The lies of Theresa May - Yemen, Iraq and Palestine
|The bodies of dead Iranian solidiers - killed in an Iraqi gas attack - the chemical weapons in this case were supplied by the West|
Was this the same national interest that led to the turning of a blind eye to Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in the war against Iran? Or the use by Britain and America of depleted Uranium shells in the first Gulf War and in Iraq in 2003? Or the use by Israel of White Phosphorous in the attack on Gaza in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9?
Theresa May’s concern for the children of Douma is of course in sharp contrast to her silence over the children of Yemen, thousands of whom have died in the Saudi attacks on that country. But given that May’s government is busy selling the Saudis the weapons to murder civilians in Yemen it is no surprise that she has kept silent on such matters.
|Bodies of victims of alleged gas attack in Douma last week|
By what logic does the British government extend its sympathy to those killed in Syria whilst supplying the weaponry to kill far more children in Yemen? The use of chemical weapons by any state or group is to be condemned without reservation, but so is the deliberate bombing of civilian targets.
The use of chemical weapons by Assad, even if it proves to be true and that is by no means certain, is a pretext for the bombing. The United States, Britain and France are unhappy at the victory of Russia and Assad in the Syrian civil war. This bombing is a means of expressing their displeasure and signalling that they are not yet finished interfering in Syria. Macron has stated that he has persuaded Trump not to withdraw US forces from Syria. That is the real purpose of the bombing.
We shall see who are the treacherous creatures in Labour’s Parliamentary Labour Party prepared to back May over this. The names of these MPs should form a list of the highest priority of MPs for constituency activists to deselect.
Below is an excellent article by Robert Fisk in Thursday’s Independent. A pity that the once-liberal Guardian isn’t capable of the same.
I have also included an article, also by Robert Fisk nearly 6 years ago on Syria and chemical weapons. Not much has changed in that time except that Assad is now nearer to winning the civil war.
|Result of Saudi airstrike in Yemen where 60% of civilian casualties caused by Saudi bombing|
Theresa May gears up for war in Syria, we should remember what hypocrites we
are about chemical warfare in the Middle East
· Thursday 12 April 2018 09:15 BST
Oh, the hypocrisy of it. The ignoble aims. The distraction. The outrageous lies and excuses.
I’m not talking about America’s tweet-from-the-hip president and his desire to escape from the cops’ raid on his lawyer’s office – there’s a Russian connection, all right.
And I’m not talking about his latest sleaze. Life with Melania might not be great at the moment. More distracting to sit with the generals and ex-generals and talk tough about Russia and Syria.
I’m not talking about Theresa May, who wants to step out of the Brexit ditch with any distractions of her own: Salisbury attacks, Douma – even Trump. So Trump telephoned Macron, when the poor lady thought she’d won his hand. What is this nonsense?
Macron has now hitched his own wagon to the Saudis against Iranian “expansionism” – and no doubt arms sales to the Kingdom have something to do with it. But how sad that the desire of young French presidents to act like Napoleon (I can think of a few others) means that they devote themselves to joining in a war, rather than pleading against it.
|Mad Dog Matthis - Trump's Defence Secretary|
Now we have our spokespersons and ministers raging about the need to prevent the “normalisation” of chemical warfare, to prevent it becoming a part of ordinary warfare, a return to the terrible days of the First World War.
This does not mean any excuses for the Syrian government – though I suspect, having seen Russia’s Syrian involvement with my own eyes, that Putin might have been getting impatient about ending the war and wanted to eradicate those in the last tunnels of Douma rather than wait through more weeks of fighting. Remember the cruelty of Grozny.
But we all know the problems of proof when it comes to chemicals and gas. Like depleted uranium – which we used to use in our munitions – it doesn’t, like a shell fragment or a bomb casing, leave a tell-tale hunk of metal with an address on it.
When all this started with the first gas attack in Damascus, the Russians identified it as gas munitions manufactured in the Soviet Union – but sent to Libya, not to Syria.
But it’s a different war that I’m remembering today. It’s the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. When the Iranians re-crossed their own border and stormed into Iraq years later, Saddam used gas on thousands of Iranian soldiers – and civilians, for there were nurses and doctors at the war front.
|Halabja today a Kurdish city where 5,000 were murdered by Saddam Hussein and the West|
Funny how we forget this now. We don’t talk about it. We have forgotten all about it. Talk about the “normalisation” of chemical warfare – this was it!
Aleppo before the Syrian Civil War
But in our desire to concentrate minds on Syria, we’re not mentioning the Iran gassings – Iran being another one of our present-day enemies, of course – and this may be because of our lack of official memory.
More likely it’s because of what happened: the institutionalisation of chemical warfare, the use of chemicals by Saddam who was then an ally of the West and of all the Gulf Sunni states, our frontline Sunni hero. The thousands of Iranian soldiers who were to die were referred to on Iraqi radio after they crossed the frontier. The “Persian insects” had crossed the border, it announced. And that’s how they were treated.
|Houthi fighter after a Saudi air strike|
For the precursors for the Iraqi gas came largely from the United States – one from New Jersey – and US military personnel later visited the battlefront without making any comments about the chemicals which were sold to the Iraqi regime, of course, for “agricultural” purposes. That’s how to deal with insects, is it not?
Yet not a soul today is mentioning this terrible war, which was fought with our total acquiescence. It’s almost an “exclusive” to mention the conflict at all, so religiously have we forgotten it. That was the real “normalisation”, and we allowed it to happen. Religious indeed, for it was the first great battle of the Sunni-Shia war of our time. But it was real.
Of the thousands of Iranians who were asphyxiated, a few survivors were even sent to British hospitals for treatment. I travelled with others on a military train through the desert to Tehran, the railway compartments packed with unsmiling young men who coughed mucus and blood into white bandages as they read miniature Korans.
They had blisters on their skin and, horrifically, more blisters on top of the first blisters. I wrote a series of articles about this obscenity for The Times, which I then worked for. The Foreign Office later told my editors that my articles were “not helpful”.
No such discretion today. No fear of being out to get Saddam then – because in those days, of course, the good guys were using the chemicals. Don’t we remember the Kurds of Halabja who were gassed by Saddam, with gas which the CIA told its officers to claim was used by the Iranians?
For this war crime, Saddam should have been tried. He was indeed a “gas-killing animal”. But he was hanged for a smaller massacre with conventional weapons – because, I have always suspected, we didn’t want him exposing his gas warfare partners in an open court.
So there we are. May holds a “war cabinet”, for heaven’s sakes, as if our losses were mounting on the Somme in 1916, or Dorniers were flying out of occupied France to blitz London in 1940.
What is this childish prime minister doing? Older, wiser Conservatives will have spotted the juvenile quality of this nonsense, and want a debate in Parliament. How could May follow an American president who the world knows is crackers, insane, chronically unstable, but whose childish messages – about missiles that are “nice and new and ‘smart’” – are even taken seriously by many of my colleagues in the US? We should perhaps be even more worried about what happens if he does turn away from the Iran nuclear deal.
This is a very bad moment in Middle East history – and, as usual, it is the Palestinians who will suffer, their own tragedy utterly forgotten amid this madness. So we are going to “war”, are we? And how do we get out of this war once we have started it? Any plans, anyone? What if there’s a gigantic screw-up, which wars do tend to usually produce? What happens then?
Well, I guess Russia comes to the rescue, just as it did for Obama when gas was used for the first time in the Syrian war.
The West's real target here is not Assad's brutal regime but his ally, Iran, and its chemical weapons