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Irish Women Hostages in Iraq and Afghanistan

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Saturday November 13, 2004 14:09author by Ray Hanrahan - Cork Anti-War Campaignauthor email hanrahanone at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Should the anti-war movement in Ireland be making the link between these kidnappings and Shannon?

From the newswire: Why the silence/inattention on the mainstream media on the plight of Margaret Hassan and Annette Flanagan? Is Bertie hiding something? The anti-war movement in Ireland should be doing more to link the plight of the women hostages with the Shannon issue.

With the death of Yasser Arafat and the destruction of the city of Fallujah in the name of ‘freedom’, the plight of the Irish-born hostages Margaret Hassan and Annette Flanagan has fallen to a kind of ‘afterthought’ item, both in the Irish mainstream media and internationally. Some may claim that ‘negotiations are ongoing’, which is not ‘sexy’ news, unlike the pictures of America’s poor driving around Fallujah in heavily armed and armoured vehicles exterminating their Iraqi counterparts for the benefit of capitalists everywhere. However, I think that we here in Ireland are letting a most important story pass us by without even the most cursory of investigations, and those of us who’ve been involved with the anti-war movement over the last two years or so haven’t made the most elementary connection between the hostages and the continued use of Shannon by the US military.

When the kidnappers of Mrs. Hassan and Ms. Flanagan made their demands, the Shannon issue was notable for its absence. It was not until last Sunday that I asked the simple question – why?

Perhaps the kidnappers don't have any knowledge of what's going on at Shannon and the cowardly minor role Bertie Ahern's regime are playing in the global bully gang's occupation and destruction of the two countries. It only takes a moment to rule this out: the anti-war movement here has done a very good job in publicising the use of Shannon by the chief occupying power. Both al-Jazeera and the al-Arabi TV stations have covered protests about Shannon and many other media organisations throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world have relayed information on Shannon to their viewers/readers/listeners. Furthermore, we have seen in previous kidnappings that these groups are very knowledgeable with regard to media matters and are quite well informed. So, this particular conjecture does not hold water.

What if the kidnappers had made the demand that the Irish Govt. deny landing and overflight facilities to the US military, but that this fact is being kept out of Ireland's and the world's media? I think that this may be an outside possibility: consider this – the negotiations with the hostage takers are being handled either by US/UK civilian or military intelligence, and these boys are old hands at the control of information. Also consider that the world's media are most compliant when the hegemony demands it: blow the cover-up and say bye-bye to those exciting juicy 'embeddings' in Fallujah and elsewhere. Another line could be that to bring this matter up would 'jeopardise the negotiations'. This is patently untrue – movement on the Irish Govt's. part on Shannon might be just the thing that saves the women's lives, and perhaps the lives of many more hostages.

If the above scenario turns out to be true, the potential effect on public opinion here could be staggering. Any confirmation that Bertie Ahern conspired with the British and the Americans to hide essential facts from the Irish people about Shannon and the connection with the fate of the women hostages will destroy him in the eyes of many, and add to the legions of people that hate this worthless man's guts. Bertie himself is probably scared shitless of what Bush and Blair could do to the Irish economy if he is forced to withdraw facilities at Shannon and thus withdraw from the global bully gang. Mr. Ahern is not noted for possessing moral courage, and he'd sooner avoid a hard decision with the use of subterfuge rather than confront it head-on.

I floated this scenario with a few friends and the responses ranged from unlikely but possible to not happening. The person who said the latter advanced this reasoning: as far as the kidnappers are concerned these women are British, they hold British passports, and they will live or die at the cruel whim of the British state – their Irishness is a red herring. My own opinion is that what I've outlined is possible, but not very likely: if Ahern is playing this game, then it's a very dangerous one, and liable to backfire on him, sooner or later. He's a coward, and he'd rather not take the risk.

In any case, the inaction of Ahern and his regime on this matter is inexcusable. He may say that he and his Govt. are doing all that they can to secure the release of Margaret Hassan and Annette Flanagan, but it is patently clear that he is not. The use of Shannon by Bush's war machine continues, and each planeload of Marines adds to the risk to security of all Irish people, wherever they are, and adds to our complicity in acts of international illegality and crimes against humanity. Bertie Ahern and Irish Capital (both state and private) are making a killing out of Shannon (literally), and Mrs. Hassan, Ms. Flanagan, and in time, the rest of us will pick up the tab.

In the anti-war movement, we've been strangely unheeding of the simple connections that one could make, in fact, one must make in order to link these issues. Were we lulled into inaction by the video-game-style coverage of the wars of occupation that imperialism is waging? Raising the Shannon issue in connection with the kidnappings is not treason, and it is not opportunism. It is the moral duty of all those who say that they're opposed to this war, and all wars, wherever they happen, to make this point. Even the SWooPers should pull their heads from out of their arses, take a break from their recruitment drives and their newspaper sales targets, and make plenty of noise about Shannon and the kidnappings!

I'm asking everybody in the anti-war movement to make this connection between Shannon and the plight of the hostages in public at every available opportunity and as stridently as possible, and to mobilise opinion/activists here to shut down Shannon Warport and bring Annette and Margaret home. And don’t be put off by the lie that will be put out that we will be aiding 'terrorism' – is it terrorism to make an attempt to save Irish, Iraqi, and Afghan lives to deny US state terror (the most efficient on our planet) the use of Shannon? Is it 'democracy' to bomb hospitals and schools and homes in Fallujah from the air, however unreconstructed some of the insurgents are? The answer in both cases is no – by making public the link, not only will we save lives, but we will also embarrass a vicarious warmonger called Bertie Ahern!

author by 1000publication date Fri Nov 12, 2004 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Family plea A government spokesman said he could not confirm whether Ahern was referring to a possible threatened execution date for Hassan or any other threats made by her captors. The British news agency Press Association reported that Hassan's family had seen the film and immediately arranged to meet Ahern. A description of the video was given to Ahern Earlier on Tuesday, Ahern met Hassan's three sisters and issued a joint appeal for her release. Standing beside the prime minister, Hassan's sister Deirdre Fitzsimons addressed her sibling's captors directly. "We are the Irish family of Margaret, and we are pleading with you to set her free," she said. "We have listened to your demands and begged [Prime Minister] Tony Blair and the British government to release the women prisoners and also not to move the troops," she said, referring to Britain's redeployment of several hundred troops north towards Baghdad this week at US request. "But we are Irish and we have no influence on the British government. The Care office has now closed," she said. Hassan holds joint Irish, British and Iraqi citizenship. Inappropriate target The group who kidnapped Hassan from outside her Baghdad home two weeks ago has threatened to behead her unless Britain withdraws its troops from Baghdad and the authorities in Iraq free all women held in Iraqi prisons. Ahern, whose country is militarily neutral and is officially opposed to the US-led presence in Iraq, stressed that Hassan was a particularly inappropriate target. "Margaret has no political associations. She represents nobody but the vulnerable and the poor," Ahern said. "Your quarrel is not with Margaret. Nor is it with the Irish people, who have been a firm friend of the Arab nations." "

author by Mary Kellypublication date Fri Nov 12, 2004 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have publicly called for the release of this woman as she is not guilty of any crime.
I made this statement to 3 TV cameras at my last appearance in Ennis court house, stating that the US,British and Irish Governments are the guilty parties.

