Murder In Iraq And We’re The Killers

I'm seething with anger because of this report by Charles Hanley on The Independent's website:

QUOTE (Charles Hanley)
US troops opened fire today on anti-American demonstrators for the second time this week, during a march to protest about the previous shootings. At least one person was reported to have been killed and 16 wounded.

Can you imagine the uproar in the bourgeois press if Hussein's forces had shot dead protestors two days running before the invasion? There would be outrage, condemnation from all the papers at the violent suppression of a democratic gathering.

But if it's our “brave lads” doing the murdering, we'll just keep quiet about it and give them all fucking medals when they come home.

I am so angry now.

I'm even angrier because tomorrow I will vote in the local elections and what choice do I have? Two parties, allegedly opponents, who both supported the illegal and murderous invasion of Iraq. And a third, the Lib Dems, who initially opposed the war but then caved-in to the wave of jingoism urging all Britons to “support our lads.” What, whatever they do? Whoever they murder, maim and destroy. I will not support the murder of innocents no matter who carries it out.

The illegal occupation must be stopped now, before any more innocent Iraqi lives are sacrificed on Bush and Blair's altar to oil.

QUOTE (Charles Hanley)
“Why? The demonstrators didn't use guns, so why should the soldiers start attacking them?” asked the imam of the Grand Fallujah Mosque, Jamal Shaqir Mahmood.

He said the Americans should pull out of Fallujah – or at least cut back their forces.

“There is no (Iraqi) military presence here. Why is there an American military presence? We just want a reduction in the numbers,” he said.

Outside my window it's a sunny, pretty day. Meanwhile, the government of my country is taking part in the biggest human rights violation currently occurring. Innocent children are being shot to death by US soldiers as Tony Blair gives his smiling endorsement and spews out more wretched fucking platitudes.

24 Hour Party People

user posted image

I finally watched this tonight and found myself getting sucked into it totally.

I vaguely remember Curtis' death but the big music death that year was later, when John Lennon was murdered. I knew Joy Division from listening to Peel and I was very distrustful when I heard a new band was coming along. But I fell in love with New Order, more than JD because they were more electronic. I still remember the first time I ever heard 'Blue Monday' – it was completely shocking. It's old now and has lost that value but back then nobody would have written a drum pattern like that and fused it with that song.

One thing I thought about the film is that it paints Vini Reilly in a bit of an unflattering light. I've got most of the Durutti Column's recorded work and Reilly is a lost genius. He's certainly as much of a guitar pioneer as Fripp plus he's written consistently beautiful music for… well, decades. And poor old ACR – they did do some good stuff too, though you wouldn't know that from the film. No mention of OMD at all… which I thought was a bit of a strange omission.

It is strange, watching events you lived through being re-packaged into a film. I remember buying '24 Hour Party People' on 12″ when it came out and DJing it. No fucker danced! (the same as with Sliver… and Killing In The Name Of… and Tigermilk…) A couple of years later, Shaun Ryder could have recorded his farts and half the lads in Derby would have monkey danced to it. The Madchester scene re-defined the very word “indie”: before it had meant dour, alternative student music like The Smiths and then suddenly it meant baggy beats and every fucker “on one.”

It was almost the film I'd love to see. That film would be a documentary about the post-punk bands and labels that became 80s indie, a brief flowering of true independence that was quickly bought up and made shit/killed by the majors. Postcard, El, Cherry Red, Mute/Blast First!, Creation, Sarah, Subway, Marsh Marigold, Reception, 53rd & 3rd, Sub Pop, Bus Stop, Seminal Twang, 4AD. At one time, over 90% of the new music I was buying was on independent labels like these.

But I'm digressing. I enjoyed the film. The cameos were good and I liked most of the history (though Mick Hucknall claims he wasn't at the Sex Pistols gig). I think it struck the right balance between drama and accuracy.

A Vote For Labour = A Vote For War Crimes?

I've been a Labour voter all my life. As soon as I could vote, I voted for Labour. I swore, when Thatcher was glorying in slaughter after the Falklands, that I'd never vote for another party in my lifetime.

Very soon, Britain will have its local council elections. And I won't be voting Labour.

Why? Because I will not vote for a party which is lead by someone who could be tried as a war criminal. If that statement strikes you as insane slander, consider the following, taken from an article on Al Jazeera:

The majority of international law experts say that the US, Britain and? Australia are acting in breach of global legal instruments in attacking Iraq without a United Nations resolution, and risk facing serious criminal charges.

The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has said that any US-led attack on Iraq was illegal without UN Security Council backing. “In the absence of such Security Council authorisation, no country may use force against another country, except in self-defence against armed attack…This rule was enshrined in the United Nations Charter in 1946 for a good reason: to prevent states from using force as they felt so inclined,” said ICJ Secretary-General Louise Doswald-Beck.

