mardi 31 juillet 2007

Iraq: Even Worse Than Vietnam


Friday , 20 July 2007

Probably the most important mistake was to support centrifugal force instead of central forces. The Sunnis were the faction ensuring the unity of Iraq for centuries. The Shias, even during the Ottoman period and British colonial rule, had not taken sufficient role in the administration and there had always been more Sunnis in the Iraqi governments at anytime. This trend increased in Saddam’s period. However, the first thing the Americans did when they arrived was to treat all Sunnis as if they were ‘pro-Saddam’ or terrorists and to estrange them. With these practices, the US weakened the Sunnis physically which led to ‘blood feuds’ between them and Sunni Arabs.

Another ethnic group playing important role for Iraq’s unity was the Turkmens (Turkish Iraqis), yet the US took steps that estrange Turkmen from the US. The Turkmens, since they were spread on the axis which lies from the north and to the south, and since they were not in a condition to establish a separate political structure in Iraq even in the hardest times, had not ever been involved in separatist movements.

Moreover, in Ottoman period, the Turkmens had played special role in defending Iraq against the external threats and achieving internal unity. Despite these clear realities, the US did not take the Turkmens seriously, or it assumed that the relationship with the Turkmens could harm to their relationship with Barzani and Talabani.

Consequently, the Sunni Arabs and Turkmens were left outside of the system, and weakened, which undermined the forces stabilizing the country and keeping it under unity.

The US could fill this gap most probably with the Shia Arabs. But it couldn’t handle well it as well. The US was involved in a conflict with Sadr faction which is the most important Shia group propping up Iraq’s unity. In this way, the US in Iraq strengthened the Shia groups, supporting a separate Shia state and those who are allied with Iran.

The support for the Kurds, whose separatist ambitions have not been secret for a long time, must be added to all these. In short, the US while suppressing the forces promoting unity of Iraq strengthened the separatist elements. It is a well-known fact that the US provided direct support to the coalition between the Kurds and ‘separatist’ Shias, the groups from the centrifugal forces.

Endangered Community: The Turkoman Identity in Iraq

By H. Tariq OGZULU
published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs - October 2004

Posted on SOITM website:

International Conference offers no solution to Iraqi refugee crisis

James Cogan, WSWS
July 30, 2007

An international conference held on July 26 in Jordan to address the refugee crisis produced by the US occupation of Iraq exemplified the callous indifference of the Bush administration and its allies toward the catastrophe they have created.

More than four million Iraqis have been displaced externally and internally, yet the invading powers have accepted a handful of refugees and provided a pittance in aid. Even as Iraq sinks further into disaster, the final conference statement vacuously declared: "The real and effective solution to the problem... is their return to their country."

The invasion of Iraq has led to the largest displacement of people in the Middle East since World War II, dwarfing the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland by Zionist terror during 1948. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that over 2.35 million people have fled Iraq for Syria, Jordan and other neighbouring states.
The exodus is increasing at the rate of 50,000 each month.

A further 1.9 million people are classified as internally displaced persons (IDPs)—people who have escaped particularly violent regions of Iraq and taken refuge with relatives elsewhere or in shanty towns on the outskirts of safer areas. The displaced figure is growing by more than 80,000 per month. The UN predicts there will be 2.7 million IDPs by December 2007.

The combined total of refugees and IDPs already constitutes more than 15 percent of Iraq’s pre-war population of 26 million. Syria and Jordan, which once had largely open borders with Iraq, have borne the brunt of the refugee disaster. Some 1.4 million Iraqis are believed to be sheltering in Syria and 750,000 in Jordan. A further 200,000 have taken refuge in the Gulf states, 100,000 in Egypt, over 50,000 in Iran, some 40,000 in Lebanon, and 10,000 in Turkey.

The United States, by contrast, has accepted barely 700 Iraqi refugees over the past four-and-a-half years and just 133 in the past nine months as the crisis has become acute.

For the vast majority of refugees and IDPs, returning home is not an option. The areas they fled are either scenes of ongoing fighting between the American military and Iraqi resistance organisations or battlegrounds in the civil war that the US invasion ignited between rival Sunni and Shiite factions of the Iraqi ruling elite.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes since the bombing of a revered Shiite mosque in Samarra on February 22, 2006, as sectarian extremists of both sides "cleanse" suburbs and entire cities.

Proportionally, the worst affected have been members of Iraq’s non-Islamic minorities—Christians, Mandaeans, Yazidis and Baha’is—whom Sunni and Shiite fanatics treat as infidels and enemies. Iraq’s Christian community has shrunk from an estimated 800,000 in 2001 to just 300,000 today due to sectarian persecution. Between 30 and 50 percent of the refugees are believed to be non-Muslims.

Moreover, even if the violence did abate, there is nothing to go back to for most of the refugees. Many of their loved ones are among the more than 700,000 Iraqis who have been killed under US occupation. Some have lost their homes and all their possessions. The country as a whole is in economic ruin. Its infrastructure is devastated and unemployment is estimated at between 60 and 70 percent.

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) issued a report on July 5 detailing the desperate conditions of IDPs within Iraq. Some 142,000 families—more than one million people—have been displaced since the Samarra bombing. "Pregnant women, infants and children are unable to get the required medical care and illegal abortions have become the norm," the IRCS explained. Many displaced youth are not attending school and turning to crime. "Rape, armed gangs, theft and drug addiction was common among IDPs," it stated. Other youth, whose families have been devastated by violence, are joining sectarian militias, "as they represent the true authority of the land for them".

A UNHCR report issued on July 12 summarised the plight of Iraq’s external refugees: "UNHCR registration data and surveys indicate that at least 10 percent of displaced Iraqi families are female-headed, with over 30 percent of the total population having special needs. Large numbers of Iraqi refugees are poor and live in low-income areas in Damascus, Amman, Beirut and Cairo. There are reports of women and young girls forced to resort to prostitution or survival sex and of children working or being involved in other forms of exploitation in order to survive.

"Thousands of Iraqis approaching UNHCR are the victims of torture, sexual and gender-based violence, car bombings, or other violent attacks and are in urgent need of medical care. The majority of Iraqi children are not attending school—in fact, throughout the region, only 60,000 displaced Iraqi children are attending school. In a recent report, Save the Children put at 62 percent the proportion of children without access to education in Jordan. In Syria, a recent UNHCR/IPSOS survey put the figure at 76 percent, despite the liberal policy of the Syrian government toward the enrolment of Iraqi children. Many of these children are reported to have been out of school for two to three years. The potential emergence of a generation of uneducated Iraqi youth is a serious concern.

"The same UNHCR/IPSOS survey identified that 34 percent of Iraqis in Syria had insufficient funds to last a month, and 80 percent depending on savings or charity." (See "UNHCR Iraq situation response").

Invading powers give no new aid
It was in this atmosphere of alarm and urgency that delegates from Jordan, Syria, Egypt, the UN, the European Union, the Arab League and the Red Cross and Red Crescent, along with observers from Iran, Turkey, Russia, Japan, Britain and the US, gathered last Thursday.

Jordan and Syria appealed for substantial monetary aid—a call echoed by the UNHCR. Jordan’s interior minister, Mukheimar Abu-Jamous, told the conference that Iraqi refugees were costing Jordan over $1 billion. He condemned the US and other major powers for having "relinquished their responsibility in shouldering the Iraqi refugee burden".

Over the past two years, Jordan has adopted an increasingly harsh stance as the refugee inflow has inflated the population by more than 10 percent, compounded unemployment and increased inflation by 400 percent. Amman has banned male Iraqis aged 20 to 40 from entering and threatened to close its border completely.

Syria indicated it would continue to provide sanctuary, but was experiencing tremendous economic and social dislocation. Inflation had soared and essential services were stretched to the limit. The Syrian ambassador declared that the international community "must be involved, especially the United States, because its policy led to the plight the Iraqis are currently in and it bears responsibility".

The major powers, the US in particular, were completely uninterested. No financial aid was offered beyond the pledges that were made in April to the grossly inadequate $123 million UN fund for relief operations this year—just over $3 per displaced Iraqi. Syria is due to receive $45 million, while Jordan will get $30 million. Just $28 million will be spent assisting IDPs inside Iraq. Of those miserly amounts, well over 25 percent will go into logistical and administrative costs.

In regard to Syria, the Bush administration and its European allies are undoubtedly hoping that the Iraqi refugee crisis will contribute to destabilising the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Washington views the regime as one of the main obstacles to establishing its dominance over the Middle East.

The attitude of the invading powers—the US, Britain and Australia—to the refugee crisis underscores the predatory and criminal motives behind the 2003 invasion. It was a war for control over oil resources and strategic territory, in which the lives and well-being of the Iraqi people counted for nothing.

The US has promised a pittance of just $17 million to the UN fund, even as its average military expenditure in Iraq exceeds $4 billion per month. Britain is contributing $3.3 million, compared to $14.7 billion on military operations since March 2003. The Australian government is providing $2.3 million for Iraqi refugees, as against its $1 billion military budget for Iraq last year.