Denying access to the US military at Shannon , I believe would have an immediate effect, might save her life, and send a lifesaving human message out to a world that is blinded by lust for slaughtering Iraqi resistence.

The time to act is now!

author by willie stalkerpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 00:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in the real world fallujah is one open plan slaughter room and the willful slaughterers are the americans. when most of the news is pure 2+2=5 it is time to make the fit hit the shans

author by pcpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 02:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has been given reports indicating that Irish Iraq hostage Margaret Hassan is within the besieged city of Fallujah.

Related Link: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=581654
author by obhpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what an achievement that would be if you managed to create this linkage. the word TREASON ain't to far from this situation!

author by Johnpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are no not putting Margarets life in danger by highlighting any link to the captors? Are you not now complicit in her plight by giving the captors a reason to kill her? Ireland is just one of dozens of countries allowing American aircraft to re-fuel on the way to the middle-east, don't be over-emphasising our involvement in this war, we are just one tiny stepping-stone, we do not play any role in the situation within Iraq.

author by pcpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if people weren't ashamed about Ireland particiaption in the wars they wouldn't complain about the link being made with the US miltary they would be proud of it...

author by FFpublication date Sat Nov 13, 2004 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

spoken like a al-queada propagandist . This brings the 'radical left's' anti-irishness to new extremes.
treson and nothing short of it- you deserve anything that might happen!

author by racistspublication date Sun Nov 14, 2004 03:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

assume that 'furriners' don't know how to do basic geopolitical research using google. and disinformation in left wing uk newspspers will not serve to wash willies hands.

author by Marypublication date Mon Nov 15, 2004 05:04author email rckygmnd at aol dot comauthor address Massachusetts, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I'm Irish living in the USA. Somebody thought they heard on the news here that three decapitated women were found. Also there is a website under her name claiming to be a beheading video. I hope this is wrong. Sometimes I think people fake these videos. I am wondering also why news about the hostages seems to have been cut off. If she was in the recent war zone how can she have survived that and would that explain the silence. While the Americans were after the insurgents they most likely killed any hostages who were there at the time too.
If anybody has any news I would appreciate it if you could e-mail me. I can't imagine what Margaret Hassan and other hostages are going through over there and I hate this war.

author by I-ballpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2004 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It should be kept in mind though, that the kidnappers probably consider both this women as British rather than Irish. But unlikely as it is that these two are being held because they are Irish ( what demands were made of the Irish Govt - we don't know) the fact is that activists warned of this scenario also.

Over a year ago the government was warned that the use of Shannon increased the risk of terrorist attack on Ireland and made Irish people abroad more open to attacks that US citizens sometimes fall victim too.

Of course, foaming-at-the-mouth shit stirrers will try to blame the peace camp and indymedia for informing the middle eastern populations of what was going on.

Curtis Doebler, who teaches at the University of Najaf, told us that the Arab world has included Ireland on the list of 'coalition of the killing' a long time ago, when they read about Bertie's offer to George and read the international news. The pictures of Bertie with W won't help. A Dublin based security expert has said the same thing, (twas on the Front Page of the Sunday Tribune last month)
that the Arab World does not believe Bertie when he says Ireland has not played a part in this war.

which do you think is the more likely situtation

a) People in Iraq are reading indymedia.ie as their ONLY source of news on Irish collusion with the occupation and bombing.

b) They read the American newspapers where the embedded journalists wrote about troops coming through Ireland for the Iraq war.

(check it out, stories that pre-date the peace camp were widely available in US newspapers and on the web)

Check out this one which was published in Nov 2002.


Airplane trouble, bus shortage stretch 22-hour deployment into five-day odyssey.

By Noelle Phillips

SHANNON, IRELAND -- The deployment for Operation Desert Spring in Kuwait almost became Operation Irish Spring for 291 Fort Stewart soldiers.

They left Saturday for a six-month rotation in Kuwait, but found themselves on a five-day odyssey that included a college football marathon, an unexpected visit from the Army's highest ranking officer, and a two-day stay in County Clare, Ireland.

"I don't know what to expect," Spc. Jarrid Lott, 27, said. "It's been crazy."

Typically, a deployment to Kuwait requires about 22 hours and soldiers usually miss a day in their lives as they travel 7,000 miles over several time zones.

So, these soldiers scheduled to leave Hunter Army Airfield at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon should have arrived in Kuwait in the wee hours of Monday morning after making refueling stops in Shannon, Ireland and Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. Kuwait is eight hours ahead of Savannah.

It turned out to be anything but normal for these soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade.

It was a sign of things to come when the airplane was delayed in Atlanta Saturday afternoon because of mechanical problems.

Earlier, the soldiers had mourned the idea of missing college football's rivalry weekend, but the delay allowed them to watch almost every game broadcast Saturday.

When everyone boarded the airplane around midnight -- 11 hours behind schedule -- it seemed like the deployment had begun.

But a two-and-a-half-hour refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland turned into a two-day stay.

The soldiers spent their first 17 hours in Ireland sitting in the airport. The nearly 300 uniformed soldiers lounged on chairs or slept on the floor.

Forks paused in mid-bite as everyone eating in the airport's cafeteria stared when the U.S. soldiers marched into the serving line.

Two women were overheard in a bathroom discussing the soldiers.

"I wonder where they're going?" one asked.

"I don't know," replied the other. "They're awfully pale. Maybe they're coming from Afghanistan. Those uniforms might blend in over there."

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki surprised the soldiers by passing through the airport on his way to visit troops in Europe and the Middle East. Many got their pictures taken and shook hands with the Army's highest-ranking officer.

"You can imagine my surprise when I came through here and saw the 3rd ID (Infantry Division)," said Shinseki, who commanded the division's second brigade -- the brigade these soldiers belong to -- as a colonel.

It was one more twist to an already bizarre trip.

"I can't wait to see what happens in Italy. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pope showed up to pray for the plane," said Capt. Jim Ahearn, a company commander in the 10th Engineer Battalion.

When World Airways, the airline chartered to carry the soldiers, first realized there was a mechanical problem, it ordered a spare part flown from London. When the part arrived, it did not fit. It was nearly dawn in Ireland, and the commander decided to bus the soldiers to a hotel.

They arrived at the Clare Inn near Ennis, Ireland, where a few ate breakfast but most slept, happy to have a bed. No one had access to luggage on the plane so the soldiers wore their same desert camouflage uniform through the entire trip.

Although the soldiers spent nearly two days in Ireland, no one could call it a vacation.

Army regulations forbid alcohol on deployments so it could be described as torture to sit in the hotel's Poachers Pub with a Guinness tap just a few feet away.

"I've never sat this close to a tap for this long of a time and not had a pint," said Maj. Michael Birmingham, a Fort Stewart public affairs officer.

