Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When's the next "We are all Hezbollah" march?

Nasrallah calls on his Hezbollah followers to topple the Lebanese government, an anti-Syrian government minister is assassinated, and the prospect of civil war looms large.

Flashback (via Moonbat Media):

Not on the BBC...

Tuesday November 21:
An injured Israeli man is tended to by a paramedic after being wounded by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, in the town of Sderot, Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at the Israeli town Tuesday, seriously wounding at least one person, Israeli rescue services said. Militants (sic) have fired more than 25 rockets at Israel since Monday evening(AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Wednesday November 22:
School day in Sderot begins: A Qassam rocket landed Wednesday morning near an elementary school and a kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot.

The rocket landed in a northern neighborhood of the city at around 7:30 a.m., shortly before the start of the school day. Another three rockets landed inside the city at around 9 a.m.

The Magen David Adom emergency services reported that several people suffered from shock

Yaakov Yaakobov, who was hit by a rocket in a factory in the Sderot industrial zone on Tuesday morning, died of his wounds Tuesday evening.

Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Sappers evacuated the remains of the rocket from the school's parking lot.
UN priorities:
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour has decided not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel. The families of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit have approached the commissioner two weeks ago already, but after a series of evasive answers, the negative and final answer came Tuesday.

"The decision of the Commissioner Arbour not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel should set off red lights in Israel and the other 15 countries that are signed on UN Resolution 1701. The UN is not interested in the fate of the soldiers, and maybe it doesn't even stand behind the resolution," said Benny Regev, brother of kidnapped soldier Eldad Regev.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Glenn Beck's "Exposed - The Extremist Agenda"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Surprised? No, not really.

KOLKATA, India, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of communists marched in the Indian city of Kolkata on Thursday demanding that Saddam Hussein's death sentence be lifted.

India's left parties, which won a record number of parliamentary seats in the 2004 elections, have a long history of opposing American foreign policy and have held huge protests in recent years against U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Protesters shouted "Hang Bush and Blair, release Saddam" as they marched in the heart of Kolkata, capital of the communist-ruled state of West Bengal.

Ed Richards seems like a bit of a twat to me

Some quotes from Media Guardian today:
"Ed Richards, the Ofcom chief executive, has defended the new wide-ranging restrictions on junk food advertising to children…"

"Five chief executive Jane Lighting: 'The long-term future of UK-produced children's programming outside the BBC is bleak.'"

"Mr Richards, of course, is the architect of a potentially big intervention into the media market - the public service provider."
More tax-funded media, more restrictions on the free market. Who is Ed Richards? Here's his CV:
Prior to Ofcom Ed was Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister for Media, telecoms, internet and e-govt. Before that he was Controller of Corporate Strategy at the BBC. He also worked in consulting at London Economics Ltd, as an advisor to Gordon Brown MP and began his career as a researcher with Diverse Production Ltd, where he worked on programmes for Channel 4.
Ah, that explains it.

Milton Friedman RIP.

Dutch Cabinet Backs Burqa Ban

Er... Wow!
The Dutch cabinet has backed a proposal by the country's immigration minister to ban Muslim women from wearing the burqa in public places.

The burqa, a full body covering that also obscures the face, would be banned by law in the street, and in trains, schools, buses and the law courts.

"The fiasco of Tony Blair's terror strategy"

Fraser Nelson in The Spectator (registration required):
The fiasco of Tony Blair’s terror strategy has been one of the best-kept secrets in Whitehall. As a matter of principle, the Prime Minister never answers questions about MI5 or MI6 — although he enjoys flaunting what he claims is his close relationship with the ‘professionals’. Those affected by his years of indecision have tended to keep their counsel…

The head of MI5 came as close as she could to making this exasperation in the intelligence community explicit last week. In a rare public speech, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller said she wished her job was as simple as fiction would have us believe — the spook dramas in which a small team of people hunt a known enemy, one at a time. In reality, MI5 is monitoring 1,600 suspects, with 2,800 staff trying to distinguish serious plots from youthful fantasy. They have scored several successes, most notably disrupting the alleged transatlantic airline plot this summer. But the jihadi menace, Dame Eliza concluded, will be with us for a generation.
Nelson states that the current strategy, ‘Project Contest’, which was designed in 2002, “reads like the woolliest sociological lecture by Sir Ian Blair into the causes of crime”. Last year a confidential report into Project Contest made the following observations: "The strategy is immature… Forward planning is disjointed or has yet to occur. Accountability for delivery is weak. Real world impact is seldom measured." And yet Project Contest survives. Ministerial dithering and the legacy of Gordon’s Brown freeze on the budgets of intelligence agencies when Labour first came to power have left the security services playing a life-or-death game of catch-up.

