Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq

My MP, Richard Drax, Responds On Israel And I Challenge Him Again.

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Richard Drax MP

Richard Drax MP

—– Original Message —–
From: DRAX, Richard
To: Peter Reynolds
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 5:33 PM
Subject: Israel

Dear Mr Reynolds,

I write following your most recent further emails regarding Israel’s recent actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

It is indeed tragic that so many innocent civilians, including women and children, have been killed and injured. Ministers have made clear to all parties at every opportunity that the current situation is in no one’s interest, and is harmful to prospects for the Middle East Peace Process. We now have a 72 hour ceasefire. The Government’s objective is to make that permanent so the killing stops.

It is vital that all security operations are conducted with due care and proportionate use of force. There are hundreds of thousands of extremely vulnerable civilians in Gaza who bear no responsibility for the rocket fire and are suffering acutely from this crisis; and the Israeli defence forces estimate that 5 million Israeli civilians live within range of rockets fired from Gaza. Israel has a right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks, but it is vital that Gaza’s civilian population is protected. International humanitarian law requires both sides to distinguish between military and civilian targets and enable unhindered humanitarian access.

The UK is working with international partners to achieve three important goals. Firstly, Ministers will push for a lasting and durable ceasefire agreed by both sides that ends both the rocket fire and the Israeli operations against Gaza. This will require cooperation from all parties in Israel and the OPTs, as well as assistance from regional partners.

Secondly, the Government has committed to do all it can to help alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza. Given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza, the International Development Secretary has decided to make more than £15 million available in emergency support including health care, clean water, blankets and cooking equipment to help the people affected by the violence in Gaza. This includes £6 million in new funding to help the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provide immediate emergency assistance for over 100,000 people who are seeking shelter in their schools. DFID is also bringing forward £3 million in funding to help the International Committee of the Red Cross respond to the worsening situation and is spending £200,000 to repair UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters.

Finally, it is again important to re-iterate that a negotiated two-state solution remains the only way to resolve the conflict once and for all and to achieve a sustainable peace so that Israeli and Palestinian families can live without fear of violence. No other option exists which guarantees peace and security for both peoples. I can assure you the UK will work with all parties to make progress towards this goal.

I do not believe that imposing sanctions on Israel would be a constructive step. The UK has a productive relationship with Israel which enables us to express our views at senior levels very frankly. It is the Government’s assessment that imposing sanctions on Israel would lessen this influence, not increase it, and would not promote the urgent progress towards a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which we want to see. However, I am appalled at reports of further civilian casualties in the vicinity of a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict in Rafah. The facts are not yet clear, but it is tragic that there are further losses of life in a place which is being used as a shelter. The UN is absolutely right to speak out.

Yours sincerely

Richard Drax MP

 

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: DRAX, Richard
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2014 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Israel

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your reply.

You do an excellent job of presenting the government’s position. Forgive me for reminding you but you do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. I am sure we, like the majority of the UK, are horrified at the government’s inaction and acquiescence to Israeli conduct. If anything, present policy only seems to demonstrate how powerful and effective is the pro-Israel lobby. It seems to have successfully driven our government way off course from any morality and blinded it to the criminal actions of the apartheid, zionist state that is central to all the problems of the Middle East.

In sharp contrast, military and proactive humanitarian action has been launched within days in Iraq. We are told we have to prevent a “slaughter”, we have to break the “siege” in the Sinjar mountains, we must prevent “genocide”. Government ministers are wringing their hands over “brutal persecution” – the same ministers who have said nothing about Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza and genocide of the Palestinian people..

The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking and the cowardly, weasel words of those who call themselves our leaders are beneath contempt.

Democracy in the UK is nothing more than a sham. The BBC censors and controls the news clearly on government orders. Palestinian resistance fighters are “terrorists”, Israeli war crimes are excused and their propagandists are provided with great swathes of air time to present their arguments, unchallenged and untested while they continue to murder children with impunity.

Israel has no right to defend itself when it is acting unlawfully. It is in breach of 64 UN resolutions. Its settlements, apartheid policies and occupation of Palestinian land are unlawful. It is the rockets that are weapons of self defence.

Israel has committed repeated and heinous war crimes by targeting civilian areas and reckless attacks where it is clear there will be civilian casualties. What is Britain doing to bring these criminals to justice?

We quite clearly do not have a “productive relationship” with Israel. The kindest word that can be used to describe this claim is disingenuous. We have to draw a line. We must not permit an outlaw, renegade state, run by war criminals, to pursue its racist persecution of the Palestinian people. Israel’s fanatacism is every bit as evil as that of ISIS. indeed, if we had dealt justly with the Palestinian people and protected them against Israel, the West would not now be facing such an enraged, dangerous enemy.

Finally, there is simply no excuse at all for supplying anything to Israel that can help it to sustain its present policy. If we are still supplying arms then those concerned must be arrested immediately and brought to justice.

