The Great Debate

from UK News:

Remembering the dead – or “poppy fascism”?

poppyThis week, hundreds of thousands of people will join the annual act of remembrance to commemorate those who have died in war, proudly wearing a poppy to honour the fallen.

However the simple flower emblem, which has been used since shortly after the end of World War One as it was the only thing to grow on the devastated battlefields of Belgium and northern France, has once again become an issue in itself.

Is the decision to not wear one an act of disrespect?

The Daily Mail newspaper is running a campaign, demanding that Premier League football teams have a poppy embroidered onto the shirts they wear this weekend. Twelve clubs initially said they would do so, but as the Mail turned its ire on those that didn't, all bar two -- Manchester United and Liverpool -- have now agreed to make the gesture.

The Mail said football teams wearing the poppy sent out a "powerful message of solidarity" to Britain's armed forces.

"All too often footballers - on and off the pitch - set a dreadful example to their young supporters," the paper said in its editorial. "It would be to their eternal shame if Manchester United and Liverpool snub the opportunity to demonstrate that their sport can be a force for good."

from The Great Debate UK:

Bagram: Where the future of Guantanamo meets its tortuous past

Moazzam Begg- Moazzam Begg is Director for the British organisation, Cageprisoners. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Little seems to have changed regarding the treatment of prisoners held at the U.S. military-run Bagram prison since I was there (2002-2004). The recent study conducted by the BBC shows allegations of sleep deprivation, stress positions, beatings, degrading treatment, religious and racial abuse have gone unabated. On a personal level though, I can’t help wonder if British intelligence services are still involved.

In April this year, a report issued by Cageprisoners entitled Fabricating Terrorism II highlighted through eyewitness testimony the cases of 29 people, all of them either British residents or citizens, who had allegedly been tortured and abused in the presence of British intelligence agents or at their behest.