Fr.havn d. 4. august 2004



+ hør hvad Ali hører fra hans fødeland


Nedenstående artikel af den verdenskendte journalist  Robert Fisk videresendes hermed venligst til rådighed for de danske politiske ledere og administratorer til videre overvejelse og foranstaltning.

Og specielt til flygtninge- og udviklingsministeren vil jeg gerne henlede opmærksomheden på hvad en irakisk flygtning med sporadisk kontakt til sin familie i Bagdad og hjemvendte flygtninge i Irak kan fortælle


Med venlig hilsen

Arne Hansen, Sønderjyllands Alle 35, 9900 Frederikshavn


On Tue, 3 Aug 2004 22:09:08 -0400, "Global Network" <  > wrote:



By Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

Sunday, August 1, 2004



The Prime Minister has accused some journalists of almost wanting a

disaster to happen in Iraq. Robert Fisk, who has spent the past five

weeks reporting from the deteriorating and devastated country, says the

disaster has already happened, over and over again.


The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the weapons of mass

destruction that didn't exist. Nor the links between Saddam Hussein and

al-Qa'ida which didn't exist. Nor all the other lies upon which we went

to war. I'm talking about the new lies.


For just as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that

did not exist, now they hide from us the threats that do exist. Much of

Iraq has fallen outside the control of America's puppet government in

Baghdad but we are not told. Hundreds of attacks are made against US

troops every month. But unless an American dies, we are not told. This

month's death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone has now reached 700 - the

worst month since the invasion ended. But we are not told.


The stage management of this catastrophe in Iraq was all too evident at

Saddam Hussein's "trial". Not only did the US military censor the tapes

of the event. Not only did they effectively delete all sound of the 11

other defendants. But the Americans led Saddam Hussein to believe -

until he reached the courtroom - that he was on his way to his

execution. Indeed, when he entered the room he believed that the judge

was there to condemn him to death. This, after all, was the way Saddam

ran his own state security courts. No wonder he initially looked

"disorientated" - CNN's helpful description - because, of course, he was

meant to look that way. We had made sure of that. Which is why Saddam

asked Judge Juhi: "Are you a lawyer? ... Is this a trial?" And swiftly,

as he realised that this really was an initial court hearing - not a

preliminary to his own hanging - he quickly adopted an attitude of



But don't think we're going to learn much more about Saddam's future

court appearances. Salem Chalabi, the brother of convicted fraudster

Ahmad and the man entrusted by the Americans with the tribunal, told the

Iraqi press two weeks ago that all media would be excluded from future

court hearings. And I can see why. Because if Saddam does a Milosevic,

he'll want to talk about the real intelligence and military connections

of his regime - which were primarily with the United States.


Living in Iraq these past few weeks is a weird as well as dangerous

experience. I drive down to Najaf. Highway 8 is one of the worst in

Iraq. Westerners are murdered there. It is littered with burnt-out

police vehicles and American trucks. Every police post for 70 miles has

been abandoned. Yet a few hours later, I am sitting in my room in

Baghdad watching Tony Blair, grinning in the House of Commons as if he

is the hero of a school debating competition; so much for the Butler



Indeed, watching any Western television station in Baghdad these days is

like tuning in to Planet Mars. Doesn't Blair realise that Iraq is about

to implode? Doesn't Bush realise this? The American-appointed

"government" controls only parts of Baghdad - and even there its

ministers and civil servants are car-bombed and assassinated. Baquba,

Samara, Kut, Mahmoudiya, Hilla, Fallujah, Ramadi, all are outside

government authority. Iyad Allawi, the "Prime Minister", is little more

than mayor of Baghdad. "Some journalists," Blair announces, "almost want

there to be a disaster in Iraq." He doesn't get it. The disaster exists



When suicide bombers ram their cars into hundreds of recruits outside

police stations, how on earth can anyone hold an election next January?

