Archive for February, 2008


The Rules of Secession

(Berkaitan dengan upaya pemisahan diri seperti Kosovo kemarin, di bawah ini ada sebuah tulisan bagus. Semoga menambah wawasan Anda)

The Rules of Secession
Four Principles by Which to Judge Your Breakaway Brethren
(Economist, 27/01/00)

Is there a right to secede? Many Chechens, Acehnese, Montenegrins, to name but a few, evidently believe so, and it is not hard to see why. Governments exist to serve their peoples, not vice versa, so if a group of people wish to be governed in a unit different from the one presented to them by history, why should they not arrange their affairs according to their wishes? This is simply the principle of self-determination. Abe Lincoln disagreed with it, but times have moved on. Modern, sophisticated states are no longer neurotically attached to bits of territory. If Norway wants to leave Sweden (1905), Ireland to leave the United Kingdom (1921), 14 republics to leave a Russian-dominated Soviet Union (1991), Slovakia to leave Czechoslovakia (1993) or Eritrea to leave Ethiopia (1993), they can do so without a civil war. Good luck to them.

But what about the people they leave behind, and those they take with them against their will? If Catalonia pulled out of Spain, or “Padania” out of Italy, would it owe nothing to the country it had abandoned? If Quebec quit Canada against the wishes of its indigenous peoples, would it just be tough luck for the Crees, whose lands make up almost half the province? Or should they then secede? And who, incidentally, is “they”? Does any self-selected group anywhere have the right to declare independence? If so, the richest corners of many a country—the Acehs, Katangas, Biafras and Bougainvilles, maybe even the Belgravias and Beverly Hills—have a licence to go it alone, and thus to impoverish their ex-compatriots. Even if greed is ruled out as an acceptable motive for secession, in favour of mere nationalism, a new profusion of tiny tribal states might make the world an uglier place.
Continue reading ‘The Rules of Secession’


Pandora’s Box: Ideals or Interest

(Berkaitan dengan upaya pemisahan diri seperti Kosovo kemarin, di bawah ini ada sebuah tulisan bagus. Semoga menambah wawasan Anda)

Pandora’s Box: Ideals or Interest
By Pascal Boniface
(Le Monde Diplomatique, January 1999)

Last year’s nuclear tests in India and Pakistan have focused world attention on the problem of nuclear proliferation. But the proliferation of states is potentially an even more serious threat to international stability.

All over the world, countries are fragmenting. It’s a trend that goes beyond North-South and East-West divides (Ignacio Ramonet, Géopolitique du chaos, 1997). The Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia are particularly dramatic examples, but the trend is general – look at Quebec, Sri Lanka, China, the United Kingdom. The same thing is happening in Africa too, where colonial borders, retained for reasons of practicality, started to be redrawn with the recognition of Eritrea in 1993. Change could be on the way as a result of ethnic and political tensions in Somalia, Senegal, Angola, Congo, Liberia, Djibouti and a dozen other states.
Continue reading ‘Pandora’s Box: Ideals or Interest’


If Kosovo, why not Palestine

If Kosovo, why not Palestine
By John Whitbeck
Al-Ahram Weekly, 22/02/08-

It is time for the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership to challenge the international community on Palestinian independence

As expected, Kosovo has issued its unilateral declaration of independence, the United States and most European Union countries, with whom this declaration was coordinated, rushing to extend diplomatic recognition to this “new country”. This course of action should strike anyone with an attachment to either international law or common sense as breathtakingly reckless.
Continue reading ‘If Kosovo, why not Palestine’


Revealed: the First Draft of Dossier That Took Britain to War

Revealed: the First Draft of Dossier That Took Britain to War
By Nigel Morris
-The Independent UK, 19/02/08-

Read the draft here

Fresh evidence that the Iraq weapons dossier was “sexed up” emerged as the Government finally published the secret first draft of the document.

As expected, the earliest version of the document did not include the now notorious claim that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order to do so.

The first draft made a series of lurid claims about the extent and danger of the Iraqi president’s weapons arsenal. But those were expressed in even stronger terms by September 2002, when the official dossier on which Tony Blair based the case for war was published. Continue reading ‘Revealed: the First Draft of Dossier That Took Britain to War’


Secret Iraq Dossier Published

Secret Iraq Dossier Published
By Chris Ames
New Statesman, 18/02/08-

Read the draft here

The secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams has finally been published after a ruling back in January under the Freedom of Information Act.

The document contains an early version of the executive summary of the next draft, which was attributed to Intelligence chief John Scarlett. The document places a spin doctor at the heart of the process of drafting the dossier and blows a hole in the government’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.
Continue reading ‘Secret Iraq Dossier Published’


Secret draft of Iraq war dossier to be revealed

Secret draft of Iraq war dossier to be revealed
By Gaby Hinsliff, political editor The Observer
-The Guardian, 17/02/08-

Read the draft here

The secret first draft of the notorious Iraq dossier that helped to take Britain to war is expected to be released tomorrow, in a victory for freedom of information campaigners.

The early version written by John Williams, then director of communications at the Foreign Office, has been the subject of a three-year legal wrangle amid hopes that it could reveal whether the supposedly intelligence-led dossier was actually based on a press officer’s script – and whether it was subsequently ‘sexed up’ by Alastair Campbell.
Continue reading ‘Secret draft of Iraq war dossier to be revealed’


‘Dodgy Dossier’ Was ‘Wrong’, Its Author Says

‘Dodgy Dossier’ Was ‘Wrong’, Its Author Says
By Ian Griggs and Brian Brady
The Independent, 17/02/08-

Read the draft here

The government official who wrote the first draft of the “dodgy dossier” that helped propel Britain into war in Iraq today admits, “We were wrong.”

John Williams, a former Foreign Office aide, said last night that publication of his document would expose how members of Tony Blair’s team were locked in a mindset that made military action inevitable.
Continue reading ‘‘Dodgy Dossier’ Was ‘Wrong’, Its Author Says’

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