Beavering Away

by craig on January 24, 2012 10:50 am in Uncategorized

I am sorry there have been so few posts lately. I am terrifically busy. Yesterday I was up before dawn and back after midnight, having spent the day in Wales. Regular readers will realise that I am working on something I shan’t be able to blog about until it has come to fruition. I was most amused recently by a commenter who called me an “armchair critic.” I shall be in Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana in the next two months.

Also I continue to dig into the extraordinary case of Adam Werritty and just why he was holding all those meetings with Matthew Gould, while Gould was Private Secretary to Miliband and then while he was Private Secretary to Hague, and then while he was UK Ambassador to Israel. I have new information, but as I am working on it with someone else quasi-mainstream I shan’t break it before they do. It is a story that really ought to be a television documentary, but given the mainstream media blackout, I was considering whether a podcast format might be a good way to get it further out there. But I need someone who can film it in a reasonably professional way, cutting in pictures, document extracts and interviews in a manner that looks good.

Any ideas or volunteers out there?

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  1. Dear Craig,

    I might be able to help. We two studio cameras here and video editing. What do you need and where? We are in W. Middlesex.

  2. Off Topic:

    Didn’t the investigation into uk torture complicity just get sidelined ad infinitum?

  3. Keep digging on Werritty. The man is an arse. Can’t help with podcast since no knowledge. But I want to see it when produced.

  4. I think Hammond is more of a threat to peace than Fox.
    Here we go.

    24 January 2012 Last updated at 11:35
    Iran escalation ‘could see UK forces sent to Gulf’
    HMS Argyll was part of a US-led carrier group which passed through the Strait of Hormuz
    An escalation of a dispute with Iran could see Britain sending military reinforcements to the Gulf, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
    Sending HMS Argyll as part of an international warship flotilla through the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday was a “clear signal” to Tehran, he said.
    Iran has threatened to close the strait in retaliation for sanctions against its oil exports.
    In total, 35% of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through the strait.
    Asked if more resources could be sent to the region, Mr Hammond said: “The UK has a contingent capability to reinforce that presence should at any time it be considered necessary to do so.”
    He was speaking at a London press conference following the annual round of talks between UK and Australian foreign and defence ministers

    Gillard is joining the embargo on Iranian oil btw.

  5. Thanks for the link Mary – HMS Argyll and a re-armed HMS Westminster shortly to take part in the plot to create an ‘incident’ in the Straits. I believe both ships have Farsi translators on-board.
    HMS Westminster was involved in the evacuation of important British nationals from Libya, a country on the brink of civil war. Why? Because the NTC is corrupt, designed to foster America and Britain’s interests and not the interests of the Libyan people, they made that mistake in Iraq.
    While Russia supplies arms to Syria, India and China are exchanging gold for Iranian oil, circumventing EU sanctions and Russia is blessed with more demands for her energy resources as a result. Good!
    Meanwhile Iran is feverishly building S-300 anti-missile systems from Russian blueprints.
    Gold is achieving dominance over the corrupt financial systems; a cancerous growth of market manipulation that has eroded the normal banking systems and now feeds the elite war mongers plans and coffers.
    Thus we move nearer to another war, a nuclear war that must rid our world of the greedy bastards eyeing dominance, control, suppression of freedoms, police states, surveillance, DNA at birth and biometric implants.
    OK so you think I am a nutter? – notice how ‘Occupy’ has been savagely put down? Notice how the people of Bahrain, Saudi, Egypt, Yemen et al. have been denied freedom? Notice the ‘divide and rule’ in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq – the murder of scientists in Iran, the use of cyber-terror and impending laws to restrict Internet knowledge?
    I say prepare, prepare, prepare for the long haul to death or liberation.

  6. OK so you think I am a nutter?

  7. Rhisiart Gwilym

    24 Jan, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    Whoops! Soba walked straight into it again. Silly bugger!

  8. I edit video for a living but I live in Tokyo.

    If you want a professional looking job doing you need to go to a professional. If your information is sensitive I’d stick with people you know personally. You might get lucky and get someone who will work pro bono, but most pros know pro bono jobs tend to spiral out of control and end up taking a huge amount of time. The discipline of working within a budget and to a schedule always gives a better end product.

    Your first job is to come up with your overall scenario, and a storyboard. Simplest format, introduction outlining what the piece will be about, the main body, your interviews & documents, and your conclusion. Set an overall time you are aiming for, and I’d recommend keeping it as short, focussed and concise as you can. Avoid “what if”,”could it be” “wouldn’t it mean that” etc

    For filming at least you need at least a decent cameraman, lights man & sound guy, and someone to direct. Might seem odd to need a director for something like this but someone has to have the overview of the whole piece so each specialist can stay focussed on their job. Make sure your interviews are focussed, the interviewee has seen the questions first and had time to prepare answers. The more source material you have the more time you have to spend watching it, and time goes by in multiples when you are editing.

    You then need to edit down your interviews, add in your documents, and probably add some voice over, which means access to a decent narration booth, or at least somewhere quiet and a decent quality field recorder. A good editor can do all this (I do it all the time), but be warned, editing can take a long time,depending on the material 3 minutes of video can take anything from and hour to 7 hours to finish. Normal process is to do a rough cut first, no frills, line up your material, watch it, decide if it makes sense, cut out the chaff.

    Avoid the trap of being sucked into your own little world, you know what it is all about, it will make sense to you but it may not make sense to others. So take a break, sleep on it, come back and watch with fresh eyes. Best of all find someone you know and trust to watch it and give you an honest appraisal. Don’t take their criticism personally.

  9. @Mary, Australia’s oil import from Iran is almost nothing! so as usual they are kissing butts of American friends.

  10. > I shall be in Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana in the next two months.
    Nice to see your work in Ghana is still on-going. But this nosey-parker is curious as to what you’re doing in those other countries!

  11. I edit video for a living, but I live in Tokyo.

    I have found pro bono jobs always spiral out of control and produce sub standard results. The discipline of working to a budget and schedule always makes for a better end product. If you have no money you can try willing volunteers, but it will cost you and them time. You might get lucky and find a hands on director type person, but good cameramen, lightsmen, sound guys and editors don’t work for free, though they are sometimes volunteered to do so by someone above who enjoys warm feeling of donating other peoples time, skill and resources.

    The time spent editing will increase by multiples of the amount of material you have. Generally the better prepared you are before you start, the quicker the edit will be. Every minute of material is at least a minute to import, a minute to watch, a minute to check, a minute to export, a minute to check again, so one minute becomes five without any decision making, colour correction, sound syncing, titling etc etc etc. You can spend an hour on three minutes of video, or you can spend 20 hours.

    Your first job is to write a scenario, then storyboard it : introduction, what the film is about, main body, (your interviews and evidence), and your conclusion. Aim to be concise, enough detail to convince, not so much to confuse. Avoid the “what if” format so beloved of the tin foil Mayan Inca Atlantis style of “documentary”, but you need an overall point of view, your argument, be brutal in cutting anything, however interesting, which does not relate to the main point.

    You will probably need a voice over to hold it all together. In this case I guess you will write your script after you have conducted & reviewed your interviews. Narration is a lot harder than it seems, if you are not a pro it is hard to read someone else’s words and make them sound natural.

    Make sure your interviewees have seen the questions before you film, and keep the interviews brief, the physical comfort of the subject is important, don’t keep them waiting, set up, use a stand in to get the light, sound, angles and focus set, then have them sit down & do the interview. If you are doing a Q&A format try not to talk over them, harder than you think when people need response to keep talking. Smiling, nodding and gesturing helps. Keep the interview short and focussed, the more material you have, the more you have to edit, the longer it all takes.

    Avoid being sucked into your own little world, the more you edit the material the more it makes sense to you and the less it makes sense to everyone else, it’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes watch it at intervals. Do one rough cut, line up your material, watch it, take a break, watch it again, edit it down, watch it again, get some sleep, watch it again the next day, if it still makes sense polish it. Don’t get emotionally attached to edited sequences just because they took time to get “right”.

    You can spend months working on things like this, but generally the best results are achieved when you do something within a set time frame, and have a third party whose opinion you trust to watch it dispassionately at intervals, two or three times during the editing process.

  12. As editors and camera operators have already offered their services.. I am a musician and composer who has a good audio rig and would be willing to contribute for free. So, should you need any kind of soundtrack, ambient or otherwise, please let me know. I can compose, mix and master audio files – three jobs for the price of nowt as I know this is worth it. I’ve done documentaries, short films, jingles and audiobooks. Mr John above makes some great points.

  13. doug scorgie

    24 Jan, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    “I think Hammond is more of a threat to peace than Fox.”
    I don’t think it matters who the defence secretary is; the plans for war, I believe, were well advanced before Fox resigned and are now set in motion. Britain is playing its part by sending the navy into the Gulf. We also have about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan plus fighter jets.

    An increase of US forces from 10,000+ to 25,000+ in Kuwait; battleships and aircraft carriers in the area; thousands of US troops, aircraft, helicopters and missiles now in Israel for a pre-planned military “exercise” with the IDF.
    It is highly likely that some Arab states like Saudi-Arabia will also join in with the military hardware supplied by the US.

    Also the Russians think that the US and its allies are going to engage militarily in Syria, not because of concern for protesters but because of Syria’s close ties to Iran. (Daily Telegraph 12/01/12).

    So war with Iran seems a certainty now. I believe Israel will fire the first shot, maybe after a false flag operation. This would allow Obama to claim that the US was dragged into the war and had no choice but defend Israel.

    I just hope I’m wrong but if not I hope that our Prime Minister, Cameron and the rest; Fox, Werrity, Gould, Hammond and Hague are held accountable for what transpires.

    Another thing that concerns me is the possibility of an all out attack on Gaza by Israel (while the Iran conflict gets all the media attention) in order to eliminate Hamas and cleanse the strip of Palestinians and annex the land for Jewish only settlers.

  14. Just out : Indian ‘India to buy Iran oil in gold not dollars’
    and China is to follow suit, this expect to push the price of Gold up and dollor down. God help Iran, the war seems inevitable now.. This is something which USA would fight to death for , to keep dollar as the world currency for trade.

  15. Doug, agree with most, but a possible/likely attack on Ghaza to cleanse it of Palestinians would surely be a Ghaza Holocaust, would it not?
    Re taking the Ghaza strip for its gas reserves off the coast would be another likely explanation of such deadly folly.
    israel is harrassing hamas all over the place, arresting MP and long standing campaigners within the grounds and independent territory of the International Red cross in jerusalem and at road blocks, anything to stall the impending unity of the two factions.

  16. Doug. Hope you are wrong about the build up but fear you are not. I meant that Hammond is more gabby than Fox and seems to be more than willing to be the voice of Cameron et al not just on this but on Libya and Syria too. A creep. The great British public haven’t got a clue what is going on nor seem to care. It’s the price of petrol that is newsworthy today.

    Ingo. They have already had their greater shoah (holocaust) on Gaza, ie Cast Lead, as promised by Vilnai. Total annihilation is what they want but would they dare?

