Iraq War/Opposition

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Event.png Iraq War/Opposition  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Anti War Protest London.jpg
Anti-War protest march by an estimated 3 million people in London
Date15 February 2003
DescriptionPeople and events that combined to oppose and impede progress towards the 2003 Iraq War

Opposition to the 2003 Iraq War[1] between 3 January and 12 April 2003 drew 36 million people across the globe to take part in almost 3,000 protests according to French academic Dominique Reynié,[2]while social movement researchers have described the 15 February 2003 protests in more than 600 cities as "the largest protest event in human history."[3]

The BBC claimed on 17 February 2003 that "[b]etween six and 10 million people ... marched in up to 60 countries over the weekend of 15th and 16th".[4] Other estimates range from eight million to thirty million for that weekend. Mainland China was the only part of the world that did not see any protests on the day, though small demonstrations, attended mainly by foreign students, were seen on Sunday 30th March.[5]

The executive committee of the World Council of Churches, an organisation representing a combined membership of between 350 million and 450 million Christians[6] stated that "War against Iraq would be immoral, unwise, and in breach of the principles of the United Nations Charter."[7]

Only one person has ever been quoted claiming to have suffered consequences for being in favour of the Iraq War, Anne Campbell lost her seat in the House of Commons in 2004 (see below).

Wikispooks presents this information and notes these points:

We remember Solzhenitsyn and persecuted Soviet dissidents - this article details some of the retaliation and persecution (or simple detriment) that a fair number of quite notable Westerners have suffered for their own or others' anti-war dissidence.

Some of this information appeared at the Wikipedia - but was removed for no obvious reason.

This article examines only one puzzlingly under-reported aspect of "Opposition to the Iraq War", it does not duplicate what is available elsewhere.

Adverse consequences to professionals involved

At least 14 professionals in close contact with the decision making process in the US and the UK paid a heavy price for their protests or dissidence.

Although the Iraq war is widely regarded as illegal and almost universally regarded as disastrous, almost (see below) nobody who supported it is known to have suffered any adverse consequences and large numbers have advanced their careers. The Chilcot Inquiry (as twice interviewed Tony Blair and might have made accusations of conspiring to cause an international breach of the peace) concluded in February 2011 but has still not reported (Jan 2016) and is now said to concern only faults in the UK military operations.

Ten UK opponents lose jobs, careers or die

At least one British person died and nine others lost their jobs/careers as a direct result of protests about the Iraq War.

Three of them were media workers at the BBC - one journalist and the top two executives.

Two of the ten had acted in some kind of secrecy and could be classified as whistle-blowers, WMD expert Kelly died under mysterious circumstances and translator Gun had her prosecution at the Old Bailey dropped at the last moment.

Eight others professionals/law-makers suffered severe detriment for their essentially principled stand.

David Kelly, WMD expert, dead

Full article: David Kelly

Dr David Kelly was outed by his employers for having discussed with Iraq-specialising journalist Andrew Gilligan that the Government dossiers were falsely claiming evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Kelly told Gilligan of his concerns about the claim that WMD could be used at just 45-minutes notice, and allegedly ascribed this exaggeration as having been placed in the dossier by Alastair Campbell.

The government pressed the BBC to reveal the name of the source, since only a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee could have known Campbell had a role in it. On 30 June 2003, Kelly wrote to his line manager at the Ministry of Defence to report his contact with Gilligan though he added "I am convinced that I am not his primary source of information."

Kelly was interviewed twice by his employers who took the decision to publicly acknowledge the fact that an employee had come forward who might be the source. The Ministry of Defence confirmed his name when it was put to them, allegedly in a government effort to discredit Gilligan. Journalist Andrew Rawnsley has claimed that Blair on 8 July sanctioned a strategy designed to reveal Kelly's identity;[8]

Kelly was extremely disturbed that the media had identified his role in the matter and arranged with a family friend to leave his home and visit Cornwall with his wife. He was formally warned that he'd breached his terms of employment and asked to return to London to appear as a witness before two committees of the House of Commons that were investigating the situation in Iraq, one of those appearances to be in public. He described the appearance as humiliating, at one stage being told: "I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?"[9]

David Kelly was found dead in a wood near his home a few days later but the inquest on his death was left incomplete, a verdict of suicide was declared by the Hutton Inquiry.

