The Acts of the Democracies

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Aggressor / Perpetrator Country : UK

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Generated : 29th June 2017


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Pre-1945

After the First World War, the Turkish Ottoman Empire was broken up by France and UK.

The Arabs had been encouraged to fight against the Turks with the promise of independence. However, France and the UK had secretly been dividing the Arab territories among themselves. By the early 1920s, Arab land was split into a number of smaller states.

Syria and Lebanon was put under the control of France. Iraq (which had been ruled as a single province with Kuwait), Jordan and Palestine were put under UK control.

The original plan would have given the Mosul region of Iraq to France but this was ceded to the UK in return for a stake in the Turkish Petroleum Company (later confiscated by the UK and renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company).

The UK installed a Western leaning monarch in Iraq as in several other countries in the region.

At the end of the First World War (1918), Iran (or Persia as it was then called) was a monarchy.

The king, Reza Shah, developed his country and called in foreign technicians to help. These included engineers from the UK and countries in Europe. The UK controlled much of the oil development through the company Anglo-Iranian Oil.

In 1941, the UK wanted Iran to expel technicians from Germany as the two countries were at war. Iran refused as it had declared itself neutral. The UK and Russia disregarded this and occupied the country. The UK exiled Reza Shah and took control of communications. The UK placed the exiled king's son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, onto the throne.

In 1942 USA troops took control of the country's railway line.

After the end of World War II, the USA, UK and Russia withdrew as agreed with the new king. However the victorious allies failed to pay promised compensation for the use of Iran as a supply route during the War.

Free elections brought reformer Mohammed Mossadeq to power.

After the First World War, the Turkish Ottoman Empire was broken up by France and UK.

The Arabs had been encouraged to fight against the Turks with the promise of independence after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1917, Arthur James Balfour, the UK Prime Minister, made what is now known as the Balfour Declaration:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

At the end of the First World War, France and the UK divided the Arab territories among themselves. By the early 1920s, Arab land was split into a number of smaller states. Among the Arab states under UK control were Palestine and Trans Jordan.

End of World War II

The Second World War ends. The USA, and Soviet Union (and to a lesser extent, the UK) divide Europe into spheres of influence.

The following USA companies had supplied arms and equipment to the regime of Nazi Germany:

Many German companies benefited under the Nazis: Bertelsmann (the world's largest publisher - published Nazi propaganda used Jewish slave labour), Deutsche Bank (expropriated Jewish owned property and built the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland where 1,500,000 people died), Degussa (a precious metals company which admitted melting down gold taken from concentration camp victims), Siemens (the electronic company that used over 50,000 slave workers), Daimler (slave labour - paid out nearly $10,000,000 in compensation in the 1980s), Volkswagon (slave labour).

The Nazi regime had discriminated against and killed Jews and other ethnic groups because it had considered northern Europeans to be a superior race. The USA Chargé d'Affairs in Berlin had stated that hope for Germany lay in "the more moderate section of the [Nazi] party which appeals to all civilised and reasonable people".

The USA had also supported and funded the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy saying that "all patriotic Italians hunger for strong leadership and enjoy being dramatically governed". The USA State Department had said that "Fascism is becoming the soul of Italy, [having] brought order out of chaos, discipline out of licence, and solvency out of bankruptcy. To accomplish so much in a short time severe measures have been necessary".

At the end of the War, many European Fascists are supported and re-instated by the USA and its West European allies. Many prominent Nazis are taken to the USA to work for the Americans: Reinhard Gehlen (spymaster), Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (SS officers implicated in the massacre of Jews), Klaus Barbie (killer of many in the French city of Lyon), Otto von Bolschwing (mastermind of the holocaust against the Jews), and Otto Skorzeny (SS leader and friend of Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler).

Vietnam

Vietnam had been a French colony before World War II. During the War, the Vietnamese (led by Ho Chi Minh and backed by the USA) had fought against the Japanese. Two million Vietnamese had starved to death while the Japanese fed their own troops.

After Japan surrenders, the Vietnamese declare independence and make Hanoi their capital. They hope for USA support against their former colonisers, basing their new constitution on that of the USA and requesting support and aid from the USA president Harry Truman.

UK troops arrive in Saigon from Burma. They aim to restore French colonial rule. They re-arm the Japanese troops and use them to drive the north Vietnamese government out of Saigon and the south. The French re-establish colonial rule in the south and set up a government in South Vietnam with Bao Dai as emperor.


1946

Chinese in UK

Over 2,000 Chinese seamen who had served in the UK armed forces in World War II are rounded up and deported to China. Over 100 of them have British born wives and children.


1948

UK in Malaysia

UK forces begin a 12 year war in the jungles of Malaya (now peninsular Malaysia).

In December Batang Kali was attcked by UK soldiers who killed 24 Chinese and burnt the village.

In the next five years the UK dropped over 500,000 tonnes of bombs in 4,500 air strikes. Over 4,000 Malays died. 34,000 people were detained without trial. Hundreds of square kilometers of land were sprayed with defolient - an activity that would be famously repeated by the USA in Vietnam decades later.

Politically, the war was labelled as a police action so that the UK settler rubber barons would be able to get compensation from their insurers.


1949

Saudi Arabia

An American oil company gains 60 year oil concession in Saudi Arabia from un-elected and authoritarian government. The al-Saud family had been placed in power by the UK in 1932.

Multi-national companies will spread around the world with environmental and political consequences. USA and UK influence in this country's affairs will lead to resentment by dissident forces.

South Africa (Establishment of Apartheid)

Apartheid (separation of races) is implemented in South Africa by a government elected by the people who benefit from apartheid (30%) and not by its victims (70%).

Apartheid laws segregate the races (who are classified by the state), ban inter-racial sex or marriage and define where people are allowed to live. Even beaches and park benches are segregated. The USA and Western Europe continue to trade and support this government even though it oppresses a large number of people.


1950

Vietnam (North and South)

The USA and UK recognise the government of South Vietnam (set up against the wishes of the Vietnamese people by France). The USSR and China recognise the government in North Vietnam (set up by the Vietnamese themselves in areas liberated from French rule).

The world now has two Germanys, two Chinas, two Koreas and two Vietnams each backed by one of the power blocks!

Bahamas

A team of military scientists from USA, UK and Canada spray bacteria in the Bahamas. Thousands of animals are killed. The number of human victims is unknown as the results of the tests remain classified.


1951

UK in Egypt

UK troops seize the Suez Canal in Egypt.


1952

UK in Malaysia

The UK fights against independence movements in Malaya (later Malaysia). The UK media report the conflict in terms of terrorism, insurgency and external threat. In fact the conflict is about UK control of the country's rubber and tin. Over 500,000 people would be dispossessed.

UK in Kenya

The UK fights against independence movements in Kenya. The country had been a colony of the UK since 1920.

Around 1,500,000 people are imprisoned, many in hundreds of concentration camps. Most are tortured. Up to 300,000 die from starvation and the brutal regime in the prisons.

Nderi Kagombe, a book shop owner, spends five years in seven camps. He describes being punished by having to carry a bucket full of sand and human waste on his head for several hours. Others are strung up by their ankles and beaten. In Manyani camp, detainees have sand and water alternatingly stuffed into their anuses. On Mageta, people would be shakled to a post and smeared with sap from a tree which would cause the victim to be attacked by mosquitoes.

Several Asian lawyers, including Fitz de Souza, tell of representing detainees who are never seen again.

The Kikuyu people are the main target of UK forces. Thousands are evicted from the fertile highlands wanted by UK settlers (colonists) and resettled in more than 800 reservations on scrubland. Over 160,000 are incarcerated.

This conflict is reported in the UK media as a fight against Mao Mao terrorists. In fact it is about control of agricultural resources, like coffee plantations.

UK and Australia (Nuclear Bomb Tests)

The UK tests an atom bomb on Monte Bello islands near Australia.

Atom bombs are also tested at Maralinga (after permission from the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies). The maps used label the region as uninhabited. In actual fact, the land is inhabited by Aborigines (the original people of Australia who are not consulted).

Patrick Connolly, serving in the UK air force, states:

"During the two and a half years I was there, I would have seen 400 to 500 Aborigines in contaminated areas. Occationally we would bring them in for decontamination. Other times we just shooed them off like rabbits".


1953

UK and Egypt in Sudan

The UK and Egypt decide the future of Sudan without reference to the people there.

Coup in Iran (Mossadeq and The Shah)

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah (king) of Iran takes power in a coup planned and supported by the USA and UK secret services (Operation Ajax). He topples the flourishing and popular democracy of Mohammed Mossadeq.

Mossadeq had stated that the mineral wealth of the country should benefit its citizens. This did not please the Western oil companies. The parliament had nationalised UK oil concessions that were reaping 88% of the profits from the country's oil industry. Iran had offered the UK 25% of the profits. The UK responded by imposing a blockade on Iran and freezing Iranian assets.

After the coup, oil concessions are given to USA and UK companies - Anglo-Iranian Oil is renamed British Petroleum.

Internal dissent is crushed by the secret police. This brutal regime terrorises the country for 25 years and is eventually displaced by Ayatollah Khomeini's equally brutal regime in 1979.

The new regime is described by the USA newspaper, the New York Times (6 August) as "good news indeed" and sends out a chilling warning:

"Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism. It is perhaps too much to hope that Iran's experience will prevent the rise of Mossadeqs in other countries, but that experience may at least strengthen the hands of more reasonable and more far-seeing leaders."

In the above quote, fanatical nationalism means being independent economically of the USA while reasonable and far-seeing mean compliant.

The American CIA first uses the term Blowback. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the USA government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. The term is coined during the Iranian coup. In Iran, a flourishing democracy is converted to a brutal dictatorship which becomes and anti-West theocracy (rule by religion).

The USA had laid the ground for the coup by paying for stories against Mohammed Mossadeq to be placed in friendly newspapers. According to Richard Cottam, one of the CIA operatives: "Any article I would write - it gave you something of a sense of power - would appear about instantly. They were designed to show Mossadegh as a Communist collaborator and a fanatic." He estimates that 80% of the leading newspapers in the capital, Tehran, were under CIA influence.

France in Morocco, UK in Uganda

The UK exiles King Kabaka Mutesa II of Uganda from his homeland. Sultan Muhammad V is exiled from Morocco by France.

Western countries are unwilling to let go of their colonies, removing leaders and monarchs in order to keep the population leaderless.

UK in Guyana

The UK (with help from the USA) overthrows the democratically elected government of Cheddi Jagan in British Guyana. Jagan would win 3 elections in 11 years and each time the two powers would prevent him from taking office using techniques like strikes, terrorism, legal challenges and disinformation.

The new regime ensured the flow of cheap sugar and bauxite (an ore of aluminium) continued to the UK.

USA, UK and Albania

Between 1949 and 1953, the USA and UK attempt to overthrow the government of Albania.

UK Chemical Warfare

In the UK, a 20 year old soldier, Ronald Maddison, dies in a military experiment involving sarin nerve gas.

The story was covered up until 2004.


1954

Nigeria (Federation)

The UK forms the Federation of Nigeria from bits of its west African colonies without consulting the people involved. They create a "country" containing many different tribes, both Muslim and Christian, speaking over 400 languages. Frictions between these diverse peoples would cause a war in the late 1960s.

UK in Kenya

The UK continues to occupy and settle Kenya although resistance is increasing.

In April 25,000 members of the UK military and security forces cordon off Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. All Africans are taken away from the city and held in concentration camps. The arrests are brutal with people beaten with clubs and rifle butts. Some people are taken in police vehicles and are never seen again. Families are separated. UK forces loot the houses of people, often burning their possessions while they watch. Castration is used by police to extract confessions. Some victims have their hands cut off to obtain information from their relatives.

The tribes of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru are separated from other Africans and exiled from the city.


1955

UK in Cyprus and Sudan

The UK fights a Cyprus independence movement as well as revolts in Sudan against British and Egyptian rule.


1956

UK, France and Israel in Egypt (The Suez Crisis)

In Egypt, President Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal then owned by a joint UK-French company. The canal had been built while Egypt was a colony of the UK.

The UK, France and USA impose economic sanctions on Egypt. Israel invades Egypt taking the Gaza Strip. This is supported by the UK and France, who bomb Egypt from the air.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces massacre 275 people in a refugee camp at Khan Younis. Another 60 people die in Gaza City after the city centre is shelled.

All of the invaders are eventually forced to withdraw by United Nations pressure after 18,000 Egyptians had died. The USA becomes the dominant power in the Middle East after this time and proposes international control of the canal.

UK in Kenya

The UK crushes the independence movement in Kenya after 10,000 Africans have been killed and 24,000 imprisoned without trial in four years. Although heavily reported as an attack on whites by savage blacks in the UK media, in fact 32 Europeans die during the conflict.

Villages are destroyed and their populations herded into concentration camps. Conditions are so bad that 400 people die every month. Torture, flogging, slave labour, deliberate starvation and abuse of women and children is common. The historian V G Kieman notes that "The special prisons were probably as bad as any similar Nazi or Japanese establishments."

The activities of the UK in Kenya are covered up except for a few military personnel who report them. The UK forces destroy documents relating to this conflict in 1963. The story would be published in a book by Caroline Elkins called Britain's Gulag in 2005.


1957

Jordan

King Hussein of Jordan creates undemocratic royal dictatorship. USA and UK support his regime and train his army.

UK and Oman

The UK fights the independence movement in Oman.


1958

Iraq (Abdul Karim Kassem)

General Abdul Karim Kassem overthrows the Western backed monarchy in Iraq and establishes a republic that is neutral in the Cold War.

The USA makes plans to invade Iraq with Turkey. The USA CIA director, Allen Dulles, states that the situation in Iraq is "the most dangerous in the world today".

The UK have oil interests in the nearby semi-dependency of Kuwait and fear an independently minded Iraq. The UK Foreign Secretary, Selwyn Lloyd, sends a secret telegram (number 1979, dated 19 July 1958) to the UK Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, saying "The advantage of [immediate British occupation] would be that we could get our hands firmly on Kuwait oil [however] the effect upon international opinion and the rest of the Arab world would not be good." He goes on to say that it would be better to set up "a kind of Kuwaiti Switzerland where the British do not exercise physical control" but must be prepared to "take firm action to maintain our position in Kuwait" as well as the other Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar) and that the USA agrees with the UK "that at all costs these oil fields must be kept in Western hands".

Six months earlier, when considering partial independence for Kuwait, Lloyd had stated that "The major British and indeed Western interests in the Persian Gulf were:

UK and Yemen

The UK fights independence movements in Yemen (then known as Aden).

Anti-personnel bombs are secretly used. Local political leaders are bribed to help undermine the position of political parties like the Peoples' Socialist Party who advocated independence.


1959

UK in Southern and Eastern Africa

The UK fights an independence movement in Nyasaland (later Malawi) and Southern Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe). 11 prisoners from the independence movement are killed in UK controlled Kenya in suspicious circumstances.

Cyprus

Cyprus becomes independent with guarantees from UK, Greece, Turkey. The UK is allowed to keep two sovereign areas as military bases.


1961

Iraq and Kuwait Independence

The Emirate of Kuwait becomes independent from the UK with an absolute monarchy friendly to Western oil interests.

Although this region had been governed as part of southern Iraq during the Ottoman Empire, the emirate had been separated by the UK from Iraq and set up with a friendly Emir (king). Iraqi claims to the territory are resisted with UK troops.

Iraq would finally invade Kuwait in 1990. The USA magazine, Time, would then tell its readers that Iraq's claims to Kuwait were "without any historical basis."


1962

UK and Yemen

The UK secretly supplies arms to rebels against the government of Yemen. The resultant civil war kills over 200,000 people.

The UK Defence Secretary, Peter Thornycroft, proposes organsising tribal revolts and "deniable action" to "kill personnel engaged in anti-British activities". Activities include mine laying and assassinations. A front company, Airwork Services, is set up to train pilots from Saudi Arabia and recruit mercenaries to fly combat operations using the territory of Israel.


1963

Coup in Iraq (Assassination of Abdul Karim Kassem)

The leader of Iraq, Abdul Karim Kassem, is overthrown in a coup and summarily executed. The USA CIA gives the new regime (the Ba'ath Party) the names of around 5,000 communists who are then killed. Saddam Hussein, who would eventually take charge of the Ba'ath Party, is involved in torture of opponents. Forty years later his regime would be removed by the USA (with the UK).

UK government papers later declassified would indicate that the coup was backed by the USA and UK. One UK Foreign Office official writes the "such harshness may well be necessary as a short term expedient" and that the new regime "have shown courage and steadfastness in hatching and executing their plot" and should be "somewhat friendlier to the West". According to Roger Allen, the UK ambassador reported that the new regime "suits our interests pretty well".

Kassem had helped found the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in an attempt to curtail Western control of Arab oil. He had been planning to nationalise the Iraq Petroleum Company in which the USA had an interest. Iraq had also disapproved when Kuwait had been given independence by the UK with a pro-west emir (king) and oil concessions to Western companies.

A few days before the coup, the French newspaper La Monde had reported that Kassem had been warned by the USA government to change his country's economic policies or face sanctions.

The new government promises not to nationalise American oil interests and renounces its claim to Kuwait. A brutal offensive is launched against the minority Kurdish population who were seeking autonomy. The UK supplies 18,000 rockets to the Iraqi air force and large amounts of ammunition, mortar bombs, machine guns and helicopters. Kurdish villages are demolished with equipment supplied by the UK and bombed by UK supplied Hawker Hunter aircraft. Poison gas is also used while the West turns a blind eye. The USA recognises and praises the new government.

UK and Indonesia

UK aid to Indonesia is suspended because the country does not allow Western companies free reign in the country.


1965

Coup in Indonesia (Suharto)

After a coup attempt, up to 400,000 suspected communists are massacred in Indonesia (including 120 members of Congress). Some 250,000 people are sent to prison camps.

Lists of over 5,000 suspects are passed to the government by the USA embassy in Jakarta. The UK also aids the slaughter, directing operations from Singapore. The UK ambassador, Andrew Gilchrist states that: "a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change."

General Suharto slowly takes power in the chaos. Business concessions are made to Western companies. Roland Challis (the BBC's South East Asia correspondent) admits that "getting British companies and the World Bank back in there was part of the deal".

Less than a year later Michael Stewart, the UK Foreign Secretary, would report that the economic situation in Indonesia promised: "great potential opportunities for British exporters... I think we ought to take an active part and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves".

The West does not report much of what happens or its own involvement in the slaughter. These events are the background to the USA made film, The Year of Living Dangerously.

The Indonesian writer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer describes the scene: "Usually the corpses were no longer recognisable as human. Headless. Stomachs torn open. The smell was unimaginable. To make sure they didn't sink, the carcuses were deliberately tied to, or impaled upon, bamboo stakes."

Elections in Nigeria

Fraudulent elections in Nigeria cause civil unrest. Western oil companies continue to profit and the events are unreported by the media of the USA or UK.


1967

Nigeria (Biafra)

The Igbu people break away from the Hausa dominated Nigeria as Biafra.

Nigeria refuses to let aid reach Biafra, causing a dreadful famine. This diverse country had been artificially created by the UK, which continues to sell it arms and benefit from oil concessions.

Between 1967 and 1970, the UK supplies the government of Nigeria with 36 million rounds of ammunition, 60,000 mortar bombs, 42,000 Howitzer rounds, thousands of rifles, as well as helicopters and armoured cars. According to the UK Foreign Secretary, Michael Stewart, the armoured cars "have undoubtedly been the most effective weapons in the ground war..."

The oil company, Shell / BP, which was partially owned by the UK government, had $ 350 million worth of investments in the country. The UK Commonwealth Minister, George Thomas, confirms that "the sole immediate British interest in Nigeria is that the Nigerian economy should be brought back to a condition in which our trade and investment in the country can be further developed, and particularly so we can regain access to important oil installations".

Over a million people are killed in the resulting conflict.

UK in Aden and Yemen

The UK continues fighting independence movements in Aden and Yemen but is eventually forced to withdraw.


1968

Rhodesia

An independence movement begins in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe).

Northern Ireland

In the UK, the minority Catholic population in Northern Ireland begin a civil rights campaign. Protests are crushed by the Protestant dominated police force.

The two communities in Northern Ireland are the Catholics or Nationalists (who are descended from the original inhabitants of Ireland) and the Protestants or Loyalists (descended from settlers who arrived in Ireland several hundred years before and who control the area politically).

Sectarian (inter-communial) violence begins.


1969

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Riots

Civil rights riots occur in Northern Ireland (UK).

Catholics are discriminated against by the Protestant rulers who refuse to give them equal rights. During the riots, Protestants rampage through Catholic areas, attacking people and burning houses. The police join in alongside the Protestants. UK troops are sent in to separate the communities.

Brazil

In Brazil, the military select the next president without elections. Western companies benefit from concessions and access to raw materials.

The new ruler, General Emilio Medici would admit in 1971 that "The economy is doing fine, the people aren't."

Indonesia and West Papua

With the collusion of the United Nations, Indonesia annexes West Papua, renaming it as Irian Jaya. Indonesia encourages migrants from other parts of the country to colonise the area which has a diverse and unique culture and peoples. Any resistance is brutally crushed.

West Papua has a copper mining industry worth $1,400 million per year which is part owned by UK company Rio Tinto Zinc. The company is responsible for pollution and the dispossession of local communities.


1971

UK and Northern Ireland

The UK introduces imprisonment without trial in Northern Ireland.

Elections in Indonesia

During rigged elections in Indonesia, President Suharto bans political parties, disqualifies candidates and disenfranchises voters.

Coup in Uganda (Idi Amin)

Idi Amin, a UK and Israeli backed general, replaces the elected government of Uganda in a military coup.

The Israeli attaché, Colonel Rar-Lev, spends the day of the coup advising the new dictator. Eric le Tocq, of the UK Foreign Office, writes "Our prospects in Uganda have no boubt been considerably enhanced".

Amin had been running British concentration camps in Kenya during the independence movement in the 1950s, where he earned the title of "The Strangler".

He begins one of Africa's most brutal reigns of terror killing his friends, the clergy, soldiers, and ordinary citizens. His first state visits are to UK and Israel, who sell him arms. The West continues to finance his regime until 1979.


1972

UK in Northern Ireland

UK troops kill 13 unarmed demonstrators in Northern Ireland. This event becomes known as "bloody Sunday".

UK and Rhodesia

The UK vetoes four United Nations resolutions condemning the racist policies of the government of Southern Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe).


1973

Diego Garcia

600 Ilois families (holding UK passports) are expelled from the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean by the UK. One of the islands, Diego Garcia, is then leased to the USA as a military base.

The islanders are sent to Mauritius where they are left without money or help. It takes years for compensation to be given and then only if they renounce their rights of residence on the islands.

This action violates the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights which states that "no one should be subjected to arbitrary exile," and "everyone has the right to return to [their] country".

The islands were due to become independent along with Mauritius in 1965. The UK ignored a United Nations resolution that called on the British to "take no action that would dismember the territory of Mauritius and violate its territorial integrity." Instead the UK formed the islands into the British Indian Overseas Territories.


1975

Indonesia and East Timor

East Timor gains its independence from Portugal.

A few months later, Indonesia invades and occupies the tiny state, committing many atrocities. The Western countries remain silent during the invasion.

The USA president and Henry Kissinger (USA Secretary of State) visit Indonesia a few days before the invasion. The CIA reports that Indonesia is attempting to "provoke incidents that would provide [them] with an excuse to invade."

Over the next few years, up to 200,000 people are killed, a third of the population. Many villages are wiped off the map. Churches are destroyed or desicrated. The USA, Australia and the UK support the annexation.

The UK ambassador informs his government that "the peoples of Portuguese Timor are in no condition to exercise the right to self-determination."

Henry Kissinger affirms that "the United States understands Indonesia's position on the question [of East Timor]".

The Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, agrees that "the best and most realistic future for Timor was association with Indonesia".

The West continues to sell arms to Indonesia. Western companies, Woodside-Burmah, RTZ, BP, Britsh Gas and Britoil benefit from what they describe as a "favourable political climate".

After being tipped off about the invasion, Richard Woolcott, the Australian ambassador to Indonesia, decides that Australia should "leave events to take their course... and act in a way which would be designed to minimise the public impact in Australia and show private understanding to Indonesia and their problems..."

A radio transmission picked up in Darwin (Australia) describes the invasion:

"The Indonesian soldiers are killing indiscriminately. Women and children are being shot in the streets. We are all going to be killed... This is an appeal for international help. This is an SOS. We appeal to the Australian people... and to all the people of the world. Please help us..."

Philip Liechty, a retired desk officer of the USA's CIA in Indoinesia's capital, Jakarta, describes the events to Australian journalist, John Pilger:

"I saw intelligence that came from hard, firm sources in East Timor. There were people being herded into school buildings and the buildings set on fire. There were people herded into fields and machine gunned, and hunted in the mountains simply because they were there. We knew the place was a free fire zone and that Suharto was given the green light by the United States to do what he did. We sent the Indonesian generals everything that you need to fight a major war against somebody who doesn't have any guns. We sent them rifles, ammunition, mortars, grenades, food, helicopters. You name it, they got it. And they got it direct. Without continued, heavy US logistical military support, the Indonesians might not have been able to pull it off. None of that got out in the media. No one cared. No one gave a damn. It is something that I will be forever ashamed of."

After the invasion, Australia and Indonesia sign the Timor Gap Treaty splitting up East Timor's estimated 7,000 million barells of oil between them.

In the buildup to the invasion, five journalists and cameramen, are killed by Indonesian forces in Balibo. They are Greg Shackleton and Tony Stewart (both Australian), Malcolm Renee and Brian Peters (UK), and Gary Cunningham (New Zealand). Another journalist, Roger East, is killed while investigating the murders. The Australian and UK governments issue no formal protest to Indonesia and there is no enquiry into the deaths until 1996.

Australia

In Australia, the Labor Government of Gough Whitlam, had been elected three years earlier and had embarked on a programme of extending education, health care and welfare. Whitlam had called home military personnel from Vietnam and had denounced USA bombing of Hanoi.

The government is removed by an executive order from the UK appointed and unelected Governor-General, John Kerr. This follows a vendetta against the Prime Minister by the Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper, The Australian as well as agitation by the USA, UK and the Australian opposition.


1976

South Africa

Over 170 unarmed demonstrators are killed in South Africa. Over 1,000,000 black South Africans are deprived of citizenship in the Transkei.

The USA, France and UK veto a United Nations resolution critical of South Africa's attempts to impose the apartheid system in Namibia.


1977

South Africa (Steven Biko)

Steven Biko is one of many dissidents murdered by police in South Africa. The events surrounding Biko's death are covered in the UK made film Cry Freedom.

The USA, France and UK veto 3 United Nations resolutions condemning the apartheid policies in South Africa.

Indonesia

Indonesia begins to run out of military equipment due to its activities in suppressing the independence movement in East Timor. Adam Malik (former Foreign Minister) states:

"50,000 or 80,000 people might have been killed during the war in East Timor... It was war... then what is the big fuss?"

The USA authorises $ 112,000,000 in commercial arms sales.

The UK continues to arm the regime. The UK Foreign Secretary justifies the sales a year later by saying: "the scale of the fighting [has] been reduced".


1979

Vietnam

The new UK government of Margaret Thatcher persuades the European Community to halt its regular shipments of milk to Vietnam in order to support the USA blockade of that country. This causes the price of milk powder to increase by ten times. The World Health Organisation blames this policy for stunting the growth of 30% of children under 5 and for a large number of children going blind due to Vitamin A deficiency.

The USA blockade of Vietnam is criticised by Telford Taylor, the chief USA prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials (of Nazi Germany after World War II). He writes:

"We have smashed the country to bits and [we] will not even take the trouble to clean up the blood and rubble. Somehow we have failed to learn the lessons we undertook to teach at Nuremberg."

USA, France and UK Vetos in UN

The USA, UK and France veto three United Nations resolutions concerning South Africa. The first calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid regime (The vote is 114 to 3). The second strengthens the arms embargo against the country (132 to 3). The third offers assistance to all the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement (134 to 3).

The USA, UK and France veto a United Nations resolution concerning negotiations on disarmament and cessation of the nuclear arms race (120 to 3).

The USA vetoes five United Nations resolutions concerning Israel. The first calls for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel (121 to 3: the three are USA, Israel and Australia).

The second demands that Israel desist from human rights violations (111 to 2). The third is a request for a report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries (120 to 2). The fourth offers assistance to the Palestinian people (112 to 3: the three are USA, Israel and Canada).

The fifth discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories (118 to 2).

The USA vetoes six United Nations resolutions concerning economics, women's rights and nuclear arms.

The first calls for protection of developing counties' exports (vote 111 to 1). The second calls for alternative approaches within the United Nations system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (136 to 1). The third opposes support for intervention in the internal or external affairs of states (104 to 2). The fourth is for a United Nations Conference on Women (121 to 2). The fifth attempts to include Palestinian women in the United Nations Conference on Women (122 to 2). The sixth safeguards rights of developing countries in multinational trade negotiations (112 to 1).


1980

The Iraq-Iran War

Iraq invades Iran beginning a war that would last for 10 years killing over 1,000,000 people. The USA opposes United Nations condemnation of the invasion and removes Iraq from its list of "nations supporting terrorism".

Iraq is financed by Saudi Arabia and armed by the UK and USA. Ten years later these weapons would be turned towards these supporters.

The USA also sent arms to Iran secretly via Israel; both countries hoping a military coup would take place.

South Africa

30 protesters are killed in South Africa by police. The USA, UK and France veto a United Nations resolution offering assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement. The vote is 137 to 3.

Chile Elections

Chile votes to keep the dictator Agusto Pinochet as president. The election is run in the absence of political parties and an electoral register after members of the opposition had been imprisoned or exiled.

The UK government of Margaret Thatcher supports and trades with this regime. In 1999, the arrest of Pinochet in the UK (after an extradition request from Spain) would be opposed by Thatcher.

USA, France and UK Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes four United Nations resolutions: The first attempts to establish a New International Economic Order to promote the growth of underdeveloped countries and international economic co-operation. The vote is 134 to 1. The second endorses the Program of Action for Second Half of United Nations Decade for Women. This vote is 132 to 3 with Israel and Canada being the other two countries voting against. The third is a declaration of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. The vote is 110 to 2. The fourth emphasises that the development of nations and individuals is a human right (120 to 1).

The USA and UK veto a United Nations resolution calling for the cessation of all nuclear test explosions.

The USA, UK and France veto a United Nations resolution calling for the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

New Hebrides

The New Hebrides gains independence from UK and France after they had attempted to crush this desire militarily.


1981

USA, UK Vetos in UN

The USA and UK veto two United Nations resolutions: The first condemns activities of foreign economic interests in colonial territories. The vote is 133 to 3. The second calls for the cessation of all test explosions of nuclear weapons (118 to 2).

The USA vetoes a number of United Nations resolutions: Calls for action in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament (78 to 3 including Canada). Urges negotiations on prohibition of chemical and biological weapons (109 to 1). Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights (135 to 1). Changes to United Nations accounting methods (127 to 1).


1982

Rhodesia

lan Smith is re-elected Prime Minister of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) by the minority white electorate by promising to keep Rhodesia's government white at any cost.

Smith rations food for the black population whom he believes are feeding black resistance fighters. This measure serves to starve the already undernourished black population. 90% of Rhodesia's black children are malnourished and nutritional deficiencies are the major cause of infant death. Smith rounds up black people into concentration camps he calls "protective" villages.

The government's spending on education is dependent on skin colour: $5 on each black child compared to $80 on each white child.

Many European, UK and USA companies trade secretly with the country.


1983

Coup in Nigeria

A military coup occurs in Nigeria, a country supported by the West.

Indonesia

The military in Indonesia fire on 3000 demonstrators in Jakarta killing up to 400 people. The country's dictatorship is being sold arms by the UK.


1984

South Africa

In South Africa 14 anti-apartheid demonstrators are killed by police.

The USA and UK veto two United Nations resolutions concerning South Africa and apartheid: these were voted by 121 to 2 and 146 to 2.

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes 18 United Nations resolutions:

Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (voted by 134 to 2 with Israel); Condemns Israeli attack against Iraqi nuclear installation (106 to 2); On the elimination of racial discrimination (145 to 1); Affirming the rights of the Palestinian people (127 to 2); Convening a Middle East peace conference (121 to 3 including Canada); Prohibition of new types of weapons of mass destruction (125 to 1); Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons (84 to 1); Law of the sea (138 to 2); Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories (120 to 2); Condemns assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors (143 to 2); Condemns Israel for failing to place its nuclear facilities under international safeguards (94 to 2); For a nuclear test ban (123 to 1); To study military research and development (141 to 1); Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (143 to 1); Economic assistance to the Palestinian people (146 to 1); Support for the United Nations Industrial Development Organsiation (118 to 2); Industrial Development Decade for Africa (120 to 1); Questions regarding the Economic Commission for Western Asia (123 to 2).

In many cases, Israel votes with the USA.

The USA and UK veto a United Nations resolution reaffirming the right of St Helena to independence.


1985

South Africa

18 demonstrators are killed by police in South Africa. Inter racial sex and marriage are made legal after 34 years. The USA and European Community finally impose economic sanctions. The UK government of Margaret Thatcher carries on trading with the regime.


1986

UK

The elected council of London (led by Ken Livingstone) is abolished by the UK government of Margaret Thatcher. London will remain the only major city in Europe without an elected council until 2000 when Ken Livingstone would be re-elected as mayor despite opposition from the government of Tony Blair.


1987

USA and Iran

The UK and USA step up naval activity in the Persian Gulf. The USA navy seizes an Iranian ship in international waters near Iran. This is another example of the USA military patrolling provocatively close to Middle Eastern countries.


1988

Kurds in Iraq (Halabja)

Iraq uses poison gas on Halabja, a Kurdish village, killing 6,000 men, women and children. Nicholas Beeston, of the UK newspaper, The Times writes:

"There was the plump baby whose face, frozen in a scream, stuck out from under the protective arm of a man, away from the open door of a house that he never reached. Nearby a family of five who had been sitting in their garden eating lunch were cut down - the killer gas not even sparing the family cat or the birds in the tree, which littered the well kept lawn."

The UK and USA have been arming and supporting Iraq during its war with Iran. Between 1985 and 1989, private companies from the USA had exported the following biological agents to Iraq after obtaining licenses from the USA Department of Commerce:

Other exports had included the precursors to chemical warfare agents, production facilities and equipment for filling warheads with chemicals. During the 1990s United Nations inspectors would find and remove these substances from Iraq while USA president Bill Clinton would criticise Iraq for "developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons".

Shortly after the gas attack, the USA increases its economic ties to Iraq.

One month after the attack, the UK offers Iraq over $400 million in export credits (underwritten by UK tax payers) to buy machine tools. The machine tools are sent secretly to Iraq via Jordan by the UK company, Matrix Churchill. Another company, Astra, supplies $150 million worth of propellant. These deals had been negotiated with the full knowledge of the UK government which had not informed the UK Parliament. Some deals had been negotiated personally by the UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. An enquiry by Lord Justice Scott concludes that "ministers had deliberately misled Parliament, but had not intended to mislead Parliament."

The gassing of the Kurds is hardly reported in Western media. In 2003, when the USA and UK want to change the Iraqi regime, photographs of the gassed Kurds are published in several newspapers in the UK and the event is discussed in the USA without mentioning USA involvement.

Kurdish Victims in Halabja
Iraq uses poison gas on Halabja, a Kurdish village, killing 6,000 men, women and children. At the time Iraq was a USA client state. Between 1985 and 1989, private companies from the USA had exported biological agents to Iraq after obtaining licenses from the USA Department of Commerce (including Bacillus anthracis, the cause of the often fatal disease, anthrax and Histoplasma capsulatum, a disease that attacks lungs, brain, heart and spinal chord). Other exports had included the precursors to chemical warfare agents, production facilities and equipment for filling warheads with chemicals.

Burma

Student demonstrations against the military government in Burma are brutally suppressed by troops. 10,000 people are killed, including many students and Buddhist monks. Thousands are arrested and tortured. Many female students are gang raped by riot police. Protesters are drowned at Inya Lake in Rangoon. 41 students die of suffocation after being crammed into a police van. Troops fire at the hospital killing doctors, nurses and the injured. Journalists are shot while filming.

Many bodies are thrown into the crematorium; some still alive. Many more bodies are buried in mass graves; some still alive.

Europe and the UK have special trade agreements with the regime.

The USA oil company, Unocal and the French oil company Total are both involved with the military government, especially in areas inhabited by the Karen, many of which are being dispossessed and killed.

The USA company Pepsi continues to trade in the country.


1989

USA and Cambodia

The USA Congress passes a law banning direct or indirect "lethal aid" to Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge (former genocidal rulers of Cambodia).

In defiance, the USA administration continues to send arms to the Khmer Rouge via Singapore.

