From BEHIND THE SCENES...(FBS) No. 5 September/October 2001
"WHY DO THEY HATE US SO MUCH ?" - the anguished cry of one woman in New York traumatised by the scale and horror of the attack and destruction of the world trade centre towers .
If youve ever visited the USA, youll know how friendly and hospitable Americans are. You are always made welcome, service is invariably delivered with a smile and when they say "have a nice day" they really mean it. How is it that such an easy going open society has become the target of such hatred? The fact is that this society is also very cocooned and isolated the vast majority of Americans have never travelled outside the US, and know little or nothing of other lifestyles and cultures. Their media is tightly controlled by a handful of big corporations much more so than ours. They receive a very narrow one sided view of the outside world delivered by presenters and journalists who may know little more than their captive audiences. Above all they hear so little of the effects of their countrys foreign policy and economic domination and the suffering this inflicts on people in many other parts of the world, and the resentment this creates.
THE GRAND AREAThe Council on Foreign Relations is a little known but powerful think tank made up of top politicians, corporate bosses, academics and media people in the US. It came into being in the 1930s. During the last world war, it set out a vision of huge areas of the globe (the "Grand Area") that would need to come under effective U.S. economic and military control, in order to ensure the availability of materials for U.S. industries, following the defeat of Germany and Japan. George Kennan, head of the U.S. State Department Planning Staff in a key state paper in 1948 explaining U.S. foreign policy goals said "We have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and our attention will have to be concentrated on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should not talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation." That policy has been followed ever since in Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Indonesia, Guatemala, Chile, Colombia etc. etc. The U.S. has helped install and support dictators and undermined democratically elected popular governments to serve its own ends and the American people are largely unaware of the reality of what has been done in their name.
OIL- a key to understanding US (and British) policy in the middle east.
By the early 20th. century OIL was establishing itself as the fuel that would drive the world economy and the middle east had masses of it! Britain and America want to ensure that British and American oil companies have control of these vast resources. This is why, in the First World War, Britain sent a large army to help the Arabs destroy the Turkish empire and drive the Turks out of these oil rich regions. In the process, Britain created new nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait and installed governments which served western interests. Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf states with their wealthy ruling families have continued to favour the west, but like Libya under Colonel Qathafi, whenever Iran and Iraq have tried to take independent control of their oil, they have faced severe backlashes.
INTERFERING IN IRAN
In the early 1950s British and American intelligence worked to undermine a popular elected government which planned to nationalise British oil interests in Iran for the benefit of Iranians. In 1953, the government fell, to be replaced by the Shah who maintained a repressive corrupt regime, but which accommodated Anglo-American oil interests. The Shah was eventually swept aside in 1978 by a wave of popular discontent, to be replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Mullahs, who opposed western interests. Britain and America then ran a major propaganda war, and also armed Saddam Hussein in neighbouring Iraq with whom Iran had a long running territorial dispute over access to the Gulf, which has always been a problem for Iraq. The United States misled the Iraqis into believing that Iran was weak and that Iraq would secure a quick victory. The war in fact lasted 8 years, but it did neutralise Iran , BUT left Iraq in a powerful position...
MANIPULATING IRAQ .
Present day Iraq was set up as a separate state in 1921, but effectively controlled by Britain. When a popular nationalist government eventually came to power in 1958, U S intelligence worked towards its overthrow, which came about in 1963. The Baath party which was seen at the time as friendly to America, came to power. In 1978 Saddam Hussein took over as leader of the party and the country. By 1990 with Iran ruined and out of action, after the Iran/Iraq war, Iraq was showing every sign of being a politically independent military power in the region, committed to its own economic development. Despite the repressive regime with an appalling human rights record, most Iraqi citizens enjoyed high standards of health care and education with a well developed infra structure. U.S. army reports by 1990 indicated Iraq wanted to reduce the size of its armed forces and to concentrate resources on economic development. US influence and control in the region was again in serious doubt.
