Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

amusements for americans and other human idiots...

the list...the list...

The execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein took place on 30 December 2006. Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging, after being convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the Dujail massacre — the killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites in the town of Dujail — in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him.


The Iraqi government released an official video of his execution, showing him being led to the gallows, and ending after the hangman's noose was placed over his head. International public controversy arose when a mobile phone recording of the hanging showed him surrounded by a contingent of his countrymen who jeered him in Arabic and praised the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and his subsequent fall through the trap door of the gallows.



Back in 1981, 40 years ago, the battle between Iraq and Iran started to heat up.



Britannica tells us:



Iran-Iraq War, (1980–88), prolonged military conflict between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s. Open warfare began on September 22, 1980, when Iraqi armed forces invaded western Iran along the countries’ joint border, though Iraq claimed that the war had begun earlier that month, on September 4, when Iran shelled a number of border posts. Fighting was ended by a 1988 cease-fire, though the resumption of normal diplomatic relations and the withdrawal of troops did not take place until the signing of a formal peace agreement on August 16, 1990.


Origins of the Iran-Iraq War

The roots of the war lay in a number of territorial and political disputes between Iraq and Iran. Iraq wanted to seize control of the rich oil-producing Iranian border region of Khūzestān, a territory inhabited largely by ethnic Arabs over which Iraq sought to extend some form of suzerainty. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein wanted to reassert his country’s sovereignty over both banks of the Shaṭṭ al-ʿArab, a river formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that was historically the border between the two countries.



Saddam was also concerned over attempts by Iran’s Islamic revolutionary government to incite rebellion among Iraq’s Shiʿi majority. By attacking when it did, Iraq took advantage of the apparent disorder and isolation of Iran’s new government—then at loggerheads with the United States over the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehrān by Iranian militants—and of the demoralization and dissolution of Iran’s regular armed forces.


Saddam was also concerned over attempts by Iran’s Islamic revolutionary government to incite rebellion among Iraq’s Shiʿi majority. By attacking when it did, Iraq took advantage of the apparent disorder and isolation of Iran’s new government—then at loggerheads with the United States over the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehrān by Iranian militants—and of the demoralization and dissolution of Iran’s regular armed forces.


But under the leadership of Ruhollah Khomeini, who bore a strong personal animosity toward Saddam, Iran remained intransigent and continued the war in an effort to overthrow the Iraqi leader. Iraq’s defenses solidified once its troops were defending their own soil, and the war settled down into a stalemate with a static, entrenched front running just inside and along Iraq’s border. Iran repeatedly launched fruitless infantry attacks, using human assault waves composed partly of untrained and unarmed conscripts (often young boys snatched from the streets), which were repelled by the superior firepower and air power of the Iraqis. Both nations engaged in sporadic air and missile attacks against each other’s cities and military and oil installations. They also attacked each other’s oil-tanker shipping in the Persian Gulf, and Iran’s attacks on Kuwait’s and other Gulf states’ tankers prompted the United States and several western European nations to station warships in the Persian Gulf to ensure the flow of oil to the rest of the world.

The oil-exporting capacity of both nations was severely reduced at various times owing to air strikes and to pipeline shutoffs, and the consequent reduction in their income and foreign-currency earnings brought the countries’ economic-development programs to a near standstill. Iraq’s war effort was openly financed by Saudi ArabiaKuwait, and other neighbouring Arab states and was tacitly supported by the United States and the Soviet Union, while Iran’s only major allies were Syria and Libya. Iraq continued to sue for peace in the mid-1980s, but its international reputation was damaged by reports that it had made use of lethal chemical weapons against Iranian troops as well as against Iraqi-Kurdish civilians, whom the Iraqi government thought to be sympathetic to Iran. (One such attack, in and around the Kurdish village of Ḥalabjah in March 1988, killed as many as 5,000 civilians.) In the mid-1980s the military stalemate continued, but in August 1988 Iran’s deteriorating economy and recent Iraqi gains on the battlefield compelled Iran to accept a United Nations-mediated cease-fire that it had previously resisted.


The total number of combatants on both sides is unclear; but both countries were fully mobilized, and most men of military age were under arms. The number of casualties was enormous but equally uncertain. Estimates of total casualties range from 1,000,000 to twice that number. The number killed on both sides was perhaps 500,000, with Iran suffering the greatest losses. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed by Iraqi forces during the series of campaigns code-named Anfāl (Arabic: “Spoils”) that took place in 1988 (see Kurd).

