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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The impact of the WikiLeaks revelations


    by Sunny
    3rd December, 2010 at 3:51 pm    

    This article by Richard Adams lists seven key lessons so far from ‘cable-gate’:

    1. Silvio Berlusconi ‘profited from secret deals’ with Vladimir Putin
    Yes, we may have known that these two men were close – but this is the first time allegations of financial ties have surfaced, with Putin allegedly giving Berlusconi a cut of energy contracts.

    2. The US pressured Spain over CIA rendition and Guantánamo
    The extraordinary tale of how the Bush administration threatened Spain to leave off its prosecutions over the US’s use of torture – and how senior Spanish legal officials connived with the US to help them.

    3. US diplomats spied on the UN’s leadership
    The shocking news that the US state department, acting on a wishlist drawn up by the CIA, asked its diplomats to obtain credit card accounts, email addresses, mobile phone numbers and even the DNA of UN officials, a possible breach of international law.

    4. The scale of Afghan corruption is overwhelming
    Even knowing that there was widespread corruption is no preparation for the magnitude of it, suggesting the US has a hopeless task in Afghanistan.

    5. Hillary Clinton queried Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
    A hugely damaging revelation in Argentina, straining relations with the US after the cables revealed an official request to find out if the country’s president was on “medication” and how she dealt with stress.

    6. The Bank of England governor played backroom politics
    Mervyn King faced calls for his resignation and a very uncomfortable position after he was revealed to be advising the Conservatives on fiscal policy while denigrating them in secret to US diplomats.

    7. The British government remains in thrall to the US
    Over Diego Garcia, over an international cluster munitions ban, over using British bases for rendition and spying flights, the British authorities were either ignored, manipulated or co-opted.

  • People going on about how ‘tedious’ or unsurprising these revelations are simply not even worth bothering with at this point. They just illustrate their own lack of knowledge on what’s come out so far. A German minister has now also resigned after admitting to acting as a mole for the US embassy during negotiations to form a government.

    Plus - Foreign contractors hired Afghan ‘dancing boys’, WikiLeaks cable reveals - completely irrelevant I’m sure you’ll agree.

  • The worrying developments in the way that Amazon and other companies are relenting to US pressure and dropping WikiLeaks hosting.
  • Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted that nobody has died because of WikiLeaks
  • Also - Index on Censorship is doing very well in leading the way on what this means for free speech.

  •               Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Civil liberties






    78 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. earwicga

      RT @sunny_hundal: The impact of the WikiLeaks revelations http://bit.ly/hiNBzE


    2. smileandsubvert

      The impact of the WikiLeaks revelations http://pulsene.ws/rW8M




    1. MaidMarian — on 3rd December, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

      Yes Sunny, but these cables are explicitly not policy. They are opinions. Unless you think that people should not have opinions or make provisional judgments?

      To me this is like the CRU hacks. The CRU scientists should have their research held to scrutiny, not their personal e-mails. Did you think that the CRU e-mail hack was OK Sunny? I think that they are a bunch of eco-loonies, but at the time I always said it was wrong to judge on private exchanges.

      If you want scrutiny by gossip, this is all well and good. Certainly it is in the interests of the 5 powerful media organisations. It is certainly easier than doing any real journalism.

    2. Sofia — on 3rd December, 2010 at 4:33 pm  

      How much of this opinion works its way into policy?

    3. earwicga — on 3rd December, 2010 at 5:03 pm  

      This post would be more useful if the titles linked to the articles, like they do on the original article.

    4. Lucy — on 3rd December, 2010 at 5:16 pm  

      That’s true [earwicga @3], but please note that if you click on live link ‘Richard Adams’ at the top of this op, you’ll arrive at the original article and live links to all seven ‘key lessons’…

    5. Lucy — on 3rd December, 2010 at 5:24 pm  

      There is also a very interesting debate on transparency that took place on ‘Democracy Now’ today:

      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/3/is_wikileaks_julian_assange_a_hero

      Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a Hero? Glenn Greenwald Debates Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News

    6. otto — on 3rd December, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

      About the other bullet points fine and good, but the Cristina mental health thing hasn’t been hugely damaging.

      This report today in La Nacion…..

      http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1330246

      ….notes the response given by US Embassy in Buenos Aires (not the cable, but the reporter spoke to the person who answered the State Dept queries) and it seems to have made a very fair, even positive, analysis of Cristina and her way of thinking and doing things.

    7. damon — on 3rd December, 2010 at 5:58 pm  

      This WikiLeaks stuff is red meat for activists, who want to know everything and tweet about everything 24/7, but there other opinions.

    8. Niels Christensen — on 3rd December, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

      Sunny you are to happy with all the news, but also to fast. It isn’t a minister, but Westerwelle’s chief of staff who resigned.

    9. Niaz — on 3rd December, 2010 at 6:48 pm  

      damon
      “This WikiLeaks stuff is red meat for activists, who want to know everything and tweet about everything 24/7, but there other opinions.”

