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UK Brains Say BDS is the Way to Go

Here’s a victory for reason – well done to British academics! Britain’s largest trade union for academics, the UCU, to the consternation of zionists ‘has voted to disassociate itself from the EU working definition of anti-Semitism’ and supports BDS.

70 EUMC working definition of anti-semitism – National Executive Committee

Congress notes with concern that the so-called ‘EUMC working definition of antisemitism’, while not adopted by the EU or the UK government and having no official status, is being used by bodies such as the NUS and local student unions in relation to activities on campus.

Congress believes that the EUMC definition confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism, and is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus.

Congress resolves:

  1. that UCU will make no use of the EUMC definition (e.g. in educating members or dealing with internal complaints)
  2. that UCU will dissociate itself from the EUMC definition in any public discussion on the matter in which UCU is involved
  3. that UCU will campaign for open debate on campus concerning Israel’s past history and current policy, while continuing to combat all forms of racial or religious discrimination.

This successful motion follows on the UCU resolution carried on the 29th May backing BDS below:

36 Composite: Threats to academic freedom in Israel and Palestine – National Executive Committee , LSE

Congress notes:

  1. Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and daily oppression of Palestinian teachers and students
  2. the restrictions on the free movement of Palestinian Academics within the Occupied Territories and crossing between the Territories and Israel and on foreign travel
  3. Israel’s ongoing construction of settlements
  4. the current witch-hunting of Israeli academics, civil rights campaigners and NGOs who are deemed to be damaging Israel’s economic interests by their political activities
  5. the recent alarming moves in the Israeli Knesset to penalise Israeli academics who support boycott action or even just provide information which may assist boycotts; this law will lay academics open to fines of £5000 with ‘no need to demonstrate that injury was done’ and to unlimited damages if losses are caused.
  6. the petition from 155 Israeli academics expressing their ‘unwillingness to take part in any type of academic activity taking place in the college operating in the settlement of Ariel’, calling Ariel an illegal settlement whose existence contravenes international law and the Geneva Convention.

Congress deplores these attacks on the academic freedom of our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues.
Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. circulate to all members
    • the call by the Israeli academics
    • the PACBI call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel
    • information about the current legislation passing through the Knesset threatening heavy fines and other penalties on Israelis taking non-violent action against the occupation.
  2. seek a delegation to meet the Israeli Ambassador to raise our concerns
  3. press the Foreign Office to protest to the Israeli Government
  4. raise the issue with Education International and press them to seek similar action by all affiliates
  5. publicise these threats and our actions in response.

Well, Kevin Rudd and Paul Howes, is BDS so nutty now that the largest academic union in the EU supports it?

The Congress also carried a motion in regard to the zionist complaint about the Healthy Inclusions course at Liverpool University for medical students.

This week Liverpool University withdrew a course delivered to students in the medical faculty as a result of a complaint made by one student objecting to a talk reporting on medical issues in Palestine.

Liverpool UCU has called for the re-instatement of the Healthy Inclusions course and for the university to be robust in defending the freedom of its staff to select the content and delivery of course material without interference.

The university has refused to reinstate the course and signalled their intention to incorporate the course into mainstream teaching in the interests of ensuring ‘balance’.

Congress condemns the decision to withdraw the course, and calls on the NEC to:

  • write to the university
  • publicise the issue nationally and encourage a letter writing campaign
  • consider how the growing number of threats to academic freedom can be effectively resisted in the current climate driving market-led provision.

Related Links

UK academics’ union rejects EUMC bogus definition of antisemitism
Support for Palestinian voices on campus are now called ‘extremism’
Excellent article about the EUMC working draft definition and its inadequacy and use for propaganda purposes by zionists.

‘In fact, the document appears to be dead in the water as far as the Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the successor body to the EUMC, is concerned. They recently told me that feedback on initial testing of the document ‘drew attention to a number of issues which impacted on its effectiveness as a data collection support tool.’ In other words, it wasn’t useful. “Since its development we are not aware of any public authority in the EU that applies it,” the FRA official added. Moreover, “The FRA has no plans for any further development of the ‘working definition’.” (24 August 2010)

The latest FRA publication on the topic – its Working Paper Anti-Semitism: Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2001-2009 (April 2010) does not even mention the “working definition”. It does complain (p.3) that: “Even where data exist they are not comparable, since they are collected using different definitions and methodologies.” That was precisely the reason why an operational definition was called for in the first place. The “working definition” clearly does not provide this.’

How a flawed bureaucratic document has been transformed into a sacred text
Loaded words: Evolving interpretations of ‘anti-semitic’ and ‘anti-semitism’ [1] in dictionary definitions and in public discourse [2]

Moving to the conclusion:

‘In short: the EUMC working definition has little to do with fighting antisemitism and a lot to do with waging a propaganda war against critics of Israel. It is time it was buried and the UCU decision to take it on is hopefully a step in that direction. The fight against antisemitism should not be muddied by those who confuse criticism of Israeli violations of human rights and international law with hatred of Jews. It is clearly no such thing.’

When You’re Reut, You’re Wrong

Ali Abunimah analyses the Reut Institute stance for a Palestinian State.

Gidi Grinstein, the founder and president of Israel’s Reut Institute argues that US President Barack Obama should support the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral efforts to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in September. The reasons he gives, however, have nothing to do with supporting Palestinian rights, but precisely with negating them. Grinstein writes:

a declaration of a Palestinian state in September includes the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough as well as significant advantages for Israel. The establishment of such a state will help anchor the principle of two states for two peoples, shape the permanent situation with Israel controlling the security assets and the new state’s surroundings, and diminish the refugee problem by marginalizing UNRWA and limiting refugee status.

Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.

In other words, Grinstein hopes that UN recognition will set rolling a bandwagon that limits any Palestinian state to precisely the kind of demilitarized bantustan under overall Israeli control that will “solve” Israel’s legitimacy and diplomatic problems while marginalizing Palestinian rights, especially refugee rights.

Grinstein’s Reut Institute is the organization that has set out the strategy Israel’s current campaign of “sabotage and attack” aimed at global Palestine solidarity activism, especially the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Palestine / Israel Links

Greek BDS activists plant trees in Estee Lauder store

six participants dressed in suits as members of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and “proceeded to ‘plant’ trees over the Estee Lauder shop space … flyers were distributed to shoppers and staff informing them that ‘this Estee Lauder space is currently being rezoned.’”

British prime minister steps down as JNF patron

The state of Israel anchors modern slavery in its laws
On June 5th support the Palestinian refugees’ right to return
Bachmann in my bubble?! Nooooo – The Google ad filter is pushing anti-BDS ads in response to pro-BDS site searches. Filthy hasbaroids team with global capitalism.
Limmud-Oz censorship and bans highlight desperate, oppressive tactics and goals of the zionist right against BDS in Australia. – and more ulterior motive : against the New Israel Fund (NIF) –

Executive Naomi ‘Chazan’s planned visit was challenged last week when the Shalom Institute, which runs Limmud-Oz, confirmed that a major donor had threatened to withdraw funding for Shalom if Chazan, who also is scheduled to speak at Limmud-Oz, was not removed from the program.’

Boycott!! Frameline Film Festival Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid
Life beyond “The Wall” by Jenny Baboun
IMEU: Rafah: a return to the status quo?
The Gaza Cheat Sheet Real Data on the Gaza Closure
Donate musical instruments to Salem village project in the West Bank
The new settlement of Bassa (in the Western Galilee), an abandoned Arab village turned into a Jewish settlement.
August Burns Red Have Cancelled Their Planned Concert in Israel
The Israeli Military’s Unforgivable Abuse of Women
Israeli anchorwoman accused of interpreting Netanyahu’s speech
Israeli forces destroy house and barn in the Bedouin village of Arab Abu Farda, south Qalqilya

Australia Links

Reverse proof of title, says Paul Keating

IN a landmark speech, Paul Keating has called for the onus of proof in the Native Title Act to be reversed so that Aboriginal claimants are no longer required to establish a continuous association with their land. Instead, the former prime minister says, native title objectors should be required to prove a continuous attachment no longer exists.

Australian govt pays less than lip service to indigenous rights : Don’t say “Sorry” unless you mean it.

April Glaspie’s Toxic Green Light Unearthed – Thanks, Wikileaks

Here’s one of my historical bookmarks – the manipulation into war, again, of Iraq by the US and cronies for Gulf War 1 aka Desert Storm. In honour of the validation of my long-held stance, I’ll copy the cable in full.

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
90BAGHDAD4237 1990-07-25 12:12 2011-01-01 21:09 SECRET Embassy Baghdad

O 251246Z JUL 90
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4627
INFO AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE
ARABLEAGUE COLLECTIVE

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 BAGHDAD 04237

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: MOPS PREL US KU IZ
SUBJECT: SADDAM’S MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP TO PRESIDENT BUSH

¶1. SECRET – ENTIRE TEXT.

¶2. SUMMARY: SADDAM TOLD THE AMBASSADOR JULY 25
THAT MUBARAK HAS ARRANGED FOR KUWAITI AND IRAQI
DELEGATIONS TO MEET IN RIYADH, AND THEN ON
JULY 28, 29 OR 30, THE KUWAITI CROWN PRINCE WILL
COME TO BAGHDAD FOR SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS. “NOTHING
WILL HAPPEN” BEFORE THEN, SADDAM HAD PROMISED
MUBARAK.

