Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: March 2008

30 March 2008

Chief Constable Mike Todd's Recent Suspicious Suicide : "Spook" Stories Suddenly Start Surfacing ...

In the interests of saving coincidence theorists any time and trouble, we strongly suggest they stop reading right here.

Remember top cop, ex-Met man Michael Todd [BBC personal profile], Chief Constable of Greater Manchester - the UK's second largest force?

Remember what we wrote when publishing this piece re; the string of strange/suspect circumstances/stories surrounding his recent supposed suicide?

Well, here are some of the latest spooky revelations courtesy the 'Sunday Mail' regarding the man's sudden, premature demise half way up Snowdon in the middle of the mist shrouded, gale lashed mountains of North Wales.

'Suicide' police chief: Why didn't they call us earlier ask rescue services?

00:37am on 30th March 2008

• Mountain rescue chief says they could have saved top policeman on Snowdon

• Mystery of dark suited 'spooks' waiting at bottom of mountain

• Chinook helicopter appeared above body - but could not land

• 'Champagne was in police chief's rucksack'

Lonely death: Mike Todd [Wikipedia] had a half empty bottle of gin and a bottle of champagne with him when his body was found on Snowdon

The police chief who died on a blizzard-swept mountain might have survived if rescue services had been alerted earlier, according to the expert who masterminded the recovery of his body.

Peter Walker has provided the first detailed account of the hunt on Snowdon for Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Michael Todd.

His claims raise a series of disturbing questions about the death of Mr Todd, who was tipped as a future Scotland Yard Commissioner.

So, we strongly suggest investigating further for yourself.

But remember, all aspiring Sherlocks, spies, spooks, special agents and such, it's only recommended reading if you're not a crazy coincidence theorist.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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McCain Adviser: The Brits Let Us Down in Iraq

Fred Kagan helped cook up the occupation of Iraq, and was a chief architect of the 'surge'

Fred Kagan, one of John W. McCain's top foreign policy advisers,
blamed our British allies for the outbreak of violence in Basra:
Read more »

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29 March 2008

An Auld Irish Fairy Tale : As Told By Hillary Clinton ...


Awh, bejabuz and begorrah, a top a de mornin' to yiz all.

'Tis nice t'see yiz all again. Honest t'God, so it is.

And as our own dearly beloved departed, sainted auld mother Riley granny - God rest her soul - used t'say t'we wee childer: "Now sit yizselves down an' behave yizselves while I tell yiz all a story. Tiz a special true auld Irish fairy tale. An' before I go any further, Richard me laddo, if yer don't shurrup, sit still and stop fidgetin' - y'll get d'back a me hand.

But Holy mother a' Mary, who ever'da tought dat posh snooty American woman, Mrs whatzername Clinton - good God in heaven forgive her - could spin 'em as good as d'rest of us? Don't yiz tink, now?

Okay, don't worry, we've not finally flipped our lids altogether. And profuse sincere apologies to our Irish readers - of whom we know for sure, there are several - but as only second generation British scousers with our roots firmly set somewhere on the Southwest coast of the old emerald isle, we're sure you'll take our well meant attempts at good humour in the good natured spirit they're intended.

Anyway, for those without a clue as to what the hell we're waffling on like eejuts about, here IS a clue. (And incidentally, isn't it amazing how far flung Hillary's fame as a flipping big fibber is already?)

A misrepresented meeting

Clinton also makes major claims to have helped broker the Northern Ireland peace process.

Actually, I was in Belfast when the Clintons came calling in December 1995. Hillary had tea with some very nice women from groups helping single mothers and deprived young people.

She so admired the ordinary British cafe stainless steel teapot that one of the ladies gave it to her as a gift.

It was not a significant event; I cannot even remember whether I included it in my report on the presidential visit.

But 14 years later, out on the campaign trail, Clinton grossly misrepresented the meeting as a pivotal moment in the peace process, in which she "brought together for the first time" people from Protestant and Catholic communities who agreed to work for peace.

The actual participants in the peace process, including John Hume and David Trimble, say Hillary had no input in their negotiations.
Now, if yiz don't want us tell yer mams, dads, teachers, and Father O'Thingee, then y'all better behave yizselves and
read the rest right here.

Sorry, we've suddenly got to sod off straight away and get ourselves to the air raid shelter as soon as poss, since the sirens have started, the barrage balloons are up and the searchlights are switched back on.

We kid you not. Really and truly. Honest t'God. The ak-ak guns are going.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! The Germans are coming again.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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The Politics of Iraq

Prime Minister Maliki is backed by both Bush and Ahmadinejad

I think it's important that we understand what's behind the recent spike in violence in Iraq. Unfortunately, the mainstream media isn't doing a very good job of providing context. If you watch the news and read the leading newspapers, it's easy to get the impression that the fighting in Iraq is the result of long-simmering hatreds between Sunnis and Shiites, or between Arabs and Kurds. Or that it's the result of interference by outside forces like al Qaeda and the government of Iran.

In reality, though, the conflict in Iraq is just an old-fashioned power struggle over a few difficult issues. The most important of those issues are:

1) Whether Iraq will be a united nation with a strong central government, or a confederation of regional governments.

2) The extent to which Iraq's oil will be privatized.

3) Whether the revenue from Iraq's oil will be distributed equitably across the nation, or whether oil producing regions will be allowed to keep the lion's share of the money.

Here's a few links that go into these issues in greater depth:

Read more »

28 March 2008

Israeli Extremist Elite And British Royalty Say "Stuff You, Suckers."


We don't suppose we should have been surprised ...

... but believe us, we were ... when we saw a link to a certain story at
Sophia's site: 'Les Politiques'.

