Baghdad Conference Photos

by craig on December 18, 2012 9:55 am in Uncategorized

A photo essay here on the Baghdad conference on Palestine, including a very unflattering picture of me!

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  1. Craig, there is a message for you on the previous thread, apparently from Felicity Arbuthnot:

  2. Swanky hotel. Kind of makes you wonder if they’ve got their priorities right. Hey nonny no.

  3. The salty sea dog look -not bad.

  4. How about the caption underneath the photo? It makes Craig sound like a naughty school boy, or at least the Google translation does, and the subject of the book is stated incorrectly too if it is a reference to Burnes.

    Craig Murray in a short speech. Murray lost his post as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan for insubordination. Now he writes a book about the Middle East

  5. Nice tie mate !

  6. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Dec, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Shame the info is in German.

    At least I am glad to see that you Mr Murray still look good, healthy and full of energy – similar to when you challenged government thugs in Uzbekistan.

    As of Baghdad, it looks like peaceful city with few police check blocks and at least one grand hotel.

    But as you said in your previous blog it is worse than Uzbekistan, which I have no reason not to believe you. It can add to the thesis that order comes before democracy and freedom and it is not possible to build free and liberal society in disorder. One also should question whether it was worth removing one tyrant to replace it with another tyranny that emerges from disorder that caused million of lives. Something I am sure intellectuals in Central Asia (and in Uzbekistan in particular) are asking themselves.

  7. @ Mary 12.02pm – I agree, there’s a wealth of mischaracterisation in that caption.

    O/T, but of general interest to the blog’s readership, I think. (Below has been reasonably well-reported yesterday but I’ve seen no mention of it here, so just in case you’ve all missed it…)

    A new way to donate to Wikileaks, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, has been set up by such luminaries as Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, John Perry Barlow and Trevor Tim of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Micah Lee and others. It’s quite clever in that Wikileaks is ‘bundled’ with other deserving free press causes and you use a slider to set who gets how much and your donation just appears on credit card or bank statements as “Freedom of the Press Foundation” (tax deductible in the States too). Here’s the link:

    More details here:

    Crowd-Funding the Right to Know:


    New press freedom group is launched to block US government attacks:

    and here:

    Group Launches to Encourage Transparency & Aggressive Journalism, Help WikiLeaks Survive Blockade:

  8. Britischer botschafter. I like it. Always need a bot shafter here!

  9. Possibly Major Breaking News

    Conflicting reports now that Iraqi President Talabani is dead. Other reports say in a coma.


    BREAKING NEWS: IRAQ PRESIDENT DEATH Local media: Iraq President Jalal Talabani dies after stroke

  11. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Dec, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    Interesting. Nothing on BBC about Talabani’s death.

    Is it because British Armed Forced withdrew from Iraq and whatever happens there is no British public’s concern anymore? Even death of the president which could cause some political turmoil?

  12. Uzbek,

    BBC reporting he is “in coma after stroke” – yes they put it in quotes.

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani ‘in coma after stroke’

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is said to be in a coma in hospital after officials and media reported he had suffered a stroke.

    A statement on his website said President Talabani was in a stable condition and was being treated for blocked arteries.

    Well-placed Kurdish sources say he remains in a coma.

  13. Kind words about Tony from Gilad

    “Palestinian officials say Tony Blair shouldn’t take it personally, but he should pack up his desk at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem and go home. They say his job, and the body he represents, are “useless, useless, useless”.’

    But Tony actually prefers to dwell in Jerusalem. Being a war criminal, it is much safer for him to stay in the Jewish capital. Also Tony isn’t really useless, he is actually very useful for some – Tony is not a Sabbath Goy, he actually serves his minders 24/7..

  14. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Dec, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    Well, one would have thought that Tony from Gilad is devoted Catholic.

  15. “it is much safer for him to stay in the Jewish capital”

    There isn’t a Jewish capital. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv.

  16. OT: But there are many in the industry who think the USA is exaggerating its shale gas an oil resources.

    The USA is still a net importer of natural gas (mainly from Canada) and for now even the US Energy Information Administration thinks the shale gas boom has levelled off. See projection at

    Arthur Berman has argued on The Oil Drum that the decline actually started some time ago and only “dubious” production estimates EIA are holding it flat.

    Drilling count for gas has collapsed with the US price collapse. The wells were drilled expecting a very minimum price of between $6 and $8 per million btu (more than twice current US trade price). Current UK price is 66p/therm = £6.60 per million btu = $10.71 per million btu.

    So while it is true that US bulk natural gas is currently about 1/3rd of the UK price it is almost certain the US price will rise back up over $8 before drilling picks up again.

    Prior to the drilling of the current shale gas “boom” US bulk natural gas price reached higher prices than the current UK rate and are probably headed that way again over the next few years.

    Fracking isn’t all it’s fracked up to be.

