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Tony Grist

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Two- No Three- Things I Want To Say About Lockerbie [Sep. 2nd, 2009|09:28 am]
Tony Grist
I broke my fast and looked at The Times on line yesterday. I didn't read much- honestly- because- equally honestly- it was making me feel ill. What especially made me feel ill was an article by someone I'd never heard of saying the Megrahi case had finally killed off the so-called "special relationship" between Britain and the USA- and berating the British government for letting this happen.  I haven't bored you with my views on that issue yet- and I'm not going to do it now except to say two things, very briefly. The first is that Lockerbie has been soused in ugly, disgusting politics since the beginning- and I think it very likely that Megrahi is innocent. The second is that I think it's rather splendid that tiny, little Scotland was prepared to stand up and defy the might of the USA- for whatever reason. Oh, and there's a third- and it's this: that for a nation that's always banging on about how Christian it is, the USA doesn't half have a legalistic, Old Testament attitude to justice! 

[User Picture]From: ibid
2009-09-02 10:29 am (UTC)
If the special relationship is broken then I for one will be breaking out Champagne.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 10:50 am (UTC)
That's what I think too. In recent years the special relationship has involvd us in a great deal of humiliation and criminality.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-09-02 10:47 am (UTC)
Indeed. I agree with what you have said. Isn't it amazing how the story has grown since the intital floating of the idea of release...?
Have just got home from a trip to France and realised that the card I got for Ailz's birthday remained unposted - many apologies to Ailz. I sent her a message on Facebook - please could you pass this on to her? Congratulations on your wedding anniversary too. Lovely pictures of your party and of you and Ailz. It looks like a fun do!
love Jenny x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 11:45 am (UTC)
I'll tell her.

Hope you had a wonderful time!
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2009-09-02 11:05 am (UTC)
I'm an American.

I support and applaud Scotland's release of Megrahi. It was the humanitarian thing to do.

Those who think the "special relationship" more important than their humanity are probably the same soulless types that supported Bush and his holy war.

Those in the US that are outraged by Megrahi's release are indeed those soulless types who supported Bush and his holy war. They are, in my opinion, beneath contempt.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 11:47 am (UTC)
All governments lie. And the American government is no exception. I don't blame the people who buy the lie- not exactly; I just wish they'd be a little less gullible.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2009-09-02 11:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, count me in the "he's innocent" camp. The whole thing stinks and I can't believe they think we're stupid enough not to tell us the truth.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 12:26 pm (UTC)
The real story bears little relation (I think) to the "story" that's occupying the headlines.
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2009-09-02 01:00 pm (UTC)
I feel much the same way, but, then, I'm not an American by choice.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 03:32 pm (UTC)
I love America, but America's political class are as capable of extreme nastiness as anyone else's.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-09-02 01:26 pm (UTC)
The notion that the guy is innocent is news to me, but I'm willing to be pointed to the arguments in his favor.

And yes, we're fairly Old Testament about not releasing dying prisoners over here. The only people who get second chances are celebrities.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2009-09-02 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, there have been rumours flying around that the Iranians, not the Libyans, were responsible for Lockerbie as a revenge attack for the bombing of an Iranian passenger plane by the USS Vincennes. Not entirely sure why agreement was made to let Libya take the flak for it but there you go.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2009-09-02 02:53 pm (UTC)

jack straw?

well it may be a good thing but what troubles
me is first the released notes from jack straw etc
showing, without explicit connection of dots, that
the release was wanted for policy reasons and it
is not far from policy to oil. it is like reading
some tape of a mafia conversation about making a hit
on someone carefully avoiding the direct language.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 03:44 pm (UTC)

Re: jack straw?

I'm sure oil comes into it. The UK is eager to normalize its relations to Libya.

On the other hand this wasn't a decision made by the British government, but by the relevant minister in the devolved, Scottish Nationalist government in Edinburgh. While I'm sure this was an outcome the British Government wanted I'm not sure Brown and Straw were in a position to put that much pressure on the Scots.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2009-09-02 03:04 pm (UTC)

new testament

secondly... the indication here is that
the New Testament ethic amounts to 'stick
it to the Americans' or at least that this is
a major component. Long time since seminary
but I am not sure of that?

well if his guilt is stipulated(I am not sure
the counter claims are more serious than those
of every man on murderers row writing to a woman
enammoured of the romance of it all...but in any
case let us stipulate it for the moment)
is the release of mass murderers into society when
their health looks bad after they have been in prison
several years a general principle one would think
the way of wisdom?
why put him in prison at all then etc?
the whole thing seems to me to stand only on a
basis of stick it to the americans.

but the oil behind the deal is what makes it odious
to me and ought perhaps to you who are not a big
capitalist in orientation as far as I know.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-09-02 03:42 pm (UTC)

Re: new testament

Yes, the oil deal is a consideration. If he was released on purely humanitarian grounds because of his illness, then hurrah! If, however, it took an oil deal to do it, then shame!
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-09-02 03:51 pm (UTC)
Tony, you are not telling us Americans anything new. Witness the official attitude toward gays in the military, gay marriage, poor people's material needs, health care for all, and much more. Suffice to say, however, that many of us are fighting those attitudes every day of our lives.
I remember back in the 70's when Jimmy Carter lost his second term for the presidency to Ronald Reagan, largely on the strength of the hostage situation in Iran. The hostages were taken by irate students who were protesting the fact that the USA had given asylum to the Shah, who was dying of cancer. (I wont talk about the strange coincidence of the hostages' release on the day that Reagan was inaugurated.) I guess it's OK to shelter a despot who is dying, but not to release a non-elite prisoner (guilty or not) who is also terminally ill.
Hmmmm....holy inconsistency, Batman!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-09-02 04:23 pm (UTC)
According to an entirely plausible hypothesis, the Lockerbie bombing was carried out by the PFLP- a Palestinian terror group- at the behest of the Iranians- in revenge for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by an American warship.

For some reason or other, it suited the US authorities of the day to pin the crime on Gadaffi and the Libyans. Now that Gadaffi has come in from the cold- and has oil to sell- that decision is embarrassing to all concerned- and a campaign of outrage is being cranked up to drown out the voices of those who would like to see the matter properly investigated.
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2009-09-02 06:28 pm (UTC)
The Megrahi issue would have fizzled out by now, if the various parties hadn't seen it as an opportunity for point scoring.

Ironic though, if it were to lead to the end of the special relationship, that it occurs at a time when the US has the first decent president in more years than I care to remember?

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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-09-02 06:49 pm (UTC)
The "decent president" has no use for the special relationship. He has other special relationships in mind.
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