ON THE IRAQ WAR - A LETTER OF PROTEST TO THE SUNDAY TIMES
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ON THE IRAQ WAR - A LETTER OF PROTEST TO THE SUNDAY TIMES

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A letter sent in 2004 to The Sunday Times in London after a very biased piece of reporting in favour of the war policy of President George Bush and Tony Blair.

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Publié le 17 octobre 2012
Nombre de lectures 141
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo


 1

ON THE IRAQ WAR


MY LETTER TO THE SUNDAY TIMES
IN PROTEST
NDMARCH 22 2004
JOHN TARTTELIN 
 2

IN RESPONSE TO AN ARTICLE BY ANDREW SULLIVAN
THE SUNDAY TIMES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT


Dear
Sir,

I
must
protest
at
the
defamatory
comments
made
by
Andrew
Sullivan

against
the
Spanish
people
in
the
Sunday
times
of
March
21st
2004.





What
arrogance.
How
does
Andrew
Sullivan
know
what
went

through
the
minds
of
millions
of
individual
Spanish
voters?
Perhaps

he
has
“intelligence”
from
his
Washington
pals
who
told
us
all
about

Saddam’s
fearsome
WMD
and
the
dire
threat
posed
to
world
peace?

Who
is
Andrew
Sullivan
to
accuse
a
whole
nation
of
cowardice?
How

many
terrorists
has
he
personally
confronted
or
captured?
How

many
terrorist
incidents
has
he
lived
through
and
experienced?
And

is
it
only
proper
democracy
if
Andrew
Sullivan
agrees
with
the

results
of
an
election?





The
Spanish
people
held
a
noble
rally
against
terrorism
in
the

aftermath
of
the
Madrid
atrocities.
Ninety
per
cent
of
them
were

against
the
invasion
of
Iraq
in
the
first
place.
Probably
many
of
them

disliked
the
spin
of
Aznar’s
government
when
it
tried
to
blame
ETA

for
the
outrage
when
it
was
increasingly
obvious
that
an
al‐Qaeda
cell

had
been
responsible.
Aznar’s
policy
of
closeness
to
the
Bush
regime

led
directly
to
Spanish
citizens
being
blown‐up.
No
wonder
they

punished
the
government
that
created
such
circumstances.
To
accuse

them
of
being
cowards
is
itself
cowardly,
especially
coming
from

someone
in
the
relative
safety
of
a
Washington
office.





Zapatero
was
right
to
say:
“The
war
in
Iraq
was
a
disaster,
the

occupation
of
Iraq
is
a
disaster,”
and
it
was
his
party’s
policy
to

remove
Spanish
troops
long
before
the
Madrid
bombings.
He
has
also

said
they
may
remain
if
the
UN
is
put
in
charge,
as
it
should
have

been
all
along.





According
to
Richard
Haass,
Director
of
Policy
and
Planning
at
the

State
Department:
“In
the
case
of
Iraq
this
time
around
there
was
no

necessity
of
fighting
the
war.
There
wasn’t
an
immediate
threat…
The

US
Administration…
essentially
chose
to
fight
a
war
at
this
time.
But

there
was
no
reason
that
war
couldn’t
have
been
put
back
6
days,
6

months,
or
6
years.
This
was
simply
a
policy
decision”.



 3




There
were
no
weapons
of
mass
destruction.
There
was
no

legitimate
reason
for
war.
As
the
Russian
Ambassador
to
the
UN
said:

“There
was
no
deadline
in
the
Resolution
(1441)
which
could
be

considered
as
the
end
of
the
road,
and
there
was
no
end
of
the
road.

The
road
was
artificially
blown‐up
basically”.





The
so‐called
was
(technically
an
‘armed
conflict’
because
it
wasn’t

backed
by
the
Security
Council)
was
also
illegal.
To
quote
Kofi
Annan:

“When
I
said
the
question
of
legitimacy
and
indicated
that
the

legitimacy
was
going
to
be
widely
questioned,
I
think
some
did
not

believe
it
at
the
time,
but
that
is
precisely
what
has
happened”.





Richard
Clarke,
who
had
three
decades
of
experience
under
four
US

administrations,
remarked
that
George
Bush
is
doing
a
“terrible
job”

in
tackling
terrorism.
He
says
Bush
ignored
warnings
about
the

threat
from
al‐Qaeda,
while
Condoleezza
Rice
hadn’t
even
heard
of

them
before
September
11th.
And
he
adds
that
Donald
Rumsfeld

wanted
to
attack
Iraq
and
not
the
al‐Qaeda
bases
in
Afghanistan,

because
there
were
“no
good
targets
in
Afghanistan”.
Jimmy
Carter

agrees
the
war
was
“unnecessary”.





