CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome): A new kind Of AIDS

February 8, 2013 § 4 Comments

CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome): A new kind Of AIDS

by Petros Arguriou

            During the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s a newly realized public health condition terrorized the world. They named it AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency  Syndrome.

 

Public health activists exercised tremendous pressure to politicians and scientists to find a quick solution to the problem. To meet their demands, a researcher monomaniacally sought to relate retroviruses to relate retro-viruses with pathogenesis, Robert Gallo, circumventing proper and descent scientific methods,  supposedly tracked down and characterized one retrovirus as “the cause of AIDS”.  Gallo, the godfather of a speculation that would become a scientific dogma, named “his” retrovirus HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

 

Soon after, a deadly drug regimen, AZT, withdrawn many years before from cancer therapy due to its unacceptable toxicity was recruited for the AIDS war.

A treatment had been found! An extremely deadly cure for an ill researched illness.

 

Public opinion was appeased, the world changed in a matter of days. Still, up today, no cure and no vaccine for AIDS/HIV has been found. Though AIDS/HIV turned out to be a huge commercial success, therapeutically it was not as successful. Therapeutically some claim antiHIV treatment to be a disaster.

 

The commercial and political success of AIDS/HIV created a pattern, sought to be repeated by numerous public health organizations and big pharma companies. It was a great business plan that involved industrializing medical science, dispersing promptly any reasonable doubt, getting out products (drugs) faster then ever before in the name of medical necessity and promoting or enforcing the use of dangerous drugs by destroying common sense through mega-doses of fear and guilt injected by the mass media. This fast-track of science, the industrialized science, the fast food science, junk science has replaced meticulous and proper science and has become the perfect model for all Novel Epidemics to follow with the latest example being the 2009 swine flu hoax.

 

The  degree by which AIDS/HIV science affected scientific reasoning and methodology can be clearly exhibited in the case of quite recent public health tragedy that has been fortunately averted, probably due to conflicting interests: The tragedy of turning the largely medically unexplored Chronic Fatigue Syndrome into  an AIDS/HIV like transmutable Syndrome. The AIDS/HIV establishment has made the post HIV medical research world after its own image, a world in which well situated yet rogue “science designers” have turned research into fashion. A scientific fashion that tailors Iron Maidens and forces each and every human being on planet Earth to wear them.

 

 

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), exactly like AIDS is a rather not well defined syndrome which comprises of various previously existing and non CFS specific symptoms. According to CDC  (Centers for Disease Control and prevention), CFS symptoms include: difficulties with memory and concentration, problems with sleep, persistent muscle pain, joint pain (without redness or swelling), headaches, tender lymph nodes, increased malaise (fatigue and sickness) following exertion, sore throat and some additional CFS accompanying symptoms may include irritable bowel, depression or psychological problems (irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks), chills and night sweats, visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain), allergies or sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, medications, or noise,brain fog (feeling like you’re in a mental fog)

difficulty maintaining upright position, dizziness, balance problems or fainting[1].

 

Now how could anyone believe that these symptoms could be attributed to a retrovirus, an entity that resemble the virus that is allegedly causing AIDS? What could the connection between CFS and AIDS/HIV possibly be?

 

There are definitely connections between CFS and AIDS and they are irrelevant to real science. Let us study them in details.

 

Since the AIDS era, and perhaps even earlier, viral causations have become very trendy and are attempted to be applied to a variety of very different disease conditions, from cancer to epidemics, even to Parkinson’s disease. In 2009, a US research team decided to apply novel epidemics science into CFS and embarked on their virus hunt. The reasoning behind the viral aetiology pursue resembled Gallo’s rise to prominence, a journey that began with his failed retroviral-cancer hypothesis which he successfully transmutated -like the good alchemist he was- into a retroviral-Immune Suppression dogma.

 

The same trajectory –from cancer research to Syndrome research – was followed in the case of CFS.

 

According to the US researchers exploring viral involvement in CF Syndrome, the reason for doing so was: “The recent discovery of a gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV), in the tumor tissue of a subset of prostate cancer patients prompted us to test whether XMRV might be associated with CFS. Both of these disorders, XMRV-positive prostate cancer and CFS, have been linked to alterations in the antiviral enzyme RNase L.”

 

Now why would someone try to relate CNF with retroviruses?

 

We have already spoke off scientific Iron Maidens that adjust pretty much everything to their proportions- regardless of the fact that Iron Maidens are torture instruments indented to crash anything inside of them.

 

The novel epidemics science or rather fashion is a unisex one size fits all craze that ousts or crushes proper science.

 

And it was exactly this scientific iron maiden that the parents of a young girl with CFS diagnosis attempted to evoke.

The Whittemores, a wealthy couple were deeply dissatisfied by the lack of progress in CFS research as their daughter received no help for her CFS condition.

 

They decided to devote money and time in establishing their own private research center to help uncover the secrets of the CFS origin and treatment to relieve their daughter from her condition.

To do that they hired a leading expert among others. The main expert of their choice was Judy Mikovits.

 

Mikovits worked in the National Cancer Institute under the famous Frank Ruscetti, one of the main contributors to the chain of scientific research that led to the “discovery” of “HIV”, a co-worker of Robert Gallo.

 

Her research involved retroviruses and their possible involvement in the immune function.

 

It would be fair to say that Mikovits belonged to the so called “Aids establishment”, a scientific priesthood that believes in the endless pathogenic capacity of retroviruses.

 

It would be exactly the same dogma that Mikovits would try to apply to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research once she was assigned to it.

 

This would not be the first time that the AIDS establishment would try to take over the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. During the 1990s,  previous attempt of a “hostile” scientific takeover of CFS failed.

 

 

The viruses that preceded the HIV discovery, the HTVL retroviruses were previously attempted to explain the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and make it look like AIDS, AIDSfy it, during the 1990s, an attempt which failed. An insider, Paul Cheney, celebrating the revival of the CFS/retroviral hypothesis, give us an account of the previous failure:

“Recently published in Science (2009) out of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute in Reno, NV along with The Cleveland Clinic and the National Cancer Institute (NIH) is the first convincing association of an isolated retrovirus with CFS.  The gammaretrovirus  XMRV was only recently discovered in 2007 at the Cleveland Clinic and cultured out of prostate cancer tissue from prostate cancer victims who had a rare mutation in the anti-viral RNAse-L pathway.  CFS patients also have unusual alterations in the same anti-viral pathway (1997) though different in its detail and far less rare.

Dan Peterson MD, a long time resident of Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe) and I worked for over eight years (1984-1992) to link CFS to a retrovirus.  Dan first sent five patient samples to Specialty Labs in 1985 to test for HTLV-1 and 4 of 5 were positive.  We did this due to incredible disturbances on flow cytometry of peripheral mononuclear cells producing elevated CD4/CD8 ratios due to CD8 depletion as well as scatter patterns (debris patterns) that the laboratory flow cytometrist said she had only seen in HIV infections. A radiologist at UC San Diego, on review, said our MRI brain scans done on CFS cases showing UBO’s (1988), looked exactly likes AIDS cases.  Repeat testing was negative for HTLV-1 and Dr. James Peters of Specialty Labs suggested these CFS patients might have a cross reacting and novel retrovirus that looks like HTLV-1. In 1986, I called the NCI and Robert Gallo MD, head of the foremost retrovirology laboratory in the world at the time, accepted Lake Tahoe samples for a year resulting in the association of an HHV-6A strain with Lake Tahoe CFS cases (1992), only previously linked to HIV infection.

While practicing in Charlotte, NC and based on continued evidence of unusual immune disturbances by flow cytometry including CD4 depletion (ICL) in 15% of CFS patients which was investigated in my clinic and dismissed by the CDC as clinically irrelevant and continued high RNAse-L activity (1994),  I contacted Elaine DeFreitas PhD at the Wistar Institute who ultimately found HTLV-II-like genes associated with CFS (1991).  Her work was unfortunately assaulted by the CDC that claimed either an endogenous RV sequence that lighted up in cases and controls using her primers (per Dr. J.W. Gow) or null responses to cases and controls (per CDC scientist). Elaine argued that these two scientists with diametrically opposing results manipulated the magnesium concentration which affects the primer stringency and got whatever result they wanted, to make their opposite claims.  Her proposal to physically run the assays side by side with the CDC scientists to see if these results could be replicated was dismissed by the CDC.  Dr. Gow would later publish his opinions (1992). Left unfunded by senior administrators at the NIH and the CDC, the search for a retroviral link in CFS dissipated and was lost until Judy Mikovits PhD, operating out of the independent Whitmore-Peterson Institutes, revived the long search.  I congratulate her and the Whitemore-Peterson Institute. [2]

 

There are lessons to be learned from the Cheney account of the CFS-retrovirus pursuit:

 

 

You change the method, you change the results. You change the parameters, you change the results. You manipulate the results, you change reality.

