Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 06:48:48 AM EST
Somewhere in a pub in County Clare...
"A drop of the top shelf, in your own good time, please. Make it Green Spot"
"Go raibh maith agat, Sean Beag."
"You know I asked Joe Langers today, the Donegal fella, I asked him today, "What do you think, Joe, who was the greater of the two villains... was it Cromwell, or was it St. Patrick... which one was the greatest scourge that ever came to Ireland?" And you know what he said?"
"I have an idea," said Seany.
Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 08:23:40 PM EST
Fourteen years ago I left the US on a one way ticket. For fourteen years I have ranted and fumed at the US and its foreign policies. For the last 20 years I have been "Bush-Bashing." When I left the US I had no intentions of returning. It was not the country I had known, and not the country I wanted to know.
Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 07:48:23 PM EST
Ecce Homo: Latin for "behold the man." When Christ was driven through the streets mocked and humiliated, scourged, bloody and beaten, wearing a purple robe and a crown of thorns, Roman authorities were quoted as saying, "Ecce Homo." Behold the man.
The Killing of Jean Charles de Menezes
On July 22 on the Underground Tube in London, the Metropolitan Police, along with a special unit of Security Forces, shot dead an innocent man. Seven shots to the head and one to the shoulder. His name was Jean Charles de Menezes. He was a Brazilian electrician who had lived in London for five years.
Sun Aug 7th, 2005 at 10:42:03 AM EST
Robin Cook - Founding Member of The Awkward Squad
"The Most Awkward Thing One Can Do Is To Stand Up In The Face Of A Corrupt Regime - To Tell The Truth And Be Willing To Face The Consequences"
In memoriam to Robin Cook I have started this Diary Project called "The Awkward Squad." Originally I went looking for all those resignation speeches and letters of those in public office who resigned in protest of the war on Iraq. But as you will see, the project became too big for me. So I need the help of Booman Tribune & European Tribune. You will see who is missing, (Sibel Edmonds, "Gagged But Not Dead" and find what links don't work.... A special thanks to Oui, who is a Member of The Awkward Squad. Clearly I need all the help I can get... thanks in advance, Suskind.
Sat Aug 6th, 2005 at 02:27:41 PM EST
promoted from the diaries by Jerome. Sad news.
Former Cabinet Minister Robin Cook died this evening, after collapsing during a hike in the Scottish hills. Mr. Cook was a Labour MP for more than 30 years and will always be remembered for his resignation speech on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. He resigned as Leader of the House of Commons in protest against a war that he knew was illegal, and whose basis he doubted.
Here follows excerpts from Robin Cook's resignation speech.
Cook's resignation speech
Tuesday, 18 March, 2003, 10:41 GMT
I have chosen to address the House first on why I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support.
Fri Aug 5th, 2005 at 12:40:19 PM EST
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Albert Einstein
This day in history: Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima; Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki three days later
TOM Ferebee opened the hatches that protected Little Boy. At 8:14 a.m., the Enola Gay gained in altitude and began the 158° turn. At 8:15 a.m, Ferebee activated the hatches. He dropped the "atomic baby." The rotation put space between the apparatus and the blast. The 20,000-kiloton, 4-ton, 3-meter long bomb blew up at 600 meters in the air, leveling 75 square kilometers of downtown Hiroshima with its heat and the shock waves. The flash gave way to a gigantic mushroom cloud of smoke and fire that rose many kilometers in height. Some 200,000 Japanese people died, melted, in less than 5 minutes. It was the morning of August 6, 1945.
"My God! What have we done?" was the exclamation by the Enola Gay's copilot, when he saw the blinding flash that lit up the plane, one of the three that flew over Japanese territory in the early morning of that day, around the southern part of the archipelago.
However, Paul Tibbets, the pilot who carried out the order to drop the bomb and who was interviewed by U.S. historian and journalist Studs Terkel in 2002, has reasons as blood-curdling as the response he gave when asked what he thought about worldwide comments regarding the "extermination of a people" in Hiroshima. His response is worth considering: "Oh, I wouldn't hesitate if I had the choice. I'd wipe 'em out. You're gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we've never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn't kill innocent people....That's their tough luck for being there... I had no problem with it...I did what I was told."
Tue Aug 2nd, 2005 at 08:17:50 PM EST
UN MEMBER STATES STRUGGLE TO DEFINE TERRORISM
The UN has a big problem, and it's not John Bolton. For the last five years the 191 member countries have been trying to put a stop to terrorism by finalizing their Convention against it ... the problem is they cannot yet define it. Here's the most recent statement released last Friday .. see if you can find what the snag is:
We (the world leaders) affirm that the targeting and deliberate killing of civilians and non-combatants cannot be justified or legitimized by any cause or grievance, and we declare that any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to carry out or to abstain from any act, cannot be justified on any grounds, and constitutes an act of terrorism."