The transformation of millions of Iraqis into homeless exiles is a war crime for which those who planned, propagandised and carried out the war are responsible. Reversing the catastrophe requires a massive program of compensation and economic aid funded by the invading powers and the corporations that have made huge profits from the war.

lundi 30 juillet 2007


م/ بيان
ونحن نضمد جراح شعبنا ، ولم تزل جراحاتنا تنزف دماً تعرضت قريتنا التركمانية ينكجة لأبشع جريمة يندى لها جبين الأنسانية بأستهداف الجناة مسؤول الجبهة التركمانية العراقية في قرية ينكجة التركمانية مما أدى الى استشهاد نجلي المسؤول وعدد من رفاقه ، فهذه ليست الأولى التي تصيب قريتنا التركمانية ، وهل ستذهب دماء شهدائنا سدى ً
نطالب الحكومة العراقية بوضع يد الدولة على هذه الجرائم وإنشاء مركزشرطة في القرية ، إبعاد هذا الأرهاب وتأمين الأستقرار في مناطقنا تقع على عاتق الدولة ونطالب بتشكيل وحدات عسكرية تركمانية لتولي حماية المناطق التركمانية .

الدائرة السياسية
للجبهة التركمانيةالعراقية

Attack on Turkmen Front leader, 7 killed and many wounded

Gunmen attacked early Sunday the house of a Turkoman Front leader near Touz city here, killing seven and wounding many.

From correspondents in Middle East, 29 Jul 2007 -
Gunmen attacked early Sunday the house of a Turkoman Front leader near Touz city here, killing seven and wounding many.

Police Chief in Touz city, Abbas Mahmoud Amin, said: 'Unidentified gunmen attacked a predominantly Turkomen area, 85 km south-west of Kirkuk killing six and wounding six others.'

Amin added: 'One of the six wounded died shortly after the attack, raising death toll to seven. The (five) other wounded are being treated in Kirkuk and Touz hospitals, but they are in a very critical condition.'

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI): 'The gunmen stormed the house (of the Turkoman leader) shooting those present and killing six people, including two sons of the leader and four of his bodyguards.'

The source did not reveal the name of the Turkoman leader. 'Eight gunmen were able to infiltrate security barricades manned by Kurdish Peshmerga and fled the scene unscathed,' he said.

The scene of the attack is close to Amirli, the site of a truck bombing earlier this month that left tens of Turkoman residents killed and wounded.

(Staff Writer, © IANS)


Britain’s Gordon Brown becomes patron of Zionist agency
Redress Information & Analysis

July 29, 2007
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to become patron of the UK arm of the Jewish National Fund, whose funds have contributed to Israeli ethnic cleansing, the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expropriation of Palestinian land, and whose constitution requires it to promote and implement policies that discriminate against Israel’s Arab population.Gordon Brown has crossed a new threshold on the path to becoming a fully-fledged Zionist.

According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle, Gordon Brown has agreed to become a patron of the British arm of the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK) "following an invitation from JNF UK President Gail Seal, who wrote conveying her good wishes the day after he took office". In a letter to Gail Seal, Gordon Brown said that he was "delighted to accept your offer to become a patron of JNF UK". A spokesman for Brown confirmed that the British prime minister had "agreed to become a patron of JNF UK", and that he had done so "in order to encourage their work to promote charitable projects for everyone who lives in Israel".In fact, far from being "a charity" that benefits "everyone who lives in Israel", the JNF is a principal tool of Israel's discriminatory system of land administration.

Founded in 1901 to help establish a Jews-only state in the Arab country of Palestine, the JNF’s constitution requires it to benefit Jews exclusively. It therefore promotes and implements policies that discriminate against the Arab population of Israel.

The JNF is also guilty of ethnic cleansing, the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expropriation of Palestinian land. According to, in its operation in Israel, the JNF has
expropriated illegally most of the land of 372 Palestinian villages which had been ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces in 1948. The owners of this land are over half the UN-registered Palestinian refugees. The JNF had actively participated in the physical destruction of many villages, in evacuating these villages of their inhabitants and in military operations to conquer these villages.

Today, the JNF controls over 2500 sq. km of Palestinian land which it leases to Jews only. It also planted 100 parks on Palestinian land.In addition, the JNF has a long record of discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel as reported by the UN.

The JNF also extends its operations by proxy or directly to the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza. All this is in clear violation of international law and particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the confiscation of property and settling the occupiers' citizens in occupied territories. Ethnic cleansing, expropriation of property and destruction of houses are war crimes. As well, use of tax-exempt donations in these activities violates the domestic law in many countries where JNF is domiciled.

Since becoming prime minister at the end of June 2007, Gordon Brown has appointed several Israel apologists to key positions in the British government. He has also been at pain to stress his Christian Zionist credentials.

As patron of JNF UK, Gordon Brown will join a club that includes prominent British politicians and religious figures who, on the one hand, speak of the need for peace and justice in the Middle East while, on the other, promote and defend the racist Jews-only state of Israel. They include Tony Blair, Conservative leader David Cameron and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who is said to be a close friend of Brown.
Copyright © 2002-2007 Interestudio.All rights reserved.

dimanche 29 juillet 2007

Turkey set to defy US and hunt Kurdish rebels

Turkey set to defy US and hunt Kurdish rebels

By Gethin Chamberlain, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:43am BST 29/07/2007

Turkey's newly elected government is prepared to turn its back on its long-standing alliance with the United States to counter the threat of Kurdish terrorism, one of the closest allies of the prime minister has warned.

Egemen Bagis, foreign policy advisor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Turkish forces were prepared to mount operations against Kurdish PKK fighters who had taken refuge in Iraq, because the US had failed to intervene.
"We are hoping we will not have to do it. We are hoping that our allies will start doing something, but if they don't we don't have many options," he said.
"Our allies should help us with the threat, which is clear and present. If an ally is not helping you, you either question their integrity or their ability."

A decision to sanction military action might also help to avert a potential clash between the new government and Turkey's powerful army, which is unhappy with what it regards as creeping Islamisation. Last weekend's elections were precipitated by the army's opposition to the AK party's choice of Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister, as its presidential candidate. The generals regard Mr Gul's Islamic roots - and his wife's preference for wearing a headscarf - as a threat to Turkey's traditional secularism.

But on the back of its landslide victory, the AK believes that it now has the democratic mandate to force through his election in the 550-member parliament, which is due to convene for the first time this week.
"I think we can declare Mr Gul as the next president of Turkey," Mr Bagis told The Sunday Telegraph. "He will make a great president."

Turkey's generals want to go after the Kurdish terrorist group because of a sudden upsurge in attacks, many from across the Iraqi border, and there has been a steady Turkish military build-up on the frontier between the two countries.

Mr Bagis said the US must appreciate that Turkey was prepared to go into Iraq, even if such a move put it on collision course with Washington, which is desperate not to destabilise the Kurdish region of Iraq.
"We would not hesitate for a second and we would not ask anyone's permission," he said.
Washington has made clear to the Turkish government that any military incursion would be unacceptable, but the Turks are in no mood for compromise.

A poll last week by the US-based Pew organisation found that 72 per cent of Turks regarded terrorism as the key issue facing the country. The same poll showed that only 9 per cent of Turks had a positive view of the US, with more than three quarters concerned that the Americans could pose a military threat to their country. Many Turks believe that the US has been supporting the Kurds.

More than 40,000 Turks have died in the 30-year war with the PKK and 76 soldiers have been killed this year alone, the latest in a clash in northeast Turkey on Friday. Mourners have shouted anti-US slogans at recent funerals.
"We are telling our allies that their image is going down," Mr Bagis said.

"Support for US foreign policy in Turkey is at an all time low.
"The US and the UK must understand that you guys took extra measures in the aftermath of 9/11 and the London bombs and we have lost many more lives."
Nejat Eslen, a retired general, said the military was losing patience with its American allies.

"The US crossed the Atlantic in the name of fighting terror in Iraq an Afghanistan. Turkey is helping the US in Afghanistan. And yet it doesn't allow Turkey, a Nato ally, to cross its own border for the same reasons. What sort of a friendship is this? This is how enemies behave."

Türkmen Cephesine saldırı: 8 ölü

Irak´ın kuzeyinde Türkmenlerin yaşadığı Yengice köyünde, Irak Türkmen Cephesi ofisine saldırı düzenlendi. Saldırıda, aralarında Türkmen Cephesi üyelerinin de bulunduğu 8 kişi öldü.

Saldırı, Kerkük´e 100 kilometre mesafedeki Yengice´de dün gece düzenlendi. Üzerilerine ateş açılan Irak Türkmen Cephesi Partisi´nin bölge temsilcisi ile oğlunun da aralarında bulunduğu 8 kişi hayatını kaybetti.
Görgü tanıkları, saldırganların siyah bir otomobilden yaylım ateşi açarak olay yerinden kaçtıklarını belirtti.

ABD liderliğindeki güçler ise, bugün Irak´ta El Kaide örgütüne yönelik bir dizi operasyon düzenledi. Operasyonlarda 8 kişi öldürüldü, 22 kişi de tutuklandı.

ITC Yengice Bürosuna Hain Saldırı - Attaque contre les bureaux du Front turkmène irakien à Yengice
28 Temmuz 2007, Cumartesi .
ITC Yengice Bürosuna Silahlı saldırı düzenlendi. Saldırı sonucu 6 kişi şehit oldu 6 kişide yaralandı.

Saldırı da ITC sorumlusu ağır yaralandı. Hain saldırıda ITC sorumlusunun oğlu ve yeğenleri şehit oldu. Yaralılar Kerkük hastanesine kaldırıldı.
Tüm Türkmenlerin başı sağolsun...

