Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Destabilising the Global Price of Oil – the Real Reason for the Ousting of Saddam Hussein

September 6, 2013

Don’t Destroy the oil wells.

– George ‘Dubya’ Bush’s demand to preserve the oil infrastructure during the invasion of Iraq.

‘Gosh, no, we won’t go, we won’t die for Texaco’

-Chant of American anti-war protestors during Gulf War 1, ‘Desert Storm’.

War is theft by other means.

– Joseph Bronowski, British scientist and Fabian Socialist.

I’ve already mentioned that one of the causes of increased American hostility to Assad’s regime was Syria’s breach of the oil embargo on Iraq through the illegal importation of Iraqi oil through the Kirkuk-Banyas pipeline. In fact it was Saddam Hussein’s repeated and unpredictable breaches of the quota limits placed by Big Oil and OPEC on Iraqi oil production that was one of the real reasons for the invasion of Iraq and his removal by Bush and Blair. Following Calouste Gulbenkian’s acquisition of exclusive oil rights from King Faisal of Iraq in 1925, the major oil companies – Anglo-Persian, now BP, Royal Dutch Shell, CFP of France and Standard Oil, now Exxon and its sister companies – agreed to maintain high oil prices by deliberately limiting oil production in Iraq. These companies, including Gulbenkian’s own, had the right to drill for oil everywhere in Iraq. In practice, only 0.5 per cent of the country was actually drilled for oil. Iraq has 74 known oil fields. Of these, only fifteen were producing oil in 2006. There are 526 known pools of oil. Only 125 of these have been drilled. from 2003 to 2005 Iraq’s oil output was less than under the oil for food programme. The profits of the five major US oil companies were massively increased following Bush’s invasion. In 2005 these were $89 billion, three times the amount in 2002.

In December 2000 a meeting of the major oil companies as part of the Joint Task Force on Petroleum of the James A. Baker III institute and the Council on Foreign relations criticised Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a ‘swing producer, posing a difficult situation for the US government’ due to tight markets having left America and the rest of the world increasingly vulnerable to disruption and provided their enemies with a potential influence over the price of oil. Hussein would one minute cut oil production down to a minimum out of support for the Palestinian Intifada. A week or so later he would increase oil production to the maximum limit provided under the oil for food programme. This meant that oil prices across the globe rose and fell unpredictably. The Task Force’s report concluded that ‘Saddam is a “destabilizing influence … to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East”. In 2002 the US attempted to launch a coup against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. According to OPEC’s secretary general, Ali Rodriguez, this was because Colonel Gaddafi had contacted Rodgriguez to say that he and Hussein were planning to launch another Arab oil embargo. Venezuela had already broken the 1973 Arab oil embargo, and Big Oil was afraid that it would do the same under Chavez. Hence the US hurried prepared a coup. Rodriguez contacted Chavez, and with 48 hours the coup had collapse. Hussein’s actions in Iraq could affect oil production and prices across the world, encouraging countries like Venezuela, Iran or Russia to break the tariffs level by OPEC. The Council on Foreign Relations thus concluded that

‘Saddam Hussein has demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon to manipulate oil markets … United States should conduct an immediate policy review towards Iraq, including military, energy, economic, and political/diplomatic assessments’.

This report was seized on by Dick Cheney and the Neo-Cons, who wished to remove Hussein in order to create a low tax, completely free market state in Iraq and the decision made in 2001 to invade and removed Saddam Hussein.

Obama and Cameron’s demands for military strikes against Syria have little to do with the use of chemical weapons on civilians. Indeed, James A. Baker III had been Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff when the US was providing Hussein with the intelligence to target the Kurds and Iranians with poison gas and other weapons. Rather it is a continuation of one of the aims for the invasion of Iraq: to control that nation’s oil industry.

Sources

Michael Young, ‘Syria, the US and Terrorism’, in Christopher Heffelfinger, ed., Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities (Washington D.C., The Jamestown Foundation 2005) 223-6.

