154 thoughts on “Chris Huhne Resigns as England Captain

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  • clark

    Vronsky, you wrote: “your view is a counsel of despair”. You’re right, I do despair sometimes. I’m tempted to move to Scotland, where my opposition could be turned to a useful vote.
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    But there IS opposition here. The swing towards the LibDems in the last election was the votes of some of the opposition, not that it’s done any good. It might have done, had parliament ended up more balanced, but the Tories rallied towards the vote and nearly gained an overall majority (thank you, Mainstream Media). The swing towards the Greens in the ’80s was the same opposition – fragmented, see? But all such swings get nowhere, because under FPTP, to know which opposition stands a chance and is thus worth voting for, you need to know the result before the election.

  • kingfelix

    Clark – move!
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    I left in 2004. I have yet to live anywhere where a ‘useful vote’ is possible to cast – Eire, when the parties were all in thrall to the Celtic Tiger, the US, in a solid blue state, Guatemala, where your vote may or not be counted, and now, Taiwan, where both mainstream parties have almost identical platforms.
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    For all that, given the three main parties in the UK all featured manifesto commitments to continue the good work in Afghanistan, which was the one issue that would have secured my vote (yes, there was always the BNP…), then I tend to think ‘useful vote’ is a beautiful idea, but more rarely sighted than the unicorn.
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    Looking at the various social protests swirling around, it seems innumerable people are reaching a similar conclusion.

  • Anon the one and only

    Jon

    For the record all the anon posts on this thread are mine.

    King Felix

    So you want to get rid of Assad and don’t want Syria reduced to a “do nothing” vs “US imperialism” conflict. So what is the something you want to see in order to remove Assad? I would have thought UN resolutions, pressure on Russia and China, Arab League pressure, support for the Syrian opposition (most of whom have alos made clear that they don’t want foreign military intervention) all candidates for consideration. One of the saddest things in the world to day I’m afraid is the paucity of thinking about how to remove tyrants – which amounts to “do nothing” by many who oppose US imperialism. Some of course are even worse, and result to abuse against anyone who doesn’t buy into the “do nothing” line.

    As to what is happening in Syria not belonging to the order of the “real” – you should perhaps note that this is not a view shared by commentators such as Robert Fisk, who are normally considered as more than reliable by those who share your viewpoint or even George Galloway after Assad shelled Palestininian refugees at Latakia.

  • Anon the one and only

    Clark

    Don’t be fooled – nationalism and progressive politics never make long term bedfellows, as was pointed out by Orwell in his Lion and the Unicorn essay.

  • kingfelix

    Anon The One and Only
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    I don’t ‘want rid’ of Assad. No more than I expect to be entitled to pick and choose the leaders of any other country. I think that attitude is a major part of the problem, and this sense of entitlement/moral duty to intervene is what the US and its allies cultivate among its populations to facilitate their interventions, which, however, are turned towards completely different goals to ‘democracy’ or ‘protecting life’ etc.
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    If there is a Syrian opposition movement forming, then the usual means of supporting them can be pursued, it’s not a new situation. Ingo has it right that instead of show some patience, the neocons present these things as requiring action ‘now’ – and again, the public are wired up for this sort of instant gratification these days.
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    I agree, Robert Fisk is a reliable voice on these issues. However, the ownership of the Independent does seem to be making a difference to coverage of this particular issue.
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    When Madeline Albright can calmly state that hundreds of thousands of children’s deaths were ‘a price worth paying’ in Iraq, then, I believe, it’s important not to suffer a lack of perspective over the scale of events in Syria, regrettable as they may be, and go along with this false choice.
    .
    To clarify, what I really meant was that I’d support anything *but* US military intervention in Syria, if it would rein in the violence there. But HRC looked tonight as if she was recruiting villains from the underworld for another Oceans Eleven-style caper a la Libya.

  • guano

    Anon
    If you don’t believe, you don’t believe. The context of the passage is that at the start of the Qur’an God addresses the Children of Israel who were removed from the custodianship of keepers of the religion of Islamic monotheism, and tells them one by one why they were finally removed from that position.

