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31 August 2007
Iraq is not Vietnam; it may be more important
Iraq is not Vietnam. You can tell that because they speak fucking Arabic in Iraq and Vietnamese in Vietnam. Easy, really, so it didn't need this dreary list to teach us something that we already knew.

However, in one crucial aspect, Iraq is Vietnam. Both countries suffered a war of aggression that was waged against them by the United States and her allies. Support for Iraq today - and Vietnam 40 years ago - involves standing up for that basic principle of non-aggression, and that basic socialist principle of opposition to imperialist expansion.

In another crucial aspect, Iraq is more important than Vietnam. A generation ago the world was divided up into sovereign states, each with its own national economy. Today, led by the USA, national borders are increasingly becoming nothing more than lines on a map, with goods, services and people moving more or less freely across those lines.

As socialists, our aim is obviously to create a better tomorrow for our children, but equally obviously it is to destroy capitalism. We cannot have the one without the other, and the destruction bit has to come first.

The fact that the Iraqi guerrillas are not Fidel Castro Ruz and his men is neither here nor there. They fight for their own values, and those values are not ours, but they also fight, indirectly, for the end of globalised capitalism. In that sense, their war is our war, because they are fighting for us.

If the United States is thoroughly, comprehensively and totally defeated in Iraq, then there is the possibility that she may withdraw into isolationism. If that happens, then a large part of our war will have been won for us.

Now these are all very big ifs, but such an outcome is conceivable. If it happens, if those ragged heroes in Iraq do manage to stop the forward march of globalisation, then the British political class is likewise likely to find itself discredited by the process of defeat. People will be asking questions, and will not be looking to that class for answers.

We need to be ready. The left needs to get its act together and decide on a programme that will take Britain forward. We did it in the 1930s and early 1940s - we were ready for when the time came in 1945. We have to be ready again.
30 August 2007
NuLab is rattled enough to start bleating about the "national interest"
It had to happen sooner or later: NuLab playing the national interest card, I mean. Yesterday, David Milliband, the Foreign Secretary, announced that Britain's retreat from the failed adventure in Iraq would be made independently of the USA and purely in the "British national interest".

Who does he think he is kidding? This lot wouldn't recognise Britain's national interest if it came along, grabbed them by the balls, and announced, "Hello, I'm the national fucking interest."

Remember, NuLab is the party that gave a foreign policy diktat to an ambassador to "get up the arse of the White House and stay there".

No, they will retreat from Iraq when they can no longer justify even to themselves the costs of remaining there any longer. After they have told their master in Washington that they can no longer stand the strain, and got his permission, of course.
29 August 2007
Juba, the Baghdad Sniper: man or myth?
Does Juba, the Baghdad Sniper, really exist, or is he just a figment of the American soldiers' imagination, as they cower in Iraq, trying to survive?

The Americans are certainly trying to play down the Juba story, by claiming that he is nothing more than an internet myth. However, many of the soldiers are not convinced and are keeping their heads down. Certainly there are quite a few videos on the web that purport to show the man in action.

He was The Exile's Man of the Year in 2005, and by the end of 2006 he had his own blog and website. However, since then stories of Juba have pretty much dried up.

So, was he killed? Is he busy training other Iraqis to defend their country against the American aggressors - or did he never exist in the first place?

I have no answer to those questions, but what I do know is that fully 15% of the visitors to this blog arrive here as a result of a search for Juba.

Man or myth, alive or dead, Juba still holds his place in the popular imagination.
28 August 2007
Write a letter: annoy a warmonger.
Following on from last night's posting, four e-mails arrived today, all basically asking the same question: what can the writer do to keep the harkis out?

My answer was pretty much the same for each one: write to your MP, but also write to the local newspaper. Use the talking points that I set out recently, and get your letter off.

I also advised them to talk to friends and to spread the word around their estate. This is just the issue that will disgust ordinary people, and should encourage them to put pen to paper.

Other than that, the scum who want to save face by bringing these traitors over have already suffered one split in their ranks, and as I pointed out almost a week ago, the campaign to save the harkis seems moribund.

However, for the cost of an envelope, a sheet of writing paper and a stamp, you can help put the boot very firmly in the people who cheered on this mess in the first place.

So please get writing: Not our war! Not our harkis! Not our problem!
27 August 2007
The fear of the warmongers as it all slips away.
Wake up, people, and smell the fear. The fear of the warmongers as they wake up to the fact that their Iraqi dream is over and their British nightmare is about to begin. The aim was to rape Iraq, to turn it into a puppet of western capitalism that would open its doors to foreign corporate pillage, recognise Israel and act at a base for further Anglo-American aggression in the region. How quickly the dreams faded when faced with those brave young men with their AK-47 rifles, their roadside bombs and their sheer, matchless courage. A courage that took on the mightiest war machine that the world has ever seen, and fought it to a bloody standstill.

Faced with this terrible reality a group of webmongers decided to save face with one victory. Something that they could point to and say, "Well, at least we were able to do this." The fact that over 160 British soldiers are dead, hundreds more injured and the rest huddled in Basra airport praying for the final order to leave Iraq, doesn't enter their minds. All that matters is having something to point to; something that they can call a victory. Something to save face.

That something is, of course, the 20,000 Iraqi collaborators that these webmongers want to bring over to the United Kingdom. It must have seemed like the answer to their sad, pathetic prayers: the end of the Iraqi adventure, but with the smug satisfaction that would come the day they stood at Heathrow Airport and welcomed over the first batch of collaborators to Britain. The fact that the British army would still be fighting in Iraq never entered their minds. British soldiers are cut from the same cloth as the rest of the working class that these creatures despise, so let them stay and bleed in the sands of Mesopotamia.

Unfortunately, their little wheeze ran into problems. Not just because two men, myself and the journalist Neil Clark, began to write in opposition to the whole lunatic idea, but because they found that MPs were not exactly lining up to be counted. The only newspaper that took up the collaborators' case was The Times. How right and proper it was that The Times, a rag written by scabs, printed by scabs and read by scabs should take up the call for these Iraqi scabs.

A few days ago I learned that some of the local, evening newspapers had taken up the story and that people had begun to write to their letters' pages opposing the entry of these collaborators. That for me was the end of the story, because there was nothing more that I could do. I began to think about other, more important, things. Going fishing. Important matters like that.

Yesterday something happened that made me realise just how desperate the webmongers have become. This puerile rant was posted at Harry's Place, probably as a last throw of the dice to try and influence public opinion. The basic thrust - or fast hand movement, since the writer does come over as being addicted to Onanism - is to smear myself and Neil. "Look how nasty they are," the webmonger seems to scream. "So let's bring over 20,00 harkis and show everyone how decent we are." A cursory reading of the text will demonstrate that no mention is made of the 5,500 British soldiers who are still trying to survive Iraq; presumably the writer just does not think that they are all that important.

Why I have I called this post desperate? Well, it would not have been written had things been going the webmongers' way, now would it? They would be patting themselves on the back and feeling all warm inside. The fact that one of them felt the need to scream in such a precious way, only further strengthens the case that these 'mongers feel that their one and only victory is sliding out of their grasp.