Greg Palast, Armed Madhouse: ‘Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?’, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texax’, ‘No Child’s Behind Left’ and Other Tales of Class Combat in a Dying Regime (London: Penguin 2006).

Private Eye on Obama’s and Cameron’s Impatience with UN Weapons Inspectors

September 6, 2013

This fortnight’s Private Eye (6th-19th September 2013)in its ‘HP Sauce’ section has a piece on the reasons Cameron and Obama have demanded that the UN weapons inspectors leave Syria so that they can begin bombing. According to the Eye, this is because the inspectors keep showing their claims of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction to be bogus. In 2003, for example, the Bush administration advised the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to leave Iraq so that they could commence the invasion. American and British intelligence had claimed that Saddam Hussein was importing uranium from Africa. The IAEA, however, demonstrated that the documents supporting this claim, the so-called ‘Niger Forgeries’, were indeed fake. Nearly a decade earlier, the Sunday Times ran a series of stories stating that Khidir Hamza, an Iraqi nuclear scientist, had tried to defect with proof that Hussein was building nuclear weapons. The Foreign Office believed that the evidence presented by Hamza was credible, and supported the hard line the government was taking with Hussein’s regime. This was again demolished by the IAEA, who showed that these documents were also forgeries. This important fact was not reported to the press, and Hamza went on to concoct even more fake stories of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the time preceding Bush’s invasion of Iraq. As a result, Britain and the US had Mohamed ElBaradei removed as head of the IAEA because of his independence, and continued to spy on the Agency. The Eye concludes ‘It seems much less likely that UN inspectors will contradict British assertions on Assad’s use of chemical weapons. But it looks as if Obama and Cameron can’t deal with an independent voice on Syrian war, as controlling both what is said and when it is said are crucial to building the shaky consensus for an attack’. In other words, Obama and Cameron are acting as totalitarian dictators in demanding absolute control of information in support of an invasion of independent country for their own ends. Just like Hitler and Stalin.

And just to remind people of the special relationship between Blair and Bush that allowed the Coalition to invade Iraq, here’s the video parody made for the Electic Six song, ‘Gay Bar’.

Secrets and Lies: The Real Reasons Obama and Cameron Want to Attack Syria

September 4, 2013

Since the chemical weapon attack two weeks ago, Obama and David Cameron have both been demanding an attack on Syria, claiming that Syria’s president Assad was behind the attack. In fact there are strong reasons for disputing this claim. Global Research has published pieces showing that a British arms firm, Britam, discussed the possibility of using such a weapon in Syria and blaming the Syrian government. The White House itself may even have authorised this attack. See the links to these posts over at Sparaszczukster’s blog at http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/britains-daily-mail-u-s-backed-plan-to-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-on-syria/ and http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/did-the-white-house-help-plan-the-syrian-chemical-attack/. Even without these articles, there are still strong reasons for distrusting the official account that the Syrian regime used the gas. One of the UN inspectors, Carla Bruni, has stated that the attack was sarin gas, launched by the rebels. See Another Angry Voice’s article http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/william-hague-warmonger-syria.html.

Despite co-operation between America and Syria after 9/11, sections of the American government were suspicious and increasingly hostile to Syria, particularly the supporters of Israel and the Neo-Conservatives. Syria remained on the US State Department list of sponsors of terrorism. Syria provided sanctuary and support for Palestinian terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The latter maintained missile outposts aimed at Israel. After the invasion of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld accused the Syrian regime of permitting insurgents to enter Iraq from their side of the border. Italian investigators have identified Syria as the hub through which suicide bombers belonging to the terrorist network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have entered Syria. Although the Syrian regime has denied that its intelligence service is aiding terrorists and insurgents to enter Iraq, Iraqi officials have stated firmly that this indeed the case. Ra’ad al-Samarrai, the chief Iraqi customs officer at the Waleed border crossing, has stated that ‘Syrian intelligence is controlling Syria’s border post(s). I can see in the Syrian customs agents eyes who is really in control’. Colonel Aref Fanus, the head of the border police at Anbar, confirmed this, stating ‘If they really wanted to help, they could stop any (terrorist) crossings’.

