Simon Ostrovsky 130

I am pleased that Simon Ostrovsky has been released.  He is a decent journalist, who back on 30 October 2007 did a very good piece on Newsnight about the terrible child slavery compelled by the state in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.  They had done some secret filming in Uzbekistan, which took much courage.

There was however one strange thing about Ostrovsky’s film.  I was called in to the Newsnight studio in the morning to do a pre-record piece on what I had witnessed of this terrible system of cruel forced labour.  I also recounted how I had reported it to government while I was Ambassador there from 2002 to 2004, but the British government had refused to take any action, as had the EU.

But none of my interview was shown in the programme, nor was I mentioned.  Instead a New Labour minister was interviewed and he was allowed to say, unchallenged, that the film was absolutely shocking and the British government had no prior idea this was happening; they would now look into it etc.  Needless to say they still did nothing, nor has anything ever been done to have child slave cotton banned from the UK.  Why do you think Primark is so cheap?

I do not know whether Ostrovsky had any editorial control over the decision to cut the interview which proved the New Labour minister was lying through his teeth.

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130 thoughts on “Simon Ostrovsky

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  • Andy

    Habbabkuk 6-01pm

    All organisation’s have policies and under close inspection, I imagine I wouldn’t be rushing to align myself with Hamas. So far as Israel goes, it doesn’t need any inspection at all, their actions speak much more than the condemning words of the Hamas charter. A brief look at the changing map of Palestine over the last 50 or 60 years tells it own story. Should they just allow Israel to steam roll over the fragmented remnants of a state (and getting smaller by the day)? Do you find it more acceptable for people to ignore you or would you rather they deprive you of water or electric?
    Who can blame Hamas for wishing the Zionist entity gone? Perhaps if Israel stopped provoking them when they aren’t firing rockets, they would be prepared to stop the cycle of violence.
    Then of course there is the deliberately strangled economy in order to stop the Palestinians from prospering, the check points to stop them living a normal life and the constant threat of a snipers bullet. If Israel were a neighbour of my country, I’d wish them gone too.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    You make a couple of fair points. But consider the following, against the background of Abba Eban’s remark that “the Palestinians (or it may have been “the Arabs”?) never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity”:

    1/.Hamas or no Hamas, Israel is not going to go away. To think otherwise is illusory.

    2/. Hamas provides a wonderful alibi for Israeli govts before the court of third party opinion.

    3/. There was no Israeli expansionism (and no convenient excuse for it)between 1948/9 and the Six Day War, the latter having started with an attack by the neigbouring Arab states against Israel and not the other way round. A grave mistake for which the Palestinians (but not the Arab states concerned) are paying the bill.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    I also refer you back to remarks I made in the past on the shared responsibility of the govt of Jordan for the non-establishment of a Palestinian state between 1948/9 and 1967. The Jordanian approach was typical of the sort of illusory thinking which is evident in the Hamas attitude today.

  • Ben-This House has not be cleared

    ” “will never accept the Zionist entity, will not deal with it and will not be part of a government which will accept it.”……..”

    Why should they accept a Zionist vision? I certainly don’t and i suspect a bare minority on this blog would accept mirror-image nazisim for any role in World affairs, other than charitable giving.

  • Laurent

    Craig, I have known Simon Ostrovsky for years and agree completely that he is an excellent, honest, and brave journalist and person. And obviously not a spy as alleged by the thuggish “mayor” of Slovyansk and suggested as a possibility by commenter Mary above. Regarding editorial control over the Newsnight piece, I think the likelihood of Newsnight giving editorial control of the in-studio follow-up discusion to a 26-year-old nobody stringer is precisely zero.

  • Andy (2)

    Resident Dissident (11.13am): “Perhaps you could share your thoughts on Putin admitting that he had troops in Crimea all the time – and why we should believe him now when he says that there are none in Eastern Ukraine.”

    Before it annexed Crimea, the Russian government issued the following statement about its military presence there:

    1) A Russian naval presence in Crimea dates to 1783 when the port city of Sevastopol was founded by Russian Prince Grigory Potemkin. Crimea was part of Russia until Nikita Khruschev gave it to Ukraine in 1954.

    2) In 1997, amid the wreckage of the USSR, Russia & Ukraine signed a Partition Treaty determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea. The deal sparked widespread officer ‘defections’ to Russia and was ratified by the Russian & Ukrainian parliaments in 1999. Russia received 81.7 percent of the fleet’s ships after paying the Ukrainian government US$526.5 million.

