Israel destroyed, and a cabal of conservative oil men and imperialists around Vice President Dick Cheney who sought to grab Iraq’s huge oil reserves at a time they believed oil was running out. They engineered the Iraq War, as blatant and illegal an aggression as Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

Britain’s smarmy Tony Blair tagged along with the war boosters in hopes that the UK could pick up the crumbs from the invasion and reassert its former economic and political power in the Arab world. Blair had long been a favorite of British neoconservatives. The silver-tongued Blair became point man for the war in preference to the tongue-twisted, stumbling George Bush. But the real warlord was VP Dick Cheney.

There was no ‘flawed intelligence.’ There were intelligence agencies bullied into reporting a fake narrative to suit their political masters. And a lot of fake reports concocted by our Mideast allies like Israel and Kuwait.

After the even mild Chilcot report, Blair’s reputation is in tatters, as it should be. How such an intelligent, worldly man could have allowed himself to be led around by the doltish, swaggering Bush is hard to fathom. Europe’s leaders and Canada refused to join the Anglo-American aggression. France, which warned Bush of the disaster he would inflict, was slandered and smeared by US Republicans as ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys.’

In the event, the real monkeys were the Bush and Blair governments. Saddam Hussain, a former US ally, was deposed and lynched. Iraq, the most advanced Arab nation, was almost totally destroyed. Up to one million Iraqis may have been killed, though the Chilcot report claimed only a risible 150,000. As Saddam had predicted, the Bush-Blair invasion opened the gates of hell, and out came al-Qaida and then ISIS.

The US and British media, supposedly the bulwark of democracy, rolled over and became an organ of government war propaganda. Blair had the august BBC purged for failing to fully support his drive for war. BBC has never recovered.

Interestingly, this week’s news of the Chilcot investigation was buried deep inside the New York Times on Thursday. The Times was a key partisan of the war. So too the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and the big TV networks.

Without their shameful connivance, the Iraq War might not have happened.

Bush and Blair have the deaths of nearly 4,500 US soldiers on their heads, the devastation of Iraq, our $1 trillion war, the ever-expanding mess in the Mideast, and the violence what we wrongly blame on ‘terrorism’ and so-called ‘radical Islam.’

The men and women responsible for this biggest disaster in our era should be brought to account. As long as Bush and Blair swan around and collect speaking fees, we have no right to lecture other nations, including Russia and China, on how to run a democracy or rule of law. Bush and Blair should be facing trial for war crime at the Hague Court.

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US-UK Dirty War: ‘Latin American-style’ Death Squads in Iraq Revealed Through Chilcot

chilcot2-1024x576

This week another toxic revelation dripped out of the Chilcot Report.

According to top British SAS officers, US commander Stanley McChrystal’s counter-insurgency “black-ops” featured a program of relentless violence designed to ‘speed up’ the process of political cleansing and the so-called “reconstruction” of Iraq.

What also interesting here, is the Chilcot’s choice of language, including the term “Latin American-style death squads”, which by default implies the United States government was party to war crimes in Central America during the 1980’s – a claim which it has always been strenuously denied in public, even though the general public and academia recognizes this to be a self-evident fact of America’s long-running ugly history of intervention in that region.

The Independent report reveals the level of sheer depravity by US command:

“The mission was an extraordinary set-up: inside the command centre – “The Machine” – was the “Death Star”, on the walls of which were banks of television screens, “Kill TV”, running live pictures of action taking place and surveillance footage in real time from which suspects could be picked out for future arrest or elimination.”

The Independent also detailed how reckless and violent practices by the US military caused noticeable divisions and splits between joint US-UK command structures and operations, including political tension between British military command.

Through the newly created Office of Special Plans, neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith rolled out their own sub-layer to the US controlled shadow government in Iraq, including the establishment of the “Iraqi De–Baathification Council” which, under the supervision of then US Viceroy Paul Bremer, began dismantling the Iraqi military, security and intelligence agency infrastructures of President Saddam Hussein.

And so began the process of the Pentagon’s ‘de-Baathification’ process in Iraq, immediately followed by a hive of violent ‘Gangs and Counter-gangs created by the US and UK covert military and intelligence apparatuses. Front and center in this effort were US operatives John Negroponte and his understudy at the time, Robert Ford, who was later dispatched as US Ambassador to Syria in the run-up to the Syrian Conflict which began in 2011.

