December 22, 2007
If the scale of the unimaginable tragedy the British have wrought in
Ironically, Iraqi women were photographed throwing sweets at the forces on December 16th's Sunday 'handover' of the Iraqi city to Iraqis. The sweets and flowers promised by the CIA backed, convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi and the National Accord's to the invaders, transpired, absolutely predictably, to be rocket propelled and hand grenades, improvised explosive devices and ambush by varied imaginative booby traps and weaponry.
Gordon Brown, of course, again announced a troop draw down on 8th October this year, after they had (also predictably) lost Basra and already left. There is something about 'October surprises' that herald disasters.
An early spectacular British defeat was the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854, an ill conceived maneuver at Balaclava in during the Crimean war, with the losses leading the Russians to speculate that the troops must have been drunk to have contemplated such a move. It was a black day for Commanders and politicians too, the 'Basra' of the Eastern front, an adventure of which French Marshall Pierre Bosquet commented: 'C'est de la folie' ('it's madness'.)
In context, should anyone doubt the absolute disregard of parliamentary 'democracies' for the lives of their own citizens, yet alone other humanities, expendable for oil, gas pipelines, minerals, metals, gemstones, one only has to consider yet another October stunt. On the weekend of October 18-19, 1980, a former and future CIA head, met with Iranian officials in
'The Republicans were terrified of an October Surprise--a move by the Carter government to free the hostages before the vote. So Bush (who became) Reagan's vice-presidential candidate--and Casey were dispatched toto offer the Iranians a covert deal to keep the Americans in chains until Reagan was safely in office. The proposed payoff? A newly-elected Reagan-Bush administration would supply Khomeini's military with a secret supply of American weapons.' ( See: 'Speak Memory', Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, 9th September 2002.)
Another cynically manipulated October occurrence was Iraq's 2002 referendum, where Saddam, predictably, garnered little short of 100% of the votes, in his favor. The American and British administrations notched it up as another reason for regime change, these people needed liberation from questionable vote manipulation. No one should know better about alleged vote fixing than the Bush administration, from dimpled chads, to excluded likely Democrat voters, to accusations of eminently adjustable vote counting machines. In post-invasion
So what October surprises have the British left for the people of Basra? The ancient, battered, but still heart-wrenchingly beautiful (B.C., - Before 'Crusade') '
The have left fundamentalist militias they either brought in with them, or against whom they failed to control the borders (and then blamed the Iraqis.) They have confined women to their homes at best and to death, often by beheading, for even wearing makeup, at worst. Britain's finest have returned secular women to the equivalent of the burkha they were so keen to free them of in
They have taken a town, where the worst harassment a woman walking alone, through streets, by the canals, or the beauty of the Shatt Al Arab would suffer, was small, bare foot boys, selling dates, citrus fruits, sweets, who stuck like glue until they had beguilingly somehow persuaded you to buy the whole lot (then they would be back with more.) The embargo's children, providing for their families, instead of aiming to be top of the class. and America's victims.
'I came to rid Basra of its enemies, and I now formally hand Basra back to its friends,' Britain's Major General Graham Binns said, before signing documents giving Iraqi forces operational control of the province, which holds most of Iraq’s proven petroleum reserves. Before Britain's invasion , Basra had few 'enemies', just the sort of policing issues found in any city. He has handed it, in fact, also to police and security forces riddled with Basra's enemies. The British being unable to speak the language, culturally clueless, know not from where their recruits have come -or if they are even Iraqis at all. They have 'handed back' their rubble and mass graves, in a city bleeding from lack of essential services, its children seeping away from malnutrition and lethal diseases resultant from the killer water supply the
Seldom has: 'We gave them a wasteland and called it peace', been more appropriate.
No better example of British depthless floundering , was fellow speaker, Muwaffaq Al Rubaie, Iraq's 'government security advisor'. 'The security of Basra is one of our main responsibilities. I address, directly, the governor, the general commander of the security forces in
So unphased by the lynching of Iraq's legitimate President and the horrifying scenes around his body, Rubaie/Shaboori responded: 'This is the tradition of the Iraqis - when they do something they dance around the body and they express their feelings' - a ' tradition' no Iraqi seems to be aware of. Does General Binns know that Iraqis joke that the dominant language in the 'Iraqi Ministries' in the Green Zone is Farsi (and indeed say many Iraqis, in their Embassies abroad , along with Kurdish, not Arabic.)
The British stole even the myths and legends from
What else has Britain's illegal invasion and occupation contributed to? A snapshot : 2.4 million internally displaced; 2.2 million fled (UNHCR) 1.1 million dead (Just Foreign Policy) 3 million wounded ('a conservative estimate') 4 million in need of emergency aid (ICRC) 5 million orphans (Iraqi 'government' figures.) As the tireless Dahr Jamail writes: 'Iraq’s population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead.' Is this genocide, a holocaust, deliberate de-population, or will the usual suspects just mess around with semantics? 'What we have done in
Basra's dead have been hard to enumerate (but then the British, historically, were always better at keeping the lid on atrocities for a while. Not 'Perfidious Albion' for nothing.) However,
There have been a number of kidnappings (including ones the West noticed, like Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley. Iraqi ones, shamefully, rarely are, in their uncountable numbers) where the request has been to release Iraqi women prisoners (usually held by the occupiers as a bargaining chip for men in the family - totally illegally.) The word was that, as the US denied they held any women , they had in fact transferred them to British custody in
'Aye, son', said his father : 'That's because God would never trust the British in the dark'.
Meanwhile, Ann Clywd MP (who for years has been dubbed 'Mrs. Talabani' by many) Blair's formerly silent 'human rights' advisor on
As George Orwell (real name : Eric Arthur Blair) spins in his grave, the other Blair is reinvented as 'Middle East Peace Envoy' and reiterates he has no regrets. He knows 'it was the right thing to do,' and 'I'd do the same thing again'. The terminal patients that are Gaza and
The joys of Eid Al Adha escaped Basra and
In a BBC Panorama programme, aired on 17th December, the night before Al Ahda, presenter Jane Corbyn asked a woman in Basra, who had returned to after thirty years, after the fall of : 'What have the British left you?'
'Nothing', she replied : 'Just misery.'
And in a December surprise, three days before
Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot