Friday, June 30, 2006

Argy Bargy

Just wanted to be first to use that headline.



Gotta love this picture:



Go on, get yourselves home lads. Heh!

Looks like the Guardian can't make its mind up about Frank Lampard. This is from their World Cup page:



And this is the headline on the actual story:



Still, what can one expect from a paper that runs nonsense like Gary Younge's Ethical World Cup?

Update. Come on England!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hey, Mr Cameron...

... this is how you kick Blair's arse (via Samizdata by way of the Devil's Kitchen):

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Snatch Land Rovers - two more troops killed

BBC:
Two British soldiers have been killed in fighting with Taleban forces in Afghanistan, officials have confirmed.

The troops were on night patrol in Sangin, in the volatile southern province of Helmand, when they were attacked by Taleban militia...

The BBC's Alastair Leithead, with British troops in Afghanistan, has confirmed that the two soldiers killed had been travelling in a fortified "Snatch" Land Rover
.
Government procurement minister Lord Drayson on June 12 this year:
I do not accept that Snatch Land Rovers are not appropriate for the role... The Snatch Land Rover provides us with the mobility and level of protection that we need.
If you're not up to speed on this scandal go to EU Referendum and read up.

Two more troops sacrificed to Tony and Gordon's cost-cutting and deference to EU policy.

Brazil in the semis?

I'm a bit pissed, admittedly, but I quite fancy our chances against them.

What if...

... Sven was more like this guy?

Andy Murray

Via Toque, here's Andy 'Anyone But England' Murray's blog. I think my favourite visitor comment is this pithy Wildean gem:
"Piss off jocko, tennis is rubbish."

Calling all dribbling imbeciles in Blaenau Gwent

From a Labour leaflet for this week's Blaenau Gwent by-election (via the By-Elections blog):





That Grant Mitchell from Eastenders says Labour are tough on crime, and nice Vera Duckworth off Corrie called you chuck, by 'eck! How can you not vote Labour after that?

New blog

Nordish has a new photoblog, MoonbatMedia. Early days, but worth checking out.

Nostradamus & the World Cup

According to this morning’s Breakfast show on BBC Radio Five Live, Nostradamus predicted Spain’s victory in the World Cup this year. Nicky Campbell quoted a quatrain reported in the Spanish press:
"At the end of the sixth month of 2006, the King of Spain will cross the Pyrenees with his army. The legions of Beelzebub await the battle on the central European plains. Destruction and defeat will fall on the evil-doers. The Holy Grail will be returned to Spain by the triumphant King."
I’ve just had a quick look on a searchable Nostradamus database and, as I expected, there’s no such verse. In fact there’s no mention of a grail at all. The nearest ‘prediciton’ I could find was this one:
Because of death France will take to making a journey,
Fleet by sea, marching over the Pyrenees Mountains,
Spain in trouble, military people marching:
Some of the greatest Ladies carried off to France
.
Hardly “Spain will win the World Cup” is it?

This is just another Nostradamus myth spread by gullible idiots on the internet and picked up by equally credulous fools in the MSM.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Troop safety - progress of sorts

From the BBC:
The use of Snatch Land Rovers by British forces in Iraq is to be reviewed, the defence secretary says.

Des Browne told MPs he could not fail to be aware of concerns about the vehicles after recently visiting Iraq.
Kudos to Richard North, who has been hammering away at this topic over at EU Referendum. However, Richard is still far from happy. The MoD has ordered 80 Pinzgauer troop transport vehicles which are, if anything, less safe than the Land Rovers:
the level of protection is no greater than the "Snatch" and, with its slab sides and flat floor, it is not a mine protected vehicle...These Pinzgauers, far from making troops safer, could end up being "coffins on wheels". When it comes to new patrol vehicles for Iraq, therefore, the MoD cannot be trusted to make the right decision. The battle must continue.
If you believe our troops deserve better, please tell the MoD what you think here.

Iran attacks UK human rights record

Here's a real jawdropper from the Iranian Students News Agency:
TEHRAN, June 26 (ISNA)-Iran has objected to the poor human rights conditions in the U.K. and has asked for serious and immediate actions to be taken in this regard.

Iran's Foreign Ministry in a message to the Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom has asked for serious and immediate actions to be taken towards the systematic violation of human rights in this country and the way minorities are treated due to terrorist anti-action measures.
Where do they get balls big enough?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

MP in straight-talking shock!

Michael Gove in today’s Times
The British State does not have the courage to face down the advocates of political Islam. Islamists in Britain scent weakness. Just as Islamists abroad believe the West does not have the stamina to resist for long, so Islamists within the UK believe the momentum is with them. Islam’s Leninists have drawn the bayonet, probed, and found mush...

The success of the MCB, MAB and their allies in dominating the public debate, shaping public policy and driving the media conversation has been profoundly damaging. A narrow version of Islam has been privileged, theological conservatism reinforced and political radicalism given room to advance. A rising generation has been encouraged by those Muslims most prominent in public life to put their Islamic identity ahead of their British citizenship. That generation will have heard the Muslims most fêted by government pay tribute to terrorist leaders and fundamentalist ideologues as figures worthy of respect. That generation will also have had its sense of grievance nurtured even as its sense of separateness has been reinforced. For Islamists and their allies, it has been a golden prospect.

Troop Safety - Ingram Bullshits

Defence Minister Adam Ingram during a defence debate in the House of Commons on Thursday:
"Our focus at all times is the protection of our personnel".
He must be talking about Labour ministers because there's no way troop safety is this government's prime focus. More, as ever, at EU Referendum.

