Cheering UP 98


Unfortunately my plans for a weekend of drinking and watching golf were foiled on Friday by a really acute attack of illness, which by 3am Sunday morning had become quite alarming. Happily I feel a good bit stronger now. I did watch the golf all day yesterday, but I felt so unwell that when I awoke this morning I could not recollect any of it.

I am much cheered to learn that Sheikh Raed Saleh was released from jail on Friday. It is quite incredible that he could be imprisoned on the word of the Home Secretary – as grubby third rate politician – for his political opinions, but without clearly definable cause, and after he had already given on this visit a couple of public speeches in which he had said not one word which anyone claimed as constituting an offence.

Both the UK and US governments encouraged the Greeks to prevent the Gaza peace convoy from sailing. This from the invaluable Mary, who should take over writing this blog:

Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central, Labour)
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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Greek Government on the Gaza Aid flotilla.
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Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 13 July 2011, c385W)
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David Lidington (Minister of State (Europe and NATO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Aylesbury, Conservative)
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Officials from our embassy in Athens have discussed the matter of the Gaza flotilla with the Greek authorities and have relayed to them the United Kingdom’s position on this. Our travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories gives clear guidance against any attempt to enter Gaza by sea. We continue to advise against participating in flotillas or overland convoys to Gaza because of the risks involved.

So between Saleh and that, it seems any attempt to support Palestine is simply to be blocked by the force of the state. What astonishes me is that so few people seem to care about this growing fascism.

When you have a fever, thoughts run though your head insistently, in a different pattern of thinking to the normal. Anyone know why this is? While I was ill this morning, I kept remembering one incident. When I stood as an independent anti-war candidate against Jack Straw in Blackburn, the large body of New Labour supporters inside the count booed and jeered me like a football crowd when my result was read out. The BNP candidate – who had been booed a little – turned to me in some astonishment and said “They hate you more than they hate me.”

I did record that in Murder in Samarkand, but had only ever thought of it as an amusing incident. While I was sweating last night, it kept hammering at my brain as important. Now I feel a bit better, it still seems important.


98 thoughts on “Cheering UP

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  • Clark

    Angrysoba, no, it doesn’t wind me up. Depending upon what you mean by “country”, it could be rather sad. If you mean the political institution, I have little love for it myself. If you mean the people and the place, then you are missing out on love, and that is always sad.

  • craig Post author

    Sorry, my fault. it is Larry/Yugo who is in Mason. Angrysoba is indeed in Japan – I recall we were worrited about him in the earthquake.

  • Jon

    @Angry:
    .
    > Would it wind you up just a little for me to denigrate the UK to the best of my ability
    > and convince you that I have absolutely no kind of love for your country at all?
    .
    Why would you want to do that? Perhaps I am a little late to this particular party, but respectfully this level of animus is unusual for you, Angry. What’s up?
    .
    I think Clark is absolutely right to distinguish between the political institution of the UK (run by war criminals on behalf of the rich) and its people. Just like other countries, the people of our nation have a specific set of characteristics, the best of which should be cherished and admired.
    .
    Slightly on the same topic, and of interest to music lovers. I think the above differentiation is well reflected in the latest record from P.J. Harvey, “Let England Shake”. I am, as it happens, a massive fan anyway, and I found it instructive to consider (what I think is) her general theme of warming to the character of ones country whilst despising it for the destruction it causes. Have a listen!
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic-uap3tbto

  • dreoilin

    “Perhaps I am a little late to this particular party, but respectfully this level of animus is unusual for you, Angry. What’s up?” — Jon
    .
    Remember last Christmas? I kept insisting the person making the nasty comments couldn’t be Angry. In fact, I said I’d eat my hat if it was. I haven’t eaten the hat (or the slippers or whatever I promised) but it appears that it definitely was him. Maybe he’s taken to the Tamagawa sake.

