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This is a war of liberation and we are the enemy - John Pilger

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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:42 PM
Original message
This is a war of liberation and we are the enemy - John Pilger
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 05:08 PM by JoFerret :

This Is A War Of Liberation And We Are The Enemy

uploaded 18 Apr 2004

By John Pilger

Four years ago, I traveled the length of Iraq, from the hills where St Matthew is buried in the Kurdish north to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and Baghdad, and the Shia south. I have seldom felt as safe in any country. Once, in the Edwardian colonnade of Baghdad's book market, a young man shouted something at me about the hardship his family had been forced to endure under the embargo imposed by America and Britain. What happened next was typical of Iraqis; a passer-by calmed the man, putting his arm around his shoulder, while another was quickly at my side. "Forgive him," he said reassuringly. "We do not connect the people of the west with the actions of their governments. You are welcome."


Were I to undertake the same journey in Iraq today, I might not return alive. Foreign terrorists have ensured that. With the most lethal weapons that billions of dollars can buy, and the threats of their cowboy generals and the panic-stricken brutality of their foot soldiers, more than 120,000 of these invaders have ripped up the fabric of a nation that survived the years of Saddam Hussein, just as they oversaw the destruction of its artifacts. They have brought to Iraq a daily, murderous violence which surpasses that of a tyrant who never promised a fake democracy.

Amnesty International reports that US-led forces have "shot Iraqis dead during demonstrations, tortured and ill-treated prisoners, arrested people arbitrarily and held them indefinitely, demolished houses in acts of revenge and collective punishment".

In Fallujah, US marines, described as "tremendously precise" by their psychopathic spokesman, slaughtered up to 600 people, according to hospital directors. They did it with aircraft and heavy weapons deployed in urban areas, as revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries. Many of the dead of Fallujah were women and children and the elderly. Only the Arab television networks, notably al-Jazeera, have shown the true scale of this crime, while the Anglo-American media continue to channel and amplify the lies of the White House and Downing Street.


....the foreign invaders, who have now killed at least 11,000 civilians, according to Amnesty and others. The overall figure, including conscripts, may be as high as 55,000.

That a nationalist uprising has been under way in Iraq for more than a year, uniting at least 15 major groups, most of them opposed to the old regime, has been suppressed in a mendacious lexicon invented in Washington and London and reported incessantly, CNN-style. "Remnants" and "tribalists" and "fundamentalists" dominate, while Iraq is denied the legacy of a history in which much of the modern world is rooted.....

For the truth, I recommend the courageous daily reporting of Jo Wilding, a British human rights observer in Baghdad ( ).

....It is said that British officers in Iraq now describe the "tactics" of their American comrades as "appalling". No, the very nature of a colonial occupation is appalling, as the families of 13 Iraqis killed by British soldiers, who are taking the British government to court, will agree.

Source: New Statesman

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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. There is definitely some nationalism, and that aspect shouldn't be ignored
But there is also a lot of Islamic fundamentalism, and that should not be ignored either. I'd hardly qualify that as "liberation."
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Here's a link to Jo Wilding's blog
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 04:55 PM by JoFerret

On the nationalism/ fundamentalism issue I would say that this war may well lead to fanaticism about both.
I also think that John Pilger knows of what he writes. his is a voice I trust as much as any.

I also think hgis point that most news sources merely amplify the distortions from the White house and that for the real story of what is happening we must look to other and diverse sources.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe, we should DEFINE both "freedom" and "liberation",...
,...before we pretend to deliver such concepts.

Of course, such basic concepts are held out as mere "carrots" to all those who are struggling, each and every day, to simply survive.

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. Only the power hungry does a "us" against "them",....
,....what will it take for humanity to get that it is all about us, all of us,...against those who are bent upon serving themselves rather than those of us who invested trust and loyalty?

The concentration of wealth/power has proven to be humanity's greatest killer.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. Pilger
Hits the nail on the head. However, the danger of depleted Uranium is not its radioactivity but the fact that it is a very heavy metal that is pulverized when used and this heavy metal, like mercury, contaminates the air and the water, thereby being ingested either through the lungs or the GI tract. And it is practically impossible to clean up. The effects (birth defects, illness, etc.) will go on and on.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for the clarification
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. Pilger is not anti-war, he's pro-war, but on the other side...

From an interbiew on auistrailn TV, Pilger shows himself to be on the side of the Iraqi killers. He's not anti-war: he's on the other side from the Americans....

TONY JONES: John Pilger, do you still maintain that the world depends on what you call "the Iraqi resistance" to inflict a military defeat on the coalition forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well, certainly, historically, we've always depended on resistances to get rid of occupiers, to get rid of invaders.

And what we have in Iraq now is I suppose the equivalent of a kind of Vichy Government being set up.

And a resistance is always atrocious, it's always bloody.

It always involves terrorism.

