Posted by Tim Ireland at February 22, 2006

Category: Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Photoshopping

I’ve been sitting on this treat for a while, and have just sorted the last tiny little bugs out.

Are you ready?

No, are you really ready?

Very well, then let us proceed:

The Star Wars Photoshopping Project – Special Edition

Turn those speakers up, sit back, and enjoy.


(Cheers to for the music.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 22, 2006

Category: The War on Stupid

Independent – BNP to use Prophet cartoon in campaign: The British National Party is seeking to exploit controversies involving Muslims in its campaign for local authority elections in May. The extreme right-wing party, which hopes to field 1,000 candidates in England, will include in its campaign material one of the cartoons which sparked outrage among Muslims across the world, showing the Prophet Mohamed with a bomb in his turban. One leaflet asks voters: “Are you concerned about the growth of Islam in Britain? Make Thursday 4 May Referendum Day.” It adds: “We owe it to our children to defend our Christian culture.” … Ian McCartney, the Labour chairman, said: “The BNP’s strategy is straight out of the Nazi textbook. Their tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated but they always involve blaming one part of the community for local problems. They take up legitimate grievances and they exploit those issues for their own racist aims.” A BNP spokesman said it would campaign mainly on local issues and denied it was “exploiting” recent events. “We are saying that there are worries in society about these issues,” he added.

Just chew on that last bit for moment… they’re not saying that there’s a problem.. only that people are concerned that there might be a problem. So they’re acting on that concern by increasing the amount of concern. Remind you of anyone?

Labour representatives are bleating ‘loud and clear’ about how wrong this is… but it’s been New Labour and its role in the ‘war’ on terror that has ferried the BNP to its recent successes.

Let’s begin by playing soldiers…

When John Reid insists that the majority of soldiers are professional, well-meaning souls and that we shouldn’t be too hasty in blaming them for recent atrocities committed by a ‘a few bad apples’, what’s he really doing is absolving himself and the government of any blame.

This is a useful and effective political gambit, but it places a dangerous seed in people’s minds.

From the Iraq policy itself, right down to ‘minor’ operational details such as the use of hooding (see: Iraq, Friendly Fire, Civilian Casualties, and a Total Lack Of Torture)… all of this can be dismissed as irrelevant. No, the real problem lies with the soldiers. Not all of the soldiers, just a small minority of them.

Them. Bad.

The result? Any time you find yourself standing next to a soldier, the primitive side of your mind wonders; “Is he one of Them?”

Similar treatment is afforded the Muslim community. After the London bombings, it was the official government line that Iraq played no role in the attacks. Because extremism breeds in a total vacuum, obviously. Well, not a *total* vacuum… because the real problem lies with the Muslims. Not all of the Muslims, just a small minority of them.

Them. Bad.

The result? Any time you find yourself standing next to a Muslim, the primitive side of your mind wonders; “Is he one of Them?”

And, as we all know, Islam is the only religion that breeds extremism. No self-proclaimed Christian, Hindu or Sikh has ever committed an atrocity. Ever.

This message was helpfully reinforced by The Downing St Echo just the other day, when they boldly stated; “And right now, almost all terrorists are acting in the name of al-Qaeda.”

And on and on and on it goes…

Not all immigrants are dangerous aliens, just a small minority of them.

Not all protestors are violent, just a small minority of them.

etc. etc. etc.

In closing, I would like to send a message of support to all New Labour politicians, representatives, campaigners and supporters (the vast majority of which are decent, law-abiding citizens who would never malign, abuse, torture or murder anybody, not even if they thought it was in the public interest).

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 21, 2006

Category: The War on Stupid

BBC – Guantanamo actors held at airport: The actors who star in movie The Road to Guantanamo were questioned by police at Luton airport under anti-terrorism legislation, it has emerged… One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more “political” films… Bedfordshire police have said they will issue another statement specifically concerning the allegations made by Mr Ahmed and Reprieve.

Five squid says that the question about political films will be dismissed as ‘idle chit-chat’ designed to put the suspect at ease.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 21, 2006

Category: The War on Stupid









Posted by Tim Ireland at February 20, 2006

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Not Little England – Getting New Labour out of office
CuriousHamster – Coalition of the Militant Liberals
Chicken Yoghurt – Chain of command
Europhobia – The delights of the British constitution
Talk Politics – Where liberty is, there is my country
BlairWatch – The Tipping Point – Moving on
Nick Barlow – And if we don’t do it, who else will? – The tipping point?

A short message for regular readers of Bloggerheads:

It looks to me as if we’re about to go over the top. You’ll be needing a weapon. If you haven’t got on… get one!

