The first change which will have to occur before any peace negotiations can even be considered is an end to what is being referred to as violence in response to incitement which, according to United States Secretary of State John Kerry, is ever-present emanating from both sides. There is a simple description given by Wesley Pruden in his article Lies, lies and whoppers in the Middle East where he wrote the following;
The knife has become the weapon of choice in the Palestinian war against Israeli civilians, brandished as if it were a holy scimitar of the avenging Allah. The dean of a university in Gaza characterizes this campaign of the short knives as “military operations,” and urges that it be aimed at women and children. “The Jews of Palestine are fair game today, even the women,” the dean, Subhi al-Yazji, a learned doctor of Koranic studies, told an interviewer…
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1.American history does not lack for superintendents of devastation whom the taxidermy of whitewashed history puts on display as illustrious persons for the admiration of schoolchildren. While ghosts prowl the outskirts of national mythology, herds of admirers graze agreeably, ever cowed.
Consider Thomas Jefferson, who in 1803 wrote confidentially to the governor of the Indiana Territory that if natives east of the Mississippi persisted in refusing to give up their hunting ways and take up sedentary agriculture instead, they should be rounded up and sent West. Consider his protégé Andrew Jackson, whose Indian Removal Act, the legal justification for grabbing Cherokee land in the southeast and force-marching the “savage hunters” westward, was, he said, a policy “not only liberal, but generous” and “a happy consummation” that might “perhaps cause” the natives “to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.” Or consider Jackson’s protégé James K. Polk, who then-Congressman Abraham Lincoln showed had provoked war with Mexico in 1848. Thirteen thousand Americans died in the ensuing Mexican War, but the story told to American schoolchildren is that the memorable local event was the martyrdom of the Anglo victims of the earlier battle of the Alamo. None of this is even to speak of the several presidents and other high officials of the United States who owned slaves—which entailed holding onto them by force and violence, which may not technically qualify as war criminality but may surely be understood as the continuation of war (on Africans) by other means. At his death in 1845, Jackson owned about 150 slaves, his protégé James Polk more than 50. (Writes one historian: “More than half of the children among Polk’s slaves died before reaching age 15”—a mortality rate more than 50 percent higher than that for all blacks in America.) But that’s by the by. The official website about Jackson baronial home “The Hermitage,” the same that tells us about the slaves, calls him “The People’s President,” and his face still adorns the $20 bill.
The National Audit Office has carried out its post-mortem into the collapsed charity Kids Company, and it hasn’t pulled any punches in its findings. Nearly £50million of taxpayers’ money was given to it over the past 13 years, the spending watchdog found, despite ministers being warned on six occasions that the cash could be wasted.
Concerns were raised about how Kids Company was spending its money were raised by a former manager, acting as a whistle-blower, and by civil servants to ministers. However, both Conservative and Labour ministers ignored officials on six occasions since 2002 and chose to keep handing public money to the charity. Former Tory education minister Tim Loughton said the charity’s founder Camila Batmanghelidjh “thought she had a privilege fast track to the top of the list when it came to Government funding.. “If anyone raised any questions about exactly what she was using it for, she just went straight to the top,” he added. Kids Company was able to attract the cash by issuing dire public warnings about its future when there were concerns about the continued supply of government money, in what was called a “bully strategy” to get money.
The NAO’s report will pile pressure on Alan Yentob, the senior BBC executive who was Kids Company’s chairman for 18 years, and remains in post. One corporation insider told Guardian a fortnight ago that his job was “untenable” and that his “direction of travel” was towards an exit. Will this push him out faster? It will also prove of acute embarrassment to Cabinet Office ministers – Matthew Hancock and Oliver Letwin –who over-ruled civil servants’ objections to give the charity a £3million grant weeks before its collapse in the summer. However, some may say the buck ultimately stops with David Cameron. Nigel Farage went as far as pointing the finger at his wife, Samantha, suggesting that her support for the charity meant “everyone throws money at them”.
MPs will have their chance to pore over the wreckage of Kids Company on Monday when top civil servants are grilled by the Public Accounts Committee. Many will ask why warnings were ignored and ministers seemed to be in Batmanghelidjh’s thrall, but a more pressing question may be whether there are more Kids Company-esque disasters waiting to happen? “The taxpayer is entitled to know whether this was an isolated case – or, as we suspect, a small example of the mismanagement of public money on a much greater scale,” we say.
