Deadly Fiasco

by craig on June 13, 2014 11:18 am in Uncategorized

The present problems of Iraq are 100% down to our murderous invasion and occupation. The idea that further western bombing will make things better is so deluded as to beggar belief.

I was surprised to find during my Burnes research that the imperialist powers of Britain and Russia were explicitly exploiting Sunni and Shia divisions to further their conquests of Islamic lands as early as the 1830’s. This has been the major tool of the neo-con Middle Eastern gameplan for some time, spreading disunity and crippling war throughout the Middle East, with the hope that this will benefit the interests of Israel.

The peculiar result has been that in general the West is very actively supporting Sunni armies and miscellaneous forces, but in Iraq is supporting the Shia. ISIS – which is heavily backed by the Saudis, who hate al-Maliki – brings this paradox into sharp relief. The current US and UK strategy is to persuade Saudi Arabia to get ISIS to reconcentrate their efforts against Assad, on the understanding they will be allowed to keep the Sunni areas of Iraq (the old neo-con plan of dividing Iraq is firmly back on the agenda).

The BBC News this morning said that ISIS would not be capable of using the billions of dollars of sophisticated western armaments they have captured. I think you will find the Saudis remedy that one quite quickly. It is quite possible we will see some token airstrikes to kill civilians in Mosul, in order to appease Obama’s domestic backers who are never happy if Americans aren’t killing enough people, but only after agreement has been reached with the Saudis that no serious harm will be done – except to the ordinary people neither Obama, the Saudis or al-Maliki care in the least about.

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  1. Apart from William Hague, BBC Radio 4’s guests all really laying in to Tony Blair this morning. David Starkey particularly damning. Looks like BBC news management’s charm offensive has failed.

  2. “Fred not been shown on the news at all anywhere in UK.”

    It’s on this BBC News broadcast at 5 minutes in.

  3. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 8:50 am

    What was particularly blameworthy of the BBC was giving material from Blair’s self-promoting website prominence in its original news bulletins. I can’t help wondering if the machine isn’t using the wide public distaste for anything advocated by Blair as a get-out clause to avoid getting in too deep in Iraq. Actually, I hope so.

    Johnson’s reported description of the latest turd on the doorstep as ‘unhinged’ is too mild, but true enough.

  4. BBC woman on the red sofa to Simpson in Baghdad about the executions carried out by ISIS which are all over the papers this morning.

    ‘Tell us more John about this atrocity, the worse that has happened in Iraq since Saddam was overthrown in 2003.’ !!!

    No mention by her of the US and UK atrocities in Iraq 2003 to date.

    After he did his piece in that world weary voice (think of all the wars I have witnessed) she signs off – Thanks very much John. That was John Simpson the BBC World Affairs Editor live from Baghdad’. Were not the viewers fortunate to hear the words of the sage?

    He thought the photos were genuine and had no reason to doubt their veracity………


    The Guardian view on the Iraq crisis: a case of blame and shame
    Posted by The Editors on June 16, 2014, 8:28 am

    In a nutshell: ‘If there has to be a hierarchy of blame for Iraq, however, it must surely begin with Saddam.’

    Surely! Only if the Guardian’s editors want to keep selling the right message to its audience.

    Yes, muted words are added about Western countries and the ‘deficiencies’ (sic) of the occupation. But that’s the liberal establishment for you.


    The ISIS slaughter if you want to see photos. Note Mr Roth of Human Rights Watch appears to praise them cf Maliki. Same old same old from him as with Syria.

  5. Blair is not ‘mad’ or ‘unhinged’. He is a psychopath. How many more times?

  6. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 8:57 am


    “Just as it is beyond doubt, Habby, who are the trolls on this site…”

    Thanks for that cogent and thoughtful response to my comment on the importance (or otherwise) of comments on this blog for developments in the real world.

    Faced with unpalatable truths, the reaction is either (1) ignore, or (2) shout “troll!”.

    Join the Monkey Brigade, Peacewisher. :)

  7. More surmising about the identities of Peter Kemp.I think you will find that Ba’al Zevul posts Monday to Friday.” Oh, OK, I hadn’t realised that some surmising had already taken place. Anyway : perhaps the Old Devil posts as Ba’al Monday to Friday and as Peter Kemp at weekends…..

    Nah, I’m from the Antipodes, twitter @peterkemplawyer don’t you guys ever google? :-)

  8. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 9:09 am

    Mr Goss

    ““Well, Mr Goss, whether people on this blog support or don’t support the democratic govt of Ukraine is completely unimportant.”

    That’s nonsense. It is very important for getting the real news out.”

    No, it’s common sense itself. Your belief about the importance of commenters on this blog reveals a disturbing degree of self-importance. It is also predicated on your belief that the “news” you provide is the only “real” news, and that is something that many light be inclined to query.

  9. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 9:48 am

    Take no notice of the interjections, Peter Kemp, wherever you’re from…they stopped googling when they couldn’t get nearer my nick than stone-age Canaan…

    You may find this help to plug the persistent assholes:


  10. Thanks peter Kemp for your modern reworking of if, adding a smile.
    Blair deserves everything he gets in his frantic re write of events.

    That the media is amplifying his sad excuses as if they are in trance, whilst he hold justice Chilcots choker and plays international meddler, is the saddest thing since the creation of Israel.

