Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


Stop the Slaughter

22nd March - Day 4 of the war on the Iraqi people

John Heathcote


Link to more pictures





Bagdhadograd - Siege of the Iraqi cities

Event Database

indymedia reports

cyber actions script kids

Genuine military updates from Iraq

Baghdad reports

Hidden War Against Iraq

At least 250,00 have marched through London, as well as tens of thousands in Edinburgh and other British cities; yet others demonstrated outside the B-52 base at Fairford and the US - controlled Listening station at Menwith Hill.

There is one consolation in this; the British people are finally deciding to take on their political class, tired of their lies, moralising hypocrisy and continual spin, in which freedom means control, and democracy means whatever your masters want it to.

It is a fact of history that the results of actions can spin out of control, leading off at tangents the protagonists could not ever expect.

We are in a period of massive destabilisation which will leave the world looking totally different from the one we have known for the last 50 years.

Blair, the failed rock singer who hijacked the British Labour Party, steering it from socialism to free-market liberalism, has been abandoned by his masters in Washington. A quick reading of Norman Lewis' history of the WWII invasion of Sicily would perhaps have educated him on the general conduct of American military policy vis-a-vis their 'allies' (the British).

A quick look at the published writings of the Project for the New American Century would have informed him of the true ambitions of the regime that he has been so quick to follow; a regime empowered by a Supreme Court against the stated wishes of the American people; made up of a sinister collection of individuals who represent what President Eisenhower warned of nearly 50 years ago, the military - industrial complex.

They have destroyed perhaps everything that Blair, the international statesman would have wanted to be remembered for; Britain as a bridge between the US and Europe; international human rights court; global concensus on the environment (Kyoto); the resolution of conflict and poverty through the UN.

They have abandoned ballistic missile treaties, blocked inspection powers for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (last year, just before accusing Iraq of the same thing) and used so called 'free-trade treaties' to manipulate world markets in their favour.


At home, the only project Blair's Government completed to any degree is devolution, which will probably save the people of these islands from a future Yugoslavia situation.

But everything else that you promised and we expected when we the people consigned the Tories to the dustbin of history and gave your Government a mandate has been reneged on.

The end of child poverty and social inequality (both increased), a democratic government and constitution (non-existent, all efforts abandoned, probably major reason for Robin Cook's resignation), personal freedom (virtually disappeared - we live in a police state), liberalisation of drug laws (prohibition has led to gun-law and gangsterism), an end to the slavish following of US policy on trade and geopolitics, particularly with regard to Palestine. No clamping down on offshore profiteering, arms manafacture or city corruption. Increased privatisation and the selling-off of public or national assets to the same small class of businessmen, or 'profiteers'. No opposition (unlike the French) to the One World Order doctrine of monopoly capitalism ruled from the US through the World Bank, the WTO, IMF and various enforced 'treaties' such as GATT.

For fox sake, you have even sabotaged every attempt to ban hunting.

I reckon it's a long list, but you have had six years, and you've not turned round one major policy from the time of Thatcher, or kept one promise in your manifesto that meant anything substantial.

If you had done any one of these things, the war might just have been seen as a terrible mistake,

While we were working to overturn Thatcher, you were earning money expelling the 'activists' from the Labour Party, so perhaps we should not be surprised.

Our only surprise was when the seemingly healthy socialist leader John Smith keeled over, and left the position vacant for Mr. Blair, a loyal BAP member (British American Project) and friend of Israel, just in time to win a battle it would have been hard to lose.

I predict one basic outcomes from this conflict.

Tony Blair, as a British politician, and Labour leader is finished.

He may last as Prime Minister for a while, but the ruling class in Britain are ruthless with their representatives in the face of popular discontent. Even if the war finished tomorrow, with crowds weeping with joy at their liberation (increasingly unlikely) he would be finished.

Even more than after the first, massive , 2 million march through London just before the war; the one on Saturday 22nd March - the biggest wartime demonstration ever in Britain (at least quarter of a million people) - as well as many others is an indication that his power has slipped away as swiftly and invisibly as quicksand. He is not trusted, with our security, or to tell the truth.

One reason that Harold Wilson was so loved by the British people, and so feared by the Establishment was that he had the guts to stand up for what he thought was right, both morally and for the people of this country.

I think he offered Lyndon Johnson the loan of a company of bagpipers to raise the GI's morale in Vietnam, but that was about the limit. So the divisions which rent US society in the 60's, and the fall-out from such a terrible war were not felt here in anything like the same way. Blair has walked right into a trap, whether from hubris, arrogance in his own persuasive and diplomatic powers, or even a certain naivete regarding the true nature of the Bush cabal.

Despite the TV talk shows with their hand-picked audiences, making speeches straight from intelligence briefing sheets; the news coverage (especially on the BBC, with its pornography of militarism); the relentless propaganda pouring out from uniformed PR men from Kuwait to the Pentagon; the nation DOES NOT BELIEVE YOU.

Despite all the 'polls' being produced under the auspices of news organisations in the last few days, showing remarkable leaps in public support for the war; and despite the usual run for cover under the cloak of patriotism - "Support the bad decisions of your stupid Government, or you are a traitor to your homeland" - the lie is not working the same way as it has before.

