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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/23/secret-prisons-closure-obama-cia

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.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/Telegram.pdf

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.


69 thoughts on “Reasons to Believe

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  • George Dutton

    "Reasons to Believe"

    When I find ONE I'll let you know Craig.

    "A draft executive order seen by news agencies sets a 12-month deadline to shut the complex "in view of significant concerns … both within the United States and internationally"."…
    http://tinyurl.com/anxfsc

    "sets a 12-month deadline to shut the complex"

    Right now would be a better time.

    Me thinks the below may NOT be the case…

    "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."

    Time will tell.

    Craig I hear these people have been known to tell lies.

  • eddie

    Craig – I am glad that you are less sceptical than you were. It saddens me that so many on the far left are already attacking Obama without giving him a chance. Their latent anti-Americanism won't allow them to see beyond their rhetoric. If any of you care to read his books you will see that his story is really remarkable. I would urge you to read the speech he made after the Jeremiah Wright affair (google Jeremiah Wright Obama) – if it doesn't move you to tears there is something worng with you.

  • George Dutton

    "Scripted like a Hollywood movie"

    "What you see is definitely not what you get"…
    http://tinyurl.com/d2ktss

    Hmmm…If Obama is keeping Guantanamo and other places open for another 12-months,that makes him a guilty of crimes against humanity.

    By NOT bringing Bush and co to justice makes him guilty of crimes against humanity.

  • George Dutton

    "Conspiracy theorists, cranks and weirdos. Join planet earth."

    eddie

    I bet you practiced saying that in front of the mirror…everyday of your life..lol.

  • Craig

    George

    I started from your position, but can see no reason for such a frenetic start on this if it were not genuine – he could have left it a few weeks without political damage.

    David

    Thanks, something to look out for.

    As George rightly says, time will tell.

  • David Carraher

    The true measure of the current administration's sincerity will be its response (or lack of response) to subpoenas. The question is less about launching new investigations than it is about furnishing information related to upcoming lawsuits.

  • George Dutton

    George

    “I started from your position, but can see no reason for such a frenetic start on this if it were not genuine – he could have left it a few weeks without political damage.”

    Craig

    A case of too many false dawns.

    “No commitment to end kangaroo courts –

    No commitment that all the Guantanamo prisoners will either be charged or released –

    No commitment to end detention without trial

    Is this really a new era?”…

    http://tinyurl.com/cxfts4

  • writerman

    I’m actually with Craig on this. I really, really, hope that Obama will begin a new era of change. I am sceptical though, however, I’d enjoy being proved wrong about my misgivings.

    I’d just add that ‘all’ Obama is doing is pulling the United States back towards the rule of law, and away from blatant criminality, the shredding of international law, and normal civilised standards. It’s telling that, after eight years of Bush, such moves are greeted with universal acclaim, which just shows how far from normalcy the United States has strayed under the previous administration!

    Not sanctioning torture is seen as progress. Isn’t it really a return to the status quo anti? Still, anything that puts a break on the systematic use of torture and our collective slide towards barbarism is to be welcomed.

    It’s not only that the torture complex degrades us morally and philosophically, it’s also plain wrong, counter-productive and doesn’t work. People under torture will say almost anything they think one wants to hear, in order to stop the pain, or they defiantly remain silent not matter what one does to them. Though I suppose torture as a form of terror, to frighten the opposition might have an effect, the opposite effect of what one hoped! Violent oppression has a habit of backfiring.

  • Ed

    I concur with Craig on this.

    We should be encouraged that Obama has instantly prioritised the issue of Guantanamo Bay, renditions etc. It is only a start, but that he went to work on these matters on Day 1 is very noteworthy.

    I also think the 120 days of breathing room to investigate is pretty sensible – not for any political reason, but surely because the Obama team are going to need time to understand fully the kafkaesque system established by the Bush administration before they can go to work dismantling it.

    It is, of course, only a start. But I believe very strongly in the principle of “rewarding good behaviour” inasfar as it applies to politicians. And what Obama has already done warrants support – if he backtracks, we can drop this support. But so far, he deserves praise.

  • writerman

    I’ve been listening to what Obama said and reading the text of what he signed. It’s interesting, and as I’ve got to head for the kitchen and start on supper, I’ll make this short.

