The Acts of the Democracies

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Generated : 20th April 2014

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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.

In the early 1920s, France ruled the territory that is now Syria and Lebanon.

Along with the UK, France had promised the Arab populations of the region independence if they fought against the occupying power (the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey) during World War I.

After the War, France occupied Syria and created Lebanon from the coastal strip as a new nation. The population of the new state was roughly 50% Christian and Muslim but power was given to the pro-French Christian population.

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.

The UK invaded Afghanistan three times before the Second World War.

These invasions occurred in 1839, 1878 and 1919. The border between Afghanistan and Paskitan was drawn on the map by the British in 1893. This border passes through the heartland of the Pashtun so that half live in each country. The Pashtuns still hold the UK responsible for the division of their people.

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).

France and Algeria

France massacres independence demonstrators in Algeria.

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.

South Korea

Between 100,000 and 800,000 people are killed on Cheju Island (South Korea) by the USA backed government of Syngman Rhee. The purge of "communists" is aided by forces supplied by two other USA occupied countries: Japan and Taiwan.


1946

France and Vietnam

A deal between France and China allows France to re-occupy North Vietnam. France bombs Vietnamese cities.

Palestine

The Jewish Agency (run by future Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion) uses a Jewish terrorist group, Irgun (run by Monachem Begin, a future Prime Minister of Israel and future recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize) to organise and carry out The King David Hotel Massacre in UK controlled Palestine.

The King David Hotel in Jerusalem is blown up killing 92 Britons, Arabs and Jews.

The Jewish Agency and Irgun want to set up a Jewish state in Palestine. Numerous acts of terrorism are planned to force the UK out of the region and to terrify the indigenous Arab Palestinians into leaving. Irgun had been attacking Palestinians since the late 1930s.

Israel Zangwill (a Jewish UK journalist) had declared as early as 1905:

"[We] must be prepared either to DRIVE OUT BY THE SWORD the tribes in possession [of our land] as our forefathers did or to grabble with the problem of a large ALIEN population. Many are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy."

In 1939, Vladimir Jabotinsky (founder of the Israeli Likud Party) had admitted:

"Zionist colonization must either be terminated or carried out against the wishes of the native population.. It is important to speak Hebrew, but it is even more important to be able to shoot - or else I am through at playing with colonizing"

Moshe Sharett (soon to be Israel's first Foreign Minister) had recently written:

"[W]hen the Jewish state is established--it is very possible that the result will be [population] transfer of [the Palestinian] Arabs."

Japan (Tokyo War Trials)

At the Tokyo War Trials in Japan, the activities of the war criminals are examined.

During the trial of the Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, the question is raised if Tojo's war crimes are worse than the USA dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At this point, the prosecutors order the removal of the remarks from the official trial record and the press.

The scientists of Unit 731 led by General Shiro Ishii are never tried. The unit had conducted bacteriological experiments on Chinese, Korean and American prisoners of war at Ping Fung (northern China).

The experiments included infecting people with diseases like bubonic plague (via infected rats), anthrax, typhus, typhoid (put into wells), cholera (given to children on infected rice cakes) and glanders (which cause flesh to rot and fall off). The unwilling subjects were dissected while still alive.

It is estimated that over 250,000 people died in China as a result of Japan's biological warfare during World War II. Over 30,000 died when infected rats were released after the War ended.

The USA offers Ishii and his workers immunity from prosecution if the the results of the experiments are given to the USA rather than the USSR.

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.


1947

Germany (Nurenberg War Trials)

At the Western controlled Nuremberg War Trials in Germany, German companies that worked Jews to death are not forced to pay compensation. These include Siemens, Volkswagen, and I G Farben.

Nazi scientists and businessmen are given immunity and soon end up working for the West.

USA and France

The USA interferes in the elections in France.

Money from the Marshal Plan (the USA's post war aid to Europe) is funneled to the Socialist Party in order to deny victory to the Communist Party. Members of the Communist Party had fought in the French Resistance against occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II and have large popular support. One of their policies is for France to pull out of its attempted reconquest of Vietnam.

The USA threatens to cut economic aid to France if the government does not dismiss Communist ministers.

USA and Italy

The USA forces the government of Italy to dismiss Socialist and Communist ministers from the government by threatening to withdraw economic aid. In elections a year later the USA influences the outcome when the CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations.

In later years the USA CIA would support the Christian Democrat Party financially.

USA and Greece

The USA intervenes in the civil war in Greece supporting the neo-fascist side against the Greek resistance to the Nazis with military aid approved by the USA president, Harry Truman.

The newly created Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council (USA) would back Greek leaders with dubious human rights records for decades.

USA and Philippines

Between 1945 and 1953 the USA intervenes politically and militarily in the internal affairs of the Philippines. The CIA funds political parties it favours helping defeat reform minded parties.

The USA had installed Manuel Roxas, a Japanese collaborator during World War II. The new government issues an amnesty for collaborators, bans political organizing, stops opposition congressmen from sitting in government and directs a campaign of repression throughout the country.

Independence of India and Pakistan

India becomes an independent country with an democratic government. The old UK colony is divided into a Hindu dominated India and a Muslim dominated Pakistan. Over 500,000 people die during the partition.

The Hindu ruler of predominantly Muslim Kashmir decides to join India without the consent of his people. This leads to tensions with Pakistan which will sour relations between the two countries for generations. After a brief war, over 65% of Kashmir ends up under Indian control while the rest becomes part of Pakistan.

The United Nations recommends a plebiscite (referendum) by the Kashmiris to determine their future. This is never implemented.

Palestine (The UN Partition Plan)

The UK announces it will leave Palestine in 1948 and hands over resolution of the problems in the region to the United Nations.

The United Nations proposes that Palestine be partitioned into two states: Israel (which is allocated 56.5% of the territory, including most of the arable coast) and Palestine (43% - mainly the hilly interior). The city of Jerusalem (0.5% of the territory) is to remain under international control. The USA (and USSR) threaten countries with reduction of aid or other sanctions if they vote against the partition plan. Many countries change their voting intentions after this pressure. The resolution was passed by a single vote.

The Jewish population in Palestine had increased during the previous 70 years after migrations from Europe. The first wave of immigrants came from Russia after pogroms had killed large numbers of Jews. The immigrants purchased land from absentee landlords; many locals who tended the land were evicted with the help of police from the Ottoman Empire, the pre-UK rulers of Palestine. Money for land purchases was managed by the Jewish National Fund which, in 1901 forbade purchased land to be resold to non-Jews and encouraged the boycotting of Arab labour.

Year
Jewish
Population
Percentage
(%)
1880
24,000
6
1917 (Balfour Declaration)
56,000
10
1922
84,000
11
1931
174,000
17
1936
384,000
28
1945
608,000
31
1947 (UN Partition Plan)
640,000
33

Thus, at the time of United Nations partition plan, 33% of the inhabitants of Palestine are Jewish.

The population percentage ratio in the section alloted to Palestine is 10% Jewish to 90% Arab. In the section alloted to Israel the population percentage ratio is 55% Jewish to 45% Arab.

The Jewish Agency accepts the proposals. The Arabs reject them because most of the Jewish population had been in Palestine for less than 30 years and owned less than 10% of the land.

Talking about Israel and the Palestinians, David Ben Gurion (the first prime Minister of Israel) states:

"[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state--we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel."

"No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ..... Our possession is important not only for itself ... through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state .... will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country."

"We must do everything to insure they never return. The old will die and the young will forget. We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters."

"We must expel Arabs and take their places .... and, if we have to use force-not to disposes the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places-then we have force at our disposal."

"In the area allocated to the Jewish State there are not more than 520,000 Jews and about 350,000 non-Jews, mostly Arabs. Together with the Jews of Jerusalem, the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment, will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews. such a [population] composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness. With such a [population] composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority .... There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60%."

"With compulsory transfer we [would] have a vast area [for settlement] .... I support compulsory transfer. I don't see anything immoral in it."

"We adopt the system of aggressive defense ; with every Arab attack we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place."

"The transfer of Arabs is easier than the transfer of any other [people]. There are Arabs states around . . . And it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are transferred this would improve their situation and not the opposite."

Other quotes showing what was being planned for the Arab population of Palestine:

"There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries; not one village, not one tribe should be left" (Joseph Weitz, 1940).

"There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews in Eretz Yisrael. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs" (Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1939 - Eretz Yisrael means Greater Israel).

"We Shall spread in the whole country in the course of time ..... this is only an arrangement for the next 25 to 30 years." (Chaim Weizmann writing about the partition of Palestine in 1937).

"The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." (Menachem Begin, 1948).

"Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance." (Moshe Sharett, 1947).

"We must continually raise the demand that our land be returned to our possession .... If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a great and NOBLER ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs fellahin [peasants]." (Menachem Ussishkin in a 1930 speech in Jerusalem).

"Isn't now the time to be rid of them? Why continue to keep in our midst these thorn at a time when they pose a danger to us? Our people are weighing up a solution." (Yosef Weitz on the inhabitants of Daliyat al-Rawha', south of Haifa).

Haganah and Irgun (Jewish paramilitaries) kill 60 civilians in Balad al-Shaykh, 7 in Yehida, 10 in Khisas, 5 children in Qazaza. Beduin settlements near Tel Aviv are attacked.

The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine
The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. The Plan split the territory into three parts: a Jewish state, an Arab state and a UN controlled Jerusalem. At this time, the population percentage ratio in the section alloted to the Arab State was 10% Jewish to 90% Arab. In the section alloted to the Jewish State the population percentage ratio was 55% Jewish to 45% Arab.


1948

The State of Israel and the Palestinians

The state of Israel is born.

David Ben-Gurion (the first Prime Minister of Israel) had written in his dairy after the United Nations vote to partition Palestine into two states:

"In my heart, there was joy mixed with sadness: joy that the nations at last acknowledged that we are a nation with a state, and SADNESS that we LOST half of the country, Judea and Samaria, and, in addition, that we [would] have [in our state] 400,000 Arabs."

As the UK leaves the region, Israel declares independence and ethnically cleanses large areas of its allocated territory forcing over 1,000,000 Palestinians into refugee camps in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. 500 Palestinian villages are depopulated and destroyed. The Israelis attack parts of the territory allocated to Palestine and clear West Jerusalem of its Arab residents.

In the end, 68% of the indigenous people of Palestine have been expelled and Israel ends up with 78% of the territory after having been allocated less than 57%.

Palestinian Refugees
Palestinian refugees leaving their land after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The USA has lobbied to disallow the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. It is also the biggest supporter of Israel.

A few days before a peace proposal is to be debated by the United Nations (UN), the UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, is assassinated by Jewish terrorists (the Stern Gang). The group that gave the order included Yitzhak Shamir (a later Israeli minister).

One of the most notorious incidents occurs in the small Arab village of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem, on 9-10 April 1948. The massacre is carried out by the Irgun and is designed to spread terror and panic among the Arab population of Palestine to frighten the people into fleeing their homes. The vacated land could then be confiscated for the use of Jewish colonialist settlers.

254 people are killed. The dead include 25 pregnant women, 52 children (who are decapitated) and babies. Many bodies are mutilated, some before death.

150 women and girls who survive are stripped and placed in open cars. They are driven naked through the streets of the Jewish section of Jerusalem, where onlookers cheer. In the following days, Israeli forces use loudspeakers to warn Arabs to leave their villages or suffer the fate of Deir Yassin.

Menachem Begin (leader of Irgun and later Prime Minister of Israel) describes what happened:

"the Arabs fought tenaciously in defense of their homes, their women and their children."

and justifies the action:

"The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state without the victory of Deir Yassin."

Arnold Toynbee (UK historian) describes it as "comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis."

Deir Yassin
Deir Yassin, scene of a massacre of Palestinians by Israeli militia. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians left their homes after news of the atrocity spread.

Many similar operations are carried out around Palestine by heavily armed Jewish groups (mainly Haganah and Irgun):

Israel has since stated that the Palestinians who left did so because of the war between Israel and Jordan, Syria and Egypt. This war did not begin until after the initial ethnic cleansing was well under way. The Haganah states that:

"[Palestinian Arab] villages inside the Jewish state that resist should be destroyed .... and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Palestinian residents of the urban quarters which dominate access to or egress from towns should be EXPELLED beyond the borders of the Jewish state in the event of their resistance."

Since the creation of the State of Israel, the West's often uncritical support lays the foundations that would reverberate for decades. The USA immediately recognises the new state. The USSR also recognises Israel. The USA would arm and finance Israel and protect the state from United Nations criticism.

Between 1948 and 1960, over 1,000,000 more Jews would migrate from Europe, North America and North Africa to Israel.

"The main thing is the absorption of the immigrants. . . for many years, until. . . . a regime takes hold in the [Arab] world that does not threaten our existence. . . . The state's fate is dependent upon 'Aliyah [Jewish Immigration to Palestine]" (David Ben-Gurion)

Israel finds justification in the Old Testiment of the Bible:

"Destroy all of the land; beat down their pillars and break their statues and waste all of their high places, cleansing the land and dwelling in it, for I have given it to you for a possession" (Numbers 33:52,53)

"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city both men and women, young and old and ox and sheep and ass with the edge of the sword." (Joshua 6:21)

Israel at Independence
After independence Israel is in control of 78% of the territory after being allocated less than 57%. Over a million Palestinians are expelled to became refugees.

Coup in Peru

A military coup occurs in Peru. The elected government is overthrown by CIA trained Manuel Odria.

This and subsequent undemocratic governments is recognised and armed by the West, expecially the USA. Elections would not be held until 1980.

France in Vietnam

The USA backs French forces attempting to retake Vietnam. Thousands of civilians die in bombing.

France in Madagascar

France crushes independence movement in Madagascar with the loss of thousands of lives. After a difficult war of liberation against Germany only a few years earlier, France took on the role of invader and occupier.

Netherlands in Indonesia

Forces from the Netherlands (the Dutch) attempt to re-colonise Indonesia. The Dutch bombing kills thousands of people, mainly civilians. In Sulawesi, 40,000 people are killed in a matter of weeks by Dutch forces "pacifying" the region.

After a difficult war of liberation against Germany only afew years earlier, the Netherlands becomes an invader and occupier.

USA and Nicaragua

The USA supports and arms the corrupt dictator Anastasio Samoza in Nicaragua. The USA's President Roosevelt says of Samoza: "Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch."

The Samoza family amasses a huge fortune and crush dissent ruthlessly. Although Anastasio is assassinated in 1956, the dynasty continues.

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

China (Civil War)

The USA helps the Nationalist side (lead by Chiang Kai-Shek) in the civil war in China between them and the Communists (under Mao Tse Tung). Guns are supplied to Chiang Kai-Shek, who secretly sells many to Japan. The USA's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funds these operations by drug running between Burma and China.

After the Communist victory in China, the Nationalists go to the island of Taiwan and set up a rival government.

The USA recognises Taiwan as the legitimate government of China. The USSR recognises the government of mainland China. The two main superpowers have created two Chinas. Taiwan gets the single seat in the United Nations (because of American pressure) even though it contains less than 1% of the population. Taiwan is backed and supported by the USA even though, it bans all political parties until 1987. Mainland China, representing a fifth of the world's population, would not be allowed to join the United Nations until 1971.

Many Nationalists take refuge in northern Burma where CIA advisors arm them for incursions into China.

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.

Laos, Cambodia

Former French colonies, Laos and Cambodia are set up as "independent" countries linked to France.

Coup in Syria

The USA backs the military coup that deposes the elected government of Syria. Colonel Al-Zaim becomes dictator and his government is immediately recognised by the USA. The CIA assists in the suppression of political opposition.

Coup in Greece

The USA backs a military coup in Greece and helps the new government set up a secret police, the KYP. The military would rule the country until 1952.


1950

USA

The McCarthy Witch Hunts reach their peak in USA.

Thousands of people are blacklisted from work in USA for their suspected political views.

According to the USA writer Noam Chomsky, McCarthyism was "actually a campaign to undermine unions, working-class culture, and independent thought launched by business... well before McCarthy appeared on the scene and made the mistake, which finally destroyed him, of attacking people with power."

The CIA had been recruiting USA news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. The latter publishes the newspaper, The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA asset. The CIA's media assets will eventually include the television stations, ABC, NBC, and CBS, as well as news magazines and news gathering organisations, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, and Copley News Service. The CIA would later admit to having at least 25 news organizations and 400 journalists as assets.

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!

China in Tibet

China invades Tibet while other countries take no action. The West continues to ignore the claims of Tibet for self-determination.

USA and Colombia

The USA sends free wheat to Colombia under an aid program called Food for Peace. This is paid for by USA taxpayers.

This policy has the effect of destroying Colombia's wheat growing industry which is a rival to that of the USA. The country has to concentrate on coffee which is more volatile in price. Many small holdings go out of business. This will eventually lead to cocaine cultivation.

Israel

Israel declares that Jerusalem is its capital in violation of the United Nations partition. No other country accepts this declaration.

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.

USA and Korea

During the war in Korea, USA forces kill hundreds of civilians after receiving orders not to let refugees cross the front lines. Many are strafed from aircraft, attacked by artillery from ships, have bridges blown up from under them while they cross, and are shot at.

USA and Puerto Rico

The USA crushes the independence movement in Puerto Rico.


1951

USA and Pacific Ocean (Nuclear Bomb Tests)

USA tests Hydrogen bombs on an atoll in the Marshall Islands (in the Pacific Ocean). There has been no consultation with Pacific islanders.

Coups in Bolivia and Thailand

Military coups occur in Bolivia and Thailand - both new governments are recognised and supported by the USA.

UK in Egypt

UK troops seize the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Israel in Jordan

Israeli soldiers kill 10 people, mainly women and children in the village of Sharafat in Jordan.

USA Foreign Policy and North Korea

In the USA, the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) is set up under the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The purpose of the PSB is "to coordinate the dissemination of propaganda with other actions, both overt and covert, designed to manipulate the opinions, behaviour and allegiances of target audiences throughout the world."

One of the first actions of the CIA is an attempt to assassinate Kim Il Sung, the leader of North Korea.


1952

Coup in Cuba (Batista)

A military coup occurs in Cuba. The elected government of Carlos Prio Socorras is deposed by Fulgencio Batista.

The USA supports the new Cuban dictator who is a particularly brutal ruler. Under his regime, Cuba becomes a haven for drugs, gambling, vice and mobsters. USA business interests benefit.

Freedom of speech is curtailed and hundreds of teachers, lawyers and public officials are fired from their jobs. Death squads torture and kill thousands of "communists".

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.

France in Morocco and Algeria

France fights independence movements in Algeria and Morocco.

The USA supports the European powers in their attempts to keep their colonies. These are examples of democratic and free countries denying the same to others.

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".

Belgium and Berundi

The Belgian rulers of Berundi, had divided the population by educating the Tutsi minority and using the Hutu majority to work on the European coffee plantations. This split would eventually lead to genocie decades later.

Prince Rwagasore, who had campaigned for Hutu-Tutsi unity, is assassinated.

South Africa (The Pass Laws)

In South Africa, non Whites are compelled to carry passes. These pass laws will cause much resentment amongst the majority population.

War in Korea

During the war in Korea, USA aircraft drop a number of diseased objects (feathers, bacteria, decaying animals, fish parts) in Korea and China. Many people die from plague, anthrax and encephalitis.

A 600 page report by the International Scientific Comittee (involving scientists from Sweden, France, UK, Italy, Brazil and the USSR) states that: "The peoples of Korea and China have indeed been the objectives of bacteriological weapons. These have been employed by units of the USA armed forces, using a great variety of different methods for the purpose."

The USA drops 70,000 gallons (265m3) of napalm per day on Korea. This is a substance made from benzene, polystyrene and gasoline that catches fire and sticks to flesh. The victim is either burned to death or suffocated by lack of oxygen.


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.

Israel

In Israel 75 Palestinians are killed in Kibya, an Arab village near the Jordanian border. The attack involves 700 Israeli soldiers using mortars, machine guns, rifles and explosives against civilians. 42 houses are blown up as well as the school and mosque. A United Nations report states that "the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside, until their homes were blown up over them".

The attack was authorised by Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion and planned by Ariel Sharon (who would later be Prime Minister), leader of Unit 101.

Father Ralph Gorman, editor of the Sign, National Catholic Magazine of the USA writes:

"Terror was a political weapon of the Nazis. But the Nazis never used terror in a more cold-blooded and wanton manner than the Israelis in the massacre of Kibya. Women and children as well as men were murdered deliberately, systematically, and in cold blood."

Israel attacks the Gaza Strip, in Egypt.

France and Laos

Laos fights against French rule. Many countries are beginning to demand the freedoms enjoyed by the West. The freedom fighters are labelled as rebels and terrorists in Western media.

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.

Canada

The USA army disperses the toxic chemical zinc cadmium sulphide through the city of Winnipeg in Canada as part of chemical and biological tests.

USA, UK and Albania

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

USA and West Germany

The USA CIA creates a secret civilian army in West Germany and draws up a list of over 200 Social Democrats, Communists and others who are to be "put out of the way" in the event of an invasion by the USSR.

USA and Philippines

The USA CIA sets up an organisation called the National Movement for Free Elections in the Philippines to influence political life. The organisation finances favoured candidates, plants news stories about opponents and writes speeches.

USA, Denmark and the Inuit

200 Inuit families are given four days to leave their homes in the village of Uummanaaq (northern Greenland) by Denmark so that the area can be given over to a USA military base (Thule). The Inuit had lived and hunted in the region for over 1000 years.

The base would become home to 10,000 military personnel. In 1968 a B-52 bomber would crash in the area, scattering four nuclear warheads over the ice. Officially, Greenland was nuclear-free at the time.

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

End of Vietnam-France War; Beginning of Vietnam-USA War

The French are defeated by Vietnam forces and forced to withdraw. The USA helps France militarily then takes over the French role in Vietnam. The big powers (USA, France, USSR, China) officially agree to partition Vietnam into two separate states regardless of the wishes of the people.

An agreement is proposed to allow for a referendum in 1956 to decide the future of the country. The USA refuses to agree to this knowing that over 80% of the population want reunification with the north.

Between 1945 and 1954, French forces killed over 300,000 Vietnamese.

Coup in Guatemala (The Fall of Arévalo)

The USA organises a military coup in Guatemala to remove the president, Jacobo Arbenz. Arbenz was the successor to the popular and reforming president, Juan José Arévalo.

The country had been democratic since 1944; Arévalo had permitted free expression, legalized unions and diverse political parties. The USA Embassy had described the government as having "an unusual reputation for incorruptibility"; the Guatemalans had described the previous ten years as "Ten Years of Spring".

After the coup, and for the next 31 years, repressive governments would rule with USA support. The CIA gives the new government lists of people to be eliminated, identifying political and intellectual leaders as military targets. Arévalo is driven out of Guatemala and dies in exile. Peasant cooperatives are destroyed, unions and political parties crushed, and dissidents hunted down. Many indigenous villages are cleared leading to urban sprawl and poverty. Thousands are killed by government death squads and many more flee the country.

One of those fleeing is a young physician, Che Guevarra. His face would adorn posters for a generation in the 1960s.

Within a few years over 100,000 people, mostly the Maya, would be killed.

The USA declares that the reason for the coup was to stop a takeover by the USSR. In actual fact, the USSR had little interest in the country, not even maintaining an embassy. The real reason is economic - American companies (especially the United Fruit Comany in which CIA director, Allen Dulles, had an interest) would benefit from cheap labour, lax safety laws and a helpful government. The American company, Coca Cola, benefits when striking workers are killed by the military.

A USA document (US Policy Towards Latin America) admits that the major threat to USA interests is "nationalistic regimes [that implement] immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses".

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.

Paraguay (Stroessner)

Alfredo Stroessner assumes dictatorial control over Paraguay. An admirer of Nazism, he offers refuge to many Nazi war criminals, such as Joseph Mengele.

Stroessner rules the country using murder and torture for 35 years. Genocide is committed against the indigenous population.

The Ache people occupy the country's forests, mines, and grazing lands. These are coveted by European and USA companies. The Ache are hunted down, parents are killed; children are sold into slavery. Survivors are herded into reservations headed by American fundamentalist missionaries, some of whom had participated in the hunts.

France in Algeria

The Algerian independence movement against French settlements (colonists) gains momentum.

USA and Pacific Ocean (Nuclear Tests)

The USA continues testing Hydrogen bombs on Pacific atolls. Again, there is no consultation with people living there.

USA

In the USA racial segregation in schools is declared illegal by the Supreme Court. It will be many years before schools are de-segregated.

USA (Doolittle Report)

The Doolittle Report, a secret study produced by the government in the USA states that:

"[The USA] must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us."

Elections in Iran

In regional elections in Iran, agents of the Shah (Reza Pahlavi) raid a religious school and hurl hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof. The regime receives 100% of the vote in an election which registers more votes than there are voters.

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

Algerian War of Independence

France ruthlessly crushes the independence movement in Algeria. Villages are razed to the ground by French troops and settlers are allowed to kill locals at will. France boycotts a United Nations debate on the conflict. France had fought a vicious occupation by the Nazis but now continues to occupy Algeria.

South Africa and the UN

South Africa leaves the United Nations after being censured over its apartheid policies.

War in South Vietnam

Civil war begins in South Vietnam between factions who support the USA and French backed government and those who want unity with the (communist) north run by Ho Chi Minh. The USA backed Ngo Dinh Diem deposes the French backed Bao Dai.

The USA continue their support of the south. President Dwight Eisenhower, admits that "had elections been held, possibly 80% of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader".

UK in Cyprus and Sudan

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

Portugal in India (Goa)

Portuguese police kill demonstrators in Goa demanding return of the colony to India.

USA and India

The USA CIA is implicated in a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Coup in Argentina (The Fall of Peron)

The military remove the popular president of Argentina, Juan Peron. Europe and the USA continue trading.

Greeks in Turkey

16 Greeks are killed and hundreds tortured in Istanbul (Turkey) during a pogrom organised by state authorities. Hundreds of women are raped. 73 churches are destroyed. Turkey is a member of the USA led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

USA and Costa Rica

The USA attempts to overthrow the president of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres. The USA CIA attempts to assassinate Figueres on two occasions. The reasons are that Costa Rica was the first Central American country to establish diplomatic relations with the USSR and Eastern Europe.

USA and Europe

The USA begins a 20 year period of funding political parties, magazines, news agencies, journalist unions, lawyers associations and other groups in Western Europe. The USA agenda was for an anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, militarised, united Western Europe allied to and dominated by the USA, especially through NATO.

William Yandall Elliot publishes a report (The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy) in which he states that "[the primary threat of Communism is the economic transformation of the Communist powers] in ways that reduce their willingness and ability to complement the industrial economies of the West".

USA

Racial killings of black leaders occur in southern USA. Legalised segregation on public transport and in schools causes resentment. A black woman, Rosa Parks, is arrested in USA for using a bus seat reserved for white people. Alabama state police arrest blacks boycotting buses including a preacher called Martin Luther King.


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.

Israel (Kafr Qassim)

49 Palestinians are massacred in the Arab village of Kafr Qassim near the Jewish settlement of Betah Tekfa in Israel.

Israeli Frontier Guards arrive at the village at 4:45 pm and inform the Mukhtar (village council leader) that the curfew in the village was from that day onwards to be observed from 5:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm, and that the inhabitants were required to stay at home from that time.

The Mukhtar informs the soldiers that some villagers were working outside the village and would not know about the change in the curfew. The soldiers tell him that they would take care of that.

The people in the village comply with the curfew. Meanwhile the guards post themselves at the village gates. As the villagers return, unaware of the new curfew times, they are shot at by the soldiers. The wounded are then finished off. The victims include men, women and children.

Kafr Qassim
49 Palestinians are massacred in the Arab village of Kafr Qassim near the Jewish village of Betah Tekfa by Israeli Frontier Guards.
The USA supports Israel politically, militarilly and economically.

Israeli general, Moyshe Dyan (later Secretary of Defence) makes this speech at a funeral of an Israeli soldier:

"What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred for us? For eight years now they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived."

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.

Nicaragua (Assassination of Samosa Sr.)

The dictator, Anastasio Somoza is assassinated in Nicaragua. His son, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, takes power. His corrupt and brutal regime is supported by the USA until he is overthrown by a popular uprising in 1979.

The younger Somoza, makes $ 12,000,000 a year buying blood sold by poor Nicaraguans and selling it abroad at a profit.


1957

Coup in Haiti (Duvalier)

Francis "Papa Doc" Duvalier takes over Haiti. Supported by the USA, he rules the country autocratically, corruptly and brutally until 1971.

Under his regime and that of his son who succeeded him, 60,000 people would die. Thousands would be tortured by the Tonton Macoutes death squads. While Haiti would become the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the Duvaliers would enrich themselves by stealing foreign aid money.

USA in Iran (SAVAK)

In Iran, the Shah (king), Reza Pahlavi, sets up a secret police agency (SAVAK). This agency is managed by the USA CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the running of agents.

SAVAK's torture methods include electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, putting weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails.

Iran under the unelected Shah becomes a USA ally and a base for spy operations against the USSR.

Jordan

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

Egypt

The USA CIA plans to assassinate the president of Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser.

UK and Oman

The UK fights the independence movement in Oman.

USA

Arkasas state is threatened by the USA president for refusing to allow black students into white colleges.


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:

USA Nuclear Bomb Testing

Between 1946 and 1958, the USA had been testing nuclear bombs on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Residents of the Bikini Atoll were forced to relocate to other islands.

France in North Africa

France bombs a village in Tunisia in its attempt to keep Algeria as a French colony.

USA, Saudi Arabia and Syria

Saudi Arabia and the USA attempt to destabilise Syria. Two attempts are made to overthrow the government of Syria.

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.

USA and Lebanon

The USA sends 14,000 troops to put down anti-Western dissidents in Lebanon. The USA CIA had funded the election campaign of Camille Chamoun and had targeted opponents to American influence in the country.

Coup in Pakistan

A military coup occurs in Pakistan. The USA continues to support this country regardless of the legitimacy of the government. This is because Pakistan is hostile to India, a democratic country that does not allow American companies access to its people or materials.

USA and Indonesia

The USA attempts to destabilise the government of Indonesia. Large amounts of money are funneled by the CIA to influence elections.

Coup in Laos

The USA CIA and State Department engineer a coup in Laos.

The Lao political party, Pathet Lao, always wins elections or wins enough support to be in any coalition. This party is disliked by the USA even though it has much popular support. In the next few years, the USA would engineer several coups to topple the Pathet Lao and would eventually an army of rebels to destabilise Laos.

USA and Japan

In Japan, the USA CIA begin a 20 year campaign of financing the Liberal Democratic Party and undermining the Japanese Socialist Party.

USA and Turkey

The USA places nuclear missiles in Turkey aimed at the USSR across the Black Sea. An attempt is made to place nuclear missiles in Greece; these are removed after protests from the USSR.

These events go largely unreported in the West. A few years later, the USSR would attempt to place nuclear missiles in Cuba aimed at the USA. The second missile event would be reported in the Western media as The Cuban Missile Crisis.


1959

Cuba (Castro and Batista)

Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba in a popular uprising against the dictator Batista.

Castro had attempted to stand in elections in 1952. These elections were cancelled when Batista took power. American businesses (set up under the un-elected Batista with terms favourable to the USA) are taken over after the USA stops sugar imports from Cuba.

Castro, originally pro-West, turns to the USSR for financial help. Cuba's people would suffer greatly from American trade embargoes, terrorist attacks, bombings, biological warfare, a military invasion, sanctions, isolation and assassination.

Belgium and Congo

Belgium fights an independence movement in Congo.

The central African region had been conquered by Belgium in 1885 and had become the personal possession of the Belgian monarch. The Europeans made money from ivory, timber, gum, rubber, copper, cobalt and copal (a resin).

The colonial government ruled Congo very brutally using techniques like chopping off hands, rape and village burning. Whips made of hippopotamus hide was a favourite implement of control and opunishment. It has been estimated that 13 million people were killed under Belgian rule.

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.

USA and Cambodia

The USA CIA plans to assassinate the leader of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk.

USA and Haiti

The USA continues to train the military of Francis Duvalier, the dictatorial ruler of Haiti. The USA military help crush a rebellion against Duvalier.

Coup in Laos

The USA CIA and State Department engineer a coup in Laos, the second in successive years.

USA and Nepal

According to CIA operative, Duane Clarridge, the USA carry out "covert action" during the first democratic election in Nepal. The beneficiary is B. P. Koirala and his Nepali Congress Party.

China and Tibet

The Dalai Lama flees Tibet and Chinese rule and requests United Nations help. Nothing is done to help the Tibetans.


1960

Belgium and Congo (Assassination of Patrice Lumumba)

Belgium agrees to the independence of Congo with the charismatic and popular leader, Patrice Lumumba. During the independence ceremony Lumumba calls for economic and political freedom for Congo.

Eleven days after independence, Belgium intervenes militarily to set up the mineral rich southern part of the country into a separate state, Katanga, ruled by Moise Tshombe and financed by European and American mine owners.

Lumumba is arrested by the Belgian military and transferred in early 1961 to Katanga where he is tortured and killed by Tshombe's forces and their Belgian advisors. After his death his body is dissolved in acid by the Belgian police under Gerard Soete. The USA CIA is later implicated in the assassination after an approval by the USA president Dwight Eisenhower. Belgium would apologise for the death of Lumumba in 2002.

Tshombe rules a united Congo after independence, allowing Western companies access to the minerals. The West's business interests over-ride the wishes and interests of the local people.

Australia

Australia finally extends social services benefits to the Aboriginies (the indigenous people). These people would not be allowed to vote until 1962.

Aborigine workers are paid half the wages of a white worker. The pay goes into an account at the state owned Commonwealth Bank. The worker could not withdraw his own money without the authority of a protector, usually a white official.

Because many workers are illiterate, they are unable to check their accounts. Most of their money goes missing.

Rhodesia, South Africa (Sharpville)

Repressive legislation against black people (who cannot vote) is passed in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe).

Over 70 people are killed in Sharpville, South Africa while demonstrating against the pass laws. These laws require non-Whites to carry documentation or else face imprisonment.

The African National Congress (ANC), an organisation seeking a multi-racial state with universal voting rights, is banned in South Africa.

White supremacy gains in strength in southern Africa.

Sahara Desert

France tests its Atom Bomb in the Sahara Desert. There is no consultation with local people.

Elections in South Korea

Rigged elections in South Korea (a country armed and supported extensively by the USA) cause riots. The American backed Park Chung-Hee, an army general, takes power in a military coup.

Park's security forces favour the water torture, which leaves no physical marks on the victim. Cold water is forced up the nostrils through a tube, while a cloth is placed in the victim's mouth to prevent breathing. One victim tells Amnesty International:

".. my hands tied together, and I was tied to a chair. I was not allowed to have any sleep. At night, they would drag me to the basement where they would beat me with a long, heavy stick, and jump on me. They were trying to make me confess that I was a spy."

Park Chung Hee would be assassinated by his own security forces in 1979.

Coup in Turkey

A military coup occurs in Turkey.

The Prime Minister and two of his ministers are executed. A new constitution is prepared giving the military and increased role in politics.

In recent history, Turkey has been run by military regimes which violate the rights of dissidents and of the large Kurdish minority. Even speaking the Kurdish language is forbidden until the early 1990s.

As a member of NATO, Turkey's abuses are tolerated by the West and are generally unreported in Western media.

USA and Cuba

The USA imposes a trade embargo on Cuba and bans its own citizens from visiting.

The USA attempts to persuade and coerce other countries to join the boycott of Cuba, saying that the country is a threat to the Western Hemisphere. A Mexican diplomat responds with "If we publicly declare that Cuba is a threat to our security, forty million Mexicans will die laughing".

France and Madagascar

Madagascar becomes independent from France. The French keep their hold on trade and finance and retain several bases on the island. The French backed President Tsiranana stays in power with rigged elections until 1972.

USA and Iraq

The leader of Iraq, Abdul Karim Kassem, helps found the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This organisation challenges Western oil companies which maintain economic control of the marketing of Arab oil.

The USA CIA plans and attempts to assassinate Kassem at the same time destabilising Iraq by funding the minority Kurdish population.

Kashmir

India makes its part of Kashmir a full state against the wishes of the majority of the Kashmiri people.

Laos

The USA CIA and State Department engineer a coup in Laos, the third in successive years. The Pro-USA, Phoumi Nosavan is helped to power by ballot rigging.

Ecuador

The USA infiltrates the government of Ecuador and eventually removes the president, Jose Maria Velasco. The USA does not approve of Ecuador's diplomatic relations with Cuba and the government's refusal to clamp down on dissidents. The new leader also refuses to break relations with Cuba until threatened by a CIA backed military leader.

USA Race Riots

In the USA, there are race riots in Mississippi over black peoples' access to schools and beaches.


1961

Cuba (Bay of Pigs)

A secret invasion of Cuba to remove Castro by USA backed forces fails. The invasion, called The Bay of Pigs, had been approved by the USA president John Kennedy.

South Africa and Apartheid

The United Nations condemns apartheid in South Africa. The West continues trading and supporting this undemocratic country.

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."

Upper Volta

Upper Volta (now Burkina Fasso) gains independence from France. The French had been running a system of forced labour recruitment to supply European owned plantations.

Dominican Republic (Assassination of Trujillo)

After over 30 years as brutal dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo is assassinated with help from the USA CIA. The USA had originally backed him because of his stated anti-communism, but now removed him because his business interests began to compete with those of the USA.

Anti-communism had been used to justify mass deportations, torture and summary executions. Workers who had asked for wage increases were labeled communists, and shot, as were farmers who tried to stop their land from from being confiscated.

Trujillo eventually controlled over 80% of the country's sugar plantations, using slave labour provided by neighbouring Haiti to keep profits high.

20,000 Haitians had been killed between 1937 and 1961.


1962

Dominican Republic

Two months before elections in the Dominican Republic, the USA ambassador, John Bartlow Martin, informs both presidential candidates in a memo (written in English and Spanish) that:

"The loser in the forthcoming election will, as soon as the election result is known, publicly congratulate the winner, publicly recognise him as the president of all Dominican people, and publicly call upon his own supporters to so recognise him... Before taking office, the winner will offer cabinet seats to members of the loser's party."

The USA helps the Dominican government deport 125 people (supporters of the previous regime) during the election. According to Martin it is "to help maintain stability so elections could be held".

USA in Vietnam

The USA becomes more active in Vietnam.

Villagers are moved into fenced off camps. Chemical defoliants are sprayed into the jungle. These are later found to contain Dioxin. This is a cancer producing chemical that causes genetic mutations in children, who are born deformed or with parts of their bodies missing. No compensation has ever been paid.

Algeria

After the loss of 1,000,000 lives, Algeria finally wins its independence from France.

The president of France, Charles de Gaulle was determined to grant Algeria independence. The USA opposed de Gaulle and supported an attempted French coup in the country. The CIA would later attempt to assassinate de Gaulle, who was blocking USA plans for domination of NATO.

In 2003, it would be revealed that France refuses to allow 100,000 Algerians who had fought on the French side from emigrating to France. Most of them would be massacred.

USA and Cuba

Cuba begins to improve education and health for its people as well as redistribute land, previously owned by multinational companies.

By 1973 Cuba will have the lowest child mortality and the highest literacy in Latin America. In spite of these measures, popular with the majority of the population, the USA puts pressure on its allies to exclude Cuba from various inter-American forums. The USA continues to blockade the country and even attempts to assassinate the president, Fidel Castro.

A UK freighter bound from Cuba to the USSR with 80,000 bags of sugar stops in Puerto Rico for repairs. Agents from the USA CIA contaminate the sugar with a harmless chemical that makes the sugar unpalatable. A CIA official later reveals:

"There was lots of sugar being sent out from Cuba, and we were putting a lot of contaminates in it."

The USA president, John Kennedy, is angry when he hears of the operation because it had occurred on USA territory and could hand the USSR a propaganda weapon.

A Canadian worker in Cuba is paid $5,000 "by an American military intelligence agent" to infect turkeys with a fatal disease; 8,000 turkeys die.

A group of CIA dispatched rebels blow up an industrial facility killing 400 workers.

Coup in Burma

General Ne Win takes power in Burma and isolates the country. The West is hostile because they cannot access the country's resources.

Indonesia

The USA CIA attempts to assassinate the president of Indonesia, Sukarno.

Brazil

Two agencies from the USA (the CIA and the Agency for International Development) spend millions of dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to oppose the election of João Goulart in Brazil. Goulard would be toppled by a coup after two years.

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.

Coup in Dominican Republic

The democratically elected government of the Dominican Republic is removed by a military coup.

Juan Bosch had become the first democratically elected president of the country since 1924. His program included land reform, affordable housing, the avoidance of exploitative foreign investment, civil liberties, and nationalisation.

After the coup, USA marines are sent in to look after American business interests and support the new regime.

USA Race Riots, Assassination of Kennedy

Riots and the killing of black people continue in the Deep South of the USA. Martin Luther King makes his "I have a dream..." speech.

President Kennedy is assassinated in suspicious circumstances.

Vietnam

A Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc sets himself on fire in Saigon in protest against the USA backed authoritarian government of South Vietnam. This government had discriminated against Buddhism, the dominant religion in the country.

The USA, shaken because the immolation had been televised around the world, gives approval for a military coup that topples Ngo Dinh Diem (whom they had put into power in 1955). The ousted leaders are killed in cold blood. The South Vietnamese do not get a chance to vote for their leader.

Seven more monks commit suicide in the ancient Vietnamese capital, Hue.

Coup in Honduras

A military coup takes place in Honduras. The president eventually resigns after accepting bribes from an American company. The USA controls the country and gains access to its raw materials by giving huge amounts of aid to the military.

UK and Indonesia

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

El Salvador

The government of the USA sends 10 Special Forces personnel to El Salvador to help General Jose Alberto Medrano set up the Organizacion Democratica Nacionalista (ORDEN). This is the first paramilitary death squad in that country.

For the next 30 years, members of the USA military and the CIA will help organize, train, and fund death squad activity in El Salvador.

Coup in Guatemala

The USA CIA overthrows the dictatorship of General Miguel Ydigoras in Guatemala. Ydigoras had been planning to step down in 1964 and hold elections. The USA feared that the previously elected president Juan José Arévalo (overthrown by the CIA in 1954) would regain power.

The new regime does not hold elections.

Ecuador

The USA CIA back a military coup that overthrows President Arosemana of Ecuador, because of his independent policies. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.


1964

South Africa (Imprisonment of Nelson Mandela)

Nelson Mandela is imprisoned for 27 years in South Africa. He becomes the world's most famous political prisoner. During his imprisonment many Western leaders support and trade with South Africa and call him a terrorist.

South Africa creates Bantustans, areas where ethnically cleansed black people must live. Only white people can vote (30% of the population). Opponents to the regime (both black and white) are assassinated, exiled, imprisoned and tortured.

Congo

The pro-Western government in Congo fights rural rebellion with the aid of European mercenaries. Congo's economy is geared towards Western companies and not the local people.

Palestine Liberation Organisation

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is founded to gain independence for the parts of Palestine under Israeli rule. It is labelled as a terrorist group by the West.

USA and North Vietnam

The USA begins secret attacks on North Vietnamese shipping. When a USA torpedo boat is attacked, the USA uses this as a pretext to begin bombing North Vietnam. The bombing is blanket and kills civilian and military alike. This is an undeclared war.

South Vietnam

The police in South Vietnam, trained by the USA'a CIA, arrest and torture the local population in the hunt for "communists" and supporters of the National Liberation Front (NLF). The NLF were fighting for the liberation of the country from the USA backed government. One detainee is Thien Thi Tao who is arrested while a student aged 18:

"Like most students I hated the American backed regime, especially for bringing a foreign army to Vietnam. It is true I did work for the NLF and I was prepared to fight for them. We all respected them. The police demanded that I hand over NLF names; when I refused I was strung upside down and electrocuted, and my head was held in a bucket of water. Then I was sent to Cong Song Island and put in what they called the tiger cages. You couldn't stand up in them and, anyway, my legs were shackled; and every day they threw quicklime down on me. They had a place that was full of cow and pig excrement, and for no reason they'd put you in it and leave you. This was known as the coffin."

The USA CIA sets up Operation Phoenix which uses torture on opponents: electric shock to genitals, insertion of implements into ears, and throwing victims out of helicopters.

Coup in Brazil

A military coup occurs in Brazil. The new leader is General Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco who has support from the USA. The USA government sends the new regime oil during the coup.

The previous president João Goulart had traded with communist nations, maintained diplomatic relations with Cuba, supported the labour movement, and limited the profits multinational companies could take out of the country.

After the coup, labour and trade unions are banned, criticism of the President becomes unlawful. Thousands of suspected communists (including children) are arrested and tortured. Land is stolen from indigenous people and their culture destroyed. The region's first death squads are set up and trained by the USA CIA. Over 70,000 would die between 1964 and 1985.

Drug dealers, many of them government officials, are given protection because they maintain national security interests.

The West recognises the new regime and trades with it. There would not be a civilian government in Brazil until 1985.

Rhodesia

Black political parties are banned in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe). The West continues trading links.

Coup in Saudi Arabia

King Faisal deposes King Saud in Saudi Arabia. The West continues supporting this country even though the leader has not been chosen by the people.

Greeks in Turkey

All Greek nationals living in Istanbul (Turkey) are expelled from the country after a two day notice.

USA in Panama

Troops from the USA, fire on demonstrators in Panama who were calling for the return of the canal.

Coup in Bolivia

The president of Bolivia, Victor Paz, is removed by a coup backed by the USA CIA. Bolivia had refused to support USA policies against Cuba.

Australia (Rupert Murdoch)

Rupert Murdoch begins his media career in Australia. His Sydney newspaper, the Daily Mirror, publishes a story with the headline "We Have Schoolgirl's Orgy Diary" about a 14 year old girl's sexual exploits. A 13 year old boy, named in the diaries, is expelled from school. He commits suicide by hanging himself. The girl is later examined by a doctor who confirms that she is a virgin. The diary had been a product of adolescent fantasy.

Murdoch's reaction when confronted with the consequences of his newspaper's story would be that "everybody makes mistakes". This type of journalism, new at the time, would eventually become the universal style of the West's media. Murdoch would become a very powerful media owner.


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."

The Vietnam-USA War

The USA commits 125,000 troops to fight in Vietnam. The military policy consists of indiscriminate killing, bombing and chemical warfare (cancer producing defoliants and napalm that burns flesh). Anti war protests occur in the USA capital, Washington DC.

In 1983, a specialist in CIA propaganda, Ralph McGehee, would admit that the evidence of communist weapons running that was the excuse for the troops being deployed was faked by the CIA.

USA and Dominican Republic

The USA sends 23,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to keep the previously elected president Juan Bosch from returning to power.

Falling sugar prices had led to a popular uprising against the USA-backed military dictatorship. More than 4,000 Dominicans are killed. The USA newspaper New York Times admits that Dominicans were "fighting and dying for social justice and constitutionalism."

USA Race Riots

34 people are killed, mostly by the police, in race riots in Los Angeles, USA. Increasing violence over civil rights for blacks is followed by excessive police response in the state of Alabama.

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel attacks a village in Jordan to fight Palestinian resistance.

Rhodesia

The 220,000 white settlers in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), decide to ignore the wishes of the 4,000,000 black Africans and declare independence. Ian Smith rules the country for the whites and does not allow the blacks to vote.

The UK imposes sanctions that are ignored by multinational companies, Portugal controlled Mozambique, and apartheid South Africa.

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.

France and Guinea

Guinea severs diplomatic relations with France after the discovery of a French plot to assassinate its president.

India

India attempts to make Hindi (a north Indian language) the national language of all India. Tamils in the south protest and English becomes an official language.

Coup in Zaire (Mobutu)

A military coup occurs in Zaire (formerly Congo).

The new, USA backed, ruler is Mobutu Sese Seko who allows USA companies access to the country's cobalt, copper, and diamonds. In the coming years, Mobutu amasses a personal fortune of over $ 5,000 million. Every foreign company setting up in the country has to pay a "tribute" to the president.

Mobutu would rule brutally for 30 years during which time the Zairian people would become impoverished despite the country's huge natural wealth.

USA and Laos

The USA CIA creates the 30,000 strong Armeé Clandestine using Asian mercenaries to destabilise Laos.

Between 1965 and 1973 the USA would drop more than 2 million tons (2,030 million kg) of bombs on Laos. People would be forced to live in caves for many years; hundreds of thousands would die.

Thailand

The USA builds up a military presence in Thailand as it fights various wars in the region. Some of the forces are used to help the unelected government repress dissidents.

A year later the USA newspaper, Washington Post notes:

"In the view of some observers, continued dictatorship in Thailand suits the United States since it assures a continuation of American bases in the country and that, as a US official put it bluntly, 'is our real interest in this place'".

Peru

The USA sets up military camps in the jungles of Peru and exterminates several dissident groups that are fighting the government for economic equality.


1966

The Vietnam-USA War

The USA now has 385,000 troops in South Vietnam.

Many villages are destroyed. TV pictures of American soldiers casually setting fire to huts while distressed villagers look on disturb the USA public. Student and Buddhist led demonstrators in Saigon demand the end of the military government in South Vietnam. Vietnamese troops brutally suppress dissent.

The coal mining town of Hongai becomes the most bombed place in Vietnam. Carrier based planes bomb the town continuously from 7am until 5pm every day. This causes 10% of the town's children to become deaf.

In the USA, David Lawrence, editor of US News & World Report, writes:

"What the United States is doing in Vietnam is the most significant example of philanthropy extended by one people to another that we have witnessed in our times."

Most Western countries tacitly support USA actions in Vietnam.

USA, North Vietnam and Laos

North Vietnam and Laos are bombed heavily by the USA with huge loss of civilian life.

Israel, Jordan and Syria

Israel attacks Syria and Jordan after Palestinian resistance.

Many Palestinians are now refugees in these and other neighbouring countries while their homes and villages in Israel are destroyed and converted to kibutz (communial villages). Meanwhile, Israel encourages Jewish immigration to change the demography of the region.

Israel continues to receive admiring and uncritical support from the West, especially the USA. The Western media reports events from the Israeli point of view. Young tourists to Israel are encouraged to work in the kibutz.

Israeli forces raid the village of Al-Sammou destroying 125 houses, the village clinic and school. 18 people are killed.

South Africa and Namibia

South Africa extends its apartheid laws to its colony South West Africa (later Namibia). The United Nations requests South Africa to withdraw from the territory.

Coup in Nigeria

A military coup occurs in Nigeria; the president is murdered. Members of Igbo tribe are massacred by ruling Hausas. This artificial country created by the UK is splitting on tribal lines.

Coup in Central Africa (Bokassa)

A military coup brings Bokassa to power in Central Africa. For 13 years he rules brutally. Opponents are publicly clubbed to death in the streets (including 100 children in 1979) and all power is centralised to him and his family who bleed the country's finances.

France supports this regime because of concessions in mining the huge Uranium deposits. South Africa and the USA loan money to the government.

France and Djibuti

Djibouti votes to remain a colony of France after French authorities arrest opposition leaders and expel their followers to Somalia.

Coup in Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of Ghana, attempts to lessen his country's dependence of the West. He strengthens military and economic ties to Eastern Europe, the USSR and China. Nkrumah is removed from power in a coup backed by the USA CIA.

According to a CIA internal memo dated 25 February 1966 (declassified in 1977) the CIA and Ghana's military leaders had been plotting the coup for over a year.

Australia

In Australia, Charlie Perkins, an Aborigine (the country's native population), chains himself outside a swimming pool in Moree. Aborigines are excluded from entry into all the country's pools. This protest changes the rules, opening the way for swimming pools being available to all.

USA and Bolivia

The election campaign of René Barrientos in Bolivia gains $600,000 from the USA CIA and $200,000 from the American company Gulf Oil.


1967

War Between Israel, Syria and Egypt (The 6 Day War)

After a build up of tension in the region, Israel attacks its Arab neighbours. It occupies the Gaza Strip and the Sinai from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Israel between 1948 and 1967
Israel (in yellow) between 1948 and 1967. Gaza is under Egyptian control while the West Bank is under Jordanian control.

More Palestinians become refugees, some for the second time in less than 20 years. The Sinai is eventually returned to Egypt but the other regions remain under Israeli occupation. 2,000,000 Palestinians live under occupation with no voting rights while another 2,000,000 are refugees in neighbouring countries.

In East Jeruselem, dozens of Palestinian houses are demolished in front of the Western Wall of the ancient Jewish Temple creating an open space. More than 5,500 Arab inhabitance are forced out of the city. Little or no compensation is paid.

Several West Bank villages are destroyed by the military and their populations expelled. These include Imwas, Yalu, Bayt Nuba, Bayt Marsam, Bayt Awa, Habla, al-Burj, Jiftlik. Over 430,000 Palestinians are forced to leave their homes. Any that attempt to return are shot, regardless of age or gender.

In the Golan Heights, the Israelis destroy 244 villages out of 249 and expel 147,000 people.

According to figures published by the United Nations, between 1967 and the end of 1969, over 7,500 Palestinian homes would be destroyed by Israeli forces. By 1971 this figure would rise to more than 16,000.

The occupied territories are put under Israeli military administration. This includes restrictions on movement and rights of residence, arrest without trial, torture, collective punishments, discrimination, theft of natural resources, house demolitions and destruction of agricultural plants (like olive or citrus trees), deportations and curfews. Israel has cited security needs for these measures. The USA writer, Noam Chomsky, suggest a more sinister motive, quoting official Israeli government records. In these, the Israeli Defence Minister, Moyshe Dayan, instructs his ministers to inform residents of the occupied territories "we have no solution, that you shall continue to live like dogs, whoever wants to can leave". He concludes that "In five years we may have 200,000 less people - and that is a matter of enormous importance".

Within a month of the war, the Israelis begin building settlements (colonies) on the occupied land in violation of the Geneva Convention and several United Nations resolutions, which have consistently declared the settlements illegal. Any resistance is crushed ruthlessly and labelled as terrorism. In the Golan Heights alone, 42 Jewish settlements are built housing 18,000 Israelis. In the West Bank, the settlements break up Arab communities as agricultural land is stolen for their construction.

During the war, the USS Liberty, an unarmed USA spy ship is attacked by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats off the coast of Egypt. 34 USA sailors are killed. Other USA naval ships based in the Mediteranean assume that Egypt was the attacker and send out nuclear capable warplanes to attack Cairo. These are called back by the USA leadership at the last moment. The story is then buried - for example it appears on page 29 of the USA newspaper, the New York Times. The Israelis apologise, saying the attack was an accident.

The surviving crew members are told not to discuss the incident on pain of court-martial. Their medals are awarded without publicity; the citations failing to mention Israel. The crew are separated by being given different postings.

30 years later, a USA-Israeli plot is exposed. The idea was to attack a USA ship, blame the Egyptians and use the incident as an excuse to invade Egypt and depose the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat. The plan, Operation Cyanide, had been discussed two months before the war by a secret organisation called the 303 Committee.

Israel since 1967
In 1967 Israel occupies Gaza (from Egypt), the West Bank and East Jerusalem (from Jordan) and the Golan Heights (from Syria). The Golan was never part of the original United Nations Partition Plan.

Israel has since maintained that the country went to war because of the threat of an imminent attack from Egypt after Egyptian president Abdul Nasser moved troops into the Sinai Peninsula. Yitzak Rabin (a later Prime Minister of Israel) is quoted in the French newspaper, La Monde (29 February 1968): "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions that he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it." In 1982, Menachem Begin (another prime Minister of Israel) made a speech in which he stated that "The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

Israel has also maintained that the war was necessary because the combined power of the Arab states was a threat to Israel's existence. A month before the war, the USA CIA produced a report that supported a conclusion reached by the UK MI6: Israel would win a war with one or all of the Arab states, whoever attacked first, within a week. In 1972, General Mattityahu Peled (a military planner for the 1967 war) wrote in the Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv that: "There is no reason to hide the fact that since 1949 no one dared, or more precisely, no one was able to threaten the existence of Israel". He concluded "To claim that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel's existence not only insults the intelligence of anyone capable of analysing this kind of situation, but is an insult to [the Israeli army]."

Coup in Greece

In Greece, a military coup led by ex-Nazi George Papadopoulolis overthrows the elected government of Andreas Papandreou. During World War II, Papadopoulolis had been a captain in the Nazi Security Battalions, whose purpose was to catch members of the Greek Resistance for Germany.

The coup had been planned by the Greek monarchy, the Greek military, the American military stationed in Greece and the USA CIA.

During the first month of the new regime 8,000 people are imprisoned and tortured. Greece is expelled from the European Commission on Human Rights, but continues to receive aid from the USA in return for housing American military bases. The country continues to be part of NATO and trade with the West.

Amnesty International would later report that "American policy on the torture question as expressed in official statements and official testimony has been to deny it where possible and minimize it where denial was not possible. This policy flowed naturally from general support for the military regime".

The USA writer James Becket describes many victims being told by Basil Lambrou, one of the chief interrogators: "Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the USA. You can't fight us, we are Americans".

Greece would not return to democratic government until 1974.

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.

Cuba (Assassination of Che Guevara)

The USA CIA is implicated in several plots to assassinate Che Guevara, a member of the government in Cuba. A CIA operation with support from Cuban exiles finally tracks him down to Bolivia where he is killed.

UK in Aden and Yemen

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

Elections in Nicaragua

Rigged elections in Nicaragua keep the USA backed Samoza dynasty in power. The West recognises the new government.

The Vietnam-USA War

The war in Vietnam continues with 80 South Vietnamese civilians killed by "friendly fire" from USA planes.

The Australian journalist, John Pilger visits a hospital in Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. A region bombed heavily by USA B-52 bombers:

"'I guess he's around ten years old,' said the young American doctor, a volunteer. Before us was a child whose nose and chin had merged, whose eyes apparently could not close and whose skin, once brown, was now red and black and papery, like frayed cloth. 'Beats me how these kids live through all that shit out there,' says the doctor, 'This one's been burned with Napalm B. That's the stuff made from benzene, polystyrene and gasoline. It sticks to the body and is impossible to get off, and either burns the victim to death or suffocates him by using up all the oxygen.'"

The CIA runs Operation Phoenix to identify and kill alleged resistance leaders operating in Vietnamese villages. About 20,000 people are killed.


1968

Vietnam (My Lai)

In Vietnam, USA troops of Charlie Company led by Lieutenant William Calley, carry out a massacre in the village of My Lai.

More than 200 civilians are blown up with grenades, bayoneted and shot. Several young girls are raped before being killed. The killings take four hours including a lunch break next to a pile of corpses. The only American casualty is a soldier who shoots himself in the foot. Some of the victims had been mutilated by having "C Company" carved onto their chests.

One woman, Truong Thi Le, survives under the bodies of her relatives, including nine children. She tells her story to a journalist:

"It was 6 o'clock in the morning. Suddenly this helicopter was manoeuvring above the house, then we saw soldiers come across the fields. They ordered all the families out and told us to march towards the ditch. If we walked too slowly, they prodded us with their guns. We came to an assembly point and huddled together; then they shot us one by one. I saw a little boat and used it cover my son, and dead bodies fell down on me. I kept telling my son, who was six years old, 'Please don't cry. They will hear us if you do.'"

"When the Americans had finished and walked away, I waited, then stood up with my boy; I felt I was walking in the sky; I didn't have any kind of feelings. I was covered in blood and pieces of human brain, which smelt terrible. On the way back we had to walk in the field because the pathway was covered with bodies; I saw a mother die here, children there. They even killed the ox and buffaloes. When we reached our home, it was burned down. It was only then I realised a bullet [had] passed right through me, but I was still alive; I was alive."

One of the soldiers later states:

"You didn't have to look for people to kill, they were just there. I cut their throats, cut off their hands, cut out their tongues, scalped them. I did it. A lot of people were doing it and I just followed. I just lost all sense of direction."

Although there are over 600 reporters in Vietnam and the massacre becomes known to them, it takes over a year for the story to be published. It eventually appears on the cover of the USA magazine, Newsweek with the headline "An American Tragedy".

Several years later, there is a court martial but most of the perpetrators of the massacre are never punished and those that are receive short sentences.

My Lai lies in Quang Ngai Province. The USA had declared this area a free fire zone (meaning that they could shoot at anything that moved). When My Lai was attacked, 70% of all villages and hamlets in the province had already been razed.

The My Lai Massacre

The My Lai Massacre

The My Lai Massacre

Over 200 civilians are killed by USA soldiers in the village of My Lai. The media held the story for months before it became public knowledge. Colin Powell, later in the USA government, was involved in the cover-up.

There are now half a million USA troops in Vietnam. Civilians are being killed at the rate of 50,000 every year. There is so much destruction in South Vietnam that one soldier says of a town in the Mekong Delta: "we had to destroy it to save it"!

Civilians living in houses made of straw and tin are bombed by USA B-52 bombers. Many are attacked with napalm. This is a substance made from benzene, polystyrene and gasoline that catches fire and sticks to flesh. The victim is either burned to death or suffocated by lack of oxygen.

One terrified little girl is photographed running naked after her village has been attacked with napalm. Images like this put pressure on the USA and it agrees to stop bombing North Vietnam.

Napalm

Children running after a napalm attack. The girl in the centre has had her clothes and part of her skin burnt off.
This photograph showed the people of the USA what their government was doing in Vietnam and helped turn public opinion.

Two million people are refugees in their own country.

Rhodesia

An independence movement begins in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe).

Jordan

Israel bombs Jordan.

USA (Assassination of Martin Luther King)

Riots occur in the USA after the suspicious assassination of the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King. Killings occur after the desegregation of a bowling alley.

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.

Bikini Atoll

Residents who used to live on Bikini Atoll on the Marshall Islands had been removed from their homes by the USA during atom bomb tests in the 1950s. The USA government advises the people that their island has been cleared and they are encouraged to return.

In 1983 they would be informed that they have been exposed to massive does of radiation and could only live there if they did not eat any home grown food. The islands are now deserted.


1969

USA and Cambodia

The USA had secretely begun to bomb Cambodia in 1965.

At this time, USA B-52 planes begin secret carpet bombing of the country. This term means bombing indiscriminately. The bombing would continue until 1973 and would eventually destroy the country's stability leading to the chaos and anarchy of the killing fields under the Khmer Rouge.

According to Ben Kiernan, director of the Genocide Studies Program: "... beginning in 1969 the [USA] Air Force deployed B-52s over Cambodia. The new rationale for the bombings was that they would keep enemy forces at bay long enough to allow the United States to withdraw from Vietnam. Former US General Theodore Mataxis depicted the move as 'a holding action . . . . The troika's going down the road and the wolves are closing in, and so you throw them something off and let them chew it.' The result was that Cambodians essentially became cannon fodder to protect American lives."

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.

Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians

Israel attacks Suez in Egypt. There is conflict in Israeli controlled Sinai as Egypt attempts to regain lost territory. Between 1967 and 1970, Israel bombs targets in Egypt including the city of Ismailia, creating up to 1,500,000 refugees. More than 10,000 Egyptians are killed.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir maintains that "there is no such thing as Palestinians; they never existed".

Moshe Dayan (the Israeli Defence Minister) addressing the Israel Institute of Technology admits:

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Settlement building the in the occupied territories continues. Several new political parties affirm that the land should be retained as it was given to the Jews by God.

The Vietnam-USA War

The number of USA troops in Vietnam peaks at 541,500. In the USA 250,000 people demonstrate against this involvement in Washington DC.

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.

Chemical Warfare (USA)

Between 1967 and 1969 the USA sprays Agent Orange over 23,607 acres (95km2) in the border region between North Korea and South Korea. Agent Orange is a defoliant and contains dioxin, a chemical producing cancer and genetic defects in babies.

In previous years over 500 people from 36 countries (including Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and South Vietnam) have been trained in the use of chemical and biological warfare at the USA army's Chemical School at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

The International Red Cross verified that USA-trained pilots from Egypt had dropped canisters of poison gas over Yemen in 1967. Over 150 villagers died after gagging, coughing and bleeding.


1970

Cambodia

USA and South Vietnamese troops invade Cambodia. The King, Norodom Sihanouk, is deposed in a USA-backed coup by Lol Nol.

The King had refused USA requests to participate in the Vietnam-USA War. The new leader immediately commits troops to this conflict. This unpopular policy strengthens minor movements like the Khmer Rouge, who would eventually become powerful enough to cause chaos in the country.

Vietnam

The USA resumes air raids in North Vietnam.

The USA government bans the use of Agent Orange (a defoliant containing dioxin) on American farmlands. The USA military continues to use the chemical in Vietnam to remove the jungle cover form its enemies. It is sprayed over large areas of the country by C-130 aircraft.

Defolients in Vietnam
The USA uses chemical warfare against Vietnam when Agent Orange is sprayed to defoliate vast areas of the country. The USA has since failed to abide by the terms of treaties controlling the use of chemical weapons.

Dioxin is a poison that causes miscarriages, foetal death, chromosome damage, deformities and cancer. In Vietnam the chemical has produced babies born without eyes, with deformed hearts, with mis-shapen heads, with small brains, and with missing limbs. Over 2 million Vietnamese are affected as well as thousands of American soldiers. Over 50,000 children have been born with these types of deformities in Vietnam. Cases of chorioncarcinoma (cancer of the pregnancy) are common.

Dr Pham Viet Thanh of the Tu Bu hospital reports that requests for help to Germany, UK, Japan and the USA in dealing with these medical conditions are ignored or refused.

Agent Orange (Dioxin)
Agent Orange 2

Over 50,000 children are born deformed after the USA uses Agent Orange over Vietnam. Agent Orange contains the poison Dioxin which causes mutations in fetuses. No compensation has ever been paid.

The USA sprays CS Gas into Vietnamese tunnels and caves causing thousands of people to choke to death on their own vomit. Women and children are among the victims. Other symptoms include destroyed eyeballs, blistered faces and scorched skin.

Cyrus Vance, the USA Secretary of Defence, admits that cyanide and arsenic are also being used along with napalm (which sticks to the skin while it burns) and naphthalene flame throwers.

Laos

USA forces use sarin nerve gas when attacking a village in Laos. Over 100 people are killed including a number of American military defectors. Sarin gas kills within minutes when inhaled or from a drop on the skin. The chemical inhibits muscle movement causing convulsions and vomiting. One unprotected USA soldier suffers creeping paralysis, permanent damage from the nerve gas.

When the USA television company, CNN breaks the story in 1998, USA government pressure produces a retraction and the sacking of staff.

USA

In the USA, six unarmed students are shot by police while demonstrating against the war in Vietnam.

Guatemala

Guatemala uses death squads to kill opponents of the regime. The West says nothing and does not report the atrocities committed.

Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians

Jordan attacks and destroys Palestinian bases. Israel and the USA prepare to intervene on side of Jordan if Syria backs the Palestinians.

Israel bombs Cairo (Egypt) causing many civilian casualties, including 30 school children.

Israel and Jordan are both supported and armed by the West.

Coup in Bolivia

A military coup overthrows the government of Bolivia. The coup is led by USA trained officer and Gulf Oil beneficiary, Hugo Banzer with direct support from the USA. During the coup, Banzer's forces have a breakdown in radio communications; USA Air Force radio is placed at their disposal.

The previous president (Juan Jose Torres) had nationalised Gulf Oil properties and tin mines owned by USA companies.

Within two years, 2,000 people are arrested and tortured without trial. The native Aymara and Quechua people are ordered off their land and deprived of tribal identity. Tens of thousands of white South Africans are enticed to immigrate with promises of the land stolen from the indigenous people. Catholic clergy who aid the victims are harassed and killed.

USA and Uruguay

Alejandro Otero, the former Chief of Police Intelligence of Uruguay admits that the USA trained Uruguayan police officers to torture political prisoners in the 1960s.

In an interview in the Brazilian newspaper, Jornal do Brazil, the former Chief says that Dan Mitrione (from the USA Office of Public Safety) built a soundproof room in the cellar of his house in Montevideo. He assembled a group of police officers and had four beggars rounded up as subjects. Mitione demonstrated the effect of different voltages on different parts of the body. All four died. Mitrone is quoted as telling the officers: "When you get what you want, and I always get it, it may be good to prolong the session a little to apply another softening up. Not to extract information now, but only as a political measure, to create a healthy fear of medling in subversive activities."

Mitrone had previously been assigned in Brazil where he taught police how to use electric shock to torture victims without killing them.

In 1998 retired Uruguayan naval admiral, Eladio Moll, would explain: "The guidance that was sent from the USA was that what had to be done with the captured guerrillas was to get information, and that afterwards they didn't deserve to live".

Oman

The USA helps and directs a secret invasion of Oman by Iran.


1971

Pakistan, Bangladesh

Pakistan had been composed of two sections: West Pakistan (with a Punjabi and Sindhi majority as well as significant minorities of Pashtun, Kashmiri and Baluchi) and East Pakistan (with a Bengali majority).

In the elections, a political party representing East Pakistanis wins the free elections but is denied power by the ruling West Pakistanis. The West Pakistan army invades East Pakistan killing over 2,500,000 people. The army uses mass rape as an instrument of terror against civilians.

Western countries had funded Pakistan's military and the country was an ally of the USA. East Pakistan becomes independent as Bangladesh.

Switzerland

Switzerland finally agrees to allow women to vote.

Israel in Gaza

Under the name "Pacification of Gaza", Israel, under Ariel Sharon, imposes a brutal policy of repression on the Gaza Strip, blowing up houses, bulldozing large tracts of refugee camps, imposing severe collective punishments and imprisoning hundreds of young Palestinians. Numerous civilians are killed or unjustly imprisoned, their houses demolished. The whole area is effectively transformed into a prison or ghetto.

UK and Northern Ireland

The UK introduces imprisonment without trial in Northern Ireland.

Coup in Turkey

A military coup occurs in Turkey. The country continues to receive aid from the West and is part of NATO.

Coup in Thailand

Another military coup occurs in Thailand.

The West continues trading and supporting this country. The USA uses Thailand as a "rest and recreation" centre for its soldiers serving in Vietnam. This helps make Thailand into a major destination for sex tourists.

Elections in Indonesia

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

USA and China

The USA begins trading with China, a country ruled by an unelected government that violates human rights.

Laos

Troops from the USA backed South Vietnam invade Laos.

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.

Haiti

Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier succeeds his father in Haiti.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, the USA's Ninth Infantry Division completes a campaign called "Operation Speedy Express" against the Vietnamese. American officials later admit that 5000 non-combatants had been killed.

The USA magazine Newsweek holds the story for 6 months before publishing it.

Cuba

The USA CIA gives Cuban exiles living in Florida (USA) a virus that causes African swine fever. Less than 2 months later, the disease breaks out in Cuba causing the slaughter of 500,000 pigs. This was the first outbreak in the Americas.


1972

USA in North Vietnam

USA B-52 planes bomb Hanoi and Haiphong in North Vietnam killing many civilians. This is one of the heaviest bombing campaigns against civilian targets.

USA warships blockade North Vietnamese ports.

UK in Northern Ireland

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

Philippines

Ferdinand Marcos assumes dictatorial powers in the Philippines. Martial Law is imposed until 1981. Opponents are arrested or exiled (including Benigno Aquino who is assassinated on his return in 1983 at the airport). The USA supports the country and has several bases there.

Since his election in 1965, the national debt of the Philippines grew from $ 2,000 million to $ 30,000 million; USA corporations in the Philippines prospered. The USA continues to back the Marcos regime.

Cambodia

The USA backed Lon Nol assumes dictatorial powers in Cambodia.

Nicaragua

An earthquake occurs in Nicaragua. The USA backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle loots the property of people who had left their homes and then siphons international aid of $ 30 million into its own pockets. The USA sends troops to protect American business interests and continue to back the regime.

El Salvador

Jose Duarte wins the election in El Salvador but is immediately removed and exiled by the USA backed military. Just 14 families run most of the country's businesses, mainly coffee growing.

Berundi

200,000 Hutus are murdered by the ruling Tutsis in Berundi. Christian missionaries based in the country and the West, who have coffee plantations, ignore the massacre.

Lebanon and Syria

Up to 500 Lebanese and Syrian civilians are killed in air attacks by Israel in response to the killing of 11 athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich (West Germany).

The attacks occur as nine separate but simultaneous air raids by Phantoms and Skyhawks on Lebanon and Syria. In al-Hama, a suburb of Damascus, houses are bombed indiscriminately and people are machine gunned as they run for cover.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the air raids.

USA and Australia

The USA CIA channels millions of dollars to unsuccessfully block the election of Edward Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister of Australia.

USA and Iraq

The USA provides $16 million worth of military aid to Kurdish rebels in Iraq. The purpose is to tie up Iraq's resources and please USA ally, Iran.

A USA CIA memo of 1974 would admit: "Iran, like ourselves, has seen benefit in a stalemate situation... in which Iraq is intrinsically weakened by the Kurd's refusal to relinquish semi-autonomy. Neither Iran nor ourselves wish to see the matter resolved one way or the other".

UK and Rhodesia

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

Israel and the Beduin

Israel expels 6,000 Beduin from Rafah in the North East Sinai. Their houses are demolished, their wells poisoned and a barbed wire fence is built to keep them out. The site is developed and the Beduin are then employed as labourers or night watchmen.


1973

Coup in Chile (Allende and Pinochet)

Augusto Pinochet takes power in a USA backed military coup against the democratically elected government of Chile. President Salvador Allende is killed when the palace in Santiago is bombed. The USA had attempted to sabotage Allende's election campaigns in 1964 (successfully) and 1970 (unsuccessfully).

This is the end of 150 years of democracy in the country. According to Pinochet: "Democracy is the breeding ground of communism".

During the coup, hundreds are herded into a football stadium where many are executed by the military. At least 5,000 people are killed, tens of thousands are tortured, over 9,000 are exiled and around 250,000 are interred in concentration camps. Specially trained dogs are used to sexually molest female prisoners. Women are stopped in the street and have their trousers slit by soldiers: "In Chile women wear dresses". Many books are burned.

The political singer, Victor Jara, is tortured and shot, his body dumped in the street. Even nationals of other countries are victims including citizens of the UK, Spain and even the USA (Charles Horman and Frank Terruggi). These events are shown in the USA made film, Missing.

The USA and most Western governments recognise, praise and trade with the new regime that rules with terror for the next 17 years. The coup is the culmination of three years of USA planning. In 1970, the USA Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had commented on the results of the elections in Chile that had brought Allende to power:

"I don't see why we have to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."

During this period, the director of the CIA, Richard Helms, informed his staff that:

"President Nixon [has] decided that an Allende regime in Chile was not acceptable to the United States. The President asked the Agency to prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him."

The CIA had planted news articles around the world about "Chile's peril". The articles were part of a covert propaganda campaign which, the CIA boasted, resulted in at least 726 stories, broadcasts and editorials against an Allende presidency. The USA began planning to remove Allende in secret. A CIA memo states:

"Dr. Kissinger discussed his desire that the word of our encouragement to the Chilean military in recent weeks be kept as secret as possible."

A cable from CIA headquarters to Henry Hecksher, the CIA station chief in Santiago, revealed:

"It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup ... prior to October 24, but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource.... It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the [USA government] and American hand be well hidden. Please review all your present and possibly new activities to include propaganda, black operations, surfacing of intelligence or disinformation, personal contacts, or anything else your imagination can conjure which will permit you to continue to press forward toward our [deleted] objective."

Economic pressure was put onto the new regime. At the World Bank, USA officials worked behind the scenes to ensure that Chile would be disqualified for a pending $ 21,000,000 livestock improvement credit as well as future loans.

The mix of economic sabotage, political propaganda and army prodding works. Allende finds himself confronted by growing disorder and soaring inflation. At every turn, his policies encounter well-funded adversaries. On 11 September 1973, amid the mounting chaos, Chile's military strike. In a classic coup d'etat, the army seizes control of strategic sites throughout the country and corners Allende in his presidential offices. He dies in a fire-fight, apparently shooting himself in the head to avoid capture.

A report written by the USA's Marine Lt. Col. Patrick Ryan in Valparaiso asserts that "Chile's coup de etat was close to perfect". A few years later, Kissinger would assure Pinochet that "In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here... We wish your government well".

Three weeks after the coup, the USA's President Nixon authorises $ 24,000,000 in commodity credits to buy wheat. A second $ 24,000,000 in commodity credits to Chile for feed corn is authorised. Two destroyers are transferred to the Chilean navy.

Armando Fernandez Larios (responsible for killing 72 political prisoners) later moves to the USA where his extradition to a democratic Chile is refused.

In 2005, a film biography of Allende would have senior CIA operatives saying he was "an exceptionally civilised man". His warning about multinational companies at the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 has been proved correct. He warned of "a coming conflict between multinationals and democratic governments. They operate without assuming their responsibilities. They share no instinct for the common interest. The political system of the world is weakening as a result."

Israel and the Palestinians, Lebanon, Libya

Israel kills 3 Palestinian leaders in Lebanon.

