“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950)
Since the US-UK project on Syria is back, invoking Syria’s President as Hitler – as previously, Slobodan Milosevitch, Saddam Hussein, and Colonel Quaddafi in earlier “Crusades” – it is instructive to note how the ludicrous claims mirror the strategy of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda.
Image by M Zia Akbari @ Canada in Afghanistan / Canada en Afghanistan via Flickr
The contempt with which “liberated” Afghans are treated by the British Ministry of Defence has been revealed in figures obtained by the (London) Independent (23rd September 2013)
“ ‘Fatality claims’ include the deaths of Afghan civilians in botched air-strikes, crossfire and road accidents involving British forces” – in an invasion into which the British, as ever, trotted obediently after their Washington masters.
“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.” Frantz Fanon, 1961. (1925-1961)
“I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.” (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010)
This week, to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the CIA-MI6 overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossaddegh, on 19th August 1953, the (US) National Security Archive has released documents confirming the details of the coup and the grubby US-UK involvement.(i)
The document makes fairly clear that the British government has fought for much of the sixty years to prevent revelations of details of another shameful event – which has anyway long been public knowledge, if not in minute detail.
The remarkable London-based legal charity, Reprieve(i) which defends lives “from death row to Guantanamo Bay”, providing legal support for prisoners unable to pay for themselves, have released a letter to President Obama, and Yemen’s President Hadi from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, a Yemeni engineer who lost his nephew and brother-in-law in a US drone strike on Hadhramout Governorate, in August 2012.
” … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.” (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010)
On 22nd July two babies were born – in different worlds. Prince George Alexander Louis, son of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, arrived in the £5,000 a night Lindo Wing of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, weighing a super healthy 8lbs 6 oz.
“Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b: 1941)
Figures just obtained by the BBC under a Freedom of Information request, show that last year the UK Home Office identified nearly one hundred suspected war criminals, the majority of cases believed to be already having been living in the UK for a number of years. (i)
“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” (Samuel Adams, 1722-1803, letter 1775)
This will surely have you falling down with surprise. According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and obtained by the (UK) Sunday Telegraph, the August 2009 release from Scotland’s Barlinnie jail of Libyan Abdelbaset al- Megrahi, accused of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, hinged on an oil and arms deal, allegedly brokered by roving war monger (sorry, roving “Peace Ambassador”) Tony Blair.
“One man’s collateral damage is another man’s son.” (Political cartoonist, Jeff Danziger, August 2nd 2006)
The words of Nasser al-Aulaqi, have a measured, dignified determination, shadowed by bewilderment and the betrayal by a country for which he had had respect, happy memories and which had provided aspects of the basis for his considerable achievements.
Nasser al-Aulaqi is the father of Anwar al-Aulaqi and the grandfather of sixteen year old Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, both killed in American drone strikes in the Yemen, within two weeks of each other, in September and October 2011, respectively. Both were American citizens.
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive.
— Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832
It has been a bit of a foot-in-mouth week for the constitutional lawyer who is President of the United States.
As Egypt’s increasingly autocratic and theocratic Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi was rejected by the population with an estimated 33 million person demonstration and a 22 million signature petition, the US Nobel Prize Laureate cheerleading for the overthrow of Syria’s sovereign Head of State, declared he is “deeply concerned” over the ousting of President Morsi.
“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths … I mean, it’s not relevant, so why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that …” (Former First Lady, Barbara Bush, Good Morning America, 18th March 2003)
In these days of the tenth anniversary of the illegal invasion and near destruction of Iraq, answers are owed not alone for the dead, but to the cancer stricken, the deformed, to their parents, their siblings and all Iraqis. They were left with a land poisoned by depleted uranium in 1991, the burden ever building over twelve more years of (illegal) US and UK bombings, then the enormity of 2003.
I wrote this article as the bombs fell on Baghdad on the 20th of March 2003, with tears streaming down my face.
I had come back from Iraq just days before. In another sparkling pink and azure dawn on the day I left Baghdad, (dubbed “the Paris of the ninth century” by 19th century traveller, Sir Richard Burton) I photographed the panoramic views of this great, vibrant city. I would, I felt certain, never see it like this again. I never will. Felicity Arbuthnot, March 17, 2013
One day …
Children at school will ask:
What is war?
You will answer them.
You will tell them:
Those words are not used any more.
Like stagecoaches, galleys or slavery.
Words no longer meaningful …
— Martin Luther King (15 January 1929-4 April 1968)
Oh the cynicism. The man whose words have rung down over four decades, encapsulating a non-violent demand for peace, equality and fairness: “I have a dream”, has again been resurrected as President Obama’s philosophical icon.