USA: We have to presume that the photos of Afghan, Iraqi prisoners being tortured still being withheld are worse than those we have already seen

Pentagon to release about 200 photos of tortured Afghan, Iraqi prisoners

NOVANEWS

RT 

Pentagon will publish 198 photos of tortured detainees in the US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan on Friday, a top American civil rights group said. The release comes after a decade-long lawsuit ended in the group’s favor in March.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, announced on Wednesday that the US Department of Defense (DoD) would provide public access to previously disclosed images of prisoners being tortured in US detention centers after more than 10 years of staunch resistance to do so.

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the government to reveal records, including photos of the alleged abuse of prisoners by US officers in the American detention facilities overseas back in 2004.

Despite President Obama’s initial promise to release the requested materials back in 2009, he then urged Congress to pass a special exemption clause to block the release of photos citing security reasons, adding that the publication of the photos “would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by small number of individuals” and would “further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in great danger.”

After a long-running court battle, the US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that the government should “disclose each and all the photographs” referring to the ACLU’s lawsuit in last March.

However, only about 200 images out of some 2,100 pictures will be released on Friday. The major part of the evidence comprising approximately 1,900 photos will remain concealed after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had invoked his authority under 2009 exemption provision last November.

“I have determined that public disclosure of any of the photographs would endanger citizens of the United States, members of the United States Armed Forces, or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States,” he wrote in the certification renewal in support of his decision to appeal the ruling on November 7.

Yet the Pentagon has made some minor concessions in the case with Carter refusing to extend his certification to 198 photographs which are now being processed for release. However, Carter didn’t explain the difference between this series of photos and those remain withheld from the public domain, according to Politico.

The still-classified images consist of collection of photographs taken by the DoD in the period from September 11, 2001 to January 22, 2009 and relate to the treatment of “engaged, captured or detained individuals”, according to the court documents.

The ACLU said it would insist on releasing the whole package of documents. The last major scandal in connection with the release of photos and footages depicting scenes of prisoners’ abuse and humiliation by the American soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq broke out in 2004. The exposure of horrendous human right violations in the detention center prompted authorities to launch an investigation into the matter as a result of which 11 soldiers accused of sexual abuse in martial trials were incarcerated.

The notorious prison was used for detention purposes by US-led coalition in Iraq until 2006 when the US government handed control over prison to the local authorities. The prison ceased functioning in 2014.

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US/UK use of depleted uranium in Iraq will be killing people for decades/centuries to come

Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq: An Overview

The amount of devastation caused by the Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry used against Iraq during the consecutive US led wars is historically unprecedented in modern warfare. The devastating magnitude of the complications and damage caused as a result of the use of such radioactive and toxic weapons on the environment and the human population was intensified as a result of the intentional concealment, denial and misleading information released by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics, and Iraqi area’s within which these weapons were used.

Information revealed about a severe illness known as the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ which spread amongst US Army veterans who were exposed to DU while using theseweaponry, helped Iraqi researchers and Medical Doctors to understand the nature of the effect of these weapons, and the means required to investigate further into this issue.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armor.

The synergistic impact on health due to the 1991post-Gulf War1 economic sanctions, and DU related radioactive and toxic contamination, raised the number of casualties in contaminated areas such as in Southern Iraq.

During 2003, the invading forces used additional rounds of DU in heavily populated areas such as Baghdad, Samawa, Fallujah, Diyala, Najaf, Salahuddin, Basra and Nasiriya (again), and other cities.

The continual use of DU after-Gulf War I in 1991, then during and after the US led military operations in 2003 invasion of Iraq increased the total contamination area with DU in Iraq. Consequently, civilians in previously contaminated areas received an extra dose of radioactivity after 2003. An action that can only be interpreted as committing unseen genocide against the unarmed civilian population in these areas.

Accordingly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have received higher doses of radioactivity than those received from standard natural sources of radiation. As a result, a multifold increase of diseases related to Low Level Radiation (LLR) exposure have been registered amongst Iraqis since 1995, including an increase of children’s leukemia, congenital malformations, breast cancer etc…

The leukemia incidence rates for instance, shifted towards younger children during these recent years, and its association with geographically distributed contaminated areas, offers strong evidence of the correlation between LLR exposure, and the resulting health damages.

Through this paper, an overview of major scientific DU conclusions will be presented, drawn from investigations and research conducted since the year 1991 by Iraqi researchers and MDs. This research was never published outside Iraq because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq from (1991-2003). They were published only in Iraqi University peer reviewed journals and two related conferences.  Schemes of the research papers can be classified into three categories:

  1. DU contamination detection and exploration programs.
  2. DU effects on human body cells.
  3. DU related epidemiological studies.

1.0 Introduction:

Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against Iraq since the Gulf War 1 in 1991. An estimated (DU) expenditure of 320 – 800 tons were shot mainly on the withdrawing Iraqi troops from Kuwait to the north of Basra City [ 1].

The use of (DU) ammunition on Iraqi territory never stopped since 1991. Different generations of (DU) supported Tomahawk missiles & Bunker Buster Bombs [1] have been used during the 90’s on what were known as the No-Fly Zones (Northern & Southern regions of Iraq), and during the attack on Iraq in 1998. Bombing Iraq with DU continued during the military operations of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, then afterwards in other cities which resisted the occupation of Iraq [2].

With the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1991, the United States & its allies used radioactive & toxic weapons to exhaust Iraq’s institutions & population to prepare for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Using extra hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure   during the invasion of Iraq made the radioactive contamination situation more complicated.

For many years the US-UK led armed forces avoided any release of information about the amounts, types, and locations of the targets destroyed by these weapons within Iraqi territories [2]. As a result, thousands of Iraqi children and their families in West Basra were repeatedly exposed for extended durations to DU low-level radiation (LLR) and toxic effects. Many researchers have found a direct correlation between this exposure, and the significant increase of certain diseases such as congenital malformations, malignancies, congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberration, and multiple malformations in Basra [3].

Right after Gulf War 1, European and American Anti-DU activists and NGO’s issued many publications identifying the harmful effects of DU on-Gulf War veteran health and Iraqi population. These publications helped Iraqi researchers start a series of exploration research programs to define DU contaminated areas in Iraq, and to estimate the radiation doses the civilian population in Southern Iraq and the Iraqi troops located there were exposed to during military operations in 1991. The programs also set out to assess the risk level related to contamination levels in the surrounding environment.

These exploration research programs were performed under severely constrained conditions allowing very limited technical resources because of the US imposed economic sanctions on Iraq during the 90’s posing a serious scientific challenge at the time.

Conducting these researches under the tight conditions and very limited technical and other resources under the economic sanctions was a serious scientific challenge at the time since the American and British occupation forces:

  • Forbidding any release of information related to types, amounts, and locations of targets destroyed by DU projectiles, and any statistics related to Iraqi army and civilian casualties after the occupation of 2003 [4].
  • Refusal to clean up contaminated areas (as was performed by the same named troops) in Kuwait [5].
  • International agencies were prohibited the right to conduct full (DU) related exploration programs and risk assessments by US led occupying forces [6] the way they did in Kosovo [7]. Such an act indicates that these forces are relying on time to dissipate these contaminants with the purpose that the evidence of this crime be lost. Such assessment with proper resources, experts, and technology would link, with conclusive evidence, the harmful health impacts with exposure to DU oxidesamong the population of the contaminated areas.

Using such weapon and related misleading information can be considered as war crimes. They represent grave breach of the Geneva Convention and international law becausethese weapons have caused and continue to cause undifferentiated harm and suffering to civilian populations in all contaminated areas long after the end of the military operations [8].

DU contamination mechanism and health impacts

Dr Rosalie Bertell, a radiology scientist wrote in 2006 [9]; when DU munitions hit the target, they ignite prophetically and generate heat that reaches a temperature of (3000-6000°C). This heat causes a sublimation of DU and other metals to form a gas or aerosol in the forming DU nanoparticles. The nanoparticles can cross the lung-blood barrier and gain entrance to the cells resulting in the creation of free radicals. This is an effect of ionizing radiation. The other effect of DU comes from the fact that it is classified as a toxic heavy metal. Heavy metal toxicity attacks the proteins in the human tissue cells which normally fights the free radicals and creates additional free radicals [9]. This causes an oxidative stress that leads to failure of protective enzymes, damaging the cellular communication system and the mitochondria. Free radicals can also disrupt the protein’s folding process of (DNA). This misrouting of proteins causes certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. The amassing and accumulation of misfolded proteins leads to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Gulf veterans have manifested many of the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Other effects are:

  • Immune and Hormonal systems’ damage
  • Distribution of thyroid function
  • Mycoplasmal Invasion to human body
  • Teratogenic Toxicity, where soluble DU oxides crosses the placenta to the fetus. As a result, damages might range from behavioral problems to mental retardation and congenital malformations.

Studies have shown that the Gulf War1 male veterans were twice as likely- and female veterans almost three times as likely- to report children with birth defects than counterparts who did not serve in the first Gulf War [9].

In her analysis, Dr. Bertell further emphasized that the carcinogenic properties of Uranium are linked the weakening the immune system of individuals, and showing that a depressed immune system often changes the status of subclinical cancer into clinically diagnosable cancer. Other related important studies related to these aspects are of Miller, A. et al [10] [11], Hindin et al [12], and Schroder [13].

The existence of radioactive DU oxides in these areasis considered ascontinuous source of exposure to both toxins and harmful radioactivity. It also represents a continuous and systematic attack on the civilian population each time DU oxide contaminated dust storm blow on the city of Basra and all surrounding areas tens of years to come.

In this paper, the genuine scientific efforts of the Iraqi scientists and researchers who tried hard to define DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq after Gulf War 1 of 1991, and to show a correlation with its perceived consequences on general population health, all while under the US-UK led economic sanctions imposed on Iraq will be reviewed.

Most of these studies couldn’t find their way to internationally peer-reviewed journals because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq, even though they have been published in Iraqi University peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to the proceedings of two DU and War Consequences scientific conferences (1998, 2002).

It is also an obligation to let the world know that some of these studies cost the authors their lives after the occupation of Iraq in 2003. One of them is Dr. Alim Abdul Hameed Yacoub (Dean of Basra Medical College) who was killed, along with his son, when his car was forced off the highway on the way to his home town of Basra after being attacked and threatened twice at his home by pro-occupation militias two weeks before his death. They cost other researchers their freedom, such as Dr. Huda Ammash who was accused of being (Lady Anthrax) and imprisoned without any real accusation for 3 years just because she conducted very important research on Iraqi Armed Forces veterans who were exposed to DU weapons.

In addition to the assassination of about 500 Iraqi scientists after the US led invasion of Iraq by US trained Death Squads and pro-occupation militias, in what appears to be measures taken to discontinue any kind of scientific research in Iraq including DU-related research [14] in occupied Iraq.

