Back From Baghdad

by craig on December 15, 2012 12:14 pm in Uncategorized

The good news is that I am back safely from Baghdad where I attended (and spoke at) the Arab League conference on Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The bad news is that as usual I am knocked flat with a bug or two picked up on my travels.

I will write on the subject matter of the conference and on the Baghdad experience when I feel a bit stronger. But one thing is for certain – the politicians who peddle the line that, while they may have been wrong about WMD, Iraq is now a haven of freedom and democracy, are telling a most blatant lie. Nothing in the mainstream media conveys the sense of what a total disaster zone Baghdad now is, and I have never been anywhere – not Uzbekistan, not Turkmenistan, not Belarus, not Sierra Leone during the war – that felt less like a free democracy. More detail later.

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  1. Welcome back…hope you get better soon…

  2. Good to hear you got back safely Craig.

    Get well soon..always an excuse for hot toddies :-)

  3. Glad you survived the trip and I hope you fee better soon.

    Iraq Occupation Focus email newsletter is an excellent source of what is actually happening on the ground in Iraq. It is a superb source of real news from a wide variety of sources. It highlights just how skewed and filtered our “news” is. IOF doesn’t have a website but this blog is at the head of each newsletter:

    Subscribe to the newsletter here:

  4. I second the welcome home and get well soon.

    Note the use of word alleged and the inverted commas in the ZBC headline. Does this mean that Boaden is back in place as head of news when Reuters are not believed?

    14 December.
    Israeli soldiers ‘assault two Reuters cameramen’

    This is the actual Reuters report.

  5. Welcome back. Waiting for more details. Iraq situation, the intent of ‘politicians’ to build it into a democracy can be read in Bankrolling Basra by Andrew Alderson. This book really saddened me.

  6. Bush and Blair were not aiming for democracy in Iraq. They were only after a change of government because it gave them the opportunity to steal Iraq’s oil. There has probably never been a more transparent reason for war. How could they do that to an ancient and historical city as Baghdad? I look forward to reading your account when you are recovered.

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

    15 Dec, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    I tip my hat to you Craig. Just going there takes a lot of gumption and intestinal fortitude.

    Did you get to talk with any plain ol’ citizens, or was security too tight?

    Iraq will simmer for decades, like the fires of Dresden.

  8. Looks like the Arab League were quite right in 2003 when they said an attack on Iraq would ‘open the gates of hell’. That remains the case despite BBC online editors altering that headline then scrubbing the article altogether.
    The secret government behind these was crimes : the Boorman network that finances it must be arrested & jailed if we value our future.
    As this week’s LIBOR arrests prove
    No organisation is too big to jail 😉

  9. Glad you’re back safe and sound, Craig.

    @John Goss. The US aim seems to be not just anti-democratic, but actually to destroy states. Maybe it is easier to plunder parts of the world like the Congo which have no functioning government.

    The UK, and increasingly the rest of Europe, has a sort of Dominion status within the US Empire. We have to do as directed, but have a certain amount of self-government in domestic spheres, and a certain level of protection. Those who refuse to sign up to be loyal parts of the Empire are ruthlessly destroyed.

    I feel particularly sorry for the Iraqi refugees in Syria. They have had their lives destroyed once already, now they are having to go through it all again. And whilst the vast majority were just seeking a quiet life in a new country, quite probably the US infiltrated a lot of militants with them, and so they are all under heavy suspicion by the Assad regime.

  10. doug scorgie

    15 Dec, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    From Haaretz online today:

    “Netanyahu to Obama: Israel is ‘shocked and horrified’ over U.S. school shooting”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to President Barack Obama and the American people on Saturday, saying that “we in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.” He added: “I was shocked and horrified by today’s savage massacre of innocent children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.” “I want to express my profound grief and that of the people of Israel to the families that lost their loved ones.”

    President Shimon Peres also sent a letter expressing his grief over the incident. “On behalf of the people of Israel, as friends and as parents, we stand with you today in contemplation and grief over the atrocious, incomprehensible massacre of 20 children and six adults – educators – and Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Peres wrote.

    “No experience with death can be likened to that of a parents’ loss of their child. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child,”

    What hypocritical bastards!

  11. Welcome back Craig.

  12. Great stuff… get well soon, and I look forward to a full report.

  13. I just watched President Obama address his nation on the recent tragic shootings.
    My first reaction was a sense of grief for the families who lost their children.
    Upon conclusion of the speech my mind wandered wider afield. I thought about war and violence in general. Also, it seemed to me( without for a moment diminishing the horror of the recent US shootings) that Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians – to mention a few groups of people – I believe also have children and have grieved when their children have been bombed, traumatised, and shot.
    Maybe we should take the opportunity to reflect on the roots and causes of violence and war.
    As heartfelt as Obama’s kind, gentle and thoughtful words and sympathetic tears were – does he; do we – have some tears ready for the shedding for the dead children of the Iraqis, Afghans and Palestinians?

  14. Welcome back and I also await your account of baghdad with interest

  15. @ Phil W and all,

    ” The US aim seems to be not just anti-democratic, but actually to destroy states. Maybe it is easier to plunder parts of the world like the Congo which have no functioning government.”
    This frank and honest commentary from General Wesley Clark of the US military is as convincing a statement on the evil of violence, greed, and an expression of imperial hubris that one is likely to find anywhere :-
    One can only conclude, that with the examples of Iraq and Libya, there was the removal of a government that was stable, with strong, even if dictatorial, control – bur there was functional government in a country at peace. The quagmire left post Iraq invasion and post Libyan counter-revolution sees chaos and confusion in both countries. Bush may have thought that the PNAC projections would materialise and that the Iraqis would indeed welcome the “liberators” with flowers. However, one, post-Iraq invasion, has now to agree with the observations of Wesley Clark and come to the conclusion that the destruction of any state that may militarily or in any other way question or oppose US power is in the cross-hairs for attack or invasion. It really does seem odd that a tamed Gadaffi, who posed no threat to the US or the West was disposed of, with US and Western backing, in the way he was. But – then, as with Saddam, who would have shifted oil sales from the US dollar to the Euro once sanctions were lifted, found himself in the same line of fire as Gadafffi, who was fixing to back an all Africa currency with Libyan gold. Both steps would fit in with the thesis that the US will destroy every state that is perceived as not having policies that accord with US global dominance.