In August 2011 a group of nine experts, including former coroners and a professor of intensive-care medicine, wrote a letter to the British newspaper The Times questioning Lord Hutton's verdict of suicide.[10][11][12]

Robin Cook, government minister

Full article: Robin Cook

Robin Cook was Leader of the House of Commons and resigned from the Cabinet two days before the start of the invasion on 17 March 2003. In a statement giving his reasons for resigning he said:

"Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules. Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened: the European Union is divided; the UN Security Council is in stalemate. Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired." and "The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner - not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council. It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics. Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support. I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the Government."[13]

His resignation speech in the House of Commons, received an unprecedented standing ovation by fellow MPs and was described by the BBC's Andrew Marr as "without doubt one of the most effective, brilliant resignation speeches in modern British politics."[14] He collapsed and died just over a year later.

Andrew Gilligan, G Davies & G Dyke of the BBC

Andrew Gilligan had visited Iraq and, on his return in May 2003, met and discussed with David Kelly their mutual concern regarding the Iraqi WMD claims.

He broadcast his report on 29 May 2003 on the Today programme and said that the 45-minute claim had been placed in the dossier by the government when they knew it to be dubious. He said that the British Government had "sexed up" their report in order to exaggerate the WMD capabilities of Saddam Hussein. In an article in The Mail on Sunday newspaper on 1 June, Gilligan directly identified Alastair Campbell as the person responsible. This fact could only have been known to a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, leading directly to David Kelly and his death a few days later.

Lord Hutton's subsequent inquiry questioned the reliability of Gilligan's evidence and he resigned from his position as a journalist with the BBC two days after the publication of the report on 30th Jan 2004.

Andrew Gilligan described the BBC collectively as the victim of a "grave injustice". Of Hutton's report he said: "This report casts a chill over all journalism, not just the BBC's. It seeks to hold reporters, with all the difficulties they face, to a standard that it does not appear to demand of, for instance, Government dossiers."

The Hutton report (August 2003 to 28 Jan 2004) cleared the government of wrongdoing over the death of David Kelly but strongly criticised the BBC, leading to the resignation of the Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, Gavyn Davies, and its Director-General Greg Dyke on 28th and 30th January 2004.

Hutton defended the report before a Commons select committee. He stated he had not thought it appropriate to embark on a study of the pre-war intelligence and felt the allegations against Gilligan were "far graver" than questions concerning the quality of the intelligence. (The Butler Review into the intelligence began on 3rd Feb 2004 and reported 4th Jul 2004, it specifically stated that John Scarlett, the head of the JIC should not resign, and should take up his new post as head of MI6.).[15] In November 2006 he dismissed the media claims that his report was a whitewash,[16] saying:

I knew that if I delivered a report concluding that the Government had deliberately misled the country about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and had acted towards Dr Kelly in a dishonourable and underhand way, I would be acclaimed in many sections of the media as a fearless and independent judge. I also knew that if I did not come to such findings it was probable that my report would be subjected to considerable criticism."[17]

Piers Morgan, top newspaper editor

Full article: Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan resigned as the editor of the Daily Mirror on 14 May 2004 after authorising and then standing by a number of pictures apparently showing Iraqi prisoners being abused by British Army soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.[18] The precise source of the pictures was never ascertained but it was later alleged that British soldiers had used a great deal of brutality, including 5 techniques banned in Northern Ireland, along with kicks to the head as depicted in one of the photographs.

