Thursday, November 29, 2007

McCain : We must take the high ground in regards to prisoner treatments

In the YouTube Republican debate Governor Rommney is asked about waterboarding.

Senenetor McCain response is right on. We as Americans must take the high ground. This is a defining issue about what America is about. It is clear that different people have different opinions about this - Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and it seems Romney disrespect the Geneva conventions rules that were set up not only to protect the military of foreign nations- but our soldiers too. By disrespecting the Geneva convention- you are disrespecting OUR SOLDIERS AND PUTTING THEM AT GREATER RISK.

"We will never allow torture to take place in the United States of America"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bush moves ahead with plans for continued military precense in Iraqma

In brief: President Bush is trying to push foreward his agenda forperminent millitary precence in Iraq through a proposed agreements with Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Maliki announced in Baghdad on Monday that the United Nations mandate setd 2008 as the final year for US-led forces to operate in Iraq . Malki then said that the UN mandate will be replaced by a new bilateral arrangement with Washington formalising US-Iraq economic, political, and security relations including American military presence in the country beyond 2008.

The nonbinding statement sets out the framework for talks on a formal pact. Those talks will address thorny issues such as what mission U.S. forces in Iraq will pursue, whether they will establish permanent bases, and what kind of immunity, if any, should be granted to private security contractors such as Blackwater Worldwide. Lute said a special negotiating team would seek to craft such an agreement by July 31.

A new agreement would not signal an end to the U.S. mission here. But it could change the rules under which U.S. soldiers operate and give the Iraqis a greater role in determining the troops' mission. Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000. The statement/pact envisions Iraq emerging from the oversight of the Security Council for the first time since Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Many Iraqi leaders bristle that their country still falls under what is known as a Chapter 7 designation as a threat to international peace and security.

This could provide a windfall for U.S. investors if Iraq could achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

Hillary Clinton and Nacy Pelosi Speak out against the Pact

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Monday condemned Bush over the pact. "President Bush's agreement with the Iraqi government confirms his willingness to leave office with a US army tied down in Iraq and stretched to the breaking point, with no clear exit strategy from Iraq," she said.

Democratic presidential front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton on Tuesday warned President George W. Bush a proposed pact with Iraq on extending the US troop presence was "dangerous."

Clinton wrote to the president to express her "great concern" about a statement of principles between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki made public on Monday.

The letter came as Democrats, who have spent months demanding troop withdrawals from Iraq, face shifting political sands on the war amid signs of US military progress.

Clinton asked Bush to clarify his statement with Maliki, to confirm that there were no plans to permanently station US forces in Iraq.

"To be clear, attempts to establish permanent bases in Iraq would damage US interests in Iraq and the broader region, and I will continue to strongly oppose such efforts."

Clinton also reminded Bush that the purpose of his troop surge strategy announced earlier this year was to provide space for political reconciliation in Iraq.

"By any meaningful measurement, that political reconciliation has not yet occurred," Clinton wrote.

Iraqi leaders blast new US troop pact

Iraqi political and religious leaders on Tuesday blasted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s agreement with Washington to negotiate a possible extension of the US troop presence in Iraq beyond 2008. The country’s hardline Sunni religious body joined MPs in condemning the agreement by Maliki and US President George W. Bush to consider replacing a UN mandate for foreign forces with a bilateral US-Iraq pact after 2008.

“The Muslim Scholars Association denounces the agreement as the occupier will continue to kill, demolish and humiliate Iraqis,” the Sunni body, which allegedly has links with anti-American insurgent groups, said in a statement. “This will provoke our people who will look at those who signed as collaborators with the occupier.”

Sumaysim’s colleague from the Sadr bloc, Falah Shanshal, said the agreement failed to offer a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. “They must set a schedule for the departure of the US forces from Iraq instead of affirming their presence on Iraqi soil,” he told AFP. “We have said that 2008 must be the last extension for the occupation forces and in that year a schedule must be set for the overall leaving of occupation forces from Iraq.”

