Category Archives: Iraq War

The Farcical “War on Terror”

Reports are now  coming thick and fast  from  both the Middle East  and from the  United Stated sources of the  role the United States  and its key allies have played in  first  establishing and  then maintaining   ISIS, Al Qaeda and numerous other salafist  affiliates, under the  flimsy  guise of them being  “moderate” jihadists.

As one more instance of this support, the  recent  debacle of a defeat for Iraqi troops against  ISIS in Ramadi points to  the clear decision by United States  forces not to  conduct  airstrikes  against  ISIS  positions, when there was every   opportunity to  do  so., and the US recommendation to  the Iraqi government not to deploy Shi-ite militias in Ramadi The United States is now  aggrieved that Iranian military players are now directly involved in  the re-taking of Ramadi for the Iraqi government .

The consistent intent  for   United States policy  since the Iranian revolution in1979,  has been to  contain and eliminate any potential threat from Shi-ite groups that might negatively impact on the US supported Persian Gulf (Sunni) dictatorships. The Gulf State dictatorships have consistently demonstrated  their unconditional  support  and loyalty  for  US and Israeli  imperial  policies  in  the region; unlike the Shi-ite  states of Iran, Syria and now Iraq, who  foolishly prefer a path of self-determination for their peoples.

The usual   pack of neocon  psychopaths , with John Bolton  snarling in  the lead, has been  to  attempt to  ramp up the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapon threat, to provide unconditional  support for Israeli genocide in  Palestine and to support   anything , regardless of international law or the rights of humanity, that  will extend the United State’s power internationally. If that means  using delusional  Saudi  and Qatari “princes”  to  find and resource even more psychotic ISIS military leaders,who  believe that  all Shi-ites must  be exterminated;  then so be it.

There is clear evidence of an ongoing policy by  the neocons to destroy secular Middle East  governments ( ie not specifically Sunni  oriented governments) like Saddam’s  Iraq, Libya, Syria, which  can lead  on to the ultimate goal  for the US, Israel  and the Saudis; the destruction of Shi-ite  Iran. The  Saudi bombardment of Yemen’s Houthi movement and all  Yemeni  civilians , is  just  a minor diversion  in  the larger game plan.

The recent public announcement by the US that  it wil  be funding training  and arming  “moderate” Syrian opposition forces to  fight the Syrian Assad regime , is one more step  in this bizarre and farcical journey of creating  monsters to  kill them. As has  been clearly demonstrated; there is in fact no  “moderate” opposition fighters. It is possible that  at  the beginning of the fight against  Assad in the “spontaneous” Arab Spring uprising against  him , that  there were a few  secular   and moderate voices, but they have long gone.  As this Department of Defence report for 2012 clearly indicates,   the US knew well  (even 3 years ago) that  the Syrian opposition  fighters that it supported and continues to  support, were  almost entirely composed of extremist jihadists and salafist ( anti-Shiite and anti  any other non-Sunni sect)

Additional  little snippets of the tight connection between Western governments and Middle East  terrorist  groups can  be  found in Seamus Milne’s account here.  Or the recent post  in  the Levant Report documenting how  the ISIS Leader Omar al-Shishani Fought Under U.S. Umbrella as Late as 2013

But even  in these accounts, Western  reporters are  extremely cautious in ascribing  a direct  linkage between  terror and the West ; one  which  now undoubtedly exists. Note how key Western governments are now happy to pay ISIS good prices for their stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil.

Or note ex-President of  Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai’s view that  the U.S is actively taking a two  sided approach  to  creation and  destruction of jihadist  groups to  serve its power interests.

Time and time again  we are seeing reports in  the mainstream U.S. and U.K. media that  ISIS is here to  stay  for  the long term; how hard it will be  to eliminate them; and really, things are such  a lot better for those people in Iraq, Libya and Syria now that  ISIS and its Western  subsidised offshoots are there.  After all  we have “law and order”-never mind that this “law” is an obscene  psychopathic one  As a “delightful ” example of this  obscene  Western view on  that”Isis isn’t really that bad” -read this article in the U.K. Independent by   Richard Barrett (who) was head of counter-terrorism at MI6 before spending nine years as the co-ordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team.