The legacy of this destructive policy still lingering in Iraq and now in Syria. This unquestionably spawned ISIS and many other terrorist factions in both Iraq and Syria. Only last week, Iraq saw its most deadly car bomb ever, a questionable ‘sectarian attack’ (a narrative not challenged by the western and international press) which killed 200 innocent civilians, and injured many more.

Iraq-Car-Bomb-Map-2016GLADIO REDUX: A map of every car bomb in Baghdad since the US-UK invasion in 2003 (Source: Twitter)

Prof Michel Chossudovsky explains this same highly disturbing pattern that generally follows every US intervention overseas, be it overt or covert:

“The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military-intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of  terror brigades and targeted assassinations going back to the Vietnam war.

“As government forces continue to confront the self-proclaimed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA),  the historical roots of  the West’s covert war on Syria –which has resulted in countless atrocities– must be fully revealed.”

Once again, we can see the revelation of the US-UK method of not simply instigating wars, but facilitating dirty wars not only overseas, but also at home, as in the case of Operation GLADIO and numerous other false flag events admittedly staged in North America.

As 21WIRE will demonstrate in subsequent reports, this latest Chilcot revelation is only the tip of a much larger, covert iceberg…

Details have emerged of how US and UK Special Forces clashed and drifted apart over the conduct of the Iraq occupation, with one British officer complaining about the use of tactics more akin to “Latin American-style” death squads than a modern military.
 
The details of the Balad special forces base and its operations, which came to shape the war, are not recounted in last week’s long-awaited report by Sir John Chilcot.

However, kill or capture operations in and around Baghdad, launched from the Balad base 50 miles (80km) north of the city, were a key if little known chapter in Britain’s shadow war, the Independent reports.

Despite killing or taking as prisoner up to 3,500 insurgents, the mission against the Sunni insurgency caused deep rifts to the point where a senior commander, himself ex-SAS, demanded to know why the UK Special Forces were “helping to run Latin American-style death squads?”

The mission, under now-famed US General Stanley McChrystal, involved a shift from searching for apparently non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to man-hunting.

Antagonism over the tactics led to UK troops being banned from some operations and a UK SAS commander lodging a complaint with US authorities for talking about British involvement in operations. Another SAS colonel was also ostracized from his regiment after serving under McCrystal.

Chilcot does sketch out some of the details of the growing rift, though his report appears to leave out direct references to Special Forces operations.

US and UK strategies had, in effect, been on different courses since the UK decision to focus its attention on MND (SE) [Multi-National Division South East, the British run zone] in 2003.

As result of this decision, the UK had acquired distinctly different priorities from the US,” the 2.6-million-word report argues.

It says the UK was then only “marginally involved in the central tasks of stabilizing the Iraqi government in Baghdad and managing sectarian divisions, while it had come to see its main task in Basra as one of keeping the situation calm while building the case for withdrawal.”

From that point on, it appears, the US became increasingly concerned that a wavering UK was chiefly focused on getting out of the unpopular war in the best order it could and as soon as possible.

In 2006, a former SAS soldier blew the whistle on some of the tactics used in and around Baghdad. Ben Griffin was later gagged by the UK courts for talking about his experiences, but before he was silenced told the Telegraph, “The Americans had this catch-all approach to lifting suspects. The tactics were draconian and completely ineffective.”

“The Americans were doing things like chucking farmers into Abu Ghraib [the notorious prison in Baghdad where US troops abused and tortured Iraqi detainees] or handing them over to the Iraqi authorities, knowing full well they were going to be tortured,” he said at the time.

It may be of note that the SAS commander’s reference to “Latin American-style deaths squads” appears to ignore the fact that at time of the Iraq war, in July 2003, the UK was itself stepping up training of Colombian paramilitary forces.

Commenting on the revelations at the time, human rights NGO Amnesty International warned “the Colombian government has not implemented the UN human rights recommendations and military assistance only gives a green light to the army to carry on as before.”