    3) The deal allowed the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Crimea until 2017. This was extended by another 25 years to 2042 with a 5-year extension option in 2010.

    4) Moscow annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequencies, and to compensate for the Black Sea Fleet’s environmental impact.

    5) The Russian navy is allowed up to
    – 25,000 troops,
    – 24 artillery systems with a caliber smaller than 100 mm,
    – 132 armored vehicles, and
    – 22 military planes, on Crimean territory.

    6) Five Russian naval units are stationed in the port city of Sevastopol, in compliance with the treaty:

    – The 30th Surface Ship Division formed by the 11th Antisubmarine Ship Brigade. Comprises the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship guard missile cruiser Moskva as well as Kerch, Ochakov, Smetlivy, Ladny, and Pytlivy vessels, and the 197th Landing Ship Brigade, consisting of seven large amphibious vessels;

    – The 41st Missile Boat Brigade includes the 166th Fast Attack Craft Division, consisting of Bora and Samum hovercrafts as well as small missile ships Mirazh and Shtil, and 295th missile Boat Division;

    – The 247th Separate Submarine Division, consisting of two diesel submarines – B-871 Alrosa and B-380 Svyatoy Knyaz Georgy;

    – The 68th Harbor Defense Ship Brigade formed by 4 vessels of the 400th Antisubmarine Ship Battalion and 418 Mine Hunting Ship Division respectively.;

    – The 422nd Separate Hydrographic Ship Division boasts the Cheleken, Stvor, Donuzlav and GS-402 survey vessels and hydrographic boats.

    7) Russia has two airbases in Crimea, in Kacha and Gvardeysky.

    8) Russian coastal forces in Ukraine consist of the 1096th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment in Sevastopol and the 810th Marine Brigade, which hosts around 2,000 marines.

    9) Russian naval units are permitted to implement security measures at their permanent post as well as during re-deployments in cooperation with Ukrainian forces, in accordance with Russia’s armed forces procedures.

    Source: (March 4, 2014)

    You’re welcome.

  • Mary

    How will this 6 year old Palestinian child grow up to view his Israeli neighbours? Such is the IDF treatment of a child who had thrown a few pebbles. In Hebron where the settlers make the Palestinians’ lives a misery.

    One of the settlers hassled the member of the ISM who had intervened to protect the child.

    The ISM homepage below is full of such incidents. From the dark side of a dark planet the Luciferans come. A child is reduced to a source of an illusory threat. His pebbles versus their Hellfire missiles.

  • Mary

    Laurent Correcting your remark. I posted links to three articles and suggested that readers make up their own minds. One from the Guardian, one from RT and one from Ha’aretz. OK?

  • Mary

    This from the BBC website about those observers being held. Hope that nothing is read into this comment.

    Russia ‘to help free Ukraine group’
    Moscow offers to help free European military observers held in Ukraine by pro-Russia activists, as EU states plan new sanctions on Russia.

  • Ben-This House has not be cleared

    ” His pebbles versus their Hellfire missiles.”

    It’s a proportionate response according to our resident adolescents, Mary.

    Of course, our teen-aged mental giants have never faced IDF armor.

  • Resident Dissident


    Putin was talking about the troops in unmarked uniforms – not those on their military bases – he had previously denied that those in unmarked uniforms were Russian troops. I suspect you know this all too well.

  • Resident Dissident


    “Suggest you mind your own business in future.”

    Perhaps I shall follow the same standard that you set in this regard

  • Ben-This House has not be cleared’s-postwar-arabists

    “Nonetheless, Wilford is persuasive in arguing that the solidification of the alliance between Israel and the United States made America’s position in the Middle East far worse than it need have been. The US could have kept Israel from being affiliated with the Soviet Union while avoiding a relationship with it that has removed all flexibility in crafting policy. A more nuanced position would not have eliminated hostility to the United States in the region, but it certainly would have reduced it. “The Arabist defeats of the Eisenhower era established the basic pattern of US relations with the Middle East in the years that followed,”

    Of course, JF Dulles was an antisemite.

  • Mary

    Before the trolls rush in on the attack, I did make this comment on an earlier thread yesterday morning.

    Interesting that the “journalist” (?) kidnapped by the nationalists in eastern Ukraine as being suspicious has dual US-Israeli citizenship. Another mega mmmmm!