      You mean like people who secretly infiltrate mosques (and ONLY mosques not any other places of worship ) to spy on what happens there , then report back on this website, as you do ?

    10. damon — on 3rd December, 2010 at 7:14 pm  

      Niaz, that was my first hand experience of actually being in the (two) Dublin mosques for friday prayers earlier this year.
      It’s a bit different to 250,000 WikiLeaks.

    11. Niaz — on 3rd December, 2010 at 7:23 pm  

      How? Only in scale…it’s the same methodology

    12. damon — on 3rd December, 2010 at 7:41 pm  

      How? Only in scale…it’s the same methodology

      I went along to friday Prayers at this Dublin mosque earlier in the year, and the imam was talking mad bollocks about ‘Zionist plots’ to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque in J’lem.
      And the same the next friday in the other big Dublin mosque. Where like the other one, most of the congregation are new people to Ireland, from the Middle East and Africa.

      That’s up there with any WikiLeaks story IMO.
      Because you want to know these small details.
      Those Imams should be kicked out on their arses for trying to direct people new to Ireland in that direction.

    13. MaidMarian — on 3rd December, 2010 at 7:57 pm  

      Niaz -

      ‘You mean like people who secretly infiltrate mosques (and ONLY mosques not any other places of worship ) to spy on what happens there , then report back on this website, as you do ?’

      Why not go to another place of worship yourself and report on what happens?

    14. Niaz — on 3rd December, 2010 at 8:20 pm  

      Maid Marian because I’m not interested in stirring up religious hatred. Damon is.

    15. Niels Christensen — on 3rd December, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

      As I mentioned in an earlier thread one of the most important part of the leaks so far, is the cables on Turkey.
      According to Hürriyet the following assessment was made of Erdogan
      “One of the most mysterious assessments in the cables belongs to a spiritual leader who used to be Erdo?an’s adviser and a religious cleric who said, “Tayyip Bey believes in God… but does not trust him.”

      Guess you could say the same for every other ruler in the middle east.

    16. Kulvinder — on 3rd December, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      I’m also finding the people who go on about the irrelevance of the leaks to be irritating; they’re causing significant political reactions and generating public debate. Stpries that would have been headline news on any other day, the FCO misleading parliament over Diego Garcia, the debates between the UK the US and Cyprus over rendition/U2 flights from Akrotiri etc get hardly any air time because issues like the US possibly breaking international law by spying on the UN or Berlusconi and Putin’s relationship rightly takes prominence.

      This is one of the most significant stories of the past few decades, its potentially so huge its difficult to judge just what impact it will have; but dismissing it is like dismissing the expenses scandal by flippantly declaring ‘everyone knows politicians are corrupt’ and shows just how little appreciation some have for major issues.

    17. Kulvinder — on 3rd December, 2010 at 9:17 pm  

      Yes Sunny, but these cables are explicitly not policy. They are opinions. Unless you think that people should not have opinions or make provisional judgments?

      The spy cables WERE regarding policy!!

    18. joe90 — on 3rd December, 2010 at 9:35 pm  

      Ken Livingstone on question time last night made a good point regarding the wikileaks diplomatic cables release.

      “most of what is said in international politics/diplomacy is lies and hypocrisy. It is really about power and greed.”

      “You have situation of saudi arabia and all these arab countries denouncing the great satan and zionism, but privately telling america to bomb iran another muslim country”.

      In my view the people of these countries if they didn’t already know, have confirmation that their leaders and regimes are bloody hypocrites and liars. How can it be a bad thing that people are told the truth?

    19. amira — on 3rd December, 2010 at 9:41 pm  

      joe90

      In my view the people of these countries if they didn’t already know, have confirmation that their leaders and regimes are bloody hypocrites and liars. How can it be a bad thing that people are told the truth?

      How naive! People in those countries already KNOW this and that their leadership is lying to them. Its virtually the same in all dictatorships, where conspiracy theories about the rulers abound. Ironically in democracies where there is the illusion of freedom of speech , leaders ae believed more and conspiracy theories considered wacko.

    20. douglas clark — on 3rd December, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

      Niaz,

      Secretly infiltrate?

      Birmingham Central Mosque seems to have a more open idea about visitors than you do:

      The Birmingham Central Mosque is open to visitors throughout the year. We receive a large number of visitors from schools, colleges, universities and other institutions wishing to find out more about a mosque and the Islamic faith for projects and studies.

      Which, frankly, seems a far healthier attitude than your own.
      One of the Dublin mosques has this to say to it’s neighbours:

      http://www.islaminireland.com/

    21. douglas clark — on 3rd December, 2010 at 10:08 pm  

      Maid Marian @ 1,

      How do you think policy is formulated?

      To some extent the information simply confirms what we have always known, particularly item 7 on Richard Adams list.

      The Diego Garcia case has been well known for a long, long time. Plane spotters, for goodness sake, knew about UK airports being used in rendition flights, the bit about cluster bombs was new to me but fits a pattern, don’t you think?

