John Bolton’s Fake Applause

by craig on February 16, 2013 12:13 pm in Uncategorized

The Oxford Union has dubbed fake applause onto the videos of John Bolton’s address to the Union. It has not done this for any other speaker.

If you listen to these videos of Bolton itching for war with Iran, you can hear precisely the same burst of ultra enthusiastic applause at the start, fading “naturally” as he begins to speak.

This dubbing in of applause is not used for any other speaker on the Oxford Union website, either before or after Bolton.

Everyone else just gets the actual applause that really existed.

Contrast the presentation of these question answers from Bolton with this from Julian Assange:

One futher interesting feature of the Bolton video is that the students asking questions – who were mostly hostile – are all edited out in favour of fake applause.

I was involved in heated negotiations with the Oxford Union on the transmission of Assange’s address, against attempts not by the students but by the Board of Trustees to block it “on legal grounds”. These conversations were not pleasant. When Assange’s address was finally put out, the sound was completely messed up and remained so for a fortnight, with this comment from the Oxford Union posted underneath:


Thanks for your feedback. We are aware there are issues with the audio when playing on mobile devices and we are working on getting this fixed as quickly as possible. The audio can be heard on desktops or with headphones on laptops.

I am therefore fascinated by the skill with which the Oxford Union have merged the dying of the fake applause over the start of Bolton’s speaking, when they were technically incapable of a simple straight sound feed of the Assange address.

Bolton is not only banging the drum for neo-con war, he is a war criminal with a direct role in launching the illegal role of aggression in Iraq. His address to the Union was the day before Assange’s speech to the Sam Adams Award at the same venue. Yet not a single one of the students who demonstrated against Assange demonstrated against Bolton.

To take the issue of rape, which was ostensibly the subject of the protest, Bolton’s Iraq War directly caused innumerable rapes. Nobody can know the exact figure, but certainly tens of thousands of rapes, and very many of them were fatal or had the most devastating consequences for the women who suffered. Read this excellent article

Rape is a common weapon of any war; no one knows how many Iraqi women have been raped since the war began in 2003. Most crimes against women “are not reported because of stigma, fear of retaliation, or lack of confidence in the police,” MADRE, an international women’s rights group, wrote in its 2007 report about violence against women in Iraq. Some women, like Khalida, are raped by Iraqi security forces. A 2005 report published by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights found that women held in Interior Ministry detention centers endure “systematic rape by the investigators.”

They did not demonstrate against Bolton because the mainstream media and establishment have whipped up no hysteria about him. But they were directed to outrage against Assange, a man who has done a great deal to expose war crimes and try to prevent war, because the mainstream media and establishment pushed the useful idiots in that direction with some extraordinarily unconvincing accusations.

I said most of this IN my owN speech to the Sam Adams awards. Strangely the Oxford Union have not posted that speech at all…..

UPDATE

With thanks to Herbie, there is a history of Bolton and false applause. Perhaps this is insisted upon by his minders – who presumably know he doesn’t get real applause outside the Republican Party!

Tweet this post

222 Comments

  1. Interestingly enough, through my job I meet a lot of ex Gulf war vets…inevitably the question of WMD’s comes up..I have never met anyone that has actually seen one, and these people are experts in thier field…just goes to show that the invasion of Iraq was, and is, about Big Oil..I am sure that if u you dig deep enough you will find some connection to Bolton in there somewhere..I am sure that Craig knows more on this ?

  2. Shameful. Yet Oxford comes top of the list of the world’s most prestigious universities or similar.

    Perhaps they dubbed the applause from that YouTube linked below of Tony Robinson on bankers in a QT episode.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-3C_S4YI3U

  3. Does the same happen on these other videos? I could not bear to watch them. I think he is the most evil of men.

    Terrorism in Africa | John Bolton | Oxford Unionby OxfordUnion 38 views
    Latin America | John Bolton | Oxford Unionby OxfordUnion 122 views
    UN Reform | John Bolton | Oxford Unionby OxfordUnion 38 views

    On the first YT Craig links to, towards the end Bolton says with a straight face that another 9/11 is needed to wake the people up. Wonder what he has in mind for next time?

  4. The fake anger generated in the campaign against Assange is disturbing.
    One of the strangest examples has been in the “debate” in the “SWP” in which the dissident faction, led by Richard Seymour, have insisted that it is a mark of socialist merit to smear Assange and, indeed, George Galloway.
    The SWP has become a cheerleader for imperialism not only in this case but in Libya and Syria too.

  5. Didn’t the same Oxford Union also invite the BNP fascist, Nick Griffin, to speak? I’d like to know who within this “union” is making the decisions to give public platforms for criminals and fascists to air their views. Are these the same people involved in audio tampering? These individuals need to be publicly exposed.

  6. I can say it: I love John Bolton. John Bolton is just the most perfect example of what is wrong with neoliberalism. Everyone should scrutinise his career. John Bolton is, quite simply, one of the dumbest men ever to have a successful political career. The man is simply not a smart man, he knows nothing much about anything, has no charisma, isn’t telegenic, has few skills, and is basically an utter, utter nobody. And yet, he was once powerful, and even now is listened to by people who should – and do – know far, far better. And that’s why I love John Bolton. He teaches us all about politics, and we should heed the lesson. Politicians often ain’t that clever, and we should often laugh at them. This is a valuable lesson.

    JB often makes me laugh. I chuckle when he gets on stage with his nonsense, or gets an article in The Gruan. Because his lack of intelligence, and his patent and obvious personality disorder are quite funny, in their way, just as Dr Strangelove is funny. Naturally, it’s deadly serious for the people of Iraq, that men whose IQ’s are barely in 3 figures can exert such power. I probably shouldn’t find JB so funny.

  7. Chris2, the notion that the SWP are cheerleaders for imperialism is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard.

  8. Love the Fake Applause. Well spotted. But worrying. I can’t even stand fake laughter in sitcoms let alone in political programmes.

    As to rape and war you are spot on again. Thanks to Wikileaks some of these real rape stories have been released into the public domain but they are being diminished by false accusations against Assange in order to get him to the US. It is well know that Women Against Rape have expressed their concerns about the Assange accusations diminishing what action is taken in real rape cases. This is shared by individuals who have been raped. For example this is what Felicity Ruby has to say:

    “- As a feminist, a rape survivor and a former UN staffer I personally have been devastated by the utilisation of feminist goals and principles to attack Wikileaks, because Wikileaks has provided the peace and women’s movements with many gifts – troves of evidence, example after example of the crimes and culture of militarised masculinity on the battlefield, in the board room, in the Embassy.

    - I would be less worried if the epidemic of violence against women was being addressed quite as athletically by governments, the media, courts and police as it is in Assange’s case, if arrest warrants and man hunts were occurring with quite the same fervour. Because they are not, I don’t find this selective and concerted effort on one man to be a feminist victory. Rather than something being better than nothing, selectivity damages and delegitimises real efforts to address violence against women.”

    http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/speeches-parliament/julian-assange-journalist-or-terrorist

  9. @Daniel @chris2 In addition, Richard Seymour’s perspective on Assange is far more sensible than most.

  10. Naomi

    Thanks for the link and I am glad to see it – I like Richard and I was concerned by reports he was vehemently anti-Assange (which several people had suggested to me).

    My own view of the SWP is that it is an organisation containing some wonderful people it does not in the least deserve. On one level its current “rape crisis” is the kind of problem bound to arise from time to time from its Stalinist “democratic centralist” structure. On the specifics, I think all of those involved, including the alleged victim, ought to have gone to the police. The decision not to do that was a fundamental error. I don’t think you can declare the individual guilty of rape in the absence of that, though whether he has a serial history of sexual harassment is a different question.

  11. Not far away from Parliament Square, in another London Square,we sometimes chant ‘Israel is a terror state’.

    These MET types and the ones with the clipboards and pens from the City of Westminster are wasted on London. Note how they quote odd bits of law. I hear them say at one stage ‘We have the power’. How right.

    Arrest: is an Umbrella a bigger crime than GENOCIDE?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9oC6WA0q6dY#!

    They have to keep Parliament Square for the tourists. Of course.

  12. The Medialensers often have a go at Seymour for the language he employs. Some of it is incomprehensible.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1357058147.html

    He is so left wing he has now joined the Guardian but nobody has heard from him on the staff lay offs there.

    Perhaps he gets paid by the column inch.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/richard-seymour?INTCMP=SRCH

  13. All I can say is that when I was the archivist of the Cambridge Union Society (for about 3 years), we published debates in full, and unaltered(*), as a matter of record. This is actually how I met Craig, who appears in one of them.

    http://archive.org/search.php?query=cambridge%20union%20society%20debates

    (*)Of course we made minor tweaks like boosting audio levels, fixing brightness, sync, file-compression etc, but we never changed anything of material importance or public record. In fairness to Oxford, I think JA’s lapel mic fell off to cause the broken sound – this has happened to me on occasion too. We also suffered the occasional technical glitch.

    [I have no idea what the current policy in Cambridge is].

  14. Are MI5 trying to float a rumour that a man who last year told Rolling Stone that he’s bankrupt and had been put on the PEP status (Politically Exposed Person) list (how exactly does that happen, when you don’t hold any public office?) has a secret stash of £1,000,000?

    “Security sources said Assange, who is reported to have a personal fortune of £1million, would be arrested and deported if he stepped outside.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279488/Julian-Assange-Fury-cost-fugitives-embassy-stand-soars.html#ixzz2L4tLHAq6

    Well, if the intelligence services do monitor this blog – Come out and explain yourselves, yer lying bastards! We know what your game is.

  15. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    16 Feb, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    I agree the applause was suspiciously overenthusiastic for such an event (unless the audience had been served alcoholic drinks beforehand). John Bolton is one of the few politicians who is correct about Iran. It has been a revelation to me why he thinks so many Europeans are soft like Obama on Iran. I had no idea why until today and I read all the various comments here.

    No, the Iranians are not coming [to conquer us?], but the Iranian leadership can see no other way to win respect other than by projecting power through nuclear ambiguity (never allowing the world to be confident Iran does not have a nuclear bomb or isn’t one screw-turn away (Karim Sadjadpour’s expression) from having one). If there is evidence Iran does already have one (being mindful of the false intelligence on Iraq and the debacle that that led to) of course I think the West will have adequate reason to remove the weapons by force (which may later make it necessary to get rid of the regime, depending on the severity of their response to our actions – which will probably be quite severe, perhaps involving far more casualties than most people anticipate).

    In my view Iran must open up Parchin for inspection and answer the IAEA’s questions about possible non peaceful uses of nuclear technology that have hitherto gone unanswered. There is a problem with Iranian lying (they are not the only nation in the region that lies, and of course Britain has lied in the past – the MacDonald Falklands announcement – but the scale of the problem is probably quite different, which makes negotiating with them quite tricky: they probably think we are lying when we are not?)

    There are issues about whether Iran should have a nuclear bomb to counterbalance Israel’s (a fair point), whether a Western invasion of Iran is to steal or control their natural resources (as much a plausible argument to yourselves as to many Iranians, but it is an argument which I think is flawed), whether Iran will miraculously transform into a Western style parliamentary democracy (it almost certainly will not), whether the West will profit from such an invasion (in the long term it may do, but in the short term that seems very doubtful: for a start the loss of life occurs first before any benefits accrue), and finally (what seems to get you all so annoyed) is the point about those who pay the cost of a war (giving up their lives) being different to those who reap the benefits (doesn’t almost every policy have wealth and income redistribution effects, although none more so than a decision to go to war?).

    If you are thinking I am some sort of Israeli armchair war monger, nothing could be further from the truth: I am happy to offer to drop the first bomb on Natanz or Fordow myself, and I do love everything about Iran, especially the food, but not the leadership. And of course not even the exiled Nobel Peace prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, is pro attacking Iran, so of course I couldn’t be Iranian.

    With views like yours, I am surprised you haven’t all offered a new home for Lenin’s tomb.

  16. @Richard 3.56pm

    ” In fairness to Oxford, I think JA’s lapel mic fell off to cause the broken sound – this has happened to me on occasion too. We also suffered the occasional technical glitch.”
    -
    His microphone did not fall off, it is clearly visible throughout the interview. One of the audio channels was dimmed which is curious when we understand that the microphone is wired mono and not stereo. Interestingly, the dimmed channel is the one we heard on small devices with single speakers, like my iPad and most smart phones.

  17. The left and right channel on the broken sound JA video are out of phase (waveforms mirror images of each other) and cancel each other out when combined and played back in mono. A very basic sound error and one very easy to fix at source. With playback on mono devices try to turn one channel down so you only have the left or right channel playing and it will sound fine. Alternatively stick headphones on.

  18. @KarimovaRevengeFantasist “There are issues about whether Iran should have a nuclear bomb to counterbalance Israel’s (a fair point), whether a Western invasion of Iran is to steal or control their natural resources (as much a plausible argument to yourselves as to many Iranians, but it is an argument which I think is flawed), whether Iran will miraculously transform into a Western style parliamentary democracy (it almost certainly will not) [...]”

    Western governments have long coveted Iran’s natural resources, namely oil, they have a history of doing so actively, toppling legitimate governments, installing the puppet and despotic Shah, you do not say why such strong suspicions are flawed.

    In Mossadegh, they had a far more more democratic, popular, social and economic reforming leader and government, that was as close to ideal from an Iranian’s perspective and from our own, which leader we along with the US and other criminal regimes, toppled. They had a working representative democracy, which was maliciously destroyed; I should also that that this particular “Western style parliamentary democracy” of ours is dysfunctional, corrupt and atrocious, you might myopically think it great, but I wouldn’t inflict it on anyone.

    You talk of loss of life before benefits accrue, might I remind you the loss of life on the Iranian side, innocents, women, children, non-combatants, would also be high and no benefits would accrue, as you so obnoxiously put it, to those maimed of deprived of loved ones.

    Maybe not an Israeli warmonger, who knows your bestial allegiances, but a war-monger still.

  19. The applause is part of the Oxford Union’s “ident”, part of the debating union’s branding if you like. Listen:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoWiV6Q8qME

    Also:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vQNWYnQjUE

    FROM CRAIG: SEE MY REPLY BELOW

  20. Neocon philosophy is based on the teachings of Leo Strauss who in turn based his philosophy on Plato. It is a class based system with a ruling, warrior and worker class. The reality of the lower classes is controlled by the ruling class.

    This is how one White House aid explained it:

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    They make no secret of it, they know they can continue to lie to the people and that the people will continue to believe them, people will believe their false reality rather than a reality based on facts. It’s human nature.

    John Bolton will have had someone with him to ensure that the reality the people saw was the reality he wanted them to see.

  21. Kempe

    You are completely and utterly wrong.

    Both the examples you give are of actual applause; you can see they coincide with actual applause. Neither is the same as each other (the first includes whistling) and neither is the same as the much louder canned applause on the Bolton videos, which is precisely the same on each.

    The second example you post gives a good audience shot that makes it very plain the noise does coincide with the actions of the audience and fades and stops as they do. By contrast, the fake Bolton applause would have to be occurring between the question and the answer, which is pretty improbable.

    For reasons best known to yourself you continually turn up on this site and always to argue that whatever I have posted, on whatever subject, is untrue. I have no idea why you do this. But on this occasion you have made a complete fool of yourself.

  22. ANTI-FASCIST – REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL ; ) -

    TONY BENN

    Tony Benn encounters Neocon Nazi ‘Bonkers’ Bolton. With unfortunate results for Bonkers. Tony Benn was 82, but he looks a lot healthier than Bonkers. Bonkers showing the predictable Dorian Gray results of the hellishly debauched evil which was the Neocon PNAC project … No change there, then! –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YsJhLqgKHY

    TONY AND HILARY BENN

    In addition to ‘Democracy’ (below) see his joint interview with his son, the Labour cabinet minister Hilary Benn, for the personal side of the man – “The Railway Children Story.” When Hilary Benn was elected to parliament, Tony Benn introduced him in the House, as his father had introduced him. It was an emotional moment. His family were watching from the gallery. They nudged each other, “It’s The Railway Children.” It was a standing family joke that Tony Benn would burst into tears during The Railway Children. A nice man. : )

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r0nFue8XPI#t=01m53s

    Family secrets – Tony Benn’s hand gestures –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knkd5390iJY#t=01m32s

    MUST SEE VIDEO

    Tony Benn – ‘Big Ideas That Changed The World: Democracy’ – Tony Benn –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poO5BgU2PZo

  23. BBC watchers (I don’t, personally), how to interpret this?

    Calls to reduce Met Police’s 24/7 Julian Assange guard:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21487982

    A mixed bag as signals go. No word about the Ecuador elections, of course, but I suppose gritted teeth is not thought very telegenic. Maybe they’ve heard that the peasants are tweeting and making v. angry noises about the bloody waste of taxpayers’ money?

  24. Craig says, of Kempe:

    “For reasons best known to yourself you continually turn up on this site and always to argue that whatever I have posted, on whatever subject, is untrue. I have no idea why you do this.”

    Fred points out above that the central tactic of neoconism is the idea of “noble lies”.

    These are discussed here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie

    but the central idea is of:

    “a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda”

    This is in contrast to a more rationalist approach involving critical realism and a search for truth.

    You, Craig, represent the latter approach and Kempe the former, and never the twain shall meet.

    We could say then that you find nobility in exposing lies or finding truth whereas Kempe feels it’s noble to create lies and suppress inconvenient truths. It really is that simple, but still it’s something that many people have difficulty grasping.

    There’s much that can be said about these respective positions and the real philosophical meat is in the detail of that discussion, but suffice it to say, noble lies are the reason why many of us find corporate media to have that spooky unreal quality about it.

  25. Arbed

    I’d interpret it as another way of attacking Assange.

    The argument will become one in which he is costing us this money and that’s another reason why he should just off himself to Sweden. It’s all his fault.

    It certainly won’t be about a rational questioning of the use of police resources. It never is, but they’ll attempt to present it as such.

  26. “Kempe

    You are completely and utterly wrong.”

    No, I’m not. It’s clearly part of the ident.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0tFl5x7rkM

    http://www.youtube.com/user/oxfordunion

    I know none of the faithful on this blog will acknowledge it but the evidence speaks for itself.

  27. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    16 Feb, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    @Cryptonym
    Coveting (desiring strongly) is not a crime. Stealing their natural resources is. Substituting “coveting” for “stealing” switches off further thought about how you actually steal the oil and maintain a long term benefit from theft. Yes, when you read history BACKWARDS, the behaviour of the Anglo-Persian Oil company (now called BP) does not look good, but there are reasons (if you read history forwards, while shutting out knowledge of what subsequently happened why BP’s behaviour in Persia may not have been as high handed as it now seems. For a start oil is a far more valuable commodity today than it was then: its utility has since multiplied. Also Iran was not then the plentiful place full of oil and gas we now know it to be: the exploration risk taken was arguably bigger then, so the rewards may have needed to be bigger. There was maybe little reason to be optimistic finding oil then?

    I don’t know much about Mossadegh, except he was a nationalist and that he expropriated BP’s oil fields, and that that may have had a lot to do with our interference in Iranian politics at the time (“malicious” seems a bit harsh given the facts at the time, although I accept many Iranians are justifiably irritated about it (we did not kill him?) but our high-handed behaviour on that one occasion seems a mere trifle compared with the mess Iranians have inflicted on Iranians over the last 33 years.

    I reject the guilt dump about loss of life and the unflattering view of the value of human life you wish me to have. Most people in my experience have a variety of contradictory views on the value of life and they flip effortlessly between them all in the same day often without noticing it. It is perfectly okay to have different contradictory views all in the same day depending on what you are doing? Also the West only seeks to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon, so the amount of killing that subsequently occurs is partly in the hands of the Iranian leadership: it is not all the West’s fault? Sometimes overwhelming force is the only answer: it worked with Japan and Germany (nobody seriously objects to them knowing how to make nuclear weapons now?) Iran, on the other hand, has a leadership that seeks to preserve a dogma and it is a dogma the leadership refuses to de-construct. I accept Iran has never declared war on anyone in modern times, but I am in no doubt they are on the path to acquire nuclear weapon-making know-how, and that they are not a suitable country, with the current leadership, to possess such knowledge.

  28. Kempe

    Good Lord – for you to repeat it is not a mistake, it is a lie.

    The two examples you give are very clearly actual applause from the audience, the start of which is overlapped with the Oxford Union banner – the “ident”. The two examples are clearly different applause – one has whistling and one doesn’t – and close study of the audience after the banner goes and the picture comes shows the applause really is the sound of the audience.

    The Bolton case is completely different. The Bolton videos have the same identical run of canned applause on each and it bears no relation to the audience.

    The applause on the links you post is the natural applause for a speaker who has just been introduced.

    By contrast the Bolton links show him answering questions – and the applause would therefore be between the unseen questioner and his answer – a most improbable spot for such rapturous acclaim.

    The analagous videos are other question answers, of which I posted one from Assange and there are plenty on the site. None of them have this canned applause at the start. In fact only Bolton on the whole site has non-existent canned applause.

    Your attempts to blow smoke in the eyes and obfuscate this very clear picture is really weird. Kindly fuck off.

    Now go away.

  29. “Fred points out above that the central tactic of neoconism is the idea of “noble lies”.”

    And the greatest threat to the tactic is the truth, web sites where people can leak the truth to the general public are their worst enemy.

  30. ‘BONKERS’ BOLTON, TONY BENN AND THE U.S. EMPIRE – Contd

    Tony Benn on the US Empire, the future, Europe, the Cold War as a (US Empire) anti-progressive stunt and the return of Labour and Democracy – the engine of Britain’s progressive development. (“If you can find the money to kill people, you can find the money to help them.” Hence the National Health Service.)

    Q. “What about the special relationship?’ A. “The UK is a subject nation. Because the UK wants to remain a nuclear power and keep nuclear weapons, the UK is a subject nation to the US Empire.” HA! Thank you very much! Lobster magazine – Robin Ramsay – has it right! –

    - See Lobster #58, ‘The meaning of subservience to America’ – Page 87, Issue #58 -

    - http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue58.php

    Q. “There is a lot of discontent in Britain. Do you think it will lead to Socialism with a capital S?”

    A. “There _is_ a lot of discontent in Britain. People are understanding who runs the world. Bankers. International Corporations. Great powers – Empire.”

    “When people realise that they are powerless and want to take control of their own lives – that’s _democracy_. _That’s_ what I call socialism. That’s how we (in Britain) got votes for men. That’s how we got votes for women. That’s how we got a National Health Service – our greatest socialist achievement. I don’t think that Tony Bliar’s effect – of dismantling the Labour party – will be as lasting as people think.”

    “The whole Cold War was used to prevent progressive change. The Russians (won WW2 for the world and) lost 25 million people and were never going to occupy western Europe.” Paraphrased inexactly.

    Tony Benn has been voted Britain’s favorite politician several times and you can see why. And why many revere him as a wonderful absolute truth teller.

    He famously retired after fifty years as an MP “to devote more time to politics” – his wife Caroline’s line – and he’s still doing it. Tony Benn is now 87. Go Tony! – : ) -

    - Tony Benn – 29.00 minutes – 25th January, 2013 – Voice of Russia radio –

    - http://ruvr.co.uk/radio_broadcast/73145563/102427733.html

  31. The applause is identical in both clips and is clearly “canned”.

    What an awful thing for the Oxford Union to do. Also, what an utter shit Bolton seems to be.

    I would rather like to see your conversations with the OU about Julian Assange – any chance?

  32. doug scorgie

    16 Feb, 2013 - 8:43 pm

    KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    16 Feb, 2013 – 4:08 pm

    You say:

    “If there is evidence Iran does already have one [a nuclear weapon]… I think the West will have adequate reason to remove the weapons by force…”

    There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program let alone a bomb and International law would prohibit such action anyway. But then who gives a shit about the law? Not you obviously.

