In a time of peace the West is permanently at war. Massive standing armies are continuously fed their natural fare. And, incredibly, the myth of the UK being a peace-loving country is sustained by a ‘liberal’ media who endlessly regurgitate the spurious justifications of the political elite. There are currently only two states on the planet which routinely attack other sovereign states and yet the UK and the US persist in seeing themselves as on the side of righteousness and peace.
John McDonnell is an outstanding member of parliament who tells it as it is; together with Annie Machon (former MI5 officer) and Chris Coverdale (of Make war history) they held a press conference on 23rd April, 2013, under the heading ‘Accounting for War’.
As John McDonnell pointed out the UK has been involved in 5 illegal wars since 2001. These have caused the deaths of at least 1 million adults in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya and Syria. An estimated 600,000 children have died.
We are all responsible for this. We let it happen. These children have parents who grieve as we would grieve at the death our own child. Our grief would be all the more bitter in the knowledge that the killing took place at the behest of pitiless fantasists who are not being brought to justice for their crimes. As John declared our government issued the orders for war with the consent of Parliament, the Queen, Law-enforcement authorities and taxpayers. These, he claimed, are the worst crimes in UK history.
Annie Machon resigned from MI5 in protest against the UK’s illegal activities in Libya which included efforts to destabilise the state and a plan to murder President Gadaffi. At the press conference she stated that UK’s secret agents are active in a number of Middle Eastern and other countries attempting to destabilise governments including Syria where covert action is widely understood to have been going on for decades. Moreover the lack of effective oversight of the UK secret service is such that even government ministers cannot discover the extent of their activities. Even as information emerges about the crimes of illegal kidnap, rendition (sending abroad), and torture of individuals the government has chosen not to have a root and branch examination of the relationship of government, elected representatives and the law but has passed further legislation to protect the secret services and to prevent evidence of illegality becoming public.
Annie Machon informed the UK media that the secret service had definitely ‘fixed’ the intelligence purporting to justify the invasion of Iraq and that Iran, too, was to have been invaded in 2008. It was not invaded because the US intelligence agencies advised that there was no evidence that Iran was making or was intending to make a nuclear bomb.
Chris Coverdale quoted from the 1970 UN Declaration on Principles of International Law,
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.”
The UN Declaration makes it clear that the invasion of another state is an illegal act and those who authorise it can, under the law, be brought to account.
The UK’s mentor and ally in war crimes is the US. Here, by far the largest army the world has ever known, invades and destroys with impunity smaller states with no chance of effectively defending themselves. This is an army which has been granted militaristic nirvana – its political masters have declared the world a battlefield and instituted war without end (‘perpetual war for perpetual peace’ in the words of the late Gore Vidal). The view that we can stop terrorism by invading the countries and slaughtering the families of those we suspect of being terrorists is one which mystifies the minds of sane people everywhere.
In addition to the illegal and gratuitous invading of sovereign states the US is also engaged in a covert war round the globe and the multiple crimes committed therein have been exposed in Jeremy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars. The global operations of the foot-soldiers in this war include targeted assassinations (murder of prominent or suspect individuals) of those unfortunate enough to be named in President Obama’s hit list (hit lists, once considered the territory of organised crime, have gone mainstream). These ‘black ops’ take place world-wide, we are told, with thousands of operatives working in 100 different countries, as cogs in the United States killing machine, hunting down, capturing or killing designated individuals, directing drones, AC-130 heavily armed ground-attack gunships and cruise missiles, and continuing the age-old work of destabilising governments and political movements which are deemed not to support the interests of the US.
And we, the citizens of the West, cosseted in our unheeding comfort zones, kept in ignorance by a colluding media, culpably unaware, drift towards disaster.
The abandonment of the rule of law by governments undermines the moral fibre of a nation. This is all of a piece with our commitment to incinerate millions of our fellow humans with thermonuclear weapons if ‘our vital interests’ are threatened.
If the forces of destruction are to be brought under control it can only happen by sufficient numbers of citizens finding out the true story and then acting accordingly. We all owe a huge dept to individuals like John McDonnell MP, Annie Machon, Chris Coverdale and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill who work tirelessly to this end.