Israeli forces shoot down a Libyan airliner flying over the Sinai Peninsula (occupied by Israel), killing all 106 passengers.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution affirming the rights of Palestinians and calling on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.

Coup in Greece

Another military coup occurs in Greece with one general deposing another. The country remains in NATO.

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.

USA and Cambodia

B-52 bombers from the USA bomb Cambodia for 160 consecutive days; the targets are rice fields, water buffalo, and villages, particularly along the Mekong River.

Since the bombing began (in 1969) the amount of bombs dropped on Cambodia is 50% more than the non-nuclear explosives dropped on Japan during World War II. Cambodia is a peasant society with no air force or ground defenses. During the bombing, 600,000 people die and 2,000,000 become refugees.

According to figures released in 2007 by the USA, between 1965 and 1973, 2,756,941 tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia, during 230,516 raids on 113,716 targets. This compares with 2 million tons of bombs during all of World War II, including the nuclear bombs. Some historians believe that Cambodia may be the most bombed country in history.

USA and Arab Oil

In the USA publication, New York Times Magazine (16 December), Walter Laqueur suggests that Arab oil "should be internationalised... for the benefit of the rest of mankind". If force was used "all that is at stake is the fate of some desert sheikdoms."


1974

Turkey in Cyprus

Greece attempts to unite itself with Cyprus, which has a majority of Greeks and a minority of Turks. Turkey invades and divides the island.

37% of the country is occupied with 40,000 troops stationed on the island. Eventually 120.000 Turkish settlers ("colonists") would move to the north of the island.

Both Greece and Turkey are NATO members so little is said. The UK, one of the three guarantors of Cypriot independence, has bases on the island but does nothing.

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel attacks Palestinian refugee camps.

USA and Vietnam

The USA introduces a trade embargo on Vietnam that lasts until 1994.

Zaire

The USA sends $1,400,000 to assist troops fighting a civil war in Zaire. The USA backed ruler, Mobutu Sese Seko, keeps the entire sum.

Zaire has more resources than most other countries in the region; the corrupt regime keeps this country so poor that one third of Zaire's children die before the age of five. Imprisonment and torture, often without trial, are commonly used against Mobutu's opponents.

Ethiopia (The Fall of Halie Selassie)

Emperor Halie Selassie is overthrown in Ethiopia. He had been supported by the USA in return for bases on the Red Sea.

The USA had given the country millions in aid and had bought Selassie a $ 2,000,000 yacht while Ethiopia was the poorest nation in Africa with a literacy rate was 7%.

Portugal

After 48 years, the fascist dictatorship in Portugal is brought down in a bloodless coup. The country begins a program of land reform, worker rights and decolonisation. The USA finances the opposition media, opposition political parties and candidates and attacks the new government in its media.

Naval and air exercises off the coast of Portugal with 19 NATO warships moored in Lisbon harbour is seen by most Portuguese as intimidation.


1975

End of Vietnam-USA War

The war in Vietnam ends with victory for North Vietnam. American citizens are evacuated from Saigon while loyal South Vietnamese who had supported the Americans are abandoned to their fate. 7000 people are air lifted from Saigon in 18 hours. The country is united for the first time since World War II with its capital in Hanoi.

During the various USA bombing campaigns in Vietnam (as well as Cambodia and Laos), over 3,000,000 civilians have died. Over 300,000 soldiers are "missing in action" (MIA).

58,022 Americans were killed in Vietnam.

USA movies tend to show the conflict as an American tragedy with the local people as background. The Vietnamese are referred to as gooks, dinks, and slopes. Soldiers of the National Liberation Front which defeated the world's mightiest superpower are given the name Vietcong or called Indians.

Media articles describe the USA invasion of Vietnam as involvement.

In 1973, USA president, Richard Nixon had signed a secret cease fire agreement with Pham Van Dong, the Prime Minister of the Vietnam government in Hanoi. In this agreement, the USA had agreed to pay $3,250 million in reparations at the end of the war. The money would be used to rebuild Vietnam after 30 years of war against Japan (1940 to 1945), the UK (1945), France (1945 to 1954) and the USA (1954 to 1975).

None of this money has ever been paid. Instead the USA freezes Vietnamese assets of $70 million and later sets up a blockade against the country. Under USA pressure, the World Bank suspends a grant for irrigation that would have increased food capacity.

The USA had used chemical warfare on Vietnam by spraying Agent Orange over large areas. This defoliant contains dioxin which produces cancers and birth defects. Over 50,000 children had been affected. The USA has never paid compensation for health problems produced.

Instead, in 1997, Vietnam would begin to pay the USA $145,000,000 of debts incurred by the USA backed government of South Vietnam after pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge

Cambodia, after years of American bombing, degenerates into the killing fields under the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot.

The anarchistic regime is responsible for killing up to 2,500,000 people between 1975 and 1979. Cities are emptied and the population relocated to the countryside. Most of the educated people are exiled or killed. Thailand and the Western governments give diplomatic and practical support to this regime because they are opposed to USSR backed Vietnam.

The USA made film, The Killing Fields is based on these events.

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.

Saudi Arabia

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is assassinated and King Khalid takes over. The West supports this country even though no elections ever take place.

USA Race Riots

Riots occur in the USA after attempts to desegregate (mix racially) schools.

Many whites (descendents of migrants to the country from Europe) dislike sharing facilities with the blacks (descendents of slaves from Africa). The original inhabitants of the continent are marginalised and have little say in the running of the country.

India, Bangladesh

Opposition leaders are arrested in India. A miliary coup occurs in Bangaldesh, a country trading with India.

USA and Zaire

The USA CIA is implicated in a plot to assassinate the leader of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko.

Israel and Lebanon

In Kawnin, Lebanon, an Israeli tank runs over a car carrying 16 people who are all killed.

Kurds in Iraq

The USA had supported Kurdish rebels in Iraq since 1972 in order to weaken Iraq and please Iran.

When Iran reaches an agreement with Iraq and seals the border; the Iraqis kill many Kurds while the USA denies them refuge and ignores their pleas for help. In the Pike Committee hearings, Henry Kissinger explains that "covert action should not be confused with missionary work". At the same hearings the CIA admit that "even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise".

Henry Kissinger

The USA Secreteary of State, Henry Kissinger, meets with diplomats from Chile to discuss the regime's human rights record. He begins the meeting with the following statement:

"I read the briefing paper for this meeting and it was nothing but human rights. The State Department is made up of people who have a vocation for the ministry. Because there were not enough churches for them, they went into the Department of State!"

Spain (Death of Franco)

General Francisco Bahamonde Franco, dictator of Spain since 1939, dies. Democracy returns to the county.

During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, Franco was supported and helped by Adolf Hitler (Nazi Germany), Benito Mussolini (Fascist Italy) and several USA companies (Ford, General Motors and Studebaker) who supplied 12,000 trucks.

Under Franco, all political parties and trade (labour) unions were banned, books were burned, and dissenters were tortured and executed. Between 1939 and 1975, the regime executed 192,684 people.

The USA had supported the country financially.

Western Sahara

Morocco invades the Western Sahara. Although the International Court of Justice rules that Morocco has no historical claims to the territory, the USA backs the country diplomatically and financially in the war to annex the area. In return, the USA is allowed emergency bases for planes.

The Moroccan ruler, King Hassan ll, lives in extreme luxury with 7 palaces, 260 horses, camels, ostriches, zebras, 1000 head of cattle, a 1500 acre dairy farm, and 2 harems. In contrast, 95% of the population lives in abject poverty. Members of the opposition are arrested and tortured.

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

Coup in Argentina

A military coup occurs in Argentina.

The new government bans all political parties. For 8 years, the government conducts a "dirty war" against opponents. 9,000 people disappear never to be seen again. Later, it is admitted that many were tortured, drugged and dropped from aircraft into the sea.

Pregnant women are kept alive until the birth of their child and then killed. The child is farmed out to orphanages to be adopted by military families and supporters of the regime. Up to 500 children are kidnapped in this way; many being raised by their mothers' killers.

One victim is Silvia Quintela, a doctor who attends to the sick in shanty towns around Buenos Aires. Quintela is abducted off a street by military authorities because of her political leanings. At the time, she and her agronomist husband Abel Madariaga are expecting their first child.

Quintela is held at a military base called Campo de Mayo, where she gives birth to a baby boy. The infant is separated from the mother. Quintela is transferred to a nearby airfield. There, victims are stripped naked, shackled in groups and dragged aboard military planes. The planes then fly out over the Rio de la Plata where soldiers push the victims out of the planes and into the water to drown.

The government is supported by the West until the invasion of the Falklands / Malvinas Islands in 1983.

Relatives of the regime's victims still march every Thursday at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires looking for justice.

Jorge Enrico, one of the notorious torturers, later moved to the USA (Hawaii).

Nicaragua

In Nicaragua thousands of opponents to the USA backed government are massacred.

USA and Jamaica

After failing to stop the re-election of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley, the USA CIA is implicated in a plot to assassinate him. Manley had established diplomatic relations with Cuba and had antagonised USA owned aluminium companies.

USA and Cuba

A passenger airliner from Cuba is blown up killing 73 people. The act is attributed by the bombers to Luis Posada Carriles.

Posada was trained by the USA's CIA and later turns up supplying the anti Nicaragua Contras for the USA covert war against that country. In the 1990s he would be involved in destabilising Honduras.

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.

Lebanon

Israeli forces besiege and shell the village of Hanin in Lebanon, killing 20 people. Bint Jbeil is shelled killing 23.

The USA vetoes four separate United Nations resolutions. The first condemns Israeli attacks against Lebanese civilians. The second condemns Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories. The third calls for self determination for the Palestinians. The fourth affirms Palestinian rights.

Coup in Thailand

Another military coup occurs in Thailand.

During most of Thailand's recent history, the country has been ruled by the military. The USA has several large bases in the country at Udorn, Takli, Korat, and Ubon.

Indonesia

The USA increases its military aid for Indonesia to $ 146,000,000 even though much of the hardware will be used against civilians in East Timor.

Philippines

A report from Amnesty International identifies 88 government torturers in the Philippines. The report states that alleged subversives have their heads slammed into walls, their genitals and pubic hair torched, and are beaten with clubs, fists, bottles, and rifle butts. Over 60,000 people have been arrested for political reasons.

The Philippine ruler, Ferdinand Marcos, is supported by the USA which had recently approved a $ 88,000,000 World Bank loan to his regime. A few years later, George Bush (then USA Vice President) would praise Marcos for his "adherence to democratic principals and to the democratic processes".

USA and Vietnam

The USA vetos a United Nations Security Council resolution to admit Vietnam.

Vietnam had been a French colony before World War II. The country had been occupied by the Japanese during the War. France regained control of the southern part of the country after 1945 but were finally ejected in 1954 when the USA took control of the south. After a long and bitter war, the USA were ejected in 1975 and the country re-united. The separate parts of the country had attempted to join the United Nations during 1976 but the USA vetoed 4 resolutions denying them entry.


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.

Coup in Pakistan

A military coup occurs in Pakistan.

General Zia Ul-Haq takes power and deposes the Prime Minister, Zulfikir Bhutto (who is executed in 1979). Martial Law lasts until 1985. The new government continues to receive aid and arms from the USA.

Chile

Political parties are banned in Chile by the USA backed Augusto Pinochet regime. The previous year, the USA Secretary of State (Henry Kissinger) had told Pinochet:

"In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here."

Panama

After over 70 years, Panama regains control of its canal from the USA.

Egypt

After offers of American aid, Egypt begins to normalise relations with Israel.

Egypt has an un-elected leader, Anwar Sadat, while Israel is occupying large areas of Palestine and building settlements (colonies) on occupied land in violation of United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Convention.

Israel and Egypt become the largest recipients of USA aid. Much resentment is engendered amongst the Arab populations of both countries.

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".

Zaire

The USA sends extensive military support (including soldiers from Morocco) to Zaire in support of the brutal dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko. This is repeated in 1978.


1978

Israel and Lebanon

Israel invades Lebanon to remove PLO bases. Over 700 Palestinians and Lebanese are killed.

At Abbasieh, the mosque is shelled killing 80 people who had taken shelter inside; at Adloun, Israeli soldiers shoot at a car killing 7 people

The United Nations forces Israel to withdraw. Instead of handing control to the United Nations forces sent to the region, Israel gives control to Christian militias which it controls.

The USA vetoes three United Nations resolutions. The first urging the permanent members (USA, USSR, UK, France, China) to insure United Nations decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security. The actual vote is 119 to 2 (Israel also voted against).

The second criticising the living conditions of the Palestinians (110 to 2). The third condemning the Israeli human rights record in occupied territories (97 to 3).

Rhodesia

Rhodesian (later Zimbabwe) forces kill 90 opposition supporters during elections.

Between 1971 and 1978, United Nations sanctions had been in place on Rhodesia. Three countries had violated the sanctions: The USA, Portugal (under a Fascist regime), and South Africa (under apartheid).

Coup in Guatemala

General Lucas Garcia takes power in Guatemala in a military coup. This is one of the country's most brutal regimes, killing 20,000 civilians mainly by death squads. The USA continues to finance the military and trade with the country.

South Africa and Angola

In the Kassinga refugee camp in Angola, over 600 civilians are killed by the South African military.

Development

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution calling for developed countries to increase the quantity and quality of development assistance to underdeveloped countries. The vote is 119 to 1.


1979

Iran (Fall of the Shah)

Iran, under the Western backed Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, executes several government officials. The West does little as the Shah allows oil and business concessions.

The Ayatolla Khomeini overthrows the Shah. The new government has an equally bad human rights record but is denounced by the West because it removes the business concessions enjoyed by Western companies.

The Shah flees to the USA. Iranians occupy the American Embassy demanding the Shah's repatriation. In response, the USA freezes Iran's assets in America. General Mansour Moharari (one of the Shah's torturers) also flees to the USA.

In 1973 USA Senator, Henry Jackson had boasted that "the strength and Western orientation of Israel on the Mediterranean and Iran [under the Shah] on the Persian Gulf [are] two reliable friends of the United States [who] have served to inhibit and contain those irresponsible and radical elements in certain Arab States who, were they free to do so, would pose a grave threat indeed to our principal sources of petroleum in the Persian Gulf".

Nicaragua (Fall of Samosa)

After 46 years of USA support, President Carter suspends aid to Nicaragua because of its human rights abuses.

The American backed Samoza had amassed $900,000,000 and kept the population under control by carpet bombing, helicopter gun ships, death squads and chemical defoliants. The population eventually expel the hated regime after 30,000 people have died.

A few months earlier the USA had supported a $ 66 million loan to the regime from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) while Samoza's National Guard were bombing slums, killing civilians in city streets and mass looting.

The new government (called the Sandinistas) introduces a literacy campaign and health provisions for all citizens. Within a decade, the country's child mortality rate would fall from 128 to 62 per thousand births.

Israeli Settlements

The United Nations confirms that the policy of building settlements (colonies) on occupied Palestinian territory by Israel is illegal.

In Israel the Peace Now movement is founded after 350 Israeli reservists write to the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, accusing him of prefering to build settlements rather than make peace. The letter was a response to announcements of new settlements deep in the West Bank.

Rhodesia and Zambia

Rhodesian (later Zimbabwe) warplanes attack dissidents in Zambia.

Central Africa

Over 100 children are killed by police in Central Africa. They had been protesting against having to buy all their school uniforms from shops owned by the president. This country is backed by France and financed by South Africa and USA.

Afghanistan

The USA funds extreme Islamic fighters in Afghanistan to repel an invasion by the USSR. These fighters are trained by the USA and its allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Ossama Bin Laden, a Saudi businessman, is encouraged by the USA to set up training camps in Afganistan. In one action, Bin Laden led his men to attack a mixed school (of boys and girls - set up by the previous regime) and kill all the teachers.

After the defeat of the USSR, the fighters turn on each other. After years of atrocities the country comes under the Taliban. They introduce an extreme form of Islam in the country and are politically and culturally anti-Western. Education for girls and women is banned and women must be completely covered if going out.

No help or support is offered to Afganistan by the USA or Europe once the USSR is expelled and the country is left to stagnate.

In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to the USA president, Jimmy Carter, would admit that the USA began sending military aid to Afghanistan's Islamic fighters six months before the USSR invasion. He believed (and told the president) that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention". Brzezinski went on to say "The secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap... Indeed for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war..."

The suffering of the Afghan people was a side issue of the Cold War. 50% of the Aghan population would end up dead, disabled, or as refugees.

Greeks in Turkey

Turkey disallows the use of the term "Greek Orthodox" in official documents referring to Greeks in the city of Antioch. Many Greek surnames are forcibly Turkified.

Coup in South Korea

General Chun Doo-Hwan takes power in a coup in South Korea. His regime is armed and supported by the USA. One year later, the general orders the killing of hundreds of civilians in Kwangju.

Cambodia (Fall of Pol Pot)

In Cambodia the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot is toppled by Vietnam. After four years of terror, over 2,500,000 people have died under the regime.

The USA ensures that the Khmer Rouge keeps Cambodia's seat at the United Nations even though it is longer in power. This is partially for revenge on Vietnam (who defeated the USA militarily), and partially to please the USA's new ally China (who are the principal supporters of the Khmer Rouge and are opposed to Vietnam).

The USA turns a blind eye as China supplies the Khmer Rouge with arms via Thailand. In 1981, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the USA president's security adviser would admit:

"I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot."

The USA and Thailand supplied the Khmer Rouge under the cover of humanitarian aid. Two USA relief aid workers, Linda Mason and Roger Brown, later wrote:

"The US Government insisted that the Khmer Rouge be fed ... the US preferred that the Khmer Rouge operation benefit from the credibility of an internationally known relief operation."

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."

Yemen

The USA supports paramilitary forces in Yemen to please Saudi Arabia.

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 and Angola

South Africa attacks dissidents in Angola. American oil companies work in an enclave and fund one of the warring factions.

Brazil

Brazil settles Amazonian areas to the detriment of indigenous people.

El Salvador

Over 600 civilians are massacred by the military at the Rio Sumpul River in El Salvador.

Death squads continue to be active in El Salvador, a country backed and financed by the USA. Many victims are decapitated and the heads left in different areas from the body to be seen by passers by. Thousands are kidnapped and tortured. Aid workers and priests are killed. Within a few years over 70,000 people will have died.

One of the best known victims is Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Gald�mez, Archbishop of San Salvador. He is assassinated while celebrating mass on 24 March 1980 in the chapel of the Divine Providence Hospital, San Salvador. He had become an outspoken critic of human rights violations and a leading human rights defender. In March 1980 he had written to the President of the USA asking the USA not to provide military assistance to El Salvador which might be used to perpetrate human rights violations. He is killed shortly afterwards. USA aid to El Salvador is $523 million in 1980.

Roberto D'Aubuisson, who had studied unconventional warfare in the USA, states: "... Jesuit priests are the worst scum of all". It is believed that he is behind the White Warriors Union, whose slogan is "Be patriotic - kill a priest".

The USA made film Salvador shows events during this period.

The head of El Salvador's armed forces, Jose Guillermo Garcia, and his successor, General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, both later retire to live in the USA (Florida). In 2002, both would be ordered to pay compensation to their victims by a USA court.

USA and Honduras

Honduras, ruled by an American backed military regime, is flooded by USA troops. 12,000 insurgents are based in the country and trained for destabilising nearby countries (Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua). 100,000 Hondurans demonstrate against the presence and influence of the USA in their country (which they jokingly call the USS Honduras).

The USA CIA supplies torture equipment to Battalion 316, a Honduran army unit which kidnaps, tortures and kills hundreds of people using electric shock and suffocation. The battalion is trained by USA and Argentinian advisors. Victims include anybody deemed to be anti-American, supporters of social change in Honduras, or supporters of groups being attacked in neighbouring countries.

The director of the battalion, General Gustavo Alvares Martinez informs the USA ambassador that he wants to use Argentinian methods of eliminating his enemies. In 1983 the USA president, Ronald Reagan, would award Martinez the Legion of Merit "for encouraging the success of the democratic process in Honduras".

The USA newspaper, the New York Times, would report in 1988 that: "American diplomats exercise more control over domestic politics in Honduras than in any other country in the hemisphere..."

Israel, Palestine and Lebanon

Israel raids Palestinian bases in Lebanon.

Palestine

3 Palestinian mayors are assassinated. The United Nations calls on states not to assist Israel with its settlements programme. It criticises the arming of Israeli settlers (colonists) who are allowed to terrorise the civilian Arab population.

On 30 July Israel annexes all of Jerusalem. The United Nations confirms that it considers Jerusalem as part of the occupied territories.

The USA vetoes six United Nations resolutions concerning Israel and the Palestinians: The first requests Israel to return displaced persons (the vote is 96 to 3 with Canada being the third country). The second condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people (118 to 2). Three resolutions condemn Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories (votes: 118 to 2; 119 to 2; 117 to 2). The sixth endorses self determination for the Palestinians (120 to 3 with the third country being Australia).

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.

Coup in Turkey

A military coup occurs in Turkey. The military re-write the constitution.

The country continues to receive aid from the West and is part of NATO.

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.

Coup in Liberia

In Liberia, the USA backed Samuel Doe takes power in a bloody coup. All opposition parties are barred from future elections. The president and his family become very rich from bribery and corruption. Revenues from petrol and hotel taxes go directly into the Doe's bank account. His fellow tribes people (4% of the population) are elevated into a ruling elite who savagely oppress the rest of the population.

According the USA newspaper, Chicago Tribune (22 August 1990), in an article by Howard Witt entitled "US Fingerprints - Not Heart - Are All Over Liberia", a USA official admits that "Our strategic interests are more important than democracy".

Witt describes Doe as a "brutish, nearly illiterate army sergent" who seized power "after disemboweling the previous president in his bed".

The USA gives the new regime military and economic aid. USA companies Firestone and B F Goodrich prosper under the new regime.

Haiti

The International Monetary Fund grants Haiti a $22,000,000 budget supplement. Within weeks, $16,000,000 is "unaccounted for".

The USA backed ruler Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier makes Haiti into a trans-shipment point for Colombian cocaine.

USA and Cambodia

Under USA pressure, the World Food Program hands over food worth $12 million to the army of Thailand. This food aid is passed on to the Khmer Rouge, the previous government of Cambodia, responsible for killing over 2,500,000 of its own citizens.

Richard Holbrooke, a USA minister stated that "20,000 to 40 000 Pol Pot guerrillas benefited."

This aid helped restore the Khmer Rouge to a fighting force, based in Thailand, from which it would destabilise Cambodia for more than a decade.

Weapons made in (West) Germany, the USA, and Sweden are supplied to the Khmer Rouge via dealers in Singapore. The Singapore owned company Chartered Industries makes some of the weapons.

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.

USA and Cuba

The USA attempts to infect Cuba with bacteria. A Cuban exile, Eduardo Victor Arocena Perz, carries the germs in a ship from Florida (USA).

Italy

A bomb explosion in the railway station in Bologna in Italy kills 86 people. This is later shown to be part of Operation Gladio set up by the USA CIA to heighten public concern about the USSR and to discredit Communist and Socialist election candidates. The USA fears that these parties, if elected, would pass legislation against NATO.

South Korea

Chun Doo Hwan, the USA backed leader of South Korea, uses military force to crush a demonstration by students and workers in Kwangju. The people were protesting against martial law, arrests of dissidents and their families, fraudulent elections and torture. The death toll is estimated in the thousands.

A spokesman from the USA State Department says: "Our situation, for better or worse, is that Korea is a treaty ally, and the USA has a very strong security interest in that part of the world". A year later, USA president, Ronald Reagan, would toast Chun with the words: "You've done much to strengthen the tradition of 5000 years' commitment to freedom". In 1996, a Korean court would convict Chun for the massacres in Kwangju.

New Hebrides

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


1981

USA and Tanzania

The USA orchestrates a campaign of economic pressure against Tanzania, demanding persistently behind the scenes that Tanzania change its internal economic policies to suit American companies.

The USA vetoes a number of United Nations resolutions: The first promoting co-operative movements in developing countries (123 to 1 votes). The second affirming the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes (126 to 1).

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).

Southern Africa

South Africa attacks dissidents in Angola. A major invasion of the southern part of the country occurs. 11,000 men and several battalions of tanks and armored cars are deployed in Cunene province. Over 80,000 people become refugees.

South African commandos raid Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. They begin to create, arm and deploy special military units in Mozambique to attack roads, railways, bridges and other economic targets, as well as to terrorise in rural areas.

South African agents carry out sabotage and assassinations in Zimbabwe.

South Africa (with help from the USA's CIA) attempts to mount a coup against President Kaunda in Zambia. The CIA director, William Casey flies secretly to Lusaka and threatens sanctions against Zambia if the role of the CIA is exposed.

In addition to these military activities, South Africa begins a full scale economic war against Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

After being elected to the USA presidency, Ronald Reagan states that closer relations with South Africa are a means "to counter Soviet influence in southern Africa". Arms and money are passed by the USA's CIA to groups supported by South Africa in the region.

The USA blocks the implementation of the United Nations plan for a settlement in Namibia, currently under South African rule. It does this by unilaterally linking the Namibian issue with Angola. While the USA continues to state its support for the United Nations plan, the USA Secretary of State, Al Haig, informs the South African Foreign Minister "that the United States would not press South Africa to settle the Namibian question unless Cuban troops were withdrawn from Angola."

The USA vetoes seven United Nations resolutions condemning the actions of South Africa, condemning apartheid and attempting to strengthen sanctions. These votes are 145 to 1, 124 to 1, 136 to 1, 129 to 2 (with UK), 126 to 2 (with UK), 139 to 1, and 138 to 1.

South Africa and the Seychelles

South Africa, backed by the USA CIA, fails in an attempt to mount a coup against the government of the Seychelles. The country's leader, France Albert René, had persued a non-aligned foreign policy, wanted to have a nuclear free Indian Ocean, and objected to a USA satellite tracking station on the islands.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the attempt and naming South Africa as the agent.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel raids Palestinian bases in Lebanon.

A residential area in Saida is targeted killing 20 people; in Fakhani, jets raid residential areas killing 150; another 150 people are killed when the Arab University area in Beirut is attacked. In the raids, Israel also strikes at Palestinian and Lebanese refugee camps, ports, Lebanon's main oil refinery, and most bridges.

Israel estimates that 106 Israelis have been killed in the north of the country from Palestinian attacks (using small rockets, often home made) originating in Lebanon between 1967 and 1982. According to United Nations figures, 3,500 Lebanese and Syrians were killed between 1967 and 1975 by Israeli attacks as well as an unknown number of Palestinians. The Israeli attacks included the use of air power, artillery, tanks, gunboats using shells, bombs, incendiary bombs, cluster bombs and napalm. Between 1967 and 1977, over 300,000 Lebanese civilians in the south of that country had been forced to abandon their homes.

The Israeli government annexes the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1973. This violates United Nations Resolutions, the cease fire agreement between Israel and Syria and the Camp David Accords.

Israeli jets destroy a nuclear reactor in Iraq.

The USA vetoes 18 United Nations resolutions concerning Israel.

El Salvador

The USA financed army of El Salvador destroys the village of El Mozote, killing everyone except for one woman who manages to crawl to safety. Together with similar operations in nearby villages, the attack leaves at least 750 civilians dead.

A USA advisor to the battalion that committed the massacre states:

"You try to dry those areas up. You know you're not going to be able to work with the civilian population up there, you're never going to get a permanent base there. So you just decide to kill everybody. That'll scare everybody else out of the zone. It's done more out of frustration than anything else."

Ricardo Castro, a soldier in the army who later defected and admitted his part in killings tells this story about Mozaran Province:

"They had two towns of about 300 people each, and they were interrogating them to see what they knew. Since I...knew something about interrogations, he said he might want me to help. The Major told me that after the interrogation, they were going to kill them all."

Castro was, however, reassigned and did not participate. Later, his pro-government mother told him:

"You know, son, these guerrillas, they invent the wildest lies. They say that in December, 600 civilians were killed in Morazan."

Carlos Antonio Gomez Montano, a paratrooper stationed at Ilopango Air Force Base sees 8 USA advisers (Green Berets) watching two "torture classes" during which a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl are tortured. Montano's unit and the Green Berets are joined by Salvadoran Air Force Commander Rafael Bustillo and other Salvadoran officers during these two sessions. A Salvadoran officer tells the assembled soldiers:

"[Watching] will make you feel more like a man. [Do] not feel pity [for] anyone [but only] hate for those who are enemies of our country.''

The Commission on Human Rights of El Salvador reports of indiscriminate bombing of unarmed civilians and the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Philippines Elections

President Marcos is re-elected as president in the Philippines in rigged elections. This regime is backed by the USA and is corrupt, amassing a huge fortune from American aid money.

USA and Libya

Two Libyan jets are shot down by USA warplanes off the coast of Libya. The USA wanted to destabilise and remove the leader of Libya, Moammar Qaddafi. The USA had been holding military maneuvers off the coast of Libya at the time.

Qaddafi had removed the previous pro-West government and had set up a welfare state for his people. In addition he supported the Palestinian struggle for independence.

The presence of the USA military close to Arab countries disturbs people in the Middle East.

Egypt

Egypt brutally cracks down on dissidents. The USA backed Anwar Sadat is assassinated.

Guatemala

In Guatemala, a small group of Mayan leaders march to the capital, Guatemala City, and occupy the Spanish Embassy to protest against the government repression against their people. Despite calls from the Spanish Ambassador to leave them in peace, the authorities burn the building to the ground, killing all of the protesters as well as all of the embassy staff. The Ambassador, badly injured, is the only survivor.

USA and Indo-China

The USA uses its World War I Trading With The Enemy Act to deny humanitarian aid to the three countries of Indo-China: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.

The first aid to be affected is seed processing and storage and help with setting up a bee keeping unit to provide honey as a food supplement for young children in Vietnam.


1982

Israel Invades Lebanon

On 6 June, Israel forces invade Lebanon.

According to G H Jansen, correspondent to the UK magazine, The Economist, Israeli forces would surround a town or city "so swiftly that civilian inhabitants were trapped inside and then to pound them from land, sea and air." Robert Fisk, journalist for the UK newspaper, The Independent, observes that the Israelis bombard residential areas with "50 shells at a time.. slaughtering everyone within a 500 yard [460m] radius of the explosions".

During the invasion, over 17,500 people are killed, many of them Lebanese civilians. Beruit is placed under a two month siege, in an attempt to evict Palestinians. The city is attacked with hundreds of cluster bombs (which shred flesh), phosphorus bombs (which are designed to create fires and produce untreatable burns on flesh) and vacuum bombs (which ignite aviation fuel, creating such pressure that buildings implode).

An entire apartment building in Beirut is destroyed by Israeli aircraft in an attempt to kill Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian leaders. More than 100 people are killed but the Palestinian leadership had left.

The embassy of the USSR is seized for two days in violation of diplomatic rules. A hospital is bombed killing hundreds of patients. Eight of the nine orphanages in Beirut are destroyed by cluster and phosphorus bombs despite being clearly marked and despite Israeli assurances that they would be spared according to a report by Elain Carey writing in the USA magazine, Christian Science Monitor (4 August 1982).

Chris Giannou, a Canadian surgeon working in a Palestinian hospital testified to the USA Congress that he witnessed "total, utter devastation of residential areas, and the blind, savage indiscriminate destruction of refugee camps by simultaneous shelling and carpet bombing from aircraft, gunboats, tanks and artillery".

The city of Sidon is bombed killing over 2,000 civilians. According to Olof Rydbeck of the United Nations Refugee Agency, 32 years work had been destroyed with virtually all schools and clinics for the refugees "wiped out".

Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners are executed by the Israelis and secretly buried in Sidon. Torture is used including severe beatings, attacks by dogs on leashes, the use of air rifles (intense pain but not usually fatal), humiliation and allowing prisoners to go thirsty. Similar techniques would be used by the USA on Iraqi prisoners in 2004.

Palestinian leaders are eventually forced to leave, escorted out of Beirut by USA troops to Tunis (in Tunisia). The USA envoy, Philip Habib, promises that the Palestinian civilians left behind would be protected by the international community and Israeli forces would not be allowed to enter Beirut.

A few days later, the Phalangists (a Lebanese Christian militia) massacre over 2,750 Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila (in the suburbs of Beirut). Most of the victims are women, old men and children. Many girls (as young as 6) and women are raped by soldiers. During the three day massacre, Israeli troops look on and assist by sealing the camp perimeters and illuminating the camps at night. Bulldozers (supplied by the Israelis) are used to dig mass graves for bodies. A number of houses are also bulldozed to cover up the bodies of the victims.

One of the first journalists to enter the camps writes:

"The corpses of the Palestinians had been thrown among the rubble that remained of the Shatila camp. It was impossible to know exactly how many victims there were, but there had to be more than 1,000 dead. Some of the men who had been executed had been lined up in front of a wall, and bulldozers had been used in an attempt to bury the bodies and cover up the aftermath of the massacre. But the hands and feet of the victims protruded from the debris."

Another journalist (Loren Jenkins) from the USA's Washington Post describes the scene at the camps:

"The scene at the Chatila camp when foreign observers entered Saturday morning was like a nightmare. Women wailed over the deaths of loved ones, bodies began to swell under the hot sun, and the streets were littered with thousands of spent cartridges. Houses had been dynamited and bulldozed into rubble, many with the inhabitants still inside. Groups of bodies lay before bullet-pocked walls where they appeared to have been executed. Others were strewn in alleys and streets, apparently shot as they tried to escape. Each little dirt alley through the deserted buildings, where Palestinians have lived since fleeing Palestine when Israel was created in 1948, told its own horror story."

Two American journalists, Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone, later give this account to an international enquiry:

"When we entered Sabra and Chatila on Saturday, September 18, 1982, the final day of the killing, we saw bodies everywhere. We photographed victims that had been mutilated with axes and knives. Only a few of the people we photographed had been machine-gunned. Others had their heads smashed, their eyes removed, their throats cut, skin was stripped from their bodies, limbs were severed, some people were eviscerated. The terrorists also found time to plunder Palestinian property as well as books, manuscripts and other cultural material from the Palestinian Research Center in Beirut."

A 13 year old Palestinian girl who survived relates her story to a Lebanese officer:

"We stayed in the shelter until really late on Thursday night, but then I decided to leave with my girl friend because we couldn't breathe anymore. Then all of a sudden we saw people raising white flags and handkerchiefs and coming toward the kata'ib saying, 'We're for peace and harmony.' And they killed them right then and there. The women were screaming, moaning and begging [for mercy]. As for me, I ran back to our house and got into the bathtub. I saw them leading our neighbors away and shooting them. I tried to stand up at the window to look outside, but one of the kata'ib fighters saw me and shot at me. So I went back to the bathtub and stayed there for five hours. When I came out, they grabbed me and threw me down with everybody else. One of them asked me if I was Palestinian, and I said yes. My nine-month-old nephew was beside me, and he was crying and screaming so much that one of the men got angry, so he shot him. I burst into tears and told him that this baby had been all the family I had left. That made him all the more angry, and he took the baby and tore him in two."

In 2001, evidence would be unearthed that many survivors of the original massacre are taken away by Israeli troops to a football (soccer) stadium. Many are executed and buried in the tunnels under the pitch. The stadium would later be rebuilt.

The United Nations General Assembly condemns the massacre and declares it to be an act of genocide. The vote is 147 to 2 (Israel and the USA). The world condemns Israel and 400,000 of its own citizens join a Peace Now demonstration in Tel Aviv.

For the Arab world, the words Sabra and Chatila resonate all the injustices of this conflict. Israel, on the other hand, continues to receive massive military and financial aid from the USA as well as political and media support. In 2002, the anniversary of a terrorist attack on New York is marked in the UK with 2 minute silences in offices and work places as well as television programs about the victims. Less than a week later the 20th anniversary of the Sabra-Chatila Massacre is completely ignored by the West's media, as is the entire invasion.

Between 1982 and 1983, six separate United Nations resolutions condemning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon are vetoed by the USA. In addition, the USA refuses to invoke its own laws prohibiting Israeli use of American weapons except in self-defense.

According to Mordechai Bar-on, an education officer in the Israeli military, the aim of the invasion was "to deal a crushing blow to the national aspirations of the Palestinians and to their very existence as a nation endevouring to define itself and gain the right to self-determination".

Sabra and Chatila
Sabra and Chatila
Sabra and Chatila
Sabra and Chatila

Sabra and Chatila
Sabra and Chatila
The Sabra and Chatila massacre of Palestinians in Lebanon by militia allied and supported by Israel. The military incursion into Lebanon was planned and led by Ariel Sharon. USA vetoed six separate United Nations resolutions between 1982 and 1983 condemning Israel's invasion of Lebanon. In 2002 the USA referred to Ariel Sharon as "a man of peace".

Palestine

An Israeli soldier shoots 11 Muslims worshipping on the Haram-Al-Sharif in East Jerusalem. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the shooting. Another resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights (occupied in 1967) is also vetoed by the USA.

Guatemala

Jose Monnt assumes dictatorial powers in Guatemala. American companies, like United Fruit, continue to benefit.

Death squads kill a number of workers and union leaders at the Coca Cola bottling plant.

As many as 10,000 indigenous people are killed and over 100,000 flee to Mexico under the regime. Over 400 Mayan villages are wiped off the map.

Two of the political sayings of Monnt are:

The USA Ambassador to Guatemala says of Monnt: "Guatemala has come out of the darkness and into the light".

Guatemala has been given financial and military aid by the USA president, Ronald Reagan since 1980. The CIA operates in the country helping in the activities of the death squads. Even Americans are victims; according to the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB):

"Several CIA assets were credibly alleged to have ordered, planned or participated in serious human rights violations such as assassination, extrajudicial execution, torture, or kidnapping while they were assets - and that the CIA's Directorate of Operations headquarters was aware at the time of the allegations. These cases include the 1984 killing of Peace Corps volunteer Peter Wolfe, the 1985 killings of journalists Griffith Davis and Nicholas Blake, the 1989 stabbing of human rights worker Meredith Larson, the 1990 assault on social worker Josh Zinner, and the 1992 death of archaeologist Peter Tiscione."

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.

South Africa and Mozambique

Militias backed by South Africa terrorise Mozambique. They attack transport routes, mine roads, burn shops, schools and health posts, poison wells, and mutilate peasants. South African commando units advise the militias.

South African commandos attack and destroy the oil depot in the city of Beira. The raid cuts supplies of petroleum to Zimbabwe and costs the country millions of dollars in lost revenue.

South Africa's actions in the country would kill 100,000 people between 1982 and 1983.

