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September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 December 2010

31 August 2006
Troops to leave Iraq?
Make of this what you will, but Juan Cole is reporting that U.S. Marines went through parts of Baghdad telling the people via megaphones that the troops were leaving Iraq soon.
30 August 2006
Americans start to turn on Britain
The main problem that a loyal little doggie has is that it tends to get kicks, rather than praise, from its master. This is doubly true in the field of international relations, and should serve as an object lesson to those who think that a craven attitude towards the United States is in Britian's interests.

Harold MacMillan used to say that Britain was as the Greeks to the American's Romans. He conveniently forgot to mention that the Greeks were Roman slaves - an lesson that, sadly, has never been learned by any British Government of whatever political shade.

Now the American masters have begun to kick their little British doggie. The New Republic magazine, an American Neocon rag, has this to say after all Blair's loyalty, and after so many British deaths:
In the wake of this month's high-profile arrests, it can now be argued that the biggest threat to US security emanates not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather from Great Britain, our closest ally.
So much for dog-like devotion to a foreign country.

As the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday, the New Republic is not alone in its criticism of the United Kingdom - lot's of other American rightists are joining in the attacks. From the point of view of a British socialist, all this is to the good if it gets the Americans out of Britain and Britain out of NATO.

However, wouldn't it be hilarious if, after having lost their war in Iraq, the Americans were to turn on Britain and use London as the scapegoat for a lost war? They will need a scapegoat, that's for sure, because otherwise they would have to analyse their own failings. A far better solution is to look elsewhere and shove on the blame on whatever mug seems the most likely candidate to carry the can. A Britain that has too many Mussies in it? That will do nicely.

The Exile thinks that it is time to start agreeing, at least in public, with this aspect of American thought. Anything to help break the alliance between London and Washington.
29 August 2006
Hand shandyism rushes to catch up on Iraq death squad news.
Back in January of this year Newsweek magazine ran an article about the Iraqi death squads. They argued that the Americans had pretty much run out of options and were using the El Salvador option: recruit, train and arm death squads and then turn them loose on the nationalists.

First in May and then again in June, your friendly Exile commented on these trends and basically said that their use marks the penultimate stage of a guerrilla war: what comes next is that everyone piles in against the occupiers and the war ends in defeat for the aggressor.

Now, almost a year after Newsweek began this discussion, a hand shandy blog has decided to weigh in with its considered view of the slaughter:
Anyone who hopes for a stable democracy and the rule of law in Iraq realizes that at some point, the Iraqi government will have to confront the lawless Shia militias as well as the Sunni insurgents.
Er, yeah, except they are not going to do any such thing, are they? Partly because that isn't what the imperialists want, but mainly because the puppet regime's soldiers are in it for the money: the guerrillas and the militias are the ones fighting for nationalism or religion, and those two tend to trump a pay packet any day. Besides, most of the militias' leaders are in the so-called Iraqi government, anyway.

Still, it's nice to see that the hand shandyists are waking up to what the rest of us have known about for months, even if their only solution is more of the same old wank. Guess what, lads? That way lies defeat for you and a wild party for us.

Update, 12.30am:

The Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to the cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, may have driven the puppet forces out of the town of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. al-Sadr's party has five seats in the puppet govenment, but has never shown any inclination to collaborate with the occupation.
26 August 2006
British forced to abandon major Iraqi base.
The British were forced to abandon a major base in southern Iraq yesterday in the face of Iraqi attacks. A spokesman put a brave face on the retreat, claiming that it could not be called a defeat, since the British had not suffered "significant casualties". Work that one out for yourselves.

The Mahdi Army are certainly hailing it as a victory, and are claiming that "This is the first Iraqi city that has kicked out the occupier!" Even the British spokesman had to admit that the almost constant attacks that the base suffered was a factor in the decision to abandon it.

The base was handed over to the Iraqi puppet forces and the rest of us sat back and laughed as Iraqi civilians looting the place. Even funnier than the TV footage, was the views of Britain's optimistic spokesman, who claimed that the looting "was more of an attempt to improve one's quality of life by making off with an air conditioner. The crux of the issue is economic, its not malice. Call it a peace dividend." Yeah, right - the Iraqis took a piece of everything, including the roofing, windows and plumbing.

One wonders how the warmongers will try to explain this one away? The most likely answer is that they will try to ignore it, just as they have been ignoring the impending disaster for some time now.
25 August 2006
What is a michelada and how do I get one?
Back home earlier this year and the Exile noted people in London drinking Corona beer from the bottle with a slice of lemon jammed in the neck. Upon enquiry he was told that this was the Mexican way to swig beer. The Exile was forced to point out the error in their ways.

