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Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Role In The World By Mark Curtis


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Blair To Order Invasion Force This Month - The Guardian 7th Of October 2002

"it is always a matter for individual member states as it is for the United Kingdom to determine whether or not force will be used" Troops decision up to PM, says Hoon, 11th of November 2002 The Guardian

"The UN can meet and discuss but we don't need their permission" US will attack without approval, The Guardian 10 Nov 2002

"of course we want to use the media, but the media will be our tools, our servants; we are no longer content to let them be our persecutors" The Spectator 25 Feb 2006 Peter Osbourne, Quoting Peter Mandelson, minister without portfolio under Blair

"The UK's main contribution was in terms of media operations." House of Commons, Defence Committee, Fourteenth report, session 1999/2000 Col. 238

"During the campaign, the UK played a leading role in 'rescuing' the NATO media operation" House of Commons, Defence Committee, Fourteenth report, session 1999/2000 Col. 254

"If a message will engender distrust simply because it is coming from a foreign government, then the government should hide that fact as much as possible. Increasingly, if a state is to make its voice heard and to influence events outside its direct control, it must work through organisations and networks that are separate from, independent of, and even suspicious of governments themselves. Three of the most effective mediums for this type of public diplomacy are NGOs, diasporas and political parties" Mark Leonard, 'Diplomacy by other means', Foreign Policy, The 9th of November 2009

Air strikes on Iraq rise sharply, Julian Borger in Washington Fri 6 Sep 2002

Blair says UK must pay US ‘blood price’ Patrick Wintour, Nicholas Watt and Kevin Maguire Fri 6 Sep 2002

Richard Norton-Taylor, 'Britain and US step up bombing in Iraq', Guardian, 4 December 2002

"Since patrolling of the northern and southern Iraqi No-Fly-Zones began (in 1991 and 1992 respectively), the RAF have flown a total of some 15,500 sorties in the zones" Mr. George Robertson, House of Commons, Hansard, 17 December 1998, Col. 652

Step-up in bombing of Iraq questioned Iraq: special report Richard Norton-Taylor Wed 7 Jun 2000

Allies taking aim at Iraqi regime Julian Borger in Washington on a new hard stance, Fri 5 Feb 1999

"Leslie Stahl: "We have heard that a half million children have died (as a result of sanctions against Iraq). I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeleine Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." 60 minutes Interview with Madeline Albright 1996 Clinton's secretary of state, commenting on the sanctions on Iraq

"this policy constitutes genocide and Washington and London are responsible ... It... is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq . . . We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is illegal and immoral." Dennis Halliday, Cornell Chronicle, October 1st 1999, other sources, Ghandi peace award 2003 acceptance speech

"The UK and the US, as permanent members of the [UN security] council, are fully aware that the UN embargo operates in breach of the UN covenants on human rights, the Geneva and Hague conventions and other international laws . . . The two governments have consistently opposed allowing the UN security council to carry out its mandated responsibilities to assess the impact of sanctions policies on civilians. We know about this first hand because the governments repeatedly tried to prevent us from briefing the security council about it" Hans von Sponeck and Dennis Halliday, 'The hostage nation', Guardian, 29 November 2001

"The most recent report of the UN secretary-general, in October 2001, says that the US and UK governments' blocking of $4bn of humanitarian supplies is by far the greatest constraint on the implementation of the oil-for-food programme. The report says that, in contrast, the Iraqi government's distribution of humanitarian supplies is fully satisfactory (as it was when we headed this programme). The death of some 5-6,000 children a month is mostly due to contaminated water, lack of medicines and malnutrition. The US and UK governments' delayed clearance of equipment and materials is responsible for this tragedy, not Baghdad." Hans von Sponeck and Dennis Halliday, 'The hostage nation', Guardian, 29 November 2001

Scott Report - British Arms deals to Iraq in 1980s

Britain's Arming and backing of Saddam - Financial Times 2011 December 30th, 27th of Guardian 2003, Discussion of the Scott report in parliament