Flag flying fashion fascistic says Tory

From the Scotsman:
A LEADING Tory has compared the fashion for flying England football flags with the Nazis' attempts to whip up nationalism.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Assembly, yesterday declared that he was not a fan of the game and was uneasy about the flag waving of recent weeks.
Good grief.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yet another wake-up call for Britain

The pro-Muslim, pro-multicultural propaganda we are fed by the likes of the government and the BBC is working. Non-Muslim Britain refuses to accept that more and more British Muslims hate British society.
Public opinion in Britain is mostly favourable towards Muslims, but the feeling is not requited by British Muslims, who are among the most embittered in the western world, according to a global poll published yesterday...

Less than a third of British non-Muslims said they viewed Muslims as violent, significantly fewer than non-Muslims in Spain (60%), Germany (52%), the US (45%) and France (41%).

By contrast, the poll found that British Muslims represented a "notable exception" in Europe, with far more negative views of westerners than Islamic minorities elsewhere on the continent. A significant majority viewed western populations as selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral. Just over half said westerners were violent. While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed. Another startling result found that only 32% of Muslims in Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews, compared with 71% of French Muslims.

Across the board, Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia than elsewhere in Europe. And on the whole, British Muslims were more pessimistic than those in Germany, France and Spain about the feasibility of living in a modern society while remaining devout.

The Pew poll found that British Muslims are far more likely than their European counterparts to harbour conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks. Only 17% believed that Arabs were involved, compared with 48% in France.

There was general agreement that relations are bad, but Britons as a whole were much less likely than other Europeans to blame Muslims. More Britons faulted westerners (27%) than Muslims (25%), with a third saying both are equally responsible. British Muslims were less ambivalent. Nearly half blamed westerners.
And while the indigenous British are guilt-tripped into blaming themselves for society's ills, the government encourages more immigration. Here's Frank Field, also in today’s Guardian:
From 1993 there has been a consistent pattern of inward migration out-numbering outward migration. This difference has grown dramatically. In 1994, for example, while 191,000 people left this country, there were 253,000 people who came here to live. A decade later, the scale of the figures have been transformed. In 2004, the latest available data, 359,000 people left this country while 582,000 settled here, giving an overall change in the total of the population of over 940,000 within a single year. These data do not include illegal entrants.

If the present rate continues, the impact over as short a period as a five-year parliament will be dramatic. The current annual rate of newcomers is the equivalent of over eight parliamentary constituencies - or 41 over the life of a parliament. Each year Britain loses the equivalent of seven parliamentary constituencies, or 26 over the life of a five-year parliament. This rate of migration cannot be maintained without the most profound changes occurring in our society, and particularly, given where we know migrants first live, in our poorest areas.
From the 2001 census:
Households headed by a Muslim are more likely than other households to contain children. Around two thirds (63 per cent) contained at least one dependent child in 2001, compared with around a quarter of Jewish (25 per cent) and Christian (27 per cent) households.

Muslim households also contained the highest number of children. A quarter (25 per cent) of Muslim households contained three or more dependent children, compared with 14 per cent of Sikh, 7 per cent of Hindu, and 5 per cent of Christian households.
What could possibly go wrong?

Update 3pm. Here are a couple of graphs from Pew, the pollsters quoted in the above Guardian article. The Guardian neglected to mention that 1 in 4 British Muslims (and 1 in 3 French Muslims) believe that suicide bombings against civilian targets can be justified.

Troop safety update

Richard North at EU Referendum is still on the case.

Miami terrorist plot

As news was breaking that a terrorist plot to blow up the Sears Tower had been thwarted by FBI agents in Miami, BBC Radio Five Live took a report from Sarah Morris in America. She offered this insightful speculation: “They may have been animal rights activists, we just don’t know.” (Hear the clip)

Yeah, right:
Seven members of a cultish Islamic group have been arrested in Miami on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks against federal buildings in the city and the Sears Tower in Chicago, according to reports from America.


(Allahpundit has been following coverage at Hot Air).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mouth piece

The BBC's Matt Frei:
By sheer coincidence my medical issues started as soon as I landed in the US four years ago.

Only 48 hours after getting off the plane in Washington I was seized by numbing pain in my upper jaw and rushed to a smart dental clinic near the White House.
He strained himself trying to maintain a permanent condescending sneer.

Spot the similarity

Five BBC reports, one picture.

(link)

(link)

(link)

(link)

(link)

Gaza beach explosion - latest spin

Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch, who earlier this week praised the thoroughness of the IDF investigation into the Gaza beach explosion, is now back on message and claiming that the Israeli probe is 'not credible' (and naturally enough the BBC is happy to report this latest HRW announcement). According to Israpundit, Garlasco is the one with credibility problems. Adloyada also has an update, and there's more at LGF.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Enhanced role for Jeremy Bowen

From the BBC:
The role of BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen is to be "enhanced" as the corporation strengthens its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The move forms part of a plan by BBC managers to address criticisms made in a recent report…

Bowen, who was appointed Middle East editor in June 2005, will have a greater role "in helping to formulate the BBC's overall coverage strategy".
What direction will Bowen take the BBC’s coverage? This quote from John Pilger in the Press Gazette a couple of weeks ago might give a clue:
Palestinians are rarely represented as victims who we can empathise with.
They are almost always represented as terrorists.
There are some worthy exceptions — Jeremy Bowen has an honourable record and Robert Fisk, who I think has come in for all sorts of unjustified criticism because he has pointed out that there is structural abuse, and Tim Llewellyn, the former BBC correspondent has written very eloquently about the issue.
When you draw favourable comparisons with the likes of Fisk and Llewellyn from the likes of Pilger I think it's fairly safe to assume that you’re unlikely to be mistaken for a Zionist sympathiser any time soon.

