Why is it, just when you think the British Government can sink no lower and visit no more embarrassment and shame upon the country they are supposedly there to represent, that within a week or less one of the Ministers will open his mouth or put pen to paper and demonstrate just how arrogant and useless they are? Arrogant because they believe that whatever they say will be accepted as the final word on the subject; useless because they apparently can’t foresee how their statements will be received.
Foreign Secretary William Hague, who makes a career of talking down to people, has excelled himself. According to the Guardian, with the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaching, he has written to all his fellow Ministers and asked them not to discuss the case for, or the legality of, the Iraq war.
According to a source close to Hague: ‘The foreign secretary has written to colleagues to remind them that the agreed position of the coalition government is not to comment on the case or justification for the war until Chilcot has reported. This is about allowing the inquiry to reach its conclusion, not having the government prejudge them.’ Has Hague forgotten why the long-awaited Chilcot Inquiry cannot deliver its report?
In November 2011 we were told that the report would be delayed until the summer of 2012 because Whitehall departments were continuing to block the disclosure of documents about the circumstances surrounding the invasion of Iraq. Chilcot’s panel, having read all these classified documents, knew how important it is that they are made public. And unless they are, it is very difficult for them to produce an accurate, evidence-based judgment on why this country invaded Iraq, and the lessons that need to be learned from this disastrous error of judgment.
In July 2012 we were told the report had been delayed again, when we learned that the Inquiry panel were ‘deeply frustrated by Whitehall’s refusal to release papers, including those that reveal which ministers, legal advisers and officials were excluded from discussions on military action. The papers still kept secret include those relating to MI6 and the government’s electronic eavesdropping centre, GCHQ’. Chilcot’s letter to David Cameron referred to the ‘sharp exchanges’ with the former cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell over disclosing details ‘of correspondence and conversations between Blair and Bush….which would illuminate Mr Blair’s position at critical points in the runup to war.’
In late 2012 there was news of a further delay as the issue about disclosing the documents was still being fought over by the Inquiry and the Cabinet Office. Publication is now postponed until late 2013 or even sometime in 2014. It is not as if the interested public, with good reason, doesn’t already have a pretty accurate idea of what those documents contain. And it is clear from much of the evidence given to the Chilcot Inquiry how deals were made, legal advice ignored and vital people were kept out of the discussions. It was certainly clear to Chilcot and his panel; they had to recall several people, Tony Blair among them, as much of their previous evidence had been rubbished by other witnesses. And how about this for two-handed dealing? Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, told the inquiry that the cabinet should have been told of the Attorney General’s doubts about the legality of invading Iraq before Blair went to war. Sir Gus, before he retired, was the one blocking the much sought after publication of the classified documents. Diss Blair with one hand and protect with the other.
Hague wants to block all meaningful discussion on the justifications and the ‘legal’ basis for invading Iraq until Chilcot has delivered his report, while at the same time the Government, including Hague’s own Ministry, are busy blocking the very action Chilcot needs from them in order to finalise his report. But Hague goes further. His letter to the cabinet made clear that ‘not prejudging Chilcot should not prevent [ministers] acknowledging the sacrifices of the armed forces’. However, an honest confronting of the illegality of the invasion would necessarily have to acknowledge that the armed forces did not die in defence of this country but were sacrificed on the altar of Blair’s delusional ambitions.
Why should the Conservatives support Hague’s letter? Because to a man – and occasional woman, as the Conservatives, looking at their record, also support gender inequality – they voted to go to war. Labour can comfort itself in a small way with the thought that some Labour MPs disobeyed their Prime Minister and voted against the invasion. But most of them will keep their heads down. And the LibDems? They have suddenly discovered their principles again after recently having one MP found guilty of perverting the course of justice and facing prison, and their former chief executive accused of sexual harassment while Nick Clegg, our deputy Prime Minister prevaricated about knowing of the abuse. So Hague’s letter has allowed Clegg to climb back on his rather small soapbox to deliver a speech sometime before the anniversary. For the LibDems were in theory all against the invasion – until we invaded and then, of course, they had to ‘support our brave troops’ and the sacrifices ‘our boys’ were making etc. So William Hague can rest easy; very few of those in Parliament really want to discuss the war. It brings up too much embarrassment. It is too much of a reminder that they were and are a very active part of Perfidious Albion.
