Michael Parenti: What the US did to Iraq prior to 9-11 and why the US did it

Defying the Sanctions: A Flight to Iraq
January 2001
[written 8 months before 9-11]

Upon disembarking from the Olympic Airways plane that brought me to Iraq in November 2000, I could see some of the effects of the Western-imposed sanctions. What was once a busy international airport is now a desolate strip. Two lonely planes sit as if abandoned on the vast tarmac. There are no airport personnel to speak of, no baggage carts or utility vehicles, not even any visible security. On a wall inside the empty terminal is a handmade sign in Arabic and imperfect English; it reads: “Down USA.” A large portrait of Saddam Hussein gazes down upon us. His image can be found along the road to the city, in the hotel, and on various public buildings.

 I am part of an international delegation of Greeks, Britons, Canadians, and Americans. Included are journalists, peace advocates, and members of the Greek parliament. Margarita Papandreou, former first lady of Greece and devoted political activist, leads the group. It is an especially moving moment for her. It has been her dream for ten years to be able to fly directly to Baghdad. And ours is the first flight to Iraq by a state-owned commercial airline from the West in defiance of US/UN sanctions. The Iraqi officials who greet us do not try to hide how pleased they are about our arrival. “Your presence is a statement against the inhuman means used against us. Iraq is a prosperous country capable of fulfilling the basic needs of the people but we are being prevented from doing so by the UN sanctions,” one of them says. “Feel free to go anywhere and speak to anyone.”

Killing Iraq

Most Americans do not know that Saddam Hussein was put into power by a CIA-engineered coup to stop the Iraqi revolution—which he did by massacring the communists and the left-wing of his own Baath party. But in time Saddam proved to be a disappointment to his mentors in Washington. Instead of becoming the comprador ruler who opened his country to free-market capital penetration on terms that were thoroughly favorable to Western investors, he devoted a substantial portion of Iraq’s export earnings to human services and economic development. In 1972, Iraq nationalized its oil industry, and was immediately denounced by US leaders as a “terrorist” nation.

Before the six weeks of air attacks known as the Gulf War (which ended in February 1991), Iraq’s standard of living was the highest in the Middle East. Iraqis enjoyed free medical care and free education. Literacy had reached about 80 percent. Most Iraqi youth were educated up through secondary school. University students of both genders received scholarships to study at home and abroad. In the eyes of Western leaders, Saddam was that penultimate evil, an economic nationalist, little better than a communist. He would have to be taught a lesson. His country needed to be bombed back into the Third World from which it was emerging.

The high explosive tonnage delivered upon Iraq during the Gulf War was more than twice the combined Allied air offensive of World War II. Within the first few days of bombing, there was no running water in the country. More than 90 percent of Iraq’s electrical capacity was destroyed. Its telecommunication systems, including television and radio stations, were demolished, as were its flood control, irrigation, sewage treatment, water purification, and hydroelectic systems. Farm herds and poultry farms suffered heavy losses. US planes burned wheat and grain fields with incendiary bombs, and hit hundreds of schools, hospitals, rail stations, bus stations, air-raid shelters, mosques, and historic sites. Factories that produced textiles, cement, chlorine, petrochemicals, and phosphate were hit repeatedly. So were the refineries, pipelines, and storage tanks of Iraq’s oil industry. Iraqi civilians and soldiers fleeing Kuwait were slaughtered by the thousands on what became known as the “Highway of Death.” Also massacred were Iraqi soldiers who tried to surrender to US forces on a number of occasions. In all, some 200,000 Iraqis were killed in those six weeks. Nearly all US planes, Ramsey Clark notes, “employed laser-guided depleted-uranium missiles, leaving 900 tons of radioactive waste spread over much of Iraq with no concern for the consequences to future life.”

Our delegation got a grim glimpse of the war’s aftermath. We visited the Al-Amerya bomb shelter where over four hundred civilians, mostly women and children were incinerated by two US missiles. Blackened ossified body parts, including a child’s hand can still be seen melded into the ceiling. Along one wall is the irradiated shadow of a woman holding a baby in her arms, a ghoulish fresco created by the heat blast of the missiles. The shadow of another figure can be seen on the cement floor. The shelter has been made into a shrine, with candles, plastic flowers, and pictures of the victims. The guide notes that US reconnaissance saw civilians using the shelter on a nightly basis during the early days of the bombing, yet it was still chosen as a target.