Some responses to alert Re: Guardian and Lancet/IBC

Posted by gabriele on July 20, 2007
logged in as: gabriele

RE: ACTION ALERT: e-mail The Guardian's Readers Editor Siobhain Butterworth
The Guardian
Readers Editor
Siobhain Butterworth

Dear Siobhain Butterworth,
Please write a formal apology, in your largest bold typeset, for the
ludicrous number quoted by James Sturcke, July 13, 2007, relating to
civilian deaths in Iraq. Sturcke's article, US House Calls for Iraq
Pullout By Spring, referred to Iraq Body Count's estimate of 70,000
Iraqi civilian deaths over the course of this US/UK war.
For your correction, try extrapolating from Les Robert's highly regarded
research published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, which put
the carnage total at over 650,000 by the fall of 2006.
Iraq Body Count has been promoting misleading, some would say Karl
Rovian, estimates since the beginning of Shock and Awe. IBC's numbers
described a risk to civilians living with bombing, explosions, and
massacres in Iraq that was strikingly similar to that of residents
feeling rather comfortable and oblivious in Washington, DC.
Then, after 2006, IBC totals were plumped up somewhat higher though
they continue to be preposterous.
Their 70,000 Iraqi civilian deaths over 52 months of war, from an Iraqi
population starting at 25 million, is a rate of 65 killed/100,000
population /yr.
In 2003, George Bush's hometown war zone, Washington DC, had a homicide
rate that was 44/100,000/yr.
And just before Bush began his cakewalk in Iraq, many revelers were
enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The homicide rate in that Homeland war zone was 58/100,000/yr.
When information seems simply ridiculous, it very probably is!
By quoting Iraq Body Count or other incredible sources and by minimizing
a colossal atrocity, the Guardian loses the trust of its readers. Most
of them are too intelligent and aware to fall for major media
whitewash. And they will look for truth seeking journalism elsewhere.
For those readers who aren't, they may still need to wrap their brains
around these staggering numbers:
More than 1.5 million Iraqi innocents killed already, including this
assault with previous sanctions - UN estimate.
More than 2 trillion US dollars committed to this carnage already, and
counting - Noble Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, estimate..
Also, please note well for everyone: IBC or FBI city crime stats do not
include deaths from starvation, dysentery, untreated medical conditions,
or disability after infrastructure is decimated, or deliberately
neglected, by war presidents.
I await your response,
April Hurley, MD

RE: US House calls for Iraq pullout by spring; James Sturcke July 13, 2007

In this article James Sturcke wrote

"There have also been around 70,000 Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the military action by the US and its allies, according to the Iraq Body Count website."

There have now been two scientific peer review studies published in the Lancet medical journal - the latest estimates 650,000 Iraqi deaths since the US invasion.

How do you justify ignoring the Lancet studies?

Please note that it took less than 25 words for me to mention them above. I hope you don't suggest lack of space was the reason.

Joe Emersberger

Dear Siobhain Butterworth,
Re: US House calls for Iraq pullout by spring, by James Sturcke and agencies Friday July 13, 2007
In the above mentioned article James Sturcke writes:
"There have also been around 70,000 Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the military action by the US and its allies, according to the Iraq Body Count website."

The Iraq Body Count figures do not reflect the reality.

It is estimated that between 1991 and 2003 (First War of aggression+ blockade) nearly two million Iraqi civilians have died and that over one million Iraqi civilians have died since the March 2003 illegal war of aggression on Iraq.

It is clear that while Iraq is occupied the number of Iraqi deaths will continue to rise. Besides, even when the Anglo-Saxon troops will leave Iraq the Iraqi people will continue to die of DEPLETED URANIUM poisoning for many centuries. Iraqi soil, water and air have been contaminated by the greatest war criminals in human history: the U.S, UK and Australian leaders.

Please stop misinforming your readers and use more reliable sources such as the Lancet when reporting the deaths of Iraqi civilians killed by the Anglo-Saxon aggressors.
Yours truly,
Merry Fitzgerald
Follow-up - 30th July 2007

The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor’s Problem? She’s still her boss’ lawyer
By Gabriele Zamparini

After receiving “more than 30 emails”, Siobhain Butterworth, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, has finally replied on the topic I had issued two alerts in the past weeks, or, as she called the work of citizens-activists in a democracy, “an organised lobbying campaign”.[continued]

The Silence of the Guardian's Readers' Editor

The Silence of the Guardian's Readers' Editor - Please, keep sending emails
Posted by gabriele on July 25, 2007, 10:33 am
User logged in as: gabriele

"There have also been around 70,000 Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the military action by the US and its allies, according to the Iraq Body Count website." [US House calls for Iraq pullout by spring, James Sturcke, The Guardian, Friday July 13, 2007]
Following my email exchange with Guardian's James Sturcke and George Monbiot, many people have written to Guardian's Readers Editor Siobhain Butterworth.

She hasn't replied yet but I am confident she's been reading the emails asking kindly to correct publicly this disgraceful error.

Please, keep writing Guardian's Readers Editor Siobhain Butterworth:

Please, send a copy of your emails to me at

As always, I strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone

You may read the Alert here:

ACTION ALERT: e-mail The Guardian's Readers Editor Siobhain Butterworth

You may read the responses here:




Thank you

Best wishes,
Gabriele Zamparini

Le temps est venu de reconnaître et soutenir la Résistance irakienne

Réactions à l'article de Claude Covassi (voir ci-dessous)

Monsieur Covasi,

A l’exception du nombre des victimes civiles que vous mentionnez dans votre article, je partage entièrement votre point de vue. Il est fort regrettable que le nombre de 160.000 morts que vous citez soit incorrect.

Depuis l’invasion illégale de l’Irak en mars 2003 et l’occupation du pays par les forces anglo-saxonnes plus d’un million de civils irakiens ont été tués, sans compter ceux qui sont décédés suite à leurs blessures.

Avant cela, l’embargo criminel avait causé la mort de plus d’un million sept cent mille civils (1.700.000), dont 500.000 enfants en dessous de 5 ans.

Même lorsque les forces d’occupation seront forcées de quitter l’Irak, des milliers d’Irakiens continueront de mourir à cause de la contamination du sol, de l’eau et de l’air en Irak par les armes à l’uranium appauvri (DU) utilisées par les militaires Etats Unisiens.

Depuis 2003, 2.2 millions d’Irakiens ont dû s’exiler dans des conditions extrêmement pénibles et 2.2 millions sont actuellement déplacés à l’intérieur du pays.

J’espère que vous rectifierez cette erreur à la lumière des articles et lettres mentionnés dans les blogs ci-dessous.

Avec mes salutations les meilleures.

Merry Fitzgerald
Comité de Défense des Droits des Turkmènes Irakiens – Belgique

Prière de Voir :

Dear Claude,
Je suis desole - Maleuresement Je ne parle pas Francais :-(On the Iraqi deaths as a direct consequence of the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion, please read this article

You should also contact Merry Fitzgerald who speaks your language at . Her website is:
Best wishes,
Gabriele Zamparini--
The Cat’s Dream
P.O. Box 43471
London, SE11 5XZUnited Kingdom

jeudi 26 juillet 2007
Le temps est venu de reconnaître et soutenir la résistance irakienne

Claude Covassi

La résistance irakienne n’est pas terroriste

Malgré ce qu’on essaie de nous faire croire tous les jours, la résistance irakienne n’est pas terroriste.

Le président Bush peut bien mettre en garde ses concitoyens contre le danger « d’Al-Qaeda en Irak », qui formerait des cellules pour attaquer les États-Unis, malheureusement pour lui, des officiers supérieurs américains viennent d’admettre que cette organisation n’existait pas. Les généraux Casey et Kimmitt ont également reconnu qu’Al-Zarkaoui était une fabrication de leurs services de guerre psychologique et le général Bergner a déclaré que son successeur, Al-Baghdadi, était un acteur (voir le document PDF en bas de page).

Il est de plus clair que ces pseudo groupes terroristes sont à la solde des Etats-Unis, et qu’ils ne servent qu’à répendre des écrans de fumées afin de créer une confusion entre les attentats sanglants irrationnels et la résistance armée.
Il est aussi notoire aujourd’hui que les commandos de la mort, comme « la brigade du loup », ont été mis en place et dirigés par l’armée américaine afin de propager le chaos.

En combattant la résistance, les forces d’occupation américaines tentent de diviser une nation organique et de promouvoir des bourgeoises locales corrompues et des chefs de guerre féodaux qui ne peuvent pas, et même refusent, de créer un Etat de ses citoyens. La répression brutale exercée contre le peuple irakien n’est que le moyen d’assurer les conditions propices au viol, en pleine lumière, de la nation irakienne et de la confisquation de ses ressources en hydrocarbures.

La résistance irakienne lutte contre le l’impérialisme et la mondialisation par la force. Son programme est simple : que l’Irak demeure souverain sur ses richesses, son territoire et son futur.

L’impérialisme occidental
Depuis plus de 4 000 ans, l’Irak forme une entité géopolitique, économique et sociale unie, composée d’une variété de communautés, dont, entre autres : les Arabes, les Kurdes, les Turcomans, et les Chaldo-Assyriens. Ceux-ci ont accepté de partager le poids du passé, du présent et du futur de leur nation, au risque parfois d’être annihilés. Tout au long de ces 4 000 ans, l’Irak n’a jamais connu de guerre civile. Il existe, bien entendu, des clivages au sein de la société irakienne, mais ceux-ci sont principalement politiques, plutôt qu’ethniques et confessionnels. Ils divisent la société en trois courants politiques majeurs : le courant nationaliste, le courant islamiste et le courant de gauche. Ces trois courants sont par essence anti-impérialistes.

