Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, war, more war


This music video from the USA in the time of the Vietnam war is called Grand Funk Railroad – People Let’s Stop The War. Lyrics are here.

By Felicity Arbuthnot:

The grim legacy of destruction

Thursday 31 January 2013

The usual suspects have embarked on another mass butchery – sorry, “training exercise” – in mega-resource-rich Mali, and are meddling with lethality in Algeria.

Britain, ever keen to kill, has gone from the Prime Minister’s “no boots on the ground” assurances to “operation creep” in barely over a week.

The US, says a spokesman, assesses that “intervention” may “last for years.”

He was talking Mali. Think Africa.

A planned US drone base on the MaliNiger border – as John Glaser has written – is one of “a constellation of secret drone bases” in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula, in Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Seychelles and beyond.

These bases have been used to bomb Yemen and Somalia and most likely perform surveillance missions in east Africa and the Persian Gulf.

The disaster of a recent African foray – the ruins of Libya, with estimated lives lost ranging from 30,000 to 100,000, the brutal death of the country’s leader, the murder of the US ambassador, the torching of his Benghazi residence and deaths of three US government employees – are seemingly forgotten. No lessons learned.

The British embassy in Tripoli has received “credible threats,” with the Foreign Office advising against travel to the country. Westerners are facing a “high threat from terrorism.”

This week’s gift of “democracy” to Afghanistan – where US soldiers are being killed with relentless regularity by their Afghan “colleagues” who, of course, they have “trained” – has brought such poverty and desperation that the BBC, usually loyal to a fault to any colonial invasion, is reporting that some families resort to selling one child, in order to gain enough money to feed the others.

In the country’s horrific prisons, the UN reports this month that torture is on the rise and that, as in Iraq, the unspeakable continues.

In Iraq the occupation’s abuses continue to haunt the invaders and the Iraqis.

The tireless Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers has presented another case on behalf of 180 Iraqis at the High Court, alleging they had been systematically abused and tortured by British troops using methods chillingly reminiscent of US soldiers at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

The claim is of a “systematic” policy between 2003 and 2008 of lawless torture and killing.

“We’ve got the training materials, we’ve got the policy documents,” said Shiner.

“Violence was endemic to the [British] state practices and part of the state practices.”

As the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion approaches it is surely time for the invading countries to attempt to amend for the enormity of the illegality of the invasion and for individual sufferings.

Details of the alleged abuses by Britain’s “heroes” defy depravity, bestiality, sadism and sub-humanity’s worst.

Just a few of those who suffered have their days in court. Others have made pleas that should also shame.

It is impossible not to ponder whether the core of Western proclaimed values are not hypocritical cant.

They simply annihilate or condone annihilating those who pose no threat whatsoever.

They ignore year after year, pleas for justice, pleas for human lives in line with their hollow, meaningless, hypocritical prayers.

Of the torture cases now before the High Court, law Professor Andrew Williams of Warwick University says: “This is our last chance to get to the truth of what happened.

“This is what we demand of others, but we do not demand it of ourselves. What kind of message does that give the world about who we are?”

Indeed. Our governments have become the regimes they warned us about. Ones that illegally invade, rape, torture, incarcerate without oversight or review, either without trial, or via a proxy kangaroo court.

Last September Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for George W Bush and Tony Blair to be brought to the International Criminal Court at The Hague on war crimes charges. They had, he said, “fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies.

“They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us.”

Blair: Mali war like fight against communism: here.

Mali‘s army has committed serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law while fighting armed groups in the country, Amnesty International said today: here.

Speaking of Mali and Syria: NYT reporters and editors can hardly show us connections between stories which they don’t see themselves: here.

Britain: A new government strategy aiming to increase military ties with Libya, Somalia and Burma must include “comprehensive safeguards” against human rights abuses, Amnesty warned today: here.

Libya arms fueling conflicts in Syria, Mali and beyond: here.

17 thoughts on “Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, war, more war

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  3. Tue 5 Feb 2013

    The case of the made up Mali book burning

    Remember when those dastardly Islamists burned all the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu?

    The story started when a Sky reporter embedded with French troops filmed inside the empty new archive building.

    It was picked up by the mayor—who was by then 800km away—and quickly became media fact.

    But it was never true.

    After Timbuktu’s communication blackout was lifted, it turned out that the vast majority of the manuscripts were safe—either down in the vaults, still in the old building, or transported far from Timbuktu.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30537

    Like

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