Iraq war re-start, satire

This video from Britain says about itself:

16 February 2012

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND uses the CND experience as a framework to discuss politics and protest, effective methods for bringing about change, and the practice and principles necessary for success.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Iraq War III: The Movie

Saturday 27th September 2014

This time it’s even more pointless

ROLL up, roll up! Get your tickets here for the cinematic blockbuster of the year — Iraq War III The Movie: This Time It’s Even More Pointless.

Featuring a cast of thousands (of innocent civilians) Iraq War III will be brought to you in glorious Technicolor, mainly red, with special effects that you simply won’t believe provided by the experts at industrial might and tragic.

Iraq War III The Movie is brought to you by the people behind such previous entertainment extravaganzas as Blame it on the Taliban, Iraq II: The Musical which featured such-show stopping numbers as “Don’t put my daughter in a grave Mr Wolfowitz” and You Only (Bomb) Libya Twice.

“Absolutely brilliant — five stars,” says the Daily Mail. “Needs more explosions,” The Sun. “Hang on a minute!” — the UN.

Yes that’s right, not for the first time this column is in the invidious position of writing for publication when Britain may or may not be at war again.

This time last year David Cameron was handed a spectacularly humiliating lesson in the workings of democracy and the rule of international law when, due to mass public outrage, his plans to bomb Syria were thwarted.

It was tempting to picture him after that narrowly averted debacle in the guise of a Scooby Doo villain — “I would have got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky peaceniks, lawyers, judges, International Criminal Court…”

This time round however it does not require a great gift for prognostication to predict that the bombers will be taking off imminently, what with the newly founded unionist triumvirate of Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all apparently eager to spill some foreign blood, probably in lieu of actually being able to bomb Scotland.

Even Dominic Grieve wouldn’t sign off on that one.

But then, what better way to recement the union than get together to blow the hell out of someone else in a haze of jingoistic bloodlust and felonious fraternity.

And what a fraternity it is, the US, Britain and France are in the process of launching airborne death on Iraq aimed at destroying terror group Isis, principally known for flagrant human rights abuses and the brutal execution of prisoners with the active support of… er, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Does anyone else spot the irony there?

But when the Saudis and Egyptians torture people and summarily kill them that’s different obviously because it’s “cultural” and of course there’s the small matter of them buying billions of pounds of weapons from us.

Yes, sadly it would appear that by the time you read this Cameron will be one step closer to surpassing Tony Blair’s record for most pointless slaughters perpetrated by a serving prime minister.

Blair, unsurprisingly, is well up for it. He’d bomb his reflection if he wasn’t so in love with it.

German government sends arms to Iraq and backs US air strikes in Syria: here.

As the United States opened up its bombing campaign in Syria this week, the so-called Khorasan Group was suddenly declared the newest and gravest threat to the United States and its European allies, overshadowing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to US intelligence, Khorasan is a group of high-ranking foreign Al Qaeda members based in Syria that is seeking to launch a terrorist attack on US or European airlines. The alleged existence of the Khorasan group was only made public a few days before the US began its campaign in Syria. Prior to last week, no one in the US government had ever publicly uttered the words “Khorasan group.” US President Barack Obama referred to it last Tuesday in his perfunctory statement announcing the new campaign in Syria. Terrorism experts in the United States have stated that Khorasan is an outright invention of US intelligence. What the US government terms the Khorasan Group is in fact a small number of foreign Al Qaeda members fighting with the al Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, against the regime of President Bashar al Assad: here.

Iraq war re-start, false pretexts

This video from Britain is called Lindsey German: The Consequences of War – Confronting War Ten Years On 09.02.13.

By Mary Dejevsky in British daily The Independent:

Thursday 25 September 2014

Isis, we are told, is a ‘clear and dangerous threat to our way of life’. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it

It’s absurd to suggest that we are fighting them ‘over there’ so that we won’t have to fight them ‘over here’

Of all the arguments advanced in favour of British military intervention abroad, the one that has always seemed to me most treacherous and least convincing is the one about “over there” and “over here”. It was much-used by Gordon Brown, when he was trying to persuade a sceptical public of the need for beleaguered UK troops to remain in Afghanistan, though it was current in the United States well before that. Now it is back, in nice time for today’s recall of Parliament.

The battleground is no longer Afghanistan, and the enemy is no longer al-Qaeda or the Taliban. The conflict has moved westwards to northern Syria and Iraq, and the new adversary is the self-styled Islamic State and its rampaging Caliphate. But the argument and the wording are practically identical.

