Iraq War, Chilcot Inquiry … and Clare Short

Sir Chilcot has officially released his findings on Iraq war Inquiry along with recommendations on how a similar situation could be better handled in future.

Full report available at http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/

Some of the main findings to quote BBC as follows:

Chilcot_Main_Findings

It took Sir Chilcot more than

  • 7 years
  • 10 million pounds
  • 12 volumes and
  • 2.6 million words

to confirm what Clare Short gave as her reasons to resign from Bliar’s Government.

It’s an irony that the person who manipulated the parliament was appointed as the Middle East Peace envoy.

It’s criminal that even after 13 years of Iraq war, 250+ innocent Iraqi citizens died in Baghdad this Sunday.

What peace has been achieved by the Iraq war and the Peace Envoy?

Should the responsible person(s) come out of these offences lightly?

It appears the 12 volumes of 2.3 million words do not contain answer for these queries.

What is your opinion?

 

 

 

 

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To my friends in The USA

palestine1

I am currently in Helsinki and watched this programme today on Finnish main TV channel, YLE TV1 – during prime time.

If you have an interest in current world politics and the Middle-East crisis, I urge you to watch this video; completely.

Even if you don’t care for politics, please watch the video – for yourself.

Believe me, it is an eye-opener.

Not sure whether you ever get to see this perspective, through the eyes of rest of the world.

Timing is apt too.

By end of this year, you will – collectively, consciously – decide the political face and fate of USA; at least for next few years.

The question is: is there a real alternative?

A strong, un-biased leadership, who care for a nation that is helpless and oppressed for generations?

I sincerely hope so.  Because, while writing above line, I was not thinking only about the Palestinians.

I was also thinking of oppression of generations in another great nation.

Deliberately, methodically, oppressed from having freedom of knowledge, and a free mind.

Here is the programme from Finnish TV:

As I said earlier, believe me – it is an eye-opener.

http://arenan.yle.fi/1-3027223#autoplay=true

 

 

Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran_Nuclear_Deal

Sunday morning’s main news was on the nuclear programme deal reached between Iran and six world powers – US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany.

It is good news for Iran, its people – and for rest of the world too.  The deal may assist towards bringing a little more stability to the ever-unstable Middle East region.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the deal, saying it would “help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon”.

As expected, Israel is not happy and has described the deal as “historic mistake”.  Per Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu, “the world has become a much more dangerous place” because Iran has taken one step towards attaining nuclear weapon.

Clearly Obama and Netanyahu contradict each other!

Let us examine the crux of these statements; why should the world prevent Iran – and Iran only – from building a nuclear weapon?

Iran started uranium enrichment in 2003; from then onwards US, Israel and its allies are accusing Iran of building nuclear bombs.

There is no direct proof that Iran is building a nuclear bomb; their top officials and political leaders vehemently deny this accusation.  For a minute, for argument sake, let us say Iran is working towards building a nuclear bomb.  Even if this is true, how can US & Israel complain, cry and accuse Iran?

All countries – which were on table with Iran on this deal – already have nuclear weapons.  What moral grounds could they use to say no to Iran?!   As discussed earlier in this blog, should not these countries first dispose of their nuclear arsenals before preaching?!

As posted earlier, I do not support nuclear weapons. My strong viewpoint is that the world should get rid of all of its nuclear weapons.  But it should be done in a phased manner, with the country with largest collection shedding them first.  Then, and then only rest of the world can force Iran to stop its nuclear program.  Not before.

As said earlier, I am happy a deal is reached – even though it is a temporary one, only with six month’s validity.  Let us hope Israel, US and rest of the world recognize and realise Iran’s rights for peaceful nuclear operations.

Well done UK…! But what Next?

syria flag

On Thursday, UK parliament has done the right thing by voting against David Cameron’s motion towards military action in Syria.  UK  Parliament clearly declared that it is not in the interest of UK to take unilateral (war) decisions without acknowledging UN and respect what it stands for.

Government motion was defeated by 285 against 272 – no doubt, a humiliating defeat for David Cameron.  Of the 304 conservative MPs, 30 decided to go against Cameron’s plans to attack Syria.   – that is almost 10% of his own party members showing no-confidence on Cameron’s foreign and defence policies.

