30 December 2005
Attacking Chavez Frias the old, old way.
Once again middle class types are trying to sow discord. The latest is my old mate Norman Geras, who had these amusing things to say about me some time ago. I must be honest and say that I take it as a tribute when middle class filth attack me - it shows that I am doing something right with my life. There is a saying on the left that you can tell when you are doing the right thing because the bosses' newspapers start screaming abuse at you. The blogworld is clearly the same, so getting my leg nibbled by one of these creatures is something that I take pride in. I would be very fucking worried if any two-legged cockroach ever praised me, that's for sure.
Norm's trick is to look for anti-semitism everywhere - if you have read the link above, you can see that he did it with me. Now he's doing it to the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frias. Clearly some bloke living on his uppers in Mexico is not in the same category as one of the men who is currently overseeing the destruction of capitalism in a whole country, but that's not the point. I consider myself honoured that I have received the same smear tactic as Chaves Frias
This is what the Venezuelan President said, first in Spanish and then my translation:
El mundo tiene para todos, pues, pero resulta que unas minorias, los descendientes de los mismos que crucificaron a Cristo, los descendientes de los mismos que echaron a Bolivar de aqui y tambien lo crucificaron a su manera en Santa Marta, alla en Colombia. Una minoria se adeuño de la riquezas del mundo. . .
The world has enough for everyone, but it turns out that some minorities, the descendents of those who crucified Christ, the descendents of those who turfed Bolivar out of here and who then crucified him, in a way, up in Santa Marta, over in Colombia. A minority that are the owners of all the riches in the world. . .Now, it should be obvious to anyone who isn't a complete cunt that the Jews did not kill Simon Bolivar. Chavez Frias was talking about two revolutionaries who were killed by the ruling classes of their respective societies. Earlier in his speech, on page 16 to be exact, he had spoken of the "true Christ" who was the "first socialist of our era . . . and that is why he was crucified."
So why is Norm playing this trick? My feeling is that the middle class filth are scared. They can sense that defeat for the odious system that has given them so many baubles is coming. From Iraq to Venezuala, via France, the peoples of the world are slowly but surely giving globalised capitalism a serious shagging, and types like Norm will do anything to hold onto the pathetic little scraps that their bosses have tossed them. Thus the whinge that Chavez Frias is anti-semitic is just a ploy. Chavez Frias is taxing the middle class vermin into the ground: that is what these creatures are afraid of - that we might get the same idea.
What that world will look like when this is all over I have no idea. I will just be so pleased to see the denizens of Hale Barnes, Bramhall and Withington - all scumbag zones in Manchester - reduced to the level where they have to send their daughters out to suck dick on the streets. What we build after that is up to us. Again, using Manchester as an example, the future belongs to Ancoats, Miles Platting and Moss Side. At least we shall have the chance to get our factories open again, and we can ensure that our children do not have to suffer the insolence that we had to endure as the scum of England pissed on us.
Update: It will be noted that Geras has backtracked on his posting and is now trying to wriggle his way out of the charge of anti-Semitism. He hasn't linked to this posting, which must mean that he hasn't read it. If he had read it and had declined to link that would make him an ignorant cunt, wouldn't it?
Going home for January
I shall be away from Mexico from today, the 30th December, to the end of January 2006. Have a great New Year and let's hope that 2006 is the year that sees the final defeat for imperialism.
Updating this blog is going to be very difficult next month. The house where I am staying in London does not have the internet so I will rely on internet cafes and the like. I shall try to update on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but I can't promise anything like the service that as been provided since the blog began.
I have already written the postings for the first week of January, and a provisional listing looks like this:
Monday, 2nd January: Man of the Year (If I can find an internet cafe that is open on a bank holiday.)
Wednesday, 4th January: 'Monger of the Month. (Held over in case changes have to be made, due to the last minute offerings of another idiot.)
Friday, 6th January: December's Gloat.
From the second week in January, it really is a case of wait and see what happens.I have pretty much been out of the UK since 1992, so spending a month in London will give me a chance to look at things with an outsider's eye. I shall try and post my thoughts on what has changed in the UK during January, but that is not a promise, as I have many things to do.
Cull rate mounts in Afghanistan
Following on from my recent comments about guerrilla war, I see that the cull in Afghanistan reached 99 for the year 2005. Not a lot, you might think, and certainly that is what the hand-shandyists for war will tell you. A total of 259 dead and a few million dollars down the toilet is not going to force the Americans to leave that country.
However, that is not the point of guerrilla warfare. The point is to keep the war going. The Americans lost 48 troops in 2002 and the same number in 2003. By 2004 it had climbed to 52 and last year it reached 98. So the trend is upwards and the war shows no signs of ending.
The Americans have occupied Afghanistan for just over four years. Are they up for another four years? How about 40 years?
This is how such wars are won. Eventually the conventional side decides that it has had enough and it takes its troops home. The guerrillas come out of the mountains and occupy the cities. Collaborators get the chop. Victory goes the the side that lasts the longest, and that is almost always the guerrillas.
29 December 2005
British police get new powers of arrest.
This is insanity: as of the 1st January 2006 the British police will get sweeping new powers of arrest. Basically, as things stand, the police are only supposed to arrest for offences that carry a five year prison term. That will change next month when the police will have the power to arrest for pretty anything and everything.
The problem is that if you give the police more powers they will abuse them: it's in the nature of the creatures that seek this type of work. When Walter Wolfgang, 82, was ejected from the Labour Party's conference earlier this year, he was then prevented from returning by the police who cited the Terrorism Act to him. This is what the police are like. They are recruited from the ultra-conformist section of the working class and they just love giving grief to the rest of us.
It is not as if the police do not have enough powere to harrass and irritate people as it is. These new measures are akin to sticking a club on the end of a cruise missile. Why has NewLab done it? Probably to garner a few nasty votes from a few nasty people who live in the nastier suburbs. People who should be voting Tory, in other words.
As with so much that NewLab has done, I feel like weeping.
28 December 2005
Juan Cole attacks what he calls "ten myths about Iraq". The only one that I take issue with is this:
3. The guerrillas are winning the war against US forces. The guerrillas are really no more than mosquitos to US forces. The casualties they have inflicted on the US military, of over 2000 dead and some 15,000 wounded, are deeply regrettable and no one should make light of them. But this level of insurgency could never defeat the US military in the field.
This is true, but it is also not important. No guerrilla force can win against a conventional force. The French were not defeated on the Algerian battlefield, and their losses in the eight-year war only amounted to about 20,000 dead. What happened in Algeria is that the conflict spread to metropolitan France and the political costs of continuing the war were greater than the political costs of recognising Algerian independence. What was true of Algeria was also true of most of the other colonial conflicts that led to independence for the countries of Asia and Africa.
So, does this mean that the guerrillas are losing the war militarily? No, because the role of the guerrilla is to avoid defeat, recruit more guerrillas and keep the war going. If the guerrillas can do that, then victory will come to them sooner or later. The Americans may vow to stay the course, but if the guerrillas keep fighting they will outlast them in the long run.
Guerrilla wars, by the way, are always won in the long run.
27 December 2005
The story is told. . .
|The story is told about the night that George Brown was guest of honour at the Venezuelen Embassy in London. This was the late 1960s and Brown, who was one of the great piss-heads of the day, was British Foreign Secretary at the time.|
The band struck up a merry tune and Brown, realising that he was the guest of honour, decided that it was a waltz and that he had better lead off the dancing. Across the room his blurry eyes could just make out a beautiful figure dressed all in red, so he staggered over to do his duty.
"Beautiful lady in red, may I have the honour of this waltz? he asked.
The person thought for a moment, and then replied that this was not possible, and for three reasons:
"First, because you are disgustingly drunk. Second, because this is not a waltz, it is the Venezuelen National Anthem. Third, because I am not a beautiful lady in red, I am the Papal Nuncio."
They don't make 'em like George Brown anymore.
26 December 2005
Official version of Pres. Saddam Hussein's capture is "fiction"
Nadim Abou Rabeh, a former marine of Lebanese descent, has claimed that the official version of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's capture was a fabrication. He was actually taken on the 12th December 2003 and not the day after as the Americans officially claim.
The president was actually living in a small house, and not a hole in the ground. Furthermore, when the American unit arrived, the President helped mount a fierce resistence that led to the death of one marine. He only surrendered when the American unit, which contained eight Arabic speakers, shouted to him that further resistence was futile.
