The War Office

So with war, arms sales and propaganda in its brief, the MoD’s name is pure newspeak. In Orwell’s classic, the slogan “war is peace” allows a simple substitution of “peace” for “war”. When the book was written, Britain had the War Office, which was renamed the Ministry of Defence in 1964.

This misnomer is at the heart of Britain’s doublethink today. A modern democratic country like Britain doesn’t start wars. We just use “hard power” when “soft power” doesn’t get us what we want.

You can have any number of debates about the merits of liberal interventionism, “just wars” and the like. But, by definition, intervention is not defence. As a positive spin is put on Iraq and memories of its deception fade, the government is making a determined effort to rehabilitate war. Just don’t insult our intelligence by calling it defence.

Posted in Culture(!), War. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

Bilal Hussein To Be Freed

Although the Iraqi authorities dropped all allegations last week it has not been until now the US military confirmed it would release him-

The U.S. military said Monday it will release Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, more than two years after he was detained by U.S. Marines on suspicions of links to insurgents. The military said it has determined Hussein is not a threat and plans to free him Wednesday.

In the past week, Iraqi judicial committees dismissed all allegations against Hussein and ordered his release. The last allegations were dropped Sunday — a day after Hussein marked his second full year in custody. The AP and Hussein, 36, have denied any improper contacts and said he was only doing his job as a journalist working in a war zone.

British journalist freed after being held hostage in Basra for two months. Sami Al-Hajj is still in Guantanamo & Jawed Ahmad is still in Bagram Airbase jail.

“speak[ing] for a large number of news organizations, many of whom are not really talking publicly about this at the moment,” when he made this statement about the dangers facing reporters in Iraq: “The trouble is that a lot of the military – particularly the American…military – do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work. And I think that this…is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity.”– Nik Gowing BBC

Posted in Iraq, Media. Tags: , . Comments Off on Bilal Hussein To Be Freed