The ruling Establishment has learnt a profound lesson from the debacle over Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. The lesson they have learnt is not that it is wrong to attack and destroy an entire country on the basis of lies. They have not learnt that lesson despite the fact the western powers are now busily attacking the Iraqi Shia majority government they themselves installed, for the crime of being a Shia majority government.
Disastrous Capitalism – But is a Labour government the solution? By William Bowles
July 15 2017 — investigating imperialism
Consider the Grenfell Tower inferno as an expression of a new kind of class war, but not a class war as we have known it–between organised workers, political parties and capital–but between ordinary citizens and the local fiefdoms of the capitalist state as increasingly, big business has taken over the running of what’s left of our public and collective life, through ‘outsourcing’, public-private-partnerships and what have you, where making a profit is the bottom line, not serving the public.
Gobsmacked by the media By William Bowles
14 July 2011 — — Strategic Culture Foundation
Update 20 July 2011
Events move too fast! I wanted to update this piece on Monday but I thought I’d wait until the hearings yesterday, 19 July but aside from the plateful of shaving cream in the Digger’s face and one admission via an email that David Cameron knew all about the dirty dealings in the Dirty Digger’s empire, nothing much happened at all (and even this was not pursued). But then what can we expect from a totally complicit political class?
The Chilcot ‘Inquiry’: A Theatre of the Absurd By William Bowles
16 December 2009 — Strategic Culture Foundation
Why does the extermination of an entire culturecause not a ripple in our public discourse? The answer is obvious: we don’t have any kind of discourse with those who wield power. The Chilcott ‘Inquiry’ demonstrates this down to a tee. It’s brazen in its disregard for the reality of the crimes the British state has committed in Iraqand continues to commit in Afghanistan. And brazen in the way it scoots a lot of very guilty-looking ‘witnesses’ through the process as painlessly as possible. How has this come to pass?
The Iraq War ‘Inquiry’: ‘Revelations’? What revelations? By William Bowles
27 November, 2009
“We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we need pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.” – David Manning (Blair’s policy advisor).
I read with amazement the ‘revelations’ concerning war criminal Tony Blair’s visit to Camp Crawford in March 2002 where Bush/Blair decided that ‘regime change’ was the order of the day. But there’s nothing new about these ‘revelations’, indeed I and many others reported this meeting literally years ago.
“The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March . This was when the bombing would begin.” — George Bush
For example, see the following reports:
1. ‘British Foreign Secretary Straw Says Case For Iraq Is Weak’, Alleged Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office 25, March 2002
2. ‘The Iraq Factor: Secret Memo to Tony Blair. Condi committed to regime change in early 2002’
3. ‘Iraq Options Paper’: Full text, Raw Story, dated March 8, 2002.
4. ‘British Advisers Foresaw Variety of Risks, Problems’ By Glenn Frankel
5. ‘LMSM, the Lying Mainstream Media’ By Robert Parry, June 17, 2005
These are just a few of the stories on Bush/Blair’s ‘regime change’ meeting at Camp Crawford in early 2002. So how come the mainstream media are reporting it as ‘news’? In fact all the ‘revelations’ emerging from the Iraq War ‘Inquiry’ are not news, independent media has been carrying investigations since at least 2002. And not just the independent media:
‘Blair planned Iraq war from start’, Times Online, May 1, 2005
‘How the leaked documents questioning war emerged from ‘Britain’s Deep Throat’ by Michael Smith, June 26, 2005
The Guardian carried the story in 2006, ‘Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo, PM promised to be ‘solidly behind’ US invasion with or without UN backing.’
I think it’s worth reprinting a story I put together in June of 2003
We know what they knew and we know when they knew it (05/06/03)
The London Independent today (05/06/03) has the headline:
“The Niger Connection: Tony Blair. Bogus documents and the case for war”
Below are extracts from the document I quoted from on the 27 March 2003 in a piece published here on ICH and indeed, the information in this document appeared in the national press at around the same time.
“U.N. Official: Fake Iraq Nuke Papers Were Crude” By Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, Wednesday 26 March 2003
A few hours and a simple internet search was all it took for U.N. inspectors to realize documents backing U.S. and British claims that Iraq had revived its nuclear program were crude fakes, a U.N. official said. Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, a senior official from the U.N. nuclear agency who saw the documents offered as evidence that Iraq tried to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger, described one as so badly forged his “jaw dropped.”
