Why not make Parliament into a Holocaust Memorial?

May 08, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Five British Prime Ministers, some of them renowned war criminals, united yesterday in a call to build a Holocaust Memorial in proximity to Parliament.  “A sacred, national mission,” is how Theresa May described the idea and for once, I totally agree with this tragic, sad woman. I would take it further: don’t just build a holocaust shrine in Westminster, make our parliament into a Holocaust monument. We don’t really need a House of Commons; as things stand, we better get direct orders from our true rulers in Tel Aviv.

But there is a deeper ethical rationale that justifies the erection of a holocaust memorial instead of our dysfunctional parliament. Every political commentator in Britain knows by now that the more that Jewish pressure groups terrorise the kingdom, its human rights campaigners, its artists, writers and poets, the more Brits become aware of the crimes of Zionism, Israel and their ruthless Lobby. The more British politicians join Parliamentary friends of Israel clubs, the less Brits trust their political system. The more Holocaust indoctrination is shoved down our throats, the more suspicious Brits become of the manner in which history is told.

Mrs May said: “By putting our National Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre next to our Parliament, we make a solemn and eternal promise that Britain will never forget what happened in the Holocaust.” Is that true Mrs. May? Do you really mean what you say? Will our Holocaust memorial bring to light the embarrassing fact that Britain made it very difficult for Jewish refugees to seek a safe haven in the Kingdom or in other parts of the empire? In 1937, as the rate of Jewish refugees looking to immigrate to Britain increased, the British government created stricter standards for those whom they would admit. One was that refugees had to have ₤50 deposited in an overseas bank, but in Germany it was against the law to possess foreign currency. If this was not enough to stop Jewish immigration from Germany, the British government limited the number of immigrants in 1938 and 1939. Practically speaking, the British Government turned its back on German and Austrian Jews.

 The PM vowed that “in the face of despicable Holocaust denial, this memorial will stand to preserve the truth forever.

” I am here to tell you with confidence that the British Holocaust memorial will act intensively to conceal British complicity in the destruction of European Jewry.

 Mrs May was joined by all the living former prime ministers: David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major. With the exception of Sir John Major, all our living PMs are involved in a lot of death and carnage. While Blair and Brown led this kingdom to a disastrous criminal war in Iraq that led to millions of casualties, it was Cameron who managed to pull this country into a chain of disasters in Libya, Syria and beyond.

 Tony Blair whom third of the British people see as a war criminal  said in his message that “Antisemitism and hate did not end in 1945. Unfortunately today some of this poison is back from the political fringe to parts of the political mainstream.” Blair was probably referring to his own party that struggles to disown the criminal past he himself inflicted on it. But the truth of the matter is that Antisemitism didn’t die in 1945, certainly not in Britain. The post-war Labour Government went out of its way to make the lives of Jewish holocaust survivors impossible. In Zionist history, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin (Labour) is remembered as one of the bitterest enemies of the Jewish people. This senior Labour politician had opposed removing the limiting of Jewish immigration to Palestine. Is this Zionist chronicle of Labour anti-Jewish politics going to be explored in the Holocaust monument?

It doesn’t take a genius to gather why Blair and Brown are so enthusiastic about a museum that Chronicles Nazi crimes rather than a proper and timely institute that would explore their own crimes in Iraq. It is pretty clear why David Cameron prefers to divert attention from his own blunders in Syria and Libya. But it goes further. Britain and the Empire have a long list of crimes against humanity to account for: slavery, concentration camps in the Boer war, the partitioning of India, the destruction of Palestine, famines in Ireland and Bengal. Millions of innocent people lost their lives due to the crimes of the empire, yet our ethically compromised Prime Ministers are committed to the commemoration of crimes that were committed by another people. Is this the ethical message we are supposed to pass to the next generations? Is zero self-reflection a new British value?

 I have learned that Jeremy Corbyn, the person who according to the polls is destined to become our next PM, is not at all different from his predecessors. Corbyn, who at a certain point claimed to care for the many, is now subscribing to the primacy of Jewish suffering. Corbyn was quick to announce that he also would “strongly support permanent commemoration, including a national memorial, alongside extra investment in educational programmes.” I guess that supporting a Holocaust memorial is an entry ticket to 10 Downing Street.

There is a good reason to believe that our entire political class has migrated to Egypt by now, without exception they all live in a state of denial. 

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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The David Kelly Black Hole

By Alison Broinowski
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In July 2003, five months after the US and its allies invaded Iraq, Dr David Kelly CMG was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home. The circumstances did not suggest suicide, although some of the British biological weapons expert’s friends and family knew he had differences with his employer, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over his retirement salary. After his comments to journalists about the Blair government’s use of a ‘dodgy dossier’ to justify invading Iraq were reported by the BBC, Kelly was subjected to aggressive questioning by the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. In an interview that could have been scripted from Kafka’s The Trial, Kelly (like Josef K) was not told what evidence they had, or what he was charged with. But K’s grilling did not take place in the mother of parliaments, as Kelly’s did.

Lord Hutton was commissioned by Blair to inquire into Kelly’s death and in January 2004 found it was suicide. He did not call the Thames Valley constables to appear, though they had been at the scene, and he sealed the medical evidence for 70 years. That made it impossible for what Kelly knew from his experience as a weapons inspector in Iraq to lead to Blair being indicted for war crimes.  Arrangements were made by the Prime Minister’s friend from university, Charles Falconer, who gave the inquiry no powers to compel witness, and no requirement to take evidence under oath, but complete control over what was made public. Blair later advised another friend Rebekah Brooks, whose News of the World was accused in 2011 of phone hacking, to ‘publish a Hutton-style report’ which the former PM told her would ‘clear you’, and deliver a similarly acceptable result (Geoffrey Wheatcroft, ‘How the Murdoch gang got away’, New York Review of Books, 8 January 2015: 32-3).

But Tom Mangold, a former BBC journalist, believed it was suicide, arguing that Kelly, when cornered by the Committee, lied about what he had said to two journalists and weakly claimed not to have been the BBC’s Andrew Gilligan’s main source for the story about the ‘sexed-up’ dossier (Rod Barton, The Weapons Detective, Melbourne: Black Inc 2006. Tom Mangold, ‘Shame made David Kelly kill himself’, Independent Online, 22 August 2010).

In 2006 Norman Baker, a Lib-Dem. MP, took up the case, concluding that Kelly’s death was notsuicide. Data was inexplicably wiped from the hard drive of Baker’s computer in July 2006, but he wrote The Strange Death of Dr David Kelly the following year. An ex-Army medical officer, Dr Stephen Frost, also waged a long campaign for a full investigation of Kelly’s death, as did journalist Miles Goslett, who recently published An Inconvenient Death: How the establishment covered up the David Kelly affair (Daily Mail Australia, 14 January 2019). None of them, predictably, has succeeded in getting anyone to open the trapdoor of the black hole where the truth lies.

Dr Kelly went out for his usual mid-afternoon walk on 17 July 2003 and failed to return. Eighteen hours later, volunteers with a search dog succeeded where a heat-seeking helicopter had failed, in finding his body. After their report to local police, it was at least 25 minutes before two Thames Valley Constables came to take charge, with two paramedics. In the meantime, the volunteers met three other policemen, led by Detective Constable Graham Coe, near the scene. Coe later claimed he had only one companion, although five witnesses saw two. The paramedics saw very little blood, much less than would be expected from a severed artery, but a forensic pathologist described seeing scratches and bruises and copious quantities of blood, as did a forensic biologist. The volunteers saw the body propped against a tree, with a cut in the left wrist, and no objects on the ground. When the Thames Valley police arrived they saw the body on its back, a distance from the tree, with a knife (50 years old, and blunt), a watch and a water bottle near it. No fingerprints were found on them.

Evidence from the autopsy showed a knife wound whose direction and location suggested it almost certainly was not self-inflicted. The forensic report found 29 co-proaxamol painkillers in Kelly’s system, but the autopsy revealed only one fifth of one such tablet, which he was prescribed for a heart condition. A letter to The Times from medical specialists argued that it was impossible for Kelly to have died by cutting the ulnar artery and bleeding to death in the way Hutton described (Jim Rarey, ‘The Murder of David Kelly,’ The Journal of History, Winter 2004). Their doubts were shared by a plastic surgeon (a relative of Kelly’s) and a vascular surgeon whom she consulted after the inquiry.

Without inquiring into these or other anomalies, such as the failure to check Kelly’s mobile phone records, the Oxford Coroner obligingly adjourned his inquest when the Hutton inquiry pre-empted it. The Coroner later reviewed the evidence with the Lord Chancellor and concluded in March 2004 there was no need to reopen the inquest (Brian Wheeler, BBC News, ‘MP investigates Dr Kelly’s death’, 19 May 2006).

Some strange events appeared to anticipate Kelly’s death, on which silence later fell or was imposed. In the Thames Valley Police Tactical Support Major Incident Policy Book a ‘not for release’ document for Operation Mason was opened at ‘1430 17.07.03,’ up to an hour before Kelly went out, and closed at ‘930 18.07.03,’ about the time when Coe and his men left the scene. Kelly’s records disappeared from his dentist’s room on 17 July, before his body was officially located. The day before his death, Kelly told his confidante Judith Miller, the New York journalist, about ‘dark actors playing games’. Kelly had earlier expressed fear that he was on a hit-list to David Brouder, a former British Ambassador to Prague, saying he could be ‘found dead in the woods’. He told Brouder in Geneva that the PM’s claim that Iraq could launch WMD within 45 minutes was false, and said Blair’s PR adviser Alistair Campbell wanted a strongly-worded dossier supporting it. A barrister, Michael Shipton, reported a British intelligence contact telling him Kelly had been ‘taken down’ (Marcus Lowth, ‘Maybe the suicide of Dr David Kelly should face more scrutiny,’ 2 April 2018).

Kelly knew about much more than WMD. As a leading biological weapons expert, he transferred in 1984 from the Institute of Virology in Oxford to the Ministry of Defence at its Porton Down facility near Salisbury. After Vladimir Pasechnik defected to the UK in 1989 he revealed to Kelly and others that the USSR maintained a bioweapons program in violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (in force 1975), producing ‘microbial agents, bacterial agents and viral agents, particularly, plague and smallpox, which are transmissible from man to man, and could be launched against large civil populations’ (Jim Rarey, ‘The Murder of David Kelly,’ The Journal of History, Winter 2004. Christopher Davis,’ Frontline,’ PBS.). Kelly travelled several times to Russia and Iraq to inspect bioweapons, which in 1997 were banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. He went earlier to South Africa where the CIA collaborated with an apartheid-era program to develop genetically-altered diseases which would affect only designated groups, such as black people, as well as materials for use in assassinating individuals. Two scientists from Porton Down were transferred to that program.

This suggests there is much more in the black hole about Kelly, and the Skripals too. Some people at Porton Down may know what it is, but if they want to keep their jobs and their lives, they won’t say.

Quelle Surprise! Britain’s intelligence services systematically planted fake news in major newspapers

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© True Publica Org

Is the CIA editing your newspaper? Here is a great overview by Ed Jones of OpenDemocracyUK of why corporate media are the arch-exponents of “fake news”. The media are overwhelming owned and controlled by billionaires and gargantuan corporations, who depend on the support of other corporations for ad revenue, and employ journalists from a narrow, privileged class whose careers depend on maintaining access to elite sources. It would be simply astounding in these circumstances if we had anything resembling a pluralistic media.

The data concerns UK outlets, but the same principles apply in the US.

One section makes especially disturbing reading. It is the little-discussed matter of the intelligence services’ deep penetration of most western, and in some cases non-western, media organisations. In short, US intelligence services – and to a lesser extent British ones – have for many decades fed information to sympathetic journalists in key positions inside the “free” media, working with them hand in glove. Additionally, the CIA has sought to put its own people into publications to shape directly editorial content and influence public opinion. In some cases, these people may have reached very senior positions.

Nick Davies, of the Guardian, dedicated a whole chapter of his book Flat Earth News to documenting these practices. Strangely, that chapter is rarely mentioned. Journalists who praise the book instead concentrate on his less revealing concept of “churnalism” – journalism compromised by constraints of time and resources.

Jones adds other sources who make much the same point: Richard Keeble, professor of journalism at the University of Lincoln, … has written on the history of the links between journalists and the intelligence services. … He quotes Roy Greenslade, who has been a media specialist for both the Telegraph and the Guardian [and is a former editor of the Mirror newspaper], as saying: “Most tabloid newspapers – or even newspapers in general – are playthings of MI5 [Britain’s FBI].” Keeble goes on to say:

“Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of ‘one of Britain’s most distinguished journals’ as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll [the British equivalent of the CIA – my emphasis]. And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists.”

Keeble has given many more examples in his book chapter of the intelligence services infiltrating the media and changing the politics of the time, including around the miners strikes and Arthur Scargill in the 1980s and during the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2003. …

David Leigh, former investigations editor of The Guardian, wrote about a series of instances in which the secret services manipulated prominent journalists. He claims reporters are routinely approached and manipulated by intelligence agents and identifies three ways – providing examples for each in his article – in which they do it:

They attempt to recruit journalists to spy on other people or themselves attempt to go under journalistic “cover.”

