Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Truth at last, while breaking a U.S. taboo of criticizing Israel

Posted on Tue, Jan. 02, 2007


By George Bisharat

Americans owe a debt to former President Jimmy Carter for speaking long hidden but vital truths. His book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid breaks the taboo barring criticism in the United States of Israel's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. Our government's tacit acceptance of Israel's unfair policies causes global hostility against us.

Israel's friends have attacked Carter, a Nobel laureate who has worked tirelessly for Middle East peace, even raising the specter of anti-Semitism. Genuine anti-Semitism is abhorrent. But exploiting the term to quash legitimate criticism of another system of racial oppression, and to tarnish a principled man, is indefensible. Criticizing Israeli government policies - a staple in Israeli newspapers - is no more anti-Semitic than criticizing the Bush administration is anti-American.

The word apartheid typically evokes images of former South Africa, but it also refers to any institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another. Carter applies the term only to Israel's rule of the occupied Palestinian territories, where it has established more than 200 Jewish-only settlements and a network of roads and other services to support them. These settlements violate international law and the rights of Palestinian property owners. Carter maintains that "greed for land," not racism, fuels Israel's settlement drive. He is only partially right.

Israel is seizing land and water from Palestinians for Jews. Resources are being transferred, under the guns of Israel's military occupation, from one disempowered group - Palestinian Christians and Muslims - to another, preferred group - Jews. That is racism, pure and simple.

Moreover, there is abundant evidence that Israel discriminates against Palestinians elsewhere. The "Israeli Arabs" - about 1.4 million Palestinian Christian and Muslim citizens who live in Israel - vote in elections. But they are a subordinated and marginalized minority. The Star of David on Israel's flag symbolically tells Palestinian citizens: "You do not belong." Israel's Law of Return grants rights of automatic citizenship to Jews anywhere in the world, while those rights are denied to 750,000 Palestinian refugees who were forced or fled in fear from their homes in what became Israel in 1948.

Israel's Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty establishes the state as a "Jewish democracy" although 24 percent of the population is non-Jewish. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, counted 20 laws that explicitly privilege Jews over non-Jews.

The government favors Jews over Palestinians in the allocation of resources. Palestinian children in Israel attend "separate and unequal" schools that receive a fraction of the funding awarded to Jewish schools, according to Human Rights Watch. Many Palestinian villages, some predating the establishment of Israel, are unrecognized by the government, do not appear on maps, and thus receive no running water, electricity, or access roads. Since 1948, scores of new communities have been founded for Jews, but none for Palestinians, causing them severe residential overcrowding.

Anti-Arab bigotry is rarely condemned in Israeli public discourse, in which Palestinians are routinely construed as a "demographic threat." Palestinians in Israel's soccer league have played to chants of "Death to Arabs!" Israeli academic Daniel Bar-Tal studied 124 Israeli school texts, finding that they commonly depicted Arabs as inferior, backward, violent, and immoral. A 2006 survey revealed that two-thirds of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in a building with an Arab, nearly half would not allow a Palestinian in their home, and 40 percent want the government to encourage emigration by Palestinian citizens. Last March, Israeli voters awarded 11 parliamentary seats to the Israel Beitenu Party, which advocates drawing Israel's borders to exclude 500,000 of its current Palestinian citizens.

Some say that Palestinian citizens in Israel enjoy better circumstances than those in surrounding Arab countries. Ironically, white South Africans made identical claims to defend their version of apartheid, as is made clear in books such as Antjie Krog's Country of My Skull.

Americans are awakening to the costs of our unconditional support of Israel. We urgently need frank debate to chart policies that honor our values, advance our interests, and promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It is telling that it took a former president, immune from electoral pressures, to show the way.

The debate should now be extended. Are Israel's founding ideals truly consistent with democracy? Can a state established in a multiethnic milieu be simultaneously "Jewish" and "democratic"? Isn't strife the predictable yield of preserving the dominance of Jews in Israel over a native Palestinian population? Does our unconditional aid merely enable Israel to continue abusing Palestinian rights with impunity, deepening regional hostilities and distancing peace? Isn't it time that Israel lived by rules observed in any democracy - including equal rights for all?

George Bisharat (bisharat@uchastings.edu) is a professor of law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. He writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

The Consequences of Killing Saddam


[posted online on December 31, 2006]

Since the US invasion of Iraq, by one widely reported estimate, as many as 655,000 Iraqis have been killed, in air strikes, by bombs, in death-squad executions and generalized civil strife. Now, add one by hanging: the kangaroo-court trial and execution of Saddam Hussein. In life, even in prison, he inspired many loyalists to fight for his legacy; but his death is certain to spark even fiercer violence, not just from his remaining lieutenants and senior Baath party officials but throughout the broader Sunni Arab community in Iraq. It pushes any hope of Sunni-Shiite reconciliation farther away, inflames passions on both sides and solidifies the image of the United States in Iraq as a bloodthirsty occupier.

Convicted of war crimes by a puppet Iraqi regime that dispensed with niceties such as evidence and rebuttal, Saddam Hussein was blamed by his fiercest critics--such as Kanan Makiya, author of Republic of Fear, and others with strong motive to inflate the scale of Saddam's crimes--of killing 300,000 Iraqis during his thirty-five-year rule (1968-2003). In less than four years, George W. Bush has more than doubled that, with no end in sight. As war criminals go, Bush wins hands down.

The 655,000 US victims in Iraq do not include the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children, who died during a twelve-year era of US-imposed sanctions on Iraq from 1991 to 2003, but those deaths, at least, were obscured by a fig leaf of legality, since the sanctions had been approved by the UN Security Council. Bush's Iraq War had no such cover: It was deemed "illegal" by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general.

In a statement written in advance of Saddam's hanging, Bush warned that his death "will not end the violence in Iraq"--truer words have not been spoken. No longer Iraq's ruler, since his capture Saddam had become a symbol of the power struggle between the Shiite Arab religious parties that have come to rule parts of Baghdad and southern Iraq and the growing, Sunni-led resistance army that controls most of several provinces to the north and west of the capital, along with significant swaths of western Baghdad.

His death will, of course, inspire the religious Shiites into intensifying their jihad, cementing their belief in the righteousness of their cause. Far more important, however, it will spark a burning desire for revenge among the Sunni Arabs, and not just among Baath party veterans. The commanders and organizers of the insurgency are primarily drawn from those veterans and from the former Iraqi army officer corps, who were mostly Sunni. But their base is among the tribes and clans of western, Sunni Iraq--and since the US invasion, the sons of those tribes have been increasingly enlisting in the resistance army, often to the dismay of some of the more conservative tribal elders.

An overwhelming majority of the Sunni Arab population of Iraq now supports the resistance, and its intensity is likely to grow significantly in the wake of Saddam's death. Earlier this year, 300 Sunni tribal leaders met in Anbar to issue a demand that Saddam Hussein be released from prison, just one indication that support for the former president of Iraq was widespread. "The execution of Saddam means that the flame of vengeance will be ignited and it will hurt the body of Iraq with unrecoverable wound," a Sunni tribal leader told the New York Times.

Indeed, despite the talk of a surge of US forces to pacify the Iraqi capital, the fiercest fighting in Iraq is north and west of Baghdad, in the heart of Sunni Iraq. On December 24, the US military command announced the deaths of three more Marines and two more soldiers there, bringing the total for December to 108 Americans dead and making the month the bloodiest of 2006. At least a year ago, the US military determined that the war in Sunni Iraq was lost militarily, and that it could only be resolved through a political deal between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Now, the United States faces a stark choice: Either abandon Anbar altogether, or face a years-long counterinsurgency campaign there that will mean Fallujah-style, house-to-house fighting in dozens of cities and towns.

A political accord for national reconciliation, always an iffy proposition, is now even more difficult to achieve, in the wake of Saddam's execution. The Shiite religious bloc, were it not intent on an all-out victory that humiliates the Sunni community, might have held out a life sentence for Saddam as part of a deal that included amnesty for insurgents, the cancellation of the draconian de-Baathification laws, the reconstitution of the army and a power-sharing formula that includes Iraq's oil wealth. Now that bargaining chip--and it is a major one--is lost.

And something else is lost. Since his capture in 2003, Saddam has been interrogated by US officials, including CIA officers. According to sources close to the resistance, US officials--including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld--met with Saddam Hussein earlier this year, to ask if he would cooperate in some way to urge the resistance to lay down its arms. (He refused.) But whatever transpired between US officials and Saddam since he was captured, none of it is public. Not a single journalist interviewed Saddam. As far as we know, he wrote no memoir in prison. The countless secrets that he had, about thirty-five years of his leadership, he has taken to the grave. Decades of history have been lost, irrecoverably. Perhaps one of the reasons for the hurried rush to the gallows, even before a series of other staged, show trials could be arranged, was to make guarantee that Saddam's secrets never see the light of day.

Wrapped Around a Bullet

January 2, 2006

An Iraqi friend whom I’ve known for ten years looked worn and very weary yesterday when he came to visit me in my apartment here in Amman, Jordan. He hadn’t slept the night before because he’d been on the phone with his wife who, throughout the night, was terrified by cross fire taking place over the Iraqi village where she stays with their four small children. My friend longs to soothe and protect his wife and kids. But now he lives apart from them, in another country.

