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Lock and Awe

Campaigners lock on to the EDO-MBM arms factory to commemorate 10 years since the iraq Invasion

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the beginnig of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"* aka the US-UK invasion of Iraq. 10 years since that fateful, fatal day on the 19th of March 2003 when the neoconservative “Crazies in the White House” bought their own propaganda and believed they could reshape the Middle-East with a blitzkrieg military campaign of “Shock and Awe”.

We all know where the story went from there. The invasion brought the might of the worlds’ greatest military power to bear against an impoverished and starved population with predictable results: Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party was ousted from power, and Iraq was plunged into a violent chaos from which it is yet to escape.

The Americans and their British quislings not only overestimated their own power, but forgot the lessons of history: No foreign occupation has ever succeeded against a belligerent population. The Iraqi Insurgency, armed with little except Kalashnikovs, RGGs and homemade explosives, drew the US military machine into an unwinnable guerrilla war.

In an effort to delay their inevitable defeat the US turned to tried and tested methods of terror. The “Salvador Option”- US trained deaths squads a la Central America’s dirty wars, came to Iraq, and the Iraqi Insurgency became the Iraqi Civil War.

By 2007 cautious statisticians working for the Lancet and ORB International reported that between half and one million Iraqis had been killed in the ensuing mayhem. The US and UK governments and their corporations have this blood on their hands. The invasion of Iraq stands out as the greatest crime of the 21st Century.

Yet a look at the front pages of today’s newspapers reveals that not one has chosen to remember that the invasion was exactly 10 bloody years ago. However, the bosses of EDO-MBM, one of the UK arms factories that has profited from the war had no choice but to mark the day.

Campaigners from Brighton’s bespoke anti-militarist mob, Smash EDO, blockaded the gates of the EDO MBM factory from before 6am with three of them affixed to the gates using bicycle d-locks and superglue. They stayed put for 6 hours before specialist police cutting teams, known as ‘prisoner release teams’ removed them.

EDO-MBM makes parts for F-16 warplanes and Paveway bombs, as well as a cluster-bomb compatible weapons system cable, the Field Replaceable Connector System (FRCS). SchNEWS was granted a not so exclusive interview with the Smash EDO’s dynamic duo Chloe Marsh and Andrew Beckett. They had this to say:

The case for war was put to people in the UK on the basis of an immediate threat from Iraqi WMD. This turned out, as expected, to be a lie. As a result, according to the Lancet, over a million Iraqi citizens have died. We are here to commemorate those who died in the aerial bombardment of Iraq and to resist EDO ‘s continued supply of components to the US UK military.”



The provisional name for the invasion, Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.) was dropped early on in the war's planning.

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Twitter: @SchNEWS