All posts tagged: Iraq

“No One is Above the Law:” You Have to be Kidding

James O’Neill Reacting to the arrest and detention in British custody of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the arrest confirms “that no one is above the law.” This was a phrase repeated multiple times by members of her government. It is, or ought to be, a fundamental principle of a society based upon the rule of law, that this is indeed the case. If an individual, or group of individuals, transgress upon the law then they ought to be held accountable. That ought to apply regardless of that person’s status. We know of course that this is an ideal not always applied. There is ample sociological evidence to that effect. A related principle is that a person is presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction applying the law to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether or not Mr Assange will ever receive a fair trial is a moot point. There has been a veritable torrent …

The Obvious Dirty Dealings Behind Julian Assange’s Arrest

The US has been planning to have Julian Assange handed over for a longtime, that much is obvious. Mike Pence, the Vice President, was visiting Ecuador last year, notionally to discuss the Venezuela situation, and trade. But it was fairly obvious at the time, and even more so now, that they were discussing the details of Assange being handed over to UK authorities, and eventually extradited to the US. “Trade”, indeed.

WATCH: Collateral Murder

With yesterdays arrest of Julian Assange, we thought it important to remember WHY he was in the Empire’s crosshairs. The video Collateral Murder is WikiLeaks’ most famous, most shocking release. Footage of US military personnel murdering civilians and journalists and laughing about it.

Why ‘Russiagate’ is the same as ‘WMD in Iraq’ for US MSM

America’s Democratic Party ‘news’-media are now defending themselves against charges that they had trumpeted false allegations against Donald Trump regarding “Russiagate.” Republican Party ‘news’-media are strutting because they didn’t. But in the lead-up to America’s invasion and destruction of Iraq (and here’s “How the U.S. Destroyed Iraq”), the mainstream ‘news’-reporting was just as bad then as now, only with the partisan sides switched. ‘Russiagate’ thus mirrors ‘WMD in Iraq’.

Iran floods reveal US hypocrisy, economic terrorism and “let ’em all die” policy

Ivan Kesić Since March 19th, devastating floods swept across large areas of Iran, triggered by the heaviest downpours in many years. Heavy rainfall began two and a half weeks ago, overflowing rivers, washing away bridges, inundating houses and destroying infrastructural establishments in the northern, western and central parts of the country. According to the Iran Legal Medicine Organization, at least 62 people have so far been killed nationwide in the natural disaster so far, which has also forced tens of thousands of people, mostly in villages, to evacuate their homes and move to emergency shelters. Hundreds of people have also been airlifted from the affected regions. The flooding caused the destruction hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure in 24 out of Iran’s 31 provinces. At least 25,000 houses were completely destroyed, while another 60,000 sustained some form of damage. The Government of Iran declared a state of emergency in several provinces and cities, while Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have urged officials to take full advantage of all available technical capacities …

Mueller’s Record of Framing Innocent People – Chapter One

Eric Zuesse NOTE: This article — prior to its current updates — was offered as an exclusive to each mainstream and other pro-U.S.-Government ‘news’-media, and none even replied; so, it now is offered to all of them again for publication, but on a non-exclusive and free basis, and this time it is also being submitted to many of the smaller or “alternative” news-media. Therefore, sharing, and linking to, this article will be especially appreciated, because the ‘news’-media themselves clearly don’t want this information and its documentation to be known by the general public. Kit Knightly, at the excellent news-site Off-Guardian, headlined on March 25th, “Mueller’s Sideshow Closes – But it has Served its Purpose”, and he concluded that the most credible hypothesis as to what the actual purpose of Mueller’s investigation was is to fool the American public to think that the U.S. Government is honest and trustworthy, and that its public officials are accountable to the public. Knightly thinks that it’s all just a con. But the purpose of the present article is simply …

The Divine Right of Dark-hearted Despots

This essay was in part, inspired by — and written in memory of — William Blum (1932-2018). Blum was a comrade-in-arms, and himself one of the great keyboard warriors of his time. We all had much to learn from this man about courage, integrity, tenacity, and resilience in the service of truth.

Syria Accuses US of Stealing 40+ Tons of Gold

Eric Zuesse The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th, “Gold deal between United States and Daesh [ISIS]” and reported that: Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States. The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation]. Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars. Allegedly, “US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of …

A Religious Wake-up Call

Kevin Smith and Lesley Buckley What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Gospel of Mark, 8:36 I’ve been looking at religion for some time now, thinking if there are areas where perhaps it can be more involved as a voice against regime change, extremist ideology and continuous war. My thoughts on the concept of religion and its basic teaching are positive. Despite what some people say, I think peace and compassion is a strong theme in the writings of the Bible and Koran. But, I’m sure like me there are many of us who take issue with the behaviour of the religious hierarchy and some followers. Recently, I attended a course which explores the basics of Christianity and what underpins Christian beliefs. Among the thoughts I had is why Jesus has not paid us a return visit maybe to give us a further chance to change. With so many more people living on our planet and in such dangerous and immoral times, surely we are in need …

Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic collapse.