  17. To lighten things up a little : what do Tory luminaries David Cameron, William Hague and Jeremy Hunt, bust flushes Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper and James Purnell, eager young thrusters like Ed Miliband and Rachel Reeves, and the two HoC resident rottweilers the Eagle twins (Angela and Maria) have in common?

  18. Reading again about US aggression in Iraq makes shooting schoolkids look like toast and honey.

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

    19 Dec, 2012 - 12:38 am

    Except it was a largely Jewish neighborhood, Guano. Blamed on Aspergers…..harddrive on he boy’s computer destroyed….Mother a survivalist……Dad connected with Aurora Co, shooter from 1 year ago……connected to LIBOR………synchronicity is a falsehood which must be debunked by all rational human beans.

  20. This Israel friendly sentence is ALWAYS included in a BBC report on settlement building.

    ‘The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.’

    17 December 2012 Israel approves East Jerusalem settlement plans The Ramat Shlomo plans caused a diplomatic incident when they were
    published in 2010

    The Israeli authorities have approved plans to build 1,500 more homes at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

  21. Yet Netanyahu continues with these plans in spite of his main donor’s objections…..

    US condemns Israel plan to build settler units in East al-Quds
    Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:22AM GMT

    The United States has criticized the Israeli regime’s plan to construct some 1,500 illegal settler units in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland criticized the Tel Aviv regime on Monday for its decision to construct more settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

    Nuland called on the Israeli authorities to refrain from “unilateral actions,” saying that Washington’s stance regarding the construction of illegal settlement has not changed.

    The remarks came after Israel gave the initial approval for the construction plan on Monday.

    In reality, Obama is only maintaining through a pretence.

  22. Correction there. In reality, Obama is only maintaining a pretence.

    I had written ‘In reality, Obama is only going through the motions’ but decided that, as there was a double meaning, I should change it!

  23. English Knight

    19 Dec, 2012 - 7:07 am

    Agent Cameron is increasingly bold and strident about support for his Israeli ilk and sponsors. Political suicide one would think, with the election only two years away (incl the Scots referendum), let alone causing a wipe-out of his Lib-Dems partners, who may be seen as willing participants in the Israel firsting jamboree. With the Queen attending cabinet, mebbe Agent C is emboldened by being privy to some very inside information. A combined across party vote of the Friends, and Fans of gay marriage (which he is also pushing for) should be enough to delay an election – during Syria/Iran war time?!!

  24. Cherie Blair: ‘It’s always been about women and girls’

    Still the only PM’s wife to work full-time while her husband was in office, trailblazing barrister, campaigner and frequent media target Cherie Blair gives a rare interview to the Guardian

    WTF? Rare interview? It is not very long ago that she was sitting on a BBC World Service sofa spouting the same stuff to an adoring and impressionable Zeinab Badawi.

    Who funds her anyway? Tony? His rich pals in Tel Aviv or the US?

  25. I can answer my own question.

    ‘Yet her foundation, which raised £4m in its first three years from blue-chip companies (such as Vodafone) as well as the Blairs themselves, has been busy with mentoring and technology projects helping women in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The day after she launches a software project in India, the Guardian is granted a 20-minute interview to talk about the foundation’s work in Cherie’s stately private office.’

    Yeah right. One is Vodafone who avoid paying their taxes. Upchuck time when you see who the other ‘donors’ are.

  26. It gets even funnier when you see who the CEO worked for in Jerusalem.

    I must say these people excel at self promotion.

    PS I suppose Vodafone don’t make a Nigerian Naira from the text messaging service!

  27. Mary, I know nothing of the situation in Nigeria, but in the UK, text messaging is ludicrously overpriced, a rip-off comparable with ink cartridges. My “Pay As You Go” account charges me £0.15 for each text of 140 characters. At that rate, a typical Internet connection with a 10GByte download limit would come to about £10,000,000 per month. That’s not exaggeration for effect; do the maths; one byte equals one character. “Packages” and “bundles” can work out tens or hundreds of times cheaper, but that’s easily subsumed in that factor of one million.

    Ink cartridges – £20 to £30 for 0.06 litre of coloured water in the sort of plastic box you’d throw away if was a disposable lighter. It makes you realise just how cheap petrol and other fuels are, at about £0.50 per litre before tax, cheaper than most bottled water.

    Looking at figures like those, the various companies have so much room for competing by undercutting each other, I can’t believe that these are “free markets”.

  28. Sorry, liquid hydrocarbon fuel is about £0.60 per litre before tax – for a substance that has to be drilled out from miles below ground either in deep ocean or a war zone.

    So taxpayers pay for the monetary cost of war, foreign civilians and Western military personnel pay with their lives, and future generations pay in ecological damage. The hydrocarbon companies make a large profit, but the corporate system and Western society still get the cheap bulk fuel price they’re addicted to.

  29. Nine weeks, £2m (apparently) and several 5 litre cans of Dulux Best Whitewash later, the Pollard report on the BBC Savile coverup completely exonerates ex DG Thompson, criticises some minor members of the BBC establishment, yet the senior news management people like Boaden appear to be staying put. Shocking that nobody has been sacked. Most move sideways if at all. Mitchell has resigned.

    I think we can agree with Pollard that the BBC is ‘seriously flawed’.

    Patten was tetchy again. He is appallingly arrogant and should get the push. How can a trust like the BBC’s both regulate and manage. Shut it down immediately.

  30. At long last those brave men in the Arctic convoys get medals and recognition, or rather the few who survive do. They went through horrific conditions. I believe they wear white berets which makes their contingent in the Remembrance Day parade noticeable.

  31. I wonder whether any of the regular commenters on this blog – ever ready and rapid to home in on mal- or misfeasance on the part of the UK and US governments and on the part of various individuals – will be raising their voices to expresss their disgust and revulsion at the barbarous killing by the Taliban, in Pakistan, of volonteer health workers working on a polio eradication programme?

    Should I hold my breath?

  32. You can’t rightly blame them for not trusting our vaccination programs.

    If we could just persuade America not to abuse medical programs to murder people they don’t like they might start trusting us.

  33. Habbabkuk,

    I’ll let the Daily Mail explain it to you

    Taliban shoot dead THREE MORE polio aid workers in ‘revenge campaign’ for fake vaccination ruse that helped capture Osama bin Laden

    Horror killings follow earlier murders of five women across country
    Aid workers were giving polio jabs as part of 3-day vaccination drive
    Taliban claim the campaign to immunise children is a cover for U.S. spies

  34. I would have said what you said Anon and Fred.

    Habbakkuk Could we have the answer as to what those people you listed have in common?


    For info. The Medialens editors have picked up that Aitkenhead interview with Julian Assange that Craig also commented on.

    Latest Alert: The Illusion Of Democracy – Liberal Journalism, Wikileaks And Climate Deceptions

  35. Sorry misspelt Habbabkuk.

  36. The answer, Mary, is that they all read PPE at Oxford. Which makes me wonder if having a PPE degree from Oxford shouldn’t disqualify people from national public office.

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

    19 Dec, 2012 - 5:22 pm

    “You can’t rightly blame them for not trusting our vaccination programs.”

    Fred; There’s vaccination programs, then there’s vaccination ‘pogroms’, ya know/

    Adam Lanza was reportedly mildly autistic/aspergers…….

    The meteoric rise in cases indicates something other than evolution is going on.

    Thimerosal is still being used in adult vaccinations, and it is, ostensibly an inert form of mercury.

    Mercury/heavy metal poisoning mimics that of autism/aspbergers, but that’s just a coincidence.

    No chance it could be exacerbating the toxic chemicals in our food chain, water supplies and breathable air….is there?

  38. It’s a fine photo IMO.

    This may be a bit off topic but I have some info i’d like to share, maybe find out if anyone knows anything about it.

    I was getting into some of Harry Fear’s work recently and amongst other things it led me to some good anti-Islamophobia stuff (well needed as our establishment seems riddled with it) Anyway it got me thinking about something I learned about…I know someone who knows someone etc etc, who is claiming job-seekers allowance because he SAYS he just can’t stand the sight of dark skinned people and he starts getting crazy or whatever (I don’t know details but this is the basic picture) . I just wonder if this is a common policy, letting people use racism as an excuse not to enter the workplace, and getting paid for it with benefits.

  39. “Thimerosal is still being used in adult vaccinations…

    Mercury/heavy metal poisoning mimics that of autism/aspbergers…”

    No it isn’t (apart from trace amounts in the flu vaccine) and no it doesn’t. The supposed culprit for autism, the MMR vaccine, never contained any thimerosal because thimerosal is a preservative and MMR is a LIVE vaccine; it doesn’t need a preservative. Thimerosal was phased out in the 1990’s anyway.

    Nobody ever died of autism unlike people who get heavy metal poisoning.

    I thought we’d exposed this nonsense years ago.

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

    19 Dec, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    “No it isn’t (apart from trace amounts in the flu vaccine”

    I think the flu vaccine is an ‘adult’ vaccine, which I specifically differentiated. Yes, thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines…..and why was that?

    Why is Thimerosal used now? Why was it ever used? As a preservative, which is the correct portion of your comment. Why is it necessary as a preservative? Why, because it creates more profit for the manufacturers. Single-dose ampules don’t need a preservative, as do multiple-dose ampules.

    Cost-per-unit… know…packaging. That’s why a smaller box of biscuits costs more than a large one per oz of product……packaging costs.

    Why do heavy-metal poisoning symptoms mimic autism/aspergers? Now, THAT”S a harder question to answer, but for those who tend to distrust our governmental/bureaucratic betters, it is a base-line of suspicion. All others, go back to sleep.

