God, I Didn’t Know 98


Feeling much better now. Many thanks for the many kind – and often very wise – comments. I know why I can’t sleep, why can’t you lot?

I hate being away from Nadira for lengthy periods and am not well equipped to pass the small hours alone. Still feeling an immense frustration that truly evil men like Blair prosper, but that has been part of the human condition forever. Oh well – really must try and get some sleep now, it’s 5am here,.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a manic depressive and sometimes feel almost suicidal, Don’t worry, I have three wonderful children and I am not going to leave them. But I feel so weak this evening. compared to the strength of the forces of evil, if you describe evil as illegal war and the massive profits to be made from waging it, and the sunsequent looting of resources.

I hope that those who saw Sir Michael Wood’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry today, and who have also read Murder in Samarkand, feel that I painted an accurate pen-portrait of my once friend.

I felt that Michael had stabbed me in the back by refusing to back me in saying unequivocally that intelligence from torture was illegal.

I did not know that, exactly at that time, he was engaged in a heroic struggle to try to stop the war in Iraq on legal grounds, and that he had drawn the full fury of Blair and Straw. He could not afford to open a second front on extraordinary rendition.

I have been struggling ever since to come to terms with what I saw as his going along with torture. I misjudged him.

But the way that the evil people like Blair and Straw manage to split decent people like Michael and me, is the lesson to avoid in future. Why is it that people like Michael, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Bill Patey and I never managed to get together? (Bill Patey was the head of the FCO geographical department which included Iraq, and he, like very many others in the system, never believed the “Evidence” on Iraqi WMD.)

I am feeling so sad because different ways of trying to resist took us down different paths, and perhaps I am sad because I was harsher on some than they deserved.

But I am most sad because hundreds of thousands died so Blair and Straw could earn their lucrative standing in the USA. I feel nothing but despair.

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98 thoughts on “God, I Didn’t Know

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  • Clark


    it isn’t Britain that has made enormous profits. It is arms manufacturers, mercenary companies, companies with the “rebuilding Iraq” contracts, certain oil companies – in short, the Military – Industrial Complex. Britain – the nation and the taxpayers – have made a loss.

    The process is called Imperialism, and Craig has written about it:


    Or type “Imperialism” into the search box on the left to find various articles.

  • Barbara

    Coincidentally I listened to Brian Gerrish last night – a speech given recently in Scotland (on BBC5 site), but did not find his arguments compelling.

    He made many separate assertions, from aircraft leaving white trails that seemed connected with his neighbours feeling ‘lethargic’, through the coddling of paedophilia, the machinations of the Bilderbergers, and “neurolinguistic brainwashing”, to the closing of his website.

    Nothing wrong with being sceptical of government, I am myself, particularly after reading more of Mr murrays experiences, but there was no logical connection between the points Mr Gerrish made and his constant refrain that he had “evidence”. What evidence?

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    I’m no theist, but seeing as you brought God into this, I thought I’d quote this:-

    “I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.”

    Ecclesiastes 7:15.

    To see evil prospering in high places and the apathetic indifference of a fair proportion of the public, is infuriating and depressing, but, as has been said already, not to find it so would be an indication of some form of mental or spiritual aberration. You are fortunate to have so much going for you in your life, and I hope that the fact that other people have taken the trouble to express sympathy and solidarity for you at this moment will help in some way, however small.

  • Clark


    visiting this site has changed my view of the world. Where international conflict once seemed sensless, I now a pattern, a structure that explains and predicts.

    You might like a look at the map shown by clicking on my name below.

  • Jaded.

    Barbara, you don’t have to agree with everything Brian Gerrish says to support the movement of ‘lawful rebellion’, which is what he stands for. Brian Gerrish makes that super clear and if you watched the programme you really should have picked that up. Get your name on the list and get ‘your’ voice heard. 🙂

  • Ian


    There’s a saying….

    “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, I can’t cure it.”

    It’s not advocating shrugging your shoulders. What it’s advocating is that you’re not responsible for other people’s decisions, words, and actions. How they wield power is for them to account for, it’s not for you to take on your shoulders. What YOU do is for you to take responsibility for, but make sure you take responsibility for the good you do too.

    Through this blog, you’ve not only educated people like me but you’ve given me confidence via solid, dependable information to stick with my own (accurate, in this case) assessment of the government’s activities on these matters.

    And I’ve then passed that on to my family and friends.

    That is a worthy domino effect you’ve had.

