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Friday, March 05, 2010

The Costs of 'Humanitarian' Intervention in Iraq

Today's Daily Mail reports:

A high number of children are being born with birth defects in an Iraqi city where U.S. forces may have used chemical weapons during a fierce battle in 2004.
Children in Fallujah are being born with limb, head, heart and nervous system defects. There is even a claim that a baby was born with three heads.

The number of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than the rate in Europe.

The BBC’s John Simpson reported on Thursday from Fallujah that, while there had been no authoritative medical investigation, there was growing evidence of an alarming incidence of birth defects.

A British-based Iraq researcher, Malik Hamdan, told the BBC that Fallujah doctors were swamped by a ‘massive, unprecedented’ number of heart defects and other problems.

Figures from a city doctor from 2003, before the war, showed she was dealing with one birth defect every two months at that time, but was now seeing at least one case a day.

Miss Hamdan said data from this January showed the rate of heart defects among newborns was 95 per 1,000 births – 13 times that of Europe.

Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister has told the Chilcot Inquiry that he thinks the invasion of Iraq was the 'right decision for the right reasons'.


Krakow's New Dragons said...

There was no humanitarian intervention in Iraq.It was an oil grab and part of privatising the Iraqi economy into US hands through the "shock and awe tacts" which have been dealt with Naomi Klein in her seminal The Shock Doctrine that I'm reading now.

The running theme from the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia through to Iraq was the shock tactics of "creative destruction" that the neocon Michael Ledeen, the admirer of Mussolini, promoted.

Klein has a tour de force chapter on Poland as well which endured "shock therapy" after 1990 under Balcerowicz who promoted the idea of using crises to ram through unpopular measures to rewrite history and destroy Solidarity as a union of the Polish people whose consent was never sought on it.

The "shock doctrine" and the idea of "it's time to move on" are being promoted at the microscosmic level in Krakow where quangos and neoliberal corporatism has reduced the Rad Mieijska to middlement between the power of unfettered capital and destroying central Krakow.

I did a TV interview which will be shown here sometime next week

ktvi - Informacje - wydanie trzynaste

This, I'm told, was so good and effective that there is a possibility I will appear on TVN and mainstream Krakow TV for my relentless campaign against rapacious property developers.

So now you'll see and hear me live rather than just seeing my surly mug on the picture on the blog ;))

Neil's comments on the deracination of Budapest were one influence stimulus to take on what has become in Poland a fake choice between parties dominated by money power and his idea of a general coalition of old conservatives, social democrats and POLITICAL liberals is one I endorse.

We must organise everywhere against this new rapacious power from Poland, to Hungary, to Britain. And fight relentlessly to restore a fuctional democracy not run by psychopathological lunatics.

Krakow's New Dragons said...

Errata That ought to have been,

quangos and neoliberal corporatism has reduced the Rada Miejska ( Krakow City Government to middlemen...etc

jock mctrousers said...

" it was an oil grab"

From James Petras's ' Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power'(starting on p. 31):

" A systematic review of the major propaganda organ of the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations's newsletter, 'Daily Alert', from 2002 to September 2007 - 1,760 issues - provides us with a scientific sample of ZPC [Zionist Power Configuration] opinion. On average, each issue contained 5 articles in favor of the war or moves toward war with Iraq and/or Iran. The Daily Alert featured op-ed articles by the major liberal, conservative and Zion-fascist writers and academics which regularly appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph and Times of London, YNet and others. In other word, in the crucial pre-war to post-invasion period, the leading pro-Israel Jewish organizations produced approximately 8,800 pieces of pro-Iraq-war propaganda and circulated it to all its member organizations, every Congress-person, and every leading member of the executive branch, with follow-ups by local activists and an army of Washington lobbyists (150 from AIPAC alone) plus several hundred full-time activists from local and regional offices.
In a comparable survey of the leading Anglo-American business and financial newspaper, the Financial Times, between 2002 and September 2007, regarding Big Oil's policy toward war with Iraq and now Iran, is just as revealing. I reviewed the opinion, editorial and letter pages of 1,872 issues of the Financial Times and there is not a single article or letter by any spokesperson of a major (or a minor) oil company calling for the invasion and occupation of Iraq or the bombing of Iran. There was no oil lobby or grass roots organization demanding that Congress or the Bush Administration go to war in defense of US oil interests. But the fact that the ZPC had been active was visible in the wealth of the FT pages promoting the lie that disarmed and embargoed Iraq represented an 'existential threat' to nuclear-armed Israel, whose army ranks fourth in the world.
A similar comparison of Zionist and Big Oil regarding propaganda for a US military confrontation with Iran reinforces the argument of the centrality of the major Jewish organizations in promoting United States involvement in Middle East wars for Israel. Between 2004 and September 2007 ( 3 years and 9 months) the Zionist propaganda sheet, the Daily Alert, published 960 issues in which an average of 6 articles argued for and immediate or near-future US or Israeli preemptive military attack on Iran, tougher economic sanctions than the Security Council was willing to support, and organized disinvestment and boycotts of Iran. A survey of 1053issues of the Financial Times during the same period (the FT prints 6 times a week, the Daily Alert 5 times) fails to produce a single letter or op-ed article by any representative or spokesperson of Big Oil supporting war against Iran. On the contrary, as was the case with Iraq, major oil leaders expressed anxiety and fear that an Israeli-instigated war would destabilize the entire area and lead to the destruction of vital oil installations, undermine transport routes and shipping lanes, and cancel lucrative service contracts. "

Good, isn't he. Definitely recommend his books:
The Power of Israel in the United States;
Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire;
Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power;
Global Depression and Regional Wars (2009).

I don't consider that Israeli influence is the whole answer. I think Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, in his ' the Political Economy of US Militarism' makes the most convincing case, that it was a combination of the Israel and armaments lobbies - look at the total lack of transparence in accounting for service contracts in Iraq for a start.