Thursday, June 29, 2006


Difficult to be surprised by Isreal actions but I still am. How can they get away with such brazen disregard for the rights of others? How can they get away with completely ignoring international law. From the horse’s mouth himself –

Mr Olmert said the destruction of Gaza's only power station and three of its bridges was meant to pressure, not punish, ordinary Palestinians. "Our aim is not to mete out punishment, but to apply pressure so the soldier will be freed. We want to create a new equation - freeing the abducted soldier in return for lessening the pressure on the Palestinians."

That’s utterly and completely against all the rules of engagement, international law and the Geneva convention. You can’t collectively punish civilians, you can’t go around blowing up civilian infrastructure. Especially you can’t just cut off water supplies. Although America did similar things in Vietnam the last group pf people to happily commit such brazen acts were the third reich and stalin’s boys. Not good company to be in.
Although I suspect their justification would be that by voting for Hamas they were all complicit in the abduction, which is the kind of logic I bet US right wing pundits will use, not realising the same logic could be applied to them. In that the whole of the US could be held responsible for America’s actions abroad, which was the justification used by Al qaida on September 11th. Again, not good company to be in. Perhaps bin laden sought to pressure, not punish Americans.

The whole situation stinks, plus it will not work. Think of the blitz, did that make Londoners think they should welcome Hitler? Did 9/11 make most Americans want to join alqaida, or even pressure their leaders to be more lenient in the middle east? This will only make support for Hamas grow, and will raise the tide of fury in the middle east.

Interesting little coda to the Guardian article –

Gazans have not begun to think how they are going to get through the coming weeks and months without electricity. The wrecked plant was only fully on line for three years and it will cost about £8m to buy and install new transformers.
There may be an interim solution. Israel provides about 40% of electricity in the Gaza Strip. It used to supply it all and may do so again, meaning that Israel's electricity company could make a handsome profit from the army's destruction.
Nice to see they’re learning from the Americans.

Oh and they’ve just arrested the Palestinian cabinet. Tell me now how Hamas recognising Israel would help things? Israel wants to destroy the idea of Palestine, it wants at most a captive prison population of cheap migrant workers, at worst it would settle for Genocide and forced deportation. It has not and never will recognise a Palestinian state, though you’ll hear fuck all about that on the BBC.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


in my previous post i referred to niall Ferguson as a prat, when he is, in fact, a cunt-

The book accompanying Ferguson's current Channel 4 series on 20th-century history, The War of the World, tells us that people "seem predisposed" to "trust members of their own race", "those who are drawn to 'the Other' may ... be atypical in their sexual predilections" and that "when a Chinese woman marries a European man, the chances are relatively high ... that only the first child they conceive will be viable."

racist fuckwit pseudo historian, maybe if i started quoted hitlerite nonsence and Kiplingesque opinions of empire channel 4 might give me a TV series.

Review of a review

Annoying article in the New York review of books here - concerning America and its empire, whether they have one, whether they ever wanted one and whether they should have one. All these arguments unfortunately come from the rightist liberal branch of history, where the narrative is that America had the cold war thrust upon it, that it never asked for the imperial responsibilities and actions that it had to do, that it only ever fought to thwart the intentions of the USSR and now that this bogey man has gone there are a whole new set of reasons for America to act in an imperial manner.

