Bush, Blair Iraq war lies, new information


British demonstrators condemn Tony Blair outside the Chilcot Inquiry in 2010

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 11 April 2019

WAR ON IRAQ PLANNED LONG BEFORE 2003

SIXTEEN years on from the start of the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq, further evidence has emerged that the war was planned long before the attack took place and that the stated reason for it, ie ‘Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction’ was bogus.

Speaking before the House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee last week, the former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral The Lord West of Spithead, revealed that he was told in June 2002, ‘that we would be invading Iraq with America at the beginning of the following year’.

‘It was quite clear that the Government were thinking we have to get Parliament and others on side. But what was interesting was that as it developed, there was all this stuff on weapons of mass destruction and everything, and it did seem to me that people were looking for a casus belli that they could discuss in Parliament,’ Lord West said.

Let’s think back to what we – the public – were actually told in 2002/3. Bush and Blair and their acolytes repeatedly said that the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could prevent war by admitting he had WMDs and disarming.

As late as 25th February 2003, Blair was saying that ‘even now’ Saddam could avoid war by ‘accepting the UN route to disarmament.’ ‘I do not want war,’ he told the House of Commons. ‘I do not believe anyone in this House wants war. But disarmament peacefully can only happen with Saddam’s active co-operation.’

But it’s clear that whatever Saddam did, he and his country were going to be hit with Shock and Awe. The whole charade of weapons inspectors, sent in to search for weapons that were not there, was designed to try and convince people that war was a last resort and not the first option.

Crucially, the invasion had to come before the weapons inspectors finished their job and gave Iraq a clean bill of health – as then the pretext for war would have gone. Admiral West’s revelations, which follow on from similar comments he made in 2016, are not the only ones we’ve had from Inside the Tent figures about what was really going on in 2002/3.

In his memoir My Life, Our Times, published in November 2017, Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2003, admitted that the Iraq War was ‘not justified’.

He also said ‘we were all misled on the existence of WMDs’.

According to Brown, a key US intelligence report which not only refuted the claim that Iraq was producing WMDs, but also their ‘current ability to do so’, was not seen by the British government. An attempt to pass the buck? You make your own mind up. Earlier, the former British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, said that President Bush had first asked Tony Blair for his support in a war against Iraq at a private White House dinner just nine days after the 9-11 terror attacks, which had absolutely nothing to do with Iraq.

We also know from the Chilcot Inquiry that on 28th July 2002, Tony Blair sent Bush a memo in which he pledged ‘I will be with you, whatever.’ He went on: ‘The military part of this is hazardous but I will concentrate mainly on the political context for success’.

That involved trying to ‘encapsulate our casus belli in some defining way’, with weapons inspections the chosen route. ‘If he (Saddam) did say yes, we continue the build-up and we send teams over and the moment he obstructs, we say: he”s back to his games.

‘That’s it. In any event, he would probably screw it up and not meet the deadline, and if he came forward after the deadline, we would just refuse to deal.’ As for timing, Blair says ‘we could start building up after the break. A strike date could be Jan/Feb next year.’

Blair continued to scare us witless right up to the launch of the invasion in March 2003 about Saddam’s deadly arsenal. A critical claim, contained in the so-called ‘September Dossier’, was the one that Iraq possessed chemical weapons which could be assembled and launched within 45 minutes.

This led to the infamous ‘Brits 45 minutes from Doom’ headline in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and similarly terrifying headlines in other newspapers. Yet in 2004, Blair said that he had not realised before the war that the alleged weapons were not missiles but only battlefield munitions.

Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote in the Guardian: ‘I was astonished by his reply as I had been briefed that Saddam’s weapons were only battlefield ones and I could not conceive that the prime minister had been given a different version.’

In July 2003 a Foreign Affairs committee report declared: ‘We conclude that the 45 minutes claim did not warrant the prominence given to it in the dossier, because it was based on intelligence from a single, uncorroborated source.’

It is clear that the Iraq War was a plan hatched by neocon extremists in Washington and lurid claims of Iraqi WMDs, which did not exist, were made to justify it. The Nuremberg Judgement of the trial of the WW2 Nazi leaders stated: ‘War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.

‘To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’

The Iraq War was clearly a war of aggression, and as such, an example of ‘the supreme international crime’, yet, sixteen years on, no one has been held accountable for it. That’s in spite of over 1m people losing their lives following the invasion and the war greatly increasing the threat from terrorist groups.

Even Tony Blair himself has conceded there were ‘elements of truth’ in the claims that the Iraq War led to the rise of Daesh/IS [ISIS]. Worse still, the war on Iraq was followed by more aggression against Libya, in 2011, and Syria, wars which like the invasion of Iraq, have helped provoke a refugee crisis of Biblical proportions.

Let’s go back to 27th January 1998, more than three and a half years before 9-11.

It was on that date that a letter was sent to President Clinton, on behalf of the neoconservative ‘Project for a New American Century’.

The letter called for ‘removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now has to be the aim of American foreign policy’. Among the signatories to the call to arms were Elliott Abrams and John Bolton.

