Conflict 4 Securing Oil


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Conflict 4 Securing Oil

  1. 1. Conflict Four: Operation Securing Oil
  2. 2. ‘ I'm the commander, I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation....’ Draft-dodging President George ‘W’ Bush, Washington Post interview, November 2002. Four months later his troops were in Iraq ‘ As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.’ Then-American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, news briefing February 12, 2002 ‘ Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.’ Dr Seuss
  3. 3. ‘ A Bush aide says that they (Bush and Professor Condoleezza Rice, then-Chevron boss for Central Asia) vacation together; that they talk on the phone nearly every day; and that Bush trusts her completely, to manage his foreign-policy team and to provide counsel on other matters as well - including social issues.’ BNET Aug 30, 1999. BNET is an internet-based business management news and research site. Professor Rice was a Chevron director from 1991 until the beginning of 2001, when Bush installed her as National Security Advisor
  4. 4. ‘ I don’t know what Afghanistan’s all about. I don’t know what we are doing there.’ Dame Vera Lynn, speaking in August 2009 ‘ Protecting 4X4 Access Worldwide! Owning a four wheel drive vehicle is an integral part of your life. It allows you to discover a whole new outdoor world that the average person will never see. It provides adventure and brings you closer to nature. Members of United Four Wheel Drive Associations share your goals and desires. We know the unparalleled beauty of watching the afternoon sun dip behind a remote mountain top, or waking up to the sound of a fast running stream.’ United Four Wheel Drive Associations (
  5. 5. ‘ Our situation has much deteriorated recently. The Americans are driving us out of the region. Since September 11, the United States has become very aggressive in Central Asia. The fact that they have stationed their troops here is not good news, neither for the local people nor for us… the US troops are here in order to control the oil reserves in Central Asia.’ Zheng Chengu, China National Petroleum Company’s director general in Kazakhstan, interviewed by Lutz Kleveman, The New Great Game, Blood and Oil in Central Asia
  6. 6. ‘ It hasn’t been left unnoticed in Russia that certain outside interests are trying to weaken our position in the Caspian basin… No one should be perplexed that Russia is determined to resist the attempts to encroach on her interests.’ Andrei Urnov, head of the Caspian working group at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‘ In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.’ President Franklin D Roosevelt
  7. 8. ‘ I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.’ Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney, in a Washington DC speech to oil industrialists in 1998. At the time, he was CEO of Halliburton. One of the greatest finds of oil and gas outside the Middle East is in the Caspian, lying south of Russia, west of China and north of Afghanistan. 100 billion barrels of crude oil and 40 per cent of global gas reserves are thought to lie in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan alone. Since the collapse of communism, multi-national companies and their politicians have coveted these resources. ‘ This is about America’s energy security… it’s also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don’t share our values… We’ve made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and its very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right.’ Bill Richardson, secretary of energy to President Bill Clinton, speaking in November 1998
  8. 9. In 2003, Bush Administration Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage phoned Azerbaijani playboy Ilham Aliyev to congratulate him on winning elections rigged by his dying dictator father President Heydar Alijev. Armitage praised his ‘strong showing’ in an election during which opposition protests were crushed by security forces and opposition leaders were detained during sweeping arrests. Some believe such US support for oil-rich despots causes resentment among, for example, the young Saudi Arabs behind the 9/11 attacks. They might also speculate that Bush had a lot in common with a rich kid playboy, a fortunate son handed a presidency by the flunkies of his Cold War strongman father
  9. 10. ‘ Azerbaijan has a history of arresting opposition figures during election periods and convicting them without guaranteeing basic fair trial standards. In October 2004, following fraudulent presidential elections and post-election violence, seven opposition leaders were convicted on charges of organizing or participating in mass disturbances and resisting or committing violence against a state representative. Human Rights Watch documented torture in the pre-trial detention of four of the seven defendants. Prosecution witnesses in this case also told the court that police and prosecutors had coerced and tortured them to make statements incriminating the opposition leaders. It is widely considered that the convicted opposition leaders were political prisoners.’ Human Rights Watch, Azerbaijan: Opposition Youth Activists on Trial .