  16. “…the politicians who peddle the line that, while they may have been wrong about WMD, Iraq is now a haven of freedom and democracy, are telling a most blatant lie…”
    The same politicians who peddled that line, were either active participants in the WMD deception to sell the war to the public – or – were themselves duped. The fact that they seek further to distort the truth of the tragedy which is Baghdad today, bears witness to their true purpose. As with the WMD lie before in support of the policy of war with Iraq – today the myth of a better Iraq is the only way to foist another lie that the war was worth it, by reason of some “democratic” success in Iraq.
    Watch closely, and compare the politics of Egypt as that “democratic” experiment unfolds vis-à-vis Israeli and US interests in the Middle East.

  17. I sometimes have a go myself but I am not much good. 101m of us have had a go.

  18. Not surprised that the right wing Zionist nut jobs think Iraq now is a domocracy full of freedom. Isn’t that what they call Israel?

    Well if the is Freedom and Democracy, the Muslim world message to the white supremists that rule Britian and America is “take you freedom and democracry and shove it up your arse!”

    Khilafah is our system. Freedom and Democracy is yours. So you keep your way of life and we will keep ours.

  19. @ Courtney Barnett 6.33

    Well said that man!

    @ Arsalan

    “Freedom and Democracy is yours. So you keep your way of life and we will keep ours”

    Sounds good. When can we start?

  20. All good wishes Craig for a swift recovery and a happy and healthy Christmas to you and yours.

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

    15 Dec, 2012 - 9:10 pm

    “Khilafah is our system. Freedom and Democracy is yours. So you keep your way of life and we will keep ours.”

    If he is a benevolent dictator, you may have a better system. People power seems overrated. Most folks don’t give a crap how they get their bread ad butter, or from whom, as long as it’s readily available and affordable. It’s as it’s always been. Their’s is always a minority who project outwardly with good intent. The rest are basically narcissistic and passive wrt to others not in their little circle of comfort. You may have a point, but your leaders have failed the people too. Let’s hope a true Leader arises.

  22. “Battle For Syria: View from the Frontline (English subtitles)”

    Can anyone tell me anything about the Russian media organisation that made this?

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

    15 Dec, 2012 - 10:33 pm


    Murdered ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko worked as a paid agent for the British security service MI6, it was sensationally claimed today.

    He was also employed by Spanish intelligence investigating links between the Kremlin and Russian organised crime, a pre-inquest hearing was told.

    The claims were made as a lawyer for the inquest declared that the Russian state had a case to answer over the dissident’s death at a London hospital in 2006.

    The former KGB agent, 43, was poisoned by radioactive polonium–210 while drinking tea during a meeting in a Mayfair hotel with former security colleagues.

  24. Much as I was saying last night on the previous post.
    Obomber’s ‘tears’. Another psychopath.

  25. Phil W, it seems to me too that the USA is seeking to destroy national governments and promote a state of anarchy. This reminds me strongly of the way in which spiders consume their prey. They inject a strong liquid through the prey’s exoskeleton, and this liquid turns the prey’s insides to mush. The spider can then suck this out with a minimum of trouble.

    Coupled with the powerful idea of the “wealth pump” (Google it, or read John Michael Greer among others) this analogy explains nearly everything.

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

    15 Dec, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    “it seems to me too that the USA is seeking to destroy national governments and promote a state of anarchy.”

    Oh my goodness. The Authoritarian seeks one thing; control the population. It could easily arrange for chaos if it served the agenda. That’s exactly what they wish to avoid. Now if you mean, ‘controlled chaos’, you might fare better with that. Really, the cross-contaminating nature of conspiracy theories makes for interesting petri-dishes, but we don’t live in a sterile lab. No primal screaming, please.

  27. “Murdered ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko worked as a paid agent for the British security service MI6, […] He was also employed by Spanish intelligence investigating links between the Kremlin and Russian organised crime,”

    Promiscuous, these spies, aren’t they? For the Spanish Spooks, this spy was apparently investigating links between one of his other employers and “organised crime”. So he could just look that up, or ask his colleagues, yes?

    I reckon the fetish for “outsourcing” has been taken to an extreme, and half the world’s spooks are freelancing. Just join multiple countries’ stupidity services, and sell everyone’s secrets to everyone else (until someone does you in). If you join two agencies, you have two buyers. Three memberships enable six possible transactions, four memberships gives twelve; the incentive is obvious.

  28. Ben Franklin, authoritarian domestic policy is population control, but foreign policy often seems to be creation of chaos and havoc (Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”). But both make money for the powerful private vested interests of surveillance, “security” and arms manufacture.

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

    16 Dec, 2012 - 12:45 am

    Even still, Clark….there are triangulations which can’t be controlled in the FP arena. They seek
    quantifiable outcomes, not unknown results. If they can’t project specific ends to their means, what is the point of messing with the principles…..(.just for the sake of chaos?)

  30. We wonder why the shootings and violence. Consider the arms alphabet below:-

    “Firearms manufacturers in the United States”
    The following 114 pages are in this category, out of 114 total. This list may not reflect recent changes.

    Airforce Airguns
    Alexander Arms
    Ethan Allen (armsmaker)
    American Spirit Arms
    Arcadia Machine & Tool
    Ares Incorporated
    Armscor Precision International
    Auto-Ordnance Company

    Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
    Bay State Arms
    Bond Arms
    Browning Arms Company
    Bryco Arms
    Bushmaster Firearms International

    C-More Systems
    C. J. Weapons Accessories
    Calico Light Weapons Systems
    CCI (ammunition)
    Charles Daly firearms
    Charter Arms
    Cobray Company
    Colt’s Manufacturing Company
    Cooper Firearms of Montana

    Dan Wesson Firearms
    Dillon Aero
    DPMS Panther Arms
    DuBiel Arms Company

    E. Remington and Sons
    European American Armory Inc.

    Freedom Arms
    Freedom Group

    Stanley Gibbs
    Great Western Arms Company

    H & R Firearms
    Harris Gunworks
    Henry Repeating Arms
    Hi-Point Firearms
    High Standard Manufacturing Company
    Hopkins & Allen
    Arthur L. Howard

    Ithaca Gun Company
    Iver Johnson

    Jimenez Arms
    John Jovino Gun Shop
    John Rigby & Company

    Kahr Arms
    Kimber Manufacturing
    Knesek Guns
    Knight’s Armament Company

    Land Warfare Resources Corporation
    Daniel Leavitt
    Les Baer
    Lewis Machine and Tool Company
    LWRC International