Posted in USA, UKComments Off on US-UK Dirty War: ‘Latin American-style’ Death Squads in Iraq Revealed Through Chilcot

“The Sloppy Dossier”: Plagiarism and Fake Intelligence Used to Justify the War on Iraq

NOVANEWS

Copied and Pasted from the Internet into an “Official” British Intel Report

Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky

 
Plagiarism: British Intelligence Iraq Dossier Relied on Recycled Academic Articles

The Chilcot Inquiry has been released. But it is worth noting that most of the dodgy dossier evidence pertaining to Tony Blair and George W, Bush was available before the onset of the Iraq war in March 2003.  

Fake intelligence as well as plagiarized quotations had been slipped into an official intelligence report pertaining to Iraq’s WMD presented to the UN Security Council by Secretary of State Colin Powell on February 5, 2003.  

Damning evidence refuting Colin Powell’s official intelligence report was revealed by Cambridge Lecturer Dr. Glen Rangwala in  Britain’s Channel 4 TV on February 6, 2003, on the day following Secretary of State Colin Powell’s historic Iraq WMD presentation to the UN Security Council: 

“I would call my colleagues’ attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed . . . which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.”

Powell was referring to “Iraq Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And Intimidation”, published on January 30, 2003.

According to Rangwala, the  British intelligence document was fake. It had not been prepared by British intelligence. It was copied and pasted from the internet by members of Tony Blair’s staff:   

The Downing Street authors state they drew “upon a number of sources, including intelligence material” (p.1, first sentence). In fact, they copied material from at least three different authors and gave no credit to them. Indeed, they plagiarized, directly cutting and pasting or near quoting.

A close textual analysis suggests that the UK authors had little access to first-hand intelligence sources and instead based their work on academic papers, which they selectively distorted. Some of the papers used were considerably out of date. This leads the reader to wonder about the reliability and veracity of the Downing Street document.

It was a fake document prepared on the instructions of prime minister Blair with a view to building a “credible” justification to wage war on Iraq.  

Rangwala’s analysis was more than a smoking gun. It revealed the Big Lie. It invalidated Colin’s Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council. It had to be suppressed. 

In many regards, the Rangwala revelation was far more important than the leak of the Secret July 2002 Downing Street Memo:  

C  reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

The “WMD facts” had to be “documented”. Did British intelligence refuse to comply with Tony Blair’s demands to produce a fast track report which would “fix the facts”?  Rangwala’s analysis confirms that British intelligence was not involved in what we might describe as the “Sloppy Dossier”.

The “facts” were put together in a hurry (not by MI6) but by Tony Blair’s public relations’ staff, who casually committed acts of plagiarism and political fraud. 

The report was finalized one week before Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council; the “facts” and supporting quotations were copied and pasted by members of Tony Blair’s cabinet from the internet and inserted into an official and authoritative document.  

Plagiarism had become a means to justifying the war on Iraq. 

The Rangwala revelation was the “unspoken truth”. With the exception of Channel $, it was not the object of media coverage both before as well as after the March invasion of Iraq. It had to be suppressed. The invasion of Iraq had already been scheduled for March 2003.

The Role of Colin Powell in Planning the War on Iraq

In retrospect, the Rangwala findings also bring to the forefront the insidious and complicit role of Colin Powell, who organized the Crawford Texas meetings in early April 2002 between Bush and Blair, as confirmed by the recently leaked emails (see below).

What these emails suggest is that Colin Powell had been entrusted in setting the stage for the war on Iraq, initially at the Bush-Blair Crawford meetings on April 5-7, 2002, leading up to his presentation of the British intelligence dossier on Iraq’s alleged WMD at the UN Security Council on February 5,  2003.

Lest we forget Colin Powell played a behind the scenes role in the Iran Contra Affair. 

The Crawford meetings were intended to plan the war on Iraq. 

Colin Powell was a central political instrument. The issue is who was Behind Colin Powell?

Who was present at the Crawford meetings? Reports confirm that Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice  were among those present.

 

In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the plagiarized “British intelligence Iraq Dossier” presented to the UN Security Council by (former) Secretary of State Colin Powell was so to speak “forgotten”.  

The plagiarism issue nonetheless confirms beyond doubt the war crimes’ allegations against George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

Rangwala’s report was known to Britain’s parliament. It was only three months after the war was launched, in June 2003, that Rangwala submitted his finding to the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. (see below).

Michel Chossudovsky, November 8, 2015, updated: July 14, 2016


.

