West’s hypocrisy over chemical weapons

Developing Just Leadership

Tahir Mustafa

Dhu al-Qa'dah 25, 1434 2013-10-01

Special Reports

by Tahir Mustafa (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 8, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1434)

The hysteria over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, wrongly accusing the Syrian government of using them, has inadvertently focused spotlight on the West’s own use of poison gas and chemical weapons. The West’s record is horrible.

Chemical weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction cause terrible suffering to their victims. Chemical weapons were banned soon after their discovery and use through the Geneva Protocols of 1925. Before the Protocols, the British had already used such weapons in the Second Battle of Gaza in Palestine against Ottoman forces during the First World War (1917) and in Iraq in 1920. Winston Churchill, proclaimed as a “world statesman” and great British leader, had no qualms about using such weapons against “uncivilized tribes” in Iraq. Wrote Churchill in one of his memos about the use of poison gas,

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of [poison] gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the [Paris] Peace Conference of arguing in favor of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes…

Nor did the “civilized” West stop using these weapons after the 1925 Geneva Protocols or the Chemical Weapons Treaty that came into force on April 29, 1967, the same year that the US Senate ratified it. Clear evidence is available about Western governments’ use of such weapons despite ratifying the treaty. The campaign of vilification launched against Syria, therefore, reeks of Western hypocrisy. The US leads this campaign yet it is the worst offender in using chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

There are 189 states-parties that have joined the treaty. There are six countries that have not joined and/or ratified the treaty. Until last month, Syria had also not done so. The six non-member states are: Zionist Israel, Angola, Myanmar, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan. Of the six, two are also known to possess nuclear weapons: Zionist Israel and North Korea. There is hysterical propaganda against North Korea’s few nuclear weapons but not even a word about Israel’s arsenal of 200–400 nukes. In fact, Western politicians are loathed to even admit that it has such weapons.

In a memorable moment during Obama’s first White House press conference after he became president in 2009, the veteran White House correspondent, the late Helen Thomas asked him, “Mr President, can you name any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?” Obama’s response not only exposed his cowardice but also great hypocrisy. He said, “You know Helen, I do not wish to speculate.” As a Zionist puppet, how could he, even if he is the president of the United States?

Obama has been indulging in much speculation — nay, outright lies — about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. He has also made wild allegations that border on the scandalous about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. For the record, Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is entitled to enrich uranium for energy as well as peaceful purposes. The US and its Western allies want to deny Iran even this right while they collectively shield Zionist Israel from any criticism or even acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons. At a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna on September 20, 2013, a resolution presented by Muslim and Arabian states was rejected by 51 to 43. The resolution asked for discussion on Israel’s nuclear weapons in the light of Syria agreeing to destroy its chemical weapons.

Israel refuses to sign the NPT and has adamantly refused to open its nuclear facilities for international inspection. In September 2009, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at its meeting in Vienna adopted a resolution sponsored by its Muslim members and those from the non-aligned movement that asked Israel to open its facilities to international inspection and sign the NPT, the US representative immediately denounced the resolution as “unfair.” He claimed the resolution was unfair because it singled out Israel. Clearly, the Zionist entity is above the law!

A UN conference to be held in Helsinki, Finland last December was cancelled under US pressure because it called for making the Muslim East into a nuclear-free zone. Every country in the Muslim East except Zionist Israel supported the conference. Islamic Iran, which is constantly accused of seeking nuclear weapons, gave its full backing. Egypt was also fully supportive, yet just a few weeks before it was to be held the conference was abruptly cancelled. The UN did not give any reason nor set a new date. Why was the US so opposed to making the Muslim East a nuclear free zone but it is leading the crusade against Syria?

America’s hysterical campaign against Syria’s chemical weapons must be judged against the backdrop of the US and its allies’ record. America is the worst offender in the world. It is a serial violator of such treaties. Its gory record includes the dropping of atomic weapons on Japan at the tail end of the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were incinerated in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August 1945. Millions more suffered a slow horrible death due to radiation poisoning. Neither city had any military significance. Dropping atomic weapons on innocent civilians is a war crime but in global politics, victors write the rules!

American officials — political and military — argued that it hastened Japanese surrender and saved American lives. This is a lie that compounds their crime: the Japanese were already negotiating the terms of surrender. Using atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki reflected American racism. Hitler’s Germany was a far greater threat but the atomic bomb was not dropped there. The twin attacks were also meant to send a message to Russia that it too would face a similar attack (Russia, or the Soviet Union had not developed nuclear weapons until then) if it tried to grab too much territory in Europe.

The dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was preceded by the use of napalm — a gel that sticks to the skin and causes horrible burns — on Tokyo during WWII. In one particularly gruesome attack, more than 100,000 people were killed when America dropped napalm on the city.

Nor did the US stop committing such dastardly crimes elsewhere. During the Vietnam War that was launched on another pack of lies — the so-called Gulf of Tonkin attack that never was — US bombers dropped 20 million gallons of chemicals, including Agent Orange, a poisonous chemical, on farmlands, forests and villages in Vietnam. It resulted in the killing or maiming of 400,000 Vietnamese civilians, causing birth defects in another 500,000 babies, some with horrible deformities that have in more recent years been witnessed in Iraq as well, and the contamination of Vietnam’s ecosystem. The consequence of such chemical attacks was also an alarming increase in cancer related illness that affected more than two million people. In 2012, the Red Cross estimated that one million Vietnamese have disabilities or health problems related to Agent Orange.