    Magnum Research
    Magpul Industries
    Marble Arms
    Marlin Firearms
    Massachusetts Arms Company
    Meriden Firearms Co.
    Merwin Hulbert
    Microtech Small Arms Research
    Miniature Machine Corporation
    Montana Rifle Company

    New England Small Arms
    Nighthawk Custom
    North American Arms

    O.F. Mossberg & Sons
    Olympic Arms

    Picatinny Arsenal

    Remington Arms
    Robinson Armament Co.
    Rock River Arms
    Jacob Rupertus

    Sabre Defence
    Savage Arms
    Serbu Firearms
    Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
    Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Company
    Sierra Bullets
    Smith & Wesson
    Springfield Armory
    Springfield Armory, Inc.
    Stag Arms
    State Arms Gun Company
    Stevens Arms
    STI International
    Stoeger Industries
    Strayer Voigt Inc
    Sturm, Ruger & Co.

    Textron Marine & Land Systems
    Thompson Center Arms
    Tobin Arms
    Troy Industries

    U.S. Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
    U.S. Ordnance
    U.S. Repeating Arms Company

    Virginia Manufactory of Arms

    Water Shops Armory
    Daniel B. Wesson II
    Western Cartridge Company
    Wilson Combat
    Winchester Repeating Arms Company


    Z-M Weapons

    Categories: Firearms manufacturers by nationality
    Manufacturing companies of the United States

  31. @BenFranklin. Failed states cannot act as a focus of opposition to the US. Neither can they enter into alliances or trade agreements with China.

    Of course the US would prefer to have a country ruled by a tame dictator, prepared to keep his country a US dominion, but if you cannot have that, then a chaotic non-state of competing warlords is manageable. If the US can project force there (and with its bases around the world it usually can) then it effectively controls the territory and any valuable resources to be found there. Promoting sectarianism is a good tactic here. This was developed in Iraq (where generally Shia and Sunni lived reasonably harmoniously before the invasion) and is now spread to Libya, Syria etc.

    Short of ‘failing’ states is the time-honoured tactic of balkanisation, as carried out on Yugoslavia. A lot of small squabbling states is much easier to exert influence over than a large united one. Sudan is the latest victim of this.

    These tactics are not new. This is how the British empire operated.

  32. Ben, I don’t think that there is any “they” as such. What there seems to be are a lot of entities of varying power, applying influence upon each other in every way from persuasive to genocidal. Increasingly, there is a convergence of the interests of very powerful entities, such as US/UK/Israel + oil companies + arms manufacture + “Private Military Contractors” versus Iraq.

    And yes, chaos can be an objective, until it is achieved. This then creates a good excuse for “imposing order” and “reconstruction” (contracts, contracts), and thus the cycle continues.

    It’s like the backdrop of perpetual war in Orwell’s 1984, the root motivation being the consumption of excess productive capacity. Technology could easily supply a good standard of living for everyone, but what would there then be for the powerful entities to compete over, and where would they find people desperate enough to do their bidding?

  33. Besides, effective authoritarianism is too easy; just do appropriate conditioning (people will consume media voluntarily), and make rules that people want to follow anyway (go to work, go shopping, and do recreation, like Huxley’s Brave New World). But that doesn’t satisfy the true control-freak, who needs to know that people are being forced to feel like shit.

  34. But but, surely the surge ‘worked’, and we are in the process of creating a stable democracy?

    Ha. All you can really do when polticians spout their criminally insane babble is to laugh. I simply can’t listen to most of them anymore. Obama is the worst culprit, to be honest, but Dim Dave isn’t far behind in the laughable bullshit stakes. Eventually, people got wise to Tony Blair’s line in faux-sincere horse manure, and they are getting wise to Dim Dave; Obama is a slightly different kettle of fish, being dazzlingly articulate, but people will soon get wise to his schtick, too. This is a positive, and not to be taken lightly: these things pass, I like to believe. This neoliberal empire? It too shall pass, one hopes anyway …

  35. Platell has just said on Marr that Obama’s speech after the shootings was the best speech she has ever heard from a politician. !! WTF.

    She was wearing an eye patch which added some surreality to her appearance reviewing the papers with Richard Wilson.
    ‘In 1999, Platell took the role of ‘spin doctor’ to William Hague. She sought to present Hague as a more mature and rounded character……’ She failed.

    Boris Johnson and Jack Straw are billed to follow. Off switch now in operation and a walk in the wet awaits.

  36. They say things start in America and get here a year or two later.

  37. Jon The spambots are trying your patience. There are 9 on the end of the Rusbridger’s Wig thread.

    I was watching Rusbridger the other day. He was giving evidence to the DCMS committee. I was having a good look at the hair. There are touches of grey. He is no oil painting and is rather humourless.

  38. The Comet chain collapse costs HMRC £26m. I bet that local councils will lose out too due to unpaid business rates arrears. Redundancy pay is borne by the state and then there is Job Seeker’s Allowance as I cannot imagine that there are many similar jobs available for those unfortunate employees made redundant.

    I heard from an ex-employee that all the high end stock was being shipped to France where the owners have another chain whilst the junkier stuff goes from the closed stores to those remaining open. They will gradually be closed.

  39. Jiggery pokery.

    December 15, 2012 7:18 pm
    OpCapita could recover £50m from Comet
    By Andrea Felsted

    Deloitte’s report into the administration of the electricals chain, scheduled to be published on Monday, will show that Hailey Acquisitions, the investment vehicle through which OpCapita structured the deal, is the secured creditor and stands to make the recovery from the administration.

    OpCapita also received a £50m cash dowry from Kesa, now known as Darty, when it acquired Comet in February. It continues to own Comet’s warranties business, which is not in administration.

    The recovery could spark fresh questions about the collapse of Comet, where all stores are due to close by December 18, and thousands of jobs will be lost.

    OpCapita, run by Henry Jackson, a former investment banker, structured the deal to buy Comet through a separate vehicle called Hailey Acquisitions.

    OpCapita’s backing came from Greybull Capital, which specialises in acquiring underperforming and troubled companies, as well as Elliott Advisors, a US hedge fund, according to two people familiar with the situation.

    Deloitte’s report will show that at the date of administration, Hailey was owed £145m.