  10. 11. ‘ It’s about not letting anything get in your way and, in the extreme, about intimidating others to get out of your way.’ Former Ford Motor Company strategist Jim Bulin, talking to New York Times investigative reporter Keith Bradsher about SUVs. His words could equally be used to explain post 9/11 US policy in Central Asia
  11. 12. Another regime in the area propped up by American energy interests is Uzbekistan, eighth largest producer of natural gas in the world. In Uzbekistan, according to the British Embassy, the government has boiled political prisoners to death
  12. 13. ‘ As the Nation's energy needs continue to expand and grow, access to the world's natural gas supplies will play a critical role in its future prosperity.  DOE (Department of Energy) is working to ensure that LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) can be safely, securely, and reliably imported into the United States… Transportation of LNG by ship is one method to bring this stranded gas to the consumer.’ US Department of Energy
  13. 14. By stranded, they mean fuel in hard to get places, like the land-locked Caspian. Russia to the north and Iran to the south, neither are friendly with Washington. If a Caspian gas and oil pipeline was to be forged through Afghanistan to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea ports, it would help greatly in ‘diversification’. A buzzword in Bush’s energy policy, diversification means not being reliant on just one source of oil, ie the volatile Gulf states
  14. 15. ‘ Afghanistan could be even more important to global oil supply than even Saudi Arabia. In 1997 BBC News reported that the American-Saudi oil consortium UNOCOL tried to negotiate pipeline deals through Afghanistan from the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is a California-sized body of salt water – the world’s largest land-locked body of water – that may sit on as much as two hundred billion barrels of oil, which would be 16 per cent of the Earth’s potential currently estimated oil reserves. At today’s prices, that could add up to three trillion dollars in oil. As the world’s quest for new oil reserves intensifies, so will the ‘war on terror’.’ Oil rig worker Paul Carr, This is Not a Drill. Carr travelled to Afghanistan with his company’s ‘Private Military Contractors’ (PMCs)
  15. 16. In fact, in 1997 UNOCOL vice-president Marty F Miller hosted a party in honour of visiting Taliban leaders in his own home after they had been secretly flown to the US. But Bin Laden’s actions on September 11, 2001, scuppered the cosy deals they made. The oppressive Taliban were forced out. Their replacement, other thugs and warlords, were handed CIA cash to tow the line, and on February 25, 2003, Reuters reported that the pipeline deal was going ahead. Puppet-President Harmid Karzai was a UNOCOL pipeline consultant
  16. 18. ‘ Let me first deal with the conspiracy theory that this is somehow to do with oil. There is no way whatever, if oil were the issue, that it would not be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with Saddam, who, I am sure, would be delighted to give us access to as much oil as we wanted if he could carry on building weapons of mass destruction.’ Tony Blair, Prime Ministers Questions, January 15, 2003
  17. 19. 60 Minutes interviewer Steve Croft asked then-US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, ‘What do you say to people who think this (the coming invasion of Iraq) is about oil?’ Rumsfeld replied, ‘Nonsense. It just isn’t. There – there – there are certain... things like that, myths that are floating around. I’m glad you asked. I – it has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.’ December 15, 2002 ‘ Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil… For reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction.’ US deputy defense secretary (2001 – 2005) Paul Wolfowitz – Rumsfeld’s deputy
  18. 20. ‘ By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world‘s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.’ Dick Cheney, Autumn 1999 speech at the Institute of Petroleum in London, while still CEO of oil services company Halliburton.