You can imagine if Australia was occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War the kind of resistance there would have been, and so on.

We've seen that all over the world.

Now, I think the situation in Iraq is so dire that unless the United States is defeated there that we're likely to see an attack on Iran, we're likely to see an attack on North Korea and all the way down the road it could be even an attack on China within a decade, so I think what happens in Iraq now is incredibly important.

TONY JONES: You mean defeated militarily?


TONY JONES: What does that mean in terms of the resistance, and who is the resistance?

Are we talking about the remnants of the Baathist regime, or are we talking around foreign mujahadeen? Are we talking about anyone that's prepared to pick up a gun or set off a bomb?

JOHN PILGER: Why do we have a different standard of looking at what a resistance is in Iraq as it is anywhere else?

TONY JONES: Well, what do you compare it to?

JOHN PILGER: There are 12 groups.

Only three of them - and we went through the nonsense that they were all Saddam remnants for a long time, now Saddam has been captured, the resistance has actually intensified.

There are 12 groups, they're all very different, there are groups within the Shia, but what they're all united about, quite clearly, is getting rid of a foreign invader and occupier from Iraq.

And as I say, historically, be it in Algeria or in Vietnam, or France during the Second World War, it is going to be atrocious and bloody.

Now, are they Baathist?

Well, there's a greet irony here because what the United States is doing now is retraining, or rather rehiring, 10,000 of Saddam Hussein's most vicious security people.

The CIA are training these people to actually put the finger on who the resistance are, so you have - what you have going on in Iraq now is a kind of re-Nazification, the same sort of thing that went on in Germany after the Second World War.

TONY JONES: On that score, let me ask you this - is it legitimate for the resistance then to target young Iraqi men queuing up to join the Iraqi police, which you describe as a sort of Gestapo?

JOHN PILGER: You know, all resistances have said if you're going to collaborate, then you are a target.

Well, of course, the killing of innocent people can't be condoned under any circumstances.

But in all resistances, it happens.

TONY JONES: It sounds, however, like you were saying these young men, about to join this Gestapo-like police force, are not innocent?

JOHN PILGER: Well, they're not...

It's nice that you call them 'these young men'.

They're among some of the most vicious creatures.

I mean, most of them will be led by people who the Americans would have slapped into Guantanamo Bay had they - if they didn't have another duty to perform for them.

The United States has singled out all of Saddam Hussein's top security and intelligence people.

He ran one of the most effective security, yes, Gestapos in the Middle East.

They've taken them and these people are now training 10,000, paid for by the CIA, to effectively do unto the Americans what they did under Saddam Hussein.

That's what they did in Vietnam...

TONY JONES: But are you saying that those men, outside police stations, looking to be recruited to get a job in a dire economic climate, are legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: No, I'm not saying they're legitimate targets but, to a resistance, they are legitimate targets, yes.

TONY JONES: But the resistance is a resistance you say we should be backing?


I'm not saying we should be backing.

I'm saying that we depend.

If the rest of us watching this, those who worry about what a rampant United States is going to do next - and we should all be worried about that. The evidence is there, it's all clear - if we're concerned about that, we ask ourselves, and millions of people all over the world have asked themselves - how can that be stopped?

Well, one place where it is going to be stopped, or at least entrapped, or something will deter it, is, unfortunately, and I repeat unfortunately, in Iraq, because although Americans will be killed, most of the people killed, as you rightly point out, are going to be Iraqis, and that happened in Algeria, it happened in Vietnam, especially in Vietnam.

It's happened all over the world when there has been a powerful invader, has come into the country.

It's not the invader that - well, the invader has suffered as the Americans clearly are - but it is the local people who will suffer.

TONY JONES: But you're saying, effectively, that the rest of the world now must depend upon a resistance which is prepared to send a truck bomb into the United Nations, which is prepared to bomb civilians who are celebrating on their holiest day in holy cities like Karbala, Shiites, which is prepared to condone, indeed to promote, the whole concept of a civil war in Iraq.

Why do you appear to be suggesting that that resistance is a good thing?

JOHN PILGER: But you missed out the source of all this violence.

In that litany, that's very interesting, you're quite right.

But the source of all this is the invasion, an unprovoked and illegal invasion, and a bloody invasion, by the US and Britain which has caused the deaths of, in the latest conservative estimate, is between 21,000 and 55,000, which causes the deaths every month of 1,000 children from cluster bombs, which is causing the most pervasive contamination from a variety of toxic weapons such as depleted uranium, which has destroyed people's lives.

That's the source, that is the main violence in Iraq.

Yes, there is that violence, but the violence that you describe is a reaction to that.

Haven't you got it round the wrong way?

TONY JONES: Well, you can put it that way and you're making your case but what I'm saying is how can anyone back a resistance which resorts to the killing of innocent people?