    During the administration Deloitte has been selling stock, and will be paying about £40m to suppliers.

    Some £1.5m will be distributed to staff for arrears and holiday pay, while unsecured creditors will be paid £200,000.

    This leaves about £50m available for Hailey although the report will show that it would still be shouldering a loss of about £95m from the deal.

    OpCapita declined to comment.

    Deloitte’s report will also show that in the year to April 30 2011, Comet made a loss of £32m. In the year to April 28 2012, this deficit rose to £95m, while in the five months to September 30, Comet lost £31m.

    Comet plunged into administration in November, after running out of cash. People familiar with the matter said suppliers had become increasingly nervous over the preceding weeks, seeking more onerous terms from the business.

    With Comet stocking up for the peak Christmas trading season, this put a strain on its cash flow.

    Entrepreneur Clive Coombes had been in talks to acquire some Comet stores, but a deal is looking increasingly unlikely.

  40. Here we go. The second NHS general hospital to be put out to the vultures. And you thought I had been exaggerating before!

    December 14, 2012 8:50 pm
    NHS hospital seeks private tenders
    By Gill Plimmer and Sarah Neville

    More National Health Service hospitals could be taken over by the private sector after the government gave the go-ahead to George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton to seek tenders, the first time the coalition has formally paved the way for the outsourcing of an entire general hospital.

    Although Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire became the first to be managed by the private sector when it was taken over by the Aim-listed Circle Health this year, the process had been started under the Labour government.


    Pity the denmoralized and destabilized hospital staff and the now worried patients in the hospital’s catchment area.

  41. Sunday musings: whatever happened to self-doubt? Has it been banished by the Hippy / New-Age crowd as a “negative emotion”? Do the doctors medicate it away in all who “suffer” from it? Is it just that most of us no longer attend church once a week to be reminded that we all fall short of perfection? It seems to me that there is an increasing shortage of people asking themselves “what if I’m wrong?” and “could there be other explanations?”

    It is said that power corrupts. I’d say that both wealth and power also inflate the ego. Lack of self-doubt probably accumulates at the top, like cream and scum.

  42. Today I read how police are re-investigating a house where boys from a care home were taken for the pleasure of high ranking establishment figures in the 1970s. It seems the police raided a party at the house but only to prosecute the owner.

    Then there are reports about the police victimising striking miners in South Yorkshire.

    And how the RUC were complicit in a murder.

    Makes a change from reading about how the police were hand in glove with the newspapers or what really happened at Hilsborough.

    Just a few bad apples of course.

  43. Same old, same old…

    – the shock, the torture, the open wound still festers in Iraq while its oozing poison continues to infect and contaminate, indiscriminately, madly, killing any resistance to Britain’s reckless clawing at resources and power, to swing the scales of command and servitude back to a Western plutocratic world.

    Yet we know this great treachery, this vile treason, this pact with the terrorists that hides a bloody truth, here, a simple example:-

    We are listening, millions of us, to people like Victoria Clark who tell the whole stories in the face of this collective delusion. The gate-keepers failed to manipulate our cognitive map in 2001 – we have revealed the zombies that colluded and conspired to smash Iraq and murder a million children, innocent souls not unlike the primary school kids at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. These criminal are still free to live their corrupted lives.

    It is the same spook-zombie mentality that murdered 189 accountants, book-keepers and budget analysts at the Pentagon; I said murdered and I mean just that.

    Naval aid Cmd Doug F Cochranes’ testimony, still classified, is very convincing, from it one can conclude that the American air-defence systems were purposely rendered impotent by the Bush administration in 2001 yet the truth behind American lives sacrificed by greed remains hidden from public view by fear and questions who answers have faded; just like the poison from former Defence Secretary Rumfeld mouth that “cannot remember” – the same man with the power to launch a nuclear strike who did nothing for one hour while America died – a conspiracy because he who controls the past controls the future.

    Thankfully an end is looming, a new beginning – yet is that peace, is that justice and reconcilation or is that war, injustice and suffering – convincingly it is in your own power of intention to choose.

    Anyone for Bingo?

  44. Hope you are better soon Craig.

    A quote for the above artical posted by Mary..

    “To me it is clear what needs to happen… We need the Palestinians to understand there is only one path to statehood, and that is through negotiations with Israel.”

    It’s like seeing a grown man with a club beating up a child. And Cameron with his sick and twisted friends says they can only sort it out between themselves.


    Words fail me. Who in there right mind would say this is what will solve things, let alone say it’s clear, CLEAR. ?

  45. Welcome back, hope your gut ache sorts itself soon, Baghdad sounds hell.
    US federal states and society has one choice before a chocolate dollar implodes and the economy nose dives, that is to declare a gun amnesty and call in all arms from the public, no exceptions. People can shoot in clubs and on ranges but nowhere else, humans are not stable enough to bear arms and increasing rages in a highly strung society, the constant din of gun violence in the background.

    Opposing such change, the NRA’s policies to support the US citizens so called right to bear arms, will have to be defeated or the situation will get more dire. Once two more million face the prospect of living in shacks, or the forests and and, the real problems with gun proliferation will become apparent.

    Obama’s crocodile tears were not spilled over Afghanistans innocent children, or those who died in Gaza from their white phosphorous burns, and Netanyahu is an all controller, a psychopath who displays such compassion bypasses all the time, the true signs of a racialist.

  46. disarm the goats along with the sheep?
    make the goats sheep?
    between us and them and their totalitarian state
    who stands

    apart from these ‘goats’??

    you seriously think these regular traumas and atrocities are spontaneous?

  47. Dr Derek Keilloh Regimental Medical Officer, has been found guilty by the GMC today of misleading and dishonest conduct in the Baha Mousa case. They rule tomorrow on whether he is fit to continue practice.

  48. david white‏@davidwhite020
    BBC really should dump Andrew #marr in 2013 and replace him with a proper current affairs interviewer.

    Jack Straw says he’s “comfortable about decisions he took”, so he approved of Labour’s kidnap / torture squads? #marr #marrshow

    Ha ha, Jack Straw “corrects” himself from Labour’s renditions to “alleged renditions” We know what you really mean Jack. #marr #marrshow 38.30 in if you are interested.

  49. nevermind

    Know this?

    The attack on the Liberty.
    ( What’s in a name indeed?)

