Of This I Am Proud

by craig on March 15, 2013 8:28 am in Uncategorized

I am proud of the company I was in of fellow Sam Adams winners; but also because in the circumstances I think this was the best speech I have ever made. If you listen from 15 minutes, the enthusiastic and sustained interruption of applause I received from the Oxford Union for my attack on those demonstrating against Julian Assange is remarkable.

It particularly explodes the appalling lies of the Guardian’s shrill hate campaign against Julian Assange, which you will recall covered this event under the headline Julian Assange finds no allies and tough queries in Oxford University talk . It has taken the Oxford Union two months to post this video, and then unlike other newly posted videos it does not appear on the front page of their youtube site.

The students no longer have any autonomy in the the Oxford Union where speakers and videos have to be approved in advance by a solidly and uniformly right wing board of trustees which includes William Hague and Louise Mensch.

It is, however, even at this belated time, a great pleasure to be able again to state and to demonstrate what a vicious little liar Amelia Hill is.

After my point on the Assange demonstration, you could have heard a pin drop for the rest of my talk and I was unsure how the audience were reacting. Unfortunately the video cuts off the peroration, so you will have to take my word for it that the applause was very big and after resuming my seat I had to half stand and acknowledge again. But I had concluded by introducing Julian Assange, so that may have been for him not me – I would be just as pleased.

Let me post this one again so you have the pair of me on consecutive nights in very different moods.

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  1. Good speech from that Michael Craig bloke.

  2. Of YOU we are proud Craig and of your fellow speakers including Annie, Co Ann Wright and the other fine Americans including the US Ambassador to Greece who resigned at the outset of the Iraq war, John Brady Kiesling. His resignation letter to Colin Powell below.

    The wrong people are, and have been, in power. I compare the stature that you possess, and the others who were there that night, to the squirming of the lying creature that Alex Thomson interviewed on Channel 4 last night, Straw.

    PS Why do they label you Michael Craig on the video?


  3. Craig’s speech on winning the Sam Adams Award for 2005. Transcript.


  4. The CIA list of tortured confessions is probably the reason so many innocent people have been wasted in Guantanamo Bay – a blight on the planet.

  5. The Sam Adams in whose name the award is given.



    Did you get the candlestick referred to Craig?

  6. Craig’s quote of William Gladstone:

    Remember the rights of the savage, as we call him. Remember that the happiness of his humble home, remember that the sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan, among the winter snows, is as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own.

    Those hill tribes had committed no real offence against us. We, in the pursuit of our political objects, chose to establish military positions in their country. If they resisted, would not you have done the same? … The meaning of the burning of the village is, that the women and the children were driven forth to perish in the snows of winter … Is that not a fact ?” for such, I fear, it must be reckoned to be ?” which does appeal to your hearts as women … which does rouse in you a sentiment of horror and grief, to think that the name of England, under no political necessity, but for a war as frivolous as ever was waged in the history of man, should be associated with consequences such as these?


    Look at all the references to “militant compounds” in this list of drone strikes upon Pakistan:


  7. We are very proud of it too :)

  8. A new structure is required to organise the secret intelligence agencies and the information of which they are custodians. I have two tentative ideas. One is to interleave an oppositional or adversarial structure into the secret intelligence agencies. The other is separation of data from structure.

    Each member of each secret intelligence agency could be “shadowed” by a member in a new structure, a civilian intelligence disclosure agency. To balance the Official Secrets Act regulating the secret agents, disclosure agents would be bound by a Public Interest Disclosure Act to reveal anything that might affect the interests of the population.

    Encryption technology could be used such that the secret agent and their shadow, disclosure agent would never discover who their opposite number was. The two would have access to the same set of files, but data, such as the names of sources, the nature of threats, would all be hidden behind code-numbers, but revealable through disclosure of an encryption key.

    Working together, members of the disclosure agency would reconstruct the dynamics of the structure of the cases that the secret agencies were building. Any discrepancy or sudden discontinuity, such as formerly trusted a source suddenly being ignored, or a source routinely treated as marginally reliable suddenly gaining undue significance within evaluations, would thus be visible to the disclosure agency. If the secret agencies began to “fix intelligence to match policy”, it would not be possible to conceal this from the disclosure agency.

    Sharing of files between each secret agent and his disclosure agent would ensure that records outside the secret agencies were updated in real-time. Thus, retroactive editing of records would not be protected by a cloak of secrecy.

    It would take a better mind than mine to develop such ideas into something that could actually work. But I am convinced that integrity in intelligence is too important to be left as a matter of personal morality. Some sort of structure is needed to enforce integrity.

  9. Mary linked to the Wikipedia entry for Sam Adams. My quick look through the article’s history revealed that the following link was removed in 2009:


    Removal of sourced material from Wikipedia is classed as “vandalism”. Removal is particularly odd in this case because the link is to an educational source, as preferred by Wikipedia’s policies, and contains many further links that would be of interest with regard to the Vietnam war and Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers.

  10. ‘Unmitigated Disaster': Iraq’s Pain Has Only Intensified Since US-Led Invasion in 2003.

    The country of my birth, already so damaged, is now crippled by fear of all-out civil war. But in the people there is hope.

    by Sami Ramadani


    Also in The Guardian:


  11. Let’s hope that the $6bn loss reported by JP Morgan seriously affects the pocket of their stooge, Bliar.

    JP Morgan accused of hiding losses by Senate report
    JP Morgan logo JP Morgan lost $6.2bn as a result of the scandal

    Related Stories
    Fed approves most bank capital plans
    UBS banker gets $26m ‘golden hello’
    JP Morgan to cut up to 19,000 jobs

    US bank JPMorgan Chase has been accused of hiding its huge trading losses by a US Senate panel.

    More on the crooks.

  12. Q. Was Sam Adams’ death natural?

    Samuel Adams, Ex-C.I.A. Officer And Libel Case Figure, Dies at 54

    Clark Ref the alteration to the Wikipedia page on Sam Adams.


    I was trying to work out who removed it and when. I get a bit lost on that edit/history page. Thanks.

  13. Related to Mary’s JP Morgan comment:

    [even more on the crooks:]

    Senate “Whale” Report Reveals JP Morgan as a Lying, Scheming Rogue Trader (Quelle Surprise!); Naked Capitalism; 3/15/13

  14. We are proud of Craig Murray.

    Hand on heart for Annie Wright.

    At age 66yrs this women has fire, passion and vigor. An intensity demonstrated in 2005 when Annie interrupted a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, shouting at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, “Stop the war! Stop the killing!” Wright was uneventfully escorted out of the hearing room.

    Likewise in 2007 Annie was arrested, and later convicted, for disrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at which general David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker were testifying.


  15. Papal Torture – Catholic Big Brother?

    According to lawyer Myriam Bregman: “Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis) own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. “The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support…”


    “Whoever becomes the new pope will find himself in a position of almost limitless power as the earthly head of the Roman Catholic church. He’ll get to see the whole world, albeit behind a sheet of bulletproof glass, and 1.2 billion believers will hang upon his every word until the day he dies. But then again, the winner of Big Brother will probably release a fitness DVD and have a ghostwritten column in New magazine. It’s hard to say which of these we should be more envious of.”

    Stuart Heritage


  16. Quite telling. From that link Mark.

    Holy Communion for the Dictators (image right: General Jorge Videla takes communion from priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio)

    I suppose the message is that all sinners are redeemed, just like Murphy O’Connor admitted Bliar to the church. Widdecombe too became a catholic. She voted STRONGLY for Bliar’s Iraq war.



    Agent Cameron has been in Brussels speaking up for arming the rabble rebels, along with his mate François Hollande. They salivate and lust for war and never learn any lessons.

  17. Another proponent for the Iraq War was Eric Joyce, MP Falkirk.

    Voting record (from PublicWhip)

    How Eric Joyce voted on key issues since 2001:
    Voted moderately for replacing Trident. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against a smoking ban. votes
    Voted strongly against increasing the rate of VAT. votes
    Voted strongly for introducing ID cards. votes
    Voted moderately for university tuition fees. votes
    Voted against raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year. votes
    Voted strongly for allowing ministers to intervene in inquests. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords. votes
    Voted moderately for a wholly elected House of Lords. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against a transparent Parliament. votes
    Voted very strongly for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws. votes
    Voted very strongly for a stricter asylum system. votes
    Voted very strongly for the Iraq war. votes
    Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. votes
    Voted strongly for more EU integration. votes
    Voted moderately for the hunting ban. votes
    Voted moderately for laws to stop climate change. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against a more proportional system for electing MPs. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against greater autonomy for schools. votes
    Voted very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals. votes
    Voted a mixture of for and against automatic enrolment in occupational pensions. votes
    Voted moderately against encouraging occupational pensions.

    A terrible record one way or another.

    Having given his custom to too many of the 29 subsidized drinking places in the Houses of Parliament, he was arrested after a brawl there last night and is now sleeping it off in a cell in Belgravia police station.

    It is high time that these subsidies were removed.

    I also heard this morning that waiting staff have been sacked so that the members the House of Lords can continue to eat subsidized meals.

    Joyce’s constituents have been badly served by him. He should resign now, not wait until 2015, and seek medical help for his problem(s).

  18. This from the LA Times in 2005:

    “The complaint filed in a court in the Argentine capital on Friday accused Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, of involvement in the abduction of two Jesuit priests by the military dictatorship…”


  19. Who exactly are these ‘rabble rebels’ you refer to Mary? Perhaps the people of Syria who were subjected to a hail of bullets for attempting a peaceful protest almost two years ago?

    You should be careful with the language in your posts, someone might almost think that you are supporting an authoritarian regime hell bent on suppressing it’s own people.

  20. OT but I’d like to share this.
    Just been listening to BBC radio 5 drive. They did a story about Palestinian men having their sperm smuggled out of Israeli jails so their wives can conceive. They interviewed a Palestinian doctor who seemed to confirm this. The presenters’ main focus was on how the smuggling took place, with talk of plastic bottles and even cups. No sympathy was expressed for the families involved, and no mention of the fact that the majority of the men are held without charge or trial.
    At the end of the item, the woman presenter said “and now for a sad story …..” and went on to explain that some “well-loved” cat had died somewhere.
    Breathtaking insensitivity, or the continuing dehumanisation of Palestinians by the BBC?

  21. CE I expect you already know about this.



    Can Free Syrian Army Defeat Assad:

    By early 2013, various rebel groups scored significant gains against retreating government troops in northern and eastern Syria, overrunning military bases, taking over border crossings with Turkey, and capturing roughly half of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital.

    However, many of these successes have been the work of Islamist militias, including Al Qaeda-linked groups such as the infamous Al Nusra Front. The FSA itself has largely faltered as an organized insurgent force.

    In fact, a report commissioned by the US State Department in late 2012 painted a bleak picture of the chaotic situation in rebel-held areas of Syria’s north. “There are hundreds of small groups (10-20 fighters) spread all over the area of Aleppo,” says the report, noting that the “rebel violations are becoming a normal daily phenomenon, especially against civilians, including looting public and private factories, storage places, houses and cars.”

    The FSA formal command seems ill-equipped to prevent radical Islamists from stepping into the vacuum left behind by a collapsing regime and a divided Syrian opposition.


    etc etc

  22. Yes thanks Mary, I am. However the emergence of Jihadists in the FSA does nothing to excuse the Assad regimes horrific treatment of its own people and that of peaceful protesters over the last two years.

    Again why do you taint all those who are opposed to a corrupt authoritarian dictator as ‘rabble rebels’? Or do you think that this is a price worth paying for an anti-western leader in the ME?

    Why do you support people under oppression all around the world but not in Syria? You do realise, it is possible to be critical of both our government and the Syrian Regime?

  23. Thanks for that 2nd link. Interesting and a plethora of information.

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    15 Mar, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    Is it really so that speakers and videos have to be approved in advance by the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Union? If it is then I’m astonished and wonder for how long that’s been the case. For some reason I’m thinking that a few decades ago the choice of speakers (no videos at that time) would have been up to the student officers of the Union.

  25. Yes thanks Mary- agent Cameron and François Hollande are calling on the EU to partially lift the arms embargo on Syria to allow Britain, France and others to assist the country’s opposition forces.


    Two hours ago François Hollande assured us he had secured an agreement with FSA ‘terrorists’ to guarantee advanced killing munitions, especially anti-aircraft missiles such as SAM and blow-pipe do not fall into the hands of al-Qaeda, this despite being a breach of international law, a fact Russia has iterated at the Brussels conference.

    The situation is of course different on the ground as we all know. These terrorists against Assad are already armed by Israel and Saudi.

    An aim is to gather evidence of atrocities in Syria by armed militia and present such evidence to the United Nations. This evidence is being compiled by certain NGO’s discreetly and covertly as such work presents a huge risk, to those at grass-roots and their messengers. Some expertise for this data compilation has been based on experience in Iraq and some key Syrian doctors and medical personnel are providing eye witness reports and images.

  26. From Hurriyet, the Turkish newspaper.

    Syrian rebels: Too fragmented, unruly


    The opposition militants battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are a fragmented rabble that refuses to follow orders, according to activists


    Sept 2012

  27. Mary,

    I’m sure if you’d been through two years of violent civil war against a brutal dictatorship we might find you a touch fragmented and unruly.

    To have the temerity to mock people going through a life or death struggle you can not even begin to understand is behaviour I struggle to comprehend.

    Yes some of your links are informative, but this is a hugely complex issue and the blithe, nasty, throw away quips reveal nothing but meanness and do not paint you in a good light.

  28. The CE
    For the sake of argument, let’s suppose that President Assad really is the brutal dictator you describe, and we just hadn’t noticed how bad he was until last year.
    So what? What has it got to do with us, the West, and in particular, the U.K.?
    The U.K. is corrupt and bankrupt – we’re in no position, morally or financially, to be telling the Syrians how they should run their country.

  29. I cannot watch it because youtube is banned here in Pakistan. :( I will be grateful if anybody could provide it in any other way.

  30. “Amnesty International has warned that Syrian rebels have increasingly resorted to torture and the summary execution of soldiers, suspected informants, pro-government militias and captured or kidnapped civilians.

    “[Rebel fighters] are summarily killing people with a chilling sense of impunity, and the death toll continues to rise as more towns and villages come under the control of armed opposition groups,” Amnesty said.”


    95% of ‘Syrian rebels’ not Syrians _ Daoud Khairallah


  31. Hello A Node,

    I do not think that the Assad regime was always as brutally repressive as it is now, it was probably relatively(for the ME) benign whilst its populace was behaving as instructed. However when faced with a peaceful(yes, I know it’s hard to remember that’s how it started) uprising they were most likely faced with a stark choice, become a brutal dictatorship or relinquish power. I think we can see which way they chose.

    Our government may be bad, but thankfully it is not in the habit of shooting peaceful protesters or involved in widespread, systemic, internal repression, so yes, I thank we should be able to tell countries with abhorrent human rights records, be they Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Iran, Russia, China, or even Syria, that we have concerns over their human rights abuses.

    On the more specific question of the Syrian conflict, do I think we should go in all guns blazing? Of course not, do I think we should be providing arms to the rebels? Probably not, I can only see that being counter-productive, and the rebels are seemingly getting large quantities of weapons from the Gulf States irrespective of our actions . Do I think we should be providing some form of help to a struggling people, fighting against a vile regime, that itself is propped up financially and militarily by both Moscow and Tehran? Quite possibly yes.

    I don’t think there any easy answers, but the Syrian people are the ones caught in the middle of this unimaginable situation and I cannot truly say what is the best way forward to ease their suffering as quickly as possible, but I firmly believe it is nowhere near the simple black and white issue that Mark Golding and Mary would have us believe.

  32. … let’s suppose that President Assad really is the brutal dictator you describe, and we just hadn’t noticed how bad he was until last year.

    A very pertinent thought experiment. Considering that the same bunch of liberators pulled off the rug from under Qaddafi, after having extorted the billions of dollars out of him, for the Pan Am jet crash in Lockerbie. That is post a very dubious trial (dog and pony show) that took the testimony of a known liar (four trials have collapsed/convictions over turned due to the testimony of the same cretin). In addition to the bonus prize of parading the unopened boxes parked in the Libyan warehouses on the TV, along with the carrier bag of the Pakistani Shirt maker that held the plans for an atomic warhead as supplied by A Q Khan, and paraded as the dividend of the “Bush Doctrine” (shoot first and ask questions later, Texas style conflict resolution).