His life was completely changed when a piece of paper was tossed into his kitchen in Baghdad. It read: “Leave now or you will die like a dog.” Many Iraqis have been receiving notes like this. This piece of paper was sent to him with a bit of extra emphasis. It was wrapped around a bullet.

Weeks later, assailants killed his younger brother who was returning home from University studies. My friend moved his family to a village outside Baghdad and then ran for his life.

Here in Amman, where the U.N. cites a figure of 700,000 Iraqis who’ve fled their country, he feels trapped. Like other Iraqis, he lives without legal protections: he is not allowed to work, he is unable to obtain proper documentation to settle here, and each Embassy to which he has applied for resettlement has given him the cold shoulder. He may walk the sunburst streets of Amman, ride in taxis, eat in kabob shops, but he lives a shadowy, underground existence. Everyday, Iraqis in Jordan are arrested (for working, for overstaying their visas, etc.) and deported. This, too, is a death threat of sorts. Meanwhile, in Iraq, his family lives in a battlefield, and who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Still, my friend’s case is hardly unique. Relative to other stories we’ve heard, he is somewhat fortunate. He was not captured and tortured before fleeing Iraq. His wife has not been raped. His children are still alive.

Anyone listening to my friend’s experience of loss and tragedy would surely understand his feelings of cynicism, even bitterness, when he thinks about how the Bush Administration has sold this ongoing war. Turn the page back to May of 2006, when sectarian violence had already begun to consume Iraq, and here is how President Bush depicted what the U.S. had done for Iraq, following Iraqi elections:

“For the people across the broader Middle East, a free Iraq will be an inspiration….(Iraqis) have proved that the desire for liberty in the heart of the Middle East is for real. They have shown diverse people can come together and work out their differences…Years from now, people will look back on the formation of a unity government in Iraq as a decisive moment in the story of liberty, a moment when freedom gained a firm foothold in the Middle East and the forces of terror began their long retreat.”

The speechwriter who equipped President Bush with these lines should be burning with shame. President Bush indulged in a fantasy at a time when thousands of Iraqi civilians were fleeing abroad, every month, to escape worsening violence and tens of thousands more were being displaced internally – nearly half a million in the last ten months, according to UNHCR.

In reality, there were no encouraging signs of the U.S. troop presence stabilizing the situation in Iraq. Today, even President Bush acknowledges that news from Iraq is “unsettling,” as daily headlines report battles, kidnappings, torture, and murder.

Nevertheless, the President will likely ask the Congress to approve 97.7 billion dollars in supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which will be in addition to the Pentagon’s $560 billion dollar budget. According to some estimates, U.S. taxpayers will pay close to 2 trillion dollars for a doomed war in Iraq.

A New York Times article called “Heady Days for Makers of Weapons” notes that military contractors are profiting more than ever as Pentagon spending has reached record levels. Nobody expects the Democrats, now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, to interfere with the lucrative deal making. With an eye toward 2008 elections, Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, the “defense” lobby. “I think the Democrats will be on good behavior,” commented an analyst with JSA Securities in Newport, R.I… “as long as the war continues and we have 150,000 troops in Iraq.” (NYT, December 26, 2006).

Ultimately, this means that U.S. taxpayers will have to be “on good behavior” and pouring billions more dollars into weapons making giants like Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.

No one asks us to behave accountably on behalf of the 100,000 Iraqi refugees who, every month, according to U.N. estimates, flee from Iraq.

We have yet to see a proposal for a generous package of reparations intended to help rebuild Iraq’s shattered infrastructure.

The U.S. should never cut and run away from our responsibility to pay very generously for reparations in Iraq. We should be committed to finding the most viable, practical means to help Iraqis rebuild their shattered infrastructure. We should seek negotiations with Iraq’s neighbors, not for purposes of being the “kingmaker” and deciding which country will emerge as the strongest, but rather for purposes of seeking an end to any foreign support for armed struggle within Iraq.

There are no simple solutions. Problems with corruption within Iraqi governing structures, retaliatory violence fueling a civil war, and the lack of protection for any non-governmental involvement in distributing support for reconstruction seem nearly insurmountable. But this doesn’t lessen the U.S. responsibility to direct U.S. wealth, ingenuity, and productivity toward just reparations for the enormous suffering our invasion and occupation has caused. Every effort should be made, within the U.S., to build public support for a U.S. financial commitment to help rebuild Iraq. Equivalent effort should be made to stop stuffing the portfolios of major weapons manufacturers.

Lawmakers should have at least enough integrity to acknowledge that current plans to support ongoing troop presence in Iraq at a cost of billions of dollars show very little promise for lessening the violence, displacement and signs of civil war that afflict Iraqis today.

Beginning in February 2007, when lawmakers will discuss the Administration’s proposed supplemental budget, Voices for Creative Nonviolence will launch “the Occupation Project.”

Although we have paltry financial means compared to the weapons makers who wield so much influence on Capitol Hill, we do have resources. We have our bodies. We have our determination. We have our compassion for Iraqi people and for U.S. soldiers. We have our concern for future generations who will not only have to live with the consequences of this violence, but who will also live on a planet spoiled by global warming, in no small part because we spent our resources on war instead of on developing clean energy sources. These are the grains of sand that will stop the cogs of war from turning.

Now is the time for seriously strategizing about the best ways, in our hometowns, to engage in sustained civil disobedience at the offices of elected representatives, demanding that they vote against the supplemental spending bill.

A polite refusal to leave an elected representative’s office may entail some hours spent in jail. Some will receive minor misdemeanor charges from federal or local police, for “disorderly conduct,” or “trespass” or “failure to comply.” We’ll prepare for a day in court; we’ll discuss how to handle any fines imposed on us. These are slight inconveniences and discomforts when I think of Iraqi friends, so wearied by war, and of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the thousands of Americans whose lives are forever altered by the cruelty and senselessness of war and of those who prolong it.

Much more grave is the risk of growing adjusted to a warlike culture that feeds the multi-billion dollar weapon industry.

I shudder still, thinking of the note that landed in my friend’s kitchen, ugly paper wrapping a tiny yet terrible weapon. Who pens such a letter? Who delivers it? Who authorizes these threats? What kind of organization thrives on sundering families, on death and torture, on driving whole societies into flight and chaos and despair? The answers are murky and unclear. .

But we should all shudder with disgust at the clear fact that U.S. budget priorities are more devoted to protecting the profits of arms peddlers and military contractors than to seeking a better future for Iraqis.

It’s hard to put your foot down over something called a “supplemental spending bill”—over a piece of paper, a bit of writing that you didn’t write yourself but are perhaps helping to deliver. My friend’s life was ruined by such a piece of paper. Iraqis are leaving their homes in Iraq by the thousands every day, and prolonging this war will cause more to flee.

That’s why many of us will be occupying our representatives’ offices this winter. We don’t want to help deliver a death threat to people all across Iraq. This bill, this message of continued U.S. commitment to spending for war, isn’t just a piece of paper to them.

It’s a death threat, and it’s wrapped around a bullet.

Kathy Kelly ( kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence

America's Red Ink

Sunday, December 24, 2006; B06

The largest employer in the world announced on Dec. 15 that it lost about $450 billion in fiscal 2006. Its auditor found that its financial statements were unreliable and that its controls were inadequate for the 10th straight year. On top of that, the entity's total liabilities and unfunded commitments rose to about $50 trillion, up from $20 trillion in just six years.

If this announcement related to a private company, the news would have been on the front page of major newspapers. Unfortunately, such was not the case -- even though the entity is the U.S. government.

To put the figures in perspective, $50 trillion is $440,000 per American household and is more than nine times as much as the median household income.

The only way elected officials will be able to make the tough choices necessary to put our nation on a more prudent and sustainable long-term fiscal path is if opinion leaders state the facts and speak the truth to the American people.

The Government Accountability Office is working with the Concord Coalition, the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation and others to help educate the public about the facts in a professional, nonpartisan way. We hope the media and other opinion leaders do their part to save the future for our children and grandchildren.


Comptroller General of the United States

Government Accountability Office


A Failed Revolution

December 29, 2006
The New York Times


After first attempting to deny the scale of last month’s defeat, the apologists have settled on a story line that sounds just like Marxist explanations for the failure of the Soviet Union. What happened, you see, was that the noble ideals of the Republican revolution of 1994 were undermined by Washington’s corrupting ways. And the recent defeat was a good thing, because it will force a return to the true conservative path.

But the truth is that the movement that took power in 1994 — a movement that had little to do with true conservatism — was always based on a lie.

The lie is right there in “The Freedom Revolution,” the book that Dick Armey, who had just become the House majority leader, published in 1995. He declares that most government programs don’t do anything “to help American families with the needs of everyday life,” and that “very few American families would notice their disappearance.” He goes on to assert that “there is no reason we cannot, by the time our children come of age, reduce the federal government by half as a percentage of gross domestic product.”

Right. Somehow, I think more than a few families would notice the disappearance of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and those three programs alone account for a majority of nondefense, noninterest spending. The truth is that the government delivers services and security that people want. Yes, there’s some waste — just as there is in any large organization. But there are no big programs that are easy to cut.

As long as people like Mr. Armey, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay were out of power, they could run on promises to eliminate vast government waste that existed only in the public’s imagination — all those welfare queens driving Cadillacs. But once in power, they couldn’t deliver.


