CRISIS IN IRAQ - UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES, IRISH INDEPENDENT AND IRISH EXAMINER

CRISIS IN IRAQ - UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES, IRISH INDEPENDENT AND IRISH EXAMINER

 

Sir / Editor,
 
Western governments are softening us up to accept escalated military intervention in the Middle East with various atrocity stories creating hysteria and fear. While the beheading of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the slaughter or expulsion of unarmed civilians in Iraq are appalling acts that must be condemned, these stories are selectively presented to demonise the USA’s current chosen enemies while ignoring equally brutal atrocities by their friends. America’s ally Saudi Arabia, whose particular brand of extreme Islam puts them almost on a par with Isis, regularly beheads people in public. It beheaded 19 people in the first half of August this year and in January 2013 beheaded a seventeen year old Sri Lankan servant girl.
 
What is the reaction of the US and Britain to this blatant terror and abuse of human rights?  Why, sell them weapons of mass destruction of course. According to a report by the US Congressional Research Service, Riyadh signed $66 billion worth of arms transfer agreements with the US in 2011 alone. A recent US sourced consignment was for 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion; a strange consignment for a country that’s not expecting a tank invasion anytime soon. Meanwhile, according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, Britain under David Cameron’s premiership has approved export licenses to Saudi Arabia worth £3.8bn, with £1.6bn of those in the last year alone. In February this year, frequent visitor Prince Charles frolicked with the Saudi Sheiks while British defence firm BAE sold them 72 Typhoon fighter jets worth £4.4 billion.
 
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others have armed the Islamic State forces in Syria quite likely with arms supplied by the US and Britain. Western policy in the wider region, starting with US support for the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, displays neither moral nor political principles as it cynically practices ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics that support whichever dictatorship or reactionary movement helps it maintain control. Note the recent ease of switching sides with Assad’s Syria and Iran.
 
The needs of the military-industrial-complex and the struggle over the world’s resources drives western powers in their futile foreign policies that inevitably arms sinister forces, stokes sectarian tensions and creates endless violence and perpetual war. Each military intervention succeeds only in killing more people and creating more bitterness and more sectarian division. More bombing is no answer to alleged Isis terror. Western powers should instead engage in a whole string of measures to redress the horrific damage they have wrought on the middle-east. They can begin by stopping the military arming of despotic regimes that behead people and showing the same level of concern for the bombarded, homeless and traumatised people of Gaza that they claim to do for the Yazidi and Christian communities in Iraq.
 
 
Yours etc.
 
JOHN MOLYNEUX, SECRETARY
& JIM ROCHE, PRO,
Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

Tel: 087 6472737 and 085 735 6424