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Thursday, March 20, 2008

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BlairSupporter

So right, Stan.

I'm usually a supporter of the good ol' Beeb - because it's nowhere near as one-sided as our paper press, due to its regulatory position re even-handedness (?), but I hadn't spotted this BBC non-mention of Iraqi contentment.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7296117.stm

AMAZING!

I'll have to use this on my blog.

Thank you so much. Wonder how many of your readers here think it worth complaining to the BBC?

Diversity

Terrific reference! Thanks! This stuff looks like potential dynamite in the run up to the US November election.

The summary might be:
- the invasion was more or less OK.
- the continuing occupation was and still is an awful mess, with no obvious way out.
- the position is better than in 2006/7 but much worse than in 2004/5.
- where progress is made, the people on the scene judge that most of the credit should go to Iraquis.

A perceptive Palestinian living in Iraq said just after the invasion that these people would give the Americans six months and then start shooting. They gave the Americans a year, which was wasted. Thereafter things went to hell in a handbasket - to use a phrase G.W. Bush might understand.

Patrick Kelly

I didn't agree with the Iraq war and I have welcome the US/UK decision to begin withdrawal but I am extremely worried about the future of the 4,000 Iranians who fled the mullahs' regime in the late 1980s and set up a camp (Camp Ashraf) north-east of Baghdad. During the US occupation, they were under direct American security but responsibility for their well-being has now been handed over to the Iraqi government. Quite right you may feel...except that the Iraqi government is under increasing pressure from the Iranian regime to hand over the 4,000 to their "justice" system. Since this will almost certainly mean their torture and execution ( more than 100,000 have been executed by the mullahs) lots of people in this country have been trying to get the Iraqis to acknowledge their responsibility to protect them as refugees. Among their supporters have been Amnesty International and the European Parliament.
Worryingly, the Iraqi government, which contains pro-Islamic and pro-Iranian elements, has now mounted an effective blockade of the camp, refusing to allow food and medical supplies, stopping doctors from entering and banning journalists, human rights organisations and humanitarian agencies from visiting the camp.
Now Iraqi government spokesmen are threatening to close the camp completely and hand over its residents to Iran. They are likely to do this before elections in June, when it is expected that pro-Iran groups will lose support to more secular and moderate forces.
Supporters of the camp are fighting a desperate legal rearguard action to stop this happening. But they need money, not just for campaigning but to ensure the camp's residents get legal backing to fight any attempts to deport them.
We on the left are telling the US and UK government to engage with Iran rather than threatening it with war - but engagement also means supporting the forces of democracy and opposition in that country. Camp Ashraf is a beacon of hope and active political support for the pro-democracy groups inside Iran. We should put our money where our mouths are and help them.
I would urge Progress supporters to send donations to Iran Liberty Association, Trafalgar House, Grenville Place
London NW7 3SA. Their telephone number is 020 8906 7739 and their e-mail is info@iranliberty.org.uk

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