    “In my view Iran must open up Parchin for inspection and answer the IAEA’s questions about possible non peaceful uses of nuclear technology that have hitherto gone unanswered.”

    India, a non-signatory to the NPT, has many nuclear weapons. Does the West not have adequate reason to remove India’s weapons by force?

    Israel is a non-signatory to the NPT but is alleged to have hundreds of nuclear weapons. If you think Iran should open up its nuclear facilities to international inspection (which it does), why do you not state at the same time that India and Israel should do similar?

    “There is a problem with Iranian lying…”

    And there is not a problem with the USA; the UK, Israel and many more countries lying?

    “…whether a Western invasion of Iran is to steal or control their natural resources (as much a plausible argument to yourselves as to many Iranians, but it is an argument which I think is flawed)…”

    Why is that argument flawed? You don’t explain. Why not?

  33. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    16 Feb, 2013 - 9:11 pm

    Brendan, you can call John Bolton many things, but you are very wrong when you say he’s stupid. He is an extremely intelligent individual; how he uses uses his intelligence is of course another matter.

    This is not an original comment, of course, but the worst thing about the man is surely his absurd mustache.

  34. doug scorgie

    16 Feb, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    16 Feb, 2013 – 8:08 pm

    “I don’t know much about Mossadegh…” [sic]

    “BP’s oil fields…”?

    It seems you don’t know much about anything judging by your comments. I suggest a week or two studying the history of the Middle East and the history of British Imperialism.

    Again if you don’t know much about Mosaddegh then you know fuck all about Iran and are thus not able to put forward valid arguments on the subject.

  35. *canned applause*

  36. It is you KarimovaRevengeFantasist who is positively salivating at the thought of stealing it. You’re more than coveting it, you’re encouraging a gang of criminals in commision of a crime, like some infantile dare, pushing others into trouble from which they’ll take the blame or consequences and you’ll walk off sniggering, scot-free, looking for further evils to foment, you’re nothing more than a dangerous fool, dangerous to others, a danger to humanity. I don’t think you’re one of the less than 1% who might personally benefit but one of the deluded remainder who have swallowed whole the frankly absurd notion that they might pocket some loot too –take it from me you won’t, for all your bowing and scraping before the bloodthirsty tyrants you worship, none but a few already with wealth beyond comprehension will gain. Whoever BP dealt with back in the day, they were conned, the seller did not have title, it’s Iran’s oil, the Iranian people’s and not as you posit BP’s with those inconvenient Persians cheekily living on top. It’s been known what’s there and where since the early 20th century where it took no exploration or risk as the stuff was bubbling out of the ground and of such purity and lightness that oil-fuelled ships could run on it raw with no further refining. Incidentally fully exploited I doubt it is in total not much more than than 40 days predicted current world daily consumption, not worth hanging for, but you’re already party to a conspiracy to theft and mass-murder, primed to cheer on from the sidelines, in sadistic ecstasy at epic scale deaths planned. Nailed your colours to the mast, and so out of your depth, you’re drowning already.

    The alternative is easy, Iran I expect still remains perfectly willing to sell its oil, for goods in kind that it needs, not worthless fiat toilet paper; if not saddled to the crash and burn US empire till its utter demise, dragging all into the abyss, this country could trade again with Iran, profitable for each party, two-way trade, if only we had something more to offer than criminal casino banking, ignoring the US dictated sanctions and ending the phony special relationship, with an appeal to International Courts for leniency for the British people, tendering whatever mitigating circumstances might dig us out of the hole, throwing our errant leadership to their just deserts. This subservient fealty, to the US and to its execrable child Israel, has to end if this country is to flourish and not finish mired in inexhaustible eternal ignominy. If things are tough inside Iran, that is almost entirely attributable to 33 years of vindictive sanctions and a proxy war with Iraq, also of our making, the victims of which still mourned and honoured in Iran.

    And as it isn’t really about oil but of doing the criminally insane bidding of the supreme rogue state, the paranoiac parasitical cuckoo in the Middle East – Israel – not so much a country as a 65 year long crime spree, a threat to world peace since its creation, we’re far better out of it, frankly, even oil can’t sweeten the taint of such association.

    As the US and UK (Israel is even further gone) descend into the madness, paralysis and detachment from reality that typified the demise of Nazi Germany; a fraction of the wasted costs of senseless, insane military expenditures so far, of the last decade, could by now have put our power generation and transportation systems on a sustainable infinitely renewable basis and invigorated the domestic economy, employment market and national spirit.

    No-one with an ounce of humanity could contemplate with glee, such horror as you do, you’re some sort of shameless monster, some throwback to an evolutionary dead-end, re-animated.

    A robotic shill, payed mouthpiece, ten a penny racist war-monger. Zero redeeming qualities.

    Just like John Bolton, I wonder if you’re related?

  37. I tried to point out earlier that the idea of 20 year old university students manipulating a debate in favour of a neo-con is even more scary than the neo-con himself. What are they going to grow in to if they are neo-cons at this age? But I included a hint that the OU’s president is Jewish, which is not irrelevant, and got zapped. Bit touchy, don’t you think Craig?

  38. Jonangus Mackay

    16 Feb, 2013 - 11:00 pm

    No such thing as a non-Freudian slip. Couldn’t help but note that the opening titles helpfully popped onto the Bolton video by the Oxford Union’s media manipulator/s’ (who he/she/they, exactly?) read as follows: ‘John R. Bolton, Iran and the Ware on Terrorism.’
    .
    Just checked my handy on-board dictionary. Predictably & succinctly enough it defines ‘ware’ as, ‘commodity offered for sale.’
    .
    An animated logo immediately precedes the spelling bungle: ‘The Oxford Union Society, 1823. People Who Shape Our World.’ Or, at least, learning to.
    .
    This mysterious farrago now ranks, particularly since still completely unexplained, as one of the most shameful in the Union’s 189-year history.

  39. Habbabkuk, thats the exact same thing that struck me–absurd moustache. But that also tells that he may have high intellect, he’s not very ‘intelligent’. One day you and i are going to have a chat about the difference between those two words but suffice it to say, one recognises beauty/aesthetics, the other does not. Tired now, Sleeping Beauty :-)

  40. Excellent observation Jonangus–well spotted.

  41. Guano

    The ethnicity of the OU’s President is completely irrelevant, plus you are wrong about it anyway.

  42. Someone posted earlier something about the latest shameful person to have been outed.

    Shameful is a wonderful word. Shame full. Full of shame. It’s quite a biggie, and like in a really fundamental way. It ain’t good, if you got it.

    It can refer to private shame or public shame.

    If private, it’s one’s own personal shame at one’s own perceived failures, compared to some internal ideal. (How is that constructed)

    If public then it’s a shame at not living up to some community ideal. (How is that constructed)

    Anyway, I was just wondering where the English word “sham” came from. No dictionaries etc please. I’m looking for audio tapes of really really old illiterate people and in black and white where the sounds expressed are really really close to the emotion intended.

  43. I realized instantly from a previous thread that this Kempe character was a troll. I can only hope that he doesn’t return.

  44. English Knight

    17 Feb, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Now that Craig has shoojooed Kempe, how will us peeps experience genuwine sayanim hasbara in real time now?! Or is the resident Methodist Dorkshireman going to up his game and allow us to “take in a movie” of how to see through Michael Winners dinners?

  45. It was once thought and said that Sarkozy was a sayan. Either he never was or he has turned.

    The Times of Israel January 27, 2013

    Sarkozy urges pressure on Israel at Jewish fundraiser

    Former French president shocks donors by saying international community must bring down the ‘walls of Jericho’ surrounding the state

    By Stuart Winer

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy shocked donors at a United Israel Appeal fundraiser in Davos Friday when he said that the international community should apply pressure on Jerusalem in order to establish a Palestinian state.

    “Israel has surrounded herself with walls of Jericho,” Sarkozy, who was France’s president from 2007 to 2012, told the closed gathering of wealthy Israel supporters at the charity dinner held at the Hotel President Wilson on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. “It will be necessary to bring down the walls in order to save her,” Maariv reported Sunday.

    Sarkozy, who during his term in office made the Middle East peace process a major aspect of his foreign policy, went on to say that the international community should pressure Israel in order to establish a Palestinian state and prevent what he termed “a disaster.”

    /….

    Or perhaps he’s creating a diversion from the charges he is facing for taking a £120k donation from the l’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20121105-france-former-president-nicolas-sarkozy-summoned-judge-loreal-heiress-bettencourt

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/09/liliane-bettencourt-profile

  46. I can’t believe Tony Benn has said this!

    Questioner: ‘The Republican party have accused Obama of leading the USA down the path of socialism. What do you think they mean by that?

    Tony Benn: ‘I think he is a professional politician myself, and I think he has some radical ideas. Some things he has done I agree with, like healthcare; I disagree about the Afghan war. But he’s so much better than George W. Bush and better than Romney. So I’m very glad he has been re-elected.

    I think Obama is prepared to work with people who would call themselves socialists, and that again may alienate some rich people who don’t want those associations to be allowed to develop…

    I think the United States under Obama is trying to adopt a more peaceful policy. His relations with Russia are better than they were during the postwar period. He’s been warning the Israelis about the building of settlements in Arab territory. He’s played quite a progressive part in some ways. But, of course, he’s a product of the society in which he lives; and therefore many of the things he is doing I wouldn’t agree with at all.’

    http://ruvr.co.uk/radio_broadcast/73145563/102427733.html

    Mind you I seem to remember that he supported Bliar’s re-election in 2005 by canvassing on the phone for him.

  47. O/T but a good illustration of how things are managed by those with the power. In a just society, Purnell and his crowd would have been sent into oblivion.

    From Medialens

    BBC to pay Blair flunkie £295,000 a year
    Posted by nick744 on February 16, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Is anyone else outraged that the BBC will pay Blair’s former research assistant James Purnell £295,000 a year as its “Director, Strategy and Digital”, starting next week?

    That’s more than Obama gets ($400,000 or about £250,000).

    How can the BBC justify spending our money with such abandon, especially at a time of supposed austerity? They’ll presumably say that’s the market rate, but the BBC is a unique quasi-monopoly, not part of some capitalist free-for-all market.

    In any case, it’s utterly irresponsible for a public service to pay such obscene salaries. It really makes you wonder whether everyone should just stop paying the licence fee in protest.

    (The right-wing Purnell became an MP and voted for the Iraq war. His former partner was a BBC producer until recently; she’s now a “special advisor” to George Osborne, according to the Telegraph. Cameron’s media advisor is also a former BBC employee).

    ~~~~~

    The close connections between this government (and previous ones for that matter) and the BBC is illustrated here -

    Poppy Mitchell-Rose is so trusted by George Osborne that they were pictured sharing ear phones on a first-class train carriage.

    The popular special adviser is, however, now leaving the Conservative Chancellor for America, where her boyfriend, Ben Wright, Radio 4’s chief political correspondent, will take up a post at the BBC’s Washington bureau. She will work in the private sector.

    Osborne is to replace her with Thea Rogers, 30, the BBC’s lead political producer.

    Rogers, 30, is an intriguing figure who excites members on both sides of the House of Commons. James Purnell, the former Labour Cabinet minister, was among her lovers.

    Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s “spin” chief, a former BBC boss, is one of her fans.

    She is now courting Ameetpal Gill, the Prime Minister’s chief speechwriter turned “head of strategic communications”, Gill now runs the all-powerful “grid” of government events and announcements.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9685463/George-Osborne-loses-his-gatekeeper-as-love-blossoms.html

    ~~~~~

    So when we next hear Ben Wright speaking from Amerika, think of Poppy and then of Osborne and then of Thea and then of Craig (Oliver!) and then of Cameron.

  48. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    17 Feb, 2013 - 8:41 am

    @Cryptogram
    1. My complaint about your substitution of the word “covet” for “steal” still stands.
    2. Your argument technique includes imputing the worst possible motives, sometimes on the flimsiest of evidence (how do you know I covet Iranian oil: there’s is insufficient space to store it in my home) rather than dealing with the actual argument.
    3. Your use of a stream of insults

    “No-one with an ounce of humanity could contemplate with glee, such horror as you do, you’re some sort of shameless monster, some throwback to an evolutionary dead-end, re-animated.

    A robotic shill, payed mouthpiece, ten a penny racist war-monger. Zero redeeming qualities.”

    because my motives are bad from point no. 2 plus the fact you need to substitute different words in my arguments (point no. 1) suggests you find my arguments hard to deal with.

    The reason, if we are forced by the Iranian leadership to take military action against Iran will be because the leadership in Iran want to retain the weapon of nuclear ambiguity (i.e. we will be doing it for not cooperating with the IAEA over a 10 year period or so). The reason we will not be taking military action to STEAL (steal = make it our own with a view to making a financial gain, covet = wish it was ours but do nothing further?) their oil and gas is because none of the different methods of stealing it produce a long term gain:

    Method 1. Turn on the Iranian oil taps on full and depress the oil price. The theft benefit would be dissipated among many countries. Also it would annoy other oil producers who might boycott our goods. Finally it would annoy the Iranians intensely. They in turn would boycott our goods. An ineffective method of theft.
    Method 2. Physically remove the oil and not pay the Iranians anything. A more effective method, but it has serious disadvantages. The Iranians would boycott our goods. They could justifiably attack us. We would be condemned in the U.N. Many countries would boycott our goods (the initial benefit of the theft would be reduced over the long term. Our self image in the world would suffer. Probably not a very clever thing to do.
    Method 3. Award ourselves contracts to extract the oil on favourable terms so that we benefit from the expected changes in the present value of the expected future profit stream as the oil price goes up and down and extraction costs remain relatively constant. This is by far the smartest apparent type of “theft”, but to be effective it requires you to sell out your operating interests in the oil fields at the top of the oil price cycle and to buy in at the bottom. It also requires a dumb buyer to buy at the top of the market and a distressed seller at the bottom. In addition, you don’t seriously think a commercially savvy nation like Iran would stand for that sort of thing? Iran is one of the few countries in the world that has buy-back agreements in place to prevent operators of oilfields benefiting from oil price movements on the unextracted oil reserves. That may be the reason their oil production was lower before the start of the sanctions than it was when the Shah was in power: their operating terms were just too mean?
    4. Iraq and Libya are not complaining of oil theft by the countries that launched military action on their territory. They are not boycotting Western goods. Maybe we are not stealing their oil?
    My argument stands: your use of the expression “covet their oil” neatly circumvents consideration of the three methods of theft and point no. 4, but at the same time imputes dishonest motives for military action against Iran if Iran does not do what the IAEA asks.

    @Doug Scorgie
    Your first post starts off promisingly, but your rapid descent, unprovoked, to four letter words to a complete stranger only 50 minutes later in your second post is surprising. I understand now where John Bolton gets his views about Europeans from. It is true I haven’t been a saint myself in making a joke about Lenin’s tomb: it could be interpreted as weakness in my own arguments if I sought to insult you all by associating you with Lenin. However, many of the views expressed here on many things seem to be from the view point of the ultra far left.

  49. What a weird combo on Marr this morning.

    17/02/2013 9am

    Duration: 1 hour

    Guest presenter Eddie Mair is joined by Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP, Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Madeline McCann, and singer Sinead O’Connor.

    QC and Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy and acting editor of The Times John Witherow review the Sunday newspapers.  Show less

  50. ‘BONKERS’ BOLTON, TONY BENN AND THE U.S. EMPIRE – Contd

    NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

    Tony Benn – a man whose party backed the UN Declarations on Human Rights – because their generation had seen World War 2 and knew of World War 1 and the carnage of both. On the British National Health Service founded in 1948 by a penniless Britain – “Because if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.”

    Which Britain’s US Empire Sell-Out Shill and Spiv leaders – Conservative, LibDem and Bliar’s New Labour – aka Thatchler’s ‘greatest achievement’ – Conservatives, naturally – are now attempting to destroy on the QT. –

    - Tony Benn with Michael Moore on the NHS – “Britain’s greatest socialist achievement” – Sicko –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LnY-jy_cE0#t=00m46s

    THE THREE HUNDRED YEAR CAUSE !

    “Pick a cause that you don’t mind failing at, because all the really big causes – the worthwhile causes – take hundreds of years. Slavery – slavery took three hundred years to repeal. The voting franchise – originally it was for gentlemen with estates, and not every man. Women’s suffrage. Civil Rights. Gay rights. Colonialism. Empire. Generations of men and women willing to labour to change an unjust situation. Knowing that they would never see the victory. Willing to try, and to fail. Until one day, one of them succeeds. And then it looks as if it was inevitable. But it was not. Not without the countless thousands of unknown men and women who laboured knowing that they would not see the victory.” Tony Benn, paraphrased.

    - Tony Benn – ‘Big Ideas That Changed The World: Democracy’ – Youtube –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poO5BgU2PZo

    “Each and every one of us has to be given confidence. If anyone asks me what I hope people will say of me after I have gone, I hope it will be, ‘Tony Benn – he encouraged us.’ I would like that written on my gravestone.”

    Tony Benn – a noble, noble man.

    See Articles -> Articles and Articles -> Audio/Visual

    See Added 8/26/08 for for later Articles and Audio/Visual

    Tony Benn – Search for ‘bennites’ web site via Wayback machine –

    - http://web.archive.org/web/20111219054324/http://www.bennites.com/

  51. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RuqNWG9sbuE&feature=related

    Interesting how Paxman spins out his notion that other states have the desire to own WMD.

  52. Mary, attacking Tony Benn for one or two statements which might seem at odds with your own thinking is not fair. I think you’ll carry quite a few trolls along with you on that one. Practically every rally I have been on Benn was there, including the big one in Hyde Park in 2003, against Blair’s war. And to be honest Obama is much preferable to Bush. Human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said he would be voting for Obama, because the alternative would have been so much worse. Although Obama has reneged on promises like the closure of Guantanamo Bay he cannot speak for himself because of the money and machine that put him in power. Benn always speaks for himself.

  53. Nobody’s perfect. I advised people to vote LibDem at the last election!

  54. KINDLY fuck off…. I am honoured. Always a sign somebody’s run out of arguments when they start throwing obscenities about, thank you, that really brightened up a dull morning.

    I might pop back in a couple of days when things have calmed down.

    Bye.

  55. Craig
    So, can I teach religious classes at the synagogue in St John’s Wood. I wasn’t talking about ethnicity as I’m not a racist. I’m not even sure about my own ethnicity.
    http://www.thejc.com/97741/the-hebrew-speaking-head-oxford-union

  56. Craig
    As to the religious beliefs of the president of the Oxford Union, I personally think that it is highly relevant that a 20 year old who supposed to be idealistic and open-minded has invited and assisted a war-weary neo-con in the manner you have described and invited and mis-treated your friend Julian Assange.

    Your on/off part-time political correctness is rather weird.

  57. Separation of powers at risk?

    “Judges ‘sabotaged’ MPs’ bid to deport rapists and thugs… but Theresa May vows to crush judges’ revolt by rushing through tough new law.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279842/Judges-sabotaged-MPs-bid-deport-rapists-thugs–Theresa-May-vows-crush-judges-revolt-rushing-tough-new-laws.html

  58. Mary

    Tony Benn is a very nice, kind, human being and rarely has a bad word to say about anybody. That seems to be his only fault as a political activist.

  59. I am quite partial to a bit of Cheddar myself. I had a granny who emanated from Jewish ethnicity whose father my father told me had a black beard like mine. My father didn’t like either his father in law’s Jewish beard nor my Muslim one and he was pretty much the same as Craig in his dislike of divine instructions to prayer.
    My great grandfather was a leather-worker in Kettering, where I subsequently used to buy my bookbinding leather from.

  60. John Goss I don’t wish to and won’t fall out with you on Tony Benn. I too think he ia great orator and has spoken out against injustices but when he says he prefers Obama as being better than Bush or Romney, I give up. He misses the point that anyone is preferable to Bush or Romney. He should have roundly condemned Obama for his war crimes in Libya and Afghanistan and for his Kill by Drone policy.

    Nor can I forgive Benn for picking up the phones for Bliar in the 2005 election and for not supporting Lindsey German and Nicholas Wood in this move to have Bliar arraigned for war crimes here.

    ‘A letter was signed by over 4000 people, including this author, which sought the arraignment of Blair and his cabal for war crimes. It was addressed to Kofi Annan and headed by Tony Benn, president of STWC. A meeting to make a final decision is recorded thus in Tony’s new diary:-

    Lindsey German and Nicholas Wood came to see me about the next stage in the campaign on the war crime question, about how we could advance the cause of the letter. There’s been no coverage in the press, although Kofi Annan has replied. We went on to discuss the whole question really of whether we were demanding a war crimes tribunal. My view is that you shouldn’t do that. I think it’s a complete waste of effort trying to put Blair and Bush on trial : (a) it won’t happen; (b) it’s so negative: ( c) it’s all about personalities.’

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-principle-in-britain/8141

    I cannot account for the trolls here as you know. One of them on this thread described Bolton as ‘intelligent’. So intelligent that he endorsed Romney. (Wikipedia) Bolton is described as a paleo-con there, not a neocon!

  61. As to Tony Benn, he and George Galloway talk more sense about the neo-con project, its banking scandal, its neo-colonial scandal, its anti-Muslim scandal, its global power scandal, than any other people in politics. But neither of them get or like Islam.

  62. “if we are forced by the Iranian leadership to take military action against Iran”

    I thought that was an amusing typo at first and you meant “Israeli leadership” but then:

    “…will be because the leadership in Iran want to retain the weapon of nuclear ambiguity (i.e. we will be doing it for not cooperating with the IAEA over a 10 year period or so)”

    It appears to have escaped your notice that the Iranian nuclear programme is the most scrutinised and least ambiguous nuclear programme on the planet. Iran has been cooperating with the IAEA since the day it signed the Non-proliferation treaty. It is those countries who have not signed the treaty and are not inspected at all who are pursuing a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” – India, Israel and Pakistan in particular.

    I think that what you call “ambiguity” here is really just your own neo-con paranoia but it is not clear to me why you are so fixated on Iran in this regard.

  63. John Bolton is obviously an intelligent man. Whether his view or beliefs have validity and deserve respect is another question. It does seem disturbing that the OU has to resort to the tricks of trash TV.

    Even poor old Tony Benn is not safe in pious Mary’s black and white world of sanctimony and faux indignation. Whoever next? Gorgeous George? Even Craig himself better watch out.

    Politics seems to be a zero-sum game for her and many others on the fringes of the political spectrum. Tricky and difficult propositions like compromise and a rational cost-benefit analysis of candidates are not for them, better just to shriek on the sidelines.

  64. CE
    Three cheers for Mary’s black and white world.
    You are one of those analysts of the entrails of spin, conk-clonkers on lamposts in the smog of the dirty game of politics, sorry for mixing my metaphors. There is nothing worse than those who mock the light of human conscience because they can see a cover for their dishonesty in the mainstream fog of lies.

    Only in the light of truth can we see the dappled, colourful, beautiful world we live in.

  65. Mary, I wouldn’t fall out with you either. Your comments and links are too valuable for that. But we can differ. I can’t blame Benn for how the US political system works. I agree with you over Obama’s drone attacks, wars, failure to keep promises and believe he has really let down Dr Martin Luther King who fought for black rights. In the same way Margaret Thatcher let down the suffragette movement which fought for rights for women. What we have is what we have. Right now we have another woman weened on odium in the form of Theresa May – an out and out racist. I bet we agree on that!

  66. Guano,

    If you are attempting to argue that Maria Roumine’s being Jewish inclines her to being a neo-con you are absolutely wrong. I don’t care whether you wish to define Jewish people ethnically or religiously, and I don’t care about your own antecedents, your remarks have over the years (and a variety of different names you use) displayed considerable prejudice against Jewish people. I recall you were banned for a time under another name.

