Syria and Diplomacy

by craig on January 21, 2014 11:49 am in Uncategorized

The problem with the Geneva Communique from the first Geneva round on Syria is that the government of Syria never subscribed to it.  It was jointly chaired by the League of Arab States for Syria, whatever that may mean.  Another problem is that it is, as so many diplomatic documents are, highly ambiguous.  It plainly advocates a power sharing executive formed by some of the current government plus the opposition to oversee a transition to democracy.  But it does not state which elements of the current government, and it does not mention which elements of the opposition, nor does it make plain if President Assad himself is eligible to be part of, or to head, the power-sharing executive, and whether he is eligible to be a candidate in future democratic elections.

Doubtless the British, for example, would argue that the term transition implies that he will go.  The Russians will argue there is no such implication and the text does not exclude anybody from the process.  Doubtless also diplomats on all sides were fully aware of these differing interpretations and the ambiguity is quite deliberate to enable an agreed text. I would say that the text tends much more to the “western” side, and that this reflects the apparently weak military position of the Assad regime at that time and the then extant threat of western military intervention.  There has been a radical shift in those factors against the western side in the interim. Expect Russian interpretations now to get more hardline.

Given the extreme ambiguity of the text, Iran has, as it frequently does, shot itself in the foot diplomatically by refusing to accept the communique as the basis of talks and thus getting excluded from Geneva.  Iran should have accepted the communique, and then at Geneva issued its own interpretation of it.

But that is a minor point.  The farcical thing about the Geneva conference is that it is attempting to promote into power-sharing in Syria “opposition” members who have no democratic credentials and represent a scarcely significant portion of those actually fighting the Assad regime in Syria.  What the West are trying to achieve is what the CIA and Mossad have now achieved in Egypt; replacing the head of the Mubarak regime while keeping all its power structures in place. The West don’t really want democracy in Syria, they just want a less pro-Russian leader of the power structures.

The inability of the British left to understand the Middle East is pathetic.  I recall arguing with commenters on this blog who supported the overthrow of the elected President of Egypt Morsi on the grounds that his overthrow was supporting secularism, judicial independence (missing the entirely obvious fact the Egyptian judiciary are almost all puppets of the military) and would lead to a left wing revolutionary outcome.  Similarly the demonstrations against Erdogan in Istanbul, orchestrated by very similar pro-military forces to those now in charge in Egypt, were also hailed by commenters here.  The word “secularist” seems to obviate all sins when it comes to the Middle East.

Qatar will be present at Geneva, and Qatar has just launched a pre-emptive media offensive by launching a dossier on torture and murder of detainees by the Assad regime, which is being given first headline treatment by the BBC all morning

There would be a good dossier to be issued on torture in detention in Qatar, and the lives of slave workers there, but that is another question.

I do not doubt at all that atrocities have been committed and are being committed by the Assad regime.  It is a very unpleasant regime indeed.  The fact that atrocities are also being committed by various rebel groups does not make Syrian government atrocities any better.

But whether 11,000 people really were murdered in a single detainee camp I am unsure.  What I do know is that the BBC presentation of today’s report has been a disgrace.  The report was commissioned by the government of Qatar who commissioned Carter Ruck to do it.  Both those organisations are infamous suppressors of free speech.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC are presenting the report as though it were produced by neutral experts, whereas the opposite is the case.  It is produced not by anti torture campaigners or by human rights activists, but by lawyers who are doing it purely and simply because they are being paid to do it.

The BBC are showing enormous deference to Sir Desmond De Silva, who is introduced as a former UN war crimes prosecutor.  He is indeed that, but it is not the capacity in which he is now acting.  He is acting as a barrister in private practice.  Before he was a UN prosecutor, he was for decades a criminal defence lawyer and has defended many murderers.  He has since acted to suppress the truth being published about many celebrities, including John Terry.

If the Assad regime and not the government of Qatar had instructed him and paid him, he would now be on our screens arguing the opposite case to that he is putting.  That is his job.  He probably regards that as not reprehensible.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC do not make it plain, but introduce him as a UN war crimes prosecutor as though he were acting in that capacity or out of concern for human rights.  I can find no evidence of his having an especial love for human rights in the abstract, when he is not being paid for it.  He produced an official UK government report into the murder of Pat Finucane, a murder organised by British authorities, which Pat Finucane’s widow described as a “sham”.  He was also put in charge of quietly sweeping the Israeli murders on the Gaza flotilla under the carpet at the UN.

The question any decent journalist should be asking him is “Sir Desmond De Silva, how much did the government of Qatar pay you for your part in preparing this report?  How much did it pay the other experts?  Does your fee from the Government of Qatar include this TV interview, or are you charging separately for your time in giving this interview?  In short how much are you being paid to say this?”

That is what any decent journalist would ask.  Which is why you will never hear those questions on the BBC.

 

 

 

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2,917 Comments

  1. Uzbek in the UK

    23 Jan, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    Macky

    There is no simple answer to this and many other conflicts of the past. It was (I think) Bismark who said that there was no conflict in Europe (at that time) on which Austria did not warm up its Austrian soup. This can easily be applied to the great powers today and to the US specifically. The best (ideal) solution would be if there were no conflicts. If there were good governments all over the world which respects rights of their citizens. If borders of many post-colonial nations were not drawn thousands miles away in European capitals without smallest consideration of people these borders are mixing or dividing. But unfortunately this is not the case in case of many nations. So how do we go from here? Wait and see how many more people are slaughtered in there? Side with one against another to help one to slaughter another? Wait and see how others (not us) help one to slaughter others (in there)? Any OTHER options (which past and present system of world order is not aware of)?

    I bet many on this blog would prefer first option as it at least free us from moral responsibility of slaughter. Who (be honest) gives a toss of people slaughtered here and there, as long as we are not involved (for whatever motive). This is general criticism of left liberal within liberals. Left liberals are not satisfied with the current state of affair but western involvement makes things worse (which is true in most cases). Yes, fair enough it is understandable approach. But non-involvement does not make things better either. Especially when siding with others (non west) who still gets involved and take part in the slaughter, especially on the side of those who have least moral standing in this (slaughter).

  2. Macky. You are correct. I was being a bit harsh on religion. Which is ironic as I have lots of religious friends who I get along with splendidly.

  3. We have ‘spoken’ before of these Israeli oil grabs in land that does not belong to them nor under the coastal waters.

    Craig has this piece on Information Clearing House.

    Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild
    By Craig Murray

    January 22, 2014 “Information Clearing House – Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. This from a 2010 Genie Energy press release:

    Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets. Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”

    “I am grateful to Howard Jonas and IDT for the opportunity to invest in this important initiative,” Lord Rothschild said. “Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner. Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”

    /..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37438.htm

  4. Mary

    What was vile with that speech please?

  5. Almost all of it apart from the opening para.

  6. doug scorgie

    23 Jan, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    Mary

    The man who composed the Hockey Cokey caused problems for the undertakers on his death.

    They put his left leg in; his left leg out; in out in out; they shook it all about…

    Sorry

  7. “Obviously will be a tough and complicated negotions”

    How to create a
    Civil society the American way!

    How many American abortions a year?

  8. doug scorgie

    23 Jan, 2014 - 2:04 pm

    Growth of what?
    1. House prices.
    2. Food prices.
    3. Rentals
    4. Food banks
    5. Penises

  9. doug scorgie

    23 Jan, 2014 - 3:15 pm

    From the horses mouth; its about regime change and always was.

    “US state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said it [the report on Syrian 11,000 dead detainees] “underscores that it makes it even more important that we make progress [at Geneva II].