The (monochrome) photographs were accused of being fakes, showing the wrong kind of army vehicle with the victims wearing un-stained clothing. Under the headline "SORRY.. WE WERE HOAXED", the Mirror responded that it had fallen victim to a "calculated and malicious hoax" and apologised for the publication of the photographs.[19][20]

Clare Short, government minister

On 9 March 2003, Clare Short repeatedly called Tony Blair "reckless" in a BBC radio interview[21] and threatened to resign from the Cabinet in the event of the British government going to war with Iraq without a clear mandate from the United Nations.

On 18 March 2003, she withdrew the threat of resignation on Tony Blair's assurance that coalition forces would not occupy Iraq, and that United Nations peacekeeping troops were to be deployed there.[22]

The invasion began on 19 March 2003, and with no sign of any UN peacekeepers, Clare Short resigned from the UK Government on 12 May 2003:

Dear Tony,
I have decided that I must leave the government.
As you know, I thought the run-up to the conflict in Iraq was mishandled, but I agreed to stay in the government to help support the reconstruction effort for the people of Iraq.
I am afraid that the assurances you gave me about the need for a UN mandate to establish a legitimate Iraqi government have been breached. The security council resolution that you and Jack have so secretly negotiated contradicts the assurances I have given in the House of Commons and elsewhere about the legal authority of the occupying powers, and the need for a UN-led process to establish a legitimate Iraqi government. This makes my position impossible.
It has been a great honour for me to have led the establishment and development of the Department for International Development over the past six years. I am proud of what we have achieved and much else that the government has done.
I am sad and sorry that it has ended like this.

Elizabeth Wilmshurst, top lawyer

Deputy FCO Legal Adviser Elizabeth Wilmshurst resigned on 20 March 2003, three days after Lord Goldsmith's final advice[24] to the British government reversed her legal opinion (in Lord Goldsmith's first secret memo 10 days earlier[25]) that the invasion was illegal without a second United Nations Security Council Resolution updating UNSCR 678.

Although the reasons for her resignation were public knowledge at the time,[26] the detailed reasoning was not, and caused a stir when they were released under the Freedom of Information Act two years later.[27] Her resignation letter had stated:

"I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678. I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it. I cannot in conscience go along with advice - within the Office or to the public or Parliament - which asserts the legitimacy of military action without such a resolution, particularly since an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances which are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law".

A section of the letter removed by the Foreign Office but later obtained by Channel 4 News read:

"My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.)"

Her resignation and the events leading up to it were dramatised in the first episode of "10 days to war" in 2008. Episode 4 has more on the intense lobbying for a second resolution that would authorise the war.

George Galloway, Labour MP

George Galloway had been a Labour MP since 1987. He vigorously opposed the 1991 Iraq war and had subsequently met Saddam twice ("exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him" ... "to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war."[28][29])

He was particularly criticised when, on his January 1994 visit, he took reports on the support given to Saddam by the people of the Gaza Strip "... there was not a single person ... who did not wish me to convey their heartfelt, fraternal greetings and support."[30] He ended his speech with the statement "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."[31] Galloway has asserted that he was saluting the Iraqi people rather than Saddam Hussein in the speech,[32] which was translated for the Iraqi leader.[33]

Most seriously from the view point of the Labour Party was a 28 March 2003 interview with Abu Dhabi TV wherein he accused his party leader, Tony Blair, along with George W. Bush, of having "lied to the British Air Force and Navy, when they said the battle of Iraq would be very quick and easy. They attacked Iraq like wolves" and added that "the best thing British troops can do is to refuse to obey illegal orders."[34] This incitement for "British troops to defy orders" was later among the formal reasons for his expulsion from the Labour Party.[35][36][36][37] He called the Labour Government "Tony Blair's lie machine."[38]

On 6 May 2003 he was suspended from holding office in the party,[39] pending a hearing on charges that he had violated the party's constitution by "bringing the Labour Party into disrepute through behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Party."[40] Speaking on BBC Radio, Galloway said he stood by every word of the Abu Dhabi interview.

