Like all my blogs, this is a work in progress. I have many many thousands of pages of writings, articles and archived material from the past ten years which currently reside on hard drives and in boxes. My intention is to get all of this onto this blog in some form or other over the next few years.
Any entires that start looking rather good will be promoted to my main blog, Just Say Noam, and Twittered to death.
Until that day - please watch this space. Or not....
US pulling out of Iraq only to strengthen forces in Afghanistan
In the UK – police making a bid for political power
G20 violence and man dies
Climate protesters arrested under terror laws.
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
January 1 – Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Uganda assume their seats on the United Nations Security Council.
January 1 – The Czech Republic takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union from France.
January 1 – Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, becomes the American Capital of Culture and Vilnius and Linz become the European Capitals of Culture.
January 1 – Slovakia adopts the euro as its national currency, replacing the Slovak koruna.
January 3 – Israel launches a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as the Gaza War enters its second week.
January 7 – Russia shuts off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorses the move and urges greater international involvement in the energy dispute.
January 13 – Ethiopian military forces begin pulling out of Somalia, where they have tried to maintain order for nearly two years.
January 17 – Israel announces a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza War. It comes into effect the following day, on which Hamas declares a ceasefire of its own.
January 20 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th, and first African American, President of the United States.
January 21 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Intermittent air strikes by both sides of the preceding war continue in the weeks to follow.
January 22 – Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is captured by Rwandan forces after crossing over the border into Rwanda.
January 26 – The first trial at the International Criminal Court is held. Former Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas Lubanga is accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage, and rape.
January 26 – The Icelandic government and banking system collapse; Prime Minister Geir Haarde immediately resigns.
Bearing Point Bankruptcy and financial irregularities in major Iraq contractor.
February 7 – The deadliest bushfires in Australian history begin; they kill 173, injure 500 more, and leave 7,500 homeless. The fires come after Melbourne records the highest-ever temperature (46.4°C, 115°F) of any capital city in Australia. The majority of the fires are ignited by either fallen or clashing power lines or deliberately lit.
February 8 – The Taliban releases a video of Polish geologist Piotr Stańczak, whom they had abducted a few months earlier, being beheaded. It is the first killing of a Western hostage in Pakistan since American journalist Daniel Pearl was executed in 2002.
February 10 – A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia, creating a large amount of space debris.
February 11 – Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe following the power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe signed in September, 2008.
February 17 – The JEM rebel group in Darfur, Sudan sign a pact with the Sudanese government, planning a ceasefire within the next three months.
On 18 February the European Commission adopted a proposal for a binding Regulation to bring in biometric personal data - a facial image with an option for fingerprints as a second identifier - on all EU passports. Everyone wanting a passport will have to "enrol" in "enrolment centres" (the term makes it sound like a voluntary step) where their pictures will be taken with special cameras. These "pictures" will be digitised and made into a template which will be put onto a microchip in the passport (which may be a paper passport or a plastic card). These "pictures" and identifying personal data will be placed on national databases which can be accessed by law enforcement agencies (police, customs, immigration and internal security agencies). In stage 2 a "European Passport Register" will be set up and at this stage the giving of fingerprints will also become compulsory. This biometric "Register" will join the VIS database (on all visas issued) and residence permits on the planned SIS II.
February 26 – Former Serbian president Milan Milutinović is acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding war crimes during the Kosovo War.
March 2 – The President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, is assassinated during an armed attack on his residence in Bissau.
March 3 – Gunmen attack a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Pakistan, killing eight people and injuring several others.
March 4 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.
March 7 – NASA's Kepler Mission, a space photometer which will search for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.
UK Government backs down on data sharing legislation after PI campaign 08/03/2009
Privacy International campaign
The government announced it will immediately abandon clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill.
the reversal is likely to be temporary as the Government considers how to consult and reintroduce its plans in future legislation.
Simon Davies: "This is an extraordinary U-turn but we cannot be led into a false sense of security. We congratulate the Government on its decision, but it was inevitable given how badly the clause have been drafted and how morally corrupt its outcome would have been. Nobody should be under the illusion that the Government has changed its colours with regard to its zeal for surveillance. This could be merely a blip, so we all have to remain vigilant for the next assault of privacy."
Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID and Advisory Board member of PI, said: "The public backlash against Clause 152 has been phenomenal. NO2ID has been working closely with Privacy International and others to focus grassroots and organisational opposition, but the reality is that people just won't put up with the hypocrisy of politicians who want to keep their own details secret, or who support shadowy police databases on protestors, yet who clearly still think that the state can do just as it wants with our personal information. It can't - the people have spoken. Let's hope the scrapping of Clause 152 is the first nail in the coffin of the database state."
Helen Wallace, Director of Genewatch and Advisory Board member of PI also said: "This is a victory for all those people who took action to stop this massive sell-off and abuse of their private information. We hope the Government has learned its lesson and will not sanction further raids on people's medical records and genetic information in a desperate bid to prop up the crumbling economy."
March 17 – The President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, is overthrown in a coup d'état, following a month of rallies in Antananarivo. The military appoints opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the new president.
March 30th qaddafi drama
“The worst coverage of the Iraqi war was probably at the beginning and at the end of the conflict. At the beginning there was the uncritical acceptance that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. In the last two years Washington had equal success in selling the “surge”, the limited reinforcement of US troops employing more aggressive tactics, as turning the tide in favour of the US. A danger now is that myth will take on a life of its own leading to similar methods being employed in Afghanistan and the far right in the US blaming President Obama for withdrawing from Iraq just as victory was being won.”
P.Cockburn, Indie, 25/04/09
April 1 – Albania and Croatia are admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
April 2 – The second G-20 summit, involving state leaders rather than the usual finance ministers, meets in London. Its main focus is an ongoing global financial crisis.
April 3–4 – The 21st NATO Summit is held, 60 years after the founding of the organization. Former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is appointed as the new Secretary General of NATO.
April 5 – North Korea launches the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket, prompting an emergency meeting of—but no official reaction from—the United Nations Security Council.
April 6 – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,500.
April 7 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.
April 10 – A political crisis begins in Fiji when President Josefa Iloilo suspends the nation's Constitution, dismisses all judges and constitutional appointees and assumes all governance in the country after the Court of Appeal rules that the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is illegal.
April 11–12 – The Fourth East Asia Summit is postponed after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declares a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas.
April 17 – Thirty-four heads of state and government meet in Port of Spain, Trinidad for the 5th Summit of the Americas.
April 18 – Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist, is sentenced to eight years in prison for espionage by an Iranian court. She is released the following month, after an appeals court reduces and suspends her sentence.
April 21 – UNESCO launches The World Digital Library.
April 24 – The World Health Organization expresses concern at the spread of influenza from Mexico and the United States to other countries. International cases and resulting deaths are confirmed.
April 29 – Amidst Russia's effort to improve relations with NATO and with the West in general, NATO expels two Russian diplomats from NATO headquarters in Brussels over a spy scandal in Estonia. Russia's Foreign Ministry criticises the expulsions.
24th April - Obama revived Nixon’s war on cancer – Nixon promised a cure for cancer by 1976.
Billions of dollars to be pumped in - $10bn over 2 years. National Insitiute for Health - $1.26 bn for cancer research.
Survival rates improved?
NYTimes – cancer death rates in the US have fallen just 5% since 1950s
Compared to 64% fall in heart disease mortality
And 74% decline in death from strokes.
In the UK almost half cancer patients living for over 5 years
In 1986 – Vincent De Vita promised that with his budget doubled he’d have a cure for 2000. Ho got the money – but found no cure.
His successor – Andrew von Eschenbach said – 2003 that he’d have it sorted by 2015.
Benefits of early diagniosis and prevention being ignored even though they have provided the greatest breakthroughs agiant death from cancer.
Fall in smoking has led to big fall in lung cancer
Stomach cancer rates down by 85% since 1930s thanks to improved diets.
Does this prove that Obama owned by medical/ drugs industry? Big Pharma. Rockefeller stooge.
Over 200 cancers and each cancer may be several diseases in themselves. Over 200 different diseases.
G20 protests in London in April
the press, produced a series of scare stories and pronounced that hordes of ‘international anarchists’ were converging on The City to wreak havoc.
Tomlinson’s death and as the stories of violent policing at the G20
Secret CIA prisons - Poland
15.04.2009 @ 09:28 CET
Journalists from Polish TV station TVP and daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita say they have obtained new evidence that Poland ran a secret CIA prison used for extra-judicial extradition of terrorism suspects.
