Exclusive: Blair’s chameleonic path to divinity by Trevor Murphy

by Trevor Murphy
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
Dec 26, 2007

Friday 21st December 2007, Tony Blair converted to Catholicism at the private London chapel of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’ Connor, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales. Murphy O’ Connor said later “I’m very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church”. Obviously Mr Blair’s stance on genocide, gay issues, abortion haven’t affected his right of passage into the church. Continue reading

‘It’s Madness’ by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, December 22, 2007

If the scale of the unimaginable tragedy the British have wrought in Basra was not of the historical enormity which it is and for which the UK will never be forgotten and likely, never forgiven, world wide (only second to the Americans, of whose accountability for unspeakable atrocities, words temporarily fail) with Prime Minister Gordon Brown again trying to dress up defeat as victory, as the British ‘left’ the city last week, it would be laughable. The British actually slunk off from their illegally inhabited palace in central Basra in September, to cower in a base well outside the town, spent, redundant and now with the loss of one hundred and seventy four tragically wasted lives, for UK government lies. Ironically, Iraqi women were photographed throwing sweets at the Iraq forces on December 16th’s Sunday ‘handover’ of the Iraqi city to Iraqis. The sweets and flowers promised by the CIA backed, convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraq National Accord’s Iyad Allawi to the invaders, transpired, absolutely predictably, to be rocket propelled and hand grenades, improvised explosive devices and ambush by varied imaginative booby traps and weaponry.

Gordon Brown, of course, again announced a troop draw down on 8th October this year, after they had (also predictably) lost Basra and already left. There is something about ‘October surprises’ that herald disasters. An early spectacular British defeat was the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854, an ill conceived maneuver at Balaclava in Russia during the Crimean war, with the losses leading the Russians to speculate that the troops must have been drunk to have contemplated such a move. It was a black day for Commanders and politicians too, the ‘Basra’ of the Eastern front, an adventure of which French Marshall Pierre Bosquet commented: ‘C’est de la folie’ (‘it’s madness’.)

In context, should anyone doubt the absolute disregard of parliamentary ‘democracies’ for the lives of their own citizens, yet alone other humanities, expendable for oil, gas pipelines, minerals, metals, gemstones, one only has to consider yet another October stunt. On the weekend of October 18-19, 1980, a former and future CIA head, met with Iranian officials in Paris. In an act of treason (US private citizens negotiating with a foreign government without official authorization) with calculated, cold, callous ruthlessness, the pair cut a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini‘s clerics, to ensure that the fifty two American hostages held in Tehran, stayed hostage until after the upcoming election between President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. The Americans in question were George Herbert Walker Bush, the former CIA Director and William Casey, the future one.

‘The Republicans were terrified of an October Surprise–a move by the Carter government to free the hostages before the vote. So Bush (who became) Reagan’s vice-presidential candidate–and Casey were dispatched to Paris to offer the Iranians a covert deal to keep the Americans in chains until Reagan was safely in office. The proposed payoff? A newly-elected Reagan-Bush administration would supply Khomeini’s military with a secret supply of American weapons.’ (See: ‘Speak Memory’, Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, 9th September 2002.)

Another cynically manipulated October occurrence was Iraq’s 2002 referendum, where Saddam, predictably, garnered little short of 100% of the votes, in his favor. The American and British administrations notched it up as another reason for regime change, these people needed liberation from questionable vote manipulation. No one should know better about alleged vote fixing than the Bush administration, from dimpled chads, to excluded likely Democrat voters, to accusations of eminently adjustable vote counting machines. In post-invasion Iraq they turned it in to a murderous art form, with death threats, ration coupons confiscation and no potentially murderous or otherwise, manipulation barred, to get their puppet ‘government’ voted in.

So what October surprises have the British left for the people of Basra? The ancient, battered, but still heart-wrenchingly beautiful (B.C., – Before ‘Crusade’) ‘Venice of the Middle East’? They have left rubble where homes and historic buildings nurtured and were nurtured , by successive generations. They have left broken doors, windows and walls, kicked down or blown in on raids on families sleeping in their beds. They have left broken hearts and lives.

The have left fundamentalist militias they either brought in with them, or against whom they failed to control the borders (and then blamed the Iraqis.) They have confined women to their homes at best and to death, often by beheading, for even wearing makeup, at worst. Britain’s finest have returned secular women to the equivalent of the burkha they were so keen to free them of in Afghanistan (nonsense of course, it was about strategic interests and a gas pipeline.) They have taken a town, where the worst harassment a woman walking alone, through streets, by the canals, or the beauty of the Shatt Al Arab would suffer, was small, bare foot boys, selling dates, citrus fruits, sweets, who stuck like glue until they had beguilingly somehow persuaded you to buy the whole lot (then they would be back with more.) The embargo’s children, providing for their families, instead of aiming to be top of the class. Britain and America’s victims.

‘I came to rid Basra of its enemies, and I now formally hand Basra back to its friends,’ Britain’s Major General Graham Binns said, before signing documents giving Iraqi forces operational control of the province, which holds most of Iraq’s proven petroleum reserves. Before Britain’s invasion , Basra had few ‘enemies’, just the sort of policing issues found in any city. He has handed it, in fact, also to police and security forces riddled with Basra’s enemies. The British being unable to speak the language, culturally clueless, know not from where their recruits have come -or if they are even Iraqis at all. They have ‘handed back’ their rubble and mass graves, in a city bleeding from lack of essential services, its children seeping away from malnutrition and lethal diseases resultant from the killer water supply the British army has left them with. Seldom has: ‘We gave them a wasteland and called it peace’, been more appropriate.

No better example of British depthless floundering , was fellow speaker, Muwaffaq Al Rubaie, Iraq’s ‘government security advisor’. ‘The security of Basra is one of our main responsibilities. I address, directly, the governor, the general commander of the security forces in Basra, the provincial council and the people of Basra. Will you agree with militias? Will you engage in corruption? Will you go easy on terrorism?’ Asked Rubaie. Thus under the nose of and with General Binns, was speaking the man many respected Iraqi and Middle East experts allege is actually Karim Shaboori, an Iranian, who came in with the invaders and changed his name and acquired himself an Iraqi passport to which he has, allegedly, no entitlement. If correct, stones and glasshouses, again come to mind.

So unphased by the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President and the horrifying scenes around his body, Rubaie/Shaboori responded: ‘This is the tradition of the Iraqis – when they do something they dance around the body and they express their feelings’ – a ‘ tradition’ no Iraqi seems to be aware of. Does General Binns know that Iraqis joke that the dominant language in the ‘Iraqi Ministries’ in the Green Zone is Farsi (and indeed say many Iraqis, in their Embassies abroad, along with Kurdish, not Arabic.)

The British stole even the myths and legends from Basra. They took the city known to children world wide, as from where Sinbad left for his magical journeys and named a killing spree on the population (dressed in press briefings as a ‘security crackdown’) as: ‘Operation Sinbad’. They are now illegally inhabiting the airport, of which the city was so proud, when they had rebuilt it, opening again in 2000. Hope returned. The British and Americans of course, bombed it, but damage was repaired within days, to be bombed, repaired again … Having subsequently destroyed homes, history, lives, ‘our boys’ are now again doubles ‘restructuring’ the airport.

What else has Britain’s illegal invasion and occupation contributed to? A snapshot : 2.4 million internally displaced; 2.2 million fled (UNHCR) 1.1 million dead (Just Foreign Policy) 3 million wounded (‘a conservative estimate’) 4 million in need of emergency aid (ICRC) 5 million orphans (Iraqi ‘government’ figures.) As the tireless Dahr Jamail writes: ‘Iraq’s population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead.’ Is this genocide, a holocaust, deliberate de-population, or will the usual suspects just mess around with semantics? ‘What we have done in Iraq, are tears in the fabric of history’, comments Hussein Al Alak of the (UK) Iraq Solidarity Campaign.

Basra’s dead have been hard to enumerate (but then the British, historically, were always better at keeping the lid on atrocities for a while. Not ‘Perfidious Albion’ for nothing.) However, Iraq ‘government’ figures, in a rare glimpse, revealed in May 2006, that the previous month, under British Army watch, one person had died violently every hour. The killing after April 2006, certainly did not miraculously stop. How many have the British disappeared, how many are still in British custody, how many have died in British custody – and how many, in the ‘hardback’, have been handed over to those who will drill their heads and chuck them in to the garbage? Figures are, to say the least, elusive.

