Tuesday, 30 June 2009

you can tell Rubin's a shady sort: any analyst prepared to give a presentation to the Turkish general staff is clearly at home with fluid accounting, and this also explains his occasionally getting fisked by Kurdish writers.

In a written statement provided to the BBC, Shell hit back at Amnesty saying the group had made no attempt at open dialogue.
The firm dismissed the report, saying: "There is little of value in it. No new insights. No findings that might help change the way things are."

what a shower of cunts.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

'Hunger: tie your stomach tightly and wait, it will leave you'. Ishag Mohammedin, from Furawiya, was stoical about the pains of hunger. There is little to say about hunger per se. Hunger was something that people had just to put up with.

de Waal, 1989, p. 112

Thursday, 25 June 2009


for at least the second time a major BBC anchor (Matt Frei earlier today in this case, Bill Turnbull once on the breakfast sofa) has characterised the nationality of ISAF troops under fire as American and British.

no mention of troops from, say, the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark.


at the periphery or at the vortex?
summer 2007

sat in a Belgian bar, drinking beer alone, noting the famous actor with two thrilled ladies at his table nearby, reading this

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

It is likewise my opinion that colours and other sensible qualities are on the objects
- Bishop Berkeley

Monday, 22 June 2009

"God will help us to overcome all enemies and we believe we shall defeat them. We are not worried about their quantity and whatever weapons they have"
30 seconds lads

Friday, 19 June 2009

Roskilde, Friday December 26th, 2008.

three mates done for by a bomb in Helmand.

the three Danish soldiers killed by an IED on Wednesday were due to end their tour in August.

"In other violence, four private Afghan security guards were killed on Tuesday when they were attacked while escorting trucks that supply foreign forces bases in southern Afghanistan, police said.
"The guards returned fire. The fighting between them lasted for one-and-a-half hours. Four guards were martyred," deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Shaheedani told AFP."
BobFromBrockley, we salute you:

'For a spectacular example of the left getting it wrong, we turn to our old friend George Galloway, defending the Ahmadinejad theocracy. (H/t Ent/JohnnyG.) A slightly softer version comes from John Wight at Socialist Unity, wondering (in an article which, I have to say, is pretty good in places) if what we are seeing is a "counter-revolution" because it is middle class people doing the protesting. (Odd that when Palestine Solidarity action, university occupations and throwing eggs at BNP leaders is done by middle class people in the UK that doesn't make it counter-revolutionary.) He also uses the uprising as an opportunity for facile anti-Americanism'

Thursday, 18 June 2009

British American Tobacco has beefed up its stake in the massive Indonesian smokes market (250 billion tabs produced annually).

Kretek cigarettes, a blend of clove and other flavouring ingredients directly mixed with the tobacco, are incredibly popular there, and make up about nine tenths of all cigs smoked in Indonesia.
(it's also an industry responsible for an awful lot of jobs.)

Indonesia is the only country in Asia that has not signed up to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
CAR: 'Who's who with guns'

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

SOAS cleaners - "5.Amnesty for all those involved." - brilliant campaigners win through occupation
Noreen Jong-Il explains Juche
in the Korengal Valley with the American Battle Company last October
"Transitional government officials have confirmed Wednesday that the police commander of the TFG was killed in in Hadan district in Mogadishu where heavy fighting between Islamist forces and government soldiers was continuing...The residents expressed concern about the fighting that is going on in Hodan district in Mogadishu as more heavy weapons could be heard in and around the Somali capital."

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

50. On or about 30 October 2002, in Boy-Rabé, Bangui, MLC soldiers arrived at REDACTED’s residence. They immediately demanded money, stating “donner argent, pas tuer”. Thereafter, the MLC soldiers immediately entered the house, vaginally raped her, stole money, and looted the residence. The MLC soldiers shot and killed REDACTED when he tried to prevent the theft of his REDACTED.

51. On or about 8 November 2002 at or near PK 12, MLC soldiers arrived at the REDACTED family compound and fired their guns. REDACTED was sodomized by multiple MLC soldiers on the ground outside, in front of his family. The soldiers then vaginally raped REDACTED’s wife, REDACTED. Several MLC soldiers also took REDACTED, and threw him to the ground. REDACTED died. MLC soldiers also vaginally raped REDACTED’s three daughters (REDACTED, REDACTED and REDACTED). At the same time, the REDACTED’s compound was looted by MLC soldiers. When MLC soldiers came to REDACTED’s home in the same compound, MLC soldiers vaginally raped her. When REDACTED, tried to intervene in the rape, he was tied up and beaten.
39. In the locations identified in paragraph 38, the MLC troops looted, raped, and killed CAR civilians. Civilian properties were systematically looted, and civilians were forced to cook and clean for the MLC troops against their will and with no payment. Men, women and children were raped by multiple MLC perpetrators in their homes, raped in front of family members, forced to watch rapes of family members, and raped in public locations including streets, fields and farms. Many of the women victims of rapes and gang-rapes contracted HIV, and became pregnant as a result of these rapes. Civilians that were killed included those who tried to prevent or resist rapes, attacks or lootings.
32. Between the 11 to the 29 of October 2002, MLC troops attacked the city of Mambasa located in the Ituri province, DRC. BEMBA directed the Mambasa operation by communicating through the Chief of Staff, or giving orders directly to commanders.

33. During the Mambasa operation, MLC troops committed the crimes of looting, rape and murder. Promises of looting and rape were given to the combatants prior to the attack, and they were subsequently permitted to rape and loot for a few days.
16. The MLC troops entered the CAR from the DRC. On or about 26 October 2002, MLC troops crossed the Oubangui River and entered Bangui where they were deployed to the battlefront. Upon their arrival, MLC troops participated in five days of intense fighting in and around Bangui. As the rebel forces withdrew from Bangui, the MLC troops advanced into former rebel-held areas including Point Kilomètre (hereinafter referred to as “PK”) 12, on the outskirts of Bangui. PK 12 is the cross point for two roads; one that leads to Bossembélé (axis north-west), and the second that leads to Damara (axis north-east).
15. At all times relevant to this Amended DCC, BEMBA was the Commander-in-Chief and President of the MLC. REDACTED REDACTED. REDACTED. REDACTED.
13. On 25 October 2002, François Bozizé (hereinafter referred to as “Bozizé”), the former Army Chief of Staff of the CAR armed forces, Forces Armées Centrafricaines (hereinafter referred to as “FACA”), led forces towards Bangui in an effort to unseat Patassé. In response to Bozizé’s attack, Patassé mobilized the CAR national armed forces, including the remaining FACA, as well as the Unité de Sécurité Présidentielle (hereinafter referred to as “USP”) and Abdoulayé Miskine’s (born Martin Koumtamaji, hereinafter referred to as “Miskine”) mercenaries to launch a counter-offensive.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has committed for trial the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Jean-Pierre Bemba, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, rape and pillaging.

The alleged offences were committed by Bemba when he commanded militia of his Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) during fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) between October 2002 and March 2003.

Bemba was arrested by Belgium in May last year and transferred to the International Criminal Court in July. The warrant on which he was arrested said that the MLC acted in concert with CAR forces to engage in rape, torture and looting.

The ICC declined to prosecute Bemba on the torture charges.

At the time of Bemba's arrest, the ICC said that a particular feature of his case was "the number of rapes carried out with shocking brutality." The prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, alleged: "He had done it before in CAR, he had done it before in the DRC. He had to be stopped."

The ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber II has referred Bemba's case to a trial chamber. No date for the trial was announced.

press release here.
re the post where i write "severe consequences" yesterday; clearly, that part was certainly a tad overheated..
Breaking news


Thick Tory in 'uselessly conflates imprecise analogies to attack straw men partly for partisan domestic reasons' shock!

Edwina Currie pens "Fearless women of Iran show up our feminist whingers" piece in London Daily Express!