C’est dans ce contexte que le discours médiatique dominant actuel de sectarisme doit être dénoncé comme l’arme d’une puissance coloniale et impérialiste. En effet, en accord avec la tradition d’expansion des empires – grâce au principe du diviser pour mieux régner –, les Etats-Unis ont soutenu des forces intolérantes en Irak. Ils ont organisé, à cette fin, le soi-disant « processus politique », y compris en imposant une Loi de transition administrative basée sur des principes sectaires, l’organisation d’élections d’une Assemblée constituante biaisées, la rédaction d’une Constitution qui impose une structure fédérale « permanente » à une nation précédemment unifiée.

Les forces politiques promues par l’occupation, ne s’accordent que sur un point : le partage de l’Iraq selon des lignes sectaires. Elles ne s’entendent pas sur la notion de fédéralisme.
Le mouvement Kurde espère annexer constitutionnellement la ville de Kirkouk et ses riches ressources pétrolières, afin de déclarer son indépendance dans le futur.
Les partis chiites – Al Dawa, du 1er ministre Ibrahim Al Jaafari, et le Conseil Suprême de la Révolution Islamique en Iraq de Aziz Abdul Hakim – espèrent exercer un contrôle de facto du gouvernement central.. Ils ont récemment parlé de leur « droit » et de la possibilité de créer une région chiite autonome au Sud du pays.
La résistance irakienne, qui est principalement soutenue par la communauté sunnite, se bat contre le sectarisme. Elle ne reconnaît pas la légitimité des représentants sunnites autoproclamés qui ont émergé des élections de décembre.

Le « Projet pour un nouveau siècle américain » (PNAC)
Au nom de la destruction de l’Irak, les crimes et atrocités commis par l’Occupation américaine et ses alliés sont un affront à la conscience, et constituent, selon le droit international, des crimes contre l’humanité.

Depuis 2003, l’identité, la société, l’Etat et la nation irakiens ont été systématiquement détruits, les ressources réquisitionnées, les sites religieux profanés, les ressources culturelles pillées et la population sauvagement réprimée. Durant les cinq derniers mois, les Etats-Unis ont intensifié leurs campagnes de bombardements massifs sur des villes et des villages entiers. Des milliers de raids aériens sont conduits tous les mois.

Les Etats-Unis ont utilisé des agents chimiques, y compris du phosphore blanc (une arme dérivée du napalm) contre des populations civiles, en particulier à Fallujah et Tel Afar.

Plusieurs villes ont été réduites en ruines, parmi lesquelles Fallujah, Al Qaim, Tel Afar, Haditha. Certains estiment que les victimes civiles seraient plus de 160 000 et soupçonnent l’appareil militaire américain et leur régime fantoche de détenir quelque 82 000 prisonniers, la majorité n’ayant pas eu de jugement.
Ce catalogue de destruction n’est pas seulement une conséquence de la guerre, mais vient d’une rationalité annoncée et développée par l’extrême droite américaine. Le PNAC (Project for the New American Century – « Projet pour le nouveau siècle américain ») peut être crédité d’une chose : sa candeur hallucinante à annoncer les plans impérialistes des Etats-Unis au Moyen Orient et dans le monde.
Le PNAC a été fondé au printemps 1997 par les néo-conservateurs Robert Kagan et William Kristol. Les signataires de son « Mission statement » comprennent Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush (le frère de George W. Bush), Francis Fukuyama et Paul Wolfowitz, l’« architecte » de la guerre en l’Iraq.

Beaucoup de ses membres entretiennent d’étroites relations avec l’industrie militaire et pétrolière, mais aussi avec des groupes de pression Sionistes.
Alors que le PNAC se décrit lui-même comme « une organisation à but non lucratif, éducative, qui vise à promouvoir le leadership américain mondial », sa « Déclaration de Principes » est sans équivoque :
« L’histoire du XXe siècle devrait nous avoir appris qu’il vaut mieux influencer la marche des événements avant qu’émergent les crises, et répondre aux menaces avant qu’elles n’aient des conséquences désastreuses. L’histoire de ce siècle devrait nous avoir appris à embrasser la cause du leadership américain mondial. »

C’est sur cette philosophie que la doctrine de guerre préventive a été fondée. Avec une audace qui mine plus d’un demi-siècle de coopération internationale multilatérale, le PNAC a dessiné un agenda en quatre points, qui doit lui permettre d’accomplir sa mission :
« 1°/Nous devons augmenter considérablement nos dépenses dans le domaine de la défense si nous voulons assumer aujourd’hui nous responsabilités mondiales, et moderniser nos forces armées pour l’avenir.
2°/Nous devons renforcer nos liens avec nos alliés démocratiques et remettre en question les régimes hostiles à nos intérêts et à nos valeurs.
3°/Nous devons promouvoir la cause de la liberté politique et économique à l’étranger.
4°/Il nous faut accepter la responsabilité du rôle unique de l’Amérique dans la sauvegarde et l’expansion d’un ordre international favorable à notre sécurité, à notre prospérité et à nos principes. »
En d’autres termes, la force militaire sera dorénavant utilisée de par le monde pour étendre les intérêts impérialistes américains, et pour mater et détruire tous ceux qui défendent des valeurs alternatives.
Le radicalisme du PNAC ne peut pas être sous-estimé. Il détruit toute la tradition de souveraineté établie jusque-là par le traité de Westphalie en 1648. En septembre 2000, le PNAC a publié un rapport fondamental, intitulé : « Repenser les défenses de l’Amérique : stratégies, forces et ressources pour un siècle nouveau », dans lequel les mécanismes nécessaires à la suprématie américaine et la rationalité derrière l’attaque contre l’Irak ont été énoncés :
« Pendant des décennies, les Etats-Unis ont cherché à jouer un rôle plus permanent dans la sécurité de la région du Golfe. Si le conflit non résolu avec l’Irak fournit une justification immédiate, la nécessité d’une présence américaine forte dans le Golfe passe avant le problème du régime de Saddam Hussein. »
Le rapport préconisait une modernisation à grande échelle de l’armée, et estimait qu’une enveloppe annuelle de 15 à 20 milliards de dollars serait nécessaire pour transformer les forces américaines en une sorte de « superforce impériale », qui prendrait le commandement de la « révolution des affaires militaires ». Cependant, le PNAC avait bien conscience que cet agenda rencontrerait certaines réticences :
« Le processus de transformation sera probablement long, sauf événement catastrophique déclencheur, du genre d’un nouveau Pearl Harbor. »
Les événements du 11 Septembre 2001 ont fourni un bon alibi.

La destruction de l’Irak à l’œuvre
Persister à lire la situation irakienne selon une analyse sectaire ne nous permet pas de comprendre ce qui se joue réellement, qui est impliqué, et pour quelles raisons les Irakiens résistent si férocement.

Derrière les écrans de fumée de l’idéologie des médias, la réalité est simple.
Avant la première guerre du Golfe, grâce aux pétrodollars et à une politique sociale de redistribution, l’Irak a développé une large classe moyenne éduquée, capable de gérer les revenus du pays pour l’intérêt général. L’Irak avait le meilleur système de santé et d’éducation du Moyen-Orient.

La classe moyenne sait qu’il n’est pas dans l’intérêt national de l’Irak de permettre l’entière privatisation de son économie. Seules les compagnies étrangères et quelques bourgeoisies locales corrompues en bénéficieraient. Cette classe et ses enfants sont la colonne vertébrale de la résistance irakienne. De fait, la lutte globale contre la mondialisation néo-fasciste se trouve menée physiquement en Irak.

La résistance irakienne comprend que l’occupation est la plus haute forme de dictature. Cette occupation, en philosophie et en actes, tente d’imposer son idéologie par des moyens militaires. Après treize ans de sanctions économiques génocidaires, la récente destruction de sa nation et de ses institutions, l’usurpation de ses terres, la réduction en ruines de ses villes et villages, la jeunesse irakienne a pris son destin en mains. Elle lutte afin de pousser l’occupant hors du pays, de sauver l’Irak des griffes de compagnies internationales assoiffées de profits, et d’établir les seules conditions qui peuvent garantir la démocratie : la souveraineté irakienne et son autodétermination.

La destruction de l’Irak n’est pas une discussion de café. C’est un élément de la destruction, planifiée par des forces réactionnaires néo-fascistes, des fondements de la société et de l’égalité internationale, et de la possibilité d’un contrat social entre les peuples.

Le radicalisme de cette destruction est tel qu’il n’est pas suffisant de protester contre les effets qu’elle engendre sur son premier front : tous ceux qui croient dans les fondements de la création humaine doivent s’opposer à la destruction introduite par les plans américains.

Nous devons tous reconnaître et soutenir la résistance irakienne.

