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31 October 2006
October was the fourth bloodiest month for America in Iraq.
The number of Americans who have been culled in Iraq this month stands at 105. This makes October the fourth best month for the Iraqis since the war against them began over three years ago.
30 October 2006
Wankbloggery goes into overdrive to distract attention from Iraq
As the British prepare to evacuate their consulate in Basra in the face of Iraqi attacks, and as even the Tories threaten to vote against the Blairite regime over its handling of the war against Iraq, what is the attitude of the wankblogs? Why, to ignore it all, of course, and misrepresent the non-interventionist position - and then call for a war against Sudan to distract attention from the disaster at hand!

That is what the Wankmaster-General does. First he starts off by claiming that we who opposed the war against Iraq now claim that the Iraq disaster tells against an "intervention" in Sudan. Actually, we don't talk about interventions: we talk about aggressions against sovereign states that have never threatened the UK.

He then goes on to argue that the war against Iraq was a humanitarian intervention, when it was manifestly sold to the British punters as a war to remove weapons of mass destruction. Tony Blair even said that if the Iraqi regime would disarm, then the war would not happen. The regime could not divest itself of weapons that it did not have so the aggression went ahead. However, at no point in the run-up to the aggression, did the Blairites actually say that Britain was going to war to change a government that it did not like. Or rather a government that its American overlords did not like...

He then concludes by saying that people cannot argue that post-Iraq there should be no more "humanitarian interventions". That is blatent misrepresentation: no bugger ever believed that Iraq fell into that category and if war against the Sudan ever came about, no bugger would believe for a moment that humanitarianism was even on the agenda.

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27 October 2006
The Exile-Blog's first birthday.
This blog is now a year old; something that amazes even me. I wondered when I starteed the thing if I would get to Christmas, and here we are a full 12 months later, still tapping away.

This posting is number 420, which means that I have pretty much written a full-length book over the past year. Looking over them, some are things that I am proud to have written, others I wish that I had been sober that night!

My first ever posting read:
I have been thinking about starting a blog for months, but indolence always prevented it from happening. It is said that hard work never hurt anyone, but I prefer not to take any chances. Two things happened to change my mind:

1. No matter what the cakewalkers may say, the war against Iraq is going badly for them. Their stooges in the UK are trying to put a brave face on things, but victory for Iraq cannot be long delayed. Former Polytechnic Revolutionists who have now seen the light may find it hard to believe, but the war's end will lead to major political upheaval in the UK. Their day is done, along with that of Blair and the whole odious creed known as New Labour. I want to add my tu'pence to that debate.

2. Living in Latin-America has given me a different outlook on life from the one that I had in the UK. Socialism and nationalism go hand in hand over here and this is a theme that I would like to address on this blog. Put simply, the people who opposed the war tended to be from the traditional (economically based) left and the old right. Maybe we have more in common than just a war?

So these are the motives for the blog, but I will comment on other things as the mood takes me. It's my toy after all...
As I wrote then, it's my toy, but I'm pleased to note that I have given some serious grief to the hand shandyists for war - you know who you are, lads, and don't need a link.

The second factor that led to this blog has never been properly addressed. Why not? Probably because I had more fun taunting the cakewalkers than anything else. On that matter I note that, also on the blog's first day, the score in Iraq reached 2,000 dead Americans. Today it is over 2,800, and the number of cakewalkers grows fewer with every passing day. As I wrote then: "Enjoy what's left of the war, lads, 'cos the peace for you is going to be lousy".

Nothing has happened over the past year that would make me want to change that sentence one jot.
25 October 2006
What's up?
Sorry, folks, but my gut is aching so much that sitting at the computer is a torture. Normal service will be resumed in a few days when my health allows.
23 October 2006
Yet more warmongers have a road to Damascus moment
Mathew Parris has a gloat about the number of warmongers who are hurredly jumping ship. An old mate, one Tim Hames, replies that he is not jumping from anything. Good for you, Tim, 'cos you are too small and would hurt yourself.