Abrams is now the US special envoy to Venezuela– and seeking regime change in Caracas, while Bolton is President Trump’s National Security Advisor and warning us about Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons programme’. It’s as if the Iraq War never happened.

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Trump administration protects Bush from war crimes prosecution


This 8 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Secretary of State Pompeo Protecting Bush Jr. from War Crimes Prosecution (Pt 1/2)

With the revocation of the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor’s US visa, Pompeo and Bolton are trying to make sure that high-level US government officials are never prosecuted for war crimes committed in Afghanistan or elsewhere, says Law Prof. Francis Boyle.

This 8 April 2019 video from the USA is the sequel.

Iraqi throws shoes at Bush, 10 years ago


10 years ago, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then United States President George W Bush, who had invaded and destroyed his country.

Tortured in George W Bush’s USA


This 2009 video from the USA says about itself:

This is part 1 of a documentary about terror suspect Ali al-Marri, who’s been held at the Charleston Navy Brig for 7 years without a trial. We went to the Mideast to film this right after the Presidential election in 2008. Our story highlights this case as a prime example of how the law and the Constitution can easily be ignored in a time of war. In February 2009, al-Marri learned he will finally have his case heard in court.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

New evidence shows that Americans also used torture methods in the United States itself. The Qatari Ali al-Marri tells for the first time how he was treated in the aftermath of 9/11.

by Maud Effting, Tom Kreling and Huib Modderkolk

Ali al-Marri looks at the door of his American cell that swings open. ‘Pack your things’, the guard says in the doorway. “We’re leaving.” He looks up. Al-Marri – dark eyes, long black hair and a beard – has been trapped in the US for almost a year and a half, where he has come from Qatar to study. Now he is suspected of involvement in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

When he has gathered his things together, his hands and feet are chained. Then guards chain his hands to his waist. He gets ski goggles on which the glass is made black. A pair of headphones goes over his ears. This is how he shuffles behind his guards. In the past year he has been waiting in prison for something to happen with his case. Waiting for a formal charge, a conviction, a punishment. Sometimes he was moved. He was suddenly put in another cell. He waited there again. But this time it is different. Outside he hears the rotors of an aircraft turning. He peeks along the side of his glasses and then he sees them. Soldiers. He knows bad things will happen. He has never seen soldiers in prison. “Am I declared to be an enemy combatant?” He asks. “Yes”, says a soldier. It is June 23, 2003 and Ali al-Marri disappears in the plane that will take him to the military prison: the Navy Brig in South Carolina. From now on, other rules apply.

Because of his new status as enemy combatant- President George W. Bush signed the papers – he will disappear into a black hole from today on. He will not have contact with his lawyers for nearly a year and a half. His family has no idea where he is. And if he still lives at all. A week after the September 11 attacks, Bush was given the power by Congress to “use all necessary and appropriate means” in the fight against terrorism. For so-called enemy combatants, this meant that they could be held indefinitely and without trial. Most of the enemy combatants were detained at Guantánamo Bay after 2001. Only three were jailed on US American territory. Ali al-Marri was one of them.

For the first time, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri (52) is telling his story. He is a Qatarese banker who came to the US with his wife and five children just one day before September 11, 2001, to study information technology . He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in the US. He was arrested after the attacks. Initially he was seen as an important witness. He refused, however, to say something and gradually the accusations became more serious. Members of Al Qaeda in Guantánamo Bay were supposed to have said – maybe after torture – that he had ties with them: al-Marri supposedly belonged to a sleeping cell of Al Qaeda, waiting for instructions. After that, the FBI treated him for years as an important terrorism suspect.

Al-Marri denies to this day that he had anything to do with Al Qaida … Now he is here in a room in Amsterdam, and he wants to tell how he was treated in prison. How they tried to break him spiritually. And what total isolation did to him. How he was slowly dehumanized. On US American territory. His story is supported by new documents that show that the methods used in al-Marri are inhuman or torture according to international law.

… The log says that a senior officer of the Navy Brig passes. “Do I have any rights?” asks al-Marri. “No”, the man says. …

In December 2003, the interrogations seem to change: FBI agent Ali Soufan comes to the jail. He is one of the few Arabic-speaking agents at the service, famous for confessions he extracted from terrorist suspects. …

The atmosphere changes, al-Marri says. “Soufan said he could have my family imprisoned and tortured. He threatened that he would rape my wife in front of me, that he would put my children in the cell next to me so that I could hear them cry. He could make me disappear to black sites where they could do what they wanted with me. “Soufan said he had homosexual soldiers who wanted to have fun with me. …