    He hasn’t actually said that the United States did anything illegal or used torture as an interogation method.

    What he said, and signed was an order that underlined that prisoners should be treated in accordance with the US Army Field Manual and the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of prisoners. It’s somewhat ‘fuzzy’ because what is ‘torture’ and what isn’t according to the US definition? Bush said last week that the US didn’t use torture and he had legal backing for his statement.

    Obama has announced that he’s going to set up task force which will come with recomendations about what interogation methods one can use, and if they are effective, and whether they are compatible with the Army Field Manual and the Geneva Conventions, and the current US definition of what constitutes torture. When does ‘interogation’ become ‘torture’ exactly.

    Further, he didn’t specifically ban extraordinary rendition to countries that use torture on prisoners. He implied that this was the case, but it was actually in the Presidential Order he signed. This may be splitting hairs somewhat, but we should remember that he is by training a lawyer!

    Finally, he didn’t actually say that all prisoners held ‘illegally’ in the various US prisons around the world, in Afghanistan – five to ten thousand, in Iraq – twenty to thirty thousand, would all be released or put on trial.

    In fact he mentioned that there were some prisoners that were so dangerous and the evidence against them so sensetive that putting them on trial might prove difficult, leaving the door open to keeping them permanently behind bars. Much will depend on the results and recommendations produced by the task force.

  • Sabretache

    I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism. Hope maybe (since it springs eternal) but, laudable as his post inauguration actions to date are, they are uncontroversial and no more than judged necessary by the elites whose vetting processes put him where he is and whose interests I have no doubt he will faithfully serve. It is his military, foreign and economic policy appointments that depress me no end. And his pronouncements on Israel to date (‘Jerusalem undivided must remain the capital of Israel’; ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ etc etc) – his fawning pre-election performance in front of AIPAC; everything in fact points to him simply being just a more acceptable, even shrewd choice as the one to continue carrying the torch of the US Imperial project.

    Don’t know whether you or anyone else here has read Dennis Perrin on the subject, but I heartily recommend his book ‘Savage Mules’ and his web site at: http://tinyurl.com/d9d768 . The man is damn funny and his latest post addresses precisely this issue.

  • KevinB

    Maybe he’s genuine about Guantanamo, maybe he just does what he’s told.

    This guy is definitely ‘owned’ and the people who surround him (see below) do not inspire the slightest confidence. Some are the same criminals who created the systems (derivatives etc) that are currently in danger of crashing our civilisation. Many of the others are Neo-Cons and other bankers’ men. Who would trust these people to do anything other than continue the processes that have been accelerating apace for the last decades….i.e. sucking wealth and power evermore away from the poor and putting them into the hands of a filthy rich elite.

    How anyone can trust a person who has risen through the system is beyond me. How naive can you be. Read the following article:

    The Problem with Obama

    Adrian Salbuchi – http://www.asalbuchi.com.ar January 22, 2009

    On 20th January, a major part of America’s citizenry celebrated the arrival of Barack Obama as the new president of the United States, with his promise for “Change” and his proposal for “hope instead of fear”. The breaking of racial barriers in the land of the Ku Klux Klan, where until the 50’s and 60’s mixed marriages between blacks and whites were illegal and would land you in jail in Southern states like Alabama, Mississipi, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Arkansas (and yet hipocracy and ignorance made millions of Americans feel “outraged” at the 1935 Nazi Nuremberg Racial Laws!), mark a turning point in US history symbolized by the reborn spirit of Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and the Kennedy’s.

    America’s present joy with its new president is shared by the overwhelming majority of global public opinion, not so much because of the optimism Obama’s arrival inspires, but rather because of the relief that Bush’s and Cheney’s departure gives. Naturally, Obama has a daunting task before him, but he personally has the support of the better part of his people who seem ready to make great sacrifices to overcome the gigantic economic, financial, banking, military, political, diplomatic and social disasters Obama inherits from the Bush Era.

    So far, so good.

    However, the problem with Obama is not Obama himself, a mostly unknown and inexperienced American politician. The problem with Obama is the very powerful group of key officers and aides that surround the new president, which one is led to believe were not freely chosen by Obama; rather, they seem to have been imposed upon Obama by the New World Order Power Structure that for many decades wields control over the United States, and without whose complacency, agreement and support Barack Obama would probably have never made it outside of the political borders of his home state of Illinois.