The Khmer Rouge is trained to destabilise Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam. The force is trained by the UK. A Ministry of Defence official tells Simon O'Dwyer-Russell of the UK newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph:

"If [USA's] Congress had found out that Americans were mixed up in clandestine training in Indochina, let alone with Pol Pot, the balloon would have gone right up. It was one of those classic Thatcher-Reagan arrangements. It was put to her that the SAS should take over the Cambodia show, and she agreed."

Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader to the military regime in Burma, is placed under house arrest. Over 3000 opposition party workers are arrested and 100 are sentenced to death.

Vietnamese in Hong Kong

The UK begins the forcible repatriation of Vietnamese refugees from Hong Kong.


1990

Elections in Burma

In elections in Burma, 82% of the eligible population vote for The National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi who is under house arrest.

The military rulers refuse to hand over power and put the winning candidates in prison. Thousands of government opponents are killed. Europe continues its special trade arrangements with Burma. The UK company BMARC sends bullets to Burma via Singapore.

The regime uses slave labour (including children) to build up the country's infrastructure. The military are involved in the sexual trafficking of women and children as well as drug trafficking.

In the ancient city of Pagan, more than 4000 villagers are expelled to make way for tourism facilities.


1991

Iraq, Kuwait and the "First Gulf War"

The USA and UK (with token forces from other countries) invade Iraq after it had brutally invaded Kuwait. The United Nations Security Council is debating whether to authorise the attack on Iraq when it commences.

The war is reported in the Western media in terms of the military technology. Words like smart bombs and surgical precision are used to sanitise the conflict. Civilian casualties are referred to as collateral damage.

In actual fact, only 7% of the bombs were "smart". In all, 90,000 metric tonnes of bombs are dropped. This is equivalent to 7 Hiroshimas. 70% of the bombs miss their targets and fall on residential areas.

One bomb hits the Al-Amiriya bunker in Baghdad where between 300 and 400 people (mainly women and children) are incinerated. The video footage is not shown in the West until later.

Many of the bombs used are tipped with depleted Uranium (DU). This is a radioactive and chemically toxic metal. After exploding the metal is pulverised; the dust can be blown for 40km and inhaled. On exposure, it can cause lung cancer, bone cancer, kidney disease, and genetic defects in babies (like fused fingers or absence of a brain). Many Iraqi civilians and American soldiers are exposed. A report by the UK Atomic Energy Authority estimates that there is enough DU in Iraq and Kuwait to cause 500,000 deaths from cancer.

Depleted Uranium
Depleted Uranium

The effects of Depleted Uranium on children.
USA and UK forces routinely use this material which is known to cause cancers and genetic defects.

Two nuclear reactors are bombed less than a month after the United Nations had passed a resolution prohibiting military attacks on nuclear facilities. General Colin Powell confirms that: "the two operating reactors they had are both gone, they're down, they're finished".

Over 100km of trenches are buldozed (mainly at night) by USA ground forces, burying many soldiers alive, including the wounded. Colonel Anthony Moreno admits: "For all I know we could have killed thousands". Five military hospitals are bombed.

At the end of the war, retreating Iraqi conscripts (mainly from the Kurdish north of the country) and groups of foreign workers fleeing Kuwait, are attacked by massive USA air power. Rockets, napalm and cluster bombs are used in what is described by the pilots as a turkey shoot (a USA term meaning an unopposed slaughter).

Turkey Shoot 1
Turkey Shoot 2
The "Turkey Shoot".

At the end of the war, retreating Iraqi conscripts (mainly from the Kurdish north of the country) and groups of foreign workers fleeing Kuwait, were attacked by massive USA air power. Rockets, napalm and cluster bombs were used in what is described by the pilots as a "turkey shoot". This is a USA term meaning an unopposed slaughter.

During this conflict, more than 200,000 civilians are killed and 1,800,000 are made homeless. The Western media concentrate on the 9 UK and 148 USA soldiers killed. When asked about Iraqi casualties Powell replies: "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in".

After the war, the unelected government of Kuwait is returned to power.

The Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, is left in power. The USA sells military hardware worth $100,000 million to neighbouring countries. 90% of all the arms sales are to unelected governments.

The United Nations authorises sanctions on Iraq; these were to be lifted once programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were ended. The USA makes it known that the sanctions would remain as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power even though these will drastically affect civilians.

After the conflict ends the USA newspaper, New York Times, admits that Iraq had become powerful "with American acquiescence and sometimes its help" and mentions $ 5,500 million worth of crops and livestock, some underwritten by the USA tax payer, that was sold to Iraq by the USA between 1982 and 1989.

In 1997 the USA admits that over 100,000 American soldiers have been exposed to sarin gas during the conflict when Iraqi installations were bombed. Symptoms include neurological problems, chronic fatigue, skin problems, scarred lungs, memory loss, muscle and joint pain, headaches, personality changes, and passing out. The USA authorities are slow to admit to the problems and there are suggestions that an anti-nerve gas vaccine may have caused some of the problems.

Costs of 1991 Gulf War

Indonesia and East Timor

Indonesian troops massacre 400 people at the Santa Cruz Cemetary in the East Timor capital of Dili.

Gareth Evans, the Australian foreign minister supports Indonesia by describing the killings as "an aberration, not an act of state policy". The UK government and media describe the killings as an "incident" and go on to declare that it was "wrong to suggest that the widespread abuses of human rights persist in East Timor."

Bishop Carlos Belo, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, describes the massacre:

"This was no incident; it was a real massacre. It was well prepared. It was a deliberate operation to teach us a lesson... After the first massacre there were more killings [of the wounded]. Some of the killings happened near my house. When I visited the hospital... on the day of the first massacre... there were hundreds of wounded. When I came back the next day there were only 90. Witnesses have told me that the killing of the wounded began at 8 0'clock that night, and that most deaths occurred between two and three in the morning... when the lights suddenly went out in the city. And now we have the problem of justice because the families are still waiting for the bodies of their children. And we don't know where they are buried."


1993

Coup in Nigeria

A military coup occurs in Nigeria. The UK supports the regime as Western oil companies (Shell, Chevron) get concessions in the Ogoni region.

The villages of Eeken, Gwara and Kenwigbara are devastated by the Nigerian military who massacre over 1000 people and make 20,000 people homeless. The market village of Kaa is attacked with grenades, mortar shells and automatic weapons. 247 people are killed and all the villagers forced to flee. The primary and secondary schools in the village are destroyed.

At Port Harcourt 53 Ogoni men, women and children are massacred and all buildings demolished.


1994

Elections in Nigeria

During elections in Nigeria, Chief Moshood Abiola, considered to be the likely winner, is arrested and placed in prison before the rigged results are announced; General Sani Abacha retains control.

More than 100 government executions occur, and numerous pro-democracy demonstrators are killed by police. The UK and Dutch company, Shell Oil, provides most of the country's wealth by extracting oil from the Ogoniland region, while in the process causing severe environmental destruction and devastating the local economy. More than 700 Ogoni environmentalists protesting the destruction of their way of life, have been executed in recent years.

Shell supports Abacha's policies by its silence. Despite appeals that Nigerian oil be boycotted, the USA government refuses.

UK "Aid" to Malaysia

The UK attempts to give Malaysia an "aid" package.

This package (which had been kept secret) involves financial aid to build a dam at Pergau by UK companies like Balfour Beatty. In return, Malaysia would buy $1,900 million worth of jets from British Aerospace.

The aid package would benefit UK companies and the ruling elite in Malaysia but would not benefit the people of Malaysia (for whom the aid is said to be intended) or the UK people (who would be underwriting the building of the dam).

A court action in London (UK) declares the deal illegal.


1995

Nigeria

Ken Saro-Wiwa, the leader of the Ogoni people in Nigeria, is executed by the military government along with 8 of his associates despite an international outcry.

UK and Netherlands companies (principally Shell and Chevron) obtain oil from this region at the expense of the rights of the Ogoni people. Shell has extracted oil worth $32,000 million from the region with little benefit to the Ogoni. Before his death Saro-Wiwo wrote:

"The flaring of gas... has destroyed wildlife, and plant life, poisoned the atmosphere and the inhabitants in the surrounding areas, and made the residents half deaf and prone to respiratory diseases. Whenever it's raining in Ogoni, all we have is acid rain which further poisons water courses, streams, creeks and agricultural land. Acid rain gets back into the soil, and what used to be the bread basket of the delta has now become virtually infertile."

UAE

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Elie Dib Ghaleb, a Lebanese Christian is sentenced to 39 lashes and one year's imprisonment for marrying a local Muslim woman in Lebanon.

The UAE is an oil rich country run by non-democratic government and is armed and trained by the UK.

World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is founded by 134 countries to negotiate and enforce trade agreements between nations.

Up to this time the West (the richer countries) had forced low wages and high pollution onto Third World countries (the poorer countries) which had weak or bought-off governments.

The real agenda of the WTO is to weaken all governments and agencies that might defend workers, consumers, or the environment, not only in the Third World, but everywhere; to remove any efforts to limit trade due to its labour implications, ecology implications, social or cultural implications, or development implications, leaving as the only criteria whether there are immediate, short term profits to be made.

If regional, national or local laws impede trade (e.g. an environmental, health law, or a labour law) the WTO adjudicates, and its verdict is binding.

The net effect is that the WTO over-rules governments and populations on behalf of corporate profits.

Another WTO agenda is the privatisation of education, health, social security (welfare), council (public or social) housing, and transport. This will eventually lead to the long tradition of European welfare states based on solidarity through community risk-pooling and publicly accountable services being slowly dismantled.

The USA trade delegation states:

"The United States is of the view that commercial opportunities exist along the entire spectrum of health and social care facilities, including hospitals, outpatient facilities, clinics, nursing homes, assisted living arrangements, and services provided in the home."

Five of the richest countries have the most votes in the WTO: USA, UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

WTO delegates are drawn from trade ministries and confer regularly with corporate lobbyists and advisors. As a result, the WTO has become, as an anonymous delegate told the UK newspaper, the Financial Times: "a place where governments can collude against their citizens." Large multinational companies use governments to bring cases before the WTO. This way they can win battles they have lost in the domestic political arena.

Cases are heard before a tribunal of trade lawyers, who, under WTO rules, are required to make their ruling with a presumption in favour of free trade. The WTO puts the burden on governments to justify any trade restrictions. There are no observers, and no public record of the deliberations, which are held behind closed doors.

The WTO has ruled against Europe for banning beef treated with hormones and against Japan for banning pesticide laden apples.

Iraq

Sanctions imposed and enforced by the USA and the UK continue to affect Iraq.

Several reasons are given for the continuing of sanctions against Iraq ("the leader of Iraq is a dictator", "Iraq is making weapons of mass destruction") but the real reason is to do with safeguarding Saudi Arabia's economy which is dependent on the world oil price. Phyllis Bennis admits this in Covert Action:

"If Iraq were allowed to resume oil exports, analysts expect it would soon be producing 3 million barrels a day and within a decade, perhaps as many as 6 million. Oil prices would soon drop ... And Washington is determined to defend the Kingdom's economy, largely to safeguard the West's unfettered access to the Saudi's 25% of known oil reserves".

A strong Saudi Arabian economy is important to the USA arms industry which sells nearly 70% of all its arms to the country.

The sanctions are especially damaging to the civilian population. The USA Defense Intelligence Agency states (in a document, which was partially declassified but unpublicised):

"Iraq depends on importing specialized equipment and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline. With no domestic sources of both water treatment replacement parts and some essential chemicals, Iraq will continue attempts to circumvent United Nations Sanctions to import these vital commodities. Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease. Food processing, electronic, and, particularly, pharmaceutical plants require extremely pure water that is free from biological contaminants."

This policy is attacked by Cynthia McKinney, a USA senator who says:

"Attacking the Iraqi public drinking water supply flagrantly targets civilians and is a violation of the Geneva Convention and of the fundamental laws of civilized nations."

Indonesia

Ahmad Taufik, a journalist from Indonesia who founded the Alliance of Independent Journalists, is sentenced to prison for "insulting the government". He had visited the UK to ask for support for more democracy in Indonesia. The UK is Indonesia's biggest arms supplier. Carol Robson, at the UK Foreign Office, had assured Taufik: "The human rights situation in your country is improving."

Kopussus, an elite Indonesian military unit used in East Timor, killed five foreign journalists at Balibo in 1975. Many of the unit's leaders are trained in Australia.


1996

Bahrain

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain are arrested and tortured without trial. The detainees include 60 children, some as young as 7 years old. Political activists are exiled along with their families. This oil-rich country is supported by the UK and USA.

Western Companies and Child Labour

The UK imports $12 million worth of sporting goods made mainly by child labour in India.

Children can stitch two footballs (soccer balls) every day for which they are paid a daily wage of $0.25, barely enough to buy a litre of milk. Many of these footballs end up at large football clubs where they are signed by the players and sold for large profits.

Countries such as the UK (as well as Australia, the USA and Japan) have all moved their manufacturing industries to poor countries with low wages and lax safety conditions.

In Thailand, hundreds of workers making Bart Simpson and Cabage Patch Dolls, have died in factory fires. Workers in China (making Barbie and Sindy dolls, Power Rangers and Fisher-Price toys for infants) have also died in fires.

Thousands of workers use glues, plastics and paints without protection or ventilation leading to illness and disability.

Company Tax Avoidance

In the UK, the News International company, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has helped the government by supporting it in all newspapers owned by the company. In return the company paid no taxes. Consequently, the UK community was denied $1,000 million in taxes between 1986 and 1996.

Slave Labour in Burma

The military government of Burma declares 1996 as Visit Burma Year in an attempt to encourage tourism.

1000 Shan people are expelled from their village to make way for a golf course. Since 1988, some 5 million people have been forcibly removed from their homes and exiled in "satellite towns" as part of the drive to make the country a haven for tourism. A million of these have been moved from the capital, Rangoon.

The United Nations Commission for Human Rights reports that the following violations were common in Burma:

"Torture, summary and arbitrary executions, forced labour, abuse of women, politically motivated arrests and detention, forced displacement, important restrictions on the freedoms of expression and association, and oppression of ethnic and religious minorities."

Amnesty International states:

"Conditions in labour camps are so harsh that hundreds of prisoners have died as a result. In the largest detention facility at least 800 political prisoners are being held. Military... personnel regularly interrogate prisoners to the point of unconsciousness. Even the possession of almost any reading material is punishable... Elderly and sick people and even handicapped people are placed in leg irons and forced to work."

Slave and forced labour is used to restore the Burma's infrastructure. The moat around the royal palace in Mandalay is excavated by chain gangs of labourers guarded by troops. Many of the criminals in the gangs are political prisoners, sentenced to long terms for "crimes" such as being elected to parliament, calling for democracy, speaking to foreign journalists, or communicating with the United Nations.

Various UK companies, like British Airways and Orient Express, organise expensive tours to Burma describing the country as "unspoilt" and "the ultimate in luxury".

Joe Cummings, the writer of the Australian guide books, Lonely Planet, considers that "human rights abuses have decreased in the face of increased tourism".

70% of the profits from Burma's tourist industry leave the country.

UK "Aid" and Arms Sales

The National Audit Office in the UK finds a link between aid for Indonesia (paid for by the UK tax payer) and arms sales to the undemocratic and brutal regime. The items sold include police installations and airports as well as military infrastructure. The Minister for Overseas Development, Linda Chalker states that the aid would be "helping the poor in Indonesia".

The countries receiving aid from the UK are not the poorest or neediest: Malaysia (far richer than Bangladesh), Oman (an oil rich sultanate) and Ecuador (richer than many countries in the Caribbean) all receive large amounts of aid. They are all also major buyers of UK arms.


1997

Indonesia and East Timor

The 32 year dictatorship of General Suharto ends in Indonesia.

During fraudulent elections, the army attacks the headquarters of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party, lead by Megawati Sukarnoputri. 50 supporters are killed (stabbed and shot by soldiers) and many buildings are burned down.

The USA had supported the regime with over $1,000 million worth of weaponry. F-16 fighter planes, attack helicopters and M-16 combat rifles were used in the suppression of dissent and the occupation of East Timor.

Over 1,000,000 people have died under his brutal regime from 1965 as well as 200,000 in East Timor (out of a population of 700,000). In spite of this record, most media in the USA fail to report his activities accurately. In the final months of his rule, he is referred to as Indonesia's "soft-spoken, enigmatic president" (USA Today, 15 May), a "profoundly spiritual man" (New York Times, 17 May), a "reforming autocrat" (New York Times, 22 May).

His motives are made benign: "It was not simply personal ambition that led Mr. Suharto to clamp down so hard for so long; it was a fear, shared by many in this country of 210 million people, of chaos" (New York Times, 2 June); and finally, he "failed to comprehend the intensity of his people's discontent" (New York Times, 21 May).

In the mineral rich regions of Aceh and Irian Jaya, American companies (mainly Exxon Mobil) collude with the Indonesian military in keeping dissent suppressed.

Robin Cook, the new UK Foreign Secretary promises an "ethical foreign policy" but continues arms sales to Indonesia to the tune of $1,000 million per year.

The Bank of Scotland in the UK finances a paper mill in Indonesia. During the project thousands of villagers are forcibly removed from their land.

Procurement Services International (PSI) sells Tactica riot control vehicles to Indonesia which are used by Kopussus (an elite unit) in the genocide in East Timor. The managing director of PSI, Nick Oliver, had visited East Timor and compared it to Northern Ireland: "The difference is that in East Timor they do it in blocks of 200, and in Northern Ireland they do one or two a day."

Amnesty International reports that the military in Indonesia is:

"organised to deal with domestic rather than international threats. Troops are deployed throughout the country, down to village level. At each level, the military has wide ranging authority over political, social and economic matters. [These] are complemented by a range of elite unites... All are responsible for grave human rights violations. The most powerful are Kopussus units which have been responsible for grave human rights violations."

UK Companies in South America, Africa and Asia

The UK company British Petroleum (BP) is involved with evicting people from their land in Colombia. The company donates money to the Colombian military and provides them with video footage of local campaigners. The Colombian army has been implicated in the kidnapping, torture, rape and killing of thousands of people, including trade unionists and oil industry protesters.

Another UK company, Rio Tinto, exploits mineral deposits in countries with undemocratic regimes (Indonesia, apartheid South Africa).

Lord Simon of Highbury, a minister in the UK government, is chairman of BP and director of Rio Tinto.

Iraq

Under pressure from the USA and UK, the United Nations continues sanctions on Iraq.

The World Food Program and UNICEF report that 1,211,285 children died of embargo-related causes between August 1990 and August 1997. This total is ten times the 130,000 people that Amnesty International estimated to have died in Iraq between 1979 and 1989 as a result of the country's human-rights record.

In 1989 the World Health Organization had recorded Iraq as having 92% access to clean water, 93% access to high quality health care and with high educational and nutritional standards.

The sanctions cover items that include: medicines, anesthetics, antibiotics, spare parts for X-ray machinery and incubators, children's toys, pencils, exercise books, lipstick, sanitary towels, shoelaces, medical journals, shroud cloth, and camera film.


1998

Nigeria

Police kill 7 pro-democracy demonstrators in Nigeria.

Mashood Abiola, the winner of the 1994 annulled elections dies in prison after 4 years in solitary confinement. His physician had been denied access to him. His wife, who had campaigned for his release despite harassment and imprisonment, was shot dead by government gunmen in 1996.

In the Niger Delta, entire villages are are burned and villagers killed. People are tortured by being made to sit in the open under the hot sun and drink their own urine.

This is an oil producing region run by UK oil companies with concessions from the Western backed military government.

Iraq

Iraq is bombed by the USA and UK over the issue of weapons inspection at the same time that the United Nations is debating the issue.

The Arms Trade

Jose Ramos-Horta estimates that since the end of the Second World War, over 20 million people have been killed worldwide as a result of the arms trade. This trade is dominated by Western countries and is often with brutal unelected regimes.

In 1993 nearly 70% of USA arms were sold to Saudi Arabia, a country rules by an absolute monarchy with no elections.

Burma

In the Tavoy region of Burma, the military government uses slave and forced labour to build roads and railways. Even pregnant women and children are used. Villages are destroyed if the people refuse to work.

The country is being opened up for an oil pipeline to be built by the French company Total Oil in a deal worth $400 million a year for 30 years. The Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi (who won the annulled elections of 1990) has supplied Total Oil with evidence of the use of slave labour in Burma which has been ignored.

Other companies trading with Burma include Unocal, Texaco, Johnson & Johnson, and Federal Express (USA), Premier Oil (UK), Nippon Oil, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Honda and Nippon Steel (Japan), Fritz Werner and Siemens (Germany), Phillips (Netherlands), Dragon Oil (Ireland). The Australian beer company Fosters has advertising posters that hide military watch towers provided by Australian company Intrepid.

Nearly 70% of the finances received by the Burmese military have been from Western oil companies. Over 5000 troops guard Total Oil's personnel. Some 60,000 people are forced into slave labour working on Burma's roads and railways every day.

The UK is the largest investor in Burma with an annual total of $634 million.


1999

Yugoslavia and Kosovo

Yugoslavia (mainly Serbian and Orthodox Christian) attacks Kosovo, whose people are Albanian and Muslim. Thousands of people are killed, raped or expelled after the offensive.

Serbian troops enter villages and systematically burn homes, loot businesses, expel civilians, and kill those suspected of participating in separatist movements, including women and children. Often, bodies would be removed and buried in Serbia where seven mass graves would be discovered in 2001.

Rape and sexual violence are also components of the campaign used to terrorise the civilian population, extort money from families, and push people to flee their homes. Human Rights Watch documents 96 cases of rape and sexual assault in Kosovo.

The USA and UK bomb Kosovo and Serbia under a NATO umbrella. One NATO member, Turkey, threatens to veto the action until the USA gave assurances that Turkey's treatment of the Kurds would not be punished in a similar way.

The bombing lasts for 78 days and kills many civilians as residential areas are targeted in Belgrade. The residence of the president, Slobodan Milosevic, is attacked in an apparent assassination attempt. The USA declares that the bombing is for humanitarian purposes but, in one answer, the USA president Bill Clinton states:

"If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key....That's what this Kosovo thing is all about."

Although NATO states that the bombing of civilian targets is accidental, a statement by Lieutenant General Michael Short contradicts this:

"If you wake up in the morning and you have no power to your house and no gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be lying in the Danube for the next twenty years, I think you begin to ask, 'Hey, Slobo, what's all this about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?'"

Short tells the USA newspaper, New York Times, that he "hopes that the distress of the Yugoslav public will undermine support for the authorities in Belgrade". NATO spokesman, Jamie Shea adds: "If President Milosevic really wants all of his population to have water and electricity all he has to do is accept NATO's five conditions and we will stop the campaign".

One major building in Belgrade containing political parties, television and radio stations as well as a hundred private companies is bombed. Before the attack, NATO planners had estimated 250 civilian casualties and up to 100 government workers.

Over 1,100 cluster bombs are dropped over Yugoslavia each carrying 202 bomblets. The bomblets explode sending out metal shrapnel that can slice through metal. The failure rate of the bomblets (over 5%) means that over 11,000 bomblets fail to explode, becoming in effect land mines waiting to be touched. Many children, drawn to the bright yellow colour of the bomblets become victims after returning to their villages. One doctor states: "neither I nor my colleagues have ever seen such horrific wounds as these caused by cluster bombs. They are wounds that lead to disabilities to a great extent. The limbs are so crushed that the only remaining option is amputation. It's awful."

97 bomblets are later recovered from the Adriatic Sea after several Italian fishermen are killed.

The USA is one of the few countries not to sign a treaty banning the use of land mines which comes into force on 1 March: Treaty Banning the Use, Production, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personel Landmines.

Iraq

The UK and USA continue to bomb Iraq on a near daily basis. In the first 8 months of the year, 10,000 missions are flown over the country, dropping over a thousand bombs and missiles on 400 targets. Hundreds of people are killed or wounded. The director of the operation, Brigadier General William Looney gloats:

"If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddam SAMs [Surface to Air Missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace... We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need."

The reason for the bombing raids given by the USA and UK is Iraq refusing entry to United Nations weapons inspection teams. Iraq has often accused the USA of using the inspection teams to spy on the country. On 7 January 1999 a headline in the USA newspaper The New York Times admits: "[USA] Spied on Iraq Under UN Cover, Officials Now Say". The article states:

"United States officials said today that American spies had worked undercover on teams of United Nations arms inspectors ferreting out secret Iraqi weapons programs.... By being part of the team, the Americans gained a first-hand knowledge of the investigation and a protected presence inside Baghdad."

The following day, the same newspaper asserts: "Reports that the United States used the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq as cover for spying on Saddam Hussein are dimming any chances that the inspection system will survive.".

The USA media fails to follow this story. The USA later declares that "sanctions against Iraq would remain in place whether or not Baghdad fully complied with the inspection regimen.".

Peter Jennings, anchorman of the USA ABC News states that during the 1991 Gulf War "The USA did want Saddam to go, they just didn't want the people of Iraq to take over".

Kuwait

Human Rights Watch publish a report about the use of cluster bombs in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. Of 24 to 30 million bomblets dropped, between 1,200,000 and 1,500,000 did not explode leading to 1,220 Kuwaiti and 400 Iraqi civilian deaths.

East Timor

Thousands of civilians are massacred in East Timor after they vote for independence from Indonesia. 85% of the population are driven from their homes. 70% of the country is destroyed.

The USA refuses to interfere until public pressure forces President Clinton to tell Indonesia to withdraw. They comply immediately.

The UK continues to sell heavy arms to the Indonesian military throughout this period.


2000

Zimbabwe

Intimidation of political opponents occurs in Zimbabwe. Farms owned by whites are illegally taken by armed government backed thugs. The UK media reports this in terms of a black government harassing white farmers and ignores the black people being killed.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, 2 teachers, arrested following demonstrations in Najran, are sentenced to 1,500 lashes each to be carried out in front of their families, students and other teachers.

This country (a strongly supported ally of the USA and the UK) crushes dissent ruthlessly, does not allow women to drive cars, stones people for adultery and has been ruled by a single family since the early 1920s.

UK Conflicts of Interest

The UK company, British Aerospace sells assault rifles, grenade launchers and missiles to Turkey. Many of these are used against Kurdish dissidents and separatists.

One of the directors of this company, Robin Biggam, is also Chairman of the Independent Television Commission in the UK, a government appointment. The Commission revokes the licence of Med TV, a Kurdish satellite television station after pressure from Turkey.

The elected government in the UK appoints many heads of industry to control the activities of companies:

Name Industrial Position Government Position
Lord Marshall
Chairman: British Airways
Campaigns against taxes on aviation fuel.
President: Confederation of British Industry
Campaigns against taxes on corporations.
Head: Government Energy Review
Looks at taxation to help reduce global warming.
Lord Sainsbury
Chairman: J Sainsbury PLC
A large supermarket criticised for its anti-competitive practices.
Founder: Sainsbury Laboratory
A centre for genetic engineering research.
Minister: Department of Trade and Industry
Responsible for regulating competition policy and funding research centres.
Lord Simon
Chairman: British Petroleum
Campaigns against oil taxation.
Minister: Trade and Industry
Responsible for the UK's energy policy.
Jack Cunningham
Paid Adviser: Albright & Wilson (UK) Ltd
Agrochemical company that lobbies for the deregulation of pesticides.
Secretary of State: Agriculture
Responsible for biotechnology and policy on pesticide resistant crops.
John Bowman
Director: Commercial Union
Named by the UK Treasury for mis-selling 7900 pensions.
Board Member: Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority
Protects pensioners from being exploited.
Dr Paul Leinster
Director: Smithkline Beecham
Company which has polluted streams in southern England.
Head: Environmental Protection
Has proposed that companies should monitor their own pollution.
Justin McCracken
Managing Director: ICI Katalco
Heavy polluter with cancer-inducing and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Regional Manager: Environmental Agency
Responsible for the environment.
Dinah Nichols
Director: Anglian Water PLC
Fined 6 times in 1999 for pollution incidents.
Director General: Department of Environment
Responsible for the environment.
Ian McAllister
Managing Director: Ford UK
Lobbies against reduction of carbon dioxide, lead, and sulphur emissions from cars. Lobbies against the removal of lead from petrol and against the installation of catalytic converters on vehicles.
Chairman: Cleaner Vehicles Task Force
Responsible for advising the UK Government about cleaner cars policy.
Chris Fay
Chairman: Shell UK
Pollutes heavily in the UK and has been responsible for polluting Ogoni land in Nigeria.
Chairman: Business and the Environment
Advises the UK Government about the environment.
Brian Riddleston
Chief Executive: Celtic Energy
Open cast mining company that destroyed Selar Grasslands, a site of scientific interest and home to rare plant and butterfly species.
Member: Countryside Council for Wales
Responsible for looking after sites of scientific interest.
Sue Clifton
Executive: Group 4
Security company which runs children's gaols (jails). These have been criticised for their handling of inmates.
Adviser: Youth Justice Board
Advises the UK Government about the handling of young offenders.
David Steeds
Director: Serco Group PLC
One of the more successful bidders of privately financed government projects.
Chief Executive: Private Finance Panel
Responsible for selecting companies to run government projects.
Tony Edwards
Director: TI Group
Sells machine tools for military use in 150 countries.
Head: Defence Export Services Organisation
Advises UK government about licensing sales of military goods around the world.
Ewen Cameron
President: Landowners Association
Campaigns against the right of the public to roam in the countryside.
Chairman: Countryside Agency
Responsible for implementing the right to roam.
Peter Doyle
Executive Director: Zeneca Group PLC
Pollutes heavily in the UK with solid toxic waste.
Member: Business and the Environment
Advises the UK Government about the environment.
Prof Nigel Poole
Manager: Zeneca Group PLC
Has had 6 genetically modified organisms approved for release into the environment.
Member: Releases to the Environment
Advises the UK Government about the releases of genetically modified organisms into the environment.
Prof Peter Schroeder
Research Director: Nestlé
Has pushed powdered milk to poorer nations to the detriment of the heath of babies.
Director: Institute of Food Research
Advises the UK Government about the quality of food.

Drugs

The government and media in the UK begin a debate on drugs after some young people die after taking a drug called ecstasy. This debate deliberately avoids the major drugs causing death as these sources are legal, very profitable and raise taxes for the government.

 Type of Drug 
 Number of Deaths 
 in UK in 1999 
Cannabis 7
Ecstacy 26
Cocaine 87
Diazepam 112
Paracetamol 267
Methadone 298
Heroin 754
Alcohol 33,000
Tobacco 120,000

Deaths from alcohol include violence and vehicle accidents.

The biggest drug killer is tobacco. 20% of all deaths in the UK are from tobacco related diseases. Indeed, more people die by breathing other peoples' tobacco smoke (passive smoking) than die from all illegal drugs.

In 1998 the UK tobacco industry generated over $16,000 million in tax revenue.

The UK tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT), sells cheap, highly addictive cigarettes to Africa with higher levels of tar and nicotine than those permitted in the West. In a letter to its offices in Uganda, BAT declares that it "does not believe that cigarette smoking is harmful to health" and that the company "should not wish to endanger our potential to export to those countries which do not have a health warning on the packs".

A documentary on the UK television station BBC states: "We cannot police the world. We cannot stop [heroin] supplies. We can only limit the demand for it by producing a decent society that people want to live in, not escape from."

In the USA, over 300,000 people are killed by tobacco every year; worldwide the figure is 4 million (5% of all deaths). Tobacco is a carcinogen (causes cancer) and is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths.

The annual USA death rate for alcohol is 200,000.

In 1985, 3562 deaths were recorded from all illegal drugs combined. 99% of deaths from substance abuse are due to alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of the 50,000 annual traffic deaths.

In 1989 the tobacco industry in the USA asked their government to impose sanctions on Thailand unless the country removed restrictions on import of USA grown tobacco. They declared that the restrictions were a bar on free trade. Thailand had seen a decline in tobacco smoking after a fifteen year campaign. During the hearing, the USA declared that their tobacco was the best in the world. Thailand responded that "in the Golden Triangle we have some of the best products, but we never ask the principle of free trade to govern such products. In fact we supressed them".

Japan, South Korea and Taiwan had already been coerced in a similar way. Taiwan had managed to cut smoking until the threat of sanctions. The smoking rate went up by 10% after American tobacco was imported.

In the USA, exports of tobacco go up by 20% (making the country $ 5,000 million every year) while smoking goes down by 5%.

The Singapore newspaper, The Straits Times notes that it finds it "hard to reconcile the fact that the Americans are threatening trade sanctions against countries that try to keep out [USA] tobacco products" with their efforts to reduce smoking at home.

According to Peter Bourne (director of the Office of Drug Abuse Policy in the USA): "...the number of Colombians dying each year from subsidised North American tobacco products is significantly larger than the number of North Americans felled by Colombian cocaine".

Everett Koop, the USA Surgeon General states: "When we are pleading with foreign governments to stop the flow of cocaine, it is the height of hypocrisy for the United States to export tobacco".


2001

Pollution in India

UK and Netherlands company, Unilever, dumps several tonnes of mercury waste in the densely populated tourist resort of Kodaikanal and the surrounding protected nature reserve of Pambar Shola in India. The company makes clinical thermometers which are sold to Germany, UK, Spain, USA, Australia and Canada. Workers and ex-workers have since expressed outrage at the callousness of Unilever for keeping them in the dark about the toxic nature of mercury.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia agrees to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but the Council of Ministers say that the country would not comply with "any clause in the agreement that contradicts Islamic Shari'a [law]."

Saudi women continue to face severe discrimination in all aspects of their lives, including the family, education, employment, and the justice system. Religious police (Mutawaa'in) enforce a modesty code of dress and institutions from schools to ministries are separated by gender. In a Shari'a court, the testimony of one man equals that of two women.

Women may not marry non-Saudis without government permission; men must obtain approval from the Ministry of Interior to marry women from countries outside the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In accordance with Shari'a, women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims; men may marry Christians and Jews, as well as Muslims. Under Shari'a as interpreted in Saudi Arabia, daughters receive half of the inheritance awarded to their brothers. Women must demonstrate legally specified grounds for divorce, but men may divorce without giving cause. Adultery by women is punished by death by stoning.

The Government restricts the travel of Saudi women, who must obtain written permission from their closest male relative before the authorities allow them to board domestic public transportation or to travel abroad. Women, including foreigners, are not allowed to drive motor vehicles. Women are not admitted to a hospital for medical treatment without the consent of a male relative.

The Saudi legal system has been criticised by human rights groups. Saudi courts impose corporal punishment, including amputations of hands and feet for robbery, and floggings for lesser crimes such as "sexual deviance" and drunkenness. Under the Saudi legal system, detainees have no right to legal counsel, no right to examine witnesses, no right to call witnesses of their own; uncorraborated confessions could constitute the basis for conviction and sentencing.

In Qunfuda a court sentences 9 transvestites to imprisonment for between 5 and 6 years and to 2,400 to 2,600 lashes. The floggings are to be carried out in 50 equal sessions, with a 15 day break between each punishment.

People practicing non-Islamic faiths are regularly arrested. Even forms of Islam that differ to the officially approved Wahhabi form of Islam are discouraged and their adherents persecuted. Conversion of a Muslim to another faith is punishable by death. Shi'a who travel to Iran without permission from the Ministry of the Interior, or those suspected of such travel, can have their passports confiscated for up to 2 years.

Under Shari'a, as interpreted and applied in Saudi Arabia, crimes against Muslims receive harsher penalties than those against non-Muslims. In the case of wrongful death, the amount of indemnity or "blood money" awarded to relatives varies with the nationality, religion, and sex of the victim.

The Government censors all forms of public artistic expression and prohibits cinemas and public musical or theatrical performances, except those that are considered folkloric. Academic freedom is restricted. The authorities prohibit the study of evolution, Freud, Marx, Western music, and Western philosophy. Criticism of Islam or the government is forbidden. Freedom of assembly is denied, especially to groups of women.

The country continues to provide refuge and financial support to Idi Amin, the exiled Ugandan leader whose regime was responsible for a reign of terror that left an estimated 30,000 dead in the 1970s.

Saudi Arabia is an autocratic monarchy with no elections. The monarch and his family run most of the branches of the government from which women are excluded.

The country is supported and armed by the West and considered to be a "moderate Arab state".

Iraq

The UK and USA continue to bomb Iraq. Between 1998 and 2000, over 24,000 combat missions were flown over Iraq. Two United Nations Weapons Inspectors resigned in 1998 and 2000 over the ten year long sanctions in force on Iraq. Over 500,000 children under 5 have died.

In 1996, the USA Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright was asked on an American television programme ("60 Minutes", 12 May):

"We have heard that a half a million children have died [because of sanctions against Iraq]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - you know - is the price worth it?"

