Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 9 April 7 - 13, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
in our name
George W Bush yesterday called on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian cities
occupied by its forces during the last week.
excused Israel's violence, but lectured the Palestinians and the rest of the
Middle East on the need for restraint and a lasting peace. "The storms of
violence cannot go on," said Bush. "Enough is enough."
he neglected to say was that he needs a lull in the present crisis to lay his
own war plans; that while he talks of peace in the Middle East, he is secretly
planning a massive attack on Iraq.
historic display of hypocrisy by Bush will be on show at his ranch in Texas
today, with Tony Blair, his collaborator, in admiring attendance.
enough is enough. It is time Tony Blair came clean with the British people on
his part in the coming violence against a nation of innocent people.
THE crisis in Israeli-occupied Palestine deepens, Tony Blair will meet George W
Bush today to plan an attack on another country, Iraq.
decision may condemn to death more than 10,000 civilians. That is the
"medium case scenario" drawn up by the Pentagon. If the Americans
implement their current strategy of "total war" and target Iraq's
electricity and water, the consequences will be even more horrific.
is no mandate in any United Nations resolution for this invasion. It will be as
lawless as Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, which triggered the Second World
War. Indeed, it may well trigger a Third World War, drawing in nations of the
region and beyond.
Blair arrives at Bush's Texas ranch the question begs: Why does he condemn Iraq,
but is silent on Israel's current bloody and illegal rampage through Palestine?
Why has he not demanded that the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon comply with
UN Security Council resolutions, to which Britain is a signatory, and withdraw
from the Occupied Territories? Why has Blair said nothing as Sharon has sent
tanks and gunships and snipers against civilians - a government targeting
innocent people, like the deaf old lady shot by an Israeli sniper as she tried
to get to hospital? Why has Blair not called at least for military sanctions
against Israel, which has 200 nuclear weapons targeted at Arab capitals?
culpable silence is imposed by the most dangerous American administration for a
generation. The Bush administration is determined to attack Iraq and take over a
country that is the world's second largest source of oil. The aim is to get rid
of America's and Britain's old friend, Saddam Hussein, whom they no longer
control, and to install another compliant thug in Baghdad.
is why Bush now tells Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian cities it recently
occupied while continuing to replenish the Israeli war machine. The Americans
want a rampant Israel guarding their flank as they attack Iraq and expand their
control across the Middle East, whose oil is now more critical than ever to US
military and economic dominance.
almost two months, Downing Street, through the discredited system of
unattributable briefings that are secret to the public, have spun two
deceptions. The first is that the Prime Minister will play a vital role at
today's meeting with Bush on his Texas ranch in "counseling caution."
The second is that Blair has a "dossier of detailed evidence" that
"proves" that Saddam Hussein has "a nuclear capability" and
is "investigating a way to launch unsophisticated nuclear bombs" and
is also building chemical and biological weapons.
fiction of Blair as a steadying hand on his Texas buddy is to be read in Blair's
unrelenting bellicose statements, and his attempts, against the wishes of his
senior military advisers, to send thousands of British troops into the quagmire
of Afghanistan, where his "cautionary influence" on Bush saw as many
as 5,000 civilians bombed to death while the Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders got
remaining silent on Israel, Blair is alone in Europe in his promotion of an
attack on Iraq, a nation of 22 million people with whom the British have no
quarrel. Mysteriously, the "dossier of proof" of the dangers posed by
the Iraqi regime has now been "shelved." This is because no such proof
exists and because, suddenly, more than 130 Labour Members of Parliament are in
revolt, including Cabinet and former Cabinet members. It must be dawning on many
of them that so much of this government's "spin" during the "war
on terrorism" has been a farrago of lies and half-truths provided by an
American intelligence apparatus seeking to cover its failure to provide warning
of the attacks of September 11.
Number One is the justification for an attack on Iraq - the threat of its
"weapons of mass destruction." Few countries have had 93 per cent of
their major weapons capability destroyed. This was reported by Rolf Ekeus, the
chairman of the United Nations body authorized to inspect and destroy Iraq's
arsenal following the Gulf War in 1991. UN inspectors certified that 817 out of
the 819 Iraqi long-range missiles were destroyed. In 1999, a special panel of
the Security Council recorded that Iraq's main biological weapons facilities
(supplied originally by the US and Britain) "have been destroyed and
for Saddam Hussein's "nuclear threat," the International Atomic Energy
Agency reported that Iraq's nuclear weapons program had been eliminated
"efficiently and effectively". The IAEA inspectors still travel to
Iraq and in January reported full Iraqi compliance. Blair and Bush never mention
this when they demand that "the weapons inspectors are allowed back".
Nor do they remind us that the UN inspectors were never expelled by the Iraqis,
but withdrawn only after it was revealed they had been infiltrated by US
Number Two is the connection between Iraq and the perpetrators of September 11.