SETTING UP KUWAIT
The territory forming present day Kuwait had always been a part of Basra province in the Turkish empire. When Iraq attained statehood following the break up of the empire, the city of Basra became a part of Iraq, but the remaining territory, with its rich oil fields and vital access to the sea, was separated from it and set up as the state of Kuwait with its super rich ruling family, which has always been friendly towards Britain and America. This is the basis of Iraqs territorial claim on Kuwait.
BRINGING ABOUT THE GULF WAR ..
Having used and armed Iraq to destroy Iran, the Anglo-American alliance now sought to destroy Iraq. With Saddam Hussein as a known human rights abuser, it was easy to mount a massive hate campaign in the media to demonise him and dehumanise the country and its people as a whole. The use of chemical weapons against Kurds (previously supplied by Britain and the US) made this easy, yet today, Turkish atrocities against the Kurds are conveniently overlooked. In 1990, Kuwait flooded the oil market, prices tumbled and Iraq was in serious economic difficulties. The hard line rejection by Kuwait of Iraqi approaches to resolve the situation was almost certainly influenced by the U.S. which then went on to inform Iraq that it had "no real interest in their border dispute with Kuwait", and a foolish and stubborn dictator fell into a trap, thinking he could get away with the crime of an armed invasion of Kuwait. The Anglo-American alliance now had the excuse that it needed to destroy Iraq. There were hysterical but entirely false claims that Iraq was intent on invading Saudi Arabia and taking over the entire region.
THE GULF WAR the destruction of Iraq.
The Iraqis may have foolishly believed that their action would enable them to secure improvements to their economic plight, and then pull out. Would they have invaded Kuwait if they thought they would have to take on the armed might of the U.S. and its allies? The war was a massacre. An estimated 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, largely inexperienced conscripts, were slaughtered in the most one sided operation in modern warfare. The mass bombing of Iraq was carried out largely with conventional bombs, not the laser guided type which accounted for only a small percentage. Thousands of civilians died. Dams, power stations, water pumping stations, schools, hospitals, telephone exchanges, road and rail facilities, factories of all kinds were targeted and destroyed. Iraq was in ruins and disease and malnutrition rapidly became widespread. Depleted uranium in the weapons used by Britain and the U.S. contaminated the desert environment with radioactive material. Cancer, leukaemia and horrific birth defects soon appeared and continue to this day. The destruction of an independently minded country, not just the removal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait had succeeded. However, with Saddam Hussein brought to his knees, and opposition in Iraq mobilising itself for his overthrow, the alliance did nothing to hinder Iraqi government forces in the south in their fight against the rebels. The reason America felt a new government in Iraq might not act in US interests and with Saddam Hussein gone there would then be no excuse for further intervention.
TWO MYTHS .
1) The story that Iraqi soldiers ripped babies off incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital was a complete fabrication this was anti Iraqi propaganda concocted by international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton who were employed by the Kuwaiti government in exile. The sobbing young girl who made the allegation was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.
2) It was NOT the fleeing Iraqis who set Kuwaiti oil fields ablaze but rather fast moving strike teams of U.S. special forces. Whilst Iraq got the blame, U.S. companies based in Texas, in which the Bush family have large stakes, made a financial killing from the clean up and reconstruction work..
THE HORROR OF SANCTIONS
Since the end of the Gulf War, 11 years of the most severe sanctions ever imposed on a nation state have been imposed and upheld by the Untied Nations, but behind this is the hand of America and Britain who have resisted all demands to lift them. For 10 years there were severe restrictions on how much oil Iraq could sell, ostensibly to prevent Saddam Hussein using revenue to rearm. Thus Anglo-American oil interests gained control over the countries oil supplies. Even now sanctions make it very difficult to import the necessary equipment to maintain and repair the oil producing facilities. The population has suffered severe shortages of food, medical supplies and many other basic items. Tight restrictions on the sale of oil caused the economy to collapse with no money to rebuild the countrys devastated infrastructure. Sanctions themselves have prevented the import of most of the necessary equipment and materials. It is above all the children who are suffering. Figures verified by UNICEF record that over half a million children died of embargo related causes between August 1990 and August 1997. One member of the World Food Programme said what he witnessed was comparable to the worst scenarios he had ever seen in 24 years experience in the field.
