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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Iraq and chemical warfare

The papers (e.g. here and a particularly good article by George Monbiot here) contain this latest important allegation that the US military comes near as could be hoped to admitting the use of white phosphorus and napalm in Iraq. There is accessible evidence of boasts from within the US military, particularly in the Falluja campaign. See for example the accounts of 3 soldiers writing in the March-April edition of a US military magazine, Field Artillery, here. There are also refers to marines who mention the use of napalm in 2003 despite the usual denials followed by admissions from the UK govt. Monbiot also strongly criticises at all those who used Saddam's use of chemical weapons (with US/UK approval let us NEVER forget) in the UK as a reason for going to war, from the British political establishment to those journalists and figures in the media who uncritically followed their leaders, did as they were told and towed the party line (e.g. David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen, William Shawcross, and many more).

I was involved in a debate at the time of the invasion of Iraq in the local paper in Barrow with John Hutton, the new Work and Pensions secretary. I mentioned the use of chemical and related weapons (I'm pretty sure that bit was printed: they edited the final version), including those used in the first Gulf war and only later admitted. Hutton's position gave the usual defence at the time of the Iraq war and which looked to me as if it had come stright from Alistair Campbell's desk (put it this way, I'd be surprised if Hutton had any significant input). If this all turns out to be true and if he can take time from his new promotion, I hope Hutton will now spend time telling his constituants why he was so confident of the govt line on the Iraq war and if he ever cared really less about the impact his 'loyalty' to the party leader would have had on the people of Iraq. Even before the recent stuff on chemical use I seriously doubted his motivations (his beloved leader supported the monstrous Karimov for example and I can find no evidence -and why would I? - of Hutton being outraged at this). So come on, John, if you care so much let's have a full article or condemnation of your leaders (New Labour and US) on their foreign policy. Or is 'loyalty' to them more important?


Blogger Jim said...

Brilliant. The evidence just keeps piling up. Bush's ratings here in the States are circling the drain and lots of folk now no longer find him at all trustworthy. I never have. It's nice to be ahead of the curve for once.

November 15, 2005

Blogger James Crossley said...

Yes, now let's hope the neo-cons finally get what they deserve at the next election.

November 16, 2005


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