What  you sow, so  shall  you reap……

 Postscript

A great  article on where all  that wonderful  hardware comes from  that ISIS  uses at  Antiwar.com http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/15/where-does-isis-get-those-wonderful-toys/, which rather begs the question; who is training those little psychopaths in all  this new hi-tech  equipment?

And some additional information from  Andrew P Napolitano  at  antiwar. com brings to  the sunlight  at  least one war equipment  ratline managed by  Secretary  of State Clinton to  terrorists in Libya and Syria .

And from Sibel Edmonds, ex-American intelligence operative; a podcast  on  the role of the U.S. Black-ops community in  establishing and maintaining  various international   terrorist  groups


Links

http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/25/washington-confesses-to-backing-questionable-actors-in-syria/

http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/08/the-us-governments-not-so-secret-support-for-al-qaeda-and-isis/

http://rt.com/op-edge/265474-isis-syria-iraq-rebels/

 

Fighting with the Big Boys

Note: another letter (below) to  my local  newspaper which  funnily enough, was never published..!
I note that  NZ soldiers   are likely to be deployed to  Iraq to  fight the terrorist  threat, and that their first  port of call will be, where else, Saudi Arabia ,the homeland of jihadist wahhabi  extremism, from  where  Saudi billionaires, if not their  tyrannical inherited dictatorship, fund support and train  their jihadists.
Might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers fly there via Qatar Airways, whose “government” is our next good ally in the middle east  also funding jihadist extremists.
 And to  add to  the satirical  mix, might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers spend some time in  the training camps in Jordan,Turkey  and Libya where Western governments have spent vast  amounts  of money  funding  the training and arming of “moderate” extremists to fight our ‘real’  enemies.
Its such a   shame when “our” terrorists get confused and fight us instead!
Postscript

Appendix:

Peace Movement Aotearoa4 March 2015

Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country from Hokianga to Dunedin at 5pm tomorrow, Thursday 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa. The details of each vigil are included below and available online at https://www.facebook.com/events/757364991025571 and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq2015.htm – please share the links, thank you. The details of vigils in other towns and cities will be added to those pages when confirmed.

If there isn’t a vigil in your area, you are invited to gather friends and family at 5pm on 5 March, light a candle for peace, then make your support visible by taking a photo of yourself or your gathering holding the ‘Military deployment in Iraq? Not in our name’ message and posting it on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa The ‘Not in our name’ poster is available in colour at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-col.pdf and in black and white at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-b&w.pdf If you are not a Facebook member, please send your photo to Peace Movement Aotearoa email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘Peace vigil photo’ in the subject line of your message and we will post it for you.

There is also the opportunity to add your name to the Open letter on military deployment to Iraq at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq-ol15.htm

The Funny Little Ways of Western Governments…

(a shortened version of this  post was rejected  as a letter to  the editor of my local newspaper….)

The ongoing media and political  frenzy  about the sudden  emergence of ISIS as the new international  terrorist  threat would be laughable if it were not tragic for those  who  stand in  the path of both  ISIS and  the Western  military “response”.
The reality is that  ISIS, like most of the previous terrorist threats before them, are Western  and  Arabian Gulf state creations.
As with  Osama bin Laden before them (funded if not trained by  the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan) , the members of ISIS have been trained, financed and equipped  by  the US, the UK, France and Saudi Arabia, Turkey   and Qatar to  fulfill  other agendas;  namely  the dismemberment of functioning middle eastern states who  cannot be relied upon to agree to  US demands; eg Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and  Syria .  This  trail  of failed states, brought about first  by Western funded terrorism  and then by Western aerial bombing campaigns, has brought death,  destruction, starvation  and  fear to  their populations  with no  positive  outcome in  sight. While Western governments  will deny their direct  involvement with  ISIS and pretend they  are financing “moderate” islamacists, the reality is that those  men in  the training camps in Turkey and  Jordan  run  by  western governments and Gulf dictatorships, are indeed one and the same men  who  sign up  to  ISIS or who  share resources, kidnapped  people and equipment with ISIS.
See this delightful  CNN interview of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark, who  clearly doesn’t have a clue about anything much at  all..

