Peter Morgan

The Alternative Dossier 5: Chemical Reaction

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'A report came out of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] that they [the Iraqis] were six months away from developing a weapon. I don't know what more evidence we need. It threatens the US. It threatens Britain. The battlefield has changed. We are in a new kind of war.' Tony Blair on his way to meet George Bush, 7 September 2002

As Blair flew to the US to deepen his 'special relationship' with his dear friend George Bush, the 'proof' that Iraq was only a few months away from having nuclear weapons was building up. Or so Blair would have us believe. The IAEA was set up by the United Nations, and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of nuclear weapons treaties. It is also responsible for nuclear safety, energy and the like. To have proof from the IAEA about Iraq's nuclear capability would be conclusive.

The Alternative Dossier 3: An Inspector Calls

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'Saddam Hussein is a threat that has to be dealt with. He has twice before started wars of aggression. Over 1 million people died in them. When the weapons inspectors were evicted from Iraq in 1998 there were still enough chemical and biological weapons remaining to devastate the entire Gulf region.' Tony Blair, 10 September 2002

Blair and Jack Straw have repeatedly said that Unscom inspectors were evicted by the Iraqi regime in December 1998. In fact the US withdrew them. The government's dossier admits the inspectors were withdrawn, although it does also say they were 'effectively eject[ed]' (part 2,14), implying they were kicked out by Iraq. It took just a few hours from the removal of the inspectors to the start of the bombing by the US and Britain:

On 7 November 1998, 15 weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq leaving just a skeleton staff behind.

The Alternative Dossier Intro: War Weapons and Iraq

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The world's mightiest imperialist power is on the warpath again.

In place of the Cold War 'Truman Doctrine' comes the 'Bush Doctrine'--a declared right to pre-emptively attack in the cause of the amorphous 'war on terror'. US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has described this strategy as 'imperial but not imperialistic', a qualification which defies experience as much as formal logic. Despite massive global opposition to a course that is aggressively interventionist, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld axis is determined to invade Iraq and see to the unfinished business of the first Gulf War--'regime change'.

Put the Politics Back into Pride

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The future of London's annual gay and lesbian Mardi Gras is in doubt. Organisers claim it lost nearly £450,000.

They are now talking about selling the Mardi Gras to another company. This should come as no surprise--they did consider the idea of copyrighting the word 'Pride' a number of years ago.

This year's gay and lesbian Pride demonstration was one of the smallest for many years. Ten thousand marched in central London in July while 27,000 attended the Mardi Gras festival at Hackney Marshes. It was only five years ago that 50,000 marched and over a quarter of a million attended a free festival at Clapham Common.

A Shard Experience

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Review of the Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester. Opens 5 July.

The impact of war on the lives of ordinary people throughout the 20th and 21st centuries is the theme of this new site of the Imperial War Museum, which opens in Manchester at the beginning of July. Set on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, the spectacular new building is meant to signify the concept of a world shattered by conflict, a fragmented globe reassembled in three interlocking shards. These shards represent conflict on land, air and water. Visitors enter through the Air Shard, which is open to the elements.

Shaking Labour to its Core

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George Galloway speaks about the growing opposition to Bush and Blair's war.

What have been the effects of sanctions on the people of Iraq?

According to UN statistics well over 650,000 children under the age of five have died as a result of 11 years of sanctions. If you add to that the number of children over the age of five, as well as elderly and sick people, then the figure may reach 1.5 or 1.6 million Iraqis who have been directly slaughtered as a result of sanctions. This adds up to one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century, which one day a war crimes tribunal may be interested in investigating.

Dirty Business

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With New Labour facing yet another cash for favours scandal it's little wonder that the public consider them even more sleazy than the Tories.

Oh dear, oh dear. The old Tory governments of Thatcher and Major, New Labour assured us, were 'drowned in sleaze'. Corruption was their undoing, and the constant pledges of Labour's new, young, clean politicians, led by Blair, Brown and Mandelson, were going to clean up the whole mess. Now New Labour is back for a second term with an impregnable majority, and what is this? An opinion poll finds that the public consider New Labour even more sleazy than the Tories ever were! Blair and Co regularly mock and contradict that finding.

Political Fund: History in the Making

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An important conference of rank and file trade unionists is set to take place in London on 16 March. Organised by the Socialist Alliance, the conference will bring together shop stewards and union representatives, as well as other trade unionists to debate the issue of the trade union political fund and the financial links between New Labour and the unions. It will also discuss the campaign against privatisation.

So far over 600 trade unionists have registered and organisers are expecting the final number to exceed 1,000. Demand to register has been so great that an overflow room may be needed. There will be delegates from virtually every trade union. Over 55 union branches have already passed motions at either branch or branch committee level to send official delegations. There will also be executive members there from both Unison and Natfhe and the conference is supported by PCS general secretary elect Mark Serwotka.

Fifty Years of Subversion

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Review of 'Rogue State', William Blum, Zed Books £15.95

William Blum has written a devastating record of the history of US imperialism since the Second World War. A former State Department official, he left the US government in 1967 because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. Since then he has been concerned to expose the role of the CIA and other US government agencies in, as they say, 'defending' US interests throughout the world.

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