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Editorial: Making peace, exposing lies


After fighting their case through almost every court in the land, the B52 Two are not guilty and they richly deserve it!

Falklands, Palestine, Darfur

In this issue, we see that in all these cases, there have been real diplomatic alternatives available, which had a genuine prospect for radically reducing conflict and violence. And in all of these cases, those with power have avoided peace. They have crushed negotiations by force (Britain in the Falklands), they have simply pretended that peace offers did not exist (Israel with Palestine), or they have set an agenda and a timetable that ignored the needs of the parties to the conflict (the West with Darfur, and Israel at Taba).

We need not speak of Iraq.

Our movements for justice and peace can and will intervene to support diplomatic and non-military solutions to conflict. We can and will resist the cry that “something must be done”, violence must be done. What is unfolding in the north of Ireland is extraordinary testimony to the way that the logic of war can be reversed, and peace no longer avoided.

Free the Memo Two

On 9 May, two men were sent to jail for leaking a secret memo. David Keogh, a cypher expert who took a copy of the document while working in the Cabinet Office communications centre in Whitehall, was imprisoned for six months. Parliamentary researcher Leo O'Connor, who David Keogh gave the copy to, and who in turn passed on the memo to a Labour MP was jailed for three months. (The “anti-war” MP handed the memo to the government.)
The memo was an official minute of a meeting between Tony Blair and George Bush in the White House on 16 April 2004. Mr Justice Aiken, as well as sending the men to prison, imposed a ban on disclosing any allegations based on or contained in the memo, even if they have been printed before - on the same page as any article referring to the document or the court case.
He made one curious exception, allowing media organisations to refer to the threat made by President Bush to bomb the Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera's head office in Qatar.
Very few media organisations in Britain have taken advantage of this loophole - apart from the Guardian - demonstrating the level of self-censorship the media are exercising. Peace News regards the court ban as an assault on the freedom of the press, and an assault on the anti-war movement.

Write to the Memo Two via their solicitors: David Keogh, c/o Carter Slater & Co, 41 Harborough Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton NN2 7SH; Leo O'Connor, c/o Neil Clark Solicitors, 65 Weedon Road, Northampton NN5 5BG.

Topics: Anti-war action