In her reply (in which the figures are not challenged) she asserts:

"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

Many of the facts about what is happening in Iraq are largely unreported in the West. One such fact is that the incidence of myeloid leukemia cancers have risen fivefold since the Gulf War in 1991. There has also been a rise in congenital birth defects. Both are linked to the 96,000 depleted Uranium shells used primarily by the USA, UK and France during the 1990 war. These have left a residue of radioactive dust throughout the country.

In a rare report, the USA newspaper, the Washington Post admits that the ongoing aerial attacks on the country "leave behind a lethal litter that could claim civilian casualties for years... Civilian casualties have become routine."

On the newspaper's web site (but not published), an article describes how the USA has increasingly used "cluster bombs that have no real aim point and that kill and wound innocent civilians for years to come."

Cluster bombs leave hundreds of bomblets that can maim and kill civilians for months or years after they have been dropped.

Professor Thomas Nagy, (a teacher from George Washington University's Business School) publishes a report based on declassified documents from the USA Defense Intelligence Agency. One is titled "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerability".

This document shows that the USA had used sanctions to degrade Iraq's water treatment facilities. It states that "failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could result in increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure water dependent becoming incapacitated.". It also observed that "Iraq's overall water treatment capability will suffer a slow decline, rather than a precipitous halt as dwindling supplies and cannibalized parts are concentrated at higher priority locations". It concludes that "no adequate solution exists for Iraq's water purification dilemma".

The above policy violates the Geneva Convention which states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive."

This report is unreported in the main USA newspapers (such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek).

Afghanistan (The "War on Terror")

The USA (with help from the UK) bombs Afghanistan "to fight terrorism" after obtaining backing from Europe. The West declares it wishes to depose the government of the Taliban and destroy the Al-Qaida group in a "war for civilisation". No United Nations authority is sought for the military action.

The Western media stir up the situation with calls for collective punishments. Bill O'Reilly proclaims on the USA's Fox News Channel:

"The USA should bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble -- the airport, the power plants, their water facilities and the roads. We should not target civilians, but if they don't rise up against this criminal government, they starve, period."

New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy writes:

"As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts."

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review (USA) writes:

"If we flatten part of Damascus or Tehran or whatever it takes, that is part of the solution."

Although the USA states that civilian casualties will be minimised, Cluster Bombs are dropped. These break up into bomblets which can lie dormant on the ground until touched, often long after the conflict has ended. Human Rights Watch estimate that 5000 (30%) of these bomblets lie in the ground unexploded. They are of similar colour and size as food parcels dropped by USA planes. Daisy Cutter bombs are also used which flatten an area of over 1km radius.

A United Nations official in Afghanistan estimates that live bombs and mines maim, on average 40 to 100 people a week in the country and 50% of these die before they get any medical help.

Injured Child
Injured child.
Injured Children
Injured children.

Logistical and political aid for the attack on Afganistan is obtained from a number of countries (often by bribes or concessions) including:

In northern Afganistan, the West helps anti Taliban fighters called the Northern Alliance.

The Northern Alliance had ruled the country between 1990 and 1996. During that time they trafficked in hard drugs, killed more than 25,000 civilians and raped thousands of women and girls, using many as sex slaves. In several incidents they threw acid in women's faces because they were not covered up.

Aid agencies (including Oxfam, Action Aid, Christian Aid, and Islamic Relief ) call for a stop to the bombing after warning of a humanitarian catastrophe affecting millions of people, including 100,000 children under 5. This call is ignored.

Dead Children
Dead children being prepared for burial.
Gold Teeth
Northern Alliance troops pulling out gold teeth.

The reporting of the conflict in the West concentrates on the military hardware. A new crop of words enters the language:

Many Afghan and Arab prisoners are killed by Northern Aliance and USA forces in violation of the Geneva Conventions. In one case 280 bodies are buried in mass graves near the airport in Kandahar. More than 400 prisoners are killed in unexplained circumstances in Qala-i-Janghi fort at Mazar-i-Sharif. Calls by Amnesty International for an inquiry are ignored.

In the Western media, very little information about civilian casualties is given. This appears to be a deliberate policy. Walter Issacson, the chairman of USA satellite and cable news company, CNN, informs his staff:

"It seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties and hardship in Afganistan."

The Arabic satellite television station, Al-Jazeera, is considered by most people in the Middle East as the only source of news that is not government controlled. The USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, expresses concern about their coverage of the war. When these concerns are ignored, the USA bombs the Kabul offices of the station, effectively denying a view of the conflict not controlled by Western media.

Marc Herold, an economics professor at the University of New Hampshire (USA), in a study published in the UK newspaper, The Guardian on 20 December, reports that between 7 October and 10 December, USA bombing has killed 3767 civilians in Afghanistan. This is a higher number than the victims in the 11 September attack on the USA. These are Afghan civilians who had nothing to do with the USA atrocity and who had no say in the make up or policies of the Afghani government because there had not been any elections for them to participate in. The figures mean that 60 to 65 civilians have been killed for every day of the bombing.

The study's findings are coraborated by aid agencies, the United Nations, eyewitnesses and media reports. It does not include civilians who died later of their injuries, people killed after 10 December, people who died because they were refugees from the bombing, military deaths (estimated to be in excess of 10,000), or prisoners killed in Mazar-i-Sharif, Qala-i-Janghi, Khandahar Airport or elsewhere.

This report (and the casualties) is ignored by most Western media unlike the blanket coverage given to the USA victims. After seven weeks of bombing the USA newspaper, The Los Angeles Times estimates that the death toll was "at least dozens of civilians."

The bombing includes power stations, telephone exchanges, educational establishments, utilities, hospitals, lorries and buses filled with refugees, fuel trucks, convoys of tribal leaders, residential districts in the cities, and dozens of villages. This is a sample of attacks and their civilian casualties.

The hijackers in the atrocity in the USA had been from countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt; countries which are considered allies to the USA (the "moderate states"). The Taliban government had been funded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. When the USA wants to extend its "war on terrorism", countries such as Iraq, Sudan and Yemen are mentioned. These are "rogue states", countries with governments that are not under the control of the USA.

UK Arms Trade

Since 1996, the UK arms industry has been the second largest in the world (after the USA). More than 25% of the world's arms are supplied by the UK. In spite of the government's claim of an "ethical foreign policy", arms, spare parts and training are sold to several brutal and undemocratic regimes around the world.

Indonesia receives most of its arms from the UK including ground attack aircraft, surface to air missiles, Tribal class frigates, communications equipment (from Marconi), armoured vehicles, riot control vehicles, automatic weapons (from British Aerospace) and military training for pilots. Amnesty International has described the Indonesian military as "organised to deal with domestic rather than international threats". Since 1965, over 1,000,000 people have died from government suppression.

The UK company Mil-Tac armed the Hutu militia in Zaire. The weapons were used in the genocide of the Tutsis.

In Turkey, Land Rover vehicles, missiles and guns used against the Kurdish population are supplied by the UK. These weapons have claimed over 20,000 lives.

The UK also supplies arms to Nigeria which is using them against the Ogoni people in their oil rich region, and military training to forces from Guatemala which has used death squads against its own people for 40 years.

The UK (along with the USA) supplied arms to both sides of the war between Iraq and Iran in which 1,000,000 people died. Having supplied India with helicopters, aircraft and anti-ship missiles the UK supplied Pakistan with the same items.

The people of the UK pay for military development and research as 50% of all government development funds are allocated to "defence". Much of UK "aid" to countries is in the form of Export Credits (which the UK tax payer underwrites) to allow these countries to buy arms. The risks are taken by the UK public while the profits go to the large corporations. Arms have been sold to Iraq and Malaysia under these conditions.

Aid agencies criticise the UK for a $40 million aid deal to supply a military air traffic control system by BAE Systems to Tanzania. Some government ministers have expressed concern that the deal will push one of Africa's poorest countries further into debt. UK defence experts and the World Bank argue that an air traffic control system worth $11 million would be more appropriate for a country with only 8 military aircraft. The UK aid agency, Oxfam, declares that this aid money would pay for 3,500,000 children to go to school or provide health care for 2 million people. The deal is being financed by a loan of $60 million by Barclays Bank.


2002

USA in Afghanistan

The 4000 or so civilians killed by USA bombing in Afghanistan are mostly ignored by the Western media. The majority of the media also ignore a report by Marc Herold, an economics professor at the University of New Hampshire (USA). The report estimates from cross-checked analysis of press reports that "at least 3,767 civilians were killed by USA bombs between October 7 and December 10 ... an average of 62 innocent deaths a day."

This is in contrast to the few Western casualties who are named, pictured and their families described.

Afghan refugees returning to their villages are killed and maimed coming across unexploded cluster bombs. "As more people arrive in areas once abandoned, hospitals have been reporting an influx of wounded," according to the USA newspaper, the New York Times. Afghanistan is littered with unexploded cluster bombs, adding to the risk to civilians who also routinely die from the estimated 10 million land mines that remain from previous wars. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an average of 88 Afghans die every month because of land mine and cluster bomb injuries.

The USA contributes $7 million for de-mining efforts but does not provided a list of areas where it dropped cluster bombs forcing de-mining workers to search for the bomblets themselves.

The USA takes hundreds of prisoners (Afghan and foreign) to a military base in Cuba. There is no extradition treaty between Afganistan and the USA, therefore the movement of the Afghans is illegal under international law. The USA labels the Afghans as "battlefield detainees" and "unlawful combatants" rather than "prisoners of war" so as to avoid having to abide by the Geneva Conventions. The USA selects a military base in Cuba so as to be able to try them by military tribunals without the protection of USA federal law. The International Red Cross, Amnesty International and other human rights groups condemn the USA and request access to the prisoners. These requests are ignored. The prisoners have their beards and hair shaved and are kept in cages open to the elements.

The UK lawyer, Michael Mansfield, declares that "the status of 'unlawful combatants' the the USA has given to them is not recognised in law. They can be categorised so that they are either people engaged in war against the invasion of Afghanistan or they are suspects linked to the conspiracy surrounding 11 September." Taking an alternative action violates the Geneva Convention.

The proposed military trials violate international law as UK member of parliament, Geoffry Robinson explains: "present American plans to try them will fundamentally breach the [Geneva] Convention".

According to Mary Robinson, the United Nations chief of human rights: "As fighters in an international conflict... they are entitled to Prisoner of War status." Michael Byers, a law expert from Duke University states that: "forcefully shaving their beards [is] a violation of the right to human dignity". Amnesty International makes it clear that "the conditions under which the prisoners are being held including hygiene, are of concern to us".

In contrast, John Walker, a USA citizen who converted to Islam and fought for the Taliban, is taken back to the USA for a trial under a properly constituted court with access to legal representation. The UK newspaper, The Independent writes:

"Not only are such double standards offensive in themselves, but they spread like a virus around the world and erode the rights of those feeling the sharp edge of state power under regimes less sensitive to human rights and their legal protections. Israel, India, Russia and Zimbabwe are only four states which have used the rhetoric of the war against terrorism for repressive internal purposes."

Hundreds of prisoners in Khandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif are held in unsheltered stockades in the depth of winter; groups of 110 people held in cells designed for 15. Many die from disease. These actions also violate the Geneva Convention.

The USA ignores world opinion. Ari Fleischer, a spokesman for the USA government states that: "the President is satisfied that they are being treated as Americans would want people to be treated." Donald Rumsfeld (USA Secretary of Defence) declares: "I do not feel the slightest concern about their treatment. They are being treated vastly better than they treated anyone else." Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, counters this by saying that the USA "foolishly risks feeding the suspicion that this is second-rate victors' justice. The victims of 11 September [2001] deserve the highest standards of justice".

Global Exchange reports that over 800 civilians have been killed in 11 regions because of faulty local intelligence.

Botswana's Kalahari Bushmen

The government of Botswana decides to cut the water supply to the traditional lands of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen of the Kalahari.

The Bushmen have lived in the area for 20,000 years and are one of the oldest cultures on Earth. Only 700 are left; another 2,000 have been settled in camps away from the lands of their ancestors.

The South African company, De Beers (owned by UK and USA company, Anglo-American), have diamond surveying rights in the region. This business is worth $3,000 million per year.

Survival International have criticised the lack of consultation between the Bushmen and the government.

Western Companies and Human Rights

A study is published listing Western companies that invest and collaborate in countries with human rights violations. The study, Business and Human Rights: A Geography of Corporate Risk, concentrates on 35 countries where murder, torture, child and bonded labour are used.

Country Human Rights Violations Companies
Brazil Torture, Hostage Taking, Extra-Judicial Killings, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Forced Labour, Forcible Relocation, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention Anglo-American, BHP Billiton, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Rio Tinto, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Associated British Foods, Diageo, Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, National Grid, Daimler Chrysler, Ford, GKN, Invensys, Rolls-Royce, Smiths Group, Amersham, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Johnson & Johnson, British Telecommunications, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Nokia, Spirent
China Torture, Disappearances, Extra-Judicial Killings, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Forced Labour, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Denial of Freedom of Expression BHP Billiton, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Associated British Foods, Cadbury Schweppes, Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Scottish & Newcastle, South African Breweries, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, International Power, Ford, BMW, GKN, General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Smiths Group, Amersham, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Johnson & Johnson, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Nokia, Spirent, Vodafone
Colombia Torture, Disappearances, Extra-Judicial Killings, Hostage Taking, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Forcible Relocation, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention Anglo-American, BHP Billiton, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Shell, Diageo, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, GKN, Astra Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Johnson & Johnson, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Motorola
India Torture, Extra-Judicial Killings, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Bonded Labour, Bonded Child Labour, Denial of Women's Rights, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention BG, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, South African Breweries, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, Powergen, Ford, GKN, Invensys, Rolls-Royce, Smiths Group, Amersham, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, British Telecommunications, Johnson & Johnson, Cable & Wireless, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Nokia, Spirent, Vodafone
Indonesia Torture, Disappearances, Extra-Judicial Killings, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Forced Labour, Bonded Labour, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention Adidas, Nike, BG, BHP Billiton, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Rio Tinto, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Associated British Foods, Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Powergen, Invensys, Rolls-Royce, Smiths Group, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, British Telecommunications, Johnson & Johnson, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Spirent
Mexico Disappearances, Extra-Judicial Killings, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Denial of Freedom of Expression BG, Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, BMW, Ford, GKN, Smiths Group, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Johnson & Johnson, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Nokia, Vodafone
Nigeria Extra-Judicial Killings, Forced Labour, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Forced Child Labour Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, Ericsson
Philippines Torture, Disappearances, Extra-Judicial Killings, Bonded Child Labour, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Forced Child Labour BG, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Allied Domecq, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, United Utilities, Ford, Invensys, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola
Russia Torture, Extra-Judicial Killings, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Forced Labour, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Denial of Freedom of Expression Anglo-American, British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo, Groupe Danone, Interbrew, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, South African Breweries, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, BMW, Ford, Invensys, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, British Telecommunications, Cable & Wireless, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Marconi, Motorola, Nokia
Saudi Arabia Torture, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Bonded Labour, Denial of Women's Rights, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Denial of Freedom of Expression Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Daimler Chrysler, Smiths Group, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, British Telecommunications, Ericsson, Marconi
Turkey Torture, Extra-Judicial Killings, Harassment of Human Rights Defenders, Denial of Freedom of Assembly, Forcible Relocation, Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Denial of Freedom of Expression British Petroleum, Chevron Texaco, Shell, TotalFinaElf, Diageo, Nestlé, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, Enron, International Power, Smiths Group, Astra Zeneca, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Motorola, Nokia

Health for Rich and Poor Countries

The differences between rich and poor countries is highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Development Movement. The main points of concern are:

Nuclear Lobby

The UK owned British Nuclear Fuels secretly gives tax-payers' money to lobby USA political parties.

UK Bank and Ecology

The UK bank HSBC donates $50 million to the World Wildlife Fund. This causes unease as the bank is criticised for its funding of many environmentally unfriendly projects:

Burma

In Burma, the winner of the 1990 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi, is released from house arrest by the military government. The government continues to imprison hundreds of political prisoners.

The company, British American Tobacco has a factory in Burma which is jointly owned by the country's military government. The factory pays workers $0.35 per day which is below the United Nations definition of extreme poverty.

USA Plans for Iraq

The USA Deputy Secretary of Defence, Paul Wolfowitz instructs the CIA to investigate Hans Blix, the Swedish diplomat who is the chief United Nations arms inspector in Iraq. Nothing is found to discredit Blix.

The USA president, George W Bush states that he is looking for a "regime change" in Iraq and would like to use United Nations arms inspectors as an excuse.

100 warplanes from the USA and UK secretely bomb Iraq. In September and October the number of air raids on the country is more than for the previous eight months.

A United Nations resolution allows weapons inspectors to visit Iraq. When this resolution is accepted by Iraq, the country is bombed for ten days. Little of this action is reported in the Western media.

By the end of the year the USA has 100,000 soldiers in the region.

Independence of East Timor

East Timor becomes independent after 450 years of foreign rule.

The country had been invaded by Indonesia in 1975 while the Western powers remained silent. Over 200,000 people, a quarter of East Timor's population, were killed between 1975 and 1999 by Indonesian military forces. Although this fact is reported by the Western media, there is little mention that the arms used in the genocide had been supplied by the UK and USA.

UK Arms Trade

After declaring an "ethical foreign policy", the UK continues to sell arms to over 50 countries with civil wars and ethnic conflicts.

Arms worth $550 million are sold to Israel (occupying Palestine), India (oppression in Kashmir), Russia (in Chechnya), Sri Lanka (against the Tamil north), Nigeria (a military government), Indonesia (against its minorities), Philippines (against the Muslim south), Algeria (a military government) and Pakistan (a military government).

$179 million goes to Turkey while it is oppressing government opponents and its Kurdish population. Saudi Arabia (an absolute monarchy with no elections) receives arms worth $33 million. Non-democratic China receives $50 million worth of arms.

The UK sells arms to 130 countries in a trade worth $8,000 million.

Dam in Turkey

French company, Spie (partially owned by UK company, Amec), applies to government of France for help to build a dam in Turkey.

The dam (called Ilisu II) would displace 15,000 people (mainly Georgians) and destroy habitats of endangered species (including brown bears) near the town of Yusufeli). 15,000 others will be affected by losing their economic and cultural centre. 17 villages would be flooded and the water supply to Georgia would be affected.

UK bank, Barclays, and French bank BNP Paribas have offered to finance the project.

Local people have been consulted only to a limited degree.


2003

Buildup to War in Iraq

The USA and UK talk openly of flouting the will of the United Nations to invade Iraq. Instead of the United Nations making a decision that is then implemented by member states, the USA threatens the United Nations that if it does not approve action against Iraq, it will be discredited.

While United Nations weapons inspectors are in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of USA and UK troops are sent into the region surrounding the country. Many are based in non-democratic countries in the Gulf of Persia. These countries are part of the so-called "international coalition" or the "coalition of the willing". The USA and UK and their media vilify France and Germany for daring to show dissent against an invasion of Iraq even though these views are shared by a majority of European citizens and 50% of USA citizens.

The USA holds back information from the United Nations weapons inspectors. George Tenet, the director of the USA CIA, admits to a Senate committee that there were a "handful" of locations not passed on to the inspectors. Senator Carl Levin later tells the USA newspaper, The Washington Post that the USA has "undermined the inspectors".

In February 2003, the USA gives a presentation to the United Nations attempting to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat. The evidence included a dossier (Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation) supplied by the intelligence services of the UK government. A few days later, this document was shown to have been copied from a 10 year old student PhD thesis on the internet complete with the original spelling and grammatical mistakes. One passage had been altered from "aiding opposition groups" to "supporting terrorist organisations".

In March 2003, one of the weapons inspectors, Dr Mohamed Al-Baredi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reports to the United Nations Security Council that several UK and USA reports about Iraq's nuclear capabilities were fake. Very little of this is reported in the Western media.

Hundreds of bombing raids over Iraq are made by USA and UK war planes under cover of patrolling no-fly zones. The USA and UK declare that the no-fly zones are supported by United Nations Security Council Resolution 688. Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Secretary General of the United Nations when this resolution was passed in 1992:

"The issue of no fly zones was not raised and therefore not debated: not a word. They offer no legitimacy to countries sending their aircraft to attack Iraq. They are illegal".

The bombings have been occurring since 1992. Between July 1998 and January 2000, the USA flew 36,000 missions over Iraq. In 1999 alone, USA and UK aircraft dropped over 1,800 bombs hitting 450 targets. This is the longest Anglo-American bombing campaign since World War II with bombing occurring on a daily basis. Yet it is mostly ignored by the media in the West.

Iraq gives the United Nations a large document detailing their weapons. Over 60% of this document is taken away by the USA without permission. The document lists various companies that helped arm Iraq:

UK journalist, John Pilger, writing in the UK newspaper, The Independent on Sunday, investigates the under-reported effects of Depleted Uranium used by the USA and UK in Iraq and Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991.

Dr Al-Ali, a cancer specialist and a member of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, is based at Basra hospital:

"Before the Gulf War, we had only three or four deaths in a month from cancer. Now it's 30 to 35 patients dying every month, and that's just in my department. Our studies indicate that 40 to 48 per cent of the population in [the Basra] area will get cancer. That's almost half the population. Most of my family now have cancer, and we have no history of the disease. ...It is like Chernobyl here..."

Under a United Nations embargo, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to decontaminate its 1991 battlefields. The sanctions committee is dominated by the USA and UK.

Professor Doug Rokke is a USA army physicist who was responsible for decontaminating Kuwait:

"I am like many people in southern Iraq. I have 5000 times the recommended level of radiation in my body. Most of my team are now dead. We face an issue to be confronted by people in the West, those with a sense of right and wrong: first, the decision by [the USA] and [UK] to use a weapon of mass destruction: depleted Uranium. When a tank fired its shells, each round carried over 4.5kg of solid uranium. What happened in the Gulf was a form of nuclear warfare."

The USA offers Turkey an aid package worth $ 6,000 million in grants and $ 20,000 million in loan guarantees to allow 60,000 American troops to use the country to invade Iraq. Turkey says it will only accept the deal after the USA agrees that 40,000 Turkish troops be allowed to enter Kurdish regions in northern Iraq. Turkey has been oppressing its own large Kurdish population and over 20,000 Kurds have died. Turkish officials say that the USA has assured them that Iraqi Kurds will not be given autonomy in a post-Saddam Iraq.

Senior Kurdish leaders state that they fear Turkey more than Saddam. The Kurdish Interior Minister, Karim Sanjari, reveals that "Only a week ago the main topic in the streets among Kurds was Saddam and the fear of a chemical attack. Now the only thing people talk about is Turkey and the Turkish advance".

In February, the USA special envoy to Iraq, Zalmay Khalizad admits that after the removal of the Iraqi leadership, the infrastructure of the ruling Baath party would remain intact with the top two officials in each ministry replaced by USA military officers. Sami Abdul-Rahman, the Deputy Prime Minister of the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, states: "If the USA wants to impose its own government, regardless of the ethnic and religious composition of Iraq, there is going to be a backlash".

Kuwait and Qatar, two Gulf states, agree to allow the USA to use military bases on their territory to invade Iraq in return for both regimes to be guaranteed by USA power. Neither country is a full democracy. For allowing USA air, search and rescue teams to operate near its Iraqi border, Jordan is promised $150 million in extra aid, protection against Iraq and compensation for loss of trade.

Russia is offered a free hand in Chechnya and oil concessions if they support the USA invasion of Iraq.

In order to guarantee votes in the United Nations, the USA puts diplomatic and economic pressure on several countries:

The UK are the USA's biggest supporters. In a statement to the European Union, UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, warns "I say to France and Germany and all the other EU colleagues to take care. We will reap a whirlwind if we push Americans into a unilateralist position in which they are at the centre of this unipolar world". In other words, let us not upset the Americans otherwise we'll all be in trouble.

The USA announces that contracts worth $ 900 million to reconstruct Iraq after a war will be awarded only to USA companies. Colin Adams of the British Consultants and Construction Bureau is angered by this "Our own view is, given what the UK is doing in terms of supporting the USA, it would not be unreasonable if the USA were to enable UK companies to bid for work". No mention is made by the USA or the UK of the Iraqis making their own decisions about who they would like to reconstruct their country.

United Nations Security Council members are disconcerted by reports of USA spying on countries whose votes the USA requires. One country, Chile, angrily requests an explanation from the UK government. Pakistan states that: "given the level of intelligence sharing with the United States that's going on right now, it means they don't trust what we say behind closed doors."

In mid-March, the USA, UK and Spain order the leader of Iraq, Saddam Husein, to leave his country or have it bombed. The three countries blame France for the coming war even though it is the USA and UK that have 200,000 troops on the borders of Iraq. The president of France, Jacques Chirac counters "We are told by Washington that the UN Security Council will lose all meaning unless it takes a decision on Iraq but that the UN can only take one decision and that is the decision - for war - taken in Washington months ago".

France is blamed for threatening to use its United Nations veto. Between 1945 and 2002, France used its veto 18 times while the UK has used its veto 32 times. During the same period, the USA used its veto 76 times.

The USA expels two United Nations Iraqi diplomats from the USA and identifies 300 Iraqi diplomats in 60 countries that it wants expelled.

In Kuwait, USA General Buford Blount admits that Depleted Uranium will be used in any conflict in Iraq: "If we receive the order to attack, final preparations will only take a few days. We have already begun to unwrap our depleted uranium anti-tank shells". These remarks are ignored by Western media.

Lieutenant-General Jay Garner is named by the USA as co-ordinator of the civilian administration in post-War Iraq. In October 2000, he had put his name to a statement blaming the Palestinians for the Israel-Palestine conflict and declaring that "a strong Israel is an asset that American military planners and political leaders can rely on".

KryssTal Opinion: See Iraq - Why The USA Wanted Regime Change.

Afghanistan

Since the USA removed the Taliban government from Afghanistan, heroin production increases from 185 tons in 2001 to 2,700 tons in 2002. It is estimated that 300,000 people use the drug in the UK. A United Nations announcement that Afghanistan is now the world's largest producer of opium is ignored by the Western media.

In mid-February it is reported that at least 17 civilians are killed in bombing raids by USA led forces in Helmand province. The Western media hardly report these continuing attacks.

In March, USA military officials admit that two Afghan prisoners captured the previous December had died under interrogation at Bagram air base. The cause of death for the two men is given as "homicide" contradicting earlier reports of death by a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism. The death certificates indicate that one of the victims (known only as Diliwar, aged 22 from the Khost region) died of "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease". The other victim, Mullah Habibullah (aged 30) died from a blood clot in the lung exacerbated by a "blunt force injury".

USA officials have previously admitted using "stress and duress" on prisoners including sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to stand or kneel for hours on end, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light, and engaging in culturally humiliating practices such as having them kicked by female officers. The USA claims that these practices are "humane" while groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced these practices as torture as defined by international treaty.

Human Rights Watch has also criticised the USA practice of handing over subjects to countries such as Jordan, Morocco or Egypt where torture is a normal part of the security aparatus. Legally, it says, there is no difference between using torture and "subcontracting it out". The USA continues to refuse to recognise captives as Prisoners of War subject to protection under the Geneva Convention.

In an address to his nation, the USA president George W Bush, said that Al-Qa'ida suspects would "no longer be a problem to the United States and our friends and allies". The USA continues to refuse to allow its citizens to be subject to the International Criminal Court.

On the same day as the USA invades Iraq, 1000 USA troops supported by helicopters attack a region of the Sami Ghar mountains. Hundreds of homes are searched in several villages in the district of Maruf.

The chief of USA forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-General Dan McNeill, accuses the West of failing to rebuild the country as promised before it was attacked. The Prime Minister, Hamid Karzai (supported and protected by the USA), only controls the area around Kabul, the country's capital.

19 prisoners are released without charge from military detention in Guanatanamo Bay in Cuba by the USA without charge or explanation after they had been held as "battlefield detainees" for more than a year.

In Loi Karez, 40 people are killed by USA forces.

Dozens of homes are demolished by the USA backed police chief, Basir Salangi, in Kabul. The homes were in Wazir Akhbar Khan, an area wanted for the development of luxury accommodation. Buldozers flattened 13 mud brick one room houses with the families' possessions still inside. At the same time, all but four of Hamid Karzai's 32 cabinet ministers are given plots of land worth up to $170,000 in the Shir Pur district of the capital.

Ten nomads (including women and children) are killed when their tents are attacked by USA helicopters in Naubahar district. One of the survivors, Haji Lawang, complained that no USA official had been to the site of the bombing: "They had nothing to do with politics. This is a disaster. People said the Americans came here to help us build our country, but they are not. They are killing our people."

Although, little is reported about the country in the Western media, in a two month period between August and September, 300 people are killed, including civilians, aid workers and USA soldiers. Schools for girls are attacked and set on fire.

Amnesty International produces a report about the lives of Afghan women two years after the USA led invasion of the country. The report states that women continue to the victims of forced marriage (often to settle disputes), domestic violence (including honour killings), abduction and rape (often by the groups loyal to the war lords backed by the USA). Prosecutions for violence against women and virtually unknown. Women are routinely detained for adultery or asserting their rights.

Nuclear Energy

The European Committee of Radiation Risk, an international body composed of 30 independent scientists, publishes a report about nuclear energy. It states that pollution from energy programs and weapons testing has accounted for 65 million deaths worldwide up to 1989.

The report asserts that the global cancer epidemic (breast cancer, childhood leukaemia) is caused by pollution from atomic energy establishments and from fallout from the nuclear weapons testing that peaked between 1957 and 1963.

Very little publicity is given to this report by Western media.

UK Arms Trade

The UK holds an arms fair in London inviting one third of the world's governments. Countries present include:

A few weeks later, the USA appointed Iraq Survey Team would report the complete lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, even though this had been the main reason for the USA-UK invasion.

In 2002, the UK has sold arms to the following regimes:

In September, the UK Minister of Defence, Geoff Hoon, attempts to hide a $50 million joint "Star Wars" research program with the USA without telling parliament.

Three human rights groups (Amnesty International, Oxfam and International Action Network on Small Arms) call for a treaty banning arms sales to oppressive regimes by 2006. Their report highlights many disturbing facts:

USA-UK War in Iraq

The USA (with help from the UK) invades Iraq without United Nations authority.

After months of talking about disarming Iraq, the USA and UK governments now talk openly about regime change. After months of talking about the need to remove terrorism by attacking Iraq, the USA and UK give out world wide terrorist warnings to their citizens. After months of saying the the war will be short and quick, the USA and UK begin saying that it might take time and be difficult.

The USA president, George W Bush talks about a "coalition" of nations "disarming" or "liberating" Iraq. The "coalition" consists of:

World opinion is overwhelmingly against the war. Huge demonstrations erupt around the world even in the 30 countries whose governments support the war. UK and USA flags are burnt in streets.

Both the USA and UK attempt to allay public fears of civilian casualties by asserting that they will use "surgical strikes" of great accuracy and attempt to keep civilian casualties low. One of the bombs being used is called a Massive Ordinance Air Burst (MOAB). This bomb weighs 9,800kg (21,500 lbs) and is larger than a London bus. It devastates an area within a 1.5km (1 mile) radius. Another bomb used is the JDAM: everyone within a 120 meter radius is killed; to be safe from serious shrapnel damage, a person must be at least 365 meters away; to be really safe from all effects of fragmentation, a person must be 1000 meters away, according to Admiral Stufflebeem. The B-52 bombers (responsible for "carpet bombing" Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s) are also being used (many from UK bases).

In addition, the USA and UK refuse to rule out the use of Cluster Bombs (which spread into hundreds of bomblets and are deadly to civilians) or cancer causing Depleted Uranium (DU). The UK Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, declares "Specifically, as far as DU and cluster bombs are concerned, they have a particular military purpose. If that purpose is necessary, they will be used." In the 1991 Gulf War, over 2000 Kuwaitis were killed by unexploded cluster bombs.

Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, warns the USA and UK of their responsibilities as belligerent and occupying powers.

The head of the United Nations weapons inspectors, Hans Blix expresses regret over USA "impatience" to go to war with Iraq - and suggests that the USA had little interest in peaceful disarmament from the outset.

The response of Iraq to the high technology weapons of the USA and UK is to fire short range missiles at UK and USA troops in Kuwait.

In the first two days over 320 missiles are fired at Baghdad. This is more than during the entire 1991 conflict.

The first civilian victim is Ahmed Rahal, a taxi driver in his 20s. He is making a phone call in a police station when a missile hits - he is blown to bits. In the first few days all UK military casualties are as a result of accidents or fire from their own or USA forces.

Baghdad
The bombing of Baghdad. "Shock and awe".
Bombing Victim
Young girl - victim of the bombing. 42% of Iraq's population is under 15.

© 2003: Reuters

Turkey moves 1500 troops into northern Iraq "for humanitarian reasons" and "to combat terrorism". Turkey fears that any independence of Iraq's Kurds will encourage its own Kurdish population.

Iran complains to the United Nations that its airspace has been violated by USA and UK forces. One of its oil refineries is bombed.

USA Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, states that television pictures showing captured USA soldiers violate the Geneva Convention. This story is the main lead on UK and USA television stations which do not show Iraqi civilian casualties. Very little comment is made about the denial of Prisoner of War status to fighters captured in Afghanistan whom the USA refers to as "battlefield detainees".

The Qatar based television station, Al-Jazeera, and some European television stations, beam pictures of Iraqi civilian casualties around the Arab world as well as UK and USA prisoners of war. After the first week of the war, Al-Jazeera is accused by UK forces of "bad taste". UK television channels and some newspapers had previously shown images of the gassing of the Kurds, not when it occurred during the period that Iraq was supported by the West, but during the run-up to the USA-UK invasion of Iraq.

Bombing Victim 2
Child - another bombing victim.
Bombing Victim 3
A frightened child in hospital.

Dead Iraqi Soldiers 2
Dead Iraqi soldiers at Umm Qasr.
Note the white flag of surrender.
Dead Iraqi Soldiers
Dead Iraqi soldiers.
Soldiers are fathers, sons and brothers of Iraqi civilians.

Civilians
Injured and frightened civilians plead for help.
Civilian Victim
Injured man with burns in hospital.

USA Flag
Soldier raising USA flag at Umm Qasr.
This was quickly taken down for propaganda reasons.

© 2003: Reuters

After a week, USA and UK forces bomb Iraqi television. Amnesty International declares that this breaches the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilian infrastructure. Reporters Sans Frontières, the international journalists' group, comment on double standards: "The Americans invoke the Geneva Convention when their prisoners are shown on Iraqi TV and just as soon forget it when it comes to bombarding a civil building that is protected by the same convention".

Bombed House
Bomb damage in residential district of Baghdad.


© 2003: Reuters

USA and UK media choose their language of war carefully:

Bombing raids by A-10 warplanes are mentioned by the Western media without the information that these use Depleted Uranium which cause cancers.

A USA missile hits a bus carrying Syrians to Damascus from Iraq, killing 5 people. UK forces destroy the Baath Party headquarters in Basra. The Baath Party is a secular, socialist and pan-Arabic political movement. Over 50 people are killed in Basra by a bombardment that includes cluster bombs. 57 Kurds are killed by missiles in Khormal.

The USA and UK consider themselves "liberators of Iraq" and are shocked at the resistance being put up by the people of Iraq. Vincent Cannistraro, a retired USA CIA counter-terrorism expert states: "People thought the Iraqis would be waving little American flags like it was occupied France in World War Two. This is not an occupied country. It is Iraq and it is run by Iraqis, and for better or worse they are not welcoming Americans as liberators".

The USA forces are shocked and surprised by Iraqi tactics. Lieutenant-General William Wallace admits to the USA newspaper, Washington Post: "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd wargamed against".

Two cruise missiles hit a market in the residential district of Shaab in Baghdad killing at least 15 people. On UK television, a BBC correspondent asks a UK military commander if the Iraqis could have bombed themselves.

UK journalist Robert Fisk describes the aftermath:

"It's a dirt poor neighbourhood of Shia Muslims, the same people Bush and Blair still fondly hope will rise up against Saddam Husein. Everyone I spoke to heard the plane. Abu Hassan and Malek Hammoud were preparing lunch for customers at the Nasser restaurant on the north side of Abu Taleb Street. The missile that killed them landed next to the westbound carriageway, its blast tearing away the front of the cafe and cutting the two men - the first 48, the second only 18 - to pieces. A fellow worker led me through the rubble. 'This is all that is left of them now', he said, holding out before me an oven pan dripping with blood."

"At least 15 cars burst into flames, burning many of their occupants to death. Several men tore desperately at the doors of another flame shrouded car in the centre of the street that had been flipped upside down by the same missile. They were forced to watch helplessly as the woman and her three children inside were cremated alive in front of them".

"The second missile hit...the eastbound carriageway, sending shards of metal into three men standing outside a concrete apartment block... The building's manager, Hishem Danoon, ran to the doorway... 'I found Ta'ar in pieces over there', he told me. His head was blown off. 'That's his hand'. A group of young men and a woman took me into the street and there, a scene from any horror film, was Ta'ar's hand, cut off at the wrist, his four fingers and thumb grasping a piece of iron roofing. His young colleague, Sermed, died the same instant. His brains lay piled a few feet away, a pale red and grey mess behind a burnt car".


