Posts Tagged ‘Great Britain’

Top Ten Myths about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

June 19, 2010

Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, June 17, 2010

A Palestinian boy throws a stone at an Israeli  tank in the occupied West Bank.

Myth #1 – Jews and Arabs have always been in conflict in the region.

Although Arabs were a majority in Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel, there had always been a Jewish population, as well. For the most part, Jewish Palestinians got along with their Arab neighbors. This began to change with the onset of the Zionist movement, because the Zionists rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and wanted Palestine for their own, to create a “Jewish State” in a region where Arabs were the majority and owned most of the land.

For instance, after a series of riots in Jaffa in 1921 resulting in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, the occupying British held a commission of inquiry, which reported their finding that “there is no inherent anti-Semitism in the country, racial or religious.” Rather, Arab attacks on Jewish communities were the result of Arab fears about the stated goal of the Zionists to take over the land.

Continues >>

The U.N. Partition Plan and Arab ‘Catastrophe’

April 14, 2010
by Jeremy R. Hammond, Foriegn Policy Journal, April 13, 2010

The following is excerpted from The Rejection of Arab Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Crisis.

In 1947, Great Britain, unable to reconcile its conflicting obligations to both Jews and Arabs, requested that the United Nations take up the question of Palestine. In May, the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created by a General Assembly resolution. UNSCOP’s purpose was to investigate the situation in Palestine and “submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine”.

Continues >>

The truth of UK’s guilt over Iraq

November 30, 2009

Until Chilcot hears UN weapons inspectors’ testimony, the fiction of Britain honestly seeking a WMD smoking gun prevails

Scott Ritter, The Guardian/UK, Nov27, 2009

With its troops no longer engaged in military operations inside Iraq, Great Britain has been liberated politically to conduct a postmortem of that conflict, including the sensitive issue of the primary justification used by then Prime Minister Tony Blair for going to war, namely Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or WMD.

The failure to find any WMD in Iraq following the March 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of that country by US and British troops continues to haunt those who were involved in making the decision for war. The issue of Iraqi WMD, and the role it played in influencing the decision for war, is at the centre of the ongoing Iraq war inquiry being conducted by Sir John Chilcot.

Continues >>

Barnsby to Prime Minister Gordon Brown

August 9, 2009

Dear Gordon Brown

The fact that you are on vacation and delegated control of Great Britain to whichever fellow Torturer or Nuclear Maniac Harriett Harman, Lord Mandelson or Allan Johnson shows your   complete inability to comprehend the gravity of the present world situation. You should immediately recall Parliament, although that is probably beyond your provenance now – the Speaker of the House of Commons should call Parliament and you would be at once deprived of your liberty unless you immediately renounce the wars you are waging.

An equally important effect of such a renunciation would be that vast sums now spent on war would be available for peaceful purposes and the present Economic Crisis would disappear and we could all sleep safely in our beds at night.

Unless you do this you will be arraigned before the same court that tried the Nazis in 1945 and charged with Crimes against Humanity.

GEORGE BARNSBY

August 8, 2009

————————————————————

The Barnsby Blog, August 9, 2009

NO MORE WAR

As the folly and wickedness of the wars being waged by Obama and
supported by Brown is recognized anti-war feeling sweeps across the world. On Wednesday the largest EU countries Germany and France united against the war in Iraq. Thirty two US Mayors of the Institute for Policy Studies are mobilising to prevent a war against Iran. And the British Army General in Afghanistan, Sir David Richards says that British involvement in Afghanistan could take 80 years and this echoes the opposition of his predecessor Sir Richard Dan who also opposed the war in Afghanistan. Only madmen can continue to support this slaughter and the Torture and Nuclear madness that is involved.

Fortunately in Wolverhampton we have a Sikh mayor Surjan Singh Duhra who we shall certainly ask if he will join the US Mayors anti-war appeal and what he can do to promote it. This brings me back to Frank Spittle who wrote the original letter which I sent to the Mayor asking him to support Frank’s Send a Vet Scheme which has since blossomed into a campaign to send 2nd World War Vets back to the countries where they served their time.
Everything I have received today has a connection direct or indirect
with Peace and Multiculturalism and pride of place again goes to Frank Spittle. He has produced a portrait of a First World War Communist which has not so far been incorporated into our  History of the Communist Party of Wolverhampton, but which certainly will in future. Chris Knowles is the name and he worked in Frank Spittle’s father’s factory after the war. Chris had been decorated for bravery with the DCM. More about Chris will follow.

Continues >>

Extraordinary Rendition, Extraordinary Mistake

August 31, 2008

Sangitha McKenzie Millar | Foreign Policy In Focus, August 29, 2008

Mamdouh Habib, an Australian citizen, was living in Sydney with his wife and four children when he took a trip alone to Pakistan to find a home for his family. When Habib boarded a bus for the Islamabad airport to return home, Pakistani police seized him and took him to a police station, where he was subjected to various crude torture techniques, including electric shocks and beating. At one point, he was forced to hang by the arms above a drum-like mechanism that administered an electric shock when touched. Pakistani police asked him repeatedly if he was with al-Qaeda, and if he trained in Afghanistan. Habib responded “No” over and over until he passed out.

After 15 days in the Pakistani prison, Habib was transferred to U.S. agents who flew him to Cairo. When he arrived, Omar Solaimon, chief of Egyptian security, informed him that Egypt receives $10 million for every confessed terrorist they hand over to the United States. Habib stated that during his five months in Egypt, “there was no interrogation, only torture.”  His skin was burned with cigarettes and he was threatened with dogs, beaten, and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun. During this time, he heard American voices in the prison, but Egyptians were in charge of the torture. In Michael Otterman’s book American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Pluto Press 2007), Habib said he was drugged and began to hallucinate: “I feel like a dead person. I was gone. I become crazy.” He remembers admitting things to interrogators, anything they asked: “I didn’t care … at this point I was ready to die.”

He was transferred back to the custody of U.S. agents in May 2002. They flew him first to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and then to Kandahar. After several weeks, American agents sent Habib to Guantánamo Bay. Three British detainees who have since been released from the prison described Habib as being in a “catastrophic state” when he arrived. Most of his fingernails were missing and he regularly bled from the nose, mouth, and ears while he slept.

Habib was held at Guantánamo Bay until late 2004, when he was charged with training 9/11 hijackers in martial arts, attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, and transporting chemical weapons. A Chicago human rights lawyer took his case and detailed all of Habib’s allegations of torture in court documents. After the case garnered national attention through a front page story in The Washington Post, Habib became a liability for the U.S. government. Rather than have his testimony on the torture he suffered in Egypt become a matter of public record, U.S. officials decided to send him back to Sydney in January 2005 – over three years after seizing him in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Habib’s case isn’t unusual. There’s substantial evidence that the United States routinely and knowingly “outsources” the application of torture by transferring terrorism suspects to countries that frequently violate international human rights norms. As details of the extraordinary rendition program have emerged, politicians, journalists, academics, legal experts, and policymakers have raised serious objections to the policy. It has captured the attention of U.S. legislators, and both the House and Senate Committees on Foreign Relations as well as the House Committee on the Judiciary have held hearings to analyze the policy and examine related cases. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Democratic vice presidential nominee, expressed concern that “rendition, as currently practiced, is undermining our moral credibility and standing abroad and weakening the coalitions with foreign governments that we need to effectively combat international terrorism.” As the public continues to learn more about the program, calls to end extraordinary rendition have increased, and the next presidential administration will likely be forced to take a stand one way or another on the issue.

Continued . . .


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,593 other followers