I have no idea if this story is true or not, but clearly it would be in the interests of the aggressors to present their enemy as cowering in a hole, instead of blasting away with a weapon at his country's enemies.
|Two American soldiers were culled on Christmas Eve and a further Two died today, Christmas Day. Bring 'em on, I suppose. Last year no American soldiers died on either of these two days, so probably the Iraqis have decided that this year the crusaders need to be reminded that there is no Christmas break for the dogs of war.|
24 December 2005
Christmas in Mexico
It is now Christmas Eve and time for a short posting on the differences between Christmas in the UK and here in Mexico.
Tonight in the UK the pubs and clubs will be heaving with late night revelry. On Christmas Day people will eat their meal in the early afternoon, and probably watch the Queens Address at 3.00pm. Then they will nod off until bed-time, because everything is closed, so there is nowhere to go even if you wanted to go out.
Mexico is very different. The Christmas meal is eaten on the night of the 24th. By 6.00pm tonight, just about everywhere will have closed, including the bars and cantinas. The large family groups will be gathering and the men will be gettng seriously plastered while the women prepare the meal. Most will eat at midnight, but that is too late for us as the children will have fallen asleep, so we eat at about 9.00pm. I try and keep everything as English as possible, apart from the ludicrous eating hour. We will have turkey and imported Christmas Pudding as always.
Christmas Day here is rather like Boxing Day in the UK. People go to visit family members , just as they will in the UK on the 26th. Even after all these years I still find Christmas a strange experience over here!
Well, I suspect that the kids will have plans for me tommorow, so blogging may be light or non-existant. I wish all of you a very merry Christmas, and I will be back on Boxing Day with more postings.
23 December 2005
Evo Morales faces his first problem: what happened to Bolivia's air defence missiles?
President-Elect Evo Morales of Bolivia met the outgoing President Eduardo Rodriguez to discuss the handover of power yesterday. However, the new President faces a problem with the USA even before taking office. Put simply, what happened to Bolivia's air-defence missiles?
The country had 28 or 30 Chinese built HN-SA hand-held anti-aircraft missiles that seem to have vanished from the military's arsenal. By all accounts they were stolen by the American Embassy with the conivence of Bolivian military officers, during May or June of this year. It is reported that they were taken aboard an unmarked C-130 transport aircraft and removed from the country.
When Evo Morales first made these allegations last month, the Bolivian army claimed that the missiles had been disposed of as part of an "annual disposal of obsolete equipment," and the army also claimed that the weapons were still in the country. However, army reports which were released this month show that the missiles, which cost Bolivia about £1,000,000, were well-maintained and had ten more years of service left in them.
At this point I fully expect some idiotic hand-shandyist for war to write in and tell me that 30 missiles will not protect anyone from the American armed forces. Don't bother, lads, because I know this. Besides, it's not the point.
The point is that the theft proves that the United States has pretty thoroughly infiltrated the Bolivian army. Should a future President Morales act against America's interests, and he has already said that he will, then the Americans can remove him as they have done so many before him. They would not need to send in the marines, they could set the scene as they did in Chile and then leave it to the locals to do their dirty work for them.
Ths is where thirty missiles will come in handy because when the Chilean traitors attacked La Moneda, the presidential palace on the 11th September 1973, all they faced was a small presidential guard armed only with light weapons. The air force could bomb the building at will, and President Salvadore Allende Gossens was forced to commit suicide rather than surrender.
Think what thirty anti-aircraft missiles could have achieved in Santiago that day! They could have bought time for the President to leave the palace and rally his forces elsewhere. A coup that succeeded would have become a civil war that the left could have won.
Just the act of buying time might have led to the collapse of the coup as it did in Venezuela in 2002. During those chaotic days, President Hugo Chavez Frias was able to write a letter which he gave to a private soldier. This man then smuggled it out and faxed copies around the country. Thousands of photocopies were made of it and they were then distributed in working class districts. It helpled galvanize the government's supporters and led to the collapse of the coup, but it would not have happened had Chavez Frias not managed to buy some time.
So, Morales has two problems. The first is that he cannot trust the army and the second is that the weaponry that might allow him precious time to avoid the antics of coup-mongers has been sold off to the people who will most likely be behind any coup. At the very least President Morales needs a guard that he can trust, and one that is armed with the best light weaponry that his country can afford. Let us hope that his first act will be to quietly send some trusted young men to Cuba for a spot of training.
22 December 2005
No arrests at carol service
Yesterday's carol service went off without a hitch, as the police kept a low profile.
Photographs and a report are here, and Rachel from North London has added her comments here. She makes the point that even though the police chose to present the event as a service, it was actually a demonstration that breached the law.
Let's start from the beginning, shall we? In the comments to this essay, a lady named Susanna came along and told me that I needed a feed. A certain Comandante Gringo told her that I had a feed. Did this mean that I was full? I had no idea what either of them was blathering about.
People, I was born in the days when radio was called wireless. A wireless was a large, heavy box, often made out of Bakerlight, that sat in the corner of the living room. It had valves inside and took about two minutes to warm up. I was four years old in 1960 when we got our first TV set. It could receive two channels. That was all that broadcast in the UK in those days.
The computer that I am using to generate text on at the moment is not a box with electronics inside. It is a magical device that is powered by angels and demons. I feel that I should sacrifice a small animal to it, otherwise it may stop working.
Now then, I have created two feeds and put the links to them up on the right hand side of the main page - they are just below my usual links. One is Atom and the other is RSS. I have no idea whatsoever what they do, nor I do not know which gods have to be placated to make them work.
However, they are there, so use them at your own risk and do not come running to me if the dark forces inside them try to steal away your souls.
21 December 2005
Osama? Saddam? What's the difference?
And guess what happened? Saddam ...Osama bin Laden changed his behaviour. He began to change how he communicated. We're at war. And we must protect America's secrets.
Well, what's the difference? Osama, Saddam: real men who helped defend Texas from the evil Vietcong all those years ago don't quibble. They just split the difference and aim for the towel.
Parliament Square carol service, tonight, 6.00pm
There will be a carol service tonight, the 21st December, in Parliament Square, London, starting at 6.00pm. All are welcome.
Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005.
This act was basically introduced to get rid of Brian Haw, who has been living and protesting in the square since June 2001. It failed, because the Blairites managed to draft the thing badly, and Brian Haw is still giving grief to them on a daily basis. However, it has been used to convict other protesters, such as Maya Evans, 25, who was convicted for reading out the names of the British victims of Blair's war against Iraq. Remember, make sure that you are in a crowd if you want to protest in Blair's Britain, these days.
20 December 2005
We are number 24 at Blog Top Sites
This blog has now reached number 24 in the politics section of Blog Top Sites. A total of 618 blogs are listed under that heading. The previous high point was number 45, but then we fell back quite a bit.
Thanks to all the new readers who have come this way, and let's hope that you stick around.
The story is told. . .
The story is told that during the Vietnam War the American actress Jane Fonda was due to address the Tribune Group of Labour MPs at the House of Commons. Dennis Skinner was the man who had to meet her and he was cooling his heels in St. Stephen's Entrance, with no actress in sight. Somebody suggested that perhaps she might have gone to St. Stephen's Tavern, a nearby watering hole, so Skinner set off to look for her in there.
He asked one of the barmen if Jane Fonda had been in, and the barman replied, "No, she usually sits in the corner with her milk stout, but she hasn't been in today. Now get out of here you drunken northern git before I have the law on you."
This posting is part of my collection of political tales, some of which are older even than me.
19 December 2005
Evo Morales is President-Elect of Bolivia
Evo Morales has claimed victory in yesterday's Bolivian elections. It is possible that he has reached the magic 50% figure, as with half the actual votes counted, the local radio has him on just over 50%.
If no candidate gets over half the votes cast, then the matter will be decided by the Congress. The good news for the left is that the main rightist contender, Jorge Quiroga, has already conceeded defeat and has offered his congratulations to Morales. The third placed candidate, Samuel Doria Medina, has announced that if it comes to a congressional vote, his people will support whichever candidate came first in the popular vote.
Evo Morales is the man who had the quite wonderful campaign slogan of "Long live coca: death to the Yankees". Again, the question has to be asked, would the Americans have allowed Evo Morales to become president had they not been tied down in Iraq?
Wanking for war & Rhodesia.
I shouldn't do this because it's too easy, but playing with Eric is one of the joys of blogging. He's just announced that Bob Hawk, the former Prime Minister of the Dominion of Australia has died. Hawke is actually alive and kicking, but the lad Eric wanted to post a comment about Malaysia, and the death of Hawke's socialism, but he just can't write very well. Could I make any of this up? I think not.
