Daily Archives: January 23, 2009

Reasons to Believe 69

I have been firmly in the camp of Obama sceptics, viewing the adulation with distaste and seeing little substance in his famed rhetoric. But in just 48 hours I fnd myself warming very considerably to the man. The priority he has given to reversing the worst excesses of the Bush regime in the “War on Terror” has been extraordinary. All the indications are that it is genuine. He is not just closing Guantanamo as a blind under which to continue the torture and extraordinary rendition, but is closing down the whole system.


I cannot tell you how much emotion I feel that the US will no longer be flying people to Uzbekistan, to be tortured and often buried there. I lost my livelihood trying to stop it.


This “Intelligence cooperation” continued after the US withdrew from K2 airbase in 2005, though recently at a much lower level of intensity.

Obama seems genuinely to understand that the major thrust of preventing political violence must be not to give people genuine cause to hate you. But it must go further. Obama’s moves to restore legality are an acknowledgement that what went before was illegal. There must be full openness and investigation. America’s reputation will not be restored until all of those who unleashed systematic kidnapping, torture and murder round the world are brought to justice.

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Petition Gordon Brown Over Israeli War Crimes 5

Two important petitions to Gordon Brown are on the official government ‘Number 10’ website.

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to impose an arms embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip and to apply pressure on countries supplying Israel with arms that breach international agreements with the intention of restoring lasting peace to the region.”


“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Introduce sanctions against Israel.

Israeli must be punished for its failure to adhere to the Geneva convention concerning the collective punishment of the citizens of Gaza. Israeli tactics are cruel, malicious and demonstrate that Israel is not interested in the peace process or a Palestinian State. They are creating the ideal breeding ground for extremism, sabotaging peace efforts and squandering the good will they have been given.”


Both of these petitions are entitled to an official government response. They are currently the third and fourth biggest open petitions on the site…

Petitions’ deadline is 27th January.

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