There have been a number of kidnappings (including ones the West noticed, like Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley. Iraqi ones, shamefully, rarely are, in their uncountable numbers) where the request has been to release Iraqi women prisoners (usually held by the occupiers as a bargaining chip for men in the family – totally illegally.) The word was that, as the US denied they held any women , they had in fact transferred them to British custody in Basra. Still, as yet, impossible to prove or disprove. When I heard the story denied by Anthony Charles Lyndon Blair QC., however, I thought again of MP George Galloway, who recounted, as a little boy in Glasgow, running home to tell his Father excitedly: ‘Dad, Dad, my teacher says “the sun will never set on the British Empire”. ‘

‘Aye, son’, said his father: ‘That’s because God would never trust the British in the dark’.

Meanwhile, Ann Clywd MP (who for years has been dubbed ‘Mrs. Talabani’ by many) Blair’s formerly silent ‘human rights’ advisor on Iraq, said this week that she was ‘right to support the war’ to rid the country of brutality. Is she psychologically challenged., or just delusional.? However, as founder of the CIA funded INDICT (launched in the House of Parliament) and a close friend of the embezzler Ahmed Chalabi, who fed fairy tales of non-existent weapons of mass destruction to the British government, the words culpability and duplicity come to mind regarding Ms Clywd.

As George Orwell (real name : Eric Arthur Blair) spins in his grave, the other Blair is reinvented as ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’ and reiterates he has no regrets. He knows ‘it was the right thing to do,’ and ‘I’d do the same thing again’. The terminal patients that are Gaza and Iraq, the threats to the rest of the region, the misery and torment heaped on the region’s humanity, have taken second place to his finding time to appear in a Christmas video with Barney, George Bush‘s dog, once described as the only sane being in the White House. It shouldn’t happen to a dog. And sorry for the pun, but is – as many have speculated for a long while – Blair truly ‘barking’?

The joys of Eid Al Adha escaped Basra and Gaza. The Chaldean Bishop of Basra has ‘cancelled’ Christmas, as has happened throughout Iraq (with the Eids) for many years now. How can we celebrate amid such death, destruction, deprivation, misery, fear and poverty? he asked.

In a BBC Panorama programme, aired on 17th December, the night before Eid Al Ahda, presenter Jane Corbyn asked a woman in Basra, who had returned to Iraq after thirty years, after the fall of Saddam Hussein: ‘What have the British left you?’

‘Nothing’, she replied : ‘Just misery.’

And in a December surprise, three days before Christmas and little over a week to the anniversary of the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, QC., has announced his conversion to Catholicism. He was received into the Church by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O-Connor. Having morally bankrupted the Palace of Westminster, he has now done the same to its Cathedral. Hope they have enough cleaning staff to wipe the blood from his hands off the church furniture after his visits. As former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray remarked: ‘Perhaps the Catholic church has a dearth of mass murderers in their congregation.’ It is all ‘madness’.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7671


Blair’s chameleonic path to divinity by Trevor Murphy

Bush Singing Sunday, Bloody Sunday + Blair Singing Should I Stay or Should I Go + Gravel Singing Power to the People (music videos)

Dandelion Salad


Added: June 16, 2006

h/t: Lisa


Blair Singing Should I Stay or Should I Go

Added: October 12, 2006


Mike Gravel Singing Power to the people vs give peace a chance

Added: November 27, 2007

a dj mike gravel & rx conspiracy. the first in a series. former u.s. senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), is a democratic candidate for president. he has been banned from the democratic debates for being honest and intelligent. the best candidate of the bunch. certainly the coolest. check out his website, gravel2008.us.

A Manifestation of Evil or Just Plain Madness? By Alan Hart

Dandelion Salad

By Alan Hart
12/03/07 “ICH

Who said  the following: When you’re the leader “you need, um, to be able to separate yourself (pause) somewhat from the magnitude of the consequences of the decisions you are taking…”?

Was it Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Menachem Begin, Pol Pot or possibly George “Dubya” Bush?

Answer, none of the above.

Just occasionally terrestrial television comes up with a documentary that provides real and (to my way of thinking) terrifying insight into the mindest of leaders. One such documentary, actually a series of three, The Blair Years, has just ended on BBC Television.

The third and last programme, which like all three was constructed on an in-depth conversation between the former prime minister and Sunday Times columnist David (am I really a Zionist?) Aaronovitch, was titled Blair In Power.

Throughout the programme, as in power, Blair insisted that he did what he did because he truly and totally believed it was “the right thing to do.” That, said Sir Ming Campbell, the former Liberal Democratic Party leader, was “a very frustrating phrase”. Why? “Because if I say to you (David Aaronovitch) that it’s ‘the right thing to do,’ there’s no forensic skill you can exercise that can disturb that. It’s a phrase of last resort, impervious to argument.”

In discourse analysis it’s known as the false dilemma. You can’t argue with somebody, particularly a leader, who insists that he was doing what was right because, implicity, you invite yourself to be seen as arguing for what is morally wrong. And that’s why conviction politicians are so successful and can can get away with murder. Literally. (It’s analogous to the assertion that “God promised us the land.” The only sane response to that, if ones dares, is “You’re mad.”)

After a line of commentary that said, “He had become a devisive and unpopular prime minister,” Blair said: “The very moment when I was becoming less popular and less publicily acceptable was when I felt a greater confidence.” Translated that could only mean, “The more people told me I was wrong, the more  believed I was right.” (When I discussed this with a former senior BBC producer and friend, he said: “I’m different from Blair. When people tell me I’m deep in shit, I look down and see how I can get out of it!”)

Charles Clarke, a minister in one of the cabinets Blair treated with almost the same contempt he subsequently developed for public opinion, described his former leader as “almost a messianic politician in the way he saw himself.”

Eventually Blair did talk about his religious faith, but he was most uncomfortable doing so; and he explained why. “If you talk about religious faith in our political system, people think you’re a nutter. They might think you go off to sit in a corner and commune with, um, the man upstairs and say ‘right, I‘ve been told what the answer is, and that’s it!’” (One obvious implication was that if Blair had been an American, he would have said, Bush-like, “God told me to do it.”)

Commentary: “Blair says it was his religious faith that helped him to live with the consequences of his decisions.”

Blair: “To to this, this, the prime minister’s job properly, you need, um, you need to be able to separate yourself (pause) somewhat from the magnitude of the consequences of the decisions you are taking the whole time, which doesn’t mean to say, and let me emphasise this, that you’re insensitive to the magnitude of those consequences or that you don’t feel them deeply. If you don’t have that strength, it’s difficult to do the job, which is why this job is as much about character and temperament as it is about anything else. For me having faith was an important part of being able to do that; but it’s not, you know I’ve said probably more than I intended to say about it, but it’s just, you know, in the end that’s, that’s, I mean, and I think that that is also important because ultimately you’ve got to do what you think is right in this job and I learned that over time really.” (There were moments, this I thought was one of them, when Blair was nearly as incoherent as “Dubya” can be).

During the course of the last programme in the series we learned that the prime minister who read from the bible and prayed every night also swore, didn’t always delete the expletives. (No harm in that in my view). I mention this in passing because of what I want to say, write, next.

The end of the last programme provided a moment, actually moments, of television magic.

Aaronovitch’s last words were, “Tony Blair, thank you.”

This was followed, before the end titles rolled, with ten seconds of silence, a hell of a long time in television when the camera is still running. During this silence Blair looked confused, bewildered, deeply troubled and frightened, rather like a rabbit caught in the car headlghts. I think it is not unreasonable to speculate that he was thinking to himself something very like the following: “Shit! I should never have agreed to do this fucking interview!”

On the eleventh second he managed a forced, nervous smile and muttered, “Is that that, then?”

It’s not quite that (the end) because our Tony is now the Quartet’s Middle East envoy. When I was discussing the programme with the former senior BBC producer quoted above, he said to me: “Alan, don’t be surprised if somebody responds to your article by saying, ‘Perhaps Blair is the right man to try to bring peace to the Mddle East because they’re all mad, too!’”