  19. 21. ‘ When you have only two per cent of the known reserves of oil and use 25% of the world’s oil, import two thirds of what you use – that has to affect your foreign policy.’ Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, interviewed on A Crude Awakening ‘ A source who worked at the NSC (National Security Council) at the time doubted that there were links between Cheney's Energy Task Force and the overthrow of Saddam. But Mark Medish, who served as senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs at the NSC during the Clinton Administration, told me that he regards (Cheney’s energy policy) document as potentially 'huge.' He said, 'People think Cheney's Energy Task Force has been secretive about domestic issues,' referring to the fact that the Vice-President has been unwilling to reveal information about private task-force meetings that took place in 2001, when information was being gathered to help develop President Bush's energy policy. 'But if this little group was discussing geostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down with Cheney and laying grand, global plans…’ Geraldine Sealey on
  20. 22. ‘ Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public or mass-produced communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given group for a specific purpose, whether military, economic, or political.’ Paul Linebarger, Psychological Warfare
  21. 24. ‘ In war, truth is the first casualty.’ Aeschylus , Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC - 456 BC ) ‘ I am going to tell you a number of things, but if you really want to be a good journalist you only have to remember two words: governments lie.’ I.F. Stone (1907-1989) Radical American investigative journalist
  22. 25. ‘ We found the weapons of mass destruction, we found biological factories.’ US President George W. Bush on TVP (Poland), May 29, 2003 ‘ Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants: Overview Coalition forces have uncovered the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program. Kurdish forces in late April 2003 took into custody a specialized tractor-trailer near Mosul and subsequently turned it over to US military control. The US military discovered a second mobile facility equipped to produce BW agent in early May at the al-Kindi Research, Testing, Development, and Engineering facility in Mosul. Although this second trailer appears to have been looted, the remaining equipment, including the fermentor, is in a configuration similar to the first plant. US forces in late April also discovered a mobile laboratory truck in Baghdad. The truck is a toxicology laboratory from the 1980s that could be used to support BW or legitimate research. The design, equipment, and layout of the trailer found in late April is strikingly similar to descriptions provided by a source who was a chemical engineer that managed one of the mobile plants.’ Central Intelligence Agency report ( 1/iraqi_mobile_plants/index.html#01)
  23. 26. ‘ Billed (by The Observer newspaper) as ‘a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq’, he (Dr Kelly) was quoted as saying: ‘They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were – facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.’ It was confirmed at the Hutton inquiry that this quote came from Dr Kelly… Dr Kelly must have known that by making the contacts he did, he was challenging the authority and integrity of both Bush and Blair, on the issue of the day most central to their agenda. Given the dishonest manipulation of intelligence for political purposes, many will agree that he was right to act in this way. To do so was, however, brave, if not foolhardy. The presentation of the truth was leading Dr Kelly down risky avenues.’ Norman Baker MP, The Strange Death of David Kelly ‘ Paramedic Vanessa Hunt told the Observer newspaper on Sunday: ‘ I just think it is incredibly unlikely that he died from the wrist wound we saw’… Fellow paramedic Dave Bartlett said: ‘ Everyone was surprised at the outcome (of the Hutton Inquiry). ‘ I would have thought there would have been more blood over the body if someone had bled to death.’’ BBC News/UK, December 12, 2004
  24. 27. ‘ I will wait until the end of the week before judging – many dark actors playing games. Thanks for your support. I appreciate your friendship at this time.’ Dr Kelly’s cryptic email thanking journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times , four hours before he left home for the last time on July 17, 2003. Extract from The Hutton Inquiry Hearing Transcripts, Tuesday September 2, 2003 (called just after 10.38am). Lord Hutton quizzes dog-handler Louise Holmes: 6 Q. Who was on this search? 7 A. Me, the dog and Paul. 8 Q. No-one else had joined you? 9 A. No. 10 Q. And where did you initially go, after you got out of the 11 car? Can you remember? 12 A. We walked up the track that runs north, I am told, on my 13 map of Common Lane up towards the River Thames. 14 Q. Can you describe, generally, how the search went 15 initially? Where did you go? 16 A. We were given the track to search north up to the 17 River Thames as our boundary and the area of wood to the 18 left of the track. So we did the bottom half of the 19 track, the south boundary of the woods before we were 20 forced to turn back because of a bashed wire fence. So 21 we then searched through the bottom half of the woods 22 which the fence ran all the way through. We then came 23 back out on to the track, continued up the track to 24 the -- to where our boundary was, came back down the 25 track and did the north perimeter of the wood, and then 10 1 went into the wood from the north. 2 Q. Did you at any point go along the River Thames? 3 A. We went up to where we -- where our boundary of our 4 search area was on the Thames and spoke to some people 5 there who were just moored on a boat on the Thames. 6 Q. What did you say to them? 7 A. Well, Brock had found them because he obviously is just 8 trained to pick up on human scent, so he went off and 9 indicated on them and so I had a game with him as 10 a reward. They just said: what are you doing? We said 11 we were assisting the police in the search for a missing 12 male person and if they saw anything to contact the 13 police. Important questions about his death went unasked by Lord Hutton and the corporate British media… 14 Q. Did they say they already had seen anything? 15 A. They said they had seen the helicopter up the previous 16 night but they had not seen anybody or anything other 17 than that. 18 Q. Did you eventually manage to get into the wooded area? 19 A. Yes.
