Iraqi journalist investigating death squads killed

This video says about itself:

3 April 2010

Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.

After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on

Lohan Gunaweera, my dear blogging friend still from my 2005 ModBlog days, today pointed out that 2005 blog posts by me which I thought had been lost forever when ModBlog went down the drain, are still present here.

Thank you, Lohan! During the next days, I will reblog these old posts to make my blog archive complete here at WordPress. As usually, I will repair broken links, disappeared pictures and videos etc. in these old blog items.

This one is from 1 July 2005.

Iraq: journalist investigating death squads killed

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

By James Cogan:

On June 24, Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for the news agency Knight Ridder, was killed by a single bullet to the head as he approached a checkpoint that had been thrown up near his home in western Baghdad by US and Iraqi troops.

It is believed that the shot was fired by an American sniper. According to eyewitnesses, no warning shots were fired.

The US military has announced it is conducting an investigation into Salihee’s killing.

Knight Ridder has already declared, however, that “there’s no reason to think that the shooting had anything to do with his reporting work”. In fact, his last assignment gives reason to suspect that it was.

Over the past month, Salihee had been gathering evidence that US-backed Iraqi forces have been carrying out extra-judicial killings of alleged members and supporters of the anti-occupation resistance.

His investigation followed a feature in the New York Times magazine in May, detailing how the US military had modeled the Iraqi interior ministry police commandos, known as the Wolf Brigade, on the death squads unleashed in the 1980s to crush the left-wing insurgency in El Salvador.


Tony Blair’s Iraq war crimes

This 5 August 2015 video from Britain is called Jeremy Corbyn on Tony Blair and ‘war crimes’ – Newsnight.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Tony Blair: Guilty In The Eyes Of The Public

Tuesday 1ST August 2017

TEFLON Tony Blair escaped justice yet again yesterday after High Court judges blocked a private prosecution against the former PM for war crimes over the invasion of Iraq.

Campaigners accused the Establishment of a “concerted and coordinated effort” to exonerate Mr Blair for his role in the Iraq war in which one million people were killed.

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German branded Mr Blair “the most protected war criminal in the world.”

However, she said: “In the court of public opinion he has long been found guilty.”

Iraqi General Abdul Wahed Shannan al-Rabbat had sought a private prosecution against Mr Blair, along with then foreign secretary Jack Straw and attorney general Lord Goldsmith.

He accused Mr Blair of committing a “crime of aggression” by invading Iraq in 2003 and his lawyers asked permission from the High Court to seek judicial review to get the Supreme Court to overturn a 2006 House of Lords ruling that there is no such crime under the law of England and Wales.

Gen al-Rabbat brought the case after Westminster magistrates refused to issue summonses in November last year claiming the trio had immunity from prosecution for decisions taken while in government.

However the appeal was dismissed yesterday by the Lord Chief Justice as having “no prospect” of succeeding.

But Michael Mansfield QC said that the findings of the Chilcot Report justified the prosecution of Mr Blair.

He said that the inquiry showed Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests and the intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction had been presented with “unwarranted certainty.”

The QC said that as the international crime of a war of aggression had been accepted at the time of the Nuremberg trials of nazi war crimes, it was the duty of British courts to follow the example and prosecute those responsible for the Iraq war.

The Nuremberg judges had said that 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.”

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson branded the decision “hugely disappointing” and that “justice had been left undone.”

She said: “Last year’s Chilcot report showed that Blair had no respect for Cabinet procedure, no respect for Parliament and no respect for international law.

“Iraq was devastated by the war Blair led Britain into, millions of innocent Iraqis were killed, British soldiers were killed and terrorism has spread across the Middle East.

“Chilcot revealed the evidence that must now be used to bring Blair to justice. Only when justice is served can we prevent disasters like the Iraq war from happening again.”

British war crimes in Iraq, Yemen, Amnesty says

This video says about itself:

Britain continues to back Saudi bombing of Yemen, despite US stopping arms sales

Stopped temporarily, by the United States Obama administration. Since resumed with a vengeance by the Trump administration.

15 December 2016

The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has rejected calls to follow America’s lead and stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, which is spearheading a bombing campaign in Yemen.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

UK government must answer war crimes charges in both Iraq and Yemen

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL has condemned UK war crimes in both Yemen and in Iraq. In the Yemen UK-supplied weaponry to Saudi Arabia has been used to kill and maim tens of thousands of civilians, with many, many more starving, and with over 100,000 struck down by cholera.

In Iraq, the air bombardment of western Mosul by the UK and US air forces has killed tens of thousands of civilians and made many more homeless, as the UK and US practice the principle that a mass killing of civilians is inevitable if IS [ISIS] is to be destroyed in the city.

