May 27, 2013
UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix on why Britain should not spent 100 billion pounds updating its Trident nuclear deterrent.
October 3, 2012
Bill Clinton and George Bush reveal their friendship when they appear together on TV. So it seems, at least. Perhaps they will cause world peace together but something is odd about this caucus of ex presidents. It is as though Clinton has embraced the devil vs the rehabilitation of Bush. The presidential campaign costs 3 billion dollars and yet this could swing voters, but which way is anyone’s guess. It is democracy in a bottle, diplomatic sages warning the next generation of bucks about to debate with each other.
July 24, 2012
In the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/world/middleeast/chemical-weapons-wont-be-used-in-rebellion-syria-says.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120724 – it is evident that Syria has a large cachet of WMD. Why? Well Saddam’s stock must have gone somewhere when sabrés were rattled.
Syria is all that is left of the common Ba-athist political party that fell with Saddam in Iraq. What is Ba’athism? It is an Islamic form of Socialism. Possibly a good thing for the Arab World to balance the many dynastic totalitarian ruled cultures that seem stuck in feudal existence. That Syria has many weapons of mass destruction was predicted. It was reported on the news that weapons were probably hidden in Syria, the storage place inheriting Saddam’s WMD. There may well have been much political cooperation between their governments both under the iron grip of a leader past his use by date, slaughtering dissidents. His domination of a country by going to war with factions is in common.
And now the Assad regime is bombing Allepo. And denying that they would use chemical weapons on Syrians. Foreign invaders would be a completely other matter. Will Romney start to threaten to invade Syria? Seems a natural. Or he will he be beaten to it. The temptation must be terrible on both candidates. They see it in different terms.
All the more so as it is probably quite correct – that Syria indeed has WMD and that someone is going to do the equation that constructed history. The problem is going to be the brutal Assad regime. It is going to be the WMD, and now it seems only natural that the UN will demand that Syria give them up. Or face terrible consequences.
Who would America trust in such a scenario. The guy who killed that terrorist guy.
September 6, 2011
The most conservative politician in America is not a Tea Party irrationally motivated soccer mum.
It is a rationalist who argued against the Iraq war, who predicted the Global credit meltdown. He also opposes welfare and taxation. In other words he may be the only actual conservative candidate. The others invest in foreign adventurism, inflation of the economy and fundamentalist Christian values. Although Ron Paul opposes abortion, he does frame his argument as a personal opinion. There is no hell and damnation diatribe to inflate his argument that he considers life is sacred.
He may be the most conservative, but he also appears to be sane. Judge for yourself. If the Republicans were to select him, America will have a genuine choice between the manufactured consent that has produced governments since the 1960s and a profound shift back to core values that may have extreme consequences, not all of them good, but ultimately medicinal in that what is left of the patient will survive the operation.
I do not want to criticise the Obama administration against the crop of Tea Party candidates. If Rick Perry and Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann get a mandate, it could wreak the genuine side of freedom and liberty that is the spirit of America. If it proceeds along the path that Iran has chosen, a theocracy or fear led fascism – it could be terrifying to the rest of the world.
If America were to chose between Ron Paul vs Obama – then there would be a choice of the best that each side has to offer.
January 13, 2010
UK Police have had an EEC ruling against stop and search activities.
In the meantime, a Muslim group has been denied their right of protest and have been labelled a terrorist group. This seems a popularist measure by the Brown Government increasingly clutching at straws to find votes in the upcoming election Labour seems destined to lose. Having moved too far right, they will almost certainly lose as the Conservatives seem to put on a more moderate face. I have seen this sort of political reversal happen in New Zealand.
And enquiries into Britain’s role in starting the Iraq war with George Bush is being defended by Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair’s master of spin.
Politics is the art of finding the middle ground. The war with Al Qaeda has been detrimental to the life of Great Britain but hardly as devastating as it has been to Iraq civilian life. Similarly, the war in Afghanistan seems, from the outside, to be a war against the poppy and criminal ideals. Terrorism is a political act when it creates a threat to everyday life. But Britain lived through its own Blitz in WWII and the threat of terror attacks is not going to stop this once world ruling nation from defending itself.
Freedom is too important to ignore. But is the medicine proscribed by Bush, Blair and now Brown any good for freedom? Not if the laws they enact reduce individual freedom. I returned to the UK expecting stop and search and intrusions by the law to be hard to deal with, but so far, I see people being indoctrinated behind their brick walls into being frightened of each other. The police presence is extreme but accepted. Most of the coppers go about their guardianship of civilised behaviour with good will and life goes on.
Google is concerned that Chinese hacking of freedom activists’ gmail accounts has raised question by the US Government and a threat by Google of pulling out of google.cn completely. This will mean less freedom for the most populated country in the world.
Meantime, earthquakes destroy Haiti and millions die the world over from disease and starvation. Is this emphasis on terrorism all that wise? Are the acts of Osama bin Laden really going to make any difference in terms of Islam? Probably not. It is just a dirty war that will be over in another 2000 years or so.
Or both sides could signal an end to hostilities and the start of toleration and freedom.