The US and its allies — Britain, France and Germany — were also complicit in the crimes perpetrated by Saddam Husain during Iraq’s illegal war on Islamic Iran from September 1980 to August 1988. The wherewithal for these weapons including Sarin, mustard and nerve gases was provided by the US, Britain and Germany. The Western-backed dictator Saddam first used these weapons against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in August 1983. Crescent International was the first publication to report on the use of these banned weapons. Following a visit to the warfront by a Crescent correspondent in September 1983, he learned of these attacks and saw the horrible burnt and blistered bodies of revolutionary guards in Iran’s hospitals. Photographic evidence was collected as well as interviews conducted with doctors treating the wounded. These findings were published in the Crescent International edition of October 15–31, 1983.

For the record, this evidence was made available to major media outlets in Canada but not one of them was prepared to publish this information at the time. These media outlets only started reporting on Saddam’s crimes after he had invaded and occupied Kuwait in August 1990 and the US and its allies wanted to attack Iraq to degrade its military power that was viewed as a threat to Zionist Israel.

Saddam’s forces continued to use nerve gases and chemical weapons against Iran’s forces throughout the war from 1983 to 1988. In 1984, Iran raised the issue at the United Nations Security Council asking it to investigate the use of chemical and biological weapons. The Security Council constituted a commission and UN inspectors went to the war front to collect evidence. The only victims it found were Iranians yet for five years — from 1984 to 1988 — the Security Council issued resolutions condemning the use of such weapons but not once did it have the courage to name the guilty party. It was absolutely clear that Saddam was guilty of such crimes against humanity but since he was aided, abetted and supported by the West, he was shielded from condemnation or its consequences.

In March 1988, Saddam’s forces even attacked the Kurdish village of Halabja in which an estimated 5,000 civilians were instantly killed; thousands of others were injured. CIA records released later confirmed that throughout the years 1983 to 1988, Saddam’s forces were using these banned weapons, yet he was never named as the guilty party, much less punished for such crimes. It was only after he invaded Kuwait that the use of chemical weapons was talked up and that too limited to mentioning only the March 1988 attack on Halabja. Attacks on Iran’s forces and civilians were never mentioned because that would have exposed Western complicity in such crimes!

As the West was complicit in Saddam’s chemical weapons attacks on Iranian forces, the US went on using these and depleted uranium shells against Iraqi forces and civilians in the 1991 War against Iraq and again in Fallujah in 2004. The use of depleted uranium shells was first exposed by Crescent International after the findings of two American scientists — Dr. Mary and Garth Nicholson working at the Health Sciences Department in Houston — were made available in March 1993. The two scientists had studied the effects of these weapons on returning American War veterans. The US government was not interested in admitting that these veterans were affected by dust from depleted uranium shells used against Iraqi troops and civilians.

The two American scientists were fired from their jobs in Houston after their reports were published in the Crescent International. This report was later picked up by alternate media outlets in the US (the mainstream US corporate media continued to reject these findings until the evidence of affected War Veterans became so overwhelming that it was impossible to deny).

In the second attack on Iraq in March 2003, launched on a pack of lies about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that had by then been destroyed, the US used white phosphorous on the city of Fallujah in 2004. The residents of the city had put up tough resistance against US occupation forces; they had to be taught a lesson. When journalists embedded with the US military reported the use of white phosphorous, the US military first lied saying it was using it to create a smokescreen before attacking Iraqi insurgents. The Italian television station, RAI, aired a documentary entitled, “Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre.” The documentary showed grim video footage and photographs of badly burned and melted bodies. It also aired interviews with Fallujah residents. Since 2010, American scientists have produced evidence after collecting data on the number of deformed babies born as well as alarming increases in incidents of cancer that the truth about US crimes in Iraq has started to be acknowledged.

Last October, new findings published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, reported high rates of miscarriage, and toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination in Fallujah and al-Basrah. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, wrote there is “compelling evidence” to link the increased numbers of defects and miscarriages to military assaults.

The study found that more than half of all Iraqi babies surveyed were born with a birth defect between 2007 and 2010, compared to one in 10 before the US-led onslaught in March 2003. Moreover, over 45% of all pregnancies monitored ended in miscarriage in the two years after 2004, up from only 10% before the US invasion of Iraq. Between 2007 and 2010, one in six pregnancies ended in miscarriage. These grotesque statistics are the legacy of American “liberation” and delivery of cruise missile democracy.

If the US can use white phosphorous, its Zionist ally would not want to be left behind. In its murderous assault on Gaza from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009, Israel attacked Palestinian civilians with white phosphorus bombs. These attacks were captured on video and broadcast among other television channels on Iran’s PressTV and Qatar-based al-Jazeera. White phosphorous is a horrific incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh right down to the bone. In 2009, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Red Cross reported that the Zionist regime was attacking Gaza civilians with chemical weapons. A team from Amnesty International even reported finding “indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorous” by Israel as a weapon in densely populated civilian areas in Gaza. To show its utter disdain, the Zionists even hit the UN headquarters in Gaza with phosphorous bombs. How is that for chutzpah!

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