Talking Points: 2 March

soldier-basraThe war in Iraq will leave the country in a better place, says British Commander Lieutenant General Cooper. But not everyone shares his optimism. Is he being over confident or have things  really changed? Are we afraid to admit success in Iraq?

Israel War Crimes

International pressure on Israel continues to mount. The international Criminal Court is deciding whether or not Palestine is enough of a state to charge Israel with war crimes. International donors are meeting in Egypt today to discuss the reconstruction of Gaza, whilst Middle East Envoy Tony Blair was in Gaza was in Gaza yesterday urging Israel to lift its blockade. But whose responsability is the rebuilding of Gaza?

Finders Keepers?

One story that caught my attention was the Chinese art collector who has emerged as the winning bidder of two sculptures looted from Beijing in the 1800s. He is refusing to pay the $19 million owed because he says the relics rightly belong to China. It got me thinking about the Koh-i-noor stone, which Mahatma Gandhi’s family are saying should be returned to India, “If the jewels of Windsor were held by an Arab sheikh, then Britain wouldn’t really like that. I’d love to see it back in India. Returning it would be atonement for the colonial past.” Should stolen treasures be returned?

12 Responses to “Talking Points: 2 March”

  1. March 2, 2009 at 10:56

    Hello there whys,
    There is no success in Iraq, but there is a change of power which if Iraqis work for democracy then there would comes a success.because it isn’t easy to establish democracy when there are oppositions on the opposite side.hence,it is too early to declare success.
    However,there are positive advantages that the Iraq war has brought about,and one of these is that Iraq is no longer a safe heaven for terrorists even though they are struggling to meet that desire.

  2. 2 Roberto
    March 2, 2009 at 11:03

    RE “”The war in Iraq will leave the country in a better place, says British Commander Lieutenant General Cooper””

    ————– Nobody knows at what point Iraq becomes a better country for it’s people and a better neighbor.

    We can all hope and pray for the best, but Gen. Cooper, unless he’s got a hidden talent as a seer with a nice crystal ball, hasn’t a clue as to what the future brings. Certainly hope the good general isn’t endorsing these types of actions as blueprints for regime changes all over the world.

  3. March 2, 2009 at 11:15

    The ICC should charge both Hamas and Israel for war crimes because if Hamas do not fire rockets into Israel then there would be no point for Israel to invade Gaza. the world leaders and the international community should look for the solution to the problem instead of solving the outcome of the problem.since donotion has been on and on but still the disaster reoccured then why waste money and thoughts when there is nothing positve but destruction and rebuiding is the only choice of the world.shame to that conference.

  4. March 2, 2009 at 11:34

    Why do whys like to remind people with wicked events of the past at a time when new generations are at edge to forget and forgive those who mistaken the poor and the weak of the olden days.all the stolen and robbed wealths of the olden days are too many and should n’t be claim today.do you know why? simply because it will remind us of bad events that has happened to us and lure people back into hatred of the dark ages.NO! I don’t agree.

  5. March 2, 2009 at 12:01

    Trouble Ahead in Iraq!
    TEHRAN – Nothing has been settled in the enclave. The Coalition alliance with Sunnis is unacceptable to Iran. The Kurdish problem in Turkey will spill over into Iraq and cause hell. Caught between Afghanistan and Iraq, the future of Iran is bleak.

  6. 6 VictorK
    March 2, 2009 at 12:03

    Rebuilding Gaza: strictly speaking, isn’t it a matter for the Palestinians, and anybody in the Muslim world who volunteers to send aid? Can’t see how the Israelis are in anyway responsible since their actions were defensive and reactive.

    Logicians describe a question like ‘should stolen treasures be returned’ as ‘poisoning the wells’. A good proportion of art taken from one country to another can’t be described as ‘stolen’, and when they deserve to be the present owners are not always obvious. The Elgin Marbles, for example, were purchased with the approval of the legitimate authorities at the time, the Ottomans. The Koh-i-noor has passed through the hands of successive looters, from Mughal dynasts to Persian emperors. But, for the left, it’s only the British who deserve condemnation. when artifacts were looted from China they were looted from Imperial China, and any restitution would be due to the Emperor, not to the present regime of Communist usurpers who have hardly any more of a connection with the traditions and achievements of Imperial China than the looters, and have done far more than any foreign country to destroy China’s cultural heritage.