No Mexican will drink beer out of the bottle. Well, some do, but they are the malinchistas - those creatures who prefer Western things to the local varieties. They drink out of the bottle because they think that is how the Americans behave, but the real Mexican drinks his beer as a michelada, and for that you need to:

Take a tall glass and wet the rim. Then upend the glass in a saucer of salt - the rim should be covered in the stuff. Next drop about half and inch of lemon juice into the glass and add your beer. Any beer will do and the result is an authentic Mexican michelada. It's the only way to swill in a cantina.

Basically, Mexicans drink like this because it is a cheap way to get drunk - the salt and lemon helps you get dehydrated and, thus, pissed out of your head even easier. Still, the taste is nice and the Exile has been swigging micheladas in a cantina called la Perla tonight.
24 August 2006
Iraq has a 70% annual inflation rate
Juan Cole reports that the annual Iraqi inflation rate is now some 70%. He goes on to say that this will hit the poor the hardest, but the Exile does not agree with that assessment.

Basically, the poor in the Third World are untroubled by economic woes such as this, and for two reasons:

1. Often they are only loosely connected to the cash economy. Many of their transactions are in the form of barter trade - the you fix my tractor and I'll give you some wheat, sort of thing.

2. Most states have a system that either doles out basic food free to the poor or sells it at subsidised prices. Iraq does the former, which means that people are not going to riot because they are hungry.

No, the people who suffer in a high inflation regime are the middle class. Given that this group is the one that the imperialists are relying on to build the brave new Iraq, an inflation rate of 70% is yet another spur that encourages them to leave the country.
23 August 2006
When is a civil war not a civil war?
General Richard Fry of the Royal Marines has just gone on record as describing the situation in Iraq as a "mini civil war. Then he said that, on reflection, it doesn't meet that definition, and then he concluded by saying that reporters shouldn't call the mayhem a civil war - even if it is - because that might lead to "a certain degree of despondency in the political constituencies of both of our countries".

O-Kay, so it's a civil war that isn't, but we need to keep mum when calling it a civil war for fear that the folks back home may see through all the lies and demand that we end our involvement.

Is everyone clear on that?
21 August 2006
Deleted comments
Following on from the last post, just before he trecked off to his pit the Exile saved the hilarious comments that Gene's load of old wank had elicited. Sure enough they have all been deleted now, but can be read, and savoured, here:

Comments: The Nazi-Mufti connection

Another little known historical fact that may shock hp readers is that some of the nazis were not actually Muslims..

Hard to believe I know.
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 03:44 AM

Yawn. Do you have anything important to say here, Sonic?
Posted by Patricia at August 21, 2006 03:51 AM

You mean something as witty and cutting as "yawn"?
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 03:54 AM

Do you reckon that the Grand Mufti was as big a help to the German war effort as the Irgun? I know that Germany turned down their offer of a formal alliance, but by starting their terrorist campaign against the British in 1944, I am sure that you will agree that they became de facto, if not de jure, members of the Axis.

I seem to remember reading that the British had to have 8 battalions in Palestine at the end of 1944. No doubt they would have come in useful against Germany...
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 03:56 AM

Okay, let me address the substance of your remarks, such as they are. Gene was not trying to say something idiotic, like "all Muslims are Nazis." He was explaining the historical point that one of the channels of transmission of European anti-semitism to the Arab/Muslim world was through the Mufti. Do you deny the existence of European-style antisemitism in the Arab/Muslim world, as evidenced by recent statements by M. Ahmedinejad or as present in the Hamas charter? If you don't, then why is it irrelevant to point out those channels?
Posted by Patricia at August 21, 2006 03:59 AM

My uncle once knew a man who claims that he knows a man who once a saw a muslim not signal properly before making a turn at a redlight.

Spooky, isn't it?
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 04:10 AM

Was he a nazi muslim BBB?
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 04:13 AM

Hard to say, my uncle's friend's friend promptly soiled himself while running in the opposite direction, screaming "Argh! The Green Menace!"

But he probably was a nazi muslim.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 04:22 AM

The Stern gang focused solely on the British as they saw them as enemies of the Jews. They were prepared to play ball with the Nazis, and proposed to assist them in removing Jews from Europe. They wanted to enter the war on Germany's side. A quite extraordinary bunch of characters.
Posted by Benjamin at August 21, 2006 04:44 AM

Oh shit, you mentioned the holocaust AND Muslim anti-Semitism... Here comes Harry's Place cockroach infestation of anti-Semites, historical revisionists and apologists. Just shoot me now.

And Benji's out of the closet. No surprise at all.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 04:52 AM

He was explaining the historical point that one of the channels of transmission of European anti-semitism to the Arab/Muslim world was through the Mufti.

Actually there's a claim that perhaps the critical transfer went the other direction - that the Final Solution was originally the Mufti's idea.

To draw a parallel, the Germans felt a need to publically deny that the holocaust was taking place, while in the Middle east, Arab newpapers had no shame and openly called for the genocide of Jews in the middle east. So perhaps the holocaust , ie. genocide against the Jews, is an idea that fits significantly more comfortably into Arab/Middle Eastern society than it did even into Nazi Germany.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 05:00 AM

"cockroach infestation"

I would learn German if I was you Josh, sentiments like that sound so much better in the original language!
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 05:19 AM

What language does "suck my dick, you Nazi" sound best in Sonic?
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 05:36 AM

Eh? Have I said anything anti-semitic? I have not denied anything regarding the Mufti.
Posted by Benjamin at August 21, 2006 05:36 AM

I think it is just fine in the original idiot.

BTW love the blog especially the "No muslims = Peace" video.

Your own little Enloesung?
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 05:39 AM

Benji, the "Zionists were in bed with the Nazis" crap is a favorite with all anti-Semites. No doubt the truth is that the Zionists wanted to make a deal with the Nazis to save European Jews from the Holocaust.

Of course you would pick the harshest slander you could think of to distract attention from the Mufti's own genocidal ferver.

My only question is, did you think that no one would call you on your obvious sentiments, or were you counting on it?
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 05:43 AM

Sonic, now you're lying in order to make points. Asshole.

I suppose I should have extracted the audio portion of that radio show from the UTube video, but then I would have had to figure out how to stream the audio myself.

As it has said on that post (and in the comments) for 3 months:

Update: I just noticed the symbol at the beginning of the video (an Islamic crescent with a circle and a line through it, an equals sign and a peace sign, in other words “no Muslims equals peace”). Keep in mind that whoever made the video montage had nothing to do with the radio program that the audio was recorded from. The video montage mostly follows the audio and helps make it’s point, but also has provocative signs that detract from the argument such as the one it starts with - there’s such a thing as going too far.

Anyway I had listened to the audio without really watching the video when I posted this.

I tried to resize the window to hide the video, but that doesn’t work. Listen to the radio program - ignore the video if it bothers you.

Did you get that? The radio show is not affiliated with the video, and the You-Tube player isn't fully resizable. When you make the player smaller, the controls get smaller - ie unusable.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 05:48 AM

Oh right so you posted it, but didn't notice it and then when did notice it did you put up this disclaimer

"ignore the video if it bothers you"

So calling for the deaths of a billion people may bother some people?

No sh*t.
Posted by sonic at August 21, 2006 05:51 AM

I recommend that people listen to the radio clip and make up their own minds. It's satire broadcast on the eve of the 7/7 massacre.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 05:53 AM

So calling for the deaths of a billion people may bother some people?

While I would never defend the "No Muslims=Peace" signs, but I also interpret it as an anti-immigration slogan, not a pro-genocide slogan. I think your interpretation is completely spurious, Sonic.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:00 AM

In any case the radio satire Sonic refered to about Guardian style appeasment reactions to the 7/7 bombing is posted on my blog here.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:06 AM

It starts pretty slowly but it gets better, by the way.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:09 AM

It's very funny by the end.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:23 AM

Can we imagine the reaction of hp's regulars if someone had a video on their blog that began with "no jews = peace" symbols? As pointed out by other in the past, there is a definite double standard regarding the labeling anti-semitism and islamophobia.

"I find Israel's action to be ineffective and self-defeating" results in shouts of "Ah, out the closet now you vicious anti-semite!" As regards islamophobia, it seems that anything short of actually calling for the death of 1 billion muslims is accepted as something that reasonable people can debate.

Just how it looks from here folks...
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 06:29 AM

As I pointed out, BBBIII, it's the radio satire that I'm posting not the video montage that some random person saddled his You-Tube recording with.

It's so damn convinient of you to try to burn the book without reading it. Content is nothing but an inconvenience to censors like you.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:32 AM

Or maybe you did listen to the content, and THAT's why you want that program censored. Perhaps it has truths you want buried.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:37 AM

Josh Scholar: "Yes, the intro calls for genocide, but that cannot possibly be a reflection of the content or indeed the mindset of people who believe these things."

Anyhow, it's just "going too far" anyways.

And the union jack being enveloped by the ominous green? Am I to assume it has nothing to do with an irrational fear of muslims and is just a comment on the need for more greens in the common diet?
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 06:39 AM

Josh Scholar: "Yes, the intro calls for genocide, but that cannot possibly be a reflection of the content or indeed the mindset of people who believe these things."