 

Since golden standards have been abandoned anything is possible. Change the primers, use PRC, splice it up, grow it and amplify it and you’ ll find a pot of viruses at the end of a Petri dish.

 

Changing primers and using even slightly different cell culture techniques can get you any result your heart desires: A novel retrovirus, XMRV and the cause and cure of Chronic fatigue Syndrome.

 

And a ticket to the Hall of Fame of Science.

 

More than decade later, with the Whittemore money and support, Judy Mikovits would become a modern dr Frankenstein and would try to revive the long dead retroviral CFR dogma.

 

And she would succeed. For a while Mikovits would deceive the experts, the media and the masses with a paper[3] (co-authored among others by Frank Ruscetti, one of the researchers who paved the way for Robert Gallo to “discover” the blockbuster HIV) that claimed that out of 101 CFS patients, 68 had a new retrovirus, the XMRV, the Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus.

 

The retroviral CFS revival, the new AIDS was triumphantly heralded by the mainstream media. The N.Y. Times described it as “As big splash from an upstart medical center”[4].

 

For a brief, CFS had become a new kind of AIDS. Judy Mikovits, the modern day Frankenstein had breathed life into his corpse-born monster. And she would use the ambrosia of monsters, fear, to breastfeed her monster into something the world have never seen before:

 

Mikovits, “invoking the world’s slow response to AIDS… warned that XMRV infection “could be the worst epidemic in U.S. history.”[5]

 

It would. If only Mikovits’ Lombardi’s and Ruscetti’s research was not replicated.

 

If only there were no conflicting interests inside the medical community.

 

If only the Psychiatric establishment hadn’t collided with the AIDS establishment as both had conflicting interests in the case of the CFS.

 

Probably fearing of losing a good part of a good disease (CFS) to the AIDS establishment, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, partially funded a new CFS research in UK patients.

Surprisingly, the new research did not replicate the original findings. On the contrary: The UK research found, none, not even one XM retrovirus particle[6]. It simply wasn’t there.

 

Two more researches, one with Danish patients and one with German ones, replicated the results of the UK study: no retrovirus to be found!

 

In the light of contradicting evidence, the Whittemore-Petterson institute tried to defend their findings and the scientific validity of the XMRV-CFS link. Among other arguments aiming to discredit the British study, or at least, its results, the institute argued that “different primer sequences and amplification protocol (were) used to find the virus.”[7]

 

Primers can make a result, primers break a result.

 

Ruscetti, a major league scientific player, a pop star of science did not receive the news of his “discovery” breaking up well. Who can easily accept rejection after all?

 

He went in denial. Denial then turned into anger as he attacked the Danish researchers questioning not only their scientific adequacy but their integrity as well: “ I don’t know how they get away ethically with this…I don’t think that is good science.” Ruscetti said.[8]

 

 

But the overwhelming evidence of the virus not being there forced Ruscetti to concede.

“I grew it with my own hands” he dramatically confessed to a fellow scientist[9] as if he was an obstetrician with a dead baby in his hands or a lover with a withered rose.

 

Ruscetti was the among those who initially grew the HTLV viruses as well, the viruses that led to the “discovery” of the “HIV” virus. With “their own hands”. Following a germane to CFS  protocol, Poiesz and Ruscetti gave us the HTLV viruses. Poiesz and Ruscetti  work was then usurped by Gallo. And Gallo did not stop his misconduct at disregarding and exploiting his co-workers, Poiesz and Ruscetti.  To “discover” “HIV” Gallo continued following cagey practices that should have made the scientific community wonder “how did he got away ethically with this?”. Practices that involved Gallo’s “mishandling” of a cell culture from Luc Montagnier and the Pasteur Institutes.[10]

 

But unlike the CFS/XMRV research, the AIDS/HIV research was never replicated. Thus, never proved or disproved.

 

The CFS/XMRV fiasco should instruct us to review Gallo’s research.

 

For Judy Mikovits, things got completely out of hand. Not only was  the CFS/retrovirus paper she co-authored with Ruscetti and Lompardi retracted from Science magazine in 2011[11], she was also locked out of her lab at the Whittemore-Petterson Institute.

 

Why would the Whittemores lock their main researcher out of their lab?

 

The answer is: Misconduct.

 

And misconduct evolved into something even more dire: Robbery.

Mikovits persuaded one of her post-grad students to enter the lab and remove notebooks and patient samples. The Whittemores sued Mikovits and she ended up spending five days in jail[12].

 

There are so much in common between the AIDS/retrovirus research history and the CFS/retrovirus research history that they should be studied in comparison to each other:

Common protagonists, instances of misconduct, luck of transparency, accusations of theft…

The parallels are drawn.

 

Fortunately, in the case of CFS/retroviruses research, sane science prevailed over lunacy and insatiable ambitions.

 

Mikovits intended to tie her retrovirus not only to CFS. She also attempted to connect it with Autism and Parkinson’s disease and turn them into AIDS like conditions.

Like an original doomsayer, she warned “of the worst epidemic in U.S. history”[13] less her work was taken seriously into account.

 

But would the consequences be if her research was not falsified?

 

There is only one world to describe a post Mikovits world: Nightmarish.

 

Already, in October 2009, the Whittemore-Petterson Instutite announced the development of a commercially available XMRV diagnostic test by VIP Dx.[14] Things were taking their course and few if any had any objections for something that could turn out to be as big and monstrous as AIDS. Because clearly there was an intention to AIDSfy Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. According to the XMRV-CFS link paper: “Finally, it is worth noting that 3.7% of the

healthy donors in our study tested positive for XMRV sequences. This suggests that several million Americans may be infected with a retrovirus”.[15]

 

What does this mean? If the retrofatigue theory had it’s way and if there were any conceivable human to human transmission pathways of the XMRV retrovirus, it would mean one and only thing: EPIDEMIC. Sound the alarms. A rough 4% of the human population would be put into lifetime antiretroviral treatment. Are you XMRV positive? IF you are, then, even if you haven’t developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome yet, a positive XMRV diagnosis would put you in the group of people likely to develop CFS and likely to spread it. Just like AIDS. So you would also be sentenced in a lifetime of toxic antiviral treatment. Just like AIDS. It is what Novel epidemics science would demand of you: to risk your life and jeopardize your health for a scientific fixation. XMRV would have become a new brand of AIDS.  And the world can hardly tolerate the old kind of AIDS.

 

This time around, we got lucky.


[15]  Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vincent C. Lombardi, Francis W. Ruscetti, Jaydip Das Gupta, Max A. Pfost, Kathryn S. Hagen, Daniel L. Peterson, Sandra K. Ruscetti, Rachel K. Bagni, Cari Petrow-Sadowski, Bert Gold, Michael Dean, Robert H. Silverman, and Judy A. Mikovits, Science,  8 October 2009

A small chronicle of the early days Of the Swine flu fraud

January 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

A small chronicle of the early days Of the Swine flu fraud

Petros Arguriou
(First Published in Nexus Magazine, August-September 2009 Issue)

Pigsfly

We are desperately in need of a new scientific discipline which we
should name “prognosticology”, the science that studies the way
in which predictions are made in science. For the last three
decades, there have been ample prognoses. Most of these have
been proven wrong or have constituted false alarms. Especially in the realm
of medicine, there seems to be a consistent mechanism that not only
inaccurately predicts but also invents pandemics and projects their
realisation into the near future.