The US Treasury identified four nephews of Saddam Hussein, who had fled to Syria after the invasion, from where they funded the insurgency. The main source of funding for the Ba’athist insurgency in Iraq, according to American officials, another relative of Saddam Hussein, his cousin Fatiq al-Majid. Al-Majid is a former officer in Hussein’s Special Security Organization, who took refuge in Syria. With two of his cousins and other associates, whose number is currently unknown, al-Majid responsible for funding both the indigenous Iraqi insurgents and al-Zarqawi’s terrorists. The supporters of the radical Islamist preacher, Abu Qaqa’a, centred in Aleppo, aided terrorists to cross the Iraqi border, until a crackdown in January 2005.

In 2003 there was a battle between American and Syrian forces along Iraq’s border. They Americans believed they had encountered a convoy taking Iraqi officials across the border into Syria. US helicopters attacked the convoy, which was pursued into Syria by the Americans. As many as 80 Syrians were killed, and a number of border guards captured. This incident caused a further deterioration in relations between Washington and Damascus, and has been seen by some observers as an attempt to intimidate the Syrians into closing the border.

Syrian occupied Lebanon also acted as a sanctuary for former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. According to American officials, Iraq’s former charge d’affaires in Beirut, Nabil Abdallah al-Janabi, is still in Lebanon, from whence he provides funding for foreign terrorists to enter Iraq. The Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar also reported that the Bush regime showed video footage of former Iraqi government officials jogging around the Ein Mreisseh boulevard on Beirut’s seaside and having a meal at a restaurant in the seaside of resort of Bloudan to the Syrians.

It is also believed that Syria has also provided a secure haven for terrorists attempting to infiltrate Jordan. In 2004 police in the country’s capital, Amman, uncovered a cell of al-Zarqawi’s terrorist network, consisting of ten men. They were planning to bomb the office of the prime minister, the General Intelligence Directorate, and the US embassy. From the police reports and the televised confessions of four of the conspirators, it appears that the majority of them were acting under the command of al-Zarqawi’s chief commander in Syria, Suleiman Khalid Darwish. The conspirators had trained in, entered Jordan from, and had smuggled most of their funds and equipment from Syria. The Jordanians also intercepted further shipments of arms from Syria. The Syrians, however, refused to extradite Darwish to face trial for his part in the conspiracy.

The American government was also critical of Syria for breaking the UN boycott of Iraq by illegally importing Iraqi oil through the Kirkus-Banyas pipeline. Furthermore, Syria voted against the invasion of Iraq during the debate in the UN, and sided with France and the other members of the Security Council in passing a compromise measure, Resolution 1441, which they believed would prevent war. Assad’s Ba’ath regime in Syria is militantly secular, nationalist and socialist, and so stands opposed to militant Islam. Several times in its history the regime has severely cracked down on militant Islam. It did, however, appear to use Zarqawi’s terrorist network to de-stable Iraq and prevent its emergence as a secure state.

Syria has also signed a non-aggression pact with Iran. Assad himself has further provoked American hostility by declaring that ‘The armed operations against American occupying forces in Iraq (are) a legitimate resistance because it represents the majority of the people’. The regime has also caused concern in Washington and Israel through the test firing of Scud missiles.

The possibility that America would itself launch an attack on Syria was raised a decade ago in 2003. In October that year Israeli forces destroyed an alleged Palestinian terrorist based in Syria. This attack was not condemned by the American government. Despite attempts by the American government to engage Syria in negotiations, it appeared that Israel, and by extension America, would retain the option of military action in future. Despite pressure from the Americans over its sponsorship of Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups, it was believed that the Syrian government would still support them as a bargaining chip for negotiations with Israel over possession of the Golan Heights.

