Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: August 2005

29 August 2005

A Bit Of Brit Royal Bitchin' ...

Crumbs! Could you credit it? The Crown caught a cold today; quite possibly the full blown 'flu.

Princess Diana's mother thought Prince Charles was a "spoiled brat",

Well, according to Mr Mike Merrit, who describes himself as a friend of Frances Shand Kydd [ Princess Diana's mother ] she did. And Merritt, a journalist turned author, attributes his recent and remarkable Royal revelations to 'hundreds of conversations' he had with Mrs Shand Kydd during the final nine years of her life; she died in June last year.

It appears she opined in similar style, regarding many more members of the British Royal Family.

... the Queen Mother "quite a bitch" ...

Sheesh. Some strong stuff to be sure. And there's so much more.

Here's how she said she saw young Prince Harry - her own grandson.

.... Prince Harry "a rascal" ....

Then this, of his paternal uncle Prince Edward.

She said he depended on the Queen to "pay his way" in life.

Phew! So what - you may well wonder - of the House of Windsor as a whole?

Here's what.

Frances Shand Kydd described the Royal Family as "German dwarfs" and said the Queen's outfits looked like they came from the Red Cross.
Good golly, miss Molly. Ghoulish, gripes and grumblings - from far beyond the grave.

Dodi al Fayed's wannabe royal Egyptian dad, multi-millionaire Mohammed, didn't escape her evident disdain either.

According to the diary, Mrs Shand Kydd hated Mohammed al Fayed, Dodi's father. She learned to infuriate him by being silent.

Something else we're shown in today's article by Frank Hurley for the Mirror, is that Mrs Shand Kydd certainly wasn't too shy to swear, curse or cuss -- whether she was blasting the blue-bloods or addressing assassination accusations.

She was also, says the Mirror - ahem - devout. And she sought solace in the Catholic church and charity work.

Read more royal revelations via the link:

Then there's this related tasty tid-bit, too:

27 August 2005

Donald Rumsfeld - Damning Revelations ...

Tempted to take tonight off. Terrible toothache. Two days, now.


But they tell me the show must go on. So instead of simply skulking off and sending in a sick note - lets just do it - but lets keep it short and sweet.

Here's the headline for Majorie Cohn's marvellous interview piece.

Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration

By Marjorie Cohn

As to how the hell I missed this for three days ... well ... well ... I'm gonna blame me pain.

Wednesday 24 August 2005

I had been hesitant to speak out before because this Administration is so vindictive. But now I will ... Anybody who confronts this Administration or Rumsfeld or the Pentagon with a true assessment, they find themselves either out of a job, out of their positions, fired, relieved or chastised. Their career comes to an end. -- Janis Karpinski, interview with Marjorie Cohn, August 3, 2005

In the hope you're already hooked enough to hurry looking for more I'll just leave you with this extra bit of bait.

Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was in charge of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq when the now famous torture photographs were taken in fall of 2003.

She was reprimanded and demoted to Colonel for her failure to properly supervise the prison guards. Karpinski is the highest ranking officer to be sanctioned for the mistreatment of prisoners.

On August 3, 2005, I interviewed Janis Karpinski.
Oh, alright then -- I can manage another minute, I suppose.

"It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things," Karpinski said.

"And then a handwritten message over to the side that appeared to be the same handwriting as the signature, and that signature was Secretary Rumsfeld's. And it said, 'Make sure this happens' with two exclamation points.

And that was the only thing they had. Everything else had been confiscated."

Heck, the things I do for love. This time I mean it - this tasty teaser's your last.

Karpinski said, however, "The truth has been uncovered, but it's been suffocated and it has not been released with the results of the investigation." She added, "McClellan and Rumsfeld can get up on their high horse and say that there've been no fewer than 15 investigations that were conducted.

But every one of those investigations is under the control of the Secretary of Defense. And every one of those investigations is run and led by a person who can lose their job under Rumsfeld's fist."

"We're never going to know the truth until they do an independent commission or look into this independently," Karpinski maintains. "This is about instructions delivered with full authority and knowledge of the Secretary of Defense and probably Cheney.

I don't know if the President was involved or not. I don't care. All I know is, those instructions were communicated from the Secretary of Defense's office, from the Pentagon, through Cambone, through Miller, to Abu Ghraib."

And you'd better believe it -- you ain't seen nothin' yet. There is sooo much more where this came from that it's probably best you put your slippers on and your feet up -- 'cos reading the rest could take quite some considerable time. I mean it. Trust me.

Now where's that hay? Because boy-oh-boy, right now I am really ready to hit it.

( While I snore - you read more - much more.)

25 August 2005

An Assassination Talk, Afterthought ...


Cripes! Can't coincidences occasionally catch one quite completely, unawares?

After a day of considerable numbers of conversations with more than plenty of my peers, regarding raging Robertson's recent rants re; assassinations, et al -- right out of the blue, my pal Pete reminded me of this.

On this very day, 25th August, some 38 years ago came the following news flash :

25th August 1967: 'American Hitler' shot dead

Many younger readers may well not know much, if indeed anything at all, of the late unlamented George Lincoln Rockwell. But most of our - let's say, mature in years - readers, should readily recall this other reviled - though now long dead - rat. And probably, with rather reasonable revulsion too.

Here's an introduction for the uninitiated in this particular piece of American history.

The leader of the American Nazi party, George Lincoln Rockwell, has been shot and killed by a sniper at a shopping centre in Arlington, Virginia.

But let me make it quite, quite clear at this point, for the benefit of those not yet in the know, that mad Mr Robinson was not in any way involved in this other madman's murder. I mean, I would just hate to be misinterpreted -- if you take my meaning. Eh?