United States dual-use exports to Iraq and their impact on the health of the Persian Gulf war veterans : hearing before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, second session... May 25, 1994, The Riegle Report - US supplying chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein

"The figures show that Britain delivered more weapons (£68 million worth) to Turkey in 1994 – the year Ankara began major offensive operations against the Kurds – than in previous years. Exports trailed off the following year and reached a new peak of £107 million in 1996" Mark Curtis Web Of Deceit Page 39, House of Commons, Hansard, 15 January 1998, Col. 272

"Britain also provided export credits for arms and military equipment in this period, reaching £265 million worth in 1995." Mark Curtis Web Of Deceit Page 39, House of Commons, Hansard, 27 April 1988, Col. 27

Kurdish-Turkish conflict

3,000 Kurdish Villages destroyed, 1980s to mid 1990s - Still critical Human Rights Watch, March 2005, Wiki

Jonathan Steele, 'Forgotten victims', Guardian, 20 May 2002;

Jonathan Steele, 'Fighting the wrong war', Guardian, 11 December 2001

"Many of the people in the village then ran out of their homes, afraid that the bombs would fall on the homes. All witnesses stated that aircraft then returned to the area and began firing from guns. Many of the civilians were killed from the firing. The bombing and firing lasted for about one hour." HRW, 'Afghanistan; New civilian deaths due to US bombing', 30 October 2001 (At least twenty-five, and possibly as many as thirty-five, Afghan civilians died when U.S. bombs and gunfire hit their village, Chowkar-Karez)

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

British Training of the Mujahedeen in Scotland and other bases in the UK in the 1980s. Ken Connor (Ex SAS) The Ghost Force; The Secret History Of The SAS, Page 278

"The implications of an open-ended war on terrorism – particularly one that will address the problems of collapsing and failed states which create the political space for terror and crime networks to operate – suggest that operations in central Asia, East Africa, perhaps the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere, will become necessary as part of an integrated political and military strategy to address terrorism and the basis on which it flourishes." SDR, para. 129; Defence Committee, Second report, session 2001-02, 12 December 2001

"Opponents of this line criticise the humanitarian consequences of NATO's action, both because of the direct impact of air strikes on Serb civilians, and also because in their view air strikes provoked a humanitarian catastrophe rather than preventing one" Foreign Affairs - Fourth Report, Kosovo: The Military Campaign, 1999/2000, para 71 (Quote not in book, but a similar one).

"It is clear that, as some predicted, there was an escalation in the violence against the Kosovo Albanians after the bombing began. The OSCE monitors in Kosovo reported that "the level of incidence of summary and arbitrary killing escalated dramatically immediately after the OSCE-KVM withdrew on 20 March." They go on to report that "summary and arbitrary killing became a generalised phenomenon throughout Kosovo with the beginning of the NATO air campaign against the FRY on the night of 24/25 March" Foreign Affairs - Fourth Report, Kosovo: The Military Campaign, 1999/2000, para 86 (Quote not in book, but a similar one).

It is likely that the NATO bombing did cause a change in the character of the assault upon the Kosovo Albanians. What had been an anti-insurgency campaign – albeit a brutal and counter-productive one – became a mass, organised campaign to kill Kosovo Albanians or drive them from the country... The withdrawal of the OSCE monitors combined with the Serbs' inability to inflict casualties upon NATO during the bombing campaign led to an intensification of the assault on the Kosovo Albanians.." Foreign Affairs - Fourth Report, Kosovo: The Military Campaign, 1999/2000, Para 87-88 (Quote not in book, but a similar one).