Lt. Col. Philip deCamp, commander of 4th Battalion, 64th Armor, gave soldiers permission to tour Dromoland Castle, a nearby hotel. There, American tourists stopped to ask the soldiers about their mission and thank them for their service. And hotel workers gossiped.

"I called my daughter and said 'Audrey, you're missing it today,"' said Geraldine Considine, a shopkeeper. "It's not just one. It's all of them."

For almost two days, soldiers slept, played cards, ate and slept some more. Every meal included heaping servings of mashed potatoes, meat covered in gravy and steamed carrots.

Commanders posted regular updates on the next possible departure time.

After two days with almost nothing to do, word came Tuesday night that it was time to go. Now.

After days of lounging, soldiers scrambled to finish the last bites of their suppers, run to their rooms for last minute showers and then board buses for the airport.

"Two days and 30 pounds of mashed potatoes later...," said Sgt. 1st Class Mike Brantley.

This time, the plane would be ready to go.

The rest of the trip should have been uneventful as the soldiers arrived at Camp Doha, Kuwait, and pulled their equipment from the parking lot known as the draw yard. They had six hours to fire up tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles to make sure they worked. After loading the equipment onto flatbed trailers for transport to the desert, the soldiers were supposed to board buses for their desert encampments.

But about 75 were left behind when buses failed to return for them. They stood in the near-freezing desert air until 3:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day before someone realized the mistake.

Finally, those soldiers arrived at the desert camp called New York at 6:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

"This has been the oddest and strangest deployment ever," said Ahearn, whose soldiers were left behind.

John Carrington contributed to this report.

This was syndicated to dozens if not hundreds of newspapers. It was mentioned in some Irish papers too.

If you follow the link, you'll find photos of US troops at Shannon, and at Dromoland castle, you'll see that there's a timetable saying what time their buses were running, etc. and it confirms that they were using Shannon for the war.... much more conclusive than the stuff the Peace Camp or Mary Kelly were writing some months LATER.

Related Link: http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/112902/LOCLongKuwait.shtml
author by Jonnypublication date Mon Nov 15, 2004 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm in agreement with righteous pragmatist's comment.
Another thing that strikes me about this kidnapping, at no time did Margaret call on the Irish Gov to intervene on her behalf. Perhaps she realises her british citizenship is worth more to her than her Irish roots.
There is no connection between Shannon and the kidnappings (although I'm sure mary kelly will dream something up). The USA are not holding Margaret, nor are the british. You want to freak at someone? Have a pop at the savages holding her hostage. If you can have a go at the yanks, have a go at the muslim horde.

author by Dave D'Olier Street - Guess which paper IT is....publication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The mainstream media in the UK has been asked to stop reporting on the kidnappings of UK and Ireland -linked people as this is contributing to their deaths and increasing the likelyhood of further kidnappings.

It's unofficially been adopted here in D'Olier Street and by our main competitor. Sky News Ireland (ironically) were the only ones to object (they love the vid clips coz the papers cant show them!) but have agreed to abide fearing a backlash of culpability.

The agreement expires on a fixed date in January or earlier by agreement by the UK majors.

Lets hope it works.

author by Raypublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's not like the Iraqis doing the kidnapping have any qualms about killing people, so what's to stop them killing aid workers directly to get coverage?
It looks to me like the press has been leaned on to stop damaging the war effort.

author by pcpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is there an embargoe on detailing exactly how much we're helping the US kill people in foreign countries on 'fleet street' too?

and also in regard to whether the 'it for jobs' arguements is really good enough, and an embargoe on the negotiating with terrorists while not saying you must not negotiating terrorists... and who is the backlash going to be on the hostage or the governments?

author by juan pablopublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that is all

author by From America - Mepublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 20:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm so sorry that she's dead...I hope her family gets the support they need. That's all. I just feel bad.

author by pcpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A video apparently showing the murder of aid worker Margaret Hassan seems to be genuine, says the Foreign Office.

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4017515.stm
author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 21:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A saintly woman is now dead.
Her husband and her family deserve our sympathy. Her suffering is now over.

The bastards who did this should hunted down and exterminated.

Hopefully this brave woman's death will shake Irish people out of their blind stupidity and realise the truth- the brave men and women of the U.S. who travel through Shannon are trying to prevent these atrocities from happening.
This is a war against terror.
It must be won.

author by iosaf read and iosaf understood-publication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I read and I understood "Fallujah". No. not true. I do not understand Fallujah. No amount of rightous pragmatism, nor war theory that is said to lead to democratic emergence will help me.
I Hope she rests in peace, whoever that "western" woman was, along with all the others whoever they were. She is now a dead westerner. In death her British or did it become Irish part is subsumed by the Iraqi part, for she died in Iraq, an Iraqi murdered by Iraqis or (was it foreigners?) during just one battle of quite a long war between Iraqis and foreigners and foreigners and Iraqis. But we know her name now, she is less foreign. She died at the hands of anti-Iraqis.

author by An Americanpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is incorrect
" the brave men and women of the U.S. who travel through Shannon are trying to prevent these atrocities from happening. This is a war against terror.It must be won."
As an American, I'm pretty sure what these economically/culturally impoverished souls are doing is making a living killing people.
The actions of my government have not made me one iota safer.
It is true, however, that she was a great soul and did magnificent work. Bless you Margaret. I've been crying all day.

author by Michael Hennigan - Finfacts.compublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 23:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Arabs are a hospitable people and many Iraqis will surely mourn the murder of a women, without a political agenda, who helped people in need. It is the equivalent of the killing of the head of St. Vincent de Paul, just because the individual is a non-Christian.
As we saw during the strife in Northern Ireland and the Balkans, the breakdown of civil society reveals how depraved some humans can be.

When I witnessed members of the 'mutawa' -the Committe for Preventing Vice and Enforcing Virtue- jumping from an air-conditioned American SUV in Saudi Arabia, to harass women for being 'immodestly' dressed, it struck me at the time that if the same individuals had arrived on camels, I would have some respect for them.

There are individuals in the Middle East who have an ingrained hatred against what are termed infidels. However, whether it is videoing a murder of a kidnap victim, the use of the web and the use of infidel arms, these individuals do not see any inconsistency in using the products/technology of the infidels including medicines.

It seems to be a universal human trait to see the beam in our own eye and not the mote in our brother’s eye. Darfur is such a stark example for Arabs. Of course the infidels are certainly not without blame but the Kurds, the largest ethnic group in the world without a state, would have much to say about their treatment by fellow Muslims.

author by uncle samuelpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2004 23:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This post is a load of nonsense.
For a start it denigrates members of the 'mutawa' -the Committe for Preventing Vice and Enforcing Virtue in Saudi Arabia.

As is well known to all and sundry Saudi Arabia is under the paw of the USA so they count as good guys .... only the Iraqis (and Syrians and Iranians etc.) count as baddies .......