      If there is a conspiracy, it is one of governments attempting to keep us ignorant.

      Why would you argue otherwise?

      Just for the record, I think rendition is a complete utter disgrace and any evidence that it occurs, (or is prevalent), should be in the public domain, not the secret one.

    22. Niaz — on 3rd December, 2010 at 10:16 pm  

      Douglas @ 20 .. that’s great . So why damon’s cloak and dagger approach ?

    23. douglas clark — on 3rd December, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

      Niaz,

      Correct me if I am wrong, but islam is a proselytising religion, much like christianity. On that basis it must open it’s doors to all. If damon wanders in and doesn’t like what he hears, then there ought to be plenty of other voices that did like what they heard. No?

      If I recall correctly, damon felt that the Dublin Mosques he entered concentrated on I/P more than he felt was warranted.

      As neither you nor I were there, we have to respect that at face value, absent another voice saying otherwise.

      Apropos nothing much, I think calling damons’ conduct ‘secret infiltration’ is, well, a bit much to be honest.

      damon claims to report on what he sees’, if you are going to challenge him - as is your right - at least challenge what he says rather than trying to paint him as someone out of a seedy spy novel.

      For instance, had I wandered into a mosque - don’t worry, it is highly unlikely - and I’d heard some of that stuff, and reported it here, would you instantly decide I was a ‘secret infiltrator’ too?

      Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t. It is for others to decide the merits of that.

      My point is that playing the man and not the ball is not really what we should be about.

      There are plenty of other web sites that concentrate on that sort of smear tactic. I like to think, and probably fall far short of it myself, in thinking that should be PP USP….

    24. Kismet Hardy — on 4th December, 2010 at 5:31 am  

      I feel bad for amazon. Sting must be sad

    25. Kismet Hardy — on 4th December, 2010 at 5:47 am  

      On a seriarse note, I’m with damon. Fucking Imams ruined my family. My folks ran a lucrative business importing wine from lovely vineyards to indian restaurants, then at the height of the recession in 88 some cocksucker imam told my dad the reason his son had long hair was because he was trading in haram, so he gave up the business and switched to hot towels which wasn’t a business at all and swiftly went bankrupt and today they ask me to bring them food when I visit. All because of fucking imams. Who also told me in my teenage years to pull my armpit hair out because the prophet did fuck only knows why and now my armpits look like the forgotten garden of gay. Fuck imams.

    26. Boyo — on 4th December, 2010 at 8:10 am  

      @25 “Forgotten garden of gay”? Whatever….

      I’m sorry Sunny, I’m one of those complacent people who finds it hard to be surprised - perhaps the War on Terror has left us all a little jaded.

      However, this minor story in the Indi today about US contempt for the “special relationship” made me hoot.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-paranoid-about-special-relationship-us-officials-said-2151052.html

    27. Boyo — on 4th December, 2010 at 8:15 am  

      I would add I would rather have Silvio cynically cutting deals with gangsters on behalf of his nation than British politicians selling their nation down the river for a pat on the head.

    28. cjcjc — on 4th December, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

      Lesson #8 - everyone is shit scared of Iran (as they should be) but have to pretend that Israel is the real problem

      Of course Al-Ken wouldn’t agree with that, poor baby.

    29. Boyo — on 4th December, 2010 at 12:33 pm  

      TBH I don’t think either are the real “problem”.

      The Arabs fear Iran, but not even Hitler launched a war he thought he would lose - so why should Iran unilaterally attack Israel or the West? Their president ain’t that dumb - also Israel provides the perfect panacea for all that ails so much of that part of the world: blame it on the Jews.

      No, if there is a “problem”, it’s truly Pakistan, simply for its instablity and combustability. True, the US and its allies exacerbated the problem by fudging Afghanistan - but the fact remains that if there is one country that could lead to nuclear boms going off anywhere - there it is.

    30. damon — on 4th December, 2010 at 1:56 pm  

      Kismet Hardy, they do obviously import some blockheads for Imams and it can cause divisiveness.

      Niaz, some people on this Northern Ireland forum resent me sticking my nose into where it’s not wanted too.
      http://www.politics.ie/culture-community/135431-twelfth-parade-belfast-2010-a-5.html#post2907053

      Just think about what I said about the Dublin Imams as a WikiLeak - and try not to be so sullen.

    31. fred — on 4th December, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

      Boyo

      also Israel provides the perfect panacea for all that ails so much of that part of the world: blame it on the Jews.

      Much as certain communities here do to hard line zionists like yourself and Mel Phillips and Harrys Place and the (far) right.

      Blame it all on the Mozlems.

    32. Niels Christensen — on 4th December, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

      Oh Livingstone, he talks but can he walk ?
      “You have situation of saudi arabia and all these arab countries denouncing the great satan and zionism, but privately telling america to bomb iran another muslim country”.

