Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Freedom of Speech on the March

Both La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported yesterday that the Farnesina Palace, home to the Italian Foreign Ministry, denied visas to Iraqis invited to speak at the Anti-Imperialist League's rally scheduled for October at the resort of Chianciano Terme.

The invited speakers were Mohammed al-Kubaisi, member of the Iraqi Committe of Ulema, Hassan al-Zangani, spokesman for Moqtada al Sadr, Salah al Mukhtar, former Baath Party member, Jawad al-Khalesi, Chairman of the Iraqi National Congress and Awni al-Kalemji, spokesman for the Patriotic Alliance of Iraq.

The decision to deny the visas was thanks to forty members of the United States Congress who delivered a letter to the Italian Embassy in Washington last week demanding that the visas not be issued:
[These] members of the Iraqi opposition will attempt to seek financial backing for terrorist activities.
Meanwhile, the matter is being brought before Italian parliament. MPs Elettra Deiana and Giovanni Russo Spena will put the issue on the agenda for debate: If the visas were denied due to US pressure, then it will become a matter of unacceptable interference with our national sovereignty.

La Farnesina issues a plausible denial: We have received visa requests from several Iraqi personalities linked to the pro-Saddam insurgency. Our decision to grant the visas will based on our obligations under the Schengen agreement, said Foreign Minister Gian-Franco Fini. We will not rely input from American Embassy.

Nice evasion. Shorter Fini: We did it to save our European partners from the swarthy terrorists from Iraq. And there was no pressure from the US Embassy in Rome.

Well of course not. The visa denial relied on input from the representatives of the Home of the Free: the United States Congress.


Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl said...

great post ;)
you drive the point home..

so much for FREEDOM

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

We´ll of course SBG - their presence would diminish Italo/American freedom to tune out all dissenting voices.

Especially those who have first hand experience.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Traveller said...

I haven't been following the Italian situation closely -- nor the post-Sgrena re-embedding of Berlusconi with Bush -- but there does seem to be a split in Ber's cabinet. I was kind of hoping that was the thin edge of a wedge?

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

"US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said the incident was unfortunate but stopped short of apologising.

"This is unfortunate... but sometimes mistakes are made. We don't target civilians," he said when questioned by reporters covering the finalisation of Iraq's first post-Saddam Hussein constitution.

"Military operations unfortunately are not a perfect science... Sometimes mistakes happen, and when they are made we investigate," he added.

Reuters said 35-year-old Waleed Khaled was shot in the face and took at least four bullets to the chest, while cameraman Haidar Kadhem was wounded in the back.

Journalists aren't civilians of course. They're all terrist sympathising cryptoislamofascistcommiesympathisingtraitors to merkin efforts to bring the fire of freedom into every raghead home.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Mark from ireland said...

sorry nur I'm in a bad temper today …

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...


courtesy of rubberhose.

1:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home