Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: June 2007

29 June 2007

Russia's Putin Arming Venezuela's Chavez ...




How's this for a pair of presidential pals' perfect photo-op pose?

Tut, tut. Talk about timing. And talk about (tremendous), unadulterated temerity too.


President Putin has chosen to play host to President Chavez - for some more arms sales' (face to face), wheeling & dealing sessions -- just three short days before flying to America to meet (and to talk to), an increasingly isolated President Bush.

Here's a snip from a story published today by English Al-Jazeera.


Last July, Chavez spent billions of dollars on Russian helicopters, arms and fighter jets. This time he is thought to be shopping for submarines.

"So I came to Moscow to talk to Vladimir and after four months we had Sukhoi planes flying over Caracas. And now we have our first fleet of aircraft.

"This is what we call solidarity; this is what we call independence."

Russian newspaper Kommersant reported this month that Chavez was expected to sign an initial contract that would include five Project 636 Kilo-class diesel submarines, and possibly four other submarines later ...

Obviously, it's already crystal clear to the canny Chavez what wonder-boy in the White House - along with his arse-kissing crew of yes-men - still haven't sussed out for themselves.

Which is, that those making the least friends invariably finish up finding themselves facing the most foes.

See some more of this story.

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Bush Implies Iraq Ought To Imitate Israel ...


WHY?


(snip)

"No matter how good the security, terrorists will always be able to explode a bomb on a crowded street."

He suggested Israel, the frequent target of terrorist attacks and a country in a decades-long, intractable and often violent dispute with Palestinians, as a standard to strive for.

"In places like Israel, terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks," Bush said. "The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq."

It was likely to be controversial — and possibly even explosive — for Bush to set out Israel as a model for a Muslim Middle Eastern nation.

Aside from Israel's security problems, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is such a sensitive issue in the Muslim world that it has become a rallying cry for many and major recruiting tool for Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaida.

Read the rest of this story right here.

We ask again -- why? What the hell has Israel got to do with Iraqis?

Isn't the ignorant, arrogant arsehole aware Iraqis are Iraqis - not Israelis? Muslims - not Jews?

Moreover, hasn't he realised yet that so many successive Israeli governments have serially 'suffered' - needlessly - because of the same self inflicted short-sightedness as his own?

Of course the cretinous crook has.

But the truth is, he doesn't give a shit about shit. In spite of so often (and so insincerely) spouting the opposite.

And anyway, who the hell is Bush to decide in which direction Iraqis should proceed? In their own country. On their own sovereign soil.

Bush brags about having brought the Iraqi people their freedom - while simultaneously damned well dictating -- exactly as did the now deceased, reviled and despised despot, Saddam Hussein.

What do the Iraqi people want?

Never for a single moment the puppets put in place by the US to 'pose' as a legitimate government. Of that, one can be certain.

So why doesn't BushCo enquire of regular Iraqi people what they want -- instead of telling them?

Because BushCo is already well aware, knowing full well the answer in advance. That's why.

The Iraqis want their occupying, foreign invader, oil thief, oppressors OUT. All of them. Especially, since it's this particular US administration that is (so obviously), 21st century Iraq's problem -- not solution.

Did BushCo find the Iraqi people fighting among themselves upon arrival? And/or find them, even half heartedly, trying to model themselves on Israel?

Like hell they did.

So, bollix to your bullshit, Mr Bush!

We in the wider world are wise to what you (and Israel) really want to do.

What you really, really really wanna do.

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28 June 2007

Three Days Before Bush/Putin Meeting Russia Launches [Another] Missile ...

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It's just a month since we first posted the following photo of Russian President Putin playing with a model missile.

We used it to illustrate a post re; Russia's launching of a real one.

Albeit just a 'test' of course; so the venerable Vladimir said.



So why post the picture again -- so soon?

Here's why.

Russians test [another] ballistic missile

Russia has successfully tested a new, sea-based ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine, officials have said.

The weapon, capable of breaching anti-missile defence systems, flew almost the whole length of the country.

US plans to build a missile defence shield in Europe have angered Russia, which sees the proposal as a challenge to its influence in the region.

The Russian test comes as President Vladimir Putin heads for the US to meet President George W Bush on Sunday.

Read this short report from the BBC today.

Then we suggest you also see this.
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27 June 2007

Blair Out, Brown In : All You Want To Know ...

So, today the deed was done.

Meet the brand new British Prime Minister and ex Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.


Here's a few facts well worth knowing about him.
Has there even been a more enigmatic politician than Gordon Brown?

No-one has ever doubted the formidable intellect and iron determination of Britain's next prime minister.
Read much more about Brown -- both boy and man.


Though it's doubtful anyone remaining in residence on the planet won't recognise outgoing Premier Blair, there's a very interesting story regarding them both that we insist (well, as far as anyone can insist) becomes required reading.
To explain his [Blair's] exit you have to go back to a fateful dinner between Mr Blair and Gordon Brown at the Granita restaurant in Islington in 1994 in the wake of the death of party leader John Smith.

It was here that a deal was done which would see Mr Brown agreeing to stand aside so Mr Blair could run for the job, apparently after being persuaded that this would give Labour the best chance of winning over the crucial middle England swing voters and so end the then 15 years of Tory government.
So, read on -- since so much more still remains to be revealed.

Incidentally, somebody's just sent us this (previously unseen by ourselves), picture of the pair together.


Good gawd in heaven's truth!