      Livingstone forgets that the shia and sunni has been fighting since the beginning of Islam, and Iran isn’t an arab country. But of course he is seeking the part of the electorate who believe in The Ummah instead of reality.

    33. Boyo — on 4th December, 2010 at 6:59 pm  

      Fred, if I’m a “hardline Zionist” then you must surely be a black shirt, although I do envy your kind sometimes - it must be wonderful being congenitally stupid. So much easier than actually having to think.

    34. jamal — on 4th December, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      Niels Christensen

      you talk complete rubbish, livingstone made statement about saudi arabian leadership which is valid. To the public saudi rulers make big angry speeches against america and the israelis but behind the scenes they are telling the Americans to destroy Iran.

      Iran is muslim country doesn’t matter arab or not,so again livingstone was correct to call it like that.

    35. Niaz — on 5th December, 2010 at 12:01 am  

      Well said Jamal ! People like Niels, boyo and damon hide behind the “Muslims are a religion” shtick to hide their hostility to non-white people or those who look different.

      Islamophobia means never having to admit you’re racist

    36. Kismet Hardy — on 5th December, 2010 at 12:13 am  

      “@25 “Forgotten garden of gay”? Whatever….”

      I have no idea either. Keyboards are dangerous after dark

    37. douglas clark — on 5th December, 2010 at 12:53 am  

      Kismet Hardy @ 36,

      But I did wonder, did you mean any of it? Don’t reply if you don’t want to…

    38. damon — on 5th December, 2010 at 1:24 am  

      What should we do with Niaz like people? Try to keep them out of the country? They’re obviously not any good for anything, apart from moaning and sowing disharmony. There’s no point trying to reason with them as they’re on a mission to drag things down.
      Just look at this thread for example.

      Personally I think this is more important than any wetting oneself over WikiLeaks news.
      People like Niaz would have the new Muslims to Ireland stitched up in backward Islamist leadership at their mosques, and bitch if anyone suggests that’s not so good.

    39. Niaz — on 5th December, 2010 at 2:32 am  

      What should we do with damon like people? Try to keep them out of the country? They’re obviously not any good for anything, apart from moaning and sowing disharmony. There’s no point trying to reason with them as they’re on a mission to drag things down.
      Just look at every thread and post of his for example.

      Personally I think this is more important than any wetting oneself over what demonized minorities like Muslims are doing.
      People like damon would have non Muslims stitched up in backward EDL/BNP leadership at their mosque protests and bitch if anyone suggests that’s not so good.

    40. douglas clark — on 5th December, 2010 at 3:01 am  

      damon @ 38 / niaz @ 39,

      You know what’s coming next, don’t you?

      Get a room, why don’t you?

      Same bleeding coin, niaz is heads, damon is tails, or do you want to fight over that too? Wouldn’t really matter, for an argument is an argument and that is what you two live and breath for. But the level you want to discuss stuff at is really pretty low. Damn low.

      You are both becoming plastic imitation replicas of the people you once thought you were. Hero’s in your own lunchtimes, perhaps.

      You want the truth? You really don’t like people talking to each other, you prefer it to be about mutual hatred and disgust. Argument, distrust and all that jazz.

      I’d have thought most folk that read this site could have seen it coming, ’cause most folk that read here aren’t going to ‘buy into’ either philosophy. ‘Cause most folk have a few more lamps in the chandelier than either of you two tyros care to display.

      It is pathetic to watch.

    41. Boyo — on 5th December, 2010 at 9:25 am  

      @35 Niaz. How and why can you justify calling me a racist? Is there anything in my post on this thread that suggests I am? Is concern about Pakistan racist? Or maybe its dismissing concerns about Iran? Is defending myself from the accusation of being a “hardline zionist” racist (if so, then that also applies to Sunny who holds precisely the same view about I/P as I do)? I would add that I am one of the few people here who has worked on the West Bank with Palestinians.

      You may choose to call me racist from past comments on previous threads - well, find the evidence. Conflating Islamism with race is profoundly lazy, stupid and juvenile. It’s also racist.

    42. Boyo — on 5th December, 2010 at 9:27 am  

      Actually scratch the above - looking back on your comments, you’re actually too dumb to engage. Or 14.

    43. Sunny — on 5th December, 2010 at 12:39 pm  

      “Islamophobia means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

    44. Kismet Hardy — on 5th December, 2010 at 1:31 pm  

      http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/

    45. Kismet Hardy — on 5th December, 2010 at 1:33 pm  

      37: Dougie, about the bit about hating imams? Yeah. I hate the ones I know, which is my right. But expressing myself while banjaxed? That will always be a bad idea

    46. damon — on 5th December, 2010 at 3:27 pm  

      “Islamophobia means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

      It’s also an increasingly cheap line and used inappropriately far far too often. It could be said that crying wolf about Islamophobia could be the first refuge of a scoundrel.