Plagiarism and Iraq’s WMDs: British Intelligence Iraq Dossier Relied on Recycled Academic Articles

by Glen Rangwala

Below is the text presented by Dr. Rangwala to the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs 

It was presented in June 2003, in the wake of the invasion and occupation of Iraq

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmfaff/813/813we18.htm

THE PRESENTATION OF THE 30 JANUARY 2003 DOSSIER

1.  The 19-page dossier, entitled “Iraq—Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation”, was released on 30 January 2003. The document begins with the statement that:

    “This report draws upon a number of sources, including intelligence material (. . .”

2.  The assertion that the intelligence agencies were involved in the production of the dossier was made more explicitly by Prime Minister Blair when he announced the release of the dossier to the House of Commons on 3 February 2003:

    “We issued further intelligence over the weekend about the infrastructure of concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish intelligence reports, but I hope that people have some sense of the integrity of our security services. They are not publishing this, or giving us this information, and making it up. It is the intelligence that they are receiving, and we are passing it on to people.”

www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk

A REVIEW OF THE CONTENTS OF THE 30 JANUARY 2003 DOSSIER

Sources

3.  The bulk of the 19-page document (pp 6-16) is directly copied without acknowledgement from three different sources that are on the internet. The most extensively used source is an article in the on-line Israeli journal, Middle East Review of International Affairs (September 2002), entitled “Iraq’s Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis”.

http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue3/jv6n3a1.html

4.  The author of the piece is Mr Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate student then based at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, California, who is completing a doctorate at Oxford University. He has confirmed to me that his permission was not sought; in fact, he didn’t even know about the British document until I contacted him on 4 February to enquire whether his permission was given.

5.  In addition to Mr Marashi’s work, there is also the use of two articles from the specialist security magazine,Jane’s Intelligence Review. On-line summaries of articles by Mr Sean Boyne in 1997 and Mr Ken Gause in 2002 are on the GlobalSecurity.org website, at:

http://globalsecurity.org/intell/world/iraq/

These texts were also amalgamated in part into the UK dossier.

6.  The fact that these sources were copied is most clear from the typographical errors and anomalous uses of grammar in the original pieces that are incorporated into the Downing Street document. For example, Mr Marashi had written:

    “Saddam appointed, Sabir `Abd al-’Aziz al-Duri as head (. . .)”

There is a misplaced comma after the second word. On p 13, the British dossier incorporates the same misplaced comma:

    “Saddam appointed, Sabir `Abd al-’Aziz al-Duri as head (. . .)”

7.  Because the texts of these three authors are copied directly also results in a proliferation of different transliterations (for example, different spellings of the Ba’th party, depending on which author is being copied).

Modifications to the original articles

8.  The only exceptions to these acts of copying were the tweaking of specific phrases. For example, most of p 9 on the functions of the Mukhabarat (General Intelligence) is copied directly from Mr Marashi’s article. However, Marashi writes of the Mukhabarat’s role in:

    “monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq”.

This becomes in the British dossier:

    “spying on foreign embassies in Iraq”.

Similarly, on the same page, Marashi writes that the Mukhabarat had a role in:

    “aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes”

The British dossier renders this as:

    “supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes”.

9.  A further example is from the section on “Fedayeen Saddam” (Saddam’s Self-Sacrificers). Most of this text is copied from the 1997 article by Sean Boyne. However, Boyne writes that the personnel of this organisation are:

    “recruited from regions loyal to Saddam”, and refers to their original grouping as “some 10,000-15,000 `bullies and country bumpkins.’”

10.  This becomes in the British government’s text, at pp 15-16, a reference to how its personnel are:

    “press ganged from regions known to be loyal to Saddam” . . . “some 10,000-15,000 bullies.”

11.  The reference in Mr Boyne’s article to how the organisation was made up of “bullies and country bumpkins” was shorn of its last three words in the UK dossier, perhaps to render a more threatening picture of the organisation than that contained in the original article.

12.  Numbers are also increased or are rounded up. So, for example, the section on “Fedayeen Saddam” (pp 15-16) is directly copied from Boyne’s article, almost word for word. The only substantive difference is that Mr Boyne estimates the personnel of the organisation to be 18,000-40,000 (Ken Gause, in another article that was substantially copied, estimates personnel in the region of 10,000-40,000). The British dossier instead writes “30,000 to 40,000″. A similar bumping up of figures occurs with the description of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.

