Remember how berserk neo-conservative or “liberal hawkish” supporters of George W Bush’s and Tony Blair’s Iraq war became, whenever someone mentioned the word “oil” in an Iraq context?
This video says about itself:
19 July 2007
Hassan Jumaa Awad al Assadi, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU), spoke to over 200 people at Friends Meeting House on Wednesday 18th July.
The IFOU represents 26,000 workers across Iraq. They have struck three times against the privatisation of Iraqi oil and have forced the Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki to negotiate with them. Despite this, the IFOU is still an illegal organisation.
Hassan describes the Union’s campaign against the proposed Hydrocarbon Law, which will see much of Iraq’s oil wealth fall into the hands of foreign oil companies.
When George W. Bush and Tony Blair started the bloody Iraq war, government propaganda, slavishly echoed by the corporate media, said the war was
because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction … oops, it did not have those arms … the war was because secularist Saddam Hussein had links to ultra-religious Al Qaeda … oops, that was a lie as well … the war was because Saddam was a dictator and it would bring human rights to Iraq … oops, Saddam was one of many dictators, most of them supported by Bush’s USA and by Blair’s UK (like used to be the case for Saddam); and torture, killings, and other human rights violations got worse, not better, after Bush and Blair had invaded Iraq.
When someone dared to say “No blood for oil“, the Bushite and Blairite apologists for the Iraq war went hysterical. Their lovely baby, their lovely Iraq war, could never ever be about something as prosaic as oil corporations’ profits (or arms dealers’ profits … oil was and is a major factor in a complex of causes, not the sole 100% cause).
Let us return to Blair’s point about Saddam being a dictator, emphasized after the exposition of the “WMD” and “9/11 connection” propaganda lies. Is Tony Blair really opposed to dictators?
As turns out, he is not.
There is one of Blair’s many lucrative jobs, as an adviser to the Colombian death squad government.
And, as this picture says, Nicolas Sarkozy is not the only prominent NATO country politician with a dodgy Libyan track record. It shows Blair embracing Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. Gaddafi, to whom Blair deported people for torture. Gadaffi, who later (like had happened to Saddam Hussein before), in the corporate media, suddenly magically transformed from an ally to the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. Gadaffi, who was brutally murdered with the consent of his suddenly ex-crony Tony Blair.
And then, there is Blair and the absolute monarchy in Kuwait.
By Rachel Sylvetsky:
London Papers: Tony Blair has Middle East Financial Interests
Claim: Tony Blair, Quartet envoy to Middle East, has secret financial deals with Kuwait’s royal family and an oil firm dealing with Middle East.
The London Daily Telegraph and the London Daily Mail have published findings on former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Middle East financial interests as disclosed by the official UK government committee which vets former ministers’ business interests.
The Daily Mail described Blair as waging an “extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq”, referring to the just revealed fact that Mr. Blair serves as advisor to a South Korean firm, UI Energy, since August 2008, and has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007.
In addition, the daily claimed, the former head of state who is now the Middle East Quartet’s envoy to Israel “went to great efforts to keep hidden a separate £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq’s neighbor Kuwait”, since June 2008, reportedly with the task of producing a report on the oil state’s future over the next 30 years.
Emir of Kuwait meets former British PM Tony Blair: here.
Well, how does the absolute monarchy Kuwait govern itself, now that Tony Blair has been advising it for years, getting loads of money for that?
This video is called Kingdoms of Loathing: Kuwait, Bahrain step up crackdown on opposition.
This video says about itself:
American Teenager Tortured in Kuwait
Gulet Mohamed, an American teenager detained in Kuwait nearly 4 weeks ago and placed on an American no-fly list, says he was severely beaten by his Kuwaiti captors during a weeklong interrogation about possible contacts with terrorism suspects in Yemen. According to Mohamed, he was simply in the country on a quest to learn more about religion.
Read the full story here.
Read Glenn Greenwald’s article in Salon (audio interview with Gulet’s brother included) here.
Gulet finally arrived back to the United States on January 21st. Check out the video here.
Kuwaiti finance minister faces questions over deal to pay ‘millions’ to Tony Blair’s company for advising royal family: here.
From the Kuwait Times:
KUWAIT: Opposition MP Faisal Al-Mislem yesterday [16 April 2012] targeted a contract awarded by the previous government to a consultancy firm headed by former British prime minister Tony Blair. In a series of questions to Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the lawmaker demanded to know the government agency that signed the contract with Blair. He asked if the contract was awarded to Blair on a personal basis or as head of a consultancy firm and if legal procedures were followed in the process.
Mislem inquired about the exact task given to Blair, the contract’s cost, names of the team selected to work with him and on what basis they were selected. The lawmaker asked if Blair completed his mission and if it achieved its results and inquired about its failures if any. He also asked if Blair’s studies had been incorporated in Kuwait’s development plan. Mislem also asked if Blair is still working on other studies. The said contract was awarded to Blair’s consultant firm several years ago at a cost exceeding KD 1 million according to local media reports.
