My thoughts on democracy, freedom, human rights and international law.

Towards a Free World

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Moving Home

I am moving my blog to a new home at http://towardsafreeworld.com
Please update your book marks.

I will leave the archives here, as well as transporting them across to the new blog when I get the time.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Why we should not now be talking of leaving Iraq

Caleb Carr has some strong opinions on the matter. He feels that talking aloud about abandoning the Iraqis to Zarqawi & Co. encourages them to mount attacks in our countries:

" ... Of paramount interest is the fact that each nation had recently exhibited a weakening public determination to aggressively meet the rising challenge of Islamist terrorism. Consider the U.S. of 2001: The Clinton administration had left behind a record of essentially ignoring those few terrorism analysts who asserted that full-fledged military action against al Qaeda's Afghan training bases, backed by the possibility of military strikes against other terrorist sponsor states, was the only truly effective method of preventing an eventual attack within U.S. borders. President Clinton himself, we now know, at times favored such decisive moves; but opposition from various members of his cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and finally (as well as most importantly) a general public that would not or could not confront the true extent of the Islamist problem generally, and al Qaeda specifically, forced him to confine his responses to occasional and counterproductive bombings--even as the death toll from al Qaeda attacks on U.S. interests abroad rose dramatically. Correctly sensing that the new president, George W. Bush, was treating the terrorist threat with a similar attitude of denial, al Qaeda's Hamburg-based subsidiaries launched the 9/11 operation. ... "

Carr points out that these attacks and the '93 WTC attacks were aimed at encouraging an inward looking USA to remove itself from the Middle East and let Osama get busy with his plans for the region.
Whilst '93 was almost ignored by the then administration, 9/11 was seen as a new Pearl Harbour, and rightly so. War had been declared.

It really is time to stop humouring terrorists, when we take their vocalised aims seriously, we engage in the sort of debate that leads them to believe that a little extra pressure we cause us to leave them alone.
That is, not leave them alone to enjoy their freedom away from the evil globalised west, but free to spend their time trying to destroy the governments of the Middle East and replace them with Talibanesque terror states.

Those who parrot the messages that the terrorists propagate after their attacks, would do better to read the sort of things they pass amongst themselves for inspiration, visions of global Caliphate ruling over a broken and ruined world, where no law other than that presented in the Koran and interpreted in the harshest, most puritanical way could be entertained. No debate and no freedom of speech. No democracy and no improvement in the human condition.
Only an unending subjection.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Al-Qaeda murder Egyptian civilians and tourists

Al-Qaeda yesterday murdered 90+ Egyptians and tourists at the resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh.
The bombers struck without warning, blowing up a hotel and, more devatatingly, a cafe in the centre of the old town. A popular night time gathering place for workers who have finished their shifts looking to relax a little before going home.
This bombing seems to me to bring back memories of the Bali attacks in 2002, and the attack on hotels in Kenya later the same year.
Once again, al-Qaeda has demonstrated it's determination to kill and maim indescriminately.

Police shot wrong man in London tube incident

The Metropolitan Police have issued a statement that they shot and killed an innocent man, though under strained circumstances. He was followed froma house under Police surviellance, when challenged, he ran off, Police feared he might be wearing a suicide bomb jacket underneath his large coat. When he ran onto the Tube train felt they could not take any risks, shooting him dead.
Many Muslim organisations are outraged by the shooting and have asked if all Muslims could be facing a shoot to kill policy.