Forget the spin of the mass media, forget the sickening triumphalism of The Sun or the other apologists for the slaughter of babies and children. These sources are as reliable and impartial as Riefenstahl's 'Triumph Of The Will.'

The insanity we are now undergoing is that so little is being questioned by the supposedly 'free press.' Yes, a few articles do slip through, here and there. But where is the mass media criticism of the USK invasion of a tiny, beleaguered country suffering under the twin evils of UN sanctions and a despot installed by the US? When have you seen the following on television?

Ramsey Clark, the former US Attorney General, is also on record as saying that “a military attack on Iraq is obviously criminal; completely inconsistent with urgent needs of the peoples of the United Nations; unjustifiable on any legal or moral ground; irrational in light of the known facts; out of proportion to other existing threats of war and violence; and a dangerous adventure risking continuing conflict throughout the region and far beyond for years to come.”

The above isn't a rant by a raving “peacenik” (though I'd rather be called a peacenik than a warnik anyday), it's by a former US Attorney General! And yes, I know the right-wing US mass media now label Clark as “an extreme left-winger.” I doubt that – would the FBI have let a Marxist reach the position of Attorney General? Clark is merely a man of conscience, something that the fetid, slavering right-wing of US politics has no conception of. For them, Iraqi lives are unimportant. As Howard Zinn recently pointed out:

We will get precise figures for the American dead, but not for the Iraqis. Recall Colin Powell after the first Gulf War, when he reported the “small” number of U.S. dead, and when asked about the Iraqi dead, Powell replied: “That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in.” 

They're “the enemy”, their lives mean nothing. In this mindset, it's obvious that Colin Powell shares a lot with Osama Bin Laden. And yet, we're told Powell is the “moderate” in the US administration. Oh yeah, he's a real kitten!

With all the attention focussed on the Bush regime and its major hitters, there is a danger that Blair will be let off the hook. This must not be allowed to happen. As much as Bush, Pearle, Cheney, Powell or the other US warniks, Blair is directly responsible for the illegal invasion of a foreign country in an unprovoked attack.

Back to the Al Jazeera article:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair received a letter from the Public Interest Lawyers group earlier this year saying: “We, and others, will take steps to ensure that you, and other leaders of the U.K. government are held accountable.”

Canada-based Lawyers Against the War said in its letter dated 20 January 2003 that they “will pursue all responsible government officials on charges of murder and crimes against humanity in both the Canadian and the international criminal courts.”

And consider this quote from an article in the Toronto Sun by Eric Margolis:


A California superior court judge sent me the following quotation, which is well worth pondering:

“We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.”

This declaration was made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson, America’s senior representative at the 1945 Nuremberg war crimes trials, and the tribunal’s chief prosecutor.

If you're reading this and you're a Labour voter, please think carefully this May. Do you really want to vote for the poltical party of an alleged war criminal?

Extremist Gathering A Total Failure, says Geoff Hoon!

London, 13th April: Fewer than 50,000 runners competed in a so-called “marathon” today (organisers claimed 36,000, the police claimed only 1,000, if that. Probably less).

Geoff Hoon commented, “These are obviously extremists whose views are not shared by the majority of the population of Britain. Their actions are entirely pointless and they represent a tiny minority. Therefore, we are going to cover their actions meticulously, devote hours of live television coverage to their “run” and commission sentimental, gushing editorials from all the leading tabloids.”

“Anything to distract the population at large from the fact that Tony Blair is a war criminal and I myself am a murderous, lying cunt.”

Mr. Hoon then proceeded to punch a stranger next to him on the grounds that, “the fucker was looking at me funny, like.”

Q: How many US governments does it take to change a regime?

A: Why change it? Oh sorry, did we say we were going to?

“Members of the Ba’ath Party who were loyal to Saddam Hussein are to be used to restore order in major Iraqi cities as looting and mob violence threatens to undermine coalition attempts to paint military action against the dictator as a success.” (by Kamal Ahmad, Sunday April 13, 2003, The Observer)

Sooo… no WOMD (apart from a couple of cans of flyspray), and now the USK isn’t even going to change the regime. It’s merely going to appoint it’s own leadership of the regime.

Apparently, the regime there is perfectly capable of running the country and maintaining order and is actually mostly decent people. Is this the same regime that a week ago was the scourge of Planet Earth and the most concentrated source of all evil? Whose Republican Guard were likened to Nazi Stormtroopers in their fanaticism and skullduggery?