And just in case some of you have not been paying attention and absorbing your daily diet of corporate filtered news there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE to link Saudi Arabia with the Sept. 11 hijackings ....

author by Rinapublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 09:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gosh, now they'll yap about that Hassan woman for ages!

The hypocrisy of it: is the same as the hypocrisy of mourning only the "whites" (socially) victims of 9/11 while ignoring all the thousands that the Western governments kill around the globe:

if one Westerner is killed, it is "terrorism", "appauling murder" etc etc, - if
thousands of non-Western people killed, it is OK, even needed in the name of democracy etc. No tears from your readers about them?

I won't care and won't shed no tears for that woman, just as I won't shed them
for the Polish one who was working for the Americans. Maybe that will keep the Westerners away from other countries with their unwanted "charities". We surely didn';t need any "charities" before we were "liberated", with a help of the West, from a decent life! The same applies to Iraqis.

Are the Irish ALWAYS cry only for "one of their own", like in a "Jungle book" : "We are of the same blood, you and I"? Then, the Irish are racists - now confirmed, full stop.

author by Mattpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't worry about denegrating the mutawa. I lived out there for many years and such a shower of B@stards you've never seen.

They have carry sticks to beat women that they find breaking the dress code.

I'm all for respecting the culture and I hate the American presence in the Gulf, but the mutawa don't deserve any respect - they are the most ignorant people you'll ever meet.

It isn't Islam they're practicing, they're the equivalent of the religious right in America, on the street, with sticks.

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"if one Westerner is killed, it is "terrorism", "appauling murder" etc etc, - if
thousands of non-Western people killed, it is OK, even needed in the name of democracy etc. No tears from your readers about them?"

What the hell do you think the Americans are trying to do in Iraq?
The terrorists have killed thousands upon thousands of innocent people in suicide bombings and hundreds of people have been abducted and slaughtered in exactly the same way as Margaret.
Saddam Hussein was the ultimate terrorist who held a nation of millions of innocents hostage.
American and the Coalition are trying to defeat these murderous bastards and bring peace, democracy and freedom to Iraq.

author by Akalariakpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Margaret, RIP, would be alive today if it were not for the war-mongering Axis of Bush/Blair pushing for a war motivated by lies and revenge. Cheerleaders like yourself attempting to twist reality to suit your poisonous agenda bear a lot of the blame too and should be ashamed of yourselves, that is, if you even know the meaning of the word.

BTW- The biggest murderous bastards in Iraq at the moment are your cowardly "coalition" forces check the figures, but then of course the Yanks don't do body counts.

author by Noelpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And it appears the holder of the yellow jersey for Biggest Murderous Bastard In Iraq is still held by one S. Hussein.

1 million souls lost under this tyrant.

Where was your indignation while that was going on?

author by Raypublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Plenty of people in the West were critical of Saddam Hussein long before it became popular in the White House. A motion was put down in the House of Commons criticising Hussein, for example (Blair and Straw refused to support it). Who actually supported Saddam Hussein? The Reagan White House (including Donald Rumsfeld), the Thatcher government, ...

author by Joepublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where is this figure for one million coming from? The only reference I can find online to this figure attributes it to "some Iraqi political parties". A more recent report in the Telegraph based on the mass graves discovered says "the total number of dead is now believed to be considerably less than initial estimates of 300,000" http://tinyurl.com/6tlug

A slightly older Guardian article http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1265742,00.html questioned this estimate of 300,000 but also points out that "The estimate of 300,000 Iraqis killed by the Ba'athists also includes deaths for which the western powers arguably bear some responsibility. According to the US state department, most of the graves discovered to date correspond to five major atrocities committed by the Saddam Hussein regime: the 1983 attack against Kurds of the Barzani tribe; the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds, for which estimates of the numbers killed vary from 50,000 to 180,000; chemical attacks against Kurdish villages from 1986 to 1988; the 1991 massacre of Shia Muslims during their uprising at the end of the Gulf war; and the 1991 massacre of Kurds who fought for autonomy in northern Iraq after the Gulf war."

All except the 1991 massace happened when Saddam was an ally of the west and of course the 1991 massacre happened after Iraqis had been tricked by Bush senior into rising up but then found the US allowing Saddam the military means required to crush that rising.

The figure of one million seems to have been picked for the political reason that is is equal to the number of Iraqi reckoned to have died as a result of the UN sanctions regime of the 1990's.

Also worth considering is the recent survey on deaths due to violence in Iraq post-Saddam which was published in the Lancet. This shows that there is a 98.5% probability that more civilians have died in post Saddam Iraq due to violence then in the last years of Saddams regime. It's estimated that there were between 9,000 and 190,000 extra deaths due to the occupation.

A final point whether Saddam's regime killed 250,000 or 1,000,000 it was seldom Saddam that pulled the trigger. The killing were carried out by the Baathists party and as reported in the Washinton Post "U.S. occupation authorities have decided to allow hundreds of Baath Party members to return to high-ranking ministerial and other posts" "Numerous Baathists also have been welcomed back to the top ranks of the national police force" http://tinyurl.com/4hxls Even Chablis the US formers favourite Iraqi has compared this to putting the Nazis back in power in Germany in 1946.

Allawi was of course a Baathist himself and as reported Oct 12th this year he has been dismantling the commission designed to keep (some) of the Baathists out of the new government. "Commission members argue that Allawi's system could lay the foundation for an effective reconstitution of the Baath Party, as well as allow ex-officials suspected of human rights abuses or other criminal acts back into the government." http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/2844655

author by Gedpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How many Iraqi people were killed by Madeline 'I think it's worth it' Albright and the UN sanctions?

Guess what she's doing now in Iraq alongside James Baker. Enriching the corporations in the chaos that is Iraq.

author by Raypublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The figures for deaths due to sanctions appear to be inflated. Just because Madeline Albright said that the deaths of a million Iraqis would be a small price to pay doesn't mean that a million Iraqis actually died due to sanctions.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the Madeleine Albright case the figure was "half a million children" died due to sanctions. Children were defined as 5 years old or less. This was based on a study which used multiple samples of deaths and extrapolated (in what as far as I know is still accepted as a rigorous methodology). I'd be interested to see a citation from a reputable source that questions the study Ray.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 19:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Margaret Hassan, Dennis Halliday, Mary Kelly. Halliday draws the link with Shannon:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67524&type=otherpress
author by I have a questionpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm curious about something. I've noticed that in the cases of Ken Bigley(engineer who was beheaded) and in the case of Margaret Hassan, the Irish government and, in Margarets case, her family , attempted to give them an Irish indentity in order to differentiate them from the British Occupying forces and basically asked the kidnappers to re-understand their identities as distinct from the British. What do people think about this?

author by jeffpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mary Hassan was an Iraqi citizen who lived for thirty years in Iraq, she was oppossed to the UKUSA invasion-it is likely she was murdered by foreign mercenaries, who, thanks to Bush's glorious little intervention, have no problem accessing Iraq...

Don't you have even a shred of cynicism in you? When you are at work, do you bsay to yourself ' My boss cares about my welfare, everything he tells me is the truth, blah, blah, blah, etc'?