    As my wise grand mother used to say “a small sip of the glass, and you’ll immediately know if the wine is good…”. May we therefore give our readers an initial “sip of the glass” which helps to see how the New World Order Power Structures seem to have “filled the glass” from which president Obama has no choice but to drink from. And there are some very worrying indications that, because of this, History may very well end up judging Obama as the American president who led the US to its final twilight – or even some worse Gotterdammerung… This is all in line with our previous analyses on US and world affairs, and the on-going (and daily worsening) global financial collapse (See the English language section in http://www.asalbuchi.com.ar)

    In fact, we can see that the New World Order (NWO) power structure is filling Obama’s glass to the brim with three main types of Real Politik power players, who all report to the NWO:

    * Militant Zionists (both Jew and Gentile), whom we mark below;

    * Members of powerful “Think Tanks” (notably, the CFR – Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Conference, and the more recently founded Center for American Progress); and

    * Former Bill Clinton Administration key officers (notably, in the Economic and Financial areas, because these Obama government officers are the same people – the veritable architects – of the irresponsible financial deregulation of the 90’s under the Clinton Administrations that led to the present systemic global financial collapse in the first place).

    Axelrod, David – Senior Adviser to President Obama – Political Consultant – journalist for The Chicago Tribune – Militant Zionist

    Barnes, Melody – White Hourse Internal Policy Council – Center for American Progress

    Biden, Joseph Vice-President – Senator (D-Del. from 1979 to 2008) – Member of the Senate Judiciary Commission – Former chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Biden is a Militant Zionist, who told Rabbi Mark S Golun in a TV program on the Israeli Shalom TV network,”I’m a Zionist. You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist”

    Browner, Carol – Energy and Climate Affairs Coordinator; Former director of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Bill Clinton Administration.

    Brzezinski, Zbigniew – Senior Foreign Policy Advisor – Co-founder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission – Director, CFR and the Trilateral Commission

    Clinton, Hillary Rodham – Secretary of State – Wife of former president Bill Clinton – Former Senator (D- NY)- Militant Zionist – Directly linked to the CFR, Trilateral and Conferencia Bilderberg through her husband

    Craig, Gregory B – Advisor – Former Policy Planning Director at the State Department during the Clinton Administration. Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer

    Daschl, Thomas Andrew – Secretary of Health and Social Services – Former Senator (D-SD) and Majority Leaders . Former director at CitiCorp; Assisted Robert Rubin, (Advisor on Economic Affairs and former Treasury Secretary during the Bill Clinton Administration) – Zionist – Member, CFR and Bilderberg Conference

    Emanuel, Rahm – Chief of Staff – Representative (D-Ill) since 2002 – Militant Zionist; Double-nationality: US and Israeli; Volunteer in the defense of Israel during the First Gulf War (1991 – led by former president George HW Bush against Iraq); Suspected of being an intelligence officer for the Israeli Armed Forces; Director at Freddie Mac; Adviser during the Clinton Administration; linked to Wasserstein Perella bank (Trilateral members); his father Benjamin Emanuel was a guerrilla fighter in the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi organization (then led by terrorist Menahem Beguin, later to become Israeli prime minister)

    Froman, Michael BG – Adviser – Operates for Robert Rubin; “helped” Obama choose members of his team; Member, CFR

    Furman, Jason – Advisor; Senior Adviser to Lawrence Summers (Clinton)- London School of Economics

    Gates, Robert M – Secretary of Defense – Republican – Gates was named at the DoD by former president George W Bush in 2006 to replace Donald Rumsfeld, and yet was “confirmed by Obama” – Former director of the CIA under former president George H W Bush (Senior) – Co-chaired foreign policy CFR task force with Zbigniew Brzezinski – Involved in the Iran-Contras Affair under the Reagan-Bush Administration – CFR, Bilderberg

    Geithner Timothy F – Secretary of the Treasury – President since 2003 of the Federal Reserva Bank of New York. Prominent architect of the 2008 Banking Bail-out Plans, together with Bernard Bernanke (FED Governor – CFR), Henry Paulson (former Treasury Secretary ?” CFR) – Also held office during the Bill Clinton Administration, and was involved in the bail-outs of Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Brazil, Thailand in the nineties, under then Under-Secretary of the Treausury Lawrence Summers – Introduced to Obama by Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers – Former Director of Policy Development and Review Dept at the IMF ?” International Monetary Fund, from 2001 to 2003 – Former director at Kissinger Associates – Member of the Group of Thirty, his mentors include Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin. Member, CFR, Trilateral, Bilderberg

