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Showing posts with the label Iraq War

No Forgiveness for Blair’s Useful Idiots

Making up a reason to invade a country was the easy part for Tony Blair. Sticking to a pretend story for ten years — that is truly the sign of a sociopathic statesman.


Ten years ago, between January and April 2003, it is estimated that an unprecedented 36 million people around the world took to the streets in protest against the Iraq War. 50, 000 of them marched in Glasgow. Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont was not one of them. Instead she was part of those political cheer-leaders who supported Tony Blair and voted for the invasion of Iraq. In her own words she “voted on the grounds of listening to the evidence in front of me and on my conscience.”


She was one of many “useful idiots,” who willfully played along with preposterous WMD claims and allowed themselves to get carried away with the imperialistic fervor surrounding a new call to war, abdicating their responsibilities to humanity. How can we believe her pleas of ignorance when millions of us screamed the facts until …

The Blair Legacy

As the 10th anniversary of the Iraq Invasion approaches what was the cost?
In dollars and cents it is estimated that the war cost the United States $1.7 trillion (£1.1tn). Its involvement in Iraq according to other sources has so far cost the US $810 billion (625 billion euros) and could eventually reach $3 trillion.
But in the cost of lives the war killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have led to the deaths of four times that number, said the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

Another estimate quoted is at least 116,000 Iraqi civilians and more than 4,800 coalition troops died in Iraq between the outbreak of war in 2003 and the US withdrawal in 2011 (31,000 US military personnel were injured).

About five million Iraqis were displaced.
In 2006, estimates by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, published in The Lancet, said 655,000 people had died in the first 40 months of the war.
In 2008…

Teaching War

This Saturday members of Glasgow and Edinburgh branches will be in attendnce at stop the war demonstration in Glasgow leafletting and selling the Socialist Standard . It is now a cliche to say that the first casuality of war is truth but the statement remains accurate .

Ministry of Defence teaching materials that give an unbalanced view of the Iraq war are being used in schools, teachers' leaders have said. He warned that some of its assertions, presented as facts, would be disputed by most teachers. There were no estimates of the numbers of people killed, wounded or made homeless by the military action, he said. The material therefore risked breaching the part of the 1996 Education Act concerned with balanced teaching of political issues .
He told reporters: "When you are dealing with something as controversial as Iraq and the different events that led up to the invasion, teachers are under a duty to present material that is balanced. The MoD material does not live up to that…

Troops Out of Iraq

Just only 2% of Basra residents believe that the presence of British troops since 2003 has had a positive effect , says a BBC poll .

But , of course , they were never sent there in the first place for the benefit of the local inhabitants , no matter how much and how often Tony Blair tries to keep preaching to us .

Gun for Hire

Two British-run private military security firms have been paid £274 million over the past three years to provide mercenary guards for US Army engineers working on reconstruction projects in Iraq. The firms, Aegis Defence Services and Erinys Iraq, are now at the centre of a row over streamlining the spiralling cost of "hired guns" in a war zone . Between them, Aegis and Erinys employ up to 2000 men, many of them former British soldiers . The Pentagon estimates that at least 20,000 former soldiers from Britain, the US, Eastern Europe, Fiji and Nepal are working for private mercenary firms in Iraq.

"To pay a man or woman to come over to Iraq, put on body armour every day, and escort military personnel and civilians around knowing that people want to blow them up and kill them, you have to meet the asking price," said Colonel Douglas Gorgoni, the senior finance officer of the US Corps of Engineers .

Socialist Courier says that there is no price worth asking for if it mea…

What Price Slaughter

The American journalist had an interesting article on the value placed on different people's lives .
He begins with reference to history when in the days before child labour laws, the business of insuring working-class children, who were then quite valuable to poor families, achieved enormous success. The courts assessed the literal value of an earning child to a family.
During the Vietnam War, as part of the American pacification program, U.S. officials made what were called "solatium payments" for wrongful deaths caused by American forces. Back then, the U.S. valued Vietnamese adults at about $35 , while children's lives were worth about $15.
The practice continues in its wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan .
For example :-
9-year-old boy, shot by one of our soldiers who mistook his book bag for a bomb satchel - $500
An Iraqi journalist shot on a bridge - $2,500 to his widow .
In early March , a platoon of elite Marine Special Operations troops in a convoy of Humvees we…

Iraq - It was always about the oil

Our comrade at Mailstrom has posted a short animated cartoon that succinctly summarises the new Iraq Oil Law that is in the process of being passed by the Iraqi Parliament .

Short Anti-miltarism Video

Follow this link and click on an imaginative 2 minute video , speculating on who are behind the current American war -fever . We would question if there is a distinct military-industry complex that operates independently and solely in its own interests .
We would counterpose that wars for raw materials and for control of trade routes is the natural state for the enormous economies of the USA ( and of the EU and all the other other capitalist countries ) . But arms traders certainly fan the flames of conflict .

Liar , Liar ...Pants on Fire

When a senior civil servant , a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign Office and First Secretary in the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York from December 1997 until June 2002 disputes all that the Prime Minister claimed for justifications for the Iraq War people should listen . In fact , people should know , yet this evidence until now was kept secret . The Independent carries his statement which has now been published by the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs .

Carne Ross, one of Britain's key negotiators at the UN , alleges it was a commonly held view among British officials dealing with Iraq :

That any potential military threat from Saddam Hussein's had been "effectively contained". Iraq's ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited. There were approx 12 or so at the time unaccounted-for Scud missiles; Iraq's airforce was depleted to the point of total ineffectiveness; its army was but a pale shadow …