Feile An Phobail Belfast 4110

The Respectability of Torture

St Mary’s University College, Thurs 1st August, 7.30pm


Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, was a whistleblower who was removed from his ambassadorial post by Tony Blair for exposing the Tashkent regime‟s use of rape and systematic torture, including the boiling to death of political opponents. He has also spoken out against Central Asia‟s appalling dictatorships, regimes which are allies of the West, involved in torture and rendition, and was accused of threatening MI6‟s relationship with the CIA. Now a human rights activist, author and broadcaster, he outlines the dynamics of torture and the hypocrisy of incriminated Western governments.


My first public appearance for a while will be in Belfast on 1 August where I shall be giving a talk.  Long term readers of this blog will recall that, while my focus is largely on international affairs, the domestic political achievements I most hope to see are a united Ireland and an independent Scotland.

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4,110 thoughts on “Feile An Phobail Belfast

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  • Passerby

    Russians sending a submarine and a cruiser in addition to the assets they have in the Med. is just a little bit of a signal; move a muscle, if you think it is your lucky day punk!

    In the other news new intelligence has come to light about Assad’s use of chemical weapons etc.

    Mr. Cameron’s dog groom’s friend’s neighbour three doors up three weeks ago had dreamt Assad was puffing smoke out of his nostrils! This is a sure sign of Assad’s use of WMD and his intent to destroy the world, and invade everywhere, and then make us all speak Sharia!

    If this does not convince the world then nothing else will!

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    @Passerby. 11 16am

    “…and then make us all speak Sharia!”

    Chilling and incontroveraable!

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    @Komodo. 11 27am

    “pffft.” indeed!

    WoW! Thanks. Wonderful stuff. His facial expressions alone warm the heart. Reminds me of Dudley Moore playing his “Colonel Bogey” sonata.

    Eat your heart out Assad and Henchmen. (Well, maybe not. Seems there are plenty of dedicated folk around who want to do that for you.)

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Pressure, probably from elements within the establishment, seems to have slowed down Cameron’s/Hague’s/Clegg’s rush to bomb – but only for a few days. The fact that Tory backbenchers threatened to rebel and the Govt knew it would lose a vote in the UK Parliament suggests that:

    1) Like John Kerry, the US Secretary, they do not have credible evidence that the Syrian regime alone, and not the ‘rebels’, has used chemical weapons.


    2) The likely attempts at bribery of MPs have not yet been wholly effective. Elements in Labour and Conservative (and maybe the Lib Dem) Parties may have pressurised Milliband to qualify his support and Cameron/Hague/Clegg to seek a broader mandate, so as not to be seen ‘doing a Blair’. In this regard, Blair’s public intervention in support of an immediate attack might be viewed as a bit of an own-goal. Like Thatcher, he has become a PR liability. It’s Pavlovian: Every time we see his face, we think of hundreds of thousands of dead people. A very rich and well-rewarded liability, though.


    3) Significant elements in the intelligence/foreign office/military establishment have expressed doubts, sometimes in public, about the proposed military action on various operational and political grounds which might best be summarised as there being a patent lack of both end-point and exit strategy.


    4) They want to minimise the risk of bad PR.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And another excellent article – here’s a quote from it:

    “As the Obama Administration has made abundantly clear, the impending Western strikes in Syria will not be aimed at deposing al-Asad. The goal is not to resolve, but to perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable to Western policymakers that al-Asad emerge victorious in the conflict, as he stands poised to do in the near-to-medium term. However, a rebel victory is not a plausible option at the moment either—even if the US agreed to a Libya-style intervention (insofar as “victory” is understood as liberal or West-compliant factions of the rebels being able to effectively seize, wield, and maintain power and legitimacy in the aftermath of al-Asad being deposed). So because the “right” people are not able to win, the goal is to prevent anyone from prevailing.

    The strategy will allow Hezbollah, the Syrian Army, and al-Qaeda to tear one-another down, too consumed by the conflict with one-another to pose a meaningful threat to the West, its allies, or its interests. Simultaneously, the “allied” forces will attempt to build up the capacity of the “good guys” until they are capable of rendering a more acceptable military solution viable. Finally, laboring under the delusion that “equalizing force” will somehow bolster rather than prevent a negotiated settlement, they will also continue their inconsistent and half-hearted pursuit of a diplomatic resolution—even as they continue to undermine these efforts by insisting that the President step down as a precondition to talks. One way or another, the war will not be permitted to end unless and until the US achieves its goal.” [Musa al-Gharbi]


  • Donald

    I have seen the ‘compelling’ and ‘conclusive’ evidence that Assad has massacred his people with chemical weapons. It appears David Cameron and William Hagues have been totally correct all the while. The JIC report written yesterday says very clearly that it is ‘highly likely’ that it has happened. That should shut all the cynics up.

  • Donald

    What’s more the government has just said any attack is legal. So, that’s it then, a total slamndunk against those anti-war cycnics.

