Posts Tagged ‘iraq’

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The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: An instrument of the Western Military Alliance

The Western media in chorus have described the unfolding conflict in Iraq as a “civil war” opposing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham against the Armed forces of the Al-Maliki government.

(Also referred to as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS))

The conflict is casually described as “sectarian warfare” between Radical Sunni and Shia without addressing “who is behind the various factions”.  What is at stake is a carefully staged US military-intelligence agenda.

Known and documented, Al Qaeda affiliated entities have been used by US-NATO in numerous conflicts as “intelligence assets” since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. In Syria, the Al Nusrah and ISIS rebels are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance, which oversees and controls the recruitment and training of paramilitary forces.

The Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) re-emerged in April 2013 with a different name and acronym, commonly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The formation of a terrorist entity encompassing both Iraq and Syria was part of a US intelligence agenda. It responded to geopolitical objectives. It also coincided with the advances of Syrian government forces against the US sponsored insurgency in Syria and the failures of both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its various “opposition” terror brigades.

The decision was taken by Washington to channel its support (covertly) in favor of a terrorist entity which operates in both Syria and Iraq and which has logistical bases in both countries. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into three separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, and a Republic of Kurdistan.

Whereas the (US proxy) government in Baghdad purchases advanced weapons systems from the US including F16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham –which is fighting Iraqi government forces– is supported covertly by Western intelligence. The objective is to engineer a civil war in Iraq, in which both sides are controlled indirectly by US-NATO.

The scenario is to arm and equip them, on both sides, finance them with advanced weapons systems and then “let them fight”.

US-NATO is involved in the recruitment, training and financing of ISIS death squads operating in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS operates through indirect channels in liaison with Western intelligence. In turn, corroborated by reports on Syria’s insurgency, Western special forces and mercenaries integrate the ranks of ISIS.

US-NATO support to ISIS is channeled covertly through America’s staunchest allies: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. According to London’s Daily Express “They had money and arms supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

“through allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the West [has] supported militant rebel groups which have since mutated into ISIS and other al‑Qaeda connected militias. ( Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2014)

While the media acknowledges that the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting ISIS, it invariably fails to mention that both Doha and Riyadh are acting on behalf and in close liaison with Washington.

Under the banner of a civil war, an undercover war of aggression is being fought which essentially contributes to further destroying an entire country, its institutions, its economy. The undercover operation is part of an intelligence agenda, an engineered process which consists in transforming Iraq into an open territory.

Meanwhile,  public opinion is led to believe that what is at stake is confrontation between Shia and Sunni.

America’s military occupation of Iraq has been replaced by non-conventional forms of warfare. Realities are blurred. In a bitter irony, the aggressor nation is portrayed as coming to the rescue of a “sovereign Iraq”.

An internal “civil war” between Shia and Sunni is fomented by US-NATO support to both the Al-Maliki government as well as to the Sunni ISIS rebels.

The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies. (See map of Middle East below)

“Supporting both Sides”

The “War on Terrorism” consists in creating Al Qaeda terrorist entities as part of an intelligence operation, as well as also coming to the rescue of governments which are the target of  the terrorist insurgency. This process is carried out under the banner of counter-terrorism. It creates the pretext to intervene.

ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which is broadly committed to secular forms of government. The caliphate project is part of a US intelligence agenda.

In response to the advance of the ISIS rebels, Washington is envisaging the use of aerial bombings as well as drone attacks in support of the Baghdad government as part of a counter-terrorism operation.  It is all for a good cause: to fight the terrorists, without of course acknowledging that these terrorists are the “foot soldiers” of the Western military alliance.

Needless to say, these developments contribute not only to destabilizing Iraq, but also to weakening the Iraqi resistance movement, which is one of the major objectives of US-NATO.

The Islamic caliphate is supported covertly by the CIA in liaison with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkish intelligence. Israel is also involved in channeling support to both Al Qaeda rebels in Syria (out of the Golan Heights) as well to the Kurdish separatist movement in Syria and Iraq.

More broadly, the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) encompasses a consistent and diabolical logic: both sides –namely the terrorists and the government– are supported by the same military and intelligence actors, namely US-NATO.

While this pattern describes the current situation in Iraq, the structure of “supporting both sides” with a view to engineering sectarian conflict has been implemented time and again in numerous countries. Insurgencies integrated by Al Qaeda operatives (and supported by Western intelligence) prevail in a large number of countries including Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, Pakistan. The endgame is to destabilize sovereign nation states and to transform countries into open territories (on behalf of so-called foreign investors).

The pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds (e.g. in Mali, Nigeria or the Central African Republic) is predicated on the existence of terrorist forces. Yet these terrorist forces would not exist without covert US-NATO support.

The Capture of Mosul:  US-NATO Covert Support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Something unusual occurred in Mosul which cannot be explained in strictly military terms.

On June 10, the insurgent forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) allegedly (according to press reports) captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with a population of over one million people.  While these developments were “unexpected” according to the Obama administration, they were known to the Pentagon and US intelligence, which were not only providing weapons, logistics and financial support to the ISIS rebels, they were also coordinating, behind the scenes, the ISIS attack on the city of Mosul.

While ISIS is a well equipped and disciplined rebel army when compared to other Al Qaeda affiliated formations, “the capture” of Mosul, did not hinge upon ISIS’s military capabilities. Quite the opposite: Iraqi forces which outnumbered the rebels by far, equipped with advanced weapons systems could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels.

There were 30,000 government forces in Mosul as opposed to 1000 ISIS rebels, according to reports. The Iraqi army chose not to intervene. The media reports explained without evidence that the decision of the Iraqi armed forces not to intervene was spontaneous characterized by mass defections.

Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul, openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq’s second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting. (Guardian, June 12, 2014, emphasis added)

The reports point to the fact that Iraqi military commanders were sympathetic with the Sunni led ISIS insurgency intimating that they are largely Sunni:

Speaking from the Kurdish city of Erbil, the defectors accused their officers of cowardice and betrayal, saying generals in Mosul “handed over” the city over to Sunni insurgents, with whom they shared sectarian and historical ties. (Daily Telegraph,  13 June 2014)

The report is misleading. The senior commanders were largely hardline Shiite. The defections occurred de facto when the command structure collapsed and senior (Shiite) military commanders left the city.

What is important to understand, is that both sides, namely the regular Iraqi forces and the ISIS rebel army are supported by US-NATO. There were US military advisers and special forces including operatives from private security companies on location in Mosul working with Iraq’s regular armed forces. In turn, there are Western special forces or mercenaries within ISIS (acting on contract to the CIA or the Pentagon) who are in liaison with US-NATO (e.g. through satellite phones).

Under these circumstances, with US intelligence amply involved, there would have been routine communication, coordination, logistics and exchange of intelligence between a US-NATO military and intelligence command center, US-NATO military advisers forces or private military contractors on the ground assigned to the Iraqi Army in Mosul and Western special forces attached to the ISIS brigades. These Western special forces operating covertly within the ISIS could have been dispatched by a private security company on contract to US-NATO.

Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria

Yaser Al-Khodor/Courtesy Reuters

In this regard, the capture of Mosul appears to have been a carefully engineered operation, planned well in advance. With the exception of a few skirmishes, no fighting took place.

Entire divisions of the Iraqi National Army –trained by the US military with advanced weapons systems at their disposal– could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels. Reports suggest that they were ordered by their commanders not to intervene. According to witnesses, “Not a single shot was fired”.

The forces that had been in Mosul have fled — some of which abandoned their uniforms as well as their posts as the ISIS forces swarmed into the city.

Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, overran the entire western bank of the city overnight after Iraqi soldiers and police apparently fled their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the militants. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/10/mosul-falls-to-al-qaeda-as-us-trained-security-forces-flee/

A contingent of one thousand ISIS rebels takes over a city of more than one million? Without prior knowledge that the US controlled Iraqi Army (30,000 strong) would not intervene, the Mosul operation would have fallen flat, the rebels would have been decimated.

Who was behind the decision to let the ISIS terrorists take control of Mosul? Who gave them the “green light”

Had the senior Iraqi commanders been instructed by their Western military advisers to hand over the city to the ISIS terrorists? Were they co-opted?

Source: The Economist

Was the handing over of Mosul to ISIS part of a US intelligence agenda?

Were the Iraqi military commanders manipulated or paid off into allowing the city to fall into the hands of the ISIS rebels without “a single shot being fired”.

Shiite General Mehdi Sabih al-Gharawi who was in charge of the Mosul Army divisions “had left the city”. Al Gharawi had worked hand in glove with the US military. He took over the command of Mosul in September 2011, from US Col Scott McKean. Had he been co-opted, instructed by his US counterparts to abandon his command?

(image left) U.S. Army Col. Scott McKean, right, commander, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, talks with Iraqi police Maj. Gen. Mahdi Sabih al-Gharawi following a transfer of authority ceremony on September 4, 2011

US forces could have intervened. They had been instructed to let it happen. It was part of a carefully planned agenda to facilitate the advance of the ISIS rebel forces and the installation of the ISIS caliphate.

The whole operation appears to have been carefully staged.

In Mosul, government buildings, police stations, schools, hospitals, etc are formally now under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In turn, ISIS has taken control of military hardware including helicopters and tanks which were abandoned by the Iraqi armed forces.

What is unfolding is the installation of a US sponsored Islamist ISIS caliphate alongside the rapid demise of the Baghdad government. Meanwhile, the Northern Kurdistan region has de facto declared its independence from Baghdad. Kurdish peshmerga rebel forces (which are supported by Israel) have taken control of the cities of Arbil and Kirkuk. (See map above)

UPDATE [June 17, 2014]

Since the completion of this article, information has emerged on the central role played by the Sunni Tribes and sections of the former Baathist movement (including the military) in the “liberation” of Mosul and other cities. The control of Mosul is in the hands of several Sunni opposition groups.

While these forces — which constitute an important component of the resistance movement directed against the al-Maliki government– are firmly opposed to ISIS, a de facto “relationship” has nonetheless emerged between the ISIS and the Sunni resistance movement.

The fact that the US is firmly behind ISIS does not seem to be a matter of concern to the Tribal Council:

Sheikh Zaydan al Jabiri, leader of the political wing of the Tribal Revolutionary Council, told Sky News his organisation viewed ISIS as dangerous terrorists, and that it was capable of taking them on.

“Even this blessed revolution that has taken place in Mosul, there may be jihadist movements involved in it, but the revolution represents all the Iraqi people – it has been brought about by the Sunni tribes, and some baathist elements, it certainly does not belong to ISIS,” he said.

But Mr Jabiri,  [based in Amman]… also made a clear threat that without Western help, the tribes and ISIS may be forced to combine efforts targeting their shared enemy – the Shia-dominated Iraqi government. (Sky News, emphasis added)

An exiled leader of the Iraqi resistance movement calling for “Western help” from the aggressor nation? From the above statement, one has the distinct impression that the Tribal Revolutionary Council has been co-opted and/or infiltrated.

Moreover, in a bitter irony, within sectors of the Sunni resistance movement, US-NATO which supports both the Al Maliki government and the ISIS terrorists– is no longer considered the main aggressor nation.