  41. Thimerosal was removed to allay public concern, there was, and still is, no scientific proof it was ever dangerous. There’s more mercury in a tin of tuna than there ever was in a vaccine but I’ve never seen it suggested that eating tuna causes autism. Preservatives are needed in killed vacines to give them a longer shelf life, to prevent them becoming stale and useless before they can be used.

    Heavy metal poisoning does not mimic autism. Find me someone who ever died from autism.

    I thought we’d exposed this nonsense years ago. Of all conspiracy theories it’s one of the most dangerous; it not only discouraged the gullible from getting potentially life saving vaccines it’s resulted in unscrupulous con-men offering chelation therapy as a cure for autism.

    I’m pleased to see though that uptake for MMR is increasing year on year which suggests the “antis” are becoming an ever smaller minority.

  42. unFitWatcher

    19 Dec, 2012 - 8:32 pm

    Plebgate? The police are so habituated to lying—& getting away with it—they framed a Cabinet minister. Here’s the evidence. (Be sure to watch the video):
    An added irony. Michael Crick, the man who brought down Archer, was for years Newsnight’s most experienced investigator. This would have been a Newsnight not a C4 News scoop—had not the now disgraced Newsnight boss Rippon ‘let Crick go’ not long after he suppressed the truth about Savile.
    At a cost of £2 million, a report published today into Rippon’s Savile suppression reveals he told Paxo: ’44 year old contestable claims about a dead guy are not a NN story and not worth the fuss.’
    Fear not. The bungler’s legacy lives on. Rippon replaced Crick with ConDem publicist & traducer of the poor Allegra Stratton. Under Rippon’s supervision, Stratton won her spurs as Political Editor by painting a 23-year-old single mother from Hackney as a housing benefit scrounger since the age of 16. Turned out Shanene Thorpe had in reality been either studying or in work the whole time. She’s employed by Tower Hamlets Council & is forced to claim benefit only because the council doesn’t pay her enough to cover her rent. That was the real story. That was last April.
    Rippon was forced months later to broadcast an on-air apology only because of an online petition signed by 28,000. Stratton herself has never explained her actions, nor has she apologised to this day. She’s still Newsnight’s political editor. Still faithfully recycling handouts from Call Me Dave & Boris. That’s the fearless reporter who replaced Michael Crick!

  43. Well, I’m glad I didn’t hold my breath…

    So, Fred, Anon and Mary, it’s OK that the barbarous Taliban should murder innocent polio vaccination volonteers because the Americans may – repeat may – have used some medical program as a way of finding Osama bin Laden?

    If that’s what you’re implying – and it’s difficult to read your comments any other way – then you are truly without shame.

  44. UK Military satellite Skynet 5D launches in 10 mins – or blows up possibly. Live at

  45. The world is a shit place right now, in hindsight we would do things alot differently right.

    The potential for, is all we need in our reflections of how things are.
    If you can not understand any assumptioms of a world without needless consumerism, greed and the fabric of war.

    Bother off.

  46. Habbabkuk

    No of course it is not “OK”. It is called “blow-back” and if you’ve never heard of that then I’m a banana. The Taliban also fear there may be additional “special projects” running under cover of the vaccination programme.

  47. You are correct UnFitWatcher. I signed that petition for Shanene and was pleased that she received an apology. If she was a peeress of the realm she would have also received damages similar to Lord McAlpine’s reported £185,000. Wait for the licence fee to rise following these payouts, redundancy payments and costs of the various reports (Pollard’s said to be £2m). Several other investigations are still taking place.

    All the decent investigative TV programmes have gone. Panorama and Newsnight have hit the bottom and are shadows of their former selves. On ITV there used to be World in Action. We still have Dispatches on Channel 4.

  48. What on earth (or not) is “Cameron Cutie” Penny Mordaunt MP doing sitting in the launch viewing gallery in French Guiana. She was only elected as an MP in 2010 and now she is supervising top secret military satellite launches? Nice work.

    Anyone else recognise any one else in the gallery? Camera just happened to zoom in on her.

  49. Habbabkuk

    It’s their country and it’s under attack, I wouldn’t presume to be telling anybody what they can or can’t do to defend it. That would be interfering in their internal affairs. America has certainly given them good cause to not trust vaccination programs.

    What the American and British governments are doing to other people’s countries, that is a different matter.

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

    19 Dec, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    Jeez.. Do they really have to call it Skynet?

  51. Habbabkuk,

    Was it ok that the UK sent Dutch resistance volunteers into Holland by parachute even though it was known that they would be captured and quite likely killed as their mission was compromised (by a double agent who had to be protected for “greater” reasons) before it even began. Signals Intelligence knew something was up – especially when morse traffic from agents contained the “compromised” codes and in one case was even signed off “HH” “Heil Hitler”. Despite all this the order was given to send more brave Dutch volunteers to their deaths,

    These ritual sacrifices were only brought to an end by a “mutiny” in bomber command which was losing an “impossibly” large number of aircraft on the drop missions.

