All 5 entries tagged Iraq

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April 01, 2007

Bush and Blair, the hypocritical pair.

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6514567.stm

President George W Bush has condemned Iran's "inexcusable behaviour" after its capture of 15 Royal Navy personnel.

Mr Bush told reporters at Camp David: "The British hostages issue is a serious issue because the Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water.

"And it is inexcusable behaviour.

"And I support the prime minister when he made it clear there were no quid pro quos. The Iranians must give back the hostages."

(I have edited out irrelevent portions and all parts in bold are my emphasis)

I've been watching BBC news this morning and, without even a trace of amusement (or bemusement), the newsreaders skip from Bush announcing that Iran must free the "British Hostages" to a story of a British "Detainee" realeased from captivity in Guantanamo Bay after five years. This is all amid a deeply sickening fiasco where the US is explicitly refusing to extradite CIA Agents accused of kidnapping (part of the illegal "extraordinary rendition") EU nationals from Germany and Italy. The US is even threatening to withold intelligence from the nations if they persue the extradition requests. 

Disgusting. 


March 29, 2007

Who isn't proud of 'our boys'

Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1agtAW3m54

I'm glad to see that our taxes are going into something useful.

*warning - video contains offensive language and an offensive situation NSFW*

It's thrilling to know that the troops are clever enough to film their escapades. Idiots. 


January 05, 2007

AP was telling the truth

Writing about web page http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/04/ap/world/mainD8MENNJ80.shtml

Michelle MalkinFor those of you who don’t know, The integrity of the Associated Press has been under sustained attack from the Right-wing “Blogosphere” (spearheaded by Michelle Malkin) over the identity of one of its sources since the publication of this report (ABC presenting the AP news report) on the 24/11/2006.

What was specifically called into question was the existence of primary source Captain Jamil Hussein, who has, apparently, been a source for more than sixty AP pieces. The Right-wing blogosphere not only called into question his identity, but the veracity of his claims concerning the brutal murder of six sunnis outside a Baghdad mosque whilst Iraqi soldiers watched:

BAGHDAD, Iraq Nov 24, 2006 (AP)— Shiite militiamen doused six Sunni Arabs with kerosene and burned them alive as Iraqi soldiers stood by
-
The Mahdi Army militiamen, armed with machines guns and rocket-propelled grenades, swept through Hurriyah neighborhood near an Iraqi army post, burning four mosques and several homes, and attacking worshippers as they left Friday services, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein. [my emphasis]

The Iraqi interior Ministry claimed that they could not find record of Jamil Hussein’s existance (which they are now saying was a mistake) and the US military declined to verify the original story.

The AP later went on to defend its reporting and stick by its report on the burning of the Iraqis outside the mosque.

We have sent journalists to the neighborhood three different times to talk with people there about what happened. *And those residents have repeatedly told us, in some detail, that Shiite militiamen dragged six Sunni worshippers from a mosque, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive.
-
No one else has said they have actually gone to the neighborhood. Particularly not the individuals who have criticized our journalism with such barbed certitude.

This of course was not good enough for the right-wing bloggers who happily eat news reports straight from the hand of the army or the administration. Now (even Fox News admits that) The AP has been vindicated

This of course is not enough for the blogosphere who are now focusing on the veracity of the reported stories rather than the veracity of the source. But at least the AP has shown its worth and its continuing journalistic integrity in the face of these prolonged attacks merits our respect.

Some of you might not see why this was of any importance. Who cares about what a couple of Armchair Journalists think? Right? Well the controversy spilled over into mainstream media and forced the AP to make at least two statements in defence of both the initial piece and the existence of Jamil Hussein.

Now the police officer faces arrest for his leaking of information. Even if he is not arrested (curiously the Iraqi Interior Ministry seems to be leaving a loophole open to avoid arresting him), there is still the chance that Shi’a groups will kill him for his role in helping to publicise various Shi’a attacks. Either way it looks like the AP has lost another valuable source which means that while the AP has won a battle, it has cost them dearly


December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein Executed

Follow-up to Saddam Hussein to be executed tomorrow? from The Story of Hamid-o

Wonderful. As predicted, it’s quite the media circus. We’ve got images on Fox, CNN etc. Frontpages plastered with images of Saddam with a noose around his head. There are step-by-step pictures and videos available of the placing of the noose, the body hanging limply and the corpse on the floor. Fantastic.

Meanwhile, I’m hearing of videos apparently showing various Shi’a executioners dancing around the room.

If he needed to be executed, then fine. But execution on Eid? How wonderful! It’s Like executing a Christian on Christmas day. You don’t bloody execute people on Eid, no matter how vile they may be. And it’s December 30th. How beautifully convenient! Well done Bush! Another mission accomplished!

It’s great to see the “Sovereign” Iraqi courts marching to America’s drumbeat. Naturally the Americans haven’t considered (or have they?) the impact of his show trial and execution on the Sunnis of Iraq. Let’s see how long it takes before Sovereign Iraq divides into three different nations.


December 29, 2006

Saddam Hussein to be executed tomorrow?

Writing about web page http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/12/29/hussein/index.html

So it looks like the Iraqi kangaroo court has heard the appeal and decided that the execution should proceed and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will happen either later today or tomorrow. Tomorrow is, coincidentally 30/12/2006 , just one day short of the New Year.

So it looks like Bush will have some propaganda victory as his party staggers into 2007 under the weight of the Iraq war, Foley(gate), the losses incurred in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Now he can claim that justice has been served, another mission accomplished and an evil dictator has been “wiped off the map” (wahay!). He can gloat that justice has been served whilst at the same time shy away from completely condoning it.

“We salute the Iraqi people and their quest for freedom and democracy against al-qayder and terrism, and we hope that today will mark the end of an era. An era of rape rooms and soldiers seizing babies from incubators. But you know, being the civilised civilisation that we white…. I mean Americans are, we don’t condone the death penalty. Except in Texas (and other states). Where we execute the mentally-handicapped. And heck, you know them there on death row have several chances to appeal. It can take a long time to execute someone. But when it comes to a former head of state who’s become a political nuisance… well ‘Justice’ is always best served quickly and efficiently!

At least he got the vague semblence of justice instead of a “9mm Labotomy” – or a “window in the back of his head” or whatever charming phrase jingoistic, gun-toting Americans are using today – in his cell. So let’s see how this pans out.

As an aside, the media circus is increasingly stomach-turning. I was just watching CNN and my skin crawled as the announcement came. It reminded me of that satirical scene in Starship Troopers concerning the criminal due to be excecuted “Execution live at 9.00, all channels”. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s live coverage of the execution.

So, whatever you might think of Saddam, there are two things I remember him for, back from my youth:

1) An interview with Trevor Macdonald (I think it was just before the Gulf War whilst America was gathering UN support for “ejecting Iraq from Kuwait”) in which Saddam Hussein was speaking Arabic through a translator. The translator mistranslated something – Saddam paused, looked at his translator and told him to translate it properly. Was quite surprising and an insight into the dictator. As shitty a commander as he was, he had some cunning.

2) Another quotation. I can’t remember when it was said (or to whom it was said) but I remember my father quoting it to me sometime after the Gulf War. I’m paraphrasing but it was essentially:

Reporter: Mr. President, what do you think about the threats coming from Qatar and Bahrain these days?
...
Saddam Hussein : Qatar? Bahrain? Ha! I’ll tell you what I think of Qatar and Bahrain. I took Kuwait in a week. I’ll take Qatar in a day. And I’ll take Bahrain by fax.

For some reason, that still cracks me up. Sadist with a sense of humour perhaps?


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