Even the National Conference to appoint those who will arrange elections

has been twice postponed. And looking back through my notebooks over the

past five weeks, I find that not a single Iraqi, not a single American

soldier I have spoken to, not a single mercenary - be he American,

British or South African - believes that there will be elections in

January. All said that Iraq is deteriorating by the day. And most asked

why we journalists weren't saying so.


But in Baghdad, I turn on my television and watch Bush telling his

Republican supporters that Iraq is improving, that Iraqis support the

"coalition", that they support their new US-manufactured government,

that the "war on terror" is being won, that Americans are safer. Then I

go to an internet site and watch two hooded men hacking off the head of

an American in Riyadh, tearing at the vertebrae of an American in Iraq

with a knife. Each day, the papers here list another construction

company pulling out of the country. And I go down to visit the friendly,

tragically sad staff of the Baghdad mortuary and there, each day, are

dozens of those Iraqis we supposedly came to liberate, screaming and

weeping and cursing as they carry their loved ones on their shoulders in

cheap coffins.


I keep re-reading Tony Blair's statement. "I remain convinced it was

right to go to war. It was the most difficult decision of my life." And

I cannot understand it. It may be a terrible decision to go to war. Even

Chamberlain thought that; but he didn't find it a difficult decision -

because, after the Nazi invasion of Poland, it was the right thing to

do. And driving the streets of Baghdad now, watching the terrified

American patrols, hearing yet another thunderous explosion shaking my

windows and doors after dawn, I realise what all this means. Going to

war in Iraq, invading Iraq last year, was the most difficult decision

Blair had to take because he thought - correctly - that it might be the

wrong decision. I will always remember his remark to British troops in

Basra, that the sacrifice of British soldiers was not Hollywood but

"real flesh and blood". Yes, it was real flesh and blood that was shed -

but for weapons of mass destruction that weren't real at all.


"Deadly force is authorised," it says on checkpoints all over Baghdad.

Authorised by whom? There is no accountability. Repeatedly, on the great

highways out of the city US soldiers shriek at motorists and open fire

at the least suspicion. "We had some Navy Seals down at our checkpoint

the other day," a 1st Cavalry sergeant says to me. "They asked if we

were having any trouble. I said, yes, they've been shooting at us from a

house over there. One of them asked: 'That house?' We said yes. So they

have these three SUVs and a lot of weapons made of titanium and they

drive off towards the house. And later they come back and say 'We've

taken care of that'. And we didn't get shot at any more."


What does this mean? The Americans are now bragging about their siege of

Najaf. Lieutenant Colonel Garry Bishop of the 37th Armoured Division's

1st Battalion believes it was an "ideal" battle (even though he failed

to kill or capture Muqtada Sadr whose "Mehdi army" were fighting the US

forces). It was "ideal", Bishop explained, because the Americans avoided

damaging the holy shrines of the Imams Ali and Hussein. What are Iraqis

to make of this? What if a Muslim army occupied Kent and bombarded

Canterbury and then bragged that they hadn't damaged Canterbury

Cathedral? Would we be grateful?


What, indeed, are we to make of a war which is turned into a fantasy by

those who started it? As foreign workers pour out of Iraq for fear of

their lives, US Secretary of State Colin Powell tells a press conference

that hostage-taking is having an "effect" on reconstruction. Effect! Oil

pipeline explosions are now as regular as power cuts. In parts of

Baghdad now, they have only four hours of electricity a day; the streets

swarm with foreign mercenaries, guns poking from windows, shouting

abusively at Iraqis who don't clear the way for them. This is the

"safer" Iraq which Mr Blair was boasting of the other day. What world

does the British Government exist in?


Take the Saddam trial. The entire Arab press - including the Baghdad

papers - prints the judge's name. Indeed, the same judge has given

interviews about his charges of murder against Muqtada Sadr. He has

posed for newspaper pictures. But when I mention his name in The

Independent, I was solemnly censured by the British Government's

spokesman. Salem Chalabi threatened to prosecute me. So let me get this

right. We illegally invade Iraq. We kill up to 11,000 Iraqis. And Mr

Chalabi, appointed by the Americans, says I'm guilty of "incitement to

murder". That just about says it all.



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