    I’m curious as to whether you think that was justified or not.

  52. Ben,

    The UK picked “Skynet” for its military sats back in the 60s. It was the movie that stole the name. Or maybe the writers know something we don’t :-)

  53. Felicity Arbuthnot

    20 Dec, 2012 - 7:45 am

    Re Palestinian and other prisoners in Iraq and their woeful plight:

    129 have been executed this year with a further 24 said to be executed before Christmas.

    Best, f.

  54. Unflattering? No, as gorgeous as ever, Craig.

  55. For a moment I thought that was Craig in the first photo wearing a dog-collar. My God, I thought, he’s joined the priesthood! Then I scrolled down.

    See some of you tonight outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

  56. @Anon,

    I wonder if that was the loose basis of the film “Soldier of Orange” (; I saw it a very long time ago, and so had long forgotten all about it, but your Post about the Dutch resistance volunteers reminded me of it instantly.

  57. Can I give a shout-out for John Goss, for this fantastic article nabbing the Swedish Ambassador to Australia for his personal role in the Swedish/ CIA extraordinary renditions?

    How Sweden Collaborated With CIA on Renditions and Framing of Assange:

    I’m looking forward to meeting you tonight, John. :)

  58. Anon yesterday 10.04pm Mordaunt ‘trains with the Royal Navy Reserve’. She is in place for a reason.

    I have noticed her before. Girl’s Own type. Just the sort Agent Cameron needs around him.

    An associate of Hanover Communications. A very successful lobbyist for NHS privatisation. viz

  59. @ Fred : “It’s their country and it’s under attack”.

    What does “their” mean – are you trying to say that Pakistan is the Talibans country?

    @ Anon : you could ask me for my opinion about a thousand and one matters. Why not ask me a question about what I posted on?

  60. Heard on BBC radio early in the morning : Northern Ireland police have arrested and are charging a suspect in the case of the prison worker who was shot dead on the way to work last November (the first such killing for over 20 years).

    I’m sure you’ll all agree that this is splendid news.

  61. Habbabkuk

    Well I sure as hell aint seeing it on any maps of America.

    I can understand why the people in the tribal regions don’t want America building a DNA database of their population, America doesn’t seem to have any qualms about wiping out an entire wedding party to get one man.

  62. Fred – you obviously can’t bring yourself to condemn the killing by the Taliban (NOT “the population of the trbal areas”) of medical volonteers, can you.

    Which illustrates my point rather well, I think : when the Americans or Brits kill someone, that’s evil; when the Taliban, or IRA, or any other groups for which you are the apologists, kill someone, why, that’s always justifiable.

    Shame on you.

  63. Habbabkuk, your attempt to shame people does nothing to further any argument, nor does it clarify any situation, nor supply evidence for any debate.

    In our supposed democracy, people criticise their own “side”. It is called protest and dissent. It is intended to oppose injustice and wrongdoing.

    I cannot see what condemnation of the Taliban would achieve, except to provide yet further justification for NATO attacks, and there is plenty of that already in the corporate media. Your argument seems intended to discredit dissenters, so I ask you, do you approve and encourage these NATO wars against people in far away lands? Do you approve of disguising spying as medical programmes?

  64. We have condemned Taliban violence more than once here and the name in medical volunteer rather gives it away. He has volunteered to be in that area and knew that it was violent and with a heightened risk of being killed.

    Those ten children who came across a unexploded mine from the past and got killed by it, some say it was an old Russian device, are a far more valid comparison. As the US is using indiscriminate responses to situations that can be evaluated better and longer, they themselves and all that work for them or NGO’s will have to accept that they are not wanted any more, not just by the Taliban, but by all other Afghan tribes and pashtun’s across the border in Pakistan.

    What difference does it make, if we would make a fuss about volunteers, here, who risk and loose their life’s for a good cause over there?

  65. Habbabkuk, if it is of any help to you, I condemn violence, by the Taliban and whoever, against medical and other peaceful volunteers. If you want me to go further and declare them barbarians or something, sorry, I refuse; I think that there are a lot of bad circumstances, and people and organisations like the Taliban are reacting; probably inappropriately and irrationally, but reacting in a typically human way nonetheless.

    Ultimately, those with the greatest power have to carry the greatest portion of the responsibility. Part of the great power structure lies here in the UK, with its membership of NATO and its alliance with the United States, reading media in the English language and no doubt monitoring blogs like this one to assess public opinion.

    This member of the public’s opinion is that my “elected representatives” behave abominably, and I object to them using my ability to vote as a justification for their provocative and violent foreign policy.

  66. Clark, I really don’t think that your former position as a moderator entitles you to adopt that lofty tone. In reply;

    @ your 1st para : the “shame on you” is not part of my argument, it is my conclusion.

