Wootten Basset: 4 Years of Military Propaganda Comes to an End

Keelan Balderson – Wideshut.co.uk August 31, 2011

Citizens of the small Wiltshire market town of Wootton Bassett covered the streets yesterday in what will be their final salute to Britain’s fallen military personnel. The town began the tradition when repatriation flights were moved from RAF Brize Norton, Oxon to RAF Lyneham in 2007.

379 coffins later, flights will return to Brize Norton in September, ending the official ceremonies that have put the town on the map and given the media 4 years of propagandist pro-war patriotism.

Yesterday around 750 people paid their respects to deceased Marine James Wright of the 42 Commando, who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan. The media call him a hero, but with the facts about the Afghan invasion firmly on the record, maybe it’s time we started calling these young men victims.

Far from protecting the “freedoms” of the British public (can you find an instance where the Taliban or Afghan villagers attacked the UK?) The war in Afghanistan has emerged as an intertwined imperialist and corporate agenda. An expansion of the Anglo-American empire at the expense of innocents on both sides.

The invasion was launched in response to the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling Al-Qaeda and finding Bin Laden. Although that meme has been perpetuated unquestioningly for the past decade, there is not one shred of evidence that Bin Laden orchestrated the attacks and little evidence that he and the mass of Al Qaeda were headquartered in Afghanistan following them. Evidence is the keyword, without evidence there is no justification for war.

Weeks after 9/11, as reported by The Guardian: Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeff, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, said: “We are prepared to try him if America provides solid evidence of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in attacks in New York and Washington.” Asked whether the Taliban would allow a trial of Bin Laden in another country, he said: “We are willing to talk about that, but the first is that we must be given the evidence.”

As Western propaganda hit full stride, without any inquiry or investigation in to who carried out the attacks, Blair and Bush flatly refused to offer any actual proof to Afghan leaders. “There are no negotiations. There is no calendar.” [1]

Young innocent British and American soldiers were rounded up and sent to a baron unknown land in order to find and destroy what there was no evidence for. They found themselves traipsing around the Tora Bora mountains looking for James Bond style hideouts, but after 5 weeks Brigadier Roger Lane had to admit, “We haven’t found any Al Qaeda [fighters]“, and that they “hadn’t killed any” either. [2]

In the October after suffering devastating bombings, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden (if they could find him) even without seeing any evidence. [3]

The west still refused, choosing to continue a baseless invasion with no defined enemy. In regard to Bin Laden Bush confidently proclaimed: “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.” [4] However Bush never provided any evidence as to why he was so sure.

Then out of the blue following reports that Bin Laden had died, in December the US randomly discovered a tape purporting to be Bin laden confessing to the attacks. Finally justification for the war! Well not quite.

On December 20, 2001, German TV channel “Das Erste” broadcast its own analysis of the White House’s translation, which George Bush has called a “confession of guilt”. On the show Monitor, two independent translators and an expert on oriental studies found the White House’s translation not only to be inaccurate, but “manipulative”.

Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini, one of the translators, said:
“I have carefully examined the Pentagon’s translation. This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of Bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic.”

Prof. Gernot Rotter, professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the Asia-Africa Institute at the University of Hamburg concluded:

“The American translators who listened to the tapes and transcribed them apparently wrote a lot of things in that they wanted to hear but that cannot be heard on the tape no matter how many times you listen to it.”

There were lots of claims and assertions, but still no evidence. Bin Laden was never indicted for 9/11, and the FBI admits that there is “no hard evidence” of his involvement. [5]. 15 out of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, not from Afghanistan.

Fortunately the real reasons for the war have managed to seep through in to the dark corners of the mainstream media, albeit never to be repeated and never to be used in the same sentence as “fallen heroes” so as not to disrupt the propaganda.

It turns out 9/11 was not the initial reason for the US Government to plan a war with Afghanistan. It was just the convenient pretext used to get the public on side. MSNBC reported that two days before 9/11 the plan was already on Bush’s table.

In many respects, the directive, as described to NBC News, outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks.

This fell in to the PNAC agenda of “full spectrum dominance” over the middle-east. The think tank, which included Bush Administration puppeteers Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, produced a report called Rebuilding America’s Defenses. Section V of this report was entitled the New Pearl Harbor, and suggested the process of “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force” could not go ahead without “some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”. It could be argued that 9/11 was that event.

The Western powers have a long standing interest in Afghanistan for strategic and corporate gain. The Guardian notes:

Afghanistan is a crucial energy transit corridor in central Asia, potentially connecting the energy-rich central Asian republics with the Arabian Sea and/or the Indian Ocean.

It was the same agenda in the 80s when the CIA actually worked alongside Bin Laden to drain the Soviet Empire. President jimmy Carter stated:
“We must recognize the strategic importance of Afghanistan…a Soviet occupied Afghanistan…is a stepping stone to possible control over much of the world’s oil supplies.” [

As reported by the BBC In 1997, only a few years before 9/11, Taliban leaders were actually flown in to the US by energy Giant Unocal to discuss the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. Although this has yet to come to fruition it was most certainly a motivating factor. It’s not like Bush has major ties to the oil and energy industry is it?

Then there is Afghanistan’s Trillion Dollar, supposed “Previously Unknown Deposits” of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium that hit headlines in 2010. Although it had been reported on deaf ears three years earlier in 2007, and as covered by GlobalResearch.ca was actually reported by Russia in 2002 and known by the world’s leaders as far back as the 60s.

Afghanistan is also home to a monopoly on the opium (heroin) trade. In fact 90% of the heroin sold on British streets comes from Afghanistan, and it only hit that figure after the Western invasion, when it saw a 657% increase in production.[7] The likes of the CIA and their secret drug trafficking rings is no secret (see Iran-Contra-Affair), so when we see such a correlation, rest assured it is the West that has it’s fingers in the pie, not just the “terrorists”. The lead opium dealer in the region was Ahmed Wali Karzai, who just so happened to be the brother of the Western backed President Hamid Karzai. As reported by the New York Times: The [Central Intelligence] agency pays Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar.

Fox News even let slip that yes, the troops do in fact help cultivate the opium:

There comes a point when we have to admit that we’ve been lied to and there was no justification for the invasion of Afghanistan, and therefore no justification in honoring the soldiers that were duped in to fighting there. That doesn’t mean we hurl abuse at them or ignore their injuries; but when a young man comes back in a coffin, draped in a flag, to hordes of supporters, whose mother is then told he was hero fighting for our freedoms, we build an illusion that only encourages more young men to join an army that sends it’s soldiers to foreign lands to die based on lies. If I’m anti-British or unpatriotic for saying that, then I’m ashamed to be British.

“I believe great wrongs have been perpetrated in Afghanistan…I cannot, in good conscience, be part of them. I’m bound by law and moral duty to try and stop them. I’m a soldier and I belong to the profession of arms. I expected to go to war, but I also expected that the need to defend this country’s interests would be legal and justifiable. I don’t think this is too much to ask. It’s now apparent that the conflict is neither of these and that’s why I must make this stand.” [7]

For taking that stand Lance Corporal Joe Glenton spent 9 months in military prison for desertion.

When will our lying, resource pillaging, drug trafficking leaders spend their time in jail?

Although Wootton Basset will no longer host the propagandist processions, unless we address the real causes of war and bring our troops home, Marine James Wright will not be the last young man to die for the empire.