(This announcement brought to you by recognition of the fact that silliness from Caroline Flint etc does not necessarily negate prior aspects of Harriet Harman's legislative agenda etc)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Gaia and the FSC also here stating the obvious

good to see Peter Ryley in agreement with John Vidal about land grabs, the war against aboriginal peoples resources, and so on.

where ever resources, be they a mineral, or oil, or precious metals, or timber, are extracted from the earth at the unjust expense of someone, somewhere (certainly those communities that have been treated badly, or not been paid off to a decent tune, at the very least, and of course, that in itself is incredibly problematic, often viciously so: the many sad, broken tales you can encounter in the Canadian north are just one heart-breaking example), and you can include the land itself, territory, in this formulation, you can guarantee more powerful, wealthier people are making a dime.

scouring the earth - akin to defiling a church for observant Christians i imagine (except of course this analogy is quite offensive in its simplistic stupidity, as scouring the earth is not only many, many times more worse, it is far worse in questions of degrees, not just times worse, to something as relatively insignificant as my analogy, the magnitude far more monstrous, obviously*), in the case of some indigenous populations that, historically, viewed the planet in some awesomely sacred manner, some holy being in itself - has severe consequences environmentally, politically, and morally, for every single person there is.

* with respect to all the Christians out there..
ICE Case Studies
Number 193, November, 2006
Christina Kaiser. Plagues in Niger
wrt tonight's show - "As the US apologises for the recent killing of civilians in air strikes on the Farah province of Afghanistan, Dispatches examines the effect these military operations are having on US-Afghan relations" - Joshua Foust, as is so often the case, gets to the heart of the matter from the American pov.

One of the more confusing aspects of the air strike at the snippets of evidence that the compound hit, and the men killed inside, despite being written off as Taliban militants, had badges to work at the nearby U.S. base. Locals had even complained of this, saying that the tragedy was not just that innocent people died but that the U.S. killed one of its own collaborators.

Now Hamid Karzai’s spokesman is claiming that is exactly what happened, and that not a single Taliban fighter was killed in the strike. ...An hourlong, in-depth documentary, previewed by the Associated Press and to be broadcast by Channel 4, includes scenes from a Herat provincial court trial in which a leader from the rival village was sentenced to death for murder for having given false information leading to the deaths of 91 innocent Azizabad civilians. Despite that court ruling, the U.S. Central Command maintains its position that the Americans killed 22 Taliban fighters, along with 33 civilians.

The British broadcaster will also report that U.S. special forces are not cooperating with local police seeking three men from Kalask, the rival village, in the torture death of an Azizabad man. The suspects are guards at the U.S. base in nearby Shindand.

among the young girls crying as they recount tales of friends blown up - one little girl saying even their names have now been lost to the ground - and the patient woman from HRW explaining about a child being buried in the arms of its mother (a rejoinder to one aspect of the third American investigation into the above tragedy which counted only 30 or so new graves around the village after the attack), the incident referenced in Foust's last sentence above concerns a man being taken by Special Forces - in perfect health, according to a local police officer who was present - and then his body being released from the care of the U.S. Special Forces facility four hours later.

he had been beaten to death, and tortured.

his chest was caved in, metal knuckle dusters had apparently been used to hit his skull, and both his hands were broken. there were allegations of electric shocks.

Foust's piece does reference this article about the Americans moving to change detention practices in Afghanistan, and certainly the changes discussed are a step in the right direction.
1999, Columbia Records

2009, Columbia Records

Saturday, 13 June 2009



are you carrying?

why do you carry it like that?

that will be of no use.

no, no good.

no good at all.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki led mourners on Saturday at the funeral of lawmaker Harith al-Obaidi, who was shot dead a day earlier in a Baghdad mosque
'After dabbling in the fashionable abstract expressionist style of the late 1980's that celebrated individualism, Scott formulated a reactionary position designed to question the basic concept of originality. Inspired by the black paintings of Ad Reinhardt and the date paintings of On Kawara, Scott created a series of "target" paintings consisting of black and white concentric circles that appear identical with only slight variations, intending to remove the aspect of qualitative judgment from the viewing experience. After Scott felt he had reached an endpoint with this body of work, he moved on to a series of black and white line paintings driven by the concept of making works so intensely optical that in theory they would be impossible for the human eye to view, a complete inversion of the traditional function of painting. Scott differentiated these works from the Op Art movement of the 1960's because their focus was on content rather than aesthetics. Once he felt he had exhausted this critique of opticality, Scott moved into a series of color line paintings that embrace their own viewing rather than deny it. These new works display a heightened emphasis on humanism, showcasing the presence of the artist's hand as well as a more automatic painting method. The works rely less on mechanical perfection and more on the inherent imperfections that occur in the intuitive process of creation. These brightly colored works on aluminum and wood that compose the current exhibition constitute the most ambitious series of Scott's work today. Accordingly, he has titled the exhibition "and then he tried to swallow the world."'
One count of genocide.