How can anyone suggest the world, in fact, depends on such a resistance which resorts to the killing of innocent people, as you say, mostly Iraqis?

JOHN PILGER: A lot of people depended on a resistance movement to get rid of invaders, virtually since the beginning of history.

When Caesar went up to Gaul, when finally they crossed the Rubicon - which the Americans have done in modern terms - there was a dependence on a resistance.

TONY JONES: There are other forms of resistance.

There is peaceful resistance, to start with.

Mahatma Ghandi did not resort to bombing?

JOHN PILGER: Tony, do tell me - how do you mount a peaceful resistance to an invading force, which Human Rights Watch this week described as out of control, as rapacious, which has bought a kind of murderous street fighting, which is - and I've just said - has killed, you know, in their Shock and Awe, they killed up to 55,000 people.

Robert Fisk, the independent correspondent, reckons that something like between 500 and 1,000 Iraqis are killed indirectly as a result of the American presence every week in that country.

Now, how do you say they should all sit down and say to the Americans: "You must go."

"It should be a peaceful resistance."

There are a lot of people actually opposing it peacefully and, if it was reported...

You know, I follow the reports of a number of human rights observers in Baghdad.

There's an enormous amount of peaceful resistance but on the other side of the resistance - and it's one resistance - there is also fire being fought with fire.

I don't think one has to approve that.

In fact, you can't approve, under any circumstances, in my opinion, the killing of innocent people.

But you have to understand why it happens.

In the same way that we have to understand why September 11 happened.

TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they're legitimate targets.

They're illegally occupying a country.

And I would have thought from an Iraqi's point of view they are legitimate targets, they'd have to be, sure.

TONY JONES: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: Excuse me but, really, that's an unbecoming question.

I've just said that any foreign occupier of a country, military occupier, be they Germans in France, Americans in Vietnam, the French in Algeria, wherever, the Americans in Latin America, I would have thought, from the point of view of the local people - and as I mentioned, be they Australians in Australia - if Australia had been invaded and occupied by the Japanese, then the occupying forces, from the point of view of the people of that country, are legitimate targets.

TONY JONES: The Shiites have so far refused to engage in this crusade against the United States, by and large.

They have huge militias who are armed and quite well trained whom they could turn against the Americans if they so wished.

They have not done so because they're looking for a peaceful solution.

They're looking still for a role in a new government in Iraq.

Why not back them, rather than the resistance which is killing their civilians?

JOHN PILGER: Well, my... you're interested into why I would back the Shia.

What the Shia are doing I think is far more interesting actually.

The Shia have long been a very patient group.

And you only have to look at Iran, under the shah of Iran, it took a long time during that whole period of oppression in Iran before it exploded in 1979 in a revolution.

And my understanding of what the Shia are doing in Iraq is something very similar, that they, yes, are building a militia army and they're doing it patiently and they're doing it in a very ordered way.

There is a certain commitment to a peaceful resistance among the Shia actually, and they're the majority in the country.

But when you have such daily provocation coming from the invader, coming from the Americans, who are the principal force in that country, when you have the kind of murderous presence, the use of well, just simply, the very fact of a military and violent occupation, when you have that provocation, day upon day, then the whole notion of a peaceful resistance, whether it will come from the Shia with their patience or from the Sunni or anywhere else, really goes out the window, I would have thought.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. For the full picture in all his own words and pictures and work
visit Pilger's own website; /
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dudeness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. pro-war...???...
i have attended two anti-war rallies in Sydney in which pilger addressed..Pilger is absolutely opposed to war ..colonialism and imperialism..your allegation is unbecoming and smacks of r/w would do yourself a great justice by re-reading that interview in whole and redetermining your illconceived outcome..
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Good response
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Well said. Tony Jones was, I think, being deliberately provocative,
in line with the ABC's current policy of pussy-footing around
political issues for fear of offending John Howard.

Pilger is that rare bird, a completely honest journalist, and
made his anti-war stance quite plain in the run-up to the Iraq
invasion. Now that the invasion has taken place, he is simply
stating that we should understand why the Iraquis want to be rid
of the U.S. from their land, and he is careful to make the point
that we should look at the issue from their point of view, not in
black-and-white moralistic terms.

Isn't that how most of us here feel?
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-19-04 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hidden Agendas a great read.
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Now rewind the videotape back......about 228 years....
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 06:35 PM by cliss
Here are the fledgling United Colonies, trying hard to survive as they were getting stomped on by the British soldiers who sailed all the way across the Atlantic, just to keep the Colonies in line. King George raised the taxes, and was breathing down the necks to the point where they finally couldn't take it any more.

George Washington and his allies fought a tought battle, but they finally managed to kick the British and their soldiers out.

What an ironic twist. Now we're the occupiers. And we have the unmitigated gall to call ourselves "liberators".

If anyone should identify with the resistance fighters of Iraq, it should be us. Take a look back at our history.
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