For Turkey particularly, the opportunity to  both eliminate the Kurdish  threat  within  its own borders using ISIS, whilst   enabling the ‘necessity’ for  ‘humanitarian’ border corridors and no-fly zones  along the Syrian/Turkey border which  can then lead to  further incursions by Turkish  or even NATO  troops into Syria , is a double win for the Turkish  government.
For Israel, actively supporting  ISIS with  bombardment of Syrian government position on the Golan  Heights and  shooting down  Syrian   military  aircraft attacking ISIS military  positions,  furthers their long-term agenda of destabilizing any  Arab (or Iranian) state that  could potentially threaten Israel’s   territorial  integrity at  some time in the future.
For Western governments and their ‘intelligence’ agencies, hyping up  the threat  of ISIS terrorists re-invading the West and blowing up  defenseless white people, is a wonderful  method to  maintain  the level  of fear and hysteria in the public’s mind. and hence the rationale for more and more  “defence” purchases,  and more  surveillance and control of those who  do not abide by  the corporate agenda.  A new “thirty-year war” by  the U.S. is promised against   a rag-tag bunch of psychopaths and mercenaries. The reality is  that turning off the tap  of funding from  Western supported agencies, closing the supply routes and “rat-lines”,  and shutting down  the training camps would turn current ISIS victories into  a rout within  weeks.
 For Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the dream is  the predominance of  the Sunni   Wahhabi  ideology in the middle east  and beyond,  the destruction of  Shi-ite Iran, and ultimately the elimination of the Shi-ite sect .   ‘Perhaps’ ironically,  it is those Shi-ite ‘terrorists’ ;  Syria, Iran,  and Hezbollah who  are actually making the difference in  eliminating the threat  from  ISIS.
This cynical reality is  well-known to  most of the middle eastern public . The destruction of those states and their infrastructure  who  do not  toe the Western party line, and who  have resources than  can  be appropriated by  Western  companies, or who  might possibly threaten Israel’s hegemony in the region at  some future date, is the  grim  reality for the men women and children who inhabit those desolated countries  and who therefore must  be made to  suffer.


Links

The Caliphate for the 21st Century

The video (below) of “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” (another one of the fictional “nom-de-guerre”  names so beloved of Islamic jihad fighters),  shows a  hesitant  youngish  man  delivering in  Koranic verse style the announcement that  he (in all  modesty  appropriate  to a disciple of Mohammed)  is the new caliph of Iraq, Syria and Levant  that  all  must bow down  to.

As the Angry Arab says;  When you bill yourself as a caliph you inevitably raise expectations. And as the Arabic saying goes: ‘the mountain went into labor and gave birth to a mouse’. What a lousy performance. 

While these young psychopaths  have a certain predilection  for violent murder and ignorance, they are definitely not idolised by the vast  majority of Sunni  Muslems around the world.  The sectarian violence, mysoginism   and vengeance they  espouse,  fomented largely through  Wahhabi  funds from  Saudi Arabia and Qatar and with  “special  assistance” from  U.K. and U.S. “intelligence” over the years,  fools few on the Arab street. These young violent men  are simply tools of those who  wish for nothing better than all-out  mayhem, death  and environmental destruction in  middle eastern states that do  not sufficiently support a Western view of who  should control  the world’s resources.

Desperately seeking fame on Youtube, as they behead another  infidel of whatever religious persuasion, they  are like little children given dangerous toys to play  with by  the grownups.

Their “secret” cavalcade of many miles of brand new Toyota’s through  the deserts of Iraq from Syria to  capture key  Iraqi northern towns, was somehow never spotted by  Western spy  satellites. Make no mistake, these are the “moderates”  that  Western governments have been funding to overthrow  Assad’s Syria , and now Maliki’s Iraq, for the past five years. This is a deliberate plan by  Western governments to de-stabilise and overthrow any middle eastern government that  1) doesn’t support the ongoing Israeli  destruction of Palestine and Palestinians, and 2) doesn’t  support the right of the U.S.  to  basically do  anything it wishes to.

It would be amusing if it were not so  sad that these nasty  little psychopaths  in offices in London,  Paris  and Washington who  get others to do  their killing  and torture for them, believe that  this is the way  to a  brave new future;  a “New American  Century“.  Take the former  British  Chief of Defence Lord Richards’ brilliant proposal  to train  and equip  100,000  jihadists   to  take Damascus from  Syrian Government forces, with substantial  Western  air support- (read  collateral  air damage) on the pretext  that this would reduce civilian casualties in  in Syria! . Fittingly,  the great Lord Richards  was also once Nato commander in the  brutal  fiasco  that is  the fourth  Anglo  Afghan War and is now  a senior advisor  to  the  right wing  British  International Institute of Strategic Studies,  and which  strangely enough, supported the US invasion of Iraq and is now  very  anti the current Shi-ite based Maliki government in Iraq.