My favourite recent posting from the lad is the one where he calls for "the removal and replacement of Mugabe". Do you think that I should tell the silly sod that Zimbabwe is sort of land-locked? Thus to remove her leader would mean fighting at least one other country that borders her. I don't see that one as a goer, myself, but if it gives young Eric something to wank over, who am I to argue? God knows but Iraq hasn't exactly gone as the hand-shandyists wanted, has it? All the more reason to start a regional war in Southern Africa, seems to be the lad's reasoning.
I love the "replacement" bit, though. Replace Mugabe with whom, I ask myself? Then, quick as a flash, the answer hit me: the Grand Old Man himself, Ian Douglas Smith is still alive! Of course, the bloody kaffirs are incapable of running their own affairs, so what finer choice could there be to lead them than the man who once said "we have the happiest Africans in the world"? Eric obviously wants to make them even happier.
I feel that this is 1977 all over again, and I'm sitting in a bar watching the end of that night's TV. The music swells - the Ode to Joy comes over the airwaves - and the voices sing, sing, sing:
Rise, O voices of Rhodesia.
God may we thy bounty share
Give us strength to face all danger and,
where challenge is, to dare.
Guide us, Lord, to wise decision,
ever of thy grace aware.
Oh, let our hearts beat bravely always,
for this land within thy care.
For some strange reason all these tossers in general - to say nothing of Eric in particular - remind me of a fool I knew many years ago. He was a Brummie and a fair typical representative of the city that is basically a pile on England's arsehole. When he wasn't going on about the great socialist tomorrow he would bend your ear with a moan about how his differentials were being eroded.
Now, if you are a wanker for war, go off at this point and introduce yourself to your father and ask him to tell you what I am on about. (He'll need a moment to recover from the shock at having an unknown son. Not to worry, just remind him that your mother was the one who looked wonderful after about five pints; that should jog his memory.) For the rest of you, this bollocks involved the percentage difference that skilled working men got in relation to semi-skilled and unskilled workers. It was a load of old wank in other words, but very important to Brummies.
The point is that come 1979 and this git went off and voted for Thatcher. There was no depth to his ideology, no real sense of the class hatred that is at the root of socialism. I suspect that the same is true of these wankers for war. They mouth off about socialism but they are no more a part of the tribe of labour than the Brummie git already mentioned.
Still, so long as they are around, good sport can be had by all. . .
18 December 2005
American rhetoric changes: warmongers are invited to get with the new programme
Paul Bremmer called them deadenders, and later they became anti-Iraqi forces. Now that have become nationalists, according to the Chimp's man in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad. Not only that, but the American Commander in Iraq, General George Casey, has announced that the war "will not be settled on the battlefield".
Astute readers will notice that the Chimp recently announced his National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, in which he said that he would not accept "anything less than complete victory" in the country. At the same time, the GOP's attack dogs have been set loose on various Democrat types who are basically saying the same as America's generals and diplomats.
So what's going on? The most likely explanation is that the Chimp is preparing a Vietnam exit from Iraq. The aim would be to negotiate an exit that leaves America's puppets in charge for long enough so that the Chimp can claim his victory. When it all goes pear-shaped a year later, well, that would be the fault of the worthless ragheads, who we all know are crap on the battlefield.
So, if you are a wanker for war and you read this, will you please get with the new programme? Please start talking about nationalists and not deadenders, and at the same time admit that negotiations with said nationalists have begun. Please also stand by to consume the rather large shit sandwich that will be served up to you on the day the Iraqi nationalists march into Baghdad.
Cuba & Venezuela combine to give sight to millions
A dozen luxery hotels have been closed to tourists until July of next year to allow an estimated six million people from across Latin-America and the Carribean to receive free eye surgery. Most suffer from cataracts or other conditions that can easily be treated, if the patient has the money. That is the rub in these neoliberal times. . .
Cuba provides the medical facilities and Venezuela the petro-dollars to pay for it all. The plan was launched in July of this year following an agreement between Presidents Catsto Ruz and Chavez Frias, and planeloads of patients have been arriving since then. The taking over of the hotels means that yet more can be treated next year.
Cuba has one doctor for every 170 people. In the UK the figure is one for every 250.
17 December 2005
American army recruits more knuckledraggers
They are known as category four recruits, which means that they are as thick as pig shit. Until last year the army only recruited 2% a year of these knuckle-draggers, but that was raised to 4% last year because, well, anyone who had even half a brain didn't fancy getting it shot off in Baghdad and the knuckle-draggers were all that was left.
In October of this year, fully 12% of the new recruits came from this category four level. The army will not say what November's total was, but claims that the total will be just 4% by the end of the fiscal year.
Just so you know. . .
American casualties in the war against Iraq keep on rising
None of the warmongers has mentioned this fact, so I think that I shall. The Americans have been losing troops over the past couple of days. At first glance that is nothing new, but we need to remember that Iraq has been under lock-down for the elections. No civilian traffic has been allowed on the roads, with the result that the cities look pretty deserted.
The last time this was done back in January the Americans could relax as none of their soldiers were injured. This time the casualty figures have continued to mount during the election period. Not only that, but on Thursday as the polls opened, the guerrillas even managed to launch a mortar attack on the Green Zone.
All together now: this is a cakewalk, victory is just around the corner and the Iraqis really love having foreign troops kicking them around.
16 December 2005
Canadian leaders tell the Chimp's man to piss off
The American ambassador to Canada said earlier this week that Candian politicians should tone down their anti-American rhetoric during the Canadian election campaign. The reply from the Prime Minister, Paul Martin, came swiftly: "I am not going to be dictated to as to the subjects that I should raise. The dispute with the United States demands leadership at the national level in Canada, even if that leadership happens to rankle some in the U.S."
The opposition Conservative leader Stepen Harper added: "I think Canadians have to make their judgment on that and I don't think foreign ambassadors should be expressing their views or intervening in an election".
I just get the felling that the whole of the rest of the Americas has decided that there is little that the USA can do to them, thanks to Iraq and Iraqi heroism, so they might as well tell the Americans what they really think about them. Basically, whatever Washington's policy is, the rest of us are against it. What can America do about this? America can do fuck all, because its army is bogged down in Iraq.
Evo Morales set to become next Bolivian president
With a campaign slogan of "Causachun coca, wanuchun Yanquis" (Long live coca, death to the Yankees), Evo Morales is running ahead of his rivals in the race for the Bolivian presidency. In 2002 the American ambassador criticised him, only to see Morales' support triple. This time the Americans are keeping their heads down and their fingers crossed in the hope that something will turn up to stop the Morales juggernaut.
If elected Morales is expected to ally Bolivia with Venezuela and Cuba in opposition to America's plans for the region.
The Blairites keep on sinking
Just two days ago I commented on Britain's involvement in the CIA's Torture R Us business, and remarked that just when you thought that things couldn't get any worse, the Blairites managed to prove you wrong. Guess what? They've done it again.
It now emerges that four men who were held without charge at Belmont Prison for four years, were never once even questioned during the whole time that they were banged up.
To make matters even worse, if that were possible, the legislation that allowed the Blair regime to hold the three Algerians and one Palestinian has been struck down by the Law Lords and the men were released. So then, is a sadistic game of cat and mouse, the regime went after them on immigration charges and now wants to deport them. While this drags on the men are under virtual house arrest, and anybody who wishes to visit them at their homes must submit his name and address along with a photograph to the Home Office.
Words have failed me at this point.
15 December 2005
Islam, Popery & other primitive creeds
I notice that one of the things that the hand-shandyists for war like doing is attacking Islam. Somebody will usually rise to the bait and make a comparison with Christianity, and a sarcastic comment will then be posted about Catholic suicide bombers or something else equally silly. The people who write nonsense like this are people who live, by and large, in reformed countries where religion has ceased to have much of a hold on the public mind.
We British tend to think of religion, if we think of it at all, as something that happens on Sundays. On that day the dwindling bands of Anglicans and Methodists go to worship, but even they devote the rest of the week to mammon. This is not the way that life works in non-western societies. There religion is everywhere and in everything that people do. It is a kind of magic that is used to ward off the evils that afflict mankind.
Traditionally this is the way that religions operated. When a Roman citizen had to cross the sea - something that Romans didn't do unless they absolutely had to - it was common to cut a deal with the god Neptune, who controlled the salt waters of the World. The deal basically was that if Neptune would allow the person to pass through his realm, then the grateful individual would erect a shrine or sacrifice an animal to this all powerful god on his return. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours was the way the Romans viewed their religion.