They allow intelligence officers to pose as journalists “to write tendentious articles under false names.”

And “the most malicious form”: they plant intelligence agency propaganda stories on willing journalists who disguise their origin from readers.

Remember that those who should be exposing the intelligence services’ manipulation of the mainstream media are the very same mainstream media that are already compromised.

In other words, this story of is almost impossible for the media to tell because it would expose a very uncomfortable reality: that they are not, as they claim, watchdogs on power, but rather the lapdogs of the powerful.

If all this still seems hard to believe, please watch this video (below) of a senior German journalist admitting that he was recruited by the US intelligence services (h/t Antonio Nascimento). Udo Ulfkotte covered the Middle East for the Frankfurter Allgemeine for 12 years, and says he regularly acted as a conduit for CIA propaganda. He adds that many of his colleagues were doing the same, willingly promoting CIA disinformation.

If all this still seems hard to believe, please watch this video of a senior German journalist admitting that he was recruited by the US intelligence services (h/t Antonio Nascimento). Udo Ulfkotte covered the Middle East for the Frankfurter Allgemeine for 12 years, and says he regularly acted as a conduit for CIA propaganda. He adds that many of his colleagues were doing the same, willingly promoting CIA disinformation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGqi-k213eE

Blair: UK’s deceitful ideologue should be tried for Iraq war crimes

UK’s deceitful ideologue should be tried for Iraq war crimes: Expert

 

Tony Blair is “a deceitful and manipulative ideologue,” who should be tried for war crimes over his role in the 2003 Iraq war and for deceiving a naive British public, but instead he is discussing the threat of political uprising in the West, an international lawyer and political analyst says.

In a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday, Barry Grossman called the former British prime minister a “fraudulent and corrupt progressive” as well as “a Bill Clinton clone.”

On Monday, Blair warned that political upheavals in the West, including Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June and the November 8 election of Donald Trump as president of the US, as well as the collapse of the Italian government on Sunday, signals the most dangerous time for Western democracies in decades.

“It does feel perilous, actually, because I think there are decisions that are being taken of vast moment in circumstances where systems are fragile, and that is troubling,” Blair told the USA Today newspaper during a trip to Washington.

‘Blair advanced the New World Order agenda’

Tony Blair (left) and George W. Bush at the infamous March 2002 summit at Bush’s ranch house in Crawford, Texas, where the two men spoke about invading Iraq. (Photo by AFP)

“I find it bizarre that Tony Blair is still speaking publicly given that nobody is interested in anything he has to say, apart from insiders involved in promoting the same special interests he has long served and the wider establishment which he notes is being largely rejected by an angry electorate which has had enough of business as usual,” said Grossman, who is based in Bali, Indonesia.

“There is nothing particularly insightful about Tony Blair’s most recent comments and the only place where he should have a platform to speak publicly is the defendant’s dock in a criminal court trying him for his war crimes against Iraq and his deception of the British public while he was prime minister. He certainly brings nothing productive to the difficult process of addressing the issues of our day,” the analyst stated.

“At his best, he was nothing more than a Bill Clinton clone who went so far as to use key members of Clinton’s team to model his own victorious election campaign on the same ‘promise nothing and say anything’ tricks pioneered by Clinton,” he argued.

“At his worst, he was a deceitful and manipulative ideologue willing to commit any crime to advance the New World Order agenda he and his ilk have worked decades to foist upon an uninformed, gullible and naive public,” the lawyer noted.

In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs; but no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq. More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

‘Blair’s contrived diplomatic positions’

Grossman said, “The irony of Blair lamenting today’s nascent broad spectrum public rage at the Atlantic World establishment is completely lost on him, bearing in mind that the only reason he is still prancing around the globe under cover of various ever changing quasi-official portfolios, is that he was very much a key player in pushing the Atlantic World dominated international system we call the New World Order across the line.”

“So naturally today’s Atlantic World leaders are more than happy to keep him cloaked in the immunities that come with the contrived diplomatic positions bestowed on him so that he can remain insulated from any and all attempts to hold him legally accountable, while continuing to work behind closed doors to advance their cause,” the international lawyer explained.

‘Blair and Clintons sold out their people’

Tony Blair (right) and Hillary Clinton 

“The public is waking up to the fact that fraudulent and corrupt progressives like Tony Blair and the Clintons sold out ‘the people’ and the cause of genuine social justice to corporate and special interests which dominate the think tanks that formulate both the domestic and foreign policies prescribed to all the dominant political parties,” he stated.

“Fake progressive like Blair have always been equally willing to embrace neoliberal economic policies and neoconservative foreign policies, while paying lip service to the ideal of social justice. That said, they are neither liberals nor conservatives and certainly not progressives, so much as pragmatic corporatists who always keep a keen eye on their own personal self-interest,” the commentator noted.

“Their corrosive legacies are the main reason we now see a widespread public backlash against them and their corrupt business-as-usual way of advancing agendas which serve anything but the interests of social justice, security, progress, or the people,” he explained.

“Yes, things will apparently get a lot worse before they can get any better, largely because political parties opposing the hard-right have been fully infiltrated and corrupted by special interests and refuse to learn anything from their mistakes or get back to placing principle above political pragmatism, and the people above big business,” the analyst concluded.

Michael Gove is probably one of the most hare-brained, bonkers and deranged MPs to sit in the House of Commons.

The Mad Hatter of Westminster

 

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I first met Michael Gove when I was 17 years old and participating in the final of a regional schools debating competition. At that time he was Home Affairs Editor of The Times and was acting as one of the judges in the final round of the competition. I met him again at a reception a year later in Inner Temple, one of the old inns of law in London, at a reception with the late Baroness Thatcher whom I was asked to present a gift to. A few years later as I was graduating from Cambridge University I became professionally involved with him while helping to set up a think tank euphemistically called The Henry Jackson Society.
Gove became a Trustee of the The Henry Jackson Society just after he was elected a Tory MP in the General Election of 2005 Sadly, due to internal management and leadership problems The Henry Jackson Society degenerated into something which it was never intended to be. My own personal account of the degeneration of The Henry Jackson Society is still to be written but my former colleague Marko Hoare has already written an excellent expose from his own viewpoint of what went badly wrong with theHJS and it is well worth a read. Since then, and with the reality of what the Iraq War has created, I have renounced my original support for the war (I was to be fair to myself a naive 19 year old at the time) and severed my links with the HJS, repudiating it and what it stands for. As John Maynard Keynes once said: «the facts change, my opinions change». Yet, Michael Gove (17 years my senior and vastly more professionally experienced than myself), to the best of my knowledge, has not renounced his ardent intellectual and journalistic support for the invasion of Iraq or even expressed regret at the aftermath.
This unflinching, undiluted support for the Iraq War and its aftermath combined with his ideological hatred of the European Union and doctrinaire championing of a British exit from the EU at all costs, I think, qualifies him for the title of the Mad Hatter of the Westminster village. Gove is indeed probably one of the most hare-brained, bonkers and deranged MPs to sit in the House of Commons. Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel, labelled him a «political psychopath». I suppose having grown up with one for a brother, Ms Johnson knows one when she sees one. Mr. Gove, like Mr. Johnson, is divorced from reality.

He likes to think of himself as a intellectual snob. Yet, he only achieved a 2.1 in his undergraduate studies, not in the premier intellectual league of a First class degree, and is only educated to BA level having undertaken no post-graduate study and research. Being so absorbed in his own little pseudo-intellectual world, he evidently cannot see the intellectual word for the trees.

No more clearly can this be seen than in his steadfast support to this day for the Iraq War. Tariq Ali once recalled how, at the time of the Iraq War, he «debated the ghastly Gove on television [… and found him] worse than most Bush apologists in the United States». That takes quite some doing. Back in 2002 and 2003 from his column in the Murdoch owned Times. Gove helped beat the journalistic drumbeat to war in Iraq. As the loathsome Editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre put it in evidence to The LevesonInquiry: «I’m not sure that the Blair government – or Tony Blair – would have been able to take the British people to war if it hadn’t been for the implacable support provided by the Murdoch papers. There’s no doubt that came from Mr Murdoch himself».

Gove wrote in an article for The Times in December 2002 while he was Assistant Editor that the invasion of Iraq would «deliver millions from misery». Those who warned against the dangers of invading Iraq were labelled by Gove as «Saddam’s useful idiots». Even as far on as 2008 when it had become clear to most sensible and rational people that the invasion of Iraq had proved to be a catastrophe on epic proportions Michael Gove was adamant that the «liberation» of Iraq represented:«that rarest of things – a proper British foreign policy success». 

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. And so it was with Mr. Gove, stating in 2008 that: «Alone in the Arab Middle East, it is now a fully functioning democracy with a free press, properly contested elections and an independent judiciary». And just to leave no hostages to fortune Gove threw in for good measure that: «Sunni and Shia contend for power in parliament, not in street battles». Even in 2013 Gove was professing how he was a «big fan» of Tony Blair. 

Strangely Michael Gove has gone rather silent on the topic of the invasion of Iraq and it’s aftermath. Instead he has poured his political energy into leading the charge for another high-risk adventure, taking Britain out of the EU. Perplexing the man who professed during the EU referendum campaign that the British people had had enough of experts, never had his own political and intellectual judgement rigorously examined with regards to his greatest cheer-leading role before Brexit – that of the Iraq War. But just as Iraq is a liberated paradise of democracy and Sunni and Shia harmony in the fevered mind of Michael Gove, so to is it unnecessary for Britain to remain in the Single Market or even have an extended transitional phase upon it’s departure as has been mooted by the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. After demonstrating during the summer Tory leadership contest that Gove has loyalty only to himself and the ease he displayed in the (but ultimately cack-handed) political knifing of his fellow Brexiteer Johnson, the new Prime Minister Theresa May sacked Gove from the Cabinet and exiled him to the backbenches with the atonement: « I have been talking to colleagues and the importance of loyalty is something on people’s minds…. it would perhaps help if you could demonstrate that loyalty from the back benches». Ouch! Gove has now taken full advantage of his return to the backbenches to demonstrate his loyalty, yet not just from the backbenches of the House of Commons, but with a brand new column in his old employer of the Murdoch Times, which he is getting 150,000 pounds for.

Curiously one of the more overt corrupt quirks of the British House of Commons (which no one in the British media or public ever really campaign against) is that, outrageously, MPs can hold multiple outside jobs while still being an MP as long as they are not serving in Government. This means that many electors are left with part-time MPs who do not represent fully and solely the interests of their constituents but represent multiple outside commercial, business, journalistic, industrial and lobby interests which they derive a handsome income from in addition to their tax-payer funded MPs salary and expenses. It also means that the very people who are voting on the laws of the land and shaping and passing legislation are beholden to external financial interests and multiple conflicts of interests. All the MP has to do is «register» the outside interest and the financial remuneration involved. This type of activity is banned in the US Congress. Congressmen and Senators cannot hold outside, financially remunerated jobs as well as serving as elected representatives of the people and voting on the laws of the land.

There is no such ban in the British House of Commons. So, you have MPs who sit in Parliament and sit on Parliamentary committees – proposing legislation, scrutinizing and amending legislation and voting on legislation – who could also be working as a Director or Consultant for an investment bank – in effect a paid lobbyist who can influence and vote on financial regulation laws. And the British complain about the EU Parliament! It is not just Mr. Gove who has taken advantage of his return to the backbenches while still serving as an MP to get his snout firmly in the trough. The former Chancellor, who still serves as MP for Tatton, George Osborne, is also doing it as well. There was quite a to do about Hillary Clinton making paid speeches to financial groups before she ran for President. But the fact was Mrs. Clinton was out of politics at the time and was not holding any public office. She was a private citizen. Yet, since his return to the backbenches of the House of Commons in the summer time, Mr Osborne, still MP for Tatton has made well over 300,000 in paid speeches to big investment banks. Perhaps before the British public and the rest of the EU are subjected to any more hyperbolic, bonkers rantings from Michael Gove about how horrible and corrupt the European Union is he would kindly stop writing his 150,000 pound Murdoch paid column in The Times, focus on doing his job as an MP and making that his only job, and renounce his previous positions regarding the Iraq War, admit he was wrong and apologize to the millions of people who have since lost their lives, homes and loved ones

‘An example should be set’: Tony Blair faces new charges in Parliament for ‘misleading’ UK over Iraq

‘An example should be set’: Tony Blair faces new charges in Parliament for ‘misleading’ UK over Iraq

A cross-party group has tabled a new motion against Tony Blair, on the basis of facts revealed in the Chilcot report, that could see him stripped of his place on the Privy Council – a potential humiliation for the former leader, who is attempting to play a bigger role in UK politics.

The motion, which will be debated on Wednesday, claims that the seven-year Chilcot inquiry “provided substantial evidence of misleading information presented by the then prime minister and others on the development of the then government’s policy towards the invasion of Iraq as shown most clearly in the contrast between private correspondence to the United States government and public statements to parliament and people.”

It asks for “a further specific examination of this contrast in public and private policy and to report on what further action is necessary to help prevent repetition of this disastrous series of events.”

