Burnes Programme 88


I have just returned from recording a very long interview for Radio Scotland for a programme they are doing on Alexander Burnes in their series on great explorers. Just a few snippets of mine will be used in a half hour programme, but I have enormously enjoyed working with the BBC’s extremely knowledgable producer and research historian on this and I think the programme will explain why I am so enthusiastic about rescuing Burnes from obscurity. I will let you know the broadcast date.


88 thoughts on “Burnes Programme

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  • mary

    As you said Komodo. Just eight lines and one comment. No thought about the treatment they will receive in the prisons, their possessions stolen and some roughing up for good measure.

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    Navy boards Gaza-bound boats, nobody injured
    By JPOST.COM STAFF
    11/04/2011 16:28
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    Talkbacks (1)
    Navy commandos successfully boarded two Gaza-bound boats attempting to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip on Friday and was leading them to Ashdod Port, the IDF spokesman’s office said.
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    The boats were boarded after they failed to heed Israeli instructions to stop their progress towards Gaza. According to the IDF, nobody was injured during the boarding of the boats.
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    The activists will be turned over to police and immigration authorities upon their arrival at Ashdod.
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    noharmmeant 1 comment
    I am extremely relieved! Put them on the next plane and send them home, on their own expense naturally. Or still better, hand them over to the respective embassies, they might deal with them in a not so nice way!
    ~~~~~~
    From the testimonies of the survivors on the Mavi Marmara –
    Brief as it was, time spent inside the Israeli apparatus was revealing. Whenever the flotilla prisoners were processed, security and other workers gathered to gawp – frequently producing mobile phones to shoot happy snaps of themselves in front of the prisoners.
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    As a big group of men – your correspondent included – waited in Block 5 at the Ela Prison at Beersheva for a bus to Ben Gurion Airport for deportation on Wednesday, a big group of security cadets was wheeled in to stare in wonderment – licking ice-creams as they did – even as a diabetic among the prisoners collapsed.
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    They were looking at the prisoners, but the prisoners were looking at them and their more senior colleagues who, among themselves, constantly displayed a brotherhood that seemed to cut across formal institutional structures.
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    Several Europeans were distressed by the clear distinction the Israelis made between their ”white” and ”brown” prisoners.
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    The Norwegian activist Randi Kjos, a woman of some refinement, was genuinely shocked by what she observed.
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    “They treated us with hatred – the old were made to kneel for long periods and women had to sit with their arms crossed. Some of the wounded were naked to the waist … many were in shock.
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    “Palestinians and Arabs were treated very differently to Europeans or Westerners. Palestinians who asked for anything were belted, pushed around or treated with contempt. People warned me of the hatred I would see – but still, I was shocked.”
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    The Norwegian observed that many of the women prisoners were denied a phone call on the grounds that a functioning telephone ”was broken”’ Others were furious on behalf of many Turkish women who were denied a call home because they could not satisfy their guards’ demand that they converse in English.
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    At Ela Prison it quickly became clear that the guards were under strict instructions not to inflict physical violence on the prisoners. In a system that has thrown up a steady stream of human rights reports on abuse, the Arab prisoners quickly realised that here was a rare occasion on which they were almost untouchable. In the circumstances, it was inevitable that the detainees would taunt the guards. “We’re all Palestinians,” one of the prisoners delighted in telling an officer, over and over; while another guard became visibly upset when one of the prisoners told him, when he already was upset about another matter: “You’re not really cut out for this job – you should have been a schoolteacher.”

  • Stephen

    Phil

    I very much doubt that those concerned would go to the Israeli embassy – given that the lands concerned were occupied by Israel I would have thought the states whose lands were occupied would have the responsibility i.e. Egypt, Jordan and Syria

  • tony_opmoc

    Craig,

    Sorry, it just came out. I wasn’t even thinking of you.

    On Con Coughlin’s Telegraph blog.

    Ian,

    There is not going to be any attack on Iran.

    Iran is not Developing a Nuclear Bomb.

    Its all a Propaganda Exercise.

    Osama Bin Laden was not Executed Earlier This Year

    He Died of Marfen Syndrome and Kidney Disease Late in 2001

    Steve Pieczenik can probably be trusted, because he hardly ever posts anything.

