2000-2009 | Afghanistan | Blair's crimes

27 OCTOBER

MAIN SQUARE OF JAFFA “STREWN WITH THE BODIES” OF ARAB PROTESTERS

[ 27 October 1933 ]

On 27 October 1933, a large crowd of Arab protesters assembled in Jaffa’s central square. They were outraged at injustices committed by a British run administration which refused to listen to the wishes of the Arab Palestinians who still numbered over three quarters of the country’s population.

PUBLIC KEPT IN THE DARK AS NUCLEAR BOMBERS READIED FOR ARMAGEDDON

[ 27 October 1962 ]

At 1.00 pm on 27 October 1962, Air Marshal Sir Kenneth Cross placed RAF bases housing sixty H-bomb tipped missiles and over 100 RAF nuclear V bombers on to alert level three.

BLAIR  – NO PAUSE IN AFGHANISTAN BOMBING FOR RAMADAN

A US B-52 Stratofortress flying over Afghanistan.
US Air Force via Wikimedia Commons.

[ 27 October 2001 ]

The United States and the United kingdom had been bombing Afghanistan for three weeks, when at a meeting of the War Cabinet on 27 October 2001, Tony Blair explained that there was a misunderstanding about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. According to Alastair Campbell, Blair’s director of communications, he stressed to ministers that ‘it was important not to let the sense build that there would be an automatic pause for Ramadan,’ but rather that ‘we should see Ramadan and winter as opportunities.’1  This was despite the obvious fact that the bombing had no UN mandate and in the face of a dire humanitarian situation within Afghanistan. This had been highlighted in Cabinet on 8 October by Clare Short, secretary of state for international development, who pointed out that five million Afghans were already short of food and in danger of starvation.2

The food scarcity was in part the result of a prolonged drought. Médecins Sans Frontières reported how ‘harvests have failed and livestock have been decimated. Seeds have been eaten and rivers have dried up, leaving too little water for drinking or irrigation.’ However, it explained that, due to Western military intervention, ‘the serious food crisis risks evolving into a famine. ‘ The bombing had forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. In the province of Kandahar, 100,000 were displaced, while in Herat, two refugee camps had to find food and shelter for over 228,000. At the same time , the conflict made it difficult for aid agencies to deliver even the most basic assistance.3

FOOTNOTES

  1. Alastair Campbell and Bill Hagerty, The Alastair Campbell Diaries: Volume 4 The Burden of Power Countdown to Iraq, Arrow Books, London, 2013, p. 70.
  2. Ibid., pp. 43-44.
  3. ‘Humanitarian aid and conflict don’t mix,’ Médecins Sans Frontières, 7 November 2001, accessed online at url https://www.msf.org/afghanistan-humanitarian-aid-and-military-intervention-dont-mix

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