That's not what I wrote, you lying piece of shit!!!!

I demand that your lie be deleted from this comment section!
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:41 AM

I demand that your slander be deleted.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:42 AM

Paranoid, isn't he?

If by truths you mean "Argh! The Green Menace!", I believe that many of the folks here at hp are already familiar with that one.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 06:42 AM

I've contacted Gene.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:45 AM

I believe it was more in the spirit of parady than slander.

Anyways, your mom is here to pick you up Josh, later.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 06:46 AM

I wrote quite the opposite. What you wrote then and now is obviously deliberate misrepresentation.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:47 AM

Can we imagine the reaction of hp's regulars if someone had a video on their blog that began with "no jews = peace" symbols? As pointed out by other in the past, there is a definite double standard regarding the labeling anti-semitism and islamophobia.

Of course there is, just as there is a double-standard about anti-black or anti-white racism. One is quite rightly considered worse than the other as there has been a long history of whites oppressing blacks and very few cases where it has been the other way round. When the chief rabbi calls for the extermination of muslims and allows himself to be the guest of a dictator whose avowed aim is to "cleanse" the world of anyone who was muslim to the extent even that their grandfather practised the religion then we will be able to make a comparison but at present those who decry "double standards" sound just like those who mutter under their breaths about how "the blacks get favourable treatment."
Posted by The appliance of simple left-wing logic. at August 21, 2006 06:48 AM

Benji, the "Zionists were in bed with the Nazis" crap is a favorite with all anti-Semites.

I never said the Zionists in general were in bed with the Nazis. The evidence is that a small group (the Stern gang) were prepared to co-operate with them to facilitate the creation of a Jewish state, and defeat the British.

Or at least feelers were put out, and no response came. However, that is a far cry from saying that Zionists in general co-operated with the Nazis, which is ridiculous.
Posted by Benjamin at August 21, 2006 06:49 AM

The appliance of simple left-wing logic,

So, it's ok to hate muslims because jews were oppressed?
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 06:53 AM

It's a regular occurance here that people like me who may critcise Jews (in this case the Stern gang) are then accused of anti-semitism. But in reality criticism of Jews, the Israeli govt etc, does not make one an anti-semite, and nor does saying that the Mufti was a twat make one an Islamophobe.

Get a bloody grip, Josh.
Posted by Benjamin at August 21, 2006 06:57 AM

I think BBBIII is deliberately trolling - deliberately pretending to misunderstand the comments, hoping to start arguements that will hide the actual content of the article.

Ignore the troll.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 06:58 AM

Benji, bringing it up, off topic, in order to distract attention from real anti-Semitism is a bit of a give-away though.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:00 AM

It's called balance, Josh. I like to remind people here that Jews are not just victims, constantly persecuted. Fundamentally, they are just like everybody else - you got the good, the bad and the ugly. It should not be a controversial thing to say.
Posted by Benjamin at August 21, 2006 07:04 AM

Ah, your hatred is called "balance." This must be an obscure meaning of the word that I wasn't previously aware of.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:07 AM

Question is Josh, if you now know that the video on your blog implies genocide, why is it still up?

Also, yes, I am part of massive propaganda blitz by the forces of The Green Menace ("Argh, oh no!"). They have promised me that when they conquer our lands I will recieve a more tax incentives than the other dhimmis. This is absolutely true.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 07:17 AM

Notice how the anti-Semites, historical revisionists and apologists are desperately trying to distract attention from the original topic of the post? They'll pick fights, do ANYTHING to try to change the subject.

I have to say, I've never seen desperate trolling before!
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:21 AM

And more slanderous trolling... BBBIII knows that I've already denied exactly what he's claiming I said.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:23 AM

Sonic, what are you doing around here? Good to see the gang's back - although in my case only for a mo'.

And Josh, my little ray of sunshine, the Stern Gang didn't want to make any such deal: they wanted to fight alongside Germany 'cos they wanted to establish a similar state in Palestine.

That said, Josh, thanks for the big girl's blousish tantrum. Does mummie know you're not in bed?
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 07:23 AM

Notice how the anti-Semites, historical revisionists and apologists are desperately trying to distract attention from the original topic of the post? They'll pick fights, do ANYTHING to try to change the subject.

I have to say, I've never seen desperate trolling before!
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:23 AM

Exile "blah blah blah"

And we hear from the fascist who loved Milosovitch! Please crawl back under a rock.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:25 AM

Er, no, Josh, it's not trolling, its taking the piss. We regard Gene as one of the great figures of early 21C fun, and when he starts on one of his Grand Mufti = Arab nationalism = wicked Nazis, we just have to join in and have a laugh.
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 07:26 AM

Josh - "anti-Semites, historical revisionists and apologists"

This really is prime example of just throwing shit at a wall hoping something sticks. You should throw in "counter-revolutionaries" just for the heck of it.