2.0 Schemes of DU related research that have been conducted and published in Iraq (1991-2003):

Studies in this paper are classified into the following schemes:

  1. Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests
  2. Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects.
  1. Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

2.1 Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests

In 1993 the first Iraqi team of researchers from the Iraqi Atomic Commission and the College of Science in University of Baghdad [15][16] investigated with very limited information and a Sampling Program the increase of DU related radioactivity in selected areas West of Basra. Destroyed Iraqi tanks and vehicles contaminated upon destruction with DU ammunition were still laying around these areas. The areas included: Northern Rumaila oil fields, Al-Shamia, Kharanje, Southern Rumaila oil field, and Jabal Sanam. Exposure measurements revealed the existence of DU contamination in the studied areas. Tables 1, 2, and 3 show the results of these measurements. As we can see from the results not allsampled tanks and Iraqi artilleries have been destroyed by DU projectiles.

Table (1) Field Measurements of 1993 at North Rumela Area [15]

Table (2): Field Measurements of 1993 at Shamia Airfield /Khudairat al-Audhaimi Area [15]

Table (3): Field Radioactivity Measurements of 1993 at DMZ and Surrounding Area [15]

In 1996 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and her team conducted a comprehensive exploration program through the Environmental Engineering Department in University of Baghdad [17] [18] [19][20][21] [22][23].  The program involved taking hundreds of exposure measurements, soil and destroyed targets smear samples, surface water and channels sediments samples, bio-samples from vegetation cover, fish, and grazing animal tissues.  Sampling included areas of heavy military engagement during the first Gulf War of 1991 such as Safwan, Jabal Sanam, al-Zubair, Northern Rumaila oil fields, and Southern Rumaila Oil Fields (Figures 1 and 2). The measurements and tests were part of the academic requirements of three Masters of Engineering degree thesis in Environmental Engineering.

A BGS-4 gamma-ray scintillation counter was used to measure onsite exposure. The counters were used for 124 field exposure measurements in and around the destroyed tanks and other military vehicles. High purity germanium detectors were used to test 124 soil and sediment samples, 58 surface and groundwater samples and 158 bio-samples in the Laboratory of Environmental Radiation in the Iraqi Atomic Organization. All field measurements were supervised and by specialists from Iraqi atomic energy organization and according to IAEA related standards. Also, all laboratory tests were conducted during continuous visits and checking of UN/US inspection teams to all the latter organization’s activities.

Selected measurements from 1996 exploration program results are shown in (Table 5). Modeling pollution transport from hundreds of destroyed artilleries to surrounding areas till 1996 shows the spreading of DU contamination in the area from 1991 – 1996 [17] [18] [19]:

  • 1,718 km² of soil contaminated with DU oxides and particles,
  • 140,000 m² of channel sediments,
  • 845,100 tons of vegetation cover

Table 5: Selected Exposure and Soil Radioactivity Measurements From the 1996 exploration program [17] [18]

T: Destroyed Tank        A: Destroyed Armored Vehicle

Risk assessment related to previous measurements showed that people in the Western part of Basra City, and the Iraqi and American troops received a total whole body radioactive dosage of (442 – 577) mSv [24], mostly during the first six months of the 1991 Gulf War military operations. Comparing this value with the background annual radioactivity vlue of (2.4 mSv) we can see that this amount is about 200 times more than normal natural radioactivity the human body receives. Findings of  the predicted health damages related to these doses were defined and published at the time[25].

In 1999 – 2000 a follow-up exploration program in the same contaminated area of West Basra was conducted by (Al-Azzawi and Al Nuiamy, 2002) [24] [25]. The program included radioactivity measurements of site exposure, soil sediments, water samples, and laboratory tests. Samples were collected from previously studied areas plus areas where most of the DU contaminated tanks and wreckage were collected and unfortunately placed on the banks of Wafaa Al Qaied waterway causing further contamination.

Results of this program indicated the existence of higher than natural background radioactivity in some of the soil samples and sediments from nearby surface water channels sediments in the areas but in general the radioactivity was less than that of 1996. Sand and dust storms with the weathering process contributed to the dispersion of these contaminants to nearby populated areas.More than (127) days of dust storms used to hit that area since the Nineties of last century [26].

Also in 1999-2000 Al-Azzawi, Maarouf and Al-Mousori conducted an exploration program to check of the possibility of radiological contamination in Ninevah Governorate and its center Mosul City, after being attacked in 1998 by new generations of Cruise missiles (AGM 154 J50W) on three targets on the Eastern bank of Tigris River in Mosul city. The program also involved checking the extension of The Chernobyl Plume on Iraqi territories after 13 years [27].

The field measurements using Portable Scintillation Counter have proved that there is clear radiological pollution in the study area. The measured average exposure rate was 11.38 µR.h-1 in Mosul city and 10.11 µR.h-1 in Nineveh governorate which are more than the background level of the study area that amounted to 7.0 µR.h-1.

The laboratory tests have also shown an increase in Ra-226 concentrations which is one daughter of the decay series of U-238. The tested maximum concentration of Ra-226 is 146 Bq.kg-1 in Mosul City and 107 Bq.kg-1 in Nineveh governorate, while the background level calculated in these regions should be 55 Bq.kg-1. This is an indication that the increase can be attributed to the pollution of the study area by Uranium weaponry and that the missiles used to destroy these targets contain Uranium radioisotopes.

The Pentagon kept denying the existence of radiological contamination and the harmful effects of DU on human population and environment. They also accused the findings of the Iraqi research teams during the Nineties as (Iraqi regime propaganda).

After 4 years under the US occupation of Iraq comes the proof from the occupation assigned Iraqi government that all our work was genuine and scientifically credible.

During the National Meeting on Radiological Pollution in Iraq, held in Mansur Melia Hotel in Baghdad, the Minister of Environment in Iraq Narmeen Othman presented the results of the environmental radiological assessment that were conducted in 2007 in some areas of Iraq including Northern and Southern Oil Fields in Southern Iraq after a significant increase of registered cancer cases (as being mentioned in that meeting) [28]. Results of that assessment shows the following:

  • In Rumaila Oil Fields 48 sites were found radiologically contaminated
  • Among the 17 stations of Northern Rumaila Oil Fields, eight sites were found contaminated with radioactive radionuclide
  • Also Phase one of that environmental radiological assessment showed 264 radiologically contaminated samples as follows:
  • In Samawa area 202 samples were collected. 71 soil samples, 10 water samples, 106 dust smear samples. And one vegetation cover sample. Contaminated samples were 36 sample.
  • In Zubair area, 62 samples. 41 of them contaminated.
  • In Basra area, 103 samples. 62 samples were radiologically contaminated.
  • In Nasrya area, 153 samples. 49 of them were contaminated.

It is noteworthy to highlight the fact that these findings come after 15 years of the original exploration programs we have conducted in these areas [ ] [ ].

Tawfiq, N. F. et al in 2000 [29] measured alpha-emitters concentrations in soil samples from different Iraqi cities using Solid State Nuclear Track detectors CR-39 and CN-85. Her team found high concentration radioisotopes measurements of (7.8) ppm in Muthana governorate (Samawa City).

The Dutch troops later in 2003 refused to camp in Samawa City, due to high DU related radioactivity detected by those troops [30]. After few days, they finally moved to a nearby desert area. It was also confirmed that New York Guardsmen serving in Samawa city during 2003 were exposed to DU [31].

Tawfiq research team also confirmed that other cities with higher radioisotope concentrations in soil than that of the area’s background levels which typically range in (1.02-2.2) PPM were: Basra (7.2) ppm, Nasirya (Al-Shatra city) (6.2) ppm. These locations fell on withdrawing Iraqi troops withdrawal route from Kuwait in Jan 1991. The same route the Iraqi troops were intercepted and destroyed by US DU weapons.

In 2000, Al-Gurabi, S. and her team measured DU related increases in radioactivity along the areas bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They also measured Northern Rumaila Oil Field and areas to the Northwest of Basrah City [32]. Results showed higher activity concentrations of DU related radioisotopes in all investigated areas except the center of Basrah City.

Butras, Wartan and Butras in (2000-2001) [33] measured radioactivity in three different areas of Basrah using Alpha and Beta measuring LB1200 detectors. The measured areas:

A: Iraqi-Saudi-Kuwaiti borders

B: Qurna city, Zubair city, Faw and Umm Kasir seaports.

C: Shatt Al-Arab district in Basra

Results proved the existence of higher radioactivity measurements than background levels of (18*10-3) mRem/hr in area (A) after 10 years of the war. Umm Kasir area registered (10 * 10-3) mRem/hr, compared to normal background levels in the area are within the range of (7 * 10-3) mRem/hr [33].

During the year 2000, Al-Kinani, et al [34] collected (11) soil samples from Safwan, Southern Rumaila and the unarmed border zone using a gamma radiation detector. Results indicated that (7) of these samples were contaminated with DU radioisotopes. Sample (SSI) U235/U238 ratio was found to be (0.00351) which indicates high DU contamination a destroyed tank in that area. Other ratios ranged between (0.0041-0.0037).

Dozens of other studies were conducted and published in Arabic or English peer-reviewed scientific journals of various Iraqi universities. Those published investigation programs were all conducted by well-known professors and researchers who followed the IAEA and other international scientific standards’ procedures.  Researches and radiological laboratory tests that were done in conjunction with the environmental department of the Iraqi Atomic Commission were searched and reviewed by periodic UN inspection teams’ visits and the IAEA teams. These teamswere inspecting all the activities throughout the nineties until the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Radiation Protection Centre (RPC) has also identified between 300 and 365 contaminated sites by 2006. Most of them located in the Basra region in Southern Iraq [35 ]

2.2 Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects:

Many epidemiological studies were conducted in contaminated cities to define the correlation between (DU) contamination and the increase of malignancy incidence rates and congenital malformation in Basra Governorate for example. Most of these studies were performed by faculty members of Al-Basra College of Medicine since 1995. Some of these studies were published in the University of Basra Medical Journal. Others were presented in the two Iraqi conferences about the effect of economic sanction and (DU) weaponry used against humans and the environment in Iraq, held in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

Results of these studies pointed out a very clear trend concerning the existence of correlation between contamination and the resulted increase of the related diseases in geographically contaminated areas. Among others, the following studies are specifically important:

  • Alim Yacoub et al, 1998 [36] [37] presented an analysis of recorded cases of registered malignant diseases among children under 15 years of age in Basra for the period (1990 – 1997). This analysis showed a rise of 60% in children’s leukemia from 1990 to 1997. Also, a 120% increase in all malignant cases among children under the age of 15 for the same period were registered. The study also showed the shift of age distribution of leukemia cases towards younger than 5 years of age from 13% in 1990 to 41% of total cases in 1997.
  • Al-Sadoon, et al, 1998 [38] showed a threefold increase in congenital malformations registered cases in 1998 compared to 1990 in Basra city. Congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberrations, and multiple malformations all indicate exposure to teratogenic environmental factor.
  • Alim Yacoub, et al, 1999 [39] also introduced an analysis of the incidence and pattern of malignant diseases in Basra from the analysis of the histopathological reports of Basra University Teaching Hospital for the period 1990-1997.

The study indicated that there was a rise of about 160% in reported cases of uterine cancer in 1997 compared to 1990 and an increase of 143% in thyroid cancer cases in 1997 compared to 1990 recordings. Also, a 102% increase in breast cancer and 82% rise in lymphomas in 1997 compared to 1990.

The records also indicated a shift in the types of the five major leading malignancies in Basra in 1997 such as breast, bladder, lymphomas, uterine, and skin cancers. While those of 1990 were malignant diseases of bladder, skin, breast, lung, and larynx.

  • Alim Yacoub, Imad Al-Sadoon and Jenan Hasan, 2002 presented a paper [40] that examines the association between exposure to DU radiation and the rising incidence of malignancies among children in Basra through time sequence criteria, and dose-response criteria through the geographical shift of the increase of incidence rates in Al-Zubair and other Western areas from less than 5/100,000 prior to 1993 to 22/100,000 in 2000  compared to only Al-Hartha area (North of Basrah) only prior to 1993 (with the highest incidence rates of 10/100,000 in 1993). They also tested the biological plausibility criteria through the shift of the increase of leukemia incidence rate towards younger ages of less than 5 years old after 1995.

Yacoub et al, 2002, couldn’t explain the reason behind the constant increase of malignancies incidence rates among children in Al-Hartha district in Northern Basra City, figure from (10 incidents / 100,000) to (42.7 / 100,000) in the year 2000.

This increase can be attributed to the existence of the largest electrical power generation and transformation facilities in Iraq of 800 MW. This power plant was destroyed during air raids several times first week of bombing in 1991. Nobody measured the radioactivity in Al-Hartha power plant, which might be also destroyed with DU expenditure.

We must be aware that these epidemiological studies were limited to Basra General Hospital, which is the education hospital of Basra Medical College. The mentioned number of cancer incidence cases and congenital malformations would be a lot higher if the studies involved all hospitals of Basra.

  • Abbas Ali & Jawad al Ali, 2002 [41] presented an evaluation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) annual incidence which started to rise from 1995 up to the year 2000, when the increase began to plateau.
  • Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

Dr. Huda Ammash- Professor of Molecular Biology in the College of Science in University of Baghdad, 1998, presented a paper on the mechanisms of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of the atmosphere in Iraq [42] [43]. This paper pinpointed the need for DU toxicity studies on enzymes (SOD), Caralase, hydrogenates and Glyceraldehydes Dehydrogenates levels. She also presented the multi aborative cases on the DNA level where out of 50 studied cases, 29 cases were found with DNA abnormalities (with no hereditary evidence). Other multi aborative cases investigating the toxoplasmosis effect showed that out of 130 cases, over 65% more were infected than those recorded in 1989.

Muhammed, Z.T. et al, 2002, [44] published a paper about the effects of DU radiation on the human immune system enzyme. A group of (26) Iraqi veterans who were exposed to DU radiation with (43) control individuals were all subjected to tests for Adenosine DA Amines (ADN) enzyme activity. Results indicated mean activity of the enzyme of the exposed individuals of (0.184 ±0.016) U/gm protein, while the unexposed individual’s enzyme activity (0.291 ±0.022) U/gm protein.

ADA enzyme activity in the exposed individuals were found to be significantly lower than the control group. P<0.05 significant correlation coefficient was found between ADA activity as an important immune enzyme and related clinical signs and symptoms related to defective cellular immune functions.

Ammash, H., Alwan, L. and Marouf, B.A.,2002, published a paper (in Arabic) [45] about the results of Genetic hematological analysis for a group of individuals who live in DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq. Blood tests for the (47) individuals who lived in Basra contaminated areas and other (30) individuals as a control group who lived in Baghdad. The research included other clinical and correlated factors.

Blood tests included hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume test (PCV), total count (WBC) test and chromosomal changes and defects tests. Factors such as exposure type and exposure time due to nature of work were taken into consideration (45% of the studied groups are from Iraqi troops who were involved in military engagements of the Gulf War 1). The others were civilians who lived in contaminated areas.

The test results of the study clearly showed that a 21% of the studied individuals in Basra group suffered a reduction in hemoglobin concentration of (9-13) g/dl.

The other 79% of the individuals from Al-Basrah studied groups with normal hemoglobin concentrations of (12-15) g/dl and (13-18) g/dl for males and females in the group respectively.

The blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test results showed that 25.5% of the Basrah study group showed abnormal (PCV) rates of (30-39) % less than the normal rate. One male’s individual blood (PCV) was 3% higher than normal. Other individuals’ blood (PCV) in the studied group had normal rates ranging between (40-54) %.

Total count of white blood cells (WBC) test results showed that 8% of the individuals in the Basrah study group had less than normal (WBC) which is 4000 c/ml or higher than the normal rate or (11000) c/ml. Control group individuals all had normal (WBC).

Compound chromosomal changes in the lymphocytes of peripheral blood of the individuals of the Basra study group had been found to have a ratio of (0.1118) % which is significantly higher than that of the control group. The ratio of dicentric and ring centric chromosomal abnormality fraction was found to be (0.04479) which is also higher than the ordinary ratio. Chromosomal damages were mostly in male veteran individuals. One case was that of a 13-year-old at the time of exposure in Al-Zubair contaminated area.

From the Veterinary College of Basra University, Khadier, A.A. et al, 2000[46] conducted a study to detect levels of DU related radioactivity in pastures and animals within the contaminated areas of Safwan, Al-Zubair, N. Rumaila, Jabal Sanam, Kharanj Village, etc.

Blood samples from sheep and other grazing animals were collected. Analysis of blood samples using Lyoluminescence and Track Detectors proved the existence of very small concentrations of radioisotopes in a few sheep that fed from and around the destroyed artillery and tanks within the studied areas. It is believed the polluted dust on the leaves was the source of radioisotopes in the tested blood samples.

Al-Sadi, H.I. and Sawad, A. 2002 [47] from the Veterinary College of the University of Basrah also presented a study about the pathological conditions of the animals in Basrah. The study reported the existence of three types of animal neoplasm; seminoma in rams, mesotheliomas in buffalo, and ovarian cystadenomas in female dogs.

These types of neoplasms have never been reported in these regions before the Nineties. Also, some types of congenital defects in farm animals have been described.

2.4 Other related studies after the occupation of Iraq (post 2003)

The American and British armed forces used Depleted Uranium weapons during the military operations of Iraq’s invasion and occupation in 2003. As usual they wouldn’t admit or release information where and the amounts they have used to prevent the civilian population the extra exposure to more of these toxic and radioactive munitions. The UK government in 2010 admitted that British forces fired less than three tons of DU in 2003 [48].

The American armed forces kept lying and misleading the public until the findings of a DU related research published by the European organization PAX in collaboration with the ICBDUW and George Mason University of America. The research confirmed the use of about 181000 shells of depleted uranium or about 200 tons (Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016). The research also identified the places where it was used [2]. Maps and illustrations showed that US forces fired these DU projectiles in most densely populated cities this at the time, including Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Amarah, Tikrit, Karbala, Falluja and Baquba, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Areas bombed by DUweapons during the 2003 Iraqi occupation in 2003[2].

In 2006 and 2007 technical staff from the Iraqi Radiation Protection Centre collected environmental samples at four selected sites in Southern Iraq, namely As Samawah, Al Nassiryah, Al Basrah and Al Zubayr [49]. Since no information from US/UK armed forces defines where they used the DU ammunition in 2003!!because this information wasreleased in 2016 [2]. It seems clear that the samples were collected from previously identified DU contaminated areas of 1991.

A total of 520 samples of soil, water, vegetation, and smear tests, were taken. collected samples were shipped from Iraq to the Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, which, on behalf of UNEP, analyzed them using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The radioanalytical results were then made available to the IAEA to make a prospective estimation of the radiation doses to the Iraqi population living in the above-mentioned four locations and the associated radiological risks [49].

The results of that very limited investigation program stated that:

“annual radiation doses to the public that could arise from the various types of exposure scenarios were calculated. based on the measurements carried out on the samples collected in this study. The radiation doses from DU were found sufficiently low not pose a radiological hazard to the population living at the four studied locations” [49 ].

That meansIAEA built their dose calculations on measured radioactivity in 2006, while contamination in these areas exist since 1991 (because all these areas were included in our exploration programs and researches in the Nineties as mentioned previously) [17] [18 ] [29] The risk assessment should have included cumulative radiation doses of all paths for the period 1991 to 2006,  and not as they calculated from the instant they measured in 2006 (as an isolated event).

Soil concentration and activity values of the contaminants also should have been calculated back to their 1991 values and not its value in 2006 where its been dissipating and decaying for more than 15 years.

The risk assessment calculations IAEA adopted, depending on the following pathways [49 ]:

I Inhalation of soil re-suspended by the action of wind or human activities;

II Inhalation of re-suspended dust inside military vehicles hit by DU munitions;

III. Ingestion of soil;

  1. Ingestion of vegetables;
  2. Ingestion of and drinking water.”

Remember that in IAEA risk calculations they considered the exposed population live above these areas??, while dominant wind direction in Iraq and during dust storms is NW-SE [50].  That means they should have measure additional doses from contaminants blowing down from Samawa city on Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair cities from 1991-2006, and so on of all other cities, check locations of these cities in figure.

Figure 5: Map of Iraq showing locations of cities involved in IAEA risk assessment(Samawa, Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair).

IAEA risk assessment missed two other important pathways:

  1. Ingestion of contaminated meat, milk, and other items of food chain.
  2. Absorption of DU oxides through skin and immersion in emitted Radon cloud.

If we take all these factors in the calculation of the risk assessment the value would be hundreds of times higher than what IAEA team calculated.

During 2004 and 2005, after the US military assault on Falluja and the destruction of more than 50% of it, tests on city residents who had children or lost embryos suffered from congenital malformations showed that there were more concentrations of uranium than normal in their bodies (Alaani et al.,2012) [51]

Alaani et al, 2012 [52] published results have drawn attention to increases in congenital birth anomalies and cancer in Fallujah Iraq blamed on teratogenic, genetic and genomic stress thought to result from depleted Uranium contamination following the battles in the town in 2004.  Hair samples from 25 fathers and mothers of children diagnosed with congenital anomalies were analyzed for Uranium and 51 other elements suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Thus, raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.

Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, and Entesar Ariabi, 2010 [53] Published a paper that concludes  results confirm the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality which are alarmingly high in Falluja. Also, the paper confirms a remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination.

Samira T. Abdulghani, et al. [54] paper about “Perinatal and neonatal mortality in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah City, Anbar Province, west of Iraq.” Scientific Research, Open Access.  http://www.scirp.org/journal/OpenAccess.aspx.

Dr Jawad al Ali, 2005 [55] published a paper about variable degrees of increased rates of cancers in Basra, particularly breast cancer, lymphomas, lung, colo-rectal ovaries, soft tissues and kidneys.

He added that Cancers which show no increase include the cancers of stomach, uterus and skin cancers. The overall incidences over the year showed tangible increase particularly during the year 2005.

Geographical distribution: the highest rate was in the west of Basra followed by the center of Basra, eastern area and the lowest is at the northern area. The age risk: the data showed massive increase in risk with age. The lowest rate is for the children less than five years (11.4/100.000). The highest rate was for the age group more than 65 years

(541.9/100.000). The total incidence rate was 59.1/100.000.

Conclusion

  • The USA and UK continuously used Depleted Uranium weapons against the population and environment in Iraq from 1991 until today.
  • Occupation intentionally denied and covered up the types, locations and amounts of DU projectiles that have been used in Iraq to prevent taking measures that could have reduce health damages on civilians resulting from the exposure to cumulative doses of these contaminants.
  • Occupation forces prohibited UNEP, WHO and other international agencies to conduct any exploration programs to detect DU contamination and assess the health risks and clean up remedies during the way it has been conducted in Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Forbidding the release of any casualties statistics by the health ministry of the occupation assigned government in Iraq right after the occupation of Iraq is another crime to cover up the magnitude of human lives losses related to the occupation of Iraq.
  • Exploration programs and site measurements proved without a doubt that the existence of DU related radioactive contamination all over most of Iraq (except the northern area of Kurdistan).
  • Published epidemiological studies in Basrah introduced a clear correlation between DU related exposure and the multifold increase of malignancies, congenital malformations, and multiple malformations among the population in DU contaminated areas.
  • Other pathological and hematological studies indicated the existence of chromosomal and DNA aberrations and abnormalities in the 1991 Iraqi Gulf War veterans. Other studies proved their effects on lowering the activities of the human immune system in exposed individuals.
  • Intentional continuous use of DU against the people and environment of Iraq is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilian long times after the military operations. Existing DU contamination in the surrounding environment is a continuous source of exposure to civilian’s population, and can be considered as systematic attacks on civilians in each DU contaminated dust storm blown on these cities. Article 4 of the official regulations and Article 7 of the ICC.

Notes 

[1] William, Dai. 2002. “Hazards of Uranium weapons in proposed war on Iraq”, sept. 22nd, 2002. The Eos life-work resource center.

Updated 27 October 2002. http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u231.html.

[2] Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016. Targets of Opportunity; Analysis of the use of depleted uranium by A-10s in the 2003 Iraq War. A joint investigation by PAX and ICBUW. Published on http://www.paxforpeace.nl website.

[3] Asaf Durakoviæ.1999.” Medical Effects of Internal Contamination with Uranium”. CMJ online. March 1999 (Volume 40, Number 1).

http://www.fukuleaks.org/edanoleaks/Scribble_Japan_Earthquake/pdfs/medical_effects_cmj.pdf.

[4] USA Today, 2003, Iraq’s Health Ministry ordered to stop counting civilian dead from war, Dec. 12 2003.

[5] Kirby, A., 2003, “US rejects Iraq DU clean-up”, BBC news online, April 14th 2003.

[ 6] Sunday Herald, “WHO suppressed scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq”. Feb 22, 2004.

[7] Depleted Uranium sites in Kosovo detailed by UNEP. http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=189&ArticleID=2741.

[8] Karen Parker,  2007.”War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability”. Consumers for peace. Oct.10, 2007.

[9] Rosalie Bertell, 2006. “Depleted Uranium: All the Questions about Du and Gulf War Syndrome are Not Yet Answered”. International journal of Health services.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2190/13JL-9LHM-FMR4-0V7B.

[10] Miller, A. et al. “Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted Uranium: Delay lethality and micronuclei formation”. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. vol.64(2-3), 2003 (PP 247-259).

[11] Miller, A. et al, “Effect of the military-relevant heavy metal, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungsten-alloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2).” Mol. Cell Biochem. vol. 255(1-2). Jan. 2004 (PP. 247-56).

[12] Hindin, R., Brugge, D. and Panikkar, B. (2005), ‘Teratogenicity of Depleted Uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective’, Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 4:17, http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-4-17.

[13] Chroder, H. et al. “Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf War and Balkans War veterans”. Radiation Prot. Dosimetry. Vol. 103(3) 2003 (PP. 211-219).

[14] Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq.

Iraq Solidaridad 2005-2013. “The killing of Iraqi Academics: A War to Erase the Future and Culture of Iraq.” List of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. http://www.iraqsolidaridad.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/List-of-Iraqi-academics-assassinated-November-2013.pdf.

[15] International Conference on DU, 2000, “Health, ecological, legal, and economic aspects of conventional radioactive weapons”, Committee of Solidarity   with the Arab Cause, Nov. 26-2, 2000, Gehone, Spain.

[16] Iraq Foreign Affairs Ministry, 1995, “Radiation effects”, an official paper submitted by the Iraqi delegation to the briefing meeting on nuclear liability during the 42nd Session of the General Conference, Vienna, 1995.

[17] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., Seleh, M.J., Al-Saji, M., Al-Hilli, W., and Maguar, A., 1997.  “Damages resulted from the use of DU weaponry against Iraq”. Technical Report published in Arabic, Environmental Engineering Dept. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 157pp.

[18] Al-Azzawi, S.N., Ma’arof, B.A., Mahmmod, M.A., Al-Hili, W.M., Al-Saji,, M., Jada’an, A.M. 1999. “Environmental Pollution Resulting from The Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq in 1991.” Journal of Arabic Universities Association. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, vol. 6, no. 2, Baghdad, Iraq. Published in Arabic. Pp.47-62.

[19] Al-Azzawi, S. et al, “Environmental Pollution Resulting from the Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq During 1991, World International Conference on DU, Hamburg, Germany, 2003.

[20] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al-Saji, M., 1998. “Effects of DU radioactive pollution on surface and ground water in selected regions in southern Iraq”. Journal of Arabic Universities Association, vol. 6, no. 1, Baghdad. Iraq. (Arabic language).

[21] Al-Hilli, W., 1998. “Effects of radioactive weapons on soil and air quality in Iraq”, M. Sc. Thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering. University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 1998.

[22] Al-Saji, M., 1998, “Effects of radiological weapons on surface and groundwater quality in selected areas southern Iraq”. M. Sc. thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[23] Maguar, A.,1998. “Effects of radiological pollution on human and living environment in southern Iraq”. MSc. thesis, environmental engineering. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[24] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A. 2002, “Assessment of radiological doses and risks resulted from DU contamination in the highway war zone in al-Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27/ 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[25] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A., 2002, “Risk assessment related to radiological contamination resulted from the use of DU ammunition in al-Basrah war zone”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[26] TW, 2016.” Significant increase in frequency and intensity of sandstorms in the Middle East over the past 15 years”. The Watchers Website (WT). June 17, 2016.

https://watchers.news/2016/06/17/significant-increase-in-frequency-and-intensity-of-sandstorms-in-the-middle-east-over-the-past-15-years.

[27] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., and Mazouri, N., 2002. “Environmental radiological pollution from the use of DU weaponry against Ninevah governorate during the war”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[28] Hadi al Rubaiay, 2009. “Depleted Uranium is Innocent until Prove its Guilt”. National meeting of the consultants committee of Prime Minister Office on radiological pollution in Iraq. Mansour Melia hotel. Iraqi Media Network Report in Arabic.

file:///H: ف%20الندوة%20الوطنية%20للوقاية%20من%20التلوث%20الاشعاعي..%20اليورانيوم%20الhtml.

[29] Tawfiq, N., et.al., 2002, Determination of Alpha-emitters in Iraqi soil samples using solid state nuclear track detectors CR-39 and CN-85, Proceeding of Conference on the Effects of DU Weaponary on Human and Environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[30] ICBUW, 2006.” Dutch military in Iraq delays troop transfer from suspected DU contaminated area”. International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. Sept. 29. 2006.

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/dutch-military-in-iraq-delays-troop-transfer-from.

[31] Joanne, L., 2004, “Testing of New York guardsmen: first confirmed cases of Iraq war depleted Uranium exposure”, World Scientist web-site; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/apr2004/dwica-a21.shtml.

[32] Al Ghurabi, S. et. al., 2002, “DU pollution in southern Iraq after ten years”. Proceedings of the Conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. published in Arabic. Vol. 1, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq

[33] Butrus, S., Wartan, K., and Butrus, L., 2002, “Assessing radioactive contamination levels in Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[34] Alkinany, A., Twege, D., and Abdul Allah, K., 2002, “Investigating DU radioactivity in selected locations in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[35]The Guardian, 2013. “Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads”. March 6, 2013.

[36] Yaqoub, A.A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War, Dec. 2-3, 1998, Baghdad, Iraq.

[37] Yaqoub, A., et.al., 1999. “Depleted Uranium and health of people in Basrah: an epidemiological evidence; 1-The incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”.  Medical journal of Basrah University (MJBU). Vol.17, no.1&2, 1999, Basrah, Iraq.

[38] Al-Sadoon, I., Hassan, J., and Yaqoub, A., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of congenital anomalies among birth in Basrah during the period 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[39] Yaqoub, A., Ajeel, N., and Al-Wiswasy, M., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases (excluding leukemia) during 1990-1997”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[40] Yaqoub, A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 2002. “The evidence of casual association between exposure to DU and malignancies among children in Basrah by applying epidemiological criteria of causality”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[41] Ali, A., and Al-Ali, J., 2002. “Chronic myeloid leukemia in Basrah after the Gulf War II”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[42] Ammash, H., 1998. “Mechanism of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of atmosphere in Iraq”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War.Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[43] Ammash, H., 2000. “Toxic pollution, the Gulf War, and sanctions, the impact on the environment and health in Iraq”. Iraq under Siege, editor: Anthony Arnove, South End Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2000.

[44]Mohammed, Z., et.al., 2002. “Detection of DU effects on human by use of immune system enzyme”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[45] Ammash, H., Alwan, L., and Maarouf, B., 2002. “Genetic hematological study for a selected population from DU contaminated areas in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[46] Khudair, A., Abdul Kader, K., and Al-Taha, T., 2002. “Study of the radiological pollution level in pastures of Basrah in 2000”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[47] Al-Sadi, H., and Sawad, A., 2002. “Some interesting pathological conditions in animals in Basrah and the possible etiological role of DU used in 1991 aggression against Iraq”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[48] RT, 2010.” Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq”. Russia Today New. July 23. 2010. https://www.rt.com/news/uk-iraq-depleted-uranium/.

[49] Danesi1,P.R.,and Telleria2, D.M ,2006. “Radiological Conditions at Four Selected Sites in South Iraq with Residues of Depleted Uranium”. 1, International Atomic Energy Agency Consultant, Vienna, Austria.  2International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.

file:///H:/DU%20contamination%20doses%20in%20southern%20Iraq%20measured%20for%20UNEP%202003.pdf.

[50] Tara Mohamed Anwar. “ Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile. Iraq”.

http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/counprof/iraq/iraq.html.

[51] Alaani, S., Tafash, M., Busby, C., Hamdan, M., and Blaurock-Busch, E., 2011.  Uranium and Other Contaminants in Hair from the Parents of Children with Congenital Anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq. Conflict and Health, V.5; 2011, PMC3177876.

[ 52] Busby C, Hamdan M, Ariabi E. 2010. Cancer, Infant mortality and birth sex ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Int. J. Environ Res. Public Health 7, 2828-2837.

[53] Alaani S, Savabieasfahani M, Tafash M, Manduca P. 2011. Four polygamous families with congenital birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq. Int. J. Environ Res Public Health 8, 89-96.

[ 54] Al-Ali, Jawad, 2005. “Epidemiological study at Southern Iraq, Basra city”. Proceeding of the Cancer trend in Basra, Iraq. Depleted uranium – 4.5-billion-year health risk meeting. At 17-20 Auditorium in the Parliament House, Japan. Sept 12. 2006.

http://www.rauhanpuolustajat.org/tiedostot/seminaariraportti.pdf.

All images in this article are from the author.

حق تقرير المصير للكرد… ومعهم للعرب والترك أيضاً؟

سبتمبر 16, 2017

د. عصام نعمان

هزمت بريطانيا وفرنسا السلطنة العثمانية في الحرب العام 1918. أعلن مصطفى كمال اتاتورك وفاتها بإقامة الجمهورية في تركيا العام 1924. اختلف الورثة من تركٍ وعرب وكرد على حصر إرثها وتقاسم تركتها وما زالوا. المفارقة أنّ «قاتلَيّ» السلطنة تولّيا، من خلال مؤتمرات ومعاهدات نظّماها، تحديد هويات الورثة وعددهم وحصصهم الارثية. أقرّا للترك دولةً في برّ الاناضول. اصطنعا للعرب بضع دويلات في بلاد الشام وبلاد الرافدين. وعدا الكرد بدولة في مفاوضات معاهدة سافر Severes 1920 ثم أنكراها عليهم لاحقاً. منذ ذلك التاريخ تدير دول أوروبا، ومعها أميركا، نزاعاً متمادياً بين ورثة شرعيين وآخرين مفترضين للإرث العثماني التليد.

الكرد كانوا وما زالوا ساخطين على ما انتهت إليه قسمة التركة العثمانية: غالبيتهم أُبقيت في تركيا الكمالية. أقليتهم جُعلت من نصيب العراق وسورية. أما مَن كان منهم يعيش خارج السلطنة العثمانية فقد أُلحِق بالكيانات السياسية القائمة وأهمّها إيران.

دول الغرب قرّرت، اذاً، مصير الكرد. ليس مصير الكرد فحسب، بل مصير الترك والعرب والأرمن أيضاً، وهي ما

زالت تتلاعب بمصائر هذه الأقوام بقدر ما تتيحه موازين القوى الدولية. في هذا المجال، نشأت مفارقات لافتة. فالترك الذين أسقطت أوروبا امبراطوريتهم وتصرفت بـ «ممتلكاتها» انحازوا إلى دولها في الصراعات الدولية التي أعقبت الحرب العالمية الثانية 1945-1939. والعرب الذين كانت بريطانيا وعدت الشريف حسين الهاشمي بدولة تضمّ الولايات العربية المطلوب سلخها عن السلطنة العثمانية أُحبِطوا فارتضى بعض قادتهم نصيبه من التركة التي جرى تقاسمها، واعترض بعضهم الآخر. أما جمهورهم الأوسع فكان وما زال يتوق الى إقامة دولة واحدة تضمّ الشتات.

اليوم يعود بعض الكرد بقيادة مسعود البرزاني الى طرح مسألة حق تقرير المصير، وأقرّ تنظيم لذلك استفتاء في 25 الشهر الحالي ليشارك فيه سكان المناطق العراقية الواقعة تحت سلطة قواته البيشمركة . الدول الحاضنة لسكانٍ أكراد تركيا، العراق، سورية، إيران رفضت مشروع الاستفتاء، كما أنّ الولايات المتحدة أعلنت رفضها ؟ له أيضاً. بعض هذه الدول رفض مبدأ الاستفتاء وطلب إلغاءه. بعضها الآخر طلب تأجيله. البرزاني أعلن تمسكه بإجرائه في موعده مع انّ قوى سياسية كردية عدّة تعارض إجراءه في الوقت الحاضر. الى أين من هنا؟

يرسم إصرار البرزاني على إجراء الاستفتاء رغم المعارضة الدولية الواسعة علاقة استفهام كبيرة. ذلك أنّ القيادات الكردية المتعاقبة حرصت بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية على التعاون مع دول الغرب، ولا سيما بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة، والانخراط في مخططاتها وسياساتها وحروبها لدرجة حملت بعض معارضيها في العراق على تسميتها «تاكسي الدول»، فهل يتجاوز البرزاني تقليداً اتبعه معظم أسلافه ويمضي في الاستفتاء إلى النهاية برغم الدول المعارِضة… وكيف ستكون النهاية؟

يرى بعض المراقبين أنّ البرزاني يناور ولا يصادم، وأنه يحاول استغلال حال الاضطراب والفوضى التي يعيشها العراق وحال الشجار والاختلاف التي تمرّ بها الدول الإقليمية والدول الكبرى كي يعزّز مركزه التفاوضي إزاء حكومة بغداد بغية حملها على تقديم تنازلات في مسألتين رئيسيتين: إقرار «حق» الأكراد في محافظة كركوك وفي المناطق المتنازع عليها في محافظات نينوى وصلاح الدين وديالى التي تضع البيشمركة يدها عليها، وتكبير حصة إقليم كردستان في ميزانية الدولة الاتحادية وفي عائدات النفط المستخرَج من منابعه في الإقليم المذكور.

فوق ذلك، يبتغي البرزاني تنازلاً آخر: موافقة جميع الأطراف، العراقية والإقليمية والدولية، على تأجيل الاستفتاء وليس على إلغائه. ذلك أنّ تأجيل الاستفتاء ينطوي على معنى الإقرار بحق تقرير المصير، رغم الانصياع إلى مطلب إرجاء تنفيذه، بينما يعني إلغاء الاستفتاء إنكار حق تقرير المصير برمّته.

قد يتوصّل أطراف النزاع إلى تسويةٍ للخلاف بالتوافق على مصطلح ديبلوماسي يؤمّن مخرجاً ولو مؤقتاً من حال التأزّم والحرج، أو قد يُترك البرزاني لمصيره في تنفيذ استفتاء لن يكون له في الظروف الراهنة مفعول أو مردود عملي. لكن سؤالاً مصيرياً يبقى مطروحاً وضاغطاً على جميع أطراف الصراع: كيف يمكن الخروج من المعضلة التاريخية؟

المعضلة التاريخية هي حاجة جميع أقوام السلطنة العثمانية المهزومة إلى تقرير المصير من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى ضرورة ألاّ يمارس كلٌّ من هذه الأطراف حقه في وجه الآخرين وعلى حسابهم. فالعرب والكرد والترك وغيرهم من الأقوام لهم الحق بتقرير المصير الذي مارسته عنهم عنوةً بريطانيا وفرنسا غداةَ انهيار السلطنة العثمانية باصطناع كياناتٍ سياسية هشّة وقيامهما بتوزيعهم عليها اعتباطاً بينها أو في داخلها.

كيف تمارس هذه الأقوام حقها في تقرير المصير بعد أن انتهت الرقعة الجغرافية التي كانت تسيطر عليها السلطنة العثمانية في المشرق الى ما انتهت اليه من كياناتٍ متعددة، ركيكة ومتنازعة؟ أبالاحتراب في ما بينها أم بالحوار؟ وكيف يكون الحوار في هذا الزمن الصعب؟

الجواب: برسم مسار طويل يبدأ بتعايش الأقوام داخل كلّ كيانٍ من كيانات بلاد العرب والترك واتحادها في طلب الحرية والديمقراطية وفي بناء دولة مدنية على أسس حكم القانون والعدالة والتنمية. والمأمول أنّ بلوغ هذه الأقوام حال الدولة المدنية الديمقراطية يضعها أمام خيارين: 1 البقاء فيها بإطار نظام مركزي ديمقراطي أو اتحادي فدرالي ديمقراطي، أو 2 الحوار والتفاوض مع الأطراف المعنيين لتحقيق الاستقلال بمودة وإحسان.

كِلا الخيارين أقلّ كلفةً من النزاع والاحتراب.

وزير سابق

Letter to my American friends

Letter to my American friends

The Saker

Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the USA) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely mislead people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

——-

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The USA needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the USA needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The USA has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the USA “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the USA compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would we have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word I coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not so sure.

Either way, my point is this:

We are hard-coded to be credulous and uncritically accept all the demonization of Nazis and Soviets because we are Jews and White Russians. Careful here, I am NOT saying that the Nazis and Soviets were not evil – they definitely were – but what I am saying is that we, Jews and Russians, are far more willing to accept and endorse any version of history which makes the Nazis and Soviets some kind of exceptionally evil people and that, in contrast, we almost instinctively reject any notion that “our” side (in this case I mean *your* side, the American one since you, unlike me, consider yourselves American) was just as bad (if only because your side never murdered Jews and Russians). So let’s look at this “our/your side” for a few minutes.

By the time the USA entered WWII it had already committed the worse crime in human history, the poly-genocide of an entire continent, followed by the completely illegal and brutal annexation of the lands stolen from the Native Americans. Truly, Hitler would have been proud. But that is hardly all, the Anglo invaders then proceeded to wage another illegal and brutal war of annexation against Mexico from which they stole a huge chunk of land which includes modern Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico!

Yes, all this land was illegally occupied and stolen by your side not once, but TWICE! And do I even need to mention the horrors of slavery to add to the “moral tally” of your side by the time the US entered the war?

Right there I think that there is more than enough evidence that your side was morally worse than either the Nazis or the Soviets. The entire history of the USA is one of endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression and wars. Endless wars of aggression. None of them defensive by any stretch of the imagination. That is quite unique in human history. Can you think of a nastier, more bloodthirsty regime? I can’t.

Should I even mention the British “atrocities tally”, ranging from opium wars, to the invention of concentration camps, to the creation of Apartheid, the horrors of the occupation of Ireland, etc. etc. etc.?

I can just hear you say that yes, this was horrible, but that does not change the fact that in WWII the USA “saved Europe”. But is that really so?