    Where is the journalists who is doorstepping Blair and writing about his and Jack Straws torture policies, the lazy and inhuman pre Iraq war planning, the chaos that was created by installing Maliki, rather than a balanced Government of all tribes.

    Just been on FB anmd saw the full on Hasbarra action that is ripping Harry Fears messages apart, these students are getting really busy trying to make out that Hamas has kidnapped these three youth, one who is a soldier. They must be in receipt of bonuses and extra shekels for whoever finds a trace of the three.

    I’m sure that Mossad is looking after them well.

  11. Fred I watched the BBC News last night and there was no mention of it. Even in the link you provide there was no footage of the overturned embassy cars or damage to the embassy, and it looks like it was marginalised at 1 pm. and not as far as I saw shown again. But you do not address the many civilians killed in Eastern Ukraine, or the refugee crisis. All this goes unreported – or marginalised.

  12. I think Habby the “many” you refer to are yourself, RD (ESLO), Kempe and Anon, which is not many.

  13. “But you do not address the many civilians killed in Eastern Ukraine, or the refugee crisis. All this goes unreported – or marginalised.”

    That is because I was addressing the statement you made:

    “All the main TV programmes and press outlets are so free that they do not cover important stories like RD’s fascists in Kiev attack on the Russian Embassy a day and a half ago.”

  14. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 10:24 am

    Brendan: I’ve yet to see a single neocon change his\her mind about the invasion. The facts speak for themselves, but still every neocon sticks by their position. I’ve no explanation for this, other than perhaps they have been advised to hold the line by their expensive lawyers. Or, they are scared of retribution …

    Third option – they’re conmen. Conmen actually believe the crap they’re telling/selling you, themselves. If they don’t they can’t sell it. Established FACT.

  15. More likely Brunei.

    CIA have just twisted the Sultan’s arm to join ISIS and establish Shari’ah. Problem is, you can’t build in certain areas for fear of upsetting the resident spirits/jinns.

    You establish monotheism but your people worship jinns. You establish Shari’ah because the CIA want an alternative to Diego Garcia for landing Jumbo jets.

    Life is so very complicated for the very very rich. And you have to entertain the world’s greatest twits.

  16. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Opinions vary. Probably because the situation is extremely unclear and complicated. Here’s Fisk on some of the convoluted background –

    This is what happens when the strongman regimes of artificially created ‘countries’ fall apart. Proximate cause: Blair-Bush…but ultimate cause, Sykes-Picot.

  17. John

    hello Boss. How are you? The trolls went for a training day last week. The main theme was, if you don’t understand the issues, just talk gibberish. They are polyfilla for the polytheists, ok for filling the odd small holes in the decor with wood-cells, but not up to plastering over the cracks in neo-con ideology. They get their info from leaflets in DIY shops.

  18. Courtenay is ‘Courtenay’. I believe ‘Courtney’ is a girl’s name! Just saying.

  19. Robert Fisk

    Always manages the to miss the nail so far as I’m concerned. last time it was when he was focusing his concern on the Shi’a shrines in Syria. “Bush and Blair said Iraq was a war on Islamic fascism. They lost”. No. That was the slogan of the War on Terror. We live now in a post Libya, post joint Al Qaida and USUKIS command. You can con some of the people some of the time.

    Islam arrived in the UK with the Enlightenment. It was the source of the Enlightenment. Just because the powers that be didn’t want a Pope in Rome giving them orders, didn’t mean they didn’t want themselves to be giving orders to the people of this realm. The Anglican church still considers itself fervently to be a Catholic religion i.e. top>down.

    Islam gives a furqan/standard, no spying, no lying at all, no stealing, no beheading innocent men women and children. That was a no no, so Islamic monotheism was mercilessly oppressed. The aspirations of Islam were recognised by everyone who had read the Bible, but the standard had to be destroyed or the powers that be would be finished.

    It was finished by the extremism of Puritanism and Calvinism. That is what the CIA has been using Al Qaida for for the last bloody 20 years of our lifetimes. UKUSIS want the world to start getting ready to put Islam in the bin.

    Millions of Muslims, but not the brothel creeping, i.e.gewads who grovel to the Government’s Prevent program and climb the slippery pole of UK politics by selling their fellow Muslims – are going to enjoy the Ramadhan Qur’an fest by reading and listening to the truth of the Qur’an.

    “Praise be to the One who sent the Book and has not made it crooked.” Robert Fisk is entitled to his opinion. I am quite clear that ISIS is a CIA scam. Or should I say Sham.

  20. Someone should start a new version of Fox’s Book of Martyrs ( a book I have re-bound for a customer and also own ) about the exploits of the CIA’s Al Qaida. Keep the masses scared and down!

  21. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Mr Goss

    “I think Habby the “many” you refer to are yourself, RD (ESLO), Kempe and Anon, which is not many.”

    Perhaps not, John, but as I’ve written before, there are at maximum 20 Excellences, of whom about half use this blog as a kind of private chatroom.

    That gives an Excellences-Disenters ratio of about 2:1, which isn’t that bad.

    Good enough to get you lot rattling the bars of your cage, anyway :)

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 11:50 am


    “Robert Fisk

    Always manages the to miss the nail so far as I’m concerned.”

    In that case, Guano, you could so worse than listen carefully to Ba’al Zevul or whatever The Commode calls himself these days.