The National Constitutional Committee held a hearing on 22 October 2003 decided in favour of four of the five charges accusing Galloway of "bringing the party into disrepute," and expelled him from the Labour Party. A claim that, in a speech, he had congratulated a successful anti-war candidate from the Socialist Alliance in Preston was rejected. According to Ian McCartney, then Labour Party chairman, Galloway was the only Labour MP who "incited foreign forces to rise up against British troops" in the Iraq War.[41] Galloway said after the NCC had decided on his expulsion: "This was a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials."

Katherine Gun, Translator

Katharine Gun was a 29-year-old Mandarin translator at the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham and has been called "The woman who nearly stopped the war" in a document here at Wikispooks.

On Friday 31 January 2003 she and many of her colleagues were forwarded a request from the US government to provide intelligence on six nations, non-permanent members of the Security Council whose votes would be crucial to getting authorisation for the war.

The countries were Chile, Pakistan, Guinea, Angola, Cameroon and Bulgaria but others were to be spied on as well, including Mexico for its possible influence over Chile.

Katharine Gun believed she was being asked to dig out personal information that would allow the blackmail of diplomats, undermining the democratic processes of the United Nations.

An anonymised copy of the e-mail reached the Observer who checked it out as best they could and published it on 2 March 2003.

The revelations caused particular fury in Chile and in Mexico and both countries distanced themselves from a second resolution. The leak is thought to have made a fresh UN resolution impossible.

Within days of the Observer article, Gun was arrested under the Official Secrets Act and appeared for trial at the Old Bailey in London a year later. Her defence requested disclosure of the legal opinion of the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, on the legitimacy of the war. (This is the opinion which was changed.) The case was dropped at the last minute even though she'd confessed.

Six Americans lose jobs or careers

At least four US journalists lost their jobs for opposing the war, along with a CIA officer losing her career in apparent retaliation against the dissidence of her husband. None had acted in secrecy, nor had they breached secrecy (ie they were not "whistle-blowers").

At least one career government employee was terminated for writing a book of his personal experience in Iraq.

Valerie Plame, CIA operative

Joseph C. Wilson, IV, [Valerie Plame's husband] had been 23 years (1975 to 1998) as a career foreign service officer and US ambassador. In 1990, he was chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, and the last American diplomat to meet Saddam Hussein. (Also forceful advocate for his removal from Kuwait[42] He became President George H. W. Bush's ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe (1992 to 1995) and helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council under his successor, Bill Clinton.

On 6th July 2003 he wrote an "op-ed" in the New York Times entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa" in response to claims made by the administration of President George W. Bush. He stated that, on the basis of his "experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war" he has "little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."[43]

This action against CIA officer Plame appears to have been retaliation against Plame for her husband's investigation of the Niger Uranium connection to Saddam, and his contradiction of President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address claim that included these 16 words: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."[44][45]

Eight days later, on July 14, 2003, Washington Post journalist Robert Novak, using information obtained from Richard Armitage at the US State Department ended Valerie Plame's career with the CIA by revealing in his column her identity as a CIA operative.[46][47] Legal documents published in the course of a CIA leak grand jury investigation, United States v. Libby, and Congressional investigations, establish her classified employment as a covert officer for the CIA at the time when Novak's column was published in July 2003.[48][49] Valerie Plame resigned in December 2005.

Despite it being a crime to "out" a CIA operative, Plame and her husband have been unable to sue Richard Armitage or others who contributed to the ending of her career. It is not known how many other people she was working with have been harmed in some way. Plame and her husband have moved far from Washington.

Peter Arnett, veteran journalist

Peter Arnett (b.1934) was a veteran New Zealand journalist awarded the 1966 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. He reported from Vietnam for 13 years and in 1991 achieved worldwide attention for exclusive coverage of the bombings of Baghdad during the Gulf War, broadcast live on CNN. He wrote Live from the Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad, 35 Years in the World's War Zones and in March 1997 interviewed Osama bin Laden.[50] The Journalism School at the Southern Institute of Technology is named after him.