    The students no longer control the Oxford Union. It is appalling that this has happened without giving rise to serious dissent, but all “political” decisions are taken by the Board of Trustees. Now they are serious neo-cons and the moving force is the former Head of Merril Lynch Asia Pacific who is linked to “security studies” organisations and is a long term MI6 “asset”.

    Maria Roumine did a very brave and courageous job of standing up to these people so the Assange talk could go ahead. So you are quite wrong to keep hinting that her being Jewish is in some sense a problem.

  67. Apparently Bolton has form in the fake applause department. I’m just speculating here but I think it’s certainly arguable that he needs the addition of fake applause because real human beings don’t agree with the garbage he talks.

    There’s some real applause and cheering in this clip too, but it’s for the veteran who talks sense. See if you can tell the difference:

    https://www.examiner.com/article/2-minute-video-fox-edits-fakes-applause-for-john-bolton-pro-war-statement

    Perhaps Bolton has a clause in his media contracts that insist fake applause be applied to his witterings. That would indicate that he knows he’s talking garbage. That’s the noble lies thing again. Ultimately the real problem is corporate media itself. Without this fake media and its replacement with real discourse then these liars wouldn’t get away with half the stuff they do.

    Reminds me of the revolutions brought about by the invention of the printing press.

    Corporate media is a kind of inverted world where real world dangerous trolls are actively assisted by the moderators.

  68. Craig/Mods Could we have an “Ignore” button please. The halfwit trolls are getting to be a pest.

  69. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    17 Feb, 2013 - 1:23 pm

    @MJ
    “It appears to have escaped your notice that the Iranian nuclear programme is the most scrutinised and least ambiguous nuclear programme on the planet. Iran has been cooperating with the IAEA since the day it signed the Non-proliferation treaty.”

    It may be the most scrutinised but it is the one we have the most doubts about: the contradictions in it are startling; the lack of cooperation and the huge number of meetings at which no progress is made are mind boggling – Mr Nackaert’s visit this last week to get access for the nth time to Parchin has again yielded nothing.

    The contradictions include:
    1. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world (no need of civilian nuclear power?)
    2. Iran suffers from earthquakes: it is the last place you want to have a nuclear power station if the safety of the Iranians themselves is a consideration
    3. There are no good ECONOMIC reasons for Iran to do uranium enrichment itself: it is cheaper to buy in the enriched uranium from other countries who for historical reasons perhaps have a competitive advantage (other countries benefit from economies of scale?).

    So why does Iran want to do its own enrichment? It either wants to gain the know-how or it is afraid of being held hostage by overseas suppliers who could punish it by withholding supplies e.g. for human rights abuses. The additional cost in doing its own enrichment is a useful indicator of how desperate Iran is to do its own enrichment (for whichever of the 2 possible reasons). My guess is the difference in cost is quite large, so Iran is desperate. It is probably a safe bet to assume both reasons have played a part in the leadership’s decision.

    The lack of cooperation with the IAEA I think I have dealt with. There are unanswered questions, and the Iranians are not granting access to the scientists who have the answers.

    India, Pakistan and Israel already have the nuclear bomb, so there is nothing we can do about that, but Iran does not, so we may be able to stop them getting one (hopefully through negotiation, but realistically probably not, since the regime relies on a common enemy to create national unity around a Government that otherwise would not command a lot of respect.

  70. “Craig/Mods Could we have an “Ignore” button please. The halfwit trolls are getting to be a pest.”

    One has been provided, it is on your keyboard with “PgUp” written on it.

  71. Intelligent is too complimentary a word to assign to Bolton, a dishonest cold blooded warmonger, he lacks intelligence where it counts most, in the heart.
    And his little moustache is as much a gimmick to distract from his twisted activity as anything else, works for some anyway.

    Benn cant be beyond criticism, although he quit parliament he lived it for a long time and stuck it out. Even speaking out against wrongs, he must have ignored signs and aspects of his peers natures, and favoured and been seduced by some, to not have been cast out. Maybe most people who are working for the good amongst the bad lot, cant actually make out the worst of it. On the other hand, by not regarding Obama as total conman, Benn is trying to make out the best of ..someone. But i dont believe him either now. Obamas only defence is that he has to go along with shit, he talked up a lot of hope, and has so far signed most of it away. So far he is more of peace prized conman than his Texan predecessors.

  72. Interesting article on Gove’s history curriculum which too seems to come from the noble lies agenda.

    I think Gove is another of those whose output might benefit from lashings of fake applause.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/16/historians-gove-curriculum

  73. I agree that the President of the Oxford Union being Jewish has no relevance to the dubbing of applause on to Bolton’s videos. Do we know who was responsible for doing it?

    The JC claim her here. Isn’t she gorgeous!
    http://www.thejc.com/97741/the-hebrew-speaking-head-oxford-union

  74. “1. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world (no need of civilian nuclear power?)”

    The country with the largest gas reserves, Russia, has nuclear power stations. The country with the fifth largest, America, has nuclear power stations.

    Iran needs to export their gas, it’s their main export industry, their main way of getting foreign currency. They can feed developing nations like Pakistan and India. Iran and Pakistan have just signed a deal for a pipeline to carry 21.5 million cubic meters a day.

    Even Saudi Arabia is planning to build 16 nuclear power stations over the next 20 years.

  75. It doesn’t sound a very happy ship or does this sort of thing go on in all university student unions?

    http://oxfordstudent.com/2012/05/17/union-officials-probed/

  76. “Later this month the union will be hosting a debate whose subject is, she said, “close to my heart”.
    Its title is “This house believes Israel is a force for good in the Middle East” and JC editor Stephen Pollard will be one of its proposers.”

    Oh dear. They’ll be needing to go heavy on the noble lies, glittering prizes and fake applause to pull that one off!!

    The brightest and the best, eh.

  77. “It may be the most scrutinised but it is the one we have the most doubts about: the contradictions in it are startling”

    The most startling contradiction is in that sentence. And who is “we”? Count me out.

    “1. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world (no need of civilian nuclear power?)”

    Perhaps it wants to eek out its cash-cow and use as little gas as possible domestically. It’s investing for the time when the gas runs out. Norway does the same. It uses practically none of its North Sea gas and relies instead on hydroelectric power for domestic consumption. Iran doesn’t have the geography for that.

    “2. Iran suffers from earthquakes: it is the last place you want to have a nuclear power station if the safety of the Iranians themselves is a consideration”

    Ditto the USA and Japan. Let’s invade them too.

    “3. There are no good ECONOMIC reasons for Iran to do uranium enrichment itself: it is cheaper to buy in the enriched uranium from other countries who for historical reasons perhaps have a competitive advantage (other countries benefit from economies of scale?)”

    You’ve got to start somewhere. Where’s your sense of enterprise? Iran probably wants to muscle into the very market you describe. It wants to become an exporter of nuclear services and products. It is seeking to achieve, through economies of scale, the competitive advantage currently enjoyed by others. That’s why it’s producing so much uranium at only medical and power production levels of enrichment. Probably.

  78. I see that it has been held Herbie. Fancy inviting Perle! What’s the matter with them?

    This is by Hoffman of the JNF. If you have ever been at a meeting supporting Palestinians when he has been present, you will know what a disruptive and unpleasant presence he can be for the participants.

    http://www.thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/oxford-union-triumph-near-40-say-israel-force-good-middle-east

  79. I see, Mary

    And the scores on the doors:

    “The motion ‘This House Believes That Israel is a Force For Good in the Middle East’ was defeated 132-208 at the Oxford Union Debating Society”

    Just as I thought. There ain’t enough noble lies, fake applause or glittering prizes on the planet to pull that one off.

    But that don’t stop the noble liars trying to spin it anyway:

    Here’s how the JC reports the defeat:

    “Oxford Union Triumph – Near 40% say “Israel Force for Good in Middle East”"

    http://www.thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/oxford-union-triumph-near-40-say-israel-force-good-middle-east

    So what were the 61% saying…

  80. From Rioumine’s twitter, the reader could assume she goes along with Bremer’s view of the Iraq war and occupation. If so, indefensible.

    Feb 5Maria Rioumine‏@MariaRioumine
    Paul Bremer: “The fact that we withdrew our troops makes it less certain that Iraq will remain one country.”

    Feb 5Maria Rioumine‏@MariaRioumine
    Bremer: “By the time we left, all the economic indicators had gone up.”

    Feb 5Maria Rioumine‏@MariaRioumine
    Paul Bremer @OxfordUnion: transitioning from dictatorship to democracy.

    https://twitter.com/MariaRioumine

    ~~~~

    Who will they have there next? Bliar? Bush? Kissinger? Powell? Rumsfeld?

  81. Mary

    Actually I think you have the spirit in which she tweeted those 180 degrees wrong. They have a good balance of speakers. Galloway recently, Peter Tatchell in the Israel debate (brilliant I hear), Assange, my humble self.

  82. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    Neo-con or Paleo-con, they’re all atavistic troglodytes. They survive only because of their tribe, and they are the most intelligent of that sub-group. However, that intellect is only significant within that dynamic of intelligence. It’s like they are the most intelligent members of the Neanderthals, and we know what became of that crowd.

  83. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    Uh, oh. ‘Tribe’ was meant in the sense of a generic sub-group of like minded persons of that political persuasion.

  84. Craig, Mary quoted Rioumine from the JC above in which described the topic for debate, “Israel is a force for good in the Middle East” as a subject “that is close to my heart.”

    I wonder whether she was passionately in favour or against the said proposition?

  85. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 4:53 pm

    @ Mary :

    I suppose I’m the “troll” who called John Bolton intelligent?

    I’m beginning to lose any residual sympathy I might have harboured for you (the same sort of sympathy that any normal person might have for Tony Benn, btw), because I’m beginning to think that under that Saintly exterior you’re a pretty unpleasant person (I shan’t say – yet – with fascistic tendencies).

    A troll has been described as someone who disrupts a blog; (whatever that means); have you extended the definition to include someone who has opinions like “John Bolton is an intelligent man”? No details, but I certainly know a great deal more about Bolton than you do, and my opinion stands. I also wrote that the uses he puts his intelligence to are of course up for debate, but naturally you didn’t see that, or pretended not to.

    I think I shall have to renew the very close attention I paid to your vapourings and respond accordingly.

    PS – thank you for your response to Mary, CE, exactly my sentiments as well.

  86. Daniel, James Purnell would definitely agree that “Israel is a force for good”.

    http://www.redressonline.com/2013/02/arch-zionist-gets-top-bbc-strategy-job/

    Herbie at 1.29 pm. What do you think the chances are of getting Gove to agree to including Robert Tressell’s “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” as an ‘A’ level option?

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/michael-gove-secretary-of-state-for-education-introduce-robert-tressell-onto-the-a-level-syllabus

  87. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    And, by the way, why so much attention to, and indignation about, the President of the Oxford Union?

    Who gives a damn what he/she says or opines?

    The Oxford Union was a busted flush when I was up, trading on its past glories; its officers got themselves elected for career reasons (Robert Jackson, Edwina Curry née Cohen, the list is endless)and most of the attendees joined for the other faciliteis the Union offered and if they went to the debates it was for entertainment. Most normal undergrads paid no attention to it then and I imagine even fewer do so now.

  88. Craig
    I suspect you didn’t like being called a troll against Allah.
    Your comments frequently mention zionist banksters, and the lady in question is clearly a zionist in the Matthew Gould meaning of the word.

  89. [Re: Comment: "Chris2 16 Feb, 2013 - 1:08 pm The fake anger generated in the campaign against Assange is disturbing. One of the strangest examples has been in the “debate” in the “SWP” in which the dissident faction, led by Richard Seymour, have insisted
    that it is a mark of socialist merit to smear Assange and, indeed, George Galloway. The SWP has become a cheerleader for imperialism not only in this case but in Libya and Syria too."]

    “Personally, I always feel a touch of sadness and a sense of nostalgia when the state and their forces push the ‘self-destruct’ button within the far left, such as in parties like the late, occasionally great SWP. In the face of the brutal, tortuous, turgid stranglehold of the machine, humble, honest party members are so busy at the coal face. Dealing with all the interventions and consequent disruptions. They seem near incapable of taking a step back, and – with fresh eyes – seeing and tackling – what is going on. State subversion of Britain’s political parties, campaign organisations, civic society and activist groups is a lamentable state of affairs.”

  90. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    17 Feb, 2013 - 6:18 pm

    General note to all:

    I only came to this site as a result of being interested in Uzbekistan (I have little interest in British politics): I had no idea you were all far left extremists, so when I say “we” it usually means “the West, the Establishment, the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties” but not including all you whichever party you all belong to. I presume I am a neo-Con in your parlance whatever that is. I don’t mean to include all of you when I say “we”, but I think I dislike the vocabulary you want to handicap me with: I don’t want to refer to the Establishment as the neo-Con Establishment: I’ll just stick to “we” if you don’t mind because it is more neutral, but I don’t mean to offend by appearing to include you all.

    @Fred

    “The country with the largest gas reserves, Russia, has nuclear power stations.”

    Accepted. But USA and Russia both produce nuclear weapons and export reactors but Iran does neither of these things (USA and Russia therefore derive extra benefits from having nuclear power stations?). Okay, having large gas reserves on its own and wanting nuclear power is not evidence of malign intent, but it is still something to be suspicious about, in my view. I accept having diversity in the sources of energy supply is of itself a prudent thing though. I concede defeat on your point.

    @MJ

    “The most startling contradiction is in that sentence.”

    I don’t understand your point. If America can land a craft on Mars and navigate it from earth, surely they can remotely land something to take soil samples from Parchin clandestinely. I am sure Iran’s nuclear activities are scrutinised both officially and unofficially, but why is it so many questions remain unanswered? That is the contradiction I find so startling. The Iranians do not appear to want to operate their nuclear enrichment programme in a transparent way such that we can be certain they are not diverting any uranium for making nuclear weapons. There is a problem generally with them lying (the problem is not unique to Iran), and it is not that we don’t lie either, but on a spectrum of “lying frequency” Iran is some distance away from the UK in the wrong direction, and it isn’t always a problem: it is just something to be aware of perhaps. Anyone who has been there knows that, and it is not a reason to dislike them: it is just a reason to be a little circumspect some times. They tell you any old crap some times just to be polite, including misdirecting you rather than admitting they don’t know where you are trying to get to.

    “Let’s invade USA and Japan” [because they have earthquakes]

    I disagree: the safety concerns about having a nuclear power station in Iran are important. Their attitude to safety some times amounts to “it is God’s will”. The earthquake in Bam was serious. The cynical might wonder if the location of houses around the Bushehr plant was to deter attack. Let’s hope they don’t have a Chernobyl in Bushehr. Iran does have mountain ranges, so it would be unsurprising if they didn’t also have some hydroelectric power. No, I don’t think it is a suitable country to have nuclear power stations, but I guess the safety aspect has to be balanced against the concern you raise of making the gas supplies last longer. On balance they are probably better off without any nuclear power stations in my view, but if they were interested in acquiring a nuclear weapon surreptitiously, they wouldn’t give a toss about safety.

    “You’ve got to start somewhere. Where’s your sense of enterprise? Iran probably wants to muscle into the very market you describe.”

    This is the worst argument in my view. Iran wishing to do its own enrichment is the equivalent of building a massive factory to turn out 100 Concorde passenger jets and then only ever producing one passenger jet from the factory. If you only want one passenger jet you save yourself the cost of building the factory by just importing the jet from someone who already has the factory to make it. It is a grotesque extravagance to spend all that money on Fordow and Natanz and to then only produce piddly amounts for making medical isotopes. This is how Iran wants to project power: they want the world to know they know how to make a nuclear bomb any time they feel like it and that there is nothing the world can do to stop them, if they choose to go ahead. That alone will allow them to bully their Arab neighbours (just like the bully their dissidents), and it will provoke a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. That is why we (sorry, but you know what I mean) must be prepared to use force to stop them. I do understand the stupidity of trying to bomb knowledge, so that is not something I see any point in doing, but stopping them from riding a coach and horses through the IAEA compliance requirements does matter as far as I am concerned. Just my view.

  91. Habeas Corpus
    “The Oxford Union was a busted flush when I was up, trading on its past glories; its officers got themselves elected for career reasons”

    Yes, that is precisely why I do care about what the president of the Oxford Union thinks. I ask myself the question in what possible career could it be thought to be a bonus not to boycott one of the most deadly and active post 9/11 neo-cons repeating the rhetoric of the Afghan and Iraq campaigns?

    Craig says she made a courageous decision in complying with her political superiors in the Oxford Union and supporting the invitation to Julian Assange. To this day Craig has maintained that 9/11 was executed by Muslim terrorists and he also believes that Julian Assange, coming from the second home of international Jewry in the whole world, Australia, is a genuine whistle-blower.

    the mere fact that Assange has pretensions to stand for election in Australia should raise questions about his real affiliations because it is a well-known fact, only denied by the diplomatic community that Zionism controls the whole world’s elections. What I see is a conspiracy of that diplomatic community to feed us common people a cleaner than clean version of participants in world political affairs.

    I don’t buy any of it for one second. As I said above, you cannot even see the lampposts in the smog of subterfuge. The power of the supermarkets keep the price of meat down and block the controls that let horsemeat into the food-chain. Zionism controls world politics and organises the riderless horses like Assange to clutter the field.

  92. Craig I realize that, in order to have a debate, speakers for and against a motion are required, but there are far too many neocons,’paleocons’ and warmongers in the lists for my liking. Even one of the creators of the PNAC, Richard Perle is included.
    http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

    Hope you enjoy the party. President Correa is ahead in the polls. http://www.cool-smileys.com/images/65.gif

    ‘Opinion polls suggest Rafael Correa is heading towards a comfortable victory’ say the BBC although they attempt to take the gloss off by adding ‘But critics accuse him of being a dictator in the making.’.

  93. Karimova

    How about Britain, America and Israel let’s Iran inspect their nuclear sites?

    They know what happened in Iraq, UN inspectors were actually CIA spies gathering intelligence for an invasion that was coming anyway despite the fact Iraq didn’t have any WMDs.

    Iran would be stupid to let American agents into their nuclear facilities because America has shown time after time that they can not be trusted.

  94. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    17 Feb, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    @Fred
    “How about Britain, America and Israel let’s Iran inspect their nuclear sites?”

    Fred, You’ve got to be kidding: Britain, America and Israel are relatively open societies. People in Iran suffer terrible interference in their lives from higher up officialdom. They really have to mind their Ps and Qs, otherwise you end up being tortured in Evin. A lot of the hangings are not for what the sentence was that was passed. The courts are not independent: quite similar to Uzbekistan in that respect – and of course both countries take hostages to advance their demands. Iran can’t even obey the Vienna Convention on Diplomats let alone be trusted on anything else. The hypocrisy of the regime is diabolical: few Brits can have any idea how bad it is. Have to stop now.

  95. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    17 Feb, 2013 - 7:29 pm

    @Fred
    Continued…
    The Iranian ambassador’s hi five and his claim he didn’t touch hands is in contrast to the way brutal thugs beat up women demonstrators in the street. Some films that are uploaded from mobile phones in Iran are so vile they have to be removed in case anyone seeing them needs psychiatric counselling. I appreciate here that most people have such a left wing view that any country like Iran that is an enemy of America must be good, but I’d urge anyone who thinks like that to seriously think again. I have to leave it there.

  96. OXFORD UNION – ‘UK TRAITORS IN TRAINING’ ?

    This tiny incident of dubbing applause onto Neo-Con Nazi ‘Bonkers’ Bolton speaking (incoherently and incompetently – No change there, then!) is actually a useful teaching example. No, Really! ; ).

    How are Britain’s future leaders are selected? From Oxbridge, naturally, the most talented – read devious / unscrupulous / fawning on US Empire goals – are selected by false-front U.S. foundations for trips to the U.S. where they can be evaluated by U.S. intelligence agencies. (In addition to the C.I.A. there are (at least ; ) ) 15 more of the buggers – DIA, NSA, and now DOD!, etc, etc)

    As Craig Murray showed in the Werrity Affair, these false-front foundations are used by ‘Deep Politics’ groups – U.S. Neo-Cons (Nazis!), Jewish Nazis (Gilad Atzmon’s term) and UK traitors – to foment war. Now against Iran.

    Previously, presumably, against first Afghanistan, then Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, Mali, on and on and on.

    Werritty Affair – Craig Murray –

    - http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=werritty

    - Robin Ramsay at Lobster magazine provides chapter and verse that the UK has been in the US’s pocket since Suez. See ‘Who were they traveling with?’ by Tom Easton, from Lobster #31 –

    - http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/l31whowh.htm

    Ramsay further reports that these Atlantic Bridge false-front foundations are US trolling bait for UK traitors. Oops, our bad, ‘Up and coming UK politicians.’ – ‘Unperson – A life destroyed’ – Denis Lehane – page 209, issue 59 –

    - http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster59/lobster59.pdf

    Blair, Brown, Mandelson (cited in another issue) and others all took the freebie trips, but did they also take the US shilling? – Issue #60, page 90 -

    - http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue60.php

  97. Remarkably detailed very recent interview with Julian Assange, covering a lot of stuff we don’t usually hear about.

    This really exposes the Guardian crap for what it is.

    Another case where fake applause not needed.

    https://theconversation.edu.au/lunch-and-dinner-with-julian-assange-in-prison-12234

  98. Far left, far right, no just good old liberal do good`rs.

    How simple it would be if we all strive to “do good”

    How it is though presently most counter politics is reactionary
    So where ever your view point having achieved a position reactionary politics is a step backwards.

    From where I sit to see any politics take credible steps forward would be a time to rejoice and sit back and focus on important things.

    Human nature is really under the microscope and it needn`t be.

  99. Karimova

    And things were better under the Shah we imposed on them after overthrowing their democratically elected government how?

  100. OXFORD UNION – ‘UK TRAITORS IN TRAINING’ ? – 2

    If, as Tony Benn, Robin Ramsay and Peter Dale Scott say, Britain is a subject nation of the U.S. Empire, then its leaders would be carrying out U.S. Empire policies that benefit the U.S. Empire and not Britain. Are they? North Sea oil? The railway and NHS privatisations? The City?

    The City has been categorised by those who should know as the money-laundering centre of the world – for the drug trafficking and other crimes (LIBOR for one) carried out by unaccountable – and apparently untouchable – ‘Deep Politics’ groups that are the power of the 1%.

    Robin Ramsay in Lobster magazine has a long essay that points out that all the British economic ‘cock-ups’ related to the City curiously _always_ result in offshore finance trousering the money. Ditto North Sea oil, natch! “What a coincidence!” “Shocked, Shocked to find that gambling is going on!” ; )

    It’s plain as a pikestaff to any open-minded observer – this observer, anyway – that Britain has been utterly stitched up by the US Empire ever since Tony Benn failed to get a UK National wealth fund for North Sea oil. Unlike Norway. Robin Ramsay says ‘since Suez.’ ; )

    “What do you think ‘Bonkers’ Bolton / US Empire (Neo-Con?) Nazi war criminals / Oxford Union ‘UK traitors in training’ are?” ; ) (ER, Spies? Ed.) – *** Crank the volume, it’s too low *** -

    - The Spy Who Came In From The Cold -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNrjAMV0HJk#t=01m28s

  101. Surfing by from California — just wanted to chime in with an American comment: I can’t stand John Bolton and I can’t watch John Bolton, so nope, I’m not transcribing him either. Will leave that for someone who supports him. Let me know when.

    In contrast, here’s my transcript of Julian Assange’s Oxford Union address:
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/01/amelia-hill-is-a-dirty-liar/#comment-391372

    Best wishes

  102. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 8:49 pm

    “From where I sit to see any politics take credible steps forward would be a time to rejoice and sit back and focus on important things.”

    Jay; I’ve said something similar. Correct me if I misunderstand, but the effort to undercut opinions one disagrees with seems to focus on the personality and the requisite chinks in the human armor.