  17. “@Mary, Australia’s oil import from Iran is almost nothing! so as usual they are kissing butts of American friends.”
    I am afraid, the butts they kiss are closer to home, those colonies as yet have not learnt how to tack an independent course.
    This ought to clarify the point Their speech was probably faxed to them from No. 10.

  18. Craig – some of your productivity tips would be great to read sometime. But i suspect you are an industrious one because you take care of traction and momentum ~intuitively.
    This just up – “Julian Asssange to host own tv show”
    Tony12 are you responsible for the noisy campaign of TonyOPMOC drunken spleen posts? – His help would likely not be free – of more creepily unrestrained woozey ramblings.

  19. “thousands of US troops, aircraft, helicopters and missiles now in Israel for a pre-planned military “exercise” with the IDF” — Doug Scorgie
    But that’s been called off. (So did they go there at all?)

  20. Has anyone seen any MSM reports about an American newspaper editor publicly suggesting in his US newspaper that Israel should assassinate Obama?

  21. “Has anyone seen any MSM reports about an American newspaper editor publicly suggesting in his US newspaper that Israel should assassinate Obama?”
    It was in Haaretz at least. Can’t comment regarding others.

  22. Azra wrote: “This is something which USA would fight to death for, to keep dollar as the world currency for trade.”

    I think China has been slowly reducing its dollar holding (and buying gold?) for some time and the only thing that has kept to dollar is some strange buying in London. I hope it isn’t the UK Gov buying some soon-to-be useless paper.

    If someone knows more about this, perhaps the could clarify what is going on?

  23. ‘Iran sanctions, provocation for war’

    Press TV has interviewed Jeff Gates, author of Guilt by Association from California about the oil embargo against Iran that Ron Paul the US presidential candidate terms an act of war and its possible effect on world oil prices. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

  24. From
    “India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in gold instead of the US dollar, debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources report exclusively. Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran’s total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets.
    By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank’s assets and the oil embargo which the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports.
    The vast sums involved in these transactions are expected, furthermore, to boost the price of gold and depress the value of the dollar on world markets.
    Iran’s second largest customer after China, India purchases around $12 billion a year’s worth of Iranian crude, or about 12 percent of its consumption. Delhi is to execute its transactions, according to our sources, through two state-owned banks: the Calcutta-based UCO Bank, whose board of directors is made up of Indian government and Reserve Bank of India representatives; and Halk Bankasi (Peoples Bank), Turkey’s seventh largest bank which is owned by the government.
    An Indian delegation visited Tehran last week to discuss payment options in view of the new sanctions. The two sides were reported to have agreed that payment for the oil purchased would be partly in yen and partly in rupees. The switch to gold was kept dark.
    India thus joins China in opting out of the US-led European sanctions against Iran’s international oil and financial business. Turkey announced publicly last week that it would not adhere to any sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program unless they were imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
    The EU decision of Monday banned the signing of new oil contracts with Iran at once, while phasing out existing transactions by July 1, 2012, when the European embargo, like the measure enforced by the United States, becomes total. The European foreign ministers also approved a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran which handles all the country’s oil transactions.
    However, the damage those sanctions cause the Iranian economy will be substantially cushioned by the oil deals to be channeled through Turkish and Indian state banks. China for its part has declared its opposition to sanctions against Iran.
    debkafile’s intelligence sources disclose that Tehran has set up alternative financial mechanisms with China and Russia for getting paid for its oil in currencies other than US dollars. Both Beijing and Moscow are keeping the workings of those mechanisms top secret.”
    In other words, the US admin must be shitting itself (and getting very angry). Losing its special currency status will/would tank the US economy.

  25. doug scorgie

    24 Jan, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    “But that’s been called off. (So did they go there at all?)”
    Yes looks like it’s been postponed for a few months. I don’t know if any US troops are in Israel at the moment but US military hardware has been stockpiling in Israel since 2009.

  26. Good post Nuid – Alternate sources gives me confidence in my own intelligence.
    btw Azra – sorry for the sat. install delay. I am waiting for information and then need to test this week before I can write the install and setup instructions.

  27. I’ve always felt that Obama was plucked out of obscurity and elevated to the Whitehouse, precisely because his ‘face’ could get away with an attack on Iran, something yet another; dumb, inarticulate, grey-haired, old, white dude, in the oval office would have extreme difficulty pulling off.
    Will the Americans really provoke the Iranians into starting a war? This scenario is frighteningly similar to the way the US forced Japan into war by cutting off its supply of raw materials, especially oil, so the Japanese were under siege and had the choice of slow, economic, strangulation, or risking everything by attacking the US in the desparate hope that they could fight the US to a standstill and negotiate some kind of peace on favourable terms. Unfortunately the Japanese underestimated the ruthlessness of the Americans and their desire to expand even further across the Pacific into Asia, which brings us neatly back to the present and the prospect of war with Iran.

    The US sees Iran as a vital route into Central Asia and the vast energy reserves it contains. A New Iran would form a collosal wedge of enormous strategic value between Russia and China and weaken both of them, in preparation for new wars of ‘liberation’ aimed at them and changing their regimes.

    The vital question for world peace is, will China and Russia simply allow the US to destroy Iran in preparation for what they must know is a coming attack on them? Can they really afford to let Iran, which functions as a buffer and protects them from direct conflict with the US, go down, or will they be forced to step in to protect Iran and their own vital national security interests? Which is where the WW3 nightmare comes into play.

  28. I was in contact with Iran today, apparently lots of people are writing to the Oil Minister asking him to stop exporting oil to EU, even if Iran has to pay a penalty for breaking of its contract.
    Some are calling for stopping any negotiations with the inspectors too. I don’t think in the west the idiot governments realize that it is now the matter of national pride for Iranian to support the government even those who are in opposition.

