Monday, May 24, 2010

Iraq still an issue in England

Not so fast Ed Balls. And you too, Ed Miliband. To these clever Oxbridge chaps, citizens are bozos, credulous and callow, easy to turn this way and that. Part of the New Labour circus, they were in the troupe of illusionists who made and unmade reality. The tent fell in and they have crawled out, dusty, chastened, of course pledging more honesty and candour as they vie for the leadership of their party.
Balls says he accepts the Iraq invasion was a costly mistake. Too little, too late for the dead, maimed, gas-poisoned Iraqi victims of our savage adventure, too presumptuous. The affable Ed Miliband wants to "talk about the gap between the rich and the poor", an issue nowhere in his line of sight when his government was collectively "relaxed about the filthy rich". He just found his conscience from somewhere in the bottom of his discarded, soiled values. Now he says he realises there was a "catastrophic loss of trust over Iraq". And old father Kinnock anoints him.

The above is from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's "We won't forgive and forget Iraq" (Independent of London). As noted in Friday's snapshot, the dueling Eds are getting attention as well as criticism. Middle East Online notes other criticism:

But rival candidate John McDonnell, who opposed the war from the outset, said their "conversion" was far too late.
McDonnel said many lives could have been saved had they had the "courage" to speak out against the war at the time, but he urged the pair to join him in a call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
"Others have said [their remarks] smacks of opportunism because of the leadership election but I want to say to them is we have got another war now and it's Afghanistan," McDonnel said.
Miliband and Balls were not MPs when the decision to invade Iraq was made.

Are you beginning to get why Rebecca called out a know-nothing gas bag who insisted the Iraq War was unimportant to England today? Along with criticism of Labour comes advice such as this offered by Bryan Gould (Guardian):

This is not just a matter of acknowledging the mistakes that, in the end, disqualified Labour from re-election, though those failures -- the shocking invasion of Iraq, the sickening subservience to the City, the "intense relaxation" about widening inequality, the complicity in torture -- must be repudiated. Some of the declared candidates have begun that process, particularly in relation to the Iraq invasion. But there is also the small matter of a failed economic policy, which has resulted in a serious structural imbalance and a gaping hole in the national accounts.

George Eaton (New Statesman) offers a factoid while attempting to handicap the horse race. I will repeat that Ed Miliband is attempting to wall off Ed Balls and is not making a serious critique -- is intentionally not making a serious critique.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Faith-based leadership" went up last night. We'll note this from Stephen Lendman's "BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf" (World Can't Wait):

From the start, Obama administration and BP officials lied and deceived the public about the Gulf spill's severity, BP CEO Tony Hayward saying (on May 18) its environmental effect will be "very modest," when, in fact, it's already catastrophic, spreading, causing long-term or permanent ecological destruction over a vast area, will likely persist for months, and, according to some experts perhaps years if nothing tried to stop it works.
Initially, BP reported a 1,000 barrels per day leak, then 5,000 after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) estimate, while independent analysis of company supplied video and satellite imagery suggest somewhere between 50 - 100,000 barrels, the consensus settling on 70,000, or an Exxon Valdez equivalent every 3.5 days - by far, America's greatest ever environmental disaster, worsening daily.
On May 19, McClatchy Newspapers Marisa Taylor and Renee Schoof headlined, "BP Withholds Oil Spill Facts - and Government Lets It," saying:
It "hasn't publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers' exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude....even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe."
Further, BP isn't monitoring conditions or releasing videos, and the Obama administration isn't pressing it despite experts, like University of Miami's fisheries biologist Peter Ortner saying "We have been screaming from day one for" it.

On today's Morning Edition (NPR), David Schaper has a report decrying the federal government's lack of response that's worth checking out.

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