Fallujah, Tony Blair and a Man with a Mission by Felicity Arbuthnot


This article and links to other websites may contain words/graphics depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be read/viewed by a mature audience.

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
27 September, 2010

“The reason governments have secrets is not because the public won’t understand, it’s because the public will.” (A friend.)

Dr Bill Wilson, knows a bit about duplicity and is not a man to give up, as a glance at his website shows. (1) Dr Wilson is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) in the Scottish National Party,for the West of Scotland. This week, he lodged a Parliamentary Motion (2) “highlighting the consequences of the US and UK’s use of weapons of mass destruction in Fallujah, in 2004.”

Speaking after lodging the Motion, Dr Wilson said, “The consequences are ongoing: a survey showed a four-fold increase in all cancers, a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s and a 38-fold increase in leukaemia. By contrast, Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase with regard to the latter. What’s more, because of this cancer crisis, local doctors are advising women not to have children.

“I have long been convinced that those responsible for the invasion of Iraq should be charged. It seems to me that any reasonable person looking at what happen in Fallujah would conclude that major war crimes have been committed. Tony Blair has to answer for his decisions … women are now being advised not to have children. To turn a blind eye now would surely make us all complicit.”

The Motion states: “The Parliament notes a report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: ‘Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009’, on the effects of the United Kingdom and United States’ attack on Fallujah in 2004; notes the reports that this attack involved the use of illegal chemical weapons, phosphorous bombs and nerve gas; understands that it has been further reported that this has led to an explosion of infant mortality, leukaemia and cancers, exceeding those following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the extent that local doctors are advising women not to have children; supports the international courts in their pursuit of war criminals since 1945; believes that no individual guilty of such crimes should escape justice, and calls for the detention and trial of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.”

“Bush and Blair lied about non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, now the toxic effects of the US-UK’s own WMDs have brought massive cancer surges, particularly of childhood cancers ..” He comments.

Dr Wilson has the bit firmly between his teeth. On 10th September he announced that he was seeking legal advice, “following a long running exchange of letters”, over the Crown Office’s refusal to disclose “details of its deliberations on whether the crime of aggression forms part of Scots law.” If not, he wishes to know, can the “declaratory power of the High Court”, not be used to incorporate it in to Scots law?

“Iraq was invaded on what amount to a pretext, a million plus Iraqis have lost their lives (with) thousands of coalition (troops) … frustrated by Crown Office’s refusal to fully explain why it believes Scots law cannot be used to bring a prosecution, for what I believe was a bloody crime of aggression, I lodged a freedom of information request (into their) deliberations.” A refusal included that it would “not be in the public interest. I am not at all happy that it is in the public interest to hide the reasons, for effectively turning a blind eye, to what many consider to be mass murder, and so I am seeking legal advice to take the matter further.” (3)

Both 2004 attacks on Fallujah were an undisputedly joint US-UK venture. British troops from the Black Watch were sent north from Basra to the Baghdad region to “free up” American troops for November’s Slaughterhouse Anbar Province. Further, the British also protected the supply lines to the U.S., troops from Kuwait. (After the first onslaught on Fallujah, in April 2003, in which at least six hundred civilians were indiscriminately killed, in spite of “international condemnation”, Prime Minister Blair said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.”)(4) Estimates are as high as twelve hundred dead.

As an estimated quarter of a million people fled the city, even before the November invasion, the firepower directed against those who remained was staggering, according to the Center for Defense Information:

“In the days leading up to the November invasion, Fallujah was subjected to a U.S. military cordon and intense bombardment on a daily basis. U.S. warplanes, such as AC-130 gunships, struck insurgent positions, in tandem with tank cannons, mortar and artillery, including M109A6 Paladin 155mm howitzers, that can be fired from a range of 22 miles, and will kill anyone within 55 yards of the point of impact. A number of 500-pound bombs were dropped on the city, obliterating insurgent targets and any other persons or buildings in the impact area. Bombings were said to cause damage to poorly constructed houses, where such structures were located near buildings that were attacked. U.S., forces in Fallujah have used the Miclic rocket-propelled mine clearing system, normally deemed unfit for use in an urban environment because of its indiscriminate explosive force. The use of such extraordinary military hardware in an urban setting necessarily invokes questions …”

How they anyway identified the difference between resistance and civilians from the air is a mystery.