Si vous entendez parler de la résistance irakienne dans les médias occidentaux, rappelez-vous, malgré la propagande rabâchée, qu’elle n’est pas terroriste et qu’elle se bat, pour le compte de tous, contre l’agenda global planétaire de l’Empire américain.
Document PDF : The Terrorist Threat to US Homeland - Note d’évaluation de la CiA

Collectif Bellaciao

The Iraqi Resistance is alive and strong

This is a living people…
Iraq is Iraq...Why worry!

by Ali Al Sarraf

For original text in Arabic see:

Despite all the crimes endured by millions of Iraqis, like the continuous bloodthirsty US bombings, systematic mass murders, death squads, terrorism, poverty, displacements and tortures... the Iraqi will and resolve are far from being broken.

Four years have passed and the US thugs behave in this country Iraq like a rampaging beast, spreading death everywhere they are.. But the US rogues are petrified... They see in every Iraqi a possible threat... They shoot on civilians at random to terrorize people, but in fact they are the terrorized.

The many US soldiers' testimonials, divulged to the general public - thanks to the Nation Newspaper - don't uncover the US savagery against Iraqis only, but show also the dimension of hysteria in which the Occupation forces and their death squads are plunged while confronting unarmed civilians.

One US squaddy says..."Orders were given to look at every Iraqi as a threat and treat him and murder him as such... In case he appeared to be an unarmed civilian, it is easy to put beside him an AK47 and pretend that he was killed in an armed confrontation. It is easy also to detain the witnesses, send them to jail and pretend they are terrorists.."

These are horrendous crimes! The other side of the coin, however, says more. This is the expression of the collective hysteria pursuing the US occupiers before being pursued and chased everywhere by the Iraqi armed Resistance... The roots of this hysteria being the Iraqi rejection of the Occupation, their defiance and courage in front of the US savagery, their readiness to die while confronting the invading US thugs. By God almighty a people like the Iraqi people is invincible while its Resistance is still fierce as if the war has just started.. and the Iraqi people fight with all its might and with every possible means...

While the US administration rogues in the White house are lacking cannon fodder to send to Iraq, according to some reports, thousands of Iraqi families who lost one of their beloved, those who were displaced or forced to leave their homes, are joining by the thousands the Resistance ranks.. Some are as young as 14 years or even younger... What does this mean? It means that all those who were 10 years old when the invasion took place have now become combatants.

There will be more combatants... and for generations... Iraqis will always continue defending their homeland, their honour and their dignity in a war they will fately win.. This is the history verdict for every resisting people against any bloodthirsty invader.

It is their homeland that Iraqis defend.
It is about their right to live that Iraqis combat the rogue US.
It is against a horrible crime that Iraqis react and want to take revenge from the US bloodthirsty assassins.

The more the bloodthirsty US increases its crimes, the more battalions of young Mujahideen will join the ranks of the Resistance.. .We tell the backward bloodthirsty crusaders: Well done! Go ahead with what you are doing... This will be your end! For every Iraqi grave, you will dig your own... While George Bush is finding it hard to get some 30 thousand extra troops... which were swallowed immediately by the murder hysteria, this very hysteria has created for us new combatants, God knows how many and to which Jihad and Resistance factions they belong...

The Resistance is not only through arms... It is a Resistance of Rejection, Protest and overflowing Patriotism too.
When seeing all what the illiterate US rogues do to their brothers, they become in one way or another Resisters.

All the kids and toddlers who see their daddies being dragged from their homes and never come back become Resisters.

All those detained, tortured for wrong will become Resisters.
All those displaced and forced to leave their homes... become Resisters.

All those who lost, due to the Invasion, their prosperity and whatever little details of their daily lives, will become Resisters.

If Iraqis were not hard combatants before... by all means they have become so. Every one knew, except the backward US that Iraqis are from the very start, a people of a rare courage when facing hardship... And sure Iraqis are generous and dignified people and shall have no sleep over unpunished injustice!

That is why a people like the people of Iraq is invincible.

So why worry?

The bloodthirsty occupiers will achieve and gain nothing.. Absolutely nothing.. There is no way after all what happened to reward the criminals for their crimes... No petrol! No gas! Absolutely nothing!

The Occupation might be able to impose on its puppets and stooges the Petrol and Gas Law, to enjoy an economic occupation for 50 years... How can the US do that while this is considered by millions around the globe as a daylight theft and as a crime?

And how to sign such a law in a sea of blood... Based in what legitimacy... and in a country lacking every law? Of what value will this law be in an invasion established as a crime... and those signing this bill, where shall they hide from the people's wrath?

And how to pass such a bill in a country where the petrol nationalization is a part of Iraq's identity and Iraq's militant and combatant history?

Any one who knows Iraqis' demonstrations, numerous intifadas, revolutions and coups d'états from the early part of last century can't by pass the sovereignty and independence red line, Iraqis' rights on their soil which led them to nationalize the petrol.

Those who will dare to sign "the petrol and the gas bill" humiliate their people and threaten their rights in their homeland riches... Unless these occupation mules are drugged or gone berserk they will never dare sign this Law...

And by God almighty we shall slaughter them like sheep.

One by one, the survivors will be dragged to the court for committing a crime against their people's future and interests... These US occupiers' mules which spread chaos and touched an area they should never have touched... Their names shall be inscribed on a roll of dishonour never to be erased, while still exists a martyr's son telling the aggressor: "I want my rights."

No Occupation firm whatsoever will dare send staff to Iraq... These will be slaughtered as the ones before them... Could the bloodthirsty US rogues understand? They will be sent to Abu Ghraib... and let their 'super' power send their armies to rescue them.

Not a single barrel of petrol, will Iraqis send to the rogues states which committed against them every possible crime... Iraqis will have the right to demand, before any trade agreement, to bring the war criminals to justice first...

Iraqis will not reward with petrol those who murdered more than one million human beings, displaced and scattered four other millions, raped hundreds and maybe thousands of Iraqi women and tortured tens of thousands of Iraqi men.

And when the Occupation loses its battle, it will lose it all... These are the cowboys' law that we shall implement on them : "The loser loses it all and the winner gets it all".

As for the Occupations' mules, they shall be slaughtered, by God almighty! Let them sign the so called "Law" for this will be another reason for Iraqis to get rid of them.

Don't worry!

Criminals shall not escape punishment!
It will be difficult to pursue George Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Blair and all the other crusaders' criminals but the horrors and atrocities they committed in Iraq will pursue them for ever.

Horrors at the holocaust level, will not be forgotten by a 'world community' which needs " in its own interests" to practice some hypocrisy and says it has still got some consciousness and humanity left... and can't protect the criminals ad vitam eternam..

They will be punished by their savagery before they are led to court... It will be difficult for their institutions to carry the burden of complicity and cover ups with all that they committed!

What they want to cover up today, will be exposed with proofed documents, witnesses, and data.

Iraqis will make out of any murder, displacement, torture and rape crimes a documented database collecting every information, on the names of officers and soldiers who published their testimonials on what they were doing... Thus no one could escape punishment.

The butchery Iraqis endured, shall be an unbelievable event... seen and considered in a museum... We shall leave the signs of the crime everywhere just like Dresden town or Auschwitz, to be an eternal witness to their baseness and their savagery... We shall pursue them for ever and ever and they will not be able to pretend that they didn't know.

Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair Public affairs officer says in a book called "Blair's years" : "This Blair was the only one amongst the government ministers who had not a single doubt about the war against Iraq in 2003."

Campbell says about the government session on 18th March 2003 "to back the war" that deputy premier John Prescott, John Reed and another minister looked like they were shaking with feverish fright. According to Campbell, this Reed, the Brit home affairs minister, warned the movement to keep in mind that they will be tried by the Iraq which will replace Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

As for Clare Short, who was not at that time sure to resign or not from her post as the International Development State Minister, she told her colleagues: "I will suffer all this night!"

These Brits knew they were going to commit a crime against the International Law and yet they went on with their crimes... They knew too that their forces were committing violations and war crimes... and they kept silent, concealed and tried to minimize these crimes with every idiotic pretexts learned by their rogue and fascist bringing up.

If the murdering of one million innocent victims was the deed of "some bad apples", then tell us who are the professional bloodthirsty war criminals?

And if all the ongoing mass murders, destructions, forced displacements which are still taking place since more than four years, in an unabated savagery, is just "an error" or a "mistake" then tell us what is a Genocidal War?

And the sea of blood they encouraged their puppets to plunge in will burst in their faces... And there will never be peace... There will never be stability if the criminal Brits and US rogues are not brought to justice... For they should answer for the crimes committed against millions of innocents...

Let the bloodthirsty invaders go ahead with their crimes... for the more crimes they commit, the more unbelievable punishment they will get and the more the Iraqis will harden their Resistance and their Revenge will be greater!

If the Iraqis were an invincible people, it is because Iraq, is after all, their Iraq!

Iraq is gravely important because of its geography, and gravely important because of the genius of its sons and daughters. Iraq is gravely solemn because of its History and is gravely serious because of its riches.. Iraq is gravely amazing because of its patriotic culture... Iraq is gravely serious because of its Resolve! Iraq is gravely unusual because of its severity... Iraq is gravely different, because Iraq is absolutely indivisible...

And Iraq shall never ever forget the crimes it endured!

And when those who were kids at the time of the invasion, join the ranks of the Jihad, the bloodthirsty US rogue will only have to dig its own grave in Iraq.

And believe me this is exactly what is going to happen! So don't worry! We shall never forget our rights! History tells it all .. If the French were able to salvage their skin in Algeria, the US would be able to do the same.. and these, if they had won in Vietnam, they would in Iraq.. But they are heading for a clear cut defeat... the echo of which may be resounding in the Congress but which is resounding even louder, much louder in Iraq!