The actual assassin on this occasion owned up to being on of his victim's very own, extreme right wing wallahs. Some, to this day still say -- summary justice.

.... a "captain" in Rockwell's Nazi party, John Patler, 29, was arrested and charged with his murder.
This Old Brit says, Well, what do you say?

On second thoughts maybe that's not really a fair question for our, shall we say, more youthful readers. So here's another short, yet rather revealing snippet.

After his funeral on 30 August 1967, the Pentagon refused to allow Rockwell's body to be buried in the national cemetery at Culpeper because his followers refused to take off their swastika armbands before entering.
Urk! Unpopular would appear to be an understatement as far as this corpse was concerned. Wouldn't you say?

Don't be too shocked or surprised though. Peer awhile at this particular paragraph and per-chance your initial perception will change.

He believed all blacks should be deported to Africa and every Jew dispossessed and sterilised.
Now read some more re: G.L. Rockwell.

24 August 2005

Up-coming, Canada Quandary ...

Every so often, something especially surprising shows up on This Old Brit's rickety old radar screen -- even if it appears it's avoided dectection by much more modern model's monitors.

Here's a headline that hasn't exactly had hoards of reporters and/or bloggers banging on about it. Unless anyone here knows different of course.

Canada makes show of force over disputed Arctic territory

By David Usborne in New York

Published: 24 August 2005


Can't say I can recall at all, Canada calling out it's warships before. Can you?

Three Canadian warships were steaming through Arctic waters as Ottawa displayed a new and almost bellicose determination to protect the sovereignty of its northernmost boundaries.

Dear, dear, dear -- it appears it's actually an Arctic-aggro alarm. And according to the Canadians this whole conflict-quandary-caboodle is all down to those darned Danes from Denmark. Hmm. And we all thought that Vikings had vanished, eh?.

... a tiny island that has become the subject of diplomatic head-butting between Canada and Denmark. Both claim the barren rock, named Hans Island.

But wait, there's more.

.... with the melting of polar ice providing access for shipping, the government is anxious about possible territorial rivalries with Norway, Russia and the United States as well as Denmark.

Good, gawd!

Global warming's set to strike in more mysterious ways than most had ever imagined, it seems. Take a quick peek at this.

The melting ice, attributed to global warming, could even open the legendary North-west Passage, linking the Atlantic and the Pacific, to shipping. Canada and Russia are at odds over areas of the continental shelf in the region, with its potentially important mineral and oil deposits.

Meanwhile, the United States wants the Passage to be under international, not Canadian, control. There are also fears of clashes with the US over riches beneath the Beaufort Sea which extends northwards from the coasts of both Canada and Alaska.


It's said it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Well, if this doesn't sound like there's a distinct chilling in the North American air -- I wonder what does?

At first glance this story might seem sort of funny. At second ...... well, we'll simply have to wait and see.

Ottawa is to launch a satellite to orbit above the Arctic to monitor shipping.


Add an aerial alarm to that aqua alarm. What in the world is really going on here?

You may well ask.

There are also fears of clashes with the US over riches beneath the Beaufort Sea which extends northwards from the coasts of both Canada and Alaska.

Get the full story at the UK's Independent :

23 August 2005

Raving, Robertson Requires Restraining ...

Conterfeit Christian

Right wing religious rodent and reviled rabble rousing reprobate, Pat Robinson, yesterday revolted well over half of America and the vast majority of the rest of the civilised world.

This rancid, raving retard has finally lost it completely. It seems the pathetic, potty prick's brain has simply self combusted. The blustering, barmy buffoon seems to have gone stark, staring bonkers.

For his own safety as well as that of several million other sane souls, surely he should be committed -- either to a state prison or to a secure mental institution.

Try to keep your eyes from popping out of their sockets, and endeavour to elevate your jaw from the floor when you find out the following.

.... if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.
Can you credit it? Talk about counterfeit-Christian cant. My God. In the name of Jesus H, what kind of cock-eyed, criminal claptrap is this?

For what it's worth, This Old Brit's opinion - and answer - is that it's quite simply and clearly, sheer unadulterated, certifiable insanity.

This idiot, ideologue is inciting cold blooded murder. Just imagine it. The crazed clown is clearly canvassing for a killing. He's actually advocating an assassination. It beggars bloody, belief.

Moreover, the mad, megalomaniac of a monster further ferments his fanatical followers fantasies by sarcastically suggesting some money can be saved, if his insane idea is implemented.

Witnessed what else he waffled.

It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.
Be it by being brought to book by the police and then placed, poste haste, behind bars -- or by being strapped inside a straight jacket and shoved straight into some sort of padded cell -- such a dangerous, demonic, demented creature as he so obviously is, should swiftly be swept straight up off the street.

Get you breath back, then get ready to gasp again, as you get the gist of more of his gibbering, gabbling garbage.

We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one,

In case you haven't already heard or realised, raving Robinson was raging about the premeditated murder of another country's democratically elected President -- Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

What makes this man's madness even more alarming is that his absolutely, outrageous outbursts were brazenly, broadcast publicly across America's airwaves.

Check out the incredulity of it all, at the Media Matters for America link below.

Then see what The Guardian had to say:,1282,-5228221,00.html

20 August 2005

Comparing Mad King George to Genuine King, Juan Carlos

As mad King George, their President and Commander in Chief has decreed, America's young war dead must only be deposited at Dover during the darkest hours of night. And noble cause or not, posthumous photographic records of all arrivals are expressly forbidden.

That's Bushamerica today.

Here's a real King's country today.