I have long believed and often said on public platforms that it was wrong to describe Blair as “Bush’s puppet”. Blair was one of them. I mean that he was, is, something of a neo-con and not that far away from being a Christian Zionist, as his predecessor at the time of the Balfour Declaration was. (There is speculation that Blair wants to convert to Roman Catholicism, but the Vatican seems to be in no rush to look upon that prospect with favour).

As The Blair Years documented, he was, in fact, in favour of using force to topple Saddam Hussein when President “Dubya” Bush was opposed. That was before 9/11. It was only after that dreadful event, and because of it, that Bush became the puppet of Vice President Cheney and his neo-con associates, many of whom were, are, hardest core Zionists. I think they probably could not believe their luck when Prime Minister Blair first arrived in Washington.

It was also Prime Minister Blair who opened the door wider to Zionist lobby funders who were keen to purchase some of what passes for democracy in the UK. And today Prime Minister Gordon Brown is paying the price for that. If I was advising Brown, I’d tell him to come clean and ask for understanding while he cleared up Blair’s mess on this account.
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Taking Liberties (video; links) 

Taking Liberties (video; links)

Dandelion Salad


October 20, 2007

This is Taking liberties and is about the evil Tony Blair. Now you will see what he has done to us and the UK. This is in eleven parts because, it is a long documentary film.

This is a good documentary but there may be some bits that you’re not interested in. Just ignore those parts if you want.

The last two parts are even shorter because it would be silly to have a video for a few seconds.

for more information, see here http://www.noliberties.com/ and there is a forum there as well.












The right to Protest, Right to Freedom of Speech. Right to Privacy. Right not to be detained without charge, Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Prohibition from Torture. TAKING LIBERTIES will reveal how these six central pillars of liberty have been systematically destroyed by New Labour, and the freedoms of the British people stolen from under their noses amidst a climate of fear created by the media and government itself.

TAKING LIBERTIES uncovers the stories the government don’t want you to hear – so ridiculous you will laugh, so ultimately terrifying you will want to take action. Teenage sisters detained for 36 hours for a peaceful protest; an RAF war veteran arrested for wearing an anti-Bush and Blair T-shirt; an innocent man shot in a police raid; and a man held under house arrest for two years, after being found innocent in court. Ordinary law-abiding citizens being punished for exercising their ‘rights’ – rights that have been fought for over centuries, and which seem to have been extinguished in a decade.

h/t: Scruffy: Enemy Combatant, Number One Insurgent, Coalition for Truth UK, BadGal§al

Blair ‘knew Iraq had no WMD’ By David Cracknell

Dandelion Salad

By David Cracknell, Political Editor
11/05/07 “The Times

TONY BLAIR privately conceded two weeks before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein did not have any usable weapons of mass destruction, Robin Cook, the former foreign secretary, reveals today.

John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee (JIC), also “assented” that Saddam had no such weapons, says Cook.

His revelations, taken from a diary that he kept as a senior minister during the months leading up to war, are published today in The Sunday Times. They shatter the case for war put forward by the government that Iraq presented “a real and present danger” to Britain.

Cook, who resigned shortly before the invasion of Iraq, also reveals there was a near mutiny in the cabinet, triggered by David Blunkett, the home secretary, when it first discussed military action against Iraq.

The prime minister ignored the “large number of ministers who spoke up against the war”, according to Cook. He also “deliberately crafted a suggestive phrasing” to mislead the public into thinking there was a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, and he did not want United Nations weapons inspections to be successful, writes the former cabinet minister.

Cook suggests that the government misled the House of Commons and asked MPs to vote for war on a “false prospectus”.

He also reveals that Blair earlier gave President Bill Clinton a private assurance that he would support him in military action in Iraq if action in the UN failed “and it would certainly have been in line with his previous practice if he had given President Bush a private assurance of British support”.

Cook’s long-awaited diaries, published in book form as Point of Departure, are the first memoir of any member of Blair’s cabinet. His disclosures are likely to lead to renewed calls for a judicial inquiry into the legitimacy of the war.

The Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly has dealt only with the question of what the government believed ahead of publication of its Iraq dossier in September 2002 and whether Downing Street hardened intelligence reports to make the threat from Saddam seem more compelling.

Cook today opens a new controversy. He says that just days before sending troops into action, Blair no longer believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ready for firing within 45 minutes, the claim the prime minister had repeatedly made when arguing the case for war.

Cook reveals that on February 20 this year he was given a briefing by Scarlett. “The presentation was impressive in its integrity and shorn of the political slant with which No 10 encumbers any intelligence assessment,” Cook writes in his diary. “My conclusion at the end of an hour is that Saddam probably does not have weapons of mass destruction in the sense of weapons that could be used against large-scale civilian targets.”

Two weeks later, on March 5, Cook saw Blair. At the time the government was still trying to get a fresh UN resolution and Cook was still in government as leader of the Commons.

Cook writes: “The most revealing exchange came when we talked about Saddam’s arsenal. I told him, ‘It’s clear from the private briefing I have had that Saddam has no weapons of mass destruction in a sense of weapons that could strike at strategic cities. But he probably does have several thousand battlefield chemical munitions. Do you never worry that he might use them against British troops?’

“[Blair replied:] ‘Yes, but all the effort he has had to put into concealment makes it difficult for him to assemble them quickly for use’.”

Cook continues: “There were two distinct elements to this exchange that sent me away deeply troubled. The first was that the timetable to war was plainly not driven by the progress of the UN weapons inspections. Tony made no attempt to pretend that what Hans Blix [the UN’s chief weapons inspector] might report would make any difference to the countdown to invasion.

“The second troubling element to our conversation was that Tony did not try to argue me out of the view that Saddam did not have real weapons of mass destruction that were designed for strategic use against city populations and capable of being delivered with reliability over long distances. I had now expressed that view to both the chairman of the JIC and to the prime minister and both had assented in it.

“At the time I did believe it likely that Saddam had retained a quantity of chemical munitions for tactical use on the battlefield. These did not pose ‘a real and present danger to Britain’ as they were not designed for use against city populations and by definition could threaten British personnel only if we were to deploy them on the battlefield within range of Iraqi artillery.

“I had now twice been told that even those chemical shells had been put beyond operational use in response to the pressure from intrusive inspections. I have no reason to doubt that Tony Blair believed in September that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction ready for firing within 45 minutes. What was clear from this conversation was that he did not believe it himself in March.”

Cook asks: “If No 10 accepted that Saddam had no real weapons of mass destruction which he could credibly deliver against city targets and if they themselves believed that he could not reassemble his chemical weapons in a credible timescale for use on the battlefield, just how much of a threat did they really think Saddam represented?”

He raises “the gravest of political questions. The rules of the Commons explicitly require ministers to correct the record as soon as they are aware that they may have misled parliament. If the government did come to know that the [United States] State Department did not trust the claims in the September dossier and that some of even their top experts did not believe them, should they not have told parliament before asking the Commons to vote for war on a false prospectus?”

Cook decided not to publish his diaries ahead of last week’s Labour conference in Bournemouth. Had he done so, his revelations would have ensured Blair received a much tougher ride from activists, many of whom are deeply uneasy about the war.

He reveals that in the months leading up to the war Downing Street aides, including Alastair Campbell, Blair’s former director of communications, and Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff, were obsessed with not falling out with Washington.

Cook discloses that several cabinet ministers had held misgivings about the war, not just himself and Clare Short. At a cabinet meeting in late February 2002, Blunkett asked for a discussion on Iraq and Cook received cries of “hear, hear” from cabinet colleagues when he argued that Arab governments regarded Israel, not Iraq, as the real problem for the Middle East. Cook records it was “the nearest thing I’ve heard to a mutiny in cabinet”.

His diary entry of March 7, 2002, a year before the war, says that Blunkett and Patricia Hewitt, the trade secretary, raised objections at cabinet.

“A momentous moment. A real discussion at cabinet. Tony permitted us to have the debate on Iraq which David [Blunkett] and I had asked for. For the first time that I can recall in five years, Tony was out on a limb.”

According to Cook, Blunkett asked Blair: “What has changed that suddenly gives us the legal right to take military action that we didn’t have a few months ago?”

Hewitt warned Blair: “We are in danger of being seen as close to President Bush, but without any influence over President Bush.”