The bombed Museum in Tikrit.
Tikrit is the birthplace of Saddam Husein
It is also a historical city as the birthplace of Saladin.
Anti War Demo
Anti war demonstration in Jordan.
This pro-West "moderate regime" has banned all
demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq.

Baghdad Bombing
Results of a missile attack on a Baghdad residential area (Sha'ab).
Baghdad Bombing 2
Results of a missile attack on a Baghdad residential area (Sha'ab).

Iraqi Prisoners
Boy giving cigarettes to Iraqi prisoners of war near Basra.
Basra Woman
Woman outside her destroyed house in Basra.

Baghdad
Worried men watching B-52s flying over Baghdad.

Hilla Hospital
Bahjat Abid, an injured 28 year old man at Hilla hospital.
Ayd Sami
Ayad Sami. His entire family has just been killed in a bombing raid in Hindia.
Leiali Kobar
Leiali Kobar, 24, mourns four sons killed in bombing.

© 2003: Reuters and Los Angeles Times

The UBS Bank from Switzerland declares it will hand over Iraqi assets frozen in 1990 by the United Nations to the USA. Even before the war began, the USA company, Halliburton, is given the contract to repair Iraqi oil installations. The USA vice president, Dick Cheney, is a former head of the company, which has made large donations to the Bush campaign. This comes after repeated assurances by the USA and UK governments that "Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people".

The USA Congress passes a law banning reconstruction contracts being given to companies from France, Germany or Russia. Contracts are awarded to USA companies with links to the Bush government. These include:

In the port city of Umm Qasr, the USA awards the contract for managing the port to a USA company called Syevedoring Services of America. The UK military reinstall the Iraqi man who directed the port before the invasion in order to be seen to be involving local people in the running of the country. Rodney Chase of British Petroleum and Phillip Carroll (formerly of Shell) are put forward by the USA as people who could run Iraq's oil industry after the war.

KryssTal Opinion: One wonders what the Iraqi people think of these contract awards made without their say. This point is rarely made in the Western media.

The USA Pentagon confirms that it authorised the use of "non-lethal" gases in the conflict. Similar gases had been used by Russia to end a siege in a cinema in 2002 with over 100 deaths. This leads to many accusations of hypocrisy by a country that has claimed to be at war to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, justifies the invasion of Iraq by alleging that two UK soldiers (Simon Cullingworth and Luke Allsopp) had been executed by Iraq. A day later this claim is retracted. The UK Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, claims that Iraqi chemical suits found proves that Iraq has chemical weapons. A day later this claim is also retracted.

The Al-Jazeera television continues to show scenes that the more sanitised Western media refuse to show. In the hospital in Basra scenes include an Arab correspondent for a Western news agency lying on a morgue with blood pouring from his head; a partially decapitated body of a little girl still wearing a red scarf around her neck; another small girl with half her head missing; a child with no feet.

Felah Hassan Mirza
Felah Hassan Mirza lost his right hand in Kefal.
He used to play football in goal.
Baghdad
Bomb damage in Baghdad.
Human Hand
A human hand lies in the bomb damage in Baghdad.

Baghdad
Searching for a woman's body after bombing in the
Radiha Khatoun district of Baghdad.
El Numan
Weeping for 5 dead relatives in El Numan Hospital in Baghdad.
Aqeel Khalil
Aqeel Khalil weeps over the death of his sister
after his house was flattended by a bomb.

Zina Sabah
Zina Sabah, 24, with her injured son, Ahmad Mounir.
Refugees
A family fleeing the fighting near Baghdad.
Shahid Halid
9 year old Shahid Halid lies injured
after the bombing that killed her mother.

Ali Ismail Abbas
12 year old Ali Ismail Abbas lies injured and without arms
in a Baghdad hospital after airstrikes.

© 2003: Reuters and Los Angeles Times

The USA Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, accuses Syria of supplying weapons to Iraq. He states: "We consider such trafficking as a hostile act and will hold the Syrian government responsible". Syria responds by stating that the USA / UK invasion of Iraq is "a clear occupation and a flagrant aggression against a United Nations member state". Syria is one of the countries described by the USA as part of the "axis of evil", a country like Iraq where USA influence is minimal. A few days later, USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, threatens both Syria and Iran in a speech to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

At least 62 civilians are killed by a missile strike at a market in the Shu'ale neighbourhood of Baghdad. David Chater of Sky News reports: "I think whole families have been wiped out, judging by the bodies in the morgue". The USA attempts to blame Iraqi anti-aircraft fire but one doctor treating the injured responds: "Even if that were true, we would not be using anti-aircraft guns if we were not being invaded".

UK journalist, Robert Fisk, writes about a piece of the missile having a Western serial number which he quotes as 30003-704ASB 7492 B (or H) with a lot number of MFR 96214 09. The numbers prove that the missile was manufactured by a company called Raytheon, who are based in the city of McKinney in Texas (USA).

He goes on to describe the suffering of some of the victims in the Al-Noor hospital: 2 year old Saida Jaffar, swaddled in bandages and with a tube through her stomach; 3 year old Mohamad Amaid, also completely covered in bandages. Dr Ahmed, an anaesthetist describes the injuries caused by the missile: "These people have been punctured by dozens of bits of metal". One old man has 24 holes in the back of his legs and buttocks, some 2cm wide.

At a USA checkpoint outside Najaf, Sergent Ali Jaffar Moussa Hamadi al-Nomani, a 50 year old Shia Muslim who had fought in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War and a father of five children, detonates a bomb in the car he is driving killing four USA soldiers. Even though the target is military, and the soldier was fighting in his own country against invading forces, the USA describes the attack as terrorism. The Iraqi Vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, states "The USA administration is going to turn the whole world into people prepared to die for their nations".

During the invasion, the military or politicians of the UK and USA put out a number stories that are later shown to be untrue.

UK and USA journalists are "embedded" with the Anglo-American forces. To be accepted, a 12 page document had to be signed for the USA Pentagon. Many UK journalists refuse to sign and are left reporting the war from the north of Iraq or nearby countries. Independent journalists not under the USA control are discouraged and refused protection by the USA military. One such group of journalists is told by an army spokesman: "My job is to make your lives as difficult as possible. You will get no help whatsoever". Four journalists (from Israel and Portugal) are detained by USA and UK soldiers 160km south of Baghdad at gunpoint, deprived of food for two days and expelled from Iraq. One of the Israeli correspondents, Dan Semama (55), is forced to lie on the ground in the sun. He describes one of the Portuguese journalists being beaten up by five soldiers: "he was crying like a child". A group of journalists from Australia are threatened with their Iraqi visas to be taken from them by UK troops. Non-embedded journalists are refused entry to a hotel compound in Umm-Qasar.

150 members of a group called Ansar al-Islam (in the northern part of Iraq controlled by the Kurds) are killed by USA special forces. The presence of their camp in Iraq had been used by the USA and UK as proof of a link between the president of Iraq, Saddam Husein, and the terrorist group, Al-Qa'ida. Ansar al-Islam controlled a number of villages and had set up an Islamic regime similar to that of the Taliban in Afghanistan and was actually fiercely anti-Saddam.

USA Brigadier General Vincent Brooks refuses to discuss Iraqi civilian casualties: "The casualty figures, that's not something I'm going to engage in".

Up to 10 women and children (five under the age of 5) are killed by USA soldiers at a checkpoint at Najaf when their vehicle fails to stop. None of the USA or UK media asks what language the stop sign is in, or name the victims. The UK BBC describes the deaths as an "unhelpful incident". USA sources say that the vehicle ignored warning shots.

William Branigin, a correspondent from the USA newspaper, Washington Post, who was near the scene, suggests troops had fired without giving enough warning. The shots had included 25mm high explosive cannon shells. He quotes Captain Ronnie Johnson of the USA 3rd Infantry Division shouting at a platoon leader: "You just ****ing killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough".

The soldiers are then reported to have given the survivors body bags and offered them money in compensation. According to William Branigin: "It was the most horrible thing I've ever seen and I hope I never see it again". Another unarmed driver is shot and killed in the same area.

The USA state that some Iraqi prisoners would be sent to a military prison in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba.

USA bombing kills over 250 people and injures over 1000, mainly civilians, according to doctors in the hospital in Nasariya. A typical injury: a student called Haider Mohammed loses the lower part of both his legs and his fingers. Armed looters roam the city after a breakdown in law and order, even attacking the hospital.

33 people, many of them children, are killed by USA bombing in the city of Kerbala.

According to the news agencies, Reuters and Associated Press, over 33 civilians are killed (most of them children and baby) after USA bombing in Hilla, a suburb of Babylon and the nearby village of Mazarak. Video film taken by the first Western news agencies allowed on the Iraqi side of hostilities shows babies cut in half, children with amputated limbs, a father holding out pieces of his baby and shouting "cowards", two lorryloads of bodies. Alia Mukhtaff is seen lying on a bed - her husband and six of her children have been killed in the attacks; Majeed Djelil is sitting next to his child who has a foot missing - his wife and two other children had been killed.

According to UK-trained Dr Nazem el-Adali, the victims had been attacked with cluster bombs. The use of cluster bombs in civilian areas is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, a fact not mentioned very much in the Western media. Only a few minutes of the 21 minute video is shown by Western television broadcasters.

83 people, mainly civilians are killed in the Baghdad suburb of Furat. 200 people are injured, many by cluster bombs.

Mansour
Wreckage of buildings bombed in an attempt to kill Saddam Husein. 14 Christian civilians died.
Al Kindi
Taking a wounded relative to Al Kindi hospital.
Journalists
Journalists remember two collegues killed when their hotel was shelled by a USA tank.

Saddam Statue
Baghdadis pulling down a statue of Saddam Husein.

Looting Mosul
Looting in Mosul.
Looting Basra
Looting in Basra.
Looting Baghdad
Arms looted from a police station in Baghdad.

Dead Child
Dead 2 year old boy in Basra as shown on Al-Jazeera TV.
Injured Soldier
Injured Iraqi soldier.

© 2003: Reuters, New Zealand Scoop, al-Jazeera TV and Los Angeles Times

The UK Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, attacks the independent and award winning journalist, Robert Fisk, who has been reporting on Iraqi civilian casualties. Fisk counters:

"I cannot help remembering an Iranian hospital train on which I travelled back from the Iran-Iraq war front in the early 1980s. The carriages were packed with young Iranian soldiers, coughing mucus and blood into handkerchiefs while reading Korans. They had been gassed and looked as if they would die. Most did. After a few hours, I had to go around and open the windows of the compartments, because the gas coughed back from their lungs was beginning to poison the air in the carriage. At the time I worked for the [London] Times. My story ran in full. Then an official of the [UK] Foreign Office lunched my editor and told him my report was 'not helpful'. Because, of course, we supported President Saddam at the time and wanted revolutionary Iran to suffer and destroy itself. President Saddam was the good guy then. I wasn't supposed to report his human rights abuses. And now I'm not supposed to report the slaughter of the innocents by [USA] and [UK] pilots because the [UK] government has changed sides."

The Russian foreign ministry complains to the USA after a convoy of embassy staff is shot at by USA forces while leaving Baghdad. The convoy had previously been cleared with the USA.

BBC journalist, John Simpson, is part of a USA-Kurdish convoy that is bombed in a friendly fire incident:

"I've counted 10 or 12 bodies around us. It was an American plane that dropped the bomb right beside us. I saw it land about 12ft [4m] away I think. This is a scene from hell here. All the vehicles on fire. There are bodies burning around me, there are bodies lying around, there are bits of bodies. I am bleeding through the ear. [The bomb] took the lower legs off Kamaran our translator. I got shrapnel. Our producer had a piece of shrapnel an inch long [2.5cm] taken out of his foot. But apart from that and ruptured eardrums which is painful but not serious, and a few punctures from shrapnel, the rest of us were all right. But our translator was killed and he was a fine man."

Thousand of Iraqis have had this experience without the media being present to describe their suffering.

USA forces in Baghdad fire tank shells on the Palestine Hotel killing Taras Protsyuk, a Reuters cameraman, and Jose Couso, a Spanish cameraman, and injuring two journalists. A USA military spokesman talks of sustaining "significant fire" from the hotel, a fact denied by BBC and other journalists based there. The Palestine Hotel is the base of about 200 non-embedded journalists. David Chater, the Sky News correspondent asks "How are we supposed to carry on if American shells are targeting Western journalists?"

In a jet attack on the Al-Jazeera offices in Baghdad, Tariq Ayoub, a Palestinian-Jordanian journalist, is killed. Al-Jazeera had given the USA its office co-ordinates several months previously and had received two assurances that its offices would not be attacked. Al-Jazeera has its licence to report from the New York Stock Exchange removed. American opponents hack into its English language web site and close it down. During the bombing of Afghanistan, the offices of Al-Jazeera were destroyed in Kabul after threats from the USA.

The offices of Abu Dhabi television are razed trapping 29 journalists and support staff in the basement. The offices of the Palestinian Authority are also bombed.

Taras Protsyk
Taras Protsyk, a Ukrainian cameraman killed by
a USA shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

© 2003: Reuters

The International Red Cross warns that hospitals in Baghdad are being overwhelmed with casualties. They state that 100 patients are admitted per hour in one hospital (Yarmouk), one of five in the city. It is estimated that there have been 2000 military deaths in the city. Another hospital (Kindi) reports 14 people killed and 75 injured by a missile hitting a residential area.

One of the injured is 12 year old Ali Ismail Abbas, who was asleep when the missile destroyed his home in the village of Zafaraniya, killing his parents (Ismail and Azhar, who was pregnant) and 9 family members. The blast blew both his arms off. He has 60% burns over his body. A photograph of the boy, biting his lips in pain, becomes one of the images of the war.

The USA drop four large bombs from a jet on a restaurant in the Baghdad suburb of Mansur in an attempt to assassinate Saddam Husein. 14 (mainly Christian) Iraqi civilians are killed. The pilot is quoted to have said "It's a good feeling".

Widespread looting breaks out in Baghdad; some rapes are reported. Several hospitals are attacked and looted. After a week, only 3 hospitals out of over 40 stay open. The Rasheed psychiatric hospital is attacked, some patients being raped.

Several embassies are attacked - Germany and Slovakia among them - as well as United Nations offices. Three quarters of all Baghdad banks are raided.

Protecting medical facilities and embassies as well as their staff is the responsibility of the occupying powers under the Geneva Convention. The United Nations calls on the USA to assert control and stop the looting.

Edgy USA soldiers kill dozens of civilians including a 6 year old girl.

Kurdish forces take over the city of Kirkuk - the government of Turkey threatens action if the Kurds remain. During the 1990s, the Kurdish population in Kirkuk had been ethnically cleansed by the Iraqi government.

The USA Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) begins planning for Iraq's future. One official is quoted in the USA newspaper, New York Times as saying "To the victor the spoils, and in this case the spoils are choosing who governs". The USA reaffirms that the USA and not the United Nations will select the interim government. Jay Garner, a retired USA general, is to take over the running of Iraq. Former director of the CIA, James Woosley is lined up to run the information ministry. Paul Wolfowitz (USA deputy defence secretary) calls Russia, France and Germany "the axis of weasels" and suggests they contribute to the reconstruction by writing off Iraq's debts. These are estimated to be over $200,000 million.

Ahmed Chalabi, in exile since 1958, is flown to Nasariya by the USA. He begins gathering a private army around him with the support of the USA. Chalabi had been convicted in Jordan of financial irregularities. Another exile, Said Abdul Al-Qui is assassinated in Najaf. The USA trained Iraqi Coalition of National Unity is reported by residents of Najaf to be looting homes and businesses.

The museums in Baghdad and Mosul, full of ancient artifacts of Mesopotamia (some up to 7000 years old), are ransacked. What is not taken is smashed. Mosul University is sacked; Baghdad Library is set on fire. Both had priceless and rare manuscripts and documents. Over 170,000 artifacts are lost. USA forces had promptly deployed troops to secure the oil fields and to protect the oil ministry but had failed to protect museums or libraries (or indeed hospitals). The importance and location of these establishments had been indicated to the USA by archeologists worldwide. An outcry occurs around the world; the USA media shows limited interest in this cultural disaster. Martin Sullivan and Gary Vikan resign from the President's Advisory Committee on Cultural Property saying: "we certainly know the value of oil, but certainly don't know the value of historical artifacts". Cutural sites are protected under the 1907 Hague Convention.

The chief weapons inspector of the United Nations, Hans Blix, accuses the USA and UK of planning the invasion of Iraq in advance and of fabricating evidence against Iraq. The USA set up their own weapons inspection teams after attempting to recruit some of Blix's staff.

10 people are shot dead and over 100 wounded in Mosul after USA troops open fire after a crowd turned against an American-installed local governor, Mashaan al-Juburi. The crowd began chanting: "The only democracy is to make the Americans leave". In Baghdad and Basra thousands of Iraqis demonstrate against the USA and UK occupation; denouncing the lack of water and electricity, and looting.

The USA admits that intelligence material "proving" that Iraq attempted to buy fissile material from Niger was forged by a Western intelligence agency, either MI6 (UK) or Mossad (Israel). Around 50% of USA citizens are shown by a poll to believe that Iraq was responsible for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 even though no link has ever been proven.

The USA awards a $680 million rebuilding contract to USA company Bechtel. The company had made $1,300,000 donations to USA political parties, 60% going to the Republicans. Another USA company, Creative Associates International, is awarded a contract worth up to $62 million to prepare Iraq's schools system for a new academic year.

Several USA charities, openly hostile to Islam, prepare to distribute food, water and medicines to Iraq. One charity, Samaritan's Purse, is run Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham and friend to the USA president. Graham has described Islam as "a very evil and wicked religion". Another charity (the Southern Baptist Convention) has described Mohammad as "a demon-possessed paedophile".

USA military officials admit to the USA newspaper, New York Times, that they want "access" to four military bases in Iraq. These bases are at Baghdad International Airport, Tallil (near Nasariya), an isolated airstrip called H-1 in the western desert, and Bashur in the Kurdish north.

The USA begins talks with the USA-backed Iraq National Congress to build an oil pipeline between Iraq and Israel. James Atkins (a former USA ambassador to Saudi Arabia) admits "There would be a fee for transit rights through Jordan, just as there would be fees for those using what would be the Haifa terminal. After all this is the new world order now. This is what things look like particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes to show that this is all about oil, for the United States and its allies." The plan was first put forward by Henry Kissinger in 1975 and has been revived by Donald Rumsfeld. The favoured company to build the pipeline is Bechtel.

Donald Rumsfeld, the USA Secretary of State, declares that "Iranian style [Islamic government] is not going to happen in Iraq". This prompts the comment from Kassem al-Sa'adi, a 41 year old merchant, "I thought the Americans said they wanted a democracy in Iraq. [If so,] why are they allowed to make the rules?"

USA President, George W Bush, attacks the president of France and the French people for opposing the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. This prompts the following editorial in the UK newspaper, The Independent which says that President Bush "believes in multilateralism so long as it consists of other countries doing what the US wants". It continues:

"Worse than that, is the growing evidence that the Bush administration intends to punish those countries that 'weakened' international bodies by refusing to do as they were told. This is a disastrous course for a country that sincerely believes itself to be acting for the good of the whole world. There is in American culture a dangerous streak of intolerance, at odds with the rhetoric of free speech..."

The USA president, George W Bush declares the end of "combat operations" in Iraq on 1 May.

Congo

The USA aid agency, the International Rescue Committee, announces that 4,700,000 people have died in the civil war in Congo between 1999 and 2003. Rape, murder, torture and other human rights abuses have been commonplace during this war.

Rwanda and Uganda both have troops involved in the conflict. Both countries receive more than half their budgets in aid from the UK. Other countries involved in the conflict (Angola, Namibia, Burundi) have been sold $16 million worth of weapons by the UK.

The under-reported war is being fought over the control of the country's resources: diamonds, gold and oil. Many Western companies are profiting from the conflict including: Barclays Bank, Anglo American, De Beers (both mining companies), Avient, Das Air, and Oryx Natural Resources.

A United Nations report detailing the plunder of wealth from the Congo was censored after pressure from several Western governments.

UK and Northern Ireland

A report is published in the UK indicating that during the 1980s and 1990s, the secret services colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland to kill suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The Occupation of Iraq

The USA (with the UK and Spain) sponsor a United Nations resolution to remove sanctions from Iraq after the USA and UK military victory. The terms of the resolution break a number of promises and pledges made by the USA and UK before the invasion of Iraq.

Topic
Quote USA Proposal
Aid
"The UN should have a key role in administering the delivery of humanitarian aid."
Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister, in the House of Commons: 18 March 2003
The resolution states that the USA and UK will oversee all aid efforts with the UN reduced to a co-ordinating role.
Government
"Military action is to uphold the authority of the UN and to make sure Saddam is disarmed."
Tony Blair, MTV: 7 March 2003
The USA and UK will rule Iraq as an "occupying power".
Oil
"We don't touch it, and the US doesn't touch it."
Tony Blair, MTV: 7 March 2003
The resolution will give total control of Iraq's oil revenues to the USA and UK governments until and Iraqi government is established.
The UN
"The UN will have a vital role to play."
George W Bush, USA President, in Belfast, Northern Ireland: 8 April 2003
All operational decisions will be taken by USA and UK officials with the UN acting in an "advisory role".
Weapons
"Should the UN have a vital role to play in respect of weapons inspections? The answer to that is Yes."
Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary in an interview: 25 April 2003
There will be no role for UN weapons inspectors "in the forseeable future".

The reaction in Iraq was negative. Bassen al-Khoja:

"This is very, very bad. We are in the same situation as we were with Saddam. They stole the oil money from the people and we got nothing and now the Americans and the British are doing exactly the same. We are not going to see any benefit from it. The United Nations should control the oil money, not the Americans".

The European Commissioner for Development, Poul Nielson warns: "The unwillingness to give the UN a legal, well-defined role speaks a language that is quite clear."

The resolution is passed even though it effectively rewrites some of the provisions of the Geneva Convention, which forbid occupying powers from creating a new government. It also allows the occupying powers to sell Iraq's resources as they see fit.

A panel of international lawyers declare that the invasion of Iraq by the USA and UK was a illegal: "There was no threat. There was no [UN] resolution".

In a televised address on 18 March 2003, USA President, George W Bush had stated: "Intelligence leaves no doubt that Iraq continues to possess and conceal lethal weapons." The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair concurred: "Our choice is clear: back down and leave Saddam hugely strengthened or proceed and disarm him by force".

On 28 May 2003, USA Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, admits: "It is possible Iraqi leaders decided they would destroy them prior to the conflict."

As concern grows in the USA and UK, USA senator, Jane Harman, states "This could conceivably be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time".

Finally, in an interview in the July 2003 issue of magazine Vanity Fair, the USA Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, admits "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on".

The USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, defends the lack of weapons of mass destruction in post-invasion Iraq with the following smug statement: "We haven't found Saddam Hussein either, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exist".

Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector accuses the USA of giving him bad information during the inspections in Iraq. After being given four places to look "only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none of these cases were there any weapons of mass destruction ... I thought 'My God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?'"

Blix condemns the lack of patience by the USA and notes that "when the American inspectors do not find anything, then it is suggested we should have patience."

Another former United Nations inspector, Bernd Birkicht, accuses the USA CIA of making up information: "We received information about a site, giving the exact geographical co-ordinates, and when we got there we found nothing. Nothing on the ground. Nothing under the ground. Just desert". He added that a "decontamination truck" pictured on a satellite photograph was actually a fire engine.

A report by the USA Defence Intelligence Agency called Iraq: Key Weapons Facilities - An Operational Support Study, is leaked. The 2002 report states that "there is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons..."

USA soldiers open fire on a crowd of protesters in Fallujah, killing 17 and injuring up to 70. The USA alleges that the school it was using as a base had been fired on. Human Rights Watch refute this when they fail to find any bullet holes on the school despite Western media reports that the school was "pocked with bullet holes". In contrast, the buildings opposite the school where the demonstrators had been standing "had extensive evidence of multi-calibre bullet impacts that were wider and more sustained than would have been caused by the 'precision fire' with which the soldiers maintained they had responded... Witness testimony and ballistic evidence suggest USA troops responded with excessive force to a perceived threat". Two days later, 3 more Iraqis are shot dead.

In May, mass graves are found in the south of the country. These contain thousands of victims of the Iraqi regime. The Western media extensively cover this story as justification for the invasion. However, most reports fail to mention that the victims resulted from an uprising against Saddam Husein in 1991 that was encouraged by the USA president George Bush. The USA then abandonded the people to their fate preferring to leave the dictator in place rather than risk the breakup of Iraq.

USA forces kill three farmers in June. The men were trying to put out a fire started by flares used by USA forces.

Two months after the end of the invasion, the USA continues to hold over 3000 prisoners at Baghdad airport without charge. The former Iraqi, deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, is arrested by the USA but remains hidden. Little coverage of this appears in the Western media.

In July, USA forces kill the two sons of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. Two other people including a 14 year old are also killed. The USA broadcasts photographs of the dead bodies. USA soldiers drawn from the Florida National Guard shoot dead two Iraqis celebrating the deaths by firing guns into the air.

In a street in Hay al-Gailani (a suburb of Baghdad) two Iraqis are killed when their car is shot at by USA troops. The car bursts into flames and the troops leave; local people take the remains to Kindi hospital. No USA official attempts to enquire about the identities of the victims.

The USA stops Batelco, a mobile phone company from Bahrain, from setting up a mobile phone service in Iraq. The system used was one that is compatible with Europe and the Middle East. The USA wants to set up its own system, only compatible with the USA. No Iraqi is involved in this decision.

The Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera is harassed by USA soldiers by being shot at, having news material confiscated and arrests and detentions of its staff. The station had previously been harassed by the regime of Saddam Hussein and was previously praised by the USA for its services to free speech in the region.

11 Iraqis are killed in Baghdad in an attempt to capture Saddam Hussein. The raid is by USA soldiers and armed USA citizens in civilian clothes. Three wounded Iraqis are taken away and not seen again even after appeals to the International Red Cross. One of the wounded, Thamir Elyas, worked for the USA as a translator. The dead include women and children. Bullet-shattered cars were taken away in trucks while soldiers attempt to stop filming. No USA official visits the hospitals to enquire about the dead and injured.

In Karbala, three Iraqis are shot dead by USA soldiers during a demonstration.

In Baghdad, an average of 20 Iraqis are killed by USA forces daily. In one incident, a family car is fired on by USA soldiers at 9:30pm (before the 11pm curfew). The vehicle had stopped at a checkpoint. The father and three children of the abd al-Kerim family are killed - one child was only 8. The heavily pregnant mother and a daughter are the only survivors. The father and two of the children would have lived had they been given prompt medical aid but bled to death as USA forces refuse access to the wounded. On the same day, the USA president, George W Bush, makes a radio speech saying that "life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people".

In August, USA forces admit using napalm around Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq in March and April 2003. In 1980, a United Nations convention had banned its use against civilian targets. The USA (which did not sign the treaty) is one of the few countries to use the weapon. Napalm is a mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene which sticks to skin as it burns.

Dozens of napalm bombs were dropped near bridges over the Saddam Canal and River Tigris south of the capital. Colonel James Alles, commander of the Marine Air Group 11 commented "unfortunately there were people there... you could see them in the [cockpit] video. They were Iraqi soldiers. It's no great way to die. The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect".

A reporter from the Australia newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, witnessed an attack at Safwan Hill close to Kuwait. He wrote: "Safwan Hill went up in a huge fireball". At the time the USA military authorities in the Pentagon denied using napalm stating "We completed destruction of our last batch of napalm on 4 April 2001".

Robert Musil, director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, describes napalm is a "horrible" weapon. The napalm bombs used by the USA are called Mark 77 Firebombs and weigh 510lbs (230kg) and consist of 44lbs (20kg) of polystyrene-like gel and 63 USA gallons (200 litres) of jet fuel.

In a UK enquiry, government emails indicate that dossiers about Iraq's weapons threats were exaggerated to prepare public opinion for the invasion. The version of the dossier dated 19 September 2002 was entitled Iraq's Programme for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The published title was Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.

USA forces shoot dead a Reuters cameraman, Mazen Dana in Baghdad. The USA claims that their forces mistook the camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Other journalists reject this claim as they were all in the area for half an hour before the killing. Stephen Breitner (of France 2 Television) states: "After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was an accident...". Dana's driver Munzer Abbas confirmed "There were many journalists around. They knew we were journalists. This was not an accident".

By September, 20 Iraqis are being killed and hundreds injured every day in Baghdad. The USA authorities respond to this by requiring journalists to seek permission before visiting hospitals and morgues.

In Falujah, 10 policemen are killed and 5 wounded by USA solders. The men were chasing a BMW car that had fired on the mayor's office after midnight. A USA checkpoint let the BMW through and then began firing on the police. A doctor at the Jordanian Hospital is killed during the gun fight which lasts for 90 minutes. The USA authorities take away the dead and wounded leaving relatives with no information. A USA tank fires on a palm grove outside the town badly injuring several children. This goes unreported in the mainstream Western press.

USA troops raid a building in Mansour killing 8 civilians including a 14 year old boy.

Two USA jets bomb a house in Fallujah killing a family.

Five months after the official end of the war, the Iraq Survey Group, a 1200-strong USA-appointed group of weapons inspectors, admit that they have failed to find any evidence of nuclear, chemical or biological material and concludes that weapons are unlikely to have been shipped out of Iraq.

Baha Mousa, a 26 year old hotel receptionist and father of two young children, is arrested from his work place by UK troops, taken to Darul Dhyafa military base, hooded and beaten. Two days later he is dead. The man's father, Daoud Mousa, was told of the death three days later. He states that his son had seen UK soldiers looting the hotel safe. 14 months later, a UK court rules that an independent enquiry should examine the incident. No UK soldier is convicted for this incident.

On 19th September, the USA governor of Iraq, Paul Bremer, enacts a new law called Order 39. This allows the privatisation of 200 state industries including electricity, telecommunications, engineering and pharmaceuticals. The law would allow foreign companies 100% ownership of banks, mines and factories. All the profits could be taken out of Iraq. Trade tariffs are removed; the tax rate is reduced from 45% to 15%. Companies or individuals will be allowed to lease land for 40 years.

All these changes are in violation of Iraq's constitution. Under the 1907 Hague Convention (signed by the USA), an occupying country must respect "the laws in force in the country" It also states that the occupying power "shall be regarded only as an administrator". Order 39 and its implications are not publicised by the Western media.

According to the UK newspaper, The Scotsman (22 May 2003), The UK attorney general, Lord Peter Goldsmith, informed UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair in a leaked memo that "the imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be authorised by international law".

The USA military continue killing and humiliating Iraqis:

Trade and Apartheid

In the USA city of New York a court case looks at allegations that multi-national companies profited from the apartheid system in South Africa before 1994. Under apartheid, most of the country's population were denied the vote and civil rights because of the colour of their skin.

The companies involved include: National Westminster Bank, Barclay's Bank, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse, Credit Lyonnais, Banque Indo-Suez, IBM, Ford, Isuzu, Daimler-Chrysler, Citygroup, De Beers, Anglo-American. The financial institutions are accused of giving loans at favourable rates in defiance of international sanctions. The car making companies made armoured vehicles for the regime that were used against dissidents. The mining companies are accused of using the low-wage labour force provided by the system.

Indonesia (Aceh)

The army in Indonesia sends 45,000 troops to the province of Aceh (Sumatra) in a crackdown against separatists. The military is accused of committing atrocities against the population. Children as young as 12 are executed by the army. Some of the military involved in the campaign had presided over the violence in East Timor. Over 23,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Aceh is a resource rich region. It used to be an independent sultanate before the arrival of the colonial Netherlands. It was incorporated in the independent Indonesia after World War II but has always rejected rule from Jakarta.

Between 1976 and 2003, 12,000 people died in the region. The war began when the government of Indonesia refused to give Aceh autonomy as promised at independence.

The governments of USA, UK, Japan, Australia and the European Union express support for the actions of the government of Indonesia. The UK supplies the Hawk jet fighters used to bomb the region. The conflict receives little media coverage in these countries.

In June the Red Cross states that it has taken 151 civilian bodies to hospitals and mortuaries since the beginning of the conflict.

The "War on Terror"

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International, publishes a report saying the the "war on terror" is leaving the world more insecure and its people more afraid.

The report accuses the USA and UK of using the "war on terror" to abuse human rights. Draconian laws had been introduced by the two countries after the terrorist attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001. New laws allow torture, detention without trial and truncated justice.

The USA and UK are accused of double standards: attacking Iraq for "possessing weapons of mass destruction" while at the same time selling deadly weapons to regimes that abuse human rights.

The USA is accused of selecting "which bits of its international obligations under international law it will use, and when it will use them". Its detention of more than 600 prisoners of war in its military base in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) "support[s] a world where arbitrary unchallengeable detentions become acceptable". It calls for the prisoners to either be charged and tried or to be released. The USA refuses even to name most of the prisoners in detention. 13 foreign nationals are being held without charge by the UK.

The report warns that post-war Iraq could end up like Afghanistan where human rights abuses are officially sanctioned: "Afghanistan does not present a record of which the international community can be proud". The report highlights two prisoners at Bagram air base who died under USA interrogation. Amnesty International has been denied access to Guantanamo Bay and Bagram. According to Amnesty "Bagram stands as an indictment of the USA and all other countries which refuse to condemn its existence".

The report also accuses Israel of committing war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Palestinians of crimes against humanity by targeting civilians in suicide bombings.

In late June a report appears in the UK newspaper, The Independent, in which the USA and UK are accused of using torture on suspected terrorists and holding them without the due processes of law.

Detainees are kept standing for hours in black hoods or spray painted goggles, bound in awkward or painful positions, deprived of sleep with 24 hour bombardment of lights, and beaten. The USA interrogators call these "stress and duress" techniques. Ten USA National Security officials spoke to the the USA newspaper, The Washington Post. One of them was quoted as saying "if you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job".

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International, highlights the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The USA CIA hold his two sons (aged 7 and 9) as a "bargaining tool".

The USA is thought to be holding 15,000 people around the world including those it classifies as Prisoners of War. 680 people are held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. In June, two 70 year old farmers are released without charge after USA authorities admitted they were "caught in the wrong place at the wrong time". During the first few months of their captivity they were kept in small wire mesh cells (less than 2m by 3m) covered by a wooden roof but open at the sides. They were allowed a one minute shower once a week. After going on hunger strike in the fifth month, they were allowed to shower for five minutes and allowed exercise for 10 minutes a week walking around a 10m long cage.

The UK is also treating detainees illegally. The UK has opted out of the section of the European Convention of Human Rights that guarantees everyone a fair trial. This contrasts with European countries (Netherlands, France, Italy) where terrorism suspects are processed through the courts. Amnesty International states that detainees held in the UK are subjected "to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment", even though they have not been charged or even interviewed by police.

The USA announces that two UK citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay are to be tried by a military tribunal without proper legal representation and could face the death penalty. One of the detainees, Moazzam Begg, was arrested by USA forces in Pakistan in 2002 and taken to Bagram air base in Afghanistan without access to consular staff and without any extradition procedures being completed. After several months he was transferred to Cuba, again without any legal extradition processes. The UK fails to make any representation for its citizens. The UK Forign Office minister, Baroness Symonds, states "The fact is I can't alter the legal processes in the USA" even though they are not being held under USA law. Human rights groups state that the detainees should either be charged and tried as criminals or held with Prisoner of War status.

The following table lists the geography and numbers of illegal detentions involving the democratic countries (as at July 2003). Sources include USA Justice Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Red Cross.

Country
Numbers Held
Notes
Egypt Thousands Many transferred from Afhganistan to Egypt by the USA where the secret police use "full-blown" torture.
Jordan Thousands Many transferred from Afhganistan to Jordan by the USA where the security services use torture, including sleep deprivation, beating the soles of the feet, and suspension with ropes.
Uzbekistan Thousands Mainly dissidents and "Islamists". USA has stopped its criticism of the country's human rights record after being allowed to set up military bases there.
Iraq 3,087 Prisoners of War and interned civilians held in 19 sites. USA threats to send detainees to Cuba.
Afghanistan 3,000 + In Bagram airbase and Jowzjan prison. Bagram is a USA CIA interrogation centre. Prisoners are tortured by being blindfolded and thrown into walls, kept standing or kneeling for hours, bound, sleep deprivation. No access to the Red Cross or legal representation. 2 detainees have died.
Chechnya 1,300 Russia routinely beats and tortures prisoners. Blind eye turned by USA and UK for economic reasons.
Israel 900 Palestinians held without charge or trial. Most have no access to lawyers.
Cuba 680 Suspects from 40 countries held as "battlefield detainees" even though some not arrested during battles. The USA insists that the Geneva Convention does not apply. Being outside USA legal juristiction, USA law does not apply either. All denied access to legal council. Nationalities include Afghans, Pakistanis, Saudis, Yemenis, Britons, Australians and Algerians.
USA 484 The USA government refuses to release the identity of most of the detainees. Human rights groups accuse the USA of violations.
China 400 Mainly ethnic Uighurs resisting Chinese control of their Turkic speaking homeland. The USA has labelled them "terrorists".
India 300 + Mostly Muslim and Kashmiri dissidents.
Morocco 135 100 "referred" by the USA to a country infamous for the use of torture.
Spain 50 Mainly Basques. No access to outsiders; secret trials, up to 4 years pre-trial detention allowed by law.
Indonesia 30 Muslims and dissidents. Public interrogations.
UK 15 402 arrests. Restricted access to legal representation.
Syria 1 Syrian - German transferred to Syria by USA operatives.
Diego Garcia Unknown USA CIA interrogations of prisoners on UK island.
Saudi Arabia Unknown USA CIA watch interrogations through one-way mirrors.
Georgia Several After operation involving USA and UK special forces.