Spain mourns troops dead in crash

King Juan Carlos (saluting, left) led mourners at army headquarters

Spain has held a state funeral for 17 of its soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

And here's a real King's, people's Queen.

Queen Sofia hugged some of the mourners.

Of course, what else should one expect? After all, these royal rulers are from -- according to rancid Rumsfeld's ravings -- 'Old' Europe.

'Nuff said?

Standing shoulder to shoulder with their noble King and Queen, these particular fallen heroes' Prime minister, Jose Luis Rodigrues Zapatero was there to offer his personal thanks and the thanks of all Spain's people, for the dead troops' sacrifice and to officially honour them.

In addition, throughout the entire country their fellow Spaniards began two full days of mourning for the fallen.

And, as so many stars & stripes' standards currently do in today's United States, all across Spain the nation's national flag flew.

But unlike in mad King George's country -- all Spain's flags are flying at half mast.

And unlike in mad King George's country, the dead soldiers' leaders personally paid their respective respects in the most honourable, public and practical manner imaginable.

And unlike in mad King George's country, not a solitary grieving, bereaved parent was prevented in absolutely any way, shape or form from standing in the close company of their political leaders. Moreover, nor indeed were they kept apart from either their King or Queen.

Not for these genuinely free citizens any fenced-in, specially segregated free speech sections, farcically far away from the rulers.

Nor were any designated, by decree -- to ditches.

This Old Brit salutes the Spanish citizens of so called Old Europe; both the mourned and those in mourning for them.

Bravo, mi amigos. Y, viva Espana.

( Link: )

19 August 2005

Clinton, McCain and more - v - Bush ...

Global warming: Will you listen now, America?

Two of the leading contenders to contest the next US presidential election have delivered an urgent warning to the United States on global warming, saying the evidence of climate change has become too stark to ignore and human activity is a major cause.

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington - Published: 19 August 2005, in the UK's Independent.

Well, will they listen?

That's what the whole rest of the world's been wondering for a long, long while. But maybe Mr & Mrs average American still aren't aware of the enormity of the all-too-true, terrible threat that's now looming so large.

Maybe too many moms and dads are still only watching the faux news from Fox, and still only reading the regularly released rubbish from Murdoch's media monopoly. Eh?

Well, one thing's for sure -- This Old Brit is completely certain that it's not because they don't care about their kids that the coming calamity of catastrophic, climate change isn't being taken seriously. Rather, he believes it's because it's still not been properly explained to them -- neither fully nor truthfully.

So maybe names such as those shown below can grab some sorely needed, mass public attention. It's certainly to be hoped so.

Mr McCain, Mrs Clinton and Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, also went to Barrow, the northernmost city in the US.

Perhaps by simply seeing the sort of things they're saying, all sensible citizens will swiftly 'snap out of it'.

"The question is how much damage will be done before we start taking concrete action," Mr McCain said at a press conference in Anchorage. "Go up to places like we just came from. It's a little scary."

Mrs Clinton added: "I don't think there's any doubt left for anybody who actually looks at the science. There are still some holdouts, but they're fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming."

And here's some more of the same.

Mr Graham, a Republican, said he had been moved by what he had seen. "Climate change is different when you come here, because you see the faces of people experiencing it. If you go to the people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something's going on, you're not listening."

Mrs Collins, a Democrat, was even more convinced. She said the evidence in Alaska represented the "canary in the mine shaft of global warming crying out to us to pay attention".

One doesn't need a Doctorate. Nor does one need a degree. The whole shameful, scary scenario is simply so self-evident.

So lets try to keep things simple.

Lets forget for the moment, most of the jargon used by the special interest, big business boys who make their billions by .... by ..... there's no other word for it .... by blighting all our lives.

So, as I've already said, lets keep it simple -- okay?

Simply, think hole in the Ozone. Simply, think kids. Simply, think grandkids. Simply, think malignant melanoma. Simply, think skin cancer.

Getting the picture now?

Then think on this, too.

President Bush's administration has repeatedly questioned the evidence of global warming and the contribution of human activity to any shift.

Mr Bush, who in 2001 refused to ratify the Kyoto treaty on global warming weeks after he took office, has repeatedly been accused of doing nothing to enforce tighter
controls on emissions of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases".
Look at this link, and learn.

18 August 2005

China Russia War Games ...

Oh, what lovely little Orwellian label for a war game; Peace Mission 2005.

Over 100, 000 troops from their armies, plus plenty more military pals from the navy and airforce too. Not to mention the awesome, assortment of armaments and hardware involved.

What a jolly, nice thing to do -- send them all sailing on a peace mission, instead of off to war somewhere.

Eh? Ya think?

Well, first off here's the headline and secondly, what's being said by some.

Russia, China in first joint war games.

The exercise signifies closer ties between the two former foes.

China and Russia have began their first joint military exercises boosting cooperation between them and sending a message to the United States about their growing influence.

Eight days of war games between the giant neighbours ......

Hmmm. Very interesting.

As is this.

Russia and China also see common ground in Central Asia, both in trying to ensure political turmoil in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan does not spill into their borders, and in checking the US presence in the region.
But fear not, friends - apparently none of it's meant to be taken too seriously. See?

The two countries say they seek to boost cooperation"Military cooperation is linked with political and economic cooperation as part of a bigger package," said Robert Karniol, Asia-Pacific editor for Jane's Defence Weekly.

"It's not an adversarial posture."

Oooh, I see, so that's alright then.

Or is it?

"The main target is the United States. Both sides want to improve their position for bargaining in terms of security, politics and economics," said Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at the People's University of China.
Don't you hate such hopelessly mixed messages from the media? I mean, what the heck is one actually meant think? Are they with us -- or what?

