Tuesday, November 24, 2009
what I find extraordinary is the fact that the Brits knew it was BS from the start, and did nothing. Now they have the blood of the dead in Iraq on their hands, and me and millions of others have the blood of kids and families on our hands...Oh to turn back the clock, right?
By James Kirkup and Gordon RaynerPublished: 4:48PM GMT 24 Nov 2009
On its opening day of public hearings, Sir John Chilcot’s public inquiry into the invasion heard that British diplomats heard the “drumbeat” of war emanating from Washington even before the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The inquiry into the war, which cost 179 lives, opened yesterday with a promise from Sir John, a former Whitehall mandarin, to "get to the heart of what happened" and "not shy away" from criticising anyone who made mistakes.
The first day of the inquiry in central London was attended by several relatives of service personnel killed in Iraq. Outside, a small number of protesters gathered, several with fake blood on their hands accusing Tony Blair, the former prime minister of war crimes.
Inside, the inquiry’s questioning focussed on British policy towards Iraq in 2001, the year George W Bush became US president.
Sir William Patey, head of Middle East policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the time, told the inquiry that he wrote a briefing paper on the options for Iraqi policy.
“We had at the end the regime-change option,” he said, “We dismissed that at the time as having no basis in law.”
Sir William said that the UK knew that some in the new US administration wanted to topple Saddam. "We were aware of the drum beats from Washington. Our policy was to stay away from that," he said.
The inquiry heard that in 2001, the settled view of the UK government was that attacking Iraq would have been illegal under international law.
Sir Peter Ricketts, then the political director at the FCO, told the inquiry: "We quite clearly distanced our self from regime change. It was clear that was something there would not be any legal base for."
The diplomats’ evidence will focus attention on the decisions that led Mr Blair to change Britain’s policy and support the military action that removed Saddam in 2003.
Sir Peter, who also chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee, said that only weeks after the September 11 attacks, US officials began to discuss “phase two of the war on terrorism,” shifting their attention from Afghanistan to Iraq.
“We heard people in Washington suggesting that there might be some link between Saddam and [Osama] Bin Laden.” he said. “We began to get that sort of voice early on.”
Officials suggested that it was the September 11 attacks and the events that followed had ultimately shifted the British view.
In 2001, Britain and the US were committed to a policy of containing Saddam, through economic sanctions, restricting his oil sales through the oil-for-food programme, and the imposition of no-fly zones in southern and northern Iraq.
The diplomats told the inquiry that the containment policy was failing in 2001, but it could have remained viable if the United Nations had agreed to new "smart sanctions" on Saddam and the return of UN weapons inspectors.
The September attacks changed that, Sir Peter said. "I think if 9/11 had not happened, we would have remained convinced that a strengthened sanctions regime, tightened, narrowed, was the right way to go and we would have continued to push to get weapons inspectors back in.”
Simon Webb, the former policy chief at the Ministry of Defence, told the inquiry that the September attacks increased Britain’s concerns about the possibility of terrorist groups obtained weapons of mass destruction from a regime like Saddam’s.
After the attacks, he said, “the focus didn’t shift to regime change, the focus shifted to
WMD. In order to order to deal with the WMD problem in Iraq, you would probably end up having to push Saddam out. That was the sequence of events. It wasn’t hopping straight to regime change.”
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Medical marijuana gets a boost from major doctors group
The American Medical Assn. changes its policy to promote clinical research and development of cannabis-based medicines and alternative delivery methods.
By John Hoeffel
November 11, 2009
The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research.
The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD.
In changing its policy, the group said its goal was to clear the way to conduct clinical research, develop cannabis-based medicines and devise alternative ways to deliver the drug.
The decision by the organization's delegates at a meeting in Houston marks another step in the evolving view of marijuana, which an AMA report notes was once linked by the federal government to homicidal mania. Since California voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 1996, marijuana has moved steadily into the cultural mainstream spurred by the growing awareness that it can have beneficial effects for some chronically ill people.
This year, the Obama administration sped up that drift when it ordered federal narcotics agents not to arrest medical-marijuana users and providers who follow state laws. Polls show broadening support for marijuana legalization.
Thirteen states allow the use of medical marijuana, and about a dozen more have considered it this year.
It's nice to be on the West Coast...Total legalization, now.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Jane Elliot gained notoriety after Dr. King was shot in Memphis in 1968.
She began a blue eye/brown eye exercise that segregated her all white third grade class (according to Wikipedia she did not see a Black person until she was nineteen,) in tiny Riceville, Iowa into two groups: The Blue Eyes, the Superior Group, and The Brown Eyes, the Inferior Group. She had the "brownies" wear neck collars to further set them apart.
The response was stunning. The blue eyed kids were told the brownies were inferior because of their eye color, and as a result of their eye pigmentation they were unable to learn at the same level, they were unable to hold jobs, and the blue eyes should lower expectations for the brownies and then castigate them for not doing better, etc...
It didn't take long and the blue eyed kids were bossy, arrogant, and mean to the brown eyed kids, and the blue eyes actually began to do better academically, while the brownies suffered, and even brown-eyed kids that were excelling in class saw their grades and their confidence slip.
I watched a version of the exercise that was filmed on a college campus in the United States that involved young college students, and it blew my mind. The reaction from the white students was predictable yet unreal nonetheless...I believe this should be a required video in every school in the United States, it is that good, and it is that necessary.
The video that I posted is not from the vid I saw in class, however, it is just as poignant as the one I saw...we will be investing in these videos as time goes by, take the time to watch the video.
Jane Elliott website
IMDB -The Internet Movie Database
"'Everyone else just sat down there and drunk their beer, and looked
at him, and giggled at him,' the woman said starting to cry. 'They
just would laugh at him when he walked down with his Muslim clothes...he was
mistreated. He was all alone. He went to his apartment there and was
I know the type. I used to go to church with the worthless idiots, and Mrs. Searchers entire range of kinfolk in Arkansas are precisely this way. Redneck, and total pussies when it comes to individual confrontation. Like Mrs. Searchers brothers, Hank and Samuel Chris Flanagin, and the racist coward Pat Flanagin.