The reviewer is an idiot. He genuinely seems to believe that because America does not have an Emperor, that it does not annex territory and does not call itself an empire therefore it is not. It’s the same thing with the BNP, people say they’re not fascists because they don’t call themselves it. The point is not what you call yourself, it’s the way you act that defines it.
To start at the beginning, with world war two. Where the reviewer would have us believe that America was the most innocent of parties, merely trying to spread truth and justice and democracy about whereas nasty Stalin and crafty Churchill where playing the game of empires. Much as I would like to believe Roosevelt was some Liberal hero I get the feeling he knew a bit more about realpolitik than to take Stalin at his word, perhaps he did, I don’t know, I just doubt it.
The fact is that from the end of the war onwards America did not act like the naïve republic thrust into responsibility and forced to face the evils of communism out of a sense of duty. They were happy to carve up Europe, didn’t really mind Stalin talking the east, they gave it to him at Yalta and he stuck to it religiously. He could have taken Greece but it wasn’t on the list Churchill gave him of nations he could take, so he didn’t fund the communists there. The article fails to mention this quite important point, though it does do a good job of the Stalin Hitler comparison (old hat but good facts) and their similar ideas of empire.
The simple fact is that like many nations America has been imperial since its inception. The article glosses over the conquest of the American west, an aberration it is thought of, ancient history. Never mind those same excuses that are being used now, of freedom and the rest were used to hoover up the lands of the native Americans and happily exterminate them. Once those limits were reached, after taking bits of Mexico and buying other bits from France they had to accept their borders were concrete. That just meant having to change the narrative of their expansions. The Monroe doctrine was only the most blatant expression of this, that only the US could meddle with south America, there were many other imperialist actions. The difference to what the reviewer thinks is imperial is simply that the empire was never formal, the correct comparison would be the early parts of the british empire, where trade was used as the weapon to gain control. Why expend so much effort and resources invading a nation when you can just buy off and bully the government into giving all the benefits of empire with none of the responsibilities. Think british east India company before India became a colony of the Crown.
The success of that strategy was firstly that it generates less bad press, there’s less need for overt control and it allowed America in the 19th and 20th century to pose as the liberator against Europe’s old colonialism. But the policy was that of empire, the reviewer mentions only the Philippines, again as the exception. But what about Cuba? What about Panama? What about any latin American country in the 20th century, each one faced US imperialism.
It is true it is unique, as a method of control and mixed with the permeation of American culture has meant even now people are reluctant to call the US on what it does.
But America does have other features of empires, it is denied but there are enough dynasties in American politics, Kennedy’s and Roosevelts and Bush’s. There is a careful cultural brainwashing within America with much more resonance and similarity to an empire, the whole pledging allegiance, the idea that immigrants can be US citizens if they show enough loyalty, most especially by joining the army, has echoes from Rome.
The reviewer shows more foolishness by calling the IMF and world bank colossal mistakes in the post war world for Americas power. They were part of the perfect web through which America could exert soft power on almost all nations in the world. They did not have to use arms, they could use money. The fact this stick has broken down shows that American power is waning, not improving. Once an empire has to start invading places and drawing them in then you know its on the way out, the best empires are as informal as possible.
Frankly though surely just the mention of Vietnam, of Guatemala and iran in 1953 and Iraq now would be enough to prove that America has an empire, it acts in an imperial manner and that it is self consciously imperial. The guff now about whether america should become an empire, especially from that prat Niall Ferguson, have missed the point by about 150 years. Its already there, the US ruling class is doing nicely out of it and its only failure is that through arrogance in the absence of a strong state contender they have let the mask slip, they have become so blatant, so thick that they believe they can sweep into anywhere they like and nobody can stop them. Iraq has shown them they can’t, so it interesting to see what will happen next.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Stupid article in the guardian today. The offensive Melanie Philips interviewed by some slightly thick reporter, who gives her views far too much currency.
Basically Philips goes on about how Britain is being destroyed by Islam and the lack of values in modern society, basic daily mail stuff. Only because she used to write for the Guardian they feel the need to give credence to her, like Julie Burchill who because she used to be a bit left could get away with being outrageously racist in many of her articles. Maybe they used to do the same with Gary Bushell, after all he used to write for various socialist papers.

