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320 thoughts on “Question of the Day

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  • writerman

    Both Bahrain and the Falklands are of increasing strategic and economic importance. Bahrain has oil, the Falklands may have oil.

    In Bahrain crushing the democratic rights of the population serves our interests, in the Falklands supporting the same rights, serves our interests.

    We have inalienable interests, and that’s all that really matters. That, under differing contexts, and conditions, they are pursued in wildly contradictory ways, bordering on the grotesquely hypocritical and criminally cynical, is of secondary importance.

  • Iain Orr

    Writerman: I suppose you could say, with Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), in his 1841 essay on “Self-Reliance”, that:

    .

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

    .

    So, that’s all right then. Some people once thought that Tony Blair was a pure and wise spirit. Thank goodness that they were not prevented by a foolish consistency from changing their minds.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Falklands are the last vestige of British imperialism – what really got started during the Napoleonic Wars, and its investiture there.

    Keeping it is just an anti-French gesture in the name of self-determination, and democracy is a fraud for anyone who follows its pathetic results.

    Wars, what the fatcats want, and the bureaucrats dream of always take precedence over the alleged results of any election process.

    The West should get over it, as even the Greeks learned long ago.

    P. s. Would send this long as I do have a £20 note, but won’t give up by authographed photo of wee Willie, as it is the only one I have.

  • Azra

    Skipjack : you are either naive or do not read serious blogs and press. Every Islamic country (including Egypt, and others) have their constitution based on Sharia law, but Iran laws in many aspects are much more democratic than many of the others (UAE, Saudi, Qatar,etc).. Re Iran government (which btw I despise) threatening to wipe out Israel, well I leave that for you to go and research, Wetern media have a habit of misquoting Ahmadi Nejad. Re Nuclear Weapon, let Israel get rid of theirs first! have you heard “what is good for goose is good…”

    Writeman: Bahrain does not have oil (very little), but Bahrain has been supporting USA Naval activities since 1947 (before it even became indepenant of Iran), that is why MSM are more or less deaf and dumb when it comes to daily demonstration and Khalifa’s government atrocities. Majority of Bahrainis are Iranian (not Arab origin) and Shiaa. Bahrain became fully independant in 1971. the puppet Shah of Iran, like a good little puppy listened to what his masters told him and raised no objection. Had there been a fair, proper referundum, I doubt Bahraini of 1971 would vote to be separated and independant from Iran.

  • Mary

    Satire is dead. Some award winners of the incestuous Royal Television Society.

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    News Coverage – International
    Libya, Sky News
    .
    “At the heart of the winning entry was a series of reports that called for extraordinary bravery, endurance and outstanding judgment, not to mention some brilliant achievements in just getting to the right places at the crucial moment. The judges praised the powerful journalism by a team of correspondents, camera crews and producers, reporting from the front line of a brutal civil war.”
    .

    News Programme of the Year

    Newsnight, BBC Two
    .

    “The judges felt the winner stood out as the main forum for the live studio encounters of the year. Together with some edgy exposés and analysis from first-rate specialists, it made them the “must-watch” news programme.”
    .
    Television Journalist of the Year

    Alex Crawford, Sky News
    .
    “The judges recognised the extraordinary achievement of not only Alex Crawford but also her team in getting unique access to the frontline in Libya – in particular capturing the first proof that Ghaddafi was attacking his own people. It was brave, vivid conflict reporting of the highest order: compelling viewing on a story of major importance.”
    .

    http://www.rts.org.uk/rts-television-journalism-awards-2010-2011

  • Dale Martin

    I like to tell myself Craig that one day when humanity has suffered enough a great majority will stand up and refuse to allow all of this to continue any further, but when I look at history with even my limited knowledge of it I see through the endless cycle of power, greed and billions of deaths and suffering that if that were true then it would have happened long before now.
    .
    I am not religious or part of any cult organisation, but due to a very strange conversation I had with a 4 year old some years ago where he described in very sincere and rather great detail that he should not have possessed the story of “When he was a grown man like me and a soldier”, I am pretty much convinced that we live more than one life, infact I think we live quite a few.
    .
    I have come to believe that what we really are is energy, the physical body little more than a container from within which we experience lifetime after lifetime in what I think is nothing more than a process of aversion therapy and the transition from childhood to adulthood. The earth is a Kindergarten my friend, a huge playground for the demented child kings of energy to play out their childish greed, cruelty, self interest/obsession and throw their silly little tantrums whilst segregated from the great collective consciousness, where they can do no real harm to the universe and replay over and over those same childish mistakes until they are so sick of the repercussions of it that the folly of it all finally dawns on them and they no longer replay it at all.
    .

    In the end this insanity on earth will not be stopped, too many young souls driven by power, greed and possession, the endless cycle of learning that in reality all of those things are counter productive and we never truly possess anything, we just covet things for a brief moment in time like little children who see an ice cream in the hand of another and want not only that, but as much ice cream as we can lay our hands on,,,, we want it all with such obsession that we never truly appreciate or value anything we have because we are far too busy coveting that which we have not to see that which we have. lol
    .
    I am not saying that trying to change things is futile, far from it actually, it`s an important part of the transition from childhood to adulthood, it`s the very important stage of adolescence where we have become no longer the self obsessed child and have begun to see there are things that matter far more than just what we want in this world. It`s a painful but very necessary point in out ultimate development, the point where we have begun to understand that everything we do has an effect on others and we are no longer comfortable piling up the ice cream because we realise that in doing so others will never have any ice cream at all. The road to empathy is a very arduous road indeed lol.
    .
    There is a short passage in Erasmus`s work “In Praise Of Folly” which I suspect alludes to it all, though as is everything that is open to interpretation, it can be taken many ways,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,’If a person were to try stripping the disguises from actors while they play a scene upon stage, showing to the audience their real looks and the faces they were born with, would not such a one spoil the whole play ? And would not the spectators think he deserved to be driven out of the theatre with brickbats, as a drunken disturber ?… Now what else is the whole life of mortals but a sort of comedy, in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and play each one his part, until the manager waves them off the stage ? Moreover, this manager frequently bids the same actor to go back in a different costume, so that he who has but lately played the king in scarlet now acts the flunkey in patched clothes. Thus all things are presented by shadows.’
    .
    There will always be another war, another sad little twisted Bush or Blair that wants all the ice cream and sets off with childish ignorance to get it all. But pity them Craig, at their stage of development they are going to have to come back and swim in this shit for far longer than you and though the manager may have given them the kings robes of scarlet in this life, they will be wearing the patched clothes on many occasions too. lol
    .

  • Tom Welsh

    The problem with all our great aspiration and fine protestations of human rights is this. We are actually a bunch of apes who have vastly outgrown the environment in which we evolved to survive. Many people reject such a description emotionally, lashing out in the belief that there is a vast gulf between homo sapiens and the gorilla, chimp, bonobo, or orang utan. Superficially, yes: we wear clothes and jewellery, drive cars, fly planes, sit in important meetings, learn poetry, walk (some of us) on the Moon. And we aren’t obviously so hairy, we have lost the strength and agility that allows apes to swing so gracefully through the trees, we have gained speech and writing and “civilisation”.

    All true, but don’t forget this: inside every human brain lie the instincts of an ape. Apart from orang utans, apes are social beings, but their society is markedly different from our ideals. (Although strangely similar to our actual practice). Each band requires a leader, and falls into disorder and decline if it lacks one. At times of crisis, what we all yearn for deep down inside is a strong, powerful, decisive boss – “a man on a horse”. All apes have strong pecking orders within their bands, and we need that too. That is why people are forever “judging” one another and struggling for relative position in the eyes of their community.

    One of the strongest instincts of a group of chimps, for instance, is to defend their own territory and (if possible) take that of other, weaker, bands. They define themselves by not being the “other”; they pride themselves on vanquishing the other.