Lion of Babylon Statue in Basra destroyed

the Lion of Babylon

Eighty-Year-Old Basra Landmark Blown Up "by Gunmen"
Jul 29, (VOI) – Unidentified gunmen blew up the Lion of Babylon statue in central Basra during the early hours of Sunday, eyewitnesses said.
"An explosive charge was planted under the statue, completely destroying the historical monument in Basra," an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
The statue, one of the historical landmarks in Basra, 590 km south of Baghdad, was built in the 1920s and symbolized the Babylonian civilization.

The Lion of Babylon, large and splendidly carved in basalt, is reminiscent of the legend that the lion was the symbol of the goddess Ishtar, the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of love, fertility, and war. In the sculpture, the lion's back has marks indicating that it was meant for a precious saddle upon which the goddess Ishtar would stand.

La loi "irakienne" sur les hydrocarbures: "VOL A MAIN ARMEE"

La mondialisation économique par la guerre

Faleh Umara et Hashmeya Hussein : « Le retrait des GI’s d’Irak ne doit pas être conditionné à la loi sur le pétrole » par David Bacon*

Récemment qualifiée de « vol à main armée » par cinq personnalités ayant reçu le prix Nobel de la paix,(*) la loi irakienne sur les hydrocarbures se heurte à toutes les forces légitimes, militaires comme sociales, qui tentent d’exister sous l’occupation. En conséquence son adoption, qui constitue l’un des buts de guerre avoués de l’Empire, s’est vue repoussée plusieurs fois malgré la pression.

Faleh Abood Umara, secrétaire général de la Fédération irakienne des syndicats de l’industrie pétrolière et Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, présidente du Syndicat irakien des travailleurs de l’électricité, répondent aux questions de David Bacon.

(*) In_Opposition_to_the_Iraq_Oil_Law.pdf
voir :

lire l'article sur:

samedi 28 juillet 2007

Artiste peintre turkmène irakienne LAHIB JADDO

Leçon de vol

Veterans expose the vast enterprise of industrial slaughter unleashed in Iraq for a lie

Accustomed to Their Own Atrocities in Iraq, U.S. Soldiers Have Become Murderers
By Chris Hedges, Adbusters
Posted on July 27, 2007, Printed on July 28, 2007

All troops, when they occupy and battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in "atrocity producing situations."
In this environment, surrounded by a hostile population, simple acts such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke means you can be killed. This constant fear and stress pushes troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. This hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find.

The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed over time to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing -- the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm -- to murder -- the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing.

After four years of war, American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity. The American killing project is not described in these terms to a distant public. The politicians still speak in the abstract terms of glory, honor, and heroism, in the necessity of improving the world, in lofty phrases of political and spiritual renewal. Those who kill large numbers of people always claim it as a virtue. The campaign to rid the world of terror is expressed with this rhetoric, as if once all terrorists are destroyed evil itself will vanish.

The reality behind the myth, however, is very different. The reality and the ideal clash when soldiers and Marines return home, alienating these combat veterans from the world around them, a world that still dines out on the myth of war and the virtues of the nation. But slowly returning veterans are giving us a new narrative of the war -- one that exposes the vast enterprise of industrial slaughter unleashed in Iraq for a lie and sustained because of wounded national pride and willful ignorance.

"This unit sets up this traffic control point and this 18 year old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50 caliber machine gun," remembered Geoffrey Millard who served in Tikrit with the 42nd Infantry Division. "And this car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split second decision that that's a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged four and the daughter was aged three."

"And they briefed this to the general," Millard said, "and they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, 'if these fucking Hadjis learned to drive, this shit wouldn't happen.'"

Those who come back from war, like Millard and tens of thousands of other veterans, suffer not only delayed reactions to stress, but a crisis of faith. The God they knew, or thought they knew, failed them. The church or the synagogue or the mosque, which promised redemption by serving God and country, did not prepare them for the betrayal of this civic religion, for the capacity we all have for human atrocity, for the lies and myths used to mask the reality of war. War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians. This bitter knowledge of betrayal has seeped into the ranks of American troops.

It has unleashed a new wave of embittered veterans not seen since the Vietnam War. It has made it possible for us to begin, again, to see war's death mask.
"And then, you know, my sort of sentiment of what the fuck are we doing, that I felt that way in Iraq," said Sergeant Ben Flanders, who estimated that he ran hundreds of convoys in Iraq. "It's the sort of insanity of it and the fact that it reduces it. Well, I think war does anyway, but I felt like there was this enormous reduction in my compassion for people, the only thing that wound up mattering is myself and the guys that I was with. And everybody else be damned, whether you are an Iraqi, I'm sorry, I'm sorry you live here, I'm sorry this is a terrible situation, and I'm sorry that you have to deal with all of, you know, army vehicles running around and shooting, and these insurgents and all this stuff.

"The first briefing you get when you get off the plane in Kuwait, and you get off the plane and you're holding a duffle bag in each hand," Millard remembered. "You've got your weapon slung. You've got a web sack on your back. You're dying of heat. You're tired. You're jet-lagged. Your mind is just full of goop. And then, you're scared on top of that, because, you know, you're in Kuwait, you're not in the States anymore … so fear sets in, too. And they sit you into this little briefing room and you get this briefing about how, you know, you can't trust any of these fucking Hadjis, because all these fucking Hadjis are going to kill you. And Hadji is always used as a term of disrespect and usually, with the 'f' word in front of it."

War is also the pornography of violence. It has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it "the lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War allows us to engage in lusts and passions we keep hidden in the deepest, most private interiors of our fantasy life. It allows us to destroy not only things but human beings. In that moment of wholesale destruction, we wield the power to the divine, the power to revoke another person's charter to live on this earth. The frenzy of this destruction -- and when unit discipline breaks down, or there was no unit discipline to begin with, frenzy is the right word -- sees armed bands crazed by the poisonous elixir our power to bring about the obliteration of others delivers. All things, including human beings, become objects -- objects to either gratify or destroy or both. Almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.

Human beings are machine gunned and bombed from the air, automatic grenade launchers pepper hovels and neighbors with high-powered explosive devices and convoys race through Iraq like freight trains of death. These soldiers and Marines have at their fingertips the heady ability to call in air strikes and firepower that obliterate landscapes and villages in fiery infernos. They can instantly give or deprive human life, and with this power they became sick and demented. The moral universe is turned upside down. All human beings are used as objects. And no one walks away uninfected. War thrusts us into a vortex of pain and fleeting ecstasy. It thrusts us into a world where law is of little consequence, human life is cheap and the gratification of the moment becomes the overriding desire that must be satiated, even at the cost of another's dignity or life.

"A lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want," said Josh Middleton, who served in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq. "And you know, when 20 year old kids are yelled at back and forth at Bragg and we're picking up cigarette butts and getting yelled at every day to find a dirty weapon. But over here, it's like life and death. And 40-year-old Iraqi men look at us with fear and we can -- do you know what I mean? -- we have this power that you can't have. That's really liberating. Life is just knocked down to this primal level of, you know, you worry about where the next food's going to come from, the next sleep or the next patrol and to stay alive."
"It's like you feel like, I don't know, if you're a caveman," he added. "Do you know what I mean? Just, you know, I mean, this is how life is supposed to be. Life and death, essentially. No TV. None of that bullshit."

It takes little in wartime to turn ordinary men into killers. Most give themselves willingly to the seduction of unlimited power to destroy, and all feel the peer pressure to conform. Few, once in battle, find the strength to resist. Physical courage is common on a battlefield. Moral courage is not.
Military machines and state bureaucracies, who seek to make us obey, seek also to silence those who return from war to speak the truth, to hide from a public eager for stories of war that fit the mythic narrative the essence of war which is death.

Camilo Mejia, who eventually applied while still on active duty to become a conscientious objector, said the ugly side of American racism and chauvinism appeared the moment his unit arrived in the Middle East. Fellow soldiers instantly ridiculed Arab-style toilets because they would be "shitting like dogs." The troops around him treated Iraqis, whose language they did not speak and whose culture was alien, little better than animals. The word "Hadji" swiftly became a slur to refer to Iraqis, in much the same way "gook" was used to debase the Vietnamese or "rag head" is used to belittle those in Afghanistan.
Soon those around him ridiculed "Hadji food," "Hadji homes," and "Hadji music."

Bewildered prisoners, who were rounded up in useless and indiscriminate raids, were stripped naked, and left to stand terrified and bewildered for hours in the baking sun. They were subjected to a steady torrent of verbal and physical abuse. "I experienced horrible confusion," Mejia remembers, "not knowing whether I was more afraid for the detainees or for what would happen to me if I did anything to help them."

These scenes of abuse, which began immediately after the American invasion, were little more than collective acts of sadism. Mejia watched, not daring to intervene, yet increasingly disgusted at the treatment of Iraqi civilians. He saw how the callous and unchecked abuse of power first led to alienation among Iraqis and spawned a raw hatred of the occupation forces. When army units raided homes, the soldiers burst in on frightened families, forced them to huddle in the corners at gun point, and helped themselves to food and items in the house.

"After we arrested drivers," he recalled, "we would choose whichever vehicles we liked, fuel them from confiscated jerry cans, and conduct undercover presence patrols in the impounded cars.
"But to this day I cannot find a single good answer as to why I stood by idly during the abuse of those prisoners except, of course, my own cowardice," he also notes.

