The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
“May 28, 2017
“And yes, our hearts ached when we saw the latest outrage against powerless young working-class kids in Manchester just out at a concert enjoying themselves. These are wicked times where wicked people commit wicked acts, but In all the understandable noise and fury truth is struggling to be heard with why’s and how’s drowned out.
“ ‘Iraq’ is whispered, when it should be shouted from the rooftops. There were no suicide bombers in Iraq until Blair and Bush and Howard invaded. Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee before the invasion that ‘by far the greatest terrorist threat to the UK would be heightened by military action against Iraq’. This was backed up by a secret CIA report. ‘Before the invasion’, it said, ‘Iraq exported no terrorist threat to its neighbors because Saddam Hussein was ‘implacably hostile to alQaida’.
“In their 1991 illegal, unprovoked, blood-soaked Gulf war, ‘allied’ forces left more than 200,000 Iraqis dead and injured, and their infrastructure in ‘an apocalyptic state’. Tracts of southern Iraq were contaminated with depleted uranium and cluster bombs.
“The later sanctions, designed and promoted by zealots in Washington and Whitehall, were genocidal. After ordering the destruction of Iraq’s water and sewerage plants to spread infectious diseases, the brutal sanctions made it impossible for them to be repaired. Some half-a-million infants died (‘worth it,' said then Sec. of State Madeline Albright), but barely reported in the West.
“America’s targeting of civilians, its illegal rewriting of laws and theft of resources through privatization, the everyday torture and humiliation of ordinary people and failure to protect Iraqi’s great archaeological and cultural heritage has been the catalyst. Throughout the Muslim world, the bitterness was palpable, a contagion that has spread.
“As a killer on an industrial scale, Christianity leaves Islam for dead. It must be said again and again and understood - that the West cannot continue to invade, occupy and subvert Muslim and Arab nations and not expect consequences, especially when it means the slaughter of its own people. It’s called ‘blowback’.
The announcement that Trump has sealed an outrageous arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion immediately and $350 billion over 10 years was all it took for western leaders to look the other way when it came to Saudi’s public beheadings, crucifixions, eye gouging and other barbarisms meted out in the Kingdom on a regular basis, indistinguishable from the religious extremists and fanatics in Syria.
“By the time Trump reached the bit in his speech threatening those ‘choosing the path of terror’, he sounded like a speech-writer for Isis. Predictably, the fawning, corrupt rulers of the Muslim world clapped away when the loopy president had finished speaking. For fueling war between Shia and Sunni?
“Within minutes of landing at Tel Aviv Airport (part of whose runways lies on land legally owned by Palestinian Arabs) Trump was churning out America’s ongoing hatred of Iran, about Iran’s ‘terror plots’ and its continuing desire to make a nuclear bomb. He seemed unaware that Iran has just re-elected a president who had signed the nuclear agreement two years ago, substantially reducing any threat to Israel or anyone else.
“But listening to Trump’s Twitterworld garbage someone from outer space would believe that Iran was the creator of Isis and that Israel was bombing the violent cultists, when the reverse is true. Landgrabbing Israel was bombing the shit out of the Iranians and Syrians and had not once bombed Isis.
“Chris Hedges describes the awful descent of the US political system which is affecting all capitalist countries, with special resonance for Australia. ‘The crisis we face today is the result of a four decade long corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. This crisis has spawned a corrupt electoral system of legalized bribery…if we do not overthrow the neoliberal corporate forces that have destroyed our democracy we will continue to vomit up more monstrosities as dangerous as Donald Trump…it began with the creation of corporate-funded foundations and organizations that took control of the press, the courts, the universities, scientific research and the two major political parties…it began when big money was employed by political operatives to create negative political advertisements and false narratives to deceive the public, turning political debate into burlesque…unless we dismantle the corporate state, we are doomed’.
“We’ve seen what 40 years of economic ‘reforms’ have done here with privatization of everything that moves, ferocious anti-unionism, jobs moved offshore and increase in unstable part-time work, gross wage disparity, decline of manufacture while lousy unproductive industries such as welfare-to-work schemes prosper, and Ignoring climate change.
“Cleared of rape allegations but far from free, Julian Assange is still holed up in London’s Ecuadoran embassy in a small room without sunlight for daring to expose America’s war crimes and its contempt for sovereignty and international law. Official documents show that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the US, while London’s Metropolitan Police are at the ready to arrest him if he steps outside.
“But what then? Months in prison until the US delivers its extradition request and he’s dragged before a secret Grand Jury set up seven years ago? According to Edward Snowden, Washington’s bid to get Assange is ‘unprecedented in scale and nature’ with threats of kidnapping and assassination swirling around.
Refreshing to hear from a great Cuban. ’Cuba will always support Palestine…,’ from Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five speaking in Beirut at the inaugural session of the 3rd International Arab Forum on Justice for Palestine. ‘The people of Cuba have always been in solidarity with the Palestinian cause,’ he said.
“Good news! After 38 years of unremitting hatred for Cuba, rabid right-winger Ileana RosLehtinen has retired from Congress. About bloody time…