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.

So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

New video from the makers of “We Con the World” – Guns, Guns Guns! #flotilla


If you liked the Flotilla Choir in We Con the World last year, you’ll want to see Latma’s latest offering, the Audacity of Dopes band with Guns, Guns, Guns! 

An encore of last year’s Flotilla Choir masterpiece:

(via Big Peace)

It’s not Godwin’s unless it’s an *inappropriate* analogy


At Andrew Bolt’s, but bears re-blogging:

I’m sorry, but the fascist analogy must now be drawn

Bolt comments: [all links added by me for the benefit of those not familiar with these themes]

I never dreamed I’d live in a country in which Jewish businesses were boycotted and blockaded.

The shame. The utter shame.

But then I’d never dreamed, either, that I’d be taken to court for expressing my opinion. Or that a news organisation would be denied a government contact for being political unsympathetic. Or that news outlets would be banned by government ministers for asking basic questions. Or that academics could protest against free speech.

What the hell is happening here?

UPDATE: Flashback to Melbourne 2009 (via Nilk) … it’s not like they’re being subtle, people:  “Nazis Needed”

.

Andrew Klavan’s One-State Solution for the Middle East


In an effort to bring peace to the Middle East, President Barack Obama has proposed that Israel should return to its 1967 borders in exchange for being annihilated by its enemies.  PJTV‘s Andrew Klavan has a better idea:

So. Much. Win.

Tweet of the Day


O, Canada!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers

%d bloggers like this: