Monday 3 August 2009

Iraq - in my beginning.....+ redaction

As it began, so it is ending. The famous secret Downing Street memo of 23rd July, 2002 made it clear that by then the Americans had already cooked up their conspiracy to attack Iraq and “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”, and that at least Messrs Blair, Straw and Hoon knew it.

Then the imperative was to get into Iraq, now it’s the opposite – to get the hell out. (Note for all political leaders – history shows it is much easier to start a war than to end one.) But the tactics are the same.

Yesterday a car bomb killed at least six people in the market place at Haditha, on Friday the death toll was at least 29 from a series of explosions outside mosques in Baghdad, on Thursday seven were killed by a blast in Baquba, north-east of the capital. The spin machine is still on track, though. The line is unshaken - the security situation has improved “amazingly” and US troops may be able to leave earlier than expected.

Redacted….I had never heard the word until a few months ago. Now we get it all the time – it’s what Labour did with documents providing evidence of the security services' complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohamed. MP’s did lots of it when they published “details” of their expenses.

Let’s get rid of this word. There are perfectly decent alternatives – censored, concealed, suppressed, hidden from the prying eyes of the lower orders, for example. As Orwell saw – an attack on language is a vital element in the destruction of liberty.

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