The papists are pretty much the same. Go into just about any small shop in Mexico and you will see the image of a man astride a horse. This is St. Mathew the Horseman, and his job is to protect businesses. Basically, if you want your new business to succeed to put up a little shrine to him, complete with his image, a candle burning beneath it and some flowers. He likes flowers, does Mat.
Some years ago I had a shop which I was forced to close owing to poor sales. Quite a few people told me in all seriousness that this was due to my failure to appease St. Mathew the Horseman. As with Neptune all those years ago, religion is a kind of magic. If you perform the correct ritual to the correct god - or saint for the Papists - then you will get the correct result.
If you need something a bit more up close and personal then you can go to the Sonora market in Mexico City and buy just about anything. Do you want someone dead? A black candle in a glass jar that comes complete with its own spell can be yours for a few coppers. You have to say the prayer to Jesus himself, and the person who sells you the candle will remind you that such a powerful being can only be invoked for truly serious matters: so don't use it on your next-door neighbour just because he pissed on your rose bushes. For him you can get black salt that should be sprinkled over the entrances to your property. By calling St. Peter and mentioning your neighbour's name, you will ensure that he will never darken your threshold again.
Natural phenomena are, of course, wholly God made, and human beings can do nothing about such things. Thus when an earthquake hits - and the Valley of Mexico gets them about once a month - the only thing to do is dart outside the house, fall to your knees, rattle your rosary beads, and pray for deliverence. Leading on from this, few people complain about tap water that is undrinkable and periodic outbreaks of cholora. They just take the view that this is the way God wants things.
The clergy are very powerful. In 1968 a group of factory workers travelled to their homes from Mexico City. A local priest convinced himself that they were wicked Communists and he incited his flock to kill them. This Red Dawn or rojo amanecer was made into a film, and those of you who read Spanish can google it if they wish.
In the South of Mexico, near the border with Guatemala, there are regular pogroms of Protestants. You can tell the villages that have converted to Protestantism by the fact that everybody is clean, and the children are fewer in number and much better fed than their Papist counterparts. Protestant villages also tend to have armed guards at night, just to be ready for the next Papist attack.
The big cities, of course, are safe for all creeds and none, but that is only because of a bloody civil war that was fought in the 1920s. The secular government was actually losing the conflict until they hit on the bright idea of introducing priests to tall trees and short ropes. Today that secular elite still governs the country, but everyone knows that underneath the mask of modernity the same old mass of semi-literate primitives will do their religious leaders bidding if asked. Both the state and the church are aware that they are treading on thin ice, and both sides tread carefully.
Now, thinking back to what we have discussed above, can someone please tell me the difference between Mohamadism and Popery? Not the theology, the difference in popular attitudes, because for the life of me, I cannot see any difference at all.
Primitive peoples believe in primitive things. That is just a truism that really should not need debating. The fact that Papists in the USA do not kill Protestants is neither here nor there. By using the USA as an example all a writer does is show his ignorance of the big, wide world that exists beyond the west.
14 December 2005
Blairites reach new lows
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, just when you thought that Blair and his boys couldn't sink any lower, they manage to suprise you. Not only was the UK used to carry America's torture victims around, it is likely that CIA flights are still using the UK's airports to do it.
As if that wasn't bad enough, a former UK student was actually interrogated by MI6 officers in Pakistan, and then handed over the the Americans who took him to their torture centre at Guantanamo Bay.
This regime is composed of people who are lower than cockroaches in the order of things.
13 December 2005
Is Blair on the ropes?
Two things have just been announced that lead me to believe that Blair will be out sooner rather than later. The first is that the regime's plans to send some 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan now seem to be under review, as they say. The wheeze involved sending these troops along with the new Apache helicopters that the governent bought from the Americans. Now it looks as if only 1,000 may go, using British-built Lynx helicopters; and even that seems far from certain. It may be that even Blair has now realised that people in the UK have no interest in the nasty civil war that is going on in Afghanistan and are worried about further British casualties.
To makes matters even more interesting, a second front has now opened up and this has led to the regime scrapping its plans to reform welfare payments. The idea was to subject the sick to means tested benefit, but this wheeze has now been dropped owing to back-bench pressure. The simple truth is that about a quarter of the Paliamentary Labour Party are now out to get the pretty boy and the Blairites knew that this measure was not going to pass.
Afghanistan and welfare reform: put the two together and here is a regime that is not longer in control of events. It looks increasingly like the last days of the Callaghan and Major eras when ministers were reduced to whistling in the dark in the hope that something would turn up.
12 December 2005
Challenging the chickenhawks
Neil Clark points out that the Territorial Army is short of 7,000 recruits. It seems they are losing about 600 men a month, but deny that this has anything to do with Iraq. . .
So why don't the hand-shandyists for war pop along to their local TA office and sign up? They would not be sent to Baghdad, they may not even leave the UK, bt they would be doing their bit for Blair, his simian master in Washington and the glorious cause of NeoConservatism. I think that this idea is wonderful!
It's not as if any of them are old buggers, either. They are young fellows in the late 20s and early 30s. That's older than I was when Rhodesian Special Branch invited me in for a little chat, but they are still young enough to tote a rifle. My father was 35 when the Second World War ended and he got demobbed, so there is no excuse for these hand-shandyists for war not to rush to the colours.
Unless they lack the bottle, of course.
Just an idea: are the warmongers going to blame us for their defeat?
One of the nice things about blogging is that you can put forward an idea that doesn't really amount to a full blown argument, just to see how it looks. An idea has been bubbling around in my head for a day or so and I'm going to try it out here. The idea that I have is that the warmongers have stopped trying to argue that the war against Iraq can be won and instead have switched to looking for scapegoats to explain why it was lost.
Let's take Harry's Place, one of the main sites of hand shandyism for war. Two postings in particular have caught my attention. The first was about Cindy Sheehan, the American mother who s clearly still grieving for her dead son. The posting itself is a fairly typical 'monger offering, taking as it does the standard 'monger line that Mrs. Sheehan should basically shut the fuck up and cheer on the Chimp. The second posting is rather more confused. It tries to link Howard Dean, Tony Benn and George Galloway, but it just doesn't manage it very well.
What I think these two posting are about is laying the groundwork for post-bellum recriminations in the USA. These are the guilty men, the people who prevented America's glorious army from fully subjugating the sand-niggers. If you read the comments, especially to the first posting, that conclusion becomes more plausible. The way the 'mongers howl at anyone who objects to their neat little fantasies is quite amazing. I am pleased to report that I was one of those who got to enjoy a good 'monger howling, but others had it as well. Yes, well it was good fun, but that is not the point, is it?
With these thought in mind, I went off to see if anyone else had any similar ideas kicking around in their heads. It took me all of five minutes to discover one Richard Reeves who argued that the Chimp was the worse president in American history. The response from 'mongers was highly entertaining and basically consisted of repeating the line that if the war against Iraq was lost, then it was lost by people such as Mr. Reeves.
To a certain extent this is very much an American debate, and if looking for scapegoats keeps them happy then who am I to object? On the other hand, I quite like the idea that some 'monger will point to my work and tell himself that your truly is partly responsible for America's lost adventure. Dear reader, you have no idea how entertaining that thought is.
At the going down of the sun: the last few Great War Veterans
When I was a child just about every old man that I knew had served in the Great War. Both my grandfathers had fought, but they had died many years before I saw the light of day. Now there are just eleven British veterans left alive.
There is a plan being mooted to honour the last of them with a state funeral, but the old soldiers don't seem too keen on the idea. One said that he "tried not to think about" things like that. Good for him.
The irritating thing about this is that if the plan goes ahead, then we shall be faced with the sight of Tories and others of their class shedding crocodile tears for the last veteran. This man was once promised homes fit for heroes and all he got was the dole. His grandsons saw their way of life destroyed by the same scum who will stand to attention as his coffin passes by.
Excuse me while I vomit.
Guerrillas urge Iraqis to vote on Thursday
Warmongers will be disapointed to learn that Iraq's nationalist guerrillas have urged people to vote in Thursday's election. At the same time, guerrillas in al-Anbar province has said that they will protect the polling stations aginst any attacks by al-Qaida. The Baath party will not be allowed to stand, but The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue has strong links to it. The Iraqi Accordance Front is the coalition that represents religious Sunnis.
