Iraq, Libya, disastrous ‘humanitarian’ war after war

This video says about itself:

19 March 2016

Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the rise of the caliphate in the Middle East. Patrick Cockburn, award winning journalist and author of new book Chaos & Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the Struggle for the Middle East tells us how ISIS rose from the ashes of UK/US wars in the Middle East.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain:

A catalogue of disasters

Monday 17th October 2016

The Age of Jihad is a damning indictment of Western ignorance, incompetence and downright blundering that has marked the so-called war on terror, says Bethany Rielly

The Age of Jihad
by Patrick Cockburn
(Verso, £16)

AFTER Saddam Hussein’s regime was defeated in 2003, US occupation officials set up their headquarters in one of his palaces in Baghdad.

They were not aware that the sewage pipes were ill-equipped to cope with large quantities of toilet paper, resulting in blocked pipes and a building flooded with human excrement.

It’s a neat metaphor employed by Patrick Cockburn in his book The Age of Jihad to demonstrate the ignorance of occupation forces, who based their decisions on inadequate local knowledge.

But it could be extended even further as a perfect, albeit crude, analogy of Western intervention in the Middle East — a history of blindly blundering into countries and leaving them in the shit.

Taking the reader from one devastating conflict to another, this diary-like account by the award-winning war correspondent takes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

Juxtaposing each country, Cockburn underlines just how disastrously foreign invasions, repeating the same mistakes again and again, have failed to create peaceful states in the Middle East.

His book is a searing indictment of US and British foreign policy, the consequences of which have deepened sectarian divisions, triggered further conflicts and shaped the so-called war on terror.

Much of Cockburn’s focus is on Iraq, where he reported the invasion and subsequent conflicts up until US tanks finally rolled out of the country. He explains in great detail the aftermath of the war there, in which two further conflicts were instigated by the first — one waged against the US occupation by Sunni militias and the other the more brutal and bloody sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias.

Although most of the narrative focuses on the experiences of others, Cockburn occasionally gives an insight into how the situation affected his own life. He explains how difficult it became to be a journalist in Baghdad during the height of the sectarian civil war because getting around the city became a deadly obstacle course where one wrong move could result in being kidnapped, wounded or killed.

He also touches on the dangers of biased and selective reporting. During the Libyan war many media outlets were so determined to portray the opposition forces against Muammar Gadaffi in a positive light that they were effectively blind to the atrocities that the rebels were carrying out on a daily basis. Libya was hailed in Britain and the US as an example of successful foreign intervention at the same time that the Western-backed opposition were torturing and massacring anyone linked or supposedly linked to Gadaffi’s regime.

Cockburn exposes how these conflicts were often misrepresented to serve the agenda of a foreign invader and that’s why his writings are so valuable.

Untainted by a political agenda, he has created one of the few authentic accounts of the region’s recent history.

The sheer scope of his reporting across the conflicts in Middle Eastern states has put him in a unique position to draw parallels between them and expose the mistakes which have snowballed into the endless wars, humanitarian crises and irreconcilable sectarian divides gripping the region today.

Colin Maclachlan, a former British Sergeant in the Special Air Service (SAS) is being investigated by the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police. This is over so-called “mercy killings” he claimed to have committed in 2003 whilst serving behind Iraqi lines. In a soon-to-be-published book, Maclachlan wrote that he had killed “two or three” mortally wounded Iraqi soldiers near the Syrian border in 2003. Killing wounded soldiers is against British military law and the Geneva Convention: here.

With the US-led offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS), there are increasing reports of death and suffering on the part of Iraqi civilians caught up in the fighting and facing retribution from both ISIS and troops and militias loyal to Baghdad: here.

IRAQI FORCES ACCUSED OF TORTURE IN FIGHT OUTSIDE OF MOSUL “Iraqi government forces killed and tortured civilians south of Mosul, rights groups said on Thursday, the first such reports of alleged abuse in a U.S.-backed campaign to retake the city from Islamic State.” [Reuters]

The latest book by Robert D. Kaplan, one of Washington’s foremost geo-strategists and war apologists, makes a blatant case for transforming Romania into a military stooge for US imperialism and preparing for all-out war against Russia: here.

Human rights propaganda in support of imperialist war: here.

6 thoughts on “Iraq, Libya, disastrous ‘humanitarian’ war after war

  1. We raise our voices against the violence of war and the enormous pressure of war propaganda, lies and hidden agendas that are used to justify this war and every past U.S. war.