Get a domain name and hosting package if you can manage it, and simply FTP to the server. Get in touch if you have any doubts/problems.

If you can’t manage a domain, then simply operate directly from (as many excellent bloggers already do).

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 20, 2006

Category: The War on Stupid

Independent – I invented story about Berlusconi bribe, claims Jowell’s husband: David Mills, the husband of the Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, was last night facing a deepening crisis over allegations that he received a bribe from Silvio Berlusconi… Mr Mills claimed that he wrote the letter when he was working for an Italian client, whom he named yesterday, for the first time, as Diego Attanasio. Mr Mills said he wrote it because he wanted to invest $600,000 for Mr Attanasio without identifying him. He was horrified to learn subsequently that the letter to his accountants was in the hands of the Italian police, who accuse Mr Mills of being paid to give false evidence in court for Mr Berlusconi. The letter resulted in him undergoing a 10-hour interrogation, at the end of which he signed a confession which he said yesterday was false, insisting that he had signed it when he was “exhausted and frankly frightened”. The signed statement said that he “protected Berlusconi in various trials and investigations”.

Poor Mr Mills. Imagine being forced to sit in a chair and answer questions for hours on end, and then – when the true story becomes clear – to have to face politically-motivated claims that he is lawyer and former politician and therefore a ‘trained liar’.

Craig Murray – UK police arrest stars of award-winning film “The Road to Guantanamo” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act: Citing the “Prevention of Terrorism” act, British Police have arrested and interrogated three of the stars of the award-winning film The Road to Guantanamo, together with the three ex-Guantanamo detainees on whose story the film is based.

Oh, come now. Surely as former inmates of Guantanamo Bay, these men have to be guilty of something… and the actors who portray them are equally guilty; if not for glorifying terrorism (the men they portray must have been in Guantanamo for a reason, remember) then surely purely by association. One only has to stand next to a suspected terrorist or an outspoken cleric to become part of the al Qaeda network, you know.

What’s that you say? Torture without trial in the what now?

Independent – Shameful: This is the world’s view on Guantanamo. But Tony Blair still calls it ‘an anomaly’: A UN report condemns ‘torture’ at the detention camp. But, like other revelations in the ‘war on terror’, the reaction is to deplore the publicity and ignore the brutality…. The Bush administration has called the detainees “terrorists” and “trained liars”, and stressed that the committee’s members had not been to Guantanamo, without adding the reason: the panel refused to visit the camp because they were barred from speaking to detainees. Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, said the call by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for the closure of the facility was “just flat wrong”.

Oh, get serious. This is the UN we’re talking about here. They have done nothing but stand in the way of peace for decades now. As you may recall, they dared to sabotage the invasion of Iraq (that did so much to combat the spread of terrorism) and now they want to shut down a system that – one day soon – is sure to level charges against (and stage trials for) the guilty parties involved.

Claims of torture and brutality can easily be dismissed by that nice Mr Rumsfeld: Mr Rumsfeld also said that terrorists are trained to lie about their treatment while in custody. “They do it consistently and it always works,” he said.

Liberal lefties and communists only make things worse by publishing images that have no bearing on current events (because, as we all know, this matter was dealt with years ago). As John Bellinger of the U.S. state department notes; this is “an invasion of the detainees themselves”

For shame, liberal lefties. For shame…

Related Links:

Bloggerheads – Detention without charge or trial: it stops you getting blowed up. For true.

Bloggerheads – Jack Straw, Tony Blair, and the ‘truth’ about torture

Bloggerheads – Too many bystanders

Bloggerheads – The now very real prospect of house arrest at the order of Mr Rupert Murdoch

BBC – Timeline: Guantanamo Bay Britons

Bloggerheads – 10 March 2004 (commenting on the release of Tarek Dergoul, Shafiq Rasul, Ruhal Ahmed, and Asif Iqbal).

The Road to Guantanamo will air on Channel 4 on 9 March 2006 (the 2nd anniversary of their return to the UK).

UPDATE – How about that? Rendition flights DO pass through the UK

UPDATE – Mark Grimmer – Guantanamo Film Stars Detained in Luton: She said they need to stop us and the Tipton boys as anyone with “terror links” must be questioned – not that I had any necessarily, she said. I added that the Tipton Three didn’t either, as is widely documented. She then asked to go through the contents of my wallet. I felt uncomfortable about the ambiguities in the purpose of the detention and this proposed search, and so asked to speak to a lawyer. I was denied access to legal advice, supposedly officially, under powers used to detain me. However the specific powers under which I was being held were deliberately made unclear by the detaining Special Branch officer… While searching through my wallet she asked me whether I intended to do more documentary films, specifically more political ones like The Road to Guantanamo. She asked “Did you become an actor mainly to do films like this, you know, to publicise the struggles of Muslims?”. She also asked me what my political views were, what I thought about “the Iraq war and everything else that was going on”, whether the Iraq war was “right” in my view.