The motion was tabled by Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP, and has been backed by Plaid Cymru, the Greens, and senior figures from the two leading parties, according to the Observer, which broke the story.

“An example should be set, not just of improving government but holding people to account,” Salmond told the Sunday newspaper.

Alex Salmond © Cathal McNaughton

Salmond claimed that as a result of the inquiry, parliament could “recommend whatever action it pleases”, including depriving Blair of a place on the Privy Council, an advisory body that encompasses respected senior figures, and serves as a marker of establishment respect.

“If he continues to be a member of the Privy Council while there is all this damning evidence against him, what does that say about the institution?” Hywel Williams, Westminster leader of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, told the Observer.

Williams said the process would be “scrupulously fair” to the man who led the UK between 1997 and 2007, and that Blair would be given a chance to defend his position to MPs.

“The Chilcot report confirmed Tony Blair lied to the public, parliament and his own cabinet in order to drag us into the Iraq war. Privately, he said he would support Bush ‘whatever’ eight months before the war – everyone else was told war could be avoided,” said Caroline Lucas, the co-chair of the Greens.

“Thousands of lives were lost because he put that promise before all the evidence. Yet – despite the damning evidence against him contained in the inquiry’s report – no action has been taken against the former prime minister.”

Sir John Chilcot, the civil servant, who led the inquiry over the 2003 decision to invade Iraq, said that Blair went “beyond the facts” when advocating involvement in the conflict, and pushed through his views with “sheer psychological dominance,” but said he “absolved him from a personal and demonstrable decision to deceive parliament or the public.”

But Salmond said the facts revealed by the 2.6 million word report, released in July, were damning, while officials were “preoccupied with preventing previous and future prime ministers being held accountable.”

Salmond also referenced a slew of recent stories around the genesis of the inquiry, including the Observer Freedom of Information request, which revealed documents last week suggesting that it was set up by civil servants with a “legalistic” focus and designed to “avoid blame.”

Blair’s office has refused to comment on the motion, but sources told the Observer that Blair was unconcerned, as he had faced similar unsuccessful motions in the past, even without the backing of Chilcot.

Having served in a series of international roles since resignation, the Europhile Blair has recently moved his office to central London, and has campaigned for Britain to “keep its options open” over Brexit. He has, however, ruled out running for election, or being appointed to a senior government post.

“I can’t come into frontline politics. There’s just too much hostility, and also there are elements of the media who would literally move to destroy mode if I tried to do that,” he told the New Statesman earlier this week.

 

Have you ever heard such a dishonest statement? UK says 2011 Libya intervention ‘saved civilian lives’

UK says 2011 Libya intervention ‘saved civilian lives’

The British government defended its decision to militarily intervene in Libya in 2011 and help to topple long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, after criticism was directed at it in a parliamentary report.

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee published a report in September that harshly criticised the decision made by then-prime minister David Cameron to join France in a military intervention to save the lives of civilians during the revolt against Gaddafi’s regime.

The committee described the British intervention as “based on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.”

It also accused Cameron’s government of selectively taking the threats of Gaddafi at face value, suggesting that Gaddafi was full of bluster and did not seriously mean his threats.

The government responded today, stressing that its actions “undoubtedly” saved civilian lives in Libya, adding “Gaddafi was unpredictable and had the means and motivation to carry out his threats. His actions could not be ignored, and required decisive and collective international action.”

The critical report stated that Cameron should have been aware that “extremist Islamists would try to exploit the popular uprising,” noting that it did not find evidence that the British government had “correctly analysed” the nature of the various rebel factions.

On its part, the government stated in its response that the overwhelming majority of Gaddafi’s opponents have no links to the so-called Islamic extremism, noting that “Daesh are now on the back foot in Libya.”

 

Tony Blair “Brexit can be stopped”. I wish the same could be said about the B-liar himself

Brexit can be stopped: Tony Blair

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair says British citizens can stop the country’s departure from the European Union (EU) if they want to since Brexit is not etched in stone.

In an interview with the New Statesman on Thursday, Blair said Brexit “can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up.”

The former Labour Party premier, who was in office from 1997 until 2007, said it should be possible for the British people or parliament to switch their verdict if it becomes clear the alternative negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May is going to be worse.

On June 23, nearly 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, in hopes of taking back control over their borders and having more economic freedom.

Blair had previously described the EU referendum as “a catastrophe” and argued that British voters should be given the option of a second EU referendum.

Blair’s argument contrasts sharply with that of May, who has repeatedly said that “Brexit means Brexit” and that she’ll respect the referendum result.

Economic growth in the UK is expected to slow significantly next year, due to uncertainty over of the Brexit vote.

Experts have warned that leaving the EU will severely hurt London’s position as a financial hub, unless the UK decides to keep its access to the single EU market by loosening its stance on immigration.

If the UK loses its access to the EU’s single market, the resulting increase in the costs of doing business and exporting to the EU would hurt Britain’s competitive position in Europe.

Blair said on Thursday Britain should keep its “options open” on whether or not to leave the EU until after Brexit talks with the bloc are completed.

“Why wouldn’t you keep your options open? Why wouldn’t you say, ‘We took this decision, we took it before we saw what its consequences are; now we see its consequences, we’re not so sure?’” he asked.

Official: The Chilcot Inquiry on the UK’s illegal invasion of Iraq was a whitewash

UK’s Iraq war probe designed to ‘avoid blame,’ Whitehall memos reveal – report

RT | November 20, 2016

The injury into UK’s involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was designed by the government to avoid allocating blame to individuals and departments, memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act have reportedly revealed.

The papers were made public thanks to Chris Lamb, an FOI campaigner from Bristol, who had won a two-year court battle for the right to access classified memos by government officials relating to the creation of the Chilcot Inquiry. The memos were penned in the four-week period in May and June 2009, the Observer reported.

The documents revealed that high-level politicians in Britain sought to ensure that the probe would not result in branches of the government or individuals being held legally liable for the Iraq war. Some officials opposed a public inquiry due to the amount of daily publicity, cost and, ironically, long time such a procedure would take.

The Chilcot Report, released in July, was the culmination of seven years of investigation, started by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009, and chaired by Sir John Chilcot. Although the investigation had found that Saddam Hussein had not posed any credible threat to the West – nor were there any WMD in his possession – it stopped short of assigning any blame to Tony Blair, who was UK prime minister at the time of the invasion, or any officials in his government.

Now it has been reportedly revealed that officials at the highest levels were involved in driving the inquiry to that outcome.

“The inquiry was hobbled before it even started, with tight restrictions on what it could do that were not fully made public,” Lamb told the newspaper.

The Observer reports that according to the memos, former cabinet secretary under Brown, Sir (now Lord) Gus O’Donnell ignored Whitehall protocol when he made Margaret Aldred the secretary on the inquiry – one of the most senior roles with the investigation.

Aldred had chaired the Iraq senior officials group during the period Chilcot was investigating and her appointment ran against the advice by Cabinet Office official Ben Lyon, who said in one memo that the secretariat should not draw from civil servants, and specifically that they “should not have been involved in Iraq policy since 2002.”

Other people involved in the 2003 war helped set up the inquiry, including Sir Jeremy Heywood, who served as Blair’s parliamentary private secretary until 2003, and former spy chief Sir John Scarlett, who was the central figure in trumpeting up the so-called Iraq dossier on Saddam Hussein’s non-existant arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

In another memo, O’Donnell advised to avoid a legal focus, and recommended that the investigation be structured so as to prevent “any conclusion on questions of law or fact, which create circumstances which expose organizations, departments and/or individuals to criminal or civil proceedings or judicial review.” Part of this approach was not to have any judges or lawyers among the inquiry appointees.

Another big point for the investigation was to keep it secret rather than public. Lyon warned that a public inquiry would “attract a daily running commentary,” like the 2003 Hutton inquiry into the death of Iraq weapons inspector David Kelly. O’Donnell used the same reasoning and warned that a public inquiry would “threaten legal liability for individuals” and “take a long time.”

Brown initially wanted the injury to be carried by the Privy Council and announced this procedure in June 2009. But after a public outcry he agreed to make some of the hearing public.

‘War crimes of torture’: ICC prosecutor signals charges against US armed forces, CIA. UK mentioned too

‘War crimes of torture’: ICC prosecutor signals charges against US armed forces, CIA

US may have committed war crimes of torture, cruel treatment and rape, when it interrogated dozens of people in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2004, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says.

The International Criminal Court’s preliminary probe into the activities of the US armed forces and the CIA in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2004 shows there to be a “reasonable basis to believe that, in the course of interrogating these detainees […] members of the US armed forces and the US Central Intelligence Agency resorted to techniques amounting to the commission of the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said, as cited by AFP.

She discovered that most of the alleged abuses took place between 2003 and 2004, but did not cease in the following years. She also pointed out that the abuses appear to have been “approved interrogation techniques,” utilized deliberately in “an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees,” as the report states.

These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals.”

The report stated that the US Army soldiers subjected at least 61 detainees to torture practices, and CIA officers did so to at least 27 detainees, mostly between May, 2003 and December, 2004.

The alleged victims were typically male, with 70 percent of them aged between 18 to 34 years and 44 under the age of 18 at the time of the arrest and/or detention,” the report details.

The US military faced allegations of torture before. In December 2014, the US Senate issued the so-called ‘torture report’, which revealed that CIA officials lied to the government and public about its post-9/11 torture program, most notably by distorting records of interrogations, which used far more brutal methods than they let show. Then nearly a year ago, in late November of 2015, the US Department of Defense responded to the allegations, saying that the Department of Defense already had conducted nearly 200 investigations of detainee abuse, which led to prosecution or disciplinary action against “hundreds of service members” for “misconduct and mistreatment of detainees.” 

READ MORE: 10 most shocking facts we found in CIA torture report

Should formal charges be filed following Bensouda’s report, Washington may be found in violation of several ‘war crimes’ provisions of the ICC Rome Statute. However, as the United States has not ratified the Rome Statute, observers believe it is unlikely that its soldiers in foreign missions will be prosecuted.

In her annual “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities,” the ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda covered investigations being conducted against UK officials’ alleged “responsibility for war crimes” in Iraq between 2003 and 2008, as well as in connection with the situations in Ukraine and Palestine. 

‘Unlawful killings’ by UK

Britain is also mentioned in the ICC probe. It says it’s looking into a total of 1,390 victim accounts it received from the NGO European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Public Interest Lawyers (PIL). It appeared that 1,071 of those accounts related to alleged ill-treatment of detainees, and another 319 suggested alleged “unlawful killings” committed by the British personnel in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

According to PIL, British personnel committed 319 cases of unlawful killings out of which 267 were committed in the course of military operations other than arrest and detention, and 52 were committed against persons in custody of UK authorities,” the ICC said.

It highlighted some 25 of the most frequently reported methods of abuse, supposedly executed through more than 140 means, including beatings, sexual violence, deprivation of sleep and water, forced feeding and waterboarding

Chilcot: Blair went ‘beyond the facts’ & damaged UK politics when advocating for Iraq invasion

Blair went ‘beyond the facts’ & damaged UK politics when advocating for Iraq invasion – Chilcot

Former British PM Tony Blair resorted to rhetoric unsupported by any compelling evidence when he promoted the Iraq invasion to his cabinet and the British people, eroding public trust and inflicting long-term damage on UK politics, Sir John Chilcot said.

The author of the 2.6-million-word inquiry into the UK’s involvement into the US-led invasion in Iraq in 2003, Chilcot told the House of Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday that he could “only imagine” how much time it would take to repair the trust of the UK public in politics damaged by Tony Blair, who manipulated public opinion and his own cabinet by strong words into invading Iraq, rather than presenting hard evidence.

“I think when a government or the leader of a government presents a case with all the powers of advocacy that he or she can command, and in doing so goes beyond what the facts of the case and the basic analysis of that can support, then it does damage politics, yes,” Chilcot said, as cited by the Independent, after being questioned about the longstanding repercussions of Blair’s policy.

In his parliamentary address to the nation on March 18, 2003, Blair had employed all his rhetorical prowess to persuade the public of an “imminent threat” that did not exist, the report has found.

READ MORE: Blair pledges ‘no excuses’ for Iraq, then spends 2hrs making excuses

“A speech was made in advocate’s terms and putting the best possible inflection on the description that he used,” Chilcot said, adding that “objectively” the decision to send troops to Iraq was “unreasonable.”

However, Chilcot was cautious about blaming Blair for duping the British people into believing what he knew was not true, saying, “It’s impossible for me to say what was going through Tony Blair’s mind when he came to the conclusions he did,” the Guardian reported

While Chilcot does not consider Blair to be an outright liar who would “state falsehoods knowing them to be false,” he believes that the former PM had exploited his “political and personal dominance” over the cabinet to shun any debate on the issue.

Even when some cabinet members attempted to initiate a debate and seek more info from the PM on the weapons of mass destruction the then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was claimed to possess, Blair appeared to dodge the questions, Chilcot said.

“They were promised it sometimes, but the promises were not delivered,” Chilcot said, as cited by Daily Mail, recalling the evidence he was given by Blair’s foreign secretary Jack Straw.

