John Bolton’s Fake Applause 222

The Oxford Union has dubbed fake applause onto the videos of John Bolton’s address to the Union. It has not done this for any other speaker.

If you listen to these videos of Bolton itching for war with Iran, you can hear precisely the same burst of ultra enthusiastic applause at the start, fading “naturally” as he begins to speak.

This dubbing in of applause is not used for any other speaker on the Oxford Union website, either before or after Bolton.

Everyone else just gets the actual applause that really existed.

Contrast the presentation of these question answers from Bolton with this from Julian Assange:

One futher interesting feature of the Bolton video is that the students asking questions – who were mostly hostile – are all edited out in favour of fake applause.

I was involved in heated negotiations with the Oxford Union on the transmission of Assange’s address, against attempts not by the students but by the Board of Trustees to block it “on legal grounds”. These conversations were not pleasant. When Assange’s address was finally put out, the sound was completely messed up and remained so for a fortnight, with this comment from the Oxford Union posted underneath:

Thanks for your feedback. We are aware there are issues with the audio when playing on mobile devices and we are working on getting this fixed as quickly as possible. The audio can be heard on desktops or with headphones on laptops.

I am therefore fascinated by the skill with which the Oxford Union have merged the dying of the fake applause over the start of Bolton’s speaking, when they were technically incapable of a simple straight sound feed of the Assange address.

Bolton is not only banging the drum for neo-con war, he is a war criminal with a direct role in launching the illegal role of aggression in Iraq. His address to the Union was the day before Assange’s speech to the Sam Adams Award at the same venue. Yet not a single one of the students who demonstrated against Assange demonstrated against Bolton.

To take the issue of rape, which was ostensibly the subject of the protest, Bolton’s Iraq War directly caused innumerable rapes. Nobody can know the exact figure, but certainly tens of thousands of rapes, and very many of them were fatal or had the most devastating consequences for the women who suffered. Read this excellent article

Rape is a common weapon of any war; no one knows how many Iraqi women have been raped since the war began in 2003. Most crimes against women “are not reported because of stigma, fear of retaliation, or lack of confidence in the police,” MADRE, an international women’s rights group, wrote in its 2007 report about violence against women in Iraq. Some women, like Khalida, are raped by Iraqi security forces. A 2005 report published by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights found that women held in Interior Ministry detention centers endure “systematic rape by the investigators.”

They did not demonstrate against Bolton because the mainstream media and establishment have whipped up no hysteria about him. But they were directed to outrage against Assange, a man who has done a great deal to expose war crimes and try to prevent war, because the mainstream media and establishment pushed the useful idiots in that direction with some extraordinarily unconvincing accusations.

I said most of this IN my owN speech to the Sam Adams awards. Strangely the Oxford Union have not posted that speech at all…..


With thanks to Herbie, there is a history of Bolton and false applause. Perhaps this is insisted upon by his minders – who presumably know he doesn’t get real applause outside the Republican Party!

222 thoughts on “John Bolton’s Fake Applause

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  • Ex Pat


    Tony Benn on the US Empire, the future, Europe, the Cold War as a (US Empire) anti-progressive stunt and the return of Labour and Democracy – the engine of Britain’s progressive development. (“If you can find the money to kill people, you can find the money to help them.” Hence the National Health Service.)

    Q. “What about the special relationship?’ A. “The UK is a subject nation. Because the UK wants to remain a nuclear power and keep nuclear weapons, the UK is a subject nation to the US Empire.” HA! Thank you very much! Lobster magazine – Robin Ramsay – has it right! –

    – See Lobster #58, ‘The meaning of subservience to America’ – Page 87, Issue #58 –

    Q. “There is a lot of discontent in Britain. Do you think it will lead to Socialism with a capital S?”

    A. “There _is_ a lot of discontent in Britain. People are understanding who runs the world. Bankers. International Corporations. Great powers – Empire.”