He's a tasty teaser to give you the general gist.

On April 7, Prince Philip will be hosting a dinner at Windsor Castle organised by the Jewish National Fund. They will be marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli state. However this is not a private dinner. Nor is the JNF an ordinary organisation.

The JNF was established in 1901 as the land settlement wing of the World Zionist Organisation. It became one of the primary instruments involved in planning for the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians. Up until 1948 it purchased land for settlement, often from absentee landlords, and then evicted the peasants from that land. Unlike the normal practice under colonial rule, the Palestinians were not re-employed as wage labourers but excluded from the land altogether. This was the concept of Jewish land. But even by 1947 less than 7% of the land of Palestine had been bought up.

The JNF played a crucial role in planning for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. In the years leading up to the establishment of the state of Israel, the JNF was a key voice in establishing a consensus in the Zionist leadership for "transfer". Although not discussed openly, among the Zionist leaders it was accepted that a Jewish state could only come into being if the Arabs were transferred out of the state. Palestine was a land where barely one-third of the inhabitants were Jewish, and even in the area allotted by the United Nations to a Jewish state, barely half of the inhabitants were Jewish. As the head of its Land Settlement Department, Joseff Weitz, wrote in his diary in 1940:

The only solution is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries. Not a single village or a single tribe must be let off. [Ilan Pappe: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, page 62]

Weitz later formed, with the authority of David Ben Gurion, a Transfer Committee. And between 1947 and 1949 an opportunity arose to put these ideas into practice. As Tom Segev recalled in Ha'aretz, a meeting was held in Haifa on March 27, 1948, concerning the fate of the Bedouin of Arab al-Ghawarina in the Haifa area. "They must be removed from there, so that they, too, will not add to our troubles," Yosef Weitz, of the Keren Kayemeth (Jewish National Fund), wrote in his personal diary.

The JNF occupies a unique position in Israel. It is nominally an independent organisation but in reality it is a contracted-out section of the state, controlled by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, carrying out functions that the state itself cannot be seen to do openly. The JNF functions as an ideological outpost of the Greater Israel movement and when the Israeli army razed to the ground the Palestinian villages of the Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba villages in 1967 and expelled their inhabitants, the JNF took over the construction of the Canada National Park on the ruins.


So, according to this logic, the royal family will be hosting a dinner for an organisation which explicitly discriminates against Palestinians and non-Jews because the proceeds will be going to a charity which apparently does the complete opposite. You couldn't make it up.
Well now, thanks to decent, honest, genuine Jews such as
Tony Greenstein, nobody needs to.

See the rest of his straight talking story recently written for the

So, like we said at the start, we don't suppose we should have been surprised.

Since it seems to be just another case of the same old, same old. You know, for some of our masters to be seen snuggling up as close as a bunch of ugly-bugs breeding in a blood soaked rug.

And, standing self serving shoulder to shoulder, to simply stick the rest us the fabled finger, and sneer as they snort in unison: "Stuff you, suckers."

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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27 March 2008

R.I.P. Little Ali Ibn Laith - Died Today In Iraq ...



Little Ali Ibn Laith -- aged 9.

Murdered today, in Iraq.

From Iraq, to Dubhaltach, to our inbox, to you, today:

Mohammed's brother Ali died of his wounds today courtesy of shrapnel and flames caused by US missile strike.

He was 9.

Mike/Christina dont expect to hear anything from Mohammed until 40 day of the mourning period is over.

Saba says US soldiers shot at Mohammed as he approached a roadblock they had set up and that he was carrying Ali in his arms trying to get to hospital. He also says that Ali was very badly burned and died screaming.

We'll be posting a death notice late tonight.


Here's our emailed response:

Du, I am so, so sorry to learn this.

I don't have the words .... but in whatever way you can/will, please pass on sincere sympathies and heartfelt condolances.

May little Ali rest in eternal peace. May his murderers NEVER EVER do the same.


*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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How To Waste $3 Trillion


Not too long ago, Nobel prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz calculated that the war in Iraq will have cost as much as $3 trillion before it's over. This story was recently brought to my attention again, and I was struck by just how wasteful the spending in Iraq has been:

I ask what discoveries Stiglitz found the most disturbing. He laughs, somewhat mirthlessly. "There were actually so many things - some of it we suspected, but there were a few things I couldn't believe.

" The fact that a contractor working as a security guard gets about $400,000 a year, for example, as opposed to a soldier, who might get about $40,000. That there is a discrepancy we might have guessed - but not its sheer scale, or the fact that, because it is so hard to get insurance for working in Iraq, the government pays the premiums; or the fact that, if these contractors are injured or killed, the government pays both death and injury benefits on top.

Understandably, this has forced a rise in sign-up bonuses (as has the fact that the army is so desperate for recruits that it is signing up convicted felons). "So we create a competition for ourselves. Nobody in their right mind would have done that. The Bush administration did that ... that I couldn't believe. And that's not included in the cost the government talks about."

Forget the money wasted on sole-source contracts that had no completion requirements. That was pocket change compared to the money that we spent on mercenaries and on the extra bonuses we had to pay our own soldiers to keep them from joining their ranks.