–SADDAM WISHED TO CONVEY AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO
PRESIDENT BUSH: IRAQ WANTS FRIENDSHIP, BUT DOES
THE USG? IRAQ SUFFERED 100,000’S OF CASUALTIES
AND IS NOW SO POOR THAT WAR ORPHAN PENSIONS WILL
SOON BE CUT; YET RICH KUWAIT WILL NOT EVEN ACCEPT
OPEC DISCIPLINE. IRAQ IS SICK OF WAR, BUT KUWAIT
HAS IGNORED DIPLOMACY. USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE
WILL ENCOURAGE THE UAE AND KUWAIT TO IGNORE
CONVENTIONAL DIPLOMACY. IF IRAQ IS PUBLICLY
HUMILIATED BY THE USG, IT WILL HAVE NO CHOICE
BUT TO “RESPOND,” HOWEVER ILLOGICAL AND SELF
DESTRUCTIVE THAT WOULD PROVE.

–ALTHOUGH NOT QUITE EXPLICIT, SADDAM’S MESSAGE
TO US SEEMED TO BE THAT HE WILL MAKE A MAJOR PUSH
TO COOPERATE WITH MUBARAK’S DIPLOMACY, BUT WE MUST
TRY TO UNDERSTAND KUWAITI/UAE “SELFISHNESS” IS
UNBEARABLE. AMBASSADOR MADE CLEAR THAT WE CAN
NEVER EXCUSE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES BY OTHER THAN
PEACEFUL MEANS. END SUMMARY.

¶3. AMBASSADOR WAS SUMMONED BY PRESIDENT
SADDAM HUSAYN AT NOON JULY 25. ALSO PRESENT
WERE FONMIN AZIZ, THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE
DIRECTOR, TWO NOTETAKERS, AND THE IRAQI
INTERPRETER.

¶4. SADDAM, WHOSE MANNER WAS CORDIAL,
REASONABLE AND EVEN WARM THROUGHOUT THE ENSUING
TWO HOURS, SAID HE WISHED THE AMBASSADOR TO
CONVEY A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT BUSH. SADDAM
THEN RECALLED IN DETAIL THE HISTORY OF IRAQ’S
DECISION TO REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
AND ITS POSTPONING IMPLEMENTATION OF THAT
DECISION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, RATHER THAN BE
THOUGHT WEAK AND NEEDY. HE THEN SPOKE ABOUT THE
MANY “BLOWS” OUR RELATIONS HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO
SINCE 1984, CHIEF AMONG THEM IRANGATE. IT WAS
AFTER THE FAW VICTORY, SADDAM SAID, THAT IRAQI
MISAPPREHENSIONS ABOUT USG PURPOSES BEGAN TO
SURFACE AGAIN, I.E., SUSPICIONS THAT THE U.S. WAS
NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE WAR END.

¶5. PICKING HIS WORDS WITH CARE, SADDAM SAID
THAT THERE ARE “SOME CIRCLES” IN THE USG,
INCLUDING IN CIA AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT,
BUT EMPHATICALLY EXCLUDING THE PRESIDENT AND
SECRETARY BAKER, WHO ARE NOT FRIENDLY TOWARD
IRAQ-U.S. RELATIONS. HE THEN LISTED WHAT HE
SEEMED TO REGARD AS FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS
CONCLUSION: “SOME CIRCLES ARE GATHERING
INFORMATION ON WHO MIGHT BE SADDAM HUSAYN’S
SUCCESSOR;” THEY KEPT UP CONTACTS IN THE GULF
WARNING AGAINST IRAQ; THEY WORKED TO ENSURE
NO HELP WOULD GO TO IRAQ (READ EXIM AND CCC).

¶6. IRAQ, THE PRESIDENT STRESSED, IS IN SERIOUS
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, WITH 40 BILLION USD DEBTS.
IRAQ, WHOSE VICTORY IN THE WAR AGAINST IRAN
MADE AN HISTORIC DIFFERENCE TO THE ARAB WORLD
AND THE WEST, NEEDS A MARSHALL PLAN. BUT “YOU
WANT THE OIL PRICE DOWN,” SADDAM CHARGED.

¶7. RESUMING HIS LIST OF GRIEVANCES WHICH HE
BELIEVED WERE ALL INSPIRED BY
“SOME CIRCLES” IN THE USG, HE RECALLED THE
“USIA CAMPAIGN” AGAINST HIMSELF, AND THE
GENERAL MEDIA ASSAULT ON IRAQ AND ITS PRESIDENT.

¶8. DESPITE ALL THESE BLOWS, SADDAM SAID, AND
ALTHOUGH “WE WERE SOMEWHAT ANNOYED,” WE STILL
HOPED THAT WE COULD DEVELOP A GOOD RELATIONSHIP.
BUT THOSE WHO FORCE OIL PRICES DOWN ARE ENGAGING
IN ECONOMIC WARFARE AND IRAQ CANNOT ACCEPT SUCH
A TRESPASS ON ITS DIGNITY AND PROSPERITY.

¶9. THE SPEARHEADS (FOR THE USG) HAVE BEEN KUWAIT
AND THE UAE, SADDAM SAID. SADDAM SAID CAREFULLY
THAT JUST AS IRAQ WILL NOT THREATEN OTHERS, IT
WILL ACCEPT NO THREAT AGAINST ITSELF. “WE HOPE
THE USG WILL NOT MISUNDERSTAND:” IRAQ ACCEPTS,
AS THE STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN SAID, THAT ANY
COUNTRY MAY CHOOSE ITS FRIENDS. BUT THE USG KNOWS
THAT IT WAS IRAQ, NOT THE USG, WHICH DECISIVELY
PROTECTED THOSE USG FRIENDS DURING THE WAR–AND THAT
IS UNDERSTANDABLE SINCE PUBLIC OPINION IN THE USG,
TO SAY NOTHING OF GEOGRAPHY, WOULD HAVE MADE IT
IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE AMERICANS TO ACCEPT 10,000 DEAD
IN A SINGLE BATTLE, AS IRAQ DID.

¶10. SADDAM ASKED WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE USG
TO ANNOUNCE IT IS COMMITTED TO THE DEFENSE OF
ITS FRIENDS, INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY.
ANSWERING HIS OWN QUESTION, HE SAID THAT TO IRAQ
IT MEANS FLAGRANT BIAS AGAINST THE GOI.

¶11. COMING TO ONE OF HIS MAIN POINTS, SADDAM
ARGUED THAT USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE AND KUWAIT (SIC)
ENCOURAGED THEM IN THEIR UNGENEROUS POLICIES. THE
IRAQI RIGHTS, SADDAM EMPHASIZED, WILL BE RESTORED
ONE BY ONE, THOUGH IT MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MUCH
MORE THAN A YEAR. IRAQ HOPES THE USG WILL BE
IN HARMONY WITH ALL THE PARTIES TO THIS DISPUTE.

¶12. SADDAM SAID HE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE USG IS
DETERMINED TO KEEP THE OIL FLOWING AND TO
MAINTAIN ITS FRIENDSHIPS IN THE GULF. WHAT HE
CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS WHY WE ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO
ARE DAMAGING IRAQ, WHICH IS WHAT OUR GULF MANEUVERS
WILL DO.

¶13. SADDAM SAID HE FULLY BELIEVES THE USG WANTS
PEACE, AND THAT IS GOOD. BUT DO NOT, HE ASKED,
USE METHODS WHICH YOU SAY YOU DO NOT LIKE,
METHODS LIKE ARM-TWISTING-

¶14. AT THIS POINT SADDAM SPOKE AT LENGTH ABOUT
PRIDE OF IRAQIS, WHO BELIEVE IN “LIBERTY OR DEATH.”
IRAQ WILL HAVE TO RESPOND IF THE U.S. USES THESE
METHODS. IRAQ KNOWS THE USG CAN SEND PLANES AND
ROCKETS AND HURT IRAQ DEEPLY. SADDAM ASKS THAT
THE USG NOT FORCE IRAQ TO THE POINT OF HUMILIATION
AT WHICH LOGIC MUST BE DISREGARDED. IRAQ DOES NOT
CONSIDER THE U.S. AN ENEMY AND HAS TRIED TO BE
FRIENDS.

¶15. AS FOR THE INTRA-ARAB DISPUTES, SADDAM SAID
HE IS NOT ASKING THE USG TO TAKE UP ANY PARTICULAR
ROLE SINCE THE SOLUTIONS MUST COME THROUGH ARAB
AND BILATERAL DIPLOMACY.

¶16. RETURNING TO HIS THEME THAT IRAQ WANTS
DIGNITY AND FREEDOM AS WELL AS FRIENDSHIP WITH THE
U.S., HE CHARGED THAT IN THE LAST YEAR THERE WERE
MANY OFFICIAL STATEMENTS WHICH MADE IT SEEM THAT
THE U.S. DOES NOT WANT TO RECIPROCATE. HOW, FOR
EXAMPLE, SADDAM ASKED,CAN WE INTERPRET THE
INVITATION FOR ARENS TO VISIT AT A TIME OF CRISIS
IN THE GULF? WHY DID THE U.S- DEFENSE MINISTER
MAKE “INFLAMMATORY” STATEMENTS?

¶17. SADDAM SAID THAT THE IRAQIS KNOW WHAT
WAR IS, WANT NO MORE OF IT–“DO NOT PUSH US TO IT;
DO NOT MAKE IT THE ONLY OPTION LEFT WITH WHICH WE
CAN PROTECT OUR DIGNITY.”

