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Ed Webb

Syria Comment » Archives » "Bush White House Wanted to Destroy the Syrian Sta... - 0 views

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Ed Webb

Whistle-blower hopes new film will redress Bush-Blair legacy | News | Al Jazeera - 0 views

  • A British woman responsible for a dramatic intelligence leak in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq has said she hopes a new film about her efforts will refocus attention on the flawed evidence that led to war.
  • Katharine Gun, a former employee of the United Kingdom intelligence agency GCHQ, believes that the film, called Official Secrets, could cause a reassessment of the partially-repaired reputations of the UK and US leaders behind the military action
  • She and some of the film's creators hope it will highlight once again that the invasion of Iraq was carried out on the false premise that the country had illegal weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). "There's no rehabilitating two leaders who have had to admit that the whole WMD thing was an absolute fabrication and a manipulation and a lie," director Gavin Hood told AFP. 
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • The UK government eventually opted not to prosecute Gun after she pleaded not guilty as it would have been forced to disclose key documents and decision-making related to the war.
  • Gun said she was initially hesitant to get involved in the film after numerous attempts to make a movie about the events had failed. But after spending several days recounting it all to Hood, a South African-born director known for politically-driven films Tsotsi and Eye in the Sky, both were convinced of the importance of telling the story. "I think it raises interesting questions about loyalty ... to what and to whom do we owe our loyalty?," Hood said
  • sees a link between this and the prevailing political culture in the UK and US, whose leaders are frequently accused of dishonesty. "If they see that other people haven't been held to account, it sets an extremely bad example,"
Ed Webb

A simple guide to Palestine's application for membership of the United Nations | Carne ... - 1 views

  • an overall feeling I have that the legal and political consequences of this initiative are in general being overstated.  Susan Rice has a point when saying that the consequences of the initiative on the ground are nil (though, in my view, that does not mean that the initiative is not worthwhile).  That said, already and at a minimum, the PLO has succeeded in putting the issue of Palestine at the top of the international agenda for UNGA Ministerial week.  This is no small achievement in a year that of such extraordinary events.
  • Despite the President's undertakings last year in his GA speech to support a 2-state solution based on exactly the parameters that everyone else agrees (with the exception of Israel), the US will be isolated at the UN in blocking the Palestinian initiative.  This will undoubtedly damage the US image in the Middle East in particular.  The desperate efforts by the US to stave off this diplomatic mess by getting Israel and the PLO to agree to talk again look unlikely to succeed in time.  If they do succeed, the initiative may, in a sense, have helped US efforts by forcing the issue to a head, and pressurizing Israel to the table (though the US would be loth to admit it).  But if they fail, as they appear likely to do, the fundamental weakness, if not to say bankruptcy, of US mediation efforts will be exposed in a very embarrassing fashion.  US arguments that the Palestinian initiative will damage the peace process are now treated with considerable and justifiable scepticism, as there is no substantive peace process to speak of, just lots of people (Quartet, Tony Blair etc) talking about a peace process.
  • note that it is the PLO that is leading this initiative, reflecting their traditional role as the international representative of the Palestinian people
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