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Monday, May 02, 2005

110% of the vote

Robert Fisk reflects on Western support for dictatorships in the Middle East. From Iraq to Syria, Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the US and Britain have long aided and abetted those country's dictators hold on power and their regular abuse of it. Those days are over? Hardly, as Fisk explains:

"Jack Straw, my favourite Trot, branded Gaddafi a "statesman" after he vowed to dismantle the non-existent weapons of mass destruction he claimed to possess, but that was only a few weeks before the Saudis discovered that Gaddafi was planning to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, one of George W Bush's best friends in Arabia - enough of this story, because it has not been told."

(Furthermore, numerous "terrorists" are currently residing in Florida, who "for decades have waged a campaign against Cuba of hit-and run attacks, sabotage, infiltration of armed agents, assassination, etc.")

In the wake of recent allegations that Tony Blair agreed to send troops into Iraq months before informing the British public (the top secret document of 2002 outlines the desired course of action, including this conclusion: "We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action"), the Observer printed another startling report yesterday that has been ignored in Australia:

"The man who led Britain's armed forces into Iraq [Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the former Chief of the Defence Staff] has said that Tony Blair and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will join British soldiers in the dock if the military are ever prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq." Moreover, despite rhetoric suggesting otherwise, the US and Britain (and therefore Australia) are today fighting a war in Iraq that is getting worse, not better.

Boyce was never shown the legal cover required to guarantee him future protection against prosecution. "If my soldiers went to jail and I did, some other people would go with me," he said.

While we're bombarded with propaganda on the supposed dangers of North Korea, Iran and Syria, reports such as this are routinely ignored:

"The U.S. military plans to allow regional combatant commanders to request the president for approval to carry out preemptive nuclear strikes against possible attacks on the United States or its allies with weapons of mass destruction, according to a draft new nuclear operations paper."

Kyodo News outlines the Bush administration's seeming willingness to even discuss the possibility of engaging with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.


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