What's going on? It could be that a deal has been cut with one of the Shia parties that will see a grand coalition formed after the elections. Given that the Sunnis are unlikely to want the aggressors to remain, the most likely Shia candidate for a putative coalition would The Sadr Movement that is headed by Moqtada al-Sadr. His guerrillas fought the Americans, so he seems the obvious choice. His party will run as part of the United Iraqi Alliance list, but that's not to say that he cannot dump his erstwhile allies once the election is over.
Another possibility is that the guerrillas will wage a two-pronged offensive after the elections are over. The guerrillas will continue culling the occupiers and their political fronts will cheer them on in parliament. Once it becomes clear that peace will only come when the guerrilla demands are met, then their political fronts will be well placed to strike deals with the Shia.
The post-election period is going to be very interesting. Unless you happen to be a 'monger that is. If you are then I suspect that you will be eating the same old shit sandwich as before.
11 December 2005
In favour of cutting and running from Iraq
|Nir Rosen, an Arabic speaker who knows Iraq, argues in this essay that the most the USA can hope for is an independent Kurdistan that will allow American bases on its soil.|
He argues that the civil war has already begun in the Arab part of the country, so claiming that America is preventing that happening is silly. He goes on to say that this civil war is fueled by the American presence, as Sunnis attack Shia collaberators. Once the USA has left the desire to exact intiqaam (revenge) for the humiliation of having their country occupied will end. Besides, says this writer, the guerrillas have only light weapons.
That final argument can be countered by saying that many of the guerrillas were former officers and NCOs in the old Iraqi army, but it is not the point. What Iraq does in its sovereign territory after they have expelled the aggressors is an internal matter for them.
Cheers: Juan Cole
It is best to buy your turkey in about May or June. Look for one that is already fattening up nicely and take him home and start feeding him up some more.
The problem that you have is that turkeys are pretty thick, so make sure that he doesn't go out in the rain. If he does then he will look up at the sky and drown himself with the raindrops that fall into his open gob. Could I make this up? No, I could not, so do as I advise and keep your turkey out of the fucking rain.
Come December and it is time for your turkey to make the ultimate sacrifice. I usually get the beastie used to taking nibbles from a log end. That way, on the last day of his life, he will be happily chomping on the corn that has been thrown down and will not even notice the bloody big hand ax that is desending on his helpless neck. One good whack should do it, although your turkey may run around a bit after his head has been amputated. Don't worry about this as he will soon fall over.
Throw a rope over the bough of a tree and attach one end to the turkey's feet. Then haul him up so that you can removed all the feathers. You have to do this as they taste horrible. This will take you about an hour. Once it has been done, lower the bird and make a slit in his belly so that you can get his insides and last meal out.
Your bird can now be handed over the the females of your family who will stuff the cavity with minced beef, pork and other goodies. They will take forever to do this as long periods of time will be taken up with inane female prattle.
Alas, this year's bird will be bought from the bloke down the street who raises turkeys. I forgot to buy back in the early summer.
10 December 2005
Taking the piss out of Paul Wolfowitz
I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in, the night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest.
It must've looked like a total no-brainer: send the tanks to Kuwait, grab the oil and the gold, and your troubles are over. It was one of those plans that look foolproof on paper. Just ask Paul Wolfowitz about that. I hear from one of my Army moles that it took three MPs to pry Wolfowitz's fear-frozen fingers off the airconditioner he was hiding behind in his Baghdad hotel room after the rockets hit.
This is just too easy. Taking the piss out of Count Vulfovitz, I mean. Now everyone is getting in on the act. The other day he went along to address the National Press Club in Washington. He wanted to talk about the World Bank, but the hacks had other ideas:
"How do you account for the intelligence failures regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?" he was asked.
"I don't have to," was all he could think to reply. Being a Neocon means never having to say you're sorry.
Vulfuvitz should have known what was coming from the introduction by Richard Dunham of Buiness Week magazine: "His admirers have called him the intellectual high priest of the neoconservatives," Dunham said. "I can't repeat some of the things his critics have called him."
Volfuvitz sat with his lips pursed and slurped his coffee as Dunham went on to say that the Count "drew fire from Democrats for predicting that U.S. forces would be welcomed as liberators." Then Dunham reminded everyone about Vulfovitz's student deferment during the war against Vietnam, and the short-arsed dwarf was left shaking his head.
That's the way to treat 'em: with mockery!
Censorship in Blair's Britain
I pass protesters every day at Downing Street, and believe me, you name it, they protest against it. I may not like what they call me but I thank God they can. That's called freedom
Maya Evans, 25, has just been convicted under Blair's Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. Her crime was to stand at the Cenotaph in Whitehall and read out the names of the soldiers that Blair sent to their deaths in Iraq. Two vanloads of filth arrived to arrest one young woman who was doing exactly what the Chimp's toy-boy said was perfectly legal.
Jack Catt, an 80 year old RAF veteran, was arrested under the Terrorism Act, 2000, for wearing an anti-Blair T-shirt. He is due up in court for this heinous offence in January.
The list goes on and on. The regime has been clever enough not to pass one sweeping measure that would suppress all dissent. The laws have been passed one at a time, but the end result is the same. You can sit at home and moan to your friends, but you cannot actively protest - at least not unless your are mob-handed and there are too many of you for the filth to take on.
If you are an 80 year old bloke or a 25 year old girl, and you are on your own, then you had better not do or say anything that could be construed as anti-regime. Of course, the people that I've mentioned seem to have plenty of bottle and may even welcome the publicity - but how many people are like that? Most, I suspect are like Charlotte Denis, 20, who was intimidated by the filth into covering up her "Bollocks to Blair" T-shirt. Faced with incidents like this, a lot of people will leave their anti-regime badges and T-shirts at home.
How much dissent has the toy-boy suppressed?
09 December 2005
Blair & Cameron: pretty boys all in a row
Steve Bell at his caustic best in The Guardian, 9 December 2005
This cartoon sums up the state of British politics rather nicely. Two pretty little boys tweaking each other's tits at a bum boys' bath house. Isn't it nice that we don't have Punch & Judy politics?
Actually, as Neil Clark points out, it isn't nice at all. The election of 1983 saw turnout of around 72% as the parties fought it out with policies that offered a real option to the punters. Now we are down to turnouts of around 60% and they look set to fall still further.
To make matters worse it is ordinary people who have stopped voting. Labour no longer represents them - none of the parties represents them - so they sit on the sidelines as unrepresented observers.
The only organisation that can put a stop to this madness is the Trades' Union Congress. The unions set up the Labour Party 105 years ago and they continue to support it financially. If a union delegation went along and told the Labour party to stop buggering around then the party would have to obey. So why don't they do it?
The first ever Starbucks' strike
Starbucks employs about 80,000 people worldwide, but only 300 of them are members of a union. A 100 of those are in New Zealand and they have had a one-hour strike - the first in the company's history.
I suppose that the problem with unionising something like Starbucks is that nobody ever leaves school and thinks that they will go and serve coffee for the next 50 years. So people take these jobs and refuse to join the union because they don't plan to stay there very long. Sadly for millions of our people, a McJob is all they are ever going to get, so joining a union and pushing for changes to the terms and conditions strikes me as common sense.
However, if people do this it also means that they are accepting that the real jobs are never going to return, and that serving coffee is all they will ever do. Maybe that frightens them? It certainly does me.
08 December 2005
I made the first Christmas cake tonight. You can buy them here, but they are shitty American things and damned expensive to boot. The recipe that I am going to give comes from my great-grandmother, and has been adapted to Mexican circumstances. The original called for 1 lb of currants, 6oz of raisins and 6oz of sultanas. You cannot get currants here to save your life, so my version uses more of the other things.
You will need:
1 lb sultanas
1/2 lb raisins
1/2 lb glace cherries
3 or 4 tablespoons brandy
8 oz plain flower
8 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz unsalted butter
Grated peel from two oranges
Ditto, one lemon.
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 desertspoon of black treacle, or mollases in Mexico
Right, off we go:
The day before put the fruit in a bowl and add the brandy. Cover it with a lid and go to bed.
The next day:
1. Mix the sugar and the butter. Do not skimp on this as it is the most important. You want the mixture to be off-white in colour and very, very fluffy when you have finished. If you are doing it by hand then it will take about 20 minutes at least. I use a heavy duty food blender and leave it on high power for at least 30 minutes.