The "oil for food" programme implemented from 1997 allowed for an increase in oil exports to provide extra revenue for food imports. This has since been cynically used by the British and American governments to persuade public opinion hear that they have the humanitarian interests of the Iraqi people at heart and to blame Saddam Hussein for the suffering. However two successive United Nations Directors of the Oil for Food programme who worked in Iraq administering the programme resigned in disgust and now campaign publicly for the lifting of sanctions.
There are periodic claims in our media that Iraq still has biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction which are used to justify continuing sanctions and controls on the sale of oil. The weapons that did exist or the materials and technology to make them were supplied by the U.S. and Britain before the invasion of Kuwait. Israel also has weapons of mass destruction including the atomic bomb, and has flouted U.N. resolutions for years with impunity, making many middle east states feel threatened. There has never been any commitment as to when, if at all, sanctions might be lifted in return for full Iraqi "co-operation" in weapons inspections which were potentially never ending - if the teams alleged something was being concealed, how could that be disproved? In fact one inspector Scott Ritter stated publicly that in 1998 Iraq no longer had any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons capability and the threat to the outside world was zero. He too is campaigning for the lifting of sanctions.
MILITARY STRIKES 1990 to date the war continues
Attacks by Britain and the U.S. have continued since 1990. The so called "no fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq were set up after the Gulf War by the US and Britain - not the United Nations. They are patrolled daily by British and U.S. aircraft. Bomb and missile attacks are frequent - many having taken place in remote areas where villagers, shepherds and even sheep have been killed. Several American airmen have stated publicly that they are ordered to fly in such a way as to provoke a response from Iraqi defences which then provides the excuse to launch an attack. Though most of them detest their own leaders, Iraqis and many others in the middle east see the US and Britain as the real enemy who has waged war for 11 years.
TERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
The world of the intelligence and security services is very murky - it is a world of subversion, where state agencies, media sharks, anarchists, terrorists and the political fringe overlap. Intelligence services use propaganda, disinformation, manipulation and murder to attain their objectives. They have ties with all kinds of sinister extremist groups, which seem to be infiltrated as a matter of course. One might say this is essential to keep tabs on their activities, but sometimes they may work together with terrorists being used for sinister establishment purposes. One man, Osama bin Laden, stuck up in the hills of Afghanistan is supposed to have masterminded the attacks on America. He was actually trained by the American CIA to fight the Russians after they invaded Afghanistan in 1979, but some who have met him reckon hes all mouth and not much action.
Within 48 hours of the horror unleashed on America, the intelligence services, which, it is claimed were completely taken by surprise, had already pieced together a remarkably detailed picture of who they reckoned was responsible even one TV commentator made a quick passing remark that this was suspicious.
A hire car found at Boston airport with a video on how to fly a commercial airliner and a copy of the Koran left in it! And now a detailed written message from the alleged leader rallying his co-conspirators to be there on time. Is it plausible that a terrorist group, capable of organising the simultaneous hijacking of 4 aircraft, would really leave such obvious incriminating evidence lying around..?
The American National Security Agency (NSA ) can monitor all global radio, telephone, fax and e-mail communications through a system known as Echelon, using satellites linked to ground bases, one of which is Menwith Hills in North Yorkshire, yet it apparently knew nothing.
Governments now talk of introducing identity cards, bringing in new anti terrorism laws, yet more surveillance, stop and search powers for police, invasion of privacy, restrictions on freedom of speech. Such measures may do little to prevent terrorism, but they can be used most effectively to monitor and curb all forms of dissent and peaceful protest . and may now gladly be accepted by a frightened traumatised population, especially in America.
We will be back From Behind the Scenes to look into this further
Richard Greaves "The Old Stables", Cusop, Herefordshire, HR3 5RQ. Tel: 01497 821406. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org