- UK FM Hague instructed cabinet not to mention Iraq War – report (rt.com)
- Blair desperately tries to justify Iraq war (alethonews.wordpress.com)
British Foreign Secretary William Hague claims the Israeli regime’s violation of Syria’s airspace in the air raid on a Syrian army research center is a “reaction” to the Syrian crisis rather than a breach of the country’s sovereignty.
“I’m not going to give any condemnation of Israel, rushing to any criticism,” Hague told the BBC.
In a clear attempt to whitewash the Israeli aggression, Hague further claimed that Israel has rightfully reacted to the situation in Syria.
“We have a whole massive situation in Syria to deal with … So I think we should keep our eyes on the main event, on the main crisis,” he said.
“If it affects neighboring countries they would react in various ways, we have to get to the root causes of it and the root cause of the Syria crisis is not Israel,” he added.
This comes as Britain had initially avoided reacting to the airstrike on the research center in northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed two people and injured several others in full violation of the international law.
The raid has been condemned by Iran, China and Russia with Russians calling it an “unjustified assault” and a “blatant violation of the UN Charter.”
This is while analysts believe the attack has been exactly opposite to what Hague has tried to pretend it is, that is an Israeli act of provocation to drag Syria into de facto war that would give the west an excuse for direct military intervention in the Middle Eastern country.
Following the strike, the Syrian army accused Tel Aviv of being behind the unrest in the country.
Syria has formally complained to the United Nations over the Israeli fighter jets’ attack.
Meanwhile, Britain has been playing a major role in fanning the flames of unrest in Syria by providing support for terrorists who are killing innocent civilians in the country.
Hague reiterated that stance in his interview with the BBC, saying London will “keep increasing the support, the practical support we give to the [Syrian] opposition.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has slammed recent remarks by British Foreign Secretary William Hague about the human rights situation in Iran.
“These false remarks are yet another attempt by British government officials to exploit human rights issues,” Mehmanparast said on Sunday.
He stressed that Britain does not have the right to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries using the pretext of human rights allegations, considering its long history of colonialism and countless rights abuses.
Mehmanparast’s remarks came in response to Hague’s comments on Thursday, December 20, after the UN General Assembly voted on a Canadian-sponsored resolution on alleged human rights violations in Iran. The 193-member body passed the measure 86-32 with 65 abstentions.
Hague accused the Iranian government of denying human rights to its citizen, claiming that “the promotion and protection of human rights is at the heart of UK foreign policy.”
The British foreign secretary described the death in custody of Iranian blogger, Sattar Beheshti, as “one tragic example” of human rights violations.
Beheshti was charged with and arrested for cyber crimes and later passed away in prison in early November. Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani ordered an investigation into his death.
On November 11, Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee formed a subcommittee headed by the Iranian lawmaker Mehdi Davatgari to probe the case.
Following the investigations, Davatgari said on November 26 that, “The Judiciary’s measure for arresting Sattar Beheshti was legal, but the violation by cyber police in this case is indisputable.”
In a decree issued on December 1, Iran Police Chief Brigadier General Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam dismissed the country’s cyber police chief, Mohammad Hassan Shokrian, due to “negligence and insufficient supervision over the conduct of his subordinates” who handled the case of the deceased blogger.
Alistair Burt is the UK Foreign Office minister in charge of Middle East affairs. He is also a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group. He resigned from that position when he became a minister, but leopards don’t suddenly change their spots.
Judge for yourself.
I sent a question through my MP asking why Government ministers such as Burt quote exact numbers of rockets fired from Gaza without also giving the corresponding numbers of bombs, rockets, shells and other ordnance poured into Gaza by the Israeli military.
In his letter of reply Burt says “there are no reliable statistics on the number of bombs and other ordnance fired by Israel on Gaza and Israel does not make public this information”.
In that case, should he not make it clear when quoting Gaza’s rocket numbers that Israel refuses to provide numbers of their own vastly superior missiles used to bombard Gaza?
