Ghali Hassan / GlobalResearch.ca – 2005-12-17 11:35:27
Introductory CommentKeith Lampe, Ponderosa Pine
[This article by Chali Hassan was submitted to EAW by Keith Lampe (aka Ponderosa Pine) — a founding father of the US environmental movement who has been living abroad in Thailand. His observation of the corporate media’s dumbing-down and coarseing of US culture is a matter of great concern.]
(December 17, 2005) — I’m glad Ghali Hassan below has chosen to emphasize not only the mass murder of Iraqi civilians but also that such viciousness is being “normalized in Western conscience.” Here from a recent email to 9/11 colleagues is my sense of how it and other atrocious behavior are being normalized in the US:
These comments remind me of the seven weeks I spent in California last summer. It was the first time in five years that I’d been in the US and I found it quite exhausting to have to absorb all-at-once what had taken place during that period.
I already had intellectual knowledge of the “dumbing-down” that had occurred — but nevertheless was appalled by my gut experience that not only had there been lots of dumbing-down but also most folks had been subtly conditioned to be proud of having been dumbed-down.
Related to this was a perception that within the broad corporate-media propaganda mix (“news,” sitcoms, cop dramas, etc) there’d been a relatively successful effort to give crudeness the status of a major virtue. In fact, this propaganda mix seemed to aim at creating a younger generation who’d fire automatic weapons into clusters of peaceful unarmed civilians without even giving it a second thought. These are some of the reasons I think [the peace movement] should concentrate on the 15-to-25 age group. . .
Another thing we must concentrate on is strengthening our own independent media, including much greater use of the oral tradition — e.g., Truth Teams going door-to-door with the news in person but also supported with video, audio and print.
— Keith Lampe, Ponderosa Pine firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crimes of US ‘Democracy’
The Crimes of US ‘Democracy’ / Ghali Hassan / GlobalResearch.ca
“How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say; 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We’ve lost about 2,140 of our own troops.”
— George W. Bush, 12 December 2005.
(December 16, 2005) — As the Occupation of Iraq is approaching three years, the mass murder of Iraqi civilians is not questioned, but normalised in Western conscience. President Bush reached the stage where he is able to make his own figure of Iraqi deaths, with no remorse or sadness. The war was not the result of “wrong intelligence”; the war was an illegal act of aggression, and a premeditated mass murder. ‘Democracy’ is used as a tool to manipulate the public and justify war crimes.
The most conservative estimate of Iraqi deaths was reported in October 2004 by a group of medical scientists from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Columbia University and Al-Mustansiriyah School of Medicine in Baghdad. The conservative estimate of more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths was published in the reputed and peer-reviewed British medical journal the Lancet. If one includes the atrocities in Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Qaim, Tel Afar, Hillah, Baghdad and the daily mayhem instigated by US forces and their collaborators, the number of Iraqis killed since March 2003 would be in the 200,000 mark or even more. It also estimated that 85 per cent of all violent deaths are by “coalition forces” and that many of these are due to US aerial bombardments. The majority of the victims were innocent women and children.
According to Robert Fisk of the Independent; “The Ministry of Health figures in July alone, was 1,100 Iraqi deaths in Baghdad alone. If you spread that across, Mosul, Kirkuk, maybe Irbil [in the north], all the way down to Basra [in the south], through the months, and you must be talking of 3,000 to 4,000 a month. That’s 36,000 to 48,000 a year”. This makes the “100,000 figure of [the Lancet study] rightly as being quite conservative”, added Fisk. This figure has been recently substantiated.
However, The Lancet study was deliberately ignored or dismissed by the US-British corporate mass media. In fact the study is now censored by mainstream media because it shows a mass murder. The media and Western elites’ roles have always been to selectively describe crimes allegedly – never proven – committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein as “mass murder”, while dismissing crimes committed by Western powers.
Since October 2004, the violence of the Occupation is increasing, and the daily bloodshed is mounting. The indiscriminate and savage aerial and ground bombardments – with chemical bombs, fire bombs (fuel-air bombs), napalm and other non-conventional weapons (WMD) – of population centres continue the destruction of the country and the killing of innocent Iraqis en masse. In addition, the US and British governments are secretly sponsoring the killings of prominent Iraqi politicians, intellectuals, academics, religious leaders and trade union leaders, including leaders of the Oil Workers Union, using US-British trained death squads and criminals. The aim is to incite civil strife and destroy the unity of Iraq to serve US imperialist strategy. The US invaded Iraq to destroy its unity and conquest its oil resources at the expense of the Iraqi people.
