Leader of the Liberal Democrats
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Today I am launching new a Liberal Democrat pledge to put service personnel and their welfare at the heart of our defence policy. You can find it here: http://www.NickClegg.com/armedforcespay
Many soldiers fighting on the front line are on salaries lower than those of trainee police and fire fighters. 13,000 members of the armed forces take home less than ?17,000 each year. Under Labour, our lions are being paid peanuts.
Our servicemen are being sent to fight in treacherous conditions in Afghanistan while living close to the poverty line. It is time to stop short-changing our troops.
That is why if elected, the Liberal Democrats would ensure that no service personnel receive less basic pay than someone starting out in the Police or fire brigade.
If you believe our troops should receive better pay, then help us spread the word. Please make sure all your friends know about our new policy, especially those with family members serving in the Armed Forces.
Subject: Re: [E-Supporters] Time to stop short-changing our troops
You are a hypocrite AND AN OPPORTUNIST Mr Clegg. The best way of looking after our armed forces personnel is to make sure they only fight in defensive wars. Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan are wars of aggression. I have just written this letter to Mr Bayley, 'Labour' MP for the City of York. The letter involves one of your senior MPs. Take the trouble to look at the link http://blairfoundation.wordpress.com/ and one of the millions of victims in a war which you and your party fell in with.
David Halpin FRCS
Lance Corporal Glenton - courts martial for obeying international law and conventions
Dear Mr Bayley,
I read this on BBC Online yesterday:- ''Hugh Bayley, Labour MP for the City of York, said he could not comment on L/Cpl Glenton's case but said, "you can't have soldiers picking and choosing what missions they go on". He said: "You couldn't have a police officer deciding that they weren't quite sure whether the law on a particular crime was fair or not and they'd only investigate the crimes which they felt personally committed to. "If you act as a police officer you have to do the whole job and if you sign on for the Army as a soldier you have to do the whole job too."
And I recall this. My physician colleague, Chris Burns-Cox, and myself came before the International Development Committee (or similarly misnamed body) to give informal evidence - Mr Malcolm Bruce chairman. That is,it was unrecorded and probably taken no notice of. This was at my instigation and our aim was to make your committee aware that the hell which had been brought to Iraq , and the illegal and genocidal sanctions which preceded 'Operation Enduring Freedom', had destroyed the health services.
We pleaded that Britain should recognise it had carried out an aggressive war as defined by the Nuremberg Principles and that in law and humanity it should set about restoring the health services in Iraq. Our impression was that the committee members had no feeling for the suffering of millions of Iraqi families and no interest in righting unimaginable wrongs. When I showed images of Ali Abbas whose arms had been incinerated by thermal energy from a thermonuclear 'device' and spoke of the simultaneous incineration of his mum, dad and ten other relatives, there was no indication of outrage in that comfortable committee room by the Thames.
I travelled another 200 miles two weeks later to hear Mr Douglas Alexander, minister at DfID. Within a long diatribe he lied about the medical services in Iraq or instead he had been very poorly informed. He said the services were poor before Shock and Awe (my words) and associated that with a corrupt regime. Black kettles were far from his mind. He denied by exclusion the fact there was a universal health and education service and that in 1991 potable water was available to 89% of the population. As for the part played by our illusory democracy in the destruction of Iraq by illegal sanctions and later by the bombardment and invasion, he made no mention of the bombing of the children's hospital and general hospital in Basra by our brave boys in the Royal Air Force in Desert Storm 1991 (facts via journalist Felicity Arbuthnot who was there).
The fact is Mr Bayley, that almost all members of the House of Commons have been complicit in supreme war crimes - as defined by the Nuremberg Principles. As they state, they are supreme crimes because all other war crimes flow from them - torture, terrorization of civilians, the making of refugees (over 6 million in both countries combined plus 2 million recently in Pakistan), the robbery of natural resources etc.
