Although Chilcot was not the Establishment cover-up which many feared, it’s also true that it doesn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know.
The long-awaited and much-delayed Chilcot report, published today, provides a damning indictment of the New Labour government of Tony Blair and the lies that were told in the lead-up to the disastrous Iraq war.
The Iraq war was ‘not a last resort’ but in fact a war of choice. ‘Peaceful options’ were not exhausted.
In 2003, there was “no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein” – contrary to what Blair and the neocons told us. Intelligence had “not established beyond doubt” that Iraq had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, despite us being told it was a sure thing that Saddam had WMDs.
While supporters claimed the war was “legal”, and haughtily dismissed those of us who called it a “war crime”, Chilcot found that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for war were “far from satisfactory”.
We knew that the Iraq war was not a ‘last resort’ as UN weapons inspectors in Iraq were not allowed to finish their job. We know that the war was illegal- as it had no UN sanction- and was a war of aggression and not a war of self-defense.
The Nuremberg judgement, following World War Two, was quite unequivocal on the subject:
War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
And although Chilcot does not directly accuse Blair of ‘deceit’ (that would be a step too far for the Establishment figures on the panel), common sense and logic also tells us that if Blair and Bush had genuinely believed Iraq had WMDs that could be launched within 45 minutes they would not have invaded. The very fact that the US and the UK did attack Iraq, proves that the leadership of those two countries knew the WMD claims to be false.
Saddam was attacked not because he had WMDs, but because the war lobby knew he didn’t have any. To hold otherwise is to expect us to believe, that just for this one occasion, the rules of deterrence did not apply. By the same people, incidentally, who tell us we need our own WMDs to deter attack!
As to what happened post-invasion, we really don’t need Sir John Chilcot to tell us that the “planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate” – we saw with our own eyes how the country imploded after the events of March 2003.
Iraq had no history of suicide bombings before the illegal invasion – it’s had over 2,000 since then.
Well done, Bush and Blair! You really ‘liberated’ the Iraq people all right. From their bodies.
The question now that Chilcot has finally been published is: What happens next?
Tony Blair was damaged goods before today: he’s now reached the point of no return. A few weeks ago I wrote about attempts to impeach Blair for lying to Parliament – those moves are now likely to intensify.
Labour’s anti-war leader Jeremy Corbyn – who’s been fighting off a Blairite-led coup against his own leadership – called the Iraq war “an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext”. He also said the war “fueled and spread terrorism across the region” – making reference to the suicide bombings in Baghdad this weekend which killed over 200 people.
Meanwhile, a woman who lost her brother in the Iraq war said that Tony Blair was “the world’s worst terrorist”.
“There is one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of, and his name is Tony Blair”, said Sarah O’Connor.
But while Blair must take the lion’s share of the blame for Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war, this is not just about one man. His willing accomplices in the British Establishment must be held to account too. We not allow these people evade responsibility for the death and destruction they helped unleash throughout the Middle East.
Alistair Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor, cited Oxford University academic Vernon Bogdanor, in his defense today.
“My conclusion,” said Bogdanor (as quoted by Campbell) “is that there are no easy answers, that Bush and Blair were faced with an almost impossible dilemma, and that all of us should be very grateful that we were not in their shoes and did not have to make their difficult decisions.”
But Campbell doesn’t mention that Bognador was a signatory to the Statement of Principles of the uber neocon pro-war Henry Jackson Society.
In fact, Bush and Blair did not face an “impossible dilemma”, but chose to launch a war of aggression against an independent state which posed no threat to either Britain or America.
With the Middle East in turmoil and terrorism spawned by the Iraq invasion, killing civilians in the west and elsewhere in the world, it’s now time for a proper reckoning.
Politicians who voted for the Iraq war and who voted against an inquiry into it need to be publicly named and shamed and de-selected by their local parties.
Labour patrons of the Henry Jackson Society and other pro-war organizations need to be expelled without further delay and the anti-war George Galloway, who predicted accurately everything that would happen if Iraq were invaded, needs to have his expulsion from the Labour party rescinded.
We should also not forget the pernicious role played in the lead-up to the invasion by a clique of pro-war journalists (more accurately described as neocon propagandists) who regurgitated Establishment lies and who demonized anti-war protestors as “Saddam apologists” who had “blood on their hands” and who were “betraying the Iraqi people”.
These laptop bombardiers must be held to account too for what they did – with the Nuremberg tribunals’ indictment of pro-war Nazi propagandists arguably providing the precedent if/when there is an Iraq war crimes trial. Until that happy day, no one should ever believe a single thing they read by these individuals ever again. They deserve to be treated as total pariahs and certainly not invited into television studios to impart their ‘wisdom’ on foreign policy.
What’s made things worse and which explains why there is so much public anger, is that the Iraq war lobby, far from showing any contrition over what they did, have simply ‘moved on’ from Iraq to push for more wars. As the bombs continue to go off in Baghdad, Tony Blair himself has become a multimillionaire with a huge property portfolio.
The same rancid crew of politicians and journalists who supported the Iraq war were also – it needs pointing out – cheerleaders for the military intervention against Libya in 2011 (which as well as destroying the country with the highest living standards in Africa, also precipitated the current migrant crisis), and for military action against a secular Syrian government battling ISIS and Al-Qaeda in 2013. These people are also, incidentally, bellicose supporters of “tougher action” against Russia and – as Glenn Greenwald has noted – some of them are also at the forefront of the campaign against RT.
The endless war lobby (surprise, surprise), don’t want us to ‘Question More’ – but merely accept, like sheep, the WMD-style lies we’re fed by our ‘superiors’.
While we rightly castigate Blair and call for him to be put on trial for war crimes, we shouldn’t let David Cameron and Conservative Party foreign policy hawks off the hook either. ‘Call Me Dave’ consistently voted for the Iraq war and in office he’s carried on Blair’s disastrous ‘Divide and Destroy’ foreign policies.
While the word ‘Iraq’ should be engraved on Blair’s tombstone, ‘Libya’ should be on Cameron’s. The British Prime Minister has also played a malevolent and highly destructive role in relation to the crisis in Syria. If Cameron had got his way in 2013 and got Parliamentary approval for bombing the Syrian government, then it’s likely that ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates would now be in charge of the whole of the country. That’s what the Blairites and neocons- who claim to be fighting ‘a war on terror’ appear to have wanted.
Significantly, Cameron was keen to stress in Parliament today that the Chilcot report doesn’t mean that we should rule out future military interventions.
“We should not conclude that intervention is always wrong. There are unquestionably times when it’s right”, he said.
Even now, after all the death and destruction their polices have caused, the war lobby and supporters of ‘liberal interventionism’ are trying to ensure that it’s still ‘business as usual’.
It’s up to the British people – whose taxes go to pay for these ‘military interventions’ – and whose children (unlike those of the political/media elite) are more likely to die in them, to say ‘Enough is Enough’.
Out with the serial warmongers, the serial liars and the war propagandists who never go anywhere near a war-zone, and in with those – like Jeremy Corbyn – who support international law, oppose wars of aggression and who have respect for the sovereign rights of independent nations in a genuine world of equals. If we meekly allow the architects and enablers of the Iraq war and their accomplices to get away with it scot-free, it will be a stain on our collective conscience. We can’t let it happen if we’re to retain our humanity. Or if we want to prevent more wars of aggression in the future.
The Chilcot report is around 2.6m words long- but the essence of what happened in 2003 can be summed up in just eight: The British government lied. One million people died.
Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66
Bombs going off in Iraq? Well, it happens all the time – what’s there to see? Let’s all move along shall we?
On Thursday, at least 13 people were killed in a ISIS attack on a café in Baghdad for the ‘crime’ of watching a football match. The day before at least 88 people were killed in three explosions across Baghdad; scores were injured.
Yes, these events got some coverage on Western news channels, but they weren’t the main stories.
The neocon war lobby, who, remember, couldn’t stop talking about Iraq in 2002/3, and saying what a terrible threat the country’s WMDs posed to us, would of course like us to forget the country altogether now. They’ve told us lots of times we need to ‘move on’ from talking about the 2003 invasion and instead focus on more important things – like how we can topple a secular Syrian president who’s fighting the very same terrorists who are bombing Baghdad.
The next few months though are going to be very tricky for the ‘Don’t Mention the Iraq war’ clique. After years of delay, the Chilcot report into the war, is finally coming out in Britain in July.
There are legitimate fears, bearing in mind the composition of the panel, that Chilcot will seek to whitewash those who took us to war. Another Establishment cover-up certainly can’t be discounted.
But if Sir John does try and tell us that the war was all an ‘honest mistake’, he and his panel will be a laughing stock. Whatever Chilcot’s conclusions are, the important thing is that Iraq will be back in the news headlines, and this represents a great opportunity for those of us who opposed the 2003 invasion to ensure that justice is finally done.
It’s surely clear to almost everyone now that we were lied into an illegal war which not only destroyed an entire country, but which also led directly to the rise of IS and helped bring terrorism to Europe too.
We don’t need Sir John to tell us that Bush and Blair knew there were no WMDs in Iraq – as common sense and logic tells us that the deadly duo would never have invaded if they had genuinely believed the lurid claims contained in the decidedly dodgy dossiers.
Everything we were told by the neocons in the lead-up to war was false. To quote the title of a book by the antiwar British MP Peter Kilfoyle, there were Lies, Damned Lies and Iraq.
‘Saddam has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes’.
‘Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program is active, detailed and growing’.
‘Saddam Hussein… has the wherewithal to develop smallpox’.
‘We know that Iraq and al-Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade… We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases’.
‘The threat is very real and it is a threat not just to America or the international community but to Britain.’ Has the trash been collected yet?
Yet up to now- the people who peddled this bullsh** – bullsh** which led to the deaths of up to 1m people and made the Middle East and the world a far more dangerous place – have got off scot-free.
Tony Blair did step down as British Prime Minister in 2007, but remains a free man. Almost every week, we read in the newspapers about the vast fortune he has accumulated, with much of the money coming from governments and countries which benefited from the toppling of Saddam.
Blair’s partner in crime, George W. Bush, also remains at liberty.
Politicians who voted for an illegal war and who have failed to offer us a mea culpa for doing so – have advanced – but not to the jailhouse. In 2005, as I explained here, the pro-war David Cameron was fast-tracked by the neocons to become Conservative leader – at the expense of the more popular anti-war Ken Clarke.
In the US, the pro-Iraq war Hillary Clinton is the current odds-on favorite to succeed Barack Obama in the White House.
Disgustingly, obscenely, and outrageously, some of the most vociferous opponents of the Iraq war – the people who correctly predicted the disasters that would occur if Iraq was invaded – have seen their careers go into reverse because of the stance they took.
In Britain, George Galloway, the antiwar socialist who toured the country warning us what would happen if we listened to Bush and Blair, has become an outcast. The man who was branded as a ‘traitor’ by the pro-war Blairites for his stance on Iraq, is still waiting for his expulsion from the Labour Party to be rescinded. In the US, as anti-war activist Don Debar pointed out on Crosstalk this week, people of note who had opposed the Iraq war resolution – including Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich – had been ‘driven out of Congress by one mechanism or another’.
Meanwhile, in the media, the journalists and neocon think-tankers who fed us with conspiracy theories about Saddam’s non-existent WMDs and his non-existent links with Al Qaeda, continue to push pro-war propaganda. They are regular guests on Establishment friendly current affairs programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, imparting their ‘expertise’ on Syria and other foreign policy issues. No one ever has the courage to ask them: ‘Whatever happened to those WMDs you told us that Iraq had?
At the same time, the journalists who called Iraq right – like the great John Pilger – are absent from Western television news and current affairs programs. You’ve got to tune in to channels like RT – which the hawks would dearly love to see taken off air – to see them.
I’m sure that future generations will be shocked and appalled at how the Iraq war brigade were able to get away with it for so long.
Iraq, in the words of John Pilger, was an ‘epic crime against humanity’, yet its perpetrators and enablers, are still there, thirteen years on, making money before our very eyes.
How have we allowed this to happen?
The pro-Iraq war clique have attempted to use political correctness to their advantage. As part of what Media Lens calls ‘demonising dissent’ – the fourth component of a ’Propaganda Blitz’, principled opponents of western foreign policy are smeared as ‘sexist’ ‘misogynist‘, ‘racist’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ ‘genocide deniers’ and even ‘dictator apologists’ -in the hope that no one will draw attention to the ‘morally virtuous’ attacker’s support for wars which have led to over 1m people losing their lives.
Identity politics has played into the war lobby’s hands. The neocons and Blairites are able to pose as ‘progressives’ who care deeply about the rights of women and gay people- while all the time pushing for wars which will kill women and gay people in great numbers.
To deflect attention away from their crimes, the Iraq war clique- who have clearly read their Orwell- also encourage us to focus on the alleged crimes of ‘Official Enemies’. We’re supposed to feel outraged over a non-existent ‘Russian invasion of the Ukraine’, while forgetting about the all too real invasion of Iraq and its catastrophic consequences.
Cowardly Establishment-friendly ‘leftists’, who wouldn‘t retweet or cite with approval an article published by RT because of fear they’d be excommunicated from the ‘Elite Journos Club’, happily engage with unrepentant pro-Iraq war propagandists on social media.
In doing so these western faux-progressives are effectively saying that the deaths of up to 1m Iraqis don’t matter. They’re sticking a big two fingers up at the people of the global south who have been the victims of neocon wars and destabilization campaigns.
The Nuremberg Judgement was quite clear: To launch a war of aggression, as the Iraq war clearly was, ‘is not only an international crime; it is the SUPREME INTERNATIONAL CRIME differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’
If we have retain any proper sense of right and wrong, then it is those who carried out the ‘supreme international crime’ – and their supporters – who should be treated as pariahs, and not those who opposed the crime.
We don’t just need to campaign for Bush and Blair and their cohorts to stand trial (a website here offers a reward for those who attempt a peaceful citizen’s arrest of Blair), but also to work for a new law to bar those who supported the ‘supreme international crime’ and who have not publicly apologized for their actions, from holding public office in Britain and America.
In Germany after WW2, Denazification took place to remove Nazis from positions of power and influence. We need similar action today against the serial warmongers of the 21st century.
In Britain, the publication of Chilcot in July should provide the perfect opportunity for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who opposed the Iraq invasion, to go on the front foot against his pro-war critics in the party who have worked tirelessly to undermine his democratic mandate.
There’s still hope too that in America, Hillary the Hawk can be defeated.
Let’s talk about Iraq. Let’s talk about it incessantly. Let’s make sure that there is a reckoning, at long last, in 2016. Because if we want justice for the 1m or so people who lost their lives because of pack of lies nothing else will do.