  29. @Mark Golding : No Problem! I am off to Iran soon in any case, so any satellite installation will have to wait until I come back

  30. “OK so you think I am a nutter? – notice how ‘Occupy’ has been savagely put down?”

    I agree with Angrysoba – if you want to see savage put downs might I suggest you look at Syria, where Assad among other attrocities has even shelled a Palestiniann refugee camp.

  31. Only having some fun, like games of the “guess the connection” type: What do Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana have in common that C.M. should visit them all? One guess: GOLD! Hidden Nazi gold looted from their victims, the gold of the hidden city El Dorado, the hidden gold of Ahmad Shah, and Ghana was once called the “Gold Coast”, so I reckon there must be gold there somewhere.

    OK, now you have a go. :)

  32. Mark
    You’re nut a nutter

  33. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    “Will the Americans really provoke the Iranians into starting a war? This scenario is frighteningly similar to the way the US forced Japan into war by cutting off its supply of raw materials, ”

    Really, Write-on? Don’t you want to change it to Write-out, you know, like out yer arse?
    It’s fundamental to include some corroboration to your ‘opinions’. Try some contextual history.

    “Therefore the 1930s saw a steadily increasing campaign of Japanese aggression in China, beginning with the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and culminating in the outbreak of full-scale war between the two powers in 1937. Each instance of aggression resulted in denunciations from the United States, but the administrations of the time—that of Herbert Hoover until 1933, and of Franklin D. Roosevelt thereafter-understood that there was no will on the part of the American public to fight a war in East Asia. Therefore U.S. policy by the late 1930s consisted of nothing more than a refusal to recognize Japanese conquests, limited economic sanctions against Japan, and equally limited military and economic assistance for China.”

  34. Will the US really attack Iran? All the indications are there, but the US doesn’t generally attack well armed countries. The last three were Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, all essentially undefended.
    Can the US afford not to attack Iran? The US dollar is already well overstretched; if Iran stops selling oil in dollars the crash of the dollar moves much closer.
    What happens if the US does attack Iran? The US nearly doubled its deficit attacking and occupying Iraq; Iran is, what, ten times better armed?

  35. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    “Can the US afford not to attack Iran? The US dollar is already well overstretched; if Iran stops selling oil in dollars the crash of the dollar moves much closer.”

    As you may know, Saddam made the same mistake in 2000 when he threatened to require Euros.
    Oil is still King, long live the King. If you think cutting off oil is not threat to a Nation’s security, you aren’t paying attention.

  36. Dear Ben Franklin,

    I fail to see what relevance or context the extract you quote from has for understanding the reasons why the US government wanted to go to war with Japan… apart from making sure that Japanese imperialism didn’t go to far and create an Asian empire that might potentially undermine the plans the US had for their own expansion into Asia, and the really big prize, opening up China?
    The war was triggered, not by limited sanctions aimed at Japan, but by an oil emargo designed to strangle Japan economically for its ‘crimes’ which seem to have been that the US didn’t want Japan to ‘take-over’ the juicy Chinese pie, a pie which the US had its own greedy eye on, and had, for decades, as it steadily expanding across the Pacific, which is why the US attacked the Spanish Empire, a fruit ripe for plucking, more valuable stepping stones towards Asia.
    This is how rival empires behave. They grab what they can for themselves and push other weaker empires, or countries, aside. There’s nothing morally good about any empire, not even the American one.
    There was, if one cares to do a bit of historical research, a peace party in Japan that didn’t believe that Japan could win a war with the United States and that Japan should seek a negotiated ‘deal’ to carve up the Asian pie with the United States. Unfortunately that faction was systematically undermined by the United States who didn’t want peace with Japan, but war, to expand the empire and turn Japan into a vassal state. The US wanted the military and nationalistic war-party to triumph in Japan as this would make war almost inevitible, a war Washington was convinced it would win.

  37. Ben Franklin, Iran’s threat to embargo oil is a response to sanctions; the cheapest, most effective way of solving this problem is to deal reasonably with Iran. Other options look, to me, like economic suicide for the US.
    This is the crux of imperialism; the imperialist powers subvert the state against the interests of its people.

  38. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 9:22 pm

    “most effective way of solving this problem is to deal reasonably with Iran.”


    Considering the bent spine of History between US/Iran, how would you proceed?

  39. One can argue that the US military was ‘defeated’ in both Iraq and Afghanistan, fought to a standstill by determined and lightly-armed militias.
    But, if the object of these seemingly pointless and insane invasions and occupations, was to destroy these countries as states, and create an example, showing exactly what a high price one pays if one defies the empire and threatens its interests, then, arguably, the colossal material destruction and massive loss of life, was worth it. Though I suspect other countries that have valuable resources or a strategically important position, might have learnt a different lesson from the crimes committed in Afghanistan, Irag, Libya and elsewhere.

    But I do agree with Ben Franklin that all the wars we’ve seen recently have been fundamentally about access to and control of energy supplies, and the one’s that are coming will be about energy too.

    I think the Americans have a pretty obvious strategy, controling the routes, by land and sea, by which China fuels its economy and growth. Control China’s access to energy and raw materials, and ultimately one controls China, at least in theory, unless the Chinese decide to break the enciclement and challenge the US empire.

    Though most of my Chinese friends reckon this will take twenty to thirty years befor they are strong enough to seek parity with the US, to which I usually reply, do you really think Washington will give you twenty years?