    “When people realise that they are powerless and want to take control of their own lives – that’s _democracy_. _That’s_ what I call socialism. That’s how we (in Britain) got votes for men. That’s how we got votes for women. That’s how we got a National Health Service – our greatest socialist achievement. I don’t think that Tony Bliar’s effect – of dismantling the Labour party – will be as lasting as people think.”

    “The whole Cold War was used to prevent progressive change. The Russians (won WW2 for the world and) lost 25 million people and were never going to occupy western Europe.” Paraphrased inexactly.

    Tony Benn has been voted Britain’s favorite politician several times and you can see why. And why many revere him as a wonderful absolute truth teller.

    He famously retired after fifty years as an MP “to devote more time to politics” – his wife Caroline’s line – and he’s still doing it. Tony Benn is now 87. Go Tony! – : ) –

    – Tony Benn – 29.00 minutes – 25th January, 2013 – Voice of Russia radio –

  • Wasp_Box

    The applause is identical in both clips and is clearly “canned”.

    What an awful thing for the Oxford Union to do. Also, what an utter shit Bolton seems to be.

    I would rather like to see your conversations with the OU about Julian Assange – any chance?

  • doug scorgie

    16 Feb, 2013 – 4:08 pm

    You say:

    “If there is evidence Iran does already have one [a nuclear weapon]… I think the West will have adequate reason to remove the weapons by force…”

    There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program let alone a bomb and International law would prohibit such action anyway. But then who gives a shit about the law? Not you obviously.

    “In my view Iran must open up Parchin for inspection and answer the IAEA’s questions about possible non peaceful uses of nuclear technology that have hitherto gone unanswered.”

    India, a non-signatory to the NPT, has many nuclear weapons. Does the West not have adequate reason to remove India’s weapons by force?

    Israel is a non-signatory to the NPT but is alleged to have hundreds of nuclear weapons. If you think Iran should open up its nuclear facilities to international inspection (which it does), why do you not state at the same time that India and Israel should do similar?

    “There is a problem with Iranian lying…”

    And there is not a problem with the USA; the UK, Israel and many more countries lying?

    “…whether a Western invasion of Iran is to steal or control their natural resources (as much a plausible argument to yourselves as to many Iranians, but it is an argument which I think is flawed)…”

    Why is that argument flawed? You don’t explain. Why not?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    Brendan, you can call John Bolton many things, but you are very wrong when you say he’s stupid. He is an extremely intelligent individual; how he uses uses his intelligence is of course another matter.

    This is not an original comment, of course, but the worst thing about the man is surely his absurd mustache.

  • doug scorgie

    16 Feb, 2013 – 8:08 pm

    “I don’t know much about Mossadegh…” [sic]

    “BP’s oil fields…”?

    It seems you don’t know much about anything judging by your comments. I suggest a week or two studying the history of the Middle East and the history of British Imperialism.

    Again if you don’t know much about Mosaddegh then you know fuck all about Iran and are thus not able to put forward valid arguments on the subject.

  • Cryptonym

    It is you KarimovaRevengeFantasist who is positively salivating at the thought of stealing it. You’re more than coveting it, you’re encouraging a gang of criminals in commision of a crime, like some infantile dare, pushing others into trouble from which they’ll take the blame or consequences and you’ll walk off sniggering, scot-free, looking for further evils to foment, you’re nothing more than a dangerous fool, dangerous to others, a danger to humanity. I don’t think you’re one of the less than 1% who might personally benefit but one of the deluded remainder who have swallowed whole the frankly absurd notion that they might pocket some loot too –take it from me you won’t, for all your bowing and scraping before the bloodthirsty tyrants you worship, none but a few already with wealth beyond comprehension will gain. Whoever BP dealt with back in the day, they were conned, the seller did not have title, it’s Iran’s oil, the Iranian people’s and not as you posit BP’s with those inconvenient Persians cheekily living on top. It’s been known what’s there and where since the early 20th century where it took no exploration or risk as the stuff was bubbling out of the ground and of such purity and lightness that oil-fuelled ships could run on it raw with no further refining. Incidentally fully exploited I doubt it is in total not much more than than 40 days predicted current world daily consumption, not worth hanging for, but you’re already party to a conspiracy to theft and mass-murder, primed to cheer on from the sidelines, in sadistic ecstasy at epic scale deaths planned. Nailed your colours to the mast, and so out of your depth, you’re drowning already.