And if you really want to get angry, have a look at these figures:

The amount the US spends on the monthly running costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - on top of regular defence spending

The amount paid by every US household every month towards the current operating costs of the war

The amount Halliburton has received in single-source contracts for work in Iraq

The annual cost to the US of the rising price of oil, itself a consequence of the war

$3 trillion
A conservative estimate of the true cost - to America alone - of Bush's Iraq adventure. The rest of the world, including Britain, will shoulder about the same amount again

Cost of 10 days' fighting in Iraq

$1 trillion
The interest America will have paid by 2017 on the money borrowed to finance the war

The average drop in income of 13 African countries - a direct result of the rise in oil prices. This drop has more than offset the recent increase in foreign aid to Africa


Stiglitz and economist Linda Bilmes outline the way they came up with the $3 trillion figure

(cross posted at appletree)

26 March 2008

War, Peace, Illegal Invasions, Ensuing Occupations, Poxy Politicians, Suffering Soldiers, Innocent Civilians, Lies, Lives, Deaths, Bloody Body Bags...

Honesty is the best policy. Hand on heart and hope to die. Honest to God. Unto thine own self be true. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Cheats never prosper.

Right? Remember?

Well, we don't know about you but they're just a few examples of the things we, when we were kids, regularly had hammered home to us by our 'elders and betters'.

Ha. Father Christmas climbing down our chimney, the Tooth Fairy peekin' under our pillow, Jesus wanting us to be one of his personal sunbeams.

Scoffing stale bread crusts, so as to best try sprouting some Shirley Temple type curls. Pick your nose and you won't be taken to the Sunday School 'Treat'. If you're squinting your eyes when the wind changes suddenly, your cheeky little freckled face will flippin' well stay that way - for certain - for ever.

Clouds with siver sodding linings, raining perishing pennies from heaven, ruddy great gargantuan rainbows - resting on our skinny shoulders? With bleedin' big pots of gold at the end of 'em, to boot?

Etc, etc, etc.

Oy, vey. O.M.G. 'Strewth! And, W.T.F?

Sheesh. The stupid stuff we swallow when we're bright eyed, bushy-tailed simpletons innocent youngsters.

By the way, before anybody begins berating us for our serial sarcasm, we strongly suggest first sussing out how
a certain other old Brit blogging buddy, sees barefaced shameless bullshit.

But (even if it was for the very first time in his low-life), Dick Cheney wasn't lying when showing his (sincere) complete contempt for 4,000 slain US soldiers -- by almost sneeringly saying - So? They all volunteered!

And don't ever forget Barbara Bush, both wife and mother to US presidents. She was being honest when she made no attempt to stop herself saying (totally truthfully), how she sees things -- when, very early on in her braindead brat's illegal war, she came straight out with this sickening shocker ...


Which reminds us. There's something we've been meaning to mention to big bad Babs for ages.

Hey, you, witch!

Here's why you/we/everyone should hear about body bags -- and here's how and why body bags most definitely are bloody relevant.

See what we're saying, you stupid sick old sow?

So sodding often, for so many sad souls, body bags are the only bloody thing that is relevant.

Understand what we're saying, you cretinous old crow? Comprendo, cow?

Those remains are American. And, thanks to your lying, sleazeball, scumbag, sociopathic son's entirely inexcusable and completely uncalled for illegal war -what we see above is all that was left of some other US mother's, far less fortunate, son - after dying while fighting your fat-cat family's filthy-lucre inspired, fucking war for you.

Beautiful mind? Barf!

Listen missus, you'd be better if you blew it away.

As most of the rest of us would be ... if you did ... we dare say ... if we were honest ... and telling the truth


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25 March 2008

Admiral Fallon Testimony : 'Voters For Peace' Action Appeal Alert ...


We're publishing this exactly how it came to us, without comment.

It comes FROM Americans and is mainly FOR fellow Americans, but we believe it helps others everywhere to better understand that, just as everywhere else, all one nation's people are NOT the same.

Dear Rick,

I am writing to you again so quickly because there is an urgent need for action today.

The Pentagon has decided not to allow the outgoing Commander of the U.S. Central Command, who was responsible for the overall military strategy and actions in the Middle East, to testify before Congress. See article below for details.

This is a time of critical foreign policy decision making and the American public needs to have testimony under oath from Admiral Fallon. News reports indicate Admiral Fallon left due to disputes with the White House over whether a military attack on Iran should be pursued.

The U.S. should not move toward a military attack on Iran without public discourse on the subject. These should include congressional hearings where people like Admiral Fallon testify under oath about whether opening a third front of combat makes sense at a time when things are going so poorly in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

We request you do the following (doing all three will take less than one minute!):

(1) Forward this by email to people you know.

(2) Contact the Pentagon; tell them that they should let Admiral Fallon testify. The American public needs to hear the views of the most senior military official for the Middle East.

(3) Contact Congress and tell them to subpoena the testimony of Admiral Fallon. They have the power to require Admiral Fallon to testify. This is a critical juncture for U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. is already fighting a two-front war - and failing on both fronts - and should not be adding a third front in Iran.

Thank you for your time. We appreciate you taking action on this important request.

Sincerely, Kevin Zeese

Executive Director "Voters For Peace".


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The Cheney Interview: 'Screw the troops. They volunteered.'


Crooks and Liars has video of the interview in which Vice President Cheney cavalierly dismissed of the 4,000 Americans who have died in Iraq. Asked to comment on the grim milestone, Cheney first attempted to use the dead soldiers to score political points by deliberately conflating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

It obviously brings home I think for a lot of people the cost that's involved in the global war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Excuse me, but we passed the 4,000 mark for Iraq and Afghanistan quite some time ago. The question was about the people who died in Iraq. The ones who died in a war of choice, a war fought to counter a non-existent threat. The question was about the men and women who were sacrificed on the altar of Cheney's twisted ambitions in Iraq.

Cheney then asked us to weep for the draft-dodger in chief:

The president carries the biggest burden, obviously.