The real motives for the war remain conspicuously hidden from the public: the colonisation of Iraq to enhance US imperial dominance, the destruction of Arab nationalism, and most importantly support for Israel’s Zionist expansion and criminal policies against the Palestinians. Moreover, the most relevant was that public consent in the West has been manufactured and the US had its way to commit a ‘Supreme International Crime’ against defenceless people, disguised as ‘spreading democracy’. Iraq under US-British Occupation is a far more dictatorial and miserable place to live in than under Saddam Hussein’s regime. Occupation is just another clone of Fascism.
The view from Iraq is that since the invasion: “Iraqis have been living in fear, poverty, oppression and a lack of freedom… The occupation troops have resorted to excessive force, indiscriminate killing and collective punishment of the population. They have besieged entire towns, storming into them, instilling fear and horror among residents and destroying their homes. Iraqis have been humiliated and stripped of their basic human rights; they have been subjected to brutal and ghastly forms of torture, as the infamous Abu Ghraib prison case and the British troops’ abuse of detainees in Basra have shown”. (The Guardian, 15 December 2005).
A recent UNICEF rapid assessment survey reveals that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children had almost doubled since before the war, jumping from 4 per cent to almost 8 per cent. The survey adds that: “Acute malnutrition sets in very fast and is a strong indicator of the overall health of children”. The general health of Iraqi children, the elderly and pregnant women in particular, has declined because of continued deterioration of the living conditions. Since the invasion three years ago, Iraq still lacks access to potable water, food, adequate electricity supply, hospital care, and a sharp decline in Iraqis purchasing power due to the 70 per cent unemployment.
As the war continues and the bloodshed mounts, the US and British powers are orchestrating elections that will legitimise their imperial interests at the expense of the Iraqi people. Illegitimate and fraudulent elections are no substitute for free, fare and democratic elections. This is consistent with the West’s own demand for Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon before last March’s elections. The Bush Administration should apply the same in Iraq. There can be no legitimate elections while Iraq is under occupation and its oil wealth is looted by the invaders. It is not democracy; it is criminal.
Like the January 2005 elections, these elections are for propaganda purposes designed to fool the rest of the world and cover up the US colonial aim in Iraq. Behind the scenes and against the wishes of the Iraqi people, the looting of Iraq’s oil wealth and the colonisation of Iraq’s economy is a reality. The new production-sharing agreements (PSAs) between big US and British oil corporations enforced foreign control of Iraq’s resources. As every day passes, the occupation of Iraq is becoming more deadly and long lasting.
Furthermore, the US and Britain are interfering directly in the elections by planting false articles in the Iraqi press to report favourably on the US Occupation and to promote US candidates. Iyad Allawi is presented by the US and British mass media as the “strong man” and “only hope”, for Iraq. In October, Iraqis were forced to vote on a divisive and sectarian US-crafted Constitution and now they are voting to implement that division. It doesn’t matter how many Iraqis vote in the elections, these elections do not represent the aspiration of the Iraqi people for free, democratic and sovereign Iraq. These elections are imposed from outside and at gun point.
The outcome of these fraudulent elections is a forgone conclusion. The result won’t change the situation on the ground. Imported Iraqi expatriate conmen and religious clerics, with their own militias and death squads, are serving as the façade of the Occupation. The current coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), which includes conman Ahmed Chalabi, is poised to win most of the votes. The C.I.A stooge, Iyad Allawi, may be added to give the new puppet government a ‘secular’ colour with a corruption test. Together with the Kurdish warlords, the UIA will most likely continue to serve the US Occupation, because they depend on its ongoing presence. The Occupation and its associated violence benefit the US and its allies. Iraqis are stuck in the Occupation’s quagmire.
In addition to the US and Britain, the Iranian regime is doing everything to keep its fanatic stooges in power in Iraq. There have been reports of ballot forgery and rigging on a massive scale, including the participation of over a million illegal Iranians in the Iraqi elections. A stable Iraq has never been part of Iran policy, and the current environment of ongoing US Occupation of Iraq is in Iran’s interests.