But the prime minister was “totally unfazed” and, when Hewitt again raised objections at cabinet the following month, Blair refused to be boxed in, telling colleagues: “The time to debate the legal base for our action should be when we take that action.”

Cook reveals that Bush had wanted to hold a crucial war council with Blair in London on the weekend before the invasion of Iraq, a move that would have been a public relations disaster given public hostility to the war. Blair persuaded Bush to hold the summit in the Azores instead.

By September last year most of the cabinet had fallen into line. At cabinet on September 23, before parliament was recalled from its summer break, Cook says: “Personally I found it a grim meeting. Much of the two hours was taken up with a succession of loyalty oaths for Tony’s line.”

He says only Estelle Morris, then education secretary, “bravely” reported public disquiet that Britain was simply following Bush.

© Copyright 2007 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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One More Argument for the United Nations by Fidel Castro Ruz

Dandelion Salad

by Fidel Castro Ruz
Global Research, September 28, 2007

While I am working with the already famous Greenspan book, I read an article published by El País, a Spanish newspaper with a circulation of more than 500,000, according to reports; I would like to pass this on to the readers. It is signed by Ernesto Ekaizer, and it literally reads:

“Four weeks before the Iraq invasion which happened in the night of March 19 to 20, 2003, George W. Bush publicly sustained his demands of Saddam Hussein in the following terms: disarmament or war. In private, Bush acknowledged that war was inevitable. In a long private conversation with the then Spanish president, José María Aznar, held on Saturday, February 22, 2003 at the Crawford Ranch in Texas, Bush made it clear that the moment had come to get rid of Saddam. ‘We have two weeks. In two weeks our military will be ready. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March’, he told Aznar.

“The moment has come to get rid of Saddam.

“As part of this plan, Bush had accepted, on January 31, 2003 –after an interview with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair– to make a last diplomatic manoeuvre: to introduce a second resolution to the United Nations Security Council. His objective: to clear the way legally for a unilateral war that the United States was getting ready to unleash with more than 200,000 soldiers who were in the region ready to attack.

“Bush was aware of Blair’s internal difficulties and he knew of Aznar’s. Only seven days before that meeting at the Crawford Ranch, three million people were demonstrating in several Spanish cities against the imminent war. ‘We need your help with our public opinion’, Aznar asks. Bush explains to him the scope of the new resolution that he is going to present: ‘The resolution will be tailor made to help you. I don’t care about the content’. To this, Aznar replies: ‘That text would help us to be able to co-sponsor it and be its co-authors, and get many people to sponsor it’. Aznar, then, offers to give Bush European coverage, together with Blair. Aznar’s dream of consolidating a relationship with the United States, following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, was about to become reality.

“Aznar had travelled with his wife, Ana Botella, on February 20 to the United States making a stopover in Mexico to persuade President Vicente Fox –unsuccessfully– of the need to support Bush. On the 21st, the couple, accompanied by the President’s assistants, arrived in Texas. Aznar and his wife stayed at the ranch guest house.

“In the meeting on the following day, Saturday, President Bush, his then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and Daniel Fried, the chief of European Affairs at the National Security Council, were present. Aznar, on his side, was accompanied by his international policy advisor, Alberto Carnero and the Spanish Ambassador in Washington, Javier Rupérez. As part of the meeting, Bush and Aznar had a four-way telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Italian President Silvio Berlusconi.

“Ambassador Rupérez translated from the English for Aznar and also from the Italian for Condoleezza Rice; another two interpreters did the same for Bush and his collaborators. It was Rupérez who drafted the minutes of the conversation in a memorandum that has been kept secret until today.

“The conversation is impressive because of its direct, friendly and even menacing tone when, for example, they refer to the necessity of some countries like Mexico, Chile, Angola, Cameroon and Russia, members of the UN Security Council, voting for the new resolution as a show of friendship towards the United States or else they would have to suffer the consequences.

“They are cautioned about zero expectations for the work of the inspectors, whose chief, Hans Blix, had dismantled just one week earlier, on February 14, the arguments presented by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Security Council on February 5, 2003, with ‘solid facts’ enthusiastically supported by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio. The same facts that Powell himself later described as a bunch of lies.

“The Blix Report

“According to Blix, Iraq was taking steps towards active cooperation in solving the pending issue of disarmament. His tone had been less critical than that of his report of January 27, 2003. ‘Since we arrived in Iraq three months ago we have made more than 400 inspections, with no advance warning at 300 sites. Until now, the inspectors have found no prohibited weapons…If Iraq decides to cooperate even more closely, the period of disarmament by the inspections can still be short´, the chief inspector pointed out.

“The General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El Baradei released information on February 14 that there were still some technical issues left to clear up. But, he added, ‘now there are no more disarmament problems left to solve’. According to him, absolutely no proof had been found that Iraq had been carrying out nuclear activities or activities related to nuclear energy, another clear lie about what Powell had stated about the Iraqi nuclear program.

“Both the first results of the inspections and the end of the United States preparations led Bush to set the beginning of the military operation towards the date of March 10, 2003. Later, nine days were added in order to get the second resolution. The process of moral persuasion in which Aznar and Palacios worked by phone and in bilateral meetings did not succeed in pulling in more than four votes: those of the three promoters and Bulgaria. They needed 9 votes.

“The failure of this legal coverage for the imminent war led Bush, with Blair and Aznar, to agree to a summit meeting in the Azores on March 16, 2003, a place suggested by Aznar as an alternative to Bermuda for a reason he explained to Bush: ‘Just the name of these islands suggests an item of clothing that is not exactly the most appropriate for the seriousness of the moment in which we find ourselves’. There, on that March 16, Blair, Bush and Aznar decided to replace the United Nations Security Council. They usurped its functions to declare war on Iraq at their own risk. On the morning of March 17, the United Kingdom ambassador at the UN announced in New York the withdrawal of the second resolution. A defeat in the voting would have complicated even further the race towards war.”

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 27, 2007. 7:25 p.m.

Global Research Articles by Fidel Castro Ruz


Saddam asked Bush for $1bn to go into exile by David Gardner

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Bombs, Babes and Baksheesh: Civilization in Action by Chris Floyd (The Dove)

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Wednesday, 19 September 2007

If you want to know how the world works – how the free, enlightened, civilized West works – look no further than the deal announced yesterday between Her Majesty’s Government of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There you will find the essence of our time in a nutshell (or perhaps a missile casing): bribes, bombs, babes, blackmail, terrorism, tyranny, secrecy and repression – all wrapped up with a shiny official ribbon and foisted on the public without a by-your-leave.

We reported here a few months ago how Britain’s now-discarded leader, the exceedingly saintly Christian gentleman, Tony Blair, deep-sixed a two year investigation by his own Serious Fraud Office into the swamp of corruption oozing from a massive arms deal between the Saudis, the British government and its favorite master of war, BAE Systems (a multinational arms merchant that is also one of the top war profiteers in the United States). BAE had kicked back a billion dollars into the accounts of Saudi Prince Bandar (also known as “Bandar Bush” for his intimate ties with America’s ruling family), and spread the grease around to a number of Saudi royals – including cash, cars and coquettes for hire – to keep them sweet in the long-running fighter-plane deal (£21 billion and counting) that stretches back to the Thatcher years.

For the past couple of years, BAE and its Downing Street subsidiary have been trying to extend the arms deal with a new batch of 72 Typhoon fighters. The base price of the new extension is £4.4 billion, but the true value is much higher, as the published figure doesn’t include spare parts, maintenance and training, the Guardian reports. But the SFO’s probe into Saudi-BAE sleaze didn’t sit very well with the Keepers of the Two Holy Mosques, who objected to seeing the stains on their fine rainment exposed to the generality – and even more to the possibility of having to return the baksheesh that BAE had ladled out.

As the deadline loomed for finalizing the new arms deal, Dick Cheney took a hand in the game. (Where there’s grease, there’s Cheney, slithering from throne room to boardroom on a slimy trail of oil.) Cheney, meeting with the Saudi royals in hopes of getting them to lean on their Sunni proteges in Iraq, reportedly agreed to add his considerable weight to the Saudis’ protestations to Blair over the SFO investigation. For their part, the most holy rulers of the one of the world’s most ruthless totalitarian states decided to up the ante by threatening to cut off all cooperation with the UK on terrorism issues, especially the sharing of intelligence on the Islamic extremists who rise up with such marvelous fecundity from the Saudi sands. The proposition from Riyadh was brutally simple : kill the SFO probe, or risk having your people killed by our homegrown zealots while we turn a blind eye.