Sunni lawmaker Dhafir al-Ani from the main National Concord Front, the main Sunni political faction in parliament, said the pact would give US the right to “interfere” in Iraq for a long time.

“We have reservations on the agreement as it is signed between non-equal parties. It will give the US a chance to interfere in different aspects” of Iraq, he said.

Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarraie, head of the Sunni endowment in Iraq – which controls religious shrines across the country, said US forces should leave only after the local forces are fully trained. “The US forces have to build an Iraqi police and army force that is balanced,” he told AFP. Several Sunni leaders are hoping that the thousands of Sunni men who have joined a US programme of training up neighbourhood watch-type guards will be later absorbed in the legitimate Iraqi forces. Around 70,000 Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, have joined the “concerned local citizens” groups formed by the US military to fight al-Qaeda and to guard local infrastructure.

Liwa Sumaysim, an MP from the political group of anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, insisted that Maliki stick to his pledge that parliament have the final say on any deal reached with the United States. “We have strong reservations on the pact, although it is a non-binding one. The Iraqi parliament must have the final word on it,” he said.

Sumaysim’s colleague from the Sadr bloc, Falah Shanshal, said the agreement failed to offer a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. “They must set a schedule for the departure of the US forces from Iraq instead of affirming their presence on Iraqi soil,” he told AFP. “We have said that 2008 must be the last extension for the occupation forces and in that year a schedule must be set for the overall leaving of occupation forces from Iraq.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bush should not to be blamed for lying

With continual revelations that the Bush administration at best manipulated information, and at worst made up information, as the justification of invading Iraq, it seems to many that the presumptive moral superiority that Bush and Company is out of whack.

But wait, science can explain:

In the new study, detailed in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers find that when this line between right and wrong is ambiguous among people who think of themselves as having high moral standards, the do-gooders can become the worst of cheaters.

The results recall the seeming disconnect between the words and actions of folks like televangelist and fraud convict Jim Bakker or admitted meth-buyer Ted Haggard, former president of the National Evangelical Association, an umbrella group representing some 45,000 churches.

"The principle we uncovered is that when faced with a moral decision, those with a strong moral identity choose their fate (for good or for bad) and then the moral identity drives them to pursue that fate to the extreme," said researcher Scott Reynolds of the University of Washington Business School in Seattle. "So it makes sense that this principle would help explain what makes the greatest of saints and the foulest of hypocrites." (1)

The President, or rather the person who takes on that role, seems inclined to fall into presumptive moral superiority - and not just George W. Bush. Past Presidents have displayed the disregard for truth on their drive to press their (or the United Sates) moral superiority onto others.

The author Howard Zinn points out:"President Polk lied to the nation about the reason for going to war with Mexico in 1846. It wasn't that Mexico "shed American blood upon the American soil" but that Polk, and the slave-owning aristocracy, coveted half of Mexico.

President McKinley lied in 1898 about the reason for invading Cuba, saying we wanted to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control, but the truth is that he really wanted Spain out of Cuba so that the island could be open to United Fruit and other American corporations. He also lied about the reasons for our war in the Philippines, claiming we only wanted to "civilize" the Filipinos, while the real reason was to own a valuable piece of real estate in the far Pacific, even if we had to kill hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to accomplish that.

President Wilson lied about the reasons for entering the First World War, saying it was a war to "make the world safe for democracy," when it was really a war to make the world safe for the rising American power.

President Truman lied when he said the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima because it was "a military target."

And everyone lied about Vietnam -- President Kennedy about the extent of our involvement, President Johnson about the Gulf of Tonkin and President Nixon about the secret bombing of Cambodia. They all claimed the war was to keep South Vietnam free of communism, but really wanted to keep South Vietnam as an American outpost at the edge of the Asian continent.

President Reagan lied about the invasion of Grenada, claiming falsely that it was a threat to the United States.

