excerpts from the book

Behind the War on Terror

by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

New Society Publishers, 2003, paperback



Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first postcolonial president.

Neo-colonialism is ... the worst form of imperialism. For those who practise it, it means power without responsibility, and for those who suffer from it, it means exploitation without redress. In the days of old-fashioned colonialism, the imperial power had at least to explain and justify at home the actions it was taking abroad. In the colony those who served the ruling imperial power could at least look to its protection against any violent move by their opponents. With neo-colonialism neither is the case.

Council on Foreign Relations documents, from mid-1941

If war aims are stated, which seem to be concerned solely with Anglo-American imperialism, they will offer little to people in the rest of the world ... Such aims would also strengthen the most reactionary elements in the United States and the British Empire. The interests of other peoples should be stressed, not only those of Europe, but also of Asia, Africa and Latin America. This would have a better propaganda effect.

The real motivation behind US military interventions during the cold war was not Soviet deterrence but the crushing of popular, indigenous nationalist movements for independence, and the establishment of US control over strategic regions.

author William Blum observes that between 1945 and 1999 the US had conducted extremely serious military interventions against over 70 nations:

* making the world safe for American corporations

*enhancing the financial statements of defence contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of Congress;

* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;

* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a 'great power'.

Leon T. Hadar, Cato Institute - 1990s

Now that the cold war is becoming a memory, America's foreign policy establishment has begun searching for new enemies. Possible new villains include "instability" in Europe ... the "vanishing" ozone layer, nuclear proliferation, and narco-terrorism. Topping the list of potential new global bogeymen, however, are the Yellow Peril, the alleged threat to American economic security emanating from East Asia, and the so-called Green Peril (green is the color of Islam).

VP Dick Cheney - lecture at West Point, June 2002

The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention

It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

Professor Thomas Nagy

The [Iraq] sanctions, imposed for a decade largely at the insistence of the United States, constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention... For more than ten years the United States has deliberately pursued a policy of / destroying the water treatment system of Iraq, knowing full well the cost in Iraqi lives.

By 1999, UN figures projected that more than 1.7 million ) Iraqi civilians had died as a result of the sanctions, between 500,000 and 600,000 of whom were children.

Richard Garfield, an epidemiologist at Colombia University in New York, concluded that ... the death rate of children in Iraq ... was unique since there is almost no documented case of rising mortality for children under five years in the modern world

UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), September 1995

Famine threatens four million people in sanctions-hit Iraq - one fifth of the population... The human situation is deteriorating. Living conditions are precarious and are at pre-famine level for at least four million people ... The deterioration in nutritional status of children is reflected in the significant increase of child mortality, which has risen nearly fivefold since 1990.

Abdullah Mutawi, head of the Middle East Program at the New York-based Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)

The sanctions policy against Iraq has proven to be the single largest violation of the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, a violation committed by the Security Council itself... Collective punishment is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

charges issued by the International Court On Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the UN Security Council, Madrid, November 1996

* The United States and its officials aided and abetted by others engaged in a continuing pattern of conduct from August 6, 1990 / until this date to impose, maintain and enforce extreme economic sanctions and a strict military blockade on the people of Iraq for the purpose of injuring the entire population, killing its weakest members, infants, children, the elderly and the chronically ill, by depriving them of medicines, drinking water, food, and other essentials in order to maintain a large US military presence in the region, and dominion and control over its people and resources including oil.

* The United States, its President Bill Clinton and other officials, the United Kingdom and its [former] Prime Minister John Major and other officials have committed a crime against humanity as defined in the Nuremberg Charter against the population of Iraq.

* The United States, its President Bill Clinton and other officials, the United Kingdom and its Prime Minister John Major and other officials have committed genocide as defined in the Convention against Genocide against the population of Iraq including genocide by starvation and sickness through use of sanctions.

That the policy of genocide in Iraq was initiated and legitimized through the United Nations is an instructive indication of the extent to which the UN has become a tool of Western, and particularly Anglo-American power.

Erskine Childers, former adviser to the UN Secretary General, describes in detail how the UN has become an instrument of Western policy.

Whenever the [Western] powers are determined to get a given vote through either the Security Council ... governments are warned. If they do not 'behave' they will not get debt relief, World Bank capital projects, easier IMF 'adjustment conditionalities' or urgently needed hard currency IMF credit to pay oil bills. Reduction or cut-off in bilateral aid is an additional threat... In effect, the [Western] powers have taken to employing a form of state terrorism at the UN - the threat being more death, malnutrition, disease or no education among millions of already poor people... The [UN Security] Council is now regarded as a captive [by most of the UN membership], where the North secures decisions by economic intimidation, abuses the peaceful-redress procedures inscribed in the charter and authorizes a kind of vigilantism against countries of the North's own choosing.

Western policy has systematically engaged in state terrorism, both indirectly by sponsoring regimes indulging in terrorism and directly by conducting military operations that utilize terrorism.

The 2003 war on Iraq ... was nothing less than a brazen colonial enterprise, fundamentally opposed to elementary humanitarian principles, and motivated by longstanding imperial values. Neither the flagrant lies of American and British political leaders, nor the web of distortions woven by a largely subservient mass media, can ultimately gloss over the horrifying reality of what has been wrought in a country that was once the cradle of civilization.

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