31 December 2006
Saddam's death: the full video
Calling all cakewalkers and slam-dunkers,
Here it is lads, the full, unedited footage of Saddam's death. Come on, you know that you want to watch it!
When it's over, just tell yourselves that this is the end of the war, that the guerrillas are all Saddamists and now that he's gone the war will wind down.
Keep repeating the mantra until reality gives you a nice bite on the bum.
29 December 2006
America's Iraqi death toll gets close to 3,000
Did everyone have a nice Christmas and are you looking forward to 2007? Unless, of course, you are a warmonger because if you are the next few days are going to be pretty shitty.
The Iraqis have managed to cull 2,991 Americans since the war against them began in March of 2003. That means that just nine more boxes have to be sent home and the Iraqis can claim their 3,000th cull.
21 December 2006
Blair calls for an Arab war against Iran.
As Anglo-American warships prepare to move into the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran, Tony Blair has called on the Arab states to form an "alliance of moderation" to further threaten that country.
Put another way, the loon wants the Sunni Arabs to team up against the Shia Iranians. All rhetoric to the contrary, that is what this proposal will amount to if any Arab states sign on.
Is the man insane?
20 December 2006
Bush and his Ardennes Offensive
Germany's generals warned Hitler that his planned Ardennes offensive would not work. He ignored them and launched it anyway. At least Germany had the element of surprise on her side, so managed to make some limited gains. Alas for Hitler, the generals were correct, and the offensive ended in failure.
Now America's generals are warning their leader that his plan to send an extra 50,000 troops to Iraq is as doomed to failure as Hitler's plan was all those years ago.
The Iraqis must know that all they have to do is hold on. They don't even have to win any battles - the Americans can win all the tactical victories going. What the Iraqis have to do is still have a fighting force in the field when the American surge runs out of steam. It does not take a military genius to figure out that the USA armed forces are undermanned and have been stretched to the limit by their war against Iraq. This planned offensive is their last throw of the dice. When it is over the Americans have no more cards left to play.
19 December 2006
Why Steve Roberts died
Steve Roberts was killed at the start of the war against Iraq. He died because he didn't have the correct body armour and that came about because although the Minstry of Defence knew about the shortages six months earlier, to order new supplies would have made it plain that the aggression was pre-planned.
It is unlikely that Iraqi Intelligence was monitoring the situation, or could have done anything with the news if it had. A more likely explanation is that the anti-war feeling in the UK would have grown had the news leaked out.
So, to keep in with their American masters, the British government sent soldiers off to a war without the correct equipment.
18 December 2006
Americans may be preparing to take on Sadr's militia
It seems likely that a consensus has been reached in Washington that would allow the Chimp to order a surge in troop numbers to Iraq. The plan is to take full control of Baghdad, send in the assistance teams to buy off the Iraqis with goodies and then use the puppet Iraqi army to hold off the insurgents in the rest of the country. For that to happen the army will have to be bolstered with several thousand advisers, but let's not get too far ahead of the game.: this wheeze is likely to fail at the first hurdle.
The reason is that to take control of Baghdad the Americans are going to have to fight Moktada al-Sadr's militia which numbers anything up to 60,000 men. To make matters even more risible, that militia has a heavy influence over the police, interior ministry and puppet army - and may very well be able to call on those forces in a showdown with the American occupiers.
Even if they can't, 60,000 men are well prepared in the slum that is Sadr City. The American army is well trained, well equipped and very mobile: that is what allows the USA to win its conventional wars. So why allow those advantages to be discounted by fighting a brutal slogging match in the alleys of Baghdad?
The answer must be hubris: the Americans will fight in the city because they think that they can win. Funnily enough, the Germans thought the same thing which is why they invested Stalingrad. . .
Even assuming that the rest of Iraq sits back and watches the Mahdi Army go down to a glorious defeat - and that is a very big if in the case of the Shia - then there is no evidence to suggest that once the Americans have licked their wounds the Sunni guerrillas won't be waiting for them in their strongholds. And those guerrillas have proven that they are not stupid enough to taske on the Americans face to face. After sadr City comes the old slog of guerrilla warfare with its ambushes and roadside bombs. The much weakened Americans may find that all they have done is remove from the scene the one Shia force that could have stood up to the post-occupation Sunni irregulars.
Thus in a roundabout way the Americans will have prevented a civil war in Iraq. They defeat Sadr's forces, and the guerrillas then bleed them until they are forced to leave. Then the guerrillas march into the Green Zone, raise their flag and start hanging any collaberators who are still around.
The Exile doens't think much of this wheeze.
14 December 2006
Darfur returns to the spotlight
Faced with the ever darkening clouds of Iraq, the world of wankbloggery has fixed its baleful glare upon Sudan once again.
The chances of anything happening in this conflict over water and grazing lands is pretty remote. Nevertheless, the liberal whinge has caused Washington and London to start looking at unpalatable options. The least unpleasant would be financial sanctions against certain Sudanese leaders. Quite how this would stop the civil war is anyone's guess, but the wankbloggers would no doubt feel really, truly satisfied that something was being done.
11 December 2006
Pinochet pops his clogs
The death of Augusto Pinochet has left many Chileans dancing in the streets and Margaret Thatcher "greatly saddened" at the news: just wait until that old slag calls it a day!
