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Saturday, August 31, 2013


 

The largest biological and chemical weapons attack of the 20th century...


...was the deliberate murder of a million Iraqs, 500,000 of them children, by the United States Government.

The recent attack in Syria, which is presumed to have been carried out using some sort of poison gas, is described as "the largest use of chemical weapons since the Syrian civil war began." 25 years earlier, an even larger attack launched on Iran by Iraq, with the assistance of the United States, killed thousands of people.

But shortly after that attack, there occurred another attack, this one directly perpetrated by the United States, which killed a million people, half of them young children. Although it's not commonly thought of in the same category, that attack was, in fact, a biological weapons attack, planned and carried out by the U.S. with callous disregard for the lives of its Iraqi victims.

How was this attack carried out? Step one was a war crime all by itself, one of staggering dimensions - the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Iraqi water system during the first Gulf War in 1990-91. Article 54 of the Geneva convention states:

"It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive."
But what followed - a decade of sanctions imposed on Iraq - was even worse, and what caused those deaths. It was the U.N. sanctions, which had as a key component forbidding Iraq from important "dual-use" chemicals, most notably chlorine, which were needed to repair the water filtration system. And those sanctions were kept in place under completely false pretenses since the U.S. government knew well that Iraq had destroyed its stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

And why did this qualify as a "chemical and biological weapon of mass destruction"? Because untreated water contains pollutants and bacteria, which when ingested can (and did) cause epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid. The U.S. had no need to introduce these "chemical and biological weapons" into the Iraqi water supply, it simply had to make sure that what was there naturally could not be removed, and death would follow.

Was this all an accident? An unforeseen consequence of the sanctions? The answer to this is "no," and it was provided by Professor Thomas Nagy of George Washington University back in 1991. Professor Nagy uncovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency which prove unequivocally that the U.S. knew exactly what it was doing, reaching the conclusion (before the policy was put into effect) that "Failing to secure supplies [of essential chemicals for water purification] will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease." In other words, the U.S. embarked on (and carried out) a deliberate policy of genocide in its war against the Iraqi people.

A million Iraqis, half of them young children who are the most vulnerable to such diseases, died as a result of this chemical and biological warfare carried out by the U.S. all in the guise of, as U.S. politicians were fond of saying, "keeping Saddam in a box." Unfortunately for a million Iraqis, the box they were in was a coffin, manufactured in the United States.


Friday, August 09, 2013


 

AP outdoes itself on Syria


Today's AP news headline: "Syrian rebels shell neighborhood close to Assad." But did they?

The first paragraph is certainly frightening news for the Syrian government:

Rockets and mortar shells hit an upscale Damascus neighborhood Thursday where Syrian President Bashar Assad was visiting a nearby mosque, laying bare the ability of rebels to strike one of the most secure areas of the capital despite an ongoing government offensive.
And the next paragraph gets even worse, telling us "At least two rebel brigades claimed to have hit Assad's motorcade on its way to the mosque." But then the story goes to pot. AP, having reported the claim, then says "but this appeared to be untrue. Two opposition figures said the route was hit but not the convoy itself." One does wonder why they bother to report claims which they themselves don't believe, but let's continue reading.

So now the "route" was hit, right? Well, that too is hard to believe from what we read next: "There were no reports of casualties or damage in the shelling of the Malki district." So there was a rocket and mortar attack which not only caused no casualties but not even any damage? Not even a pockmarked street?

Notwithstanding that there is no evidence for this attack on the motorcade other than rebel claims, AP then proceeds to have an opposition spokesman tell us how significant it was, and then to repeat the claim about the attack.

If a mortar falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?


Friday, August 02, 2013


 

Two^H^H^H Ten years before the mast(head)


Yes, today is the 10th anniversary of Left I on the News. Most of what I'm doing now is on Twitter @leftiblog, although I'm still posting longer thoughts here as time and occasion warrant. Ten years ago, this was a lonely left voice in the Blogosphere (and by left I do not mean "liberal," I mean left). Now there are many more voices (although still not enough!). But I'm still standing. Here's to another ten, at which time I hope to be writing about the wonders of the socialist revolution. No, I don't expect to be doing so, but I certainly hope to be!


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