The elder Bush lied about the invasion of Panama, leading to the death of thousands of ordinary citizens in that country. And he lied again about the reason for attacking Iraq in 1991 -- hardly to defend the integrity of Kuwait, rather to assert U.S. power in the oil-rich Middle East.(2)

So in retrospect it was not George W. Bush and his cronies to blame for lying to the nation about Iraq, it was in their human nature.

People almost lie reflexively," University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman. reports. . "They don't think about it as part of their normal social discourse." But it is, the research showed. "It's tied in with self-esteem," says Feldman. "We find that as soon as people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels." (3)

President George W. Bush has low self esteem, for a variety of reasons. So it's not going to be in his nature to tell the truth.

Another problem with low self esteem is that the feeling of being seen as a looser can cause Mr. Bush's reluctance to bring the troops home, to grow. It Mr. Bush and his cronies who are pushing the idea that pulling troops out of Iraq would be conceding "defeat" and would mean that the American blood shed over there was in vain (Iraqi lives don't enter into the equation). Forgetting the fact that the two main reasons we went over there:

* Guaranteed that Iraq does not possess stockpiles of illicit weapons, including those which Donald Rumsfeld said were known to be "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat"

* Deposed the evil dictator (the one we helped to power and supported for three decades), and killed his devil-spawn sons.

have been achieved.

Unfortunately for Mr. Bush, his stay the course policy, works against him. The majorities of Americans now say that it is no longer possible for the U.S. to "win" in Iraq (whatever that means) and favor a timetable for pulling troops out. And as polls show Bush' popularity decreasing, his self esteem lowers and he falls prey to another consequence of low self esteem -increased materialism.

Researchers have found that low self-esteem and materialism are not just a correlation, but also a causal relationship where low self esteem increases materialism.(4) On the world stage, for Mr. Bush this does not mean products, but countries. It is therefore not truly his fault that he feels the need to attack and occupy another country such as Iran - he can't help himself.

Luckily for the world Mr. Bush's time leading the United States is coming to an end.

And as we face our next election we should consider other findings in the scientific research:"Men lie no more than women, but they tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women are more likely to lie to make the other person feel better." We must realize therefore that we are doomed to be lead by lie-rs and our choice will be what types of lies we would prefer to hear.

If polled and asked of our feelings towards the current President, we should stand on higher moral grounds and lie - saying we love and respect him and think he has done and is doing a great job - in hopes of shifting Mr. Bush's prerogatives during his final days.

by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)


2. Howard Zinn

also referenced:

Recommended Books:

With the Bush administration in permanent crisis, a renowned Washington psychoanalyst updates his portrait of George W.'s public persona—and how it has damaged the presidency.

Insightful and accessible, courageous and controversial, Bush on the Couch sheds startling new light on George W. Bush's psyche and its impact on the way he governs, tackling head-on the question few seem willing to ask: Is our president psychologically fit to run the country? With an eye for the subtleties of human behavior sharpened by thirty years of clinical practice, Dr. Justin A. Frank traces the development of Bush's character from childhood through his presidency, identifying and analyzing his patterns of thought, action, and communication. The result is a troubling portrait filled with important revelations about our nation's leader—including disturbing new insights into:

* How Bush reacted to the 2006 Democratic sweep in Congress with a new surge of troops into Iraq
* His telling habits and coping strategies—from his persistent mangling of English to his tendency to "go blank" in the midst of crisis
* The tearful public breakdown of his father, George H. W. Bush, and what it says about the former president's relationship to his prominent sons
* The debacle of Katrina—the moment when Bush's arrogance finally failed him

With a new introduction and afterword, Bush on the Couch offers the most thorough and candid portrait to date of arguably the most psychologically damaged president since Nixon.

Howard Zinn, who served as a bombardier in the Air Force in World War II, is the author of "A People's History of the United States" (HarperCollins, 1995). He is also the co-author, with Anthony Arnove, of "Voices of a People's History of the United States" (Seven Stories Press, 2004).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

UNSUBSCRIBE ME :: Torture must be stopped. - VIDEO

Amnesty International have just released a truly powerful film to coincide with the official launch of the unsubscribe campaign.