At least that’s the excuse that Blair put about after he preemptorily ordered the investigation to be shut down – just at the moment when the SFO had penetrated the holy of holies: BAE’s secret Swiss bank accounts. It is more likely that he simply seized upon the threat – if it was indeed made – in order to do what he wanted to do all along: let BAE, his much-coddled contractor, bring home the Saudi boodle no matter what. But it is remarkable that the British government was perfectly willing to paint its “important strategic ally” as a common street thug in order to cover up its own craven acquiescence to miltary-corporate greed.

At any rate, the probe was duly killed, the Saudi blackmail, real or alleged, was forgotten, and the whole unpleasantness was swept under a decorous rug, out of sight and out of mind until yesterday, when the done deal was announced. In keeping with the bitterly black humor that has attended the 20-year boondoggle all along – it was originally dubbed “al Yammanah,” Arabic for “the Dove” – the new contract for 72 advanced killing machines is being called “Salam.” Yes, that’s right: the Arabic word for “Peace.”


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Britain: Recruiting Kids to Kill by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, August 3, 2007

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown announced a ‘war on poverty’ at the United Nations on 31st July, aiming to: ‘..eradicate the great evils of our time – illiteracy, disease, poverty, environmental degradation and underdevelopment’. This from the man who failed to mention exactly that, which he had been responsible for, in Iraq and Afghanistan’s invasions – for which, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had written the cheques for the UK’s involvement, in the total decimation of all which can be called normality. Those elephants in the Bush-Brown meeting at Camp David and at Brown’s UN., foray, were seemingly un-noticed; the horrors air-brushed out.

Brown of course stayed silent, both in opposition and since becoming Chancellor in 1997, at one of ‘the great evils of our time’, the silent holocaust which was the thirteen year embargo on Iraq – and there has not been a squeak from him over what one could be forgiven for thinking has become a genocide since the 2003 illegal invasion. What else can describe a possible million dead and four million displaced and one third of the country in absolute poverty? There has not been a glimmer of compassion from a man who suffered the agony of watching a baby of his own lose her fight for life, not a spark of empathy of the searing grief of others, from a man whose small son suffers a serious health condition – for whom he can demand the best treatment, whilst in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, parents watch in helpless heartbreak and trauma, because little or none is available.

The man who wants to ‘..eradicate the great evils of our time ..’ is especially focused on Africa (in a patronizing hark back to the ‘penny for a black baby’, sort of way) so presumably is against that rife in parts of that continent, one of the world’s great shames, child soldiers. Listen out then.His predecessor Tony (‘I’m a pretty straight sort of guy’) Blair and now Brown preside over the only country in the European Union, where it is legal for the armed forces to recruit under eighteens. Further, recruiters arrive at schools unannounced to the pupils, on recruiting drives at periods such as assembly, where attendance is compulsory and sanctions can be taken against them for leaving in protest, since they can be accused of truancy, ‘bunking off’. In the UK children of sixteen can be recruited, an age too young to legally drive a car, drink a pint, or have a credit card. School Students Against the War (ssaw.org.uk) are a vibrant, informed organization, growing across the U.K.. and have launched a campaign in response: ‘Troops Out of Our Schools – Troops Out of Iraq’. SSAW’s Sam Fairburn says they ‘ demand students right to attend school without fear of being recruited into a discredited government’s killing machine.’

This fear is well founded since, state SSAW : ‘Recruiters typically target economically deprived areas’, with little hope of meaningful – if any -employment. Moreover, via the school Cadet Forces, children as young (and impressionable) as twelve are subject to the forces recruitment officers sales pitch. In Gordon Brown’s native Scotland, the Scottish Teaching Union has passed a Motion demanding the end of recruitment in schools.

In a shameful, shocking allied development, SSAW have discovered that the Ministry of Defense has employed an agency called ‘Kids Connections’, to write forty lesson plans for use in UK schools this September, entitled: ‘The Defense Dynamics Project’. A plan which is: ‘ A blatant propaganda exercise justifying the invasions and occupation of Iraq.’

SSAW point out that: ‘Included in their ‘Fact Sheet’ about Iraq is the following: “Over 150 healthcare facilities completed and many more are in progress. 20 hospitals rehabilitated. 750 nurses trained in maternal and child health services. Immunization programmed re-started in 2003.” ‘The real facts are to be found in the report released this week by the NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq (made up of 80 international NGO’s, 200 Iraqi NGO’s and supported by OXFAM) which states: “4 million Iraqis are ‘food-insecure’ and in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

More than 2 million people are displaced inside Iraq and over 2 million have fled abroad, the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. Child malnutrition has risen from 19% before the US-led invasion in 2003 to 28% now. OF 180 HOSPITALS COUNTRYWIDE – 90% LACK KEY RESOURCES INCLUDING BASIC MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SUPPLIES.’ Media queries addressed to Kids Connections were referred to the Ministry of Defense. THE M.O.D., asked into what part of the curriculum the Defense

Dynamics Project would be slotted (citizenship? colonialism? popular mechanics? target practice?) the response was that it was: ‘ mapped to support various subjects across the curriculum, including English, maths and science.’ SSAW are organizing a picket outside Kids Connections at 2pm August 2nd., and handing in a letter, signed by veteran former M.P., author and broadcaster Tony Benn and Stop the War Convener, Lindsey German, demanding that Kids Connections terminate their links with the Ministry of Defense and that the Defense Dynamics Project not be introduced in to schools. For those who are inclined to picket or express their views in writing, Kids Connections are at : 114-118 Parkway, Camden Town, London, NWI. SSAW also has a petition to end recruiting in schools to be presented to Downing Street in October.To add your name visit their website and click on ‘Resources’. The shame of Britiain’s child soldiers must be ended.
Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot

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A Warning to Tony Blair By Uri Avnery

Dandelion Salad

By Uri Avnery
Tel Aviv.

07/30/07 “ICH

Last week, James Wolfensohn gave a long interview to Haaretz. He poured out his heart and summed up, with amazing openness, his months as special envoy of the US, Russia, the EU and the UN (the “Quartet”) in this country – the same job entrusted now to Tony Blair. The interview could have been entitled “A Warning to Tony”. Among other revelations, he disclosed that he was practically fired by the clique of Neo-cons, whose ideological leader is Paul Wolfowitz.

What Wolfensohn and Wolfowitz have in common is that both are Jews and have the same name: Son of Wolf, one in the German version and the other in the Russian one. Also, both are past chiefs of the World Bank.

But that’s where the similarity ends. These two sons of the wolf are opposites in almost all respects. Wolfensohn is an attractive person, who radiates personal charm. Wolfowitz arouses almost automatic opposition. This was made clear when they served, successively, at the World Bank: Wolfensohn was very popular, Wolfowitz was hated. The term of the first was renewed, a rare accolade, the second was dumped at the earliest opportunity, ostensibly because of a corruption affair: he had arranged an astronomical salary for his girl friend.

Wolfensohn could be played by Peter Ustinov. He is a modern Renaissance man: successful businessman, generous philanthropist, former Olympic sportsman (fencing) and Air Force officer (Australia). In middle age he took up the cello (under the influence of Jacqueline du Pre). The role of Wolfowitz demands no more finesse than that of the average gunman in a western.

But beyond personal traits, there is a profound ideological chasm between them. To me, they personify the two opposite extremes of contemporary Jewish reality.

Wolfensohn belongs to the humanist, universal, optimistic, world-embracing trend in Judaism, a man of peace and compromise, an heir to the wisdom of generations. Wolfowitz, at the other end, belongs to the fanatical Judaism that has grown up in the State of Israel and the communities connected with it, a man of overbearing arrogance, hatred and intoxication of power. He is a radical nationalist, even if it is not quite clear whether it is American or Israeli nationalism, or if he even distinguishes between the two.

Wolfowitz is a standard-bearer of the neo-cons, most of them Jews, who pushed the US into the Iraqi morass, promote wars all over the Middle East, advise the Israeli Prime Minister not to give up anything and are ready to fight to the last Israeli soldier.