According to Nelson, Manningham-Buller’s intervention last week had nothing to do with a desire to see suspects detained for 90 days without charge; in fact, she resents government ministers making such suggestions. Sir Ian Blair may want 90 days, but Manningham-Buller would prefer a change in the law to allow continued questioning of terror suspects after they have been charged.

Nelson says that insiders have told him Dame Eliza was trying to make two points with her speech last week:
The first is that the typical homegrown Islamic terrorist is far more dangerous than the public understands… the suspects categorised as ‘essential’ by MI5, the highest risk of the three categories, are more likely to be trained by al-Qa’eda professionals — and seeking chemical weapons. Qualitatively and quantitatively, the threat is of a different scale. The deadly sophistication of the plans hatched by Dhiren Barot — the al-Qa’eda terrorist sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to at least 40 years in prison earlier this month — shows how right Dame Eliza is on this score.

Her second point was to prepare the public for a terrorist success.
There’s a cheery thought.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Gore Effect

Al Gore turns up in Australia with his "travelling global warming show". Result? The coldest minimum temperatures in over a century.

Journos sacked in Hong Kong

Press Gazette:
Irreverent farewell front pages are as much a part of journalistic culture as messy desks and bad pay.

But the new editor of the South China Morning Post, Mark Clifford, didn't see the funny side when colleagues prepared a front page for Sunday Morning Post editor Niall Fraser headlined: "You're a c**t, but you're a good c**t."

Two subs — Trevor Willison, who is British, and Australian Paul Ruffini — have been sacked over the affair. Now around 80 newsroom staffers, including many expatriate Britons, have signed a no-confidence motion in Clifford, an American who has been in charge of Hong Kong's biggest English-language daily for seven months...

One insider said: "The leaving page (as they usually do) included a number of digs at the management but was seen as generally pretty harmless. "What apparently upset Clifford was the use of the word c*** under the SMP masthead (with asterisks included, I should point out) and some mildy derogatory references to the newspaper's deputy editor, a Chinese woman by the name of Fanny Fung."

Anti-EU = anti-surrender

Richard North connects some important dots:
...because of the billions we have already wasted on the European defence project (to say nothing of all the other billions squandered) we are being forced to fight our real wars on the cheap. Because of that, we are in grave danger of losing...

Effectively, pro-war is anti-EU. On the other hand, support for the EU and all it stands for can only ensure our eventual surrender to the fanatics.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"The people all around me hate America"

Joshua Muravchik at :
The silver lining in the cloud of anti-Americanism is that every stuffy orthodoxy inspires some bright, independent-minded people to rebel. Like many of you, I receive a steady stream of messages from behind enemy lines, so to speak—from France, Germany, Arab countries, and even the BBC — saying, “The people all around me hate America, but I love America.”

Azerbaijan Paper Investigated For Criticizing Islam

Radio Free Europe:
November 15, 2006 -- Azerbaijani prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into an Azerbaijani newspaper, after it published an article that said Islam was blocking humanity's development.

The article also argued that the Prophet Muhammad had only created problems for Eastern countries.

The small-circulation newspaper "Senet" published an article this month that compared European and Muslim values and asserted that Islam was sham religion that suffocated people, pulled them away from freedom, and hindered humanity's development.

The article also asserted that Muhammad was responsible for all misunderstandings of Islam.

Blair tries the Abu Hamza Defence

From The Telegraph:
Downing Street has instructed lawyers to challenge any prosecution based on the cash for honours investigation because ministers believe it has been compromised by unauthorised leaks. [Says Downing Street!]...

The lawyers have complained to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that the investigation, which began in March, has been undermined by dozens of leaks to the media which they blame on Scotland Yard...

Hamza claimed a fair trial was "impossible" because of a campaign against him by the media and politicians. Judgment will be given later.

Downing Street is coming to the same view that if there is to be a prosecution it will be almost impossible for there to be a fair trial because of the volume of stories in newspapers and on television and radio which have linked key Labour Party figures to the first political corruption investigation involving a serving Prime Minister for more than 70 years.

It’s already becoming known as the Abu Hamza Defence. I hope that phrase sticks - it'll really piss them off at Number 10.