This film shows a performance artist undergoing, for real, interrogation techniques permitted in the CIA handbook.

Warning: Some viewers may find this disturbing. Unsuitable for under 14s.
Please turn your speakers up

Waiting For The Guards is the first of 3 films commissioned by Amnesty to highlight the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the “War on Terror”.

The Directors approached the making of the film in a way that has never been done before, choosing to show the reality of Stress Positions in as authentic a way as possible. They filmed a person being put into Stress Positions over a 6 hour period. There is no acting on the part of the “prisoner” – his pain and anguish is for real.

This powerful film shows without doubt that what the US administrations say is interrogation is in reality, torture and must be stopped.

We’ve released the film on the Internet before going to theatrical release in independent cinemas in early 2008. We believe this film is a great introduction to what the unsubscribe movement is all about, so we ask you to get the movie out there, in any way you can.

The more people see it. The more people will be compelled to unsubscribe.

Get Involved Here :

unsubscribe from human rights abuse in the war on terror

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Military Wants Signing Bonus Money Back From Wounded

Nov 19, 2007 8:05 pm US/Eastern
Wounded Soldier: Military Wants Part Of Bonus Back
Marty Griffin

The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

One of them is Jordan Fox, a young soldier from the South Hills.

He finds solace in the hundreds of boxes he loads onto a truck in Carnegie. In each box is a care package that will be sent to a man or woman serving in Iraq. It was in his name Operation Pittsburgh Pride was started.

Fox was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. He was knocked unconscious. His back was injured and lost all vision in his right eye.

A few months later Fox was sent home. His injuries prohibited him from fulfilling three months of his commitment. A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back.

"I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they're telling me they want their money back," he explained.

It's a slap for Fox's mother, Susan Wardezak, who met with President Bush in Pittsburgh last May. He thanked her for starting Operation Pittsburgh Pride which has sent approximately 4,000 care packages.

He then sent her a letter expressing his concern over her son's injuries, so she cannot understand the U.S. Government's apparent lack of concern over injuries to countless U.S. Soldiers and demands that they return their bonuses.

While he's unsure of his future, Fox says he's unwavering in his commitment to his country.

"I'd do it all over again... because I'm proud of the discipline that I learned. I'm proud to have done something for my country," he said.

But Fox feels like he's already given enough. He'll never be able to pursue his dream of being a police officer because of his wounds and he can't believe he's being asked to return part of his $10,000 signing bonus.

KDKA contacted Congressman Jason Altmire on his behalf. He says he has proposed a bill that would guarantee soldiers receive full benefit of bonuses.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

The editor of this blog is putting together a book on the blunders of Bush's invasion of Iraq.

This story falls under the failure to care for the troops- Enlistment failures (like lying to recruits) Failure to provide adequate equipment, adequate training, adequacy time off between tours, adequate care after returning (Micheal Reese Fiasco), and no adequet respect.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Iraq plans raids on US backed 'beyond the law private security firms'

The Iraqi Interior Minister showing his resolve, will take risky actions against US sponsored terrorist also known as `beyond the law private security firms'.

His plan is to `raid' these firms to see if they are complying with new gun registration laws. The operative word being `raid.' The question of how many American lives will be lost, might be the point the the Interior Minister wants to get across to the American public - for undoubtedly the confrontations will pit American soldiers against American contractors.

The US leadership in Iraq blundered when Gen. David H. Petraeus, now the American commander in Iraq, was in charge of training and equipping Iraqi security forces and `lost' 190,000 fire arms. Maybe they ended up free of charge in the hands of the contractors? With the missing millions?

The Iraqi leadership's goal of `gun control' through registration seems a smart move, but `raiding' the lawless Western contractors- or even just threatening to do so, is not. The contractors should be removed, and reparations should be made for their bad behavior.

