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Monthly Archives: April 2011

GET OUT OF BAHREIN

The USA should at once get out of Bahrein, which along with Saudi Arabia & Syria should be subject to UN sanctions.

Either you believe in and act upon right and wrong or you don’t. You can’t convincingly pick and choose whom to support just because of geo-political considerations. So WHAT if Iran is looming in the background? TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT. The Bahrein govt has shown itself to be illegitimate; hunting down doctors because they have evidence of state atrocities is beyond the pale. NO FREE STATE can POSSIBLY be ANY KIND of ally to a state doing this kind of thing.

It would be nice to hear the F1 circus stating that no more Grand Prix would be held in Bahrein under the present government.

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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Middle East

 

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Why Gaddafi must be Defeated

Libya – Why we must remove Gaddafi by any means possible.

A) If Britain succumbed to anarchy and a fascist gang seized control of Suffolk and then began shelling the town in neighbouring Norfolk where my old WHS mate lived with his lovely wife and three beautiful children then I, living in so far peaceful Esher, would feel compelled to come to my mate’s aid – IF it were at all feasible (it might not be).

This would be because:

  1. I have a general principle that we must fight evil and fascism (same thing) and
  2. I wouldn’t like to see my mate’s kids have their heads or legs blown off while I was sitting peacefully listening to the Archers.

The idea that I would say: “None of my business; let my old mate and his kids “fight it out” is surreally immoral. (always assuming that the line has been crossed – see below)

OK so far?

B) Now, if it weren’t a question of my old mate but of a stranger – equally innocent with equally lovely kids – then it wouldn’t actually make ANY difference. I would still think it right to “do something”, and if you’re going to do something it might as well be effective.

C) Now, if this fascist shelling of innocents happened in ANOTHER country it is of course “different”, since there are concepts of “sovereignty” and so on to deal with. HOWEVER, the victims involved are ALSO humans and “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND”. Moreover, there is a LINE IN THE SAND, and PLEASE don’t tell me there is NO line. For example, supposing WHOB X as a “let them fight it out” merchant learned that Gaddafi was building gas ovens and crematoria to final-solution his enemies then I suppose that THIS would be a line EVEN FOR THE RABID “It’s none of our business” brigade. Agreed?

So, there is ALWAYS A LINE. My line is clearly way to the left of certain people who vilified me for supporting intervention. Fine, we ALL have a different line in the sand. HOWEVER, in THIS case, the United Nations Security Council itself (to my surprise, given the quota of fascists kicking around the “international community”) ITSELF decided that Gaddafi had crossed the line.

The Arab League, Europe and the USA have ALL agreed that Gaddafi has crossed this line. The UN said that the International Community should take ALL EFFECTIVE MEASURES short of a ground invasion to protect civilians. More than this, the EU, NATO, the US and the Arab League have ALL said that there must be “regime change”, even though the UN couldn’t bring itself to say this – hardly surprising, when so many UN members are themselves despotic in one form or another.

However, all these august groups are being intellectually dishonest. The idea that you can “protect civilians” WITHOUT destroying Gaddafi’s regime is MORONIC. I’m sorry to use this word as I suspect it will get many people steamed up. However, I stand by it. Even massive air-power is not preventing Gaddafi’s “army” from INDISCRIMINATE SHELLING of Miseratu even while his spokespeople blather on about “democracy in six months”.

So, to be INTELLECTUALLY HONEST the intl community SHOULD have sanctioned “regime change” AND a UN-backed ground invasion, which would have toppled Gaddafi within hours. NO, the aftermath would not have been easy but just look at what is happening ALREADY. Apart from Miseratu, there are numerous villages and towns in the far west that we hear nothing about where Gaddafi is ALSO indiscriminately shelling civilians. And what chances do you give ANYONE fighting against him who is forced to surrender? This is why the Miseratu rebels say they will fight to the death. Defeat MEANS death for many of them. (BTW as I write the Libyan “government” is denying there is any shelling in Miseratu …..)

“Civilians”? Most of the “rebels” are civilians. You can see that just by watching Al Jazeera for 10 minutes. They have taken up arms in desperation, much as the peasants did in Russia, France and of course CUBA.The “army” in Libya is MINUTE – a few thousand men with forced conscripts and mercenaries led by members of Gaddafi’s odious family. So “protecting civilians” ALSO means protecting the rebels = SIDING with the rebels. To pretend anything else is intellectually dishonest.