    The situation on the ground is so horrific that we need to get a political transition in place, and we need to get the Assad regime out of power.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37435.htm

  10. Thought I would look your Ms Harf up Doug.

    She has a lot of previous so to apeak. Here is some.

    http://the-embassy-of-peace.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/who-if-marie-harf.html

    Obama seems to surround himself with these harpie warmongering women. Harf, Nuland, Susan Rice at the UN, that ex Amnesty US woman Suzanne Nossel, and so on. Perhaps they flatter him.

    ~~~

    LOL Hokey Cokey If it was raining in the lunch hour at school, we used to do Scottish or English country dancing and occasionally the Hokey Cokey. Can you imagine the kids nowadays doing the same?

  11. Hello Write-on. Ben Here.

    ” Left have a lot to answer for here as they have passively watched while a totalitarian form of democracy has emerged since 9/11, a totalitarian form welded to aggressive warfare and a neo-conservative, neo-imperialist agenda,”

    Well the re-set has to do with the tolerance for Capitalism with all it’s trappings. The Left bear some responsibility for allowing themselves to be assimilated into a homogenous goo of bi-partisan hackery. The putative ‘Left’ has been engaged in a form of Detente and capitulation since the late 70’s when activism began to be viewed by mainstreamers as violent and nihilistic. The wave of conservative trending is starting to recede. Time to reactivate.

  12. “Kempe,

    http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/resguide/scact_veto_en.shtml

    Who is the veto king over the last 30 years say ”

    Irrelevant. We’re discussing Syria not who’s used the most vetos, classic example of what another poster raised; anything can be excused if it can be proved the US/UK/Israel did anything remotely similar at any time in the past. You just don’t get it do you? No matter how many times the US might’ve used it’s veto in the past 30 years IT DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT FOR RUSSIA AND CHINA TO DO SO NOW.

    Anyway why 30 years? Go back to the early days and it looks very different.

  13. @Uzbek in the UK

    “I bet many on this blog would prefer first option as it at least free us from moral responsibility of slaughter. Who (be honest) gives a toss of people slaughtered here and there, as long as we are not involved (for whatever motive). This is general criticism of left liberal within liberals. Left liberals are not satisfied with the current state of affair but western involvement makes things worse (which is true in most cases). Yes, fair enough it is understandable approach. But non-involvement does not make things better either. Especially when siding with others (non west) who still gets involved and take part in the slaughter, especially on the side of those who have least moral standing in this (slaughter).”

    I am afraid that this sort of thinking is a little too deep for many here – who I am afraid are either too conditioned by their tribal position on Iraq/Islam/Israel, an automatic assumption that it only the West is capable of imperialism and the worst abuses of human rights, and in not a few cases a lingering addiction to following the old Soviet and anti Western party line which Comrade Putin has not adopted to his mafia activities ( I appreciate this may be a little unfair the Sicillian branch who could only dream of operations on the same scale). I suspect that not a few here, if they had been around would have been condemning the UK and France for going to war over the Nazi invasion of Poland.

    They do not recognise that there is a perfectly respectable case for Liberal intervention in other countries e.g. John Stuart Mill specifically identified a number of cases where such intervention was appropriate. They also, perhaps understandably given recent history, leap to the assumption that such liberal intervention has to be in the form of a military invasion and ignore the many alternatives that need to be considered beforehand. Some also have a nasty arrogance in that they automatically assume that those who disagree with them, despite their protestations to the contrary are neo-con war hawks (or similar) who hold a position that is diametrically opposed to their own one eyed view.

    Fortunately, some of us have two eyes and we are prepared to use them and recognise that human rights are meant to be universal.

  14. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    @ Uzbek in the UK

    “No one here seem to give a toss about the fact that current Assad has inherited the throne from his farther and that the family has been running whole country like their private firm for the last 43 years. Yes, 43 years it is longer than some of royal dynasties in European history”

    _____________________

    I hope you don’t include me in the “No one here”, because I have been poking drawing readers’ attention to this medieval and absurd fact for quite a while now. Witness my broadcasting of the famly firm’s name:

    “Assad @ Sons, est. 1971. Torture, imprisonments and exiles our speciality. Gassings undertaken”.

    And while we’re about it, how about that other great medieval Monarchy, the Kims of the laughingly-styled “Democratic” Republic of North Korea? They’ve been reigning for the last 65-odd years, I believe.

    Comment from John Goss?

  15. Mary

    I’m not sure why you are asking me, who you no doubt consider to be a unreliable source, to confirm what you have been told by a source you deem to be reliable. Nevertheless, the changes in the handles I used were all pretty well documented at the time. Interesting all this suggests that Mary and others have some form of network outside this blog – perhaps this is why they assume that their opponents behave in a similar co-ordinated manner. I do trust that I am on the list of those to dealt with come the Revolution – I wouldn’t want to be left off.

  16. Habba

    I’m sure John Goss only considers the life of dynasties in relation to that of his beloved Rothchilds.

  17. I repeat, Habbabkuk (La vita è bella! 21 Jan, 2014 – 5:42 pm

    In another of his discursive comments Habbabkuk asks us to join him in celebrating an IMF prediction that UK economic growth is improving.

    “Splendid news courtesy of the IMF, whose latest forecast had upped UK growth from 1,9% to 2,4%.

    I’m certain that all here who wish the UK well will share my pleasure at this news!”

    I would be happy to join him in his celebrations if I knew what his understanding of economic growth is and how it would benefit the majority of us if it turned out to be true. He seems difficult to pin down on this and does not answer my requests for his understanding of economic growth. If it was the growth in social housing I would be celebrating with him. Likewise the growth in the number of doctors, nurses, teachers. I am eager to share his joy. I have asked him if this economic growth is GDP but he does not seem to know.

  18. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 5:08 pm

    @ Kempe, re Un vetoes

    “Anyway why 30 years? Go back to the early days and it looks very different.”
    _____________________

    Typical selective use of figures in a vain attempt to pull the wool over our eyes (the Eminences really think that everyone on here is a fool).

    You are of course correct – I invite people to check out who was vetoeing what, and how often, in the first 30 years of the UN’s existence (perhaps John Goss could help us here?).

  19. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    @ ESLO

    “Interesting all this suggests that Mary and others have some form of network outside this blog –…”
    _________________

    I believe they do – which might explain how a lot of them found each other on AlcAnon’s (alias Squonk’s) blog while this one was off the air.

  20. @Uzbek in the UK, actually there is a very simple answer, which is to encourage peaceful negotiated settlements of conflicts, and without the use of force, and without the use of immoral & indiscriminate measures such as the genocidal sanctions that were applied to Iraq for a whole decade. The principle of the sovereignty of National States, as codified in the UN Charter & International Law, with its inherent right of self-determination, is the underlying fundamental lynchpin for everything we profess to believe in, and for keeping the World from turning into an inferno of chaos, so breaking this & undermining this principle under a R2P notion is very dangerous, and in the final account, always counter-productive; dangerous because of the precedent of allowing countries the “right” to interfere in the internal conflicts of other countries, which they will do only in line with their own perceived advantage, because countries are not people, and national interests will always override moral considerations, and counter-productive for conflicts that are mostly sectarian, based on ethnic &/or religious lines, because siding with one side against another, only increases the distrust & further poisons any chance of reconciliation amongst the sides involved, which endures with a deadly lingering legacy for decades, witness the daily carnage in Iraq, and the bitter relationships, that frequently turns violent in Kosovo, between Serbs & Albanians, a power keg ready to explode once again; it’s no coincidence that the Serbs committed most of their war crimes only after the first NATO bombs started to fall, as massacres & genocides tend to mostly occur in the midst of the carnage & inhumanity of war.

    I think your remark that most here don’t give “ a toss of people slaughtered here and there”, is incorrect, and actually quite offensive.