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Warning Brits about the dangers of a new surveillance bill, UK campaigners have flooded London with sinister captioned portraits of Vladimir Putin. The choice of bogeyman however could be better, given the notoriety of Western global spying operations.
The posters and billboards which have been recently appearing all across the British capital, and also in newspapers, including the Guardian and The Telegraph, feature a very distinctive face with a caption that reads: “A government that spies on its citizens. What’s not to like?”
The Don’t Spy On Us Campaign, which is behind the billboards, is trying to warn British citizens about the danger of the UK governments’ Surveillance Bill currently going through parliament. If passed, it would give “government, intelligence agencies and police the kind of powers you would expect in an authoritarian regime,” the campaign said on its website.
The state will “snoop on our private communications and internet use,” collect and store “data about your emails, phone calls, texts and internet use,” while security agencies will be allowed to hack people’s computers and phones, campaigners stressed.
The Don’t Spy On Us Campaign, a coalition of several pro-privacy organizations, also launched an online petition urging the reformation of the surveillance bill. Photographs of Chinese and North Korean leaders were also used by campaigners, but drew less attention, RT’s Harry Fear reported from London.
“Of course, Putin’s face and the Russian brand, if you will, have resonance here in the UK given all of the demonizing in politics and the media,” Fear said. He noted however that “the British public on average knows a great deal about the American surveillance program, not the Russian or Chinese.”
Indeed many on the internet are puzzled by the choice of the Russian president as the face for the campaign, calling the whole affair “a bit peculiar.”
In particular, some mocked the campaigners’ choice of images, saying that faces of other leaders, such as US President Baraсk Obama or UK Prime Minister David Cameron would have been more suitable.
Mass surveillance practices by the US national Security Agency made headlines worldwide after they were unmasked by whistleblower, Edward Snowden, with the help of the Guardian, back in 2013.
“Some are saying that comparing the UK, perhaps, uncertain security state future to the American’s campaign and having Obama’s face instead of Putin’s face here may have been a more appropriate marketing and campaigning choice,” Fear said.
Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari used a keynote speech at a major anti-corruption conference in London to blast Prime Minister David Cameron for calling the African country “fantastically corrupt.”
The conference, which is currently underway, was meant to address global corruption, but a shadow was cast when Cameron was caught on camera calling Afghanistan and Nigeria “fantastically corrupt” in a conversation with the Queen and Speaker of the House John Bercow.
“What would I do with an apology? I need something tangible,” Buhari said.
“I am not going to demand any apology from anyone. What I am demanding is a return of assets.”
Buhari freely admitted before his address that his country had a graft problem and is thought to have been referring to major assets stashed in the UK by corrupt Nigerian figures.
In April 2016 a group of leading figures from Nigerian civil society raised a similar issue in an open letter, demanding Britain end its role as a “safe haven” for white-collar criminals who steal Nigeria’s wealth and resources for personal gain.
The letter’s signatories stressed the devastating effect corruption can have on ordinary citizens, stunting economic growth and exacerbating violent conflict and mass migration in its wake.
“Our Nigeria is one of those countries that has most bitterly suffered the impact. Despite the blessings of nature, which endowed us with abundant oil wealth, our infrastructure is deplorable,” the letter said.
The conference, a pet project of the PM’s, is likely to see Cameron file a motion to create a global anti-corruption body.
However, his plans have been attacked by critics on the basis the organization would have no meaningful powers of enforcement, instead relying on national and international policing agencies to intervene.
The summit comes only weeks after Cameron himself was caught up in a scandal relating to his father’s offshore company, Blairmore Holdings.
Following the Panama Papers leak that showed Cameron had profited from offshore tax schemes, the parliamentary standards committee said the PM would not be investigated. It gave no reason why.
Antisemitism Inquisition shifts up a gear in bid to wreck Labour’s election chances and remove the “loose cannon”.
With important local government elections a few days away the campaign against alleged antisemites reached a crescendo over the weekend, with the press and TV corps in full cry.
Their main quarry was former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, now suspended from the party; their instrument a Labour MP bully-boy called John Mann, who happens to be chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism. But no-one is in any doubt that the ultimate aim of this operation is the downfall of Labour’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Zionists have a serious problem with Corbyn. His election to the leadership was a surprise brought about by a sudden influx of new supporters weary of sterile and corrupt politics. They had no time to groom him, not that he’s capable of being tamed like previous leaders. Corbyn has a long record of support for the Palestinians and other justice causes. As a loose cannon in a carefully controlled political battlefield he has to be disabled. One way to do that is to pick off his allies one by one and, with the help of a compliant media, derail his party’s election prospects.
Livingstone’s ‘crime’ is a remark about Zionists collaborating with Nazis in the 1930s. Though factually correct, it’s not the sort of thing the Inquisition likes to hear. So is it a flogging offence? Hardly, but such is the paralysing fear of being on the receiving end of an antisemitism smear that few in the party (or mainstream media) have the balls to say so.
Strange how the latest upsurge in allegations of antisemitism has coincided with the ambassadorial appointment to London of Mark Regev, former chief of Israel’s propaganda machine and spokesman for Israel’s extremist prime minister.
Regev was given a platform on the BBC’s flagship Andrew Marr programme at the weekend to complain about antisemites targeting the collective Jew: “If you’re saying… the Jewish people don’t have that right… to sovereignty and independence, you have to ask why you are holding Jews to a different standard. And there is a word for that.”
Yes, and the word is Jewish exceptionalism. Israeli Jews are not, and never have been, sanctioned for defying UN resolutions and international humanitarian law. On the contrary they are allowed to continue their crimes with impunity and rewarded by the West with eye-watering generosity.
As for Regev’s “collective Jew”, Israel insists on being recognised as the Jewish state, implicating Jews generally. As for the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty and independence, that is something they have consistently denied the Palestinians, whose lands they covet, occupy and creepingly annex. Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu, have gone further and declared that they will never allow the Palestinians self-determination.
So let us view the Labour Party’s freak-out over antisemitism in proper context.
An Israeli wise man — the former military intelligence chief and professor of International Relations, Yehoshafat Harkabi — warned some years ago that the Jewish state, which was supposed to solve the problem of antisemitism, could actually become a factor in the rise of antisemitism: “Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world”.
However, not all Jews outside Israel are Zionists or supporters of the Israeli regime. A large number campaign energetically against it, so it is wrong to blame the worldwide Jewish community. On the other hand Israel claims to be “the only democracy in the Middle East”, in which case the government of Israel acts in its people’s name.
A New York Times obituary quotes Harkabi as saying: “I am for finalizing the conflict, and you can’t do that without recognizing that the Palestinians, like any other human group, deserve the right to self-determination.”
That right is still denied.
What about Labour’s links to Zionist criminals?
The trouble with UK Labour is its ignorance. That goes for other political parties that harbour Zionist stooges. If members knew the truth about the situation in the Holy Land, they would never swallow the false narrative peddled for years by the likes of Regev and Israel’s flag wavers such as Blair, Cameron and the Friends of Israel group – a UK version of the all-powerful AIPAC which dictates US foreign policy.
Friends of Israel repeatedly question Corbyn’s past association with Hamas and Hezbollah. But, as they well know, Hamas and Hezbollah were created out of necessity to resist Israeli aggression and are regarded as terrorists by no-one except the Washington-Tel Aviv axis and US-Israeli stooges in London and some other capitals – a number of which have evidently crept into the Labour Party.
For a branding-iron Bush used this definition: “The term “terrorism” means an activity that
(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and
(ii) appears to be intended —
(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(C) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.”
