Monday, April 09, 2007

The Mark of Cain and the loss of free speech

When I was a young' un I thought about joining the Army, seriously. Those adverts that showed all these happy, fit teenagers touring the world, learning skills and getting paid for it had a strong impact on a niave 14 year old.
Of course you get older, settle for a 9to5 office job and 20 years later you observe the cycle continuing. God I sound like Hoary old Gandalf!!
I work beside a lovely girl whose husband came back from Iraq last year, and with his seven year tour in the army completed, is now working as a sales man. The stories she tells me about his adventures with the army are terrible and heart rendering. One of his friends died of heart attack during training, when a typical brutish seargent pushed him over the edge. Another blew his head off in Ireland, several more were shot and blown up in Iraq.
She says he only speaks about it occasionally, but he's not the same guy who left her years ago.
I guess he's one of the lucky one's really, I mean it could have been worse for him. The news is full of stories of soldiers observing, and taking part in extremely violent occurences, well sometimes, there is that whole 'news management' thing that the Blair government goes to extremes to uphold.
Which brings me to the now postponed Channel 4 documentary "The Mark Of Cain". Channel 4 it appears got cold feet about showing the documentary about British soldiers abusing inmates at Basra in Iraq (Inmates? That means they've been convicted of a crime..... Sorry about that, i'm being ponerised again).

Channel 4 has decided to postpone controversial drama The Mark of Cain about British soldiers in Iraq while negotiations to release the 15 service personnel captured by the Iranians are ongoing, it has announced.

Senior military figures and families of some of the captives expressed concern about the timing of the drama, which was due to be broadcast tomorrow night. The Mark of Cain shows British troops abusing Iraqi detainees.

Of course the 'timing' reference applies to the now freed 15 hostages that were held by Iran. Well, from the media's point of view, it wouldn't look good to the viewers seeing Our Boys beating the shit out of innocent Iraq's in Basra..... much better to think about our other brave troops propagandising their dramatised trauma at the hands of the 'nasty' Iranians.

Channel 4's commissioning editor for drama Liza Marshall has been in hourly discussions with the Foreign Office over whether to go ahead with the two-hour broadcast.

She said: "We recognise that relatives of those held captive in Iran are concerned that the broadcast of the film at this point might jeopardise negotiations for their release.

I'll leave this post with a mention of Robert Fisk, I like this guy a lot. There's only a handful of Alt-Media reporters & writers whom I have learned to trust, among these few are Sign-Of-The-Times, and Laura Knight-Jadczyk's writings.
I just read Robert's new article entitled, 'The true story of free speech in America' (well worth reading in full). The article describes the appalling situation of one individual who has suffered at the hands of the Israeli Lobby and their US sychophants:
Sami Al-Arian is 49 but he stayed on hunger strike for 60 days to protest the government outrage comitted against him, a burlesque of justice which has, of course, largely failed to rouse the sleeping dogs of American journalism in New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
All praise then to the journalist John Sugg from Tampa Florida who has been cataloguiing al-Arian's little Golgotha for months, along with Alexander Cockburn of CounterPunch.
Sami al-Arian, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian, was a respected computer professor at the University of South Florida who tried, however vainly, to communicate the real tradgedy of Palestinian Arabs to the US Government.
But, according to Sugg, Israel's lobbyists were enraged by his lessons - al-Arian's family was driven from Palestine in 1948 and in 2003, at the instigation of Attorney General John Ashcroft, he was arrested and charged with conspiring "to murder and maim" outside the United States and with raising money for Islamic Jihad in 'Palestine'. He was held for two and a half yeats in solitary confinement, hobbling half a mile with his hands and feet shackled, merely to talk to his lawyers.
Al-Arians's $50m Tampa trial lasted six months; the government called 80 witnesses (21 from Israel) and used 400 intercepted phone calls along with evidence of a conversation that a co-defendant had with al-Arian in...... WAIT FOR IT.... " A DREAM "....
Jezzus hail mary hells bells. The US court now accept dreams as testimony in the fight against terorrism.
I don't have anything to add at this stage except, god help us all.....

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