    « Liberty’s personnel received firm orders not to say anything to anybody about the attack, and the naval inquiry was conducted in such a way as to earn it the name of “coverup »

    getting to be a habit.

  50. I’m talking about a collapse of a world currency, Norse.
    When the wars can’t be paid for anymore, when oil producing countries don’t IOU’s anymore, but prefer to be paid in gold or a basket of currencies.

    When hundreds of thousands default their mortgages because banks are calling in collateral or work has dried up or alternatively has been ‘sourced in one of the other TPP countries, as it would bring more profits for share holders.

    That’s when those guns will get used, when desperation forces people into sad corners, when hungry people steal to feed themselves. There will be one newtown after the other.

  51. The weapon of choice for the ‘shooter’ in Newtown. Manufacturing ceased at one plant last year. That’s the thing to do. Keep suing these makers of weapons of death and they will go out of business. The NRA and the weapon manufacturers own the Congress so that the law is prevented from being changed.

    The new bossman at Freedom Group.

  52. The tentacles actually belong to Cerberus, the three headed dog and Messrs Feinberg and Richter, who have made a killing from the bank collapse and the subsequent depression.

    ‘Firearms — Acquired Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., from Windham, Maine native Dick Dyke for an undisclosed sum in April 2006, and purchased Remington Arms in April 2007. Under Cerberus direction, Bushmaster Firearms acquired Cobb Manufacturing, a well-respected manufacturer of large-caliber tactical rifles in August 2007. Cerberus also acquired DPMS Panther Arms December 14, 2007.[57][58] Remington Arms acquired Marlin Firearms in January 2008.[59][60] In October 2009, Remington Military products acquired silencer manufacturer Advanced Armament Corporation.[61] These companies were combined into the Freedom Group.’

  53. Why a raven nevermore@?

    Are they afraid that the ‘goats’ might ‘take arms against a sea of trouble and by so opposing end them?’
    American goats are not British goats. Tyranny was predicted and provided for in their Constitution.
    They had just escaped from it.Tyranny.

    Who pays the Pîper?
    Who pays the Piper?
    Who calls the tune?

    Prescient the tale about the children turned into rats being led to hell by the Piper.
    Who is King Rat?
    True he pays well when he can use us, and then?

    My question.You seriously think that these regular atrocities and collective traumas are spontaneous?

  54. Nevermind:

    “People can shoot in clubs and on ranges but nowhere else”

    I would go further, my opinion is in this country there should be no lawful reason for possession of a firearm of any kind. Those who call shooting sport need shooting. Olympic and Commonwealth Games, international bodies for example should redefine what is classed as sport, even if that means some nasty Gulf monarchies have no participants or medals, denormalise and eliminate these deviant pastimes. There is still opportunity to make the 2014 Commonwealth Games free of these non-events with public pressure. Yes criminals will still use them for which trained civilian armed police officers should be on call, but not routinely armed. We need to delegitimise gun ownership. I think people in this country would be surprised just how many legal guns there are out there with dubious justification. Creeping militarism of the police and of society, needs positive action to roll it back.
    The state’s monopoly on violence – the police and military – would be correspondingly de-escalated and unjustifiable in time, with trusted accountable government a precursor.

  55. Anyone watching BBC 1’s Sports Personality of the Year? The Limp Ics theme continues. The same singer from the opening ceremony sang tonight and we had the Queen and Bond again. The three presenters were filmed in a helicopter coming low across London to arrive at the Excel centre.

    Coe is there poised to get his Lifetime Achievement award. Heavy emphasis on military at the start. Six personnel from the services accompanied last year’s winner in to a film backdrop of our boys in Afghanistan. 16,000 in the audience at the Excel Centre, cost unknown. They have just moved on to an award to a 7/7 survivor. An award was created in the late Helen Rollason’s name and it was presented to a paralympian whose life was saved by a policewoman to give it to. Her acceptance speech was worthy of one from our dear leader at the party conference.

    A very lavish piece of propaganda will culminate in an appearance by Kate who will present the award to the sports personality of the year. There is laser lighting, a huge stage and a full live orchestra.

    The laugh is that Sky broadcast most of the sport live now and that Claire Balding, who is one of the presenters tonight, along with Sue Barker and Lineker (no show without them!) is about to transfer to Ch 4 who are taking the horseracing that the BBC used to cover. Ch4 also covered the Paralympics and not the BBC.

    Cryptonym They have just honoured the chap who won a gold in shooting!

  56. Cryptonym, 16 Dec, 8:09 pm,

    “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

    Cryptonym, modern humans have hunter-gatherers for ancestors. Hunting is not “deviant”, and I doubt that you are as pure as your ego tricks you into believing. Look within to find the authoritarian that uses left-wing moralization to disguise itself.

    Always, moralists criticise the most visible activities while ignoring the more mundane behaviours that have much greater effects. Moralists rage against those who kill animals themselves, but say little about the far more widespread consumption of produce from captive domesticated livestock. The few people killed by guns are highlighted, but the thousands of road deaths and the routine domination by drivers of motorised vehicles over less powerful road users go unmentioned. And so on.

    There will be little meaningful political dialogue until all parties recognise both their own motivations, warts and all, and the essential human qualities that give rise to their supposed adversaries. Only if these realisations are made can mutual respect enable moral posturing to be outgrown in favour of honest negotiation.

  57. Some of the less insular here might appreciate this mans verve and photos.

    « Occupy fizzled out because it could neither articulate its aims nor move beyond the sign-waving stage. Had Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin contented themselves with squatting on a grassy patch while flashing signs at passing horsemen, you and I would be wolfing baked beans and bangers for breakfast, pasties for lunch, then howling God Save the Queen before kick off on the telly. Instead, we get to vote for our own insufferable deadweight. Hurrah!

    Suffocated by unpayable debts, unemployed, underemployed and/or reduced to dwelling in a foreclosed home, tent, car, garage, tool shed or dead mall entrance, will we wise up soon enough to unite and fight back against this military banking complex that’s ruining us all? »

    Faint hope, faint hearted, perhaps.

  58. Audible misery on 5Live that Mo didn’t win it. Other than that minor amusement, massively over the top, almost cult-like worship of celebrity.

  59. Something really slippery about Seb Coe. – seems to have a foot in the pie.

  60. Ginger Nuts (was: useless eaters)

    16 Dec, 2012 - 11:08 pm

    “the politicians who peddle the line that, while they may have been wrong about WMD, Iraq is now a haven of freedom and democracy, are telling a most blatant lie.”

    Yawn. Really? Save that one for the mentally disabled, the under 16s and those that are easily shocked.

    [Mod/Jon: Posted as “useless eaters”, sock-puppeting again]

  61. Punished for not being a whistle-blower

    A former army medic has been found guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct after the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa in 2003.
    The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled Dr Keilloh was aware of the injuries but failed to report them or examine other detainees.

    Mr Mousa died with 93 injuries in British army custody.

    Mr Mousa had been hooded with a sandbag for nearly 24 hours and suffered 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose, during the final 36 hours of his life in the custody of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

    The panel ruled that while the injuries to Baha Mousa and others were the responsibility of British soldiers, there were “clearly failings by others with responsibility towards the detainees to have safeguarded their welfare”.

    On 19 September 2006, Corporal Donald Payne pleaded guilty to a charge of inhumane treatment to prisoners making him the first member of the British armed forces to plead guilty to a war crime.

    During the court martial, Corporal Payne admitted he “enjoyed” hearing Iraqis call out during torture, describing their cries of pain as “the choir” He was cleared of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice. Six other soldiers were cleared of any charges.

    After pleading guilty to the offence of inhuman treatment of persons protected under the Geneva Conventions, Corporal Donald Payne was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, reduced to the ranks, and dismissed from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, on 30 April 2007.

    All other charges against Corporal Payne, and the other defendants were dropped when the presiding judge, Mr. Justice McKinnon, ruled that there was no evidence against them.

    The Independent reported that the charges had been dropped because the presiding judge said “There is no evidence against them as a result of a more or less obvious closing of ranks.”

    Detainees claimed that the British soldiers had held kicking competitions, competing to see who could kick the prisoners the hardest.

    These are our hero’s folks they could just as easily turn against their own people in any future civil protests or unrest that could challenge our super-elite masters; they will only be following orders.

    No senior officers or government ministers have been held to account on this issue.

    Take note.

  62. I wasn’t considering animal rights one bit Clark, human animals excepted. And don’t want to bring animals into it because it’s not relevant. There is no moral dilemma at all, killing animals for fun is itself distasteful, but the proliferation of gun clubs and shooting ranges and thus gun ownership is an entirely different matter, doesn’t matter to me that they’re firing at targets (usually human forms incidentally) or clay discs rather than fluffy bunnies. It serves no useful purpose whatever. Licensed legal gun ownership inevitably leads to many guns falling into wrong hands, whether that’s quite so bad as it seems though is doubtful as massacres here happen almost always with legal guns in licensed hands, which wouldn’t otherwise have happened if not for availability.

    While some nomadic hunter-gatherer idyll might appeal, it predates even communal living and farming, with it comes violent tribalism and territorialism. I’m quite happy with people living as noble savages, if they eschew technology with it, making their own bows and arrows from forest debris and sheep entrails for example. I think cowboy films and glamourisation of violent crime and criminals plays a part too in the sickness that has resulted. Solutions strictly for this country too, the United States is too fucked-up beyond all repair, to worry or care about. No notions of bad collective karma either, we’re sentient adults, not superstitious throwbacks.

    I’m just off to catch a pot of yoghurt, wish me luck, no need sacrifice a newborn even if you think it’ll help, I’ll just corner one in the fridge, they’re not hard to catch.

  63. “Those who call shooting sport need shooting.”

    You don’t think I meant need shooting, do you, I meant need shooting. Pathological psychological need –see where you’re coming from, as if I would have such illiberal thoughts!

  64. Count yourselves lucky not to have Olympic mortar launching, grenade chucking, mine planting, 100 meter commando crawl… :}

  65. Cryptonym, here on the farm where I live the harvested grain leads to a large rat population every Summer. The rats that the local lads shoot die a more humane death than the majority, which are either poisoned, or starve in winter after the grain has been shipped elsewhere.

    In the surrounding woods live deer. Their population is culled to 1600 by order of the Forestry Commission. Since humans wiped out the natural predators hundreds of years ago, the deer population has to be contained to prevent the woods from being decimated. The venison is made available at the local market.

    On Thursdays, a crowd of rich men arrive and shoot at pheasants. The local shoot is reasonably managed, and the pheasants are used for food. Many of the rich men are a pain, acting like they own the place, being rude to the locals and churning up the footpaths with their cars. Some of them don’t seem to handle their guns very safely; my uncle would have a fit. They get bored with shooting shortly after New Year and it’s a relief when they fuck off.

    Bows and arrows are technology, too, and there are still hunter-gather societies.

    “Iraq is too fucked-up beyond all repair, to worry or care about”

    Charming. What? Sorry? Oh, you said “the US”, not Iraq. Oh, that’s all right then. No racism around here.

  66. Its a bit steep to suggest the R word squire :) If you pray you well might for the USA, but they aint short on being worried about. Maybe we arent either.

    Little dogs and cats can deal with rats too. Game could be trapped if not familiarised and ushered towards the abattoir when the season arrives.

  67. On second thoughts that could get be bit gruesome considering the pet savagery required to deal with populations of larger pests… Firearms instant appeal is a tall order to take out of use entirely.

  68. Limited uses then. The majority of the rats die naturally.

    If the deer decimated the forest then, no more food for deer, thus less deer, if they don’t roam too far in search of more grub. Malthus. Deer might nibble lower branches, but until they evolve long necks like giraffes, and even then, I would think the damage they could do to established forest would be quite limited.

    Your still talking animals though, most keen ‘shooters’ would run a mile from a barking dog, the closest they’ve come to a deer is one depicted on an xmas card.

    But us Townies be fools, know nothing of cun’ree ways.

    The US: Not racism at all, pragmatism; never mind the big picture, legislative and enforcement solutions in the UK to prevent most gun nut run amok scenarios are within our purview. The US isn’t, its sheer preponderence of weapons means attempts to disarm the populace would in the short term be ugly, in many cases taking their guns ‘over their dead body’ would require just that, but would in time prevail. If the argument is that an armed citizenry is necessary to prevent tyranny then surely they’d have risen up, done so long ago?

  69. So densely packed with statistics, this is almost unreadable.

    The gun ownership figures are staggering.