In August 1990, while Iraq was preoccupied with its invasion of Kuwait (see Persian Gulf War), Iraq and Iran restored diplomatic relations, and Iraq agreed to Iranian terms for the settlement of the war: the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from occupied Iranian territory, division of sovereignty over the Shaṭṭ al-ʿArab waterway, and a prisoner-of-war exchange. The final exchange of prisoners was not completed until March 2003.




What isn’t mentioned in this article is the real manipulations behind the scene:

From 1980 to 1988, Iran and Iraq fought the longest conventional war of the twentieth century. [Then came the US war against the Taliban in Afghanistan which lasted nearly 20 years in the 21st century]. The tragedies included the slaughter of child soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, the striking of civilian shipping in the Gulf, and the destruction of cities. The Iran-Iraq War offers an unflinching look at a conflict seared into the region’s collective memory but little understood in the West. Pierre Razoux shows why this war remains central to understanding Middle Eastern geopolitics, from the deep-rooted distrust between Sunni and Shia Muslims, to Iran’s obsession with nuclear power, to the continuing struggles in Iraq. He provides invaluable keys to decipher Iran’s behavior and internal struggle today.


Razoux’s account is based on unpublished military archives, oral histories, and interviews, as well as audio recordings seized by the U.S. Army detailing Saddam Hussein’s debates with his generals. Tracing the war’s shifting strategies and political dynamics―military operations, the jockeying of opposition forces within each regime, the impact on oil production so essential to both countries ― Razoux also looks at the international picture. From the United States and Soviet Union to Israel, Europe, China, and the Arab powers, many nations meddled in this conflict, supporting one side or the other and sometimes switching allegiances.


The Iran-Iraq War answers questions that have puzzled historians. Why did Saddam embark on this expensive, ultimately fruitless conflict? Why did the war last eight years when it could have ended in months? Who, if anyone, was the true winner when so much was lost?

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In some way, the theory behind the US administration in the 1980s was that such a war weakened both countries — Iraq and Iran. Iran had done a switcheroo towards Shia fundamentalism away from the “kingdom” of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi that had been supported by the USA to prevent the possibility of Iran falling into the hands of socialism — even religious socialism.


The Iranian revolution was a bit of slap to the US that had provided weapons to the Shah’s army that were now working for the Ayatollah. The Iranian armed forces depended on the US technical expertise to operate their sophisticated weapon system, but they soon learnt to fiddle with the stuff by themselves. In 1980, Iran had 240,000 soldiers of which 150,000 were professional, 875 British Chieftain heavy tanks, 400 M-47/48, 460 M-60AT tanks, 325 M-113 and 500 BTR-40/50/60/152 armoured carriers, over 1000 guns and howitzers. The Iranian airforce had 70,000 personnel, 445 combat aircrafts, including 77 F14A Tomcats and 188 F-4D/E Phantoms and 166 F-SE/F fighter bombers. The Iranian navy had 20,000 personnel with 3 guided-weapons destroyers, 4 guided-weapon frigates, 9 fast attack crafts with missiles and 14 hovercrafts.

The Iraq attack was based on “old British plans”… (remember Whatizname "Lawrence of Arabia”?) Meanwhile the Soviets were complicating the situation by interfering in Afghanistan and in Ethiopia, while the US were meddling in India and in Pakistan. Overall, the US were supporting Saddam, but one should think that the US support here was to make the war last longer than it could have. The next part of the US plan was to “allow” Saddam to attack Kuwait, then crush him with the first Gulf War… Under the terms of Saddam's defeat by the USA, Saddam would destroy his stock of chemical weapons that had been supplied to him by the US and Germany to fight the Iranians and destroy other WMDs, and missiles such as Scuds (soviet supplied) — BUT remain in power, to prevent the majority of the people in Iraq, the Shia, vote in a "democratic" government that would be aligned with Iran. 

Then the USA, with the ideology of the Neocons, decided to attack Saddam and remove him, under the false claims (manufactured by the CIA) that Saddam still had “weapons of mass destruction”. The effect of this second Gulf War by the USA made Iraq align itself with Iran, something which was countered a decade later by the rise of Daesh, itself a resultant of the US financing and supplying weapons to Sunni Muslims, to get rid of Assad in Syria and control Sunni territory in Iraq, to annoy its now Shia government while still be operating a US army in Iraq. 


