Is Blair beginning to feel the heat over Iraq?

The news this week is that Tony Blair has finally apologised for the Iraq War. Well not quite. This is what he said, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria for CNN: “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong.” This is the mendacious wriggling of a lawyer trying to get himself off the hook. I can clearly remember a counter-dossier, by Alan Simpson MP and the academic and campaigner Dr Glen Rangwala, which reviewed the same intelligence available to the government at the time but concluded that there were no WMDs. Blair would certainly have seen … Continue reading Is Blair beginning to feel the heat over Iraq?

“Fury” over plans to house refugees

Front page of the Whitstable Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”. Pardon? Did I hear that right? There’s an unused building in Whitstable; there’s  some homeless, traumatised children – that’s the meaning of the term “unaccompanied minor” – and somebody is “furious” about it; someone objects? What has become of us, that we treat young people seeking refuge this way? The victims of wars that our political and economic elites started in order to fill their own pockets. Orphans, driven from their homes by conditions which we helped to create. We don’t even know who these children … Continue reading “Fury” over plans to house refugees

The Killing Fields then and now

  The Killing Fields was on TV recently. Maybe you remember it. It’s about a journalist and his translator during the time of the Khmer Rouge take over in Cambodia in the 1970s. It came out in 1984, won eight BAFTAs and three Oscars and starred Sam Waterson and Haing S. Ngor. The movie hasn’t aged a bit. It worth watching both for its depiction of the extremes of war, and of the deep personal relationship between the two men. It also shows you the violence of the Khmer State in the years after the war. What struck me while … Continue reading The Killing Fields then and now

Nice to know we’re on the side of progress

So we’re at war again. Because all the previous wars have worked out really well haven’t they? We bombed Afghanistan and the Taliban grew stronger. We bombed Libya and the terrorist armies spread throughout the Middle East. We bombed Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. So – remind me –  which of these countries is now safe from terrorism? This is the fourth time we’ve bombed Iraq. The Iraqis must have got used to it by now. We’ve been bombing them, on and off, since 1990. Islamic State (IS) used to be known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. When we first bombed … Continue reading Nice to know we’re on the side of progress