UPDATE – eclectech : the guantanamo bay song

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 19, 2006

Category: The War on Stupid

Observer – Blair’s new laws leave us at the mercy of future tyrants: We have failed to grasp that when we do not protest and demand an end to atrocities committed in our name, something trips in the deep-brain cynicism of the governing psyche, which takes heart from the passivity it finds and devises more ways to control and enforce its will.

Well said, that man.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 17, 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

The Scum – Terrorvision (Editorial 17 Feb 2005): Who exactly is running the BBC – Osama Bin Laden? It looks worryingly like he is as Auntie considers pulling a 1-million-pound Spooks episode because it shows a terrorist being shot dead. The target is portrayed as an Osama henchman and the Beeb is worried about reprisals. But a terrorist is a terrorist. And right now, almost all terrorists are acting in the name of al-Qaeda. They are at war with us. If we are cowed into timorous self-censorship now, we are already losing the first battle.

(UPDATE – The story this editorial is based on is not based on facts. Now there’s a surprise.)

It should be noted for the record that the new Abu Ghraib photos did not even rate a mention in yesterday’s issue of the Sun or today’s. Why, it’s almost as if it never happened.

Sadly, like the photos themselves, this is ‘old news’…

Bloggerheads – Page 3 – Model Propaganda: The Sun has backed almost every Bush initiative and played down every embarrassment. For example, when the images of torture in Abu Ghraib were front page news, The Sun buried it on page 6, with less than a 1/4 page, 130 words and a teeny-tiny picture. The next day, leading with George W. Bush’s version of events, they used 229 words. And that was about it. (A week or so later, a Labrador puppy was thrown off an overpass and The Sun was there with a massive 3/4 page and 270 words.

Who exactly is running the Sun? Is it a puppy?

(See also the Sun’s timorous brave and high-minded self-censorship regarding The Muhammad Cartoons.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 16, 2006

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

BBC – In pictures: New Abu Ghraib images

Boing Boing – New Abu Ghraib torture photos from Aus. TV report: torrents: (NSFW: contains taxpayer-funded nudity, sexual acts, and explicit violence)

CNN – U.S. slams ‘prisoner abuse’ leak: The United States has criticized the release of grisly images by an Australian television network, which shows apparent detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. American officials have said the pictures should not have been released, with Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman telling The Associated Press their airing “could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world.”

1. Yes. It is the photos of the action, not the actions themselves that can only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world. After all, these photos and videos were designed for a select and restricted audience….

Bloggerheads – Abu Ghraib: Why You Should Care: Why do these photos exist? Before the Nazis started gassing Jews and other ‘undesirables’, they shot them. In large numbers. But bullets were expensive and manpower cost money. The Nazis also found that this practice had a distinctly negative effect on the troops doing the shooting. That’s why they got high-tech and used selected prisoners to do most of the dirty work. Fast forward to the 21st century. Abu Ghraib and other US-run prisons in Iraq. Thanks to the wonders of technology, soldiers operating under the direction of the CIA (and British intelligence operatives) could torture a few detainees and show the results to many as a softener.

2. Did you catch that important bit? And. British. Intelligence. Operatives. We were there. Gaining intelligence via torture. Again.

3. Boy, that Lynddie England gets around, doesn’t she? A clever girl, too. She and her chums managed to get all of this done without senior officers being any the wiser. That this happened under an administration that has (with media support, no less) defended the use of torture, campaigned for powers to use more torture, and then boldly stated that they “don’t do torture” should worry you not a jot.

4. There’s worse – far worse – to come… – (15 July 2004) – Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape: “Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

5. This is how we’re fighting the war on terror, folks. Share the message with a friend today.

6. And finally…. a word on glorification. Because it is wrong to justify, promote or even tolerate morally repugnant acts of terror.

UPDATE – ACLU – New Abu Ghraib Photos Confirm Need for Independent Counsel: “We continue to see undeniable evidence that abuse and torture has been widespread and systematic, yet high level government officials have not been held accountable for creating the policies that led to these atrocities,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “We need to look up the chain of military command, because when the rule of law is not followed all of our personal freedoms are threatened. President Bush should appoint an independent counsel to uncover the full truth about the extent of the abuse and who is ultimately responsible.”

UPDATE – Boing Boing – releases still more Abu Ghraib torture photos

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2006

Category: Christ...

Guardian – ‘Christian Voice is outside, praying for our souls … ‘

Media Watch Watch – Stephen Green “apoplectic” at JS:TO grant

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