Perish the ruddy thought.

We dearly, damned well hope not;though as always, time will tell.


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26 June 2007

Iraq Immigrant Influx Imminent In US ...


Perhaps it's because George W. Gump Bush spends so much time talking with God that the president also moves in mysterious ways. Eh?

After all the carnage and chaos in Iraq (caused completely by you know), the US maladministration is soon to start taking care of Iraq war refugee families - 'over here' (as it were) - so it won't have to take care of them 'over there'.

First big wave of Iraqi refugees heads for the US

By Dan Murphy
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Tue Jun 26, 4:00 AM ET

Amman, Jordan - Adnan Abbas – with his poor English, four young daughters, and little money to speak of – shrugs when told that making a new life in the US will be hard.

"I know that a new country, new language, is difficult and that America isn't going to say, 'Welcome, Adnan, here's a million dollars,' " he says. "But life in Iraq? That's impossible. We're one of the luckiest families in the world."
(snip)


(snip)

In February, the US agreed to accept 7,000 Iraqi refugees this year, a large jump over the fewer than 700 Iraqis accepted by the US in the first three years of the war but a drop in the ocean when measured against the estimated 2 million Iraqis who have fled the country since the war began. About 2,000 of those Iraqis coming this year, say refugee officials, will start their lives anew in Michigan.
Read the rest of this report right here.

At least families fortunate enough to finally get the hell out of the hell that's now Iraq won't have to worry about things such as shown above.

As we said at the start - mysterious ways, eh?

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25 June 2007

United States War Wounded Troops Scandal ...


Shocked?

Stunned?

Sickened?

Personal sensibilities assaulted?

Well that's how it sodding well should be -- since it's precisely the point of us posting the preceding picture.

It's one thing to see war wounded vets lacking limbs or wearing artificial ones, but another thing entirely to find out for yourself how such circumstances actually - and always, agonizingly - come about in the first place.

Anyway, if we've offended any so called civilized citizens' sensibilities -- tough shit -- and at the same time -- super!

Because it's about bloody time somebody, somewhere sought seriously (and sincerely), to open the eyes of those several million souls seemingly (still, steadfastly stuck) in a state of denial.

So, simply see some associated, Associated Press words (from yesterday, Sunday, via Yahoo News) instead of staring at any more gory war wounds.
GOV'T STRUGGLES TO CARE FOR WOUNDED GI's

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE,

AP Medical Writer - Sun Jun 24, 2:29 AM ET

More than 800 of them have lost an arm, a leg, fingers or toes. More than 100 are blind. Dozens need tubes and machines to keep them alive. Hundreds are disfigured by burns, and thousands have brain injuries and mangled minds.

These are America's war wounded, a toll that has received less attention than the 3,500 troops killed in Iraq. Depending on how you count them, they number between 35,000 and 53,000.
Surprised? Nonplussed? Amazed? Alarmed? Aghast?

Whatever. Read right on.
More of them are coming home, with injuries of a scope and magnitude the government did not predict and is now struggling to treat.

"If we left Iraq tomorrow, we would have the legacy of all these people for many years to come," said Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and an adviser to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Next, read the rest of this revealing, heart-rending report; read it and weep. Read it and wail all you want. But you can bet your bottom dollar that Bushco won't be bothered by it.

What a wretched, wicked, wanton waste, eh?

And what's perhaps even worse is that there ain't anyone in America (who matters), apparently aiming to do anything much about it all.

For shame.

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24 June 2007

Harriet Harman Elected Gordon Brown's (Labour Party) Deputy ...

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Gordon brown was today (Sunday 24th June 2007) officially installed as the new leader of Britain's Labour Party.

Go get more (from the Government), on the man.

Also today, The Right Honourable Harriet Harman QC, MP, became (elected) Deputy Leader.

Here's Harriet's Home Page.

It seems that Gordon ain't got one.

And, by the way, before you even think about asking -- don't bother -- we're still not sure of either of 'em. Nor whether or not we should trust 'em.

Words have always been cheap; particularly those of professional politicians. And we've already heard what these two have said.

What we want now is to see what they actually do.

And who to. And who for. And when. And how. And why.

Anyway, from the links we've already provided there's plenty of info for getting stuck into yourself.

Thereafter, watch this space.

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23 June 2007

Venezuela President Chavez Calls Foreign Oil Companies To Account ...

Have you heard the latest about big, bold Hugo?

The odds are you haven't if you rely solely on our western, so called 'first-world' MSM for your international information.

Witness that which we've clipped and pasted. Filed & found in, of all places, mid-east MSM.

Some major oil companies operating in Venezuela have rejected the terms for the enforced takeover of part of their operations by the state, the president says.

Hugo Chavez said late on Friday that if they did not accept the nationalisation deals ahead of Tuesday's deadline, they would be told to leave.
Or as an ancient Anglo adage advises -- If you don't like it, then you can ruddy well lump it (matey!).

Seriously though, it certainly seems (mucho oil rich), Venezuela's popular, proudly patriotic president Hugo Chavez sure is one 'Latino' who absolutely won't wear either himself or his people being belittled, looked down upon, pushed around, used, abused, taken for fools, seen as suckers, robbed blind nor bled downright bloody dry.


Neither by their northern neighbour, the almighty United States of America, nor by any international Big-Oil, 'good ole boy' bunch of brigands.