Amnesty called the UK court ruling that the British government is entitled to continue authorising arms supplies to Saudi Arabia a potentially deadly setback to Yemeni civilians. The High Court in London dismissed a legal challenge from the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which claimed that such arms transfers should not take place because of the clear risk that the weapons supplied would be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen’s armed conflict.

Amnesty commented: ‘This is a deeply disappointing outcome . . . Extensive and credible reports, including Amnesty International’s own research on the ground in Yemen, have in our view demonstrated that such weapons have been used to commit serious violations, including war crimes, against civilians in Yemen and that – in light of the clear risk – authorising further transfers would be counter to the UK’s obligations under international law.’

Amnesty also accused the UK and US governments of carrying out war crimes in Iraq with its mass bombing of Western Mosul killing thousands of civilians. Amnesty’s report, ‘The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul’, says bombardments by Iraqi and US-led coalition forces have killed a ‘huge number’ of civilians and that ‘Iraqi and coalition forces fighting Islamic State (IS) [ISIS] militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul used unnecessarily powerful weapons.’ Amnesty called for an independent commission to investigate the number of civilian deaths.

Examining hostilities in the west of the city from January to mid-May, it accused coalition forces of having failed to adapt their tactics even when it was clear that IS militants had forced civilians into areas most likely to come under attack. They used ‘imprecise weapons with wide-area effects in densely-populated urban environments’ and subjected them to a terrifying barrage of fire, the report says.

Consequently, as IS lost territory, the areas remaining under its control became increasingly crowded with civilians. ‘Iraqi government and US-led coalition forces subjected these areas to relentless attacks using explosive weapons with wide area effects. These attacks wreaked havoc, killing and injuring thousands of trapped civilians.’

Amnesty International’s research shows that IS committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. However, it states: ‘Iraqi and coalition forces appear to have repeatedly carried out indiscriminate, disproportionate or otherwise unlawful attacks, some of which may amount to war crimes.’

‘Amnesty International calls on Iraqi and coalition forces to immediately end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas. Members of the US-led coalition and the Iraqi government must conduct effective investigations into allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and ensure that victims and their families receive full reparation.’

The western media, which sought to mount a huge hue and cry over Syrian and Russian strategic bombing of military targets in Aleppo, has observed a deadly silence over the mass murder from the air by the UK and US air forces in west Mosul. Everybody knows that all this tactic will do is create the conditions for thousands of young terrorists to emerge out of the ruins to avenge the civilians that US and UK airforces have slaughtered.

British workers must demand that the UK government appear before the Court at the Hague to answer war crimes charges both in Yemen and Iraq, and also the immediate withdrawal of all UK forces from Iraq, Syria and the Middle East, and an end to the arming of the Saudi regime.

This is the way forward to a real peace in the Middle East!

The “liberation” of Mosul: Washington’s latest war crime in the Middle East: here.

US commander predicts weeks more of fighting in “liberated” Mosul: here.

One week after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed the “liberation” of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, the scale of destruction wrought during a nine-month, US-backed siege is becoming clearer, even as reports mount of collective punishment being meted out to survivors: here.

U.S. airstrikes have devastated Mosul. ISIS may be on its way out, but the Iraqi city has a long road ahead: here.

The ongoing effort of the United States to eradicate the Islamic State by aggressively launching airstrikes against targets that include non-combatants is causing significant harm to civilians in Iraq and Syria: here.

Tony Blair lied Britain into Iraq war

This video from Britain says about itself:

6 July 2016

Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, says the Chilcot report shows Tony Blair lied in the run up to the Iraq war and that she believes he should be treated as a war criminal.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Blair branded a liar

Friday 7th July 2017

After eight years Chilcot finally says Blair wasn’t ‘straight with the nation’

TONY BLAIR wasn’t straight with the public about decisions he made in the run-up to war in 2003, Iraq Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot said yesterday.

Though carefully worded, Mr Chilcot’s admission appears to tacity accept the charge leveled by the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) and others that Mr Blair launched the bloody invasion on false pretences.

The group’s famous placards reading “Blair liedthousands died” introduced a generation to politics.

Speaking on the anniversary of the inquiry’s conclusion, he said that Mr Blair had relied on “belief” rather than “fact” in making the case for the invasion of Iraq.

Asked whether Mr Blair had been truthful to him and the public, Mr Chilcot responded: “Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her.

“I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.”

Judges are currently considering whether legal proceedings should be allowed against Mr Blair over his role in the Iraq war following the findings of the Chilcot report.

A district judge ruled against a private case being brought against Mr Blair last November, claiming he had immunity from prosecution.