Oh, and bang your shoe on your podium.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 07:28 AM

Nope, never loved the man, but did respect his stand against globalised capitalism.

Ever heard of the ad-homin fallacy? Attack the writer 'cos you can't say shit against his words? Well, you are a good example of the trend.
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 07:29 AM

Yes of course, there is no topic you find funnier than the Holocaust, Exile. That's no surprise from the blogger who loved a more recent genocide.

Fucking fascist! What are you going to do when you don't have any pictures of Milosovitch that aren't stuck together?
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:29 AM

Counter-revolutionary! [Bangs shoe on podium!]
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:32 AM

Good boy, Josh Scholar, good boy.

Next, get some sense into your thick head and take down that disgusting video on your blog.
Posted by BigBadBob III at August 21, 2006 07:35 AM

Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:36 AM

Er, no, Josh, there is nothing I find funnier than Gene at the moment - unless its you and your tantrums.
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 07:37 AM

Prediction: this shameful thread will be deleted.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:40 AM

There are too many anti-Semites on Harry's Place for it to be possible to make a post on the Holocaust without this deeply shameful crap filling up the comment section.
Posted by Josh Scholar at August 21, 2006 07:41 AM

Before it is I hope you take note that slander is spoken and cannot be deleted. Libel is the word you wanted.

Goodnight to you and don't forget to give Teddie a kiss before you go off to the land of nod.
Posted by Exile at August 21, 2006 07:43 AM


Establishing Israel: some inconvenient facts
One of the great joys of blogging is to take a hand shandyist for war and really go to town on him. My favourite is Gene from Harry's Place who has just posted yet another rant on the alleged links between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis. The wheeze is to equate Arab determination to remove a certain shitty little country that was established in Arabia in 1948 with anti-Semitism. It's a bit like describing the African countries that opposed Southern Rhodesia as anti-British. Actually, this writer suspects that the average Arab doesn't really give much of a stuff for the average Jew, provided he isn't living in that part of Arabia called Palestine. Anyway, once the rest have either been relocated back to Europe, or reconciled themselves to living in Palestine, Arab rants will probably cease. Just like African rants did, come to think of it.

Getting back to our mate Gene, the problem with his argument - if we may thus dignify it - is that the Grand Mufti's flirtation with Germany did not have all that much of an effect on the war effort. The problem that Gene has is that the Europeans who were colonising Palestine did side with Germany and their actions certainly had a detrimental effect on the war effort.

In 1941, one of the terrorist gangs that fought to create Israel, the National Military Organisation (Irgun or Stern gang as it is more usually called) made the following official offer to the German government:
1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.
2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,
3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.
Although Germany never took up the offer, that didn't stop these crusaders from starting their terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine in 1944. That's right folks! The war against Germany did not end until May of 1945, so these gallant boys were ipso facto allies of Germany for almost a year. Their activities included the usual bank robberies, extorsion and the killing of British soldiers and officials. How many troops were diverted from the European Theatre to hold the line in Palestine is a matter of some debate, but the point is that troops had to be kept in that territory.

So what does all this prove? Well, it proves that politics makes strange bedfellows, it proves that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and it proves that Gene from Harry's Place is a complete knob. However, we knew that last bit was true all along, didn't we?
20 August 2006
You have to laugh
Here's a good 'un: a delegation from a certain shitty little country went to Moscow and whinged that Russian made anti-tank missiles have been supplied to Hezbollah.

There is no record of any Lebanese delegation going to Washington to complain that not only is this shitty country's entire arsenal supplied by the USA, but that the economy would collapse if America did not keep poring in billions of dollars worth of aid every year.

They have brass necks, these buggers, don't they?

Cheers: LGF Watch
19 August 2006
Middle class insolence
Neil Clark reports on a worrying trend which he dismisses with contempt: the problem is that it does reflect a disturbing change in inter-class relations in the UK. Basically, the report concerns the desire of Newcastle City Council to stop its workers from using such expressions as "pet" and "hinnie" in everyday speech.

On one level this can be dismissed as the desire of the "equality and diversity" lecturers who came up with this wheeze to justify their own overblown salaries. In the Exile's experience such people tend to be products of the old polys and are, therefore, thick as the Exile's dick. Good fun can be had with these creatures just by wondering out loud why they did not go to Oxbridge? Or a redbrick? Or one of those nice glassplate universities that Harold Wilson opened in the 1960s? Is it difficult to live knowing that you are a brick short of a load? You can have hours of merry fun with open speculation like that - drives 'em daft, it does.