Targeted:

Exxon Mobil -- ConocoPhillips -- Chevron Corp -- Norway's Statoil -- Britain's BP Plc and France's Total are the companies operating the targeted projects ...
See what we're saying? Maybe more to the point, see what senor Chavez is saying?

Oh, boy.

In our bloomin' book this blinkin' 'head honcho' bloke is one bloody big brave hombre. No damned doubt about it.

We, for what it's worth, wish the man well in his fight for a fair deal for his country and it's (for far too long), pitifully poor populace.

By the way, before this couple of short-term-memory-challenged old codgers forget what we came for, here's the relevant report to which we want to refer you.

So have yourself a super Saturday night, and we'll see you again sometime on Sunday.

In the meantime though, go easy on the gas.


It doesn't grow on trees y'know.

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22 June 2007

C.I.A. Scandal(s) Shock ...


We're way too wound up to say too much on this stinking score.

So see some of this shit for yourself.

CIA lawyer -- yes, that may be an oxymoron

John Rizzo, acting general counsel for CIA "from November 2001 until October 2002 and from August 2004 until today," -- i.e., during the let's-legalize-torture glory months of Yoo and Addington -- had his confirmation hearing yesterday. Here's the AP wrapup, and here are two posts by Spencer Ackerman, who happily was at the hearing for TPM.

The CIA's top lawyer said Tuesday he did not object to a 2002 memo authorizing interrogation techniques that stop just short of causing a sensation of impending organ failure or even death. [Because, you know, a sensation of drowning isn't a sensation of death, or even impending death ... just don't look up "drown" in the dictionary, okay? -- TBA.]

Yet John Rizzo, who is serving as the agency's temporary general counsel, said he later found the document to be an "aggressive, expansive" reading of U.S. law. * * *

"As with most legal memos, my reaction was it was an aggressive, expansive reading," Rizzo said. "But I can't say I had any specific objections to any specific parts of it."

What does that mean, "as with most legal memos"? Most of the torture memos?
Read the rest right here.

Then take a look at this lousy little lot.

CIA airs decades worth of spy documents

By JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Little-known documents now being made public detail illegal and scandalous activities by the CIA more than 30 years ago: wiretappings of journalists, kidnappings, warrantless searches and more.

The documents provide a glimpse of nearly 700 pages of materials that the agency plans to declassify next week. A six-page summary memo that was declassified in 2000 and released by The National Security Archive at George Washington University on Thursday outlines 18 activities by the CIA that "presented legal questions" and were discussed with President Ford in 1975.

Among them: .................
Now hit this link to learn a lot more.

And here's a BBC bit about it all.

"This is about telling the American people what we have done in their name," Gen Hayden told a conference of foreign policy historians.
See that? See what he said?


Done in the American people's name.

Next, access all that illuminating article.

Okay. Plenty have reported. Now you decide.

Now we're shutting up and quitting while we're ahead, since we've still got some especially good American friends -- and we'd not like losing any.

Help!! We've been held hidden away here by our government(s), for years & years.

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Turkey Launches Unilateral Northern Iraq Attacks Against Kurd Fighters ...



Today, 'This Old Brit' and Richard bring you BIG and OFFICIAL news - direct from:


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

*** IRAQ: Hundreds flee homes as Turkish forces battle Kurdish fighters ***


SULAIMANIYAH, 21 June 2007 (IRIN) - Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say.

Local aid agencies said Kurdish fighters had prevented them from entering the villages, which were being targeted.

“The bombardments have forced hundreds to abandon their homes and leave for safer areas. Some houses were looted by Kurdish fighters, according to witnesses in the area,” said Rastgo Muhammad Barsaz, spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Kurdistan Campaign to Help Victims of War.

“Dashati Takhe village, on the border near Zakho, is one of the most affected areas. We have been informed of civilian causalities but we don’t know how many, as we are being denied access to the area. But by telephone, civilians have told us they are short of food and water,” Barsaz said.

Fear of Turkish invasion

In response to recent attacks, including a bombing in Ankara in May that killed eight people, Turkey expanded its force along the border, deploying additional artillery and dozens of tanks. Iraqi border police say Turkey has 20,000-30,000 soldiers along its border with Iraq, and has set up a special security zone that restricts movement in the area.

The bombardments have forced hundreds to abandon their homes and leave for safer areas.

Iraqi Kurdish villagers living near the Turkish border fear a Turkish invasion similar to that of 1997, when large numbers of Turkish forces crossed the border to fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which wants an independent Kurdistan carved out of northern Iraq as well as parts of Iran and Turkey.

Turkey says the PKK is using mountain hideouts and friendly villages in northern Iraq to train and re-supply its fighters who operate mainly in Turkey.

Read all about this remarkable (and little reported) recent M.E. escalation/development, right here.

Hat tip to
Erdla of 'Gorilla's Guides' for alerting us to the latest.

Now, we know nobody likes a smart arse but it's not as if we haven't been warning what's coming.

Not just once either --- but on (at least) three separate occasions of late.
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21 June 2007

It's Caption Competition Time Again ...

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Every now and then we need to take a few steps back from all the awful, heartache/heartbreak inducing news that so sickens us - seemingly, serially.

So, since we recently restored our commenting facilities so successfully (single handed, btw ) we decided to come up with another caption competition.

Here's a heavy hint as to the kind of question we're set on posing.



Easy enough?


Okay, here's a couple more quick clues to peruse in case you still haven't quite caught on.