Aside from this, the hysteria with which the post was so obviously composed, betrays the writer's true feeling towards the British working class. He quotes my own words, when I argued that these collaborators would take council houses and jobs. To him that is proof of my rightist tendencies. To me it is evidence that this creature belongs to the ranks of that new kulak substrata of teachers, social workers and council managers who all together make the lives of working class people so difficult. Like the kulaks of old, they are close enough to us that we treat them with contempt as the the two-legged cockroaches that they are.

People might want to think about that, and then get out pen and paper and start writing letters to newspapers and MPs.

So, will it work, this desperate throw of the dice? I don't think so. I think that matters will be allowed to drift, with maybe a few token harkis brought over as a sop to hand-wringing opinion. The rest will be left to take their chances. That is how it should be, because the harkis are not our problem, and Iraq is not our war.

It's your problem, webmongers. Your problem, your harkis and your lost war!

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Mac games
A friend of mine has a Mac computer and is always complaining that mac games are hard to find. I think I'll send him this link to macgamesandmore.com, just to keep him quiet.

One of the most popular downloads with the mac brigade is smack solitaire, a collection of 30 different types of mac solitaire games in one package. If you don't want to spend any money, the site has a good selection of free mac games, just waiting to be downloaded.

PC users are not left out in the cold, as many of these games are available in both PC and Mac versions.
26 August 2007
Fidel seems to be recovering
The grand old man, Fidel Castro Ruz, seems to be recovering from the bout of intestinal illness that forced him to hand over power in July of last year. This will annoy the exiles in Miami no end. In Spanish they are dismissed contemptuously as los gusanos (the maggots), but they are taken seriously as an electoral force in the USA. However, as far as internal Cuban politics are concerned, all they do is howl impotently.

The 1st January 2009 will mark the 50th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Wouldn't it be marvellous if Fidel were still alive then to take the salute?
25 August 2007
British to withdraw from Basra palace base next month
It looks as if the British will leave the one remaining base that they hold in the city of Basra and retreat to the airport. From there they will be able to do nothing to influence events in the city, short of mounting a full scale assault to recapture it from whichever militia group takes power after they leave.

As a face saver the announcement will be made by the Iraqis, so that the British can claim that they are leaving at the request of the Iraqi government. However, if past performance is any guide, we can expect to see the former base thoroughly looted just as soon as the British army leaves.
American kill three British soldiers in Afghanistan
Three British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan by the Americans. It follows on the heels of other such deaths; indeed there is quite a trail of them going all the way back to the First Gulf War in 1991 when the Americans managed to kill nine British troops.

Two factors are acting to stoke British outage at the killings. The first is a fear that the Americans will repeat their performance over the killing of L/Cpl Matty Hull, by refusing to testify at the inquests. The British have a right to know exactly what happened and the only way they will get the answers is if the cockpit voice recorders are released, and if the pilots are questioned under oath.

The second concerns the repeated failure of successive British governments to invest in a modern system to identify friend from foe. One was demanded by a committee of MPs back in 1992, but nothing has emerged, or is likely to for another decade.

It strikes The Exile as if this might be a good issue to pressure the government on - certainly it is likely to be rather more popular than the blog-based demand that over 20,000 Iraqi collaborators be brought to live in Britain while the army continues to fight in Iraq.

However, that is unlikely to happen, because worrying about Iraqi traitors makes the world of wankbloggery feel all nice and warm inside, whereas the deaths of three British lads at the hands of their so-called allies is something to be ignored.
Plastic surgery vacation at Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery
We have discussed plastic surgery quite a bit over the past week. Well, let's do it again, but this time I want you to consider the idea of a plastic surgery vacation. That's right, go on holiday, and get yourself fixed up while you are there.

This is now possible thanks to Dr. Lloyd Krieger and his specialist team over at Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery. Aside from patients who live in the USA, they have taken people from Germany, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Canada and Senegal: so don't you think that it's time that the British took advantage of some of the services that the clinic offers? Remember, this is the home of the famous Beverly Hills tummy tuck, so what are you waiting for?

How do to organise a plastic surgery vacation? Dr. Krieger has done that for you:

Firstly, it would be best if you went over there and spoke directly to one of the surgeons. Sometimes the operation can be scheduled there and then, and if that is what you want, then you had better speak directly to the clinic, so that you can arrange to have any necessary lab work done at home.

Secondly, the clinic will organise your post-operative recuperation. This could mean a night or two at a special centre staffed by nurses, or at a comfortable hotel near to the clinic. Either way, the clinic's staff will organise this for you. The amount of time that you have to spend in post-operative recuperation before you can fly out obviously depends on many factors, but it is usually between five and fourteen days.

Finally, the clinic will act as your holiday advisor and make restaurant bookings, and arrange shopping trips for you. The idea is to speed your recovery by allowing you to enjoy the holiday while leaving all the work to the people at Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery.
www.trustsource.org
Have you ever wondered what products that are offered on the web actually work? Thanks to trustsource.org now you can find out by reading the reviews of people who have already tried them out.

Products like Provillus, which acts against hair loss by aggressively seeding the scalp to allow for new hair growth. It also gives the scalp the correct nutrition to bring damaged hair follicles back to health. This product has received a five star rating by the people who have used it.

Another range of five star products are those designed to help relieve the unpleasant side effects of the menopause, especially the hot flashes that so many women find intolerable. These products, along with everything else at Trust Source, are tested by the company itself to ensure that they do what they claim. However, members of the public are then invited to give their opinion. As far as this range is concerned, it's five stars all the way.

Finally, let's consider the range of cellulite cream that Trust Source offers. Like all the products these are tested and then reviewed by consumers. Why go into a chemist's shop and try to choose between all the creams that are covering the shelves. How can you make an informed choice when they all offer to do the same thing?

Now, thanks to Trust Source, you can make an informed choice.
A load of wank
If you are from Pay Per Post, then I suppose you are wondering what happened to the load of old shit that was here until a few moments ago? Well, lads, it went the way of the five fucking quid that I was expecting from you. Put another way, you fucked with me and now I am going to fuck with you.

Here's the deal. What I do, work wise, I do for money. My interest in bastard work starts and ends with the money. I do the job, someone pays me, and then that someone can go and fuck himself. It's easy to understand: you pay me, and then you go and fuck yourself. Meanwhile, I will be in the pub, getting the taste of you out of my gob.

Not only have I not been paid for publicising your fucking company, but my posting has not even been reviewed at the time of writing. Sorry, lads, but I don't do free shit for any cunt.

I think that you can take this as my resignation.

2.00am, 4 September 2007

Update:

To all of those who are flooding in from the comment at Harry's Place, click on this link like the good sheeple that you are. My new blog needs the hits. Good lads.

3.30pm, 4 September 2007
Chanceforlove.com
Are you looking for the love of your life? If you are, then chanceforlove.com may just be the answer to your prayers. The site is chock full of decent Russian singles who are just waiting to meet you. All the profiles are not only free to members, but come with full contact details. You can either contact the person yourself, or take advantage of their free translation service for your e-mails.

Now, everyone has heard the horror stories about the Russian woman scammers who want to empty your wallet and take you for a ride. Well, chanceforlove.com has heard of them as well, and to make sure that something like that doesn't happen to you, they have a pretty complete anti-scam package. You can enter a woman's name, e-mail and city into their database and find out if she has been involved in any dubious activities with other agencies in the past. This database has over 15,000 names on it, so with luck, you will be able to ensure that the lady that you are in touch with is not a con-artist.