The evidence - documents and witness statements related to a Polish judicial investigation to see if the facility undermined Polish sovereignty - point the finger at the country's former Socialist government.
The new information suggests that in December 2001, Poland designated 20 secret service agents to help in Washington's new war on terror and leased part of a military base in Stare Kiejkuty in the northwest of the country to the US.
Clandestine US flights to the nearby Szymany airport begn in December 2002. At least five subsequent flights by a suspicious Gulfstream jet landed in Szymany in 2003.
On four occasions, the flights had top security clearance, which could only have been granted by a handful of senior Polish officials.
On two occasions - 8 February and 6 March 2003 - the European civil aviation authority, Eurocontrol, was told the planes had landed in Warsaw when they had in fact stopped in Szymany.
A witness called by the Polish investigation has stated that in 2003 he saw "People in handcuffs, with blindfolds on, led from the plane."
May 18 – The third C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group meets in Seoul.
May 18 – Following more than a quarter-century of fighting, the Sri Lankan Civil War ends with the total military defeat of the LTTE.
May 23 – Former President of South Korea Roh Moo-hyun, under investigation for alleged bribery during his presidential term, commits suicide.
May 25 – North Korea announces that it has conducted a second successful nuclear test in the province of North Hamgyong. The United Nations Security Council condemns the reported test.
June 1 – Air France Flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 on board.
June 11 – The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as "swine flu", is deemed a global pandemic, becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.
June 13 – Following the reelection of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi accuse the government of fraud, and launch a series of sustained protests.
June 18 – NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission since Lunar Prospector in 1998.
June 20 – The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, is captured on what soon becomes a viral video that helps to turn Neda into an international symbol of the civil unrest following the presidential election.
June 21 – As a step toward total independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland assumes control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources. Greenlandic becomes the official language.
June 25 – The death of Michael Jackson
June 28 – The Supreme Court of Honduras orders the arrest and exile of President Manuel Zelaya, claiming he was violating the nation's constitution by holding a referendum to stay in power. The coup d'état is condemned by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and multiple nations around the world.
June 30 – Yemenia Flight 626 crashes off the coast of Moroni, Comoros, killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew.
July 2009 America releases the five Iranian diplomats.
July 1 – Sweden assumes the presidency of the European Union.
July 4 – The Organization of American States suspends Honduras due to the country's recent political crisis after its refusal to reinstate President Zelaya.
July 5 – Over 150 are killed when a few thousand ethnic Uyghurs target local Han Chinese during major rioting in Ürümqi, Xinjiang.
July 7 – A public memorial service is held for musician Michael Jackson. It is regarded as one of the most prominent funerals of all time.
July 15 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashes near Qazvin, Iran, killing all 168 on board.
July 16 – Iceland's national parliament, the Althingi, votes to pursue joining the EU.
July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
August 3 – Bolivia becomes the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.
August 4 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardons two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year, after former U.S. President Bill Clinton meets with Kim in North Korea.
August 7 – Typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan, killing 500 and stranding more than 1,000 via the worst flooding on the island in half a century.
August 20 – Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, imprisoned for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds as he has terminal prostate cancer. He returns to his native Libya.
Saturday, 26 September 2009
The dark secrets of the trillion-dollar oil trade
28th September - Guinea – death of dicator – hundreds gathered at football stadium to hear opposition speeches and presidential guard opend fire on them – over 150 killed. The UN came in to investigate.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
September 25 – At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the world economy, replacing the role of the G-8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008.
September 26 – Typhoon Ketsana begins to cause record amounts of rainfall in Manila, Philippines, leading to the declaration of a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces.
September 28 – At least 157 demonstrators are killed in a clash with the Guinean military.
September 29 – An 8.3-magnitude earthquake triggers a tsunami near the Samoan Islands. Many communities and harbors in Samoa and American Samoa are destroyed, and at least 189 are killed.
September 30 – A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes just off the coast of Sumatra, killing around 1,000 in Indonesia.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Iran is the New Iraq
Corruption Charges against BAe
More Troops In Afghainstan?