The swine flu “epidemic” is the latest product of this pandemic
mechanism. And this medical mechanism that feeds on billions of dollars in
grants is just a part of an even greater mechanism. It is a device of the
“feartron”, this unfailing political machine that creates and manipulates fear.
In the public health domain, the mechanism pretty much started with the
AIDS epidemic. Monstrously wrong prognoses and estimates were made,
the world was seized with terror, and sexual behaviour was regulated by the
state. The AIDS theoreticians made panic-inducing estimates and overhyped
prognoses about the AIDS threat while receiving overwhelming support from
celebrities. It is typical that Oprah Winfrey herself stated on her show in
1988 that “one out of five heterosexuals could be dead of AIDS by 1990”. As
a matter of fact, these predictions failed to such an extent that in 2008 the
World Health Organization (WHO), under the overwhelming evidence of the
actual numbers and of previous statistical abuse, was forced to declare the
heterosexual AIDS pandemic over.

The mechanism continued to create post-pandemic imaginary universes
incriminating other viruses. Hantaviruses, the West Nile virus, the SARS
coronavirus and, more recently, bird flu strains of viruses have all been
morphed by the pandemic industry into malevolent entities that could bring
modern civilisation to an end, or at least to its knees. Trillions of dollars has
been spent on drug purchases and on drug and vaccine development.
In the case of West Nile Virus, the spraying of New York with pesticides to
get rid of the virus carriers, mosquitoes, caused a substantial ecological
disaster.3 The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) ghost pandemic
disappeared within a year, in mid-2003, never to reappear. And hardly
anyone remembers hantaviruses any more. From 2003 to 2009, fewer than
500 people were affected with bird flu, with fewer than 300 deaths,4 while the
annual common flu death toll ranges from 250,000 to 500,000 worldwide.5
It is obvious that common sense, as well as humanity, is being targeted
and victimised by “novel epidemics”.

The new virus on the block

The pandemics industry was desperately seeking for a new product, a fresh
approach. It found this in Mexico with swine flu. And Mexico is neither the
first nor the last station in the pandemics prognostics train of thought.
So far, the reasoning behind the pandemic prognostics has been ridiculously poor. Scientists have been desperately trying to connect the causal agent of the “Spanish flu” pandemic, which back in 1918–20 killed 50 to 100 million people, with present strains of viruses. Two researchers, Taubenberger and Tumpey, attempted to connect the 1918–20 virus with avian flu virus strains based solely on a permafrost sample. A
loose scientific connection created a very real tsunami of fear that swept through the world and crippled reason. The connection between the Spanish flu universal tragedy and novel epidemics is not novel at all.
In 1976, 13 cases of swine flu appeared among Fort Dix recruits. One case was deadly.
The then US President, Gerald Ford, perceived these swine flu cases to be an imminent
national health threat that had to be handled immediately at all costs. A mass vaccination program was initiated, ambitious enough to target all the US populace, but it was so incompetent that it had to be halted 11 months after it began. About one third of the US population received the emergency vaccine. This vaccine that was supposed to protect the people from a possible health risk from swine flu was possibly
associated with a very tangible and undesirable health threat. A few weeks after the vaccination program commenced, the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome rose sharply among those who were vaccinated. Guillain-Barré is an acute inflammatory demyelinating
polyneuropathy, an autoimmune disease that involves a misfiring of the immune system in response to foreign antigens. The relationship between vaccines and the quality of immune response that is mounted is still in question.
The reasoning behind such imprudent and rushed reactions over the 1976 swine flu cases was once again the possible connection between the presumed 1918–20 killer virus and the swine flu strains of viruses. And once again the prognosis was unsubstantiated and
caused much more harm than good. The same connection is being attempted with the current swine flu situation.
The 1918–20 pandemic was without doubt a disaster.
The word “disaster” literally means “bad star” in Greek.
And it is no coincidence, because everything that may resemble the 1918–20 “bad star” is instantly equated with pandemics. Pandemic predictions are like astrological predictions. Furthermore, they have systematically failed.
So, one should ask: why is it that failed prognostics and unsuccessful policies are consistently maintained and reproduced as if they proved themselves in any
conceivable way?

Tamiflu as a panacaea

Next, bird flu begets Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate), the commercially highly successful drug.
And now, swine flu is being treated with Tamiflu, which earns billions of dollars in profits for Roche, the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures and markets
the drug. But Roche is not the only company that benefits from Tamiflu’s sales going up. The drug’s rights are owned by Gilead. Former US Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld served as Gilead’s chairman, and he remained a substantial Gilead stakeholder
even after he joined the Bush administration in 2001.
It is surely not a crime to make some extra million bucks from a drug that saves the Earth from monster viruses. The only problem is that while Tamiflu
may be a huge commercial success, this does not necessarily make it a successful
treatment against flu viruses.
Back in 2005, US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt was commenting on Tamiflu’s effectiveness against bird flu: “Tamiflu is effective, or at least partially effective. We don’t know how effective it is against the virus.”
Some reports from health experts actually treating bird flu patients with Tamiflu were rather discouraging.
Despite the considerations about Tamiflu’s effectiveness in dealing with bird flu, now we are using Tamiflu to deal with swine flu as if the drug were some kind of anti-flu panacaea.

Drug-resistant viruses

It gets worse. Dr Anne Moscona, a professor of paediatrics, microbiology and immunology, has been warning us since 2005 about viral strains mutating and
evading the drugs that target them—a phenomenon known as drug resistance:
“This scenario, however, is potentially dangerous. Misuse of the drug [Tamiflu] could rob us of the advantages that neuraminidase inhibitors provide, by favoring the emergence of oseltamivir-resistant influenza virus…
“It is therefore worrisome that personal stockpiling of oseltamivir is likely to lead to the use of insufficient doses or inadequate courses of therapy. Shortages during a pandemic would inspire sharing of personal supplies, resulting in inadequate treatment. Such undertreatment is of particular concern in children—the main source for the dissemination of influenza within the community, since they usually have higher viral loads than adults and excrete infectious virus for longer periods. The habit of stopping treatment prematurely when symptoms resolve…could also lead to suboptimal treatment of influenza and promote the development of drug resistance.
“Could drug-resistant viruses then spread?…
“There have now been several reports that oseltamivirresistant influenza A (H5N1) viruses with the H274Y mutation have been isolated from humans with avian
influenza infection who were treated with oseltamivir.
The cases described by de Jong et al. raise the worrisome prospect that even with therapeutic doses, oseltamivir resistance may develop during the course of
illness and may affect clinical outcomes…
“Like any successful infectious agent, influenza virus will most likely evolve to evade
any single drug. By targeting several points in the viral life cycle simultaneously with different drugs, we are more likely to discourage the emergence of viruses that can resist all drugs at once. But we currently rely solely on the neuraminidase inhibitors—and solely on oseltamivir [Tamiflu] in many situations…”

Dr Moscona, unlike the pandemic prognostics, has been proved absolutely right.
But by now it may be too late. As reported in the New York Times (8 January 2009), 99 per cent of this season’s dominant flu strains are by now resistant to Tamiflu.
The astonishment of health expert Dr Kent Sepkowitz (Director of Infection Control at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York) at the extent of the phenomenon was such that he exclaimed:
“It’s quite shocking. We’ve never lost an antimicrobial this
fast. It blew me away.”

This is not the end of the story, but the beginning of a new, horrifying, public health chapter.

Superbug gyms

The conditions of modern living make us highly susceptible to the development and spread of a pandemic. Dense urban populations and regular highspeed circulations between them are favourable pandemic factors. However, these conditions are also met in the meat industry. An extensive global trade and the crowding of livestock so densely that we are never going to see its counterpart in even the most crowded of human cities are typical in this industry.
And it gets worse.
Sixty to eighty per cent of the overall US antibiotics production is absorbed by the
meat industry for non-therapeutic use, namely for growth purposes. That is, antibiotics are overused to make the animals grow bigger much faster, so the
industry can get more meat from one animal. Perhaps that would be okay if bugs didn’t have this nasty habit of developing drug resistance quickly and rendering the
available antibiotics useless and us helpless.

