The US, the UK and Iraq: The Hypocrisy Is Breathtaking.
By Harold Pinter, addressing Britains House of Commons
December 13, 2002
GREAT BRITAIN There's an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the town of Drogheda, the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell announced to his Lieutenants: "Right! Kill all the women and rape all the men." One of his aides said: "Excuse me, General. Isn't it the other way around?" A male voice from the crowd called out: "Mr. Cromwell knows what he's doing!"
|British playwright Harold Pinter. Credit: Tristam Kenton / The Guardian (London)|
That voice is the voice of Tony Blair: "Mr. Bush knows what he's doing!"
But the fact is that Mr. Bush and his gang do know what they're doing and Blair -- unless he really is the deluded idiot he often appears to be -- also knows what they're doing. They are determined, quite simply, to control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how many people they murder on the way. And Blair goes along with it.
He hasn't the support of the Labour Party. He hasn't the support of the country or of the celebrated "international community." How can he justify taking this country into a war nobody wants. He can't. He can only resort to rhetoric, clichés and propaganda.
Little did we think when we voted Blair into power that we would come to despise him. The idea that he has influence over Bush is laughable. His supine acceptance of American bullying is pathetic.
Bullying is of course a time honored American tradition. In 1965 Lyndon Johnson said to the Greek Ambassador to the US: "F- -k your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant they may just get whacked by the elephants trunk. Whacked good."
He meant what he said. Shortly afterwards the Colonels, supported by the United States, took over and the Greek people spent seven years in hell.
As for the American elephant, it has grown to be a monster of grotesque and obscene proportions.
The terrible atrocity in Bali does not alter the facts of the case.
The "special relationship" between the USA and the United Kingdom has, in the last 12 years, brought about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia. All this in pursuit of the American and British "moral crusade" to bring "peace and stability to the world."
The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no brains, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all that issues from these orifices is blood.
Blair and Bush are of course totally indifferent to such facts, not forgetting the charming, grinning, beguiling Bill Clinton, who was apparently given a standing ovation at the Labour Party Conference. For what? Killing Iraqi children? Or Serbian children?
Bush has said: "We will not allow the worlds worst weapons to remain in the hands of the worlds worst leaders." Quite right. Look in the mirror chum. That's you!
The US is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons of mass destruction" and is prepared to use them where it sees fit. It has walked away from international agreements on biological and chemical weapons, refusing to allow any inspection of its own factories.
It is holding hundreds of Afghans prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, allowing them no legal redress, although they are charged with nothing, holding them captive virtually for ever.
It is insisting on immunity from the international criminal court, a stance which beggars belief but which is now supported by Great Britain. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Tony Blair's contemptible subservience to this criminal American regime demeans and dishonors this country.
Harold Pinter [www.haroldpinter.org] is an award-winning British playwright and human rights advocate. Reprinted courtesy of the Research and Information Network. PO Box 26119, Isipingo Beach, Durban, South Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten Reasons Why Environmentalists Should Oppose an Attack on Iraq
1. An attack on Iraqi could kill 500,000 people: Most of the people killed will be innocent civilians.
2. War destroys wildlife, disrupts native habitats and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations.
3. Using weapons made with depleted uranium spreads radioactive contamination. These are indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.
4. Bombs pollute. Bombing industrial sites pollutes more.
5. Bombing cant locate or destroy chemical or biological weapons. But bombing can release and disperse them.
6. Fighting a war for oil is not only imperialistic, it is pass -- Oil-based economies will soon be a thing of the past.
7. A pre-emptive attack is an act of aggression. A US attack on Iraq (or any other country) would also constitute a pre-emptive attack on the rule of law and the dream of world peace embodied in the United Nations Charter.
8. Aggression justifies retaliation. Retaliation could come in the form of increased acts of terrorism with the potential use of chemical, biological, and radiological agents.
9. Increased military spending to feed a perpetual war economy is draining funds from critical social, educational, medical and environmental needs.
10. Militarization is eroding Americas freedoms at home. The Patriot Act, by criminalizing legal forms of political opposition to controversial government policies, threatens environmental activism.
This list was authored by The-Edge on December 10 and offered to the San Francisco environmental community for endorsement.
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