    After all, there must be a solid bedrock of information and fact hiding under that lofty tone, that calm, assured manner and those intimations of superior knowledge.

    Musn’t there? :)

  23. The ‘excellences’ contribute by informing each other and maybe the readers who come here whereas the trolls contribute nothing except dissent and diversion.×300.jpg

  24. Some people like Fisk (who could be described as a liberal?) will not ever grasp the nettle.

  25. Sorry heeb I didn’t catch that. I don’t know if it was my fault, I’ve got an ear infection, or could you please put your teeth in.

  26. Mary. He grasps the nettle but he isn’t a Sunni Muslim so he laments the destruction of shrines. If one good thing happens in the next few days in Iraq it would be the total destruction of the Shi’a shrines at Kerbala and Nagef. Not to mention the Anglican shrines of Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. I’m coming to London God willing on Thursday if anyone wants to join in.

  27. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 12:15 pm

    “Bush and Blair said Iraq was a war on Islamic fascism. They lost”.

    He does seem to be out of the ballpark there. Bush used the term re. Hizb’ullah, not Iraq.

    Saddam was a good old-fashioned secular-style fascist. He had some idea of assuming the Caliphate mantle – as everyone in the region routinely does – but an Islamic fascist he wasn’t.

    Your own interpretation, Guano, admits that this isn’t a religious issue at all. It’s about power. It’s like a game of three-dimensional Northern Ireland, with seven or eight players. It’s ironic to think that the region in Ottoman times much more closely approached the globalists’ ideal: local tribalism ensuring that no-one got too united, a mobile workforce, endemic corruption ensuring an unregulated market, and the whole thing run for the benefit of merchants.

    The current batch of mad fundamentalists are the modern version of Timur Leng, and their religious affinities are very much secondary (they don’t seem to be averse to smartphones, for instance, despite the proscription of images and music). Unlike Timur, though, they don’t have a monolithic army, but a dispersed and very flexible one. A direct frontal assault is not going to be productive, and any further interference by the West is simply going to multiply the problems we have already created, even, occasionally, with the best of intentions.

    That’s where I bog down, and Fisk bogs down, and anyone with a halfway open mind bogs down, leaving the field clear for simplistic globalist cretins like Blair to repeat their mistakes. It would be better (horrific as the prospect is) IMO to declare a quarantine zone around the Middle East, pull the advisors* out, embargo arms as far as possible, and let the inhabitants sort it out themselves. What would emerge would either be radioactive glass, or a set of states bearing no resemblance either to what exists now or what the West would like to exist, but would in some sense be self-motivated to succeed.

    * except Blair, who should be bound, gagged and transported from combat zone to combat zone, with his family, until dead.

  28. AFM Aaronovitch is in retreat

    Events in Iraq raise concerns among fans of the most widely respected military leader the world has known since the stricken Colonel Sanders licked his fingers for the final time and expired. Armchair Field Marshal (AFM) the Lord David Aaronovitch, the bellicose Times columnist whose recent oeuvre offers such cheery headlines as 2010’s “Iraq has moved forward, it’s time we did too” – and last year’s “Now we know why we invaded Iraq” – seems to be in retreat.

    Although hopes of a full recantation proved naive, on Friday the AFM revealed that he declined an offer to explain the war’s transcendent success on a TV show, positing that further discussion of the matter would be “self-indulgent”, and citing his “straightforward lack of expertise”. However refreshing, this denial of his own omniscience comes a little late in the day, and the least this tenacious warmonger should do is debate in public. Perhaps George Galloway would care to test the limits of David’s courage under fire with an invitation. If the AFM vacated his trusty armchair for that, I believe the self-indulgence would be forgiven.

    What an individual! Have you got blood on your hands too Mr Aa?

  29. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    …welcome to Resource Wars ™

  30. Mary,

    ” Courtenay is ‘Courtenay’. I believe ‘Courtney’ is a girl’s name! Just saying.”

    Yes – he is Courtenay.

    The Americans most often spell it “Courtney”, but I am not American and am not of that gender.

    And indeed there is only one of me – on this blog and in the living flesh.

    Just saying.



  31. Ba’al

    Yes I believe it is about power – US power, with a lot of small politicalfry swimming round the shark, cleaning its teeth and scavenging.
    Because they are swimming round the shark, and not God, they get paid what God calls a miserable pittance, for serving the aims of the enemies of Islam.

    If the CIA/Daish win in Baghdad and go onto Saudi territory which may be USUKIS’s forward plan, then the Saudis are going to get a taste of their own medicine. Right now both Jordan with CIA agent Abu Qatada, and Saudi with CIA Prince Bandar are in the frame for Arab springisation. i.e. a big dog shaking those countries like a rat and banging their heads on the ground before letting them go again.

    It particularly annoys me when Jemand tries to portray this violence as part of the nature of Islam. The Muslims have been deceived into investigating philosophy in the past, and mysticism. Now they have been diverted into politics. Politics, like philosophy and mysticism are definitely not any part of Islam. If you go down these sidings, the track loops back into the jungle.

    Muslims are told to do good deeds and set a good example. The points have been changed. They need to reverse back up the track, change the points back and get out of the political siding. If I was Kurdistan, I would not accept Kirkuk on the back of US/Daish activities. I would be siding with Maliki against CIA/Daish and kicking the troublemakers out of the country. Also I would make sure that the suited Daish who have UK passports and live in London were put back on the plane and returned to their masters in USUKIS Chavy Land.

  32. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 1:27 pm

    Loved this…

    Just because you intervened in a Sunni-Shia row that’s been raging since the 7th century, removed the one unifying force in a nation of about six different ethnic groups, made a complete hash of the occupation which radicalised thousands and pulled out leaving us the 7th most corrupt nation in the world is no reason to beat yourself up.
    Saddam and his boys were utterly monstrous, and thanks to your £1.1trillion war we now have a bunch of new and interesting monsters to deal with.
    We’d love to introduce you to them if you ever come over this way.
    Hope you like the oil, and thanks for all the fundamentalists!

    Oh, yes.

  33. Much being made on the BBC News about this development.

    Drill free dentistry.

    The state broadcaster ended the report with the advice to maintain good oral hygiene but omitted to warn about consuming sugary foods and sugary drinks which contribute to dental caries

    There is no government action on this and in spite of the promises made earlier by Tory health ministers, nothing has happened. Are they supporting the Food Manufacturers’ lobby just like the line taken on Israel and Scotland Better Together.

    Here is one of those ministers at the Food and Drink Manufacturers Assn. introduced by who else Michael Buerk. Notice it’s all ‘voluntary’ for the manufacturers and up to the individual to take their own action.

    Some fizzy drinks contains 7 or 8 teaspoons of sugar btw.

  34. Fitness4London have put two comments below that video.

    As one leading academic in this field recently said: “Putting the food industry in charge of public health is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank” The 5 billion calories reduction target (and 1 billion alcohol unit reduction target) which Anne Milton proudly announces are a ludicrous charade. There are no effective regulatory measures in place to ensure these targets are met. There are no effective penalties for companies which fail to meet these targets. Total smokescreen.

    No wonder Britain’s health continues to get worse and worse, when government leaves it up to the food industry to lead the way to boosting public health. Anne Milton’s job title should be re-named: Parliamentary Under Secretary for Boosting the Profits of the Junkfood and Alcohol Industries. Her responsibilities include: removing statutory regulations that require reductions in saturated fat, salt, sugar, thus boosting the profits of companies which manufacture these addictive foods.

    PS Anne Milton is now a Junior Whip.

  35. This should help the situation greatly.

    ‘UN’s humanitarian chief Valerie Amos holds Iraq briefing

    The UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos is holding a news briefing about the Iraq crisis, along with those in Syria and Ukraine, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.’

    References to her in previous pieces by Craig.

    Mark Lyall Grant, referred to in the first one, was on the media yesterday doing some of his usual handwringing. I certainly would not buy a used car from him as the saying goes.

  36. TO ALL…

    I note that Boris read Craig’s blog – then – he scrolled down and saw my post and surprise! surprise! – look at what he concluded:-

    Johnson writing in The Telegraph on Sunday said that “I have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair has finally gone mad.”

    The sentence was incomplete – since he really meant to add and say: “…because not only do I now know – but Craig and Courtenay did fully convince me.”

    I guess that if B-liar did confess to the horrors that he caused in Iraq – he would be so distraught that the asylum would be the only place to contain and restrain him. He has truly gone bonkers.

  37. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    The Blair’s latest maunderings were issued on one of Blair Inc LC’s several websites, and it is unlikely the meejah would have noticed them had their attention been directed there by a Blair flunkey. However, Blair itself appears to have been in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, which accounts for the pathetically pro-Sunni-dictator, as opposed to anti-Sunni-insurgent tone of the piece.

    It’s also of passing interest that even the South China Morning Post failed to notice The Blair’s visit to China last week. Was it simply to meet Renzi? Or is he just finding new opportunities for Zurich Insurance?

  38. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 1:59 pm

    for ‘had’ read ‘unless’, above. Sorry.

  39. @

    15 Jun, 2014 – 1:47 pm
    Speaking of deluded, Anon…. one can see why.

    I’ve just listened to latest BBC TV news. Several minutes of Tony Blair (from Abu Dhabi) saying that current developments in Iraq not caused by the 2003 invasion and giving his opinions on what should now be done. ……

  40. The jury has been out for a long time??

    Jury in Rebekah Brooks trial retires to consider verdicts
    Eight-month trial over alleged phone hacking, corruption and perversion of the course of justice enters final phase

    Is betting on the outcome of a trial allowed?

  41. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 2:30 pm

  42. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Bley: v.i. To simultaneously bluster, lie and pray (ostentatiously)
    Bleyer: N. One who bleys.

  43. …. Infrastructure destroyed, puppet government appointed, balkanisation achieved, violent chaos sustainable indefinitely with minimal further input.

    …. Threat to Israel removed.

    Iraq is not a “failed Western intervention,” Iraq is “Western mission accomplished.”

  44. Petition to sack Tony Blair as Quartet Representative

    To the backers of Quartet Representative, Tony Blair:
    United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon;
    United States Secretary of State, John Kerry;
    Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov; and,
    High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton.

    Tony Blair does not represent us and we request that you remove him as Quartet Representative.

    [Your signature]

  45. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 2:52 pm


    Blair’s only interest in the project is personal aggrandisement.

  46. But Fred

    The statement you pretend to be addressing:That is because I was addressing the statement you made:

    “All the main TV programmes and press outlets are so free that they do not cover important stories like RD’s fascists in Kiev attack on the Russian Embassy a day and a half ago.”

