Archive for the ‘Iraq occupation’ category

Is Riverbend OK?

July 12, 2008

Riverbend has not posted on her blog since October 22, 2007.  Writing from Syria she detailed life as a refugee in a foreign country.

Since then her Baghdad Burning blog has gone silent.  No more insightful commentary about the day-to-day struggles of an Iraqi family after the American invasion and occupation. (more…)

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Parallels between UK and US big-brotherism

June 15, 2008

As we celebrate the 793rd anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta today there are two news items that relate to to habeas corpus, the basic guarantee against arbitrary unlawful imprisonment– one in the UK and the other in the US.

In the UK we see Tory MP David Davis resigning over the Counter-Terrorism Bill that Labor PM Brown rammed through Parliament. This law allows detention for up to 42 days (six weeks) of British citizens without charges being brought and without any habeas corpus hearing being required. Davis noted that this is just the latest step in what he calls the “Big Brother” state and that it went a step too far infringing on the historical freedoms of British citizens. These liberties, he pointed out, can be traced back almost eight hundred years to the Magna Carta, which guaranteed the right of habeas corpus.

What most Americans don’t realize is that David Davis was not just an ordinary backbencher but the Shadow Home Secretary and in a new Tory government would be charged with enforcing the Counter-Terrorism Bill. With the latest polls showing a likely Tory victory at the next electoral opportunity, Davis was faced not only with a law with which he profoundly disagreed but also the looming task of administering that law as the government Minister in charge. (more…)

A SOFA that’s not so comfy

June 4, 2008

As the media frenzy focuses on the windup of the Democratic presidential primary and the beginning of the GE contest between McCain and Obama, an important issue is flying under the radar. It is called a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and many supporters of Obama will be dismayed by the limitations that it might place on a new president’s ability to end the war in Iraq. Why, you might ask? What has this SOFA got to do with bringing the troops home in 16 months, as Obama has promised? The answer, unfortunately, is everything.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that has been negotiated between the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is a blueprint for continued American military presence in Iraq. Not a comfortable SOFA for those Americans hoping that a swift resolution of the Iraq occupation once a new American President is inaugurated on January 20, 2009. (more…)