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Flashback 1994: The West Targets Iraq Like It does Syria and Iran Today

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English: At the UN, Colin Powell holds a model...

English: At the UN, Colin Powell holds a model vial of anthrax, while arguing that Iraq is likely to possess WMDs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  As the saying goes, those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. There’s also another expression that a sucker is born every day. Even though some of us are quite familiar with these quotes, most of us fail to pay attention to patterns that repeat themselves in history. For instance, many of us don’t realize that the embargoes and sanctions against oil producing nations in the Middle East are keeping gas prices much higher because embargoes severely restrict supplies, which hurt average consumers and destabilize the citizens of those oil producing countries. In reality, the West was never going to lift the embargo against Iraq oil sales. Instead, the West had carefully created a plausible excuse to invade Iraq by putting the economic squeeze on Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi economy to make it weak and ripe for an invasion and takeover. So despite all of Saddam’s efforts to comply with the conditions for lifting the embargo, the West kept moving the goal post (to use an American football vernacular) so that kicking a field goal was almost impossible. Thus, Saddam’s fate was sealed long before 1991, with 1994 being a watershed year (since it was exactly 7 years before the 9/11 attacks in  2001).

Today, in Nov 2013, we have been distracted from the developments in Syria and Iran, so we feel it’s time to revisit just how it came to be that the U.S. and her twin, Britain, decided to target, invade and conquer Iraq through a dual disinformation campaign coupled with a military campaign that provided vague rationale to the American and British peoples for the campaign against Iraq.

IRAQ CRISIS: How Britain & US helped provoke the crisis

The role of the US and Britain in provoking the present crisis and the
role of media propaganda

**********************************

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Many lies are being told about the onset of this crisis. In fact, Clinton
and Blair helped to provoke the crisis by rebuffing efforts to negotiate
an end to the inspection crisis. The critical intervention was their
insistence on 30 October that the Security Council should *not* re-affirm
to Iraq that the oil embargo would definitely be lifted once disarmament
had been verified. This led Iraq to suspect that sanctions would continue
indefinitely even after the UNSCOM process had been exhausted, and thus
contributed directly to the 31 October decision to break off relations
with UNSCOM (though not with the IAEA).

SUMMARY of following newspaper and magazine articles:

>Article 22 of the ceasefire resolution (UNSCR 687) says that
>the ban on oil exports will be lifted once missile, nuclear,
>chemical and biological disarmament has been verified by the
>IAEA and UNSCOM. The US refused to allow the Security
>Council to confirm that this is how the oil ban would be ended,
>and rejected Chinese, French and Russian proposals to re
>affirm the provisions of Article 22. Washington alluded to
>further conditions Iraq should satisfy before the oil embargo
>would be lifted, including accounting for alleged Kuwaiti
>prisoners (missing people who may have been killed on the
>Basra Road at the end of the 1991 war). Britain drafted a letter
>to Iraq which excluded any re-affirmation of Article 22. This
>letter, transmitted on 30 October, led directly to Iraq’s closing
>down of UNSCOM. Britain and the US, therefore, have a
>considerable share of responsibility for the latest crisis.

Iraq withdrew some cooperation from weapons inspectors on 5 August because
of the alleged bias of UNSCOM. Kofi Annan promised a ‘Comprehensive
Review’ of sanctions if Iraq resumed cooperation. On 9 September the
Security Council suspended all routine reviews of sanctions until Iraq
permitted inspections. (A review is the only time that lifting sanctions
could be considered.)

Cropped image of former and deposed President ...

Cropped image of former and deposed President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNSCOM and the IAEA would submit reports on their work on the nuclear,
missile, chemical and biological files. These reports would also spell out
the work that the two agencies judge remained to be done in these four
areas to satisfy the disarmament requirements under UNSCR 687 (1991)
‘while indicating a tentative timetable for this purpose based on the
assumption that Iraq will extend full cooperation.’ The reports should
also include relevant information to substantiate non-fulfilment by Iraq
of disarmament provisions.

The UN DPI press release says ‘On a basis of a review of these reports and
the material submitted by Iraq, the Council would agree on a list of
remaining requirements and demands to be fulfilled by Iraq for the lifting
of sanctions and to establish a reasonable timetable for this purpose.’

Iraq then accused the US of ‘trying to sabotage the efforts of the
secretary general to carry out a review of sanctions’ (Ath-Thawra, the
Ba’ath Party newspaper, 18 Oct.). Agence France Press, reporting Iraq’s
complaints, added that ‘The secretary general has proposed to the Security
Council that a list be drawn up of what work is left on Iraq’s disarmament
and suggested the council satisfy itself with less than 100 percent
disarmament.’ (AFP, 19 Oct., ReliefWeb)

Saddam hanged at dawn (18)

Saddam hanged at dawn (18) (Photo credit: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi)

THE PROVOCATION

The present crisis began when Iraq asked the Security Council for
clarification of the terms of the review. This crucial letter was sent on
30 October – it’s been rather inadequately reported in the Independent,
ignored by almost all the rest of the mainstream press, and covered
accurately (though in parentheses) only by the FT.