It seems to me that these are the real reasons Obama now wishes to strike against Iraq. Now nations have a right to defend themselves and their citizens, and our forces in Iraq have every right to fight to stop the entry of militants and terrorists into the country. This is not, however, what we are being told by our leaders. We have absolutely no right to order a strike against Syria under the pretext demanded by President Obama and David Cameron. Cameron’s motives for demanding the attack are simple: since Tony Blair’s administration British governments have automatically followed American demands for military assistance out of fear that not doing so would harm the ‘special relationship’. Sparaszczukster over on her blog has reported that the anti-immigration party, Veritas, has set up a petition demanding an inquiry into what the British government has really been doing in Syria. Sparaszczukster has made it very plain she does not share their attitude towards multiculturalism. In this case, however, they are doing the right thing. Go to her website at http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/what-has-our-government-really-been-up-to-in-syria-petition-for-an-investigation/ and follow the link to the petition.

Sources

Michael Young, ‘Syria, the US and Terrorism’, in Christopher Heffelfinger, ed., Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities (Washington D.C., Jamestown Foundation 2005) 223-6.

Sherifa Zuhur, ‘Syria: A Haven for Terrorists?’, ibid, 227-30.

Gary Gambill, ‘How Significant is Syria’s Role in Iraq’, ibid, 235-9.

Sparaszczukster and Global Research: Did Britain Plan Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria

September 4, 2013

Sparaszczukster has collected a number of fascinating and very important pieces analysing and criticising the planned attack on Syria over on her blog, Granny’s Last Mix. One of the most significant, and if true, explosive pieces is an article from Global Research discussing a Daily Mail article, now vanished into the electronic ether. This article reported that a British arms company, Britam, had approached the American government about the possibility of using poison gas as a false flag operation to provide a pretext for military action against Syria. This article is at http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/britains-daily-mail-u-s-backed-plan-to-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-on-syria/.

She has also found and linked to another piece on roughly the same subject by Global Research, ‘Did the White House Help Plan the Chemical Weapons Attack?’ This piece is on her website at http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/did-the-white-house-help-plan-the-syrian-chemical-attack/.

She has also reblogged two pieces from the Real News website strongly arguing against military action in Syria. They’re at http://sparaszczukster.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/two-views-on-syria-twelve-months-apart-with-same-message-no-to-military-action/.

These pieces are important reading. If correct, and not ‘Troofer’ propaganda, the two pieces by Global Research show that Parliament, and the British and American peoples are being lied to by their governments in the same way Bush and Blair lied to justify the invasion of Iraq. Worse, they show that the British and American military-industrial complex has engaged in the mass murder of innocents to provide a pretext for more bloodshed. This is a crime against humanity for which the perpetrators should be tried and judged in the Hague, along with the other squalid mass murderers. You’ll have to make up your own minds about this evidence, though unfortunately I can well believe it. Please read it before our governments demand we start attacking Syria again.

Former French Foreign Minister: Britain Planned to Attack Syria Two Years Previously

September 3, 2013

The clip below is of the former French foreign minister, Dumas, stating on French television that he had been at a meeting two years previously in London. He claimed that during the meeting, David Cameron told him Britain had made plans to invade Syria, because of the threat the Syrians posed to Israel. He claimed further that the Israeli president had said to him that Israeli wished to leave in peace with the surrounding states. If they couldn’t, they would take these states down.

I don’t know whether this claim is true or not. The bombing of Greenpeace’s ship, The Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand in the 1980s by French special forces shows that the French are also capable of taking violent covert action against those groups they see as acting against their national interests. In the case of the Rainbow Warrior, the ship had been active in demonstrations against French nuclear testing in the Pacific. It is possible that this claim is disinformation, designed to serve some purpose of the French state in the region in some way. It could, of course, also just be complete rubbish uttered by the former minister for his own ends, or simply due to a poor memory.