  7. March 2, 2009 at 12:11

    The war in Iraq is not a success to the supper power nations, since they are loosing their Young men in Iraq bushes and caves, L.G Cooper is not right in giving his idea, you better go home to save your home and protect it from feather terrorist attack.

  8. 8 Steve in Boston
    March 2, 2009 at 12:53

    It’s up to the Palestinians to rebuild Gaza. They need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the government which they freely elected, and for their complicity in letting Hamas wage war from within civilian structures. Even today, Hamas continues the provocations by firing yet more rockets into Israel.

    Any country that has billions in spare cash burning a hole in its pockets can participate in the rebuilding of Gaza. Hamas will see to it that the money is properly disposed of as they incite a new wave of destruction from Israel

  9. 9 Ibrahim in UK
    March 2, 2009 at 15:42

    The issue of Gaza is not who will reconstruct it, but what action and guarantees are in place to ensure that it is not destroyed again. The international community needs to have a consistent approach to this. The West demands that occupied Gaza is not allowed to arm itself, while at the same time they happily arm Israel and allow it to occupy Arab land. They demand that the Arabs recognise Israel’s right to exist, but they deny the Palestinians their right to return and exist.
    Any amount of reconstruction in Gaza will only be temporary if this situation remains unresolved.

  10. 10 Tony Parkes
    March 3, 2009 at 11:42

    Re Iraq,

    I do not think he is over confident, rather wanting to share optimism. However, I have not aware of any country where democracy has been engineered and has been successful. Attempts to engineer a form of democracy has in most cases led to many years of conflict and violence for those countries. I do hope the general is right, however, I suspect without the barrel of the gun to support the fragile “democracy” in Iraq at this time, it most likely will follow the path others have once a vacuum exists.

    Rebuilding Gaza,

    United Nations not sure whether Palestine is enough of a state to charge Israel with war crimes? I do not understand.

    War crimes are when the actions of an army or a organisation or a group employ continuous, planned and executed action over a group of people that causes deliberate loss of civilian life, excessive destruction and collective punishment and most important that an army or a organisation or a group has not met or satisfied the minimum standards and rules of the Geneva convention i.e. where it is demonstratively shown and proved that the said action has been systematically, planned and continuously and breaches the convention then this is a war crime.

    If Israel is not guilty of this, then end this nonsense now. If Israel is guilty then make the charge. The notion of Palestine being a state or not is irrelevant, if this was the case then the Kurds of Iraq, Muslims of Kosovo, Hutus and Tutsi of Congo would have been ignored if this precedent had been set.

    To rebuild Gaza, those that care about human being, suffering and have hope that all differences between states will be resolved once governments are excluded. The man in Israel and Palestine both bleed when cut, the woman in Palestine and Israel both shed tears and suffer when their families are not safe or face harm.

    Both governments stress the differences in the people rather than the similarities which if left to the people, they most certainly overcome in a short space of time.

    Re Chinese Artifacts,

    Theft. Simple theft. We know who the rightful owners are, so why are we refusing to return and acknowledge this. The length of time a person or an institution has held onto a stolen item does not make any less a stolen item.

    Wars, exploration, colonization, slavery, industrialization, trade should never be used as an attempt to justify actions which then and now are known to be wrong.

  11. 11 Jim Newman
    March 3, 2009 at 12:44

    Hello again
    At the risk of being zapped I would like to call into question democracy- that is democracy as it is practiced today. Even more questionable are the purveyors of democracy.
    The people who never question anything including themselves are too perfect to be true.
    Your eminently zappable

  12. 12 John LaGrua/New York
    March 3, 2009 at 22:18

    Tens of thousands of Iraqis dead injured ,families destoyed ,hundreds of thousands displaysed ,a country in ruins ,a tragedy of epic proportions .The general needs psychiatric help since he cannot see reality he sounds like the generals in Dr, Strangelove

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