    @ your 2nd para : ah, I see, one should only criticise one’s own side, eh? Well, here at least you seem to be illustrating my point – US or UK murders : bad (and must be condemned), Taliban murders : better avoid question if good or bad (and must not be condemned wherever possible).

    @ your 3rd para : condemnation of the Taliban might achieve the following – it might convince people that you are against murder no matter who commits it. And the answer to your two questions (which set up straw men, don’t they) is no and no.

    Anyway, let’s end this now : the various responses to my original comment tell me all I need to know about your moral compass(es). I recommend a course of George Orwell.

  67. Habbabkuk,

    >Did we just kill a kid?

    These moments are like in slow motion,” he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.

    With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.

    Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

    Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

    “Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.

    “Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.

    “Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

    Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.

    They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?

    Your fake moralising reminds me of Peter Hitchens.

  68. I find Habbabkuk’s demand that people condemn atrocities committed by the Taliban, very infantile, very shameful, & most of all, very revealing; what is the fundamental difference between asking this, and asking that people condemn the recent mass murders carried out by Adam Lanza ? I take it that Habbabkuk has not asked the latter because he realizes that all normal rational people would feel insulted (at the very least), that they would need to be asked such a question, and the exactly same applies to iro the former; does Habbabkuk really expect us to believe that he actually thinks that anybody here supports the murder of innocents ?!

    Sorry Habbabkuk, I for one, am not that gullible, and I see straight through your fake self-righteousness.

  69. a nice story here.

    a quote “Let what I’m about to say to you act as a warning,” Roedel said. “Honor is everything here.”

    Mr Murray’s kith and kin, honor.
    Thank you Sir. You’re the kind of knight we need.

  70. Macky : I didn’t ask commenters to condemn Adam Lanza because Adam Lanza has no connection with the sorts of subject that get a regular airing on this blog and in particular American/British actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I have no idea whether any of the regular commenters supports the murder of innocents if carried out by the Taliban. I should hope not, but it would be nice to hear it from time to time. But that wouldn’t fit with the narrative you’re following, would it?

    Oh, and by the way, that reminds me : commenters here are remarkably silent about noble Arab killing noble Arab in Iraq, aren’t they?

  71. Habbabkuk

    My conscience is clear so you can find someone else to preach your twisted morals at.

    Quite frankly I couldn’t give a damn what you think of me.

    We went and invaded Afghanistan in 2001, caused one hell of a lot of death misery and suffering in that part of the world of which this latest incident is no doubt a part. When we stop going over their and firing death at them from unmanned drones then I might start condemning them for any violence on their part but I aint gonna condemn them for it when we caused it.

    Put your own house in order before you start criticising others.

  72. Well said Clark, Anon, Fred, Macky and Nevermind. Our Old Testament friendly prophet has obviously never had a relative shredded or burned by a Hellfire sent down from a drone. He would have an argument with himself in a broom cupboard anyway.

    That is my ten pennyworth.

    Speaking of pennies, did you know that the BBC payouts to the likes of Mark Byford, Caroline Thomson and George Entwistle to name just three, total over £4m so far. The MPs with their expenses fiddles look amateur in comparison. Wait for the licence fee to rise.

    Did you notice that the news programmes and Newsnight were all attenpting to sound censorious about the BBC goings on, including someone saying …’There should be blood on the carpet and there isn’t as nobody has been sacked’…? I found it quite humorous that they could utter this type of tripe.

  73. You’re right. That dog collar doesn’t suit you at all.

  74. Habbabkuk, it is my resignation as a moderator that entitles me to adopt whichever tone I choose; there is no longer any requirement that I be moderate, and my comments can be deleted just like anyone else’s.

    You wrote:

    “I have no idea whether any of the regular commenters supports the murder of innocents if carried out by the Taliban.”

    Sorry, but I don’t believe you. Firstly, I condemned killing of innocents in my comment. Secondly, no one objected when I did so. But mostly, I think it is entirely obvious that the majority of contributors here are humane, conscientious, and object to killing and the infliction of suffering, and I don’t believe that you are so lacking in sensitivity that you fail to notice that; I think you’re merely attempting to cast aspersions.

    Broom cupboard. Yes. Daft as a brush.

  75. I saw this thought-provoking exhibition of May Ayres’ brilliant ceramic sculptures last year at a disused church in Bethnal Green, which was an appropriate location. God’s Wars. Indeed and May will never be asked to exhibit at a gallery like the Tate Modern. I think Bliar attempted to hire that for his book launch but backed out when news got out and the protests started. Slideshow here

    That is Negroponte seated near the beginning. The figure with two faces in the glazed black jacket is Bliar kneeling. The ground is covered in faces and body parts. You can almost hear the screams. What did we do and what are we still doing?

    From her comments book –
    ‘The hell of men’s making is powerfully and rivetingly expressed. At the same time you draw and shape tenderness into the work. An extraordinary exhibition.’