A Healthy New Year: Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman

The New York Times
January 1, 2006

The U.S. health care system is a scandal and a disgrace. But maybe, just maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage.

In 2005, almost 47 million Americans - including more than 8 million children - were uninsured, and many more had inadequate insurance.

Apologists for our system try to minimize the significance of these numbers. Many of the uninsured, asserted the 2004 Economic Report of the President, "remain uninsured as a matter of choice."

And then you wake up. A scathing article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times described how insurers refuse to cover anyone with even the slightest hint of a pre-existing condition. People have been denied insurance for reasons that range from childhood asthma to a "past bout of jock itch."

Some say that we can't afford universal health care, even though every year lack of insurance plunges millions of Americans into severe financial distress and sends thousands to an early grave. But every other advanced country somehow manages to provide all its citizens with essential care. The only reason universal coverage seems hard to achieve here is the spectacular inefficiency of the U.S. health care system.

Americans spend more on health care per person than anyone else - almost twice as much as the French, whose medical care is among the best in the world. Yet we have the highest infant mortality and close to the lowest life expectancy of any wealthy nation. How do we do it?


Robert Fisk: He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him

Robert Fisk

How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal

Published: 31 December 2006

We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe. The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is dead.

Gone is the man who personally received the CIA's help in destroying the Iraqi communist party. After Saddam seized power, US intelligence gave his minions the home addresses of communists in Baghdad and other cities in an effort to destroy the Soviet Union's influence in Iraq. Saddam's mukhabarat visited every home, arrested the occupants and their families, and butchered the lot. Public hanging was for plotters; the communists, their wives and children, were given special treatment - extreme torture before execution at Abu Ghraib.

There is growing evidence across the Arab world that Saddam held a series of meetings with senior American officials prior to his invasion of Iran in 1980 - both he and the US administration believed that the Islamic Republic would collapse if Saddam sent his legions across the border - and the Pentagon was instructed to assist Iraq's military machine by providing intelligence on the Iranian order of battle. One frosty day in 1987, not far from Cologne, I met the German arms dealer who initiated those first direct contacts between Washington and Baghdad - at America's request.

"Mr Fisk... at the very beginning of the war, in September of 1980, I was invited to go to the Pentagon," he said. "There I was handed the very latest US satellite photographs of the Iranian front lines. You could see everything on the pictures. There were the Iranian gun emplacements in Abadan and behind Khorramshahr, the lines of trenches on the eastern side of the Karun river, the tank revetments - thousands of them - all the way up the Iranian side of the border towards Kurdistan. No army could want more than this. And I travelled with these maps from Washington by air to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt on Iraqi Airways straight to Baghdad. The Iraqis were very, very grateful!"

I was with Saddam's forward commandos at the time, under Iranian shellfire, noting how the Iraqi forces aligned their artillery positions far back from the battle front with detailed maps of the Iranian lines. Their shelling against Iran outside Basra allowed the first Iraqi tanks to cross the Karun within a week. The commander of that tank unit cheerfully refused to tell me how he had managed to choose the one river crossing undefended by Iranian armour. Two years ago, we met again, in Amman and his junior officers called him "General" - the rank awarded him by Saddam after that tank attack east of Basra, courtesy of Washington's intelligence information.

Iran's official history of the eight-year war with Iraq states that Saddam first used chemical weapons against it on 13 January 1981. AP's correspondent in Baghdad, Mohamed Salaam, was taken to see the scene of an Iraqi military victory east of Basra. "We started counting - we walked miles and miles in this fucking desert, just counting," he said. "We got to 700 and got muddled and had to start counting again ... The Iraqis had used, for the first time, a combination - the nerve gas would paralyse their bodies ... the mustard gas would drown them in their own lungs. That's why they spat blood."

At the time, the Iranians claimed that this terrible cocktail had been given to Saddam by the US. Washington denied this. But the Iranians were right. The lengthy negotiations which led to America's complicity in this atrocity remain secret - Donald Rumsfeld was one of President Ronald Reagan's point-men at this period - although Saddam undoubtedly knew every detail. But a largely unreported document, "United States Chemical and Biological Warfare-related Dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War", stated that prior to 1985 and afterwards, US companies had sent government-approved shipments of biological agents to Iraq. These included Bacillus anthracis, which produces anthrax, andEscherichia coli (E. coli). That Senate report concluded that: "The United States provided the Government of Iraq with 'dual use' licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-systems programs, including ... chemical warfare agent production facility plant and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment."

Nor was the Pentagon unaware of the extent of Iraqi use of chemical weapons. In 1988, for example, Saddam gave his personal permission for Lt-Col Rick Francona, a US defence intelligence officer - one of 60 American officers who were secretly providing members of the Iraqi general staff with detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning and bomb damage assessments - to visit the Fao peninsula after Iraqi forces had recaptured the town from the Iranians. He reported back to Washington that the Iraqis had used chemical weapons to achieve their victory. The senior defence intelligence officer at the time, Col Walter Lang, later said that the use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis "was not a matter of deep strategic concern".

I saw the results, however. On a long military hospital train back to Tehran from the battle front, I found hundreds of Iranian soldiers coughing blood and mucus from their lungs - the very carriages stank so much of gas that I had to open the windows - and their arms and faces were covered with boils. Later, new bubbles of skin appeared on top of their original boils. Many were fearfully burnt. These same gases were later used on the Kurds of Halabja. No wonder that Saddam was primarily tried in Baghdad for the slaughter of Shia villagers, not for his war crimes against Iran.

We still don't know - and with Saddam's execution we will probably never know - the extent of US credits to Iraq, which began in 1982. The initial tranche, the sum of which was spent on the purchase of American weapons from Jordan and Kuwait, came to $300m. By 1987, Saddam was being promised $1bn in credit. By 1990, just before Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, annual trade between Iraq and the US had grown to $3.5bn a year. Pressed by Saddam's foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, to continue US credits, James Baker then Secretary of State, but the same James Baker who has just produced a report intended to drag George Bush from the catastrophe of present- day Iraq - pushed for new guarantees worth $1bn from the US.

In 1989, Britain, which had been giving its own covert military assistance to Saddam guaranteed £250m to Iraq shortly after the arrest of Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft in Baghdad. Bazoft, who had been investigating an explosion at a factory at Hilla which was using the very chemical components sent by the US, was later hanged. Within a month of Bazoft's arrest William Waldegrave, then a Foreign Office minister, said: "I doubt if there is any future market of such a scale anywhere where the UK is potentially so well-placed if we play our diplomatic hand correctly... A few more Bazofts or another bout of internal oppression would make it more difficult."

Even more repulsive were the remarks of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Geoffrey Howe, on relaxing controls on British arms sales to Iraq. He kept this secret, he wrote, because "it would look very cynical if, so soon after expressing outrage about the treatment of the Kurds, we adopt a more flexible approach to arms sales".

Saddam knew, too, the secrets of the attack on the USS Stark when, on 17 May 1987, an Iraqi jet launched a missile attack on the American frigate, killing more than a sixth of the crew and almost sinking the vessel. The US accepted Saddam's excuse that the ship was mistaken for an Iranian vessel and allowed Saddam to refuse their request to interview the Iraqi pilot.

The whole truth died with Saddam Hussein in the Baghdad execution chamber yesterday. Many in Washington and London must have sighed with relief that the old man had been silenced for ever.

'The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East' by Robert Fisk is now available in paperback

The US-Saudi-Wahabi Nexus

Jan 2, 2006

"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role", Leo Tolstoy

By K Gajendra Singh

When the powerful US Vice-President Dick Cheney made a rare long haul to Riyadh in November , reportedly it was to create against Iran , Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon , a new US led Sunni alliance in the region, composed of the six Gulf Co-operation Council states, pro-US Arab governments in Cairo and Amman and willing NATO allies with covert support from Israel.

On 12 December the New York Times claimed that according to US and Arab diplomats, Cheney was told that Riyadh might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shias if the United States pulled out its troops. The Saudi King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to any diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran and demanded that Washington encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Saudi position reflected fears among USA's Sunni Arab allies at Tehran's increasing influence in Iraq with its ally the Lebanese Hezbollah getting the better of Israeli ground forces coupled with Tehran's nuclear ambitions. King Abdullah II of Jordan had earlier expressed concern about the rising Shia influence and warned of the emergence of a Shia crescent from Iran via Syria to Lebanon .Riyadh also warned of the prospect of a Shia dominated Iraq government using its troops against the Sunni population. Saudi Arabia supports a Government of unity in Baghdad. The New York Times added that the Saudi King told Cheney: "if you retreat and it comes to an ethnic cleaning against the Sunnis, we will feel like we are being dragged into the war".

Saudi officials and the White House both denied the reports. "That's not Saudi government policy," the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, told reporters. "The Saudis have made it clear that they're committed to the same goals we are, which is a self-sustaining Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself, that will recognise and protect the rights of all, regardless of sect or religion," he added , "And furthermore, they share our concerns about the role the Iranians are playing in the region."

But Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution told CNN that Saudi Arabia had strong motivation to take sides in a civil war. "They're terrified that civil war will spill over into Saudi Arabia. But they're also terrified that the Iranians, backing the various Shia militias in Iraq, will come out the big way"

A more muscular Saudi role to counter Iran ?