Yesterday in Parliament David Amess, another officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, was playing the familiar game of planting Parliamentary questions designed to deflect attention from Israel’s malodorous reputation. He asked Mr Burt what recent reports the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [William Hague] had received on the number of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since 30 October; what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel on such attacks; and if he would make a statement.
Mr Burt obligingly replied: “We have received reports that 287 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel between 30 October and 14 November. According to Israeli Defence Forces figures, 1,443 rockets were fired during the period 14-21 November.” He added that Mr Hague spoke to Mr Lieberman on 17 and 21 November and he, Burt, spoke to him on 21 November and again on 22 November.
Such precision is of course commendable but grossly lopsided and plainly calculated to mislead Parliament and public. It is astonishing that in all its discussions with Israel’s ministers the Foreign Office hasn’t managed to extract data on Israeli bombing and rocket attacks.
Mr Burt, I venture to suggest, ought to paint a balanced picture and not simply regurgitate Israeli propaganda without caveats and facts from the other side. He should inform the Israeli authorities that British ministers will not in future quote figures for Palestinian rockets unless accompanied by corresponding numbers of Israel’s. These should then be cross-checked with Palestinian and independent sources for proper monitoring.
The same goes for any remarks about Iran’s so far non-existent nukes. There should be equal emphasis on Israel’s vast arsenal of WMDs.
British anti-war campaigners, the Stop the War Coalition, have organized two protest rallies for next week against the war in Afghanistan and the threats on Iran and Syria.
The Sunday rally in London’s Trafalgar Square will be held on the 11th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan to commemorate those killed in an event dubbed Naming of the Dead.
The protest will also call for an end to the British government’s involvement in the “unjustified and futile war” and bring the troops home by Christmas.
Paul Flynn who was recently sacked from the British parliament for saying the government has been lying about Afghanistan will be among the participants in the event.
Also on Tuesday, the Stop the War Coalition will hold a rally at the University of London Union against the “western intervention in Syria” and the threats of military action against Iran.
The Stop the War Coalition’s core idea of a joint rally against the intervention in Syria and the threats on Iran is that Syria is only an excuse for an attack on Iran.
“An attack on Iran remains the ultimate goal for the US. Intervention in Syria is a stepping stone toward that goal,” the group said in a statement on its website.
The group is also warning that any intervention will have “huge regional and global consequences” and will at best “deny the Syrian people the right to determine their own future.”
“It will place the opposition leadership in the hands of the western powers and their allies, who will act in their own interests,” the group said.
The rallies come amid sporadic reports and confirmations by British officials including Foreign Secretary William Hague that London is helping Syrian terrorists with military equipment and intelligence supplies.
- Tutu: Try Blair and Bush for war crimes (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Ending the Violence in Syria (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- | MP ejected from parliament for saying UK Govt lying about Afghan War! (truthaholics.wordpress.com)
The British High Court has chosen to support the government rather than justice seekers by blocking calls for an official inquiry into British troops’ carnage of 24 Malaysian plantation workers in December 1948.
Relatives of the victims who wanted to challenge the government’s decision not to conduct an investigation into the massacre at Batang Kali said the killings are a “blot on British colonization and decolonization” and blasted the court for failing to order an inquiry despite presence of adequate evidence to justify one.
Judge Sir John Thomas said he sees “no grounds” for “disturbing” the decision by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defense Secretary Philip Hammond to oppose the relatives’ demand for an inquiry.
The killings happened during the Anti-British National Liberation War led by Malayan fighters against British colonizers that killed 2,478 civilians.
“We are appealing. As long as the injustice remains, the families will be pursuing legal action,” said solicitor John Halford, who represents the victims’ relatives.
- Malaysians lose High Court battle over 1948 ‘massacre’ (morningstaronline.co.uk)
London has once more humiliated itself before Tel Aviv repeating “all options [are] on the table” for Iran after withdrawing support for any military action by the Israeli regime against the country.
“We both recognise the seriousness of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after a meeting with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Meridor in London.
He added Britain is continuing its policy of “pressure” against Iran “while keeping all options on the table.”