There will be a trial and you will have no defence. Your erstwhile leader, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair will be first in the dock - see http://blairfoundation.wordpress.com/ Mitigation might be claimed by your legal team if you can see you were very wrong and act upon it. I ask you, we ask you, to support Lance Corporal Glenton at his courts martial. He has seen clearly that these wars are unlawful. He is not resorting to the argument of the doctors at Nuremberg that they were 'obeying orders'. He knows that argument was not accepted and that some were put to death. Your argument is that he must obey orders - whatever. Your support could extend to material help; I see you were joint 1st on Additional Costs Allowance.
(Drs Frost, Burns-Cox and myself supported our colleague Fl Lt Malcolm Kendall-Smith when he refused to return to what was left of Iraq for his third tour. The cruel words of the Advocate General Bayliss at his courts martial were similar to your shallow analysis now. As doctors, we can more easily visualise the great harm done by war and we know also how the returning injured, both in mind and body, are soon cast aside.)
David Halpin FRCS
On Iraq I may agree but Afghanistan is not a war of aggression, certainly not by British forces. We have duties to the poor AND the oppressed.
Sent: 02 September 2009 16:55
To: YOUNGER-ROSS, Richard
Subject: [Fwd: RE: [E-Supporters] Time to stop short-changing our troops]
Our duties to the poor and oppressed are not to be met by war. Or would you justify an invasion of Gaza, the people of which are within that definition? There has been mission creep in Afghanistan, just as much as there has been in Iraq. You know that the US started planning for the invasion in the summer of 2001 before the false flag of '9/11'. That winter after the high altitude bombing of some of the poorest people on earth, there were about two million refugees in the high country in extreme cold. There has been no attempt to record the numbers of those killed and maimed, such is allied concern for the 'poor and oppressed'. You must not pretend with your colleagues in the House that your motives are ulterior and beneficent.
The attached letter (see below) contains some facts which are never aired - certainly not in the mother of Parliaments. I do not think it was published by the Western Morning News (it was) which prefers to massage raw patriotism with constant reference to our brave, and abused lads. Might I quote your 'poor AND oppressed' sentence above in articles and speeches? If in those words you express official Lib Dem policy, then we can conclude the party has taken on that policy of Bush and Blair which blesses military intervention in countries where its people are deemed to be oppressed - ?like the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Letter Western Morning News 12 July 2009
Afghanistan, patriotism and hide the facts from the fellows.
Dear Letters Editor,
I reply to the letter from Lord Clifford of Chudleigh July 11 'War Protest was Misguided'.
In all the words about the war on Afghanistan there is no discussion in the media as to its legality or morality. Both Lord Clifford and Mr Brown avoid this. Our unelected Prime Minister is currently justifying it by saying the war is to 'keep our streets safe'. As thermobaric missiles from robot aircraft incinerate and shred families, all Afghans seethe in anger.
The current focus by many apologists for this war, as with Iraq, is on the adequacy of the equipment. Certainly our forces should be armed well for 'defensive war' (as per the Nuremberg Principles). They should be armed with the facts too.
As mother's sons – and daughters too, get ready to be flown into 'theatre', tell them this. That massive hydrocarbon reserves lie to the north in the Caspian basin and that according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Industry, Afghanistan may be possessing up to 36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 3.6 billion barrels of petroleum and up to 1,325 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Tell them there is a long border with Iran to the west, a state with its own large reserves of precious natural resources. Tell them that Britain lost all but a few of 16,000 men there in 1842. And we could tell them how our friend, the US, empowered the Taliban whom now we fight.
Five good men were lost to IEDs the other day. Eight were injured and some, no doubt, terribly so. I think of them as well.
'Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship' Erich Fromm (1900-1980), U.S. psychologist.
David Halpin FRCS
YOUNGER-ROSS, Richard wrote: David you would strengthen your arguments if you did not distort what I or for that matter what my party says.
