By Ghali Hassan*. Axis of Logic
‘We are all victims of America and Britain. They Killed Our Country’.
- Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi
Deputy Prime Minister
These are the words of Mr Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and a deputy prime minister, who has been sentenced to death by a kangaroo court in the U.S. Occupation zone. It is not the first time that U.S. leaders use the Iraqi façade to cover up their crimes, President Saddam Hussein and several members of his government were murdered by the same executioners. The conviction of Mr Tariq Aziz – ordered and condoned by the barbaric American occupiers – was a flagrant violation of international law.
Mr Aziz was convicted by an illegitimate kangaroo court installed and controlled by a foreign military occupying force with an Iraqi façade. According to Cherif Bassiouni, a distinguished research professor of law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, an expert on International Criminal Law and Human Rights Law: ‘All efforts are being made to have a tribunal whose judiciary is not independent but controlled, and by controlled I mean that the political manipulators of the tribunal have to make sure the U.S. and other western powers are not brought in cause. This makes it look like victor’s vengeance: it makes it seem targeted, selected [and] unfair. It’s a subterfuge’. It is a show trial directed by the Americans to serve their Zionist-imperialist ideology. (Le Monde Diplomatique, November 2004).
Mr Aziz has been in a U.S.-run prison since 2003 after surrendering to U.S. occupying force. In July 2010, Mr Aziz was handed over by U.S. Occupation forces to the Vichy regime jailers to be executed. “I am sure they are going to kill me”, he said. Like the executions of other prominent Iraqis, the Americans can say: “We didn’t do it. Iraq is a sovereign country” under U.S. military Occupation.
Mr Aziz was born as Mikhail Yuhanna (Michael John) to an Assyrian Christian family in Tell Keif near Mosul in the northern Nineveh province in 1936. His father died when Aziz was a teenager. He moved with his mother to Baghdad to live and study. He graduated from Baghdad University in the early 1950s with a degree in English literature. Mr Aziz joined the Arab Baath Socialist Party in 1957 when he was working as a teacher of English language and worked closely with Saddam Hussein to liberate Iraq from the British colonial occupation. In 1963, Mr Aziz worked in the Iraqi state media and during this period, he changed his name to Tariq Aziz, as an anti-imperialist expression against the British violent and racist ‘divide and rule’ ideology and in solidarity with his Iraqi Muslim brothers. In April 1980, just before Iran attacked Iraq, Mr Aziz was the target of a terrorist attack while visiting al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The Iran-based and Iran-funded Al-Da’awa Party (currently chaired by Nouri al-Maliki) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mr Aziz was and remains one of the Ba’ath Party’s most loyal and courageous men. When the Occupation-appointed prosecutors tried to bribe him to betray President Saddam Hussein, he refused to testify against Saddam, and continued to refer to Saddam as the President of Iraq. He told the U.S.-controlled kangaroo court that he was proud to have served his country under Saddam’s leadership. Mr Aziz was known among European leaders, as the eloquent Iraqi diplomat who spoke better English than the American president. He never bragged about his Christian faith and because of his high profile, he was an obstacle to those in the West who propagated and played the sectarian card to destroy Iraq. Over the years, Mr Aziz defended Iraq and dismissed all U.S. accusations against Iraq as pretexts to destroy Iraq and dominate the region to safeguards Israel’s Zionist interests.
In 2003, the U.S. invaded and destroyed Iraq based on two fabricated lies. The myth of Iraq’s alleged linked to “terrorism” and the non-existent of weapons of mass destructions (WMDs), a pretext that has been used since 1991 to justify the premeditated murder of more than 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five. Today, the U.S. military continues to occupy Iraq under different colonial pretexts in violation of the Iraqi people’s right to freedom and independence.
