PN's long history

ImageCongratulations and thanks on PN attaining the ripe old age of 75; five years older than me! How the world has changed yet remained dangerous. Among the hundreds of events I cite three special memories.

My PN cuttings of 1961 (and arrest warrant) remind me of the Committee of 100 sit downs in London – I recall – no shouting or violence, but not enough involvement from the Labour movement either.  My notes of the Cuban Missile Crisis include a visit with local folk to Bertrand Russell in his cottage in North Wales to thank him for his mediation efforts during the Cuban Missile Crisis when he said “remember your humanity and forget the rest” – still my watchwords. I heard a story of the village postmistress delivering urgent telegrams between Russell, Castro, Kennedy and Kruschev.
A powerful memory is of passing through the Berlin Wall and “death strip” in 1964 and standing in the middle of two hostile worlds; then witnessing hundreds of weeping Red Army veterans and families of 1945 at a huge war memorial. Having seen the horrors of war, they spoke of their hopes their grandchildren would experience a world of peace (drouzbha).  It would be good if PN could re-visit events with those who were there. Perhaps we could share with today’s readers what we may still learn from recent history. Peace and good luck for the next 75 years.

Libya and bin Laden

ImageYet another war in the Middle East is materialising in front of our very eyes. In Libya, as in Afghanistan, Vietnam or Iraq, our politicians start off shedding floods of crocodile tears for the innocent civilians/protestors. Then we persuade the UN to create a “no fly” zone; and under the umbrella of that resolution we agree to bomb Gaddafi’s forces.

Then our “military advisors” are sent in to assist the rebels. All of these steps have now been taken in Libya. We start off under the pretext of helping innocent civilians and end up ourselves joining in the killing spree of civilian deaths.

Would someone please tell me the difference between a despotic dictator like Gaddafi of Libya, and the dictators of Yemen and Syria, or the oppressive King of Bahrain, all of whom are experiencing similar uprisings of that of Libya? Could it be that Libya has the richest oil fields in the Middle East? And now Osama bin Laden is gone – but the evil which spawned him goes on. The “war on terror” will only end when we pull out of Afghanistan, leave Libyans to decide their own future, and support Palestine's efforts to get recognition as a sovereign state in the UN.