South Africa and Lesotho

South African commandos fly by helicopter to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, and carry out a raid against houses inhabited by South African refugees killing 42 people.

USA and South Africa

USA officials help secure an approved loan from the International Monetary Fund of $ 1,100 million for South Africa. Much of the money is used to destabilise neighbouring countries and to oppress its own non-voting black population.

Anthony Lewis, writing in the USA newspaper New York Times (31 January 1983) boasts:

"Externally, the last year has seen South Africa use its military power both covertly and overtly in neighboring black-governed states... without any significant political penalty. The United States has privately urged restraint on South Africa. South Africa's neighbors have in effect been told, without subtlety, that they can have peace and a chance for economic development only on South African terms."

A South African official also quoted in the New York Times (25 January 1983) warns:

"We want to show that we want peace in the region, we want to contribute and we can help a lot. But we also want to show that if we are refused we can destroy the whole of southern Africa."

This view is confirmed by Charles Lichenstein, the Deputy USA Ambassador to the United Nations, quoted in the Johannesburg Financial Mail:

"destabilization will remain in force until Angola and Mozambique do not permit their territory to be used by terrorists to attack South Africa."

The "terrorists" are groups wanting a democratic and non-racist South Africa.

The USA vetoes four United Nations resolutions concerning South Africa and apartheid: The ratification of the convention on the suppression and punishment of apartheid (voted by 124 to 1); Promoting international action against apartheid (141 to 1); Against apartheid in sports (138 to 1); Cessation of further foreign investments and loans for South Africa (134 to 1).

USA and Chad

In 1981, the USA CIA had set up, financed and trained a Chadian military force in Sudan. Led by Hissen Habré, this force overthrows the government of Chad, ruling for 8 years with American support.

Habré's regime would kill tens of thousands of people and torture over 200,000. Many dissidents would simply disappear. In 2000, Habré would be tried for his crimes in Senegal.

Afghanistan

With the active encouragement of the USA's CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries are encouraged to join in a jihad (holy war) in Afghanistan against the USSR between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more come to study in Pakistani madrasas (religious schools). Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals are directly involved in the war.

The Islamic jihad is supported by the USA and Saudi Arabia with a significant part of the funding generated from the drug trade in the Golden Crescent (Burma and Thailand).

Motivated by nationalism and religious fervour, the Islamic warriors are unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of the USA. While there are contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in Afghanistan have no contacts with the USA government or the CIA.

A study by Alfred McCoy confirms that within two years of the beginning of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, "the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's top heroin producer, supplying 60 percent of USA demand. In Pakistan, the heroin addict population went from near zero in 1979... to 1,200,000 by 1985, a much steeper rise than in any other nation".

CIA assets control the heroin trade. As the Mujahideen (holy warriors) seize territory inside Afghanistan, they order peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan's ISI operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of drug dealing, the USA Drug Enforcement Agency in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, fail to instigate major seizures or arrests ... USA officials had refused to investigate charges of heroin dealing by its Afghan allies "because [USA] narcotics policy in Afghanistan has been subordinated to the war against Soviet influence there."

The former CIA director of the Afghan operation, Charles Cogan, would eventually admit the CIA had indeed sacrificed the drug war to fight the Cold War:

"Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,... I don't think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout.... There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan."

USA, Iraq and Iran

The USA continues to arm Iraq in its war against Iran. The USA CIA is implicated in a number of plots to assassinate the leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes 15 United Nations resolutions that a majority of countries approve of.

Calling for the setting up of a World Charter for the protection of the ecology (votes 111 to 1); To set up a United Nations conference on succession of states in respect to state property, archives and debts (136 to 1); For a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (111 to 1); Request to USA and USSR to make public their nuclear arms negotiations (114 to 1, the USSR abstained); Prevention of arms race in outer space (138 to 1); Support for a new world information and communications order (131 to 1); Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons (95 to 1); Development of international law (113 to 1); A resolution preventing the exclusion of certain United Nations employees (129 to 1); Protection against products harmful to health and the environment (146 to 1); Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights (131 to 1); Implementation of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States (141 to 1); A declaration about the adequacy of facilities of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (132 to 1); Development of the energy resources of developing countries (146 to 1); Restructuring international economic relations towards establishing a new international economic order (124 to 1).


1983

Israel

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Defence Minister during the invasion of Lebanon, is forced to resign over the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In 2001, he would be elected Prime Minister.

USA and Lebanon

The USA sends troops to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. The troops intervene on one side of the civil war. The USS New Jersey bombards towns and cities, including Beirut.

USA and Nicaragua

Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with the USA after CIA plots to assassinate the popular president, Daniel Ortega.

Ortega had won a free and internationally observed election with 63% of the vote. In spite of this, the USA's President Reagan begins a trade embargo on Nicaragua, secretly mines its ports, destroys agricultural collectives and health clinics, and uses its influence in the World Bank to block previously agreed loans to the country.

Although condemned by the World Court, the USA continues this destabilisation until 1990 when a USA backed party, the National Opposition Union is elected by a small margin.

The USA undermines the World Court. On previous occasions, the USA had used the Court against various states but on this occasion, the Court was denounced and its ruling ignored. The USA newspaper, New York Times, supports of the USA refusal to accept the Court's ruling, calling the Court a "hostile forum."

The USA State Department Legal Adviser, Abraham Sofaer, states:

"The United States does not accept compulsory jurisdiction over any dispute involving matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States, as determined by the United States."

This "domestic jurisdiction" is the destabilisation of another country's democratically elected government.

The UK government of Margaret Thatcher supports and endorses USA actions in Central America. The Rupert Murdoch owned UK newspaper, The Times states: "[The USA actions] maintain and strengthen the forces of democracy in an area threatened with a communist takeover."

Oxfam, an international development organisation that works in nearly 80 developing countries, states that Nicaragua is "exceptional in the strength of [its] government's commitment... to improving the condition of the people and encouraging their active participation in the development process".

Horatio Arce, one of the Contra rebels destabilising Nicaragua, would admit in 1988 that he was trained in a USA base in the southern USA and was funded by the Agency for International Development from the USA embassy in Tegucigalpa in Honduras. He admits: "We attack lots of schools, health centres and those sort of things. We have tried to make it so that the Nicaraguan government cannot provide social services for the peasants, cannot develop its project... that's the idea".

Viron Vaky, USA Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs supports using the Contras because "a longer war of attrition will so weaken the regime, provoke such a radical hardening of repression, and win sufficient support from Nicaragua's discontented population that sooner or later the regime will be overthrown by popular revolt, self destruct by means of internal coups or leadership splits, or simply capitulate to salvage what it can."

USA and Grenada

USA troops invade Grenada to remove the leader, Maurice Bishop, and to replace him with a pro-USA government. During the invasion, nearly 500 people are killed, including 85 construction workers from Cuba.

Although, Grenada is a member of the British Commonwealth and the UK Queen is the head of state, the UK government is not informed of the invasion and does not comment.

The invasion makes the island a "haven for offshore banks", according to the USA newspaper, Wall Street Journal.

Reporters are banned from Grenada. Those who attempt to land on the island are arrested and imprisoned on USA ships offshore. This happens to Morris Thompson of the magazine, Newsday.

USA and Zimbabwe

The USA cuts assistance to Zimbabwe by almost 50%.

The USA newspaper, the Washington Post (20 December) admits that the decision was because Zimbabwe sponsored a United Nations resolution condemning USA intervention in Grenada and abstained in a USA sponsored resolution about Korea.

Coup in Nigeria

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

Coup in Guatemala

A military coup occurs in Guatemala.

According to Witness for Peace, nearly 400 indigenous people, most of them women and children, have been murdered in the area of the Chixoy Dam in a series of massacres since 1980. The people had opposed the resettlement necessary to make way for the dam.

The dam project is financed by the World Bank, which states in a memo that it did not know that the residents of the resettlement community of Rio Negro had been massacred prior to approval of a second loan for the Chixoy Dam. The memo does not address the question of why the World Bank continues lending to a government it knows is carrying out a "scorched earth" policy.

Indonesia and East Timor

Indonesian troops massacre 1000 people in Viqueque in East Timor. The West says nothing and continues arming and trading with Indonesia.

NATO and the Warsaw Pact

After the end of World War II, the USA had put together an alliance of Western European countries and itself to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The USSR had responded by forming The Warsaw Pact, an alliance between itself and its Eastern European allies.

The USSR makes an offer to the USA that it will disband the Warsaw Pact if the USA disbands NATO. This offer, the latest of many, is ignored by the USA. The USA newspaper, the Los Angeles Times states that the offer "increases the difficulty faced by USA policy makers in persuading Western public opinion to continue expensive and often unpopular military programs".

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes 15 United Nations resolutions that the majority of countries approve of.

The right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes (voted by 131 to 1); Resolutions against apartheid South Africa (110 to 1, 149 to 1, 140 to 1, 145 to 1); Prevention of an arms race in outer space (147 to 1); Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights (132 to 1); International law (110 to 1); Transport and Communications Decade in Africa (137 to 1); Prohibition of manufacture of new weapons of mass destruction (116 to 1); Reversing the arms race (133 to 1), Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons (98 to 1); Requests a study on the naval arms race (113 to 1); Disarmament and security (132 to 1); Strengthening the United Nations to respond to natural and other disasters (126 to 1).

USA (Covert Foreign Policy)

After a series of revelations about covert actions undertaken by the CIA, the USA administration of president Ronald Reagan sets up the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). This would allow the USA to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries with financial and political aid.

Allen Weinstein, one of the NED founders admits: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA".

There are many groups that would be financed by the NED:

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 and Mozambique

The USA holds back much needed food aid from Mozambique during a period when tens of thousands of people had already died from starvation. The USA tells the country that the aid will be delivered if Mozambique signs a non-aggression agreement with South Africa and expels the African National Congress (ANC).

The ANC is fighting for full democracy in South Africa, a country where only the minority white population can vote.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel continues to occupy the south of Lebanon. Tanks and helicopters fire at a crowd in Jibsheet killing 7; at Sohmur, 13 are killed after being ordered by Israeli troops into a mosque.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli actions in Lebanon and bombards Beirut from the sea.

Kurds in Turkey

In Turkey, the government launches a major war in the South East of the country against the Kurdish population. Villages are cleared and many are killed. This ethnic cleansing and genocide is ignored by the Western media because Turkey is a NATO country and the USA has many military bases in the Kurdish parts of the country.

After World War I, France and the UK divided up large areas of the Middle East between them. The Kurds were forgotten and ended up being distributed between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria with no homeland of their own.

The Kurds had been oppressed throughout the whole history of the modern Turkish state. Even their language was banned until the 1990s and they are referred to as Mountain Turks.

Kurdistan
After World War I, France and the UK divided up large areas of the Middle East between them. The Kurds were forgotten and ended up being distributed between several countries (Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria) with no homeland of their own.

This is a map of historical Kurdistan.

Kurdish victims
The Turkish army has killed thousands of its Kurdish population, clearing hundreds of villages over a 20 year period. Turkey is a NATO country with USA military bases so very little of this genocide is reported in the West.

USA Company in India

A gas explosion in a plant owned by the USA company Union Carbide kills 14,419 people (by 2002) in the city of Bhopal, India. The explosion sent 23,000 kg of poisonous gas over the nearby slums of the city. Over 4,000 die on the night in agony, water pouring from their burning eyes, lungs in intense pain, defacating and urinating in the clothes.

Hundreds of thousands more are injured, suffering from wheezing, breathlessness, damaged sight, joint pains, loss of memory, sterility and other ailments. Many are still in pain twnty years later.

Union Carbide persuades the USA judge hearing the case to refer it back to India so that far less compensation would have to be paid.

The plant manufactured the pesticide, Sevin, which contains the poison, methyl isocyanate. Similar plants in the USA stored this highly poisonous chemical in small concentrations to minimise risk; in India it was stored in bulk.

In addition because of cost cutting, safety was lax:

In 1999, Greenpeace would describe the site of the plant as a "global toxic hot spot". The ground water in the vicinity contains levels of Mercury between 20,000 and 6 million times the normal levels. No attempt is made by Union Carbide to rehabilitate the site.

India attempts to extradite Warren Anderson, the chief executive of the company, without success. Anderson had been behind the company cost cutting drive prior to the accident and had accepted "moral responsibility" for the disaster. The USA declares that there is no case to answer and no liability.

By 2004, the average compensation paid was less than $ 600. The government of India had accepted $ 470 million from Union Carbide without consulting the victims. Most of the money remains in Indian government bank accounts. Over 100,000 people suffer from chronic or debilitating illnesses as a result of the accident.

School of the Americas

The School of the Americas (SOA - founded in Panama in 1946 by the USA Army) is evicted by Panamanian President Jorge Illueca who calls it "the biggest base for destabilization in Latin America".

The school is moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, in the USA. Its curriculum includes counterinsurgency, military intelligence, interrogation techniques, sniper fire, infantry and commando tactics, psychological warfare and jungle operations. In 2000 the school is renamed as the Defence Institute for Hemispheric Security Cooperation.

The school has trained more than 60,000 military and police officers from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Among the School's most illustrious graduates are the dictators Manuel Noriega (now serving a 40 year sentence in a USA gaol for drug trafficking) and Omar Torrijos (both of Panama), Guillermo Rodrigues (Ecuador), Juan Velasco Alvarado (Peru), Leopoldo Galtieri (former head of the brutal junta in Argentina), and Hugo Banzer Suarez (Bolivia).

In El Salvador, the following crimes were committed by SOA graduates:

In a 1986 documentary on the UK television station, BBC, a former member of the El Salvador National Guard states:

"I belonged to a squad of twelve. We devoted ourselves to torture, and to finding people whom we were told were guerrillas. I was trained in Panama for nine months by the ... [USA] for anti guerilla warfare. Part of the time we were instructed about torture."

The bodies of the nuns

Four American nuns are killed by a death squad in El Salvador. The country was financed and armed by the USA. Three members of the death squad were trained by the USA run School of the Americas.

Maura Clarke
Jean Donavan
Maura Clarke. Jean Donavan.

Ita Ford
Dorothy Kazel
Ita Ford. Dorothy Kazel.

Argentina

The military dictatorship in Argentina ends after an abortive attempt to invade the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Spanish).

Most of the perpetrators of the Dirty War are pardoned. Over 30,000 people died or disappeared during the military rule. Hundreds of live prisoners were thrown from helicopters and planes. The Families of the Disappeared Commission estimates that $70,000,000 was made from selling the property - and even the children - of the people killed by the regime.

Julian Simon (known as The Turk), identified with 58 cases of torture but suspected of many more, says:

"I don't regret torturing and killing. If I was given a cause I believed in I would torture again. It is my profession. That is where my experience lies. I am not a dangerous man to normal people. I don't kill without a contract. But there are still too many leftist influences, too many intellectuals and too much scum in the country. If someone told me to take them out, I'd do it."

Under the military government, subsidiaries of Western multinational companies had borrowed billions of dollars from western banks. These debts were then conveniently nationalised by the compliant government. This means that Argentina took on the debt. As a result, the public debt rose from $ 7,800 million in 1975 to $ 46,000 million in 1984.

USA and Surinam

The Netherlands discover a USA CIA plot to overthrow the government of Surinam. The plot had been authorised by USA president, Ronald Reagan.

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

Nuclear Pacific

France tests nuclear bombs on Mururoa Atoll despite protests by Australia and New Zealand.

The Pacific is declared a nuclear free zone causing the USA to withdraw concessions on military equipment to New Zealand.

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.

Israel, Palestine and Tunisia

Israel bombs the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Tunisia using USA-made F-16 jet fighters. In the attack, 58 Palestinians and 16 Tunisians are killed.

The attack is condemned by the United Nations, the European Community but supported by the USA.

Palestinians had been expelled from their homes in what is now Israel in 1948. In 1967, they had been attacked again when the West Bank was occupied. In 1982, their leadership had been expelled from Lebanon. Now they were being attacked in Tunisia, a country on a different continent, Africa.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel continues to occupy the south of Lebanon terrorising the civilian population: 7 are killed in Al-Husseinieh, 15 in Maaraka, 22 in Zrariah, 5 in Jibaa, 10 in Yohmur. In Homeen Al-Tahta, 20 villagers are killed after being ordered into the school which is then blown up.

The USA vetoes two separate United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli actions in Lebanon and the use of excessive force in the occupied territories.

A car bomb explodes outside a Mosque in Beirut, timed for when people would be leaving, killing 80 people. The USA's CIA is later implicated in this attack, an assassination attempt on Sheikh Fadlallah, a Mulsim cleric.

USA

In Pensylvania, USA, a police helicopter drops a bomb destroying 60 homes and killing 11 people including children. The authorities had been attempting to evict a black peoples' organisation from one of the houses.

Chad

In Chad, the government of President Habré kills hundreds of villagers in the south of the country. Victims are tortured, burned alive or poisoned.

A report from Amnesty International states:

"According to survivors, some of the most common forms of torture were electric shocks, near-asphyxia, cigarette burns and having gas squirted into the eyes. Sometimes, the torturers would place the exhaust pipe of a vehicle in their victim's mouth, then start the engine. Some detainees were placed in a room with decomposing bodies, other suspended by their hands or feet, others bound hand and foot. Two other common techniques consisted of gripping the victim's head between two small sticks joined by cords, which were twisted progressively, and leaving the detainees to starve."

This regime is supported, trained and financed by France and the USA.

USA and Honduras

President Suazo Cordova, working with the USA Ambassador and the military of Honduras, allows the country to become a training center for USA funded Nicaraguan Contras.

USA aid to Honduras reaches $ 231,000,000. A unit called the Cobras is set up. Victims of the Cobras are stripped, bound, thrown into pits, and tortured. Many high ranking government and military personnel are drug traffickers The USA embassy rents space from known drug dealers.

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes four United Nations resolutions against the wishes of the majority of the world.

Indivisibility and interdependence of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights (voted by 134 to 1); Alternative approaches within the United Nations system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (130 to 1); Measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist and neo-Fascist activities (121 to 2 with Israel); International cooperation in the interrelated areas of money, finance, debt, resource flow, trade and development (133 to 1).


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.

France and Ecology

France sinks the Rainbow Warrior, a boat used to publicise ecological issues.

USA and Nicaragua

The USA legislature refuse funding for the Contras (anti-Nicaragua mercenaries set up and trained by the USA).

President Reagan secretly approves arms sales to Iran in contradiction to official USA policy. The money from these sales is diverted to the Contras. The purpose is to destabilise the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega.

Colonel Oliver North sets up centers in Colombia where cocaine dealing obtains more money to buy arms for the Contras. The drugs trade leads to a crack cocaine epidemic in Western countries.

The USA's policies inflict more than 50,000 casualties in Nicaragua. This includes nearly 3,500 children killed and over 6,000 children orphaned. The USA made film Under Fire covers this period.

The USA is criticised by the World Court for its undercover action against the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. The Court orders the USA to pay reparations of $ 17,000 million which the USA refuses to abide by.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution calling on all governments to observe international law.

Alan Tonelson writes in USA magazine New Republic that USA policy in Nicaragua "involves handling the Sandistas and other threats in Central America the way that great powers have always dealt with pesty, puny neighbours: by laying down the law unilaterally and enforcing our will through intimidation and direct uses of military force. If the intimidation is successful - as it easily could be - the actual use of force would be unnecessary". He continues that "Americans should be able to bring Nicaragua to heel without slogging through its jungles - especially if it is clear that good behaviour will bring a postponement of the regime's rendevous with the ash heap of history".

South Africa

30 demonstrators are killed in South Africa. South Africa attacks targets in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The USA Congress imposes economic sanctions on South Africa in spite of a veto by President Reagan. Only 25% of the trade between the two countries is affected. Iron, steel and uranium continue to be exported from South Africa. In the next two years, USA exports to South Africa increase from $ 1,280 million to $ 1,710 million.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel continues to occupy and terrorise the south of Lebanon: in Tiri, 4 people are killed while 79 have their ears and hands cut off. 20 people are killed after a raid at Al-Naher Al-Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp.

The USA vetoes two United Nations resolutions. One condemning Israeli actions against civilians in Lebanon and the other calling on Israel to respect Muslim holy places.

Israeli warplanes force an executive jet from Libya to land in Israel, in an effort to capture Abu Nidal, a Palestinian leader. He is not on board and, after interrogation, the passengers are allowed to leave.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning Israel for sky-jacking.

USA and Libya

The USA attacks Libyan patrol boats near the coast of Libya as well as Libyan shore installations, killing 72 people.

Between 1981 and 1986 the USA CIA has been behind several plots and attempts to assassinate the leader of Libya, Moammar Qaddafi. An attempt is made by the USA using bombers based in the UK. Qaddafi survives but several people are killed including the leader's infant daughter and many foreign nationals: Greeks, Egyptians, Yugoslavs and Lebanese.

Elections in Guatemala

The Christian Democrats win elections in Guatemala.

Americas Watch notes that under the previous military government, violent killings by military death squads were running at the rate of 100 per month. Over 50,000 have been killed and 400 rural villages have been destroyed by the death squads since the military coup in 1982.

After the election, Colonel D'Jalma Dominguez, an army spokesman, explains:

"For convenience sake a civilian government is preferable, such as the one we have now. If anything goes wrong, only the Christian Democrats will get the blame. It's better to remain outside. The real power will not be lost."

Haiti

In Haiti, the USA backed ruler, Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, flees angry mobs for asylum in France.

He leaves with a fortune estimated at $ 400,000,000. Under Baby Doc's rule 40,000 people were killed by his death squads.

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes 8 United Nations resolutions against the wishes of the majority of the world.

To set up a zone of peace and cooperation in the South Atlantic (voted by 124 to 1); To eliminate existing imbalances in the information and communications fields (148 to 1); Strengthening of international security (126 to 1); Dialogue to improve the international situation (117 to 1); Establishment of a comprehensive system of international peace and security (102 to 2 with France); Declaration on the right to development (146 to 1); Measures to improve the situation and ensure the human rights and dignity of all migrant workers (148 to 1); Protection against products harmful to health and the environment (146 to 1).


1987

South Korea

Police in South Korea torture and kill Park Chong Chol, a student pro-democracy activist.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian police open fire on rioters killing 400.

This is a country that is armed and supported by the USA and UK.

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.

Israel and Palestine

The Palestinians begin the intifada (an Arabic word meaning "resistance") to the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which had gone on for 20 years from 1967.

Israel responds by firing live ammunition at stone throwing demonstrators (killing many, often children), demolishing Palestinian houses, destroying crops, closing schools and universities, collective punishments, deportations, and the arbitrary arrest and torture of suspects. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitsak Shamir (quoted in Israeli magazine, Hadashot) warns the Palestinians that they would be crushed "like grasshoppers".

During the five year uprising, over 1000 Palestinians would be killed resisting the occupation of their country. Thousands more would be injured.

The USA vetoes two separate United Nations resolutions both urging Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians and to stop the deportations: "The United Nations calls on Israel to abandon plans to remove and resettle Palestinian refugees of the West Bank away from their homes and property". Voted by 145 to 2 (USA, Israel).

Little reportage of conditions for the Palestinians had appeared in the Western media. Under military administration, Palestinians were beaten and humilliated at checkpoints and had to show passes on demand. Armed settlers committed numerous, unpunished acts on violence on the Palestinian population.

Israel, Palestine and Lebanon

Israeli jets raid the Ain Al-Hillwee refugee camp in Lebanon, killing 75 Palestinians.

In 1988, the USA vetoes three United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli actions in Lebanon and urging a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.

Between 1983 and 1987, Israeli forces have killed over 50,000 people in Lebanon.

Coup in Fiji

Dr. Timoci Bavadra defeats the pro USA Prime Minister, Ratu Slr Kamese Mara, in Fiji after free elections. The new government supports a nuclear free South Pacific which is welcomed by the regional populace but opposed by the USA. The USA wanted its nuclear powered ships to use the country's ports.

32 days after this victory, Dr. Bavadra is overthrown by the pro-nuclear General Sitiveni Rabuka, with the help of the USA. For the first time in the history of the country, cases of illegal detention and torture are reported by Amnesty International.

The coup was greeted by a Pentagon source in the USA who told the Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald: "We're kinda delighted... All of a sudden our ships couldn't go to Fiji, and now all of a sudden they can".

In 1972 when a previous Fijian government had attempted to bar nuclear ships, the USA ambassador, William Bodde, had stated that: "a nuclear free zone would be unacceptable to the USA given our strategic needs... The USA must do everything possible to counter this movement".

USA, France and UK Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes 4 United Nations resolutions supported only by Israel:

Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (votes are 153 to 2); Calling for compliance in the International Court of Justice concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua (94 to 2); Ending the trade embargo against Nicaragua (94 to 2); Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of people from national liberation (153 to 2).

The USA vetoes 2 United Nations resolutions supported only by France and / or the UK:

Calling for a comprehensive test ban (143 to 2); Calling for a halt to all nuclear explosions (137 to 3).

The USA vetoes 6 United Nations resolutions as the only country to vote against:

Financing the training of journalists and strengthening communications services in the underdeveloped world (140 to 1); Furthering international cooperation regarding the external debt problems (154 to 1); Preparation for a United Nations conference on Trade and Development (131 to 1); Opposing the build up of weapons in space (154 to 1); Opposition to the development of new weapons of mass destruction (135 to 1); Proposal to set up a South Atlantic Zone of Peace (124 to 1).

The following resolution: "A call for a convention on the rights of the child" is passed with 150 votes for, 0 votes against. The USA abstains.

The USA is the only country to boycott a United Nations conference considering how the reduction of armaments might release funds to help economic development of poorer countries.

Little of the USA's voting patterns in the United Nations is revealed in the Western media.


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.

USA and Iran

The USA bombs oil facilities in Iran.

The USA destroyer, the US Vincennes in Iranian territorial waters, shoots down an Iranian commercial flight (Iran Air 654) in Iranian airspace killing all 286 passengers.

The USA refuses to apologise; vice president, George Bush is quoted in the magazine, Newsweek: "I will never apologise for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are".

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.

Israel, USA and Palestine

In a meeting in Algeria, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) recognises and accepts the existence of the State of Israel. It accepts all United Nations resolutions going back to 1947 and declares its abandonment its claim to all of historical Palestine.

The PLO declares the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The declarations are rejected by Israel and Palestine continues under Israeli occupation.

The USA vetoes two separate United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories. In 1989 three more similar resolutions are vetoed by the USA. The PLO wishes to appeal to the General Assembly of the United Nations but the leader, Yasser Arafat is refused a visa by the USA despite being recognised by over 60 countries. The Assembly meeting is moved to Geneva (Switzerland)

Israel assassinates Abu Jihad, the second in command of the PLO in Tunis (Tunisia). The action was commanded by future Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak from a naval vessel in the Meditteranean.

Hamas is founded, dedicated to reclaiming all of historical Palestine for a Muslim nation. The organisation is funded by Israel in an attempt to weaken the secular PLO.

Colombia

In Colombia, the Commission of Justice and Peace (headed by Father Giraldo) publishes a report documenting atrocities by government backed militia in the first part of the year. This includes over 3,000 politically motivated killings, 273 in "social cleansing" campaigns. Political killings average 8 a day, with 7 people murdered in their homes or in the street and one disappeared.

The Washington Office on Latin America adds that:

"the vast majority of those who have disappeared in recent years are grass-roots organizers, peasant or union leaders, leftist politicians, human rights workers and other activists."

During the campaign for the general election, 19 of 87 mayoral candidates of the sole independent political party, the UP, are assassinated, along with over 100 of its other candidates. The Central Organization of Workers, a coalition of trade unions formed in 1986, had by then lost over 230 members, most of them found dead after brutal torture.

A year later, the USA sells subsidised (by American tax payers) military equipment to Colombia, "for antinarcotics purposes." The sales are justified by the USA State Department because:

"Colombia has a democratic form of government and does not exhibit a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights."

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the Salvadoran Human Rights Group reports that 13 bodies had been found in the preceding two weeks, most showing signs of torture, including two women who had been hanged from a tree by their hair, their breasts cut off and their faces painted red.

El Salvador's military government is funded and backed by the USA. Thousands of political opponents are killed every year by death squads.

Father Santiago writes that:

"People are not just killed by death squads in El Salvador -- they are decapitated and then their heads are placed on pikes and used to dot the landscape. Men are not just disemboweled by Salvadoran Treasury Police; their severed genitalia are stuffed in their mouths. Salvadoran women are not just raped by the national guard; their wombs are cut from their bodies and used to cover their faces. It is not enough to kill children; they are dragged over barbed wire until the flesh falls from their bones while parents are forced to watch. The aesthetics of terror in El Salvador is religious. The intention is to ensure that the individual is totally subordinated to the interests of the Fatherland, which is why death squads are sometimes called the 'Army of National Salvation' by the governing ARENA party."

Children
Dead Villagers
Two children killed by the National Guard. Salvadorian soldier near the bodies of villagers.

El Playon victims
Death squad victims at El Playon in 1984.

Two Sisters
Two teenage sisters killed by death squad.

Turkey

A report about Turkey by Amnesty International states:

"Thousands of people were imprisoned for political reasons...and the use of torture continued to be widespread and systematic".

One victim of torture remembers:

"I loosened the blindfold and looked around. The scene was horrific. People were piled up in the corridor waiting their turn to be tortured. Ten people were being led, blindfolded and naked, up and down the corridor and were being beaten to force them to sing reactionary marches. Others, incapable of standing, were tied to hot radiator pipes. A man was forced to watch while his children were tortured."

In 1987, Turkey was the third largest recipient of aid from the USA.

Jamaica

During a pre-election interview, Roger Robinson, an economist for the World Bank in Jamaica discusses the economic future of the country:

"Five years ago, people were thinking about 'meeting local needs', but not any more. Now the lawyers and others with access to resources are interested in external export investment. Once you have that ingrained in a population, you can't go back easily. Now there's an understanding among individuals who save, invest, and develop their careers that capital will start leaving again if [the next government] intervenes too much".

Western Companies in Asia

In a report for the magazine Far Eastern Review, Charles Gray, the executive director of the Asian-American Free Labor Institute observes that multi-national companies setting up in foreign countries "generally insist the host government surpress the right of workers to organise and join unions, even when the right is guaranteed in the country's own constitution and laws".

He writes that in Malaysia, "US and other foreign corporations forced the Labour Ministry in 1988 to continue the government's long standing prohibition of unions in the electronics industry by threatening to shift their jobs and investments to another country".

He adds that in Bangladesh, multi-national companies "discriminate against women and girls by paying them starvation wages as low as [$0.09] an hour".

In China, the managers of multi-national companies were asked to respect labour laws. "The managers refused, and said that if they were unable to operate the way they wanted they would close their Chinese factories and move to Thailand".


1989

USA and Panama

The USA invades Panama to capture Manuel Noriega, the former USA backed president whom they accuse of drug trafficking. Over 4000 Panamanians are killed in the operation with unknown numbers buried in mass graves or incinerated. Of the invaders, 23 Americans die. The USA, UK and France veto a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion.

During the invasion, residential areas are attacked by helicopters. A tank destroys a bus killing 26 people. Houses are burnt and buldozed. Over 15,000 people lose their homes. Troops shoot at ambulances killing many wounded. Access to the Red Cross is denied by the USA military.

The village of Pacora is sprayed with a gas that causes peoples' skin to burn and gives the villagers diarrhea.

Political offices, newspaper offices and radio stations are searched and looted; opposition and union leaders are detained. The office of the Panamanian publishing company ERSA (which owns three newspapers) are occupied by USA security forces who turn it over to a member of the ruling elite who had favoured USA intervention in Panama. The editor of the newspaper La Republica, which had opposed USA intervention and had reported casualty figures, is arrested by the USA military, held for six weeks and imprisoned without trial or charge.

Staff from the Embassy of Cuba are detained. Loud music is blared at the Embassy of the Vatican City after Noriega takes refuge there.

The residence of the ambassador of Nicaragua is ransacked by USA troops in violation of the Geneva Convention. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the violation of diplomatic privilege; the UK abstains. This was not reported in the USA media.

Noriega is eventually arrested and imprisoned in the USA after having worked for the CIA since the early 1950s. He had spied on fellow students, instructors and officers at the Military Acadamy for the CIA and had monitored union activity against the USA company United Fruit. During the 1980s he had been receiving $ 200,000 per year from the USA for his activities.

The Panamanian military is put under the leadership of Colonel Eduardo Herrera Hassan. The USA newspaper, The New York Times writes that Hassan "most energetically shot, gassed, beat and tortured civilian protestors during the wave of demonstrations against Gereral Noriega that erupted [in Panama] in the summer of 1987" but is "a favorite of the American and diplomatic establishment here."

Money laundering and drug trafficking continues in the new regime with USA soldiers implicated.

The news agency, Associated Press, reports that the USA Congress passes a resolution (389-26) "commending [President George] Bush for his handling of the invasion and expressing sadness over the loss of 23 American lives".

Little mention is made of Panama's civilian casualties in the USA media and no compensation has ever been paid to the thousands of homeless living in refugee camps. The poor neighbourhood of El Chorillo, flattened by the USA action, is to be redeveloped into a posh area as business opponents of Noriega had long desired.

All foreign media is banned by the USA during the invasion.

The USA president, George Bush, is asked if the capture of Noriega was worth the death toll: "I have to answer, yes, it has been worth it".

The USA author Noam Chomsky later writes:

"A few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the USA invaded Panama, killing hundreds or thousands of people, vetoing two [United Nations] Security Council resolutions, and kidnapping a thug who was jailed in the USA for crimes that he had mostly committed while on the CIA payroll before committing the only one that mattered: disobedience. The pattern of events was familiar enough, but there were some differences. One was pointed out by Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty to crimes committed when he was a State Department official during the Reagan years, and has now been appointed Human Rights specialist at the [USA] National Security Council. At the time of the invasion, he commented, astutely, that for the first time in many years the USA could resort to force with no concern about Russian reactions. There were also new pretexts: the intervention was in defense against Hispanic narcotraffickers, not the Russians who were mobilizing in Managua, two days march from Harlingen, Texas."

Elliot Abrams observed that "[USA President] Bush probably is going to be increasingly willing to use force [now that] developments in Moscow have lessened the prospect for a small operation to escalate into a superpower conflict".

USA and Libya

USA forces shoot down two Libyan planes off the coast of Libya. The USA vetoes a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the action.

USA Vetos in UN

The USA vetoes a number of United Nations resolutions:

Two resolutions calling for all states to observe international law: one condemning USA support for the Contra army in Nicaragua, the other condemning the USA's illegal embargo of Nicaragua (only Israel votes with the USA); opposing the acquisision of territory by force (151 to 3 with Israel and Dominica).

A resolution calling for the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on previous United Nations resolutions calling for recognised borders, security and self determination for the Palestinians.

Between 1970 and 1990, the USA used its United Nations veto 58 times. This is more than any other country possessing a veto (USA, The Soviet Union (USSR), UK, France, China). The UK is second in its use of the veto.

This is reported in the USA newspaper, The Washington Post, as follows: "During the Cold War years, the Soviet veto and the hostility of many Third World nations made the United Nations an object of scorn to many American politicians and citizens."

The UK television station, BBC, reports that "Time and time again during the Cold war, the Kremlin used its veto to protect its interests from the threat of UN intervention". The Kremlin is the seat of government of the USSR.

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."

Paraguay

In Paraguay, the dictator, Stroessner is overthrown by a military coup.

El Salvador

6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter are killed by the military in El Salvador. A United Nations commission would later reveal that 19 of the 26 military officers involved in the killings were trained at the USA based School of the Americas.

USA aid to this country (most of which ends up with the military) peaks at $1 million per day. American coffee companies benefit.

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.

Guatemala

Sister Dianna Ortiz, an American nun, is abducted by the army in Guatemala. She is burned with cigarettes, repeatedly raped, lowered into a pit full of corpses and forced to stab another female prisoner. The man in charge is fair skinned and speaks Spanish with an American accent. He stops the torture when he realises that Ortiz is a USA citizen.

In 1996, Ortiz would obtain a document from the USA State Department in which her case is mentioned:

"We need to close the loop on the issue of the 'North American' named by Ortiz as being involved in the case. The embassy is very sensitive to this issue, but it is an issue we will have to respond to publicly."

China

A few weeks after the massacre of thousands of dissidents in Tienanmen Square in China, the USA approves business deals worth $ 300 million with the government. These include agricultural sales and a grant to build an underground railway in Shanghai. Two Chinese scholars invited by universities in the USA are denied entry after pressure from the Chinese government.

Children and World Poverty

The World Health Organisation (WHO) publishes a report that receives minimal attention from the Western media.

The report states that 11 million children die every year in the poorer countries from easilly preventiable causes like diarrhea (4 million, most of which could be saved by salt and sugar tablets costing less than $1) and infectious diseases (3 million, which could be vaccinated at a cost of $10 each).

The USA opposes an increase in aid to poorer countries to 0.2% of Gross National Product (GNP).

In 1989, poorer countries pay the rich countries $ 42,900 million more in debt repayments than they recieve in aid. This is an increase of $ 5,000 million from the previous year. Many of these debts were incurred by unelected governments supported, armed and sometimes put in place by the West. The people of these countries end up paying the debt with their lives.

Dominican Republic

A report in the UK magazine The Economist, describes conditions in the Dominican Republic 25 years after the USA invaded the country and imposed its preferred government and economic system. The report says:

Elections in the Philippines

During the election campaign for Corazon Aquino in the Philippines, writer Conrado de Quiros describes "democracy" in his country in his column in the newspaper, Daily Globe:

"For most Filipinos, American-style democracy meant little more than elections every few years. Beyond this, the colonial authorities made sure that only the candidates who represented colonial interests first and last won. This practice did not die with colonialism. The ensuing political order, which persisted long after independence, was one where a handful of familes effectively and ruthlessly ruled a society riven by inequality. It was democratic in form, borrowing as many American practices as it could, but autocratic in practice."

He goes on to say that democracy "was not designed to make Filipinos free but to make them more confortable with their chains". Of the candidates, "it is only those with money and muscle that can be elected". Candidates are mainly "relatives of powerful political families or members of the economic elite". Parties favoured by these elite elements outspend parties favoured by the majority of the population by 20 to 1.

Poverty and the "Free Market"

The journal South and the United Nations publication Report on Human Development describe the effect on people of the "free-market" as imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on several countries in South America as a condition for loans.