But the Royal Courts of Justice is now hearing a case seeking to overturn that decision, which is being brought by former Iraqi army chief of staff Gen Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat, who is now living in exile. If successful it could see Mr Blair tried for war crimes.

The Chilcot Inquiry took an agonising seven years before it was published amid accusations that it would be an Establishment whitewash.

It found that the executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time of the invasion and said the case for the war was based on “flawed intelligence”.

A record two million people marched in London in February 2003 to oppose the war in Iraq.

During a debate on Britain’s support for the invasion, Mr Blair infamously told the House of Commons that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that could be deployed within 45 minutes.

Yet this information, lifted from the so-called “dodgy dossier” designed to “sex-up” the case for war, was in direct conflict with UN weapons inspectors who said there was no evidence of WMDs in Iraq.

Despite this, MPs voted in favour of going to war without a United Nations security council resolution, a move which many have said made the invasion of Iraq illegal.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — who has always vigorously opposed the war in Iraq — said he has made it “very clear” in the past year that he agreed with Mr Chilcot.

“We have got to think very carefully as a country what has happened since the Iraq war and the consequences that flowed from what I believe was a catastrophically wrong decision in 2003,” he added.

StWC national convener Lindsey German told the Star: “Why has it taken eight years for Chilcot to let us know this? And why is Blair still allowed to walk free when this is such common knowledge?

A million have died in Iraq. When are all these people going to get justice?”

US hid intelligence from Britain about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs before Iraq War, Gordon Brown claims/ The former Prime Minister has said if a damning US dossier had been shared with the UK, he would not have backed the war: here.

‘Bush, Blair, Trump, ISIS godfathers, recruiting sergeants’

This video from the USA says about itself:

Lawyer for Tortured Detainees: U.S. Created ISIS Through Misguided Detention, Interrogation Policies

5 June 2017

We speak with Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, about an often overlooked footnote in the history of ISIS. Kadidal says the group’s mix of people with religious and battlefield experience was “pulled together in Camp Bucca“, which once hosted thousands of prisoners in Iraq without charge. Many alleged they suffered of torture and abuse by U.S. guards while held there. “We made this. We created this movement and its leadership with our own misguided and amateurish detention and interrogation policies“, Kadidal says, and argues that by keeping Guantánamo open and speaking approvingly of torture, President Trump is running a “longstanding commercial for ISIS“.

British Blairites plot wrecking Labour to help Conservatives

This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Tariq Ali on Chilcot Iraq Report: Tony Blair is War Criminal for Pushing Us into Illegal War

6 July 2016

While Iraq is marking a third day of mourning, a long-awaited British inquiry into the Iraq War has just been released. The Chilcot report is 2.6 million words long—about three times the length of the Bible. Using excerpts from private correspondence between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush, the report details how Blair pushed Britain into the war despite a lack of concrete intelligence.

For example, eight months before the invasion, Blair wrote to Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.” Then, in June 2003, less than three months after the invasion began, Blair privately wrote to Bush that the task in Iraq is “absolutely awesome and I’m not at all sure we’re geared for it.” Blair added, “And if it falls apart, everything falls apart in the region.” For more, we speak with British-Pakistani writer, commentator and author Tariq Ali.

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

As Labour rises in UK polls, Blairite breakaway party plans gather pace

29 May 2017

Ahead of the June 8 snap general election, former Labour Party leader Tony Blair and his supporters are brazenly advancing plans to establish a new right-wing political formation.

The Blairites have openly outlined their agenda through a series of deliberate leaks to the Telegraph, [Rupert Murdoch‘s] Times and Daily Mail—longstanding Conservative-supporting newspapers. Corbyn’s office dismissed the plans as “silly” stories from “Tory papers,” but this week the Blairites continued airing their intentions via the pages of the Observer, the Sunday edition of the anti-Corbyn and staunchly Blairite Guardian.

Amid poll results showing Labour under Jeremy Corbyn cutting the Conservative (Tory) lead to just 5 percent, from a high of 20, the Observer ran comments from Jonathan Powell, described as Blair’s “most trusted adviser.” The Blairites are committed to opposing the Tories’ plans for a hard Brexit that would result in the British bourgeoisie losing access to the European Union’s Single Market. The Observer reported that Powell “said that there was no pro-European party capable of commanding significant support and that ‘a different party’ could fill the vacuum if Labour opted not to do so.”

Powell declared, “We will wait to see what happens in the election, but… there is a yawning chasm in the middle of politics at the moment that is not represented and the [Liberal Democrats] are incapable of filling that space. At some stage, someone is going to fill it. Whether it is the Labour party after the election or a different party, who knows?”