The same piece goes on to say:
“The IAEA asked the U.S. and Britain if they had any other evidence backing the claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium. The answer was no. IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei informed the U.N. Security Council in early March that the Niger proof was fake and that three months with 218 inspections at 141 sites had produced “no evidence or plausible indication” Iraq had a nuclear program. But last week Vice President Dick Cheney repeated the U.S. position and said that El Baradei was wrong about Iraq. “We know (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons,” he said.” http://truthout.org/docs_03/032803G.shtml
And the Independent today, reports that the UN knew the documents in question were forgeries at least as early as the 7 March. Yet had the Independent read the Reuters report above, they would have known it back in March! Now the question is, not that the Independent didn’t report the information, but how did it report it? Did the Independent lead with the information? Did the BBC which also reported the existence of the forged documents question the relevant government ministers and pursue it with the kind tenacity they are pursuing the ‘rogue elements’ in the security services? No they didn’t. It’s all very well for the media to lead with this information now, but what about back then, before the invasion, when it counted? Why is this information so much more important after the fact than before? The Independent attempts to cover itself by saying:
“The rest of the world did not realise until March that the basis of the allegation, letters purportedly exchanged between Iraqi agents and the government of Iraq, had been forged.”
But the Independent, the UK and US governments and the rest of the world knew, well before the invasion (at least as early as March 7), that two of the key pieces of ‘evidence’ upon which the rationale for invasion rested was either a fake like the ‘Niger’ documents or deliberately planted disinformation like the 45-minute fiasco. Moreover, in the acres of print on this entire sordid and disgusting affair, not once is there any mention aside from a statement by Clare Short, the former development minister, made today, that Blair had secretly agreed with Bush to invade Iraq well in advance of the invasion:
“Three very, very senior figures in Whitehall said to me that the Prime Minister had agreed in the summer [last year] to the date of 15 February for military action and that was later extended to mid-March. At the time the Prime Minister was telling us he was committed to the second resolution.”
Yet at the time (though she doesn’t mention when she was told this, but we must assume it was last year), the craven Ms. Short preferred to believe her leader rather than admit he was a liar, and indeed, to this day, not a single public figure either in the government or the media can bring themselves to say the word, ‘liar’.
“‘The truth is, nobody believes a word the PM says’”
This is the headline on page 5 of the Independent. Underneath are edited highlights of Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons yesterday (4 June) which includes comments by Ian Duncan Smith (Tory), Charles Kennedy (Liberal Democrat), Kenneth Clarke (Tory), Robin Cooke (Labour), and Clare Short (Labour) and Blair’s responses. But nowhere is there any mention of a reason for the lies, let alone the word. It’s as if the word has suddenly disappeared from the English language. What will it take for the media and the politicos to face the fact, that invading Iraq was always on the cards, regardless of ‘evidence’, resolutions, facts or fiction. It was a done deal and probably decided on years ago regardless of Saddam’s compliance with this or that demand or otherwise.
So when is a lie not a lie?
When it’s made by a politician and by a politician who has a (not so) hidden agenda that the corporate press and the political classes do not want to admit exists. They would rather play ‘follow their leaders’ in a game of catch-up which consists largely of scoring points and covering their own, tired arses, in case they too, get called to task for their complicity in the crime.
1. The Bush-Blair 2003 Iraq memo was a secret memo of a meeting between American President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place on January 31, 2003, two months before the invasion, but as the Manning Memo reveals, invading Iraq had already been decided one year before.
The cry now is “treason” or the Star Chamber revisited By William Bowles
19 August 2005
Secret, judge-only courts where the accused has no access to the ‘evidence’? Changes to the law will include making it illegal to advocate violence to further a person’s belief, justifying or validating such violence, or fostering hatred.
Under the Lords Chancellor Cardinal Wolsey and Archbishop Cranmer (1515-1529), the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon for bringing actions against opponents to the policies of Henry VIII, his Ministers and his Parliament. Then, under James the 1st and Charles the 1st, the Star Chamber Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. On October 17, 1632, the Court of Star Chamber banned all “news books”. Sound familiar? Continue reading
Rumbling in the Ruling Ranks By William Bowles
27 April 2004
The managers of the state fire a warning shot across Blair’s bow
“Should a nation…which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of UN disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own withdrawal? If we agree that armed attack can properly achieve the purpose of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international order…” – President Eisenhower in a television broadcast to the nation after the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956
My, how things have changed but then back in 1956, Britain was boss of an empire well past its sell-by date and the US was on the way up and anxious to woo the rising tide of anti-colonial struggles as part of its Cold War strategy.
Report from Propaganda Central By William Bowles
22 November 2003
“The West wakes up to the extent of Al-Qu’eda’s reach – franchised by Al-Qu’eda”
That was how Channel 4 News opened up last night’s broadcast (21/11/03). But I must say I’m impressed as it pretty well sums up the relationship between the imperium and Osama’s global ‘franchise’. Osama is the New World Order’s version of Colonel Sanders, all image and no substance. After all, have you not wondered why he is elusive as the proverbial Pimpernel?