    And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Don’t torture yourself. We’re not pro-torture, okay? 😉

    Mr Wood could’ve let you know he was on your side. He didn’t. That was his choice. You weren’t hard on him; you were being attacked and had to survive, and survive you did, and it’s well you did.

    Torture happens inside us, not just outside us. We must dismantle it on the inside too.

    So, as I said, don’t torture yourself, be kind to yourself. Be gentle on yourself.

    That goes for everyone reading this who has a tendency to be hard on themselves too (including me!).

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the links Jaded! Brian Gerrish is Steve Coogan’s latest comic creation. Here are a couple of his brilliant one liners –

    “David Milliband is a Marxist.”

    “Gordon Brown was helped into power by Marxists.”


  • George

    You have done a first class job of highlighting the systematic lying of the Labour Government with regard to the Iraq war.

    For anyone considering direct action, you could do worse that considering George Monbiot’s offer in The Guardian. He has set up a fund to reward the person who affects a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair. A good idea, but he’s aiming at the wrong person.

    Gordon Brown is still the Prime Minister and is equally culpable for what happened and is happening in Iraq. Affecting a citizen’s arrest on Gordon Brown would send a more powerful message.

    The article gives clear instructions on how this can be done in a lawful manner.

  • Jaded.

    Jokes coming from people that frequent the BNP website it seems! That in itself is a huge joke. Maybe the BNP have some gripe with Common Purpose as well. I can categorically state that Gerrish isn’t BNP. If you have evidence that tells otherwise, then please present it and I will look at it. Anyhow, as I have already repeatedly stated, Gerrish stands for ‘lawful rebellion’ and Common Purpose is just one aspect of his work. I strongly suggest you get your name on the list, like Barbara has I presume, and get ‘your’ voice heard. You can’t rely on everyone else to change the world for you i’m afraid. Peace and love to you my brother. 🙂

  • Jaded.

    Anonymous Jaded Fan:

    ‘Thanks for the links Jaded!’

    No problem brother. Peace and lurrrrve to you. Yeah! 😉

  • Vronsky

    To One Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything If You Can?t Do Everything

    By Bonaro W. Overstreet

    You say the Little efforts that I make

    will do no good: they never will prevail

    to tip the hovering scale

    where Justice hangs in balance.

    I don?t think I ever thought they would.

    But I am prejudiced beyond debate

    in favor of my right to choose which side

    shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.

  • anno

    Craig, soul searching is good for the soul, but the inability to understand everything, all the time, is not the cause of depression.

    In relation to Iraq for example the British Empire, its refusal to apply its Judo-Christian values either to its own population or to foreigners i.e. its greed, its deviousness and its brutality, created the problems, not the likes of Blair. Saddam’s Ba’athism and ruthlessness was a direct result of our criminal theft of oil resources in the early 20th century. Blair is just a cheap barrister who has been paid to defend his client, UK plc.

    If we had to pay back and compensate everyone we have harmed in our colonial history we would all be living in kennels and going out to the park on leads.

    The Iraq invasion was a pathetic attempt to rectify a problem of our own creation, and a clear demonstration of how, when you are in a hole, you should stop digging.

    The real source of depression is the soul calling to the consciousness, that: ‘You have spent your whole life serving others and neglecting me. You didn’t put your forehead to the earth in submission, to thank your Creator for life and its blessings’. But the Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures advise you to look after your soul in order to see your Creator in heaven. By Allah, these scriptures all had the same message. Did you not read in the Gospels the conversation with Jesus in which he advised his audience not to worry why a building had collapsed on people, but TO WORSHIP GOD, in case a worse thing happened to them, viz the punishment of hell for ever? By Allah, there is no other source of depression than the fear of the soul that it will be ‘found wanting’.

    There is no other way of solving the world’s problems, instead of digging the trouble deeper, than for the world to turn in worship to its Creator, individually and collectively, according to the instruction He has given us through His last prophet, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and mercy be upon him. Everything else is just making more of the same problem. By Allah the priests of disbelief are the psychiatrists, who when the soul is despairing , put labels on people and mash their minds with chemicals instead of assisting them to come to terms with our main purpose as humans, to worship our Lord Creator alone.

  • Frazer

    Depressed, well let me tell you what my day was like yesterday.

    We were travelling through a small village about 60km north of Kalemie, we were waved down by a group of people very excited and anxious, we stopped. To cut a long story short, there was a 4 year old kid, very sick with malaria in the village, so we were asked to take a look and see what we could do. We tried for an hour to get an IV line in, but the kid was too far gone. I watched him die, nothing we could do. Local hospital was 7 hour drive away over terrible roads, and even if we could have got him there,they probably would not have the drugs to treat him.

    Then it get’s interesting. We had originally gone up there to destroy 7 land mines next to a small village called Nyunzu. Half way through the clearance proceedure, one of my guys realised 3 of the mines were booby trapped. I pulled my guys out and did the job myself. 2 hours pouring sweat under a tropical sun not knowing if next minuite would be the last…eventually I got the fuses out and we blew them with det cord and explosives. I spent most of that night throwing up. Morale of the story Craig, don’t get depressed just because some prick lies through his back teeth to save his arse, there are bigger problems out there Bro. Miss ya…

  • writerman


    In a world that often seems insane. In a world where “evil” often seems triumphant, it’s a natural reaction is to feel sadness; not to feel this way, now that would indeed be strange.

    I’m unhappy with the use of words like “evil”, but I’ll go with it here.

    It’s easy for evil men to succeed in our system, because, on fundamental level, our system is evil. They “fit” into it like a hand in a glove. Obviously I’m simplifying a great deal here.

    Blair, Hoon, Straw, Campbell, the leading conspirators, are not primarily individuals furthering their own interests, though they are that too; they are, more importantly, servants, in a broad sense, inside a very powerful machine, a tremendously destructive machine, a death machine.

    Why didn’t you get together with Wood and Wilmshurst and resist together? This has far less to do with you as individuals and far more to do with the structure of the institutions you were part of, and society in general.

    One could ask the larger question, where is the opposition? Where is the voice of the people in all this? Your, Craig are part of the opposition, a louder and more coherent voice than most, but still only an individual voice, and there is only so much an individual can do on his own. But, to your credit you have attempted, successfully to amplify you voice, but writing, public speaking, and this website. And I’m sure you’d agree that the qualtiy of many of the comments adds, rather than subtracts from your efforts. This is praisworthy.

    I realised a long time ago that you had certain “problems”, don’t we all? Life isn’t a bed of roses, and there is always a “disconection” between the inner world which we inhabit, and the outerworld, between our dreams and reality, between our thoughts and actions, language and results. That we are concious of this “paradox” is arguably what makes us most human, and most special among the species on this planet.

    Michael Wood was obviously in a very difficult position at the time of the Iraq war. One gives ones honest opinion and it is ignored. Straw, and the other members of the gang, didn’t want to hear the legal arguments against going to war, they wanted to hear Wood provide them legal arguments for going to war!

    Even Goldsmith, a close friend and ally of Blair, is almost to be pitied. He too resisted as long as he could, until the eve of war. But when one knows that war is inevitable and nothing one says will stop the evil men leading the country to war, what does one do?

    One could choose the “honourable” course and resign in protest. But would that have stopped Blair? I doubt it very much. He determined to serve his masters in Washington no matter what Wood or Goldsmith said. He was determined to go to war. He could not have been stopped, legally. So what is a lawyer supposed to do?

    Enormous pressure was put on people to conform, and lawyers are very conformist. Our system filters out “rebel” lawyers, probably before they are even born, certainly within their first few years of childhood.

    Goldsmith didn’t set out to become an accessory to mass murder. But he wasn’t a hero either. He buckled under enormous pressure. He held out for as long as he could. Then the Army was getting ready to attack in few days and he was “forced” to provide a legal cover-story, which the country’s top generals demanded, or else? So, not being able, at this late stage to stop the war, the great death machine was moving forward, he gave them what they wanted, a scrap of paper to cover the gapping chasm in the law, as long as one didn’t look too hard at it, and who does that when a war starts?

    Goldsmith did what he believed, under the circumstances, was his patriotic duty. After all British soldiers were going to war, risking their lives, and he couldn’t stop it, so he gave them the cover they needed.

    It’s extraordinary how the coverage of the enquiry deals with Wood and Wilmshurst, compared to the others. Here, at last are two people actually telling the truth for a change, yet the system isn’t listening, because it doesn’t care about the truth, right or wrong, or the law. These are “quaint” concepts, compared to power.

    What could have stopped Blair then? Well, I think after the great protest meeting in Hyde Park, instead of peacefully going home. The marchers should have continued down to Westminster and occupied Downing Street and then on to Parliament and occupied that building too, and “recalled” Parliament by force to discuss the coming war and all the “evidence” and issues involved.

    Of course, this would have been an insurection, the people taking power, or attempting it at least. Would even this have stopped Blair? It’s highly debatable, as he was guaranteed support from the Conservatives, no matter what happened. How would the State have dealt with the enemy within on the verge of war?