And of course let’s not forget  the $500 million dollars worth of armaments and training from President Obama and Congress that will  go only  to  the ‘moderate’ extremists in Syria fighting the Syrian  government forces.

Or perhaps note the leaked ( unverified but eminently plausible )  Rand Corporation document advising the Western Ukrainians how to destroy Eastern Ukraine- these guys in  their cosy  little offices in  the city are oh-so-ruthless in  getting others to   murder and torture and destroy on  their behalf ( but only of course where it benefits their bank  accounts).

Links

SYRIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF ATTENDS CT DIALOGUE WITH S/CT BENJAMIN
https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10DAMASCUS159_a.html#efmBraBr6BsHB6RB6UCDN

ANZACS- for King and Country

Every  year in this fair little country of New Zealand, we “celebrate” Anzac Day on 25th  April. We remember our “glorious dead” who  fought in  all  those wars for king and country;  beginning way  back  then  with  the  Second Boer War of 1899 in South Africa, supporting our British  countrymen  in  the British  Empire’s  fight against  the “evil” Boers, to  ensure  South  Africa could become a safe place for English  speaking white men to  colonise and rule over the black man.

Since then we have had the First  World War where 100, 000 New Zealand  men  (and some women) were shipped overseas, out of a total  population of just over 1 million people. 18,500 New Zealanders  were killed in  that  ‘war to  end all  wars’ and  more than 40,000 wounded. Anzac Day  “celebrates” the day  New Zealand and Australian  troops along with  troops from other parts of the Empire,  India, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland,  India, and Newfoundland  as well  as French  forces invaded Turkey   (a German ally) at Gallipoli. IfYeBreakFaith_VictorybondsposterThe “Great War”, as it was once known, was initially at  least, a European  war  to divide up  the spoils of empire, with  each  countries’  soldiers  the cannon fodder for money  and power.

‘Only’ 2799  New Zealand soldiers died at  Gallipoli attempting to  break  the Turkish  defences in  the harsh  hills above the beaches, where 87,000  Turks died defending their homeland. Nothing in comparison to the many thousands killed and wounded  in  the trenches  in Flanders and other parts of France;  machine gunned, shelled and gassed by  the “Hun” -the Germans.

Yet  New Zealand collectively now  glorifies  Gallipoli;  it was apparently (according to later  New Zealand historians who  should know)  our “nation-buildng”  exercise.  Yet after that  first  world war to end all  wars,  every  cenotaph

The Unknown Soldier
The Unknown Soldier

in  every  little town  and city across New Zealand which  named their dead, inscribed  the lines “Lest We Forget”.  In my imagination perhaps , it is ‘lest we forget”  those  who  died for nothing,  the horror,  the stupidity , the inhumanity to man of soldiers at  war;  not “lest we forget” our glorious war dead. Let us not forget  also, those brave conscientious objectors who  also chose to  suffer because of their fundamental  objection to  war.  Let us not forget  either, the many thousands of women and children  who  suffered at  the hands of those damaged men returning from the wars;  the family  and community violence caused  by  the trauma of war  and death.

 

            The Send-off: a Poem  by  Wilfred Owen: -English  soldier poet, 1918

And then  we have the “good war”;  the war  against the Nazis and the Japanese between  1939 and 1945,  where 140,000  New Zealand men and women were conscripted to  fight overseas.  Kiwi soldiers, while comparatively  small  in  numbers, played a significant role in  the European war  against  Germany  and later   against  the Japanese in  the Pacific. Could  that war have been  avoided  without appeasement of Nazi  and Japanese supremacism?  There are many  historians who  say , that  had the terms of  the  Versailles Treaty  not been so  punitive against  Germany , German nationalistic fervour would   never have produced  such  a cancer as the national  socialists. Similarly there are those who  argue that  had the Japanese also been able to  obtain  their  Imperial   “place in  the sun” , Pearl Harbour would never have happened.   Hindsight is a wonderful  thing.