A corrupt and morally bankrupt 'legislature' - and country
Your ref: [Fwd: RE: Time to stop short-changing our troops]
To Richard Younger-Ross MP Teignbridge
This is long but the subjects demand detail. I intended to reply immediately but I am constantly diverted, as you must be also. I have spent 8 weeks in communication with the Israeli Occupation Force getting them to note my intention to enter Gaza through Erez with a doctor colleague and a friend to work on behalf of the UK registered Dove and Dolphin Charity. 'Permission' has been refused on the grounds that we are not registered with the Zionist Ministry of Social Affairs. I think that involves having an office within the illegal entity. It is now in the hands of the British Consulate in Jerusalem where Suha does not 'hold out much hope'. With a blatantly Zionist ME minister in Lewis, and a Zionist Foreign Secretary in Miliband, I do not hold out much hope either. How disgraceful and inhuman that a bona fide charity should not be able to do its bit amid the human and material destruction of 'Israel's' shoah, and that HMG are fully complicit with it all.
You have been courteous to me as a constituent so it is awkward that I should now write so. I have written and contacted you a good deal, and mostly about the excruciating sore of British source - Palestine. When I eventually receive a reply from the FCO it is in hard copy (why not digital?). It answers nothing. Your note or letter to the minister is not seen by me, so the conversation is incomplete and action is stalled. The last items were the attempt to drown 16 of us 53 miles off Haifa on 30 December and my protests about the continual firing on Palestinian fishermen. The two replies from the FCO showed it had no concern for two UK citizens or for international law. As for the fishermen, you told me some months ago that 'Ed' Davey had the file. I have heard nothing since except that daily and potentially lethal attacks on the fishermen continue, with one being beheaded two weeks ago - presumably by cannon fire.
'Politics is about hard choices' – you say. 'Politics', and it is a poor word, is partly about choices but that is based in essence on truthful information and on law, both international and national. We have seen very little of law or truth. Liars like Scarlett dominate, and those in the all powerful media.**
'We have duties to the poor AND the oppressed.' - R Y-R. I have spoken to this piece of imperialism, this excuse for 'resource invasion'. I attach a photo of one of the living from the NATO attack on the people milling round the tankers in Kunduz province. The boy swathed in bandages (photo attached), who might have joined Allah since, is a hard choice? My letter to the WMN in reply to my Lord Clifford attempts to speak of our main reasons for being there - above. Please acknowledge that the invasion was planned before ''9/11''. You justify it by the bombing of the US embassy in Kenya etc. Who proved guilt there? There has been no judicial response to ''9/11'' or the 2005 London bombings. No inquest on the 52 victims or on the 4 alleged bombers have been completed as far as I know and no judicial inquiry. Instead there is a commentary, is there not, from a Home Office senior? This is not the law of a country which good men and women fought for.
In the time since you wrote I have accumulated some useful references to back up my case. Yesterday , 6 dead Italian soldiers from the war for the 'poor and oppressed' in Afghanistan were being laid to rest. The Prime Minister - philanderer, media mogul and fascist was there in faux solemnity http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=2 (Blair at the Cenotaph)
Two days ago I heard that your leader had called for a war cabinet. Really? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/17/on-brink-failure-in-afghanistan What he might be saying is 'why did we not take up the offer of having the mythical OBL taken to a country and tried under sharia?' Or 'why was a full scale, pre-planned invasion of a tribal country a lawful response to an alleged and massive criminal attack on New York and 3000 plus people?'
Some useful references to inform debate – I read Mr Ashdown's shallow, useless words in the Times.
See Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President, Neil Mackay - and this -
Major (P) Ralph Peters is assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he is responsible for future warfare.
'There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. We are building an information-based military to do that killing. There will still be plenty of muscle power required, but much of our military art will consist in knowing more about the enemy than he knows about himself, manipulating data for effectiveness and efficiency, and denying similar advantages to our opponents. This will involve a good bit of technology, but the relevant systems will not be the budget vampires, such as manned bombers and attack submarines, that we continue to buy through inertia, emotional attachment, and the lobbying power of the defense industry. Our most important technologies will be those that support soldiers and Marines on the ground, that facilitate command decisions, and that enable us to kill accurately and survive amid clutter (such as multidimensional urban battlefields). The only imaginable use for most of our submarine fleet will be to strip out the weapons, dock them tight, and turn the boats into low-income housing. There will be no justification for billion-dollar bombers at all.'