"Whilst the strategy did in the end result in Milosevic withdrawing his forces from Kosovo, it did not achieve its aim of averting a humanitarian disaster" Defence Committee, Fourteenth report, session 1999/2000, 24th of October 2000, para. 299,

"The air strikes erased in one night the results of ten years of hard work of groups of courageous people in the non-governmental organisations and in the democratic opposition, who have not tried to 'topple' anyone but to develop the institutions of civil society, to promote liberal and civil values, to teach non-violent conflict resolution ... The Kosovo problem will remain unresolved and the future of democracy and human rights in Serbia uncertain for many years." The Belgrade Centre For Human Rights

"One interpretation of the oral evidence given to us by FCO officials is that they never really believed that Milosevic would sign at Rambouillet, but that. . . 'we had to go through a process', presumably with the aim of promoting unity among the international community in favour of military action by showing that Milosevic was unwilling to negotiate... Unless Milosevic could be blamed for the collapse of the talks, it would be difficult to justify the use of force against him." FAC, Fourth report, session 1999/2000, Para 66

"The provision of military assistance and training plays a very important role in the development of bilateral defence relations, the promotion of British influence and standing overseas, and in support to wider British interests including defence sales" Select Committee on Defence, Sixteenth special report, annex, Para 16 (slightly extended quote from than in book)

"some care must be taken to avoid giving the impression that our relationship is purely based on defence export marketing opportunities" Select Committee on Defence, Sixteenth special report, annex, Para 18

"Nearly 4,000 military personnel from over one hundred countries are currently being trained in Britain. These include such well-known defenders of democracy and human rights as Bahrain, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. British armed forces are also serving in around one hundred countries, including all those just mentioned" Web Of Deceit Mark Curtis Page 206, House of Commons, Hansard, 7 May 2002, Col. 42, and 10 June 1998, Col. 610

Former SAS officer, Peter de la Billiere, the commander of British forces in the 1991 Gulf War to eject Iraq from Kuwait, makes an extraordinary comment in his personal account of the war. He notes Saudi Prince Khalid telling him of his need to ensure that the Saudi ruling family remained in power after the war, to which de la Billiere replied: "I fully understood the Prince's difficulties and sympathised with him, but my understanding attitude was not entirely altruistic. As we, the British, had backed the system of sheikhly rule ever since our own withdrawal from the Gulf in the early 1970s, and seen it prosper, we were keen that it should continue. Saudi Arabia was an old and proven friend of ours, and had deployed its immense oil wealth in a benign and thoughtful way, with the result that standards of living had become very high. It was thus very much in our interests that the country and its regime should remain stable after the war." Peter de la Billiere, Storm Command: A personal account of the Gulf war, Harper Collins, London, 1993, Page 116 (The first bit written by the author)

British Military Training to Saudia Arabian National Guard - Para 65 and MoD memorandum to House of Commons Defence Committee, Thirteenth report

"If people knew the truth, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But they don't know and can't know." David Lloyd George confided to Scott in December 1917, according to the Guardian. (I couldn't find a primary source)

"I would have loved nothing better than to have served under your command in this great venture" Kermit Roosevelt quotes Winston Churchill as stating about the 1953 Iran Coup, Kermit Roosevelt, Countercoup: The struggle for the control of Iran Page 207

British treatment of the Mau Mau movement - Mau Mau torture claim Kenyans win right to sue British government, The Guardian 21 Jul 2011, BBC

"completely under the control of a communist clique . . . Their objective was to turn British Guiana into a totalitarian state subordinate to Moscow and a dangerous platform for extending communist influence in the Western hemisphere" Statement By Her Majesty's Government, Documentation of Communist Penetration in Latin America: Hearing, Eighty-Eighth Congress Page 198 (couldn't find British primary source) ( used for justification to overthrow the Guiana Government)

"I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change" Sir Andrew Gilchrist, the British ambassador in Jakarta, informed the Foreign Office on October 5 1965, The Guardian, Wiki (couldn't find primary source), A. Gilchrist to E. Peck, 5 October 1965, PRO, FO 371/180318, DH1015/187

"Hawks killed so many people in bombing attacks in 1978 and 1979 that today, whenever people hear the noise of the Hawks flying, they are scared and the authorities know they will not dare leave their homes." Sue Lloyd-Roberts,' British arms help Jakarta fight war against its own people', Independent, 23 October 2011