¶18. PRESIDENT BUSH, SADDAM SAID, HAS MADE NO MISTAKE
IN HIS PRESIDENCY VIS-A-VIS THE ARABS. THE DECISION
ON THE PLO DIALOGUE WAS “MISTAKEN,” BUT IT WAS
TAKEN UNDER “ZIONIST PRESSURE” AND, SADDAM SAID, IS
PERHAPS A CLEVER TACTIC TO ABSORB THAT PRESSURE.

¶19. AFTER A SHORT DIVERSION ON THE NEED FOR THE
U.S. TO CONSIDER THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF 200,000
ARABS WITH THE SAME VIGOR AND INTEREST AS THE HUMAN
RIGHTS OF THE ISRAELIS, SADDAM CONCLUDED BY
RESTATING THAT IRAQ WANTS AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP
“ALTHOUGH WE WILL NOT PANT FOR IT, WE WILL DO OUR
PART AS FRIENDS.”

¶20. SADDAM THEN OFFERED AN ANECDOTE TO ILLUSTRATE
HIS POINT. HE HAD TOLD THE IRAQI KURDISH LEADER
IN 1974 THAT HE WAS PREPARED TO GIVE UP HALF OF
THE SHATT AL-ARAB TO IRAN TO OBTAIN ALL OF A
PROSPEROUS IRAQ. THE KURD HAD BET THAT SADDAM WOULD
NOT GIVE HALF THE SHATT–THE KURD WAS WRONG. EVEN
NOW, THE ONLY REAL ISSUE WITH IRAN IS THE SHATT, AND
IF GIVING AWAY HALF OF THE WATERWAY IS THE ONLY
THING STANDING BETWEEN THE CURRENT SITUATION AND
IRAQI PROSPERITY, SADDAM SAID HE WOULD BE GUIDED
BY WHAT HE DID IN 1974.

¶21. THE AMBASSADOR THANKED SADDAM FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS DIRECTLY WITH HIM SOME OF
HIS AND OUR CONCERNS. PRESIDENT BUSH, TOO, WANTS
FRIENDSHIP, AS HE HAD WRITTEN AT THE ‘ID AND ON
THE OCCASION OF IRAQ’S NATIONAL DAY. SADDAM
INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE HAD BEEN TOUCHED BY THOSE

¶22. AMBASSADOR RESUMED HER THEME, RECALLING THAT
THE PRESIDENT HAD INSTRUCTED HER TO BROADEN AND
DEEPEN OUR RELATIONS WITH IRAQ. SADDAM HAD REFERRED
TO “SOME CIRCLES” ANTIPATHETIC TO THAT AIM. SUCH
CIRCLES CERTAINLY EXISTED, BUT THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION
IS INSTRUCTED BY THE PRESIDENT. ON THE OTHER HAND,
THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT CONTROL THE AMERICAN PRESS;
IF HE DID, CRITICISM OF THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD NOT
EXIST. SADDAM AGAIN INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE UNDERSTOOD
THAT. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE HAD SEEN THE DIANE
SAWYER SHOW AND THOUGHT THAT IT WAS CHEP AND UNFAIR.
BUT THE AMERICAN PRESS TREATS ALL POLITICIANS
WITHOUT KID GLOVES–THAT IS OUR WAY.

¶23. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS
VERY RECENTLY REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE FOR A BETTER
RELATIONSHIP AND HAS PROVEN THAT BY, FOR EXAMPLE,
OPPOSING SANCTIONS BILLS. HERE SADDAM INTERRUPTED
AGAIN. LAUGHING, HE SAID THERE IS NOTHING LEFT
FOR IRAQ TO BUY IN THE U.S. EVERYTHING IS
PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR WHEAT, AND NO DOUBT THAT WILL
SOON BE DECLARED A DUAL-USE ITEM- SADDAM SAID, HOWEVER,
HE HAD DECIDED NOT TO RAISE THIS ISSUE, BUT RATHER
CONCENTRATE ON THE FAR MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES AT HAND.

¶24. AMBASSADOR SAID THERE WERE MANY ISSUES HE
HAD RAISED SHE WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON, BUT
SHE WISHED TO USE HER LIMITED TIME WITH THE
PRESIDENT TO STRESS FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH’S DESIRE
FOR FRIENDSHIP AND, SECOND, HIS STRONG DESIRE, SHARED
WE ASSUME BY IRAQ, FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE MID
EAST. IS IT NOT REASONABLE FOR US TO BE CONCERNED
WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER BOTH
SAY PUBLICLY THAT KUWAITI ACTIONS ARE THE
EQUIVALENT OF MILITARY AGGRESSION, AND THEN WE
LEARN THAT MANY UNITS OF THE REPUBLICAN GUARD
HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE BORDER? IS IT NOT REASONABLE
FOR US TO ASK, IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP, NOT
CONFRONTATION, THE SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR
INTENTIONS?

¶25. SADDAM SAID THAT WAS INDEED A REASONABLE
QUESTION. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT WE SHOULD BE
CONCERNED FOR REGIONAL PEACE, IN FACT IT IS OUR
DUTY AS A SUPERPOWER. “BUT HOW CAN WE MAKE THEM
(KUWAIT AND UAE) UNDERSTAND HOW DEEPLY WE ARE
SUFFERING.” THE FINANCIAL SITUATION IS SUCH THAT
THE PENSIONS FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS WILL HAVE
TO BE CUT. AT THIS POINT, THE INTERPRETER AND
ONE OF THE NOTETAKERS BROKE DOWN AND WEPT.

¶26. AFTER A PAUSE FOR RECUPERATION, SADDAM SAID,
IN EFFECT, BELIEVE ME I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING: WE
SENT ENVOYS, WROTE MESSAGES, ASKED FAHD TO
ARRANGE QUADRAPARTITE SUMMIT (IRAQ, SAG, UE,
KUWAIT). FAHD SUGGESTFD OIL MINISTERS INSTEAD AND
WE AGREED TO THE JEDDAH AGREEMENT ALTHOUGH IT WAS
WELL BELOW OUR HOPES. THEN, SADDAM CONTINUED,
TWO DAYS LATER THE KUWAITI OIL MINISTER ANNOUNCED
HE WOULD WANT TO ANNUL THAT AGREEMENT WITHIN TWO
MONTHS. AS FOR THE UAE, SADDAM SAID, I BEGGED
SHAYKH ZAYID TO UNDERSTAND OUR PROBLEMS (WHEN
SADDAM ENTERTAINED HIM IN MOSUL AFTER THE BAGHDAD
SUMMIT), AND ZAYID SAID JUST WAIT UNTIL I GET
BACK TO ABU DHABI. BUT THEN HIS MINISTER OF OIL
MADE “BAD STATEMENTS.”

¶27. AT THIS POINT, SADDAM LEFT THE ROOM TO TAKE
AN URGENT CALL FROM MUBARAK. AFTER HIS RETURN,
THE AMBASSADOR ASKED IF HE COULD TELL HER IF
THERE HAS ANY PROGRESS IN FINDING A PEACEFUL WAY
TO DEFUSE THE DISPUTE. THIS WAS SOMETHING PRESIDENT
BUSH WOULD BE KEENLY INTERESTED TO KNOW. SADDAM
SAID THAT HE HAD JUST LEARNED FROM MUBARAK THE
KUWAITIS HAVE AGREED TO NEGOTIATE. THE KUWAITI
CROWN PRINCE/PRIME MINISTER WOULD MEET IN RIYADH
WITH SADDAM’S NUMBER TWO, IZZAT IBRAHIM, AND THEN
THE KUWAITI WOULD COME TO BAGHDAD ON SATURDAY,
SUNDAY OR, AT THE LATEST, MONDAY, JULY 30.

¶28. “I TOLD MUBARAK,” SADDAM SAID, THAT “NOTHING
WILL HAPPEN UNTIL THE MEETING,” AND NOTHING WILL
HAPPEN DURING OR AFTER THE MEETING IF THE KUWAITIS
WILL AT LAST “GIVE US SOME HOPE.”

¶29. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE WAS DELIGHTED TO HEAR
THIS GOOD NEWS. SADDAM THEN ASKED HER TO CONVEY
HIS WARM GREETINGS TO PRESIDENT BUSH AND TO
CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO HIM.

¶30. NOTE: ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED
TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A “LINE OF PATROL” IT
HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD
MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS “IN FRONT” OF THIS
LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN
KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO
POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS.

¶31. COMMENT: IN THE MEMORY QF THE CURRENT
DIPLOMATIC CORPS, SADDAM HAS NEVER SUMMONED AN
AMBASSADOR. HE IS WORRIED.

ACCORDING TO HIS OWN POLITICAL THEORIZING
(U.S. THE SOLE MAJOR POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST),
HE NEEDS AT A MINIMUM A CORRECT RELATIONSHIP
WITH US FOR OBVIOUS GEOPOLITICAL REASONS,
ESPECIALLY AS LONG AS HE PERCEIVES MORTAL
THREATS FROM ISRAEL AND IRAN. AMBASSADOR
BELIEVES SADDAM SUSPECTS OUR DECISION SUDDENLY
TO UNDERTAKE MANEUVERS WITH ABU DHABI IS A
HARBINGER OF A USG DECISION TO TAKE SIDES.
FURTHER, SADDAM, HIMSELF BEGINNING TO HAVE AN
INKLING OF HOW MUCH HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT
THE U.S., IS APPREHENSIVE THAT WE DO NOT
UNDERSTAND CERTAIN POLITICAL FACTORS WHICH
INHIBIT HIM, SUCH AS:

–HE CANNOT ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE PERCEIVED AS
CAVING IN TO SUPERPOWER BULLYING (AS U/S HAMDUN
FRANKLY WARNED US IN LATE 1988);

–IRAQ, WHICH LOST 100,000’S OF CASUALTIES, IS
SUFFERING AND KUWAIT IS “MISERLY” AND “SELFISH.”