Anyway, back to the idiocy-

Throughout the book there are shards of evidence and penetrating questions that deserve to be at the centre of political debate. Did the security services in the 80s and 90s take a naive and complacent view of the growth of extreme Islamist cells run from London by political exiles, thinking that they wouldn't bite the hand that fed them? Have we got the right balance between protecting and promoting the rights and languages of minorities on the one hand, and the safety and culture of the majority on the other? Is the left overinfluenced by the Palestinian question, and too ready to close its eyes to the brutal realities of extreme Islamist thinking and practice?
Certainly, we should discuss these matters. We are in a country with a fast-growing and increasingly assertive Muslim minority. Relations between them and the Christian or secular majority are of huge importance, as is our security from terrorist attack. And yes, some do use anti-Zionism as a cover for anti-semitism

Is the left over influenced by the so called paelstine question? Change that the Jewish question and relate it to anytime before 1940 and you kind of get the idea why its sort of important. The airy fairy way the interviewer just dismisses Palestine, as if not to understand that that, more than anything else invites rage on behalf on anyone who knows the history of Israel and its actions against the Palestinian people.
Philips does the usual ‘anti-Semitism is growing, Muslims do it and the left love a bit of it’, casually forgetting both that considerably more mosques get attacked than synagogues and that many of the best lefties have traditionally been Jewish.

Also this, the old rightist bugbear-

Multiculturalism, she writes, "has become the driving force of British life, ruthlessly policed by a state-financed army of local and national bureaucrats enforcing a doctrine of state-mandated virtue to promote racial, ethnic and cultural difference and stamp out majority values". British nationhood is being disembowelled by "mass immigration, multiculturalism and the onslaught mounted by secular nihilists against the country's Judeo-Christian values."

Don’t really see that where I am, its more an attempt to ride Britan of the kind of casual and violent racism that has pervaded this culture for too long. She does the old us and them, because in her mind there really is only one British culture, and that somehow that encapsulates both mine and her worldviews, even though they are utterly different. She also forgets that islam is also based on Judeo Christian values, what with the Koran incorporating both he old and new testaments. Heaven forbid she should actually seek to understand those she can readily label and attack

She should bear in mind that tonight it will not be the jewish citizens of this country who live in fear of terror raids, of the rising BNP and being attacked on the street for looking different. Yes there is anti-Semitism and it is abhorrent but it is no worse than any other racism.

More -

It's the tactics used by Stalin to call political opponents mad. But it does have echoes of the 1930s because the Jews then tried to draw attention to what was going on in Germany, and they too were told they were hysterical and paranoid."

Yeah because the threat posed by a very small minority of militant Islamist is exactly the same as the totalitarian brutality of the worlds most evil regimes. And I like the selective use of history, not realising that there may be other historical parallels that might be more apt.

"Again, when I say that talking about Weimar and feral children is ruining her own case and that I really don't think things are that bad, she snaps: "No, I'm sure you don't. That was said to people like me in the 30s, exactly the same kind of argument from the same kind of people ... it is very resonant of Weimar and the prejudice against the Jews is very resonant of Weimar."

Doesn’t really do herself any favours, does she? We ain’t living in Weimer Germany (god I wish we were, expressionist cinema, Bauhaus, that would be great, apart for the rise of Nazism of course). And she forgets that it wasn’t just the Jews who were warning against the rise of Nazism it was those pesky, supposedly anti-Semitic lefties. She seems to forget, most tellingly that she works for the fucking Daily Mail, a newspaper whose record regarding Nazism should make them hang their heads. In the thirties they thought Hitler was the best thing since sliced bread and that anti-Semitism was grand. How can she work for a paper like that and still spout this shite. She’s not mad, she’s just thick.

And one last nugget

"They are fuelled by an ideology that itself is non-negotiable and forms a continuum that links peaceful, law-abiding but nevertheless intensely ideological Muslims at one end and murderous jihadists at the other."

Tarring much with the same brush? Its just the old assumption that there is this big homogenous block called islam, where everyone agrees the same thing and nothing ever changes. Islam has changed, it does change. There are sects and groups and disagreements over beliefs, there is sunni and shia and sufi and as many variations of belief as there is in Christianity. It shocks me that she should be so offensively ignorant of something she chooses to blame for the ills in society. That’s when she’s not blaming us for the moral decline of the nation. Frankly a nation that has respect for other cultures and does not tolerate bigotry and hatred has more morals that the Daily Mail ever will.