'Real Politik' is a pretty powerful game. And, it's a damned dangerous game.

Incidentally, here's where it's all at.

The exercises are taking place in the Russian Pacific near Vladivostok and in the Chinese coastal province of Shandong and run through 25 August.

And here's where the US State Department's at.

"We would hope that anything that they do is not something that would be disruptive to the current atmosphere in the region," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

All rather confusing don't you think? Or is it?

Is it a genuine case of nothing see here, folks? So should we all just move along now?

For what it's worth, This Old Brit's take is that this is a truly tough one to call.

At a time like this, about the only thing that does seem certain is that for at least once in his life, George W. Bush was speaking the truth when he claimed he was a uniter, not a divider.

Here's what you might call a 'slap bang, smack in the middle of the road' report, on these particularly perplexing proceedings. It doesn't come the far right [nor from the far West] -- nor does it come from the far left [nor from the far East]. And maybe more to the point - nor does it come from Fox or any Rupert Murdoch rag.

Hit the link then suck it and see -- as the local's like to say, where I live.

17 August 2005

The Latest Leaks From London ...

Drip, drip, drip. One after another, after another, the 'leaks' just keep on coming. Take a look at this latest one from London.

New claims emerge over Menezes death.
Brazilian was held before being shot.
Police failed to identify him.
He made no attempt to run away.
Shown above is the headline, sub header and lead in of a riveting Guardian revelation this morning, Wednesday 17th August 2005.

Shown below are 'the bones' of this startling story.

It has now emerged that Mr de Menezes:

* was never properly identified because a police officer was relieving himself at the very moment he was leaving his home;

* was unaware he was being followed;

* was not wearing a heavy padded jacket or belt as reports at the time suggested;

* never ran from the police;

* and did not jump the ticket barrier.

** But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.
Now, while some of these things have been mentioned and/or rumoured before, by various parties in various publications -- this is the first time all the dots have been completely connected. And what a shocking and sickeningly sad state of affairs it shows -- so-called, security-wise.

What's more, the documentations' contents and contentions are clearly corroborated by CCTV camera footage.

The leaked documents and pictures showed the failures in the police operation from the time Mr de Menezes left home.
There's now no doubt about it -- as This Old Brit flagged right from the 'off', this whole thing stank to high heaven; indeed it still does.

It was a cock up of epic proportions. Get a load of this -- and then gasp.

A surveillance officer admitted in a witness statement that he was unable to positively identify Mr de Menezes as a suspect because the officer had been - relieving himself - when the Brazilian left the block of flats where he lived.
Now gasp again at the absolutely, awesome arrogance of this utterly unbelievable announcement by the police authorities. What they're basically saying is, it's true -- but we're not admitting it's true. The absurdity's almost matched by their audacity

My God, the mind boggles.

A senior police source last night told the Guardian that the leaked documents and statements gave an accurate picture of what was known so far about the shooting. But the IPCC refused to confirm the documents were genuine adding: "Our priority is to disclose any findings direct to the family, who will clearly be distressed that they have received information on television concerning his death."
I ask you -- is that double talk or is that downright, diabolical double talk?

Talk about insulting people's intelligence.

So, hold onto your hat when hitting the links to learn lots more.,16132,1550565,00.html

Then, there's more at the BBC.

Also, see this cross ref/related blog piece at Cultutre of Life News 11.

15 August 2005

Bleatin' Heart, Bush ...

It seems it needs simply the slightest sort of spat, to send some self styled super stars into sour & sullen sulks.

Apparently, over the weekend George W. Bush has gone and gotten all 'gobby'.

[Gobby's Brit slang for sullen or sulky, by the way.]

Like the late and legendary, lovely lady of the silver screen, Greta Garbo, Dumbyo now wails that he want's to be left alone. Well, This Old Brit sincerely hopes the pseudo-cowboy from Crawford gets his wish granted -- in due course, of course -- and, via due process.

Commenting on why a big tough guy like himself couldn't [or wouldn't] come out to chat with a little-lady-in- a-ditch, like Cindy Sheehan, he whimpered, whinged and whined as follows.

I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say."

Oh really, George? Then why the hell aren't you?

Then, the narcissistic nerd even had the barefaced, brazen nerve to bleat a bit more.

"But," he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

Forgetting for a few fleeting moments the fact that this frat-brat, thanks to his permanently pampered & privileged existence since birth, doesn't have the remotest idea of the meaning of "a balanced life" -- This Old Brit wonders how the hell it was that not one single, solitary sob of a media whore, had the balls to call him on such an utterly obnoxious [and erroneous] utterance.

God alone knows where George gets the gall.

Isn't that precisely what millions upon of millions of other people want as well? Including more than half of his own fellow Americans ? Don't they keep telling him that they too 'want to go on with life, to keep a balanced life,' -- instead of fighting, killing, dying and being bereaved via his lies-based, illegal oil-wars?

Well, don't they?

Isn't it also what the innocent, regular people of Iraq want? And what millions of innocent, regular people in Iran want, too? And isn't it exactly what the bulk of the rest of the planet's innocent, regular people want? Including those innocent, regular Palestinians whose piteous plight Bush could so easily have helped alleviate, a long time ago.

And isn't it what almost all the none-American people who were unceremoniously, dragged kicking & screaming into the murderous mess of the megalomaniac Bush's making -- by so many of their respective, self serving and despicably devious, coat-tail-hanging lousy leaders -- isn't it also what they all want?

Too bloody true it is, says This Old Brit.