It gets even worse.
It has been shown that the meat industry–trained superbugs spread through air, water
and soil. Before the WHO and the media proclaimed swine flu as a pandemic candidate, a peculiar outburst of respiratory disease troubled the Mexican village of La
Gloria in mid-February 2009. Out of the 3,000 or so villagers, more than half of them were affected. Two infants died. Eyes turned in suspicion to a Smithfield Foods Inc. installation situated in Perote, 12 miles [~19 kilometres] from the village. Smithfield is the leading pork producer in the world, and its environmental record is far from flawless. According to the Guardian, the Supreme Court in October 2000 upheld a $12.6 million fine levied on the company by the US Environmental Protection Agency for polluting the Pagan River near Smithfield, Virginia. The Mexico City newspaper La
Jornada fearlessly presented the Mexican public with its own explanation of the strange
La Gloria disease: “According to state agents of the Mexican social security institute, the vector[s] of this outbreak are the clouds of flies that come out of the hog barns, and the waste lagoons into which the Mexican–US company spews tons of
excrement.”
This possible connection is far from well represented in the mass media, which choose the natural-born killer viruses theory over industry-created threats and pollutants including resistant, mutated microorganisms. After all, viruses, though microscopic, are easier to target: they don’t have lawyers to defend them or any political strings to pull.

The “industry is to blame” epidemic started to spread outside of Mexico. A Texas resident, Steven Trunnell, filed a wrongful-death petition on behalf of his late wife,
Judy Rodriquez Trunnel, a teacher who was eight months’ pregnant when admitted to hospital with swine flu on 19 April 2009 and who died on 5 May shortly after
her baby was delivered through Caesarean section.
Trunnell holds Smithfield Foods responsible for his wife’s death, as he thinks that the conditions in its installations are capable of generating a serious public
health threat. In the petition, filed on 11 May 2009, Trunnell states that “there may be evidence which links the creation of the newest strain of the deadly swine
flu…with Smithfield Foods’ humongous pig farm operation in Mexico, which, under the joint control of Smithfield Foods, has been allowed to lapse into a breeding ground of immense unsanitary proportions for a deadly virus”.
There is sound scientific literature to support such an hypothesis. It has been there for quite some time, but no one until now has ever dared challenge the meat barons. This is the first legal action of its kind, and it may create a precedent capable of changing the face of modern civilisation and force us to face the real manmade
threats instead of wasting billions of dollars in a senseless virus hunt. After all, small initiatives can bring about big changes.
This is an age in which values have to be reinstituted.
If life has value, then meat as a direct product of life should also posses nutritional, aesthetic, financial and “moral” value. We can no longer afford profit-mongering with what we eat. We can no longer afford cheap meat.
In fact, we need pricey, valuable meat. It is, after all, part of what we are made of. And no one wants to be considered as made of “crap”. It is time for the world to
begin the “no cheap meat” campaign. ∞

Endnotes
1. Tierney, John, “In ’80s, Fear Spread Faster Than AIDS”,
The New York Times, June 15, 2001
2. Laurance, Jeremy, “Threat of world Aids pandemic
among heterosexuals is over, report admits”, The
Independent on Sunday, 8 June 2008
3. Nadel, Laurie, “With Lobsters Scarce, Questions
Abound”, The New York Times, December 9, 2001
4. WHO, “Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human
Cases of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) reported to WHO”, 1
July 2009, http://www.who.int/csr/disease/
avian_influenza/country/cases_table_2009_07_01/
en/index.html
5. WHO, “Influenza”, Fact Sheet No. 211, April 2009
6. Taubenberger, J.K. et al., “Characterization of the
1918 influenza virus polymerase genes”, Nature 2005 Oct
6; 437:889-893;
Tumpey, T.M. et al., “Characterization of the
Reconstructed Spanish Influenza Pandemic Virus”,
Science 2005 Oct 7; 310:77-80
7. Gaydos, J.C. et al., “Swine Influenza A outbreak, Fort
Dix, New Jersey, 1976”, Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006
Jan; 12(1):23-8
8. Freedman, D.A. and Stark, P.B., “The Swine Flu
Vaccine and Guillain-Barré Sundrome: A Case Study in
Relative Risk and Specific Causation”, 15 August 1999,
http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~census/546.pdf
9. Schwartz, Nelson D., “Rumsfeld’s growing stake in
Tamiflu”, Fortune, October 31, 2005
10. “Is the US Ready for an Avian Flu Pandemic?”,
interview with Mike Leavitt by Brit Hume on 1
November 1, 2005, Fox News, http://origin.foxnews.com/
story/0,2933,174316,00.html
11. Moscona, Anne, “Oseltamivir Resistance –
Disabling Our Influenza Defenses [Perspective], New
England Journal of Medicine 2005; 353(25):2633-36,
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/353/25/2633
12. McNeil Jr, Donald G., “Major Flu Strain Found
Resistant to Leading Drug, Puzzling Scientists”, The New
York Times, January 8, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/
2009/01/09/health/09flu.html?ref=health
13. Mellon, M. et al., Hogging It!: Estimates of Antimicrobial
Abuse in Livestock, Union of Concerned Scientists
Publications, Cambridge, MA, January 2001
14. Campagnolo, E.R. et al., “Antimicrobial residues in
animal waste and water resources proximal to largescale
swine and poultry feeding operations”, Sci Total
Environ 2002; 299:89-95;
Chee-Sanford, J.C. et al., “Occurrence and diversity of
tetracycline resistance genes in lagoons and
groundwater underlying two swine production facilities”,
Appl Environ Microbiol 2001; 67:1494-1502;
Zahn, J.A. et al., “Evidence for transfer of tylosin and
tylosin-resistant bacteria in air from swine production
facilities using sub-therapeutic concentrations of tylan
in feed” [Abstract], J Anim Sci 2001; 79:189;
Chapin, A., “Airborne multidrug-resistant bacteria
isolated from a concentrated swine feeding operation”,
Environmental Health Perspectives, February 1, 2005
15. Tuckman, J. and Booth, R., “Four-year-old could
hold key in search for source of swine flu outbreak”, The
Guardian, 27 April 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/
world/2009/apr/27/swine-flu-search-outbreak-source
16. ibid.
17. Shlian, Deborah, “Swine flu related lawsuit and
updates”, http://www.examiner.com/x-9303-Miami-
Health-Care-Examiner~y2009m5d20-Swine-flu-relatedlawsuit-
and-updates

Dead by propaganda: Saddam Hussein’s futile plea for peace and the pre-fabricated Persian gulf wars

February 24, 2011 § 6 Comments

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. Saddam’s reign produced a long record of crimes against humanity: hundreds of thousands of Iranian soldiers and Kurdish dissidents died from the usage of forbidden chemical weapons during the savage eight-year Iran-Iraq war  (1980-1988).

Dead by propaganda:

Saddam Hussein’s futile plea for peace and the pre-fabricated Persian gulf wars

by Peter Arguriou

A less well-known fact however, is that Saddam Hussein was an ardent supporter of the US-Iraq friendship and that  Hussein and consequently, the Iraqi people fell victims to the US war propaganda and its cynical, almost hostile stance towards the majority of the Arabic world, a stance highlighted by Henry Kissinger’s famous statement on the Iran-Iraq war: “It is a pity they both can’t lose.”[1]

Indeed, it appears that the U.S. sought to establish a balance of terror in the region, funding and arming not only its implacable friend, Iraq but also their ally’s foe, Iran.


U.S Middle East policies were dishonest, one might say even scandalous.

During the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. administration covertly used an Italian Bank to make loans to the Hussein regime and subsequently attempted to disguise the case. The late Tom Landos, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives  and a supporter of the first U.S. invasion in Iraq, sketched the details and the essence of a case that would be described as “Iraqgate”:

As the Saudi Ambassador, Prince Bandar, was urging Mr. Bush and Mr. Baker to buy the friendship of the Iraqi dictator in August 1989, the F.B.I. uncovered a huge scam at the Atlanta branch of the Lavoro Bank to finance the buildup of Iraq’s war machine by diverting U.S.-guaranteed grain loans.

Instead of pressing the investigation or curbing the appeasement, the President (G.W. Bush) turned a blind eye to lawbreaking and directed another billion dollars to Iraq. Our State and Agriculture Department’s complicity in Iraq’s duplicity transformed what could have been dealt with as `Saddam’s Lavoro scandal’ into George Bush’s Iraqgate.

The first element of corruption is the wrongful application of U.S. credit guarantees…

Second element of corruption is the misleading of Congress…

Third area of Iraqgate corruption is the obstruction of justice…

Policy blunders are not crimes. But perverting the purpose of appropriated funds is a crime; lying to Congress compounds that crime; and obstructing justice to cover up the original crime is a criminal conspiracy.”[2]


During the Iran-Iraq war the U.S. would take sides. It would align themselves with the Iraqi dreaded dictator, Saddam Hussein. It would provide the Iraqi regime with information of strategic value, financial assistance and would equip Iraq with dual use vehicles and equipment.