Since the 2003 illegal and criminal invasion, over a million innocent Iraqis, mostly women and children have been killed and more than 5 million Iraqis have become refugees and displaced people. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are languishing in U.S.-run prisons across Iraq without charge. They are denied their basic human rights, constantly abused and tortured. The flagrant violations of Iraqis human rights under U.S. murderous Occupation is barbaric even by the Nazis’ standards. The differences are: U.S. crimes have been committed in broad daylight and with the support of both, the West’s “left” and “right” political establishments. “In instance after instance, the American example falls far short of the civilizational standard established by Alexander [the Great]. The savage sadism of a society that can take pleasure in displaying the bullet-riddled bodies of their so-called enemies (Saddam Hussein's two sons) all over the internet simply tells me such a society has not evolved much along Darwin's ladder”, writes Professor Monish Chatterjee of the University of Dayton in Ohio. “America displays the characteristics of a soulless, corporate-driven society that gladly displays the humiliation of its victims (I will label any person captured via illegal war crimes a ‘victim’ of the lawless invader) for the entertainment of its consumerist, and increasingly soulless [and ignorant] public”, he added. It is definitely no coincidence that Mr Aziz was sentenced to death four days after WikilLeaks released its alleged “secret” Iraq’s files.
Meanwhile, in the race to “expose” U.S.-British war crimes in Iraq, WikilLeaks has released ‘some 400,000 secret U.S. files detailing every aspect of the U.S. war on Iraq’. As usual, the Zionist media concentrated on and promoted what WikilLeaks describes as ‘lack of concern’ by U.S. leaders, including military leaders, about the systematic and sadistic torture of Iraqi prisoners of war (POW) and detainees by U.S.-trained Iraqi death squads and militias.
The truth is that the use of torture, rapes and all the paraphernalia of human rights abuses were and remain an important part of U.S.-Zionist strategy to saw the seeds of political violence and divisions in Iraq. We all know that the so-called “Iraqi militias”, including the Iranian-trained Badr Corps (Badr Brigades) and their leaders were brought into Iraq on the backs of U.S. and British invading tanks. In addition, U.S. occupying forces recruited and trained death squads and armed militias, such as the Iraq Special Operation Forces (ISOF), the Wolf Brigade, and the Kurdish (the Peshmerga) thugs to suppress the Iraqi population and attack Iraq’s anti-Occupation forces. They are part of the Occupation and remain under U.S. control today. From the outset, they were installed in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq as the “Occupation dogs”, arresting and murdering Iraqis and protecting the Occupation. In fact, U.S. military pundits admitted in 2005 that the U.S. strategy in Iraq “aggravates the underlying fault lines in Iraqi society, heightening the prospects of civil strife” and divisions (Washington Post, 07 May 2005).
Furthermore, torture was one of the Occupation criminal tools and remains an integral part of U.S. wars. It is not the practice of a few “rogue” individuals; it is the practice of the Anglo-American political and military establishments, and has been used by them for centuries. Torture is a legacy of Western imperialism. In Abu Ghraib and in hundreds of prisons across Iraq, the torturers were white American, British and Israeli sadistic thugs. They were authorised to torture their prisoners by soft-spoken white ‘liberals’, academics, and Ivey League men, like the Zion-fascist Paul Wolfowitz, Harvard’s psychopath Alan Dershowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
In fact, Cheney has publicly admitted to have authorised the torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Likewise, last night on ABC TV, George W. Bush admitted that he authorized torture. He said that he authorised waterboarding and "other interrogation methods to defend Amerika ... It was my job".
I consulted with my editor and friend, Les Blough, who has had 30 years experience as a psychotherapist, asking him his view of these Bush-Cheney behaviors. He replied,
"They are a classic case study of paranoid schizophrenia with various elements of delusions of grandeur, thinking they are being singled out by an imagined enemy, aggressive and even violent - thinking they have to act in self defense (imagine pre-emptive strikes vs. another country), apathy, acting with little or no emotion, disordered thoughts, violent when combined with alcohol or substance abuse, etc. The problem in this case is that these men were able to wage wars. But they are gone now and the wars continue. So the biggest question for me is who put these psychopaths in these powerful positions in the first place."