Iraqi families were routinely fired upon for getting too close to check points, including an incident where an unarmed father driving a car was decapitated by a 50-caliber machine gun in front of his small son, although by then, Mejia notes, "this sort of killing of civilians had long ceased to arouse much interest or even comment." Soldiers shot holes into cans of gasoline being sold alongside the road and then tossed incendiary grenades into the pools to set them ablaze. "It's fun to shoot shit up," a soldier said. Some open fire on small children throwing rocks. And when improvised explosive devices go off the troops fire wildly into densely populated neighborhoods, leaving behind innocent victims who become, in the callous language of war, "collateral damage."

"We would drive on the wrong side of the highway to reduce the risk of being hit by an IED," Mejia said of the deadly roadside bombs. "This forced oncoming vehicles to move to one side of the road, and considerably slowed down the flow of traffic. In order to avoid being held up in traffic jams, where someone could roll a grenade under our trucks, we would simply drive up on sidewalks, running over garbage cans and even hitting civilian vehicles to push them out of the way. Many of the soldiers would laugh and shriek at these tactics."

At one point the unit was surrounded by an angry crowd protesting the occupation. Mejia and his squad opened fire on an Iraqi holding a grenade, riddling the man's body with bullets. Mejia checked his clip afterwards and determined that he fired 11 rounds into the young man. Units, he said, nonchalantly opened fire in crowded neighborhoods with heavy M-240 Bravo machine guns, AT-4 launchers and Mark 19s, a machine gun that spits out grenades.

"The frustration that resulted from our inability to get back at those who were attacking us," Mejia writes, "led to tactics that seemed designed simply to punish the local population that was supporting them."
He watched soldiers from his unit abuse the corpses of Iraqi dead. Mejia related how, in one incident, soldiers laughed as an Iraqi corpse fell from the back of a truck.

"Take a picture of me and this motherfucker," one of the soldiers who had been in Mejia's squad in third platoon said, putting his arm around the corpse.
The shroud fell away from the body revealing a young man wearing only his pants. There was a bullet hole in his chest.
"Damn, they really fucked you up, didn't they!?" the soldier laughed.
The scene, Mejia noted, was witnessed by the dead man's brothers and cousins.

Senior officers, protected in heavily fortified compounds, rarely saw combat. They sent their troops on futile missions in the quest to be awarded Combat Infantry Badges. This recognition, Mejia notes, "was essential to their further progress up the officer ranks." This pattern meant that "very few high-ranking officers actually got out into the action, and lower-ranking officers were afraid to contradict them when they were wrong." When the badges, bearing an emblem of a musket with the hammer dropped, resting on top of an oak wreath, were finally awarded, the commanders immediately brought in Iraqi tailors to sew the badges on the left breast pockets of their desert combat uniforms.

"This was one occasion when our leaders led from the front," Mejia noted bitterly. "They were among the first to visit the tailors to get their little patches of glory sewn next to their hearts."
The war breeds gratuitous and constant acts of violence.
"I mean, if someone has a fan, they're a white collar family," said Phillip Chrystal, who carried out raids on Iraqi homes in Kirkuk. "So we get started on this day, this one, in particular. And it starts with the psy ops [psychological operations] vehicles out there, you know, with the big speakers playing a message in Arabic or Farsi or Kurdish or whatever they happen to be saying, basically, saying put your weapons, if you have them, next to the front door in your house. Please come outside, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we had Apaches flying over for security, if they're needed, and it's also a good show of force. And we were running around, and we'd done a few houses by this point, and I was with my platoon leader, my squad leader and maybe a couple other people, but I don't really remember.
"And we were approaching this one house, and this farming area, they're, like, built up into little courtyards," he said. "So they have like the main house, common area. They have like a kitchen and then, they have like a storage shed-type deal. And we were approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, because it was doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it. And he didn't -- mother fucker -- he shot it and it went in the jaw and exited out. So I see this dog -- and I'm a huge animal lover. I love animals -- and this dog has like these eyes on it and he's running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, the family is sitting right there with three little children and a mom and a dad horrified. And I'm at a loss for words. And so, I yell at him. I'm like what the fuck are you doing.
"And so, the dog's yelping. It's crying out without a jaw. And I'm looking at the family, and they're just scared. And so, I told them I was like fucking shoot it, you know. At least, kill it, because that can't be fixed. It's suffering. And I actually get tears from just saying this right now, but -- and I had tears then, too, -- and I'm looking at the kids and they are so scared. So I got the interpreter over with me and, you know, I get my wallet out and I gave them 20 bucks, because that's what I had. And, you know, I had him give it to them and told them that I'm so sorry that asshole did that. Which was very common. I don't know if it's rednecks or what, but they feel that shooting dogs is something that adds to one's manliness traits. I don't know. I had a big problem with that.
"Was a report ever filed about it?" he asked. "Was anything ever done? Any punishment ever dished out? No, absolutely not. He was a sycophant down to the T."

We make our heroes out of clay. We laud their gallant deeds and give them uniforms with colored ribbons on their chest for the acts of violence they committed or endured. They are our false repositories of glory and honor, of power, of self-righteousness, of patriotism and self-worship, all that we want to believe about ourselves. They are our plaster saints of war, the icons we cheer to defend us and make us and our nation great. They are the props of our civic religion, our love of power and force, our belief in our right as a chosen nation to wield this force against the weak and rule. This is our nation's idolatry of itself. And this idolatry has corrupted religious institutions, not only here but in most nations, making it impossible for us to separate the will of God from the will of the state.

Prophets are not those who speak of piety and duty from pulpits -- few people in pulpits have much worth listening to -- but it is the battered wrecks of men and women who return from Iraq and speak the halting words we do not want to hear, words that we must listen to and heed to know ourselves. They tell us war is a soulless void. They have seen and tasted how war plunges us to barbarity, perversion, pain and an unchecked orgy of death. And it is their testimonies alone that have the redemptive power to save us from ourselves.

Chris Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and the author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning."
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

Who will protect her, who will take care of her?

A "liberated" Iraqi woman

Look at this lonely elderly Iraqi woman refugee sleeping rough in the streets of Amman. She is the citizen of one of the richest countries on earth, but the neocon-zionists have destroyed her home, her family, her country and her life has turned into a nightmare.

vendredi 27 juillet 2007

LAHIB JADDO, an Iraqi Turkmen artist

Lahib Jaddo



The website of Lahib JADDO :

"My art is deeply rooted in my cultural heritage and family history."
My ancestry is 3/4 Turkumani and 1/4 Armenian

some of her paintings :


By Kippra D. Hopper
Born in Baghdad in 1955, Jaddo says her cultural roots rise from a place in northern Iraq called Kerkuk, the city of her mother’s family. Jaddo left the land of her birth when she was 10 years old, her family forced out by the threats to her father and other intellectuals under Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. As an intellectual and a liberal, her father was one of the first engineers and among the first highly educated individuals in Iraq and was targeted by the Hussein regime as being a socialist and communist. The family moved to Beirut, Lebanon, another locale besieged by revolts and war, where Jaddo spent her teen years. In 1977, she moved to the United States as a newlywed and continued her education.

The artist had the opportunity in 2005 and 2006 to return to Iraq as a part of an educational exchange program between United States universities and institutions in northern Iraq. As an Associate Professor of Architecture at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Jaddo visited Salahadin University in Erbil, the Foundation Technology Institute in Kerkuk, the College of Engineering in Erbil, and the Institute of Applied Arts in Baghdad. When she returned she sought to document what she had observed in her native country and to explore visually the lost cultures of her ancestors and the war-torn state of her homeland.

The visit to Iraq evoked mystery for Jaddo as she wondered what she would see and how she would react, how she should dress, who she still would know there and whether she would feel like a foreigner. Her culture welcomed her work and her efforts in being a part of the creators of the first Turkumani University in North Iraq. Jaddo yearned to return to Iraq to view what was left of her family, heritage and home where her own art is foreign. She longed to see the remnants of places that in her mind still live and loom larger than life: the Citadel in Kerkuk; Tel-Afar, her father’s hometown; the hills of Mesopotamia; and the ziggurat of Samarra.

“My memories of my mother’s hometown of Kerkuk are vivid. I remember climbing the Citadel, walking alleys, reaching courtyard houses to visit my aunt in her ancestral home. I remember running up to the flat roof where they slept in the summer to see the city roof tops red with poppies from the spring rains. I remember my aunt slapping a huge circle of dough on the sides of her mud oven to make brown bread to feed us while chickens ran at her feet.”

Interweaving architecture in her art, Jaddo makes wood and stone into cultural signifiers, suggesting history, politics and personal identity. She uses the expressions of art, language and architecture to reclaim, recreate and reassert her own bicultural identity. Jaddo often uses text in her paintings to add another layer of communication and to transport a viewer to another part of the world.

In her many readings, Jaddo has discovered a 13th century Turkish poet Jalal Ud Deen Rumi, who wrote about being one with nature and finding satisfaction in life on Earth by considering oneself as part of the creatures upon it. This philosophy, Jaddo says, became her religion. When she came to Lubbock, she was determined to take in nature despite living in a city. “I wanted to watch the sunset. I was determined to get in touch with nature every day. I find new places to explore and hike. I read and I use poetry to help me to tell my stories.”