First:


Second:

The European Space Agency is looking for people who would like to go on a pretend trip to Mars — for about a year and a half.

The 520-day experiment involves a crew of six living in sealed modules at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow.

Right?

Okay, question coming up ready or not.

Which six sobs' names would you select as fit & proper persons for sending to Mars for real -- or to absolutely anywhere at all in (the deeper the better) outer space?

Obviously, only on a one way trip.

If selecting six suitable 'usual suspects' stumps you - no sweat, since we're certainly not so strict as to spoil it all with any damned disqualifications. So simply send us as many (or as few) as suits you.


Enjoy. It's later than you think.

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20 June 2007

Update On 'Iraq Bloodbath' Post ...



Erdla, who we highlighted as a hardworking 'Guides' team member in our last post has at least 'some' good news to share with us all today.

So as to avoid any reader missing Erdla's comment (re;recent related comment facility problems), we are republishing her most welcome communication of earlier today -- in it's unedited entirety.

If ever any comment on this blog should be singled out as special enough to merit special 'stand alone' status - surely this is it.

Erdla wrote today, as follows:


Thanks Richard MFI is in Irak at present everybody is pretty shaken.

To give you and your readers some idea of what life is like in Irak. Du is just back from Irak having been sent there from Afghanistan and got to hold his twin sons for the first time, sometimes life is good. Days like today make really know that he and I are so fortunate.

We are especially upset for Mohammed Ibn Laith who wrote the account of what it is like to be at a bombing that I have linked to at his name.

Mohammed is 16. His father was Laith Abu Mohammed known as "Laith the Imam" who used to write on "Guides".

Laith Abu Mohammed died in the
Arbaeen massacres of March 6th. His mother Zeynab Um Mohammed died of her wounds
incurred in the same attack on March 7th.


Hussayn Ibn Laith died a few days before his parents as he ran with his team to the scene of a bombing to rescue survivors - it was what we call a "cascade" bombing attack. - More than one bomb placed in the same location the second one being timed to kill the rescuers and or people fleeing the scene.

Hussayn was the brother who Mohammed mentions in "what will we talk about." He was 17. His brother Ali Ibn Laith is 8, he was wounded in the attack in which his parents were killed and again yesterday. Fatima their sister had the day before yesterday finished taking her end-of-first-year university exams.

The good news is that Ali, Fatima, and Mohammed, were all sent home from Imam Ali hospital last night after some hours being treated for their wounds.

I'll echo Gordo's and yours suggestion the Red Cross or Red Crescent as it is in Muslim lands is the only body working everywhere in Irak and outside it too for the victims of this evil and disastrous war.

They're rigorously non-sectarian and have been targeted repeatedly as a result. But they keep on going. Today is "world refugee day" maybe your readers would like to mark the ocassion.

At the link below to the International Committee of The Red Cross you can choose which programme you want to give to.Step 1: Choose the programme you wish to support.

Thanks for caring and writing.

Erdla Jonsdottir
Gorilla’s Guides
*** And thank you and your caring colleagues, Erdla.

Please let all concerned know that our thoughts are with them.

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Bringing The Bloodbath That Is Iraq Much Closer To Home ...

Regular readers are already well aware of our blogging mates Mark, Dubhaltach, Erdla and other members of the tireless team inside Iraq running the 'Gorrila's Guides' blog -- including Zeynab, Hassan, Ali, Fatima, and Mohammed.

This morning, another of our best blogging buddies, Gordo, at 'Appletree' sadly became a bearer of bloody bad news.

Real, bloody bad news.

You know, 'bloody' in the sense shown in this Iraq street corner shot.


And 'bloody' as shown in this sickening photo still, shot inside an Iraq hospital.


Gordo's got some suggestions as to how best all those so inclined can show some personal support -- both moral and/or actual.

Gordo also gives us this.
The crew at Gorilla’s Guides, many of them workers for relief organizations in Iraq, have done an outstanding job of drawing attention to the chaos that has engulfed the country, and the plight of the refugees.
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19 June 2007

Shorter 'Blackwater' : Scary, Shameless SOBs ...

There's an old saying that goes something along the lines of: One can't lay down with dogs, and still stay flea-free.

However, since under circumstances such as those which should soon become apparent, we still can't bring ourselves around to being cruel enough to start shouting "Karma".

Regardless - read on.



Blackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain Employees for $10 Million in Brutal Attempt to Suppress Their Story.

The following article is by the lawyers representing the families of four American contractors who worked for Blackwater and were killed in Fallujah.

After Blackwater refused to share information about why they were killed, the families were told they would have to sue Blackwater to find out. Now Blackwater is trying to sue them for $10 million to keep them quiet.

Raleigh, NC — The families of four American security contractors who were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004, are reaching out to the American public to help protect themselves against the very company their loved ones were serving when killed, Blackwater Security Consulting.

After Blackwater lost a series of appeals all the away to the U.S. Supreme Court, Blackwater has now changed its tactics and is suing the dead men’s estates for $10 million to silence the families and keep them out of court.
Now, move on over to 'Current Era' for more.

But before you leave us, take a little look here to learn
more about Blackwater

Then there's this at Wikipedia.

And here's where you can enlighten yourself regarding the guy responsible for inflicting Blackwater on the world in the first place --
he's Erik Prince.

That one's own so-called civilized government should come sink to this, eh?

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18 June 2007

John Pilger's New (Must-See) Movie : 'The War On Democracy.'