Soon after Cheney's visit ,writing in Washington Post of 29 November ,Nawaf Obaid , a senior National Security Adviser to the Saudi Ambassador in Washington ,Prince Turki al-Faisal, cited a February 2003 letter from the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, which had warned President George Bush that he would "solve one problem and create five more" by ousting Saddam Hussein by force and referred to a recent statement by Ambassador al-Faisal, that "since America came into Iraq uninvited, it should not leave Iraq uninvited."

Obaid argued that this view was based on requests to the Saudi leadership from senior Iraqi tribal and religious figures, along with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and other Arab and Muslim countries (Sunnis ) to provide Iraqi Sunnis with weapons and financial support and a more muscular role for the Kingdom in the region. "As the economic powerhouse of the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam and the de facto leader of the world's Sunni community (which comprises 85 percent of all Muslims) , Saudi Arabia has both the means and the religious responsibility to intervene."

If it does, one of the first consequences will be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shia militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.

Options included the establishment of new Sunni brigades and providing Sunni military leaders (primarily ex-Baa'thist members of the former Iraqi officer corps, the backbone of the insurgency) with funding, arms and logistical support -- that Iran has been giving to Shia armed groups for years. Saudi Arabia could throttle Iranian funding of the militias by boosting oil production and cutting the price of oil in half, which would be devastating to Iran, and its ability to finance Shia militias in Iraq and elsewhere. ( Kuwait's flooding of oil market at western behest and throttling Iraq's revenues led to Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait in 1990. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia paid heavy financial , political and other costs. This time around it would be fatal with USA caught in Iraqi quagmire. US public has little stomach for the Iraq war and US Army as many generals have proclaimed has almost broken down.)

"Remaining on the sidelines would be unacceptable to Saudi Arabia. To turn a blind eye to the massacre of Iraqi Sunnis would be to abandon the principles upon which the kingdom was founded and would undermine Saudi Arabia's credibility in the Sunni world and would be a capitulation to Iran's militarist actions in the region."

Obaid concluded "To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks -- it could spark a regional war. So be it. The consequences of inaction are far worse."

In Saudi tradition, the Kingdom denied that Obaid's Oped in Washington Post represented their view point and he was dismissed. Soon there after Ambassador Turki al-Faisal , a former Saudi Security Chief returned home after 15 months only, where as his predecessor had served for 20 years. The Ambassador was not present in Riyadh during Cheney's visit.

Keeping low profile and denial plausibility is a common Saudi policy. The representatives of over 7000 princes who rule Saudi Arabia by seniority and consensus may have differences on policy specially between the aged conservative old guard and the younger princes, but the dynasty is in a bind and faces the greatest ever challenge in its history.

Other moves;

In general after 119 and anti-Saudi tirades in USA, the Kingdom has looked around for other anchors .Saudi relationship with China, beginning with the purchase of CSS-2 missiles in 1989, has developed steadily with Beijing identified as a big future market for Saudi oil . Relations with Moscow have improved .King Abdullah also visited New Delhi, a first. Both Tehran and Riyadh took measures to ease relations but the fall out from the quagmire after the US invaded Iraq has made the situation very tricky which can not be muddled through by old methods of patience or cheque book diplomacy.

Recognising Turkey's importance in the region, Saudi King Abdullah visited Ankara in end November , first such visit in 4 decades . With a secular constitution , Turkey with a majority Sunni population ( 15% are Shia Alevis ) is also deeply worried about the possible break up of Iraq and its consequences and Iran's rising profile , its historic enemy .While exchanging views with Jordan , Syria ,Iraq , Qatar, Bahrain, Pakistan and Russia, Ankara has shared worries with Tehran about an independent north Kurdish Iraq. NATO allies Ankara and Washington have quite different views on Middle East.

In early December Turkish Prime minister Recep Erdogan expressed opposition to redeployment of U.S. troops in northern Iraq, "I personally find the redeployment of U.S. troops in northern Iraq wrong since there is no security problem in the region. The U.S. should keep its soldiers on the problematic areas in Iraq," Erdogan told journalists on his way to Tehran. Both Ankara and Tehran have troublesome relations with their Kurdish people. Ankara received a Hamas delegation much to US chagrin .Erdogan condemned Israel attacks on Lebanon in deeply emotional terms. He would soon hold talks with the Arab League in Cairo, another first.

Like the camel and the Arab in the fable , apart from its front feet firmly planted in the Iraqi tent, through Shia SCIRI and Dawa Party and even factions in the Mahdi Army .Tehran financed , trained and arms supplied Hezbollah in Lebanon gave a bloody nose to the famed Israeli commando units in ground warfare in the last July-August war in south Lebanon , for ever denting the so called aura of Israeli invincibility built after the 6 day Arab defeat in 1967 war and later built up on threats to use nuclear bombs and total US led western support ;financially ,militarily and politically.

Israel possesses hundreds of nuclear bombs and has means to deliver them. Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert even admitted as much publicly, though inadvertently. New US Defence Secretary Robert Gates , during the Congress hearings for his confirmation also referred to Israeli Nukes . But Israeli ( & US) opposition to Iran even enriching Uranium for power generation is almost fanatical. According to Tel Aviv propaganda Iran creating a Nuke is just a matter of time while US estimates range from 5 to 10 years.

Teheran is sitting pretty. Iranian leaders are gloating at US entrapment in Iraq. "The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us — no superpower has ever done anything similar," Mohsen Rezai, secretary-general of the powerful Expediency Council that advises the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, boasted on state television recently.

"America destroyed all our enemies in the region. It destroyed the Taliban. It destroyed Saddam Hussein… The Americans got so stuck in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan that if they manage to drag themselves back to Washington in one piece, they should thank God. America presents us with an opportunity rather than a threat — not because it intended to, but because it miscalculated. They made many mistakes".

US and the West did persuade Russia and China on milder sanctions against Iran in a UN Resolution on 23 December on Iranian enrichment of Uranium , which Iran has rejected. But it is Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 's 5 recognised nuclear armed powers with veto in the Security Council who have killed the treaty, having taken no steps towards disarmament, its first objective and violating other articles against UN General Assembly resolutions and the opinion of the Hague International Court .

Instead , they are building a new range of nukes for 'conventional 'use . North Korea's nuclear bomb only proves the disarray in NPT and its irrelevance. Elder US statesman Jimmy Carter squarely blames US for this situation. Now the Gulf Council and other Arab countries like Egypt and Algeria want to embark on uranium enrichment like Iran .Their decades long fears and opposition to Israeli Nukes ,developed with French and British help and US acquiescence if not support are vetoed by US both in New York and Vienna . Bullies rule the world on an increasingly lawless planet.

The long and bloody 1980-88 Iraq- Iran war was basically a Sunni Shia conflict , in which Saddam Hussein was encouraged , supported , financed by all Sunni Arab governments( except Syria ), specially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Emirates and Western powers to neutralise the awesome rising Shia power and its aspirations to transform the Islamic world in the wake of the 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini led revolution in Iran. Millions of Iraqi and Iranian Muslims were killed in that war. Compared to that war , the coming Shia-Sunni conflagration , which could be encouraged by a desperate US led West would be a veritable holocaust for the region and Muslims. And Washington could even succeed but it would be a catastrophe for the world including the energy dependent West.

The Sunni- Shia divide is too deep rooted and plays out daily in most Muslim countries. Shias . form the underclass in most Sunni ruled states , but after 1979 have felt inspired and aided by Iran ,have become empowered in Lebanon and elsewhere .The oil rich western Saudi Arabia , adjoining Shia Southern Iraq ,is populated by Shias, who have remained very much repressed up to now.

The Shia Sunni conflict can not be stopped by Fatwas .One was issued last October in Mecca, where a 10-point "Makkah Document" was issued by 29 clerics from both sides of Iraq's religious divide when they gathered during Ramadan under an initiative by the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Drawing on the verses of the Quran and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, the Fatwa declared that "spilling Muslim blood is forbidden". It also called for safeguarding the two communities' holy places, defending the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and the release of "all innocent detainees".

But , even then most experts, including Muslims were not optimistic about the efficacy. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, said that the religious leaders' appeal for the bloodshed to cease was likely to fall on deaf ears. It can be seen in daily blood bath in Iraq, in the Islamic world and through out its history.

Middle East Oil History ;
A study of western imperialism since end 19th century underlines the importance of oil and wars waged to acquire and protect these wells of power. The secret British 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France divided the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East with the British cleverly keeping oil producing territories and even creating an artificial state like Kuwait. In 1945, before a declining Britain was divested of its colonies, USA signed a memo with the British: "Our petroleum policy towards the United Kingdom is predicated on a mutual recognition of a very extensive joint interest and upon control, at least for the moment, of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the world. The British government noted that the Middle East was "a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination", since control of the world's oil reserves also meant control of the world economy. After the decline of UK and France, US stepped in as the dominant neo-colonial power in the region and elsewhere.

"One of the basic policies of the United States in the Near East is unqualifiedly to support the territorial integrity and political independence of Saudi Arabia". Its goals were expressed in a 1953 internal U.S. document: "United States policy is to keep the sources of oil in the Middle East in American hands." ( quoted in Mohammed Heikal in 'Cutting the lion's tail'.) In 1958, a secret British document described the principal objectives of Western policy in the Middle East "to ensure free access for Britain and other Western countries to oil produced in States bordering the Gulf; (b) to ensure the continued availability of that oil on favourable terms and for surplus revenues of Kuwait; (c) to bar the spread of Communism and pseudo-Communism in the area and subsequently to defend the area against the brand of Arab nationalism.

