By Latheef Farook –
Britain initiated the UN Human Rights Council, UNHRC, resolution on Sri Lanka calling it to account for its human rights abuses and deliver justice for victims of 30 year civil war.
The resolution on Sri Lanka is the direct outcome of Sri Lankan government’s short sighted policies and blunders. However the question is why no such UNHRC resolution on US and Britain for their barbarity on Iraq even after eighteen years later today.
In March 2003 US and UK invaded Iraq based on the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair was an active partner with US President George Bush Junior in invading and turning this almost developed country into a graveyard.
Iraq, a land where many great ancient civilisations such as Mesopotamia, Sumer, Akkad, Babylonian and Assyria flourished between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers for more than 7,000 years, was ruthlessly raped and ravaged by the European colonial powers followed by US to loot its oil wealth for more than a century.
For example, gaining control over Iraq’s oil wealth had been the focus of US policy, even before World War I. Huge oil deposits were found in the Mosul area in 1927. The Iraqi Petroleum Company, comprising British Petroleum (then Anglo-Iranian), Shell, Mobil and Exxon (then Standard Oil of New Jersey), enjoyed complete monopoly. They divided the spoils of Iraqi oil among the US, Britain, France and Holland, 23.75 percent each, while the remaining five percent went to oil baron Caloste Gulbenkin who negotiated the deal.
The Iraqis, the legitimate owners of the oil deprived of their own wealth, Iraqis revolted. They were ruthlessly suppressed with Britain deploying gas from warplanes for the first time in history, dropped poison gas on the town of Sulaimaniya.
Despite all these atrocities Iraq emerged an almost developed country with modern infra-structure, health, educational and all other facilities. People enjoyed a high standard of living.
Then came the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran when the US, Europe, Gulf and other Arab states got then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to despatch troops and trigger off the eight year with Iran war that killed more than a million people. Some estimated the cost of the war at around 100 billion dollars. Western weapons industry flourished.
The war ended in 1988. However the US President George Bush tricked Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait. Once Iraqi troops entered Kuwait, Bush Sr unleashed one of the most destructive bombing campaigns in known history and pushed Iraq to its pre-historic age. He used cluster bombs to rip body’s apart, napalm and white phosphorous to cling and burn skin and small nuclear bomb type fuel air explosives to cause other damage. The total amount of bombs dropped on Iraq was far more than the bombs dropped by the allies in the entire World War II. The military campaign incinerated around 130,000 Iraqi civilians.
The west sold a staggering $ 157 billion worth of armaments.
Battered by aerial bombardments and crippled by UN sanctions that killed more than 500,000 children, Iraqis were subjected to untold misery. More than one-third of the population exposed to malnutrition, epidemics, miscarriages and declining life expectancy.
Later President George Bush Jr invaded Iraq in March 2003.
The American forces indiscriminately bombed Iraqi cities and within days the war battered people were once again deprived of water, electricity, medicine, food and even shelter. Imagine the terrifying prospect for the ordinary Iraqi citizens who suffered incessant bombardment. Day in and day out the skies over Iraq rained bombs which shook the earth and relegated once thriving cities into bloody human abattoirs.
Then there emerged shocking pictures of American troops’ gang-raping Iraqi women. These hapless women were forcibly dragged out of their homes, screaming in terror, stripped naked and gang-raped by the very people who had ostensibly been there to protect them.
Among the victims, were ordinary housewives, mothers and daughters – all brought up in a decently conservative society and whose religious traditions have always valued feminine purity as a prerequisite for a happily wedded life?
Hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women were arbitrarily arrested and subjected to the most sadistic and savage forms of torture, which brought swift condemnation from all over the world. .
Obviously, these bestial crimes were kept under wraps until Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a series of exposé articles illustrated by damning photos of the torture by US military police of prisoners in the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib near Baghdad.
There were calls from all over to try Bush and Blair for their war crimes.
Now the question is where is the UNHRC resolution on US and UK, the so called champions of human rights, freedom and democracy but remains the sole source of violence and misery, for their war crimes?
This is today’s world which the racist politics in Sri Lanka refuse to understand?