To be fair, although we are certainly entitled to be pleased to see the back of the one and anticipate with glee the passing of the other, neither death can be said to be truly satisfying.
That is because the classes that did well out of both rulers are still whooping it up economically. When a former Yorkshire miner, Liverpool docker or Manchester factory worker can stand in the smoking ruins of Milton fucking Keynes and have a nice, long, slow piss, then the day for celebrations will have finally arrived.
07 December 2006
America could face guerrilla war at home
A few days ago William S. Lind posted essay 195 in his On War series. He argued that the war against Iraq could lead to civil war at home. His theme was that ex-soldiers once back home and faced with a choice between a MacJob and no job at all will "will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state". Bang on cue the FBI has reported that criminal gangs are "prevalent" in the U.S. military.
This is something that this blog has discussed ever since its first month: how primary loyalties are making a comeback as states start to collapse. The point that Lind goes on to make is that defeat pulls a state apart at all levels:
We saw this phenomenon in the effect the defeat in Afghanistan had on the Soviet Union. Just as that defeat led to the disintegration of the USSR, so defeat in the current Afghan war will bring the disintegration of NATO. We are seeing 4GW pull Israel apart today, to the point where a leaden blanket of Kulturpessimismus now oppresses that country.
We will see the same thing here, powerfully I think, as a result of our defeat in Iraq. It will manifest itself in many ways, and one of those ways will be the progression of inner-city and gang crime into something close to warfare, including war against the state.Thus the defeat encourages the growth of primary loyalties and, in the case of the USA, that growth is going to be spurred by the lethal skills that American soldiers have picked up from their Iraqi foes. It does not need all that much training or industrial infrastructure to build a road-side bomb - as the Iraqis prove on a daily basis.
When will the first such bomb blow apart an American police car? Only time will tell.
05 December 2006
American deaths in Iraq keep on climbing
Just over 2,900 Americans have now been culled in Iraq. Will Iraq hit the magic 3,000 figure this month?
04 December 2006
Hugo Chavez Frias gets returned as Venezuela's President.
Hugo Chavez Frias has been returned as Venezuela's President for another six year term, much to this wankblogger's disgust.
He has already threatened to take action against the private TV stations that chose to broadcast cartoons and films during the failed 2002 coup against him, and the Exile hopes that he will not stop there. With luck, and popular support, yet another country can be taken totally out of globalisation's orbit.
It is strange to see the way in which the south of our planet is moving to find its own way of doing things. What unites Latin-American nationalist-leftists with the Mullahs in Iran, say, is a shared distaste for the USA and that country's policies. Can this ad-hoc alliance be built into something stronger?
It cannot be done on the basis of a totally shared ideology. Latin-America is a mainly Catholic region and is hardly likely to even consider converting to Islam. However, one ideology that the south has in common is a respect for state sovereinty. Could that form the basis of a common, anti-globalisation front?
If we respect each others' ways of managing our internal affairs, then countries that have a basically anti-capitalist ideology, anyway, may be able to form trading groups that would operate in a similar fashion to the old Comecon. Venezuela is already promoting this idea and the country gives oil to Cuba in return for the services of Cuban doctors and teachers. Wouldn't it be interesting if this idea could spread?
It is still very early days, but one can discern, just over the horizon, an alternative to globalised capitalism that is taking shape in Venezuela and other countries.
Wankbloggery seems to be having a field day with the Venezuelan elections. In a post entitled "Elections in a land far far away," this tosser managed to find a photo of President Chavez Frias sitting at the wheel of a VW Sedan - as they are known in Mexico. Just in case anyone didn't get the reference to Neville Chamberlain's comment that Checoslovakia was a far away country, the tosser throws in a German sentence to illustrate his point. Get it? The VW Sedan was developed by Hitler's Germany, Chavez Frias is in one, ergo. . . something or other.
01 December 2006
Calderon gets sworn in as Mexican President at the Congress building
Just to make everything nice and legal, Felipe Calderon managed to get into the Mexican Congress via a side entrance and took the oath of office. The national anthem was played and former president Vicente Fox stood uneasily looking like a man who had a train to catch. Then the dignitaries left the building and Calderon made a speech at the heavily guarded National Auditorium.
Back at the Congress, the Senators and Deputies carried on with their brawl. The BBC World newsreader couldn't keep the mirth out of his voice as he reported the event.
Mexico has a new president
Felipe Calderon has been sworn in as the new Mexican President, in a midnight ceremony at los Pinos, the official presidential mansion - or has he?
Mexican law has it that the old president goes out of office at the stroke of midnight on the 1st December. However, does that mean that the new man automatically takes over at that time, or is the country without a president until the official swearing-in ceremony which usually happens at noon?
Given the demonstrations that are expected to take place later today - demonstrations that could disrupt the ceremony - Vicente Fox decided to hand over the presidential sash at midnight. President (we think) Calderon then held his first cabinet meeting and addressed the nation on radio and TV.
More importantly, he has spoken to the armed forces chiefs and they are addressing him as president - which means that Calderon commands the men with the guns.
Rumours have been flying around that Calderon plans to send the heavy mob in to smash the opposition. Taking office at this unearthly hour might mean that he intends to make an early start at this task.
Today could be one of those interesting days.