Three counts of crimes against humanity, including persecution on political, racial and religious grounds and the sniping campaign against the civilian population of Sarajevo.

Five counts of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including the unlawful confinement of civilians in detention facilities, the extensive destruction of property, the appropriation and plunder of property and the unlawful taking of United Nations peacekeepers as hostages and using them as human shields.

Seven counts of violations of the laws and customs of war, including the unlawful confinement of civilians, shelling civilian gatherings, destruction of sacred sites, appropriation and plunder of property, sniping at civilians in Sarajevo and the unlawful taking of United Nations peacekeepers as hostages and using them as human shields.

The second Indictment was originally filed on 14 November 1995 and was confirmed by Judge Riad on 16 November 1995. This twenty-count Indictment charged the Accused with:

One count of genocide.

Ten counts of crimes against humanity, including extermination and murder.

Nine counts of violations of the laws and customs of war, namely murder.

The Prosecutor’s Amended Indictment, filed on 11 October 2002, consolidated the first and second Indictments and reduced the total number of charges, leaving only the most serious counts. In the Prosecutor’s view, these amendments were more in keeping with the current charging practices of the Office of the Prosecutor and reflected the evolving jurisprudence of the Tribunal. The Prosecutor also submitted that the Amended Indictment would provide an appropriate basis for a motion of joinder with the Amended Indictment against Radovan Karadzic.

The Amended Indictment charges Ratko Mladic under Articles 7(1) and 7(3) with:

One count of genocide. One count of complicity in genocide.

Seven counts of crimes against humanity, including persecution on political, racial and religious grounds, extermination, murder, deportation and other inhumane acts.

Six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, including murder, unlawfully inflicting terror upon civilians, taking of hostages and other inhumane acts.
Fouad Ajami on the Syrian dictatorship

"Though Mr Deeb, 40, is not the self-pitying type, the reaction of his colleagues was understandable. For among the many thousands of Gazans bereaved by the war, few lives can have been as shattered as his. Alerted by phone, he had rushed back from work on the afternoon of 6 January to find the family home in Jabalya hit by two Israeli 120mm mortar shells in the same series of attacks that killed up to another 30 civilians outside the UN Al Fakhoura school a mere 100 metres away. The 11 dead included five of his six children, aged between four and 22, his wife, his mother, one of his brothers, two of his nephews, and a niece.
Mrs Samouni, whose husband Tawfiq was killed and whose one-year-old daughter Jumana lost three fingers, gave precise – and often inevitably gruesome – testimony by telephone to the Israeli human rights organisation Btselem the next day: testimony which has held up in every subsequent inquiry by reporters and human rights organisations.

One shell killed the three men, and as Tawfiq, a former bulldozer driver who was trying to make ends meet by running a grocery business from his home, ran to help, another missile hit the roof, killing another 26 people. Even today she swiftly corrects a reporter's reference to 30 being killed in one of the worst events of the war. "It was 29," she says, adding of her testimony, "details are important."
Equally resilient in his own way is Khalil al Jadili 16, whose two legs were amputated after what the family insist was a "random" shelling attack which at 3.10pm on 16 January killed his younger bother Mohanad, 8, and destroyed with shrapnel the left eye of another brother Abdel Hadi, 15, as they all sat in their grandmother's house across from their own home in the crowded Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. Before leaving through Egypt for the Czech Republic where he hopes to have artificial legs fitted, Khalil, who had been a keen footballer and basketball player before the attack which changed his life, said: "I hope to come back walking." Although his mother Nabila, 39, says Khalil, has been "very angry" a lot of the time since then, all the family, including Khalil, smile cheerfully in the presence of visitors and joke about Khalil's recent decision to take a photograph of himself having cardboard "legs" fixed to his stumps and clothed them in jeans. "I wanted to see what I would look like with artificial legs," he explains."