    Includes other “important stories” like the ones you did not address. Care to address them? Or are you so supportive of our beloved MSM that nothing they say or do can be wrong?

  47. Courtenay, you’re a man, my son, as Kipling said.

    Guano, very witty about the polyfilla. It got me thinking about cracks, and filling them. But the image that might conjure among the non-eminences is too lurid to think about. :)

  48. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    …. Threat to Israel removed.

    Not yet. The one potential unifying factor on all sides, except perhaps the Kurds, is detestation of Israel. A crafty factional leader could play this card successfully. And I wouldn’t bank on the Kurds.

    Note also that ‘we’ve always been at war with Eastasia’, in Orwell’s words, is in the process of changing into ‘we’ve always been at war with the noble insurgents battling to topple Assad’ – in mine.

    Whoops. That’s the evil theocracy which wants to wipe poor-little-Israel from the map, right?

    Complicated, innit?

  49. A sanity helper script for Craig Murray’s blog. 100% effective and 100% safe. Hide comments by any person(s) of your choice.

    Get Your Goat Back With Habbabreak!

  50. The idea that Saudi Arabia is a friend of ISIS is news to me. Bin Laden was stripped of his Saudi citizenship precisely because the Saudi royal family disapproved of him. I doubt that ISIS can expect much sympathy from Riyadh if the Americans decide to use drone attacks against ISIS armies in their conflict with Maliki, and Iran may well connive at the matter.

    What a mess. Paul Bremer’s prevention of ex-Baath members from government employment contributed to it IMO.

  51. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Saudis aren’t too fussy about how their proxies remove Assad, (and neither, though their public profile is low at the moment, are the Israelis). They may not be friends of ISIS, but ISIS is well-supplied….

    Paywall. Or Google ‘saudi assad rebels’, and get the full cached version (URL of this is too long)

  52. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 3:47 pm


    “The ‘excellences’ contribute by informing each other and maybe the readers..”


    Yes, that’s what I said : there’s about 10 people who use this blog as a sort of chatroom (probably because a real chatroom wouldn’t have them).

    As for the “maybe the readers”, well, you could argue that spoon-feeding them all this “material” (for want of a better polite word) just makes them lazy and disinclined to find out things for themselves. And that would never do, would it.


    La vita è bella, life is great!

  53. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 3:50 pm


    “my fault, I’ve got an ear infection,”

    If that’s the only part of you that’s infected you’re doin’ good, boyo. :)

  54. ISIS is a put up job. Guano is right. This is the next phase of the Syria campaign. It’s got nothing to do with Iraq. I imagine this new stronger ISIS is made up largely of the people and weapons left behind in Jordan by those two recent US “exercises”, supplemented by Saudi and/or Qatari personnel and cash.

    They’re getting hammered in Syria but, all of a sudden, ISIS manage to take a huge swath of northern Iraq? How is that possible?

    The US will set up a “safe zone” or some such bullshit on the Iraq/Syria border once they’ve bombed the crap out of the desert and that’s how they’ll open another front. It will also help block Iranian support for Assad coming through Iraq.

    Not a peep on Auntie today about who funds ISIS or where they get their weapons from.

  55. Ba'al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!)

    16 Jun, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    If this is US policy, it will inevitably blow back on them, whether physically or diplomatically. It always does. An unstable, well-armed, guerilla-infested countryside is not a good environment for oilwells.

  56. Ba’al Zevul (Ah Shaddupa Your Face!) 16 Jun, 2014 – 4:13 pm

    If this is US policy, it will inevitably blow back on them, whether physically or diplomatically. It always does.

    For example ….?

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Jun, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    “If this is US policy, it will inevitably blow back on them, whether physically or diplomatically.”

    Another lofty dictum, issued to the masses by the temporary tenant of Mt Olympus?

  58. A Node,

    ” For example.?”

    Erm….The Iraq War in 2003?

  59. @John Goss

    You made a statement which was not true.

    I knew it was not true because I had seen the incident reported on the BBC web site including video obviously taken from a BBC News bulletin.

    I pointed this out because I believe it is better if people form their opinions based on reality not fantasy.

    End of story.

  60. Don’t ‘they’ love their silly acronyms. Take TTIP for example. The TRADE AND TRANSATLANTIC, TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP.



    Take action. Stop it happening.

    Read all about it. John Hilary, War on Want. He is an excellent man.

    38 Degrees are seeking donations to run a big campaign. Their e-mail today says:

    ‘Dave, a 38 Degrees member from Minehead in Somerset says “it’s absolutely essential that we campaign on this”. And tens of thousands of other 38 Degrees members agree – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is disastrous and together we have to do all that we can to stop it going through as it is.

    TTIP is a hugely influential trade deal between the US and the EU. 38 Degrees members recently voted to prioritise stopping the part of the deal which lets businesses sue governments that introduce new laws that could damage their profits. This is already happening in other countries. Right now the Australian government is being sued by a tobacco company after introducing laws banning branding on cigarette packets.

    Sounds sinister right? It really is. And, unsurprisingly, negotiations over TTIP are shrouded in secrecy. The deal’s being thrashed out right now by politicians and corporate lobbyists behind closed doors.

    So if we’re going to beat this thing together, first thing’s first – we need to bring TTIP into the open. Let’s get TTIP out of secret negotiations, and into public conversation. We need to cause a massive public outcry to stop this trade deal from sliding under the radar.