Gaza beach explosion - update

Adloyada and Biased BBC have the latest on the investigation into the Gaza beach explosion. Mark Garlasco, the Human Rights Watch representative whose doubts regarding Israel's version of events were widely reported last week, has seen fresh evidence and now concedes that the deaths were unlikely to have been caused by Israeli artillery fire. Let’s see how prominently this gets reported.

Troop safety - update

Richard North has more on the Labour government’s scandalous indifference to the safety of British soldiers. Dodgy deals which favour European defence integration have left our troops’ lives at far greater risk than their American counterparts:
So far, therefore, we see a life-saving vehicle, designed and developed at the expense of the British taxpayer, being successfully introduced into the US forces, while our own defence procurement minister declares that a much smaller vehicle, based on the same technology, is far too big for our troops. They must continue to use lightly armoured "Snatch" Land Rovers… But hey! What price soldiers' lives when European defence integration beckons?
Read it all and then contact your MP.

(See this post on Hercules aircraft for more evidence of the government's attitude to troop safety.)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Western Jihadists in Somalia

From an article in the Independent on Islamic fighters in Somalia:
Those storming the buildings in Jowhar, just 50 miles from Mogadishu, spoke English with American and British accents and the same tones can be heard among others in Mogadishu. Some said they did not want their photographs taken because they wanted to seek work in the West.
Sharia's all well and good but it's really only for the natives. Why slum it when you can foment hatred and plot terrorist acts in civilised surroundings?

I wonder what steps are being taken by Western governments to stop these enemies of our way of life re-entering our countries.

(More on sharia in Somalia at Dhimmi Watch)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Quickie...

Light blogging at the moment (work, sunny weather and the World Cup) but had to nip in and point out this must-read post at EU Referendum.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

England 2 T&T 0

Never doubted the boys for a minute.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Marxist attacks Marr

Yesterday Marxist academic Priyamvada Gopal appeared on a special edition of Start the Week to debate the British Empire. Also involved in the discussion, hosted by Andrew Marr, were Marxist historian and apologist for communist mass murder Eric Hobsbawn, black historian and campaigner for slave reparations Robert Beckford, left-wing historian and Guardian columnist Linda Colley, and right-wing historian Niall Ferguson.

Bear in mind the weight of opinion on the programme while reading this hysterical, ranting, pompous email (nicked from Lenin's Tomb) which Dr Gopal is now circulating to friends and colleagues:
Open Letter to Andrew Marr, Presenter, Start the Week on Radio 4, the BBC.

Dear Andrew,

This is an open letter that I am going to ask the people--many of whom are prominent academics-- I have copied in to circulate as widely as possible, to draw the attention of people to the egregious manner in which you dealt with the follow-up this morning's show on 'The Legacy of Empire'. I am appalled and shocked at your biased introduction to the evening phone-in. You use dismissive words like 'blarney', 'aggressive', and 'too much heat' to describe an impassioned discussion of a painful and traumatic legacy that didn't fit the genteel upper-class British converation over 'tea and cucumber sandwiches'model. This then set the tenor for the phone-in that followed.

But worst of all is the patent attempt to bring in a 'positively disposed to Empire' Indian woman to neutralise what you saw as the 'aggression' of the Indian woman you had invited to be on your morning programme. It is obvious what that is trying to accomplish and completely unworthy of someone in your position. It is, after all, an old colonial strategy: pick the good native to neutralise the bad one quickly 'The British empire was good on the whole,' she announces, to Andrew Marr's relief. What this
person's credentials are to opine on Empire and India other than 'being' of Indian descent and 'married to a white man' are completely unclear. Is everyone of British descent qualified to discuss the Norman Conquest, the Magna Carta or even the Normandy landing? She tells us that the Empire means a lot to Indians because her grandfather salutes her white husband(!). Empire is 'anachronistic' for young Indians, apparently. Each of her questions/comments to callers betrayed, I'm sorry to say, as a teacher, ignorance and little other than a desire to smooth over any rough edges from the morning. As though there were no connection between sectarian violence and the Partition! And as though a critique of Empire precludes a critique of the Indian state which often works with what it inherited from the colonial state: please see the work of most people copied in on this letter. We find it possible to do both self-criticism and a critique of colonialism, and what is more, to see the connections in a complex historical and political frame. Next time, at least find a scholar of/on India--rather than a young woman from the office next door- if you want some damage control done. That is, if you are bothered about being serious at all rather than getting an agenda through.

I realised from your mode of operating today and how you handled the programme (including the nervousness about real debate as opposed to some facile smorgasbord 'point of view' dance) that your own pro-colonial biases are pretty apparent. Nevertheless, I would have expected a more general *show* of fairness (and that favourite BBC buzzword 'balance') from someone in your position. Apparently not. Several have written to me condemning the shameless plugging of Ferguson's racist text and the way in which the whole programme was not about the legacy of empire, but that text and its release this week. People will be interested in the following nuggets from the text the BBC wishes to launch as a definitive account of Empire:

'Like attracted and continues to attract like; those who are drawn to 'the Other' may in fact be atypical in their sexual predilections'

'When a Chinese woman marries a European man, the chances are relatively high that their blood groups may be incompatible, so that only the first child they conceive will be viable'

'Human beings do seem predisposed to trust members of their own race as traditionally defined'

We are supposed to react to this kind of thing with a lack of forcefulness or passion, and just to the whole Oxbridge boys back-slapping tally-ho routine. And if we don't, a nice native will be found and then wheeled on to say 'No, no, guys, it was all great really!.

I regret coming on at the last minute. As an academic with serious interests in the matter, I thought I'd be participating in a real discussion, not a book plug, a sham and an apologia for the past. (Those of you who are simpy copied in to this letter should know that the original programme had three white scholars, two of whom are pretty openly pro-empire, and one token black man, until the BBC were told at the last minute that they should ferry in an Indian woman so they could look 'balanced' and 'fair'. Then they didn't like what they heard: the pliant Oriental woman they had hoped for didn't turn up, so they quickly ferried one in for the evening to recover lost ground.

