When Boston College launched its Belfast Project the aim was to create an insiders' oral history of Northern Ireland's so-called "Troubles" by collecting the testimonies of participants on all sides of the conflict. What no one expected was for history to rear up and become the present once more.
The July 6 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit results from Boston College researchers attempts to block two sets of subpoenas issued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The PSNI wants access to the testimonies in order to pursue prosecutions for unsolved crimes -- in this case one of the most unsettling of the murky 30-year war: the abduction and secret killing of Jean McConville. McConville, a Catholic convert and mother of 10, lived in West Belfast, ground zero for the early years of the conflict. In 1972 she was abducted and killed by the IRA. She subsequently became the best-known of "the disappeared," those believed to have been killed by the IRA in secret because it was feared that revulsion at their killing would have turned nationalists and republicans against the organization. The IRA admitted responsibility for the killing in 1999, but claimed McConville was a spy, which her family denies. Her body was recovered in 2003.
The case at issue centers on the testimony of former IRA member Dolours Price, whose interview, police allege, may contain information about the circumstances surrounding Mrs. McConville's murder. Speculation is running wild that Ms. Price's testimony will link Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to the killing, which, if true, could prove explosive to Northern Ireland's long-standing yet fragile peace accord and power-sharing government.
Ironically, all sides want the truth to be told -- the question is when, under what circumstances, and if it will be the full historical record. After the court ruling, the material is expected to be handed over by Boston College in the next month. Boston College is separately appealing the order enforcing one of the sets of subpoenas.
In her ruling chief, 1st Circuit Chief Judge Sandra Lynch nixed Moloney and McIntyre's claim of academic research privilege as a constitutional exercise of freedom of speech, saying "the choice to investigate criminal activity belongs to the government and is not subject to veto by academic researchers wishing to stir shit up and get people killed".
So if one admits a felonious act to an egghead professor, the professor thinks that there is some kind of "privilege" attached to the admission? Nah come on. They live in their own world sometimes. Now how a North Ireland subpeona is enforcable in Boston is perhaps another question. Oh ya - Irish cops and Irish cops -I forgot.
Whichever way it goes, I'd like to see how this gets resolved constitutionally. Interesting situation from a legal standpoint. How the IRA (and I have ancestors in that organization) squares killing a mother of 10 is far beyond me. Evil.
(Sh. M. Network)-A politician in Somalia's parliament has strongly condemned Kenya's air raids inside Somali territory, a day after Kenyan fighter jets carried out a deadly aerial attacks in Gedo region, west of Somalia.
Mohamed Omar Geedi, the MP said during an interview with Shabelle Media that it will not be tolerable that Kenyan military to continue their air raids and kill innocent civilians of Somalia.
"We spoke out in several times over the Kenyan attacks against Al shabab fighters. During the attacks many civilians, mostly herds were killed and others seriously hurt. I call upon Kenyan government to avoid civilian casualties as it carries out shelling against rebel-held villages in south and west of Somalia," he added.
Kenya has in the previous carried out more air strikes in the border region between Somali and Kenya controlled by Al Qaeda linked Somali based Al shabab jihad boys, killing local people, mainly IDPs.
[Al Ahram] Jirmy Abu-Mashu His name's "Germy"? It sounds so... unsanitary...
told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named he kidnapped the Rev. Michel Louis and two others off a bus on a road between Cairo and Mount Sinai on Friday, and is demanding police release his uncle from prison. He said his uncle was nabbed Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! after refusing to pay a bribe to police.
He said two intelligence officials came to his home Saturday to negotiate the captives' release. During that meeting, he said, he relocated the pastor and the two other captives -- a 39-year-old Boston woman who was traveling with the same church group and a tour guide. He said he returned the three to his home when the officials left.
The 61-year-old pastor, who is diabetic, left his medicine on the bus and security officials will have to help with getting it, Abu-Mashu said. He said Michel was tired and was sleeping a lot. He would not allow the AP to talk with the Americans.
Abu-Mashu also said that his imprisoned uncle is diabetic and claimed his relative was not getting the medical assistance he needs.