There is no hiding place for ministers or MPs on this Richard, no immunity against prosecution for being culpable in supporting war crimes. Please take a stand. You do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. Stand up to the corruption and cowardice in Whitehall. Resign if our government will not pursue a moral path. That would gain you more support than any toeing of the party line or repeating government propaganda.

If there is concern that Israel would use its nuclear weapons if challenged, then please have the decency to say so.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

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Written by Peter Reynolds

August 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

with 11 comments

My Non-Appearance On Sunday Morning Live

Since Wednesday the BBC had been in touch every day.  This morning they started calling me and testing my webcam and sound from 8.30am.  They had me sitting at my desk from 9.45am, 15 minutes before the programme started.   I was warned I could be in shot at anytime.  I drank too much coffee.  I did get a little nervous and jittery.  I was desperate for a cigarette even though I gave up six months ago!

Who was that suave, debonair, good looking chap in the crisp white shirt on the background screens?  Yours truly of course, waiting patiently for my big moment, trying not to sneer or laugh too raucously at the ridiculous first discussion on animals.

I had my notes blu-tacked to the window frame right behind my webcam, adjusted so that viewers would never lose deep, seductive eye contact with me.

“We’re coming to you now Peter”

“Stand by”

I fancy I can see Susanna Reid flushing slightly in anticipation of introducing me…

“Uh, sorry Peter, we’re not going to be able to come to you.  Out of time I’m afraid.”

Such are the trials and tribulations of my life!  Suddenly the programme was over.

You'll Get Your Chance, Gorgeous

Turning to far more important things, the dogs and I set off for the hills.  My mobile rang and it was Anna from the BBC, apologising and promising me dinner and a hot night with Susanna all at the corporation’s expense.  “No, sorry, I can’t be bought off.  Call me tomorrow. I’m too busy now.”

On the panel in the studio had been Mary Whitehouse’s successor, frumpy Anne Atkins and the utter jerk, Francis Beckett.   What a prat?  Why would anyone want to listen to his obnoxious, ill considered views, delivered with all the grace of a blind, three legged rhino?

Was Tony Blair a force for good?  This was the question I was supposed to be answering.  The BBC had come to me as a result of this article.  I had, of course, considered my response and this is what I intended to say.

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

I do not count myself as a Tony Blair supporter.  I never voted for him.  In fact, at all those elections I deliberately spoiled my ballot papers writing “no suitable candidate” across them.  I am an admirer though.

I think you have to give him credit for a number of things.  He rescued Labour from its madness and turned it into a credible and electable political party.  That was good for democracy.  He finished off the good work that Margaret Thatcher had done on the unions.  He was her true successor.  Now the only nutters that we have left are Tweedledum and Twitterdee from Unite and the mad and bad Bob Crowe from the railways.

You have to give him huge credit for Northern Ireland, for Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  I think he was also responsible for a fundamental change in British politics in that he reconciled caring with competition.  For the first time it was accepted that you could have a social conscience but still believe in business and the free market.

On Iraq, clearly it is a good thing that we got rid of Saddam Hussein although, personally, I think we should have assassinated him.  If there was a moral justification for war,  for shock and awe, then there was for assassination.  Even if we had lost thousands of special forces that would have been better than hundreds of thousands of innocents.  I do think that Blair became carried away with George Bush and that was a mistake.  Bush will be forgotten long before Blair.  He was not of the same calibre.  All he had to offer was the might and power of America.

Fundamentally, what you have to ask is did Tony Blair act in good faith?  I believe he did.  I believe he is an honourable man.  Look backwards from Blair to Thatcher and there’s noone else until Churchill and then Lloyd George.  That is the company in which Tony Blair will be remembered.  He is a great man.

I Was There For You Tone!

The one thing I really don’t understand in this man of vision and intelligence is his conversion to Catholicism.  I can just about accept his Christianity although why a man with his intellect needs organised religion I don’t know.  I really can’t understand why he wants to be allied to the institution that has been responsible for more evil over the last 2000 years than any other.  I think it demeans him.  He has far, far more to offer the world than that stupid old bigot the Pope, for instance.  It seems to me the Catholic Church will benefit far more from him than he will from it.   That’s his business though.

Cameron Calls For An End To Prison Camp Gaza

with 6 comments

A Worthy Leader

I am proud to see our Prime Minister speaking out unequivocally against the Israeli blockade and oppression of Gaza.  See here.

As for Turkey, I agree that they should be welcomed as EU members.  Perhaps the resistance from other parts of Europe is because they see the EU as a social union whereas even the europhiles in the UK still see it primarily as a trading partnership.  There are social benefits to be gained though.  Bringing an Islamic nation, just about the only Islamic democracy, into the EU could do wonders for mutual understanding and peace.