As David Cameron told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, in tones that strongly suggested a rehearsal for today’s unanimity-fest in the Commons, Isis constitutes “a clear and present danger to the United Kingdom”. He had earlier described the behavior of Isis to reporters as “psychopathic, murderous and brutal”.

Our new Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, started preparing the ground last weekend. In an interview in The Spectator he said: “We’ve had attacks on the streets of London, on our transport system, at Glasgow Airport, the murder of Lee Rigby – how much more evidence do you need that this is a very clear and dangerous threat to our way of life and to all the democracies of the West? This is a new Battle of Britain.”

Now you are welcome to accuse me of a lapse in patriotism unworthy of my British passport, but I simply don’t buy this – any of it – even though, right on cue, there was a well-publicised round-up of terror suspects in London yesterday. And I regret, to say the least, that so many of our elected representatives seem to swallow the notion of a direct threat to Britain, the moment a Westerner (over there, mostly, and not over here) meets death by the particularly brutal means of beheading.

In cold, hard, logical terms, the rationale for fighting “there” rather than “here” simply does not stand up to scrutiny. First, all those responsible for the atrocities enumerated by Fallon were either born or educated in Britain. Any trigger for their actions should thus be sought “here” rather than “there”.

Second, they all gave testimony or left statements leaving no doubt as to their motive. Their world-view might embrace the idea of a caliphate, but the London and Glasgow bombers, and those who slaughtered Lee Rigby, had something more immediate in mind: to avenge the killing of Muslims by British troops. In his interview, Michael Fallon rejected “with a wave of the hand” the notion that attacks in Britain might reflect “blow back” from Iraq. But that is essentially what these killers said.

Third. Given the nature of the UK’s recent wars and its high international profile – such attacks remain very, very rare. Neither the UK, still less Western civilisation, is realistically threatened with serious destabilisation, still less extinction, by an extremist brand of Islam, raping, pillaging and beheading as it sweeps in from the east.

And fourth, if the threat is indeed to the relatively small area that is within our shores, why are we not concentrating our security efforts here, rather than sending troops and firepower to inflict tiny pinpricks on a vast swathe of territory that is not ours to defend? If the purpose is to show we are loyal allies to the United States, we should say so, not hide behind an exaggerated, even trumped-up, threat to the British way of life.

Now, it can and will be said that the relatively small number of attacks here is a result of assiduous work by our security services. And to the extent this is true, three cheers for them, and gongs all round. In defence of our politicians, it is also fair to say that you only need one malefactor to get through and you could be looking at destruction on the scale of 9/11. No Prime Minister wants Parliament – or, indeed, the Grand Hotel in Brighton – to be blown up on his watch. The security of the realm is a prime responsibility of any government.

But it is worth bearing in mind that there has been no repeat of 9/11; that lax airport security and intelligence overload were as much to blame as the lethal ingenuity of a small band of zealots, and that so-called asymmetric warfare is the natural product of a world in which vastly different levels of development exist almost side by side, and are visible to each other as never before.

One of the UK’s great assets is the resilience of its population. That, plus a modern level of security, is as much as can reasonably be done. Talk of fighting over there in order not to fight over here gets things precisely the wrong way round. Each of our recent interventions has unleashed forces of chaos, and alienated a small section of our own Muslim population.

It is too late to do much about the first. In Iraq, for instance, our disbanding of the Baathist power structures had the effect, 10 years on, of driving Western-trained soldiers into the ranks of Isis. But we can do something about the second: by not inflating the threat from militant Islam and not fuelling talk of a clash of civilisations. The malign forces “over there” should be left to play themselves out.

British-US torture scandal in Iraq, Afghanistan

This video about Iraq war torture is the film Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Diplomat tells court US links not a bar to hearing torture case

Friday 26th September 2014

CLAIMS by the British government that a case brought by a Pakistani national alleging Britain’s involvement in his rendition and torture would damage US relations have been called into question.

Lawyers for the government had argued that a case brought by Yunus Rahmatullah, who was detained and mistreated by British personnel in Iraq before being handed over to the US for “rendition” to Afghanistan, should not be heard for fear of damaging British-US relations.

But in a statement yesterday presented to the High Court in London a former senior US ambassador and State Department official described the claims as “highly unlikely.”

The statement provided to the court by Thomas R Pickering, a former US under-secretary of state who served for four decades as a diplomat, said that the British government’s claims “misunderstand the value the United States places on the rule of law.”