They screamed that I had to keep my mouth shut. At one point I saw someone gesturing that this did not work. One interrogator walked out. “After a minute he was back, he says. “In his hands he had duct tape and a pair of white sports socks. They stuck my mouth shut with tape. “It does not work: the tape gets loose because he pushes it away with his tongue.” They try again. “Soufan pushed my jaws to open my mouth – he knew exactly what to do. Then he pushed the socks in. He shouted: stop singing, you will listen. Then he closed my mouth – one hand under my chin, the other on my head – while the other interrogator closed my head with tape. He went four, five times, horizontally and vertically. “Al-Marri begins to hum. They push his head towards the photos, shout close to his face, hit his cheeks with two hands, sit on his lap: they want him to listen. With two fingers they push his chin up. “I breathed through my nose. But from one moment to the next I suddenly got no air. I choked. It felt like you were trying to breathe under water. I could not do anything. The only thing I wanted was to take out those socks. But my hands were shackled. “I do not know where I was suffocated. The socks? My saliva? My tongue? It was as if I was drowning. I struggled, my body was shocked. I tried to pull my hands out of the shackles. I remember seeing two men sitting quietly beside me and thinking: they just let it happen. “How long does everything take – he does not remember. He only knows that at a given moment he no longer perceived anything. “I have never been closer to death”, says Al Marri. According to documents, the incident takes 15 minutes, until someone removes the tape. “I started coughing, throwing up.” His description is largely supported by documents. The Defense Department only deviates over the socks. …

He has been in total for thirteen years, until he is released in 2015 and expelled to Qatar. ‘I call on people who have experienced the same thing to also go out and tell their story about this man. It will become clear what he has done. I want justice.”

Bush’s Iraq invasion, 15 years later


This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“It Was A Crime”: 15 Years After U.S. Invasion, Iraqis Still Face Trauma, Destruction & Violence

It was 15 years ago today when the U.S. invaded Iraq on the false pretense that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

The attack came despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. At around 5:30 a.m. in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, air raid sirens were heard as the U.S. invasion began.

The fighting has yet to end, and the death toll may never be known. Conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at 200,000. But some counts range as high as 2 million.

In 2006, the British medical journal Lancet estimated 600,000 Iraqis died in just the first 40 months of the war. The U.S. has also lost about 4,500 soldiers in Iraq. Just last week, seven U.S. servicemembers died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

The war in Iraq has also destabilized much of the Middle East. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others have directly blamed the U.S. invasion of Iraq for the rise of ISIS.

We speak to the Iraqi-French sociologist Zahra Ali, who teaches at Rutgers University; Matt Howard, co-director of About Face: Veterans Against the War, the organization formerly known as Iraq Veterans Against the War; and Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.

This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq

On the 15th anniversary of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, CODEPINK‘s Medea Benjamin and scholar Sabah Alnasseri discuss the war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and more than 4,500 American troops–and that changed Iraq and the Middle East forever.

‘HOW DECADES OF U.S. WAR IN IRAQ SHAPED — AND SCATTERED — ONE FAMILY’ “‘I used to be okay,’ said Hilda Simonian, who regularly suffers from paranoia and flashbacks 20 years after reaching safety in Canada.” [HuffPost]

By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans now say 15 years after the Iraq War that it was a mistake.

Fifteen years ago today, on the night of March 20-21, 2003, the armed forces of the United States and Great Britain began an illegal and unprovoked invasion of Iraq, a country of 26 million people. As bombs and missiles began to rain down on Iraq’s cities, and tanks and armored vehicles crossed the border from Kuwait, US President George W. Bush set in motion a war of aggression whose catastrophic consequences now shape world politics: here.

Ex-NATO boss regrets NATO warmongering


Ukraine

The Dutch ex-NATO boss Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has been, deservedly, criticized on this blog.

Now, however, for a change, he has said something right. Reminding me a bit of ex-United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, with his lies on behalf of the George W Bush administration, promoting war in Iraq, which Powell later regretted. Unfortunately, many politicians seems to become wiser only after retirement than when they still had powerful jobs.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘NATO should not have proposed membership to Ukraine and Georgia’

Today, 20:25

Then, Georgia was ruled by dictator and George W Bush pal Saakashvili. In Ukraine, people demonstrated against NATO membership and against George W Bush. Even the ‘pro-Western’ ‘orange’ Ukrainian government opposed Bush’s NATO missile plans.

NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO’s former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin’s aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.

NATO should not have offered membership to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. …

The NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 was a breaking point in the relationship between Russia and the West. NATO opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries were allowed to join, even though no date was mentioned. That was the wish of the American President Bush. The German Chancellor Merkel resisted. But NATO decided to leave the door ajar. That was unacceptable for Russia and Putin also said that afterwards.

The former Secretary General now says that he underestimated the response and that he should have done more to keep the parties on the same level. According to De Hoop Scheffer, the decision led to a radicalization by Putin.

He sees a direct connection with the war in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014). Meanwhile, De Hoop Scheffer is convinced that there can no longer be a question of membership for both countries.

George W Bush’s lies on the Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Finally – PROOF The Bush Administration LIED About Iraq’s WMDs

9 March 2016

Unfortunately Donald Trump isn’t wrong about everything. He has been very vocal about the Iraq War. In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq, which led to a near decade long war. Even though US troops left, the chaos from that decision still rages on, with no solution or end in sight. Did the United States have to invade? Why did they invade? Jonny 5, of the Flobots, tells you about the lies that the Bush Administration gave the American people so that they could start a war.