Torture and our “special relationship” with Malaysia

Are you old enough to remember being caned in school? Maybe a ruler across the hand. A whack across the knuckles, maybe? A belt or a whack across the legs from the more sadistic teachers?

I remember at my alma mater, St Malachy’s College in Belfast, back in the bad old days when corporal punishment was still legal, we had a priest who gloried in the title Dean of Discipline. Tremble-inducing stuff. Thank goodness those days are in the past.

Not in Malaysia, though. A report from Amnesty out today paints a horrific picture of the brutal nature of caning in Malaysia. This isn’t schoolboy misdemeanour stuff. Caning, which was first introduced into the country by the British in the 19th century as part and parcel of colonial regulations to keep the natives in check, has now reached epidemic proportions.

Each year an estimated 6,000 refugees and 10,000 prisoners are caned. Specially trained caning officers tear into victims’ bodies with a metre-long cane swung with both hands at high speed. According to the report, the “cane rips into the victim’s naked skin, pulps the fatty tissue below, and leaves scars that extend to muscle fibre.” The pain is so severe that victims often lose consciousness. Here, have a look at this video from 2006 (please note that the caning footage contains scenes that some may find disturbing):

One of the most unpleasant aspects of this business is that doctors are being paid to revive victims when they lose consciousness during their beatings – for the sole purpose that their punishment can continue. This is clearly contrary to internationally accepted medical ethics. Security officers get bonuses for each lashing they deliver – some use the payment to double their salaries. The crimes which merit a caning? Could be as non-violent as trespassing, forgery or immigration violations, such as illegal entry.

Why should we care? Well, this is torture, plain and simple, and is therefore outlawed by international law – specifically the UN Convention Against Torture. It should, perhaps, come as no surprise that Malaysia has refused to ratify this Convention, despite it being one of the core international human rights treaties. Nevertheless, Malaysia is legally bound by the prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment at all times, because the prohibition is a rule of customary international law.

Northern Ireland, of course, has its own “special relationship” with Malaysia. Nowhere is there more evident than at Queen’s University Belfast, which last year conferred an honorary degree on the King of Malaysia, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

As part of this relationship, Queen’s runs a Queen’s-Malaysia Lecture Series. As Minister, Sir Reg Empey, said at the time of the King’s honorary degree:

It is through sharing skills and expertise at home and abroad that we can further develop successful partnerships for the greater good.

In that spirit, perhaps next year this lecture series could feature a tie-in with the Human Rights Centre at Queen’s and focus on the international crime of torture? Or, maybe the university’s renowned Centre for Medical Education could organise a session on medical ethics?

  • joeCanuck

    Disgusting. If we cannot make a differnce we should withdraw from any special relationship.

  • Joe is right.

    Maintaining good relations with countries like this is important. It is through trade that we bring about change in other countries, after all what else can we offer in return? But when that fails and the required changes fail to come about, then we need to call and end to such relationships.

  • Malaya is where that well known phrase was coined “Winning hearts and minds” which was also commonly used here for the same dishonest purposes as it was used in Malaya, so, absolutely we do have a connection with Malaya (part of Malaysia). Not to mention that there was a time when inmates in Belfast Prison also recieved lashings in our not so distant past. However, such practices should be roundly condemned anywhere in the world for no other reason than it is barbaric.

  • andnowwhat

    Good lord!!!!!!

    Our goverment supports worse than this.

    How about the Saudii? Tou knlw, where a rape victim is prosecuted and violently punished? Where they have an almost casual attitude to beheading filipino workers.

    How about Prince Willam being sent to Indonesia to secure arms deals with despots? Indonesia, where farmers have their lands seized by local administration to feed our rising need for biofuels?

    I am sure a list of the savage countries they deal with is pretty long, including the obvious example of Gadaffi, but this is merely a stymoptom of the hypocritical illusion of democracy.

    BTW, I am in no way wishing to diminish the shocking report on Malaysia. I am merely wishing to point out how this is far from an exception

  • joeCanuck

    I understand your point about those other places, andnowwhat, but how many of the others do we have a supposed “Special Relationship” with?

  • Joe I think andnowwhat’s point was that there are few places of illrepute which the UK has not/does not have dealings with which could be described as a special relationship. He overlooked the SAS training of the Khmer Rouge and various African Nations.

    What the British used to do with killed ‘insurgents’ in Malaya was cut off their heads and hands ‘for identification purposes’. They did likewise in Kenya. The special relationship we had with these terror tactics is that Frank Kitson played questionable role in both ’emergencies’ before contributing to the ‘NI emergency’.