In the ten years of “peace” since February 1991, an additional 400 tons of explosives have been dropped on Iraq, three hundred people have been killed and many hundreds wounded. The United States and United Kingdom, with the participation of France, imposed a no-fly zone over the northern region of the country, ostensibly to protect the Kurds. This newly found humanitarian concern did not extend to the Kurds residing on the Turkish side of the border. The next year, another no-fly zone was imposed in the south, reputedly to protect Shiite settlements, effectively dividing the country into three parts. By 1998, the French had withdrawn from both zones, but US and British air attacks on military and civilian targets have continued almost on a daily basis, including strafing raids against Iraqi agricultural developments. Baghdad’s repeated protests to the United Nations have gone unheeded. Since 1998, three members of the Security Council—Russia, China, and France; and various nonpermanent members have condemned the raids as illegal and unauthorized by the Security Council.

To drive the point home to us, on the second day of our visit, US warplanes fired four missiles at the village of Hmaidi in the southern province of Basra, one of which struck the Ali Al-Hayaini school, wounding four children and three teachers. Several homes were also hit.

Picking Up the Pieces

Despite the years of bombings and the even greater toll on human life taken by the sanctions, visitors to Baghdad do not see a city in ruins. Much of the wreckage has been cleared away, much has been repaired. In our hotel there is running water throughout the day, hot water in the morning. Various streets in Baghdad are lined with little stores, surprisingly well-stocked with household appliances, hardware goods, furniture, and clothes (much of which has a second-hand look).

We see no derelicts or homeless people on the streets of Baghdad, no prostitutes or ragged bands of abandoned children, though there are occasional youngsters eager to shine shoes or solicit spare change. But even they seem to be well-fed and decently clothed. Obviously, despite all the destruction wrought by the sanctions, Iraq still has not undergone sufficient free-market “structural adjustment.”

A British member of our delegation who has made more than a dozen trips to Iraq over the past decade sees some changes for the better. A few years ago, the cars all looked like “death traps”; tires were patched beyond recognition, windows were cracked, and doors were falling off the hinges, she tells me. Now the Iraqis seem to have procured vehicles that are in better repair. In addition, large swaths of the city used to be shrouded in complete darkness; now there are lights just about everywhere, though mostly on the dim side. There are more shops with more goods, “although 70 percent of the people can’t buy anything.” Still, “people used to feel hopelessly isolated and now there seems to be more hope and better morale,”[and the worst was to come in two years — Shock and Awe] she concludes.

The Silent Cries of Children

 Not everyone shows better morale. It is said that the most depressed officials in Iraq can be found in the Ministry of Health, not surprisingly given the tragedies they confront. Aside from the 200,000 Iraqis slaughtered during the Gulf War, an additional 1.5 million civilians have died since 1991 as a result of the sanctions, according to UNICEF reports and the Red Cross, many from what normally would be treatable and curable illnesses. Of these victims, 600,000 are children under 5 years of age. Maternal mortality rates have more than doubled, and 70 percent of Iraqi women suffer from anemia. Given the tons of depleted uranium used during the Allied attacks, cancer rates have skyrocketed: the childhood leukemia rate is now the highest in the world. Most of the leukemia increase is in southern Iraq where the bombing was heaviest.

We visit a children’s hospital in Baghdad. The familiar sight of skeletal-looking infants, racked with diseases that make it impossible for them to retain or digest nutrients are no longer evident. Such dying children still can be found in parts of Iraq but not at this hospital. Instead we encounter something equally ominous: children suffering from acute forms of multiple malignancies. Shrouded mothers stand by the beds like mournful sentinels, their eyes filled with unspoken grief. The journalists, photographers, and TV crews in our delegation descend upon these sad people, clicking and flashing away with that intrusive irreverence that is the press’s modus operandi. A mother weeps quietly against the wall. One of the doomed children smiles up at us—which almost causes me to start weeping.

Things are getting worse, a doctor tells us; more and more children are turning up with leukemia. The medical staff is overwhelmed. One doctor says he sees three hundred patients in three hours: “We cannot treat them properly.” Some of the hospital rooms are lined with incubators that contain what look like premature births. These turn out to be infants who are the products of depleted uranium, born with serious deformities and malfunctions, urgently in need of surgical intervention. The hospital lacks the special instruments needed to operate on infants, not to mention ordinary medications, anesthetics, antibiotics, bandages, intravenous sets, and diagnostic equipment. Iraq’s excellent national health care system, with its universal coverage, is now in shambles because of the embargo.

