Archive for the ‘It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 5, 2009

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, The War on Stupid

Telegraph – David Miliband says Britain right on ‘torture evidence’ refusal: He told MPs that the American authorities did not want documents discussing the Binyam Mohamed case to be made public, and that defying their wishes would not be in Britain’s national interest. He denied that the US had threatened to “break off” intelligence co-operation with the UK if the intelligence was revealed – apparently contradicting a ruling by two senior High Court judges who accused the Americans of putting pressure on the court.

Can anyone explain to me how matters and attitudes have improved since the previous administration?

UPDATE – Lib Dem Voice – David Miliband – two questions no-one asked him








The character is fiction, but the horror is real; Sick Days

D-Notice on The Sun v the Criminal Justice System.

Paulie has a different opinion to mine on MPs and their expenses. I readily accept that my opinion on this could be skewed by my MP being a right piece of work.

Unity and Septicisle on the ‘Al Qaeda has bio weapons’ claim from the tabloid you can trust.

Meanwhile, The Sun appear to be holding back on reports that Israel has been using white phosphorus as a weapon. For some reason.

(During the assault on Fallujah in Iraq, the Americans used white phosphorus as a weapon, and denied doing so. The Sun later dutifully reported when the cat was out of the bag that; “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants, not against civilians” At around the same time, I talked to a British soldier who told me that Our Boys were officially trained in the handling and deployment of white phosphorus as an illumination device, but briefed “off the books, of course” in their use as a room-clearing or “bunker cleansing” device. Which is nice.)

Kevin Maguire driven home in expensive hire-car shock. It’s called a perk, and Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) is acting like he’s never seen one before. You can hear Paul’s high-pitched nasal whine asking about mansions in Richmond and delivering a sarky “James, home!”… meanwhile, Maguire appears to be quite jovial, and taking it all in good humour. I doubt that I’d be quite so genial with a camera waved in my face, plus I know from experience that Staines hides from cameras, and is all-too-quick to scream ‘stalker’ if caught in any compromising situation. Staines, much like Derek Draper, is also censoring inconvenient comments under this video. If you must comment yourself, don’t do anything futile like mention that Staines has a personal beef with Maguire or that he himself has to pedal everywhere when not being chauffeured, on account of his driving while drunk (and without insurance). On that note, Maguire can count himself lucky that Staines didn’t make an issue of his drinking… after sobering up himself. What a tosser.

OMG! Homo milk! Watch out, Paul! Don’t let it near the children!

Speaking of such things, Jeremy Hunt is having a little difficulty answering questions about homophobic attacks by local Conservative activists (background). He’s trying the old ‘it’s off my patch’ dodge (not that this has ever stopped him from propping up fellow Tory Anne Milton), and using an old technique of Dale’s; allowing anonymous comment contributors to attack me as a form of defence (only gently, mind… but it’s still clear to see).

I would be a great pity if Jeremy Hunt decides to leave this matter hanging. Again.

He dodged the issue when he could have done something to stop the attacks; now he’s promoting himself as a blogger with standards, I would expect him to at least have an opinion on two grown men creating and promoting an anonymous website claiming that their political opponent is a paedophile.

By now, most of you have seen Ninja Cat.

Now check out how Ninja Cat would look with Derek Draper in charge of the project.

Also via /links a game that all the kids will be playing this time next week; Bush or Batman?

Via Carl Eve; Woodward and Bernstein on the Bush era and ‘moving on’ with Obama.

In my experience, trying to move on just encourages some people to further take the piss, but I guess we’ll see.

Finally, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Ian Hislop owes me a lunch.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 17, 2009

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

And so this tragedy draws to a neat sudden close just as the stars converge on Hollywood Washington.

Gets you right *there*, don’t it?

(Psst! Look out for the bit at the end where their batteriesssh runnn dowwwwwn….)

Two items of interest from Craig Murray. I wonder if a personal ‘ethical shopping’ scanner (like those Sainsbury’s handheld ‘mark of the beast’ dealies) would be legal in the U.S.? If they included all countries, not just one.

UPDATE – Meanwhile, here’s something a little more serious than a made-up story about missing W keys.

