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British Special Forces Caught Carrying Out Staged Terror In Iraq?

"In another example of how the Iraqi quagmire is deliberately designed to degenerate into a chaotic abyss, British SAS were caught attempting to stage a terror attack and the media have dutifully shut up about the real questions surrounding the incident."
Understanding today’s Iraq? Read the following. It’s a lot and perhaps enough to end this war? Then catch the follow up piece by Robert Fisk which covers the same event, more credibility. Keep the pressure on and we just might shut down our second imperial war and smash a couple of primo fascist states! Peace, love, and hope. jamie

British Special Forces Caught Carrying Out Staged Terror In Iraq?
By: Watson on: 21.09.2005 [03:54 ] (13 reads)
Media blackout shadows why black op soldiers were arrested

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In another example of how the Iraqi quagmire is deliberately designed to degenerate into a chaotic abyss, British SAS were caught attempting to stage a terror attack and the media have dutifully shut up about the real questions surrounding the incident.

What is admitted is that two British soldiers in Arab garb and head dress drove a car towards a group of Iraq police and began firing. According to the Basra governor Mohammed al-Waili, one policeman was shot dead and another was injured. Pictured below are the wigs and clothing that the soldiers were wearing.

The Arab garb is obviously undeniable proof that the operation, whatever its ultimate intention, was staged so that any eyewitnesses would believe it had been carried out by Iraqis.

This has all the indications of a frame up.

This is made all the more interesting by the fact that early reports cited as originating from BBC World Service radio stated that the car used contained explosives. Was this another staged car bombing intended to keep tensions high? As you will discover later, the plan to keep Iraq divided and in turmoil is an actual policy directive that spans back over two decades.

The BBC reports that the car did contain, "assault rifles, a light machine gun, an anti-tank weapon, radio gear and medical kit. This is thought to be standard kit for the SAS operating in such a theatre of operations."

And are fake bushy black wigs and turbans standard kit for the SAS? What happened to the early reports of explosives? Why has the media relentlessly reported on the subsequent rescue effort and failed to address these key questions?

The soldiers were arrested and taken to a nearby jail where they were confronted and interrogated by an Iraqi judge.

The initial demand from the puppet authorities that the soldiers be released was rejected by the Basra government. At that point tanks were sent in to 'rescue' the terrorists and the 'liberated' Iraqis started to riot, firebombing and pelting stones at the vehicles injuring British troops as was depicted in this dramatic Reuters photo.

As the SAS were being rescued 150 prisoners escaped from the jail. Was this intentional or just a result of another botched black op?

From this point on media coverage was monopolized by accounts of the rescue and the giant marauding pink elephant in the living room, namely why the soldiers were arrested in the first place, was routinely ignored.

The only outlet to ask any serious questions was Australian TV news which according to one viewer gave, "credibility to the 'conspiracy theorists' who have long claimed many terrorist acts in Iraq are, in fact, being initiated and carried out by US, British and Israeli forces."

Iran's top military commander Brigadier General Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr pointed the finger at the occupational government last week by publicly stating,

“The Americans blame weak and feeble groups in Iraq for insecurity in this country. We do not believe this and we have information that the insecurity has its roots in the activities of American and Israeli spies,? Zolqadr said.

“Insecurity in Iraq is a deeply-rooted phenomenon. The root of insecurity in Iraq lies in the occupation of this country by foreigners?.

“If Iraq is to become secure, there will be no room for the occupiers?.

That explanation has a lot of currency amongst ordinary Iraqis who have been direct witnesses to these bombings.

In the past we’ve asked questions about why so-called car bombings leave giant craters, in addition with eyewitness reports that helicopters were carrying out the attacks.

Throughout history we see the tactic of divide and conquer being used to enslave populations and swallow formerly sovereign countries by piecemeal. From the British stirring up aggression between different Indian tribes in order to foment division, to modern day Yugoslavia where the country was rejecting the IMF and world bank takeover before the Globalists broke it up and took the country piece by piece by arming and empowering extremists.

