On October 22, Ray gave a talk in Galway, completing a string of talks and interviews over the past two weeks in Berlin, Bonn/Koenigswinter, and Dublin. Below is a link to one of the articles that the Galway Alliance Against War was able to place in a few of the papers in western Ireland.
In this photo, former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday poses a question to Ray about the staying power of the U.S. Empire.
Ray had not seen Halliday in several years and was delighted that Denis, who now lives in Clifton, Connemara, came to Galway City for the “Public Meeting” arranged by the Galway Alliance Against War.
Halliday quit the UN after a 34-year career when, as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq from 1996-1998, he was unable to stop what he called the “genocide” in Iraq caused by Western sanctions, mostly at U.S. insistence. He explained why he quit:
I was driven to resignation because I refused to continue to take Security Council orders, the same Security Council that had imposed and sustained genocidal sanctions on the innocent of Iraq. I did not want to be complicit. …
And above all, my innate sense of justice was and still is outraged by the violence that UN sanctions have brought upon, and continues to bring upon, the lives of children, families – the extended families, the loved ones of Iraq. There is no justification for killing the young people of Iraq, not the aged, not the sick, not the rich, not the poor.
Some will tell you that the [Iraqi] leadership is punishing the Iraqi people. That is not my perception, or experience from living in Baghdad. And were that to be the case – how can that possibly justify further punishment, in fact collective punishment, by the United Nations? … International law has no provision for the disproportionate and murderous consequences of the ongoing UN embargo for well over 12 long years.
To refresh memories regarding what Denis was up against, here is a short excerpt of a May 12, 1996 “60 Minutes” interview of then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright. Stahl asked Albright if she thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children [under the age of 5] was worth it. You have to see Albright’s answer to believe it. (9/11 came 5 years later.)
In Koenigswinter/Bonn, Ray’s formal speech focused on the conference topic: “Entspannung JETZT!” (Détente NOW).
In Berlin Ray spoke with Bundestag members from the Linke and the Green parties. The Linke expects to be in opposition (together with the Social Democrats) when a new coalition government is formed in the coming weeks. The Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) have considerable leverage as they bargain with the CDU/CSU to form a governing coalition, since the CDU suffered significant losses in the September election. A common assumption is that, Chancellor Angela Merkel will be history, if she fails to form such a coalition.
The Germans were much relieved – not to say shocked – at the news in German media that that Putin not only did NOT interfere in the German election, but also has stopped beating his wife.
Ray is looking forward to getting back to Washington this coming week to take his place with other designated “useful idiots.”