Brazil has the world's 8th largest economy, enormous natural wealth, no security concerns, a favourable climate and a reasonably homogenous population. According to the reports:

These events are happening 25 years after the Brazilian military took power in a coup described at the time by the USA Ambassador, Lincoln Gordon, as "the single most decisive victory of freedom in the mid-twentieth century". Once the democratic government had been removed the USA supported and financed the new regime and praised its economic policies, saying that they created "a greatly improved climate for private investment".

At one time, Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world. It has abundant resources, a rich coast line, and a homogenous population. According to reports:

In oil rich Venezuela, reports say:

Chile had its democratically elected governmnet removed by General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. The reports say:

Antonio Garza Morales writing in the magazine, Excelsior, remarks that "the social cost which has been paid by the Chilean people is the highest in Latin America".

Vietnamese in Hong Kong

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


1990

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is released from prison in South Africa after 27 years.

Israel and Palestine

In Israel, troops open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem killing 21 and injuring 150.

An Israeli soldier shoots and kills 7 labourers at Oyon Qara; 13 Palestinians are killed while demonstrating against the killings.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution to send three UN Security Council observers into the area.

The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture publishes a full page advertisement in newspapers saying:

"It is difficult to conceive of any political solution consistent with Israel's survival that does not involve complete, continued Israeli control of the water and sewerage systems [of the occupied territories], and of the associated infrastructure, including the power supply and road network, essential to their operation, maintenance and accessibility."

Israeli warplanes bomb a house in Siddiqine (Lebanon) killing 3 people.

A Save The Children report criticises Israel for its treatment of children in the occupied territories. The report documents the "indiscriminate beating, tear gassing, and shooting of children". The average age of the victims was 10 years old. In 80% of cases where children are shot, the Israeli forces prevent the victim from receiving medical attention. It concludes that 50,000 children required medical treatment for gun-shot wounds, tear gas inhalation and broken bones (often multiple fractures). Many children die after being shot by snipers in the head or heart.

Elections in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has elections. The popular Sandinista government had been blockaded and destabilised by the USA from neighbouring Honduras. The USA tells the people of the country that if the party it backed (the National Opposition Union) won the elections, the war would stop and aid would be forthcoming. Using the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the USA spends $ 9,000,000 on the opposition election campaign.

In the USA, Time Magazine writes that the methods used to destabilise Nicaragua were to "wreck the economy and prosecute a long and deadly proxy war until the exhausted natives overthrow the unwanted government themselves," with a cost to the USA that was "minimal".

Nicaragua returns to a "free market" economy. Ten years after having the best social services in Central America, it becomes one of the poorest nations with malnutrition and illiteracy widespread.

Philippines

Survival International reports that tribal people in the Philippines are being attacked by the private army of a logging company. During a six month period the army kills and tortures villagers, destroys rice stores, burns down houses and drives thousands from their homes.

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.

El Salvador

Rev. Daniel Santiago, a priest working in El Salvador, reports the story of a peasant woman who returns home to find her mother, sister, and three children sitting around a table, the decapitated head of each person placed on the table in front of the body, the hands arranged on top "as if each body was stroking its own head."

The killers of these and thousands of other people in the country are the USA funded, Salvadoran National Guard.

From 1984 to 1990, 6 Salvadoran military deserters have publicly acknowledged their participation in the death squads. Their stories confirm suspicions that the death squads are made up of members of the Salvadoran military, and also implicate USA personnel in death squad activity.

Cesar Vielman Joya Martinez, states that his unit carried out heavy interrogation (torture) after which the victims were killed. The job of his unit was to execute people by strangulation, slitting their throats, or injecting them with poison. He admitted killing eight people and participating in many more executions.

Guatemala

Michael DeVine, an American businessman living in Guatemala, stumbles on the military's drug trafficking activities. He is kidnapped and killed. In response, USA president, George Bush Sr, cuts off military aid to Guatemala and publicly criticises the regime.

Secretely, Bush continues to send CIA funds to the military to allow them to continue their activities, and strengthens the ties between the CIA and the Guatemalan military. USA media refer to Guatamela as a "fledgling democracy".

During a single month 125 people are killed by government death squads. Between 1985 and 1990 poverty in Guatemala increased from 45% to 70%. In rural areas 13 out of every 100 children die under the age of 5 from illnesses due to malnutrition. 20,000 people die of hunger every year. 100 children die of measles during the first four months of the year. Archbishop Rivera y Damas states that the Guatemalan regime admired by the USA "is working to maintain the system favouring a market economy which is making the poor yet poorer".

The International Human Rights Federation reports that 300 children are kidnapped every year, taken to secret nurseries and sold for adoption at $ 10,000 per child. A human farm is found containing children between the ages of 11 days to 4 months. The director of the farm admits that the children "were sold to American or Israeli families whose children needed organ transplants at the cost of $ 75, 000 per child".

USA and Bulgaria

The National Endowment of Democracy (NED - a USA organisation that funds American foreign policy objectives) pours $1,500,000 into the election campaign and selected newspapers in Bulgaria in an attempt to cause the defeat of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). The BSP wins the election.

The USA backs opposition forces to destabilise the new government which is forced eventually to resign. A year later, after the NED injects more money into the election, a government acceptable to the USA is elected.

USA and Germany

After the reunification of Germany, the USA CIA secretly removes the archives of the Stasi, East Germany's secret police. Despite requests from Germany for the return of the material, the USA keeps the documents for 9 years. In 1999 most, but not all, of the documents are returned.

Honduras

The National Council of Social Services in Honduras reports that children "were being sold to the body traffic industry".

A human farm is found in San Pedro Sula. According to the European Union infant corpses are found "stripped of one or a number of organs". The organs are sold on the black market for transplants.

Thailand

According to an Urgent Action Bulletin published in May 1990 by Survival International, Thailand planned to expel 6 million people from forests where it wanted to establish softwood plantations.

USA Military

The USA newspaper, Los Angeles Times (18 June) states:

"[USA] military installations have polluted the drinking water of the Pacific island of Guam, poured tons of toxic chemicals into Subic Bay in the Philippines, leaked carcinogens into the water source of a German spa, spewed tons of sulphurous coal smoke into the skies of Central Europe and pumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into the oceans."


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

Yugoslavia

Anti Albanian measures are enacted in Kosovo by Yugoslavia. Kososvo's 90% Albanian population had previously enjoyed autonomy.

Serbs begin ethnic cleansing of Croats. In Vukovar over 200 unarmed men are taken from the town hospital and killed. Over 600 people are still listed as missing.

Croatia ethnically cleanses Serbs. Both states attempt to split Bosnia between them. Thousands of Muslims are killed after the United Nations withdraws leaving them to their fate.

Thailand

Another military coup occurs in Thailand.

Yemenis in Saudi Arabia

A report by Amnesty International describes how the govenrment of Saudi Arabia, tortured hundreds of "guest workers" from Yemen and expels 750,000 of them because of "their suspected opposition to the Saudi government's position in the Gulf crisis". At the time the Western media is demonising the Iraq leadership but failes to mention this story.

Kurds in Turkey

In the parliament of Turkey, deputies who speak the phrase "Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood" are arrested and tried for "violating the unity of the Turkish nation".

In the Constitution of the Turkish republic, the following phrase is mentioned thirty-three times:

"Anybody who opposes the indivisibility of the Turkish Republic with its nation and its country, will be deprived of their basic human rights and freedoms."

The Kurds, a large minority in the south-east of the country who are referred to as Mountain Turks. A law banning the speaking of Kurdish on the streets is repealed; however, it remains illegal to speak Kurdish in court, in official settings, or at public meetings, and many cultural prohibitions remain in effect.

Coup in Haiti

General Raoul Cedras seizes power in Haiti after the election of Jean-Bertrand Aristide (who had won 67% of the vote out of 12 candidates). Under his regime there are at least 4.000 political assassinations and more than 40,000 flee the country in boats for the USA.

The USA had funded the opponents of Aristide.

Aung San Suu Kyi

In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest after winning the elections in 1989, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime does not allow her to leave the country to collect it.

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."

Pollution and the World Bank

Lawrence Summers, the chief economist of the World Bank sends a memo stating that the industrialised countries should migrate polluting industries to the less developed countries with lower wages:

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."

The memo forms part of an article in the UK magazine, The Economist (8 February) titled "Let Them Eat Pollution".

Other quotes from Summers include:

In 1999, Summers would be appointed as USA Undersecretary for the Treasury for International Affairs.

USA and Philippines

The USA maintains several large military bases in the Philippines. To curb protests against these bases, the USA embassy publishes polls showing 81% popular support for them. According to the USA newspaper, Los Angeles Times, an embassy official admits: "I made the numbers up".


1992

Bosnia

Serbs in Bosnia rape, expel and kill thousands of non-Serbs. 3,000 people are killed in Luka while Sarajevo is shelled. Prisoners are kept in concentration camps.

The Bosnian Serb forces are backed by Yugoslavia. Russia and Greece back Yugoslavia helping to break United Nations sanctions.

Croatia joins the war and expels non-Croats. Many Muslims are killed.

USA and Somalia

After entering Somalia for "humanitarian reasons", USA helicopters fire on a crowd including women and children killing over 200 people. According to a CIA estimate, in the entire operation (called "Operation Restore Hope") at least 7,000 people are killed by USA forces.

A newspaper in the USA, the Sunday New York Times has a headline declaring: "Colonialism's back -- and not a moment too soon." (18 April).

The article, written by Paul Johnson, charges that "some countries are just not fit to govern themselves," and argues that the poorest nations of the southern hemisphere should be forced to submit to formal "recolonisation" for a period of about 50 to 100 years. Johnson, who refers to developing countries as the "third world" and to industrialised nations as "the civilised powers," is writing about the USA military presence in Somalia - something which numerous other writers have compared to a return of formal colonisation.

Alex de Wall and Rakiya Omaar of African Rights in London (UK), are among them: "'Operation Restore Hope' represents an important strategic precedent for the way in which the USA, and to a lesser extent the European countries, use the United Nations to have their way with the world," the two human rights activists write the Spring 1993 edition of Covert Action Information Bulletin, a publication by opponents of underhanded actions against people in the Southern Hemisphere. They continue:

"Limits placed on Western access are warded off with charges of narcotics trade, international terrorism, and nuclear and chemical weapon proliferation. The potential disruption posed by unstable nations with no powerful central government is more problematic. In this context, philanthropic imperialism, spearheaded by ostensibly independent human aid agencies, can play an important strategic role. It can legitimise intervention taken for wholly different motives, for example, to win human rights credentials back home for electoral purposes, to safeguard military budgets, or to act against a perceived threat of Islamic fundamentalism. All these motives figures in the case of 'Operation Restore Hope.' Above all, Somalia was an easy and timely test for this new weapon in the arsenal of international control."

Palestine

Israel expels over 400 Palestinians to Lebanon.

India

Hindus destroy a mosque in Ayodhya (India) leading to riots in which 1,200 are killed.

Turkey

Security forces in Turkey shoot and kill 74 people in house raids. Evidence suggests that the killings are deliberate executions. Security forces also shoot and kill more than 100 peaceful demonstrators. Many people disappear while in the custody of police or the military.

In the Kurdish region, the government fails to investigate the assassinations of 165 people by assailants using death squad tactics. Among those killed are journalists, teachers, doctors, human rights activists and political leaders; many suspect government complicity in the killings.

Colombia

In Colombia, the Andean Commission of Jurists reports that between 1988 and 1992, 9,500 people were assassinated for political reasons, 830 political activists disappeared and 313 peasants were massacred.

A report by the Belgium based Latin American Inquiry states that Colombia has declared total war against "the internal enemy". The report describes the enemy as:

"labour organizations, popular movements, indigenous organizations, oppositional political parties, peasant movements, intellectual sectors, religious currents, youth and student groups, neighborhood organizations."

A Colombian military manual suggests that: "Every individual who in one or another manner supports the goals of the enemy must be considered a traitor and treated in that manner." Colombia's military is funded by the USA under the pretext of fighting drugs.

Over 1000 members of the Patriotic Union (the only independent political party) have been killed by death squads since its founding in 1985.

In Colombia, 3% of the population own over 70% of arable land while 57% of the poorest farmers subsist on under 3%.

El Salvador

The civil war in El Salvador ends. The USA had backed the government in its suppression of civil rights, trade unions and social justice. $6,000 million of military aid had been given to the country by the USA. Deaths squads and military actions had killed 75,000 civilians.

One former USA ambassador to El Salvador would tell a USA court in 2002 that he used to see bodies stacked up in the capital on a daily basis.

Elections in Albania

The USA becomes involved in the elections in Albania.

USA diplomats (including the Ambassador) appear on platforms with candidates of the Democratic Party in opposition to the Communist Party which had won the previous elections. The USA NED (a funding organisation) pours money into favoured candidates. Albanians are informed that if the Communist Party won they would lose American aid.

USA and Angola

The USA backed Jonas Savimbi fails to win elections in Angola.

Savimbi had been destabilising Angola since 1974. The incumbent government refuses to allow USA companies concessions to the country's oil and diamonds. The USA continue to arm and finance Savimbi as he continues to destabilise Angola. Over 650,000 people have died in the conflict.

USA Foreign Policy

The USA produces a strategy document called Defence Planning Guidance (written by Paul Wolfowitz). Its main suggestions are:

The section on oil reads: "In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil."


1993

USA and Iraq

The USA bombs Iraq. The missiles kill 8 people. The USA president Bill Clinton informs the American people that the attack is in retaliation for a (never proven) plot to assassinate former president George Bush.

Clinton says that the attack "was essential to send a message to those who engage in state-sponsored terrorism and to affirm the expectation of civilised behaviour among nations."

Torture in Israel

In the USA, the New York Times notes that Israel tortures 400 to 500 people per month. Israel is the largest recipient of aid from the USA.

Torture in Turkey

Amnesty International documents the use of virginity testing in Turkey as a means of criminalising, threatening and abusing women and considers it a form of torture and ill-treatment.

For women detainees, threats of rape are often compounded by police taunts that rape will deprive women of their virginity and honor, prevent them from marrying and cause them to be ostracized by their families and communities. Police emphasis on virginity in the harassment and abuse of female detainees also has led them to use the threat or performance of forced virginity exams to harass, humiliate, intimidate, frighten, punish and torture women detainees.

A year earlier, a 43 year old Kurdish woman and her 19 year old daughter were arrested while they were attending a funeral in Diyarbakir. They were tortured and interrogated about how they knew the man who had been buried. According to the daughter:

"They constantly threatened to take me for virginity control and then to rape me when and if they found out I wasn't a virgin."

The Kurdish village of Ormanii in eastern Turkey is attacked by Turkish troops. 7 villagers (including a child) are forced to lie in the snow for over 8 hours before being taken to a nearby Army base. After several days in freezing temperatures in a room exposed to the weather, 5 of the villagers develop frostbite and gangrene. One villager eventually dies, and 4, including the child, have their feet amputated.

USA and Cuba

The American Association of World Health reports that the USA imposed trade embargo against Cuba "has contributed to serious nutritional deficits, particularly among pregnant women, leading to an increase in low birthweight babies. In addition, food shortages were linked to a devastating outbreak of neuropathy numbering in the tens of thousands."

The USA's boycotts of countries like Cuba as well as threats to retaliate against non-USA companies doing business with them violates the global trade rules that the USA has signed. Although it exempts itself from these rules, the USA insists on other countries abiding by them.

When European countries refuse to boycott Cuba, the USA's President Clinton asserts in the Newspaper of Record:

"Europe is challenging 'three decades of American Cuba policy that goes back to the Kennedy Administration,' and is aimed entirely at forcing a change of government in Havana.".

Despite the USA embargo and the assumption that the USA has the right to change the government of a foreign country, Cuba has 57,000 doctors for its 11 million people. Associated Press has reported that since 1963, Cuba has sent 51,820 doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical doctors to the poorest nations, providing free medical aid. During the 1960s, the USA was behind many attempts to assassinate the Cuban president, Fidel Castro.

Brazil

Indigenous tribes are massacred by mineral prospectors in Brazil.

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.

South Africa (End of Apartheid)

South Africa finally abolishes Apartheid after 44 years.

The United Nations Economic Commission estimates that "South Africa's military aggression and destabilisation of its neighbours cost the region $ 10,000 million in 1988 and over $ 60,000 million and 1,500,000 lives [between 1980 and 1989]".

Thailand and Burma

In Thailand, troops destroy two large refugee camps housing Burmese refugees who are deported back to Burma. The Thai newspaper, Nation, states that the action is related to the building of a gas pipeline between the two countries.

Australia

Eddie Mabo (an Aborigine, one of the indigenous people of Australia), takes the Australian government to court over land rights.

When Europeans had arrived in Australia 200 years previously, they had seen the land as uninhabited and had parcelled it out into huge estates. The Aborigines had always been excluded from decision making over the development and use of their land.

The court's ruling (known as the Mabo Decision) states that the Aborigines might have title to land owned by the estates but only if the ownership was leasehold (possession for a limited period) rather than freehold (possession in perpetuity).

The government introduces a law that allows them to determine all land claims and to convert leaseholds to freeholds. The net result is that the native peoples lose their right to determine the future of the land. 42% of Australia would be controlled by 20,000 people, mainly the powerful and influential like media owners Kerry Packer (the 7th largest land owner) and Rupert Murdoch (who has nine large landholdings and controls 70% of the major newspapers).


1994

Russia and Chechnya

30,000 people are killed as Chechnya attempts to gain independence from Russia. This becomes known as the First Chechnyan War.

Bosnia

In Bosnia 60 people are killed in Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb shelling. Russia and Greece continue support.

Rwanda

At least 500,000 people die after genocidal killings in Rwanda. The world refuses to help and France continues supporting the government while the massacres take place.

Rwanda Massacre
In Ntarama 5000 people are killed in six hours.

Rwanda Orphans
Three war orphans.
Rwanda Orphans
War orphans in Nyamata. Many were babies when their parents died;
others were abandoned after their mothers were raped.

USA and Haiti

The reforming priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide had won the 1991 election in Haiti only to be removed by a coup. On his return to power, USA troops arrive to participate in the change of government and to look after American business interests.

The Western media's reports of the invasion talk of Haiti "festering in America's backyard" and that the USA had "brought democracy" to Haiti. No mention is made of USA involvement in the country's dictatorships since 1849.

The USA historian, Amy Wilentz explains:

"[The invasion] achieves two strategic [American] goals - one, a restructured and dependent agriculture that exports to [USA] markets and is open to American exploitation, and the other, a displaced rural population that not only can be employed in offshore [USA] industries and towns, but is more susceptible to army control."

General Raoul Cedras is flown by the USA to exile. Several generals involved in torture and killing end up living in the USA. General Prosper Avril (tortured opponents and displayed the victims on television) retires to Florida. Colonel Carl Dorelian (responsible for the deaths of 5000 people and numerous kidnappings, rapes and torture) also retires to Florida. Emmanuel Constant (leader of a paramilitary group responsible for murders, torture, public beatings, arson raids, machete attacks) moves to New York; the USA government refuses to extradite Constant to Haiti.

While in Haiti, the USA military remove 160,000 documents, audio and video tapes. The USA refuses to return the material despite requests by the government of Haiti, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Palestine

Gaza and the West Bank gain limited self rule but Israel regularly closes borders leading to economic hardship for the Palestinians. Several thousand armed settlers (colonists) remain on the occupied territories, protected by thousands of Israeli troops.

One USA-born settler, Dr Baruch Goldstein, kills 29 Palestinians at prayer in a mosque in Hebron with an army assault rifle. Israeli occupation forces stand by during the massacre and delay the arrival of ambulances. Goldstein is killed. At his memorial service, Rabbi Yaacov Perin states that "one million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail."

After the killings, the Israelis impose a five week curfew on the 1 million inhabitants of the West Bank during which 76 more Palestinians are killed, mostly stone throwing children.

At this point, Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank began attacking Israeli military and civilian targets using suicide bombers, 27 years after the occupation of their land began.

Israeli Settlements (West Bank)

Since the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem by Israel in 1967, hundreds of illegal settlements (the blue triangles) have been built in violation of the Geneva Conventions and United Nations resolutions. The USA has vetoed many United Nations resolutions condemning these settlements and has financed their building.

This is a 2002 map. The number of settlements (actually they are better described as "colonies") has continued to increase even after the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s.

© Foundation for Middle East Peace.

USA, Jordan and Palestinian Refugees

Jordan signs a peace treaty with Israel. In return for USA aid, Jordan agrees with the Israeli view that Palestinian refugees do not have the right of return to their homes. This is in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Western Companies and Torture

Electric shock torture is widely used in a number of totalitarian countries. According to Amnesty International:

"The torture includes insertion of a metal stick into the anus and electric shocks. Victims are left bleeding and unable to walk, and are denied any medical attention. Victims have been tortured, often repeatedly, with shocks applied to armpits, necks, faces, chests, abdomens, the inside of the legs, soles of the feet, inside mouths and ears, on genitals and inside the vagina and rectum. Immediate effects include severe pain, loss of muscle control, convulsions, fainting, and involuntary defecation and urination. Longer-term effects can include muscle stiffness, impotence, scarring, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder."

Although most European countries have stopped that trade in these implements, the USA government approves the export of electric shock weapons to Saudi Arabia, electro-shock shields to Mexico and stun guns to Venezuela and China. A French company admits to having supplied to countries in North Africa, while a major German supplier publishes its catalogue in Russian and Arabic.

Kurds and Greeks in Turkey

In Turkey hundreds of women and girls (as young as 12) are raped during military operations against Kurds. Turkish Television reports soldiers even raping dead female guerrillas. The Turkish President says that the soldiers were just "22 or 23 year old guys who can't control themselves".

In Tunceli province only 18 villages remain intact out of over 60 after a military operation against Kurds. Men are kidnapped by Turkish security forces to act as porters. Troops, backed by helicopters, destroy the villages of Buzlutepe and Bilekli by aerial bombardment, burning and shell fire, killing 6 persons. The soldiers then burn down a number of other villages in the area.

Village guards are used to spy on and control Kurdish villages. In one incident village guards attack the village of Kutlu killing 6 people including a 78 year old man and several children.

Two Turkish fighter-bombers drop 4 large bombs on the village of Ku Konar. The bombs are dropped after a helicopter overflight. Two of the bombs land directly in the middle of the village, killing 24 people, including 12 children.

More than 100 Greek school children in Istanbul are denied access to Turkish universities even though they have passed the relevant examinations.

The government of Turkey uses an ancient Greek Orthodox church (Haghia Eirene) in Istanbul as a stage of a beauty contest insulting millions of Orthodox Christians around the world. The Church was built in the 6th Century AD, was later converted to a mosque, and finally transformed to a museum in 1923. It is a World Heritage Site protected by UNESCO.

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.

Debt

UNESCO publishes a report which estimates that about 500,000 children die every year from Debt Repayment. Debt Repayment is due to commercial banks in the richer Western countries having made loans to poorer countries (often with unelected dictatorial governments). The interest paid on the loans does not allow the debtor countries to provide public services for their populations.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 11,000,000 children die every year from easily treatable diseases. The WHO has called this "a silent genocide."

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.

The World Bank and Dams

The World Bank finances the Pak Mun Dam in Thailand.

The dam blocks fish migration for the entire Mun-Chi river system and leads to the submergence of rapids important for fish breeding. As a result, 169 fish species are no longer found upstream of the dam, and fish catches have decreased by approximately 70% from previous levels, affecting 25,000 people who depend on fisheries for their livelihood.

The World Bank has provided more than $60,000 million for over 500 large dams in over 90 countries, including many of the world's largest and most controversial projects. Many cause environmental and cultural damage, line the pockets of the host government, and displace thousands of people. The World Bank rarely compensates people for their losses.

World Bank funded large dams have turned more than 10 million men, women and children into refugees in their own land, including 180,000 people displaced by the Xiaolangdi Dam in China, 24,000 Indonesian villagers, some of whom clung to their rooftops as the waters rose behind Kedung Ombo Dam, and the 80,000 farmers of the Volta River Valley in Ghana, forced from their homes by the Akosombo Dam. These refugees have, in the great majority of cases, been economically, culturally and emotionally devastated. In many cases, once self sufficient farming families have been reduced to eking out a living as migrant labourers or slum dwellers.

People who live downstream of dams are often forced to abandon their homes because of loss of fisheries, changes to hydrology which eliminate seasonal floodplain agriculture, or of other benefits previously provided by the undammed river. In Mali, 11,000 people were flooded out by the Manantali Dam, but 500,000 farmers downstream are suffering the consequences of the changed flow regime of the Senegal River.

World Bank funded dams are responsible for the submergence of tens of thousands of square kilometers of forests, the decimation of countless fisheries, the opening of remote areas for resource extraction, and the loss of floodplain, wetland and estuarine habitat. Tucurui Dam and Balbina Dam together drowned 6,400 square kilometers of rain forest in the Brazilian Amazon. Akosombo Dam flooded more land than any other dam in the world, 8,500 square kilometers, around four percent of the area of Ghana. World Bank funded dams and irrigation schemes have also led to explosions in the incidence of waterborne diseases, especially schistosomiasis and malaria.

USA

The USA Senate publishes a report called Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans' Health?. The report covers the period between 1940 and 1994. The report begins:

"Approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test two chemical agents, mustard gas and lewisite (blister gas). Most of the subjects were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical follow up after their participation in the research. Additionally, some of these human subjects were threatened with imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth if they discussed these experiments with anyone, including their wives, parents and family doctors. For decades, the Pentagon denied that the research had taken place, resulting in decades of suffering for many veterans who became ill after the secret testing."

Other examples include:

The damage done to USA soldiers is such that a third of all homeless in the USA are military veterans.

The USA writer, William Blum, draws the following conclusion:

"If the United States government does not care about the health and welfare of its own soldiers, if our leaders are not moved by the prolonged pain and suffering of the wretched warriors enlisted to fight the empire's wars, how can it be argued, how can it be believed, that they care about foreign peoples?"

USA and Colombia

The USA continues sending military aid to Colombia "to fight drug trafficking".

A report by Amnesty International estimates that over 20,000 people have been killed in Colombia between 1986 and 1994, mainly by the USA backed military and its paramilitary allies: "not in the 'drug wars' but for political reasons". Many of the victims are trade unionists, human rights activists and leaders of legal opposition movements. The report concludes that:

"USA supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit these abuses in the name of 'counterinsurgency'."

In 1999, 743kg of cocaine would be found in a Colombian Air Force cargo plane landing in the USA.

Iran and Argentina

In Argentina, 85 people are killed in a car bomb attack on the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association in Buenos Aires.

The president of Argentina, Carlos Menem, is later revealed to have taken bribes of $ 10 million from Iran to block the investigation.

Burma

In Burma, the USA oil company, Unocal contracts out its security operations to the Burmese military. Soldiers force dozens of villagers to relocate so that a pipeline could be built.


1995

Kurds in Turkey

Turkey begins an offensive against its substantial Kurdish minority. 3500 villages are destroyed, nearly 3 million people are driven out of their homes, and tens of thousands are killed.

Yashar Kemal, (author of 36 books and a perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature) is charged with violating anti-terrorism laws in Turkey. The charges stem from an article about the oppression of the Kurds in Turkey written for a German magazine, Der Spiegel.

Because Turkey is a NATO country and has USA bases, Western criticism is muted. The USA provides 80% of Turkey's arms.

France Nuclear Testing

France explodes nuclear bombs on Pacific islands disregarding local and world opinion.

Bosnia

Serbs in Bosnia commit atrocities when they over-run the United Nations declared safe areas of Srebrenica and Zepa. Thousands of men and boys are lead off to be massacred while women and girls are raped.

Israel and Palestine

Israel and the PLO sign a peace agreement. Palestinians are given limited self rule in selected areas but Israel retains the right to control 145 settlements (colonies), 128 of them armed, with thousands of troops.

Under the Agreement, the West Bank (the occupied territories minus Gaza) would be divided into three areas:

The city of Hebron was to be split into two. 20% of the city (including the best commercial areas) would be reserved for the 450 heavily armed Jewish settlers. The remaining 80% would be for the 130,000 Palestinians, who are often subject to curfews and restrictions of movement.

Between 1992 (when Yitzak Rabin was elected Prime Minister of Israel) and 1995, the settler (colonist) population in the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights (but not including East Jerusalem) increased from 78,400 to 136,000. Land for the building of settlements is confiscated from the Palestinians.

Israeli policy in the West Bank was splitting the Arab areas into cantons criss-crossed by Jewish-only settlements and their Jewish-only access roads. This, and the need for Palestinians to hold and show passes leads Tanya Reinhart, a professor from Tel Aviv University, to compare the situation in the occupied territories to apartheid in South Africa.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution confirming that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Convention.

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.

Afghanistan

The Taliban take power in Afghanistan. They impose an extreme form of Islamic law on the country: closing schools for girls and requiring women to remain at home and only come out if completely covered. Men are imprisoned if their beards are not long enough. Television, photography and music are banned.

The USA oil company Unocal, invites some of the leaders of the Taliban to Houston, where they are royally entertained. The company offers the new regime payment for oil and gas transported through Afganistan via a pipeline. A figure of 15% is mentioned.

Unocal had been seeking since 1995 to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea. The company's scheme requires a single administration in Afghanistan, which would guarantee safe passage for its goods.

Initially, the USA supports the Taliban. A couple of years later, a USA diplomat would state:

"the Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco [a US oil consortium which worked in Saudi Arabia], pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that."

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."

USA and Iran

The USA imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran. The reasons given are the usual ones of "sponsorship of terrorism, seeking to acquire nuclear arms and hostility to the Middle East peace process".

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.

India and Kashmir

The Chief Minister of Kashmir (India), Dr. Farooq Abdullah admits in an interview that over 66,158 people have died in Kashmir since 1989 at the hands of Indian security forces. Of these, 59,170 were shot, 585 were burnt alive, 2,235 were tortured to death, 568 were drowned in the River Jhelum and over 3,600 people were killed crossing into Pakistan.

Since 1989, over 70,600 people remain in prison without trial. The number of displaced persons exceeds 100,000.

Mexico

The USA gives Mexico millions of dollars of military aid to suppress the Zapatistas, a group demanding economic and social rights for the country's indigenous people. The West's media report that the aid is to fight drug trafficking.

In violation of USA law, helicopters paid for by the aid, attack local communities with machine guns, rockets and bombs. Paramilitaries trained by the USA CIA carry out massacres and torture opponents.

American companies, under North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) plans, want indigenous peoples' land to grow cash crops for export rather than food and access to oil and minerals. Riordan Roett, a consultant for Chase Manhatten Bank in New York (USA) writes:

"[The Mexican government] will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy... [and] will need to consider carefully whether or not to allow opposition victories if fairly won at the ballot box".


1996

Israel and Lebanon

Israel attacks southern Lebanon. Some 400,000 Lebanese abandon their homes in an eight hour period after 16,000 shells rain down on them. The Israelis bomb the abandoned houses.

Israel attacks Qana, a United Nations refugee camp in southern Lebanon, with 6 anti-personnel shells killing over 106 people, mostly women and children. The camp was home to 500 Lebanese forced from their villages in southern Lebanon by Israeli raids.

The survivors describe what happened:

"I fled in the morning with two friends and went for refuge to the emergency forces in Qana. I had my wife and my four children with me. They led us into a shelter where there were about fifty people. Then suddenly the sound of bombing rang out. A first shell, then a second fell near the shelter, and as we were trying to get out, another shell hit the shelter directly. I don't know what happened to my wife and children."

"I heard people shouting 'Allahu akbar!', and a woman fell down unconscious. I reached out to get an idea what had happened to her, and her brain fell into my hand."

"In one second I lost everything: my children, 14 of my grandchildren, and my wife. I don't want to live anymore. Tell the doctors to let me die."

The Israeli claim that the attack was accidental is discounted by United Nations observers who also condemn Israel for missile attacks on ambulances and residential areas. The USA magazine Newsweek informs its readers that the victims had "died in the cross fire".

The USA arms Israel and continually blocks United Nations resolutions condemning the occupation.

Israel and Palestine

Over 80 Palestinians are killed in the West Bank by Israeli troops. In one incident, an Israeli helicopter fires at an ambulance killing two women and four girls.

The parliament of Israel approves the building of more settlements (colonies) on Palestinian land against the wishes of the local people and in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations.

USA and Iraq

The USA bombs Iraq. This bombing has been going on for six years.

The USA finances the Iraqi National Accord with millions of dollars. This group uses car bombs in Baghdad and other cities in an attempt to destabilise Saddam Hussein. Over 100 civilians have been killed in Baghdad between 1994 and 1996. A few weeks later at a USA led conference in Egypt, one of the topics of discussion would be the flow of money to terrorist groups.

Torture in Turkey

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association about torture in Turkey tells of doctors being forced to examine torture victims and sign medical reports indicating there were no physical signs of torture. The report describes some of the forms of torture used in Turkey:

"Some of the methods of physical torture reported by those interviewed were severe beatings, including falanga (beating of the soles of the feet); various forms of suspension; sexual violations, including testicle squeezing and twisting; electric shock; blunt trauma causing injury to internal organs; and burns. Psychological methods of torture included being deprived of food and water, being sprayed with cold pressurized water, threats to friends and family, isolation, immobilizations, mock executions, and being forced to witness the torture of others."

Children as young as 12 are regularly arrested and sent to long prison terms after being tortured. One 14 year old boy states:

"I had to undress...They asked questions that were nothing to do with me; when I said I did not know, they twisted my testicles...Four of them held me by the hands and arms and gave electric shocks to my right thumb, to my sexual organs, to my arms and to my stomach...Afterwards I had no feeling in my right foot and sexual organ."

Human Rights Watch publishes a report describing how weapons supplied by NATO countries (USA, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Canada and Belgium), play a central role in abuses committed by Turkish security forces in their campaign to evacuate and burn Kurdish villages in southeastern Turkey.

As a USA official admits:

"There's a lot of misery being caused by the village evacuations. It's being done in a very brutal way, and no provision is being made for the refugees."

The European Court of Human Rights condemns Turkey for destroying the village of Kelekci in the Kurdish region of the country in 1993.

Serbia Elections

Slobodan Milosevic annuls elections in Serbia.

Brazil

The government in Brazil decrees that land belonging to indigenous peoples is opened up to multinational companies.

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.

Global Climate Coalition

The Global Climate Coalition, GCC, (set up in 1989) is a public relations (PR) company created and financed by a group of Western multinational corporations including: Arco, Dow Hydrocarbons, Exxon, Philips, Texaco, General Motors, BP, DuPont, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, and Shell.

The GCC attempts to discredit scientific research on global warming even resorting to personally attacking some of the scientists themselves.

In the run up to the Kyoto Summit (about climate change) the GCC spends $13 million to oppose any reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. A series of damaging stories against one of the leading scientists working on global warming (Ben Santer) are released by the GCC and published by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal in the USA.

John Grasser of the GCC would later assert at the Kyoto Summit:

"We think we have raised enough questions among the American public to prevent any numbers, targets or timetables to achieve reductions in gas emissions being achieved here. What we are doing, and we think successfully, is buying time for our industries by holding up these talks."

The USA (which emits 25% of the world's carbon dioxide) states that it would like to see more action by "developing nations".

The School of the Americas

In the USA the Pentagon (headquarters of the country's military) releases 7 training manuals used to train military personnel at the School of the Americas (SOA) set up by the American army in 1946.

Military from many countries were trained at this school: Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, and Venezuela.

The USA newspaper, the Washington Post, reports that the manuals: "suggested militaries infiltrate and suppress even democratic political dissident movements and hunt down opponents in every segment of society in the name of fighting Communism."

One of the manuals is about counter-intelligence which defines its targets as "local or national political party teams, or parties that have goals, beliefs or ideologies contrary or in opposition to the National Government", or "teams of hostile organizations whose objective is to create dissension or cause restlessness among the civilian population in the area of operations." The manual recommends that the army create a "blacklist" of "persons whose capture and detention are of foremost importance to the armed forces." It should include "subversive persons, political leaders known or suspected as hostile toward the Armed Forces or the political interests of the National Government," and "collaborators and sympathizers of the enemy."

Insurgents "can resort to subverting the government by means of elections in which the insurgents cause the replacement of an unfriendly government official to one favourable to their cause".

Another manual (Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla) describes measures for controlling city populations: Identity cards, registration, control by blocks, police patrols, curfew and checkpoints.

Handling of Sources describes methods of placing and looking after spies.

Graduates from the SOA include:

USA in Space

The USA considers taking control of space to look after its interests. A Pentagon document called United States Space Command Vision for 2020 talks about "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect USA interests and investment. During the early portion of the 21st century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare."

Part of the strategy involves the development of: "ballistic missile defences using space systems and planning for precision strikes from space... a region of with increasing commercial, civil, international and military interests and investment. Control of space is the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required."

A year later, Keith Hall, from the USA Air Force for Space would admit: "with regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we're going to keep it."

Joseph Ashy of the USA Space Command states: "We will engage terrestrial targets someday - ships, airplanes, land targets - from space. We're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space."

Placing weapons into space would violate a United Nations resolution unanimously adopted in 1963.

USA Companies in Haiti

The Superior Baseball Plant in Haiti, pays its workers $0.38 for every 12 baseballs sown. These are made for the USA. By subcontracting, American companies can evade responsibility for local conditions. The journalist, John Pilger described the conditions:

"...girls stooped in front of whirring, hissing, binding machines. Many had swollen eyes and lacerated arms. There was no protection and a large man barked orders at them."

Workers making Micky Mouse and Pocahontas pyjamas for Disney are paid $0.12 per hour.

In addition to being a cheap manufacturing base for the USA, Haiti's sugar, bauxite (an ore of Aluminium), sisal (a fibre from a leaf) are all controlled by USA companies. This is the main reason behind the 1994 USA invasion of Haiti although the American president, Bill Clinton, said it was because of "unacceptable human rights violations that shame our hemisphere."

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.

East Timor

In Australia, an enquiry occurs into the deaths of six Australian, UK, and New Zealand journalists and cameramen during the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia in 1975. Both the UK and Australian governments had kept quiet about the killings until persistent campaigning from the widow of one of the journalists, Greg Shackleton.

After the enquiry concludes (against eye witness testimony) that the journalists were killed in "cross fire", the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, states that "you can't always expect countries with whom you want to have good relations to have the same value system as we have."

Indonesia's annexation of East Timor had resulted in 200,000 deaths, a third of the population. This figure had been verified by Amnesty International, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Australian Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Timor Gap Treaty, signed in 1989, had allowed Australia and Indonesia to exploit East Timor's huge oil reserves, estimated at 7000 million barells.