    If Obomber said, ‘No more wars’, he would have some credibility. Knowing that he sits down every Thursday to select the next week’s drone targets make his words at the vigil yesterday empty. The Americans’ wars have come home.

  70. Ginger Nuts (was: useless eaters)

    17 Dec, 2012 - 8:18 am

    “Andrew Feldman – Destined to be charged with raising money for the new-look Conservative Party, Andrew Feldman (circled, at the left of the picture), 40, met Mr Cameron (circled, right of picture) at Brasenose College, Oxford. He is a close friend and tennis partner of the leader.”

    “Schooled in that crucible for high-achieving Jews, Haberdashers’ Aske’s in Elstree”

    “On 17 December 2010 Feldman was created a life peer as Baron Feldman of Elstree”,_Baron_Feldman_of_Elstree

    Is it coincidental that the last two main fund raisers of the two main political parties operate under the cover of ‘tennis partner’ and ‘close friend’ of ‘the Leader’, just like ‘Lord’ Levy and Blair, as if this somehow makes their corruption of our political bodies acceptable. or indeed their ‘relationship’ appear to be normal.

    It would be nice if they had some political credentials once-in-a-while, other than simply being rich Jews buying influence for themselves and Israel at the cost of everyone else in this country. Feldman, as a man who is ‘aware of his roots’, has no views on anything whatsoever other than promoting Jewish power in the guise of political Zionism.

    Also, he (along with Levy) are not only buying influence during the term of the parliament, but their automatic selection (and approval, despite the obvious motives for such an award) for a peerage ensures that they have a lifetime of opportunity to represent and promote their nefarious agenda.

    While newspapers and TV are more interested in gay marriage and obsessing about royalty why would anyone give a toss about who’s destroying this country, and future generations, through the uncontrolled orgy of fraud, corruption, usury and debt?

    [Mod/Jon: Posted as “useless eaters”, sock-puppeting again]

  71. Another one of the Friends. A hypocrite on marriage too.

    No surprise here.

    Speeches concerning references to ISRAEL.

    Overseas visits
    Name of donor: Conservative Friends of Israel
    Address of donor: 458 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 3UR
    Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £1,417 from CFI; plus two meals provided by other hosts, estimated cost of £100.
    Destination of visit: Israel
    Date of visit: 20-25 February 2011
    Purpose of visit: fact finding political delegation to Israel and the West Bank.
    (Registered 14 March 2011)

    Wonder what this outfit below is? And who funds it?
    Name of donor: Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR)
    Address of donor: 1 Olympic Way, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0NP
    Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): air tickets, transport, food and hotel costs; total £1,084
    Destination of visit: Jordan and the West Bank
    Date of visit: 7-12 October 2011
    Purpose of visit: fact-finding political delegation to Jordan and the West Bank
    (Registered 10 November 2011)

    He is also a friend of Azerjaiban.

  72. Blackman’s constituents had the misfortune to have McNulty as their previous MP. He resigned when it was discovered that he was housing his parents on his second home expenses. His wife was the head of the disastrous Ofsted at the time.

    At least his name is not on this letter.

  73. Another brilliant far east advisor on military movements, just said on Radio 4, re: the Island in the South China sea and various interests groups claiming some islands with disputed rights, that

    ‘Japan last week had to scramble its first fighter aircraft since 1947, because one of China’s vessels that had strayed into its airspace’.

    This is the sort of quality reporting that does not get corrected on the spot, it helps to dumb down the issue, news reporting and those whyo laughing it off, whilst some react with hilarity and other cut themselves shaving, this sort of short shock US news reporting with no sense of reality or choice of words justifies their annual broadcasting tax take.

    Evans above, he’s right, bring more women into the news rooms, although this mornings report came from a woman, can’t remember her name, she had a US twang in her voice.

  74. “But us Townies be fools, know nothing of cun’ree ways.”

    Well you got one thing right anyway.

    We have to shoot their dogs when they go killing our sheep.

  75. willyrobinson

    17 Dec, 2012 - 10:22 am

    @Useless Eaters
    ‘Yawn. Really? Save that one for the mentally disabled, the under 16s and those that are easily shocked.’
    Since General Petraeus’s famous surge there’s been far fewer news stories of any kind out of Iraq. There’s a vacuum where journalism ought to be, so any kind of narrative can take root. It’s not a big story that we’re not being told all the news by MS media, but it’s big when you can point, like Craig, to where and how.

  76. Mary’s Wikipedia link is informative. The real problem in the US involves handguns. Guns are used violently mostly by young adults (probably males, but the article doesn’t quantify that). Gun violence correlates strongly with urban poverty.

    Cryptonym, I’m a townie, too, but I got stranded in the countryside by rising housing prices. Excessive deer prevent woodlands from regenerating and/or spreading by eating the fresh shoots. When observing deciduous woodland across a field, note that the foliage all appears to “hover”, parallel above the ground, like cumulus clouds sitting at a common altitude base. You won’t find many leaves below deer-head height, and where sapling growth is being encouraged, fences or other protection is used.

    Cryptonym, I’m sorry that I keep picking on you, but your apparent assertions that everything will improve if we just ban A and B while imposing C and D, seem too simplistic. One of nature’s great lessons is that diversity brings resilience. Diversity needs appropriate conditions in order to flourish. The unregulated corporate feeding-frenzy progressively concentrates power and wealth, leading to conformity. After WWII, public support for socialist government constrained that for a while, but government is now subject to widespread subversion through lobbying, corruption and propaganda.

    “Under Heavy Manners”:

  77. Felicity Arbuthnot

    17 Dec, 2012 - 11:15 am

    Some of what was going on in and around the time you were in Baghdad. Where is the ICC when you need them. And since Maliki is US-UK puppet, this is in our name:

    Best, f.

  78. Welcome back. O/T but illustrating the questionable nature of a “free democracy” on the other side of the pond:

    “It’s a loser’s game to suppress private money that is sound in order to protect government-issued money that is unsound,” writes Seth Lipsky in the Wall Street Journal.