    Good luck building any society that doesn’t take these facts into account.

  • Mary

    Hotting up in Afghanistan.
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    Two U.S. troops are shot dead by Afghan ‘ally’ as Obama expresses his ‘deep regret’ to Afghan President for Koran burning by American soldiers
    Two U.S. troops killed by Afghan soldier after Taliban calls to arms
    Violence expected to flare across the country after Friday prayers
    .
    Racist ‘black dog Obama’ effigy burned in the streets amid anti U.S. protests
    .
    Obama sends letter to Afghanistan apologising for Koran burning
    Eleven people dead and dozens more injured as thousands vent fury
    Troops torched copies of the Koran scrawled with ‘extremist’ messages in a ‘burn pit’
    .
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104801/Afghanistan-Koran-burning-protests-Effigy-Black-Dog-Obama-set-alight.html

  • Richard

    Self-determination in Bahrain is BOTH and inalienable human right and an excuse for cynical self-interested outside interference. What’s new? Did the USSR support universal suffrage and fair elections, for South Africa? Did Louis XVI support “no taxation without representation,” for British North America?

  • Jay

    Maybe we should ask the former Diego Garcians, “Why is self-determination an inalienable right for the people of the Falklands, but a gross example of Iranian meddling for the people of Bahrain?”.

  • Ed Davies

    It’s difficult to work out when we’ll reach peak hypocrisy but my guess would be that it will be during the revolution in Saudi Arabia, whenever that eventually happens. Russia and China will propose a no-fly zone which the US and Britain will veto resulting in the spilling of 10 000 barrels of irony a day.

  • DonnyDarko

    Read quite a funny articel about how Argentina was approaching Alex Salmond.
    In a paragraph at the bottom it stated that Scotland was claiming the Falkland Islands as their own because they were discovered by a Scot and subsequently settled by Scots. Most of the present day population are descendents thereof.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if the Falkland Islanders inalienable right to self determination allied themselves with Alex Salmond and they became independent of England ? Wonder how Cameron would react.There’s no disputing that Falkland is a Scottish name.

  • angrysoba

    Writerman: In Bahrain crushing the democratic rights of the population serves our interests, in the Falklands supporting the same rights, serves our interests.

    .
    I think you’re right which is why the Falklands should be defended and Bahrain should be left to do what comes naturally. Of course, it is important to make sure that the Bahrainis want to be invaded by Iran, which is what seems to be assumed in Craig Murray’s post. If they do then I am more than happy to see it happen. If not then it is a false analogy.

  • Keith Robinson

    The best put down I have heard in years was when Robert Fisk of the Independent was being interviewed on the crisis in Syria.
    He said “William Hague, who spends most of his time impersonating himself”
    Don’t know how origianl it was, but it deserves a mention.

  • Mary

    Watch your backs ISAF aka the coalition of the willing. Helicopter on the roof time?
    .
    24 February 2012 Last updated at 12:49
    Two dead as Afghan Koran protests rage for fourth day
    Several protests across north and east Afghanistan turned violent on Thursday
    .
    Afghanistan War – 10 years
    Nato’s tipping point?
    Why Taliban are so strong
    Graphic: How have Afghan lives changed?
    Everyday Afghanistan – six ordinary voices
    .
    Two people have been killed in the Afghan city of Herat as protests continue for a fourth consecutive day over the burning of Korans by American troops at a US air base.
    .
    Gunfire broke out near the US consulate in the city, a security official said.
    .
    Crowds are heading towards the centre of Kabul and protests are taking place in several other Afghan cities.
    .
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17152705

  • craig Post author

    Angrysoba

    I don’t suggest the Bahrainis want to be invaded by Bahrain. I suggest they did not want to be invaded by Saudi Arabia, and wanted to choose their own government.