The two countries upgrade this treaty to allow the plunder of East Timor's fishing grounds. Another deal on infrastructure projects benefits the Indonesian president (Suharto) and his family to the tune of $53,000 million. The Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fisher, describes Suharto as "perhaps the world's greatest figure in the latter half of the 20th century".

India and Kashmir

During the year, Indian security forces in Kashmir kill 9,972 people. Victims include political activists and journalists:

India had taken over 65% of Kashmir against the wishes of the population in 1947. It has consistently denied the people a vote on the future of the state.

USA and Cuba

A crop duster aircraft operated by the USA State Department is spotted releasing a mist over Matanzas province in Cuba by another pilot. The plane had permission to fly from the USA to Colombia via the Grand Caymen and to overfly Cuba.

Two months later a plague of Thrips Palmi, a pesticide resistant insect, is observed in the area. This spreads rapidly affecting corn, beans, squash, cucumbers and other crops. When questioned, the USA replies that the pilot had sprayed smoke to indicate his position. This is contradicted by the USA Federal Aviation Administration which knows of "no regulation calling for this practice".

In 1977 a released CIA document had admitted that it "maintained a clandestine anti-crop warfare research program targeted during the 1960s at a number of countries around the world".

Elections in Russia

In Russia, Boris Yeltsin receives political advice from a group of Americans working through Dick Morris, adviser to USA president, Bill Clinton.

The advice covers topics like message development, polling, focus groups, crowd staging and control of the media. In four months, Yeltin's poll rating rises from 6% to 54%.

Elections in Mongolia

Between 1992 and 1996, the National Endowment for Democracy (a USA funding group for foreign policy) spends $1,000,000 financing the opposition National Democratic Union in Mongolia.

Within 2 years of the opposition victory, Mongolia has electronic listening stations to intercept Chinese military communications.


1997

Project for the New American Century

In the USA, a document is published called Project for the New American Century. The writers include Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Ellot Abrams and Zalmay Khalizad. These people would become important members of the second Bush administration after 2000.

The document makes many suggestions including the following:

The document encourages the overthrow of the Iraq leader, Saddam Hussein.

Land Mines

The USA refuses to sign a treaty on the banning of land mines even though it has been agreed by the majority of the world's countries.

Chemical Weapons

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, a treaty banning chemical weapons, is signed by over 100 of the world's countries.

The USA exempts itself by limiting inspections "in order to protect American pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies."

Israel and Palestine

The Israel parliament approves building settlements (colonies) in East Jerusalem. This area had been annexed by Israel in 1980 after it had been occupied in 1967. This annexation and the building of settlements are both considered illegal by the United Nations and violate Geneva Conventions on occupied territory.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu outlines a plan in the Israeli newspaper, Jerusalem Post, for annexing 60% of the West Bank including Greater Jerusalem, hills east of the city, the Jordan Valley, the 145 settlements and all roads connecting them as well as the West Bank water supply.

Hamas writes a letter to Netanyahu, via King Hussein of Jordan, offering dialogue, with the king as mediator. The Israeli response is an attempted assassination of a Hamas leader in Jordan.

The USA vetoes two United Nations resolutions that call on Israel to cease construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and the other occupied territories. One of the votes was by 130 to 2 (USA and Israel).

Rwanda

In Rwanda, over 6000 civilians are killed by the military. The military is trained and funded by the USA and South Africa. The slaughter in this country is largely unreported by the West.

International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organisation heavily influenced by the richer countries, recommends an increase in the privatisation of schools in Haiti as a condition for loans.

The IMF admits that privatization of schools has seen extreme deterioration in school quality and attendance that will likely hamper the country's human capacity for many years to come. Only 8% of teachers in private (fee paying) schools (now 89% of all schools) have professional qualifications, compared to 47% in public (state) schools. Since school privatisation began in 1985, secondary (high) school enrollment dropped from 28% to 15%.

The IMF favours large, expensive projects regardless of their appropriateness to local conditions. The IMF pays little heed to the social and environmental impact of the projects it finances, and that it often works through unelected dictatorships that channel benefits to themselves rather than those who need them, leaving their populations to foot the bill later.

The IMF lends money to countries on the condition that they implement a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP - also known as an Austerity Plan). Typically, a government is told to eliminate price controls or subsidies, devalue its currency or eliminate labour regulations like minimum wage laws. These are all actions whose costs are born by the poorer sections of a population whose usable incomes are cut.

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.

Turkey

Esber Yagmurdereli, a 53 year old peace campaigner, is given a 23 year jail sentence in Turkey. He is arrested as he leaves a radio station after joining a talk show on 'freedom of conscience'.

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.

Child Labour in China

The USA burger company McDonald's is revealed to be using child labourers in China, working between 7am and midnight producing toys to be sold with meals in Hong Kong.

Australia

Aborigine workers on large farms in Australia have had their wages paid into accounts at the state owned Commonwealth Bank. Workers could not withdraw their own money without the authority of a protector, usually a white official. Because many workers have been illiterate, they were not always able to check their accounts.

Rodney Hall, an Aboriginal editor from Queensland, has shown that most of the workers' money has gone missing. Accounts that should contain tens of thousands of dollars are found to have accumulated a few hundred dollars for a lifetime's work.

Although the amounts involved are in the millions of dollars, the media ignore the story.

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission releases a report concluding that a third of all Aboriginal children had been forcibly removed from their families between 1919 and 1970. Over 100,000 children had been stolen by government officials and police. Boys ended up at sheep and cattle ranches being paid low wages. The majority girls had been sent to the Cootamundra Training Home for Aboriginal Girls where they were trained as domestic servants for white households. Physical and sexual abuse was common. Many young Aboriginal women were sterilised without their knowledge.

On victim, Joy, told Australian journalist, John Pilger:

"A truck would pull up outside and the officers would get out a bag of boiled lollies, give the kids one, then snatch them... My mum was snatched... later when I came along, of course I was taken away. Mum was given a hysterectomy at the age of eighteen. She didn't know anything about it."

The Australian government refuses to apologise or compensate the victims of this policy.


1998

Biopiracy

The large biotechnology USA company Monsanto (worth $38,000 million) develops genetically engineered plants whose seeds will not germinate to produce the next crop. Furthermore the plant will not grow without chemicals that can only be bought from Monsanto.

Using World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations, an attempt is made to force Asian countries like India and Bangladesh to use these plants. This would make the farmers dependent on having to buy the seeds every year. Public pressure rejects the biotechnology.

Monsanto is one of a group of companies that pushes the WTO to legislate for Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). These would allow the patenting of products from the natural world. The provisions would make it illegal for farmers to plant seeds that they have used for hundreds of years unless they pay royalties to the patent holders. Even human DNA has been considered for patenting. Many countries fear TRIPs because they see it as biopiracy or biocolonialism.

UK biologist, Mae Won Ho, has stated that Western companies want to use poorer countries: "as resevoirs of biological and genetic resources to develop new crops, drugs, biopesticides, oils and cosmetics."

The Neem tree in India (Azadirachta Indica) has been used for centuries as a medicine and biopesticide. The Indian Patents Act of 1970 forbids the patenting of inventions relating to agricultural processes. USA companies (like W R Grace) are pressing for a WTO ruling to over-ride Indian law and allow patents of substances derived from the Neem tree.

Monsanto's attempts to sell genetically modified (GM) soya to Europe meets public resistance even after USA threats of WTO action against Europe. The Europeans want to segregate and label GM foods; the USA opposes this. Consumers International notes:

"One of the ironies of this issue is the contrast between the enthusiasm of food producers to claim that their biologically engineered products are different and unique when they seek to patent them and their similar enthusiasm for claiming that they are just the same as other foods when asked to label them."

Monsanto was responsible for producing Agent Orange which contained the carcinogen (cancer producer), dioxin. This was used by the USA in Vietnam. Since the 1960s, 500,000 Vietnamese children have been born with dioxin-related deformaties; no compensation has ever been paid.

The USA Vice President, Al Gore, puts pressure on South Africa not to use cheap generic AIDS drugs. Their use would have eaten into the profits of USA companies. South Africa has 3 million people who are HIV Positive and the population is impoverished. Al Gore has links to the drug industry.

Ecology

The World Wide Fund for Nature publish a report stating that in the previous 25 years, 30% of the natural world has been destroyed by human activity. The damage to the environment as well as pollution and global warming begins to affect peoples' lives.

In 1991, floods in the Philippines killed 7,000 people and were attributed to deforestation. In 1997, forest fires in Indonesia sent poisonous smog over Malaysia and Singapore and were attributed to drought caused by global warming.

Afghanistan

The ruling Taliban government of Afghanistan kills over 2,000 Hazaras in Mazar-i Sharif. Hundreds of war prisoners are suffocated while being transported in closed containers. Over 4,500 people are detained.

This government had been financed by the USA, UK and Saudi Arabia and is supported by the democratically elected government of Pakistan. Support from the West will only wane when permission to build an oil pipeline is not forthcoming.

Two USA embassies in Africa are bombed with hundreds of casualties. The USA blames Islamic terrorists and bombs Afghanistan with cruise missiles. The missiles overfly Pakistan without permission, an illegal act under international law.

When asked on USA television why so much terrorist action is directed against the USA, Richard Haas, a foreign policy advisor, replies: "Well, the answer is it's not anything we're simply doing. It is who we are. It's the fact that we're the most powerful country in the world. It's the fact that we're a secular country... It is simply who we are and it is our existence that really bothers them."

The USA president Bill Clinton answers the same question with: "Americans are targets of terrorism, in part, because we act to advance peace and democracy and because we stand united against terrorism."

A USA diplomat quoted in the USA newspaper, Los Angeles Times (4 August 1996) had a different view of events: "This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost. You can't plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences. But we did. Our objectives weren't peace and grooviness in Afghanistan. Our objective was killing Commies and getting the Russians out."

Kosovo

Serb troops kill over a hundred ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, a province of Serbia with a population of 90% Albanians.

50 are killed in Drenicë, 46 in Skënderaj (including 11 children), and 15 in the villages of Likoshan and Qirez.

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.

Canada

The USA company, Ethyl Corporation forces Canada (via the World Trade Organisation - WTO) to reverse a ban on a petrol additive called MMT. There is evidence that the manganese in MMT causes problems with the human nervous system.

This is an example of how the WTO can adjudicate behind close doors and over-ride national laws on safety.

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.

USA and Sudan

A factory in Sudan is bombed with Tomahawk missiles by the USA.

This was later admitted by the USA to have been an error. The casualty toll remains unknown as the USA blocks a United Nations inquiry. Western media do not persue the story.

The plant was under contract with the United Nations to export medicines; a fact that the USA appeared not to know. Half of the country's pharmaceutical supplies were produced in the plant. Tom Carnaffin, a technical manager of the plant in the mid-1990s from the UK, tells The Observer (UK):

"I have intimate knowledge of that factory, and it just does not lend itself to the manufacture of chemical weapons."

Kurds in Turkey

Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish woman to be elected to parliament in Turkey, has a 15 year sentence increased by 2 years by a panel of 3 judges (2 civilian; 1 military) for her views on Kurdish rights. Hatip Dicle (another Kurdish parliamentarian) is also sentenced to 15 years in prison for pro-Kurdish views. She would not be released until 2004 when she would be nominated for a Nobel Peace prize.

The Kurds are a significant minority in the south and east of Turkey. The USA has many military bases in the region and provides military aid to Turkey. Over 27,000 people have died under severe government suppression.

Ragip Duran becomes the 29th journalist imprisoned in Turkey. Turkish laws prohibit journalists from covering certain issues like the country's Kurdish minority.

Some three hundred issues of left wing, pro-Kurdish, or pro-Islamic publications are confiscated and numerous journals were closed down. Ulkede Gundem (Agenda in the Land), a newspaper advocating the recognition of Kurdish identity, is fined heavily and closed by court order for 312 days. Issues of Hevi (Hope), a weekly newspaper in Kurdish are confiscated 43 times during the first nine months of the year. In Diyarbakir, Sefik Beyaz, former head of the Kurdish Institute, is sentenced to one year imprisonment and a heavy fine for "making separatist propaganda by playing Kurdish music" during his election campaign in 1995.

TV stations are closed for "airing programs in Kurdish". The Kurdish Culture and Research Foundation is forbidden to run classes in Kurdish. Several universities refuse to register female students who wear traditional Muslim head scarves.

Dr. Eda Guver, is charged with "abusing her authority and violating the civil servants' code" after she asks security forces to leave her office while she was examining victims.

The European Union rejects Turkey's application for membership citing oppression of minorities and torture of suspects in custody as reasons.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia several Mutawaa'in (religious police) attack and kill an elderly Shi'a prayer leader in Hofuf for repeating the call to prayer twice, a traditional Shi'a practice.

13 Philippino Christians are detained after holding a prayer service. They are later deported.

South Africa

According to testimony before the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission in South Africa, the USA encouraged the apartheid regime to produce chemical and biological weapons to be used against the black population.

The project was headed by Dr Wouter Basson from 1981. He was informed by USA Major General William Augerson: "that chemical warfare is an ideal strategic weapon because infrastructure is preserved together with facilities, and only living people are killed. The warm climate of Africa is ideal for this type of weapon because the diffusion of the poison is better and the absorbtion is increased by perspiration and increased blood flow in the persons who are the targets".

Indonesia

On the island of Ambon (Indonesia), 5 people are killed and many are driven out of their homes when Christian villages are attacked by Muslims. The military in the area, supplied equipment and joined in the attacks.

Guatemala

The National Widows Coalition in Guatemala releases a report based on 3,700 interviews in 12 provinces. The report identifies 1,093 cases of extrajudicial executions, 511 disappearances, 21 civilian deaths during battles, 139 cases of torture and 110 deaths due to the flight into the mountains to escape military attacks. According to the report, 75% of all the violations registered were attributed to state forces, just over 1% to anti-government guerrillas.

The Historical Clarification Commission, headed by Christian Tomuschat (a German lawyer and human rights expert) made the following observations:

"The Guatemalan army was involved in most of the atrocities committed, and was blamed for 93% of all massacres, tortures, disappearances, and killings during the civil war. It carried out 626 massacres during a scorched-earth counter-insurgency campaign in the early 1980's. The USA CIA sponsored human rights violations and USA government policy until the mid 1980's helped perpetuate the conflict."

Tomuschat accused the CIA of "directly and indirectly" sponsoring "illegal state operations" during the armed conflict.

The total number of dead and disappeared is far higher than previously thought, more than 200,000 people, mostly Mayan peasants, with large numbers of children and women. Special brutality was directed against women, especially Mayan, "who were tortured, raped and murdered."

Guerrillas of the Guatemala National Revolutionary Unit were blamed for committing 32 massacres, or 3% of all abuses.

He concluded that "Until the mid 1980s, the [USA] government and USA private companies exercised pressure to maintain the country's archaic and unjust socioeconomic structure."

The USA ambassador to Guatemala, Donald J. Planty, criticised the Commission's findings for implicating the USA. The USA president, Bill Clinton, admits that USA support of repressive forces in Guatemala "was wrong, and the United States must not repeat that mistake"; no apology or compensation was forthcoming however.

Debt

The World Health Organisation (WHO) publishes a report about poverty.

It states that poverty is the leading cause of premature death and sickness in the world. The gap between rich and poor is the widest it has been since records began. 30% of the world's children suffer from hunger; 50% of the world's population is denied access to medical care. Countries with debt are forced to export food and other cash crops while their population starve.

The USA threatens to withdraw funding from the WHO if it monitors the effects of trade conditions on health.

A report from UNICEF says that 500,000 children die every year because of debt repayment.

In the Philippines this amounts to a child dying every hour. Half of the country's budget is used to pay interest on loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Many of these loans were taken out by unelected authoritarian regimes supported by the West.

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.

USA and Vietnam

The USA ambassador to Vietnam, Douglas Peterson, declines the opportunity for the American Embassy to participate in a ceremony at My Lai on the 30th anniversary of the massacre of 700 civilians by American troops. The ceremony is to honour two USA citizens, Captain Hugh Thompson and Lawrence Colburn, who had attempted to stop the massacre. In a letter Peterson states that "neither the policy objectives of the United States nor the current relations between the USA and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam would be served by Embassy participation."

Trade Monopolies

The USA pays a farming subsidy (from tax payers) of $15,000 million a year to large food producing companies. This results in overproduction of food which is used for economic and political purposes.

Food is given to South Korea under a Food For Peace program that has undermined its own agricultural base. South Korea (an extremely fertile country) now imports 90% of its food from the USA.

American companies (like the Cargill Corporation) control 70% of the world's trade in grain. In spite of this overproduction of food, 40,000 children under the age of five die of malnutrition every day in the world.


1999

USA and Cuba

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution that calls on it to end its embargo on Cuba. This is the eighth year running that such a resolution has been vetoed by the USA. The actual votes have been:

Year      Votes         Against
1992 59 to 2 USA, Israel
1993 88 to 4 USA, Israel, Albania, Paraguay
1994 101 to 2 USA, Israel
1995 117 to 3 USA, Israel, Uzbekistan
1996 138 to 2 USA, Israel, Uzbekistan
1997 143 to 2 USA, Israel, Uzbekistan
1998 157 to 2 USA, Israel
1999 155 to 2 USA, Israel

The USA president, Bill Clinton states that "Cuba is the only non democracy in the Western Hemisphere". This is in spite of the fact that Cuba has none of the systematic death squad activities and military control of USA client states like El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Haiti and Honduras. The USA and the media refer to these countries as "fledgling democracies".

In addition, education and health care are better in Cuba than in most other country's in the region. As Clinton admits "both of which work better than in most other countries".

Left alone, without years of USA destabilisation and economic sabotage, Cuba may have been a beacon to other countries in the region. This is the real threat of Fidel Castro's regime.

Pakistan

Another military coup occurs in Pakistan.

USA and Nuclear Treaty

The USA rejects a nuclear test ban treaty.

USA and Europe

The USA puts economic pressure on Europe over sales of bananas.

Many European countries have quotas for buying bananas from their ex-colonies in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. The quotas are meant to protect the fragile economies of these countries. The bananas are grown in small family run plantations using environmentally friendly methods.

The USA puts pressure on Europe (via the World Trade Organisation - WTO) to buy more bananas from Central and South America. These bananas are grown by American companies in enormous chemical-intensive plantations using cheap labour. The workers face dangers from at least 8 poisonous pesticides and violence from their bosses. Three American companies (Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole) already have 66% of all banana sales in Europe.

During the 1990's Del Monte was linked to violence against banana workers in Guatemala and accused of union busting.

Banana workers in the banana plantations in Central America are being paid as little as $0.63 an hour or $28 a week. Some have been affected by chemicals in packing plants, making them ill, and giving them sores. Workers in the field have been subjected to aerial fumigation of the crops without protective clothing. The foul-smelling chemicals (reported to be chlorophrifos that attack the nervous system) make them feel nauseous, causing nosebleeds, sore eyes, and breathing difficulties.

Russia and Chechnya

Russia continues to fight the independence movement in Chechnya. The capital, Grozny, is razed to the ground. Russian soldiers commit summary executions, rapes and bury thousands of bodies in mass graves.

Russia also crushes independence movements in Dagestan. This area has 70% of Russia's shoreline to the oil producing Caspian Sea and the only all-weather port, Makhachkala.

The USA refuses to stop World Bank loans to Russia. European countries fail to act.

USA and Central Asia

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are encouraged by the USA to build oil pipelines across the Caspian Sea even though this will violate treaty arrangements involving Iran and Russia.

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.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel continues its occupation and raids in southern Lebanon. Warplanes bomb a group of children celebrating a Muslim festival in the Bekaa Valley killing 8. In an interview with the Kolhaer magazine, five Israeli soldiers quote their commander:

"We are skilled marksmen. Anyhow, there are millions of Arabs... It's their problem. Whether Arabs become one more or less is just the same...We have accomplished our duty. The whole issue is not about more than a group of Arabosheem. We should have launched more shells to kill more Arabs."

Arabosheem is a racist term hostile to Arabs used by the Israelis.

Brazil

Brazil is pressured to greatly reduce funding for environmental enforcement by over 50% after accepting a bail out agreement from the International Monetary Fund.

The USA declares that Brazil can no longer manufacture proprietary AIDS drugs in violation of American drug company patents. This will mean removing 100,000 people from treatment because they cannot afford to buy the drugs from American companies.

Europe

Europe reveals plans to form a European military force separate from NATO. In the USA, The Defence Planning Guide (as excerpted in the New York Times) states:

"We must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. ... we must [deter] potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role... We must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."

Romas in Czeck Republic

In the Czech Republic, officials in the town of Usti Nad Labem erect a wall around Roma districts. It is later removed at the insistence of the Czech president, Vaclav Havel.

Guatemala

The USA continues to support the military in Guatemala.

On the coffee plantations (owned by American interests), the peasants (descendants of the Maya), live in concentration-camp like conditions, virtually as slaves. Education in rural areas is non-existent, with the result that 50% of the people are illiterate. Half of the country's children suffer from malnutrition. Hunger is rife in one of the world's most fertile countries.

The military have used death squad tactics to suppress dissent. In the previous 30 years, over 150,000 people have been killed or disappeared, tens of thousands have been forced to flee to Mexico, 1,000,000 have become refugees, and more than 440 villages have been destroyed.

USA and Panama

The USA military departs from Panama.

Several sites used from the 1940s to test chemical weapons are discovered. Mustard gas, VX, sarin and cyanide are among the chemicals tested in mines, rockets and shells. Tens of thousands of munitions had been used, many dropped from the air, some unexploded.

Between 1979 and 1999, 21 Panamanians had died from unexploded munitions. In the early days USA troops were used in tests without their knowledge causing horrific medical problems.

Agent Orange, a defoliant which contains the cancer producing dioxin, had been tested in the jungles of Panama in the 1960s and 1970s.


2000

Israel and Palestine

Israel blockades the West Bank and Gaza, assassinates Palestinian leaders and kills hundreds of demonstrators, many of them children.

In the Old City of Hebron 40,000 Palestinians are subjected to local curfew for more than a month while 500 armed Israeli settlers can move about freely. 34 schools attended by thousands of Palestinian children are closed for more than a month while settler children are free to walk in the street among and with the Israeli soldiers stationed there.

The country, which is the largest recipient of USA aid, expels Palestinians from their land and builds illegal, heavily armed settlements (colonies) for Israelis. Between 1993 and 2000 the number of settlers has doubled to 200,000. In addition, 170,000 settlers reside in East Jerusalem, illegally annexed by Israel in 1980.

Water supplies are diverted from Palestinian areas to Israeli towns and settlements. Israelis are allocated 6 times as much water as Palestinians. Over 450km (300miles) of roads (built on confiscated 35,000 acres of Palestinian land) divide the West Bank into islands that prevent the free movement of Palestinians. Israeli closures (sieges) of Palestinian towns lead to unemployment and hunger.

1,400,000 Palestinians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank plus another 800,000 are crammed into the Gaza Strip. Millions of Palestinians are refugees: 460,000 live in Lebanon; over 2,500,000 reside in Jordan; over 400,000 in Syria; 600,000 in other Arab countries and another 550,000 are scattered around the world.

The Oslo Peace Agreement (supported by Europe and the USA) does not allow for these refugees to return to their homeland, in violation of United Nations and Geneva Convention declarations. The Oslo Agreement also allows Israel to annex large swathes of land in the West Bank, control most of Arab East Jerusalem and its environs, and maintain most of the illegal settlements in a pattern that would divide the West Bank into non-contiguous cantons. This agreement is opposed by most Palestinians.

The USA plays the dual role of the chief mediator of the conflict as well as the chief diplomatic, financial and military backer of Israeli occupation forces. Over the past 30 years, the USA has used its United Nations veto power to protect Israel from censure more than all other members of the United Nations Security Council (UK, France, China, Russia) have used their veto power on all other issues combined. It has blocked enforcement of United Nations resolutions calling for Israel to withdraw its settlements from Palestinian land. These settlements were established in violation of international law, which forbids the colonization of territories seized by military force.

Mohamed el-Dura, a ten year old Palestinian boy, is shot by Israeli soldiers in Gaza while crouching in terror behind a wall next to his father. A cameraman risks his life to film the gunfight and the film is shown around the world. The boy becomes an iconic symbol of the Palestinian intifada (resistance).

The Death of Mohamed el-Dura
The Death of Mohamed el-Dura
The Death of Mohamed el-Dura
Mohamed el-Dura, a ten year old Palestinian boy, is shot dead by Israeli soldiers in Gaza while crouching in terror behind a wall next to his father.

A cameraman risks his life to film the gunfight and the film is shown around the world. Israel has been occupying Palestinian territory since 1967 with financial and political support from the USA.

A United Nations Special Report published on 13 November 2000 states: "In the past seven years... Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and construction of settlements and bypass roads for Jewish settlers has accelerated dramatically in breach of Security Council Resolution 242 and of provisions of the Oslo agreements requiring both parties to respect 'the territorial integrity and unity of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' Since 1993 the settler population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled to 200,000 and increased to 170,000 in East Jerusalem."

The report also describes and condemns the demolitions of Palestinian houses, the diversion of water to Israeli cities and settlements, the policy of closures that has damaged Palestinian social and economic life, and the "widespread violation of their [Palestinian] economic, social and cultural rights" both within Israel and in the occupied territories. It also assails Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians and hundreds of Intifada killings, "most of them unarmed demonstrators."

This report is given little publicity in Western media.

The Israeli author, Israel Shamir writing in the Israel magazine, RI, in December 2000 admits:

"[Israelis] are taught they belong to the Chosen People... They have been indoctrinated in belief that the Gentiles are not fully human, and therefore can be killed and expropriated at will. The Jewish state is the only place in the world possessing legitimate killer squads, embracing a policy of assassinations, and practicing torture on a medieval scale. But do not worry dear Jewish readers, we torture and assassinate Gentiles only."

Gentile is a Jewish term for a non-Jew.

According to writer, Edward S. Herman:

"Jews living in distant countries can come to Israel and immediately obtain rights denied Arab citizens, and of course the Palestinians expelled from their homes in Israel have no rights to return or compensation. In the Negev, where the indigenous Bedouin have been blocked from grazing their flocks, the state has allowed Jewish farmers to occupy the land, build on it, and then have their seizures recognized retrospectively in a process of 'Judaization' of the land (Orit Shohat, Ha'aretz, March 27, 1998). This is structured racism, and a set of policies which if applied against Jews in Italy or France would justifiably cause a furious outcry."

Lebanon

Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years. Israeli troops open fire at a crowd of 500 Palestinian demonstrators in Ramieh on the Lebanese side of the Israel-Lebanon border.

USA Elections

A very close presidential election occurs in the USA.

In the state of Florida, police are accused of intimidation and a significant number of votes are spoiled because of badly designed ballot papers. The country's Supreme Court gives the state (and the presidency) to George W Bush and decides that there can be no recount of votes. During this period, Florida is being governed by the new president's brother.

Kyrgyzstan Elections

Elections occur in Kyrgyzstan after opposition politicians are jailed, exiled or harassed.

The USA finances the country in order to win influence in Central Asia; European countries continue lucrative trading.

Roma in Greece

Roma families are evicted from their homes in Athens (Greece) to clear land for facilities for the 2004 Olympic Games.

Honduras

In Honduras, police and security forces are responsible for the deaths of 36 street children.

Indonesia

In the Moluccas Islands of Indondesia security forces participate in communial Muslim-Christian disturbances.

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.

History and Afghanistan

The Taliban rulers of Afghanistan blow up a group of 1500 year old stone Buddhas in Bamyan after advice from a Wahhabi delegation from Saudi Arabia.

The Wahhabis are a sect of Islam which bans all representation of human forms (including photographs, paintings, sculptures and television), forbids the playing of music and abhors the independence of females.

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

Afghanistan

Pakistan and Russia fund opposing factions in Afganistan. All the factions violate human rights. The ruling Taliban government (backed by Pakistan) forces Hindus to wear distinguishing identification, stops aid reaching minority areas and massacres 170 Hazaras in Yakaolang.

The USA government of George W Bush gives $43 million to the Taliban in May.

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.

Colombia

In the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia, government backed paramilitaries enter two villages and force several families out of their homes. They separate the men from the women and children, make them lie face-down on the ground and shoot them dead. 18 people are killed, 9 of them children. The Colombian government is a recipient of massive military aid from the USA.

An enquiry links this massacre (and another massacre in Santo Domingo in 1998) to security forces protecting oil operations of the USA company, Occidental Petroleum (OXY). Three American pilots working for AirScan, a USA security firm contracted by OXY to protect oil operations, provide key strategic information to the security forces.

OXY is drilling on the ancestral homeland of the U'wa - an indigenous community of 5000. OXY call on the military and riot police to break up a non-violent road blockade of the road leading to OXY's drill site. Three indigenous children die in the attack and scores were seriously injured. The U'wa continue to call for the end of USA military aid to Colombia and the cancellation of OXY's project.

OXY pays $1 for every barrel of oil produced, which goes directly to the military. 25% of Colombian soldiers are devoted to protecting foreign oil installations.

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".

USA and China

A USA spy plane is shot down off the coast of China by Chinese fighter pilots and is forced to land in China. The Chinese government detain the crew and examine the plane. Western media report the story in terms of the American crew being kept from their families and of the possibility of American secrets that may be gained from the plane. No Western report asks what the USA were doing flying so close to a foreign country and little mention is made of a Chinese pilot killed in the operation.

In 1999 USA planes had bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during bombing of Yugoslavia. The reason given was error due to an out of date map.

Israel and Palestine

The Israeli military kills hundreds of mostly unarmed Palestinians demonstrating against Israel's occupation. Political assassination is used as a weapon of terror. Helicopter gunships and tanks are used in residential areas.

One human rights group states:

"There is a pattern of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of lethal force by Israeli security forces in situations where demonstrators are unarmed and pose no threat of death or serious injury to the security forces or to others."

In one such attack, the Israeli Air Force kills 8 people, including two children and two journalists, wounding 15 others, including a human rights defender, as they shoot two missiles from a USA made Apache helicopter against the Palestinian Centre for Information in Nablus. This is a city that is officially being run by the Palestinian Authority. The 2 children are Ashraf Khader, aged 6, and Bilal Khader, aged 11, who are killed as they played outside, while their mother visits a clinic in the same building.

In Ramalah, Israeli jets fire a missile into a busy street to assassinate an activist, killing several people including two children. In Salfit, two policemen, Dia Nabil Mahmoud (19) and Abdul Ashour (22) are disarmed by Israeli soldiers, told to lie on the ground, and fatally shot at close range. Israeli bulldozers demolish 35 houses in Khan Younis making 345 people homeless.

The USA continues to finance Israel to the tune of $1,800 million per year. Since 1967 Israel has received $92,000 million in aid from the USA. In June the Israeli air force announces the purchase of 50 F-16 jets at a cost of $2,000 million, financed largely through American military aid. Shortly after, these F-16s are used to bomb Palestinian civilian targets.

The USA has repeatedly blamed the Palestinians for the violence of the past year, even though Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other reputable human rights groups have noted that the bulk of the violence has come from Israeli occupation forces and settlers.

The USA has also blamed the Palestinians for not compromising further in peace talks, even though they have already ceded 78% of historic Palestine to the Israelis in the Oslo Agreement of 1993. The Palestinians now simply demand that the Israelis withdraw their troops and colonists only from lands seized in the 1967, which Israel is already required to do under international law.

Since 1967 some 8,500 Palestinian homes have been demolished, 1,200 of these since the Oslo Agreement (with 5,000 people made homeless, including 2,000 children). Israel demolishes Palestinian homes on the slightest provocation, often allowing a family only 15 minutes to take what they can carry before bulldozing their property. Palestinian stone throwing against heavily armed Israeli soldiers can lead to demolition.

Israel's confinement of 800,000 people in the Gaza Strip, jammed into an area surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, and of over 1 million in the West Bank, all of whose entrances and exits are controlled by Israel, has few parallels in the annals of colonialism.

Israel forcibly controls all the water resources of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel utilises more than 85% of the water resources, thus leaving the Palestinian population with a mere 15% for survival. In Hebron, where a Jewish settler population was planted in and around the city, it is estimated that 70% of the water in Hebron goes to 8,500 settlers and 30% goes to the city's 250,000 Palestinian inhabitants. In the Gaza Strip, 3,000 to 4,000 settlers use 75% of the available ground water while around one million Palestinians use less than 25%.

Western reporting of the conflict has a tendency to depict Palestinian victims as nameless numbers killed. Israeli victims are named, pictured and their families interviewed. A new crop of words begins to appear in the Western media:

The largest circulation (Hebrew) newspaper in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth (4 June 2001), publishes a statement from a spokesman from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF): "We set up a list of Palestinian names of individuals whom the Israeli government has approved for physical elimination, among the names are included members of Hamas, Fatah, Popular Front and Islamic Jihad activists."

China

China begins an "anti-crime" campaign called Strike Hard, partially aimed at those suspected of supporting independence in ethnic regions. The campaign involves arbitrary arrest and summary executions, with little or no due process. China routinely arrests peaceful activists and imposes tight restrictions on Muslim religious activities.

Because the West wants to trade with China, little is of this is reported.

USA Veto in UN

On 28th March the USA vetoes a United Nations resolution calling for the deployment of unarmed monitors to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

This is the 73rd use of the veto in the United Nations by the USA since 1945. The vast majority of USA vetos were cast in support of Israel and South Africa during the apartheid era, and defending USA actions in Central America. Most of the vetos violate the spirit of United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and other documents describing basic human rights and humanitarian standards.

In December the USA vetoes a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel for acts of terror against civilians in the occupied territories.

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).

USA Treaties

A new government of the USA decides not to ratify the Kyoto Treaty to curb global warming. This treaty had been agreed by the previous administration along with the majority of the world's countries. The reason given was "it is bad for our economy".

The USA makes up 4% of the world's population but consumes 40% of its resources. Control of these resources is maintained directly by 800 military basis located in 80 countries around the world and indirectly by USA dominated organisations like the World Bank (in which the USA Treasury has a 51% stake), the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

A pamphlet by the US Space Command ("Vision for 2020") argues: "the globalization of the world economy will also continue, with a widening between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots,"'. It continues that the USA has a mission to "dominate the space dimension-of military operations to protect US interests and investments".

The 2000 USA government has strong links to the oil industry. Drilling in the wilderness of Alaska is approved despite environmental concerns.

USA and Israel Boycotts

The USA government follows Israel in boycotting a conference in South Africa on slavery and racism. These actions cause resentment around the world.

The reason for the boycott was because of criticism of Israel as a racist state.

Israel has laws granting special privileges to Jewish immigrants from anywhere in the world, over Palestinians whose families have been on the land for generations. Israel also has measures that set aside most land for exclusive Jewish ownership and use. As the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination makes clear, racial discrimination is:

"any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national and ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."

In Switzerland, 115 countries sign a declaration criticising the violation of the Geneva Conventions by Israel in its occupation of Palestinians. The USA and Israel boycott the conference.

International Criminal Court

In 1998, the USA had refused to accept the formation of an International Criminal Court for prosecuting genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The USA passes legislation that stops USA troops from serving on United Nations peace keeping missions unless given immunity from the International Criminal Court, prevents any USA government agency from helping the Court in any way, blocks military aid to any non-NATO state which ratifies the treaty, bans USA funding for the Court, and authorises the USA President to send military force to free any American soldier or official taken into the Court's custody.

Over 140 countries have accepted the Court and signed the treaty authorising its creation.

Oil and Afghanistan

In the USA, the Energy Information Administration reports that:

"Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan."

Terror in the USA and its Aftermath

A vicious terrorist attack on New York (USA) kills 2,819 civilians. Hundreds more are killed in Washington DC. Nineteen people hijack four commercial airliners. Three of them are crashed into buildings, the fourth crashes in open country.

The West describes it as a mindless attack on Western values. Evidence indicates responsibility by dissidents from several Middle Eastern countries. The people involved are later shown to be from Saudi Arabia (the majority), Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. The attack had been planned by the Al-Qaida group, led by Saudi born, Usama Bin-Laden.

A number of countries use the anti-Muslim emotions subsequently stirred up to obtain Western approval and silence for their fights against Islamic based independence movements: China against the Turkic speaking Muslims in Xinjiang, Israel against the Palestinians, Kyrgyzstan against Islamic based political opponents, Macedonia labels the Albanian minority as Islamic terrorists, Malaysia talks of action against pro-Democracy activists, Egypt steps up activities against anti-government activists, Russia against the separatists in the mainly Muslim region of Chechnya, Australia turns away refugees seeking asylum, UK brings in new laws against refugees, Zimbabwe against independent journalists (who it called terrorists), India against Kashmiri separatists.

The Western media concentrate on the atrocity and its victims in a way that differs from coverage of atrocities in other parts of the world. This causes anger in many non-Western countries. A few days after the attack on New York, Robert Fisk (journalist for The Independent in the UK) writes:

"Nineteen years ago today, the greatest act of terrorism using Israel's own definition of that much misused word in modern Middle Eastern history began. Does anyone remember the anniversary in the West? How many readers of this article will remember it? I will take a tiny risk and say that no other British newspaper certainly no American newspaper will today recall the fact that on 16 September 1982, Israel's Phalangist militia allies started their three-day orgy of rape and knifing and murder in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila that cost 1,800 lives. It followed an Israeli invasion of Lebanon designed to drive the PLO out of the country and given the green light by the then US Secretary of State, Alexander Haig which cost the lives of 17,500 Lebanese and Palestinians, almost all of them civilians. That's probably three times the death toll in the World Trade Centre. Yet I do not remember any vigils or memorial services or candle-lighting in America or the West for the innocent dead of Lebanon; I don't recall any stirring speeches about democracy or liberty. In fact, my memory is that the United States spent most of the bloody months of July and August 1982 calling for 'restraint'".

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.

Terror in Palestine

During the "war on terrorism", Israel continues to illegally occupy Palestine, using its USA made arms to crush resistance to the occupation. Over 100 Palestinians are killed, houses are demolished and the airport in Gaza is destroyed. The Israelis call on the Palestinian police to "arrest terrorists" while at the same time destroying police stations and using terror tactics on Palestinian areas. Televison pictures of the Israeli action along with the "war on terrorism" is seen around the Arab world as gross hypocrisy.

In December Israel police briefly detain Sari Nusseibeh, a senior political representative of the Palestinian Authority, along with several of his colleagues, after he had invited guests, including foreign diplomats, to a hotel in Jerusalem for a party to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Uzi Landau, the Internal Security Minister for Israel, calls the reception a "terror-related" activity.