    Not wholly unrelated to Saddam’s fatal decision to get out of petrodollars, I suspect…

  79. ~enabling act

    17 Dec, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    True, the ICC and complementary universal-jurisdiction criminal law is the only remaining check on US dictatorships at home at abroad. Congress is gelded, as the Clandestine Service has worked hard to prevent any repeat of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. And HSBC has it made – when they ate Marine Midland they became NCS’s new & improved BCCI. There is one very tender pressure point to squeeze: the illegal state of emergency imposed by the National Clandestine Service and its COOP-planning cutouts. A state of emergency is governed by conventional international law including CCPR Article 4. The state can’t just tear up the rules in a pinch. Our government must inform all other treaty signatories of each specific state duty it’s chosen to suspend, and why. An undeclared state of emergency is just as illegal as an undeclared war. With the international community, the US government maintains that there is no public emergency with all kinds of horseshit: it’s not a public emergency, it’s a plain old garden-variety emergency, or a double-secret emergency, anything to avoid the law. Nobody’s fooled. At home, the illegal state of emergency is maintained as a parallel totalitarian government – media propaganda focuses on civic ceremonial like futile elections and partisan rhubarbs, but individuals and groups get dropped through a wormhole into an arbitrary emergency regime if their connections or capacities threaten to impede state crime. Ask Nima Ali Yusuf, or Cynthia McKinney or Julian Assange or Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. Assassinations, provocations, state-incited terror cough911cough and other state crimes grease the skids for emergency decrees. The US population will only get wind of their legal protections from outside US borders.

  80. @Enabling Act – please use paragraphs, it makes things much easier to read :)

    @Ginger Nuts. If you keep posting under different names, I’ll regard it as sock puppetting, and will remove your posts. There is no reason to change your nick for every thread.

  81. Ginger Nuts (was: useless eaters)

    17 Dec, 2012 - 4:48 pm

    Since General Petraeus’s famous surge there’s been far fewer news stories of any kind out of Iraq. There’s a vacuum where journalism ought to be, so any kind of narrative can take root. It’s not a big story that we’re not being told all the news by MS media, but it’s big when you can point, like Craig, to where and how.

    Sorry, I don’t buy that for one second. There is no vacuum of journalists in Iraq. Try using a search engine to look for blogs by Iraqis and news agencies, there are plenty, Iraqis love their politics. I suggest you are not trying hard enough.

    [Mod/Jon: posted as “useless eaters”, in fact this is Ginger Nuts]

  82. useless eaters

    17 Dec, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    “If you keep posting under different names, I’ll regard it as sock puppetting, and will remove your posts. There is no reason to change your nick for every thread”

    Sock-puppeting is the practice of engaging oneself in conversation using different identities. Periodically changing a nick is not sock-puppeting and it’s certainly not changed on every thread. I’m sorry if it’s making it hard for you to collate all my posts, I didn’t realise you found them so interesting.

    Obviously I’m relieved that your tone and pro-active threat to delete me has nothing to do with the content of my posts and everything to do with me abusing the ‘Name’ field.

  83. Ex Pat, you are welcome to post here in general, but your large posts featuring large numbers of links are not really on-topic – especially the ones that are so large you have to split them into several parts!

    I believe I have previously suggested to you before that you should get your own blog, and you can link from here if it is relevant to the topic in hand. With that in mind, I’ve removed three substantial posts in this thread. But do join in the conversation with everyone here.

  84. Ginger Nuts – no, I am not being harsh with you because of your views – as a moderator it is my job to ensure that the rules are applied fairly to everyone. We don’t tolerate racism, persistent disruption or multiple identities here (you can change your nick if you like, but infrequently, and be transparent about it).

    If you’d like to switch to “Useless Eaters” then that’s fine, but please stick to it.

  85. Jon/Mod is trying to make a big deal that I regularly change my nick, I always have done.

    He’s using that as an excuse to delete my posts and he just deleted my rebuttal that I am sock-puppeting. Maybe it was the (correct) allusion that he is collating posts that did it.

  86. If it’s such a problem why not have logins? I’m not convinced.

  87. For information, from STWC.

    Who’s in the Syria driving seat as the US and NATO prepare for military intervention? .

    14 December 2012 Lindsey German

    The intention of the British, US and French governments is clear: to use the fears about chemical weapons to move from secret intervention to no fly zones, air strikes and possible incursions.

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

    17 Dec, 2012 - 6:00 pm

    Ginger; I often change the descriptor next to my Nym to reflect my mood or the prevailing mood wrt the topic. You may find that satisfactory for yourself, and others will be able to identify you readily.

    just sayin….

  89. Good old Ed on medialens….

    Channel 4 Dispatches…The Palestinian School Children Massacre…
    Posted by Ed on December 17, 2012, 6:09 pm

    …sorry, I meant “The American School Massacre”.
    Who’d want to hear about Palestinian kids being massacred?

    Matt Frei doing a special report tonight on “Dispatches”…complete with references to the “emotional” child killing president, Obama, King of the Drones.

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

    17 Dec, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    MK/Ultra Monarch? LIBOR? General Electric? I must be crazy with these theories.

    “The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.”

  91. There are various reasons to stick with a single identity:

    * It is common courtesy, similar to introducing yourself.
    * It enables people to build up their understanding of your perspective, which helps them to converse with you.

    There are various reasons not to use multiple identities:

    * You have been asked not to by a hard-working volunteer administrator.
    * It is deceptive, like donning various disguises.
    * It hides the frequency of your comments.
    * It is confusing to other readers.
    * It makes your opinion look more popular than it actually is.
    * Names are a resource; you are awarding yourself more than others.
    * When a new contributor arrives at this blog, readers cannot know that they’re new, as it could be just you under yet another different name.

    Why, exactly, do you want to comment under thirty or more different names? Are you trying to force the implementation of registration, possibly to discourage other contributors? Are you just taking advantage because you can? Are you attempting to degrade the quality of the debating environment?

  92. Sad to see rough sleepers in Norwich today; would be good if the EDP did a feature about them alongside all the other festive “news”. But perhaps they have and I missed it.

  93. Not quite so much from the UK media on how, in recent days, the bloodthirsty jobbing jihadis in Syria have kidnapped Russian workers and a Ukrainian journalist. As with Iraq, our new pals are threatening to execute these people. They’ll probably post the videos on YouTube.
    But, if Russia chooses to use them in this way, these events could play right into their hands. Quite justifiably, they could command the moral high ground and say: We’re going in to Syria to protect our people. That would forestall any UK/US/France invasion, and all that hardware currently parked in the Eastern Med would have to go home.
    Let’s hope this happens. The only nation that can stop the destruction of Syria as a functioning modern state (albeit a dictatorial one) is Russia.

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