READ MORE: British military equipment ‘wholly inadequate’ in Iraq, says Chilcot

The single-handed manner in which Blair dealt with the issue bypassing his government’s oversight resembles the way it could have been handled in the absolute monarchy of the 18th century, with Blair being a sovereign himself, Iain Wright, the member of the committee from the Labor Party, pointed  out.

“Is it almost the 21st Century equivalent of Louis XIV – ‘I am the state’?” he asked Chilcot, as cited by the Guardian. Chilcot, in turn, agreed with the notion.

“I observed what can be described in that way,” he said.

“Sir John’s evidence confirmed what many of us have long suspected – in making his case for war, Mr Blair went beyond the facts. In doing so, Mr Blair eroded the trust of the electorate in its leaders, a shocking legacy,” the committee chair said, commenting on the questioning session.

The much-awaited seven-year investigation into the Iraqi war, the Chilcot Report, was published in July. While the report did not raise the issue of the legality of the war, it shed light on the lack of evidence that would suggest that Iraq posed immediate threat to the UK, and blamed government for “wholly inadequate” preparations of the UK army to the war and underestimating its consequences.

In the wake of its release, Blair defended his controversial decision to venture into the war, arguing it was “the right thing to do” saying that he was acting in “good faith.”

People that understand that “Brexit” amounts to self harming hardly need the help of Blair, the most hated man in UK Politics

Tony Blair backs second EU referendum to reverse ‘catastrophic’ Brexit vote

Former PM also warned voters have choice between ‘hard Brexit Tory Party and a hard-left Labour Party’.

Tony Blair has backed the idea of holding a second EU referendum if the UK electorate changes its mind over the “catastrophic” Brexit vote.

The former Labour prime minister also said the government should not “close off any options” amid fears of a so called “hard Brexit”.

“The country has taken a decision in a referendum, there is no way that decision can be reversed, unless it becomes clear once people see the facts they change their mind,” Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning (28 October).

Blair, who was in Downing Street between 1997 and 2007, said the public could back remaining in economic and political bloc if a deal “doesn’t make it worth our while leaving”.

“There’s got to be some way, either through parliament, through an election, possibly through a referendum, in which people express their view,” the pro-EU politician said.

Brexit
People hold European Union flags outside the High Court in Central LondonStefan Wermuth/ Reuters

Blair also warned Jeremy Corbyn that millions of people could be left “politically homeless” if they can only choose between a “hard Brexit Tory Party and a hard-left Labour Party”.

Fellow former Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for parliament to have a vote on any Brexit deal, while Theresa May has vowed to press ahead with the process. But her government is currently facing a challenge in England’s High Court over ministers’ authority to trigger Article 50, the official mechanism to break from the EU, without a vote from MPs.

May has ruled out a second referendum and giving a “running commentary” on her negotiations with the EU.

Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the EC headquarters in Brussels, BelgiumYves Herman/ Reuters

But the Conservative premier has promised to end free movement of people from the bloc to the UK. EU chiefs, including European Council President Donald Tusk, have ruled out giving the UK “single market a la carte”.

Iraq: Chilcot report: a devastating exposure of the British establishment who are seeking re-run over Syria

Chilcot report: a devastating exposure of the British establishment

NOVANEWS
Proletarian issue 73 (August 2016)
Image result for Chilcot report CARTOON
Blair hung out to dry in an attempt to divert attention from the continuing crimes of British imperialism.
On 6 July this year, the eve of the 11th anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London terror attacks, the long-delayed Chilcot Report (CR) into the Iraq war was at long last made public. Its findings were intended to be ready for publication in 2010; actually it took a whole seven years for these findings to see the light of day. With an estimated word count of 2.6 million, the inquiry cost the taxpayer just over £10m.No class-conscious worker ever expected Sir John Chilcot to lay bare the real reasons for this war; that Anglo-American imperialism was guilty of a predatory war for domination (the highest crime against humanity), and that the war was directed at the overthrow of the legitimate Iraqi government, which presented an obstacle to the war aims of the imperialist banditry.

What is more, the CR accepts the false assumption – an assumption essentially accepted also by the social-democratic and Troto-revisionist fraternity – that the war would have been fully justified if Iraq had really been in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This basic premise is, however, completely unjustified. In all fairness, Iraq, or any other country, is as entitled to manufacture WMD as are the US, Britain, France and other nuclear powers.

If countries are to be denied the right to produce WMD, it can only be under a comprehensive, non-discriminatory, universal, verifiable and enforceable treaty that bars the production and possession of such weapons to all. Failing that, the attempts by imperialism to deprive some countries of the right to manufacture these weapons serves merely as an excuse to disarm them as a prelude to imperialist wars for regime change.

It is thus the case that, while looking the other way when it comes to the sizeable nuclear arsenal of the zionist state of Israel, imperialism is conducting a relentless war – by propaganda, economic sanctions and blockade, and other means – against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear capability, which the DPRK needs as the surest guarantee of its sovereignty, and as a protection against US imperialism’s evil designs for the overthrow of its government and social system.

Be that as it may, considering the narrow scope and terms of its reference, Sir John’s report has proved devastating for the British establishment in terms of exposing and holding it to account for its share in that destructive and predatory war, which, in addition to the loss of 179 British soldiers’ lives, resulted in the death of two million innocent Iraqis, the internal and external displacement of more than five million, and the wholesale destruction of the country, leaving behind the legacy of sectarianism and terrorism which since then has spread to, and destabilised, vast areas of the middle east and is now threatening to become a feature of life in the centres of imperialism – as is evident from the recent spate of terror attacks in Belgium, France and Germany.

Most people had come to expect a whitewash from Chilcot, following its predecessors, the Hutton and Butler reports. Thankfully, and surprisingly, this is not the case. Sir John’s report exposes, albeit in the understated language of the British civil servant, in pitiless detail, the dishonest, hypocritical, duplicitous, villainous and shallow conduct of the then Labour leader and prime minister, Tony Blair – the chief British warmonger. Notwithstanding its emphasis on Blair, the report has much wider application, which we shall come to shortly.

Chilcot’s aversion to calling a spade a spade

With an inbuilt dislike for calling a spade a spade, Sir John does not say that Blair told bare-faced lies. Instead, in reference to Blair’s September 2002 statement warning that Iraq had WMD that could be launched in 45 minutes threatening British bases in Cyprus, Chilcot says: “The judgments about Iraq’s capabilities in that statement, and the dossier published on the same day, were presented with a certainty which was not justified.” Translated into plain language, it means that the statement was a lie. (See Chilcot report: Tony Blair’s Iraq war case not justified, BBC News, 6 July 2016)

War was unnecessary if the aim, as claimed by Blair, was to deprive Iraq of its WMD (WMD which Iraq did not in fact possess) says the CR: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted”, adding that “Military action was not a last resort”.

Characteristically, Sir John does not say outright that the war was illegal even under British law. However, he implies precisely that in dealing with the argument that the legality of the war depended on an assurance by Blair to his attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, that Iraq was guilty of “further material breaches” of its obligations to the UN.

The “precise basis on which Mr Blair made that decision is not clear,” says Sir John. In other words, Blair’s assertion was baseless. That being the case, as there was in fact no legal basis for his assertion, Blair was guilty of leading Britain into an illegal war. What is more, cabinet ministers were, or allowed themselves to be, kept in the dark about the “legal uncertainties” concerning the war. (See Damning Chilcot report helps answer these key questions about the Iraq War by Shane Croucher, International Business Times, 6 July 2016)

Goldsmith comes out badly from the CR, with his reputation nearly as badly damaged as that of Blair. Having initially argued that military action needed a second UN resolution, which did not materialise because of French, Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN security council, he allowed himself to be arm-twisted into changing his mind and providing a legal cover for the predatory war against Iraq.

The CR concludes that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for British military action “were far from satisfactory” – ie, it was a dishonest legal opinion. Goldsmith did not even provide written advice explaining his decision.

Responding to the CR, Goldsmith asserted that it was his “honestly-held opinion that there was sufficient authority in UN Security Resolution 1441, together with Resolutions 678 and 687, to go to war. I welcome the fact that there is nothing in today’s report that challenges either my conclusion or my view.” (See Circumstances of decision to invade Iraq were ‘far from satisfactory’ by Patrick Wintour and Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, 6 July 2016)

Like Blair, he must be totally deluded to believe that the CR does not challenge either his conclusion or his view. It does precisely that, albeit in understated language.

As a matter of fact, the CR points out that as early as December 2001, Blair’s policy was to work for regime change in Baghdad. In a memo dated 28 July 2002, Mr Blair promised US president George W Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.” Legal or not, Blair had committed Britain to participation in the Iraq war a whole eight months before its commencement, while working to invent ‘facts’ to justify British imperialism’s part in this criminal predatory venture.

Flawed intelligence

The CR censures intelligence chiefs for allowing Blair to publish false claims. The joint intelligence committee (JIC), then headed by Sir John Scarlett, is strongly criticised for allowing Blair to present, without being challenged, the case for war more strongly than was warranted by the evidence, which was “flawed”.

In 2004, Scarlett was promoted to the head of MI6. He left the service in 2009 and has since advised firms including Statoil, PricewaterhouseCooper and Morgan Stanley, although, as someone complicit in a megalomaniac’s march to war, he should, in the words of the Daily Mail’s Max Hastings, “be running a whelk stall on St Helena”. (How our ruling class betrayed us: the cabinet. MI6, generals, law officers, civil servants … all were complicit in a megalomaniac’s march to war, 7 July 2016)

Also criticised in the report is Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6. In a damning passage, the report says that the misleading Iraq weapons dossier (the ‘dodgy dossier’), with its exaggerated claims about the threat to Britain’s national security by Iraqi weapons, when in fact there was no imminent threat at all, left “a damaging legacy, including undermining trust and confidence in government statements, particularly those that rely on intelligence that cannot be independently verified”.

Since MI6 supplied “flawed intelligence and assessments” on Iraq’s ability to use WMD, the agency is clearly left with a huge trust deficit – as, indeed, is the political establishment. (See Chilcot’s indictment of Tony Blair could hardly be more damning by Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, 6 July 2016)

Although Blair claimed that the US and Britain were carrying out the will of the UN security council, as a matter of fact he embarked on the invasion without the approval of the UN. “In the absence of a majority [in the security council] in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the security council’s authority.” This is a damning indictment of the warmongers, who claimed to be acting in the name of the security council against the Iraqi government for the latter’s alleged flouting of security council resolutions! (See BBC, op cit)

Robin Cook’s resignation

Many senior government ministers, such as Gordon Brown and John Prescott, did not challenge Blair’s assertions and the drive to war because they were not included in decisions – or, more likely, because they allowed themselves to be excluded. Robin Cook, the then foreign secretary and the leading opponent of the war in early 2003, alone emerges with honour.

Standing at the back of the House to deliver a searing critique of the case for war, he quizzed intelligence chiefs over their claims and resigned to a standing ovation on 17 March, saying: “I can’t accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement and domestic support … the threshold for war should always be high.”

He predicted civilian deaths on a mass scale. Iraq “probably had no weapons of mass destruction”, he said and probably only had chemical weapons sold to the regime by the US in the 1980s, asking: “Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?” Mr Cook went on to conclude: “I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, that I resign from the government.” (See This is Robin Cook’s powerful resignation speech that failed to stop the Iraq War by Dan Bloom, Mirror, 6 July 2016)

As a matter of fact, the entire British cabinet (with the exception of Mr Cook), MI6, army generals, law officers, civil servants, the majority of Labour and Tory members of parliament and most newspapers happily joined Blair’s drumbeat to war.

Iraq war made Britain less safe

Contradicting Blair’s assertions that military action in Iraq would make Britain safe, the CR says: “Mr Blair had been warned … that military action would increase the threat from al-Qaeda to the UK and an invasion might lead to Iraq’s weapons and capabilities being transferred to the hands of terrorists” – precisely what has actually happened since. (See BBC, op cit)

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of MI5 from 2002-7, told the inquiry that the invasion of Iraq substantially increased the terrorist threat to Britain and helped to radicalise young British muslims. This is corroborated by Alistair Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor, who wrote in his diaries: “Eliza gave a very gloomy picture of the terrorist scene here, said that even though al-Qaeda were not directly linked to Iraq, they would use an attack on Iraq to step up activity here. TB [Blair] was looking really worried at that point.” (See Key figures scrutinised in the Chilcot report by Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, 6 July 2016)

Dame Eliza is one of the few to emerge from the CR with her reputation enhanced.

Britain’s humiliating defeat

In addition, the report says that the war was characterised by catastrophically poor planning, poor risk assessment and equipment shortages which, among other things, led to a “humiliating” defeat for the British military in Basra, with British troops having to use prisoner exchanges to get patriotic resistance forces to stop targeting them. In a masterly understatement, Sir John concludes: “The UK’s military role in Iraq ended a very long way from success.” In plain language it means that the UK’s military action in Iraq ended in a humiliating defeat. (See BBC, op cit)

Blair’s response to the report

On the same day as the CR was presented, Tony Blair held a press conference lasting almost two hours, during which he attempted to brazen out his criminal record on the war against the people of Iraq. Contradicting all available evidence, he claimed there was no rush to war; that there were no lies; that parliament and the cabinet were not misled; that there was no secret deal with America; that intelligence was not falsified; and that the decision to go to war was made in good faith. (See In full: Tony Blair’s press conference after the publication of the Chilcot report by Scott Arthur, YouTube, 9 July 2016)

The truth is that he had, as early as 2002, committed Britain to war, as is clear from his above-cited 28 July 2002 note to Bush saying “I will be with you, whatever.” While repeatedly asserting that the aim of the war was to disarm Iraq, in secret correspondence with Bush he wrote that “getting rid of Saddam Hussein is the right thing to do”. In other words, the war was for effecting regime change and replacing the government of Iraq with one subservient to Anglo-American imperialism.