To substantiate my position, I have put together a separate PDF file which lists 5 sources, 3 in English, 2 in Russian. You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByibNV3SiUooWExTNGhMTGF5azQ

I have translated the key excerpts of the Russian sources and I am presenting them along with the key excerpts of the English sources. Please take a look at this PDF and, if you can, please read the full original articles I quote. I have stressed in bold red the key conclusions of these sources. You will notice that there are some variations in the figures, but the conclusions are, I think, undeniable. The historical record show that:

  1. The Soviet Union can be credited with the destruction of roughly 80% of the Nazi military machine. The US-UK correspondingly can be credited with no more than 20% of the Allied war effort.
  2. The scale and scope of the battles on the Eastern Front completely dwarf the biggest battles on the Western Front. Battles in the West involved Divisions and Brigades, in the East they involved Armies and Groups of Armies. That is at least one order of magnitude of difference.
  3. The USA only entered the war a year after Stalingrad and the Kursk battle when it was absolutely clear that the Nazis would lose the war.

The truth is that the Americans only entered the war when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated and that their real motive was not the “liberation of oppressed Europe” but to prevent the Soviets from occupying all of Europe. The Americans never gave a damn about the mass murder of Jews or Russians, all they cared about was a massive land-grab (yet again).

[Sidebar: By the way, and lest you think that I claim that only Americans act this way, here is another set of interesting dates:

Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation: August 9–20, 1945

We can clearly see the same pattern here: the Soviets waited until it was absolutely certain that the USA had defeated the Japanese empire before striking it themselves. It is also worth noting that it took the Soviets only 10 days to defeat the entire Kwantung Army, the most prestigious Army of the Japanese Empire with over one million well-trained and well-equipped soldiers! That should tell you a little something about the kind of military machine the Soviet Union had developed in the course of the war against Nazi Germany (see here for a superb US study of this military operation)]

Did the Americans bring peace and prosperity to western Europe?

To western Europe, to some degree yes, and that is because was easy for them: they ended the war almost “fresh”, their (stolen) homeland did not suffer the horrors of war and so, yes, they could bring in peanut butter, cigarettes and other material goods. They also made sure that Western Europe would become an immense market for US goods and services and that European resources would be made available to the US Empire, especially against the Soviet Union. And how did they finance this “generosity”? By robbing the so-called Third World blind, that’s all. Is that something to be proud of? Did Lenin not warn as early as 1917 that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”? The wealth of Western Europe was built by the abject poverty of the millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americas.

But what about the future of Europe and the European people?

There a number of things upon which the Anglos and Stalin did agree to at the end of WWII: The four Ds: denazification, disarmament, demilitarisation, and democratisation of a united Germany and reparations to rebuild the USSR. Yes, Stalin wanted a united, neutral Germany. As soon as the war ended, however, the Anglos reneged on all of these promises: they created a heavily militarized West Germany, they immediately recruited thousands of top Nazi officials for their intelligence services, their rocket program and to subvert the Soviet Union. Worse, they immediately developed plans to attack the Soviet Union. Right at the end of the WWII, Anglo powers had at least THREE plans to wage war on the USSR: Operation DropshotPlan Totality and Operation Unthinkable. Here are some basic reminders from Wikipedia about what these operations were about:

Operation Dropshot: included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Plan Totality: earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable: assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

[Were you aware of these? If not, do you now wonder why?]

I am not making these things up, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the Anglo idea of how you deal with Russian “allies”: you stab them in the back with a surprise nuclear attack, you obliterate most of their cities and you launch the Nazi Wehrmacht against them.

I won’t even go into the creation of NATO (before the WTO – known in the West as the “Warsaw Pact” – was created in response) or such petty crimes as false flag terrorist attack (Operation Gladio).

[Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio or the August 1980 “Bologna massacre”, the bombing of the Bologna train station by NATO secret terrorist forces, a false-flag terrorist attack (85 dead, over 200 wounded) designed to discredit the Communist Party of Italy? If not – do you now wonder why you never heard of this?]

The sad reality is that the US intervention in Europe was a simple land-grab, that the Cold War was an Anglo creation, as was the partition of Europe, and that since WWII the USA always treated Europe as a colony form which to fight the “Communist” threat (i.e. Russia).

But, let’s say that I am all wrong. For argument’s sake. Let’s pretend that the kind-hearted Americans came to Europe to free the European people. They heroically defeated Hitler and brought (Western) Europe peace, prosperity, freedom, happiness, etc. etc. etc.

Does this good deed give the USA a license for future interventions? You both mentioned WWII as an example and a justification for the need for the USA to maintain a military large enough to counter regimes such as the North Korean one, right? So, let me ask again,

Does the fact that the USA altruistically, kindly and heroically liberated Europe from both the Nazis and the Soviets now grant the moral legitimacy to other, subsequent, US military interventions against other abhorrent, aggressive or evil regimes/countries out there?

If you reply “no” – then why did you mention it as a justification?

If you reply “yes” – then please forgive me for being so obtuse and ask you for how long this “license to militarily intervene” remains valid? One year? Five years? Maybe ten or even seventy years? Or maybe this license grants such a moral right to the USA ad aeternam, forever? Seriously, if the USA did liberate Europe and bring it peace and happiness, are we to assume that this will remain true forever and everywhere?

I also want to ask you this: let’s say, for the argument’s sake, that the moral license given by the US participation in the war in Europe is, truly, forever. Let’s just assume that, okay? But let me ask you this: could it be revoked (morally, conceptually)? Say the USA did something absolutely wonderful in Europe. What about the subsequent horrors in southeast Asia, Latin America or the Middle-East. How many murdered, maimed, occupied, terrorized, bombed and otherwise genocided “non-West Europeans” would it take to outweigh the putatively “happily liberated” Europeans which, according to you, grant the USA the license to intervene? Even if the US in Europe was all noble and pure, do the following seventy years of evil mass murder worldwide really count for nothing or does there come a point were “enough is enough” and the license can be revoked, morally speaking, by people like us, like you?

May I point out to you that your words spoken in defense of a supposed need for the USA to maintain a military capable of overseas operations strongly suggest that you believe that the USA has a moral right (if not a duty!) to conduct such operations, which means that the post WWII atrocity-tally of the USA is not, in your opinion, sufficient to elicit a “enough is enough” reaction in you. Are you sure that you are comfortable with this stance?

In theory, there could be another reason to revoke such a moral license. After all, one can have the moral right to do something, but not necessarily the capability to do so. If I see somebody drowning in a flood, I most certainly have the moral right to jump in the water and try to save this person, do I not? But that does not mean that I have the strength or skills to do so. Right? So when you say that the USA needs to maintain a military capable of protecting friends and allies from rogue and dangerous regimes like the one in North Korea, you do imply that besides having the right to extend such a protection the USA also has the capabilities and the expertise to do so?

Really?

And what is the evidence for that, may I ask?!

I asked you to name me a single successful US military intervention since WWII and you could name none. Good! I agree with you. The reality is that every single US military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster either on the humanitarian, political and military level (often on all of them combined). Even Grenada was a total (military) failure! Also, do you see who sits in the White House today? Do you really want The Donald in charge of protecting “our friends and allies” and are you confident that he has the skillset needed to do this competently? Or Hillary for that matter? Even Sanders has a record of defending catastrophic military operations, such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 which, you guessed it (or not), ended in abject defeat for the Israelis and untold civilians horrors in Lebanon. But forget the President, take a look at US generals – do they inspire in you the belief that they are the kind of people who can be trusted to skillfully execute a military intervention inspired by moral and ethical reasons?! What about US “Congresspersons”? Would you trust them? So where do you see honest and competent “saviors of others” in the US polity?

Did you notice that there was no Islamic State in Iraq before the US invasion? Or did you notice that ever since the US declared a war on ISIS the latter has been getting stronger and stronger and taking over more countries. Yes, of course, once the Russians got involved ISIS began suffering defeat after defeat, but all the Americans had to say about the Russian intervention was to denounce it and predict it would fail. So why is it that the Russians are so good at fighting ISIS and the Americans, and their allies, so bad? Do you really want the Americans in charge of world security with such a record?!

Is insanity not repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Now I hear the reply you gave me to this point. You said “yes, mistakes were made”.

Mistakes?!

I don’t think that millions of murdered people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are “mistakes” (how would you react if somebody conceded to you that Hitler and Stalin made “mistakes”?). But there is something even more insidious in this notion of “mistake”.

How would you define “success”?

Say the US armed forces were not only good at killing people (which they are), but also good at winning wars (which they ain’t). Say the USA had been successful in not only invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in fully pacifying these countries. Say the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been successfully defeated, their economy had bounced back, and democratic regimes put in power: capitalism everywhere, 100 channels on each TV, McDonalds in every Afghan villages, gay pride parades in downtown Kabul, gender-neutral toilets in every mosque, elections every 4 years or so and not a single shot fired, not a single bomb going off? Would that be a “success”?

I pray to God and hope with all my heart that your reply to this question is a resounding “no!!”. Because if you answered “yes” then you are truly messianic genocidal imperialists. Yup, I mean that. Why? Because your notion of “success” is the spiritual, psychological and cultural death of an ancient civilization and that makes you, quite literally, an mortal enemy of mankind as a whole. I can’t even imagine such a horror. So I am sure that you answered “no!!” as every decent human being would, right?

But then what is a “success”? You clearly don’t mean the success as defined by your rulers (they would enthusiastically support such an outcome; in fact – they even promise it every time over and over again!). But if their idea of “success” is not yours, and if you would never want any other nation, people or ethnicity to ever become a victim of such as “successful” military intervention, why do you still want your rulers with their satanic notion of “success” to have the means to be “successful” in the future? And that in spite of the fact that the historical record shows that they can’t even achieve any type of “success” even by their own definition, nevermind yours?!

Did you notice that nowhere in my arguments above did I mention the fact that the USA has never asked people (as opposed to local Comprador elites) whether they wanted to be saved by Uncle Sam or not? Neither did they ask the American people if they wanted to go to war, hence all the well-known false flags from the “remember the Maine”, to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, to Pearl Harbor, to the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”, to September 11th: every time a lie had to be concocted to convince the American people that they had to go to war. Is that really people power? Is this democracy?!

Are there people out there, anybody, who really favor US military interventions? Yes, I suppose that there are. Like the Kosovo Albanians. I suspect that the Afghan Tajiks and Hazara were pretty happy to see the US bomb the crap of the Taliban. So there might be a few cases. Oh, and I forgot our Balt and Ukrainian friends (but then, they were also happy when the Nazis came, hardly much of an example). But it is pretty safe to say that in reality nobody wants to be liberated by Uncle Sam, hence the wordwide use of the “Yankee go home” slogan.

This letter is already way too long, and I will forgo the listing of all the reasons why the USA are pretty much hated all over the planet, not by the ruling elites, of course, but by the regular people. And when I say “the USA” I don’t mean Paul Newman, Mark Twain, Miles Davis, Quentin Tarantino, James Taylor or the Bill of Rights or the beautiful country called “the USA”. But the regime, as opposed to any one specific government or administration in Washington, the regime is what is truly universally hated. I have never seen any anti-Americanism directed at the American people anywhere, not even in France, Greece or Latin America. But the hate for the Empire is quasi universal by now. Only the political elites whose status, power and well-being is dependent on the Empire do, in fact, support the Empire and what it stands for. Everybody else despises what the USA stands for today. And every military intervention only makes this worse.