Note German officer Colonel Klein.
Allegation of white phosphorous use in Kunduz September 12, 2009, 10:24 am, in reply to "Well Done Jo! This will be on Front Page Sat 12.09.2009 ..." Can't vouch for the source, but here's their take on the incident:
Curiously, the kidnapped New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell was there to investigate in Kunduz just as he was in Fallujah, scene of his well-publicised previous kidnapping. For all his fearless roving in these war zones, I don't remember reading any fearless war-reportage in the New York, or London, Times on these scandalous incidents of mass murder.....?
As you will remember - despite the media black-out on the issue of his kidnapping - he was promptly freed by NATO in an operation which left dead Afghan translator Sultan Munadi, para Cpl. John Harrison and a number of un-named civilians and/or 'Taliban'.
More of the poor and oppressed. We have been content to have a so called government in Kabul - essentially a town council, with one third or more made up of warlords. Dostum was guilty of suffocating and shooting hundreds of prisoners from Masar Sharif inside shipping containers in the burning sun. Of course, HMG is quiet on that one.
Taliban Cover 97% of Afghanistan: Report
By Virginia M. Moncrieff
September 11, 2009 "Huffington Post" -- New research indicates that 80% of Afghanistan now has a permanent Taliban presence and that 97% of the country has "substantial Taliban activity."
How Many Dead Non-White Civilians Does It Take for the U.S. to Notice? Putting the Kunduz Massacre in Context Prof. Marc W. Herold
US Supported Afghan Government Warlords Control World Heroin Trade http://126.96.36.199/news/1/11207-us-supported-afghan-government-warlords-control-world-heroin-trade.html Thursday, 20 August 2009 05:29
by Craig Murray
Craig Murray is the former U.K. Ambassador for Uzbekistan who was sacked over his protests of the US and UK's use of the country as a torture pit stop in the 'War on Terror'. He is a human rights activist, writer, Rector of the University of Dundee and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law.
There is an excellent interview with former head of the Pakistani intelligence service, General Hamid Gul, here. He makes some very strong points. It is undoubtedly true that it is warlords in the US-backed Karzai government who control 90% of the world heroin trade, and that the trade has expanded to its highest ever levels under coalition control. It is undoubtedly true that US foreign policy in the region is dictated by the desire to access Central Asian oil and gas. It is also undoubtedly true that the US works closely with Mossad and with India in Central Asia, and that many of its attacks appear calculated to stir up rather than ease conflict.
Turning the focus of our discussion to the Afghan drug problem, I noted that the U.S. mainstream corporate media routinely suggest that the Taliban is in control of the opium trade. However, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Anti-Government Elements (or AGEs), which include but are not limited to the Taliban, account for a relatively small percentage of the profits from the drug trade. Two of the U.S.'s own intelligence agencies, the CIA and the DIA, estimate that the Taliban receives about $70 million a year from the drugs trade. That may seem at first glance like a significant amount of money, but it's only about two percent of the total estimated profits from the drug trade, a figure placed at $3.4 billion by the UNODC last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. has just announced its new strategy for combating the drug problem: placing drug traffickers with ties to insurgents -and only drug lords with ties to insurgents - on a list to be eliminated. The vast majority of drug lords, in other words, are explicitly excluded as targets under the new strategy. Or, to put it yet another way, the U.S. will be assisting to eliminate the competition for drug lords allied with occupying forces or the Afghan government and helping them to further corner the market.
I pointed out to the former ISI chief that Afghan opium finds its way into Europe via Pakistan, via Iran and Turkey, and via the former Soviet republics. According to the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, convoys under General Rashid Dostum - who was reappointed last month to his government position as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army by President Hamid Karzai - would truck the drugs over the border. And President Karzai's own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been accused of being a major drug lord. So I asked General Gul who was really responsible for the Afghan drug trade.