  • Donald

    This may be the first war in history to be started using Youtube as evidence. If that’s the case what is the government going to do about shape-hifting reptilians? There’s plenty of videos on youtube about them – which surely proves they exist.

  • Dreoilin

    “This may be the first war in history to be started using Youtube as evidence. If that’s the case what is the government going to do about shape-hifting reptilians? There’s plenty of videos on youtube about them – which surely proves they exist.”

    Good one, Donald. 🙂
    But what evidence they have apparently came from Israel. Impartial observers, dont ya know.
    And utterly reliable.


    By the way, this is kinda funny and kinda sad

    “One of the more bizarre incidents of the year: two soldiers in Hebron entered a Palestinian wedding while on patrol – apparently they heard the sound of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” from outside – and started dancing with the crowd, which seemed to enjoy the spectacle. After the inevitable Youtube clip surfaced, the entire patrol got suspended. An openly horrified report on Channel 2 stated that the wedding’s guests were “from a known Hamas family,” no less.”

    Video at link


  • Jives

    “Highly likely” just does not cut it.

    Secret evidence too,i see…how convenient.

    We’ve been here before haven’t we?

    I despair at these types.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Rouhani was quoted as saying “military action will bring great costs for the region” and “it is necessary to apply all efforts to prevent it.”

    Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, used stronger rhetoric while talking to the Tasnim news website, saying an attack on Syria would draw in Israel.

    “The Zionists should know that a U.S. military attack on Syria will not save the fake regime from the resistance but it means the immediate destruction of Israel,” Jafari was quoted as saying.”


  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Attempts to cut-in line ahead of the UN for ‘humanitarian’ reasons are failing. We can learn from History.

    “Up until the very last moment, Miliband was giving solid assurances in public – and, we are told, in private – that he saw the need for a strong response to the chemical mass-murder of women and children, by the Assad regime. To be clear: we are not talking about an invasion. Not British boots on the ground. Not regime change or taking sides in the conflict. Not the UK acting alone. But targeted, legal and proportionate action solely to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Syria by deterring the future use of chemical weapons. If the global prohibition against chemical warfare – a taboo that has stood for nearly 100 years – is to mean anything, it must be upheld now”


  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Bwaaa…some unnamed government official called Millband a f****** c*** for blocking Cameron.

    That’s how bad they want this….why? Humanitarian aid? FFS.

  • Villager

    “Watch the master in action”

    Zakir Hussain at his best in Tabla Beat Science’s bewitching fusion. Haunting, elevating, uplifting, transcending…. Including Ustad Sultan Khan on the sarangi


    and Ustad Vilayat Khan’s son who has the voice of an angel

    if someone can translate the words of this last little piece, that would be amazing!

    Last, more fusion Ustad Shubhendra Rao (student of Ravi Shankar) playing with his wife Saskia Rao on a modified cello.

  • NR

    President Peace Prize says, “Suggestions that there’s any doubt about who’s responsible for this are as preposterous as a suggestion that the attack did not occur,” and “… the utter lack of credibility of the Syrian regime on this matter …”
    via spokesman Jay Carney.

    The credibility of the Syrian regime perhaps exceeds the credibility of the Obama regime by 1%.

    The MSM, or the Big Organs of State Propaganda, desperately persist in mongering war, but now take a slightly different tack, portraying President Obama as a reluctant warrior, so when things go wrong, as they surely will, they can claim, “Well he didn’t really want to do it, unlike Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, etc.”


    They lay it on, layer after layer, now saying the regime will brief members of Congress, scattered worldwide on vacation, but since it will be via unsecured phone lines, they obviously can’t tell them any of the really good secrets. Trust us on this one.

  • NR

    UK Yeah! UK Yeah! UK Yeah! You retain a semblance of democracy.

    Where’d y’all go anyway? Dumbstruck or at the pub celebrating?

    After the UK vote there’s zero chance of US Congress convening, because all leaders fear a vote would go the same way, and many members are happy to leave the PR fiasco to Obama’s regime. They’ll settle for their unclassified phone briefing and softly murmur assent.

    You’d think the USA would have provided 535 important people with secure communications devices for just such a situation. Or they could make their way to the nearest US embassy or consulate, excepting those partying on a multi-billionaire’s yacht. It would be polite to excuse them.

  • Komodo

    Villager – thanks for more Zakir Hussain. I am now beginning to wonder if another disciple of Ustad Alla Rakha – Pandit Yogesh Sami – isn’t actually more to my taste. Traditional presentation, spellbinding playing, quietly radiant personality, as far as I can tell from a video. In this one he keeps it going for an hour or so (yeah, rock gods @ 8 minutes). And he’s letting the music speak for itself rather than selling it to the audience fusion-stylee (which is fine, particularly for an ignorant Westerner such as myself, but gets wearing)

    Pandit Yogesh Sami –

    Sorry about the screenflow demo logo – explained in comments below. Skip to 13.00 to miss the introduction, mike check, tuning bit.

  • Villager

    Thanks Komodo, haven’t heard of or him before. Very talented. My approach is inclusive. as long as they are gifted musicians, its all good. I try not to compare.

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