At the same time, however, the U.S. would indirectly sell weapons to Iran through Israel. With the money amassed from the weapons sales to Iran, the US intended  to fund the Honduras based  paramilitary organization of the Contras, seeking to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The Contras have been accused several times of basic human rights violations. According to the  human rights organization CIIR (The Catholic Institute for International Relations): “The record of the contras in the field, as opposed to their official professions of democratic faith, is one of consistent and bloody abuse of human rights, of murder, torture, mutilation, rape, arson, destruction and kidnapping.[3]
U.S. Iraqi policies are characterized by hypocrisy, duplicity and are determined exclusively by the U.S. Middle East agenda regardless of the Arabic’s world stance, exhibiting a narrow-minded and monolithic U.S. approach. The Pro-American sentiments of the executed Iraqi dictator Hussein mattered not to U.S. Middle East policymaking.

A typical example of U.S. duplicity is how they treated Iraq in relation to the issue of global terrorism.

In 1982 the U.S. would remove Iraq from the list of “states sponsors of terrorism” so that they could provide it with armaments and financial “aid” in its war against Iran.

After the Iraqi invasion in Kuwait in 1990, Iraq would be redefined as a state that sponsors terrorism.

In 2004 Iraq, essentially under U.S. occupation, would be once more removed from the terror-states list.

Once more, it is crystal clear that the definition of terrorism is a geopolitical artifact. It also solely reflects the US geopolitical agenda and not the state of the world.


The U.S. policies double standards are not exhausted in terrorism definitions. They expand to the labeling of unquestionable facts: In March 1988, Iraq employed chemical weapons to attack the Kurds in Halabja. The death toll of this murderous attack is absolutely horrifying: 6800 Kurds died- most of them civilians.

The U.S. did not only turn a blind eye on the despicable attack; they also engaged in distorting and obscuring hard facts and in manipulating the international public opinion by deliberately and fraudulently involving Iran in a hideous war crime produced exclusively by the Iraqi regime. The U.S. created a smokescreen to confuse the international community regarding the true perpetrators of the Halabja atrocity, thus shielding their former ally Saddam Hussein against international condemnation.

The genocide committed by the Iraqis was shamefully turned by the U.S. propaganda into an incident where citizens were caught in a crossfire, an incident of collateral damage, into an unpleasant side effect of war.

The US covered genocide, deliberately and methodically.

According to Joost Hiltermann’s article in the International Herald Tribune, the U.S. propaganda  that claimed Iranian involvement in the Halabja massive war crime was prepared by the Pentagon and was circulated to U.S. allies by U.S. ambassadors who were instructed to promote the fable and avoid to discuss the details of the incident, details that could expose the U.S. propaganda for what it really was.[4]

The Halabja attack was a violation of human rights, a war crime and a genocide.

It was also a breach of the rules of engagement and of the chemical weapons convention. The U.S. condoned all of the aforementioned by protecting and supporting its strategic ally, Saddam Hussein.


It seems that treaties are made to be broken… The U.S. played down the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqi offenders during the Iran-Iraq war. More than a decade later, the US would all of a sudden evoke in their geopolitical memory the obsolete and by then crumbling Iraqi arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and use it as an excuse to invade Iraq.

In the chessboard of geopolitics, truth is often treated as a pawn to be exchanged for profits.

The U.S. knew all too well about the existence and the extend of the Iraqi WMDs because it was the U.S that provided Iraq the building blocks of its WMD arsenal.
The U.S. was probably the main supplier of materials the Iraq would use to develop its Weapons of Mass Destruction program, especially biological agents: in 1994 Senator Donald Riegle delivered a relevant report known as the “Riegle Report”[5]. According to its findings: “Records provided by the supplier show that, from at least 1985 through 1989, the period for which records were available, the United States government approved for sale to Iraq quantities of potentially lethal biological agents that could have been cultured or grown in large volume in an Iraqi biological warfare program. These exported materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.”

Among these materials were anthrax spores.

During the Iran-Iraq war, when the illegal WMD shipments took place, Donald Rumsfeld, US defense secretary during Gulf War II, was a member of the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and at the same time a special envoy to the Middle East…

Not only did the U.S. encourage the bloody Iran-Iraq war, not only did they turn a blind eye on the horrific war crimes and the Iraqi WMD attack on Halabja, but they were also to blame for the development of the Iraqi arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction as they were instrumental in supplying materials for its creation, thus violating international disarmament treaties.

By the time the U.S. used the WMD threat claim to attack Iraq, the Iraq was financially wrecked and totally incapable of maintaining its WMD arsenal.


After the Iran-Iraq war and the “help” it received from its war buddies, Iraq found itself in a dire position. The war debt of Iraq  to its Arab allies alone amounted to 130 billion U.S. dollars. Iraq owed to Kuwait alone about 14 billion dollars. Despite repeated Iraqi pleas, Kuwait refused to cancel the debt and lower the price of oil, thus depriving the staggering Iraqi economy from vital oil revenues. Kuwait’s denial to recognize and soothe the Iraqi financial plight is perceived by Iraqi leadership as an act of economic war. Hussein is in despair. As evidenced by a recent  wikileaks cable, Saddam Hussein in July 1990 dispatched a message of good will and an offer of friendship to the then President George W Bush. Saddam strived to explain Iraq’s plight to the U.S. and exhibited a strong, yet unattainable commitment to maintain peace in the region. The then U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie, summarized Hussein’s thesis’, sketched  his desire for US-Iraq friendship and communicated his plea to stop encouraging Kuwait’s and the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) aggressive petroleum policies that were deeply hurting the exhausted from the war Iraqi economy to the US:

‘Saddam wished to convey an important message to president Bush: Iraq wants friendship, but does the USG? Iraq suffered 100,000’s of casualties and is now so poor that war orphan pensions will soon be cut; yet rich Kuwait will not even accept OPEC discipline. Iraq is sick of war, but Kuwait has ignored diplomacy. USG maneuvers with the UAE will encourage the UAE and Kuwait to ignore conventional diplomacy. if Iraq is publicly humiliated by the USG, it will have no choice but to “respond,” however illogical and self destructive that would prove…

Saddam, whose manner was cordial, reasonable and even warm throughout the ensuing two hours, said he wished the ambassador to convey a message to president Bush. Saddam then recalled in detail the history of Iraq’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations and its postponing implementation of that decision at the beginning of the war, rather than be thought weak and needy. He then spoke about the many “blows” our relations have been subjected to since 1984, chief among them Irangate. It was after the faw victory, Saddam said, that Iraqi misapprehensions about USG purposes began to surface again, i.e., suspicions that the U.S. was not happy to see the war end.

Picking his words with care, Saddam said that there are “some circles” in the USG, including in CIA and the state department… who are not friendly toward Iraq-U.S. Relations[…]

[…]Iraq, the president stressed, is in serious financial difficulties, with 40 billion USD debts. Iraq, whose victory in the war against Iran made an historic difference to the Arab world and the west, needs a Marshall plan. But “you want the oil price down”, Saddam charged.

Resuming his list of grievances which he believed were all inspired by “some circles” in the USG, he recalled the “usia campaign” against himself, and the general media assault on Iraq and its president.

Despite all these blows, Saddam said, and although “we were somewhat annoyed”, we still hoped that we could develop a good relationship. But those who force oil prices down are engaging in economic warfare and Iraq cannot accept such a trespass on its dignity and prosperity.

The spearheads (for the USG) have been Kuwait and the UAE, Saddam said. Saddam said carefully that just as Iraq will not threaten others, it will accept no threat against itself. “We hope the USG will not misunderstand: Iraq accepts, as the state department spokesman said, that any country may choose its friends. but the USG knows that it was Iraq, not the USG, which decisively protected those USG friends during the war and that is understandable since public opinion in the USG, to say nothing of geography, would have made it impossible for the Americans to accept 10,000 dead in a single battle, as Iraq did.”

Saddam asked what does it mean for the USG to announce it is committed to the defense of its friends, individually and collectively. Answering his own question, he said that to Iraq it means flagrant bias against the GoI.