  • technicolour

    Yes, agree this didn’t sound like angrysoba – remember at Christmas thinking it was more like angrynotsoba too, dreoilin. but who wouldn’t be annoyed and upset?

    can you love a country? i’m enjoying bread and circuses, not being bombed and tortured, it is true…

  • Jon

    Hi @technicolour,
    .
    I think “love ones country” could be a shorthand for an affection not for the land-mass – well, maybe that as well! – but for its people, its places, its charming customs and its interesting idiosyncrasies. Of course, the phrase is more often misused as respect for its military, its empire, its status in the world and so forth – hence the idea of splitting the two up. Perhaps it’s a trivial point, but it is a relatively new distinction for me.
    .
    We’ll have to come up with some hat and slipper recipes, to make them more palatable! I recommend thorough seasoning.

  • Clark

    From Angrysoba’s comments over a long time, it seems that he follows the UK media. He may be angry that the UK media has misled him, and caused him to have built an inaccurate world-view. I was certainly angry when I discovered this myself. It was the huge amount of mental energy it wasted, and the confusion and uncertainty it plunged me into that upset me so much. Remember Angrysoba’s experience with the Ahmadinejad “Purged from the page of history” / “Wiped off the map” incident? Lies make people angry.

  • Clark

    Jon, I encountered that distinction in Persig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. The university at which he taught was threatened with losing its accreditation. Some of the students thought that the building might be closed. This caused Phaedrus / Persig to give a lecture about the university as “The Church of Reason”, in which he made the distinction between the university’s buildings, grounds and funding etc vs. its people, study, research, etc.

  • Jon

    Ah, interesting Clark. Not read it, but I remember being surprised when I found it misfiled in the Sports section in my local Waterstones! I confess I don’t know what is about – worth a read, would you say?
    .
    I agree with you about the “realisation moment” about the media, amongst other things. One has to psychologically jettison a number of long-held beliefs, and the experience can be distinctly unsettling. I occasionally recognise in myself an aversion to look too deeply into some topics, as the upset can hardly be worthwhile, given how little political influence ordinary people have.

  • mary

    Jon Do you remember hearing that Blair’s execrable ‘A Journey’ was being misfiled by protesters in to the travel section?

  • mark_golding

    Suhayl – I overlooked a post on the linked site ‘Extreme Predujice’ that confirms doubt over Lockerbie and the guilt of Al-Megrahi. I post the following rather lengthy but important abstract for interest:
    .
    ‘The good news for truth seekers is that last week the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee moved to launch a new inquiry into the Lockerbie case. Christine Grahame said: “There are so many conspiracy theories around now that I think it’s time that we had a clean, clear look at the role of Scottish justice in this. The issue is not whether Libya, or any other country, was guilty. The issue is, was Abdelbaset al-Megrahi rightly convicted, and we have not heard the answer to that yet.”
    .
    That decision should be strongly applauded by everyone who champions integrity in government oversight. If American leaders would show the same concern for reexamining 9/11, it would go a long way to restoring confidence in our government.
    .
    In fact, there’s a lot of fresh leads for a Scottish inquiry to pursue. The Justice Committee could start by opening the deposition of my own CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz, sworn under oath in the U.S. District Court of Virginia, in the closing days of the Lockerbie Trial. It’s got some eye popping information, for sure.
    .
    At my very first meeting with Dr. Fuisz in September, 1994— and throughout our years together— he gave me the real skinny on Lockerbie. Dr. Fuisz swore that Pan Am 103 was a false flag operation to hide a rogue CIA team’s involvement in heroin trafficking out of the Bekaa Valley during the Terry Anderson hostage crisis in Lebanon.
    .
    Dr. Fuisz explained that when Defense Intelligence officer, Maj. Charles Dennis McKee and CIA officer, Matthew Gannon, stationed in Beirut, complained that a double agent was compromising efforts to rescue the hostages, the CIA and FBI sent a team to Lebanon for a fact-finding investigation. Investigators were flying back to Washington on Pan Am 103 with evidence exposing the heroin ring when a bomb exploded on the plane. Intriguingly, shortly before, the State Department issued an internal travel warning to U.S. Embassies that Pan Am 103 would be targeted for bombing on that day, and everybody should get off the plane. The sudden exodus of government personnel freed up seats for students from Syracuse University, flying home stand by for the Christmas Holidays. The college students died.
    .
    Dr. Fuisz frequently swore that he could identify every terrorist involved in the attack. Because he is such high ranking CIA operative, he has been forbidden from speaking publicly about his role in events leading up to the bombing. Throughout the 1990s, he was repeatedly threatened with 10 years in prison if he broke his silence.’
    .
    I am playing in my own mind with the power of intention to juggle some important bits that form part of what I call ‘the redemption’ -a recovery and atonement phrase that forms into a major focus in the near future. Ludicrous perhaps yes but unhinged no behold media vacillation is upon us right now – where will it lead?
    .
    It can easily go wrong in a instance just like a light switching off – yet if it holds up I’m sure we will witness some major surprises.