  25. 28. Questions like: after being given Dr Kelly’s scent at the police station where the searchers were briefed, the search dog made a bee-line for a group of people who had been in the area since the previous night. Who were they, and why had they been on the river on that particular night? Important questions about his death went unasked by Lord Hutton and the corporate British media… 14 Q. Did they say they already had seen anything? 15 A. They said they had seen the helicopter up the previous 16 night but they had not seen anybody or anything other 17 than that. 18 Q. Did you eventually manage to get into the wooded area? 19 A. Yes.
  26. 29. and whether he had taken a coat with him that warm July day. Dr Kelly’s head and shoulders were ‘just slumped back against the tree,’ according to Louise Holmes, who found his body in Harrowdown Hill Woods, Oxfordshire. Her fellow searcher, Paul Chapman, concurred in his evidence to the Hutton inquiry, saying Kelly’s body was . They alerted a nearby three-man group of police officers, two Thames Valley detective constables and another who has never been publicly identified. Detective Constable Graham Coe was then left alone with the body for between twenty-five and thirty minutes whilst uniformed back-up was called in by his colleagues. Several hours before, at 5am in Kingston Bagpuize, Dr Kelly’s wife had been made to leave her home and wait in the garden by the police, who were undertaking a second, more detailed search of their home. Later, Dr Kelly’s body was: ‘ laying on its back by a large tree.’ DC Coe, evidence to Hutton Inquiry, September 2, 2003 ‘ I recall that his head was quite close to branches and so forth, but not actually over the tree.’ Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt, evidence to Hutton Inquiry, September 16, 2003 When first seen, 'He was about 20 meters away .’ (the first paramedics on the scene, Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt).’ ‘ sitting with his back up against a tree.’ lying flat down with his feet towards us. There were conflicting stories of whether Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back ‘…
  27. 30. ‘ sitting with his back up against a tree.’ lying flat down with his feet towards us. There were conflicting stories of whether Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back ‘…
  28. 31. ‘ We persist in regarding ourselves as a Great Power capable of anything and only temporarily handicapped by economic difficulties. We are not a Great Power and never will be again.’ Sir Henry Tizard, chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, writing in 1949. His comments upset the cabinet. Half a century later, another scientific adviser to the MOD, Dr David Kelly, upset unelected spin-doctor Alastair Campbell. ‘ Dr Kelly took his own life by cutting his left wrist... There was no involvement by a third person in Dr Kelly’s death.’ Lord Hutton’s press statement. Lord Hutton’s background is law
  29. 32. ‘ We believe the verdict given is in contradiction to medical teaching; is at variance with documented cases of wrist-slash suicides; and does not align itself with the evidence presented at the inquiry. We call for the reopening of the inquest by the coroner, where a jury may be called and evidence taken on oath. (note - the Hutton Inquiry didn’t have the power to do this. NJ).     Andrew Rouse, public health consultant     Searle Sennett, specialist in anaesthesiology     David Halpin, specialist in trauma     Stephen Frost, specialist in radiology     Dr Peter Fletcher, specialist in pathology     Martin Birnstingl, specialist in vascular surgery The ‘Kelly Group’s’ background is medicine
  30. 34. ‘ You know we don't do body counts.’ US General Tommy Franks, Bagram Airbase, near Kabul, Afghanistan, March 18, 2002. Franks led the charge into both Afghanistan and Iraq . ‘ As the chief upholder of the US Constitution, (Bush) was… perfectly prepared to overlook the restrictions of the law, if the wider interests of the government and the country seemed to demand it. And so Cheney and Rumsfeld, with the help of like-minded officials, created a prison system which was outside the control of the US government, and developed a method of detaining suspects around the world and transferring them to secret holding places where they could be questioned. They introduced a system which, if necessary, would permit these and other prisoners to be tortured, even though the word was never used. Methods like half-drowning and near asphyxiation had been favourites of the Gestapo and the KGB. Abu Ghraib was a torture centre under the US as under Saddam. All of this was made possible by a new legal structure, the PATRIOT Act, which, together with other legislation, had the effect of neutralizing the traditional controls the American system had traditionally maintained. Newspapers and television stations investigating these methods would often find that companies which supported the Republicans would threaten to withdraw their advertising.’ BBC television news editor John Simpson, Not Quite World’s End
