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RE: [casi] Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war

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Dear list members,

                  Below is the URL another Guardian feature on Iraq
today  with some extracts.,3604,1035855,00.html

 Real lives

----This is no good, sir!'

There are no police stations or banks, the American troops are scared
and hated and anything that isn't guarded is stolen or destroyed. Is
there hope for the people of Baghdad? The distinguished Peruvian
novelist Mario Vargas Llosa reports from Iraq

Friday September 5, 2003

However, the one product that citizens of Baghdad are buying most
eagerly is parabolic aerials, which allow them to see television
broadcasts from all over the world, something that had never been
possible before, and that infuriates the conservative Islamic clerics,
who see this television frenzy as an invasion of the corrupting western
pornography. Now Iraqis can also surf freely over the web, which in the
days of Saddam Hussein was considered a crime. It is amusing to observe,
in the internet coffee shops which have mushroomed throughout Baghdad,
the passion with which the Baghdadis, especially the young, indulge in
this new pastime that connects them with the rest of the world.

Endless stories about the US soldiers who patrol Baghdad are spreading
all over, the majority of which are, without doubt, exaggerations or
lies. One example is that, in their desperation against the growing
attacks, they burst into houses and abuse their authority under the
pretext of looking for arms. I tried to verify some of these charges and
they turned out to be unfounded. The truth is that nobody knows what
line to take. For the first time in its history there is complete
freedom of press in Iraq - anyone can buy a newspaper or magazine
without having to ask for permission from someone - and currently more
than 50 news papers are being printed in Baghdad alone (where, since
April, 70 political parties have emerged.

The Ali Babas ransacked everything that came their way and left half of
the population in the street, with no possessions or roofs over their
heads. Who were these plunderers? Saddam Hussein, in order to celebrate
his re-election as president with 100% of the vote, opened the country's
prison doors on October 15 2002 and set free all the common criminals
(while sending the majority of political prisoners to their deaths). How
many did he set free?

I'm given dislocated figures that run from 30,000 to 100,000. It doesn't
explain all the outrages committed, but it does explain a good number,
the Archbishop Fernando Filoni, The lack of practice of freedom
initially spawns catastrophes. That is the reason why the Pope, who is
very wise, opposed the war.

The disheartenment that all this generates is just one of the obstacles
the Iraqi people have to overcome so that their country, which has just
come out of one of the most corrupt and brutal experiences of
authoritarianism that mankind has known, can leave behind the long night
of despotism and violence that makes up its history and become a modern,
prosperous and democratic nation.



The Guardian

-----Original Message-----
From: as-ilas []
Sent: 06 September 2003 14:15
To: casi
Subject: [casi] Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq

Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war

Fury over Meacher claims

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor

Saturday September 6, 2003

The Guardian

Michael Meacher, who served as a minister for six years until three

ago, today goes further than any other mainstream British politician in

blaming the Iraq war on a US desire for domination of the Gulf and the


Mr Meacher, a leftwinger who is close to the green lobby, also claims in

article in today's Guardian that the war on terrorism is a smokescreen

that the US knew in advance about the September 11 attack on New York

for strategic reasons, chose not to act on the warnings.

He says the US goal is "world hegemony, built around securing by force

command over the oil supplies" and that this Pax Americana "provides a

better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after

than the global war on terrorism thesis".

Mr Meacher adds that the US has made "no serious attempt" to catch the

al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden.

He also criticises the British government, claiming it is motivated, as

the US, by a desire for oil.

The US government last night expressed abhorrence at Mr Meacher's views.

embassy spokesman in London said: "Mr Meacher's fantastic allegations -

especially his assertion that the US government knowingly stood by while

terrorists killed some 3,000 innocents in New York, Pennsylvania and

Virginia - would be monstrous, and monstrously offensive, if they came

someone serious or credible.

"My nation remains grateful for the steadfast friendship of the British

people and Her Majesty's government as we face, together, the serious

challenges that have arisen since September 11 2001."

Downing Street also distanced itself from the views of an MP who only a

months ago was in the government. "The prime minister has responded to

who argue it was about oil," a spokeswoman said, adding that oil profits

from Iraq are to be fed back into the country's development.

Former ministers such as Robin Cook and Clare Short have criticised the

British government for misleading the public over the reasons for going

war. But Mr Meacher has gone much further in his analysis of US and


He says that the plans of the neo-conservatives in Washington for action

against Afghanistan and Iraq were well in hand before September 11. He

questions why the US failed to heed intelligence about al-Qaida

in the US and the apparent slow reaction of the US authorities on the

as well as the subsequent inability to lay hands on Bin Laden.

He argues that the explanation makes sense when seen against the

of the neo-conservative plan.

"From this it seems that the so-called 'war on terrorism' is being used

largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical


He adds: "Given this, it is not surprising that some have seen the US

failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext for

attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well
planned in


Mr Meacher, who was environment minister, says: "The overriding

for this political smokescreen is that the US and the UK are beginning

run out of secure hydrocarbon energy supplies."

He is critical of Britain for allegedly colluding in propagating the
myth of

a global war of terrorism. He asks: "Is collusion in this myth and

participation in this project really a proper aspiration for British



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