    Even today the question still remains, how does one “re-birth” democracy in Britain? Well, it won’t happen through the ballot box. That way is barred, bolted, and firmly under control. What’s needed is a… Revolution similar to what happened in Easter Europe twenty years ago, with the fall of Stalinism/Communism. Our rotten and corrupt system has to fall too!

  • Clark

    Good morning Craig,

    I’m delighted that you’re feeling better, and thanks for letting us all know.

    Yes, I shouldn’t really be staying up so late; I think it’s to do with the Chilcot enquiry and the ongoing discussions here.

    Best wishes

  • Marcus


    It takes a period of depression to see further inside oneself me thinks.. To remove the beer goggles for a true look at life.

    I too have a similar disorder. When the Iraq war kicked off and Bush was grinning like the global village idiot, like the school Bully. The Cartman of our kindergarden. It seemed asif the world had gone mad and I felt the connection between me and reality had been severed. Was in my ‘dream job’ at the time too in a coorperation, would have been happy as a pig in muck, but for the fact I felt so isolated in my belief that things had taken a seriously wrong turn. Why was I one of the only few feeling it?

    By chance I watched the film Serpico (a 70s film starring Al Pacino). In the film the main character is a policeman who realises everyone around him in the PD is corrupt. Unhappy. He goes to someone for advice.. She tells him a story of the wise king.

    Well, there was this king,

    and he ruled over his kingdom.

    Right in the middle of the kingdom

    there was a well.

    That’s where everybody drank.

    One night,

    this witch came along…

    and she poisoned the well.

    And the next day, everybody drank

    from it except the king…

    and they all went crazy.

    They got together

    in the street and they said…

    ”We got to get rid of the king,

    ’cause the king is mad.”

    And then that night, he went down

    and he drank from the well.

    And the next day

    all the people rejoiced…

    because their king

    had regained his reason.

    I think you’re trying

    to tell me somethin’.

    – Me?

    – Yeah.

    So endeth the quote.

    You had the balls to carry on without sipping from the well mate.

    That takes a LOT of balls.

    Me, I quit my job at the time and buggered off abroad. So don’t be too down on yourself. 🙂

  • writerman

    If one really want to get depressed, and saddend, anxious and concerned; I’ll share what I honestly feel and think about the underlying reasons for our envolvement in the new, great, “game.”

    Simply put, why are we doing what we are doing? This is a big subject, but, anyway, here goes.

    I think our “plan” which perhaps isn’t really a plan at all, but more of a process that’s inherent in the nature of imperialism, is to destroy and destabilize, spilt and impoverish, all those nations or people’s that are “outside the borders of the empire.”

    It used to be known as devide and conquer.

    One is either a vassal state, loyal and paying tribute to the interests of the empire, or one is outside, a barbarian, and a pontential enemy, waiting in line for destruction.

    Weak, destroyed, and impoverished nations, pose no real threat, at least this is how it’s perceived in the imperial centre, to the interests of the empire. It is obviously far easier to control and dominate and exploit the weak than the strong.

    All potential rivals must be undermined and destroyed, one way or another. It isn’t always necessary to invade them to do this, though when it is we don’t hesitate to use force.

    Iraq is probably the perfect example of this grand strategy. We have successfully cut Iraq to peices and divided the nation, setting various groups at each others throats. It has been destroyd as a functioning state, a regional power, a potential rival; yet we now control its resources. A prize of unimaginable value, both strategically and economically.

    We are currently applying the same medicine to Afghanistan. We are doing it to Pakistan. We want to do it to Iran and Venezuela. Nigeria is in line. We want to see it happen to Russia… and then China. Even poor little Haiti has suffered the same fate; destroy, weaken and control.

    This, I believe, is the true face of the empire. The face of the emperor may change, but the face of the empire doesn’t.

  • JimmyGiro

    As Ruth said: “Everybody does what they think is right at the time.”

    Therefore evil is false-witness; nothing more, nothing less.

    The universal enemy of evil is truth; and truth is nothing unless it’s told.

  • writerman

    Oh, dear, I left out the “model” for the empire’s relationship with the rest of the world. The model which we are increasingly coming to resemble in so many ways. The occupation of Palestine.

  • mary

    Nil desperandum Craig. The dam is being breached and all the stink and ordure from these hideous NuLabour years will be washed away.

    The people will rise up again.