The UN is saying that war is terrorism when it targets civilians and non-combatants. Like the destruction of Fallujah, for instance. Under the above definition that was an act of terrorism. Civilian casualties are not "collateral damage" -- they are a fact of modern warfare. Civilian casualties in the First World War were 15%, in the Second World War were 65%, and in all wars since are more than 95%. This is not an accidental side-effect of war... this is how wars are won, or are they?
Mon Aug 1st, 2005 at 04:28:51 AM EST
"What fresh hell is this?" (Shakespeare) Stay tuned to the Times On Line. Tony Blair is going to have one of the worst weeks of his life this week. Just to kick off the celebrations, it is Monday Bank Holiday in Ireland. Buy a pint of Guiness and buy a banned book today.. Whitehall is trying to supress a biography that gives further details about the lead-up to the war on Iraq and the pre- war double bombing campaign.... more and more ministers and advisors are giving evidence and naming names.... and dates.... and once again the fastidious British record keeping has left a trail of paper that can't be scrubbed.
The curious thing is that one of those who says she expressed her doubts about the war's legality is Baroness Sally Morgan.... and this is really fishy since she co-wrote with Falconer the final opinion that the illegal war would be legal under existing UN Resolutions...... thus spinning the ball back into Attorney Lord Peter Goldsmith's court.
D-Day For Tony Blair, Part I. 9 May 2005 ;By Linda Heard;Counterpunch Magazine. (Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Mid-East affairs based in Cairo.)
D-Day for Tony Blair, Part 2. Seldon's New Biography of Blair; Not quite available at bookstores near you
And not looking good at all for George Bush, either.
Sat Jul 30th, 2005 at 09:31:25 PM EST
An innocent man was murdered in England by a Special Unit of the Metropolitan Police. His body was shipped home and buried yesterday in Gonzaga, Brazil. Ten thousand people payed respect to Jean Charles de Menezes. "Jean was very well-loved in Gonzaga," said Pedro Zacharias, a friend who works as a lawyer in the town hall. "He was a kind, gentle and very decent person who only wanted to help his family."
Fri Jul 29th, 2005 at 01:54:11 PM EST
(For Alice, who asked)
Once upon a time, one hundred thousand years ago, or at least fifty, there was a village by the sea where the children and the old people did not speak, laugh, or make any expression. So the village was known as Silent By The Sea. The old people had been shocked and paralyzed into silence because they had been through a war. The children had been shocked and paralyzed into silence because they were told there was to be a war in five minutes. And the wait for the five minutes was never ending.
Thu Jul 28th, 2005 at 08:02:04 AM EST
First the good news: The UK Special Police Units who shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes had the very best training in the world: Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission said that British police officers were sent to Israel for training on how to prevent suicide bombings. Former police chief John Stevens, confirmed this in the News of the World, saying that teams had been sent to the Middle East.
And then there is the training they receive in the US:
AMY GOODMAN: And so what kind of training do British police have in using guns?
AJMAL MASROOR: Well, I'm told they come to U.S. to get quite a lot of training to use the arms. And, of course, they have their own special training unit.
What happened on Friday was unfortunate, of course, but it's a tragedy that we should all remember. Shoot-to-kill policy can result in lots of victims, and I don't think and especially most people in this country, I believe, will agree with me that this is not a befitting tribute to those who have lost their lives in the 7th of July bombing. I think we need to be more cautious, and we need to use only appropriate force, if need be, after we have exhausted all the options.
Wed Jul 27th, 2005 at 06:40:34 AM EST
Help the Metropolitan Police Force of the UK to locate terrorist bombers. First: Look for the Asians. If they are wearing clothes that you think are inappropriate to the weather, that's a clue. If they do not stop when chased by men with guns drawn... that's probably them.
Now... who is an Asian? An Asian is anyone who comes from Asia, which includes China, India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Japan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and BRAZIL. If you look at the map above, you will see the areas in magenta... these are the hot countries from which come the Asian terrorist bombers.
Wed Jul 27th, 2005 at 06:34:52 AM EST
From the "I have a dream" speech of Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
In the case of Jean Charles de Menezes he was misjudged, by the color of his skin... he was described as "Asian" so ... a likely target. What does this mean for "Asians" living in London today? And he was misjudged by the content of his character. This was no terrorist on his way to plant a bomb. This was a 27 year old electrician on his way to work.
His jacket was too warm for the weather, by London standards, but Jean Charles found the weather cool. And he left an apartment house that was, suspected as housing men related to the London bombings. Today's Independent says that an Ethiopian and a Somalian are under surveillance. Will the Special Police be able to tell these nationalities... or will they target more Brazillians? Now, more than ever, "people of color" means "people under suspicion." What kind of world are we living in?