    The alternative is easy, Iran I expect still remains perfectly willing to sell its oil, for goods in kind that it needs, not worthless fiat toilet paper; if not saddled to the crash and burn US empire till its utter demise, dragging all into the abyss, this country could trade again with Iran, profitable for each party, two-way trade, if only we had something more to offer than criminal casino banking, ignoring the US dictated sanctions and ending the phony special relationship, with an appeal to International Courts for leniency for the British people, tendering whatever mitigating circumstances might dig us out of the hole, throwing our errant leadership to their just deserts. This subservient fealty, to the US and to its execrable child Israel, has to end if this country is to flourish and not finish mired in inexhaustible eternal ignominy. If things are tough inside Iran, that is almost entirely attributable to 33 years of vindictive sanctions and a proxy war with Iraq, also of our making, the victims of which still mourned and honoured in Iran.

    And as it isn’t really about oil but of doing the criminally insane bidding of the supreme rogue state, the paranoiac parasitical cuckoo in the Middle East – Israel – not so much a country as a 65 year long crime spree, a threat to world peace since its creation, we’re far better out of it, frankly, even oil can’t sweeten the taint of such association.

    As the US and UK (Israel is even further gone) descend into the madness, paralysis and detachment from reality that typified the demise of Nazi Germany; a fraction of the wasted costs of senseless, insane military expenditures so far, of the last decade, could by now have put our power generation and transportation systems on a sustainable infinitely renewable basis and invigorated the domestic economy, employment market and national spirit.

    No-one with an ounce of humanity could contemplate with glee, such horror as you do, you’re some sort of shameless monster, some throwback to an evolutionary dead-end, re-animated.

    A robotic shill, payed mouthpiece, ten a penny racist war-monger. Zero redeeming qualities.

    Just like John Bolton, I wonder if you’re related?

  • guano

    I tried to point out earlier that the idea of 20 year old university students manipulating a debate in favour of a neo-con is even more scary than the neo-con himself. What are they going to grow in to if they are neo-cons at this age? But I included a hint that the OU’s president is Jewish, which is not irrelevant, and got zapped. Bit touchy, don’t you think Craig?

  • Jonangus Mackay

    No such thing as a non-Freudian slip. Couldn’t help but note that the opening titles helpfully popped onto the Bolton video by the Oxford Union’s media manipulator/s’ (who he/she/they, exactly?) read as follows: ‘John R. Bolton, Iran and the Ware on Terrorism.’
    Just checked my handy on-board dictionary. Predictably & succinctly enough it defines ‘ware’ as, ‘commodity offered for sale.’
    An animated logo immediately precedes the spelling bungle: ‘The Oxford Union Society, 1823. People Who Shape Our World.’ Or, at least, learning to.
    This mysterious farrago now ranks, particularly since still completely unexplained, as one of the most shameful in the Union’s 189-year history.

  • Villager

    Habbabkuk, thats the exact same thing that struck me–absurd moustache. But that also tells that he may have high intellect, he’s not very ‘intelligent’. One day you and i are going to have a chat about the difference between those two words but suffice it to say, one recognises beauty/aesthetics, the other does not. Tired now, Sleeping Beauty 🙂

  • Herbie

    Someone posted earlier something about the latest shameful person to have been outed.

    Shameful is a wonderful word. Shame full. Full of shame. It’s quite a biggie, and like in a really fundamental way. It ain’t good, if you got it.

    It can refer to private shame or public shame.

