Thursday, February 22, 2007

'Excellent' for Some, Tragic for Others

"BAE Systems, Britain's biggest arms manufacturer, increased annual profits by more than a third to over £1bn last year, driven in part by booming US business from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"BAE hailed the performance of its expanded US operations as 'excellent'."

Source: The Guardian.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Bait and Switch

"On the night of 9-11 (Australian time), wife and I sat up until dawn, channel surfing - watching, listening. All the local TV stations had their satellite links hooked up.

So much of what we saw and heard that night simply disappeared over the next couple of days. Disappeared - expunged from the official narrative. Gone! I can't believe we have such teeny attention spans and such short memories. Was no-one paying attention? We noticed the bait and switch over the next couple of days as the official conspiracy theory solidified, based on some papers said to be found in a car."
From a comment to a Guardian Online article knocking critics of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Major Problem, Ethical and Moral

The UK's Daily Mail reviews the video Loose Change:
An explosion of disbelief - fresh doubts over 9/11

One of the comments to that article was this:
"I watched this film and I must say it leaves a strange taste in one's mouth. If what they claim is true then we all have a lot to answer for by jumping in with him. I hope and pray that it is not true and that even President G.W Bush was not that stupid. If it is true, however, and he has been taking us all for a ride all this time then we have a major problem on ethical and moral grounds here in the West which we will never get out of. How then will we justify the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the passing of the Patriot Act in the US and the erosion of our Civil Liberties in this country that we all meekly accepted as a price for our 'security'? I pray that all this is not true."
That's why we need to be sure it's not true.
Here's the video: Loose Change.

If you watched the BBC programme about 9/11 last night, then you should also check out the comments about it on the programme's web page.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Magic Crater

"Five feet deep and twenty-two feet in diameter, the crater served as proof that the weapon was detonated underground rather than on the surface. The only way any explosive can cause a crater is if it is first dropped from an aircraft and penetrates sub-surface before exploding, or if it is physically positioned sub-surface in advance."

"Politicians and 'experts' alike had less of a problem than they originally thought with the crater. The helpful media folk simply refrained from showing it on television or in the newspapers, and the brainwashed public soon forgot about the crater altogether."

Bali 2002.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

American Enterprise Institute will Bomb Iran

Yes, using American and allied forces the AEI will bomb Iran.

From Today's UK Guardian:
'One of the main driving forces behind war, apart from the vice-president's office, is the AEI, headquarters of the neo-conservatives. A member of the AEI coined the slogan "axis of evil" that originally lumped Iran in with Iraq and North Korea. Its influence on the White House appeared to be in decline last year amid endless bad news from Iraq, for which it had been a cheerleader. But in the face of opposition from Congress, the Pentagon and state department, Mr Bush opted last month for an AEI plan to send more troops to Iraq. Will he support calls from within the AEI for a strike on Iran?'
Among the most vocal supporters of a strike on Iran at the AEI, the second most important Israeli lobby in Washington, is Joshua Muravchik. He wrote an LA Times article subtitled, "WE MUST bomb Iran".

Profile of Joshua Muravchik
'Muravchik has been associated with a string of hawkish pressure groups supporting President George W. Bush's war on terrorism and interventionist policies in the Middle East. He signed multiple letters published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) advocating a broadened antiterror fight; he supported the creation in 2002 of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, a group spearheaded by Michael Ledeen and Morris Amitay that advocates regime change in Iran; he was an advisory board member of the now-defunct Committee for the Liberation of Iraq; he is associated with the hawkish, pro-Israel think tanks, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; he joined a plank of other neocons in forming a revived version of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger; and he and a group of neoconservatives serve as “international sponsors” of the Cambridge, England-based Henry Jackson Society, an organization that promotes a “forward strategy” aimed at assisting democratization across the globe.'
The Henry Jackson Society
'The list of signatories to the HJS statement of principles also contains surprises. The list consists largely of elite UK policy-makers from both the left and right, including close associates of both Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. While most of the names might be unfamiliar to people in the United States, one name stands out: Irwin Stelzer. Identified on the statement of principles as the director of economic policy studies at the U.S.-based Hudson Institute, Stelzer is a long-standing associate of the neoconservative political faction in the United States whose close connection to right-wing media magnate Rupert Murdoch has helped foster rumors about his ability to influence high-level British politicians, including Tony Blair (see “It's Crazy to Think that I'd Threaten Blair,” The Guardian, October 17, 2004).'
Profile of Irwin Stelzer
'Perhaps better known in Britain—where one broadsheet calls him “Rupert Murdoch's representative on Earth”—than in the United States, Irwin Stelzer is an economist at the Washington-based Hudson Institute (New Statesman, August 6, 2001). He is also a long-standing cadre of the neoconservative political faction. A close friend of Murdoch's and a frequent writer for many of the right-wing media mogul's newspapers, Stelzer has long been regarded in the United Kingdom as Murdoch's messenger to elite British policy-makers, including Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, with whom Stelzer maintains close contact.

