The Pain of Confinement
Jimmy Boyle touched on something when he titled one of his books The Pain of Confinement. It is a matter addressed in today’s Sunday World by Suzanne Breen in respect of the ongoing detention of Marian Price. Were it not for Breen’s journalism many abuses of power in Irish society would never see the light of day.
Marian Price has now been in solitary confinement since May of this year. She told Breen of the "mind-numbing boredom" of being confined in conditions of isolation. ‘I get three visits a week in Maghaberry. Those three hours' conversation is the only contact I have with other human beings. Of course, it's taking its toll on me.’
How could it not be? Her solicitor Peter Corrigan, like his client, himself a target of the PSNI political policing, has said:
Marian Price has been in solitary seven months. This shouldn't happen in a civilised country. Even those who vehemently oppose my client's politics must realise this amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment.
In spite of this she refuses to recant or renounce the republican political views she holds. Bailed by the courts on two separate charges means she is in jail on no charge, but as the result of a draconian decision by a British Tory.
It is not just that Marian Price's conditions of solitary confinement are wrong, her continued detention is itself a serious breach of justice. She should be released forthwith.
How the 1983 Sinn Fein Leadership Race was won.
A minute or so in and all is revealed in this recently discovered footage of what really happened at the 1983 Ard Fheis:
Off They Go
Attention. Eyes right, politics as well. Nothing to the left where the US is concerned. Iraq, another super mess caused by a super power. Over 4000 American troops dead, an estimated 150, 000 Iraqi civilians – many think considerably more – what was it all for? Although termed Operation Iraqi Freedom, US foreign policy and other people’s freedom have long seemed mutually exclusive. Ask Henry Kissinger who has managed to outlive his bane Christopher Hitchens. He knows a thing or two about how US foreign policy values human rights and freedoms. So much so in fact that he no longer has the freedom to enter some countries for fear of arrest at the behest of the human rights lobby, determined to pursue him for his atrocious record of crimes against humanity.
What would make Iraqis so special that the US would select them out of all the world’s oppressed peoples with whom to share the gift of democracy? Why not share it with the Palestinians? Given the greed driven accumulation of wealth that the superpower lauds as freedom, sharing does not seem to feature much in the national culture. Sounds too much like that terrible thing called socialism which Jurgis stumbled across as a panacea to poverty in Upton Sinclair’s great novel of immigrant life in the US, The Jungle.
Consider wars for freedom in the context of an Alternet report which claims that evidence is emerging about the involvement of US troops in training reactionary juantas and dictatorships for the purpose of repressing the wave of uprisings popularly known as the Arab Spring:
As state security forces across the region cracked down on democratic dissent, the Pentagon also repeatedly dispatched American troops on training missions to allied militaries there. During more than 40 such operations with names like Eager Lion and Friendship Two that sometimes lasted for weeks or months at a time, they taught Middle Eastern security forces the finer points of counterinsurgency, small unit tactics, intelligence gathering, and information operations -- skills crucial to defeating popular uprisings.
As Borat said, ‘we support your war of terror.’