    But admits his roles and the things that he actually did.

    He is hardly going to lie now is he?

    There would be no point.

    Read Professor Peter Dale Scott and move on from there.

    He may not be right about everything, but he is not lying.

    He has spent his life trying to find out what is really going on.

    He has no other agenda – except his poetry.

    He was a Canadian Diplomat, and I like Canadians and Some Former Diplomats

    My Uncle Used To do It.

    He was a Complete Gentleman Too.

    Some People Just Exude Pure Quality, Kindness and Honesty.

    Others Like Craig Murray Just Stand Up Against Evil and Take on All Comers, and Tell Them If You Don’t Stop Pointing That Gun at me I am Going To Stick It Up Your Arse.

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    The Scottish Side of My Family looked after My Mum, after the First World War, when her Dad who survived being an Officer in The Trenches, died of Appendicitus 6 years later whilst looking after her and her older brother in Northern France.

    My Mum was effectively brought up as a French Peasent Girl…until the age of 8 or 9

    She was then sent to a series of the very best boarding schools in the South of England, but always spent her summers in Scotland.

    Her Mum had Deserted 6 Children in The Midst of WWI to become a Medical Missionary in Africa. My Mum hated her but loved her Dad.

    I have met my Scottish Relations, when I was really young, and also my cousin at my Mum’s Funeral

    She now lives in Edinburgh and has a Completely Lovely Husband who Was Born In India.

    We owe them a Return visit.

    The Diplomat was my Mum’s Brother and lived within walking distance of Sussex University near Brighton. He also spent most of his life in Africa.

    He was a totally lovely man.

    Tony

  • Chris2

    “…Israel doesn’t even claim the WB and G as Israeli territory….”

    It may not claim the West bank but it is colonising it, which is to say claiming it bit by bit. Israel has no borders, and its current government is composed of various factions which claim that “Israel” has major territorial claims extending far beyond the territories seized in 1948 and 1967.

    Israel’s political class has no interest in either compromise or peace, it will take anything it can get. Most people understand the importance of the European experience of fascism in the forming of Israeli political society; what they often refuse to acknowledge is that a part of that experience was the influence of fascism on the Zionist movement itself, whose central strand, today, is fascistic. Even more than Lieberman Netanyahu is a fascist, which is to say, among other things, violent and opportunistic.

  • mary

    RIP Furkan Durgan
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    May 31 2011
    On the first anniversary of Israel’s deadly attack on the Gaza-bound aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, we feature an interview with Ahmet Dogan, the father of Turkish-American Furkan Dogan, the youngest of nine activists killed in the raid.
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    Furkan Dogan was born in Troy, New York, and moved to Turkey when he was two years old. An autopsy showed that on May 31, 2010, he was shot at close range, once in the chest and four times in the head.
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    AMY GOODMAN: The father of an 18-year-old American citizen killed in an Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last year is in the United States to call for an investigation into his son’s killing. Furkan Dogan was the youngest victim of Israel’s deadly May 31st raid on the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in the six-boat flotilla. Turkish autopsy reports revealed he was shot five times at close range by Israeli commandos. Eight other Turkish nationals were also killed in the attack. Last month, an Israeli inquiry absolved the government and military of any wrongdoing in the raid.

    /….
    http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/5/31/furkan_had_a_huge_heart_ahmet_dogan_on_the_life_and_death_of_his_19_year_old_son_killed_one_year_ago_in_the_israeli_attack_on_a_gaza_bound_aid

  • Komodo

    Just to mention Radio 4’s total silence on the flotilla tonight. Peston slavered for some minutes on the 1800 news, and I was interested to learn at 2100 that a road marking outside a fire station (not in London -that’s something) had been missspelt and had had to be corrected. I am not making this up.
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    There will be what looks very much like it’s going to be an apologia for Israel at 1330 on R4 on Sunday. This was trailed after the 2100 news.

  • glenn

    Komodo – you’re not doing R4 justice. On PM, I was impressed at the depth of coverage when they went over to LA for a _full_ report on Michael Jackson’s doctor who was on trial there.