But watching the way Bush's popularity at home is suddenly nose diving -- at almost supersonic speed -- it's looking more & more like lots of us may just get one of our most earnest & dearest wishes granted -- somewhat sooner than we had hoped.

I mean, before he began bleating about wanting to be left alone, didn't anyone ever tell him? Is it actually conceivable that he may genuinely, never even have heard?

"Be careful what you wish for."

Stop Press: Simpchimp, is a regular reader and periodic poster at This Old Brit's blog - and also writes a blog. Titled 'Simply Chimpy' it specialises in exclusively blogging Bush - and ilk. It comes highly recommended, especially if you'd like to read more fully the Bush, Crawford ranch speech from which the selected quotes used in today's Old Brit blog were taken.

For fuller version of Bush's speech [and more], hit link below and scroll to "All right, lets go have fun."

13 August 2005

Tony Blair, Blasted And Berated ...

It's doubtful many readers beyond the UK shores have heard of John McCririck. He's a larger than life, national television sports commentator, presenter, pundit and all round minor celebrity. His specialty is horse racing and he's pictured above; top right

Known as much for his outlandish and often outrageous outfits [think, Sherlock Holmes & Basil Rathbone] as he is for his regularly bellowed public pronouncements -- on every single subject under the sun. In fact, John McCririck without doubt, absolutely epitomizes the very essence of English eccentricity.

He also just happened to be an extremely close friend of the recently departed and sadly missed, ex foreign secretary and British parliamentarian par excellence, Robin Cook.

Mr Cook was a keen racing man and it was through their mutual love of 'the turf' that a friendship was struck, which grew and blossomed over the years. So it was not surprising that the Cook family wanted McCririck in attendance at Robin's funeral, yesterday.

However, what did surprise some - though not This Old Brit - was a broadcast [quite literally] via loudspeakers, to an overflow crowd of mourners outside St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, by Mr McCririck inside.

Here's a sample of what he said.

"Do you mean to say if Tony Blair was up for election in six months time he wouldn't have been there?...
Strong stuff, eh? And so was this.

"... Not being there... demonstrated that the prime minister has got his pettiness,
And then there was this.

" ... had there been a funeral for President Bush or President Chirac do you mean to say Tony Blair would not have attended? It is inconceivable.


Over the last 24 hours there's been some considerable criticism voiced regarding McCririck's public tongue lashing of the Prime Minister, although much more concern seems to have been aired regarding the time and place of the verbal attack rather than the sentiment or content.

So today, having pondered - the aforementioned pundit proffered further proclaimations to the press.

He said he "certainly did not" regret his words and would do the same again "with reservations".

But he conceded the funeral might not have been the right time to have made his remarks.

This Old Brit is inclined to agree with what old John Mac said yesterday -- and, with what he said today.

Read the rest of this revealing report at the link to the BBC, below.

12 August 2005

Please Sign The Sheehan Petition

This poem is by/from Carly Sheehan. She's Cindy's daughter & Casey's sister.

**** CARLY'S POEM ****
A Nation Rocked to sleep
by Carly Sheehan,
Sister of Casey, KIA 04/04/04, Sadr City Baghdad
Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done

They call him a hero, you should be glad that he's one, but

Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

He must be brave because his boy died for another man's lies

The only grief he allows himself are long, deep sighs

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

They say that he died so that the flag will continue to wave

But I believe he died because they had oil to save

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?

The leaders want to keep you numb so the pain won't be so deep

But if we the people let them continue another mother will weep


Please take a moment or two of your time to show solidarity and support for the Sheehan family, by signing the petition at this link.

10 August 2005

Two mothers talking ...

Someone said a picture's worth a thousand words.

Above left is Cindy Sheehan. She's a mother. Read a bit about her below.

Cindy Sheehan's 24-year-old son -- Army Spc. Casey Sheehan of Vacaville, California -- was killed in Baghdad's Sadr City on April 4, 2004. The Humvee mechanic was one of eight U.S. soldiers killed there that day by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.
Next read this.

.... a story most White House reporters have not heard before: how Mr Bush handles himself when he meets behind closed doors with the families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

The White House has released few details of such sessions, which Mr Bush conducts regularly as he travels the country, but generally portrays them as emotional and an opportunity for the President to share the grief of families.

In Mrs Sheehan's telling, though, Mr Bush did not know her son's name when she and her family met him in June 2004. Mr Bush, she said, acted as if he were at a party and behaved disrespectfully towards her by referring to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting.

Read the rest here.

Above right is Barbara Bush. She's a mother. Read a bit about her below.

As the argument over this censorship continues, I hope people remember a widely-quoted remark made by the president's mother, Barbara Bush, last year during the build-up of the war - the lying time.

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths," Barbara Bush said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on March 18, 2003. "Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Next read this.

I hope people remember the blood-chilling arrogance of Barbara Bush's remark. None of us have beautiful minds. We all have bloody minds now, and bloody hands. Whatever our political persuasion, the pictures should make us more aware than ever that war should be a last resort, not a first.

Read the rest here.

Good luck, Cindy Sheehan. May your God bless you -- and your son.

For further facts:

Military Families Speak Out:
Gold Star Families for Peace:

08 August 2005

Psst! Here's a little tittle-tattle ...

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So where's Wolcott when one wants him?


This Old Brit's just joking of course -- he's actually a huge fan and regular reader of James Wolcott -- who he suspects has, in turn, a soft spot of his own for a certain little lady called Cherie.

Now, far be it it from we Brits to start telling tales out of school [or to be getting into the gossip column business] but take a little look at this.

It is never too late to change course, Clinton suggests playfully. Cherie is “young and vigorous”,

Ooooh! I [can almost] hear you say: "What in the world will Tony think when he hears about Bill talking to his missus, like that?"