There was the rumor that Mohammed Atta, one of the September 11 hijackers, had
met an Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech Republic last year. The Czech
police say he was not even in the country last year. On February 5, a New York
Times investigation concluded: "The Central Intelligence Agency has no
evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States
in nearly a decade, and the agency is convinced that Saddam Hussein has not
provided chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaeda or related terrorist
Number Three is that Saddam Hussein, not the US and Britain, "is blocking
humanitarian supplies from reaching the people of Iraq." (Foreign Office
minister Peter Hain). The opposite is true. The United States, with British
compliance, is currently blocking a record $5billion worth of humanitarian
supplies from the people of Iraq. These are shipments already approved by the UN
Office of Iraq, which is authorized by the Security Council. They include
life-saving drugs, painkillers, vaccines, cancer diagnostic equipment.
wanton denial is rarely reported in Britain. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis,
mostly children, have died as a consequence of an American and British riven
embargo on Iraq that resembles a medieval siege. The embargo allows Iraq less
than £100 with which to feed and care for one person for a whole year. This a
major factor, says the United Nations' Children's Fund, in the death of more
than 600,000 infants.
have seen the appalling state of the children of Iraq. I have sat next to an
Iraqi doctor in a modern hospital while she has turned away parents with
children suffering from cancers that are part of what they call a
"Hiroshima epidemic" - caused, according to several studies, by the
depleted uranium that was used by the US and Britain in the Gulf War and is now
carried in the dust of the desert. Not only is Iraq denied equipment to clean up
its contaminated battlefields, but also cancer drugs and hospital equipment.
showed a list of barred drugs given to me by Iraqi doctors to Professor Karol
Sikora, who as chief of the cancer program of the World Health Organization,
wrote in the British Medical Journal: "Requested radiotherapy equipment,
chemotherapy drugs and analgesics are consistently blocked by United States and
British advisers (to the UN Sanctions Committee). There seems to be a rather
ludicrous notion that such agents could be converted into chemical and other
weapons." He told me: "Nearly all these drugs are available in every
British hospital. It seems crazy they couldn't have morphine. When I was in
Iraq, in one hospital they had a little bottle of aspirin pills to go around 200
patients in pain." No one doubts that if the murderous Saddam Hussein saw
advantage in deliberately denying his people humanitarian supplies, he would do
so; but the UN, from the Secretary General himself, has said that, while the
regime could do more, it has not withheld supplies.
Halliday, the assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, resigned in
protest at the embargo which he described as "genocidal". Halliday was
responsible for the UN's humanitarian program in Iraq. His successor, Hans Von
Sponeck, also resigned in disgust. Last November, they
"The death of 5-6,000 children a month is mostly due to contaminated water,
lack of medicines and malnutrition. The US and UK governments' delayed clearance
of equipment and materials is responsible for this tragedy, not Baghdad."
who speak these facts are abused by Blair ministers as apologists for Saddam
Hussein - so embroiled is the government with the Bush administration's
exploitation of America's own tragedy on September 11. This has prevented public
discussion of the crime of an embargo that has hurt only the most vulnerable
Iraqis and which is to be compounded by the crime of attacking the stricken
nation. Unknown to most of the British public, RAF and American aircraft have
been bombing Iraq, week after week, for more than two years. The cost to the
British taxpayer is £800million a year. The Wall Street Journal reported that
the US and Britain faced a "dilemma" because "few targets
remain". "We're down to the last outhouse," said a Pentagon
any attack on Iraq, Saddam Hussein's escape route is virtually assured - just as
Osama bin Laden's was. The US and Britain have no wish to free the Iraqi people
from a tyranny the CIA once described as its "greatest triumph". The
last thing they want is a separate Kurdish state and another allied to the
Shi'ite majority in neighboring Iran. They want another Saddam
one who will do as he is told.
March 13, the Foreign Office entertained Brigadier-General Najib Salihi, a
former commander of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard and chief of the dreaded
military intelligence who took part in the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Now
funded by the CIA, the general "denies any war crimes". Not that he
would ever face arrest in the West. At the Foreign Office, he is known as a
"rapidly rising star". He is their man, and Washington's man.
British soldiers who take part in an invasion have every right to know the dirty
secrets that will underpin their action, and extend the suffering of a people
held hostage to a dictatorship and to international power games over which they
have no control. Two weeks ago, the Americans made clear they were prepared to
use "low yield" nuclear weapons, a threat echoed here by Defense
Secretary Geoffrey Hoon.
will Europe stand up? If the leaders of the European Union fall silent, too, in
the face of such danger, what is Europe for? In this country, there is an
honorable rallying cry: Not In Our Name. Bush and Blair must be restrained from
killing large numbers of innocents in our name - a view, according to the polls,
shared by a majority of the British people. An arms and military equipment
embargo must be enforced throughout the region, from Saddam Hussein's Iraq to
Ariel Sharon's Israel. Above all, the siege of both the Iraqi and Palestinian
peoples must end now. Bulatlat.com