Unlike most Russian brides dating services, Chance for Love interviews all prospective Russian brides who want to sign up. As part of the agreement, and to remain on the books, a woman has to reply to your letter within seven days of having received it; otherwise she is removed from the catalogue. Of course, if she is ill, or in another city, that is a different matter, but you will be notified of that by the company.

Every man who joins Chance for Love is promised an individual service. Online dating news is updated regularly.

This company aims to introduce you to the love of your life, and at the same time, to protect you from the charlatans that only want your money.
Book your next trip with hotelreservations.com
Have you ever had to book a hotel room in an unknown city, only to find that the prices were astronomical? Before you travel anywhere again take a look at hotelreservations.com and find yourself a bargain. It's the ideal place not just for hotel reservations, but for reservations at a reasonable price.

This site allows you to choose between hotels and motels, for either a long or short stay. Whatever your needs are, and pretty much wherever they are in the word, they have the contacts that can get you the best deal around.

It's not just about hotel discounts. This site offers you the chance to rent a car that will be waiting for you on the day and time that you choose. You can also book a full package holiday with them. That's right; hotelreservations.com can also arrange your flights as well.

In fact, you can choose between various holiday options, from the full package of flight, hotel and car, along to just hotel and car, if that is what you want or need. The permutations are endless, and the site seems to be aimed at the person who wants a good deal, but doesn't want to have to arrange it when he arrives at his destination after a seriously long haul flight. I think that is is far better to arrange things beforehand, and take advantage of the many discounts that are offered on destinations all over the world.

If you are travelling with a family, and don't want to stay in a hotel, then hotelreservations.com can also offer you a choice of self-catering accommodation in a great many resorts and cities.

So, if you need to book accommodation, rent a car, or buy an airline ticket, hotelreservations.com looks like it should be your first port of call for all three.
23 August 2007
Aden and Iraq: two colonial wars, but only one outcome
November of this year will mark the fortieth anniversary of the British withdrawal from Aden. The plan was to withdraw in 1968, but mounting casualties led to the hasty retreat. There were no formal ceremonies as power was handed over because there was nobody around to actually take power. Two rival guerilla groups would sort out the spoils, but since neither of them actually controlled the city outright on that 30th November, all the British could do was leave. The governor walked backwards up the steps of the aeroplane that was taking him home, a pistol in his hand. British ministers who had visited the colony in the years prior to that final scuttle had been under orders to proclaim loudly that they would never abandon Aden, but they did, in the end.

So it is today in Iraq. The British know that they are leaving, and are simply hanging on in their last two outposts, waiting for the final orders. When they come through it will then be a matter of getting the equipment to the docks and onto ships, before the last of the troops fly out.

We shall wait and see if the last civil administrator is able to walk up the steps in the normal way, or whether he has to back up, pistol in hand.

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21 August 2007
Has the campaign to bring over 20,000 Iraqi collaborators failed?
Is it my imagination or has the campaign to save the harkis fallen on hard times? I ask because this post that has just gone up at the main save our harkis site. It may be my imagination, but the poster seems to be more interested in slagging of Neil Clark than he does in saving harkies. Indeed, there does appear to be a kind of desperation to the posting, as if things are just not working out quite as planned.

Dear oh dear: could it be that the British people do not actually want 20,000 collaborators living it up in the UK while the army continues to bleed in Iraq? Maybe the politicians realise this, and maybe that is why these self-appointed saviours are finding that replies from MPs are few and far between? Well, at least 15 have replied to your pathetic little missives so far, lads, so it's a start. Don't give up hope on the other 600 and odd just yet. Keep dreaming.

For those of you who are less an enamoured by the idea of 20,000 potential security risks being brought over to Britain, some talking points can be found here. Please write to your MP or local newspaper and tell them why you oppose this lunacy.

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When the going gets tough, the tough go fishing.

This is a gem for those of you who have had too much work, too much stress or too much wife: go fishing with the chance to win U.S.$125,000 for your efforts. The fishing tournament comes to you courtesy of bountyfishing.com and unlike the competitions that I can remember from England, you do not have to turn up at a specific time and place to take part.

All you have to do is register at the site and choose your competition. Having registered for that event, you are given a number which you must take with you on your trip.

Then you go fishing! That's right, to your favourite spot, the one that only you know. The place where the giants swim.

Hook your monster and take two photographs of him flat on a ruler, so that his length can be clearly seen. Make sure that your competition number is included in the shot, and remember that these beauties are judged on length and not weight - so hook the long 'uns and not the fatties.

You have to be an American resident to compete, because they want your social security number for the payout, but don't let that put you off. Wherever you live in the world you can still join this free site and take part in their fishing forums. That way you join a world wide community of fellow anglers. You can chat about fishing, or ask whatever question you want about both the salt and freshwater sport. They even have a team of professional anglers on hand just for those tricky questions that nobody else can answer.
Free on-line chat
Are you a fan of chat rooms? If so then you will love WireClub.com because they seem to have everything that you need to chat the night away. You can join any one of literally hundreds of free chat rooms, chat to your friends, and make lots of new ones.

The site is organised around its clubs, with each one related to an interest. You can join any club that you want or jump in and create one of your own. You don't have to join a club if you don't want to - you can just go to a chat room and start nattering - but the clubs do seem an easy and effective way to meet people who share your interests. As the site has over 30,000 clubs, finding one for you should not be difficult.

If you have a romantic streak, then this might just be the site for you. They offer a free dating service as part of their free package.

Finally, had you ever thought about starting a blog? WireClub.com gives you a free template and web space to do just that.

So, go along and chat in one of the rooms, join a club of like minded people, hunt for the love of your life, and then blog about everything - all under one electronic roof!

Advert.
20 August 2007
USA to attack Iran within six months, says Time Magazine
Senior policy makers in Washington are now convinced that an attack on Iran will happen within the next six months, according to a report in Time Magazine.

What makes this report credible is the claim that the neo-conservatives who surround Bush have convinced themselves that such an attack would lead to the collapse of the regime in Tehran. All other outcomes, such as a strengthening of support for the regime in the face of a foreign attack, are being discounted.

Why does information like this give the report added credibility? Mainly because that is what happened in the run up to the war against Iraq. The reader needs to remember that there wasn't actually going to be a war, rather a cakewalk into Baghdad, followed by the establishment of a suitably pro-American puppet regime. The thought that the Iraqis might actually never stop fighting, and make a seamless transition from a conventional to a guerrillas defence, never entered their little minds.

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Britain to leave Iraq, but continue the fight in Afghanistan.
The war of words between Britain and the USA seems to be heating up. As reported earlier this month, the Americans are now blaming the British for having lost Basra. The aim, obviously, is to shame the British into remaining in Iraq and continuing to die. Thankfully, the wheeze seems to have backfired, with the British pointing out that over 90% of the attacks in Basra are aimed at them. In other words it is not about Britain holding the ring between warring factions, rather it is about all those factions uniting behind a single desire which is to end the occupation of southern Iraq.

The army for its part has now told the government that "nothing more" can be done in Iraq, and the view of the General Staff is that the army should be withdrawn as quickly as possible.

The problem is that the aim seems to be to keep the Americans sweet by boosting troop numbers in Afghanistan to almost 8,000 by the end of the year. The problem here is that the government is concealing the heavy casualties that British troops are suffering in that country. Over 700 have been wounded since April, and that figure can be expected to climb when the new fighting season opens in the spring of next year.