November 8, 2007
Iraq Plans to Confront Security Firms on Guns

BAGHDAD, Nov. 7 — The Iraqi interior minister said Wednesday that he would authorize raids by his security forces on Western security firms to ensure that they were complying with tightened licensing requirements on guns and other weaponry, setting up the possibility of violent confrontations between the Iraqis and heavily armed Western guards.

The tightening of the requirements followed a shooting in September by one of those firms, Blackwater, that Iraqi authorities said left 17 Iraqis dead.

“Every company will be subject to such examination, and any company that does not follow the law will lose its license,” the minister, Jawad al-Bolani, said of the planned raids. “They are called security companies. They are not called violate-the-law companies.”

During a tour of the Interior Ministry compound in eastern Baghdad, Iraqi government officials also said for the first time that they accepted estimates by American oversight officials that some 190,000 pistols and automatic rifles supplied by the United States to Iraqi forces in 2004 and 2005 were unaccounted for.

Iraqi officials have created an elaborate computerized database to help recover the weapons and ensure that no more are lost, and officials took great pains on Wednesday to show the system to this reporter and his interpreter.

“We have 190,000 lost weapons because they were not distributed properly,” said Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman. “So we built this database.”

Many of those weapons were distributed when Gen. David H. Petraeus, now the American commander in Iraq, was in charge of training and equipping Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005. General Petraeus has said that he decided to arm the Iraqi forces as quickly as possible, before tracking systems were fully in place.

On Wednesday, Iraqi officials delicately placed blame for the loss of the weapons on the American military, saying that it had been impossible for the Iraqis to account for the weapons when they were not given necessary tracking information, such as serial numbers.

Within Baghdad’s relatively safe and heavily guarded Green Zone, there have been early indications of a battle over who controls Iraqi streets. Private security guards say that Iraqi police officers have already descended on Western compounds and stopped vehicles driven by Westerners to check for weapons violations in recent weeks.

Any extension of those measures into the rest of the country, known as the Red Zone, could quickly turn into armed confrontation. Westerners are wary of Interior Ministry checkpoints, some of which have been fake, as well as of ministry units, which are sometimes militia-controlled and have been implicated in sectarian killings. Western convoys routinely have to choose between the risk of stopping and the risk of accelerating past what appear to be official Iraqi forces.

And because Western convoys run by private security companies are often protecting senior American civilian and military officials, the Iraqi government’s struggle with the companies has in some cases become a sort of proxy tug-of-war with the United States.

That dynamic was laid bare in the weeks immediately after the shooting on Sept. 16 in Nisour Square in Baghdad. The Iraqi government at first suggested that it would ban Blackwater, which has a contract to protect American diplomats, from working in Iraq. But the government was embarrassed when it discovered that its legal options were limited, and the United States — after placing a few new restrictions on the company — quickly sent it back onto the streets.

Based on its own investigation, the Iraqi government has concluded that the Blackwater guards who opened fire committed murder. An American investigation led by the F.B.I. has not yet publicly announced any results.

The outlines of a struggle for primacy on the streets also seem apparent in what the Interior Ministry says is a decision to insist that weapons carried by members of Shiite-controlled militias that protect certain neighborhoods must also be registered. Asked about the vast areas of Baghdad patrolled by the powerful Mahdi Army, which was founded by the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, General Khalaf said that it too would be challenged.

“In the near future there is a campaign that will happen,” General Khalaf said. “We are delaying this campaign until we finish this database.”

Privately, Interior Ministry officials say that they had been surprised that the Iraqi investigators’ findings of culpability by the Blackwater guards had found such a sympathetic hearing elsewhere in the world, where for years there had been questions about the loyalties and capability of Interior Ministry officials.

In one sense, by emphasizing the new steps it is taking to control weapons, the Interior Ministry seems determined to leverage the respect shown for its investigators in such a high-profile case into an improved image over all. The strategy appears to be to concede that both American and Iraqi security forces have made mistakes in the past but that both were taking steps to put those problems behind them.