In 2003, Arnett went to Iraq for NBC and National Geographic Society. After a press meeting there he granted an interview to state-run Iraq TV on 31 March 2003, in which he stated:

Now America is reappraising the battlefield, delaying the war against Iraq, maybe a week and rewriting the war plan. The first plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another plan… So our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments.[51]

Arnett's remarks sparked a "firestorm of protest", NBC initially defended him, saying he had given the interview as a professional courtesy and that his remarks were "analytical in nature". A day later they, along with MSNBC and National Geographic all severed their relationships with him.[52]

NBC stated:

It was wrong for Mr Arnett to grant an interview with state-controlled Iraqi TV, especially at a time of war and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions.

Phil Donahue, veteran presenter

Phil Donahue (b. 1935) invented audience participation on American television. His "Donahue" show had a 29-year run on national television until 1996.

The show was reborn on MSNBC in July 2002 and cancelled on February 25, 2003, MSNBC citing his opposition to the imminent invasion of Iraq by the United States military.

Donahue started slowly but was the highest rated show on MSNBC at the time it was cancelled, beating the MSNBC show Hardball with Chris Matthews in the ratings.[53]

In fact, his fate had allegedly been sealed weeks earlier when NBC executives saw a report commissioned to provide guidance on the future of the news channel. First to be dropped was "America's News Channel" but the harshest criticism was levelled at Donahue, whom the authors of the study described as "a tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace."

The study went on to claim that Donahue presented a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war......He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives." The report went on to outline a possible nightmare scenario where the show becomes "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."[54]

In 2007 Donahue commented that the management of MSNBC, owned by General Electric and Microsoft, required that "we have two conservative (guests) for every liberal. I was counted as two liberals." A source close to Donahue said that the tone and outcome weren't surprising, "MSNBC ... scared, and they decided to take the coward's road and slant towards the conservative crowd that watch Fox News" and Donahue himself said "There is no democracy without dissent."

It is also claimed that his rival, Chris Matthews (himself a proponent of the Iraq invasion) played a crucial role in procuring the firing of Donahue and "saw himself as MSNBC's biggest star, and he was upset that the network was pumping significant resources into Donahue's show."[55] In the fall of 2002, U.S. News & World Report ran a gossip item that had Matthews saying over lunch in Washington that if Donahue stays on the air, he could bring down the network.[56]

Chris Hedges, veteran journalist

Chris Hedges left the New York Times in 2003 after he made an anti-Iraq war commencement speech at Rockford College in Illinois. He remembers that during this speech two students tried to shove him off the podium, his mike was cut several times and, wishing to drown him out, part of the crowd stood up and sang “God Bless America.” For making the speech, he was reprimanded by the Times for impugning the impartiality of the paper, something that he notes did not happen to fellow NYT foreign correspondent John Burns, who had come out explicitly in favor of the war. Afterwards, Hedges was subject to violent attack in right wing media.[57]

Ashleigh Banfield, rising star presenter

MSNBC’s rising star Ashleigh Banfield was demoted and then fired after she delivered a stinging rebuke of misleading pro-war TV coverage by U.S. outlets. Jessica Yellin, at MSNBC during the time of the war, admitted in 2008 that "the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings" and that executives would change stories to make them more pro-war.[58]

Peter Van Buren, career government employee

Peter Van Buren spent 24 years in US government service and was serving the State Department when he lead two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) at/from a forward operating base in Iraq. His book "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the War for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People" led to his termination.[59]

Light-hearted comparison with Russian retaliation

Cases such as this have been compared with Abby Martin who began hosting her own show, Breaking the Set, on "Russia Today America" in September 2012 from Washington, DC.