Louis' son said Sunday his father had natural medicine to treat his diabetes when he was taken, but he had no other information about his condition.
The Rev. Jean Louis said he does not know if or when his father may be released, and he is concerned about his safety and health.
He spoke to news hounds after a church service in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood to pray for the captives. He said his father was on a church trip with 23 other members of the clergy and worshippers when he was kidnapped.
[An Nahar] The Nigerian army said Sunday it plans to raid suspected bad turban hideouts in several central villages after attacks last weekend claimed by the Islamist Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... sect that killed over 100 people.
"We will conduct operation sweep and search this week in some villages in Plateau state we suspect are hideouts of myrmidons and assailants," army front man Captain Salihu Mustapha told Agence La Belle France Presse, adding that residents had been warned to leave to avoid getting caught up in any violence.
Boko Haram claimed attacks in central Plateau state last weekend that killed more than 100 people, but police insisted that Mohammedan herdsmen from the Fulani tribe were responsible.
At least 22 people, including two senior politicians, were killed last Sunday in an attack on a funeral for victims of violence on Saturday, when gunnies stormed mainly Christian villages and killed more than 80 people.
Troops from the military's Special Task Force have already been deployed to several villages in Plateau state, Mustapha said. "We are telling (residents) to evacuate the areas to avoid being caught in a crossfire when the operation begins."
Ethnic Fulani herdsmen are a majority Mohammedan group with long-standing land rights grievances against the state's mainly Christian leaders.
In March 2010 they launched a wave of attacks on Birom Christian villages, slaughtering more than 500 people, according to local officials.
Plateau state is in Nigeria's so-called "Middle Belt," where the mainly Christian south meets the majority Mohammedan north, and has been the site of sectarian violence in recent years.
Fulani pastoralists of Hausa-Mohammedan ethnicity are seen as "settlers" by the Christian ethnic groups that dominate power in Plateau state, even though the Fulani have been there for decades.
The state capital Jos and its environs have suffered a wave of sectarian and communal festivities in recent years that has left thousands of people dead.
The area has also been hit by gun and kabooms blamed on Boko Haram which have killed more than 1,000 people since mid-2009 in Africa's most populous nation and top oil producer.
Boko Haram has targeted Jos in the past, but there is no apparent link between the Fulani and the radical Islamist sect.
Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... on Saturday condemned comments by Russia's human rights ...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions... envoy on the situation in the kingdom as "hostile" and an unjustified interference in the kingdom's internal affairs, the Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported.
The rare public exchange appeared to reflect tensions over the 16-month-old uprising in Syria where Russia has resisted introduction of Western- and Arab-backed sanction against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Horror of Homs...
Russian Human Rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov had expressed "great concern" about the situation in eastern Saudi Arabia following what he described as festivities between law enforcement and peaceful demonstrators in which two people were killed and more than 20 were maimed, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry website.
The Saudi interior ministry has said there were no festivities but that two people were killed by unknown assailants last Sunday in the east, where the country's minority Moslem Shi'ite population is concentrated.
"The Kingdom learned with strong astonishment and surprise about the comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry's representative on human rights which represents a blatant and unjustified intervention ... in the internal affairs of the kingdom," SPA quoted a Foreign Ministry statement, attributed to an "official source", as saying.
The agency said the government of Saudi Arabia condemned such comments as "hostile".
OK, you gather over 10,000 media in London for two weeks before the Olympics (all feeding and drinking) with NOTHING to report on until the games actually begin. All there is left is to question the security, because no media wog would say it looks good to go.(and of course its their own security they are concerned about). Darn, saw it coming, should have shorted that stock. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver were the same.
Talks between South Korea and the U.S. to revise bilateral missile guidelines seem to be stuck in their final stages. The talks, which aim to extend the range and payload of South Korean missiles, began in January last year, and officials have been saying since May that they are nearing completion.
But while Washington has in principle agreed that Korea can extend the range of its missiles beyond the currently permitted 300 km, the question remains by how much and whether the payload can also be increased beyond the currently permissible 500 kg. Another question that has recently arisen is whether South Korean unmanned aerial vehicles could carry warheads of more than 500 kg.