Saddam
should
have
been
dealt
with
in
1991,
but
Bush
senior
failed

to
do
his
duty.
Furthermore,
he
encouraged
the
Shia
in
the
south
of

Iraq
to
rebel
and
them
callously
left
them
to
be
butchered
by
Saddam.

The
Shia
did
not
forget
and
that
was
one
of
the
reasons
why
they

weren’t
dancing
in
the
streets
when
the
Coalition
arrived
in
2003.





The
cynical,
self‐serving
and
arrogant
policy
of
the
current
US

Administration
is
doing
no
one
any
favours
least
of
all
themselves.

You
cannot
bomb
democracy
into
a
country,
it
has
to
be
home‐gown

and
carefully
nurtured,
not
shipped
in
from
outside
like
some
GM

panacea.
The
recent
marches
in
the
capitals
of
Italy,
Japan,
Australia,

Britain
and
elsewhere,
indicate
how
heartily
sick
people
are

becoming
of
America
über
alles.
Many
of
us
are
aware
of
the
dangers

of
a
Wolfowitz
in
sheep’s
clothing
and
we
are
not
taken
in
by
the

great
Neo‐Con.





William
Shawcross,
an
apologist
for
Bush
and
Blairs’
adventurism,

details
in
his
book
Allies
how
the
whole
Iraq
was
predicated
upon

Wolfowitz’s
ideas,
his
neo‐con
buddies
and
their
Project
for
a
New

American
Century.
On
page
53
he
writes:
“In
1992
Wolfowitz…

drafted
a
defense
planning
guidance
for
Cheney.
It
was
radical.
It

 4

called
for
U.S.
military
pre‐eminence
over
all
Europe
and
Asia
and

proposed
that
pre‐emptive
attacks
might
be
necessary.
Particularly

against
states
suspected
of
developing
weapons
of
mass
destruction”.

Very
friendly
of
them
to
appropriate
the
whole
century
to

themselves,
and
unwise,
as
the
debacle
in
Iraq
indicates
that
their

very
days
are
numbered.





The
same
sorry
old
troopers
kept
appearing
on
our
TV
screens
last

year:
Cheney,
Pearl,
Rumsfeld
and
Wolfowitz,
extolling
their
version

of
the
Third
Reich,
espousing
the
simplistic
rhetoric
so
beloved
of

David
Frum,
the
creator
of
the
phrase
‘The
Axis
of
Evil’.
He
put
such

gems
into
the
mouth
of
George
Bush,
leaving
us
all
to
wonder,
how
do

you
defeat
an
abstract
noun
called
‘terror’.
Certainly
not
by
bombing

the
hell
out
of
mainly
innocent
people
and
thereby
terrorizing
them.





If
Bush
senior
had
done
his
job
properly,
Bush
junior
wouldn’t
have

been
able
to
wreak
such
havoc.





Bush
and
Blair
are
like
mirrors
facing
each
other,
reflecting
each

other’s
vainglorious
ambitions
and
magnifying
each
other’s
political

fears
and
insecurities.
They
speak
as
if
they
are
the
font
of
all
wisdom

and
light,
handing
down
the
virtues
of
their
divine
mission
like
Old

Testament
prophets
and
seeming
to
claim,
ipso
facto,
that
God
is
on

their
side.
They
speak
with
messianic
fervour
of
good
and
evil
like
a

medieval
pope
sanctioning
a
crusade.
Bin
Laden’s
own
barmy
world

view
is
likewise
steeped
in
the
past.
All
three
claim
that
religion

inspires
them;
they
are
all
closer
to
each
other
than
they
think.

Millions
of
people
throughout
human
history
have
died
at
the
hands

of
religious
zealots
and
in
the
name
of
God.
We
do
not
need
Western

leaders
spouting
such
nonsense
today.





What
is
it
that
makes
religious
people
so
eager
to
kill
their
fellow

man?





On
9/11
nearly
3,000
innocent
people
were
killed
by
al‐Qaeda;
in

Madrid
202
innocent
people
died
at
the
hands
of
an
al‐Qaeda

‘franchise’.
In
Afghanistan,
some
3,000
innocent
civilians
have
been

killed
by
the
US;
in
Iraq
over
10,000
innocent
civilians
have
been

killed
by
Bush
and
Blair.
As
we
have
killed
more
innocent
civilians

does
that
mean
we
are
‘winning’
the
war
on
terror?