On 3rd March 2014 Abby Martin drew widespread media attention when she closed her show with a minute-long statement condemning the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[60][61]

Russia Today (despite earlier claims that Martin must have been acting with their full knowledge) issued a statement saying: "Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn't beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air."[62] RT added: ""[W]e’ll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story." Martin declined the offer, saying "I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made."[63]

The Breaking the Set program came to an end in February 2015 and Martin left RT without rancour.[64] Anna Belkina of RT told BuzzFeed that "We are proud of the great work she has done as the host of Breaking the Set."[65][66]

Cambridge MP claims being pro-war cost her seat

Anne Campbell, Labour MP in Cambridge (13 years since 1992) suffered a shock defeat in the May 2005 General Election. She was quoted as saying: "People were prepared to sacrifice me to show Tony Blair they were angry" by the Daily Express, which headlined the story as "Iraq cost me my job". However, her Wikipedia article puts its more down to "to her perceived indecisiveness over the government's university top-up fee programme".[citation needed]

Wikipedia Censorship

This compilation was suppressed

Most of the information contained in the above was present on, and then deleted from, the Wikipedia Article on Opposition to the Iraq War apparently on the grounds that the persons named had chosen to resign or were punished for wrong-doing/incompetence. Seeking to list these Western victims of persecution is evidence of bias and unsuitable editing.

This is in startling contrast to the encyclopedia's considerable tabulating and advertising of the persecution of non-Western dissidents.

The Wikipedia is well endowed with entire categories dedicated to political repression and retaliation outside of the West eg the Category on Persecution of dissidents in the Soviet Union is graced with the following sub-categories: Anti-Soviet agitation, Gulag, Political repression in the Soviet Union, Psikhushka, Cases of political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Sluggish schizophrenia, Soviet dissidents.

On top of those generalised articles, there is no shortage of "lists of victims" - "Soviet dissidents" alone has 221 entries and 4 sub-categories - Soviet democracy activists (contains 3 pages) and Soviet human rights activists (contains 49 pages) and Ukrainian dissidents (contains 1 subcategory and 27 pages).

It seems strange indeed that, with this well entrenched enthusiasm for documenting what happened in the now defunct Soviet Union, there cannot be a compilation of Western dissidents who have been hounded from their jobs by pro-war retaliation (or have resigned on principle).

Much of the rest of the Wikipedia article "Opposition to the Iraq War" is well-researched, though perhaps deficient regarding the legal grounds for objections to the war. Some of the objections are presented at Legality of the Iraq War

WP and the militant JIDF

The "Jewish Internet Defense Force" is totally unofficial, has no known membership and is exclusively notable for being "condemned" ... or so one would think.

However, you'd not know that from the considerable JIDF article at the Wikipedia, one might even think it well-respected. There is a section labelled "Criticism" but it consists entirely of sensitively handled restatement of their extremist positions.

WP and two (respectable?) Jewish web-sites

The difference between the treatment of the anonymous JIDF web-site mentioned above and the "True Torah Jews", the 150,000 Satmar Hassidic Jews of Brooklyn is extreme, this fairly significant community does not even get to have its own article.

This is even more surprising since it has a very long-standing and well-maintained anti-Zionist web-site. The position of the web-site in the world (in Jan 2016) was 888,003 and its rank in United States 251,960, according to Alexa (lower number, more popular site). Whereas the JIDF position on the same date is 9,587,062 in the world, rank unknown in US.

Is this the encyclopedia to which people add useful and important information, or is it a play space for militants?

Not only do the "True Torah Jews" not get their own article but they cannot be quoted anywhere else in the encyclopedia. For example, one of the important historical entries on their web-site (previously JewsAgainstZionism, now re-directs) is the testimony of a yeshiva student present at the 1929 Hebron Massacre, Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, who went on to become Principal of [Lev?] Beis Yaakov Girls School in Brooklyn (1911-1996). Not only is his striking historical testimony of good community relations destroyed (with very tragic consequences) by the Zionists not mentioned anywhere in the Wikipedia - but Kaplan himself is not even mentioned in the 60-strong listing of people bearing the name "Kaplan"!.