    We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and will work together as an Ad Hoc Coalition to help put an end to the regime change intervention by the United States, NATO and their regional allies and the killing of innocent people in Syria:

    The continuation of the war in Syria is the result of a U.S.-orchestrated intervention by the United States, NATO, their regional allies and reactionary forces, the goal of which is regime change in Syria.
    This policy of regime change in Syria is illegal and in clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the letter and spirit of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    This policy of forced regime change is threatening the security of the region and the world and has increased the danger of direct confrontation between the United States and Russia, with the potential of a nuclear catastrophe for the whole world.
    War and U.S. and EU sanctions have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent nation. Half the Syrian population is now displaced. A UN ESCWA report reveals these U.S. sanctions on Syria are crippling aid work during one of the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II. The one third of Syrians refugees in surrounding Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have been hit hard by U.S. cuts to UNICEF. This forces desperate refugees to struggle to reach Europe.
    No foreign entity, be it a foreign government or an armed group, has the right to violate the fundamental rights of the Syrian people to independence, national sovereignty and self-determination. This includes the right of the Syrian government to request and accept military assistance from other countries, as even the U.S. government has admitted.
    Only the people of Syria have the inalienable right to choose their leaders and determine the character of their government, free from foreign intervention. This right cannot be properly exercised under the conditions of U.S.-orchestrated foreign intervention against the Syrian people.
    Our opposition is to forced regime change in Syria by U.S.-backed foreign powers and their mercenaries. It is not our business to support or oppose President Assad or the Syrian government. Only the Syrian people have the right to decide the legitimacy of their government.
    The most urgent issue at present is peace and putting an end to the violence of foreign intervention that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally or as refugees abroad.

    Based on these Points of Unity, we, as individuals and organizations-in an Ad Hoc Coalition-agree on the following demands and commit ourselves to working together to help achieve them:

    An immediate end to the U.S. policy of forced regime change in Syria and full recognition and compliance by the U.S., NATO and their allies with principles of international law and the U.N. Charter, including respect for the independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
    An immediate end to all foreign aggression against Syria, and serious efforts toward a political resolution to the war.
    An immediate end to all military, financial, logistical and intelligence support by the U.S., NATO and their regional allies to all foreign mercenaries and extremists in the Middle East region.
    An immediate end to economic sanctions against Syria. Massive international aid for displaced people within Syria and Syrian refugees abroad.

    Only in a peaceful and independent Syria, free of foreign aggression, can the people of Syria freely exercise their sovereign rights, express their free will and make free choices about their government and their country’s leadership.

    We invite all supporters of peace and peoples’ right to self-determination around the world to join hands of cooperation in this effort to achieve these most humanitarian demands.
    We need jobs, healthcare, education and an
    end to racist police violence here at home,

    Please click here to add your name
    in support of the Hands off Syria Coalition
    and to see hundreds of other signers

    Initial signers of the statement:
    Organizational Signers (in alphabetical order):

    Alliance for Global Justice
    Al-Awda – Palestine National Right to Return Coalition
    All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
    American Party of Labor
    ANSWER Coalition
    Antiwar Committee – Chicago
    Antiwar Committee – Minneapolis
    Antiwar Committee – Tampa
    Antiwar Committee – Tucson
    Antiwar Committee – Utah
    Arab Americans for Syria
    Arab Women Progressive League
    BAYAN – Philippine Coalition
    Citizens of the World – Canada
    Coalition of Arab Canadian Professionals and Community Associations
    Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
    Conselho Português para a Paz e Cooperação /
    Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation
    Dallas Left Alliance
    Ecumenical Peace Institute Clergy and Laity Concerned
    FLC-CGIL Trade Union University of Florence (Italy)
    Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
    Hands Off Syria (Australia)
    Houston Peace Council
    Houston Communist Party
    International Action Center
    International League of Peoples Struggle – U.S.
    Los Alamos Study Group – AZ
    Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
    Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) – Canada
    New Jersey Peace Council
    No Nukes No War – CT
    Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Committee
    One State Assembly
    Orange County Healthcare For All!
    Peace Roots Alliance – Tennessee
    Peoples Organization for Progress
    Pittsburgh Anti-Imperialist League
    Peoples Opposition to War, Imperialism & Racism – POWIR (Florida)
    Popular Resistance
    Popular Committee in Defense of Syria
    Queers Without Borders – Hartford CT
    Return Now Coalition
    Socialist Action – Ligue pour l’Action Socialiste, Canada
    South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship & Training (SAFEST)
    South Coast People For Peace and Justice
    Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Conference – SHROC
    Students for Democratic Society – SDS
    Swedish Peace Council
    Syria Solidarity Movement
    Syrian American Forum
    Syrian American Will Association – SAWA
    Syrian Social Club Community in the UK (Dr. Issa Chaer, Co-founder)
    The Expatriates Association of Syrians in Canada
    United National Antiwar Coalition – UNAC
    United Steelworkers Local 8751
    Unleashed (Anarcho-Liberation)
    Upstate New York Drone Action
    U.S. Peace Council
    Veterans For Peace Chapter 111, Bellingham, WA
    Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
    Women Against Military Madness – WAMM