But now Geoff Hoon says they’re basically all good eggs. So good that he approved of using cluster bombs against them before:

In an attempt to show how Britain and the US were attempting to target the Iraqi regime, Mr Hoon told MPs that bombers would strike at the “Saddam Hussein infrastructure” which maintains the dictator’s power throughout the country. (taken from The Guardian Online)

So, they were such an integral part of Hussein’s evil empire that cluster bombing was necessary but now they’re okay, innit?

Yes, that makes nearly as much sense as the rest of the USK propaganda…

20,000? My Arse!

Sat, Apr 12, 2003 01:30  pm

I'm still knackered from marching round London today but I'd just like to say:


There were way more than 20,000 people on that anti-war march today. Way more. I'm not saying it was as big as the Feb15 one (1.5 million) or the March22 demo (around 400 – 500,000) but I think there were at least a good 100 – 150,000 people there. Shit, in some of the shots I've got, you can see the people snaking off into the distance:


But the point is, even if it had been 20,000, that would be 20,000 more people than Tony Blair could ever get to march in support of his actions. Especially his breach of the Geneva Convention as regards the illegality of so-called 'pre-emptive strikes.'

The UK now has a prime minister who is regarded by many of his own citizens (and Labour MPs) as a war criminal.

The British and other Western media has long since given up the ghost of even pretending to be fair.

The only people who can stop Bush and Blair in their plan to carve up the world is us. They know this and they use every trick in the propaganda rulebook, aided by a largely un-questioning and subservient media.

20,000? My arse!

So The War Is Over?

No point marching on Saturday because, according to the USK propaganda, the battle for Baghdad is over and everything's peachy.

But I'm watching the news now and apparently they haven't got control of Baghdad – they're still fighting.

How many fucking times is our TV media going to LIE THROUGH THEIR TEETH TO US?

Does ANYONE take it seriously any more?

The invasion of Iraq is still taking place. The evil invaders have not defeated the evil Hussein regime yet.

And meanwhile, the innocent Iraqis are still beign blown to bits and starved to death. This is from an article by Australian MP Carmen Lawrence:

They don't want to know that the Red Cross reported this week that the number of casualties in Iraq is so high that the medical staff have stopped counting and the hospitals are overwhelmed. They would prefer not to be disturbed by the screams of the wounded and the grief stricken sobbing of orphaned children and smashed families. They would rather not hear the story of Ali Ismaeel Abbas, 12, who was fast asleep when a missile demolished his home and obliterated most of his family, leaving him orphaned, badly burned and without arms.

He told a Reuters correspondent at Baghdad's Khindi hospital on Sunday,

“It was midnight when the missile fell on us. My father, my mother and my brother died. My mother was five months pregnant. Our neighbours pulled me out and brought me here. I was unconscious.

As the correspondent reports, but not to an Australian readership,

“In addition to the tragedy of losing his parents, he faces the horror of living handicapped. Thinking about his uncertain future he timidly asked whether he could get artificial arms.

“Can you help get my arms back? Do you think the doctors can get me another pair of hands?” Abbas asked. “If I don't get a pair of hands I will commit suicide,” he said with tears spilling down his cheeks.”

This is the reality of the continuing war that the TV fantasy is hiding from us. This is the great good deed we are doing to the Iraqis as stated by Geoff Hoon in his insanely Orwellian support of cluster bombing.

So the war isn't over, as much as the mass media is telling us it is. We still have to stop it. And we still have to protest to stop our governments committing even greater crimes in our name.

April 12th Anti-War Demo : Update

Just in case anyone's thinking it'll just be ten of us in London. Nicked from the Stop The War website :

One of many international demonstrations against the War on Iraq taking place on 12 April:

(13.04), Athens (16.04), Auckland,
, Barcelona,
Dhaka, Dubrovnik,
Gothenburg, Gujrat, Haifa,
(13.04), Hiroshima (7.04), Hong
, Hoshiarpur,
Khartoum, Kolkata,
Ljubljana, London,
, Macedonia, Madrid,
Malmo, Managua, Manilla,
Maribor, Melbourne,
, Montreal,
(+ 50 other French cities), Patna,
Puerto Rico, Poznan,
, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Sao
Paulo, Seattle,
Seoul, Shannon,
Sydney (13.04), Tokyo,
, Vaasa,
(13.04), Vijayawada,
…and lights out all over Spain.
See also PaxHumana.
On this Saturday's demonstration we are asking people
to bring flowers, cards, wreaths or whatever you
think is appropriate, to lay outside 10 Downing
Street as we walk past there. We will also be stopping
both demonstrations as they arrive at Parliament
and holding a 2 minute silence. This will be in
memory of all those who have died so far in Iraq.