Taliban Leader's Brother Dead
Isreal Defends Gaza Atrocities
Britons More Polluting Than We Thought
Creationists - Stick this Up Your Oriface
Fundamentalists Beaten By Gay Penguins
Darfur: A deadly new chapter
Africa's most feared rebel army arrives in region, threatening to reignite the conflict
By Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent 17th Ocotber
Cherie Blair has reopened the row over her husband's commitment to the decision to go to war in Iraq, with a public observation that it was a "51-49" decision.
A day after Tony Blair was told that he had "blood on his hands" by a father who lost his son at the start of the campaign in 2003, Mrs Blair undermined the former prime minister's argument for toppling Saddam Hussein by suggesting his support for the invasion was not an obvious decision. "A lot of the time these choices are not clear-cut. They are not black and white," she told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. "Instead of being 80-20, many of them are actually more like 51-49. When taking those decisions, Tony is able to step back, absorb all the information and then choose."
However, she added: "He is also very good at then convincing everybody else that it was a 70-30 decision all along. I think it [the Iraq war] was one of those 51-49 questions."
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Energy Resources Nearing End?
Oil peak is nigh - Guardian
August - price reached 2009 high
Friday, 9 October 2009
Obama was nominated for nobel prize within two weeks of taking office!
Britain's role in treatment of terror suspect to be revealed
By Robert Verkaik and Kim Sengupta
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Riots in China
Israel-US "defence" drill
Guantanamo bill passed
afghan poll sackings
UN Iran deal
Unequal societies create instability 24th 2009 Stephen Foley
Iran ignores deadline and takes nuclear talks to brink, Kim Sengupta 24th October
US strikes at Mexican drug cartel 24th October
Pakistan army punishes civilians 24th October
Nato backs McChrystal in snub to Biden plan 24th October
Mississippi Turning Daniel Howden 24th October
We forget our soldiers legal fears over iraq, Richard ingrams
Is world’s most wanted man in these wild and lawless lands? Worldfocus, omar waraich
What lies beneath the rainforest? Huw hennessy amazon oil , 31st October
The truth about the middle east is buried beneath the headlines, Robert fisk, 31st October
End of Honduran crisis, guy adams, 31st october
Moment of the announcement of Rio de Janeiro as the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics
October 2 – The International Olympic Committee awards the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
October 2 – Ireland holds a second referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. The amendment is approved by the Irish electorate, having been rejected in the Lisbon I referendum held in June 2008.
October 20 – European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.
Abdullah to call for Afghan poll boycott: Kim Sengupta, Indie, November 1st 2009
Pakistan presses the Taliban in its lawless heartland, Omar Warach, Andrew Buncombe, November 1st, 2009.
MOD’s Nimrod disgrace, Indie, Nov 1st.
So the US is on the mend, but what about the invisible cut-backs? Michael Mandel, Nov 1st
“Army killer” – Nidal Hasan – November 5th – survived - ??
Brown Tells Karzai to sort out corruption or else…November 7th, Indie, Andrew Grice.
7th November – Israel rejected UN war crimes vote. Gaza. Findings issued by a panel led by south African jurist Richard goldstone.
Honduran unity cabinet collapses – coup in June – Zelaya was ousted. Micheletti moved to form new overnment without Zelaya.
8th November, Indie
Patrick Cockburn, Afghanistan, Time To Leave.
Foreign Office warns Mann to keep quiet. Brian Brady.
Why Can’t The US learn to lve its government, Rupert Cornwell.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan – killed 13 on US base – Joan Smith.
HBOS collapse – Andy Hornby
The unanswered questions around the emergency HBOS cash call, Ian Fraser
Obama can make change happen, Gary Younge, Guardian, November 13th
China – 1989 – Berlin Wall – Timothy Garton-Ash, 13th November, Guardian, How the year 1989 changed the world.
Justice at Ground Zero for September 11 accused
Five men set to leave Guantanamo Bay to face trial in a civilian court in New York
By David Usborne in New York
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Britain's Abu Ghraib: Did Britain collude with US in abuse of Iraqis?
By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Vast majority of Britons back IoS call for UK forces to leave. November 15th 2009
Four Scenrios rejected by Obama.
Climate Change – Little Mermaid Award – Indie 15th November – “Angry Mermaid”
Destructive corporate lobbying
Climate change saboteurs – Coalition for Clean Coal Electricty; American petroleum industry; European chemical lobby; the International Emissions Trading Association is also mentioned; Monsanto for presenting GM as a solution; South Arfican company Sasol lobbying ofr carbon capture and storage while investing in oil extraction from Canandian tar sands.