We’ll unleash the dogs of hell, we’ll unleash them.They don’t know what’s coming – hell is coming. If they’re civilians in there, they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time”, said Sergeant Sam Mortimer, U.S., Marines.(5) So much for international law, with Barrister Blair “shoulder to shoulder”, in crime.

Thus, there is certainly much that British governments offices may deem: “not in the public interest” – read: plenty to hide. In November 2005, George Monbiot wrote in the (UK) Guardian, “We know know the U.S., used thermobaric weapons (in Fallujah)”, that assault weapons the US marines were using were armed with warheads containing: “about 35% thermobaric novel explosive (NE) and 65% standard high explosive.” How : “thermobaric”, “novel” and “explosive”, find their way in to the same sentence is one to ponder on. Perhaps weapons manual authors are recruited from a home for the criminally insane.

The MK77 bombs used, acted like napalm, containing jet fuel and polystyrene, unleashed, the scalding gel sticks to victims. The Iraqi Minister of Health described: “melted bodies” and fires that could not be extinguished with water. He directly accused U.S., troops of using napalm, which the U.S., immediately denied. Referring to the MK77s, military analyst, John Pike commented: “You can call it something other than napalm, but it’s napalm.”

The Minister, Dr Khalid ash-Shaykli, described large areas of Fallujah where nothing, people, cats, dogs, birds were left alive, alleging that mustard and nerve gasses had been used. InterPress reported people being roasted alive, in unquenchable, jellied fire. Numerous reports during the assault recorded people on fire leaping in to the Euphrates – and continuing to burn. Bodies were found with clothes melted in to the skin – and bodies were found with no injuries at all, giving credence to the accusation of the use of gasses and chemical weapons.

Further credence is given by the reports that the army brought in water tankers to power blast the streets, was it to wash away bloody crimes, or chemical and other “novel” residues? They are certainly not in the neighbourhood beautification business. Red Crescent staff trying to enter with medical supplies and help were repeatedly turned away.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC that White Phosphorous: ” … was used as an incendiary device.”

The destruction was staggering, as Dirk Adriaensens has written:

*7000 houses totally destroyed, or nearly totally destroyed, homes in all districts of Fallujah. – 8400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses, etc.. destroyed.

* 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries have been either totally demolished and leveled to the ground or whose minarets and inner halls have been demolished.

* 59 kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and technical colleges have been destroyed.

* 13 government buildings leveled to the ground.

* Destruction of the two electricity substations, the three water purification plants, the two railroad stations and heavy damages to the sewage and rain drainage subsystems throughout the city.

* The total destruction of a bridge to the West of the city.

* The death of 100,000 domestic and wild animals due to chemical and/or gaseous munitions.

* The burning and destruction of four libraries that housed hundreds perhaps thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts and books.

* The targeted destruction (which appears to be intentional) of the historical nearby site at Saqlawia and the castle of Abu al-Abbas al-Safah.(6)

“It wasn’t a war, it was a massacre”, wrote an unidentified soldier in militaryproject.org

Since the Pentagon find any body counts except their own, an anathema, the dead will almost certainly never be fully accounted for. The Red Cross/Red Crescent estimated “upwards of six thousand.” Adriaensens also makes clear that Fallujah still appears to be closed by numerous U.S., road blocks to outsiders, even to those in nearby towns, his article questioning if there is still concern that those with chemical or nuclear monitoring equipment might otherwise get in. Countless unanswered questions remain.