For example, in her paintings of the Citadel, the most prominent architectural feature in Kerkuk, the artist conveys a political message about rebuilding of the city; at the same time, she reflects on her mixed Turkumani and Armenian ancestry. Jaddo has lived among horse-drawn carriages, courtyard houses, mound cities on hills, and Turkmen people of northern Iraq. The Citadel, razed by Hussein in 1998, had been the focus of Turkmen social life, an expression of Turkmen culture and identity. In one of her most recent bodies of work, Jaddo uses Turkmen and the Citadel to assert, “We are ancient. We have been here a long time. We rise up from the earth. We are strong. We will last.”

Jaddo, a feminist, is a socially conscious artist. Her works are social commentaries about bridges between cultures and in her images of the links between interior/exterior, past/present, man/woman, she begins to dissolve dichotomies and the idea of bridging cultures is taken a step further. Her empowering images of Islamic womanhood shown in traditional garb are surrounded by studies of architecture, mysticism, nature and culture. The birds and butterflies that fill some of her works are colorful and bright reminders of optimism even in the face of loss. In some of her works set in beautiful landscapes of warmly colored canyons, deserts and huge, open skies.

How Truth Slips Down The Memory Hole, by John Pilger

John Pilger, applies to current events Orwell's description in '1984' of how the Ministry of Truth consigned embarrassing truth to a memory hole. He highlights the killing of a Palestinian cameraman by the Israelis as an example of how "we" are trained to look on the rest of the world as quite unlike ourselves: useful or expendable.

By John Pilger
0726/07 "ICH " -- -- -One of the leaders of demonstrations in Gaza calling for the release of the BBC reporter Alan Johnston was a Palestinian news cameraman, Imad Ghanem. On 5 July, he was shot by Israeli soldiers as he filmed them invading Gaza. A Reuters video shows bullets hitting his body as he lay on the ground. An ambulance trying to reach him was also attacked. The Israelis described him as a "legitimate target".

The International Federation of Journalists called the shooting "a vicious and brutal example of deliberate targeting of a journalist". At the age of 21, he has had both legs amputated. Dr David Halpin, a British trauma surgeon who works with Palestinian children, emailed the BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen. "The BBC should report the alleged details about the shooting," he wrote. "It should honour Alan [Johnston] as a journalist by reporting the facts, uncomfortable as they might be to Israel." He received no reply.

The atrocity was reported in two sentences on the BBC online. Along with 11 Palestinian civilians killed by the Israelis on the same day, Alan Johnston's now legless champion slipped into what George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four called the memory hole. (It was Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth to make disappear all facts embarrassing to Big Brother.)

While Alan Johnston was being held, I was asked by the BBC World Service if I would say a few words of support for him. I readily agreed, and suggested I also mention the thousands of Palestinians abducted and held hostage. The answer was a polite no; and all the other hostages remained in the memory hole. Or, as Harold Pinter wrote of such unmentionables: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened... It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

The media wailing over the BBC's royal photo-shoot fiasco and assorted misdemeanours provide the perfect straw man. They complement a self-serving BBC internal inquiry into news bias, which dutifully supplied the right-wing Daily Mail with hoary grist that the corporation is a left-wing plot. Such shenanigans would be funny were it not for the true story behind the facade of elite propaganda that presents humanity as useful or expendable, worthy or unworthy, and the Middle East as the Anglo-American crime that never happened, didn't matter, was of no interest.

The other day, I turned on the BBC's Radio 4 and heard a cut-glass voice announce a programme about Iraqi interpreters working for "the British coalition forces" and warning that "listeners might find certain descriptions of violence disturbing". Not a word referred to those of "us" directly and ultimately responsible for the violence. The programme was called Face the Facts. Is satire that dead? Not yet. The Murdoch columnist David Aaronovitch, a warmonger, is to interview Blair in the BBC's "major retrospective" of the sociopath's rule. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four lexicon of opposites pervades almost everything we see, hear and read now. The invaders and destroyers are "the British coalition forces", surely as benign as that British institution, St John Ambulance, who are "bringing democracy" to Iraq.

BBC television describes Israel as having "two hostile Palestinian entities on its borders", neatly inverting the truth that Israel is actually inside Palestinian borders.

A study by Glasgow University says that young British viewers of TV news believe Israelis illegally colonising Palestinian land are Palestinians: the victims are the invaders.

"The great crimes against most of humanity", wrote the American cultural critic James Petras, "are justified by a corrosive debasement of language and thought... [that] have fabricated a linguistic world of terror, of demons and saviours, of axes of good and evil, of euphemisms" designed to disguise a state terror that is "a gross perversion" of democracy, liberation, reform, justice.
In his reinauguration speech, George Bush mentioned all these words, whose meaning, for him, is the dictionary opposite.

It is 80 years since Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, predicted a pervasive "invisible government" of corporate spin, suppression and silence as the true ruling power in the United States. That is true today on both sides of the Atlantic. How else could America and Britain go on such a spree of death and mayhem on the basis of stupendous lies about non-existent weapons of mass destruction, even a "mushroom cloud over New York"?

When the BBC radio reporter Andrew Gilligan reported the truth, he was pilloried and sacked along with the BBC's director general, while Blair, the proven liar, was protected by the liberal wing of the media and given a standing ovation in parliament.

The same is happening again over Iran, distracted, it is hoped, by spin that the new Foreign Secretary David Miliband is a "sceptic" about the crime in Iraq when, in fact, he has been an accomplice, and by unctuous Kennedy-quoting Foreign Office propaganda about Miliband's "new world order".

"What do you think of Iran's complicity in attacks on British soldiers in Basra?" Miliband was asked by the Financial Times.Miliband: "Well, I think that any evidence of Iranian engagement there is to be deplored. I think that we need regional players to be supporting stability, not fomenting discord, never mind death..."FT: "Just to be clear, there is evidence?"Miliband: "Well no, I chose my words carefully..."The coming war on Iran, including the possibility of a nuclear attack, has already begun as a war by journalism. Count the number of times "nuclear weapons programme" and "nuclear threat" are spoken and written, yet neither exists, says the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On 21 June, the New York Times went further and advertised an "urgent" poll, headed: "Should we bomb Iran?" The questions beneath referred to Iran being "a greater threat than Saddam Hussein" and asked: "Who should undertake military action against Iran first... ?" The choice was "US. Israel. Neither country". So tick your favourite bombers.

The last British war to be fought without censorship and "embedded" journalists was the Crimea a century and a half ago. The bloodbath of the First World War and the Cold War might never have happened without their unpaid (and paid) propagandists. Today's invisible government is no less served, especially by those who censor by omission. The craven liberal campaign against the first real hope for the poor of Venezuela is a striking example.

However, there are major differences. Official disinformation now is often aimed at a critical public intelligence, a growing awareness in spite of the media. This "threat" from a public often held in contempt has been met by the insidious transfer of much of journalism to public relations. Some years ago, PR Week estimated that the amount of "PR-generated material" in the media is "50 per cent in a broadsheet newspaper in every section apart from sport. In the local press and the mid-market and tabloid nationals, the figure would undoubtedly be higher. Music and fashion journalists and PRs work hand in hand in the editorial process... PRs provide fodder, but the clever high-powered ones do a lot of the journalists' thinking for them." This is known today as "perception management".

The most powerful are not the Max Cliffords but huge corporations such as Hill & Knowlton, which "sold" the slaughter known as the first Gulf war, and the Sawyer Miller Group, which sold hated, pro-Washington regimes in Colombia and Bolivia and whose operatives included Mark Malloch Brown, the new Foreign Office minister, currently being spun as anti-Washington.

Hundreds of millions of dollars go to corporations spinning the carnage in Iraq as a sectarian war and covering up the truth: that an atrocious invasion is pinned down by a successful resistance while the oil is looted.

The other major difference today is the abdication of cultural forces that once provided dissent outside journalism. Their silence has been devastating. "For almost the first time in two centuries," wrote the literary and cultural critic Terry Eagleton, "there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life."

The lone, honourable exception is Harold Pinter. Eagleton listed writers and playwrights who once promised dissent and satire and instead became rich celebrities, ending the legacy of Shelley and Blake, Carlyle and Ruskin, Morris and Wilde, Wells and Shaw. He singled out Martin Amis, a writer given tombstones of column inches in which to air his pretensions, along with his attacks on Muslims.

The following is from a recent article by Amis:Tony strolled over [to me] and said, "What have you been up to today?" "I've been feeling protective of my prime minister, since you ask." For some reason our acquaintanceship, at least on my part, is becoming mildly but deplorably flirtatious. What these elite, embedded voices share is their participation in an essentially class war, the long war of the rich against the poor.

That they play their part in a broadcasting studio or in the clubbable pages of the review sections and that they think of themselves as liberals or conservatives is neither here nor there. They belong to the same crusade, waging the same battle for their enduring privilege.

In The Serpent, Marc Karlin's dreamlike film about Rupert Murdoch, the narrator describes how easily Murdochism came to dominate the media and coerce the industry's liberal elite.

There are clips from a keynote address that Murdoch gave at the Edinburgh Television Festival. The camera pans across the audience of TV executives, who listen in respectful silence as Murdoch flagellates them for suppressing the true voice of the people. They then applaud him. "This is the silence of the democrats," says the voice-over, "and the Dark Prince could bath in their silence."

This article was first published at the New Statesman