    Of course, many times this is intentional misdirection, as the antagonist has no substantive argument to offer. Attacking the messenger probably has it’s origins in Cambrian mud, and that is not a sufficient reason to continue, but some cling to the notion that the human brain exists primarily to make excuses for what we have already decided. That is far from forward motion. It is regressive. But the knee-jerk responses have two general directions; staying where we are, which is really going backward; or moving ahead, which is progressive.

    If people think they can stop the tide from rolling in by cursing at the grunions, there’s is probably nothing you can do to educate as to the facts, but you don’t have to give them air by addressing their fool’s errand.

  103. ‘BONKERS’ BOLTON AND ‘DEEP POLITICS’

    ‘Bonkers’ Bolton an incompetent failure as a frontman for the US Empire Neo-Con Nazis – a US Empire ‘Deep Politics’ group. Bush likewise incompetent, which is why they used Tony Bliar – “the minstrel, the herald, for this inarticulate and, to my mind, completely mistaken attack on Iraq,” – John le Carre, below @ 6.40

    “Under Thatcher whose influence upon my country I detest….” @ 4.50. “We in old Europe know about war and we don’t want anymore war. We hate war. The United States, alas, has still to interpret politics in military terms and that’s a catastrophe.” @6.00. Bliar – the minstrel, the heral @ 6.40 – John le Carre -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eukzmGPDHJE#t=04m50s

    Q. Why is there a war on terror?

    A. “Because the US has not learned how to hold itself together without an external enemy.” “What you have to do – ask Karl Rove – is make sure that people are frightened.” !!! – @3.36 –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGhNVmZlGyo#t=03m36s

    “These days it’s very hard to buy, or to read, uninfluenced, unbought, opinion. Whether in the press, in politics, on radio, on television. Increasingly people are afraid of offending against the corporate or the collective voice.” Which doesn’t even start to consider the (im)pure propaganda organs (like the Grauniad and Monbiot and oh so many more!? See Operation Mockingbird! ; ) Ed). -

    - Part 3 – @ 7.18

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eukzmGPDHJE#t=07m18s

    What are ‘deep politics’ and ‘parapolitics’? Peter Dale Scott’s definitions – @ 0:20. ‘Deep politics’ @ 0:40. ‘Parapolitics’ @ 1:00 –

    - 29th July 2012 – Deep Politics Intro by ‘ComingtoJakarta – Youtube –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A5cNiiMRng

    Tony Benn wipes the floor with Neo-Con Nazi ‘Bonkers’ Bolton. Because it’s a please to watch again. And again and again. : ) –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YsJhLqgKHY#t=03m58s

  104. David Ward MP is still being hounded. He has to meet his party’s Chief Whip Carmichael and Clegg this week.

    http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/david-ward-taking-words-and-meaning-in.html

    On 16th January, 2012 at a meeting in London with Abbas and before criticizing the Israeli settlement building, Clegg said ‘I’d like to be clear: there is no stronger supporter of Israel than myself as a beacon of democracy in the region and as a country with so much to contribute to the region and the world.’

    That quote was taken from a blog written by a LibDem candidate at the last election.

    From his archive of last month’s posts, you can gauge his viewpoint on David Ward. http://matthewfharris.blogspot.co.uk/2013_01_01_archive.html

  105. Karimova,

    Thanks, excellent posts,

    but I fear you are, as we like to say, pissing in the wind to be expecting the rump of the British hard left on this blog to have a modicum of self-awareness when it comes to their knee-jerk anti-americanism.

    I concur that this is now their raison d’etre, it can seem like there is practically no progressive principle that they are not prepared to sacrifice at this altar of illogical hatred.

    I have yet to see anyone argue that the US is perfect, but to even begin comparing it to Iran shows a profound ignorance of reality and basic freedoms in both countries.

  106. “excellent posts”

    Good Lord.

    “but to even begin comparing it [the US] to Iran shows a profound ignorance of reality and basic freedoms in both countries”

    We were discussing transparency in nuclear research as it relates to international protocols like the NPL. Do keep up.

  107. doug scorgie

    17 Feb, 2013 - 9:50 pm

    Herbie
    17 Feb, 2013 – 1:44 pm

    I don’t have a problem with Oxford Union hosting a debate like: “This house believes Israel is a force for good in the Middle East”

    The title made me laugh but freedom of speech needs to be protected even if you disagree with the speakers.

    I just wonder if the University would contemplate a debate titled: “This house believes Iran is a force for good in the Middle East.

  108. doug scorgie

    17 Feb, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    17 Feb, 2013 – 6:18 pm

    “There is a problem generally with them [Iran] lying (the problem is not unique to Iran), and it is not that we don’t lie either, but on a spectrum of “lying frequency” Iran is some distance away from the UK in the wrong direction, and it isn’t always a problem: it is just something to be aware of perhaps.”

    You keep repeating that Iran is lying [more than other countries] but you offer no examples or references. Why not?

    “…but stopping them from riding a coach and horses through the IAEA compliance requirements does matter as far as I am concerned.”

    Why do you not criticize India and Israel for “riding a coach and horses through the IAEA compliance requirements?”

  109. CE
    We the “rump of the British hard left” are emboldened by the fact that we predicted the banking theft that Mrs Thatcher said wouldn’t happen and which has brought the whole world to its knees. Thatcher took her ideas from the US, so our objections to the US are real, not mere prejudice.

    We the “rump of the British hard left” remain the vanguard of responsible foresight, because instead of being bought out by Thatcherism and kindly shutting up and doing what we were told, have been proved correct in opposing US neo-crap from the first.
    No, it’s no good saying things are different now, it’ll work this time. No more doses of the same old strichnine. No more US crap, slowly increasing the debts of the West to trilluions more dollars and pounds. No. We were right. You were wrong. Get used to it. The Liberal party will be lynched for bringing back these wrong headed Thatcherites. The Thatcherites will be lynched for giving the final blow to the NHS, Education and Benefits. New Labour will be lynched for all these aggressive wars against Islam. That leaves what you call the “rump of the British hard left” which remains the only people who understand what has gone wrong and how to put it right again.

  110. OXFORD UNION – ‘UK TRAITORS IN TRAINING’ ? – 3

    Where are Britain and Norway now?

    Britain’s North Sea oil is nearly gone and the money has been trousered by unaccountable offshore entities. The City is kaput since 2008, say Jim Rogers and Marc Faber, via youtube. Norway is the most prosperous country in Europe and has a large national oil wealth fund for future generations. They plan to spend the interest but hold the capital for future generations.

    Their only problem is when the try to hold the Jewish Nazis (Gilad Atzmon’s term) to account over Gaza and are on the receiving end of a US Empire ‘Deep Event’. In their case the massacre of 70 or so children of their political elite. Operation Gladio again – the US Empire blowing up Europeans, blaming the left, carried out by the right. No change there, then! See Norway’s Massacre, Breivik and ‘Deep Events’ by Peter Dale Scott at PDS’s politics page, link below. But we digress. ; )

    - Norway’s oIl wealth @ 1.50 – Michael Moore – Sicko –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E

    Peter Dale Scott –

    - http://www.peterdalescott.net/q.html

    The City – “Well How Did We Get Here?” – pages 64 – 105 – pdf – by Robin Ramsay, Winter 2010 – UK Lobster –

    - http://tinyurl.com/9zvaosh

    OR search yourself – Peter Dale Scott’s articles recommended – Very highly! ; ) –

    - http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/

    Gladio -

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio

  111. KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    17 Feb, 2013 – 7:14 pm

    There are posters to this blog that simply make assertions without any references or examples to back up their claims. You are one of them. Let’s have some intellectual rigour.

    “People in Iran suffer terrible interference in their lives from higher up officialdom.” [Examples pleas]

    “They really have to mind their Ps and Qs, [sic] otherwise you end up being tortured in Evin” Examples please]

    ”A lot of the hangings are not for what the sentence was that was passed.”[sic] [Examples please]

    “The courts are not independent:” [justify that comment]
    “…quite similar to Uzbekistan in that respect…”[again justify that statement]

    ”…and of course both countries take hostages to advance their demands.”[Examples please]

    “Iran can’t even obey the Vienna Convention on Diplomats let alone be trusted on anything else.” [Vienna Convention references please].

  112. “I have yet to see anyone argue that the US is perfect, but to even begin comparing it to Iran shows a profound ignorance of reality and basic freedoms in both countries.”

    Let’s see how they compare anyway.

    America has dropped bombs on twenty seven countries since WWII. That’s around a third of the population of the world that has had their country bombed by America.

    How many countries has Iran dropped bombs on?

  113. Doug

    I don’t have a problem with them hosting any debate they like.

    As ought to be obvious from my post, I was saying that motion hadn’t a hope in hell of winning.

    But the issue of free speech is more complex. There are corporate and institutional pressures which attempt to create an impression that speech is free. Often it isn’t at all and we need to expose that.

    I’m ultra liberal on free speech, but I think it’s fair enough to give time-wasters a miss. In a way they’re enemies of free speech too, in that they seek to pervert the free flow of discourse.

  114. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    18 Feb, 2013 - 12:01 am

    @Fred
    “And things were better under the Shah we imposed on them after overthrowing their democratically elected government how?”

    I don’t know how things would have been under Mossadegh. However, I can tell you about things under the Shah. Economic growth was fantastic (but maybe a bit uneven). Human rights were not always respected: the Savak did torture some people, but the levels of abuse and torture were simply as nothing compared with the post revolutionary period. I suppose you can argue the revolution would not have happened if Mossadegh had remained in power. I don’t know. The Shah was very progressive and modern: Farah Diba, his wife (the Empress!) even bought a Jackson Pollock (now owned by the Islamic Republic) and it has turned out to be a fantastic investment (She either had good taste or she was well advised). (They both spoke very good French and English as well as Persian of course). One problem was how the rural people felt when they came to the big city: I wonder if there was a clash of cultures (or of class?). Some urbanites wanted to live life as if they were in California while rural dwellers who came to the big city for work still had very traditional ways. There seemed to be two middle classes in Teheran (traditional owners of shops in the bazaar(well to-do unwesternised types) and then a more Westernised type, usually with a career job who would speak English and maybe drink beer or vodka). Mullah types and more traditional people would probably smoke opium instead. (Yes, it is funny how Iran executes drug smugglers – I have my doubts if some of them aren’t really dissidents). It seems to me the problem of making rural Iranians (with more traditional dress habits and who have parents arrange their marriages for them) feel more comfortable in Iran has been partly solved by forcing the wayward more Westernised urban middle class types to behave more like the former. This has probably contributed to Iran having a massive brain drain (although that could also be due the economic situation too). The Westernised middle class resent not being able to date girls and chat freely in coffee shops (coffee shops in Teheran now have cameras to ensure unrelated people of opposite sex don’t meet – check the story of the Cafe Prague in Teheran: recently closed down because it refused to spy on its customers). If the mullahs are ever overthrown, the original problem the Shah had will still be there: maybe the rural people need help adapting and maybe city dwellers need to be more mindful of the rural types. I don’t know what the answer is. I suppose under Mossadegh, eoonomic progress would have been slower, and maybe the revolution would not have happened. The corruption levels would probably have been the same though. I sunbathed on the roof of a building during the Jaleh Square massacre, but even an opponent of the Shah (Dr Abbas Milani) who was jailed by him thinks the Shah didn’t use enough force (more than 100 demonstrators died that afternoon according to the Shah’s censored press). Of course the deaths in the Iranian revolution were probably as nothing compared with Syria today. Also they were nothing compared with all the executions that have happened since in Iran. The psychological damage the regime has caused can’t be insignificant: some people in Iran who have watched public hangings or who have been tortured, etc. are not going to suddenly become nice Westminster style democrats respecting their opponents’ arguments. Unless they get psychological help they will surely self-administer help (take revenge). The nuclear talks in Kazakhstan look likely to fail. Whatever sets off the downfall of the mullahs, I’d be surprised if there was a peaceful transition to a Westminster style democracy. Got to leave it there.

  115. US EMPIRE ‘POLITICAL PEDOPHILE GROOMING’

    > rump of the British hard left

    LEFT, RIGHT, FURTHER RIGHT AND BONKERS RIGHT – THE US

    The US has one property party with two right wings, says Gore Vidal.

    Outside the US the terms left and right have generally agreed meanings. Inside the US that meaning has been deliberately skewed.

    Europe has Marxist-Leninists, Trotskyites and Maoists on the (far) left. It has Socialists on the left. It has Labour just left of the middle. It has Social-Democrats in the middle. Then Christian Democrats on the right. It has Conservatives on the (far) right. Then there are the (US) Democrats and Republicans on the (very far) right. And Margaret Thatcher. Mussolini is just beside her with ‘her greatest achievement’ – Tony Bliar’s New Labour.

    Adolf Hitler is lined up right beside (HA!) the Neo-Cons. Just east of Mussolini and Margaret Thatcher. The (ultra-far) right.

    Notice where the Democrats and Republicans are. Six inches apart and off the scale for any hope of governing, were they in Europe. They would be right beside Jean-Marie Le Pen in France and Jorg Haider in Austria; would be fascists.

    Why would you care, you say? Imagine that you grew up and were ‘educated’ to believe that between the Democrats and Republicans is the ‘middle ground’. You would have no clue that you had been steered to regard the far right as ‘moderate’ and ‘normal.’ Consider that ‘education’ the Neo-Con Nazi political pedophile grooming of children – namely YOU.

    To a European, this is self-evident. As obvious as night and day. But in the US – as rare as hen’s teeth.

    TORTURE – NOW A US REICH-WING FAMILY VALUE

    US – Addams Family Values – “Don’t torture yourself Gomez. That’s my job!” –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUBCvK39Vzo#t=00m48s

  116. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 12:43 am

    “Let’s have some intellectual rigour” wrote “Doug Scorgie”.

    Coming from him, that’s more than a trifle rich.

    PS – hey Dougie, you recently accused me of having an agenda. I asked you to tell me what you thought it was. Of course you remained silent.

    PPS – have you got off your backside yet and found the passages in those political memoirs and accounts referring to the use of behavorial pyschologists by political parties?

    ******

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  117. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 12:45 am

    “To a European, this is self-evident. As obvious as night and day. But in the US – as rare as hen’s teeth.”

    Too many teeth in that argument. Torture is not accepted, but remote warfare is the balm of Gilead for those tired of seeing coffins returning home. The Public supports drones because of the antiseptics, but they don’t approve of killing citizens. The electorate is lazy and proffers their allegiance to those who can exempt them from day-to-day bizness of keeping them safe. That fact makes them similar to other national citizenry who only concern themselves with the narcissism of detachment; that is, the daily congress of living their lives without fear, I don’t think your National segregation of principled living has any congress within or without the national borders of the US.

  118. Richard – more specific link: http://archive.org/details/cus_2008-01-21_speaker_craig-murray

    Craig – is Oxford Union going to post your speech at Sam Adams Awards? Maybe I missed it.

  119. US EMPIRE ‘POLITICAL PEDOPHILE GROOMING’ – 2

    TORTURE – NOW A US REICH-WING FAMILY VALUE

    US Empire (Neo-Con?) Nazism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    - “You lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EI7p2p1QJI#t=00m34s

    EUROPE

    Where then is sane? Europe – A progressive land of milk and honey, where the crazy right wing is ‘Norwegian conservative guy’ @ 1.20. Excepting US Empire Neo-Con Nazi Quisling ‘Bonkers’ Breivik, naturally. (*) -

    - From Michael Moore’s Sicko –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E

    (*) ‘Norway’s Terror as Systemic Destabilization: Breivik, the Arms-for-Drugs Milieu, and Global Shadow Elites,’ by Peter Dale Scott, 22nd August, 2012 – Japan Focus -

    - http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3590

    Peter Dale Scott –

    - http://www.peterdalescott.net/q.html

  120. “The notion that the SWP are cheerleaders for imperialism is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard…”

    I have very little knowledge of what the SWP says on a day to day basis. And little interest either, given that the organisation is designed to project the opinions of a tiny, and self perpetuating elite who run the show according to the principles of “democratic centralism.”

    On the other hand it is quite clear that, in both Syria and Libya, the SWP took the same side as NATO, Israel the Saudis et al. At one stage it might have been reasonable, though in my view mistaken, to have taken the alleged threat of a massacre in Benghazi as justifying some sort of intervention. But it very soon became evident that NATO and its Arab League friends had no interest at all in the well being of Libyans and that what was being called a “revolution” was just another colour coded front for imperialist aggression.
    And the situation in Syria is very similar.
    My own view is that the SWP acted as a “cheerleader” in these wars not out of malice (though in any similarly structured group there is always a very good chance that undercover agents are exercising influence) but out of the sort of idiocy that is inevitable in a group in which 99 out of a hundred members sell papers, contribute money and follow orders and those who give orders have no fear of the consequences of idleness, stupidity or failure.
    It is surprising that, in 2013, intelligent people do not recognise that the structure of the SWP, and its ethos of deference to ‘leadership’, is pretty well bound to result not only in sordid patronage relationships between the powerful and the submissive but, more importantly, to political conservatism and impotence.

    In the greatest crisis that capitalism has ever faced, as the living standards of the people plummet, pensions evaporate, the Health Service disintegrates and the organisations of the working class are paralysed, the SWP hails the “revolution” in Aleppo and aligns itself with those elements who smear Galloway as a sexist, (because he points out that to call Assange a ‘rapist’ is ludicrous), and who, once again, find themselves on the same side as Hague and the Obama regime in calling for Assange to run the risk of being extradited, via Sweden (which has form in this area), to the US.

    The truth is that “democratic centralist” structures are environments on which police agents, adventurers and unprincipled careerists thrive. The sad record, from Stalin down, is very clear.

    Were the members of the organisation consulted, rather than informed of the “line” I have no doubt that they would have insisted on, at the least, vigorous opposition to their governments adventures in Libya and Syria, while they must have recognised not only the enormous achievements of wikileaks but also the clearly choreographed smearing of Assange in order to sabotage work which is of such importance, and which is so dangerous to imperialism.

  121. US EMPIRE ‘POLITICAL PEDOPHILE GROOMING’ – 3

    > the rump of the British hard left on this blog

    Mine is the European (very) conservative position (*). Shoulder to shoulder with Tony Benn and any other anti-fascist democrat going. Nil carborundum illegitimi. @ 1.20 –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E

    I’ll get my coat. (And /or go to the foot of our stairs? ; ) Ed.)

    UP THE US EMPIRE – AND ‘BONKERS’ BOLTON !

    Just say “Up yours” to US Empire (Neo-Con?) Nazi mass psychosis. –

    Don’t let the Seppos – and their willing helpers on this site – lead you up the garden path.

    ‘Welease Woger’ and ‘He Wanks as high as any in Wome’. A hidden ‘Bonkers’ Bolton reference? – Life of Brian -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX0XDHF3M60

    ‘Biggus Dickus’ – Life of Brian –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8_jgiNqUc

  122. Man refuses to pay BBC licence fee on the reasonable grounds that to do so would contravene anti-terrorist legislation on funding such bodies. All too easy to predict the result of the case, I’m afraid.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-911-truth-movement-goes-to-court-in-the-uk/5323188

  123. “I’d be surprised if there was a peaceful transition to a Westminster style democracy. ”

    A Capitalist democracy in which their oil belongs to us you mean.

    Why would they want to be like us when the system they have results in a lot less people getting killed?

  124. Remarkable Vronsky, and he has a published chemistry professor and a former police intelligence analyst testifying, and tape of bbc harassing him during an interview. The Magistrate might be quite disturbed by the horrible old truth revealed.

  125. Good news: Correa has won the election in Ecuador. The wind may be blowing away from the CIA, pretty much everywhere south of the US border.

    Meanwhile in Oxford, ‘legal’ considerations cause the Oxford Union trustees to welcome a war criminal at the same time as they object to inviting someone who is being persecuted by war criminals.

    Who’s giving the legal advice? Daniel Bethlehem?

    To be precise, we’re talking here about the trustees of OLDUT – the Oxford Literary and Debating Union Charitable Trust, which owns the buildings in which the Oxford Union operates.

    Here are the trustees’ names:

    Lord Heseltine
    Sir Jeremy Lever
    Peter Jay
    Michael Beloff
    Jeremy Catto
    Thomas Seaman
    Michael Soole
    Rev Christopher Lewis
    Louis Bagshaw
    Victoria Schofield
    Fraser Campbell

    Their contact man is Malcolm Bacchus, accountant, of Telegraph Hill and Baccma Consulting.

    Bacchus is also the contact man for the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Foundation, of which the declared role is to support the work of OLDUT. Their trustees are

    William Hague
    Lord Butler
    Jeremy Lever
    Michael Ancram
    Peter Tapsell
    Akio Utsumi
    Haruko Fukuda
    Kazuhiko Kuguchi
    Toru Matsuda
    Takehiro Kohara
    Takamasa Hisada
    Hisakata Isomura

  126. Sky News were reporting Correa’s win with a 60% share of the vote but unbelivably, or perhaps believably, repeated that line from the BBC, But critics accuse Mr Correa of being a dictator in the making.

    The first item in their bulletin was about Lieberman arriving at court on fraud charges. They even mentioned that he had emigrated to Israel from Russia but omitted mention of his earlier persona as nightclub bouncer and then manager. They said that Netanyahu wants Lieberman back in the Knesset. I bet he does.

    ‘On 13 December 2012, a CNN breaking news blog post stated that the Israeli Justice Ministry had decided to only charge him with breach of trust and fraud, and not the more serious witness tampering and money laundering corruption charges.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avigdor_Lieberman

    Both news items were satisfying to hear.

    PS If anyone else here has been ‘up’ at Oxford, did they come across the Habakkuk Room at Jesus College? LOL

    http://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/visitors/habakkuk-room

    It was named after Sir John Habakkuk, latterly Principal of the College. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Habakkuk I see he was in the FCO early on in his career.

    For good measure http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1413579/Sir-John-Habakkuk.html

  127. It’s a shame that Cameron’s big push on India has coincided with the 24 hour NUJ strike at the BBC. All those harpies are missing and those presenters from the night time World Service are being employed.

    Agent Cameron, instead of attending to the dire state of the home country, is out in Mumbai with a huge contingent of businessmen and others including embedded reporters as usual. He was seen speaking in the HQ of Hindustan Unilever Ltd under their banner and with serried ranks of their employees in the background wearing their company lanyards and badges.

    When he had finished, he asked them for questions. Oops. The first was a young lady asking why it was so difficult for a student wishing to study at a British university to obtain a visa. Cameron had just been boasting about our universities.

    Shame about the bribes scandal too. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/18/uk-britain-india-cameron-idUKBRE91H00120130218

  128. Well spotted there N_ When I saw the name – Louis Bagshaw, I thought it was a misspelt Louise Bagshawe, aka Louise Mensch!

    OLDUT also have control over whom is invited to speak.

    http://www.cherwell.org/news/college/2011/07/17/union-to-clear-guest-speakers-with-trustees

    When you run through the names of notable speakers on the Wikipedia page for the Union, you see a miscellany of all sorts of war criminals and their associates.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Union#Notable_speakers

  129. OMG! It is Louise Bagshawe, aka Louise Mencsh! She gets/got everywhere.

    OXFORD LITERARY AND DEBATING UNION CHARITABLE TRUST

    THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD BY THE PROVISION OF DEBATES AND THE MAINTENANCE OF LIBRARY AND READING ROOM FACILITIES

    http://opencharities.org/charities/270292

  130. Mary

    Exactly – it was their clearance of who is to speak under which they kept threatening to ban the Assange speech, unless a variety of increasingly onerous conditions were met. They then became increasingly disruptive of the video link.

    Hell, I guess I have to do a full post on it.