9 of the 55 LibDems too voted against the Government.  But hey, do you hear anything about / from Nick Clegg / LibDems these days?  They are not even half strong as what their shadows used to be, prior to 2010 general election.  Remember Clegg’s performance on pre-election live TV debates?  Is it the same guy who currently “adorns” the Deputy PM’s chair?  From all talk to pathetic silence, what a transformation!

Now, look at why Defence Secretary Philip Hammond feels “disappointed” about.   Per Mr Hammond, results of Commons vote would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington!  Mr Hammond is more worried about what US will think of, rather than what UK MPs and common public urge the Government to do.  Shame on you, Mr. Hammond!  You sound more like you belong to US Capitol than to Westminster!

What Next?

The UN inspectors are yet to deliver their conclusion whether chemical weapons (CW) were used in Syria.  Even if the usage is confirmed, it still needs to be established who used the CW.  Prima facie it looks highly unlikely for a government to use CW on its own civilians – particularly when the government is gaining over the rebels.

Meanwhile, President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kelly continue to prove that US has no respect for UN and rest of the world.  To please Israel and impress US weapon lobby, Obama continues his battle cry, along with Kelly who pitifully try – without any evidence – to convince the world that it is the Syrian Govt. who used the CW.

One thing is sure; it is almost impossible to prove who used the CW; and hence the US justification for an attack too.

If not an attack, what other plans are on table?  Sadly, none.

It is beyond doubt that current Assad Govt has lost its credibility.  The country and its citizens should be given the chance to decide whom they prefer to govern Syria.  Given the continuing civil war and reduced practice of democracy in Syria, at a very high level, something along below lines appears to be a valid, possible solution towards the crisis:

  • Both sides to immediately agree on cease-fire.
  • UN to send observers to Syria to monitor ongoing developments.
  • Syrian Government and rebel representatives – in presence of mutually agreeable mediators + UN representatives – to discuss, negotiate and agree towards an all-party committee which should plan, co-ordinate, mobilise and conduct election in next 12 months.
  • UN force to observe and ensure fairness during the election process.
  • All sides to accept the results and carry on.

Is Syria heading towards to become another Afghanistan/ Iraq/ Libya?  Or will the UK Parliament vote have the power to make US/France re-think?  I would love to believe latter will happen; but recent past’s history sadly, slowly whisper latter is what we are heading to.

Let us wait and watch.

UK Govt.’s military plans against Syria

West against Syria

The war-hungry hooligans have started licking their bloody lips again.  This time they are hungrier, grown shameless and shows utter dis-respect towards rest of the world, UN Security Council and the UN itself.  

Latest news from UK confirms that UK Government is drawing up contingency military plans in response to the alleged chemical weapons usage in Syria.

What are the current ground realities?

  • Though it looks highly possible, usage of chemical weapons is not yet proven.
  • It is not known who used the chemical weapons.  But of course, US and UK require no proof to “confirm” it is the Syrian Government to be blamed.
  • UN Security Council has not agreed on any attack on Syria, which is a UN member state and a sovereign country.

Where is world politics heading to? 

When did it become a norm that an independent country could be attacked based on speculations and accusations? 

It is true that Syria is going through an intense civil war, with both sides doing all they could do to defeat the other.  But that does not give US or UK any excuse to intervene.  They are not world police.

Rebels in Pak-occupied-Kashmir – while conducting terrorist attacks – are crying for decades that India is oppressing civilians in the region.  Does that give rights to US/UK or any other war-obsessed nation a license to attack India? 

The world should join Russia and China to strongly oppose and condemn any plans of attack against Syria.  Military decisions, if any, is the very last option, taken at UN level, with full agreement and support from all members of UN Security Council.  Period.

Battle-cry against yet another foreign country – Syria

Britain’s Foreign Minister, William Hague, mentioned today that “Military action against Syria may be the only remaining response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the country”.

Military action? Only remaining response? How sure the Foreign Minister is!!!

No doubt, this quick-fix is “elegantly” supported by previous military atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya! Hague seems impatient to add one more Middle-Eastern name to that list.

Of course, we all know that this is not Hague’s own idea. For that matter, it is not an original idea of his leader Cameron too. As always, these two are merely advertising the desires of US of A.

Please tell me, in which of the above mentioned countries was military action successful? Taliban is still not defeated in Afghanistan. Iraq is still burning, daily, in internal fights. And Libya? Just yesterday only Reuters blog reported that Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence amid country’s disarray.

What does all this show? A military action from US/UK warmongers does not resolve issues in any foreign country; they just increase the internal division in those very countries – and fan the fire of hatred in hearts and minds of locals against the Western countries.

Let us look in to the latest news from Syria. From available news, it appears that chemical weapons were used against civilians. [is the news true? Western media and politicians says so; few years ago they also “honestly” told us about Saddam Hussein’s “Weapons-of-Mass-Destructions”]

For time being, let us accept the use of chemical weapons. Still, certainty, if any, ends just there. Who used these weapons against civilians? Was it the Government, or the rebels? We do not know.

While rebels claim that Government was behind the attack, Assad’s Government insists rebels carried-out these attacks.

Whoever used it, bringing a third-party military on top of existing internal civil war is not going to defuse the situation. The ultimate sufferers will still be the civilians. US/UK/French military will surely pound the country, possibly bring down Assad, and hand-over the rule to a half-cooked amalgamation of anti-Assad political parties.

Then what? Repeat Iraq? Repeat Libya? Repeat Egypt?

External military intervention from Western countries is hardly a solution in Middle East. These internal fights have centuries of histories behind them. Neither NATO, nor any other Western power could grasp the underlying politics, and deep-rooted religion based divisions. A free-and-fair election could resolve it – even if it is a temporary solution. That is what the rest of the world – under the banner of UN, and not led by US/UK – could help Syria aspire to achieve.

Not another war.

 

 

Congratulations, Palestine!

palestine1

Hearty congratulations to Palestine and its people for their non-member observer state status in UN.  It is not much an envious status to rejoice in an ordinary situation; but this vote was for Palestine – a land where its people are living under oppression, severe sanctions and constant bombing from its bully neighbour.  139 countries voted in favour of Palestine; it is indeed an occasion to celebrate for Palestine’s citizens.

This recognition by UN and its member countries is a small but strong first step towards official recognition for a Palestine nation.  It is also a big blow from rest of the world to Israel and its arms supplier ally, US.

While 139 countries voted in favour of truth and justice, 7 shamelessly voted alongside US and Israel.  It is an utter disgrace and shameful act that UK decided to join this very minority of nations who voted against Palestine and its legitimate rights to be an independent country.

Has US and Israel learned anything from this humiliating defeat?  No, Sir.  Instead of feeling humble and having second thoughts, both have come out with fresh threats!  US warned to cut financial aid to Palestine.  Israel went one step ahead and declared that “by going to the UN, Palestinians have violated (!) the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly“.

It is significant that this voting happened exactly on the very same day when Palestine was divided into two, 65 years ago.  Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas told to UN assembly of this “issue of birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine”.  I sincerely hope so.

The news took me back to memories of college days.  Many years ago, there were few Palestine students in our college.  We used to make fun of girls who were fascinated by these guys from a foreign land: “Don’t fall in love with them! They have no place to take you back!!”  While it was silly and cruel but innocent joke at that time, I now fully realise the pain and sorrow those Palestine students might have gone through.

One should not forget that this small piece of land is under constant attack and aggression from Israel.  Recent attacks, only a few days ago, were happening in the background of

  • Benjamin Netanyahu facing next general election in January (to show his “power” and gain few extra votes?!)
  • Today’s UN voting on resolution to upgrade Palestine’s status in UN

As all know, today’s Middle-East equation is completely different from that of yesterday.  Israel’s Egyptian “friend” Hosni Mubarak was thrown out of power early last year.  Instead, the new President Mohamed Morsi Gaza recalled Egypt’s ambassador from Israel, handed protest letter to Israel’s ambassador in Egypt and even sent his Prime Minister Hisham Qandil to Gaza to re-affirm Egypt’s support to Palestine and its struggle.  Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem  too visited Gaza after the last attack.

Both these early adaptors of Arab Spring had wasted no time in endorsing their support to Palestine and its struggle for freedom.  Not only Egypt and Tunisia, but Turkey, Qatar and Iran back Palestine.  It was in fact the missiles apparently given by Iran that targeted Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in retaliation.  All in all, Middle-East is not what it was few years ago, and Israel’s aggression on Palestine will not go unnoticed.

While Palestine could look up to above mentioned nascent Democratic countries, they don’t have enough military, financial or commercial strength to stand up to a bullying Israel.  On other side, it is incredibly tragic that UN and rest of the world are yet to tame Israel and stop its aggression on Palestinians.

I don’t know where the Palestinian students from my college are now; but I am sure of one thing – wherever in the world, they would be celebrating this Nov 29th.

Congrats once again, Palestine!

Next round of “Iran” bashing

We are witnessing yet another round of bullying by Israel and western nations against Iran’s nuclear programme.  This time the venue is annual meeting of the UN assembly.  Both Obama and Netanyahu have repeatedly expressed their threats in no uncertain terms – Iran can face an attack any time in very near future, probably in few months itself.

Have no doubts; I am totally against nuclear weapons as mentioned in number of previous posts.  I also doubt whether the world should use nuclear power even for peaceful operations, after witnessing Chernobyl and Fukushima tragedies.

That said, what rights does USA and Israel have to threaten Iran on their nuclear programme?  Both USA and Israel have nuclear weapons in their storage.  [Even though Israel has not declared openly, it is a known secret that they own nuclear weapons].  Surely as a sovereign country, Iran too has the rights for peaceful nuclear operations?  We could understand and agree if a non-nuclear country protest against Iran’s nuclear interests.  But USA and Israel?!

Time after time Iran has categorically stated that their nuclear programme is towards peaceful operations.  Why should we disbelieve this?  If only we should dis-believe someone, then better candidates are US and its allies – who attacked Iraq by lying to world that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and other “weapons of mass destruction”.

I do not think Iran is that foolish enough to believe that they can use nuclear arms against any country and still survive as a country without any harm.

Arguments that terrorist organisations could get hold of Iran’s nuclear installations, too does not hold good enough.  This argument could be used against any nuclear active country, including Pakistan, India or even Russia.

USA has no moral rights to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  Were in this whole world was the first nuclear weapon designed? Which country made the first nuclear weapon? Who used it first against another nation, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people? Who still has the largest collection of nuclear weapons? Answer to all above questions is – US of A!

Each of the crimes attributed against Iran on nuclear front – design, development and “possible” deployment of nuclear arms – was first committed by none other than USA!

Even if we agree for argument sake that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons, what is so “never-ever-before” heinous approach in that motive? Is this item only in agenda of Iran? How many other countries already have nuclear weapons in their kitty?

Let me say again…. I do not support nuclear weapons. My strong viewpoint is that the world should get rid of all of its nuclear weapons.  But it should be done in a phased manner, with the country with largest collection shedding them first. And not by threatening other nations.

Attack on US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya

American ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens, along with three other Americans have been killed in violent attack on US consulate at Benghazi, Libya. Media reported use of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades during the attack. Attackers also burned down the consulate building almost completely.

It is a deeply regrettable act and I join the world in condemning this attack by religious extremists.

Not only in Libya, but the US consulate in Egypt too came under attack. It is grave that Egypt’s Islamist / Muslim Brotherhood supporter President has not yet condemned the attack happened in front of Cairo US embassy.

The root cause for attack was a cheap video (which insults Prophet Mohammed) created by a racist (Christian / Jewish?) fundamentalist in USA. Mere fact that the video was made in US does not mean Christopher Stevens agreed to its contents; yet it was him and his three colleagues who paid by their lives for this despicable video. It is ironic it was the same Christopher Stevens who supported and assisted Benghazi rebels in their fight against Gaddafi – the turning point in Libyan rebel movement, which ultimately resulted in end of Gaddafi era.

That said, it is very clear that yet another long head-ache has started for USA – a headache US indirectly allowed to happen in first place. It is not Gaddafi nor his loyalists, but religious fundamentalists – whom USA blessed and supported in their attack on Gaddafi, whom USA encouraged by providing guns and rockets – have committed this attack on US consulate.

Who has gained by pulling down the autocratic – but secular – regimes in Libya and Egypt? Who are the ultimate winners of Arab Spring? If you look deep, you could see that it is a clear gain for the religious extremists in Middle East. Egypt now has a Muslim Brotherhood supporter as its President. Libya has no control over law and order; extremists are let free on streets with latest war machines to terrorise the public.

Ordinary people of Egypt and Libya have not gained by the change in power. Not only they have not gained, they have much to lose.