From the Belfast Telegraph in Ireland:
Bare-faced Tony Blair up to his truth-bending tricks again
By Eamonn McCann – 22 March 2013
Defending the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair this week cited Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against his own people as an example of the fundamental evil which the invasion was designed to extirpate.
The reference was to events in the town of Halabja, population 60,000, on March 16, 1988. Halabja had been captured the previous day by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, at that time in alliance with Tehran in the Iran-Iraq war. The response of the Baghdad regime was swift and merciless.
At dawn on March 16, Iraqi bombers sharked across the sky, dropping chemical bombs from Migs, supplied by Russia, and Mirages, supplied by France.
The town was smothered in a fog of death.
The first journalists to arrive in the aftermath were from Iran. Their pictures were flashed around the world, to revolt the conscience of hundreds of millions of people.
One observer described the scene: “The streets were strewn with corpses. People had been killed instantaneously by chemicals in the midst of the ordinary acts of everyday life. Babies still sucked their mothers’ breasts … In the space of a few hours, 5,000 people had died.”
By any definition, this was a crime against humanity. Had it been advanced at the time as a casus belli, many with no stomach for war of any kind might have backed an invasion.
But Saddam was able to shrug off any possibility of an outraged world retaliating. And he was right. Iraq was seen at the time as a secular bulwark against the radical Islam of the Ayatollahs. Five months after the massacre, the UN sub-committee on human rights rejected – by 11 votes to eight – a resolution condemning the dictatorship for human rights violations.
In the US, a Senate resolution calling for sanctions against Iraq was vetoed by George Bush Snr. Bush then authorised a billion-dollar loan to Saddam to build a chemical plant.
Britain’s response to Halabja, and a myriad of other crimes by Saddam, emerged in the course of the Scott Inquiry in 1992 into the collapse of the trial of four directors of machine-tools company Matrix Churchill, which had been selling Saddam equipment with a potential for military use in breach of sanctions that had been imposed in the wake of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The four men’s defence was that the company had secretly been encouraged by John Major’s Government to continue shipping the equipment.
The trial collapsed when the Government – citing “the public interest” – refused to hand over documents which the defendants claimed would back up their version of events.
(It is worth noting in passing that it was the invasion of oil-rich Kuwait, not his slaughter of the Kurds, which prompted sanctions and a 180-degree turn in attitudes towards Saddam; Bush now referring to him as “the new Hitler.”)
There is not a word about any of this from Blair, as he offers the Halabja massacre in justification of the invasion. But, then, Blair, morally inert, has never allowed trivia like truth to stand in the way of war.
We know from the Chilcot Inquiry into the war that Downing Street chief of staff Jonathan Powell wrote on September 17, 2002, to Blair’s top sidekick, Alastair Campbell, about the foreword to a dossier Blair was preparing for presentation to Parliament.
“In the penultimate para, you need to make it clear that Saddam could not attack us at the moment,” he wrote.
“The thesis is he would be a threat to the UK in the future if we do not check him.”
Just a week later, Blair stood up in the Commons and told MPs that Saddam Hussein posed “a current and serious threat to the UK national interest.”
Other spurious claims in the dossier included that Iraq had formulated “military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons … Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them”.
Thus the Evening Standard front-page splash on September 24: ’45 minutes from attack’. The Star followed up next morning: ’45 minutes from a chemical war’. The front page of The Sun warned: ‘Brits 45 mins from doom’.
Blair is a stranger to the truth. His repellent smarm, as he repeats on television today the bare-faced lies he used to lure his country into war, compounds the sheer offensiveness of his presence in our midst.
In September last year, Bishop Desmond Tutu refused to share a platform with Blair at a gathering in Johannesburg, suggesting instead that “in a consistent world” Bush and Blair “should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers, who have been made to answer for their actions at (the International Criminal Court in) The Hague.”
Sound man, that Tutu.
Boss of Korean [oil] firm that gave Tony Blair secret cash [about Iraq] was jailed for bribery: here.
Tony Blair pockets more than £150,000 for hour’s work. Former UK premier was paid the staggering sum for two 30-minute speaking events over two days: here.
- If they had a scintilla of decency, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and John Scarlett would not show their faces in public again (dailymail.co.uk)
- Citizens’ Campaign to Arrest Former UK PM (nalonmit.wordpress.com)
- Should Tony Blair be tried as a war criminal? Majority think he was wrong to invade Iraq (express.co.uk)
- Iraq War: major new questions for Tony Blair (telegraph.co.uk)
- “It cannot be justified”: John Prescott admits to regrets over Iraq war ten years on (mirror.co.uk)
- British Labour politician regrets voting for Iraq war (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Blair wants to arm al-Qaeda and islamic Jihad in Syria (ivarfjeld.com)
- The whiff of suspicion over the Chilcot Inquiry grows stronger (telegraph.co.uk)
- Cameron and Blair accused of Iraq war cover-up (philosophers-stone.co.uk)
- Blair’s dirty money: As his tentacles reach Mongolia, how the ex-PM is making millions from some of the world’s most evil regimes (dailymail.co.uk)