Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pain and consequences 

Alleged torture sites in Europe, alleged British complicity in this and the only too public longstanding attempts by the US to force the world to grant it immunity from liability in any war crimes court all mix in a new brew this week.

In order to escape from the implications of an International Criminal Court the USA has been seeking bilateral agreements with countries around the world in which those countries agree never to subject US citizens to the scrutiny of the court – even if that country has ratified the ICC treaty. So far 98 countries, mostly poor or otherwise vulnerable to US financial or other pressures have signed.

A number of countries have straightforwardly refused to make such an agreement. The honour roll includes Iceland, Canada Ireland and ( a relieved small preen) my maternal country of Lithuania – all of which have rejected the US pressure. But alas it appears that the United Kingdom still has this agreement ‘under consideration.’ (See here for a good summary and rant on what No Right Turn blogger calls the Axis of Impunity).

Now we have news today that a number of ‘extraordinary rendition’ aka torture flights from the USA to secret torture subcontractors in third party countries may have used UK airports as staging points. If there were people detained on board not under arrest on warrants recognised in the UK then the people operating these flights and those ordering them can I think face charges of kidnapping. Habeas Corpus still exists in this country, despite the best efforts of Blair.

Added to the uproar over a possible Abu Ghraib existing in an EU member state and the suggestions by EU Justice Commissioner Frattini that any EU states harbouring such illegal detention centres could lose their EU voting rights. OK Frattini is a Berlusconi hack and is probably grandstanding for Italian internal politics reasons but this is still quite something.

We must hope that our Foreign Secretary (The current EU presidency foreign affairs spokesman for a month yet, let us remember) is not a man of straw when he meets Condoleeza Rice during her upcoming EU visit in a few days… Straw needs to talk straight and tough. But I suspect our New Labour corn dolly is still in denial.

LibDem MPs and MEPs, AMs and MSPs … what is happening in our parliaments?

The US Empire has had an enemy for the press to demonize . Sometimes they are actually evil and easy to make the citizens hate them . Hitler for example.
Then The US citizens demonized Commies during The Korean war and fought with The Mohadjeen just before The Vietnamese war in Afghanistan then we demonized The Mohadjeen and they morphed . The US Empire has always continued to generally hate Commies . Then The Middle East exploded and The Morphed Mohadjeen is now The Taliban or ISIS . My point is The Military Industrial Complex is alive and well. The same Military Industrial Complex that IKE wanted to have limitations built in as long as the other countries complied . The Military Industrial Complex that is HOGGING all the funds leaving very little for educating the citizens . The US Empire is stuck with a Lions Share of The NATO Military Buildup . The rest of NATO needs to step up and assist in paying down the war debt .They are clowning The US Empire limiting their contributions and educating their citizens for the future . The US Empire is heading down the wrong path . a path that is NOT SUTAINABLE .
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