The joke is that it describes the behaviour of successive Israeli governments perfectly.
The media’s baying hounds and Labour’s fanatical inquisitors are entitled to question Jeremy Corbyn’s past connections, as long as they also ask Corbyn’s critics about their links to the Israeli terror regime.
Are Palestinians children of a lesser God?
We shouldn’t focus entirely on Labour. The biggest Zionist-occupied organisation outside America and what we loosely refer to as the Christian church is the British Conservative party. Eighty percent of its MPs and MEPs are reported to be signed-up Friends of the rogue regime and it was the recent Conservative-led coalition that reneged on Britain’s solemn obligations under the Geneva Conventions specifically to allow wanted Israeli criminals to come and go in the UK without fear of arrest.
Membership of Friends of Israel has long been a useful qualification in securing a place on the parliamentary candidates list and is said to be a stepping stone to high office. Hopefuls are ‘groomed’ on Tel Aviv’s propaganda conveyor-belt. Under the title ‘Team Cameron’s big Jewish backers’ the Jewish Chronicle in 2006 reported on the individuals bankrolling David Cameron’s bid for power and provided a fascinating insight into how the pro-Israel lobby infiltrates government and destroys the principles of integrity and accountability once prized in British public life.
As soon as Cameron became Conservative leader he proclaimed: “The belief I have in Israel is indestructible — and you need to know that if I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel.” Good dog.
Those who sign on as a Friend of Israel surely realise that they embrace and endorse the whole hellish Zionist enterprise including the terror and ethnic cleansing on which the state of Israel was built, the dispossession and expulsion of native Palestinians at gunpoint and the discriminatory laws against those who remain. They signal that they accept the abduction of civilians, including children, and their imprisonment and torture without trial. And presumably they are happy supporting and legitimizing a religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places.
There is no room here to detail Israel’s cruel interference with Palestinian life at every level or describe the human misery it causes every minute of every day. Sufficient to say that anyone who defends these outrages deserves scant consideration of their feelings.
Even after a series of bloodbaths by the Israeli military in Gaza such people remain Israel’s special Friend. Will they still be comfortable when the next assault blows to smithereens hundreds more children, again shreds and incinerates thousands of innocent men and women, maims many more and destroys still more vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies?
Do they really believe Palestinians are children of some lesser God?
Oh, and Friends of Israel squeal “antisemitism!” at the very mention of BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Why? Respected Palestinian lawmaker, Dr Hanan Ashrawi, explains how BDS is “a legal, moral and inclusive movement struggling against the discriminatory policies of a country that defines itself in religiously exclusive terms, and that seeks to deny Palestinians the most basic rights simply because we are not Jewish.”
Practising BDS simply means you avoid purchasing Israeli goods or services and decline normal contact with individuals and organisations that are connected with or support the racist creed that squeezes the life out of the Holy Land. And you continue to do this until Israel ends its illegal occupation and honours its obligations under the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.
If Labour Friends of Israel don’t know these things, they should take the trouble to find out. If they don’t also know about Zionist ambitions for a Greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates (the Yinon Plan), they should find out.
Corbyn knew of the Zionist threat to himself long before he became leader. At the outset he should have established a competent media group to anticipate trouble and formulate necessary communication strategies, including the case for curbing the use of the party as a platform to advance the interests of a foreign military power.
Now, instead of taking the fight to the troublemakers he’s letting them tear Labour apart. And Regev sits on his doorstep laughing.
As I sign off, a petition calling for MP John Mann to be disciplined has reached 19,000 signatures. Mann, a rabid pro-Zionist, started a shouting match with Livingstone in front of the cameras, putting rocket-boosters under the Inquisition and bringing the party into disrepute.
The #PanamaPapers leaks have exposed David Cameron as a hypocrite and consequently done great harm to his reputation.
If the political fall-out from the leaks does eventually bring the British Prime Minister down then he can’t really complain as he’s had a dream ride up to now.
He didn’t deserve to become Conservative Party leader in 2005 as his main rivals for the job were better qualified and more experienced and he most certainly, given his track record in office, didn’t deserve to get another term as Prime Minister in 2015.
In fact, if we look back at Cameron’s career, it’s apparent that from very early on he was placed on the ‘Fast Track’ to power. It’s hard to think of another leading political figure in recent British political history who has had it quite so easy.
Cameron didn’t have to fight his way to the top as others have to do: He was eased into his position by influential Tory neocon ‘modernizers’ who were confident that he would serve their interests better than his rivals.
Cameron had three major advantages to help kick start his career: He was from a very wealthy Establishment background (with money on both sides of the family dating back several generations), he went to Eton, the country’s most prestigious public school, and then studied at Oxford University. During his gap year between Eton and Oxford he worked as a researcher in the House of Commons for his godfather Tim Rathbone, a Tory MP and former banker – who incidentally also went to Eton and Oxford.
At Oxford, Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon Club – an exclusive all-male dining and drinking club with a reputation for wild, outrageous behavior (George Osborne, Cameron’s Chancellor since 2010, was a fellow member).
After he got his degree, Cameron spent five years working at the Conservative Party research department, making valuable contacts within the party.
In 1994, feeling he needed experience in the private sector to boost his career prospects in the Tory party, he entered the media/PR world, landing a job as ‘Director of Corporate Affairs’ at Carlton TV.
“The manner in which he obtained the job says much about how men of Cameron’s background tend to progress through life,” James Robertson and David Teather noted in the Guardian in 2010.
“With no experience outside politics, he did what any old Etonian might do and worked his contacts”, Robertson and Teather continued.
“The mother of Cameron’s then-girlfriend Samantha, Lady Astor, was friends with Michael Green, then executive chairman of Carlton and one of Margaret Thatcher’s favorite businessmen. She suggested he hire Cameron, and Green, a mercurial millionaire, obliged. The 27-year-old was duly recruited on a salary of about £90,000 a year (the equivalent of more than £130,000 today).”
Nice work if you can get it, eh? But you’ll only get it if, like Cameron, you have the ‘right connections’. Experience and indeed ability has nothing to do with it: Cameron‘s career is proof that Britain is a long way off from being a ‘meritocracy’ – a place where people get jobs because of their talent and not because of who they know.
Carlton TV’s ‘Director of Corporate Affairs’ was selected for the winnable seat of Stafford for the Tories in the 1997 general election, but lost out in the Labour landslide.
However, three years later Cameron was selected for the very safe Tory seat of Witney in Oxfordshire, and was duly elected as an MP in 2001.
Just four years later, at the age of 39, ‘Call Me Dave’ was Conservative Party leader. How was it done?
Cameron’s main rivals for the Tory leadership in October 2005 had stronger CVs. Ken Clarke aka ’Big Beast’, was a former Home Secretary and a Chancellor of the Exchequer who had presided over an economic recovery from 1993-7.
David Davis, a successful self-made businessman who had been born and brought up by a single mother on a council estate, had been a Minister of State for Europe, a Chairman of the Conservative Party and was now Shadow Home Secretary.
Not only did Clarke and Davis have far greater experience than Cameron, they also had greater voter appeal than the Old Etonian.
A BBC Newsnight poll in September 2005 revealed that Clarke was FOUR times as popular with ordinary voters than his nearest rival in the Tory party leadership race: 40 percent said Clarke would be the best Tory leader, 10 percent said Davis, but only 4 percent said Cameron.