2. Take the egg yolks and add them one by one to the mixture.
3. Beat the egg whites until they are seriously fluffy and then add them as well.
4. Sieve the flour, spice and salt into a large bowl.
5. Now add the flour to the mixture.
6. Add the mixed fruit from last night.
Your oven needs to be at gas mark one, which is 275F or 140C Your cake tin should be about 8" round or 7" square. Make sure you grease the bugger. Take two sheets of greaseproof paper, each about 18" long. Place them inside your greased cake tin to form a cross, one going left to right, and the other on top of it, going top to bottom - got that?. Then add the mixture. Finally, fold the paper over so that it covers the top of the mixture. Then make a hole about the size of a 10p coin in the middle.
Slap the tin in the oven, near the bottom. I go two stops down from the middle.
Bake for about 4 1/2 to 5 hours, and do not open the fucking oven until you think your cake is well sorted. If you think it is, then take it out and remove the paper. Stick a knife in it and if the blade comes out without anything sticking to it, your cake is cooked.
Leave it in an air-tight tin until Christmas, but drop a teaspoonful of brandy on it every week or so. It's called feeding the cake and it makes it taste much better.
As for icing, that you can forget. I buy ready made because getting hold of the English icing sugar is impossible. The Mexican version is OK, I suppose.
By the by, if you think that this is very complicated and difficult, then don't. My father did the mixing of the raw ingredients and my mother then mixed them altogether. I just got in everyone's way. Me, the wife and kids follow the same pattern. Do things as your parents did and make sure your kids grow up to follow suit - you know it makes sense.
Also by the by: do not finish off the bottle of brandy that you used for the cake. Failure to take this advice could lead to serious headaches the next day.
Coming next: the turkey!
More on David Cameron
Probably the best analysis of why David Cameron won the Tory leadership election can be found here. It's an insider's view of events, and a damn good one.
My feeling about this election is that NewLab should thank its lucky stars that David Davis did not win. Davis lived his early life on a council estate and his grandfather was one of the Jarrow marchers. He reminds me too much of Norman Tebbit - a man who understands the working class only too well, because he came from it. NewLab is hardly in a position to use the class treason charge against him because the party no longer even pretends to speak for the working people of Britain. Thus a Davis led Tory party would be free to trot out the old Thatcherite lies and NewLab could have found itself flatfooted.
David Cameron has made a mistake in my view. He has presented himself as the successor to Tony Blair, but this ignores the fact that the toy-boy only won in 1997 because people were sick and tired of the Tories. It was a victory by default, and the successive victories came about because the Tories began to fight amongst themselves. Given the fall in turnout, especially in working class districts, it is hard to argue that people have been converted to the NewLab ideology.
The next election will see the NewLab Party headed, probably, by Gordon Brown, and he is as much a part of the whole NewLab bollocks as Tony Blair. Thus two NewLab parties will contest an election. Turnout will probably fall still further, but since both parties will be basically the same, the election will probably turn on the personalities of the two front benches.
Who would you rather have? Nice, solid reliable Gordon Brown or a man who looks as if he has a soft-boiled egg instead of a head on his shoulders? Neither party will be speaking for the bulk of the population who are stuck in their McJobs and sadly that is what British politics has been reduced to these days.
The lion of Mesopotamia
Well, say what you like about Saddam Hussein, he's got bottle. Yes, I know, he became a terrible monster once he stopped doing what the West wanted, but he certainly makes the people around him at his trial look like pygmies. His latest wheeze was to tell the judges to "go to hell" and he then announced that he would boycott the trial - something he did yesterday.
Seeing him wagging his finger and interrupting just about everyone may have done wonders for his image in Iraq and the Arab World. The Turkish tailor who made the suit that he is wearing has reported an increase in sales of about fifty per cent: it seems that quite a lot of folk want to dress like Saddam.
To make matters even more risible, his fellows seem to be joining in the fun. Barazan Ibrahim, Saddam's half-brother, managed to score a point against the prosecuter by reminding everyone that he was a former Baath Party member.
If the bloody Americans can't even organise a decent show trial, is it any wonder that they cannot subjugate Iraq?
07 December 2005
More on the Fallujah attack
This is all very rum: on the 1st of this month ten American marines were killed just outside Fallujah. It was reported that they were on a foot patrol and a bomb exploded. However, CNN is now reporting that thay actually died at a flour mill when one of them stepped on a pressure pad that set the bomb off.
Now, there is a problem here. A video is going the rounds which clearly shows a foot patrol getting blasted by a roadside bomb. Given that the Iraqis seem to just love videoing their operations, there is no reason to believe that it is not authentic resistence footage. It shows a Humvee with four soldiers on either side of it on what seems to be a patrol. One appears to be riding with his head sticking out of the top of the vehicle, so if we add a driver that makes ten men altogether. One blogger has pointed out that a further eleven were injured. Where are they he asks? My guess is that if this video is of the attack in question, then they were walking out of camera range. The Humvee had its close-in escort and a further group were in front, with possibly another group behind.
The problem I think is the two differing versions of events and this video which seems to show that the first version was the correct one. So why the second version? On the other hand, if the CNN story is correct, how to account for the video?
I worry about these people. . .
The hand shandyists for war, what can I say about them? One bloke wrote to me and said that they were nothing but a bunch of cunts, so I wrote back and said that cunts are useful and these buggers are of no use to man, beast nor Labour Movement. Some bugger else wrote in and gave me a link that showed a photo of a really ugly creature. Turns out she's the wife to one of them. My correspondent said I should feel sorry for the bloke, as he could be had up for walking around with an offensive wife, but I've got no sympathy for him. She's a former actress, did you know that? Yeah, she had a minor role in Psycho, she was the one sat in the rocking chair. As for him, he's such a short-arsed little fucker that he could get a job in an Ancoats' swill-shop walking under the tables to serve the drunks down there. Still, the good thing is that when it's raining he doesn't need to wipe his feet when he enters his house - his arse wipes away his footprints as he walks along. However, I don't want to be too unkind, so I won't give you a link to his site. . .
I do worry about all these wankers, though. For years they pretended to be socialists and working class, but they were never really part of the tribe. Now they are on the long march to their natural class home, but that journey is long and hard.
It is with pleasure, therefore, that I can report that one hand shandyist has now made a long stride towards his destination. Step forward that lad who said that if Labour ever became socialist, "the country" would have a fine leader in David Cameron, the new Tory capo de tuti capi.
I hope that nobody points out to him that socialism has its roots in working class solidarity and any alliance with our enemies can only ever be temporary and tactical. Thus the notion that we have anything in common with our enemy on the basis of sharing the same island is, well, a bit silly. Please don't tell him because I want him and his breed to carry on walking. They will all be much more contented when their journey is finally over. So will we come to that.
David Cameron is the new Tory leader
David Cameron has been chosen as the new Tory Leader. The BBC page reproduced above lasted about five minutes before getting pulled, but one blogger managed to get a screen shot. (Cameron had refused to talk about his drug use at university) A brief biography is here, and an analysis of the hurdles he faces can be found here.
What to say about this bloke? Well, as a Tory he'll never suffer from piles as God made him a perfect arsehole. There is a rumour that he went to get circumcised and the surgeon took one look and said the operation was not possible because "there's no end to this prick". He wants to be Prime Minister one day and one fucking day should be enough for the rest of us.
06 December 2005
Donald Rumsfeld: Iraq a superpower if USA leaves
According to Donald Rumsfeld, the American Secretary of Defence, if the USA leaves Iraq this would happen:
Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia. This is their plan. They have said so. We make a terrible mistake if we fail to listen and learn.
OK, this suggests one of two things to me:
1. That Iraq is not a battered, war-weary country. Rather it is an economic giant that can build the armed forces necessary to take on three whole continents. Furthermore it has the highly educated population needed to plan, build and maintain those armed forces. Finally, there is no dispute betweeen Sunnis and Shias and the whole population is behind this idea.
2. That Donald Rumsfeld is out of his tree.
05 December 2005
Landslide for Venezuela's socialists
Parties allied to President Hugo Chavez Frias of Venezuala have won all 167 seats in country's unicameral National Assembly. The BBC is reporting that people queued to vote in the working class districts, but in middle class areas the polling stations were empty.
The parties representing the middle class boycotted the poll, although whether this was at Washington's behest is still unclear. In 1984 the Americans organised a boycott of the Nicaraguan elections when it became clear that the Sandanistas were going to stuff the middle class parties. As Noam Chomsky pointed out:
. . .the U.S. tried to disrupt the election in every possible way. The contras, who were just a terrorist force run by the U.S., did what they could to disrupt it. And did. They attacked polling booths and so forth. There was a U.S. candidate, a banker who had spent most of his life in the U.S. According to the press here, he was the popular candidate. There was no evidence for that. When it was clear he wasn't going to win, he was induced to withdraw. He was on the CIA payroll, it later turned out. And then the press here says, "Oh, there was no election, the major candidate withdrew." It was pooh-poohed as not a real election, which made it legitimate to go on attacking Nicaragua. Somoza didn't bother us, but this bothered us.
Will the Americans try to delegitimise the elections in Venezuela using the same methods? Probably not, because they need to ensure a regular supply of oil from their main supplier, which just happens to be Venezuela. The fact that their army is tied up in Iraq is the icing on the cake. Basically the Americans are stuck with the reality of the situation in Venezuela whether they like it or not. That reality is that Chavez Frias has united and then mobilised the working class of his country in favour of his socialist policies.
As for the middle class, it is to be hoped that they will be taxed until they squeal and then a squealing tax can be introduced to squeeze the last drops of income out of them. With luck, many will leave the country and never return, rather as los gusanos cubanos did before them. It is so important that the survivors not be left with any of the influence that money can buy once the Americans' war against Iraq comes to an end. Of course it is possible that the Americans will remain bleeding in Iraq for many years to come, but that is not certain at the time of writing. If Chavez Frias can move quickly to pauperise, marginalise and export the class enemy, then he will manage to avoid a lot of trouble in the future.
04 December 2005
Juba the Iraqi sniper in action
Download this Iraqi video and then tell me that imperialism is winning its war against Iraq. It runs for almost 16 minutes and is in WMV format at 214 KBS, so the quality is not first rate. Basically it shows an expert Iraqi sniper in action. My favourite clip shows an American soldier eating a sandwich in the turret of his armoured vehicle. He is swinging the turret from side to side and munching his sarnie. Then Juba lets loose with one shot. . .
Cheers: Information Clearing House
I quite like this:
Hey -- some socialist guy with a blog (Brit living in Ciudad de MÃ©xico) has severely slagged Trotsky over Brest-Litovsk (it's a new blog, but he's apparently picking up readership fast. He's quite entertaining). He thinx Trotsky was a complete wanker -- and has apparently even physically pissed metabolized beer all over Trotsky's grave in Coyoacan with his drinking buddies.I am sorry to ruin a good tale, but no, I have never had a slash over the grave in question, but it was the habit of some members of the old Mexican Comunist Party so to do in years gone by. So I'm told at any rate. It may be an urban myth.
On the subject of Brest-Litovsk my objection to Trotsky is basically that his actions were not just those of a wanker, but a criminal wanker to boot. Russia had lost the war and her army was no longer willing to fight. Lenin gave clear instructions to the lad Trotsky to get his arse westwards and sign whatever treaty the Germans placed in front of him. It was as simple as that.
Now, those instructions strike me as pretty bloody straightforward. Only a Trotsky could sit around, dragging out the negotiations, in the hope that revolution would break out in Germany. The bloody Huns were winning the war - their soldiers were well chuffed with the socio-economic set-up in the fatherland and would remain well chuffed until November of 1918. Defeat may help a revolutionary cause, but Germany was not facing defeat in late 1917. Trotsky should have realised that - just because he had hair all around his mouth was no reason to behave like a cunt. . .
So the Germans tell him that if he doesn't stop playing silly buggers they will restart the war. Trotsky, in the best tradition of purile adventurism, comes up with the notion of no war and no peace. He announces to the delighted Germans that he was leaving the peace talks and that Russia would cease to resist Germany. So the Germans say "cheers mate," or whatever the German version of that is, and they then advance further in five days than they had managed since the war broke out in August 1914! Lenin gets to hear about all this and basically gives Trotsky the Russian version of an American bitch slapping. Trotsky is sent back and told to just sign whatever the Germans want.
The problem now is that Russia has lost a lot more territory and that loss is now included in the treaty that Trotsky has to sign. Just as importantly, an awful lot of Russians were outraged by the whole thing and joined the White Russian forces for the coming civil war. Many of them would have done it anyway, but the earlier terms were better, so probably some of them would have remained neutral or supported the Reds. Making enemies when you do not need to is silly. Makng them because you believe in gesture politics takes my breath away.
That was Trotsky all over: he was a dreamer and a fantasist. It is perhaps fitting that former Trotskyists -and note I said former Trotskyists - became the founding fathers of American neoconservatism. They stopped being socialists, but they still had the old dream. That dream will lead to the death of American imperialism, so something good might come out of Trotsky's lunacy yet.
China requires mobile 'phone registration
You have to love the way that the Chinese government tries to ensure that people have access to new technology and at the same time only use it in approved ways. Take mobile 'phones as a case in point. About half of the 377 million mobiles in China work using a pre-paid card, so the equipment does not need any registration. The government has now decided to put a stop to this by requiring all mobiles to be registered to a particular person. The aim is to cut down on“improper political commentary,” via text messages, especially.
The NewLab regime might want to remember this the next time they start spouting off about human rights in Iraq whilst at the same time flogging the Chinese pretty much whatever they want. Especially since China is one of the world's worst offenders when it comes to torture.
A little bit of consistency would go a long way here, but that is asking too much. Almost 100 British soldiers have died, not because Iraq was any worse than China, but because NewLab's masters in Washington wanted a war against Iraq.
Cheers: Aleks The Blogger
03 December 2005
America winning the war against Iraq?
The BBC has reported that according to "one unpublished estimate circulating among the US marines. . . 30,000 insurgents have been killed since the coalition came to Iraq in 2003". The report concludes: "By that measure of bloody attrition, the coalition is winning".
So that's how wars are won! I thought that it was all about the last army standing being the winner, but now I know that its all about the body count. So that's why the Greater German Empire now stretches all the way to the Urals. That's why if I cross the Rio Bravo del Norte, going north, I enter the Confederate States of America - it's all very easy to understand.
The side that kills the most wins the war. Got that?
Cheers: The Cat's Blog
The New York Times finally wakes up to the truth about Iraq's guerrilla groups
The NewYork Times has finally woken up to what a lot of people have been saying for quite some time. The Iraqi guerrillas are not a centrally directed top-heavy group. Instead they are a collection of locally recruited bands, that may have some local co-ordination, but which are basically autonomous. I wrote about this last year and the essay was then reposted to this very blog in October of this year.
To make matters even sillier for the NYT, these ideas are neither new nor mine. They have been discussed by the likes of William S. Lind for over a decade. Basically, the state is losing its monopoly over death and destruction and as this happens lots of groups that north London chatterwankers thought had long been confined to the history books are suddenly emerging into the light of day. Families, clans, tribes and religions all used to wage war before the rise of the modern state. As that state crumbles all these groups can be expected to start up where they left off all those centuries ago. That is what the post-modern world will look like, and that is something else that I wrote about in October.
As far as Iraq is concerned, the NYT has now realised that a plethora of independent groups means that there is no leadership that the Americans can negotiate with. They can cut a deal with one, but the rest will carry on fighting.
What strikes me as incredible is the breathless way in which this is presented as being somehow new:
Iraqi and American officials in Iraq say the single most important fact about the insurgency is that it consists not of a few groups but of dozens, possibly as many as 100. And it is not, as often depicted, a coherent organization whose members dutifully carry out orders from above but a far-flung collection of smaller groups that often act on their own or come together for a single attack, the officials say. Each is believed to have its own leader and is free to act on its own.
The only explanation that I can come up with for this is that the folk who write for the likes of the NYT are basically middle class types who don't understand the horizontal ways that most people on this planet live. They are used to taking orders from those above them and giving them out to their underlings. Goods and services tend to be purchased from established providers who give a receipt to their customers. The lives of types like this are linear and they cannot imagine that anybody else could live differently.
However, that is not the way that the bulk of the population on this planet actually do live. Take Britain as a case in point: when people like me want to get a car fixed we know a bloke on a street corner who dodges up the rust-box that we own. We don't buy cigarrettes in a shop because they are too expensive. Instead we speak to someone who knows someone who works as a baccy man, probably based out of some pub. In that same pub we can meet the bloke who sells pirate copies of the latest Hollywood flick for a fiver. Work is short term at best and casual at worst. If that is the way that the majority of the people in the UK live, then the Third World is like that to a factor of plus 10. Only the western, or westernised, middle-classes are used to doing things the linear way: the rest of us are far more horizontal.
All that is happening in Iraq is that as the state fell apart under foreign pressure people began to look to their traditional defence mechanisms to protect them from the aggressors and to enable them to fight back. It is nice that the western media has finally caught on, but amusing that they still don't seem to quite get it.