  21. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 5:15 pm

    John Goss says this à propos my joy at the good news of accelerating UK economic growth (now forecast at 2,4%):

    “I am eager to share his joy”
    _______________________

    Now why don’t I quite believe him? :)

    PS – Will John also express eagerness to share my joy at the news that unemployment is falling (now down to 7,1%) and if so, should I believe him?

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    “In another of his discursive comments Habbabkuk…..”

    ____________________

    Discursive as some of Habbabkuk’s comments might be, at least they get their facts right.

    To be noted by the author of the above, the same person who – non-discursively, of course – stated that New York Jewish financier Schiff (ca. 1918) financed…..Stalin. :)

  23. “Fortunately, some of us have two eyes and we are prepared to use them and recognise that human rights are meant to be universal.”

    My minds Eye.

    My mind’s eye cornered itself,
    Pinned itself on a blank wall,
    No longer eager to fathom
    The shapeless phantom
    That will redefine my flesh bleak
    Upon the hour fire mashes it to ash!
    This passing hour, my mind’s eye stays paused,
    Feeling unmoved in its purchased straitjacket,
    Waiting for gravity to pull on watery bags
    Under my blue, white, black paralyzed gaze
    Yawning my chapped lion mouth to sleep.
    Until, a sudden rush of fists smash vertically through.
    Crumbling the ceiling

    And dividing my room’s scratched, bruised floor,
    Inventing a new door,
    Leading to the earth’s lea!!!
    A silky, glossy, mass of carpeted grass!!!
    Incites me to see
    Irises to fan out blissfully!!!
    While adapting to this new light traveling past, fast!
    Heading to my mind’s renewed eye!
    Share!

  24. John

    While I appreciate the point that increases in GDP do not translate into improved living standards for ordinary working people – and it is still the case that median take home pay in real terms is continuing to fall (demonstrating very clearly that we are most definitely all in it together) – perhaps he might wish to try and find a period when real wages grew and there was not healthy GDP growth. I am pretty certain that he will find that GDP growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition for improvement in real living standards – and for that reason it should be welcomed.

  25. “I think your remark that most here don’t give “ a toss of people slaughtered here and there”,

    Could you point to where a toss is being given for the victims of Assad including the millions of refugees.

  26. Actually, the “network outside this blog” is AlcAnon’s Squonk blog, as Habbabkuk already knows, having visited and commented there himself. AlcAnon repeatedly posted comments here linking to squonk.tk and inviting people to read and comment there.

    I’ve been publishing my e-mail address on my contact page for years, and I’ve exchanged e-mail addresses with several people here. I’ve even met a few, as you can discover if you look through old comments.

  27. The trolls are exhibiting paranoia now. They think there is some sort of secret network to which they have been ezcluded! If they ever visited the al Hilli thread, which was kept open, they might have noticed this comment. I did. Squonk is a nice blog and full of interest especially for astronomers.

    Clark
    4 Jan, 2014 – 12:51 am
    Tim V, it was good to see you at squonk.tk do drop by again, and thanks for the link about the former French foreign minister.

    I seem to remember I went on Squonk when I found a link to Craig speaking at Nottingham Uni. in November as we did not know whether he was alive or dead! Alive thank goodness.
    http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/iaps/news/tomlinson-lecture-2013-delivered-by-craig-murray.aspx

  28. In my experience those of us who give a toss are pretty quickly singled out for treatment – why is this?

  29. ESLO, of course people here care about the Syrian civilian population, but different people believe different things. Those who believe that the Syrian conflict is driven mostly by death-squads and terrorists from outside Syria express their care by trying to expose, publicise and oppose this aspect of the conflict.

    ESLO, there are ways of forging consensus and agreement. You’d increase my faith in your motives if you’d make such an effort. You, and anyone else, are always welcome to e-mail me to discuss how debate could be improved. Sometimes argument can be more constructive if both public and private approaches are pursued.

  30. Habbabkuk’s spaceship arrived on Squonk just before Christmas as I recall and he emerged to say:

    https://squonk.tk/blog/2013/12/19/the-new-yorker-state-of-deception/comment-page-1/#comment-1800

    Same old. Same old followed. 32 mentions of ‘Habbabkuk’ including when being addressed.

    Pathetic.

  31. There was an extremely unpleasant cartoon by Steve Bell in the Guardian. The Medialens editors wrote:

    Email to Guardian’s Steve Bell
    Posted by The Editors on January 23, 2014, 1:19 pm

    Hi Steve

    Regarding this week’s cartoon on Assad’s ‘selfie’ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2014/jan/22/steve-bell-evidence-killing-syria , are you not at all sceptical about the timing, accuracy and provenance of the recent report on Syrian government killing and torture? You’ll know that the report was commissioned by the Qatari government which, according to the FT, has bankrolled the ‘rebels’ to the tune of $3 billion in weaponry and other support http://tinyurl.com/qdmwxrk .

    Isn’t it obvious that Qatar timed the release of the report to provide an ideal backdrop for media discussion (cartoons included) of the Geneva II peace conference? Should that not encourage a little caution and scepticism?

    Sincerely

    David Edwards

    ~~~

    There was an even more disgusting one in Murdoch’s organ by Brookes.
    https://twitter.com/BrookesTimes/status/426120769593417729/photo/1

    He sounds really pleased with himself. Probably got some brownie points for it.

  32. ESLO, I expect you’d be trusted more widely if you’d stop supporting Habbabkuk, who rarely has anything nice to say to anyone, posts offensive remarks to all and sundry, indulged in sock-puppetry, deliberately starts pointless arguments, and reveals so little about his own political beliefs. If anyone seems to “not give a toss” it’s Habbabkuk, with his constant “Life Is Good” message. Life doesn’t seem to good for the Syrians.

  33. ESLO, here’s an example of how you set yourself up for “treatment”:

    “Could you point to where a toss is being given for the victims of Assad including the millions of refugees.”

    This sentence includes the assumption that the millions of refugees are the victims exclusively of Assad. Many people here do not accept that assumption, and find it propagandistic. Do you understand?

  34. Mary, thanks for this snippet from the Financial Times:

    “the Qatari government […] has bankrolled the ‘rebels’ to the tune of $3 billion in weaponry and other support”

    No, Assad and the Syrian government certainly cannot be held solely responsible for the slaughter and exodus.

  35. Those tedious entries from Habbabkuk on Squonk ended with his critique of Arthur Scargill. Scargill was right all along when it emerged in the release of cabinet papers, after 30 years, that Thatcher HAD PLANNED to close 70 pits. She wanted it done little by little and subtly so as not to alarm the natives.

    http://labourlist.org/2014/01/how-thatcher-lied-to-the-country-during-the-miners-strike/

    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/the-lies-that-smashed-the-unions-and-destroyed-our-coal-industry/

  36. “ESLO, I expect you’d be trusted more widely if you’d stop supporting Habbabkuk, who rarely has anything nice to say to anyone, posts offensive remarks to all and sundry, indulged in sock-puppetry, deliberately starts pointless arguments, and reveals so little about his own political beliefs. If anyone seems to “not give a toss” it’s Habbabkuk, with his constant “Life Is Good” message. Life doesn’t seem to good for the Syrians.”

    Unlike dear Clark, of course, who isn’t above the odd vituperative post himself, has been caught using his moderator’s privilege to edit his posts mid-debate, and has never, ever resorted to sock-puppetry. Mr nice guy hippy loves to portray his innocence in every matter.

  37. Correcting my grammar and a typo in my post @ 5.40pm

    ‘The trolls are exhibiting paranoia now. They think that there is some sort of secret network from which they have been excluded!’

  38. Oh Patience! Where Art Thou?

    Perhaps the ‘recovery’ is more smoke and mirrors than reality.

    Remember his words when it all goes pear-shaped.