My guess is that there’s probably something to it. Although Syria had initially cooperated with America in intelligence gathering after 9/11, by 2002 the relationship had soured. Michael Young, in his paper, ‘Syria, the US and Terrorism’ states that the pro-Israel and Neo-Conservative groups in Bush’s government increasingly disliked Syria, partly because the Syrians had provided sanctuary to Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas. This wasn’t the sole cause of these groups’ hostility towards Syria. Other reasons included Syria’s occupation of Lebanon and the fact that the country also appeared to be allowing Islamic terrorists and remnants of the Ba’ath party to enter Iraq to attack Coalition forces. I think that it’s therefore highly likely that some kind of decision was made several years ago to attack Syria for these reasons.

Source

Michael Young, ‘Syria, the US and Terrorism’, in Christopher Heffelfinger, ed., Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities (Washington DC: The Jamestown Foundation 2005) 56-8.

Cameron’s Campaign against Syria: Two Quotes from 19th Century Germany

September 3, 2013

I found these quotes from two of the great figures of 19th century Germany, the Prussian minister and statesman Bismarck, and the prophet of atheism, Friedrich Nietzsche.

‘From this window I look down upon the Wilhelmstrasse and see many a cripple look up and think that if that man up there had not made that wicked war I should be at home healthy and strong.’

– Bismarck, reflecting on the soldiers, who came back maimed from his wars.

‘They say I good cause justifies any war, but I say unto you, a good war justifies any cause’.

-Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra.

It strikes me very hard that the Coalition are hoping that their calls for action against Syria and a military strike against it, would allow them to ride a surge of patriotism and increase their popularity. As the vote against it and mass demonstrations proved, the public and their elected representatives are extremely cautious and opposed to further military intervention in the Middle East. This is due to the revelations of forged intelligence and sheer propaganda to justify the invasion of Iraq by Bush and Blair, the sight of the coffins of fallen soldiers coming back to Britain through Wotton Bassett and the return of often horrifically maimed and traumatised troopers from Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve also no doubt that a considerable number of the British public are also concerned about what other taxes will be imposed, and services cut, on the pretext of paying for this new military adventure. The countries that were expect to flourish into mature, liberal democracies in the Arab Spring now have either Islamic, theocratic governments, or are falling into chaos, like Egypt. And after all of this, still Cameron and the Coalition push for further action in the Middle East.

Benefit Tales on the Record Number of Maimed Soldiers Losing their Benefits

July 19, 2013

The blog Benefit Tales, which is devoted to criticising the Coalitions cuts and war on people on benefits, has a piece from the Daily Mail on the record number of maimed soldiers now being assessed as fit for work by Atos. The piece begins

Anger as record number of maimed troops are denied disability benefit in Government’s controversial assessments
Hundreds of injured ex-soldiers declared fit for work by Atos Healthcare

Royal British Legion announce rise in soldiers having claims rejected

Soldiers forced to undergo demeaning physical tests by firm

A record number of wounded war veterans have been denied disability benefits in the past year after undergoing tests carried out by the Government’s controversial assessment company.

Hundreds of injured ex-soldiers are being declared fit for work by Atos Healthcare in spite of physical and mental injuries they suffered in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last night, the Royal British Legion (RBL) announced a 72 per cent annual rise in former soldiers having their applications to receive Employment Support Allowance (ESA) turned down. Several hundred wounded personnel were denied the benefit on the basis of physical examinations conducted by Atos, according to the RBL.

This is disgusting, as these men and women have had their bodies and minds mutilated in the service of their country. It is a shocking betrayal of people of immense courage. It is also shows the new attitude of indifference and contempt by the Conservatives towards the sections of society that traditionally formed the backbone of Tory support. The Tories always claimed to be the party of law and order and defence. The cuts to the police force and the services have raised real questions about this. This new campaign to deny benefits to their traditional supports, people who have been through some of the most hellish experiences on this Earth, shows their contempt for ordinary people knows no bounds.

The full story can be read here:

http://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/anger-as-record-number-of-maimed-troops-are-denied-disability-benefit/