      If I am ‘Islamopbobic’ at all, it’s because I don’t rate any of the three Abrahamic religions very highly …. being that they are such a mix of fact and fiction and are so obviously nothing to do with the works of any God-like being.
      And maybe too, once we had the first two, that was enough … and the world would have probably been a better place without the third one emergining on the backs of the other two, seven hundred of years after the second one.

      But we are where we are and people are free to believe what they like. But I still think my father was harmed by his backward catholic education in Ireland in the 1940s, which gave him to believe in Adam and Eve and other fairy stories.

      It’s a pity there is such a wide cleavage (so to speak) between a site like Harry’s Place and some of the leading people on PP, who really despise it.
      I find myself to be somewhere inbetween.

      While they go too far IMO, they also raise issues that PP likes to brush over. Does the East London Mosque invite backward preachers to speak there?
      People like Khalid Yasin for example.
      http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=ie7&q=Khalid+Yasin&rls=com.microsoft:en-gb:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7GZAZ_en&redir_esc=&ei=4637TNieNoixhAeNmYiiCw

      Does it matter that this guy travels around the world giving lectures to packed audiences … in places like Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque?

      Instead of calling ”Islamophobe” and ”racist” as a first option, people like Niaz should just give their opinion on people like this …. and then we could be getting somewhere, instead of name calling.

    47. Sarah AB — on 5th December, 2010 at 5:43 pm  

      damon - I do sympathise with your position - haven’t read every comment on the thread but I agree that sometimes Islamophobia is used to describe (and thus shut down) some more reasoned criticism of an individual or whatever. On the other hand some people are just plain Islamophobic/racist. Although I don’t feel strongly about the word and sometimes use it - I do understand why some people don’t care for the term Islamophobia because it seems to lump people who want to criticise the teachings/theology of Islam (and who may very well dislike other religions just as much) together with those who firebomb mosques or abuse and attack women wearing headscarves.

    48. BenSix — on 5th December, 2010 at 7:44 pm  

      Er, cjcjc - wanting someone to be attacked needn’t mean you’re “scared” of them? Ever seen Miller’s Crossing?

    49. joe90 — on 5th December, 2010 at 8:51 pm  

      The US government’s panic over the WikiLeaks revelations is extending to American campuses, with Columbia University warning students they risk future job prospects if they download any of the material.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/05/columbia-students-wikileaks-cables

      lol land of the free, whatever!

    50. damon — on 5th December, 2010 at 11:22 pm  

      lol land of the free, whatever!

      Joe90: they are still classified documents. I don’t think they are saying you mustn’t comment on what’s in the newspapers.

      Sarah AB, I agree that there is still plenty of Islamophobia, so that’s why there’s no need to claim things Islamophobic that are not.

      I was reading a bit about that popular African American preacher Khalid Yasin who now works out of Manchester UK. He gives it a bit of an anti-colonialist Malcom X populist kind of slant, before promoting Sharia over secular law.
      I don’t like that kind of talk.
      Here he is in his own words in an interview in Australia.
      http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s943004.htm

      I’m not suggesting that he be banned from speaking anywhere, but just that I think that you can say he is an ideological opponent just like the Tories or UKIP are. Maybe even as far as the BNP or the EDL are.

      You really just have to read ideas like those and decide where you stand.
      My opinion is that the fact that he can draw excited crowds to his lectures in London, Sydney and Minnesota is somewhat of a worry IMO.
      Maybe he’s just on a par with Margaret Thatcher for undesirableness perhaps. But that’s bad enough.

      If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the scary bits are in the middle, when he says how much he supports more and more Sharia law in places like Nigeria and Malaysia …. and when asked about a woman in Nigeria being sentenced to death for adultery says:

      John Cleary: Yes but you’ve also got a case that’s making the news headlines of a woman who –

      Khalid Yasin: One case of the –

      John Cleary: Caught in adultery, or allegedly in adultery and now she’s to be killed and –

      Khalid Yasin: Yes but I’m saying, should we in all fairness, should we take one case out of 10,000 cases that are being dealt with in this new Sharia court, and isolate that? No, that wouldn’t be fair.

      John Cleary: Let’s talk about that Nigeria for example for a moment, because you’ve got a country there which has a large Christian population and a large Muslim population; how do you reconcile that? Do you think that the Sharia should prevail and Christians can live under the ambit of the Sharia, or do you think there should be a secular state which allows room for both Muslims and Christians to practice under their own religious codes?