The Sunni resistance movement broadly considers Iran, which is providing military assistance to the al-Maliki government as well as special forces- as the aggressor alongside the US.

In turn, it would appear that Washington is creating conditions for sucking Iran more deeply into the conflict, under the pretext of joining hands in fighting ISIS terrorism. During talks in Vienna on June 16, US and Iranian officials agreed “to work together to halt ISIS’s momentum—though with no military coordination, the White House stressed”.(WSJ, June 16, 2014)

In chorus The US media applauds:  “The US and Iran have a mutual interest in stemming the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)” (Christian Science Monitor,  June 13 2014).  An absurd proposition knowing that the ISIS is a creature of US intelligence, financed by the Western military alliance, with Western special forces in its ranks.  Tehran is also using the ISIS pretext as an “opportunity” to intervene in Iraq: Iran’s intelligence is fully aware that ISIS is a terrorist proxy controlled by the CIA.

Concluding Remarks

There were no Al Qaeda rebels in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. Moreover, Al Qaeda was non-existent in Syria until the outset of the US-NATO-Israeli supported insurgency in March 2011.

The ISIS is not an independent entity. It is a creation of US intelligence. It is a US intelligence asset, an instrument of non-conventional warfare.

The ultimate objective of this ongoing US-NATO engineered conflict opposing the al-Maliki government forces to the ISIS insurgency is to destroy and destabilize Iraq as a Nation State. It is part of an intelligence operation, an engineered process of  transforming countries into territories. The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies.

The ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which historically has been committed to a secular system of government. The caliphate project is a US design. The advances of ISIS forces is intended to garnish broad support within the Sunni population directed against the al-Maliki government

Through its covert support of  the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, Washington is overseeing the demise of own proxy regime in Baghdad. The issue, however, is not “regime change”,  nor is the “replacement” of the al-Maliki regime contemplated.

The division of Iraq along sectarian-ethnic lines has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 10 years.

What is envisaged by Washington is the outright suppression of the Baghdad regime and the institutions of the central government, leading to a process of political fracturing and the elimination of Iraq as a country.

This process of political fracturing in Iraq along sectarian lines will inevitably have an impact on Syria, where the US-NATO sponsored terrorists have in large part been defeated.

Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.

The formation of the caliphate may be the first step towards a broader conflict in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Iran is supportive of the al-Maliki government and the US ploy may indeed be to encourage the intervention of Iran.

The proposed re-division of both Iraq and Syria is broadly modeled on that of the Federation of Yugoslavia which was split up into seven “independent states” (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo).

According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, the re division of Iraq into three separate states is part of a broader process of redrawing the Map of the Middle East.

The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers”. (See Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East” By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, November 2006)

Source: Centre for Research on Globalisation

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CounterPsyOps

by TONY CARTALUCCI | LAND DESTROYER | JUNE 13, 2014

All roads lead to Baghdad and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is following them all, north from Syria and Turkey to south. Reading Western headlines, two fact-deficient narratives have begun gaining traction. The first is that this constitutes a “failure” of US policy in the Middle East, an alibi as to how the US and its NATO partners should in no way be seen as complicit in the current coordinated, massive, immensely funded and heavily armed terror blitzkrieg toward Baghdad. The second is how ISIS appears to have “sprung” from the sand dunes and date trees as a nearly professional military traveling in convoys of matching Toyota trucks without explanation.

In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to…

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CounterPsyOps

by ZERO HEDGE | JUNE 13, 2014

Recall a week ago we wrote “US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force” in which we said:

… the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad’s envoy to the United States called a “new chapter” in his country’s ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors.

….the US earlier in March provided Iraq with some 100 Hellfire missiles as well as assault rifles and other ammunition. Then in April the US sent more arms, providing Iraq with 11 million rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

It is unknown how many of these have fallen into Al Qaeda/ISIS hands (we do know that at least one Iraqi Black Hawk chopper was captured during the rush for Mosul). What is…

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CounterPsyOps

12 juin 2014 – During the latest news briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was grilled on various topics including Iraq and Ukraine.
She is clearly uncompetent such as the crack’head in the White House.

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The fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a group from which even Al Qaeda has broken because of its excessive violence and sectarian fanaticism, constitutes a searing indictment of the crimes carried out by US imperialism in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

The overrunning of Mosul on Tuesday has been followed by the capture of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, as well as parts of both Samara—barely 75 miles from Baghdad—and Kirkuk to the north. Troops of an Iraqi army created by the US at the cost of some $20 billion have melted away, their commanders first, stripping off their uniforms and throwing down their weapons.

It was reported late Wednesday that Iraqi government special forces troops were forming a defensive line 20 miles north of Baghdad in anticipation of an assault on the capital.

Over half a million people have fled the fighting in Mosul, described by one aid agency as “one of the largest and swiftest mass movements of people in the world in recent memory.”

This city, like the rest of Iraq, was devastated by the US war and occupation that began in 2003. Its infrastructure was destroyed and whatever reconstruction efforts took place were mismanaged exercises in corruption that did little to ease the suffering of the population. The city’s professionals—doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, journalists and scientists—were either killed or forced to flee for their lives.

A sectarian civil war ignited by the US occupation’s divide-and-conquer strategy wrecked the multi-ethnic character of the city, as Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, Assyrian and other populations were driven out of areas where they constituted minorities in a bloody exercise in “ethnic cleansing.”

This sectarian policy has been continued under the Iraqi regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the leader of a Shia religious-based political party, who was installed under the American occupation. Jailing, exiling and killing prominent Sunni politicians and treating any opposition to his rule among the Sunni population as “terrorism,” Maliki has increased the desperation of the population of predominantly Sunni Anbar province, creating a base of support for elements such as ISIS.