    Let’s create hard-hitting ads and splash them all over the country. From full page spreads in newspapers, to bus stops and billboards. The 38 Degrees staff team will work with an agency to come up with a brilliant design, and we’ll make sure it’s seen everywhere.

    Together we can stop global corporations running our government and ruining our planet. Can you chip in a few pounds now to help fund a massive, people-powered ad campaign across the country?

    TTIP would put the profits of big business ahead of everything else. It would weaken the rules which protect consumers, our environment, our welfare and health services, to much weaker levels seen in the USA. And it would stop future governments from rolling back privatisation of our public services, such as the NHS, energy companies, or the Royal Mail.’

  61. I think I got carried away there with the word Trade.

    It is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    Further reading:

  62. No Fred, it is you who are wrong. And it is not the end of the story. The BBC has failed, and failed miserably, to report so many goings on in Eastern Ukraine you might forgive somebody for having missed one marginalised report of an incident in Kiev. It’s a bit like The Boy Who Cried “Wolf”. The wolf, or in this case report, was not expected. So do you think it is right that the BBC, for which most of us pay licence fees, should not report the killing of innocents? That’s what I think you’re trying to say. Am I right?

  63. A Node,

    ” For example?”


  64. Jives and John Goss,

    I would say that your examples are cases of “objective achieved” rather than plans gone wrong. I have to go out now but I’ll answer in more detail later.

  65. @Mary: Great that Boris is back on side. Do you remember his campaign with Adam Price – when he was editor of New Statesman) to get Blair impeached? I seem to remember that he then got sent to Basra.

    @Mike: Plenty on the radio 5 phone in this morning… contributors almost unanimous in blaming Saudi (and the West) for funding ISIS.

    Just as a lot of people are still deluded about US as an infinitely benign empire, a lot of otherwise good people remain deluded about Blair because they are devoted to the Labour Party, and therefore hooked onto one of their former leaders emotionally. But when such people turn against him… THEN he’d better watch out!

  66. @Patrick: Good for you, but you/we need to try harder with that petition. Only 32 signatures so far. Needs a shorter link…

  67. The bees and the other pollinating insects will just love Lord de Mauley’s ‘Agri Tech Strategy’. It should finish them off for good once the GMOs are introduced and us too. Waaay! Monsanto and Cargill here we come.

    A Lancashire farmer directs attention to DEFRA’s Lord de Mauley: responsible for GM crops

    Lord de Mauley Eton of course. Don’t you just love his one liner. Why isn’t he in the DWP with IDS ffs?.
    ‘On 6 October 2013, he expressed his opinion that the poor should “learn to go without”.’,_7th_Baron_de_Mauley
    Wonder what ‘releases into the environment’ are or consist of?

  68. doug scorgie

    16 Jun, 2014 - 7:33 pm

    16 Jun, 2014 – 2:14 pm

    “The jury has been out for a long time”

    The longer a jury is out the more likely a not-guilty verdict.

  69. Is Blair being set up to take a fall.

    Mainstream media coverage of him over the past few years has been very negative, including highlighting his dosh, and the peeps increasingly encouraged to bay at him at will.

    Lately even his stoutest previous defenders are nowhere to be seen.

    And there’s still Chilcot to come.

    I doubt even the redactions will save whatever reputation he has left.

    Any withdrawal of lucrative contracts would be very indicative of his future, and anyway, having a leader from our own side appearing at The Hague would show that we’re still the good guys, right.

    Is it really true he uses that same jet all the time.

    Dear, oh dear. I think a bit of lower profile and varying of movements might be in order during this difficult time.

  70. Not necessarily, Doug:

    “Twelve Angry Men”

  71. Have to disagree there, Herbie. The BBC are still protective towards him [despite what he and Alistair Campbell did to them…]

  72. Peacewisher

    Maybe, but his outing on Marr was presented by a stern-faced Marr as Blair having serious questions to answer, and this article presents all the mainstream criticisms of him:

    There’s definitely a shift.

    Previously such warts would not have been mentioned so openly.

    If Tony Blair is to be scapegoated, then the BBC will have to find a way of making reasonable their change from hagiography to outright criticism.

    They’d typically do this by pretending that there is now new information of which they were previously unaware, and that would fit with the above presentations.

    But, we’ll see.

  73. Mary’s comments at 6.05pm on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)are not on the main theme of Craig’s original post but raise a hugely important subject. So, Craig: grateful for your thoughts – in a separate posting – on these opaque negotiations which will have huge impacts on every part of GB and NI, whether united or separated and even whether in or out of the EU.

    As well as the excellent John Hilary paper to which Mary gave a link, I recommend:

    A)the article in Le Monde Diplomatique from December 2013 ;

    B) Contributing to the 38 Degrees publicity campaign [I’ve done so];

    C) Writing to MPs (constituency or on relevant select committees/ APPGs) urging them to ask PQs about the unacceptable secrecy of these negotiations [I am just about to do so].

  74. The Medialens Editors have just produced this piece.

    Blair: Bombing Iraq Better. Again

  75. @Herbie: Do you really think so?

    Do you remember all those previous occasions when Blair was lambasted a little in the media, and then exonerated just as things were getting interesting. I am surprised that Boris was so outspoken this morning, but he’s losing popularity because of the water cannon… this could just be his attempt to shore up his position (and speak his mind!).