  • Komodo

    Thanks, Glenn. I should have indeed mentioned the fascinating coverage for three straight days of Michael Jackson’s doctor. And I fear I have not adequately extolled the brilliance of R4’s treatment of every possible detail of Greece’s finances. Also over three days, with a supplement at the financial end of the bulletin by (did I mention him?) Robert Peston. We are now interviewing Julia, who is a Greek painter. She is certainly more articulate and mature than many of our own young unemployed: congratulations, Auntie, for ignoring them.
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    2200:Headlines (no flotilla) and Greece for 17 minutes and still running.

  • stephen

    Don’t worry the Beeb got the most important story in the Middle East – people dying at the hands of the Syrian Government who were breaking their undertaking to the Arab League to withdraw the army. I’m sorry but this is rather more important than people being stopped on the Gaza flotilla which was largely designed as a propaganda exercise.

  • Komodo

    43 minutes of schadenfreude about someone else’s economy, not a word about ours. Nothing happened in the Middle East except Assad (briefly) murdering more Syrians in Homs. Slow news day, eh?

  • Komodo

    I agree, the Syrian affair merited more than the minute it got. The rest was largely stuffing. It would have been possible to inform the masses of an act of piracy on the high seas by an, er, ally which makes up the rules as it goes along if we had dispensed with, say Julia the painter? No? I fear you are incorrigibly zionist, then.

  • Komodo

    And I guess “we”, including Israel, aren’t delighted that Assad is meeting the resistance we are obviously not encouraging with “propaganda” because that would be very wrong.

  • stephen

    No – I would rather have heard about the Gaza flotilla than have see Tracey Emin and yet another attempt by her to be an artist – but to be honest i prefer watching paint dry to any work by La Emin. But that said Syria is a rather more important story than either.

    I know the styandard my not be particularly high but in terms of parochiality compared with other braodacasters around the world I don’t thing the Beeb is as bad as some would like to make out.

  • mary

    It is not their parochiality we’re bothered about. It’s their bias for Israel and their complete and arrogant unwillngness to respond to the views of its listeners and viewers.

  • tony_opmoc

    We are all connected now, and most people who provide the connections have no agenda except to keep the communications working. We don’t care what people say and have no control over it. We are just determined to maintain communications all over the world and will do.

    We can use carrier pigeon if you like.

    Tony

  • mary

    Anon I agree. I think an intention to divert the ‘conversation’ might be in the background.

  • mary

    Peres: Nobel Peace Prize recipient. War criminal. Advocate for mass murder.
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    ‘I believe Israel, world approaching military option on Iran nuclear threat’
    President says nations of the world made commitments to Israel and they must now make good on those commitments to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
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    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/peres-i-believe-israel-world-approaching-military-option-on-iran-nuclear-threat-1.393801
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    Remember all those who have shaken his bloody hand.

  • mary

    By e-mail from Free Gaza.
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    Israel continues blockade of ships to Gaza.
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    I have just returned from Turkey where I had hoped to join the Canadian boat Tahrir that together with the Irish vessel Saoirse would attempt to reach Gaza in an effort to break the 44-year blockade by Israel. Both ships were stopped, boarded and taken to Ashdod in international waters by Israeli naval forces.
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    In an unexplained reversal the Turkish authorities imposed a limit of 12 crew and passengers on each ship. As a result Kit Kittredge of Quilcene, WA was the only US citizen aboard. I had been on the Audacity of Hope with Kittredge in June when it was stopped and impounded by the Greek authorities.
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    The United States policy of support and justification for the blockade is deplorable and represents one more concession to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC. The Palestinians were filled with hope by Obama’s election that they would finally have an honest broker who would have the courage to pursue a fair and equitable solution to the decades old conflict. Their hopes were further bolstered by Obama’s memorable speech in Cairo that spoke to the Islamic world.
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    And then came a silence on the subject that was broken on rare occasions by timid admonishments for the continuing settlement construction. A continuation of an economic blockade that leaves 1.5 million with the barest necessities and the inability to develop a viable economy through a nearly total restriction on exports. Attacks on U.S. citizens and ships.
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    As the presidential election approaches we see even fewer attempts to restrain the settlement expansions or the daily assaults on the lives, the homes, the dignity of the Palestinian people. Instead Obama promises to veto any effort to achieve recognition of statehood at the UN’s Security Council. To withhold financial aid from the Palestinians if they should attain a limited status in the General Assembly. Most recently the State Department has warned American citizens participating in Flotillas of possible legal consequences for breaking U.S. and Israeli law. And meantime we appear to be about to condone and possibly assist an Israeli attack on Iran.
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    Obama’s willingness to grant Israel impunity for the most egregious actions highlights the irony of his early claim to The Audacity of Hope. That stirring battle cry has sadly been replaced by The Audacity of Political Cowardice and Expediency.
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    David K. Schermerhorn
    Nov. 4, 2011