Turkey has been a staunch ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, something that must have been very difficult at times for its people to accept.  It also looks likely to enjoy explosive economic growth in the next few years.  We should welcome Turkey with open arms although there must be appropriate controls on immigration.  Any good would be undone if we were to be inundated with Turkish immigrants.

Send British Troops To Gaza. Nazi Israel Must Be Stopped.

with 30 comments

The Israeli pirate assault on aid ships seeking to relieve the besieged people of Gaza is just the latest atrocity from this vile and inhuman regime.

Stormtroopers Against Saints

Israel now represents just as much a threat to civilisation as did Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  It constantly flouts UN resolutions, commits war crimes and we are certain that it has weapons of mass destruction.   The civilised world needs to step in.  Israel must be stopped at all costs and this is a cause that it is worth our troops dying for.  It is more urgent and pressing than Afghanistan.  British troops would be better employed in crushing the evil Israelis than they are in fighting the Taliban.  If we do not stand up against the great Nazi evil that Israel has become then we have no right to call ourselves civilised

We should send in the Navy and smash the Israeli blockade, open up a sea corridor to allow aid and relief in.  HMS Daring, with the most advanced anti-aircraft weaponry in the world,  should stop tootling up and down the south coast and blast the Israeli air force out of the sky.   The time for negotiating with and appeasing this pariah state is past.  We must take decisive action now.

Israel

I am not anti-semitic because Arabs are Semites just as much as Jews.  I am not anti-Jewish but I don’t understand the relationship betwen the state of Israel and the Jewish religion.  I am anti-Israel and all men of honour, decency and common sense must be.  Its conduct in Gaza and throughout Palestine is beyond any justification.  Its conduct is always disproportionate.  Its whinging about the little fireworks that the Palestinians shoot in is pathetic.  If  my country was being oppressed and bullied then I would react at least the same.  Suicide bombers against Israeli targets are equally as justified and heroic as any suicide mission against the Nazis in the Second World War.

War Criminal

This may well be my generation’s equivalent of the Spanish Civil War.  Give me a chance to fight against the fascist Israelis and I don’t see how my conscience could deny it.  They need to be given a dose of their own medicine and pulverised into submission, forced to withdraw from the settlements, forced to abandon their entire national strategy and policy.  It is clear that the world made a great mistake in establishing the state of Israel.  Perhaps we should have left them to their fate.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is presently in Canada, a nation famed for its defence of freedom and justice.  He should be immediately arrested and detained as a war criminal.

The onus is now on us.   Obama and Cameron must step up to the plate and condemn this action outright.  US and UK forces must join in this most urgent mission.   Leave the rest of Europe to dither as usual.  We must get on with the job.

The Evil Of Organised Religion

with 12 comments

If we lived in a world without religion there wouldn’t be any conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The Twin Towers would still be standing.  We wouldn’t be hearing the dreadful news about child sexual abuse in Ireland.  The Christian Church and Islam are both condemned for thousands of years of violence and evil.  They are both as bad as each other.  If I had my way they would both be disgraced and proscribed by appropriate public ceremony.

“Too many have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call”

Teach Your Children

These are the immortal words of Crosby Stills & Nash.  Substitute “Christ” with any deity you care to mention.

I accept that in all organised religions there are people who do good. However, an accounting of the last two thousand years: the Crusades, the Inquisition, Palestine, the vile behaviour of priests and nuns, so many wars – shows that religion is seriously in the red and, quite seriously, perhaps it should be illegal.

Worship who or what you want as you want.  The minute that two or more of you get together to promote ideas that lead to death and suffering – well then you’re in a conspiracy.

Shame on the Irish Catholic Church for what it has done to Ireland.  No consequences could be too great or severe for this godless institution.

I pray to the God I believe in for justice and healing.

Barack & Hillary – You’re Out Of Line!

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America’s interference  in the Scottish Justice Minister’s decision on the fate of the so-called Lockerbie Bomber, is uncalled for, inappropriate, tactless, rude, arrogant and just plain wrong.

Whatever your views on the value of mercy towards a man who has only a matter of days or weeks to live and who is very probably innocent of the crime he was convicted of, it is no business of the United States to be interfering like this.

We already kowtow to the Americans far too much.  Our blind obedience into Iraq and Afghanistan.  Our willingness to bow to their demands for the extradition of Gary Mckinnon, a harmless, mentally abnormal individual who is being bullied and persecuted by a country for who the title “the Great Satan” seems increasingly justified.

You, who are responsible for so much state-sanctioned terrorism and bullying, have no business meddling like this in the affairs of Scotland or the UK.

Assassination – a legitimate political tool?

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If our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are morally justified then now we should be mounting a special forces operation to assassinate Robert Mugabe

This man is evil to the core and is beyond any redemption or pardon.  The people of Zimbabwe are relying on the international community to liberate them and surely this is the most effective way to do so with the least collateral damage.

Written by Peter Reynolds

June 22, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Politics

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