Mr Pickering stressed that “I firmly believe that adjudicating Mr Rahmatullah’s case in UK courts is highly unlikely to cause damage to the relations or national security cooperation between the US and UK.”

After his 2004 capture Mr Rahmatullah maintains he was subjected to simulated drowning and beatings which rendered him unconscious.

He was later transferred to US custody in Bagdhad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, after which he was extra judicially transferred to Bagram in Afghanistan where he was held for more than years before being released without charge last June.

Mr Rahmatullah is now challenging the British government’s refusal to investigate his allegations of torture and rendition, and is also asking the court to determine that the government’s actions were unlawful.

Reprieve legal director Kat Craig, who is representing Mr Rahmatullah in conjunction with Leigh Day solicitors, said: “The British government knows that it is in the wrong, yet instead of coming clean on its part in Mr Rahmatullah’s rendition and torture, it is doing everything it can to make sure this case never sees the light of day.

“Now a former senior US ambassador with decades of experience at the highest levels of American diplomacy has blown the British government’s case out of the water. It is time they dropped this shameful attempt to deny justice to a victim of brutal torture and years of mistreatment.”

The case is expected to continue today.

New Afghan puppet regime accepts deal to keep 10,000 US troops: here.

CIA-Backed Warlord Behind 2001 Taliban POW Massacre Sworn-In Vice President of Afghanistan: here.

British peace movement against Iraq war re-start

This video from Britain says about itself:

Media ‘doing best to agitate the public’ – Sami Ramadani on UK war prospects against Islamic State

6 September 2014

Sami Ramadani, senior lecturer in Sociology at London Metropolitan University, talks to Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi about the West dealing with the Islamic State. He says that the rise of the Islamic State has given carte blanche to NATO to intervene again in Iraq and Syria. The British media are using the beheadings to agitate the British public in an attempt to stir up support for war. He feels the UK is drifting back to the US line after diverting from it with the vote against war with Syria last year, with the establishment worrying that it could affect British power and prestige on the world stage. And the West may have helped create IS – he says that in 2006 they turned a blind eye to the growth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to IS, deeming them less of a threat than other groups.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:


Friday 26th September 2014

Anti-war MPs and activists mobilise ahead of rushed Commons vote on Isis

BRITISH involvement in the bombing of Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq would be “dangerous and counter-productive,” Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn warned yesterday ahead of a crucial Commons vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament for today’s crunch decision over whether to commit British forces to the conflict — with warplanes reportedly already poised to launch airstrikes.

He told the United Nations this week that Britain was ready to play its part in confronting “an evil against which the whole world must unite.”

Mr Cameron claimed that Britain must not be so “frozen with fear” of repeating the mistakes of the disastrous 2003-9 Iraq war.

Mr Corbyn however rejected the PM’s aggressive stance. He said: “I think we should think this through very carefully.

“If we start dropping bombs and it doesn’t work, what then? If the Iraqi army can’t stop Isis, what then?

“Where does it end?”

He pointed out that previous interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya had not been successful in the long term and had “created an atmosphere where an awful lot of young people feel that the West is totally against them and they are prepared to take up arms against the West.”

“I suspect this intervention won’t make that a lesser proposition, it will make it a stronger proposition.”

Mr Corbyn’s caution was echoed by hundreds of anti-war campaigners who gathered outside Westminster last night in protest at the planned intervention.

In a statement presented to Downing Street, they said: “While we all reject the politics and methods of Isis, we have to recognise that it is in part a product of the last disastrous intervention, which helped foster sectarianism and regional division.

“It has also been funded and aided by some of the West’s allies, especially Saudi Arabia.”

Mr Cameron said he was “confident” of avoiding an embarrassing repeat of last year’s historic defeat over plans to bomb Syria.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband have both confirmed that they would be backing the PM’s call for military action.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson told the Star: “Once again we’re hearing the deafening drumbeats of war.

“Once again there is no legal basis for UK bombing in the Middle East. Once again the government is making it up as it goes along.”

She pointed out that, while the UN has adopted a binding resolution compelling states to prevent their nationals joining jihadists in Iraq and Syria, it has not authorised military attacks.

“The grim atrocities carried out by Islamic State have rightly shocked and repulsed the world. But heaping further atrocities onto Iraq through the murder of civilians, which will inevitably occur through airstrikes, cannot be our answer,” Ms Hudson said.

“What is needed now is urgent humanitarian assistance, political pressure and working with allies in the region to halt the spread of this murderous group: not an illegal bombing campaign which will kill civilians and inflame the situation.”