    If private, it’s one’s own personal shame at one’s own perceived failures, compared to some internal ideal. (How is that constructed)

    If public then it’s a shame at not living up to some community ideal. (How is that constructed)

    Anyway, I was just wondering where the English word “sham” came from. No dictionaries etc please. I’m looking for audio tapes of really really old illiterate people and in black and white where the sounds expressed are really really close to the emotion intended.

  • daniel

    I realized instantly from a previous thread that this Kempe character was a troll. I can only hope that he doesn’t return.

  • English Knight

    Now that Craig has shoojooed Kempe, how will us peeps experience genuwine sayanim hasbara in real time now?! Or is the resident Methodist Dorkshireman going to up his game and allow us to “take in a movie” of how to see through Michael Winners dinners?

  • Mary

    It was once thought and said that Sarkozy was a sayan. Either he never was or he has turned.

    The Times of Israel January 27, 2013

    Sarkozy urges pressure on Israel at Jewish fundraiser

    Former French president shocks donors by saying international community must bring down the ‘walls of Jericho’ surrounding the state

    By Stuart Winer

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy shocked donors at a United Israel Appeal fundraiser in Davos Friday when he said that the international community should apply pressure on Jerusalem in order to establish a Palestinian state.

    “Israel has surrounded herself with walls of Jericho,” Sarkozy, who was France’s president from 2007 to 2012, told the closed gathering of wealthy Israel supporters at the charity dinner held at the Hotel President Wilson on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. “It will be necessary to bring down the walls in order to save her,” Maariv reported Sunday.

    Sarkozy, who during his term in office made the Middle East peace process a major aspect of his foreign policy, went on to say that the international community should pressure Israel in order to establish a Palestinian state and prevent what he termed “a disaster.”


    Or perhaps he’s creating a diversion from the charges he is facing for taking a £120k donation from the l’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

  • Mary

    I can’t believe Tony Benn has said this!

    Questioner: ‘The Republican party have accused Obama of leading the USA down the path of socialism. What do you think they mean by that?

    Tony Benn: ‘I think he is a professional politician myself, and I think he has some radical ideas. Some things he has done I agree with, like healthcare; I disagree about the Afghan war. But he’s so much better than George W. Bush and better than Romney. So I’m very glad he has been re-elected.

    I think Obama is prepared to work with people who would call themselves socialists, and that again may alienate some rich people who don’t want those associations to be allowed to develop…

    I think the United States under Obama is trying to adopt a more peaceful policy. His relations with Russia are better than they were during the postwar period. He’s been warning the Israelis about the building of settlements in Arab territory. He’s played quite a progressive part in some ways. But, of course, he’s a product of the society in which he lives; and therefore many of the things he is doing I wouldn’t agree with at all.’

    Mind you I seem to remember that he supported Bliar’s re-election in 2005 by canvassing on the phone for him.

  • Mary

    O/T but a good illustration of how things are managed by those with the power. In a just society, Purnell and his crowd would have been sent into oblivion.

    From Medialens

    BBC to pay Blair flunkie £295,000 a year
    Posted by nick744 on February 16, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Is anyone else outraged that the BBC will pay Blair’s former research assistant James Purnell £295,000 a year as its “Director, Strategy and Digital”, starting next week?

    That’s more than Obama gets ($400,000 or about £250,000).

    How can the BBC justify spending our money with such abandon, especially at a time of supposed austerity? They’ll presumably say that’s the market rate, but the BBC is a unique quasi-monopoly, not part of some capitalist free-for-all market.

    In any case, it’s utterly irresponsible for a public service to pay such obscene salaries. It really makes you wonder whether everyone should just stop paying the licence fee in protest.

    (The right-wing Purnell became an MP and voted for the Iraq war. His former partner was a BBC producer until recently; she’s now a “special advisor” to George Osborne, according to the Telegraph. Cameron’s media advisor is also a former BBC employee).


    The close connections between this government (and previous ones for that matter) and the BBC is illustrated here –

    Poppy Mitchell-Rose is so trusted by George Osborne that they were pictured sharing ear phones on a first-class train carriage.

    The popular special adviser is, however, now leaving the Conservative Chancellor for America, where her boyfriend, Ben Wright, Radio 4’s chief political correspondent, will take up a post at the BBC’s Washington bureau. She will work in the private sector.

    Osborne is to replace her with Thea Rogers, 30, the BBC’s lead political producer.

    Rogers, 30, is an intriguing figure who excites members on both sides of the House of Commons. James Purnell, the former Labour Cabinet minister, was among her lovers.

    Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s “spin” chief, a former BBC boss, is one of her fans.

    She is now courting Ameetpal Gill, the Prime Minister’s chief speechwriter turned “head of strategic communications”, Gill now runs the all-powerful “grid” of government events and announcements.


    So when we next hear Ben Wright speaking from Amerika, think of Poppy and then of Osborne and then of Thea and then of Craig (Oliver!) and then of Cameron.

  • KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    1. My complaint about your substitution of the word “covet” for “steal” still stands.
    2. Your argument technique includes imputing the worst possible motives, sometimes on the flimsiest of evidence (how do you know I covet Iranian oil: there’s is insufficient space to store it in my home) rather than dealing with the actual argument.
    3. Your use of a stream of insults

    “No-one with an ounce of humanity could contemplate with glee, such horror as you do, you’re some sort of shameless monster, some throwback to an evolutionary dead-end, re-animated.

    A robotic shill, payed mouthpiece, ten a penny racist war-monger. Zero redeeming qualities.”

    because my motives are bad from point no. 2 plus the fact you need to substitute different words in my arguments (point no. 1) suggests you find my arguments hard to deal with.

    The reason, if we are forced by the Iranian leadership to take military action against Iran will be because the leadership in Iran want to retain the weapon of nuclear ambiguity (i.e. we will be doing it for not cooperating with the IAEA over a 10 year period or so). The reason we will not be taking military action to STEAL (steal = make it our own with a view to making a financial gain, covet = wish it was ours but do nothing further?) their oil and gas is because none of the different methods of stealing it produce a long term gain:

    Method 1. Turn on the Iranian oil taps on full and depress the oil price. The theft benefit would be dissipated among many countries. Also it would annoy other oil producers who might boycott our goods. Finally it would annoy the Iranians intensely. They in turn would boycott our goods. An ineffective method of theft.
    Method 2. Physically remove the oil and not pay the Iranians anything. A more effective method, but it has serious disadvantages. The Iranians would boycott our goods. They could justifiably attack us. We would be condemned in the U.N. Many countries would boycott our goods (the initial benefit of the theft would be reduced over the long term. Our self image in the world would suffer. Probably not a very clever thing to do.
    Method 3. Award ourselves contracts to extract the oil on favourable terms so that we benefit from the expected changes in the present value of the expected future profit stream as the oil price goes up and down and extraction costs remain relatively constant. This is by far the smartest apparent type of “theft”, but to be effective it requires you to sell out your operating interests in the oil fields at the top of the oil price cycle and to buy in at the bottom. It also requires a dumb buyer to buy at the top of the market and a distressed seller at the bottom. In addition, you don’t seriously think a commercially savvy nation like Iran would stand for that sort of thing? Iran is one of the few countries in the world that has buy-back agreements in place to prevent operators of oilfields benefiting from oil price movements on the unextracted oil reserves. That may be the reason their oil production was lower before the start of the sanctions than it was when the Shah was in power: their operating terms were just too mean?
    4. Iraq and Libya are not complaining of oil theft by the countries that launched military action on their territory. They are not boycotting Western goods. Maybe we are not stealing their oil?
    My argument stands: your use of the expression “covet their oil” neatly circumvents consideration of the three methods of theft and point no. 4, but at the same time imputes dishonest motives for military action against Iran if Iran does not do what the IAEA asks.