Coming to one of his main points, Saddam argued that USG maneuvers with the UAE and Kuwait encouraged them in their ungenerous policies. The Iraqi rights, Saddam emphasized, will be restored one by one, though it may take a month or much more than a year. Iraq hopes the USG will be in harmony with all the parties to this dispute.

Saddam said he understands that the USG is determined to keep the oil flowing and to maintain its friendships in the gulf. What he cannot understand is why we encourage those who are damaging Iraq, which is what our gulf maneuvers will do.

Saddam said he fully believes the USG wants peace, and that is good. but do not, he asked, use methods which you say you do not like, methods like arm-twisting.

At this point Saddam spoke at length about pride of Iraqis, who believe in “liberty or death.” Iraq will have to respond if the U.S. uses these methods. Iraq knows the USG can send planes and rockets and hurt Iraq deeply. Saddam asks that the USG not force Iraq to the point of humiliation at which logic must be disregarded. Iraq does not consider the U.S. an enemy and has tried to be friends.

As for the intra-Arab disputes, Saddam said he is not asking the USG to take up any particular role since the solutions must come through Arab and bilateral diplomacy.

Returning to his theme that Iraq wants dignity and freedom as well as friendship with the U.S., he charged that in the last year there were many official statements which made it seem that the U.S. does not want to reciprocate. How, for example, Saddam asked, can we interpret the invitation for Arens to visit at a time of crisis in the gulf? Why did the U.S- defense minister make “inflammatory” statements?

Saddam said that the Iraqis know what war is, want no more of it- “do not push us to it; do not make it the only option left with which we can protect our dignity.”

President Bush, Saddam said, has made no mistake in his presidency vis-a-vis the Arabs. The decision on the PLO dialogue was “mistaken,” but it was taken under “zionist pressure” and, Saddam said, is perhaps a clever tactic to absorb that pressure.

After a short diversion on the need for the U.S. to consider the human rights of 200,000 Arabs with the same vigor and interest as the human rights of the Israelis, Saddam concluded by restating that Iraq wants American friendship “although we will not pant for it, we will do our part as friends.”[…]

[…]The ambassador thanked Saddam for the opportunity to discuss directly with him some of his and our concerns. president Bush, too, wants friendship, as he had written at the ‘id and on the occasion of Iraq’s national day[…]

[…]What is important is that the president has very recently reaffirmed his desire for a better relationship and has proven that by, for example, opposing sanctions bills. Here Saddam interrupted again. Laughing, he said there is nothing left for Iraq to buy in the U.S. Everything is prohibited except for wheat, and no doubt that will soon be declared a dual-use item- Saddam said (writer’s note: Saddam is here referring to the dual use vehicles and equipment Iraq bought from US during the Iran-Iraq war, bitterly implying the military exploitation of Iraq by the US), however, he had decided not to raise this issue, but rather concentrate on the far more important issues at hand.

Ambassador said there were many issues he had raised she would like to comment on, but she wished to use her limited time with the president to stress first president Bush’s desire for friendship and, second, his strong desire, shared we assume by Iraq, for peace and stability in the mid east. Is it not reasonable for us to be concerned when the president and the foreign minister both say publicly that Kuwaiti actions are the equivalent of military aggression, and then we learn that many units of the republican guard have been sent to the border?

Saddam said that was indeed a reasonable question. He acknowledged that we should be concerned for regional peace, in fact it is our duty as a superpower. “But how can we make them (Kuwait and UAE) understand how deeply we are suffering.”The financial situation is such that the pensions for widows and orphans will have to be cut. At this point, the interpreter and one of the notetakers broke down and wept[…]

[…] “I told Mubarak,” Saddam said, that “nothing will happen until the meeting,” and nothing will happen during or after the meeting if the Kuwaitis will at last “give us some hope.”‘[6]

The Kuwaitis obviously gave Iraq none… A desperate Saddam, left with no options ,would engage in a war he knew all too well was going to turn out to be self-destructive…


Hussein’s message to Bush was essentially an ultimatum. Iraq, impoverished by war, financially ravaged initially by war-loans  and subsequently by the petroleum policies of its “implacable friends”, was indirectly forced to yet another suicidal war. A few days after Saddam’s message was delivered to US leadership and with no actions taken to avoid the foreworned aggression, or to sooth Iraq’s plight, the Iraqis would invade Kuwait, one of the sacred oil cows of the U.S. The invasion marked the beginning of the end for the Iraqi dictator and initiated a new era of woes and suffering for the troubled Iraqi people.
The transatlantic axis reacted swiftly. U.S. petroleum interests were not to be challenged or threatened. U.S. and its allies possessed the means and the will to punish Iraq’s insurance.  The scene for the “Desert Storm” was set. All that was missing was political legalization for the predetermined war, a persuasive casus belli that would persuade the international public opinion of the imperativeness of war. Something that would move the masses. Something sensationalistic.

A Public Relations company would create that special something that the U.S. government was unable to find or fabricate: an excuse to attack the Iraqi forces. An alibi for a war that completely lacked any moral justification.
In October 1990 a fifteen-year Kuwaiti who became known as “nurse Nayirah”, gave an oral testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that shook the world: according to her testimony, while she was volunteering in an Iraqi hospital’s (Al Adan) maternity ward, she saw Iraqi soldiers grabbing Kuwaiti babies from their incubators, removing the incubators and leaving the babies to die on the cold hospital floor. The Iraqi occupation’s horrors attracted a global outcry as expected.
A pro-war U.S. public opinion was shaped by Nayirah’s chilling story.
Her story gave the coalition forces the pretense they needed to attack Iraq and secure their petroleum interests in the region. But Nayirah’s story was just a story, a fable, a fabrication created not by a teenager’s vivid imagination but –as publicly claimed- by the mind-swaying skills of a PR firm.

It was later revealed that the teenage volunteer, little miss Nayirah, nurse Nayirah, refugee Nayirah was none other than Nayirah Al-Sabah, daughter of the then Kuwaiti ambassador Saud bin Nadir Al-Sabah in the U.S.[7] – not a refugee, not a volunteer, not an eye-witness to atrocious Iraqi war crimes, but a politically instigated person, and thus an instigator herself. An instrument of propaganda. A tool for coercion. A girl who was schooled in order to manipulate nations and drag them into a war.

Nayirah Al-Sabah was neither a volunteer nor a nurse. Her war crime stories were inspired by her brief visitation at the hospital during which she saw one baby outside its incubator in an incident that lasted “no more than a moment”[8]

Nayirah deceived the world. Her feat was probably not an accomplishment of a pathological liar but that of a professional one.

Nayirah appears to have been instructed by a P.R firm, Hill and Knowlton. The firm was employed by the “NGO” Citizens For a Free Kuwait (CFK), a front for the Kuwait government. CFK, the showcase of the Kuwaiti government, paid Hill and Knowlton with the staggering sum of $11.5 million for their services[9]. Millions of U.S. dollars would generate a cheap, yet very effective lie that would get the Kuwait government the results it desired: in January 1991  U.S. and coalition forces started their operations against the Iraqis.
An imaginary infanticide claim for a war that cost thousands of  lives. Although the war propaganda and its perpetrators were exposed no one would be held accountable, no one would take a fall for it.

Following the “Desert Storm” and the unavoidable defeat of the Iraqi forces, the victors of the war forced Iraq to pay Kuwait war compensations of billions of U.S. dollars, a sum which Iraq, in its miserable financial state, was totally incapable of paying.


The Iraqi failure to conform with the victors demands will lead to an international embargo against Iraq and to the implementation of a UN “humanitarian” program named “Oil for Food”. The embargo would prostrate the Iraqi people and rob them of the means to survive, the humanitarian “aid” would humiliate them and rob them of their petroleum riches. Hundreds of thousands Iraqi children would die to the embargo and to the “humanitarian” program. In 1999, Dennis Halliday resigned his post as head of the UN “Oil for Food” humanitarian farce. Not only was he courageous enough to quit a well paid and prestigious job, he also had the courage to stand up against the international community, to condemn the U.N sanctions and insist that they were breaching the international laws: “Four thousand to 5,000 children are dying unnecessarily every month due to the impact of sanctions,” he said. “We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and

immoral.”[10] Halliday however could not tell the combination of the sanctions and the “humanitarian program” for what it really was: an indirect and genocidal pillage of the Iraqi petroleum revenues and a blatant exploitation of the Iraqi people.