June 14, 2008
As Dennis Kuchinich reads his charges for impeachment of GW Bush and Dick Cheney, the folly of their actions is starting to kill more Americans in Afghanistan than Iraq, for the last month at least. This is partly due to “the surge” in Iraq reducing insurgency by killing more “terrorists” and others, but also to increased Taleban activity and the Al Qaeda leadership who continue to find sheltered and a base of resistance in Pakistan. But there are so many more soldiers in Iraq that each American death in Afghanistan is proportionately more “damage value” to the opposing side.
Reading the article linked above (click on the heading, or right-click to open it in a new tab*) makes me feel that there is an effort to say it is too hard to find Osama and this will be – or will be attempted to justify a limited nuclear strike to cut the head from the dragon, so to speak. There does seem to be a gathering force to expose evident obsessiveness of the American leadership combined with moral blindess and apparent illiteracy. Heading his old Press guy go public with his New York Times best seller – you distictly get the impression that as long as these guys run the USA, the world is playing Russian Roulette.
That another irrationally struck war or action this President could take to ease his frustration with the non-progress on his “War on Terror” – terrorism is worse than before but draconian Homeland Security has increased the risk to Al Qaeda operatives. As unbelieveablely huge and inefficient the DHS may be, it does require terrorists to fill out lots of forms, a sort of medevil test of guilt, perhaps.
But the DHS is more effective than the US forces are fighting a nonsensical war against all takers who want to try their luck in this human landscape video game emulation. It is a failure of Islam to allow youths to be so stupidly killed by overwhelming force. It is a failure of Christianity to allow its leader to justify committing crimes against humanity with a pack of lies.
The fierce war in Afghanistan/Pakistan threatens the United States of America. The insurgency in Iraq is a self inflicted wound.
*or update your browser to the latest Firefox 3, or Opera, or IE8 when it arrives
July 30, 2007
The rhetoric inside America is that of bring back our boys and girls. This film shows what they are doing, how effective they are occupying a foreign land that seems embarressed by the stupidity of their invaders, when asked if he was scared, the quietly seated local shakes his head.
The trouble with fighting an unjust war is there can be no logic behind the actions of on the ground operators. How can their actions be seen as anything but brutal and out of sync with reality by the cowed populations over which the terms of life are dictated and their lives bruised by the use of force without real intent.
When asked about what they are doing, the American soldier says “I am just doing my job.”
If American forces are going to be in Iraq, they at least need to know their purpose. They need to earn respect rather than the disgust and fear that seems to welcome them.
April 23, 2007
Character assasination has taken on a whole new meaning as the “war on terror” progresses. The Dept of Homeland Security has a massive budget for spying upon the activities of potential terrorist threats. That is a reaction to the events of 9/11 and many have conjectured or argued a stance that the Governemnt used or even created 9/11 as a justification for control of the population with monosyallbic concepts and easily digested sound bites.
More civilians have died in the crossfire in this “war on terror” (if you include the events in Iraq since the US invasion) than the war sought to protect from the acts of terrorists. It is hard to accept that the War in Iraq is the same as the war launched to prevent Al Qaeda from establishing, it can be argued that the US invading Iraq was the best thing that could have happened for Al Qaeda.
The war on terror has flipped the tables on the US economy and in conjuction with cynical tax cuts made the poor of America (90%) utterly dependent upon the whim of a cartel of billionaires that rely upon growth in public consumption to continue being powerful. The US has blundered into a new form of slavery. The US now have a war effort in play, so a percentage of your grandchildrens’ income is going to be paying the bill. This is a reduction in the freedom of Americans since Bush came to power.
The first signs of a totalitarian state was the questionable election results that saw the Republicans only begin to enact their agenda after the public were well hypnotised by 9/11. Before 9/11 it was evident that new thinking had pushed aside pursuit of Al Qaeda started under Clinton.
The imprisonment of journalists and academics is the next stage of a new McCarthism. It seems that it now happening and I wonder if the voices of all those Homeland Security agents who are not finding terrorists around every street corner are in fact writing propaganda to “flush out” terrorists? Or, indeed, if it is the activity of “the enemy” – whomever it may be.
It relies upon uncalled for judgement of individuals when looking at Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that almost invites slander but is regulated by its own active editing “community”. But they can not keep up with concerted efforts to commit acts of libel by “concerned citizens” who remain anonymous to the public eye.
Free speech is one thing. Being able to endanger the lives of others is something else.
April 5, 2007
The march at Majaf instigated by the Sadrist Shiite majority demonstrated against the foreign forces occupying Iraq. The political capital enjoyed by Bush and Blair is evaporating rapidly. The naked ambition to control the world’s oil supply appears the apparent goal in seeking to control outcomes in the Middle East. It is a rational strategy of the US Government as controlled by the remanants of the all bases covered Republican Senate, House and Presidential dominance of recent times – with only the office of President left to argue for the war. It is the voice that counts, the one voice in the wilderness of “who are you kidding” disbelief. Dragging the West into this unsavourary and premature war has recreated divisions on our own soil. The Bush Black/White doctrine does not allow hesitation but it is exactly that, hesistation, that has saved the world from Nuclear madness, on more than one occasion.