To avoid misunderstanding: I don’t know either of the two personally. I have never seen Wolfowitz in person, and heard Wolfensohn only once, at a Jerusalem meeting of the Israeli Council for Foreign Relations. I admit that I liked him on sight.

Wolfensohn arrived in this country some months before the “separation plan” of Ariel Sharon. He says now that the separation would have succeeded “if the withdrawal had been accompanied by the second part of the separation, which, according to my understanding, would have created an independent entity that would become a Palestinian state.” He believes (mistakenly, I think) that this was the intent of Sharon, whom, unlike his successor as Prime Minister, he respects.

Wolfensohn envisioned a blooming Gaza Strip, flourishing economically, open in all directions, a model to the West Bank and a basis for the new state. To this purpose he raised eight billion dollars. Unlike other idealists, he invested several millions of his own money in the greenhouses left behind by the settlers, hoping to turn them into the basis of the Palestinian economy.

He stood at Condoleezza Rice’s side during the signing ceremony for the document that was to prepare the way to a brilliant future: the agreement for the opening of the border crossings. The crossings between the Strip and Israel were to be again wide open, Israel undertook to fulfill at long last the obligation it took upon itself in the Oslo agreement (and has violated ever since): to open the vital passage between Gaza and the West Bank. On the border between the Strip and Egypt, a European unit was already taking control.

And then the whole edifice collapsed. The passage between the Strip and the West Bank remained hermetically sealed. The other border crossings were closed more and more frequently. The products of the greenhouses (together with Wolfensohn’s investment) went down the drain. The frail economy of the Strip disintegrated altogether, most of the 1.4 million inhabitants descended into misery, with 50 per cent and more unemployment. The inevitable result was the ascent of Hamas.

Wolfensohn’s complaint stresses the immense importance of the border crossings. Their closure – ostensibly for security reasons – spelled death to the Gaza economy, and, by extension, to the hope for peaceful relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Before the Hamas victory, Wolfensohn saw with his own eyes the awful corruption that governed the crossings. Relations between Israelis and Palestinians there were openly based on bribery. The Palestinian products could not cross without payment being made to the people in control on both sides.

Wolfensohn lays at least some of the responsibility for the ascent of Hamas on the Palestinian Authority – meaning Fatah – which was infected by the cancer of corruption. The victory of Hamas in the democratic elections both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip did not surprise him at all.

What caused this idealistic person to resign?

He puts the main blame on one person, who belongs to the clique of Wolfowiz: Elliott Abrams. Like Wolfowitz, Abrams is a Jew, a neo-con, a radical Zionist beloved by the Israeli Right. He was appointed by President Bush as deputy advisor for national security, responsible for the Middle East. With this appointment, Wolfensohn says, “all the elements of the agreement achieved by Condoleezza Rice were destroyed”. The passages were closed, Hamas took over.

Wolfensohn accuses Abrams openly of undermining him, in order to get him out. True, the Quartet is not under the authority of Abrams, but a person in this position cannot function without solid American support. Abrams pushed him out in cooperation with Ehud Olmert and Dov Weisglass, Sharon’s confidant, whose plans were menaced by Wolfensohn’s activity. It was Weisglass, it will be remembered, who promised to “put the Palestinian issue in formaldehyde.”

In the eyes of Wolfensohn, both sides are to blame for the current situation, but he clearly blames Israel more, since it is the stronger and more active party. No doubt, Israel is very important for him. He had a lot of sympathy for it (In World War I, his father was a soldier in the Jewish battalions which were set up by the British army and sent to Palestine.) He gave the interview to the Israeli paper in order to voice a severe warning: time is not working for us.

The demographic clock is ticking. Today, Israel is surrounded by some 350 million Arabs. In another 15 years, it will be surrounded by 700 million. “I don’t see any argument that supports the idea the Israel’s situation will get better.”

As an expert on the global economy, with a world-wide perspective, Wolfensohn could also point out that the importance of the US in the world economy is gradually declining, with new giants like China and India rising.

We, the Israelis, like to think that we are the center of the world. Wolfensohn, a person with a world-wide outreach, sticks a pin into this egocentric balloon. Already now, he says, only the West considers the Israeli-Palestinian issue so important. Most of the world is indifferent. “I have visited more than 140 countries: you are not such a big deal there.”

Even this limited interest will also evaporate. Wolfensohn rubs salt into the wound: “A moment will come when the Israelis and the Palestinians will be compelled to understand that they are a secondary performance … The Israelis and the Palestinians must get rid of the idea that they are a Broadway performance. They are only a play in the Village. Off-off-off-off-off Broadway.” Knowing that this is the worst one can tell an Israeli, he adds: “I hope that I am not getting into trouble by saying this, but, what the hell, that’s what I believe, and I am already 73 years old.”

I do believe him – and I, what the hell, am already 83.
The metaphor from the world of theater looks to me even more apt that Wolfensohn himself imagines.

What is happening now to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mostly theater, and not the best in town.

The actors drink from empty glasses, recite texts that nobody believes, put on false smiles and embrace heartily while loathing each other.

The best scene so far was the Gaza “separation”. Contrary to Wolfensohn’s belief, it was merely a performance, melodrama at its best, directed by Sharon and the chiefs of the settlers, the army and the police. Many tears, many embraces, many sham battles. This week the performance was again in the media, with a huge propaganda machine trying to show how immense was the pain, how the poor evacuees have remained without villas, how many more billions will still be needed. The intended conclusion: it is impossible to dismantle the settlements in the West Bank.

The new actor on the stage, Tony Blair, is exuding charm and joviality, embracing and kissing. We, the audience, know that his lot will be exactly like that of his predecessor. Like him, he is the “special envoy of the Quartet”. His terms of reference are exactly the same as those of Wolfensohn before him: much of nothing. He is supposed to help the Palestinians to build “democratic institutions”, after the US and Israel have systematically destroyed the democratic institutions that were set up after the last Palestinian elections.

He has embraced Olmert, kissed Tzipi Livni, smiled at Ehud Barak, and we know that all three of them will do their utmost to disrupt his mission before he reaches a position that would enable him to realize his real dream: to conduct peace negotiations, as he successfully did in Northern Ireland.

All that is happening now is theater. Olmert pretends that he really wants to “save Abu Mazen”, while doing the opposite. At Bush’s request, he allowed the transfer of a thousand rifles, with a lot of fanfare, from Jordan to Abbas, so he can fight Hamas – understanding full well that to an ordinary Palestinian this will look like collaboration with the occupier against the resistance. He enlarges the settlements, keeps the “illegal outposts” and closes his eyes while the army is helping the settlers to put up more outposts. That is a foolproof recipe for a Hamas takeover in the West Bank, too.

Everybody knows that there is only one way to strengthen Abu Mazen: immediately to start rapid and practical negotiations for the establishment of the State of Palestine in all the occupied territories, with its capital in East Jerusalem. Not more discussions about abstract ideas, as proposed by Olmert, not another plan (No. 1001), not a “peace process” that will lead to “new political horizons”, and certainly not another hollow fantasy of that grand master of sanctimonious hypocrisy, President Shimon Peres.

The next scene of the play, for which all the actors are now learning their lines, is the “international meeting” this autumn, according to the screenplay by President Bush. Condoleezza will chair, and it is doubtful whether Tony, the new actor, will be allowed to take part. The playwrights are still deliberating.

If all the world is a stage, as Shakespeare wrote, and all the men and women merely players who have their exits and their entrances, that is true even more for Israel and Palestine. Sharon exited and Olmert entered, Wolfensohn exited and Blair entered, and everything is, as Sakespeare wrote in another play, “words, words, words.”

Wolfensohn can view the next parts of the play with philosophical detachment. We, who are involved, cannot afford that, because our comedy is really a tragedy.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom.

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Slim Chance of Mideast Peace By Liam Bailey

If Blair applies the same principles as he did to Northern Ireland… All parties must negotiate a lasting peace.