And so to Iraq, New York Times November 25th 2003, Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations writes,

"To put most of its money and troops where they would do the most good quickly - with the Kurds and Shiites. The United States could extricate most of its forces from the so-called Sunni Triangle, north and west of Baghdad.... American officials could then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate their ambitions or suffer the consequences."

Gelb argues for allowing the rebellion to escalate in order to create a divided Iraq.

And in 1982, Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office, wrote: "To dissolve Iraq is even more important for us than dissolving Syria. In the short term, it's Iraqi power that constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. The Iran-Iraq war tore Iraq apart and provoked its downfall. All manner of inter-Arab conflict help us and accelerate our goal of breaking up Iraq into small, diverse pieces."

So if the plan is to keep the different sects at each others' throats then who benefits from the chaos created by the endless bombings? President Bush's slip of the tongue when he stated, "it'll take time to restore chaos and order — order out of chaos, but we will" seems less farcical in this light.

Plans for 4,000 NATO troops to replace US troops in Afghanistan will likely be mirrored in Iraq and the country will be used as a launch pad for the coming invasions of Syria and Iran.

It is certain that any reports coming out of Iraq accusing occupational forces of being behind car bombings will be brutally censored.

The Pentagon admitted before the war that independent journalists would be military targets and since then we've seen more journalists killed in Iraq over two and a half years than the entire seven year stretch of US involvement in Vietnam.

In many cases, such as that of Mazen Dana, an acclaimed hero who was killed after filming secret US mass graves, journalists are hunted down and executed because they record something that the occupational government doesn't want to reach the wider world.

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena's car was fired upon and an Italian secret service agent killed after Sgrena was told by the group that kidnapped her that a threat to kill her if Italian troops didn't pull out of Iraq wasn't made by them. This means that Rumsfeld's Ministry of Truth in Iraq is putting out false statements by fake Jihad groups to try and maintain the facade that the resistance is run by brutal terrorists under the direction of Al-Qaeda/Iran/Syria or whoever else they want to bomb next.

Every high profile kidnapping brings with it eyewitness reports of white men in suits and police carrying out the abductions.

Many will find it hard to believe that ordinary soldiers would have it in them to carry out such brutal atrocities. The people carrying out these acts are not ordinary soldiers, they are SAS thugs who have been told that they have to be 'more evil than the terrorists' to defeat the terrorists. This is how they morally justify to themselves engaging in this criminal behavior.

We will update this story as and when new developments take place.

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Be the media and force these “dark operations? into the public mind and let’s end imperialism.


Were the British Soldiers Engaged in Counter-Insurgency Operation in Basra?
By: Yamin Zakaria on: 20.09.2005 [19:25 ] (543 reads)

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Were the British Soldiers Engaged in Counter-Insurgency Operation in Basra?

For certain, the ‘free’, ‘independent’ and embedded Anglo-US mass media would have tried to spin the evidences surrounding the events in Basra to suit the interests of their governments. However, in this case it was too late, as the facts seemed to have already been reported by various other media outlets. Let us examine what cannot be denied, on the basis of what has been reported and corroborated by the Iraqi police and Interior Ministry officials, who are allies of the coalition forces.

a) British undercover soldiers were on a mission wearing traditional Arab dress, driving a civilian car. What was their mission in Basra, considering that we have hearing how happy and peaceful Shi’ite-dominated Basra is. According to the earlier embedded media reports, resistance is almost negligible in the region.

b) When the Iraqi soldiers (not the Sunni Insurgents), approached the suspicious looking car at a check point, carrying the British soldiers in question, they were fired upon. Clearly, the British Soldiers did not fire in fear but to avoid capture and/or interrogation by the Iraqi police. Therefore, they must have had something significant to hide from the Iraqi police who are their allies in the region. It would be safe to assume that the ‘legitimate’ Iraqi government installed by the coalition forces were also ignorant of the facts; so far they have been quiet about the whole affair.