New Zealand’s obligations for self-defence against  the Japanese is  inarguable;  The Japanese were planning to invade New Zealand as part of their Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere,  along with Australia.  The evil  of the Nazis  is also  inarguable and the horrors committed by  them; New Zealand soldiers helped to bring  those horrors to an end.  Ultimately 11,900  New Zealand soldiers lost their lives  in the second world war. However New Zealand is implicated  in the war crimes resulting  from  the bombing missions undertaken  by  the Allies against  German dams   and the firebombing of Dresden.  And, we might  ask, why  weren’t we opposing the Japanese in their 1937-1945 horrific  occupation of China prior to  Pearl Harbour in December 1941?

New Zealand’s role in wars since the second world war has (aside from  several  small  UN peace-keeping missions) been less than exemplary.  4,700 New Zealand soldiers fought  in Korea  between 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953, with 49  men  killed in  action. New Zealand  (under U.N. auspices but without Russian attendance at  that  security council  meeting ) was a party to  the genocide committed largely by  the Americans carpet bombing  every North Korean  town and city over that period.

Fighting as part of ANZUS, New Zealand enthusiastically  supported the American  pretext  for invading Vietnam from  1963 to  1975   ( supposedly to halt the insidious spread of Communism  across Asia), while the New Zealand national  government  supported the  bombing by  the U.S. of  cities and towns across Vietnam  Laos and Cambodia, causing more than  a million deaths.  37 New Zealand  soldiers were killed in that  war and many more  afflicted by  the  impacts of “Agent Orange”, the chemical warfare “defoliant” sprayed by   U.S.  planes  over the jungles and hamlets of  South  Vietnam.

Once again  supporting the U.S., New Zealand  inserted a small  number of troops into  southern  Iraq  near Basra during the second Iraq War.  While for most of its service there, NZ troops were confined to base, it is highly likely that  NZ troops were  well aware of  the  wide-spread  torture and murder of Iraqi  civilians in  that  area by  British troops . New Zealand  is,  by  its support of that  war,  also implicated in  the deaths of  the  hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who  died as a result of a war  based on  the pretext of Saddam’s  non-existent  “weapons of mass destruction.”

New Zealand continues its commitment to “freedom  and democracy” by  supporting the Americans in Afghanistan.  Initially promoted to the public as an incursion  to eliminate Al Qaeda as a threat   after the 9/11  bombing of the New York  towers,  the war has dragged on since its inception in  2001 and morphed into  the elimination of the Taleban  (an Afghan  Pashtun  tribal  entity with  previous links to Al Qaeda). New Zealand troops have likely been  involved in capturing Taleban  fighters and sending them  to  the US Bagram air base in Kabul  for torture. A rather dubious analysis suggest that  up  to  20,000  civilian  casualties alone have been  killed in  Afghanistan  since 2001- the mortality  figures for direct  war impacts are likely to be  in  the many many thousands. ( the U.S. doesnt “do  headcounts” anymore.)

New Zealand continues to  be a key  member of the U.S. run  western  intelligence community “Five Eyes”, which   attempts to  maintain the U.S state’s power and control  over most of the world, and while NZ has  publicly been  cast  in  the shadows of ANZUS because of its nuclear-free stance, it in  reality maintains an  extremely  active role.

However , even with  the huge  amount of information provided  by  internet   and phone tapping  provided to  “Five Eyes”  intelligence ‘experts”, it is clear  that  those security operatives have over the years since the second world war, acquired a farcical  level  of incompetence and  lack  of intelligence and judgment. Their wild misinterpretation of other  states’  and non-state entities’ intent and motives has resulted in  massive  suffering to  millions of  human beings. It is highly likely that  incompetence is not going to be changing any time soon.

In summary,  ANZAC Day;  that  tribute of poppies and wreaths and guns , celebrates not  our glorious dead, but  the utter farcical  futility of war and the greed of the powerful.

At  the time of writing,  the jingoistic   drumbeats of war  are sounding to  fight once more   the Russian  threat  against  “poor little”  Ukraine.

As the late and great  Pete Seeger sang: When  will  we ever learn?

 

Living by the Sword….