To make matters worse for the warmongers, the British are winning all the tactical victories on the ground, but are losing the war strategically. The Afghans have the numbers and have proved themselves more than adept at fighting off foreign invaders over the past few centuries.

They are receiving help from all over the Muslim world. Reports are coming in of Chechens, Pakistanis and even men from Birmingham, England, streaming over the border from Pakistan to join the fight. British officers may talk about a 38 year conflict, just like the one in Northern Ireland, but whether Britain's economy or political will could stand that strain is open to question.

The warmongers will claim that this is proof that the war is winnable, because Afghanistan is like a flypaper, they will say, and attracts Jihadists from all over the world. The problem with this argument is that there is no evidence that they will stay permanently in that benighted country. The survivors could return home to start further conflicts, and open new fronts on other countries. Furthermore, all they are doing is helping the Afghans - they have not taken over the war from them. Put another way, the foreign fighters may have shortened the war against imperialism in Afghanistan, but there is no evidence to suggest that it would be lost if they all went home tomorrow.

It looks as if America's ever loyal poodle is about to skip out of the frying pan and straight into the fire.

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19 August 2007
Venezuela & Belarus make the latest anti-globalisation moves
As the American economy weakens, and as the country's army gets more bogged down in Iraq, many countries are taking the opportunity to create new trading arrangements that will bypass the Americans and their globalised system completely. Venezuela and Belarus are the latest to sign bilateral agreements that involve barter trade and which ignore the dollar. As Neal Clark says, we are "witnessing the formation of an alternative power bloc," one which began with Venezuela and Cuba, grew to involve Bolivia and now has roped in Belarus.

The response of many toy-town leftists to these moves is to sneer from the sidelines. If everything is not as Leon Trotsky predicted it, prior to this death almost 70 years ago, then they are not interested.

Actually what they are not interested in is helping to destroy globalised capitalism. This is the bastard offshoot of the old capitalism that we grew up with and it is the number one enemy for the new century. If it can be destroyed, then the underlying capitalist system that all socialists want to smash will have suffered a serious reversal.

The destruction of globalisation is not the end of the war, in other words, but it could mark the end of the beginning. Besides, we need a victory after all these years of defeat. So the crushing of imperialism in Iraq is one step down the road, support for alternative economic arrangements between sovereign states is another.

Let's keep our eyes on the prize, folks. If we are serious about smashing capitalism, then ending globalisation is as good a place as any to start.

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Free calorie counter - Myfitnesspal.com
Do you fancy losing some weight? Myfitnesspal.com is a free website that will help you do it.

They offer you a free calorie counter, so that you can check your calories in food intake. The counter is easy to use, and will help you to understand the nutritional value of what you are eating. You can also use their free calorie chart as well, so that you can work out how many calories you have burned off from an exhaustive list of activities that range from aerobics to white water rafting - with almost every other activity in between.

Remember that this site is 100% free, so you have no excuse not to fight the flab.
Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery
Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery is the home of the famous Los Angeles tummy tuck, as perfected by Dr. Lloyd M. Krieger, the clinic's founder and chief surgeon. Dr. Krieger is an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA, and has researched extensively into how to make plastic surgery a more rewarding experience for the patient.

After pregnancy or as a result of ageing, a lot of people, both men and women, find themselves with too much fat or loose skin around the stomach. Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery can correct this and leave you with a nice, new and very smooth shape.

It is possible that your shape can be returned to its former glory via a mini tummy tuck. This procedure works to smooth out that part of the stomach just below the belly button, but it does not deal with the whole abdomen, in the way that a full tummy tuck does. However, the scars are shorter, and recovery time much quicker.

Remember that this clinic also specialises in breast augmentation surgery as well. Their Los Angeles breast implants will improve your appearance, boost your confidence and make you feel like a new woman.

In this procedure, a simple implant is inserted either underneath the breast tissue, or under the chest muscles. It really all depends on the size of your actual breast, the amount of breast tissue that you have and the overall shape of your body.

The incision will be done discretely, either just under your nipple, under your breast, or just under your arm. Most of the breast augmentation procedures that are performed at the Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery Clinic use the "silent scar" technique and that will help hide the scar.

Whatever procedure you need will be performed in the elegant surroundings that only Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery can provide.
18 August 2007
Red fly the banners - O!
I've found a site that has the words to Red Fly The Banners - O, that great anthem guaranteed to annoy Trots and Tories everywhere. This version is slightly different because it has "four for the Communist thinkers," instead of "the great philosophers," which is the version that we used to rant out whenever polytechnic students were around in one of our swill shops. The great philosophers, of course, were Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

The final verse we used to roar out with great gusto was number thirteen: "the holes in Trotsky's head," but here we have a fourteenth verse: "the IQ of the average Trot".

All good stuff, and as so many Trots have now moved over into Nu-Labourism, it is right and proper that we remember the old songs and the old philosophy that underpinned them.

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A couple of changes to the blog.
Readers may note two changes to the blog. The first is that I have installed a language translator. That's it, over there on the right. This is for the benefit of one person in particular who is constantly complaining that it takes her forever to read the postings. It would be cruel to mention her name, but since I am not just seriously cruel, but wicked to boot, I'll tell you that her name is Beatriz.

Beatriz, dear, just click on the Spanish flag. Yes dear, the Spanish one. Yes, I know that you are Mexican, but they speak Spanish in Spain, dear. Good girl!

The second change is that we are now accepting payments for postings. They will be clearly marked at the bottom as adverts, unless I get offered more money not to mark them thus. Sorry, folks, but I need the brass.
Mexico City Today (Answer to guess the implement)

What's the implement? I have been asking the question all week and no bugger got it. People, it's the ice-pick that was used to twat Leon Trotsky back in 1940. It is now the property of the investigating agent's daughter and is kept in her house in Mexico City.

Leon Trotsky's house is now a museum and supposedly it is preserved exactly as it was when he died. Actually if you compare my 1988 photographs of the desk that he was sitting at when the dastardly deed was done with one that I took this year, you can see that this may not be the case. Still, the museum makes a good day out, at least if you happen to be in Mexico City.

Trotsky's grave is in the garden, and the story is told that every 20th August members of the local Communist Party would meet up in a local cantina. Each would get a good bladder full of beer and then they climbed the wall and formed a semi-circle around the grave. Each comrade than had a nice, long piss.

Even today, many streets and blocks of flats are named after Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, but I have never seen anything that carries the name of Trotsky. Say what you like about Mexicans, they don't support losers.

Historical footnote: Ramon Mercader del Rio, the man who put an end to Trotsky and his nonsense, served 20 years in a Mexican prison and was released in 1960. After spending a brief period of time in the USSR he moved to Cuba where he remained for the rest of his life. He died in 1978 and was buried with full state honours.

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Rodeo Drive Tummy Tuck
What I know about plastic surgery is nil, but the people at Rodeo Drive Tummy Tuck seem to know rather a lot.

The clinic's founder, and chief plastic surgeon, is a Dr. Lloyd Krieger. The aim of his clinic is to get away from the "institutional" practices that people are subjected to in other institutions. He believes that you, the patient, should be treated as an informed individual, so although the clinic offers state of the art techniques, your wishes are always respected and your needs taken into account first and foremost.

Dr. Krieger's speciality is abdominoplasty, or to give it the more usual name, the tummy tuck, a procedure often called for after pregnancy or as a result of ageing. Basically the skin is tightened, excess fat is removed and the muscles underneath are tightened up. Combined with liposuction, if needed, the aim is to give you a perfect body shape.

Post-operative discomfort is kept to a minimum, thanks to the local anaesthetics that are used. Don't worry, though, as you will be fast asleep during the procedure, as the locals are just to reduce any pain afterwards. You should be able to resume your normal activities about two weeks after the surgery, which sounds fair enough.

The clinic also offers breast augmentation surgery, and here the aim is to improve both your appearance and self-confidence. Really, I think that you should give these people a ring and discuss your needs.

Given that most people who read this blog live in the UK, you might also want to remember that the USA is seriously cheap for British visitors at the moment, thanks to a dollar that is rapidly becoming an international joke. Why not take the family over to the luxurious surroundings of Beverly Hills, let your husband and children enjoy themselves in sunny California, while you get yourself back into shape?

Gentleman, remember that a man is only as old as the woman he feels, so why not give your wife this present? I suspect that you will enjoy the results!
Free on-line introductions
Your friendly Exile is probably a bit too old to worry about what the Americans call dating - the wife might object as well - but that is not to say that the dating game has died out since his day, it has just changed out of all recognition. The Internet was created and the web now abounds with sites that offer introductions to all sorts of people. The problem is that what they all seem to have in common is a desire to separate people who sign up from their money.

Justsayhi.com
aims to be different from all the rest. In the first place because it is one of the few genuinely free dating sites on the web. However, the fact that the sites' owners are offering free online dating does not mean that they are offering a second rate site. In fact, they claim that their free dating site is as good as any pay site.

Now, since it doesn't cost anything to sign up, why not go along and spend the 60 seconds that it takes to go through the registration process? After that it is just a matter of getting in touch with the people whose photographs and profiles appeal to you.

Looking at the people who have already signed up, well, it's a pity that I am so old. The girls are certainly pretty enough, and the site seems to have all the services that other sites have - except that they don't want any money off you.

So why not pop along and have a look at what they offer?
Ranters' Website
Do you enjoy a good rant? Ever seen a film or TV show that you either loved or loathed and you really wanted to sound off about it? Have you ever bought a video game that wasn't worth its packaging, and all you wanted to do was tell the world about how bad it was? Well, now you can, thanks to this ranters' website, which exists to allow you to do just that.

It's the sort of place where you get to write the movie reviews or sound off about the best or the worst TV shows. If you don't want to start your own thread, you can pop along and take issue with some other critics rant - it's that kind of place.

If you sign up for the Daily Rant Newsletter, you stand a chance of winning a free DVD. Go and have a rant!
17 August 2007
New blogs on the block
I don't do many blog reviews, but given that I have been writing about plastic surgery a bit lately, it seemed like a good idea to look at two blogs that Dr. Lloyd Krieger has. The good doctor uses them to provide useful information for anyone considering plastic surgery.

The first one is mainly taken up with plastic surgery articles, and gives you the basic information that you need if you are considering this procedure. Everything is explained in simple language and most of the procedures are covered in some detail, everything from the famous tummy tuck down the the simple nose job. Well, it looks simple the way Dr. Krieger explains it, but then again he is the expert. The blog has a full range of before and after photos, so you can see the results for yourself, right there on your own monitor screen.

The second is the cosmetic surgery blog, and here the articles are more in-depth. Interestingly enough it is from this blog that I learned about the procedures that men often choose for themselves - plastic surgery doesn't just involve breast augmentation, folks!

Finally, I want to tell you about another of Dr. Krieger's pages, this one dealing with Beverly Hills liposculpture. According to Dr. Krieger, liposuction is probably the most common form of plastic surgery. This is because the end result tends to be just what the patient had hoped for, given that most of us have areas of our bodies that we wish were thinner.

Liposuction techniques are constantly changing, so Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery has developed LipoPlus, a centre within a centre, especially to carry out these operations. The LipoPlus centre combines highly trained staff, with state of the art equipment, all with the aim of ensuring the best possible results for you, the patient.

So, three pages, all packed with information that will help you to make the correct, informed choice.
Stop the war music


People, I am not even going to pretend that I have ever heard of Ian Brown, or his former band, The Stone Roses. That said, the video is out and the Stop The War Coalition are raving about it.

I feel very old...
Guess the implement - final clues.
Have you guessed what the implement is yet? No? OK, here's another clue. It was wielded by the man in the photograph.


This is your final clue. The man against whom it was used sat at this desk.

Scroll down to the 14th August for a photo of the implement and the first two clues. The second clue came on the 16th.

Answer tomorrow!
16 August 2007
When thieves fall out.
It had to happen sooner or later, of course, but I never expected it so quickly. The save the harki crowd have split into warring factions. It always happens with Trots, and that is why they are such contemptible little arsewipes. That said, the first split came in less than a month which has to be some sort of record.

Anyway, this sad-arsed admirer of Leon the loser has decided to take his ball home and not play at saving harkis.

Keep on fighting, lads, you're doing fine.

By the way, this posting is also the third clue in the guess the implement competition.

Update:

Just for those of you who are coming over here from comment 59 at Crooked Timber. If you don't understand my "save the stills·" comment, then remember that you are not allowed to call the buggers harkis. So I called them stills - 'cos they are still fucking harkis!

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15 August 2007
Support Marcus Armstrong
Now here is a man worth supporting, Marcus Armstrong, who tried to stop American aircraft that were carrying military supplies to Israel, from using Prestwich airport to refuel.

Craig Murray has the full story, but Marcus is currently banged up for 28 days. You can write to him at:

Marcus Armstrong,
c/o Her Majesty's Prison Kilmarnock,
Bowhouse,
Mauchline Road,
Kilmarnock,
Ayrshire, KA1 5AA

You might want to add "prisoner of conscience" to that, and postcards are more than welcome. They brighten up the cell!

Get writing folks!
Keeping the harkis out: some talking points.
Returning to the little matter of the 20,000 collaborators that various types want to bring over to the UK. It is time to start writing to MPs and the local newspapers. The locals are probably better than the nationals, if only because they get fewer letters coming in, so you have a better chance of yours being published. As far as your MP is concerned, I reckon that it's better if you actually send him a letter, inside an envelope, and with a stamp on it. E-mails are fine, but it is possible that your MP will take you more seriously if you are prepared to go to a bit of trouble to write to him rather than just clattering something out and pressing the send button.

The rule is simple: keep it short, keep it polite and keep it very simple. One page is enough, and you should make no more than two points to back up then case that Britain is not to provide a home for imperialism's flotsam and jetsam.

If you have never written to your MP before, then why not tell him that? "I have never written to you on any matter, but I feel so strongly that the 20,000 Iraqi collaborators should not be housed in Britain," would be a very good way to start.

Over the past week this blog has listed many of the reasons why they should not be brought over. At the risk of boring the regular readers, I am going to repeat some of them. Anyone is free to choose a couple of them and send them off to the newspaper or MP if they wish. Just rewrite them in your own words.

1. The plan is to bring over 20,000 Iraqi collaborators to safety in Britain. Why should they be allowed to leave Iraq, when our soldiers are continuing to die there?