  • becky

    look no further than the falls rd for children being tortured.shot in the knees impaled on railings good old community beatings handed out by the provos.as for hiding identification at least mr kitson had the decency to hand the bodies back

  • tacapall

    Becky are you sure about your info – I remember a catholic joyrider being caught around the Dunmurry Finaghy area by loyalists, he was impaled on railings by them – crucifiction style with a notice above his head warning other would be catholic joyriders what would happen if caught.

  • tacapall

    Becky.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1412204/Crucifixion-threat-to-car-thieves.html

    Surgeons operated for five hours on Harry McCartan, a Roman Catholic, to remove two rusty 6in nails from his hands after the attack by loyalists in the Protestant enclave of Seymours Hill, Dunmurry. Mr McCartan also suffered two broken legs.

    Large black letters were painted on tower blocks in Seymours Hill saying: “Ha! Ha! Harry”, “If the Nips (police) don’t nail them, we will” and “All joyriders will be crucified”.

    The loyalist terrorist Ulster Defence Association said the attack had been carried out by it members.

  • tacapall & becky there is no doubt that punishment beatings and shootings on bothside can each be as grizzly as the other but on this occassion not the point of issue of this blogg.

    This blogg is about ‘our’ special relationship with Malaysia –the blogger has drawn compasison with school discipline ‘caning’ (really hurts) with the more (sometimes more lethal) form of ‘correctional’ caning and lashings. In looking at the more horrific side of relationships andnowwhat has rightly commented that such a ‘special relationship’ extends further than just to malaysia.

  • tacapall

    Of course Christy. We have a special relationship with the USA who use the death penalty as a correctional punishment along with Im sure many other countries, caning is indeed sore but not as severe as death.

  • Mark

    What abaout the Irish govt’s role in all the rendition transfers that happened down in Shannon ?

  • pippakin

    Caning was a traditional and imo cruel method of school discipline. I remember it well, not humiliating but definitely painful especially if the cane caught the finger tips, that hurt a lot.

    It appears Malaysia has turned it into a form of torture. Disgraceful, they should be denied any kind of status until such barbaric practises stop.

  • Pippa it was always a form of torture, even before, “Caning, which was first introduced into the country by the British in the 19th century as part and parcel of colonial regulations to keep the natives in check, has now reached epidemic proportions.” Mayalasia is not the only part of the world that still do it, nor cut of hands for theft and remove tongues for blasphemy.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    You are not worth a response..

  • plainly speaking

    Back to Malaysia and the governments ongoing oppression of its people – the well hidden programme of forced conversion to Islam of its Orang Asli (aboriginal) population. Since the 1960’s the Malaysian government has engaged in the ethnocide of these traditional communities. Often the coercion involves the denial of basic necessities – water and electricity for example, unless the villages convert to Islam. Christian Orang Asli communities are particularly targetted with their land often assigned to loggers, their villages destroyed and churches demolished.

    Perhaps the next Queen’s-Malaysia Lecture could enlighten us on the effectiveness of the Malaysian government’s Islamisation programme and invite a member of the Orang Asli minority community to share the platform to tell us how it really is.

  • John East Belfast

    When looking at regimes should we not differentiate between those that are autocratic tyrannies taht suppress their people and those that are democracies ?

    My understanding is that Malaysia is a democracy and hence if they want to pass corporal punishment laws – to which they re all subject to – then is that not their business ?

  • pippakin

    Plainly Speaking

    Part of the problem is the Malaysian govt appear to be afraid of the fundamental islamists and are allowing them to do pretty much as they like in the regions you mention.

    If the government are legitimate and democratically elected then as far as I can see, whilst other democratic governments can and should disown and refuse to do business with them, they can’t actually do much more.

    All democratic governments should refuse to do business with any government that denies its own population internationally recognised human rights.

  • John East Belfast

    pippakin

    You would be wiping out a huge proportion of the world’s land mass and population if you did that – including China, Russia and practically all the Islamic world

  • pippakin

    JEB

    How, wiping out? All I’m saying is that western democracies should only do business with those countries with good human rights records. I’m not saying bomb them.

    China for eg. has a dreadful human rights record. By buying their goods (cheaper on cheap labour) western governments endorse such governments.

  • plainly speaking

    pippakin

    Perhaps it’s not so much the government’s fear of fundamentalist Islam but the competition between UMNO and PAS to display strong Islamic credentials in an appeal to the mainstream Muslim vote (which has become increasingly fundamentalist).