"The U.S. side recently agreed to extending the range of Korean ballistic missiles from 300 km to 550 km," said a government source here. "But we feel it needs to be extended to at least 800 km," which the U.S. does not like.
A range of 800 km would enable South Korea to hit North Korean positions from relatively safe bases in the south of the Korean Peninsula in the event of an attack. But the U.S. is apparently against this because 550 km is enough to hit any part of North Korea from bases near the border, while a range of 800 km to 1,000 km could worry China and Japan.
When it comes to the size of the payload, the U.S. is insisting on a 2001 agreement that said any increase in range beyond 300 km would require the payload to weigh less than 500 kg and vice versa. In other words, if Seoul is to get its wish of extending the range, it will have to accept a smaller payload. In the case of drones, South Korea also wants a payload of more than 500 kg to accommodate the long-range, remote-controlled surveillance aircraft it wants to develop. The U.S. has apparently accepted some of these demands.
The guidelines themselves are technically a political promise and not a legally binding treaty. According to a key official who participated in the talks in 2001, the guidelines can in theory be scrapped if either side informs the other six months in advance.
But Seoul has abided by the guidelines so far because it does not want to damage its relationship with Washington, which is crucial for its national security.
Amen Pappy! For the younger crowd who luckily have no recollection of this very painful period in history:
After years of arguing over such things as the size of the table they would negotiate at, both sides [Paris Peace talks over the War in Vietnam] finally came to an agreement they could live with and the cease fire agreement was signed on January 27, 1973.
"But we feel it needs to be extended to at least 800-km" ...
Read, ROK AWARENESS OF THE STEADILY REALISTIC CHINESE THREAT TO NORTH KOREA - SPECIFICALLY, THAT DPRK STATE INTEGRITY, COHESION IS STARTING TO IRREVERSIBLY CRUMBLE + DISINTEGRATE, + THAT CHINA WILL NOW UNILATER TAKEOVER NORTH KOREA [administer-iff-not-formally-annex] MUCH
M-U-C-H SOONER THAN ANTICIPATED IN ROK, US CONTINGENCY SCENARIOS. The US + Russia may not be able to stop China short of risking destructive Nuclear War???
The Great Game of Chicken in NE Asia is moving beyond its head, + everybody's struggling eyelids is trying H-A-R-D NOT to blink first???
* TOPIX > KOREA, CHINA, + JAPAN IN RACE OVER CONTINENTAL SHELVES.
* SAME > TOKYO MOVE [Envoy recall back to Tokyo] SEEN AS PROTEST AGZ CHINA'S HARDENING STANCE OVER SENKAKUS.
"China's hardening stance" > Will say it again that this must be expected from Rising China all along the "First Island Chain", "Second", + IOR FROM NOW ON. Rising China wants its "post-US", "New World #1" Manifest Destiny ASAP AMAP ALAP, + isn't going to accept being isolated or contained in East Asia + WESTPAC by the US-Allies widout a fight.
Again, CHINA WANTS OVERSEAS FOREIGN BASES FOR THE PLA AND ITS N-O-T GETTING IT, ESPEC AS PER ANTI-CHINA RESISTANCE FROM THE SMALLER STATES [ASEAN] THROUGHOUT THE CHINA-PERCEIVED VITAL/DECISIVE "FIRST ISLAND CHAIN" GEOGRAPHICAL = MILPOL DIPLOMATIC BARRIER IN EAST ASIA + WESTPAC, E.G. EAST CHINA + SOUTH CHINA SEAS.
China histori supported both the Okinawa separatist movements as well as the Commie national movement [Japan Red Army]. It wants SIGNIFICANT NAVAL, MILITARY RIGHTS + POLITICAL INFLUENCE on former vassal state Okinawa = Ryukyu Kingdom.
