It’s all just a little bit of history repeating itself

Juan Cole – War on Lebanon Planned for at least a Year: That is why I was so shaken by George W. Bush’s overheard conversation with Tony Blair about the war. He clearly thought that it broke out because Syria used Hizbullah to create a provocation. The President of the United States did not know that this war was a long-planned Israeli war of choice. Why is that scary? Because the Israeli planning had to have been done in conjunction with Donald Rumsfeld at the US Department of Defense. The US Department of Defense is committed to rapidly re-arming Israel and providing it precision laser-guided weaponry, and to giving it time to substantially degrade Hizbullah’s missile capabilities. The two are partners in the war effort. (More here.)

New Statesman – Blood on his hands: Blair knew the attack on Lebanon was coming but he didn’t try to stop it, because he didn’t want to. He has made this country an accomplice, destroying what remained of our influence abroad while putting us all at greater risk of attack.

1. My goodness. Déj&#224 Vu.
2. My goodness. Could that last bit be true?

Well, somebody* knows something. The shiny new fear-o-meter (reviewed here) has launched with a robust rating of ‘severe’.

(*And by that, I mean somebody besides Armando Iannucci and Robert Fisk.)

Perhaps another terrorist attack is just what we need; recent history teaches us that such a thing will call an immediate halt to all sorts of silly questions about foreign and domestic policy and/or Teh Vicar’s retirement. There’s no need to engineer anything… all we have to do is let one slip through the net. And speaking of holes and nets…

Thomas Ricks (Washington Post): “… I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they’re being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.”

And speaking of holes and nets…

Prison Planet – The New Gonzales Standard for Torture: But rather than bring policy-and practice-into line with the international conventions that the United States had observed up to September 11, 2001, the administration is now trying to absolve itself ex post facto. It is pressuring Congress to pass legislation that retroactively shields from possible prosecution anyone who authorized or encouraged the use of coercion during interrogations.

And speaking of… oh, you know the rest. Torture, murder, slaughter… and none of it enables or prompts further terrorism…

BSSC – A Few Minor Corrections: The logic of Blair’s claim is that the attacks of September 11th predated our response and that our response cannot therefore have made the situation worse. Have a think about it. He’s effectively claiming that because September 11th happened, nothing we now do could possibly cause an increase in terrorism . It’s just ludicrous. Every time he says it, the correct response is to point, laugh, and then worry that the leader of our country actually appears to believe his own logic defying nonsense.

And speaking of logic-defying nonsense…

Blood & Treasure – Arc of Arson

Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 3 Comments

Jack Straw: I’m sorry, but he *is* a cretin

I pledged to write a letter to Jack Straw. Time to deliver.

To: Jack Straw
From: Tim Ireland
Re: Your comments of Thursday, 20 Jul 2006

Dear Jack,

It is my sad duty to inform you that you are a cretin.

People feel quite distanced and excluded from politics these days… and you yourself hold a great deal of responsibility for that – though your participation in certain farces may excuse you being sensitive to questions in general.

Here I would say something positive about what you could do to encourage engagement, but as the only viable option involves your immediate resignation, I’m pretty sure there’s no need for me to go into detail.

Then again…


Tim Ireland

PS – We still have to have an open and frank discussion about torture (i.e. not another whitewash).

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

My home planet needed me

I’m sorry for being so busy lately, but I do hope to be live soon with some wonderful new things and – finally – a significant release on the Labour Party campaign return. (But today, I shall be mostly listening to jingles.)

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If you only do one small thing today

Please, do this. Cheers all.

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Blair’s Israel/Lebanon policy

Say when....

(Posted to b3ta.)

Related: Guardian – Cabinet in open revolt over Blair’s Israel policy

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One of our passports is missing

Go. Do.

EDIT : No need. Stand down. Job done. Beers all round.

Be well. Back soon. Promise.

(Psst! Best thing ever. Share.)

UPDATE – Hooray for visual aids.

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Independent newspaper lashes out at independent publishers

For some reason the Independent is having a go at bloggers…

The fragrantly-hyphenated Janet Street-Porter kicked things off yesterday with this charming piece:

Janet Street-Porter – Editor-At-Large: Blog off… You don’t want to know what I weigh today (do you?)

The tastiest comments are hidden behind the subscription wall, but I dare to share:

“The web is fast becoming clogged with blogs; the verbal diarrhoea of the under-educated and banal.”

“Blogs are for anoraks who couldn’t get published any other way.”

And the day after Janet Street-Porter assured her readers that blogs contained inconsequential information published by inconsequential people, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown put her hyphen to work to put forward another case; that blogs contained dangerous information published by dangerous people… before dismissing the whole thing as a fad. Of the inconsequential variety, obviously…

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – Hounded by assaults from cyberspace

Yasmin starts out by assuring us that “the internet has already become a coffee shop for paedophiles and violent fantasists,” and follows this wonderful guilt-by-association opener with this charming passage. From her back-passage…

“Where do blog writers and surfers find the time? When do they do the washing, cooking, eating, talking, cuddling, story reading to kids? Do they never help with school homework, go to the theatre, make love, read books, talk to friends, entertain?”

Well, there you have it. I hang out with paedophiles *and* I neglect my kids. Further, I have failed to fulfill certain cultural obligations, and have thus proven myself to be under-educated and banal.

I think I can be excused for thinking there’s something coordinated going on here.

Who exactly decided that our cages needed rattling? And why?

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 13 Comments

Oh, well *done* Jack

You’re all familiar with Jack Straw. Brave man. Not afraid to speak out or stand up for what’s right. Right?


Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

It’s Good News Week

Two tasty links for you:

Newt Gingrich peddling this ‘third world war’ crap in Comment Is Free.

A selection of quotes from the the Rapture Ready / End Times forum.

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Best. Front. Page. Ever.

What a blinder. (Related article here.)

The Independent - 21 July 2006

By contrast, the people over at The Sun appear to be well off their game. If they had any self-respect, they’d be running this image under the headline ‘GOTCHA’.

UPDATE: Spread the word….

End Israel’s Barbarism Now
London: Saturday 22 July
Whitehall Place, SW1, 12 Noon

See for further details.

Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 1 Comment