After the first Gulf War and the sanctions imposed that followed it, Iraq ceased to exist  as an independent and sovereign country.   The Iraqi nation would have to wait 12 agonizing years for the coup de grace to be delivered in 2003. The second Gulf War would place terminally the Iraqi people in the long list of the victims of corporatocracy as multinational companies would make huge profits out of arms deals and the reconstruction of a steamrolled Iraq.
The second Gulf War (Operation Iraqi Freedom is) had much in common with the first. The names of the key players were the same in both wars: Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush Sr, George W. Bush Jr, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney. Both wars lacked any real political justification. In both invasions the casus belli would be fabricated. The only thing different the second time around was that the son of the president who attacked the Iraqis in 1991 served a slightly different agenda. G.W.Bush religiously Jr followed the megalomaniac and militaristic policies that the neocon think tank named Project for the New American Century deemed necessary for US to extend their unchallenged world leadership into the whole of the 21st century. The man who called himself the “War President” would forever dissolve the delusion of the “Pax Americana”, turning U.S. into a provocatively ultra-aggressive power in pursue of military world dominance, a policy  that would deeply hurt the U.S. imperium and mark it as one of the most short-lived universal empires in human history. Iraq would be the second and the last victim of the U.S. military world dominance fallacy.

The U.S. government could not launch a war against Iraq without public opinion consent. And U.S. public opinion was won over by a terrorist attack in the heart of America, far less known than the twin towers attacks: the anthrax letters.


After the coup of September 11, G.W.Bush Jr and staffers embarked on a global terror campaign against terrorism, the so called “war on terror”. Conveniently and favorably to that goal,  a few days after 9/11, letters containing the dangerous anthrax bacillus were sent to several strategic points of U.S. public life. The bioterroristic letters resulted in seven deaths. The anthrax letter attacks created a political epidemic of panic and terror that surged the U.S. from end to end, crippling critical thinking, afflicting even the most democratic elements of the US political scene. ABC persistently runs an unsubstantiated by hard facts and thus arbitrary story of Iraq being the culprit, the creator and the source of the anthrax letters. The ABC anti-Iraqi propaganda succeeds in turning the bioterroristic fear into Iraq-focused anger. War-mongers would once again turn Iraq into a sacrificial lamb.
The ABC network systematically disseminated an unfounded claim: ABC claimed that the anthrax letters contain bentonite, a rather common chemical substance that can be also used as an anticoagulant for anthrax spores. It also claimed that bentonite was the trademark of the Iraqi biological weapon program, pushing the Iraq-is-to-blame story even further.

The detailed ABC’s bentonite arguments were not only unverified and unfounded. They were also officially refuted.

The then spokesman for the White House Ari Fleisher categorically specified that no bentonite was found in the anthrax letters. This official statement cast a longer shadow on ABC’s credibility, methods and intentions.

The sources of the Iraqi involvement story, sources that ABC never named, could have been no other than the selected few U.S. bioweapons experts entrusted by the U.S. government with analyzing the deadly anthrax letters, the same people who informed Fleisher that no bentonite was found in them, the only ones who had access to the anthrax letters, the only source responsible for giving out information on the anthrax contained in the bioterror letters.
Ironically enough, several years later, FBI, having completely ruled out the impossible claim of the Iraqi involvement, would close in on one of the bioweapons experts that the US government chose for examining the anthrax letters… A likely suspect of the anthrax letters attacks was the one examining the letters of death on behalf of the U.S. Government. It appears that the anthrax letters must have been one the greatest bloopers in U.S. investigational history.

The war lies were uncovered long after the Iraqi people suffered their consequences.  As in the case of nurse Nayirah, in the anthrax letters case, the Iraqi Nation was falsely, malignly and deliberately accused of crimes it never committed and punished harshly as a result of purposeful fabrications, conspicuous propaganda and vicious machinations. And none among the propaganda masterminds and culprits faced the music for the wrongful deaths of hundreds of thousands Iraqis.


Despite official refutation, ABC stuck to its sad excuse of a story which was in turn instrumental in creating a war climate in the U.S. The U.S. citizens’ take on the story ABC pushed was not irrational: ABC contested that Iraq had essentially attacked the U.S. with bioweapons, a claim which –in combination with the Twin Towers tragedy- had cumulative effects on the U.S. psyche and stirred up war sentiments in the rather peace-loving U.S. population. Regarding their pro-war sentiments, the U.S. citizens can only be accused of naivety and  gullibility, for they swallowed a story that the media served them without questioning its credibility. They adopted a wrongful accusation without examining the outrageous media claims that shaped it. Once the US public opinion was deliberately coerced into believing that the U.S. was attacked by a foreign country, it had every right to defend itself with every means possible, even with an expansionary war. The only problem is that, in all likelihood, the U.S. was not attacked by a foreign country. Evidence leans toward a U.S. origin of the anthrax letters. The perpetrator must have been one or more U.S. insiders. Chances are that the actual perpetrator(s) was a U.S. bioweapons program insider. And though this type of evidence was available from the early days of the anthrax investigation, it was deliberately ignored to facilitate Bush’ war agenda:

In December 2001 the FBI uncovered that the U.S. military (more specifically, the USAMRIID) produced, processed and possessed anthrax powder.[11] For the first time the army was forced into admitting that it possessed this form of anthrax, a clear violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The U.S. army claimed that the anthrax strains it possessed were unrelated to the strains contained in the deadly anthrax letters, denying any involvement in the bioterror attack. The claim was untrue.  In October 24 2001, the magazine New Scientist publicized the information that the strain of the anthrax letters was the Ames strain, a particular strain developed by the U.S. Army and USARMRIID.[12]


Through lies and propaganda, public opinion was turned.
The backdrop of war was already set up and the invasion in Iraq was already scheduled. Seven years later the FBI would tighten the investigation noose around Bruce Ivins, who was by then consider to be the prime suspect of the anthrax letters attacks. Ironically, Ivins was one of the key persons of the U.S. biodefence program and one of the few selected experts the U.S. Government employed to identify the strain of anthrax contained in the letters of death.  A likely perpetrator was employed to unearth the actual perpetrators.

The anthrax investigation ended abruptly with Ivins suicide in 2008. From the onset of the anthrax letters investigation it was evident that the anthrax strain used was a trademark of the U.S. bioweapons program and that the anthrax letters attacks were an inside job. Still, up this day, there is  no conclusive evidence of Ivins’ guilt other than his psychological profile and his involvement in the U.S. bioweapons program. Prior to Ivins’ incrimination, a colleague of his, Steven Hatfill suffered the burden of CIA suspicions to be acquitted and compensated.

Ivins might as well have been a scape goat. The dark players involved in the anthrax letters case might never be exposed. With Ivins dead and the case officially closed we may never learn of the actual perpetrators and instigators of an -in all likelihood- U.S. originating bioterrorist attack that changed the face of the world – for the worse.


After the anthrax letters attacks and the subsequent ABC propaganda, the U.S. public opinion was swayed, an insurmountable obstacle had been removed, yet Bush and his warlike gang had to make a strong case for war and present it to the international community as well.  And the argument for war would be the imaginary threat posed to the global community by the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The claim of the Iraqi WMD threat was preposterous to say the least. The U.S. knew very well that Iraq’s dilapidated economy was in no position to maintain its Weapons of Mass Destruction program, let alone modernize or expand. The WMD armory that Iraq developed during the 1980’s with the aid of the US[13] (in 2002, the British learned of the U.S. involvement on the development of the Iraqi WMD as well[14]) was pretty much used up for the goal of the Iran-Iraq war. After a decade of international sanctions and Iraqi famine, the Iraqi regime had no means nor an ambition to rebuild it. Nevertheless and regardless of the fact that all that was left of the Iraqi WMD program were stray remnants, the neocons were determined to get their hands to Iraq, ruin its remaining infrastructures and hand it over to corporations that would make a huge profit out of the lucrative business of reconstructing a war-stricken nation.