"The primrose path of appeasement"

Melanie Phillips:
Do the core aims of al Qaeda to restore the medieval Muslim caliphate and call the infidel world to Islam lead inescapably back to Israel and Palestine? Do the ravings of Syed Qutb, the arch-ideologue of murderous Islamism who wrote well before Israel was created that the west was a conspiracy to destroy Islam, the Jews were the people of the devil and Muslims must recognise no secular authority whatever, lead inescapably back to Israel and Palestine? Do the Islamist attacks from Bali to Madrid to Chechnya to Indonesia to Nigeria, the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands and the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the murder and mayhem following the re-publication of the Mohammed cartoons, not to mention the 20-year genocide in Sudan, all lead inescapably back to Israel? Whoops – 40 civilians killed in Darfur in the last few days by Muslim Arab militiamen. So sorry…let’s talk moral outrage.

Yes, we damn well know where the causes lie: in genocidal religious totalitarianism. And we also damn well know that this is where the world divides: between those who will defend the civilised world against this monster, and those who seek to propitiate it by tossing it the remnant of the Jewish people that survived the last totalitarian genocide.

Into this sewer now stumbles none other than Prime Minister Tony Blair, determined that before he leaves office he will pull off his dream of solving Israel/Palestine. Convinced that he has the ability to persuade anyone of anything, his initiative exemplifies the greatest liberal hubris of all: the conviction that every problem in the world is driven by rational interests and is thus capable of peaceful and harmonious resolution if only the most gifted impresario of rationality in the world – one T Blair — gets involved. This fundamental delusion is causing Blair, a friend of Israel and famously a supporter of America and doughty defender of the west against attack, to put Israel, America and the west in great peril by tripping down the primrose path of appeasement.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Newsnight reports on radical British Muslims

Extract from a BBC (!!) item on Islamic extremism taken from Radio 4's PM. The full report is on Newsnight this evening.

Update. The Times:
A SENIOR member of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is working as a computer technician at the Home Office, despite calls by Tony Blair for the group to be banned.

The activist, named as Abid Javaid, is said to be an official at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Croydon, one of the department’s most sensitive branches...

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said... "If this individual has access to sensitive immigration details, can ministers still claim they can maintain the integrity of their ID card database?"

Thousands choke on their cornflakes...

Jim Naughtie introducing an item about Tory-supporting online broadcasters on this morning’s Today (13:15 in):
Their founders say they’re proud to be partisan. Is objective news on the way out?
That's a bit bloody rich.

Race hate laws

Lord Goldsmith has joined the chorus of Labour politicians who think that the race hate laws need to be toughened. I still haven't heard anything from the Tories yet.

Still, it gives me an excuse to post this old South Park episode.

"Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000"

"Tough on crime"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Race Hate Laws

From Conservative Home:
I have found no Tory reaction to the BNP's latest publicity coup.
Nor I. The LibDems have condemned Labour politicians' calls for further restrictions on free speech. The Tories, to their shame, have been silent.

Update. Talking of LibDems...

Racist Murder and the BBC

Excellent post by Laban on the BBC's reporting of racist murders.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow on why he doesn’t wear a poppy on air: "I do not believe in wearing anything which represents any kind of statement."

He didn’t mind making a statement with his Make Poverty History wristband: "I had it on as I was about to interview Michael Howard on election eve. My producer suddenly asked: "Do you think you should be wearing that?" I said I should because it was beyond contention." (Via Michael Hoskin).

And here he is making another kind of statement - "Look at me, I’m a pretentious, cringe-inducing twat":

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Sad story, and I don't fancy the family's chances of retribution if the BBC's headline is anything to go by...

(Has the headline been updated yet? Check here). Update:

(Via the comments at Biased BBC)

Barot - Cultural Learnings of Islam for Make Benefit Glorious Slaughter of Infidel

Apologies for not warning you all that I was going to be away again this week.

Still, didn’t miss much, eh? (Ahem)

I’ve spent most of today learning how to use Windows Movie Maker. Here’s my first effort, recently uploaded to YouTube.

(Update. If you get a "Not available" message try clicking a couple more times - seems to work apparently. I haven't removed the video, that's for sure.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Stop asking what you have done wrong"

Tawfik Hamid interview in the National Post (hat tip Andy):
He was trained under Ayman al-Zawahiri, the bearded jihadi who appears in Bin Laden's videos, telling the world that Islamic violence will stop only once we all become Muslims.