The reaction of the US media to the debacle in Iraq has been dominated by stunned disbelief combined with questions as to how this could have happened after all of the “sacrifices” made by the United States—4,500 troops killed and tens of thousands of wounded, along with trillions of dollars spent.

What hypocrisy! The catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is the direct product of the crimes—both past and present—carried out by US imperialism in its attempt to assert its hegemony over the Middle East and its massive energy reserves.

The US invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction” and cementing ties to Al Qaeda, which supposedly raised the imminent threat of a nuclear 9/11.

As the entire world now knows, this pretext was a lie from start to finish. There were no WMDs, and Saddam’s regime, whatever its crimes, was secular and opposed to Al Qaeda, which had no presence in Iraq until the US invaded and devastated the country.

The crimes carried out under Bush in Iraq—leading to over one million Iraqi deaths and the destruction of an entire society—have been followed by those of the Obama administration in Libya and Syria, where US imperialism has fostered and armed proxy forces based on Sunni Islamist and Al Qaeda-linked elements to wage wars for regime-change. One result has been an immense strengthening of these forces throughout the region.

These wars have been based on the “war on terrorism” narrative used by the Bush administration and still employed by the Obama White House as a justification for global militarism. Wars launched in response to a terrorist attack carried out by 19 individuals—15 of them Saudis—who were allowed to enter the US and hijack airplanes, have now led to the creation of a de facto Al Qaeda state that straddles the Iraq-Syria border and stretches from Aleppo, near the Mediterranean Sea in the west, toward the border with Iran in the east.

The Obama administration has made the overthrow of the Assad regime in Damascus a central US policy objective. It suffered a humiliating setback last year when it was forced to back down from plans to launch US air strikes on Syria in the face of overwhelming popular opposition at home, internal divisions among policy makers, and lack of support from its principal imperialist ally, Britain. Instead, it was compelled to accept a Russian-brokered plan to secure Syria’s chemical disarmament and start talks between the Assad regime and the so-called “rebels.”

The result has been a series of strategic reversals for the US-backed “rebels” in Syria, who are dominated by Islamist Sunni militias, including ISIS. Washington is desperate to change the situation on the ground.

There has been an increasingly intense debate within ruling circles over the arming of the “rebels,” with the former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, writing a column for Wednesday’s New York Times urging the provision of mortars, rockets and surface-to-air missiles to “moderates” among the Islamist-led militias, as well as placing them directly on the US payroll. Of course, Ford, like other US officials, claims that such aid to the “moderates”—whose organizations are never named—would serve as well to isolate the Al Qaeda-linked elements. This caveat, however, is meant merely to cover up the real criminality of US operations, in which these very elements play the decisive role.

While official Washington publicly wrings its hands over the fall of Mosul, the effect of this development on the US proxy war in Syria may not be all that unwelcome within sections of the US military and intelligence apparatus.

The fall of Iraqi military stockpiles to ISIS has provided one of the most dramatic increases in the firepower of the forces seeking to topple the Syrian government since the US-backed civil war began. Hundreds of armored vehicles have been captured—enough to outfit a full armored division, according to one source. ISIS has overrun the Mosul airport, gaining access to military helicopters and other aircraft. Huge amounts of arms and ammunition have been seized, and virtually all of it is being sent back across the border into Syria. Thousands of Islamist prisoners have been freed from Iraqi jails to go and fight there.

The demand to provide US arms to the “rebels” has been largely met in practice by the developments in Mosul. The result will be a further escalation of the bloodbath in Syria.

In every case where Washington attempts to utilize militarism to advance US imperialism’s interests and offset the economic decline of American capitalism, it is the masses of people who suffer, from the millions killed and displaced in nearly nine years of US war and occupation in Iraq, to the carnage unleashed on the people of Syria, and now the turning of a half a million impoverished residents of Mosul into homeless refugees.

No one has been held accountable for these actions, which indisputably constitute war crimes. Those responsible include not only George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others in the previous administration. Both major political parties, the media, the corporations and every American institution are responsible for the lies that have pervaded US policy—both foreign and domestic—for the past decade and a half. All of the criminal policies under Bush—aggressive war, torture—have been continued and deepened by the Obama administration. With its “pivot” to Asia and coup in Ukraine, it is preparing military confrontation with Russia and China and laying the groundwork for a nuclear Third World War.

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, economic, scientific, and educational issues. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:

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BAGHDAD — Islamic militants who seized cities and towns vowed Thursday to march on Baghdad to settle old scores, joined by Saddam Hussein-era loyalists and other disaffected Sunnis capitalizing on the government’s political paralysis over the biggest threat to Iraq’s stability since the U.S. withdrawal.

Trumpeting their victory, the militants also declared they would impose Shariah law in Mosul and other areas they have captured.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2014/06/12/3145003/islamic-gunmen-push-into-iraqs.html#storylink=cpy

World

The United States is supplying Iraq with arms and surveillance technology to combat al-Qaeda-backed insurgents amid worsening violence, the New York Timesreported Thursday, two years after the last American combat troops left the country.

Citing unnamed Obama administration officials, the Times reports that the U.S. is providing lethal aid, including 75 Hellfire missiles, and 10 ScanEagle reconnaissance drones. The U.S. intelligence community is also providing information on the location of al-Qaeda networks and militant camps, according to the Times.

More than 8,000 Iraqis have been killed this year, according to the United Nations, in the worst violence since 2008, as al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate expands in western Iraq and war-torn Syria across the border.

