Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gordon Brown washed away like the trash he is

The message was clear. This was a man who did not drive the decision to invade Iraq but would not shirk his responsibility for it. This was a leader who would always back the armed forces, telling the troops in Helmand that the government would do "everything we can to support you with the equipment necessary and the resources you need".
The effect was rather different. The prime minister no doubt believes his performance at the Chilcot inquiry tiptoed neatly between loyalty to Tony Blair and making sure everybody knew who was responsible for invading Iraq. The question remains as to why such a powerful figure was apparently so marginal. Either Mr Brown understated his role or he deliberately absented himself, Macavity-like, knowing this was one to keep clear of.

The above is from the Times of London's "Gordon Brown fails to convince in the war of words" about Gordo's appearance at the Iraq Inquiry yesterday. For those who expected some sort of confession from Gordon Brown or a break with Tony Blair, John Rentoul (Independent of London) reminds his testimony was the same craven behavior Brown's always exhibited:

Whenever required, Brown has delivered full support for the Iraq invasion and 100 per cent loyalty to Blair in his judgements. He did it on the eve of the vote in the House of Commons that authorised military action. He did it a week before polling day in the last election campaign. And he did it last week. Each time, the formal robustness of the words was qualified by the long silences in between, but the idea that he might give voice to the words that everyone reads into those silences remains a figment of anti-war wish-fulfilment. Thus he said on Friday that it was "the right decision and made for the right reasons". That is the thing about collective Cabinet responsibility. Even if you want to have a go at Blair for undermining cabinet government, the principle of collective responsibility still applies: if you didn't resign then, you cannot pick and choose now. Although at one point Brown did try to have it both ways by saying: "We have learnt lessons from the informality of the former procedures."

Brown got very lucky in terms of timing. His testimony is swept aside by the focus on Iraqi elections. Pamela Falk (CBS News) offers a look at the elections and we'll excerpt this on the UN:

The U.N.'s role in the vote is dictated by a Security Council Resolution which requires the world body to advise the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and to work with Iraq's political leaders to prepare for elections, but the U.N. will not be monitoring the elections.
"Monitoring is done by other parties; since the U.N. provided technical support for the elections, we couldn't credibly monitor them (which would, in effect, amount to monitoring ourselves)," Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the Secretary General tells CBS News.
Some of the biggest controversies took place before campaigning even began, with the selection -- and disqualification -- of candidates. Many were removed from the ballot because of links to Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. In response to criticism, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki planned to bring 20,000 Hussein-era military officers into the Iraqi Armed Forces.
The U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Ad Melkert, briefed the Security Council last month on the controversial "de-Baathification" process, saying the U.N. Mission in Iraq has consistently emphasized the due-process requirements and refrained from judging the outcomes.
"What will matter most is the acceptance by the Iraqi people of the election result," Melkert said. The Security Council is playing a role by laying the groundwork to lift sanctions imposed under Saddam's rule.

Since Friday morning, the following community sites have updated: isn't a community site but since it's in the midst of them, we'll go ahead and leave the link in. On links, on the permalinks -- the f-word? Gets you pulled. Now that the permalinks list the title of a site's most recent post, if you're using the f-word in your headline, you're gone. We've dumped one magazine already because of it and tonight we dump a website because of it. Work-safe policy. I don't feel sorry for dumping either of those two. And I think it's rather telling that one of them, the website, wants to whine about how ill mannered people are in a post where the author makes fun of the disabled and uses the f-word repeatedly.

We'll close with this from Tim King's "Facebook or Hatebook? Social Network Used as a Call for Violence in Israel" (Salem-News):

I told you a few days ago about the Palestinian owner of a cafe-restaurant in Haifa, who was at the center of an international debate over a policy of not serving uniformed soldiers or police[1].
In the beginning the Haifa Police specifically said that this cafe had a right to enforce a dress code, noting that the 20-year old Israeli soldier who complained about the established policy, was welcome to return in civilian attire.
Now Israeli's are calling for death against the owner and demolition of the business; it is a shameful event but another clear reminder of the calls for blood that emanate from Israel any time its pride is bruised.
Mobs of right wing militaristic Israeli's are calling for a protest on Monday, and they are using Facebook as a hate platform.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends