The Guardian 2 November, 2005
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Letters to the Editor
We all make mistakes
We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are just annoying little things, sometimes they can be very serious indeed. If we carry the consequences of our mistakes it's one thing. If we have to carry the consequences of other people's mistakes it may be quite bad. All those patients in Queensland who had become victims of the surgeon who had been allowed to keep on operating when it was obvious that he shouldn't, have the carry the consequences of his actions.
With the proposed anti-terror legislation we are asked as a society to trust individuals' decisions without any questions asked and no protection offered. The Government is saying that we should trust it.
Why? Isn't it the same government that had been insisting that Iraq had had weapons of mass destruction? Isn't it the same government which (according to the opposition) is a pack of bastards and liars?
When people start disappearing — who can say whether they are in trouble like Ms Rau was or taken for questioning and detention?
What is going to happen to the Missing Persons lists? And another thing — mistakes will be made. How will they be covered up? Unmarked graves?
State Premiers should not be agreeing to any new legislation. There are enough laws to deal with any sort of trouble and we do not need a police state. The much talked about "shoot-to kill" thing is just a red herring to divert attention from the rest of the legislation. The Government will pretend that it has shifted its position on it and the happy Premiers will claim a victory and sign on the dotted line. They should not. It's a disgusting slide to a total control over the population and a pre- emptive attack against any form of dissent, political or social.
Call to strengthen solidarity with Syria
The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) strongly condemns the recent heightened efforts to aggravate tensions, chaos and conflicts in the Arab region and the attempts to disregard the tragic events resulting from the occupation of Iraq, Palestine and other Arab lands as well as the plans to reinforce hegemony by the United States and expand Israeli penetration and their efforts to undermine solidarity with Syria and other Arab countries.
The WFTU Secretariat expresses its deep concern at the reported conclusions of the International Inquiry Mission concerning the assassination of Mr Rafik Al Hariry, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon. Our Federation considers that the report presented by Mr Milies, Chairman of the Commission, is imprecise, not based on facts and lacks professionalism which should be the essential conditions for an Inquiry Commission dealing with criminal issues.
The WFTU Secretariat has sent a Statement and Message of Solidarity to its affiliated national trade union centres in Syria and Lebanon.
The WFTU has sent the following message to the UN Secretary General and Chairman of the UN Security Council:
The WFTU expresses its grave concern and protest against the attempts to mis-utilise the United Nations and the Security Council and specialised agencies to apply pressure on the Syrian Arab Republic and other Member States and impose sanctions and blockades, in order to serve the interests of some super powers and their accomplices.
We consider that the Report of the International Inquiry Commission headed by Mr Milies is not based on facts or legal evidence and has become a political statement. We consider that the Report has reached conclusions without proper and wide investigations.
The Report has been politicised, we consider it unfair and has not helped to find the truth. It can only create further instability and conflict in the region and the world. The main task of the UN Security Council is to maintain peace and security and we hope that our grave concern will be brought to the attention of the UN Security Council.
We therefore request you to urge the UN Security Council to take into account that the Syrian Arab Republic has fully cooperated with the Inquiry Commission and therefore, the UN bodies should take effective and impartial measures to find the truth.
The UN Security Council should avoid all attempts to impose sanctions under pressure from those who want to impose their hegemony.