And, they’re off!

January 21st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

teh Guardian:

The US president, Barack Obama, looked set to suspend the controversial Guantánamo Bay military tribunals, in one of his first actions after being sworn in yesterday.

Within hours of taking office, Obama’s administration filed a motion to halt the war crimes trials for 120 days, until his new administration completes a review of the much-criticised system for trying suspected terrorists.

The halt to the tribunals was sought “in the interests of justice,” the official request to the judges said.

An excellent first move, I must say. Especially if he’s going to hit them targets.


January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The Guardian:

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, today declared that the use of the phrase “war on terror” as a western rallying cry since the September 11 attacks had been a mistake that may have caused “more harm than good”.

Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesman, said today: “If the British foreign secretary had said this to President Bush many months, if not years ago, then it would have deserved some credit. Mimicking President-elect Obama’s lines days before his inauguration does not show leadership.”

It’s just like sticking your fingers up at the school bully when he’s left the room.

Gaza links

December 31st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Not really much I can add to all the words written about the Gaza situation, so here’s a few links, pulled from various sources:

Lenins’ Tomb – The Intelligence:

Israel’s control of the situation is immense. They have detailed intelligence, sattelite imagery (which they like to show off at press conferences), sophisticated guidance technology, etc. It has planned this assault for months in advance, and its leadership is ostentatiously proud of how all the branches of military and intelligence, from Shin Bet to the Southern Command, have gelled in this attack. If an assault on major public facilities is timed to coincide with children being in the streets, this is not accidental: it is intended to leave a number of children lying in their own blood, and terrorise others.

Jews san frontieres – On Sderot and Ashkelon:

I will not minimize the very real suffering of the people living in Sderot (and now also Ashdod and Ashkelon) today. That suffering is not on the same scale as the suffering in Gaza, but it is still horrible, horrible, horrible.

These towns are on the receiving end of rocket fire, however innaccurate, and they have been so for many years. There are casualties, property damage, and years of psychological scars from stress and fear. The criminals responsible for the suffering in Sderot and Ashkelon ought to be tried at the Hague and sent to prison. That would be first and foremost Olmert, Barak and Livni.

Johnathon Cook [znet] – Israeli Electioneering with Bombs:

In the run-up to the election, observed Michael Warschawski, a founder of the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem, “all Israeli leaders are competing over who is the toughest and who is ready to kill more”.

Mr Netanyahu, pushed out of the spotlight, has had to turn his fire away from the two other parties and instead lambast easy political targets: in recent speeches he has questioned the loyalty of Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens and demanded the resignation of the only Arab government minister.

Mr Barak, an unpopular former prime minister but Israel’s most decorated combat soldier, has the most political capital to gain from the current military campaign. With his once-dominant Labor Party languishing in the polls, he will take the credit or blame among voters for the outcome in Gaza.

Ms Livni is in a more precarious position. Her glory, if the operation proves a triumph, will be of the reflected variety. But as Mr Netanyahu’s fortunes have grown, her political fate has become increasingly dependent on a continuing centre-left alliance with Mr Barak. The two, it seems, stand or fall in these elections together.

Mike Power – Why I hate ‘intellectuals’:

The war-mongering (or is it ex-war-mongering, now that he’s decided to no longer support the Iraq debacle) Marxist who likes to get his head up the arses of his neo-con chums gets worked up because Nir Rosen seems to ‘justify’ the killing of civilians which, of course we all know is ‘terrorism’.

Ten Percent – Israeli Navy Rams FreeGaza Ship In International Waters:

On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.

I’d love to hear how some pro-war pice of shit justifies attacking a boat delivering medical aid, no really, feel free to make a dick of yourself and line up with war crimes, history is full of such rationalisations of evil.

The Daily Mash – Loving this, admit Israel and Hamas:

Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said: “You’ve got to hand it to Hamas, they are the dog’s bollocks when it comes to unrelentingly insane terrorist opponents.

“Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas are so sensible and tedious. It’s all talking and protesting and chucking a few rocks once a week.

“Sure we can flatten a few streets but it’s not the same. Rocket attacks mean you can go balls-out crazy apeshit. I just love Hamas. They really get us.”

Meanwhile a Hamas spokesman said: “Hats off to the Israelis, they’ve done it again.

“This is the sort of top drawer, high quality violence that could keep us all going for years and years. Vintage stuff.

I’ve just been reminded aboutShell Israel. Not a particular post, just the whole thing.

A question for the weak

December 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Nir Rosen:

An American journal once asked me to contribute an essay to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified. My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, for the Native Americans in the past, for the Jews in Nazi Germany, for the Palestinians today, to ask themselves.

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims’ struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.


insulting a foreign leader

December 22nd, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

From the Guardian, another piece about the shoe throwing journalist:

Zaidi is in custody and faces up to two years’ jail for insulting a foreign leader.

Isn’t that like ‘following the wrong religion’ or praising the wrong man-with-bombs?

Neither Bush nor Maliki have sought charges, but investigating judge Dhia al-Kinani said last week he did not have the legal option to drop the case.

Right. No legal option to drop charges.

Uday al-Zaidi said his brother told him the apology letter was written against his will because of the torture inflicted on him during his detention, including being doused with cold water while naked.

“He told me that he has no regret because of what he did and that he would do it again,” Uday said.

“The thing that makes you cry and laugh at the same time is that when the prime minister said that that my brother was not tortured and will not be tortured, he was under severe torture by security authorities.”

I’m pretty sure that no-one has the legal option to turture either.

The prime minister said Zaidi admitted in the letter that a known terrorist had induced him to throw the shoes.

“He revealed … that a person provoked him to commit this act and that person is known to us for slitting throats,” Maliki said, according to the prime minister’s website. The alleged instigator was not named.

So he’s not an attention grabbing Afghan-Factor wannabe after all.

The prime minister said his government remained “committed to protecting the journalist in performing his professional duty” and guaranteed him the right to practise his profession “on condition that he does not violate the dignity of others”.

Hahaha! Excellent. I just had a vision of Rebekah Wade up in the dock, for ‘violating the dignity of others’ and ending up wearing a ‘community payback’ hi-vis jacket.

On Thought for the day

December 18th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I can’t be arsed with the rest of yesterdays Thought for the Day, esxcept for this line:

President Bush invaded Iraq to secure a freedom which some in Iraq applauded and many hated; the shoes were an expression of that hate.

Monkey Boy Bush invaded Iraq to secure a freedom. Some in Iraq applauded it because they had to gain. Many hated it because they knew it wasn’t for their benefit. The freedom the invasion secured was for the US.
Muntadar al-Zaidi threw his shoes because, if it had hit him it would’ve hurt. If he’d thrown his pen, it probably wouldn’t have reached him.

The Guardian:

The brother of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush claimed today that the television reporter was too badly beaten to appear in court, as the speaker of Iraq’s parliament reportedly announced his resignation over the issue.

Dargham al-Zaidi said he was told a judge had been to see his younger brother, Muntazer, at the jail where he has been held since throwing his shoes at the US president during a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday. The television reporter – whose actions have made him a star in the Arab world – called Bush a “dog” and said he was angry at the US occupation of his country.

The family went to Baghdad’s central criminal court expecting a hearing, Dhargham said, but were told the investigative judge had been to the prison and they should return in eight days. “That means my brother was severely beaten and they fear that his appearance could trigger anger at the court,” he said

Look at me!

December 17th, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

Mark Steel:

To reinforce his image, his response to the thrown shoes was to suggest that Mr al-Zaidi was “just trying to draw attention to himself.” Yes that’s it. He might say it was a protest about the war and occupation, but really he’s an exhibitionist who was turned down for Iraq’s Got Talent so he threw the shoes as a desperate attempt to get on the telly.

Any colour, as long as it’s black

December 2nd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


The jury at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will not be able to consider a verdict of unlawful killing, the coroner has said.

Sir Michael Wright said that having heard all the evidence, a verdict of unlawful killing was “not justified”.

The title is obviously based on what Henry Ford told his customers with regard to the colour they could have their Model T painted.
The jury in the inquest have been told a similar thing, any verdict as long as it isn’t the polices fault.
The jury can return an open or narrative verdict or one of lawful killing. Oh, the narrative must not blame the police. It wasn’t their fault you see. They weren’t there. Hadn’t been to Stockwell for a couple of days actually. Ask Dave. He’ll tell you. The police were with him. All day.

The jury must place the fault at the feet of either Jean Charles de Menezes, the victim, or on absolutley no one at all because Cressida Dick, and that is a Disney villian name if ever I heard one, the police chief bore “no personal culpability” at the trial of the Met that found them guilty of, an understated charge, of Endangering the Public under Health and Safety. Where or not Cressida is personally responsible or not, I don’t know, but the police as a body are.

Lets look at the facts:
The rozzers have been found guilty of endangering the public but the inquest cannot find that a man was killed by that transgression (is that the proper use of that word?). If the inquest did find that de Menezes was killed by the police breaking H & S law, then that would mean the police were guilty of unlawfully killing someone.

  1. A jury cannot return a verdict of unlawful killing of a man the police shot dead after wrongly identifying him
  2. the police were found guilty of ‘endangering the public’, under H&S law
  3. as a direct result of the police ‘endangering the public’ a man has died.
  4. if a man is wrongly jailed, due to mistaken identity, would he be lawfully imprisoned? No, of course not.

According to my logic, items 2 & 3 points to police being responsible for Jean Charles death and item shows he was unlawfully killed.
This means that the jury are being told to return a false verdict.
Jean Charles de Menezes didn’t die from misadventure.
Or by an accident.
Or by suicide.
Or from natural causes.
Or because he was on a wanted list.

Or from a long rambling story that doesn’t involve the words ‘identity’, ‘mistaken’, ‘shoot’, ‘police’ or ‘sniper’.

StWC Demo: 20 September @ Labour Party Conference

August 6th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

[[image:06-08-2008_21-13-06.jpg:20-08-08 StWC:center:0]]
Stop the War Coalition:

It is a disgrace that New Labour is still supporting these [Iraq & Afghanistan] wars. Gordon Brown has promised to schedule getting the troops out of Iraq, but there are still thousands there and the government has increased its war budget this year. The billions being spent on war could be used to invest in housing, pensions and services.

For all these reasons Stop the War is calling for the widest possible support for the demonstration at Labour’s conference on September 20th. Please tell your friends and workmates about the demonstration.

Illegal education

July 23rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The terrorist threat. It’s time to shit yer pants again.

This time it’s because thousands of kids all over the country are being given terrorist training, by the state, right under our noses. And we are forced to send our kids to these training camps 5 days a week!
Where are these training camps? How can we be sending our kids to them with out realising it for all this time?
The answer, is because they are very cleverly disguised as schools.

Well, that’s according to the home secretary anyway, who has had a control order preventing the study of AS level human biology and chemistry by a suspected terrorist, ‘AE’, upheld.

As Lee Griffin says:

Expect these subjects to be strictly off curriculum by 2010 along with P.E (encourages too much physical contact, something proven to be important in all knife crime), English (teaches you to say things that might offend another person) and Electronics/Computer science (for the obvious connections to easy routes to terrorism).

I mean…seriously? There is nothing so sacred in the teachings of the narrow curriculum in this country that cannot be learned outside of educational authority walls. What the home secretary is requesting is beyond ridiculous and in all fairness just gives the impression to me of her complete moronic nature.

Why should this suspect be restricted in his studies?

UK Liberty points out, this chap might not be quite such an innocent angel, because among the report is the statement

the Secretary of State had reasonable grounds to believe first that AE had received terrorist training and had taken part in terrorist activities

In which case prosecute he needs prosecuting. Then he will either be locked up or free to carry on his life.

‘Suspect’ has become a term for someone on the nether world, neither a free man or a convict. They can have their rights and movements restricted, who they can associate with, what they can read and what format they read it in. All controlled by the apparatus of the state. For as long as the state deems necessary. To be labelled ‘suspect’ is on par if not worse than a gypsy. Calls for terrorist suspects to be deported and such when they have not been convicted of anything.

There is nothing to stop a convict from studying law whilst in prison, to help him if he gets caught next time, and the convict has a track record of breaking the law, but the suspect lives in a no-mans’ land.


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