Dandelion Salad

By Liam Bailey
featured writer
July 28, 2007

Some say that making the second most hated man in the Muslim world, Tony Blair, the envoy to the region with the highest Muslim population in the world, is like making an ex klu-klux clan leader a liaison to the black community. If Blair sticks to his pro-American roots he will be as much use as Middle East envoy as an indoor wind-farm. Current American policy is, as usual, exactly the same as Israel’s policies for dealing with the Palestinians and Arab states, favouring Abbas’ Fatah and trying to isolate and squash the more-popular-because-they-are-more-militant-Hamas.

Blair brokered the Northern Ireland peace process by realizing that peace would only last if all parties were involved in negotiations.

So if Blair realizes that his pro-Americanism was responsible for his fall from grace, which I think he must, his personality and character dictating that he seek to do well in his new job, should mean he will start going against America and applying the same principles to the Middle East as he did to Northern Ireland.

I hope he does so soon. This week, U.S. foreign secretary Condoleeza Rice has said “there will be a Palestinian state” and there is talk of U.S. President Bush pushing both sides to find an agreement before he leaves office early 2009. Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert said he thought it was necessary to pull out of the West Bank and made Abbas an offer to discuss the principles of a Palestinian state, such as its institutions and government – leaving final status issues such as borders and refugees to the end of negotiations.

This just days after Israel released 250 Fatah prisoners from its jails, was undoubtedly another attempt to bolster support for Abbas’ new emergency cabinet currently controlling the West Bank, but also a possible sign that Israel is realizing the occupation can’t go on forever.

There is much hype about the planned peace conference later this year, scheduled to see all the major players, Abbas, Olmert and leaders of the neighbouring Arab states, everyone except Hamas. Some would ask why Hamas would be needed; if an agreement were reached surely the Palestinians would force Hamas to go along with it?

Fatah have lost all credibility in the eyes of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian people don’t trust Abbas, any agreement would be met with scepticism. Palestinians would think he had betrayed them behind the scenes, in order to reach a favourable deal and line his pockets.

Also, for any deal Israel will need to give up control of the land taken in the 1967 war, Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, creating a Palestinian state therein. Although a land-swap agreement where Israel gives back some of its land in order to keep Palestinian land where it is thought to be necessary for security or to encompass settlement blocs. Israel agreeing to this will hinge on the Palestinians guaranteeing Israel security. Without Hamas on board they would likely wage a terror campaign throughout the negotiations, as we saw during the Oslo process. This would prevent the Palestinians making any such guarantee.

What’s more, Israel knows that the Palestinians can’t guarantee their security unless all the parties are behind any cease-fire or peace-process. So, their current attempts to prevent Hamas from taking part in any thing democratic or peaceful back-up those that say Israel is trying to prevent peace.

On the bright side, if Blair manages to wangle Hamas and Islamic Jihad a seat at the peace conference table, a Palestinian guarantee of Israeli security can be believed. Obviously Israel won’t trust them but hopefully the international community and Blair will make them give the benefit of the doubt. What’s more if a deal is reached, it will have the trust and support of all Palestinians — who know Hamas won’t sacrifice their rights — making cessation of attacks even more likely.

With Northern Ireland, once thought to be the most intractable conflict, now enjoying peace and prosperity, hopefully Blair can shake off his American-poodles tail and end the world’s truly most-intractable conflict.

Liam Bailey is a U.K. freelance journalist. He writes regularly for the Palestine Chronicle, Arabic Media Internet Network and is an advanced blogger on the Washington Post’s Post Global. He runs the War Pages blog and you can contact him at: wordsworth22@tesco.net

Liam is on Myspace, too.



Total Power Drives you Totally Mad by William Bowles

Dandelion Salad

by William Bowles
Wednesday, 18 July 2007

One tends to think of those who rule as being ruthlessly logical in their application of power; after all, maintenance of the status quo should surely be one of their major objectives?

But their loss of legitimacy, obvious to all except the most myopic and self-delusional points to something quite fundamental taking place, for the loss of legitimacy reveals a ruling class that has completely lost the plot.

The invasion and subsequent destruction of Iraq is a case in point, could it really be as Glen Ford points out because

‘Ultimately, the parasitic class can only maintain its rule by force. Manufacturing nothing, creating no value except on paper, they must finally call upon the Armed Forces to impose their unearned advantage on the planet. Such was the logic of March, 2003. The Great Offensive failed, but the contradictions that compelled the captains of finance capital to order their political servants to wage war, remain – and are in fact more acute than four years ago. They must wage war, again, to fight their way out of the box.’ – ‘Iran and Beyond: Total War is Still on the Horizon’, by Glen Ford

There are two ways of looking at it: on the one hand, they are so stupid and arrogant in their application of power that it blinds them to the reality of the consequences of their actions or, like lemmings, they are driven by forces of which they have no comprehension or control.

Either way it’s a frightening thought that those who wield such awesome power are intellectual pygmies, small-minded and incapable of empathy except for those of their own class (and even here, the idea of solidarity is completely inimical to them, thus they would and do, stab their ‘friends’ in the back should the need arise; examples are legion).


Partition Fears Begin to Rise By Ali al-Fadhily

Corporate Crime is more Harmful than Street Violence

Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime by Russell Mokhiber

A Farewell to Arms Control By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
Jul 5, 2007

The organization that was at the center of the maelstrom of the Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction fiasco, responsible for bringing the world to the brink of war on no fewer than a half-dozen occasions during the 1990s, and then unable to prevent a war in March 2003, has departed the global scene. It left not with a dramatic flair befitting its former status, but rather with barely a whimper, reduced to nothing more than a historical footnote in the grand tragedy that has become Iraq. Continue reading

Reinventing A War Criminal by Stephen Lendman (Blair)

Reinventing A War Criminal

by Stephen Lendman

Britain’s most despised and discredited man ended his 10 year reign June 27 when he stepped down from office transferring his ruling Labor Party’s leadership to successor Gordon Brown. He had no choice because of seething public displeasure over his allying with George Bush’s illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Most Brits oppose them, yet the vast majority of Labor and Conservative MPs, including new prime minister Gordon Brown, supported them early on, now may have second thoughts, but are constrained by close relations with Washington making them reluctant to back down from what they once disingenuously trumpeted as a noble cause.

That’s an open question, however, the London Guardian’s Jonathan Steele posed and answered June 29 if Mr. Brown was listening. Steele’s message to “The new man in No 10” is “seize the day….break with Bush now….signal a fresh start by taking Britain out of Iraq.” Don’t bet on it. Steele says Brown is a committed “Atlanticist.” He’s likely weighing the proper way to begin engaging his US ally. Steele tells him how, pointing to other loyal NATO members as examples. France and Germany sent no forces to Iraq, and Italy, Spain and the Netherlands withdrew theirs. It caused no rupture in relations with Washington for any of them after some name calling at first. Why not Britain now? Steele stresses how refreshing a policy change at “No 10” would be “after the subservient Blair years.”

Tony Blair began his tenure May 2, 1997 with a formidable approval rating as high at times as 90% but ended it in the mid-20% range or lower. The same is likely for George Bush already at 26% in the latest Newsweek poll suggesting it’s even lower than that. Immediately post-9/11, he was compared to Lincoln, FDR and Churchill combined. It was laughable then and seems ludicrous now for a hated man barely hanging on and trying to avoid what growing numbers in the country demand – his removal from office by impeachment along with Vice-President Cheney.

The feeling of many in Britain is that by allying with George Bush, Mr. Blair left a legacy of “dashed hopes and big disappointments, of so much promised and so little delivered.” That’s in spite of helping advance the Northern Ireland peace process, begun before he took office, and that leaders in Ireland had lots more to do with than him.

Just hours after standing down, the announcement everyone knew in advance came, surprising no one but angering most. Referring to the so-called Quartet, the BBC reported June 27: “Tony Blair is to become a Middle East envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.” The London Guardian called him “the Quartet’s fifth horseman,” an appointment that “beggars belief.” In his new capacity, he’ll replace former World Bank president James Wolfensohn who resigned last year for lack of progress he never had a chance to achieve in the first place.