“Those who  live by  the sword,  die by  the sword”

Through its abrogation of key  elements of the Geneva Convention by  using torture, genocide and illegal  incarceration of people it thinks could  do  things to US interests that  the state might not  like, the US has  progressively negated key  aspects of the constitutional  protections for its own  citizens.  In addition, professional  bodies such  as the American Pyschological  Association and the American Medical  Association, in  tacitly    legitimizing torture and murder ( drones or otherwise)  and  random  indefinite imprisonment of people the state thinks might be a risk  to the US, have  destroyed their legal   and moral authority .

The Orwellian  legal  and  state  double-speak ( what is evil  is good,  what  is war is peace) by  US political  and legal figures,  is now accepted as truth by  the vast  majority of US citizens and many in the Western world. Many US citizens are consequently  no  longer able to differentiate between right and wrong/truth  and lies.

The US has been fighting wars to  protect  its “interests” (read  companies) for most of its existence, beginning with the genocide of the North American  Indians who  populated much of North America at  the time of European settlement and leading to the wars with Spain in  the Carribbean  and the Philippines in  order to  develop  an empire to exploit , as with  other Western powers of the time.

But it is really only in the years after the end of Second World War in 1945, that the power of the corporations in the US has finally overturned all  semblance of  human rights,  decency  and fairness  in the US . These wars, and particularly the  genocides committed  in North KoreaVietnam, Cambodia and Iraq, have  lead to  no  negative national consequences for the US ,   and have thus  resulted in those in power in the US believing  that they are immune to the  impact of the death  and destruction they inflict on others.

Moreover, over those intervening 65 years of constant war, the US has  steadily become a “war machine”- its raison  d’etre being to fight and kill others for what they have. Each marine that returns home brutalised  and scarred by  the reality of war;  each  soldier who  returns to  his home town finally knowing the truth of what  “the greatest nation in  the world ” really stands for, is a time bomb of death  and destruction to  that community. A culture of violence as the solution to  anything  has now  totally permeated every  aspect  of American  society.   To  quote another of those biblical  aphorisms -“what ye sow, so  shall  ye reap”

And with each  war, the targets of American state violence  become ever more  aware of the complete and viciously laughable  hypocrisy of the United States; it’s  Presidents mouthing  ghastly platitudes of the US being the ” shining city on  the hill” , the exemplar to  the world of peace and democracy,  while raining terror and death on the helpless. For the families and communities of the  millions killed by  the US military since the second world war, there remains no  justice – no resting place.

What is now desperately  needed is an international  legal body  that is truly impartial-no longer  controlled by those  rich  and powerful states who commit the the vast majority of the  terror and death  they so  loudly condemn in others.  An international  body  that  seeks justice, not vengeance,  that  ascribes appropriate  compensation to those whom  the powerful have done injustice to.

When every war-mongering state, not just as is currently ,  its head of state,  knows that, regardless of the colour of the skin of those in power, the  warring state will be punished with heavy financial reparations for the evil  it has done- only then  will the incentive for war   rapidly recede and justice prevail.

Fear and Torture in Iraq

A ‘restrained”  news article  by  Ian Cobain in  the Guardian entitled  “Camp Nama: British personnel reveal horrors of secret US base in Baghdad” explores in a little detail,  what was known to every  “allied’  soldier  during the invasion and demolition of Iraq; that systematic  brutal  torture was ( and in  Afghanistan -’is’) being  used by  the invaders to attempt to  extract information from  Saddam sympathisers , and subsequently Sunni/Salafist insurgents.

What is surprising is not that it occurred, but that now, somehow, British  soldiers are now willing and able to confess their supposedly  limited involvement in  this brutality. The report makes clear that  there was an ongoing method  at a senior military  and political  level in the British  to  firstly, avoid any legal  implications of breaching the Geneva Convention, and secondly to  threaten  or  cajole those who attempted to  speak out.

Perhaps there is some misguided belief by  those in  power in the US and UK that enough time has passed for  these abuses to appear as some historical  anomaly.   The reality is that  both UK and US soldiers are well  trained in  viciousness,  brutality and torture to those who  they  see as “other”- whether its the “commies’ in Korea, “charlie’  in Vietnam,  “gooks” or “towel-heads”;  the language is all  the same- to  de-humanise and legitimise inhuman behavior.

What  might be hoped for now  is that  British police will now immediately round up those military officers and politicians who would likely have been party to  this abuse, and put them before a court of law to  be tried as innocent before being proven guilty for complicity in   murder and torture. Is it  going to  happen?…..yeah right…