  31. 35. ‘ ..the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.’ General Franks on academic and advisor Douglas Feith. It was Deputy Defense Secretary Feith’s idea to attack Iraq. ‘‘ If it was so good for the people of Iraq that this invasion should have taken place, why are there more Iraqi children living below starvation level now than there were under Saddam Hussein?’ Feith panicked. ‘ Stop the recording, please,’ he said, waving at the camera… ‘ I didn’t know you were going to ask me that kind of question. I don’t deal nowadays with what’s happening on the ground in Iraq. I’m not briefed about this.’ … And when things broke down, and they started dying in large numbers, it didn’t really seem quite adequate for the person who thought it all up to say he didn’t know what was going on there and hadn’t been fully briefed. As though it had all been just an experiment. As though he could rub it off the blackboard now, and start an entirely new experiment from scratch.’ John Simpson, Not Quite World’ s End
  32. 36. The same multinational companies that own oil companies also own media outlets. The world’s sixth largest company, General Electric, also owns the NBC Television network. But it isn’t just proprietorial interests that go to work on the media front. Here in the UK we watched the public humiliation of the BBC…
  33. 37. ‘ For Alastair Campbell and his team in the Downing Street press office our refusal to report what they wanted us to, in the way they wanted us to, made us a target even before the war itself began… Alastair Campbell, while a brilliant operator, has a classic obsessive personality and he had decided that the BBC was the enemy. From then on, if not before, I suspect he was looking for revenge.’ Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general until January 2004, Inside Story … and the groveling response of the man left with the top job (and salary) after the smoke had cleared: ‘ On behalf of the BBC I have no reservation in apologising unreservedly for our errors and to the individuals whose reputations were affected by them.’ BBC Vice-Chairman Lord Ryder, appointed acting chairman following the resignation of chairman Gavyn Davies. In January 2009, the now-cowed and anxious BBC refused to broadcast an aid appeal on behalf of the Palestinians, who were suffering an onslaught by the Israelis, because they didn’t want to be seen as ‘impartial’. The message had sunk home
  34. 38. ‘ Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.’ Pop-princess Britney Spears explains her position on The War on Terrorism to CNN’s political news correspondent Tucker Carlson (After grilling Condaleeza Rice, NBC news anchor Katie Couric is contacted by NBC president Bob Right. Right has passed a message from a viewer upwards, because Couric had been ‘too confrontational.’): ‘ Couric was troubled. There was, she felt, a subtle, insidious pressure to toe the party line, and you bucked that at your peril…. When she ran into Jack Welch, the General Electric chairman, he would sometimes say that they had never seen eye to eye politically. The whole attitude was pretty disturbing. If you weren’t rah rah rah for the Bush administration and the war, you were considered unpatriotic, even treasonous.’ Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz, Reality Show
  35. 39. ‘ Against a backdrop of mounting evidence that the Bush administration fabricated false pretexts for the war against Iraq, we can begin to wonder why, in a country (the US) that considers itself highly literate and a model democracy, over 60 percent of college students support Bush’s Iraq policies, which are based on lies and deceits. One way to understand this paradox is to point to the general failure of the educational system with respect to the teaching of political literacy. On closer analysis, however, what we would characterize as the failure of the US educational system actually represents its successful reproduction of a doctrinal framework that is sustained by the interplay of powerful institutions such as media, academic centres, and corporations, among others. Within this framework, the raising of critical questions, particularly critical questions about the framework itself, is taboo.’ Donaldo Macedo, introduction to the 2004 edition of Letters from Lexington, Reflections on Propaganda, Noam Chomsky
  36. 42. ‘ As we (Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell) walked into the Oval Office, Bush was very friendly, said ‘Hey, congratulations, you took on the bastards, and you did great.’ He said he had seen some of my testimony, and that Dan had kept him informed. ‘ You did great. You showed that if you are in the right, if you believe in it, and you give no quarter, you can prevail.’ He kept coming back to it in the meeting, almost embarrassingly so. Cheney was as impassive as ever, Powell was chirpy but looking tired, while subdued than usual.’ Entry for Thursday, July 17, 200 3 The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries Condi was more