c) According to the Italian press, when the British soldiers fired, two Iraqi police were shot and one of them died later. But that matters little for the mass media and no one seems to even know their names. The benevolent liberators are not perturbed by such small details of killing an Iraqi here and there! However, the event raised the temperature even more, after the earlier arrests of two prominent members of the Mehdi army militia (led by the radical Shi'ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr), carried out by the British forces.

d) After capture of the undercover British soldiers, they refused to state what their mission was. Iraqis in the mean time had been driving through the streets, with loudhailers demanding that the undercover Britons remain in jail for their crimes. It was then reported through numerous sources that the British forces with Tanks surrounded the prison, where the two British soldiers in question were detained. This led to the protest developing into a riot and pictures were aired showing the British soldiers being attacked by the mob.

e) An Iraqi Interior Ministry official said British forces stormed and demolished the walls of the jail using six tanks and that dozens of Iraqi prisoners escaped. Basra's governor said the demolition was a "barbaric act of aggression".

f) However, Britain's Ministry of Defence disputed that the prison had been stormed, on the contrary, stated that the release of the two soldiers was negotiated. Contradicting the statement of the Basra governor and the numerous reports (point d), that clearly alluded to the British forces action to release the British prisoners sparked of the riot. Why was there no statement from the so-called new Iraqi government?

Whatever the case, the British forces were not happy with two of their soldiers kept in an Iraqi prison, controlled by their Iraqi allies. Inside the prison, their lives were not under any threat. But what the two soldiers concealed as regards to their mission must have really worried the British government. Thus, they moved quickly to get the undercover soldiers out of the prisons by storming it with Tanks and demolishing the walls.

Now, what has been deliberately avoided by the mainstream TV and Satellite stations is the reference [1] to allegation from the Iraqi police, that the British soldiers were planting bombs. Turkish and a few other media outlets also reported that the Iraqi police allegedly found bombs in unidentified cars owned by Britons.

So the facts are, the British soldiers were caught wearing Arab dress in a civilian car, armed, may have been carrying bombs, shot the Iraqi soldiers when approached by them, later the British government in desperation stormed the prison to get them out; clearly they were on a secret mission. It was secret because it would be too embarrassing to conduct openly in an area that is supposed to be the calmest with no insurgency. Given the facts, the only plausible explanation is that the undercover soldiers were engaged in counter-insurgency operations. This incident may well prove to be another Abu-Ghraib, confirming the strong rumours of counter-insurgency operations, particularly the bombs exploding in the markets and mosques, away from coalition and Iraqi forces that would benefit no one, except the coalition forces.

Without a shadow of doubt, a full scale sectarian war would help the collation forces; they would be the primary beneficiary. In fact from the very beginning of the conflict the media has been constantly stoking sectarian tensions, the language employed was crafted accordingly. They kept on repeating minority Sunni Arabs of 20%, who become minority Sunnis of 20%! The majority Shi’ites became the oppressed Shi’ites, as if the hearts of the Anglo-US government bleeds for them! The Arab nationalist Baath party became a Sunni party, as if religion defined it!

But the sectarian conflict failed to ignite, and then the coalition forces engaged in counter-insurgency activities by exploding bombs in markets, mosques and churches. There have been earlier reports and independent eyewitness accounts of coalition soldiers caught planting bombs. However, like hurricane Katrina, this time they were caught and exposed, the world can now see their fork-tongue and insidious nature.

Yamin Zakaria
London, UK



New Oraq and the corrupt class warriors
By: xymphora.blogspot. on: 20.09.2005 [06:56 ] (128 reads)

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New Oraq and the corrupt class warriors
Democracy Now correspondent Jeremy Scahill as interviewed (or here) by Amy Goodman:

". . . some people are calling it 'New Oraq' instead of New Orleans, because of all of the various forces, the Halliburtons, the KBR's, the Blackwaters that are here now, the connections to Iraq are so incredible. The same looters who have raided the federal funds in Iraq, U.S. funds in Iraq, are looting federal funds here in New Orleans."