¶32. IT WAS PROGRESS TO HAVE SADDAM ADMIT
THAT THE USG HAS A “RESPONSIBILITY” IN THE
REGION, AND HAS EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT AN
ANSWER WHEN WE ASK IRAQ’S INTENTIONS. HIS
RESPONSE IN EFFECT THAT HE TRIED VARIOUS
DIPLOMATIC/CHANNELS BEFORE RESORTING TO
UNADULTERATED INTIMIDATION HAS AT LEAST THE
VIRTUE OF FRANKNESS. HIS EMPHASIS THAT HE
WANTS PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT IS SURELY SINCERE
(IRAQIS ARE SICK OF WAR), BUT THE TERMS SOUND
DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. SADDAM SEEMS TO WANT
PLEDGES NOW ON OIL PRICES AND PRODUCTION TO
COVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.

GLASPIE

What happened in Iraq before Glaspie’s fateful meeting with Saddam? Robert Parry writes:

According to a sworn affidavit by former Reagan national security staffer Howard Teicher, the
administration enlisted the Egyptians in a secret “Bear Spares” program that gave the United States access
to Soviet-designed military equipment. Teicher asserted that the Reagan administration funnelled some of
those weapons to Iraq and also arranged other shipments of devastating cluster bombs that Saddam’s air
force dropped on Iranians troops.

In 1984, facing congressional rejection of continued CIA funding of the Nicaraguan contra rebels, President
Reagan exploited the “special status” again. He tapped into the Saudi slush funds for money to support the
Nicaraguan contra rebels in their war in Central America. The President also authorized secret weapons
shipments to Iran in another arms-for-hostages scheme, with the profits going to “off-the-shelf” intelligence
operations. That gambit, like the others, was protected by walls of “deniability” and outright lies.

Some of those lies collapsed in the Iran-Contra scandal, but the administration quickly constructed new
stonewalls that were never breached. Republicans fiercely defended the secrets and Democrats lacked the
nerve to fight for the truth. The Washington media also lost interest because the scandals were complex
and official sources steered the press in other directions.

‘Read Machiavelli’

When I interviewed Haig several years ago, I asked him if he was troubled by the pattern of deceit that had
become the norm among international players in the 1980s. “Oh, no, no, no, no,” he boomed, shaking his
head. “On that kind of thing? No. Come on. Jesus! God! You know, you’d better get out and read Machiavelli
or somebody else because I think you’re living in a dream world! People do what their national interest tells
them to do and if it means lying to a friendly nation, they’re going to lie through their teeth.”

But sometimes the game-playing did have unintended consequences. In 1990, a decade after Iraq’s messy
invasion of Iran, an embittered Saddam Hussein was looking for pay-back from the sheikhdoms that he felt
had egged him into war. Saddam was especially furious with Kuwait for slant drilling into Iraq’s oil fields
and refusing to extend more credit. Again, Saddam was looking for a signal from the U.S. president, this
time George Bush.

When Saddam explained his confrontation with Kuwait to U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie, he received an
ambiguous reply, a reaction he apparently perceived as another “green light.” Eight days later, Saddam
unleashed his army into Kuwait, an invasion that required 500,000 U.S. troops and thousands more dead to
reverse.

Francis Boyle describes in his 1992 paper the heinous Bush Senior & Co. war crimes during Gulf War 1. He describes the “Green Light” thus:

12. The Defendants showed absolutely no opposition to Iraq’s
increasing threats against Iraq. Indeed, when Saddam
Hussein requested U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to explain
State Department testimony in Congress about Iraq’s threats
against Kuwait, she assured him that the United States
considered the dispute to be a regional concern, and that it
would not intervene militarily. In other words, the United States
government gave Saddam Hussein what amounted to a
“green light” to invade Kuwait.

13. This reprehensible behavior was similar to that of the
Carter administration during September of 1980, when
United States government officials gave Saddam Hussein the
“green light” to invade Iran and thus commence the tragic
Iraq-Iran War. A decade later, Saddam Hussein simply
surmised that he had been given yet another “green light” by
the United States government to commit overt aggression
against surrounding states. Only this time, the Defendants
knowingly intended to lead Iraq into a provocation that could
be used to justify intervention and warfare by United States
military forces for the real purpose of destroying Iraq as a
military power and seizing Arab oil fields in the Persian Gulf.

9. Sometime after the termination of the Iraq-Iran War in the
Summer of 1988, the Pentagon proceeded to revise its
outstanding war plans for U.S. military intervention into the
Persian Gulf region in order to destroy Iraq. Defendant
Schwarzkopf was put in charge of this revision. For example,
in early 1990, Defendant Schwarzkopf informed the Senate
Armed Services Committee of this new military strategy in the
Gulf allegedly designed to protect U.S. access to and control
over Gulf oil in the event of regional conflicts. In October 1990,
Defendant Powell referred to the new military plan developed
in 1989. After the war, Defendant Schwarzkopf referred to
eighteen months of planning for the campaign.

10. Sometime in late 1989 or early 1990, the Pentagon’s war
plan for destroying Iraq and stealing Persian Gulf oil fields
was put into motion. At that time, Defendant Schwarzkopf was
named the Commander of the so-called U.S. Central
Command – which was the renamed version of the Rapid
Deployment Force – for the purpose of carrying out the war
plan that he had personally developed and supervised. During
January of 1990, massive quantities of United States
weapons, equipment, and supplies were sent to Saudi Arabia
in order to prepare for the war against Iraq.

11. Pursuant to this war plan, Defendant Webster and the CIA
assisted and directed Kuwait in its actions of violating OPEC
oil production agreements to undercut the price of oil for the
purpose of debilitating Iraq’s economy; in extracting
excessive and illegal amounts of oil from pools it shared with
Iraq; in demanding immediate repayment of loans Kuwait had
made to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War; and in breaking off
negotiations with Iraq over these disputes. The Defendants
intended to provoke Iraq into aggressive military actions
against Kuwait that they knew could be used to justify U.S.
military intervention into the Persian Gulf for the purpose of
destroying Iraq and taking over Arab oil fields.

The U.S. “Green Light” to Invade Kuwait

12. The Defendants showed absolutely no opposition to Iraq’s
increasing threats against Iraq. Indeed, when Saddam
Hussein requested U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to explain
State Department testimony in Congress about Iraq’s threats
against Kuwait, she assured him that the United States
considered the dispute to be a regional concern, and that it
would not intervene militarily. In other words, the United States
government gave Saddam Hussein what amounted to a
“green light” to invade Kuwait.

13. This reprehensible behavior was similar to that of the
Carter administration during September of 1980, when
United States government officials gave Saddam Hussein the
“green light” to invade Iran and thus commence the tragic
Iraq-Iran War. A decade later, Saddam Hussein simply
surmised that he had been given yet another “green light” by
the United States government to commit overt aggression
against surrounding states. Only this time, the Defendants
knowingly intended to lead Iraq into a provocation that could
be used to justify intervention and warfare by United States
military forces for the real purpose of destroying Iraq as a
military power and seizing Arab oil fields in the Persian Gulf.

Bush Is the Bigger War Criminal

14. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait
without significant resistance. The Kuwaiti government itself
estimated that approximately 300 people were killed as a
result of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and a few hundred more as
a result of the military occupation. By comparison, Defendant
Bush’s invasion of Panama in December of 1989 took
between 2,000 and 4,000 Panamanian lives, and the United
States government is still covering up the actual death toll.
Defendant Bush killed more innocent people in Panama than
Saddam Hussein did in Kuwait.

15. Defendant Bush’s invasion of Panama was even more
illegal, reprehensible, and criminal than Saddam Hussein’s
invasion of Kuwait. The world must never forget that the first
step in the construction of Bush’s “New World Order” was his
illegal invasion of Panama and the murder of thousands of
completely innocent Panamanian civilians. America’s
self-anointed policeman in the Persian Gulf had the blood of
the Panamanian People on his hands.

Bush’s Perversion of the Constitution

16. Pursuant to the Pentagon’s war plan for destroying Iraq
and stealing Persian Gulf oil fields – and without consultation
or communication with Congress – Defendant Bush initially
ordered 40,000 U.S. military personnel into the Persian Gulf
region during the first week of August 1990. He lied to the
American People and Congress when he stated that his acts
were purely defensive. Right from the very outset of this crisis
– and even beforehand – Defendant Bush fully intended to go
to war against Iraq and to seize the Arab oil fields in the
Persian Gulf. Defendant Bush deliberately misled, deceived,
concealed and made false representations to the Congress
to prevent its free deliberation and informed exercise of
legislative power.

