crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Robert F Kennedy writing in politico.eu, ‘. . . A 1997 U.S. Department of Defense report found that “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Let’s face it; what we call the “war on terror” is really just another oil war. We’ve squandered…

football

The Slip Up

The OIC Secretary General has fallen on his sword for his slip up when calling on the Tunisian President  Beji Caid Essebsi to the podium at a recent conference:  “Mr President Beji Caid al-Sisi. Essebsi. Sorry. This is a big mistake.” However Iyad Madani then tried some humour: I’m sure your fridge has more than water, Your…

afghanistan

Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

3rd  November 2016 Sune Rasmussen in the Guardian, ‘As many as 30 civilians were killed in an airstrike on Thursday morning called in to protect US and Afghan troops involved in heavy fighting with the Taliban near Kunduz . . . Early on Thursday, villagers who tried to transport the dead civilians to the city…

egypt_sisi

Lessons from Egypt

El-Baradei’s statement about events in July/August 2013 middleeastmonitor.com reports, November 2016, ‘. . . The armed forces called on the representatives of all the political forces to come to a meeting on the afternoon of 3 July 2013. It was believed that this was aimed at discussing the explosive situation on the ground in response…

cup of tea

Fun and Faction

Fly on the wall – some Fun and Faction Downing Street ,Thursday 20 October, 8 a.m. Prime Minister’s breakfast meeting with her PPS. PM: Patch me to Parker. Now. PPS sets up secure line to Thames House: PM for the DG. Now. PM: Parker, have you seen today’s Guardian? Parker:  PM, I read the Telegraph…

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Fly on the wall

French hypocrisy So is the French state really neutral about religion? Not from President Francois Hollande’s latest statement (11th October 2016, reported in lexpress.fr). “Ce n’est pas l’islam qui pose un problème dans le sens où ce serait une religion qui serait dangereuse en elle-même, mais parce qu’elle veut s’affirmer comme une religion dans la République.”…

fire-mau

Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Ian Jack in The Guardian, ‘. . . When Britain quit India in 1947, a colonial official noted that “the press greatly enjoyed themselves with the pall of smoke which hung over Delhi with the mass destruction of documents”. By the time of Malayan independence in 1957, the…

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Metrics of Domestic Security

The Guardian reports, ‘MI6, which employs 2,500 people at present, deals with intelligence-gathering and operations abroad, while MI5 is responsible for security within the UK. The government announced last year that the security services would be given 1,900 additional staff – and MI6 is the main beneficiary. BBC’s Newsnight put the rise in staff for MI6…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Spencer  Ackerman in the Guardian, 11 September 2016, ‘Bush was, for the first time, acknowledging the existence of the program that Senate intelligence committee staff investigator Daniel Jones would later expose as taking power drills to the heads of captured men; making them stand with their…

censored

Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. However, censorship is widespread… UK Self-censorship at the Catholic Herald, reported by Roy Greenslade in the…