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TRIGGER HAPPY 'security guards' employed by the US company Blackwater have walked free from a US court where they faced manslaughter charges - accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007.
'Mercenaries of choice' to the US military, the five Blackwater defendants, according to witnesses, 'went berserk' indiscriminately firing their automatic weapons and hurling grenades in a traffic jam in Baghdad. The decision to drop charges against them (on a legal technicality) has produced disbelief and outrage among the Iraqi victims' families, who see Blackwater as operating outside of any laws and as if Iraqi lives do not matter.
New Year's insult
WITH AN eye on the forthcoming general election, the government avoided awarding the usual long list of bankers and politicians in the New Year's Honours.
However, that didn't stop it from dishing out a Queen's Police Medal to Cressida Dick, the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police. Dick was the cop in charge of the bungled anti-terrorist operation in July 2005 which resulted in the shooting dead - execution style - of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell underground station by armed police.
Dick at one time suggested that de Menezes resembled the terrorist suspect the police were meant to be tracking - after the police altered one photograph.
Despite the brutal killing of de Menezes, Dick was unrepentant, saying: "We did nothing wrong"!
All the same
SOCIALISTS HAVE argued for many a year that the three major parties are, in essence, three wings of a pro-capitalist party. Now it appears that the Tory leader agrees with us.
In his New Year's message David Cameron said: "Whether you're Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat, you're motivated by pretty much the same progressive aims..." Of course, Cameron only means "progressive" in the sense of progressively increasing the wealth of his big business chums, which makes the need for a new workers' party to oppose this united party of the capitalist robber bandits even greater.
In The Socialist 6 January 2010:
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