Why so? Because we have seen what had happened in Afghanistan. When Najibullah Government was violently annihilated by Taliban, the Afghan citizens lost more than what they gained. It is now a historical fact that Taliban terrorized the nation, eliminated whoever stood against them and their extremist views, stopped education – and even medical care – for women.

Which country made the weapons that were used to attack the US consulate in Libya? Who provided these weapons to the extremists? Why did US keep quiet when the very same extremists brandished these weapons during war-cry for Gaddafi’s head? If one honestly answers these questions, we could see the selfish motive of US – which has backfired in many forms, latest of which is the Benghazi consulate attack.

This is not a new story; let me go back to the history of Afghanistan again. Decades ago while USSR was fighting against Taliban extremists in Afghanistan, it is this very same USA who mocked USSR and indirectly supported Taliban. The very same weapons USA gifted Taliban to fight against USSR and Najibullah Government were used – and being used even now – against US and NATO forces.

I am in no way diminishing the severity of attack and death of consulate staff; nor I am siding with extremists who committed this coward act. But we should realise that this attack is the latest reminder to USA on its rubbish, ignorant foreign policy. It is high time US and its war-hungry allies (including UK) listen to rest of the world and understand world politics and respect sovereignty of other countries. Let us hope the US will learn from its mistake and give the world a better chance for peaceful existence. Till then, the US Government only have itself to blame for this brutality.

My views on Libya and Col. Gaddafi – and few questions for Sabina Guevara

I have no faith in the administrators of http://vivalibya.wordpress.com to publish my reply in its entirety to their comments.  [for Sabina Guevara: I also do not believe suppressing links to other websites like you do!]  I feel I should have an honest hearing; hence posting my full views here:

To start with, I declare that I have not been in Libya and not experienced in first-hand the past/present Government and its politics.  Agree that all of my comments/posts are based entirely on newspapers/media – and thanks for the links from Sabina Guevara; appreciate and happy to receive the same and will go thru in coming days…

That said, I still don’t understand where in my post/comments I “insinuate that Saif is in some way guilty of crimes if not directly at least by being born as the son of Muammar Gaddafi.”  I did not say that anywhere!  I also did not say that Saif should feel guilty for being born as the son of Col. Gaddafi.  Where did I say that?  Please don’t put words in to others mouth to make yourselves right.

All I said it my post was Saif should be given a proper trial at ICC, as SAIF HIMSELF HAS REQUESTED!  It is extra-ordinary and amusing for VivaLibya to argue with someone who is taking their side!

Let me re-iterate; I am no Gaddafi fan and I do not agree with all of his actions.  But who agrees in entirety to anyone else?  [Stephan Gowan from first link will agree with me! Stephan’s words – “’I’m not saying Gaddafi’s Libya was a model society”]

That is my understanding, and if proven otherwise I am ready to accept it and will feel happier about it.  For my belief and understanding, I do not need a certificate from Sabina Guevara that I am an imperialist, thank you very much!  Let us not insult each other but try to use better language!

I dare VivaLibya to publish my reply in its entirety – even though I know they would not do so.  Why?  Because my previous posts too were edited and some words were swallowed.

Sabina Guevara / VivaLibya, few questions for you:

  1.  Where in my post/comments I said that Saif should feel guilty for being born as the son of Col. Gaddafi.  I did not said this; show me proof where I said it.
  2. Why are you afraid of others comments, especially of those who are on your side on most of the issues?!  Why don’t you publish my entire reply which in no way insults Libya, its Government, or Gaddafi family?   Or is it because you are against an honest conversation?

English is NOT my first language, and can see words/sentences where I could be mis-represented.  Let me re-iterate:

•  I extremely value the sentiments of Libyans and understand their emotions.

•  I strongly protest / disagree with assassination of Gaddafi.  It was a barbaric act and those who did it should face trial.

•  I am not against Gaddafi, his family or a free Libya.  [I hope this is clear from my comments, but let me say it again for absolute clarity!]

•  I believe Col. Gaddafi was true and courageous man, who stood , followed and fought for what he believed – against western invaders, capitalists and hooligans.

•  I humbly stand with Libyans against the invaders and western powers which ransacked Libya.

Let me wish all the best for all who fights for a just and free Libya. I sincerely believe and am convinced that there are enough strong-willed and able souls who can hold discussions/ conversations and will bring justice for Libya and its people. I sincerely believe true Libya will rise like Phoenix from ashes.