  131. Craig: please get real. The ethnicity of the president of the Oxford Union may not be irrelevant to the president of the Oxford Union herself. She grew up in Herzliya, on territory occupied in 1948. Going by the article in the Jewish Chronicle, she appears to be a Zionist. The reason I say this is because they were obviously suggesting that she was a Zionist, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere where she has corrected that suggestion. She might have corrected it if it wasn’t true. Being a Zionist doesn’t, of course, mean that she is Jewish, just as being of Jewish extraction doesn’t make someone a Zionist. Many foreign businessmen and diplomats live in Herzliya, so perhaps she is a non-Jewish helper of Zionist interests, like Jimmy Savile?

  132. Meanwhile, over at Cambridge, they have Sir Richard Dearlove i/c. Another you could not make it up.

    The Trustees – The Board of Trustees, currently chaired by Sir Richard Dearlove, is responsible for overseeing the long-term development of the Union’s finances and property. Whilst the Trustees are not intimately involved with the day-to-day running of the Society, they maintain ultimate legal responsibility for the organization, its assets and status as a registered charity.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Union_Society

    Board of Trustees
    ■Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE (Chairman)
    ■Dr Nigel Brown OBE
    ■Mr Andy Swarbrick FCA
    ■Dr Nigel Yandell
    ■Mr Nick Heath FRICS
    ■The Hon Daniel Janner QC
    ■Janet Turner QC
    ■Austin Mahler, President Michaelmas 2012

    The current President is Ben Kentish.
    http://www.cus.org/members/running-your-union/whos-who

  133. No need Craig. It is quite clear from what you wrote above.

    I was involved in heated negotiations with the Oxford Union on the transmission of Assange’s address, against attempts not by the students but by the Board of Trustees to block it “on legal grounds”. These conversations were not pleasant. When Assange’s address was finally put out, the sound was completely messed up and remained so for a fortnight, with this comment from the Oxford Union posted underneath:

    “Thanks for your feedback. We are aware there are issues with the audio when playing on mobile devices and we are working on getting this fixed as quickly as possible. The audio can be heard on desktops or with headphones on laptops.”

    PS Hope the party was good.

  134. Oops, sorry – those ‘e’s went missing from Bagshawe aka Mensch’s name!

    Is Daniel Janner any relation to Greville?

    Richard Dearlove at Cambridge. LOL! Control the questions to control the answers. Dearlove is Master of Pembroke College. So the Cambridge Union won’t be debating who killed Princess Diana when he was the SIS Operations Director, then? :)

  135. @Ex Pat – thanks for the reference to Peter Dale Scott’s stuff on the Breivik massacre. I would really like to read it. Unfortunately it seems to be available only in audio. I can’t be alone in preferring to read stuff, which is much quicker and much more active!

  136. KRF
    Iran:”The Westernised middle class resent not being able to date girls and chat freely in coffee shops (coffee shops in Teheran now have cameras to ensure unrelated people of opposite sex don’t meet – check the story of the Cafe Prague in Teheran: recently closed down because it refused to spy on its customers)”

    The whole of the Arab Spring has been engineered to achieve the same result at the tacky hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. But the plan is not to legislate for un-Islamic behaviour in public places, which in my opinion would be perfectly legitimate for an Islamic state if everyone knows the rules and the consequences of disobeying them, but unbelievably before the IT revolution, to monitor Muslims’ personal human weaknesses in their own homes and bedrooms.

    That is why the dictators have been disbanded, because the mind-control Mullahs have the whole force of Shari’ah to judge events which previously were private. Looking through the keyhole is completely forbidden in Islam. For example. The state will now be able to prosecute a Muslim for stroking his dog in his own house, not just for walking a dog in a public place where it may intimidate other Muslims. OK Islam says that it’s not allowed to stroke the dog, but to use the illegal spying device to monitor un-Islamic activity makes a mockery of the whole set up.

    As I have repeatedly suggested, the last time that Islam came within the orbit of the West, at the time of the Enlightenment, when it was Islamic knowledge that was bringing daylight into Medieval mass ignorance, the Zionists of the day, like Calvin, countered the Islamic glow with Puritanism which in turn was blasted off the planet with all its religious observance and self-righteous persecution along with all the good Islamic influences.

    The present media caricature of Islam with which we are all familiar, i.e. the Taliban excesses or the mad mullahs of Iran and the future Muslim Brotherhood Middle-East will in their minds achieve the same result as Puritanism in the past. If you want to de-grease wool you mix it with earth and wash it with detergent. If you want to de-Islamise a society you first have to give it freedom, then rinse it with spying. The techniques of de-Islamising societies is an ancient Satanic science, not something invented yesterday by a few expired neo-cons like Bolton and Bush.

  137. N, 10.05am

    You’ll enjoy this. Sir Richard Dearlove being taken down over Wikileaks during his own address to the Cambridge Union Society. Those pesky students (erm, I mean Love Police)!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OITB0VOYkEA

  138. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    18 Feb, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    @CE
    Thanks for your compliment. Yes, the regime in Iran can’t survive without invoking a common enemy, which is perhaps the reason why it can never re-establish diplomatic relations with the USA. That fact may be the reason why it is difficult to build trust between the two countries, and without trust it becomes difficult to believe there isn’t another agenda behind Iran’s civil nuclear energy project. Burying vast numbers of centrifuges capable of making far more enriched uranium than is necessary to make medical isotopes at Fordow under a mountain at vast expense when the stuff can be bought from abroad much cheaper, but in a form that can’t be diverted to bomb-making, of course doesn’t help). I expect one of the reasons the regime is so tough on Muslims who convert is that it can be seen as a form of political protest, when a feature of controlling the behaviour of the population is the requirement to obey the leadership’s interpretation of the religion. Sorry, I’ve gone on too much blasting this blog with my thoughts.

    @Doug Scorgie
    On the issue of Iranian lying.

    As I’ve said it is not a reason to dislike Iranians; it is not unique to them; it is not necessarily a problem (it is not their fault – they have to be devious to survive under the dictatorial regimes of all the types they’ve had?). I don’t cite any examples: I just lived and worked there for year that straddled the revolution (saw two countries for the price of one). Other people put it in a more diplomatic way and suggest you have to interpret everything Iranians tell you. In a memorable interview the Swiss ambassador to Iran said on CNN when talking about what it was like to be hauled into the Foreign Ministry and shouted at, she said they don’t always tell you everything: you have to interpret things and this makes the job more interesting. You might think Switzerland is insignificant, but this ambassador, remember, has to manage the USA relationship with Teheran within the context of the Swiss relationship. She is no dummy. It was one of the most amusing interviews I’ve seen: without calling the Iranians liars, she managed to convey that impression very well indeed, and she did it without insulting Iranians (very clever – a very impressive interview). Another example is that it is very rare for (establishment?) journalists to call somebody a liar. Marie Colvin, the American reporter who worked for the Times in Syria did call Bashar Al-Assad a liar (that is my point about it not being a problem unique to Iran). Sarkozy famously called Netanyahu a liar (I think I believe Sarkozy’s assessment). It all just chimes with my personal experience in Iran. I can’t be more scientific about it than that.

    The unfair treatment of Iran compared with Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea

    This is a point I sympathise with Iranians on. The justification for Israel having a nuclear bomb I suppose is that they have a right to exist, and if the most cost effective way of defending their small population (they can’t have a big army?) is to have a nuclear deterrent then who am I to say they shouldn’t have it: Israel would be an unviable economy with a larger army? The fact they are an open society (unlike Iran) and therefore are unlikely to behave irresponsibly (the leadership is fully accountable to its electors: there is little press censorship there?) makes me think it is okay. The fact some Israeli citizens are Persian Jews also reassures me on that point (Persian Jews probably speak Farsi, and so they won’t want their Government attacking Iran without good reason). Iran however, is not an open society, and it does have press censorship (Iranian journalists in London have had their families in Iran threatened). Iran is simply not a fit country to have a nuclear weapon, at least while the current regime is in place. The Indian and Pakistani governments can be held to account by their electorate, so I am less concerned about those.

    The “Iran has never declared war on anyone before” argument

    This is true, but changing just a few of the words to “never attacked anyone before” of course changes the answer if you think Iran had a hand in the Beirut barracks bombing or the blowing up of the Argentine Jewish Centre, (I don’t know if it did, if I am honest). The dogma the Iranian leadership seeks to preserve of “West is evil, the Islamic Republic is right about everything” is not unlike the Animal Farm slogan of four legs good, two legs bad. The Iranian leadership does not have a very nuanced understanding of the world outside Iran (except on how to annoy the West to maximum effect with minimal effort and how to play on differences between the allies: they are very smart at that, and that is why I think they are likely to test our willingness to use force.

    And it is true that Iranians have justifiable grievances against the West (I think I’ve already dealt with Mossadegh and Anglo-Persian oil) but a particularly bad one was the shooting down of an Iranian airliner full of pilgrims flying over a US warship in the Persian Gulf a long time ago. I haven’t followed that story nor the one about all the Iranian assets belonging to the Shah’s regime that are still in the West. All these problems are probably still unresolved.

    I am not that stupid to think Iran will attack Israel or the West on the basis of the unresolved business outstanding that needs to be sorted out – the Iranian leadership seems too clever for that (even though its quality of decision making on the economy is abominable: scarce resources used to chase transfer payments e.g. access to dollars at a privileged exchange rate, manipulated business environment to favour businesses which are connected to the regime (I sometimes think of Khamenei as a CEO with a sideline in religion), regressive “taxation” (food price inflation) of the poor to pay for nuclear grandstanding and impressing the Arab man in the street) but I do think their strategy is to use their wealth to cause us the maximum of problems for the least cost – and getting to be one screw turn away from having a nuclear bomb fits in with that strategy – at a later date when they are stronger (when they decide to make the final screw-turn?), they would want a permanent seat on the UN security council (Shia under representation + possession of nuclear bomb would be the reasons: reasons which are hard to object to?), they would seek to destroy the economic viability of Israel (not something of concern to me personally but it just seems unfair on a common sense basis) (Avner Cohen in a debate with Karim Sadjadpour strongly denied this was Israel’s fear, which only makes me think this is what Israel really does fear) and I presume Iran would, as it gets stronger, use its malign influence elsewhere against us. Are these fears justified? No, precisely because we have got them in check with the sanctions for now. Didn’t chess originate in Iran? It feels like we are playing chess with them. Anyway, I don’t expect I’ve converted anyone to my views (not academic enough evidence presented). However, if you think the Iranian leadership likes having its dogma de-constructed and all its contradictions exposed (e.g. temporary marriages to cover up prostitution? Torturing Sattar Beheshti, a blogger, to death to maintain obedience to the religion to give everyone a better after-life?) by Western leaders and that Iran is not going to hit back for showing it insufficient respect, you’ve got to be kidding: they are itching to hurt us any way they can. They are a proud people with much more history than we have, and their culture deserves a lot of respect, but the leadership’s dogma: it deserves none. Just my view.

    P.S. For an example of how hard it is to de-construct the sort of garbage they can come out with some times, try explaining to an Iranian why any pop group of your choice didn’t make their music to undermine Iranian youth. You can tell them the Bee Gees wouldn’t have had Iranian youth on their minds when they made their songs, but short of hours of explaining lots of things about Western culture it is hard to convince them. I remember struggling with that one.

  139. I like the attribution there Arbed. Thank goodness there were subtitles as I could not hear what he was saying. I guess he did not know he was being filmed.

    Uploaded on 19 Mar 2011
    This video was removed by the Cambridge Union Society and the total cunt known as Sir Richard Dearlove from the Love Police channel because it violated their copyright (or should I say copyspite).

    COPYRIGHT NOTE: I claim Fair Use under US and UK law for the Journalistic reporting of current news events. Any copyright in the verbal/visible content issued by the asshole scumbag known as Sir Richard Dearlove or by Cambridge Union Society is hereby grudgingly credited to them. Big thanks to the Love Police for actually creating the audio/visual content. Any DMCA bullshit from the Union or Dearlove should be treated with contempt, legal action may be taken if they choose to use the DMCA mechanism fraudulently and we will have some fun at court and with the media.

    and this comment

    saagua1953 1 year ago
    Imagine Dearlove being Master of Pembroke! The SHAME for Cambridge U of that. When I discovered this just yesterday, I immediately revoked the large bequest to Cambridge in my will. I would not give a penny to a place where Dearlove is in an important position.

    ~~~~
    From all appearances, he dines well!

  140. After this Cock up in Vienna in 2000, nobody in the US can possibly claim to be innocent.

    Thing is, Iran did not take the bait and yes, they did discover that the blueprint had some false connection in it. But they handed it back, to the UN I believe.
    http://cryptome.org/0001/cia-merlin.htm

    Doug’s reply to Karimova’s R.F. sounds about right. John Bolton’s Yale education makes him only more dangerous than others, arguably his worst trait is his Lutheran fundamentalism, he is not one to bare the other cheek, indeed as Tony Benn so rightly pointed out, he, despite being trained as a soldiers, ‘did not want to die in a Vietnam rice paddy’, he’s all mouth and agitation, but when it comes down to it, he bottles out, a draft dodger and manipulator.

    John Bolton ought to realise that it is the US who has used nuclear weapons in anger and has developed many more, it tested more devices than any other country.

    It is also the US who uses nuclear proliferation, or WMD’s as an argument, a lever to create chaotic division and control over resources, neocon neo-colonialism for what others own.

    Mali is the latest victim, an unstable country under a junta, with arms everywhere, uranium, gold and oil, what magnetising interest we have in Mali indeed. It is also central to other key states rich and ‘threatened’ by terrorists who want nothing more than to control their own resources, by means of using a religious tool.

    For all those who like to see how much Bolton has lied to vilify Iran/Persia and is shekel’ed to false vicious slander and regular false information blow offs, against a country that has not attacked anybody for 250 years, from one warmonger to a peaceful nation.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jksonc/docs/iran-nuclear-analysis.html

    That said Iran has got some serious judicial problems, its foreign arm, namely Hezbullah are now established in their own right, as elected MP’s in Lebanon, so Iran has lost some levers, but feels obliged to not disband it. ever.

  141. Why should anyone listen to anything the US says about nuclear security when they contract out the security over their own nuclear weapons, as well as over their own civilian nuclear installations, to Israelis?

  142. To an Israeli company called Magal Security Systems, to be precise.

  143. The other good news today.

    4 hrs Hugo Chávez Frías‏@chavezcandanga

    Sigo aferrado a Cristo y confiado en mis médicos y enfermeras. Hasta la victoria siempre!! Viviremos y venceremos!!!

    4 hrsHugo Chávez Frías‏@chavezcandanga

    Gracias a Fidel, a Raúl y a toda Cuba!! Gracias a Venezuela por tanto amor!!!

    4 hrsHugo Chávez Frías‏@chavezcandanga

    Hemos llegado de nuevo a la Patria venezolana. Gracias Dios mío!! Gracias Pueblo amado!! Aquí continuaremos el tratamiento.

    https://twitter.com/chavezcandanga
    Hugo Chavez’s tweet was the first indication he had returned home.

  144. N_ In answer to your question
    Is Daniel Janner any relation to Greville?

    Daniel Janner, of 36 Essex Street, has not followed his father Greville Janner MP into the Labour party but runs the policy research team for the Society of Conservative Lawyers.
    http://www.thelawyer.com/election-97-manoeuvres-on-the-inside-track/98416.article

    Greville Janner is an arch supporter of Israel, a member of Labour Friends of Israel and uses every opportunity he can find to speak for Israel in Parliament, first as an MP and now in the Lords. In this short debate, the Israel lovers pretend to be onside for peace and love between Jew and Arab and for a two state solution! The debate is dominated by them.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2013-02-07a.423.0

    His father Sir Barnett was chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and a son in law is Amos Oz. A daughter is a Rabbi.

  145. Mary

    In relation to Diana, the last thing we need are more “debates” regarding absurd conspiracy theories.

  146. Not me guv! I am not N_

    N_
    18 Feb, 2013 – 10:05 am
    Oops, sorry – those ‘e’s went missing from Bagshawe aka Mensch’s name!

    Is Daniel Janner any relation to Greville?

    Richard Dearlove at Cambridge. LOL! Control the questions to control the answers. Dearlove is Master of Pembroke College. So the Cambridge Union won’t be debating who killed Princess Diana when he was the SIS Operations Director, then?

  147. A Q&A with John Pilger.

    Q 6. As you look forward, what do you think are the prospects for a more serious flow of critical, visionary, content to wide audiences? What steps do you think might permit and generate that either by an improved alternative media – or by a mainstream media forced to do better, even against its own purposes and logic?

    The so-called mainstream media will never contradict its own logic. It is an extension of established authority; it is not, as Edmund Burke wanted us to believe: a “fourth estate”. But it’s not monolithic. I have worked all my career in the mainstream. I’ve done this by expending a huge amount of energy in maintaining my place, and fighting my corner. It has been often and literally a struggle, but in time I learned to navigate through and sometimes around institutions. Learning to navigate is critical for young, principled journalists.

    What we need urgently is a “fifth estate” that challenges the autocracy of the corporate media, that includes and gives voice to the public, that mounts an invasion of institutions — TV, newspapers, media colleges — calling on journalists and their teachers to drop their defensiveness and promoting another way of seeing and working. In practical terms, we should be working to create publicly funded organisations that provide seed money to new, independent journalistic ventures. This has enjoyed success in Scandinavia.

    and 9 and 10

    9. Again, looking forward, how do you think we might do better, in the period ahead?

    If by “we” you mean ordinary people, we have no choice but to keep standing up, to keep informing others and organising, and not to allow a mutated “popular culture” or hi-jacked issues of “identity” and “self” deflect us into believe that consumerist lifestyle is real change.

    10. What would international relations be like, say fifty years in the future – not country by country but in terms of general relationships – if it was as it ought to be?

    Mike, I’m not and have never been a futurist. I predict badly; however, I’m confident that if we remain silent while the US war state, now rampant, continues on its bloody path, we bequeath to our children and grandchildren a world with an apocalyptic climate, broken dreams of a better life for all and, as the unlamented General Petraeus put it, a state of “perpetual war”. Do we accept that or do we fight back?
    ~~~

    Hear! Hear!

    http://www.zcommunications.org/the-view-from-the-ground-by-john-pilger

  148. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    18 Feb, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    @Doug SCorgie

    “People in Iran suffer terrible interference in their lives from higher up officialdom.” [Examples pleas]

    80 coffee shops closed down in one district of Teheran in one weekend

    “They really have to mind their Ps and Qs, [sic] otherwise you end up being tortured in Evin” Examples please]

    Mrs Sotoudeh (Shirin Ebadi’s lawyer). Also the Iranian lawyer who fled to Norway who defended the lady sentenced to death by stoning. Sattar Behesti (blue collar worker who criticised Khamenei on his blog) tortured to death. The new finger chopping machine certainly inteferes with thieves ability to rehabilitate and earn a living honestly.

    ”A lot of the hangings are not for what the sentence was that was passed.”[sic] [Examples please]

    I have no evidence on this, but the number of hangings for drugs is suspiciously large. A country which does not follow due process, which has suspiciously fast trials, which does not always grant access to lawyers, which does not inform the embassy of the country of the arrested person and which imprisons lawyers who do their job too well of defending dissident clients is unlikely to be too fussed about hanging people on false charges. One technique they use is to make charges very vague. A disturbing hanging was the case of the Dutch Iranian national who took part in the Green protests. She was hanged for cocaine possession: why would a Dutch person want to take a South American drug to Iran? It seems a bit odd. The Dutch embassy was not kept informed. Then there was the case of the Canadian Iranian photographer who died from torture in prison. The Iranians do not recognise dual nationality. I think it reasonable to assume they are not too fussed how they get rid of awkward people. Hanging people for drugs may dull some Western people’s scepticism? You may also recall the quasi judicial proceedings in London last year to look into the tens of thousands of executions in the 90s.

    “The courts are not independent:” [justify that comment]
    “…quite similar to Uzbekistan in that respect…”[again justify that statement]

    One of the Larijani brothers is in charge of the judiciary. I think that says a great deal.

    ”…and of course both countries take hostages to advance their demands.”[Examples please]

    Shane Bauer etc (The 3 American hitch-hikers). Mr Levinson is still a hostage (the American who disappeared on Kish Island). The British sailors.

    “Iran can’t even obey the Vienna Convention on Diplomats let alone be trusted on anything else.” [Vienna Convention references please].

    1979 Commercial Section of the British Embassy attacked.
    1979 Seizure of the US embassy
    2012 Attack on British embassy
    There was also a Russian poet/ambassador killed in the 19th century (but perhaps that was before the Vienna Convention on Diplomats?)

  149. “Daniel Janner, of 36 Essex Street, has not followed his father Greville Janner MP into the Labour party”

    He did at first. He was Labour candidate for Bosworth in the 1983 general election.

  150. My typing is so bad these days, I just got Daniel Jammer up. He is a German born Israeli multi millionaire who was swindled by the high flying Mr Levene!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9576105/Doting-wife-loses-everything-after-acting-as-perfect-hostess-for-fraudster-Nicholas-Beano-Levene.html

    ~~~~
    Daniel Janner has also been a Tory donor influenced by his friendship with Gove.
    http://website.thejc.com/home.aspx?AId=52045&ATypeId=1&search=true2&srchstr=+%2BDANIEL+%2BJANNER+&srchtxt=0&srchhead=1&srchauthor=0&srchsandp=0&scsrch=0

  151. @ Arbed – thank for the link to the Dearlove video, which I have just watched.

    I was quite taken aback by Dearlove’s apparent stupidity. Since one market for such a speech at the Cambridge Union (albeit only one of several) is future senior SIS officers, it comes across that SIS want people who are clever, but not too clever, and above all, people who are of the right sort and feel a hatred of a very ‘superior’ sort towards those who spill the beans and rock the boats of the privileged. I mean how else can we read his oh-so-urbane venomous spew of adjectives aimed at Assange – “unwise”, “undignified”, “idiotic”? Tell us, Mr Master of Pembroke, what’s your argument there? And of course, Assange’s activities have not been “in the public interest”. As if exposing war criminals isn’t always in the general interest. As if Dearlove isn’t himself a war criminal who ought to be in the dock at the Hague. Can’t he meet his opponents’ arguments? What an arrogant pillock.

    He also tells his young audience that people have got to be stupid to think the Swedish government can be susceptible. Such people don’t “understand” how “government relations” work. What a comedian! Does he tell that to talent-spotters at Cambridge or Oxford, when they’re looking at the personal files of possible state-sector recruitment fodder from Sweden or elsewhere? Does he say ‘Yes, you’re right, that chap probably will be in the top 5 in the Swedish state within 10 years, but don’t cultivate him, because that isn’t how government relations work?’ :)

    And the head of the CIA’s London station sits on the UK Joint Intelligence Committee…and hundreds of British servicemen and women have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, countries with regimes which were no threat whatsoever to Britain. Dearlove knows that! He was one of the filthy creeps who helped push the lie that they were a threat.

    But of course…no government is ever subject to outside influence… Have I got that right? Do I get 10 out of 10 for not being “stupid”, Mr Dearlove?

    As for Princess Diana…never mind the line ‘don’t think about that, because there are so many theories’. Cars don’t disappear into thin air in one of the most surveilled areas in the world. Nor do people with huge levels of carbon monoxide poisoning appear unaffected on video footage. That Princess Diana was murdered is obvious…oh no, look out, Daniel, some of those ‘conspiracy theories’ are swooping down to get you…best warn people about them! :)

  152. Jonangus Mackay

    18 Feb, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Lest we forget. Greville Janner MP, QC was subject of extremely grave allegations in a notorious Midlands court case widely enough reported in 1991. No obvious impediment to his being made Lord Janner in 1997. Confess myself as baffled into cynicism now as I was then. Google’s topmost & detailed link on the topic suffers a loony surfeit of capitals: http://is.gd/iGONsQ

  153. Who funds Femen? Jed Sunden is one name.

    Their activity is inscribed into conflicts involving Russian Orthodoxy in Russia (see Boris Berezovsky), Orthodoxy outside of Russia, including in the Ukraine and Turkey, and also the Roman Catholicism and divisions therein, in both western Europe and, through gay marriage, the United States.

