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

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 20, 2004

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

Guardian – Ban on hooding of war captives: Defence officials are secretly preparing to ban British forces from placing hoods over the heads of prisoners, a method which became notorious because of the treatment of Iraqi detainees.

Welcome to British custody. Please excuse us as we strip you of your identity; it makes it easier for soldiers to treat you as an object. Now please lie down for your pre-interrogation kicking.

I direct you once again to The World Press Photo Of The Year that almost nobody has seen for some strange reason and Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 20, 2004

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

BBC – Rumsfeld faces Iraq letters row: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has pledged to personally sign letters of condolence to the families of American soldiers killed in action. He spoke shortly after his admission that he had used a machine to sign letters to relatives of more than 1,000 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For some reason I’m reminded of this quote from The Simpsons

“They let me sign checks with a stamp, Marge! A stamp!” – Homer Simpson, Trash of the Titans








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 15, 2004

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

Independent – Who killed Baha Mousa?: Baha Mousa, 26, was working as a hotel receptionist in Basra 14 months ago when British troops surrounded the building and arrested seven men. They were taken to a British base and were reportedly hooded and beaten. Two days later, Mousa was dead. His family was given $3,000 in compensation and rejected a further $5,000. What they wanted was justice. Yesterday, after more than a year of official stonewalling, his relatives won a ‘historic’ ruling to force the MoD to hold an independent inquiry. Will the truth now be known?

This article requires subscription, but if you keep an eye on robert-fisk.com, you’ll see it appear in full there later today or eraly tomorrow.

UPDATE – You can now read the full article here.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 13, 2004

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

I don’t see what the big mystery is, myself. It’s pretty obvious that Mackinlay and Campbell had sucked him dry.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 13, 2004

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

BBC – World still waits for Saddam trial: The original plan had been to bring Saddam and his henchmen to a relatively quick trial – possibly within six months. That date has repeatedly slipped, due in part to the lack of experience amongst the Iraqi investigators who have to sift through tonnes of documents, and due also to deteriorating security, which is severely hampering their work. The latest advice from the interim government is that the trials will take place in the first half of next year, but not before elections on 30 January.

Curiously, the leftist scum at the BBC have not taken their usual step of sticking the boot into America at every opportunity. They’ve clearly failed to point out that a carefully stage-managed an open trial cannot take place until after the elections because at the moment Saddam can claim that the invasion was illegal and those in authority were placed there by the illegal invaders, therefore he is still the rightful leader of Iraq.

Of course, me pointing this out means that I’m suggesting that this excuses all of past crimes. And that I love Saddam and want to have his babies.

And that I would dare to suggest that this represents a bit of a cock-up on Bush’s part… well, that’s just because I hate America. And justice. And freedom. And little Baby Jesus.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 13, 2004

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

Well, I would if I believed in God. Which I clearly don’t, as I don’t believe in George W. Bush’s version of God.

Independent – Last week the US lost its 1,000th soldier killed in combat. Why did no one notice?: In the debate over casualties, the only clear-cut figures are those on coalition deaths, because the British and US governments know it would be impossible to suppress them. But as icasualties.org makes clear, the Pentagon “certainly doesn’t go out of its way to divulge” the number of losses. “We are told that during the Korean and Vietnam wars, the names and numbers of dead AND injured were available from the government,” it adds. “No longer.”

These are the people who pat us on the head and tell us poor, naive peaceniks that things are much more complicated than they seem… as they simplify and sanitise matters for the audience that cheers them on.

These are also the people who urge us to support the troops. Speaking of those people; speaking of that audience

Editor and Publisher – Our readers weigh in on the war reporter who, with a little help from his friends (in the National Guard) put Donald Rumsfeld on the spot: “The duped soldier should be put at the very front of the action, no armor. The cooperating sergeant’s career should be over and maybe become MIA. Pitts and all his cronies should be executed as traitors. We are fighting a war, the debate is over, you’re either for us or against us, there is no middle ground. I say start executing the leftists in our country, soon.”

Charming, isn’t it?

Rush Limbaugh would have you believe that us ‘leftists’ sit at home wishing for further tragedy in Iraq.

Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

And you just have to watch this clip from FOXNews (link via Wibbler) where they seriously discuss the invasion/punishment of Canada.