I've been meaning to write about the electricity situation in Iraq, an issue that has become more interesting as the Bush Administration, in the ultimate example of blowback, attempts to replicate in New Orleans its program in Iraq. Despite throwing billions of dollars at contractors who are friends of the Bush Administration - you all know them, the usual suspects whose names are now appearing in the New Orleans debacle - the electricity and sewage situation in Iraq is essentially the same as the day Bush declared that the American mission in Iraq was accomplished. In stark contrast to their experience under Saddam, who had the destroyed electrical system functioning normally within a couple months after the Gulf War, the people of Iraq have seen no improvement in the utilities situation in the over two years the Americans have been in occupation. Despite the attempt by the New York Times to blame the whole thing on shifty Iraqi subcontractors, the real reasons for the problem are obvious. No-bid cost-plus contracts given to friends of the Bush Administration with oversight, if any, provided by the cadre of Young Republicans afraid to leave the Green Zone, and no political pressure in the United States for any results, means that the incentives are all on never getting the job done, so the gravy train can be stretched out as long as possible. On top of the insanity of the structure of the contracting is the fact that billions of dollars of reconstruction money has simply disappeared, and what money remains is increasingly being diverted to pay for private security firms (more friends of the Bush Administration). The problem is that the intention was never to fix the electrical system, but only to provide another big conduit for money to flow from American taxpayers to certain rich people.

We are going to see an exact model of the Iraq experience in New Orleans. Indeed, the Bush Administration seems to be using the spectacularly failed program in Iraq as its model for the reconstruction of New Orleans. They don't consider Iraq to be a failure as it has succeeded in its goal of wealth redistribution, which was all it was intended to do in the first place. New Orleans will receive exactly the same treatment. The no-bid cost-plus contracts are already being handed out to friends of the Bush Administration. Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent, none of it to be funded by tax increases or savings from withdrawal from Iraq, but all to come from reductions in social programs. In other words, the whole reconstruction program is being set up as a method of transferring wealth from poor and middle class Americans to those wealthy friends of the Bush Administration.


To show how obvious this is, Bush has the nerve to put Karl Rove (!) in charge of handing out the contracts. You know the process: in one hand Rove will have a list of all the bidders on the contracts, in the other a list of all those who have given large sums to Bush and the Republican Party. If your name is on both lists, you win the jackpot! It is rare for corruption to be quite this blatant. The bizarrely inappropriate selection of Rove for this job proves that the Republicans have absolutely no fear of the upcoming election cycles, having the results firmly in hand already with the crooked voting machines.

Just like in Iraq, the ideologues will use the New Orleans reconstruction to further their neo-conservative experiments in drowning government in the bathtub of Lake George. Neo-cons actually love big government, as long as it sticks to its main job of redistributing money from poor people to rich people. Gentrification (i. e., rebuilding housing that the former inhabitants can't afford to live in), tax-free zones (for selected people), removal of 'undesirables' (and in particular, those who might vote Democrat), lifting of oppressive government regulations in things like minimum wages and environmental regulations - the whole neo-con ball of wax - is going to be inflicted on the people of New Orleans. The opposition of the people of Iraq has forced them to back off from a lot of this crap over there, but Americans seem to have little stomach for opposition to anything.

The ethnic cleansing is particularly obvious. After dragging their feet for as long as possible, FEMA finally arrived on the scene and, as we have seen over and over, did everything possible to prevent relief from reaching the people. In other words, they did all they could to make people want to leave. The first real response of the Bush Administration was to send in the buses to drive the poor black people as far away from the city as possible, provide them no way to return, and do all they could to permanently reestablish them in their new communities. Now the army has come in, heavy, and is acting like the army in Iraq, with the additional duty of preventing anyone in the wrong group from sneaking back into the city or wanting to. I know people object to my calling this 'ethnic cleansing', but what the hell are you going to call it?