    Moreover the democratic legitimacy of the Malaysian government is dubious since the Orang Asli are effectively disenfranchised. Restricting international trade is one form of pressure, but the prestige Malaysia enjoys from links like the one with QUB, not to mention its membership of the Commonwealth, is utterly undeserved while they continue to systematically marginalise and persecute this vulnerable minority.

  • pippakin

    Plainly speaking

    I think you are right.

  • pippakin (profile) says:
    8 December 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Christy Walsh

    You are not worth a response..
    Still smarting because I did not agree with you on this blogg http://sluggerotoole.com/2010/12/04/the-mcgurks-bar-massacre-another-cover-up-raises-questions-about-dealing-with-the-past/

    Get over it.

    Currently you wrote, “All democratic governments should refuse to do business with any government that denies its own population internationally recognised human rights.”

    Your naivety continues –democratic governments can and do abuse human right –UK, France, USA, etc, etc…

  • Mark

    I’m glad I’m not working today , this should be good .

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    There are some I respect for their views however opposed to mine they are. You are not one of them.

  • pippakin

    Mark

    Not today, I only just escaped another asbo. I am being good! can’t you see the halo?

  • Pippakin “There are some I respect for their views however opposed to mine they are. You are not one of them.”

    When I correct my 7 year old daughter I find her behaviour of foot stomping and scowling at me cute –juvinile behaviour in an adult because they have been shown up to be wrong is just something else.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Get over yourself. You are chasing a claim for compensation not righting the wrongs of the world.

  • andnowwhat

    I understand your point about those other places, andnowwhat, but how many of the others do we have a supposed “Special Relationship” with?

    Joe Canuck

    Hi Joe. Britain has a VERY special relationship with the Saudis. Lising their human rites abuses is pretty pointless because there are so many.

    The vast majority of abuses practiced by the Taliban, that the goverment uses as an excuse for the Afghan war, are practiced by the Saudis constantly.

    Mind you, they are very fond of buyingh nice, shiny war toys so that’s alright then.

  • Pippapoos maybe you need distinguish between what is written and what voices you hear in your head. Nowhere in this blogg have I made any reference to compensation. Nor was it made in the last blogg where you thought that Families of victims should not get truth –the McGurk Bombing case blogg you were particularly focal and I provided the link to that to refresh your shortterm memory of what diabolical crap you spew.

    Having made personal attack on me I must prove you wrong yet again!

    In my own case my objections have been about an elected MLA assuming authority to ‘review’, as final arbitrator, a Court of Appeal Judgment to determine innocence or guilt. Why have Courts and Judges at all if the NI Assembly is a junta? Slightly bigger issue than you can comprehend obviously. Now if you can get anyone to read it for you I have just put on my website copy of my current application to the Supreme Court –not one word about compensation in it –so you are WRONG yet again. http://www.christywalsh.com/html/supreme_court.html

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Having made personal attack on me I must prove you wrong yet again!

    Stop playing the downtrodden innocent Christy. I don’t want to have anything to do with you and the reason for that is that: “This woman” does not like being called: “arrogant, callous and ignorant” If that list is not personal abuse I don’t know what is, and that is what you said about me.

    As for your claim, dress it how you like it is a claim a rose by any other name etc.

  • Pippa, you pull this crap to divert. I made simple comment about your proposal that “All democratic governments should refuse to do business with any government that denies its own population internationally recognised human rights.” I pointed out that the Democratic countries abuse human rights too…

    “Stop playing the downtrodden innocent Christy.” You went off on a rant about what you think you know my case I never mentioned it –I made modest correction about your FALSE claim

    As for ““arrogant, callous and ignorant” your remarks were just that. Your argued repeatedly that there should be an amnesty as means to prevent anymore truth coming out about the past. You asserted repeatedly that those advocating for more truth to come out had hidden motives to restart the NI conflict all over again. Way off the mark allegations. You, (being nobody who has lost any Family members) said that further investigations just cause more hurt and agony in Families and reason you want the truth silenced. I, if you recall, pointed out that 40years on Families still want truth because no investigations had been carried out –The McGurk Case was example.

    So yes as someone who has not suffered the Conflict saying something contrary to what many Families (who have suffered) have been asking for, not just years, but generations —your comments were ARROGANT(asserting your opinion over what the Families have been saying), CALLOUS(disregarding what the Families have been saying) and IGNORANT (expressing that you know what is good for the Families concerned and they do not). I would say I pinned you to a tee and have made fair comment

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    I believe in amnesty. I believe democratic governments should condemn and refuse to do business with countries that ab use human rights. Regardless of how many times you chase me, I will not be changing my mind. Of course there is disagreement , that is democracy working!