British soldiers sexually abused us, claim Iraqis. Robert Verkaik, 15 November, Indie
Toxic Munitions may be cause of baby deaths and deformities in Fallujah. 15 November, David Randall. Babies showing high rate of mortality and deformities.
Obama will be on trial with 9/11 accused, Rupert Cornwell, 15 November.
America’s first pacific president woos China, North Korea and Burma, Patrick Zengerie and Caren Bohan, 15 november.
Obama is haunted by Gorbchev’s Ghost, James Fergusson, 15 November, Indie.
US builds up it’s bases in oil-rich South America, Hugh O’Shaugnessy
The United States is massively building up its potential for nuclear and non-nuclear strikes in Latin America and the Caribbean by acquiring unprecedented freedom of action in seven new military, naval and air bases in Colombia. The development – and the reaction of Latin American leaders to it – is further exacerbating America's already fractured relationship with much of the continent.
The Accidental Uprising – Victor Sebestyen – Czech Republic
The Key Question – is blair a war criminal? Oliver Miles
Yet it is a fact that the campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein was initiated, well before 9/11, by a group of influential American neocons, notably Perle, Feith and Wolfowitz (once described by Time magazine as "the godfather of the Iraq war") nearly all of whom were ardent Zionists, in many cases more concerned with preserving the security of Israel than that of the US.
Given that undeniable fact, the pro-Israeli bias of Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman, both of them supporters of the 2003 invasion, is a perfectly respectable point to raise. It is equally legitimate to ask if at any point the panel will investigate or even refer to the US neocons and their links to Israel. Call me snide if you like, but I very much doubt they will.
1953 manual detailing tricks of the agency’s trade is published:
The Governor of California has been embarrassed by claims that he is being pursued for almost $80,000 [£49,000] by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for back-taxes that he apparently still owes the federal government from 2004 and 2005.
emirate's default 29th November
American Politics turns into one big ‘reality’ show, Rupert Cornwell, Indie, 29th November 2009
Bhopal: The victims are still being born
Iraq: The war was illegal
Then Attorney General Goldsmith was 'pinned to the wall and bullied into keeping quiet' while the Prime Minister kept the Cabinet in the dark
Afghanistan: The hokey-cokey strategy
On eve of Obama's surge, Brown aims to convince voters he has a plan for withdrawal. Handover 'could begin by end of 2010' – but PM is set to commit 500 more troops
By Jane Merrick in Port of Spain and Rupert Cornwell in Washington
November 3 – The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law.
November 3 – The Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, is designated the first permanent President of the European Council, a position he takes up on 1 December 2009.
November 13 – Having analyzed the data from the LCROSS lunar impact, NASA announces that it has found a "significant" quantity of water in the Moon's Cabeus crater.
November 20 – CERN restarts the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland; they had shut it down on September 19, 2008.
November 23 – In the Philippines, at least 57 are abducted and killed in an election-related massacre in the province of Maguindanao. This appears to be the deadliest attack on journalists in recent history.
November 27 – Dubai requests a debt deferment following its massive renovation and development projects, as well as the late 2000s economic crisis. The announcement causes global stock markets to drop.
They all seemed to be playing a game of pinning the blame on Blair and Brown, as if these two had managed to drag the country into an illegal war almost single-handedly.
Senior Foreign Office officials said reconstruction efforts were hampered by funding and staff shortages. Admiral Lord Boyce, then Chief of Defence Staff, said geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary, blocked hum from ordering equipment and mobilising his troops for several months because ministers did not want the secret plans to become public.
Dominic Asquith, former ambassador in Baghdad, said that Brown refused to provide extra £13m needed in 2006 to restore normality to Baghad.
Chilcots tame professor – see Richard Ingrams on 5th December 2009.
It's supposed to be an inquiry but there's not much sign of any inquiring going on. I have been studiously following reports of the current investigation into the Iraq war and have even seen bits of it on television and I have yet to read or see a single case of any of the five-strong panel asking a question of those giving evidence. One by one the civil servants and the army generals queue up to say their piece and that's about all there is to it.