  40. Ben Franklin: “how would you proceed?”
    Well, a good start might be for Obama to live up to his election promises. But generally, commence negotiation in good faith.

  41. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 9:31 pm


    As you know this was an outgrowth of the Russo-Japanese War. Japan had some Imperialism of their own. The US never invaded China, except to rescue diplomats caught up in the Boxer rebellion, which was a response to the British control over opium. I think I object most to your projective ability to excuse the UK for it’s hegemony. I hear a lot of America bashing, but then, you probably stipulate British accountability.

  42. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    “commence negotiation in good faith.”

    Clark; You see BOTH parties capable of accomplishing this simple equation?

  43. Writeon, depriving China of energy in the long-term may prove difficult; they intend to build some of these, that the US was silly enough to give up on in 1969:

  44. Ben Franklin, yes, I think its possible. They both have too much to lose otherwise. Are you suggesting that the US is incapable of behaving rationally?

  45. Ben Franklin

    24 Jan, 2012 - 9:39 pm

    ” Are you suggesting that the US is incapable of behaving rationally?”

    I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me.

  46. “I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me.”
    Now he DOES sound like Larry.

  47. The US would behave rationally if its leaders would stop tricking its voters. Same with the UK. I don’t think Writeon has any more respect for the British elite than that of the US. Sorry for so much US bashing, but I suppose whoever has the biggest stick has to expect that, the lesser powers just get somewhat forgotten.

  48. I think… though this is highly controversial and speculative… that the United States has become something pretty close to a form of military dictatorship, like when the Roman Republic died and the Roman legions became the real power in the empire.
    Of course we may only fully realise this, the change from Republic to Empire, when we look back on events decades from now.

    Today the core of the empire the part of the US imperial state that functions properly, is the military, compared to almost any other part of society. The military is a kind of parallel state, or state within a state, with, increasingly, its own, separate culture, economy, and social structure. Obviously the social structure of the military isn’t characterised by being ‘democratic’, but is based on a rigid, semi-fuedal, form of hierachy, that many would describe as totalitarian.

    Increasingly the military, which has the closest links with the corporations and the political establishment, has ‘interests’ of its own that don’t necessarily follow those of the rest of civilian society, even though, in theory the military is under civilian control and is funded by civilian taxes.

    But increasinlgy the US military is on a different trajectory to the rest of society, almost like a parasite that has swallowed its host. The real economy is shrinking, living standards for ordinary Americans have fallen for decades, yet the military budget keeps growing and growing eating more and more of the national pie, because it ‘protects’ the people, and it’s this increasingly bizarre ‘social contract’ or relationship, that reminds me of the fuedal relationship between the medieval Knight class and the peasants.

  49. I certainly think that Iran would negotiate in good faith; they are considerably the weaker party, and their (limited) progress towards democracy (again) bodes well. Oh, there would be lots of screechy religious posturing against Israel, and Israel would respond with similar noises, but I think the oil could be kept flowing, because it is in the interests of both sides.

  50. I am certainly not bashing America or Americans, on the contrary, I like Americans and America. My second wife was American and two of my children live there. What I’m ‘bashing’ is ‘Washington’ and the ruthless, greedy, ‘ruling class’ that are destroying the ‘American Dream’ underming the futures of most people, wasting billions on foreign wars when the money would be better spent on creating jobs, raising living standards for working people, and re-building the country’s infrastructure instead.

    I think the country’s been taken over by what ammounts to an ‘aristocracy’ that’s supported by a military/industrial machine, and that rebublican democracy has been pushed aside by an empire, that for various reasons doesn’t give a damn about the ordinary folks in the US, and frankly doesn’t even need them anymore as it expands globally.

  51. Clark;

    ‘The US would behave rationally if its leaders would stop tricking its voters. ”

    Are you thinking this is a new phenomenon? That’s the way it’s always been. Why is there so many of the Elites trying to limit access to the internet? (SOPA/PIPA)

    They are getting their asses handed to them every day, because the old 24-hour news cycle is now 24 seconds and they don’t like to operate in the light of day. It’s very inconvenient to get calls from your constituency about your questionable legislative activity before you’ve actually accomplished the skullduggery.

  52. Thanks for clarifying, Writeon. I second that thought.

  53. Ben Franklin, no, the duplicity of the rulers (US and worldwide) is nothing new. However, it is becoming critically important.
    Ben, a US attack on Iran looks like economic insanity to me, given what the attack on Iraq did to the US coffers. Do you think the US economy would survive? Is it not madness to even consider it?

  54. Anon 24 Jan, 2012 – 7:46 pm
    “OK so you think I am a nutter? – notice how ‘Occupy’ has been savagely put down?”
    I agree with Angrysoba – if you want to see savage put downs might I suggest you look at Syria, where Assad among other attrocities has even shelled a Palestiniann refugee camp.
    Could we please have a source for that piece of black propaganda.