Perhaps she is the Ann coulter we’ve all been looking for.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

sunwatch #46,40000

not content with already reporting a pack of lies the sun goes for one more, to put the boot in so to speak. they are claiming that police found £38,000 in the houses of the men arresterd in Forsest gate. firstly even if true, not actually illegal. second, considering the track record of police sources who talk to the sun its almost certainly a lie or outright exaggeration. they also say the adress was that of known criminals, in this case that the men's older brother had been an armed robber. as if that somehow gives an excuse for what the police did.

it seems the sun and the police are singing from the same thick and cruel hymn sheet, which is a tad worrying as there is actually a real terrorist threat to this country and both the Police and the Sun are only making things worse. Together they've happily destroeyd these families lives, no jsut with the bungled raid but that the taint of unanswered questions they alwasy mutter about. the same happened with the British citizens released from Gitmo, the Sun happily printed a bunch of lies fed to them by the Pentagon to smear a group of innocent men who'd alrady been tortured in the US gulag.
i should imagine the forest gate raid plus the hysteria the sun and its tabloid friends stoke up are pretty much the best tools for extremist Jihadists to use to recruit the many deeply pissed off and alienated muslims in Britain. i'm just glad we've not got Ann Coulter, we do have Julie Burchill but nobody even listens to her.

also the idea that the men who killed themselves in Gitmo might have a PR stunt and that it was an attack on america is beyond comment. it is also beyond the realms of actual belief that anyone might believe such shite.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's all Hamas's fault

its been a while, but as nobody actually read this that's ok.

anyway, back to the middle east where israel starts to feel maybe that it was a bad PR move to shell a beach full of palestinians on the muslim day of rest. they say they regret it happened, but then that isn't enough so what do they do? blame Hamas.

they say now that it was a hamas landmine that just happened to explode at the same time as Isreal was shelling the nearby area. will anybody swallow this obvious bullshit? probably, there are always those who will. anything to try and avoid the obvious conclusion that Isreal uses terror many times more deadly than Hamas to perpetrate acts of genocide on the palestinian people. it is genocide, by the way as a deliberate method to remove the people of paleastine not just from the land but also from havign any claim to nationhood. so long as there is a palestinan nation the isreali one can never feel safe. Isreal does not mind there being arabs, so long as they don't threaten the territorail integrity of isreal, which is shaky as its not really recognised in international law, the 1948 boundaries are but Israel has grown quite a bit since then.

anyway back to the current propaganda drive to combat the photos of dead children -

The military says that it fired six shells on to and around the beach where Huda Ghalia's family died, and one of them fell about 100 yards away, but by coincidence another explosion - probably a mine planted by Hamas or a buried shell - occurred in the same area at the same time. The military backed its claim with analysis of aerial photographs, shrapnel and intelligence that Hamas had mined beaches to stop Israeli forces landing, although it is not known to have used such a tactic before.
The head of the Israeli inquiry, Major General Meir Klifi, also said that shrapnel taken from two wounded Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals was not shell fragments. "There is no chance that a shell hit this area. Absolutely no chance," he said.

"All the evidence points to the fact that it couldn't have been a mine," said Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon adviser on battlefields who led the US military's battle damage assessment team in Kosovo and worked for its intelligence wing, the Defense Intelligence Agency.
"You have the crater size, the shrapnel, the types of injuries, their location on the bodies. That all points to a shell dropping from the sky, not explosives under the sand," he said.

"To say you have five or six rounds in an area and coincidentally there's a land mine next to it and it goes off at the same time is asking a lot," said Mr Garlasco.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, accused the Israelis of a cover-up. "The Israelis should have admitted what they did and apologised. They know who did it and we know who did it. They want to escape responsibility because it was a severe embarrassment to the military at home and the prime minister when he is abroad. The pictures followed him to Europe," he said.