>Subject: Bombs over Baghdad
>Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 21:21:08 -0800
>Locked in an Orwellian eternal war
>By Robert Fisk
>In George Orwell's 1984, Oceania ?? in which Britain is "Airstrip One" ??
>is engaged in eternal war with Eastasia. Victories are constantly announced
> by the British government. Our battle with Eastasia, over the years, has
>become routine. In George Bush's 2001, the West is engaged in eternal war
>with Iraq. The "degrading" of Iraq's forces is constantly announced by the
>American and British governments. And on Friday, the mission of the planes,
> which have been bombing Iraq for 10 years, was officially announced by
>the American President as "routine".
>As in 1984, the characters in 2001 do not change. In 1991, defence
>secretary Dick Cheney and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Colin
>Powell were urging the bombers on to Baghdad with the backing of President
>George Bush. In 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney and secretary of state
>Colin Powell are urging the bombers on to Baghdad with the backing of
>President George Bush Jr. In 1991, the Beast of Baghdad was Saddam
>Hussein. In 2001, the Beast of Baghdad is Saddam Hussein.
>And woe betide us if we feel like Winston Smith, eternally feeding old
>newspaper cuttings into the oven. Bin those clippings about how we
>"defanged" Saddam in 1991. Forget the UN arms inspectors who would
>eliminate forever Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction". Make no complaint
>about the half-million Iraqi children who have died under UN sanctions.
>Destroy all reference to the New World Order.
>We are engaging ?? an Orwellian cracker this, from the Pentagon on Friday
>night ?? in "protective retaliation". And by yesterday morning, a military
>"expert" was on our very own BBC ?? its defence correspondent, Andrew
>Gilligan, no less ?? to announce that Iraq had acquired 30 surface-to-air
>missiles from Serbia and Ukraine to boost its military might. Really? Is
>this true? We in the West impose sanctions on Iraq so strict that we
>prevent the import of lead for schoolchildren's pencils lest it be put to
>military use; yet we cannot stop the Iraqis lugging anti-aircraft missiles
>over their border.
>When we started bombing in the no-fly-zones in the aftermath of the Gulf
>War 10 years ago, we did so in retaliation because the Iraqis shot at our
>planes, just as we supposedly did this weekend. When we fired 200 cruise
>missiles into Iraq just over two years ago, President Clinton ?? a brief
>interlude in the war between the Saddam and Bush families ?? told us that
>Saddam has "disarmed the (UN) inspectors". Tony Blair, agonising about the
>lives of British forces involved (all 14 pilots) told us ?? a real Orwell
>masterpiece ?? "we must act because we must".
>So what Newspeak do our masters produce for us this weekend? Why, our own
>Foreign Secretary Robin Cook tells us that Saddam ?? not sanctions ?? are
>to blame for all those Iraqi deaths. It was the same Mr Cook who has
>repeatedly and truthfully told us during this eternal war that Saddam has
>used gas "against his own people" ?? without mentioning the other truth:
>that he did so during an aggressive war with Iran in which we
>enthusiastically supported Saddam. So tell Winston Smith to burn all
>articles about a village called Halabja if they inconveniently mention
>Iran. Iraq's state television yesterday announces "an attack by American
>aggressors". The forces of Oceania, it seems, killed a woman and wounded 11
> civilians in the Eastasian capital of Baghdad. Oceania insists the
>attacks were aimed at "sites well away from civilian areas". The planes
>were "well within the 33rd parallel" ?? the limit of the self-appointed
>Oceanian no-fly zones -- and used "standoff" missiles to hit their
>When President Clinton faced the worst of the Lewinsky scandal, he bombed
>Afghanistan and Sudan. When he faced impeachment in 1998, he bombed Iraq.
>Faced with an explosion between Israelis and Palestinians, George Bush Jr
>bombs ?? why, Baghdad. And still Mr Cook tells the Iraqi people Saddam is
>their "problem". Note to Winston Smith: burn at once all references to
>George Bush Sr's 1991 call to the people of Iraq to overthrow Saddam and
>his subsequent willingness to let Saddam massacre the lot.
>Then there's that $29m aid package about to be handed over by Washington to
> the so-called opposition "Iraqi National Congress". Note to Winston
>Smith: place into the incinerator all newspaper reports about the
>Jordanian conviction for massive fraud of one of the INC's most prominent
>leaders. Let's keep it simple: Down with the brutal regime of Eastasia!
>Long live Oceania!
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