    23 January 2014
    Cameron: UK’s economic recovery will need ‘patience’

    David Cameron: “It’s going to take time and we need to be patient”

    Davos 2014
    Carney: No immediate rate rise needed
    Peston: Bankers back in PM’s tent
    Abe urges Asia military restraint
    Europe downturn not over, say bosses

    Prime Minister David Cameron has told the BBC that a sustained economic recovery must be one which is balanced between “north and south”.

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the prime minister said that the economy needs rebalancing.

    He said: “In the case of Britain we need to rebalance our economy and make sure it’s a north and south recovery – manufacturing as well as services.”

    But Mr Cameron said that economic recovery will take “patience”.

    He added that the government needs to deal with “excessive deficits and our broken banking system”, but he was confident that the UK could attract investment and manufacturers.

    Housing bubble?

    “We are a very welcoming economy,” he said.

    When asked if people would see an improvement in their living standards, he said that there have been positive movements in employment. And, he said in the interview with BBC business editor Robert Peston: “We are seeing positive signs on take-home pay.”

    When asked if he was concerned by a potential housing bubble or other asset bubble in the UK, Mr Cameron said that the Bank of England was fully independent, and that it was the Bank’s job to “identify” and to “deal with” any asset bubble.

    “We should leave it to them, not politicians.”

    But he said that a recovery in the housing market was “welcome”.

    “You do need a market where people can buy houses, move house, find work, and that drives a lot of activity in the economy,” the prime minister said.

    Mr Cameron said the economic revival needed to be balanced, and that “living within our means” was vital to a sustained global recovery.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25868096

  39. Anon, when I had moderator access, I did occasionally correct my own typographic, grammatical and spelling errors. Considering that the work-load of moderation caused me to rush the composition of my comments, I consider this acceptable. I did not alter the meaning of any of my own comments.

    I have used sock-puppetry twice, many years ago, before I knew it to be wrong. The first instance was merely a joke. I used “Recursive” as my name because it seemed appropriate to the comment I was making. The other occasion I will not reveal, as I was protecting someone else’s identity by hiding my own. I have never used sock-puppetry to post an offensive comment while concealing my identity, nor to falsely bolster an argument by appearing to be more than one person.

    Do you claim otherwise? If not, what harm do you see in what I did?

  40. Mary,

    Read comment at “January 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm”

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/more-poverty-more-homelessness-more-deaths-labour-set-out-a-vision-for-workfare-britain/

    If that is “Mike Sivier” ?, he is a big supporter of the far right NuLabour party and no mistake.

  41. “Margaret Thatcher branded Arthur Scargill and the other leaders of the 1984-5 miners’ strike ;’the enemy within’. With the publication of this bestselling book a decade later, the full irony of that accusation became clear. There was an enemy within. But it was not the National Union of Mineworkers that was out to subvert liberty. It was the secret services of the British state – operating inside the NUM itself. Seumas Milne revealed for the first time the astonishing lengths to which the government and its intelligence machine were prepared to go to destry the power of Britain’s miners’ union. Using phoney bank deposits, staged cash drops, forged documents, agents provocateurs and unrelenting surveillance, MI5 and police Special Branch set out to discredit Scargill and other miners’ leaders. Planted tales of corruption were seized on by the media and both Tory and Labour politicians in what became an unprecedentedly savage smear campaign. In this new edition, published for the twentieth anniversary of Britain’s most important postwar social confrontation, new material brings the story up to date – and, in the wake of the Iraq war intelligence scandals, highlights the continuing threat posed by the security services to democracy today.”

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Enemy-within-Thatchers-Against/dp/1844675084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390505966&sr=8-1&keywords=the+enemy+within+miners

  42. “Former NUM chief was police informer”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/true_spies/2351547.stm

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:03 pm

    From the Resident Denigrator:

    “Habbabkuk’s spaceship arrived on Squonk just before Christmas as I recall and he emerged to say:

    https://squonk.tk/blog/2013/12/19/the-new-yorker-state-of-deception/comment-page-1/#comment-1800

    Same old. Same old followed. 32 mentions of ‘Habbabkuk’ including when being addressed.

    Pathetic.
    ___________________

    Yes indeed, I discovered Squonk’s blog just before Xmas….and was heartened to find old Mary posting away merrily with her usual sort of stuff. After getting over my shock at her unfaithfulnesss to Craig’s blog (she had obviously got herself a new groom, so to speak) I of course felt impelled to correct some rubbish or other she had written; that is the source she quotes in this post.

    I offer the following thought : does every Mary deserve her Habbabkuk?

  44. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:05 pm

    Question from Mary:

    “Isn’t it obvious that Qatar timed the release of the report to provide an ideal backdrop for media discussion (cartoons included) of the Geneva II peace conference? Should that not encourage a little caution and scepticism?”

    Answers from Habbabkuk:

    1/. Yes

    2/. Not necessarily.

  45. Wake up in the back.

    ‘“Isn’t it obvious that Qatar timed the release of the report to provide an ideal backdrop for media discussion (cartoons included) of the Geneva II peace conference? Should that not encourage a little caution and scepticism?”’

    That was not my question. It was David Edwards; question, one of the Medialens editors, addressed to the cartoonist Steve Bell. That was obvious and you are becoming extremely boring.

  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    @ Clark:

    “ESLO, I expect you’d be trusted more widely if you’d stop supporting Habbabkuk”
    ___________________

    What makes you think that ESLO wishes to be trusted more widely by the likes of you and the other Eminences? He can speak for himself, of course, but I should imagine that he is more interested in correcting the more obvious absurdities posted here.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “posts offensive remarks to all and sundry”
    _________________

    Not to all and sundry, just to the more egregious loonies
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “…and reveals so little about his own political beliefs.”

    _____________________

    Leaving aside the rather Stalinist tone of that remark (“CONFESS!!”), I think that anyone with more than a handful of grey cells wouldn’t have much difficulty in knowing where I stand on the various issues I address.

  47. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    Mary says:

    “Those tedious entries from Habbabkuk on Squonk ended with his critique of Arthur Scargill. Scargill was right all along when it emerged in the release of cabinet papers, after 30 years, that Thatcher HAD PLANNED to close 70 pits. She wanted it done little by little and subtly so as not to alarm the natives”
    __________________

    Leaving aside the question of whose posts – Mary’s or mine – are more tedious, shortly after posting on Arthur Scargill I read somewhere that far more pits had been closed under the Labour govts of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan than under Margaret Thatcher. Presumably Wilson and Callaghan also planned those pit closures as opposed to doing so in a fit of absent-mindednesss?

  48. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    @ Mary

    “Wake up in the back.

    ‘“Isn’t it obvious that Qatar timed the release of the report to provide an ideal backdrop for media discussion (cartoons included) of the Geneva II peace conference? Should that not encourage a little caution and scepticism?”’”
    _____________________

    Firstly, thanks for that swift – very swift – response, Mary.

    Secondly, as you posted that comment from someone else (with every indication of approving the sentiment expressed therein, and as you’re easier to get in touch with than David Edwards, I thought I’d give you my answers to those two questions.

    No problem with that, surely?

  49. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Since Arthur Scargill and the great miners’ strike have made an O/T reappearance on this thread thanks to Mary, I feel entitled to ask the following question:

    How should the govt of the day have dealt with the UK coal-mining industry (‘dealt with’ in the sense of its future, I mean)?

    Considered thoughts welcome.

  50. doug scorgie

    23 Jan, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Jan, 2014 – 4:59 pm

    “Assad @ Sons, est. 1971. Torture, imprisonments and exiles our speciality. Gassings undertaken”.

    Habbabkuk,
    Assad and his regime are a bunch of criminals and I don’t support them but I don’t support forced regime change either.

    You must be aware that the US/UK/Israel don’t give a shit about the Syrian people or democracy in that country.

    The UK government had refused to accept Syrian refugees from the UN camps until pressure on Cameron forced a U-turn.

    Assad has passed his best-before date for western geo-political reasons but until 2011 Assad was feted by the West:

    “Following an audience with the Queen, on day three of his visit to Britain, Mr Assad was meeting the Prince of Wales as well as opposition leaders Iain Duncan Smith and Charles Kennedy.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-151701/President-Assad-meets-Queen.html#ixzz2rFqhw8Qo

    Also

    “Revealed: Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after ‘civil unrest’ began”

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/revealed-britain-sold-nerve-gas-2242520

    So the US/UK/Israel are not supplying weapons and aid to the rebels for humanitarian reasons are they?

  51. Now here’s a thing or two.

    A British lawyer advises people to visit Israel and see what is really happening to Palestinian children in the military court system.

    ‘Secondly, those who consider that stories of systemic breaches of human rights under the occupation are an anti-Israel myth are deluding themselves.

    We spent a morning at the military courts observing young Palestinian boys, aged 13-17, being processed, and speaking to their mothers. It is clear that children are invariably arrested in night raids by the army at gunpoint, cuffed and blindfolded and held, often for hours, in that condition, denied access to food, water and toilet facilities, interrogated without being advised of their rights, without a lawyer and without their parents.’

    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/114819/take-a-lawyers-advice-visit-occupied-territories

    and our Ambassador to Israel advises the Israelis that they are losing support.

    ‘Israel is losing support across Europe due to its approach to the Palestinians and West Bank settlements, Britain’s ambassador in Tel Aviv has warned.

    Matthew Gould said changes were “slowly” becoming apparent in the way British politicians and the media approached Israel.

    “I love Israel and I worry that in another five years Israel will wake up and find that the country won’t have enough friends,” he said.’

    http://www.thejc.com/node/115008

    Perhaps the JC on a mission to disarm the critics.

  52. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Jan, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    Scorgie

    “Assad and his regime are a bunch of criminals and I don’t support them…”
    _______________

    Very glad to hear that. Took you long enough.

  53. “Developer finds Chrome eavesdropping bug”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25859360

  54. Mary.
    You are still not following your own good advice and scrolling past the trolls. They are no more interest than passing clouds. Their job is to fill space so that logical discussion is harder to follow. You have to scroll past: Nevermind, ESLO Habbabkuk, Des Res, Fred, anything after the second volley from Tony_Opmoc because too much information, and anyone else including Guano, especially Guano when he’s talking bXXXXXXX about Islam and Muslims.

    You don’t dig the garden when it’s out of season. Put your muck on and let the worms do the rest. Leave the worms alone. Please.
    It takes more finger exercise scrolling down. Nil carborundum.

    The corpse portrayed in Steve Bell’s cartoon, whoever’s victims they may have been, are now in Heaven. The atheist Assad is portrayed as a terrified, red-eyed, maniac. That is how it is, however upsetting. We have to prepare for the worst, that the US will take him out sometime soon, and many of the Alawi people will be slaughtered. The Qur’an states that many of those who rejected Jesus, peace be upon him, were similarly slaughtered because they rejected the tenets of faith which Jesus pbuh rehearsed for them.

    Now in Geneva 2, John Kerry is witnessing for himself that Assad is beyond the common ground of any of the people of the book, Jewish, Christian or Muslim. He is nothing more than a Draculan Zombie obsessed with murder and power.

  55. Hey Guano, who you calling a troll?

    You want a flame war? I’ll give you a flame war to end all flame wars if that’s what you want.

    Otherwise cut out the name calling.

    Understand?

  56. Guano I do not engage in discussions with the trolls. Any comments are usually indirect.

    Furthermore, Nevermind is definitely not a troll. He is a decent person. I think you should make a correction.

  57. “Nevermind is definitely not a troll. He is a decent person. I think you should make a correction.”

    And apology.

  58. Mary
    23 Jan, 2014 – 9:34 pm

    “It is clear that children are invariably arrested in night raids by the army at gunpoint, cuffed and blindfolded and held, often for hours, in that condition, denied access to food, water and toilet facilities…”

    This denial of food, water and toilet facilities is an IDF tactic aimed at causing distress and humiliation.

    The people who took part in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, which was attacked by the IDF killing nine unarmed activists, were arrested and subjected to this tactic.

    No food; no water; no toilet facilities. Many of the activists had no choice but to urinate and defecate in their clothes (No doubt there will be sniggering from certain posters on this blog about this.)

    The same tactic is used by the police in the UK, mainly the Met, to intimidate and humiliate peaceful protesters; it’s called kettling and is aimed at dissuading people from protesting in future.

  59. Guano, they just don’t get your sense of humour, do they? Don’t worry, you make me laugh. You should be more careful with footballers’ gestures, however; you never know where they’ve been.

    Look folks, Guano called himself a troll! How can you possibly take so seriously someone who calls himself “industrial quantities of batshit”?

  60. BrianFujisan

    24 Jan, 2014 - 2:25 am

    Mary @ yesterday…8;32 am

    A section from the transcript that ( i think ) you were asking about…

    Now, lost in the daily reports of violence is the fact that this revolution did not begin as an armed resistance. This started peacefully. It was started by schoolboys in Daraa who are armed only with graffiti cans, citizens who were peacefully and legitimately calling for change. And they were met almost immediately with violence. When their parents came out to protest the arrest of the children, 120 people died. That was the beginning.
    And tragically, the Assad regime answered peaceful demonstration after peaceful demonstration with ever-increasing force. In the three years since then, this conflict has now left more than 130,000 dead, and it’s hard to count accurately. We all know that. The fact is that these people have been killed by guns, by tanks, by artillery, by gas, by barrel bombs, by Scud missiles. They’ve been killed by weapons almost exclusively of the magnitude not possessed by the opposition. Starvation has been used as a weapon of war. And most recently, we have seen horrific reports of systematic torture and execution of thousands of prisoners. This is an appalling assault, not only on human lives, but on human dignity and on every standard by which the international community tries to organize itself, recognizing the horrors of the humanitarian catastrophe that has unfolded, the destabilization of neighboring countries, and the endless exile of refugees.

    SO we should forget clinton, Cameron, admitions…that they were funding, arming the evil monsters…FROM THE START

    Mary Kerry full transcript @ –

    http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2014/01/20140122291401.html#axzz2rHHZLfzZ

  61. BrianFujisan

    24 Jan, 2014 - 2:48 am

    OOOPs sorry i missed seeing you had found it yourself Mary…was not easy was it

    Anyway Further to all this….

    from a few months ago –

    “There can be little doubt that the lifting of the arms embargo to the armed insurgents and terrorist groups operating in Syria is one of the most egregiously callous, self-serving, reckless and irresponsible moves made by the international community since the beginning of the internal conflict in the country.

    The West’s complete and total lack of regard for the precious lives of innocent Syrian civilians, including all non-Muslims, non-Sunnis, Jews, Christians and ethnic minority groups is mind-boggling in its persistence, premeditation and complete and total lack of anything resembling humanity.

    The West has once again truly shown the entire planet, that is anyone with their eyes half open, its monstrous and evil face when it comes to Syria. It is evident in everything the West has done in Syria. From the day the Western “masters” decided that elected President Bashar al-Assad had to go because he was not a Western puppet, to the instigating and fueling of the internal conflict, to the bellicose rhetoric AND ENDLESS SANTIONS, to the actual real and documented funding, arming and importing of every kind of terrorist, mercenary and killer under the sun, the West has shown time and time again that they will do absolutely anything to bring about their ends, while packaging it in marketable terms evoking righteousness and pride by calling it “iron resolve”, “taking the lead” and “ridding the world of evil”.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-has-the-right-to-peace-and-to-self-defense-despite-western-claims/5337694

  62. BrianFujisan

    24 Jan, 2014 - 3:00 am

    Here are the top three Western media lies about the Syrian peace talks.