[NYT]

(MORE: TIME International Editor Looks Back at Saddam Hussein’s Legacy)

[time-brightcove videoid=2291341856001]

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http://jima.imana.org/article/view/10463 Pilot study of congenital anomaly rates at birth in Fallujah, Iraq, 2010 Samira Telfah Alaani, Mohannad A.R. Al-Fallouji, Christopher Busby, Malak Hamdan Abstract DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/44-1-10463 Objectives: To examine numbers of congenital anomaly (CA) at birth overall and by class in one clinic in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah, Iraq. Study Design: All congenital anomaly birth referrals to one pediatric clinician at Fallujah General Hospital for an eleven month period beginning November 1, 2009 were recorded. This clinic was one of three clinics to which cases would be referred. Results: There were 291 CA cases registered at birth in the period at the study’s clinic. The total number of births recorded in the hospital over the period was 6049. The CAs included 113 heart and circulatory system cases, 72 nervous system cases, 40 digestive system cases, 9 genitourinary cases, 6 ear, face and neck cases, 7 respiratory cases and 30 Down syndrome cases. Conclusion: Owing to difficulties establishing the exact number of births from which these cases were drawn, the exact rates cannot be precisely determined. Nevertheless, on the basis of reasonable assumptions relating to the activity of the clinic involved, these results support earlier epidemiological findings. On the basis of work reported elsewhere, the higher rates of congenital anomalies are believed to be caused by exposure to some genotoxic agent, possibly uranium. Download report here Read original report here

Iraq War Crimes: Kidnap and Murder of Ministry of Education Officials

Global Research, November 07, 2012
BRussells Tribunal
iraq

by Milad Rizooqi, Sawt Al-Iraq

Translation: Lubna Al Rudaini and Dirk Adriaensens,

BRussells Tribunal, 31 October 2012.

We hear a lot about “ militias” and their crimes everywhere in Iraq, but many Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish personalities still refuse to tell the media details about these militias, which persons are connected with them, and who represents them in the Parliament,in the government or even in the streets.

A couple of days ago, the Baghdad Operations Headquarter stated that they found the remains of tens of Iraqi academics that were kidnapped from the Ministry of Higher Education – Department of Missions -in 14 November 2006.They were buried in the Al-Sada Area in Sadr City. The bodies were found after one of the militia members (who is arrested by the Iraqi authorities) confessed and told about the place where the victims were buried, their number, the details of how the militias carried out the kidnapping, why they did it and who is behind all this. (2)

The Iraqi people always ask themselves when such “incidents” occur, like a kidnapping or a blast or a car bomb:“who is behind this?”

Everyone in Iraq knows that the Ministry of Higher Education kidnapping was the work of sectarian militias, more specifically the ones that are politically linked to the government.

When the Iraqi people ask about the names of these militias, and the reasons behind the secrecy of the Iraqi government, theyare surprised that no one wants to talk and no one dares to name names.The Iraqi government,the Army, the Ministry of Interior, the Parliament members,the human rights organizations, even the TV channels and media,all of them avoid to mention the names of those militias as if it was a sacred talisman or a taboo!

Do these militias consider the blood of their victims as the cheapest thing in the world, and are their crimes all sacred?

Everyone knows that the Al-Mahdi Militia, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, is among those who committed such disgusting crimes. Some of the media dared to mention the details of this crime saying that Hakim Al-Zamili, one of the leaders of the Al-Mahdi Militia,was responsible for this crime that took the lives of more than 150 Iraqis, some of them Iraq’s best academics. Al-Zamili is a prominent member of the Iraqi Parliament, representative of the Al-Sadr Party. Many Iraqis know it, but the government and parliament representatives keep silent and never mention the name of the murderers of the academics in November 2006. (Read more about Hakim Al Zamili underneath: “A case study. The Ministry of Health, a very unhealthy Institution”)

When will the government,the parliament, and the judiciary authorities dare to name and accuse this criminal who killed numerous Iraqi citizens? When will the Iraqi government stop its courtship with the murderers,ignoring the bloodshed of innocent Iraqi people, and ignoring the judiciary authorities? A punishment is not only meant to punish the criminal, not only an attempt to do justice to the victim, it is also a way to show criminals that there’s a price to pay if they commit a crime, to set an example. But it is well known that the US occupation authorities created lawlessness themselves.

They have shown no inclination to investigate the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. This calculated disinterest is itself revealing. And even worse, official spokespersons gave overt expression to the pervasive inclination of the occupiers to view chaos and lawlessness as “creative” in the sense of providing opportunities to wipe the state clean, to create new beginnings, or start over from scratch. In the context of engineered chaos, the wanton degradation of Iraq’s once vaunted educational and health systems represented for them an “opportunity to begin again”.

Criminal gangs could rob and kidnap and murder with impunity. They played a marginal, but instrumental role in the instability in Iraq. Because none of the committed crimes were investigated, the victims had the impression that law and order were non-existent in the “new Iraq”. So in 2005-2008many Iraqis fled the country with their families.  These bandits could do their crimes under the eyes of 750.000 security forces, without fear of being caught or prosecuted. This feeds the suspicion among the Iraqis that the occupier at least tolerated these crimes in order to create as much chaos as possible, in order to encourage the process of ethnic cleansing and erasing collective memory.

We demand that the Iraqi judiciary,especially the High Judiciary Council spokesman stop being cowards and mention the name of those bloody sectarian militia’s to the public.We also demand of Baghdad Operations, the Ministries of Defense and Interior,the Parliament (especially Al-Nujaifi), and the Ministerial Council headed by Al Maliki, that they should take their responsibilities, respect the rule of law and arrest the culprits of this horrendous crime, to show the public that the blood of the victims is not cheap. If they don’t take the necessary measures, the reputation of the country and its government will sink even deeper in the quagmire of lawlessness and overall corruption.