Pictured below is the world famous, Australian freelance foreign correspondent, documentary film maker, best selling author and multi-award winning independent journalist, John Pilger.


Today's particular blogpost is all about Pilger's powerful new motion picture: *THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY *

Watch the terrific two minute trailer and learn more about the man and his movie(s).

Then please, please pass this info on -- since everyone should see this extraordinary expose.

We say again -- everyone. Especially, stateside.


Apart from this at Wikipedia -- that's yer lot for today.

This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters to illustrate the film, event, etc. in question or to provide critical analysis of the poster content or artwork on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. See Wikipedia:Non-free content for more information. To the uploader: please add a detailed fair use rationale for each use, as described on Wikipedia:Image description page, as well as the source of the work and copyright information.

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17 June 2007

And Now Another Birthday: This Old Brit Is 109 Today ...



Narwh, not 'This Old Brit' -- THIS old Brit -- as seen over there on the left.

His name is Harry Patch and he's an absolutely amazing old man.

Today, Sunday 17th June 2007 is Harry's 109th birthday.

Really.

Harry was born in 1898.

Honestly.

Here's a snippet of Harry's story history.

WWI veteran celebrates 109 years

Harry Patch was injured and lost three friends on the same day.

The last known surviving British veteran of the
World War I trenches is celebrating his 109th birthday.

Harry Patch from Wells, in Somerset, will have lunch with friends and family before returning to his residential home for a party.

Mr Patch served with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry and saw action in the bloody Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
Read some more re; this grand old man.

And you can see even more -
right here.

Now, whatever you do, do NOT sign off until you've seen something about some other wonderful old Brit, WW1 vets.

Here's a tasty teaser to tempt you.

The Last Tommy Gallery

In 2005, only a handful of men survive from the 5.5 million-strong army that fought for Britain in World War One. It was the largest army this country has ever put into the field

Here, six of the remaining veterans tell their story for the last time. They reveal a fascinating glimpse into the life of the soldier of the Western Front, in the bitter and brutal world of the front line. Sadly some of these survivors - all over one hundred years old - have since passed on, but the story of their generation's sacrifice will endure forever.
Read the rest of this brilliant BBC gem; and it's got great pics of these other old Brits. So, please don't pass up this chance to read, learn and inwardly digest. Learn about the horrors of the so called 'Great' war - 1st hand - from men who fought it

Incidentally,
here's Harry being honoured with a Bristol University (honorary) Degree just two years ago.

Good for you, Bristol Uni -- and good on you, Harry. It suits you, sir.



Here's hoping you have a very, very happy birthday, Harry. And we wish you many more of 'em, old boy.

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16 June 2007

Britain's Old Birthday Girl, Queen Elizabeth, Just Wants To Have Fun ...

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Today, as reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth 11 celebrated her 'official' (81st) birthday by Trooping The Colour, in a truly traditional old Brit manner.


And we don't for a moment doubt that a veritable plethora of purely pomp & circumstance style pictures will over the next few days present themselves for your personal perusal; via varied & multiple media sources.

Take for example this short set of such shots, tendered to all today by the BBC.

Most of Her Majesty's official engagements are true fulfilment of a monarch's undeniable 'duties'.

Others are undertaken since they appertain totally to causes close to a Queen or King's own heart.

Some other undertaken tasks, sad to say, can quite correctly be categorised as merely crappy chores.


But we digress.

There's also an extremely seldom seen 'regular/real-life' side to this lovely lady.

And today we're chest-puffingly proud to present something exceedingly special for our readers' enlightenment, entertainment and sheer unadulterated enjoment.

Believe us, you'll love looking at this little compilation completed from rarely viewed candid royal footage re; the life & times of the real girl/lady/mother/daughter/soldier, lurking behind the mask of monarchy.




Long Live Our Noble Queen.

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15 June 2007

The Oldest Self Taught (Brilliant), Brit 'Geek' In The Blogosphere ...



So!

Stand up to be counted whoever the hell it was who said we were simply some eccentric old English, silly, senile sods.

And eat your hearts out assholes.

For some several blood, sweat and tear-filled weeks we've tirelessly toiled away at a truly titanic task. Well, it was for us anyway.

In fact, it's fair to say we've flat out flogged our flippin' fingers to the bloody bone.

And we do mean 'bloody'. Well ... almost.


However, finally, this Friday, in the best of the old British bulldog 'never surrender' spirit, we figured out all for ourselves how to once again facilitate our much missed COMMENTS' facility.

Moreover, in appreciation of the lovely loyalty shown by those who stuck by us throughout all our recent hi-tech trials & tribulations -- a few friends and ourselves have gotten together to celebrate our (not inconsiderable) success, with a small musical shindig of sorts -- and you are ALL invited.



*** Admission only by activation of arrow positioned in centre of YouTube screen shown below. ***

Huh! That should teach those bad ass, Blogger-bugs a lesson -- DO NOT bugger about with old Brits!

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14 June 2007

US Army Colonel Talks Of Traumatized US Troops; It Gets Crazier And Crazier ...



Shown (smiling), above is Colonel, Elspeth Ritchie.

She's psychiatry consultant to the US Army surgeon general.

Here's something she recently said.

At the time that the war began, I don't think anybody anticipated how long it would be going on," Ritchie said of the need for more health care workers, adding that long and repeat deployments caused by extended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are causing more mental strain on troops.
So see some more re;such stupefyingly shortsighted shit.

