A French socialist has denounced Wikileaks as the voice of a 'tyranny of transparency.'
It's far better than the tyranny of secrecy that we suffer under. If Wikileaks had been active immediately before the Iraq War and the truth was known the UK would not have joined Bush's War and 179 British lives would not have been lost.
To assist the march to even great truth, I put down this question today:
Ordinary Written question to: Prime Minister for answer on 02 Dec 2010 12:00 AM
What assessment has he made of the work of the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment?
This is not the most vital revelation. The truth on Afghanistan could destroy the remnants of public support for the madness. Already 70% of the British public want the troops brought back home. Throughout Europe support is crumbling. Nations may soon follow the examples of the Netherlands and Canada. it was the collapse of public support that forced the USA to end the Vietnam conflict.
The public has always been denied the truth when wars are being fought. Why wait for history to tell us that British lives are been sacrificed to a lost cause?
The Western European Union (WEU) is in its death throes.
Its current president and last champion Tory MP Robert Walter (pictured this afternoon) conducted the final funeral rites in Paris this week. It claims to be the only parliamentary scrutiny of European Defence Policy. The European Parliament say they can do the job. They have a reasonable stake in democracy too.
It has the slowest death of any organisation in politics. Lord Tomlinson came to Paris in 1978 to say 'Thank you WEU. You have done a great job. But it's time to pension you off.' 32 years later the stumbling zombie will be laid to rest.
The 38 staff had their redundancy notices today. There is enough money to honour their pension obligations. I cannot make a convincing case for continuing the life of the WEU but I regret its passing. My membership since 1997 has given me insights into world politics and contacts with European politicians that were otherwise inaccessible. The WEU has provided me with a receptive audience of European MPs for my views on Iraq and Afghanistan.
There will be a final meeting in the Spring when the coffin will be nailed down. It's epitaph will be that of an honourable, worthy non-corrupt idealistic European institution that has made a formidable contribution to world understanding and peace.
Tuesday 30 November 2010
The number of war wounded civilians in southern Afghanistan has increased dramatically this year following the military troop surge, an exclusive Channel 4 News investigation has found.
The number of children falling victim to the fighting has also risen dramatically.
In many cases civilians have lost limbs in explosions caused by improvised explosive devices or mine blasts while many others have suffered gunshot wounds or injuries caused by shelling.
Channel 4 News spoke to hospitals in the south of Afghanistan – areas where the Taliban is strongest, and where coalition forces are fighting hardest.
All of the hospitals said they were seeing major increases in war wounded civilians. One of the doctors, Matteo Dell'Aira, told Channel 4 News:"We have more war wounded than we have ever had in our six years of being here."
- Mirwais Hospital, Kandahar – 163 per cent rise on number of war wounded civilians admitted in 10 months of 2010 to 3,056, compared to 1,159 in whole of 2009
- Emergency Hospital, Lashkar Gah – 89 war wounded civilians admitted in October 2009 – 158 admitted in October 2010, a rise of 77 per cent
- Military hospitals across Afghanistan – Minor rise in civilian casualties and "not surprising" to have more civilians than soldiers treated in its facilities on occasion
- Boost Hospital, Lashkar Gah – does not take in trauma patients but says civilians with other illnesses prevented from reaching them in time by war
This is backed up by figures from the United Nations mission on the war in Afghanistan. A report on civilian casualties released in summer by the UN showed that civilian deaths and injuries in the country had increased by 31 per cent year-on-year, to 3,268 in the first six months of 2010. The figures obtained by Channel 4 News on civilian injuries are even higher due to the intensity of the fighting in the south of the country - with injuries caused by war, according to our figures, up by between 77 per cent and 163 per cent.
The UN attributed 76 per cent of the incidents to insurgents – up from 53 per cent in 2009.
Deaths and injuries attributed to NATO and Afghan forces fell to 12 per cent.