And you want to make sure this continues? Really?

Right now the US is desperately trying to save al-Qaeda (aka IS, ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra, etc.) from defeat in Syria. How is that for a moral stance after 9/11 (that is, if you accept the official narrative about 9/11; if you understand that 9/11 was a controlled demolition in which al-Qaeda patsies were used as a smokescreen, then this makes sense, by the way).

By the way – who are the current allies the US are so busy helping now?

  • The Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia
  • The Nazi regime in the Ukraine and
  • The last officially racist regime on the planet in Israel

Do these really strike you as allies worth supporting?!

And what are the American people getting from that? Nothing but poverty, oppression, shame, hatred, fear and untold physical, psychological and moral suffering.

These are the fruits of Empire. Every Empire. Always.

You mentioned that every time you see a veteran you thanked him for his service. Why? Do you really think that he fought in a just war, that his service is something he can be proud of? Did he fight for his people? Did he defend the innocent? Or was he an occupier in a foreign land and, if he saw combat, did he not kill people who defended their own land, their families and their way of life? What exactly do you thank that veteran for? For following orders? But is that not something the Nuremberg trials specifically condemned as immoral and illegal?

Do you remember how you told me that xxxxx’s Marine husband lived in a nice house with all their material needs taken care of? You added “compare that to Russian servicemen”. Well, you clearly are not aware of how Russian soldiers live nowadays, under your hated Putin, but that is besides the point. The question which I wanted to ask you then and which I will ask you now is this: is the comfortable lifestyle granted to US Marines good enough a reason to be a Marine – that is being part of the very first force called in to murder innocent people and invade countries? Do you even know what Marines did to Fallujah recently? How much is a human soul worth? And it is really your belief that being a hired killer for the Empire is an honorable way of life? And should you think that I am exaggerating, please read the famous essay “War is a Racket” by Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, who had the highest rank a Marine could achieve in his time and who was the most decorated Marine in history. If war is a racket, does that not make Marines professional racketeers, hired thugs who act as enforcers for the mobsters in power? Ask yourself this: what would be the roughly equivalent counterparts of the US Marines in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? To help you answer this question, let me offer a short quote from the Wikipedia entry about the Marine Corps: (emphasis added)

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny; to the latter end, their quarters on ship were often strategically positioned between the officers’ quarters and the rest of the vessel.

Does that help you identify their Nazi or Soviet counterparts?

Of all people, is it not we, Jews and Russians, who ought to recognize and categorically reject the trappings of Empire and all the rationalizations used to justify the subservient service to Empires?

I believe that history shows beyond any doubt that all Empires are evil, inherently and essentially, evil. They are also therefore equally evil. Shall I explain why?

Do you know what crimes is considered the ultimate, supreme, most evil crime under international law? It is not genocide, or crimes against humanity. Nope, the ultimate crime is the crime of aggression (that, by the way, makes every single US President a war criminal under international law, think of it!). In the the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the ultimate crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes. Well, to paraphrase Jackson, imperialism contains within itself all the accumulated evil of all empires. Guantanamo, Hiroshima, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Gladio and all the rest, they “come with the territory”, they are not the exception, they are the norm.

The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say “enough is enough”? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?

The Saker

خيارات بغداد: تنسيق مع دمشق… أو «العزف المنفرد»

 

تقضي استراتيجية بغداد في حربها على «داعش» بإنهاء وجود المسلحين في عمق البلاد (أ ف ب)

تلوح فرصة في أفق بغداد للقضاء على «داعش» غرب البلاد، لكنّ الأمر مرهونٌ بالتنسيق مع دمشق لملاقاة قواتها المتقدمة شرقاً. هذا السيناريو لن يتحقق، فحسابات السياسة أكبر من حسابات الميدان، بحسب معادلة بغداد ــ طهران، ونية حيدر العبادي بالتحوّل إلى رقمٍ في «المعادلة»

نور أيوب

مع الحديث عن مرحلة «استعادة دير الزور» أو «ما بعد دير الزور»، يبرز السؤال عن الخيارات العراقية المتاحة، خاصّةً أن مساحة سيطرة «داعش» في سوريا تزداد انحساراً، وفرار مسلحيه شرقاً باتجاه المناطق الحدودية يعني أن الغرب العراقي سيكون ملاذهم الأخير.

وأمام إنجاز دمشق كسر الحصار المفروض على مدينة دير الزور، فإن سيناريو التقاء القوات العراقية المتقدمة غرباً بالقوات السورية المتقدمة شرقاً يبدو منطقياً، إذا ما سارعت بغداد إلى استثمار عامل الوقت، لجهة انتصارات دمشق وانكسارات «داعش»، والسعي إلى القضاء على ذلك الجيب المسلّح، غربي البلاد.
عملياً، لم يبقَ في العراق سوى جيبين لـ«داعش»؛ يتوزّع الأوّل بين محافظات كركوك (الحويجة) ــ صلاح الدين (الشرقاط) ــ نينوى (مخمور)، فيما يمتد الجيب الثاني على معظم الخط الحدودي، في محافظات نينوى ــ صلاح الدين ــ الأنبار.

وعلى بغداد، هنا، الاختيار: إما الحويجة ومحيطها أو غرب الأنبار ومحيطه. وإن كان الخيار الأوّل بات محسوماً نتيجة الإعلانات العراقية، منذ تحرير قضاء تلعفر، فإن الخيار الثاني مرهونٌ بنية بغداد تحقيق نوعٍ من «تناغم القتال» بين قواتها والقوات السورية، واستجلاب نصرٍ سريع، مقارنةً بتأجيل العمليات إلى وقتٍ لاحق، مع الأخذ في الاعتبار حالة الانكسار المعنوي للمسلحين، إثر هزيمتهم في الموصل وتلعفر، والمناطق الحدودية العراقية ــ السورية، واللبنانية ــ السورية، مروراً بـ«عاصمة الخلافة» السورية، مدينة الرقّة.

بغداد: «نعمل وحدنا»

الخيار الثاني يبدو «مستحيلاً». الموقف الرسمي يشي بأن وجهة القوات هي الحويجة، فيما الموقف الضمني لرئيس الحكومة العراقي حيدر العبادي وفريقه «مغايرٌ نوعاً ما». وبالرغم من «حماسةٍ مكتومة» لفريق العبادي لإطلاق عملية إطباقٍ واسعة من المقلب العراقي لملاقاة القوات السورية، باعتبار «مثل هذه الخطوة عملاً متقناً»، فإن النفي يتصدّر مباشرةً عند السؤال عن مثل تلك «النوايا»، وفق أحد المقرّبين من رئيس الوزراء العراقي.
في حديثه إلى «الأخبار»، ينفي الرجل وجود أيّ «تنسيقٍ» بين بغداد ودمشق في سياق المعارك الأخيرة في الشرق السوري. «قواتنا لن تقود أيّ عملية إطباقٍ على المسلحين من جهتها… فنحن نعمل وحدنا، كما تعمل طهران ومحورها وحدهما».

مؤخراً، انخفض «منسوب التنسيق» بين أركان محاربة «داعش» من جهة، والعراق من جهةٍ أخرى، رغم نجاحه سابقاً في العديد من المعارك (غرفة عمليات 4+1، أي روسيا وإيران والعراق وسوريا، إضافةً إلى حزب الله). مردّ ذلك «بعض التفاصيل الصغيرة»، التي تطوّرت لاحقاً إلى «معضلات كبرى»، كان آخرها اتفاق ترحيل مسلحي «داعش» من جرود القلمون الغربي إلى مدينة البوكمال السورية، الواقعة على الحدود العراقية.
من بغداد، ظهر إلى العلن عتابٌ على طهران (وحزب الله). كان وقعه شديداً في بيروت، فاستدعى إصدار بيانٍ من قِبل الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، لتوضيح بعض «الشبهات» حول الاتفاق، والتي أثيرت في الشارع العراقي.

كان الاتفاق بمثابة «القشّة التي قسمت ظهر البعير». يدرك العراقيون جيّداً أن انتقال هذا العدد من المسلحين (305) لن يغيّر في المعادلة شيئاً، إلا أن منتقدي الاتفاق، وعلى رأسهم العبادي، ونتيجة الضغوطات الخارجية والمكاسب التي قد تُحقّق من النقد، رأوا في هذا الظرف «أفضل» الفرص للتعبير عن رفضهم لـ«سياسة طهران إزاء بغداد، وتجاهلها المتعمّد لحكومة العبادي في كثيرٍ من الأمور، طوال المرحلة الماضية»، وفق مصدرٍ سياسي عراقي.

وإذا ما وُضع الاتفاق وانتقاد بعض العراقيين له، وإنجاز الجيش السوري بفك الحصار عن دير الزور، والحديث عن «تنسيق» مع دمشق، وخيارات بغداد المتاحة على «شريط زمني»، فإن التوليفة التي تريد بغداد إظهارها تأكيدٌ على «العمل برؤية وطنية»، بعيدةً عن أيّ تعاون إقليمي، كنوعٍ من ردّ الاعتبار أمام طهران.

وترى الحكومة المركزية أن الفرصة مواتية لفرض شروطٍ على طهران، في إطار «التنسيق» معها، غير أن رسائل «الأسف» لما وصلت إليه الأمور لا تزال تُرسل إلى «وسيطٍ» تُذيّل بعبارات التمنّي بـ«لو كان هناك تنسيقٌ بين الجميع، لكان عملنا متكاملاً».

«الحشد»: عودةٌ إلى الحدود

إذاً، وجهة «العمليات المشتركة» ستكون الحويجة في الأيام المقبلة، فيما «العين على الأنبار»، يقول مصدر قيادي في «الحشد الشعبي». معلومات «الأخبار» تشير إلى أن الوجهة المقبلة ستكون في مسارين؛ الأوّل تعاونٌ مع القوات الأمنية والعسكرية في شمال البلاد، أما الثاني فهو إعادة الزخم العملياتي إلى الحدود الغربية، انطلاقاً من معبر الوليد، غربي الأنبار وصولاً إلى محيط مدينة القائم.

إسناد مهمة تطهير الحدود واستعادتها لـ«الحشد» رسالة من بغداد إلى إيران. البعض يفسّرها على أنها «تأكيدٌ على ضرورة التنسيق مع محور المقاومة»، فيما يذهب آخرون إلى أن العبادي «يُؤطّر التعاون مع طهران، من خلال الحشد، في بعض المناطق التي لا تشكّل إحراجاً له مع الأميركي»، أي في عمق الصحراء الغربية، وفي المساحات التي ترى فيها واشنطن مناطق نفوذٍ لها في بلاد الرافدين.