    Holder, Eric – Attorney General – Holder arranged for Bill Clinton to pardon racketeer Marc Rich when he was Janet Reno’s Deputy Attorney General (Clinton)

    Jones, James LA – Four-Star US Army Officer – National Security Officer (NSA) – Former NATO Forces Commander – Special Envoy to the Middle East for Security Affairs for former president George W Bush – Director at Chevron and Boeing – Zionist – Member of the Institute for International Affairs (founded by Air Force General Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor under George Bush Senior) together with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Bobby Ray Inman (former CIA Director), Henry Kissinger and John Deutch (CIA director under Bill Clinton) – Member, CFR, TC, Bilderberg

    Lippert Mark W – National Security Council Chief of Staff – Zionist – CFR

    Mitchell, George – Special Envoy to the Middle East – Former officer during the Clinton Administration – Member, CFR

    Napolitano, Janet – Secretary of Homeland Security – Former Attorney General for the State of Arizona – Member, CFR, TC

    Orszag, Peter R – Director of the Office of Management and Budget – Member of Lawrence Summers’ team ?” Clinton economic advisor.

    Panetta, Leon – CIA Director – Former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration.

    Pfeiffer, Daniel – Deputy Commerce Director – Spokesman for Al Gore (Clinton) – His wife, Sarah Feinberg, is a Senior Assistant to Rahm Emanuel. Zionist

    Podesta, John – Senior Adviser to Obama – Presidential adviser under the Clinton Administration – In 2003, he founded the Center for American Progress – Zionist

    Power, Samantha – Public Policy Advisor – Wife of Cass Sunstein (director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs)

    Reed, Jack – Senator (D-RI) (CFR)

    Rice, Susan -Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the United Nations (under Obama ranks as cabinet level post) – Member of the National Security Council during the Bill Clinton Administration – Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Clinton Administration – Member, CFR, Brookings Institution; and Aspen Strategy Group, together with CFR and Trilateral members Richard Armitage, Gral. Brent Scowcroft and Madeleine Albright.

    Richardson, Bill – Secretary of Commerce (finally not confirmed) – Clintonite – Former officer at Kissinger Associates, CFR

    Rubin, Robert – Senior Presidential Advisor – Director at CitiGroup, Former CEO, Goldman Sachs, Founder of the Hamilton Project, former Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration – Zionist – CFR

    Shinseki, Erick – Four-Star US Army General – Secretary for War Veterans’ Affairs – CFR

    Summers, Lawrence – Chairman, National Economic Council – Former Secretary of the Treasury during the Bill Clinton Administration (1999-2001) – Zionist – Former Economist-in-Chief at the World Bank – Former Dean of Harvard University – Member of Robert Rubin’s team – Member, CFR, Trilateral, Bilderberg, Brookings (director).

    Sunstein, Cass – Director, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – Husband of Samantha Power (Advisor on Public Policies)

    Sutphen, Mona – Deputy Chief of Staff – Executive Director, Stonebridge International – Member of the National Security Council (Clinton) – Member, CFR

    Volcker Paul – Chairman of Obama’s Advisory Board on Economic Recovery – Former Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank (1979 to 1987 ?” during the Carter and Reagan Administrations) – Zionist – Member of the “Group of Thirty” – President of Rothschild Wolfensohn Company, intimately linked to the Rockefeller family – CFR; North American Director of the Trilateral Commission; Bilderberger.

    Vice-President Joe Biden’s most strange “prophecy”

    A short time before last November’s presidential elections, then vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden said that he “guaranteed” that if Obama won the elections, he would be tested by some major international crisis during the first six months of his presidency which would require him getting the support of those who voted for him, as he will have to make “very tough and unpopular decisions”.

    The US News Network ABC News reported on 20th October 2008, that during a Seattle fundraiser, Biden said: “Mark my words: It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.” “I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”. See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/biden-to-suppor.html

    Finally, some questions:

    * Now, what exactly was now Vice-President of the United States Joe Biden talking about back in October?