UPDATE – More on the ceasefire, plus a links round-up, from Septicisle. Oh, and here’s a picture that has nothing at all to do with Israel.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 14, 2009

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

I’ll be reading labels and researching brand ownership where possible to make sure I stick to it, too.

Septicisle – Time to boycott Israel: If however the government is unwilling to act… then individually we should be prepared to either boycott Israeli produce or repeatedly demonstrate against what is being done by a supposed democratic state against a people as a whole. We need to be clear that Israel is not an apartheid state, although it is certainly approaching it, that it is not yet instituting a genocide on Gaza, and that comparing Israel to the Nazis is both ahistorical and deeply insulting, even if understandable in the circumstances. We should however be equally clear that as a country its treatment of the Palestinians is now so unbearable that it has placed itself outside the boundaries of civilised nations, and that until it changes its behaviour, we will impose personal sanctions upon it. Israel needs to know that even if other governments are not turning away from it as a result of such murderous cynicism, individuals and their businesses will.

Oh, and check your fruit and veg if you don’t already; it typically comes from all sorts of happy and interesting places, and lots of the stuff lining shelves in supermarkets comes from Israel. You may even wish to consider (ahem) a polite letter-writing campaign.

UPDATE – Attention-seeking not-very-good-lawyer Donal Blaney just Godwinned the thread.

[Psst! Incidentally, as he finally rates a mention here for the first time in months, Blaney’s site carries a quote from ‘Bloggerheads’ that is in fact based on a comment contribution by a since-retired blogger (‘kris’), and nothing that I’ve written. For some reason, Donal finds himself unable to quote from this, the only entry on my site that involves him to any significant degree.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 6, 2009

Category: Humanity, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Tony 'King Blair

Next week Tony Blair will return from holiday and rush to Gaza and actually do his job as special envoy to the Middle East rush to the White House to collect not one but two medals for his stellar work in the use of troops, torture and tits against terrorism… and a sovereign nation by the wayside that was just asking for it.

BBC – Blair to get US Medal of Freedom: In his last week in office, President Bush will award the medal to Mr Blair, former Australian PM John Howard and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. All three leaders had been “staunch allies*” of the US, particularly against terrorism, said the White House. (via)

The word ‘circle jerk‘ springs to mind, but let’s move on to that second medal…

Telegraph – Tony Blair chooses image on medal from George W Bush: Since he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by George W Bush more than five years ago for being a “staunch and steadfast ally” during the Iraq war, Tony Blair has failed to collect the gong. The former prime minister is, however, taking a keen interest in the medal’s design before it is specially made by the US Federal Mint. The spokesman declines to say which images Blair wants, but points out that it will be made to his specifications: “It is not a standard design. The Dalai Lama had his face on his medal.”

In my mind, the only way they could devalue the trinket any further with this charade would be to put Tony Blair’s face on it, go for the full circle jerk with the medal at the centre, and televise the money shot. The whole thing could be set to music.

– — — | — — –

COMPETITION: GUESS THE WORD(S)/IMAGE(S) TONY BLAIR HAS (FINALLY) CHOSEN FOR HIS CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL

As the BBC article notes; each Congressional Gold Medal is individually designed and minted and it took Tony Blair many years to decide on the words and images it would feature.

(Hm. Maybe he was stalling. Perhaps he was waiting for ‘history’ to kick in. Who knows?)

I am offering the choice of any available prize from the prize shelf to the person who comes closest in their guess of the word(s) and image(s) that actually appear on the medal.

A special prize will also be awarded to the most amusing guess/suggestion.

Entries will be accepted via comments (including b3ta), email, and/or links to bloggage.

Entries close on the 12th, or at the moment some spoilsport leaks substantial details.

Good luck to you.

– — — | — — –

[*Oi! Where’s Karimov’s medal?]

UPDATE (13 Jan) – That’s one medal down… but we’re minus the all-important money shot. Hang in there.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 5, 2009

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

“Tony’s on holiday at the moment. [He] issued a statement and his work is very important to what we are doing.” – Gordon Brown on Gaza and Blair (source) (via)

Well, clearly what’s missing here is some quality spin, but the Tories seem to be in control of most suppliers of that lately, so let me have a crack at it in the hope that I might one day qualify to be the allegedly necessary leftist version of Iain Dale:

That this did not happen until Tony Blair went on holiday proves what an effective peacemaker he is. Clearly he is worth every penny, and should be paid overtime if and when he decides to interrupt his holiday.

I know it’s missing the requisite level of feigned indignation/outrage that anyone would suggest otherwise, but I’m working on that.

Meanwhile, word reaches us from diplomatic circles that all is not what it seems in the ceasefire symphony. In fact, the orchestration appears to be subject to an entirely different arrangement:

Craig Murray – Gordon Brown Is a Murderous Two Faced Cunt: Brown is appeasing domestic horror at the Israeli massacre in Gaza by calling for a ceasefire. Meanwhile British diplomats on the United Nations Security Council are under direct instructions to offer “tacit support” to United States’ efforts to block a ceasefire. I have been told this directly by a former colleague in the UK Mission to the United Nations.

It’s unlike Craig to use profanity*, but he clearly did so with intent here, so I’m leaving the word uncensored and the message undiluted.

(*I suspect the influence of the recently-departed author and activist Harold Pinter.)

Related bloggage:
Flying Rodent – Happy New Year! (Yet More Bloody Lists)
Septicisle – Not concealing their enjoyment

UPDATE – An awesome photoshopping effort from Beau Bo D’Or! (via)

(Psst! I think it’s a fair bet that IDF cheerleader Paul Staines won’t be stealing this one.)








Grave: cause of concern

1. I stumbled through a few graveyards during my holiday break (a very long story) and happened across this final resting place. If you’re wondering what the solar panel is for, it’s powering the fairy lights. Seriously.

2. On my return I was disappointed (but not at all surprised) to find that the government had published a totally inadequate response to the Iraqi-employees petition (more).

3. I was equally disappointed (and again not at all surprised) that right wing pseudo-bloggers instead wasted their anger on this surprisingly adequate response to the ‘Jeremy Clarkson for PM’ petition (more).

The Scum are either struggling with the concept of sarcasm or trying to diddle their readers when they declare that; (the video) even admits (the petitioners) made a “compelling case”… and later this week I need to do some chasing and find out who specifically issued the pathetic, desperate and hopelessly humourless statement that appeared in the Telegraph:

A Conservative party spokesman said: “While the British public is having to tighten its belts the Government is spending taxpayers’ money on a completely frivolous project. This shows how detached the Labour party has become from the concerns of the British people.”

4. Iain Dale is publishing results from his inherently-biased blog poll with the following claim:

“These blogs were voted for by the readers of more than 60 UK political blogs and the readers of TOTAL POLITICS Magazine.”

60+ weblogs, eh? Perhaps Iain would care to list them. That’s not asking too much, is it?

5. Wait… before you answer that question, consider that the (allegedly) pro-transparency outfit that turned out to be secretly funded by Iain’s fellow pseudo-blogger Paul Staines ceased all activity on their website on 22 July… the day I applied to join them as a member. They had no grounds to reject me as a member, and they couldn’t publish or process anything while I patiently waited in the wings for my application to be processed. However, in the middle of my holiday break, they cleverly published 4 blog items and then promptly shut up shop again… without doing anything about my pending membership application. No doubt this is all part of the beta-testing process.

6. Speaking of beta-testing processes, I would love to comment on the new Downing Street website and what may or may not have nicked, but I can’t possibly do so without mentioning a certain thief and all the right-wing dipsticks who backed him over his drunken legal threats by laying into me personally instead of addressing the issue, and that gang of thugs has already enjoyed enough free airtime today. Besides, Downing Street and/or their contractors lifting stuff for the No 10 website without payment or acknowledgement isn’t news.