The U.S. practice to torture openly. Seymour Hersh’s Torture at Abu Ghraib (The New Yorker, 10 May 2004), Maj.-Gen. Antonio Taguba, The Taguba Report, Physicians for Human Rights Report Broken Laws, Broken Lives, were just three of many reports about U.S. crimes in Iraq.
Is WikilLeaks trying to divert public anger (attention) away from the real perpetrators of the bloodbath in Iraq? Having studied the files, it is possible that WikilLeaks is trying to deflect attention away from the U.S. occupiers who have generated and controlled the violence in Iraq from the first day of the murderous Occupation. However, WikilLeaks does provide a record of war crimes that can serve as evidence in international courts. So, whether in Abu Ghraib (Iraq), in Bagram (Afghanistan), in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), in Jordan, in Egypt or in Poland and Romania, those who torture on behalf of the U.S. are controlled and paid by the U.S. The U.S. is the world’s university of torture and human right abuses, and no one else in the world is qualified to teach the Americans how to torture and how to violate the human rights of their victims.
As they invaded and occupied Iraq, the Anglo-American invaders brought with them a culture of racism that is deeply rooted in racist Anglo-American societies. In fact, racism – often invoked to preserve “white supremacy” – is considered to be the “ideological motivation” behind Anglo-American wars. In the case of Iraq, racism was created to justify a particular form of oppression, a murderous Occupation. The Iraqi people were demonised in the Zionist Western media – in the same way the Nazis demonised their victims (as sub-human) – in order to make violence and abuse against them appear “normal” and justified. The aim was to destroy Iraq and enforce a fascist colonial occupation. The strategy has achieved some success for American ruling elites and their Zionist handlers. Iraq remains a destroyed-occupied nation and violence continues under the radar screen of the occupiers.
Moreover, WikilLeaks figure of 115,000 Iraqi deaths is mind bungling. It is utterly misleading to use a pro-U.S. organisation, Iraq Body Counts (IBC), to estimate Iraqi access deaths of defenceless population in an aggressive war. IBC is not only a pro-U.S. propaganda organ; it is also a distorter of facts. Its method is highly inaccurate and misleading method of estimating access death in war zones. It uses passive surveillance provided by the Zionist mainstream media that deliberately cover-up U.S. violence against Iraqis. Its aim is to manipulate the public and to rationalise U.S. violence as “collateral damage. It is important to remember that U.S. leaders take comfort from a lower figure of civilian deaths and promote wars based on distorted figure of low mortality. The lower the figure is, the easier the case to stage the next war. So, a figure of 115,000 Iraqi access deaths is sold as a “collateral damage” not a deliberate genocide.
In 2004, an international team of researchers led by Less Roberts and his colleagues at the John Hopkins School of Public Health in collaboration with Iraqi epidemiologists at Baghdad Al-Mustansiriya University used a proven method in epidemiology (population-based survey) to estimate Iraq’s access death in the first eighteen months of the invasion and Occupation. The team found that violent deaths were widespread and were mainly attributed to the invading forces. They estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqis, mostly women and children, have been killed by the invading forces since 2003. It is an extremely “conservative” estimate. .
In 2006, Gilbert Burnham and Les Roberts and their Iraqi colleagues repeated their study to update their 2004 estimate of 100,000 Iraqi deaths. After enhancing their sample size and their procedure for the 40 months of US Occupation, they validated their first study with a new estimate of 120,000 Iraqi deaths. They also found, with 95% certainty, that between 426,000 and 794,000 Iraqis have died violent death as a consequence of the U.S. invasion and Occupation. Their new estimate was About 655,000 Iraqi access deaths. It is important to remember that the researchers did not include the atrocities of Fallujah, with a high death rate, to avoid compromising their results. .
The method was described by the British Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Sir Roy Anderson as, “robust” and “close to best practice”. According to a team of scientists led by Edward Mills, a biostatician in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University in Canada; “Studies using a population-based method are more sensitive for estimating mortality, by identifying non-reported deaths”. Hence, “[o]f the population-based studies, the Roberts and Burnham studies provided the most rigorous methodology as their primary outcome was mortality”. .