Actually, it's the soldiers who were killed and maimed (remember them?) who were saddled with the biggest burden. Obviously.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, Cheney dropped this bombshell:

We are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harms way for the rest of us. And we wish nobody ever lost their life. But unfortunately, it's one of the things that go with living in the world we live in. Sometimes you have to commit military force and when you do, there are casualties.
Translation: 'I have to put on a show of honoring the troops here, but if they'd been smart like me and the president they would have avoided combat. I mean, seriously. They didn't even have to go through all the lies and pretenses that go with dodging the draft. All they had to do was not sign up. I wish nobody had been killed, but hey: they volunteered.'

And what's this about "sometimes you have to commit military force"? Hussein never threatened the United States. He certainly posed no threat in 2003, after the decade of crippling sanctions which followed the annihilation of his army. Sometimes you do have to commit military force, but as Cheney knows all too well, this was not one of those times.

Unsurprisingly, Cheney dodged a question about multiple deployments and the stop-loss orders that undermine his claims that all of those killed were in Iraq voluntarily. When pressed, he tried to parry the question about forcing soldiers to stay in Iraq with one of his own:

So what would be the solution to that? I mean, how would you deal with that?
I have an answer to that one: don't invade and occupy nations that pose no threat to us or their neighbors. If not for the Iraq War, the stop losses and the multiple extended tours would have been unnecessary.

One can make exceptions for ongoing genocide, but nothing like that was occurring in Iraq at the time of the invasion. In fact, the last great mass killing in Iraq that occurred before 2003 ended in March 1997, when the first shipments of food and medicine arrived after the Clinton administration finally dropped its longstanding opposition to the UN oil-for-food program.

Later in the interview, Cheney tried to bang the drum for war with Iran:

I hear about it virtually every place I go and the concerns that leaders in the region have for what they see happening in Iran, and what they see Iran doing in the region is perhaps not universal, but it's close to it. And, uh, that goes with everything from their support for Hezbollah and their efforts, their working through the Syrians for example to interfere with the political process inside Lebanon. they've supported Hamas with the intention, I believe, of trying to disrupt the peace process. Obviously, they're also, they're heavily involved in trying to develop nuclear weapons, enrichment, the enrichment of uranium to weapons grade levels.
Really? Has Cheney asked any leaders in the region about Israel or the United States? Because in reality, leaders in the region are a whole lot more concerned about the hyper-aggression of the US and Israel than they are about the Iranians, who have not invaded another nation in more than 200 years.

The bit about interfering in Lebanon reads like a sick joke, in light of the
American support of Israel's recent invasion of that country. And let's not forget that American intelligence services have determined that Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons. It's as if Cheney's mouth was a factory that mass-produces lies.

Cheney then moved on to oil prices, patting himself on the back for solving America's energy crisis, and blaming environmentalists for runaway prices:

Well, what I did was I talked with Minister Ali al-Naimi, he's the Saudi oil minister, use to be the head of Aram-Co the Saudi oil co, I have known him for many years before I came back to government I knew him. And what we did was renew a commitment they made to us in 2005 as I recall, the King came to the States we had a session, we then encouraged them to increase their production capacity... If we had acted back in the 90's on NWAR, when Congress approved it twice but Clinton vetoed it, we would of had an immediate additional million barrels a day of production today online. That would of had a big impact on the prices in the United States.
Oh, did Clinton's veto have a big impact on oil prices? Have a look at this chart, and see if you can determine whether prices were higher when Clinton was president, or when Bush was president (click to inflate):

It's subtle, but if you look closely you'll see that prices were slightly higher under Bush. And if you really squint, you can kind of make out an upward trend line that begins with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Poor Cheney started to tie himself in knots when it came time to talk about al Qaeda:

I think that we have had major success against Al Qaeda. I think that if you look for example at what we have been able to accomplish in terms of people captured and killed in the Al Qaeda organization in the fact that we have put them on the run the fact that we have successfully defended the country now going on seven years against any further attacks, there have been no additional attacks since 9-11 on the U.S. that's not an accident.
Er... how many of the 4,000 Americans killed in Iraq were the victims of al Qaeda attacks? Why don't they count? (Wait... they volunteered. Never mind.) And if the US and its allies are fighting a global war against terrorism, why don't the al Qaeda attacks in Spain, the UK, the Philippines, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan count? Or are we only involved in a global war when Cheney decides it's convenient to be embroiled in a global war?

The vice president continued:

You don't have at this stage the same kind of safe haven in Iraq that existed in Afghanistan before 9-11.
Yeah, and you also didn't have that before the invasion.

Cheney went on, giving the pretext du jour for staying in Iraq:

You got to remember what happened in Afghanistan that it is relevant to Iraq and that is that after we been engaged in Afghanistan in the 80's support the Mucha Hadin against the Soviets. That was a successful policy then everybody walked away. And what you got in Afghanistan was a civil war, the Taliban and the emergence of Osama Bin Laden in 1996 when he moved into Afghanistan, set up training camps and trained thousands of terrorists, some of which came and killed 3,000 Americans in 9-11.
So Cheney decided to go ahead and set up the exact same situation in Iraq. Brilliant. And let's not forget what happened just before the Afghan civil war: the Soviet Union, having broken their military and bankrupted their treasury in a ten year occupation, were forced to withdraw in response to an economic crisis at home. Sound familiar?

Even after the Soviets withdrew, the Bush administration, Pakistan, and Israel continued to funnel massive amounts of aid to the Taliban and other Afghan resistance groups. That's how the Taliban were able to take over the country. Al Qaeda doesn't have that sort of backing, and they are deeply unpopular in Iraq. There is as little chance of al Qaeda taking over Iraq after we leave as there was before we invaded. That is to say, there is no chance at all that it will happen.