 5




I
was
astounded
to
hear
that
the
American
Administration
has

never
even
bothered
to
count
the
Iraqi
dead.
To
the
neo‐cons,
this
is

probably
what
is
meant
by
winning
the
hearts
and
minds.





Two
and
half
years
after
9/11,
Iraq
is
a
seething
cauldron
of

violence
and
insecurity.
Bush
and
Blair
are
obviously
not
students
of

history.
Every
historian
knows
that
the
only
thing
certain
about
war

is
that
great
uncertainty
will
surely
follow
it.
They
have
sown
the

wind
and
they
are
reaping
the
whirlwind.
Prior
to
the
invasion
there

was
no
real
evidence
of
al‐Qaeda
in
Iraq.
There
is
now!





American
troops
who
were
extremely
secure
at
home,
have
been

offered
to
al‐Qaeda
like
sacrificial
lambs
on
the
altar
of
neo‐con

ambition.
From
across
the
globe,
fundamentalist
terrorists
are

heading
for
those
soldiers,
trapped
like
goldfish
on
a
bowl.
Hail
to
the

Chief.





Tacitus
said:
“The
Romans
create
a
desert
and
call
it
peace”.
Iraq

was
a
desert
to
begin
with,
thanks
to
the
Coalition,
large
parts
of
it

are
wasteland.
The
trouble
with
Pax
America
is
that,
unlike
Pax

Romana,
it
comes
without
the
peace.
A
year
after
the
invasion
there

are
shortages
of
water,
electricity
and
medicine
and
massive

personal
insecurity.
But
we
can
rest
assured
that
the
oilfields
are

protected
and
Halliburton
and
Bechtel
will
be
making
their
profits.

All
the
while,
Blair
gets
only
crumbs
of
contracts
from
Bush’s

imperial
table.





So,
Bush
and
Blair
went
on
their
crusade,
their
quest
for
the
fabled

weapons
of
mass
destruction
in
the
land
of
the
Arabian
Nights.
And

despite
satellites
that
can
read
a
newspaper
headline
from
outer

space,
they
have
found
absolutely
nothing
of
an
immediate
or

imminent
threat.
Facing
our
intrepid
warriors
was
the
might
of
a

third‐rate
mainly
conscript
army,
badly
equipped,
badly
led
and
of

poor
morale.





Turning
to
Andrew
Sullivan’s
puerile
and
false
analogy
with
World

War
Two,
Saddam
did
not
invade
the
Rhineland
or
Poland;
he
did
not

drive
British
troops
off
the
beaches
at
Dunkirk;
he
did
not
send
the

Bismarck,
the
Tirpitz,
and
a
fleet
of
submarines
to
destroy
our

maritime
life‐line;
he
did
not
send
the
Luftwaffe
to
bomb
London
also

during
the
Blitz.



 6




Saddam
had
no
naval
fleet
and
no
air
force.
He
couldn’t
even
send

up
as
much
as
a
Zeppelin
to
take
on
the
might
of
an
F‐16
eagle.
The

few
ancient
missiles
he
had
were
so
inaccurate
that
some
of
them

‘missed’
Kuwait,
a
whole
country,
and
ended
up
in
the
gulf.
What
a

testing
foe
he
was.





There
was
never
a
threat
to
the
British
nation.
Blair
lied.
Then
he

had
the
temerity
to
say
that
he
doesn’t
even
know
the
difference

between
a
battlefield
and
a
strategic
weapon.





That
didn’t
save
little
Ali
Abbas.
He
lost
both
his
arms,
both
his

parents,
and
13
members
of
his
immediate
family
and
he
got
60%

burns
into
the
bargain.
An
American
missile
made
sure
that
no

members
of
his
family
could
become
terrorists.






Coalition
forces
have
scattered
clusterbombs
around
Iraq
like

confetti
in
a
marriage
of
death
and
destruction.
They
even
bragged

about
“Shock
and
Awe”.
And
they
wonder
why
the
people
aren’t

cheering.
Where
are
the
polls
and
surveys
asking
those
Iraqis
who

lost
family
members,
what
they
think
of
Blair
and
Bushs’
triumph?

The
dead
are
forgotten
it
seems,
just
as
easily
as
their
lives
were

snuffed
out.
But
they
won’t
be
forgotten
by
history.





