BBC Question Time on 9/11


Here is the BBC Question Time about 9/11 (aired September 13, 2001) :

You may have heard mention of it or seen it at the time. It is … interesting. The BBC director general at the time said of it :

 he “would like to apologise to the viewers who were offended by it”.

He added that it was an inappropriate programme to broadcast live just two days after the suicide attacks on America, and should have been recorded and edited.

The BBC’s Media Correspondent, Nick Higham, said there was a recognition in the corporation that the audience could have been more representative of wider opinion.

Besides the shouting and jeering from the audience, there are a few points I’d like to highlight. Note the number of people (including the panelists) who attribute their own hobbyhorse as the cause of 9/11. Also, note some curious rhetorical techniques on display.

At about 21:29 (in the first clip), a guy says American & British aircraft flying over the skies of Iraq and Yugoslavia have done so in defense of Kurds, Iraqi Shia and muslims in Kosovo and is promptly jeered and shouted down. The counter arguments seems to be “You have no idea!”,  the idea that the only acceptable way to frame it is as killing muslims and that asserting things repeatedly makes it true.

At about 21:25 Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says to applause “I have been stunned by the way Americans are so shocked at how many people really truly detest them around the world.”

Speaking for myself, I don’t care if someone detests Americans. Oh, imagine the burden it must be to forever be wondering who a majority of Namibians consider to be their Super-Best-Friend-Forever. Treating global politics like high school cliques really doesn’t seem like the best way to determine policies.

Below the fold is parts 2 & 3 of the video and a transcript.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

Are moderate Muslims in the same boat, effectively, as climate change deniers?


Recently, the frollickingmole over at Tizona addressed the stoppage of the live cattle trade export to all Indonesian abattoirs after about 11 or 12 were found to be killing the animals in horrific circumstances.

Indeed, what we saw a few weeks ago was horrendous. (graphic content warning)

But back to mole’s post, and he put up a video of how an abattoir works in the West.

Sure, it’s still certainly not for the squeamish, but perhaps can be likened to Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Supersize Me.

That put many of us off McDonald’s for a bit, but isn’t it good if (that!) there’s some bacon lying around in the fridge (not that I want to cook it just this minute)?

That porcine video was indeed a bit different to what we all saw on 4corners. Very surgical, clinical.

So what’s all this have to do with terrorism, Islamic radicals, moderate Muslims, and (caused-by-humans) climate change, and its deniers?

Read more of this post

Im astounded and befuckled!


I had seen this video before but hadn’t been interested enough to watch it. I finally did and it has exploded my preconceptions of an everyday annoyance/safety device.

Traffic lights, everyone knows they are a necessary evil right? But we all endure because it would be worse without them right…..?

Watch these 2 vids and have an almost LSD-like expansion of your consciousness…

Me, while watching this...

Ht: The UK Libertarian

* Befuckled is a specalist medical term used by the charming lady who trained me as a medic. It comes when a student is in a profound state of befucklement and has hit a dead end. Once you work the problem out you cease to be befuckled or in a state of befucklement and become unbefuckled. Befucklement is a natrual stage in the process of learning.

I apologise if the terminology is a little advanced…..

Slightly over the top eh?


 

From the Guardian, a slight bit of hyperbole regarding Winston Churchill’s teeth. 

“These are the teeth that saved the world.” 

We shall Bite them on the beaches...

 

I can see it now… 

We shall go on to the end, we shall bite in France,
we shall bite on the seas and oceans,
we shall bite with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall bite on the beaches,
we shall bite on the landing grounds,
we shall bite in the fields and in the streets,
we shall bite in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.” 

   

UK election game changer


Wow, theres no words for how bad a gaffe Brown just made.

Set up for the traditional “nice old lady” interview with a bunch of cameramen around. He was lacklustre but competent. Then he drove away….

With a microphone on…

Abusing the old lady….

Heres the whole interview, if you want just the end of it skip to the last 20 seconds or so.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid69900095001?bctid=81636194001

This link here goes straight to a guardian page with just the excerpt in question

But does he live in a barn?


A 66-year-old man pleaded guilty today to having sex with a horse and a donkey.

Joseph Squires appeared at Leicester Crown Court charged with buggery of a donkey between February 2 and February 5, 1999, and buggery of a horse between March 15 and 18, 2004.

The fact that he didn’t have a ménage á trois with both the horse and the donkey, in theory, makes him slightly less of a pervert than I had originally assumed from the headline but the difference doesn’t seem discernible.

He also faced charges of damaging property – relating to the two animals on the same dates.

Squires, whose address was previously given as Overpark Avenue, Leicester, was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty to all four counts at Leicester Crown Court today.

Defence counsel Amar Mehta told the court Squires had no previous convictions and was of previous good character.

Requesting he be released on bail, he said: “The defendant does not have a stable address ….”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers

%d bloggers like this: