The ongoing farcical attempt to deport Abu Qatada back to his home country remains unresolved. Theresa May once again made a fool of herself by publicly arresting Qatada ready for deportation when in reality she had her dates mixed up. Whoops. Back to square one it seems.
The UK government continues to make ill thought out and damaging policies including this week Chancellor Osborne offering a further £10bil to the IMF as a loan. Although this is on top of £30bil already committed he made sure he kept below the £40bil plus which would have needed Parliament's approval.
US - As the week began the Taliban announced violently that they had begun their 2012 Spring offensive. As foreign troops begin their gradual withdrawal you have to wonder what this war has achieved and what it has been about. Yes we know that the US followed by others went into Afghanistan as a response to 9/11 but was it purely as an act of revenge?
Down the years we have been told many reasons for our continued presence in Afghanistan but it does seem that it may have been for little. This week again there have been reports of abuse by some US troops which once more are shocking. Whilst American Defense Secretary Panetta may in one breath condemn each successive abuse he also offers too many excuses.
This week much has been made over whether or not the LA Times should have reported on the matter. Without such reporting though abuse remains out of sight and out of mind but never resolved. Using images from 2010 which had just come to light certainly appears to be dragging up past behaviour which may already have been addressed. The problem of course is that it has not. This year we have had images of US soldiers urinating on dead Taliban, careless Koran burning and a massacre of civilians allegedly by one rogue SSG Bales.
Panetta described the latest revelations of abuse as young soldiers acting in an immature manner when faced with battlefield stress. The Washington Post reported him saying,“This is war, and I know war is ugly and is violent,” Panetta said. “I know young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions.” “I am not excusing that behavior,” he added.
Nowhere near an adequate response. Whether what he has said is true or not is immaterial. So often the old adage, as you sow so shall you reap, is proved true. The US will not be able to complain should abuse of their soldiers follow. The whole furore puts soldiers at risk but more importantly alienates the Afghan people further. It is one sure fire way to breed hate and more insurgents.In doing so it undermines the effort of all the personnel who have fought hard to play by the book. If the US authorities cannot see that heaven help them. It makes US forces appear to the world as a rag taggle army with no clear leadership nor purpose. Rather than Panetta making more excuses he needs to get his act in order and address the issues raised. PTSD will not be the cause of all rogue actions. Trying to use it thus belittles soldiers who are truly suffering from PTSD.
World news - With the Formula 1 race held in Bahrain this weekend the civil unrest there has surfaced once more. The lack of recent news regarding the country's unrest has not meant that all is well in this kingdom. Whilst the likes of UK PM David Cameron may claim that Bahrain is not Syria it does appear that once again we are choosing who to support with ulterior motives in mind..With a violent response to peaceful protesters and at least one man killed, Bahrain is far from a settled country.
TEKJournalism has been following the trial of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo Norway. The rial continues as the court attempts to determine the state of this man's mind at the time of the killings.
Today, Sunday April 22, the French people begin their journey to elect a new President. Will it be Sarkozy and more of the same or is it time for change? The Right has ruled France for 30 years and many feel it is time to say enough. The result of the election could prove interesting for Europe as a whole. If a new President is elected Brussels will have to do with business with an unknown quantity.
At time of writing 38,000 runners are pounding the streets of London in the City's annual marathon. It is one of the biggest charity events in the UK calendar. The weather has been kind so far but with rain, hail and cold weather affecting the UK right now it is touch and go. The 32nd Marathon is now well underway, so good luck to all.
Till next week TTFN
Tags: Afghanistan, abuse, PTSD, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Syria, Bahrain, IMF, Osborne IMF loan, UK weather