02 December 2005
Ten American soldiers have been culled just outside the city of Fallujah in central Iraq. It will be recalled that Fallujah was razed by the invaders as a warning to other cities not to support the nationalist guerrillas. This is Fallujah's answer to the aggressors: the fight goes on.
The first news of this culling was released via Washington. The BBC says that these are "politically sensitive times when it comes to troop losses".
Bring 'em on!
Kosovo, Iraq and middle class stupidity.
The Spectator has an article this week which compares and contrasts the attitudes towards the bombing of the Yugoslavian television station in Belgrade back in 1999, with the recent planned bombing of al-Jazeera's station. During the war against Yugoslavia, Clare Short could say with a straight face that, "The propaganda machine is prolonging the war and it’s a legitimate target." At the same time, liberal media such as The Guardian simply reported the atrocity by repeating the aggressor's line that "Nato targeted the heart of ...Milosevic’s power base early today by bombing the headquarters of Serbian state television, taking it off the air in the middle of a news bulletin." The report neglected to mention how 27-year-old Jelica Munitlak, a make-up artist and the other fifteen staff who died that night fitted into this category, but the liberal interventionists didn't care. Their cause was on the march and that was all that mattered. Today those same people and organisations are howling the loudest about the war against Iraq. Clearly something is very rum in all of this.
It is not as if the arguments for aggression have changed all that much. In fact, the lies and half-truths that were used in 1999 are very similar to the ones that were used in 2003. Then it involved glossing over the fact that Kosovo was a province of Serbia and what was going on was a civil war in that country. The number of people killed in that conflict was inflated, and the whole aggression was presented as a "moral imperitive" to save the ethnic-Albanians. It reads along similar lines to the nonsense about weapons of mass destruction, human beings put into mythical shredders, and government attacks on the Iraqi-Shias that we hear today. So what has changed? Why are the chickenhawks of 1999 so anti-war today?
Could it be that American wingnuts have a point? That what has changed is the man in the White House? Would the hostility to the war against Iraq be so intense if Bill "Bubba" Clinton had given the orders instead of George "The Chimp" Bush? Certainly outrage at the proposed bombing of al-Jazeera has been far more strident than opposition ever was to the actual bombing of the Belgrade station. In fact, the same liberal, middle class chatterwankers (*) who cheered on the war against Yugoslavia are often the same chatterwankers who today emote so loudly against the agression that Iraq is sufferering.
If the wingnuts are correct, and chatterwank opposition to the war against Iraq really is based on an aversion to the Chimp, then it would follow that they are making rods for their own backs. The whole point about these aggressions, is that they aimed to force countries to join the world of globalised capitalism. It is those same chatterwankers who gained so much from that world, just as the rest of us saw our lives destroyed by it. If America's defeat in Iraq is total, then it is quite likely that the country could retreat into isolationism. If that happens the whole experiment in globalised capitalism could be damaged beyond repair. The world could become a collection of sovereign states, each defending their own industries and way of life. As one who firmly believes that self-interest is at the root of all politics, it is good that the liberal middle-class have forgotten this truism. Thus they can serve their purpose as part of the grand coalition that opposes this war, and can be ditched once it is over and the time to rebuild Great Britain arrives.
(*) Do you like that word, chatterwankers? I just made it up. The concept of the "chattering classes" did not seem to cover them completely. Clearly they mouth-off at great length, but if this argument is correct, then they are chattering themselves out of pocket. Only a wanker would do that, so chatterwankers they are!
Update, 2 December 2005: I am very grateful to Comandante Gringo in the comments box for the Radio Netherlands link which contains further details about the atrocity, and the photo reproduced above of the murdered girl.
01 December 2005
'Monger of the month: November
Last month's contest was not closely fought, and we have a winner who stands head and shoulders above every other wazzock, hand shandyist for war and complete wingnut. That lucky winner is our 'Monger of the Month.
The runner-up was David T. from the Harry's Place site, but I don't think that his heart was really in it, as he seemed to be in autowank mode. However, to give the lad credit, he did try, and his comment was certainly a fair example of the idiocy needed to win, but it did not sink to the winner's levels. Better luck next time, Dave, and keep plugging away.
Now, step forward Craig R. Harmon, for you are this month's 'Monger of the Month with these idiotic comments to one of my postings on the 24th November. Craig is a Lutheran minister, a husband and father and the owner of not just one, but two blogs, neither of which ever seems to get updated very often. Craig, you are a gem, and I hope that you are proud of this publicity. Keep up the good work and remember that you are living proof that it is possible to type one-handed and believe in the Chimp at the same time.
Every month this blog will award due recognition to the animal, vegetable or mineral who has made the most asinine, stupid and/or off-the-wall comment or comments. Nationality is not important, but anyone who signs themself as anonymous will not be included. The publisher-editor's decission is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Calling all warmongers: this is November's gloat.
Hello lads - how's life in Chickenhawkland? Pretty shitty, I would imagine, so let's make it a damn site worse.
The cull for the month of November came to 84 Americans. This means that November 2005 was a pretty good, above-average month for the Iraqis. They have now managed to put down a grand total of 2,113 Americans, which puts them way ahead of the Vietnamese at this stage in the war that they were forced to fight.
On the home front, pressure to leave Iraq grew a lot, as almost two-thirds of Americans now want to see an end to this aggression. Sorry lads, but you can mither about that until you turn blue in the face, and it will not alter the fact that the Chimp and his little toy-boy in London have lost whatever support they might once have had.
The American Congress began slow moves to catch up with this change in opinion - they've got to get re-elected, bless 'em - and the White House did a quick-step to try and keep up with everyone else. Basically, the Chimp's men are now claiming that Sen. Joseph Biden's idea to cut 50,000 men from the occupation force was actually theirs all along.
To make matters even more interesting, it is quite probable that the war mongers would want to cut and run even if this war had not become unpopular. The reason for this is that they are running out of willing bullet stoppers. Old soldiers just want to get out and new recruits are few and far between. They could raise soldiers' pay, but that leads them up against the imovable object known as the budget deficit. You see the problem, lads? Not enough soldiers are willing to die for this fantasy of a privatised Iraq that recognises Israel, and not enough money is available to tempt new ones.
Finally, we had the news that the Americans are going to start talking to the Iranians. I know, I know, but the axis of evil was so last week. Besides, as I pointed out only yesterday, the buggers don't have much choice.
O-Kay - I can see problems here for you lot. If you were an Iraqi nationalist and you had just been told that the Americans were going to reduce their forces to about 100,000 men, what would you do? I know the question is a bit silly, because being hand-shandyists you haven't got the bottle to do anything, but stick with me on this one. Let's pretend that you have balls, just for a moment. . .
Would you sit on your arses and say, "Wow! It's almost over, let's have some tea and wait until these buggers finally leave". Or would you think, "Right, less Americans means more room for us to move around and now's our chance to wipe out that fucking base that's just outside our town".
Leading on from this, if you were an Iraqi fence-sitter, a bloke hanging around just waiting to see who looked likely to win, what would you do? You could decide to join the puppet regime's forces, but that seems unlikely to me. I think that it's odd-on that you will join the nearest resistence group and be super brave, just to prove that you were on their side all along.
To make matters even worse for you, there is that business of the CIA's "Torture-R-Us" centres that seem to be operating in Europe. Now, I know that the Chimp is has sent his nice tea lady to try and explain all this away, but I don't see this as a goer, do you? Be honest, now. The European Union has announced that any member state that cooperated in any of this could find its EU membership suspended. I reckon that if the choice is between more handouts from the EU and keeping in with Uncle Sam, the Eastern Europeans will know where their bread is buttered, don't you? I expect this scandal to break for just that reason, as various govenment try to cover themselves by dumping the Chimp's men in the shit. When that happens I reckon that the Chimp will be left with his dick hanging out.
Now, I know what you are thinking, lads. You are clutching at the air-power straw, aren't you? The occupiers leave and the USAF is used to keep the sand-niggers in line. Well, we have another problem here, don't we? The problem is how long can the Americans keep turning Iraqi cities into rubble and the rubble into dust before the TV images disgust even you? That is ignoring the argument that bombing Iraq back into the stone age is hardly in keeping with the line that this war was a great act of liberation.
I don't want you to stop wanking over this one, lads. Keep gasping George Galloway's name as you pull desperately on your tiny little todgers. Don't even think about any of the nasty things that I have mentioned above and hope against hope that no bugger notices that the ship is sinking fast. Anything for you lot must be better than the terrible peace that you can surely see on the horizon. If I were you I would pray to whatever infernal gods you worship that this war goes on for a long, long time.
Bring 'em on!