But there's more.

“When he’s done and she wants a go, it would please me greatly...

Eh? Gulp! Pardon?!

Shush! Shut up and get a load of this.

She is an enormously able person. I love her.”

I know, I know -- you're thinking This Old Brit's finally, flippin' flipped and gone completely bloomin' bonkers.

But honest, he ain't; he's telling you the truth; read on.

“They may be sick of it by then; it’s up to them what they do.”

But he goes on to make Cherie an irresistible offer.

Uh, oh! Maybe it's old Bill who's gone bonkers.

I’d be happy to do it, I think she’s great.”
If that isn't enough of a cliff hanger or hasn't got you chomping on the bit and rearing to go get more - This Old Brit suggests you should be checked for a pulse.

And remember, if you don't like what you see, tell it to the Times-online; don't start shootin' at us -- we're merely the messengers. Besides, there's been so much sad & scary stuff shoved down our throats lately that sometimes one simply has to stop and smile -- for a while anyhow.

Enjoy! //;^],,2092-1723872,00.html

06 August 2005

R.I.P. Robin Cook; a man of principle ...

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Though several inches shorter in physical stature than his beloved parliament's top-poodle-dog, Tony Blair -- This Old Brit saw Robin Cook as a much bigger, braver and all round better man than his supposed superior. Millions of others have for a long time shared the same view.

Earlier today, at the age of just 59, Robin Cook died suddenly while on a hiking/climbing holiday in the North West of Scotland. He'll be sorely missed by many. May he rest in peace.

Mr Cook was probably best known by none British readers, for his highly principled and much publicised resignation from Blair's Government, over the Iraq war. And, over the coming days many words will be written and spoken by all manner of people about Robin Cook. Some of them will true and some of them false, as is always the case on such sad occasions. But this time, This Old Brit can't help believing that there'll be much more hypocritical homage paid in public, than is usual.

Bearing in mind what's already been said here, and what's still set to be said elsewhere -- please take the time to read some of Robin Cook's own words. It's both the least and the last thing we can do for him.

Here follows the full text of Robin Cook's televised resignation speech, delivered to a packed British House of Commons on March 18th, 2003.

Cook's resignation speech

Cook received a standing ovation

Here is the full text of Robin Cook's resignation speech in the House of Commons, amid unprecedented Commons scenes.

This is the first time for 20 years that I have addressed the House from the back benches. I must confess that I had forgotten how much better the view is from here.

None of those 20 years were more enjoyable or more rewarding than the past two, in which I have had the immense privilege of serving this House as Leader of the House, which were made all the more enjoyable, Mr Speaker, by the opportunity of working closely with you.

It was frequently the necessity for me as Leader of the House to talk my way out of accusations that a statement had been preceded by a press interview.

On this occasion I can say with complete confidence that no press interview has been given before this statement.

I have chosen to address the House first on why I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support.

The present Prime Minister is the most successful leader of the Labour party in my lifetime. I hope that he will continue to be the leader of our party, and I hope that he will continue to be successful. I have no sympathy with, and I will give no comfort to, those who want to use this crisis to displace him. I applaud the heroic efforts that the prime minister has made in trying to secure a second resolution.

I do not think that anybody could have done better than the foreign secretary in working to get support for a second resolution within the Security Council.

But the very intensity of those attempts underlines how important it
was to succeed. Now that those attempts have failed, we cannot pretend that getting a second resolution was of no importance.

France has been at the receiving end of bucket loads of commentary in recent days.

It is not France alone that wants more time for inspections.

Germany wants more time for inspections; Russia wants more time for inspections; indeed, at no time have we signed up even the minimum necessary to carry a second resolution.

We delude ourselves if we think that the degree of international hostility is all the result of President Chirac.

The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner - not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council.

To end up in such diplomatic weakness is a serious reverse.

Only a year ago, we and the United States were part of a coalition against terrorism that was wider and more diverse than I would ever have imagined possible.

History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition.

The US can afford to go it alone, but Britain is not a superpower.

Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules.

Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened: the European Union is divided; the Security Council is in stalemate.

Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired.

I have heard some parallels between military action in these circumstances and the military action that we took in Kosovo.

There was no doubt about the multilateral support that we had for the action that we took in Kosovo.

It was supported by NATO; it was supported by the European Union; it was supported by every single one of the seven neighbours in the region. France and Germany were our active allies.

It is precisely because we have none of that support in this case that it was all the more important to get agreement in the Security Council as the last hope of demonstrating international agreement.

The legal basis for our action in Kosovo was the need to respond to an urgent and compelling humanitarian crisis.

Our difficulty in getting support this time is that neither the international community nor the British public is persuaded that there is an urgent and compelling reason for this military action in Iraq.

The threshold for war should always be high.

None of us can predict the death toll of civilians from the forthcoming bombardment of Iraq, but the US warning of a bombing campaign that will "shock and awe" makes it likely that casualties will be numbered at least in the thousands.

I am confident that British servicemen and women will acquit themselves with
professionalism and with courage. I hope that they all come back.

I hope that Saddam, even now, will quit Baghdad and avert war, but it is false to argue that only those who support war support our troops.

It is entirely legitimate to support our troops while seeking an alternative to the conflict that will put those troops at risk.

Nor is it fair to accuse those of us who want longer for inspections of not having an alternative strategy.

For four years as foreign secretary I was partly responsible for the western strategy of containment.

Over the past decade that strategy destroyed more weapons than in the Gulf war, dismantled Iraq's nuclear weapons programme and halted Saddam's medium and long-range missiles programmes.