  • Christopher

    Craig, been following your postings and started reading your latest book. I?ve only admiration for your efforts and the inner turmoil you must have seeing the smooth lies in the media clash with the blood soaked horror that exists behind it all. But I am sure you will push on and you must. You are touching on vitally important areas, philosophical ones I?d venture ?” personal responsibility. Our own interaction with the world and the far reaching effects of our actions.

    The powers that be appear to exist in a world without personal negative consequence. They can bring down a financial system landing millions without their life savings, without work, without housing and still walk out clean, complaining that their bonuses have dropped a million or two, but never remotely near having to just scramble to get by. They can invade a country and kill millions and smirk it off, knowing they?ll never really pay for it. But when we hit a news item such as the child torturers case in the UK recently, the masses bay for the blood of these kids and their illiterate parents. Tragic yes, but the blood on the hands of the educated politicians is far sicker, but protected by degrees of abstraction. It takes a powerful mind like yours to see through the veils and see that there is actually little difference between the politicians of the illegal invasion of Iraq and for example the machete wielding generals in Togo.

    I?m hitting my own dilemma now. I have supplied high tech equipment to Israel. My contacts there are really nice people. Previously it was for a fantastic medical project. Now the latest contract I learn will also be used for ?homeland security?. What do I do? If I drop out now then they?ll bypass me and go direct ?” it?ll be a hassle but will happen. And personally I need this kind of flexible work and earnings to pay for therapy for my son that looks like it will give him a chance that he may walk and won?t need spoon feeding the rest of his life. So I start making excuses that actually this particular job won?t affect the Palestinians negatively etc ? and it?s a slippery slope from here on. I can literally feel the process in my brain as my ?decent? mind is brainwashes itself. I don?t think most of these guys are ?evil?, probably not even Tony and Jack ?” we all have our limits, some less, some more, and if we are exposed to enough right factors, right influences we go the same way.

    Craig, I think you are just far end of the decent side of the bell curve when it comes to all this.

  • marcus

    Well said writerman.

    You left out the fact that our own people have been divided in this way…

    Ecouraging religious schools is another way to destroy a nation. No offence to anyone here, but I don’t believe in fairy stories and think if you can’t prove the existence of God you shouldn’t teach it in schools!

    By the way- How can spending help the economy? Surely all the money effectively goes to share-holders. Most of which aren’t even from this country. Any economists here.. does this equate?

  • ingo

    Listening to yuki Mr. Goldsmith in the background, waffling on about dispensing accurate and correct legal views, I can feel what you mean, utter dispair.

    But, thinking of the horrendous situation and conditions the people of haiti have to endure, I find tyhat there is always somebody worth off than me, a hand to clutch is worth more than a sack of gold.

    I feel priviledged to have spent some time with you, althouhg we never really had the time to share a single malt, do not eat yourselfs up mate, you have moved mountains and you have a lovely family waiting for your return.

  • Tim Groves

    Craig, if you’re stuck up in the tower of a Scottish castle in the deep midwinter with a nasty draft, five hours of daylight, and snow falling snow on snow, snow on snow, then perhaps you have a touch of SAD.

    On top of all your worldy worries, lack of UV exposure and vitamin D is bound to get you down. I’m not asking you to jog through the snow, but when the sun pops out, make the effort to lay at least semi-naked under it with the window open and get 20 minutes worth of grilling twice a week.

    Also, blogging can one of the most depressing passtimes going, especially when it becomes a daily chore. It’s OK to cut down on that and turn to reading good books, preferably written before the start of the 20th century. Being preocupied with Seneca or Montaigne or Balzac or Swift is a thing of joy. And if you can read them while laying in the sun with a glass of something handy, then you’re a rich man and a happy one.

  • tony_opmoc


    You are amazing. Must be something in the Murray genetics after all. But take heed. You must give yourself an end time. A time that you have to retire, and stick with it, for reasons quite obvious.

    “2 hours pouring sweat under a tropical sun not knowing if next minuite would be the last…eventually I got the fuses out and we blew them with det cord and explosives. I spent most of that night throwing up.”


    “The forces you’re fighting are much greater than you imagine”

    Unfortunately, I am also now convinced that is true, but I am also convinced that such forces will be defeated.

    Re Common Purpose. I have no problem in principle with leadership training involving psychological techniques, providing there is no ulterior motive or political objective except to teach people how to lead. However psychology is extremely powerful, far more powerful than people realise. The potential for misuse is enormous. People can be literally brainwashed, such that they are programmed to behave in completely immoral ways. All US soldiers undergo such techniques, and I suspect many politicians.

    I have seen some Common Purpose videos, that I found quite alarming, because of the techniques used.


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