Things were supposed to get better when the sanctions were eased in 1996, allowing Iraq to make “oil for food” sales. Since then, $32 billion in oil was sold abroad but only $8 billion worth of materials has reached Iraq, less than $5 or $6 a month per person. Another $10 billion has been allocated for “war compensation,” in effect forcing the Iraqis to pay the costs incurred by the UN aggressors when destroying Iraq. Another $11 billion in cash sits in Western banks. Worse still, many essential things needed to rebuild the infrastructure—including the technological, medical, educational, communicational, and industrial systems of the nation—are still not available. Under the deleterious “dual use” doctrine, many vital commodities and materials needed for humanitarian and civilian purposes are banned because they conceivably could also be used by the military: computers, components for electrical transmitters and water pumps, even glycerin tablets needed for heart ailments. (It would take millions of glycerin tablets mixed with nitrogen to make one small explosive.)

The Foreign Minister Speaks

 Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tariq Aziz, a calm congenial man, meets with our delegation. [Tariq Aziz died June 5, 2015, in prison, convicted on trumped up charges. His abusive treatment in prison included being denied visitation, adequate food, and access to medication. His imprisonment and death at the hands of the U.S. and “interim” Iraq vassal government are chronicled here] In clear and precise English, he makes the following points: Before 1990, the United Nations had placed sanctions upon only a few nations, such as Rhodesia and South Africa, on a voluntary basis. “It was left to the countries themselves and the world to implement those sanctions or not implement them.” Hence the effects were mild. But since 1990,US leaders with their so-called New World Order have imposed the severest embargo, “encircling Iraq with warships and airplanes that prevent even ordinary trips and ordinary cargoes.” As with the sanctions against Yugoslavia, the minister notes, this policy has created a lot of suffering. “Therefore, when we say that this embargo is an international issue, it’s not just anti-American propaganda. It’s the truth. And it is quit horrid.” The collapse of the Soviet Union has created a different international scene, he adds. With the end of the Cold War, “a new hot war and warm war” has been imposed on many nations, with Iraq as a prime target.

 In spite of all the reports made by United Nations agencies themselves “informing the Security Council about the sufferings of the Iraqi people, and the deaths of so many children, and the deterioration of the Iraqi economy,” Aziz reminds us, there is no likelihood of any change in UN policy on sanctions because of the Security Council veto wielded by the United States and Britain. Still the people of Iraq have not been merely passive victims. They have “refused to yield to American pressure and American blackmail.” In addition, there is “the will of other peoples, the free women and men in this world” who refuse to support injustice and imperialism. After ten years, US propaganda “is wearing thin,” and “a lot of facts have become known to the peoples of the world” bringing a dramatic increase in support for Iraq—as measured by the growing number of air flights from various nations in defiance of the sanctions. Not only Iraq but its trading partners have sustained substantial commercial losses because of the ten-year embargo. In 2000, more than 1,500 international companies from forty-five countries participated in the Iraqi trade fair. So, for both moral and legitimate commercial reasons, “the embargo is beginning to crack.”

Ten years ago, concludes Aziz, we were told: history is over; from now on we will live according to the diktat of US leaders in a Pax Americana. And those who do not accept this are “rogue nations.” But US leaders are beginning to realize “that this new imperialism is not working. . . . Despite all its power, the United States is not God. It’s not the Almighty. It’s an imperialist force.” And “when a nation succeeds in refusing the dictate of imperialists, [and] succeeds in preserving its sovereignty, and its independence and dignity, that is an achievement.” Aziz’s closing plea was that we not rely on “the manipulated media” of the United States, Britain and Canada. “One of the basic human rights is that you have the right to make your own judgment, not to buy judgments made by others that might not be honest and true. So I hope that you will use this short visit to know what is going on in this country and what the realities are.”

The “Realities”

On the closing day of our trip, members of our delegation lay plans to carry on the battle against sanctions. These include: lobbying the UN Compensation Committee, which refuses to release the $11 billion in Iraqi oil-for-food earnings; joining with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and other NGOs to lobby the UN Security Council; lobbying the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva and the parliament of the European Union; lobbying elected representatives and religious leaders in various countries; and sending messages through the Internet.

The sanctions wall is not about to crumble but it is showing cracks. In 1998 Scott Ritter, chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq since 1991, resigned and accused the US government of undercutting UN weapons inspectors. Meanwhile US leaders and the press continued to portray Iraq as bent on nuclear aggression, despite the fact that Baghdad cooperated fully with UN inspectors who scoured the country in a vain search for weapons of mass destruction or the capacity to build them.

