Daily archives: November 3, 2006

A Complete Review Of Craig Murray’s Seminar or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Hate The Left

“There is some validity in this critique, and certainly many on the left display an over-simplistic world view. But then so does this commentator, in being distracted from the truth of our illegal and aggressive foreign policy, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people – rather more important than being annoyed by a chap with a beard.”

From Semp

A Complete Review Of Craig Murray’s Seminar or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Hate The Left

The other night, Bradford University’s Richmond Building was graced with the presence of Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is ostensibly a great friend of the UK and the Coallition of the Willing, so dedicated to those noble values of Freedom and Democracy and Justice that when the CIA happens to drop off an individual who may or may not actually be guilty of something, in Tashkent, their security services stop at nothing to drain the suspect of every last drop of information. The standard gamut of what the US euphmeistically refers to as “hard interrogation” techniques are employed, as well as their own homegrown notoriety: the boiling of subjects alive. Either whole or limb by limb. Let Freedom Ring, baby.

So Murray came to Bradford as part of a tour supporting his new book which goes into greater detail about his discovery of this scheme of “extraordinary rendition”, and his subsequent dismissal from his post by the Home Office after he steadfastly refused to be cowed into silence on the matter. Unlike many speakers embraced by the Stop The War movement, Murray speaks with modesty and a cool head. While he does occasionally stray toward conspiracy theorist territory with some of his musings about the motivations for various wars and military strategy, he remains rooted in the overall political mainstream. This granted him a certain credibility that managed to overcome, for example, the faux-blood spattered banner of the Bradford Stop The War Coallition slung haphazardly from the whiteboard behind him. Too bad this credibility has yet to seep into the movement that supports him.

At the end of the evening, Murray opened the floor for a question and answer session. The first participant was a middle aged white man, who stood up and solemnly intoned “I’m going to say something that’s illegal.” At this point I was already thinking “Oh Christ. Here we go. ‘F*ck Tony Blair, down with capitalism. Fight the system, man'”

“You’ll say it’s glorifying terrorism. Victory to Hamas! Victory to the Insurgents in Iraq!”

When I’m angry I typically have two mental states: Quiet seething rage, and Verbose Invective. But I was so stultified by this demonstration of pure idiocy that was I stuck trotally dumb. The brutal tidal wave of deep foolishness pouring from this man’s primary oriphice seemed to knock my brain out of joint, leaving my jaw hanging, useless, totally mute. Before I even had a chance to try to organise my cluster of outraged semi-thoughts into some sort of blistering response at least half the room erupted into spontaneous applause. At that point, hell froze over, the world became a different place and a million and one shrill right-wingers were proved totally correct.


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The Horrors of “Extraordinary Rendition”

By Maher Arar in FPIF

Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who is barred from entering the United States, delivered his acceptance speech for the Letelier-Moffitt International Human Rights Award in a pre-recorded videotape. This is a transcript of his speech, which was viewed at the award ceremony hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies on Oct. 18, 2006 in Washington, DC.

This award means a tremendous amount to us. It means that there are still Americans out there who value our struggle for justice.

It means that there are Americans out there who are truly concerned about the future of America. We now know that my story is not a unique one. Over the past two years we have heard from many other people who were, who have been kidnapped, unlawfully detained, tortured and eventually released without being charged with any crime in any country.

Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was a victim of the U.S. policy known as “extraordinary rendition.” He was detained by U.S. officials in 2002, accused of terrorist links, and handed over to Syrian authorities, who tortured him. Arar is working with the Center for Constitutional Rights to appeal a case against the U.S. government that was dismissed on national security grounds.

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