‘The Security Council – or rather London and Washington – revised the
Annan paper slightly. In a letter sent back to Mr Annan on 30 October, the
council agreed to the review, but on condition that the burden of proof
fell on Iraq, not on UNSCOM, to demonstrate it was indeed free of all
weapons of mass destruction. The council also referred only very obliquely
to Article 22 of the 1991 Resolution 687 that says that the oil embargo on
Iraq will be lifted as soon as the weapons were indeed gone. The letter,
drafted by Britain, is what triggered Saddam’s decree on 31 October that
stymied UNSCOM entirely. Saddam had some reason for anger – the integrity
of Article 22 is crucial for him.’ (Independent, 13 Nov., p. 15)

Four key points: (1) the burden of proof was shifted to Iraq, not left
with UNSCOM; (2) the crucial letter was drafted by *Britain*; (3) the
letter only ‘very obliquely’ referred to Article 22 of UNSCR 687; and (4)
this letter is what ‘triggered’ the complete ending of cooperation with
UNSCOM (but not the IAEA).

Key point: the ban on oil *exports* is to be lifted once disarmament is
certified – but this does not mean the lifting of restrictions on
*imports*.

‘Baghdad decided to extend a ban on spot inspections after UN Security
Council members agreed to terms for a comprehensive review of sanctions.
The US refused explicitly to commit the council to a lifting of the oil
embargo imposed on Iraq even if Baghdad met requirements to eliminate its
weapons of mass destruction. The US said such a move would have pre-judged
the outcome of the review, but Iraq saw it as confirmation that Washington
would maintain the embargo as long as Mr Saddam remained in power.’ (FT, 9
Nov.)

‘Mr Saddam’s decision [on 31 Oct.] to cripple UNSCOM was triggered by the
US refusal explicitly to commit itself to lifting the oil embargo if Iraq
complied with disarmament requirements – as stipulated by’ Article 22 of
UN Security Council Resolution 687. (FT, 12 Nov., )

The [U.N. Security] council’s ceasefire resolution rules
that the embargo on oil sales – the one sanction that really hurts – will
automatically end once UNSCOM declares Iraq cleared of weapons of mass
destruction. The Americans, reluctant to send a positive signal to Iraq,
refused to let the letter make explicit reference to this provision;
indeed, it pointed to Iraq’s other obligations, such as accounting for
Kuwait prisoners and property. Iraq interpreted this as confirmation of
its long-held – and plausible – belief that, even if it did come clean on
all its weapons, no American administration would lift the oil embargo so
long as Mr Hussein remained in power.’ (Economist, 7 Nov.)

Key points: (1) the US has attempted to widen the requirements for lifting
the oil embargo beyond the clear provisions of Article 22; (2) the
Economist believes that the Iraqi charge is ‘plausible’, ie that the US
will veto lifting the oil embargo until Saddam Hussein has been replaced.

If the government really was interested in a peaceful resolution to the crisis,  it would urge the Security Council to state explicitly that Article 22 still holds, and that once disarmament is verified, the oil embargo will be lifted immediately. Instead, Tony Blair is ‘bending over backwards’ to repel this ‘reasonable demand’.

The government’s war drive only proceeds unchallenged because of the complicity of the mass media. The media are, uncensored, or, rather, self-censored, drowning out the truth with a flood of propaganda. The glints of truth available here and there are buried in an avalanche of lies. The issue of the 30 October clarification is a crucial case in point.

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Fird...

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdos Square after the US invasion of Iraq. Found on the US military website. CAPTION:The statue of topples in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on April 9, 2003. Three years later, Iraqi forces increasingly are taking the lead in securing their country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘That a careful reader, looking for a fact, can sometimes find it, with diligence and a skeptical eye, tells us nothing about whether it was intelligible to most readers, or whether it was effectively distorted or suppressed… The media do, in fact, suppress a great deal of information, but even more important is the way they present a particular fact – its placement, tone, and frequency of repetition – and the framework of analysis in which it is placed.’ (Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, ‘Propaganda Mill: The Media Churn Out the “Official Line” ‘, The Progressive, June 1988)

It is vital that the ‘official line’ on the causes of the present crisis be challenged wherever possible. Lies enable war.

Milan Rai

Voices in the Wilderness

UK 1 Hertford Road

London N2 9BX

phone/fax 0181 444 1605

email cknight@gn.apc.org

https://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/11/14/981114-iraq05.htm 

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Written by voiceoftruthusa

November 9, 2013 at 2:20 am

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