Meanwhile, the Ruskies had been thrown out of Afghanistan by the Mujahideens helped by the CIA and US cash for weapons. The Mujahideens mostly became the Taliban, took over Afghanistan until the US had to go and find Bin Laden there, after 9/11. The Taliban wanted to hand over Bin Laden for peace, but the US pushed the Taliban away and “never destroyed them” because in some way, the US had adopted the mantra of the “never-ending wars” (forever wars). This providing the USA with reason to boost weapons manufacturers and maintain a permanent footing in the region. The result of "regime change" was a weak corrupt Afghanistan government and a useless training of the Afghan army — with the added bonus of improving the life of some of the Afghan people (with the return of the Taliban, this effect has gone out of the window). The collapse of the puppet Afghan government was inevitable as soon as the US, under Trump, decided to quit Afghanistan. Joe Biden agreed to the retreat, though he was under no obligation to do so. His main discreet reason was that he could see another 20 years of occupation by the USA there and not a skerrick of improvement.

As usual, US interventions anywhere created a mess, chaos and crap — some of it purposefully. See what happens next... The US destruction of "seven countries in five years" still has Iran on the list... The Ruskies have prevented Syria from falling over to Daesh, while also protecting Iran. Meanwhile the Turks, still dreaming of restoring the Ottoman empire, have a foot in both camp...



Rabid historian for kiddies who will soon be in charge of history.




SC, DA...

Twenty years after the world stood still and watched in horror as passenger aircraft slammed into the World Trade Center, has a new world order appeared?

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


9/11. Explosions in a building, caused by aircraft. Not in New York, but in La Paz, Chile, where La Moneda Presidential Palace housing Salvador Allende, Chile’s President, was bombed by the Chilean Air Force given the nod by Richard Nixon sitting in Washington DC. In 1973.

Exactly twenty-eight years later, the Twin Towers took centre stage in the world’s media theatre for weeks to come as humankind held its breath at the sheer audacity of the al-Qaeda attack against the people of the United States of America, as passenger aircraft slammed into the building (and later another one at the Pentagon). For some, David had slapped Goliath in the face wreaking revenge for the western treatment of Moslems, its turning a blind eye to Israel’s apartheid policies on lands it stole from the Palestinians. For the majority, civilians and especially women and children, can never be indiscriminate targets of any sort of violence.

The event shocked public opinion into backing the ensuing knee-jerk reaction which followed 9/11, a return to witch-hunt days and medieval Pavlovian reactions in which it was enough to say “She’s a witch” to see someone torched and lynched by the populace. After 9/11 “He’s a terrorist!” was enough to see someone snatched from his home and taken to a CIA torture camp on the land or in the air, supposedly avoiding human rights legislation as the west became synonymous with torture and concentration camps for prisoners held without due legal process.

  All this for what? Has a new world order been created?

The United States of America has, since 9/11, spent around eight trillion dollars on its foreign policy in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya and in Syria. Western-style democracies have not been implemented in any single one of these places and indeed, incidents of extremist insurrection, violence, unrest and terrorism are popping up like mushrooms all over the globe. In European cities, in North Africa, in Mozambique, in the Horn of Africa, in various hotspots around South-East Asia, in Australia, in New Zealand. To a lesser extent these days, even in Moscow. Libya, once the African country with the highest Human Development Index under Gaddafy, is crawling with terrorists and slave markets, Iraq is still a failed State with high unemployment, the Syrian government, backed by the vast majority of the people, is still fighting western-backed takfiri forces.

The bottom line and the common link is that the targets of hatred are countries which represent Western interests, seen by many as being disrespectful to local customs (of Moslems) and favouring Israel’s policies against Palestinians, bulldozing cemeteries, stealing homes, destroying olive groves, shooting kids in the eyes with rubber bullets and building colonies on stolen lands.

The 9/11 attacks both followed some precepts of Carl von Clauzewitz’s Principles of War (1812), namely making a concentric attack focusing on the enemy’s weakest or most defenceless point and also constituted the first non-Clausewitzian event in world history, in which a non-State participant has the power to exact damage on and to challenge, a State player. Whichever "side" you are on, this is the discourse that we hear, correct or exaggerated.

Since 9/11, al-Qaeda has lost some leaders but the organisation remains. Other groups, such as ISIS and affiliated movements, have appeared. Hatred and terrorism are factors which today’s children grow up with, the possibility of attack anywhere at any time is a reality. The power of military intervention has been proved useless time and time again, although it should be said that the families of the military who lost their lives or livelihoods in Afghanistan for instance should draw some solace from the fact that today, Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists to launch attacks against western targets. Today, at least.