    Individual Signers (in alphabetical order):

    Christopher Assad, The Expatriates Association of Syrians in Canada
    Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan Africa News Wire
    Ajama Baraka, Human Rights Defender
    Judith Bello, Member of Admin Committee, UNAC
    Vanessa Beeley, Independent Journalist and Photographer
    Bob Brown, Organizer, All-African People’s Revolutionary Party
    (GC) – USA
    Mark Burton, Member of the Board, Alliance for Global Justice
    Alfonse Casal, National Spokesperson, American Party of Labor
    Frank Chapman, Field organizer, Chicago Alliance Against Racist
    and Political Repression*
    Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General & Human Rights Attorney
    Gerry Condon, National Board Vice President, Veterans For Peace*
    Cheryl Curtis, Ct 9/11 Truth*
    Kenneth Dalton, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 21,* New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Henry Duke, M.D., Medical Director, Orange County Healthcare For All!
    Maria Ilda Figueiredo, Chairperson, Conselho Português para a Paz e
    Cooperação / Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation
    Margaret Flowers, M.D., Green Party Candidate for Senate;
    Co-Director, It’s Our Economy*
    Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons
    & Nuclear Power in Space*
    John Gilbert, Secretary, FLC-CGIL Trade Union University
    of Florence (Italy)
    Steven Gillis, Financial Secretary, United Steelworkers Local 8751
    Daniel Gilman, President, Veterans For Peace Chapter 92,*
    Greater Seattle
    Greg Godels, Co-Director, Pittsburgh Anti-Imperialist League
    Trevor Goodger-Hill, Citizens of the World, Canada
    Abbas Hamideh, al-Awda Steering Committee*
    Joseph Hancock, Movement for People’s Democracy
    Sue Harris, Peoples Video Network
    Jaribu Hill, Human Rights Defender
    Joe Iosbaker, Anti-War Committee – Chicago
    Geraroid Kilgallen, Member of Steering Committee,
    Irish Anti-War Movement*
    Margaret Kimberly, Editor and Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report
    John Kiriakou, former CIA counterterrorism officer
    and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    Cheryl Kozanitas, Board Member, Peace Action of San Mateo County,*
    Ray Laforest, Haiti Support Network
    John Laforge, Co-Director, NukeWatch
    Ali Mallah, Steering Committee, Syria Solidarity Movement
    Alfred Marder, President, U.S. Peace Council
    George Martin, Liberty Tree
    Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and Presidential briefer
    Gregory Mello, Executive Director, Los Alamos Study Group
    Monica Moorehead, U.S. Presidential Candidate
    for Workers World Party
    Nick Mottern,
    Elizabeth Murray, Deputy Nat’l Intelligence Officer for the Near East,
    Nat’l Intelligence Council (ret.)
    Agneta Norberg, Chairwoman, Swedish Peace Council
    Barry Ranger, Co-Chair, Northwest Iowa Peace and Justice Committee
    Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary, Green Party of Philadelphia*
    Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division
    Legal Counsel
    Cindy Sheehan, Anti-War Gold Star Mother
    Mark Stansbery, Co-Coordinator, Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
    Steven Starr, Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility,*
    Missouri, USA
    Jane Stillwater, President, Century of the Child
    Jay Tharappel, Committee Member, Hands Off Syria, Sidney, Australia
    Will Thomas, NH Veterans For Peace*
    James Thompson, Chairperson, Houston Peace Council
    Amal Wahda, Arab Women’s Progressive League
    Joseph Wasserman, Co-Chair, No Nukes No War
    Caroline Yacoub, County Council, Green Party of Santa Clara County*
    Kevin Zeese, Co-Director, Popular Resistance
    [*] For identification purposes only.
    List in formation

    Please click here to add your name in support of the Hands off Syria Coalition


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