He's a disarmingly gentle and courteous man. But he's determined to tell a complacent North America what he knows about fundamentalist Muslim imperialism.

"Yes, 'imperialism,' " he tells me. "The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America. Pure ideology. Muslim terrorists kill and slaughter not because of what they experience but because of what they believe."...

"Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."


Just what we fucking need - more tax-funded media. Media Guardian:
The culture, media and sport select committee has announced an inquiry into public service media content.

Early next year, the committee will look at a range of issues facing public service television, including its prospects once the UK switches over to digital television.

It will also look at "the viability of existing funding models for ITV, Channel 4 and [Channel] Five" and the case for "public funding of broadcasters in addition to the BBC".

Also on the agenda are the future of children's television and news. The committee said it will look at "the future of key areas of public service, media content such as news provision and children's programming".

Media regulator Ofcom's proposal for a "public service publisher" (PSP), funded by the public purse, will also be discussed, as will "the case for provision of public service material on new media".
Of the 30 best-paid state-employed media executives from the Taxpayers’ Alliance Public Sector Rich List (pdf) published last week, 13 work for Ofcom. No wonder they like tax-funded solutions so much.
1 BBC Mark Thompson Director General 619,000
2 Channel 4 Kevin Lygo Director of TV 565,000*
3 Channel 4 Andy Duncan Chief Executive 549,000*
4 BBC Mark Byford Deputy Director General 456,000
5 BBC John Smith Chief Operations Officer 444,000
6 Ofcom Stephen Carter Chief Executive 440,667
7 Channel 4 Andy Barnes Sales Director 409,000*
8 BBC Jana Bennett Director of Television 353,000
9 Ofcom Kip Meek Chief Policy Partner 338,579
10 BBC Zarin Patel Finance Director 324,000
11 BBC Jenny Abramsky Director of Radio and Music 322,000
12 BBC Caroline Thompson Director of Strategy 317,000
13 BBC Ashley Highfield Director of New Media 311,000
14 Ofcom Ed Richards Chief Operating Officer 308,930
15 BBC Stephen Dando Head of BBC People 292,000
16 BBC Tim Davie Director of Marketing 287,000
17 Ofcom Sean Williams Partner, Competition 251,186
18 Ofcom Tim Suter Partner, Content and Standards 243,387
19 Ofcom Peter Ingram Chief Technology Officer 238,540
20 Ofcom Dominic Morris CBE Director of the CEO’s Office 221,692
21 Ofcom Philip Rutnam Partner, Competition and Strategic Resources 210,811
22 Ofcom Sandra Jenner HR Director 210,191
23 Ofcom Lord Currie Chairman 193,737
24 Ofcom Graham Howell Secretary to the Corporation 182,668
25 Ofcom Tony Stoller CBE External Relations Director 182,595
26 Channel 4 Rod Henwood New Business Director 180,000*
27 Ofcom Rona Chester Finance Director 177,639
28 UK Film Council John Woodward Chief Executive 176,794*
29 Channel 4 Anne Bulford Finance Director 173,000*
30 Central Office of Information Alan Bishop Chief Executive 155,000

BBC News: "PC Stalinism, urban bias, sloppy..."

A letter from a former BBC News cameraman in today's Media Guardian:
Like John Simpson, who this week leapt to the defence of BBC "impartiality", I began my near 40-year broadcast career in BBC TV news. It was impartial then; it certainly isn't now. I have seen my own visual material presented in an entirely different timeline, totally distorting the actual event that I witnessed, and at no time did the intellectually lazy journalists ask me what I witnessed. I also have seen raw camera material destined for both BBC and ITN come out in completely different forms on air. The bias in both cases was pro-establishment during the Thatcher years.

As we expect politicians to declare an interest, should we not expect ourselves to do the same when asked to comment on a system that has provided succour to ourselves and our families as it has in John's case?

I believe that few employed by the BBC can have a truly objective view of the BBC's political and social bias.

We on the outside do not like the PC Stalinism, urban bias, sloppy technical, artistic and journalistic standards that BBC News now represents, and if you really want examples, I can point to a Newsnight interview with the PM on a train. Neither the cameraman, reporter, editor, sub or indeed tea lady noticed that between cutaways and the body of the interview the train direction reversed. It is called crossing the line, it is as basic in TV news as learning your alphabet. That the BBC sought to defend its gross incompetence is again a glaring example of how those within have lost all objectivity about the system that they are in. Precision with words and pictures is vital in a political world that seeks to distort both.