Yasser Arafat (the elected Chairman of the Palestinian Authority) is banned by Israel from his annual visit to Bethlehem over Christmas. Earlier Israeli forces had destroyed Arafat's helicopters and the runway at Gaza airport and had banned him from leaving the country.

Nigeria

The army in Nigeria kills over 200 civilians in Zakibiam and burn most of the houses in the village.

Little of the terror in Nigeria is reported in the West; the Nigerian government has given oil concessions to Western companies.

Sudan

In Sudan, several oil companies from Canada, Sweden, France, Holland, Italy, Austria (as well as Qatar, China and Malaysia) continue to be involved in the systematic depopulation of large areas of the south and atrocities against civilians, tens of thousands of whom have been killed and displaced from the areas around the oil fields.

The companies are protected by government forces and allow their airstrips and roads to be used by the military, while the revenues from oil are funding expansion of the war. The news agency, Reuters, has reported that some local security forces used as private contractors by the oil companies use child soldiers.

According to Amnesty International, government forces have used ground attacks, helicopter gunship and indiscriminate high-altitude bombardment to clear the local population from oil-rich areas. Many atrocities have been committed. Male villagers are killed in mass executions; women and children have been nailed to trees with iron spikes. In the villages of Bentiu, Guk and Rik soldiers slit the throats of children and kill male prisoners who had been interrogated by hammering nails into their foreheads. In Panyejier, people are crushed by tanks and shot at by helicopter gunship. Many women are raped and abducted while houses are burned and destroyed.

Since 1983 nearly 2 million people are estimated to have been killed. More than 4.5 million people are internal refugees while a million are in exile.

Western Companies in Asia and Africa

The Canadian oil company, Ivanhoe proceeds with a $280 million expansion of the Monywa Mine in Burma. The USA company, Halliburton helps to construct the Yadana oil pipeline in Burma, providing the regime with millions of dollars. The military regime in Burma uses slave labour for construction work, traffics drugs and people, and ignored the election results of 1991.

The USA mining company, Freeport McMoRan, has been extracting minerals from Irian Jaya (now Indonesia, formerly West Papua) without cleaning up its pollution.

The Canadian mining company, Tiomin Resources, uses farmers' land in Kenya for mining titanium without paying adequate compensation.

The World Bank approves a $15 million loan in support of Nigerian companies working for Shell Oil. The presence of Western oil companies facilitates human rights violations and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta. The African Environmental and Human Development Agency (AFRIDA) states:

"Shell Nigeria and its contractors continue to operate in a reckless and irresponsible manner leading to continuing devastation of the natural environment, destruction of community livelihood and communal conflicts in the Niger Delta."

A large explosion rocks the Yorla Oil Field in Ogoniland (Nigeria) raining crude oil sporadically for days into adjacent farmlands, settlements, steams, swamps, lakes and rivers. Health problems in local communities such as respiratory problems, rashes on the bodies and other unidentifiable ailments have increased since the incident. Ogoniland has been ravaged by nine major oil spills and explosions since 1970.

World Trade Organisation

Public pressure forces the World Trade Organisation to make a declaration clarifying rules on when and how poor countries facing public health crises can override patents for expensive Western drugs. Ellen 't Hoen of the humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres states that "countries can ensure access to medicines without fear of being dragged into a legal battle".

The World Trade Organisation also fails in its attempt to set up the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). This would have allowed corporations to force countries to repeal any laws that impeded free trade. Countries would have no equivalent right to challenge corporations.

Under these changes Colombia would have to repeal laws against toxic and radioactive waste, Brunei, Pakistan and Brazil would have to repeal laws against foreign ownership of agricultural lands, Venezuela would have to repeal laws protecting its publishing industry, the UK would have to repeal labour safety laws and France would have to repeal laws protecting its film industry.

Europe and the Roma

The Roma people (also called Gypsies) are discriminated against by many countries in Europe.

In the town of Piatra Neamt in Romania, the mayor, Ion Rotaru, plans to relocate sections of the Roma population to a converted chicken farm 6km outside the town stating:

"We will extract this 'black plague' from the residential districts in the town."

He is quoted in Jurnalul (a newspaper): "We shall transform the farms into a genuine ghetto. We will surround the place with barbed wire, and send in guards with dogs to watch the place. Nothing else can be done with this people [the Gypsies]. They only commit burglaries, break things and steal."

In another newspaper, Cotidianul, he claims: "If the Roma people don't accept to move from the city, they will be forced to do so."

To a journalist from the UK newspaper, The Guardian, Rotaru admits: "If I could, I would ship all these Gypsies off to Antarctica. I could build igloos for them there."

Attacks on Roma communities in Romania since 1989 have increased exponentially, including both pogroms conducted by local mobs and, more recently, by police. Romania is a democratic country negotiating to join the European Community.

In Greece, local authority housing policies have resulted in what the Council of Europe has described as "de facto apartheid" against the Roma. In the UK, an amendment to the 1976 Race Relations Act allows immigration officials to discriminate against seven ethnic or national groups, including the Roma.

In Bulgaria, Roma children are often separated in schools from Bulgarian children "into differentiated and segregated classes." (United Nations report). In the region of Medjimurje (Croatia), where the country's densest Roma population live, at least 15 schools isolate Roma children into separate classrooms. "It's racial segregation," says Roma advocate Bojan Munjin.

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.

Chad Elections

In Chad, the president, Idriss Deby, wins fraudulent elections.

During the election campaign four opposition activists, including Brahim Selguet, are detained and shot. Radio stations are banned from airing debates or "programs of a political nature" and from adding commentary to news items. The government closes two private newspapers, and Radio Liberte operates under threat of suspension. The government bans political gatherings of more than 20 people. The leading opposition candidate, Ngarledjy Yorongar, is detained and the tortured.

After the election, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announce increased monetary support for the building of a $3,700 million, 900km long oil pipeline and extraction plant in the Doba region. The project is a joint venture of USA companies ExxonMobil and Chevron and Malaysian company, Petronas.

International Monetary Fund

A report in the UK newspaper The Guardian, states that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is causing increased hardship and inequality amongst poorer countries. Loans are made to countries under an average of 114 conditions. Countries are forced to remove trade barriers, sell national assets to foreign investors, slash social spending and crush trade unions.

Peru

Between 1995 and 2001, with the aid of the USA CIA, the air force of Peru shoot down 38 flights suspected of carrying drugs. This policy is stopped when a flight carrying Veronica Bowers, a USA missionary travelling with her seven month old child, is wrongly identified by a USA surveillance aircraft as drug smugglers.

The USA and International Treaties

In April, the USA fails to be reelected to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including current dues of $ 244 million) - and after having forced the UN to lower its share of the UN budget from 25% to 22%. In the Human Rights Commission, the USA stands virtually alone in opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV / AIDS drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

The USA refuses to participate in talks sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in France during May. This was to discuss ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering havens.

In July, the USA is the only nation to oppose the United Nations Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms.

The USA disavows the Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines, signed in 1997 by 122 countries. The USA rejects the treaty along with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey.

The USA refuses to allow biological inspections on its own territories in defiance of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, ratified by 144 countries including the USA. At Geneva (in Switzerland) in November, USA Undersecretary of State, John Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations or supporting evidence.

In December, the USA unilaterally withdraws from the Intercontinental Balistic Missile Treaty signed in 1972. This is the first time in the nuclear era that the USA has renounced a major arms control accord.

The USA becomes one of only 13 countries to reject the the Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. This treaty had been signed by 164 countries in 1996 and ratified by 89.

Rupert Cornwall from the UK newspaper, The Independent, describes the USA as "again riding roughshod over international deals it does not like."

Madeleine Albright, former USA Secretary of State to the United Nations put it thus: "[The USA will] behave, with others, multilaterally when we can and unilaterally as we must."

USA Companies in Asia

Workers for the USA company, Nike, in Vietnam earn an average of $0.20 per hour. The cost of three meals per day in Cu Chi is about $2. The $37 per month received is below the minimum wage of $45 per month in Vietnam. Most workers are forced to work 600+ hours of overtime per year. This is above the legal limit of 200 hours per year. If they do not accept the forced overtime, they will get a warning and after three warnings they will lose their jobs.

Workers cannot go to the toilet more than once per 8 hour shift and they cannot drink water more than twice per shift. Workers commonly faint from exhaustion, heat, fumes and poor nutrition during their shifts. Health care is inadequate. At the Sam Yang factory, with 6000 employees, one doctor works only two hours a day but the factory operates 20 hours a day. Night shift employees do not have any on-site medical emergency services.

Abuse of workers is rife: 15 Vietnamese women tell CBS News (USA television) that they were hit over the head by their supervisor for poor sewing, two were hospitalised. Another 45 women are forced by their supervisors to kneel down with their hands up in the air for 25 minutes.

100 workers at the Pouchen factory, a Nike site in Dong Nai, are forced to stand in the sun for half an hour for spilling a tray of fruit on an altar with which three Taiwanese supervisors were using. One employee (Nguyen Minh Tri) walks out after 18 minutes, and is dismissed. 56 women at the same factory are forced to run around the factory grounds. 12 of them faint and are taken to hospital.

A Nike plant supervisor from Korea flees Vietnam after being accused of sexually molesting several women workers. Many women workers have complained to Vietnam Labour Watch about frequent sexual harassment from foreign supervisors. Even in broad daylight, in front of other workers, these supervisors try to touch, rub or grab their buttocks or chests. One supervisor told a female factory worker that it is a common custom for men in his country to greet women they like by grabbing their behinds.

Nike uses subcontractors in Vietnam so that it can legally evade responsibility for local conditions. However, the company dictates the price of shoes and also the cost of operation to its subcontractors. This forces them to set high quotas for their workers and to pay low wages. It has been estimated that the labour cost involved in making one pair of Nike shoes is only $3. These may then sell for over $100 in the USA and Europe.

Other plants utilising cheap labour are in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea. Nike, admits to its shareholders that it has used child labour in Vietnam as well as in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Cambodia.

Philip Knight, the founder of Nike, is reputed to be worth $5,400 million. The 1992 promotional fee to basketball player, Michael Jordan was $20 million, more than was paid to the workforce in Indonesia making Nike products.

Child labour in India
Ginni, an 8 year old girl in the Punjab region of India making footballs (soccer balls) for export to Italy.
She earns $20 per month.

Refugees

The United Nations publishes its annual report on refugees.

The number of refugees worldwide is listed as 21,800,000. This is 1 in 275 people. This is broken down by continent as follows:

The following table lists the major countries of origin and of asylum for the major refugee populations. An estimated 3,800,000 Palestinian refugees are not included in this report.

Country of Origin Asylum Countries Number
Afghanistan Pakistan
Iran
3,580,400
Burundi Tanzania 568,000
Iraq Iran 512,800
Sudan Uganda
Congo
Ethiopia
Kenya
Central Africa
Chad
490,400
Bosnia-Herzegovina Yugoslavia
Croatia
USA
Sweden
Netherlands
Denmark
478,300
Somalia Kenya
Ethiopia
Yemen
Djibouti
447,800
Angola Zambia
Congo
Namibia
432,700
Sierra Leone Guinea
Liberia
400,800
Eritrea Sudan 376,400
Viet Nam China
USA
370,300

353 refugees drown off the coast of Australia after being denied entry. During the Australian general election, the victims were said to have deliberately drowned themselves to force Australia to accept them.


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.

India in Kashmir

India threatens Pakistan over Kashmir.

Kashmir had been incorporated into India from 1948 even though the majority of its population is Muslim. The region's ruler was a Hindu and chose to align his kingdom with India against the wishes of the population. A promised plebiscite (referendum) has never been allowed by India.

India justifies its actions by labelling them as a "War Against Terrorism" and stating "If the USA can come here and attack Afghanistan, why cannot we attack terrorism in Pakistan?"

Israel in Palestine

A report in the UK newspaper, The Guardian states that 200 children were killed and over 400 maimed by Israeli forces in Palestine between September 2000 and December 2001.

Israel demolishes 60 Palestinian houses in the Gaza Strip after four Israeli soldiers are killed. 93 families of about 600 people are left homeless. This collective punishment of a population violates the Genevea Conventions. The demolitions go ahead in spite of appeals from relatives of the dead soldiers. The Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz describes the action as a war crime and: "destruction on a systematic collective and indiscriminate level against Palestinians, whoever they may be. As far as is known, the only sin of most of them - perhaps even all of them - was the place where they lived."

Few reports of this action or its aftermath appear in Western media.

Israeli forces attack The Voice of Palestine radio station. Also destroyed are a number of properties funded by the European Union: irrigation schemes, a school building program, the airport in Gaza, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, and a sea port. Chris Patten, the European Union Foreign Affairs Commissioner asks: "[Does] it really contribute to security if everything we try to support with EU assistance is destroyed." Many institutions of Palestinian statehood are destroyed including the ministries of health and education.

The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, is put effectively under house arrest by the presence of Israeli military forces near his residence. His compound is then attacked forcing Arafat into one windowless room. Israel refuses permission for Arafat to go to an Arab Summit in Beirut. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, declares Arafat "an enemy of the world" and states that he regrets that "we did not liquidate" Arafat during the invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The USA ignores the comments which are condemned by European leaders. Saeb Ereket, a Palestinian cabinet minister responds: "I think these remarks reflect what has been always said - that Sharon is trying to finish what he began in 1982. And for prime ministers to announce openly their gangster intentions is a reflection of what kind of government we're dealing with."

Hundreds of reservist soldiers from Israel sign a petition refusing to serve in the occupied territories. The petition says that the occupation of Palestinian land is "corrupting the entire Israeli society". Soldiers had been issued with orders in the occupied territories that "had nothing to do with the security of our country [and had] the sole purpose of perpetuating our control [over the Palestinians]. We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people". Lieutenant Ishai Sagi adds: "Everything that we do in there [the occupied territories]... all the horrors, all the tearing down of houses and trees, all the roadblocks, everything - is just for one purpose, the settlers, who I believe are illegally there. So I believe that the orders I got were illegal, and I won't do that again."

In late February, a 22 year old Palestinian woman, Maysoun Hayek, begins experiencing the labour pains for her first child. Her husband, Mohammed, decides to drive his wife the 19km from their village Zeita (in the West Bank) to the nearest large town, Nablus. On the previous night a pregnant woman had been shot and injured by Israeli soldiers on the same road. Travelling at night on that road is dangerous but the woman's labour pains are too strong to wait until morning. Mohammed's father, Abdullah, decides to travel with them in the hope that a car containing an old man would be spared any trouble. The party leaves at 1:30 am and arrives at Nablus where the car is stopped at an Israeli checkpoint. The solders search the car and pat the woman's stomach. Five minutes later, the car comes under fire from Israeli troops stationed on a hillside. Mohammad is killed after 25 bullets penetrate his body. The old man, Abdullah, is hit in the chest and back; doctors say he may be permanently paralysed. At the hospital, Maysoun gives birth to a daughter, Fida. These people are Palestinians travelling from a Palestinian village to a Palestinian town. Many Palestinians have been killed travelling past Israeli checkpoints, some dying on their way to hospital.

In the same week an Israeli woman gives birth after being shot by terrorists. The Western media concentrate on her story and ignore the story of the two Palestinian women.

In March, Israeli forces kill an Italian photographer, Raffaele Ciriello, reporting for Corriere della Sera from the West Bank city of Ramallah. He is killed when soldiers in a tank open fire on him with a heavy machine gun. On the same day, a clearly marked television car is also attacked. Egyptian journalist, Tareq Abdel Jaber, is saved by his flak jacket after Israeli soldiers fire five shots at his vehicle.

Foreign journalists say that they are routinely fired at by Israeli forces. In another incident the Israeli army fires for 15 minutes into a hotel used by journalists in Ramallah. Seven shots are fired at a camera belonging to the USA ABC Network. A taxi carrying USA and UK journalists is fired at. According to Reporters Without Borders, 40 journalists have been injured in the previous two years of reporting in the occupied territories, mostly by Israeli forces.

By the end of March, Amnesty International reports that more than 1000 Palestinians had been killed. "Israeli security services have killed Palestinians, including more than 200 children, unlawfully, by shelling and bombing residential areas, random or targeted shooting, especially near checkpoints and borders, by extrajudicial executions and during demonstrations."

Palestinians begin to attack Israeli civilians with suicide bombers. Even so, Amnesty International comments: "These actions are shocking. Yet they can never justify the human rights violations and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions which, over the past 18 months, have been committed daily, hourly, even every minute, by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians. Israeli forces have consistently carried out killings when no lives were in danger."

In early April, Israeli tanks fire at a group of unarmed peace demonstrators (including many foreigners) in Bethlehem. A Jewish woman from the UK, Jo Bird, is among the people shot at: "I feared for my life, for sure. The soldiers carried on firing at us for 10 minutes... It opened my eyes to the brutality of the Israeli occupation".

The UK BBC reporter Orla Guerin is fired at and forced to abandon her vehicle. Another UK television station, Channel 4, reports that USA CIA operatives (who did not want to be filmed) were allowed to pass into the area under Israeli military control.

In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, USA-made F-16 warplanes drop large bombs on residential areas; one lands 200m from a United Nations school where 3000 children are studying. Helicopters fire heavy calibre machine guns at Palestinian police and civilians. 38 people are killed in a 12 hour period. On the ground, Israeli tanks shunt Palestinian ambulances off the street in violation of the protection afforded to rescue workers by the Geneva Convention.

Dr Ahmed Soubeih becomes the fourth doctor to be killed in one week of Israeli action. He had informed Israeli military authorities of his trip to a neighbouring hospital to get supplies for his patients. After being shot at, he again spoke to the Israelis who assured him of his safety. He was killed by a volley of bullets from an Israeli tank a few minutes later.

Red Cross workers describe ambulances and hospitals being attacked by Israeli forces, medical attention being denied to casualties, and bodies lying unburied. Israeli Arabs and Jews attempting to take food to Palestinian families under siege are tear-gassed by Israeli soldiers.

16 Palestinians (including 5 children) are killed in the Gaza village of Kouza.

Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposes a plan whereby the Arab world would recognise Israel diplomatically in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights occupied in 1967. Palestinian refugees would have the right to return (or compensation) and the settlements (colonies) would have to be evacuated. Both Israel and the USA ignore the plan.

An article in the USA magazine, USA Today talks of the "transfer" or "resettlement" of Arabs to Jordan to solve the "Palestinian problem". This is ethnic cleansing which would be a war crime. The question of whether Jewish settlers (colonists) should be transferred off illegally occupied Arab land is not mentioned.

In mid April, Israeli forces invade Palestinian territory. The USA takes time to condemn the invasion while European and Arab populations demonstrate against it. Arab leaders query why the USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, takes over a week to reach the region (travelling slowly via Europe and other Middle East countries) while the invasion rages. In 15 days over 400 Palestinians are killed and 1,500 injured; many are children. The USA criticises the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, even though he is besieged in his offices with a few aids and no electricity. Two weeks previously, the USA had sold 24 Black Hawk helicopters to Israel worth $211 million and paid for by the USA. This fact is hardly mentioned in the Western media.

In the West Bank city of Jenin the director of the hospital, Dr Ziad Ayaseh, describes a warning by Israeli forces that ambulances would be fired on if they attempt to enter the combat zone. This is confirmed by the International Red Cross. The director of the hospital in Bethlehem, Peter Qumri, is issued with similar threats. Basil Bshaarat is shot in the thigh and cannot get medical treatment for two days. He lies in his university dormitory with a towel to stop the bleeding. Palestinian ambulances are eventually allowed into the area with orders to bring out only dead bodies. Bshaarat and another man is smuggled out under three bodies: "the smell was terrible". Stopping rescue services from treating the injured is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Both the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation state that people have died because Israeli forces had stopped rescuers getting through. The International Red Crescent has two of its ambulances destroyed while they are parked in Tulkarem.

Journalists are threatened and shot at to keep them out of the invasion zone. Stun grenades are used. A French television journalist is shot in front of BBC cameras. Michael Holmes of CNN has rubber bullets fired at him. Barbara Plett of the BBC is attacked with stun grenades when part of a five car convoy: "I was not shocked at the heavy-handed approach of the Israeli army. They have a sniper outside our hotel, for Heaven's sake." The BBC reporter Jeremy Vine, is denied access to the invasion zone but enters on foot. In Rumana, he films people whose hands had been bound for two days. Others had been wounded with dumdum bullets. These break up into many fragments when entering flesh. Hundreds of wounded civilians are being treated in houses.

In Bethlehem, hundreds of people take refuge in the Church of the Nativity which is surrounded by Israeli tanks. Among those trapped is the governor of the city, Mohammed al-Madani. The Christian bell ringer at the church for 30 years, Samir Ibrahim Salman, is killed while crossing to the building. A Muslim is shot while attempting to put out a fire at the Church. Brother Mark Boyle, a 60 year old monk from the UK, is confined to the Vatican funded university where he teaches, after Israeli missiles attack the building, destroying classrooms. From his vantage point he watches Israeli soldiers surrounding the Church of the Nativity and firing from all sites, starting several fires, as well as playing sounds of screaming women and barking dogs through loud-speakers.

USA-made Apache helicopters fire missiles and rockets on residential areas. Bulldozers demolish houses in the narrow streets. Hundreds of people are killed in Jenin over a three day period. Israeli troops open fire on the house of Sami Abda, even though neighbours had warned them there were only civilians inside. His mother and brother are killed after 18 bullets are fired through the open front door. Ambulances are refused permission to enter the street so the family has to live with the bodies for 30 hours. The United Nations Commission for Refugees report that Israeli soldiers smashed medical equipment even though there was no fighting.

The refugee camp in Jenin is closed to all outsiders for two weeks. Dozens of people are killed, half of them civilians. Many houses are bulldozed without warning with people inside, including several storey buildings. An area 0.5km wide, and home to 800 people, is flattened. Survivors talk of indiscriminate killings, mass graves (one trench with over 30 bodies), bodies taken away by the military, people shot as they surrendered, grenades being thrown into houses full of people, people used as human shields (including 72 year old Rajeh Tawafshi), ambulances shot at to keep them from treating the wounded.

Many civilians are killed. Mohammed Abu Sba'a, an elderly unarmed man, is shot in the chest after attempting to persuade a bulldozer driver not to crush his house. Fadwa Jamma, a nurse in uniform, is shot dead while attempting to help a wounded man outside her house. Atiya Rumeleh calls for an ambulance after her husband is shot in the face. The Israelis stop the vehicle and send it away and he dies. Afaf Desuqi, a 52 year old woman, is killed when Israeli soldiers blow her door open. Jamal Feyed, a mentally and physically disabled man, is killed when an Israeli bulldozer crushes his house, even though relatives had told the driver of his presence. Ahmad Hamduni, a man in his 80s, is shot by soldiers at close range in his house. Faris Zeben, a 14 year old boy, is shot from a tank while out buying groceries Mohammed Hawashin (15) is shot in the face while walking home. Kemal Zughayer, a 58 year old disabled man, is shot dead in his wheelchair while wheeling himself on the road with a white flag; a tank then runs over and mangles his body.

United Nations officials are shocked at the scale of the destruction; Terje Roed-Larsen states: "Given the deplorable and unprecedented refusal to allow international relief organisations into the camps while people were slowly dying in the rubble of their wounds and thirst, the onus is on Israel to account for the missing thousands of refugees who lived in the camp until a few weeks ago. [Israel] were hiding a war crime, in fact, two war crimes: the mass killing and the denial of humanitarian relief." The Israeli vilify him for his observations.

Amnesty International calls for a full enquiry by the United Nations Security Council. Many countries support this but the USA initially resists. The International Red Cross states that the camp "looks like it has been hit by an earthquake". After being denied entry for a week, workers from the Red Cross find injured survivors in the rubble. The Jenin refugee camp was home to 14,000 people and was established in 1953. Its inhabitants were originally ethnically cleansed from what is now Israel, a fact not widely reported in the Western media.

Israel blocks a United Nations enquiry into the events in Jenin. A few months later, the general in charge of the Jenin operation, Shaul Mofaz, is appointed Israel's Defence Minister.

Dima Sinafta, a 14 year old girl is killed after being hit by tank fire while standing on her balcony in Tubas. 8 year old Ahmed Srayer is one of 11 people injured when the car he is travelling is attacked by two helicopters in Hebron.

In Ramallah a group of Palestinian policemen, including two in their mid-50s are executed in a small room. Over 1000 prisoners are taken away to unknown destinations. Some are seen blindfolded and gagged in Jewish settlements (colonies). Hakam Kanafani, manager of Jawwal, a mobile phone company, describes his offices being wrecked and looted by Israeli soldiers: "All doors were broken even though the keys were available for them to use."

The Israel newspaper Ha'aretz describes vandalism and looting perpetrated by the Israeli army in the Ministry of Culture building in Ramallah occupied by troops for a month: "In every room of the various departments - literature, film, culture for children and youth - books, disks, pamphlets and documents were piled up, soiled with urine and excrement. There are two toilets on every floor but the soldiers urinated and defecated everywhere else in the building. They did their business on the floors, in emptied flower pots, even in drawers they had pulled out of the desk... someone even managed to defecate into the photocopier."

70 Palestinians are killed in Nablus. The Al-Shu'bis family loses 8 members when Israeli soldiers buldoze their house while they are inside. The dead include three children, their pregnant mother and their 85 year old grandmother. Soldiers continue to demolish the house even after neighbours inform them of the presence of people inside.

A woman and two children (aged 4 and 6) are shot and killed by a tank in Jenin while gathering firewood.

The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, is called "a man of peace" by the USA. The USA president, George W Bush tells the Palestinians that they can have their own state only if they elect a leader acceptable to the USA and Israel.

140 people are wounded and 14 killed (including 9 children, some babies) when an Israeli F-16 warplane fires a missile into a residential area in Gaza City. The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon describes the attack as "one of our greatest successes". The target had been a Palestinian leader accused by Israel of planning suicide bombings. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees informs Israel that "the reckless killing of civilians is absolutely prohibited, regardless of the military significance of the target being attacked." Only a week earlier, the UK government had agreed sales of electronic parts to the USA that would be used in the manufacture of F-16 warplanes for sale to Israel. European diplomats had agreed a deal to stop the suicide attacks when this incident occurred.

After demolishing the houses of several suspected militants, Israel attempts to deport their relatives as a deterrent. Amnesty International describes this as "collective punishment" and declares that "if these people have committed no crime then deporting them would be a breach of the Geneva Conventions".

Amnesty International publishes a report stating that in the first nine months of 2002, 322 children died in the conflict. Of these, 72 were Israeli children killed by Palestinian gunmen and suicide bombers.

During the same period, 250 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli military forces, nearly half of them under 12 years old. Israel is attacked in the report for "excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force [and] reckless shooting [in residential areas]". The report concludes that "No judicial investigation is known to have been carried out by members of the Israeli Defence Forces in the occupied territories, even in cases where Israeli government officials have stated publicly that investigations would be carried out."

In one highlighted incident, 9 children are killed with 8 adults when a 1000kg bomb is dropped on their house from a USA made F-16 jet. The dead include Dina Matar (2 months old), Ayman Matar (18 months), Mohamad Matar (3 years), Sobhi Hweiti (4), Diana Matar (5), Mohamad Hweiti (6), Ala Matar (10), Iman Shehada (15), Maryam Matar (17). The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, describes this strike as a "great success". None of the victims is named or pictured in the Western media.

Another report, by The United Nations Children's Fund blames the Israeli army's curfews for preventing 170,000 Palestinian children from going to school in breach of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Israeli troops frequently open fire on people breaking the curfew, even children.

In Gaza, several people are killed by Israeli tank fire including 12 year old Saher al-Hout. A hospital is fired on killing a hospital worker.

In the Gaza city of Khan Younis, eight Palestinians are killed while standing outside a mosque by a missile fired by an Israeli helicopter. Over 80 people are injured including children. Although reported in Reuters, this story is unreported in the Western media.

In November, two Israeli children are killed by Palestinians in a Kibutz. This is extensively reported in the Western media with photographs of the victims, videos of them playing and interviews with grieving relatives. During the same month a number of Palestinian children are killed by Israeli forces in the occupied territories. These include a 2 year old boy, Nafez Mishal, and an 8 year old girl, Shaima abu Shamaaleh. Only a few newspapers in the UK report these deaths and none in the USA. No television images are broadcast. Shaima's father states "The [Israeli] army fires at our houses and calls it self defence, but they call our attacks terrorism. I am against the killing of children". Between September 2000 and October 2002, 602 Israelis and 1591 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict.

Palestinians from the West Bank village of Yanun are attacked daily by armed Israelis from the nearby illegal settlement (colony) of Itamar while harvesting their olive groves. Hani Bani Minyeh is shot dead. Two international peace activists are beaten up by the same settlers: Mary Hughes-Thompson, 68 (from UK) and James Delaplain, 74 (from USA).

Palestine under occupation
The reality of occupation of the Palestinians. Most aspects of Palestinian life (including resources like water) are controlled by Israel.
 
Bethlehem under Israeli attack
The West Bank city of Bethlehem under attack by Israeli forces close to the Church of the Nativity.
 
Jenin after the Israeli military operation
Many Palestinian civilians are killed after Israel attacked the refugee camp in Jenin in 2002. Many of the inhabitants of Jenin had been expelled from Israel in 1948.

Iain Hook, a 54 year old United Nations relief worker is shot by an Israeli soldier in a clearly marked United Nations compound in Jenin. Israeli soldiers stop the ambulance sent to attend to the injured worker. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the killing and the destruction of a warehouse belonging to the World Food Programme.

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.

Spying on China

The USA company, Boeing, refurbishes the presidential plane of China at a cost of $10 million. On delivery the aircraft is found to contain 27 satellite controlled listening devices. One is found in the headboard of the president's bed and another in the shower room. The plane is never used.

Vatican City Ethics

In the Vatican City, Pope John Paul II urges Catholic lawyers not to handle divorce cases, even for non-Catholics.

In the past, the Pope has insisted that Catholic doctors should not perform abortions or help people with contraceptives.

Pollution in China

A report is published by a coalition of environmental groups led by the Basle Action Network (BAN). The report (Exporting Harm, The Hi-Tech Trashing of Asia) describes how between 50% and 80% of electronic goods collected for recycling in Western countries are sent to Asia where there are weaker environmental laws and lower waste handling costs.

In southern China, 100,000 migrant workers strip computers of valuable parts and dump poisonous waste products containing lead, barium, phosphorus and mercury into fields and rivers where they seep into the water supply poisoning local wells. In some areas water has to be trucked in from up to 30km away. Workers use rudimentary tools to extract tin, aluminium and copper parts for resale.

BAN estimates that the world's 500 million computers contain 2,870 thousand million kg of plastic, 716,700,000kg of lead and 286,700kg of mercury.

These actions violate the Basle Convention of 1994 which attempts to control the shipment of hazardous waste across international borders. The Convention has been signed by 149 countries including all 15 members of the European Union. The USA has refused to sign the Convention.

Angola (Assassination of Jonas Savimbi)

Jonas Savimbi is killed in Angola.

Savimbi had been financed and armed by apartheid South Africa and the USA since Angola gained its independence from Portugal in 1974. For over 25 years he had destabilised Angola which had refused to allow Western companies access to its diamonds and oil.

By 1994, the Angolan government had allowed USA oil companies concessions to newly discovered off-shore oil fields. Savimbi lost his backing from the USA and was encouraged to make peace. When he refused one USA diplomat commented "The trouble with puppets is that they don't always jerk when you pull the strings".

Eventually, the Angolan government finds and kills Savimbi after receiving satellite intelligence from the USA.

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

Switzerland and Scientific Information

Syngenta, a company from Switzerland, refuses to publish the complete DNA genetic sequence of rice, the developing world's most important crop. A group of scientists state that this is against the open nature of scientific research and an attempt to make the DNA sequence a trade secret.

In the previous year, Celera stored elements of the human genetic sequence in a private database rather than publish it in the scientific literature.

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:

European Fishing Near Africa

According to a United Nations report, high technology fishing boats from the European Union, Japan and other countries are destroying fish stocks off the coast of West Africa. This causes depletion of fish stocks and loss of employment to local economies.

In Mauritania the number of people employed in octopus fishing has dropped from 5,000 in 1996 to 1,800 in 2002. The Irish fishing vessel, Atlantic Dawn, processes 7000 tons of fish in a single voyage: this is more than a single fishing community might catch in a year. This boat is too large for European Union regulations.

In Senegal local fish supplies have fallen to dangerously low levels.

Nuclear Lobby

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

Turkey Elections

In Turkey, the Justice and Development Party, led by Recep Erdogan, wins the election. Under Turkish law, Mr Erdogan is banned from politics after a conviction in 1998 and cannot become Prime Minister or serve in parliament. His conviction was for reciting a religious poem during a rally.

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:

Attempted Coup in Venezuela

A coup removes Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected president of Venezuala. Although he regains his position after 24 hours, the USA publicly welcomes his overthrow.

The USA newspaper, The New York Times, reports that senior USA administration officials had met the business and military leaders behind the coup several times and had expressed an interest in Chavez being removed. Chavez had offended the USA by establishing good relations with Iraq and Cuba and by expressing sympathy with dissidents in Colombia who are being targeted by a USA backed military offensive.

Media in Italy

The government of Italy led by media magnet, Sylvio Berlusconi, begin a campaign to have four current affairs television programmes taken off the air from RAI the state broadcaster.

The programs are Primo Piano, Il Fatto, Porta a Porta and Scuiscia. The government accuses them of bias. Berlusconi controls the majority of Italy's publishing and broadcasting media.

The government passes a law to enable Berlusconi to avoid being tried on corruption charges.

USA Trade Barriers

The USA imposes trade tariffs on steel from Europe and increases farm subsidies by $70,000 million. Both acts are in breach of trade rules set up by the USA.

The USA had been criticising the farming subsidies of the European Union as well as putting pressure for more open markets to USA goods. The European Union commissioner for agriculture complains: "We cannot negotiate on the basis of 'Do as I say, not as I do'."

Between 1945 and 2002, there have been 116 cases of economic sanctions against countries. 80% of these have been initiated by the USA alone, often against the wishes of the international community and the trade agreements that the USA has signed. The United Nations estimates that more than 50% of the world's population is subject to unilateral coercive sanctions by the USA. These sanctions "were not authorised by the relevant organs of the UN".

The USA threatens trade sanctions against 27 countries that produce cheap medicines for diseases like AIDS for their own people. This is a violation of the Doha Declaration which allows countries to put the health of their people before compliance with patent rules. According to Oxfam, "unduly restrictive patent protection raises prices and therefore reduces access for poor people".

The farming subsidies in Europe total over $40,000 million. The subsidies favour large farms using fertilisers and pesticides, raise food prices in Europe by 44% and cause poverty in poorer countries by making local produce more expensive than European produce.

The European Union and the USA thus spend billions of dollars of tax payers' money each year subsidising their farmers and protecting them from more efficient producers in the poorer countries. The surplus cheap produce is then exported to developing countries, wiping out local farmers' livelihoods.

The European Union and (to a lesser extent) the USA protect their own markets while preaching free trade to poorer countries. As Oxfam puts it: "Governments of rich countries constantly stress their commitment to poverty reduction. Yet the same governments use their trade policy to conduct what amounts to robbery against the world's poor. Rich countries are fierce advocates of liberalisation in developing countries, while retaining high trade barriers against exports from the same countries."

International Criminal Court

The USA president states that he will "unsign" the treaty authorising the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This court, supported by most of the world (137 countries), would allow crimes against humanity (such as genocide and war crimes) to be tried under international rules. USA Secretary of State, Colin Powell, declares that the USA would be "no longer bound in any way to its purpose and objective."

Ken Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch observes that "the USA does not wish to live by the rules that it expects of others".

The USA uses its United Nations Security Council veto to block the renewal of the peace mandate in Bosnia in order to put pressure on the world community over the ICC. A senior United Nations diplomat states that this action is "false and discusting" and "an absurd ideological attack on the ICC".

When the ICC becomes law, the USA puts pressure on countries to exempt USA citizens from its provisions. Romania is told that it cannot join NATO unless it agrees to this. Eventually, 16 countries sign agreements with the USA to exempt its citizens.

Bahrain

In Bahrain women are given the vote and allowed to stand for office in the first elections for 30 years.

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.

Sudan

A report in Sudan states that the government (controlled by the Arabic speaking Islamic north) has attacked the Christian south 34 times in 18 months killing 190 civilians. Thousands of people have been violently removed from land containing oil which is being exploited by Western oil companies.

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.

Russia and Chechnya

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, states that his country will impose a solution of the region of Chechnya after a terrorist attack in Moscow. The solution will not include the elected president of Chechnya, Aslan Maskhadov.

200,000 Chechen refugees have their utilities switched off by the Russian military in an attempt to forceably repatriate them. In the Chechen town of Achkoi-Martan, Russian forces blow up a house belonging to one of the Moscow terrorists after giving her family a few minutes to evacuate their home.

Coffee Trade (Africa)

A report by the charity, Oxfam and published in the UK newspaper, The Independent, shows how trading favours multi-national companies over the populations of both developing (meaning poor) and developed (meaning rich) countries.

The example commodity is coffee; the example developing country is Uganda; the example developed country is the UK.

Details
Price in $
per kilogram
Peter and Salome Kafuluzi sell 1kg of green coffee beans to a middleman in the village of Kintuntu. 0.14
The middleman takes the coffee beans to a mill and transports it to Kampala where it is sold to an exporter. 0.26
The exporter transports the coffee beans to an Indian Ocean port (either Mombassa in Kenya or Dar es Salaam in Tanzania). The cost now includes transport, quality sorting and taxes. 0.45
The coffee is transported to a UK port (Southampton) and is sold to an importer. The price now includes insurance and freight. 0.52
The coffee is transported to the roasting plant of multi-national company. An example is the Kraft plant at Banbury in the county of Oxfordshire. This is the price the company pays. 0.63
The green coffee beans are roasted and processed into instant coffee. This causes a loss of weight. The kilogram coffee beans that were bought by the company have been converted to 0.385kg of coffee powder or granules. 1.64
The instant coffee is packaged, distributed, marketed and sold to the UK public. 26.40

Most of the enormous price increase from $1.64 to $26.40 makes up the profit of the multi-national company. The UK public loses because it pays a very high cost for a product that should cost less than 10% of what it is sold for. The original price paid to the growers in Uganda ($0.14) keeps them in poverty.

It would be better for both Ugandan and UK populations if the source country could grow, roast, process, package, export and sell its own coffee to the UK. The coffee could easily be sold for around $2.00 per kilo (saving the UK buyer money) while more was paid to the Ugandan grower.

