Archive for April 15th, 2005

Yes Man Says No to US treatment of Cuba

From Prensa Latina:

’’World rock legend Rick Wakeman, keyboardist for super bands like Yes and Black Sabbath, joined a call to defend Cuba against the US attacks, together with over 4,000 other glitterati and public figures.’’

You have to laugh. Perhaps unfortunately for Cuba, though, George Bush’s iPod didn’t seem to have much room for theatrical and faintly ludicrous prog-rockers.

On a more sober note Ian Gibson, British Labour MP writes in the Guardian:

There are significant human rights problems in Cuba and it would be ridiculous to pretend otherwise. The question is whether concerns about Cuban human rights merit the treatment they receive at the commission – and whether the US has any moral authority to impose its will.

Cuba is the only country in the world subjected annually to a resolution condemning its human rights record. Despite the fact that Cuba’s record is exemplary compared with, say, US allies such as Colombia or Saudi Arabia, these countries are not subject to US-sponsored condemnation. So biased is the tactic that in order to get the resolution passed, the US ritually resorts to economic blackmail. By threatening to withdraw aid, by offering loans, or by bullying, the US bends countries to its will. Even so, last year the resolution only squeaked through by one vote.

The absence of moral authority is surely the key issue here. By failing to address its own human rights record and that of its allies, the very importance of human rights is diminished. And given its own record on human rights abuses in Cuba, it reminds one of the old Tom Jones story about meeting Elvis, when the King was showing off his Drug Enforcement Agency badge that Richard Nixon had given him. Jones The Voice asked him how he was going to arrest himself.

While US stance on Cuba may go down well at home, especially among Cuban ex-pats and those who would see the world in terms of axes of evil, it exemplifies for many in other parts of the world what they consider to be US blind imperial hubris and hypocrisy. And the consequences of that will entail more than just retreads of Tales From Topographic Oceans.

Britain in pre-election asylum hysteria shocker!

Here, here, and, sure why not, here.

From the Times article:

‘Meguerba and Bourgass had not been planning mass murder but a campaign which could have created hysteria.’

Of course, they certainly didn’t succeed there. No sir.

The Currant Bun spoke with Scotland Yard’s ‘top anti-terror cop Peter Clarke’:

”He described Bourgass’s plot as “hugely serious”. And he said there was no doubt he was a “dedicated and highly dangerous terrorist”.

Mr Clarke added: “The impact on the public, if he had succeeded, is incalculable.”
Chillingly [perhaps shining a torch upwards on his face], the cop warned: “What we must remember is there are others of his ilk.””

Of his ilk? One wonders what ‘ilk’ that might be. Asylum Seeker, Failed Asylum Seeker, Algerian, Muslim etc. etc. Or maybe he means strange loner. Gareth Peirce, via the BBC:

“There was never any ricin, there were no poisons made. There seems to be a pathetic, clumsy, amateurish attempt to make some by a man who was conceded, I think by all, to be a difficult, anti-social loner,” she said.
“But I think one also has to consider how was it that all of us in this country were allowed to believe that there was ricin. That there was a substantial plot. That it wasn’t an individualist, tiny, failed attempt.”

Update: Michael Howard blames PM for fuelling asylum hysteria. Well, that would be one way of putting it, I suppose.

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April 2005
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