2. This plan could actually put our soldiers' lives at even greater risk. Those Iraqis who have so far sat on the fence will realise that a full withdrawal is on the cards. Might they not decide that it is time to show how patriotic they are and fire off a few shots at our soldiers?

3. The Americans will not allow their collaborators into many areas of the Green Zone, because they simply do not trust them. They know that these harkis are also supplying information to the guerrillas. What evidence do we have that the same thing is not going on inside the British lines? Could we not be importing a dangerous fifth column? This plan needs further thought, and the views of the security services should be solicited.

4. The unemployment rate now stands at over 5%. Why should the British people allow men and women who have shown no real desire to fight for their own country into ours to take the precious jobs that remain?

5. Council house accommodation is scarce. How will these collaborators be housed and will it mean that our children will be forced to the back of the waiting list?

You could end your letter by saying that more time is needed to decide where these collaborators are to be taken. Could they go to a third country at Britain's expense?

The point here is that it is obvious that most MPs do not actually want 20,000 harkis dumping anywhere near Britain. Be reasonable and offer them a chance to do nothing and they will probably take it. They can wave your letters in front of those sad-arsed losers who want to see Britain flooded with collaborators and argue that political considerations prevented them from doing anything.

Remember that time is on our side. The longer this goes on, the more chance there is that the Iraqis will sort out the problem for themselves.

That way the warmongers won't even have the consolation of being able to say that they lost the war, but saved the harkis.

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14 August 2007
Guess the implement.
Do you know what the man is holding? The answer will arrive on Saturday, but for now, I'll give you two clues:

1. The fellow is named Jacobo Zabludovsky, and he is a famous Mexican journalist.
2. The 20th August is close at hand.

OK, you will get more clues later on this week.

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13 August 2007
Basra airport comes under regular attack: warmongers show no interest in our soldiers lives.


During the first three years of the British occupation of Basra airport, only 45 rockets or mortars were fired at their base. Over the past two months alone at least 300 have slammed into the airport.

As you can see from the above video, the Iraqis now manufacture these simple rockets in small workshops that are dotted throughout the country. Unfortunately for the British forces, the soldiers live in tents which provide no protection whatsoever. Whenever the klaxon goes off there is a frantic scramble to don helmets and run to the protective bunkers.

Life in the one remaining base inside the city, that is home to about 700 soldiers is even worse. Supplying that garrison from the main airport base is a nightmare - one one recent run the convoy encountered no fewer than 25 roadside bombs.

A debate should be taking place in the UK over what exactly the plan is. We know that at some point soon, the Basra city base will be abandoned, but that still leaves the airport which is now coming under an average of 30 rocket attacks a day. Luckily few soldiers have actually been killed in these attacks, but an awful lot have been injured - some 50 British soldiers have suffered serious wounds this year alone and that is more than in all the previous years put together.

Instead of having this debate, we are tied down with the little matter of the Iraqi collaborators who various hand-wringers want to get out of the country. When asked why British soldiers should remain in Iraq to die for a country that these collaborators are leaving, the hand-wringers refuse to answer.

The conclusion has to be that as far as they are concerned, our soldiers can be left to die.

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12 August 2007
20,000 Iraqi collaborators may be headed for Britain.
The number of Iraqi collaborators that could end up in Britain has now reached 20,000, according to one of their hand-wringing supporters. This figure includes just about everyone who ever collaborated, plus their families.

People, write to you MP and to your local newspapers. Let's get the massage out:

Not our war, not our problem, not our harkis: keep the buggers out.

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11 August 2007
Save the harkis and leave the army to rot, say the warmongers.
It will be noted that four British soldiers have died this week. To what extent those deaths can be attributed to the demand to save the Iraqi collaborators is impossible to judge. One might speculate and say that it is possible that the Iraqis now know that the British are getting ready to leave, and that they will increase their attacks because everyone in Basra now wants to be on the winning team.

If that is the case then warmongery has yet more deaths at its door. Not a single 'monger has called for the Iraqi traitors to be pulled out with the British. That leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, because it looks to the jaundiced observer these that these 'mongers care more about the lives of 600 or so traitors than they do their own people.

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10 August 2007
Why Iraq's harkis should get stuffed and why they will be
Neil Clark hasn't been pulling any punches today as he joined the campaign to keep imperialism's refuse out of Britain. As this blog started the campaign to keep the harkis out, let's put together his arguments and mine.

1. Had the war against Iraq succeeded, then today the USA and its ever faithful poodle would be knee deep in the gore of Iranians, Syrians or both. The relative lack of collaborators in Iraq made the job of the resistance that much easier, but make no mistake, they gave imperialism's cause a boost. They deserve the chop for that.

2. Leaving them to their fate sends a message to other putative collaborators. Take the money now, get the bullet tomorrow. Your call, chancer.

Funnily enough, Neil's point here was made in reply to one Adam LeBore who wrote an article in The Times calling for the collaborators to be admitted for just that reason, that nobody would work for imperialism again. That is the whole point.

That said, I suspect that LeBore's views are shaped by the fact that he works for The Times, a scab sheet of the first order. 6,000 printers were put out of work because people like LeBore crossed the picket lines to do as Murdock wanted. One scab supports others: why am I not surprised?

3. The collaborators cannot be taken out of Iraq so long as the British army remains in Basra. To do otherwise would be to send a signal to every person who ever sat on the fence waiting to see who would win. They would read the signs of impending withdrawal, grab their rifles and start taking pot-shots at the British. Let's face it, when the British leave, everyone is going to have to show just how patriotic and pro-resistance they were. If not, they will likely end up dangling from a lamppost like these harkis. Put simply, anyone who argues that they can is putting the lives of collaborators above those of British soldiers.

4. Finally, what evidence do we have as working class people that these creatures will not jump the council house waiting list or be parachuted into jobs that we want for ourselves? As this blog pointed out yesterday, the dole offices are now open to over 5% of the population - more folk are on the cobbles today than in 1979!

Sorry, but this writer believes that the days of ragged trousered philanthropy are over -it is time that the working class put forward its own demands and stopped allowing the agenda to be set by the middle class scum who have done so well out of the past thirty years.

Are there any other blogs who want to join in? I don't see it as an organised campaign, but if we sing from more or less the same choir sheet, then we might just influence the government. Certainly we will probably have public opinion on our side.

As for the warmongers who are now bleating about these doomed collaborators. Sorry, losers, but it looks like you are fucked once again.

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Unemployment in the UK is higher than in 1979.
Unemployment in Britain is higher today than it was in 1979. Back then it stood at 4.7% and today it is 5.5%.

A generation ago over over hald the population reported that unemployment was the biggest issue facing the country, compared with only 7% who say the same thing today.

The problem we have is summed up by these figures. There is no national scandal because both parties are cut from the same neo-liberal cloth. Together they have created the illusion that unemployment is as natural as early morning dew.

It isn't, and once upon a time we had a Labour Party that set the economic agenda for the country whether it was in power or out. Both Labour and Tory accepted that the unemployment rate had to be kept down, using whatever means were necessary.

Unfortunately, and this is what many people have forgotten, the Labour government from 1977 onwards started the neo-liberal ball rolling, and paid the price for it at the election of 1979. After that it was very difficult for the party to claim that it could cure unemployment - memories of the party's failure were still too raw.