Iraq, before 2003’s invasion, was already an environmental disaster from the 1991 and subsequent bombings, which not alone left a lethal legacy of radioactive and chemically toxic depleted uranium, but since chemical, pharmaceutical and other factories were bombed, releasing multiple lethal toxicities, along with a host of other installations, adding to the toxic burden, fear of having children, medical advice not to and even decisions not to get married, began as the extraordinary rise in birth defects manifested, across the country, little over a year after the war. But even that pales against the burden since 2003. In September 2009, in Fallujah General Hospital, of one hundred and seventy babies born, 24% died in seven days and 75% were classified as deformed. “A significant number of babies that do survive, begin to develop severe disabilities later”, a doctor commented.

Whilst the Fallujah study is a significant, courageous and sickening break through, it must be wondered how the rest of Iraq is faring. Little detailed reporting has come from many places bombarded by U.S., troops, but what has seeped out is how similar the tactics have been. Water, electricity and communications are cut (clearly, as the U.S., doesn’t “do body counts”, they don’t do law either.)

There is a pattern of shooting up ambulances, trashing hospitals, clinics and medical supplies, arresting and killing medical staff (and patients.) “The hospitals in the west of Iraq, ask for urgent help, we are in a big humanitarian medical disaster … they burned the whole store of medication of the west area of Iraq … prevented us from helping the people in al-Quaim .. ” was a message that a friend managed to somehow send to journalist Dahr Jamail.

Towns, cities and villages bombarded, often multiply, have included: Ramadi, Buhruz, Baquba,Tel Afar, Mosul, Najav, Kerbala, Haditha, Hiyt, al-Qaim, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiyah, Najav, Karbala, Tikrit, Kirkuk, Hilla, Samarra, Nineveh, Baghdad – unceasingly – the list likely includes any inhabited place n Iraq. And what happened to the tons and tons of topsoil, trucked day and night, from Baghdad Airport, just after the invasion? What weapons were used, what contamination did it contain and where has it been dumped? Suggestions also of some kind of massive thermobaric weaponry will not go away.

Metal contaminated with DU is being sold as scrap throughout Iraq, as Afghanistan to irradiate, where ever it is incorporated, and whoever touches it, fashions it, breathes in the dust, the implications of just what is known, indicate crimes of near unprecedented enormity, for eternity’s children to pay the price.

The importance of Dr Wilson’s stance cannot be overstated, it has implications for where ever such tactics and weapons have been used, in Iraq and elsewhere – and where there are plans to emulate them.

“I believe that in Britain, we allowed our judgement of the direct consequences of inaction, to override our judgement of the even more dire consequences of departing from the rule of law”, said Sir Stephen Wall, former senior diplomatic adviser on Europe, speaking at Chatham House (The Institute for International Affairs) on 8th November 2004, as the Fallujah assault began. (See 4.)

Dr Wilson is asking that the concerned in the U.K., write to their Parliamentarians asking that they support his stance. A suggestion: a start might be by the estimated three million, who came from all over the country to March through central London to Hyde Park, in an effort to stop this predictable, near unprecedented, illegal disaster. As the new Leader of the Labour Party and the newish Leader of the Conservative party, both commit to a more listening culture, they and all Parliamentarians who did not listen then, owe it to all, to listen now.

Note: Unless indicted below all detail come from personal notes or from the extensive archive at:

http://www.thewe.cc/weplanet/news/americas/us/war_crimes_fallujah.html WARNING : VERY GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE.

1. http://www.billwilsonmsp.org/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=5&searchword=iraq+sanctions&submit=Search&searchphrase=all&ordering=newest

2. Full text here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21143

3. MSP Seeks Legal Advice re Crown Office Refusal to Disclose Deliberations on Iraq Prosecution http://www.billwilsonmsp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1013&Itemid=2

4. Nicholas Wood: “War Crime of Just War, the Case Against Blair”, South Hill Press, 2005: numerous war crimes,in Iraq, meticulously documented, with relevant law which can be invoked.

5. See 4.

6. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21131


Denial, Selective Perception and Military Atrocities by Felicity Arbuthnot

The British Military in Iraq: A Legacy of War Crimes and Atrocities by Felicity Arbuthnot

Depleted Uranium