"Now, let me give you the history of the drug trade in Afghanistan," his answer began. "Before the Taliban stepped into it, in 1994 - in fact, before they captured Kabul in September 1996 - the drugs, the opium production volume was 4,500 tons a year. Then gradually the Taliban came down hard upon the poppy growing. It was reduced to around 50 tons in the last year of the Taliban. That was the year 2001. Nearly 50 tons of opium produced. 50. Five-zero tons. Now last year the volume was at 6,200 tons. That means it has really gone one and a half times more than it used to be before the Taliban era." He pointed out, correctly, that the U.S. had actually awarded the Taliban for its effective reduction of the drug trade. On top of $125 million the U.S. gave to the Taliban ostensibly as humanitarian aid, the State Department awarded the Taliban $43 million for its anti-drug efforts. "Of course, they made their mistakes," General Gul continued. "But on the whole, they were doing fairly good. If they had been engaged in meaningful, fruitful, constructive talks, I think it would have been very good for Afghanistan."
Referring to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, General Gul told me in a later conversation that Taliban leader "Mullah Omar was all the time telling that, look, I am prepared to hand over Osama bin Laden to a third country for a trial under Shariah. Now that is where - he said [it] twice - and they rejected this. Because the Taliban ambassador here in Islamabad, he came to me, and I asked him, 'Why don't you study this issue, because America is threatening to attack you. So you should do something.' He said, 'We have done everything possible.' He said, 'I was summoned by the American ambassador in Islamabad' - I think Milam was the ambassador at that time - and he told me that 'I said, "Look, produce the evidence." But he did not show me anything other than cuttings from the newspapers.' He said, 'Look, we can't accept this as evidence, because it has to stand in a court of law. You are prepared to put him on trial. You can try him in the United Nations compound in Kabul, but it has to be a Shariah court because he's a citizen under Shariah law. Therefore, we will not accept that he should be immediately handed over to America, because George Bush has already said that he wants him "dead or alive", so he's passed the punishment, literally, against him." Referring to the U.S. rejection of the Taliban offer to try bin Laden in Afghanistan or hand him over to a third country, General Gul added, "I think this is a great opportunity that they missed."
Returning to the drug trade, General Gul named the brother of President Karzai, Abdul Wali Karzai. "Abdul Wali Karzai is the biggest drug baron of Afghanistan," he stated bluntly. He added that the drug lords are also involved in arms trafficking, which is "a flourishing trade" in Afghanistan. "But what is most disturbing from my point of view is that the military aircraft, American military aircraft are also being used. You said very rightly that the drug routes are northward through the Central Asia republics and through some of the Russian territory, and then into Europe and beyond. But some of it is going directly. That is by the military aircraft. I have so many times in my interviews said, 'Please listen to this information, because I am an aware person.' We have Afghans still in Pakistan, and they sometimes contact and pass on the stories to me. And some of them are very authentic. I can judge that. So they are saying that the American military aircraft are being used for this purpose. So, if that is true, it is very, very disturbing indeed."
The full interview ranges more widely and is well worth reading. I was unaware that Gul had been banned from the UK and US. But I am unsurprised. I can tell you from direct inside knowledge that the UK/US view is that the ISI is riven with Al-Qaida sympathisers. This suspicion is directed at Pakistanis who are in fact not in any way Al-Qaida sympathisers, but simply ask sceptical and critical questions about the "War on Terror".
The demonisation of such people again tends to create the very conflict and anti-Western feeling which is pretended to be the concern. In fact conflict, which the US sees itself as in a position ultimately to win militarily, tends to be the aim. General Gul evidently feels that destabilisation of Pakistan is a US strategic goal. That is certainly increasingly the result of US policy, but I doubt it is acknowledged, even internally, as an aim.
We are living in the most evil times. Many of the western 'democracies' are lead by humans who are psychopaths, Blair and Brown being examples http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=71&Itemid=2
Brown from a talk I gave in April:-
''His ability to lie matches his Granita pal. Here are some extracts from a speech he gave at Camp Bastion:- Its thanks to you that Afghanistan has a democracy now LIE, where it never had it before.