استراتيجية بغداد في الحرب على «داعش» تقضي بإنهاء وجود المسلحين في عمق البلاد، واستعادة المحافظات قدر المستطاع، قبيل التوجّه إلى الأطراف، بمعزلٍ عن الظروف السياسية والميدانية التي تحيط بالعمليات العسكرية. رؤية العبادي وفريقه تقضي برفع مستوى التعاون مع قيادة «التحالف الدولي»، ومراعاة خصوصية إيران ومحورها في مكافحة الإرهاب، ورسم مساراتٍ محدّدة «لأذرع طهران» في هذه الحرب، بما يضمن قطفاً سياسياً يُراعي حساباته بالبقاء لفترة ثانية في رئاسة الحكومة.

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KURDISH PESHMERGA MASS EXECUTE ISIS MEMBERS SURRENDERED NORTH OF TAL AFAR – REPORTS

Kurdish Peshmerga Mass Execute ISIS Members Surrendered North Of Tal Afar - Reports

Captured ISIS members

Peshmerga forces, a military force of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, have executed a high number of ISIS members that had surrendered to or had been captured by Kurdish units north of the recently liberated town of Tal Afar in northern Iraq.

According to reports, the number of killed ISIS members is up to 400.

If it’s officially confirmed, this will be a major blow to the public image of Kurdish forces in Iraq.

Furthermore, the mass execution could easily boost support to ISIS and to trigger a series of terrorist attacks against soft targets in the Iraqi Kurdistan.

SF does not release alleged photos of the incident. However, they could be easily found online (for example, this twitter acc posted them on September 2).

Captured ISIS members:

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Tony Blair in Wonderland

Tony Blair in Wonderland

Photo by Chatham House | CC BY 2.0

Tony Blair is clearly a piece of work.  Incidentally, I’ve known about him for decades before he became well-known.

Blair went to Fettes, the Scottish equivalent of the elite English private school Eton (the former’s alumni include the composer Michael Tippett, the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics Angus Deaton, Churchill’s foreign secretary John Simon, the actress Tilda Swinton, the golfer Tommy Armour, the gay climber and child psychiatrist Menlove Edwards (who committed suicide after living a difficult personal life), and numerous legal figures and army generals).  Blair was at Fettes from 1966 to 1971.

A good friend of mine during my undergrad days in the late 60s/early 70s had the misfortune (his term) to attend Fettes the same time as Blair.

My Old Fettesian undergraduate friend, like me a future university teacher, moved in very different circles from Blair at Fettes (admittedly my friend was a couple of years older), who at that point had seeming thespian aspirations and gloried in the nickname “Emma”.

My friend was unable to tell me how this nickname came to be bestowed on the future prime minister.

The outlines of Blair’s career after he left Fettes and went to Oxford are well known.  His academic career at Oxford was just as undistinguished as his time at Fettes.  His main claim to fame at Oxford was playing in a band that did covers of hits by the Rolling Stones.

At Oxford, we’ve just been told by Blair himself, there was a brief flirtation with Trotskyism.  Blair is all veneer, so with supple convictions that drift effortlessly above this veneer, his time as a “Trot” did not last long.

It was now time to turn to religion, and he became a church-goer, Anglican at first but becoming converting to her faith when he married the Catholic Cherie Booth.  Mrs Blair combines her Catholicism with instruction and guidance from a New Age guru, and Blair has been known to join Cherie and her guru for the occasional session of ritualistic mumbo-jumbo.

Buoyed by the recent High Court decision blocking the bid by a former Iraqi army chief of staff to bring a private prosecution against him over the Iraq war, Blair decided he now has no need to lie low, and promptly made headlines by speaking of the need for a new anti-Brexit centrist party, uniting liberal Tories and right-wing Labour supporters.

Needless to say, Blair would be the leader, or the undefined ringmaster, of this political confection.

Blair apparently believes he can emulate the French president Emmanuel Macron in bringing about a “new” centrist realignment in his own country, perhaps not heedful of the fact that Macron is tanking in the polls (in part over spending large sums of money for make-up) and getting nowhere with his realignment “project”.

Such a UK centrist party already exists in the form of the Lib Dems– now largely discredited because they formed a coalition with the Tories from 2010-2015 with ruinous consequences for Brits (apart from the 1% of course) — so Blair’s new party would have to compete with the Lib Dems for the same somewhat limited electoral turf.

Blair’s pitch for a new party could probably be dismissed as a vainglorious attempt to signal he remains a “real and relevant” force in British politics.  We know he can still face prosecution for his role in the Iraq war if this is initiated from within the UK, or if he arrested in foreign country accepting the jurisdiction of the international court at The Hague.

Blair, like his partner in crime Dubya Bush, is still potentially a wanted man in certain parts of the world, so displaying his continued “importance” as the leader of a western political party with parliamentary seats is probably his main safeguard against those wanting him still to be accountable for war crimes in Iraq.

In itself, however, the notion of a new “centrist” party in the UK is asinine.

In addition to the Lib Dems there are “centrists” in both the Labour and Tory parties.

Labour’s “centrists” are Blair supporters determined to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as the party leader.

Corbyn, despite losing the recent election, nonetheless secured Labour’s largest share of the vote since its landslide in 1945 (Blair was unable to do this in his three election victories), and Blair’s willingness to form a new party may be a signal to his supporters that they have no foreseeable future as Blairites in a Labour party led by Corbyn.

Tories these days, apart from a tiny remnant of “One Nation” Tories such as Ken Clarke, do not signal themselves as “centrists”, but most Tory big donors are pro-EU corporate fat cats, and these one-percenters are at odds with the party’s xenophobic Little Englander base.

The Tory corporate fat-cat donors love globalization and the EU, the Tory Little Englander Tory base not so much.

The conjuring trick required of a Tory leader, and the US Republicans in an analogous way, is to take lots of money from pro-business fat cat donors, while conning their Little Englander/Middle America bases with largely symbolic gestures (typically involving immigration controls, subtle or not so subtle Islamophobia, getting rid of foreign aid, being tough on crime, pandering to the far-right on a largely cosmetic nationalism, and so on).

In the UK in 2017, all this has been nothing more than a repristination and modification of what Thatcher started in the late 70s:

Thatcherism Mk 1: Thatcher with her “Iron Lady” habitual snarl and handbag swinging.

Thatcherism Mk 2 (Blair/Brown): Thatcherism morphing into a seeming human face (Blair’s characteristic fake suntan and rictus smile).  Under Blair and Brown, the UK’s richest households – concentrated in London and the south-east – took an even greater share of national income than they did under Thatcher.

Thatcherism Mk 3 (Cameron/Osborne): Thatcherism, now called “austerity”, delivered with a posh-boy smirk and patronising tone.

(Wannabe) Thatcherism Mk 4 (Theresa May/Labour’s largely clueless neo-Blairites): Thatcherism must now be placed in the hands of pragmatic professional politicians like us, who will follow the dictates of focus groups and opinion polls.  Exemplum:  May has over time taken all three positions on Brexit.  Before the Brexit referendum she campaigned for the Remain side.  During the recent general election, May campaigned for a hard Brexit (i.e. a complete severance from the EU) hoping to prevent Tory voters from defecting to the far-right anti-EU UKIP.  When she lost her majority, May endorsed a soft Brexit (i.e. a break from the EU but hoping vaguely for a to-be-negotiated market arrangement with it).

No thanks to all the above embodiments of a pernicious dogma!

Tony/Emma in Wonderland is not going to reconfigure the terrain of British politics.  Emma will simply reshuffle the deckchairs on the Titanic that is today’s Ukania.

The journalist Paul Mason, who writes intelligently about UK politics and economics, has said that the creation of a new UK centrist party will be a magnet, not so much for Labour’s diminished Blairite remnant, but the neoliberal segment in the Conservative party.

This claim seems counterintuitive at first sight, but some reflection suggests that Mason could be right.

The driving force behind UK neoliberalism from Thatcher onwards has been the Tory party, with Blair/Brown’s New Labour falling in line with the appropriate adjustments here and there.

Brexit, however inchoate in its implementation and diverse in its underlying motivations, represents a repudiation of neoliberalism.

Culturally, Brexit seems to involve the rejection of a more cosmopolitan outlook, an endorsement of an insular Little Englanderism, but this is hardly the case– the people who voted for Brexit may have opted for Little Englanderism on the surface, but this is because they have been royally screwed in large numbers by neoliberalism, of which the EU, and the Tory party, have been unremitting proponents.

Since Thatcher, the Tory party has combined, or sought to combine, neoliberalism with a culturalist gloss on nationalism.  In essence, this has been an absolute bluff.

Blair’s “centrist” party, however inadvertently, will call this bluff.

Why put up with this Tory Little Englander pantomime, just to get votes from a xenophobic, and largely elderly and less educated, base, when you can have the option of voting for a flat-out neoliberal party, now unburdened by having jettisoned both Little Englanderism–  Conservatives belonging to the 1% view this confining xenophobia as a drag on wealth that has been parked offshore in places like Panama and on lucrative deals to be made with dictators from balmier climes), and also Corbyn’s Labour (which, dear oh dear, wants a return to all that outdated socialist stuff)?

A new neoliberal and resolutely post-socialist “centrist” party will probably cut the Tory Gordian Knot existing once Thatcher took office– i.e. purporting to be the party for “all” Brits while only benefitting the 1%– but also bypassing what neoliberal one-percenters and Blair himself believe to be a no longer relevant socialism (now represented by Labour under Corbyn).

“Utopia” for these neoliberal one-percenters, in essence, is for London to remain the money-laundering capital of the world.  And of course, the EU has allowed, and will allow, all of this to continue, if the UK did not/does not opt for Brexit.

Why my vague “did not/does not” formulation?  The Tories led by a thoroughly discredited Theresa May will have to face an election sooner rather than later.  Every indication so far points to a Labour victory.

Here then is a possible scenario.

With an election victory secured, Labour will now insist it needs its own mandate to implement Brexit.  Corbyn will sit on the fence this time, maintaining this must be a vote based on each person’s “conscience” (his own conscience as always being for a Lexit).

The pro-EU Ukanian plutocracy will be better organized for a referendum this time round, and in this second referendum Brexit will probably not pass.  Even the queen, supposedly “above” politics, wore a hat resembling the EU flag when she gave her recent speech at the opening of the new session of parliament.  The Ukanian plutocracy, from the land-owning aristocracy to the financial elites, will not have this “accident” repeated a second time.

Labour, now in power, will use this vote against Brexit to call for a more “democratic” EU.

Given that the neoliberal EU is constitutively undemocratic, Labour will need something akin to a revolution to succeed in any attempted “democratization” of this ghastly monstrosity.

A few cosmetic changes will in all probability then be thrown at Labour as a sop, to show how much the EU “loves” its repentant flip-flopping Ukanian member.

The old dictum therefore still applies in 21st century Ukania:  socialism or barbarism!

In the meantime, let’s continue to find ways to put Blair in the dock at The Hague. Emma genuinely needs to be given an extended opportunity to make his case for the Iraq war while contemplating the prospect of a long spell in a Dutch jail cell.

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