    * What information did he have/does he have, that allows him to “predict” – even to promise – so forcefully that such a terrible crisis will arise within the first six months of Obama’s Administration?

    * Is there another 911 in the planning or… even something much worse?

    * Will a nuclear artefact be detonated in some “expendable” US city (e.g., maybe Phoenix in far-off and fall-out safe Arizona, or perhaps in Portland on Oregon’s Pacific Coast), that will be blamed on Iran, or Al-Qaeda, or Syria, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, or any other real or imaginary foe, as an excuse for a vastly escalated, all-out “Global War on Terrorism”?

    * And if such a crisis and attack can be “predicted” by the Joe Biden’s, is it because key Insiders know full well that this type of events are actually False-Flag Operations carefully planned, financed, protected and carried out by deeply embedded layers of powerful Intelligence, Operational and “Dirt Tricks” operatives loyal, not to the American National Interest, but to the NWO power structures?

    Be it as it may,. we had all better be very, very alert in the weeks and months to come.

  • Sean

    Sabretache, I made sure I got hold of a copy of Savage Mules once I knew Barry was the appointed one. Apropos of Eddie’s earlier comment, smeering those of us who can’t quite enjoin with the Obamarama roadshow as cranks and conspiracy theorists, it looks like Perrin’s psychic dildo is working overtime:

    ‘Many online libs fairly jerked off to the speech, overwhelmed by Obama’s force and vision, his call to our “better selves,” his homilies to God, blood, and soil. Then again, many liberals love state power when a Democrat is in charge, so their arousal was expected, at least by lunatics like me. How long will liberals remain stimulated? I’ll rub my psychic dildo and predict that their frenzied self-abuse will never really cease, so long as Obama’s in office. Oh, there’ll be some lulls when the orgasms aren’t as intense. But rest assured that the stroking will continue, lubricated or dry. The psychic dildo’s rarely wrong.’

  • Ruth

    I don’t think for one minute there will be any real changes. For surely the criminality of the US is directed by its need to survive. The changes Obama makes will be cosmetic to reinforce the idea that he’s bringing change and that he can be trusted. This is a necessity in order to continue the behaviour of the US while keeping its people on its side. If they’re not, then there will be immense upheaval which will impede the continuing survival programme of theft, torture, war …..

  • SX

    Obama may have made overtures to closing Guantanamo. Maybe.

    However, there are ALREADY 14 Guantanamo-like detention facilities that have been built INSIDE USA — incl in Texas, South Carolina, California — whose operation is going to be kept secret, and where torture will still be permitted.

    Guantanamo was just the PUBLICALLY-revealed torture camp outside USA, but USA still maintains torture camps in Ukraine, Georgia, and elsewhere.

    Wake up everyone. Obama’s administration is full of the same military-industry-corporate-Zionist cabal as ever, and reading the background of these appointees is chilling.

  • john

    I think we should give Obama the benefit of the doubt, even though I find the amount of media attention outside of the USA quite off putting.

    Being the father of two such charming daughters and obedient husband of such a capable wife is a good start. I think they will influence his policy decisions in ways people don’t expect, making him more compassionate and realistic.

  • Stephen Morgan

    Number of innocent people set free? None.

    Number of war criminals prosecuted? None.

    Number of denunciations of Israeli war crimes? None.

    Number of bombs dropped on Pakistan? More than none.

    Prosecutions could be slow going in the best of circumstances, but he has the political capital, not to mention the moral obligation, to denounce Israel.

    The Americans have long admitted that 90% of the inmates in their terror jails are innocents kidnapped by bounty hunters and so forth, there’s no reason not to release them all immediately. By definition anyone in Guantanamo is there because there’s no real evidence against them.

    With the bombing of Pakistan he hasn’t even limited himself to crimes of omission.

  • eddie

    What a bunch of miserable cycnics! Have any of you lot ever been to the USA? If so, you will know that it is a fascinating and diverse country that is far removed from the dismal abstractions you have painted above. Obama has already taken decisive steps to change the Bush doctrine, and we are only on day four of his administration. Cheer up! Incidentally, a report in today’s Guardian reveals that we are one of the most miserable nations in Europe. This site is certainly evidence of that.