During one remarkable session on Wednesday, an administrative official at the ministry said that it had had problems with “ghost payrollers,” or fictitious employees, and political pressure in the past. But the official, Maj. Gen. Jihan Hussein, said that the ministry was squarely facing those problems.

“If you knew the pressures we have from members of Parliament to have their relatives employed by the ministry, you wouldn’t believe it,” General Hussein said.

But he said the ministry would not bow to those pressures. In a similar vein, Mr. Bolani said that the ministry’s strict new approach to weapons licenses would try to redress past mistakes.

And Mr. Bolani said he believed that legal action against Blackwater in Iraq was still possible in spite of immunity given to Western security contractors under Iraqi law. He said that third parties like nongovernmental organizations or the Iraqi Bar Association could bring suits on behalf of the victims of the Sept. 16 shootings.

“We are fully aware that the people must be given their rights, and there are cases that will be brought against the criminals,” Mr. Bolani said.

Ahmad Fadam contributed reporting.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

British Soldier Gordon Gentle Iraq death ruled unlawful

Soldier Gordon Gentle Iraq death ruled unlawful
Wed Nov 7, 2007 2:47pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - An inquest into the death of a British soldier in Iraq concluded on Wednesday that his killing was unlawful and the result of communications failures within the military.

Gordon Gentle, 19, was killed in June 2004 when his Land Rover was hit by a roadside bomb near Basra. He had been sent to Iraq 10 days after ending training.

His mother, Rose Gentle, waged a three-year campaign for a full inquest into the incident, arguing that a failure to supply her son with the correct equipment had led to his death.

At the end of the eight-day inquest, coroner Selena Lynch found that Gentle's death might have been prevented but for a series of miscommunications and logistics errors by the Ministry of Defence.

"He died as a result of injuries caused by the explosion and was unlawfully killed," Lynch said in her verdict.

"It is probable that the device would not have been detonated if the escort had been equipped with an ECM," she said, referring to Electronic Counter Measures, which the military uses to detect bombs.

The necessary equipment had arrived in Iraq in mid-June and should have been available to Gentle's unit at least a week before his death, but a clerical error with the military logistics unit meant it wasn't distributed.

"Effective action to recognise and rectify the error was not taken by the units responsible for storage, issue and fitting and efforts taken by Fusilier Gentle's unit to obtain (the ECM) were not sufficient to alert them to its availability.

"These errors were exacerbated by a lack of robust tracking and back-up systems," the coroner ruled.

Speaking immediately afterwards, Rose Gentle said she felt vindicated by the coroner's findings and said the Ministry of Defence bore responsibility "from top to bottom".

"I'm proud of Gordon but I am disgusted at the way he was treated," she told BBC television.

"They say when you join the army, it's a brilliant career. At the same time you should be looked after. They should never be sent out without the right equipment.

"The responsibility's from chain-of-command right down to the bottom -- from top to bottom. The equipment was there. Why didn't they communicate with one another to take it up?"

She also joined the coroner in criticising the difficulty and time it had taken to convene an inquest, obstacles that the coroner blamed on the Ministry.

"The MoD have a policy of disclosure that I would argue is both illogical and based on faulty points of law," Lynch said.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said it regretted the events that had led to Gentle's death.

"Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family," a spokesman said.

"We were immensely saddened at (Gentle's) loss through an attack by insurgents in Basra in June 2004 and we deeply regret the series of events that contributed to it."

(Reporting by Luke Baker)

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

"Dear Mrs.Blair" (a short film by Camcorder Guerillas with music by Belle and Sebastian) A video letter to Cherie Blair from Glaswegian mother Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Iraq on 28 June 2004. Gordon was 19 years old; he'd joined the Army just six months earlier at his local Job Centre. Thursday 23rd of December 2004 would have been his 20th birthday.

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