But before we go, here's what we want to say to Col Ritchie on this especially touchy subject.

You don't think ANYONE anticipated how long IRAQ 'would be going on'?!

Jeezus, missus (or miss or mizz) -- are you completely crazy, Colonel?

Or simply several sandwiches short of a picnic?

Listen, lady -- either way -- you should have your head examined.


Really.

That's all, ma'am.

Have a nice day happy hour.

And keep on taking the tablets; the silly-tablets, that is.

Since they seem to be working so sodding well.


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13 June 2007

Weapons Of Mass Destruction Are All Around America ...

After all the blood spilled, limbs lost, tears shed, and time, money and lives spent wasted searching for hidden WMDs in far off Iraq, it turns out there's an absolute bloody abundance of the buggers 'laying low' all around America.

Moreover, they're much, much closer to home than most folk could ever have imagined.

Quickly cast you eyes across this quote clipped from 'Crooks and Liars'.

It is no secret that the U.S. military has used the ocean as trashcan for munitions in the past. Peter discussed at the Old DSN how federal lawmakers were pressing the US Army to reveal everything it knows about a massive international program to dump chemical weapons off homeland and foreign shores.

“The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.”


Read all about this real and present terror-threat, right here.

We think that to say something stinks here is a understatement -- of massive measure.

But hey, we can almost hear some (suckers) say, the US government's a very busy bunch of guys.

Right?

You know, what with cleaning up & clearing out all the evils of the wicked, wider world and all.

Eh?

Well, we still say something stinks - to high heaven - about this shocking sort of sickening and literally poisonous 'homegrown' shit.

After all, as far as we're aware neither successive American administrations nor the high & mighty crooks and liars of the Military Industrial Complex ever did damn well own either the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. Well, did they it?

Aren't the planet's life giving (and sustaining), waters as just much yours and ours as theirs? And what about our kids and grand kids?

Furthermore, this scandalous state of affairs isn't down to just America's military & political masters. Since, just the same as the seas 'assaulted', this genuine terror threat neither respects nor indeed recognises any borders at all. Least of all it's own.


We bet that you - like ourselves - always thought all those scary sea monster stories were simply silly science fiction, eh?

Then try telling that to your young ones today - with your hand on your heart (or your Bible), and in all clear conscience.


Btw, we bet a lot of old Marines, soldiers and sailors will believe you -- even if the little ones are loathe to.

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12 June 2007

Blair Brands Modern Media 'Feral Beast' ...


WTF?

Would you damn well 'Adam & Eve' it?

Cor blimey! Talk about taking liberties.

Some jokes really do write themselves.

Get your eye-gear around what lies below; boggled mind permitting.
Media 'like feral beast' - Blair

Tony Blair has said the media can operate like "a feral beast" and its relationship with politicians is "damaged" and in need of repair.

The prime minister said relations had always been fraught, but now threatened politicians' "capacity to take the right decisions for the country".

The arrival of web-based news and blogs and 24-hour television news channels meant reports were "driven by impact".
Then the (presently), prime ministerial poodle went on panting & ranting plenty more -- par example:

Mr Blair concluded his speech by saying he had made it "after much hesitation" and he expected it to be "rubbished in certain quarters", but it "needed to be said - so I've said it".
So Big Brother Blair expected it to be rubbished, did he?

Well, you can call us 'certain quarters' if you care to -- since we definitely don't intend disappointing the departing double-talker.

Read about the rest of Blair's recent sour-grapes sort of snidey, snivelling (Reuters) speech.

N.B. File under 'Pot-Kettle-Black-Barmy-Beast-Blair'.

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Gordon Brown's Baghdad Brickbat For Tony Blair ...

So, British prime minister in waiting Gordon Brown got to Baghdad and back without the need for a flag draped wooden box form of transport - in spite of the (nine shot) shelling of the so called, so-safe Green Zone while he was there.

Well goody-goody for you, Gordon. It's just such a shame some
150 or so of our uniformed young countrymen who went were sent to Iraq weren't so sodding lucky. Eh?

Credit where it's due though, chancellor. You must have thought long and hard before deftly delivering your (hardly hidden) brickbat, so obviously aimed at your soon to be ex boss, Tony (bloody liar) Blair.

Gordon Brown has promised to prevent the "party political" use of intelligence material so that he would never repeat Tony Blair's mistake in taking Britain to war on a flawed prospectus.

On his first visit to Baghdad, the incoming prime minister said he would learn lessons from the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, when Mr Blair based his case for war on intelligence reports about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Brown said he had already begun discussions with Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, to ensure security and intelligence material was collected "free of the party political process" and was " fully verified" if it was to be made public.

"That is learning the lessons from things that happened in the past, and we should make sure that we can do things better in the future," he said.
And how about this?

His remarks were seen as a barely coded criticism of Mr Blair and an attempt to draw a line under a controversy which left a stain on the [Blair, New Labour] Government.

Well, we shall wait to see what we shall see - before judging Gordon Brown by his actions rather than by 'barely coded criticisms'.

Read the rest of The Independent's relevant report, right here.

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11 June 2007

Wondering About Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Hilary Clinton, Walmart, Carl Bernstein And More ...

As we approach the half way mark of 2007 we also arrive at the stage when we seriously start wondering who the next president of the United States could possibly be.

Right now, we'd say it increasingly appears to we across the pond that it could well be one of the pair of (ultra professional), political charmers portrayed as sparring partners in the cartoon shown above; Senator
Hilary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama.