Chris Harnett, Southampton

Saturday, November 04, 2006

BBC Somalia Update

Earlier today I blogged that there had been accusations of pro-Islamist bias made against the BBC’s Somali service. Ed at Biased BBC linked here, adding this observation:
I have been deeply suspicious of the BBC's Somalia output for a while now: lots of spin about how the Islamic Courts were bringing the smack of firm Government.
Ed, you don’t know how right you are!

Many thanks to Max in the comments for finding this 2001 letter from the Somali Historical Society of North America (SHSNA) to the BBC:
… the hardworking men and women of the BBC Somali Section can no longer do a decent job. Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar, the man in-charge who originally came in under dubious terms through the influence and under the behest of the late murderous General Aideed of Mogadishu, is himself trying to achieve a dubious task. A task that the late General Aideed failed to achieve, but Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar continues to wage. A battle he also continues to wage on HornAfrik Radio in Mogadishu. This HornAfrik Radio project investment was originally sponsored by the European Union and the BBC World Service in cooperation with the BBC Somali Section, but subsequently, it sadly has become a 50% owned investment by Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar. By how we don't know, but would the BBC World Service leadership come clean? The ownership of this HornAfrik Radio project is a clear cut case of CONFLICT OF INTEREST that neither the BBC World Service nor the BBC Somali Section has confronted. This HornAfrik Radio project has consumed almost all EU $1,500,000 donated investment funds originally intended for all regions of Somalia. Not a bad rate of return on investment! And Mr. Omar continues his battle on the BBC airwaves and his cohorts on HornAfrik Radio to support certain political faction and alienate others. This is a continuing losing battle engaged by Mr. Omar that a majority of Somalis recognized on day one. We hope the BBC Somali Section Leadership quickly recognizes the conflicts and problems created by Mr. Omar's efforts with HornAfrik Radio. We would also advise the BBC World Service to distribute future EU donated development funds and its own aid wisely and equitably across all Somali regions.

Today, the BBC Somali Section airwaves in combination with HornAfrik Radio are used to pit one innocent Somali group against another. It has prolonged the Somali civil war. We are convinced that the grant from Her Majesty's Foreign Office was not intended to be used to harm innocent Somalis and prolong third world civil wars. Likewise, we doubt that the Broadcast Standards Commission would, if informed, permit Mr. Omar to continue his efforts to implement his decaying clannish agenda.
So, a warning about the head of the BBC's Somali section from five years ago, with EU money involved for extra spice. Did the BBC listen? Here's a report from June 6 this year:
The Islamist militia that now controls Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has emerged out of a judicial system funded by the powerful business community to try and bring some law and order to a country without a government.

But over the past two years, the Union of Islamic Courts has emerged into Somalia's strongest fighting force - forcing the warlords who have controlled the capital for the past 15 years into retreat.

BBC Somali Service editor Yusuf Garaad Omar says they are the most popular political force in the country

There are 11 autonomous courts in Mogadishu, some of which have periodically tried to clamp down on robbery, drugs and what they say are pornographic films being shown in local video houses.

At first they concentrated on petty crime but by the mid 1990s they had progressed to dealing with major crimes in north Mogadishu.

Thieves had their limbs amputated and murderers were executed.

Mr Garaad says that despite protests from human rights bodies, north Mogadishu residents were pleased to enjoy law and order - in stark contrast to south Mogadishu, where crime was rampant.
Sharia is great! And just to hammer the point home, here's Garaad writing about the wonders of Islamist Somalia for the BBC earlier this week (and he's still the BBC Somali Service editor):
Most are astounded by the changes - restaurants are opening, business is booming - and people are proud to show off to visitors their new-found security...

Dissenters argue that this authoritarian attitude is eating away at Somali culture and traditions, from dulling their dress code to muting their music.

But for most this is an argument for another day.

For now, Somalis are basking in the novelty of moving about freely, the novelty of seeing a woman behind the wheel, the novelty of militiamen greeting them politely at checkpoints, the novelty of leaving their guns at home.
Not to mention the candyfloss clouds and gentle streams of sweet nectar. With this guy in charge at the BBC office, little wonder that the hospital massacre perpetrated by followers of the Islamic Courts went unreported.

How much influence has the BBC's Yusuf Garaad Omar had in the promotion of the Islamist cause throughout the Horn of Africa?

Serious questions need answering.

"Hold tight, the sociologists are on the way!"


"BBC Somali service accused of abetting Islamic Courts"

"Why is the BBC silent about the Bu'aale massacre?" (Via

From SomaliNet (hat tip Alan in the comments at Biased BBC):
BBC Somali service accused of abetting Islamic Courts

Many Somalis who depend on BBC's Somali service for their daily news dose were outraged when the service decided not to cover a recent massacre in a small town in southern Somalia. At least four wounded militia men were killed in their hospital beds by Islamic Courts' men. The courts apologized numerous times and promised a complete and impartial investigation. So far BBC Somali Service, the farthest reaching Somali language and publicly funded radio did not even mention this verified main event.

Somalia's renowned artist who is always critical to Somali politicians and Ethiopian government pitched in and dedicated his Tuesday's cartoon to the killings and BBC's silence. The caption Mr. Amin Amir's above cartoon says "Why is BBC silent about Buale's massacre. Unconfirmed reports say the families of the victims contacted the highest level of the BBC Somali service to no avail.

Many believe BBC Somali service has always been partial and inaccurate while though minority, many think it is actually part of Somalia's problem.
This next bit is intriguing:
SomaliNet has a concrete prove with images that shows BBC Somali Service management going out of their way to suppress other news agencies who reported a different version of one of their reports. The incident happened in early 2000 when Mr. Husein Mohamed Aidid and his militia fought with another militia loyal to then interim president Abdiqasim Salad Hassan at Mogadishu seaport. The service has many critics and this information could be misused if it went to the wrong hands. It will however be told after the current management's tenure is over.
Also from SomaliNet:
Hundreds of angry protestors have on Tuesday rallied in Abudwaq town of Galgadud region in central Somalia in protest of the recent brutal act by the Islamic fighters in which they executed four wounded men who were belonging to the militia loyal to Colonel Bare Hirale, the leader of former defeated Juba Valley Alliance and minister of interim government based in Baidoa city in southwest Somalia.

The demonstrators were complaining about the Islamist killing acts to wounded prisons of war in Bu'ale city, the capital of middle Juba region in southern Somalia.

Gunmen of Islamic Courts entered the hospital where they had killed the injured militiamen who were laying on beds.

The people in Abudwaq who were taking part in the protest were chanting anti Islamist slogans and burnt the sort of turbans knows with Islamic fighters to wear. This shows mounting hatred to Islamic Courts and lessens the support for Islamists.

Update - more on this here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bus driver refuses veiled woman

Manchester Evening News:
A MUSLIM woman was prevented from getting on a bus in Greater Manchester because she would not remove her veil.

The 22-year-old Manchester University student from Oldham says other passengers laughed when the driver refused to let her on because he could not check her identity with her bus pass.

Now the driver's bosses at First Manchester are to meet with their trade association, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), to seek advice on how to deal with the problem if other passengers with photo passes refuse to lift their veils.

They say they have received no complaint from the woman and have been unable to track down the driver concerned.
Of course not - she went straight to the press, encouraged by the usual suspects, no doubt.
The student, who didn't want to be named, tried to board the 59 bus to Oldham.

She said: "The driver asked to see my pass, but it has my photo on and he couldn't see my face.

"I told him I would not remove my veil and he said I couldn't get on."

She is now offering to help the company draw up guidance to drivers.
Working title "How to be a good dhimmi".
One bus driver at Oldham bus station, who didn't want to be named, said: "What are we supposed to do? What is the point of a pass if you can't see someone's face?"
Too right. The MEN has a poll currently running at 93% in favour of the bus driver. Get along and cast your vote.

"Proof if proof be need be"

The following is an extract from a report on backstreet dentists from the great TV current affairs parody The Day Today:
BELX [V.O.]: The next night, our dentist was back at work.
[An infra-red camera picks out the dentist ripping someone's teeth out with pliers.]
BELX: Proof, if proof be need be, that it's going to take more than a big syringe to cure Britain's mouth.

(Full transcript here)
And here’s a line from an entirely serious report on Norwegian band A-ha on this morning’s Today programme:
Nicola Stanbridge: I guess this is proof, if proof be need be, that you were more than an eighties teenyboppers sensation.
Listen to the clip here (10 secs).

Well, it amused me.

Ex-Reuters man investigates propaganda!