The bottom line is:

  • There can be NO PROTECTION for civilians while Gaddafi remains in power.
  • While despots have to be tolerated up to a point, there is a LINE IN THE SAND. Gaddafi CROSSED THAT LINE. (more than once, but he got let off by Blair et al)
  • We can’t do everything, but doing NOTHING is – for me – not an option. And WHAT IS THE POINT OF DOING SOMETHING INEFFECTIVE THAT DOESN’T SOLVE THE ROOT PROBLEM?
  • In this case, we COULD do something effective at MINIMAL COST. We are not proposing to defend the Tibetans against the Chinese …..
  • If something is not done soon, Miseratu will fall; thousands will disappear and/or die; Gaddafi will have shored up his position while hoping the intl community gets fed up and/or chickens out of tough decisions.
 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Middle East

 

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AV, PR & FPTP

The current Alternative Vote referendum in the UK is besides the point. Whatever the outcome, the British “First Past The Post” system is fatally flawed. It may produce (usually) single-party government, but this is profoundly undemocratic, since a party obtaining only – as in 2005 – 36% of the national vote can form a government on its own. This is CONVENIENT (especially for the winning party) but UNFAIR.

Of course, in the current debate (such as it is) this point is completely overlooked, since it suits the large parties.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Britain, Politics

 

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Religious Tolerance

So, your “religion” entitles you to do something that is accepted as being cruel. Not exactly new knowledge of course, but a pity that it has to be enshrined in British law:

Slaughter without stunning is legal under religious freedom laws in most EU countries despite animal welfare rules that generally ban it as leading to “unacceptable levels of suffering and pain”.

How much “religious tolerance” is acceptable? We tolerate circumcision of boys, so why not girls? I note that Harriet Harman is quiet on this point.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Religion

 

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Today’s Early Comment

Crikey! The Iraqi Information Minister has reappeared:

“There is no bombardment from the armed forces on Misrata, none at all. There are pockets of resistance, but other areas are peaceful. There is no fighting in Misrata.”

I hope to live long enough to hear him say “There are no tanks outside Gaddafi’s tent.”

The UN? Funny old place …… where are the strong condemnations of Yemen, Bahrein, Syria, Saudi Arabia?

The latter even has the dreaded “boots on the ground” in Bahrein to oppress Shia demanding justice, but doesn’t even get a mild rebuke. How the hell did the UN manage to pass the “no-fly” resolution in Libya? Were the Russians and Chinese off playing golf perhaps?

The Daily Mail informs me that “Muslims against Crusades” are going to muck up the Royal Wedding big time, unless the police manage to arrest them all in advance and lock them up for the day.

Funny old world indeed. Where is the “Muslims against Oppression and murder of Muslims by Muslims?”

It’s like blacks on blacks – South Africa ignores Mugabe for decades but if any WHITES were involved all hell would be let loose. If THAT isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Politics

 

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Castroan Mea Culpa

Cretins – Anyone with a single E at GCSE could have told the Castro double-clown act this self-evident truth decades ago.

“The time that we have left is short, and the work that we have to do is gigantic,” Mr Castro announced recently, as he conceded that changes which would once have been viewed as a heretical embrace of capitalism were desperately needed.

For FIFTY YEARS Castro has subjected “his” people to repeated hour-long rants about the evils of capitalism, but is now embracing it – or of course its BEST bits, which is all that ANYONE would want.

I am carefully listening for an apology from the Castros to their people ….. probably in vain ….

“cretins”? Well, it’s FAIR, isn’t it?

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Politics

 

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“International Law”

“International Law”? HA HA …

It seems to be decided among others by China (a nasty dictatorship) and Russia (a mafia state) and it allows gangster families with NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to seize a country by force and oppress “their” people for decades.

It also witnesses blatant murder by despot leaders both of their own and other nations’ citizens without reacting. (Mugabe, Gaddafi etc etc.)

The concept of “international law” is a fine one, but reality it ISN’T, and until there is democracy EVERYWHERE it WON’T be.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Human Interest, Politics