Thursday, August 31, 2006

Things to do in Bordeaux when you are dead

Even after 3 weeks of recuperation, I still feel tired after my near-mugging experience. I'm pretty much off the pain-killers now, although there is still a constant level of pain but I am on the mend. It's going to be a good 3 months before I can chew properly, by which time I reckon I should be a real conniseur of soups. I've made a number myself and have been scouring the supermarket shelves for ready made ones, my favourite being a lentil dhal.

Otherwise the real problem has been entertaining myself - I've watched a godawful amount of TV shows on DVD lately, to the point of numbness. From 24 through The 4400, via Grey's Anatomy to The X-Files, with a L-Word detour thrown in. Next up will be Battlestar Galactica, but I have to agree with my mate Pete, when he says that it is life in suburban America which must be so frightfully boring that has led to the creation of such "watchable" TV Shows.

Maybe it's that I have been stuck at home by myself lately, but there is something addictive in the way that 24 or Lost is put together that it is difficult to stop watching the idiot box. Yeah, I know it's all crap, and it's been years since I've watched so much TV but I do still watch the shows with my critical faculties intact. 24, in it's own way has a lot to say about the modern police state, terrorism and especially in season 4, with the limits or lack thereof in torturing people.

The X-Files which deals with numerous conspiracy theories, is interesting to watch for its interpretation of the pre-911 FBI, primarily as an investigative agency, rather than part of the neo-facist apparatus of state control which it has become.

OK, OK. I gotta get out the house more.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Review : The Insider & The Spin Doctor’s Diary

The Insider – The private diaries of a scandalous decade by Piers Morgan and The Spin Doctor’s Diary – Inside Number 10 with New Labour by Lance Price

Reviewed by Sean Badal

There’s almost a perfect synergy between these two books. Both books are a catalogue of horrors of the Blair regime and both feature extensively the same grisly cast of characters.

Lance Price was hired as Tony Blair’s “special advisor” in June 1998 and he served in this capacity until 2001. He was, he admits, responsible for spinning Labour stories in the media. He was also deputy to Alistair Campbell, Blair’s ferocious hatchet man, his Bormann and Goebbels rolled into one. Price, a former BBC correspondent, says he got the job on the strength of a few strangulated conversations with Blair and Campbell.

Christ, when I think of all the application forms I had to fill in…

In 1994, Piers Morgan was appointed editor of News of the World, also on the back of a few cryptic exchanges with Rupert Murdoch. He was fired and took up post as editor of the Daily Mirror, a left-leaning redtop in the UK. On the 12th of May 2004 Piers Morgan was fired from the Mirror. The book starts with a 2004 prologue and is an account of those horrible few days leading up to his firing. It’s like watching a train smash in slow motion. Morgan was booted out because the Mirror published those pictures of British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners. The Trinity Mirror group, whose shareholders were New Yorkers, were itching to get rid of him anyway because of his anti-war stance. The fake pictures were a perfect opportunity and there was much hand-wringing about Piers’ dastardly deed. Mmm...let’s see, starting a war and killing thousands of innocent people is okay then?

The sad thing about Piers Moron’s downfall is that I could have told him those pics were fakes. The moment the Mirror landed on my desk, I knew they didn’t look right. Still, the Daily Mirror was the most vociferously anti-war newspaper (even the Guardian rallied around Tone in his hour of need). The Mirror also published John Pilger’s polemical articles before and during the war. Pilger had been sacked from the Mirror twenty year’s previously when Robert Maxwell was owner.

Whilst The Insider is full of salacious gossip (Morgan crossed paths with princess Diana and a host of other airheads), it is the political stuff that is most gripping.

Both Price and Morgan cover the same political characters and they loom large in both books. In no particular order, they are Alistair Campbell, Rupert Murdoch and Peter Mandelson.

It is a mystery to me why Campbell is still allowed to walk this planet a free man while Saddam sits in jail. From the death of David Kelly to the murder of thousands of Iraqi children, Campbell was directly complicit because of his scheming and plotting.

As for Mandelson, the less said about this oleaginous creep, the better. Having once crossed paths with him myself, I can vouchsafe that he is as every bit as repulsive in real life as he is portrayed in print.

There are intriguing vignettes of Murdoch in the two books. He is the Citizen Kane character, pulling invisible strings. The enormity of the man’s power is scary, and despite Blair’s protestations, he is, as Price says, another member of the cabinet. Price wrote an interesting article in the Guardian last month on the Murdoch/Blair relationship. Rupert Murdoch is effectively a member of Blair's cabinet.

The only person to emerge with any shred of credibility in these two books is Gordon Brown – which isn’t saying much. And again, despite what Blair says, it’s quite clear that the two hate each other. It’s hard to define what Brown’s personal philosophy is, or what his plans are, but I do have a sneaking admiration for man - maybe because our Tony is so quite clearly terrified of the crotchety ole sourpuss.