Nevertheless, I shall take some heart from the scores of emails that have flooded in to me thanking me for challenging Ferguson's biases and egregious theory. You really think that we should take two centuries of exploitation, war, famines and immiseration and do some sort of clinical 'balance sheet'? Well, we did. And as Robert said, it came out negative. Doing another 20 pro-empire programmes with a gaggle of Indian women willing to echo what you want them to say aren't going to change that, but do go ahead and give it your best.

I told Victoria I would be happy to come on again. Allow me to withdraw that offer firmly and unconditionally. I'm an academic, not a paid monkey.

Shame on you!


Dr Priyamvada Gopal
University Senior Lecturer
Faculty of English
Cambridge
The range of acceptable debate on Gopal's course at Cambridge must be pretty narrow. Imagine the hissy fits if a student dared to disagree with her strident left-wing views.

Another World Cup Injury

Rooney's foot, Ballack's calf, Koller's thigh - add another to the list. I got a bit carried away with the special offers on beer at the supermarket today and knackered my back trying to fit all the cases in the boot of the car. Agony.

On the plus side, I do have loads of brew to dull the pain.

Gaza Beach Explosion

Today's Jerusalem Post:
The IDF probe investigating the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians, caused by an explosion on a beach in Gaza on Friday evening, concluded that chances were slim that the accident was caused by IDF shelling.

According to the findings, expected to be formally released on Tuesday, shrapnel taken from two wounded Palestinians who were evacuated to Israeli hospitals showed that the explosives were not made in Israel, IDF officials said.

Moreover, the investigation noted the absence of a large enough crater at the site of the explosion, as would be expected if an IDF shell had landed there.

The third observation casting doubt on the possibility that IDF shelling was the cause of the Palestinian deaths was that the IDF had accounted for five of the six shells that it fired in the area before the explosion and the shell that was unaccounted for was fired more than 10 minutes before the blast that killed the Palestinians.

On Saturday evening Gaza Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi insisted that the sites that were shelled by the IDF were the places from where Kassam rockets were launched. He noted those places were frequently targeted by the IDF, and were known to be dangerous places.

The leading theory currently entertained, suggested that an explosive charge, buried by Palestinians on the Gaza beach to prevent Israeli infiltration, was behind the explosion.

Throughout the whole investigation, army officials complained about the lack of Palestinian cooperation. Unconfirmed reports further suggested attempts by Palestinians to remove shrapnel from the bodies of the wounded, treated in Israeli hospitals, thus impeding the investigation.
The explosive charge theory confirms reports from Debkafile a couple of days ago. Debka also suggests that Palestinian security services may have helped Israel’s investigation:
The day after the mishap, Saturday, dozens of people were sighted combing the scene of the blast and removing the bombs, according to information passed to Israel by Palestinian intelligence, which is engaged in a blood feud with Hamas

To explain this Palestinian helpfulness, DEBKAfile’s sources reveal how the close Abu Mazen associate Muhammed Dahlan was humiliated when he made the gesture of presenting his condolences for the killing of the new Hamas militia commander Jemal Semadhana last week at the official mourners’ tent. Instead of his courtesies being accepted, he was pitched out of the tent by Hamas and Semdhana’s Popular Resistance Committees’ musclemen. He was thus treated to the ultimate insult for a Muslim. Islamic canons enjoin even enemies to be treated with respect in a mourning period. Dahlan was so enraged that he ordered PA intelligence to assist Israeli in its probe to find out if a Hamas bomb rather than an Israeli artillery shell was the true culprit behind the death of the Palestinian family. As yet it is not yet clear how much information Dahlan will allow the Palestinian service to release on the episode.
More at Biased BBC, Palestinian Media Watch.

World Naked Bike Ride

This put me right off my breakfast.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The return of Jonathan Charles

Fresh from his piss-poor revelations about British army desertions, the BBC’s Jonathan Charles has turned his attention to claims of malfeasance in the US military in this week’s From Our Own Correspondent (6 minutes 15 sec in):

Transcripts of ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ are usually provided on the BBC website but, for some reason, this week’s report by Mr Charles has not been reproduced. Scared that bloggers might take screencaps, perhaps?

Whatever the reason, here’s my own transcript, with notes:
The words sent a chill down my spine. Perhaps it was the normality of my surroundings which gave them such impact. This time I wasn’t in Baghdad, I was standing in a bar in the Canadian city of Toronto. The people around me were cradling beers in their hands, relaxing. The man in front of me had different matters on his mind.

Chris looked every inch a US marine from his shaven head to his bulging muscles. He deserted from his unit just two months ago, fleeing across the border from the United States to Canada. Chris had been proud to call himself a Marine but the turning point had come as he was undergoing final training before heading off to Iraq
.
I don't believe there are too many US Marines called Chris hiding in Canada, so I'm guessing he’s talking about Chris Magaoay. Here's a little background on this deserter from the Maui News:
Magaoay’s father, Ruben, said he learned of his son’s actions when he received written notice from the U.S. Marine Corps, which reported that his son was a deserter.
“I’m kind of disappointed,” the 43-year-old Pukalani resident said. “I thought he wanted to go to war.”
Indeed, Chris didn’t enlist until 2004. He volunteered to serve his country a year after the Iraq war began.