    Libyans are enjoying their liberation, as are Iraqis, Afghans, and currently Syrians are in the process of getting liberated. The Syrian liberators are consisting of a well known local cigarette smuggler who is often referred to as the “rich businessman”, and Eric Prince hired mercenaries who are paraded as the Syrian Army Defectors, and a bunch of doped up Arab looking mercenaries pulled in from various countries all helping the Syrians to free themselves from the Assad regime!!

    Incidentally anyone recollect the Assads visits to No Ten and the photo ops with the world famous liar Blair? Clearly those days Assad was the paragon of democracy and upholder of mom’s apple-pie order, hence the rendered prisoners flown there by the CIA airways. Further anyone recollect the Assad speech rejecting the ambitions of “those setting themselves up as the power brokers”? (that is when he was getting shaken down)

    However, sadly sometimes tribalism trumps logic and reason, and anyone on the shitlist of those in zionistan are copied onto the shitlist of those “commenting” here, too. Hence the almost comical repetition of the news headlines as “opinions and well thought out wisdom”! Isn’t it sad?

  33. A comment

    Agent Cameron has been in Brussels speaking up for arming the rabble rebels, along with his mate François Hollande. They salivate and lust for war and never learn any lessons.
    A link

    CE I expect you already know about this.



    Can Free Syrian Army Defeat Assad:

    By early 2013, various rebel groups scored significant gains against retreating government troops in northern and eastern Syria, overrunning military bases, taking over border crossings with Turkey, and capturing roughly half of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital.

    However, many of these successes have been the work of Islamist militias, including Al Qaeda-linked groups such as the infamous Al Nusra Front. The FSA itself has largely faltered as an organized insurgent force.

    In fact, a report commissioned by the US State Department in late 2012 painted a bleak picture of the chaotic situation in rebel-held areas of Syria’s north. “There are hundreds of small groups (10-20 fighters) spread all over the area of Aleppo,” says the report, noting that the “rebel violations are becoming a normal daily phenomenon, especially against civilians, including looting public and private factories, storage places, houses and cars.”

    The FSA formal command seems ill-equipped to prevent radical Islamists from stepping into the vacuum left behind by a collapsing regime and a divided Syrian opposition.


    etc etc

    Another link

    From Hurriyet, the Turkish newspaper.

    Syrian rebels: Too fragmented, unruly


    The opposition militants battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are a fragmented rabble that refuses to follow orders, according to activists


    Sept 2012


    This place gets more like a court of law.

    I have made NO ‘blithe, nasty, throw away quips’.

  34. So we now have three of them ganging up against Mary, what fine fettle this blog is in.
    Any videos of the Islamophobia conference?

  35. Asked what he would say if President Assad said he wanted a safe exit, Mr Cameron replied: “Done.”

    “Anything, anything to get that man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria.”

    “Of course, I would favour him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he’s done.”

    Mr Cameron, who was preparing for talks with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, made clear Britain would not offer any such haven.

    He added: “I am certainly not offering him an exit plan to Britain but if wants to leave, he could leave, that could be arranged.”

    Mr Cameron ruled out the UK arming Syrian rebels.


  36. Apologies. Next time I disagree with something Mary writes I shouldn’t mention it, lest I be accused of ganging up on someone. There really is some thin skinned people going around here for a public blog.

    I found this comment offensive, unhelpful and overly simplistic – “Agent Cameron has been in Brussels speaking up for arming the rabble rebels, along with his mate François Hollande. They salivate and lust for war and never learn any lessons.” I said so.

    I was told by Craig dissent from the majority view is welcome here.

  37. What I said about Cameron and Hollande is true. Remember Libya, the chaos that spread from it just like the chaos that spread from the occupation of Iraq and the war against Iraq, and now Mali and beyond.


    I did not understand that remark of Cameron’s about not arming the rebels, Mark, but now see that it was what he was saying in November.

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

    15 Mar, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    “There really is some thin skinned people going around here for a public blog.”

    Yeah, it’s been rubbed raw. Give it some time to heal. I do recall your aligning yourself with the human rasp. Take that into consideration before hitting the submit button.

  39. “The kaleidoscope has been shaken, the pieces are in flux, soon they will settle again. Before they do let us reorder this world around us.” Said the grinning war criminal (Anthony Charles Lynton Blair)

    Kick starting the absurd bums rush for the second helpings of Sykes Picot. Old habits die hard evidently. The theft of the vanquished nations assets somehow is accepted as part of going to war to help spread democracy, liberation, and free beer all around.

    What happened to the vast sums of money found in Iraq, that is apart from the frozen accounts and the UN funds etc? Same holds true for Libya, and currently Syria? Who gets to administer and hold the free money?

    Less said about the indirect embezzlement from the tax funds that various contractors and agents get engaged in. If some of these crooks cashed a cheque these would be prosecuted for fraud, however if they are later paid for the books they author or for the positions they hold, that is a legitimate business transaction.

    Freedom dunchyou love its smell?

    Anyone recollect the Iraqi actress screaming it (FREEDOM) in the Labour conference in the build up to go and disarm Saddam from Nukes and Death Stars and Anti Matter weapons systems that no one had thought of so far? Or the sleeping (whilst on the TV) fat Iraqi woman who was purportedly raped by 150 Iraqi interrogators?

    How did the song go again ……….Sixteen million pound buys lots of mansions and beers and cars mate.

  40. The CE

    You have answered several questions, thank you, but none of them were mine. I’ll try again.

    Let’s suppose that I accept everything you say about Assad’s brutality, his human rights record, when it started, the mistreatment of his people, even that our government is not “involved in widespread, systemic, internal repression”, and thus has a moral right to judge him.

    My question is, “What’s it got to do with us? By what right are we interfering? Who has appointed us world policemen?”

    If Iran judged that the UK was guilty of persecuting British Muslims, would you defend Iran’s right to support an armed uprising in the UK?

  41. Mary & A Node: Plus 1 fot your comments.

    November: “However, sadly sometimes tribalism trumps logic and reason, and anyone on the shitlist of those in zionistan are copied onto the shitlist of those “commenting” here, too. Hence the almost comical repetition of the news headlines as “opinions and well thought out wisdom”! Isn’t it sad?”

    Could you simplify that for me please. Politics is not my natural area. Thank you

  42. The CE:
    “I don’t think there any easy answers, but the Syrian people are the ones caught in the middle of this unimaginable situation and I cannot truly say what is the best way forward to ease their suffering as quickly as possible, but I firmly believe it is nowhere near the simple black and white issue that Mark Golding and Mary would have us believe.”

    Easy armchair waffle CE. You reveal your subconscious in remarks like “the Syrian people are the ones caught in the middle”.
    So if they are ‘caught’ in the ‘middle’, what/who is on the sides or at the periphery. You might answer this while you’re answering A Node. I want to understand what the foundation of your moral high ground is made of?

    And re: your no-easy-answers-cliche, may i suggest, either put-up or shut-up.

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    15 Mar, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    @ A Node

    Sorry to bring this thread down to the nether regions, but I was intrigued by the story you posted about Palestinian prisoners having their sperm smuggled out of jail in order that their women folk light conceive (a story confirmed by a Palestinian doctor, you said).

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that about 99% of sperm died within a minute or so of being deposited in the vagina. If that is so, I shouldn’t have thought that the chances of any sperm surviving transport of possibly hours in glass jars and cups were very high.

    Are you sure that story’s not just…a story?

  44. Quite obvious what happened. Wifie gets pregnant whilst hubbie is in prison, doesn’t want to get stoned to death so persuades somebody to smuggle a sample of hubbie’s jiz out of the nick. “Darling whilst the wicked Zionists were holding you in prison Allah and the miracle of artificial insemination have blessed us with a son… No, I’ve no idea why he looks so much like the milkman.”

  45. Hehe, you might have something there Kempe.
    But it doesnt to take long to find out sperm can last for days in a sterile environment. hbk was just being characteristically obtuse and doubtful.

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

    15 Mar, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    The Milkman cometh…(sorry, couldn’t resist :) )

  47. “It would be my greatest sadness to see Zionists (Jews) do to Palestinian Arabs much of what Nazis did to Jews.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    “How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”
    ― Bertrand Russell

    “To Alef, the letter
    that begins the alphabets
    of both Arabic and Hebrew-
    two Semitic languages,
    sisters for centuries.

    May we find the language
    that takes us
    to the only home there is –
    one another’s hearts.

    Alef knows
    That a thread
    Of a story
    Stitches together
    A wound.”
    ― Ibtisam Barakat, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood

  48. If we dont see further inquistions on the lifespan of smuggled palestinian sperm, take it habkuk got the night off.

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

    15 Mar, 2013 - 11:41 pm


  50. I havent cleared the weekend, but Cheers Ben :)

  51. Recall Craig made these blockbusting speeches just a fortnight after passing out and spending 6 days in hospital with heart problems which aren’t even well controlled yet.

    I wouldn’t bet against that mans spunk in a cup.

  52. halibabacus,

    have you ever deposited any sperms in a vagina or have you just read about it? Please tell us where you collect the snippets of you wisdom.

  53. Kempe,

    are you a milkman by any chance?

  54. A couple of months ago, Belgian MP Laurent Louis spoke out in Parliament about globalist resource-grabbing and false-flag terrorism. Now three brave Australian MPs have told some home truths to their parliament about the Israeli lobby. Meanwhile, here in Britain, David Ward MP has been ordered to have his words vetted by the LibDem Friends of Israel for saying the word “Jews”

    A shouting match broke out in the chambers of the New South Wales (NSW) Legislative Council chambers on Thursday during a motion debate about a ‘Study Mission to Israel’ hosted by the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel under the auspices of the NSW Jewish Board Of Deputies, attended by a delegation of NSW Parliamentarians last January 6-10.
    The purpose of the ‘Study Mission’ was “to build an understanding amongst the delegates of the complex and various issues impacting on Israel and other jurisdictions within the Middle East.”(pdf)
    While Legislative Council members who were part of the delegation sang the praises of Israel, Green Legislative Councillor David Shoebridge (video above), Labor Legislative Councillor’s Shaoquett Moselmane, and Lynda Voltz had a few other topics to discuss.

    Video and transcript:

  55. Enough spoor chat already yoll.


  56. Noor-e-Hira, 15 Mar, 7:24 pm, I have uploaded copies of the two speeches to here:


    Right-click on the link and use “Save target/link as…” to save them to your computer, and then play them in your media player; they are not like YouTube “embedded videos”, and if you save them you can play them many times. They are also lower resolution than YouTube, but they seem to work.

    Other readers,

    Please do not download these videos if you can watch the embedded ones on this page or on YouTube. They are saved on the web-space provided by my ISP, which has strict download limits; if a few people download them my web-space will be blocked and Noor-e-Hira won’t be able to get them.

  57. But Jives every sperm is sacred.
    MP Laurent Louis – another cup runeth over.
    Well served Clark.

  58. The CE, I didn’t believe it for years, but “we”, i.e. the US, UK and assorted allies who come and go, really are “bad guys”. Not “the bad guys”, but at least as bad as “our enemies”. “We”, or “the West”, or “the international community”, or “the free world”, or whatever term you (or rather the establishment and the corporate media) wish to use; “we” attack, invade, dominate and destroy other countries for the commercial gain of private interests. All the talk of “humanitarian intervention” is just propaganda in support of those same interests.

    US general Wesley Clark, the former supreme commander of allied forces in Europe, once revealed that within weeks of the 9/11 terrorist atrocity the then secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld described how “we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”


    Now read this article by Sami Ramadani:


    The north-western region of Iraq borders Syria and it is where General Petraeus funded the Sahwa “awakening” militias in order to crush resistance in that region. Al-Qaida-type terrorists are also active in the area. They are natural allies of the terrorist al-Nusra Front of Syria. The de facto alliance between the US, Turkey, Israel and militants that has appeared in Syria is being mirrored in Iraq, with the additional ingredient of Saddamist remnants. US pragmatism knows no bounds!

    Follow that up with this one:


    But what goes unreported in relation to Syria is that democratic opposition organisations, at the receiving end of decades of regime repression and probably representing the will of majority of Syrians, strongly opposed the militarisation of the protests. They argued that militarisation weakened the growing mass movement for radical democratic change, left the door wide open for foreign intervention, threatened the social fabric of Syrian society and helped Israeli forces occupying the Syrian Golan Heights, where Israeli tanks are an hour’s drive away from Damascus. They also draw lessons from the destruction of Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled Iraq’s fires to Syria after the US-led invasion.

    Yes, I know that our corporate media constantly repeat that “Assad is killing his own people”, but where is the information coming from? Back at the time of the Iraq war, al-Jazeera was a good alternative news source, but note the following section; it has since been taken over by the Qatari elite:

    However, the media here and in the Arab world, especially the influential al-Jazeera TV, owned by the Qatari ruling family, act as the cheerleaders for the pro-intervention factions of the SNC and the FSA, founded in and logistically backed by Nato member Turkey.

    So do I have any evidence to support this radically different view of Middle Eastern conflict? Well, here is a rational analysis of the conflict in Syria based upon the sex ratios of the dead:


    Benetech’s research nevertheless offers some useful clues about the makeup of the recorded death toll. Only 7.5% are female, making the casualties in Syria overwhelmingly male. Second, the largest segment of the 30% of victims whose ages are included in the records are between the ages of 20 and 30 – who might be classified as males of “military age”.
    According to Abdulrahman’s conservative estimates, at least two thirds of the dead are armed men – an appreciatively different take on the perception of “civilian slaughter” in Syria created by reporting of the UN’s and other unverified casualty numbers. And the UN itself points out that “the analysis was not able to differentiate clearly between combatants and noncombatants”.

    CE, it is very uncomfortable to come to terms with, but “our” side, the US, UK etc., are the aggressors. “Our” allies in the Middle East are Qatar, Bahrain, and of course Saudi Arabia, which is the country that indoctrinates and arms the extremely violent Islamists.

  59. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Mar, 2013 - 6:58 am

    @ Crab (23h10) :

    “But it doesnt to take long to find out sperm can last for days in a sterile environment. hbk was just being characteristically obtuse and doubtful”

    ” sterile environment” – that’s the point, isn’t it. Surely glass jars or cups wouldn’t provide a sterile environment?

    But this is O/T, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

  60. Yes, good idea, stick to your job……blowing Babble.

  61. If anyone fancies a change from bickering, I would really appreciate some help developing ideas about how to make intelligence agencies serve the greater good; how to harness secrecy like markets can harness greed and competition if they’re well regulated…

  62. In an ideal world, no secrecy would be needed; everyone could just trust everyone else by default. The problem is getting there from where we are now. Those with good intentions need to keep their operational details secret from those less enlightened parties who would sabotage or exploit such information. But in the dark corners created by secrecy, corruption and deception can flourish. Conundrum.

    We’re lacking a tool, or maybe even a tool-kit.

  63. Thanks Clark for that exposition and for the links.

    I see that in the night the comments reached a new low. One of the commenters probably found typing out the word ‘vagina’ exciting. Others joined in and there was even someone casting aspersions on the marital fidelity of the prisoners’ wives. Quite disgusting.

  64. There are many interesting articles on Dissident Voice concerning Syria including this one. There is a good search box on the site.

    U.S. Policy Shift on Syria: Edging Closer to Direct Military Intervention
    by Ben Schreiner / February 28th, 2013

    Though President Obama last year rejected a proposal from the State Department, Pentagon, and CIA to directly arm Syrian rebel fighters, his administration is once again edging closer to directly intervening in the Syrian war.

    As the Washington Post reported Tuesday, “The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide the rebels with equipment such as body armor, armored vehicles and possible military training and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria’s opposition political coalition.”


    Obama visits Israel next week. Netanyahu has now formed a coalition with Livni, the Cast Lead war criminal, and a new party Yesh Atid that supports settlement building and a compulsory draft into the military for the ultra Orthodox Israelis.


    Peres has lined up the first black Miss Israel to be a dinner guest with Obama. She is Ethiopian. Wonder what she thinks about the revelation that Ethiopian women have been dosed with Depo Provera contraceptives by injection.


  65. Clark, i propose we solve the other type of (rather more profound) intelligence and the problem will be solved.

    The Intelligence Which Brings Order and Peace
    3rd Public Talk, September 4th, 1982

    “I do not know if one has asked such a question, surrounded by total disorder. I think one must be very clear about that: there is total disorder outwardly. Every morning you read a newspaper it is something terrible. Aeroplanes that can travel at such astonishing speed from one corner of the earth to the other without having refuelled, carrying great weight of bombs, gasses that can destroy man in a few seconds. To observe all this and to realise what man has come to, and in asking this question you may say that is impossible, it is not at all possible to live in this world utterly, inwardly undisturbed, to have no problems, to live a life utterly not self- centred. How shall we talk about this? Talking, using words, has very little meaning but to find out through the words, through communicating with each other, to find or discover, or come upon a state that is utterly still. That requires intelligence, not a fantasy, not some peculiar daydreaming called meditation, not some form of self-hypnosis, but to come upon it as we said requires intelligence.

    So we have to ask what is intelligence? As we said the other day, to perceive that which is illusory, that which is false, not actual, and to discard it, not merely assert that is false and continue in the same way, but to discard it completely. That is part of intelligence. To see, for example, nationalism, with all its peculiar patriotism, isolation, narrowness, is very destructive in this world, it is a poison in the world, and seeing the truth of it is to discard that which is false. That is intelligence. But to keep on with it, acknowledging it is stupid but keep on, that is essentially part of stupidity and disorder. It creates disorder. So intelligence is, is it not – we are talking over together, I am not saying it is, or it is not, we are investigating very seriously into this question: what is intelligence which alone can bring about in one’s life complete order and peace. And we said that can come about only when there is this extraordinary quality of intelligence. And intelligence is not the clever pursuit of argument, of opposing knowledge, contradictory opinions and through opinions find truth, which is impossible, but to realise that the activity of thought, with all its capacities, with all its subtleties, its extraordinary width of thought, is not intelligence. Intelligence is beyond thought. Please, don’t agree with the speaker. We are looking at it, going into it.”

    For all the time people spend on this board, it is well worth taking out an hour to go into this:

  66. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Mar, 2013 - 9:50 am

    “One of the commenters probably found typing out the word ‘vagina’ exciting.”

    For heaven’s sake grow up, Mary.


    La vita è bella, life is good! ( Immaculate Conception for all )

  67. Mary,

    I see that in the night the comments reached a new low.

    He was trying to distract me from asking his friend the CE some awkward questions. Rather than rise to the bait, I sent him and Kempe some uplifting quotes about Palestine. You might try the same when he gets too obnoxious. Then the more horrible he gets, the more he will be helping combat injustice :)

  68. Hilarious stuff. Agent Cameron is speaking to a Conservative conference except Sky News had no sound for a long time. Someone has now put the plug in. Shame.

    Interesting to see the neurolinguistic skills without the sound. The clenched mouth, the hand gestures, the exaggerated emphases. However much he tries to imitate Bliar though, he still cannot speak without notes or with the autocue.

  69. absolutely awesome speeches. If i had been in that room i think my head would have exploded with excitement. 4 of my absolute heroes in one room.. Murray, Machon, Drake & McGoven.. legends each and every one of them.

  70. Grow up?? Et tu!

    I was reminded of a car journey years ago with my niece and her friend, both of primary school age in the back seat. They had just discovered the word and the meaning and were giggling away while singing a song about it.

  71. Villager, I agree entirely that we benefit when we develop our personal internal understanding and agreement, such that we can see ourselves and the world for what they are without imposing illusions and distortions upon the models thereof which we maintain in our minds. I agree that when groups of people engage in this together, it is beneficial to themselves and, to a lesser extent, to those they interact with.

    However, it cannot be forced upon people, and thus there will continue to be some who act on the basis of their illusions and error. Their actions create disorder and conflict, which detracts from the progression towards understanding and peace. In particular, many are drawn towards governing others because of their internal illusions, such that the people who harbour the most destructive thoughts end up in the most powerful positions, from where their illusions are most susceptible to distribution, and their destructive actions become hugely amplified by the power structures over which they have so much influence. I think that this is how such understandings can have been known for thousands of years, and yet still strife and illusion remain widespread.

    This is why I look for ways to structure systems such that the quality of the system can improve independently of the quality of the individuals from which it is composed. Many systems have achieved varying degrees of success in this regard. To take a trivially physical example, all electronic circuits have to be designed to tolerate a broad range of quality in the components (sometimes as broad as 100 to 1), and the gizmos we’re surrounded by would be hopelessly unreliable had electronic engineers not developed such techniques for dealing with variable quality of components.

    Governments and organisations are going to continue to keep secrets. We need some standard method of preventing secrecy from breeding corruption and deception. Wikileaks and the like are a start, but high-risk for their maintainers and worryingly random regarding what gets through and what doesn’t; we have no idea of what hasn’t been leaked. We need a system that will be accepted as a “standard model”, such that any organisation that doesn’t implement it becomes regarded as irresponsible and disreputable.

  72. Thanks for the smile you raised, A Node, the video from the NSWales rep will end up on my FB site, he comes over like a determined termite of truth attacking the liars flagpole.
    It is also a poignant British problem, because many of our own politicians, newbie’s such as Ms. Chloe Smith MP, did go on just such a one-sided trip to Israel, though she failed to make much publicity of it in her local EDP, her seats on a knife edge, too many ex labour voters trusted her young and innocent face and that will change, would not be surprised if she gets moved into a safe seat.

    Clark, thanks for your excellent and factual resume of a powder keg. The Syrian opposition has been flat lined in the media because we are promoting our own type of Syrian opposition, those who agree with an armed uprising and who are in bed with Quatari and Saudi backers. Many of us must feel a mixture of sorrow and anger as to the reality in Iraq, the fear that is played off as normalcy, it is a disaster.

    Clark your intelligence conundrum can be solved with much greater openness, call it Wikiglobal for all its worth. Only when the so called secrets are made public will the need for intelligence services diminish, for that Governments have to loose the ability to shut down and control the internet. Likely? not in our lifetime I guess.
    Chances are that one day people will find a way around these walls and then these regimes will fall with it. That will be the day our secret services should look for other jobs.

    meanwhile they are trying desperately to control the wider public, who are more and more inclined to use dead easy encryption for their emails now, taken up much time discovering coffee morning dates and times. Unless they ask for reform and wider public insight into their work, and now is a good time for accountable sense, their multicultural approach will fail.

    Industrial spying is big business, all spying is big business and to divorce the two would take 70% of impetus out of the need to have secrets. You are asking the swords of Damocles to be turned into toothpicks, Clark, wonders will take a little longer, but you brought it up and it is a great worthwhile exercise.

    But, I have to say this, there is a need to balance my mental with the physical, its easier to chew over ideas and reflect during the physical phase, it somehow helps to clarify and reflect, hence I shall retract for some exaltation involving muck and a fork.

    I yet have to read Sami Ramadani’s piece, he writes well.

  73. Nevermind (when you’ve returned from your muckraking), yes, governments can shut down the Internet within their own country, but they can only partially control it while it is working, and they don’t like shutting it down for long because commerce, and hence their economies, benefit so much from it. We’ve seen this several times now; a popular protest or uprising occurs and the government “pulls the plug”, but their economy plummets and a few days later they switch their patch of Internet back on again. It’s almost amusing to see power defeat itself in this way.

    Only large countries with highly centralised economies like China can afford to permanently and thoroughly fire-wall their entire patch of Internet, and the commercial pressure to keep the information highways open is continuing to increase as commerce finds the Internet increasingly useful.

    “Many of us must feel a mixture of sorrow and anger as to the reality in Iraq, the fear that is played off as normalcy, it is a disaster.”

    Yes, that’s just how I feel about Iraq, and Syria too.

  74. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Mar, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    Mary :

    Where else do you think nature intended sperm to be deposited if not in a vagina, Mary?

    Unless you have some good suggestions, I would have to conclude that although you might not like Habbabkuk you’ve definitely got the hots for Onan.


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  75. Yuk. Just keep repeating it why don’t you.

    You are a very unpleasant individual.

  76. The points you raise Clark on the intelligence services are certainly more valid than kindergarten parturiency befuddlement.

    In the dirty business of armed conflict, intelligence can mean victory or failure. Investigative journalism is key and the WWW is a tool, a conduit to disseminate the truth.

    Whistle-blowing is an art and adroitness can be taught as part of the toolkit you mention in your comment.

    So essential is conscience, I propose a WB seminar as a bolt-on to the skill of reporting. Bradley Manning perceived misconduct, crime and violation. That skill requires insight, awareness and a love for all life.

    The perpetrators have had their day; Iraq sanctions, displacement, holocaust and the murder of innocent children in huge numbers must be the final curtain on a dark era; sine qua non.

    It is time to build another path, a new way; I believe it is our duty, our task – giving something back for that gift of awareness and knowledge most here possess.

    Listen, if Syria falls to these freaks of war WE HAVE LOST our transit to a new direction.

    It cannot be any clearer than your post Clark – “we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

    We are but a small band of Craig followers – yet we are crucial, essential and vital.

    That is why ‘it’ is attending, here present. Trying your best for a different way will, without any doubt summon honor and benefit.

  77. “This is why I look for ways to structure systems such that the quality of the system can improve independently of the quality of the individuals from which it is composed.”

    And this is why I keep telling you that the answer is sortition – the permanent elimination of the oligarchic political class. Here’s a good video from Etienne Chouard, encouraging everyone to seek ‘the cause of causes’. You can get English subtitles from the leftmost icon at the bottom right of the screen.


  78. There is a documentary on RT today regarding the conflict in Syria.This is in three parts,and as usual with RT, I’m unable to work out whether all three are being shown today. The part I saw this morning was rather graphic and quite harrowing to watch, but it needs to be viewed to see exactly what these soulless bastards are doing.Rebel rabble is far too kind!

  79. Thanks Polly. Was it this?

    Syria conflict may spin out of control, 2 years on
    Published time: March 15, 2013 17:16
    Edited time: March 16, 2013 08:32


  80. I’m not sure Mary as I didn’t catch the title earlier, but I would assume so. One part of the doc has literally just finished on RT(filmed in 2012). I think it was a different part to the one I saw earlier from the end snippet I just caught.It is saying in the TV listings that a documentary is on again at both 5.30pm and 10.30pm, so I am assuming that these will be parts of the same programme. The TV guide lists these documentaries as being about Russia. Which I wish they wouldn’t, as they rarely are!

  81. “Unless you have some good suggestions, I would have to conclude that although you might not like Habbabkuk you’ve definitely got the hots for Onan.”

    May God save you Habbakuk

  82. LastBlueBell

    16 Mar, 2013 - 4:17 pm


    “However, it cannot be forced upon people, and thus there will continue to be some who act on the basis of their illusions and error.”

    To the foremost I concur wholeheartedly, in regard to the latter I believe it will always be so to one degree or another, even if our different cultures were to harmonize completly, due to the inherent biological variation that nature throws up with each new generation.

    I would say that what we can do is to try and improve the enviroment, conditions and context where our societies and political institutions are allowed to improve in an open ended combinatorial system, through repeated trial and errors. Which I think harmonize well with your perspective,

    “This is why I look for ways to structure systems such that the quality of the system can improve independently of the quality of the individuals from which it is composed.”

    But this requires real accountablity, which in turn is dependent upon openness, public knowledge, interest and transperancy, in stark contrast to the direction in many societies today.

    Another aspect I think is critical to that context as visioned above, is a much better public knowledge and understanding of our human nature. Both our remarkable ability for adaptation, but equally important, that this ability has true hardcoded limitations, and that our brain is riddled with inherent “design” flaws as well as burdened with optimizations for a lifestyle most of us left behind thousands of years ago.

    One interesting line of thought in this aspect I think can be extracted from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s concept of antifragility.


    There will always exist uncertainty, and highly improbable event will occur, the intelligent way to face this, might very well be to construct systems that are inherently good at handling failures, change and the unexpected. And I think we both have some ideas how you solve this in technical systems and organisations today, i.e. open communications, redundancy, modularisation, decentralisation etc. It is much better to have many smaller simpler dedicated systems, then one huge, highly interconnected and complex system.

    Also just run past this, and found it fascinating in a wider context to the topic as well,


  83. MSM CENSORED My Fav Music YouTube – ‘Pink’ live at Wembley

    **All versions showing backdrop video clips have been censored**

    After searching around I managed to find this amateur recording which I’m sure will ‘disappear’ in a bit.

    For your enjoyment – ‘Dear Mr. President’- ‘Pink’ Live at Wembley

    (with back-drop)


    If anyone can find a better recording with back-drop I would be most grateful.


  84. A psychopath and with defective parenting especially lacking in maternal nurture I would say Mark.

    But he loves dogs and paints pictures of them!


  85. And the Wikileaks beat goes on …… http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/03/16/national_security_letters_banned/#c_1763633 …. and gets ever louder and more strident in the ever stealthier disguised and SMARTR IntelAIgent Services which have a 5 and a 6 all at sixes and sevens in novel fields of Intellectual Property Supply and Future AIDelivery …… Universal Presentation?

  86. OT: The shit has hit the fan in Cyprus.

    From Ed Harrison at Naked Capitalism


    “Europe has hammered out a 10bn euro “bailout” of Cyprus. I put the term bailout in quotes because the key feature of this deal is the bail-in of Cypriot depositors to the tune of 5.8bn euros, about a third of Cyprus’ GDP. This means that depositors went to sleep on Friday night and woke up Saturday to find that their money, deposited safely in Cypriot banks, had been seized and used to “bail out” the country.”

    “Cypriot bank account holders with funds over 100,000 euros will have 9.9% of their account holdings deducted from their accounts when banks open on Tuesday. However, importantly, an additional 6.75% levy is going to hit deposits below that 100,000 euro level. As a bank depositor, given a one-day national holiday to decide what to do with your now shrunken savings, what would you do?”

    In theory this is a one time action but the precedent is set. Any money anyone now has in EU banks is now susceptible to confiscation.

  87. Libya post ‘intervention’…..

    Libya’s militarized youth feed into economic woes

    Published: Mar 13, 2013

    FILE – In this Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 file photo, Libyan gunmen celebrate on the early morning of the second anniversary of the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi, in Benghazi, Libya. More than 18 months since the end of Libya’s civil war, the most attractive job for many of the young is still to join a militia. In fact, just under a tenth of Libya’s labor force may be working as gunmen. State coffers are full of cash from rapidly reviving oil production, but rather than funding reconstruction, much of the money goes to buying off a restive population with state salaries, including to militias, effectively feeding a cycle of lawlessness. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) – More than 18 months since the end of Libya’s civil war, the most attractive job for many of the young is still to join a militia. In fact, just under a tenth of Libya’s labor force may be working as gunmen.

    Libya’s government coffers are rapidly filling with cash as oil exports return to near pre-war levels, powering a 100 per cent increase in GDP in 2012, according to a report this month by the International Monetary Fund.

    But the economy of this North African oil giant remains in disarray. Unemployment, officially at 15 per cent, is estimated by some as high as 50 per cent. The private sector, decimated under ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi, still barely functions. Reconstruction investment is largely on hold, and the weak central government is funneling much of its oil wealth into public handouts to quiet discontent, as Gadhafi often did. Other money is lost down the drain of corruption.

    And still other funds end up fueling the growth of militias.


  88. Just coming home from a bedroom tax demo in Norwich City centre, collected hundreds of signatures against it.
    And managed to get some real muck raked, rather than thrown at, as is the case with Mary.

    I have to say the fascination of ‘it’ with Mary is becoming more deprived/desperate by the minute, those young dancers can’t be up to much, or the bones are becoming too old.

  89. Well done Nevermind.

    The protests are building.

    Bedroom tax Manchester

    and in 52 other places.

    16 March 2013
    Housing benefit change protests held
    Protests have taken place across the country, including Manchester.

    Thousands have been demonstrating in a series of cities against government plans to cut housing benefit for those considered to have too much space.

    Protests against the plan – labelled the “bedroom tax” by Labour – have been held in 52 towns and cities, including Manchester and London.

    Organisers said between 12,000 and 13,000 people turned out.



    Will it be the ConDems’ equivalent of Maggie’s Poll Tax

    Bedroom tax backlash: Now even Iain Duncan Smith’s own aide tells of fears it will hit vulnerable

    16 Mar 2013 00:00

    Ministers Owen Paterson and Alistair Burt and deputy chief whip John Randall have also asked what help is available for those struggling.


    Protest too against the selling off and cuts at the Whittington Hospital, North London

    Thousands of people protest in north London against proposed NHS hospital cuts

  90. Protest tomorrow, don’t forget, come rain or shine.

    Between 2-4 p.m.

    Outside the US embassy in London in support of Guantanamo internees who have been on and are on hunger-strike due to abuses of their rights (especially their religious rights). This is important. Guantanamo, as well as being a hellhole of torture, illegally occupies an area of Cuba formerly leased to the US. Dady Chery writes:

    “Cuba stopped accepting lease payments from the US for Guantanamo Bay in 1959 and has demanded again and again that the US leaves. There was originally a 99-year lease, but it expired in 2003. The US’ continued use of Guantanamo as a base is illegal and is meant as a provocation to Cuba.”

  91. Hello Craig, hello Clark, hello UK from Southern California USA.

    I like to help out by posting video transcripts when I can, and I’m sorry I missed this the first time Craig posted it because I was busy on something else and only saw it later. So, lack of transcript was not an American frown. I DO disagree with Craig, though. If I judged your national ideals as hijacked by the actions of your sick government, as you judge mine, y’all might look about as putrid, though poodlier. So, hugs, we’re all in this together. Also would note, my American heroes, warts and all, stood on the shoulders of yours, and I’ll let you do your own wart check.

    Enough ado, with my best wishes here’s a transcript of Craig’s American Dream speech:


    Craig Murray | American Dream Debate | Oxford Union


    Craig Murray gives his argument in opposition of dreaming the American dream.
    Filmed on Wednesday 24th January 2013

    CRAIG MURRAY: Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much indeed. I was speaking here last night, having a kind of Groundhog Day problem, but those of you who were here and saw me last night will remember that I said that I’d spoken in this hall on many an occasion, but last night was the first time I’d ever done so sober. And I promised you if you came back again tonight you would see me speak drunk, and I’m glad to say I’m a man of my word.

    [laughter, applause]

    I’ve got nothing in particular to say to you, so I thought I’d just be rude about the proposition.

    [laughter, reaction]

    I should say that the last speaker, I should make a declaration of interest, Ray [McGovern] has been a very good friend of mine for many years and I’ve stayed at his home in Washington. Until tonight I never knew that he had the worst Russian accent in the world! [laughter] And the worst German accent, and even for an Irishman the worst Irish accent [laughter, reaction], which is really quite extraordinary. I’m not going to be rude about the second speaker for the proposition because he was an intellectual and I have no idea what he said.

    [laughter, applause]

    However, the first speaker for the proposition, I did understand at times and I thought he made a very decent summation of what the American dream actually is where he said it’s the idea that every generation will have a standard of living better than the last generation, and the idea that anybody can become president. Well, when we saw George W. Bush, we all thought anybody can become president.

    [laughter, applause]

    At least if their father had also been president and their brother was able to fix the election in Florida, but, um – the trouble with that dream is of course not only is it true that power in the United States is really, as we heard, held by a very, very small and wealthy elite, it’s that the idea is fundamentally flawed, because the idea that every generation would have a standard of living better than the last is fundamentally an idea about consumption and about consumerism and about the idea that human happiness lies in owning a lot of stuff. Because the truth is that infinite economic growth is not possible in a world of finite resources, and the American dream of infinite consumption has led the world into climate change and approaching disaster, and the United States has been the home of climate change denial and of blocking attempts to tackle the problem on the international stage. And that’s the real truth of where the American dream leads us. The American dream leads us into the idea that what you need to do is consume as many of the world’s resources as fast as you can, and to take for yourself as large a personal portion of that consumption as you can, and that the more you consume the more successful you are, until you are so fat and bloated and stupid you end up watching Fox News while eating McDonald’s and generally being entirely unpleasant.

    [laughter, reaction]

    I should say, I should say that it is not necessary to oppose this motion to view the idea that Europeans or British people are any more intelligent. It is not necessary to dislike Americans. It is not necessary to dislike Americans; I only do it as a hobby.

    [laughter, reaction]

    But we have to look at where the American dream has led us, and it has led us into an idea of American exceptionalism. And the truth is, the American dream was only ever founded on the dream for a small number of people, and it always ignored subclasses. The most obvious point being that the American dream involved the near annihilation of the Native American Indians, and the shameful history of land grab, of lies, of massacre, of disease, of starvation that has been the lot of the Native American Indians, in the pursuit of the American dream for a different people, is very true. And I would also say this, because I think I haven’t been controversial enough, that it seems dreadful to me that a key plank of American foreign policy is to repeat what was done to the American Indians and help Israel to do it to the Palestinians in terms of expropriating their land, herding them into camps, and starving them. That is the truth of the American dream today.

    Um, I was once a British diplomat. I was a British ambassador. I saw how the American dream works out in terms of the so-called war on terror. I saw the extraordinary rendition program. I saw intelligence from the CIA got under torture. I used to be in Uzbekistan and I would see the long list of intelligence from the CIA which people had signed up to under torture in which they would confess and give lists of names of Al Qaeda members who under torture people would admit to being themselves members of Al Qaeda and say, “These people are members of Al Qaeda too.” And often the person being tortured had never met any of these people, had no idea who they were. they were simply signing lists to stop being tortured. Occasionally I knew people on the lists, because the Karimov regime, exactly like the Mubarak regime or like many, many other dictatorships of whom the CIA and the United States have cooperated, they wanted to demonize their own opposition by labeling everybody as Al Qaeda. I once saw a CIA list of Al Qaeda members which included a man I knew, a professor, and that gentleman I have had dinner in his home and he was a Jehovah’s Witness. There are not many Jehovah’s Witnesses in Al Qaeda.


    I am willing to be that Al Qaeda don’t even try and recruit Jehovah’s Witnesses.


    I’m quite sure that Jehovah’s Witnesses would try and recruit Al Qaeda if they go there –

    [laughter, applause]

    – they’d be knocking on the cave door saying, “Mr. Bin Laden asked me to bring round a copy of the Watchtower.”


    The truth is that like so much of the narrative o the war on terror, it was an exaggeration of the threat, an exaggeration that pretends that America faces an existential threat from the rest of the world in order to justify the massive control of the military-industrial complex in the United States, and that too is what the American dream has become. The American so-called Dream consists of American exceptionalism. The American so-called Dream consists of not signing Kyoto. The American so-called Dream consists of refusing to join the International Criminal Court. The American so-called Dream consists of the fact that they can extradite people from the United Kingdom to face criminal charges in the United States where that person has no defense before the UK courts and they are extradited to the United States despite the fact they have never been there, let alone having committed a crime in the United States. Ladies and gentlemen, we do not support rampant corruption. We do not support rampant selfishness. We do not support the destruction of international law. And what George Bush did to the United Nations in illegally invading Iraq was just as devastating as what Hitler did to the League of Nations when he invaded Poland, and I ask you to oppose this motion. Thank you.


    Just one more thing, if I gave an American Dream speech I could close my speech this way:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we do not support rampant corruption. We do not support rampant selfishness. We do not support the destruction of international law. And what George Bush did to the United Nations in illegally invading Iraq was just as devastating as what Hitler did to the League of Nations when he invaded Poland, and I ask you to support this motion. Thank you.

    God save the people, God save the planet.

  92. Iain Dung-Can Smith watch


    Extraordinary! DWP Refuse Point Blank to engage with Spartacus

    A few weeks ago, Michael Meacher MP (Labour) came to see me in hospital. I had emailed him following his remarkable Atos debate, (the first to see cross party condemnation of ESA or Employment Support Allowance) to point out how much of the failure was the fault of Atos, and how much was actually controlled by the DWP.

    He was astonished and riveted as we talked and suggested there and then we arrange a meeting with Iain Duncan smith. Mr Meacher asked myself, Kaliya Franklin and Tom Greatrex (@tomgreatrexmp) another Labour MP who has opposed Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) )

    The extraordinary account of what happens next should be seen by every last person in the country. The following from Michael Meacher’s blog……

    “DWP Ministers run frit of seeing delegation on Atos HealthcareMarch 15th, 2013

    This week something happened which is without precedent in my 40 years of Parliamentary experience. On an issue of acute public importance where there had already been a Parliamentary debate revealing a total cross-party consensus solidly opposed to government policy, a Departmental minister then refused to see a delegation to discuss the matter further and to consider necessary changes in procedure. This issue, the work capability assessments carried out by Atos Healthcare, has been a top-line matter on the political agenda for many months now. I had therefore written to Iain Duncan Smith on 31 January asking him to receive a delegation from some of the key campaigning and analytical groups (I had, regrettably, to restrict this to three). I heard nothing for more than 5 weeks and therefore put down a Parliamentary Question on the Commons Order Paper asking when he proposed to answer my letter. As a result I got an immediate reply from Mark Hoban, the junior minister dealing with Atos matters, saying “my current diary requirements mean I am unable to accept your invitation at this time”. That is simply civil service-speak for a flat No. But I have taken the matter further.

    I therefore waylaid Hoban in the lobbies after a vote and as soon as he saw me, he said immediately “I’m not seeing you”. I was taken aback at his aggressiveness and said “But you can’t possibly do this , this is a matter of the highest political importance and it’s your responsibility to talk to and listen to key disability organisations about this matter, however contentious it might be”. He simply replied blankly “I’m not seeing you”, and repeated it 3 0r 4 times. I kept on insisting ‘Why not?’ and finally he said “I’m not seeing Spartacus”. Again I was taken aback and asserted that in my view Spartacus had analysed hundreds of cases, prepared a very detailed and thoughtful analysis of the implications arising from these cases, and even if he disagreed strongly for whatever reasons it was his responsibility to meet them. To this he simply kept repeating “I’m not meeting Spartacus”.

    After thinking over this exchange later I decided to apply for an Adjournment debate, not on Atos as such, but on ‘Ministers’ refusal to accept a delegation on Atos Healthcare’. I also went to see the Speaker about what I consider to be the unprecedented and wholly unreasonable and unacceptable behaviour of DWP ministers, and he listened carefully. I am now very pleased to say that I have obtained an Adjournment debate next Thursday, 21st, at 5pm in the Commons chamber. I intend to use this opportunity to bring this whole matter to a head.”

    So whatever happens guys, it looks like we have a date. Next Thursday? 5pm? I’ll bring popcorn if you promise to tell the whole world before then.

  93. Me in Us @ 9 ; 26 pm. Thank you for the transcript of Craig’s American Dream speech: Brilliant Speech, my hearing is F*cked, and i can’t hear all that’s said on some you tube vids.

    Cheers for that, And Peace from Scotland

  94. Hello Scotland! Love you too! Beautiful planet here today, and yours? :-)

  95. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    16 Mar, 2013 - 11:47 pm

    John Goss wrote :

    “Guantanamo, as well as being a hellhole of torture, illegally occupies an area of Cuba formerly leased to the US.”.

    Wrong. The US exercises jurisdiction and control (but not sovereignty) over the Guantanamo base area by virtue of the 1903 treaty (granting a 99 year lease) and the 1934 treaty (granting a permanent- repeat permanent – lease).

    Hence it is incorrect to say that the US is illegally occupying it.


    La vita è bella, life is good!
    Any challenge under the Vienna convention on treaties is not possible because that convention does not apply to treaties concluded prior to itself.

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 12:04 am

    Splendid news from the government, which I am confident will greatly please the Eminences and other moaning minnies:

    1/ Govt. to close a £100 million National Insurance tax loophole

    2/. Govt likely to announce in the Budget a £1,5 billion childcare scheme to help with nursery costs.


    La vita è bella, life is good!

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 12:17 am

  98. Habbakuk:but I notice you’re not denying that it’s a ‘hell hole of torture’ (I’m not condoning any of the insults directed at you)

    How do these new measures that are ‘likely’ compete with the actual news?

  99. Press on Murray.

    There are now sufficient numbers of persons of conscience around the world, who stand for something.

    As a force and with alternative voices,the Blairs and Bushes of this world can exposed and be relegated to the dust bin of history. It will not be easy. It will be extremely hard. But, if you want a better world, a decent world – something finally approximating to “civilization” – then there is indeed a stuggle ahead.

    Aluta continua!

  100. Sorry – as Bush had said -” it is dem or us” (maybe misquoted). So – is there really a global agenda that is designed and intended to be based on a process of global military control over the world’s resources?

    We lived in a fucked up world with idiots and greedy people in control.

    So sad!

  101. Here’s a transcript of the other video, the top one:


    Previous Winners | Sam Adams Awards | Oxford Union

    Filmed on Wednesday 23rd January 2013
    Published on Mar 13, 2013

    Ray McGovern introduces the previous winners of the esteemed Sam Adams Award for celebrated Whistleblowers.

    RAY McGOVERN: This next segment is going to be a little choppy, but we want to get a lot of views in and each person will have about 2½ minutes, so if you fall asleep you’re going to miss some really important things. First up is Annie Machon and Tom Drake. Annie of course is from MI6 and Tom Drake is from NSA, whose equivalent GCHQ was the place where Katharine Gun worked. Annie.

    ANNIE MACHON: I worked for MI5 in the 1990s as an intelligence officer, and along with my former partner, a man who became quite a notorious whistleblower, David Shayler, we ended up blowing the whistle on a whole catalog of crimes and incompetence carried out by the UK spy community which included illegal phone taps, files on government ministers, innocent people being put in prison, bombs that could and should have been prevented, and it culminated in an illegal assassination attempt against Colonel Gaddafi of Libya paid for by MI6 in 1996. Now we couldn’t live with this so we decided to blow the whistle, though there were very few avenues to go down to expose wrongdoing by the spies, and that resulted in us going literally on the run around Europe for a month. We had to live in hiding in a French farmhouse for a year, and we then spent another two years in exile living in Paris. I and many of our friends and journalists were arrested and convicted around us, and David himself went to prison not once but twice, first of all when the British government failed to extradite him from France, and secondly when he returned voluntarily to stand trial under the Official Secrets Act in the UK in 2002. And what I learned over that period was that the British spy community is the least accountable and most legally protected in any Western notional democracy. There is no meaningful oversight. There is something called the Intelligence and Security Committee in Parliament, but the only powers they have are to look at finance policy and administration of the spies. They can’t investigate crimes or incompetence, and they’re also the most legally protected, because we have the most draconian official secrecy act, Official Secrets Act, which means that if you work for the agencies and you want to report crime up to and including murder, you are the criminal, not the people who commit the crime inside the agencies. So it’s quite a steep learning curve. And it’s very difficult in this country to try and make a difference. You can go to the extreme and blow the whistle but you can pay a terrible price. It’s very difficult to do that. And also the media can be very easily controlled and spun. And that’s why also I take my hat off and salute the efforts of organizations like WikiLeaks that provide a high tech and protective conduit to potential intelligence whistleblowers. It is necessary in this world, and it’s never been more necessary in this world where you have a situation where our intelligence agencies are allegedly involved in torture, are certainly involved in kidnapping, extraordinary rendition, and certainly with things like the CIA kill lists. We have never had a greater need of whistleblowers and integrity in intelligence. And of course the most beautiful example of that is if you can do it from within the agencies, where you can exercise integrity from the inside and make a world-changing difference. So I would like to salute Dr. Tom Fingar for what he did with the National Intelligence Estimate, for just doing his job correctly. So thank you.



    THOMAS DRAKE: I looked up “intelligence” in the Oxford English Dictionary. I preferred the archaic form, “intelligential,” of sound judgment and rationality, as in, quote, “The pure intelligential substances require, as doth your rational,” from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Yet intelligence without integrity is like an umbrella full of holes, an emperor without clothes, or a tail wagging the dog. When intelligence is employed as an instrument of national power for the purpose of enemizing everything and everyone as an existentital threat to national security, then intelligence simply becomes a narrow filter for enabling the ends of policy and justifying the means that lead to pretextual conclusions and decisions having enormous intended and unintended strategic consequences both at home and abroad.

    Since 9/11 we are increasingly seeing intelligence establishments value secrecy as primacy over openness, and the mirage of knowing over the transparency of shared information. There are secrets worth keeping and threats worth pursuing, but most secrets are worth knowing in the public interest, without compromising sources and methods. Hiding too much intelligence behind the veil of secrecy often shields intelligence analysts and decision-makers from debate and criticism and enables errors of fact and judgment that too often go unchallenged in order to maintain the status quo world view.

    Secret intelligence also functions as a source of power for those who have access, giving the illusion of special knowledge and kept like coins of the realm, often hoarded rather than freely shared, leading to policy failures and misunderstandings of the world as the information is taken out of context and manipulated for institutional control and self-interest instead of the public interest and often played out and projected onto the world stage as self-perpetuating militarism, jingoism, and faux national emergencies justifying extrajudicial enabling act executive fiat law.