I have never, for the life of me, been able to understand people who put blind faith in politicians. I personally think they are a necessary evil, like prostitutes and waiters, except their( ie; politicians) job takes a bit more intellectual stamina. That said, I'll always assume that they'll try their hand at anything, I know I would...

Please, though, for the sake of your own psycho spiritual development, stop winding on about ' The Noble mission of the West' this, and ' The task at hand to build democracy' that- you sound like fart, or the liberal version of communist rethoric. Be cynical, it will free your mind

Think for a minute- daisy cutter bombs were used and 13,000 civiklans killed in the initial invasion. If it was your house and your family killed, wouldf you 'nobly' welcome the UKUSA forces? US Soldiers often hit civilans in cross fire. If an Iraqi got peeved and told you he hated America because of dead family, would you lecture him like this; ' Yes, indeed, collateral damage is unfortunate but necessary, because a dictator has been removed and democracy can now be heroically built...'? I am sure a number of Iraqis are glad to see Saddam off, but surley it is logical to asssume that many of them see the Americans as a terrible incursion into their lives?

Drop the rethoric( yes, I know many on indymedia are well guilty of rethoric, I like poking fun at them) Step back, see things for what they are, and drop the word 'righteous'-shit like that went out with Queen F*cking Victoria!

author by Cabhogpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2004 21:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Link the hostages with Shannon?

In order for the SWP and Labour to make political gains. Sickening

author by fwd: kurt nimmopublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 05:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

November 18, 2004
Margaret Hassan execution: Anatomy of a CIA-DIA-Mossad Counterinsurgency operation?

“It is with profound sadness that we have learnt of the existence of a video in which it appears that our colleague Margaret Hassan has been killed. We are shocked and appalled that this has been the apparent outcome of her abduction,” CARE International said in a statement released yesterday. “Through her courage, tenacity and commitment, she assisted more than seventeen million Iraqis living in the most difficult of circumstances.”

CARE’s statement followed a video received by al-Jazeera “showing a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head,” as the Associated Press describes it. “On Sunday, U.S. Marines found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman on a street in a Fallujah during the U.S. assault on the insurgent stronghold. Officials have not said if the body has been identified.”

Disgusting. However, we still do not know who allegedly killed Hassan, since no group has claimed responsibility. Of course, the corporate media and the Bushcons want you to believe it was the Iraqi resistance. As I said when Hassan was abducted, if the resistance killed her they are the stupidest resistance movement in recent memory. It makes absolutely no sense for the resistance to kill a “humanitarian worker known around the Mideast for her concern for Iraqis—particularly during the years of U.N. sanctions, whose effects on children she vocally denounced,” as the AP notes.

It is curious the video of Hassan’s execution surfaced at the same time allegations of civilian mass murder, the execution of wounded prisoners, and other war crimes in Fallujah made the rounds.

I believe—admittedly without any evidence—that the abduction and now apparent murder of Margaret Hassan is a counterinsurgency intelligence operation run by the Americans, the Israelis, or both, as a way to sow chaos and discredit the Iraqi resistance (a resistance the United States cannot possibly hope to crush militarily). Discrediting the resistance is particularly important, as a psychological warfare tactic.

Although I have no direct evidence of this, there are several factors currently in play that make the US/Israeli counterinsurgency operation plausible:

* More than 200 college professors since April 30, 2003, according to the Iraqi Union of University Lecturers, have been the targets of assassination. In addition, many intellectuals have disappeared. (See Andrew Rubin’s Bloodbath.)
* In December, 2003, Julian Borger of the Guardian reported, “Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders. … US forces in Iraq’s Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories.”
* “A new Special Forces group, designated Task Force 121, has been assembled from Army Delta Force members, Navy seals, and C.I.A. paramilitary operatives, with many additional personnel,” according to Seymour Hersh.
* Israel funded Hamas, as the UPI’s Richard Sale reported in 2002.
* The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories, in December, 2002. A PA official said the collaborators sought to “discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza Strip.”
* Israel currently runs covert ops in the Kurdish area of Iraq (see Seymour Hersh’s Plan B)
* A CIA instruction manual entitled Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, written in the 1980s, states the following: “Bring about uprisings or shootings, which will cause the death of one or more persons … in order to create greater conflicts.”
* US military (and CIA operative) officer Major Edward Geary Lansdale’s “psy-war tactics” used in the Philippines against the Huk. Lansdale’s methods “centered on measures of deception similar to those employed in the British and French colonial campaigns in Kenya and Indochina,” including the creation of bogus guerilla units used to discredit the enemy. (See Michael McClintock’s Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990.)

Of course, the above is hardly conclusive evidence that Hassan was killed by counterinsurgency operatives, only establishes a track record for similar behavior on the part of the Americans and Israelis over a period of decades. As noted above, the Iraqi resistance has absolutely nothing to gain by brutally murdering a high profile humanitarian worker such as Hassan, even though we are told she was abducted and threatened with execution in response to the British presence in Iraq (and the part Britain played in the recent attack on Fallujah). If the resistance seriously believes the British or the Americans will respond to such threats, they are not only sadly mistaken, they are unbelievably naive, possibly even stupid.

The abduction and murder of Margaret Hassan is a prime example of cui bono, who benefits. It certainly isn’t the Iraqi resistance—that is if we believe, as we are told through the corporate media, that they are responsible for this heinous act. However, when we consider the past behavior of the CIA and its long and sordid history of covert activity, another dimension emerges, one that cannot be discarded out of hand.

Related Link: http://kurtnimmo.com/blog/index.php?p=419
author by Eoinpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Margaret Hassan did all she could to maintain life in Iraq. Even the most ruthless of the islamic militants have condemned her captivity and ultimate killing. Margaret was opposed to the invasion and the occupation of HER country.

To the people that support this war,PLEASE WAKE UP! War involves the death and destruction of many good people like Margaret Hassan. How can you support this?
People are been needlessly killed over greedy corporate sluts who are throwing out all kinds of excuses." Operation Iraqi Freedom!" more like O-I-L !

author by Noelpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not sure which of the two posts above is the more ludicrous.

The Margaret Hassan killed by NeoCon Jewish CIA post?
Or the ruthless Islamic militants condemned Margaret Hassan's killing post.

As unpalatable as a world with Islamic terrorists bent on Jihad is, ignoring it is no longer an option.

author by XBrainpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:48author email me at spammail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

What price innocence in the anarchy of Iraq?
Robert Fisk – The Independent November 17, 2004

Who killed Margaret Hassan? After the grief, the astonishment, heartbreak, anger and fury over the apparent murder of such a good and saintly woman, that is the question that her friends - and, quite possibly, the Iraqi insurgents - will be asking. This Anglo-Irish lady held an Iraqi passport. She had lived in Iraq for 30 years; she had dedicated her life to the welfare of Iraqis in need. She hated the UN sanctions and opposed the Anglo-American invasion. So who killed Margaret Hassan?