Anyway, back to Jonathan Charles' report:
His sergeant had apparently taken his men to one side...
(note the implication of furtiveness)
...saying he wanted to show them what war was really like. He had then supposedly pulled out a picture which featured him lighting a cigarette off a burning Iraqi fighter.
Not nice, but war’s a shitty business. However, who do we really want fighting for us? Soldiers of the sort some BBC pussy like Jonathan Charles would leave us with, ticking off bits of paper handed out by human rights lawyers, or men like Sarge with balls big enough to take a light off the burning body of someone who just tried to kill him? I would suggest that Sarge was doing the rest of his men a favour by weeding out the weak link.
He went on to tell them that if they killed a civilian they should just throw an AK47 assault rifle, the weapon favoured by insurgents, down by the side of the body and claim that the victim was a combatant.
And just how many AK47s do Marines take with them on patrol? I know these are tough guys, but how much extra gear are they expected to carry?
Here were further suggestions that American troops were carrying out unlawful acts just days after it was revealed that 24 US Marines might be prosecuted for the murder of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
Allegedly.
I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, it was only last September on From Our Own Correspondent that I’d reported a similar case from Baghdad. Then an Iraqi working for the Reuters news agency had been shot by an American soldier as he was driving through the capital. When Reuters security advisers, all former British Royal Marines, arrived at the scene they saw the American troops laughing and joking around the body.
So they were, like, soldiers? Guys who were used to seeing dead bodies?
The Americans had refused to carry out a full inquiry into the circumstances of the shooting. This time, after hearing Chris’s story, I was hoping the Pentagon would be more receptive following all the bad publicity surrounding the alleged...
that’s better
...massacre at Haditha. I rang the Pentagon in Washington and was put through to the Marines’ press officer, a captain. He was polite enough, but his first response was to suggest that Chris was being disloyal by making the accusations against the sergeant. He certainly didn’t seem interested in conducting an investigation to discover whether they might be true.

I pointed out my report would be broadcast on the BBC within 48 hours. It would then be in the public domain, and if the sergeant did have such a picture he might destroy the evidence. I told the captain I was making the call now to give him time to act.
Memo to Isaac Newton. You were wrong - apparently the universe revolves around BBC journalists.
In subsequent phone calls and emails I provided the sergeant’s name and the unit to which he belonged. During our exchanges the captain told me he’d passed the information on to his superiors. No investigation was started by the time the allegations were broadcast. I continued to suggest to the captain that in the aftermath of what happened in Haditha it might be good public relations to be seen to be doing something.

A week and a half later there’s still been no sign that the military is looking into the matter or is remotely concerned.
Gosh, it’s almost as if there’s a world out there which operates without reference to the BBC.
So does the Pentagon care? Well, in frustration I put the question to someone with inside knowledge. Gary Solis has spent the past few years teaching military law at West Point, America’s military academy. He also knows what it’s like to be caught up in the heat of battle. He served two tours of duty as a soldier in Vietnam. He told me Chris’s tale wasn’t unusual. He sighed heavily and then said, “That’s what happens when troops are in their third or fourth deployment to Iraq. They get demoralised and trigger happy, because all they’re thinking about is getting home alive.”

Gary Solis admitted the sergeant’s alleged advice about not worrying if a civilian was accidentally shot was commonplace. He said that in the British military a civilian death would trigger an immediate inquiry but that makes soldiers reluctant to shoot when perhaps they should. In the American military, he said, there’s no such system so soldiers shoot a little too readily.

It would seem from my experience that the Pentagon has learned little from the uproar in the United States, Iraq and much of the rest of the world about Haditha. It might be an extreme incident but it would appear that a cavalier approach to civilian deaths in Iraq is more widespread than many might think.

The Pentagon is currently giving its troops their refresher courses in how to behave towards civilians, but as Gary Solis told me, in six months time the lessons will be forgotten and the excesses will probably resume.
I emailed Dr Solis to ask if Jonathan Charles had represented his views accurately. Here’s his response in full:
I do not recall saying anything like, "all they're thinking about is getting home alive," although I did say that which precedes that phrase. I don't believe I would have used the term "trigger happy." I did say something to the effect that any lessons learned through classes on battlefield conduct would soon be forgotten and soon there would be further incidents involving the deaths of noncombatants.

I say "I do not recall" not as a weasel-worded phrase, but because I have recently spoken to many reporters, hosts and interviewers and it is impossible for me to recall with exactitude each phrase I may have used. But I am confident that I would not have said anything about getting home alive and I doubt that I would have used so trite a phrase as "trigger happy."
Oh dear, has Mr Charles been sexing up his reports again? One might even begin to think that he has some sort of agenda.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Cliché Watch 2

“If we win, it’ll be in spite of Eriksson, not thanks to him”
On today's evidence I can only agree with this one.

Eriksson's decisions in the second half had me wondering if he's been bribed.

Forest Gate Demo

Interesting little photo from al-Ghurabaa’s anti-police demo at Forest Gate police station yesterday. The radical islamist group’s current sticker campaign compares the wonders of ‘Islamic family values and morality’ with the evil and decadent values of British society, and yet this guy encouraging a youngster to shout anti-police slogans through a loud hailer is wearing a T-shirt from soft-core lads’ mag Loaded.



Does Loaded have an "Ask the Imam" section nowadays?

(Pic from Getty Images)

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Cliché Watch

8 minutes into the BBC's coverage and Alan Hansen has already mentioned "German efficiency".

The flag "brings shame" to England

Faisal Bodi over at the Guardian:
Just for the record, a red cross won't be flapping out of my car during the World Cup. And that's not only because the damned thing is too closely associated with the far right.

The cross, and the three lions for that matter, are Christian symbols, adopted by the crusaders for a historical episode that not only brought immense suffering to Muslims and eastern Christians alike, but which created the jaundiced lens through which much of the west would view Islam down the centuries.