Iraq's military strength is now less than half its size than at the time of the last Gulf war.

Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion.

Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days.

We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a
strategic city target.

It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories.

Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?

Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?

Only a couple of weeks ago, Hans Blix told the Security Council that the key remaining disarmament tasks could be completed within months.

I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to complete disarmament, and that our patience is exhausted.

Yet it is more than 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

We do not express the same impatience with the persistent refusal of Israel to comply.

I welcome the strong personal commitment that the prime minister has given to middle east peace, but Britain's positive role in the middle east does not redress the strong sense of injustice throughout the Muslim world at what it sees as one rule for the allies of the US and another rule for the rest.

Nor is our credibility helped by the appearance that our partners in Washington are less interested in disarmament than they are in regime change in Iraq.

That explains why any evidence that inspections may be showing progress is greeted in Washington not with satisfaction but with consternation: it reduces the case for war.

What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops.

The longer that I have served in this place, the greater the respect I have for the good sense and collective wisdom of the British people.

On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain.

They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own.

Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb on a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies.

From the start of the present crisis, I have insisted, as Leader of the House, on the right of this place to vote on whether Britain should go to war.

It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics.

Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support.

I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now.

It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the government.

Robin Cook was of an endangered species; he was an honourable man. He preferred to put principle before privilege and power. Please take a minute or two, or more, to remember him.

More Robin Cook related reading, at the BBC website:

04 August 2005

Boom! Yet Another Bombshell ...

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While the whole world is reflecting on the horrors of Hiroshima some sixty years ago, this absolutely amazing revelation comes to light.

How the UK gave Israel the bomb

Documents reveal that Britain supplied heavy water without safeguards against military use, enabling the production of nuclear weapons

David Leigh Thursday August 4, 2005

Britain secretly supplied the 20 tons of heavy water to Israel nearly half a century ago which enabled it to make nuclear weapons, according to Whitehall documents which have been discovered at the Public Records Office.
Now -- is that a bombshell -- or is that a bomshell?

Well, it's certainly come as news to most of us, including quite a few fine fellows like these.

Historians and politicians have been startled by the discovery, which sheds new light on the process by which Israel was able to circumvent attempts to restrict membership of the "nuclear club" to the great powers.
Someone else was startled too.

A nuclear specialist, Frank Barnaby, said: "I had no idea at all the British were involved."
Talk about shock and awe, eh?

Even this special man was surprised.

When Robert McNamara became the US defence secretary in 1961, he and President Kennedy strived to stop Israel from going on to build nuclear weapons. He told Newsnight last night that he had never known of Britain's behaviour at the time.

"The fact Israel was trying to develop a nuclear bomb should not have come as a surprise but that Britain should have supplied it with heavy water was indeed a surprise to me," he said.

"It's very surprising to me that we weren't told because we shared information about the nuclear bomb very closely with the British."
Unusually, The Guardian gave plenty of precious extra space to this story by running a related piece in tandem. Such was it's stature, I suppose. Here's the opening excerpt from the second story.

US kept in the dark as secret nuclear deal was struck

David Leigh Thursday August 4, 2005

Israel's acquisition of nuclear bombs has been one of the most sustained pieces of deceit in recent history. The project was guarded with such passion that in the 1980s the technician Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped and spent 11 years in solitary
confinement for blowing some of its secrets.

It is remarkable then, that documents lying unnoticed in the public records office at Kew should reveal Britain's hitherto unknown role 47 years ago in deceiving the US and supplying Israel with the means to go nuclear.

Boom, boom, you might say - what a bloomin' double-whammy!

But grab tight hold of your hats -- 'cos there's much, much more to come.

At the Foreign Office, Alexander Stirling suggested: "We might make the gesture of informing the Americans ... unless there was any risk of a US firm stealing the Israeli orders."

He was rapidly overruled by Douglas Cape, first secretary at the FCO in charge of nuclear security, in terms that made it clear the fear was the US would demand too many safeguards: "I would prefer not to mention this to the Americans lest it lead them to ask us to take up what would in fact be an untenable position vis-a-vis the Norwegians."

The cover story was that the heavy water was "understood to be required by Israel for peaceful use in a reactor connected with desert irrigation".
Well, if you still need convincing that this is one hell of a mind-blowing, gob-smacking tale of intrigue, deceit and plain old greed -- try getting your heads round this.

A US spyplane, the U2, had been taking high-level photos of the activities in the Negev desert. US intelligence had become suspicious, and summoned the Israeli ambassador in Washington to question him.

In December 1960, a story was planted in the British press, via the Daily Express veteran defence correspondent Chapman Pincher, that Israel was trying to make atomic bombs.
So, what do you think of the smelly show, so far?

Okay, teasing time's over. You know the drill by now. Read the rest via the two links below.



02 August 2005

The War -- On Drugs ???

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It looks like it's not just CIA kidnapper-agents and suspected London bombing fugitives that the extremely efficient Italian authorities are sniffing out and snaffling up.

Take peek at this piece from the August 1st edition of

Steroids Headed for Troops in Iraq Seized

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON Associated Press Writer

August 1, 2005, 4:09 PM EDT

ROME -- Italian police seized 215,000 doses of prohibited substances as they smashed a ring that supplied steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to customers around the world, including American soldiers in Iraq, a police official said Monday.

Surprised? Shocked? Well, you shouldn't be. It was reported early on during this illegal Iraq invasion that the USAF officially dished out drugs -- to pilots flying too many hours and/or missions. All legal-like and out in the open too. Do a Google and check it out on the net for yourself; the USAF medical men didn't deny it -- they actually confirmed it.