  55. Whilst the bloggers are naval gazing and asking will the war on Iran happen or will it not, thus pondering in the wake of the latest rounds of European sanctions on Iranian oil; Coryton is the elephant in the room.
    Billy fourteen pints, on his tour of the capitals practising his Churchillian poses forgot; thou shalt not shoot thine toe, edict. Hence, reiterating the extent of the inexperience of the current ruling coalition; falling victim to the machinations of zionist sponsors of Fox, Werrity, Gould. The drunk on power newcomers, would never have dreamt their grandstanding can come back to bite them on the arse so fast.
    Petroplus, Europe’s largest independent refiner, said it will file for insolvency as talks with lenders to resume funding failed. Lenders suspended about $1 billion of uncommitted credit lines in December and denied access to a further $1.05 billion of committed loans this month. That forced Petroplus to halt three of its European refineries and run the remaining two, in England and Germany, at reduced capacity.
    Have we witnessed the first sanction that hurt the “sanctioneers” before hurting the “sanctioned” could have been pulled off by the current shower masquerading as the ruling coalition?
    Given the tight credit environment and the degrees of risk aversion practises engaged in by the banking sector, the plug was pulled on Coryton. To further illustrate the point; refineries are designed for processing around the particular grades of hydrocarbons, and the impending shortages of the Iranian crude in the European markets, was the last straw that broke the back of the beleaguered lame group of refineries.
    You read this here first, no one else is even hinting at this story. Apparently, refiners can go bust for no reason everyday. This is to protect the incompetent bunch of bastards who thought they can swing their dick around and not get it caught in a mangle, well miscalculation or what?
    On the day the UK debt hits one trillion pounds (remind me what is our GDP), unemployment soaring, and bank of England presses are set to roll printing more fiat money to pay for the costs of the adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. the news of people having to pay more for their fuel, because some tweets bought into the paranoia of a bunch of psychotic zionists somehow does not get out, and the punters are left to fathom it out on their own, in the media blackout.

  56. ” Is it not madness to even consider it?”

    Clearly. But the prime mover, Israel, seems now to be doubting their own intel, and last I heard was backing off the BOMB rhetoric. The Jewish lobby here is strong, and aided by End-Timers of the Christian Right (I throw-up a little in my mouth when I refer to them as ‘Christian) so Obama
    has been tickling the dragon’s tail to keep them mollified.

  57. Hmmm, “tickling the dragon’s tail” is what killed Louis Slotin:

  58. Clark;

    I think ‘good faith’ needs to be shown by Iran. A good place to start would be the Parliamentary elections in March…

    “Despite assertions by the leaders that reformist candidates will be allowed to participate in the parliamentary elections, to be held in March, the two principal reformist opposition figures in Iran, Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both former presidential candidates, remained under house arrest for most of 2011, their supporters say, and both are urging followers to stay away from the polls.

    Even Iran’s mildly reform-minded former president, Mohammad Khatami, who has not been treated as harshly by the government, said in December that reformist candidates would not run in the March elections. That would create a glaring gap that could prove worrisome in providing the appearance of a choice of candidates, and undermine the quest for legitimacy.

    “It was expected that the conditions would be granted so that the reformists could participate in the elections, but the conditions were not met,” Mr. Khatami was quoted as saying in Iranian news accounts.”

  59. There is obviously a knock on effect of the USUKIs confrontation with Iran, but Petroplus’s problems go back some time. They have been attempting to sell refineries and three in Europe were shut down on Dec 30. The smart alecs have come a cropper.
    ‘Employees were working at the refinery as normal but no shipments of refined products were being made, a condition imposed by the lenders, Margrave said.
    Refinery profitability has been squeezed as operating expenses and the cost of crude oil rose faster than the value of the products, and the economic slowdown in Europe has added to the pressure.
    A survey by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie in 2010 found that 29 of 96 refineries in the European Union did not generate a positive net cash margin.’

    All part of the coming economic crash.

  60. Ben: “Israel seems now to be doubting their own intel, and last I heard was backing off the BOMB rhetoric.”
    Got a link for that please?

  61. “Louis Slotin:”

    I suspect this is one of the most barbaric ways to die; worse than drawing/quartering or fire.

    link…..for Clark….

    The bad intel is my speculation…

  62. Mary,
    These latest batch of sanctions were not secret, and were known about in advance. This line; Lenders suspended about $1 billion of uncommitted credit lines in December and denied access to a further $1.05 billion of committed loans this month. Is the tell all.
    The last three weeks have been spent in a holding pattern and the axe then falls with the allocated and cleared funds “committed loans” getting pulled, upon the policy announcement.
    The very public casualty of the wrong foreign policy and no one is hinting at it. The extent of the departure from sanity seems to be unbounded.
    However, do any of the sponsors of Fox Werrity Gould, have refinery interests? Ought to be the next question that is asked.

  63. Ben, Iran is not a great threat to anyone; the US is a major threat to Iran. Yes, Iran’s internal power structures leave much to be desired. My personal belief is that Iran will continue to improve so long as no one interferes. It already has improved since the Ayatollahs; that’s pretty fast improvement in the time-scale of national development. The former, more functional Iranian democracy still exists in living memory; it would be a tragedy to eclipse that memory with a war.

  64. Sorry, I should clarify. I wrote: “Iran is not a great threat to anyone; the US is a major threat to Iran”. My point is that it doesn’t matter much if Iran negotiates in poor faith because Iran is not hugely powerful. The worst outcomes of a breach of faith by Iran would be far less damaging than either a war or an oil embargo.

  65. “Tony12 are you responsible for the noisy campaign of TonyOPMOC drunken spleen posts? – His help would likely not be free – of more creepily unrestrained woozey ramblings.”

    No. Too busy working most of the time. I am a much more simple soul. We do classical music videos, documentaries and interviews – mainly for the internet so we have the right codecs for delivering content, not just for broadcasting or making DVDs.

  66. ” My personal belief is that Iran will continue to improve so long as no one interferes”

    Is the opposition still functioning? I read reports that even amongst that group there is some Nationalism closing ranks behind the Ayatollahs as they grapple with the US.