Amnesty International publishes another report dealing with human rights violations in countries that are Western holiday destinations.

Country Notes
Jamaica Police brutality causes the deaths of 133 people in 2002.
Morocco Secret detentions and torture. More than 30 political prisoners.
Tunisia Arbitrary arrests, detentions and forced confessions.
Turkey Islamic and Kurdish activists imprisoned. Torture in police custody. Extra-judicial killings.
Egypt Crackdowns on homosexual men, minority religious groups, political opponents and journalists.
Burma Highly repressive military government holds 1300 political prisoners. Use of slave labour for building tourist infra-structure. Trafficking of women and children.
Thailand Violent crackdown on alleged criminals lead to 2000 deaths in 2003.
Maldives Oposition parties banned and harassed. Arrest without charge. Torture.

Non-Ethical Products

In the UK, a report is published (Good Shopping Guide) detailing the worst brands of various products. The list includes major polluters, companies owned by arms dealers or companies whose practices are environmentally or socially detrimental.

Products Worst Brands Notes
Washing machines Bosch, Creda, Zanussi High use of electricity; pollutants when disposed of.
Fridges, Freezers AEG, Electrolux High use of electricity; Ozone destroying pollutants on older models.
Television, Video Aiwa, Sony, JVC Waste materials difficult to recycle.
Computers Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Siemens Contain lead and mercury which are toxic.
Toys Disney, Fisher-Price Produced in Asian sweatshops; hazardous waste products.
Laundry detergents Persil, Surf Bad for the environment.
Household cleaners Ajax, Cif, Domestos Pollute rivers.
Batteries Boots, Panasonic, Sony Contain cadmium which is toxic.
Bottled water Malvern, Perrier, Vittel Questions about purity and transport.
Soft drinks Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ribena Too much sugar, caffeine and acids.
Bananas Chiquita Unfair trade practices, poor wages and conditions for workers.
Chocolate Kit-Kat, Mars, Galaxy Poor nutrition, unfair trade, use of sprays.
Potato Crisps
Chips (in USA)
KP, Pringles, Smiths Poor nutrition, high levels of GM ingredients.
Yoghurt Danone, St Ivel Shape, Ski Animal welfare issues.
Bread Granary, Hovis Fertilisers, pesticides, bleaches.
Perfumes Anais Anais, CK One Animal testing and exploitation.
Pain killers Anadin, Hedex, Panadol Animal testing; brands sell at high prices.
Sanitary products Allday, Always, Carefree Pollution of rivers.
Sports shoes Fila, Nike, Umbro Use of child labour.
Soup Heinz, Knorr Too much sugar, salt and additives. Some ethical issues.
Cooking oil Flora, Crisp & Dry, Olivio Non GM purity issues.
Breakfast cereals Quaker Oats, Shreaded Wheat Pesticides. Too much salt.
Jams, Spreads Chivers, Frank Cooper, Robertsons Animal issues; frozen fruits used.

Kenya

UK soldiers are accused of raping 650 Masai and Samburu women in Kenya over a 30 year period. The soldiers use the country as a military training area. Half the women say they were gang raped; 40 women have given birth to mixed race children.

Amnesty International state that complaints to the UK military authorities have been ignored for 30 years and that this "may amount to institutional acquiescence and have contributed to perpetrating of more rapes".

Idi Amin

Idi Amin, the brutal dictator of Uganda between 1971 and 1979, dies in Saudi Arabia.

Western media coverage describes his takeover of Uganda in a military coup in 1971 and his brutal reign of terror until his overthrow in 1979.

Very little is made of the fact that Amin had previously been running UK concentration camps in Kenya during the independence movement in the 1950s, where he earned the title of "The Strangler" because of his cruelty.

Pharmaceutical Companies

In the UK the British Medical Journal publishes a report showing that pharmaceutical companies now sponsor research previously funded by governments. This leads to a conflict of interest as a company's products are four times more likely to be given a favourable scientific report if that company is paying for the research.

In some studies, the company's new drug was given in a higher dose than the control drug; in other cases inappropriate drugs were used as controls. Companies often submitted favourable trial results more than once and failed to submit trials that highlighted problems. The scientific establishments colluded as they depend on the companies for their finances. Medical journals, which depend on advertising for their revenue, are also pressurised not to publish less favourable reports by the pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmaceutical companies also give lavish hospitality to doctors to encourage them to use their products.

Uzbekistan

In November, Craig Murray, the UK Ambassador to the central Asian country, Uzbekistan, is flown home to the UK after pressure from the USA government.

He had criticised the government of Islam Karimov for failing to introduce democracy, imprisoning up to 10,000 religious and political opponents, sending dissidents to lunatic asylums and torturing prisoners. In one infamous case, two Islamic leaders, Avazoz and Amilov, were tortured to death by being boiled in water.

The USA supports the Uzbek government, having tripled its aid to �295 million in 2002. Several hundred troops are posted in a large military base in the country.

The Ambassador's criticisms agree with previous United Nations reports, a UK Foreign Office paper which concluded in September 2003 that "Torture is a serious problem in Uzbekistan" and Amnesty International who praised Murray's criticisms and added "We would welcome the same kind of outspokenness from ambassadors in other postings such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Israel and the occupied territories."

The USA and European Safety Laws

In 2001, the European Union agreed to test potentially toxic substances used in products on sale within Europe. The UK supported the agreement which is designed to identify the most dangerous chemicals threatening Europeans. These include cancer causing substances. Only a small percentage of the 100,000 chemicals used in Europe are currently tested. The agreement will force industry to provide evidence of the safety or hazards of chemicals. The European Commission estimates that the agreement would save more than 4000 lives a year among chemical workers and many more among the general public.

In September 2003, leaked documents signed by USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, show that the USA administration has threatened Europe with trade sanctions if the agreement is implemented. The UK, although initially supportive of the agreement, changes its mind and calls the agreement "disastrously wrong".

Kuwait

Kuwait passes a law to allow women to vote in and be elected to the local council. Only men can vote for parliament. Both the USA and UK arms and support this country which is ruled as an absolute monarchy.


2004

The Occupation of Iraq

According to Human Rights Watch, over 1000 civilians were killed by nearly 13,000 cluster bombs used by USA and UK forces in Iraq. The cluster bombs produced over 2 million brightly coloured bomblets. Many of the victims are children who are attracted to these bomblets.

The USA bars Russia, France and Germany from rebuilding contracts in Iraq. The UK supports this stand even though it was not made by the representatives of the Iraqi people.

Since the invasion of Iraq, over 355 people have been killed by terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey and Spain.

The USA announces a handover of power to Iraqis on 30 June. The handover will not be to an elected body but to the USA appointed Iraq Governing Council (known as "the Governed Council" by most Iraqis).

In March the Iraq Governing Council signs a new interim constitution which states that "The laws, regulations, orders, and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority . . . shall remain in force".

These laws include the USA'a hated Order 39, which drastically changes Iraq's previous constitution to allow foreign companies to own 100% of Iraqi assets, and to take 100% of their profits out of the country. Other orders place USA auditors into Iraqi ministries to enforce and monitor Order 39, grant foreign contractors immunity from Iraqi laws, allow USA banks to purchase up to 50% of Iraqi banks, drop the corporation tax rate from 40% to 15% and caps income tax at 15%, suspend all tariffs for good coming into Iraq (this one has put financial pressures on Iraqi small businesses). These laws are a form of neo-colonialism and allow privatisation of most of the country's industries.

With this clause, it means that the occupation will not end on 30 June. As Iraq based journalist, Naomi Klein, puts it, the occupation "will simply be outsourced to a group of hand-picked Iraqi politicians with no democratic mandate or sovereign power. With its new Iraqi face, the government will be free from the ugly perception that Iraq's national assets are being auctioned off by foreigners, not to mention being unencumbered by input from Iraqi voters who might have ideas of their own."

The new constitution also contains the following provisions:

Interestingly, although the USA has changed the economic laws to benefit its companies, it has not altered anti-trade union laws imposed by the previous regime in 1987. In a related development, the USA selected one of the largest palaces in Baghdad as its future embassy. USA Senator, Joseph Biden, writing in the Washington Post described the policy thus:

"Our goal should be to take the 'American face' off the occupation so that we are not blamed for everything that doesn't go right in Iraq... Instead, the Bush administration's current plan is to have a new U.S. ambassador call all the shots, at the risk that Iraqis will think the occupation has not really ended on June 30. Indeed, we will be going from the CPA -- which at least has some international flavor -- to an exclusively American operation with a 'Super-Embassy.'"

USA writer, Jonathan Schell, put it more accurately:

"Instead of saying, 'On June 30, the Coalition will hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people,' we should say, 'On June 30, the re-election campaign of George W. Bush will hand over the appearance of responsibility for the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq to certain of its local appointees'."

Two Iraqi journalists are killed by USA troops.

In April, USA forces close a newspaper, Al-Hawzah, which opposes the occupation. The USA newspaper, New York Times, justified the closure by saying: "Although the paper did not print any calls for attacks, the American authorities said false reporting, including articles that ascribed suicide bombings to Americans, could touch off violence". The USA appointed Minister of Communication, Haider Al-Abadi, is not informed. He asks: "Is this how we are going to run the country in the future sending soldiers to shut down newspapers?"

The closure provokes demonstrations. Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by the USA, open fire on demonstrators in Baghdad. As the demonstrators return to their homes in the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, USA troops with tanks, helicopters, and planes, fire at homes, shops, streets, and ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people are killed and many more injured. Rasool Gurawi, a spokesman at the al-Sadr office, asked, "This is democracy? Attacking peaceful demonstrations? Killing people and destroying buildings?"

The injured include Ali Hussein (16) shot in the spine from a helicopter; Gailan Ibrahim (29) shot in the back by a USA plane; Ali Faris (14) shot while inside his home.

In Najaf, 20 demonstrators are killed and more than 150 injured.

In the town of Fallujah, four USA citizens are lynched. They are described in the Western media as "security contractors", but actually part of an army of mercenaries, who are unaccountable and outside military discipline. Over 400 companies provide security in Iraq, all paid for by UK and USA tax payers with the profits going to the USA companies awarded the contracts. The mercenaries include people from Chile who had served under the dictatorship of Pinochet and from apartheid era South Africa. Casualty figures for mercenaries are not normally given by the USA and UK authorities.

In retaliation, Fallujah (population 300,000) is sealed off and bombed as the USA attempts to crush anti-occupation resistance. During the attack, ambulances are barred from entering. The power station is bombed. The attack was with artillery, snipers, Apache helicopters, 500-ton, laser-guided bombs, cluster bombs (which shred human flesh) and F-16 jets. Entire residential areas, including mosques and schools are destroyed. Arabic stations like Al-Jazeera show the carnage but CNN (USA) and the BBC (UK) ignore the footage.

Sixteen children and eight women are killed when a house is attacked by aircraft. Forty people are killed when an F-16 jet fires a laser-guided missile into a mosque. In a single week, over 600 people are killed (including 200 women and 100 children). Thousands of refugees, stretching for 10 km, are stopped from leaving by USA troops.

USA forces close the bridge over the River Euphrates which means the population is cut off from the main hospital. Doctors are forced to close the hospital and set up a number of small, less well-equipped clinics. According to the organization, Doctors Without Borders, USA marines occupy the hospitals, preventing hundreds of wounded from receiving medical treatment. Snipers fire from the rooftops at anyone who tries to approach. These events are not reported or shown in the Western media.

Makki al-Nazzal, manages a small clinic. The clinic is busy as USA snipers shoot at people entering and leaving the main hospitals. Al-Nazzal also describes ambulances, women and children being shot by USA snipers. He says, "I have been a fool for 47 years. I used to believe in European and American civilization".

Jouralist Rahul Mahajan looked for verification and found "An ambulance with two neat, precise bullet-holes in the windshield on the driver's side, pointing down at an angle that indicated they would have hit the driver's chest (the snipers were on rooftops, and are trained to aim for the chest). Another ambulance again with a single, neat bullet-hole in the windshield. There's no way this was due to panicked spraying of fire. These were deliberate shots designed to kill the drivers."

Mahajan describes the scene at the clinic "we saw perhaps a dozen wounded brought in. Among them was a young woman, 18 years old, shot in the head. She was seizing and foaming at the mouth when they brought her in; doctors did not expect her to survive the night. Another likely terminal case was a young boy with massive internal bleeding. I also saw a man with extensive burns on his upper body and shredded thighs, with wounds that could have been from a cluster bomb; there was no way to verify in the madhouse scene of wailing relatives, shouts of 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great), and anger at the Americans."

Another journalist, Dahr Jamail, also visited the clinic: "One woman and small child had been shot through the neck -- the woman was making breathy gurgling noises as the doctors frantically worked on her amongst her muffled moaning. The small child, his eyes glazed and staring into space, continually vomited as the doctors raced to save his life. After 30 minutes, it appeared as though neither of them would survive. Two of the last victims that arrived at the clinic were reported by the locals to have been hit by cluster bombs -- they were horribly burned and their bodies shredded. One of the bodies they brought to the clinic was that of an old man who was shot by a sniper outside of his home, while his wife and children sat wailing inside."

One of the fighters in Fallujah (who calls himself Abu Freedom) is asked by UPI reporter, Mitchell Prothero, why he fights. His answer: "I don't want to see Americans in charge of my country". The USA calls these people, "rebels" and "haters of freedom".

Of the 1,800 people injured, over 200 are children. No names are given in the Western media and no interviews are conducted with any families. As part of its conditions for a cease fire, the USA insists that the Al-Jazeera news crew be handed over to them.

290 people are killed in other cities, over 30 of them children.

According to Robin Cook, former UK foreign secretary, the tactics used by the USA are similar to Israeli tactics in Palestine: "It is a vicious irony that having promised that victory in Iraq would bring a road map to peace in the Middle East, the Bush Administration has in practice brought to Baghdad, Sharon's military tactics against the Palestinians with precisely the same result in consolidating local opposition."

Child Victims in Fallujah
Child Victims in Fallujah
Child Victims in Fallujah
Child Victims in Fallujah
Child Victims in Fallujah
Child Victims of USA power in Fallujah.
These images were not shown on Western media but were widely shown around the Arab world.

© 2004: Al Jazeera

The uprising spreads so that the USA-led occupation simultaneously loses control in Basra, Najaf, Kerbala, Nasiriyah, Kufa, Kut, Diwaniyah, and in several Baghdad suburbs (Thawra, Shuala, and Kadhimiyah).

In Najaf, Spanish troops close a teaching hospital giving its 200 doctors two hours to leave. USA troops close another hospital in Qaim.

Shaykh Sadun al-Shemary, a former member of the Iraqi army told reporter Rahul Mahajan: "Things are exactly the same as in Saddam's time -- maybe worse."

The USA transfer the deposed leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, to their military base in Qatar without informing the country's rulers.

USA engineers begin the construction of 14 "enduring bases" in Iraq. These will be capable of housing thousands of USA troops. The bases are planned for Baghdad, Mosul, Taji, Balad, Kirkuk and in areas near Nasiriyah, near Tikrit, near Fallujah and between Irbil and Kirkuk. Airfields in Baghdad and Mosul are to be renovated and enhanced, and 100km of road will be upgraded.

No elected Iraqi has been consulted over these plans.

The USA-appointed Iraq Governing Council create a new flag for Iraq. All members of the resistance immediately take up the pre-invasion flag as their banner.

Photographs taken by soldiers and showing USA and UK soldiers torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners are published in newspapers. The story, which had been supressed by the USA military for several months, is headlined around the world (except in the USA where it initially appears on page 24 of the Washington Post). The prison is Abu-Ghraib in Baghdad, once used by former dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Some pictures showed USA troops smiling, posing, laughing or giving the thumbs-up sign as naked, male Iraqi prisoners were stacked in a pyramid or positioned to simulate sex acts with one another. The fact that female soldiers were involved causes shock and outrage in the Muslim world. The most iconic image shows a hooded prisoner standing on a small box with wires attached to his stretched-out arms.

Seymour Hersh, a USA journalist, asserts that most of the Iraqi prisoners were civilians picked up at checkpoints. He was writing for USA magazine, New Yorker and quoting from a secret military report written by Major-General Antonio Taguba in January 2004. He describes many tortures used on Iraqi prisoners: "Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee".

Taguba's report states that the abuse is systematic and also included punching, slapping and kicking detainees, forcing male detainees to wear women's underwear, forcing male detainees to masturbate while being photographed, pulling detainees by dog chains placed around their necks, and a case of a male guard having sex with a female detainee.

Terry Charman, museum historian at London's Imperial War Museum, describes the images: "This is on par with the images of the Holocaust and of the Nazis taunting their prisoners, shaving the heads of orthodox Jews, which they did a lot of when they took over Poland. It has a similar resonance. Now these images show that members of the Coalition are treating these people in exactly the same way he treated his people. The sort of thing is very counterproductive." His advice is that "You should never denigrate or underestimate your enemy in wartime. The humiliation you are heaping on them may be felt or revisited upon the troops who are on the ground."

The USA and UK governments describe the incidents as isolated. The UK government attacks the newspaper that published the photographs. However, Amnesty International reports that the torture of Iraqi prisoners by USA and UK soldiers is "not an isolated incident". During the year of occupation Amnesty International reports "frequent reports of torture or other ill-treatment by coalition forces during the past year" which included sleep deprivation, beatings, prolonged hooding and restraint in painful positions, and exposure to bright lights and loud music. The International Red Cross also says that these abuses have been occurring for a year. Their reports had been ignored.

Confirmation comes from USA soldiers. Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederik says he was told to use these techniques on prisoners to "soften them up" for interrogation. Staff Sergent Camilo Mejia says that Military Intelligence instructed him to deprive detainees of sleep and stage mock executions.

The USA newspaper, Washington Post publishes accounts by ex-detainees: Hasham Mohsen Lazim, a used tyre dealer spent four months in USA custody. He was one of the hooded men in the photographs.He was hooded and stripped. His body was covered with writing with a felt tip pen. He heard the laughter of females.

For three hours he and other men were made to masturbate against a wall, crawl on top of one another to form a pyramid and ride each other as if they were riding a donkey. He was left naked for two days.

He was handcuffed to a bed for several days. He had to sleep and urinate where he was. Haidar Saber Abed said: "They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees". According to Ameen Saeed Al-Sheikh, "They forced me to eat pork and put liquor in my mouth". Liquor (alcohol) and pork are both forbidden to Muslims. Mohanded Juma says that the prison guards "...used to throw the food into the toilet and said 'go take it and eat it'".

No criminal charges can be brought against a USA soldier in Iraq because the USA-appointed Iraqi Governing Council has given the American military a blanket amnesty from prosecution. Secondly, with the coerced backing of many countries, no USA soldier or citizen can be prosecuted for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. Thirdly, many of the interrogators are non-military "security personnel" (mercenaries) who are not subject to USA military discipline.

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi, summed up the views of many around the world: "This is the straw that broke the camel's back for America. The liberators are worse than the dictators. They have not just lost the hearts and minds of Iraqis but all the Third World and the Arab countries".

According to Mahmoud Walid, a 28-year-old writer from Egypt, "These soldiers are being touted as the saviours of the Iraqi people and America claims to be the moral leader of the world, but they have been caught with their pants down, they have been exposed, the whole world sees them as they really are". Khadija Mousa, an ordinary woman from Syria put the view of many Arabs: "They keep asking why we hate them? Why we detest them? Maybe they should look well in the mirror and then they will hate themselves . . . What I saw is very, very humiliating. The Americans are showing their true image".

Nelson Madela, the ex-President of South Africa, makes a speech to the parliament in Cape Town as he retires from politics. In part of the speech, he criticises USA and UK actions in Iraq:

"We watch as two of the leading democracies ... get involved in a war that the UN did not sanction: we look on with horror as reports surface of terrible abuses against the dignity of human beings held captive by invading forces in the in own country". The speech is not broadcast on UK television which instead shows a prime time television program ("Beneith the Halo", Channel 4) attacking Mandela and his legacy.

According to Amnesty International, over 13,000 people are held at Abu-Ghraib prison, without trial, their families not allowed to meet them. In thousands of cases people are not even aware that their family members are there. During one news item by the UK television station, BBC, one woman told the cameras that she was a mother of five children before the interviewers were told not to film.

In all, over 18,000 prisoners are being held in Iraqi prisons by the USA. Including prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, the USA is holding over 25,000 detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Iconic Image of USA Torture of Iraqi
 
This hooded prisoner, wires attached to his fingers, was told if he fell off the box, he'd be electrocuted. All the more shocking, because it took place inside Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, where Saddam Hussein's regime tortured and executed thousands.

Torture of Iraqi Detainees
USA Private Lynndie England pointing to the genitals of hooded Iraqi male prisoners.
Sexual Humilliation of Iraqi Detainees
Charles Grainer, a USA marine pictured with naked male Iraqis who were forced to simulate sexual acts on each other.

Torture with dogs
Terrified naked prisoner threatened with guard dogs. The next photograph in the sequence shows this man after having been bitten by one of the dogs.
 
Naked Detainee
Naked detainee covered in excrement being made to walk along a coridor.
 
Sexual Humiliation
Naked Iraqis forced to simulate sexual acts.

This is the body of a dead Iraqi prisoner wrapped in celophane. The body was taken out of the prison after a drip had been attached to it to make it look as if the man was still alive.
 
Dead Iraqi

© 2004: New Yorker Magazine, Washington Post

Three television stations (Canal Plus from France, ABC from USA, and CBC from Canada) broadcast a video taken from a USA Apache helicopter.

The video shows a 30mm gun fired at a clearly wounded man, crawling on the road in December 2003. In the soundtrack, the pilot says "Someone wounded". The reply is "Hit him, hit the truck and him". Deliberately shooting a wounded man is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

No other Western television station shows the film.

Amnesty International criticises the USA record in Iraq saying that its forces have "shot Iraqis dead during demonstrations, tortured and ill-treated prisoners, arrested people arbitrarily and held them indefinitely, demolished houses in acts of revenge and collective punishment".

There is also criticism of the USA and UK for not keeping records of the number of Iraqis killed during the invasion and under the occupation. The UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, describes this failure as "odd".

In the eyes of people in the Middle East, the USA's actions resemble those of Israel in Palestine.

UK soldiers force four youths into a canal in Basra. One of the boys, 16 year old, Ahmad Jabbar Kareem, drowns. This is one of a number of cases of deaths in UK custody investigated by the Ministry of Defence. Other victims include Baha Mousa, 26, a hotel receptionist, kicked and beaten to death, and Abd al-Jubba Mousa, 53, a headmaster who was hit with rifle butts as he was taken away by troops.

USA forces attack the main mosque area in Kerbala killing over 25.

In the holy city of Najaf, over 110 people are killed. USA tanks conduct operations in the cemetery. This cemetery is full of ornately carved tombs; it the largest in the world and one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims. The attack also damages the Shrine of Imam Ali, holiest of Shia buildings.

One resident, Ali Wasi, says "I feel humiliated, our sanctity has been violated". Demonstartions break out in Iran, not normally on friendly terms with Iraq.

In London (UK), an organisation called Child Victims of War (CVW) describes how children in Iraq are suffering because of the legacy of Depleted Uranium. This is a radioactive metal used in artillery because of its hardness. It was used by the USA and UK to destroy tanks in Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. Radiation levels from destroyed Iraqi tanks has been measured to be 2,500 times higher than normal and 20 times higher than normal in the surrounding area.

Depleted Uranium produces dust that is rapidly absorbed by the body. The effects include children born with severe deformities (including shortened limbs and eye defects), several leukaemia cases per week (before 1991 this condition was almost unknown). The number of deformed babies has increased from 3.04 per thousand in 1991 to 22.19 per thousand in 2001. The number of Down's Syndrome children has increased by five times since 1991. It is estimated that around 300 tonnes of the metal was used in 1991 and 1,500 tonnes in 2003.

CVW also stated that child malnutrition, the supply of drinkable water and the amount of hospital medical supplies have all worsened since the 2003 invasion. According to CVW, every child in Iraq has "had a degree of psychological trauma". Many children ("hundreds" according to Human Rights Watch) are still being killed by unexploded cluster bombs.

A USA helicopter fires on a wedding party in Makradheep, a desert village in western Iraq close to the Syrian border. According to Sheikh Nasrallah Mikfil, the head of the local tribe, 41 people, including 10 women and 15 children, are killed. The USA calls the victims "foreign fighters", even though they themselves are the foreign occupiers. Major General James Mattis refuses to accept blame, declaring: "I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men". Among the dead was Hussein Ali, a well-known wedding singer, who was killed along with his brother Mohammed. Both had been performing at the wedding. According to eye witnesses, 40 missiles were used during a one and a half hour attack on a village of 25 houses.

The Western media show very little of the filmed burials whereas the Arab world sees the bodies of brightly dressed women and decapitated children. No names of the victims are given unlike the detailed coverage when Europeans or Americans are killed. The UK BBC television news calls the massacre a "public relations disaster for the Americans" and "more bad news for George Bush" rather than a tragedy for the Iraqi families slaughtered.

On the same day, the Arab world watches images of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators killed and maimed by Israeli tank shells and helicopter missiles in Gaza.

The USA also attacked a wedding party in Afghanistan in 2002, killing 50 people.

The USA and UK attempt to draft a United Nations resolution that will give immunity to their troops for all acts committed in Iraq.

The USA backed Iraqi exile, Ahmed Chalabi, had arrived in Iraq with the USA invasion force and had been groomed to become the new leader of Iraq. After criticising the occupation, his house is searched and his property destroyed by Iraqi police with USA operatives present. Between 1992 and 2004, Chalabi's political party, Iraqi National Congress, had been given $ 100 million by the USA government.

The Occupation of Iraq (With An Iraqi Face)

The USA agree that a special United Nations envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, would nominate an Interim Iraqi Government (IIG) to "take over after 30 June 2004". He states that he will select technocrats and ignore the USA-appointed Iraq Governing Council (IGC).

The United Nations is sidestepped when, after a meeting with the USA proconsul, Paul Bremer, the IGC nominate the Prime Minister of the new government. He is one of their own members, Iyad Allawi who is a UK educated Shia Muslim with links to the USA's CIA and the UK's MI6. He has been responsible for passing some of the faulty intelligence to the West that was used to justify the invasion.

The nomination is quickly accepted by the USA, as a spokesperson says he "had emerged as a popular candidate". The UK newspaper, Financial Times, writes that Alawi "is the least popular of 17 prominent Iraqi political personalities monitored by the Iraqi Centre for Research and Studies".

Many consider that the "handover of power" is a cosmetic change and the nomination of Allawi a USA-backed coup. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA case officer who served in the Middle East had this to say of Iyad Allawi: "Two facts stand out about Allawi. One, he likes to think of himself as a man of ideas; and, two, his strongest virtue is that he's a thug."

Lakhdar Brahimi tells UK newspaper, The Guardian, who was in control of the selection process: "I'm sure he doesn't mind me saying that Bremer is the dictator of Iraq. He has the money. He has the signature. Nothing happens without his agreement in this country". The members of the IGC itself are considered by most Iraqis to be collaborators. Several have been the targets of assassinations, some of which have been successful.

In addition, Paul Bremer threatens to veto the choice of president if it not the USA's preferred candidate.

The post of Defence Minister goes to Hazem Sha'alan, a former property developer from the UK; the Interior Minister is Falah al-Naqib, another former exile.

Once the new government is in place the Western media begin to refer to them as "the new Iraqi government" even though Iraqis themselves have had nothing to do with their selection. Allawi calls on the occupying powers to continue their occupation: "Iraq will need multinational forces to defeat its enemies - I call on the United States and Europe to protect Iraq".

The United Nations passes a resolution (number 1546) in which "the presence of the multinational force in Iraq is at the request of the incoming Interim Government of Iraq and therefore reaffirms the authorisation for the multinational force under unified command". In other words, the newly USA-selected government, requests the USA occupation forces to stay. The term "unified command" is a euphemism for "USA control".

The Interim Iraqi Government will have no control over the USA or UK military. According to articles in two USA newspapers, Wall Street Journal (issue 13 May) and New York Times (issue 2 June), the USA has been "quietly building institutions that will give the US powerful levers for influencing nearly every important decision the interim government will make. In a series of edicts issued earlier this spring, [the US] created new commissions that effectively take away virtually all of the powers once held by several ministries. 110 to 160 American advisers will be layered through Iraq's ministries, in some cases on contracts signed by the occupation, extending into the period after June 30. In many cases, these US and Iraqi proxies will serve multiyear terms and have significant authority to run criminal investigations, award contracts, direct troops and subpoena citizens".

As officials put it "the new Iraqi government will be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit US approval".

The USA passes a law barring what it calls "illegal militias" from standing in elections for three years. This will cover most people fighting against the occupation. Just before the "handover", the USA ensures that contracts are handed to its favoured companies who are mainly from the USA and who charge up to ten times what local companies would. The contracts are framed in a way that will make it ruinous for a future Iraq government to cancel them.

KryssTal Opinion: Anyone for Democracy? Anyone for a UN sell out? Anyone for economic imperialism?

Over 40 people are killed (including women and children) in USA airstrikes in Fallujah. The new puppet government in waiting supports the attack. The government then requests help from NATO (a local European-North American military alliance dominated by the USA and not a world body) to train its army.

Three soldiers accused of abusing prisoners in Abu-Ghraib prison go on trial. Their defence is that they were following orders. One of the lawyers, Paul Bergrin, admits (on the UK Channel 4 News, 21 June) that the interrogation procedures used were approved from higher up:

"They used the humility method that has been known based upon the Israeli government's intelligence and expertise on Arab prisoners of parading them naked in front of other people. And what that did emotionally and psychologically is that caused the Arab prisoner to not want that photograph displayed because of cultural issues so it made them talk."

In an attempt to show that the USA wanted to treat Iraqi prisoners humanely and did not condone torture, the USA government releases internal documents that set out what its soldiers are allowed to do to prisoners during interrogations. The documents included a memo by USA president, George W Bush, stating that the Geneva Convention would not apply. The USA is a signatory to the Convention. The list of approved interrogation techniques dates from December 2002 and applies to the concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay (in USA-leased land in Cuba) as well as to Iraq. The list included:

Sherman Carroll of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture affirmed that "the documents from the White House authorised specific interrogation techniques by US forces abroad that amount to torture".

In late June, the USA, pro-consul, Paul Bremer, passes Order 17. This makes USA and UK military personnel, security personnel ("mercenaries") and ordinary civilian contractors immune from all civil and criminal law in Iraq. Westerners will have exception from paying tax and will not even need to have driving licenses. Contractors will have immunity from anything done under a contract, including defaulting on payments or injuring people.

A few days later, Western governments and their media begin a massive propaganda campaign to convince the USA electorate that there has been a "transfer of power" to the Iraqis in Iraq. A low key ceremony is conducted in the USA compound in Baghdad (called the Green Zone). No foreign dignitaries are present. The first announcement is made in Istanbul during a NATO summit in Turkey.

The 160,000 USA occupation force is restyled "the multinational forces" which have been invited to stay in Iraq by the "new Iraqi government" (headed by the CIA-linked Iyad Allawi). The Coalition Provisional Authority is renamed "The American Embassy" with a staff of over 3000 (making it the largest in the world). All Iraqi ministries have USA "advisors" attached to them. The USA proconsul, Paul Bremer, leaves to be replaced by the new USA "ambassador", John Negraponte, who arrives unannounced and without ceremony.

Negraponte was ambassador to Honduras between 1981 to 1985 while the country was being used by the USA-armed Contras to destabilise the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. The USA newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, probed this period using released government papers and concluded that the ambassador knew of and supported the activities of Battalion 3-16, a Honduran death squad . According to a former Honduran congressman, Efrain Diaz, this was because "they needed Honduras to loan its territory more than they were concerned about innocent people being killed".

In July, the USA announces that Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq has been "handed back to the Iraqis" but he will remain in USA custody in Qatar. A pre-trial appearance before an Iraqi judge is made. This is made inside the USA controlled Green Zone (also known as "the American Embassy").

The USA selects the media to be allowed to cover the appearance (none of whom are Iraqi) and confiscates some of the footage, destroying the opening testimony of some of the defendants. The footage broadcast around the world is censored and contains the text "cleared by US military".

A USA television worker confirms that the USA was "... running the show. The Americans decided what the world could and could not see of the trial - and it was meant to be an Iraqi trial. There was a British official in the courtroom whom we were not allowed to take pictures of. The other men were US troops who had been ordered to wear ordinary clothes so that they were 'civilians' in the court".

Professor Michael Scharf, who is training the USA military to be judges in Guantanamo Bay, was more descriptive of the USA role: "The United States will be involved in the trial but from behind the scenes, more like a puppet master".

After "handing control to the Iraqis", the USA bombs a residential area in Fallujah killing more than 12 people.

After a week, USA-approved Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, introduces legislation allowing the imposition of martial law, curfews, a ban on demonstrations, restrictions of movement, phone-tapping, the opening of post and the freezing of bank accounts. This is less than two years after the USA and UK invaded the country "to bring democracy". In the same week, a USA senate committee reports that the intelligence for going to war in Iraq was flawed.

USA forces vacate a building that contains the names of 600,000 of Iraq's war dead from the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s. The soldiers had daubed the walls with company insignias and other graffiti.

In the north of Iraq, Kurds force Arabs from their homes in Kirkuk, creating over 100,000 refugees living in camps in northern Iraq. This and the fact that the Kurds supported the USA invasion, engenders widespread anti-Kurdish feeling among the rest of the population in the country.

The Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, orders the Arab television station, Al-Jazeera, to leave the country while police close their Baghdad offices. This is the station watched by the majority of Arabs in the Middle East which has been criticised and had its offices bombed by the USA.

In Najaf, USA forces surround the city. Armed Iraqi police order all foreign journalists out of the city. The police chief announces that they had two hours to leave. He said that the order had been issued by the Ministry of the Interior of Iyad Allawi's (USA appointed) government.

A little later the journalists are told: "You have been warned. You have two hours. If you don't leave you will be shot". This story failed to appear on UK television news.

The next day, armed police return to the Sea of Najaf Hotel where all the journalists are staying. They attempt to arrest a journalist from al-Arabiya television, Ahmed al-Saleh. As journalists and hotel staff protest, a police lieutenant tells them "We are going to open fire on this hotel. We are going to smash it up. I will kill you all. You did this all to yourselves." The police eventually left and fired shots into the hotel.

The response of the UK government to their journalists being shot at and threatened was to issue a statement via a spokesperson: "I think we should not be too hasty to turn this into a debate about free speech. There is quite a lively media in Iraq for the first time in years".

KryssTal Opinion: Anyone for free speech?

According to the UK newspaper, The Independent, two USA companies were awarded huge reconstruction contracts without having to tender. Halliburton has received contracts worth $ 4,700 million while Bechtel was awarded $ 2,800 million. Both companies have close ties with the USA administration.

Abd Al-Jabbar al-Kubaisi, a politician who opposed Saddam Hussein but also opposed the USA invasion, is arrested by the occupying forces with the collusion of the USA appointed Iraqi government, and taken to an undisclosed location. According to the Arab National Forum, this is one of many such cases of the arrest of dissidents. This story is unreported in the Western media.

In early September, the USA bombs two houses in Fallujah killing 17 people, including children who are blown to pieces. The story fails to make the Western media a day after prominent television and newspaper headlines describing the deaths of 16 Israelis killed by Palestinian suicide bombers. A previous strike on Fallujah a few days earlier had killed 5 people and wounded 42. More people are killed in Fallujah over several days but the media fail to mention the region until 7 USA soldiers are killed.

35 people are killed in Baghdad by USA forces.

Fallujah is bombed for three successive days killing over 40 people, including three women, a 65 year old man and five children. The USA describes the attacks as a "precision strike" but photos of injured children are published by the Arab television station al-Jazeera. 15 homes are destroyed by tank fire. In Tal Afar, 27 are killed and 70 are injured.