Yet ‘Mr 4%’ David Cameron was the candidate anointed in editorials and comment pieces by influential Tory-supporting media pundits and the novice cruised to victory. Why did Cameron get such a leg-up?
In October 2005, I attempted to explain Cameron’s rapid elevation in The Guardian.
“Cameron’s meteoric rise from leadership no-hoper to frontrunner has taken many by surprise,” I wrote. “But what has happened is that British neoconservatives, faced with the nightmarish possibility that in a straight fight between David Davis and Kenneth Clarke the more charismatic and anti-war former chancellor would prevail, sought to undermine support for the latter by reinventing Cameron, the pro-war Thatcherite, as the voice of Tory ‘moderation'”.
The big negative with Ken Clarke for the Tory neocon ‘modernizers’ was that the former Chancellor had opposed the Iraq war.
As I noted in the Guardian, Cameron’s leadership campaign was masterminded by the ‘neoconservative trio’ of George Osborne, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey. The last two men were signatories to the Statement of Principles
of the uber neocon ‘Henry Jackson Society’ which launched in the UK in 2005, the same year Cameron became Tory leader.
The Tory neocons wanted a man who could be relied to carry on an interventionist foreign policy. The fresh-faced Cameron – who unlike ‘Big Beast’ Ken Clarke had supported the Iraq invasion – could be the Tory party’s Tony Blair. A man cast as a ‘moderate’, but who could be relied upon to carry out extreme policies, like cuts and privatization at home and further redistribution of wealth to the super-rich, while carrying on UK support for ‘wars on intervention’ abroad.
As Cameron himself declared during the leadership campaign: “I am the heir to Blair”.
We can’t say we weren’t warned.
In Part 2: How Cameron repaid his neocon backers
Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66
It’s questionable now whether David Cameron will be able to survive 2016 as prime minister. The crushing combination of the #PanamaPapers and the UK Brexit referendum may well be enough to pulverize ‘Teflon Tory’ and bury him.
In Part One of ‘A Charmed Life’, I explained how David Cameron, a man born into great wealth and privilege, had been fast-tracked to power by influential neocons. After just four years as an MP he was anointed as Tory party leader, even though his rivals had much stronger credentials and greater public appeal.
Since his elevation ‘Call Me Dave’ has certainly not let his backers down! His governments, under the pretext of ‘austerity’, have cut welfare payments and social services and helped the one percent become even richer. The top rate of income tax was cut and corporation tax has also been slashed.
Remaining publicly owned assets have been privatized, or have been earmarked for privatization with rich City insiders and party donors benefiting. In 2013, the Royal Mail, in state hands since its inception in the 16th century, was privatized, with a hedge fund whose co-head of development strategy was the best man at Chancellor George Osborne’s wedding, netting a profit of £36m.
The government now plans to sell the Land Registry – in public hands since the days of Queen Victoria.
In foreign policy, Cameron continued where Bomber Blair left off. In the same way that Tony Blair helped destroy Iraq, ‘Tory Blair’ helped wreck Libya. A country that had the highest living standards in Africa was transformed, thanks to NATO’s ’humanitarian intervention’, into a failed state and a haven for radical jihadists and terrorists.
Cameron and his governments also played a very negative and destructive role in relation to Syria, enthusiastically supporting ‘regime change‘ and championing the cause of violent jihadists and terrorists – euphemistically labeled ‘rebels’- who were fighting to overthrow a secular government implacably opposed to Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
In 2013, Cameron, faithfully serving neocon interests, tried desperately to get Parliament to support airstrikes on Syrian government targets. Thankfully, that was defeated. Had it not been, then it’s likely that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Qaeda affiliates would now be in charge of the whole of Syria.
If ever a British Prime Minister deserved to lose a General Election it was David Cameron in 2015. ‘Call Me Dave’ had presided over the longest fall in living standards in the country for 50 years.
His government had pledged to improve public finances, but in fact had made them worse: the UK’s debt increased by 50 percent under Cameron‘s watch.
Furthermore, Cameron’s foreign policy has undoubtedly made the world a much more dangerous place.
However, helped once again by a very friendly media, and in particular the Murdoch press – which thought it of the utmost importance that we saw a photo of Labour leader Ed Miliband eating a bacon sarnie on the front page of The Sun, Cameron scraped home in last year‘s election.
As I noted in an RT op-edge about the election campaign: “There was little, if any, proper discussion of the Conservatives’ many failures in office… If there had been proper media coverage of the way Tories have sold off public assets to their City chums, and the future privatizations Cameron and Co have planned (Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to sell off £20 billion more of state assets by 2020), then the Tories would not get anywhere near the amount of seats they did.”
It’s clear that Cameron was chosen, from quite early on as the best ‘front man’ for taking the neocon project on to the next stage. The question now is: will those who helped put Cameron into power – and who did everything they could to help him stay in 10 Downing Street during the 2015 General Election campaign, continue to support him?
Up to now Cameron has been the ‘Teflon Tory’ – the man against whom no charge seems to stick. While Tony Blair is rightly reviled for what he did to Iraq, Cameron has largely escaped censure for his role in the destruction of Libya. Even allegations of Cameron taking part in a weird initiation ceremony involving the head of a dead pig at Oxford didn’t do too much harm to his ratings.
The #PanamaPapers leaks, however, could be a game changer. In Parliament last week, Cameron tried to draw a line under the revelations by making a Commons statement. Toadying Tory MPs stood up to declare that The Great Leader had done nothing wrong. One MP, the very wealthy oil trader Sir Alan Duncan, tried to make out that the outrage over the Panama Papers was due to envy over people’s wealth – and made a snobbish reference to ‘low-achievers’.
The smug, self-congratulatory mood was splendidly punctured by veteran left-wing Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who dubbed the prime minister ‘Dodgy Dave‘.
Shortly afterwards, I sent out a tweet saying that Skinner was a ‘National Treasure’ and asked people to retweet my message if they agreed with it. At the time of writing the tweet has been retweeted almost 6,000 times and liked over 3,000 times.
The tweet, I note, has got more endorsement than any from establishment gatekeepers and members of the elite punditocracy, who were keen to label Skinner as ‘rude’ for having the temerity to voice the views of millions of ordinary Britons.
It’s not just on social media that members of the public are making their voices heard. A poll in the Daily Mirror newspaper asked readers if they thought Skinner should have been thrown out of the Commons for his ‘Dodgy Dave’ remark: 95 percent voted ‘No’.
The Mirror is a Labour supporting publication, so perhaps you’d expect such a result. But another poll in the Daily Express – which does not support Labour – showed that 83 percent of readers thought Cameron should resign over the Panama Papers scandal.
A few days ago, Cameron was overtaken by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in approval ratings for the first time, with almost 60 percent of people saying that he’s doing badly as PM.
‘Call Me Dave’ and his Chancellor George Osborne are now the least trusted politicians on tax avoidance. Meanwhile, over 160,000 people have signed a petition calling for a snap general election.
The neocons who backed Cameron in 2005 are divided over Europe, which also doesn’t help the PM’s cause. Michael Gove, who helped mastermind Cameron’s campaign in 2005, is one of six Cabinet ministers campaigning for Britain to leave the EU in a referendum that Cameron – given the dip in his ratings – could easily lose. Even if the ‘Remain’ side does sneak home narrowly, Cameron would still be very vulnerable.
We know just how ruthless the Conservative Party can be when they feel they’ve got a leader who’s gone past their sell-by date: even the fact that she had won three general elections wasn’t enough to save Mrs. Thatcher in 1990.