I'm not saying I'll be cheering for Iran or Saudi Arabia. I will be shouting for England. But like many British Muslims it'll be without any of the paraphernalia that brings shame to my country.
This comment by 'SpeakerToAnimals1' in response:
Fair enough - don't fly the flag.

Each to his own.

I won't be strapping a bomb to myself.
Heh.

Painful death for al-Zarqawi

AP :
Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was still alive when Iraqi police arrived at a site that was bombed by U.S. forces, a top-level spokesman for American military forces said Friday.

Brig Gen. Bill Caldwell, briefing military reporters at the Pentagon from his post in Baghdad, said he learned that al-Zawqari was alive after getting briefings on the military operation that netted al-Zarqawi and several others...

He said that when the terrorist "attempted to sort of turn away off the stretcher, everybody reached to insert him back. ... He died a short time later from the wounds suffered during the air strike."
He suffered. Good.

“A parody of Western liberal guilt”

BBC journalist Paul Moss describes being held up at knife-point on his first day in Ecuador:
A policeman appeared out of nowhere, brandishing a pistol that looked big enough to blow an Ecuadorean jaguar in half. And he aimed it squarely at the head of the knife-wielder.

Now I was really stressed. I thought of all the stories I had heard about police death squads, and prepared to see Ecuadorean thief-brains splattered on the pavement.

Absurd to say, I was overwhelmed by what feels now in retrospect like a parody of Western liberal guilt.

My assailant was no longer a potential murderer. This poor man was probably only stealing my money to feed his starving family.

Now he would become just another statistic in the harsh reality of South America's war on crime. And it was all because of my presence in his country.
"a parody of Western liberal guilt" - that’s a pretty good description of the BBC mindset, Mr Moss. I must remember to use that one in future.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zed's Dead T-Shirts?

I was thinking of doing some T-shirts - what do you think?

John Simpson on al-Zarqawi

On Radio 4's Today, Simpson describes al-Zarqawi's head-chopping exploits and concludes that he was "a fairly distasteful kind of person" (mp3, 130k, 19 secs)

I guess these are strong words from someone who thought the 7/7 bombers were "misguided criminals" .

Update June 9, 10.30am. Thanks to Grimer for uploading John Simpson's latest doom-laden report from Iraq. We see Simpson hanging out with his like-minded friends from al-Reuters ("the real heroes") and the New York Times, and, predictably enough, he finds only bad news. He concludes:
"Maybe we'll look back and decide that by June 2006 this was a war the Americans and their allies could no longer win."
Or maybe "we" won't. A day after this was broadcast, al-Zarqawi ceased to be. The terrorists haven't won, but I'm sure they'll continue to take heart from BBC reports like this.

MPAC's BBC Insiders

From MPACUK:
Zionists and Interpal

John Ware, known to Muslims for smearing the MCB and the Islamic Foundation, has now set his eyes on Interpal… Our sources in the BBC tell us that John Ware, under the Panorama wing, is snooping around and has been approaching individuals and groups, asking them for interviews and any dirt on Interpal.
Why am I not surprised that the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which uses neo-Nazi literature to promulgate its deranged view of a Zionist-controlled world, has sympathetic insiders at the BBC?

Flying the flag

Gareth at the CEP notes "Times they are a changin'". He links to Boris Johnson, who says:
Surrender! At last! For you, Blair, the culture war is over. Downing Street yesterday ran up the white flag - the one with the red cross on it. For the period of the World Cup, said a cowed Labour spokesman, the emblem of St George would fly from No 10...

It is the cultural equivalent of the storming of the Bastille or the Winter Palace. It is a revolution that was born among the scaffolders and the taxi drivers and the pub owners, and then spread to the bourgeoisie to the point where the Labour elite knew they could no longer contain it; they had to co-opt it.
The big question - will Number 11 dare to fly the flag too?

Zed's Dead

Some responses to Zarqawi’s death on Ummah.com (shaheed/shahid = martyr):
IF its true, Inna Lilahi wa inna Ileyhi Raji'oon. May Allah (SWT) accept him as a shahiid.

Well think of it this way The Death of a Matyr u go straight to Paradise Right?
so cos his been killed in this ways thus making him as a Shaheed
Better then dying a Natural Death Correct?Whereas you get accounted for
isnt this correct?
So yeh its good for him in a strange way!

Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un
May Allah azz wa jal grant him Peace and an abode in the ranks of the Shuhadah in the hearts of the Green birds.
Ameen

Expect the US to extract as much capital as they can from this story ( if true ). I dont think this is a big story really.
What a fucked up mindset.

Update 11.45am. And some reaction from the moonbats on the BBC’s Have Your Say.
I regard Al-Zarqawi's death as a great loss to the people of Iraq, this will mean the invasion of that country by US and UK continues. This mean that Iraq people will leave under US and UK colonisation for the entire life.
Romero Tshetshengwane, Pretoria

Strange. Bush's approval rating has plummeted to it's lowest ever and suddenly an Al-Quieda leader has been killed. VERY convienient
james nobody, weymouth, United Kingdom

The guy has move lives than a cat.... this must be atleast the 4th time he's supposedly been killed.... just in time to save the plunging stock markets.
Skeptical, Skeptical City

has the world gone mad? how is it justifiable to murder anyone? doesn't everyone have a right to a fair trial? and how many innocent children were killed in this air raid? the CIA seems to think they can kidnap and torture anyone they think might be a terrorist. what's next? i think Bush is the madman...and i say this as an american.
Kerry H, London

The 'insurgents' didn't start any war and didn't ask for one, the bombs dropped on their heads first and murdered their families, so now they will continue the war until they have won their country back. My sympathies go to the family of Al-Zarqawi.
Mr Jangles, Kent, United Kingdom
Fucked. Up.