Laughably, Cheney then tried to claim a mandate from the people of Iraq:

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have stood up along side us, enlisted in their security services, have run in elections, have taken on responsible post.
Hundreds of thousands? That only leaves about 27 million Iraqis who want us to go. It's hard to imagine, but Cheney and Bush are even less popular in Iraq than they are in the United States.

Toward the end of the interview, Cheney mentions that he's very glad that he chose himself when asked to select a running mate for then-governor Bush:

I finished my political career when he invited me to join him on the ticket 8 years ago now. And I am very glad that I did... he picked me because he said he wanted me to be part of his administration to be a member of the team and that's exactly what he has done, I've been the beneficiary.
Cheney certainly has been the beneficiary. He held thousands of stock options in Halliburton after he stepped down as CEO. If the company had continued its slide after Cheney left, those options would have been worthless. But after the company was given billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to help supply the troops and rebuild Iraq, Halliburton shares skyrocketed. Cheney made millions.

Cheney concluded with what sounded like a thinly-disguised plea for clemency:

I had the experience for example working with Gerald Ford and I will never forgotten the trials he went through after he had been president for 30 days when he issues a pardon for former President Nixon and there was consternation coast to coast... 30 years later nearly everybody would say it was the exactly the right thing to do.
I am reminded of the words of the Most Dangerous Professor in the Universe:

Is there a more cartoonishly evil person in the American public sphere? He is so far off the scale of ordinary decency that you can’t parody him.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

24 March 2008

Iraq War Bravery ...


This is this Easter's last post.



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Easter Monday 2008 - Special Mortician's Miserable Memorial Edition : 4,000 US War Dead To Date...

Easter Monday 24th March 2008


Vote Republican.

Vote John McCain.

Vote for four more years ... minimum.


*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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23 March 2008

The Not So Straight Side Of Senator John McCain ...

Anyone still stubbornly insisting US Republican presidential candidate John McCain can be relied upon to do (when it matters), the right and honourable thing, obviously hasn't yet seen a certain story in today's British 'Sunday Mail.'

How war hero John McCain betrayed the Vietnamese peasant who saved his life

In all the tales of wartime courage peppering John McCain's presidential campaign trail, perhaps the most outstanding example of selfless heroism involves not the candidate but a humble Vietnamese peasant.


And when a furious mob at the water's edge began to beat and stab the captured pilot, Mr On drove them back.

Nearly three decades later, a Vietnamese government commission confirmed he was indeed the rescuer and, in a 1996 meeting in Hanoi, McCain embraced and thanked Mr On and presented him with a Senate memento.

From that brief encounter to his death at the age of 88 two years ago, Mr On never heard from the senator again, and three years after their meeting, McCain published an autobiography [Faith of my Fathers]that makes no mention of his apparent debt to Mr On.

It is a snub Mr On took to his death.

His widow, Bui Thi Lien, 71, said: “In his last years, my husband was very sad sometimes.

He would say, 'Mr McCain has forgotten me.'

”Mr McCain would be dead if it weren't for my husband. He would never have returned to his family and he wouldn't be in the presidential race today.”


“McCain listened but there was no dramatic response. He just nodded, said, 'Thank you very much,' and gave Mr On a little Senate seal.

“It was the kind of thing you buy in the souvenir shop in the Senate basement.

“But Mr On, to the day he died, treated it as if it were a Congressional Medal of Honour.”

But although McCain appeared to believe the story, it was one he would later seem to ignore in his autobiography and there was no more contact between the two men.

When Mr On died in 2006, an email was apparently sent to McCain's office requesting a message of condolence for the family. There was no response.

Whether or not McCain believed Mr On is unclear.

But his refusal to acknowledge his heroism is likely to fuel other, more damaging allegations that McCain exaggerated elements of his PoW ordeal in Hoa Lo prison.

Before you read the rest we want to make it abundantly clear that the UK's 'Mail' can in no way, shape or form be described as either a 'lefty' or even liberal national newspaper.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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22 March 2008

Abu Ghraib's Infamous Lynndie England : Unmissable 'Stern' Interview ...


Remember the whole wide world's revulsion regarding a certain candid-camera kind of compilation?

Remember Lynndie England?

An American soldier who - by her contemptable complicity in the torturing at Abu Ghraib prison - shamed, disgraced and disgusted so many members of the human race? You know, one of the (so called), Christian soldiers sent by George Bush & Co from the United States -- supposedly to set the poor Iraqi people free from their sufferings under Saddam?

Well... if you thought that by now, especially since she became a mother, she must have become seriously and sincerely contrite... well, judge for yourselves.

The snips which follow below are from an amazing (recent), interview with the German magazine 'Stern' - and while we like to believe that any article we highlight here is well worth reading - we genuinely believe this particular one is, in a word, brilliant.

One might, in all honesty, even say "unmissable"

Thousands of Americans?
Both. I guess after the picture came out the insurgency picked up and Iraqis attacked the Americans and the British and they attacked in return and they were just killing each other. I felt bad about it, ... no, I felt pissed off.

If the media hadn't exposed the pictures to that extent then thousands of lives would have been saved.


But you took the photos.
Yeah, I took the photos but I didn't make it worldwide. Yes, I was in five or six pictures and I took some pictures, and those pictures were shameful and degrading to the Iraqis and to our government. And I feel sorry and wrong about what I did. But it would not have escalated to what it did all over the world if it wouldn't have been for someone leaking it to the media. Hell, I was at Fort Bragg when the pictures came out and I had no idea.

Can you tell us about the day you heard the pictures had been made public?