“I believe the title of pirates should be given to those who come to our waters illegally,” he told The Times after shuffling into a room at the British colonial-era Mandheera prison, 40 miles south of Berbera, wearing plastic sandals, a T-shirt and a length of printed material wrapped around his skinny waist.


As debris from the blasts sprayed over us in a ditch it seemed implausible that anyone could survive. But, the Talibs were heard on the radio reporting "they have dropped a big bomb on us" as they resumed their firing.


tells us of this slipping of the senses as young men knew, simply knew, that they were going to die. (And other young men knew they were going to kill them. So very easily.)


"in a typically wacky recent comment he said the immigrants sent back to Libya were fortunate, because the immigrant reception centres within Italy were "very similar to concentration camps".

Gaddafi is equally unmoved by their plight. At a news conference in Rome this week, he declared: "The Africans do not have problems of political asylum. People who live in the bush [or] the desert don't have political problems... [They] don't have a political identity; they don't even have a personal identity."

The views of both men can be summarised succinctly: who cares what happens to these blacks?"


Jawad Tawfiq, a 52-year-old Gazan actor and director, was dubious at first, but his nephew insisted. If they could scrape together enough money, the nephew said, large profits could be made from investing in the tunnels that snake beneath the Egyptian border.

"They were liars," Tawfiq said bitterly last week. "They took my money to put in their own pockets. And we are being offered a fraction of what we gave them."
The operators also speak of corrupt Hamas security officials who have become wealthy by turning a blind eye to some of the more questionable goods coming under the border, not least Tramadol, a highly addictive prescription drug currently wreaking havoc in Gazan society.

RIP Ra’ed Sawalha

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Space is curved, the earth is curved, everything on earth is curved.

the BBC have a 38 second video here of street scenes following the car bomb explosion in Bathaa, southern Iraq, that killed at least twenty eight people earlier.

humans are crying.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

percentage of British voters who voted for a neo-nazi party last week, by region (source: the BBC NEWS website)

Yorkshire and the Humber in northern England - 9.8%

north east England - 8.9

east midlands of England - 8.7

west midlands of England - 8.6

north west England - 8

east of England - 6.1

Wales - 5.4

London - 4.9

south east England - 4.4

south west England - 3.9

Scotland - 2.5

though of course less dismal, the stupid and bigoted shower the Tories wish to align themselves with in the European parliament and hypocritical Ukip's self-congratulatory press conferences were two other dispiriting British troughs (granted, the Tory issue is far more serious than what bits of paper Nigel Farage waves around)

Friday, 5 June 2009

"President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may boast of sustained economic growth since she assumed office nearly a decade ago but she failed her most important challenge: lifting hungry and jobless Filipinos out of poverty.

President Arroyo, the country’s second-longest serving president since Ferdinand Marcos, “clearly failed" her mandate of ensuring that more Filipinos live decent lives, economist Solita Collas-Monsod of the University of the Philippines (UP) said.

“Although the GDP (gross domestic product) improved at a faster pace but this did not get reflected on incomes. It seems that the increase in income went to everybody else but the poor," said Monsod during the launch of the Philippine Human Development Report (PHDR) 2008/2009."

here. (via.)

(both worth reading in full.)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

just when you thought Colombo had already stooped to all the possible new lows
'Nowhere to Turn is a report documenting the scope and long-term impact of rape and other sexual violence experienced by women who fled attacks on their villages in Darfur and are now refugees in neighboring Chad.'
singing The Internationale

the fucking nerve of the Daily Express telling its readers not to vote BNP (fair play for that, as if this needs stating here), when the Express - for years - with its distortions and disingenuousness regarding asylum seekers and immigrants to the UK, has been acting as a recruiting sergeant for the cunts, an albeit unwitting outrider, and unwitting only in the fact that people like Macer Hall and Patrick O'Flynn are fucking dozy bastards, filled with stupidity and rank political values

what a shower of bastards, fucking arseholes the lot of them