On November 7, 2004 the American-led siege of the Iraqi city of
Hospitals, schools, power supplies and water lines were destroyed as the city was dragged to its knees. Reports filed from the area were scant. Most journalists present were embedded with troops and their movements were tightly controlled. Allegations that American forces were using chemical weapons in Fallujah were widely ignored by the mainstream media.
January 2005 a British and an Iraqi civilian were killed just north of
Baghdad whilst working for security contractors Janusian Security Risk
Management Ltd. The employees were apparently riding in a convoy near to the power station they worked at when they were ambushed. Janusian is one firm amongst multitude of private military companies providing armed guard and escort services in
This month, the Iraqi people will vote in elections that will decide their future and their fate. It will be the next stage in their tortuous journey from oppressed people to a free nation. If everything goes smoothly, the elections should signal the beginning of the end of the occupation. The country will have a new government, a new assembly, a new constitution, and a new future.
The elections will be seen as a vindication for those in
On 2 February 2006, Channel 4 News carried extracts from a note describing a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair in the White House on 31 January 2003. The next days Guardian covered the same ground. The information was supplied by Philippe Sands to publicise the new paperback edition of his book Lawless World. Sands is a professor of international law at University College London and a barrister in Matrix chambers (with Cherie Blair).
The meeting between Bush and Blair took place at a time when UN inspectors were operating unimpeded in Iraq, but were turning up little by way of proscribed material. As a result, Bush and Blair were at a bit of a loss for a presentable justification to terminate inspections in order to take military action.
Civilian deaths in Iraq are not as a result of the invasion of Iraq or the removal of Saddam Hussein. This was the Prime Ministers extraordinary assertion at the Liaison Committee on 4 July 2006, in response to a question by Conservative MP, Edward Leigh.
Leigh said to Blair :
to which Blair responded:
'Under NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] rules, there is nothing illegal about any state having enrichment or reprocessing technology processes that are basic to the production and recycling of nuclear reactor fuel even though these operations can also produce the high enriched uranium or plutonium that can be used in a nuclear weapon. An increasing number of countries have sought to master these parts of the "nuclear fuel cycle.'
These are words of the Director-General of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram (6-12 April 2006) .
Specifically, on Iran's enrichment programme, he told Reuters on 30 March 2006 : 'Nobody has the right to punish Iran for enrichment. We have not seen nuclear material diverted to a nuclear weapon'.
It could hardly be clearer. By engaging in uranium enrichment-related activities to produce nuclear fuel, Iran is acting within the NPT. And the IAEA has found no evidence that Iran is diverting nuclear material for weapons purposes. In short, Iran is not breaking any of its NPT commitments.
Two of America's savants have uttered pronouncements about the final days of the presidency of George Walker Bush. In his magisterial statement succinctly titled, "Bush's Thousand Days," Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. pointed out that we have just crossed a significant date, for now less than one thousand days remain of the beleaguered Bush presidency. Schlesinger raises grave issues facing the deeply unpopular president. In his analysis of "The Passion of George W. Bush," Sidney Blumenthal dubbed this darkening period the "endgame." Taken together, these two essays present a disturbing image of a presidency in the throes of decline and desperation. These two essays urge us to consider the likelihood of a political collapse that could lead to disastrous consequences for America and Britain.
Blumenthal dissected the faded and now tattered dreams of the president and his wunderkind, Karl Rove. Gone with the wind is their vision of an Imperial America modelled on the pompous presidency of William McKinley, whose dream of the transcendence of American corporate monopolies and global military hegemony was thrown into the incinerator by FDR when he re-wrote the American social contract in the first one hundred days of the New Deal.
As a fragile ceasefire holds in