Risen from the grave By William Bowles
3 November 2003
As predicted, the Tories have dumped the wimp and chosen Dracula, whose attitudes and policies when in power rivaled the position of the British National Party. Press coverage of Howard’s ascendancy has been a wall-to-wall whitewash of this reactionary and racist individual, with acres of coverage of how Michael Howard is now a ‘reformed’ right-wing Tory, who will lead from the ‘centre’. Yet the power brokers who made the running to dump IDS have been the 1922 Committee whose position on just about everything is just a little to the left of Hitler (but not by much).
Trust- Belief – Exaggeration By William Bowles
28 August 2003
Blair, Campbell, Goebbels and the Word
As the state is increasingly exposed as fraudulent, so the media has created a barrier that absorbs direct attack by deflecting criticism into the ‘nooks and crannies’ of the management of the state machine. How it does this is revealed by the nature of the relationship between the state and the media and the use of language, where the grammar and syntax becomes critical to the process of persuasion.
The verdict? Guilty, sort of By William Bowles
19 August 2003
One is tempted to hold off saying anything until the loathsome Alistair Campbell, chief propagandist for the Blair government does his pitch at the Hutton ‘enquiry’ today. However, of far more importance than what he does or doesn’t say (after all, the cat’s out of the bag anyway), is how will the Blair government deal with this mounting crisis of confidence in its reign and indeed the potential challenge to the credibility of the state that Blair’s cockup represents?
Book Review: UK-the real outlaw state By William Bowles
4 August 2003
‘Web of Deceit. Britain’s real role in the world’ by Mark Curtis (2003, Vintage Original)
“The reality is that the Blair government is seriously out of control – an outlaw state, undertaking its foreign policy in open contempt for international ethical standards, including riding roughshod over the United Nations. As one of the dominating facts of New Labour’s foreign policy, this is hard to miss, but it has been obscured by a web of government propaganda and media and parliament’s failure to disclose the reality of state policy.” – Web of Deceit
Heil Caesar By William Bowles
19 July 2003
“There is no more dangerous theory in international politics today than that we need to balance the power of America with other competitor powers, different poles around which nations gather.” — Tony Blair
9/11: the unanswered questions By William Bowles
11 July 2003
So the real reason for the invasion of Iraq was 9/11, at least that’s what Donald Rumsfeld, US secretary of defence is now telling us, as the mythological WMDs fade into the background. And will this now be the basis for the next round of ‘revelations’ based on Saddam’s connections to Al-Qu’eda? Wait for it, I’m sure it won’t be long in coming.
Blairspeak By William Bowles
6 July 2003
Predictably, in response to continued challenges to the rationale behind the invasion of Iraq, Blair said the following:
‘There couldn’t be a more serious charge, that I ordered our troops into conflict on the basis of intelligence evidence that I falsified.’
Manufacturing Terror By William Bowles
5 July 2003
The vast and overwhelming propaganda onslaught that we’ve been subjected to since 911, is indicative of the lengths to which the ruling elites are prepared to go to in order to gain our consent for their actions. Indeed, the nature and scope of the propaganda war indicates just how insecure they feel. Appeals to patriotism and scaremongering tactics (eg the Anthrax attacks) have only short-term effects on the population. Sooner or later, the population is going to demand results, if indeed ‘results’ are possible to produce. And then one has to consider the idea that ‘results’ might have to be manufactured.
Spinning out of control By William Bowles
26 June 2003
Wonderful! Alistair Campbell accuses the BBC of ‘lying’ because, he asserts, the BBC accused the government of lying over the ’45 minute’ scenario. Is this a desert storm in a teacup? Whilst the two monopolies go at each other, the essential issues simply don’t enter into the discussion at all, from either side. Whilst they squabble over whether or not one of the other lied, the real issue, why we went to war, disappears from sight.
Exaggeration By William Bowles
25 June 2003
Exaggeration: overestimate, overstate, hyperbolize, enlarge on, distort, expand, magnify, misquote and overdraw
The farce of an ‘investigation’ into the ‘rush to war’ continues in the UK as does the media’s complicity in presenting the reasons entirely divorced from the context and history of the trajectory of Western imperialism. The main argument being advanced by ‘critics’ of the war in Parliament, is that the government ‘exaggerated’ the threat in order to convince us of the need to go to war.
The un-United Nations and the world as ‘victim’ By William Bowles
6 June 2003
Every day, a dozen or so un-UN press releases pile up in my inbox which I scan for some nugget of news, some insight that might be of use to me, but it’s largely self-serving stuff. Hans Blix’s last report on Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ is as vague and non-committal as all the others have been and therein lies the rub as they say. Continue reading
We know what they knew and we know when they knew it By William Bowles
5 June 2003
The London Independent today (05/06/03) has the headline:
‘The Niger Connection: Tony Blair. Bogus documents and the case for war’