Monday, September 29, 2008

"Partly, I'm angry that there is so little anger around me at what is being done to our society, supposedly in order to protect it," said the 76-year-old in an interview in Waterstone's magazine.

"We have been taken to war under false pretences, and stripped of our civil rights in an atmosphere of panic. Our lawyers don't take to the streets as they have done in Pakistan.

"Our MPs allow themselves to be deluded by their own spin doctors, and end up believing their own propaganda."

He added: "We haul our Foreign Secretary back from a mission to the Middle East so he can vote for 42 days' detention.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

George Bush, Condoleezza Rica and other dignitaries solemnly invoked the sanctity of the United Nations, warning that Russia could be excluded from international institutions “by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with” their principles. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be rigorously honored, they intoned – “all nations,” that is, apart from those that the US chooses to attack: Iraq, Serbia, perhaps Iran, and a list of others too long and familiar to mention.

The junior partner joined in as well. British foreign secretary David Miliband accused Russia of engaging in “19th century forms of diplomacy” by invading a sovereign state, something Britain would never contemplate today. That “is simply not the way that international relations can be run in the 21st century,” he added, echoing the decider-in-chief, who said that invasion of “a sovereign neighboring state…is unacceptable in the 21st century.” Mexico and Canada therefore need not fear further invasions and annexation of much of their territory, because the US now only invades states that are not on its borders, though no such constraint holds for its clients, as Lebanon learned once again in 2006.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brown Reborn

The critics remain sceptical about the "quiet man" turning up the volume routine but Brown has a much wider base to convince

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The year 2003 saw the unfolding of two counterinsurgencies. One was in Iraq, and it grew out of foreign invasion. The other was in Darfur, and it grew as a response to an internal insurgency. The former involved a liberation war against a foreign occupation; the latter, a civil war in an independent state. True, if you were an Iraqi or a Darfuri, there was little difference between the brutality of the violence unleashed in either instance. Yet much energy has been invested in how to define the brutality in each instance: whether as counterinsurgency or as genocide. We have the astonishing spectacle of the state that has perpetrated the violence in Iraq, the United States, branding an adversary state, Sudan, the one that has perpetrated genocidal violence in Darfur. Even more astonishing, we had a citizens' movement in America calling for a humanitarian intervention in Darfur while keeping mum about the violence in Iraq.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Hearts and Minds
it seems US strategy to gain "hearts and minds" is to invade the heart to occupy the mind.
Are authors like Richard Dawkins and your brother Christopher succeeding in rendering God irrelevant to the 21st century? And why do you think faith is essential to British society?

Peter: These authors have discovered that there is a deep anti-Christian feeling among the victims of post-1960s secular university education. But they may be dismayed if they succeed in destroying Christianity, only to have it replaced by Islam. No society or culture can exist for long without faith. Liberal reformers always fall foul of the law of Unintended Consequences, because they don't understand institutions or traditions.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Propaganda is so engrained in national news media that reporting on Wars have been reduced to something resembling a sports column on the national football team.

Hitler on Propaganda:
What, for example, would we say about a poster that was supposed to advertise a new soap and that described other soaps as 'good'?

We would only shake our heads.

Exactly the same applies to political advertising.

The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Danish Cartoons

Some background, the intriguing question is why this provocation took place and who benefited from it. Was the reason as straightforward as the cultural editor of the paper claimed? That is, as a step to preserve or enhance the democratic right of “freedom of the press” and “liberty of expression,” which the Jyllands-Posten claimed were endangered by the media’s self-censorship toward Islam. The alleged motivation for publishing the cartoons might have been credible had the paper been a traditional bastion of democracy. But the group behind the paper has a dubious ideological and political history. Their editorial line was pro-Nazi during the Second World War and militantly antisocialist and anticommunist, as well as vehemently pro-American, during the Cold War. The Jyllands-Posten remains an ardent supporter of Israel’s policies in Palestine, a warm partisan of Danish military participation in the wars in Muslim countries, and hostile to third world immigrants. The appalling irony is that it is this organ of the press that donned the mantle of champion of “freedom of expression” and implicitly contributed to setting the infamous thesis of “clash of civilizations” on the ideological and socio-political agenda.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's influential son, echoed the delight expressed in much of the Arab news media. "What happened in Georgia is a good sign, one that means America is no longer the sole world power setting the rules of the game," the younger Gaddafi was quoted as telling the Russian daily Kommersant. "There is a balance in the world now. Russia is resurging, which is good for us, for the entire Middle East."