    1) The removal of Syrian Bashar al-Assad was an agreed upon “precondition” for the Geneva II peace talks.

    This lie has been repeated over and over by government and media alike. It has zero basis. The Obama administration claims that this precondition was expressed in the “Geneva communiqué,” which was a road map agreement meant to guide the Geneva II peace talks, agreed upon by some of the major parties of the negotiations, including Russia.
    The communiqué does indeed call for a negotiated political transition, but nowhere does it state that such a transition cannot include President Assad. Such a condition would have been outright rejected by Russia.
    In fact, the Geneva communiqué includes this crucial statement:
    “[a transition government] could include members of the present [Syrian] government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.” Nowhere does it specifically mention or imply President Assad.
    The Los Angeles Times recently stepped out of line and exposed this lie:
    “[John] Kerry regularly cites the “Geneva communiqué,” a kind of peace road map hammered out in June 2012 during a United Nations-organized summit. But the document does not explicitly call for Assad’s ouster.”
    The Obama administration’s constant repeating of this lie only causes divisions in the peace process, undermining the chances that the peace process will succeed.
    The Obama administration is especially adamant about this “Assad must go” pre-condition because it knows that, if free and fair elections were held tomorrow in Syria — as part of a UN-backed “transitional process”— President Assad would likely win. This is the result of the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria that have rallied behind President Assad, since they’ve witnessed the consistent religious sectarian atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed rebels (which the U.S. media loves to ignore or minimize).
    Assad would probably win an election since there is also simply no one else on the government side or the opposition side with his name recognition or popularity. The U.S.-backed rebel war in Syria has vastly strengthened Assad’s political hand, but you wouldn’t know it from the Western, anti-Syrian media.
    Demanding Assad’s ouster also does not reflect the situation on the ground. The U.S.-backed rebels have never controlled more than one Syrian city, namely Raqaa, which is dominated by al-Qaeda and is governed under a Taliban-style interpretation of Islamic law, which includes a strict ban on music. Thus, the rebels don’t have the ground power that would even enable them to make the demand that “Assad must go”.

    2) The U.S.-backed rebel militias are “moderate” Islamic groups.
    The fact that this lie can even be uttered publicly without encountering ridicule is a major success of Western media propaganda. The media narrative paints the U.S.-backed “good” rebels fighting both the Syrian government and the “bad” al-Qaeda linked rebels.
    But the “good” rebels in the U.S.-backed Islamic Front share the same vision for Syria’s future as the al-Qaeda rebels: a fundamentalist version of Sharia law, where women live in virtual house arrest and where religious minorities are second class citizens (non-Sunni Muslims would simply be butchered, as they are on a regular basis in Syria, which is again minimized or ignored in the Western media.)
    The “moderate rebel” lie was further exposed recently when a top leader in the most powerful militia, Ahrar al Sham, within the Islamic Front declared Ahrar al Sham to be the “real” representative of al-Qaeda in Syria, as opposed to the rival al-Qaeda faction that the Islamic Front had recently begun fighting.
    Ahrar al Sham has long been known to be an al-Qaeda type Islamist extremist group; the Western media simply chose to ignore it. But when it was recently made official, the U.S. media chose to continue its ignoring stance, since actually reporting on it would destroy their “moderate rebel” lie. The Western media also continues to ignore the fact that the “moderate” U.S.-backed Islamic Front issued a joint statement that aligned itself to the extremist views of Ahrar al Sham, the “real” al-Qaeda.

    3) New Evidence of Syrian government “industrial scale” torture.
    The Western media recently blasted the “breaking news” of brand new evidence showing massive “NAZI-like” torture and murder by the Syrian government, released at the beginning of the Syrian peace talks. This may or may not be true, but the lie here is that the Western media promoted the “evidence” as being unquestionably true, when the story doesn’t reach first base when it comes to evidence-based journalism.
    All we really know is that there are hundreds of pictures of dead people that a “trusted source” says were killed by the Syrian government. The trusted source was designated as such by pro-Western intellectuals, who have earned professional “credibility” by helping convict war criminals in the International Criminal Court [ICC]. But as author Diane Johnstone pointed out in her excellent book “Fools Crusade,” about the war against Yugoslavia — as well as in other articles — the ICC has long been used by western powers as a tool to create a pretext for war, or a tool to justify a war after the fact.
    The evidence of the “NAZI-like” atrocities was written in a study paid for by the government of Qatar, which has long funneled cash, guns, and Jihadis to Syria in aid of the anti-government rebels.
    Again, we don’t know if the story is true or not. But such an important investigation should be conducted by the UN or another more objective institution. The same biased dynamic occurred in relation to the infamous chemical weapons attack, where no real evidence was provided, though an unending string of “experts” were quoted in the Western media, testifying to the guilt of the Syrian Government. But when Pulitzer prizewinning journalist Seymour Hirsch reported that the Obama administration lied about the rebels not having the capacity to perform such an attack, the Western media simply ignored the legend of journalism. The wrench in the propaganda machine was simply dislodged.
    How do these lies become such permanent fixtures in the Western media? An excellent article in the Guardian newspaper recently discussed in depth the principal sources the Western media has used to understand the Syrian conflict.
    The article exposed the incredible bias of some of the most important Western media sources on Syria, which is why they were handpicked in the first place to be “expert” sources: they had political agendas that were aligned with the U.S. government’s foreign policy decisions. The other side of the conflict was completely ignored, except when it was targeted for ridicule. Thus, Americans and Europeans have a completely one-sided, if not fantasy-based perspective of what is happening in Syria. This has been systematic since the beginning of the conflict, as happened with the Yugoslav, Afghan, Iraq, and Libya wars.
    The result of this media-led ignorance could result in yet more unnecessary deaths in a country that now has millions of refugees and over a 100,000 dead. Obama seems like he intends to exploit these peace talks with the intention of blaming the Syrian government for their failure. Having failed to defeat Assad on the battlefield in a proxy war, the Obama administration is trying to win the propaganda war. And once peace talks have failed, talk of war will resume, since “all other options have failed.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/media-spin-machine-in-high-gear-top-three-media-lies-about-the-syrian-peace-talks/5366099

  63. Daniel Rich That is a must read by Pepe Escobar for its irony alone apart from hearing of the antics of the gangsters-in-charge attending Davos.

    I put up an earlier link to another of Escobar’s on the Syrian talks, ‘Syria and the Geneva 2 charade’
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/01/syria-and-diplomacy/#comment-438615

    This photo sums Davos up.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Beq7nzWCUAEAa4w.jpg

    The Banks And Parties Are Back
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2011/01/26/liz-claman-at-davos-the-banks-and-parties-are-back/

  64. So let me get this right.

    The US are financing Al-Qaeda in Syria.

    So it must be the case then that under US created laws in the War On Terror the US should arrest itself for aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation,should have its finances frozen and fly itslf to Guantanamo Bay in order to torture itself for years?

    Is that how the law is meant to work yes?

  65. @ Jives,

    You forgot to put us on a rendition flight to a torture friendly client state to be [for once] at the receiving end of the same enhanced interrogation techniques we shot ’em Japs for.

    The western hypocrisy stinks worse than the rotting corpses in my in-laws’ basement.

  66. @ Mary,

    Don’t fight fire with fire. Piss on it.

  67. Live Q&A with Edward Snowden: Thursday 23rd January, 2014
    http://www.freesnowden.is/asksnowden/

  68. The Western Powers need to realise that Catch-22 was a satire not a manual.

    The madness,lies and incompetence masquerading as foreign policy and conflict strategy in Syria would stagger even Joseph Heller id imagine.