Eleven days after 11 September 2001, Blair travelled to Washington as an honoured guest for George W Bush’s address to a joint session of the US Congress. The following month, he was in Brighton to speak at the Labour Party conference. During his speech, marked by delusions of grandeur, he said ominously: “The kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. Soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us reorder this world around us.” (See Full text: Tony Blair’s speech, The Guardian, 2 October 2011)

A few days after the start of this criminal predatory war, Blair wrote to Bush on 26 March 2003 thus: “Our fundamental goal is to spread our values of freedom, democracy, tolerance and rule of law … That is why, though Iraq’s WMD is the immediate justification for action, ridding Iraq of Saddam is the real prize … This is the moment when you can define international priorities for the next generation: the true post-Cold War world order.” (See Declassified letters: From Tony Blair to George Bush about the Iraq war, Business Insider, 6 July 2016)

Shorn of all euphemism, the above words have only one meaning – namely, the pursuit of complete and total domination by Anglo-American imperialism through the forcible overthrow of the legitimate governments of countries that stood in the way of such domination. The allegations of Iraq’s possession of WMD and the faked intelligence to support these allegations were merely an excuse and a pretext for waging a devastating war in pursuit of domination.

Astoundingly, Blair asserted that the world is a safer place after the war: “I believe I made the right decision and the world is in a better place right now.”

As someone who participated in the unleashing of the most horrendous and devastating terror on the Iraqi people, with millions of people slaughtered and displaced, and the wholesale destruction of the country, he shamelessly went on to say: “Saddam was himself a wellspring of terror, a continuing threat to peace and to his own people. If he had been left in power in 2003, then I believe he would have once again threatened world peace.”

He concluded by saying: “I can’t say sorry for Iraq … I’d do it again.” The Daily Mail article cited above, written after Blair’s brazen press conference, quite correctly characterised him as “a monster of delusion”. Indeed, looking at the middle east in the aftermath of the Iraq war, only someone who had taken leave of his senses and was thoroughly bankrupt morally could have made these assertions.

Military families demand Blair’s prosecution

Following the release of the report, military families called him a terrorist. Sarah O’Connor, whose brother Bob died in Baghdad in 2005, expressed her judgment and anger in the following words: “There is one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of, and his name is Tony Blair – the world’s worst terrorist.” Her words were enthusiastically cheered by some of the other relatives.

Twenty-five bereaved family members were at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London, where they were given a few hours to read the report before it was officially published. Most of them welcomed the report. “Everything he [Sir John] said today, we have been saying for all these years,” said Rose Gentle, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed by a roadside bomb at the age of 19.

Pauline Graham, Rose Gentle’s mother, said: “Now we know where we stand and what we can do. Tony Blair should be taken to court for trial for murder. He can’t get away with this any more”.

Reg Keys, whose son Tom was killed in 2003 aged 20, told reporters that, considering the ongoing terrorist deaths in Iraq, “I can only conclude that unfortunately, and sadly, my son died in vain.”

Mr Keys’ sentiment was echoed by other relatives of the fallen British soldiers. Theresa Thompson, whose son Kevin was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Basra in 2007, aged 21, said: “It was an illegal war. He died in vain. He died for no purpose.” “I won’t stop till Tony Blair is held responsible for this,” said her husband Mark. (See Reg Keys, Rose Gentle and Sarah O’Connor react to the Chilcot report by Express and Star News, YouTube, 6 July 2016)

This is a sentiment shared not only by bereaved families of British soldiers but by millions of people across the country.

Corbyn’s apology

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did the decent thing and apologised on behalf of the Labour party for the Iraq war, saying that those who took the decisions “laid bare in the Chilcot report” must now face up to the consequences. He described the Iraq war as the most “serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years”, after meeting families of military personnel.

In a speech at Westminster he said: “I apologised to them for the decisions taken by our then government that led this country into a disastrous war. It’s a disaster that occurred when my party was in government.”

Without naming Blair, Mr Corbyn said that parliament had been misled by a “small number of leading figures in the government”, who were “none too scrupulous” about how they made their case for war. He went on to “apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003.

“That apology is owed first of all to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country is still living with the devastating consequences of the war and the forces it unleashed.” It was they, the Iraqi people, he said, who had paid the greatest price.

Speaking after David Cameron in the House of Commons, he described the war as an “act of military aggression” that was considered illegal “by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion”. Continuing, he sated: “It [the war] led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of refugees. It devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and society.

“The occupation fostered a lethal sectarianism that turned into a civil war. The war fuelled and spread terrorism across the region”.

The former Labour government, he said, had misled parliament. “The government’s September 2002 dossier that Iraq had WMD that could be deployed in 45 minutes was the most notorious of many deceptions.” He invoked the memory of the late Robin Cook, who, in his resignation speech, had stated clearly in “a few hundred words what has been confirmed by this report in more than two million words”. (See Corbyn apologises after Labour’s role in Iraq war ‘laid bare’ by Chilcot report by Anushka Asthana, Rowena Mason and Jessica Elgot, The Guardian, 6 July 2916)

Let it be noted that as Corbyn delivered his damning apology, Labour backbencher Ian Austin shouted: “Sit down and shut up, you’re a disgrace.” Austin’s shameful heckle was supported by several other Labour MPs, including Mike Gapes, Steve McCabe, Margaret Beckett and Alan Johnson.

Gapes also used social media to criticise Corbyn’s apology: “Saying sorry to victims’ families is not the same as apologising for removing a brutal fascist regime. I don’t.” Obviously Mr Gapes is unable to see the real brutal fascist dictators of Anglo-American imperialism, who wage predatory wars of rapine and pillage and overthrow governments that present an obstacle to their quest for domination. (See The Chilcot report: Jeremy Corbyn blasted for Iraq War apology by Lucy Fisher, The Times, 8 July 2016)

The despicable Ann Clwyd said that she would still vote for the war against Iraq: “No one will ever be able to convince me that the world is not better off without Saddam Hussein in power.” (I’d still vote to go to war in Iraq, The Guardian, 6 July 2016)

No Conservative MP plunged such depths of degradation, decadence and degeneration as did the MPs belonging to an allegedly socialist party. Even David Cameron had the decency to say that MPs who had voted for the war against Iraq in 2003, as he had, should take their “fair share” of the responsibility for its consequences. In his statement on the CR, he said that “MPs on all sides who voted for military action will have to take our fair share of the responsibility. We cannot turn the clock back but we can ensure that lessons are learned and acted on.” (See PM statement on the Iraq Inquiry,Government website, 6 July 2016)

Having said that lessons ought to be learned, he went on to negate his statement by affirming his commitment to Britain waging imperialist wars to protect ‘human rights’ [read imperialist super-exploitation and brigandage] and safeguard Britain’s special relationship with the US. Failures over Iraq, he said, should not undermine the idea that Britain should intervene where human rights were endangered.

Nor should the CR lead to Britain’s ‘special relationship’ with the US being questioned. “It would be wrong to conclude that we shouldn’t stand with our American allies when our common security interests [ie, ‘our’ imperialist interests] are threatened,” he said, adding: “I don’t think they’re always right but I think they’re always our best partner and we should work with them.”

As one of the architects of the predatory war against Libya, he doubtless had in mind the defence of that criminal enterprise, which resulted in the deaths of several tens of thousands of innocent Libyans, the murder of their leader Colonel Gaddafi, and the wholesale destruction of their country. This is what passes for ‘learning lessons’ with the political spokesmen of imperialism.

Calls for Blair’s prosecution

Corbyn also apologised to the families of soldiers “who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured or incapacitated”. Hinting at a case for prosecuting key decision makers, he said: “We need Britain to join the 30 countries including Germany and Spain that already support giving the International Criminal Court the power to prosecute those responsible for the crime of military aggression.”

Paul Flynn, shadow commons leader, said that Blair might have a legal case to answer. “I think really there should be serious consideration to him being prosecuted for this but I think this remains to be seen,” he told BBC2’s Daily Politics programme.

In apologising on behalf of his party, Mr Corbyn stated that the “decision to go to war in Iraq has been a stain on our party and our country”. In uttering this sentence Mr Corbyn was ignoring the bloody record of the Labour party and the blood-soaked history of British colonialism and imperialism. No one in the least acquainted with historical truth would be fooled by Mr Corbyn’s attempt to present in bright colours the record of the Labour party and Britain alike.

Even Sir Michael Rose, former commander of the SAS, who led the UN forces in Bosnia, had this to say in the Daily Mail of 7 July 2016: “This war was unjust and unjustifiable. On 9 January 2006, I publicly called for the impeachment of Blair over Iraq. At that time our MPs did not have the moral courage to act. Today, reflecting on the anger of the people of this country who have been so betrayed by him, they will do so now.”

He expressed the belief that the families of the 179 soldiers killed in Iraq have a number of possible grounds for legal action against Blair. (Why the families should see Blair in court)

Attempts to safeguard the system by sacrificing Blair

In May 1997, after Labour’s landslide election victory, Tony Blair stated from the steps of 10 Downing Street: “Mine will be a government that seeks to restore trust in politics in this country.” As it turned out, no British prime minister in recent history has left office with such a legacy of distrust in bourgeois politics.

And this in large measure can be accounted for by Britain’s participation under Tony Blair in the imperialist war against Iraq. Because he has brought such discredit to the ruling class, the latter has turned against him, with the hope that by sacrificing him the whole system may be purged and carry on with repression at home and war abroad.

But it will be difficult to square this circle, as there is the widespread perception that the people of Britain have been betrayed not by Tony Blair alone, but by a much wider range of political, journalistic, ideological, parliamentary, ministerial and business representatives of imperialism, with the full backing of intelligence agencies and the top echelons of the civil service.

In a withering piece in the Mail on Sunday, conservative journalist Peter Hitchens laid into the hypocrites who supported the war willingly and are now busy passing the buck to the fallen and deservedly discredited and despised Tony Blair.

“If you want to blame anyone for the Iraq disaster, look at yourselves,” he wrote. “I mean those scores of MPs of both parties who scuttled, bleating, through the war lobby [on 18 March 2003, parliament voted by 412 to 149 for war] and now claim, falsely, that they didn’t know the facts.

“I mean my media colleagues, who have been trained from their earliest years to doubt what they are told, yet swallowed Alastair Campbell’s great dish of steaming tripe without a thought. Come on, how hard was it to see that the danger was invented, that the war was illegal and that it was none of our business? I have no prophetic powers but I could see it.”

Mr Hitchens pointed out that instead of learning from the Iraq fiasco, the same people who claim to have been fooled by Blair are willingly allowing themselves to be fooled into supporting a war with Russia: “And yet, diddled so blatantly that even an official report now confirms it, you still don’t learn. How many supposedly responsible voters are currently being fooled by today’s attempt to spin us into a stupid conflict with Russia, a country almost nobody in Whitehall knows anything about or understands?

“At least as many as were misled by claims of a fictional massacre into supporting the Libya disaster. At least as many as were persuaded by a media chorus to admire Hilary Benn’s feeble, poorly argued speech urging us to bomb Syria.

“Is there no idiocy you can’t be gulled into by a bit of atrocity propaganda or the endless recycled claim that the chosen target is the new Hitler, who must not be ‘appeased’?”

Mr Hitchens offered a “word of advice” and issued an ominous warning in these words: “If you don’t like atrocities, don’t start wars. Wars are the mother and father of atrocities, and one day they will come home to us, if we keep launching them against others.”

He concluded his thought-provoking article with remorseless logic and powerful arguments as follows: “Vladimir Putin is already being turned into the new Hitler. Nobody who knows anything about Russia thinks this is true. But a couple of weeks ago we more or less secretly sent British troops to Ukraine, a country with which we are not in any way allied, and which is a war zone. Was parliament asked about ‘Exercise Rapid Trident’? I can find no record of it.

“We have just made the daft decision to send 650 scarce troops to Poland and Estonia. This is supposedly in response to a ‘Russian threat’ to these countries for which there is no actual evidence. Apart from the tiny enclave of Kaliningrad, Poland doesn’t even have a border with Russia. As the wise academic Professor Richard Sakwa, whose father served in the pre-war Polish army, has rightly said: ‘Nato grew to meet the threat it had itself provoked’.