The lack of probing questions ought not to surprise us given the composition of the panel, all of them with close links to the political establishment. One of them, our old friend Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, provided further evidence of this when during Tuesday's session he volunteered the information that he had "instigated" a pre-war seminar for Blair to discuss Iraq because, he said, "I was aware of misgivings among some specialists in Iraq about the direction of policy". He added that this was "my only direct engagement in Iraq policy making". We were not told how a professor of history came to be in a position to organise such a seminar for the Prime Minister, nor, for that matter, whether there might have been some indirect engagements subsequently on the part of Freedman.
This hitherto unreported seminar is further proof of Sir Lawrence's close links to Blair. We already know that he provided the bones of a speech Blair made in Chicago in 1999 justifying the military intervention in rogue states. Later, in a TV interview, Freedman spoke of the "rather noble criteria" which lay behind the illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
PM accused of 'muzzling' Iraq inquiry
Gordon Brown has been accused of “muzzling” the Iraq inquiry after refusing to alter rules that allow Government departments to withhold crucial documents from the public.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Hoon 'banned armed forces from preparing for Iraq war'
Geoff Hoon held back military preparations for the Iraq invasion when he was Defence Secretary, because he wanted to keep the plans secret from the public, his armed forces chief has revealed.
Gordon Brown faced a diplomatic rift with Pakistan after its Prime Minister rejected British accusations that it was not doing enough to hunt down Osama bin Laden.
General Richards said: “There is a risk in this... My soldiers are an intelligent lot. They know this is unsustainable over time. At the very moment, on the back of President Obama’s decision, that success becomes much more attainable the last thing they want is for the public at home to go wobbly on them. We know this thing is doable and we must help persuade others of it.
“We have not made enough effort over the last few years to explain what we are doing and why we must succeed. From the Prime Minister down, we are making big efforts now to learn this lesson and I sense the tide may just be turning back in the right direction.”
Misuse of anti terror legislation by Britain's police.
5th December – police U turn on photographers, Indie, Jerome Taylor and Mark Hughes.
Now this is Obama’s war. December 5th
Obama pledged extra 30,000 US troops for Afghanistan
Obama’s performance nearly a year in to his term. Healthcare looks like it might die in the Senate; Iran kicking off; recession not going away – a second period of recession looking 50:50 in second half of 2010; president plunged America further into warin Afghanistan – General Stanley McChrystal likely to get his 40,000 if NATO chip in – withdrawal then likely to be in mid 2011 just as Obama will be seeking re-election…may placate liberals .
The west failed to stop Al Qaida, if indeed, that was what the war was for. In fact helped spread the “virus” to Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, etc. So why not continue the war in these countries? Or end it altogether. 51% of Americans support the strategy. Made comparisons with Johnson and his ambitious domestic agenda.
NATO pledged about 7,000 extra troops raising total foreign forces in Afghanistan to about 140,000.
Canada & NL plan to withdraw in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
Somalis with al Qaida link deny hotel blast – 5th December – killed 22; al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage denied responsibility.
“Taliban Strikes At The Heart Of The Pakistani Army” by Omar Waraich: at least 40 killed; army targeted; major offensive against Taliban militants in South Waziristan (previous offensive in Swat) launched two months ago – 30,000 troops dispatched into harsh and mountainous SW claims that it has cleared vast swathes of territory and killed over 600 militants; guerrillas scattered according to military analyst Hasan Askari-Rizvi; weeks ago – gunmen attacked military HQ in Islamabad; a wave of violence that has so far killed around 400 people;
Guinea – former French colony; upheaval since death of long term dictator Lansana Conte.
Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara was shot by certain members of the presidential guard who had been involved in the 28th September massacres - brutal stadium massacre, at least 157 killed - and felt threatened by the UN commission of inquiry.
Camara was seriously wounded.
Guinea Plunge Into Chaos by Daniel Howden, Indie, 5th December 2009.
Berlusconi in court – accused of cutting deal with the mafia to attain power – early 1990s. Gaspare Spatuzza – jailed mafia hitman told the court.
Rumours of mafia connection persisted snce investigators learned of cosa nostra htiman Vittorio Mangano worked as Berlusconi’s stable master at his villa near Milan in 1970s. – speculation has centred around the origins of his vast wealth.
December 1 – The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force.
December 7 – December 18 – The UNFCCC's United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 conference is held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
December 16 – Astronomers discover GJ1214b, the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.