    That’s quite a punch.

    Presbyterians, you’re next! (Joke!)

    They seem to get their visas sorted out very quickly. I wonder how long it would take most other Ukrainians to get themselves to Notre Dame in Paris if they, oh, if they wanted to take their tops off for the cameras because a pope had announced his abdication, or something like that.

    Have Femen done anything against any other religions than Christianity (which seems to be their favourite target) and occasionally Islam (with such slogans as “Muslim women, let’s get naked”, which doesn’t exactly strike me as a ‘liberatory’ slogan of solidarity with their ‘sisters’).

  154. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 4:22 pm

    I’d heard he was running, but didn’t know it was part of his strategy….

    “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regards his bid to become an Australian senator as a defense against potential criminal prosecution in the United States and Britain, a news website reported on Monday.

    Assange spoke to The Conversation website at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he was granted asylum in June to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

    If he wins a Senate seat at elections on Sept. 24, Assange told the website that the U.S. Department of Justice would drop its espionage investigation rather than risk a diplomatic row.

    The British government would follow suit, otherwise “the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still,”Assange told the website.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/report-assange-sees-legal-defense-politics-18526280

  155. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    In light of an ailing Chavez, Correa is emerging as the dominant voice. I fear for him and his people.

    “”In this revolution the citizens are in charge, not capital,” the leftist U.S.-trained economist said after winning 56.9 percent of the vote Sunday against 23.8 percent for his closest challenger, longtime banker Guillermo Lasso.”

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/18/17002500-ecuadors-triumphant-correa-vows-to-deepen-citizens-revolution-following-landslide?lite

    Traditional Capitalism, which holds a gun to our heads, is dying just as the failed Soviet experiment.

    We visited Grand Canyon last week. Theodore Roosevelt is not your typical Republican. Thanks to his efforts, this indescribably awesome venue was saved from commercialism in the early 20th century, and thrives with over a million visitors every year. Where has the long-term vision gone?

  156. “Shane Bauer etc (The 3 American hitch-hikers). Mr Levinson is still a hostage (the American who disappeared on Kish Island). The British sailors.”

    But there is no evidence that Mr Levinson is in Iran, there is evidence he isn’t. The Americans who strayed onto Iranian territory seem to have faired a lot better than many inmates of Guantanamo who were plucked out of their own countries by America and taken there.

    As for the British sailors who went into Iranian territorial waters, I’d hardly call being kept in a hotel for a few days being held hostage.

    In each case they went into Iranian territory, not like those from Afhanistan and Pakistan who have been kidnapped by America and held without trial for years, including four Iranians. There was no illegal rendition involved.

    As for the rest you seem overly occupied by the internal matters of Iran. As how repulsive and unnatural we in the west might find them they are a matter for the Iranians. You will notice that when I criticise America it is for the things they do to other countries.

  157. doug scorgie

    18 Feb, 2013 - 5:12 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)
    18 Feb, 2013 – 12:43 am

    You say:

    “…hey Dougie, you recently accused me of having an agenda. I asked you to tell me what you thought it was. Of course you remained silent.”

    Yes I think you do have an agenda which is to disrupt this blog with your nit-picking and childish abuse of other posters.

    You don’t address the issues, which are discussed in this blog, in an intellectual and logical manner. Possibly, because you are right-wing and as such have an aversion to the truth, you rely on spin and fiction.

    Then you say:

    “…have you got off your backside yet and found the passages in those political memoirs and accounts referring to the use of behavorial pyschologists [sic] by political parties?”

    You are the one that first referred to the existence of such books but you refuse to name them. Why should I waste my time searching for books that don’t exist?

    If they did exist you would be shouting from the rooftops that you were right and I was wrong. I suspect your refusal to name the books in really a delaying tactic while you search yourself for a book that might back you up. It’s taking you a long time.

  158. @Ben Franklin

    And Yellowstone National Park – glorious. Get a copy of the 4 part BBC doco – excellent.

  159. HATE SPEECH AND NEWSPEAK

    Off topic by me, as usual.

    A news report tonight announced that Dutch MP Geert Wilders is coming to Australia after having been banned from entry previously. This announcement comes only days after an Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, was banned from entry into Malaysia, ostensibly for security reasons but widely reported as a restriction on his participation in discussions related to democracy in the country. The deportation of Xenophon has been roundly, and rightfully, condemned having brought into question the commitment of Malaysia’s government to transparency and genuine democracy. What is the difference between Australia banning Wilders and Malaysia banning Xenophon? Very little. Both men seek to stimulate discussion among ordinary people about important ideas that affect our ways of life and the above governments want to prevent those discussions from taking place.

    Wilders’ impending visit is being protested here and the focus of objections is on the subject matter of his speaking engagements – his warning that immigration of muslims brings a certain risk of growing Islamic domination with attendant problems. His criticism of both Islam and the behaviour of some muslims has been described as so-called “hate-speech”.

    The news report I watched showed a group of protesters with one of them saying that “hate-speech is not free-speech”. This caused me to question whether criticism of anything can be regarded as “hate-speech” and therefore disqualified from legal provisions and community attitudes that traditionally defend free speech. In otherwords, whether criticism can be selectively outlawed.

    I found the below pdf document by Benjamin Bull that seemed to connect this contemporary move to enact “hate-speech” legislation with the concept of “Newspeak” as depicted in George Orwell’s novel, 1984. This got me thinking about the relationship between language, thinking and ideas, and about the strategic manipulation of language to advance the political agendas of different segments of society. There can be no doubt that ideas and attitudes are embedded in a language and that a language influences the way we think by providing us with a symbolic framework that allows us to construct complex ideas. These ideas are often at odds with each other and competing in a process of discussion, argument and *criticism*. Without *criticism*, discussion is reduced to a banal exchange of pleasantries.

    We engage in a hell of a lot of “hate-speech” on Craig’s blog with ongoing battles that openly antagonise, *criticise*, insult and smear various commentators. To his credit, Craig has resisted occasional requests to gag some commentators who take advantage of the liberal environment that he has provided for our collective benefit. As a result of Craig’s refusal to ban “hate-speech” (apart from cunning attempts to introduce an anti-semitic tone to the blog in order to discredit it), we enjoy a level of “free speech” here that we cannot enjoy on any other popularly read website anywhere else and in the process are able to develop our understanding of big picture issues. 

    But free speech, as we know it here, is now very much under threat from certain members of society who frequently purport to knowing what is best for humanity. This politically active and well connected alliance invented the Newspeak term “hate-speech” to selectively replace the once reputable and intellectually useful word “criticism” in order to establish a form of logic that equates criticism with social unrest and thereby a justification to introduce laws that stifle public discussion. I don’t think that’s right. In fact, I know it to be wrong.

    I personally don’t need Geert Wilder to inform me of the socio-political implications of muslim immigration. But others might. I despair at the puzzling ignorance and emotional reactions of otherwise intelligent and educated people whenever *criticism* is made of an ideology to which they are not subscribers. And then the hypocrisy they display when they spew genuine hatred for supporters of certain political ideas.

    Let’s keep speech free.

    -  -  -

    Orwell, Newspeak, Christianity, Homosexuality, Islam, Geert Wilders
    http://congresomundial.es/wp-content/uploads/Benjamin-Bull-hate-speech.pdf

    Wilders might be prosecuted for hate speech in Australia -
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/protests-likely-as-controversial-dutch-mp-geert-wilders-changes-venue/story-fnat79vb-1226580212001

    Australian Senator banned from entry into Malaysia - 
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-17/xenophon-home-after-malaysia-deportation/4523506

    Transcript of Wilders’ interview with ABC Lateline’s Tony Jones (who misdescribed Indonesia)
    http://www.geertwilders.nl/index.php/in-english-mainmenu-98/in-the-press-mainmenu-101/77-in-the-press/1821-geert-wilders-interview-at-abc-lateline-australia

    A new way of speaking for a new way of thinking - 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

  160. Mary,

    I think, having watched the video, it is very likely Dearlove knows not only that he is being filmed but also exactly where the covert camera is. If you watch it closely enough there are enough clues. And no I’m not a spook last time I checked :-)

    I could guess further that he knew that the lady handing out leaflets at the beginning (and who asked the question at the end) was connected to those filming. Heck he probably even knows their names. The mysterious 5 minute delay mentioned at the start might even be connected but that’s a guess. I’d put money on him knowing where the camera was though. Not too much money perhaps but I think it would be worth a tenner.

  161. Ben Franklin: The Grand Canyon is the one place that quite literally took my breathe away – it left me gasping for air upon seeing it for the first time. The scale of it takes a few moments to take in – you look at it, and think you’ve understood the size of it. Then you realise it actually goes on a lot further than first thought… then realise it goes much, much further still.

    Did you make it down to the river? Heck of a walk, that. Did it with a gallon of water in each hand, didn’t want to take any chances.

    As Jemand said, Yellowstone is also a spectacular place to visit.

  162. @ N_ 10.16 am.

    See text – ‘D.435′ -

    ‘Norway’s Terror as Systemic Destabilization: Breivik, the Arms-for-Drugs Milieu, and Global Shadow Elites,’ by Peter Dale Scott, 22nd August, 2012 – Japan Focus -

    - http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3590

    It is actually linked from Peter Dale Scott’s politics page – the second ‘Breivik’ link – ‘D.435.’ The first is audio – ‘A.66.’

    A man who identifies his links by code number. Now there’s a dedicated information warrior!

    Peter Dale Scott –

    - http://www.peterdalescott.net/q.html

  163. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Glenn; Haven’t seen you in a while. No, didn’t make it down to the River. My partner and I both have bad knees, but will return for the Mule trip. Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico) is next on our game plan. I last saw Yellowstone in 1967. It’s on our bucket list. Have you been to Yosemite?
    It also rocks. Each venue needs to be visited for a week, to be sure you see everything.

    The National Park system is truly a gift for everyone, but try to stay away in the summer. It’s like putting several dozen kidneys in just one pie.

    Jemand; Thanks for the BBC tip.

  164. Anon @ 6.59pm

    And he and his lot know who we are and where we live in all probability.

    ~~~~

    I read this the other day about Google planning to cut funding to illegal download sites in collaboration with Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/9875339/Google-looks-to-cut-funds-to-illegal-sites.htmle

    You remember that donations to Wikileaks were stopped in the same way.

  165. Ben: Good to see you again too. Carlsbad Caverns was also pretty spectacular! There’s a campsite next to it which was a bit grim and unfriendly, but the caverns themselves are unbelievable.

    Yes – been to Yosemite several times. It might be best to see it in mid to late Spring, actually – the snow has really started to melt by then, so the waterfalls are at their best.

    Good thing that gun-grabbing communist Muslim O’Bomber has allowed everyone the freedom to take their guns into the National Parks now, eh? So these days, when you encounter a AK-47 wielding crazed jihadist coming you in these parks, all you have to do is tell the wife & kids to duck, pull out your shooting-iron, and open fire.

  166. LastBlueBell

    18 Feb, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    @Jemand 6:23pm

    Interesting post. Just one thing that struk me when reading through your thoughts, is in regard to the apparent decline in violence, and the continous expansion of what we define as “violence”, that Steven Pinker argues for in his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature”.

    My point of connection,

    That many people today appear not to be able to differentiate an attack on an argument from an attack on the individual, and therefore view such criticism as violence against persons,

    and by that categorisation, lets the same strong underlying moral processes that has so successfully reduced the latter, to bear on the former.

    Not to in any way deny the existence, or the damages caused by the wast amounts of direct, or thinly veiled personal attacks that exist everywhere on the internet, not least on this blog.

    But in doing so, two powerfull societal forces or concepts are put in a percived direct conflict with each other, and I am wondering it this is not one of the levers used to justify encroachment into the critical foundation of “free” speech.

  167. Mary,

    For all I know you’re “retired” MI5, Craig is deep cover and I’m Oliver North and barking mad. All I can say is that cunning linguist Habbabkuk had better watch out!

    You have to laugh sometimes I try to remind myself.

  168. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    Glenn; Are you in the US? Yes, spring is good at Yosemite. Unfortunately we are waiting for the Hanta viral rodents to dissipate. We try to schedule a little later than Spring because of the Strawberry Music Festival which occurs twice per year. September is the best bet as the May event sometimes gets the outdoor fete some inconvenient rain. If you haven’t been to Washington State, the San Juan Islands and Deception Pass are must-sees.

  169. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Feb, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    BTW, Glenn; On your gun thing, just an aside; We took the Grand Canyon Express from Williams, AZ, and I highly recommend. The entire state is an ‘open-carry’ and it’s funny to see ‘No Firearms’ signs outside the local pubs. Heh.

  170. Has anyone posted this by John Keane who visited Julian Assange? It is a kind and sympathetic portrayal of Julian and so vividly written, you feel you were alongside.

    http://theconversation.edu.au/lunch-and-dinner-with-julian-assange-in-prison-12234

    John Keane – http://johnkeane.net/

  171. “Good thing that gun-grabbing communist Muslim O’Bomber has allowed everyone the freedom to take their guns into the National Parks now, eh? So these days, when you encounter a AK-47 wielding crazed jihadist coming you in these parks, all you have to do is tell the wife & kids to duck, pull out your shooting-iron, and open fire.”

    Ranger Ned – So let me get this straight. The bear came after you?

    Visitor – Yes.

    Ranger Ned – And you shot him from over 300 yards away with a fully automatic military assault rifle?

    Visitor – I told you, I have a bad leg.

    Ranger Ned – And those two dead hitchikers in the back of your pickup? They came after you as well, I suppose.

    Visitor – I also have asthma. They were joggers. Yes, they came after me. They can run fast, you know.

    Ranger Ned – So you shot both of them?

    Visitor – No, I hit one in my F150 and shot the ninja.

    Ranger Ned – You mean you shot the woman in the black hijab. And ran over the old guy with the blue t-shirt.

    Visitor – Is that what ninjas call it? Yeah. She was waving her arms frantically like in those kung fu ninja movies. It was terrifying. And the guy was wearing a shirt with “I’m a Terrorist with a Large Bomb”. Terrifying.

    Ranger Ned – Actually, it says “I’m a Tourist with a Large Bum”. We sell those and other amusing items at the park giftshop.

    Visitor – It must have been his accent. Look, I told you I have asthma, it affects my hearing.

    Ranger Ned – Ok. Well, I’m going to overlook the bear and the dead hitchikers. But I’m going to have to infringe you for putting holes in my 4WD.

    Visitor – Sorry. I thought you were LAPD.

  172. @Lastbluebell 8.05p

    “.. That many people today appear not to be able to differentiate an attack on an argument from an attack on the individual, and therefore view such criticism as violence against persons,
    and by that categorisation, lets the same strong underlying moral processes that has so successfully reduced the latter, to bear on the former.”

    - – -

    I would describe it differently. True, people are so emotional and irrational that they confuse an attack on an idea with an attack on the person expressing that idea. Geert Wilders makes the distinction clear, as do I – not that anyone usually wants to acknowledge that. But interpreting speech against an ideology as violence is taking it too far. Certainly, people make these kinds of interpretations but they’re obviously overreacting maybe even deliberately to justify an escalation and resort to actual violence in defence of their ideology. I don’t know about the claimed decline in violence you alluded to by that author. I think violence is like global warming or cooling. It goes up here, it goes down there and overall it is either up or down depending on the methodologies with which you measure it.

  173. Just read John Keane’s write up of his interview of Julian Assange: “Lunch and dinner with Julian Assange, in prison” published today:

    http://theconversation.edu.au/lunch-and-dinner-with-julian-assange-in-prison-12234

    Keane is the professor of politics at Sydney University. It is very well written and presents a vivid image of the current state of mind of Assange. Essential reading.

  174. Vronsky,

    thanks for an interesting link. I am looking forward to the verdict. Please keep us informed about any future developments. Amusing, how the establishment gets cought in the web of its own laws.

    Craig,

    why to bother about the fake applause to Bolton? A fake like him does not deserve anything else than a fake applause. Hence, everything is as it should be. I suspect that even Boltons moustache is something he has just glued on .

  175. Karel, i suspect the Point being that, Bolton gets enhanced Fake support ( applause ) = Julian. A, is all but silenced, = the organized protest of Julian A, compared to No visible protest of Bolton

    a wee bit of the difference between War mongers, and supporters of peace/human rights. That surly is important pionts for Craig to have made

  176. to N-
    as a counterweight to the infamous Femen gang, it may surpise you that only last week, I founded a new movement called the “Semen”. Its main purpose is to spray everything sacred and everybody holding a public office with a hot ejaculate. New members are wellcome but the admission criteria are very strict. You have to hit a keyhole (the classical one normally used by peeping Toms)from the distance of two meters and a trace of the sperm has to be visible on the other side of your door. Please have a try in the privacy of your own home and very soon you will discover how difficult it is. Any donations, to be used for a good purpose, are wellcome.

  177. BrianFujisan,

    that is life Brian, that is life. I have been through all that at various conferences and my pulse no longer quickens when exposed to this kind of manipulation. Not such a long time ago there was quite a respectable profession in France called “les claqueurs”. These misers, stategially seated in a theatre or a concert hall, were payed to start applauding whenever their chief gave them a signal (dropping a newspaper or a handkerchief). perhaps OU is a carrier of this proud tradition of claqueurs.

    To be honest it is the OU that decides who is a war criminal and who is a decent man.

  178. BrianFujisan,
    having read you “explanation” again, I have the impression, but would like to be assured that I am entirely wrong, that you are trying to teach me logic. Very commendable, Brian and a really good try but I wish you used the correct symbols.

  179. BrianFujisan

    19 Feb, 2013 - 1:26 am

    A certain amount of logic could be useful if applied with human conscience…Those pesky Vulcans, but it does seem to be the case, that no humans with a conscience rule Anymore.

    I don’t quite agree that Bolton deserves ANY applause Fake or Not. And it certainly is not as it should be..(fabricated )

    I respect that you have done battle at various conference’s Karel..Its a shame how they work to Weaken our pulse, and wear good souls like you, and Craig down, But Please don’t lose heart on it all

  180. @Ben: No longer in the US, mate. Did visit Washington State though, but may I recommend the Arches National Park? It has an outstanding collection of natural structures, almost unbelievable to see. It is in Utah though, I warn you. Not that they’re bad people there, but it’s kind of tough to get a drink. (Your best bet is to crash a private members’ bar, and with any luck someone there will sign you in as their personal guest. Buy them a couple of rounds, and everyone’s happy.) Bryce Canyon is also surpassing in natural beauty if you’re in Utah. All in all, it’s one of the most incredible states.

  181. No irony whatsoever. The Mons Hall at the Royal Military Academy has been refurbished using a £3m donation from Bahrain and will be renamed the King Hamad Hall in a ceremony which Hamad will attend. How can this country sink any lower as they grovel to these oil rich dictators?

    http://rt.com/news/sandhurst-mons-rename-bahrain-457/

    In the same report – The military academy, located in Surrey also received a £15-million donation from the United Arab Emirates to build an accommodation block, which will be named after the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

    ~~~
    In a link on the same page, there is another report of more oppression in Bahrain.

    17.02, 06:22
    Bahrain police disperse funeral procession with tear gas, stun grenades (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

    Violent clashes broke out in Bahrain at the funeral of a teenager killed in protests marking the anniversary of the revolt of the Shiite majority against the ruling monarchy. The procession was blocked and dispersed with stun grenades and tear gas.
    http://rt.com/news/bahrain-funeral-procession-clashes-398/

  182. Wee Willy Walsh probably wishes he had not merged BA with Iberia as a week long strike by Iberia workers begins in Spain where the unemployment rate is 26%, The Iberia workers are threatened with 3800 job cuts. There were violent scenes at Madrid airport ysterday.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/18/us-iberia-strike-idUSBRE91H0H620130218

  183. “Sorry. I thought you were LAPD.”

    Not so far fetched. I was in Malta a few years ago, where shooting the migrating birds which pass over the island is a popular pastime. One intrepid hunter shot an approaching policeman. His defence? He thought it was a tourist.

  184. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    19 Feb, 2013 - 9:06 am

    @Fred

    “A Capitalist democracy in which their oil belongs to us you mean.”

    No, I think it should be

    “A financially sound Capitalist democracy mostly funded by its own oil revenues”.

    As an alternative to the existing regime and its basket case economy, that sounds a lot better. Biden’s offer of direct talks with Khamenei’s representatives shows the USA is willing to work with the current regime (even if privately they want to be rid of it).
    You statement cleverly suggests theft and therefore that the West has immoral reasons for using force against Iran. The truth is that the West prefers to deprive the current regime of that oil revenue source and give it (no theft) to a different Iranian regime who won’t spend it on

    expanding the Iranian space program (a way to master intercontinental missile technology, useful for delivering nuclear warheads);

    developing Iranian nuclear powered submarines (the fuel needs to be enriched to 90% for that, which is similar to the level required for a nuclear bomb – this technology permits Iran to launch submarine patrols off the coast of the USA);

    funding Hezbollah and Bashar Al-Assad;

    buying UN votes from small countries to frustrate or insult the “hegemons”;

    funding terrorism (although the West/Israel or possibly MEK has presumably killed Iranian nuclear personnel);

    funding transfer of nuclear technology to any fruit cake with a grudge against the USA.

    John Bolton has been correct for years in predicting every set of talks with Iran involving the P5 + 1 will fail. The talks in Kazakhstan will fail too, just like the IAEA talks in Teheran last week did. The insults (not from you, Fred) about Bolton’s appearance simply show how challenged you all are to deal with his arguments. I didn’t know Bolton went to Yale. He has gone up massively in my estimation, just knowing that fact. The issue of the applause was maybe just done as a sign of respect. I doubt if a guy as smart as that needs to only agree to be filmed on condition applause is added.

    “Why would they want to be like us when the system they have results in a lot less people getting killed?”

    Fred, any change of Government in Iran is likely to be bloody, whether it is initiated by Iranians themselves or whether it occurs as a result of a surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Because of the internal tensions in Iran, the moment any regime there cannot enforce order, all hell will break loose. Blaming that on the USA is unfair. The system they have in Iran results in less people being killed because people are too frightened to take revenge for all the injustices the system is creating. As soon as the fear is gone, unless the whole nation is given prompt psychiatric treatment to cope with what they have been through, they are likely to self-administer their own psychiatric treatment (obtain relief by settling old scores). Prof. Abbas Milani in one of his books says tenure of property and land has never been secure in Iran (going back to the Qajar dynasty?): the State can remove your rights any time it feels like it – indeed protesters in the Green movement have been silenced by having to put up their properties as a sort of bail condition: if they demonstrate again, they lose it.

    The J curve effect where order breaks down initially as a society attempts to become more democratic can be read about in Wikipedia. Iran is no exception. People on the far left of politics maybe like to ignore this and blame a lot of the deaths by violence of Iraqis on Iraqis on the allied invasion.

    The logic of your argument is Iran must not change because the death cost is too high. We shouldn’t have declared war on Nazi Germany because with hindsight the death cost was high. The death cost in the Iranian Revolution (I have no idea what the figures were despite being there) was probably quite low simply because the Shah was quite a nice man (he had his faults too, and he had cancer, and he had to suffer criticism from the West too perhaps ensured he gave in easily like Mubarak did). The dictatorial regimes that are allies of America usually do give in more easily. Iran isn’t so the bloodshed will be terrible.

  185. Life, or actually death, as it exists in a failed capitalist economy like all the others in the Western world.

    ‘Spanish woman set self afire at bank’
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/02/19/289703/spanish-woman-set-self-afire-at-bank/

    That report brought to us by Press TV, the Iranian news channel, whose broadcasts have been shut down by the very democratic, NOT, Western powers. Thankfully we can still access it online, for the time being that is.

  186. @Ben carlsbad caverns are massive and awesome, I have visited them and the bats living in them are something to behold of, like they all want to fly off together and come in together, hundreds of thousands.