The pictures came out on a Thursday, April 27 or 28. I called my Mom on Saturday. I was pregnant at the time, I didn't have a car, I didn't get the newspaper, I didn't have a TV, I didn't have a radio. I called my Mom from a payphone and she said, "There's a hundred reporters out in the front yard. You're all over the news, your face is in the papers, on CNN." I just said, "What are you talking about?" I didn't believe it. She started talking about the pictures and describing them. And I'm like, "Oh shit, how did they get out?"

Were you scared when you realized the pictures were out there?

I didn't really believe it. It was kind of like I was still in shock. I was like "No, me?"

But you knew at that stage that the investigation had been underway since January?

Yeah, but I didn't know it was so public with America, or even the world. So I went to this buddy I knew in the barracks, and I looked it up on the Internet and thought, "Oh my God." I couldn't believe it. And then I started getting paranoid. I was really getting scared at that point and thinking somebody's gonna beat the shit out of me. And I was only three months pregnant and I wasn't showing so they could beat the hell out of me and I could have lost the baby.

See 'STERN's amazing (seven page), Lynndie England interview in it's riveting entirety.

And discover some (special), others she says she blames.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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21 March 2008

The Silliest 'Scientific' Story That We've Seen So Far This Easter...

People who made gifts to others or to charities reported they were happier than folks who didn't share, according to a report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

While previous studies have shown that having more money can increase happiness, the researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University wondered if the way people spent their money made any difference.

Turns out, it does.
Well, damned double DUH! Talk about stating the sodding obvious.

Who the heck ever needed some smart arse scientists to proudly present the populous with such simple sorts of 'self evidence'? We know we definitely didn't.

We doubt that those who gave those little Iraq kids a few small sachets of sweets to savour did either.

Nor those who, no matter how temporarily it may turn out to be, lit up the lovable faces and lightened the lives of this little-tyke-team of serially deprived Roma/Gypsy lads in Macedonia - simply by presenting them with (completely pro bono of course), a few paltry pound's worth of plastic footballs.

Lead researcher Elizabeth W. Dunn, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, said she wasn't surprised that doing something for others made people happy.
Not surprised, eh? Really? Well surprise, suprise - nor are we.

Scientific findings, eh? Huh.

Pssst. Listen, lady... we've shit some scientific findings.

"People need a humanitarian outlet ... feeling that they make a difference ... that's very motivating," [Wendy] Koslow said.
Yeah, we know, Ms Koslow.

See some more on just one of the many (wacky weird & wonderful) ways that so much precious dosh is simply slopped straight down the drains - on a damned daily basis.


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Obama's Passport Records Breached

Like father, like son: Bushes like to go fishing in their political opponents' passport records

On three separate occasions this year, State Department employees improperly accessed Senator Obama's passport records. Two contract employees at the department were fired, and a third person suspended. State Department officials blame the breach on the employees' sense of curiosity.

The last time a presidential candidate's passport files were improperly examined was 1992, when an employeee of George the Smart's State Department rifled through the records of Bill Clinton.

(via The Seminal) (cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)

20 March 2008

The 'Must See' Senator John McCain 'Sick Joke Show' ...


Introducing the worthy, whacky wierdo winner of our very first 'Whopper of the-Week' award.

Seriously, surely this dangerously demented, serial flip-flop wearing, semi senile, two faced, toadying senator was just jesting.


Well, wasn't he?

You know, when the lying, sad old seventy something, 'sell-out' sack of shit said this:

"If Hamas and Hezbollah succeed here, they are going to succeed everywhere," Mr McCain told reporters.

"They are dedicated to the extinction of everything that the US, Israel and the West believe and stand for,"...

Read the rest of this Israel visit related report, regarding the stark staring, raving retard of a sob-Gop, super-goof.

Just imagine -- the kids are all tucked in -- safe and sound asleep -- then suddenly the phone rings -- at 3:00 AM -- and it's someone saying that this stupid sod has -- as practically 'promised' -- started World War Three.

Just imagine.


Today McCain arrived in Downing Street and continued to waffle and lie about Iraq and it's still suffering people.

People were "living their normal lives"
More on McCain's visit to London today.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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19 March 2008

For What It's Worth : Our Own Online "BLOGSWARM" Anti-War Contribution

"Suffer little children to come unto me." Eh?

We came pretty late to this "Blogswarm" project, since we first learned of it just a couple of hours ago - courtesy of our good blogger-buddy, Gordo at 'Appletree'.

But better late than never, eh?

Anyway, seeing as it's already toward the end of another long day here in great British GMT-land, here's hoping we're allowed to cheat a little by being short on the words (again), but a bit 'bigger' on the pictures. After all, you know what they (and us), always say about every picture telling a story and how each one is worth a thousand words.

However, where real, raw, war photos are concerned [like those collected by Canadian,
Roedy Green], each image is worth - at least -10,000 words - or more.

Fair warning though, if your sensibilities are easily offended, your stomach's at all sensitive or if you've got heart and/or blood pressure problems then believe us, you'd be far better off forgetting the following link.

Final Warning : these photographs are graphic -- total 'Shock and Awe' graphic.

If they don't immediately ram right home how truly hellish (all) war really is, then nothing ever will.

Have a nice day.


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Obama on Race

Transcript available here

It was looking mighty grim for Obama for a couple of days there. He was unable to pull away from Clinton on Super Tuesday II, and some enterprising opposition researcher had re-read every sermon ever preached by Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, pulled out every controversial phrase that the Rev. Wright has spoken over the past eight years, and fed the results to media outlets. About a half dozen highly inflammatory quotes were uncovered, including one in which Wright says, "God Damn America."