    US journalist released by pro-Russian gunmen in Ukraine, Vice confirms
    Simon Ostrovsky was held hostage in eastern Ukraine by armed separatists, who accused him of spying for enemy groups

    Murdoch has a 5% stake in VICE for whom Ostrovsky works.

    whereupon ‘Jemand’ went ballistic and filled the comment box with multiple letter Ms. It’s a wonder his letter M key didn’t burn out.

    It is natural to assume that not everyone is the person they say they are. We have numerous examples of Mossad operatives in other guises at work and we have seen the lies and disinformation spread in Syria, even by BBC journalists. Suspicion is a natural consequence.

    Anyway I am glad that you Laurent and Craig vouch for Mr Ostrovsky’s credentials. I am just sorry that he works for an organisation with a connection to Murdoch, although minimal.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Of course, our teen-aged mental giants have never faced IDF armor.”

    In the same way that you, Ben, have never faced a suicide bomber or a home-made but potentially lethal rocket fired in your general direction.

  • Ben-This House has not be cleared

    I have faced ‘bottle-rockets’ on the 4th of July. Katyushas have a similar punch, but are less accurate.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “” “will never accept the Zionist entity, will not deal with it and will not be part of a government which will accept it.”……..”

    Why should they accept a Zionist vision? I certainly don’t”

    1/. Who cares what you would accept? You’re just a Californian wind-bag whose views are as unimportant as they are ill-founded.

    2/. You know as well as anyone that “Zionist entity” is the expression of choice for those who cannot bear to let the word “Israel” pass their lips. I believe that Mary has on occasion used that expression, by the way. For the Jew haters and Israel haters, Zionist entity = Israel.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “I have faced ‘bottle-rockets’ on the 4th of July. Katyushas have a similar punch, but are less accurate.”

    A very stupid and facetious reply, Ben. Go and smoke another one.

  • Ben-This House has not be cleared

    “Zionist entity = Israel.”

    That’s your own definition. It has nothing to do with facts; just your opinion.

    Now if the Israeli electorate enables the Zionist tail to wag the Israel dog, then it appears they are culpable; just as Americans who are content to shift their responsibility and surrender their judgment to Obama, so too Israelis who sleep soundly while their Leaders fiddle, should accept their complacency as a form of agreement.

  • Mary

    Yes correct. ‘Zionist entity’. That gets the Zionist supporters going. ‘Entity’ because it is not a state, has no borders and knows no international law(s).

  • Ben-Don't Bogart that Joint, Havasack

    “facetious” For you is wishes of self-awareness, but as they say, ‘wish in one hand…’

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    ““Zionist entity = Israel.”

    That’s your own definition.”

    Incorrect. I’ll say it again : it’s the expression people (eg Hamas in the real world, Mary in her blog-world) use when they can’t bear to use the word “Israel”.

    (@ Mary – the word gets me going a lot less than the existence of Israel seems to exercise you)

  • Ben-Don't Bogart that Joint, Havasack

    Correction; rather than ‘definition’ it’s more like your own ‘inference’.

    Mebbe you should clear your ears of cheese wax.

  • Kelly ben Maimon

    John Goss 26 April, 2014 – 8.01am

    Apologies for slight diversion from thread topic.

    Thanks for ISBN John,

    Will try and locate a copy this week.

    Whereas, often found falling asleep looking at other blogs, listening to speeches etc, in presence of my friends. Although, fully alert here, (when I get an opportunity to look) because comments are so amusing, with folk pressing particular agendas. Equally fascinating is the variety of topics and quality of commentary.

  • Kelly ben Maimon

    Correction, need to omit “although” above. Have always suspected one could be dyslexic. Think I’ll stick to reading posts. Hilarious and thought provoking, at times.

  • BrianFujisan

    Ben….Ya wee Rocket Dodging ninja

    sounds better than trying to dodge the sky falling

    or that would be White phosphorus

  • Jives

    Habbabkuk n Res Diss.

    Just stop your sock-puppetry will ya please?

    Ridiculous nonsense the pair of yeez yeah?

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Daniel. 10 53pm

    “Cross Yell.”

    Mark Levine, self-styled “agressive progressive” and master debater. LOL.


  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Rising star Jen Psaki, explains State Department’s nuanced attitude to press freedom in the US.

    Those who fear reading from Russia’s “Propaganda Bullhorn” can just watch the clip and get it out of the horse’s mouth.*

    *No horses were used in the making of this comment.
    No offense to horses was intended.
    Fact: Real horses don’t talk bullshit.

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