However, on a more serious level, this attack - and others just like it - reflects a desire by the middle class to exert its control over the working class. Smoking is an issue that demonstrates the same trend: we don't do something, so neither are you, goes the middle class argument.

In normal times all this could be dealt with by the unions and the Labour Party. That is because when both those groups were strong the middle class was frightened of nasty consequences if they got too lippy. However, today the unions are small in both numbers and membership and the Labour Party has been taken over by the same middle class who caused us such grief in the first place.

On a personal level, insolence can usually be dealt with via threats of violence. On one of his trips back to the UK the Exile and son had eaten a curry in London. The Exile lit a tab and heard muttering from a couple about this fact. Not a complaint, just sotto voce mutterings. So the Exile stood up and asked in a very loud voice if they wanted to fucking well say something? They didn't and left the eating house shortly afterwards.

The problem with this approach is that while it may work to educate the odd one or two creatures, it doesn't work on the mass of them. What is needed is a working class that has the confidence that it possessed in the 1970s to basically stick two fingers up to these human cockroaches.

Alas, for that to happen the working class needs an organisation that can articulate these grievances and encourage the fightback: and such a body does not exist.

Pending its creation, the Exile can at least take comfort from the fact that two cockroaches learned their place three years ago. He hopes that the lesson has been remembered.
17 August 2006
Exile agrees with Harry's Place - well, sort of.
It's hard to believe, but the Exile stands in complete agreement with a recent posting at Harry's Place. Even more amazing is that the poster is from their wanker in residence: step forward Dave T.

Basically, Dave argues that a telephone company named Orange was out of order to suspend a bloke for writing something nasty about Arabs in his free time. OK, so it's a freedom of speech case and we are all with Inigo Wilson, even though he is a Tory cunt as well.

So far so good, but Dave has to balls his own case up in a way that only he can. He does call himself a socialist, but always fucks up the first principles. I know, what can you expect, but at least he should try harder. His first fuck up comes when he argues that the bosses may have grounds for giving grief to people if "they betray corporate secrets or defame their employers.".

Someone might like to tell this clown that to betray something means that you must first have had a loyalty to it. What working man has ever had anything other than atavistic loathing for his employer? Leading on from that, how can we defame our employers? To defame means to harm the reputation of someone; and since the employer does not have a reputation in the minds of working people, how can it be damaged?

The second point that needs taking issue with is the idea that "Orange is a private company, which is entitled to take any decision it wants to, consistent with employment law, in relation to its employees.".

My arse it fucking well is! Orange may have the power to do what it likes, but it has no right to do anything, and we as socialists must never conceed to management filth any such power. If the filth want us to obey their edicts then they must coerce us - only then will we obey and only so long as the coercion lasts. Otherwise it's two fingers to the boss and who has the playing cards?

All of this is a sort of Socialism 101. The employer has no rights that we respect, only coercive powers that we kick up against. He is scum and knows that he is scum because we tell him at every opportunity.

That said, let's support this bugger Inigo Wilson, because a victory for him is a victory against employers everywhere.

Can someone please tell Dave T. that this is what it is all about?


16 August 2006
Barking dogs & Israel's attack on Lebanon
Seymour Hersh's recent article in the New Yorker is mainly about America's role in egging on the Israelis to attack Lebanon. However, it does point to one glaring flaw in the whole wheeze that nobody has yet picked up on:
The initial plan, as outlined by the Israelis, called for a major bombing campaign in response to the next Hezbollah provocation, according to the Middle East expert with knowledge of U.S. and Israeli thinking. Israel believed that, by targeting Lebanon’s infrastructure, including highways, fuel depots, and even the civilian runways at the main Beirut airport, it could persuade Lebanon’s large Christian and Sunni populations to turn against Hezbollah, according to the former senior intelligence official. The airport, highways, and bridges, among other things, have been hit in the bombing campaign.
The flaw can be called the barking dog fallacy. Basically, a plan calls for someone to do something, then the dog barks, and then something else happens. However, if the mut stays silent or does something other than bark, then the plan falls to pieces. In the case of Israel the barking dog was the Christian and Sunni communities who were supposed to rise up against Hezbollah. Not only did they decline to do as instructed by the Israeli script, they actually started supporting Hezbollah.

Hence the Israelis started flailing about sending troops into Lebanon, then bringing them out again, then sending them back. They probably behaved like that because they had no idea what to do if Plan A went off the rails.
12 August 2006
Neocons answer to war: more war!
This is good sport: America's Neo-Conservatives are lambasting Israel for being too soft on the Lebanese. What those pesky natives need is to feel the white man's boot even harder than they have already, runs the argument.