Chomsky states that western energy corporations have flourished with "profits beyond the dreams of avarice" with "the Middle East (ME) their leading cash cow." It was part of grand US strategy based on control of what the State Department described 60 years ago as the "stupendous source of strategic power" of ME oil and the immense wealth from this unparalleled "material prize"? US has substantially maintained that control -- -- (but) those extraordinary successes had to overcome plenty of barriers: as elsewhere in the world, what internal documents call "radical nationalism," meaning independent nationalism.

US-Ibn Saud family–Wahabi nexus;

The Saudi state, proclaimed by Abdulaziz in 1932 was in fact the third al-Saud Kingdom. The first Saudi "state" was founded in 1744 by the first great al-Saud leader Muhammad ibn Saud who made the historic alliance with the religious reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of "Wahabism"). After its defeat by Egyptian forces in 1818, it rose anew in 1822 and survived as the dominant power in central Arabia. Of 14 successions within the al-Saud dynasty between 1744 and 1891, only three were peaceful. The transfer of power now a days is more peaceful.

Abdul Aziz was encouraged by the British to take over Mecca and Medina as Sharif Hussain the ruler of Mecca , great grandfather of King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ,was not so pliable to the British demands and interests. Remember the Arab revolt led by Sharif Hussein and his sons , Emirs Faisal and Abdullah , as depicted in film 'Lawrence of Arabia', which helped the British forces under Gen Allenby to defeat the Ottoman forces in the region ,So much for the British gratitude , Of course when Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate , Sharif Hussain offered to take over the mantle.

Abdulaziz took many brides to co-opt one or another tribe or to mend relations with them. A sternly devout Muslim he never had more than four legal wives at a time. The pact between Wahab clan and the house of Saud was sealed with multiple marriages. The links between Saudi family and Wahabi followers have remained durable. The Saudi minister of religion is always a member of the Al Sheikh family, descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahab. The Wahabis' sway over mosques is undoubted with their own religious police .They have extended their reach via networks of Madarsas and mosques throughout the Muslim world.

Wahabism is extremely austere and rigid. It tolerates little dialogue and even less interpretation, frowns on idolatry, tombstones or the veneration of statues and artworks. Followers prefer to identify themselves as muwahiddun, which means "the unifiers." Wahabis forbid smoking, shaving of beards, abusive language, rosaries and many rights for women. They regard all those who don't practice their form of Islam, including other Muslims, as heathens and enemies.

The Saud-Wahab nexus was simple when the Kingdom was poor. I saw some old files of 1920s and 1930s in External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi prior the oil era , when petty Indian Muslim Nawabs from Pataudi, Loharu and Chhatari statelets gave petty sums to top office holders in Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Riyadh .The revenues earned from the annual Hajj pilgrimages was a major source of livelihood for the Kingdom's citizens and rulers .Some Arabs from the Gulf Kingdoms , who worked as porters at Mumbai ports and were engaged in gold smuggling to India , jumped bail when convicted. They have became multi-millionaires after the oil wealth and commissions from arms , expatriate workers deals and trade.

Saudi Arabia is a large country covering an area of 2.14 million sq. kms. Its population is nearly 22 million with a growth rate of 3.49 percent and life expectancy of 71 years. Over 50 percent of the population is below 20 years and 80 percent of the population lives in urban centers, consuming colossal amounts of power in air conditioning. It is no longer a Bedouin nation. The adult literacy rate is 75 percent but the antiquated education system has little relevance to the job market. Nearly 30 percent of the workforce is of foreign origin. With the recent increase in oil prices its financial situation has improved compared to a few years ago when it had the highest indebtedness in the Gulf: $ 171 billion in domestic loans and $35 billion in foreign credit, or 107 percent of its GDP.

Saudi anthropologist Mai Yamani 's survey of the views, hopes and fears of the 15-30 age group in 2000 found that the theme of identity "came increasingly to dominate and permeate the entire study". While remaining well embedded in religion, culture and traditions, most young people have been affected by the rapid transformation around them and question different aspects of the status quo. An identity of views has emerged "on the perceived shortcomings of the state" and the desire of the new generation "for space within Saudi society to develop their own attitudes and opinions without the overbearing presence of the state and the ulema". The overall picture is one of uneven progress and of complex emerging problems.

Saudi Arabians, like others, have been affected by imports from the West with many ardent advocates of modernization running headlong into problems of identity and authenticity, which generates a strong reaction strengthening the conservative elements who dominate the Kingdom. " The Saudi dilemma, of finding a balance, is therefore a real one and is compounded by the desire to protect the privileges of the royal family and their version of Islamic traditions,' says M.H. Ansari, former Indian Ambassador to Riyadh.

"In a monarchic system, national security has been synonymous with regime security and, for the greater part of a century, the continuity and stability provided by the Al-Saud family was viewed in benevolent terms by the public at home and by neighbours and friends abroad. The Saudi monarchy withstood the onslaught of Arab nationalism and radicalism, helped sustain the anti-communist crusade in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and elsewhere and used its enormous influence in the OPEC to keep the production and the price of crude oil at a level acceptable to the developed world. It also provided one of the biggest markets for the armament manufacturers of the western world, principally the United States "

Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938 by Standard Oil of California under a 50 year concession granted by Abdulaziz for an immediate payment of 30,000 gold sovereigns, veritably one of history's greatest bargains. When the extent of breathtakingly large reserves became evident, others like Exxon, Texaco and Mobil joined in to form the mighty Aramco consortium.

Since then a critical development has been the curious nexus between US ,the extravagantly rich Saudi ruling elite and by extension the puritan Wahabis, In exchange for security of the dynasty the peninsula's oil wealth and revenues have been handed over for exploitation and benefit of the West led by USA. This nexus has stood the test of time with Washington doing everything possible to maintain the feudal regime with mediaeval practices. The regime controls "the largest family business" in the world without any popular mandate or accountability.

The Saud family-US nexus was anointed following President Franklin Roosevelt's meeting with the Saudi King aboard a warship in 1945, who said "I hereby find that the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States." Jimmy Carter, a later day saint, in 1980, put it even more forcefully: "Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States."

Washington backed that commitment with military treaties safeguarding the Middle East. Apart from NATO and CENTO, U.S. military bases are stretched into east Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf to protect Middle East oil. Then came the Rapid Deployment Force and the U.S. Central Command and the U.S . 5th Fleet, now based in Bahrain. The 1991 Gulf War led to a massive expansion of the U.S. military presence in the region, including US troops on the sacred Saudi soil , a major cause of anguish and deep resentment among conservative Saudi Muslims led by Osama ben Laden. US troops were shifted away only after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Massive Saudi Arms Purchases;

Between 1990 to 2004, Saudi Arabia spent a whopping $ 268.6 billion dollars on Arms (United Arab Emirates; $38.6 billion with population of 2.6 million.)The Saudi arsenal has more than 1015 Tanks including 315 high quality M1A2s, over 5000+ APCs/ AFVs, 780 artillery pieces, over 2000 anti-tank missile launchers, over 340 high quality combat aircrafts including F15S/C/Ds and Tornados, with 48 Typhoons (Euro -fighter) to be delivered in 2008. On top of this they own over 228 helicopters, 160 training and liaison aircrafts and 51 transport aircrafts. Saudi navy operates over 27 major combat vessels including missile frigates and missile corvette.

Kuwait spent $ 73.1 billion dollars (population 1.1 million ), but writes Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar , a consultant and a former associate professor at Nord land University, Norway, " When Iraqis crossed the border on August 2, 1990, the Kuwaiti generals used their mobile phones to gather all the top ranking military officers in a convoy and drove to Saudi Arabia. The only soldiers who actually put-up some resistance were the military students who had not been warned." Similar stories were heard in Amman where I was then posted (1989-92).

In 1979 when the holy Mecca mosque was taken over by Islamic militants, it were the French commando who took them out.

These three countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait) combined, have spent over $380 billion dollars in 14 years. Iranian military expenditure was $49.5 billion dollars for the same period and India's; $156 billion dollar, with a population of over 1 billion people and with unsettled borders and other problems with Pakistan and China.

Anthony H. Cordesman and Arleigh A. Burke of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in a report on Saudi security problems (2002), stated:

"There should never be another set of massive arms package deals with the US or Europe of the kind that took place during the Gulf War or a purchase like Al Yamama. Barring a future major war, purchases should be made and justified on a case-by-case basis, off budget and oil barter deals should be illegal, and all offset deals subject to annual public reporting with an independent accountant and auditor. Saudi Arabia must also take every possible step to eliminate the waste of funds –"

On December 2005, The Guardian reported the signing of a multi-billion dollar sale contract for the Typhoons or Euro-fighters. The interesting thing about the sale was the reference to global terrorism. The British MoD claimed that the key objectives of the two governments were with regard to national security and actions to combat global terrorism."

In 2005 out of its income of $133.5bn from the oil business Saudi Arabia spent $38.5bn on defence. Some of the $57.1bn surplus went to pay off the enormous 1991 Gulf War debt Saudi to the West. The rest into US Treasury bonds and other capital markets in the West. The media reported that the princes take personal commissions on big arms and trade deals and their money - estimated in total at $ one Trillion - is invested mostly in the West. By some estimates, as much of 40 percent of Saudi Arabia's oil revenues go straight into the pockets of the ruling family. Tariq Ali called it institutionalized loot of public funds.