  67. House demolition (for the fifth time) has just taken place in north east Jerusalem along with virtual ethnic cleansing.
    » News » ICAHD Peace Center ‘Beit Arabiya’ Demolished for the Fifth Time
    January 24th, 2012
    Israeli authorities demolished Beit Arabiya (“Arabiya’s House”) last night (Monday, January 23rd) for the fifth time, along with structures in the East Anata Bedouin compound. Beit Arabiya, Located in the West Bank town of Anata (Area C) just to the northeast of Jerusalem, is a living symbol of resistance to Occupation and the desire for justice and peace.
    As its name suggests, Beit Arabiya is a home belonging to Arabiya Shawamreh, her husband Salim and their seven children, a Palestinian family whose home has been demolished four times by the Israeli authorities and rebuilt each time by ICAHD’s Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists, before being demolished again last night.
    At around 11p.m. Monday, a bulldozer accompanied by a contingent of heavily armed Israeli soldiers appeared on the Anata hills, to promptly demolish Beit Arabiya, along with residential and agricultural structures in the nearby Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin compound. 3 family homes were demolished along with numerous animal pans, and 20 people including young children were displaced, left exposed to the harsh desert environment. While standing in solidarity with Palestinians, ICAHD staff and activists were repeatedly threatened by Israeli soldieries. ICAHD Co-Director Itay Epshtain was beaten and sustained minor injuries.

  68. “My point is that it doesn’t matter much if Iran negotiates in poor faith because Iran is not hugely powerful. ”

    That’s is not the perception, and as you know, perception is everything. My point is; if they want pressure off, there are steps they can take to defuse criticism.

  69. Ben wrote: “there is some Nationalism closing ranks behind the Ayatollahs as they grapple with the US”.
    This is exactly the point Azra made earlier, that the threats against Iran are rallying support for the current leadership, the exact opposite of declared intentions.
    “Is the opposition still functioning?”: Well, the individual opposition leaders are presumably being hindered and suppressed. However, such progressive opposition was far more brutally suppressed under the Ayatollahs, but it survived and reasserted itself. No one can eliminate the urge to freedom.

  70. Ben, what steps? Doesn’t Iran have an energy shortage? If they give up enriching uranium they have no hope of energy security.
    As for perception, the West doesn’t have to tolerate corporate spin, misinformation and sensationalism in its media. Just publicising the CIA’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear programme would help to calm public opinion about Iran.

  71. “if they want pressure off, there are steps they can take to defuse criticism.”
    Yeah bend over and open wide.
    This is the dialogue of the deaf, the dumb, and the mute.
    So far as your reference to “opposition” meaning bough and paid for foreign assets go, there is trouble at the mill and none of the so called “opposition” are in any position to deliver the goods that they promised these will to their foreign sponsors. Surely you ought to know about the conversation during which the illustrious member of the “opposition” declared; go for even more biting sanctions! alas the same guy, now is on the run, and his corrupt family members are getting tried for all manner of misappropriation of the public funds in their care.
    We all know that Iran does not have a military nuclear program, hence the pantomime cry; “oh, no Iran does have”. We also can recall the day after the DPRK detonating their first Nuke and the neoconservatives declaring in chorus: “on no they don’t”, “how can a device sitting in barn pose a threat?”, “how can DPRK get their device (not bombs) airborne”, “How can DPRK device be compared with our nuclear arsenal?”

  72. “Ben, what steps?”

    Unencumbered elections this March. (see comment above)

  73. Ben Franklin,
    No more, if you wan it you best pay for it properly mate!
    Same goes for Russia and guess what Syria too. (how is it going there?)
    No more jean sharpery and invasions without occupation on the cheap.

  74. “Unencumbered elections this March.”
    That’s no business of the United States.

  75. As I posted on the Afghan Farce thread:
    “Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes”
    “Israel: No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program. Barak: Any decision to Strike Iran ‘Far off’.”

  76. Quite ‘Anon’ – I have spent some time investigating Latakia and the city’s impoverished districts of al-Ramel, al-Shaab and Ein Tamra. Al-Ramel is home to a crowded Palestinian refugee camp where many low-income Syrians also live. Reports of shelling from government tanks, anti-aircraft fire against civilians and an off shore bombardment by naval guns was reported by Western media and some Arabic news agencies. Indeed the refugee camp in Al-Ramel was under fire from government forces having been infiltrated by armed terrorist gangs according to the SANA news agency. Does that tactic ring any bells with anyone?
    Sadly Western media has been playing games in its coverage about Syria. For the first few months, that same media insisted (against claims to the contrary by the repressive regime) that the Syrian uprising was peaceful: that is, it was part of the touted “Arab spring.”
    Western media insisted that all claims about armed elements of the opposition were mere fabrications by the regime. Yet, when an opposition “army” was announced, and when news of armed clashes in Homs and other places appeared, there were no explanations in the Western press. There was no attempt to reconcile the claims and the later reportage.
    But what is also curious is that Western media was desperate to deliver propaganda services to the cause of the Syrian National Council (there is opposition in Syria beyond the council, of course). Western media have been mere cheerleaders for the Syrian National Council. (This criticisms also applies to the news media of the Saudi and Qatari ruling dynasties).
    Anon – I agree some atrocities have occurred in Syria; urban warfare is very tricky and civilians are difficult to distinguish from combatants such as armed militia and gangs. Libya however has exposed the West’s modus operandi of divide and rule after NATO intervention ie sanctions, no-fly zones and air bombardment that murder thousands of civilians indescriminately.

  77. “if they want pressure off, there are steps they can take to defuse criticism.”
    Perhaps Iran should start criticising the fake presidential elections in the United States? Americans don’t elect the president. He is bought and paid for.