Bush saw a probable disaster coming, let it happen, delayed any response until the city was uninhabitable, sent FEMA in to make it worse, forcibly removed the population, sent the army in to keep them out (and protect private property, and possibly knock down a few levees to clean out selected areas of town), when things were at their worst tried to blackmail Governor Blanco into turning the city over to him and his martial law, and then starts a neo-con ideological reconstruction project involving the corrupt (Karl Rove!) transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of money to his rich friends. It is very much like the Iraq project, which was started of course by allowing the attack on September 11 to take place. We've speculated a lot about the real reasons for the attack on Iraq, the weapons of mass destruction having been conclusively proved to have been a lie. Israel, oil, geopolitics. Some are speculating that the real reason for New Orleans is the establishment of martial law, or the conditioning of Americans to the FEMA kamps. All of these factors may have roles to play, but the pattern of Iraq-New Orleans reconstruction is starting to suggest that the main reason is the simplest one of all, good old-fashioned corruption. Would Bush destroy an iconic American city for a minimum of $250 billion. You betcha!


The day that Iraqi anger exploded in the face of the British occupiers
By: Helen McCormack on: 20.09.2005 [06:29 ] (494 reads)

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The dramatic events began to unfold just before dawn yesterday, when two British nationals were detained by Iraqi authorities. It emerged later that they were British soldiers. Dressed in plain clothes - according to some they were wearing traditional Arab dress - the two men had been driving in an unmarked car when they arrived at a checkpoint in the city.

In the confrontation that followed, shots were fired, and two Iraqi policemen were shot, one of whom later died. The Iraqi authorities blamed the men, reported to be undercover commandos, and arrested them.

Mohammed al-Abadi, an official in the Basra governorate said that the two men had looked suspicious to police. "A policeman approached them and then one of these guys fired at him. Then the police managed to capture them," he said.

"They refused to say what their mission was. They said they were British soldiers and suggested they ask their commander about their mission," he added.

The Britons were taken to an Iraqi police station, with local officials saying they had been informed that the men were undercover soldiers wearing plainclothes. British military officials, both in London and Iraq, began to investigate the arrests.

As a behind-the-scenes operation by British diplomats charged with negotiating a release for the soldiers started, tension spread across the city, where 8,500 British troops are based. A British army tank was surrounded.

In a clear demonstration that the holding of the soldiers would not be tolerated, tanks moved quickly to encircle the police station. Amid the confusion, a crowd initially of about a dozen, which later swelled to hundreds, soon surrounded the tanks.

Some said it was because the news had spread that British soldiers had been responsible for the death of an Iraqi policeman. One witness said Iraqis were driving through the streets with loudhailers demanding that the soldiers should be kept in the police station, and then jailed.

Violence began to break out in the streets near to the prison. As tempers flared, rocks were thrown, and as tempers flared, the soldiers began to fear that they could no longer contain the situation. What looked like petrol bombs began to fly through the air, and television footage recorded one tank attempting to reverse away from the growing mob as the crowds around the tanks tightened their grip.

Then, flames emerged from the top of one of the tanks. It remained unclear whether it was the vehicle itself on fire, or whether the flames were emerging from military equipment placed on the back of the tank.

One soldier decided to jump. His uniform on fire, the television footage shows him attempting to make his escape, as the crowd pelts him with stones. Another soldier carrying a riot shield stood by the tank. Last night the condition of the soldier was not known.
In the rioting that ensued, British control of the city, in the Shia-dominated south of Iraq, began to look seriously under threat. Two Iraqis were reported dead in the rioting, with 15 Iraqis reported injured, along with three British soldiers.

Meanwhile, frantic negotiations continued to free the men, whose arrest had sent Basra into near anarchy within the space of less than two hours.

Images of the men in captivity were available after television cameramen from Arab satellite broadcasters in the Persian Gulf were allowed in to the jail. Seated on the floor of what looked like a prison cell, their hands tied behind their backs, the men stared directly into the camera lens.