Also in 1998, Denis Halliday, UN Assistant Secretary General and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, resigned in protest of what the sanctions were doing to that country. In early 2000, Hans von Sponeck, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and Jutta Burghart, head of UN World Food Program in Baghdad, resigned in protest of the sanctions.

Still, the State Department and the US media continue to blame Saddam, not the sanctions, for the misery endured by the Iraqi people. The claim that sanctions hurt ordinary Iraqis “is outweighed by the sad truth that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep portions of his population in poverty,” intones a Washington Post editorial reprinted in the International Herald Tribune (November 14, 2000). The Iraqi leader, the Post assures us, is a “warmongering dictator” who needs to be contained by a still more severe application of sanctions. Upon being selected as the new US Secretary of State in December 2000, General Colin Powell echoed this position, announcing that he would strive to “reenergize” the sanctions against Iraq.

 The Iraqi leadership could turn US policy completely around by uttering just two magic words: “free market.” All they would have to do is invite the IMF and World Bank into Iraq, eliminate free education and free medical care, abolish the minimal food ration that goes to every Iraqi, abolish the housing subsidies and transportation subsidies, and hand over the country’s oil industry to the corporate cartels. To lift the sanctions, Iraq must surrender to the tender mercies of the free-market paradise as Yugoslavia has recently done under the newly minted, Western-sponsored president, Kostunica, and as so many other nations have done. Until then, Iraq will continue to be designated a “rogue nation” by those policymakers in Washington who themselves are the meanest profit-driven, power-mongering rogues on earth.

*     *     * Michael Parenti’s most recent books are To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia (Verso) and History as Mystery (City Lights).


http://www.michaelparenti.org/DefyingSanctions.html

Advertisements

In Iraq, the ultimate war crime: erasing the history of Mesopotamia. The destruction of Nineveh

March 19th is the 12th anniversary of the U.S.-led “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq that destroyed the country and brought incredible horrors and ongoing death.

Former President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, General Colin Powell, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Prime Minister Tony Blair told lies to the public, to Congress, and to the British Parliament about weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaeda. They have never been held accountable.

Posted on Global Research, March 14, 2015
By Felicity Arbuthnot

“Iraq may soon end up with no history.” – (Archeologist Joanna Farchakh, quoted in Cultural Cleansing in Iraq, Pluto Press, 2010.)

In his indispensible book “from Sumer to Saddam” (1) Geoff Simons writes:

“The region of the world that the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia (land between the rivers) … was a fount of civilization – a veritable crucible … cradle, womb of cultural progress … Here it was the first cities were born, writing began and the first codified legal systems were established. Here, through such ancient lands as Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria that the vital cultural brew was stirred, the quite remarkable concoction from which Western civilization would emerge.”

That chapter “The Ancient Crucible” concludes: “We may reflect also that a modern Iraq is entitled to contemplate with awe and pride the fructifying richness of the cultures that first emerged in this land more than five thousand years ago.”

From the day of the US-UK invasion that “fructifying richness”, societal, cultural, historic has been systematically, deliberately erased in one of the most devastating, despotic, desecrating, pulverizing cultural armageddons in history.

March 19th commemorates the twelfth anniversary of the destruction of that “crucible”, its wonders still unceasingly pillaged and destroyed.

When the National Museum was looted (10th – 12th April 2003) American troops stood by – whilst their colleagues diligently guarded the Oil Ministry.

As some of antiquity’s most sublime, wonders – fifteen thousand items – were looted, Donald Rumsfeld, demonstrably a cultural cretin, remarked: “stuff happens.”

The US military were given co-ordinates of all Iraq’s museums, monuments, archeological sites. “All of Iraq is an archeological treasure”, remarked an archeologist at the time. Yet the US troops led destruction’s way, creating a military base in Babylon (dating from c 2,300 BC) site of the Hanging Gardens. Ancient miracles were bulldozed to build a military helicopter landing pad. They did the same next to the believed birthplace of Abraham, near Ur’s great Ziggurat. Ur dates from 3,800 BC but is recorded in written history from 26th century BC. War crimes of enormity.

After George W. Bush declared a “Crusade”, the (literally) crusading American soldiers entered predominately Muslim Iraq (as Afghanistan) with thousands of give-away Bibles, yet were clearly supremely ignorant that Babylon, as Ur, which they were destroying was sacrosanct in the three Abrahamic religions. Babylon is recorded in the Bible in the Books of Daniel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. Ur is recorded three times in Genesis and in Nehemiah.

