Daily archives: October 15, 2010

Death of Linda Norgrove

There is no cause to doubt that the US killed Linda Norgrove accidentally. My sorrow for her and her family is the same as that I feel for the thousands of entirely innocent Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed in US airstrikes.

Nor do I diminsih the responsibility of her captors. But nonetheless, the most worrying point of thw whole incident is the lie propagated by NATO that she was killed by a suicide vest wearing captor.

The suicide vest is of course a potent symbol of Islamic fundamentalist violence, and by invoking it NATO were not only lying about who killed Norgrove, they were reinforcing the image of her captors as religious fanatics, as opposed to local tribesmen.

Most of the Afghan resistance consists of locals motivated by ethnic and cultural factors defending their own soil. The characterisation of them all as Taliban is a bit of propaganda bought wholesale by the media. These may have been local partisans, or just ransom seekers. They may have been hiding a motivation behind a religious facade. There is no evidence I am aware of that the hostage takers wished to die themselves. That is why the “Linda Norgrove killed by suicide vest” lie is key.

So it is very important that an inquiry establishes not just the truth about who killed Linda Norgrove, but whether there was a suicide vest at all anywhere in the incident. Fabric is seldom destroyed by explosion, rather shredded and partially burnt. If the suicide vest is a complete invention, that would be an outrageous lie by NATO.

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Sickening Lib Dem Weasel Words

I am not at the moment resigning from the LibDems over the tuition fees issue. But I have seldom in politics seens anything as nauseatingly insincere as this statement from the Liberal Democrats Federal Policy Committee.

Tonight, Wednesday October 13, the Federal Policy Committee of the Liberal Democrats held their regular meeting.

During the meeting they held a special session to discuss the latest announcements following the Browne Review.

In a statement following the meeting, the committee spokesperson said: “FPC confirms the Liberal Democrat party policy remains to phase out tuition fees.

“We are now in a coalition government and we will continue during the period of discussion and consultation to work with our coalition partners towards achieving a policy that meets our key concerns and is progressive


I am not going to deconstruct it because it makes me want to vomit. Over to you.

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NATO – What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

Hillary Clinton is concerned that defence cuts in the UK will jeopardise our ability to carry out our NATO obligations.


Now NATO was founded to defend the North Atlantic region against advances by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. The danger of armed invasion by Russia is now minimal, and it is all of 14 years since I had the pleasure of organising a deliciously extravagant, indeed decadent, British Embassy ball in the grand military building in Warsaw where the Pact was signed – an episode I have just been writing up for my next volume of memoirs, Romance Without Chopin.

If Russia wished to take over Europe now, they would just need to turn off the gas supply in winter. But the Russian elite have discovered much easier ways to lead a fantasy lifestyle.

So, with no threat to the North Atlantic, NATO is occupying Afghanistan and making contingency plans to invade Somalia and Yemen. If you take the view that organisations acquire self-interest and behave to maximise it, this makes sense as NATO will provoke more Islamic militancy by occupying Muslim lands, and NATO needs to posit an enemy to continue to exist.

The Secretary General of NATO is the really horrible Anders Fogh Rasmussen. As PM of Denmark he did a Tony Blair and knowingly lied to parliament over the content of intelligence reports on Iraqi WMD. He actively pursued the jailing of Major Frank Grevil for leaking that he had lied. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Grevil

The fact that a reptile like Rasmussen is the Secretary General is itself a sign that something is rotten about NATO.

The government claims we cannot even afford any substantial public funding for the university tuition of our young people. For Hillary Clinton to opine that we need to spend still more on obscene weapons of destruction to support US invasions abroad – and the inextricably linked UK and US arms manufacturers – is pretty sick. Fascinating as well to see New Labour join in and attack the government from the right again.

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