UK's Serious Fraud Office has been stopped in its tracks when it unearthed huge bribes paid to Saudi intermediary princes in UK-Saudi defence deals by Prime Minister Tony Blair and UK's Chief Law officer Goldsmith , who can be relied on a government dictated verdict whether on corruption or the legality of US –UK invasion of Iraq. Because the Saudis simply threatened to cancel billions dollars Al Yamama deals . Transparency International, while listing corruption in poor countries around the world says little about big bribe givers and takers.

It is true that the Americans fiddled with aerial photographs of Iraqi troops dispositions in 1990 to frighten the Saudis that Saddam Husain planned attacking the Kingdom, but perhaps it was the pervasive feeling of insecurity which made the Kingdom to let in the Americans with permanent adverse consequences for the region .Saudi efforts to later find a peaceful withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait were brushed aside by USA. They had come to stay on for a long time .

Western governments , banks and oil corporations have got used to playing around with the Arab oil wealth , which they called recycling and charged for it , while 'recycling' of their own funds becomes investment .When a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin now wants to control its oil resources with Gazprom acquiring a stake of 50 percent plus one share in the $20 billion Sakhalin-2 gas project from Shell, Mitsui, and Mitsubishi, and flush with petro-money Moscow wants to invest in downside business in Western Europe and perhaps USA ( the Chinese were not allowed to buy into UNOCAL- what shall China do with its one Trillion US dollars - or Dubai based company in running of US ports ) there is chorus of protests and hue and cry from the West .

When Russia wants to charge market price for its gas piped to Ukraine and Georgia , who have gone out of their way to hurt Russian interests and worse ,the free marketers from the West say 'not done '.Why! Or if a Pro Western Russian Oligarch is asked to pay taxes , western media is let loose against Russia , its democracy and human rights .Why !.It is not hypocrisy but sheer chicanery. Russia refuses to become like USA , which is not a republic of the people but a corporation , where the ruling military-industry complex is leading to its Enron-isation –bankruptcy.

At the same time secrecy and fear permeate every aspect of the state structure in Saudi Arabia, and most Gulf Kingdoms .They lack political parties, trades unions, workers safety or immigrant rights advocates, women's groups, or other such democratic organizations. There are few legal associations or organizations to ensure a fair and independent judicial process. So, political and religious opponents can be detained indefinitely without trial or imprisoned after grossly unfair trials. Torture is endemic, and foreign workers, particularly non-Muslims are most at risk. UK government has kept quiet when many of its citizens have been judged to be tortured, for the sake of profits from oil and military sales. And bribes ( also across the Atlantic in USA so it was openly claimed by last Saudi Ambassador )

Threats from Within;

Actually the threat to Saudi Arabia emanates from within with many attacks by Al Qaeda with large segments of a conservative population sympathetic to its cause. And the threat does not come only from the Jihadists. There are other sources of threat from within the general population. There were rebellions against the House of Saud by various Saudi groups in 1969, 1972, and 1979. Only approved loyal tribes can enter the military. Until late 1980s Pakistan provided a protection force of 11000 to 15000 troops to the Saudi government. After the relocation of US troops from Saudi Arabia to Qatar and elsewhere, the Saudis are again looking to Pakistan for troops as reported in the Financial Times. The military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan old and broad based.

Majority of planes and other equipment is kept in order by Pakistani personnel with whom the Kingdom has very close defense relations. There have been many reports of Pak Saudi cooperation in the nuclear bomb technology .If Sunni Pakistani metallurgist Dr AQ Khan could peddle nuclear bombs know how to Libya and Shia Iran among others then why not to Saudi Arabia . There have been many such reports in the German media.

Saudi volunteers and finance are seen behind attacks on US from Iraq to North Africa. Saudi nationals have been active in the Iraqi resistance and have been involved in operations targeting the US-led coalition forces, the ragged Iraqi security forces, and Iraq's majority Shia population. The presence of Saudis in Iraq is of deep concern not just for Iraq and US , but also for the future security of Saudi Arabia and the smaller Persian Gulf states. The return of Saudi jihadis would revitalize the insurgency in the Kingdom. Experience in Iraq could alter the insurgent landscape in Saudi Arabia by introduction of new techniques, methods and operations. But the Saudis claim time and again after each Al Qaeda violence that it was the last one.

Yes, Saudi - and other Persian Gulf Arab Jihadis are highly sought after in Iraq as they bring large sums of cash. Recruiting affluent Saudis is a good method to finance terrorist operations. A confidential US report identified a Saudi participation in excess of 50%, while a jihadist Internet forum said that Saudis make up 44% of insurgents.( But US blames Syria all the time) What is extremely worrying is that of those Saudis who were detained and questioned on their return from Iraq, about 80% were unknown to the security services. So much for efficiency of the Saudi intelligence and security services. They will be a significant contributor to greater violence and domestic insurgency in Saudi Arabia. The Iraq war and the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan have polarized large segments of the Saudi population.

High watermark of the alliance;

With the inflow of big oil money into Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region after 1973 oil prices jump, the balance in religious matters and beliefs shifted away from the progressive versions of Islam that existed in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria, to Saudi Arabia's Wahabis' rigid version and tendencies. During my diplomatic posts in Cairo and Algeria in first half of 1960s, they were cosmopolitan tolerant Muslim societies. But after mid-1970s, it changed with the return of orthodoxy and veils and headscarves even among their diplomats. Thus regression to Wahabi way of life among Muslims can be traced to the power and use of Saudi oil wealth to pander to Jihadis.

The high watermark of this unholy alliance reached full bloom when it was joined by most Muslim countries and many western Christian powers and even China to oust the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1980s. Between $6 to $10 billion was spent in providing arms, training and other equipment by USA, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states and many others to train Mujahaddins, Jihadis , militants and terrorists ( Some were later taken by USA to Albania and Kosovo in 1990s and thus given international exposure.)

Pakistan President Zia-ul- Haq was a pariah till 1979 for having ousted Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and hanged him. But suddenly he became the darling of the West when he offered Pakistan space , facilities and soul for the Jihad in Afghanistan . To strengthen his position , Zia used the opportunity to Islamise Pakistan's polity for all time to come. Conservative and fundamentalist elements now dominate all aspects of Pakistan and have infiltrated in its Armed Forces with the experience and association during training and organising Mujahaddin , Jihadi and terrorist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan ,specially by its Inter-services-intelligence (ISI) in collaboration with CIA and other intelligence agencies from Muslim countries and the West .A state within a state, ISI established in depth and broad relations with Mujahideen leaders, Al Qaeda and later Taleban leaders which will transform the course of history in Pakistan and the region , with long lasting ramifications for the world . Talebans were created by Pakistan , with help and open recognition by Saudi Arabia and encouraged by USA to pacify Afghanistan after the chaos in the wake of withdrawal of Soviet troops .US was interested in its UNOCAL using Afghan territory for gas and oil pipe lines to transport central Asian energy to the Arabian Sea coast and beyond and to energy hungry fast developing India

Al Qaeda and Arab and Muslim Mujahaddin leaders and cadres trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan on return to their countries in Middle East spread that culture, which now threatens most of them and has seeped even into Europe , which hosts tens of millions of Muslims .

Saudi Arabia has always sent funds directly or through its charities to build mosques , aid and establish Madarsas spewing hate against non-Muslims , specially against Christians and other non-Muslims and even Shias. The great Jihad in Afghanistan was a big opportunity for Wahabis . The Jihadis and Al Qaeda, created by Osama ben laden , have got it into their head that they alone defeated USSR , the number two Super power and now aim at taking on USA ,the hyper power.The animus against Washington was made easier to take roots after the stationing of US troops in conservative Saudi Arabia following the 1991 war which liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

Nexus under stress;

This incongruent nexus has survived many stresses and strains like in 1970s when Saudi led Opec quadrupled the oil prices after the Egypt led 1973 Yom Kippur war on Israel .Washington even toyed about landing troops to take over oil wells in Saudi Arabia .Relations between USA and the Kingdom were really strained when Osama ben Laden , a representative of Saudi Kingdom in Pakistan to lead a Jihad against USSR in Afghanistan , after creating Al Qaeda ,carried out attacks on US embassies in east Africa. But the real denouement exploded on TV screens around the world when 15 of the hijackers who took over 4 US planes and attacked US symbols of power , the Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon thus breaching the virginity of security of the US mainland . Even at that time with close entanglements between US energy interests led by the Bush family and others in the US ruling class , members of Osama ben Laden family were clandestinely evacuated from USA within hours of the 119 attacks .

In general , most Americans and US media seethed with fury with a storm of hostile articles against the Saudi Kingdom. They forgot that the chickens nurtured in Pakistan and Afghanistan had come home to roost .Instead of learning from 911 , Bush led administration in USA , driven by racist Staussian philosophy of Neo-Cons , first bombard Afghanistan , already destroyed - a victim of US-Soviet rivalry and battle field ,to establish US bases in Afghanistan , Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan ostensibly to counter terrorism .. US and UK with some other western nations then invaded Iraq to take control and exploit its oil resources and control the energy rich region from Baghdad ( now all that US controls is the Green Zone) .But US has built bases in Iraq for long term stay.