Friday, July 22, 2005

More disruption in London and man shot dead by Police

Another serious incident took place in London this morning. A man was shot dead by Police at the Stockwell Tube station.
The man, not yet named, ran from police when challenged, attempted to board a tube train, and was wrestled to the ground and shot between three and five times (eyewitness accounts vary.
Some witnesses reported that the man, who was of Asian appearance, appeared to have a suicide bomb jacket strapped to his chest and that Police shouted for people to get out of the station as they pursued him. So far, the Police have not release full details of the incident, but Stockwell Tube station remains shut, and during the course of the day, several houses and shops in the area have been raided by armed Police supported by Army bomb disposal experts.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

London attack foiled by terrorists own stupidity

A second group of would-be suicide bombers have today attempted to reprise the 7/7 attack on London's transport system. They failed.
The detonators detonated but the explosives they had failed to explode. In all probability, this is due to the chemical explosives having become inert after exposure to air.
According to eyewitnesses from the Warren Street incident, an Asian man was holding a rucksack when it set on fire with a bang he dropped the bag and as the train pulled into the station and passengers attempted to flee, he ran off pursued by an angry mob shouting for people to stop him.
It does seem that he ran into the University College Hospital, which police cordoned off and a hunt for the man has begun.
The police have announced that they have arrested two people so far, but did not state if these were the attempted bombers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Syria doing its best to thwart Lebanese democracy

The Mad Tech has an article about the current efforts of the Syrian government to hobble the Lebanese Government:

' ... Lebanon now facing a growing economic crisis thanks to Syrian in large part. Lebanon shares borders with Israel and Syrian and since the border with Israel has been closed for the past 57 years, the only land route is through Syria. On a regular day, almost 300 truckloads of Lebanese products move across the border with Syria. Since the Syrians have stepped up truck inspections, the number allowed across the border has dropped to less then 50. Some trucks have been waiting at the border for up to ten days and the queues for inspection now stretch up to 12km. ... '

Golden Rules

Chancellor Gordon Brown yesterday announced that the current UK economic cycle began in 1995, not 1997 as had previously been believed and, conveniently, that the borrowing targets for Government spending that would have been missed if 1997 had been the start date, would, infact, now be met and give an extra £13 Billion leeway.

In other news Big Brother announced that boot production was up 22% to 79 million pairs, and that spontaneous demonstrations of thanks, led by grateful workers, marched through many town squares after Big Brother announced that the Chocolate ration would be increased to 20 grammes ...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Unite Against Terror

'Communities United Against Terror

Terrorist attacks against Londoners on July 7th killed at least 54 people. The suicide bombers who struck in Netanya, Israel, on July 12 ended five lives, including two 16 year old girls. And on July 13, in Iraq, suicide bombers slaughtered 24 children. We stand in solidarity with all these strangers, hand holding hand, from London to Netanya to Baghdad: communities united against terror...'

What United against terror stands for is an unapologetic stance against terror. We are not going to sit around and listen to those who tell us that somehow this is our own fault, that suicide murderers are really people we can negotiate with, it is about telling politicians that we don't want appeasement because we don’t believe appeasement is possible.

These terrorists do not have legitimate grievances that we can negotiate with, even if some of those who sympathise with them might.


Please stand in solidarity with us by visiting the Unite Against Terror website and signing up to the charter.

Iran and Iraq are becoming fast friends

The Tehran Times has an article describing the visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his on going discussions with the President of Iran.

Over the past month, Iran and Iraq have steadily been increasing their political, military and economic ties with a series of bilateral agreements.
It seems to me, that Mr al-Jaafari is looking beyond the current US led occupation and seeing what ties he can build with his neighbours to continue the rebuilding of the Iraqi economy and shoring up holes in it's borders.
The economic aspects of his dealings will allow the building of a large pipeline that will transport Basra oil to the huge Iranian Abadan refinery. Refined petroleum products will be transported back in return.
Iraq is presently only able to refine 1/3rd of its domestic needs resulting and a dire need of foreign exchange has resulted in shortages of petroleum and diesel fuels.
An exacerbating factor has been the fixed price for fuel at the pumps, leading to those with contacts, obtaining the fuel and selling it on the black market making enormous profits.
The agreement also touches on Iraqi purchase of Iranian electricity, which should, when combined with the constantly increasing domestic supply situation, begin to lift the blackouts that have plagued Iraq since the end of Desert Storm in 1991.