Yeah, maybe we have all read Brave New World, or seen the film of 1984, and once life starts imitating art we wonder who is trying to fool us . . .

Those most ungullible creatures in our population, the schoolkids, who can usually tell a fake when they see it, have called the bluff of all those old men and career women still hoping for preferment in your next non-existent government.

It is perhaps a sign of the British real attitude to work that they usually put up with the facade of concensus here, much like they did in the Soviet Union.

But there is a smell in the wind now of something impermeable falling apart.

In reality it fell apart a long time ago.

The Empire went first, and then its political party, the Conservatives.

When it looked like they would rule for a thousand years, no-one realised they were already finished.

The Poll Tax Riot of March 1990 was the end of the Conservative Party in this country, just as the latest Stop the War March is the end of Blair and New Labour.

Whether the Labour Party can extricate itself from this is as yet unclear.

They will probably be decimated in the forthcoming local elections; the Liberals may well increase their vote; the Greens, and other parties of principle on the left will definitely benefit.

A few people will never vote Labour again; many will not vote for them now until the entire discredited leadership is gone.

This vote will not be transferred to the Conservatives.

There is a distinct possibility that if this war goes much 'wronger' than it has already, this country could be to some extent , ungovernable.

Whatever one thinks of Blair, there is no obvious alternative.

Duncan Smith and the Conservatives are a laughing-stock amongst most people on the street; and Charles Kennedy has very little respect after adopting the usual supine position at the onset of the onslaught.

How can you want to Stop the War and support the troops?

We all support the British troops to defend the people of the British Isles; that's what all that hi tech-weaponry is for, and all that training. We have no illusions that in the final ditch (1939, for instance) it is the British Army which is called on to defend the nation; it is not there to act as the mercenary vanguard of a distant Empire.

May the Gods help us if someone attacks us now; we would have to fight like the Iraqis, in the streets and fields, because our army has been risked for the ambition of a foreign power.

At the present rate, our armed forces will have been decimated by our 'allies' by the time Bagdhad disappears in the mushroom cloud. Journalists are being wasted at a similar rate.(Terry Lloyd of ITV NEWS).

Iraq has become a town with 200,000 Men with No Name, obliterating anything that moves. We won't even hear about the Bedouins and their camels used as a target practice by bored or resentful 'grunts', or the desert hamlets obliterated by mistake in aerial bomb runs, or fly-by-wire playstation soldiers, sitting on ships hundreds of miles away.

If Blair had been a true friend of the American people, he would have made a stand like France, Germany and Russia, older and wiser nations who can see the dark shadow of disaster crossing the sun.

It would have strengthened the hand of the US politicians and advisers who knew what a potential disaster they are being coralled into; in terms of a diplomatic and geo-political future; as well as the V word. VIETNAM.

A definite risk for Blair would be the disaffection of the higher echelons of the British Army with the progress of the war. They have been put in the unenviable position (especially by a lawyer like Blair) of potential future arrest and trial by the International Criminal Court - as the UK Government itself is similarly exposed. This does not apply to the US forces, who have no recognition of the court in their Constitution.

The harrowing pictures on Al-Jazeera of the poor (mainly black) GI's being paraded on Iraqi TV are no surprise; after the establishment of Camp X-Ray, the parading, psychological torture and illegal detention of 'suspects' at Guantanamo Bay, what the hell do they expect? If you 'suspend' the Geneva Convention for prisoners that you take in conflict, why do you think that your soldiers can expect better treatment from their captors.

Sadly, it seems that you will not learn these things until you too are an 'old' nation.

Here, as many commentators have pointed out, there has been no shortage of footage of humiliating pictures of beaten, shivering Iraqi troops surrendering to US/UK forces; this does not seem that different.

Not only that, you are invading someone elses country. You are doing it illegaly, and against the wishes of both the population of that country and the majority of the people in the rest of the world.

You are destroying their social infrastructure, bombing their cities, terrorising their children. Their old people are dying of fear, their young of disease. 40% of Iraqis are below 16, and yet you have dropped more bombs on them than you did in the entire Gulf War.

And you expect to be welcomed in with open arms. Think again.

Look at Serbia and you will see what will happen when Saddam falls. Look at Northern Ireland if you fancy staying longer than a few days. A country the size of North Yorkshire (half an English county) kept 30,000 troops busy for 30 years, with constant attrition and the near-assassination of the British Cabinet on at least two occassions.

You know what's happening in Afghanistan . . .(we don't any more - why not? Just the odd story of Afghan prisoners being tortured or killed by their captors - US troops . . .)


Students - and even school students - have taken the Government's continual lectures on "citizenship" to heart.

They are often better informed and more articulate than their elders. What's more, they are impervious to your bullshit. The language of international diplomacy, the old rehearsed phrases and cliches of politico-speak are of no more interest to them than the blandishments against cannabis or loud dance music ever were. And the generation raised on video games and crap television can tell the difference between illusion and reality.

Growing up is not about learning in this society as much as forgetting.

Forgetting the true meaning of life and what it means when the world is yours to inherit, if the fools who own it do not destroy it before you get there.