Errors

13.  There is at least one serious substantive mistake in the British text, on p 14, about the Iraqi organisation the Military Security Service (al-Amn al-Askari). After an initial two paragraphs copied from Marashi’s 2002 article, the remainder of the text is taken from the description by Sean Boyne in his 1997 article of a wholly different organisation called the General Security Service (al-Amn al-Amm). That is, it mixes up the descriptions of two different organisations.

14.  The result is a confusion that renders the description incoherent. The description of the Military Security Service (al-Amn al-Askari) begins by relating how this organisation was created in 1992 (in a section copied from Marashi). It then describes how the Military Security Service moved headquarters in 1990 (in a piece copied from Boyne on the activities of the General Security Service), two years before the organisation was even created.

15.  Later in the same section, the UK dossier claims that the head of the Military Security Service is Taha al-Ahbabi. This is from Boyne’s description of the General Security Service. In fact, the Military Security Service was headed by Thabet Khalil when the dossier was released.

FURTHER COMMENTS

16.  The information in the UK dossier is presented as being an accurate statement of the current state of Iraq’s security organisations. However, it may not be anything of the sort. Mr Marashi—the real and unwitting author of much of the document—refers in his article to his primary source as being the documents captured by Coalition forces in 1991, and which are now retained by the Massachusetts-based organisation, the Iraq Research and Documentation Project. His own focus is the activities of Iraq’s intelligence agencies in Kuwait in the period from August 1990 to January 1991, as this is the subject of his thesis. As a result, much of the information presented as relevant to how Iraqi agencies are currently engaged with UNMOVIC is 12 years old.

17.  When the document was first released as a Microsoft Word document, I checked the properties of the text in the File menu. It revealed the authors of the text as P. Hamill, J. Pratt, A. Blackshaw, and M. Khan. Those names were removed within hours from the downloadable file. However, in collaboration with journalists, I have since checked who these individuals are. The identity of the authors is as follows:

    Paul Hamill, a Foreign Office official;
    John Pratt, a junior official from the Prime Minister’s Strategic Communications Unit;
    Alison Blackshaw, Alastair Campbell’s personal assistant;
    Mustaza Khan, news editor of the 10 Downing Street website.

THE ORDERING OF THE DOSSIER

18.  The dossier is ordered as follows:

p 1 is the summary.

pp 2-5 consists of, firstly, a repetition of the comments of Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, to the Security Council in January on the difficulties they were encountering. Further claims about the activities of al-Mukhabarat follow. These claims are not backed up, and have in some cases been specifically denied by Hans Blix. For example, the UK dossier claims on p 3 that:

    “Journeys are monitored by security officers stationed on the route if they have prior intelligence. Any changes of destination are notified ahead by telephone or radio so that arrival is anticipated. The welcoming party is a give away.”

This can be contrasted with the assessment of Hans Blix on 14 February 2003 that:

    “Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted more than 400 inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly. In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance that the inspectors were coming.”

http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/blix14Febasdel.htm

Similarly, the UK dossier claims on p 3 that:

    “Escorts are trained, for example, to start long arguments with other Iraqi officials `on behalf of UNMOVIC’ while any incriminating evidence is hastily being hidden behind the scenes.”

By contrast, Dr Blix relates in the same presentation of 14 February that:

    “we note that access to sites has so far been without problems, including those that had never been declared or inspected, as well as to Presidential sites and private residences.”

p 6 is a simplified version of Mr Marashi’s diagram at: http://cns.miis.edu/research/iraq/pdfs/iraqint.pdf

p 7 is copied (top) from Mr Gause (on the Presidential Secretariat), and (middle and bottom) from Mr Boyne (on the National Security Council).

p 8 is entirely copied from Mr Boyne (on the National Security Council).

p 9 is copied from Mr Marashi (on al-Mukhabarat), except for the final section, which is insubstantial.

p 10 is entirely copied from Mr Marashi (on the General Security Service), except for the final section, which is insubstantial.

p 11 is entirely copied from Mr Marashi (on Special Security), except for the top section (on General Security), which is insubstantial.