“The question has to be asked: why did this keep happening repeatedly over 13 years?” Labour MP Meg Hillier
Islamic State terrorists are planning mass casualty attacks in Britain, the head of MI5 Andrew Parker has warned. Meanwhile, Nato allies are reportedly mulling the deployment of 4,000 troops to countries bordering Russia in a bid to deter the Kremlin from military adventurism against the bloc’s eastern most members.
Never Closer Union
Britain could get an explicit exemption from “ever closer” EU integration, the European Commission has signalled. However, the leaders of Finland and Estonia have told the BBC that the UK has yet to reveal any details about what it wants to get in its renegotiation. This comes as a minister said the UK could be in a “very good place” if it leaves the European Union. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage has written in today’s paper that Britain will be “flattened” if it stays in the EU.
FA: Blatt’s Not Okay
The Football Association was consulting its lawyers on Wednesday night following Sepp Blatter’s stunning disclosure that Fifa had decided to give the 2018 World Cup finals tournament to Russia before the vote even took place. Greg Dyke, the chairman, told MPs that it would be “very nice” to get back the £21m it spent on its bid.
Work, Glorious Work!
Food banks will be staffed with Job Centre advisers to help people back to work, Iain Duncan Smith has announced.
Labour does not know how it would fund the extra money needed for the NHS, the party’s shadow health secretary has appeared to admit in an interview with the Guardian
Bush Ducker Trial
Republican Presidential candidates have clashed for the third time on TV, and we’ve chronicled what happened on our liveblog. Who won the CNBC debate? What did we learn after the candidates finished ducking questions and making their cases? And was it the ‘warm kiss of death’ to Jeb Bush’s campaign?
MI6 is hoping to recruit a new generation of female spies – by advertising for intelligence officers on Mumsnet. Users of the parenting website have previously mocked suggestions that spy agencies could recruit them. “Its probably best that I dont apply,” one user wrote. “I cant keep my own p*ss in, never mind international secrets.”
Fighting Generation XXX
British children will continue to be protected from online pornography after David Cameron pledged to counter a Brussels ruling which threatened internet filters.
Isis has attempted six mass casualty terrorist attacks in the UK in the last year and will continue to plan more, the head of M15 has warned.
In a speech in London, Andrew Parker said the country’s intelligence services are now engaged in tackling a “three-dimensional threat” – at home, overseas and online – and that the “scale and tempo” of the danger is at a level not seen in his 32-year career.
“More than 750 extremists from this country have travelled to Syria, and the growth in the threat shows no sign of abating,” he said.
Referring to the six thwarted attempts on British soil in the past 12 months, he said: “It may not yet have reached the high water mark and, despite the successes we have had, we can never be confident of stopping everything.”
In the summer of 1855 Nathaniel Hawthorne toured London and, feeling a burst of enthusiasm for everything English, wrote in his English Note-Books: “It was a most beautiful sunny day, the very perfection of English weather—which is as much as to say, the best weather in the world, except, perhaps, a few days in an American October.” Hawthorne had never been much of a traveler, and, at that moment in his life, England and Wales were the only countries he had ever seen, outside of the northeastern United States. Even so, he had good reason to judge English weather to be better than all other weathers, and that is because enthusiasm is a superlative. It allows for no gradations. To love is to love absolutely. Still, I happen to be reading the English Note-Books on a bench in a capacious backyard in the delightful Hudson River village of Kinderhook in late October, which I take to be the very perfection of an American October. And I see that Hawthorne was right to reserve an exceptional place for the American few days, which are better than in any other country, or, I should add, planet.
It is not merely because of the colors. The scents and odors are a balm. You do not walk amid such odors. Sweetness is buoyant. You float. There appear to be no breezes, and yet the odors waft about, now fresher, now more pungent, according to exhalations of the trees. Or maybe there is, after all, a feeble breeze, to judge from the wavering of the top-most leaves. The colors, too, waver. The color-field artists used to paint huge canvases in which different shades placed next to one another appear to vibrate, and I am guessing the artists picked up the idea of color vibrations from the yellows and greens and orange hues of the October leaves, which appear to be in chaotic motion, even when they are entirely still.