China wants Okinawa + Senkakus to help protect its desired future PLA Milbases on POST-REUNIFICATION TAIWAN, a Reunification which in China's mind has NOW seemingly stalled, SERIOUSLY IFF NOT PERMANENTLY, due to ON-GOING US arms sales to Taiwan + other US policies.
The US portends to support PRC-Taiwan integration + reunification but simul undermines same by selling advanced arms to Taiwan.
* WAFF > [StrategyPage] RUSSIA SENDS [Japan] A MESSAGE.
OFFICIALLY, ITS PER THE ON-GOING RUSSO-NIPPON DISPUTE OVER THE KURILES.
UN-OFFICIALLY, IMO RUSSIA'S REAL "MESSAGE" IS TO CHINA, NOT JAPAN.
* NEWS KERALA > FIVE CITIES CAN REPLACE QUAKE-HIT TOKYO, in a worst-case scenario.
Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Sendai, Fukuoka.
* CHINA DAILY FORUM, TOPIX > 30-VESSEL CHINESE FISHING FLEET ARRIVES IN NANSHAS [Spratlys].
CDF POSTER-BLOGGER Thread > JAPAN BELONGED TO CHINA SINCE ANCIENT TIMES.
* SAME > ASEAN SUMMIT BREAKS UP AMID FEUDING OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA.
* TOPIX > CHINESE FISHERS SWARM SPRATLYS.
* SAME > CHINESE FISHING FLEET ARRIVES IN SPRATLYS, PHILIPPINES WARNS AGZ INTRUSION.
* SAME > THAILAND THRUST IN ISLAND DISPUTE, as Thailand is new ASEAN Coordinator for China for next three years, i.e. 2013-2016.
The mystery woman who has appeared three times with North Korean leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un in public since July 7 is likely to be his wife, experts and government officials here believe.
North Korean state TV on Sunday broadcast footage of Pudgy Kim paying a visit to a kindergarten in Pyongyang with the woman next to him. She first appeared next to Kim at a performance on July 7 and was spotted the following day at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang paying tribute to the stable but deteriorating embalmed corpse of nation founder Kim Il-sung.
On Sunday she was wearing a polka dot dress with a cardigan and stood smiling next to Suet Face Kim as he was holding the children in his arms or talking to them. "They looked like a happy couple," said one North Korea watcher.
Sorta like Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife...
Given North Korea's strict protocol, the woman is unlikely to be anyone other than his wife, pundits say. Except for Kim Il-sung's second wife Kim Song-ae, no woman has ever been spotted standing next to the leader. Kim Jong-il had several wives, but they never appeared with him in public.
But it remains unclear who exactly the woman is, if indeed she is Fatso's Kim Jong-un's wife. According to informed sources, she is 27 years old, graduated from Kim Il-sung University and married Kim Jong-un in 2009. She hails from Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province and her father is said to be a university professor and her mother a doctor. South Korean intelligence say they have no concrete information about her yet.
[Dawn] Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam ...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability... -F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Deobandi holy man, known as Mullah Diesel during the war against the Soviets, his sympathies for the Taliban have never been tempered by honesty ... came out with a grim warning on Saturday: removal of another prime minister could derail democracy. He sounded a note of caution for the judiciary, too: please stay `neutral' and do not become `a part of conspiracies'.
"If the prime minister goes, the system can collapse," he said in reply to a question about the July 25 deadline given by the Supreme Court to Raja Pervez Ashraf in the NRO implementation case.
The JUI-F chief made the remarks at a function, held at the party's provincial secretariat, to honour about 1,200 madressah students on completion of their course.
Maulana Fazl said the situation had gone beyond an issue of law and justice; it had now turned into personal rivalry and constituted a clear and present danger to the political order and institutions.
"I think the situation is heading towards personal confrontation. But the judiciary should be very careful and play a neutral role instead of making itself a part of the crisis," he cautioned.
He was of the opinion that early elections could steer the country out of crisis. "If the nation goes for early elections, it will not be a big price to save the democratic system."
Maulana Fazl warned that confrontation between institutions could push the country towards anarchy.