I
have
been
pro‐American
most
of
my
life,
but
I
detest
this

Administration.
If
the
Democrats
had
won
the
election,
Al
Gore
would

have
been
President.
Now,
we
have
gore
of
a
different
kind.
I
voted

for
Blair
twice,
but
never
again,
I
can’t
vote
for
Bush
of
course,

neither
would
I
–
but
then,
neither
did
the
majority
of
Americans.

After
his
gerrymandering
in
Florida,
the
man
still
has
the
gall
to

peach
to
the
world
about
freedom
and
democracy.
He
claims
an

inalienable
right
not
to
abide
by
Kyoto;
to
plunder
the
world’s

resources
as
he
thinks
fit;
to
tear‐up
the
anti‐ballistic
missile
treaty

with
Russia
so
that
he
can
put
his
own
weapons
of
mass
destruction

into
space
–
an
American
umbrella
to
reign
over
us
all.
The
only

peace‐maker
he
believes
in
is
a
Colt
45.





In
reality,
the
greatest
danger
facing
the
average
American
is

another
American.
There
are
11,000
gun
deaths
in
the
Sates
every

year,
a
9/11
every
3
months.
Thousands
more
die
in
road
accidents

and
tens
of
thousands
die
due
to
medical
errors
and
negligence.

Historically,
more
Americans
died
at
the
hands
of
their
fellow

Americans
in
the
Civil
War
than
all
the
subsequent
wars
they
have

 7

been
involved
in,
more
than
the
casualties
of
WW1,
WW2
and

Vietnam
combined.





Bush
ought
to
bear
in
mind
the
words
of
a
truly
great
President
–

“FORCE
IS
ALL‐CONQUERING,
BUT
ITS
VICTORIES
ARE
SHORT‐
LIVED”.
(Abraham
Lincoln)





No
one
is
suggesting
complacency
in
the
face
of
terrorism,
but
al‐
Qaeda
is
not
a
nation
state,
you
cannot
follow
Napoleon’s
famous

maxim
and
destroy
its
field
army
first
and
foremost
rather
than

capture
its
territory,
because
it
had
no
conventional
army
or

territory.
The
essence
of
al‐Qaeda
is
in
the
hearts
and
minds
of
men.

Different
tactics
are
required,
above
all,
national,
regional
and
global

co‐operation
is
required
–
the
very
thing
Bush
has
inhibited
by
his

cavalier
attitude
towards
the
UN.





His
policy
in
Iraq
and
the
Middle
East
is
the
greatest
recruiting

sergeant
al‐Qaeda
could
ever
hope
for.





When
the
Lusitania
was
sunk
by
a
German
submarine
in
May
1915,

president
Wilson
said:
“There
is
such
a
thing
as
a
man
being
too

proud
to
fight.
There
is
such
a
thing
as
a
nation
being
so
right
that
it

doesn’t
need
to
convince
others
by
force
that
it
is
right”.





By
sinking
to
the
level
of
al‐Qaeda
and
propagating
mass
murder

ourselves,
we
do
not
strengthen
democracy
throughout
the
world.





After
9/11
the
American
people
acted
with
great
dignity,
they

inspired
the
world.
So
much
so,
in
France
it
was
said:
“We
are
all

Americans
now”.
We
all
felt
the
same
way.
But
Bush
has
squandered

all
that
good
will.
His
neo‐con
allies
went
so
far
as
to
blame
France

for
the
war
when
the
US
and
UK
failed
to
get
a
second
resolution
at

the
UN.
But
it
wasn’t
only
France
that
was
against
the
war
at
that

time
–
so
were
Russia,
China,
and
all
the
‘Swinging
Six’,
the
temporary

members
of
the
Security
Council,
including
Mexico,
Pakistan
and

Chile.
All
of
them
wanted
the
UN
weapons
inspectors
to
have
more

time,
to
give
Hans
Blix
a
chance
to
end
the
crisis
peacefully.
Even

when
the
attempts
by
the
US
and
UK
to
bully
the
smaller
countries

failed,
the
Chilean
Ambassador
tried
to
make
a
case
for
more
time.
He

said
he
approached
the
Americans
and
his
idea
was
knocked
on
the

head
in
twenty
minutes
flat.



 8




The
Bush
Administration
was
intent
on
war
with
Iraq
from
the

outset.
Wolfowitz
and
his
acolytes
wanted
the
same
war
under

Clinton.






They
did
not
get
their
chance
to
foster
their
ignoble
plans
for
the

New
American
Century
until
9/11.
Even
as
the
dust
clouds
settled

around
the
ruins
of
the
World
Trade
Center,
they
were
clamouring

for
war.