  69. Nevermind from War Criminals:
    “If he would had made such a guesture playing in Germany, he would have acted unlawful. I despise public expressions such as this, regardless of whether they come from Anelka or from anybody else, as they are giving voice to fascists who argue with each other, but are essentially out to commit the same attrocities and justify them to the world with some inane crap, are essentially supressing views that are contrare to their regime.”

    Anelka is out to commit the same atrocities as Zionists?

    If it do come to pass
    That any man turn ass,
    Leaving his wealth and ease
    A stubborn will to please,
    Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame.
    Here shall he see
    Gross fools as he,
    An if he will come to me.

    Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

    http://shaksper.net/archive/2007/254-october/25838-observation-about-ducdame

    I cannot understand why Nevermind thinks that minding about the Anti-Islam politics of Zionism will turn into another Fascism.
    Muslims should just accept the War on Terror?

    And yet when Al Qaida strikes back at the utter jelly of Neo-Liberalism which has allowed Assad to bomb his own citizens for 3 years, and torture them for decades, the West points the finger at them.

    If Zionist militancy is the same as Islamic militancy, why is the zionist state war on terror okay, and the Islamist response not okay?

    I’ve a mind to add BrianFujisan to my list of trolls for this idiotic comment above: “f free and fair elections were held tomorrow in Syria ……President Assad would likely win.”

    We all say daft things from time to time but this is surely the most wishful of wishful thinking of Islamophobes.

    I sat yesterday among a group of UK electricians who exuded embarrassment at the presence of a bearded Muslim. They were so busy covering up their delight at the excesses of Al Qaida and the plight of Assad’s victims they could hardly sit in the same room. What better solution to the Muslims’ miseries than for the UK to legitimise his criminal regime?

    Also Mark Golding seems to have gone into mad Shi’a mode, which is surprising since he has experienced them in Iraq at first hand.

    I apologise to Someone, for putting him on my list of trolls.

  70. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    24 Jan, 2014 - 11:53 am

    Clark/Jon: More than I intended. Last paragraph and link are all that are necessary to contradict my biblical friend’s snark re a John Goss post. Please delete the rest if you see this.

  71. “Scotland: the police state”

    Yes, it is most worrying the direction Scotland is going in. Especially the amalgamation of the police forces into one and the attempts to abolish corroboration.

    “poverty and desperation”

    I don’t think the people’s reaction could be shown to be a result of poverty and desperation. Just human nature.

  72. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    @ Beelzebub (in respect of his inordinately long post):

    “Clark/Jon: More than I intended. Last paragraph and link are all that are necessary to contradict my biblical friend’s snark re a John Goss post. Please delete the rest if you see this.”
    ___________________

    What a relief to see that there is at least one other poster as inept as I am when it comes to manipulating computers and using a blog! :)

    *******************

    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier” (J.Stalin, ca. 1932)

  73. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    “..“there is a report in the State Department files that names Kuhn, Loeb & Co. (the long established and important financial house in New York) as the financier of the First Five Year Plan. See U. S. State Dept. Decimal File, 811.51/3711 and 861.50 FIVE YEAR PLAN/236.””..”
    ______________________

    There are, I suspect, many inaccurate reports in the archives of State and, indeed, in these of many other Foreign Ministries.

    There are reports in the FO and without doubt in various European Chancelleries which assert with confidence that Adolf Hitler was merely a German gentleman who represented no threat to peace in Europe.

    Not to mention a report from our host Craig, written while en poste in Warsaw, that Polish emigration to the UK post-2004 would be measured in the thousands…

  74. Clark
    Thanks for that. Have you ever thought of a career as a mental health nurse? Give them a link to your contributions here and I’m sure you’ll get an invitation.

  75. Thanks Doug – good response.

  76. Syricide ‏@Syricide Jan 20
    @ShoebridgeC Check out Carter-Ruck & Co the law firm that commissioned this report – a lot of Saudi customers
    http://www.carter-ruck.com/International%20Law/Recent_Work.asp

    Charles Shoebridge
    @ShoebridgeC
    Listen (at 9.40) to eminent author of #Qatar funded #Syria abuse report. Q.Could photos be faked? A. No. Well, maybe.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03q8z45

  77. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    24 Jan, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    H – Looks like the whole piece was removed. Ok, leave it. It’s rather hard to find any reference to Schiff’s activities other than on rightwing nutter sites or NWO sites. This link- http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/bolshevik_revolution/appendix_02.htm gives what looks like a sane assessment of Schiff/Loeb’s alleged funding of the Revolution and its aftermath. The accusation of circular citation is correct: most of the allegations seem to have been based on the observations of a White Russian general who may just have had an axe to grind. One very plausible reason for Schiff’s involvement may have been that he is on record as having believed (against Herzl et al) that there should not be a Jewish state, that Jews should remain in the nations in which they lived, and that the Bolsheviks would encourage this by ending the persecution of Russian Jews which was routine under the Tsar.

    The conclusion of the piece raises a question which may still be relevant.

  78. Good to see you “back in action”, Craig :)
    Cheers from Finland

  79. Brian

    Once again our corrupt and perverted state broadcaster is complicit in a pre-emptive media offensive by launching a dossier on torture and murder of detainees by the Assad government just before Genever II.

    How hypocritical is that? The BBC report is a disgrace!

    There would be a good dossier to be issued on torture in detention in Qatar, and the lives of slave workers there.

    The report was commissioned by the government of Qatar who commissioned latent scientologist **Carter Ruck** to do it. Qatar is an infamous suppressor of free speech.

    What is reprehensible is that the BBC are presenting the report as though it were produced by neutral experts, whereas the opposite is the case. It is produced not by anti torture campaigners or by human rights activists, but by lawyers who are doing it purely and simply because they are being paid to do it.

  80. Indeed, Mark. In his most recent article, Robert Fisk made similar points, and asked why the likes of HRW and Amnesty were not involved.

    Curveball/Caesar; tall tales and “incontrovertible” proof. The M.O. is pretty familiar by now.

  81. Those who think that the support for millitants is always due to principled knowledge have only got to look at the money bags who support slaughter.

    In the 1930′ fascists Germany’s car production of GM cars, Opel for that matter, was not compromised as much as the allies wanted to cut off Germany from its suppliers.

    Zionists have an interests to support islamic militias in the commercial aims. And those who, like Guano, think that an islamic militia has no fascists tendencies, when they are confronted daily with the excesses of religious righteousness and singleminded stubborn killing of ‘otherthinking’ are deluding themselves.

    It was easy for Guano to spread his fertile mind here, our liberal ears are open and responsive to all and sundry. How would we fear on his favourite blog, I wonder….

  82. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    24 Jan, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    ‘The report was commissioned by the government of Qatar who commissioned latent scientologist **Carter Ruck** to do it. Qatar is an infamous suppressor of free speech.’

    So is Carter Ruck. Allegedly. Which usually means the legal firm specialising in suppressing….err… allegedly…rather than its founder, Peter Carter-Ruck.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter-Ruck

  83. NGO Propaganda: Who is Behind the Massacres in Syria? Avaaz Spreads Media Disinformation

    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
    Global Research, January 22, 2014

    Avaaz, which presents itself as an alternative media and an independent voice, is part of a corporate public relations campaign. Avaaz will report on civilian casualties in Syria without mentioning the influx of US-Saudi sponsored terrorists.

    Who is behind the atrocities in Syria?

    Avaaz will casually blame the government of Bashar Al Assad for killing civilians. It will accuse the government of using chemical weapons when the evidence amply confirms that the US-NATO-GCC supported rebels were behind the August 21st chemical weapons attacks.

    The deployment of death squads supported by the Western military alliance is never mentioned.