7. Meet some people who clearly don’t believe in freedom of speech. (via)

8. Beau Bo d’Or reports that the Daily Mail peeps are guilty of theft and complete ignorance.

9. The Scum are crying “Wolf!” “Shark!” again.

10. Thanks to Charlie Brooker, everything I wanted to say about this Olympics (and the next) has already been said. (via)








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 14, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Strafor – The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power: The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan. It has no strategic ground forces in reserve and is in no position to intervene on the Russian periphery. This, as we have argued, has opened a window of opportunity for the Russians to reassert their influence in the former Soviet sphere. Moscow did not have to concern itself with the potential response of the United States or Europe; hence, the invasion did not shift the balance of power. The balance of power had already shifted, and it was up to the Russians when to make this public. They did that Aug. 8… The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia’s public return to great power status. This is not something that just happened – it has been unfolding ever since Putin took power, and with growing intensity in the past five years.








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 13, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

FT.com – Whispers of a Watergate for Bush The response in the US to startling new allegations that the White House directed the forgery of evidence to support its case for the war in Iraq has been surprisingly muted so far. The charges may be false, of course, but if they are seriously examined and turn out to be true, this is – or ought to be – a Watergate-sized scandal.

Meanwhile, Sun editor Rebekah Wade has developed a sudden interest in international law… but don’t get your hopes up.

More:
Salon.com – Forging the missing case for war
Washington Post – Author Defends Story on Disputed Iraq Letter
The Raw Story – Suskind: White House forgery meant to solve ‘political dilemma’
Olbermann








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 11, 2008

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Independent – Georgia bows to might of Russia: Georgia’s appeal for a ceasefire seemed to have fallen on deaf ears last night as Russian jets expanded their bombardment, targeting the capital, Tbilisi, for the first time. As the world’s diplomats hurried to contain the violence and prevent the conflict engulfing the wider Caucasus region, Russia made clear it no longer considered Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili a partner, prompting accusations from his main ally, the United States, that Moscow was resisting peace and wanted regime change.

Reuters – Britons advised to leave Georgia immediately: “If you or your family have no urgent need to remain in Georgia you should leave as soon as possible. It is wise to do so while some air services are still available and the border remains open,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. It continued to advise against all travel to the separatist regions of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and also the upper Kodori Valley, also known as upper Abkhazia.

And, courtesy of David Orchard, a report from another (and nearby) part of the world that you’ve probably never heard of…

Your blog records Bush and Putin discussing Georgia in Beijing; one can probably guess who won the argument. (Whether Bush realised which Georgia he was talking about is a moot point. I’m sure Putin did.)

The situation in Georgia is terrible. But what is even worse is the prospect of similar conflicts arising in other troubled areas where the Russian bear has a sore paw. Such as TransNistria (or Trans-Dnistria, depending on whether you have a Romanian or Russian-language source) in Moldova.

Moldova is a peaceful non-aligned country, Europe’s poorest in terms of GDP, with an awkward and highly-armed Russian minority in a sliver of land / enclave (just like South Ossetia) between the river Dniester and the Ukraine, around the city of Tiraspol. There was heavy bloodshed there in 1991/92, but an uneasy calm has prevailed since. Until possibly now…the TransNistrian Russians are hawkish even by Moscow standards, and don’t need much of an excuse to cause trouble (even the Russians failed to persuade them to disarm in 2001). Chisinau, Moldova’s capital, is less than 100 km from Tiraspol.

My interest in all this is that I spent 90 days last year working in Chisinau on the “peace process” as an EU consultant, and hope to go back there in the autumn. It is a pleasant place filled with unwarlike people, although one has to be accustomed to a post-Soviet infrastructure on streets and pavements, and it definitely has Europe’s worst public lavatory (just by the President’s Palace!) Anyway, I made many friends there and the thought of Russian bombers demolishing their homes and killing the civilian population is more than abhorrent.

I heard personal – and vivid – testimony of a similar occurrence from a friend in Zagreb, when Serbian fighters strafed the housewives’ food market there in 1992, with heavy loss of civilian life. And to think all this is happening in yours and my lifetime…….

David

Ever get the feeling that we’ve just wasted five years… along with a shedload of credibility and military strength? In mean, can we really expect to get away with lecturing Russia over what one might (rather kindly) describe as ‘mission creep’?

UPDATE – Septicisle offers many links.

UPDATE – Meanwhile, George W. Bush is keeping an eye on things. Related article here.








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