Of course, those of us who knew her will reflect on the appalling implications of the videotape, which, so her husband believes, is evidence of her death. If Margaret Hassan can be kidnapped and murdered, how much further can we fall into the Iraqi pit? There are no barriers, no frontiers of morality left. What price is innocence in the anarchy we have brought to Iraq? The answer is simple: nothing.

I remember her arguing with doctors and truck drivers when a lorry load of medicines arrived for children’s cancer wards – courtesy of Independent readers – in 1998. She smiled, cajoled, pleaded to get these leukaemia drugs to Basra and Mosul. She would not have wished to be called an angel – Margaret didn’t like clichés. Even now I want to write “doesn’t like clichés”; are we really permitted to say that she is dead? For the bureaucrats and Western politicians who will today express their outrage and sorrow at her reported death, she had nothing but scorn.

Yes, she knew the risks. Margaret Hassan was well aware that many Iraqi women had been kidnapped, raped, ransomed or murdered by the Baghdad mafia. Because she is a Western woman – the first Western woman to be abducted and apparently murdered – we forget how many Iraqi women have already suffered this terrible fate. They go largely unreported in a world which counts dead American soldiers, but ignores fatalities among those with darker skins and browner eyes and a different religion, whom we claimed to have liberated.

And now let’s remember the other, earlier videos. Margaret Hassan crying, Margaret Hassan fainting, Margaret Hassan having water thrown over her to revive her, Margaret Hassan crying again, pleading for the withdrawal of the Black Watch from the Euphrates river basin. In the background of these appalling pictures, there were none of the usual Islamic banners. There were none of the usual armed and hooded men. No Koranic recitations.

And when it percolated through to Fallujah and Ramadi that the mere act of kidnapping Margaret Hassan was close to heresy, the combined resistance groups of Fallujah – and the message genuinely came from them – demanded her release. So, incredibly, did Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qa’ida man whom the Americans falsely claimed to be leading the Iraqi insurrection – but who has very definitely been involved in kidnapping and beheading foreigners.

Other abducted women –the two Italian aid workers, for example –when their captors recognised their innocence. But not Margaret Hassan, even though she spoke fluent Arabic and could explain her work to her captors in their own language.

There was one mysterious video that floated to the surface this year, a group of armed men promising to seize Zarqawi, claiming he was anti-Iraqi, politely referring to the occupation armies as “the coalition forces”. This was quickly nicknamed the “Allawi tape”: after the US appointed, ex-CIA agent and Ex-Baathist who holds the title of “interim Prime Minister” in Iraq, the same Allawi who fatuously claimed there were no civilian deaths in Fallujah.

So, if anyone doubted the murderous nature of the insurgents, what better way to prove their viciousness than to produce evidence of Margaret Hassan’s murder? What more ruthless way could there be of demonstrating to the world that America and Allawi’s tinpot army were fighting “evil” in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities that are now controlled by Washington’s enemies.

Even in the topsy-turvy world of Iraq, nobody is suggesting that people associated with the government of Mr Allawi had a hand in Margaret Hassan’s death. Iraq, after all, is awash with up to 20 insurgent groups but also with rival gangs of criminals seeking to extort money from hostage taking.

But still the question has to be answered: who killed Margaret Hassan?

Also see:
Killing Margaret Hassan as an Example

Is the Kidnapping of CARE’s Margaret Hassan a CIA-Mossad Op?

Hassan’s Alleged Death: a Close Encounter of the Intelligence Kind

author by XBrainpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:51author email me at spammail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Robert Fisk - whose last name seems to cause enormous spelling problems for editors everywhere - suggests conspiracy theory in the death of Margaret Hassan (see also here and here). A middle-aged woman, a convert to Islam, a fluent Arabic speaker, an obvious friend to the Iraqi people, a humanitarian aid worker thus protected by Islamic law, someone whose begging-for-life videotape wasn't laden with the usual invocations of militant Islam, and someone whose release was expressly demanded by demonstrators in Baghdad, the resistance groups of Falluja, and the mythological al-Zarqawi. Violently killed. Cui bono? Anyone who was trying to destroy the basis of civilized Iraqi society. Or anyone who was trying to set up a propaganda background for the vicious and completely illegal slaughter of civilians in Falluja.

author by Eoinpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As much as I respect your post Noel, I must inform you that there is substantial evidence which indicates that Al Zachawi (sorry I cant spell!) on several occasions called for the release of Magaret, in postings made on several websites. Thats not to say I support Islam extremists just as I dont support christian fundamentalism in the US. I was just trying to highlight the pointlessness of her killing in conjunction with the war itself. Probobly a bad attempt I'll admit!
As for Jihadism, well the americans absolutely loved it when Bin Laden and the boys gave them a hand getting the russians out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Its amazing how an ideology can turn so nasty all of a sudden, in occordence with the wishes of the pre-dominant super power.

author by Noelpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Cui bono? Anyone who was trying to destroy the basis of civilized Iraqi society. Or anyone who was trying to set up a propaganda background for the vicious and completely illegal slaughter of civilians in Falluja.'

Have the Jihadists not been killing Iraqis with car bombs?
Have the Jihadists not been killing Iraqis in Fallujah before the USMC arrived?

Or is the whole Jihadi concept yet another CIA-Mossad-NeoCon conspiracy?

author by jeffpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gone all quiet-maybe he has moved to Jesus land, USA, where his noble rants will sound true to himself again. He can make great speeches, and avoid decadent cynicism when defending noble democratic values. Glory unto him, hurrah, the great act of finger wagging will resume, for tis no more than feeble folly to speak of conspiracy...

( Roll; Tacky orchestral trumpet music that you get on family oriented tv movies, and Bush campaign trails, that evoke great feelings of nobility)

author by Ray Hanrahan - Cork Anti-War Campaignpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 16:26author email hanrahanone at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The news from the past week has truly depressed and appalled me. When I posted the piece last Friday, poor Margaret Hassan already could have been dead for several days. Annette Flanagan’s captivity continues today, and there is no good news of her predicament. Instead, an eerie silence over her possible fate from the ‘fourth estate’ is all I have noticed.

OK, I may have written some very rough stuff, calling ‘our’ Bertie a coward and the like, but I’m not going to apologise for thinking out loud. In fact, if I were to meet the man tomorrow (I’ll gladly meet him if he comes out from behind the Gardai he’s so fond of using to oppress and beat up on my friends) this is what I’d say to him about this issue: "Neither you nor I live under the immediate threat of death in the next 24 hours. Margaret Hassan lived her last days under such a threat, and Annette Flanagan still is in the same situation. Bertie, you have an appointments diary, and doubtless it is filled with photo-opportunities, meetings with concrete tycoons seeking yet more corporate welfare handouts, and engagements which give the public a view of you that’s as one-sided as a portrait of Padraig Pearse. Cancel most of them, and get down to the serious business of negotiating the hostages’ release. We are both too late to help Margaret now, but Ms. Flanagan is still out there and she needs all the help we can give her. Oh, and don’t forget that there is something you can do Bertie – you could deny Shannon and Irish airspace to the Bush war machine! That could very well get her home safe and well!"

