Hurray! Osama Bin Laden’s driver has been convicted by a totally impartial jury of, umm, US military officers. Next week we have the trial of the woman who cooked his soup, while I understand the CIA are pursuing a very reliable lead on the whereabouts of his local dry cleaner.
In general I do not believe in visiting the sins of the fathers on the children, but I must admit that I would be much more comfortable if Oswald Mosley’s son wasn’t doing quite so well as to be the multi-millionaire head of world motor racing, with his own string of prostitutes. Particularly as he actively supported his father’s fascist campaigns once he was old enough to know better.
I was slightly surprised to find that Oswald Mosley was still campaigning in London in the 1960s. What a tolerant people we are. Certainly if either of my grandfathers had seen him, they would have beaten the hell out of him.
If Max Mosley had finished his days as a retired solicitor in Hendon, I would not have begrudged him mild prosperity just because of his dad. But titular head of Formula 1? What are they thinking of? Couldn’t they track down any Hitler relatives for the post?
Infuriatingly, Max Mosley’s legal win over the News of The World (a case in which life sentences for everybody involved would have been fully justified – including the judge) has added to my difficulties in publishing The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. We already face FCO censorship, separate libel threats from Tim Spicer and Peter Penfold, and a friendly fire attack from Clare Short who doesn’t want me to publish her over-enthusiastic and well-oiled dinner party denunication of the British Empire (she denies it happened).
Now I have received the comments from my publisher’s lawyers, who suggests at several points that changes are needed due to the Max Mosley case.
The BBC just broadcast an interview with a Chinese dissident who said his greatest desire was for freedom of speech. Me too.
If it wasn’t for the border crossings, an eight hour drive from the Eastern border of Uzbekistan would take you into China. There you would be among the Uighurs, a people culturally and linguistically extremely close to the Uzbeks. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs are culturally, religiously and ethnically oppressed by the highly racist Chnese state. But the Uighurs are Muslims and they do not get the press coverage of the Tibetans, even though their oppression has been still more systematic and brutal. Over a million Uighurs have been displaced by the Chinese state in the last three years alone. Thousands are murdered – either executed or disappeared – every year.
The Uighurs are one of a swathe of Muslim peoples across Central Asia, who fell into the thrall of foreign Empires between the middles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are at least eighteen of these identifiable and mostly Turkic ethnicities, running from the Chechens in the West to the Uighurs in the East. About half the groups who fell under Russian, then Soviet, rule are now in “independent” republics named after Turkic ethnicities. But their political, cultural and religous freedom is still generally repressed as a consequence of continued domination by Soviet apparatchik elites who cling to power through ruthlessness. Meanwhile both Russia and China keep down the Turkic ethnicities within their borders through fierce and relentless brutality.
The War on Terror has enabled Russia, China, Karimov and other Central Asian leaders to characterise any manifestation of a desire for freedom in the region as Islamic terrorism and extremism. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, combining China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan*, is a dictators’ club. Despite having several theoretical fields of activity, the main practical focus is entirely on security and, in the words of their declaration, combating “terrorism, separatism and extremism”. That is code for repressing any moves to freedom in Central Asia. Co-operation extends to false flag operations and fake intelligence. The Uzbek government response to the Andijan massacre was an example of this, with the Russian government providing “Evidence” to back the Uzbek government’s story that the massacred demonstrators were terrorists organised by Chechens and funded by the USA (sic).
One good thing about the Olympics going to Beijing is that the western media has run a few articles on the plight of the Uighurs, of whose existence I suspect few western reporters knew a couple of weeks ago. It is entirely predictable that the Chinese governemmt is responding by organising “terrorist incidents” to try to blacken the Uighurs as part of Al Qaida. Do not be taken in by this rubbish.
*The Tajiks are not Turkic but Persian