"We would not wish it to become general knowledge that some of the inhabitants have lived on Diego Garcia for at least two generations and could, therefore, be regarded as "belongers". We shall therefore advise Ministers in handling supplementary questions about whether Diego Garcia is inhabited to say that there is only a small number of contract labourers from the Seychelles and Mauritius engaged to work on the copra plantations on the Island… Should a Member ask about what would happen to these contract labourers in the event of a base being set up on the Island, we hope that, for the present, this can be brushed aside as a hypothetical question at least until any decision to go ahead with the Diego Garcia facility becomes public" House of Commons, Hansard, 9 January 2001, Cols. 182-3, cited by Tarn Dalyell MP

Unverified Sources

"neither the security council nor the general assembly could give us what we wanted" Anthony Nutting, No end of a lesson: The story of Suez, Page 58

“if our peers accept that what we are doing [in Iraq] is a proper, indeed a moral, response to the situation we face, it will become a building block for the development of international law” Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien said in a speech in September 2002

"if anything, the UK's efforts to shape perceptions were less efficient than they could have been" House of Commons, Defence Committee, Fourteenth report, session 1999/2000

"a crime against humanity, in the Nuremberg sense . . . The blockade is a weapon for the destruction of the masses, and it attacks those segments of the society that are the most vulnerable. Inherently, it attacks infants and children, the chronically ill, the elderly and emergency medical cases." Former US Attorney General Ramsay Clark

[Arms exports] are almost double those for 1987' and 'this substantial increase reflects the confidence of the British government in the long term strength of the Iraqi economy and the opportunities for an increased level of trade between our two countries following the ceasefire in the Gulf war" DTI press release November 1988

"The US has taken the 'Northern Alliance' into service through wooing and arming certain infamous warlords. By so doing, the US is in fact abetting the worst enemies of our people and is continuing the same tyrannical policy against the people and the destiny of Afghanistan which successive US administrations adopted during the past two decades." RAWA

"This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there ... If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great songs about us years from now." Richard Perle

"Anglo-American solidarity was of overriding importance to us and to the West as a whole. I believed that even if we did not entirely see eye to eye with the United States government in their treatment of the Guatemalan situation, we had an obligation as their principal ally to go as far as we could to help them" Anthony Eden Full Circle Page 135

"Evidence exists that entire apartment districts of Moscow were blown up by the special services in order to incite hatred against the Chechens. Chechnya was used for political goals. It permitted Putin and the KGB to return to power . . . What the Russians are doing in Chechnya is no less a crime than what Milosevic did in Kosovo, but Milosevic is in the Hague while Putin for some reason is not" Chechnya Weekly, 9 April 2002

"The position of the armed forces in Indonesian society is such that its members are important decision-makers and opinion formers . . . Up to 40 per cent of the participants in Indonesia's political fora are drawn from the armed forces and they are a target for support under FCO schemes in Indonesia." Memorandum by Tapol to the FAC, Third report, session 1993-94,13 July 1994

"burnt down rebel villages and shot their goats and cows. Any enemy corpses that we recovered were propped up in a corner of the [main city's market] as a salutary lesson to any would-be freedom fighters" dhofar: britain's colonial war in the gulf, london, january 1972, Gulf Committee

"There is no freedom of information in this country; there's no public right to know. There's a common-sense idea of how to run a country and Britain is full of commonsense people . . . Bugger the public's right to know. The game is the security of the state – not the public's right to know." Bernard Ingham

"the Americans would be more likely to work with us if they saw the problem as one of containing communism rather than restoring the position of the AIOC" memorandum by s. falle, 4 august 1952, pro, fo 248/1531

"if our action can be presented as firm step taken to prevent attempt by communist elements to sabotage new and progressive constitution, it will be welcomed by american public and accepted by most united nations opinion. if on the other hand it is allowed to appear as just another attempt by britain to stifle a popular nationalist movement... effect can only be bad ... to secure desired result some preparation of public opinion seems to be essential [sic]" uk delegation to the un to secretary of state for the colonies, 30 september 1953, pro, prem 11/827

"It is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters. If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia, as I hope one day there may be, I think we ought to take an active part and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves." M. Stewart to Prime Minister, 6 December 1965, PRO, FO 371/181477/IM 103145/19

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