The danger isn’t terrorism (a useful catch-all word that blinds people to the obvious); it’s extremism. And the Bush administration is breeding it at home and abroad.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 10, 2004

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

Happy Human Rights Day!








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 10, 2004

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

BBC – Butler launches attack on Blair: Former civil service chief Lord Butler has criticised the way Tony Blair’s government operates, accusing it of being obsessed with headlines. He also attacked the way the Iraq war was “sold” to the public, with important warnings on the strength of the intelligence left out.

Here’s an official response via DowningStSays. We’ve also had government speaky-peeps coming out with the mantra: “You can’t have it both ways.”

What this means is that you can’t take these comments at face value and call the Butler Report a whitewash (for once, the government is insisting that we cannot hold two conflicting ideas simultaneously).

What a pity this handy sound-bite ignores the narrow remit allowed Butler in his enquiry and that Butler (and Hutton) made very similar criticisms of the Blair government within these constraints.

Guardian – Blair driven by headlines and control, says Butler: In his inquiry into Iraq, Lord Butler said he had not found evidence of a lack of minutes leading up to the war, but criticised the lack of cabinet or committee level decision-making. He renews this charge with vigour in the interview, saying: “I think that what happens now is that the government reaches conclusions in rather small groups of people who are not necessarily representative of all the groups of interests in government, and there is insufficient opportunity for people to debate dissent and modify.”

Speaking of dissent (or lack thereof), a very are thing happened this week. A member of the Bush administration was actually asked to account for himself:
DailyKos – Rummy feels their pain
DailyKos – Rumsfeld starts backtracking
DailyKos – One of Rumsfeld’s “girly men”

Today, the always-right seek to defend his inability to defend himself with this handy snippet from the ever-reliable Matt Drudge. A reporter (*gasp*) actually dared to (*gasp*) plant the question and deliberately put Rumsfeld on the spot!

Upstarts and dissent! Somebody call the thought-police! This is obviously a last, desperate act by a man who cannot accept that the Bush administration operates best (and is therefore better able to fight the ever-present terror threat) only when reporters are not allowed to ask difficult questions.

Atrios: Remember folks, it isn’t the sex, it’s the lying…
Washington Monthly on Rumsfeld and what this reveals about his character








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 8, 2004

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

How's my shooting?Washington Post – Barrage of Bullets Drowned Out Cries of Comrades Myths shaped Pat Tillman’s reputation, and mystery shrouded his death. A long-haired, fierce-hitting defensive back with the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League, he turned away a $3.6 million contract after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to volunteer for the war on terrorism, ultimately giving his life in combat in Taliban-infested southeastern Afghanistan. Millions of stunned Americans mourned his death last April 22 and embraced his sacrifice as a rare example of courage and national service. But the full story of how Tillman ended up on that Afghan ridge and why he died at the hands of his own comrades has never been told

And one can only wonder why…

Store that bit about Pat Tillman’s primary motivation. I’ll get back to it shortly.

For now, let’s take a look at what else is being hidden from us while we’re being asked to support the troops and believe in a humanitarian mission to rescue Iraqis.

BBC – Hold Iraq death probe, Blair toldForty-six eminent figures including military men, ex-diplomats and bishops have written to Tony Blair urging a inquiry into civilian deaths in Iraq. It comes after a study in medical journal the Lancet said nearly 100,000 died following the invasion. The study, by US and Iraqi researchers, suggested the risk of violent death was higher after the war than before. UK ministers rejected October’s Lancet figures, but have offered no alternative estimate of their own.

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 17, 2004

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

Guardian – Kidnapped aid worker blindfolded and shot: The video, which emerged a week ago but was kept secret, has been studied by experts, and both British diplomats and relatives of Mrs Hassan said they now believed it showed the 59-year-old and that she had been killed.

Given that I spoke out against the brutal and unlawful killing of a wounded and unarmed insurgent yesterday, you might very well ask me (as many RWCs do) where my anger is for the tragedy of the slain hostages in Iraq. Particularly for someone as innocent and as selfless as Margaret Hassan.

Here’s my anger, Jack….

It should be obvious now to anyone who’s been paying attention that there are people on one side of the war on terror who will commit any outrage to further their cause. And they’re enabled by those on the other side, who actually dare to try and frame and shape tragic events rather than fighting the threat itself.

(more…)








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