430 thoughts on “Baghdad Conference Photos

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  • Habbabkuk

    @ 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?

  • Habbabkuk

    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.

  • Fred


    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    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.

  • Clark

    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?

  • nevermind

    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?

  • Clark

    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    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.

  • Anon


    >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.

  • macky

    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    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?

  • Fred


    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Clark

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

    http://www.mayayres.com/may-ayres-events.html 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.’

  • macky

    @ 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 ?

  • Mary

    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”.’

  • mark golding

    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.

  • norse

    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?

  • mark golding

    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!


  • Clark

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)


    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.

  • Clark

    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.

  • thatcrab

    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.

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