If anyone should know about jihadi propaganda, it’s the former chief of Reuters' Middle East bureau. From the Press Gazette:
Video footage is now as important a weapon as plastic explosives or guns in the war in Iraq and the global jihad movement, former Reuters Middle East bureau chief Paul Eedle has claimed.

In Jihad TV, a documentary to be broadcast on Channel 4 next week, Eedle investigates the jihadi propaganda machine and its impact on young Arabs and young British Muslims…

Eedle said that he had been following the propaganda videos on the internet since 9/11. He added: "They have built in quantity, particularly with the war in Iraq, but we hardly ever look at them on our television, except in very small clips. It seemed valuable to look at them in more detail, see what they really say and try to work out what impact they are having."

While Eedle argued such videos where important to Al Qaeda because "it is as much a media war as it is a military war", he said, in practice, jihadi propaganda may actually be having far less effect than the ordinary mainstream television news that people in the Arab world are watching on television every day. He said: “You don't need to turn to a jihadi video to see images of bodies being taken from the rubble of an Israeli air strike in Gaza, or South Lebanon.
I wonder if Eedle's documentary will mention all the fake and stage-managed images produced by stringers working for agencies like... er.. Reuters.

Iran Holocaust Cartoon Winners Announced

From USA Today:
"The Holocaust is a myth and this issue has finally made waves thanks to the action of President Ahmadinejad in daring to express himself on the subject and break the Holocaust taboo," Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi said as he announced the cartoon winners.

Abdollah Derkaoui received $12,000 for his work depicting an Israeli crane piling large cement blocks on Israel's security wall and gradually obscuring Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. A picture of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp appears on the wall.
Auschwitz? How does that work if the Holocaust was a myth? What a set of morons.
The exhibit curator, Masoud Shojai, said the contest will be an annual event.

"Actually, we will continue until the destruction of Israel
," he said.
The rest of the deranged winning entries can be seen here.

On a related note - and now with the correct spelling - here's Mike Chaika's excellent Halloween costume:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

BBC - Still Not Biased!

The BBC's John Simpson defends the Corporation:
Simpson said: "The BBC's permanent staff don't take kindly to seeing our principles dismissed by people who are often just passing through. Especially not if it's done in the pages of some newspapers which wouldn't know objectivity if they trod in it."
And which nobody is forced to pay for, unlike the BBC. I wonder what papers are considered objective by the licence-tax-funded world affairs editor. The Guardian? The Independent?
In the comment piece in today's Ariel, the veteran newsman went on to attack newspapers who, "will print anything to do us down".

"You have to remember two things. The first is that much of the British press dislikes the BBC for ideological or commercial reasons, and will print anything to do us down. It's a fact of life; no reason to get upset about it, but we shouldn't take overmuch notice of what the papers say about us."

Simpson continued: "It was only by reading the newspapers that most of us in news recently discovered our core values had been called into question by our own colleagues. The governors held a seminar at which various people who used to work for news (and one or two who still do) sounded off about the supposed leftwing, anti-American bias of BBC news.

"Well, having worked for BBC news for 40 years, I'm immensely proud of its rock-solid culture of honest, balanced truth-telling.

"Please let's not have any more seminars were we shoot ourselves in the foot. The permanent staff don't like that kind of thing."
Aww, diddums.
Simpson defined "permanent staff" as those working on the frontline for the corporation, such as cameramen.

He recalled that "many years ago, a particularly bolshie cameraman appeared before a senior BBC figure for some minor act of insubordination [saying] 'The difference between you and me is that you're just temporary staff, on your way to something better, and people like me are the permanent staff'."
So the bolshie permanent staff are the true BBC then! What were you saying about shooting yourselves in the foot, John?
Ariel also defends the BBC in a strongly worded editorial on the front page, pointing out that the seminar was not a secret, but had been streamed on the internet.

It says: "There has been a gleeful element to the reports because the papers portrayed the seminar as a secret event that they had managed to penetrate.

"This is phoney as a number of newspaper columnists did attend and there was a live webstream."
The director of BBC News Helen Boaden made this point too. Was the webstream advertised? Could it be accessed by anyone? The BBC loves to plug its own events but I don't recall the trailers for the Great Online Impartiality Seminar. In fact, I can't find any evidence that the BBC pre-announced this totally-not-secret webstream, and it doesn't appear to be available to view again online.

Perhaps some requests via the BBC's Freedom of Information website will spur the the Beeb into letting us see the original footage.