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Posted Friday, January 21, 2005

There is a trial going on in Germany of three wretched British army squaddies, who were encouraged by their officers to vent their fury on ordinary Iraqis. There are candid snapshots of sex acts and violence, all simulated so we are told.

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January 21, 2005 (Friday)
London (England)

OUR bank account here is now all but empty, and the letter which came yesterday was, as I suspected, from the school about the bill. But the big reprint of "Nuremberg, the Last Battle" is now coming off the presses, the printer tell me today, and the super new edition of "Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden" follows next.

click for enlargementToday's The Daily Telegraph has a contemptuous headline about George Bush's inauguration speech yesterday: DEFIANT BUSH DOESN'T MENTION THE WAR -- a play on a famous Basil Fawlty line. Yes, the man in the White House is certainly no Roosevelt. Another paper, lying on a seat in the bus, also headlines that in his 2,000 word speech there was no mention of Iraq. It is the elephant in the drawing room, a colossal and bloody blunder that history will see no differently.

The whole episode in Iraq is what used to be called an ego-trip; but it would be an obscenity to call it that now, given the taking of a hundred thousand innocent Iraqi lives, justified by one lie after another, but really based on one black and sticky premise, spelt out in three letters: o-i-l. The real test will be if the US troops pull out at any time soon after the forthcoming "democratic election".

I would not bet on it. Hypocrisy now engulfs across the world, oozing forth, and sometimes even gushing, from the lips of Bush the Smirk and Mr Sanctimonious Blair.

The talk of democratic elections in Iraq is a laugh: how democratic are elections where the most popular political party, the Ba'ath Party is banned ?-- That is the party of which we wantonly killed 200 leading members, all non-combatants in the eyes of international law, known to be meeting in Basra, in a deliberate air attack when the war began.

Iyad AllawiWe know that the Iraqi citizens of Falluja, which is now somewhat flatter for having been cleansed by the Americans (with Tony Blair as a willing accomplice) have yet to receive their voting papers, and are unlikely to get them in time, given that they will now hardly vote for that nice Mr Iyad Allawi, left, the prime minister and serial-killer, who was appointed "by the UN", we are told, but is in fact still a stooge of his former MI6 and CIA handlers.

If the Nazis had allowed occupied Norway to vote for Mr Vidkun Quisling and his stooges, we would not have called that democratic, and I do not propose to bestow that graceful word on this disgraceful forthcoming farce either.


YES, the hypocrisy. There is a trial going on in Germany at Osnabrück of three wretched British army squaddies, who were encouraged by their officers to vent their fury on ordinary Iraqis. There are candid snapshots of sex acts and violence, all simulated so we are told. There is talk of a British "Abu Ghraib."

general Sir Michael JacksonGeneral Sir Michael Jackson, right, our commander in chief of the British Army, goes on television, seemingly after a large lunch -- and who would not be driven to drink by dancing to Geoff Hoon's tune? -- and roundly denounces these crimes: which after two days brings a sharp rebuke from the judge trying the case, the no less unfortunately named Michael Hunt, about the scathing press coverage and passing comments on a case while it is still in progress.

Unlike in the United States, this is usually frowned upon in England, though not always. I remember one morning, during the trial of my libel action against Deborah Lipstadt, trying to get Mr Justice Gray to issue the same rebuke, particularly to The Guardian, but he informed us loftily that he was above being influenced by such coverage, and no doubt he was.

Is this laughable "war crimes trial" in Osnabrück, this self-inflicted injury, perhaps just another sop to our friends in the Pentagon: hey, fellers, we were all doing it, not just your guys?

I am not impressed by this court martial. I stand back and think: Okay, it may well be an insult for an Iraqi to have the soles of somebody else's foot planted on you. But I can think of worse things. Even at Abu Ghraib, much of the "torture" appears to have consisted just of large and ugly dogs being told to yap at the prisoners, and prisoners being photographed with women's knickers stuffed on their head, and no doubt there is word in their Holy Scriptures that forbids other kinds of adjustment to a gentleman's dress too.

This is however unadulterated sophistry: If I were an Iraqi and given a choice, I would democratically vote for that kind of humiliation any day, in preference to being torn to pieces together with my family by a "coalition" Cruise missile, or a 2,000 pound "smart" bomb, smashing into my home at some airborne controller's behest.

One act is a crime, we are told, however, and the other is not. Sir Mark Thatcher is fined a quarter of a million pounds in South Africa, for plotting a regime change in Equatorial Guinea; George Bush and Tony Blair now pretend that they invaded Iraq to produce "regime change". One is a crime, the other is not. I don't get it, and never will.

Get real about these "crimes", that is my advice to our current leaders; because even if you do not, one day history will.


 Osnabruck after bombing raid

WHICH brings me back to Osnabrück; we hear much word of that town these days. I have a picture of Osnabrück, taken on Sept 13, 1944, which recently crossed my desk as with my left hand, so to speak, I am digitally scanning my entire negative archives while I wait for the High Court to order the government Trustee to return the rest of my illegally seized files to me.

This bombing campaign was one of Britain's more auspicious war crimes, about which one hears nothing whatever nowadays, since our friends in the German government discourage talk about that war -- the bombing war, I mean. I daresay we sent over around a thousand bombers that day, and dropped several thousand tons of bombs on this little German town in 1945; it was a "disproportionate" act of war, aimed primarily at killing non-combatants, i.e. the kind which is now outlawed by definition under the Geneva conventions.

For some reason which escapes me, the British Army is still in Germany, sixty years later. The pretexts are now wearing pretty thin, I would have thought. When Joseph Stalin was alive, we might have had good reason to be there, and no doubt the Germans welcomed our presence; but hey, the old goat died in 1953. Nikita Khrushchev? Dead. Leonid Brezhnev? Mr Bush and Mr Blair, here's welcome news for you both: he's dead as well. And Blair's old idol Walther Ulbricht too.

The Wall has gone. The threat has gone. Those WMD of yours turned out to be fictitious. So what in heaven's name are we still doing in Germany? I know that Berlin is kindly picking up most of the tab, but couldn't we use those troops somewhere else right now -- donatefor instance, to light a firework up the backside of the IRA? Or -- now here's a thought -- to bring some relief to our hard pressed kinsfolk that Margaret Thatcher and her pals abandoned in Rhodesia and elsewhere?


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© Focal Point 2005 F DISmall David Irving