    Whilst down that end, have a slope down the levy for some tex-Mex folk music, but take good care, its right next to the border and can get a bit leady.

    Agree with both of you, Grand Canyon is breath taking, did not go down to the Colorado river, we were on the fear and loathing trail to Vegas. Las Vegas, ‘the meadows’, the only thing green is watered and manicured grass, it has got to be the most unsustainable City in the world.

  187. …..whether it occurs as a result of a surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear program… two posts above.

    ‘Surgical strikes’ only happen in hospital operating theatres in this country where the object is to save life or to mend or cure.

    We also prefer the English spelling of program, not the American one.

  188. doug scorgie

    19 Feb, 2013 - 9:46 am

    KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    18 Feb, 2013 – 12:37 pm

    You don’t cite any examples, you don’t give references and you don’t supply links.

    “…the regime in Iran can’t survive without invoking a common enemy…” “…That fact may be the reason why it is difficult to build trust between the two countries…”

    So it is a “fact” not your opinion then.

    “Burying vast numbers of centrifuges…”

    Considering the fact that Israel has openly threatened to bomb the nuclear processing plants, it makes sense to keep them buried don’t you think?

    “…centrifuges capable of making far more enriched uranium than is necessary to make medical isotopes…”

    Iran Is Said to Convert Enriched Uranium to Reactor Fuel

    Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is believed by Western negotiators and international inspectors to be of far lower purity than is required to make nuclear weapons. Diplomats in Vienna said on Tuesday that enriched uranium converted into reactor fuel is hard to convert into fuel for weapons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/world/middleeast/iran-converts-enriched-uranium-to-reactor-fuel-reports-say.html?_r=0

    “In a memorable interview the Swiss ambassador to Iran said on CNN when talking about what it was like to be hauled into the Foreign Ministry and shouted at, she said they don’t always tell you everything: you have to interpret things and this makes the job more interesting.”

    Again, no references or links.

    “The justification for Israel having a nuclear bomb I suppose is that they have a right to exist…”

    Doesn’t Iran have a right to exist?

    “…and if the most cost effective way of defending their small population (they can’t have a big army?) is to have a nuclear deterrent then who am I to say they shouldn’t have it…”

    Israel has an active armed force of 176,500 a reserve force of 565,000 and a paramilitary force of 8,050. That is a total of 749,550 available forces personnel.

    By contrast the United Kingdom has a total of 410,180.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel

    To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in aid mostly for weapons and military equipment. Obama has promised $3.1 billion in military aid just for this year (2013).

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

    “The fact they [Israel] are an open society (unlike Iran) and therefore are unlikely to behave irresponsibly…”

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you; Israel unlikely to behave irresponsibly?

    What about Operation Cast Lead; murder on the Mavi Marmara; political assassinations and the Samson Option?

    The “Iran has never declared war on anyone before” argument

    “This is true, but changing just a few of the words to “never attacked anyone before…”

    Why do you feel the need to change the words?

    “…of course changes the answer if you think Iran had a hand in the Beirut barracks bombing or the blowing up of the Argentine Jewish Centre, (I don’t know if it did, if I am honest).”

    If you don’t know, why mention it?

    “And it is true that Iranians have justifiable grievances against the West…the shooting down of an Iranian airliner full of pilgrims flying over a US warship in the Persian Gulf a long time ago. I haven’t followed that story nor the one about all the Iranian assets belonging to the Shah’s regime that are still in the West.”

    You admit to not knowing much about Mossadegh, you haven’t followed the story of Iran Air flight 655 or the whereabouts of Iran’s assets stolen by the late Shah and his regime. Yet you like to portray yourself as some sort of expert in Middle East affairs particularly relating to Israel and Iran.

    “…they [Iran] would seek to destroy the economic viability of Israel…”

    Isn’t that what Israel, the EU and the USA are trying to do to Iran?

    “Anyway, I don’t expect I’ve converted anyone to my views (not academic enough evidence presented).”

    I would say… no evidence provided for your views.

    You present yourself as some humble person trying to put modest opinions across and apologise for “not being academic enough.”

    I’m sure you are academic enough (if you want to be) but you are merely playing games on this blog.

  189. “The logic of your argument is Iran must not change because the death cost is too high. We shouldn’t have declared war on Nazi Germany because with hindsight the death cost was high.”

    But Germany was the aggressor, we didn’t just decide to declare war on Germany, it was a result of German imperialism, Germany invaded Poland.

    Iran isn’t imperialist, they haven’t invaded anyone, it is we in the west who are imperialist. It is we who invaded Iraq, it is we who invaded Afghanistan and it is we who have our sights set on Iran so we can start putting hotels on them.

    Iran had a democratic government, we overthrew that government and installed a dictator for no other reason than they nationalised their oil.

    Take a look at the Collateral Murder video released thanks to Wikileaks, those are American troops sent to Iraq to murder Iraqi civilians including children. Take a look at the photos from Abu Ghraib, those are American troops torturing Iraqi people in Iraq.

    It is we who are the Germany, we who have the Gestapo, we who are the aggressors.

  190. “Fred, any change of Government in Iran is likely to be bloody, whether it is initiated by Iranians themselves or whether it occurs as a result of a surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear program”

    Utter conjecture, its either this or that option. No it is not. because western interference in consecutive elections in Persia, we have seen elections that were violent. We have seen a lot of violence directed towards Irans civil nuclear programm, cowards committing drive by killings, or by laying exploding devices in highly dangerous facilities. A lot of violence from exterior sources.

    Iran is a young country, many want modernity and what we have, for that they don’t need to be toppled, diplomatic discourse will also get us there.

    Lastly there are enough sabre rattlers already distorting reality without Karimova R.F. excellent work on behalf of the western, Israel centric chaos construction club.
    ‘I’m only interested in Uzbekistan affairs’, my arse, go fool somebody else not just yourself.

  191. RevengeFantasist: “The logic of your argument is Iran must not change because the death cost is too high. We shouldn’t have declared war on Nazi Germany because with hindsight the death cost was high.(…)Iran isn’t [nice] so the bloodshed will be terrible”

    So prejudiced: falsely associating Iran with Nazi Germany, and generalising declarations of war (which seem craved on Iran here), with the example of a country which was blizkreiging its way through Europe before the grave declaration was made.

  192. @Ex Pat – many thanks for the link to Peter Dale Scott’s piece on Breivik, in text rather than audio. I’ll read it properly before maybe responding.

  193. Excellent interview with Feliz Narvaez, Ecuador’s Consul to the UK. He talks about Correa’s recent victory and of having to sleep at the embassy for two months, it not being safe to leave Assange alone there at nights due to the threat of the police and security services stationed outside:

    http://www.theprisma.co.uk/2013/02/18/fidel-narvaez-“julian-assange-and-ecuador-will-hold-out-for-as-long-as-they-need-to”/

    Takeaway quote: “He’s a pleasant person to deal with…”

    Not recognisable as the same man we hear of from our beloved mainstream press then.

    Interesting things going on over on the Why I’m Convinced Anna Ardin is a Liar thread. It seems Goran Rudling is somehow involved in Assange being refused Swedish residency back in late August 2010. The idea behind the residency application was to give Wikileaks (the appearance of) even more legal cover for its publishing activities.

    http://www.theprisma.co.uk/2013/02/18/fidel-narvaez-“julian-assange-and-ecuador-will-hold-out-for-as-long-as-they-need-to”/

    For anyone who wants to take a look.

  194. @Karel – agreed there is a funny side to Femen, but I’m not as one-handed about it as you are! :) Advertising specialists know all about using (or coining) words that conjure up associations with other words, including subliminally, so I think the association you make use of was intended.

    I find it amusing to think of them disrupting something at St Giles’s Cathedral on Princes Street in Edinburgh. The looks on some of the Church of Scotland’s elders’ faces would be priceless.

    Or how about taking the shuttle across to Glasgow and disrupting a protestant Orange Walk, wearing sashes? Be good to protest against a Republican band on the same day, though.

    Or do something outside the English freemasons’ Grand Lodge on Great Queen Street in London? I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for the money men who run Femen to realise that freemasonic exclusion of women gives them a sex-pol angle, or to devise a use of clothing to please the photo editors. Lights, aprons, action! I mean freemasons enjoy baring their own right breasts, don’t they? (Any wives of freemasons who are unaware of what their menfolk get up to with other menfolk, well I’m afraid it involves getting their nipples out…but only their right ones, mind. And their knees. Kinky sods.)

    Except…Femen isn’t fundamentally about amusement. It’s serious and very well-funded propaganda. It would be a big mistake to read their campaign as if it’s mounted by genuine people who actually believe something and want to make things better by reducing the weight of oppression. (Yes, even if Pussy Riot quote Guy Debord in their speeches in court.)

    Look at how the role of Christianity in politico-social propaganda is developing and being contested by different rackets in Russia; the flavour of their Islamophobia, which seems to express as much contempt for women brought up in Muslim cultures as for the male traditionalist bosses of those cultures; and the sheer ridiculousness of these globe-trotting stage-performing women in their early 20s, with their long blonde hair and their Hollywood-idealised body shapes, supposedly protesting about ‘phobia’ against male homos. I wonder how many people are going to change their minds about male homos by watching these young women with their knockers out?

    Big picture: they are building up the guff that posits ‘everyone doing what they want’ as the ‘alternative’ to ‘staid reactionary traditionalism’. There’s money in that. Look at the music sector. Gambling. Money-lending. Night clubs. Penny dropping? Look at how average attention span has fallen below 60 seconds. Are we with the Cambridge Footlights Revue or are we with the ‘upper class twits’? Press the red button [1] now, viewers!

    The crazy thing is… (and we should expect crazy things, because we live in crazy social conditions which are getting crazier)… as poverty increases in ‘advanced’ countries, religion is bound to strengthen here, not weaken.

    Note

    (1) This reference may be out-of-date, given that I haven’t had a TV for more than 20 years! :)

  195. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    19 Feb, 2013 - 10:56 am

    @Guano

    “The techniques of de-Islamising societies is an ancient Satanic science, not something invented yesterday by a few expired neo-cons like Bolton and Bush.”

    I don’t have the knowledge to disagree with anything you say except that I can’t find fault with anything Bolton says. I have watched lots of his interviews on Iran on Foxnews (he is a paid consultant of theirs, and is on nearly every week). Foxnews is an appallingly biased “news” channel (although I share most of the views it does). I always thought Bolton was correct on every issue to do with Iran, but of course I thought his views on Europeans were those of a – well I think you can guess. It is only after reading the posts on this blog that I realise why, so of course he has gone up even more in my estimation. It is an irony I never bother reading much on UK politics and that I have learnt a truth of sorts from Bolton about my own countrymen, one which I was ignorant about.

  196. @Mary 7.32pm Interesting how the Torygraph presents Google as if that company can decide what websites do and don’t get ‘funded’.

    Remember, folks, if you’re saying something on the internet, it’s because Google spends its valuable resources to allow you to! Be naughty and the mighty Google will take your privileges away?

    If anyone is in any doubt about Google, please try the following experiment:

    1) Browse to their web search page
    2) Think of a name. Doesn’t matter whether you use a real name or a made-up one. I’ll use “#######” below.
    3) Think of an ethnicity – ooh, say “French” or “Islamic” or whatever. I’ll use “*******” below.
    4) Search on “#######” AND “*******”.
    5) What do you see? An ordinary list of search results, right?
    6) OK, now do the same with “#######” AND “Jewish”.
    7) What do you see? Another ordinary list of results, right? Wrong! Scroll down. You should get a link at the bottom entitled “Offensive Search Results”. If for some reason you don’t, here it is. Quote: “P.S. You may be interested in some additional information the Anti-Defamation League has posted about this issue”

  197. Not only was it fake applause but the actual backdrop to the speech by Julian Assange was not what had been agreed. It had been agreed to use the ‘collateral murder’ footage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1r7-ralebI

  198. @KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    So you can’t fault anything Bolton says, and you’ve watched him on the TV a lot, and now he’s gone up further in your estimation, and he’s taught you something about your British countrymen.

    Well what is it? Work on crafting and expressing it, have a read through before posting, just to check that you’re saying what you really think, and to be satisfied that you’re saying what you want to say as clearly as you can, getting to the heart of the issue or issues that you believe are important for you to post about, and then people can tell you what they think of it.

    I mean for goodness sake, if you’re going to be a troll, surely you can do better than saying you think Bolton’s a great guy and everything everyone says against him is a load of cobblers, and you haven’t taken your eyes off the guy since he first started appearing on your satan-box, and he’s improved your intellect immeasurable, and he’s the new messiah, etc. etc.?

  199. @George – last post, previous page re offensive Google results

    I was aware of this when it first started.

    For the benefit of others, I tried this experiment -

    Google Search : Is Lord Monckton a secret muslim?
    Result : normal list of news, forum discussion, crackpot sites

    Google Search : Is Lord Monckton a secret Jewish person?
    Result : similar results + special offensive notice at bottom of page

    Google Search : I hate all fucking muslims
    Result : list of aggressively worded websites clearly anti-muslim, no special offensive notice

    It’s not hard to see a shifting pattern of power and privelege for certain segments of society.

  200. Overheard at the swimming pool this morning. Two women in their sixties expressing outrage at the cost of security for Bliar being paid by the state. One gave a figure of £600,000. Then the other said ‘And what about that horrible man in that embassy costing us millions? Why doesn’t he go back to Australia’. Apologies for repeating the rot. You can see how, politically speaking, it’s lonely living in Surrey.

  201. Made me laugh Mary. The two old girls, incapable of recalling any name except Blair’s, or the Ecuadorian embassy (I spell it that way because the BBC spells it Ecuadorean) yet having the opinion implanted in their brains by a relentless and incessant repetition of misinformation from MSM. Poor things. I hope we never get old like that!

  202. Followed by a good pummelling and a hot wax, mediocrity on a plate, thanks for that Mary, that were our average voters you were listening to….. sound of hairs being pulled out in clumps….

  203. Oh my goodness, it sounds as if the case for Assange’s safe passage is already with the European Court (of Justice? of Human Rights? – the video doesn’t make it clear which).

    RT’s post-election interview with Rafael Correa (and English transcript):

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/343850

  204. Possibly relevant to the above is Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt’s present deafening silence but busy travel schedule.

    Following his recent trip to South America to lobby CELAC, he is meeting today, 19th February, with William Hague in London, after which he will be travelling to Australia on Sunday, 23rd.

    Any bets on whether “L’Affaire Assange” will be on the agenda of Mr Bildt’s discussions?

  205. @Arbed re visit of Swedish FM to Oz. I can’t wait.

  206. LastBlueBell

    19 Feb, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    @Jemand, 18Feb, 9:18pm

    “Certainly, people make these kinds of interpretations but they’re obviously overreacting maybe even deliberately to justify an escalation and resort to actual violence in defence of their ideology.”

    This overreaction is one aspect I think pose a significant danger for abuse, just because many seems to make this categorisation, and, as seen in the ever more insistent proposals for more restrictions, censoring and laws.

    Interresting essay concerning the importance of “debate” in a democracy,
    http://crookedtimber.org/2013/02/16/dissent-is-the-health-of-the-democratic-state/

    And in regard to the perceived Reduction of Violence,

    Steven Pinker on The Better Angels of our Nature – IQ2 Talks, This talk took place at the Royal Geographical Society on 1st November 2011. approx, ~36min
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5sPCRQX-k8

    The Following Discussion, with Matt Ridley, ~16min
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR6tRCkOkY0

    And the QA session, ~36min
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2MTFyxss9U

  207. No irony.

    1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/18/barack-obama-israel-presidential-medal-distinction

    18 February 2013
    Barack Obama to receive Israel’s presidential medal of distinction
    President who is often criticised over Israel policy set to be honoured during March visit to the Middle East

    2.http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/19/tzipi-livni-israel-justice-minister

    19 February, 2013
    Tzipi Livni appointed Israeli justice minister
    Leader of Hatnuah party will join Netanyahu’s coalition to take on responsibility for reviving Palestinian peace process

    Within the latter piece by Phoebe Greenwood you can read ‘In contrast to Netanyahu’s scepticism, Livni has dedicated her political life to the peace process, often at significant personal cost.’ This is the butcher behind Cast Lead and other atrocities committed on the Palestinians.

    Ed Murray on Medialens writes to Greenwood.

    Ms Greenwood,

    In your Guardian piece: “Tzipi Livni appointed Israeli justice minister” (19th Feb), you state:

    “Livni has dedicated her political life to the peace process, often at significant personal cost.”

    Well, that’s one way to describe a vicious war criminal and you just did!

    I have read some turning reality on it’s head hackery in my time but that just about takes the biscuit.

    I am at a total loss as to how anyone can say that about Livni while ignoring that she was a key figure in the bombing of Lebanon is 2006 and a prominent member of the Israeli War Cabinet and implicated in war crimes for being up to her neck in Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9.

    Do you remember Operation Cast Lead? It’s where Livni and her crew ordered an assault on the densely populated tiny Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Up to 1400 people were killed by the Israelis, hundreds of them children, and the Strip left in smouldering ruins.

    Indeed, she would have been arrested in Britain for war crimes if the Foreign Office had not intervened and gave her diplomatic immunity.

    To whitewash a record like that is to enable war crimes and is almost as bad as committing them.

    Read what you wrote again:

    “Livni has dedicated her political life to the peace process, often at significant personal cost.”

    It’s unbelievable, sickening and very sad!

    Why do it?

    Ed Murray.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1361336702.html

  208. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    20 Feb, 2013 - 9:37 am

    Note to all: I will try to deal with your responses in order, one at a time. Sorry it is a lot of work. Although I am unemployed, I do not have endless time. I am very busy. I also am more challenged than you lot, who are presumably all journalists, to fashion beautiful sentences the same way you lot do seem to do so effortlessly for a living.

    Here is the interiew with Livia Liu Agosti, the Swiss ambassador.

    If European diplomats ever lie, I expect her response to Jill Dougherty’s question “. Are you feeling more tension, now, in Iran?” is the nearest they get to it with her response “It is possible” (she becomes all serious when answering that question: she maybe does not want to upset the Iranian leadership?

    On the issue of Iranians being liars, the thing that chimes with my experience there is this answer she gives:

    “They don’t always necessarily communicate everything to us so you have to also be (slight pause) er (change of tack) use our own analysis, which is, by the way, very interesting, [speaking] as a diplomat.” (a diplomatic way of saying it?)

    Some of the effect of the interview is conveyed through describing how things aren’t in Iran, leaving one free to imagine how things are. Maybe that is why, on reflection, the interview appeals so much to me, and maybe why it won’t necessarily change your view. The time of the interview was when the American hitchhiker hostages were released (2011?).

    They were hostages in my view because a) they didn’t have time to start spying (arrested on border) and b) you do not lock up illegal immigrants for as long as they were, and normally the fines for alleged violation of immigration rules are not fines of the order of $0.5m per person (Sarah Shourd’s bail payment was that much from memory). The problem in my mind (perhaps not in yours) given the problem of Iranian lying is that the hitchhikers may not have actually been in Iran: the border is not marked clearly at every point between Iraq and Iran. My reading of the whole affair for what it is worth is it was a dispute with the USA about something else we are not privy too. A lot of arguments are about money. The payments made to the Iranians via Oman more than covered the cost of the hitchhikers’ imprisonment. I know from how just witnessing the Iranian revolution has marked me, so their unjust imprisonment will probably have a dramatic effect on them for life. It is possible they may never quite get over it, given the length of their incarceration.

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/10/14/dougherty-swiss-ambassador-iran-intv.cnn?iref=allsearch

    I hope to deal with all the outstanding posts today, if you still want to hear from me.

  209. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    20 Feb, 2013 - 10:11 am

    @Mary

    I think you are intelligent from the quality of your posts, so I am sure you understand why there were problems with PressTV. It interviewed someone under duress. I stopped following the story after that: I thought they were going to be fined for that. They did tend to go on the worst Council estates and portray Britain in a very unattractive light. Our worst Council estates are part of our story for Iranians, but they are not the whole story of Britain. I wonder if it was the satellite carrier that stopped broadcasting them rather than our Government? Payment problems with the sanctions might have been the reason. Incidentally if they didn’t like the size of the fine, all they have to do is seize a Brit and keep him in prison on false charges and demand the same bail requirements as they did for Sarah Shourd. The French lady Claudin somebody who wrote reports on the Green protests for the French embassy was released around the same time as Shahpour Bakhtiar’s murderer was released from jail in France. Hostage taking is very much one of their tools of diplomacy, IMO.

  210. @ Karimova

    I thought the reasons given by Ofcom for withdrawing Press TV’s UK licence – that it had broken the terms of the licence because its ‘head office’ was not in Britain – were very, very flaky indeed. Surely that means CNN and the like are equally guilty of infringing their licences to broadcast in the UK?

  211. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS

    LastBlueBell, 5.19p

    Thanks for the links. Steven Pinker seems interesting.

    I think the downward trend of violence is, of course, important and desirable, but I don’t think that it factors into our response to new incidents of violence except in terms of response capabilitites (eg police numbers). Nor should it distract us from being alert to socio-political developments that lay the foundations of future violence. We are responsible for carefully thinking through the potential long term consequences of implementing public policies and laws that are intended to shape community behaviour and attitudes.

    Compromising a fundamental principle such as freedom of speech in order to accomodate the dissent of a self-interested group is problematic when that dissent comes with an implied threat of violence. It does not matter if the majority of a given group disapprove of violence employed by the minority if they stand to benefit from the effects of that violence in the long term. The whole group is responsible. In other words, the minority do the dirty work of the majority just like our soldiers do the dirty work of killing for our benefit. A scapegoat, which can often be found, might then be sacrificed to placate the collective conscience of the majority, thereby absolving them of guilt as they continue to enjoy those benefits.

    Despite the abhorrence of violent crime felt by the British at the time, we in the colonised territories of the West, have enjoyed the benefits of violent invasion and dispossession of the lands of indigenous peoples. These days it’s about resources, but the game is the same. So we are all responsible for what violence is perpetrated in our name including the growing threat to invade Iran and replace it with a Western sponsored secular regime.

    All muslims are correspondingly responsible for whatever violence is perpetrated in their name and resulting in their collective benefit. Sadly, you won’t find many of them protesting the burning down of churches in Indonesia or anywhere else, perhaps because they fear being the target of violence themselves.

    I am putting the case that this paradigm of strategic dispossession and conquest is not a monopoly of the West, Christianity, Islam, nation state or of the multinational corporation. I am saying that violence, and more effectively, the threat of violence by a minority of people is an effective method of spearheading the stages of embedding, expanding, dominating and eventually displacing an existing culture. The dispossessed people might even be subsumed, their bodies snatched and minds washed clean of their former identity to ensure that the conquest is irreversible. Whatever happened to the North American native peoples? Converted to Christianity under threat of love? Or violent death?

    My long post about freedom of speech on the previous page of this thread attempts to raise the issue of current efforts to subvert it by selectively redefining it as a crime to suit the disparate agendas of a political alliance of demopathic minorities. Like in the classic prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation and betrayal are mixed with uncertainty in this alliance and ultimately, only one group will prevail when it achieves the critical mass necessary to instigate the next stage. Do we want it to get to that stage? I certainly don’t.

    Islamophobia vs Criticism -
    http://www.theaugeanstables.com/reflections-from-second-draft/islamophobia-and-criticism-of-islam/

  212. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    20 Feb, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    @Doug SCorgie

    “You don’t cite any examples, you don’t give references and you don’t supply links.”

    “…the regime in Iran can’t survive without invoking a common enemy…” “…That fact may be the reason why it is difficult to build trust between the two countries…”
    So it is a “fact” not your opinion then.”