It’s worth to mention that a few months ago Al-Maliki declared that he knows who is responsible for the kidnapping in the Ministry of Higher Education, at the time when Muqtada Al-Sadir made a deal with the Kurdish government and IyadAllawi’s Al-Iraqiya party,and declared that Al-Maliki is not trustworthy anymore.Maliki’s words were meant as a threat. That’s why Muqtada changed his mind immediately and withdrew from this cooperation deal. The same thing is happening again now.When Muqtada wanted a vote of no confidence against Al-Maliki,the latter made his move and told the media all about the kidnapping incident. That’s how the criminal ruling eliteuses the blood of innocent citizensas a winning card:to blackmail each other whenever it suits them. All of these criminals know who is responsible for which bloodbath. And the Americans know, because they helped to put these people in power.

Long before the invasion, the US and its allies were involved in the training and arming of tens of thousands of militias and anti-Iraq collaborators. The most conspicuous of these militia groups were:

1. The Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmed Chalabi.
2. The Iraqi National Accord (INA) led by IyadAllawi, now heading the Al Iraqiya party in Parliament.
Both groups constituted of Iraqi expatriates (including ex-Ba’athists), trained and armed by the U.S. and Britain.
3. The Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Da’awa/SCIRI religious ‘parties’ led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Nuri al-Maliki. This group constituted of thousands of Iraqi expatriates and illegal Iranian immigrants expelled from Iraq in the 1980’s. The group is trained and heavily armed by Iran and the U.S.
4. Then there was the Sadr movement (known as the Mahdi Army), led by Muqtada al-Sadr. The movement has been accused of many crimes and sectarian killings since the Sadr movement entered the political process. And now they’re the ones who stand accused for the kidnapping scandal in the Ministry of Higher Education.

Since the invasion, each militia group had mutated into several groups of death squads and criminal gangs such as the Wolf Brigade, the Karar Brigade, the Falcon Brigade, the Amarah Brigade, the Muthana Brigade, the Defenders of Kadhimiyah, and in 2006 integrated in the Special Police Commandos, created by the US Army. They were armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies, and fully integrated into the Occupation. Each group was carefully used by the occupying forces to terrorize the Iraqi civilian population in a campaign designed to erode the civilian population’s support for the Iraqi Resistance against the Occupation. U.S. military sources have openly admitted that the population, where support for the Resistance was high, “is paying no price for the support it is giving to the [Resistance] … We have to change that equation”, (Newsweek, 14 January 2004). In other words, Iraqis civilians were deliberately targeted for rejecting the Occupation. (3)

A Women for Women International – Iraq 2008 report gives a pretty accurate picture of how Iraqi politics work and who is responsible for the Iraqi catastrophe:
“Within the central government in Baghdad, Iraqi politics are largely deadlocked. The current government is made up largely of Shiite politicians closely tied to various militia warlords.

The Sunnis are not well represented in the government or the parliament, and tribal sheiks of Anbar, Ninawah, and Salah al-Din provinces tend to view the government as a front for Iran. Even among the Shiites, many believe that the politicians in Baghdad are working for the best interests of the militias, not the best interests of the Shiites as a whole, let alone all Iraq.

The problem derives in large part from the flawed decisions that went into the creation of the IGC in 2003 and the interim government of 2004. Having brought exiles and militia leaders into the government and given them positions of power, it became virtually impossible to get them out, and even more difficult to convince them to make compromises. The militia leaders used their positions to maintain and expand their power at the expense of their rivals outside the government as well as in the central government itself.

As a result, each ministry in Baghdad is wholly captive to the militia that controls it.”(4)(5)

Hakim Al Zamili – A case study: the Ministry of Health, a very unhealthy institution(6)

Minister of Health in 2006, Ali Al-Shimari, belonged to Moqtada Al-Sadr’s political movement while the latter’s military arm, the Mahdi Army, was acting inside hospitals with impunity. Sick and wounded patients were abducted from public hospitals and later killed. As a consequence, more and more Iraqis were avoiding hospitals.

“The hospitals have become killing fields,” said Abu Nasr.Ali Al-Shimari fled the country as soon as charges of sectarian acts were brought against officials at the ministry. Al-Shimari was granted political asylum in the USA.(7) After the attack hit Samarra’s Askariya shrine, also known as the Golden Mosque, on February 22, 2006,(8) Ali Al Shimari and his deputy Hakim Al Zamili, a commander of the Mahdi army, turned the Ministry of Health into a torture and killing centre.
In September 2006, when the streets of Baghdadwere swamped with thousands of brutally assassinated bodies, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the Ministry of Health not to release further figures about casualties to the United Nations, as it had previously done.(9)

On February8, 2007, occupation forces raided the ministry and arrested Hakim Al Zamili. He was accused of allegedly funnelling money to the militias. He used private ambulances and hospitals to carry out the killings. He was the key suspect in the kidnapping and (suspected) murder of his colleague, Ammar al-Saffar, who was also a deputy Health Minister.(10)

After a two-day trial, marred by accusations of witness intimidation, the charges were dropped and Mr. Zamili was freed after spending more than a year in American custody.(11)According to accurate Iraqi sources,Hakim Al-Zamili killed 160 persons, among them D.rRaadAl Mahdawy– a Sunni- the general director of the health department in Diyala.