Fallujah
Fallujah

Fallujah
Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people is reduced to rubble after
a week-long invasion by USA forces.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

In mid-September, air strikes on Fallujah by the USA leave 18 people dead, including women and children. Seven people, including the driver of an ambulance, are killed when USA aircraft fire a missile at the vehicle while it was transporting casualties near the northern gate of the city. A paramedic and five patients are also killed. According to Dr Rafia al-Isawi, director of Fallujah hospital: "Every time we send out an ambulance, it gets targeted". Attacking medical facilities is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Three homes are destroyed in al-Shurta neighbourhood.

USA Troops With Damaged Mosque
Most of Fallujah's 120 mosques have been damaged or destroyed.

© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

USA snipers kill at least 11 people in the city of Ramadi. Dr Khamis al-Saad, general director of Ramadi hospital reports that the dead included a woman and children while another 18 were wounded by USA fire. Ambulances and medical teams are targeted by USA snipers in different areas of Ramadi including close to hospitals for women and children.

Two ambulance drivers and members of medical teams in the vehicles are also killed. Medical staff and patients inside the hospitals are targeted and several are shot in the head. 29 others were injured. Images of one of the targeted ambulances are shown on Arabic television at the same time as the USA is describing the attacks as a "precision raid".

USA Troops in Fallujah
Dead Bodies
USA troops in a ruined Fallujah.
Dead Iraqi fighters.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations tells the UK radio station BBC World Service that the invasion of Iraq was "not in conformity" with the UN Security Council or the UN Charter. This is a polite way of saying that the invasion was not legal. On the same day (and mostly unreported in the West) the USA announces that $ 3,400 million originally allocated to providing water and power to Iraqis is to be redirected to boosting security and oil output.

Seven rockets are fired by two USA helicopters into a crowd in Baghdad killing 13 people and wounding 41. Film of the incident by al-Arabiya contradicts the USA account of the massacre in which Mazen-al-Tomeizi, a Palestinian television producer, is among the dead.

Another air attack on Falluja kills over 56 people and wounds 40. Several strikes on the village of Zoba, 7 km south of Falluja, demolish 13 houses. Dr Ahmad Khalil of Falluja general hospital reported: "The bodies of 30 people killed in Zoba were brought to Falluja general hospital as well as 40 wounded." He added that many of the victims were women and children.

The USA military described the attack as a "precision strike" which "destroyed a terrorist compound". However, Iraqi medical sources and independent journalists in Falluja say that most of those brought into the hospitals are civilians, and included many women and children.

After over a week of violence, the story appears on BBC television news in the UK but the number of victims is described as "several". After a further week of similar attacks, the USA appointed Iraqi government bans the Ministry of Health from revealing civilian casualty figures.

Dead Bodies
Woman's Body
Dead civilians. The USA refuses to count Iraqi casualties.

A woman's body lies in the street.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

In October, USA forces attack the city of Sammara.

The USA uses helicopter gunships, jets and snipers; over 125 people are killed. According to an ambulance driver: "Dead bodies and injured people are lying everywhere in the city. The Americans fired at us when we tried to evacuate them. Later on they told us that we can evacuate only injured women and children, but we cannot pick up injured men".

The denial of medical treatment is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Local people complain that they are unable to take their injured to hospital as USA forces are arresting all males over the age of 15. All power and water has been cut off and snipers are firing at people. According to Iraqi journalist Ziyad al-Samarai: "The situation in Sammara city is very tense and unstable. US forces have taken up rooftop positions on the city's buildings and schools, completely closing the city and preventing people from moving around".

According to schoolteacher, Rahim Abdul-Karim, "There has been a lot of deaths, and they have been ordinary people. They are killing us to save us". Another man describes seeing stray dogs picking at corpses in the street.

The USA continues to describe their actions as "precision strikes". In the main hospital, doctors say that of the first 47 bodies brought in, 11 were women, 5 were children and 7 were elderly men. Even the BBC television news in the UK begins to talk about "US claims" while showing children being pulled out of the rubble of destroyed homes.

Fallujah was also attacked by USA warplanes during the hours of darkness. Two houses were reported to have been flattened in al-Shurta district. Dr Ahmad Tahir at Falluja's general hospital said seven dead, including children and women, and 13 wounded were received at the hospital. All the victims were civilians. A photographer from Associated Press describes seeing the bodies of women and children being removed from the rubble of the homes.

Injured Prisoner
Blind-folded prisoner having a broken leg treated.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

In the Sadr City suburb in Baghdad USA forces fire missiles into packed tenement buildings.

The USA appointed Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, makes a speech in the USA Congress. This is later shown to have been written by the USA president's re-election team.

An Iraqi organisation, Struggle Against Hegemony, states that over 37,000 civilians were killed between the start of the invasion in March 2003 and October 2003. This figure does not include deaths of Iraqi military and paramilitary forces. According to Muhammad al-Ubaidi:

"For the collation of our statistics we visited the most remote villages, spoke and coordinated with grave-diggers across Iraq, obtained information from hospitals, and spoke to thousands of witnesses who saw incidents in which Iraqi civilians were killed by US fire."

Al-Ubaidi, a physiology professor based in the UK, provided a detailed breakdown of the 37,000 civilian deaths for each region in Iraq.

Region Civilian Deaths
Baghdad 6103
Mosul 2009
Basra 6734
Nasiriya 3581
Diwania 1567
Wasit 2494
Babil 3552
Karbala and Najaf 2263
Muthana 659
Misan 2741
Anbar 2172
Kirkuk 861
Salah al-Din 1797

The counting stopped in October 2003 after researchers were arrested by USA forces and have not been seen since.

In October 2004, a scientific study published in the UK medical magazine, The Lancet, suggests that at least 100,000 people have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. More than half of the victims have been women and children killed by "the effect of areal weaponry", in other words, air strikes. The survey was undertaken by public health experts from Iraq and the USA (Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland). The figures are much higher than earlier estimates based on media sources. Some studies suggest that even these figures are an under-estimate. The occupying forces are also criticised by the report for failing to keep figures of Iraqi casualties.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that 350 tons of high explosive went missing from from storage at Al-Qaqa'a during the USA invasion in March 2003. Iraqi witness maintain that USA troops were told of the presence of the material at the site but failed to guard it. The site was one listed by the UK as producing illegal weapons.

In November, the secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, warns the USA and UK not to attack the city of Fallujah as that would make the situation in Iraq more difficult. His plea is ignored. The USA heavily bombs the city from the air for several days and orders civilians to leave.

Ralph Peters, a former military officer told USA newspaper, New York Post: "We must not be afraid to make an example of Fallujah. We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it''.

A month after stating that most of Iraq is "completely safe'', the USA-appointed Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, declares martial law throughout all of Iraq except the Kurdish north. The new powers allow public gatherings to be broken up, private houses to be entered without warrants, and people to be detained without trial. These are similar powers held by the previous regime that the USA had thought was so totalitarian that it had to be removed.

The USA invades the city of Fallujah (population normally 300,000) with over 10,000 troops for the second time in 2004, taking the Fallujah General Hospital, the city's main health care facility. Patients in the hospital are handcuffed and dragged out of their rooms for examination by troops. Most are later released. Mehdi Abdulla, a 33 year old ambulance driver describes USA actions: "Doctors in Fallujah are reporting to me that there are patients in the hospital there who were forced out by the Americans. Some doctors there told me they had a major operation going, but the soldiers took the doctors away and left the patient to die". Nazzal Emergency Hospital, a recently constructed trauma clinic, is bombed and destroyed killing 20 doctors and a dozen patients; a nearby warehouse for medical supplies is also destroyed.

Half of the city's 120 mosques are destroyed by air strikes. The effect on the Arab and Muslim world of images of mosques being attacked with tanks during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan can only be imagined. Many people are killed and bodies have to be buried in gardens due to the curfew. The wounded cannot get medical attention. There are reports of bodies lying in the streets.

According to Colonel Mike Ramos, anyone violating the curfew is part of a "free fire zone" - in other words, any thing that moves will be shot at. Colonel Gary Brandl, a USA marine, tells the UK television station, the BBC: "The enemy has a face. It is Satan's. He is in Fallujah, and we are going to destroy him."

Muhammad Abbud has to watch his 9 year old son, Ghaith, bleed to death after being hit by shrapnel: "We just bandaged his stomach and gave him water, but he was losing a lot of blood. He died this afternoon". This story is extensively covered by Middle Eastern media but ignored by Western television news. Sami al-Jumaili, a doctor at Fallujah Hospital said: "There is not a single surgeon in Falluja. We had one ambulance hit by US fire and a doctor wounded. There are scores of injured civilians in their homes who we can't move. A 13-year-old child just died in my hands". The USA-appointed Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, responds by accusing Iraqi doctors of exaggerating civilian casualties.

A resident of the city, Fadri al-Badrani, tells the Reuters news agency: "Every minute, hundreds of bombs and shells are exploding. The north of the city is in flames. Fallujah has become like hell". Another resident, Farhan Saleh added: "My kids are hysterical with fear. They are traumatised by the sound but there is nowhere to take them".

Woman Fleeing
A fleeing woman.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

The magazine, Christian Science Monitor, quotes a retired general with connections to the USA military as noting, This is being done for not only its effect on Fallujah, but for its demonstration effects...on other places resembling Fallujah�. In other words, if you resist us, this is what will happen to you. The use of violence for the purpose of intimidation and spreading terror is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions.

Television reports mention "phosphorous rounds" without elaborating. This is a substance that sticks to skin and burns. A hospital doctor, Kamal Hadeethi, is quoted in the USA newspaper, Washington Post as saying "The corpses of the mujaheddin which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted". People reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous or napalm burns.

None of this is mentioned in the Western media.

Prisoner
Some of the thousands of prisoners taken by the USA.
Their destination and status remains unknown.

 
 
Prisoner
Prisoners
 
 
Prisoner
Prisoners

© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

As the slaughter continues some members of the the USA-appointed government, decide to speak out and pull out of the government. Mohsen Abdel Hamid, the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party explains his reasons: "The American attack on our people in Fallujah has led and will lead to more killings and genocide without mercy from the Americans". The Association of Muslim Scholars calls for a boycott of planned elections as they will be held "over the corpses of those killed in Fallujah and the blood of the wounded". Up to 500 Iraqi troops that had been trained by the USA to "put an Iraqi face" on the invasion refuse to fight and desert.

Throughout the attack on Fallujah, most Western television reports state that "there are no reliable reports of civilian casualties". Prior to the attack, the Arabic television station, Al-Jazeera was excluded from Iraq. Al-Arabiya had an unembedded ("independent") reporter, Abdel Kader Al-Saadi, in Falluja, but on 11 November USA forces arrested him and held him away from the city. This detention has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists: "We cannot ignore the possibility that he is being intimidated for just trying to do his job".

The USA-appointed Iraqi government orders journalists working in Iraq to tow the government line or face legal action. Media were ordered to "set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear". It continued, "We hope you comply ... otherwise we regret we will be forced to take all the legal measures to guarantee higher national interests". Ann Cooper, director of the USA-based Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern at this development: "It damages the government's credibility in establishing a free and democratic society". The clampdown continues with the arrest of Mustafa al-Dulaimi, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, who had earlier spoken out against the invasion of Fallujah.

The USA television station, Fox News, reported that "US troops also raided a Sunni mosque in Qaim, near the Syrian border". The report described the arrests as "retaliation for opposing the Falluja offensive". Two Shia clerics associated with Moqtada al-Sadr have also been arrested in recent weeks; according to the news agency, Associated Press, "both had spoken out against the Falluja attack".

Fallujah resident, Luai Mansur Abd al-Karim, described conditions in the battered city: "The majority ... have stayed in the streets, in the open air. They have no food, no shelter. Life necessities are very little. Humanitarian organisations cannot reach these families as all roads leading to the city and its suburbs are closed. Anyone who walks in the streets exposes his life to danger and his vehicle to being bombed. US forces have cordoned off the city and all its suburbs. They are conducting group killings and eliminations in Falluja and its suburbs. These families cannot go anywhere."

Another resident, Rasul Ibrahim, told the Qatar based TV station, Al-Jazeera: "There's no water. People are drinking dirty water. Children are dying. People are eating flour because there's no proper food".

An Iraqi journalist tells Associated Press: "The Americans are shooting anything that moves". To dislodge just one Iraqi sniper, an embedded journalist with the newspaper, New York Times, reports that a three storey complex was hit with two 500-pound bombs, 35 155mm artillery shells, 10 120mm shells from tanks and about 30,000 rounds from machine guns and small arms. The building is left a "smoking ruin". From the television footage coming out of the city, USA troops "search" buildings by using grenades and machine gun fire on houses before entering. Every male found alive is being dragged away, bound and hooded, to detention centres.

Injured Man
Frightened and injured.

© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

Whole districts were leveled with many buildings destroyed. There is no electricity or water. Residents talk of the odour of death in the streets. Abd al-Hamid Salim, a volunteer with the relief organisation, Red Crescent observes that "anyone who gets injured is likely to die because there's no medicine and they can't get to doctors. There are snipers everywhere. Go outside and you're going to get shot."

Abbas Ali, a doctor reported: "I'm one of the few medical cadres that survived last Monday from the massacre. We are in a very tragic situation. Hundreds of dead bodies are spread in the streets. Even the injured are still there. We cannot transfer them. We cannot do anything to save them."

The USA President, George W Bush and UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, continue to say that the military operations in Fallujah are to "help Iraqis achieve their liberty and to defend the security of the world". Fallujah's resisters are described as "Saddamists" even though the city had a history of defying the former dictator, Saddam Hussein.

As Fallujah is battered into submission, uprisings occur in several places around the country, including Mosul, Baiji and Ramadi.

After a week, the USA declares that Fallujah is under USA control. Aid convoys are prevented by USA forces from entering the city, originally because of "security concerns" then because the USA is providing all assistance required. According to USA marine, Colonel Mike Shupp, "there is no need to bring supplies in because we have supplies of our own for the people". The USA appointed Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, states that there are "no civilian casualties" in Fallujah. Refugees, doctors and other witnesses from the city talk of outbreaks of typhoid, rotting corpses, thousands of people trapped, the wounded unable to get medical aid. These claims are mainly ignored by the Western media. No footage of bodies is shown. In contrast, bodies are shown in the Dafur region of Sudan during the same week.

House Searches
USA troops searching houses while frightened Iraqis look on.

Refugees
Hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the invasion of their city.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

A video by USA television station, NBC, shows a USA soldier killing a wounded Iraqi inside a mosque. The soldier is heard saying that the man was breathing and faking being dead. After a single shot is fired at the man's head the soldier says "He's dead now".

This is one of several pieces of footage showing USA soldiers killing wounded Iraqis in violation of the Geneva Convention as well as attacks on civilians by aircraft and helicopters. The NBC footage is shown in the USA and UK with a story of how the solder concerned had been previously shot and is broadcast in the middle of other news items; the UK television station BBC covers the story in less than 10 seconds during one broadcast. The actual shooting is never shown.

In the Middle East the footage is shown uncensored. According to Kevin Sites, the NBC reporter present at the time, "the prisoner did not appear to be armed or threatening in any way". Kathy Kelly of the peace group, Voices in the Wilderness, spoke about the images: "I don't think the US is paying much attention to the Geneva Conventions any more - that is the problem".

According to reports from newsmen embedded with the USA troops during the assault launched on 8 November, the shooting may not have been an isolated incident. Instead, it may have simply been the only one caught on camera, an illustration of the looser rules of engagement authorised for the Fallujah offensive. The night before the assault began, the order came down that troops could shoot any male on the street between the ages of 15 and 50 if they were viewed as a security threat, regardless of whether they had a weapon.

Residents of Saqlawiya, a village neighbouring Falluja, tell the TV station, Al-Jazeera, that they helped bury the bodies of 73 women and children who were burnt to death by a USA bombing attack: "We buried them here, but we could not identify them because they were charred by the use of napalm bombs used by the Americans," said one resident of Saqlawiya in footage broadcast on Al-Jazeera.

According to Abu Hammad, 35 year old trader, the USA "used everything -- tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been bombed to the ground." Kassem Mohammed Ahmed a refugee from Fallujah tells the news agency, IPS, that he witnessed many atrocities committed by USA soldiers in the city: "I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks. This happened so many times". Abdul Razaq Ismail another Fallujah refugee told of soldiers using tanks to pull bodies to the football stadium to be buried. "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could bury them because of the American snipers. The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah."

Abu Hammad describes what happened when people attempted to swim across the River Euphrates to escape the attack on Fallujah: "The Americans shot them with rifles from the shore. Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot". He also describes seeing elderly women carrying white flags shot by USA soldiers. "Even the wounded people were killed. The Americans made announcements for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed".

Kharma, a small city near Fallujah, was bombed by USA warplanes. In one instance a family of five was killed.

Initial figures by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) talk of over 800 civilians killed.

The USA newspaper, the New York Times, quoting the ICRC, cited the story of one family using a car to flee the carnage into the city only to come face to face with a marine squad who had taken control of a mosque as a defence position. "A barrage of bullets followed. Minutes later, Ms Abd Allah's mother lay bloodied and dying in the rear seat, glass shards strewn about her. Ms Abd Allah, hit in the back by a bullet, collapsed into her mother's lap. Three men in the car were lightly wounded," the paper reported.

When the USA marines realised they may have killed civilians, they rushed to check on the casualties. The USA-supported Iraqi National Guard (the so-called "Iraqi face" of the occupation) advised they kill the survivors, but the marines held off and provided medical assistance when it was determined the people in the car were not part of the city's resistance groups.

The Jolan and Askali neighbourhoods were the worst hit, with more than half of the houses destroyed. Dead bodies were scattered on the streets and narrow alleys of Jolan, one of Fallujah's oldest neighbourhoods. Witnesses told of blood and flesh were splattered on the walls of some of the houses. During one night, USA warplanes dropped eight 2,000-pound (900kg) bombs on the city overnight, and artillery boomed throughout the night and into the morning.

According to USA army captain, Erik Krivda: "For this operation, we took the gloves off."

Abdulla Rahnan, a 40 year old man, tells Lebanese-born USA journalist, Dahr Jamail, "The Americans want every city in Iraq to be like Fallujah, They want to kill us all-they are freeing us of our lives!" His friend adds "Everyone here hates them because they are making mass graves faster than even Saddam!"

Although mostly ignored by Western media, reports of war crimes continue to surface: Aziz Abdulla (27) reports: "I saw so many civilians killed there, and I saw several tanks roll over the wounded in the streets." Abu Mohammed (40) reports the use of cluster bombs by the USA, adding: "The Americans smashed our city, killed thousands of people, destroyed our mosques and hospitals." Abu Aziz (45): "The tanks rolled over wounded people in the streets. They shot so many wounded people who went to mosques for shelter. Even the graves were bombed."

Naomi Klein of the UK newspaper, The Guardian, commented on the lack of reporting of civilian casualties in the Western media: "The question is: what happens to the people who insist on counting the bodies - the doctors who must pronounce their patients dead, the journalists who document these losses, the clerics who denounce them? In Iraq, evidence is mounting that these voices are being systematically silenced through a variety of means, from mass arrests, to raids on hospitals, media bans, and overt and unexplained physical attacks."

Injured child
Injured child with her leg blown off.


© 2004: Associated Press and New York Times

Seven people, including a child, die when a bus is shot at by USA troops in Ramadi. Television footage from Reuters showed the bus peppered with bullet holes. Some of the windows were shattered and others spattered with blood. Flies buzzed around corpses in the vehicle, as men carried away bodies and loaded them into cars.

Many civilians are arrested in Samarra by USA troops and Iraqis working for the USA-appointed government. al-Adhamiya is put under a 6pm curfew. Citizens cower in their houses while USA helicopters fly overhead. USA troops conduct house to house searches in the Sadr City district of Baghdad where a 6 year old boy is shot for being outside during curfew.

A report published by Norway's Institute for Applied International Studies and the United Nations states that roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from "wasting," a condition characterised by chronic diarrhoea and dangerous protein deficiencies. This is 7.7% of the population, an increase since the invasion from 4%. Approximately 60% of rural residents and 20% of urban dwellers have access only to contaminated water.

The USA appointed Iraqi government announces that elections will take place on 30 January 2005. By the Muslim calendar this date is in the middle of the Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Farnaz Fassihi, a reporter in Iraq for the USA newspaper, Wall Street Journal sent an email to friends describing conditions for reporters in Iraq:

"Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days, is like being under virtual house arrest.... I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't."

In December the Western media announced that Iraq's debts would be forgiven. What was omitted from most reports was that this would only happen if the country allowed its economy to be run by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for ten years regardless of what Iraqis themselves voted for. This is an excellent example of a story being misleading by omission.

Afghanistan

A group of UK parliament members visit Afghanistan. Their report describes the country as "in a state of anarchy", "a forgotten country" and "a basket case" three years after being invaded by the USA and UK.

After being promised by the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in 2001 that the West would "not walk away", the country's infrastructure remains shattered, warlords rule vast regions and opium production continues to grow. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, controls only the capital, Kabul.

USA forces, occupying the country, continue to kill uncounted, unreported and unmourned civilians. A report by Human Rights Watch states that USA forces arrest people arbitrarilly, loot homes and torture and kill prisoners. The report states that conditions and practices in the prisons at Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Asadabad violate international law by denying legal protection and access to the prisoners.

The USA uses aid to extract intelligence. The UK newspaper, The Independent (issue 25 May), quotes a USA soldier telling journalists: "It's simple. The more they help us find the bad guys, the more good stuff they get". Teena Roberts, head of the country's Christian Aid mission describes the effects of this policy: "The result of this is aid workers have become targets. I have not come across the use of aid in this way before".

In 2004, child mortality remains at 80% (no change from 2001) while life expectancy has dropped from 46 to 43 during the same period. Pregnancy and childbirth remains the leading cause of death amongst women.

Amanullah Haidar, an ex-soldier says "I remember all these people who came here from Europe and America and told us how they were going to help us. But where are the factories and offices we thought we would get? What about the elections we were promised?"

In 2002, Laura Bush, wife of the USA president, had stated that "the fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women". According to Amnesty International reports that in 2004 "the risk of rape and sexual violence by members of armed forces and former combatants is still high. Forced marriages, particularly of girl children, and violence against women in the family are widespread in many areas".

The rare snow leopard and mountain sheep are endangered by Western game hunters paying $ 40,000 to USA companies for the privalage of killing these animals.

The United Nations reveals that opium growing in Afghanistan has increased by 64% in 2004. Most profits are made by the war lords who fought alongside the USA against the Taliban government, which had surpressed the opium trade. The country is ranked by the United Nations as a failed state.

Global Warming and the UK

The UK government's chief scientist, Sir David King, writing the the USA journal, Science, declares that global warming is a more serious threat to humanity than international terrorism: "In my view, climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism."

The former United Nations weapons inspector, Hans Blix, agreed: "I think we still over-estimate the danger of terror. There are other things that are of equal if not greater magnitude, like the environmental global risks".

The UK government sees the statement as an attack on the ecological policies of the USA and limits his contacts with the media. In a leaked memo, King is ordered not to give interviews to USA or UK newspapers or radio programmes. The memo also gave stock answers to 136 questions.

In a radio interview on the BBC (Today, 9 January), King stated that climate change has already killed more people than terrorism. The leaked memo advised King to answer that "both are serious and immediate problems for the world today".

Saudi Arabia

Robert Baer, a former member of the USA's CIA, admits that the unelected ruling monarchy in Saudi Arabia is "controlled by an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, disfunctional, and out-of-touch royal family that is hated by the people it rules and by the nations that surround the kingdom".

He admits that "if an election were held today... Osama bin Laden would be elected by a landslide".

The ruling family (the House of Saud) consists of over 20,000 members and has ruled the region since the 1920s. Most of the senior posts in the government as well as the majority of ambassadors abroad are in the hands of the family.

The country has no elections and discriminates against women and non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia is supported by the West: the UK sells the regime arms worth over $40 million per year; until the invasion of Iraq the USA kept several bases and thousands of troops in the kingdom.

UK Arms Trade

Capaign Against the Arms Trade publishes a report that indicates that arms sales from the UK have doubled in 2003.

Many of the arms go to undemocratic regimes or governments with poor human rights records. The countries being sold arms by the UK include:


2005

Iraq Under Occupation

A report by Dr John Curtis of the British Museum (UK) criticises the USA for causing "substantial damage" to one of the most important historical sites in Iraq.

The city of Babylon was the capital of a sophisticated civilisation in Mesopotamia between 1800 BC and 600 BC. It was built by Nebuchadnezzar and was the site of the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, considered one of the seven wonders of the world and a cradle of civilisation. The USA turned the archeological site into a military base which it shared with troops from Poland.

Large areas of the site were covered in gravel which was compacted and chemically treated to make landing areas for helicopters and car parks. Military vehicles had crushed 2,600 year old pavements. Trenches had been dug into ancient deposits. Archeological fragments, including broken bricks stamped with Nebuchadnezzar's name, are scattered around the area. Sand mixed with archeological fragments has been taken and used to fill sandbags. The famous Ishtar Gate has gaps where people have attempted to gouge out the decorated bricks.

According to Lord Redesdale, a UK archaeologist: "Outrage is hardly the word, this is just dreadful. These are world sites. Not only is what the American forces are doing damaging the archaeology of Iraq, it's actually damaging the cultural heritage of the whole world." Tim Schadla Hall, from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, said: "In this case we see an international conflict in which the US has failed to take into account the requirements of the Hague convention ... to protect major archaeological sites - just another convention it seems happy to ignore."

Jimmy Massey, a 33 year old staff sergent admits that USA troops routinely kill unarmed civilians in Iraq, including women and children. These killings occur in the street and at road blocks: "We were shooting up people as they got out of their cars trying to put their hands up. I don't know if the Iraqis thought we were celebrating their new democracy. I do know that we killed innocent civilians."

According to Massey, USA troops were trained to believe that all Iraqis were terrorists. This caused them to open fire indiscriminately. He saw 30 civilians being killed in one 48 hour period in one Baghdad district. Dr Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish politician, says that the immunity from prosecution of USA soldiers is one of the reasons that the occupation is so unpopular.

The Iraq Survey Group, an organisation funded and controlled by the USA, was sent to Iraq in 2003 to look for "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD). The presence of WMD was used a pretext for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the USA and UK. In late 2004, The Iraq Survey Group state that the search for these weapons had ended and that none had been found.

In January an Iraqi doctor, Dr Ali Fadhil, broadcasts a report from within Fallujah, a city of 300,000 that had been attacked by the USA for over a month in November 2004. The USA had stated that 1200 "insurgents" had been killed but had not announced a figure for the number of civilians that had died. Aid agencies had not been allowed into the city but gangs had been hired to bury the dead. The report is published in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, and shown on the UK television's Channel 4 News.

According to Dr Fadhil:

"Fallujah used to be one of the few modern Iraqi cities and now there is nothing. I could smell bodies all over the city. I was taken to a house where four people had been shot while sleeping. There were no weapons and no bullet holes. In another house there was a dead fighter with his weapon. In both cases the bodies had been partially eaten by dogs."

The entire city is damaged, few buildings are functioning. Most of the city's inhabitants are in refugee camps receiving no aid. They are not allowed to re-enter the city unless they submit to finger printing and retina scans. Citizens would have to wear identity cards containing their names and addresses. Fallujahns resent the cards and consider them a humiliation by the USA. In one house, USA soldiers had written on a mirror in a trashed house: "F**k Iraq and every Iraqi in it".

In a cemetary Dr Fadhil saw over 60 new graves. One weeping mother, Mrs Salma, finds the body of her son, Ahmed (18) in the cemetary: "I blame Iyad Allawi [the USA appointed Iraqi Prime Minister] for all this. I'd like to cut his throat. Even then I would not be happy. I blame Saddam as well. I'd like to kill them both."

Dr Fadhil interviewed Sheikh Jamel al Mihimdi of the Abdul Qadir Mosque:

"I saw with my own eyes the Holy Quran thrown to the floor of the mosque by those sons of pigs and monkeys. The Americans were treading on the Holy Quran and it broke my heart." The Sheikh stated that many people who had stayed in the city to protect their properties were killed in their own homes, many just inside the front door. Bodies of familes were shown. One old man of 90 had been shot dead in his kitchen.

A group of men were shown looking around their houses, now rubble. Over 100 of the city's 120 mosques had been destroyed. Dr Fadhil concluded that "The city of mosques has become the city of rubble".

The Western media tend to interview Western politicians and Iraqis who are collaborating with the occupation. The following quotes are from refugees from Fallujah:

Many civilians were killed by bombs and artillery shells; a large number of people, including women, old men and children as young as four, were killed by USA snipers. Requests for medical aid were often refused. Dr Ali Abbas (28) worked in a clinic which was bombed by the USA, killing five patients. The USA had been informed of the location of the clinic by doctors in Fallujah's general hospital. Dr Abbas confirmed that many injured people died because of a lack of equipment and medicines. Many people who had been the victims of USA snipers had been shot in the head, neck or chest.

Bilal Hussein (33), a photographer working for Associated Press, describes the scene at the river, seeing "US helicopters firing and killing people who tried to cross. I saw a family of five shot dead. I helped bury a man by the river bank with my own hands". He continues: "I saw people dead in the streets, the wounded were bleeding and there was no one to help them".

According to USA marine, Captain P J Batty: "We didn't wish this upon anyone, but everyone needs to understand there are consequences for not following the Iraqi government". The "Iraqi government" was installed by the USA.

Citizens of Fallujah will be comforted by the observations of 21 year old Derrick Anthony, from the USA Navy: "It's kind of bad we destroyed everything, but at least we gave them a chance for a new start."

KryssTal Opinion: One wonders what citizens of the USA would have thought if the above quote had been made by Osama bin Laden about the Twin Towers.

In 2004, photographs appeared showing USA military personnel physically and sexually abusing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. In early 2005, similar photographs appear showing UK troops abusing prisoners in a similar way. In one photo, a soldier is shown standing on a prisoner lying on the ground and covered with a netting.

The Western media concentrate on the difficulties suffered by the military in a foreign land and use the word "allegedly" in every sentence. The political establishment blame "a few bad apples", a phrase meaning that they are isolated incidents. On one television debate in the UK (Question Time, 20 January), a woman working in a shop that develops photographs, states that she had seen similar images from film brought in by a soldier.

After a trial in which no Iraqis give evidence, four UK solders from the lower ranks are given derisory punishments. The UK military maintained that it could not trace the Iraqi victims; the UK newspaper, The Independent, found a number of victims after a 48 hour search. Several made statements describing their abuse - many had not heard that a trial was taking place.

Relatives of people tortured by the UK are arrested and beaten for asking about their family members.

According to papers obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), children as young as 8 years old had been held in Abu Ghraib by the USA. Among the documents were orders to hold a prisoner that the CIA had captured without keeping records. The USA has acknowledged holding up to 100 unaccounted prisoners, called "ghost detainees", keeping them off the books and away from humanitarian investigators from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The story remains unreported in the West.

A report by Transparency International, accuses the USA government of corruption in the awarding of business contracts to its own companies: "The US has been a poor role model in how to keep corrupt practices at bay." The USA-appointed government is accused of takings a perecentage of all contracts.

Two months after "elections" are held in Iraq, the USA-appointed Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, (who won less than 15% of the vote) warns Shia Muslim religious leaders (who won over 50% of the vote) to "stay out of politics".

In April, the USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, visits Iraq to stop the Shia Muslim winners of the "elections" from providing ministers for the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence. Rumsfeld warns that pro-USA officials in these ministries are not to be removed from their posts: "It's important that the new government be attentive to the competence of the people in the ministries and that they avoid any unnecessary turbulence".

KryssTal Opinion: So this is what the USA means when it talks about "democracy" in the Middle East.

In late March, and unreported in the West, USA soldiers storm a pediatric hospital in Ramadi. Another hospital had been targetted a few days earlier, leading doctors to question whether they are becoming targets.

In Fallujah, independent journalists report USA forces killing whole families, attacks on hospitals and the use of napalm-like weapons. These stories are covered in Arabic media but are little reported in the UK.

Dahr Jamail, a USA reporter of the Inter Press Service interviewed a 16 year old girl:

"She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything. They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead."

Another story he documented involved a mother who was in her home during the siege. �On the fifth day of the siege her home was bombed, and the roof fell on her son, cutting his legs off. For hours she couldn�t go outside because they announced that anyone going in the street would be shot. So all she could do was wrap his legs and watch him die before her eyes.�

Dr Salem Ismael was delivering aid to Fallujah. He photographed the dead, including children, and interviewed remaining residents. Again his story does not tally with the indifference shown by the main media networks. He tells the story of Hudda Fawzi Salam Issawi:

"Five of us, including a 55-year-old neighbour, were trapped together in our house in Falluja when the siege began. On 9 November American marines came to our house. My father and the neighbour went to the door to meet them. We were not fighters. We thought we had nothing to fear. I ran into the kitchen to put on my veil, since men were going to enter our house and it would be wrong for them to see me with my hair uncovered. This saved my life. As my father and neighbour approached the door, the Americans opened fire on them. They died instantly. Me and my 13-year-old brother hid in the kitchen behind the fridge. The soldiers came into the house and caught my older sister. They beat her. Then they shot her. But they did not see me. Soon they left, but not before they had destroyed our furniture and stolen the money from my father's pocket."

Dr Salem Ismael is refused permission to speak in the UK.

The UK journalist, Naomi Klein, reports that hospitals are being targetted by the USA to stop casualty figures being released.

In April Maria Ruzicka, a 28 year old USA citizen, is killed in Iraq. She had managed to obtain an admission from military commanders that the USA did keep records of the number of civilian deaths in Iraq even though it did not publish the information. She stated that 29 civilians had died in Baghdad between 28 February and 5 April during firefights involving USA forces: this was four times the number of Iraqi police killed by the resistance. Sam Zia-Zarif of Human Rights Watch confirmed that the USA has never admitted to keeping figures and that Ruzicka's work allows victims' families to obtain compensation.

The USA flies its wounded soldiers into the country from bases in Europe only at night to keep them out of the public view. The number of USA wounded has been estimated at 25,000. Photographs of coffins were banned by presidential order in 2003. According to Code Pink, a peace group protesting outside Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington: "The American public has very limited information about the real impact of the war".

In May, the new "Iraqi government" is formed after elections. This "government" features many of the same people appointed by the USA as well as a number of USA allies. Included is Ahmed Chalabi who was convicted for fraud in Jordan, and whose political party was given $ 100 million by the USA government when he was in exile.

The resistance to the occupation continues unabated. The following story appears in a web site called Watching America, which features pieces about the USA from around the world:

"Iraq's new president has said he will not reside in the Presidential Palace, which for many Iraqis is a symbol of the country's sovereignty. Jalal Talabani said that the interim government has agreed to rent the palace to the Americans for two years. The presidential complex on the banks of the Tigris River is a maze of palaces, green lawns and orchards. President Talabani said that the Americans 'might' evacuate the palace when the lease expires."

Journalist Rory Carroll of the UK newspaper, The Guardian, observes that the new "government" must meet under USA protection and its members are often humiliated:

"Last week an assembly member named Fattah al-Sheikh said he was roughed up and humiliated by US troops on his way in. One allegedly grabbed him by the throat, another handcuffed him, and a third kicked his car. 'I was dragged to the ground,' he told parliament, weeping. 'What happened to me represents an insult to the whole national assembly that was elected by the Iraqi people. This shows that the democracy we are enjoying is fake.'"

In November, a televison documentary called Fallujah, the Hidden Massacre, is broadcast by RAI in Italy. It shows evidence that the USA had used white phosphorus weapons in its 2004 attack on Fallujah. Interviews with USA soldiers who took part in the Fallujah attack indicated that phosphorus shells were widely used. One stated: "Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way to the bone. I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for."

The broadcast included photographs and videos provided by the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah. Most show the damage done to human flesh by these weapons. Some show Fallujah residents in their beds with largely intact clothing but whose skin has been dissolved or caramalised by the chemicals. A biologist from the city, Mohamad Tareq, stated: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-coloured subtsance started to burn.."

An incendiary device called Mark 77 was also used in Fallujah. This is an updated version of the napalm used by the USA in its invasion of Vietnam (1954 to 1975) and its use has been banned against civilian targets by the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

The story is almost completely ignored by UK and USA media sources.

After months of denials, the USA government admits that it used White Phosphorus (WP) in the attack on Fallujah in November 2004. The admission came less than 24 hours after the USA Ambassador to the UK denied its use in letter to a newspaper.

In the March-April 2005 edition of the US military magazine, Field Artillery, three USA soldiers wrote that "WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions... and later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against insurgents in trench lines and spider holes... We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents using WP to flush them out and high explosive shells to take them out". To "take out" is a USA euphamism for "to kill".

Another account in North County News describes Captain Nicholas Bogert "a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused."