However, if Uganda attempted this, the UK government would put tariffs on its instant coffee. A tariff is a special tax used by governments to keep out other countries' exports. These tariffs would make the cost of Ugandan coffee artificially high so that it would not be cheaper than the multi-national coffee. The tariffs have the effect that Uganda cannot sell instant coffee on the open world market. All it can sell is the green beans, its raw materials. These are sold at a low cost partially because the multi-national roasting companies collude to keep the price low.

There are four major multi-national roasting companies as can be seen from the following table.

Company Owner
Country
Annual Global Sales Annual Profits Coffee Brands
Kraft USA $33,900,000,000 $4,880,000,000 Maxwell House, Jacobs, Café Hag, Carte Noire.
Nestle Switzerland $50,200,000,000 $3,960,000,000 Nescafé, Gold Blend.
Procter & Gamble USA $39,200,000,000 $2,920,000,000 Folgers, Milstone among 250 brands.
Sara Lee USA $17,700,000,000 $2,270,000,000 Douwe Egberts, Maison du Café, União.

Much of the world's trade is run along these lines.

Poor countries are forced to sell their raw materials to Western multi-national companies for low prices. The companies develop a product which is sold to consumers in the developed world (and also back to the source country) for a much higher price. The profits go to the multi-nationals, most of which are from the USA.

Some countries have attempted to move outside this trading system by using their raw materials for their own markets. These countries have been demonised or have faced sanctions imposed by the West. Examples are Cuba, Nicaragua (during the 1980s), Angola (before 2000), and India (before 1990).

Pakistan Elections

In elections in Pakistan, the president, Pervez Musharraf, a military leader who took power in a coup (in 1999), changes the constitution so that he can dismiss the country's government. The two previous leaders, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are barred from standing in the election by presidential decree.

The West praises the elections. Ari Fleischer, the spokesman for the USA president, describes the elections as "an important milestone in the transition to democracy".

Observers from the European Union describe the elections as "seriously flawed" accusing the government of using its resources to support pro-Musharraf parties.

Nazi Publisher

A report exposes the publishing company, Bertelsmann, (Germany) for covering up its links to the Nazis during and before World War II.

The company had been involved with publishing Nazi propaganda and using Jewish slave labour. At the end of the War, the UK (which was administering the part of Germany where the company was based) had renewed the company's licence to continue printing even though aware of its wartime activities.

Bertelsmann is the world's largest publisher of books (it owns USA company Random House) and Europe's biggest television group (owning BMG music business and UK television station Channel 5).

USA Nuclear Waste

The USA government approves a plan to dump nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountains of Nevada state. The mountains are in an earthquake zone containing 33 faults and have a water table 300m below the surface. The Shoshone people live in the area.

The USA and the "Axis of Evil"

The USA threatens to attack countries it considers part of an "axis of evil". These countries include Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Sudan. These countries are accused of sponsoring terrorism and amassing weapons of mass destruction.

The USA military budget for 2001 was $ 343,000 million. This is 69% greater than that of the next five highest nations combined. Russia, which has the second largest military budget, spends less than one sixth of the USA budget. The above named "axis of evil" states spend $ 14,400 million combined (4% of the USA budget) with more than half of this amount accounted for by Iran.

None of the "axis" countries is under USA political control.

Ignacio Ramonet, writing for the French newspaper, La Monde states that USA "military domination is now absolute. And the punishment it has inflicted on Afghanistan warns all other countries: anyone opposing the USA will be isolated, devoid of allies, and exposed to the real danger of being bombed back to the stone age. A list of the likely targets has now been publicly announced in the USA press: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, North Korea."

In a speech at West Point on 1 June the USA president said there were 60 countries that were potential targets for regime change.

Israel and Lebanon

Israel threatens to bomb a water pipeline on the Wazzani River in Lebanon. The pipelines are designed to carry water to Lebanese villages. Under international law, Lebanon is allowed to pump 35 million cubic metres (m3) of water from the river. The pipeline will take the amount pumped to 9 million m3.

USA in South Korea

Two teenage girls are run down and killed by a USA armoured vehicle in South Korea. The soldiers in the vehicle are aquitted by a USA military panel. Over 37,000 USA soldiers are based in the country and subject to USA rather than Korean law.

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.

Yemen

The USA fires a missile at a car in Yemen killing 6 people it accuses of belonging to the terrorist group, Al Qa'ida.

A report in Jane's Defence Weekly states that "it doesn't seem they were given a chance to surrender. They were taken out Israeli-style". Adrian Hamilton, a UK journalist, writes "just because [USA] officials say the men killed in a car by the CIA were guilty, doesn't mean they were. Only the due process of law can decide that".

The USA has 800 troops and an an unspecified number of special forces in the region based in Djibouti.


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.

Palestine and Israel

In Palestine, 300 Israeli soldiers demolish 62 shops in a market in the village of Nazlat Issa, destroying the livelihood of hundreds of Palestinians. The village is close to a fence being built by Israel on occupied West Bank land. This fence will cut off many Palestinian towns from the rest of the West Bank.

A vegetable market is demolished in Hebron where the Israeli army also close three police stations and two television channels. These actions are against international law but are ignored by the West.

In Gaza, Israel uses helicopter gunships, tanks and armoured vehicles in a 7 hour night attack on Gaza City. 12 Palestinians are killed and 67 injured. In mid February, Israel sends 40 tanks into the city killing 11 people including Mundur Safadi, a medic tending to a man with chest injuries. In March, Nuha al-Magadmeh, a woman who is nine months pregnant, is crushed to death when Israeli forces blow up the house next door.

In Nablus a 65 year old UK woman, Anne Gwynne, is shot at by Israeli soldiers while working as a volunteer medical worker in a Palestinian ambulance. The driver is killed by a shot in the head. Shooting at medical services violates the Geneva Convention. 61 year old Ahmad abu Zahra and his 17 year old grandson are shot dead while walking during an Israeli imposed curfew.

In Rafah a 7 year old boy is killed by Israeli army fire. A 65 year old partially deaf woman, Kamla Said, is killed in Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza when Israeli forces demolish her home while she is inside. Her stepson states: "Israeli troops were acting in a brutal way. They got us all out of the house so fast and in an aggressive manner, they gave no chance for us to see who was out and who was in".

In Bethlehem Israeli forces construct a high concrete wall across the occupied city cutting off 500 people from their work, schools and community. One resident, Amjad Awwad, is told that if a doctor is required in the night, the hospital will have to telephone the Israeli government for permission. A series of fences and walls is being built around Jerusalem to protect illegally built settlements (colonies) in the West Bank.

After elections in Israel, a coalition forms including parties calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank by force.

In March, TV film shows a Palestinian fireman, Naji Abu Jalili, being killed while putting out a fire in Jabalya by an Israeli tank shell. The shell is full of flachettes, arrow shaped pieces of metal designed to inflict mass casualties. Several people in a crowd opposite the building are also injured.

Israeli forces fire on people attempting to rescue the wounded. The wounded include Hamad Jadallah and Shams Odeh, journalists working for Reuters. The Israelis state that the man died from a booby trap in the building, a claim not supported by the film footage.

Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old citizen of the USA, is killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian house from being demolished in a refugee camp in Gaza. Another human shield, Nicholas Durie (Scotland, UK) explained "we were trying to frustrate their efforts by getting in front of the bulldozers. One of the drivers saw Rachel and drove towards her. She didn't get out of the way and he didn't stop. She was carried up with a heap of earth in the shovel of the buldozer. The driver continued working. She slipped and fell and was run over by the bulldozer. The driver saw that she had fallen, but carried her along for another 16 feet [5m]. Only then did he back off".

A senior Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, stated: "Rachel died doing what world governments have failed to do - protecting defenceless civilians". A few months later, her parents visit the house she was protecting with the permission of the Israeli army. A UK television documentary shows them being shot at by Israeli snipers and bulldozers 30m from the house where they are visiting.

The bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes are manufactured the USA company, Caterpillar. It is estimated that 50,000 Palestinians have been made homeless by the company's D9 armoured bulldozer.

Tom Hurndall, a 21 year old human shield from London (UK), is shot in the head by an Israeli soldier while trying to lead a group of Palestinian children away from a gun fight in Rafah. His injuries leave him in a coma. His parents, Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall, later visit the area from the UK to find out the circumstances. They are also shot at by Israeli soldiers at the Abu Khouli checkpoint while driving in a convoy organised by the UK Embassy and bearing diplomatic number plates. They had given notice of the journey on three occasions including a few minutes before the convoy arrived.

The Israeli army demolishes an apartment block in Hebron after an attack by non-residents on Israeli soldiers. Several families are left homeless. This form of collective punishment is common in the West Bank and Gaza and violates the Geneva Convention.

Two days before the USA invades Iraq, the President, George W Bush, and the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, both state that the USA is committed to a Palestinian state and publish a "road map" towards that goal. This story is publicised in all Western media. Within a day of this announcement, the Israel leader, Ariel Sharon states that he will not allow a viable, independent Palestinian state. This story is hardly reported in the West.

During the first week of the USA and UK invasion of Iraq, Israeli forces kill three children in the occupied territories: a girl aged 10 shot in a car she was travelling in; soldiers shot a 14 year old boy who had climbed onto an armoured car; a 15 year old boy who was throwing stones.

Five people are killed and 50 injured when Israeli forces fire a missile at a car in Gaza City. The bulk of the injuries occur when the jet fires at a crowd that had gathered around the damaged car.

More than 1000 men and boys are taken away at gunpoint in trucks from Tulkarem refugee camp.

In Rafah (a refugee camp in the Gaza strip), Israeli forces kill 5 Palestinians and injure over 40 when a large force is sent into the area.

In a 24 hour period, two journalists are shot dead by Israeli soldiers: In Nablus, Nazeh Darwazeh, 41, a cameraman who worked for Associated Press; in Rafah, Corporal Lior Ziv, 19, an Israeli army cameraman.

In late April, a "road map" for peace is published. The plan has been agreed by the USA, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

The plan calls for Palestinians to stop their violence but does not call on Israel to comply with UN resolutions concerning the occupation and settlements. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, calls on Palestinians to renounce the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees before he will negotiate on the plan.

The right of refugees to return to their homeland is a human right under the United Nations. The new Prime Minister of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas, (himself appointed after pressure from Israel and the USA) is a refugee from 1948. He asks "Why should I drop the Right of Return of refugees. It is not my right to drop it".

22 Arab states reiterate their call for complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, in return for complete recognition of Israel. This is under-reported in the West.

James Miller, a well known UK cameraman filming a documentary, is shot dead by Israeli forces in southern Gaza. The victim was wearing a helmet marked with TV, walking slowly towards an Israeli post with a white flag, and shouting in English and Arabic that he was a journalist, according to witnesses. An ambulance is called but is not allowed through. The Israeli government states that he was shot by Palestinians. A post-mortem disproves this and several weeks later the Israelis admit culpability and promise an enquiry. In practice, the site of the shooting is bulldozed and the weapons used are not impounded for 11 weeks. Two years later all discipliary action against the accused are dropped.

The Israeli army demands that any foreign national entering the Gaza strip sign a waiver releasing the army of all responsibility for their safety.

The Israeli army occupy the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun (population 35,000) for five days. Seven Palestinians are killed including 14 year old Muhammad al-Zaneen who was helping his father paint their house. 15 houses are demolished.

As the army departs from the town, they bulldoze 6000 orange trees over 300 hectares. Since 2000, the Israelis have destroyed 70% of the town's citrus groves. One of the owners, Maher al-Shawwa (42), describes one of his trees: "I took care of it for 15 years. It produces at 15. When it is 40, I can make a profit". He estimates his loss at hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of his workers, Ibrahim Hussein (59) was asleep outside his house when the bulldozers arrived: "They fired three shots at me and told me to stay inside. I saw five bulldozers. They destroyed the farm. I have lost my salary, and so have 29 other farmers".

After pressure from the USA, the Israel Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, convinces his skeptical parliament to accept the USA-sponsored "road map" to peace: "The idea that it is possible to continue keeping 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the Israeli economy".

In June, Israel continues its policy of targeted killings (assassinations) of Palestinian leaders. In one incident in Gaza City, an Israeli helicopter fires into a civilian area killing 7 and injuring 33. A day later, 23 people, including children, are injured. The attacks have become so common that Palestinians now leave their cars when they hear helicopters flying overhead. Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace group, accuses the Israeli Prime Minister of deliberately using assassination to destroy the "road map".

In a 32 month period up to the end of May 2003, 762 Israelis and 2,274 Palestinians have been killed. Almost 7,500 Palestinians are held in 22 Israeli prisons, detention centres or military encampments. 1,134 homes have been demolished in the Gaza strip.

In the first half of 2003, 5000 Jewish "settlers" moved into the occupied territories bringing the total of "settlers" to 231,443. All are regarded as illegal under the Geneva Convention. During the year, Israel announces its intention to build over 600 houses in 3 West Bank "settlements".

Israel's largest human rights group, Civil Rights in Israel, accuses the government of Ariel Sharon of gross human rights violations in the occupied territories including the use of human shields.

Israel continues its construction of a "security" fence despite international criticism. The fence is being constructed entirely on occupied Palestinian land, cutting the West Bank into a series of cantons (or reservations). The United Nations estimates that the completed fence will cut off 240,000 Palestinians from their communities and leave 160,000 Palestinians in enclaves surrounded by the barrier.

The fence will cut off 16.6% of the West Bank. The Israeli army issues an order that Palestinians living between the fence and the 1967 borders must obtain special permits to travel. Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, tells the UK newspaper, The Observer, "Israel is the promised land - promised to Jews and to no-one else".

In August, Israel passes a law that forbids Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel. Citizens of all other countries who marry Israelis will not be affected by the new law. Children will also be affected after the age of 12. Several international and Israeli human rights organisations declare the law to be discriminatory and anti-democratic.

In Nablus, Israeli undercover troops (disguised as vegetable merchants) break into a hospital and seize two Palestinians with whom they had a gun fight. The men were being treated in intensive care. This act is a violation of the Geneva Convention. In Gaza, Israeli helicopter gunships fire into a residential area.

In September, the Israeli parliament agrees to expel the Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, from the occupied West Bank.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution urging Israel to refrain from deporting Arafat. The UK, Germany and Bulgaria abstain from the vote. During the debate 40 governments condemned Israel for its decision to "remove" Arafat.

Sana Al-Daour, a ten year old Palestinian girl, is killed when the car she is travelling in is hit by an Israeli missile fired from a helicopter. Amira Hass, a journalist for the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, quotes figures that suggest that 80% of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces have no connection to armed resistance to the occupation.

In October, Israeli forces destroy 114 houses in Gaza, killing several people including children. United Nations officials estimated that 1,240 people had been left homeless including 10 year old Yasser Abu Swelen who said "I don't have a house, a bed or schoolbooks anymore". Eye-witnesses report residents running as bulldozers advanced: "Suddenly, a bulldozer was hitting the back of my house. We were ten people. We ran away. I saw barefooted women carrying children, with hardly any clothes on. I and my family went to Kholafa al-Rashedeen mosque. The army dug holes around my house. I am in the mosque with 200 people. Our house...is partly demolished". Many people tell of the demolitions being done at night and of being given little time to take anything. Hundreds of people are forced to live in the changing rooms of the football stadium. 45 people end up in the first aid room measuring 5m square. Others end up living in ruined buildings. The Israeli army demolish three apartment blocks in Netzarim Junction (in Gaza) after clearing more than 2,000 Palestinians from their homes.

Little of these events is shown or reported in the Western media.

Many people were badly wounded after a helicopter fired a missile into a building; some had to have limbs amputated, including 11 year old Louai Barhoum. Over 50 people were injured.

A few days later, the USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the continued building of a fence by Israel on Palestinian land.

27 reservists are grounded by the Israeli air force for refusing to take part in assassinations of Palestinians.

In October, Israeli forces bomb targets in Syria. The USA refuses to condemn the action by stating that "Israel must not feel constrained in terms of defending the homeland". So, Palestinians are not allowed to fight for their homeland by attacking regions outside their (occupied) borders but Israelis are. This message does not go down well with the Arab peoples of the Middle East.

Peace Now, an Israeli peace group, declares that of the 104 settlements in Palestine, that Israel has pledged to remove, it has removed only 7, all staged for the media. Five new ones were set up.

In November, the USA complains to Israel after their soldiers destroyed a number of water wells build by a USA aid agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) for civilian use in Gaza. At the same time the USA agreed $2,000 million of military aid to Israel for 2005, an increase of $60 million over 2004.

The table below lists the casualties in this conflict for the three years up to September 2003.

Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian attacks 552
Israeli civilians under 18 years old killed by Palestinian attacks 100
Israeli occupation soldiers killed by Palestinian attacks 246
Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks 2197
Palestinians under 18 years old killed by Israeli attacks 399
Palestinian children under 15 killed by Israeli attacks 200
Palestinians assassinated by Israeli forces 123
Palestinian bystanders killed by Israeli forces 84

Algeria

Human Rights Watch reports that the government of Algeria has been responsible for the "disappearances" of over 7000 people between 1992 and 2003. It asserts that the government has "utterly failed" to investigate these and other human rights abuses.

Amnesty International accuses Algeria of systematic and widespread torture of civilians.

In 1992, the military in Algeria cancelled elections once it became obvious that Islamic parties were about to win. The president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika was installed by the military in 1999. The resulting conflict has caused the deaths of at least 100,000 people. Very little about the nature of the conflict and the cancelled elections is reported in the Western media.

The USA announces that sales of military equipment to Algeria (stopped in 1992) are to be resumed to help the government "combat Islamic militants". The European Union obtains natural gas from Algeria after a trade deal concluded in 2001.

In July, the government releases Ali Belhadj and Abassi Madani of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) that won the first round of elections in 1991. The men have been banned from all political activity or from even voting in future elections.

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 Foreign Policy

The USA sends to its Congress a document called The National Security Strategy of the United States. In this documents the USA spells out its future foreign policy strategy:

USA Nuclear Weapons

A report by Stephen I. Schwartz, director of the USA Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project discusses the locations of active nuclear weapons in a number of states in the USA as well as other countries (as of August 2002):

USA State
Number of
Nuclear Weapon
Sites
Alabama 1
Alaska 5
Arizona 1
Arkansas 2
California 25
Colorado 8
Conecticut 2
Florida 7
Georgia 2
Hawaii 7
Idaho 2
Illinois 2
Indiana 1
Iowa 2
Kansas 3
Kentucky 1
Louisiana 2
Maine 5
Maryland 8
Massachusetts 1
Michigan 4
Mississippi 1
Missouri 3
Montana 1
Nebraska 3
Nevada 3
New Hampshire 1
New Jersey 3
New Mexico 7
New York 6
North Carolina 1
North Dakota 3
Ohio 6
Oklahoma 3
Oregon 1
Pennsylvania 2
Rhode Island 1
South Carolina 2
South Dakota 1
Tennessee 4
Texas 7
Utah 2
Virginia 11
Washington 8
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin 2
Wyoming 1
Country
Number of
Nuclear Weapon
Sites
Australia 3
Bahamas 1
Belgium 2
Canada 1
Diego Garcia 1
Germany 20
Greece 3
Greenland 1
Guan 4
Italy 6
Japan 5
Johnston Island 1
Kwajalein Atoll 1
Netherlands 2
Philippines 3
Puerto Rico 1
South Korea 8
Spain 4
Turkey 7
United Kingdom (UK) 17

KryssTal Opinion: Anyone for inspections?

North Korea

The USA sends 24 B-1 and B-52 bombers to Guam in the Western pacific after a USA spy plane is intercepted by four MiG-23 fighters from North Korea over the Sea of Japan, 150km from the Korean coast. The spy plane was equipped with powerful telescopic lenses.

Although the spy plane is thousand of kilometers from home territory, the USA accuses North Korea of provocation.

A USA spy plane is found flying over Georgia by Russian warplanes.

Krysstal Opinion: The USA frequently flies spying missions close to other countries (Iran, Libya, China, North Korea, Iraq) and declares provocation if its planes are challenged. One wonders what the USA would think if the North Koreans flew spy planes off the USA coast. In addition, USA and UK battleships patrol areas far from their territory (The Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, the Pacific). No comment about this is ever made in Western media that would react angrily if Iranian battleships were patrolling in the English Channel or off the coast of New York.

Romanys in Slovakia

An investigation by The Center for Reproductive Rights states that more than 110 Romany women in Slovakia have been sterilised against their will between 1989 and 2002.

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) opens in the Netherlands. The opening is boycotted by the USA which opposes the ICC and has refused to sign up. 89 countries have signed the treaty that will allow people accused of genocide or crimes against humanity to be tried under legal international conditions.

During the first months of the existence of the ICC, the USA puts pressure on the world's poorer countries to sign agreements not to send USA citizens, soldiers and officials for trial to the Court. By threatening to stop trade, economic aid or military support, the USA gets 43 countries to sign, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cambodia, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Romania, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

35 countries refuse to sign and have $50 million military and economic aid suspended. These include Colombia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia and the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

The Baltic states call the decision a "slap in the face" as they had supported the USA in its invasion of Iraq.

Belgium had passed a law in 1993 that allowed the prosecution of war crimes. The law is watered down after economic pressure by the USA.

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.

Human Rights

In April, the USA State Department publishes a report on human rights around the world.

The report condemns practices including "stress and duress" interrogation techniques, secret detentions, closed hearings and lack of access to lawyers. The report fails to mention that these techniques are being used by USA forces holding al-Qa'ida suspects in the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba.

Some of the countries criticised in the report include members of the "coalition of the willing" (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Kuwait) which have joined the USA in fighting repression in Iraq. Another ally, Pakistan, is described as "reasonably representative" even though many political parties were banned from the elections of 2002.

Israel is described as having "no political killings during the year" which is correct if activities in the Palestinian territories are ignored. The Palestinian territories are covered at the end of the report with the assurance that the Israelis "made every effort" to avoid civilian casualties. This statement disagrees with United Nations observations.

The countries described as Old Europe by USA Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld (France and Germany) have better human rights that the so called countries of New Europe. As an example, Bulgaria, is criticised to beating arrested suspects and mistreating Roma street children.

Belize Dam

Fortis, a power company from Canada, is awarded a contract to build the Chalillo Dam across the Macal River in Belize.

This dam will threaten a unique environment designated as a biogem. Rare animals like the tapir and birds like the Belizean scarlet macaw will be threatened if the project goes ahead. More than 1000 hectares of rain forest used by jaguars will be flooded.

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.

Australia

The asylum policy of Australia is criticised by Amnesty International and the United Nations. Many are imprisoned for years in remote camps ringed by barbed wire fences.

Sadfar Sammaki (aged 7) and his sister Sara (3) had lost their mother, Endang, in the Bali bombing of 2002 and had been rescued by a charity. The government of Australia denies them entry into the country to visit their father Ibrahim who has been in detention since entering the country in 2001.

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).

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the government of Robert Mugabe arrests over 1000 supporters of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are arrested and tortured.

Many people are forced to sit on hot stoves, suffer electric shocks, and several people are beaten to death. Women are raped, and some men are forced to have sex with their children.

South Africa lobbies other African nations to prevent a vote condemning Zimbabwe within the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The UK continues to trade with the regime.

Police close the last privately run daily newspaper.

USA Freedom of Speech

In the USA, artists and entertainers who criticise the invasion of Iraq are sacked from their jobs, become the victims of hate mail campaigns or have their work removed from being broadcast.

Victims include Ed Gernon (sacked from CBS), Janeane Garofalo (with ABC), Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Natalie Maines (from the group Dixie Chicks).

A group called Citizens Against Celebrity Pundits is blamed for orchestrating many of the anti-dissident campaigns. The Screen Actors Guild issues a statement saying that no performer should be denied work on the basis of his or her political beliefs. Within three hours their web site is inundated with hate emails.

Henry Norr, a reporter on The San Fransisco Chronicle is sacked after going on an anti war march.

USA and Tobacco

The USA seeks special exemptions from a World Health Organisation treaty to curb tobacco use and to restrict cigarette advertising. The treaty had been signed by 171 countries.

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:

Spain and the Basques

In Spain, nearly 1500 Basque nationalists are banned from standing in local elections.

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.

Genetically Modified Crops

Action Aid publishes a report about Genetically Modified (GM) crops. The report states that GM crops will not tackle hunger in poorer countries but could put farmers in the poorer countries out of business.

The findings of the report indicate that GM seeds are more suited to the needs of large scale commercial farmers rather than small farmers. Only 1% of GM research is on crops used by poor farmers.

Four multi-nationals stand to make huge profits from the technology since it is non-sustainable by producing sterile seeds: Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science and DuPont. Their combined profits in 2001 were $21,600 million.

Palestinian Mission in Iraq

In violation of diplomatic norms, USA troops in Iraq, ransack the Palestinian mission and arrest several diplomats, imprisoning them at unknown sites. The troops smash photographs of the Palestinian president, Yassar Arafat, and tear up the diplomatic accreditation certificates. Human rights groups condemn the action; the Western media fail to cover the story.

In 1989, USA troops had detained staff from the Cuban Embassy and ransacked the residence of the Ambassador of Nicaragua during their invasion of Panama.

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.

The Economy in Africa

In May a meeting occurs between the world's 8 richest countries (the so-called G8 Nations) to discuss the plight of poorer countries, especially Africa. The table below indicates some of the problems to be addressed in Africa.

Mesurement Africa The G8 Nations
Life Expectancy48 years77 years
Access to clean water45% (Congo)100% (UK)
Annual spending on health per person$1 (Mali)$2,534 (Canada)
Number of people per doctor50,000 (Malawi)169 (Italy)
People with HIV28 million1.5 million
Number of people living on less than $1 per day291 millionNone
Deaths of children under 5 per 1,0001746
Cars per 1,000 people14561 (USA)
Average annual income$1,690$27,854
Chance of death in pregnancy1 in 131 in 4,085

The above figures mean that 4,500,000 children under 5 years old die every year in Africa.

The G8 Nations spend $13,000 million on aid to Africa. However, the G8 Nations also spend $311,000 million subsidising their farmers (24 times the aid budget). This subsidy allows the rich countries to flood the poorer countries with cheap food that puts local farmers out of business. The USA has flooded Nigeria, Peru, Taiwan, Colombia, South Korea and Indonesia with subsidised grain, bankrupting local farmers and creating a captive audience. In 2003, the Philippines, a fertile country capable of growing its own food, receives more food aid from the USA that the starving desert regions of North-East Africa (like Ethiopia).

As an example, the USA gives a subsidy of $400 million to the rich "cotton belt" of the USA - this destroys the livelihood of millions of small cotton farmers in several African countries. It costs three times more to produce a kilo of cotton in the USA than in Mali. But Mali is being swamped with cheap subsidised cotton. Mali's pleas to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have gone unanswered. In 2001, Mali lost $43 million in export earnings due to this USA policy. USA aid to Mali in 2001 was $37 million. The Western media only publicise the aid packages and not the unfair trade. Celine Charvariat of Oxfam says "American taxpayers are financing the destruction of the livelihoods of millions of cotton farmers in Africa. The cotton barons of Texas and Alabama are getting huge subsidies and driving more efficient African farmers out of business".

In Senegal, the national dish is thieboudienne, made from fish, rice, groundnut oil, tomatoes and onions. Each of these ingredients is abundant in the country but each is under threat. European Union fishing boats frequently fish within Senegal's six mile (10km) limit diminishing the stock of fish. The jobs of 600,000 fishermen are under threat. Dumping of subsidised rice from the USA and Asia is putting rice farmers out of business.

Senegal's farmers used to get free fertiliser but this was stopped after pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Only 4% of the country's rice land is being used because of the loss of local subsidies. The price of groundnut oil used to be fixed and guaranteed by the state. After pressure from the World Bank, the industry was privatised and cheaper imports from France undercut the local producers. Tomato growers are being forced out of business by imports from Italy which receive subsidies of $400 million per year. Good quality local onions are being flooded by cheaper imports from the Netherlands which are often rejects from European supermarkets.

According to Oxfam, for every $1 in aid given to Senegal, $2 are lost from unfair trade. Flooding countries with cheap subsidised goods while denying these same countries the right to subsidise their own goods is a cause of much of the poverty in Africa.

In an apparent attempt to help, the USA has set up a series of trade preferences for countries in Africa. However, these are often tied with conditions like having to import yarn from the USA and enforcing USA business laws. These arrangements have been described by the International Monetary Fund as "unequal" and cost Africa up to $500 million per year.

Much poverty in poorer countries is caused by import tariffs imposed on their manufactured or processed goods. The poorer countries are forced to sell just the raw materials to the richer countries rather than processed goods. In addition, many countries have enormous debts incurred by unelected dictators supported by the West and unelected by the populations who are now having to pay off the debt. The cost for the rich countries to write off the entire sub-Saharan debt has been estimated at $6,400 million (over five years). In comparison, the rich countries subsidise their farmers with $350,000 million every year.

The European Union undercuts African farmers through its Common Agricultural Policy. Europe dumps subsidised sugar on Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, surplus fruit and vegetables on Sengal, and subsidised milk and wheat on Kenya and Senegal. At the same time, African imports are restricted. In 2003, punitive duties on cut flowers from Kenya were imposed at the instigation of the Netherlands.

The president of France, Jacques Chirac, proposes that subsidies on goods sold to Africa should be suspended. The USA refuses.

In the poorer countries, 30,000 children die every day from HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, and malaria. Tuberculosis is a curable disease but kills 2 million children every year. Malaria (which can be prevented by the use of bed netting costing a few dollars) kills 1 million children every year.

Multinational companies (mainly from the G8 Nations) that make anti-AIDS drugs keep the prices artificially high, making it too expensive for the peoples of the poorer countries. The use of cheaper generic drugs is discouraged by threats of sanctions, especially from the USA. In 2001, the rich countries agreed that a waiver could be obtained to use generic drugs to fight medical emergencies. The USA insists that the waiver must be applied for to the World Trade Organisation for each case. Most poorer countries cannot afford to fight the might of the multi-national companies (like USA company GlaxoSmith Kline). In 2001 when there was an anthrax scare in the USA, the USA government forced the German company Bayer to half its prices for anthrax antidote. In contrast, the USA ignores the plight of 28 million Africans who are HIV positive to protect the profits of its own companies.

Only $25,000 million would pay for cutting child deaths by three quarters as well as universal education for the poorer countries.

According to Water Aid, in the next 25 years, two thirds of the world's people will face water shortages. In Africa, a child dies from a water related disease every 15 seconds. It requires an average of 2 hours per day to collect water in the rural areas of Africa. Each person in Africa consumes 10 litres of water per day for all uses. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 50 litres per day. In the UK, average consumption is 135 litres per day. The $1.50 spent on a bottle of water in the UK would provide fresh drinking water for a person in Africa for 6 months. Children miss school because of having diarrhoea, scabies and bilharzia due to contaminated water.

Burma

In Burma, the military rulers arrest the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the election of 1990 but has been barred from taking office. According to Amnesty International, dozens of other opposition politicians were arrested and more than 100 people are missing and thought to be badly injured.

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.

India and Kashmir

The government of India admits that 144 people have died in the custody of the country's security forces in Kashmir since 1989. A provincial minister, Abdul Rahman Veeri, also admitted that 3931 people have gone missing during the same period.

Human Rights Watch publishes a report about the failure of India to convict the ringleaders responsible for the deaths of over 2000 people in the state of Gujerat in 2002.

In the Palakkad region of India, the USA company Coca Cola manufactures 85 lorryloads of drinks per day. Each lorry contains over 13,000 bottles. The water is taken from deep wells which have caused problems for the local inhabitants. Each day the company uses enough water to meet the minimum requirements for 20,000 people. Local farmers who could pump water onto their fields for 12 hours a day now find that the water dries up after 30 minutes.

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".

Russia and Chechnya

In the region of Chechnya a vote is organised by Russia to grant the region limited autonomy. People are coerced into voting for the new constitution by being promised that their relatives (seized by Russian security sweeps) would be returned to them.

Aslan Maskhadov, who won internationally recognised polls in 1997, is not allowed to stand; neither are any of his representatives. Akhmad Kodyrov wins the election against six other unknown candidates, after four serious contenders are forced to quit from the race.

The Chechens have been fighting for complete independence. Russia has responded by flattening several cities and killing tens of thousands of people. The conflict is under-reported in the Western media.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines states that in 2002, land mines killed or injured 5,695 people, making Chechnya, the world's most heavily mined place.

Pipeline in Peru

The USA government approves the funding of a gas pipeline through the Paracas Reserve, an important biological region in Peru. The companies that have been given the contract are Hunt Oil and Kellog Brown & Root, both with close links to the government of USA president George W Bush.

The Paracas Reserve is home to many rare and unique species including the Humbold Penguins. The environmental group, Friends of the Earth, states that the area is home to several indigenous peoples: Nahua, Kirineri, Nanti, Machiguenga and Yine. Past contacts between these people and loggers has resulted in their deaths by diseases and violence.

Morocco

The king of Morocco bans Islamic political parties. One of the parties affected is the non-violent Justice and Development Party which is the third largest in the country.

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.

Colombia

The USA resumes "drug-interception" flights over Colombia. These flights were suspended in 2001 after a plane carrying a USA missionary and her seven month old child, was shot down.

The USA funds the spraying of toxic chemicals over coco-growing areas in southern Colombia. This causes problems in the country as well as in neighbouring Ecuador. Many crops (maize, plantain, coffee) are destroyed affecting peoples' livelihood. People and livestock suffer from various aliments, including genetic damage.

The chemical being used is Roundup Ultra (produced by the USA company, Monsanto - the same company responsible for Agent Orange sprayed over Vietnam). It is being sprayed in high concentrations (26%) and spiked with another toxin, Cosmoflex 411F. The safe concentration for this chemical declared by the USA Environmental Protection Agency is 1%.

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.

Serbia

Amnesty International accuses Serbia of torturing detainees after the assassination of the Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic. More than 10,000 people were detained.

World Trade

In September, the world's trade ministers meet in Mexico. Most trade problems are left unsolved as the richer countries refuse to recognise the concerns of the poorer countries. The UK newspaper, The Independent, publishes a report on the unfair state of world trade.

According to this report, the poorer countries have 40% of the world's population but receive only 3% of the world's trade income. Richer countries make up 14% of the world's population but take 75% of the profits from world trade.

Import taxes and tariffs imposed on goods from the poorer countries are, on average, 4 to 5 times higher than the taxes imposed on the goods traded between the richer countries. They can be even higher; an example given is a shirt from Bangladesh being taxed 20 times more by the USA than a similar item from the UK. Clothes from India are taxed at 19% by the USA. Similar clothes from France, Japan and Germany are taxed between 0% and 1%.

The average tax on goods from Vietnam (a poor country) to the USA is 8% compared to 1% for goods from the Netherlands (a rich country).

In addition, the more value that is added to goods, the higher the tariffs. Raw cocoa beans can be exported into the European Union with no tax. If the raw beans are converted to cocoa butter, this is taxed at 10%. Cocoa powder is taxed at 15%. Chocolate is taxed at more than 20%. This means that the poorer countries are encouraged to sell their raw materials to the richer countries rather than process them and add value to them. Germany processes more cocoa than the Ivory Coast (the largest producer). The UK grinds more cocoa than Ghana (another large producer). Poorer countries produce 90% of the world's cocoa but less than 5% of the world's (more valuable) chocolate.

Trade tariffs cost poorer countries a lot of money and help keep them in poverty. Brazil loses $ 10,000 million in trade because of agricultural tariffs. Mozambique loses $ 100 million a year because of European trade tariffs - nearly as much as it receives in aid from Europe.

Poor countries end up paying 15 times more in trade taxes than the rich countries.

In addition, rich countries spend $ 1,000 million per day on subsidising agriculture. Six times what these countries give in aid to poor countries. The subsidies generate surpluses of items like sugar and cotton that are then dumped on poorer countries. By selling these products at less than the cost it takes to produce them, farmers in the poorer countries go out of business, adding to poverty and destitution. Rich countries spend more on farm subsidies than the combined Gross National Product of all the countries of Africa.

The effects are also felt in the richer countries. Families in Europe pay on average $ 1000 per year to the continent's farmers. Of this, half goes to just 5% of the largest and richest agricultural companies. In France, 25% of the smaller, poorer farms receive nothing while the larger, richer farms receive the bulk of the subsidy. In the UK, large sugar farms receive $ 90,000 each. Milk and cereals are similarly subsidised. These subsidies are part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP has the effect of taking money from Europeans and giving it to large companies that use it to impoverish the poorer countries of the world. Smaller farms in the richer countries are impoverished because they too cannot compete against the favoured giants.

In the USA, $ 13,000 million per year is given to cotton farmers. As in Europe, the poorest cotton farmers receive the smallest amount of subsidy: 50% of the farms receive 5% of the subsidy money while the richest 7% receive half of the payments. $ 10,000 per year is paid to corn farmers. Acording to Oxfam, corn farmers in Mexico "are competing not against US farmers but against US taxpayers and the world's most powerful treasury. It is difficult to think of a starker illustration of unfair trade in practice".

UK journalist, Paul Valley, summarises the unfair nature of world trade: "Behind the complexity lies a stark moral issue. The West preaches free trade and, under the threat of cutting off aid and loans, we force Third World countries to open their markets to our goods. And yet at the same time we slap taxes and tariffs on what they sell to us."

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."

Iran

Iran passes a law raising the minimum age for the death penalty, life sentences and lashes from 15 to 18.

The unelected Guardian Council bans hundreds of candidates from standing in the elections.

In an interview with USA television station, WCBS, in late May USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, discusses whether military force will be used against Iran:

"That's up to the President but the fact is that to the extent that Iran attempts to influence what's taking place in Iraq and tries to make Iraq into their image, we will have to stop it. And to the extent they have people from their Revolutionary Guard in they're attempting to do that, why we'll have to find them and capture them or kill them."

Another USA television station, CNN, asked Assistant Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, whether military force will be used to weed out the clerics running the country. His response:

"you know, I think you know, we never rule out that kind of thing."

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".

Bolivia

26 people die after the military in Bolivia fire on demonstrators. This brings the death toll to 40 in three weeks.

The population is protesting against the export of gas to the USA via Chile. They want Bolivian resources to benefit the people of Bolivia. The USA backed government has overseen the privatisation of the country's utilities with subsequent price rises that have hit the poor. Most of the money leaves the country.

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.

Cuba

For the 12th consecutive year, the United Nations overwhelmingly votes to end the USA's 40 year embargo of Cuba. The USA vetos the resolution (passed by a record 179 to 3 - Israel and the Marshall Islands also voting against). The USA continues to ignore world opinion and carries on with the embargo.


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 ima