The US soldiers’ criminal vandalism resulted in: “Babylon being rendered archeologically barren.” (Guardian, 8th June 2007.)  The: “courtyard of the 10th-century caravanserai* of Khan al-Raba was used  for exploding captured weapons. One blast demolished the ancient roofs and felled many of the walls. The place is now a ruin.” Barbarians through the Ishtar Gate.

Destruction has continued across Iraq by both occupation forces and the unchecked gangs and factions which flocked in with the invasion and due to the feckless abandonment of border controls by the US and UK – countries near paranoid about such controls on their own borders.

The latest archeologists and historians compare again to the sacking of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258.

On Friday, 9th March, the Muslim Sabbath, the ancient city of Nimrud was bulldozed by self declared “Islamic State” primitives destroying what became the capital of the Neo-Assyrian empire, dating back to the 13th century BC. The site also contained the remains of the palace of Ashurnasirpal, King of Assyria (883-859 BC) who made Nimrud his capital.

A local source told Reuters valuables were looted then the city razed to the ground. One entrance to this haunting place was guarded until last week by human headed bulls and lions with hawk’s wings. These guardians prevailed through the region’s turmoils for nearly three thousand years, to be destroyed with all they watched over by terrorists spawned by Bush and Blair’s criminal invasion.

In the south western palace is the temple of Nabu, God of wisdom, the arts and sciences, believed son of the Babylonian God, Marduk. Construction was probably between 810-782 BC.

Historian Tom Holland told the Guardian:

“It’s a crime against Assyria, against Iraq, and against humanity. Destroy the past, and you control the future. The Nazis knew this, and the Khmer Rouge – and the Islamic State clearly understand it too.”

Two days later another of the world’s wonders, Hatra, was reported largely destroyed. Hatra was built circa 3rd or 2nd century BC, at the same time as the great Arab cities of Syria’s Palmyra, Petra (“rose red city half as old as time”) in Jordan and Lebanon’s Ba’albek. Hatra withstood repeated attacks by the Roman Empire to be defeated by those spawned by Bush and Blair’s actions.

A 1982 Iraqi Ministry of Tourism guide describes in Hatra:

“ … a frieze with sculptures which seem to tell a religious story enacted by Gods and musicians – the most beautiful work of art so far discovered” in this vast, ethereal city of creamy stone which shimmers golden under the sun, glowing amber under dawn’s rays and the setting sun.

The columns, temples, statues communicate not alone from the temples of the Gods, but surely from the architecture of the Gods, rendering a writer searching for words seemingly not yet devised.

There is the Temple of the goddess Shahiro (“the morning star”.) An area is:

”paved with veined marble, with walls decorated with geometrical designs and eagles – eagles being the main element in the Hatra religion. Over a decorative frieze, Arabic writing dates from the second half of the Abbasid era” (750-1258 AD.) The Abbasid Caliphate oversaw the “golden age of Islamic civilization.”

Hatra abounds with temples to creation. They were dedicated to the Sun God, to Venus (the morning star) “called variously Allatu, Atra’ta and Marthin – our lady.” The God Nergoul, also with a dedicated temple, symbolized the planet Mars. The revered, great, soaring eagle had his temple, where his statues looked down from on high.

The inscriptions are predominantly in ancient Aramaic, some reading: “Kings and princes of Hatra are the victorious kings of the Arabs.” They are surely weeping.

For those who know these marvels, hearts will never mend. Tears will never dry.

On my last visit I stood in front of the statue of Abbu, wife of Santruk 1st. I remembered James Elroy Flecker’s reflections on the British Museum. I repeated them aloud, alone in an azure dawn:

“There is a hall in Bloomsbury


That no more dare I tread,


For all the stone men shout at me and swear they are not dead


And once I touched a broken girl, and knew that marble bled.”

The day after Hatra was destroyed, so was the fourth capital of Assyria, Khorsabad, built by Sargon 11 (721-705 BC.)

Writings show a city with a royal hunting park and gardens with: “all the aromatic plants” found in the fertile Euphrates river valleys. Thousands of fruit trees, including quinces, almonds and apples were planted.

Khorsabad was extensively looted by the French in the 19th century and by the Americans in between 1928 and 1935.

In excavation initiated by the French Consul General in Mosul in 1842, an attempt was made to: “move two 30-ton statues and other material to Paris from Khorsabad on a large boat and four rafts”(2.) Two rafts and the boat were scuttled by pirates and Iraq’s stolen treasures lost for good.