  • guano

    The problem in Syria is that although Assad has no legitimacy, the Alqiada Islamists who are being backed by USUKIS also have no legitimacy at all. Look at what they have ‘achieved’ together in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade or more.
    Why would Russia (after Chechnya) or China (after Tibet) be considered better brokers of power in the Middle East than any of these?
    The solution to the problem is democracy. Russia and China cannot prove legitimacy to be elected into a democracy. The Mujahideen have to apologise again after the mistakes made in Iraq and Libya, as Usama bin laden apologised for the mistakes in Afghanistan. Why would Muslim not accept Muslim authority if the Muslims concerned had not broken every principle of their faith in front of the worlds eyes over a decade, and stubbonly refused to admit their share of the blame in the violence and lawlessness of these countries. it takes a man to admit his mistakes, but these guys are disgustingly sheltering under the petticoats of NATO.
    They have to disconnect totally from UK, US, IS, Iranian, political confederacy and wait to be invited on their own platform for the people to choose. It’s no good pretending that the democratic achievements of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia have not been won as fraudulently as the elections that were held under previous dictators.
    Syria needs democracy like Palestine, but the world powers will refuse to accept the Muslims getting into power without them being bound hand and foot to them, to do their will and fulfil their plan for them. It’s not a joke. The West has to back down and face the reality that they have lost the War on Terror, and power must now go peacefully from the losers to the Muslim people.

  • clark

    Guano, I think religions may be like politics; it gets corrupted with time. The ones who crave power see opportunity in subverting such structures, so a process of infiltration and corruption begins. Thus Jesus was needed to point out the corruption in the Jewish structure of that time, and Islam in its turn was needed to do the same for Christianity and Judaism both. From what you write about portions of Islam, another change is needed now.
    .
    True religion is the relationship between individuals and God. God is everywhere and available to all, so suspect anyone who attempts to mediate.

  • Clark

    Gauno, our comments crossed; I was replying to your 6:17 pm comment. Yes, corruption, headstrong willfulness, no humility anywhere among the violent and those who crave power over others. Yes, let the Will of the People prevail, for the ordinary people see the heart of God better than the power brokers, who are blind to all but their own cravings.

  • Jon

    @Clark, absolutely. I’ve said it before, somewhat tongue in cheek: “for religion to flourish in a healthy way, we should ban churches”. All religious institutions have become a mechanism for social control, as well as a way of usurping wealth. It also gets in the way of a private spiritual relationship with one’s creator, for those who wish to have one.

  • MerkinOnParis

    We must support the legitimate government of Syria in the face of aggression from the US/UK.
    Simple.

  • Clark

    MerkinOnParis, yes, that is the repugnant position that US/UK etc. aggression places us in. Just like Libya. Just like Iraq.

  • Anon the one and only

    Even if one is to accept the premise that Baathist fascism is better for Syria than UK/US etc aggression – and is just the better of two bad choices, as you also consider was the case in Iraq and Libya – could you just please apply a little thinking as to how such Hobson’s choices might be avoided. It isn’t as although Ghadaffi/Saddam/the Assads and Western Imperialism never gave anyone a long enough lead time to come up with alternatives.

    Personally, I don’t think the West wants to get involved in direct military action in Syria if it can be avoided, and there are an awful lot of other things that can be done first. Just imagine how things might have been much better if the UN had taken effective action against Saddam after he broke international law and used WMDs against the Kurds and Iranians and invaded Kuwait??

  • guano

    Clark
    Thanks for your reply:’ Yes, let the Will of the People prevail, for the ordinary people see the heart of God better than the power brokers, who are blind to all but their own cravings.’
    Amen