Self-loathing & denial

James Lileks on Self-Loathing and the Denial of Terrorism (via Islamic Evil):
You're an enlightened world citizen. Your T-shirt says "9/11 was an inside job." You're pretty sure we're living in a fascist state, that President Bush taps the Dixie Chicks' phones, Christian abortion clinic bombers outnumber jihadis, and the war on "terror" is a distraction from the real threats: carbon emissions and Pat Robertson. Then you learn that 17 people were arrested in a terrorist bomb plot. How do you process the information? Let's take it step by step.
Read it all.

Breaking news - Al-Zarqawi killed

MSNBC:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed overnight in an operation by U.S. Special Operations Forces, U.S. military officials told NBC News on Thursday.
I hope this is true. Wonderful news.

Update 8.50am. Just heard Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki's press conference on the radio. They got him! The bastard is dead.

South Park - Smug Alert

If you're tired of being lectured about the environment every time you turn on the BBC, you might enjoy this.

Part 1.



Part 2.



Part 3.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Enemies of Britain

If you live near a Muslim population centre in Britain, you might have seen this sticker appearing courtesy of Al Ghurabaa (via Jihad Watch):



Here are some followers of Al Ghurabaa demonstrating their Islamic values outside the Danish embassy earlier this year:



Meanwhile:
Muslims in east London should withdraw co-operation with the police in the wake of last week's terror raid in which a man was shot, a Respect party activist has said.

Yvonne Ridley said the community was being "terrorised" by the Metropolitan Police and should end all contact with the force.
Not content with supporting terrorism abroad, Respect is now opposing the police's attempts to fight it here. Laughably, Ridley dismissed some local Muslim community leaders as "self-appointed". What elected position does she hold? None.

(A bit more on Ridley at Drunken Blogging)

Update 4pm. Re. that Danish embassy demo in February - this guy is the elder brother of the two Muslims arrested following last week's terror raid (hat tip Mark Holland in the comments):



Full story in The Sun.

Yet more anti-English prejudice

Michael Henderson, writing in the Telegraph last year:
The most familiar sound of a Sunday morning, it was once said, rather uncharitably, was that of Harold Hobson, the drama critic, barking up the wrong tree. Today any canine parallel would surely involve Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, identified quite correctly in Tom Utley's column last week as one of the major pests of our age.

Shrill, humourless, basted in self-importance and yet utterly unaware of how others see her, this hectoring zealot was in mid-summer form yesterday. An England victory over Australia's cricketers, she droned, would represent a victory for the worst sort of nationalism. Oh dear, haven't we heard all this before?
Indeed, and we’ve just heard it all again - from none other than Michael Henderson in the Observer last Sunday:
Everywhere the flags of St George are flying, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Patriotism is a noble quality, and ideally we should be proud of the sportsmen who play games in our name. But it is hard to muster much enthusiasm for the tribalism that football alone introduces into national life, a tribalism amplified by the bootlickers and cheerleaders of radio and television.
So, for me, it's Germany for the World Cup. They've won it three times, reached seven finals in all, and make the vainglorious English look third-rate. They also gave the world Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, which means rather more than any victory on the field of play. Don't disappoint this Englishman. Come on, you Hun!
Henderson was on the Today programme this morning, along with the BBC news room’s favourite socialist singer Billy Bragg. For once I was on the Bragg's side:
“I think we need a little bit less self-loathing about being English and little bit more celebration about what we do when we do well. We invented football - it’s the second greatest thing we gave to the world after the English language.”
We invented it, but we let oiks play it and that's what pretentious teddy bear huggers like Henderson can't abide. I hope it pisses with rain when he does Glynebourne, the twat.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Another great Sun front page



I love the World Cup, me.

Save Nazanin Campaign

Making Headlines has some good news on the case of Nazanin, the Iranian girl sentenced to execution for stabbing to death a man trying to rape her.

More flak for the flag

From the Guardian:
Those red and white flags are everywhere - but are they a badge of menacing jingoism or a warm inclusive embrace for fans of all colours and faiths?

Jingoism during the World Cup may coerce people to sport the England flag for fear of exclusion, thinks Leicester University historian George Ferzoco. Visible minorities in particular could feel they need to be seen to be 'patriotic' as World Cup fever grips the country…

Mr Ferzoco is worried that some minorities may fear exclusion. “Witness the recent front page of a major national newspaper. It presented a series of photos of people of many ethnicities (especially some very visible ones) draped in the Cross of Saint George.

"Some members of the ethnic groups represented on that page may feel they absolutely must wave the flag. Why? For fear of being thought of as somehow anti-English, even if they don't care about football or the World Cup."
I presume he means this great front page:



If white people embrace the English flag they’re racist. If non-white people embrace it they’re being coerced by the whites. Seems to me Mr Ferzoco is suggesting that non-white English people can't think for themselves; isn't that a tad, er, racist?

I found this picture of him on the BBC’s website, taken just before Euro 2004:



Oh look, he's draping an Italian flag round his shoulders. I hope nobody is coerced into doing the same thing.

From the same Guardian article, here’s another Leicester University academic - Professor Martin Parker, social scientist:
"I think the link between the flag and right wing extremist groups is now too strong to simply be reclaimed by four weeks of football…What seems more important is to invent a form of pride in Englishness that does not involve suggesting that all foreigners aren't as good as us. Too often, the flag is flown defensively, rather than in celebration of something."
And when we celebrate something, tossers like you call us racist, or coerced minorities, or some such tedious leftie bullshit.
Professor Parker adds that the World Cup provided people with an opportunity to assert a sense of national identity: "I suspect this is largely because it involves people who identify as English being encouraged to drag out some tired old stereotypes and histories. They then call these patriotism...
God forbid the English should have a patriotic sense of identity based upon their history!
Professor Parker continues: "I would rather see Stoke City get promoted to the premiership than have England win the World Cup.”
And I hope Stoke City do shit next year.