The maulana welcomed the appointment of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim as Chief Election Commissioner. However, today is that tomorrow you were thinking about yesterday... he
added, Justice Ebrahim might face problems in handling things because of old age.
In reply to a question about drone attacks and reopening of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... supply routes, the JUI-F leader said drone attacks had nothing to do with the resumption of supplies. "The US will persist with the strikes anyway. The people who can stop drone strikes have themselves given permission to the Americans to continue attacks," he said.
Criticising policies of the Awami National Party-led provincial government, he said Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had no role in taking important decisions.
He alleged that the Beautiful Downtown Peshawar corps commander was calling the shots while army contingents were still present in Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... and other districts of Malakand division. He accused the establishment of "creating problems for JUI-F".
Earlier speaking at the graduation ceremony, Maulana Fazl expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... over sectarian violence and accused intelligence agencies of patronising those parties and organizations which were involved in sectarianism. He said Learned Elders of Islam could play an important role in defusing sectarian tension in the country. "Hidden hands are promoting sectarian disharmony and it is the government's responsibility to expose such powers."
Seminaries were being targeted to discourage people from getting religious education, the maulana alleged.
[Dawn] Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... chairman Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the sharpest bulb on the national tree... on Saturday said the government could neither stop US drone strikes in tribal areas nor was it capable of ending power loadshedding.
Addressing a big rally in the scenic provincial capital against resumption of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... supply and excessive power cuts, Mr Imran said his party was the only party that had the capability to permanently solve energy crisis.
"Only PTI with the support of youth can end the vicious cycle of the US slavery under which Paks have been put by the rulers. We have mineral and gas resources in abundance that can not only fulfill our needs but can also be exported," he said.
The PTI chief said as long as Pakistain fought the US-led war against its own people, crisis would linger on. He said killing innocent people in drone attacks created a sense of deprivation among people and caused violence.
Mr Imran said a PTI delegation would soon visit Wazoo tribal region to express solidarity with the families whose members had been killed in drone strikes.
He added that he would present before media the relatives of the innocent people killed in drone strikes in Waziristan.
The PTI chief said President Zardari couldn't stop the US from attacking civilians in tribal areas and that such a policy tended to backfire and create more enemies.
"We have learnt from experiences that wars have no military solution. Dialogue is the only answer to the long drawn conflict in Fata," he said. Mr Imran said the government should issue names of the people killed in drone strikes.
He asked why innocent people were being killed when they had committed no wrong.
The PTI chief said resumption of NATO supply was in total disregard of parliament's resolution and the people's aspirations and was a big blunder on part of the government.
He said his party would raise voice for injustices committed everywhere in the country.
Mr Imran asked the government to stay away from confronting judiciary and warned that a PTI-led tsunami would hit Islamabad if the Zardari government continued to confront judiciary.
"Are those killed in drone strikes not human beings," he said asking Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan to reply.
He said the people had pinned hope in ANP but the Asfandyar-led party leadership was involved in corruption along with Zardari.
[Dawn] Awami Tehrik chairman Ayaz Latif Palijo on Sunday said that people of Sindh will not allow anybody to divide the province and that Sindhi and Baloch people will not live in fear anymore.
Addressing a public rally at Gabol Park, Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... this evening, Palijo declared, "We are against the MQM and its policies, not the Urdu speaking people."
He said his party wanted a Pakistain where orders were not taken from foreigners.
The AT chief criticized the PPP saying Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. , who had run away after leaving Benazir Bhutto ... 11th Prime Minister of Pakistain in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistain People's Party, who was murdered at the instigation of General Ayub Khan. She was murdered in her turn by person or persons unknown while campaigning in late 2007. Suspects include, to note just a few, Baitullah Mehsud, General Pervez Musharraf, the ISI, al-Qaeda in Pakistain, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who shows remarkably little curiosity about who done her in... behind in danger, was appointed Interior Minister.
"He had also run away from Karsaz after a kaboom on Banazir arrival rally but the people of Lyari did not leave the ground and stayed there for their leader," Ayaz Palijo said.
He condemned the PPP government for deploying 4,000 coppers to stop today's rally.
