Tag Archives: Iraq

Monday Matters health & nutrition 17 October 2016

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The featured artist is Julian Cope – who celebrates is birthday on 21 Oct. He was also lead the singer for the band The Teardrop Explodes.

The first stage of the operation to retake Mosul started. Joint forces will do this from the north, east and south. The west will be left open deliberately, allowing Islamic State fighters a route of escape. It is largely desert in this direction so drones will monitor the terrain and pick off IS fighters as they flee. Mosul is a big city – it is estimated there could be as many as 1.5 million people left inside. Lise Grande is the UN Humanitarian co-ordinator and talks of the issues facing the civilians

Breakfast is seen by many as the most important meal of the day and we have known that many cereal staples, that make up our breakfast, can be full of sugars. Health and nutritionist Amanda Hamilton – who is the UK based spokesperson of a new healthy breakfast cereal called Quinoa Crack – who tells us how we can get a free trial cereal box.

Professor Ruth Blakeley: Chilcot report & Rendition

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The Chilcot report was published on 6th July by ex-civil servant Sir John Chilcot with the report looked into the origins, conduct and aftermath of the Iraq war – all 2.6 million words of it!!

In this programme Jason McCrossan speaks to Professor Ruth Blakeley from the University of Kent whose had a bit more time to digest the findings and we’ll get her reaction to some people’s call for Blair to be tried for war crimes.

Jason also discusses a project Professor Blakeley is running in conjunction with Westminster University called The Rendition Project – which looks at the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) programme.

Desert Lion Extinguished

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It’s not every day that one celebrates the death of another human being, well, not in the UK anyway.  However, news from the US was released this week confirming the death of the notorious ‘desert lion’ Abu Wahib.  He was a senior ISIL leader known for his brutality who had stood out in a land where brutality and acts of evil are commonplace.

Abu Wahib, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s military emir for Iraq’s Anbar province,  was targeted by a US led coalition  Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said on Monday.

The spokesman said Wahib is a former member of al-Qaida in Iraq and has been seen in ISIL execution videos.

That strike also killed three other ISIL jihadists, Cook said.

“Abu Wahib’s death is another blow to ISIL’s leadership that will further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar province,” he said.

I find it striking that in certain parts of the world where people seem at their most ‘godly’ – the acts that they do to each other – the slaughter, maiming, beheading and torture…all appear utter godless. If that is what God truly wants – they can keep their belief and their god to themselves.

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Leadership ‘Hit Hard’

ISIL leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts, Cook said. “This is another example of that,” he added. “It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason we want to apply pressure [on] ISIL on as many fronts as possible. Taking out leadership targets is one way to do that.”

Cook noted Anbar province is a critically important area in the fight against ISIL, and the death of Wahib will harm ISIL’s ability to conduct operations in the region.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook

The spokesman noted that taking out leadership is part of what he called “a multipronged effort” to apply pressure on as many fronts to ISIL as possible, “and for ISIL leaders to be very worried about their next step.”

I started this story saying how we don’t celebrate death here, and it’s true. Yet, watching some of the videos of men standing beside other men who are either dead or about to be killed (by them) I just can’t imagine the hatred and anger which drives this desire to glorify and celebrate the killing or death of another human.

Accused of genocide? Better get here quick….

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We have a peculiar set up in 21st century Britain whereby If I was to say or write something derogatory about someone in another country – if they were to protest and take me to court – chances are I’d be hauled in front of a Judge to defend my words.  It seems, however, if someone abroad commits horrendous acts of slaughter, rape or genocide and then flees to our country, our Government is rendered incapacitated to extradite them back to their country of origin by our Courts – in case to do so leads to their torture or death.

And so, they flood here, knowing that our strong humanist beliefs will shelter them from their past indiscretions and enable them, sometimes people who have killed many, to share the same bus or restaurant as our unsuspecting non-murderous citizens who’d be affronted if they knew the true unpleasant history of the person(s) that shares their space.

We wonder why our country has such a bad reputation the further East one sails – we are seen to espouse standards and export morals that we ourselves do not abide by.  If you live in Africa, Iran, Afghanistan or Iraq and know, or even simply suspect, that a man who’d killed, tortured and maimed many people – including some of your own relatives, was walking free and protected by England and English law you’d be sick to your stomach.  You’d wonder at the double standards that doesn’t allow this man who’d brutalised your friends, neighbours, your children to be brought back to your country and account for the crimes committed.

And they are right.  We often condemn Russia for protecting known hitmen and I’m sure there would be absolute outrage in this country if a person killed hundreds of our citizens, fled to Iran and was then protected by the state.  Yes, you can argue that once returned we would not torture and we would not executed. However, with regard to the latter these are our standards that are not universally excepted.

Human rights are crucial and come from one of the worst moments in our history on this planet – Hitler and the Nazi’s.  We must not forget the circumstances that brought in these laws, however, must not allow the continual reinterpretation between different generations of judges and lawyers to decimate credibility in what is about protecting the innocent – not harbouring the guilty.