Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Laureates Against Blackmail

Nobel Peace Laureates Oppose Iraqi Oil Law Imposition

The Laureates' statement is as follows:
"In support of the people of Iraq, we the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates state our opposition to the Iraq Oil Law. We also oppose the decision of the United States government to require that the Iraq government pass the Oil Law as a condition of continued reconstruction aid in legislation passed on May 24, 2007. A law with the potential to so radically transform the basic economic security of the people of Iraq should not be forced on Iraq while it is under occupation and in such a weak negotiating position vis-à-vis both the U.S. government and foreign oil corporations. The Iraq Oil Law could benefit foreign oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people, deny the Iraqi people economic security, create greater instability, and move the country further away from peace. The U.S. government should leave the matter of how Iraq will address the future of its oil system to the Iraqi people to be dealt with at a time when they are free from occupation and more able to engage in truly democratic decision-making. It is immoral and illegal to use war and invasion as mechanisms for robbing a people of their vital natural resources."
Source: Institute for Public Accuracy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tony's Parting Gift

Arguing for Britain, but obviously not for Britons, T Blair gains his point in discussions on the new European Constitution.

The Guardian reports:
"On Britain's central demand not to be subject to a European charter of fundamental rights which can be enforced by the European court of justice, the government won an extra "protocol" denying the court the right to get involved in British litigation, according to sources."
And a sly extra treat from Tone (also from The Guardian):
"He said the agreement sealed at the end of his last European Council summit in Brussels secured all of Britain's key demands and means the treaty will not require a referendum in the UK."
You know, like, "Trust me."

Image: detail from WWII poster.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blair Bliar Blah Blah Blairrrghh...

Two speeches for the history books.

Probably one of the dirtiest speeches in UK history, Blair's speech on terrorism and civil liberty: timesonline

A commenter points out what we would have hoped our Leader would have known:
"You can't use a bad means for a good end. Basic rule of moral philosophy."

The biggest lie in the speech:
"This extremism can be defeated. But it will be defeated only by recognising that we have not created it; it cannot be negotiated with; pandering to its sense of grievance will only encourage it; and only by confronting it, the methods and the ideas, will we win."

And Blair's speech to the House of Commons on September 14th, 2001: The Guardian

He starts:
"Mr Speaker, I am grateful that you agreed to the recall of parliament to debate the hideous and foul events in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that took place on Tuesday 11 September.
I thought it particularly important in view of the fact that these attacks were not just attacks upon people and buildings; nor even merely upon the USA; these were attacks on the basic democratic values in which we all believe so passionately and on the civilised world. It is therefore right that parliament, the fount of our own democracy, makes its democratic voice heard."

"But let us unite in agreeing this: what happened in the United States on Tuesday was an act of wickedness for which there can never be justification."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Boo the Warmonger

"27 June Warmonger Out!

Tony Blair will quit Downing St on the morning of 27 June. We all recall those stage-managed images of him entering through rapt crowds waving union jacks. Well, it is time for the reverse image as we boo the old warmonger out. I do hope you will join me there. Blair's leaving will be covered worldwide and it is a great opportunity to get our point across. It was Blair's support for Israel's invasion of Lebanon, against the whole background of the war in Iraq, that led the Labour MPs to boot Blair out. We should remind the World why he has to go."
From Craig Murray's blog

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Iron Triangle

The confluence of the military, big business and politics.

See how it works. An interesting video about the Carlyle Group; about G Bush senior's business interests and his son's political influence; and about the financial benefit of war.

Exposed: The Carlyle Group


And the nominee for new head of the World Bank:

A 'policy wonk with sharp elbows'

Robert Zoellick is nominated by Bush Jr as successor to Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank.
"Described by former colleagues as a policy wonk with sharp elbows, Mr Zoellick's background means he is familiar with the rigours of international diplomacy. Before his official jobs under Mr Bush, he served as a protege of James Baker, a long-time confident of the Bush family. Mr Zoellick helped run two presidential election campaigns and served in the administration of Mr Bush's father."
Source: The Guardian

Thursday, June 14, 2007

US loves Israel, not UN

From The Guardian:
'American support for Israel has hindered international efforts to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, according to a hard-hitting confidential report from the outgoing UN Middle East envoy.

Alvaro de Soto, who stepped down last month after 25 years at the UN, has exposed the American pressure that he argues has damaged the impartiality of the UN's peace making efforts.

In Mr de Soto's "End of Mission Report", which the Guardian has obtained, he delivers a devastating criticism of both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the international community.

The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the UN, the US, the EU and Russia - has often failed to hold Israel to its obligations under the Road Map, the current framework for peace talks, he argues.

Over the past two years, the Quartet has gradually lost its impartiality. "The fact is that even-handedness has been pummelled into submission in an unprecedented way since the beginning of 2007," he writes.

He blames overwhelming influence exerted by the US and an "ensuing tendency toward self-censorship" within the UN when it comes to criticism of Israel.

"At almost every juncture a premium is put on good relations with the US and improving the UN's relationship with Israel. I have no problem with either goal but I do have a problem with self-delusion," he writes. "Forgetting our ability to influence the Palestinian scene in the hope that it keeps open doors to Israel is to trade our Ace for a Joker."'

'Mr de Soto speaks of his frustration in the job, not least that he was refused permission to meet the Hamas and Syrian governments in Damascus. "At best I have been the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in name only, and since the election of Hamas, I have been the secretary-general's personal representative to the Palestinian Authority for about 10 minutes in two phone calls and one handshake," he writes.

He stepped down in May at the end of his two-year contract and left the UN. The "tipping-point" for his departure came after the new UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said future meetings with a Palestinian prime minister would depend on the actions of his government.'

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

"Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and four other groups, are demanding that the US government accounts for the whereabouts of 39 people whom they believe have been held at secret CIA prisons since the attacks of September 11 2001."

"The list also includes a number of children, including the two young sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The two boys have not been seen by family members since they were detained in Pakistan almost five years ago during a raid in search of their father."

"The report... expresses concern over the fate of Yusuf al-Khalid and Abed al-Khalid, the sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They were taken into custody, aged nine and seven, in September 2002, during an attempt to capture their father. A former detainee says that he saw them in March the following year, around the time their father was captured, in a secret prison where the guards tormented them with insects.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano dismissed the report, telling Reuters news agency that the agency acts in 'strict accord with American law', and that its counter-terrorist initiatives are 'subject to careful review and oversight'. He added: 'The United States does not conduct or condone torture.'"
From The Guardian