Over the years, This Old Brit has known a number of galoots with their brains in their biceps, but they were mostly amongst those fond of frequenting football fields, gyms, athletics stadiums and the like. Not forgetting those who worked the doors of clip joints and other such dubious dives, of course.

But, on steroids while wearing the uniform? While flying the flag? While doing their duty? During wartime? While fighting on the front line? Jeepers creepers, most of us thought that sort of shit stopped after Viet Nam. These guys in Iraq must be going crazy.

Apparently some of the mercenaries -- oops, sorry -- contractors, are at it as well.

Private security contractors told AP that steroid use also is a problem among their employees because the drugs are readily available in Iraq -- as easy as buying a soda from the local stores, according to one contractor.

Good Gawdinheffin -- me old mind's bogglin'. Especially when learning of one particularly simple way this stuff can so easily be obtained.

Troops and some contractors receive mail at inexpensive domestic U.S. postal rates, allowing soldiers to order almost anything online.
Can you believe that? I mean, think of the amazing risks involved here. How long will it be, one wonders, before some devious devils get some brand new ideas? Ideas like maybe starting to send some unsolicited mail-order type deliveries -- not of things that bring a bit of a buzz or a boost - but of things that go bang in the night?

Talk about second rate security. Talk about about sheer stupidity. I ask you, can you credit it?

Victor L. Simpson of Associated Press, who penned the piece I'm quoting, said this.

U.S. military in Iraq had no immediate comment, but the popularity of steroid abuse has long been discussed as American troops and contractors in Iraq work out in gyms set up in bases and even in the mirrored halls of one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.
And somebody else said this.

Joe Donahue, program director for the Vietnam Vets of America Foundation, who spent 16 months in Iraq -- often lifting weights in the Green Zone gyms -- said steroids were on offer for those who wanted them. "I had them offered to me by an Iraqi guy who sure as hell looked like he was using them," Donahue said. "There were guys I'm pretty sure were juicing, but not a lot of them."
Then there's this from an' official'.

Bo, the Trieste police official, said authorities were ready to cooperate in any international investigation, but that they had not been approached by U.S. authorities.
You can read the full anadiabolical article via the link below. But you'll have to read it alone.

'Cos right now, This Old Brit thinks he needs a long lie down [preferably in a darkened room] after taking a tablet or two of his own.

Tut, tut, tut. Boggle, boggle, boggle.

See also, X Ref with:

01 August 2005

Anglo American Assessments ...

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Since the sudden and sad demise of the uncrowned supersonic Queen of the Atlantic, Concord - the distance between the UK and US has, relatively speaking, doubled.

And, since the BushBlair blood-brother's double act first took to the international stage, two once seemingly inseparable sets of citizens' and their special relationship, seem to have suffered somewhat similarly.

But while both nations' governing politicians are perfectly happy to publicly pat each other's backs, their carefully fabricated falsehoods so interminably trotted out as truths, could hardly be more misleading. The majority of ordinary British people were, from the outset, strongly against the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

More than two million men, women and children bore witness to the fact when they marched in solidarity through the streets of their capital city. Hundreds of thousands of others did likewise in different British cities -- just as many millions more did -- globally.

But their peaceful protestations went unheard; their wishes were ignored. The sickening and self serving interests of their respective rulers [and in turn, their own corporate kings] came first. It was oil-money and military industrial complex-money which mattered most -- so crony conglomorate cartels' profits took precedence over people -- yet again.

With the complicit connivance of a handful of like minded, top level looters - such as Australia's immoral midget of a little Hitler, John Howard - the nightmare of all normal human beings, began. After the diabolical dress rehearsal in Afghanistan, the stage was set for the shameful big- show. The play would go on. Act one, scene one - the bombing of Baghdad.

Ever since, things have rapidly gone down hill. To hell in a handbasket, to coin a phrase.

So it was with some considerable interest that today I began reading one particularly noteworthy person's point of view; Harold Evans, one time editor of The [London] Times. Here's his assessment of Anglo American relationships both past and present. I have to say though, that Mr Evans is much more diplomatic than This Old Brit could ever hope [or want] to be.

I had many encounters on my American journey where subtly different cultural conventions - we're famously divided by a common language - masked the great good feelings Americans had for Britain.

As Robert Benchley once noted they liked to call England the mother country even when they were from Transylvania. But now it seems the warm good feelings are not reciprocated as much as they used to be.
This from a man who, having spent some considerable time living and working stateside, understands America[ns] much better than most none-Americans do.

Indeed, I have it on good authority that the special relationship between Britain and America is on life support. Pollsters at the reputable Pew Research centre in Washington told us this June that for the first time only a bare majority of their British cousins approve of the United States.

I've no doubt myself that much of the international animosity for America arises from resentment of a president whose original idea of diplomacy was to shake hands with himself.
Evans' extremely articulate [as always] assessment of the prevailing Anglo American 'position' is well worth reading in it's entirety. Indeed, This Old Brit recommends it - rather strongly.

Here's your final teaser for today.

America did not regress as I feared it would in the 50s. It renewed the promise of the American dream to its minorities, and a measure of well-being to millions through successive traumas, through the ill-judged war in Vietnam, through the Watergate corruptions, through the civil rights struggles and I think it will find its way again I think through all the travails of terrorism.

My guess is that America and Britain will come to speak a common language again.
Let us hope with all our hearts that Harold turns out to be right. Because, in terms of regular Brits' trans-Atlantic tensions -- you can take it from This Old Brit that time is tight -- for both Bush and Blair.

Hit the link to the entire article -- complete with numerous BBC readers' follow up comments.