A much smaller and very much more thoroughly condemned community of anti-Zionist religious Jews, the Neturei Karta gets its own article in the encyclopedia:

Neturei Karta states that no official count of the number of members exists[67] [WS says - this reference to a Spring 2006 article in "Guilt and Pleasure"!] The Jewish Virtual Library puts their numbers at 5,000,[68] while the Anti-Defamation League estimates that fewer than 100 members of the community take part in anti-Israel activism.[69]

The Neturai Karta web-site also carries the Boruch Kaplan testimony about the excellent community relations in Hebron before the 1929 massacre, rendering the Wikipedia's refusal to mention it even more difficult to understand.

WP and the English language news-show

Wikipedia used to have an entry on the RT ("Russian TV") news-show "Breaking the Set", but decided that the show had relatively low visibility other than the incident mentioned above. Some details of the news-show remain at Abby Martin:[70][71][72][73][74][75][76][77][78] Again, one might suppose there was a huge difference in notability between this show and the JIDF mentioned above.


  1. Opposition to the Iraq War Wikipedia, various dates.
  3. Stefaan Walgrave and Joris Verhulst, pers/Verhulst.pdf The February 15 Worldwide Protests against a War in Iraq: An Empirical Test of Transnational Opportunities. Outline of a Research Programme. Draft paper online. p.5. Accessed January 24, 2006. (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Anti-war/An Empirical Test of Transnational Opportunities for permission to quote paper)
  4. "Millions join global anti-war protests" BBC News 17 February, 2003.
  5. "Demonstrations in Beijing call for end to war" China Daily 31st March 2003
  6. "Who are we?" World Council of Churches, 2003.
  7. "Statement Against Military Action in Iraq" World Council of Churches, 2003.
  8. Andrew Rawnsley, "The End of the Party", Penguin Books 2010, p. 211
  9. David Kelly, Oral evidence before the Foreign Affairs Committee Publications Parliament, 15 July 2003
  13. "Resignation Statement of Mr Robin Cook to the House of Commons" "...why I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support." Publications Parliament, 17 Mar 2003
  21. "Clare Short's 'reckless' interview"
  22. "Interview with Crispin Flintoff on the Not the Andrew Marr Show on 19 March 2023, marking the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq War"
  23. "Clare Short's resignation letter"
  30. The entire speech is contained in David Morley Gorgeous George: The Life and Adventures of George Galloway, London: Politicos, 2007, pp. 210–11
  32. August 2008
  34. {
  35. Matthew Tempest "Galloway expelled from Labour", theguardian,com, 23 October 2003
  36. a b
  37. Andrew Sparrow "Labour expels Galloway", Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2003
  39. Patrick Wintour "Galloway suspended by Labour", The Guardian (London), 7 May 2003
  40. "Labour suspends Galloway", BBC News, 6 May 2003
  41. Morley, p.270
  42. "'He Has Subverted the Rule of Law and the System of Justice' – Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson Reacts to Bush's Commutation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby Jail Sentence in Outing of Valerie Plame", "Rush Transcript" of interview with Joseph C. Wilson, IV, on "Democracy Now!" July 5, 2005.
  43. Joseph C. Wilson, IV, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", The New York Times, July 6, 2003, Op-Ed, accessed September 17, 2006.
  44. "President Delivers "State of the Union: The U.S. Capitol", press release, The White House, January 28, 2003, accessed July 23, 2007. (Full transcript of the speech.)
  45. See, e.g, "16 Words" and "previous" link as provided by, March 7, 2003, accessed July 23, 2007.
  46. John Solomon, "Rove Won't Be Charged in CIA Leak Case", Newsweek, June 13, 2006, accessed July 15, 2006.
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