April 1, 2007
Bush created a budget balancing act based on increased spending, mainly military, of three trillion dollars. A trillion is 1000 billions, using the American system of dealing with numbers that are simply too big. 1,000,000 is our familiar million. 1,000,000,000 (one billion) is becoming a more commonplace concept of the 21st Century – and already we are talking in “trillions” (one of which looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000).
The 3,000,000,000,000 or so America spent on its friutless effort in Iraq has probably been borrowed from Saudi princes who probably are forced to indirectly fund the food chain that disposses far too many and creates al Qaeda. Perhaps that is the underlying rationale behind the Bush invasion. It was not Daddy’s record, but a deal we are not allowed to know about.
The Saudi royal family and its grip on power is funded by the centering of profit from oil extraction from the largest oil fields in the world through just a few hands who then appear to me to pitch America against their own enemies – the Shiite revolution that would render their power obsolete.
America stepped into a breach that appears to be more chaotic for the intervention. It has stepped into the breach of a war brewing on both sides of it. It needs to shore up Sunni support against its new spotlight of threat: Iran.
Whom is fooling whom?
American intervention is an effort to prolong the status quo, history tells us unfathomable power in too few hands is not a stable form of Government. It has resulted in revolution elsewhere, America and France are fine examples of a Republican success that followed revolutions.
February 28, 2007
Behind the Sunni-Shi’ite Divide — Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007 — Page 1 — TIME – to understand the division between Shiite and Sunni – this article in TIME illustrates that it is not a conventional religious struggle but a historical one? Brothers in faith, yes, but is the spirit of humanity as alive in their spiritual leadership as it was in the soul of the young man who dived into the river and saved several Shiite pilgrims from drowning before, he, himself lost his own life (as did about 1000 pilgrims).
Othman al-Obeidi, 25, Sunni – should therefore be remembered and given recognition as an example of brother helping brother. The rift that suicide bombers tear open can not be closed with more bloodshed. It can only be closed by acts of extreme bravery and sacrifice like this one. But one saintly act can be easily undone, as appears the case for Sunni who have since been affected by Shiite militia death squads. In other words one good deed may repair the violence of the past, but it is quickly undone by violence in the future.
To bring peace between Sunni and Shiite may become the way in which this war on terrorism is won, finally. Lobbing morters across suburbs is no way to bring peace.
The Iraq war was mishandled by the US military strategy. For this, George Bush will be remembered as more than just a poor strategist. His priority was blind revenge against Saddam. Finishing the job his father started.
Another way of looking at this is that Sunni extremists were behind 9/11. By returning Iraq political power to the hands of the majority, Shiites – a wound was struck and reignited the ancient fued between Sunni and Shiite. It was not just an illegal war – or a stupid one – it was bound to foment ancient hatreds. You see, the real problem is too much death of young fathers leads to endemic dysfunctionality as their children grow up with weapons and bent on blind revenge.
February 20, 2007
George Monbiot explains what is wrong with all those conspiracy theories that are convinced the US Government was involved in 9/11 and who pluck convenient “truths” and “proofs” from their own conviction that things must be that way because it is all so unbelievable.
A wrong answer is simply that. Wrong. A right answer is usually the simple answer. That it was just 19 Islamic extremists driven by Jihad and social memory of the Ottoman days of glory and funding of Osama bin Laden is simpler than a requisite grand orchestration for the sake of public opinion. Bush already did that when he rigged his way into Presidency in the first place. Now, that does not mean that the Bush/Cheney cabal are not involved. But to also involve the army, air force, navy and entire government is complex and therefore unlikely.
The problem is that the conspiracy theorists make genuine opposition to the madness of the Iraq war seem unintelligent. Using the X-Files as a basis of political argument is not going to find the truth out there – this is the real world and the Bush cabal and what is driving it to “keep America great” does have strong and real intentions and these do not benefit the majority of Americans, nor is their “New World Order” beneficial to progress or civilization.
Yes, there are elements of the story that could show Government complicity (mainly by inaction and ruthless politicking against President Clinton) – these truths are useful in convincing its audience that something is wrong. But the Cabal behind the Bush Administration is probably more like what the conspiracists breathlessly fear than the Government that they pretend to be, and it is their authoritarian needs that drove them into the irrational war in Iraq. But to accuse them of creating 9/11 is to cloak the entire Left as nutters.
The truth is the truth. There is no need to dress it up.
See COMMENTS…edited paragraph 1 to change ‘complicit’ to ‘involved’ as comments revealed to me that the argument that ‘Bush/Cheney were complicit in 9/11’ seems likely, but shed doubt on ‘US Government involvement’. Wow – did I buy it from those who reject George Monbiot.
February 5, 2007
Al Jazeera English – Americas reports an ex-US general warning against the US launching an attack on Iran. The consequences for security in the region were severe, the retired army lieutenant general Robert Gard said. He is a former military assistant to US defense secretary, Robert McNamara, and he urged the US government to “engage immediately in direct talks with the government of Iran without preconditions.”