17. Defendant Bush intentionally usurped Congressional
power, ignored its authority, and failed and refused to consult
with the Congress. He individually ordered a naval blockade
against Iraq – itself an act of war – without approval by
Congress or the U.N. Security Council. Defendant Bush
waited until after the November 1990 elections to publicly
announce his earlier order sending more than 200,000
additional military personnel to the Persian Gulf for offensive
purposes without seeking the approval of Congress. Pursuant
to the Pentagon’s war plan, Defendant Bush switched U.S.
forces from a defensive position and capability to an
offensive capacity for aggression against Iraq without
consultation with, and contrary to assurances given to,
Congress and the American People.

18. On the very eve of the war, Defendant Bush then
strong-armed legislation through Congress that approved
enforcement of U.N. resolutions vesting absolute discretion in
any nation, providing no guidelines, and requiring no reporting
to the United Nations. Defendant Bush knew full well that he
intended to destroy the armed forces and civilian
infrastructure of Iraq. Those acts were undertaken to enable
him to commit a Nuremberg Crime Against Peace and war
crimes. This conduct violated the Constitution and Laws of the
United States and especially the War Powers Clause found in
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the U.S. War Powers
Act of 1973, 87 Stat. 555, and the United Nations Charter,
which is the “Supreme Law of the Land” under Article 6 of the
Constitution. For this reason alone, Defendant Bush and his
co-conspirators committed “High Crimes and
Misdemeanors” that warrant their impeachment, conviction,
removal from office, and criminal prosecution.

On the 2nd August, 1990, Iraq began its onslaught.

Another cable 90BAGHDAD4397 relates that the US phone calls were ignored.

O 020411Z AUG 90
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 4708
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT NIACT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MANAMA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MUSCAT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T BAGHDAD 04397

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: PREL IZ KU AS
SUBJECT: IRAQI INCURSION ACROSS KUWAITI BORDER

REF: (A) STATE 253201 (B) WILSON/MACK
TELECON (C) WILSON/CHARLES TELECON

¶1. (S-ENTIRE TEXT)

¶2. WE HAVE TRIED REPEATEDLY SINCE 0630 LOCAL
TO REACH SENIOR MFA OFFICIALS, INCLUDING
FOREIGN MINISTER AZIZ. UNDERSECRETARY HAMDUN
IS APPARENTLY NOT AT HOME SINCE NOBODY ANSWERS
HIS HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER. THE FOREIGN
MINISTRY DUTY OFFICER IS AWARE OF OUR INTEREST
IN TALKING TO THE MINISTER, AND WE ARE REMIND-
ING THEM EVERY TEN MINUTES. AT 0710 LOCAL WE
WERE TOLD THAT BOTH HAMDUN AND THE FOREIGN
MINISTER WERE IN A MEETING.

¶3. EMBASSY HAS SET UP A CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM.
EMBASSY TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE: 7196138/9,
7189265, 7189267, 7193791, 7189273. SECURITY
LINE IS EXTENSION 286.

¶4. IRAQI PRESS THIS MORNING MAKES NO MENTION
OF INCURSION. IRAQI PRESS COVERAGE OF THE
KUWAIT/IRAQ TALKS ARE CRITICAL OF KUWAIT’S
UNCOMPROMISING POSITION, BUT DO NOT IN ANY
WAY SUGGEST THAT THE GOI IS CONSIDERING THE
MILITARY OPTION.

WILSON

Who profited since?

When the United Nations relaxed its sanctions
regime in 1998 and permitted Iraq to buy spare
parts for its oil fields, it was Halliburton, under
Mr Cheney’s leadership, that cleaned up on the
contract to repair war damage and get
Saddam Hussein’s oil pipes flowing at full
capacity again. Two Halliburton subsidiaries
did business worth almost $24m (£15m) with
the man whom these days Mr Cheney calls a
“murderous dictator” and “the world’s worst
leader”.

Since taking over as George Bush’s
vice-president, Mr Cheney has severed all
formal ties with his former employer, notably
when he cashed in $36m in stock options and
other benefits at the height of the market in
August 2000. But Halliburton – currently
struggling with a corporate accounting scandal
that may or may not implicate Mr Cheney – could profit all over again if the
much-threatened new war against Iraq comes to pass.
Since taking over as George Bush’s
vice-president, Mr Cheney has severed all
formal ties with his former employer, notably
when he cashed in $36m in stock options and
other benefits at the height of the market in
August 2000. But Halliburton – currently
struggling with a corporate accounting scandal
that may or may not implicate Mr Cheney – could profit all over again if the
much-threatened new war against Iraq comes to pass.

We can certainly expect more air strikes against the oil fields, possibly combined
with a ground invasion. Then, when it is all over, someone is going to have to
mop up the damage once again. Halliburton, with its previous experience and
unparalleled political connections (not limited to Mr Cheney), would be in pole
position for the job.

Nobody could justifiably accuse the Bush administration of wanting to wage war
on Iraq solely as a favour to its friends in the oil business and the
military-industrial complex. But many of the companies that stand to gain most
from a war enjoy remarkably close ties to senior figures in the administration.
And some of the President’s closest confidants have shown extraordinary
elasticity down the years in their attitudes to President Saddam, America’s
on-again, off-again public enemy number one.

Mr Cheney, who has gone from warmonger to dealmaker and back to
warmonger, is just one example. Donald Rumsfeld, the current Defence
Secretary, has repeatedly raised the spectre of Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of
mass destruction. But in 1983, when Mr Rumsfeld was President Reagan’s
special envoy to Iraq, he turned a blind eye to Iraqi use of nerve and mustard gas
in its war with Iran, concentrating instead on forging a personal relationship with
the Iraqi leader, then considered a valuable US ally.

Mr Rumsfeld was actually in Baghdad on the day the United Nations first reported
Iraqi use of chemical weapons, but chose to remain silent, as did the rest of the
US establishment. Five years later, he cited his ability to make friends with
Saddam Hussein as one of his qualifications for a possible run at the presidency.

This Bush administration has been much more upfront about the role of oil in its
deliberations on Iraq than the last Bush administration. That is partly a matter of
circumstance: since the 11 September attacks, the stability of Middle Eastern oil
states has been a big policy consideration. But it also reflects the fact that much
of the Bush inner circle, including the President himself, is made up of former
oilmen. The oil and gas industry has pumped about $50m to political candidates
since the 2000 election.

There are also uncomfortably cosy ties between the government and the
defence industry. Mr Rumsfeld’s oldest friend, Frank Carlucci, a former defence
secretary himself, now heads the Carlyle Group, an investment consortium
which has a big interest in the contracting firm United Defense.

Carlyle’s board includes George Bush Sr and James Baker, the former secretary
of state. One programme alone – the Crusader artillery system – has earned
Carlyle more than $2bn in advance government contracts. Carlyle’s European
chairman is John Major, who may have played a role in the Ministry of Defence’s
controversial recent decision to declare Carlyle the “preferred bidder” for a stake
in its scientific research division.

None of these links is illegal, but that does not mean there is no conflict of
interest. Messrs Bush, Cheney and friends have either sold their stock holdings
or put them in a blind trust, meaning personal gain is off the agenda. But gain for
their friends and family may well be a by-product of the looming war against Iraq

And more:

Even As Bombs Drop, Hypocrisy Prevails

By: Jason Leopold – 03/20/03

It was only five years ago when Vice President Dick Cheney, as chief
executive of the oil-field supply corporation, Halliburton Co., was
engaged in secret business dealings with Saddam’s regime by selling
Iraq oil production equipment and spare parts to get the Iraqi oil
fields up and running, according to confidential United Nations
records.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Cheney adamantly denied such
dealings.

While he acknowledged that his company did business with Libya and
Iran through foreign subsidiaries, Cheney said, “Iraq’s different.”

He claimed that he imposed a “firm policy” prohibiting any unit of
Halliburton against trading with Iraq.

“I had a firm policy that we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq, even
arrangements that were supposedly legal,” Cheney said on the ABC-TV
news program “This Week” on July 30, 2000.

“We’ve not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed
on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn’t do that.”

But it turns out that Cheney was lying.

It’s only through the sale of Iraqi oil that Saddam would be able to
afford to obtain such weapons.

If Saddam was in fact building nuclear and other weapons of mass
destruction, which some news reports allege could be used against
American and British troops, Cheney is partially responsible.

The Washington Post first reported Halliburton’s trade with Iraq in
February 2000.

But U.N. records obtained by The Post two years ago showed that the
dealings were more extensive than originally reported and than Vice
President Cheney has acknowledged.

As secretary of defense in the first Bush administration, Cheney
helped to lead a multinational coalition against Iraq in the Persian
Gulf War and to devise a comprehensive economic embargo to isolate
Saddam Hussein’s government.

After Cheney was named chief executive of Halliburton in 1995, he
promised to maintain a hard line against Baghdad.

But his stance changed when it appeared that Halliburton was headed
for financial disaster in the mid-1990s.

Cheney said sanctions against countries such as Iraq were hurting
corporations such as Halliburton.

“We seem to be sanction-happy as a government,” Cheney said at an
energy conference in April 1996, reported in the oil industry
publication Petroleum Finance Week.

“The problem is that the good Lord didn’t see fit to always put oil
and gas resources where there are democratic governments,” he observed
during his conference presentation.

Sanctions make U.S. businesses “the bystander who gets hit when a
train wreck occurs,” Cheney told Petroleum Finance Week.

“While virtually every other country sees the need for sanctions
against Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s regime there, Cheney sees general
agreement that the measures have not been very effective despite their
having most of the international community’s support. An individual
country’s embargo, such as that of the United States against Iran, has
virtually no effect since the target country simply signs a contract
with a non- U.S. business,” the publication reported

“That’s exactly what happened when the government told Conoco Inc.
that it could not develop an oil field there,” Cheney told Petroleum
Finance Week.