In 1855, a further effort to ship remaining treasures: ” as well as material from other sites being worked by the French, mainly Nimrud, was undertaken. Almost all of the collection – over two hundred crates – was lost in the river. Surviving artifacts from this excavation were taken to the Louvre Museum in Paris.”

Between 1928–1935, American archaeologists from the Chicago’s Oriental Institute dug in the palace area. “A colossal bull estimated to weigh 40 tons was uncovered outside the throne room. It was found split into three large fragments. The torso alone weighed about 20 tons. This was shipped to Chicago.”

The British and Germans did a fair amount of looting in southern Iraq and notably Babylon and Ur, as their national museums bear witness.

The week before the destruction of Nimrud nearly 113,000 irreplaceable books and manuscripts in Mosul Library were burned by IS savages in what Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, described as “cultural cleansing” and: “One of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”(3) Some items were on a UNESCO rarities list.

Set alight in a pyre outside the library included Syriac books printed in Iraq’s first printing house; eighteenth century manuscripts; volumes from the Ottoman era (1534-1704 and 1831-1920.) Irreplaceable rarities – an astrolabe, an astronomical “computer” for calculating the timing of the positions of the sun and the stars, used in classical antiquity and the Golden Age of Islam also destroyed, as were superb sandglass creations.

Over a hundred personal libraries of notable families from Mosul held “over the last century” were also incinerated.

The library was then blown up.

In the same week, the Mosul Museum was also attacked. Assyrian and Hatrene statues – including one of a Hatrene King holding an eagle – were smashed, with a winged bull and the God of Rozhan. Other items are believed to have been stolen to sell, possibly in Turkey and Syria.

In July last year the centuries old tomb believed of the Prophet Jonah in Mosul was obliterated with ISIS laid explosives with the Mosque in which it lay, dating back to the 14th century. Prior to that it was a church. “The Mosque of Jonah” was also reputed to have held part of the remains of the whale which swallowed him.

All destruction described here lay in Nineveh Province, of which John Masefield wrote:

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory,

And apes and peacocks,

Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine. 

Iraq, as Palestine, is being erased, with Libya, Syria and even the great pyramids of Egypt now threatened by the monsters Bush and Blair’s “Crusade” has created.

The US, UK, Canada and other countries have “military advisors” in Iraq. They are silent and inactive on these war crimes of the new Mongols.

The US and UK Baghdad Embassy websites are equally mute. Yet on the  US Embassy’s site is:

“Regarding the Status of the Iraqi Jewish Archive:

“January 28, 2015

“The Iraqi Jewish Archive remains in the custody of the U.S. National Archives and Record Administration while plans are finalized on future exhibitions in the United States. None of the materials in the Iraqi Jewish  Archive have traveled outside of the United States.  The United States continues to abide by the terms of its agreement with the Government of Iraq.”

A government under occupation of course, cannot legally make such agreements.

“The exhibit of the material in Washington in 2013 and New York in 2014 has led to increased understanding between Iraq and the United States, and a greater recognition of the diverse heritage of Iraq.  We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Government of Iraq on this matter so that the exhibit can be displayed in other cities in the United States.”(4)

Thus, Iraqi Jewish Archives (seized by the US in May 2003) safeguarded in Iraq for hundreds of years was spirited away by the United States. Yet they have been complicit in (Babylon, Ur, Baghdad Museum and more) or inactive as the “diverse heritage of Iraq” is systematically looted and destroyed.

Curiously, in in 2005, former US Department of Justice lawyer, John Yoo, suggested that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having

“our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion … ” (5) See also (6.)

Incidentally, Israeli and US “military advisers” were reported arrested   nearby as destruction befell vast swathes of Nineveh Province, in a story that has gone quiet.

There are far more questions than answers.

* Early resting places for travellers and their beasts of burden within a walled exterior, arranged around a courtyard, with food for travellers and animals, shelter, shops, washing facilities and often baths.

1.     https://www.questia.com/library/97576407/iraq-from-sumer-to-saddam

2.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dur-Sharrukin

3.     http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/02/25/isis-burns-mosul-library-in-iraq-destroys-thousands-of-valuable-manuscripts-and-books/

4.     http://iraq.usembassy.gov/pr_012815.html

5.     http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/x-admitted-false-flag-attacks.html

6.     http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-relationship-between-washington-and-isis-the-evidence/5435405

A detailed chronology of destruction of Iraq’s history 2003-2009, compiled by the Brussels Tribunal: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Looting.htm

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/iraq-the-ultimate-war-crime-erasing-the-history-of-mesopotamia-the-destruction-of-nineveh/5436545