Are
we
any
safer
now?
According
to
the
Foreign
Affairs
Committee

of
the
House
of
Commons,
Britons
are
more,
not
less
likely
to
be
the

target
of
terrorist
attack
as
a
result
of
war
in
Iraq
and
the
failure
to

find
WMD
had
“damaged
the
credibility”
of
the
US’
and
UK’s
war

against
terror.
Blair
responds
with:
“You
can’t
end
up
having
an

enquiry
into
whether
the
war
was
right
or
wrong”.





What
a
shallow
man
he
is.





George
Sorros
states:
“The
US
is
a
democracy
and
an
open
society.

But
I
do
think
there
is
a
truth
machine
operating
in
America
–
a

conservative
truth
machine
(that
is)
misleading
the
public”.
He
likens

the
Bush
Administration’s
interventionist
policy
to
George
Orwell’s

Animal
Farm
where,
despite
the
animals
proclaiming
their
equality,

the
pigs
take
charge
and
change
the
rules
to
justify
their
brutal

behaviour.





George
Thielmann,
a
former
Senior
Intelligence
Officer
remarks:
“I

believe…
the
decision
to
go
to
war
was
made
in
the
fall
of
2001…

shared
with
Prime
Minister
Blair
in
August
2002”.





I
am
no
pacifist.
I
supported
the
re‐taking
of
the
Falklands
–our

land,
our
people;
and
interventions
in
Kosovo
and
Sierra
Leone
–
to

SAVE
human
lives;
and
the
removal
of
the
Taleban.

But
Iraq
is
a

Bridge
Too
Far.
It
was
the
wrong
country
at
the
wrong
time
and
for

the
wrong
reasons.
Now,
after
all
the
civilian
deaths
in
Afghanistan,

hearing
the
US
air
force
trying
to
justify
the
killing
of
Afghani

children
with
a
bomb
meant
for
a
suspected
terrorist
–
I
support
it
no

longer.





Why
can’t
neo‐con
Americans
see
themselves
as
others
see
them?



 9




There
is
an
added
and
bitter
irony
to
all
this,
the
genocide
of
native

Americans
by
successive
administrations
in
the
C19th
(
to
whit:
‘The

only
good
Indian
is
a
dead
Indian’
and
‘Nits
make
lice’).
The
Bush

Administration
went
to
destroy
the
terrorists
of
Iraq
armed
with

Apache
and
Comanche
helicopters
and
Tomohawk
cruise
missiles.





The
power
of
words
is
the
power
of
thought.
Bush’s
glib
phrases

say
it
all.
His
neo‐cons
speak
without
thinking,
think
without

reflection,
and
never,
ever
listen.
Blair
talks
of
the
hand
of
history

touching
him,
he
believes
he’s
another
Churchill.
But
if
so,
he’s
the

Churchill
of
Gallipoli.
Not
the
Churchill
of
the
Blitz.





History
will
probably
crucify
the
Born‐Again
President,
and
damn

the
Sedgefield
Messiah.
It
is
what
they
deserve.
They
have
killed

thousands
of
innocent
people
and
made
the
world
a
more
dangerous

place.
















































From
John
Tarttelin
M.A.
History


PS.
In
your
editorial,
you
state:
“Most
of
those
who
opposed
the
war,

including
yesterday’s
ragbag
of
protestors
in
London,
would
have

done
so
even
if
Saddam
had
been
found
to
have
had
missiles
trained

on
Big
Ben”.




I
would
have
joined
that
demonstration
myself
had
I
lived
nearer
to

London
so,
according
to
you,
I
am
part
of
that
“ragbag”.
I
find
this

extremely
offensive.
I
shall
no
longer
buy
your
paper
which
I
have

read
on
and
off
for
30
years.




Sullivan’s
‘article’
and
your
feeble,
misguided
editorials
recently,

convince
me
I
shan’t
be
missing
much.
How
you
all
get
paid
for
such

poor
quality
copy
is
remarkable.




The
Sunday
Times
is
NO
LONGER
the
Sunday
papers.


©
2004
John
Tarttelin


Postscript
October
17th
2012

We
now
know
that
over
a
100,000
Iraqi
civilians
were
killed
in
this

so
called
‘war’
and
even
today
anarchy
and
chaos
reign
in
that
poor

benighted
country.
That
is
the
historical
legacy
of
Bush
and
Blair.


©
2012
John
Tarttelin

A
SOULADREAM
PRODUCTION