SHORTS from the news
HOW THATCHER'S ELECTION WIN LAUNCHED SECRET WAR ON THE PPU AND OTHERS
Military was used against civic organisations such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Pledge Union during the Thatcher years.
WAR ON IRAN HAS ALREADY BEGUN
Act before it threatens all of us Escalation of the covert US-Israeli campaign against Tehran risks a global storm. Opposition has to get more serious
WAR DRUMS ARE BEATING FOR IRAN. BUT WHO'S PLAYING THEM?
Just like the taxpayers of medieval Italian cities, we're having our money siphoned off to pay for a a greedy military machine
OUR MILITARY SHRINKS BUT BRITAIN'S CRUSH ON WAR DOES NOT
For a country that has been at war almost non-stop for the last decade and a half, Britain finds it strikingly hard to stay level-headed about how its wars are going.
US COURT DOCUMENTS REVEAL INNER WORKINGS OF CIA RENDITIONS
Until now, we have been limited to lists of suspicious aircraft and networks of flight routes pieced together painstakingly using information from everyone from plane spotters to the European parliament. They have given us the "where", but not the "how".
Now new documents cast light not only on destinations and planes, but also on the inner workings of the programme: its financial and logistical dimensions.
THE SECRET INTERROGATION POLICY THAT COULD NEVER BE MADE PUBLIC
Government ministers were extraordinarily sensitive about the contents of the secret MI5 and MI6 interrogation policy document when the Guardian became aware of its existence two years ago.
NIGHTLY BRITAIN BOMBS TRIPOLI BUT WHAT DOES IT ACHIEVE?
There remains no sign that the terror bombing of civilian areas is contributing to military victory any more effectively than when Bomber Harris advocated it.
DRONES DON'T ALLOW HIT AND RUN
If you use drones you must confirm and report who they killed, says legal team. Speaking at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Dr Susan Breau, the report's lead author and Professor of International Law at Flinders University, said:
"It is high time to implement a global casualty recording mechanism which includes civilians so that finally every casualty of every conflict is identified. The law requires it, and drones provide no exemption from that requirement."
TOYS FOR THE BOYS
As long as "big defence" exists it will entice glory-hungry politicians to use it. It is a return to the hundred years war, when militaristic barons and knights had a stranglehold on the monarch, and no other purpose in life than to fight. To deliver victory they demanded ever more taxes for weapons, and when they had ever more weapons they promised ever grander victories. This is exactly how Britain's defence ministry ran out of budgetary control under Labour.
There is one piece of good news. Nato has long outlived its purpose, now justifying its existence only by how much it induces its members to spend, and how many wars irrelevant to its purpose it finds to fight. Yet still it does not spend enough for the US defence secretary. In his anger, Gates threatened that "future US leaders … may not consider the return on America's investment in Nato worth the cost". Is that a threat or a promise?
DO NUMBERS MATTER
Every day, foreign conflicts with complicated origins reach us dressed with appealing simplicity: a besieged town needs to be relieved, an autocrat removed, a regime changed – do these things and all will be better, if not exactly well. If nothing else, Bose's account warns us of how much we need to find out.
A POINT OF VIEW
the BBC continues to confuse cause and effect – Israeli attacks are always reported as retaliation to Palestinian violence or rockets, and the idea that Palestinian rockets, however ineffective, are armed resistance to Israel's hammering from land, sea and air is rarely broadcast. The daily indignities and brutalities of the siege and the occupation and the shelling and shooting of civilians are virtually absent from BBC consciousness unless an attack on Israel sparks interest.
UNIVERSITY TRAINS MILITARY OFFICERS
A British university has provided training for military officers from oppressive regimes with dubious human rights records, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
NOSTALGIA FOR EDGY KIT
Defence does not mean thinking up fantasy justifications for costly kit.
BBC Radio 4
Michael Buerk talks to Joe Glenton about how he made the choice to abandon the army and his colleagues because he couldn't agree with the war he had witnessed in Afghanistan.
If you are planning to lay a wreath of white poppies at a local war memorial on Remembrance Day let us know so we can tell others who may want to join you. Photographs of the event would be welcome.
Read Remembering War
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SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE
The Peace Pledge Union Story 1934 - 2009
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Swimming Against the Tide, published on the PPU's 75th anniversary, tells the story of a group of people who challenged the belief that organised killing of fellow human beings is a just and moral project.
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