Since no evidence of the essentially inexistent Iraqi WMD program could be found, the U.S. would use their intelligence services family to fabricate it.
In 2005, a series of documents, referring to 2002 events and crucial talks that preceded the invasion, collectively known as the “Downing Street memo”[15], exhibited that (obviously regardless of WMD findings) the invasion in Iraq was predetermined
:

“ […] C (Sir Richard Dearlove, head of the British Secret Intelligence Service) reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran […]” [16]


In 2003 the CIA claimed that it finally “found” in an Iraqi territory the long-sought excuse for war: the “incriminatory evidence” were two “mobile biological warfare labs”. The CIA “findings” were politically exploited to the fullest. G.W.Bush Jr on January 28, 2003 and Colin Powell in his speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003 relied on the mobile biological weapons laboratories allegation to make a “solid” case for war despite the fact that the CIA WMD findings were disputed and deemed unreliable, even absurd. If the UN Weapons Inspectors assessments about the extent and capacity of the Iraqi WMD armory are valid, the CIA claim of WND “findings” should have been immediately rejected. In June 2003 David Kelly, a very experienced bioweapons expert and a UN weapons inspector had the opportunity to see for himself and survey the alleged  “mobile biowarfare laboratories”. Dispirited from what he encountered he would later on relay -off the record- his sentiments to a British newspaper: “
They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were – facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.”[17]

After being caught in a political maelstrom concerning the “sexing up” of the Iraqi dossier by the British government that damaged his reputation and cast doubt on his loyalty, Kelly would be found dead in the woods on July 18 2003. The previous morning he had informed The New YorkTimes’ Judith Miller of “many dark actors playing games”[18] Like in the case of his US colleague Bruce Ivins, Kelly’s death would be attributed to suicide.

It is true that lies can kill.

After the lies of the “Iraqi” anthrax letters and the fabrication regarding the Iraqi “mobile biological warfare laboratories”, U.S. and coalition forces would invade an already worn out nation and tear it apart. None of the following weapons inspector reports confirmed or even hinted battle-worthy or even significant WMD Iraqi armaments. On January 23 2004, David Kay, the head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) -a fact-finding team that was sent in Iraq after the invasion with the mission of tracking down the alleged Iraqi WMD stockpiles- would resign. A once strong supporter of Iraqi WMD allegations would be quickly disillusioned during his expedition: “I don’t think they existed” Kay said. “What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War and I don’t think there was a large-scale production program in the nineties.”[19]
The final report of the ISG, published on January 30, 2004 is in full accord with Kay’s thesis’: “
ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Husain possessed WMD stocks in 2003”[20]

In 2005, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s longtime adviser and his chief of staff from 2002 to 2005 recalled a disarming and embarrassing phone call  from the then CIA Director George Tenet to the then Secretary of State Colin Powell. The content of the phone discussion sounded like a prank- unfortunately it was not. According to Wilkerson, Tenet “actually did call the Secretary (Powell), and said, ‘I’m really sorry to have to tell you. We don’t believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'” [21]

In 2005, it was revealed that CIA official Tyler Drumheller had  informed his superiors of the unreliability of the sole Iraqi WMD informant. Bush and Powell disregarded his warnings and went on with their war as planned (Powell later acknowledged that this information was never passed to him by the secret services). This was a war whose preparation and justification seemed like a contest of pathological liars. The winner of the contest would claim Iraq as his prize.

The war propaganda would gradually dissolve into its basic components: ill intentions, thin air and puppet mastering.

Some of its key players would later be honest enough to admit the dishonesty of the Iraq invasion.


On August 23, 2005, Wilkerson, Powell’s trusted advisor would admit of his role in the decisive 2003 Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council on Iraq’s WMD:
“I wish I had not been involved in it..” “I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life.”[22]

In September 2005, a regretful Colin Powell would express his feelings regarding his determination to back up the Iraq WMD allegations: “It will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now.”[23]

And it would become increasingly painful, as the historic truth was gradually -and painfully- restored: in February 2011 the source of the fabricated Iraq mobile biowarfare labs claim confessed publicly that he was lying. The Iraqi defector, the source who provided the witness upon which a case for war was constructed, the informant under the codename Curveball, the guy which col. Wilkerson attempted to expose as unreliable, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, confessed that he was simply lying. The Guardian has the story:

‘[…] Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi or “Curveball” as his US and German handlers called him, admitted fabricating evidence of Iraq’s secret biological weapons program […]

“[…] In his adopted home of Germany, MPs are demanding to know why the BND, paid Curveball £2,500 a month for at least five years after they knew he had lied […]”

[…] Hans-Christian Ströbele, a Green MP, said Janabi had arguably violated a German law which makes warmongering illegal. Under the law, it is a criminal offence to do anything “with the intent to disturb the peaceful relations between nations, especially anything that leads to an aggressive war”, he said […]

[…] On 5 February 2003, a month before the invasion, (Colin) Powell went before the UN security council to make the case for war. In his speech he referred to “firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails… The source was an eyewitness who supervised one of these facilities”. It is now known that the source, Janabi, made up the story […]

[…] Colin Powell, the US secretary of state at the time of the Iraq invasion, has called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain why they failed to alert him to the unreliability of a key source behind claims of Saddam Hussein’s bio-weapons capability[…]

[…] Curveball told the Guardian he welcomed Powell’s demand. “It’s great,” he said tonight. “The BND [German intelligence] knew in 2000 that I was lying after they talked to my former boss, Dr Bassil Latif, who told them there were no mobile bioweapons factories. For 18 months after that they left me alone because they knew I was telling lies even though I never admitted it. Believe me, back then, I thought the whole thing was over for me.

“Then all of a sudden [in the run up to the 2003 invasion] they came back to me and started asking for more details about what I had told them. I still don’t know why the BND then passed on my information to the CIA and it ended up in Powell’s speech […]”

(Powell told the Guardian:) […] “It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable. […] The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA as to why this wasn’t known before the false information was put into the NIE sent to Congress, the president’s state of the union address and my 5 February presentation to the UN […]”

[…] Further pressure on the CIA came from Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff at the time of the invasion. He said Curveball’s lies raised questions about how the CIA had briefed Powell ahead of his fateful UN speech.” ’[24]

Another lie for yet another war.

The Guardian finally restored part of the historic truth: Curveball was Gulf War’s II Nayirah. But in contrast to Nayirah Al-Sabah case what we still do not know about Janabi’s case, is who his instigator was.

It was surely painful for a military man like Powell to realize that he was manipulated and played along with an orchestrated plot bent on occupying Iraq.
But the pain Powell choices caused to millions of Iraqis is incomparable: an estimated 109,000 Iraqi people died because of the Operation Freedom Iraq and the subsequent occupation. 109,000 Iraqi people died, among whom 66,000 were civilians[25]. And as long as the US and allies continue to occupy Iraq, the death toll will  constantly be on the rise.
Within a time period of thirty years Iraq has known unthinkable sufferings: 100,000 Iraqis were killed during the Iran-Iraq war, 500,000 Iraqi children died because of the sanctions, 100,000 Iraqis dead because of the U.S. invasion and occupation.

Saddam Hussein, a cruel dictator had indeed committed genocide. He was executed for his crimes. U.S. corporate-driven expansionism has far exceeded Saddam’s deeds. Yet, it is the Iraqi people and not the perpetrators who receive the cruelest of punishments.

In regard to the two Gulf wars, truth has been distorted. Justice has been distorted. And while historic truth will be gradually restored, by then it will be too late for justice to be served.


[3] “Right to Survive: Human Rights in Nicaragua” The Catholic Institute for International Relations.

[5] United States Senate, 103d Congress, 2d Session
May 25, 1994

[9] ibid

[11] FBI uncovers US military production of anthrax powder, by Duncan Campbell, The Guardian, 14 December 2001,

[12] Anthrax bacteria likely to be US military strain, by Debora Mckenzie, New Scientist, 24 October 2001

[13] “The Riegle Report”,United States Senate, 103d Congress, 2d Session
May 25, 1994

 

[14] House of commons, Hansard Debates for 26 February 2003

[15] The Sunday Times, 5 May 2005, the Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2005, the Star Tribune,13 May 2005 , Associated Press,7 June 2005.

[24] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/16/colin-powell-cia-curveball: The author took the liberty to rearrange the order of the Guardian excerpts to better suit his text. To avoid any misunderstanding of the author’s intentions It is crucial that the reader refers to the original Guardian article

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