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23 JULY

MI6 HEAD EXPLAINS THE NEED TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC OVER IRAQ WMD INTELLIGENCE.

23 July 2002 – On returning from the Washington, the MI6 head Richard Dearlove is summoned by Blair to join a hastily arranged meeting in the Prime Minister’s office with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon,  Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, Cabinet Secretary Richard Wilson, Chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee John Scarlett and Chief of the Decence Staff Admiral Mike Boyce.

Dearlove explained that “Bush’s public statements that war (with Iraq) would be a ‘last resort’ were untrue. Military action was now seen as inevitable.” Now the task for the government would be to bring the public around to supporting the military option and in order to do that “the intelligence and facts” about Iraq’s supposed possession of WMD would be “fixed around the policy.”(1)

Everyone in the room was sworn to secrecy and at the same time reminded that most of Blair’s cabinet were to be left in the dark. Deceit, disguised as pragmatic discretion, was of the utmost importance if they were to embark on a war which the vast majority of the population would be likely to oppose.

CHURCHILL JUBILANT AT THE POSSIBILITY OF NUCLEAR ATTACK ON RUSSIAN CITIES.

On 23 July 1945, soon after hearing news of the first successful American testing of an atomic bomb in New Mexico, British prime minister Winston Churchill expressed his exuberant enthusiasm at the idea of threatening nuclear attacks on Russian cities during a lunch with his foreign secretary Anthony Eden and three leading Chiefs of Staff.

Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke remarked in his diaries that Churchill seemed “completely carried away” and “pushing his chin out and scowling,” boasted “now we could say that if you insist on doing this or that, well we can just blot out Moscow, then Stalingrad, then Kiev, then Kuibyshev, Kharkov, Sebastopol etc etc.” (3)

SHELL OIL PRESSURES BRITAIN TO BACK A COUP IN OMAN

23 July 1970 – The British backed a coup in Oman to install the Sultan’s son, Qaboos, after they became increasingly worried of “loosing” the oil rich Dhofar province of Oman to a popular insurgency by Leftist rebels.  In the worst scenario, they feared a domino effect, with the virus of independent secular nationalism spreading across Oman which might then infect the rest of the Gulf monarchies.

The Whitehall policy makers and planners were not of course making their own policy in a vacuum. One corporation in particular had a decisive influence on events. Historian Rory Cormac observes that British officials “came under pressure from the Shell Oil company” to instigate the coup.

The British military in particular had been reluctant since the plan required British soldiers in the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) to topple and, in the event of resistance, possibly murder their own commander-in-chief.  A blatant and embarrassing crime should it be exposed, which is why it was eventually decided that the SAF only be used in the last resort if Qaboos’ coup failed.  However, British military officers were still reluctant and the Foreign Office was eventually forced to promise that any action would not be traced back to London in order to secure approval from the Ministry of Defence.(4)

Fortunately the plan was executed with near perfection. Robert Kane, a British officer, led a small group of Omanis into the palace and although the sultan was able to escape into a locked room,  Kane was able to shoot his way through the door.(5) The sultan, who by now was suffering from four bullet wounds, agreed to be flown out of the country into a forced but comfortable exile in London’s Dorchester Hotel.

In 2005 a secret Foreign Office memo was briefly made public. It explained that the old Sultan’s British Defence Secretary, Colonel Hugh Oldman had authorised the coup which deposed him in order to protect British access to Omani oil and military bases.  The Foreign Office then withdrew the file, declaring that its release had been “an unfortunate error.”(6)

THE UK ADMITS IT HAS PERSONNEL IN SAUDI ARABIA IN THE TARGETING ROOMS, IMPLICATING ITSELF IN WAR CRIMES.

On 23 July 2018, in a carefully crafted and considered response to a question from Labour MP Keith Vaz, Alistair Burt, Minister of State at the Foreign Office admitted that British military personnel in Saudi Arabia did have “access” to the “targeting rooms” directing Saudi air strikes against Yemen.  A frank admission of Britain’s involvement in Saudi Arabia’s unsanctioned and illegal bombing of the country, which since 2015 had directly caused the deaths of over 10,000 Yemenis, most of them civilians, which together with a naval blockade, soon created what the UN declared was the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” with over 8 million people facing famine. There was sadly, but unsurprisingly, not a single article in the UK press in the following days mentioning the shocking revelation.(7)

 

FOOTNOTES

1. Tom Bower (2016) “Tony Blair: The Tragedy of Power,” Faber and Faber, London, p246

2. Tom Bower, Ibid, p247.

3. Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke,  (2001) “War Diaries 1939-45,” University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, p709

4. Rory Cormac (2018), “Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy,” Oxford University Press, Oxford p190.

5. Rory Cormac (2018), Ibid p191.

6. Ian Cobain (2017), “”The History Thieves: Secret, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation,” Portobello Books, London p91

7. Yemen – Military Intervention. Written Question – 163751 accessed online – https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-13/163751/

 

 

 

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