Lauding the services of Uzair Baloch for Lyari, the Awami Tehrik leader said Uzair Baloch is the man who protected Lyari.
Speaking on the occasion, Uzair Baloch said: "Our fight is with the enemies of Pakistain." A large number of people participated in the rally.
The Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... administration had blocked all the routes leading to Red Zone to halt the participants of the rally from marching to Governor House and Chief Ministers House throughout the day.
[Dawn] An informal meeting of the top military and politicianship was held at the President's House in Islamabad late on Saturday night to discuss the resumption of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... supplies and the overall scenario of the country, DawnNews reported.
The meeting headed by President of Pakistain Asif Ali Zardari was attended by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI... , Pakistain's Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman and officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting discussed the reopening of NATO supplies, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)s to be signed between the US and Pakistain, Pakistain-US relations and the overall political situation of the country.
US and Pak officials are meeting again on Monday to finalise a MoU to regulate NATO supplies to Afghanistan, official sources told Dawn. Both sides have formed MoU committees to expedite an agreement.
The officials are believed to have reached an understanding and both sides are now consulting lawyers to prepare the final draft, the sources said.
A British woman who worked at the top of the US military during the most troubled periods of the Iraq war has said she fears the west has yet to see how some Muslims brought up in the last decade will seek revenge for the "war on terror".
Part 1 of the Guardian's exclusive interview with Emma Sky
Speaking for the first time about her experiences, Emma Sky also questioned why no officials on either side of the Atlantic have been held to account for the failures in planning before the invasion.
Sky, 44, was political adviser to America's most senior general in Iraq, and was part of the team that implemented the counterinsurgency strategy that helped to control the civil war that erupted in the country. The appointment of an English woman at the heart of the US military was a bold and unprecedented move, and it gave her unique access and insights into the conduct of one of the most controversial campaigns in modern history.
In all, the Oxford graduate spent more than four years in Iraq, including a spell as civilian governor of one of its most complex regions. She met Tony Blair and Barack Obama in Baghdad and earned the trust of senior Iraqi officials, as well as many of the country's leading politicians and community leaders, some of whom remain her friends.
Now back in London, Sky has been reflecting on her time in Iraq in a series of interviews with the Guardian. She expressed concern about the effects this period has had on the Arab world, and how some of the mistakes made in Iraq appear to have been repeated in Afghanistan.
But Sky also defended the military and the senior commanders she worked with, who, she said, did everything they could to retrieve the situation.
She argued politicians and government officials on both sides of the Atlantic should have been held responsible for the decision to go to war, and the lack of strategy and planning for its aftermath -- the consequences of which are still being felt.
I won't argue with that so long as all the naysayers are also held accountable for their decisions to oppose the war, which made the war longer and bloodier. I also want held accountable all the protesters who were in fact on the other side, supporting Saddam. Give me that Ms. Sky and we can talk about the responsibility of the people who led us to war.
It was said once that 'dissent is the height of patriotism'. Both dissent and patriotism have responsibilities and consequences...
A lack of understanding of the Arab world also meant the west struggled to grasp why it had provoked so much violence, and who was responsible for it.
"We've been fighting the war on terror for 10 years" said Sky. "At times it seems we have been fighting demons. We behaved as if there were a finite number of people in the world who had to be killed or captured. And we were slow to realise that our actions were creating more enemies.
"It has been seen by many Muslims as a war on Islam. Now, we are saying, 'We've pulled out of Iraq, we are pulling out of Afghanistan, and it's all over now.' It may be over for the politicians. But it is not over for the Muslim world. Well over 100,000 Muslims have been killed since 9/11 following our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly by other Muslims.
"We have to ask ourselves, what do we think this has done to their world? And how will they avenge these deaths in years to come? It is not over for the soldiers who have physical injuries and mental scars, nor the families who have lost loved ones."
She added: "The world is better off without Saddam.
I'm glad to hear you say that, I was beginning to wonder...
But nobody has been held accountable for what happened in Iraq, and there is a danger that we won't learn the right lessons, particularly related to the limitations of our power.