Title: The Insider – The private diaries of a scandalous decade
Author: Piers Morgan
Publisher: Ebury Press - 2005
ISBN: 0091908493

Title: The Spin Doctor’s Diary – Inside Number 10 with New Labour
Author: Lance Price
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton – 2006
ISBN: 0340898232

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Cutting Edge : Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement

If this story has any legs, it's going to be explosive - it also explains the arrest of the Palestinian Authority ministers and why we are hearing so little about what is happening in the Palestinian territories at the moment. Read it now:

The Cutting Edge: Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement

Parrot-fashion, the western media is completely focused on Lebanon and two captured soldiers, and never bothers to dig deeper into stories or provide any analysis. Everytime Ehud Olmert has a brain fart, it is endlessly recycled over and over again on BBCNN.

No doubt there a shitstorm of disinformation out there at the moment. But if it does come out in the wash, as these things usually do, that the Zionist war machine actually shot a real plan for progress towards peace in the foot and could have prevented this whole mess instead of escalating it as it has, then we really have a lot of core questions to ask of ourselves and our societies in the west.

We can't wait 60 years for this information to become de-classified; we need to know now what is happening in real-time in order to make informed decisions, but unfortunately we can't rely on our governments or media to provide us with true and accurate reporting anymore. I must admit that the current scandalous behaviour of current serving "governments" and the UN is driving me to a further extremely militant anarchist position, and my sympathy for pacifist positions is fading rapidly.

I am worried that that true lovers of freedom that they are going to fight their way out of this.

OK Now, let me rephrase that; I'm not worried, all I am saying is that you, me, everybody; we are rapidly approaching a situation where the only way out is going to be fighting our way out.

Peace, Love, Anarchy and Freedom

Review : Lawless World by Philippe Sands QC

Lawless World: The whistle-blowing account of how Bush and Blair are taking the law into their own hands By Philippe Sands QC
Reviewed by Sean Badal

I’d like to have a quiet world with Philippe Sands, QC. The title is a bit of a misnomer. It gives people (like me) the impression that the book is an unravelling of all the lies that those two warmongers entangled themselves in, in order to wage war on the people of Iraq.

Between the covers, it’s actually quite a measured and thoughtful analysis of how international law has been bent, twisted and flagrantly perverted, first by the US and now Great Britain.

Starting in 1945, the author illustrates how the Western powers, realising that their empires were at end, and that the natives were going to take over, colluded to create a set of “international” rules and regulations that were - surprise – mostly in their favour. These were largely based on trade and investment and Sands argues that the vast tapestry of laws created in the 1960s have served largely to underpin global neo-liberal economic policies, the effects of which we are feeling today. He explains in forensic detail exactly how skewered they are in favour of Western interests. He exposes free trade for what it is, a sham perpetuated on the poorer nations of the world to further mire them into debt and obligation.

As for the war on Irag, well it’s kind of depressing raking over the ashes again. We all know how those two moronic thugs lied wholesale to the people who elected them, and to the world, in order to start up this slaughter in the Middle East.

Sands demonstrates how Blair, Bush and their acolytes peddle in half-truths and deception, how the British attorney-general Lord Goldsmith concocted his dreary assessment on the case for war. It makes for shameful reading and if there was any justice in this world, all these people ought to be strung up – preferably with piano wire.

Title: Lawless World: The whistle-blowing account of how Bush and Blair are taking the law into their own hands
Author: Philippe Sands QC
ISBN: 0713997923

The Dogs of War

The mad dogs of war are barking their heads off at the moment.

Tony Blair was blathering away today at the World Affairs Council or some other wankfest, justifying his new ideology in support of the Zionist orgy of death taking place in the Middle East. I can't believe that he really believes in the distorted half-truths and contrived misrepresentations that he was spouting forth on to justify the horror, but he is flying in the face of world opinion along with George and Ehud.

It's so blatanly obvious that the Zionist war machine has decided to annex Southern Lebanon and ethnically cleanse the Shia population up to the the Litani River. Why don't you just admit the Truth Tony? Don't you realise that we have had it with your lies?

Why can't you also be truthful about the other aims of dragging Syria and Iran into this war? We can only surmise that the Zionist war machine is just waiting for the Hizbollah resistance to be driven far enough away from the Blue Line (it's not really a border), before the provocations against Syria and Iran begin. We already know that these provocations are going to be for some fake reason that presents the Zionist war machine as some species of "victim".

Wake up call for Iranian Communities around the World: War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to war on Iran

By Abbas Edalat, Foaad Khoshmood, Shahram Mostarshed, Daniel M Pourkesali, Rostam Pourzal, Nader Sadeghi, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Massy Homayouni, 31 July 2006

The horrific US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon under the pretext of self defense for the capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah is setting the stage for a US/Israeli military assault on Iran that would lead to a major conflagration in the Middle East and beyond. Only the global antiwar movement and urgent action by a united Iranian community can stop such an aggression.

The reasons behind the current atrocities are misrepresented. The media pretends the Lebanon/Israel border area was calm and peaceful before the unexpected surprise "terrorist attack" by Hezbollah on July 12. In fact, since its withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 which followed a 22 year occupation of the country, Israel has routinely raided and violated southern Lebanon [1][2][3]. It also continues to occupy Shabaa Farms, which Lebanon claims is part of its territory, and continues to illegally hold thousands of Arabs including a number of Lebanese prisoners without charge.

Western media has condemned Hezbollah for starting this conflict and for shooting rockets into civilian areas. These public condemnations usually fail to mention that Hezbollah started shooting rockets only after Israel's aerial bombardment of Lebanon's civilians. Hezbollah leaders have, furthermore, defended their action to capture the two Israeli soldiers in order to facilitate an exchange of prisoners with Israel.

In an article in the Guardian with the title "We are defending our sovereignty", Ali Fayyad, a senior member of the executive committee of Hezbollah asserts: "In the context of the continued occupation, detention of prisoners and repeated Israeli attacks and incursions into Lebanese territory, the capture of the Israeli soldiers was entirely legitimate. The operation was fully in line with the Lebanese ministerial declaration, supported in parliament that stressed the right of the resistance to liberate occupied Lebanon against Israeli aggression. International law also allows peoples and states to protect their citizens and territory [4]."

Following the capture of the two soldiers, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign targeting the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon to which Hezbollah responded by its own rocket attacks against Israel. The Lebanese population does not deserve to be killed and maimed just as innocent Israeli citizens do not deserve to be the target of Hezbollah rockets. An immediate cease fire is clearly warranted but stubbornly rejected by Israel, the US and the UK. Read the full article.

It's a lengthy article, but well worth reading as it goes a long way to outlining the machinations of the Grand Plan that we are witnessing at the moment. The doctrine of pre-emptive war, launched by George in Afghanistan, carried through to Iraq and now being wrought on Lebanon is precisely what caused the last great big mess in 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland.

Tony Blair, though has become a mad barking dog, by denying the call for an "immediate ceasefire" to be put into effect while on his trip in the US and through the EU Forgein Minister's meeting today.

And what is it that we do to mad dogs again?

Archived Links

I am just in the process of updating a couple of links around the blog, and will be moving some of the CNE/CPE links to this page.

Justice Pour Cyril
Journal des Etudiant Grévistes de Bordaux

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Israel is a terrorist state

Candle Light Vigil in support of the People of Lebanon, Place de la Victoire, Bordeaux, 31 July 2001 - 21h00

Emotions are running high these days; seeing the raw anguish of one woman who has family in Lebanon, brought a tear to my eye.

About 500 people gathered in the Place de la Victoire to display their horror and disgust at the atrocities of Israel. One man said to me that it is so terrible that we were gathered there not in celebration but in sadness.

This girl's placard proclaims that "Little girls of Israel, the bombs you signed, have been recieved by our destroyed bodies". It has to be one of the worst PR disasters for Israel ever - those pics of the girls signing the bombs - but the fact is that they did it. The young daughters of Israel have been perverted by the racist ideology of the Israeli theocracy. Hitler would have been proud to accomplished such utter brainwashing.

The Lebanese flags and sense of spirit in the gathering was moving, and everyone agrees on the need for an immediate cease-fire without conditions.

This is a massacre and must be stopped immediately. We have to demand that the UN is broken free of the repeated hamstringing of the US. We have to demand that governments take action now to halt this insanity.

As I stood there, the words "Fuck Israel" went through my head like a mantra. I have been struggling to come terms with a state that, given the history of Juadism, should be the world's light of human rights and the first defender of the oppressed and subjugated, acts as though the lessons of the holocaust are the textbook for their Imperial project in the Middle East.

Zionism = Nazism.

That is now so clear.

The gathering was also attended by the organised Palestian committees. This is the very banner that wasn't welcome at a similar Lebanese gathering 2 weeks ago, but people seem to have woken up to the fact that the fate of the Palestinians is intimately tied with the people of Lebanon. And Syria. And Iran. It is all one struggle.

There was also a yellow Hizbollah flag at the gathering and even here in France one get's the impression that the Lebanese community views Hizbollah as the resistance, and the only viable resistance to the Israeli aggression.

Additionally, there was a black anarchist flag being carried in the square. Good.

OK Now, where does one sign up for Hizbollah membership?