Thursday, December 21, 2006

Now and Then 

We shall not name names but the alliance of the steadfast is slowly crumbling but no, not to fizzle out but to come out again to wage new wars in a new cocked hat. So hands up now those who thought it right to invade Iraq? Even now Kofi Annan is now saying that life was much better under Saddam.

But to be fair, they didn't attack Iraq because the standard of living there was harsh. They attacked because of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that the Iraqis are now still hiding in a remarkable feat of camouflage. And we did tremble at the thought of it once, didn't we, when Blair (among others) declared that Iraq could produce their WMDs from their flat packs and assemble to attack Britain or its parts within 45 minutes.

Enter Margaret Becket.

Becket is the most unlikely figure as Foreign Secretary as there can be: a caravanning women and steadfast Blairite with only one weapon in her armoury, loyalty. Don't laugh because in these days when former Blairite Babes and Neophyte men who once were tumbilng over one another to kiss the Boss's ar..er, hands are now keeping their distance, Becket is still a staunch follower of the Vicar Blair.

Hear now what she said in an interview on the Today programme with John Humphrys:
"That [the WMD threat] was a statement that was made once and it was thought to be of such little relevance, and perhaps people began quickly to think, "I'm not sure about that", that it was never used once in all the debates in the House of Commons."
And then again when asked why a public statement was never made about its irrelevance by Blair or anyone in Government, she dismissed it thus:
"Oh, come on, nobody thought it was a big sweeping statement."
This is what Blair said in his introduction to the UK government's assessment of WMDs, released in the build-up to the invasion (to keep you all wporked up) by Downing Street:
"Its work, like the material it analyses, is largely secret. It is unprecedented for the Government to publish this kind of document. But in light of the debate about Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), I wanted to share with the British public the reasons why I believe this issue to be a current and serious threat to the UK national interest.

"In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that despite sanctions, despite the damage done to his capability in the past, despite the UN Security Council Resolutions expressly outlawing it, and despite his denials, Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world.

"...I believe that faced with the information available to me, the UK Government has been right to support the demands that this issue be confronted and dealt with. We must ensure that he does not get to use the weapons he has, or get hold of the weapons he wants."
Source:Downing Street
And then go here now to see who else thought that WMDs were of sweeping importance.


Now and Then

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So Farewell Then, Allende

Pinochet riding an interesting horse by Steve Bell.

General Pinochet at the Bookstore

The general's limo parked at the corner of San Diego street
and his bodyguards escorted him to the bookstore
called La Oportunidad, so he could browse
for rare works of history.

There were no bloody fingerprints left on the pages.
No books turned to ash at his touch.
He did not track the soil of mass graves on his shoes,
nor did his eyes glow red with a demon's heat.

Worse: His hands were scrubbed, and his eyes were blue,
and the dementia that raged in his head like a demon,
making the general's trial impossible, had disappeared.

Desaparecido: like thousands dead but not dead,
as the crowd reminded the general,
gathered outside the bookstore to jeer
when he scurried away with his bodyguards,
so much smaller in person.

— Martin Espada, in The Republic of Poetry
Santiago, Chile, July 2004

Via: Montreal Muslim News


So Farewell Then, Allende

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Hatter's World 

The only consolation in the 'London Evening Standard', that most bigoted of newspapers in the Reverend Blair's benighted capital nowadays is its hilarious television reviewer Victor Lewis-Smith who once made the all too plausible claim that television sets in the land's lunatic asylums are permenantly locked to the ITV channel. It's the channel that's least likely to upset the delicate minds of the unhinged with unsuitable, mind jolting content.

Now, if you think that people with delicate minds are all safely locked up in asylums, watching ITV (or its equivalent in those United States: Fox Channel?) consider this finding by Christopher Lohse, a master's research student at Southern Connecticut State University: that people whose minds have gone to the birds do actually prefer Bush.

This is what the report that I found in the New Haven Advocate actually says:
"Lohse's study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person's psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush."
But before you turn out the light tonight and turn over in bed wishing your loved one a hearty 'Good night', safe in the knowledge that all the dangerous ones are all in their padded rooms in Blair's land, staring at the last flickering lights from the ITV screen, or that all the Bushwhacked are safely ensconced in the land of the free, drooling at Bush on Fox, look out of your window at first light and think again.

You'll find reason to be very afraid.

Consider for instance how the world's turned into one mad marketplace, how states have turned over their most valuable assets to local and transnational plunderers just to enrich a handful of individuals throwing dice in our day's biggest fraud house, the Stock Exchange. And how little governments have completely surrendered their sovereignty to play music with the world's big boys, sinking in the delusion that they too will one day be rich and famous. They subscribe their signatures to pieces of paper headed the WTO and hail the miracle of the globe, where all the little people are downtrodden and the lunatics have taken over the madhouse.

But still, there's money to be made — those smart former KGB Communist diehards who were wise and quick enough to go for grabs are now busy in their counting housea counting lots of money; those inside governments in those little and big places (find out how much the Neocons have grabbed from just one little place, say Iraq - you'll need a calculator with lots of space for those digits; find out how those once little people in little countries like, say Malaysia, have 'prospered' once they'd introduced the privatisation scam).

I once wondered why, suddenly, an insignificant place (well, insignificant for me that is) such as the stock market suddenly began to take up more and more space in the news. And then I realised that it wasn't just the mad people who were heading for the undergrowth, there were also those moneygrabbers, stock raiders, corporate plunderers, privatisers and all those people who once simply languished under the name of thieves. And they are all barking mad and thay are all running the globe.

Makes you wonder now doesn't it, what TV channel they are watching in all those plush houses on the hill in the various capitals of this huge marketplace.


A Hatter's World

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