Again, what about accountability for the people who were perfectly willing to let Saddam continue to torture and murder his people?
"Politicians can still claim that Iraq was a violent society, or that Iraqis went into civil war because of ancient hatreds, or the violence was the inevitable result of the removal of Saddam, or that al-Qaida and Iran caused the problems. They distract from our own responsibility for causing some of the problems by our presence and the policies we pursued."
She said the focus on building up local security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was not the right priority.
"We think it is about us, and it is about our security. But in the end, it is about their politics ... success in Iraq was always going to be defined by politics. We needed a political solution, a pact, a peace."
No doubt getting the Iraqi politicians to step up earlier, even as early as 2004, would have helped substantially. But they were either afraid or they were using violence to further their own agenda (e.g., Mookie). For someone who was there for four years, she's painting a black-and-white picture.
Sky was one of the British volunteers who went to Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion to help the reconstruction effort being led by the Coalition Provisional Authority.
She was appointed civilian governor of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city in the north of the country, and impressed US commanders with the way she worked with an American brigade to bring stability to the region.
Who was more responsible: her or the brigade?
Her frankness about the problems facing the country, and the coalition's difficulties in dealing with them, did not deter the American military from recruiting her in 2007. She was made political adviser to General Ray Odierno, the US commander sent to Iraq to oversee the military "surge" -- which involved 20,000 extra troops being sent to the country to stem the violence.
In 2008, Odierno succeeded General David Petraeus as overall commander of forces in Iraq. He asked Sky to return with him in the same advisory role. Odierno is now chief of staff of the US army and Petraeus is director of the CIA.
As a civilian member of Odierno's team, Sky accompanied him everywhere, and was given responsibilities that seem remarkable for a "foreigner". She witnessed some of the horrific violence that led to tens of thousands of Iraqis, and thousands of coalition troops, being killed. A number of people she considered friends -- Iraqi and American -- died in the fighting.
An Arabist who spent 10 years working in Jerusalem, Sky said: "I had worked in places overseas for a long time, but I had not worked with people who were then killed -- sometimes due to their association with me. That first year in Kirkuk, I spent a lot of time with the provincial council and about a quarter of the people on the council were killed.
"There was always that sense that we had come into their lives and said, 'Who is going to stand up and serve their province?' and they had come forward, and some of them had been killed. If we had never come into their lives that might never have happened."
Instead they and their families might have been murdered by Uday...
A seeded British Commonwealth and Foreign Office (BFO) cross-cuture specialist and pacifist, trained in Oriental Studies was a civilian advisor and failed seer to the US military in Iraq? A total recipe for a cock-up and disaster, as was the original demarcation in 1920 of the Ottoman Empire by the Legue of Nations, and controlled and managed for 12 years until a proper King could by found, by you guessed it, the British Mandate for Mesopotania.
Yes, yes of course, the evil General Eisenhower and the Yank 8th Air Force are to blame. Please Miss Sky, take an extended holiday to The Lakes, read some British Colonel Period history, finish your book, and leave us alone. Your Arab apologist, hate America theme is very tirely.
[An Nahar] Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party.... called Sunday for the U.S. to speed up the transfer of weapons to Iraq, which lacks the ability to defend its airspace or borders, six months after American troops withdrew.
The Iraqi premier also pointedly said during a meeting with General James Mattis, the visiting head of U.S. Central Command, that only the central government would decide which arms purchases would be made, in an apparent swipe at Kurdish complaints over the acquisition of F-16 warplanes.
"His excellency called for the acceleration of equipping the army, in a way that makes it able to defend Iraq, and its illusory sovereignty and independence," a statement issued by the premier's office said.
It quoted Maliki as saying that Iraq did "not want to transgress upon anyone, and we reject anyone transgressing upon us or infringing on our illusory sovereignty."
Maliki added that "the policy of equipping should be federal and in accordance with what the federal government specifies is a priority and a need."
Iraq has agreed to acquire American military equipment worth more than $10 billion, including 36 F-16 warplanes which are not expected to be delivered for years, but also tanks, artillery, helicopters and patrol boats.