The Exile wonders if Tim was there that day in the Oxford Union bar when the assembled drunks discussed the USSR's involvement in Afghanistan? The Exile took the view that the gallant Red Army was certain to go down to defeat so there was no point in backing a loser. Head down and wait for it to end was the view of this writer.

If the foreigner invades your country, then enough young men are going to get together to fight that occupation. The Exile seems to remember saying that he would even side with Thatcher if Britain was occupied. In the case of Afghanistan, the USA was backing the religious groups who were tribally based and lived in the countryside. Such people tend to loath the denizens of the one big city that your average third world country has, anyway, but if you add to that the fact that those denizens were influenced by a Western idea called Marxism, that was certainly enough to rally the primitive bulk of the population in opposition.

Well, the same is true in Iraq. Invade a country and people will fight you. Guerrilla wars breed repression on the part of the occupier which leads to more guerrillas. None of this is rocket science, Tim, and you should have steered cleer of this nonsense from the very start.
20 October 2006
American general admits that war is not going entirely as he would have wished.
"Operation Together Forward has made a difference in the focus areas but it has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in... violence," said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, as he discussed the latest American failure in Iraq.

One is reminded of the words of the late emperor of Japan when he said that "the war has not progressed entirely as we would have wished".

The word defeat was not used in either speech, but that is what these words mean. Aching, terrible defeat.
19 October 2006
Blair's face saver: if America leaves Iraq, so does Britain.
Tony Blair has announced that British forces could be out of Iraq within a year. What, wonders the cynical old Exile, could he be thinking of?

Well, James Baker has just reported, according to leaks, that the best solution for Iraq is an American withdrawal. The casualty rate is climbing upwards again and opposition to the war is growing in the USA. Even normally loyal Republican Congressmen and Senataors are jumping off the bandwagon. Next month's American Congressional elections could see an anti-war majority installed in both houses. The Chimp's options seem fewer and fewer.

It is in this context that we should analyse Blair's words. He is a loyal servant of the USA, but if American policy is about the change then he needs a face saving get out clause of his own.
More on the Lancet Report
The Guardian has an interesting article today on the Lancet Report and its methodology. The nub of it is that even if the report made a mistake with the pre-war death rate - a rate that was used to calculate the excess deaths that have occured since the war began - then the war related deaths would still reach 319,000. This figure is far above the numbers that the warmongers are willing to accept.

'Mongers: life just sucks doesn't it?
18 October 2006
British people demand an end to Blair's wars
41% of British people want the troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan now, according to a new opinion poll. A further 13% say that they should leave Iraq by the end of this year, with 11% saying the same for Afghanistan. The Exile has never been very good at maths, but it looks to him as if that's a clear majority for the old cut and run.

Warmongers will wail that the troops are needed to build democracy, or whatever this week's excuse for imperialist aggression is, but they have lost the argument.

A good, mocking line to take is to remind them of that day in Philadelphia when the convention to draw up the American Constitution ended. A woman is supposed to have asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the USA would have. "A republic, madam, if you can keep it," the old man replied.

Readers should note that he did not say, "A republic, so long as the foreign troops are willing to keep it in power," did he?
17 October 2006
Why are civil wars so terrible?
Harry's Place has yet another posting on the Lancet Report into Iraqi deaths. Reading the comments, the reason why the warmonger-poster cannot believe the figures is due to a basic failure to understand what civil wars are all about. He looks at Iraq, doesn't see the vast armies that swirled around in the American Civil War, then concludes that casualties cannot be as high as the report claims.

OK, yes, we are dealing with an idiot, here. An idiot who claims that the Battle of Gettysburg saw 50,000 soldiers killed, when the true figure was between 7,000 and 8,000. However, his Gettysburg argument provides us with the key to an understanding of what passes for analysis in his little mind.

Basically, this 'monger cannot imagine a world in which the state does not function. More importantly, he cannot imagine a world that does not run according to his set of British middle class values. Well, guess what? That's how most of the people on this planet live; in a world that is violent, disordered and corrupt.