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    John Goss,
    .
    I too feel sorry for the Syrians because as we both know Syria was targeted with Western false-flag attacks for a number of specific reasons which I outlined in an earlier post from a whistle-blower involved in training anti-Assad forces. Those specific reasons have become clearer to me and I expose them here:
    .
    In Iran, in 1951 an internationally illegal British naval embargo, asset freeze and sanctions against a democratic government headed by Dr. Mossadegh, was followed by regime change in Tehran via a 1953 Anglo-American engineered coup d’état. The 1953 coup transformed the Shah of Iran from a constitutional figure-head to an absolute monarch and dictator, like the monarchs of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. Iran was transformed overnight from a democratic constitutional monarchy into a dictatorship.
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    William Hague has called today’s sanctions on Iran, “peaceful and legitimate” – the language of justice and honour that hides false pretexts about so called Iranian nuclear WMD and the recent capability to launch these phantoms and reach British and American shores (but not in 45 minutes).
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    William Hague has a short term ambition of regime change on his agenda and a longer term objective of surrounding and weakening the People’s Republic of China by denying her the daily 543,000 oil barrels per day, a figure obtained from the IEA. Iran’s other large customers are India, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea. India imports 341,000 barrels per day from Iran, Turkey imports 370,000 barrels per day from Iran, Japan imports 251,000 barrels per day from Iran, and South Korea imports 239,000 barrels per day from Iran.
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    China is fully aware of UK/US intentions and indeed has said she has provisionally agreed according to my contact in Tehran to stockpile Chinese strategic reserves that would fill a large portion of the vacuum left by the EU embargo, about 18% of Iranian oil exports. Iran of course will also find new buyers.
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    Hague thinks that denying Iran a means to transact through the International banking system he can use medieval ‘weaken by siege’ mentality to cause a ‘surrender’ within the Tehran castle. He knows that Iran has broadened its move away from the use of the American dollar and the Euro as policy in bilateral trade relations. Now Iran and India are talking about gold payments for Iranian oil. Iranian and Russian trade is conducted in Iranian rials and Russian roubles, while Iranian trade with China and other Asian countries is conducted using the Chinese renminbi, Iranian rial, Japanese yen, and other non-dollar and non-euro currencies.
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    The Iranian Parliament is now passing legislation to cut oil exports to the members of the EU that will be part of the sanctions regime until they rescind the Iranian oil sanctions. The Iranian move will be a blow to a weak euro, especially since the EU will not have time to prepare for the Iranian energy cuts.
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    I believe Mr Hague you will shoot yourself in the foot because Washington really wants a weak Euro and the U.S. together with Germany and some other East European members are working together against strategic economic rivals and other markets. What the European Union is doing is merely weaken itself and giving the American dollar the upper hand in its currency rivalry against the Euro. Moreover, should the euro collapse, the American dollar will quickly fill much of the void.
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    Despite the fact that Russia will benefit from higher oil prices and greater leverage over E.U. energy security as a supplier, the Kremlin has also warned the EU that it is working against its own interests and subordinating itself to Washington.
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    The so called ‘liberation’ of Libya served a number of purposes, the main aim being to drive China out of Africa while ensuring the NATO incursion secured oil output from Libya, because there was a very real chance that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya under Gaddafi could have suspended oil sales to the EU in support of Syria or Iran in possible conflicts with the U.S and Israel. Libyan oil protected by UK ex special forces will be rerouted from China to the EU.
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    The psychological fear generated by the falling towers in 2001 has been exploited ‘to the max’ and Iran understands time is a friend and it must keep to its present course, undeterred by sanctions. Such action must finally break a psychological threshold that globally discourages countries from opposing the United States control (including media control)and catalyse growing social opposition to Washington, which will eventually manifest in the worlds political and economic arenas with continued help from people and their countries who refuse to bow down to what is left of the Bush/Obama Administration. The prestige and power of the US is finite and the 3000 citizens who died unexpectively in 2001 did not die in vain. America will eventually shrink back behind its borders leaving Great Britain dangerously exposed to economic collapse.

  • Clark

    Anon 1&O, you wrote “Even if one is to accept the premise that Baathist fascism is better for Syria than UK/US etc aggression…” (my emph.)
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    ???
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    We don’t need to speculate. Iraq, Libya. Look at the carnage “humanitarian intervention” has unleashed. Fighting fire with gasoline just makes things worse. Duh.
    .
    Has the West been selling Assad his weapons and tools of oppression by any chance? His regime has been useful for rendition, I believe.