    Avaaz does not acknowledge that government forces are fighting a terrorist insurgency.

    Nor do they mention that the US government has direct contacts with Al Qaeda affiliated rebels.

    Avaaz calls for an opinion poll ahead of the Geneva talks.

    Avaaz calls for a ceasefire.

    /..
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ngo-propaganda-who-is-behind-the-massacres-in-syria-avaaz-spreads-media-disinformation/5365813

    Justification for having nothing whatsoever to do with Avaaz.

  84. Nevermind

    I have often said that the Fascist tendencies of individual Muslims are excusable if they have been hung upside down, electrocuted in the private parts, beaten to pulp with cables, left in detention in a crowded cell for years.

    What’s to excuse about the Fascists tendencies of a senior political UK figure, educated to the hilt, paid to the hilt, but wants to gravy-train the Zionist anti-Islam agenda?

    You see, in my mind there is no excuse at all for priveledged people to sacrifice their principles and consciences for more, while I can excuse the control=freak mentality of those who have survived utter subjection to the tyranny of their human brothers.

    Not that you care.

  85. Mary “Avaaz does not acknowledge that government forces are fighting a terrorist insurgency.”

    The only reason there is an insurgency in Syria is because, being outside the fold of all its neighbours, Jewish, Christian or Muslim, the Alawis have remained solidly unmoved by compassion to the people that France put them in control over as a colonial power.

    The normal response to an individual who has no remorse or compassion is life encarceration, in liberal societies, or death in others. This Geneva 2 is the Assad regime’s last chance. They are arguing that no-one has the right to intervene with their rule. OK let’s just let the paedophiles and criminals take over. The international community can only restrain itself from intervention until Assad has openly proved his intransigence in an international arena.

    Kerry will be telling Obama that it’s time for war.

  86. Syria regime ‘may quit Geneva II talks’

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has threatened to walk out of peace talks in Geneva just hours after they began, state media have said.

    Mr Muallem told UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi he would quit if “serious” discussions had not begun by Saturday.

    The regime and the opposition have refused to meet face-to-face and are communicating through Mr Brahimi.

    Diplomats say they are now aiming at small concessions such as local truces rather than an overall peace deal.

    Both sides blame each other for the lack of progress.

    /..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25880727

    Later in this piece, it is apparent that the BBC are still using the man in the flat above a shop in the Midlands for a situation report on Syria!

  87. “I have often said that the Fascist tendencies of individual Muslims are excusable if they have been hung upside down, electrocuted in the private parts, beaten to pulp with cables, left in detention in a crowded cell for years.”

    Thanks for explaining your personal preferences in dealing with individual Muslims who don’t confer to your ideals, I find engaging and showing the error of their ways to be far more effective in exposing their simple minds.

    “Not that you care.” Well, Guano, not in the way you care.

    @ Mary, thanks for that, AAvaz has got through to me on occasions, but I always found their petitions to be polished and failing to be to the point, vague even. I must scrutinise more…….

  88. Human Rights Council
    Twenty-second session

    Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

    Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

    Summary
    The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 19/17 in which the Human
    Rights Council decided to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the human rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

    
The new UN report is the result of a mission investigating Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

    Information gathered by the mission shows that private firms have enabled, facilitated and profited, directly and indirectly, from the construction and growth of the settlements. It identified a number of business activities that raise particular concerns about abuses of human rights. They include:

    • The supply of equipment and materials facilitating the construction of settlements and Israel’s wall in the West Bank;

    •The supply of surveillance and identification equipment for settlements, the wall and military checkpoints;

    • The supply of equipment for the demolition of housing and property, including the destruction of farms, greenhouses, olives groves and crops,;

    • The supply of security services, equipment and materials to businesses operating in settlements;

    • The provision of transport and other services to support the maintenance of settlements;

    • Banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and business development;

    • The use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes;

    • Pollution, dumping and transfer of waste to Palestinian villages;

    • The way Palestinian financial and economic markets are held captive by Israel, as well as practices that disadvantage Palestinian businesses, including through restrictions on movement, and administrative and legal constraints.

    According to the new report, companies active in the settlements are fully aware that they are abusing international law and contributing to violations of human rights.

    It also states that Israel labels all its export products as originating from Israel, including those wholly or partially produced in settlements. Some companies operating in settlements have been accused of hiding the original place of production of their products.

    The mission also notes that some businesses have pulled out of settlements because it harms their image and might entail legal consequences.

    The mission urges private companies to cease operating in the settlements and calls upon all Member States to comply with their obligations under international law and to assume their responsibilities in their relationship to a State breaching peremptory norms of international law – specifically not to recognise an unlawful situation resulting from Israel’s violations.

    The report also notes that private companies must assess the human rights impact of their activities and take all necessary steps – including by terminating their business interests in the settlements – to ensure they are not adversely impacting the human rights of the Palestinian People. The Mission calls upon all Member States to take appropriate measures to ensure that business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, that conduct activities in or related to the settlements respect human rights throughout their operations.

    http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/FFMSettlements.pdf

    Note item in bold.

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    @ Beelzebub

    Yes, let’s leave it. I don’t know whether Schiff financed Bolsheviks or not at the beginning of the 20th century and don’t care very much either. My point was merely that Mr Goss was in error when he once confidently asserted that Schiff financed Stalin….which seems unlikely given that Stalin was hardly a leading light in the party at the time. And my larger underlying point was that Mr Goss has a tendency to play fast and loose with the facts.

    So, although you are in the flames of Hell and I am ascended unto Heaven,….peace!
    :)

  90. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    “It also states that Israel labels all its export products as originating from Israel, including those wholly or partially produced in settlements. Some companies operating in settlements have been accused of hiding the original place of production of their products.”
    ___________________

    This issue has been kicked around in EU fora for at least a decade now (in the context of the EU-Israel Association Agreement). The practice is of course in the last resort, fraudulent but although everyone knows that it goes on, the Council and Commission have never seen fit to make a public issue of it, preferring instead to to “talk about” the matter with the relevant Israeli authorities. I will leave it to your imagination how effective that has been.

  91. The Angels must be passing overhead, given this silence.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti: In Total Silence The Mind Comes Upon The Eternal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7aLnJtZgyY

    Jiddu Krishnamurti – Why Are We So Separated In Society: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JNrvujpVFk

    Happy and peaceful weekend to all!

  92. The continuation of tragedy in Iraq (especially the pock-marked and genetic maelstrom, Fallujah) brings home the role of extremist religious attitudes and wars throughout history. Christian sect against sect, Islamic schisms, even Buddhist and Hindu, where focus on almost unmeasurable distinctions can lead to hysteria and mass murder for it’s own sake, leaves us with little to celebrate as members of the human race.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304027204579334790882001988?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304027204579334790882001988.html

    When Marx said religion is the opiate of the People, he forgot to suggest how they might OD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

  93. “I will leave it to your imagination how effective that has been.”

    Not very, is the short answer. That’s because the EU is afraid of Israel, just like most kids are afraid of the school bully.

    Is it inevitable that people stop being afraid, and speak out?

  94. Do you have these kind of MoFus in the UK as well? Un-flipping-believable.

  95. DeBlasio is the Second Coming for lib/dems, if that’s not an oxymoron, Daniel. He’s from NY so you know AIPAC has him by short hairs.

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    From Nevermind to Guano:

    ““I have often said that the Fascist tendencies of individual Muslims are excusable if they have been hung upside down, electrocuted in the private parts, beaten to pulp with cables, left in detention in a crowded cell for years.”

    Thanks for explaining your personal preferences in dealing with individual Muslims who don’t confer to your ideals,..”
    ___________________

    You’ve totally misunderstood what Guano was getting at as well as the intention of the sentence you quote.

    Dummkopf!

    Und ‘mal Klappe zu!

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