Their clothes - plain T-shirts and chinos - were spattered with blood. One had a bandage wrapped around his head, the other also had a head injury, which had been dressed.

The television commentary, in Arabic, identified them only as Britons. A provincial council spokesman for Basra, Nnadhim al-Jabari, confirmed that they were likely to go before an Iraqi court.

Calm then descended on the city. In London, the Ministry of Defence would give no details about the talks aimed at securing the men, a spokesman saying only that they were continuing "to thrash out with Iraqi authorities what is happening and what can be done".

Then, just before midday, a solution of sorts appeared to have been found. Reports coming out of Basra described how up to ten British tanks, possibly Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, possibly Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles, had stormed the jail where the two men were being held.

Witnesses said that they had smashed down a wall to gain entry. The operation was said to be backed up by helicopters. The witnesses said that up to 150 prisoners took the opportunity to escape through the wall in the confusion.

The British military action was condemned as "barbaric, savage and irresponsible" by Mohammed al-Waili, the governor of the province. "A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it. This is an irresponsible act," the governor said.

The Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that the soldiers had been released, but said that had been achieved by "negotiation". Its explanation is unlikely to assuage the anger on the streets of the southern Iraqi city, which has so far been relatively calm compared with the daily violence that has scarred much of the rest of the country.

As an uneasy peace was maintained in the city last night, all the indications were that yesterday's violence could be repeated today.


Sadr responds:

Why Basra is in revolt against occupation
By: on: 21.09.2005 [04:01 ] (59 reads)

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Why Basra is in revolt against occupation
An Iraqi resistance leader speaks out
Iraqis have accused British special forces of planning a terrorist attack on Basra.

Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani, a spokesperson for rebel Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told Socialist Worker that the two undercover soldiers seized by Iraqi police last Monday were armed with explosives and a remote control detonator.

The soldiers were disguised as members of Sadr’s militia, the Mehdi Army. The arrests sparked protests after British troops backed by tanks attempted to free the soldiers from an Iraqi police station.

Sheikh Hassan said trouble started when a senior Sadr official, Sheikh Ahmad Fartusi, was arrested on Sunday.

“We called a protest outside the mayor’s office on Monday demanding the Sheikh be released,? Sheikh Hassan said. “This protest was peaceful.

“But events in our city took a sinister turn when the police tried to stop two men dressed as members of the Mehdi Army driving near the protest. The men opened fire on the police and passers-by. After a car chase they were arrested.?

Basra, Iraq’s southern oil city, had been held up as a model of successful occupation by British authorities.

But many of the promises made in the wake of the 2003 invasion never materialised.

Discontent has also been building over a policy that favours some tribes above others.

The largely Shia city feared it would be a target of a bombing ahead of an important religious festival. The explosive find sparked rumours that British troops were about to commit an atrocity.

“What our police found in their car was very disturbing — weapons, explosives and a remote control detonator,? Sheikh Hassan said. “These are the weapons of terrorists. We believe these soldiers were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets, and thanks be to god they were stopped and countless lives were saved.?

The arrest of the two soldiers brought discontent to the boil.

“The two men were taken to the police station to answer questions about their activities. That afternoon the British army came in tanks and armoured cars demanding the two be released.

“The police refused as they were considered to be planning terrorist attacks, and as they were disguised as members of the Mehdi Army, the police wanted to know who their target was.

“Thousands of people gathered to defend the police station. British troops opened fire and the crowds responded with stones and firebombs.?

Residents in Basra are now demanding the British authorites answer questions about the activities of the two men.

“Why were these men dressed as Mehdi Army?? Sheikh Hassan said. “Why were they carrying explosives and where were they planning to detonate their bomb?

“Were they planing an outrage so that they could create tensions with other communities? Were they going to kill innocent people to put the blame on Al Qaida, who do not have any support in our city.?

The questions were never answered. Instead British troops returned that night.

“The soldiers drove a tank into the police station and threatened to kill the police officers if they did not hand over the two terrorists,? Sheikh Hassan said. “It is only then, to save any further loss of life, that the men were released.?