  • mary

    @ Eddie – what planet is he on and what is Craig on? Their naivete astounds. We have witnessed the previous psychopaths’ recent work in Iraq and Afghanistan (did Obama ever protest?) and it is puzzling why Eddie equates our justifiable cynicism of politicians to being ‘miserable’. In fact the NEF report has us, the British, as ‘bored and tired and less likely to know our neighbours’ but rate us as ‘the 6th happiest nation’. Why are we less likely to know our neighbours – perhaps because of the distrust of strangers engendered by NuLabour’s surveillance society with their anti-terrorist propaganda ably abetted by the media and that includes the BBC. And yes we are very bored and very tired after 11 years of Blair and Brown and yes, also very skint.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7848244.stm

    PS Obama’s killing rate is already 7.5 deaths per day. Blair (no not that one) his nominee for Director of National Intelligence will not say that waterboarding is torture, etc etc

  • eddie

    Mary

    If you know of a better country to live in then I suggest you go there, because your negativity and cyncicism will never make this one better. If you don’t have Labour you will have Cameron – if that is what you want that is what you will get. There are no other options, however much you and your deluded ilk may fantasise about it.If you can do better then become a politician yourself and stop your onanistic griping from the sidelines.

  • George Dutton

    Mary

    You will have to forgive eddie. He is one of those people that goes through life attacking everyone if they disagree with him. I think he goes through life without a partner ?…Such is his sad life he wants to make everyones elses the same.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    One is not expecting a dismantling of imperialism from the new US President and the members of his Administration, who, as has been very adequately pointed out in these pages, are all committed imperialists. However, there is a difference b/w the kind of completely malevolent, consistently and industrially illegal militarism of GW Bush’s tenure and what is likely to be a ‘cleverer’ (to quote Obama) modus operandum of advancing the interests of the elites in the USA and indeed transnationally. A large segment of the ruling elite have understood that the tactics of the Bush Adminstration in relation to mass torture were counter-productive to their interests. So, one should be glad indeed that at least some steps appear to have been taken in the right direction whilst also remaining skeptical. There will be looholes and illegalities, so perhaps this represents a return to the pre-Bush era in relation to these, which means it’s going to be very far from what progressives might want.

    Meanwhile, progressive organisations should keep the pressure on as far as they can in order to achieve an end to the most obvious and monstrous abuses of human rights and prevent further escalations of militarism, i.e. war. It is extremely unlikely than anyone, bar some fall-guy colonel somewhere, will be prosecuted (and then pardoned) for human rights abuses – though that shouldn’t stop people trying to expose and bring to book these heinous networks.

    However, we will await events relating to Pakistan/ Afghanistan and Palestine/ Israel and I agree that with respect to these two crucial strategic foreign policy areas, the Obama Administration is unlikely to represent a significant improvement on previous US Administrations, for all the reasons related in earlier/ other posts and more. To reiterate, we should not really expect an anti-imperialist in the White House. There are likely to be some issues, however, on which relative progress will be measurable. Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act but obliterated Vietnam. And there we have the rub.

    Nonetheless, I do think that these Executive Orders represent progress – they also validate – though it hardly required such validation – that what people like Craig Murray, Andy Worthington, Stephen Gray and many others have been saying/ writing/ shouting all these years and the real sacrifices which many courageous individuals – inside and outside the structures of power – have made on the basis of ethics and principles. This example should urge us all to go further.

  • Ian R Crane

    Craig,

    I would like to invite you to be one of the keynote speakers at The Alternative View event (500+ delegates) to be held at The Thistle Hotel Heathrow over the weekend of 29/30/31st May 2009.

    Would you please let me have a contact Email address as craigmurray (at) Mail (dot) ru does not seem to be working.

    Kind regards,

    Ian R Crane

  • Craig

    Ian –

    I got your emails but I’ve been snowed under. Yes I’ll come, but can’t say which day yet.

    Craig

  • eddie

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/did+hamas+use+human+shields+/2909867

    See this report on Channel 4 (not often a bastion of impartiality) about Hamas using civilians as human shields and hunting down and executing their political opponents. What a nice bunch of people, and all you deluded fools out on the streets of the UK supporting these fascists. When will you ever learn?

    George Dutton – I don’t attack people who disagree with me, I just attack idiots like you. Grow up.

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