    PS I hope you’re right!

  76. @Mary. It’s worse than that… bombing Iraq AND Syria better. Perhaps he needs another visit to warmongers anonymous.

  77. Mary

    I do wish you’d get your own blog. The subject is Iraq and ISIS, about which you have relatively little to say. So you fill in with Palestinian children, GM crops, drill free dentistry, Rebekah Brooks, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Not forgetting a “melancholy song sung by Judith Durham”.

    You do know you can get a free blog at And they’ll even design it for you. All you need to do is put in text. Which with copy and paste can be done in the blink of an eye.

    And since you’re so keen to keep Craig ‘informed’, you could post a link to your blog occasionally here. Or email him.



    “Iraq blowback: Isis rise manufactured by insatiable oil addiction”

    West’s co-optation of Gulf states’ jihadists created the neocon’s best friend: an Islamist Frankenstein

    Nafeez Ahmed in the Guardian


    and did someone mention ISIS wearing balaclavas?

    The other odd thing is that they’re driving almost identical pick-up trucks, even down to colour-coordination.

    As seen here

    and in various videos.

    Col Morris Davis seems to think they’re all Fords

    So did they steal them or were they provided for them?

  78. Peacewisher. I have no time at all for Johnson. He is a Tory of the worst type. Have you ever seen him in action at County Hall? He just walks over everyone including the chair.

    The Medialens editors sum him up:

    Ah, this time it really will be a ‘liberation’, whereas last time, as even London mayor Boris Johnson notes:

    ‘It looks to me as though the Americans were motivated by a general strategic desire to control one of the biggest oil exporters in the world…’

    Johnson, who voted for the war and describes it as merely a ‘tragic mistake’, is concerned not with the criminality and bloodshed but the ability to sell wars in future:

    ‘Blair is now undermining the very cause he advocates – the possibility of serious and effective intervention.’

  79. I see we have a new ”Resident Inviligator’. I will continue to post, Craig and the moderators permitting, thanks. Hope my punctuation is satisfactory now. I have a long memory!

  80. I dont trust BoJo at all.

    Beneath a veneer of blundering buffoonery lurks a deeply political operator and right wing idealogue.

    Everything he does is calculated despite the foppish charade.

  81. You love to sound ‘courageous’, Mary.

    What a pity you didn’t have the courage to give Resident Dissident a full answer when he/she asked if you post at the Medialens message board. The answer you gave Macky at Squonk, when he/she asked if you’d really been “hounded off” that board.

    I have an excellent memory too.

  82. 383 reasons why Blair has been protected… the Labour and Conservative MPs who voted for war with Iraq, who would also be war criminals. Yes, Mary, you’re right, I’m wrong, Boris was one of them. So was that nice trades unionist chappie Alan Johnson.

  83. I do not post on the Medialens Message Board. Would a sworn affidavit do not that it’s any of yout f’ing business what I do and where.

  84. Dreoilin

    Who knows much about Iraq? The takeover of Mosul appears to have been done with collusion between Washington and Tehran. As with all events in the last 20 years the devious machinations of the Zionists take a long time to be understood by non-devious minds.
    Thanks for the link to Nafees Ahmad. Very well informed, but no clues as to why it’s in Maliki’s interests to give in to Washington’s revision of the boundaries plans.

    What does Iran get out of this deal?

  85. Terror alerts, 9/11-style bombings and murders of British citizens will soon come to London’s streets, according to chilling threats from UK citizens fighting alongside Islam’s most violent terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq.

    The threat comes from British nationals fighting for the Sunni militant group calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) in Syria. According to the Sunday Times, they promise that after they’re done there, Britain is next. The message comes from three such fighters, all youngsters in their teens and twenties.

  86. The $750m US embassy in Baghdad. Plans are being made to evacuate it.

    Note the initials KBR on the suggestion box. Kellogg Brown Root, once a subsidiary of Halliburton, are the contractors who took a fortune off the US taxpayers in Iraq.

  87. Interesting article, Mark, and even more interesting comments. The decision to embroil the UK in Middle Eastern power politics (which started with “arms for Iraq”), looks stupider and stupider. What will the history books have to say about Thatcher and Blair, I wonder…

  88. “Would a sworn affidavit do, not that it’s any of yout f’ing business what I do and where.”

    You write something on a blog, Mary, it’s accessible to everyone on the internet (unless the blog has been made private.) It stops being your business and becomes everyone’s. Sorry to tell you.

    I found it very interesting that you were pushed off Medialens for talking about Jews (one assumes repeatedly) since there are more than a couple of people here who find your concentration on Jewish people OTT.

    But I’ll let people read it for themselves.



    “but no clues as to why it’s in Maliki’s interests to give in to Washington’s revision of the boundaries plans.”

    Who said it was? I didn’t see Nafeez Ahmed saying that. I’m sure Maliki is depending on Iran to prop him up.

    I find it funny that Iran having offered to help the USA in stopping ISIS, the USA has already stated that such talks will be on the ‘periphery’ of nuclear talks. They need Iran, but want to hive off any such help from nuclear negotiations.

    The Yanks don’t do irony.

  89. Boris is certainly elitist. He’s managed quite well at making comedy of it, but it’s there. He just can’t bear oiks.

    Remember that Blair is disliked not only for Iraq, but for NI too. There’s many a score yet to settle on that nasty business.