    I concede your point. It is my opinion, but it is, I hope, a well reasoned opinion. The evidence is as follows:
    1. Iran is a semi-democracy (you are not seriously disputing that are you?)
    2. The leadership is using force to impose an unattractive ideology (hell on earth to go to heaven). The sight of Basij thugs (during the Green movement protests) beating up Iranians chanting “God is great” is a bit of a contradiction.
    3. Appointments to Government posts are for loyalty not for competence reasons
    4. There is press censorship, so no tradition of investigative journalism
    5. Points 3 and 4 mean the quality of decision making on the economy is very low. (High unemployment and high inflation are one result of that, although both of those are also caused by the sanctions)
    6. The basket case state of the economy and the issue of privileged elites – the Revolutionary Guard own a lot of businesses and get awarded contracts – means there are a lot of people who have not benefited economically from the country’s immense wealth in natural resources)
    7. A lot of groups have issues: women are shut of some courses at universities – often the courses that get you good jobs, women suffer from disadvantageous rights in inheritance and divorce; various regional and religious minorities have issues: the Baluchis, the Azeris, the Kurds, the Iranian Arabs, the Armenian and Assyrian Christian communities, the Bahai, Iranian Jews, etc.

    Having consideration for points 1 to 7, and especially for point 1, it is reasonable the only way to unite the country in pursuance of this ideology is to have a common enemy. They invoke the religion to sustain the West=evil and Iranian Regime=good dogma.

    If point 1 is hard to cope with imagine Arthur Scargill as prime minister and declaring all election candidates must have a record of condemning capitalism, private healthcare and private education.

    “Burying vast numbers of centrifuges…”
    Considering the fact that Israel has openly threatened to bomb the nuclear processing plants, it makes sense to keep them buried don’t you think?

    They know we know they have far more centrifuges than they need to make medical isotopes and feedstock for the power station. They also know we know it uneconomic for them to make their own enriched uranium. They do not have the benefits of economies of scale. I don’t think even South Korea with many more nuclear power stations does its own enrichment. There is perhaps is no problem with South Korea doing their own but they don’t do it because it is cheaper to buy it in. The cost of burying it all only makes it more uneconomic. Then when you add in the cost of the oil sales foregone (billions of $ every month) and you add in the lost output due to factories closing due to high interest rates to defend the rial, you start to realise just how badly they want the know-how to be, in the words of Karim Sadjadpour “one screw-turn away from having a nuclear bomb. The number and efficiency of the new centrifuges means that the break-out time from 20% enrichment to 90% enrichment to make one bomb is now about 4 weeks. The Iranians will probably reduce that to 2 weeks, and they we will have to even less time to decide whether to use force to stop them. It makes a botched decision more likely by our Govt.

    On your point about much of the fuel having been converted to peaceful purposes recently (the NY Times article)

    I agree. But if they hadn’t converted it, I am sure they would have been attacked by now. That is perhaps is the reason they converted it.

    I’ve provided the link to the interview with Livia Leu Agosti, the Swiss ambassador, in an earlier post.

    “Doesn’t Iran have a right to exist?”

    Yes. But the regime is not entitled to run a coach and horses through the NNP treaty they have signed.

    “You’re having a laugh aren’t you; Israel unlikely to behave irresponsibly?”
    No. Most of Israel’s soldiers (from the figures you provide) are on call, rather than full time soldiers. If they were full time, the Israeli economy would be unviable. You ommitted my mention of the Persian Jews (a community in Tel Aviv). It maybe electorally insignificant, but you would think, since they speak Persian, they would be upset about attacking Iran. Israel is not a semi-democracy like Iran. The Government is accountable to its people for its actions, so it is more likely to behave responsibly than the leadership in Teheran.

    What about Operation Cast Lead; murder on the Mavi Marmara; political assassinations and the Samson Option?

    I don’t know about this, but I accept your point (I know some Israelis in the very distant past were once terrorists like the Palestinians they now call terrorists). I did hear about one Israeli assassination in Tunis. However, Iran has had some very nasty terrorist attacks. The assasination of Sharpour Bakhtiar – the murderers didn’t even bother to carry a weapon – they stabbed him with his own kitchen knife. Also one Iranian in America was dispatched by an Iranian posing as a parcel delivery man on the orders of the regime. Then there was an attack in a restaurant in Germany. Of course the biggest alleged ones are the Beirut barracks bombing and the Argentine Jewish Centre.

    If you don’t know [about the Beirut barracks and the Argentine Jewish Centre, why mention it?

    I suppose because it fits a pattern. I wasn't present, so of course I can't be sure. Iran has enough issues with the USA and Israel to make me think they did do it. Ditto the Bulgaria bus bombing. The evidence for the Delhi and Bangkok attacks is of course much more compelling - I don't think Iran can deny those two attacks.

    "You admit to not knowing much about Mossadegh, you haven’t followed the story of Iran Air flight 655 or the whereabouts of Iran’s assets stolen by the late Shah and his regime. Yet you like to portray yourself as some sort of expert in Middle East affairs particularly relating to Israel and Iran."

    I think that is unfair. I lived there for one year during the revolution. It is hard not to take an interest in all stories to do with Iran. I don't have time to read a lot about Mossadegh, although I have seen an interview with a relative of his. It is impossible to spend a year in Iran without them bringing up Mossadegh in conversation. Ditto Anglo-Persian oil. I have no qualifications in Middle Eastern studies, but can read perso-arabic script (only simple stuff and not the fancy caligraphy that is sometimes used in newspaper headlines - the nastliqeh??? style or whatever it is called is too difficult for me. I did mention the Iranian passenger plane full of pilgrims the Americans shot down. Of course I don't remember the Flight no. Did you look it up, before posting?

    “…they [Iran] would seek to destroy the economic viability of Israel…”
    Isn’t that what Israel, the EU and the USA are trying to do to Iran?

    I think they want to demonstrate to the world how much Iran wants nuclear know-how it does not need to have nuclear power stations. It is uneconomic for Iran to operate that part of the fuel cycle in Iran unless it has an ulterior motive. The sanctions are hurting middle class Iranians (just the sort who would support America according to Bolton). I think they also hurt the poorest too.
    If the sanctions are removed (as you wish) the next step would be for Iran to demand a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. I am not opposed to stronger representation of Shias, but not when the regime is as it is now. Turkey is the model to follow: democracy, modernism, and Islam: they’ve managed to cope with all three. Iran has botched it.

    “I’m sure you are academic enough (if you want to be) but you are merely playing games on this blog.”
    Disagree. These are my honest views.

  213. doug scorgie

    20 Feb, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    KarimovaRevengeFantasist
    20 Feb, 2013 – 12:03 pm

    You say

    “Iran is a semi-democracy (you are not seriously disputing that are you?)”

    I think you have the impression that I am supportive of the Iran regime and its political system; I am not. But if the regime and the system are to be changed it is entirely up to the Iranian people to affect that change not to be imposed from outside as the US and other western countries have a long history of doing.

    For example: A brief history of US interference in other people’s countries:
    1949.
    Syria became an independent republic in 1946, but the March 1949 Syrian coup d’état, led by Army Chief of Staff Husni al-Za’im, ended the initial period of civilian rule. Za’im met at least six times with CIA operatives in the months prior to the coup to discuss his plan to seize power.
    1953.
    In 1953, the CIA worked with the United Kingdom to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. (Note democratically elected).
    1954.
    The CIA supported the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala led by Jacobo Arbenz.
    1959 onwards.
    The Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations approved initiatives for CIA-trained Cuban anti-communist exiles and refugees to land in Cuba and attempt to overthrow the government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The CIA made a number of attempts to assassinate Castro, often with White House approval, as in Operation Mongoose.
    1960.
    In February 1960, the United States planned a coup against the government of Iraq headed by Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim, who two years earlier had deposed the Western-allied Iraqi monarchy.
    1963.
    The CIA backed a coup against President Ngô Đình Diệm of South Vietnam. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
    1964.
    The democratically-elected government of Brazil, headed by President João Goulart, was successfully overthrown in a coup in March 1964. President Johnson authorized logistical materials to be in place to support the coup-side of the rebellion as part of U.S. Operation Brother Sam.
    1965. Congo.
    Joseph Mobutu seized power from President Kasa-Vubu with the help of the CIA. Mobutu had the political and military support of Western countries, who saw him as an ally against communism in Africa. He established a one-party state, banning all other political organizations except his own.
    1966.
    Kwame Nkrumah helped Ghana gain its independence from British colonial rule. While he was on a state visit, his government was overthrown in a military coup. Several commentators, including former CIA officer John Stockwell, have alleged the CIA’s involvement in the coup
    1970.
    The election of Marxist candidate Salvador Allende as President of Chile in September 1970 led President Richard Nixon to order that Allende not be allowed to take office. The CIA destabilized Chile and helped create the conditions for the 1973 Chilean coup d’état, which led to years of dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet.
    1979. Afghanistan
    The supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants was one of the CIA’s longest and most expensive covert operations
    1980. Turkey.
    Military coup of 12 September 1980. Support of the coup was acknowledged by the CIA’s Ankara station chief, Paul Henze.
    1981 onwards. Nicaragua.
    From 1981-90, the CIA attempted to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
    2002. Venezuela.
    Washington is claimed to have approved and supported a coup against the Venezuelan government. Senior officials, including Special Envoy to Latin America Otto Reich and convicted Iran-contra figure and George W. Bush “democracy ‘czar’” Elliott Abrams, were allegedly part of the plot.
    2006 Somalia.
    Although the United States has had an ongoing interest in Somalia for decades, in early 2006 the CIA began a program of funding a coalition of anti-Islamic warlords.
    2005. Iran.
    President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to undertake black operations against Iran in an effort to destabilize the Iranian government.
    2011. Libya.
    the Obama administration sent in CIA Special Activities Division paramilitary operatives to assess the situation and gather information on the opposition forces. President Obama issued a covert action finding in March 2011 that authorized the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and support to the Libyan opposition
    2012. Syria.
    President Barack Obama authorized U.S. government agencies to support forced regime change in Syria.

    This is not an exhaustive list.

    My advice to you is to stop watching Fox news and seek alternative news media for a better understanding of the wider world.

    As for Iran being a semi-democracy, I agree, but look closer at the UK and USA and you will find that they are really no better from a democratic point of view.

    All the other points you make could be said about some western countries and more so of the likes of Saudi Arabia et al. Countries you don’t seem to criticize.

  214. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    20 Feb, 2013 - 10:10 pm

    @Fred

    “But Germany was the aggressor, we didn’t just decide to declare war on Germany, it was a result of German imperialism, Germany invaded Poland.”

    I agree it is not imperialist in that sense (although they have had claims on Bahrain in the past, and perhaps still do?). But it does have an agenda to be a greater force in the world. The steps to that are different: they are to outwit the IAEA in the first instance, and those steps have been going on for ten years or so. (See Wikipedia about Taqqiyah (sp??) and the permissibility of lying to preserve Islam, not that I am saying Khamanei is lying – he perhaps is not, but others might ignore his fatwah – and for me it is less easy to trust him than say a more relaxed jovial type like the Dalai Lama – I think the fact Khamenei has a closed mind puts me off – he sees no point in negotiating with the U.S.; maybe he knows he is finished if he accedes to America’s demands having wasted (unscientific ball park estimate method) say $100bn so far on pressing, as he sees it, their “rights” to acquire 1950s uranium enrichment know-how. I suppose it is not our business which Iranians paid the most for this acquisition, but if the money has got them no extra clout in world affairs, it is hard to see how Iranians can respect their leader.

    “Iran isn’t imperialist, they haven’t invaded anyone, it is we in the west who are imperialist. It is we who invaded Iraq, it is we who invaded Afghanistan and it is we who have our sights set on Iran so we can start putting hotels on them.”

    Not imperialist; they just want revenge because they don’t like having their hypocrisies displayed and their legitimacy challenged and they don’t like being deprived of friends. They want respect, and they are not getting it. They could get the latter by abolishing censorship; by establishing diplomatic relations with the USA, UK and Canada; by stopping their nuclear enrichment program and by doing all the right things to become a top ten country in the world by per capita GDP (a different, more benign way to project power like Japan chose to after the War?), but that would require a leadership with a different skill-set, and the mullahs are not going any time soon if they have any say in it. By the way, I don’t know what will end the regime: it could be an Act of God (rather than a cruise missile) that does it e.g. if an earthquake causes a radioactive leak at Bushehr: I think many more Iranians might want to get rid of the Islamic Republic and its questionable decision to have a nuclear power station in (near?) an earthquake zone. You mentioned USA before having nuclear power stations, but I bet none of them are near the San Andreas fault.

    Iran already has hotels from the Shah’s day; I agree they must need refurbishing/rebuilding. Iran was an upmarket tourist destination then, and they don’t have a tourist industry from the West any more. As you said it is none of our business how they run their internal affairs (improving human rights and the business climate so that both we AND they benefit are not relevant to the decision whether to use force to ensure compliance with the NNP Treaty). Allowing them to get away with a lie about past nuclear trigger experiments only serves to bolster a hateful ideology that is set to hurt the West. I don’t know if they have lied, but that is the whole point: we must be allowed to find out if they have. Parchin access matters, as does interviewing the scientists we want to interview. (I agree if they start cooperating properly someone must restrain whoever it is who is blowing up Iranian nuclear scientists, and that the interviews, if they are done properly, should not be abused to find out who to blow up).

    We are not going to be attacking Iran to occupy it or to take control of its natural resources. Rather I imagine we would be attacking them for non compliance with the NNP treaty in the first instance. If the leadership didn’t react appropriately (agree to have a completely transparent nuclear power program and stop enrichment), then I assume we would help to engineer regime change, and that that would involve depriving the existing regime of control of their natural resources and transfering control to the new Government (like we did in in Libya and Iraq). Where is the imperialism in that? We are not benefiting from their resources in such a resource transfer from old regime to new regime: we will be paying the market price for their oil, surely?

    “Iran had a democratic government, we overthrew that government and installed a dictator for no other reason than they nationalised their oil.”

    Agreed. In a country that is between Europe and the Indian subcontinent, you might expect there would be problems with a clash of marriage traditions (arranged versus each choosing one’s own partner). Mossadegh would surely have hit problems sooner or later, and of course the issue of lying is not conducive to Westminster style democracy. It depends if he would have fostered an independent press? An apology is probably due from us but the Iranians also owe America one for the incarceration of the diplomats all that time in 79, 80 and 81.

    “Take a look at the Collateral Murder video released thanks to Wikileaks, those are American troops sent to Iraq to murder Iraqi civilians including children.”

    I don’t think any American troops were sent to murder Iraqi civilians and children (they weren’t given orders to murder, surely?) . Some rogue soldiers (both British and American) have behaved badly, I agree. It has happened in other wars too.

    “Take a look at the photos from Abu Ghraib, those are American troops torturing Iraqi people in Iraq.”

    I did get a sense of how bad they were from what I assume were sanitised pictures in our press.

    “It is we who are the Germany, we who have the Gestapo, we who are the aggressors.”

    I disagree. All they have to do is operate a civilian nuclear power project program transparently, and then we do not have any grounds whatsoever to use force, and then the regime can happily preach its hate-dogma and its “hell on earth for all Iranians (except for the leadership who are allowed to skip the hell bit) in return for a good after-life for all”, and no one outside Iran will need to fear them any more once they are without of their nuclear ambiguity weapon. (I think I’ve covered the unfairness issues about others having nuclear weapons in other posts). Of course in this situation the regime will be vulnerable to be toppled from within.

    Whatever topples the regime eventually (the ideology is unsustainable in the long run?) whether it be an internal uprising, an Act of God or a cruise missile from the allies for not obeying the terms under which they are allowed to operate a civilian nuclear power project, it is not hard to imagine there won’t be bloodshed as Iranian fights Iranian to grab the country’s resources. In that situation, I can’t see why the USA and its allies should take the blame. Everyone , particularly Iranians themselves, should take some blame (including God!). Just my view.

  215. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    21 Feb, 2013 - 1:34 pm

    @Doug Scorgie
    “I think you have the impression that I am supportive of the Iran regime and its political system; I am not.”

    I am pleased we both loathe the regime then. It is also possible we agree that its ideology is not attractive if it has to be imposed using censorship, force and human rights abuses. I think we also agree the fact (opinion?) that “the ideology is unattractive” is not a valid reason to use force against Iran (otherwise we should use force against other dictatorships, some of which are “our” (excludes Western people with the type of views commonly expressed by those on the far left of politics) allies e.g. Saudi Arabia.

    But if the regime and the system are to be changed it is entirely up to the Iranian people to affect that change not to be imposed from outside as the US and other western countries have a long history of doing.

    The problem here is being weak with Iran on insisting it obeys the NNP treaty risks allowing “Iran” (by Iran I mean the leadership and all its perceived faults, the greatest of which is it does not represent a broad cross section of Iranian society) to burst on to the world stage with considerably more clout than it perhaps ought to have. (I suspect Iran has been forced to sign additional protocols that other countries like Japan perhaps have not had to sign simply because of a) Iranian past lies to the IAEA (reported to the IAEA Board? (to the Security Council?) several times for lying, actions which were approved not just by the Western powers but presumably also by China and Russia – so it is not just “neocon paranoia” as you all here might want to call it. b) the general lack of trust between Iran and the West (there is no trust problem with an open society like Japan?). The absence of diplomatic relations only makes the lack of trust worse, perhaps, as does shutting out the cultural content (because it competes too well with the leadership’s ideology) out of some foreign language courses in Iran does not help to build trust either.

    We might agree on this: namely the leadership in Teheran has been forced to walk on an ever higher and higher tightrope by the West (by the sanctions) and that there are any number of ways the regime can fall off. You are saying some ways of falling off are okay (Iranians overthrowing their Government and Earthquakes that cause a change of opinion are okay but a cruise missile for non-compliance with the perhaps “unfair” additional protocols is not?).

    I don’t see that non-compliance with the intended spirit of the NNP treaty (to allow countries to have civilian nuclear power projects without the right build nuclear weapons from the knowledge obtaind in doing the former?) as completely synonymous with regime change having to occur at the same time. I am sure the Americans are smart enough after an initial warning shot to offer the regime one last chance to stop thumbing its nose at the IAEA’s requirements. Of course if things get to that stage the humiliation the Iranian leadership will be being asked to suffer will be immense (I vaguely recall Sir Anthony Parsons and Sir Richard Dalton, both former British ambassadors to Teheran, talking about the Iranian tendency to overreach themselves in negotiations. So if things do get to that stage the issue of whether Iranians depose their leadership or we initiate it with a single cruise missile warning shot, I think it becomes a bit academic really about which way the leadership falls off the tightrope. The whole set-up of the frighteningly high tightrope we now have is really the cause of the leadership’s fall (assuming fear of falling off is proportional to height), and its difficult to argue there should be no high tightrope set up because Iran was foolish in the first place to try to have a secret nuclear weapons program back in the 90s (Prof. Abbas Milani, Stamford University, Head of Persian Studies and author of book on Shah, talks about this Iran’s early secret program over which it got reported for lying – the video film clip is somewhere, maybe it was on Fora TV – Prof. Milan was imprisoned by the Shah’s government, so it shocked me to learn he now thinks the Shah didn’t use enough force to stop the revolution!)

    On the matter of Iranian lying, a further example is the Turkish leader’s request to the Iranian leadership to be “more honest”.

    Ahmadinejad is of course famous for that lie about homosexuals not existing in Iran: I think some students laughed at him. I also spotted one lie when he gave an interview to Charlie Rose on American TV where he worked himself up into a state of false indignation to utter the lie convincingly and then immediately relaxed back in his chair once he had got it out. Sorry I don’t have links for those. Anyway I am in no doubt for a variety of reasons, including Taqqiyah, of the need to be more circumspect than normal, and, as that Swiss diplomat said, to use my own analysis.

    Thanks for the list of countries/regimes you provided where you feel the USA (and the UK in one case) intervened when it had no business to.

    It is certainly very interesting, and it looks quite comprehensive to me with no knowledge on most of the cases. It is not something I’ve studied before.

    I can only make a few comments off the top of my head.

    Libya 2011
    I do think the West has been generally quite restrained in not overthrowing Gaddafi earlier. Public opinion would not have stood for it? Gaddafi committed many outrages (from memory there was the UTA jet, the German nightclub bombing and Lockerbie and then there were IRA funding issues), and the West generally was quite restrained (Reagan’s bombing – a warning shot – was perhaps an exception?, which may have curtailed Gadaffi’s desire to commit overseas acts of terrorism, thus saving lives). Helping the people of Benghazi and deriving satisfaction taking revenge don’t seem to me criminal. I vaguely recall Obama was indecisive to start with – from memory it was Cameron and Sarkozy who took a lot of the lead, but maybe I have a faulty memory on that. And maybe we have to differ on the rights or wrongs of deriving satisfaction taking revenge while apparently doing some good at the same time. Intervention in Libya certainly was not about financial gain (we already had contracts with Gaddafi to extract the oil, etc. did we not?).

    Syria 2012
    It is the Iranians and Russians who have been supplying weapons and expertise to the Syrians. (Yes, I know Qatar and maybe Saudi Arabia have been supplying money and some weapons to the rebels, but Britain, I suspect, has only supplied communications equipment and cartoon stickers that lampoon Bashar Al-Assad. I think we have been relatively restrained, although we want a good outcome so that the Middle East is slightly more stable. Is that such a bad goal to have?

    Iran
    I can’t think why America would want to fund the terrorists in S.E. Iran (Jundullah – sp?). I think there is a self sustaining cycle of violence there without external involvement: the Iranians hang the perpetrators of an attack and then there is a new attack in revenge. The current sanctions are a sufficient form of revenge for Iran being nasty slagging off America and the dollar while simultaneously hypocritically loving American products (including American films) and loving to be paid for anything in dollars, and yet refusing to have diplomatic relations with a significant culture. This could be the last year the mullahs stay in power, although Iran is not in the Guardian’s top 30 countries most likely to have a coup.

    Generally, I think where America has intervened, there is probably more to it than America allegedly just being aggressive for no reason. Most disputes are about money.

    I do understand Foxnews does not have the cut and thrust of Paxman: the interviewers often agree with their interviewees. I no longer have UK TV: it is a poor value proposition, and anyway I like Iranian belly dancing. Jamileh in the black and white Persian film, Mettress (from French maitresse?) is my favourite.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK3Ga47YPvA

  216. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    21 Feb, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    @Arbed
    “I thought the reasons given by Ofcom for withdrawing Press TV’s UK licence – that it had broken the terms of the licence because its ‘head office’ was not in Britain – were very, very flaky indeed. ”

    Maybe they just thought they couldn’t discipline PressTV in a more graduated way like they can with other organisations: if you extract payment this end, then they might just help themselves to an oil painting from the embassy in Teheran, or worse take a hostage.

  217. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    21 Feb, 2013 - 6:23 pm

    @ _N

    “I mean for goodness sake, if you’re going to be a troll, surely you can do better than saying you think Bolton’s a great guy and everything everyone says against him is a load of cobblers, and you haven’t taken your eyes off the guy since he first started appearing on your satan-box, and he’s improved your intellect immeasurable, and he’s the new messiah, etc. etc.?”

    No, I think Mr Bolton’s understanding of the Iranian strategy, as evidenced by all his predictions about their behaviour over the years, can’t be faulted. The Kazakhstan talks will fail. Khamenei is the decision maker but will always use other people to do any negotiating so he can blame them. The tightrope the Iranian leadership is being asked to walk is higher than it has ever been. I am just waiting for them to fall off it. To have no tightrope at all, would be great for the Iranian leadership: they could extend the life the regime by another ten years perhaps and boast a huge victory over the hegemons.

  218. “if you extract payment this end, then they might just help themselves to an oil painting from the embassy in Teheran, or worse take a hostage.”

    Same would apply to CNN, I suppose. Ofcom really shouldn’t be allowing any of these cable networks with foreign HQs to broadcast in this country…

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted by Expathos