Another Attack on Iraq

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sun Feb 18 17:10:50 MST 2001

Paul F:

> Secondly, it was to demonstrate that the British government would support
> not only in words but in action anything Bush wants to do. (I sometimes
> wonder just what the USA would have to do before British governments would
> object -- bomb London?) This is significant, as New Labour had been very
> close to Clinton and the Democrats, and Blair wants to demonstrate that he's
> just as close to Republicans.

John Pilger
"The New Statesman"
5th February 2001

Former President Bill Clinton, having bombed and blockaded
civilians on several continents, and doubled America's
prison population while accelerating the number of mostly
non-white executions by limiting federal appeals, finally
signed off by pardoning a coterie of suspects and crooks,
including a convicted Wall Street embezzler who reportedly
is to give $135m to Clinton's presidential library.

In Britain, liberals at Tony Blair's court wrote obsequious
farewells to Clinton, whom they loved. They mock Dubbya.
Manufacturing difference between the two is as important as
the Westminster correspondents' arduous task of running a
cigarette paper between Blair and Hague, and Straw and
Widdecombe, suggesting democratic choice where there is

Thus, the dumping of Peter Mandelson was hot political news.
In truth, it was merely a useful exercise for the government
to pretend it is opposed to lying. Real political news was a
week earlier. This was the despatch by Blair of two of his
senior people to Washington, including Jonathan Powell, his
chief of staff and a leading member of the semi-masonic
British American Project. "The Prime Minister is pitching
hard to be the first European leader to travel to
Washington," reported the Guardian. "Mr Blair is determined
to prove that he can be as close to the Republican George
Bush as he was to the Democrat Clinton."

The reason that increasing numbers of people have stopped
voting in Britain is the same as in the United States. There
is no one who speaks for them. The two parties speak for big
business and the supremacy of American-led economic power.
The rest is Monica Lewinsky, Peter Mandelson and other lies.
A current lie spun by the Secretary of State for Defence,
Geoffrey Hoon, is that the government has not yet decided to
support Washington's "missile defence system", the Son of
Star Wars insanity, of which the Fylingdales early warning
base in north Yorkshire is a vital component. "It's too
soon," says Hoon, when there is not the slightest doubt that
the government has made clear to the Americans, though not
to the British people, that they can, as always, rely on
their "closest ally".

Whitehall may not like the old Reagan nonsense about a
"missile shield for freedom", but servility to America is a
divinity, and Foreign Office "strategy" is to promote
Britain as a "bridge builder between Europe and the US".
What politicians must not do is provoke a wide debate,
alerting the public. Last week, Peter Hain was demoted to
junior energy minister not because he was at odds with
"policy", but because his aggrandising, public verbosity on
Africa and in defence of infanticide in Iraq was becoming an

Support for Son of Star Wars is treacherous of true British
interests, which lie in a peaceful and secure world, not one
manipulated by economic conquest and violence. Politicians
genuinely speaking up for these interests, and the human
rights of the British people, would condemn any
collaboration with a missile programme whose dangers cannot
be overstated. It will trigger another nuclear arms race. It
will disturb and distort development priorities in much of
the world. For Washington, it will serve to "contain" the
growing economic power of China by forcing the Chinese to
compete and, like the Soviets before them, to spend
themselves into submission. The Pentagon's obsession is the
control of space. Satellite technology was used extensively
in both the Gulf war and the Nato attack on Yugoslavia. The
rationale of a threat from "rogue states" such as Libya and
North Korea is drivel.

These are surreal times. War plans are policy and there is
no enemy. Piratical corporations are afforded the rights
owed only to humans, while inhuman concepts go unrecognised.
Umberto Eco tells us why fascism is still latent, warning us
that it is merely a diffuse form of totalitarianism. He
defines its characteristics: delusion of advanced knowledge,
disregard of rational and humane principles, state machismo,
racism, a consuming sense of insecurity, televised populism
and the use of newspeak with its unstated limit on ideas.

Modern fascism is not merely skinheads and an Austrian
political thug. There has long been a geopolitical fascism
overseen by the United States, assisted by Britain. Its
record is truly blood-drenched: Vietnam, Indonesia, Chile,
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Palestine,
Turkey and Colombia. Remembering them is as important as
remembering the Holocaust. Globalisation, the advance of
rapacious capital, is another phase, with a new militarism
known as "humanitarian intervention". Within a space of 18
months, the Blair government used armed force three times
outside United Nations control. Since the Gulf war, British
governments have spent £911m bombing Iraq - enough to buy
back the railways twice over. Within hours of Bush's
inauguration, American and British pilots reportedly killed
six civilians in Muthanna province, southern Iraq.

Once again, people are putting the pieces together. Not only
is a resistance to western economic warfare growing rapidly,
the peace movement has regenerated, and the true
humanitarian intervention of those seeking to expose and
disarm nuclear weapons is gaining recognition. On 18 January
in Manchester Crown Court, a jury found two Trident
Ploughshares activists not guilty on a charge of conspiracy
to commit criminal damage. Their attempts to disarm the
nuclear submarine HMS Vengeance were justified on the
grounds that the government was in breach of international
law. Bush and Blair have not yet won.

© The Author © New Statesman Ltd. 2000. All rights reserved.

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