Sheikh Hassan appealed to the British people to demand the withdrawal of all troops.

“We have only the warmest regards for the British people, who have protested in their tens of thousands against the occupation of our country.

“We fear than the British government plans to send more troops. We appeal to the British people to oppose this as it can only deepen our problems?


Real "explosive" news...
by USAn on 20.09.2005 [13:46 ]
Was this: "The two Britons that were arrested had in their possession explosives and remote-control devices,..."

Now, what in the world would what would these friendly neighborhood imperial occupiers be doing with remote-control bomb materials - while working undercover as well? Aren't all these surreptitious anti-Shia bombs the work of that "Zarkawi" and those "Sunni terrorists"????

The truth is coming out...
by Xi on 20.09.2005 [14:28 ]
iNow, what in the world would what would these friendly neighborhood imperial occupiers be doing with remote-control bomb materials.i

How long will the fictionous 'Zarkawi' continue to be trotted out? It is now becoming clear to the entire world who has been behind much of the sectarian-aimed bombing.

The brits in Basra are about to have their asses handed to them, and its none too soon.

From a British Newspaper?
by Xi on 20.09.2005 [14:22 ]

I think it is highly significant that this article is appearing in a British newspaper. Just the title alone would make one think that its source was perhaps the Arab media.

The tide is turning and the people of the US and UK are finally coming to understand the enormity of the crimes that have been committed in Iraq in their names. Once the ball gets rolling, its only a matter of time before a full pull-out is ordered for all troops foreign to Iraq.


And now the best report of the war from Robert Fisk::

Turning a Blind Eye to Murder and Abuse in Basra. Nature and Man Conspire to Expose the Lies of the Powerful.
By: ROBERT FISK on: 25.09.2005 [08:02 ] (296 reads)

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"Water is your friend" was the advice regularly given to a truly good friend of mine here in the Middle East. The speaker was a member of the One-Thousand- Litres- a-Day-Keeps-Dehydration-at-Bay Brigade, although I have to say that the Arabs take a different view. After generations of sword-like desert heat, they take tea in the morning, endure an oven-like day without sustenance, and then sip another scalding tea at dusk. The less you drink, the less you perspire, the less you need to drink. In a land with few oases, it's a craft worth learning.

The problem is that today, water is not our "friend". It comes smashing into New Orleans; it drowns the nursing home elderly in their baths; it assaults Galveston and Houston; it kills millions in Bangladesh, dozens in Andhya Pradesh; it floods south from the great ice-cold green bays of the Arctic; it carries 19th-century houses through the centre of Prague, and it bubbles into the bars of English pubs from the ancient, overflowing river-banks of Kent. Water has become our enemy.

There is a beautiful, delicate, inevitably cruel irony at the way in which nature and man conspire to uncover the lies of the rich and powerful. Just as President Bush's disastrous environmental policies are now destroying the southern coast of the United States--yes, it is global warming that causes this massacre of the innocent--America is preparing to receive its 2,000th dead soldier back from Iraq. No bodies, please--let's not dishonour the dead of New Orleans by taking photographs of them. Nor the American dead of Iraq by taking pictures of their coffins en route home. Death, as usual, is what happens to other people.

But the photographs of British soldiers, cowled in fire, hurling themselves from the top of their Warrior fighting vehicle in Basra this week, were the final iconic images of our uniquely British folly in Iraq. Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara's henchmen have concocted another monstrous lie about all this, of course. The Iraqi policemen who protested at Britain's destruction of their prison--and the crowds who set fire to the Warrior (and its crew) — were only a few hundred people. Who were we to suggest they represented the millions of Shia Muslim voters who solemnly went to the polls last January? Ho, ho, ho. Yes, and who were we to suggest that the "few hundred" Saddam "remnants" identified as troublemakers in mid-2003 represented a Sunni insurgency? And who were we, back in 1971, to suggest that a few hundred stone-throwers in the Falls Road and Short Strand in Belfast represented "the vast majority of ordinary peace- loving Catholics" in Northern Ireland?