  • Rose

    Jon at 6.57
    Agree sort of – and yet, and yet…

    Even if you strip away all the corrupt customs that Clark refers to – rip off blindfolds, unblock ears, soften hearts and open minds – loads of NT parables on these themes – and get back to the purity of the original message – we are still left with a “community of saints” of a sort – Xian language, but IMO applicable to men and women of good will – and I have met plenty of people of all faiths and none who fit that bill; those who do not want to convert, control, who “love” others and who yearn for “peace on earth and goodwill to all men”

    So doesn’t a “private spiritual relationship” also have a social aspect too?

  • Clark

    Anon 1&O, you also wrote: “Personally, I don’t think the West wants to get involved in direct military action in Syria if it can be avoided…”
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    Well I can hear the Drums of War. Can’t you? Are you suggesting it’s just the Mainstream Media? They worked hand-in-glove with the Western Warmongers in my other two examples.

  • Clark

    Rose, you wrote “So doesn’t a “private spiritual relationship” also have a social aspect too?” – Yes, of course. If you love the creator then you love all that is created, and that includes the people around you.
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    (Evangelical evolutionists – I accept evolution and use “creation” in its broadest sense. Please tolerate my use of language.)

  • guano

    Mark
    Interesting statistics, but you are missing the point completely by talking about them.
    The important issue is how it comes about that this country has been fighting wars of illegal aggression in which Millions of Muslims have died in primary or secondary action.
    It comes about because the Islamists who have been funded and managed by this country and the enemies of Islam the Zionists in Israel and washington, make Takfir of all od the Muslims who are not completely complying with the rules of Islam. We have had 2 days of feasting and music on Kurdish TV for celebration of the prophet’s SAW birthday, which is justification in AlQaida’s minds to allow them to be murdered by the million wherever USUKIS is operating. They themselves make the enemies of Islam their Wali/advisor which is categorically forbidden in Islam, but they actively or passively have caused the deaths of millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Libya because they believe that they are not practising their faiths properly. This vile and completely unacceptable hypocrisy is funded by bribery from the enemies of Islam.
    It really does not matter to me that Iran is selling its oil to country A or B by currency C or D. What matters to me is that the Islamist allies of the West do not consider the deaths of the majority of Muslims to be important.
    Therefore they have conspired with their Zionist allies to wage terror. In Iraq, previously they sold maybe 40 million Kurdish to Saddam Hussain in order to bring about Western intervention, because they did not regard these Kurdish people as proper Muslims. The genocides in these countries have been directly caused by and empowered by their own brothers and sisters who are happy about the massacring of those they count as disbelievers.
    No wonder William Hague thinks he can achieve his goals in Syria and Iran through oil sanctions, because he knows that the AlQaida and Zionists are going to shoulder most of the burden of genociding the populations for him. The blame for 90% of the deaths falls on AlQaida and its Takfir-ing of the Muslims.
    They love, as someone said earlier, spraying Muslim blood.
    It makes me sick that most of them are bringing up their families in the double-wife luxury of London, £30 k for wife one and £30 K for wifey 2, under political asylum, because they have managed to convince the UK government that they are innocent victims of political oppression. they are the ones who have initiated the genocides in their countries, and the extremism of their beliefs and deeds is just too far-fetched for the soft European imagination to conceive.

  • Mary

    Spike on Medialens.
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    Paul wood ‘in Homs’
    Posted by spike on February 5, 2012, 9:29 pm

    Check out this propaganda from the BBC’s Paul Wood, freshly smuggled in to Syria. Notice how he and his team film NO damage from the ‘relentless tank and mortar attack’, despite the clear implication that the opening footage is genuine footage of the attack that they have filmed. He even admits the unverified nature of the story and the footage with his proviso ‘if what people say here is true’. HIS footage starts halfway in and the only damage he manages to film is an apparently broken car window, which he does not dwell on. Where is the smoke from the burning buildings? Where is the, presumably, impossible to hide evidence of the ‘massacre’ and ‘the revolutions’ bloodiest day’?