      Khalid Yasin: Well let me for a moment, let me take that question into a broader historical spectrum, and let’s look at it in that light. What did the Sharia provide for the Christians who are living in Spain, what did the Sharia provide for the Muslims who were living in Turkey, I mean historically. What did the Sharia provide for Muslims living in the Islamic state in Medina? What did the Sharia provide? Always dignity, protection, and the religious rights? Co-mingling, respect of their properties? So historically, Islam has always shown tolerance, dignity, protection for the non-Muslims living in the Muslim state. So from a historical perspective, I say that the Nigerian experiment is one where they are trying to get back to that model, but it’s not going to happen overnight, and in all fairness, you know, we people living in the West, we live in the shake and bake thing, we think that if some people choose, of a new parliament comes, if a new government body comes, they’re supposed to shake things up in three or four years or within that particular – that doesn’t happen. Nigeria degenerated over a number of years and I don’t have to talk about the level of degeneration, I have visited there. It’s not going to happen overnight, and the other thing is that this isolated case of this woman, it’s for the Nigerian court and the Sharia to decide her case, not an emotional Western reactionary, pragmatic, we’re not the ones to judge other people, they have to judge that. It’s good news, it’s good news, but to be very fair and objective I think that there are 9,999 other cases that if you were to review them, you’ll find that they might be even better news or a better example of how the Sharia works.

      That’s not Islamophobic of me to say that.

    51. Boyo — on 6th December, 2010 at 8:29 am  

      I think it’s valid to use the term “islamophobia” if people are plainly using Islam as an excuse for their hate of people from a different ethnicity.

      However, Sunny, et al, how can you tell the difference?

      I don’t like much of the way that Islam is practiced (although I have time for some), and I could say the same for Christianity. A general difference is that Islam is asserting its values (which are also more inherently political) in contrast to Western ones, which makes it more worthy of discussion, while Christianity, for all its bigotry, is not.

      You often post about Islam here. You also often post items highly critical of Israel. But does that make you a racist, anti-semite?

      No, I didn’t think so.

      The truth is that your section of the left has conflated “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” with the assumption that because most Muslims are brown, then dislike of Islam = racism.

      This is a logical fallacy. Quite the same as saying because most Israelis are Jews, dislike for what israel is doing = anti-semitism.

      It is so sad that your section of the left has fundamentally discredited itself over such a simple issue.

    52. Sarah AB — on 6th December, 2010 at 9:30 am  

      Boyo - I know what you mean - but I think PP *does* post articles against some manifestations of radical Islam. There are other blogs/writers on the left which fit into your pattern more clearly I think - maybe Socialist Unity though I don’t hang out there that much!

      Again - though I basically agree with your points - I think I’d suggest a slightly different take on ‘Islamophobia’. I think the most hateful and violent ‘Islamophobes’ (hijab murder case, Hanley mosque thugs)are probably also racist. But I would guess that there are some people who aren’t racist but who are still mildly Islamophobic (or ‘slightly inclined towards anti-Muslim bigotry’ if anyone prefers!).

    53. Sarah AB — on 6th December, 2010 at 9:30 am  

      joe90 - that seems incredibly draconian.

    54. Trofim — on 6th December, 2010 at 11:44 am  

      Sarah AB @ 53.

      I see that clicking on your name redirects us to a place that shall be nameless, and in any case, there’s no mention of how to contact you.
      So how do we get to your homepage as previously? I’ve tried googling “sarah thingy from Cambridge” but it turned out not to be you.

    55. Sarah AB — on 6th December, 2010 at 11:46 am  

      hello Trofim! Sure - I just thought I’d switch to an HP link in a ‘we’re all Harry’s Place now’ spirit and I have a log-in there.

      But my usual link is above.

      Sarah

    56. Niels Christensen — on 6th December, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      #34 Jamal
      “Iran is muslim country doesn’t matter arab or not,so again livingstone was correct to call it like that.”

      So the reason they have been in war on and of the last 1500 years is that they like each other so much.

    57. damon — on 6th December, 2010 at 2:02 pm  

      One thing that might give clarity when it comes to religious extremism is if those who say they are against it would stop squabbling and being so evasive.

      Cageprisoners say they think it’s OK for British residents to go and fight with the Taliban from time to time and then come back here and carry on with their lives. That should be game over as far as they are concerned and no one should defend them.

      Same with this American guy Khalid Yasin who is one of these high profile preachers who generate excitement in local muslim communities when he goes and gives talks around the world. He should be assesed as to what kind of message he is actually spreading.

      Nobody had a problem with describing Ian Paisley for exactly what he was in the 60s and 70s.
      A religious zealot and bigot who was a hugely divisive figure and helped sow the seeds of civil war.
      So why not the same for these travelling rabble-rousers who spread division in this country today?

      Maybe Hope not Hate and Searchlight will get their fingers out and start to profile some of these people better, but then they will probably be accused of Islamophobia too.

    58. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

      However, Sunny, et al, how can you tell the difference?

      If your arguments against Muslims/Islam apply to other other religions/cultures including our own, but you fail to mention them, then you are a Islamophobe. It is that easy.

      For instance, that meme against Halal ritual killings falls flat if you fail to admit the rather brutal way we still treat animals in our backyards.

    59. Trofim — on 6th December, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

      Which we? Which animals? Which backyards?

    60. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2010 at 2:37 pm  

      People going on about how ‘tedious’ or unsurprising these revelations are simply not even worth bothering with at this point. They just illustrate their own lack of knowledge on what’s come out so far.