Cameron has already declared he won’t serve a third term as prime minister, but it must now be doubtful that he will even be able to survive 2016. Whether it’s the #PanamaPapers or the EU referendum in June which finishes him, the dream ride for the ‘Teflon Tory’ has almost certainly come to an end. About time, too!
If I hadn’t seen for myself that this article “exposing” Jeremy Corbyn was published on the Daily Telegraph’s website, I would have assumed it was a spoof from The Onion – an even more preposterous one than normal.
In a lengthy hit-piece, the Telegraph suggests that Corbyn is a hypocrite for criticising David Cameron over his efforts to conceal the financial benefits he received from his father’s tax-haven investments.
What’s the Telegraph’s evidence for accusing Corbyn of a double standard?
Corbyn is apparently part of the fat-cat class himself because he earnt £1.5 million. That sounds a lot – except it was his total earnings as an MP over the past 33 years. That’s the equivalent of a £45,000 a year salary. A good sum but hardly the stuff of scandals.
As a Labour spokesman says (buried at the bottom of this long piece): “It represents his wages as an MP over the last 30 years, the same as every other MP who has done the same service. He’s been elected consistently by the electorate and he has earnt what every other MP earns and those payments are in the public domain.”
In other words, this is a complete non-story. He’s a an MP and he received the benefits due an MP. If there’s a problem with that, then the Telegraph ought to be campaigning against MPs’ salaries.
So why is the Telegraph writing a story that makes clear it is not even pretending to be a newspaper – which reveals in stark fashion that, in fact, it is just a propaganda sheet for the business class?
There can be only one reason – or two related reasons.
That Corbyn is seen as such a danger to the vested interests of the powerful corporations that are served by the Telegraph and the rest of the corporate media that they need to smear him even at the cost of undermining their own credibility.
And equally significantly, that they are so sure that Cameron can be relied on not to damage their interests, that they will do anything – including writing a patently ridiculous anti-Corbyn story – to help the prime minister in his hour of need.
If Corbyn became prime minister, he might threaten the apple cart that has made the Telegraph’s owners, the famously litigious Barclay Brothers, and the rest of the 1% fabulously wealthy. The brothers are – how can we put it? – familiar with the workings of tax havens; they live in one.
Cameron is a member of that same exclusive club: he might talk the talk, but he is never going to walk the walk. He and his party will look after their friends and their off-shore accounts for as long as they can do so without paying a serious political price.
The only scandal here is that the Telegraph can write a story like this and still be considered a newspaper rather than a muck-raking comic. This example may be extreme, but behind it lie the same motives of class-interest that have driven the hundreds of other hatchet jobs on Corbyn over the past year, published in every British newspaper including supposedly liberal publications like the Guardian.
Umberto Eco in his last book, Numero Zero, in describing the reality of the manipulating and manipulated western media, has a newspaper editor say, “let’s just stick to spreading suspicion. Someone is involved in fishy business, and though we don’t know who it is, we can give him a scare. That’s enough for our purposes. Then we’ll cash in, our proprietor can cash in, when the time is right.”
And that is exactly what is happening with the appearance simultaneously in all the western media, on Sunday, April 3 of a story about what are called the Panama Papers. The story attributed to a shadowy organisation called the International Coalition of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has all the hallmarks of an operation by western secret services to attempt to subvert targeted governments. The primary target is of course President Putin in order to influence the coming elections and to further attempt to portray him in the eyes of the peoples of the west as a criminal.
But the targets also include FIFA directors, continuing the harassment of FIFA by the United States government, in order to keep Russia out of the next world cup football games, Lionel Messi one of the world’s best football players, perhaps because he refused a request by President Obama’s daughters to meet him when Obama visited Argentina, Jackie Chan, no doubt punishment for supporting the Communist Party of China, and various people blacklisted by the United States for dealing with North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and other American designated enemies.
They include President Poroshenko of Ukraine, perhaps signalling they are tired of him, the prime minister of Iceland, since forced to resign, no doubt for jailing bankers, seizing their banks and giving the people some compensation for their losses in the financial crisis of 2008, Hosni Mubarak who has accused the United States of trying to overthrow him, the murdered Gadhafi, and Xi Jinping, president of China. No Americans or NATO leaders are named though David Cameron’s father is named, perhaps a slap at Cameron for allowing a referendum to take place on whether Britain should leave the European Union, which would reduce US influence in Europe.
Essentially these people are all considered by the United States government to be enemies or critics of the United States in one way or another, or no longer reliable partners.
The immediate positioning of President Putin as the principal target of this story, despite the fact he is not mentioned in the documents, coupled with the timing of the story make a reasonable observer conclude that this information was not released just to inform the public but to subvert and discredit chosen governments, that is, it is a propaganda operation, using information that will get the attention of the masses. The rich hiding their money is always a good way to generate anger among the people and to provoke unrest in order to destabilise governments, as we saw just happened in Iceland. It does not matter whether the information in the story is true or not. Some of the information may be but the law firm from which the information was stolen says much of what the story says is untrue. But it doesn’t really matter because the story is what is important and that’s all that people see.
This conclusion is the more inescapable when the true nature of the ICIJ is revealed. For to understand what this story is about it is important to know who put it out, with whom they are connected and who provides the money.
The key is found in the list of the members of the Advisory Board, the Board of Directors and the funders of its parent organisation, the Centre For Public Integrity (CFPI). The ICIJ states on its website that is a non-profit organisation. That technically may be true but they failed to add that they act for the profit of the people who fund them and who control their operations. Funders of the CFPI include the Democracy Fund, the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations of George Soros, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund and many others of the same pedigree. Individual donors include such people as Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and many others of the powerful US corporate and financial elite.
Its Advisory Board includes Geoffrey Cowan, who was appointed Director of Voice of America by President Clinton in 1994 and was in 1994-96 associate director of the United States Information Agency. He is now president of the Annenberg Foundation which has hosted US presidents at its retreat in California, dubbed Camp David West, including President Obama. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations which is the American think tank whose membership includes several former heads of the CIA, several US Secretaries of State, and connected media figures and which has the role of promoting globalisation, free trade and other economic and foreign policies for the benefit of the rich and powerful in America.
The Advisory Board also includes Hodding Carter III, former assistant secretary of state under President Carter and later a journalist for major western media such as BBC, ABC, CBC, CNN, NBC, PBS, Wall Street Journal, and now President of the Knight Foundation. There is Edith Everett, President of Gruntal and Company, one of the oldest and biggest investment banks in New York City, Hebert Hafif, connected establishment lawyer, Kathleen Hill Jamieson, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, an expert on the use of the media for political purposes including how to influence political campaigns and elections, and Sonia Jarvis, a lawyer who once worked with President Clinton,
It includes Harold Hongji Koh who was a legal adviser at the US Department of State from 2009 to 2013, nominated by President Obama, who in March 2010 gave a speech supporting the legality of drone assassinations. There is Charles Ogletree, Harvard law professor and a close friend of President Obama, Allen Pusey, publisher and editor of the American Bar Association Journal, Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media, former president of ABC News and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Paul Volcker not only is an individual financial supporter but is also on the Board. Aside from his position as a former chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979-1987) he was also chair of the US Economic Advisory Board, appointed by President Obama (2009-2011) a former chair of the Trilateral Commission, worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank and is very close to the Rockefeller family.