    ‘Why now?’ he asks before showing footage of himself embedded with the so-called free syrian army as they engage in a real attack on a base ‘outside Homs’. Is he even in Syria? Is the footage of the attack on the base credible? Is it even a real attack? It all seems a bit polished for genuine footage of an attack, during which they could all be killed, right?
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    Video at link (apologies, couldn’t imbed)
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16896783
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    ~~~~
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16894079
    This morning Marr had Bowen on fresh back from Damascus. He added nothing fresh but dwelt on a front page of one of the Sunday papers that showed dead bodies lined up in Homs presumably. The propaganda was very obvious from Bowen as if he was following a script. He was joined by a Susan Baxter and a Clemency Burton Hill who were quoting Clinton’s view on the UN veto. Terrible! How dare Russia and China! Bowen never once referred to Libya of course.
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    Bowen and co were followed by a live link to Oxford where the Director General Mark Thompson lives, who proceeded to give full welly to some story about interference to the BBC Persian service and its staff being mistreated.It reminded me of Marr in 2003 giving out the propaganda for the Iraq war. Yesterday Alastair Campbell was allowed to say without challenge on Saturday Live Radio 4 that in his opinion Iraq was a better place now.

  • Jon

    @Rose, thanks:
    .
    > So doesn’t a “private spiritual relationship” also have a social aspect too?
    .
    I think it can, and it does, but I am not sure if it needs to. But if we think that this social aspect is a good thing, how do we prevent the organisations that grow around that phenomenon from acquiring political power?
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    I don’t know the answer to that, but I think we should try. Religious organisations: become funnels for unearned wealth, respect and grandeur; continue the ownership of vast tracts of stolen property obtained through a blood-thirsty history; perpetuate sexist, regressive and anti-science ideologies; cover up and defend abominations carried out by their staff, such as child sexual abuse, etc. If religion was changed to (not reduced to) people communing with their preferred deities, these things wouldn’t be tolerated.

  • Anon the one and only

    Clark

    I am quite happy to accept that you accept the premise that Baathist fascism is better for Syria than UK/US etc aggression, I would have thought that was obvious from your previous comments – but you still haven’t responded to how we avoid getting into having such an unattractive choice in the first place.

    Mary

    Robert Fisk, George Galloway, Amnesty, HRW, Amnesty International, Al Jazeera, the Independent, just about every journalist on the ground all accept that the Assad regime is a serial abuser of human rights – you on the other hand think he is a good chap who is nice to children and his mother and won’t offer even a single criticism of his behaviour. Why is this?

  • Rose

    Jon – thanks for that.

    Of course what you say about organised religion is true – a glance at history, both ancient and modern confirms it; anyone only half awake can see it continues, from the well documented scandals that hit the papers to the petty squabbles that infect parochial politics, and always about “me” in some guise – no different to secular life really!

    Here’s my take: malevolent forces will always latch on to anything that threatens to raise consciousness of our shared humanity and spiritual potential and subvert it; religion is the ideal vehicle. I’m no scientist, but isn’t this how parasitic organisms operate in a body?

    I agree that religious organisations should not wield political power and like you Jon have no idea how to go about preventing it; except perhaps by challenging the injustices, slanders and casual cruelties that we witness in our every day lives, as well as being alert to our own capacity for the same rotten behaviour towards others.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    The mother of all US false-flags – [An] aircraft on USS Abraham Lincoln currently in the Gulf are/is carrying a nuclear weapon according to a reliable source.
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    The aircraft is/are clearly identified to British warships in the area.
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    I am interested in the arming sequence of this/these N-bomb(s) and why would American planes be carrying such devastating armory if the report is true.

  • Clark

    Anon 1&O, you wrote “you accept the premise that Baathist fascism is better for Syria than UK/US etc aggression…”. I wouldn’t use the word “better”; I would put it that US/UK aggression would be even worse.
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    As for what to do, I don’t know, it’s not my field. But if we’ve been supporting the regime or selling them weapons, as is usually the case between the US/UK and Middle Eastern rulers, we bear lots of responsibility already, just as in Libya and Iraq. So while I have no immediate suggestions, in the longer term we need an ethical foreign policy.
    .
    What do you suggest?

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