Regime Change is Urgently Needed…in Washington

Andre Vltchek I am surprised that no one else is saying it, writing it, shouting it at each and every corner: It is not Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Iran that are in dire and crucial need of ‘regime change’. It is the United States of America, it is the entire European Union; in fact, the entire West. And the situation is urgent. The West has gone mad; it has gone so to speak, bananas; mental. And people there are too scared to even say it, to write about it. One country after another is falling, being destroyed, antagonized, humiliated, impoverished. Entire continents are treated as if they were inhabited by irresponsible toddlers, who are being chased and disciplined by sadistic adults, with rulers and belts in their hands yelling with maniacal expressions on their faces: “Behave, do as we say, or else!” It all would be truly comical, if it weren’t so depressing. But… nobody is laughing. People are shaking, sweating, crying, begging, puking, but they are not chuckling. I see it everywhere where I …

George and the ‘ISIS Bride’

Kevin Smith Two things I gave up in the New Year after many years were smoking and reading the London Evening Standard. I used to pick up the newspaper at the tube station on the journey from work back to the sticks. ​The newspaper over the last year has got worse in many ways, not least the reporting of Syria and foreign affairs. It’s that bad that there should be an Off-Evening Standard – set up by people who read it so Londoners don’t have to. The Evening Standard is one of those newspapers which is so inept or/and dishonest on these matters it always forces me to pick up my pen and write just to get it out of my system. So in a way it’s a source of negative inspiration for my writing and last year I wrote this for Off- Guardian, about an article Jeremy Hunt published in it. However my son who works in London brings it home and the other day, venturing out into my garden for a crafty vape …

The Year of the Pig is here…literally

Andre Vltchek Gong Xi Fa Cai: happy year of the Pig 2019! Congratulations, the Year of the Pig has arrived! According to the Chinese astrology, 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.” So, what is astrology actually saying? We will soon have some sort of ‘brotherhood of men’ year ahead of us; a year that could bring both peace and understanding between all the zodiac signs? We all wish that it could be possible. But we all have doubts that this is what is actually ahead of us! * So, where does the world stand, as the most populous nation on earth – China (but also Vietnam and several other countries) – celebrates the New Year? To be honest, the world does not ‘stand’ at all – it lies in the gutter. It appears to …

Oil, Agriculture and Imperialism: Averting the Fast-Track to Armageddon?

US global hegemony depends on Washington maintaining the dollar’s leading role. Engaging in petrodollar recycling and treasury-bond ‘super-imperialism’ are joined at the hip and have enabled the US to run up a huge balance of payments deficit (a free ride courtesy of the rest of the world) by using the (oil-backed) paper dollar as security in itself.

WATCH: Robert Newman’s History of Oil

Philip Roddis The best comedians are the cleverest people on the planet. I’m grateful to a BTL comment on OffGuardian, below a piece of mine on Venezuela, for linking to this forty-five minute video. It has Robert Newman saying exactly what I try to say, but with vastly greater wit and panache, on the history of oil and, more generally, a materialist perspective on history. Performed in 2006, it could have been yesterday given the clueless way we insist on viewing each “pro-democracy” intervention – Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Venezuela – on a case by case basis. Given too the criminal way ‘our’ media ignore the material drivers of war. In both my two posts this week on Venezuela, I described corporate media as having “abdicated a core duty in their refusal to explore motives that cast a very different light on Western interventions sold to us as humanitarian”. Newman treads the same ground but here too – damn the man – he does it better.

Lies and Damned Lies: Australia, the US and the “Syria Withdrawal”

Few of us would claim we never told a lie, but neither that we did so enthusiastically. Just the innocent deception of our own children with the Santa Claus fairy tale is a lie, even if told for the most altruistic of reasons. Perhaps that illustrates the conundrum, and need for some distinction between “innocent lies” and egregious ones, and those in between.

And That’s The Way It Is

The Essential U.S. Journalism Books of 2018 James McEnteer Two very different reporters dig deep beneath the mainstream media chatter to find the authentic, arrhythmic heart of America. Charlie LeDuff (Sh*t Show!: The Country’s Collapsing… and the Ratings are Great) and Chris Hedges ( America: The Farewell Tour), both former New York Times writers, are resourceful investigators who go their own ways to find stories. Beyond that instinct for truth, and independence from the media pack, they have radically different methods. Read together, their books complement and corroborate each other. LeDuff gathers anecdotal evidence from “the fringes” of the country, including minorities and the poor, who rarely have a voice or make an appearance in media until some tragedy befalls them. His made-for-TV antics are gutsy and amusing (a la Michael Moore) but his points are deadly serious. Hedges’ relentless jeremiad reveals the pathologies of America’s failed institutions, the impotence of our corporate political parties, the rise of the Christian fascism and infotainment that brought Trump to power and the concomitant cruelties of word and …

It is Time for George Versus the Dragon

David Lindsay At least once every week, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, says something that would end the career of a Conservative, or of a Corbyn supporter, or of a man, or of anyone who was not Jess Phillips. Phillips supports the present Israeli Government. She has accused British Pakistanis of importing wives for their disabled sons. Her position on abortion, whatever one may think of that issue, is effectively a call for the full legal integration of Northern Ireland into Great Britain. She is rude and abusive towards Britain’s most prominent black politician, Diane Abbott. Or at least she claims to be; it is possible that she has built her reputation on lying about having used gutter language towards a woman who was old enough to be her mother. Phillips laughs at male suicides, at male cancers, at other men’s health issues, at violence against men, at problems in boys’ educational attainment, and at fathers denied access to their children. She has expressed the desire to stab Jeremy Corbyn. And …

The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War

On December 10, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony will be held in Oslo, the capital of Norway. This analysis will try to look at how the prize fits in the bigger picture, but first, some general background is appropriate:

Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.

The Guardian’s Bush obituary plumbs new depths of sycophantic hypocrisy

We’re no longer supposed to examine the lives, characters or morals of our leaders. Only “honor their memory” and be “grateful for their service”. History is presented to us, not as a series of choices made by people in power, but as a collection of inevitibilities. Consequences are tragic, but unavoidable. Like long-dead family squabbles – To dwell on them is unseemly, and to assign blame unfair.