The vast majority of Iraqis are rejecting the US Occupation. A recent poll conducted by the British Ministry of Defence in August 2005 reveals that over 82 per cent of Iraqis are “strongly opposed” to the presence of the occupying forces in Iraq. Less than 1 per cent of Iraqis think the Occupation forces are responsible for any improvement in security. If one excludes the Kurdish region of Iraq – where the US has some support – from the poll, the anti-Occupation sentiment is even higher. George Bush’s refusal to set a time for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq is also contrary to the “tentative agreement” reached on 21 November 2005 at the Arab League-sponsored Cairo conference, by Iraqi leaders, including the current puppet government.
So, if the elections have any chance of achieving the aim of the Iraqi people, which is the FULL and immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, then Iraqis will look forward to a better future in independent Iraq. Only after liberation and national independence, can Iraq have truly free, fair and democratic elections. Westerners, Americans in particular, should liberate themselves from the anti-Arab colonial ideology of deep-seated belief in cultural superiority to indigenous Iraqis. Iraqis do not need to prove their capability and place in history. Democracy cannot be imposed and achieved by violence; democracy is planted and nurtured by the people.
For three years, the mass media didn’t dare to ask about the number of Iraqi deaths, and have deliberately covered up the mass murder of innocent Iraqis. President Bush wasn’t asked by a reporter, but by someone from the public, when he responds to a question. Bush’s lowest estimate of Iraqi deaths is consistent with his style of deception, 30,000 or 200,000 deaths; Bush is admitting to having committed mass murder. What for?
There were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, and Iraqis have never posed a threat to the American people. It wasn’t because of faulty intelligence, as the Bush-media spin suggests. The war was instigated with a clear consciousness of the truth. The UN declared the war on Iraq an “illegal” act of aggression in violation of the UN Charter. The invasion of Iraq is rightly described by Noble laureate Harold Pinter as: ”An act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law”.
It is legally argued by attorney Michael Ratner, the former director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights and past president of the National Lawyer’s Guild, that: “Article 2131 of the UN Charter requires that international disputes be settled by peaceful means so that international peace, security and justice are not endangered; Article 2141 requires that force shall not be used in any manner that is inconsistent with the purposes of the UN and Article 33 requires that parties to a dispute shall first of all seek a solution by negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies, or other peaceful means”. Force can not be used based on assumption and bogus intelligence.
It follows that there is an overwhelming prima facia evidence to indict George W. Bush and his accomplices with war crimes and crimes against humanity. If the American people justify the death penalty for Americans who committed murderous crimes in America, they should not ignore those who committed mass murder in Iraq.
Global Research Contributing Editor Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at www.globalresearch.ca
© Copyright Ghali Hassan, GlobalResearch.ca, 2005
War in Iraq a Crime, Say Legal Experts
The Star (Malaysia)
KUALA LUMPUR (December 17, 2005) — Leaders of the United States, Britain and Australia are criminals who have committed crimes against humanity and should be hauled up and tried for war crimes, according to two law professors.
Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi of Universiti Teknologi Mara Malaysia said George W. Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard and their accomplices had blatantly disregarded the laws of war. He said the international community must file reports against them for genocide and crimes against humanity with the International Criminal Court for violating the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. “Terrorism is a crime against humanity and must be combated by concerted international action that examines causes as well as cures.”
Prof Francis A. Boyle of Illinois University said Bush’s attempt to assassinate the president of Iraq was an international crime in its own right. “His administration’s war of aggression against Iraq also constituted a crime against peace as defined by the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgement and the Nuremberg Principles as well as by paragraph 498 of US Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956),” he added.
According to him, the US government’s installation of the Interim Government of Iraq was nothing more than a “puppet government” under the laws of war. “As the belligerent occupant of Iraq, the US government is free to establish a puppet government if it so desires. But under the laws of war, it remains fully accountable for the behaviour of its puppet government.”
Prof Dr Shad said unlawful use of force by the US in Iraq threatened to “return us to a world in which the law of the jungle prevails over the rule of law.”
This, he said, had potentially disastrous consequences for human rights not only for Iraqis but for the whole world. He suggested the United Nations General Assembly to pass a resolution to end the US occupation of Iraq and leave within a declared time frame. “Iraqi government should have authority over its economy and oil revenues. It should have the right to set terms for the operation of foreign troops on its soil,” he said.
© Copyright, The Star (Malaysia), 2005
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.