Category: Iraq

Wikileaks and ‘The War You Don’t See’

It’s time for people to come out and defend the work of Wikileaks. Many governments are often afraid that people might find out the ugly truth about what they are actually doing.

Award-winning journalist John Pilger interviews Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and discusses the hidden, almost permanent state of war that most people do not see.

Among the Wikileaks disclosures in the video-clip (part six): watch the Apache gunship cockpit video footage showing how Reuters news reporters/cameramen in Iraq are gunned down on the streets. And the reaction? “Nice.” And look at how those who try to remove the bodies and save the critically wounded are treated. These are war crimes.

Below are parts six and seven of a seven-part series of the ‘War You Don’t See’.

Some 700,000 have signed a global petition by Avaaz.org to defend Wikileaks. The organisers are targeting one million signatures.

Do you think Wikileaks' work is justified and should be defended and protected?

  • Yes (92%, 235 Votes)
  • No (7%, 17 Votes)
  • Don't know (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 255

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End the Occupation: Mid-East bishops

Middle East Catholic bishops meeting at a special synod in Rome over the last fortnight have called for Israel to end the Occupation of Palestinian territories so that a two-state solution can be found.

The bishops are the ones who are familiar with the situation on the ground.

Here is an excerpt from their final joint communique:

IV. Cooperation and Dialogue with Our Fellow-Citizens, the Jews

8. The same Scriptures unite us; the Old Testament, the Word of God is for both you and us. We believe all that God revealed there, since he called Abraham, our common father in the faith, Father of Jews, of Christians and of Muslims. We believe in the promises of God and his covenant given to Abraham and to you. We believe that the Word of God is eternal. (more…)

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Woman attempts citizen’s arrest on Blair

Anti-war protesters gave former British premier Tony Blair a torrid reception when he turned up to sign copies of his autobiography at a book-store in Dublin.

One activist, Kate O’Sullivan, who managed to enter the book-store, tried to make a citizen’s arrest on Blair for war crimes in Iraq. Here is her account:

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RPK and HARDtalk: BBC hardly impartial

Many Malaysians have expressed disappointment  over the BBC’s backing down from a ‘HARDtalk’ interview with RPK.

Much of this sentiment, I believe, stems from a perception that the BBC is a bastion of impartial, independent reporting.

Far from it. The BBC reflects the establishment viewpoint in the UK. Its positions on the illegal invasion of Iraq, the US-UK role in Afghanistan and the Israeli occupation of Palestine are well documented. (more…)

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Iraq Occupation: What has it accomplished?

What has the US-led Invasion and Occupation of Iraq really achieved? What have the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American troops really accomplished?

If you ask me, a lot of people made a lot of money out of this military adventure – that’s what it has accomplished. Yes, war is all about Big Business for a few: the oil price rockets up, military budgets are pumped up, weapons sales soar, strategic oil pipelines are laid, funds for dubious “reconstruction” are siphoned off and a few favoured corporations reap huge profits for their well-connected share-holders.

Leila Fadel of McClatchy reports:

I couldn’t understand what thousands of American soldiers had died for and why hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had been killed. I didn’t see a budding democracy in an Iraqi government that was more like Saddam Hussein’s every day. I didn’t see a land long divided by sect, ethnicity, tribe and class beginning to grow into a united nation.

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Obama in the Notre Dame University controversy

Obama’s controversial speech at a Catholic university. Parts 2, 3 and 4 below. Full text here.

The US president pleads for open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words over some of the bitter debates that divide American society. See also ‘The real scandal of Notre Dame‘ by the head of a Catholic university.

Obama, however, doesn’t touch on the US military adventures in Afghanistan (and the rising death toll) and Pakistan and the US Occupation of Iraq. Neither does he mention the massive and scandalous Wall Street bailouts – the result of easy and uncontrolled credit and financial deregulation and liberalisation.

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“It never happened. Nothing ever happened”

haroldpinter

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
- Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize winner for Literature, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harold Pinter, who passed away on Christmas Eve, was well known for his plays. But the corporate media have downplayed his role as one of the most prominent opponents of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

His words on how politicians and the mainstream media often try to blank out monumental or historic events from the public consciousness  have relevance for us in Malaysia, where official news reports are often at sharp odds with what really happened.  Politicians, he observed, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. “To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives.”

“Sometimes,” he asserted,  “a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.”

This was Pinter’s Nobel lecture:

Art, Truth & Politics

In 1958 I wrote the following:

‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

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The failed US occupation of Iraq

The front page of today’s Sun shows George Bush ducking as an Iraqi journalist hurls a shoe at him.

That may be surprising if you are following the global television stations, which tell us that the situation in Iraq is improving for the occupying powers as the worst of the carnage since the Anglo-American invasion subsides.

Some 1.3 million people have perished in Iraq as a result of the invasion – so you can understand why George Bush is not the Iraqis’ most favourite person.

The lower level of carnage now does not translate to victory for the United States as this Counter Punch commentary reveals:

It’s All Spelled Out in Unpublicised Agreement
Total Defeat for U.S. in Iraq

By PATRICK COCKBURN

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Obama’s slick new “informercial”

This is slick, very slick – and impressive. This ‘informercial’, just released in the US, cleverly tugs at heart-strings. I just hope Obama remembers the ordinary people he talked about if he comes to power.  But I am also sceptical to what extent he can actually reform the private health care industry (yes, its an industry, big business) or push through pro-people economic policies. Too often, populist politicians show a keen interest in the concerns of ordinary people only to disappoint when elected as they invariably pander to the interests of Big Business and lose touch with the hardships of the people on the ground who voted them into power.

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