p 12 is entirely copied from Mr Marashi (on Special Security).

p 13 is copied from Mr Gause (on Special Protection) and Mr Marashi (Military Intelligence).

p 14 is copied from Mr Marashi (first two paragraphs) and then wrongly copied from Mr Boyne (on Military Security). The last section, on the Special Republican Guard, is copied from Mr Marashi.

p 15 is copied from Messrs Gause and Boyne (on al-Hadi project / project 858).

pp 15-16 is copied from Boyne (on Fedayeen Saddam).

p 16: The final section, on the Tribal Chiefs’ Bureau, seems to be copied from Anthony H. Cordesman, “Key Targets in Iraq”, February 1998, http://www.csis.org/stratassessment/reports/iraq_argets.pdf, pg. 8

pp 17-19 make general claims about human rights in Iraq.

Dr Glen Rangwala

Newnham College

Cambridge

16 June 2003

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US Hostility Toward Iran Persists. Billions of Dollars of Iranian Assets Remain Frozen

NOVANEWS
 
US-Iran

Since the Islamic Republic replaced US ally Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s despotic rule in 1979, unjustifiable hostility toward Iran persisted.

Last year’s nuclear deal changed nothing. International sanctions ended. US ones largely remain in place, bipartisan congressional hardliners calling for more.

Billions of dollars of Iranian assets remain frozen. Tehran is wrongfully blamed for regional terrorism and elsewhere. Congress earlier passed legislation authorizing Iranian assets be used to compensate victims of Israeli Mossad terrorism – wrongfully blamed on the Islamic Republic.

In April 2016, the Supreme Court shamelessly ruled Tehran must pay families of victims and survivors nearly $2 billion in compensation – including victims of other attacks wrongfully linked to Iran.

High crimes committed by America, NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states go unpunished – Iran targeted to pay compensation to their victims. Injustice persists.

Tehran is blocked from access to America’s international financial clearing system, its banks unable to use US dollars to conduct transactions.

Why continued hostility after nearly 37 years? Sovereign Iranian independence frees it from US control. Washington and Israel want unchallenged regional dominance – pro-Western puppet regimes replacing independent or nonaligned countries.

Imperial wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere aim to achieve this objective. Iran remains largely isolated, unjustly vilified, cited for nonexistent aggression and terrorism, criticized for its legitimate missile program solely for defense.

Tehran hasn’t attacked or threatened another country throughout its entire history. America, NATO, Israel and their rogue allies wage perpetual wars of aggression.

The power of AIPAC and Israeli lobby overall hugely influences US policy on Iran. In his must-read book, titled “The Power of Israel in the United States,” James Petras explains Israel’s longterm regional hegemonic objective.

Its lobby influences US policy at the highest levels of government, the business community, academia, the clergy and mass media – building, maintaining, and assuring uncompromised US support for Israeli interests, even when harmful to America’s.

Willful AIPAC misinformation about Iran being the leading state sponsor of terrorism sticks on Capitol Hill, emphasized by media scoundrels, US policy influenced by Big Lies.

Tehran seeks mutual cooperation among all nations, regional peace and stability, abolition of nuclear weapons, Palestinians freed from repressive Israeli occupation, and normalized ties to the West.

It wants and deserves to be treated like most other countries, a legitimate member of the world community, its sovereign independence respected.

Instead, US/Israeli hostility persists. The latest blow involves Congress aiming to block Boeing’s sale of dozens of commercial aircraft to Iran – approved last week by majority House members, bipartisan Senate hardliners likely to approve undermining the deal.

Measures block licensing Boeing (and pressuring Airbus) from trading freely with Iran – the Export-Import Bank and other international lending agencies prohibited from financing any entity doing business with Tehran.

After implementation of last year’s nuclear deal, Republicans and hawkish Democrats vowed to obstruct normalized relations with Iran, wanting the nuclear deal rescinded, a flagrant violation of international law if approved by Congress and Obama’s successor – Clinton and Trump opposed to normalized US/Iranian relations.

Sovereign independent Iran remains an obstacle to ending decades of US hostility – regime change its longstanding objective by color revolution or war.

Nothing in prospect suggests responsible change.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on US Hostility Toward Iran Persists. Billions of Dollars of Iranian Assets Remain Frozen


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