      Actually, the US government outsmarted wikileaks by inflating the importance of the leaks, which contributed in part for people to be unimpressed by the revelations.

      I do think it is pretty unremarkable myself. I mean what is this revelation supposed to tell us?

      A hugely damaging revelation in Argentina, straining relations with the US after the cables revealed an official request to find out if the country’s president was on “medication” and how she dealt with stress

      It tell us that the US diplomatic body likes to know very well the people it deals with. What a surprise. In particular, Cristina Kirchner’s husband died this year - was this the reason?

      This is the problem I have with these leaks, they do not provide context, and it seems designed to embarrass the US, as the majority of these cables are an assessment of word leaders and current events. Why not just focus on the illegal part? Is the argument that governments should operate under total transparency?

    61. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

      Which we? Which animals? Which backyards?

      Here and here.

    62. Boyo — on 6th December, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

      hm. i’m not sure it’s quite that simple. You can’t say “as a western feminist I’m opposed to the wearing of head scalves because they embody the sexualisation of women, however that is not to say the church of England is without blame for its refusal to ordain women bishops.”

      discussions would be a bit long-winded, no?

    63. irfan — on 6th December, 2010 at 3:21 pm  

      Boyo
      “I’m opposed to the wearing of head scalves because they embody the sexualisation of women, ”

      how so? They do precisely the opposite which is one of the reasons they are worn.

    64. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2010 at 4:00 pm  

      hm. i’m not sure it’s quite that simple. You can’t say “as a western feminist I’m opposed to the wearing of head scalves because they embody the sexualisation of women, however that is not to say the church of England is without blame for its refusal to ordain women bishops.”
      discussions would be a bit long-winded, no?

      Let me make it simple, Boyo. If that western feminist’s diatribes are focused ONLY on Islam as if all its faults are exceptional, then you have an Islamophobe. Wilders, Pipes et have made careers on Islam.

      Got it?

    65. Boyo — on 6th December, 2010 at 4:06 pm  

      @63 well, that’s your opinion, to be honest i think it’s all about an unhealthy obsession with sex - it doesn’t cover it draws attention. Cor, sexy hair. Quick wear something shapeless in case that sexy body drives the men wild with uncontrollable lust (in which case, who can blame them if they get carried away?) better still, cover your face in case other men are driven… etc. Islam seems to be as obsessed with sex as a those Victorian drawing rooms where the table legs were covered up in case they gave them men folk any un-Christian thoughts….

      It’s a concept of sexuality that puts the onus on women to, basically, take responsibility to protect themselves from rape. It’s all about gender inequality - that fundamentally communicates women are to blame if a man fails to control himself. It also licences men to insist on women being covered, and is precisely why Western feminists burned their bras in the 1960s - to retake control of their bodies and for men to take responsibility for themselves.

      Frankly I find the tendency of Western leftists (and feminists) to deny Muslim women the same right as clearly racist.

      Ultimately, it’s about submission -men submit to Islam and women, subject to male sexuality, submit to men. To be fair, this is an interpretation - but it is not mine, simply the interpretation of countless Imams, although I think the Koran simply says women should cover their breasts (and men their arms).

      Although that’s not to discount the hurdles faced by women priests in the Church of England. ;-)

    66. Boyo — on 6th December, 2010 at 4:10 pm  

      @64 Fortunately i mentioned Victorian Christianity, Sixties feminism and the C of E in my response, so that puts me in the clear?!

    67. joe90 — on 6th December, 2010 at 6:25 pm  

      post #50

      that’s a pretty weak defence of the americans clamping down on anyone that downloads and reads wikileaks cables, they are telling potential graduates in simple terms say goodbye to your future job prospects!

      regarding speakers calling for islamic law in countries like malaysia what business is it of ours if people of malaysia choose to do that. It’s their right to choose their own system.

      If somebody from malaysia said was outraged and demanded to know why do you have a secular system in britian. I am sure people would tell them mind their own business it’s what we choose also!

    68. Don — on 6th December, 2010 at 8:57 pm  

      Joe,

      Are you saying that if one is not a citizen of a country then one has no right to express an opinion on it’s internal affairs?

      If, as sometimes happens, British law allows for a clear injustice or a breach of human rights then I would expect and welcome comments and objections without regard to country of origin.

      I’d probably look to apparent motive and any iffy history the commenter in question might have before I decided how much weight to give that opinion, but country of origin per se would not be an issue. Why would it be?

      I’m sure a lot of nation states would love to establish a principle, or perhaps a protocol, by which their internal actions were beyond criticism. I don’t buy that.

    69. KB Player — on 6th December, 2010 at 11:52 pm  

      Yeah, South Africans used to think foreigners were cheeky buggers, criticising Apartheid.

    70. douglas clark — on 7th December, 2010 at 12:08 am  

      Don,

      That has been Joes’ position ad infinitum. You are not allowed to criticise his insanity because of his religion or his nationality or his pubic hair colour - I am channeling Kismet Hardy - just because he can put up a boundary and you had better respect it.