  76. @ Habbabkuk, “Adam Lanza has no connection with the sorts of subject that get a regular airing on this blog”

    A person’s moral principles don’t change with the weather, or even on what is or isn’t discussed here.

    “I have no idea whether any of the regular commenters supports the murder of innocents if carried out by the Taliban.”

    Thanks for the repeat & disgusting insult; if you really honestly think that there is the slightest possibility of that being true of anyone here, then you really are as stupid as you appear to want to be considered as.

    “but it would be nice to hear it from time to time”

    No, what you really want to hear is people condemning Afghans for resisting Western occupation & associated murderous brutality.

    “commenters here are remarkably silent about noble Arab killing noble Arab in Iraq,”

    Actually no, but unlike you, they realize that this is the poisonous legacy of the successful & deliberate Western policy of instigating sectarian strife in order to divide & rule; old Imperial tactic, from Ireland to India to Cyprus to Palestine, etc, bloody, etc

    I haven’t seen you post anything about Africans killing fellow Africans, so shall I assume that you are a racist & so doesn’t care about Blacks ?

  77. Good on Miles Goslett, a freelance journalist for standing his ground against Patten yesterday. As I have said, Patten is very arrogant. What dead cold eyes and what about the admonishing palm forward hand gesture. ‘Don’t dare to question me’ he is saying. Miles Goslett has been on Thompson’s case for a while. He got Patten rattled who swept off afterwards.

    Note the creep Whittingdale supports Patten here. He would wouldn’t he? See Craig

    ‘Meanwhile, Labour MP Barry Sheerman called for Lord Patten to resign, telling the Commons he was shocked to hear the BBC Trust chairman describe the PAC report as “unfair and shabby”.

    But chairman of the culture media and sport select committee, John Whittingdale, said he did not believe Lord Patten should go, and called for a “fundamental overhaul of the management structure at the BBC”.’

  78. Assange Christmas Speech

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 2012 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, hidden from humanity in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation.

  79. While on knights on our lionhearted host’s blog.

    Knights of the Gutter..

    Hope her majesty got some ‘satisfaction’.
    If Sir Mick, et al, couldn’t, it was surely not for want of trying..

    After the cabinet meeting a quiet dinner with the Bullingdon Club?

    Fidei defensatrix.’ Defender of the faith’.
    What faith? In the moral superiority of old Etonians?

  80. Stop feeding the fucker.


    Haha that’s great Mary! Miles Goslett rattles Patton with question about Thompsons knowledge of Savile and connected threat to Newspaper publishing allegations.

  82. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> “Britain’s Abu Ghraib” <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    MoD pays out millions to Iraqi torture victims

    Lawyers and human rights groups say 400 settlements show 'systemic' abuse –

  83. Israeli death squads involved in Sandy Hook bloodbath: Intelligence analyst

    In truth, the public may well just be sick of hearing stories about “lone gunmen.” Of all possible horrors, this one, even more than the Benghazi killings, is loaded with political implication, not just “gun control,” but a clear attack on the security of every American family.

    Once in a while an issue comes along that makes Americans look inward at who they are and what they have become.

    This is one!

  84. I just got back from the Ecuadorian embassy. It all got me a bit down because I failed to get close enough to hear Assange’s address, and I failed to meet John Goss and Arbed. However, I did have a nice chat with a woman called Jenny from an acoustic band called The McClean Clan who were playing and singing Christmas carols at the side of the road.

    London. All the people sit on public transport reading from their corporate propaganda sheets. Why don’t they talk to each other? They could be telling each other small truths from their lives instead of soaking up centralised corporate mind-warp. Really, humanity is fucked. It’s all those tiny decisions, read the paper instead of talking, look away instead of making eye contact and smiling…

    Mark Golding, thank you for that definition of “apocalypse”. Happy apocalypse all, starting in about ten minutes… You lot on here are just about my only friends. No one in “real life” wants any honesty; really, they’d run a mile. Humanity deserves to go down the pan.

  85. I agree there Clark. I love making contact with strangers on public transport and exchanging views and ideas, but on the Tube and trains, that is a no no these days. There is no eye contact and they are all busy with their thumbs on their gizmos or reading the Standard or Metro soon discarded as there is little within to ‘read’.

    Even when walking with the dog locally, many walkers, cyclists and runners coming the other way are plugged into earphones and do not respond to a greeting. All very strange. One of the sculptures referred to says it well.

    I think she called it ‘Listening but Not Hearing’, ‘Looking but not Seeing’ we could add.