Al-Zamili’s 2009 release was, according to some Iraqi witnesses, part of the deal for returning the bodies of 5 Britons, held hostage for 2 years by an obscure militia known as “Islamic Shia Resistance in Iraq.” This group of Britons was seized while they were installing anti-corruption software in Baghdad’s Ministry of Finance, by about 40 men “disguised” as Iraqi policemen, in May 2007.(12) The Iraqi authorities acted as lead negotiator and broker for the deal.(13)”The first thing Hakim Al-Zamili did after being released was killing Hassan Aziz, a judge who was involved in trying to convict Mr. Zamili. Now this criminal is a member of the Iraqi new parliament!” an anonymous Iraqi source testifies. Hakim Al-Zamili, recently elected Member of Parliament from the Sadrist bloc, is now one of the strongest advocates for carrying out the death sentence on former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.(15)

This is today’s sad reality in Iraq’s “blossoming democracy.”

And it’s not getting any better.

Dirk Adriaensens is coordinator of SOS Iraq and member of the executive committee of the BRussells Tribunal. Between 1992 and 2003 he led several delegations to Iraq to observe the devastating effects of UN imposed sanctions. He was a member of the International Organizing Committee of the World Tribunal on Iraq (2003-2005). He is also co-coordinator of the Global Campaign Against the Assassination of Iraqi Academics. He is co-author of Rendez-Vous in Baghdad, EPO (1994), Cultural Cleansing in Iraq, Pluto Press, London (2010), Beyond Educide, Academia Press, Ghent (2012), and is a frequent contributor to GlobalResearch, Truthout, The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies and other media.

References:

1 http://www.sotaliraq.com/mobile-item.php?id=120108#axzz2Arw4bF2Z
2 Read the article ‘Iraq’s Mass Graves’by Dirk Adriaensens on 23/10/2012,http://www.globalresearch.ca/crimes-against-humanity-iraqs-mass-gravesvoting-the-stolen-election-of-2004-2/5309313
3Ghali Hassan,http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-hassan041206.htm
4http://www.womenforwomen.org/news-women-for-women/assets/files/IraqReport.03.03.08.pdf
5Alsomentioned in the BRussellsTribunal “Open Letter to the UN High Commissionerfor Human Rights, NaviPillay” by Dirk Adriaensens on 8 February 2012, http://www.brusselstribunal.org/UnspokenCrimes080212.htm
6 This case study was originally published in a BRussells Tribunal article: “Always someone’s mother or father, always someone’s child. The missing persons of Iraq.” By Dirk Adriaensens, 28 November 2010,http://www.brusselstribunal.org/pdf/Disappearances_missing_persons_in_Iraq.pdf )
7http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/29/AR2006082901680.html
8http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/885/re82.htm
9http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022200454.html
10http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/feb/8/20070208-115125-4889r/
11http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/world/middleeast/04baghdad.html?_r=1&ref=world
12http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/03/iraq-british-oil-corruption
13http://peteinfoshare.blogspot.com/2009/09/iraq-body-confirmed-as-uk-hostage.html
14http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/iraq-president-opposes-tariq-azizs-death-sentence

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Silver Lining

by David Kenner, Foreign Policy, source

The Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology published a study in September titled “Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities.”

The study, which was funded by the University of Michigan’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, examines the prevalence of birth defects in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Fallujah, both of which experienced heavy fighting during the worst days of the Iraq war. As originally noted by US analyst David Isenberg, the study found an “astonishing” increase in the number of birth defects in a Basra maternal hospital when compared to before the war.

From October 1994 to October 1995, there were 1.37 birth defects at al- Basrah Maternity Hospital per 1,000 live births. By 2003, at the beginning of the war, the number of birth defects skyrocketed to 23 per 1,000 live births — a 17-fold increase. Then…

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Iraq: Inside the Belly of the CIA

Global Research, September 08, 2012
middleeast

 

Much to the bitter disappointment of the  international community, a report recently declassified by the CIA reveals that a war that started in the name of democracy in Iraq in 2003 and claimed the lives of more than one million innocent Iraqis and thousands of US-led troops was waged on the basis of an unfortunate series of blatant lies fabricated by CIA.

In a nutshell, the report says the CIA failed to carry out sufficient research into the possibility of WMDs in the hands of the Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein and that without due proof, they concluded that since Saddam was in the habit of lying about WMDs, they guessed he was in possession of weapons and mass destruction and that Iraq had to be reduced to dereliction and misery at the hands of the US military on the strength of a sheer conjecture.

Prominent points in the report are as follows:

1) When the [U.N. and International Atomic Energy Agency] inspections proved more intrusive than expected, the Iraqi leadership appears to have panicked and made a fateful decision to secretly destroy much of the remaining nondeclared items and eliminate the evidence.

2) Iraq’s firmly established “cheat and retreat” pattern made it difficult for U.N. inspectors and Western analysts to accept new Iraqi assertions at face value.

3) A liability of intelligence analysis is that once a party has been proven to be an effective deceiver, that knowledge becomes a heavy factor in the calculation of the analytical observer.

The new report brings to fore and highlights the necessity of an idea audaciously expressed by some in recent past: the trial of Georg Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals for lying about WMDs in Iraq.

Only recently, South African peace activist and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with Mr. Tony Blair whom he considers a war criminal. Loud and clear, Tutu has announced Tony Blair and George W. Bush as war criminals who should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the Iraq war for lying about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Besides, Tutu has said the US- and UK-led war against Iraq had brought about conditions for the civil war in Syria and a possible Middle East conflict involving Iran.

“The then leaders of the United States [Mr. Bush] and Great Britain [Mr. Blair] fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” he said.

No doubt, Bush and Blair will be eventually tried in a fair court of justice for the crimes they have committed in Iraq in the name of democracy under the hallucination of a divine decree; indeed, that is only a matter of when rather than if. As for Bush, he has explicitly stated that he was on a mission from God to strike Afghanistan and Iraq. Overwhelmed with a maniac feeling of messianic mission, Bush revealed this religious madness four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in his meeting with a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit.