    Intelligence is also NOT an immunity shield to conveniently hide government criminal wrongdoing, incompetence, corruption, illegality and conduct that the powers that be wish to keep hidden from legitimate public interest, like the illegal U.S. secret warrantless surveillance program that willfully violated the Constitution, or the egregiously unlawful U.S. state-sponsored rendition, detention and interrogation torture program, or the many billions wasted in boondoggle national security programs, or the falsified and discredited intelligence used to justify the preemptive invasion of Iraq, all reflecting the very conduct of secret government that is clearly in the public interest to expose and disclose through the integrity of truth tellers and whistleblowers within official channlels and in the free press.

    As I experienced, speaking truth to power about government wrongdoing and secret illegal surveillance after 9/11 was turned into treason, including critical material intelligence discovered and shared with Congressional investigators that could have prevented 9/11, as well as the incalculable loss of intelligence because the very best of American ingenuity and innovation was never given a chance, and exercising my rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution becoming a criminal act in the eyes of the government and becoming marked as an enemy of state, facing many decades in prison.

    And yet truth is often a discomforting reality in an environment of deceit, coverup and lies, but it is still the truth, however inconvenient, and it is the truth that sets intelligence free. And so here we are to honor the integrity of intelligence as exemplified by Thomas Fingar and the courage he showed in standing firm with the objective facts, without skewing them to fit the desired intelligence preferred or the convenience of political pressures or the unilateral prerogatives of power for its own ends.

    Now we’ll hear from foreign service officers Ann Wright and Brady Kiesling.


    ANN WRIGHT: As a diplomat in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, I helped reopen the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December of 2001 and then went on to my last assignment which was in Mongolia as a deputy ambassador to Mongolia. And in March 2003 I became the third U.S. government official to resign in opposition to the war in Iraq. There were only three of us in the U.S. government that resigned over the Iraq war, but there were hundreds if not thousands or tens of thousands of people in our government that knew those weapons of mass destruction, that symbol, was not right. That was not a right thing for the United States to be doing, invading and occupying an oil-rich Arab Muslim country that had not attacked the United States and over which the international community had 10 years of quarantine, of sanctions and no-fly zones. So I resigned. After all those years in the government.

    But my little part of this is, what do you do after you resign? What do you do then? With all of your experience that you’ve had? Well, I get out and, kind of like the protestors that we had out there, well I protest a lot of things that the U.S. government continues to do. I’m protesting right now assassin drones. Assassin drones! The United States of America is assassinating people in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Yemen, in Somalia. The president of the United States has a kill list that every Tuesday he makes a decision on who’s going to live and die, particularly in Pakistan, by name assassinations. And just as I thought that Iraq war was wrong, I think that’s wrong for the president of the United States to be doing it right now. So I’m out there protesting a lot of policies of the United States, of the continuation of detainees in Guantanamo, what I consider to be, even though our Congress says it’s legal for the United States government to listen to my cell phone calls and look into my e-mails, I think it’s wrong. I think those drones are wrong.

    There’s a lot of stuff that I think we as citizens, and now that I am a citizen and not a government employee, I’m out there with I hope you all as you challenge your government when you think it’s doing wrong. I applaud so much Tom Fingar for the courage to stay within the system, to keep trying to get the system to right itself, but there is a reason that dissent is there and that we sometimes have to go outside the system to effect change in our own countries. Thank you.



    JOHN BRADY KIESLING (misidentified in youtube info as Ray McGovern, unidentified by no screen title) (my hero): I’d like to thank the Union for inviting us. I am expecting confidently that most of the people in this room are members of the Union because they see a role for themselves in shaping the future of their country, and what I would like to say is that the privilege of serving your country is an amazing one. I spent 20 years as an American diplomat. My last job was as political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Athens. I spent 20 years being a disciplined, careful, meticulous, reasonably, diplomat, not saying what I thought, listening to foreigners, finding out what they thought, reporting it to my government as best I could. In the fall of 2002 when it became clear the Iraq war was going to happen, and it was also clear to me from everything I knew about human nature after 20 years that that war would be a disaster, that the justification for it was not adequate to legitimize the war in the eyes of our allies, that we would not have the skills or the legitimacy to democratize that country, I decided to resign. A lot of that resignation, I regret to say, was handled very poorly, because I made the decision in a burst of anger, essentially in the spur of the moment.

    And what I would like you to do is think, invest 20 years serving your country, be the best expert your country has to offer in whatever your field it might be, be the person who can tell the politicians, “This is the national interest of our country at this moment, in this sphere,” and then when the politician says, “The national interest is less important than my personal political comfort,” that is when you have a role that your 20 years has earned you. And the job of dissent in practical terms is to raise the domestic political cost of betraying the national interest in pursuit of selfish domestic political interest, and the way you do that most effectively is by remembering that you are not alone, that your expertise has won you friends in the system, has won you respect in the system, you can reach out to others, you can gather information that is useful to make your case, that you build your case in the knowledge that you are kissing your career goodbye, but when you leave you do it with dignity, with integrity, with as much respect for your own country’s laws as your country’s government allows you to have, and then when you do it, even though you will probably not be able to avert something like the Iraq war, at least you will know that you’ve made the best decision you’ve ever made in your life and you are still proud of that. Thank you very much.



    CRAIG MURRAY (misidentified as “Michael Craig” in screen title): Delightful to be back here again. Over the course of the last 30 or 35 years or so I’ve spoken in this chamber maybe about 20 times. This is the first time I’ve ever done it when it’s not been a debate, and it’s the first time I’ve ever done it sober.


    If anybody wants to see me talking when I’m drunk, I am speaking in the debate tomorrow night, [laughter] so please do come back and see if you can tell the difference.

    It’s also genuinely a privilege to be here because of the tremendous list of amazing people who have spoken here in the past. I’m looking at the bust of William Gladstone there, of whom I’ll say something in a moment. Last night we had John Bolton speaking here. Tonight I came here through a demonstration against Julian Assange. Last night you had speaking here a war criminal who had a major part in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and there wasn’t a single demonstrator outside against him. Some of you have got your values seriously messed up.

    [applause, whistles, cheers]

    I resigned from the British Foreign Office in which I was an ambassador because I came across the torture of people to get so-called intelligence and I came across extraordinary rendition. When I resigned, or was sacked, I don’t care which you say, [laughter] I was proud that I had done the right thing. I had lost my career, I’d lost everything I’d worked for my whole life, but I could sleep at night. I knew that the intelligence got from torture was untrue, because you don’t get the truth from torture. Forget these stupid films about Bin Laden, forget Twenty-Four, forget Hollywood. The vast majority of people tortured for intelligence are completely innocent. And the people doing the torture are the thugs of Mubarak or the thugs of Karimov or the thugs of whichever dictator is employing them, and they are not disinterested seekers of the truth. They are people wanting to create the narrative their master wants to hear, and unfortunately we had a period where in pursuit of war, the Western intelligence agencies were you knowingly accepting intelligence from torture in order to compound false narratives that pursued war. That is what we were up against.

    Why we need WikiLeaks and organizations like WikiLeaks, why we need whistleblowers, is you can no longer automatically trust government. I knew people personally, I worked with people, I knew people very, very well who were involved in the preparation of the dossier, the Dirty Dossier, on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. I actually happened to have had as a previous job being in charge of the FCO section monitoring Iraqi attempts at weapons procurement. I can tell you for certain that the majority of people involved in the preparation of that dossier knew it was not true and produced it under political pressure, and I can tell you I know of people who were in tears, I know of people who were near suicidal, I know the pressures they put on people, I know what they do to people. When I came out and blew the whistle on extraordinary rendition and torture, I was accused of sexual allegations. I was accused of blackmailing visa applicants into sex. Which is rape, in another word. I was not guilty. I was not guilty. It took me years to clear my name, and it was the most appalling thing that can happen to you. And anybody who believes governments do not go that kind of thing to whistleblowers is naïve.

    Let me tell you something more. The other reason we need organizations like WikiLeaks is that the space of debate has narrowed because the mainstream media no longer allows a wide area of debate. I said I would come back to Gladstone, whose bust is there. While he was Leader of the Opposition in the 1880 general election, the third Afghan war was in progress and Gladstone in his Midlothian Campaign made a speech in which he said, “Our troops have driven the wives and children of the Afghans into the snows of winter. If they resist, would you not do the same?” It is no longer politically conceivable that any leader of the opposition in the United Kingdom would say of people fighting against British troops, “If they resist, would you not do the same?” Can you imagine if any mainstream British politician said that those fighting British troops in Afghanistan might have some right on their side as we have invaded their country, can you imagine the way they would be drowned out by our ultranationalist and militarist media which we have nowadays? There is no longer space in our society for the kind of free debate that Gladstone used to enjoy. And that servile nationalist role played by the media is a reason why we need to fight back using alternative media.

    One thing people always recall about WikiLeaks is the helicopter footage of the Reuters journalists being killed by an American military unit. One aspect people forget is that the families of those journalists had been told for years by the Pentagon that the Pentagon had no information on what had happened. That lying to grieving parents in order to protect criminal behavior is an example, just one example, of the kind of cruelty of government behavior that makes whistleblowing necessary. WikiLeaks exposed reporting on the corruption, very good American diplomatic reporting, on the corruption in Tunisia which helped spark the Arab revolution. WikiLeaks revealed to the people of Yemen that their president had deliberately agreed with the Americans to put out that American bombing and drone raids were in fact terrorist suicide bombs. I could go on and on with so much information that WikiLeaks has given that has enriched the world, made the world a better place. If we could always trust government, we would not need WikiLeaks. But we can’t, and we do.


  102. Just so you know who that guy is at 11:15 in the Sam Adams youtube:



    That’s an American hero.

    Colin Powell is no hero of mine, but this guy who wrote a letter of resignation to him is.

  103. In terms of video of speakers at the Sam Adams awards, Oxford Union’s event list of speakers includes:

    Thomas Fingar will be recognised for the role he played with the National Intelligence Estimate which helped prevent the Bush/Cheney administration from launching war against Iran in 2008

    Coleen Rowley retired from the FBI, having spent twenty-four years with the agency, after bravely revealing its mishandling of information relating to 9/11

    Annie Machon, a former MI5 officer, was forced to go into exile and hiding in Europe for many years after blowing the whistle on criminal activities in the organisation

    Ann Wright was one of only three US State Department officials to resign over the 2003 invasion of Iraq

    Also featured are Jesselyn Radack, Ray McGovern and Thomas Drake with a videolink appearance by Julian Assange

    Julian’s youtube went up right away in January (currently over 24,000 views), Fingar’s youtube went up in February, but there is none for Radack or Rowley, both American whistleblowers, Radack in regard to DOJ obstruction of justice in regard to John Walker Lindh and Rowley in regard to FBI mishandling of 9/11 info. Also no mention of Kiesling as a speaker. I know it’s taking them awhile, but I’m still hoping for Radack and Rowley video to be posted.

  104. Whoa, Craig, no mention of you!

    Also, did Ray McGovern give a speech himself or just introduce others?

  105. Clark,

    Just came across this from a recent “Nature”.


    Nuclear energy: Thorium fuel has risks

    Stephen F. Ashley,
    Geoffrey T. Parks,
    William J. Nuttall,
    Colin Boxall
    & Robin W. Grimes

    Published Online
    05 December 2012

    Simple chemical pathways open up proliferation possibilities for the proposed nuclear ‘wonder fuel’, warn Stephen F. Ashley and colleagues.

    Nothing I haven’t said here before but interesting to see it in “Nature”. You’ll need to nip down to the library to read it for free unfortunately.

  106. http://www.nnl.co.uk/media/27860/nnl__1314092891_thorium_cycle_position_paper.pdf

    NNL believes that the thorium fuel cycle does not currently
    have a role to play in the UK context, other than its potential
    application for plutonium management in the medium to long
    term and depending on the indigenous thorium reserves, is
    likely to have only a limited role internationally for some years ahead. The technology is innovative, although technically immature and currently not of interest to the utilities,
    representing significant financial investment and risk without
    notable benefits. In many cases, the benefits of the thorium fuel cycle have been over-stated.

  107. Anon, 17 Mar, 2:39 am: yes, here’s the article:


    It says that U233 can be made from thorium via protactinium (as you said before); it’s not specific to Molten Salt Reactors. It’s a problem if states don’t submit to monitoring.

    But proliferation of plutonium is a similar problem and there are already hundreds of tonnes of it. MSRs may offer a way of using and destroying that plutonium and thus could reduce a proliferation risk.

  108. Anon, we know you hate nuclear technology in all its forms, and think that no one should ever look for ways to clean up the existing mess. Got anything to say about how secret intelligence agencies could be made accountable?

  109. Me In Us You’re brilliant. Thanks.

    I have just been listening to the World Service. A lady from Bangalore phoned in to challenge the use of the word ‘controversial’ to describe President Chavez in a broadcast following his death. A Bill Rees, said to be responsible for ‘overseeing news bulletins’ on the WS defended the use.

    She continued to make her strong point that it was both inappropriate and pejorative and asked if he would use the same word to describe Bush and Blair in the event of their demise. He said he would as he would have to agree with her that ‘the invasion of Iraq’ for which both were responsible was ‘controversial’. He went on to attempt to justify the use of the word because Chavez was not very well known to a worldwide audience as Bush and Blair.

    Indian Lady 1
    BBC World Service and Mr Rees 0

    Reporting the death of Hugo Chavez
    Duration: 10 minutes
    First broadcast:Saturday 16 March 2013
    This week on Over To You, a listener questions whether the World Service’s reporting of the death of Hugo Chavez was balanced – and discusses with a BBC newsroom editor, whether calling the Venezuelan President ‘controversial’ was justified.


    Very difficult to find out anything about BBC World Service editorial staff. Would you say that Rees has a transatlantic accent?

  110. Clegg is a creep and an opportunist. He attempts to justify the ‘interventions’ in Libya and Mali and is obviously going to support Cameron in Syria. He starts by claiming the LD moral high ground on Iraq.

    He should learn to say less and to think more.

    Nick Clegg
    Sunday 17 March 2013

    If Iraq taught us anything, it’s this…
    Only when four vital tests have been met should we intervene in another state’s affairs, but we can always help other than with arms

  111. Similar propaganda against Chavez is going out on NZ state radio.


    CHRIS LAIDLAW: We move now to Venezuela. Hugo Chávez, that ebullient, populist politician died just over a week ago. This rumbustious country has hit some real head winds when it comes to stability. We’re joined by Paul Buchanan, an academic and former CIA operative who spent many years living in South America, and knows the Venezuela situation very closely. Paul, Chávez called his regime “Bolívarian”. What did he mean by that?

    Paul Buchanan proceeds to give a quick outline of Bolívar and the ways that Chávez resembled him.

    LAIDLAW: But Simon Bolívar wasn’t the bombastic [snicker] character Chávez was, was he? [snicker]

    PAUL BUCHANAN: Hugo Chávez was a nationalist populist, similar in many ways to Juan Perón. He was very personality driven. And the trouble with this is the same as with every populist regime: it is inherently unstable. This movement will fragment and splinter over the next few years.

    etc etc

  112. @Mary, thank you! Not so brilliant, I thought of a better end (doh!) to my American Dream speech after I hit submit.

    God save the people, God save the planet. All you need is love.

    No bigger hero/s than John Lennon and the Beatles.

    Imagine no CIA.

  113. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 7:57 am

    I don’t quite see why one of the above commenters (no names, no pack drill!) appears to object to the use of the words “controversial” or “populist” when used about the late President Hugo Chavez.

    There’s no doubt that he was a controversial figure, as can, by the way, be seen even from the various comments appearing on the relevant thread of this blog, not that he was a populist (as in fact are most politicians).


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  114. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 8:06 am

    @ Technicolour :

    “Habbakuk:but I notice you’re not denying that it’s a ‘hell hole of torture’ (I’m not condoning any of the insults directed at you)

    How do these new measures that are ‘likely’ compete with the actual news?”

    1/. You’re right of course, I just thought that I would correct the inaccurate way in which the legal status of the Guantanamo base was being described.

    2/. I don’t think it’s a question of “competing”; the measures I mentioned are simply part of the actual news and I thought that they were worth bringing to the attention of those – numerous on this blog – who refuse to give the govt. credit for anything. A question of balance, I suppose you could say.

  115. Of Rachel Corrie we are proud.

    IN MEMORIAM: Rachel Corrie 1979-2003 [with introduction by Michael Shaik to the film screening of “Rachel”]

    The Melbourne film screening of “Rachel” by Simone Bitton – shown for the first time in Australia on Friday – was a moving tribute to peace activist Rachel Corrie who was tragically killed by an Israeli bulldozer when she tried to stop the home of a Palestinian family from being demolished. Bitton’s sensitive presentation connected a hushed audience to Rachel through the letters and diaries she wrote to her mother from Gaza, never realising that her words would continue to resonate with so many other people around the world years after that fateful day.

    Australians for Palestine was very glad to support the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid initiative and offers to our readers the wonderful introduction to “Rachel” given by Michael Shaik who worked with her in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and who was in Palestine when news of her death came through. That moment is still seared in his memory.

    Introduction to “Rachel” by Michael Shaik

    “As I’m sure most of you know, this screening is being held to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of the American peace activist Rachel Corrie who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on the 16th of March 2003. Because 10 years is a long time, I want to take a moment to recall what the world was like back then.

    In March 2003 the United States and its allies were one and a half years into a Global War on Terror and were on the verge of invading Iraq. Israel and the Palestinians were two and a half years into the Second Intifada, which was seen by both the Israeli and American governments as a part of the War on Terror. And the mass media was full of stories about how the invasion of Iraq was not only essential to Western security but would bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East as well. There were, however, a great many people who did not buy into this narrative and who joined in the largest peace rallies in history to protest the war.



  116. …and a few travel tips for Barack Obama.

    Barack, A Few Travel Tips

    By Amer Zahr

    March 15, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – Mr. President, I hear you are traveling to Israel. As a concerned patriotic American citizen of Palestinian descent, I have some pointers for you.

    Now, I assume you’ll be flying into Tel Aviv. Usually, when non-Jews arrive there, especially if they are a little darker-skinned, they are asked to wait in a… let’s call it a “VIP Room.” Incidentally, the room is quite nice. There’s a water cooler, comfortable chairs, and a soda machine. It’s probably the only place in the world where you can be racially profiled and get an ice-cold Coca-Cola all at once.

    To avoid the room, I would mention that you are the President of the United States. It might help.


  117. Habbabkuk. Don’t tell me I’m wrong when you just get your facts from Wikipedia. The US broke the terms of the Avery Porko Treaty when it imposed sanctions against Cuba. Go study some international law.

  118. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 9:48 am

    @ John Goss reprimanded me as follows :

    “Don’t tell me I’m wrong when you just get your facts from Wikipedia. The US broke the terms of the Avery Porko Treaty when it imposed sanctions against Cuba”

    Two comments on that :

    1/. I didn’t get my facts from Wikipedia. If I had, though, your comment would seem to imply either (1) that a commenter is not entitled to consult Wikipedia, or (2) that of a commenter has to desist if the matter he/she wishes to comment on appears in Wikipedia. If your position corresponds to the one set out under (1), then I look forward to your condemnation of all posts which, for example, link to Wikipedia.

    2/. Can you please refer us to the sources you used to say that US sanctions on Cuba broke the terms of the Avery Porko treaty? (By the way, I’m not saying that there are no international jurists who support your claim, but I suspect that there is no unanimity on this question). Thank you.


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  119. Habbabkuk. The treaty allows for free trade. In dreadful hurry for Guantanamo protest outside US embassy 2-4 p.m. today.

  120. Me in Us Here are some Russian grannies singing ‘Imagine’ in the London Eye with guitar accompaniment from one of the Channel 4 news presenters. They became ‘famous’ after spearing in the Eurovision song contest.


  121. There is a YT of it in case you cannot see Channel 4 outside the UK.


  122. Great stuff !! Reassuring to know that the voice of reason is getting louder. Loved the speech Craig.

  123. Thomas Drake speech at National Press Club luncheon on attitudes towards whistleblowing in the US national intelligence community, on C-SPAN (dated 15 March 2013, don’t know when the luncheon was):


  124. Free speech undermined at universities?

    “The University of Chester Debating Society attempted to host an event with the MP for Bradford West, George Galloway. However, at a meeting of NUS’s national executive council last year, executive members resolved not to speak at events with George Galloway.”

    [This] was apparently due to the National Union of Students’ (NUS) ‘No Platform’ policy, his appearance was barred, and this was upheld by the University of Chester Student’s Union (CSU).

    “The policy is designed to protect students from potentially offensive speakers. However, in an event where the students of the society all consented to his appearance, is this policy student protection, or is it a violation of free speech and an example of bureaucratic NUS practices?”

    “Evidence suggests a restriction on the right to free speech of George Galloway.”


  125. technicolour

    17 Mar, 2013 - 1:20 pm

    Habbakuk: if putting 10 pence into one side of a balance, the other side of which is weighted with bricks, is an attempt at ‘balance’ then I agree with you.

    On the topic of whipping up hatred and disgust at each and every politician/banker/civil servant, this is an instructive read.

    Green Facism: Beppe Grillo Is the Most Dangerous Man in Europe


  126. LastBlueBell

    17 Mar, 2013 - 1:34 pm

    From Bruce Schneiers Blog

    “The Implausibility of Secrecy”, by Mark Fenster

    Government secrecy frequently fails. Despite the executive branch’s obsessive hoarding of certain kinds of documents and its constitutional authority to do so, recent high-profile events ­ among them the WikiLeaks episode, the Obama administration’s celebrated leak prosecutions, and the widespread disclosure by high-level officials of flattering confidential information to sympathetic reporters ­ undercut the image of a state that can classify and control its information. The effort to control government information requires human, bureaucratic, technological, and textual mechanisms that regularly founder or collapse in an administrative state, sometimes immediately and sometimes after an interval. Leaks, mistakes, open sources ­ each of these constitutes a path out of the government’s informational clutches. As a result, permanent, long-lasting secrecy of any sort and to any degree is costly and difficult to accomplish.

    Direct Link to the Paper,


    Article by Bruce Schneier in the CNN, “The Internet is a surveillance state”


  127. Clark,

    No I don’t hate nuclear technology in all its forms. I just hate the way we have gone about it. The Thorium forward path is most certainly not a proved technology either (at least with all the claims for it) and is a distraction. That distraction seems to have elements of a psy-op to me. You’ve grabbed onto it along with an army of internet readers who have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. The general Internet “meme” being that Thorium is so much safer, cleaner, proven etc but these horrible bomb makers just wanted plutonium for bombs.

    I’m hoping that we may really have some breakthroughs in fusion on the horizon with the Skunk Works claim of an “adjacent possible” 100MW reactor by 2020. That is probably just me grasping at straws though. My actual expectations are most likely for World War 3 which should do wonders for the world’s existing nuclear stations. I hope I am wrong about that.

    Intelligence agency oversight? Hmm – well you could try becoming head of one I suppose. Other than that I don’t have much in the way of ideas.

    On energy in general though I think we should push ahead faster with large scale wave and tidal pilots as well as instigating national infrastructure projects for storage (pumped hydro, fuel synthesis, electrical storage etc.

    A worldwide HVDC grid and vast arrays collecting solar power in desert regions would be nice as well but geopolitics likely rules that out for the foreseeable future unfortunately.

    The current world leadership plan appears to be to fail countries one by one and take them out of the resource equation.
    But to repeat, I think most likely there is no solution to our current multiple dilemmas and we are just waiting for the chop. If someone builds a time machine maybe we could fix that.

  128. LastBlueBell

    17 Mar, 2013 - 3:36 pm


    Link to Bruce Schneiers Blog, “Schneier on Security”


  129. Regarding the incitement of regime change in Libya, now Syria:

    Dearlove, of “the facts are being fixed around the policy” fame, has been attending a Zionist chumfest at the UK Zionist Foundation. He says that Iran is “a state with many flaws and weakness, and a political system that is very fragile. There is a way through this crisis,” … “Iran is equivalent to a dangerous adolescent, but one does not want that adolescent to have access to certain technologies and weapons. The route the international community is on is the best and most practical.” … “I wouldn’t actually rule out significant political change in Iran. Politics in Iran is not stable.” He noted that Iranians see the collapse of the Assad regime in Syria as “the start of an attack on the viability of their own regime.”


    So the obvious question arises: Do Libya and Syria form dry runs for the ‘ultimate prize’ – destabilization and destruction of Iran? Will the same methodology be tried? Aim for the installation of a patsy, but if that fails, the total destruction of (Libyan/Syrian/)Iranian civil society will serve just as well?

  130. resident dissident

    17 Mar, 2013 - 4:47 pm


    “An entirely sensible comment in the guardian;”


    I couldn’t agree more – good to see a link to something that is really about truth and justice. For all those who are against foreign interference in other countries apart from remembering the obligation of all countries to support the UN Declaration on Human Rights they should also remember that if it were not for Russian interence in Syria the piece of shite that is the Assad family would have been cleared up a long time ago.


    Is that the same Thomas Drake who was able to defend himself sucessfully from a charge of whistleblowing by the US Government? Living proof that Western legal systems can sometimes be relied upon to reach the right conclusion?

  131. resident dissident

    17 Mar, 2013 - 5:01 pm


    “They became ‘famous’ after spearing in the Eurovision song contest.”

    One to remember the next time Mary criticises anyones spelling!

  132. Res,

    Try “anyone’s spelling”

  133. technicolour

    17 Mar, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    RD And you are picking out Mary why exactly? Honestly.

  134. @Mary: Tears

    Thank you. Could see them both, watched them both.

    It reminds me of the transformation scene in Brother Bear (Disney movie about young Inuit man who kills a bear in anger and is transformed by the spirits into a bear himself).

    So here you have a Disney movie with a song by Phil Collins with Inuit lyrics sung by the Bulgarian Women’s Choir:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enYHe9gc-o4 – Bulgarian Women’s Choir
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tATrLBT9Odw – as it is in the movie (with Inuit and English lyrics in the youtube info)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKiwD7u3XMI – as sung by Phil Collins

    Come with me
    I’ll take you now
    To a place that you fear
    For no reason why
    Your heart has turned away from me
    And I will make you understand
    Everything will become clear to you
    When you see things through another’s eyes

  135. resident dissident

    17 Mar, 2013 - 5:21 pm

    Yes Anon – but not half as funny as Mary’s typo! Before you tell me off for using dashes – please look at the Brontes btw.

    Technicolour – if you have any good jokes please feel free to share them. I’m afraid this blog is something of a humour free zone.

  136. Res,

    This blog provides free humour I agree. Just as well it isn’t a “humour-free zone”. There you go – I’m telling you off for not using “dashes”.

    Have a nice day!

  137. technicolour

    17 Mar, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?

  138. Technicolour, hello, I’ve missed you.

    Anon, you’d annoy me less if you noticed that I’m not particularly interested in thorium, I’m interested in using MSRs to transmute nuclear “waste” in order to get rid of it and make oodles of electricity, synthetic fuel etc. in the same process. I think that one apparently successful prototype is several too few, and four decades is a long time to ignore an apparently promising technology.

    This place is getting shit; hardly anyone engages in discussion any more, they just ignore what you write and bang on with their opinions.

    CE, resident dissident, you make me sick, banging the drum for war. CE, the Guardian piece you linked to contained no evidence, just rhetoric for war. It appears to me the “We”, “the West”, are already engaged in Syria. Did you even bother to read the piece I wrote for you? Or are you as utterly contemptuous of the concerns I raise as you appear to be?

    Oh, and further to our e-mail discussion, I sent you a question that I consider rather important, but you never answered it.

  139. Tech,

    I blame the hedge fund manager myself. Promised them all riches beyond dreams and a magnificent hedge in the country of their own.

    Just wait until they are hit with the “spare bush tax”.

  140. Clark,

    I annoy you Clark? Interesting. Maybe the first sign of progress. We can burn-up much of the waste without using the Thorium cycle but yes U-233 reactors may have a part to play at some point. But that’s a long way off if ever.

    In any case we can both sit back and watch how China gets on.

    Btw, I am absolutely sure I would annoy myself of 20-30 years ago with my current opinions on civilian nuclear power. Whether I was more “gullible” then or “poisoned by cynicism” now… Bit of both I guess.

  141. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    @ Technicolour :

    “Habbakuk: if putting 10 pence into one side of a balance, the other side of which is weighted with bricks, is an attempt at ‘balance’ then I agree with you.”

    Hi! At the risk of being taxed with always wanting the last word (I know it wasn’t you who did so), can I just say that of course you’re right. But you know that the two elements to which I drew attention weren’t meant to be exhaustive. The point was that the govt. is also capable of acting in the “right” way, a point which the Eminences seem to find difficult to acknowledge and impossible to accept.

  142. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 6:24 pm

    @ John Goss on Guantanamo :

    Hope your demo went well. To which treaty are you referring – the 1969 Vienna Convention or the 1903/1934 treaties? I re-read the latter two but couldn’t spot the article(s) which would underpin your point unambiguously. Perhaps you can refer precisely?

  143. resident dissident

    17 Mar, 2013 - 6:30 pm


    I don’t think myself, CE or Ed Vulliamy are banging the drum for war – I think we would all like to see arrangements put in place so that the abusers of human rights in places such as Iraq, Syria, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur etc.etc. never come into power in the first place and should they do so are very quickly isolated so that they never have a chance to kill, maim and torture. Now we have a war in Syria – I tend to think that it is best that we support those trying to remove a regime that has a long record of murdering and torturing its own people.

    What really makes me sick is those who sit on their hands and appease the likes of Assad – back in the 1930s it was those on the true left who went and fought the fascists in Spain and were warning about the dangers of Hitler well before everyone else – don’t their sacrifices and what they believed in count for anything?

    In the years since Iraq what has your side of the argument been doing in the way of suggesting improvements to international institutions so that they can deal with those who abuse Human rights (and I have no problems with putting Israel on that list) without resorting to violence and war? A lot of grandstanding but practically nothing in the way of constructive suggestions – is all I see. Where was the pressure on Russia/Iran to use their influence to make Assad go quietly? By all means sit back and appease – and then obtain some sort of vicarious pleasure of saying you told us so when the war to remove the dictator is worse than might otherwise have been the case. Just get into your head that it is because I know disgusting war and violence is that I want to see some effective method of dealing with its perpetrators at an early stage – precisely because I know if they are allowed to fester then the outcome will be even worse. Some of us actaully want international law that actually works – rather than a slogan to berate those whom you disagree with.

  144. This place is getting shit; hardly anyone engages in discussion any more, they just ignore what you write and bang on with their opinions.

    As I earlier pointed out:

    ….. sadly sometimes tribalism trumps logic and reason, and anyone on the shitlist of those in zionistan are copied onto the shitlist of those “commenting” here, too. Hence the almost comical repetition of the news headlines as “opinions and well thought out wisdom”! Isn’t it sad?

    These do not come here to debate, they are here to “educate” and reinforce the message of the “two minutes hate” as per the bums rush of the “Media”, hence it is pointless to expect any other kind of conduct. Their minds are already made up, and classified as per the details of shitlist from upon high. This can be confirmed by the trends in their “contribution”.

  145. resident dissident, 6:30 pm; OK, let’s see f you’re arguing in good faith. Point by point:

    “it is best that we support those trying to remove a regime that has a long record of murdering and torturing its own people.”

    Do you mean “the rebels”? Who do you claim them to be? What do you say about the points I raised in the comment I posted to CE, here:


    See, I’ve already posted a wealth of stuff you could engage with, but you seem to be choosing not to.

    “In the years since Iraq what has your side of the argument been doing in the way of suggesting improvements to international institutions so that they can deal with those who abuse Human rights (and I have no problems with putting Israel on that list) without resorting to violence and war?”

    Oh, well, absolutely nothing, of course.

    Why do you make me and “my [entire] side of the argument” out to be uncaring shits?

    “A lot of grandstanding but practically nothing in the way of constructive suggestions – is all I see”

    And where are your suggestions? If you posted them I could possibly discuss them. Does it amount to any more than “arm the rebels and remove Assad”?

    Why this obsession with “removing Assad”? What does that matter so long as the situation improves? Are you basically saying “it’s all just Assad’s fault”? If so, does that really make sense?

  146. Anon, I don’t enjoy being annoyed. Why do you consider degrading my state of mind as “progress”? I’m not cheering for the nuclear industry and the status quo. I criticise the nuclear industry as a vested interest that has avoided funding research and development of technologies that could put nuclear “waste” to good use, preferring its cosy arrangement with government where the public pay to look after the mess it creates.

    Seriously, why do you prefer to annoy me rather than engage with me?

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    “they are here to “educate” and reinforce the message of the “two minutes hate” as per the bums rush of the “Media”, hence it is pointless to expect any other kind of conduct. Their minds are already made up, and classified as per the details of shitlist from upon high. This can be confirmed by the trends in their “contribution”.”

    November; I think this is an important point, but it should be taken with a little salt. Those ‘flinty foreheads’ may only seem locked into a mindframe, or they are truly intransigent. Is that a reason to refuse debate? Of the three, opinions, attitudes and beliefs, beliefs are the most difficult to reach with counter-point. If they are mere opinions/attitudes, such can be malleable to an extent. That goes for everyone, regardless of ideology. However, when the conversation has reached it’s limits (points made, but not acknowledged or addressed) then the conduct is sufficient to make a personal judgement as to the value of the contributions in the near term. Personally, I can always find a nugget to focus on with wihich I disagree. The ability to distinguish between a salient point of disagreement, versus making some points on my ego meter, is the difference between lightning, and a lightning bug.

  148. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. There is nothing in this world but hatred and lies. Humans are all just out to use and take from each other. They just do it for fun. Wipe out the whole damn species NOW.

  149. Ben Franklin, our comments crossed. I’m glad to see you here. I trust your good intentions, I see that you try; it’s not a matter of agreeing about everything. Really glad to see you.

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    Ditto, Clark. I do try to keep up, and make some non-sequitrs. I am a little sad that you and Anon are at odds.

  151. I’m starting to wish I didn’t have any good side to my nature. It only brings me pain.

  152. So the obvious question arises: Do Libya and Syria form dry runs for the ‘ultimate prize’ – destabilization and destruction of Iran? Will the same methodology be tried? Aim for the installation of a patsy, but if that fails, the total destruction of (Libyan/Syrian/)Iranian civil society will serve just as well?

    The fact that Russia was caught napping and China went along with the Libyan fiasco (some unknown reason as yet), somewhat does not apply to Syria. It is now the third year of the Syrian “unrest”, that is reliant on outside paid mercenaries, and outside help to be sustained. The desperation of those “power brokers” is getting palpable with the ratcheting up of the rhetoric and declaration of intent for supply of weapons and training to the “FSA”.

    Note that Russia is currently stationed in the Tartus port on the Mediterranean, and in the event of Assad’s departure, Russians will lose their privileged access to the Mediterranean effectively rendering it a private lake for the US and co. This was pointed at in Putin’s visit to Germany, during which he asked; “what happens after Assad?” This of course was misconstrued by Reuters et al as Putin agreeing with the current vicious policy of the US and co towards Syria. However what Putin was clearly indicating was his resolve to protect Assad.

    Further, if you have noticed the “Media” is not referring to the current events unfolding in Korean Peninsula, which is a friendly warning to US that she may face more than one theatre of engagement, if she is to push her luck in the mid-east.

    Additionally so far as the wishful thinking of Dearlove goes, the recent turn out of the Iranian population (two/three million at least) in support of the Revolution Day in Tehran; ought to have been reported fully to the said bunch of weasels. This giving a resounding answer to the wishful thinking concerning political instability in Iran.

    Also Dearlove et al have failed to mention that Iran having recently successfully intercepted a U2 spy craft (the best stealth and super sleuth technology, flying at seventy thousand feet), and further having reduced US to escorting her unmanned drones in the area by two manned jet fighters (these are not getting reported).

    That is not mentioning the production of the offensive drones that is currently under way in Iran (they have enough of the US made drones in their possession to reverse engineer and build a decent piece of kit), adding to Iranians arsenal of weapons that are being produced to combat any kind of aggression from land, sea, or air (Iranians have seen what can happen to weak nations around them, up very close).

    Therefore, the huffing and puffing that is unfolding in the West and zionistan are for the benefit of the rich Sheikhs and their compulsory enormous purchases of Western weapon systems, to have some kind of legitimacy in the eyes of their beleaguered population whom are suffering from joblessness, housing shortages, and repression. The case of wheels within wheels that are turning in the mid east has never been so convoluted.

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 7:57 pm

    Clark; What’s going on?

  154. Before I went out today, I saw Andrew Gilligan and Sir Christopher Meyer on Murnaghan agreeing that Iraq would have been better left to Saddam Hussein that what we have done to the country and the people. Brass neck revisionism is happening 10 years on and before the blood has dried.

    I went to Royal Holloway University at Egham to see the performance of a new opera entitled ‘The Silence of the Bees’. It was the beginning of their Science Festival and the aim was to attempt to bridge a perceived gap between art and science. It was brilliant. There were six soloists and an orchestra and a reading at the beginning by an American of seven poems concerned with bees.

    The opera was based on the work of Royal Holloway’s Dr Mark Brown who researches into bee population decline with a special interest in bumblebees which I love. I have had bumblebee nests underground in my garden against a terrace wall but once or twice the badgers have been in and dug them out. I also have solitary bees, the leaf cutters and also masonry bees.

    There are over 25,000 species of bees worldwide.

    A couple of links which might be of interest.



    Without bees to pollinate our crops, we are sunk.

    Some FAQs here too. http://www.ibra.org.uk/categories/faq#FAQ_13

    Q: How many species of bee are there in the world?
    A: There are over 25,000 different species of bee in the world and many of them are under threat. In the UK, of the 254 species of wild bee (solitary and bumble bees), 25% are in the Red Data Book of endangered species. About 80% of the food on the supermarket shelves is there because bees have pollinated crops — without bees we would starve!

  155. I’m starting to wish I didn’t have any good side to my nature. It only brings me pain.

    Don’t be disappointed in your humanity. Celebrate that you are human and alive, joy would be meaningless without pain. However, do not allow the inhumanity that surrounds you to taint your humanity.

    Sorry to sermonise, but felt that you may need a gentle nudge.

  156. Clark,


    Perhaps the pain you feel and I feel and billions of others feel is what gives me about the only ray of hope I have left. I hope you can understand – We know deep-down something is very wrong and that’s a start. It certainly doesn’t mean I take pleasure in the distress of others.

    You shouldn’t assume my mental state is any better than that of yourself. Maybe I’m just better at hiding it….mostly.

    If we were all grinning happily away like Tony Blair or a certain poster on here in particular, I’d have given up a long time ago.

    Somehow an old song is playing in my head

    Son watches father scan obituary columns in search of absent school friends
    While his generation digests high fibre ignorance
    Cowering behind curtains and the taped up painted windows
    Decriminalised genocide, provided door to door Belsens
    Pandora’s box of holocausts gracefully cruising satellite infested heavens
    Waiting, wait, wait, waiting, the season of the button, the penultimate migration
    Radioactive perfumes, for the fashionably, for the terminally insane, insane

    Do do do do do do you realize,
    Do do do do do do you realize,
    Do do do do do do you realize,
    This world is totally fugazi!

    Where are the prophets, where are the visionaries,
    Where are the poets, to breach the dawn of the sentimental mercenary…..

    Oh and to top it all – looks like I picked the wrong day to head on holiday to Cyprus.

    – Well ok that last bit was a joke :-)

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 8:24 pm

    Yes, Anon. The fact that we still have deep feelings, is both a blessing and a curse. It’s our lot as members of the family of human beans.

  158. Hopefully an extinction event collision with earth is not imminent. However there is currently about 1 in 1000 chance that a comet big enough to wipe out all life on earth (if it hit us that is) will hit Mars on 19th October 2014.

    If we we had just discovered it was on course for earth and not mars with a current 1 in 1000 chance of ending all life, I wonder how we would react.

    Latest JPL orbit data http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=C/2013%20A1;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=1#cad

    Note Minimum Distance remains stubbornly “0”. Imagine if that was earth and Minimum Distance just stayed ZERO as more observations were made.

    Makes you think.

  159. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Friendly advice – you should all heed my motto : La vita è bella, life is good!

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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 8:34 pm

    ‘makes you think’. Any other time I would engage on this, but not now.

  161. Habbabkuk, my life isn’t good, and I feel like you’re rubbing my face in the probable fact that your life is a lot better every time you post that. You stated that you put it there to annoy people. Well, it does more than just annoy me, it hurts me.

    Life is not a spectacle or a feast;
    it is a predicament

  162. Anon, such a comet strike upon Mars could be a very good thing if it focuses the people of Earth to realise just how precarious our existence is on this ball of rock, if it could turn our attention from squabbling over resources to actually cooperating towards the business of managing our home planet properly.

  163. doug scorgie

    17 Mar, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    John Goss
    17 Mar, 2013 – 9:53 am

    “Habbabkuk. The [Avery Porko] treaty allows for free trade.”

    John, could you point me in the right direction to learn more about the Avery Porko Treaty? The best I could find on Google is the following:

    “After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower insisted the status of the base remain unchanged, despite new Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s objections.

    “Since then, the Cuban government has cashed only one of the rent checks from the U.S. government, and even then, according to Castro, only because of “confusion” in the early days of the leftist revolution. The remaining checks made out to “Treasurer General of the Republic”–a title that ceased to exist after the revolution–have not been cashed.

    “The United States argued that the cashing of the single check signified Havana’s ratification of the lease — and that ratification by the new government rendered moot any questions about violations of sovereignty and illegal military occupation.”


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

    17 Mar, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    “if it could turn our attention from squabbling over resources to actually cooperating towards the business of managing our home planet properly.”

    Clark; I think many humans tend to rise to the occasion when crisis erupts. I think many here fit that description.

  165. Clark, you put such lovely stuff up here, it’s sad to see you in such despair. I for one appreciate your efforts. Please don’t respond to the negative forces that encircle.

  166. CE and resident dissident, I’ve again read the Ed Vulliamy piece that you regard so highly, looking for the merit in it. Most of it is purely empty rhetoric, drawing comparisons with the Bosnian war. It cites no evidence, but it advances two operative passages:

    “Two decades on, we watch further carnage in Syria; another megalomaniac mass murderer and his machine, who will decant or plough his people into exile or the grave and will not pause until the job is done.”

    OK, that’s an assertion; why do you take it to be true, and why should I?

    I’d find it hard to look a young Syrian militiaman, or his murdered family’s ghosts, in the eye and say: “I’m sorry, comrade, but the politicians are right; we must not ‘fan the flames’ and you cannot defend yourself or your people.”

    So the article is calling for supplying arms to the “rebels”, yes? And you both strongly agree with this, yes? I note that you said that the article “is not banging the drum for war”. But you said what the article is not rather than what it is. And yes, it’s banging the drum to escalate the ongoing war.

    Articles like this are worse than a waste of my time. A whole page of emotional argument, without a scrap of evidence. It’s designed to influence my opinion in a particular direction, without giving me what I need in order to make a good decision – evidence. CE, your link about the staff of the Ecuadorian embassy was just the same. I call this “propaganda”; there is simply no other appropriate term.

    I posted evidence above. Look. This is what evidence looks like:


    People gathering data and analysing it. That is what it takes to change my mind about something, not a fucking opinion piece.

    Now justify yourselves.

  167. Hi Craig, I’m posting here an entire comment from a colleague regarding the sea boundaries issue, particularly regarding Tavish Scott’s latest belly rumble about Shetland.
    Of particular interest to yourself may be the conference mentioned in the last couple of paragraphs.

    “The Faroes are on their own mini Continental Shelf. There is a deep water channel up to about 2,500 feet deep halfway between the Shetland’s and Faroes which isolates its Continental Shelf. Basically Scotland’s Continental Shelf does not extend out as far to the NW as it does into the North Sea. The boundary between the UK and Faroes just happens to be almost exactly halfway between the Shetlands and the Faroes but the southern Boundary between the UK and the Faroes is quite a bit closer to the Faroes than the UK because it tracks the edge of the Faroes’ Continental Shelf. Technically the separating trench is not deep enough to exceed the international absolute limit but it is still regarded as defining a Continental Shelf for the Faroes.

    OTOH consider Svalbard a large Island not much smaller than Iceland and about the same distance away from Norway as Iceland is from the UK, because it sits on Norway’s Continental Shelf with no intervening isolating trenches, it is considered not to have a Continental Shelf of its own and that would apply if it were ever to become independent from Norway. The Shetlands are in the same longboat.

    Rockall, sits on its own mini Continental Shelf, like the Faroes, separated from the contiguous North Sea Continental shelf by deep water.

    The Falklands are about 5 times the area of the The Shetlands and Orkney put together and at 300 miles + and therefore outside the EEZ of Argentina and with surrounding seas of 5000 feet compared to the 400 feet in the Northern Isles you would think they had a good claim, but even though they are so far away, bigger and the Argentine Continental Shelf is so deep, it is still a contiguous Continental Shelf and even at 5000 feet, is not outside the legal limit for being considered a Continental Shelf.

    I have been following the debate on the Malvinas/Falklands in the EJIL forums and the conclusion seems to be, even on the British side, that Argentina might well win if it came to the ICJ. However Argentina is stymied because they do not fully recognise the ICJ and therefore cannot bring the case before it and the UK is not disposed to do so.

    It would seem impossible that The Shetlands could have any chance, so clear cut is the case there. There would have to be U-turns on various pronouncements already made.

    However we must always be concerned where London is concerned. A warning shot being Crawford and Boyle’s report.

    Another being an inaugural annual conference on Boundary Law, concentrating on maritime boundaries, to be held in London next month. With ICJ judges, members of the international tribunal which decides on sea boundaries, plus a host of experts professional and academic and, perhaps most concerning, what seems like a full team of maritime legal experts (at least 6) from the two main UK government departments concerned, in attendance.”

    And now to read the article.

  168. “I don’t think myself…” is abundantly obvious in those tapering arguments that pillow and prop up the philosophy of ‘humanitarian intervention’ from a parapet of Western narcissism on regime change.

    C’mon people the West corrupted then abducted the ‘Arab Spring’ to smash Libya, remove the ‘reserve dollar’ threat from Gaddafi and then go on to plunder Libya’s resources.

    The Arab people’s uprising was a lucky break, one that empowered AIPAC to press the goyim to “milk it” dry. Hey! we don’t need the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ lies was heard echoing round the dark corridors of MI6, ‘we don’t need words bound within the legitimate pages of a government ‘dodgy dossier’ signed by Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara, we do need a people’s revolt.

    Libya was to be the perfect motivation, an indefectable massive arousal to smash Syria while the clear pure waters of a ‘Damascus Spring were flowing. A good time to drain the blood dry of a so called Saddam style ‘dictator’ criminal, Palestinian cause mover and arbiter, Iraq war opponent, Shia supporter and outspoken critic of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey called al-Assad.

    Really it was too asy to use the same Saudi thugs, Muslim brotherhood terrorists and UKUSIS mercenaries and trainers, easily ‘drafted’ into Syria via Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign bases in adjacent Cyprus. Too easy?

    Britain would play a key role to squelch the Iraq war induced hegemonic vibrations, Britain, in true King of the Realm diplomacy style held on to the trigger reins of American awesome fire-power while men and women of conscience voted in the UN Security Council. It became but just a British ‘Lord Blair advised’ ‘formality’ for war that would predictably be thwarted a nuclear Russia and China.

    It’s ‘regime change’ Lord Blair would say to agent Cameron, “vis-a-vis civil war” an Assad confused[with his dad] tyrant deposed, thus, we can ignore EU and UN calls for an arms ban.

    Catherine ‘blood-lust’ Ashton will fix the call with her feminine ‘think carefully’ brothers, we need to end the 70,000 murdered massacre before it becomes an embarrassing Iraq holocaust.

  169. Meaningless words from the Croaker. He knows perfectly well that there can be no ‘two-state solution’ because of the Israeli settlement expansion.

    Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomes the formation of the new Israeli Government.

    Following the announcement of a new Israeli Government William Hague said:

    “I welcome the formation of the new Israeli Government. I warmly congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu on his second consecutive term in office at this important time in Israel’s history. We look forward to working with his new Government to further develop our strong bilateral relations and to advance our successful partnerships in areas such as trade, security, science, technology and higher education.

    “As I have said previously, there is no more urgent foreign policy priority in 2013 than making progress towards achieving the two-state solution. I have urged the United States to lead international efforts to revive the peace process and pledged that the UK will spare no effort in mobilising European Union and Arab states behind decisive moves for peace. I welcome President Obama’s visit to the region next week. I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas, to demonstrate leadership and courage in working with the international community to secure the peace which is so strongly in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

    I hear he is indemnifying British military personnel based in Cyprus against the IMF/ECB bail out theft. Will contagion cross Europe following this tax on deposits and savings, ie will there be mass withdrawals tomorrow setting off runs on the banks? Ms Lagarde was apparently using Cyprus as a test for doing the same in Spain, Italy and Portugal. She has bitten off more than she can chew.

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 11:18 pm

    @ Scourge :

    “Habbabkuk. The [Avery Porko] treaty allows for free trade.”

    John, could you point me in the right direction to learn more about the Avery Porko Treaty? The best I could find on Google is the following:

    “After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower insisted the status of the base remain unchanged, despite new Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s objections.

    “Since then, the Cuban government has cashed only one of the rent checks from the U.S. government, and even then, according to Castro, only because of “confusion” in the early days of the leftist revolution. The remaining checks made out to “Treasurer General of the Republic”–a title that ceased to exist after the revolution–have not been cashed.

    “The United States argued that the cashing of the single check signified Havana’s ratification of the lease — and that ratification by the new government rendered moot any questions about violations of sovereignty and illegal military occupation.”


    1/. You could start by reading the 1903 and 1934 Treaties . They can be found online, together with the two supplementary protocols to the 1903 Treaty. All are quite short documents.

    2/. This info on Castro only cashing 1 of the US’s annual payments is not germane.

    The amount and the modalities of the annual US payment (and nothing else) are set out in one of the protocols to the 1903 Treaty. The important point is that the payments have to be MADE (which has always been the case). If they are, then there is no breach of the Treaty for that reason; if not, then there is.

    To illustrate this : assume that you don’t touch your monthly salary as paid into your bank by your employer. You can’t then sue your employer for breach of contract (ie, not paying the salary established in your contract of employment) by saying that your not taking your salary out of the bank means that the employer hasn’t paid you.

    Therefore, whether Castro Cuba cashed in only 1 of the annual payments, or all of them, or indeed none of them, is irrelevant.

    There is much more I could write on these two Treaties and international law on Treaties as set out in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the law of treaties, but for the moment I think it’s sufficient to point you in the direction of Article 4 of that Convention (no retroactivity to treaties extant before the entry into force of the Convention) and to what I’ve set out above.

  171. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 11:28 pm

    @ Scourge :

    Sorry, but on re-reading the Wiki squib you quote, I should add the following : it is not a question of Castro Cuba “ratifying” the Treaties. These were already ratified by the legal Cuban governments in 1903 and 1934. International treaties do not require re-ratification every (or even any) time there is a change of government or régime in one of the Contracting Parties. Nor can a new government denounce (nb – in the legal sense of this word) a Treaty except in accordance with any provisions the Treaty might contain to that effect – and in fact I believe that Castro, although objecting to it, never formally denounced it (again in the leagl sense of the word).

  172. Nice insight Mary on Cyprus – I await the fall of the cards tomorrow morning.

  173. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    17 Mar, 2013 - 11:52 pm

    “Habbabkuk, my life isn’t good, and I feel like you’re rubbing my face in the probable fact that your life is a lot better every time you post that. You stated that you put it there to annoy people. Well, it does more than just annoy me, it hurts me.”

    @ Clark :

    Well, it’s certainly not meant to hurt anyone. And it is only intended to “annoy” those of you who express, through your posts, an unremittingly gloomy, pessimistic, carping and negative outlook on public affairs.

    Do cheer up a little! If you’re in reasonable health, if you’re not on the breadline or near to it, if you’ve got a good family and friends, then your life, despite what you might think at the moment, then your life isn’t “not good”. And if you’re in despair about international events, don’t be – just think “bugger them!”.

    Over and out, I need to rest my brutal intellect and charge up the old intellectual firepower. :)

  174. Rose, Anon, Ben Franklin, and Habbabkuk, thank you.

    Rose and Ben, thanks for your supportive messages.

    Anon, thanks for that; yes, the pain is a signal that things are wrong and need to be improved. That thought helps.

    Habbabkuk, thanks for responding to my earlier complaint

  175. Habbabkuk, our comments crossed. I score quite low on your list of what makes life good. I expect that there are other readers here who score considerably lower. Life is not good for a large proportion of people, that proportion is increasing, and quality of life is falling for the majority. International events are inextricable from the future prospects of our species, and not caring about that seems incomprehensibly callous to me; it’s the fact that too few of the critical people care that is degrading so many lives and the world we live in. In conscience, I would rather die than stop caring.

  176. BrianFujisan

    18 Mar, 2013 - 1:02 am

    Clark hang on in there. i wonder if you would be wise to take a wee break from Craig’s Blog, i’m not sure if you do already or not, but i reckon you could write some good poetry, you seem to have right heart for it, or grab a wee camping trip, as old chief Standing bear once wisely said ” Man’s heart long away from nature becomes hard ”

    Hope i aint pushing my luck now Clark, but try a fire walk, i walked on fire last weekend up near Lake of Menteith, great bunch of people, non religious, but spiritual stuff, a tad Scary at first.

    Be well Clark.

  177. BrianFujisan

    18 Mar, 2013 - 1:26 am

    Anon @ 8 ;16 Nice Post there, wee bit of forgotten Sons too. The man was / is ahead of his time. Fish is still going strong, new album out in may, Sorry its very OT, but have you heard this ( his best Ever )


    P.S We Only have to look at Shoemaker – Levy’s half dozen or so fragments Slamming into Jupiter in 1994 to be Very concerned about space rocks…and keep an eye oot in november for comet ison.

  178. John Moore • November 30, 2012 12:32 PM

    “IT isn’t used just by governments for oppression. At my last job as a security analyst, my mission changed from guarding the network to monitoring the corporate network for misuse of IT assets by employees and employee compliance with HR policies and guidelines. The reality was that if one was an executive, the rules generally did not apply unless you committed fraud or some other crime, while a normal employee could be terminated or reprimanded for trivial IT misuse. It quickly became apparent that we were in place to keep normal employees in line. When my colleagues caught executives committing nonfinancial federal felonies, said executives were allowed to resign quietly and the crimes were covered up. That was the rumor and we never saw anything in the papers about any company executive going to jail or entering a plea bargain, so the rumor was likely true.”

  179. The corporate media are telling us something we knew already.

    Iraq anniversary: war intelligence ‘was a lie’, BBC Panorama documentary to say
    Key intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq ten years ago was based on “fabrication” and “wishful thinking”, a documentary is to claim.
    MI6 and CIA were told before invasion that Iraq had no active WMD
    BBC’s Panorama reveals fresh evidence that agencies dismissed intelligence from Iraqi foreign minister and spy chief

    Iraq invasion was based on ‘fabrication’ and ‘wishful thinking’
    The West ‘ignored evidence from senior Iraqis’ that WMDs did not exist, according to a new BBC Panorama documentary
    and so on.

    The actual programme. Mon 18 Mar 22:35

    BBC One The Spies Who Fooled the World
    How key aspects of the intelligence used to justify the Iraq War were based on lies.
    Clever spin is being used to get Bliar off the hook. Soon he will be sainted.

  180. Also meant to say that there were five minutes of propaganda from Kevin Connolly this morning on Radio 4 Today on the power and strength of the Israel lobby in the US. This was in connection with the forthcoming Obama visit.

    It included excerpts from Biden’s speeches praising Israel and vox pop segments acknowledging AIPAC etc,. Between 6.15 and 7am.

    Absolutely no reference to it on the Radio 4 running order or live page, so far at the time of posting this comment.


    Scroll down. A big gap between 6.15 and 6.50.


    1 hour ago
    Scientists have been investigating the deepest parts of the world’s oceans. The Mariana trench in the western pacific is 11 km deep, and results are showing there is more bacterial life there than expected – more than at the shallower depths of much of the ocean. The results were published yesterday by the journal Nature Geoscience.

    Business news with Simon Jack.

    There was a mention that an attack on Iran would come into the Obama/Netanyahu discussions and also the situation in Syria. I cannot recall Connolly mentioning settlement building or the terrible outlook for the Palestinians living in Occupied Palestine.

  181. Clark. I feel your deep despair and am thinking of you. I don’t know what to say except to say that we are all very fond of you here and are concerned for you. It is more that flicking some happiness switch and the possession of material goods or money, as some here suggest, that will bring contentment and peace of mind. We know that we are living under an unpleasant, unjust and unfair political system and that a fair way of distributing the planet’s diminishing resources must be found. The greedy must learn to share and to care for their fellows.

    Can Doug Scorgie be called by his proper name and not ‘scourge’ as I have requested before. It is nasty.

    scourge (skûrj)
    1. A source of widespread dreadful affliction and devastation such as that caused by pestilence or war.

    2. A means of inflicting severe suffering, vengeance, or punishment.

    3. A whip used to inflict punishment.

  182. Re. Clark’s recent posts, and the various responses to them:

    I suspect that one of the problems we face is that to open oneself to the current condition of the world – both natural and social – is (to quote a seminal environmental writer) “to walk alone in a world of wounds”. It takes a good deal of courage to engage fully with what is happening today; and the temptation is to withdraw into individualism of one sort or another, finding a safe psychological position from which to snipe, disparage, or criticise those who courageously try to engage with the depressing realities, or to paste a fake smile over one’s own hurt by pretending that ‘I’m all right’ – which is certainly not so, at a deeper level.

    But we need to balance this sort of integrity with the need for self preservation. As the psychotherapist David Smail points out, A “great and very often damaging mistake is when a disintegration of [society] is interpreted or experienced as a breakdown in the individual personality” – in other words, when we experience the corruption and fragmentation of the world around us as if it were the corruption and collapse of our own selves. While to an extent this identification with what’s happening around us is necesssary and admirable, it’s also important to retain a part of ourselves that can stand aside from the ongoing train crash and survive to fight future battles . . .

  183. Well said Runner 77.


    PS Many outraged on the Medialens Message Board on the BBC propaganda going out tonight.


    There are two other threads.

  184. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    18 Mar, 2013 - 9:38 am

    @ Mary :

    “Can Doug Scorgie be called by his proper name and not ‘scourge’ as I have requested before.”

    Can Mary also urge various other contributors to call Habbabkuk by his/her proper name?

    Just to be consistent, don’t y’know.


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  185. Liam Fox News

    On the subject of donations, Liam Fox has taken £7,200 from one Mick Davis. Known as “Mick the miner”, Mr Davis is the super-rich boss of mining company Xstrata, and a big player in the British Jewish community. Nothing wrong in that, except he was also one of the millionaires who bankrolled the mysterious Adam Werritty. Fox’s odd relationship with Werritty cost him his ministerial position. Still, who can say no to a few grand?


  186. Doug Scorgie You can have fun on this website too. CQS is Hintze. Some of the sums you come across are staggering.


    Then google ‘Hintze Fox Werrity’ and you get lots of links like this one.


  187. Morning all, just popping in here on the news, as well as the prospect, of east Anglia’s mentally challenged having to treat themselves from within in future so it seems.

    Some 500 mental health staff will be made redundant, declared not needed, which will most likely be support services, assessments and counselling.

    This is bad news full stop. Add to this the cheap pedlars of fake medicine’s, hoping that the placebo effect will ‘self heal’ the patient.


    On some, this undoubtedly works, but is it a mere poignant reminder of what our bodies are capable of? for others these loss of services will be an added kosh.

    This sort of moronic use of a celebrities sad state to make a point about celebrity publicity, the police and the failing mental health services is callous electioneering, Lib Dems punching above their weight.

    Once, some years back, I was of the opinion that Norman Lamb was amicable, part of the lesser evil. I have to revise my view.

    The sun is just coming out and a walk with deep breathing exercises will most likely cheer me up no time, for pete’s sake, what am I suggesting here…. that fresh air and exercise is a good balance for staring at a screen for hours on end, self depressingly breathing in the ozone? hmmm….

    Make it a personal policy to not sit longer in front of a screen than two hours, and that your next steps have to involve the fresh air outside. If it rains, no worries, we’re not made of sugar. Indeed lets adopt this for the blog. Gangam/Harlem shake style.


  188. Matthew Gould is in the middle of this unlovely bunch of Tory shills for Israel.

    Tory Friends of Israel gang up to condemn Palestinian ‘incitement’

    March 3, 2013

    Jews For Justice For Palestinians | March 2, 2013

    plus something new to me.

    UK embeds a hub and an envoy in Israeli enterprise
    The FCO’s logo
    This posting has 6 items:
    1) Times of Israel: Britain appoints special technology ambassador to Israel;
    2) Conservative Friends of Israel: CFI’s Year in Review, extract;
    3) FCO: Purpose of the tech hub;
    4) JPost: London hosts conference touting Israeli innovation;
    5) Times of Israel: High-tech diplomacy puts Israel and UK on the same page (so stop worrying about boycott);
    6) JPost: British hi-tech hub, Israeli start-ups look to partner This is the start of the project;

    Britain appoints special technology ambassador to Israel
    UK prime minister personally announced appointment of ‘tech envoy’ Saul Klein

    By David Shamah, Times of Israel
    December 12, 2012


  189. No sun shining here! Pouring down. I was out for an hour or so and got drenched. I have never seen my gravel drive flooded before in 30 years.

    I see that Alisa’s inquest is postponed again Nevermind.

  190. Runner77, 8:45 am; thanks for this:

    A “great and very often damaging mistake is when a disintegration of [society] is interpreted or experienced as a breakdown in the individual personality” – in other words, when we experience the corruption and fragmentation of the world around us as if it were the corruption and collapse of our own selves.

    Yes, that’s similar to what I’m experiencing, but I deny that it’s a “mistake”; the personal is the political; the mistake is to believe that they are separate. Rather, it is something to be faced and worked upon; I doubt that it can be solved within a lifetime.

    It’s not a mistake, it’s a problem of inequality of power and propaganda; I have opinions which are unpopular in the world at large, because they are unpalatable. I was having a conversation about Syria with a “friend” (I doubt that I have true friends any more); he’s a Guardian reader and considers himself politically aware. He said that, if in power, he would ban all arms shipments to Syria, and then issue Assad with an ultimatum – leave Syria, or be killed in a precision airstrike. So I asked him; “would you also call off your packs?”
    “What packs?”
    “Your packs of islamists, creating so much death and chaos in Syria”.
    He became confused, and I had to explain about NATO, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. He did recognise what I was describing.
    “There are no such packs.”
    “May I use your computer system to show you on the Internet?”
    He grudgingly half-agreed that “our” hands may not be clean, but the computer remained off and he chose a new subject; can you guess what? “Conspiracy theorising”. I didn’t press the issue, as partial communication is better than none.

    “Mental illness” consists of closed compartments in our minds, such that our hidden motivations can find expression in behaviour while rationalisation and self-deception protect our self-image. The sickness of our world is protected by a similar restriction of communication. Unfortunately for me, I am part of the inconvenient awareness that has to be silenced, and it’s a lonely way to exist.

  191. Just to say that Freeview Ch 81 is running the HoC Iraq War debate of 18 March 2003 through to 2.30pm.

  192. Habbabkuk – Doubtless you’ll deny it, but it seems to me you’ve got the bit between your teeth in regards to Mary, simply because Mary does a Sterling job at exposing the dirt that is Zionism. You’d be much better off taking Mary on in an intelligent and honest way, something that most here would find quite reasonable, Mary herself presumably.

  193. Clark,

    I undestand your suffering when confronted with friends like the one you describe. Being a decent man you do not take things lately, which is not in these difficult times the best attitude. World is rotten as we are surrounded by scum like halibabacus and other residents who are actually quite happy in the trap of their own imbecility having no insight into their depraved minds. Their logo is La vita è bella , rather than La vita in culo al mondo, where we have all somehow landed. Only moron can be happy all the time like our hahababa who would lead a joyful life in any concentration camp.

  194. “We truly are living in a global village, complete with shop keepers who know just what we like and how we like it, town gossips who eavesdrop on our most intimate conversations and, of course, the constable who looks in every now and then just to make sure that everyone is behaving as they should.

    “To anyone who wishes to know you, you are an open book.”

    What Facebook Knows (And Not Just Facebook Either):


  195. A hedge fund was fined $600 million for a $276-million profit based on insider trading:


    Comment by rms:

    At that rate of fine, hedge funds will do insider trading if they think they have less than a 45% chance of being caught.

    I expect they are caught under 4% of the time, so to deter a repeat, the fine should have been over ten times as large. If the fund would not agree to pay that much, perhaps the SEC should have prosecuted it in court — shocking as that might sound.


  196. ‘No peace partners, says incoming deputy defense minister’

    Danny Danon: United States and the rest of the world will have to get used to increased settlement construction


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