It includes Harold Williams, former Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (1977-1981) and member of board of directors of dozens of companies, William Julius Wilson, professor of sociology at Harvard and, last but not least, Christiane Amanpour, chief war propagandist for CNN, who just a few days ago appeared on CNN acting out a charade in which she interviewed a staffer from the ICIJ about the Panama Papers while pretending not to know anything about them. She was in fact interviewing a member of her own organisation but she never informed her viewers of this. For some reason her name does not appear on the CFPI website but her name does appear in the organisation’s latest annual report for 2014-15.
The Board of Directors includes Peter Beale a former head of CNN.com, a former Reuters agent, editor at the London Times, and Microsoft editorial director, as well as Arianna Huffington, president of Post Media, and Bill Kovach, journalist for the New York Times, to name just a few of the establishment figures listed.
The point is made. This is not some independent, muckraking group dedicated to truth and democracy. This is a group of propagandists who, under the cloak of journalism, carry out the art of deception on behalf of the American government and secret services. Indeed in the annual report, they even quote President Obama approving their work. In January this same group launched an attack on the government of China with another story of “leaked” financial documents implicating the Chinese leadership and have done it again in this new story, now doubt part of the “pivot to China.”
So there you have it, the information you need to know but which CNN, The Guardian, the BBC, CBC, the New York Times and all the rest of the media refuse to provide you so that you can properly assess the story they have propagated through the world media. The role of the western media is not to inform the public but, as Umberto Eco says, “to teach people how to think,” to manipulate opinion and action. Their suppression of that information is a lie and as that other great writer, Jose Saramago, wrote, they use “the lie as a weapon, the lie as the advance guard of tanks and cannons, the lie told over the ruins, over the corpses, over humanity’s wretched and perpetually frustrated hopes.” It is time for these people to be exposed for what they are and called to account for their deception of the people they claim to serve, for what greater crime can their be than to deceive the people?
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed David Cameron on the tax avoidance scandal saying the “unfairness and abuse must stop.”
The leader of Britain’s main opposition party called on the government Tuesday to tackle tax havens, saying it was high time British Prime Minister David Cameron stopped allowing “the super rich elite [to] dodge their taxes.”
“There cannot be one set of tax rules for the wealthy elite and another for the rest of us,” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said at the launch of the party’s campaign for local elections next month.
“The unfairness and abuse must stop… I say this to the government and to the chancellor, no more lip service, the richest must pay their way.”
After leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm revealed how the world’s powerful use secretive offshore company structures to stash their wealth, Cameron has come under pressure to clamp down on tax evasion in British-linked territories after the “Panama Papers” implicated his father, Ian Cameron, in running an offshore tax-evasion fund.
“Russia bombing Syria will lead to further radicalization and increased terrorism”. Prime Minister David Cameron, 4th October 2015.
How desperately Prime Minister Cameron has been yearning to bomb the Syrian Arab Republic.
In August 2013 when his aim was defeated in Parliament by a 285-272 vote, his vision of the UK joining US-led strikes bit the dust. His dreams of illegally joining the bigger bully and bombing an historic nation of just 22.85 million people (2013 figures) three and a half thousand kilometers away, posing no threat to Britain, was thwarted.
The US threw a conciliatory bone to the snarling Cameron and according to the BBC (1): “would ‘continue to consult’ with the UK, ‘one of our closest allies and friends.’
France said (that) the UK’s vote does not change its resolve on the need to act in Syria.
After the vote … Cameron said it was clear Parliament did not want action and ‘the government will act accordingly.’
Chancellor George Osborne whined on BBC Radio 4′s flagship “Today” programme that: “there would now be “national soul searching about our role in the world “, adding: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all of the world’s problems.
Translation: “Inconsequential politicians on small island only feel like real men when sending off their depleted air force to blow modest populations far away to bits.”
The then Defence Secretary Philip Hammond: “ … told BBC’s Newsnight programme that he and the Prime Minister were “disappointed” with the result, saying it would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington. Ah ha, that tail wagging, panting, lap dog “special relationship” again, for which no body part licking, no crawling on all fours, no humiliation, no deviation of international law is too much.
The excuse for the 2013 rush to annihilate was accusations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in March and August of that year, a claim subsequently comprehensively dismissed by detailed UN investigations (2.)
Cameron’s excuse for attack had all the validity of Tony Blair’s fantasy Iraq weapons of mass destruction, but of course he regards Blair as a trusted advisor. Judgement, it might be argued, as Blair’s, is not one of Cameron’s strong attributes.
Then came the Friday 13th November tragedies in Paris and by 2nd December Cameron’s parliamentary press gangs managed to threaten and arm twist through a vote to attack Syria in an action of shame which will surely haunt him as Blair is haunted by Iraq.
As the bombs fell, on 6th December, Cameron celebrated the anniversary of his his tenth year as Leader of the Conservative Party with his very own military action, Libya’s tragedy forgotten and belonging to yesterday. That, as Blair’s Iraq, it is entirely illegal (3) apparently bothers the former PR man not a whit.
As the Parliamentary debate was taking place, before the vote, it was reported that RAF reconnaissance ‘planes had already taken off for Syria from Scotland – of whose fifty nine parliamentarians, fifty seven voted against the attack. Cameron thumbed his arrogant nose to near and far.
Apart from the illegality, did it even cross Cameron’s mind, or did he care, that using the Paris attack not only defied law, it defied reason. To repeat again, the attackers were French and Belgian born, of North African extraction, with no Syrian connections apart from that some of them had been there joining the organ eating, head chopping, people incinerating terrorists. Syria is the victim, not the perpetrator, deserving aid and protection, not cowardly retribution from 30,000 feet.
After the vote, pro-killing MPs reportedly went straight into the Commons bar to celebrate with tax payer subsidized booze. Warned that the main doors in to Parliament had been closed due to anti-war protesters outside, one woman MP apparently shouted gleefully “It’s a lock in.” How lightly mass murder is taken in the Palace of Westminster.
Chancellor George Osborne: “eschewed the celebratory drinks … and joined a carol service in nearby St. Margaret’s Church – in aid of a charity for child amputees. You couldn’t make it up”, wrote a ballistic friend.
Within a week Osborne was in the US addressing the Council on Foreign Relations stating that with the air strikes Britain had “got it’s mojo back” and stood with the United States to “reassert Western values.”
It was he said “a real source of pride” to have the authority for air strikes in Syria.
“Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead.”
Britain was prepared to play a “bigger role”, he vowed.
“Mojo” according to varying dictionaries means “a quality that attracts people to you, makes you successful and full of energy”, denotes “influence” and “sex appeal.” The man needs help.
Immediately after the vote during a visit to RAF Akrotiri, the British base in Cyprus from which the airborne killers will take off to drop their human being incinerating ordnance, UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, told military personnel that their mission had the backing of “both the government and the people of Britain.” He lied.
A recent ITV poll showed 89.32 % of British people against bombing. Governmental “mojo” has clearly passed them by.
Pro bombing MPs though, it seems, are anything but warrior material. When angry emails arrived from their constituents condemning the bombing, the heavyweight Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson (pro bombing) complained of “bullying” saying stronger social media policy was needed to prevent such correspondence.
Anti war campaigners had also sent graphic photographs of dead Syrian children to MPs to persuade them not to vote for creating more mutilated little souls. This, the warmongers said, was “intimidation.”
One pro-war parliamentarian said the messages led him to have concerns for the health of his pregnant wife. Beyond pathetic, try being the husband of a pregnant wife, or the wife, in Syria with Britain’s bombs incinerating your neighbourhood.
