On 20 October it will be two years since the death of Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi... Cut to the present: Muammar's favourite son Saif al-Islam is about to go on trial for a string of alleged offences (including war crimes) along with 37 others. Pre-trial proceedings began in Tripoli this week. The extravagant cruelty is obviously absent but is the trial of Saif and Co at least likely to be a fair process, the respectable flip-side to the shabby killing of Saif's father? Sadly, no, not really.
The depth of intelligence and information on the chemical attacks that have been released underlines a stark contrast with the 1920s when, for instance, there were no satellites and modern communications. There is also a clear contrast in the intelligence evidence that has been assembled compared to that about Iraq a decade ago.
It sometimes seems that Iraqi Kurds have no word with the urgency of manana but it hasn't stopped Iraqi Kurdistan making tremendous strides in a few short years. The best start date for their renaissance is 2006, the first full year of the new Iraqi constitution, agreed by the people and which recognised Kurdistan as a largely autonomous region.
What "saved" Malala was not a knight in shining armour, but a skilled experienced team of specialised trauma surgeons and intensive care staff in the UK. That a 15 year old being shot for writing about civil rights might strike a chord with activists on these global universal human rights issues should not surprise us, except perhaps Baig and others that suggest a Western saviour complex.
A decade has passed since George Bush issued an ultimatum, demanding that Saddam Hussein and his sons were to leave Iraq within 48 hours or face an invasion by the US. Bush's rhetoric made frequent mention of a 'free' Iraq, a country that would be 'liberated' from a dictator, yet the events that transpired from that ill-fated speech have devastated a country.
The reactions and tributes to Margaret Thatcher's death have illustrated the way in which modern conservatives have emptied the words 'freedom' and 'liberty' of all meaning and import. If (wo)man is judged by the company (s)he keeps, then Thatcher must be judged a champion of despotism and dictatorship, not of freedom or liberty.
Throughout the war, our governments insisted that they had a genuine humanitarian interest in bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. To put it simply, this is a lie, and needs to be exposed as such. A brief look at the West's record in the Middle East provides all the evidence we need in order to unearth the great myth of 'humanitarian intervention' in Iraq.
A grim anniversary was celebrated yesterday, and that is the passing of a decade since the invasion of Iraq. To illustrate the new and more peaceful state of the country, the eve of that anniversary was marked by a wave of bombings that left 65 people dead. The timing of the attacks was not an accident: someone wants the West to understand that they still have the capacity to carry out such atrocities.
The Iraq War was the culmination of a process that started in 1994 with the rise of New Labour and reflected its heady psychological brew of arrogance and self-loathing. The arrogance came from a quasi-Leninist belief in Labour as the agent of some great historical mission on behalf of the masses - a traditional conceit of Labourism, admittedly.
The great achievement of post-Saddam Iraq is its transition from a centralised and mainly Sunni dominated one-party rule to federalism and power-sharing between Sunnis, Kurds and Shia, and small minorities. All this is, or should be, governed by the constitution, approved by over 80% of the people in a referendum in 2005.
Since Saddam's departure Iraqi television viewers have been served up programmes with names like Terrorism in the Grip of Justice. This has shown pre-trial detainees 'fessing up to things like being a member of an armed group, abduction and murder... In some cases the 'confessees' have actually been executed in shoddy trial largely based on these highly prejudicial appearances
The Kurdistan region is clearly thriving as the safest, most stable, and prosperous part of Iraq, with a headstart of 12 years of relative freedom from Saddam. The number of deaths through terrorism is about 200 since 2003. It has built a major energy sector from nothing in just a few years. And it has helped stabilise the rest of Iraq and could be a model for it to follow.