      No you shouldn’t.

      For there lies stagnation and idiocy.

    71. damon — on 7th December, 2010 at 12:12 am  

      Joe90 @67, I don’t agree myself, but you can get nicked for downloading illegal things.

      regarding speakers calling for islamic law in countries like malaysia what business is it of ours if people of malaysia choose to do that. It’s their right to choose their own system.

      I agree with that to degree. Malaysia is one of my favourite countries that I have visited.
      I used to wince when walking past a mural on the wall of the old city prison in Kuala Lumpur which announced that death was the punnishment for bringing drugs into the country.
      But commuters from the nearby railway station walked passed it in their thousands every day without even giving it a second glance.
      Capital punnishment wasn’t something that Malaysians seemed to be concerned about it looked like.

      Fair enough I thought. Bring drugs into the country at your peril. They can’t be bothered with our way of looking at things which would rather deal with a prison population of 80,000 amd crime statistics which are perhaps majority drugs related, just to save a small number of people from being executed every year. They’d rather execute the few and have a more peaceful society overall.
      Personally I don’t agree with the death penalty, but I did like Malaysia and its people. And I appreciated that it was safe to walk around everywhere late at night.
      They also cane people there. Absolutely cane their arses, while the accused is strapped to a frame.
      It stops hooliganism I think. Well, I never saw any hooliganism or public drunkeness in Malaysia anyway.

      If you prefer this way of things Joe90, then fair enough. It works for the Malaysians.
      It is an alternative way of running a society.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_oVvCYxtlKQo/SyarZnJKZyI/AAAAAAAABMg/C8OGMa9TVsc/s400/PuduMural1.JPG

    72. damon — on 7th December, 2010 at 2:25 am  

      This doesn’t just happen here. People are prone to throw around accusations of ‘racism’ at anything, and if someone white disagrees they’re instantly the KKK.

      That’s Sunny over on a fast, (too many posts for me), thread on Liberal Conspiracy called ‘Is it always a ‘sell out’ to discuss difficult issues?’

      It seems that these websites are either really slow with readers comments, or just so fast you’re left in their wake.

      Just yesterday Sunny made this comment about a line by Niaz (@14 here).

      “Islamophobia means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

      Niaz makes regular fatuous claims of Islamophobia.

      I detect a flip flop attitude here.

      Meaning, that I think that Niaz does what Sunny has spoken out against in the LC thread.
      So why allow it to pass so easily here?

    73. douglas clark — on 7th December, 2010 at 8:52 am  

      damon @ 72,

      I thought niaz’s point, which is no longer @ 14 was stupid.

      The point about niaz is that he plays the victim card all the time, and it is boring. But, brother, you can’t play the other victim card in the pack and expect to be taken seriously.

      I agree, Sunny Hundal, priest of this parish did royally fuck up in supporting a loose expression, to wit:

      “Islamophobia means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

      when it is clearly stupid.

      Pass me the black hat.

      “Sunny Hundal, you will be taken from this place and hung until you die.”

      _______________________

      Alternatively, he might have misjudged a comment and we should all just forget about it? How about this for an alternative interpretation?

      “Zionism means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

      or

      Nationalism means never having to admit you’re racist” — hah, that’s a good line.

      No.

      None of these are ‘good lines’

      It is worth pointing out that our good host is a brave Christian Gentleman and a good egg to boot. Else, why would he be allowed to express his opinions in the yellow press? Why would he have a following of good Christian Gentlemen such as your good self, who comment here as if the whole idea of Phlogiston would collapse if it were to be attacked by scientific rationalists?

      For it is quite clear that our world, predicated on Christian beliefs, would collapse to nothing more than an opinion, or one of these new fangled atoms, were it to be the case that either you, or Sunny Hundal were correct.

      I stand, sir, available.

      The people of Auchtermuchty demand to know.

    74. joe90 — on 7th December, 2010 at 10:46 am  

      Post #68

      Individuals expressing an opinion is not the problem.

      When it leads to the usual suspects with their military physically occupying and forcing another nation to adopt western values through the barrell of a gun is when it becomes the problem.

    75. damon — on 7th December, 2010 at 11:30 am  

      My mistake, Naiz’s line @14 was the one where he suggests that I’m trying to stir up religious hatred.
      I know I should just ignore rubbish like that.
      It’s a lousy and cheap way to defend the Islamists, who are really the ones out to sow division.

      btw, I’m still to be impressed by the whole WikiLeaks thing. Sure it’s good to know some things - but not everything can or should be in the public domain.
      Do you want the content of your rubbish bin and internet browsing to be made public? Do we have the right to know?

    76. joe90 — on 8th December, 2010 at 10:36 am  

      post #75

      Sure individual privacy should be protected.

      but when governments implement foreign policies in our name including waging wars we have a right to know the truth.

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