And if either of 'em eventually does end up entering the White House, then one thing is certain -- it'll be a great big, gargantuan, ginormous '1st' for America.


Also,
after reading what we read earlier today we now can't help wondering who Uncle Tom - Colon(full of it)Bowel - Colin Powell would want to win such a scrap.

And what about the famed Watergate journalist
Carl Bernstein?

And what about the infamous
Walmart?

As for ourselves, ... well now, ... can you say 'Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee'?

And/or even, 'ce'st la vie'?

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10 June 2007

Downing Street ("Duh!") Security Scare ...

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We notice not a lot's changed -- bumbling BlairCo's (so called, super security conscious), New Labour Government-wise -- while we've both been AWOL.

Same old screams/talk of terror, terror, terror. Lock up your daughters, etc, etc. Be afraid, stay scared. Marauding masses of mad, murderous, Islamofascist, Muslim Bogeymen are all gonna get ya -- and only Big Brother can save ya.


Dee dah, dee dah, dee bloddy dah.


Here's an example of the very latest laugh a minute, propa-media-ganda garbage.

Do as we SAY -- NOT as we DO!

Couple breach Downing St security

A couple managed to bypass security measures and walk straight into Downing Street, it has emerged.

Obadiah Marius, 44, and his girlfriend walked through a government building on neighbouring Whitehall without being checked, a No 10 spokesman confirmed.
What a way to run a railroad, eh? Sure sounds as though we have some especially stupefying sort of security service brain-box-boffins working extra efficiently at protecting us all, eh?

We wonder why words like idiots, incompetents, scaremongers and wankers spring so readily to mind?

Anyway, here's the low down on one of the latest laughable 'incidents' - which we're told was sooooo serious that :

The pair were arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.
Read the rest of this shit right here.

And while you're still with us you may be interested in giving
10 Downing Street an unannounced personal visit of your own.

But be sure you don't get in the way of some especially important people,
such as the soon to be ex-Prem's removal men.

After all, during days as dark and dangerous as these, priorities really matter.

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09 June 2007

Love Him Or Loathe Him, This Old Brit Is Back ...

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In case you've not noticed - we've been away.

But today, like the proverbial bad penny, prodigal son, whatever/whoever we've turned up again.

Some might say Already, even?!



As for ourselves, well, we'll have more to say soon.

So may we suggest looking in a little later on?


Oh, by the way, did we mention that we missed you?

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03 June 2007

We'll Be AWOL For A While ...

Old soldiers (so the old saying goes), don't die -- they simply fade away.

Well, we want to believe it's exactly the same with (some say overly,) opinionated old blogging buggers like This Old Brit - and his beloved better half.

(Better by bloomin' far, by the way, as shown below.)



Let's say it straight away though, that we're certainly not sick; neither of us.

But boy, oh boy - we are both tired. Much more than a mere tad, too. In fact, the truth is that you could quite correctly call us completely knackered.

So we're taking a bit of a break/breather from blogging.


However, depending upon your personal point of view, the good (or bad) news is that it shouldn't take us too long to catch up on some (seriously required) long & lingering slumbering - and other such sedate sorts of 'senior' stuff -- and then to return right back to business.

Whatever -- we'll be back to 'see' you all again soon; in a couple of days or so.

In the meantime make sure you all take good care - of each other - since you may find yourself being blogged about if you don't. And we bet you wouldn't like that; not one little a bit.


One last thing before we go.

Re: the 'disappeared' comment facility.

We still haven't a clue what happened nor how to fix things - and may we say again 'it was definitely not us wot dunnit, gov'.

However, a few clever commenters/readers have found that comments CAN be made - and read - but only by entering any blogposts (including current/latest) via the 'archives' in the right hand column.

As to why this has happened - don't ask - we still don't have a damned clue.

Meanwhile, for the time being, toodle-oo!

US Vets, Protests, Video Tape Footage, And More ...

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You may (or may not) already have been aware - since Saturday - of the story referred to below.

Whatever; for just a wee while longer, stick with us ...

VFW Backs Vet in Trouble Over Protest

SAM HANANEL June 2, 2007 - 07:20 AM - EST - AP

WASHINGTON — The nation's largest combat veterans group on Friday urged the military to "exercise a little common sense" and call off its investigation of a group of Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during anti-war protests.

"Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about," said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus," Kurpius said.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in March wearing fatigues _ with military insignia removed _ during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war.


A military panel in Kansas City, Mo., will hold a hearing Monday to decide whether he should be should be discharged from service and, if so, with what type of discharge.

Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine Corps spokesman, said Kokesh is under administrative review because he wore his uniform at a political event, which is prohibited. And, Lapan said, when a senior officer told Kokesh that he violated military regulations, Kokesh used an obscenity and indicated he would not comply with the rules.

"It's the political activity that is prohibited, not the type of event that it was," Lapan said. "If it had been a pro-war rally, it would still have been a violation."

The panel could recommend an honorable discharge, a general discharge or an other than honorable discharge. Kokesh could not be given a dishonorable discharge, which generally results from a court-martial. The final decision would be made by the commanding general.

A second Marine who was at the same event was also called about the violation, but told the officer he was unaware he was breaking the rules and said he would not do it again, Lapan said. That Marine has not been called to an administrative hearing.