It was that failure that did more than anything to help ensure the Tory victories in the 1980s - and Labour's acceptance today of the neo-liberal model means that unemployment is a matter to be spun away rather than screamed about.

Thus NuLab people will say that more people are in work, and quietly ingore the fact that most of the new jobs are in the service and part-time, sectors. Crap jobs, for a crap wage under a crap gaffer.

If any supporters of NuLab are reading this, now they know why working class aprticipation at eletion time is falling with every election.
09 August 2007
600+ Iraqis and their families could be eligible for asylum in Britain
It is now emerging that at least 600 Iraqi collaborators could be eligible for settlement in Britain, if the rules were to be relaxed. Each one would be allowed to bring his family along, and Iraq being the third world type of place that it is, what that amounts to is a lot of people.

Even if the government restricted it to what we think of as family - and that is a big if - then we could still be looking at around 2,000 people.

How, pray, is the government going to get them out without tipping off the Iraqis that a full withdrawal is looming?

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08 August 2007
Britain may withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year.
It looks to this writer as if the British are preparing to retreat from Iraq, probably before the end of the year. Three factors lead to this conclusion:

First, Over the next month or so the British will hand over their last base in Basra to whatever Iraqi force can hold it until the last British soldier has left. Once this happens the British occupation will consist of Basra Airport and nothing else. We can expect to see the 30 or so tanks that the British have in Iraq withdrawn, as well as some of the armoured troop carriers. The excuse for this will be that they are no longer needed, given that the British will then be acting as an "overwatch" force.

Secondly, the Americans have begun criticising the British semi-openly. The Vice-President, Dick Cheney, said on Monday that "No one could plead ignorance of the potential consequences of walking away from Iraq now." At the time this was taken as an attack on Congress, but it is just as likely that it was the British he had in mind.

Other attacks are less coded. According to Ken Pollock of the Brookings Institute, Basra is like the "wild, wild west," while the British do nothing other than "remain holed up in Basra airport".

Anonymous reports coming via the American press have it that the British have failed in Basra, and "have basically been defeated in the south".

Viewed overall, it looks as if the Americans have discovered something, and are preparing their public for a British troop evacuation. A war of words then seems likely, as Americans claim that the British are cowards, and that the war has been lost through their failure.

Thirdly, there is the little matter of the Iraqi collaborators. This campaign to withdraw them started amongst the blogs, but it has now been picked up by the Murdock press. Why has this happened? Probably as part of the disinformation campaign that has to be a part of any withdrawal. If the collaborators are withdrawn, then it will be obvious to every Iraqi with an AK-47 rifle that the British are getting ready to leave. However, if the collaborators are still around, then it buys valuable time for the British to get their heavy equipment out of the country in stages.

The last thing anybody wants is for Iraqis who sat on the fence earlier in the war to start proving to their new rulers - whoever they might be - that they were keen as mustard patriots all along. Far better to keep the collaborators in country so that everything looks normal on the surface.

One the heavy gear has been lifted out most of the 5,000 remaining troops will be withdrawn, probably by air. The last thing to do will be to blow up the remaining stores and wave a weary farewell to Iraq.

So when will all this happen? It could have begun already, but a more likely date would be next month when the American General David Petraeus makes his report to Washington. The British will probably use the debate that will follow to provide yet more smoke to cover the withdrawal. Expect soothing noises from London.

It could all be over very soon, and then the political repercussions can begin.

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07 August 2007
Iraqi collaborators: keep 'em out of Britain!
As reported last month, there is a blog based campaign to admit those Iraqis who collaborated with the British occupation forces.

The whine now is that they are being "murdered" right at this moment. Actually, they aren't. What is happening is that they are being killed for the crime of collaboration. In the chaos that is Iraq today, and with a country that is not yet liberated, it would be foolish to expect trials and sentences. Iraq today is like France was in late 1944 - collaborators are simply shot out of hand.

The second whine is that they served the British and the British owe them something. Well, they served British imperialism, so perhaps British imperialism owes them something, but why should we, the British working class, be made to pay in any shape or form?

Sorry, lads, this is your war, your disaster and they are your harkis. You sort it out.

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Americans supply Iraq guerrillas with weaponry.
Where do the Iraqi guerrillas get their small arms? Well, some of their equipment is supplied courtesy of the Americans. Of the tons of kit supplied to their puppet forces nobody can account for 110,000 AK-47 rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 bits of body armour and 115,000 helmets.

It's a bit like Vietnam, as the locals hedge their bets by supplying the guerrillas with American supplied hardware. That way they have an insurance policy for when the Americans leave, and the guerrillas are asking difficult questions about what people did during the war.

So the next time an American soldier is killed in a fire fight, remember that the rifle that got him could have arrived in Iraq courtesy of Uncle Sam.

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06 August 2007
Iraqi guerrillas target the national grid.
Iraqi guerrillas have managed to pretty much destroy the national electricity grid. Only two power lines running into Baghdad are still operational out of the 17 that should supply the city with power. To make matters worse, many of the provinces have either disconnected themselves from the grid, or are taking more power from it than they should. All this leaves Baghdad with only two hours of electricity a day, which in turn means that the city cannot purify and then deliver the millions of gallons of clean drinking water to its residents that the city needs. All this in 140 degrees of heat...

What is happening is something that other guerrilla movements have done before. Shagging the economy is a basic guerrilla tactic. In Rhodesia the guerrillas targeted the national herd; that is, all the cattle that were owned by individual farmers. Basically, a squad would arrive, kill as many animals as they could in a short a time as possible, and then they invited the locals to a nice BBQ. When everyone had been fed with one or two head of cattle, the remainder were left to rot in the tropical heat.

The effect on the economy for a country that relied on its agricultural sector can only be imagined. However, equally as important was the effect it had on colonialist morale. All those years of work, down the toilet in just one night.

In Iraq, the guerrillas have pretty much made life in the capital city intolerable. The economy cannot survive without electricity and the people cannot live without water. As provinces cut themselves off from Baghdad, any hope that the Americans might have had of uniting Iraq behind the puppet government becomes more and more forlorn. Under circumstances like this, what one writer calls "primary loyalties" will come to the fore. Primary loyalties involve anything but loyalty to the state. The guerrillas can thrive under circumstances like that, but the occupiers cannot.

Not a bad outcome for the expenditure of a few tons of high explosive.

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Thoughts on occupied Palestine
Why are supporters of the western pale known as Israel such hysterical mongs? Say what you like about their nearest relatives, the Rhodesians, at least the latter did not whine quite so much. Other than that they are cut from the same cloth, both colonialist shitholes, full of odious, ambitious types who went out to feather their nest at the expense of the locals. Both claimed a spurious historical legitimacy: the Rhodesians because Great Zimbwabwe was built by some lost European civilisation, and the Israelis because, well, the Bible says it, dunnit? Both were talking a load of old wank in other words.

The Exile doesn't comment much on matters Israeli, largely because pushing at an open door is no fun. The Arabs will solve the problem of the western settlement in their own good time, and it is highly unlikely that many people in the rest of the world will give anything other than a yawn.

Maybe this is why the supporters of Israel are so mongish? Deep down in their tums they know that the future of Israel is nil. The relative birthrates between Arabs and Europeans will see to that, all other things being even. However, the Arabs are demonstrating in Iraq - as they demonstrated in Lebanon - that the days of western military hegemony over Arabia are coming to an end.