  • Sandman

    DonnyDarko – I’d be very surprised if the Falklanders chose to ditch the military and diplomatic support of South Britain to throw their lot in with the sparsely populated North Britain.

    Apparently there have been intermittent proposals to make Turks & Caicos a province of Canada, – that one might make more sense as Ottawa is significantly closer than London. Swapping London for Edinburgh wouldn’t make a lot of sense, though.

    In terms of dealing with small islands with oil reserves, the Scots might have more on their plate with the Shetlands than with a Falklands (oil) pipe dream. Indigenous Shetlanders aren’t really Scottish so if Scotland went independent they might well take the view “why not us too”.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    A important link Writerman – Thank-you – Sharmine’s email has immense factual strength of reasoning and I particularly liked this paragraph;
    .
    ‘The problem with foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, is ultimately about the kinds of people making the decisions – ideologues with clear agendas: against Iran and for Israel; against the Syrian “dictator” but in favor of the Saudi, Bahraini, Yemeni, Qatari ones; against Iranian nuclear capability, defending 200 nukes in Israel; abusing UN veto power (80+ times), deriding others for exercising a veto (Russia, China), and so on and so forth.’
    .
    Sharmine Narwani is a smart lady, a political analyst with narrative clout and insight that cuts through propaganda hasbara like a sharp knife without the usual ad hominem attacks. In 2006 she agreed that ‘the War on Terror fails to distinguish between real terrorists and “legitimate resistance movements.” She points out that two of America’s major allies (Egypt and Saudi Arabia) are anything but free, and are in fact very tyrannical. She says, “..the wars that the United States and it’s allies have fought to help Muslims have in many cases brought more harm than good.”
    .
    Her new blog is here:
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    http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/veteran-us-diplomat-questions-syria-storyline
    .
    She asked to be forgiven for this rather poignant but passionate nuance:
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    “But, the current Jordanian establishment, like many other Arab and Muslim elitists, is so far up the collective US, Israeli and Saudi arse, it would take major surgery to find it, let alone free it.”

  • Mary

    Are the Friends of Syria the same as the Friends of Israel?
    .
    Syria unrest: Opposition seeks arms pledge
    The humanitarian situation in Homs is reported to be worsening every day (photo)
    .
    Syria Crisis
    Syrians flee
    Tribute to Colvin
    Guide to opposition
    Civil war?
    .

    The main Syrian opposition group has asked for rebel fighters to be allowed to import weapons.
    .
    The plea came at a major international “Friends of Syria” conference being held in Tunisia to seek a breakthrough in the increasingly bitter conflict.
    .
    A declaration is expected later, calling on Syrian forces to declare a ceasefire and allow humanitarian access to the worst-hit areas.
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    Syrian state TV said the conference was a meeting of “symbols of colonialism”.
    ,.
    Those attending, it said, were “historic enemies of the Arabs”.
    /
    /..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17144805

  • Njegos

    Self-determination does not apply to lesser peoples. Only civilised Westerners.

    Incidentally, the Argentine approach is the clever one. Increase the diplomatic pressure and financial burden on the UK who are already spending $130 million per annum maintaining 1300 soldiers in the Falklands ($100,000 per per soldier per annum – real value for money!). That will become increasingly hard to justify as schools shut down and hospitals cut services in the UK.

  • Michael Stephenson

    In the mentions and non-mentions thread Craig posted:

    “Annie
    We are working very closely together, don’t worry. On fact the next revelation will be in the Eye this Friday. I know what it is but my lips are sealed till then!”

    Which was odd because the Eye is published fortnightly and the next release would not be that week, so anyway the new one is out now, and there is no mention of Werritty (Except in the Letters section where someone points out that Universal Exports is cover name the name used in the Bond novels)
    What gives? Are the eye going to publish the new information or not? If not what is preventing you from publishing?

  • craig Post author

    Michael,

    What prevents me is simply that I am in Ghana and haven’t had a chance to talk to them about it. I don’t know why they didn,t run it yet.

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