Immediately, the right wing pounced. Some of the same voices who chided Obama for allegedly standing for nothing more concrete than change and unity now criticized him for his supposedly betraying his platitudes about unity. The Pillsbury Doughboy not only called for a blanket denunciation of Wright, but went on to say that the
African American community in general is racist, and that it's Obama's duty to give blacks in this country a good talking to. New York Times columnist Bill Kristol went so far as to accuse Obama of lying about not having attended the "God Damn America" sermon, based on an item on a lunatic right wing site called Newsmax.

So Obama became the only candidate in recent history to be judged not by his own words, but by those of his pastor. There seemed to be a real eagerness to dismiss any notion that Wright's words might have been based on legitimate grievances. And Obama was left in a position in which he could either turn his back on an old friend, or be branded a Black Supremacist. He chose to do neither.

Instead, Obama showed that he understands the nuances of the race issue. He understands that both Rev. Wright's inflammatory comments and the comments of Geraldine Ferraro are based on legitimate concerns. He understands that the need for America to have an honest discussion of race transcends Obama's need to appease the demagogues who demand that he repudiate Rev. Wright, and it transcends any advantage he might gain by lashing out at Ferraro and at the Clinton campaign. Instead of aggravating racial strife by making a "Sister Souljah" speech or by defensively lashing out at his critics, Obama chose to call for unity and reconciliation.


Some more good reasons to vote for Obama:

Obama has a signal accomplishment to his credit, a substantial one, which may change the shape of politics. If elected he will be the first to enter the office without financial backing from the major business, industrial or professional groups with their PACs, their contribution bundlers and lobbyists. (

I was opposed to this war in 2002... a war that should have never been authorized, a war that should have never been waged. I have been against it in 2002, 2003, 2004, 5, 6, 7, 8 and I will bring this war to an end in 2009.

Criticizing GOP efforts to extend major tax cuts from Bush's first term and to eliminate the estate tax, Obama said: "These are all steps that John McCain rightly said were irresponsible when they first came up." (


By the way, if you want to read how ridiculously biased a news outlet can be, check out this review of Obama's speech from the
White Supremacy Channel.


I would like to make one comment about the Doughboy's criticism of conspiracy theories within the black community. According to him, false conspiracy theories are very destructive, and politicians have an obligation to denounce them. So how come he still hasn't gotten around to asking John McCain to denounce Dick Cheney's ridiculous conspiracy theory involving
Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden?


I think this whole flap was about the right's attempt to "Sharptonize" Obama. The idea is to make Obama out to be a closeted racist. And while I think that this notion is too silly for serious people to contemplate, I think it's worth pointing out that Sharpton isn't a racist, compared to many of his critics. When he went out to eat with Bill O'Reilly, for example, it wasn't Sharpton who wound up making
racist remarks. But the all-time winner of the "racist charges Sharpton with racism" sweepstakes has to be Christopher M. Sullivan, the Commander-In-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans:

Once again Mr. Sharpton demonstrates his bigotry by trying to unjustly disparage the Confederate soldier’s flag.

Cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

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18 March 2008

Barack Obama, Orator Extraordinair:'A More Perfect Union' Speech


Today we're sitting back and letting Senator Barack Obama do all the work.


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17 March 2008

Abu Ghraib Atrocities Again : Latest Revolting Revelations Re; American Torture/War Crimes ...

How much more will the world put up with up?

Whenever one thinks things couldn't possibly get any worse ... they get worse.

Huge hat-tip to 'Nick the News Guy' at 'The Liberal Avenger'.


Submitted by david swanson on Mon, 2008-03-17 16:26.


By Sherwood Ross

Muslim prisoners held in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison were submerged in water-filled garbage cans with ice or put naked under cold showers in near-freezing rooms until they went into shock, Sgt. Javal Davis, who served with the 372nd Military Police Company there, has told a national magazine.

Davis, from the Roselle, N.J., area, said while stationed at the prison he also saw an incinerator with “bones in it” that he believed to be a crematorium and said some prisoners were starved prior to their interrogation.

Another soldier that had been stationed at Abu Ghraib, M.P. Sabrina Harman---who gained dubious fame for making a thumbs-up sign posing over the body of a prisoner she believed tortured to death---said the U.S. had imprisoned “women and children” on Tier 1B, including one child was as young as ten.

“Like a number of the other kids and of the women there, he was being held as a pawn in the military’s effort to capture or break his father,”

Read the revolting rest right here.


How about impale?

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16 March 2008

British Soldiers Back From Iraq Tell Their Own True Tales To Stuart Griffiths ...



Remember seeing these shocking action shots showing a young British 'squaddie' burning alive in Basra?

Ever given that soldier a second thought since?

Any idea what he went through?

Ever thought about the lad's loved ones?

Even have a clue how he eventually ended up?

Know the lad's name? Either his first name, last name or nickname? Did you ever? Do you yet? Could you care less?

Relax. No sweat. Don't knock yourself out. Since they're all, only rhetorical questions anyway.

Well, whatever. Whether you're all for war or totally anti-war ... whether you call yourself a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, an atheist, an agnostic or anything else... whether you lean to the left, lean to the right, still sit on 'safe' fence somewhere in the centre... and... even if you're only half the human you imagine you are... you must see the stories that lay below.

We repeat... you

Because, and make no mistake about it, if you don't/won't/whatever... you're a completely conscienceless, cretinous coward. Whoever, whatever and wherever you are... no matter what lame excuses and/or load of lies you can come up with.
Okay? Clear? Comprendo?

The soldier's tale: Return from Iraq

It's now five years since the Iraq war began. And ever since the first casualties started to arrive back in Britain, former paratrooper Stuart Griffiths has been documenting their struggles. Here he presents his moving portfolio.
Read the rest right here; right now.