    I have told you over and over again I want nothing to do with you and yet here you are again. Let it go or I will complain. You are behaving more like a stalker than a rational debater.

  • Pippa Again you are wrong to assume to know what I think.

    I believe in amnesty too but not on your conditions that Familes do not get some form of closure and truth that they have so desperately pursued for what I presume to be soul destroying years. Or your wild allegations that the Families motives are for return to conflict (not really truth) but your motives are more honourable to prevent “anymore young people being killed”

    I am not leaving you have last word when you are so obviously wrong –my arguments have been reasoned you appeal to sensational claims of stalking, or play passive agressive victim. The nature of debate is put up or shut up.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    i find you offensive.

  • Pippa “i find you offensive.” That is exactly what I think of you.

  • andnowwhat

    Anyone else think there’s a Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn thing going on between these 2?

  • pippakin

    andnowwhat

    LOL!!!

    I am being cool and calm. I hope the subject can now return to the human right abuses in Malaysia.

  • Andnowwhat butt out of it 😉

    Pippa “I hope the subject can now return to the human right abuses in Malaysia.”

    I agree and before you took us on that rather unforntunate meander, you said;

    “All democratic governments should refuse to do business with any government that denies its own population internationally recognised human rights.”

    All democratic governments abuse human rights and they all in some way profit from the produce of the more abusive regimes.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Well if all democracies abuse human rights that makes it all all right! The whole point of debate is to hi light those abuses and try to ensure that governments cease such practises and that all democratic governments know and respect the will of the people.

    And now stop stalking me.

  • Pippa “And now stop stalking me.” Dream on baby! 😮

    No, human rights violations do not make it allright. If we take UK and Burma as example –so what if the UK stopped trade with Burma as you suggest –UK hold the largest shares in Burmese rubber plantations. (And rubber being a highly sought commodity just below oil).

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    It is not me who is arrogant. It is you. Three thousand people were killed during the troubles. You don’t speak for all the families of the bereaved, and you don’t seem to understand how democracy works.

    Debate, discussion and argument are how democracy works, that is why this thread is here: so that the subject is out in the open and as many members of the public as possible hi light the abuses and persuade those in authority to do the right thing.

    Democracy is a fragile thing, arguably it doesn’t even exist and is but a brilliant PR stunt by the few powerful people who run countries. It is however still the best way of giving all the people an opportunity to make a difference and bring real change to the lives of people worse off than we are.

    And now stop stalking me.

  • RepublicanStones

    Anyone else think there’s a Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn thing going on between these 2?

    I was thinking more Bogey and Hepburn a la African Queen.

  • “pippakin (profile) says:
    10 December 2010 at 2:18 am

    Christy Walsh

    It is not me who is arrogant. It is you. Three thousand people were killed during the troubles. You don’t speak for all the families of the bereaved, and you don’t seem to understand how democracy works.

    Debate, discussion and argument are how democracy works, that is why this thread is here: so that the subject is out in the open and as many members of the public as possible hi light the abuses and persuade those in authority to do the right thing.

    Democracy is a fragile thing, arguably it doesn’t even exist and is but a brilliant PR stunt by the few powerful people who run countries. It is however still the best way of giving all the people an opportunity to make a difference and bring real change to the lives of people worse off than we are.

    And now stop stalking me.”

    Pippa, you seem to have the concept all in reverse –you do not bait someone to respond then accuse them of Stalking you because they respond. Democracy is about affording the right to reply it also relates to freedom of expression. Stop addressing me and then getting your knickers in a twist because I respond with something you find difficult to answer –then accusing me of stalking you –you wish 🙂

  • pippakin

    RS

    I really have problems with any connection to the character at all!

    As for Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Traccy? It is more the stuff of nightmare than Hollywood dreams. I can’t imagine anyone liking a leech.

  • Pippa –reviving an old post from RS which you previously responded to as means to make fresh comment about me is a bit much. So now I am not stalker but leech, yadda, yadda, yadda…. So sorry I never agreed with you from the beginning –I never knew that was the deal. But I do take relief and pleasure that you do not like me -regardless of anyone else — you bait me or attempt to bait someone else to join you in your fixation on me and I will respond. Get over it.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    It sounds as though you have never seen the film African Queen because actually I was referring to the part of the film that always sticks in my memory.

  • Pippa yes, am aware of part.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Then all you have to do is join the dots. I referred to the ‘stuff of nightmares’ and then went on to leeches…

    I was a very young girl when I first saw the film and, whilst I can admit its a classic, its still not a favourite of mine.

    So get over yourself. I don’t stop and think about your sensibilities every time I comment.

  • Pippa, then perhaps you should mind your syntax then –having had delivered long diatribe against me on your aversions you make further remark on connection to character –only then do you refer to Hepburn and Tracy regardlking leeches. If that is not what you were implying then I appologise for attributing you with attempt at Hepburn’s skilfull play of words.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Note the change of paragraph, some might call that a hint.

    Forget it Christy, move on, I have.

  • pippakin

    The latest display of contempt for democracy comes from China with its attitude to the Nobel Prize and its attempts to prevent recognition of the winner.

    Western democracies must stop giving such countries the fig leaf of respectability which is what doing business with them does.

  • andnowwhat

    Spandau Ballet have just written a song about you 2.

    The chorus goes, “and we made our love on Slugger, and thorugh the baricades (which were a physical manifestation of tribal divisions which went back for centuries but may be finally put to rest by a cheap, jingoistioc pop song)”

    If this was the real world, you would both be a swirl of eachother’s DNA

  • andnowwhat

    Western democracies must stop giving such countries the fig leaf of respectability which is what doing business with them does.

    Pipp (you just know her and Christy are just going to do it)..

    We doworse. We give billions in aid to this country which is something like the second biggest economy in the world.

  • pippakin

    andnowwhat

    If we made you smile what can either of us be but happy to have been of service. Btw RS had the best ‘revenge’ in his comment. All day long I have been thinking about that wretched film everyone else thinks is wonderful!

    I know about the aid western countries give to China and then go cap in hand to borrow back! It just goes to show there is hardly a politician in the western world who can add up.

    It is all done in the attempt to get China to buy from the west and of course they rarely do. Lunacy.

  • RepublicanStones

    My comment wasn’t ‘revenge’ pip, I was going to suggest Walther Matthau and George Burns in the Sunshine Boys* then I remembered you didn’t have a Y chromosome.

    *One of the best comedies ever.

  • pippakin

    RS

    Yes it was and ‘Y’ chromosome or not I would have preferred it!

    Another great one imo was The Producers, and for tv only the first episode of Fawlty Towers.

  • andnowwhat

    Nah Pippa, You and Mister Pippa have been going at eachother so long that you are more George and Mildred lol.

    I was just thinking about how people are debasing the Republic for taking financial aid.

    Yeah…right enough. Compared to China and India?

  • pippakin

    andnowwhat

    George and Mildred??? That is cruel and inhuman punishment!

    Do western countries charge interest on ‘aid’ given to China? If they don’t I wonder is there any way we could qualify because I don’t think 5.8% is doing us any favours.

  • RepublicanStones

    pip – the Vatican cables are being released – http://tinyurl.com/24zo2st

  • andnowwhat

    Oh, I don’t know about that. I always thought Mildred could work her way around a man. It’s Christy that should be insulted.

    Nah, we just buck money at India and China out of habit like a forgotten direct debit we have just gotten used to.

    India’s human rights are not much either. I saw a documentary about a contestand on Who Wants To |Be A Millionaire and they tortured him and…….hold on a sec…

  • andnowwhat

    RS, I heard that Wikikeaks have serious shit on JP Morgan. I havebeen following them via Max Keiser and man alive…..

  • andnowwhat

    The bit aboutr JP Morgan’s true value is intyeresting here..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zXxwYt737o

    BTW, RT’s coverage of the FIFA decision was fekin funny

  • RepublicanStones

    andknowwhat – this is my fav Max Keiser clip – (still can’t hack his voice though)

  • andnowwhat

    Thank you RS. Just watching it now. I really like his style but, yes, his voice is annoying at first.

    As for Stacy Herbert… well, better not to mention how I feel about her.

    BTW, did Russians turn up to the Nobel prize today? I know there was talk that they pulled out

  • pippakin

    RS

    Thanks for the link, interesting. I have not spent much time in England for some years but it seems to me that if anyone expects the English to get annoyed by defections from Anglicanism to Catholicism they are going to be disappointed. Religion is reviving there but its not that popular. In all the years I was there I rarely met regular church goers and never met anyone who cared which church people went to.