    @Doug Scorgie
    Your first post starts off promisingly, but your rapid descent, unprovoked, to four letter words to a complete stranger only 50 minutes later in your second post is surprising. I understand now where John Bolton gets his views about Europeans from. It is true I haven’t been a saint myself in making a joke about Lenin’s tomb: it could be interpreted as weakness in my own arguments if I sought to insult you all by associating you with Lenin. However, many of the views expressed here on many things seem to be from the view point of the ultra far left.

  • Mary

    What a weird combo on Marr this morning.

    17/02/2013 9am

    Duration: 1 hour

    Guest presenter Eddie Mair is joined by Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP, Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Madeline McCann, and singer Sinead O’Connor.

    QC and Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy and acting editor of The Times John Witherow review the Sunday newspapers.  Show less

  • Ex Pat



    Tony Benn – a man whose party backed the UN Declarations on Human Rights – because their generation had seen World War 2 and knew of World War 1 and the carnage of both. On the British National Health Service founded in 1948 by a penniless Britain – “Because if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.”

    Which Britain’s US Empire Sell-Out Shill and Spiv leaders – Conservative, LibDem and Bliar’s New Labour – aka Thatchler’s ‘greatest achievement’ – Conservatives, naturally – are now attempting to destroy on the QT. –

    – Tony Benn with Michael Moore on the NHS – “Britain’s greatest socialist achievement” – Sicko –


    “Pick a cause that you don’t mind failing at, because all the really big causes – the worthwhile causes – take hundreds of years. Slavery – slavery took three hundred years to repeal. The voting franchise – originally it was for gentlemen with estates, and not every man. Women’s suffrage. Civil Rights. Gay rights. Colonialism. Empire. Generations of men and women willing to labour to change an unjust situation. Knowing that they would never see the victory. Willing to try, and to fail. Until one day, one of them succeeds. And then it looks as if it was inevitable. But it was not. Not without the countless thousands of unknown men and women who laboured knowing that they would not see the victory.” Tony Benn, paraphrased.

    – Tony Benn – ‘Big Ideas That Changed The World: Democracy’ – Youtube –

    “Each and every one of us has to be given confidence. If anyone asks me what I hope people will say of me after I have gone, I hope it will be, ‘Tony Benn – he encouraged us.’ I would like that written on my gravestone.”

    Tony Benn – a noble, noble man.

    See Articles -> Articles and Articles -> Audio/Visual

    See Added 8/26/08 for for later Articles and Audio/Visual

    Tony Benn – Search for ‘bennites’ web site via Wayback machine –

  • John Goss

    Mary, attacking Tony Benn for one or two statements which might seem at odds with your own thinking is not fair. I think you’ll carry quite a few trolls along with you on that one. Practically every rally I have been on Benn was there, including the big one in Hyde Park in 2003, against Blair’s war. And to be honest Obama is much preferable to Bush. Human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said he would be voting for Obama, because the alternative would have been so much worse. Although Obama has reneged on promises like the closure of Guantanamo Bay he cannot speak for himself because of the money and machine that put him in power. Benn always speaks for himself.

  • Kempe

    KINDLY fuck off…. I am honoured. Always a sign somebody’s run out of arguments when they start throwing obscenities about, thank you, that really brightened up a dull morning.

    I might pop back in a couple of days when things have calmed down.


  • guano

    As to the religious beliefs of the president of the Oxford Union, I personally think that it is highly relevant that a 20 year old who supposed to be idealistic and open-minded has invited and assisted a war-weary neo-con in the manner you have described and invited and mis-treated your friend Julian Assange.

    Your on/off part-time political correctness is rather weird.

  • doug scorgie


    Tony Benn is a very nice, kind, human being and rarely has a bad word to say about anybody. That seems to be his only fault as a political activist.

  • guano

    I am quite partial to a bit of Cheddar myself. I had a granny who emanated from Jewish ethnicity whose father my father told me had a black beard like mine. My father didn’t like either his father in law’s Jewish beard nor my Muslim one and he was pretty much the same as Craig in his dislike of divine instructions to prayer.
    My great grandfather was a leather-worker in Kettering, where I subsequently used to buy my bookbinding leather from.

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