Shahzad Bhatti

July 25, 2005

Lest We Forget; These Were Blair’s Bombs

Filed under: Politics — admin @ 6:45 pm

Lest We Forget; These Were Blair’s Bombs
** The tribunal is a serious international public inquiry into the invasion and occupation, the kind governments dare not hold. Its expert, eyewitness testimonies, said the author Arundathi Roy, a tribunal jury member, “demonstrate that even those of us who have tried to follow the war closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq.” The most shocking was given by Dahr Jamail, one of the best un-embedded reporters working in Iraq. He described how the hospitals of besieged Fallujah had been subjected to an American tactic of collective punishment, with US marines assaulting staff and stopping the wounded entering, and American snipers firing at the doors and windows, and medicines and emergency blood prevented from reaching them. Children, the elderly, were shot dead in front of their families, in cold blood

** There was Bob Geldoff on the front pages resting his smiling face on smiling Blair’s shoulder, the war criminal and his knighted jester. There was an heroically silhouetted Bono, who celebrates men like Jeffrey Sachs as saviours of the world’s poor while lauding “compassionate” George Bush’s “war on terror” as one of his generation’s greatest achievements; and there was Paul Wolfowitz, beaming and promising to make poverty history: this is the man who, before he was handed control of the World Bank, was an apologist for Suharto’s genocidal regime in Indonesia, who was one of the architects of Bush’s “neo-con” putsch and of the bloodfest in Iraq and the notion of “endless war”.For the politicians and pop stars and church leaders and polite people who believed Blair and Gordon Brown when they declared their “great moral crusade” against poverty, Iraq was an embarrassment. The killing of more than 100,000 Iraqis mostly by American gunfire and bombs — a figure reported in a comprehensive peer-reviewed study in The Lancet — was airbrushed from mainstream debate.

** In 2001, in revenge for the killing of 3,000 people in the twin towers, more than 20,000 Muslims died in the Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan. This was revealed by Jonathan Steele in the Guardian but never became news, to my knowledge. The attack on Iraq was the Rubicon, making the reprisal against Madrid and the bombing of London entirely predictable: this last “in response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan,” claimed the Secret Organization Group of al-Qaeda in Europe. Whether or not the claim was genuine, the reason was. Bush and Blair wanted a “war on terror,” and they got it. Omitted from public discussion is that their state terror makes al-Qaeda’s appear minuscule by comparison. More than 100,000 Iraqi men, women, and children have been killed not by suicide bombers, but by the Anglo-American “coalition,” says a peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet, and largely ignored.

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