What's the betting that our favourite wanking for war sites will take up the refrain? Which one will be first, the Exile wonders?
11 August 2006
The lack of a future for Israel.
Most historians, if they are honest, would probably admit that the long term future of Israel is nil. A Creole state can only survive if it can either exterminate or swamp the native population. Think of the USA for the former and New Zealand for the latter. If this does not happen, then like British Rhodesia or French Algeria, eventually the natives kick out the Creoles and that is that. In the case of Israel, the repsective Arab and Creole birthrates mean that sooner or later the Arabs will be able to challenge Creole dominance within the pre-1967 Israeli borders. If the Creoles cannot reply with genocide, they they are doomed.

However, the war in Lebanon may mean that Arabia does not have to wait until the Palestinians roughly match the Israelis in population before a showdown can occur. This is because Hezbollah now looks likely to win its war against Israel.

On the moral and political fronts, this victory has been assured for some time, but what we are talking about here is victory on the battlefield: that when the dust clears the Israelis will have been forced to withdraw and the Hezbollah battle flag, battered and stained though it will be, will be the only flag to wave over Southern Lebanon.

If this happens, then two other things are likely to follow. The first is that it will be obvious the the Creoles that the policy of deterence no longer works. Israel's strategy has always been to terrorise the Arabs into submission - hence the destruction of houses and the torture of Paletinian civilians. When that no longer works we can expect top see quite a few Westeners leaving Israel for pastures new. This will tip the moral factor over to the Arabs.

Secondly, we are likely to see revolutions breaking our in the Arab world as the corrupt old leaderships are swept aside. New governments will emerge that will probably copy the Hezbollah tactic of having an army that aims to fight a foreign enemy, rather that maintaining a corrupt oligarchy in power back home.

If that happens then Israel is doomed rather sooner than anyone imagined. As Hezbollah has shown, if you are prepared to take the hits and see the infrastucture destroyed, then you can break a modern army just by wearing it down. If Egypt and Jordan could do that from the outside, and the Palestinians did it from within, then the final surrender would not be long delayed.

We do live in interesting times, don't we?
09 August 2006
Suicide bombers are not Islamicists, a study shows
Contrary to warmonger belief, most suicide bombers are not Islamic extremists; rather they are nationalists who hate foreign occupation. Robert Pape has conducted a study of the tactic and has found that out of 41 recorded suicide bombers in Lebanon, only eight were fundamentalists. A massive 27 were political leftists and three were Christians. The ideology of the remaining three is unknown.

Pape goes on to argue that:
What these suicide attackers - and their heirs today - shared was not a religious or political ideology but simply a commitment to resisting a foreign occupation. Nearly two decades of Israeli military presence did not root out Hizbollah. The only thing that has proven to end suicide attacks, in Lebanon and elsewhere, is withdrawal by the occupying force.
Hand shandyists for war are going to be annoyed at these findings, but all they show is the truth of the old axiom that when the fucking foreigners land on the shore the people put aside their differences to get them out. Once that has been done everyone goes back to hating each other as before.
08 August 2006
Will Mexico have an interim president?
Carrying on from yesterday's posting about the contested Mexican presidential elections, the radio and TV are today full of debate about the possible installation of an interim president, come the 1st December. The president would then call fresh elections, and the whole cycle would repeat itself. Given that Felipe Calderon seems to have emerged the victor by roughly 250,000 votes, one is inclined to wonder what is going on?

The first thing that the reader needs to remember is that this is Mexico and the media would not be discussing the notion of an interim president were the idea not being discussed seriously at elite level. Mexican hacks know where their bread is buttered and someone must have given the word, otherwise the idea would not have been aired publicly.

This begs the question, why are the elite planning to deny Calderon the fruits of his victory? The answer must be that they are afraid of the urban mass of the population, most of whom live in Mexico City and the poor southern states. It is far better to annoy a group of dodgy northern businessmen who may rage at losing their president, but who are not in a position to mount a major challenge where it matters: on the streets. Those business interests can cause damage to the economy by refusing to pay their taxes - something that they are already threatening to do - but they cannot turn the capital's streets into a war zone, so the thinking goes.

The key to understanding this is to remember that, as with all Third World countries, the local elite live in the capital city. That city has to be held until the end no matter what the cost. That way if things really do go pear shaped, the elite have time to get themselves, their families and their ill-gotten loot out of the country. The problem that the Mexican elite has is that Mexico City is not only the capital, it is the Democratic Revolutionary Party's (PRD) base. In other words, stealing the election from Calderon makes sense because it will keep the slums quiet.