  • mary

    A brave old guy in his 80s like Hedy Epstein. Ray McGovern now 72 is also in this list,
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    David K. Schermerhorn

    I am David K. Schermerhorn, 81, living on an island 75 miles north of Seattle, WA. I have followed the plight of the Palestinians with increasing concern since 1967. In 2008, I joined the crew of the Free Gaza, an old converted fishing boat that, together with an equally ancient boat, Liberty, were the first vessels to break the siege of Gaza imposed by the Israelis for 40 plus years. Forty-four passengers and crew joined in that demonstration of hope and solidarity under the auspices of the Free Gaza Movement. I returned twice more in 2008, was thwarted in 2009, and was captured by the Israelis during the 2010 Flotilla. In addition to Palestinian issues, I was involved in actions against the Vietnam and Iraq wars; active support for immigration reform; civil rights issues through ACLU committees. For 35 years, I was a film producer working primarily in TV commercials. In my spare time, I have made 12 trips to the Arctic from Siberia to Greenland with a trip to North Pole in 2006. Married 50 years. Two children. Three grandchildren.
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    http://ustogaza.org/passengers-on-the-audacity-of-hope/

  • mary

    Military strike on Iran reactors closer day by day, says Ehud Barak on video
    4 November 2011 Last updated at 17:07
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    Israel’s defence minister has said that a military strike on nuclear reactors in Iran is getting closer “day by day”.
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    Ehud Barak said he hoped a report by the United Nations’ atomic watchdog, which is expected next week, would “tell the truth to the world” about Iran’s nuclear activities.
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    He said ”no option should be removed from the table”.
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    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1320484927.html

  • ingo

    Thanks for the many grating links of people prepared to face murder and psychological torture by the IDF SS.

    I talked to some of the occupy movement and raised the prospects of a war with Iran, the flight forward into the next realm of chaos management, confusion and distraction from what is wrong and eating up the world, and what they would do about it.

    ‘Oh man, he said’ that would be utterly awefull it would really screw the worlds financial situation and take more from our generation, he couldn’t have been older than 26, don’t think that we would just take it sitting down’.

    So what are we here going to do when this country follows the two zionist poodles and their US followers who just love to strenghten the petro dollar and lay their hands on Irans tillers?
    I say it again, lets not all congregate in London, for another large ignored march, but have activities in the many places were we live, join the occupy movement and arrange for foreign media outlets to show what we are doing, we can’t rely on the BBC to report anyhting but Bibi’s fascists farts.

  • ingo

    A point made about SA Apartheid and how it compares to Israels treatment of minorities, a thoughtfull read.

  • Komodo

    Of the UK newspapers, only the Guardian seems to have covered the arrest of the flotilla this morning. And it just has a short statement and some IDF video. For instance, Google “Israeli navy” or “Gaza flotilla” and hit the News tab.
    No doubt this is partly because the IDF were much better at blocking communications this time, and because the protestors kept to their passive-resistance policy, so no-one got killed (a major criterion for important news, eh, Stephen?). And it reeks of media management.
    STV carried a report -one of the reporters on board is Scottish. He works for PressTV, and he got a report out just before his vessel was boarded: I’ll make Mark happy and link there:
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    http://presstv.com/detail/208336.html
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    Ha’aretz reports that 6 of the detainees are en route to release. I imagine they do not include the Palestinian guy on board.

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