Daily Archives: August 7, 2007


Good for Gordon

The Village Voice detect hopeful signs that Gordon is not as much of a poodle as Tony. I hope they are right. It is worth following the link, not so much for my namecheck as for the lovely photo.

http://villagevoice.com/blogs/bushbeat/archive/2007/08/postpoodle_poli.php

It would be churlish not to congratulate the government for at long last calling for the release of five British residents, against whom there is no smidgeon of evidence, held in Guantanamo Bay. My own campaigning on this issue has been mostly with the Save Omar campaign from Brighton. I have no doubt the government’s welcome change of heart is related to the departure of the odious Blair.

The BBC, however, seems to think it necessary to report the story with reference to the dangers the government is running by potentially letting innocent people walk the streets.

In the meantime the government is revealing its callousness towards all Iraqi life by refusing to allow Iraqi interpreters, working for the British forces, to have asylum in the UK. Of course we must, as we leave defeated, get out all Iraqi civilians who have worked for us and their immediate families. I do not want to see our soldiers training their guns on their own desperate staff as the last helicopter takes off.

When the government tried to stop me publishing Murder in Samarkand, one of the more despicable arguments they used was to try emotional blackmail by asking me to consider what reprisals the Uzbek government would take on my ex-staff. The obvious answer to that, is that of course the Uzbek government already knew the whole story, and who my staff were. What we should have been doing was offering to get my ex-staff out with their immediate families and give them asylum. They refused to contemplate that.

In fact the UK Embassy in Tashkent has since I left substantially reduced its local staff and, as far as anyone can tell, now performs no discernible function. I am happy to say that at least three of my close staff members have indeed managed to escape the country so far.

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190,000 missing weapons

The US seems much more concerned at having lost 190,000 weapons than at a multiple of that number in dead people losing their lives.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2841342.ece

Doubtless many of these weapons are in the hands of opponents of the US occupation. Of those other weapons issued by the US that can be accounted for, most are in the hands of security services that are simply local militias in uniform and can switch allegiances from day to day.

You have to add to the 190,000 weapons the still greater potency of the weapons already in Iraq

before the invasion, looted from Saddam’s massive conventional arms caches which the coalition failed to secure while Bush and Blair had them desperately searching for non-existent WMD.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/10/26/explosives_were_looted_after_iraq_invasion/

The other thing the US is good at losing is money. Of course, the poor US tazpayer is spending a triilion dollars on the War in Iraq, while the hopeless administration manages to mislay billions at a time.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article720217.ece

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2008189,00.html

Much of that lost money lined the pockets of “contractors” and corrupt officials. Some will have again found its way through criminal channels to the Iraqi resistance. The US continually accuses Iran of funding and arming the Iraqi resistance. That is hardly necessary when the US is doing such a good job of arming and funding the Iraqi resistance itself, often through the well established criminal gangs within the US armed forces.

http://stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=41005&archive=true

You really do have to wonder how long this can go on. The brainwashing of key portions of the US population through the media and evangelical churches, and the crass appeal by shifty politicians to “Patriotism”, has held the line so far against all the evidence of the disaster this is for the US as a nation. But at some time the patience of the people must surely snap – I suspect leaving a timid Democrat leadership scuttling to keep up.

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