On the other hand, the human rights book has been torn up and disregarded by those who spent decades quoting from it and expounding soundbites about freedom and democracy, as the treatment of prisoners descended to Inquisition-type levels, with detainees being beaten up, urinated on, forced to eat food which their religion forbids, attacked with snakes, sodomised, smothered in faeces...

The image of 9/11 is shocking but so is the image of Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, detainee number 18170, the Iraqi prisoner standing on a box, hooded, with his penis wired up for electric shocks.

The conclusion is that probably those responsible for such abuses today realise that this approach is wrong and cannot be repeated while those who support the victims of it almost certainly believe that they have the right to use whatever means at their disposal to press home their agenda.

So, to answer the question posed in the lead paragraph, a new boy on the block has appeared. Like Covid-19, we have to live with the spectre of international Islamist terrorism. But is there a New World Order?

The consequences

To begin with, what are the consequences of this? Firstly, we must remember that there is a difference between Islam (the peaceful religion) and Islamism (the aggressive movement). Secondly, military invention, invasions and neo-colonisation belong to yesteryear. Thirdly, development is far more effective than deployment.

But there is another factor. It’s called seeing the big picture and not only the small picture. Renaissance painters charged their work full of symbolism and five hundred years ago, those who appreciated art would spend hours poring over the paintings or sculptures and discussing the details and the implications of the focus of the work, where the hands were pointing, why, the gaze, the expression, the importance of the dog and so on. Today, we breeze around the rooms of an art gallery in half an hour. Done. Seen that. Next?

The cloisters of medieval convents contained capitals based and topped with sculptures from the Gospels, not only those we are familiar with but many other alternative gospels, or Apocryphal gospels, and other books, which contained the same stories but with minute details slightly different from those presented in the New Testament. Examples of these books are the Dead Sea Scrolls. These days we would say, “Ah look, it’s a statue... Of God, or something”.

Visitors to the cloisters knew these differences and details and would take delight in discussing which was which and the symbolism of each.

In our binary world of with us or against us, of the figures one or zero, of black and white, probably nurtured by exposure to digital platforms, we have lost the ability to see the big picture. The media helps us along this path towards ignorance. So the small picture is that NATO has been defeated, the Taliban have won. Others might say that terrorism has won.

Or indeed, that all Jews support Zionist policies, which is simply not true. Jews Against Zionism is a powerful group and there are many Israelis who volunteer in their free time to help Palestinians or Bedouin and who prosecute those responsible for abuses. This never reaches the media, of course. And so cycles of hatred go unchecked.

The big picture is that those who controlled the capital still exist and still control the capital. Those who for hundreds of years have sailed around the world looking to control trade routes and resources are still looking at Siberia and later, China. The small picture shows us that Vasco da Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and set up trading stations in India. The big picture says, yeah, sure he did, but as the Portuguese wrested the spice trade away from the Venetians, who used overland routes. As someone once said, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

So the big picture tells us that until we truly come together and act as one, taking decisions in the proper forums such as the United Nations Security Council, until we increase the say at the high table from five nations with vetoes to representatives of regions with the same power to veto, until we implement mechanisms to enforce international law, until we act multilaterally, it is a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Today I am writing in 2021. That phrase was coined by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, in the journal Les Guépes (The Wasps), in January, 1849, 172 years ago.

If there is one key word, it is the D-word, Development and this comes with knowledge, which comes with education. Education breeds interchange of ideas, of cultures, of gastronomies, of religions, of experiences, stories, international common values which we all adhere to and the realisation that we are all brothers and sisters living around a common lake, our seas. With Education comes the honour to learn, with Education comes understanding and with understanding comes respect. With respect comes tolerance.

So in the following three decades, suppose we invest those eight trillion USD in development and education, creating opportunities and jobs, reducing ignorance, marginalisation and exclusion, the main drivers of terrorism and then in 2051, half a century after 9/11, we can perhaps draw rosier conclusions?

The crystal-clear answer to my question is that, no, there is no new world order. If you excuse my crudity, it's a case of same crap, different assholes (SC, DA...).

I might still be here. Whether or not I say “if I am lucky” I am not sure.

The author can be contacted at [email protected]

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See also:

the day america discovered that superman was not real...


the smoke of 9/11...