"liberation" of Iraq is a cruel joke on a stricken
people. The Americans and British, partners in a great
recognised crime, have brought down on the Middle East, and much
of the rest of the world, the prospect of terrorism and
suffering on a scale that al-Qaeda could only imagine.
That is what this
week's bloody bombing of the United Nations headquarters in
Baghdad tells us.
It is a "wake-up
call", according to Mary Robinson, the former UN
She is right, of
course, but it is a call that millions of people sounded on the
streets of London and all over the world more than seven months
ago - before the killing began.
And yet the
Anglo-American spin machine, whose minor cogs are currently
being exposed by the Hutton Inquiry, is still in production.
According to the Bush
and Blair governments, those responsible for the UN outrage are
"extremists from outside": Al-Qaeda terrorists or
Iranian militants, or both.
Whether or not
outsiders are involved, the aim of this propaganda is to
distract from the truth that America and Britain are now
immersed in a classic guerrilla war, a war of resistance and
self-determination of the kind waged against foreign aggressors
and colonial masters since history began.
For America, it is
another Vietnam. For Britain it is another Kenya, or indeed
Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude said in Baghdad: "Our
armies do not come as conquerors, but as liberators."
Within three years
10,000 had died in an uprising against the British, who gassed
and bombed the "terrorists".
Nothing has changed,
only the names and the fine print of the lies.
As for the
"extremists from outside", simply turn the meaning
around and you have a succinct description of the current
occupiers who, unprovoked, attacked a defenceless sovereign
country, defying the United Nations and the opposition of most
Using weapons designed
to cause the maximum human suffering - cluster bombs,
uranium-tipped shells and firebombs (napalm) - these extremists
from outside caused the deaths of at least 8,000 civilians and
as many as 30,000 troops, most conscripted teenagers. Consider
the waves of grief in any society from that carnage.
AT their moment of
"victory", these extremists from outside - having
already destroyed Iraq's infrastructure with a 12-year bombing
campaign and embargo - murdered journalists, toppled statues and
encouraged wholesale looting while refusing to make the most
basic humanitarian repairs to the damage they had caused to the
supply of power and clean water.
This means that today
sick children are dying from thirst and gastro-enteritis, that
hospitals frequently run out of oxygen and that those who might
be saved can not be saved.
How many have died like
"We count every
screwdriver," said an American colonel during the first
Gulf war, "but counting civilians who die along the way is
just not our policy."
The biggest military
machine on earth, said to be spending up to $5billion-a-month on
its occupation of Iraq, apparently can not find the resources
and manpower to bring generators to a people enduring
temperatures of well over the century - almost half of them
children, of whom eight per cent, says UNICEF, are suffering
extreme malnutrition. When Iraqis have protested about this, the
extremists from outside have shot them dead.
They have shot them in
crowds, or individually, and they boast about it.
The other day, Task
Force 20, an "elite" American unit murdered at least
five people as they drove down a street.
The next day they
murdered a woman and her three children as they drove down a
They are no different
from the death squads the Americans trained in Latin America.
These extremists from
outside have been allowed to get away with much of this - partly
because of the web of deceptions in London and Washington, and
partly because of those who voluntarily echo and amplify their
In the current brawl
between the Blair government and the BBC a new myth has emerged:
It is that the BBC was and is "anti-war".
This is what George
Orwell called an "official truth". Again, just turn it
around and you have the real truth; that the BBC supported
Blair's war, that day after day it broadcast and
"debated" and legitimised the charade of weapons of
mass destruction, as well as nonsense such as that which cast
Blair as a "moderating influence" on Bush - when, as
we now know, they are almost identical warmongers.
Who can forget the
BBC's exultant Chief Political Correspondent Andrew Marr, at the
moment of "coalition" triumph. Tony Blair, he
declared, "said that they would take Baghdad without a
blood bath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating.
And on both those points he has been conclusively proved
If you replace
"right" with "wrong", you have the truth. To
the BBC's man in Downing Street, up to 40,000 deaths apparently
does not constitute a "blood bath".
According to the
independent American survey organisation Media Tenor, the BBC
allowed less dissent against the war than all the leading
international broadcasters surveyed, including the American
Andrew Gilligan, the
BBC reporter who revealed Dr David Kelly's concerns about the
government's "dodgy dossier" on Iraq, is one of the
very few mavericks, an inconvenient breed who challenge official
One of the most
important lies was linking the regime of Saddam Hussein with al-Qaeda.
As we now know, both
Bush and Blair ignored the advice of their intelligence agencies
and made the connection public.
It worked. When the
attack on Iraq began, polls showed that most Americans believed
Saddam Hussein was behind September 11.
The opposite was true.
Monstrous though it was, Saddam Hussein's regime was a veritable
bastion against al-Qaeda and its Islamic fanaticism. Saddam was
the West's man, who was armed to the teeth by America and
Britain in the 1980s because he had oil and a lot of money and
because he was an enemy of anti-Western mullahs in Iran and
elsewhere in the region.
Saddam and Osama bin
Laden loathed each other.
His grave mistake was
invading Kuwait in 1990; Kuwait is an Anglo-American
protectorate, part of the Western oil empire in the Middle East.
The killings in the UN
compound in Baghdad this week, like the killing of thousands of
others in Iraq, form a trail of blood that leads to Bush and
Blair and their courtiers.
It was obvious to
millions of people all over the world that if the Americans and
British attacked Iraq, then the fictional link between Iraq and
Islamic terrorism could well become fact.
The brutality of the
occupation of Iraq - in which children are shot or arrested by
the Americans, and countless people have "disappeared"
in concentration camps - is an open invitation to those who now
see Iraq as part of a holy jihad.
When I travelled the
length of Iraq several years ago, I felt completely safe.
I was received
everywhere with generosity and grace, even though I was from a
country whose government was bombing and besieging my hosts.
Bush's and Blair's
court suppressed the truth that most Iraqis both opposed Saddam
Hussein and the invasion of their country.
The thousands of
exiles, from Jordan to Britain, said this repeatedly.
But who listened to
them? When did the BBC interrupt its anti-Christ drumbeat about
Saddam Hussein and report this vital news?
Nor are the United
Nations merely the "peacemakers" and "nationbuilders"
that this week's headlines say they are.
There were dedicated
humanitarians among the dead in Baghdad but for more than 12
years, the UN Security Council allowed itself to be manipulated
so that Washington and London could impose on the people of
Iraq, under a UN flag, an embargo that resembled a mediaeval
It was this that
crippled Iraq and, ironically, concentrated all domestic power
in the hands of the regime, thus ending all hope of a successful
The other day I sat
with Dennis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the
United Nations, and the UN in New York. Halliday was the senior
UN official in Iraq in the mid-1990s, who resigned rather than
administer the blockade.
sanctions," he said, "represented ongoing warfare
against the people of Iraq. They became, in my view, genocidal
in their impact over the years, and the Security Council
maintained them, despite its full knowledge of their impact,
particularly on the children of Iraq.
our own charter, international law, and we probably killed over
a million people.
"It's a tragedy
that will not be forgotten... I'm confident that the Iraqis will
throw out the occupying forces. I don't know how long it will
take, but they'll throw them out based on a nationalistic drive.
"They will not
tolerate any foreign troops' presence in their country,
dictating their lifestyle, their culture, their future, their
"This is a very
proud people, very conscious of a great history.
unacceptable. Every country that is now threatened by Mr Bush,
which is his habit, presents an outrage to all of us.
"Should we stand
by and merely watch while a man so dangerous he is willing to
sacrifice Americans lives and, worse, the lives of others."
documentary on Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror will be
shown on ITV on September 22.