The problem is that it relies on the northern states accepting the deal and keeping quiet. The deal could be that Calderon would win - by hook or crook - the next election and the results would be presented in such a way as to ensure that the PRD is seen to be clearly defeated.

Will the right accept this, or do they have some tricks of their own? Only time will tell.
07 August 2006
Lopez Obrador demonstrators in Mexico may be being paid
As the BBC reports, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has now called on his supporters to march to the Federal Electoral Commission's headquarters to demand a full recount of July's ballot.

His supporters are camped out in Mexico City centre, blocking the main Reforma avenue. On the surface he seems to have a lot of suppoert, but the Exile can report that a lot of his people are actually being paid to join the protest. Peasants from the state of Oaxaca are being offered free transport to Mexico City, three meals a day and $200 (£10.00) in cash if they sign up. Given that wages for an agricultural labourer in that benighted state are about $5o.00 (£2.50) a day, that is decent brass.

The Exile got to hear about this scam from a Oaxacan Indian who has lived in Mexico City for many years. This man went home for a family funeral and reported that he had been approached with this offer. Other people with Oaxaca connections have said the same thing. Padding out demonstrations by offering food, drink and money to people is hardly a new aspect of the Mexican political tradition. The fact that AMLO has to do it suggests that his support is not as strong as many people think.

The internet war has also hotted up, and anyone who has a Mexican e-mail address is liable to find that his inbox is getting full with pro and anti AMLO propaganda.

The most common is one that says:

(Take the airport: don't be poofs)

To which the anti-AMLO brigade have replied with:

¿No que ibas a tomar el aeropuerto?
(Weren't you going to take the airport?

Aparte de tramposo, cobarde.
(Aside from being a trickster, you're a coward)

¿Esa es tu resistencia?
(Is this your resistance?

jaja deja me rio, asi no presionas a nadie.
(Ha-ha let me have a laugh. This way you don't pressure anyone)

And so it goes on. What the outcome will be is anyone's guess.
05 August 2006
A spectre rises over Blair
A spectre may be about the haunt the Blairites: the spectre of the families of British soldiers killed in Iraq who are forming a new political party. The party - called Spectre - will contest up to 70 seats at the next election with the aim of unseating as many warmongers as possible. It is unlikely to win any seats, but if it can only eat into the Labour vote it may achieve its aim, which is to help destroy Blairism.
03 August 2006
Iraq ready for civil war, says former ambassador
William Patey, Britain's outgoing ambassador to Iraq, has warned that the country faces civil war and a breakup along ethnic lines.

This will come as a shock to scabby-arsed Blairites everywhere, especially the usual suspects in the Blogworld. They will not doubt reply that we should offer some positive solution to the problem. Sorry, lads, but the Exile doesn't do positive solutions to imperialist wars of aggression. He just sits back and watches as the best laid plans of mice and warmongers get flushed down the bog.
02 August 2006
Israeli strategy in Lebanon
What is the Israeli strategy in Lebanon after three weeks of war? The only logical answer is that they aim to drive the population north of the River Litani with a campaign of state terror. The depopulated territory may then be handed over to the United Nations; at least that is the plan as announced - it is just as likely that the Israelis would keep it for themselves.

The wonderfully misnamed Justice Minister, one Haim Ramon, has already gone on record as saying that: "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah". Presumably this means that the population of South Lebanon can be hunted down like so many grouse on a Scottish moor.

Actually, that is what is happening. The Israelis have been targetting not just civilian cars but ambulances and other emergency vehicles, probably because the red crosses on the roofs make them such an inviting target.

Having softened up the population, the Israelis went to part two of their strategy which involved a little local massacre: the town of Qana was the target, and over 60 civilians were the victims. The fact that no Hezbollah forces had used Qana as a base to launch rocket attacks into Israel is neither here nor there: Qana had to be attacked to send a message to the rest of the country. The message is simple: flee north of the Litani or die.

Part three will probably involve a major drive into Southern Lebanon by the Israeli army. The air force will act as the beaters to flush the grouse - sorry, Lebanese civilians - out of hiding and on to the army's guns. The army doesn't have to actually kill all that many; just so long as the population does a runner north of the river.

Will the strategy work? That all depends on how tough and resourceful Hezbollah actually are when the chips are down. If they can inflict heavy casualties on the Israelis, then maybe they can bog that army down in the border areas. Both sides must be aware that sooner rather than later a ceasefire is going to be imposed on Israel by the Americans. The timing of that ceasefire really depends on how much diplomatic pressure is put on Washington by the rest of the world. If that pressure comes through load and clear, then Hezbollah may not have to hold off the Israelis for very long.