Hague also welcomed the “excellent progress on trade between Britain and Israel” as well as their “growing co-operation in the high-technology sector, as reflected in the launch this week of the UK-Israel Technology Council.”
His remarks are almost diametrically opposed to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s comments last week that there is no justification for an Israeli strike on Iran.
“I don’t think as we stand today that military action by Israel would be justified,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told NBC news network on Thursday.
“I don’t think the Israelis should take that action now. We told them they shouldn’t and said we wouldn’t support it if they did. We’ve been very clear,” he added.
Indeed a paradox emerges as London officials have been saying over the past few days that they are very “clear” that they “would not support” a military strike on Iran, however, they will not at the same time rule out a military strike on the country.
Yet with Cameron directly dismissing an attack as a choice, Hague’s remarks appear as an attempt to muzzle London’s Zionist friends, as it has been common British practice over the past years.
Just on the day Cameron made the remarks in Washington, Britain agreed to a plan to strengthen cooperation across a range of technological sectors with the Israeli regime at the first UK Israel Tech Council, held in London.
The move was reminiscent of the row over Israeli spy agency Mossad’s forging British passports, which were used by an Israeli hit squad to assassinate a Hamas leader in Dubai.
It was two years ago on March 23, 2010 when The Guardian reported London had expelled a senior Mossad official at Tel Aviv’s embassy in London over the issue.
Less than two months after the passports dispute, representatives from 23 British companies from the life sciences sector attended an event in the occupied territories welcomed by the then director for UK trade and investment at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv Richard Salt.
Also on May, 2010, the then thriving Liberal Democrat leader and current British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched another mollification attempt in an interview with the Israeli Daily Haaretz suggesting the petty issue of passports will not affect London-Tel Aviv friendship.
“Operation Cast Lead and incidents like falsifying documents in Dubai do create tension, but … British criticism of the policy of the Israeli government should not be treated as ‘anti-Israeli,’” he said.
“I think there are issues of principles at stake, which I would like us all to have a look at calmly after the elections,” he added.
The same story of taking a step against Tel Aviv only to recompense by backing off several steps ran in the case of attempts to secure arrest warrants for Israeli officials in 2010 including the then Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
The appeals against Israeli officials were made based on their internationally-condemned war crimes during the same Operation Cast Lead, which Nick Clegg tried to downplay.
At the time, it was Hague himself who led the wave of appeasing attempts.
“We cannot have a position where Israeli politicians feel they cannot visit this country. The situation is unsatisfactory [and] indefensible. It is absolutely my intention to act speedily,” Hague said in June 2010.
The mentioned examples are only part of the wide picture of British servility to the Israeli regime that also includes condemnation of Israeli settlement activities and at the same time praise for mutual ties with Tel Aviv.
They also raise questions whether the hierarchy of power in Britain runs through Israeli lobbies which should be kept appeased as a hidden rule of British policy.
- Obama says when chips are down I have Israel’s back (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Iran takes protest to UNSC over Israeli crimes (alethonews.wordpress.com)
A rights group and a law firm are set to take legal action against British Foreign Secretary William Hague over his alleged the contribution of intelligence in assisting US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan.
The London-based charity Reprieve and the law firm Leigh Day & Co. confirmed on Monday that they will issue formal proceedings at the High Court on behalf of Noor Khan, a Pakistani man whose father was killed by a US strike.
The law firm says it has credible evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to American forces planning attacks in Pakistan.
Lawyers claim that civilian staff at Britain’s electronic listening agency (GCHQ) could be liable as “secondary parties to murder” as they provided “locational intelligence” to the CIA in directing its drone attacks.
Malik Daud Khan was killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan in March 2011 while attending a gathering of elders. More than 40 other people were also killed in the attack.
“What has the government got to hide? If they’re not supplying information as part of the CIA’s illegal drone war, why not tell us?” Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith said.
The British Foreign Office and GCHQ have refused to comment on the case, saying they could not speak about ongoing legal proceedings or intelligence matters.
The US regularly carries out attacks by unmanned aircraft on Pakistan’s tribal regions, claiming the airstrikes target militants allegedly affiliated to the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.
This is while locals say civilians are the main victims of the strikes. Pakistanis say drone attacks violate their sovereignty.