Rhodesia lasted 90 years from start to finish: Israel has so far survived almost 60. What are the chances of it seeing the 90 that Rhodesia managed?
04 August 2007
Iraqi resistance deploys thermal bombs against enemy forces.


The Iraqis have introduced thermal bombs into their arsenal. As you can see from the video, these things explode on contact and are seriously lethal for any soft sided vehicle that the American occupiers may have deployed in that area.

The amazing thing about these attacks is that we don't get to hear about them via the western media. We hear about the improvised explosive devices, as the occupiers call the roadside bombs that the Iraqi forces use, but it was only by accident that I found this video. You would think that the fact that the Iraqis can manufacture these types of weapons, and that they have the sheer courage to use them, would be big news, wouldn't you?

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03 August 2007
The British education system: an answer to Johann Hari
The writer Johann Hari has an interesting piece in The Independent in which he attacks the British comprehensive education system. To summarise his points, he writes that "class polarisation in our schools" leads to the children of the wealthy being educated in "schools that select by mortgage price," while the rest go to "warehouse schools, where the sheer concentration of kids from disadvantaged and troubled families creates a resentful culture that shuns learning." Hari makes the point that his parents, who left school at 15, were both educated at places that "had all the local kids, of all backgrounds, so a ghetto mindset never set in."

This argument strikes this reader as being flawed on several levels. The first and most obvious point is that Hari's parents obviously went to a secondary modern, because they were the schools that turfed everyone out at 15, prior to the raising of the school leaving age in the early 1970s. This writer was educated at a secondary modern and left school at 15, but by no stretch of the imagination could it be said that the school educated children "of all backgrounds". The classes have been well segregated since industrialisation began and the children of the middle class were nowhere to be seen at any working class school. A local secondary school in a working class district educated the local children, and the only mixing that went on was between the offspring of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled parents.

However, to broaden the debate out, this writer wants to take issue with the Hari argument in general, which is that the comprehensive system has failed in some way. It hasn't: it does exactly what it is supposed to do.

The British class system has always been open ended and talented fellows like Johann Hari have always got on - there is nothing new about that. To give just two examples, Ted Heath was the son of a coal merchant, and Roy Jenkins the son of a Welsh miner who was imprisoned during the General Strike of 1926.

What both these men - and Johann Hari - have in common is Oxbridge. The two universities take the brightest and the best from the working class and turn them into smooth, plump members of the establishment: Roy Jenkins was a wonderful example of that.

For the rest, that is to say, those who cannot make it to Oxbridge, the system has always had two functions:

Firstly, it provides jobs for the lower-middle class who work as its teachers and administrators. This has always been the case, and the only thing that has changed over recent years are the numbers involved. Thanks to the expansion of the higher education system over the past 20 years, something has to be found for the over ambitious, but lowly talented products of the polytechnics. They become teachers, educational social workers or local authority education managers. Is anyone seriously suggesting that the education industry doesn't benefit them, and for that reason they will fight like cats to keep it the way it is?

Secondly, schools work perfectly for what they were designed to do, and that is turn out factory fodder. Children arrive on time when the bell rings because one day they will have to arrive on time at work. The teachers try to instil respect into the children because the working class needs to know its place and show respect for the employer - so let's teach them that at an early age.

Why does the working class not object? Largely because they can see through the con and ignore the teachers. Children are taught by their parents not to make waves and just get it over with. That's how the parents got through school, and that is what they instil in their children.

This does not mean that we as a class are anti-education. Parents can remember when education began at the age of 15, when a child left school and started an apprenticeship. The unions used to have education departments and many people, myself included, went to the local redbrick university's extra-mural department to take classes.

Some of us went on to university in later life, and I will never forget my parent's pride the day I left Manchester to drive to Ruskin College, Oxford, in 1983. Those same parents had been completely indifferent to my school life because they recognised it for what it was, but Ruskin was different: Ruskin was about education.

So, the education industry works fine at what it does. It provides jobs for the boys and teaches the children to obey the rules and keep their mouths shut.

Update:

In an unrelated piece, Neil Clark argues:
What turbo-capitalism wants is not a cultured, well-educated working class whose members read Huxley, play chess and debate political issues, but materialistic, under-educated consumers: people who will unleash their frustrations at living such unfulfilled, alienated lives not through anti-capitalist agitation and questioning the structure of society but by getting "smashed" each and every weekend.
This rather reinforces my point: the education system works fine

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02 August 2007
Baptists for Brownback.
Who says that Americans can't do parody and satire? This site is a gem, even if Andrew Sullivan - who is beyond parody - can't decide if it's for real or not.
The Exile's readership increases.
Yesterday this blog scored over a hundred hits, which is remarkable for a one man band like this. During the month of July we registered just over one thousand visitors, which was the highest monthly tally for over a year.

I am pleased that so many new people have discovered The Exile and hope that you will continue to return. I will do my best to keep on posting...

There are not many blogs that try to present the world through the eyes of an ordinary, British working man - at times it seems as if this is the only one. Over the past generation we have seen our standard of living decline dramatically, our unions destroyed and our political party taken over by the very class of people who now act as our colonial administrators. This blog is a reminder that we still exist and that a reckoning is still pending.

One final point to all the new readers. The core readership of this blog used to number about 20, although numbers did rise to between 50 and 70 on a good day. Now that the readership has increased, it is to be hoped that the core readership will also rise. Please, if you can afford it, consider clicking on the Pay-Pal button that you can see to the right of the screen.

The blog and its owner stand for the good old cause: anti-imperialism, anti-globalisation and pro-working class. We need your support!
Iraqi guerrillas take their summer holidays: Americans keep on dying.
With only 81 Americans dead in Iraq last month, the American Vice-President Dick Cheney is already claiming that the surge is working, and the Exile reckons that it won't be long before the wankblogs get in on the act. The cull is down quite a bit over previous months, so on the surface they have a point, right?

Wrong, because your enthusiastic correspondent has been checking the culls for every July since the war against Iraq began - and here they are:

2003: 48
2004: 54
3005: 54
2006: 43
2007: 81

Looking at these figures, and seeing how the casualty rate always declines in July, the Exile was planning to write a sarcastic piece about how nice it must be for the Iraqis to schedule their summer holidays at the same time every year.

Alas, Juan Cole pointed out that "July is like a blast furnace in Iraq," as the temperature reaches 140 degrees F. in the shade. So what started out as a sarcastic post has turned out to be pretty close to the truth: the guerrillas do take a break during July! The Americans keep on patrolling, sweating and worrying if the next corner will be the one where the bomb is planted, but the Iraqis are taking it easy. Good for them.

The other point that needs to be made is that although the Iraqis are enjoying their summer break, they are not taking as much time off as they did in previous years. 81 American dead is a pretty respectable score given that heat.

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01 August 2007
Just keeping the pot boiling

Purely in the interests of freedom of speech - to say nothing about keeping this one running forever - The Exile is proud to present a screen shot of the posting that Johann Hari got so annoyed about. (Scroll down to the previous post, please.) Other bloggers please do the same - it is not about siding with one warmonger over another it is about keeping them fighting amongst themselves.
The war at home


When the warmongers lose men like this, then they really have lost the war.

Cheers: antiwar.com