He said, “I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

In an unprecedented ruling handed down by the Kuala Lumpur (KL) War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia in May, George W. Bush and a number of his accomplices including Dick Cheney, former US Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense Secretary, and Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush were found guilty of war crimes.

Though the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal may not have the authority to try them in practice, it must be regarded as a great step in upholding justice and respecting humanity on a large scale.

Besides, the tribunal evinces a keen sense of public sensitivity to and awareness of a universal quest for truth and justice. It is manifest that global awareness is on the increase in the world and that the truth will emerge from behind the clouds one day.

Day by day, more evidence is building up to put Bush and Blair to abject shame for their crimes and fresh calls for arresting and trying the duo and their accomplices at the international criminal court fall upon the ears from time to time.

International community is waking up to the realities thanks to the efforts of peace activists and the justice-seeking dissidents across the world. It is indeed a good sign that a new age of social and political enlightenment has already begun to dawn and that a new light is in sight. This marks an imminent end to multitudes of atrocities perpetrated by Washington and its allies and the plots hatched by the Zionists to divide and rule the world.

Washington’s monophonic urge to decide for the world is growing weaker and weaker every day with a powerful polyphonic global voice taking the place of the old one. In short, the world is developing greater perceived need for sustainable peace and security.

What the CIA file documents is the fact that Iraq was ferociously devoured in the belly of the CIA beast not as a country with a dictator as its leader but as a nation which was denied the opportunity to hold its fate in its own hands and get rid of its dictator.

The sheer ouster of Saddam Hussein as a dictator barely justifies the innocent blood that was spilled in Iraq and a military invasion of such colossally devastating proportions.

hegeopseth

Image

Location: Rwasheed, Jordan. Near border of Iraq, after the invasion of the Americans – 2003.

A covered woman. Just her eyes visible. Suppressed, surely, it automatically crossed my mind. Not so.

She is Wasime. A woman with a ton of courage.

We had some tea in her tent, surrounded be “leftovers” from her life in Baghdad. The dust from the desert was an unwelcome disturbance. “You know, I never thought my life would end up like this. But I do what I have to do. Had you visited in my home I promise you would not sit on a dusty ground,” she explains adding that her tea would taste just as nice as it did when she served guests in Baghdad.

She shows me her face, share parts of her story. And we laughed. It showed using humour was her coping-strategy number one. Not just as a refugee in a foreign country…

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US to stockpile cluster bombs in Australia? – Opinion – Al Jazeera English. Read Full Report here, Excerpt Below.

US to Stockpile Cluster Bombs in Australia?

Brisbane, Australia: A US military “base” in Darwin, Australia (spun as a “rotational deployment” for China, I suspect), will necessitate foreign weapons systems and armaments being stockpiled, retained and transited on and in Australian territory.

Although they are long-standing and committed allies, Australia and the United States hold different positions on many matters relating to both arms control and humanitarian law. One recent normative development where the US and Australia’s views have diverged is the ban on cluster bombs, a weapon that has inside multiple – often hundreds – of small explosive sub-munitions or “bomblets” that are dispersed over an area the size of several football fields from either the air or ground. As a result, the final location of each bomblet is impossible to control for those deploying them, and so whom they maim or kill is both unknown and indiscriminate. Roughly 30 per cent of those deployed “fail” to explode on impact, and so the unexploded bomblets become de facto landmines.

When the Convention on Cluster Munitions came into effect in August last year, the Gillard government was part of a chorus of NGOs and governments that saw “an end for all time” of the use of cluster munitions by prohibiting their production, use, stockpiling and transfer. At present, a bill sits with the senate that will criminalise Australian deployment of the weapon under domestic law, thereby ratifying the international convention.

With the formation of a US military base in Darwin, Gillard will effectively make use of certain “loopholes” in the bill that arise from US’ non-signatory status to the Convention, and obfuscation of negotiations that are currently taking place for an additional arms control measure this week. Best estimates are that the US forces presently have a quarter of the world’s four billion cluster munitions in stockpiles across both its territory and existing overseas bases. The US last deployed cluster munitions during the Iraq War in 2003, despite the emerging norm.

In my view, there’s a fair degree of probability cluster munitions will be stockpiled in Darwin, since there are known plans for the US to base a number of B-52 bombers historically used to deploy cluster bombs. It is already known that nuclear weapons will not be permitted onto Australian territory, but a number of the US’ naval fleet are nuclear-powered vessels, which will be allowed.

Curiously, there have been no statements from the Gillard government as to whether the Darwin deal will result in US cluster munitions being transited and stockpiled in Darwin, despite widely debated concerns over the bill.

For instance, writing to the Senate Committee responsible for a detailed review of the draft legislation in a letter dated March 16, I warned that the current wording provided:

“Australia’s military allies that are not party to the convention unfettered access to stockpile, retain, and transit cluster munitions within Australia.”

Specifically, the bill provides a blanket exemption for the stockpiling and transit of cluster munitions on or in Australian territory by foreign forces. Where this is provided – Section 72.42 – severely contravenes Article 9 of the international Convention, which requires state parties to criminalise all prohibited activities (including stockpiling and transfer) on their territory, and to also refrain from assisting non-signatory states in doing so.

Both acts would result in Australia violating the spirit and intent of the Convention – to eliminate cluster munitions and the harm they cause for all time. And both are likely to occur as a result of the US base in Darwin.

Please click here to be taken to the full report.

AJ Taylor is a doctoral candidate in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. A version of this article was first posted on his blog, This Blog Harms

Follow NAJ Taylor on Twitter: @najtaylor

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.