Burhan Fasa'n, a cameraman for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation reported on the first eight days of the attack: "I saw cluster bombs everywhere and so many bodies that were burnt, dead with no bullets in them. So they definately used fire weapons, especially in Jolan district." His equipment was taken from him by USA soldiers. Residents reported seeing soil being taken away by USA forces and bodies being dropped into the River Euphrates near Fallujah. Adam Mynott, a correspondent for the UK BBC, informed television station, Rai News 24, that he had seen white phosphorus being used in Nassiriya. This story is unreported in the UK, even on the BBC itself.

The USA and UK and much of the media state that white phosphorus is not a chemical weapon - this contradicts USA intelligence reports that accused Sadaam Hussein of using white phosphorus and describing it as a chemical weapon.

Jean Ziegler, a United Nations human rights food expert, publishes a report stating that the USA has often stopped food from reaching towns and cities in order to drive out the inhabitants before an attack. Such activity violates the Geneva Convention.

Late in the year Iraq voted on a new constitution. This is depicted in the West as a triumph of democracy and USA-UK policy in the Middle East. The first draft of the document was leaked in June to the Iraqi newspaper, Al-Mada. It contained many social democratic elements like full rights to health care, social justice, free education and full ownership of natural resources by Iraqis. It proposed a mixed economy with the state would promote development, provide public services and provide work oportunities for every citizen.

The USA "ambassador", Zalmay Khalililzad (a former oil man) was sent to put pressure on the body preparing the constitution. The final product was shorn of its social democratic flavour and talked about a "reformed economy" whose resources were subject to "market principles". It would include "private sector involvement" in health and education which must be "within the limits of government resources". The economic control of Iraq by the USA has been frozen into the constitution.

According to a report by a number of groups (including War On Want and New Economics Foundation), Iraqis could lose up to $ 200,000 million in oil revenue to USA and UK companies. The report, Crude Designs, describes Iraq as falling into "an old colonial trap" as the USA backed Iraqi government begins negotiations with external companies even before elections are held. The rates of return for the companies would be between 42% and 162%, rather than the more typical 12%. The four companies that would benefit are BP, Exxon, Chevron and Shell. All four were asked to leave Iraq when oil was nationalised in 1972. Just before the invasion, the UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, told parliament that France and Germany would not be allowed oil concessions from the post-invasion Iraq.

175 people are found in cramped conditions, some showing signs of torture, in a government building in Baghdad. Tortures included mutilation with knives and electric drills. The Iraqi units responsible for detaining the victims were trained by the USA. Shia Police trained by the UK in Basra, torture and kill civilians with electric drills, attack Christians for selling alcohol and Sunnis for supporting the Ba'ath Party.

Human rights groups accuse the USA and UK of using death squads to eliminate oponents to the USA-backed government. Ahmed Sadoun was arrested in Mosul in the middle of the night by paramilitaries accompanied by observing USA soldiers and held for seven months. "When they took me to their base I was blidfolded and beaten very, very badly with metal rods. They then hung me up on hooks by my wrists until I thought they would tear off." After being released he left Iraq. The group that arrested him is the Wolf Brigade.

During October and November, the towns of Husaybah and al-Qaim (In the North West) are attacked by USA forces. Haditah is bombed for 18 days - hospitals and schools are destroyed. Over 100,000 refugees are created without homes, food or water. The nearest hospital is 300km away. This human catastrophe remains unreported in the USA or UK.

Sudan

A brutal ethnic war in the Dafur region of Sudan is being armed by several countries including Russia and Ukraine, according to a report published by human rights organisation, Amnesty International.

A UK company brokers an arms deal between Ukraine and the Sudan government, which uses an armed militia to ethnically cleanse Darfur. Russia (and China, another country selling arms to the region) has consistantly opposed sanctions against Sudan. France has sent bombs, grenades and ammunition worth over $ 400,000 to Sudan.

Several Western companies have financed the arms sales in return for oil concessions. These include Siemens AG (Germany), Alcatal SA (France), ABB Limited (Switzerland) and Tatneft (Russia).

2 million people have been driven from their homes in the conflict.

Kyrgyzstan

The UK announces a plan to ship 1,000 tonnes of radioactive material from Preston (in north west England) to Kyrgyzstan for "reprocessing".

Legal UK

The European Court of Human Rights finds that the detention of foreign nationals in the UK without charge or trial is illegal. The UK government proposes to expand detention without trial to all UK citizens.

Twelve detainees have been held in Belmarsh Prison since 2001.

One detainee, Abu Rideh, was accused by the UK Home Office of sending money to Afhganistan. The government was eventually forced to concede that at least some of the money was sent to orphanages in Afghanistan run by a Christian priest from Canada.

The USA uses UK airports to transport prisoners illegally. The airports used by CIA aircraft include Luton, Glasgow, Prestwick, and Northolt.

Prisoners are transported to the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where they are kept without charge or access to legal representation. Other destinations include Jordan, Egypt and Syria where prisoners are "rendered". This is a USA term roughly meaning "interrogation by regimes friendly to the USA where torture is widespread". None of these transfers are made with legal extradition orders and so violate international law.

In addition, UK security services actively pass captives and information to the USA without going through any legal process. Prisoners include Middle East dissidents and human rights activists. In one case, Wahab al Rawi, an enginer who had fled from persecution in Iraq, was resident in Gambia when arrested by USA agents in 2002. When he requested access to the UK High Commission he was refused with "Who do you think ordered your arrest?". Rawi was released without charge but his brother and business partner were kidnapped and taken to Guantanamo Bay.

The UK government denies knowing anything about "rendition" but USA politician, Colin Powell, later criticises the UK and Europe for feigning ignorence:

"Most of our European friends cannot be shocked that this kind of thing takes place... so the thing that is called rendition is not something that is new or unknown to my European friends".

Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, has told of Uzbek citizens captured by USA forces being taken to Uzbekistan where they were tortured. Information obtained was then passed by the USA CIA to the UK equivalent, MI6. Murray confirmed: "I was told by the [UK] Foriegn Office's senior legal advisor that there was nothing in law to prevent us obtaining and using material which had been extracted under torture provided that we had not ourselves done the torture... I was shattered and disillusioned".

A report is released in the USA by the Natural Resources Defence Council compiled from documents obtained under the USA Freedom of Information laws. This report states that the USA is keeping 480 nuclear weapons in Europe. This includes 110 weapons in the UK. These are stored at RAF Lakenheath, a military base housing 5000 USA military personnel and three squadrons of F-15 aircraft. The nuclear weapons remain under USA control.

This story in ignored by most of the UK media which spends a large amount of time criticising control of UK laws and institutions by the European Community.

A story is published and broadcast in 2002 about the poison Ricin being discovered in a flat in London during a police raid. No Ricin is found, a fact surpressed by the UK government and media for two years in order to help foster a sense of danger to help it pass "anti-terror" laws.

For several nights the BBC television news broadcasts a story about an Iranian journalist who has been imprisoned for his dissident views. Similar stories in Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Western allies) are ignored.

The UK company, Wyevale Garden Centres, helps finance the military regime in Burma by using its timber. The government of Burma has moved thousands of people off their land in order to log. Slave labour is used to process the timber.

Other UK companies like Harrods and Argos continue to use uncertified timber for their products. The timber is illegally logged in placed like Malaysia or Indonesia.

The UK holds an arms fair in London offering items like cluster bombs, stun guns and leg irons. Many of the regimes who buy UK arms are undemocratic and have bad human rights records. They include Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Indonesia, Libya and several countries from Africa that are fighting in a war in Congo that has killed 3 million people in four years. The UK has sold arms to ten countries in Africa that are involved in conflicts.

The UK government agreed to deport two asylum-seeking dissidents from Saudi Arabia to facilitate a $70,000 million arms sale to that regime.

Arms suppliers in the UK receive over $1,700 million in subsidies from UK tax payers.

A UK government memo leaked to the UK newspaper, the Daily Mirror, indicates that USA President George W Bush had informed UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair in April 2004 that he was planning to bomb the offices of Arab television station, Al-Jazeera in Qatar. At the time, the station was broadcasting images from inside the Iraqi city of Fallujah when all other reporters were "embedded with" (a better phrase is "controlled by") the USA forces who were bombarding the city.

The UK government responds by threatening newspapers with prosecution if they publish the contents of the memo. The offices of Al-Jazeera in Kabul and Baghdad were bombed by USA forces in 2001 and 2003 respectively.


2006

Iraq Under Occupation

A video is posted on the internet showing members of a USA and UK security firm in Iraq firing at random into civilian vehicles on the road linking Baghdad to its airport.

The company, Aegis Specialist Risk Management, is one of many hired by the USA to do the dangerous jobs like escorting convoys. The contract is worth $ 150 million. Security companies employ about 25,000 private security workers who are immune from legal action in Iraq according to sections of the Iraqi constitution written under USA pressure.

Aegis is headed by Tim Spicer, a former UK military officer, whose previous company was accused of violations of international arms embargos in Africa.

During elections the USA (and UK) finance and promote the campaign of Iyad Allawi. They send election advisers to assist. It is illegal for outsiders to finance elections in the USA.

In May, a story of a USA massacre breaks after an attempted cover up by the military. They had stated that 24 civilians killed in the town of Haditha the previous November had been victims of a bomb. Later the USA military had said that the civilians had died in crossfire after the USA forces had come under attack.

An enquiry by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) reported that a USA marine had been killed by a roadside bomb after which USA troops went on a rampage lasting five hours shooting civilians. Five men were shot while standing next to a taxi. The soldiers then entered at least two houses in which they shot women and children. Although a small number of USA marines carried out the massacre others failed to stop them or filed false reports about the incident. The investigation only occurred after a video shot by a survivor was handed to USA magazine, Time. The video showed the bodies of bullet-ridden women and children still dressed in night clothes.

The USA military continue to insist that they do not keep records of civilians killed in Iraq. One study by the UK medical magazine, The Lancet, conducted in 2005 indicated 100,000 deaths.

Several ex-soldier have stated that these events are common. Hart Viges tells of being ordered to fire on taxis in the city of Samawa and of suffering subsequent nightmares: "You can't wash your hands when they're covered in blood. This is what war does to your soul". Jody Casey tells of being ordered to carry shovels to be planted next to bodies to indicate that they were planting bombs: "You're driving at three in the morning. There's a guy on the side iof the road, you shoot him... you throw a shovel off".

A report by UNICEF states that a quarter of all children in Basra are suffering from chronic malnutrition. The survey covered 20,000 households. The number of children suffering acute malnourishment rose from 4% in 2002 to 9% in 2005.

A report by Corporate Watch reveals that UK companies have made around $ 1,800 million from various business ventures in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Some 60 companies are named including construction and security firms:

Most of the contracts were agreed between the companies and the USA Pentagon completely bypassing the Iraqi people or "government". Corporate Watch reported that several hundred more companies are present in Iraq but keep their presence secret. The UK government refuses to name companies it has helped gain contracts in Iraq. Most of the money comes from tax payers in Iraq ($ 240 million), the UK ($ 125 million) and even the USA ($ 2,000 million). Most of the companies have long standing relationships with the UK government or are run by people in the UK establishment.

In April, in UK-occupied Basra, the European aid agency Saving Children from War reported: "The mortality of young children had increased by 30 percent compared with the Saddam Hussein era." According to the report, children die because the hospitals have no ventilators and the water supply, which the UK were meant to have fixed, is more polluted than ever. Children fall victim to unexploded USA and UK cluster bombs. They play in areas contaminated by depleted uranium; by contrast, UK army survey teams venture there only in full-body radiation suits, face masks, and gloves. Unlike the children they came to 'liberate', UK troops are given what the Ministry of Defense calls 'full biological testing'.

The aid agency's findings were not reported in the UK.

In late June, a story breaks about five USA soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment raping an Iraqi "woman" and killing her and three members of her family including a five year old girl. The story is covered by the UK television station Channel 4 in less than 15 seconds in the middle of a news buletin and is ignored by the BBC (even though it appears on their web site). According to USA military sources, the incident occurred at Mahmudiya near Baghdad three months earlier and had been originally blamed on insurgents.

Steven Green, 21, is chanrged with rape and murder. According to a legal memo, three other USA soldiers also raped the victim. It is only later revealed that the rape vicitim was, in fact, a 14 year old girl, Abeer Qasim. The rest of the family were the victim's parents and sister. A neighbour of the family reported to the USA newspaper, the Washington Post, that the murdered family had been worried for their daughter as their house was near a USA checkpoint.

The USA occupation forces changed the law giving foreign nationals immunity from the Iraqi legal system prompting Nuri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, to call for an independent inquiry: "We do not accept the violation of Iraqi people's honour as happened in this case. We believe that the immunity granted to international forces has emboldened them to commit such crimes and ... there must be a review of this immunity."

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the speaker of Iraq's parliament states that USA forces have committed "butchery" in Iraq and should leave. He was speaking at a Uinted Nations sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad: "Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right. What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people".

He also criticised USA support for Israeli attacks against Lebanon.

According to a summary by the USA Central Command Air Forces (25 July 2006): "In total, coalition aircraft flew 46 close-air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities." 46 air strikes in a single day - none reported in the Western media. Notice how the invasion and occupation of a country is labelled as Operation Iraqi Freedom. The figure for Afghanistan on the same day was 32.

According to a spokesman for the USA military command in Baghdad, an analysis of the 1,666 bombs that exploded in July showed that 70% were directed against the USA-led military force. 20% targeted the USA-backed Iraqi "security forces" (up from 9% in 2005), and 10% of the blasts struck civilians (the so-called "sectarian violence"). However, the UK BBC correspondent, Mike Wooldridge, reported only on the civilian casualties stating that "the sectarian violence has come to overshadow all other kinds."

In September a United Nations report on torture in Iraq declares that the situation in the country during 2006 is worse than before the USA-led invasion. According to the report, torture is practiced in prisons run by the USA as well as the Iraqi government. The report continued that over 6,500 people died in Baghdad in a two month period (July-August 2006) but admitted that deaths outside the capital were difficult to calculate because it was too dangerous for journalists. Many of the killings are by government controlled police.

35,000 Iraqis are held in prisons, 13,000 by the USA and the rest by the "Iraqi authorities". This is a 28% increase over three months. Civilians kidnapped by sectarian militiamen provide the dozens of mangled bodies (beaten, burnt, bones broken, limbs holed by electric drills and eyes gouged out) that are being collected on rubbish dumps and in the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities and towns every day. Very little of this is reported in the West, where government continue to claim improvements in Iraq.

Over a two day period USA forces kill two women in an air attack on a house in Baquba a day after five girls and a man were killed by USA tank fire onto their house in Ramadi. A week later two women and a child are among 24 people killed in a USA air raid on the village of al-Lihaib near the town of Garma.

A report by the UK medical magazine, The Lancet, that up to 650,000 people have died in Iraq since the USA-UK invasion is ignored by much of the media.

At the end of the year, the former dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is executed by the USA backed government after a trial covering the few of the ruler's crimes not involving backing by the USA or the UK. He is convicted of ordering the execution of 150 people in the town of Dujail in 1982.

Crimes that he was not tried for include:

War in Congo

By the middle of 2006, over 4 million people had died in a war raging in the Congo. The main causes of this mainly unreported war are access and control of minerals like gold, diamonds, cassiterite and coltan. Coltan is used to manufacture electronic gadgets like remote controls, laptop computers and mobile phones. 80% of the world's supply of coltan is in Congo.

Congo is a diverse country created by Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century in a colonial war that killed 13 million people. the country was looted to the detriment of the indigenous people and society. When Congo became independent in 1960 the first elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, was killed by Belgium and the USA. A pro-West tyrant, Mobutu Sese Soko, was installed. The country's resources continued to flow to the richer countries.

In 1998, Sese Soko waa deposed by another warlord at which point surrounding countries attempted to seize the mineral wealth of the country. Apart from local militia, armies from Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola are fighting in the conflict. Each is backed and armed by Western countries who continue to buy the looted minerals.

Many Western companies are involved in this illegal trade including Anglo-American PLC, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and De Beers. One UK company, AngloGold Ashanti was found to have links with militias involved with attrocities. The UK government has ignored reports from the United Nations concerning the activities of their companies in the conflict.

The mining of coltan is done by mainly slave labour including children. People are forced to work in dangerous conditions at gunpoint by militias. The ores make their way to the richer countries via Rwanda and other neighbouring countries. The use of coltan in Sony PlayStations drove up the price of the mineral and intensified the war. According the UK MP, Oona King, "kids in Congo are being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms".

Apart from the people killed and enslaved, there are reports of thousands women and girls being raped. Some 10% of the rape victims are then mutilated by having their legs or vaginas shot. According to Dr Dennis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital "It destroys the morale of the men to rape their women. Crippling their women cripples their society". The United Nations estimates that 45,000 females have been raped in one small province called South Kivu.

UK

The UK passes laws to make dissent illegal. Maya Evans, a chef, is convicted for reading out the names of UK soldiers killed in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia and the UK signed an agreement for the Gulf state's purchase of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in a deal analysts have said could be worth more than 6 billion pounds ($11.4 billion). Saudi Arabia is an undemocratic regime that oppresses its own people.

Afghanistan

The UK sends more troops to Afghanistan to "fight terrorism". This is an escalation of the occupation of the country. This is the fourth invasion of Afghanistan by the UK.

In July air strike by the UK and the USA kill many civilians. In in Nawzad (Helmand Province) at least three 227kg (500-pound) bombs hit a market. An attack in Uruzgan Province also killed many civilians. Around 60 civilians are killed in a USA air attack near Tirin Kot, southern Uruzgan. One villager, Feda Mohammad, told the AFP news agency that "They shot people who were running out of houses under fire from helicopters, on the fields and everywhere."

The USA military admits killing 40 "militants" but these are Afghans killed in their own country by forces from the other side of the world.

UK forces were involved in a long fight in Sangin.

UK forces call in USA planes to drop 500lb bombs on a town in Helmand province. Witnesses tell of many civilian deaths and injuries. At least three bombs were dropped, destroying shops and a newly built school in Nawzad. Most of the town's market of 150 shops was reduced to rubble. Shopkeeper, Haji Ahmad said: "We don't have an accurate number of dead people but there are bodies under the rubble, and there is no-one here to take them out. There are more than 50 killed, not less."

The occupation of Afhganistan continues with bloody resistance to it. This is under-reported in the West. According to BBC correspondant, Roland Buerk: "Afghanistan is going through its bloodiest period of violence since the fall of the Taleban in 2001 and Kunar province has seen much of the fighting".

The BBC website states:

"In recent weeks coalition troops have been pushing northwards into the remote mountains but the Taleban and their al-Qaeda allies have been hitting back. The US led coalition has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the ability of the insurgents to slip across Kunar's border with Pakistan into the tribal areas of the northwest frontier province to regroup, our correspondent says."

KryssTal Opinions:

13 Afghan civilians (including 9 children) are killed by NATO air stikes. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is a group of European countries dominated by the USA. The attacks occured in Lashkargar (Helmund Province). A family of 13 were fleeing the fighting when they were attacked by an A-10 Tank Buster aircraft armed with 30mm cannon.

The UK newspaper, The Independent quotes a UK soldier's account of what the occupying armies are doing in Afghanistan:

"We are flattening places we have already flattened, but the attacks have kept coming. We have killed them by the dozens, but more keep coming, either locally or from across the border. We have used B1 bombers, Harriers, F16s and Mirage 2000s. We have dropped 500lb, 1,000lb and even 2,000lb bombs. At one point our Apaches [helicopter gunships] ran out of missiles they have fired so many. Almost any movement on the ground gets ambushed. We need an entire battle group to move things. Yet they will not give us the helicopters we have been asking for."

A report by journalist, Stephen Lendman shows the contrasts in Kabul during the USA-led occupation:

"In parts of Kabul an opulent elite has emerged many of whom have grown rich from rampant corruption and drug trafficking, and the city actually has an upscale shopping area catering to them offering for sale specialty products like expensive Swiss watches and other luxury goods. They can be found at the Roshan Plaza shopping mall and Kabul City Center plaza that has three floors of heated shops, a cappuccino bar and the country's first escalator. The rutted streets are locked down and deserted at night, but during the day luxury jeeps and four-wheel drive limousines are seen on them. There are also upscale hotels including the five-star Serena, built and run by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), offering luxury accommodations for visiting dignitaries, Western businessmen and others able to afford what they cost in an otherwise impoverished city still devastated by years of conflict and destruction. The arriviste class there can, mansions are being built for them, foreign branch banks are there to service their needs, and an array of other amenities are there to accommodate their extravagant tastes and wishes. In a country where drug trafficking is the leading industry and corruption is systemic, there's a ready market for those able to afford most anything, even in a place as unlikely as Afghanistan.

There's also a ready market provided by the array of well-off foreign ex-pats, a well-cared for NGO community (with their own guest houses for their staff), colonial administrators, commercial developers, mercenaries, fortune-hunters, highly-paid enforcers and assorted other hangers-on looking to suck out of this exploited country whatever they can while they're able to do it. So far at least, there's nothing stopping them except the threat of angry and desperate people ready to erupt on any pretext and the growing resistance gaining strength and support from the resurgent Taliban. There's also no shortage of alcohol in a fundamentalist Muslim country where it's not allowed, high-priced prostitutes are available on demand with plenty of ready cash around to buy their services, a reported 80 brothels operate in the city, and imported Thai masseuses are at the luxury Mustafa Hotel where the owner is called a Mr. Fix It, an Internet Cafe is located on the bottom floor offering ethernet and wireless connectivity, and the restaurant fare ranges from traditional Afghan to steaks, pizza and 'the best burger in all of Kabul'. The impoverished local population would surely not be amused or pleased comparing their daily plight to the luxury living afforded the elite few able to afford it. Their city is in ruins, and desperation, neglect, despair and growing anger characterize their daily lives.

This Potemkin facade of opulence doesn't represent what that daily life is like in the city and throughout the country for the vast majority of the approximate 26 million or so Afghans. For them life is harsh and dangerous, and they show their frustration and impatience in their anger ready to boil over on any pretext. As in Iraq, there's been little reconstruction providing little relief from the devastation and making what work there is hard to find and offering little pay."

The following statistics are for Afghanistan in September 2006:

USA contractors can earn over $1000 per day compared to $5 for local workers.

In Afghanistan (as in Iraq), large open ended, no-bid contracts totalling many thousands of millions of dollars were awarded to about 70 USA companies, including politically connected backers of the USA administration: Bechtel, Fluor, Parsons, Shaw Group, SAIC, CH2M Hill, DynCorp, Blackwater, The Louis Berger Group, The Rendon Group, Halliburton (plus its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root) and many others. Between 2001 and 2006, Halliburton was awarded $20,000 million in war-related contracts. The company exploited these contracts by doing sub-standard work, overruning costs and then submitting exhorbitant bills. Halliburton is building permanent military bases in both Afghanistan and Iraq (one of the rerasons for both invasions).

In contrast, "reconstruction" in Afghanistan has stuttered. In one example, a USA pledge of $17.7 million in 2005 for education in Afghanistan was re-directed to a private profit-making American University of Afghanistan only available to Afghans who could afford its high cost - meaning only a privileged few.

The South African agency Action Aid has documented aid that is "pledged" by the USA and other countries that never arrives (so-called phantom aid). Usually around 60% of this "aid" never leaves the home country. It pays for overpriced "consultants" who provide little in return. Recipient countries are obliged to buy USA products and services even when cheaper alternatives are available locally. Much "aid" is spent on USA-made weapons. The report accuses the USA to be one of the two greatest serial offender countries (the other is France) and states that 86% of all the USA aid pledges turn out to be phantom aid. According to Stephen Lendman:

"In Afghanistan, aid pledges to rebuild are a scam to enrich politically-connected USA corporations by developing new export markets for them. Iraq, Afghanistan and other recipient countries get nothing more than the right to have their nations, resources, and people exploited by predatory USA corporations as one of the spoils of war or one-way trade agreements."


2007

Iran Under Threat

In late 2006 the USA Treasury threaten UK banks who have business dealings in Iran. One senior executive stated that "the consequences of not toeing the American line on Iran have not yet been made clear, but we were left in no dount that we might not want to find out". The UK government, whose job it is to protect UK citizens and interests, makes no comment. According to the financial section of the UK newspaper, The Independent, "..UK business leaders - traditionally the biggest fans of America - are growing increasingly worried about what [the UK's] 'special relationship' with the US actually entails".

KryssTal Opinion: Welcome to how the rest of the world views the USA.

In January USA forces enter an Iranian consulate in the city of Mosul (northern Iraq) and arrest diplomats. Computer equipment and documents were also taken. Violation of embassies and consulates is not allowed under international law. Even the puppet government in Baghdad call for the release of the diplomats (which the USA ignores). The story is under-reported in the Western media.

The USA orders a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. The Gulf is the body of water that borders southern Iran.

KryssTal Opinion: One wonders what the reaction would be if two Iranian warships were patrolling the waters off the coast of the USA.

Israeli military begin training to use nuclear weapons against Iran. The USA talks about the use of nuclear "bunker buster" bombs. Such bombs would cause massive nuclear contamination and would violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which both the USA and Iran have signed (but not signed by other nuclear powers in the region such as Israel, Pakistan and India). Use of nuclear weapons (especially against a non-nuclear state) would violate the United Nations Charter, other parts of international law, and the constitution of the USA.

Iran has not attacked or threatened to attack any country since the end of World War II. It defended itself when invaded by a USA backed and armed Iraq in the 1980s. Its Uranium enrichment does not violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In addition, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme.

Iran does have oil, however, as well as a government that has defied the USA by removing a USA-installed regime in 1979.

The USA accuses Iran of being responsible for the deaths of its occupying forces in Iraq. This is contradicted by the USA's own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which asserted in February 2007 that Iran's involvement in Iraq "is not likely to be a major driver of violence" there.

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies (based in the Netherlands) has analysed the reasons for the USA's threats on Iran:

"U.S. interest in controlling Iran, or at least undermining its independence, sovereignty and potential power, is not a new phenomenon. The U.S. overthrew the democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953; installed, armed and protected brutal dictatorships (the Shah of Iran); cut off diplomatic relations and imposed tight economic sanctions (the Islamic Republic from 1979); and provided seed stock for biological weapons, targeting information for chemical weapons, and financial backing for Iran's enemy (Iraq) throughout the years of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)."

"The reasons have not changed. Iran is one of only two countries in the Middle East that contains the three prerequisites for indigenous power: oil / wealth, water, large land and population. The only other country is (or was�) Iraq."

"Later the U.S. moved strategically to prevent either regional power from challenging overall U.S. domination of the Middle East. It was on that basis that the U.S. backed Saddam Hussein's Iraq throughout the Gulf War - because Iran was stronger, so the U.S. weighed in on the side of the weaker competitor to keep the war going and encourage both regional challengers to waste their blood and treasure fighting each other, rather than turning on the U.S. So U.S. interest has always been in controlling Iran's oil (less for direct access, which was never a real necessity or real problem, than for control of pricing and supply, and to be able to act as guarantor of access for Washington's allies and now competitors such as China and India) and suppressing its regional influence."

Iran arrests fifteen UK sailors after they had "inspected" an Iranian cargo ship. The news is reported in the UK without mention of the Iranian diplomats being held by the USA and without mention of Somalis being flown between countries and questioned by UK and USA officials.

When released the captives are allowed to sell their stories to newspapers, something not normally allowed to UK military personnel. When it later transpires that the sailors had strayed into Iranian waters, the media remain silent.

News items in the USA and UK continue to attack Iran for enriching Uranium while ignoring a story that Russia has begun building floating nuclear power stations for export to energy-hungry developing countries.

KryssTal Opinion: FLOATING nuclear power stations?

The USA leads a campaign to have the United Nations impose sanctions on Iran which is abiding ny the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it has signed. Iran also allows inspections of its facilities. This is in contrast with the treatment given to allies of the USA:

The USA has been pressurising the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran to the United Nstions. In one example, David Mulford, the USA Ambassador to India, threatened that country with an end to its nuclear assistance (itself a violation of the NPT) if it failed to vote against Iran (a non-violator of the NPT). This was admitted by Stephen Rademaker, the former USA Assistant Secretary for International Security and Non-proliferation. If so, it makes the referral illegitimate.

The USA continues to violate the United Nations Charter of self determination by running secret operations in Iran to raise ethnic unrest to distabilise the country. Spy planes regularly violate the country's sovereignty (Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, 17th April 2006).

The USA imposes sanctions on Iran's military in October. It then puts pressure on European companies to stop trading with Iran. Germany and France comply after the USA threatens to make life difficult for their financial institutions. The UK company British Petroleum agrees not to trade in Iran.

KryssTal Opinion: The irony here is that British Petroleum began life as The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and was set up to trade in Iranian oil. The company was evicted from Iran when a democratic government was elected in the late 1940s. The company only returned to Iran when the USA and UK engineered a coup against this government in 1953.

Iraq Under Occupation

In Baghdad, over 100 people die every day from violence unleashed by the USA-UK invasion of the country in 2003. It is estimated that 180 attacks on the occupying forces and their collaborators occur each day. Only sectarian attacks are reported in the Western media. The "Iraqi government" cannot leave a fortified area of Baghdad called the Green Zone. Members of the government have stated that they are not allowed to move a single company of soldiers without USA permission. The Western media treats this "government" as a real entity.

Police are involved in kidnapping and there are death squads, the result of the USA policy known as the Salvador Option, based on deaths squads trained by the USA in Central America in the 1980s. Many of the death squads that commit multiple murders are under the control of the USA-backed government.

Ethnic cleansing is being committed by the different communities as the country heads to a civil war. The governments of the USA and UK blame anti-democratic forces, Iran, Syria, the media and everyone apart from their policies. According to the United Nations, 1,800,000 Iraqis are refugees outside the country while 1,600,000 are internally displaced. The following figures were compiled at the beginning of 2007:

Iraqis who have died since the invasion655,000
Estimated strength of anti-occupation resistance30,000
USA and UK troops killed3,006
Journalists killed77
Percentage of children suffering malnutrition33%
Population with access to clean drinking water in 2003 (before invasion)12,900,000
Population with access to clean drinking water in 20079,700,000
Iraqi refugees outside the country1,800,000
Iraqi refugees inside the country1,600,000

The USA hand over the deposed president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, for execution. The execution is filmed on mobile (cell) phones and broadcast on the internet. His executioners (members of a different community) can be heard taunting him in his final moments. Hussein's final words about Iraqis overcoming the occupation of their country and support for the Palestinians are described as "sarcastic" by the UK's BBC who fail to inform their viewers of them.

A group of UK soldiers who had been filmed beating Iraqi civilians escape facing criminal charges. The soldiers had also abused a dead Iraqi's body while providing "amusing" comentary for the videos.

The USA backed government approves a new hydrocarbon law that will allow USA and UK companies generous concessions to the oil reserves of Iraq. The USA government helped to draw up the law with the help of a USA company called Bearing Point. This law will allow companies like British Petroleum, Shell (UK), Chevron and Exxon (USA) to take on 30 year contracts to extract the oil and take 75% of their profits out of the country. Foreign ownership of Iraq's oil plus the removal of profits has been illegal in the country since 1972. The USA illegally changed the constitution of Iraq in 2004 to allow this - occupying powers that change constitutions are in violation of the Haigue Convention.

In March 2003 the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, stated that oil was not the reason for the invasion and that Iraq's oil wealth would be managed by a United Nations trust fund. Also in 2003, Colin Powell, Secretary of State in the USA, had assured the world that "... the oil of the Iraqi people belongs to the Iraqi people: it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil." In May 2003, the UK and USA co-sponsored a United Nations resolution (1483) that would give the two nations control over Iraq's oil revenues.

Iraq has the third largest oil reserves in the world, estimated at 115,000 million barrels.

The new legislation was scrutinised by the USA government, the major oil comanies and the International Monetary Fund. Very few members of the Iraq parliament had seen it by early 2007. The law allows for disputes to be settled internationally, undermining Iraq's sovereignty. It also allows for companies to take out their profits tax free and to freely sell shares to non-Iraqi institutions.

Iraqi trade unionists who met in Jordan have suggested that the terms of the law would cause problems in Iraq once its terms became known:

"The Iraqi people refuse to allow the future of their oil to be decided behind closed doors. The occupier seeks and wishes to secure energy resources at a time when the Iraqi people are seeking to determine their own future, while still under conditions of occupation. Iraqi public opinion strongly opposes the handing of authority and control over the oil to foreign companies, that aim to make big profits at the expense of the people. They aim to rob Iraq's national wealth by virtue of unfair, long term oil contracts that undermine the sovereignty of the State and the dignity of the Iraqi people. History will not forgive those who play recklessly with our wealth.... We consider the new law unbalanced and incoherent with the hopes of those who work in the oil industry. It has been drafted in a great rush in harsh circumstances."

Very liitle of the story of this law is covered by the Western media.

Since the 2003 invasion the USA has kept full control of the award of contracts in Iraq for the restoration of infrastructure, electricty and gas networks, securty, development of media, schools and hospitals, financial services and the oil industry. The USA company Halliburton has received $ 13,000 million - the USA Vice President, Dick Cheney, one of the loudest advocates for the invasion, used to be one of their directors. Other USA beneficieries include Bechtel, Bearing Point (the company that drafted the oil law and has also donated heavilly to the ruling political party in the USA) and General Electric. Over 150 USA companies haver been given contracts worth more than $ 50,000 million. Despite the amount of money given to USA companies in preference to Iraqi companies, clean water, sanitation and electricity are below pre-invasion levels.

Unreported in the Western media, food shortages begin to appear in Iraq. The Inter Press Agency (IPS) quotes 60-year-old Um Muthanna, a food vendor from Baghdad, "Look at us begging for food despite the fortunes we have. A country with two great rivers should have been the biggest exporter in the world, but now we beg for food from those who participated in killing us."

The Iraqi import laws were changed in 2004 by the former USA administrator, Paul Bremer. This constitutional change (illegal under international law) resulted in dropped tariffs on import of foreign products. This made it impossible for Iraqi farmers to compete. Countless Iraqi farms went bankrupt. Iraq was forced to import but prices of imported goods increased. By 2007, most of the food in Iraqi markets is imported, and more expensive due to increasing fuel costs and lack of government regulation. Imported foods like chicken, fruits and vegetables cost more than locally grown foods.

Food rations put in place in the 1990s have been cut due to their cost. As 35 year old mother of five children, Um Jamila, told IPS, "What food ration are you talking about. The whole country has been stolen from us. If this goes on another six months, we will be just like any starving country."

In January, a report released by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) showed that 1,500,000 internally displaced people in Iraq lack basic necessities such as adequate food, drinking water, sanitation, and health and education facilities.

In late February, USA soldiers raid and ransack the offices of the Iraq Syndicate of Journalists (ISJ) in central Baghdad. Guards are arrested. Computers and electricity generators are taken. According to Youssif al-Tamimi of the ISJ: "The Americans have delivered so many messages to us, but we simply refused all of them. They killed our colleagues, closed so many newspapers, arrested hundreds of us and now they are shooting at our hearts by raiding our headquarters. This is the freedom of speech we received."

Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists issues a statement saying that "anyone working for media that does not endorse U.S. policy and actions could now be at risk. In the past three years more than 120 Iraqi journalists, many of them Syndicate members, have been killed, and now their union has been turned over in an unprovoked act of intimidation."

Hashim Jawad of the Iraqi Lawyers Union in Baghdad: "The Americans and their Iraqi government followers are destroying social activities and civil unions so that no group can oppose their crimes and plans. The press is our remaining lung to breathe democracy in this country and now it is being targeted."

Reporters Without Borders lists over 148 journalists and media workers killed in Iraq since the beginning of the USA-led invasion in 2003. The group also compiles an annual Press Freedom Index for countries around the world. In 2002, before the USA invasion, Iraq ranked 130th. In 2006 Iraq had fallen to 154th.

Mansoor Salim, a retired journalist, told IPS: "I only wish the U.S. administration and our government would stop lying about freedom in Iraq. How stupid we were to have believed their statements about freedom. I admit that I was one of the fools."

After pressure from the USA, Egypt closes al-Zawraa television station which broadcasts from the Iraqi resistance.

On the fourth anniversary of the USA invasion of Iraq, the United Nations reports that nearly 2 million Iraqis have left the country as refugees. The majority have gone to Syria and Jordan with smaller numbers heading for Turkey and Iran. Some have been admitted to European countries but very few have been taken in by the USA whose invasion caused the refugee crisis. In addition just under 2 million Iraqis are displaced internally.

The reasons vary from sectarian violence, the occupation, torture (both by the state and by militias), lack of water and electricity, crime, lack of medical supplies and malnutrition.

Palestinian refugees who left Palestine when the state of Israel was set up settled in Iraq. Many of them have become refugees again fleeing from the USA occupation as well as sectarian violence. These people are effectivel stateless and many hundreds remain stranded on the border of Iraq with Jordan and Syria.