  • Clark

    Jon, Zen and the Art is a unique book, and one of my all time favourites. It is a work of many interwoven strands. The author rides across the US with his son on the back of his motorcycle, using events along the way to open conversation about philosophical issues and attitudes within society, connected to our subject / object way of interpreting reality, and the validity of such a view. It’s a set of true stories, simultaneously deeply personal and relevant to all.

  • Jon

    @mary, heh, no – not heard that one. But around that time, I received a joke text message about filing Blair’s book in “True Crime”. So of course I went and did exactly that with a few copies when I was next in my local Smiths 🙂

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well, re. Sheikh Raed Saleh, I know little, but it seems that there is as much, possibly more, disinformation as information, with rival accounts contending that he may have said this or that or whatever. I think the UK Govt’s handling of the whole affair has been cack-handed and wrong. And yes, as with most matters, double standards are often applied. So, mass murderers, Augusto Pinochet and Ariel Sharon go free and indeed, get to smile and sip tea with our august rulers.

    .

    On the broader matter of public trust, it seems to be becoming increasingly clear that New International, in systemic collusion with senior police officers and senior members of the UK Governments (Labour and Con-Lib), may well have engaged in a wide-ranging, intrusive and illegal conspiracy. I repeat that word: Conspiracy. Let’s do an Edwin Starr and say it again, people: Conspiracy. Plot. Lies. So now we’ve had Govt in cahoots with bankers and Govt in cahoot with cops and wealthy, powerful media cadres. What are these doyens, these august rulers, good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again… Of course, some might argue that this is simply the true nature of the state and its private cohorts for once being revealed. The mask has been ripped off for all to see. Gaze upon the face of the beast and mark it well, for the mask will not off for long, since the UK state is one of the most deeply steeped in imperialism and has an array of masks at its disposal. Did anyone have any illusions? Now we can see that they were simply illusions, stories for bedtime. Now, it is morning. Time for truth.

    .

    Now, if, a few months ago, one of the contributors here had suggested such a thing – that there was a conspiracy, a plot, hatched and executed at the most senior levels, no doubt they’d have been shot down as insane, paranoid, mentally ill, deluded, naive, credulous, etc.

    .

    Now, let us consider whether or not other conspiracies might have been hatched by senior elements within various parts of the UK (and/or US) state in collusion with various corporate entities. And next time someone suggests that such things might be occurring, let us hesitate before casting the first stone.

    .
    Look, for example, at the smears flung at, say, Roderick Russell. Do those people not involved in the conspiracy against him still think he and Gary Llewellyn, and Denis Lehane, and Lindauer, are deluded? Perhaps, on these cases, and on much else besides, it is time to think again.

    .

    As for anger, well, you know, I have been angry at those who rule and manipulate and lie since around, uhm, 1968 and especially since around 1980. That’s around 43 years of cold rage. Perhaps, in truth, I have been angry since 1789, or 1642, or the time of Spartacus. Perhaps, then , it is time to get used to this as normative state of being. Indeed, it is possible to posit that to not be angry is to be insane.