    It appears to be concentrating on Australia and the US perhaps things are a bit more incendiary there.

  • andnowwhat

    Brilliant RS. I loved the bit at 3 minutes in.

    EVERYONE should watch that as evidence of the capitalist war machine!!!!

    Probably you are the same, but I dispair watching the news at the complete lack of real investigation. The only exception would be Channel4 and especially Dispatches. Only problem is that few watch them

  • RepublicanStones

    Ohh this looks tasty – vatican opposed muslim Turkey joining Eu – http://tinyurl.com/2fghqzd and it obviously still doesn’t like poor latin america’s propensity for Liberation theology 😉

  • RepublicanStones

    andknowwhat – didn’t read much about the nobel prize today – just heard on Jeremy vine they awarded it to an empty chair.

    But according to BBC, Russia was one of the absent nations.

  • RepublicanStones

    Cannel Four is good – but one thing i always make time for is Friday evenings straight after it – Unreported World.

  • andnowwhat

    Most people object to Turkey joining the EU because of their terrible human rights record (oh, look at me back on topic by mistake), especially in regard to the Kurds.

    True enogh but it also means goodbye to cheap holidays.

  • andnowwhat

    Bugger!!! nI really wanted to see Unreported world tonight!!

    Oh, a general point, how come when they talk about the TV license the quality broadcasting by the BBC is brought up.

    What fucking quality brodcasting? a bit of outdated tittle tattle about FIFA? Get tha fuck.

    30 years ago Panorama would have been telling us the truth about the, so called wars. All we get now is “our boys” bollox.

    If they cared about “our boys” why not expose that they are dying for capitalism?

  • RepublicanStones

    But getting Turkey into the EU would be one way of policing its human rights record.
    If humans tights are an issue, the Vatican should be ostracized, not just because of the kids, but years ago, because of the way it ignored its own men on the ground in places like Latin America.

  • pippakin

    RS

    Turkey is too big and too turbulent for the EU. If Turkey joined there would be real danger of culture clash. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion in the world. It is naive to think that everyone would live happily ever after, there are extremists on both sides.

    I may be wrong but I have not seen much sign of improvement in Turkeys human rights record.

  • andnowwhat

    To me, the vatican has sod all to do with catholics. I never felt ANY connection to it. I see it as an ember of the Roman empire.

    Having said that, it is one of many invisible empires that exist.

  • RepublicanStones

    Pip, i think the fact there is a war/insurgency going on next door, might be feeding into Turkey’s ‘turbulence’. As regards the Kurds (remember recent cables suggest US supported the PKK, which doesn’t help) its definitely no saint, and it still has to come to terms with its history in Armenia, although under the current so-called ‘islmacist’ premiership of Erdogan, relations have improved . Also the Turkish armed forces zealous protection of Attaturk’s westernization legacy is something which creates a quandary for those who advocate democracy.

  • pippakin

    RS

    Agreed and trust the US etc to be shoving their oar in. But Turkey has moved closer to Islamification. if Erdogan is ever replaced by a more fundamentalist leader, and that’s not impossible, trouble could explode, especially with the very powerful army completely opposed.

  • RepublicanStones

    Off topic – Apparently Senator Sanders has been on his feet for 9 hours filibustering the recent Obama/GOP tax plan. He’s no spring chicken.

    http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN2.aspx

    He’s probably the only Senator who happily describes himself as socialist.

  • pippakin

    RS

    Sanders, senator from Vermont? Progressive Democrat, completely opposed to tax cuts for millionaires, if he’s who I think he is.

    Do you know how much longer he has to do it? This is the first I’ve heard about it.

  • RepublicanStones

    He just quit. Not bad for a man his age. He was trending high on Twitter !

  • pippakin

    RS

    Amazing guts! Well done him. He may be one of those rare birds a politician with integrity.

  • RepublicanStones

    Off topic again – just got tweeted this – hilarious

  • RepublicanStones
  • pippakin

    RS

    Thanks, and I have bookmarked his site for future reference since he is clearly a very rare American politician.

  • Brian

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/Ron-Paul-Vigorously-Defends-WikiLeaks-2734/

    Congressman Ron Paul defends Wikileaks in House speech.
    “Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?”

    ‘What caused more deaths, lying us into the Iraq war or Wikileaks?”

  • RepublicanStones
  • pippakin

    RS

    When it came to disparagement I don’t think Nixon excluded any race, not even his own. Richard expletive deleted Nixon still managed to win a second terms, even as Watergate was happening.