This disorder is made worse during a civil war, because a civil war is literally "a war of all against all," just as Thomas Hobbes said it was in The Leviathan. When order breaks down, when The Leviathan has been given the chop, men revert to their natural, primitive state. As this article made clear almost a year ago, people do not:
. . .suddenly becoming docile consumers of the latest Western pap: older loyalties are reemerging, beliefs and values that the West thought long dead and buried are emerging into the daylight once again. In a world that has gone mad an individual’s family will provide his basic support. Extend the family to cousins, uncles and the like and you have the makings of a clan. Extend it still further to take in the clans who live around yours, probably those clans who share the valley with you, perhaps those who are engaged in similar economic activities to you; then you have the beginnings of a tribe. As the state collapses these loyalties will become more and more apparent.
This is what has happened in Iraq. The country is fighting a multi-sided conflict. The first is the war of liberation against the occupation, a war that is being conducted by very many independent groups. Next we have a sectarian war that pits Shia against Sunni. The American sponsored death squads are in action, and heaven knows if they are still under American control or not. Finally, and most importantly, the country is suffering from the private wars of revenge between families, clans and tribes. If your Grandfather stole my Great-Uncle's goat 75 years ago, then obviously I have to go and kill your sons. It makes perfect sense to anyone who understands the mores of a society like that.

If you add in to all of this the fact that what little policing actually existed prior to the war is non-existant now, then you can understand the wave of criminality that will probably be sweeping the country. There is nothing particularly Iraqi about this. Do you remember that scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett shoots the putative Yankee rapist? Ever wondered just how many Georgian belles didn't have a pistol handy and, therefore, had to suffer for the cause? Maybe the rapists decided not to leave any witnesses - a pistol shot sorted out that little problem.

In Missouri during that war neither side was able to fully control the state, thus nobody was policing it. The civil war there was truly brutal, but a fair chunk of the violence was basic criminality: men with guns who only had to worry about other men with guns.

The American Civil War remained fairly, well, civil, compared to other such conflicts. That is because both sides were able to control, and police, their respective territories. In Iraq the state has collapsed and now everybody is going at it like the clappers.

So, looking at Iraq, and then concluding that because the armed forces involved are small, the death toll cannot be very great is stupidity of the highest order.

'Mongers: this is what we said would happen and we were right. Now stop pretending that we weren't and crawl away and hide your faces in shame.
16 October 2006
"Where's our cakewalk gone?"
What a bad week the world of wankbloggery has had. Harry's Place has posted no fewer than six articles on the Lancet Report, all basically trying to rubbish it. The comments boxes are full of neo-deniers all denying like mad that 650,000 Iraqis could have died as a result of the aggression.

The basic theme, repeated ad nausium, is that the writer finds the figures incredible, so they must be wrong. To such a level are the hand shandyists for war reduced: they scream like spoiled children that everything is a lie, it's all the fault of the anti war brigade - and where's our cakewalk gone, eh?

Even Good Old Geras has decided that enough is enough. In a confused, rambling essay, the Wankmaster General himself has now admitted that he wouldn't have suppported the aggression had he known where it would lead. He wouldn't have opposed it, mind, but he would not have cheered on the war. The Exile is sure that the families of Britain's dead soldiers will be really pleased by that news.

If the W.G. is calling it a day, then somebody really should tell the Harry's Place regulars that the game is pretty much up.

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A very British coup?
It appears that General Sir Richard Dannatt's comments to the Daily Mail may have been rather more calculated than they first appeared. In fact, it is possible that the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, may have been in on the ploy that fired such a massive shot across Blair's bows.

At first the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) press office declined to give the general permission to speak to the press, so he took the matter up with Browne directly and the latter "reluctantly agreed," according to one source.

The general then made his explosive comments, and followed them up with a further salvo on BBC radio, where he declared that the war against Iraq could "break" the army.

The mere fact that this second interview was given suggests that the MoD is either supporting the general, or at least not actively hindering his efforts. In other words, Gen. Dannatt has the tacit approval of Des Browne.