“If we are not careful, we shall once again create a war out of our own exaggerated fears and by believing our own propaganda. Any of you who are taken in by this have no right to attack Mr Blair. You are as bad as he is. He and his like couldn’t do what they do without your help.” (Want to see who started the Iraq war? Look in the mirror, 10 July 2016)

Imperialism means war

Though welcoming the CR for exposing the deception and fraud that British imperialism’s political representatives and intelligence services resorted to in the run up to the Iraq war, those representing the interests of the proletariat must go further and explain to the latter the mainsprings of modern war in general and the Iraq war in particular – namely, that imperialism is the source of modern war.

The wars waged by imperialism have nothing to do with democracy, freedom or the rule of law, but everything to do with domination. And since war cannot be eliminated without destroying imperialism, the struggle for peace must be inextricably combined with the struggle against imperialism.

In its quest for domination, in waging predatory wars, imperialism is able to enlist the support of its own privileged workers – what Lenin called the ‘labour aristocracy’ – who act as a purveyor of corruption and opportunism in the working-class movement. (See Imperialism and the split in socialism, October 1916)

Nothing could have illustrated this support more clearly than the Labour party and trade union leaders backing the renewal of Trident, supposedly in order to preserve the jobs of skilled labour, on the one hand, and supporting the Remain campaign in the referendum for fear that a Brexit would weaken imperialism, on the other.

In its struggle against imperialism, the working class must also wage an uncompromising struggle against this opportunism that weakens and divides our movement. One only has to cast a cursory glance at the Labour members of the British parliament and the trade union bosses to be convinced of this simple, yet hard to learn, truth

UK’s actions over Syria as illegal as Iraq invasion, ‘Momentum’ backs wrong side & Corbyn is as quiet as a church mouse

Syria, WW3 and the Silence of Jeremy

Nick Kollerstrom — Terror on the Tube Oct 15, 2016

boris-johnsonFor the first time, Britain has produced an utterly clueless Foreign Secretary.
Maybe, Boris was OK as Mayor of London.
Not surprisingly, he concurs with what Kerry tells him, and is now calling for a more ‘kinetic’ approach to the Syrian conflict – i.e., to threaten war with Russia.
Its all so exciting isn’t it Boris?
This is a golden opportunity for Our Jeremy. The Lion-hearted Jeremy. All those years we’ve heard his roar on the anti-war demos…. but now, is he entrapped by his own party? We are hurt by his terrible silence.
Boris Johnson has called for demonstrations outside the Russian embassy. Is that how a Foreign Secretary should behave? Where does this leave Russian diplomats in London?  That is encouraging race hate – Russians are Slavs. Isn’t that a crime? Jeremy, speak up!
As Wikileaks has revealed, for years the US has aggressively pursued regime change in Syria, which has ignited the present bloodbath.

Here is a fine summary of the crisis over Aleppo, as reported in the Boston Globe:

‘For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.
This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.
Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars,” one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS — so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?”
This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a “liberated zone” for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.
Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win.
This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.
Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank “experts.” After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.
Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.
Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of “rebels” or “moderates,” not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a “rat line” for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey’s good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it — and because that is the official line in Washington.
UK citizens are being given a wholly untruthful storyline here, as if trying to stimulate WW3. What a golden opportunity for Jeremy to speak out, against the war-hawks!
But wait, The hard-left group ‘Momentum’ are trying to pressure Jeremy to speak out – condemning Putin and Assad!  They, it claims, have caused  ’the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths.’ Their letter to him spoke of the ‘horrific crimes’ of Assad.
Erm, no.
The letter to Corbyn from Momentum is totally Blairite! A ‘hands off Syria’ policy, it says, will only give Assad carte blanche to continue slaughtering his own people. We heard that crap from Blair when he was starting the Iraq war – Saddam Hussein is so evil, he even gasses his own people. Then we heard it about Ghadaffy – he keeps bombing his own people, we’ve got to stop it. So Libya was destroyed. Now its Assad’s turn.

Stop the War loonies

Last Weekend Our Jeremy was heckled at a Stop the War, for failing to call for regime change! But, did not Assad just recently win a fair election with around 70% of the vote? Why do Britons believe they have a right to call for other countries’ ‘regime change’?
Here are some comments on the Mail’s article about this Stop the War meeting, the ‘best rated’:
There would be no war in Syrian if America and UK never went in with the bombs, and protected, funded, supported, trained and supplied….I* S* I* S rebels!
Do they want to see Assad suffer the same fate as Iraqi and Libyan leaders. Assad is still the Syrian President, world leaders should be talking to him, not trying to kill him.
Syria regime change is for the Syrians to decide. You don’t arm rebels and mercenaries from all over the world and send them to Syria to change the regime.
Peace activists! What kind of peace activist would demand regime change after catastrophes in Iraq and Libya? These are infiltrators and that was so obvious.
The sort who are bankrolled by Globalist Billionaires, intent on flooding Europe with migrants.
     C’mon Jeremy, speak for the Peace Movement – not the Other Side.
 Alas, Jeremy has now thrown Red Ken to the wolves, chuckled him off Labour’s NEC because of some whining Jews, after Ken had made a totally historically-correct statement about the Hasbara agreement between Jews and Nazis in the 1930s. (Ken also added, ‘The creation of the State of Israel was a great catastrophe’) Jeremy and Red Ken had been together for decades, always part of the same anti-war struggle. This is a moment when Jeremy would really need advice, guidance and support from his old friend Ken Livingstone.
Labor needs a policy in accord with international law – not piracy.

The Voice of Reason

And this – every Labour MP needs to view this:

RAF in Syria

What the hell are RAF planes doing, flying over Syria? Its a sovereign state and they have no right under international law to do this. The RAF calls this ‘Operation Shader’ and say its for ‘anti-ISIS work in Iraq and Syria.’ Will they attack Russian planes? A pilot may do so: “if a pilot is fired on or believes he is about to be fired on, he can defend himself. ” So RAF Tornado pilots illegally flying over Syria can now start WW3.
Presumably this is the ‘kinetic’ approach to the crisis that Boris Johnson has called for.

 

Source

Nothing learned from Chilcot, Iraq, the UK is trying to do the same in Syria

Syria, the UK and Funding the “Moderate armed opposition”

By Felicity Arbuthnot | Dissident Voice | October 15, 2016

A document produced last December by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, headed: “UK Non-Humanitarian Aid in Response to The Syria Conflict”, makes interesting reading. The British government, it states, has spent “over £100 million” since 2012, “working closely with a range of actors” to “find a political solution to the conflict and prepare to rebuild the country in the post Assad era.” (Emphasis added.)

“Our efforts … include providing more than £67 million of support to the Syrian opposition.”

One of the “actors” to benefit from hefty chunks of British taxpayers moneys is the Syrian National Coalition whose website states under “Mission Statement and Goals”: “The coalition will do everything in its power to reach the goal of overthrowing the Assad regime …” and to “Establish a transitional government …” (Emphasis added.) Thus the UK government is overtly supporting the illegal overthrow of yet another sovereign government.

This all reads like a re-run of Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraq National Congress and Iyad Allawi’s Iraq National Accord, backed by the British and US governments to equally criminally overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Iraq’s football pitches, gardens and back yards turned graveyards, probably three million deaths between the embargo, the 1991 thirty two country assault, the 2003 blitzkrieg and invasion – ongoing – the ruins of the “Cradle of Civilisation” of which Syria is equally custodian, are silent witness to that gargantuan crime against humanity – and history. Will Washington and Whitehall never learn – or is destruction of civil societies, Nazi-like aggression, illegal overthrows and rivers of blood their raison d’être?

Incidentally, Foreign Office accounting farcically includes: “more than £29 Million to reduce the impact of the conflict on the region.” Stopping the dropping of British bombs would surely be the most practical way to do that – and persuading their US “coalition partners” to do the same. Yet more nauseating, murderous, hypocrisy.

Talking of reducing “the impact of conflict on the region” – here is what the UK is contributing to destroying it – courtesy again the (un-consulted) British taxpayer:

Each of the RAF’s Tornado GR4 jets costs £9.4 million, and each flight costs around £35,000 per hour.

Two Tornados are typically used for each flight, and each flight lasts anywhere between four and eight hours. Even at the lowest estimate, each flight costs £140,000.

Their cargo is four Paveway bombs and two Brimstone missiles, costing £22,000 and £105,000 per unit respectively.

That’s £298,000 plus the cost of the flight which is £438,000, and that’s an optimistic estimate. If the jets carry Storm Shadow missiles – which cost a cool £800,000 a pop – and conduct an eight-hour mission, the total cost is a hell of a lot higher, and none of this takes into account the cost of fuel.

The British government document informs that: “To date, there are over 2,700 volunteers in 110 civil defence stations across northern Syria, trained and equipped with help from UK funding … The ‘White Helmets’ as they are more commonly known …” The “White Helmets”, of course, only work in the areas held by the “moderate” organ eating, child decapitating, human incinerating, crucifying “opposition.”

In Foreign Office parlance, under the heading: “Moderate armed opposition: £4.4 million”, it is explained that this has been devoted to “life saving equipment”, presumably for the head choppers since the “life savers” appear to be their guests. Indeed the “White Helmets” website states that: “They are the largest civil society organisation operating in areas outside of government control …” (Emphasis added.)

Also, near farcically, the Foreign Office informs: “We have also funded Law of Armed Conflict training to help commanders train their fighters to understand their responsibilities and obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.” Given their track record of near unique, medieval barbarity, the “training” is clearly falling on deaf ears.

The UK, of course, is in no position to lecture on the law of armed conflict since the newly unelected Prime Minister, Theresa May, has vowed to halt all cases against British service men and women brought by Iraqis who allege torture, murder of relatives, and varying unimaginable abuses. So much for “responsibilities and obligations under human rights and humanitarian law.”

British generosity is seemingly boundless in murderous meddling in other nations. “Media activists” have been given £5.3 million: “UK funded projects are helping establish a network of independent media outlets across Syria, whose work has included sending out messages about personal safety after the regime’s chemical weapons attack in Ghouta and, more recently, active reporting produced by civil society groups and the likes of the ‘White Helmets’ across Twitter and Facebook accounts.”

The “regime’s chemical weapons attack on Ghouta” has, of course, been roundly disproved despite the best efforts of Western propaganda. As Eric Draitser has written:

What makes that incident significant, both politically and historically, is the fact that, despite the evidence of Syrian government involvement being non-existent, the Obama administration nearly began a war with Syria using Ghouta as the pretext.

As the months have passed, however, scientific studies amassing an impressive body of evidence have shown that, not only were Washington’s claims of ‘certainty’ that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons in their war with extremist fighters utterly baseless, but, in fact, the reality was quite the opposite – the rebels were the most likely culprits of the attack.

The cynic might ponder that funding “media activists” and the “The White Helmets” to possibly “actively (mis )report” is blatant propaganda. As the propaganda master, Joseph Goebbels, knew: Propaganda is the art of persuasion – persuading others that your ‘side of the story’ is correct – with mega money and resources thrown at the “persuasion.”

The UK’s arguable illegal munificence also extends to: “… working with other international donors to establish and build up the Free Syrian Police (FSP) a moderate police force in opposition-controlled areas …”

Breathtaking! Another re-run of Iraq: disband the police, army, all structures of State – and Iraq is the soul searing, haunting, admonishing ghost, mourning the vibrant, cohesive, civil society (for all its complexities, as most societies) it was prior to the embargo and Iraq Liberation Act (1998) which stated that: “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq…” and signed into law on 31st October 1998, by President Bill Clinton.

As mentioned previously, there is now, of course, the Syria Accountability and Liberation Act of 2010 (H.R. 1206.) Spot the parallels.

“The White Helmets” have also benefitted from $23 million from the US, according to State Department spokesman, Mark Toner (27th April 2016) and €4 million from the government of the Netherlands. Last week Germany announced increasing this year’s donation to ‎€7 million. Japan has also chipped in.

A great deal of money, it would seem, is being thrown at insurgents and illegal immigrants in a sovereign country, awarding themselves the title of Syrian Civil Defence. Yet they do not even have an emergency telephone number. As Vanessa Beeley has pointed out in extensive writings on the subject, the real Syria Civil Defence was established in 1953, is a Member of the International Civil Defence Organisation whose partners include the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs – and as all national emergency services, they have a telephone number: 113.

Among the myriad tasks the “White Helmets” claim to undertake is: “The provision of medical services – including first aid – at the point of injury.” Why then were they trained not by expert first responders, paramedics, civil emergency operatives, but by a mercenary, sorry, “private contractor”?

According to Wikipedia:

Founder of Syria’s White Helmets, James Le Mesurier is a British ‘security’ specialist and ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Le Mesurier has also been placed in a series of high-profile posts at the United Nations, European Union, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Equally interesting is Le Mesurier’s own site:

James has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes. Since 2012, James has been working on the Syria crisis where he started the Syrian White Helmets programme in March 2013. In 2014, he founded Mayday Rescue, and is dedicated to strengthening local communities in countries that are entering, enduring or emerging from conflict. (Emphasis again added.)

“Democratisation programmes” eh? George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-four” had a “Re-education Committee”, but let’s not get too carried away.

On Tuesday 11 October 2016, the UK’s arguably combative Andrew Mitchell MP, ex-Royal Tank Regiment, who allegedly called Downing Street Police after an altercation [with] “f ***** g plebs”, was granted an emergency three-hour debate in the House of Commons on Syria after allegations by the ‘White Helmets’ that Russian military jets and Syrian helicopters were bombing civilians in eastern Aleppo.