Stelzer's relationship with Murdoch (and assiduous habit of promoting Murdoch's News Corporation-line on domestic and foreign policy) has made Stelzer few friends among liberal elites in the United Kingdom. In a 2004 expose about Stelzer, the Guardian quoted former EU commissioner Chris Patten: “I wouldn't sup with Irwin Stelzer if I had a spoon a yard long” (Guardian, October 17, 2004). The Guardian added: “But there are two men who do regularly sup with the patrician New Yorker: Blair and Gordon Brown … It is therefore unsurprising that, in the eyes of liberal conspiracy theorists, when Murdoch says jump and the prime minister jumps, it is Stelzer wielding the cattle prod.”

According to the Guardian, “a brutal example” of the purported influence wielded by Stelzer was the dramatic turnaround in Blair's stance vis-à-vis a referendum on the EU constitution. Blair, who initially supported pushing through UK support for the constitution without subjecting it to a public referendum, made an about-face on the issue shortly after Stelzer made a personal visit to the prime minister in early 2004. Reported the Guardian: “Political commentators were in no doubt: Stelzer had threatened Blair with an ultimatum that, unless he let the people decide, the Eurosceptic Murdoch would order the Sun and the Times to withdraw their support and back the Tories at next year's general election.”'

The American Enterprise Institute and their funding:

Major funders:

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc.
Originally the Allen-Bradley Company, it was sold in 1985 to Rockwell International, a leading defense and aerospace conglomerate.

John M. Olin Foundation
The New York-based John M. Olin Foundation grew out of a family manufacturing business in chemicals and munitions. It funds nationally influential right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution and Peace. It also gives large sums of money to promote conservative programs in the country's most prestigious colleges and universities.

Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation
This foundation is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune. At one time, its largest single holding was stock in Gulf Oil Corporation.


The Murdochian involvement:

9/11: What Did Rupert Murdoch Know?

The article mentions the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen.
This is it - The Lone Gunmen.


An interesting point on the war:
'One Iranian news agency with a correspondent in Irbil says five US helicopters were used to land troops on the roof of the Iranian consulate.

It reports that a number of vehicles cordoned off the streets around the building, while US soldiers warned the occupants in three different languages that they should surrender or be killed.

This is the most serious action yet. Isn't it a definitive act of war for one country to storm the consulate of another, threaten to kill them if they do not surrender, and then detain six consulate officers?'
(My emboldening)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Conscription for WWIII

I found this conscription notice on the website of Arthur Lane, a writer and Far East veteran of WWII.


Under the Emergency Powers Act (1939) as amended by the Defence Act 1978), you are hereby notified that you are required to place yourself on standby for possible compulsory military service in the American Conflict. You may shortly be ordered to depart for the Middle East where you will join either the 3rd Battalion The Queen's Own Suicidal Conscripts or the 2nd Foot and Mouth. The regulars are too busy driving Green Goddesses to be there themselves.

Due to the recent rundown of the Navy and the refusal of P&O to lend us any of their liners, because of the deplorable state in which they were returned after the Falklands adventure, it will be necessary for you to make your own way to the combat zone. H.M. Government have been able to negotiate a 20% discount on one way trips with Virgin Airlines and you are strongly urged to take advantage of this offer (Ryan Air also do a nice little £9.99 trip). Because of cutbacks in Government expenditure in recent years it will be necessary for you to provide yourself with the following equipment as soon as possible:
Combat Jacket
Trousers (preferably khaki - but please no denim)
Tin helmet
Boots (or a pair of sturdy trainers)
Gas mask
Map of the combat zone (the Ordinance Survey 1:2800 Outdoor Leisure Map of Iraq will do)
Ammunition (preferably to suit previous item)
Suntan oil
If you are in a position to afford it, we would like you to buy a tank (Vickers Defence of Banbury are currently offering all new conscripts a 0% finance deal on all X registration Chieftains, but hurry, as offer is only available whilst stocks last).

We would like to reassure you that in the unlikely event of anything going wrong, you will receive a free burial in the graveyard of your choice, and your next of kin will be entitled to the new War Widows pension of £1.75 per calendar month, index-linked but subject to means testing, and fully repayable should our side eventually lose.

There may be little time for formal military training before your departure and so we advise that you hire videos of the following films and try and pick up a few tips as you watch:
The Guns of Navarrone
Kelly's Heroes
A Bridge too far
The Longest Day
Apocalypse Now
The Matrix
Blazing Saddles
The Desert Song
Mary Poppins
We do not recommend that you watch Khartoum.
To mentally prepare yourself for your mission try reading the works of Wilfred Owen or Rupert Brookes. This should give you some idea of what may be involved.

Yours faithfully,

G Hoon, Ministry of Defence

A Bush-Blair Production
Sponsored by Mars, The Official snack of World War III

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hurrah, the Butter is All Gone!

A piece of Dadaist satire exposing the absurdity of Nazi rhetoric. The picture refers to Hermann Goering's remarks on the merits of food shortage; in a speech he had explained: "Iron has always made a country strong, butter and lard only make people fat."

Photomontage by John Heartfield, 1935.
Image and text from Art and Propaganda by Toby Clark (Everyman Art Library).

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