Bit of a pipe dream, I’m afraid. From what I can see we’re back to the depressing Thatcherite rhetoric of the ‘80s – ‘we don’t talk to terrorists’ (except the ones that control states). This means that the welfare of Margaret Hassan, Annette Flanagan and all other hostages, whether Iraqi, Afghan or foreign, takes a back seat to the prosecution of war, whether it is with bullets, missiles, bombs, or propaganda. In fact, Tony Blair has discovered that the propaganda value of a dead hostage (‘aren’t these people frightful barbarians!’, outrage, media-fed desires for revenge, etc.) is far greater than that of a hostage that is still alive. Perhaps his owner Mr. Bush explained to him the benefits of invading the hometown of the kidnappers, slaughtering its citizens and blowing it to bits. Mrs. Hassan was probably beyond all help from the moment the assault on Fallujah was launched.

Another interesting fact that emerged in the wake of the announcement of Margaret’s death is that the British and American Govts. (courtesy of al-Jazeera) knew of her death up to a week before they announced it. Her murder in the midst of the carnival of industrial death that is called ‘spreading democracy’ would have been terminally embarrassing for the project of making Iraq safe for Halliburton and Iyad Allawi.

Another question: was Bertie in the know about the video? If he was, then he stands guilty of withholding vital information from the Irish people and of being a willing participant in the imperialist hegemony. If not, then he’s happy for Ireland to be a third- or fourth-class ally/client of the global bully gang, happy not being informed of actions or events that bear upon his country’s citizens until it suits the ringleaders.

Margaret Hassan’s agony is now over, but not the way I would have wanted it to end. I offer my sincerest sympathies to her family and friends, and I hope that no other family ever has to go through this. However, this hope is forlorn because the agony of Iraq, Afghanistan and Annette Flanagan continues.

author by Pjpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very little comments from our politicans or church leaders re Margaret Hassan. But then, she was a woman.

Related Link: http://dublinsouthwest.proboards20.com
author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 18:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The murder of Margaret Hassan is an attack on the Irish people - the most charitable people per capita in the entire world - thousands of Irish people joined the religious orders and went to the four corners of the world helping the poor of the Third World. Margaret and Annette Flanagan represent others who depsite the decline of religious faith in Ireland continue to help the poor.
The killing of Margaret Hassan is an act of war against the Irish people.
Revenge is a dish best served cold - we must join the coalition against terror - if we do not have the military capability to fight terrorism -we should give every help possible to those are fighting on our behalf - the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The terrorist expect that we will blame ourselves for allowing refueling in Shannon - we shouldn't give them a victory but a two fingers.

author by Zpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they thought she was british

if you are not familiar with the Irish you'd think she was british - and the anglo-irish connection just confusing most people

author by fwd: William Bowlespublication date Fri Nov 19, 2004 02:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

William Bowles • November 16 2004
Update: 17 November 2004

Coincidence? The surfacing of a videotape that allegedly shows the execution of Margaret Hassan coming as it does fresh on the heels of the video of the execution of a wounded Iraqi resistance fighter by US Marines seems to be part of a pattern of diverting attention away from embarrassing revelations for the occupiers. Could it be that the people who kidnapped Margaret Hassan are not what they seem? That her execution emerged at this critical time in the war for ‘hearts and minds’ strikes me as just too much of a coincidence. It’s as if she was held out of sight until needed. Of course, the media will focus on the immediate horror of it without considering the timing of her execution.

And I’m not alone in this view. See ‘Hassan's Alleged Death: A Close Encounter Of The Intelligence Kind’, Nov 17, 2004, By Bruce Kennedy, JUS. The article alleges that British intelligence agents were behind the abduction Ms Hassan on October 19th to divert attention away from the redeployment of British troops to Fallujah.

A related piece is ‘Saudi Islamic Fundamentalists endorse US Occupation of Iraq’ by Michel Chossudovsky, www.globalresearch.ca, 16 November 2004. There is every reason to believe that there still exists close connections between USUK intelligence agencies and Saudi Arabia given the history of Saudi Arabia and the West.

The media's treatment of the event also follows a pattern with the BBC talking of “revulsion” and “disgust”, words that disappeared from its dictionary when describing the execution of the wounded Iraqi fighter. Instead, we read of "allegations” about the “incident” and then coverage all but disappears to be replaced by the Hassan story.

No doubt I will be accused of being a ‘conspiracist’ and of not being ‘even-handed’ in my treatment of these two tragedies but the fact remains that every time there has been an event that showed the ‘coalition’ in a bad light starting with Abu Ghraib, we then had the Berg ‘beheading’ that was followed by virtually identical videos surfacing on the Web without any attempt being made to track down those responsible for the Websites even though the owners of the Websites were easily identified. And of course the most blatant example was the Osama tape only days before the US election.

It was also at the time of Abu Ghraib that ‘Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’ suddenly emerged as the latest bogeyman and not surprisingly, it is alleged that he was also a ‘disciple’ of Osama bin Laden given that it was difficult to connect Osama directly to events in Iraq, the propagandists needed a convenient ‘go-between’. As I’ve pointed out before, the al-Zarqawi ‘connection’ has a single media source and so far, not a shred of evidence has been produced to show that the man even exists.

In addition to this, it’s instructive to note that the abduction of Margaret Hassan was not connected to al-Zarqawi in any of the ‘leaks’ to the Western media as this meant putting Zarqawi at the centre of events in Fallujah and the abduction of Hassan at the same time. Even someone as speedy as Zarqawi can’t be in two places at the same time.

Okay, so this is all speculation on my part but the convenient timing and lack of evidence supporting the existence of Zarqawi and the plethora of various groups that conveniently surface as and when needed, points toward a very sophisticated psy-ops campaign on the part of the US to divert attention away from the real issues.

Related Link: http://www.williambowles.info/ini/ini-0288.html
author by fwd: fantastic planetpublication date Sat Nov 20, 2004 01:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thursday, November 18, 2004

:: Margaret Hassan This is such an atrocity I can't avoid posting about it. It needs exposure, because it's so heinous. Why would a radical Muslim group kidnap and execute Margaret Hassan, head of CARE International, an Iraqi citizen, exceptionally well-known for working to HELP the Iraqi people, even through the years of Clinton's genocidal sanctions?

Regular readers will know where I'm going with this.

A radical Muslim group (unless they are some weird variety) would *not* have done so. I mean, come on! No Iraqi resistance groups took credit for it. Leaders of counter-Anglo-European groups pretty much all called for her release. There were even billboards up in Fallujah pleading her case. Even the current Emmanuel Goldstein, Abu-Zarqawi, reportedly asked her captors to release her. According to The Guardian,

Efforts were made to begin negotiations with her kidnappers but to no avail. Information campaigns were started and a poster showing Mrs Hassan holding a sick Iraqi child was put up on billboards across the capital. "Margaret Hassan is truly a daughter of Iraq. She is against the occupation," they read.