Total S.A. “simply took it over.”

In 1998, Cheney oversaw Halliburton’s acquisition of Dresser
Industries Inc., the unit that sold oil equipment to Iraq through two
subsidiaries of a joint venture with another large U.S. equipment
maker, Ingersoll-Rand Co.

The Halliburton subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump
Co., sold water and sewage treatment pumps, spare parts for oil
facilities and pipeline equipment to Baghdad through French affiliates
from the first half of 1997 to the summer of 2000, U.N. records show.

Ingersoll Dresser Pump also signed contracts — later blocked by the
United States — to help repair an Iraqi oil terminal that U.S.-led
military forces destroyed in the Gulf War, the Post reported in a June
2001 story.

The Halliburton subsidiaries and several other American and foreign
oil supply companies helped Iraq increase its crude exports from $4
billion in 1997 to nearly $18 billion in 2000.

Since the program began, Iraq has exported oil worth more than $40
billion.

U.S. and European officials have argued that the increase in
production also expanded Saddam’s ability to use some of that money
for weapons, luxury goods and palaces.

Security Council diplomats estimate that Iraq may be skimming off as
much as 10 percent of the proceeds from the oil-for-food program,
according to the Post.

During his tenure as chief executive of Halliburton, Cheney pushed the
U.N. Security Council, after he became vice president; to end an
11-year embargo on sales of civilian goods, including oil related
equipment, to Iraq.

Cheney has said sanctions against countries like Iraq unfairly punish
U.S. companies.

Earlier this year, Halliburton was chosen as one of the companies to
rebuild Iraq’s dilapidated oil fields following a U.S. led attack on
the country.

U.N. documents show that Halliburton’s affiliates have had
controversial, dealings with the Iraqi regime during Cheney’s tenure
at the company.

The Clinton administration blocked one of the deals Halliburton was
trying to push through.

That deal, between Halliburton subsidiary Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co.
and Iraq, included agreements by the firm to sell $760,000 in spare
parts, compressors and firefighting equipment to refurbish an offshore
oil terminal, Khor al Amaya.

2003 Oil Blackmail:

France and Russia have been warned they must support the US military invasion and occupation of Iraq if they want acess to Iraqi oilfields in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. According to a report in today’s Tehran Times, US Senator Richard Lugar, a leading member of the Bush administration and Republican Party chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia and France “must be ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in any US-led military intervention” if they want a share of Iraqi oil.

The paper quoted Lugar as saying that Paris and Moscow oil companies will be deprived of Iraqi oil and have no share in the country’s resources if they refuse to join in the US war to oust Hussein. It noted that both the Russian Duma and the French parliament have both expressed opposition to a US military attack on Iraq

Why did so many children die under the hideous sanctions placed on Iraq at the behest of the US during the 90s? Here’s what I wrote about it:

According to Hans Graf Sponeck, the major cause of death of Iraqis, particularly children, is not starvation – it has been the intentional bombing of water installations during the war by the US and then the US-led UN sanctioning of chlorine and essential water equipment parts afterwards (on the dual purpose list until 1996).

There is incontrovertible evidence from the US government itself to show that the US knew exactly what the consequences of their destruction would be.

http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_0504rept_91.html
http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/091700-01.htm
http://www.progressive.org/0801issue/nagy0901.html

As far as food for oil goes, one of the most serious effects proceeding from these sanctions has been the unconscionable holds placed on essential items. Refer above to Sponeck’s article. Right now there are holds placed by the US/UK :

“The Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq still had holds on
contracts for various supplies and equipment worth almost $4.1 billion. This figure includes
155 contracts valued at $290 million, which were in the “inactive holds” category. Contracts
are categorized as “inactive holds” after information requested by the committee is not
provided by suppliers in 60 days. Once this information is received, the relevant contract is
put back in the “active holds” category for action.”

There is also firm evidence that CIA and US Government incompetency contributed to the removal of the UNSCOM team of weapons inspectors as well as two failed coups against Saddam.

http://jya.com/cia-aoe.htm
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1096/9610009.htm
http://www.meib.org/articles/0104_ir1.htm

After all these stuff ups and spying (and although I don’t support this bloody dictator), I am not surprised he has remained uncooperative since 1998.

If you read the last sanctions committee meeting however, you will see that both Iraq and the League of Arab Nations are arguing for making the ME a nuclear free zone.

http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/undocs/sc010628open.pdf

There have been recent meetings in the UN to try to bring this about, and Israel is proving recalcitrant.

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/ec8db69f77e7a33e052567270057e591/6fe84f16fb4977c185256aef004e3fd3!OpenDocument

If Israel cooperated, it would be possible for weapons inspectors to be welcomed in all Middle East countries, including Iraq.

BTW if Saddam IS developing nuclear weapons, I would not blame him, given Israel’s arsenal and belligerence.

If Israel nuked any middle east country, who would nuke them back????
Where is Israel’s deterrent?????

Here’s a url that condenses many of the other myths and facts about Iraq.

http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw/mythsand%20realities3.html

Finally, it is clear that sanctions do not punish Saddam or his cronies. They punish the ordinary people in Iraq, who have now suffered 11 years AFTER a war.

The price was worth it, Madeline? Really? Look what you and the cold, avaricious lackeys of empire like you have done. Millions of Iraqis dead, thousands of Americans. For what? the Iraq of today. No stable government, an environment polluted with cancerous chemicals, women’s rights set back decades, antiquities and architecture vandalised. And some still wonder why the US is despised by those who know what it has done to benefit its perverse ‘national interest’.

Related Links

Controil
Cheney gets $1m from firm with Iraq oil deal
US plans to ditch industry rivals and force end of Opec
What Did April Say?.
OzRant: No ‘Follow the Leader’…
Wars nearing an end, so US can move on – Richard Hass – ‘In the short run, doing less in Iraq and Afghanistan will allow the US to concentrate on the two most immediate external threats to American interests: Iran and North Korea’
Glaspie Memo Leaked: US Dealings With Iraq Ahead of 1990 Invasion of Kuwait Detailed
Iraq Is Bleeding Every Day
Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq
Judith Miller: From the Times to the nuts

I will add more when time permits.

Today’s Palestine / Israel Links

AIPAC Protests Disclosure of Its Secret Files
Israelis ignore Palestinian documents, warn of “more ferocious” war
Gaza Youth Manifesto
TOXIC ZIONISM – ‘The above is an indication that zionism is not only toxic, it is a form of insanity. If there was no Palestine as they claim, who have they been killing for the past 63 years? Who have they walled into ghettos reminiscent of the ones created by madmen of history? Who have they been expelling from their homes in Jerusalem and other major cities?’
IDF: Palestinian killed at checkpoint was unarmed
Wikileaks: Israel preparing for ‘large scale war’
WikiLeaks quotes IDF chief: Iran could hit Israel within 12 minutes
Despite public denial, U.S. officials tell Haaretz: We’re angry at Barak
Abbas: Israeli-Palestinian peace could be reached in two months
Israel spying on latest Irish aid effort for Gaza, claim activists
Tel Aviv Protests as tweeted by Joseph Dana (@ibnezra/http://twitter.com/#!/ibnezra) on January 1-2, 2011
An awful lot of few bad apples – ‘Of course, there’s an asymmetry between the freedom accorded by Zionists to people who want to speak. If it’s a rabbi saying that Gentiles were born to serve the Jews — yes; if it’s a British Foreign Office employee saying “fucking Jews, fucking Israelis” — no.

It would be good for them to remember that Israel does not grant unlimited free speech to its population, and that there are laws against incitement to hate that could very well be applied to the rabbis who sign weird letters if the country were the democratic paragon it’s purported to be. ‘
Israel to isolate settlements around Gaza with trees
Gideon Levy : The year of truth : ‘The Israelis don’t really want peace, they prefer real estate’.
Israel extends family reunification ban
Israelis kill man carrying bottle – comments allowed calling Israel the Nazis of the 21st Century?

Today’s Wikilinks

WikiLeaks to draw weak information laws – media expert
THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG, Special New Year’s Weekend Editiion
Gigantic Irony : Reporter behind WMD claims calls Assange ‘bad journalist’
Jailed Belarus editor ‘bleeding from ears’
Israel extends family reunification ban
Let a million flowers bloom. – ‘Since the announcement of our Call for Papers, a number of other projects focused on interpreting the cables have sprung up. WikiLeaked is a new group blog from Foreign Policy magazine; Heinz Duthel published a Kindle ebook with commentary and excerpts, and an anonymous Amazon CreateSpace user has created a complete data dump in one book; BoingBoing premiered the first episode of Joe Sabian’s WikiWecaps; and the group Anonymous, fired up from the impact of Operation Payback and now looking for a constructive method of protest, has launched Operation Leakspin, which has a web and Facebook presence and also promises video analyses.’
Diplomats Help Push Jet Sales on Global Market

Other Links

Is your planet included in your family?
Rebooting business and capitalism
The 20th Century, Now in Reruns
EU ratchets up sanctions on Ivory Coast

Zionist Exceptionalism For Extrajudicial Executions

The new Mossad chief will apologise to the UK for the use of its passports in its Dubai extrajudicial assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January 2010.

David Milliband, then foreign secretary, told MPs that Israel had shown a “profound disregard” for British sovereignty, adding: “The fact that this was done by a country which is a friend, with significant diplomatic, cultural, business and personal ties to the UK, only adds insult to injury.”

Will Pardo’s magnanimity extend to Australia, Ireland, France and Germany, whose passports were also abused by Mossad?

The duplicitous use of foreign passports is not the primary crime committed by Israel. Extrajudicial executions are outlawed by the Second Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions (1977) that states:

“No sentence shall be passed and no penalty shall be executed on a person found guilty of an offence except pursuant to a conviction pronounced by a court offering the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality.” (Second Protocol of the Geneva Conventions (1977) Art 6.2)

Zionist exceptionalism is enabled and paralleled by that of its indulgent sponsor, the US, with its disgraceful preemptive strike policy and legal permissiveness for extrajudicial assassinations even of its own citizens.

In December 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice outrageously declared the legality of the extrajudicial executions of Palestinian activists suspected of being “unlawful combatants.”

The taking of life based on suspicions against a person, represents a gross violation of fundamental principles of law and morality. It is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and further, is defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court. These legal-moral principles are applicable to every country, organization and person, whether or not they are an official party to these instruments.

In this ruling, the Israeli High Court indiscriminately adopts the Israeli government’s practice that strips “unlawful combatants” of their legal and human rights. International law does not recognize a category of “unlawful combatants” who do not enjoy either the rights of combatants in the battlefield or those of protected civilians. The Court did not question the prevailing modus operandi of Israel’s security forces, which declares that all Palestinian civilians are “unlawful combatants” a posteriori, after an execution has been made, again without any legal review or oversight.

The Fourth Geneva Convention relates to the protection of civilian population in time of war. Article 146 of the Convention obligates the High Contracting Parties to enact effective penal sanctions for persons who have committed, or ordered to be committed, “grave breaches” of the Convention. Article 147 defines “grave breaches” to include “willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment.”

As Israeli scholar Tanya Reinhart says: “Under military rule, Israel has become a leading force in the destruction of the very protections that humankind has established, out of World War Two, for its own preservation, protections that we too may need one day, as history has already shown us”.

For how long will the world turn a blind eye to Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity which overshadow mere passport abuse, and that include ongoing brazen slaughter of civilians, ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories and within Israel itself?

Palestine / Israel Links

SEATTLE, USA: King County executive prevents “Israeli War Crimes” bus ads from appearing
King Co. rejects Israeli-Gaza bus ad
GISHA REPORT: “Reconstructing the Closure” Dec10 [.pdf]
Israeli demolitions traumatic for Palestinian children, says UN official
Inflaming racist rhetoric
Israelis kill Gazan shepherd, wound three – medics
UN envoys criticise Israel home demolitions
1932 is already here
Fuel for racism
US should recognize Palestine – John Quigley
Israeli racial purity
Turkey set on improving Israel ties, but insists on apology for Gaza flotilla raid
Anger after Nazareth suburb bans Christmas tree
The Palestinian ‘legitimacy war’
Jeffrey Goldberg’s Anti-Boycott Bluster & Blunder
Israeli Foreign Ministry Plans New Hasbara Effort Against Palestinians

STL-PSC Flash Mob: Boycott Israeli Apartheid in Palestine! (YouTube Censors the Video)
The Holy Land is on a tourism high
Jerusalem & Babylon / Demons on the streets of Israel
No legitimate Palestinian leader can negotiate with Israel while it continues to colonize Palestinian land.
Lieberman’s Great Big Palestinian Land Heist Plan
Christmas and New Year’s Eve: More Homeless Palestinian children
Senior Labor minister: Without peace talks, even U.S. may soon recognize Palestinian state
World may recognise Palestine soon: Israel minister
Delegitimizing Israel: the dictionary
Israel mobilizing forces in Silwan for possible eviction of non-violent leader
French activists arrested at West Bank protest
Gaza doctor takes Israel to court
The Gaza Strip is a castle that will defend Palestinian rights and resist occupation
Deputy FM: ‘The state of Facebook’ is more real than Palestine
Israeli diplomat ambushed by NY Times staff
Max Ajl returns to Gaza and locates Palestinian freedom – ‘it’s under an Israeli-American jackboot’
‘Asylum seekers trying to reach Israel are being trapped and tortured in Sinai’
Steve Rosen’s Plaint against AIPAC
Texas Tea Party : anti-Semitic and pro-Zionist
Lieberman: Israel’s governing coalition unable to agree on peace deal with Palestinians
In Israel, parenthood is perceived of as a national mission
Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia: 26th of December 2010 : Flashmob/freeze scene
Gaza aid ship returns to Turkey
Gaza: Two years after the horror of Operation Cast Lead

Wikileaks Links

Banks and Wikileaks
Bank of America wonders about WikiLeaks’ planned ‘megaleak’
WikiLeaks given $1.3m in 2010, and Julian Assange pays himself two thirds of the salary budget
DEA reach goes global, beyond drugs: report
20 things we learned in 2010
We’re no pawns: Assange accusers
WikiLeaks: Kiwi mosque spied on by US

Other Links

Murphy: ‘The FBI raids and subpoenas . . . [are] best understood as backlash aimed at silencing our successful movement’

Gandhi Rejected Zionism

A private chuckle emanates from the land of bananas – juxtaposing Chomsky, didact he is, with the visionary Gandhi and his words of 80 years ago is a minor recompense for the grinding realisation that Chomsky may well be right – US foreign policy is cynically fixed in the fifties still, remnants of the cold war stultifying change, recognition of universal human rights, law and pursuit of happiness other than for the privileged, paranoid, bigoted west. Why should they change? the Americans are asleep again, they didn’t know what hit them when 911 came, and have missed the message. Injustice breeds resistance and the more monstrous the injustice, as with the ignored Palestinian cause, the more likely history will repeat, unless the nascent global voice which is taking wing in boycotts, protests, twitters, facebooks and other extraordinary means circumvents the sluggardly grinding wheels of an unwilling political machine.

Here’s Noam anyway, since I’m collecting him of late – it’s a great piece, if depressing.

Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously – both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department, when introducing George Mitchell to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace.

Mitchell is to focus his attention on the Israel-Palestine problem, in the wake of the recent US-Israeli invasion of Gaza. During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president – a fact that did not silence him on many other issues. His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that “if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.” He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.

On January 22, however, the one president was Barack Obama, so he could speak freely about these matters – avoiding, however, the attack on Gaza, which had, conveniently, been called off just before the inauguration.

Obama’s talk emphasized his commitment to a peaceful settlement. He left its contours vague, apart from one specific proposal: “the Arab peace initiative,” Obama said, “contains constructive elements that could help advance these efforts. Now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative’s promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel, and by standing up to extremism that threatens us all.”

Obama is not directly falsifying the Arab League proposal, but the carefully framed deceit is instructive.

The Arab League peace proposal does indeed call for normalization of relations with Israel – in the context – repeat, in the context of a two-state settlement in terms of the longstanding international consensus, which the US and Israel have blocked for over 30 years, in international isolation, and still do. The core of the Arab League proposal, as Obama and his Mideast advisers know very well, is its call for a peaceful political settlement in these terms, which are well-known, and recognized to be the only basis for the peaceful settlement to which Obama professes to be committed. The omission of that crucial fact can hardly be accidental, and signals clearly that Obama envisions no departure from US rejectionism. His call for the Arab states to act on a corollary to their proposal, while the US ignores even the existence of its central content, which is the precondition for the corollary, surpasses cynicism.

The most significant acts to undermine a peaceful settlement are the daily US-backed actions in the occupied territories, all recognized to be criminal: taking over valuable land and resources and constructing what the leading architect of the plan, Ariel Sharon, called “Bantustans” for Palestinians – an unfair comparison because the Bantustans were far more viable than the fragments left to Palestinians under Sharon’s conception, now being realized. But the US and Israel even continue to oppose a political settlement in words, most recently in December 2008, when the US and Israel (and a few Pacific islands) voted against a UN resolution supporting “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (passed 173 to 5, US-Israel opposed, with evasive pretexts).

Obama had not one word to say about the settlement and infrastructure developments in the West Bank, and the complex measures to control Palestinian existence, designed to undermine the prospects for a peaceful two-state settlement. His silence is a grim refutation of his oratorical flourishes about how “I will sustain an active commitment to seek two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Also unmentioned is Israel’s use of US arms in Gaza, in violation not only of international but also US law. Or Washington’s shipment of new arms to Israel right at the peak of the US-Israeli attack, surely not unknown to Obama’s Middle East advisers.

Obama was firm, however, that smuggling of arms to Gaza must be stopped. He endorses the agreement of Condoleeza Rice and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni that the Egyptian-Gaza border must be closed – a remarkable exercise of imperial arrogance, as the Financial Times observed: “as they stood in Washington congratulating each other, both officials seemed oblivious to the fact that they were making a deal about an illegal trade on someone else’s border – Egypt in this case. The next day, an Egyptian official described the memorandum as `fictional’.” Egypt’s objections were ignored.

Returning to Obama’s reference to the “constructive” Arab League proposal, as the wording indicates, Obama persists in restricting support to the defeated party in the January 2006 election, the only free election in the Arab world, to which the US and Israel reacted, instantly and overtly, by severely punishing Palestinians for opposing the will of the masters. A minor technicality is that Abbas’s term ran out on January 9, and that Fayyad was appointed without confirmation by the Palestinian parliament (many of them kidnapped and in Israeli prisons). Ha’aretz describes Fayyad as “a strange bird in Palestinian politics. On the one hand, he is the Palestinian politician most esteemed by Israel and the West. However, on the other hand, he has no electoral power whatsoever in Gaza or the West Bank.” The report also notes Fayyad’s “close relationship with the Israeli establishment,” notably his friendship with Sharon’s extremist adviser Dov Weiglass. Though lacking popular support, he is regarded as competent and honest, not the norm in the US-backed political sectors.

Obama’s insistence that only Abbas and Fayyad exist conforms to the consistent Western contempt for democracy unless it is under control.

Obama provided the usual reasons for ignoring the elected government led by Hamas. “To be a genuine party to peace,” Obama declared, “the quartet [US, EU, Russia, UN] has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions: recognize Israel’s right to exist; renounce violence; and abide by past agreements.” Unmentioned, also as usual, is the inconvenient fact that the US and Israel firmly reject all three conditions. In international isolation, they bar a two-state settlement including a Palestinian state; they of course do not renounce violence; and they reject the quartet’s central proposal, the “road map.” Israel formally accepted it, but with 14 reservations that effectively eliminate its contents (tacitly backed by the US). It is the great merit of Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, to have brought these facts to public attention for the first time – and in the mainstream, the only time.

It follows, by elementary reasoning, that neither the US nor Israel is a “genuine party to peace.” But that cannot be. It is not even a phrase in the English language.

It is perhaps unfair to criticize Obama for this further exercise of cynicism, because it is close to universal, unlike his scrupulous evisceration of the core component of the Arab League proposal, which is his own novel contribution.

Also near universal are the standard references to Hamas: a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel (or maybe all Jews). Omitted are the inconvenient facts that the US-Israel are not only dedicated to the destruction of any viable Palestinian state, but are steadily implementing those policies. Or that unlike the two rejectionist states, Hamas has called for a two-state settlement in terms of the international consensus: publicly, repeatedly, explicitly.

Obama began his remarks by saying: “Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel’s security. And we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself against legitimate threats.”

There was nothing about the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against far more extreme threats, such as those occurring daily, with US support, in the occupied territories. But that again is the norm.

Also normal is the enunciation of the principle that Israel has the right to defend itself. That is correct, but vacuous: so does everyone. But in the context the cliche is worse than vacuous: it is more cynical deceit.

The issue is not whether Israel has the right to defend itself, like everyone else, but whether it has the right to do so by force. No one, including Obama, believes that states enjoy a general right to defend themselves by force: it is first necessary to demonstrate that there are no peaceful alternatives that can be tried. In this case, there surely are.

A narrow alternative would be for Israel to abide by a cease-fire, for example, the cease-fire proposed by Hamas political leader Khaled Mishal a few days before Israel launched its attack on December 27. Mishal called for restoring the 2005 agreement. That agreement called for an end to violence and uninterrupted opening of the borders, along with an Israeli guarantee that goods and people could move freely between the two parts of occupied Palestine, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The agreement was rejected by the US and Israel a few months later, after the free election of January 2006 turned out “the wrong way.” There are many other highly relevant cases.

The broader and more significant alternative would be for the US and Israel to abandon their extreme rejectionism, and join the rest of the world – including the Arab states and Hamas – in supporting a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus. It should be noted that in the past 30 years there has been one departure from US-Israeli rejectionism: the negotiations at Taba in January 2001, which appeared to be close to a peaceful resolution when Israel prematurely called them off. It would not, then, be outlandish for Obama to agree to join the world, even within the framework of US policy, if he were interested in doing so.

In short, Obama’s forceful reiteration of Israel’s right to defend itself is another exercise of cynical deceit – though, it must be admitted, not unique to him, but virtually universal.

The deceit is particularly striking in this case because the occasion was the appointment of Mitchell as special envoy. Mitchell’s primary achievement was his leading role in the peaceful settlement in northern Ireland. It called for an end to IRA terror and British violence. Implicit is the recognition that while Britain had the right to defend itself from terror, it had no right to do so by force, because there was a peaceful alternative: recognition of the legitimate grievances of the Irish Catholic community that were the roots of IRA terror. When Britain adopted that sensible course, the terror ended. The implications for Mitchell’s mission with regard to Israel-Palestine are so obvious that they need not be spelled out. And omission of them is, again, a striking indication of the commitment of the Obama administration to traditional US rejectionism and opposition to peace, except on its extremist terms.

Obama also praised Jordan for its “constructive role in training Palestinian security forces and nurturing its relations with Israel” – which contrasts strikingly with US-Israeli refusal to deal with the freely elected government of Palestine, while savagely punishing Palestinians for electing it with pretexts which, as noted, do not withstand a moment’s scrutiny. It is true that Jordan joined the US in arming and training Palestinian security forces, so that they could violently suppress any manifestation of support for the miserable victims of US-Israeli assault in Gaza, also arresting supporters of Hamas and the prominent journalist Khaled Amayreh, while organizing their own demonstrations in support of Abbas and Fatah, in which most participants “were civil servants and school children who were instructed by the PA to attend the rally,” according to the Jerusalem Post. Our kind of democracy.

Obama made one further substantive comment: “As part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime…” He did not, of course, mention that the US-Israel had rejected much the same agreement after the January 2006 election, and that Israel had never observed similar subsequent agreements on borders.

Also missing is any reaction to Israel’s announcement that it rejected the cease-fire agreement, so that the prospects for it to be “lasting” are not auspicious. As reported at once in the press, “Israeli Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who takes part in security deliberations, told Army Radio on Thursday that Israel wouldn’t let border crossings with Gaza reopen without a deal to free [Gilad] Schalit” (AP, Jan 22); srael to keep Gaza crossings closed…An official said the government planned to use the issue to bargain for the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by the Islamist group since 2006 (Financial Times, Jan. 23); “Earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that progress on Corporal Shalit’s release would be a precondition to opening up the border crossings that have been mostly closed since Hamas wrested control of Gaza from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007” (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 23); “an Israeli official said there would be tough conditions for any lifting of the blockade, which he linked with the release of Gilad Shalit” (FT, Jan. 23); among many others.

Shalit’s capture is a prominent issue in the West, another indication of Hamas’s criminality. Whatever one thinks about it, it is uncontroversial that capture of a soldier of an attacking army is far less of a crime than kidnapping of civilians, exactly what Israeli forces did the day before the capture of Shalit, invading Gaza city and kidnapping two brothers, then spiriting them across the border where they disappeared into Israel’s prison complex. Unlike the much lesser case of Shalit, that crime was virtually unreported and has been forgotten, along with Israel’s regular practice for decades of kidnapping civilians in Lebanon and on the high seas and dispatching them to Israeli prisons, often held for many years as hostages. But the capture of Shalit bars a cease-fire.

Obama’s State Department talk about the Middle East continued with “the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan… the central front in our enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism.” A few hours later, US planes attacked a remote village in Afghanistan, intending to kill a Taliban commander. “Village elders, though, told provincial officials there were no Taliban in the area, which they described as a hamlet populated mainly by shepherds. Women and children were among the 22 dead, they said, according to Hamididan Abdul Rahmzai, the head of the provincial council” (LA Times, Jan. 24).

Afghan president Karzai’s first message to Obama after he was elected in November was a plea to end the bombing of Afghan civilians, reiterated a few hours before Obama was sworn in. This was considered as significant as Karzai’s call for a timetable for departure of US and other foreign forces. The rich and powerful have their “responsibilities.” Among them, the New York Times reported, is to “provide security” in southern Afghanistan, where “the insurgency is homegrown and self-sustaining.” All familiar. From Pravda in the 1980s, for example.

Hillary Clinton once again espouses that which Chomsky alludes to – that Hamas must meet the unmeetable three conditions, before being included in negotiations. One wonders if she is aware of the impossibility of her demands and is being deliberately obtuse.

In the below video, Norman Finkelstein discusses Gandhi philosophy in relation to the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

More recently, Finkelstein discusses Gandhi’s principles of non-violence in relation to the Obama administration.

Coalition of the Gobbling vs Iraq 111

This story from the UK Independent, on the 600,000 and more Iraqi casualties slaughtered by the Coalition of the Gobbling, received pathetically little coverage in the dailies.

As it’s such a significant and horrific admission on the part of the United Kooks, we’ll help air the facts some more. The Coalition of the Gobbling is certainly way ahead of Saddam’s efforts at this stage and is not looking like letting up. But what the hell – when the West kills en masse, it’s only collateral damage and a necessary side effect of creating “democracy” – yet when some tinpot dictator created and coddled by the West till he’s served his purpose does it, it’s genocide.

British backtrack on Iraq death toll
By Jill Lawless

British government officials have backed the methods used by scientists who concluded that more than 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion, the BBC reported yesterday.

The Government publicly rejected the findings, published in The Lancet in October. But the BBC said documents obtained under freedom of information legislation showed advisers concluded that the much-criticised study had used sound methods.

The study, conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, estimated that 655,000 more Iraqis had died since March 2003 than one would expect without the war. The study estimated that 601,027 of those deaths were from violence.

The researchers, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in such extrapolations, said they were 95 per cent certain that the real number of deaths lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636.

The conclusion, based on interviews and not a body count, was disputed by some experts, and rejected by the US and British governments. But the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Roy Anderson, described the methods used in the study as “robust” and “close to best practice”. Another official said it was “a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones”.