It was all part of Neo-cons plan called 'The New American Century ', whose bankruptcy has been exposed as conceived by arm chair experts ,most of whom happen to be Jews and basically promote Israeli interests. The Israelis to whom this kind of vision of domination was peddled had refused to buy it .They are happy that US lives and treasure is being spent to make Israel 'safer and secure' as it was after the earlier the 1991 war against Iraq .

Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to US President Jimmy Carter's, now morphing into a saint, had gloated in Nouvel Observator of Paris that US plan to support the religious extremists in Afghanistan against the leftist government had brought in the Soviet troops leading to their defeat, and had revenged US defeat in Vietnam .It led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He then added that if it produced some 'stirred Muslims 'so what '.That was , until the 'stirred Muslims' attacked US on 119 and London on 77 apart from terror attacks against Australians in Bali , in Spain and other places .India which was not part of the axis led by US-Saudi-Pak against Afghanistan and USSR , continues to suffer . Others not involved are also paying the price for the consequences of that unholy nexus and would continue to do so.

Washington has exploited the scare of Al Qaeda, which hardly existed in USA, to roll back freedom and democracy. While black Muslims did not go Pakistan for training for Jihad in Afghanistan , but they have many grievances , specially those in US prisons in large numbers.

Pakistan has been most affected .When Omar Sheikh was accused in the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl, who getting too close to perhaps discovering the connection of Jihadis, Al Qaeda and others with ISI and the Pakistan establishment , his father bemoaned that till the Jihadis were fighting against USSR , they were heroes , but now they have become terrorists and enemies .Yes , if you align with a big power , then follow its dictates other wise you would bombed to the stone age , as publicly confessed by Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf in USA .So threatened US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Pak ISI chief soon after 11 9 , leaving Pakistan no option but to join USA in bombing and killing of Al Qaeda, Jihadis and Taleban leaders and cadres, Pakistan's own creations .

Yes , to keep Pak military on its side and happy, billions of dollars of military aid has been poured into Pakistan , including sophisticated naval arms and equipment ostensibly to fight Talebans in the Afghanistan mountains . Seeing US getting deeper into the Iraqi quagmire , Pakistan has made up with its own Talebans in its border areas and even asked NATO to do the same .As Afghanistan President Hafiz Karzai has said repeatedly the attacks against NATO and Afghan forces are organized from inside Pakistan .

The Pak based Talebans and conservatives elements have taken over North West Pakistan to train terrorists from the region including from Uzbekistan and China's Turkic region Xinjiang under Beijing's repressive rule. These cadres and volunteers now go to fight inside Afghanistan .Pakistan now wants to fence and mine the Durand line dividing Pushtoons in Pakistan and Afghanistan . But the elephant in the room for the Pakistanis remains the Durand line which Pushtoons have never recognized .

Pakistan has been severely infected with Jihadi virus and other ills .With record opium production in Afghanistan and traded via Pakistan , from a few thousand the number of opium addicts has up to many millions .It has brought in the Kalashnikov based culture of violence to the country.

Comments and Conclusions;

Following the First World War and creation of states by capricious British and French colonial masters, very little has changed in the arbitrary borders of the countries in the Middle East, except for the creation of the state of Israel, basically a compensation to the European Jewry at the cost of Palestinians, for the crimes in which the majority of European states led by Nazi Germany participated. After the 1949 Arab Israel war and the 1967 six day war, Israel continues to hold onto occupied Arab territories.

After the opening of the Pandora's box in the wake of 2003 invasion of Iraq, bottled up historic , ethnic , religious and other forces have now been unleashed which would play out and change the geography and history of the region, beginning with Iraq, where three ethnic and sectional based entities are already emerging. The invasion has sucked in Iran and other neighbours too are likely to be even more openly embroiled whether they like it or not.

Except in the desert warfare long time ago , since its oil wealth Saudis have become too blase to fight , some what like the Abbasid Arabs who in ninth century began enjoying the fruits from its empire and left the fighting to imported Turkish slaves from central Asia . Soon the Turkish swords took over power as Sultans and became the protectors of the now hapless Caliphs, some of whom were even forbidden to recruit Turkish slaves.

Attracted by Gamal Nasser's Arab nationalism and socialism , when in next door Yemen ,the military officers over threw the King and Egyptian troops moved in early 1960s , the Kingdom did not send its troops in support. It only provided funds to the Royalist forces .Later when Egypt left Yemen, the Saudis mediated among the warring factions.

When central Asian Turkic republics emerged after the break up of the Soviet Union, as usual Saudi Arabia sent money for Mullahs and madarsas and for construction of mosques and dispatched millions of Quran. Former Communist but secular apartchiks , who took over as the new rulers have come down heavily against Jihadis trained in and around Pakistan . Muslim extremists and militants in central Asia are called Wahabis.

During the Cold War , Saudi Arabia and other conservative and religious Muslim regimes were supported and used by the West to counter communism, socialism and nationalism basically to protect US led western economic , political and strategic interests. Saudis obeyed US dictates to nominate prices of oil in US petrodollars and manipulated oil price to suit western interests. Thus US can run a massive current account deficit , which almost fully finances it military budget now , equal to the rest of the world put together .

The Wahhabis had a free run of the country keeping it backward and in a mediaeval time warp where hands of thieves are amputed and adulterous couples stoned to death . This model with Wahabi restrictions is sought to be imposed on other Muslims too, where ever extremists take control. Like Talebans in Afghanistan or in northwest Pakistan.

Compared to Saudi Arabia , Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, whose King derives direct descent from Prophet Mohammad , is almost a modern nation . There are modern laws , freedom for women in dress , education and employment unlike in Saudi Arabia.

It is worth pondering why has the vast oil wealth of the peninsula not used to uplift Muslim Ummah , Saudis claim to represent and nurture by virtue of its control over the holy shrines in Mecca and Medina. There has been no massive Marshall Plan , which US used for Europe's economic growth after it was devastated in the 2 nd world War. Yes, there have been palliatives but always linked to promote Wahabi Islam.

The oil generated wealth has primarily benefited Western powers , who have protected the Ibn Saud family so that thousands of princes and princesses could wallow in luxury and worse . It doesn't need a Sophocles to conclude that the Saudi dynasty has directly or indirectly set back economic , political and social development and progress of the Muslim Ummah , of which it claims ' to be the de facto leader and for whom it feels religious responsibility ' in Obaid's words.

In one looks at the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire which lasted for five centuries and covered an area longer and larger than of the empires of the Arabs , its decline started when the Ottoman Sultan became the guardians of Mecca and Medina and took over the Caliphate . The resulting influx of conservative clerics and religious sheikhs and Mullahs into ruling elite in Istanbul ensured rule of obscurantism and fierce opposition to any modern ideas and technology even in military matters making Turkey the sick man of Europe.

Turkish Republic based on modern ideas and education can match Europeans in economic development and progress . Ten years ago it entered into a Customs accord with the Europe Union and its manufactured goods outmatch the best produced in Europe .With almost no oil , its GDP is half of all Arab states put together .Of course the so called secular Europe would not accede to full membership to Ankara, because 99% of Turks are Muslims.

The Abbasid Caliphate expanded and progressed based on ideas taken from everywhere and new inventions in science. But conservative ideas specially Wahabi philosophy has kept the Muslim Ummah backward , unable to match the rising scientific and military power of the West and keeps it in Western chains. Yes , there is lot of glitter of the gold , glass and aluminum in oil rich Gulf states.

This nexus funneling wealth into Madarsas with rote learning of Quran , little mathematics or science and barring new ideas can not face the increasing complex problems of modern times and have kept Muslims backward. It has and can produce only Al Qaedas, Jihadis and destruction but not a scientific and well thought out response to oppose the relentless US led Western consumerism , exploitation , and daily humiliation heaped on Arab and Muslim world.

Yes , some spectacular 911 like attacks in US or 77 attacks against UK would be mounted but this will not liberate the Ummah and roll back western Christian domination and exploitation of last two centuries . There is a lesson from the current misery and the hell like suffering of the hapless people of Iraq under US heel and military occupation, during which more than half a million Iraqis have lost their lives since March 2003.

Take Iran, where US policies which have only strengthened conservative elements .Still there is freedom and education for women, who can work in offices and drive cars .The modern process started with the election of a moderate President Khatami was stopped with the country going on the defensive following US invasion next door . The Iranian people have learnt that going backwards did not resolve old , new and complex problems of the modern era . They want a change from Mullah's suffocating yoke.

The break up of US-Saud-Wahab nexus will release the Muslim masses kept chained to backward ideas and usher in modern education, science , new ideas and progress to face the West.

But the upheaval brought by the Khomeini revolution in Iran would be a picnic compared to what the revolution in Sunni Islam would bring as the obscurantist and vested interests in and from outside will not give in easily. But perhaps the time beckons such a cataclysmic change.

Before the first world war, the Germans had visions of reaching Basra by rail with help from Ottomans and outflank the British Empire in India as the prize , the jewel in the British crown .The Ottomans then under the influence of the Young Turks led by maverick Enver Pasha had visions of stopping Russia and creating a pan Turkic empire extending into Russian Turkestan. The results were quite different and laid the foundations for a destructive 2nd world war , rise of Nazi Germany, holocaust against Jews in Europe and genocide against Gypsies . It led to decolonisation and the end of the British , French and other European empires.