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

    21 Dec, 2012 - 12:45 am


    I have been perusing the inconsistencies from day one. Newtown is largely,a jewish community. Originally, I suspected a reactionary response by Lanza, as to the Gazan children who perished, almost anonymously. Mossad via MK/ultra Monarch mind control also arose in the suspicions, but what would the motive be? I suspect CIA more than Mossad as the need to disarm a population with guns as prolific as the US, (88.8 weapons per 100 persons) made more sense. The connection (LIBOR, GE Capital) between Lanza and the Aurora shooter also made me wonder, but that was a dead-end (so far)

    Back to disarmament….the need to make the streets safe for the Authoritarian, by way of DEMOCRATIC process, letting the PEOPLE disarm themselves by fiat, is by far, the greatest genius, if this is truly a conspiracy.

  87. Mark Golding, prompted by your comment, I went looking for any evidence that Israel was involved in the Sandy Hook school shootings, and found none. I did find eye-witness testimony from some of the children that seems to corroborate the mainstream account. The Veterans Today link could only offer an anonymously sourced e-mail with no references and nothing verifiable that I could find.

    This doesn’t rule out mind-control, of course, but why resort to that explanation, when we live in a society that constantly glorifies extreme violence, especially gun violence, in films, on the news, and in video games? Considering the massive amount of such material it is a wonder that such shootings don’t happen more frequently. The message is reinforced dozens or hundreds of times every day on television; the way to be powerful and a hero is to shoot with a powerful gun.

    In the US, this incident is being used to call for gun control. Mary posted a Wikipedia link about gun violence in the US, and hand guns were involved in several times more murders than weapons suitable for hunting. But the main weapon in this incident was a semi-automatic rifle, a category of weapon only re-legalised eight years ago in the US, see the ninth paragraph:

    “The mayor called for a renewal of the assault weapons ban that president Bill Clinton pushed through Congress in 1994, which also included restrictions on the size of bullet magazines. The Bush administration allowed it to lapse a decade later. Police say that the Newtown killer, Adam Lanza, used a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.”

    The only advantage of hand guns is that they are easy to conceal, and semi-automatics are combat weapons with no role in hunting. I can’t think of any justification for public ownership of either of these categories of weapon.

  88. That article seems in the same genre as the one which listed MacAlpine in a quite unsourceable cabbage patch parade of evil celebs. It reveals a terrible editorial standard at Veterans Today.

    With 6,500 (?!) USA Veteran suicides a year, i think they could do without it.

  89. Dont let it all get you down planetarians. It is the season of pleasant surprises and toasts. Spring wont be long after. The challenge is to magnify.

  90. Carlton McGee

    21 Dec, 2012 - 8:05 am

    Ambassador Murray, do you, like you commenters, blame Newtown on the Jews?

  91. Clark and John I meant to say well done for going to support Julian. In a TV report the microphone he was using sounded very distorted. Was that the case or was the recording adulterated?

    This is the BBC version.

    Julian Assange: Wikileaks to release ‘million more files in 2013

    ‘Julian Assange: ”My work will not be cowed”

    Related Stories
    Profile: Julian Assange
    Assange to make ‘balcony speech’
    Q&A: Julian Assange and the law

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said his work “will not be cowed,” as he promised the whistle-blowing site would release a million more documents.

    In a speech from a balcony at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he said the files to be published in 2013 would affect “every country in this world”.

    It is six months since he sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies.

    The linked video does not work. There is a message – This content doesn’t seem to be working. Try later. Yeah. Right! Ms Boaden is back.

  92. Mary – thanks for posting the May Ayres slideshow yesterday – powerful stuff indeed.

  93. I see that Agent Cameron is moving on to Oman where BAE have just signed a £2.5bn deal for Typhoons and Hawk trainers. How disgusting that he prostitutes himself as an arms salesman. Oman has a dictatorial Sheikh, a population of just over 2.5 million. Political dissenters are imprisoned.

    Oh I see. ‘Thousands of British jobs are safeguarded’. That’s OK then.

  94. Interesting piece regarding Murdoch and Petraeus in the Guardian.

  95. Clark at 11.38 p.m. last night. I looked for you but to no avail. I’ve only seen your photo on here. But glad you enjoyed yourself. As well as the messages to supporters and reporters I think the most encouraging item from his address was ‘Next year I will be an Australian Senator’ or words to that effect. Herald the day! I got a message from an Australian FB friend saying she would be voting for him.

    Arbed, so good to meet you. Sorry we had to leave when we did but we would have missed our coach otherwise. As it happened the coach was ten minutes late. Such lovely people there don’t you think?

  96. Mary, thanks for the encouragement. Where I was stood we could hear every word. I wonder if the distortion came after the video was uploaded. There are people who would rather JA’s message did not get out.

    And the millions more of files to be released next year covered countries all over the world. Wonderful!

  97. Happy Solstice, everyone!

    That’s it, the 2012 “apocalypse” has been and gone, at 11:11 GMT. If it happened, I somehow missed it.

    “Carlton McGee”, 21 Dec, 8:05 am, want to bet? I bet he doesn’t. How much would you like to stake?

  98. Craig I thought you dye your hair? Is that you in the dogcoller in the first pic?

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