“Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b: 1941)
Figures just obtained by the BBC under a Freedom of Information request, show that last year the UK Home Office identified nearly one hundred suspected war criminals, the majority of cases believed to be already having been living in the UK for a number of years. (i)
“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” (Samuel Adams, 1722-1803, letter 1775)
This will surely have you falling down with surprise. According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and obtained by the (UK) Sunday Telegraph, the August 2009 release from Scotland’s Barlinnie jail of Libyan Abdelbaset al- Megrahi, accused of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, hinged on an oil and arms deal, allegedly brokered by roving war monger (sorry, roving “Peace Ambassador”) Tony Blair.
“Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terrorism.” President Barack Obama 15th February 2013. (Re Boston bombings.)
Having learned nothing from the catastrophes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, it seems President Obama, the equally clueless UK Prime Minister Cameron and his culturally challenged Foreign Secretary William Hague are cheerleading another bloodbath in formerly peaceful, secular, outward looking Syria.
Why is it, just when you think the British Government can sink no lower and visit no more embarrassment and shame upon the country they are supposedly there to represent, that within a week or less one of the Ministers will open his mouth or put pen to paper and demonstrate just how arrogant and useless they are? Arrogant because they believe that whatever they say will be accepted as the final word on the subject; useless because they apparently can’t foresee how their statements will be received.
What is the world’s most powerful and violent “ism”? The question will summon the usual demons, such as Islamism, now that communism has left the stage. The answer, wrote Harold Pinter, is only “superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged,” because only one ideology claims to be non-ideological, neither left nor right, the supreme way. This is liberalism.
In the kabuki theatre of British parliamentary politics, great crimes do not happen and criminals go free. It is theatre after all; the pirouettes matter, not actions taken at remove in distance and culture from their consequences. It is a secure arrangement guarded by cast and critics alike. The farewell speech of one of the most artful, Tony Blair, had “a sense of moral conviction running through it”, effused the television presenter Jon Snow, as if Blair’s appeal to Kabuki devotees was mystical. That he was a war criminal was irrelevant.
“Since 1990 upper estimates are of three million Iraqi deaths between sanctions, bombings and invasion, under four US Administrations. One thousand 9/11s.” — Malcom Lagauche.*
I once worked for a man whose inconsistencies and delusions stretched the mind to a realm beyond confusion. Having laid down specific edicts as to aims and how they should be achieved, the following day he would yell at staff for following them – and deny all knowledge of his instructions.
One day an exasperated colleague hung a placard on the wall above his desk before he arrived. It read: “You are never alone with schizophrenia.”
“Stuff happens and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq looting (April 11, 2003.)
From afar we have heard the politicians, the social scientists, the psychologists. It is “feral youth”, “black youth”, “low life scum living off the State” (say the millionaire politicians in charge of the State, living off it courtesy the tax payer.) The “lazy”, the “feckless”, “people from sink estates”, are responsible – and so it goes on.
“And you all also may remember that early on, I said if you hide a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you provide comfort to a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorist. ” George W. Bush. (Address to US., troops, Alaska, 16th February 2002.)
Given the ferocity of the attack on Libya, the country Tony Blair credited himself with bringing in from the cold and turning in to a new trading partner, Colonel Qadhafi, has been remarkably conciliatory. On 5th., April he wrote to President Obama, more in sorrow than in anger.(i)
“And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor, And the subsequent proceedings, interested him no more.” (Francis Brett Harte, 1836-1902.)
Charles Anthony Lynton Blair, QC., is set to reappear before the Chilcot Inquiry into the assault on Iraq, on Friday 21st January, with an inside source reported commenting: “There is a feeling … he wilfully misrepresented the facts.” Goodness, surely not.
“You fasten all the triggers for the others to fire,
Then you sit back and watch when the death count gets higher,
You hide in your mansion’s as young people’s blood flows,
Out of their bodies and in to the mud.” — Bob Dylan.
Today, is Remembrance Day, on both sides of the Atlantic. At the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns of the First World War fell silent, leaving the estimated nine million who had died in battle, to the graves’ muteness across continents, and to France’s poppy fields. It remains the day when the deaths of subsequent tragedies and imperial follies are remembered. A day when even the cynical pause to read heartfelt notes on poppy wreaths, laid at the base of memorials, flowers refreshed on graves, stories of the lost, passed down and revisited, as more recent shared laughter, now also silenced..
New Labour began as an ill-advised facsimile of the center-right shift of U.S. politics.
In the aftermath of the dreadful Dukakis campaign in 1988, Bill Clinton headed the ‘New Democrat’ movement to Reaganize the Democratic Party by tilting it to the right. Richard Gephardt, Bruce Babbitt, Lawton Chiles and Sam Nunn all gave the Democratic Leadership Council their backing. Al From became the founder and CEO of the party-within-a-party to drive public opinion to the right and displace the liberal paradigm that had sustained the Democrats since the days of FDR and JFK.
“The reason governments have secrets is not because the public won’t understand, it’s because the public will.” (A friend.)
Dr Bill Wilson, knows a bit about duplicity and is not a man to give up, as a glance at his website shows. (1) Dr Wilson is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) in the Scottish National Party,for the West of Scotland. This week, he lodged a Parliamentary Motion (2) “highlighting the consequences of the US and UK’s use of weapons of mass destruction in Fallujah, in 2004.”