Daily Archives: July 13, 2015


The Embargo on the Truth About the Iranian Arms Embargo

The corporate media in both the UK and US are attempting to portray the Iranian desire to have the arms embargo lifted, as a new and extraneous demand that could torpedo the nuclear deal. This is an entirely false portrayal.

The issue has been included in the talks since, quite literally, the very first Iranian position document. And there is a reason for that. It is absolutely part and parcel of the issue and in no way extraneous to it. If there were any real journalists employed by the corporate media, that is obvious right on the face of UN Security Council Resolution 1747 of 2007 which imposed the arms embargo. The sole and exclusive reason given for the arms embargo is Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme. And it specifically states that, once the nuclear proliferation issue is resolved, the embargo will be lifted.

Paragraph 13 reads:

(b) that it shall terminate the measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
and 12 of resolution 1737 (2006) as well as in paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above as
soon as it determines, following receipt of the report referred to in paragraph 12
above, that Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the relevant
resolutions of the Security Council and met the requirements of the IAEA Board of
Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA Board;

It is the United States, not Iran, which is introducing extraneous factors, banging on about Yemen, Iran and Hezbollah, which are nowhere mentioned in the Security Council Resolutions.

The way this is being reported in the media is the exact opposite of the truth. The United States is attempting to welch on a deal which was not only open, but forms the very text of the security council resolution. None of the BBC’s highly paid analysts, reporters, or guest commenters is capable of noting this basic fact.

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Taking the Paracetamol

When I was a student, an appalling toothache on a Sunday led me to take too much paracetamol. I didn’t take vastly too much, and only two tablets at a time, but over 24 hours about twice the recommended dose. I am pretty certain it would have done me no harm, but I was sharing a flat with medical students and they insisted on rushing me to Ninewells. There the staff acted on the presumption that it was a particularly ineffective suicide attempt, which it most definitely was not, and instead of doing something useful about the toothache they lectured me about paracetamol.

My long introduction was simply to set the scene for that lecture, which has remained vividly with me, because the picture it painted was horrible in an Edgar Allan Poe sort of way. The doctor said that when people try to commit suicide with paracetamol, they generally wake up a few hours later in hospital and find they are not dead. Most of them are pretty happy about that. But then the hospital has to tell them that they are going to die anyway. Paracetamol has destroyed their organs and in five long days they will be dead. There is nothing the hospital can do to save them. Usually they are distraught.

I have no idea if that is true or just the doctor’s way of improving my views on toothache management. But I certainly never forgot it. It led me to wonder whether today’s statement by Harriet Harman that the Labour Party will not oppose Tory benefit cuts is the equivalent of taking that last bit too much paracetamol. The frank admission that the purpose of the Labour Party is to discern what wins the election and then support that, should finally drive away anybody with any interest in principles from that party. I was not joking when I said that Osborne’s budget outflanked Labour to the left. That is true, even though it was the most unabashedly right wing budget of my lifetime.

The parliamentary opposition to the benefit cuts will come from the SNP, Plaid and Greens, but it will not be allowed much time or given much publicity. The great question remains where the great mass of the abandoned people, with their left wing views, find political expression in England. I should love to believe that horror at Harman’s position will bring a surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn. But you only have to read Guardian and Labour List comments columns to see that the majority of Labour members swallow the line that you have to be right wing to win a general election – a myth carefully fostered by the corporate media but which I comprehensively demolished here.

It was at least as unthinkable that Labour would lose Glasgow as that they could now lose Darlington or Liverpool or Newcastle. But, with Clegg having moved the Lib Dems a long way right, there is still no sign of a challenging party that can emerge other than UKIP and their racist panacea. I find it hard to see what will happen in English politics. But Labour are going to wake up shortly and find they are facing a rapid and inevitable demise.

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