I speculated some weeks ago as to when the bubble will burst. With the insurgent capture (and massacre) of a US base in Iraq? With the overrunning of the Green Zone in Baghdad? Every day now brings Vietnam-style evidence of our collapse. The Americans batter their way into Tal Afar and kill, so they say, "142 insurgents". Get that? US forces manage to kill 142 of their enemies, not a single innocent man, woman or child among them!

But let's go back to the Brits. Remember how we were told that our immense experience of "peace- keeping" in Northern Ireland had allowed us to get on better with the Iraqis in the south than our American cousins further north? I don't actually remember us doing much "peacekeeping" in Belfast after about 1969--the rest, I recall, was about biffing the IRA--but in any case the myth was burned out on the uniforms of British troops this week.

Indeed, much of the war in Northern Ireland appeared to revolve around the use of covert killings and SAS undercover operatives who blew away IRA men in ambushes. Which does raise the question, doesn't it, as to just what our two SAS lads were doing cruising around Basra in Arab dress with itsy-bitsy moustaches and guns? Why did no one ask? How many SAS men are in southern Iraq? Why are they there? What are their duties? What weapons do they carry? Whoops! No one asked.

What we were actually doing to "keep the peace" in Basra was to turn a Nelsonian "blind eye" on the abuse, murder and anarchy of Basra since 2003 (including, it turns out, quite a bit of abuse by our very own squaddies). When Christian alcohol sellers were murdered, we remained silent. When ex-Baathists were slaughtered in the streets--including women and their children, a civil war if ever there was one--our British officers somehow forgot to tell the press. Anything to keep our boys out of harm's way.

But this is what has been happening in Basra. As the locally recruited police force (paid by the occupation authorities) sucked into its ranks the riff-raff of every local militia--as it did in Sunni areas to the north--we ignored this. Even when an American reporter investigating this extraordinary phenomenon was murdered--almost certainly by these same policemen--the British remained silent. We were "controlling" the streets. In Amara--by awful coincidence, the very same Kut al-Amara with whose name, I'm sure, my favourite prime minister will soon be ennobled--British soldiers now operate just one heavily armed convoy patrol a day. That is the extent of our "control" over Amara. Now we are reducing our patrols in Basra. You bet we are.

And a familiar bleat is rising from the sheep pen. "Outside powers" are interfering in southern Iraq. Thirty-five years ago, it was the Irish Republic that was assisting Britain's IRA enemies. Now it is Iran that is supposedly urging the Shia of Basra to revolt. In other words, it's not our fault--yet again, it's the bloody foreigners what's to blame.

Alas, it is not. Iraqis do not need Iranian weapons or military expertise. Their country is afloat with weapons and they learned how to make bombs--in their millions--during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Half the Iraqi cabinet are linked to Iran--have the British forgotten that their honourable Dawa party government officials in Baghdad worked for the very same Dawa party that blew up the US and French embassies in Kuwait, and tried to kill the emir in the late 1980s? That these same gentlemen belong to a party which was effectively controlling the western hostages in Beirut during this same period?

No. All this is forgotten. Blame Iran. Later, no doubt, we'll blame those ungrateful Iraqis and then we'll declare victory and do what Defence Secretary John Reid claims we won't do: cut and run. And there again, we're in danger of forgetting the origin of such things. Faced with the imminent destruction of his vessel, a sailing ship captain would cut his anchor or sail ropes to allow his ship to move away from rocks or from being overwhelmed by the waves. Cutting and running was often an eminently sensible thing to do. But not for John Reid. We're not going to cut and run. We're going to be blown on to the rocks.

Robert Fisk is a reporter for The Independent and author of Pity the Nation. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's collection, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. Fisk's new book, The Conquest of the Middle East, will be released this fall


Please spread this news everywhere and the truth will come out all the faster! jamie

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