Her kidnappers were unmoved. At one point they threatened to hand her over to Tawhid and Jihad, the extreme militant group based in Falluja that is led by a young Iraqi named Omar Hadid and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the wanted Jordanian militant.

But Tawhid and Jihad, which has produced several videos of gruesome murders including that of Ken Bigley, the British contractor, promised to release Mrs Hassan if she was handed over to them.

Forget for a moment the fact that "There is an dictum in the Qur'an which forbids the killing of women; also, the killing of hostages," or the inconvenient fact that "Women are enjoined with special privileges in Islam and the Mujahideen are required to protect them under Shariah laws of Islam." Forget the lack of Islamic imagery/banners/koranic readings etc. that marked most other hostage videos produced by "insurgents."

No, instead we must ask, as has been done so many times, who benefits? Do the Iraqi people benefit from the execution of someone who devoted much of her life to helping them? Do the insurgents benefit from the execution of the innocent leader of an international aid group? Or, do Bush and his War Cronies benefit from the image that now exists (which conveniently superceded the image of a U.S. Marine executing, in cold blood, an unarmed, wounded combatant) of "Muslim extremists" and "Iraqi insurgents" as individuals who are so barbaric that they'd even kill a friend to prove a point?

When will people start to realize that no evil is outside of the scope of BushCo and its System? Election fraud on a vast scale, genocide, the levelling of entire cities and the murder of innocents are nothing to these evil individuals, because in their world there is only one distinction to be made: will this fit into my pocket (or will it help put things in my pocket), or is it a disposable object? That's it-- that's all there is. If it's not something that will directly assist their grab for wealth and power, it's something that can be destroyed. Why do people trust BushCo? Why do otherwise sane "liberals" trust the validity of the election? Why do otherwise reasonable people believe that "Unnamed Iraqi Insurgents" killed Margaret Hassan, against *all logic, and even evidence to the contrary!*

I'll say it again: objectification of the individual to further one's own end is the well from which evil springs. BushCo are masters of objectification-- "the Iraqi people," "insurgents," "gays," "liberals," etc. etc., and once something is an object, it has no intrinsic individual value and can be destroyed. Poor Margaret Hassan became an object (as do any who stand in the way of the Black Iron Prison), and is only the latest victim in what may be a long and vicious tidal wave of evil. May her peaceful soul find eternal peace.

Related Link: http://www.snant.com/fp/#110081727306218933
author by redjadepublication date Sat Nov 20, 2004 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This fatal compromise
By Ian Brown

....why hadn't Care International, which oversees Care's activities worldwide, suspended operations in Iraq, as other aid organisations such as Oxfam had done months before?

I cannot say for sure, but I believe the answer lies in a trend that has been developing among international aid organisations, or non-governmental organisations, since the mid-1980s. This was the time of the Ethiopian famine and Bob Geldof's Band Aid appeal, which raised millions of pounds for the victims. Most of the money was channelled through the NGOs, which almost overnight were transformed from small-scale charities into multi-million-pound institutions. Growth continued, indeed became a strategic aim for most. Care International spent £250m this year. Oxfam and Save the Children's budgets both exceed £100m.

Donations by the public, however, have not kept pace with the growth of the NGOs. Increasingly, they depend on government funding. And, whereas in the past, NGOs set strict limits to government funding in order to maintain operational independence, those limits have quietly been removed: Care UK received 64% of this year's funds from the Department for International Development. Care USA, which is by far the wealthiest member of the Care International family, received 75% of its annual expenditure of £320m from the US government.

Care can no longer claim to be an independent NGO. All its operations, including those in Iraq, will depend to a degree on US government funds and, to coin a phrase, you don't bite the hand that feeds you. In many countries, close links to the US government go unnoticed. Not so in Iraq. And there are clear indications that Care's operations in Iraq were compromised by links to the US and UK administrations.

While Margaret is on record as condemning the invasion of Iraq, Care headquarters profess only to being "deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Iraq".

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1354716,00.html
author by Brian Vernonpublication date Sun Nov 21, 2004 19:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One thing you have overlooked. Margaret was an Iraqi citizen. she was married to an Iraqi for almost 30 years. Margaret has 3 children ( I do believe) from that marriage.
Had her agency "ceased operating" Margaret given her track record of "tireless work" would have reamined and undoubtably carried on given her vast "on the ground" knowledge of both the country and the peoples needs. This woman was practically a saint in Iraq.

Why she was kidnapped reamins a mystery. No demands were ever made. ( That we know of. Bertie?) No group claimed responsibility for her murder. All of the "insurgent" groups including that of the ehtereal Abu Mussab al Zarqawi called for her release.

Margaret was kidnapped 3 weeks before the attack on Fallujah. In my opinion for what its worth - she was a WMD. A weapon of mass deception.

An intelligence asset for the dark days ahead. With the planned assault of Fallujah likely to throw up unpalatable stories and images of American brutality.

And guess what? Right on cue too.

author by fwd: Larry Chinpublication date Tue Nov 23, 2004 00:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Long cut and paste comment snipped. Please don't cut and paste information that is available online. We thank you for drawing our attention to it, but providing a URI and summary is most useful. I've done that below. R. Isible 1 of IMC Editorial Larry Chin draws a link between executions of "westerners" and military setbacks or embarrassing or negative incidents for the "coalition forces" in two articles which explicitly argue that these atrocities are the work of "western" Intelligence operations. Read the full stories here:

Related Link: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHI411C.html
author by Brian Vernonpublication date Tue Nov 23, 2004 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Official Documents released in 100 years will reveal that Margaret Hassan was indeed kiled by the British or it's "bitches" as a counter insurgency ploy.

The insurgent's recently released 2 women relatives of the puppet Allawi whom they had kidnapped. This was played down in most medias. One would think they would have been valuable currency in the kidnap stakes. Why hand them back? Because they were women that's why, and one was pregnant. Did that ever stop an American bomb being dropped? "Hang on Chuck, we can't drop this bomb that lady is pregnant". Did it fuck!

Margaret Hassan will and I hope be remeberd by the remaining people of the "new Iraq" (post invasion), and her killers jailed, and those who gave the order executed live on Fox Net.

If the US/UK suceed in subjugating the people of Iraq by massive military strength they will have also have succeded in creating the largest military base in the world that conveniently sit's astride an ocean of oil. The consequences of this are unimaginable!

author by Cookstownpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 00:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Her Irish passport is only held for strategic reasons, she comes from a strong unionist Armagh family.

author by Dublinpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 01:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If she is from Armagh then she is Irish, just like me and you, 'Cookstown'.

author by wilpublication date Sat Nov 27, 2004 00:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

re: hussan
by FF Saturday, Nov 13 2004, 7:31pm
spoken like a al-queada propagandist . This brings the 'radical left's' anti-irishness to new extremes.
treson and nothing short of it- you deserve anything that might happen!

i dont think any apparently typical left 'anti irishness' has anything to do with a theory suspecting sh*te-Hawk bertie of lying... (again)

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