    Boris, when he edited The Spectator, was majorly critising Blair’s settlement. Many others from the right too. Old Tories, not the new Right. And he was involved in pushing some spookie characters to that purpose. So, there’s history.

    Anyone remember Darius Guppy. Stress on the “i”.

    They’re so up’emselves.

    Blair has managed to annoy left, right and centre. He’s about the only one who can unite the UK, across the board. They should wheel him out for the Better Together campaign.

    I’m sure that much media coverage of late has not been to his liking, and there’s Chilcot to come. He’s just too much in the news for all the wrong reasons. And then there’s all that stuff about his houses and him swanning about the world’s largest yachts and all the rest of it. Even Wendi Deng has the hots for him. In earlier years there was the FI/Tobacco scandal, his first, then the Berlusconi stuff, and his love for rich friends and their holiday homes, when he was still relatively poor. Then there was all that stuff about Carole Caplin and her ex-boyfriend and weird birthing gloopiness and questioned property deals.

    He’s not being presented as an elder statesman for sure.

    But yeah certainly. It could all be wishful thinking.

  90. ‘Lately even his stoutest previous defenders are nowhere to be seen.’

    FYI Herbie, Armchair General Aaronovitch surfaced on Newsnight earlier this evening as an ‘expert witness’ in Blair’s defence’.

  91. An interesting interview; “It is cheaper to buy a congressman instead of a tank, the congressman will supply the tank with the US soldiers to fight the war they are ordered to”

    The crushing of Lee Kaplan – a uniquely pathetic Hasbara mouthpiece.

    What a tangled web;

    Saddam Hussein’s Generals Fighting with Jihadist ISIS Insurgency

    Fact that Izzat insulted the Saudis; “cursed, the moustaches of the lot of them” (highest insult to to a man among Arabs) as he did in his last appearance in the Arab League meeting before the fall of Iraq.

    However the Saudis are still bank rolling him along with the ISIS/L in a last ditch attempt to push their preferred method of reactionary governance.

    Billy fourteen pints keeping up with the events is droning on about Iranian Nukes no one faxed him the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual nuclear forces data,

  92. ‘I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the Government.’ RIP Robin Cook

    He knew his life was in danger.. He told me so.

  93. Well. OK. As an onlooker I do think that there’s an over-arching,as they say, narrative here, and it’s one in which Iraq stands alongside dentists, and the TPP, and GM. It’s the rule of corporate nonsense against sense; the rule of insanity against sanity. Of course bombing Iraq, again, makes no sense. The Guardian readership have shot that attempt down in flames already. Of course GM, and the arguments for it, in a world of waste, makes no sense. Of course the TPP is a destructive, rigged, anti-human stitch-up – by all the accounts which have managed to get out.

    If this blog is more than the thoughts of one person – which one assumes it is – then there’s surely space, as a current affairs commentary, for those reminders. They all seem quite urgent to me, anyway. And while the ridiculousness and horror of another attack on Iraq is getting quite a lot of coverage, the latest ruling on GM, and the TPP, are not.

    It may well be that off topic posts are diluting the main message – and possibly preventing action. Are they?

    Anyway, I do understand where the other posts are coming from, and I have noticed an increasing lack of focus (can you have an increasing lack of focus?) on Jewish connections, about which I am quite happy (understatement).

    But I also think the questions asked about ISIS – who the hell are they? why are they all dressed the same? where is their equipment and funding coming from? – are the most interesting and intelligent I’ve seen asked about the whole affair.


  94. Richard Alan Jones still has the final word for me, though:

    So let me get this right. We support the Iraq government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like. We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him. We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS. So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less, and all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out. I think I’ve got it.

  95. “(Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Congress on Monday the United States was deploying up to 275 military personnel to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the country’s embassy in Baghdad after militants seized control of the north of the country.

    “This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat,” Obama said in a letter to lawmakers. “This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”

    “The president said he was notifying Congress under the War Powers Resolution.”

    Only 275? John McCain will have a heart attack.

  96. Yes, Richard Alan Jones deserves the “comment of the month” award.

  97. Technicolour,

    “It’s the rule of corporate nonsense against sense; the rule of insanity against sanity.”

    Thats as succinct and accurate an assessment of this last woeful decade or so that ive read anywhere.


  98. Thanks, OldMark.

    That’ll be fun to watch.

    My own view is that fatty acts the buffoon.

    It’s just a gig.

    He’s a comedian, of Shakespearian proportions.

    Watch him and Andrew Neil with Alex Jones or watch him with George Galloway. It’s a performance.

    I simply can’t see that Blair has had a good press of late, and not for quite some time. Remember that he’s negatively presented with regard to the Gadaffi “rehabilitation” too.

    You just have to assess it from a marketing perspective. That’s what it’s all about, afterall.

    When some Labour bod said recently that “Tony is toxic”, he meant that his brand is toxic.

    That’s it!

    Media is down on him. For all his good works and Catholic conversion and private meetings with the Pope, the media is presenting him in a negative light.


    Oh yeah, and who is advising him on media strategy.

    Not very good, are they.

    The marketing of the Blairs was based very much on the Clintons, a clever husband and wife team that you suspected ran the country together, from their bedroom, passion and refection in equal measure, all real feeling human beings.

    That’s how it began…

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