Further evidence that leads to this conclusion is the way in which Blair has been forced to say that he agrees with everything that the general said.

OK, so little Bambi now believes that the war against Iraq makes the security situation worse and that the British should leave, otherwise the British Army could be broken? That is what the general said, and nobody could claim with a straight face that this is what Blair actually believes.

Blair probably fell into line because Des Browne told him that the general was speaking for the MoD and, maybe, a sizable chunk of the cabinet.

If this is true then Blair is now completely isolated, and what we have just witnessed is a very British coup.
15 October 2006
A coup may be coming to Iraq
The ever changing justification for the war against Iraq may have to be updated yet again, especially if this report is true. If it is, then Iraq will soon be governed by a five-man junta that would come to power, presumably, via a military coup.

Don't worry, you warmongers. Washington and London will give you the line: all you have to do is believe the bollocks and then defend it. Just like you have been doing these past three years.
13 October 2006
Troops out of Iraq, says senior British general
General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, has admitted that the British army's presense in Iraq only "exacerbates the security problems," and that the British should "get out some time soon".

His outspoken comments go against the official line that the British have "a clear strategy" in Iraq.

This is usually how guerrilla wars start to unravel: when elements on the the colonial side realise that continuing the war is not worth the candle. Sometimes it can be because of economic pressures on the economy, or because the conflict has become a divisive politcal issue at home. Or, as in this case, it can happen because the army realises that they are going nowhere, and wants to call it a day.

Whatever the underlying reason, what usually happens next is an unholy row within the political elite as various factions start accusing the rest of treason or defeatism.

The socialist response should be to encourage these divisions to grow wherever possible. Andrew Burgin of the Stop The War Coalition was clearly on the ball with this strategy when he issued an invitation to General Dannatt to address the next anti-war demonstration. Obviously the general will not accept, but the mere act of inviting him may encourage various warmonger types to start throwing accusations of defeatism in his direction. If this happens the general's supporters can be expected to rally to his defence and the rift will widen.
12 October 2006
Warmongers try to save face by playing down Iraqi deaths.
Over at the main, British, warwank site, the warmongers are already chewing over the recent Lancet report, which argues that over 600,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war. The 'mongers are dissembling, arguing that surely the figures cannot be so high, can they? They scream that the report is biased, with research badly carried out.

They remind the Exile of those Turks who deny the Armenian Massacres, or the ultra-rightists who try to play down the holocaust. Whatever the true figure is, Iraq suffered a war of aggression: all casualties, from whatever source can be traced to that aggression. The blame for those deaths lies at the feet of the aggressors, and those who supported that aggression.

Update: The Exile has just found out that the methodology used in this report was also used to collate deaths in Sudan's Darfur region. None of the warmongers, from the Chimp on down, questioned the results then, so why are they doing it now?

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America might try to hang in there
William S. Lind has posted a sad article which argues that the Chimp will keep the American army in Iraq until after he goes out of office: it is as cynical as that. Lind also goes on to say that it might be better if the Republicans win the November elections:
A post-election Democratic House, Senate, or both might in theory say no to another war. But if the Bush administration's cynicism is boundless, the Democrats' intellectual vacuity and moral cowardice are equally so. You can't beat something with nothing, but Democrats have put forward nothing in the way of an alternative to Bush's defense and foreign policies. On Iran, the question is whether they will be more scared of the Republicans or of the Israeli lobby. Either way, they will hide under the bed, just as they have hidden under the bed on the war in Iraq. It appears at the moment that a congressional demand for withdrawal from Iraq is more likely if the Republicans keep the Senate and Sen. John Warner of Virginia remains chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee than if the Democrats take over.
The article is sad because Lind is normally a man who writes with a bounce and vim that this writer envies. He has always opposed the war; now he can see the army being forced to remain on station until January 2009.

The Exile doesn't think that it will last that long. Iraq seems to be getting ready to spew the occupiers out.
11 October 2006
North Korea & the Cold War: case still open
Let's take this nice and slowly. Ollie Kamm argues that the background to the Korean War "was a controversial subject," as many people held the view that South Korea had started it. Well, that may have been the line, but no bugger actually swallowed the hook that was on the end. Other than in the minds of a few old tankies, the fact that North Korea started the Korean Civil War is fairly well established.

However, Ollie has to create, and then demolish, this Aunt Sally, because his main theme is that:
The Soviet Union was a state of repression and penury, but also of expansionist designs against the West and its allies. The Korean War was a case of direct Communist aggression, in which Stalin was deeply implicated. Contrary to the revisionist historians, the fundamental reason for the Cold War was the character and intentions of the Soviet Union.
OK, got that? Especially the "direct communist aggression" bit? Good, because that is not what the source that Ollie links to actually says. The basic run-down here is that:

1. Kim Il-Sung, the North korean leader, met Stalin in April 1950 and suggested that N. Korea could overrun the South in three days. Stalin replied that he would go along with the idea if the Chinese could be brought in: "If you should get kicked in the teeth, I shall not lift a finger. You have to ask Mao for all the help," said the great pipesman
2. Kim then trots along to Peking and leaves the Chinese with the impression that the USSR is rather more in favour of the idea than was actually the case.
3. When the attack does take place, and when the North fails to subjugate the South in three days, the USSR first promises air cover if the Chinese get stuck in, then withdraws the offer when they do, then changes its mind again and provides limited air support.

So, what do we have? Well, we have a quite wonderful fuck-up, in which everyone is dancing to Kim Il-Sung's tune at the start and then trying to figure out what to do next when they realised that he has made monkeys of them.

However, what we do not have is a Moscow organised conspiracy that can be used as a case study to argue that the USSR was an aggressive state that started the Cold war.

Ollie, if you read this - get back with Stan, 'cos you fucking well need his help.

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10 October 2006
A little light relief at a warmonger's expense
Following on from the last posting - scroll down folks - we see that Neil Clark has posted something on his site which basically argues the same thing as us. Great minds clearly think alike. We also share the same view of Oliver Kamm, and on the subject of which, we note that young Ollie is all in favour of regime change in North Korea.

He starts off by saying that a military attack is out of the question, but rather spoils that point by then claiming that this should be kept a secret from North Korea. As if the North Koreans are so fucking stupid that they can't figure out the difference between sabre rattling and real preparations for war.

His next point is that diplomacy alone is useless because North Korea's leader is not rational. His evidence for this is some bollocks by Christopher Hitchens which argues fairly well that NK is nasty, but says nothing that could lead anyone to conclude that the regime is run by suicidal lunatics.

He then goes on to say that China has to be brought in on the action and made to cut N. Korea's transport links. The idea is obviously to force the population to turn against the rulers, but it is amusing to see that the threat that the USA should use against China is that of a nuclear-armed Japan.

Hmm, what happens if John Chinaman doesn't play ball? Come to think of it, what happens if the Japanese don't? The problem that Ollie has is the problem that the Americans also have: matters are out of the USA's control. They rely on Peking doing this or Tokyio doing that: Washington can cajole, it can threaten, but it can't do shit on its own.

Finally, we are treated to a sidelight on Iraq: what a relief it was for young Ollie that the country was attacked when it was - otherside the Iraqis might have got a nuclear bomb all of their own!

Yeah, right, as if a country that had lived under sanctions for 12 years, a country that had undergone fairly intrusive international inspections and which had got rid of all its limited nuclear research, anyway, could suddenly have reversed course and built a bomb this side of the next millenium.

What can we say? Oliver Kamm works in the City of London and is, therefore, a right banker.

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Want to keep the USA out? Get a bomb!
Well, North Korea has just tested a nuclear bomb and the reaction is diplomatic, to say the least. The Anglo-Americans are huffing and puffing, but are unlikely to do anything more. Say what you like about North Korea, they understand how international relations work in this world of ours. Let's compare the differing ways in which Pakistan and Iraq are treated to illustrate this point, shall we?

Pakistan is a nuclear power. Recently the country signed a truce agreement with the tribes that run things in the Pakistani province of North Waziristan; an agreement that led to the national army's withdrawal from the region. The problem is that North Waziristan is probably where a certain Mr. Osama bin Laden is hiding out. The American reaction to this stunning development has been not a lot.

Iraq by way of contrast had no nuclear weapons, in spite of what people said. She was invaded, is currently occupied, and is fighting a bloody guerrilla war to free herself from foreign domination.

Does the point need to be laboured? Are you worried about the USA and its loathsome tentacles? Get a nuclear bomb and live at peace, seems to be the solution to that particular problem.
09 October 2006
America considers her Iraqi options: coup or partition?
As America's death toll in Iraq continues to climb, more than a few warmongers are now looking for a way out of the mess.

The American backed puppet regime seems to have been put on notice that if it doesn't start sending its troops into battle against the Iraqi nationalists, then Washington might pull the plug. Since this is exactly what Iraqi patriots are after, this threat alone should be taken with a pinch of salt. What could happen after the plug has been pulled?

The Americans seem to be considering two options. The first is to split Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish states, with a weak federal government that would only be responsible for foreign affairs, defence and the distribution of oil revenues.

The problem with this is that it relies on the Shia and Kurds agreeing to give the Sunni a cut of those oil revenues. The chances of that happening seems to this writer to be pretty remote, especially when one consideres the population transfers that are going to have to take place. For instance, about two million Shias live in Baghdad, a city that would form the hub of the putative Sunni state.

OK, so following the horrendous sectarian war to sort out who is allowed to live where, we are then expected to believe that all parties will sit down and agree to divide up the oil monies? That idea doesn't seem much of a goer.

Even less of a goer is the notion that the Americans could sponsor a coup in Iraq and then rule via a military strongman. The problem here is that such is the strength of the Iraqi guerrillas and Shia militias, and such is the weakness of the puppet army, that there is not evidence to suggest that any general could be found who has the capacity to take control of the country.

Even if one could be found, and even if he was such a brilliant leader of men that he could actually take control, where is the proof that he will then rule in America's interests? A more likley outcome would be for him to do a Saddam Hussein, tell the Americans to take their hooks, and then govern as he pleases.

It says a lot about the state of America's adventure in Iraq that these ideas are being seriously put forward.
06 October 2006
Class and its usages
Every now and again an article is published which leaves the reader not just angry, but wondering how on Earth any editor could think of paying out good brass for such a load of old wank? The article in question is by one Gillian Evans who, for reasons that are unclear, found herself living for 13 years on the Bermondsey estate in London.

She claims that she came away with a better understanding of the working class, and expresses amazement that the people of Bermondsey are, collectively speaking, a bit like a "tribe". Just to show how different they are, she rather sweetly mimics their speech patterns in her article. Yes, well, we can all do that, but mocking the elongated vowels of received pronunciation speech is boring and a bit too easy a target. Let's leave tricks like that to middle class types, shall we?

First things first, a middle class person is never going to become working class just because they don't have any money. Class is cultural: we self-identify ourselves as belonging to one class or another, but this sense of identity is bolstered by the way other people react to us. In other words our self definition is reinforced by other people's acceptance of it.

Secondly, the authoress has an irritating habit of treating the working class as just one tribe, when it isn't quite as simple as that. Rather it is a tribe that is divided into many clans. The great division used to be between skilled and unskilled workers, but Thatcher pretty much put paid to that nonsense.

However, another division still exists; that between the relatively small number of people in every district who are or were members of the Labour Party, the local trades' council, old tankies and community group activists. They form a kind of intellectual coterie which usually meets up in one or other of the main pubs to put the world to rights and get collectively smashed out of their heads.

Between these local activists and the bulk of the population who are disengaged from political life there is an enormous chasm. However, there is also an understanding between them that is based on a common culture and tradition. It is this commonality that is lacking between this writer and Gillian Evans.