  78. Ben wrote: “Unencumbered elections this March”.
    (1) If Ben and Azra are right, and sanctions have rallied support behind the current rulers, an election might not change the power balance much.
    (2) If a new government got in, they’d most likely continue uranium enrichment, so the pressure from the US would continue.
    (3) Iran has been changing pretty fast, but March is only two months away; this is expecting too much.
    (4) A US attack because of Iran’s internal voting arrangements? Utterly disproportionate and unconscionable.
    Actually, I’ve thought of a step Iran could take myself: they could start developing LFTRs – Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactors – which don’t have to produce plutonium in operation. Well, it’s not a very practical idea. Iran needs energy now; LFTR development wouldn’t solve that problem.

  79. Perhaps I should also quote Ben Franklin from the Afghan Farce thread:
    “The public doesn’t understand about Petrodollars, and probably doesn’t care. Therefore, a cover story must be created. They DO understand fear of nukes, so there you have it.”

  80. Clark,
    Iran’s nuclear energy program is peaceful and the strict regime of IAEA inspections has verified thus. Fact that luminaries such as self promoting “David Albright”, cast doubts even on their own creature (IAEA) is an all too apparent push for aggression and war. This fact is glaringly set out in Gordon Prather the genuine nuclear physicist’s publications
    The issue of Iran’s nuclear program is a hook for the current wannabe Hegemons to hang their aggressive mitts on.
    The insanity of the all or bust theory of the US is akin to the Hitler WWII attitude, and as Chinese people daily (very orthodox communist party publication) declares is making Russia and China nervous.

  81. Clark;

    Fair elections don’t have certain outcomes. If the electorate ‘chooses’ to keep the power structure intact, and it is through a viable electoral process, then it is good faith. Let the chips fall where they may…

    “4) A US attack because of Iran’s internal voting arrangements? Utterly disproportionate and unconscionable.”

    This is a stupid conclusion to make in light of this current discussion. I suggested ‘good faith’ by Iran might include fair elections allowing the opposition to freely participate. You have completely
    fucked that idea up by suggesting I would support an attack if such elections were not forthcoming. Or did you just go ‘barmy’ again? Need to clarify?

  82. Fedup; Iran Proxy? Hezbollah is calling on line 3…

  83. So, Benny, what do you want Iran to negotiate in good faith ABOUT?

  84. Hezbollah is calling on line 3,
    yeah they kicked the ziofuckwits butt to kingdom come, you still soar aren’t you?
    You really have no fucking Idea that people of the world cannot be pushed around for ever, do you?

  85. Hello? Ben?
    Read my comments from 11:14 pm onwards, and then tell me what you want Iran to negotiate in good faith ABOUT.
    I’d really like to know.

  86. “yeah they kicked the ziofuckwits butt to kingdom come, you still soar aren’t you?”

    You sound anti-semitic.

  87. You sound anti-semitic.
    Who the fuck are you to say that, and why the fuck do you say it, and what fucking relevance does it have with the price of eggs in the farm yard, and who are Semites again?

  88. Ben: “by suggesting I would support an attack if such elections were not forthcoming”… sorry, I saw that such an interpretation was possible, but ignored it in interest of brevity.
    Fedup, NO conventional nuclear power programme can safely be regarded as entirely for peaceful purposes, as conventional reactors inevitably produce plutonium. This fact illustrates the lie that pressure on Iran is to halt its uranium enrichment programme, and if they just get their enriched uranium from another country the pressure will stop. Well, it might stop for three years or so, until Iran removes its first “spent fuel” from its reactors, but that spent fuel will contain plutonium, which is a bigger proliferation problem than enriched uranium.

  89. NO more jean sharpery, end of. Now piss off.

  90. Goodness, you do run fast, Ben.

  91. ” what fucking relevance does it have with the price of eggs in the farm yard, and who are Semites again?”

    Asking that question followed by your incomprehensible metaphor, makes you ignorant beyond all redemptive self-awareness

    Bugger off…

  92. 😀

  93. Clark,
    You can never be sure crossing the road, you will make it to the other side safely.
    To expect absolute degrees of certainty, in a system such as our universe that abhors absolutism is silly.
    If Iran did have the nukes she would not be harassed, and bullied 24/7/52

  94. Fedup and Ben, please keep it civil. Ben, I doubt that Fedup hates anyone merely for being Jewish. Fedup, Ben has stated that a US war on Iran would be insane. We can negotiate, or go for all-out conflict… Let’s set a good example.

  95. ignorant beyond all redemptive self-awareness
    Cannot stand yet another ziofuckwit episode. Wanker going round and around and whining on about fucking nukes, elections, and shite. Your mission here is to regurgitate the same shite over and again playing out the usual Kabuki.
    I may have given the wrong impression that I give a rats arse about your fucking brain farts. Nah I don’t.

  96. Clark;

    We have trolls in the US. It’s my fault for responding to the ignoramus.

  97. Fedup, I don’t like conventional reactors in any country. They’re dangerous, dirty and each refueling increases the weapons proliferation risk. They also burn uranium far too fast due to their gross inefficiency. I was opposed to Mutually Assured Destruction in the Cold war, and I’m opposed to it for Iran, too.

  98. Ben, Nuid’s question merits an answer.

  99. Clark
    These cretins cannot justify their vile racist apartheid supremacist system of exceptionalness. Hence the usual ” you hate Jews”, evidently in post Christian Europe it is mandatory to love Jews, indifference cannot be tolerated and must be inferred to as hatred.
    However, to expect a resolution by engaging the lowlife practitioners of ziofuckwitry is expecting t find ice cream growing on banana trees in the tropics, ie no fucking chance.

  100. Clark
    Conventional reactors, what do you mean? (I am not being nasty)
    Elaborate (shorthand would do) please.

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