  • John Goss

    Jon, Clark, I read it. Persig was a fellow technical author, who did the right thing, and got out. Another was Adam Osborne. When he got out he went into production of the first personal computer, the Osborne 1 (tiny screen and no memory). Osborne called technical authorship the ‘armpit of the industry’. So if like Robert Persig you can write a best-seller, which ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’ was in its day, and that gets you out of writing manuals, it can’t be bad; even though I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.

  • Azra

    off the subject .
    I read this morning (maybe have missed it earlier), that the Drone Programme in Yemen is shifted to under control of CIA… to give the administration freer hand in indiscriminate killing of innocent people. My oh my… what a world we live in….

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Azra, just out of morbid interest, who was running it before? I thought the CIA was running it in ‘Af-Pak’, so was it different in Yemen? Was it the US Army there?
    .

    How about a drone attack on the town of Langley, Virginia? Not everyone there is a terrorist, but you know, it’s a terrorist safe-haven, filled with mass murderers and torturers. They mingle among the civilians, they use innocent civilians as human shields. For decades, they have executed coups, assassinations, wars, etc. Perhaps it’s time for a reckoning? Just a thought. What if a drone got fed up, acquired consciousness and decided to turn on its masters? There’s a Hollywood blockbuster in there, starring Matt Damon, George Clooney and Susan Sarandon. Let’s entitle it ‘Day of the Drones’, or ‘The Last Drone’, or ‘The Day After the Drone’, or ‘Revenge of the Drones’, or just ‘Yee-Haa! Let’s Go Out There and Kick Some Ass With Social Conscience!!’ But seriously, what would happen, if, one night, Langley was attacked by a fleet of drones? Would hiding in a locked sports-bag be adequate ‘protection and survival’? Let’s ask GCHQ/the NSA, shall we? Come on guys, tell us. Wakey-wakey, guys, not had your early morning coffee yet?
    .
    Slapstick Excerpt from An Atonal Langley Haiku: Ode to a Drone-Ape
    .

    Bomb. Drone. Bomb. Drone. Kill. Bomb, Drone. Bomb. Drone. Langley. 666. Lucifer Rising. 5-4-3-2-1, hey-hey, it’s the Manfreds. Helter Skelter. Three Little Piggies. NED. Hand-signals. Masturbation. Petrol-bomb. Dirty Bomb. Pornographic fiction. Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine… Drone. Drone. Drone. 38°56′47″N 77°9′32″W. Are you on the bus? Go go go! Levitate Langley! Ho! Ho! Ho!
    .

    There, that ought to do it.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Oh sorry, in my silly rap, I missed out, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. A slightly different vehicular yarn from ‘Zen and the Art of…’

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “the deposition of my own CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz…” Mark Golding (‘The Young Mark’!?).

    It’s a fascinating post, in all respects.
    .

    Mark, are you saying that you were a CIA agent and that Fuisz was you case officer?
    .
    Your post reminded me of that wet December morning in 1988 when I went out to Lockerbie to help find bodies/body parts (they needed a doctor to confirm death before they can move the bodies, though it was a little academic in that situation) and to assist with the post-mortems.
    .

    I met some RAF doctors there and they were very pleasant and helpful. The post-mortems were done in various chambers within the curling-rink (the bodies had been stored on the competition ice in the main arena). There had been a game on when the crash occurred and above the bodies, the scoreboard was set as it had been mid-game, when abruptly the game had been abandoned. I was somewhat inured to horror and death at that time (it was an A and E job), yet that day, I saw some terrible things which I’ll never forget, it was like something out of ‘Das Boot’ or else a David Lynch film. A young woman, lying on a trolley with perfectly applied strawberry-coloured nail-polish and no face.

    .

    So, I guess this is what drones and bombs do to people.

    .

