Marina Hyde - The Guardian
The creatures of the US military-industrial complex, have somehow managed to pick themselves up from what should have been career-ending humiliation in Iraq and call for more of the same.
The thing about a supertanker is that at least you can turn it round. It takes a while, by all accounts, but you have to think any such vessel has the turning circle of a London taxi compared with the US war machine, which – like its erstwhile willing passenger Tony Blair – appears to relish its lack of a reverse gear.
Are we moving inexorably towards a strike on Iran? There is "a smell of fresh chum in the waters" again, as the rip-roaring journalist Matt Taibbi put it recently.
This week, not a decade after the Iraq invasion, several former officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency accused its head of mishandling the Iranian crisis. They levelled charges of western bias, relying on dodgy intelligence, and sidelining sceptics.
This may sound vaguely familiar. In fact, the situation has all the charmless nostalgia of those I Love 1982-style shows, which saw "expert" talking heads such as Vernon Kay and Kate Thornton reminisce about everything from deely-boppers to the Falklands with no modulation of tone.
11/03/2012 - 10:30
11/03/2012 - 23:59
PANA & the IAWM have hired a bus (free, but a donation will be requested) to travel to Shannon from Dublin on March 11th. It leaves Heuston Station at 10.30am. The size of the bus depends on the number that confirm they wish to come by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
11/03/2012 - 14:00
13/03/2012 - 00:40
Shannon Demonstration on March 11th to Mark Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
On Sunday March 11th at 2pm Shannonwatch and other peace/anti-war groups from around the country will gather at Shannon Airport to mark the 9th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Since Shannon was handed over to the American forces, over 2 million armed troops have passed through. Following 12 years of crippling sanctions, their presence in Iraq resulted in up to 1 million people dying and over 2 million refugees.
Shannon has also played a significant part in the occupation of Afghanistan over the last decade. There the results are equally appalling.
Not content with supporting the Afghan and Iraq wars, the Irish political elite have now given a clear signal that they will actively support the US/EU/Israeli war on Iran. By closing the Irish embassy there, they shut the door on dialogue. Shannon is continuing to operate as a US military hub, and if Iran is invaded it will almost certainly play a part.
This war must be stopped because if it goes ahead the consequences will be even worse than those in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The demonstration at Shannon on March 11th will remember all those who have died in the wars that Shannon Airport has been part of. It will also call yet again on the Irish government to end the US military use of the airport.
Fallujah babies: Under a new kind of siege
Seven years after sieges, Fallujah struggles
Many of Fallujah's buildings that were damaged or destroyed in 2004 remain in disrepair [Dahr Jamail/Al Jazeera]
There is evidence of reconstruction, but shortages of electricity and clean water remain prevalent. The overall mood in the city is one of anger, hopelessness, and fear.
In April and November of 2004, the United States military launched two massive military sieges against the city of Fallujah, located 60km west of Baghdad, due to on-going resistance there against the occupation.
Doctors at Fallujah General Hospital told Al Jazeera in 2004 that 736 Iraqis had been killed during the April siege. They said approximately 60 per cent of the victims were women, children, and elderly, and told of medical personnel being fired on by US forces while trying to evacuate the wounded.
By the end of nearly three weeks of heavy bombings and a ground invasion in the November siege, more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed, according to Fallujah doctors.
'Everything here is bad'
Most of the residents of the city of 300,000 had been displaced from their homes at that time, and while most have returned, thousands remain homeless, unemployed, and struggle to rebuild their lives.
It is estimated that 70 per cent of the buildings and homes in Fallujah were damaged or destroyed, along with at least 100 mosques, 6,000 shops, and nine government offices.