Its thanks to you that hospitals and health centres are now being built. LIE
This area and the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan is the crucible for global terrorism. Its a breeding ground for global terrorists. LIE There is a line of terror, a chain of terror that goes from Pakistan and the border areas of Afghanistan right back to the streets of all our countries, and I think its important to recognise that if we do not take action here and we do not fight back against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, then people in Britain and in other countries represented here are less safe and more insecure and more at risk as a result. LIE
Which brings us back to Westminster and Whitehall. I think you gained your seat in 1997, with Patrick Nicholls being your predecessor. Do you think parliament has advanced our country and the world about it in these 12 years? A genocidal war on Iraq with the use of genocidal and gene cidal 'depleted' uranium, which was also used in Kosovo in the 'liberation' of Yugoslavia from socialism, and Afghanistan, and Gulf War 1. Palestine hanging by a thread with a slow genocide upon which spasms of massive killing and maiming are superimposed. A Britain which is not at ease with itself (war being a factor), often illiterate and ill informed by a media which has a cosy incestuous relationship ** with the government. The greatest rich-poor divide since 1968. Banking failure which was foreseen and indeed encouraged followed by the privatization of profit and the nationalization of debt as Vincent Cable has said.
BBC Online today 'The government's overall debt now stands at £804.8bn, or 57.5% of GDP, an increase of ｣172bn in the past year.' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8265628.stm and this probably excludes PFI debt.
I say, and many might agree, that our parliament is ill informed and incestuous within its bubble. The whipping system is vile and there is little real opposition. The present spewings from each party on 'kutz' is an example. The three main parties are neo-liberal, so it is no surprise to me that PFI in the NHS, schools etc goes unopposed and that the NHS is being further destabilised for total privatisation. There is not a cigarette paper between the three parties. I have seen a sample of the 'members' at close hand and I have described them as 'dead eyed' ie. that is lacking soul and with no sense of urgency.
It needs rebuilding from the base, or rather revolution. The party system must be dismantled; it serves nothing but vested interests. Preference should be given to the election of independent candidates of known principle and competence – people with expert knowledge. Career politicians, whose main skills are with the tongue should be shunned. They have nothing to contribute. Without a crew of calibre who care, the ship of state drifts onwards to the rocks.
Millions of people share these or similar views. Obviusly Greg Dyke does and expressed them at your conference fringe. He confirms too that the BBC is in the incestuous triangle which continues to delude most of the people.
The extent and the depth of corruption in both houses were not imagined. Add these current examples below among many. I think of your fellow MP for the South Hams, Mr Steen, a 'lawyer'. And a thief, who should be subject to the full force of the criminal law and who should have resigned immediately, with many others. Instead he waits until the end of this parliament in order to collect his lump sum and the fattest public pension. Meanwhile your treasury spokesman speaks of reducing treasury supplementation of public service pensions. The arrogance and the hypocrisy are, literally, breath taking.
Our democracy is an illusion.
For truth, reason and justice
http://tiny.cc/AAjvp unpaid trough bills MPs owe nearly ｣140,000 in unpaid, taxpayer-subsidised food and drink bills.
The NuLabour Children's Minister who was all over the media when the Vetting and Barring nonsense came out, defrauds the state of ｣140,000. Note the husband is a barrister. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6841374.ece
Follows on the news that the Attorney General who employed the illegal immigrant from Tonga has also defrauded the state. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6841415.ece
** Mr Dyke... said there had never been a greater separation between the "political class" and the public.
"I tried and failed to get the problem properly discussed when I was at the BBC and I was stopped, interestingly, by a combination of the politicos on the board of governors, one** of whom was married to the man who claimed for cleaning his moat, the cabinet interestingly - the Labour cabinet - who decided to have a meeting, only about what we were trying to discuss, and the political journalists at the BBC. "Why? Because, collectively, they are all part of the problem. They are part of one Westminster conspiracy. They don't want anything to change. It's not in their interests."--