Kurpius said the possibility of receiving a less than honorable discharge from service could threaten educational and other benefits Kokesh is eligible to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The action might also prevent Kokesh from future employment opportunities that require a security clearance, Kurpius said.

"We all know that people give up some individual rights when they join the military," Kurpius said. "But these Marines went to war, did their duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to say it."
Here's the relevant Huff-Post link.

And now ......

...... with a million thanks to
Meercat Media - via - (and with huge hat-tip to), - Prose before Hos - here you can actually watch an extraordinary vets' protest video for yourself.

Rather interestingly, this vet protest video was recently
"withdrawn" from YouTube.

Funny old life these days, ain't it?


Fine thing this "freedom" thingie finishes up being, sometimes, eh?

And seemingly, increasingly often.

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02 June 2007

R.I.P. Steve Gilliard of 'The News Blog' ...

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As from a fews hours ago it's not just the blogosphere that's a become poorer place.

The sad truth is that the whole wide world is now missing one more media hero.

A big man - in more ways than one - died this day.



Steve Gilliard of The News Blog - is gone - aged only 41.

We wish to offer our deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences to all Steve's loved ones.

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US Warship's Missile Attack Against Mogadishu, Somalia, Africa ...

MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.

The attack from a U.S. destroyer took place late Friday, said Muse Gelle, the regional governor.

The extremists had arrived Wednesday by speedboat at the port town of Bargal.

Gelle said the area is a dense thicket, making it difficult for security forces from the semiautonomous republic of Puntland to intervene on their own.

A local radio station quoted Puntland's leader, Ade Muse, as saying that his forces had battled with the extremists for hours before U.S. ships arrived and used their cannons. Muse said five of his troops were wounded, but that he had no information about casualties among the
extremists.

A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.

(snip)

A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.

"This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

"We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven,"
So, suddenly the US decides it's time for missile strikes against the evil 'Islamofascists' who've infiltrated Somalia, sat square on Africa's horn.

We wonder why the wonderful (self proclaimed), US international-freedom-spreaders waited all this time?

Read the rest of the AP report.


Cor! Can you believe it? Talk about coincidence - again.

Everywhere those terrible terrorists need to be taken out, it transpires they're 'acting up'
atop one ocean of oil or another.

See this excerpt extracted from Znet; they 'get it'; as do many more of us.

Last week came the news that the U.S. now imports more oil from Africa than the Middle East, with Nigeria, Angola and Algeria providing nearly one-fifth of it -- more than from Saudi Arabia.

While the rulers in Addis Ababa claim the invasion was a preemptive attack on a threatening Somalia and the Bush Administration says giving a wink and a nod to the attack was only a chance to capture a few terrorist holed up in Somalia, for most of the media and diplomatic observers outside the U.S. it was another strategic move to secure positioning in the region where there is a lot of oil.

On file are plans - put on hold amid continuing conflicts - for nearly two-thirds of Somalia's oil fields to be allocated to the U.S. oil companies Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips. It was recently reported that the U.S. - backed prime minister of Somalia has proposed enactment of a new oil law to encourage the return of foreign oil companies to the country.

Salim Lone, spokesperson for the United Nation mission in Iraq in 2003, now a columnist for The Daily Nation in Kenya, recently told
Democracy Now: 'the prime minister's attempt to lure Western oil companies is on a par with his crying wolf about al-Qaeda at every turn. Every time you interview a Somalia official, the first thing you hear is al-Qaeda and terrorists. They're using that. No one believes it. No one believes it at all, because all independent reports say the contrary.'

I spoke with Kidane last week and she allowed that the situation in Somalia might seem complex to many in the peace and social justice movements. However, she said it is impossible to overlook the parallel with the situation in the Iraq. 'It's aggression, that is undeniable, and the same language is being used to justify it,' she said. Kidane is on target in insisting that the movements for peace and justice in the U.S. - and elsewhere - must take up the issue.

The unlawful U.S.- Ethiopian invasion and occupation of that country and the accompanying human suffering and human rights abuses constitute a new - and still mostly hidden - war in many ways similar to that in Iraq. And, waged for the same reason.


All that eye-opening article's here. Assess & analyze it's content, claims and (foregone) conclusions for yourself.
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01 June 2007

Approaching American Presidential Vacancy : Holy Folk Only Need Apply ...

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Here in merrie olde time religion, erm... England (of Saint George), we're receiving reports re:innumerable regular American voters vetoing - yea, verily we say vetoing unto you - all presidential pretenders not perceived as possessing said pollsters (as shown below), shared right & proper religious credentials.



Witness what wonderful words of wisdom (writ large, natch), we two yanked from Yahoo today.

The personal faith of candidates has become a very public part of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Seven years after George W. Bush won the presidency in part with a direct appeal to conservative religious voters — he cited Jesus Christ as his favorite philosopher during one debate — it seems all the leading presidential candidates are discussing their religious and moral beliefs, even when they'd rather not.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have hired strategists to focus on reaching religious voters. Obama's campaign holds a weekly conference call with key supporters in early primary and caucus states whose role is to spread the candidate's message to religious leaders and opinionmakers and report their concerns to the campaign.

So, seek and ye shall find - the rest right here. (If it were not so, would we not have told you?)

And, wouldn't the blessed the burning the bumbling Bush have, too? Or, at the very least, tipped you (another) one of his wondrous wierdo winks? Which passeth all understanding?



As doth hith his own thelf self?

So, behold (below), all ye of little faith.



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