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Archive for December 14th, 2009

by César Chelala, CommonDreams.org, Dec 14, 2009

The collusion between Egypt and the U.S. to build a wall separating Egypt from Gaza not only threatens Gazans’ health and quality of life, already severely deteriorated by the de facto Israeli blockade, it is a serious violation of international law.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Egypt is installing an underground metal wall 70-100 feet deep along the border strip where Palestinians have dug a maze-like set of tunnels to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The construction of the wall, carried out with the collaboration of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, has been denied by the Egyptian government.

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The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media

by John Pilger, The New Statesman, Dec 13, 2009

[President George W. Bush gestures as he answers a reporter’s question during a joint press availability with Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom Friday, July 28, 2006, in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Paul Morse - CC license)]
President George W. Bush gestures as he answers a reporter’s question during a joint press availability with Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom Friday, July 28, 2006, in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Paul Morse – CC license)

I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day, only to learn that he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

“Everyone knows,” he said, “except parliament and the public.”

“And the media?”

“The media – the big names – have been invited to King Charles Street [the Foreign Office] and flattered and briefed with lies. They are no trouble.”

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Tony Blair Iraq War WMD Admission Sparks Outrage, Calls For War Crimes Prosecution

Huff Po–  First Posted: 12-13-09 06:38 PM   |   Updated: 12-13-09 09:46 PM

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recent admission that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew from the start that it did not have weapons of mass destruction has sparked public outrage and calls for his prosecution for war crimes in the ongoing war inquiry, the AFP reported.

Blair’s administration originally used WMDs to justify going to war, leaving the public feeling that the former minister had entered Iraq under false pretenses, using the language that was most convenient at the time.

Blair maintains that Saddam Hussein’s presence in the region would have been enough of a threat to justify the war.

“I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat,” Blair told the BBC.

“It was the notion of him as a threat to the region, of which the development of WMD was obviously one, and because you’d had 12 years of United Nations to and fro on this subject, he used chemical weapons on his own people — so this was obviously the thing that was uppermost in my mind,” Blair continued.

Blair’s admission has gotten a reaction from all corners– even Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth told the BBC he was “a little bit” surprised by Blair’s comments.

“I supported the war in Iraq based on the arguments that were put at the time and a big part of those arguments was – and I firmly believed that they existed – was the existence of WMD at that time,” Ainsworth said.

Journalist Andrew Gilligan commented in the Sunday Telegraph that Blair’s “game-changing admission” will give the war panel “license to be tougher and more prosecutorial.”

Blair will provide evidence at the Iraq war hearings early next year.

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