Al Iraqiya, a USA-financed national televisions station, broadcasts a reality program called Terrorism in the Grip of Justice. This program shows captured insurgents "confessing" to their crimes in front of the camera. Human rights groups condemn the program as violating the Geneva Conventions as none of the participants are charged before judicial authorities prior to appearing. Many show signs of violence. In one program a former policeman with two black eyes confessed to killing two police officers in Samarra. A few days later, his body was delivered to his family.

The detainees shown on television are captured by Iraqi commandos trained and supervised by USA advisers.

Peter Maass writing for the USA publication, New York Times Magazine, says that this is part of a USA strategy of getting local militias to do their fighting for them, the so-called Salvador option:

"The template for Iraq today is not Vietnam, to which it has often been compared, but El Salvador, where a right-wing government backed by the United States fought a leftist insurgency in a 12-year war beginning in 1980. The cost was high - more than 70,000 people were killed, most of them civilians, in a country with a population of just six million. Most of the killing and torturing was done by the army and the right-wing death squads affiliated with it."

In March, the Arab American Institute (AAI) and Zogby International, a polling organisation, release the results of a survey conducted among the populations of five Middle East countries with pro-USA governments and media. The poll asked if it was thought that USA influence in Iraq was positive or negative. Most said negative; for example for heavilly censored Saudi Arabia the figure was 68%, in Egypt it was 83%, Jordan with its large numbers of Palestinian refugees was at 96%.

Al-Jazeera present a report describing conditions for many children in Iraq on the 4th anniversary of the USA led invasion. Many children have lost their families to the violence and are forced to live on the streets during a civil war and occupation, surviving by living in dumps and eating whatever food they can find. According to the report, poverty in Iraq has reached new levels in the last four years. Many children have little or no access to basic necessities, like clean water, health care or education.

4% of all children die before the age of five. 25% (more than three million children) are malnourished and 20% do not go to school.

Sijad Ali is typical - both his parents died when he was 5 years old. He lived on the streets until taken to an orphanage. "The National Guards and the Americans used to beat and arrest me, suspecting I was a terrorist. No matter how much I told them I wasn't. Then I ended up here. It's a comfortable place and we have full rights."

In April, Iraqi troops, supported by USA helicopters, raided a mosque in the middle of old Baghdad. The muazzin (the man who calls from the minaret), Abu Saif and another person were executed in public. Local people attacked the troops. 34 people were killed in the resulting fighting, including women and children. A military statement drafted by the USA forces stated that USA and Iraqi forces were continuing to "locate, identify, and engage and kill insurgents targeting coalition and Iraqi security forces in the area".

The Western media tends only to report attacks on civilians if the USA is not involved. The occupation forces and their collaborators routinely break into homes and arrest people.

According to the International Red Cross, "the number of people arrested or interned by the multinational forces has increased by 40% since early 2006. The number of people held by the Iraqi authorities has also increased significantly."

An artical in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, discusses the little reported treatment of female detainees in a society that is deeply conservative: "Many of the security detainees are women who have been subjected to abuse and rape and who are often arrested as a means to force male relatives to confess to crimes they have not committed. According to the Iraqi MP Mohamed al-Dainey, there are 65 documented cases of women's rape in occupation detention centres in 2006. Four women currently face execution - the death penalty for women was outlawed in Iraq from 1965 until 2004 - for allegedly killing security force members. These are accusations they deny and Amnesty International has challenged". Amnesty International reports that 65 people were executed in Iraq in 2006, a number only exceded by China, Iran and Pakistan.

The Western media continue to report that Iraq is suffering a civil war. A study by the independent US research institute, Brookings, showed that 75% of recorded attacks are against occupation forces, and a further 17% on Iraqi government forces. The remaining 8% are the subject of most news items in the USA and UK. The average number of attacks against the occupation doubled during 2006 to about 185 a day in 2007. That is more than 5,500 a month.

A leaked document explains how the USA attempted to trick one of Iraq's leaders, Muqtada al-Sadr, into a meeting where they would trap and kill him. al-Sadr opposes the USA occupation, the building of military bases, and the Hydrovarbon Law.

In June oil workers strike in Iraq over the Hydrocarbon Law, which gives foreign companies control of the counry's oil for 30 years. This story remains unreported in the Western media. The USA-backed government in Iraq issues arrest warrents for the strike leaders.

The most contentious aspects of the new law are:

In July, Australian Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, states in an interview that oil is the main reason that Australia has troops in Iraq. This is immediately denied by the Prime Minister.

USA company Blackwater comes under the spotlight after a number of Iraqis are killed. Blackwater have been paid $ 832 million by the USA government to provide "security". In fact they are a privatised mercenary army. They were awarded their contarct in Iraq (and Afghanistan) without having to bid. The 1000 strong private army is not subject to any laws (either USA or Iraqi).

In mid September, at least 28 civilians were killed when members of this private army fired indescriminantly into a feeing crowd of men women and children in central Baghdad. The shots incinerated cars with their occupants still inside - in one a mother and her infant died, their bodies fused together by the heat. One lawyer, Hassan Jabar Salman, was shot four times in the back while his car was riddled with eight bullets: "I saw womwn and children jump out of their cars and start to crawl on the road to escape being shot. But still the firing kept coming and many of them were killed. I saw a boy of about ten leaping in fear from a minibus, he was shot in the head. His mother was crying out for him, she jumped out after him, and she was killed."

The victims included Iraqi police and soldiers. A private attack helicopter was called in which added to the carnage.

A month later a USA Congressional report finds that Blackwater was involved in over 200 shootings between January 2005 and October 2007. In 80% of the incidents, the mercenaries had fired first. In one incident a drunken Blackwater employee shot and killed a bodyguard of an Iraqi vice president. His punishment was to be sacked and returned to the USA. The company paid the man's family $15,000. The USA government later offered the men immunity from prosecution.

Blackwater are one of many companies providing mercenaries in war zones, mainly for the occupying powers. The industry is worth $ 120,000 million world wide. 177 of these companies operate just in Iraq using 48,000 people. Over 800 have been killed between 2003 and 2007 - these deaths are not generally included in casualty figures. Companies include:

In October, a USA airstrike in the Lake Thar Thar region kills 34 people including 15 women and children. The news was covered on the UK BBC television news as a statement from the USA military which essentially blamed the Iraqis themselves for the deaths: "These terrorists chose to deliberately place innocent Iraqi women and children in danger by their actions and presence". This statement ignores that fact the the Iraqi victims were in their own country while the USA military were not.

Days earlier another USA raid on the village of Khalis (a Shia city) killed 25 people.

A group pf ex-soldiers from the USA called Iraq Veterans Against the War publish statements from soldiers who had fought in Iraq condemning the invasion. The interviews were conducted in the magazine, The Nation (30 July 2007). The statements include reasons why they oppose the war:

Russian author, Professor Adel Safty, writes that "the picture that emerges from the interviews is that of a depraved and brutal colonial war and a deeply oppressive occupation, in sharp contrast to how the Bush administration and the influential media have been portraying the war."

He continues: "The veterans� accounts revealed a pattern of behaviour that showed callous disregard for Iraqi civilian lives, and dehumanization of the Iraqi people on a daily basis. 'Dozens of those interviewed,' the report states, 'witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings�' Although many interviewees said such acts were perpetrated by a minority, they described such acts as common and often go unreported.

Jeff Englehart from Colorado (USA), who was with the Third Brigade in Baquba admitted: "I guess while I was there the general attitude was, A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi."

John Bruhns, a Sergent from Philadelphia (USA) fought in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib. He participated in hundreds of raids on Iraqi homes. He describes the process:

"You grab the man of the house. You rip him out of bed in front of his wife. You put him up against the wall. You have junior-level troops� will run into the other rooms and grab the family, and you'll group them all together. Then you go into a room and you tear the room to shreds�and you get the man of the home, and you have him at gunpoint, and you'll ask the interpreter to ask him: 'Do you have any weapons? Do you have any anti-US propaganda�?' Normally they'll say no, because that's normally the truth. And if you find something, then you'll detain him. If not, you'll say, 'Sorry to disturb you. Have a nice evening.' So you've just humiliated this man in front of his entire family and terrorized his entire family and you've destroyed his home. And then you go right next door and you do the same thing in a hundred homes."

Note the question about "Do you have any anti-US propaganda".

Sergent Patrick Campbell (California, USA) "said his unit fired often and without much warning on Iraqi civilians in a desperate bid to ward off attacks."

Many soldiers reported that the killing of unarmed Iraqis was common. Such killings were sometimes justified by framing innocents as terrorists. American troops would plant AK-47s next to the bodies of those they had just killed to make it seem as if the civilians they had just shot were combatants.

This reality of the occupation of Iraq is rarely aired on USA or UK television news.

According to the UK newspaper, Financial Times, the war in Iraq has cost UK tax payers over $ 13,000 million (till 2007). In the USA the cost to the people averages $ 10,000 million every month. Over $ 50,000 million is being spent by the USA every year building between six and twelve large permanent bases from which to control Iraq.

The USA "embassy" in Baghdad will cost around $ 600 million and is due to be completed during 2007. David Phinney, a researcher with CorpWatch says that this "embassy" "may be the most lasting monument to the U.S. occupation in the war-torn nation." The huge walled structure in a prime location in the city is being built by Asian migrants who work long hours earning around $500 a month. It will be a city within a city and have its own water and sewage system separate to the rest of the city. It will, in fact be a colonial headquarters.

Dahr Jamail, an unembedded (i.e. non USA controlled) journalist in Iraq makes a telling point about the large bases being constructed around Iraq (an example is a huge air base at Balad). He writes that these bases are "very similar as far as amenities, and infrastructure of the base, and the size, and the number of people there as you would see in, for example, [permanent] American bases in Germany, American bases in Okinawa, American bases in South Korea, American bases in other parts of the Middle East. [...] these are the same types of bases that are being built in Iraq."

According to Associated Press, the number of bombs dropped on Iraq during the first six months of 2007 increased by five times compared with the same period in 2006. Over 30 tonnes were cluster weapons, which take a heavy toll on civilians. F-16 airctaft were moved into Balad air base near Baghdad. This base conducts 10,000 air operations a week. Work is underway to strengthen its runways to handle the increase in air activity.

Improving the runways has allowed the USA Air Force to move B1-B bombers from Diego Garcia (an island in the Indian Ocean) to Balad. These large aircraft carry out daily strikes. A B1-B can carry over 20 tonness of bombs.

A study of "excess deaths" caused by the Iraq-USA war by the UK medical journal Lancet found that air attacks were responsible for 13% of deaths of Iraqis. This figure was 76,000 in June 2006. It also found that that 50% of deaths of children under 15 were caused by air strikes.

In October, 49 people are killed by USA forces in the Sadr City suburb of Baghdad. Victims of the USA, normally labelled as "militants", are labelled as "criminals". Many of the dead were killed when USA forces called in air strikes in the middle of a city. The Reuters news agency reported an interview with Abdul-Mehdi al-Muteyri: "Most of those killed and wounded were women, children and elderly men which shows the indiscriminate monstrosity of the attacks on this crowded area."

A statement by the USA military denied that women and children had died: "Ground forces reported they were unaware of any innocent civilians being killed as a result of this operation." This statement fails to explain why the USA has the right to accuse, try and execute Iraqis in their own country.

Results of a study by UK polling group ORB are published but not widely publicised. The report states that over a million Iraqis (1,220,580) had died between 2003 and late 2007 as a result of the USA-led invasion and occupation. This is more than the Rwanda genocide.

The following breakdown of the cause of death was found:

Cause of Death Percentage
Gunshot wound 48%
Car bomb 20%
Aerial bombardment 9%
Accident 6%
Other blast / ordnance 6%

The USA newspaper, Washington Post, publishes a report that USA soldiers use a secret tactic of leaving weapons as bait and shooting or arresting anyone who picks them up. Anyone killed is then labelled an "enemy combatant" and used to proclaim success of USA military policy. The statement by Captain Matthew Didier was typical: "Basically we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against the US forces". "Engage the individual" is a military euphamism.

A USA television programme called 60 Minutes interviews Frank Wuterich, a staff sergent in the USA army who was the patrol leader in the massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha in 2005. In the interview he describes how he was trained to break down the front door of a house and "prep" the inside rooms by opening the door a crack and rolling a grenade inside. The interviewer, Scott Pelley, asked "But when you roll a grenade in a room through the crack in the door, that�s not positive identification, that�s taking a chance on anything that could be behind that door." Wuterich answered: "Well that�s what we do. That�s how our training goes."

In December, Turkey bombs Kurdish areas in Northern Iraq killing hundreds of people. The attacks are supported by the USA and are little reported in the Western media. In 2007, the USA has made 1447 air bombing raids over Iraq. No casualty figures have been published.

Occupied Afghanistan

Hundreds of people are killed by USA and UK air strikes in Afghanistan.

In Nangarhar, 16 Afghans are killed after USA soldiers begin firing on them after a suicide bomb attack. Afghans injured in the shooting told the Associated Press news agency that USA soldiers had shot at pedestrians and passing cars indiscriminately along a five-kilometre stretch of one of eastern Afghanistan's busiest roads.

Tur Gul, a 38 yearl old man shot twice as he stood by the roadside stated: "They were firing everywhere, and they even opened fire on 14 to 15 vehicles passing on the highway. They opened fire on everybody, the ones inside the vehicles and the ones on foot.".

One man told Al Jazeera that five members of his family were killed in the shooting: "American bullets murdered my family ... it's tyranny and injustice." Mohammad Khan Katawazi, the district chief of Shinwar, said the Americans had treated every person and car along the road as a potential attacker.

Abdul Nangahar, a police chief, told news reporters: "When local people came to the scene, the soldiers just opened fire on the crowd. People got killed and wounded."

Local people demonstrated showting "Death to America! Death to Karzai!"

Journalists from Associated Press had their images of a vehicle with dead bodies deleted by USA soldiers.

A NATO air raid in Kapisa (northern Afghanistan) kills nine civilians including two children. NATO is a group of mainly European countries led by the USA.

At the end of May, USA forces bomb the village of Shindand, killing 57 people, half of them women and children. Mohammad Zarif Achakzai, who escaped, told the BBC: "The bombardments were going on day and night. Those who tried to get out somewhere safe were being bombed. They didn't care if it was women, children or old men." Baryaly Noorzai stated that USA forces arrived and entered houses in a culturally insensitive way, angering the local people: "When the Americans came the people started fighting them back, and then the planes came and started bombing us. Even under the Russians we haven't witnessed bombardments like it before."

Over 100 people, including many civilians, are killed by NATO air strikes over a weekend in July. The story is ignored in the UK because of a failed terrorist attack that hurt nobody apart from the attackers.

In the village of Watapour, NATO air strikes killed 25 people who were burying ten people killed by an earlier air strike. The ten included nine members of a single family. In Uruzgan, USA forces killed 33 people.

Phillip Gordon (a Fellow from the Brookings Institute which looks at USA foreign policy) told the Asia Times newspaper: "If you talk privately to the generals, they are very worried. Far from bringing about the intended softening up of the opposition, bombing tends to rally people behind their leaders and cause them to dig in against outsiders who, whatever the justification, are destroying their homeland."

Pakistan and the West

Elections for president are held in Pakistan which many human rights groups label as flawed. Hundreds of dissidents and opposition activists are jailed by the regime. General Pervez Musharraf took power in a military coup in 1999 and has been backed by the USA which has provided over $ 10,000 million to the military government.

According to Ali Hasann of USA-based Human Rights Watch: "Pakistan's human rights situation is dismal and has grown steadily worse under Musharraf. While it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of disappearance cases, there are hundreds of such cases on the record. While the US and UK have been complicit in the disappearance of alleged al_Qa'ida suspects, the Pakistani government has taken full advantage of Western complicity in such acts to extend their scope to domestic political opponents and critics."

A robotic plane (a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator) directed from the Nevada Desert in the USA fires three AGM-114 Hellfire missiles into Pakistan while flying over Afghanistan. The missiles strike the village of Datta Khel, a town in North Waziristan. A madrassa (Islamic school) was hit and 30 people were killed.

The use of robotic planes by the USA is increasing so quickly that David Branham, a USA Leutenant Colonel was able to tell the USA newspaper, New York Times: "It is possible that in our lifetime we will be able to run a war without ever leaving the US."

In November, the military government suspends the constitution, arrests hundreds of lawyers, human rights activists and opposition politicians. One of the politicians arrested is Imran Khan, an ex-cricket player who eventually has to go into hiding.

The main oposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, is put under house arrest. Her supporters, including women, are beaten by police. She is later released but the military government ban her political gatherings.

The USA and UK complain in public but continue to call the country an ally and provide aid. In the UK BBC reporters talk about "difficult choices" and fail to use the words "military junta" which they frequently use when describing similar events in Burma.


2008

Iraq Under Occupation

The USA begin 2008 with B-1 bombers and F-16 fighter jets dropping more than 18,000kg of bombs on more than 40 targets in the southern outskirts of Baghdad close to the village of Arab Jabour.

Many civilians are killed and over 300 families leave their homes. Many people are trapped in rubble and the injured are unable to reach hospitals because of the damage to the road. The media in the USA and UK ignore the story.

In Fallujah, a city attacked by the USA and sealed off from November 2004, hospitals are lacking basic necessities like drugs, fuel, electricity, generators, water treatment systems, oxygen and medical equipment. According to Dr Kamal 20 children die in his hospital every day. At the same time, the USA State Department has funded and built the Fallujah Business Development Centre (guarded by USA soldiers) and set up a pro-USA radio station, Radio Fallujah.

In April USA Senators and Representatives discuss whether Iraq should pay towards the cost of USA "combat costs".

KryssTal Opinion: The invaded country should pay the invader's costs - what next?

Some of the consequences of the USA invasion and occupation of Iraq (from United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and Save the Children):

As USA writer Kathy Kelly puts it: "In the past year, U.S. aerial bombardments of Iraqi neighborhoods increased five fold while the number of Iraqis incarcerated in U.S. prisons in Iraq has doubled. (Some 24,000 Iraqis are now imprisoned by USA forces, approximately 650 of whom are juveniles). If a foreign country were bombing U.S. cities and imprisoning U.S. civilians, would we ever agree to pay the invaders' military expenses? Would we agree that the aggressor nation had no fiscal responsibilities to pay for reparations?"

Arms are captured from Shias in the Iraqi city of Kerbala. The USA accused Iran of supplying these arms and of "interfering" in Iraq. A USA arms expert, Kevin Bergner, is unable to link any of the weapons with Iran. After publishing and broadcasting every USA allegation against Iran, the Western media ignore this development.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Stuart Bowen) publishes an audit of "reconstruction projects" in Iraq. The audit found that 855 projects had failed. Of these, 112 were ended because of the contractors' poor performance. The result of these failures is that USA tax payers have lost $ 10,000 million.

A report is leaked to the UK newspaper, The Independent, of a treaty being secretely forced on Iraq by the USA. The "treaty" allows the USA to keep 58 permanent military basis in Iraq, control Iraqi airspace, conduct military operations without consulting the Iraq government, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law for its military personnel plus contracters. These conditions would effectively turn Iraq into a USA colony.

The USA has been building 30 basis in Iraq, some the size of small cities, a news item that is rarely discussed in the USA or UK media. The USA has similar arrangements with more than 80 countries, many with undemocratic governemnts. These agreemenmts are rarely discussed by these countries.

In the USA, a book is published: Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation (Haymarket Books). This book features eye-witness accounts by soldiers who have returned from Iraq. The book includes accounts of ill-treatment and attrocities committed against the Iraqi people:

Corporal Jason Washburn (Marines): "I remember one woman walking by. She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realised that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces."

"Something else we were encouraged to do, almost with a wink and nudge, was to carry 'drop weapons', or by my third tour, 'drop shovels'. We would carry these weapons or shovels with us because if we accidentally shot a civilian, we could just toss the weapon on the body, and make them look like an insurgent."

Hart Viges (Army): "One time they said to fire on all taxicabs because the enemy was using them for transportation...One of the snipers replied back, 'Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Fire on all taxicabs?' The lieutenant colonel responded, 'You heard me, trooper, fire on all taxicabs.' After that, the town lit up, with all the units ?ring on cars. This was my first experience with war, and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the deployment."

Vincent Emanuele (Marine rifleman): "An act that took place quite often in Iraq was taking pot shots at cars that drove by. This was not an isolated incident, and it took place for most of our eight-month deployment."

Corporal Brian Casler (Marines): "...I saw marines defecate into MRE bags or urinate in bottles and throw them at children on the side of the road."

The book and its contents is completely ignored by both the USA and UK media.

The USA continues to push a treaty with the "government of Iraq" that will allow the USA large amounts of control over the sovereignty of Iraq. The main points of the treaty include:

A slightly watered down version of the treaty is signed by the Iraq government in November.

The latest non-mainstream news from Iraq can be found on Informed Comment (Global Americana Institute).

Afghanistan Under Occupation

An air strike by the USA on a wedding convoy in the province of Nangarhar of Afghanistan kills 47 people including 39 women and children.

In the UK the story is only covered on the inside pages of some newspapers with the USA being replaced by the word "coalition".

KryssTal Opinion: 47 USA citizens killed by an Afhgan suicide bomber would be front page news with the names and personalities of the victims being given extensive coverage.

A USA bombing raid on the village of Azizabad (Herat province) kills over 90 people, 60 of them children. According to the BBC website: "Video footage, apparently of the aftermath of the raid, showed some 40 dead bodies lined up under sheets and blankets inside a mosque. The majority of the dead captured on the video were children, babies and toddlers, some burned so badly they were barely recognisable."

None of this video is shown on USA or UK television.

Pakistan and the West

Pervez Musharraf, the USA and UK backed military dictator of Pakistan changes the judges in the legal system placing his allies in positions of power.

Elections are held where parties opposed Musharraf win even though there is intimidation and control of the media. The winning parties call for the resignation of Musharraf but these calls are opposed by the USA and UK. The USA president George Bush affirms his continuing support for the defeated dictator - a Western diplomat is reported in the UK newspaper, The Independent to state: "[The US] does not want some people pushed out because it would lead to instability. In this case that means Musharaf".

KryssTal opinion: From Palestine to Pakistan and from Haiti to Venezuela the USA ignores democratic results if they do not serve its interests..

Eleven Pakistani soldiers are killed by a USA air strike near the border with Afghanistan. Over 1000 Pakistan soldiers have been killed fighting the USA war against Afghanistan, a conflict that is very unpopular with the people of Pakistan. The military leaders of Pakistan are supported and backed by the USA.

Between September and November 20 air strikes by unmanned drone aeroplanes kill villages in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. Even the pro-USA government criticises the USA.


2009

Afghanistan

In an interview with UK magazine, The Spectator, Colonel Richard Kemp admitted that UK forces use white phosphorus in Afghanistan, even in areas propulated by civilians.

White phosphorus, burns to the bone if it touches human flesh.

BBC journalist, Ian Pannell, also reported the UK soldiers use villages as cover. Often the USA and UK blame "the Taliban" (Afghans resisting the occupation of their country) for using civilians as cover when people are killed by their indiscriminate bombing.

In May air stikes in three villages (Gerani, Gangabad and Koujaha) in the Bala Baluk district of Farah province kill nearly 120 people, including 26 women and 61 children.

The USA backed president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was in the USA for a meeting. He thanked USA foreign secretary, Hillary Clinton for "showing concern and regret" and said he hoped the two sides would work together completely to reduce civilian casualties in the "struggle against terrorism".

Riots against the USA and the Afhgan government break out. USA Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, claims that the Taliban killed people with grenades because they did not pay an opium tax. This is unsupported by any eyewitnesses and is disproved by photographs of deep bomb craters, one of which is filled with water.

According to the UK newspaper, The Independent:

"Pictures of the aftermath of the attack show people standing beside the remains of a relative which often only looks like a muddy pile of torn meat. One elderly white bearded man, said by neighbours to have lost 30 members of his family, squats despairingly beside a body that has been torn into shreds. Among the few wounded to stay alive is a child with a badly burned face.

One reason why US bombing inflicts such heavy civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq is that both are very poor countries in which houses are very crowded. When the US used air strikes and heavy artillery with little restraint in the siege of Fallujah in 2004 it caused serious loss of life. Wedding parties in both countries have often been mistaken for "terrorist" gatherings and bombed."

Nader Nadery, a commissioner for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission found evidence that white phosphorus had been used in the air raid. Use of this chemical against civilians is a war crime.

Afghan victim   Afghan victim
Two of the many victims of USA bombing in Afghanistan

In September 130 people are killed in the village of Omar Khel when NATO forces (the USA and its friends) bomb two fuel tankers. The USA accuses "the Taliban" of hijacking the tankers. The resulting fireball wipes out much of the village. As is normal in these cases NATO denies any civilian casualties until these are shown in hospital.

What journalists in the USA and UK fail to question is the right of the USA to accuse, try and execute people in Afghanistan for the crime of hijacking fuel tankers bound for their country's occupying forces.

At the same time elections in the country are shown to be fraudulent leading to questions in the UK concerning the number of UK soldiers being killed in a support of a government that is seen to be corrupt. Female parliamentarian Malalai Joya:

"We Afghans know that this election will change nothing and it is only part of a show of democracy put on by, and for, the West, to legitimise its future puppet in Afghanistan. It seems we are doomed to see the continuation of this failed, mafia-like, corrupt government for another term."

"Democracy will never come to Afghanistan through the barrel of a gun, or from the cluster bombs dropped by foreign forces. The struggle will be long and difficult, but the values of real democracy, human rights and women's rights will only be won by the Afghan people themselves."

Malalai Joya had earlier been suspended from the parliament for speaking out against the presence of former warlords in the government and for opposing a law brought in by the puppet Afghan "president", Hamid Karzai, that would allow husbands to rape their wives. This new law was condemned by Human Rights Watch:

"Karzai has made an unthinkable deal to sell Afghan women out in return for the support of fundamentalists."

KryssTal Opinion: Do we remember how the wives of USA President, George Bush, and UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, supported the invasion of Afghanistan because it would help liberate women from the harsh Islamic rule of the Taliban?

Iraq Under Occupation

Reports are published about United Kingdom military personnel torturing and sexually abusing detainees in Iraq. The reports include a case of two soldiers raping an 18 year old youth.


2010

Afghanistan

In mid February the USA and UK attack Marjah in Helmund Province with 15,000 troops. The UK BBC states that "NATO" (the USA and its allies) is there "to protect civilians". On the second day 12 people are killed when a rocket is fired onto their house, ten of the victims are from the same family. The USA justifies the killings by saying the "three militants were among the victims", as if firing rockets into villages is not a miltant activity.

Five more people are killed in a similar incident a few days later.

The BBC reported that a NATO (translation: USA) air strike killed seven policemen in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province.

Another USA airstrike (again reported by the BBC as a NATO airstrike) in Uruzgan province kills 27 people in a convoy of three cars. The dead included women and children according to troops on the ground. The governor of the province confirmed that all the victims were civilians.

In April (over the Easter period when people are less likely to watch television news or read newspapers) the USA admits that its troops killed a number of female civilians in February and then removed the bullets from the bodies to cover up USA involvement. The deaths occurred during a night-time raid on a home near Gardez. One of the women killed was a pregnant mother of ten and another was a pregnant mother of six. Two other civilians, a district prosecutor and local police chief, were also killed during the raid when they came out of the house to investigate.

Initially the USA had said that the women had been stabbed to death before the USA attack but a NATO spokesman, Brigadier General Eric Tremblay, later admitted that "international forces" (translation, "the USA") had killed the women.

52 civilians are killed by a USA helicopter attack in the village of Regey on Helmand province. The BBC described the misile attack as by "international forces" without mentioning the USA.

Mohammed Khan, 16, said helicopters had circled over the village before the incident. He said that he had warned other children to take cover. But his mother told him not to worry them. He went further away and was shielded by a wall that saved his life when the attack started. "I heard the sound of the rocket land on our house. I rushed in screaming with my father and saw bodies lying in the dust. I found I was even standing on a dead body." One of the bodies was his brother.

The occupying forces initially denied they caused the deaths but then accepted responsibility.

Thousands of documents are leaked which show a picture of the wat in Afghanistan different to media reports.

Human Rights Watch writes "These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I've investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.


2011

Egypt

Demonstrations occur in Egypt to remove the Hosni Mubarak, the president for the last 30 years. The government uses police forces to attack the demonstrators. In one scene shown on Al-Jazeera television, water canon is fired at a group of protestors while they are praying on a bridge.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany, after staying silent during the 30 years of dictatorship, call for "free and fair elections". Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, describes Mubarak as "wise".

The president appoints a vice president (Omar Soliman) for the first time in 30 years.

The USA has given the Egypt government $1,300 million per year during the 30 year rule of Hosni Mubarak.

During the demonstration the USA and Europe impose a travel ban on the President of Belarus for its brutal oppression of opposition during the elections in December 2010.

Hosni Mubarak resigns as president. The military take over. The military in Egypt have essentially ruled the country since 1952 when they deposed the UK-backed king.

Israel, described often in the West as the region's "only democracy", initially calls on the Western countries to back Mubarak. Once he resigns, they state that elections would not be in Israel's interests.

Israeli forces kill five Egyptian soldiers in the Sanai Desert inside Egypt. Mass demonstrations break out in Cairo outside the Israeli Embassy with calls for the Ambassador to be expelled and the Embassy to be closed.

Bahrain

Demonstrators for democracy are shot and tear gassed by the military and police in Bahrain. Doctors are also attached and beaten when they attempt to help the wounded.

The equipment used has been supplied to an undemocratic and unelected monarchy by the United Kingdom. When questioned about arms to this dictatorship, the UK Foreign Office says the equipments was sent "for evaluation". Items exported included grenades, smoke ammunition, smoke canisters, tear gas / irritant ammunition, tear gas / riot control agents, thunderflashes. The sales were worth 6.4 million.

The King of Bahrain is invited to a Royal wedding in the United Kingdom.

The government of Bahrain invites troops from Saudi Arabia to help crush the demonstrations. The USA calls for "restraint on both sides" but does not condemn when people are killed by security forces.

Security forces use tanks to clear demonstrators from the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, killing dozens and injuring over 400, including women and children. The area was cleared after troops backed by tanks and Apache (USA made) helicopters stormed the site.

According to witness, Syed Al Alawi, troops were surrounding the Salmania hospital and not allowing doctors and nurses to enter.

Abdul Mohamed, an eyewitness described being stuck in a hospital: "We are besieged here since the morning. No one can get in or out of the hospital as a result of the conflict at the Roundabout. Bahraini army, police and Saudi security are using tanks to prevent people from entering."

This happens at the same time as the USA and Europe enforce a no-fly zone over Libya because of civilian casualties.

The United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has condemned the "shocking" use of force by security forces against protesters in Bahrain. She said that reports of a military takeover of hospitals was a blatant violation of international law.

More than six opposition figures are detailed as the regime clamps down.

According to medics at Salmania hospital in the capital Manama, the security forces surrounded the hospital and disallowed people, including patients, health workers and even ambulance staff, to enter or leave the facility. According to hospital staff doctors and nurses were beaten up and that many doctors were arrested.

Karim Fakhrawi, one of its founders of opposition newspaper, Al-Wasat, is arrested in April and dies in police custody a week later. A couple of weeks after this, one of the same newspaper's columnists, Haidar Mohamed al-Naimi, is arrested and disappears.

Dozens of Shia mosques have been destroyed by the Sunni unelected government of the al-Khalifa ruling family.

These events are met with silence from the UK and USA governments that are at the same time condemning similar violence in Syria. In late May, the Crown Prince of Bahrain visits the UK and is photographed shaking the hand of the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The UK Ministry of Defence confirms that the UK trains the national guard of Saudi Arabia. This elite security force was deployed against protesters in Bahrain. They are trained in public order enforcement measures and the use of sniper rifles.

Twenty training teams are sent to Saudi Arabia every year.

The poet, Ayat-al-Gormezi is arrested for reading out a pro-democracy poem at a rally. In prison she is kept in a cell with the air conditioning on freezing, beaten in the face with electric wire and threatened with rape.

Doctors who had treated injured demonstrators were tried in court in June. They were lead into the courtroom after being made to stand in the hot sun for several hours. Many detainnes report being given electric shocks to the legs while blindfolded.

The USA sells $ 2000 million of arms to Bahrain in October.

Libya

Democracy demonstrators in Libya are attacked by a mercenary army and bombed by jets. Hundreds of people are killed.

The United Kingdom and Italy have been selling arms to the regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi, even though the dictator has held absolute power for 42 years.

Most European countries condemn the violence apart from Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, who says he "didn't want to disturb" Gaddafi.

During the crisis, the United Kingdom Prime Minister, David Cameron, visits Kuwait (another absolute monarchy) with a delegation containing arms dealers. The United Kingdom had already sold 215 million worth of arms including high velocity sniper rifles and tear gas.

The USA condemns the violence on the same day that their unmanned drones kill six people in Pakistan. Many countries call for sanctions to be imposed on Libya but not Italy or the United Kingdom which have extensive business interests in the country.

The United Nations calls for a no-fly zone against Libya. The USA president, Barak Obama, talks about "protecting civilians" from attack. At the same time Yemen and Bahrain are attacking their own civilians. This is given little coverage in UK newspapers and television.

Al-Jazeera stated: "However, the overzealousness of certain Western powers like Britain, France and, as of late, the US, to interpret the resolution as an open-ended use of force, is worrisome. With their long history of interference and hegemony in the region, their political and strategic motivation remains dubious at best. Likewise, their rush to use air force individually or collectively could prove morally reprehensible - even if legally justified - if they further complicate the situation on the ground."

The USA, UK and France bomb Libya. The Western media details the massacres occuring in Libya but ignores similar massacres occurring in Yemen and Bahrain at the same time.

48 people are killed and over 150 wounded from air and missile strikes. The general secreteary of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, states that "What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians." . In addition, Russia, China, and the Latin American Alba bloc condemn the bombings.

The Stop the War Coalition spokesman, Andrew Burgin, warns that the motive of the intervention was regime change, which is illegal under international law: "It looks like they are going way beyond the terms of the UN resolution. The firing of 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles was a declaration of full-scale war on Libya, not just the supposed no-fly zone which we've been presented with. This will result in substantial civilian casualties and may already have."

After a week, The UK, USA and France have used 120 cruise missiles (each costing $750,000) on Libya bombing residential areas as well as military bases.

NATO forces attack the compound of Muammar al-Gaddafi killing his son and other people.

An airstrike on a guest house in the city of Brega kills 11 Islamic clerics and wounds 45 others. The clerics had gathered for a peace march.

It late May France and UK escalate the bombing of Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

According tho the BBC, NATO is "protecting civilians".

In June, France and the UK bomb the compound of Muammar al-Gaddafi for several hours killing many people.

The central administrative complex of the Higher Committee for Children in central Tripoli was bombed with twelve bombs / rockets. The complex housed the National Downs Syndrome Centre, the Crippled Womens Foundation, the Crippled Children Center, and the National Diabetic Research Center.

A private hotel in central Tripoli was bombed, killing three people.

In late June eight missiles and bombs hit the home of Khaled Al-Hamedi. Fifteen family members and friends were killed including Khaleds pregnant wife, his sister and three of his children.

On the main road west of Tripoli a public bus with 12 passengers was hit by a missile killing all the passengers.

In early August, NATO air missiles hit a children's hospital in Zlitan, killing 85 people including 32 women and 33 children. No coverage is shown in the UK media.

Muammar al-Gaddafi is killed in Sirte by rebel groups after an air strike initiated, organized, coordinated and led by NATO and UK SAS forces.

The justification for the entire campaign, the charge that Gaddafi was engaged in a massacre of his own people, has since been shown to be based on falsehoods, misrepresentations, and undocumented allegations.

Libya (which had no debt) is encouraged by the conquerers to borrow money to rebuild its infrastructure, destroyed by the West.

Iraq Under Occupation

Police in Iraq shoot on demonstrators in Basra and arrest journalists filming the protests.

Yemen

Forty one demonstrators are killed and two hundred injured when gunmen open fire on demonstrators in Sanaa. This happens at the same time as the USA and Europe threaten to attack Libya for killing civilians.

Jamal Anaam, an anti-government protester stated: "They want to terrorise us, They want to drag us into a cycle of violence to make the revolution meaningless."

Ahmad, 25: "We were protesting peacefully and they shot at us. I won't leave this place until the president goes, even if I have to die."

Mohammad al-Sabri, an opposition spokesman said "It is a massacre. This is part of a criminal plan to kill off the protesters, and the president and his relatives are responsible for the bloodshed in Yemen today."

In April, at least 15 people are shot by police in Taiz and hundreds are injured.

The USA calls for "dialogue" but does not condemn the violence. In recent years the USA and Saudi Arabia hve bombed parts of the country with the collusion of the regime.

© 2017, KryssTal


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