Otherwise, simply STFU -- for ever.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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15 March 2008

Preemeptive 'St Patrick's Day' Reality Post Regarding Brendan Duddy ...


Seeing as we've recently been saying so much re; suicides, suspicions, spooks and such ... and seeing as this coming St Patrick's Day (Monday, 17th March) is yet another crumby 'clinic day' for us ... when time so often seems to go on a go-slow and our minds tend to wander while we idle away hours hanging around in waiting rooms ... we're posting this rather revealing, real-life, peace-piece ... 'preemptively'.

That way, we won't have to worry about the real and present possibility probability of forgetting to remember in another two days time.

(Incidentally, if that breath-defying, mouth-full of a premier paragraph isn't Irish enough for you, then you're obviously already in a worse mental state than we ever were.)

Regardless ... read on.

Mr Duddy told the BBC: "The notion that big things happened in the Oval Office in Washington or in the Grand Hall of the Kremlin... actually it doesn't happen that way.
"It happens less formally and simply."


"Without that ceasefire there would have been no Good Friday Agreement and no peace today.

Appetite whetted yet?

Then see the full story for yourself.

Brendan Duddy.

See also, Belfast Telegraph.


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British Ministry of Defense distributes pro-invasion propaganda in English schools


The classroom of the future?

From the Independent:

Britain's biggest teachers' union has accused the Ministry of Defence of breaking the law over a lesson plan drawn up to teach pupils about the Iraq war. The National Union of Teachers claims it breaches the 1996 Education Act, which aims to ensure all political issues are treated in a balanced way.

At the heart of the union's concern is a lesson plan commissioned by an organisation called Kids Connections for the Ministry of Defence aimed at stimulating classroom debate about the Iraq war.

In a "Students' Worksheet" which accompanies the lesson plan, it stresses the "reconstruction" of Iraq, noting that 5,000 schools and 20 hospitals have been rebuilt. But there is no mention of civilian casualties.

In the "Teacher Notes" section, it talks about how the "invasion was necessary to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam Hussein" but it fails to mention the lack of United Nations backing for the war. The notes also use the American spelling of "program".
Hmmm... how do you suppose "program" got Americanized? Too much cutting and pasting? Or was did some Americans collaborate on the project? If the CIA is involved in a disinformation campaign aimed at an American ally, it certainly wouldn't be for the first time (link).

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger) (via appletree)

14 March 2008

Mysterious Sudden Death Of Inspector Neil Munro:The Continuing Completely Coincidental Curious Cases Of British Bobbies Suddenly Snuffing It.


Suffering, sodding, bloody hell-fire!

Now it's getting to be beyond bleeding belief.

What the unholy hell is happening here?

You could NOT make this sort of stuff up. Nobody could. Ever. Never.

Inspector Neil Munro, 43, of Dorset Police bought a ticket and boarded the Brittany Ferries ship alone late last night in Poole, Dorset which set sail at 11.45 pm.

His body was found just down the coast on a beach bordering Poole harbour at 8.30am.


Peter Power was running a terror exercise on July 7th 2005 which, in his own words that evening, was “based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing upright!“.
Now, please pass peacefully over, in an orderly fashion (whilst retaining at all times the required by tradition), stiff upper Brit-like lip, to Postman Patel's place - post haste.

Because, to be quite f**king frank about it all, right now we've now run out of words.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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13 March 2008

The War On Dumbya's Dollar ...


Good job, Georgie.

Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India's Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don't want U.S. dollars.

Hit by a free fall with no end in sight, the once mighty U.S. dollar is no longer just crashing on currency markets and making life more expensive for American tourists and business people abroad; its clout is evaporating worldwide as foreign businesses and individuals turn to other currencies.


Negative dollar sentiment is growing in nations where the dollar was historically accepted as equal or better than local currency — and dollar aversion is even extending to some quarters in the United States.

Read the rest of today's Associated Press report on 'reality'.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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Bush Succeeds in Iraq


It appears that the Bush administration has succeeded in convincing the press the war is virtually over, except for a few pockets of resistance and a few political details. This is the same pattern that we saw in Afghanistan, and in the early stages of the Iraq war. Nothing to see, folks, just move along. And the effect of the administration's assurances has been the same: a drop off in press coverage has led to a loss of interest among the American public.

So what has the American public missed over the last couple of days? Let's have a look:

Parked car bomb kills 18, wounds dozens in central Baghdad

12 soldiers die in 3 days

Kidnapped Iraqi archbishop dead

Five beheaded in Al Qaeda attack on Iraq village

Basra's last neurologist is murdered

Severed fingers of 5 hostages held in Iraq delivered to U.S.

And that's just a small sample. If you're really interested in knowing how things are going, check out the butcher's bill over at Iraq Today. Every day, they compile most of the media reports on the violence in Iraq. And of course, much of the violence never gets reported. The bodies turn up weeks later, if they turn up at all. Currently, there are
between 375,000 and 1 million Iraqis who cannot be accounted for at all.

But for most Americans, none of that exists.
53% of us now believe “the U.S. will ultimately succeed in achieving its goals” in Iraq. There is no city of 2.5 million people that doesn't have a single neurologist. There are not hundreds of thousands of missing persons, and millions of refugees. Iraq does not have to import natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, and fuel oil because its infrastructure is still in ruins. There are no murdered archbishops and no severed fingers. Thanks to the salesmanship of the Bush administration and the gullibility of the American press, most Americans now think that victory is at hand.

Mission accomplished, Mr. Bush.

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger) (via appletree)