    I’d been on call the night before in A and E at Dumfries Royal Infirmary when the call came in that a Jumbo jet had crashed. The next morning, as one might expect, Lockerbie was swarming with US officials, USAF, etc – I’m sure the CIA would’ve been there too – so maybe, Mark, your guy was there as well? Who knows…?

  • mary

    Suhayl I share your anger and your pain.
    .
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/5036669430/
    39 Squadron Reaper Pilot at Creech Air Force Base
    .
    A pilot from 39 Sqn remotely controls a Reaper MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, during a training sortie over the west coast of America from Creech Air Force Base.
    .
    UAV’s (sic) can be remotely piloted on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan from half way around the world at Creech AFB.
    .
    39 Sqn who are parented by RAF Waddington in the UK currently have around 70 personnal (sic) based in Nevada covering all trades from pilots to administration staff.
    ~~~
    The punctuation and the spelling are the MOD’s own.

  • Clark

    Suhayl, your account from Lockerbie is heart-rending.
    .
    For sentient bombs, and attitudes towards “aliens”, see a silly sci-fi film called Dark Star. “Let there be light”, said bomb #20.

  • OldMark

    ‘I don’t even live in the UK anymore and neither of my parents were born in your country.’

    So Angry, how did you end up spending time here in your younger days ? You dad wasn’t posted to Upper Heyford or Mildenhall by any chance ? (Or, lets assume quality here, Grosvenor Square) ?

  • mark_golding

    Fascinating Suhayl – I believe the local police were annoyed at the presence of CIA/Secret service who landed by helicopter and contaminated the crime scene.
    .
    I suspect Suhayl you will agree with me that an elaborate attempt has been made to hide the truth about the demise of Pan Am 103. The real sequence of explosive events is denied within the AAIB report and has been substituted with a mythical chain of events.
    .
    My father knew the real truth about the parameter ‘Net Explosive Quantity’ associated with the AAIB report. It was false and we know a fragment removed from from the back of a victim revealed that military HE explosive main stream munitions weapons where taken onboard the plane illegally.
    .
    May I ask you Suhayl did you witness ‘shrapnel’ wounds in any victims laid in the temporary morgue ie fragment holes esp. in a small girl.
    .
    I am so sorry for the victims and I sincerely apologize for revisiting your grief.
    .
    A cover-up has occurred complete with a deliberate attempt to conceal damage, substitution of damaged of components or the loss of components bearing weapon signatures. The official report omits vital photographic evidence and obfuscates evidence in the photographs presented in the official report.
    .
    Suhayl, if you have any evidence please contact me by email for safety reasons.
    .
    AAIB Report
    .
    http://www.montereypeninsulaairport.com/103reportcontents.html

  • Jon

    @Mark, there are several excellent sources of reportage on the Lockerbie affair, and on this one I’d say you are on fairly safe ground. The “conspiracy” version of events exists at the very respectable periphery of mainstream thinking, and in my view is not considered crazy at all. Sadly it doesn’t get sufficient attention in the MSM to change the widespread understanding of events, though.
    .
    Private Eye have done some excellent work on this, and they repeatedly regard the guilty verdict of the Libyan in question as one of the most shameful miscarriages of justice to come out of a Scottish Court. A collation of the relevant back-issues would provide much interesting reading.
    .
    Also, there is a book by two journalists, “A Cover-up of Convenience”. It is quite old now. I have a copy, but confess I have not ever read it – it sits there, on my shelf, expectantly! It is still available on Amazon.

  • mark_golding

    Thanks Jon for the assertion – I enter areas where others fear to tread – I believe it has to be tirelessly done in a year of retribution conspiraloon or not.
    .
    Sorry a better formatted report replicating the original here.
    .
    http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/dft_avsafety_pdf_503158.pdf
    .
    I cannot find access to the original photographs right now but I will keep looking. I also realise the contents of the report are highly technical and gobbledigook to most of us. I will try my best to explain the errors and omissions in the AAIB report later.

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