  37. 43. subdued than usual.’ Entry for Thursday, July 17, 200 3 The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries The day Dr Kelly died. The day before his body was found Condi was more
  38. 44. After a time overseeing Chevron’s work in Central Asia, Condoleezza Rice’s job on the board of the US oil giant was to chair the company’s public policy committee, which oversaw areas of ‘potential political concern’ for the company. In other words, damage limitation. Who better than a smart public affairs oil exec to stand at the side of the gaffe-prone President Bush, guiding him through potential foreign policy pitfalls? Black and a woman to boot, the extremely intelligent Miss Rice ticked all the ‘inclusion’ boxes. To do her job properly, to pre-empt potential criticism, Miss Rice would have been fully briefed on potential problems. And here before her were the two British men who’s actions more than anyone else’s had legitimated the reasons for going to war. Blair the gung-ho leader and his sidekick Campbell who’d manipulated the intelligence dossiers, lending false legitimacy to the war. A third British man, one who’d decided to lift the veil on their lies, lay dead. The question is – did she know? According to Campbell himself, although he doesn’t seem to have recognised any link, Miss Rice seemed especially subdued meeting the British that day
  39. 45. It wasn’t just for alerting BBC Radio 4 Today listeners to the lies in the infamous February 2003 ‘dodgy dossier’ that marked journalist Andrew Gilligan and the BBC chiefs for the wrath of Campbell, unelected boss of all the government’s information services. Gilligan (who had spent the war in Iraq) embarrassed the government and the Ministry of Defence when he broke these stories: ‘ It was Gilligan who had shown up the tactical ineffectiveness of the bombing in Kosovo and the lack of any link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. He had also revealed that British troops had not been properly equipped on a number of occasions; and of course Campbell had hated Gilligan’s reports from Baghdad during the war.’ Greg Dyke, Inside Story ‘ I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’ America’s elder statesman of finance Alan Greenspan writing in his memoirs, The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World
  40. 46. Noam Chomsky on elite media: ‘ There are a lot of ways in which power plays can drive you right back into line if you move out. If you try to break the mold, you’re not going to last long. That framework works pretty well, and it is understandable that it is just a reflection of obvious power structures.’ Noam Chomsky, talk at the Z Media Institute, June 1997 In the US, multiple Grammy Award-winners The Dixie Chicks stepped out of line at a live concert when lead singer Natalie Maines announced, ‘ Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.’ Like the BBC, the Texas-formed Dixie Chicks were forced to apologise. But it did no good and the response was swift. They were banned by Cumulus Media Inc (owner of 344 US radio stations) and Cox Communications (third largest US cable TV provider) . ‘ An ad for Shut Up and Sing , a documentary about the furor over Maines's comment, was turned down by NBC on October 27, 2006, citing a policy barring ads dealing with ‘public controversy.’ … ‘‘It's a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America,’ the film's distributor Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.’ (Google search:
  41. 47. Other famous faces were also targets. NSNBC sacked Pulitzer-prize winning Peter Arnett, an old Vietnam hand. Phil Donahue’s show was cancelled. But let’s follow the money… ‘ The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy...would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country.’ The world’s most powerful media proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, prior to Gulf War 2 ‘ It is extraordinary that, after having had cross-media laws in this country since 1963, we have ended up in exactly the position those laws were intended to prevent. The legislation was aimed at stopping anyone getting too much power over the politicians. Yet in Rupert Murdoch that is precisely what we now have. Controlling 35 per cent of the national daily circulation of newspapers in this country, and 41 per cent of the Sunday market, makes him very powerful indeed. By chairing and effectively controlling BSkyB he also runs Britian’s most financially successful broadcasting operation, which, if unchecked, could in the years to come dominate broadcasting in the way Murdoch’s News International dominates the print media… Of course the editors of Murdoch’s newspapers all pretend they don’t jump to his tune, but no one doubts that on the really big issues he calls the shots. Murdoch was an avid supporter of the war against Iraq and all his 175 newspapers around the world supported the policy.. All 175 newspapers just happened, by chance, to follow the Murdoch line.’ Greg Dyke, Inside Story