Tony Blair: Orwellian Nightmare. War Criminal becomes Envoy of Peace by Mohammad Kamaali

The Peace Envoy By Gilad Atzmon

Slaying Our Dreams: Created Our Nightmares By Jim Kirwan

Slaying Our Dreams: Created Our Nightmares

By Jim Kirwan


07/02/07 “ICH


From 911 forward, the world has been consumed with discovering what really happened on that day, to the three buildings in the World Trade Center; to the plane that supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania and as to how that missile managed to hit the Pentagon. This is the latest video of what has been learned thus far. (1)

The single largest tragedy here is the one thing not in dispute: That is the “unending war” that Bush promised the world, supposedly in retaliation for 911. This will indeed be “never-ending” unless people in the United States demand the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Many of he same people that were in-charge of US policies when 911 happened, are still in-charge today, and they have yet to answer for their parts in the crimes committed on that day.

The head of the FBI then is still in place today, Rumsfeld still has an office in the Pentagon, and others like Richard Pearl, John Ashcroft, Richard Armitage, along with Paul Wolfowitz, and General Powell have not disappeared. There was also John Bolton our stealth ambassador to the UN. Cheney, Rice, Rove and Bush are all still active and have been joined by Chertoff at DHS and now Gates at Offense. None of these people have been seriously questioned about their parts in what happened on 911.

The only member of government that did speak openly was Richard Clark who tried to warn Rice. But as CIA has largely taken the fall for the intelligence failures on 911 – the agency has changed hands several times. However, Richard Clark, the counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton Administration is still claiming responsibility for having created Al Qaeda, not as our enemy, but as an operating arm of the CIA, prior to 911. (2)

Exactly how Al Qaeda went from being an operating arm of the CIA to becoming “responsible for 911′ needs further on-the-record elaboration. Just as Rummy needs to finally explain what happened to the $2.3 trillion that he admits his agency “lost” in Iraq. ($2.3 trillion would buy a lot of help for our bankrupt federal government). Where are the subpoenas? Where is the outrage? More importantly where is our sense of ourselves as a coherent people, within a nation that we say we claim as ‘our country’?

The United States has adopted international threats and global-instability as our weapons of choice, backed up by overwhelming violence and military force, in dealing with the rest of the planet.

This has never worked for any length of time-throughout the long march of world history-and there is no reason to expect that it will ever work for us in this instance, either. Bush is fond of portraying himself as a loner, a cowboy who stands against the world, and defies anyone and everyone that opposes his insanities. Yet the fact is that he is nothing but a deluded puppet in a theater-of-the-absurd that has never drawn a crowd: except perhaps for others of his kind-a crowd that has equally oppressed their own people, for monetary gain and for petty-political-powers that by definition shall have to end, in infamy!

Bush believes he is bold and daring, and believes that he has much in common with Winston Churchill, the man who replaced British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, with his policy of appeasement in dealing with the Nazi’s. However the facts of history make clear that it is Chamberlain, not Churchill that most closely represents Bush-the-lesser in the world today. (3)

In the Middle-East Bush has been a partner in the continuing Israeli massacre of the Palestinian people. For fifty years this country has worn many hats in regard to Palestine and Israel. But with the coming of the Bush-men in 2000, all of that began to change. Over the previous five decades we have given Israel trillions of dollars, and we’ve occasionally tried to play the part of an “honest broker” for peace in the Middle-East. But under the Decider, we have aided and abetted so many crimes against the Palestinians-while we have repeatedly failed to point out to the world that Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian people.

We stood by while Israel orchestrated the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, only to serve again as Israel’s bully-boy protector while Israel’s pitiful military tried unsuccessfully to invade Lebanon. The world held its breath for thirty days, back then, while that obscene farce was played out. And then we actually wondered why there was no movement toward “peace-in-Palestine.” (4)

Then again we backed Israel when they recently scoffed at the open and freely democratic election that brought Hamas to power in Palestine. We not only endorsed Israel’s view, but we blocked humanitarian aide from getting to the Palestinians from anyone else as well. We’re still supporting the extremist Israeli government’s decision to make war on Gaza and Hamas, while blackmailing the Palestinians in the West Bank with promises of food and water, if they do not come to the aid of Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

This behavior of the US, in favor of the blatantly criminal state of Israel, whose president kept sex slaves, and was evicted from office for that and other crimes: speaks volumes to all parties in the region, and the world. How then can wee expect anyone in the Middle-East to take the United States seriously about anything else we might have to say – such as what we are now demanding in Iran, or suggesting for Lebanon, or Syria or anywhere else where we are manufacturing more lies as an excuse to do our worst, and steal more of what is still not ours. The whole world knows that the USA today is nothing more than a blunt instrument in mercenary service to the global criminal-elites. The new Quartet under the direction of Tony Blair shall make this ever more clear, as that failed leader takes charge of yet another group of Bandits; this time Hell-bent on creating a Middle-East without Arabs or Palestinians.

At home, things are no better. All the wrong priorities have arisen to block anything and everything that this country needs to survive. Health care has become a con-game being run by those who directly profit from their failure to provide the services that they take money to provide. The nation reels from the failures of this government to help its people whether the topic is Katrina, or Education: Retirement or Social Security: Justice or ordinary daily survival: the United States Government has become the open and belligerent enemy of the people of this nation.

Our economy is in ruins, because the same philosophy that drove the nation prior to the Crash of 1929 is back in business again (thank Bill Clinton for that one), and they’ve just met: to consider how ready the conditions are for a repeat version of 1929. This collapse is not a question of if but when the bounty can begin to flow to those who shall have escaped the markets before they fall, again!

We kid ourselves that we have a diverse business economy when in fact what we have are the scraps left over from all the mergers and acquisitions that have left this nation almost totally under the spell of corporate oligarchies that thrive on conglomerate acquisitions and mergers and leave most of small business completely unprotected from their iron-fisted controls over profits, no matter how far removed those small businesses might appear to be from the global-corporatocracy that actually owns all their once private business opportunities: not to mention access to real ‘capital.’

Oil Company’s brag about the virtues of teaching every child about the wonders of Math & Science: when what is really needed are the humanities in mega-doses, if there is to be a world left for anyone to live in. They brag about burning corn instead of oil, when what should be happening is that hemp ought to be reintroduced so that the corn can be eaten, and the hemp can replace the sugar, the corn and everything else used to make artificial fuels. Hemp was once used in virtually everything-Henry Ford used it to make parts for the bodies his early automobiles. And, if we had a ready supply, plastics could be eliminated.

The same is true of much of what we now use to create medicines – nature’s gift to mankind was this plant that we have banned from commercial use: “hemp.” It was banned so that oil and chemical companies might be able to prosper undisturbed, look it up: it is fascinating reading!

The world that Bush and his handlers have created for us all is as false as their insurance company’s promises that amount to the kind of extortion that has resulted in death, in far too many cases. The cynical and privileged elite have always tried to corner all the profits and relegated the poor to virtual slavery to achieve their ends. The time has come to reign in the artificial life-expectancy that most corporations now enjoy. The joys of multinational Corporate power should have limits placed upon them: just as the people who work for Corporations need to have their own separate and inviolate “Bill of Rights” for anyone that has to deal with corporate-anything. We have the power to demand that the government we pay for must work for all of us and not for those who seek to steal our lives and dreams.

By that token we ought to be able to have Universal Health Care. After all, as Michael Moore just so clearly pointed out in his film “Sicko” ‘if we can pay out trillions for illegal and unnecessary wars then we can definitely afford to provide healthcare for every American’ – for free! And if we can subsidize big-business to the obscene levels that we have raised corporate welfare to: then we can definitely begin to make some real demands of “our” federal government-so that it is no longer a feral threat to every man, woman and child in this country. We had rights once upon a time, but we had them only as long as we were willing and able to fight for those rights.

What we do now to change this equation for the future is really up to each and every one of us. Those who choose to act will be part of the solution: the rest will remain as part of the problem that will need to be removed. The choices will not be easy, but then freedom never was or is. If any of us are to ever have dreams worth dreaming once again-then something very different must begin to shape our thoughts!

Click here to read other articles by Jim Kirwin http://www.kirwanesque.com/politics/articles/articles.htm#row2007C


1) Zeitgeist -The Movie

2) 911 Hearings – Richard Clark on Democracy NOW

3) Why Winston Wouldn’t Stand for W

4) Who Will Stop the Countdown
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ZEITGEIST, The Movie – Part 2 : “All The World’s A Stage” (vid; 9-11)

ZEITGEIST-The Movie-Part 3: Don’t mind the men behind the curtain (vid; Fed Reserve; NAU; RFID)