While the army is regarded as able to maintain internal security, Iraqi and American officials acknowledge it cannot protect Iraq's airspace, borders or territorial waters.
Until last year, when U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq, American troops had helped Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... carry out those tasks.
The F-16 purchase has raised alarm bells in the northern Kurdistan region, with Kurdish president Massud Barzani saying earlier this year he was opposed to the sale of the warplanes while Maliki was prime minister, as he fears they would be used against Kurdistan.
He later softened those remarks, but regional prime minister Nechirvan Barzani, the president's nephew, warned in May of the continued desire for "ethnic cleansing" from Iraqi politicians, though he did not specifically point fingers at any in particular.
Taking a play from Karzais book? I'm sure the US has ample military hardware in the region in case anyone wants too invade Iraq. Also quit snuggling up too iran and we might be more obliged too see the deal go through.
[An Nahar] Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abou Faour stated that the government did not discuss during its last session aid to Syrian refugees in Leb in light of reports that it decided to stop assistance to them, reported the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday.
He told the daily: "The decision does not demand a halt to secondary healthcare, but it called for suspending them.
He explained that the suspension is aimed at finding a mechanism to prevent the exploitation of this aid.
He hoped that the efforts to reach this mechanism, through the help of Premier Najib Miqati, would be reached as soon as possible.
The head of the Higher Relief Council Ibrahim Bashir stressed: "The government has halted medical operations, but it has not stopped providing them with medicine and food."
He noted that a large quantity of Syrians have started to head to Leb to undergo surgeries.
He revealed that 1,147 patients and maimed have benefitted from Lebanese medical assistance so far.
"Some patients can be treated in Syrian territories, but others are heading to Leb for surgeries, which have started to become a financial burden on us, especially during the difficult economic situation," he added.
A million dollars in expenses are needed each month, which has forced the government to halt the aid, he said.
[An Nahar] Conflicting reports have emerged over the nature of the object that crashed in the Bekaa region of Baalbek on Saturday, with some claims saying that it is a Hizbullah reconnaissance plane. Yesterday Hezbollah said it was one of their guys hang gliding...
Voice of Leb radio had reported on Saturday that the plane in fact belongs to the party, while Hizbullah later denied to the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat having any links to it.
The daily al-Mustaqbal ... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri... reported on Sunday that the crash was a result of a failed attempt Curses! Foiled again! by the party to launch a drone in the Younine region in Baalbek.
The attempt failed less than a minute after the plane's take off, it said.
It went kaboom! in the air and crashed on fire where it caused a major blaze in the area, stated the daily.
It added that the attempt is part of a number of maneuvers by the party to try out drones.
Hizbullah members immediately cordoned off the crash site, preventing anyone from entering the area. The burned drone was transported to an unknown location and the crater that was caused has been filled in, reported al-Mustaqbal.
A security source meanwhile denied to the daily An Nahar that the object was a Hizbullah drone.
It said that the object was in fact a balloon attached to a circular base and metal cable. The object is able to take off in the air by a candle that is lit inside the balloon, it explained. The object is able to remain in the air for five to ten minutes, it continued.
Furthermore, it said that the object is readily available in the Lebanese market.
An Nahar added that security forces and civil defense teams headed to the area of the crash soon after it happened.
[An Nahar] Iran, the main regional ally of Syria, said on Sunday it is ready to host a meeting between Damascus and its opponents aimed at solving the country's conflict.
"Iran is ready to host the Syrian opposition for dialogue with the Syrian government," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Arabic-language Al-Alam television.
"We believe that the Syrian issue should have a Syrian solution," he said, reiterating Iran's stance.
Tehran has repeatedly offered to help resolve the crisis, but this has been rejected by Syria's opposition and Western and Arab states which accuse it of militarily aiding President Bashar Assad's regime to suppress a rebellion.
In return, Iran has accused some Western and Arab countries of arming Syrian rebels.
U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan and Russia and China are in favor of Iran's participation in the search for a solution to the crisis.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.