In September 2007, Opinion Research Business (ORB), a British polling organisation, in collaboration with their Iraqi fieldwork agency, conducted a survey of 1,720 Iraqi household, using a multi-stage probability sample in 15 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. They found that between 946,000 and 1.12 million Iraqis had died as a consequence of the U.S. invasion and Occupation. The figure is consistent with a seven-and-a-half years of indiscriminate slaughter of Iraqis by U.S. forces and their criminal collaborators. .
Meanwhile, the people of Iraq (and many people outside Iraq) are unmoved by WikilLeaks “revelations”. Iraqis know all about the “secrets” in these files. Westerners, particularly Americans, remain depoliticised and pacified. They are manipulated to the extent that they believe Western policies (mostly U.S.-led wars) are driven by concern for “democracy”, “human rights”, and “peace”. Almost always, Western criminal conducts depicted in the mainstream media as “unintentional” facts of war and that political and military leaders cannot control a few bad apples “disobeying” orders.
The U.S. ruling elites and their European allies are desperate to promote their “war on terrorism” as a cover for war against Muslims. It has been invoked to justify world-wide (not only state) repression to secure U.S. global imperialist domination. In keeping the public in a state of fear and fanning the flame of Islamophobia, false flag terror plots, aimed at the Muslim communities in Europe and America have become a daily occurrence in the West, hatched by U.S. and Israeli agents and promoted by the Zionist media. “We” are all in it together, said the headlines in the Murdoch Press, Zionism most anti-Muslim propaganda organ. The next target is most likely to be the defenceless nation of Yemen, which is already paying dearly for U.S. terror.
The motives behind the intended execution of Mr Aziz are: (1) to be used to intimidate other nations, reminding them that, political rhetoric aside, international law and civilised norms do not apply to the U.S criminal regime; (2) to cover up U.S. crimes in Iraq and use the execution as a revenge by U.S. ruling elites for Iraq’s resistant to U.S. terror; (3) to silence Mr Aziz, because as a free man, Mr Aziz is able and willing to shed light on America’s decades-long criminal record towards Iraq and the region; and (4) to fuel more violence among Iraqis. Moreover, the head of U.S.-installed Vichy regime, Nouri al-Maliki, used Mr Aziz sentence to claim “victory”, while at the same time accused WikilLeaks of targeting him, even if his criminal record remains secret.
Finally, the U.S. war on Iraq is a premeditated and deliberate war crime of the kind for which German Nazi leaders were hanged in Nuremberg. Based on the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, there is overwhelming prima facie evidence to convict George Bush, Tony Blair and their accomplices on four separate crimes: conspiracy to initiate and actual launching of war of aggression, killing, wanton destruction, plundering and looting during illegal war, and crimes against humanity. As chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal, Robert H. Jackson insisted, international law must apply equally.
Every civilised individual and nation should condemn the unlawful conviction of Mr Aziz by an illegitimate U.S.-controlled kangaroo court and oppose his upcoming execution. There is no evidence to substantiate that Mr Aziz has committed any crimes. Mr Aziz death will do nothing to revive Iraq.
- Roberts L., Lafta R., Garfield R., Khudhairi J., & Burnham G. (2004). Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey. Lancet, 364:1857-64.
- Burnham G., Lafta R., Doocy S., & Roberts L. (2006). Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey. Lancet, 368:1421-8.
- Tapp C., Burkle F. M., Wilson K., Takaro T., Guyatt G. H., Amad H., & Mills E. J. (2008). Iraq War mortality estimates: A systematic review. Conflict and Health, 2: 1. (Free access).
- Opinion Research Business: September 2007 – More than 1,000,000 Iraqis Murdered. [http://www.opinion.co.uk/ Newsroom_details.aspx?NewsId=78].
*Ghali Hassan is an independent political analyst living in Australia.
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