No common denominator?

Via LGF - the Toronto Star can’t see what links the Canadian terrorists.



Here’s the photo and caption that ran with the story. A clue, perhaps?



And here are the names of the 12 adult suspects:
1. Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto;
2. Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga, Ont.;
3. Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga;
4. Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga;
5. Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga;
6. Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ont.;
7. Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston;
8. Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto;
9. Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto;
10. Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto;
11. Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga;
12. Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga.


"Hard to find a common denominator". Only if you're an idiot or a liar.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Trafalgar Square Flags Revisited

I’m grateful to Grumpy Troll for forwarding this email (complete with original spelling):
Thank you for your correspondence to the Mayor of London regarding Trafalgar Square. I have been asked to reply.

Your enquiry was regarding the March for Free Expression being refused permission to display Danish and American flags on Trafalgar Square. You stated that the Heritage Wardens explained that a byelaw prohibits display of any foreign flags and were asked to lower them during the rally.

After investigating this and looking at the March for Free Expression website link that you provided it appears that the police had concerns over the potential display of the controversial cartoons published in Danish newspapers this year. To assist the police the Wardens sited the byelaw 5.3 (see below) where written permission is required to display notices or other written pictorial matter. It is my understanding that the flags were not the issue but the placard displaying the cartoons.

I can confirm that there is not a specific byelaw regarding flags on the Square and with relation to the display of a Palestinian flag at the recent demonstration this was cleared with the Greater London Authority as part of the organisers event plan.

Acts within the Squares for which written permission is required

5. Unless acting in accordance with permission given in writing by-
(a) the Mayor, or
(b) any person authorised by the Mayor under section 380 of the Act to give such permission.
no person shall within the Squares-

(3) exhibit any notice, advertisement or any other written or pictorial matter;

Yours sincerely

Paul Cavanagh
Squares Management Team
"It is my understanding that the flags were not the issue but the placard displaying the cartoons."

Not so. The wardens specifically targeted flags. I told the police that I intended to display the cartoons and was not prevented from doing so. In fact, I was holding them aloft when others nearby were told not to fly the Danish flag. A placard displaying Mohammed cartoons did become an issue when an anti-free speech agitator (not a warden) complained to the police, but even after that the cartoons continued to be shown without further police intervention.

I reckon that Ken’s jobsworthy minions wanted to score a political point but didn’t have the balls to make an issue out of the cartoons so they went for flags instead. I suggest that anybody who wants to hold a rally in central London with which Mayor Livingstone might not agree should get written permission for every conceivable occurrence. That way Ken’s pissy little thought police won’t be able to screw you over.

And remember:
“there is not a specific byelaw regarding flags on the Square”
But you might need to grovel to Ken before you're allowed to fly one.

Reza Moradi still faces prosecution

From the Pub Philosopher:
Remember Reza Moradi? He was the man arrested at the free speech demonstration in Trafalgar Square, for holding a placard displaying the Danish Mohammed cartoons.

Like many people, I assumed that the charges had been quietly dropped. Not so, I'm afraid. It appears that the defenders of our liberty and security are determined to prosecute Reza. The case has not come to court yet because the police say that they are still gathering evidence...
This is a disgrace. Make some noise bloggers.

Update June 6. If you want to find out why so much effort, time and money is being wasted on prosecuting someone for displaying a cartoon, try emailing a few of the following:

Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.

The Prime Minister (choose Law & Order from the drop down menu).

Public enquiries at the Home Office.

Tony McNulty, Minister of State for policing, security and community safety.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London.

Contact details for your MP. Sod it, why not ask your MEP too?

(A thought - if this case does go to court the guy who made the complaint will have to appear, which means we’ll discover who he is and who he’s linked to. That could be interesting.)

32 Years of Hurt

The Scots can’t go five minutes without mentioning the 1974 World Cup, can they? It was 32 years ago - get over it!

The Evil English Flag

I see the demonising of the Cross of St George has continued in my absence. In recent days we’ve heard that the flying of England flags could result in charges of assault, that they frighten horses, contravene advertising regulations, upset Muslims, disturb the delicate multicultural paradise of Salford and cause global warming. It’s only a matter of time before someone links the flag to AIDS, cancer and avian flu.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Nothing to be suspicious about"

Sunday Telegraph:
The terrorist threat facing Britain has developed into a "covert conspiracy" involving hundreds of men and women living ordinary lives in the nation's suburbs, security sources have revealed.

Unbeknown to their families and friends, they form a silent 1,200-strong "army" of terrorists. They are believed to be involved in at least 20 major plots that they hope will bring death and destruction to Britain…

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, the two brothers arrested after the dawn raid may, according to MI5, be typical of other young Asian men who have become disaffected with the Western way of life and have been radicalised by militant Islamists who support a global Jihad.

According to neighbours, the brothers underwent a transformation after the September 11 attacks on America in 2001, adopting beards and more traditional Muslim dress. "Lots of young Muslims these days are getting more religious, especially after 9/11," said one neighbour. "It's nothing to be suspicious about."
Neighbours really are stupid, aren't they? (Remember ‘Khalid’ the jihadi? “When he was released, his next-door neighbours, mostly white Britons, were there to welcome him home. 'I might doubt my own son,' one old man said, 'but I'll always believe Khalid.’”) Still, they aren't the only fools:
A Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries, the National Post has learned.

“For various reasons, they appear to have become adherents to a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida,” said Luc Portelance, the CSIS assistant director of operations...

It is important to know that this operation in no way reflects negatively on any specific community, or ethno-cultural group in Canada,” he added.
It's just a coincidence that all these terrorists are devout Muslims. Nothing to see here. Move along.