28 Sep 2008
CSNY tour and Iraq
It is a long story but last month I saw Neil Young in concert - now of course I'm nearly too young to remember him - OK I do really but look he was never my music, but I did enjoy the outdoor concert....anyhow this is a roundabout way to draw attention to his film that came out in July...the documentary film ‘Déjà Vu’, which follows Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on their reunion tour and the reaction across America to their anti-war message. See trailer here and here and see their website here.
Meanwhile you may have missed in the news that a US-Iraq agreement was leaked. It is claimed that the US are seeking a “contractual and long-term occupation” that will bypass the full democratic functioning of the Iraqi parliament and the US Congress. This would give the US authorities in Iraq unprecedented rights and immunities, whilst legalising the long-term troop bases in Iraq. This goes way beyond the normal arrangements in such circumstances, as for example it specifically permits US troops the right to keep fighting and that all US personnel will have immunity from Iraqi law “except for intentional crimes and major mistakes”.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said that all US troops will be out of the country by the end of 2011, but this draft agreement would appear to leave that decision out of the hands of any present or future elected officials in either the US or Iraq. Here is what 'Our World Our Say' say: "The agreement will also almost inevitably cause rifts between the rival Iraqi parliamentary factions, splitting apart the raft arrangements and agreements that have been holding the fragile political functioning of Iraq together – and the attempts to forge a peace which is so desperately needed after the years of war that have torn the country apart. The sectarianism in Iraq has been exacerbated by the US invasion, and it is feared that it will only lead to the fragmentation of its internal structure or to total collapse – further destabilising the region, and causing even more torment to the long-suffering Iraqi people. Political expediency and the greed of others have put the Iraqi people at risk again, denying them the right – the basic democratic right – of deciding their own future."
Meanwhile there is mounting scientific evidence that the depleted uranium weapons used in Iraq cause cancer - see New Scientist here.
It is perhaps worth remembering that the Nuremberg tribunal characterised a war of aggression as "the supreme international crime". Our government has not only launched and continued an unprovoked war, but it also sabotaged a peaceful resolution. In April 2002 it helped the Bush administration to remove José Bustani, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in order to prevent him settling the dispute over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Two offers were made before the invasion by Saddam Hussein who agreed to meet the terms that the US and Britain were demanding. But these offers were slapped him down and concealed from the electorate until much later.
It is great that the CSNY tour bravely crossed the US calling for impeachment of the US President - and for that matter Blair and Brown have never faced the music for their illegal, dangerous decision - and the on-going nightmare that is Iraq today.