To take education as a case in point. Gillian Evans believes that it has failed working class children, but we know that it succeeds in its aims perfectly. The education industry, like the social work and race relations industries, is about providing jobs for middle class types. The teachers, obviously, but also the whole gang of truant officers, administrators and general pen-pushers. The industries overlap: thus a teacher may have to go on some "race awareness" course which is run and administered by a seperate, but interlinked, gang. If education was about educating children, then half this lot would be out of work. They aren't because it isn't.

Secondly, working class people also know that even if they do manage to get to university, the chances of them getting a tasty job at the end of it are slim to say the least. It isn't just the working class who form a tribe: the middle class do as well, and that middle class tribe has no intention of seeing the proles taking jobs that are reserved for types. So go to Ruskin College, Oxford, if you want to: the dole office awaits your return.

Gillian Evans is now employed at the University of Manchester. As a type she would have known which telephone to call, which person to write to and which mutual old friend to refer to. Good for her: the system is her system. It exists to aid her and her breed. We understand this perfectly: when types do as well, then they will understand us. Until that happy days dawns we shall have to put up with patronising drivel like this.
05 October 2006
Imperialism continues to bleed in Iraq
The cull rate in Iraq began to climb last month and is now spiraling steadily upwards - 22 Americans were killed in the first four days of this month.

What seems to be happening is that the Americans are trying to take control of Baghdad, which means that they have to leave their bunkers and take on the guerrillas in the streets. However, about a third of this month's casualties are from other areas of the country: this might mean that the Iraqis are taking the opportunity presented to them by a weakened American presence outside Baghdad, to mount local attacks.

It is interesting that the Americans have begun penetrating the outer margins of Sadr City, the enormous Shia slum on the eastern side of Baghdad. Juan Cole reports that they might try to take this area, as they see it as the key to controling the Shia militias. If that happens, all hell is going to break loose.
04 October 2006
A new accord between Venezuela & Argentina may be on the cards.
One of the themes running through this blog is the notion that we support the Iraqis in their war against imperialism because such support is in our interests. If imperialism is tied down in Mesopotamia, then it is unable to operate effectively elsewhere.

The eclipsing of the USA in Latin America is a case in point. Venezuela has held sway for some time over the smaller countries in the region, but now it looks set to bring Argentina into a new, anti-imperialist orbit.

Americans are whinging about this new relationship, but there is nothing they can do about it so long as their army is bogged down on the other side of the world. It should be added that Venezuala is a major supplier of America's oil, and any attempt to up the ante could have nasty consequences for the American economy.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the USA woke up to defeat in Iraq, only to find that Latin America had also slipped out of its grasp as well?
03 October 2006
America's death toll in Iraq keeps on climbing
Just in case any cakewalker is reading, the Iraqis managed to cull 73 Americans last month, which makes September their second best month this year.

How will the warmongers spin this one? Easy - they just conflate al-Qaida with the Iraqi guerrillas and hope that no bugger notices. Sorry, lads, but even if the Iraqis do decide to get shut of old Dusty bin Liner's crew, that is not to say that they are suddenly going to start loving the occupiers, is it? As the latest cull-rate shows, they seem to regard the occupation as the main threat to their country.
01 October 2006
Imperialism on the ropes: defeat likely on both Afghan & Iraqi fronts
British forces have signed a secret deal with the Taleban that allows both sides to withdraw from the town of Musa Qala. The deal will probably benefit the Taleban who prefer to fight in the summer. Thus they can use the coming winter to rest and refit, probably in Musa Qala, by pretending to be civilians.

The reason for this is not hard to fathom: British troops were sent into Afghanistan to please the Americans, but the whole thing was a gamble that the Afghans would not fight back. Now they have and the British are outnumbered and outgunned.

The Ministry of Defence has realised this, and in yet another leaked report has argued that Britain can fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, but not both.

It is unlikely that the government will listen to this, as to do so would be to let the Americans down. Thus a total defeat for imperialism on both fronts is highly likely.

How will the warmongers spin this one? We wait with baited breath. . .