Another MP was so keen to become a member of the “bullied” club, she was found to have added a death threat to herself at the end of a justifiably angry email from a member of the public. Her attempt to was speedily uncovered. The desire to tarnish those repelled by illegally murdering others is seemingly becoming common currency in the Cameron Reichstag.
A majority of British politicians, prepared to drop bombs on people, blow their children, parents, relatives, villages, towns, homes to bits and are cowed by a few words. As for “bullied”, try being under a bomb Mr Watson, one of the bombs you voted for. “Bullying” doesn’t come bigger than that.
Upset at being sent pictures of dead babies? Imagine being a mother or father holding the shredded remains of theirs. Courtesy the RAF.
Have they any idea of the reality of their “mojo” moment? People tearing at the tons of rubble that was a home, trying to dig friends, beloveds out with bare, bleeding hands?
Further reality is the demented, terrified howls of the dogs who hear the ‘planes long before the human ear can, the swathes of birds that drop from the sky from the fear and vibration, their bodies carpeting the ground, the cats that go mad with fear, rushing from a loving home, never to be seen again. And the children that become mute in their terror, losing the ability to speak for weeks, sometimes months and even years.
Yet David Cameron allegedly called Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and those who voted against this shameful act of terror: “terrorist sympathisers”, reportedly telling a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee before the vote: “You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers.” (5)
This presumably was juvenile pay back time for Corbyn having stated correctly that: “Cameron’s approach is bomb first, talk later. But instead of adding British bombs to the others now raining down on Syria what’s needed is an acceleration of the peace talks in Vienna.”
Cameron also received widespread derision, including from Conservative Parliamentarian Julian Lewis, Chairman of the influential Defence Select Committee, for his claims that there were 70,000 “moderate” fighters on the ground ready to take on ISIS after British bombing.
One government source compared the claim to Tony Blair’s fantasy that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction on the West “in 45 minutes.” Lewis commented: “Instead of having ‘dodgy dossiers’, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters.” (6) Another commentator referred unkindly to Cameron’s “70,000 fantasy friends.”
Perhaps the best encapsulation of anger and desperation came from author Michel Faber, who sent his latest book to Cameron (7.)
In searing sarcasm, he wrote in an accompanying letter that he realized: “a book cannot compete with a bomb in its ability to cause death and misery, but each of us must make whatever small contribution we can, and I figure that if you drop my novel from a plane, it might hit a Syrian on the head … With luck, we might even kill a child: their skulls are quite soft.”
“I just felt so heartsick, despondent and exasperated that the human race, and particularly the benighted political arm of the human race, has learned nothing in 10,000 years, 100,000 years, however long we’ve been waging wars, and clearly the likes of Cameron are not interested in what individuals have to say.”
He speaks for the despairing 89.32% who hang their heads in shame. He speaks for those of us who simply cannot find the words.
Citizens of the world are being asked to dig deep for humanitarian aid to Syria. After five years of war and millions displaced there is an urgent need for the world to lend a hand, we are told.
At a so-called “donor conference” in London this week, British prime minister David Cameron appealed to the rest of the world to stump up $8 billion to help war-torn Syria.
Among the 60 nations attending the confab were the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Senior figures from these countries were wringing their hands in anguish over the plight of Syrian refugees.
Washington’s top diplomat John Kerry told delegates: “With people reduced to eating grass and leaves and killing stray animals in order to survive on a day-to-day basis, that is something that should tear at the conscience of all civilized people and we all have a responsibility to respond to it.”
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon adjured nations to “take responsibility to end the crisis in Syria”.
Take responsibility for ending the crisis? How about taking responsibility for beginning it?
Cameron, Kerry and the rest of these charlatans should spare us the emotional blackmail. Most of the governments represented at the London conference are the very instigators and perpetrators of Syria’s destruction.
Why should the rest of the world pay for their crimes?
This is not to suggest that people should simply turn their backs on fellow humans in dire need. But let’s get some straight-thinking here.
Those governments and individual politicians who oversaw regime change in Syria should be paying for their violations, either through massive financial reparations or in jail time. And why not both.
The case is irrefutable. The US-led regime-change plot to subjugate Syria goes back several years, according to numerous sources, such as American diplomatic cables released by the whistleblowing site Wikileaks, former French foreign minister Roland Dumas and ex-NATO supreme commander US General Wesley Clark.
It is only largely due to the dutiful dissembling by the Western news media that such criminality might seem rather outlandish. But it is not outlandish. It is documented and provable. Western governments are culpable in a criminal scheme of regime change in Syria, as they have been in countless other unfortunate countries.
From the outbreak of violence in mid-March 2011, the Arab country has been a charnel house of covert war involving the most vile terrorist mercenaries. Those who take ultimate responsibility for the violence are the authors of the regime-change plot in Syria. Top of the list are Washington, London, Paris, as well as their regional client regimes.
With an estimated 250,000 dead and nearly half of the 23 million population turned into refugees, the total war damage to Syria has been estimated to be at least $100 billion. This is what Washington and its allies owe Syria — and no doubt far, far more — and yet these country-destroying rogue states are trying to wheedle money out of world citizens to pay for their criminal excesses, with the emotional plea of “humanitarian aid”.
Washington and its co-conspirators for covert war in Syria want the rest of the world to pay for their criminal scheming by cajoling the UN, the European Union and anyone else who will listen to fork out “humanitarian aid”. Make no mistake this will eventually translate into ordinary taxpayers, workers and families, paying the bill for their governments’ sanctimonious financial pledges.
In other words, Western powers like the US, Britain and France together with their regional client regimes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, unleash mass murder and mayhem on a once peaceful, sovereign country — and instead of being held to account under international law for their criminal aggression, these rogue states are getting the rest of the world to subsidize their evil enterprise.
The “donor conference” in London this week was the fifth in a series going back to 2012. Last year, the fundraiser fell well short of its appeals. This year, British leader David Cameron went out of his way to give the appeal added urgency.
Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Cameron said: “Sufficient funding to guarantee the basics of life that these refugees need must be the bare minimum expected of us.”
The British premier emphasized the need for more aid given to refugee centers in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where nearly five million Syrians have been displaced and are languishing in squalid camps.
Cameron’s apparent concern belies his real worry. He doesn’t want any more refugees streaming into Europe and towards Britain. That’s why the British leader is now calling for more international donations and for the cash to be thrown at Syria’s immediate neighbors in order to keep refugees there.
Going back to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, he told the London conference:
“The situation in Syria is as close to hell as we are likely to find on this Earth.”
Syria is indeed a hell on Earth. Made by people like Cameron and Kerry with whom Ban Ki-Moon was rubbing shoulders with in London this week.
Turkey was represented by prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu who tried to blame the humanitarian crisis on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s military intervention. Davutoglu’s lies are particularly nauseating given Ankara’s role in acting as a conduit for terror brigades infiltrating Syria and his country’s ongoing threats of outright military invasion.
NATO member Turkey’s role in fueling Syria’s refugee crisis through its regime-change machinations is acutely reprehensible. And yet Ankara is to receive $3.4 billion from European Union taxpayers, allegedly to help with stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.
This is just one aspect of the general trend that Washington and its allies are establishing with breath-taking audacity. They have all but destroyed Syria with their covert war using terrorist proxies, and yet they are getting the rest of the world to pay for their crimes.
The cost of war and imperialist crimes was always offloaded on to ordinary people by their rulers. In that regard, nothing much has changed. Except that the scam has become even more brazen.