  42. 49. ‘ When I pass protesters every day at Downing Street... I may not like what they call me, but I thank God that they can call me what they want to call me. That's freedom.’ Tony Blair, George Bush Senior Presidential Library, Texas. April 7, 2002 A freedom that is under siege by the government. In June 2001 Brian Haw (right) started a protest against sanctions placed on Iraq, maintaining his Parliament Square vigil since then, leaving only to attend court after being repeatedly arrested
  43. 50. Home Secretary David Blunkett changed the law, and in August 2005 the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act banned protest outside Parliament without permission. Because Haw’s protest started before the Act was passed, he is now the only person allowed to hold an unlicensed demonstration in the square. The Home Secretary now has the power to ban protest anywhere in Britain. Civil liberties that have been fought for are being steadily eroded in the UK; New Labour created 3,000 new criminal offences in ten years. ‘ Laws are like spiders webs: if some poor weak creature comes up against them, it is caught; but a bigger one can break through and get away.’ Athenian statesman Solon, 6th Century BC (Next:) Band members from the Royal Marines sound the Last Post at the National Memorial Arboretum on Remembrance Day, 2008, before minor Royalty. Two Royal Marines died in the Garmsir District of southern Helmand, Afghanistan, the next day
  44. 52. ‘ I think the president made the right decision given what he knew. And given what we all knew. And to tell you the truth, even given what we've learned since.’ Douglas Feith, interviewed by Steve Kroft, veteran 60 Minutes correspondent ‘ Years from now, people will look back on the formation of a unity government in Iraq as a decisive moment in the story of liberty, a moment when freedom gained a firm foothold in the Middle East and the forces of terror began their long retreat.’ President George W Bush, May 22, 2006, speaking in Chicago
  45. 53. ‘ Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current levels of violence through the next year.’ Secret intelligence assessment circulated two days later to the White House by the intelligence division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘ The appeal and motivation for continued violent action will begin to wane in early 2007.’ Pentagon report to Congress two days later 'There was a vast difference between what the White House and Pentagon knew about the situation in Iraq and what they were saying publicly.' Famed Watergate scandal reporter Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, whose contacts exposed the double-standards
  46. 55. It is over 65 years since the Second World War, when legislation was drawn up to protect people from the despots salivating over power. And in those 65 years, our leaders have constantly let down not just those who live in these lands of terror and hunger. By not acting decisively – unless vital resources are threatened - they have betrayed our soldiers time and again. And always in the service of Realpolitick. Costing over £1 billion, Camp Bastion, the British base in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, is the biggest ever constructed by the British Army
  47. 56. ‘ Here in this extraordinary piece of desert is where the fate of world security in the early 21st Century is going to be decided.’ Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking to service personnel assembled at Camp Bastion, November 21, 2006 And it sits astride the Kandahar-Herat Highway, otherwise known as Route One. Which is the Afghan section of Unocol’s proposed oil and gas pipeline
  48. 57. ‘ It’s not going to be built until there is a single Afghan government. That’s the simple answer.’ Unocol Corporation vice president of international relations John Maresca, testimony to the US House of Representatives, February 12, 1998. On paper, President Khazai now leads that government. But to the Afghans, the man known scathingly as the Mayor of Kabul has little power outside the city limits. Corruption is endemic. The oilmen’s ‘single Afghan government’ appears to be out of phase with the majority of observers, who at the cost of so many lives were expecting freedom and democracy
  49. 58. Promoting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as exercises in the enforcement of human rights is just window dressing. Otherwise, why weren’t the troops sent in earlier? When Saddam and the Taliban were murdering thousands? A brief study of the forces involved in Afghanistan is revealing. They all import oil. Next: British infantry training for a dawn beach assault in the Middle East, just prior to the second Gulf War. The right hand assault team prepare to leave the main body and board a Rigid Raider. Time to objective on Cyprus training area: about ten minutes. Time to Iraq: within a year
  50. 59. This has been an extract from Conflict . Click here to visit Conflict