Mitchell stormed the debate all guns blazing, calling the alleged situation “akin to the attack on Guernica during the Spanish civil war” and suggesting the RAF should be empowered to shoot down Russian and Syrian aircraft. He also pushed for a “no fly zone.” As is known from Libya, that is a Western-only fly zone obliterating all in its sights. Guernica indeed!

Again, of course, all but Russian and Syrian aircraft are there illegally, but Andrew Mitchell is being advised among others by former CIA Director General David Petraeus, who was also former Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan and of Multinational Forces in Iraq. Not really a mini think tank, some might speculate, where the rule of law is going to have highest priority.

Mitchell also called for extra funding for – you guessed it – “The White Helmets.”

Incidentally, there are rigid protocols for first responders, paramount among which is to protect the injured, the traumatized, from publicity and identification, in their vulnerability.

“The White Helmets” are seemingly never without camera crews handy recording a small body, face facing the camera, dust covered, blood spattered, clothes awry, in the arms of the “rescuer.”

“Lights, camera, action”? Heaven forbid!

Nothing learned from Iraq, Chilcot & Blair, Boris Johnson suggests doing the exact same thing in Syria

Boris Johnson says UK should consider military options in Syria

 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told a committee of MPs the UK should be looking again at military options in Syria, ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in London this Sunday.

It is right now that we should be looking again at the more kinetic options, the military options,” Johnson told the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament. “But we must be realistic about how these in fact work, and what is deliverable.

He said the West’s future role in Syria would be discussed at high-level meetings this weekend.

Johnson added negotiations with Russia over the future of the Syrian crisis have “run out of road” and that the west should now consider engaging in more “kinetic action.”

The Foreign Secretary envisions a future for Syria without President Bashar Assad and referred to the Saudi-backed coalition of rebel groups, known as the ‘High Negotiation Committee’ (HNC), as embodying “progressive” values.

During the hearing, Johnson made the strongest indication yet that Britain and its allies are considering a military intervention in the Syrian crisis.

“On Sunday I’m calling a meeting of fellow foreign ministers… to discuss how we’re going to proceed, not just in Syria, but in Iraq as well. Obviously it’s good that things are happening again in Geneva, but most people feel the process of discussion with the Russians has basically run out of road,” he said.

“On Sunday we’ll be talking about all the options we think are available to us and the West.

“Most people, I think, are now changing their minds about [intervention]. They’re thinking we can’t let this go on forever… Whether that means we can get a coalition together for more kinetic action now, I cannot prophesize. Certainly people want to see a new set of options.”

He added that such military options are still “a long day’s march” away and would be dependent on the US

Foreign Secretary referred to a Sky Data survey published on Thursday which indicates 46 percent of the British public support military intervention in Syria and 53 percent think the UK has a responsibility to protect Syrians.

Some 37 percent polled did not support military action, while 17 percent expressed no preference.

Johnson expressed regret for the British Parliament voting against military intervention in Syria in 2013, describing it as a “big step backwards.”

“We vacated the space that has been occupied by the Russians. Our options now are on the humanitarian front.”

While Johnson told MPs the UK must continue to be “very, very tough” with Russia, he said it is wrong to compare the present situation to a new Cold War and explained that London does not want “endless confrontation” with Moscow.

The secretary even confessed to being a Russophile and described how he visited the country when he was 16.

Russia and the UK must work together more, particularly in the fight against terrorism, said Johnson.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin cannot yet offer any assessment of Johnson’s comments, as it’s necessary to find out the motives and reasons for a possible military intervention by the UK to address the situation in Syria.

“For what purpose [would the UK intervene militarily in Syria]? We should probably wait until all these points are clarified. Efforts of any states in the fight against terrorism are worthy of the highest praise, but if those efforts are designed to fight the legitimate authorities of the country, they are unlikely worthy of praise,” Peskov told reporters.

“Without accurate information about the motives, plans and intentions, it’s hard to give some kind of assessment,” he added

 

That’s all we need, Blair Hints At Shock Return To Frontline Of British Politics. He Should Be Locked Up

Tony Blair Hints At Shock Return To Frontline Of British Politics

UK

Richard Drew/AP

Tony Blair has given a strong hint that he could make a return to frontline politics, declaring he is “very motivated” to tackle the Tory party’s vision of Brexit Britain.

The former Prime Minister told Esquire magazine that a weak Labour party, with little appeal to mainstream voters, was allowing the Conservatives to run “a one party state”.

But in his clearest suggestion yet that he wants to come back into the battle against the Tories, Blair said it was “an open question” what his future role would be.

“I don’t know if there’s a role for me . . . There’s a limit to what I want to say about my own position at this moment,” he said.

“All I can say is that this is where politics is at. Do I feel strongly about it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That’s an open question.”

Blair sparked speculation about his future last month when he announced he was winding down his commercial business consultancy and handing its reserves to his charitable causes.

He vowed to spend 80% of his time on not-for-profit activities, a move that some felt was a ‘clearing of the decks’ for a possible political comeback.

Given Labour’s current constitution and overwhelming pro-Corbyn membership, Blair’s remarks will prompt fresh suspicions that he could even be planning to launch a new pro-European centrist party.

With Jeremy Corbyn’s latest reshuffle of his top team a clear attempt to build on his second landslide election as leader, some Labour MPs believe that his position is now impregnable until the next general election.

In his interview with Esquire, Blair said: “Frankly, it’s a tragedy for British politics if the choice before the country is a Conservative government going for a hard Brexit and an ultra-left Labour Party that believes in a set of policies that takes us back to the Sixties.”

He added: “In the UK at the moment you’ve got a one party state. When you put it all together [taking into account that the Conservative leader wasn’t elected], there’s something seriously wrong.”

Danny Lawson/PA Wire
A triumphant Jeremy Corbyn

Asked whether he could take Jeremy Corbyn seriously as leader, the former PM said: “This is not about Jeremy Corbyn. It’s about two different cultures in one organism.

“One culture is the culture of the Labour Party as a party of government. And that, historically, is why Labour was formed: to win representation in Parliament and ultimately to influence and to be the government of the country. The other culture is the ultra-left, which believes that the action on the street is as important as the action in Parliament.

“That culture has now taken the leadership of the Labour Party. It’s a huge problem because they live in a world that is very, very remote from the way that broad mass of people really think.”

Blair added: “The reason why the position of these guys is not one that will appeal to an electorate is not because they’re too left, or because they’re too principled. It’s because they’re too wrong.

“The reason their policies shouldn’t be supported isn’t because they’re wildly radical, it’s because they’re not. They don’t work. They’re actually a form of conservatism. This is the point about them. What they are offering is a mixture of fantasy and error.”

WPA Pool via Getty Images
Blair wipes a tear as he expresses ‘regret’ at his Chilcot Report press conference

Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq, which was slated by this summer’s Chilcot Report, has made him hugely unpopular among some sections of the public and Labour membership.

But his allies point out that he won his third general election after the 2003 invasion and that no Labour leader since has proved as popular.

Asked if there was still room in the UK for a centre ground party, Blair told Esquire: “There’s been a huge reaction against the politics I represent.

“But I think it’s too soon to say the centre has been defeated. Ultimately I don’t think it will. I think it will succeed again. The centre ground is in retreat. This is our challenge. We’ve got to rise to that challenge.”

ABIR SULTAN via Getty Images
David Cameron and Tony Blair at the funeral of former Israeli PM Shimon Peres

Ex British Ambassador Makes Astonishing Speech About Tony Blair, George Bush, War and Profit

Ex British Ambassador Makes Astonishing Speech About Tony Blair, George Bush, War and Profit By Craig Murray

TruePublica” –  Set aside 2 minutes to read this and watch a 20 minute video. It will truly astonish you, no matter how cynical you may be when it comes to the so-called ‘war on terror’, Iraq, Syria and many other conflicts around the world.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was a British Ambassador. While Ambassador to Uzbekistan he accused the Karimov administration of human rights abuses, which he argued was a step against the wishes of the British government. Murray complained to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in November 2002, again in early 2003 and in June 2004 that intelligence linking the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to al-Qaeda was unreliable, immoral and illegal, as it was thought to have been obtained through torture. He described this as “selling our souls for dross”. He was subsequently removed from his ambassadorial post on 14 October 2004 by Tony Blair’s government.

In this video, Murray talks about how the same people turn out to be behind the same wars in very different parts of the world. In part, he talks about how the USA was in collusion with some of the most dreadful dictatorships in the world whilst the CIA were using them for ‘extraordinary rendition’ or torture programmes. The reasons for these alliances were that U.S. companies were monopolising the natural resources of entire countries. But there’s more to it than that.

Murray exposes the plan to build a gas pipeline over Afghanistan when George W Bush signed the construction deal whilst his father George H Bush was a member of the board of the pipeline construction company.

Murray continues with his experience negotiating the peace talks in war-torn Sierra Leone which Britain subsequently invaded. He explains why ‘humanitarian’ military intervention is a lie and why diplomacy doesn’t work because of powerful individuals in the background with a different agenda.

What is startling about Murray’s revelations is that Tony Blair’s war in Sierra Leone was nothing to do with humanitarian intervention and everything to do with money, no matter what the consequences. This may not surprise you given what we now know about Blair. What might surprise you though is that Murray goes on to accuse individuals in senior government positions with the power to make decisions who were also board members of private companies set to benefit from those decisions. One individual in the U.S. State Dept who was supposedly negotiating a peace deal was also the chair of a resource company that had serious financial interests, where war benefited his company, whilst at the same time being the founding partner of another company that devised the extraordinary rendition or torture programme being conducted in that same country. Murray names the guilty.

There is another revelation in this short video that should utterly astound everyone about Tony Blair’s war in Sierra Leone. Murray makes the case that a senior member of Blair’s government, the Secretary of State for International Development at the time was also a member of the board of Sierra Leone’s only titanium mine.  Murray names and accuses this individual of refusing the resources (along with the American’s) to help make the Sierra Leone peace deal work, which culminated in Britain’s (what turned out to be a pre-planned) invasion and the subsequent deaths of countless thousands. Ironically, this person is today the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is now a Life Peer, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council.

Murray finishes off with a few words about why peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world will not stop whilst western countries retain their current political and economic power structures. He suggests that a tiny number of evil people truly aspire to gain total domination of the world’s resources and are at the centre of much of the needless death and destruction across the planet

Corbyn Wins In Stunning Defeat Of Blairite Establishment

Corbyn Wins In Stunning Defeat Of Blairite Establishment

In a stupendous defeat of establishment and pseudo-left media like The Guardian, as well as Blairite interventionists, Jeremy Corbyn again won the Labour leadership elections.

Corbyn received more votes than the last time he was elected.

A massive campaign against Corbyn had been driven by nearly all British media and nearly all established Labour MP’s. It prevented Labour attacks on the Tories when those were in deep trouble over the Brexit vote. Those MPS must shut up – or leave.

It is now up to Corbyn to develop a new political Labour platform that offers a real alternative to the destructive rerun of Thatcher policies by Prime Minister Theresa May. It could be the start of a dawn of the left in all of Europe.

Congratulations to him and good luck!

How Britain is whitewashing its Libya crime

How Britain is whitewashing its Libyan crime

Whilst exposing the catastrophic consequences of the 2011 Western intervention in Libya the latest British House of Commons report is ultimately a whitewash because it continues the pretense that the objective was to protect civilians instead of achieving regime change.

Just a few weeks have passed since the Chilcot report, which looked at the Blair government’s role in the Iraq war, and a British House of Commons Committee has now published a report into the Cameron government’s role in the Libyan war.

Its assessment is scathing.  Given the state of Libya, it could hardly be otherwise.  This is how the report describes Libya’s economic state before the Western powers intervened in 2011 to “save” it from “Gaddafi’s tyranny

“The Libyan economy generated some $75 billion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. This economy produced an average annual per capita income of approximately $12,250, which was comparable to the average income in some European countries.  Libyan Government revenue greatly exceeded expenditure in the 2000s. This surplus revenue was invested in a sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which was conservatively valued at $53 billion in June 2010.  The United Nations Human Development Report 2010—a United Nations aggregate measure of health, education and income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human development and as the most advanced country in Africa. Human rights remained limited by state repression of civil society and restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression.”

And this how the same report describes the condition of Libya’s economy today, five years after Libya was “saved”

“In 2014, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available, Libya generated $41.14 billion of gross domestic product and the average Libyans annual income had decreased from $12,250 in 2010 to $7,820.28.  Since 2014, Libya’s economic predicament has reportedly deteriorated. Libya is likely to experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP in 2016. The requirement to finance that deficit is rapidly depleting net foreign reserves, which halved from $107 billion in 2013 to $56.8 billion by the end of 2015. Production of crude oil fell to its lowest recorded level in 2015, while oil prices collapsed in the second half of 2014. Inflation increased to 9.2% driven by a 13.7% increase in food prices including a fivefold increase in the price of flour.  The United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s 94th most advanced country in its 2015 index of human development, a decline from 53rd place in 2010.”

Beyond the collapse of Libya’s economy the report describes a country where law and order has broken down, where state institutions have collapsed, where there is no properly organised government, which is fought over by violent militias and Islamist warlords, where human rights are  disregarded, and where ISIS is on the rampage and is becoming an increasingly powerful presence.  

The report makes clear that all this was entirely foreseeable and was in fact foreseen.

It also makes all the same claims of poor planning, unclear objectives, sloppy decision making etc already familiar from the Chilcot report about the war in Iraq.

Thus the report admits that the entire case for intervening in Libya – presented to the Western public in 2011 through the medium of lurid atrocity stories published in the Western media – was completely bogus. 

The protests against Gaddafi were not peaceful but violent, with violent Jihadi groups involved in them from the start – just as Gaddafi was saying. 

Gaddafi never planned to carry out indiscriminate massacres in Benghazi or in any other rebel held city his forces recaptured, and he did not in fact carry out such massacres in those rebel held cities his forces did recapture.  Talk that his army was composed primarily or even entirely of African mercenaries was false.

The report admits that peaceful alternatives to the war were always there, that Gaddafi was amenable to compromise, and that means to settle the conflict peacefully and diplomatically were never explored.

Every single of these findings is true.  Every one of them was also obvious from the start.  It did not need five years and a lengthy report to state them. 

Back in October 2011, shortly after Gaddafi’s grisly murder, I wrote a long account of the Libyan conflict which makes all these same points.  The big difference between my account and the House of Commons Committee report is that my account is far more complete, far more accurate, and in all respects much better.

The reason for this is not because I had any superior insight in 2011 to the one the House of Commons Committee has now.  Nor is it because I knew more facts in 2011 than they do today. 

On the contrary they have means of obtaining information that are far beyond mine though as it happens everything I reported as a fact in my account written in 2011 – such as that British and French Special Forces were involved in the rebel capture of Tripoli – is confirmed by their report as true. 

The one exception is that the report accepts without comment assurances that Gaddafi himself was not a target of the Western bombing and that there was no plan to kill him.  As to that I disagree, and still believe he was a target for Western bombing and that there was an intention to kill him, just as I said there was in 2011.

The reason my account from October 2011 is so much better than the report the House of Committee has published now is because I did not accept then, any more than I accept now, the claim that the war that was waged on Libya in 2011 for any other purpose than to overthrow Gaddafi and to achieve regime change there. 

Now as then I say the facts speak for themselves, and I say that to argue otherwise and to say – as the House of Commons Committee report does –  that the Western attack on Libya in 2011 had some other purpose, and was not intended to end with Gaddafi’s overthrow, is on the facts unsustainable and even ridiculous. 

Here for example is how I showed back in October 2011 that regime change and Gaddafi’s overthrow were the only possible explanations for the conduct of the Western powers in the discussions in the UN Security Council which led to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1973

“25. As was pointed out at the time Resolutions 1970 and 1973 are a further disturbing development.  It is a fundamental principle of the UN System that member states are sovereign over their own internal affairs.  This builds on the previously established law of nations that countries do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and do not take sides or interfere in their civil wars.  Over time this principle has been modified to permit intervention in exceptional circumstances such as where genocide is taking place or is beiing threatened.  These exceptions are however hedged around with safeguards and procedures all of which were completely disregarded in this case.  As a matter of fact we now know as a result of the investigations carried out by the International Crisis Group, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that the situation in Libya was not in fact of the sort as would justify intervention in accordance with these exceptions. 

26. Despite the fact that the situation in Libya was not such as to justify outside intervention in its conflict that is precisely what Resolutions 1970 and 1973 in practice made possible.  The Security Council passed these Resolutions in breach of its own procedures and of standard diplomatic practice on the basis of information that has now been shown to have been false and without giving the country that was the object of these Resolutions an opportunity to state its case.  This happened because a small number of powerful states on the Security Council were able to abuse the monopoly the western media still has over information in order to blackmail the rest.  There is moreover no doubt that this was done in pursuit of a straightforward agenda of regime change even though this was not actually authorised by the Resolutions.”

(bold italics added)

The House of Commons Committee report refuses to see this because it simply accepts at face value the fantastic claim of the British politicians and officials involved in the war that their objective was not regime change – which was illegal and which might expose them to legal action – but the “protection of civilians”.  

On the strength of that the House of Commons Committee claims that the military operation, through some mysterious and unexplained process, somehow “morphed” into a campaign for regime change apparently contrary to the intentions of its authors.

It should be said clearly that this is total nonsense.  If the intention really had been to protect civilians a completely different Resolution to Resolution 1973 would have been proposed and the UN Security Council would have unanimously supported it.  Here is what in 2011 I said about that

“27. That this is so is shown by the failure of the western powers to propose to the Security Council the kind of Resolution that would in fact have been best calculated to protect civilians had that actually been the intention and had they actually been in danger.  This would have been a Resolution that ordered both sides to observe an immediate ceasefire whilst authorising the deployment of a peacekeeping force to the two threatened cities of Misurata and Benghazi.  There are numerous precedents for such Resolutions and there is no doubt that had such a Resolution been proposed it would have been unanimously carried.  There is also no doubt that a peacekeeping force could have been assembled and deployed quickly (most probably from the African Union states) and that Gaddafi would have complied with such a Resolution and would have agreed to the deployment of such a force.  He had in fact already said as much and he was to go on saying it throughout the remainder of the conflict.”

Moreover if the intention had not been regime change, the military operation would have been conducted completely differently.  Even the House of Commons Committee was driven to ask

“45. We questioned why NATO conducted air operations across Libya between April and October 2011 when it had secured the protection of civilians in Benghazi in March 2011.”

To which the only answer British ministers could come up with was some enduring, mythical threat from Gaddafi to the civilians even after they had been “saved”

“Lord Hague advanced the argument that “Gaddafi’s forces remained a clear danger to civilians. Having been beaten back, they were not then going to sit quietly and accept the situation”.  Dr Fox stated that “the UN resolution said to take all possible measures to protect civilians, and that meant a constant degradation of command and control across the country. That meant not just in the east of the country, but in Tripoli.”  Throughout their evidence, Lord Hague and Dr Fox stuck to the line that the military intervention in Libya was intended to protect civilians and was not designed to deliver regime change.”

To which claim I already provided provided a rebuttal back in 2011

“40. The western powers justify this hardline by claiming that they would have been unable to guarantee the safety of Libyan civilians whilst Gaddafi was still in Libya and remained free.  Supposedly Libyan civilians would always have been in danger from Gaddafi so long as he was in Libya and remained free.  This would apparently have been the case even if a ceasefire was in existence and talks were underway. This argument elevates the supposed threat from Gaddafi to superhuman and even mythic levels.  It is a bizarre endorsement of the personality cult he had previously created around himself.”

Moreover – and as I also pointed out in my 2011 account – the question of the purpose of the operation was put beyond doubt by a public letter Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy released right at the start of the military campaign, which made it crystal clear that the objective was the overthrow of Gaddafi.

The House of Commons Committee actually refers to this letter in its report, and admits it referred to the removal of Gaddafi.  However it fails to draw any conclusions from it, obviously because it contradicts its case that the original plan was to protect civilians and not to carry out regime change

“48. When the then Prime Minister David Cameron sought and received parliamentary approval for military intervention in Libya on 21 March 2011, he assured the House of Commons that the object of the intervention was not regime change.  In April 2011, however, he signed a joint letter with United States President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy setting out their collective pursuit of “a future without Gaddafi”.”

(bold italics added)

This refusal to admit the obvious, that the objective throughout was regime change, makes the House of Commons Committee report – for all its demolition of the factual case for war – in the end a whitewash. 

Moreover it is a whitewash that seeks to exculpate the British through the ancient dodge of blaming the French, who supposedly were the prime movers for the war and who supposedly led the naive and well-meaning British by the nose.  The reality – as was obvious to everyone at the time – was that the British were every bit as enthusiastic about the war and about achieving regime change in Libya as the French were.

The House of Commons Committee report does however slip out one critically important piece of information, which has direct bearing on the current US Presidential election.

In his interviews with The Atlantic US President Obama has attempted to present himself as a reluctant supporter of the war, dragged into it against his better judgement by the French and the British and by his gung-ho Secretary of State, who was of course Hillary Clinton.  The House of Commons Committee report however slips out a fact that appears to contradict this account.

The key provision in UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which the Western powers used as their legal cover to justify their military campaign, was a provision in the Resolution that authorised use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

That provision did not in fact authorise an unrestricted military campaign intended to achieve regime change.  Here is what I wrote about this provision in another post I wrote in 2011, whilst the war was still underway, in which I showed how these words were being misinterpreted to enable the Western powers to do the very things Resolution 1973 in fact prohibited

“Recent revelations from France that the French military has been supplying small arms to the anti Gaddafi rebels has triggered discussion about whether this action breaches the terms of the arms embargo imposed on Libya by Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.  Supporters of arming the rebels say it does not allegedly because Security Council Resolution 1973 allows “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.  Purportedly “all necessary measures” can extend to arming civilians if this is necessary for their protection.

This line of reasoning is absurd.  The arms embargo is imposed by Security Council Resolution 1970.  This forbids any and all shipments of arms to Libya without distinguishing between the government forces or the rebels.  Security Council Resolution 1973 reaffirms this embargo and contains further provisions for its enforcement.  Neither Resolution 1970 nor Resolution 1973 say that the rebels are excluded from the embargo.  Had this been the intention the Resolutions would have said as much.  To suggest that the expression “all necessary measures” in one part of Resolution 1973 somehow invalidates or qualifies the arms embargo in another part of Resolution 1973, thereby rendering the Resolution self contradictory and void on one of its most important points, is nonsensical.

I would add that both Resolutions 1970 and 1973 end with the expression that the “Security Council remains seized of the matter”.  In other words the Security Council has ownership of the Resolutions. This means that it is for the Security Council and not for the French or the British or anyone else by themselves to decide what steps are “necessary” to protect civilians and whether the arms embargo imposed by the Resolutions should be relaxed or set aside.  If the French, the British or anyone else feel that arming the rebels is “necessary” to protect civilians then according to the text of the Resolutions they have to seek permission to do this from the Security Council, which is the only body that has the power to decide the matter.  If the Security Council decides that such a step is needed then it can relax the arms embargo by amending Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

In other words the French arming of the rebels is simply another in a long list of breaches of the two Resolutions.  It is not even the most flagrant.  The bombing and killing of civilians in Tripoli and elsewhere is.

The simple reality is that the operation against Libya is now so far in breach of Resolutions 1970 and 1973 that there is no point in trying to relate it to those Resolutions.  In truth the Resolutions were never more than a figleaf for military action, which would surely have happened anyway whether the Resolutions were passed or not.”

(bold italics added)

What the House of Commons Committee report now makes clear is that the ultimate author of the words “all necessary measures” in Resolution 1973 – the words used to justify the illegal military campaign to overthrow Gaddafi – was none other than Obama himself.  Here is what the House of Commons Committee report says about this

“24…..Former US Ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, pointed out:

“Cameron and Sarkozy were the undisputed leaders, in terms of doing something. The problem was that it wasn’t really clear what that something was going to be. Cameron was pushing for a no-fly zone, but in the US there was great scepticism. A no-fly zone wasn’t effective in Bosnia, it wasn’t effective in Iraq, and probably wasn’t going to be effective in Libya. When President Obama was confronted with the argument for a no-fly zone, he asked how this was going to be effective. Gaddafi was attacking people. A no-fly zone wasn’t going to stop him. Instead, to stop him we would need to bomb his forces attacking people.”

The United States was instrumental in extending the terms of Resolution 1973 beyond the imposition of a no-fly zone to include the authorisation of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.  In practice, this led to the imposition of a ‘no-drive zone’ and the assumed authority to attack the entire Libyan Government command and communications network.”

(bold italics added)

In other words far from being the reluctant warrior he wants everyone to think he was, Obama was instrumental in re-crafting Resolution 1973 so that it could be used to justify an unrestricted military campaign against the Libyan government which could have only ended with regime change.

The war of course also has a direct bearing on Hillary Clinton’s eligibility for the US Presidency.  By universal consent she was the prime advocate of the war in the US.  This is a war which a British House of Commons Committee has now said was fought on false pretences, was ill-conceived, and which was disastrous in its consequences. 

At the conclusion of the war, following Gaddafi’s public torture and murder, Hillary Clinton publicly crowed “we came, we saw, he died” – a grotesque comment that provoked Dmitry Rogozin, at that time Russia’s ambassador to NATO, to tweet that NATO officials gloating over the murder of Gaddafi reminded him of delinquent children getting their kicks by hanging cats in cellars.  It is also incidentally a comment that all but confirms that the objective of the US government in supporting the military operation against Libya was Gaddafi’s overthrow and regime change.

As my colleague Adam Garrie has repeatedly and rightly said, this appalling conduct, and this grotesquely callous comment, ought in any rational world to disqualify Hillary Clinton from the US Presidency. 

Unfortunately the world – or at least the world of US Presidential politics – is not fully rational, which is presumably why the House of Commons Committee report on the Libyan war with – for all its many flaws – its scathing assessment of that war, is being barely reported in the US.

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