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail: Gajendrak@hotmail.com .

The World's Reserve Currency

January 1, 2007

By Ron Paul

The financial press reported last week that the euro, the new currency created only five years ago and used by most European nations, has supplanted the U.S. dollar as the most widely used form of cash internationally. There are now more Euros in circulation worldwide than dollars.

This alone is not necessarily troubling, as the dollar remains the world’s most important reserve currency. About 65% of foreign central bank exchange reserves are still held in dollars, versus only about 25% in euros. And the European Central Bank faces the same inflationary pressures that our own Federal Reserve Bank Governors face, including a growing entitlement burden that threatens economic ruin as both societies age. European politicians want to spend money just as badly as American politicians, and undoubtedly will clamor to inflate-- and thus devalue-- the euro to fund their creaky social welfare systems.

Still, the rise of the Euro internationally is another sign that the U.S. dollar is not what it used to be. There is increasing pressure on nations to buy and sell oil in euros, and anecdotal evidence suggests that drug dealers and money launderers now prefer euros to dollars. Historically, the underground cash economy has always sought the most stable and valuable paper currency to conduct business.

More importantly, our greatest benefactors for the last twenty years-- Asian central banks-- have lost their appetite for holding U.S. dollars. China, Japan, and Asia in general have been happy to hold U.S. debt instruments in recent decades, but they will not prop up our spending habits forever. Foreign central banks understand that American leaders do not have the discipline to maintain a stable currency. When the rest of the world finally abandons the dollar as the global reserve currency, both Congress and American consumers will find borrowing money a more expensive proposition.

Remember, America can maintain a large trade deficit only if foreign banks continue to hold large numbers of dollars as their reserve currency. Our entire consumption economy is based on the willingness of foreigners to hold U.S. debt. We face a reordering of the entire world economy if the federal government cannot print, borrow, and spend money at a rate that satisfies its endless appetite for deficit spending.

At some point Americans must realize that Congress, and the Federal Reserve system that permits the creation of new money by fiat, are the real culprits in the erosion of your personal savings and buying power. Congress relentlessly spends more than the Treasury collects in taxes each year, which means the U.S. government must either borrow or print money to operate-- both of which cause the value of the dollar to drop. When we borrow a billion dollars every day simply to run the government, and when the Federal Reserve increases the money supply by trillions of dollars in just 15 years, we hardly can expect our dollars to increase in value.

7 Indicted New Orleans Cops to Surrender

Tuesday January 2, 2007 4:46 PM


Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - More than 200 supporters applauded as seven indicted policemen arrived at a jail Tuesday to face charges in a deadly bridge shooting amid the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina.

Each of the indicted men faces at least one charge of murder or attempted murder in the shootings of six people on the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, less than a week after the hurricane hit.

One protester shouted ``Police killings must stop'' and ``Racism must go'' as the men arrived, but the protester was shouted down by the crowd yelling: ``Heroes, Heroes.''

Uniformed police officers from nearby districts joined other supporters embracing the seven policemen and shaking their hands. The Fraternal Order of Police had encouraged rank-and-file officers to gather outside the jail to show their support. One sign in the crowd read, ``Support the Danziger 7.'' Another read: ``Thanks for protecting our city.''

``These men stayed here to protect our city and protect us and this is the thanks that is given to them,'' said Ryan Maher, 34, of New Orleans, who described himself as a civilian with friends in the police department.

``It's a serious injustice,'' said Sgt. Henry Kuhn of the Harahan Police Department, one of several uniformed officers from the New Orleans suburbs who joined the crowd.

The first person to show up outside the jail was Darren Hills, whose brother Ignatius Hills was indicted on one count of attempted second-degree murder.

``It took everybody by surprise. Totally blindsided by the decision,'' Darren Hills said of the charges. He said the family would post bail for his brother as soon as possible.

Two men died and four people were wounded in the gunfire on the bridge that spans the Industrial Canal.

Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius, officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon, were charged with first-degree murder. Officers Robert Barrios and Mike Hunter were charged with attempted first-degree murder, and Ignatius Hills was charged with attempted second-degree murder.

A judge said there would be no bond for the four accused of first-degree murder. Bond will be $100,000 per count for the other three officers.

The officers are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. At that hearing, lawyers for the four officers charged with first-degree murder plan to seek bond for their clients, said Frank DeSalvo, Bowen's attorney.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a possible death sentence. A spokesman for District Attorney Eddie Jordan said Monday that prosecutors haven't decided yet whether to seek the death penalty in the case.

The facts of what happened on the Bridge, which connects the Gentilly neighborhood with eastern New Orleans, remain murky. Police say the officers were responding to a report of other officers down, and that they thought one of the men, Ronald Madison, had been reaching for a gun.

Madison, a 40-year-old mentally retarded man, and James Brissette, 19, were shot and killed on the bridge. The coroner said Madison was shot seven times, with five wounds in the back.

Madison's brother, Lance, who was cleared by the grand jury of attempted murder charges, denies he or his brother were armed.

Lance Madison said he and his brother were running from a group of teens who had opened fire on the bridge when seven men jumped out of a rental truck and also began firing at them without warning. The men didn't identify themselves as police officers, Madison said.

On Friday, the department suspended the officers without pay pending the outcome of the case and a review by Police Superintendent Warren Riley.

The crucifixtion of 'angel' Gabriele by the 'left' legions of Imperialism

Posted by Kola on December 30, 2006, 4:01 pm
User logged in as: Kola Odetola

Gabriel is being crucified on the board for daring to expose the hypocrisy of the ‘left imperialists’ airy fairy liberal humanitarians who are united with the right in seeing dark skinned people in the third world as being child like and helpless thus needing western tutelage. The only difference of course being that the left wing international child minders don’t believe in spanking
They seek to hide behind the idea that justice has been done to Saddam First on Saddam’s guilt. That he was a tyrant there is no doubt but how brutal was he really the left and right agree without a shred of evidence that Saddam killed ‘hundreds of thousands. But the western occupation of Iraq four years on has not been able to uncover more than 10,000 bodies. Of these many are dead Iranian soldiers who were killed in the Iran Iraq war.

Check the website of the foreign office if you don’t believe. If he ruled by terror and fear alone, like Stalin, why did he allow all Iraqi’s to own and carry weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket launchers and in some cases mortars and small artillery pieces. Even in the Shia heartland the mainly anti saddam inhabitants were all legally allowed to carry arms. It is this fact more than anything, the widespread knowledge of how to use arms and their easy availability that has proved so vital in the potency of the insurgency and the ease with which the Shia’s formed powerful militias after the occupation started.

The left imperialists like those on the right hide under the banner of concern for the Iraq people in hailing Saddam’s trial. But the present Iraqi puppet Government rules through the use of death squads which the occupation permits to operate. These death squads were formed with the aim of crushing Sunni resistance to Anglo-American rule. Unlike saddam who mainly killed the politically active, these death squads deliberately slaughter the innocent, burn them with acid, drill electric holes in their skulls while still alive and then dump their bodies on the street as a warning to others who support the resistance. Over the last year thousands of sunis have been killed by the Iraqi Government who have now killed the countries former leader for crimes against humanity.

These death squads the left wing neo colonialists, including many on this board, collaborate with the mainstream media in calling sectarian murders to further muddy the waters and disguise the role of the occupation in what is a clear attempt to break the Sunni (the most uncompromising anti occupation community in Iraq) by terrorising them into submission.

While they try to conceal their duplicity by rhetorically calling for ‘our own leaders’ to be brought to trial, in reality it is lip service as they would never accept foreign rule by an invading army for this to happen. By calling for our ‘own leaders’. to be tried, something they know very well will never happen (since the west rules) they have an excuse to meddle in the affairs of poorer nations who are not in a position to flout international law with impunity.

Left wing imperialism is an increasingly powerful tool of control by the west in its endless struggle to enslave and dominate the rest of the world. It is backed by a multibillion dollar NGO industry and thousands of adherents in many ways more skilled, more determined and just as mendacious and duplicitous as the most powerful western armies.

They fear any idea that does not originate in the west and thus remains outside their control to manipulate and dominate, it is this not their deep love for women’s rights that informs their hostility to Islam, which inspire of its obvious drawbacks remains perhaps the most powerful social movement ever to have arisen in human history without, unlike Marxism and anarchism, any input or influence from the west, (either its conservative, liberal or radical thinkers)

The trial and judicial murder of Saddam was not aimed at providing his victims justice, it was aimed sending a message to every dark skinned person living in the third world – ‘we are superior, you are inferior, accept your status, even if you want to fight for your rights, let us do it for you, like William Wilberforce, do not deign to look us in the eye. Or else we will drag you in the mud, humiliate you in public and disgrace you, like Dogs we will check your hair for worms in public, then, slaughter you and display your body for all to gloat over, something we never do for our own (western criminals) who inspite of their lowly status are still better than you for they have fair looks, were born in the right place and don’t speak with an accent (like all unredeemably bad people do).

The left and right understand this and while they may both quibble over the details they silently agree on the content.

The left imperialist have built an industry, a powerful one to ‘help’ the wretched of the earth rise from the dust, you cannot help people who have learnt to stand by themselves, thus the need to keep them their. The right to enslave us, the left to ‘help’ us.