Just hours after Corbyn launched Labour’s manifesto, veteran Blairite MP Frank Field became the first to call openly for a split. Speaking to the Conservative-supporting Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch, Field said if Corbyn refused to go in the aftermath of a Tory win, the right wing had to break away and form a caucus in parliament, possibly as “People’s Labour.”

Such a plan could only be enacted “if we get a majority of like-minded Labour MPs back in parliament.” It would require access to taxpayer funded “Short money,” which opposition parties require to function in parliament. To receive the money, a party must have at least two MPs or one MP and more than 150,000 votes. Labour, with 232 elected at the 2015 general election, receives at least £6.2 million a year through 2020.

Nothing is being ruled out by the Blairites, including taking Corbyn to court to seize control of millions of pounds in assets and being declared the official opposition. They calculate such moves could be supported by up to 172 MPs—if they retain their seats—who opposed Corbyn in a vote of no confidence after last year’s Brexit referendum.

This plan had already been formulated by the Blairites in the Telegraph, with a report that 100 prospective Labour MPs were considering resigning the Labour whip and become independents after the general election.

Commenting in the May 21 Sunday Telegraph in a piece headlined “After defeat, Labour must split or die,” Simon Heffer wrote, “The uprising may not happen the weekend after the election, but… the breakaway will come, and it will be far more seismic than the formation of the [right-wing] SDP [Social Democratic Party] in 1981.”

Blair, the architect of Britain’s illegal invasion of Iraq, is widely hated and forced to plot behind the scenes. The Blairites have concluded that he and his immediate circle are too toxic to openly front a new formation, with Heffer stating that, “Many names are [instead being] floated—Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Clive Lewis, Dan Jarvis or even Sir Keir Starmer.”

In their efforts to ensure the Labour Party remains pro-war and pro-austerity, the Telegraph et al. are resorting to naked propaganda. Last week the Telegraph published a survey claiming that a quarter of Labour voters supported a split from Labour if it did not win the election. However, faced with the loaded question of whether “Labour should formally split and a group should breakaway and form a new party if it does not win power at this election,” three quarters of voters were still opposed.

To facilitate their plans, a merger with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats—who are committed to a second referendum but who have just nine MPs in parliament—is being mooted. Earlier this month, the Times cited a “Blairite” who revealed, “One of [former Liberal Democrats leader Nick] Clegg’s mates said: ‘You moderates in the Labour Party, if you wanted to just take us over you could just join, it would be yours.’” Clegg is known to be meeting regularly with Blair.

The Sunday Times, earlier this month, reported, “Allies of [current Liberal Democrat leader] Tim Farron have indicated that he might be persuaded to rename the party.” It revealed that some Labour MPs and Tory pro-Europeans met last year, “in which a party called the Democrats was discussed, a title that has previously been advanced by Lord Ashdown, the former Lib Dem leader.”

The Blairites, with the war criminal himself estimated to be worth £80 to £100 million, have lined up a number of multi-millionaire backers.

Details of the fundraising have been revealed in the Times and Daily Mail. Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday reported that Blair and Lord Levy—Labour’s main fundraiser in Blair’s period in office—are working closely together. Between 1994, when Blair became Labour leader and 2007, when he stepped down as Prime Minister, Levy raised more than £100 million for Labour.

Dr. Assem Allam, a British-based Egyptian businessman worth £250 million, previously donated £720,000 to Labour. The Mail reported that he met Blair and Levy on April 23 and “offered to fund moderate Labour MPs who want to leave Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and set up a new ‘centrist’ party.” According to the newspaper, Allam pledged to give Blair several million pounds at the meeting. However, with initial election polls showing a large Tory lead, he reportedly changed his mind.

The Times said property developer Sir David Garrard, who has given Labour £1.6 million, would “willingly support” a new party “if a majority of centrist Labour MPs broke away to join it.”

Another multi-millionaire ready to move is Peter Coates—the owner of Premier League football team Stoke City FC. Coates has donated £200,000 to Labour, with the Times stating “he was ‘interested’ in the idea of a new party.”

The Blairites’ plans were summed up by a “source who used to work for Blair,” who told the Sunday Times two weeks ago that the result of the election would be central to the plotters next move. The source said, “[S]ome people have already come to the conclusion that it [the Corbyn wing’s control over the party] can’t [be reversed] and therefore something else will have to be born.”

The open plotting of the Blairites is a devastating rebuttal of Corbyn’s central claim that Labour can be refashioned as a vehicle through which to end austerity and curb the danger of war. The very forces which he has refused to move against, in the name of maintaining party unity, are intent on preventing him from ever forming a government—and are still pursuing this goal without a finger being raised against them.

The author also recommends:

Blairites declare UK Labour party unelectable
[20 April 2017]

As Tories slip in the polls, British media goes on the offensive against Corbyn: here.