“I also now realise how much the Iraqi people have suffered. The Iraqis have suffered, the Iraqi children who haven’t got their mothers, it’s not fair. A child wants his mother; it’s of no use keeping a mother in prison, no use whatsoever ever. Let the mothers go back to their children, give these people a chance.” (Kenneth Bigley)
The UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, unequivocally stated that the war on Iraq was illegal and a clear violation of the UN charter. Consequently, it raises the question as to what is the current status of the coalition forces. Apart from the carnage and destruction, theft of Iraq’s resources has already taken place at all levels; there are even accounts of US soldiers stealing from old Iraqi women during raids. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to describe the coalition forces as pirates, war criminals, terrorists and to use their own terminology: ‘illegal combatants’.
Since the war was unlawful, accordingly, everything else that was done by the coalition forces with their illegal combatants was also unlawful! This implies that the ‘detaining’ of civilians in prisons from checkpoints and raids were illegitimate: tantamount to kidnapping! Hence, the coalition forces that are the real kidnappers and the Iraqi resistance have merely responded by kidnapping in retaliation: ‘retaliatory-kidnapping’.
Furthermore, arbitrarily imprisoning people without charge and legal representation is inherently illegal in any society. Did we not witness from camp-X-Ray to Saddam appearing before the judge without a lawyer? I know, that is ok, because Saddam did not provide lawyers to the people who he tried whilst he was in power. Likewise, it is justified to have killed thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians as long as it is less than Saddam’s alleged atrocities found in the mass graves, which diminished from 500,000 to 5,000. Not many people took note.
But, even this point of unlawful imprisonment has been crossed; many of the prisoners were subsequently abused, tortured and unknown numbers were executed, many Iraqis can testify on the ground. Since the coalition forces have kidnapped Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi resistance have retaliated in a similar manner. As the Iraqis are being blown to bits, they have also responded by beheading the prisoners, as they do not posses the high-tech fighting equipments like F16s, B52s, and Apaches etc.
Therefore, why does the beheading of a single individual done in retaliation causes outrage but not the incineration of families and homes using high-tech equipments by a military force that is waging an illegal war from their own definition? It seems that killing only becomes barbaric when the acts are committed by anyone else but the coalition forces; otherwise it is a footnote regarded as a ‘scandal’, victims are forgotten as collateral damages. This sounds very much like the Nuclear Weapons argument with Iran that is, only the West and their obedient allies can posses such weapons, invade and kill ‘lawfully’.
After the execution of the two American hostages, everyone is observing anxiously about the fate of the British hostage Kenneth Bigley. What was he doing in Iraq in the first place? He was helping to build US bases in Iraq, therefore aiding the mercenaries to kill more Iraqi civilians, including women and children. Like all the other leeches, euphemistically called ‘contractors’ are ‘earning’ money whilst the Iraqis pay with their oil and blood.
The demand made by the Iraqi resistance is not unreasonable asking for the release of all the women held captive, and they should have also included the children. We have ample evidence of women and children systematically abused in Abu-Ghraib and other prisons. The US obviously gave it their own spin by focusing on the two women that worked with the former Bathist regime instead of the ordinary women and children that are held captive.
The Justice Minister in Iraq, Malik Duhan al-Hasan gave us a glimmer of hope when he stated that one of the female prisoner held would be released. If the much trumpeted handover back in June 2004 was a genuine transfer of sovereignty, the decision should have been binding. However, the Americans had other plans.
This is an appropriate time to ask why British government was so eager to engage in this ‘war of terror’ post 9/11. 9/11 and all the other acts prior to it, targeted US interests. Perhaps, Tony Blair realised the accumulation of the guilt since the first gulf war in 1991, followed by the vicious economic sanctions and self-styled no-fly zone. The latter was used as a pretext to torture Iraqis which did not even spare the farm animals, hence Blair may have expected some kind of retaliation to follow against the UK after 9/11.
The violence from the victims in the Islamic world is a targeted response and not random. Spain proves the point. There was no Madrid like attacks on her before it got involved in Iraq and after the withdrawal of her troops there has been no further incidents. Just look at other peaceful nations like Switzerland, Austria, Finland. The negotiated release of a Pilipino detainees also proves the point that it is the Iraqi resistance are more reasonable than the mercenaries in Iraq, who have caught on camera dispensing gratuitous violence against the Iraqi civilians.
Therefore, the British governments participation in the post 9/11 crusade is unprovoked, behaved like its football hooligans, eager to pick a fight without genuine reasons. Blair also gambled as it volunteered like an unpaid mercenary for the US with the hope that there will be some material gains in form of lucrative contracts in Iraq.
So, the world witnessed Mr Blair’s enthusiasm of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with George Bush, where Britain would be a junior partner. But now that seems more like a master-slave relationship. The release of these two prisoners would not have dented the US interests in any way; the US could have simply remained silent. However, to the contrary, the US made the statement, which may well have sealed the fate of Mr. Kenneth Bigley. This is an open betrayal of the so-called partnership. The Americans did not come to their aid in their hour of need.
Before anyone starts rambling about the Second World War, they should examine the US role from the beginning when it extracted a good deal of money and lands for ‘helping’ Britain. When Britain was exhausted, the US decided to intervene, minimising her losses maximising the war booty. The real reason for the US aid was not save Britain but to eliminate a more powerful hostile opponent; the Nazis. Whilst on the subject, Prescott Bush, George Bush’s grandfather was actively trading the Nazis for money during the war.
The British public should be asking, if the betrayal was so open on an issue such as this, what guarantees are there for Britain as a junior partner? Should they not look towards building a stronger Europe with Germany and France? Had they done that from the beginning, there might have been a lot less British and Iraqi casualties. In the long run British interests may have been served.