They have no illusion about the real cost of every bomb dropped, every bullet fired in Iraq.

Fathers who never come home, mothers who never see their sons again, children remembering the shadows of their sister or brother, pieces left lying round the ruins of their yard.

For what?

Oil and power, sheer unadulterated military power; which impresses kids the least of all. Bullying is perhaps every kid's worst memory; and what is happening in the deserts of the middle East looks like the most barbaric bullying you could imagine; of a people already depleted and weakened by bad government, war, sanctions-led famine .Little people will always have empathy with little peoples.

The next generation is not just rejecting Blair, but party politics; and the 'historic' link with the USA.

If nothing else, like Margaret Thatcher he has politicise a generation, and radicalised it in a much more focussed way that she ever could.

We had to hang all our hatred of what Thatcher's Government represented on the back of a tax, which most of us, the young people would never pay anyway.

Now the young have a chance to push their opposition to the bullshit around us; the constant excuses for no money for schools or hospitals, nurseries or college fees; suddenly being forgotten in the obscene expenditure each day being wasted on weapons of mass murder being launched on a virtually defenceless people.

For the continued , expanding power of a small group of men in Washington, who control a nation which has some of the most serious internal problems of any of the major powers.

A budget deficit which defies belief of economists; which can never be paid except by either taxing the rich 1% who own 95% of its wealth, or continuing to swallow the economies of other nations. (President Bush has just asked Congress for $75 billion to pursue the war - he reckons it will last a month, and thats all it will cost. This in a nation which cannot even provide a basic health service to their own people. . .)

A prison population of 2 million, the largest in the world; and a penal code of increasing severity the further down the social scale you go.

A history of involvement in the affairs of other nations which is not seen as benevolent anywhere except their own isolated country, and a population that rarely travel outside their borders, many of whom never see anyone but fellow Americans.

The fragmentation of the British political establishment will be nothing compared to the implosion in the US if this does proceed as seems likely.

A large part of the American population is completely disaffected by the Bush regime, and the war has given them a focus for thjeir discontent. It will not be like the Vietnam protest era, times have moved on and forces have coalesced around different polar points than before. Even the Pentagon and Defence Department are in conflict over stategy and the rush to war.

Intelligence has been demonstrably poor - on the diplomatic front and with regard to the progress of the war.

The Iraqis are not capitulating as we were told they would. Even the conscripts are fighting back, and however much people hate their Government, they will fight to the last drop of blood to stop a 'conqueror' walking in unopposed. Maybe the Americans, who have never been invaded (they took the land from the Native Tribes) do not realise that expelling the Iraqis from Kuwait was not the same as taking Iraq itself.

If 'victory' is not swift, the news coverage will become veiled and the US will raise the ante, broadening its list of 'targets' to include civilian infrastructure; becoming less and less careful about 'colatteral damage'.

We cannot rule out the use of WMD's by the US - by that I mean tactical nuclear weapons, if Bagdhad remains resistant to their 'Shock and Awe' (Sturm und Drang) campaign.

By the way, watch out for the 'find' of CBW's or laboratories in the next few days.

On British ITV Dimbleby programme, Reagan -era spook Lawrence Eagleburger admitted that if no Iraqi WMD's were found by the end of the war, the Bush Administration was probably finished. So they are probably flying one out at the moment.

(Apparently, as I write, a 'chemical complex' has just been discovered in the desert of Southern Iraq by an American regiment with a 'Chemical Exploitation Unit' attatched to it, as well as the reporter from the Jerusalem Post. Well, that's alright then).

As we speak, the US Administration is suddenly having to explain to more poor white and black families why their children are returning in coffins.

Why others are now in exactly the position forecast by everyone except the arrogant isolationist empire - builders in the White House when the USA so casually abandoned any pretence at abiding by the Geneva Convention with the prisoners taken in Afghanistan. No-one feels comfortable with the pictures of the poor, frightened captives on Iraqi TV.

But at least they are not being held without any legal notice or representation in open-air cages, taken on trolleys drugged and blindfolded for 'interrogation'.

Every time one of those sinister Washington freaks appears on UK television complaining of the treatment of their POW's, the words 'Guantanamo Bay' and 'Camp X-Ray' leap into our consciousness.

And the Iraqi people have shown more forbearance to the US servicemen and women, than was shown in many cases by British people to the Nazis who were bombing their cities and families to broken, bloody pieces in the Second World War.

The US Administration and UK Government are also having to explain now, a bit too late perhaps for the relatives of dead servicemen, why the Iraqi people are not welcoming them in with open arms, but hails of lead.

Why our countries' forces are murdering an increasing number of civilians in increasingly desperate aerial bombardment (very brave); with two major cities under effective siege with no real humanitarian aid.

We cannot hold the criminals leading this illegitimate war from Washington to account at this time; that is up to the American people and the world community.

But we can ensure that every screaming, shattered child, every starving family is remembered when our Government asks for another mandate.

You cannot say you were not warned.

Even the children know that it is wrong, and as the great Mark Stewart once sung, one day they will rise up against us: "because we'll be the ones they blame - and they will give us a new name - hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites !"