Hey! War Pimps, No! This Is Not The Gulf Of Tonkin

Fifteen British Navy personnel have been captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces, the Ministry of Defence says.
The men were seized at 1030 local time when they boarded a boat in the Gulf, off the coast of Iraq, which they suspected was smuggling cars.The frigate’s commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, said he was hoping there had been a “simple mistake” over territorial waters.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they [British personnel] were in Iraqi territorial waters. Equally, the Iranians may claim they were in Iranian territorial waters.-

The commander does seem to be dealing with this calmly and crucially you have to realise the Gulf is crawling with American, British and Iranian forces, (not least in the hope an incident like this might provide the kick start for the warmongers cause). So let’s take a step back, be calm and not let this be the casus belli the neo-cons have been agitating for.

FNT: Bills Hicks- Marketing

It would be very easy to simply just fill a blog with Bill’s work so one has to resist that temptation, however every so often you need to feel the master.

Bill, if there is another stage of existence I hope you are pleased that you have become a rock star like icon, your work was worth it and you and Yul are having a great time.

Naomi Klein Brings The Funny

Arrogant fascist douchebag extraordinaire Conrad Black’s trial in Chicago has been a long time coming and Naomi Klein has written a fantastic and hilarious article about the legal battles and jury selection process:-

Black’s lawyers even argued (unsuccessfully) that their client could not get a fair trial because the average Chicagoan “does not reside in more than one residence, employ servants or a chauffeur, enjoy lavish furniture, or host expensive parties”.-

And she also raises the lid on Black’s nefarious Anglosphere idiocy:-

Black is the world’s leading advocate of the “Anglosphere”, a movement calling for the creation of a bloc of English-speaking countries. Adherents claim that the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand must join together against the Muslim world and anyone else who poses a threat.

The movement recently gained some notoriety when it emerged that on February 28 the White House had hosted a “literary luncheon” for George Bush and Dick Cheney’s new favourite writer, ultra-right British historian Andrew Roberts, author of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, an Anglosphere manifesto. But it is Black who has been the linchpin of Anglosphere campaigns for two decades, using his British and Canadian newspapers to reach out and collectively hug his beloved US. In Britain, this took the form of using the Daily Telegraph as a beachhead against “Euro-integrationism” and insisting that Britain’s future lies not with the EU but with Washington. This vision reached its zenith, of course, with the Bush-Blair team-up in Iraq.-

Best of all is her Fight Club-esque descriptions of the jurors no longer seeing the elites as heroes, they’ve realised the American dream was a con job and they are not going to be rich even if their media still peddles this affluenza:-

As the judge questioned a pool of 140 prospective jurors in order to whittle the group down to 12, plus eight alternates, she found men and women who had “lost every dime” in the WorldCom collapse, whose pensions had evaporated on the stock market, who had been fired thanks to outsourcing,

Asked what they thought of executives who earn tens of millions of dollars, jurors answered almost uniformly in the negative. “Who could possibly do that much work or be that much capable?” one asked.-

And Conrad’s ego is still as deluded as ever:-

Black’s lawyer Edward Genson assured the jury, “In his native Canada and England, he’s a household name.”-

Read it in full here or here. And his darling wife Barbara Amiel is an absolute gem too:-

Her husband is facing charges that could put him in prison for life, but so far a few choice words from Barbara Amiel Black have eclipsed anything that has happened in Conrad Black’s criminal trial. Amiel Black was reported Monday to have referred to journalists at Black’s high-stakes fraud trial as “vermin” and to have called one TV producer a “slut.”-

Funny as it is, these scumbags’ papers have convinced idiots the world over of the rightness of wars, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the absolute right of the rich to hoard everything in sight. Schadenfreude is not an attractive trait, but in cases such as this, it’s extremely allowable. Wallow in it a while, it’s Friday.

Vote Habib

David Hicks says he was shown a photo of battered fellow Australian Mamdouh Habib and was told he would be sent to Egypt for similar treatment if he did not co-operate with American authorities-

Mamdouh Habib was released from Guantánamo and returned to Australia in February 2005 without any charges filed against him, because the Bush administration did not want the torture allegations aired in court, Australian and American officials have said. Now, he is fighting back. He is running in elections on March 24 for a seat in the parliament of the state of New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney.

What did the forces of goodness and light do to Mamdouh?

-Mamdouh Habib cannot drink cold water. He vomits when he tries to, he said. He knows he must drink water, so he engages in vigorous exercise in order to force some lukewarm water down.
He says his doctor has told him his stomach has been damaged. Mr. Habib thinks it is from having gas forced into it through some kind of tubes inserted into his rectum when he was detained and, he says, tortured in Egypt. After being beaten and interrogated in Pakistan, he said, an Australian official told him he would never go home, would never see his family again. At the end of what he says was a brutal interrogation, Mr. Habib stood up and shook the man’s hand. The man was astonished, Mr. Habib said. “It makes me proud of myself,” he said about his gesture. “It gives me victory. I have my dignity. He doesn’t.”

he was subjected to various forms of physical and psychological abuse by Pakistani, Egyptian and American authorities. This included electrical shocks, water torture, drugs and beatings. He was denied access to a lawyer until October 2004 and told by his American interrogators that his wife and children were dead.-

But he abides, and despite a constant harassment operation by Howard’s government he’s on the campaign trail:-

“I’m from this community,” Mr. Habib said, taking another cigarette. “The people in parliament are not from us — they’re rich people.” Mr. Habib, his hair in a ponytail, was wearing aviator sunglasses, combat fatigues and a T-shirt with an upside down American flag on it, along with a picture of a hooded prisoner behind barbed wire, and the word “terrorism” defined as “the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.”

The multiracial nature of the Auburn district is visible everywhere, in the people walking the streets — women in full chador, Chinese, lanky Ethiopians and Somalis — and in the shops they go into. Within a 100 yards of Michel’s there is the Turkish Gözde Cafe; Ali Baba’s Charcoal Chicken; Al Safra Pizza and Kebab House. Tony Oldfield, who works in a flour mill and is also part of the election team, rattles off the census statistics, precisely: 18.1 percent Chinese, 10.7 percent Anglo-Australian, 10.5 percent Lebanese, 4.5 percent Arabic and Turk; there are also Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians-

Mamdouh Habib is still in recovery from his torture, he most likely always will be, but he is showing great resolve and it would be very just indeed if victims of the war on terror scam can face their tormentors across the ballot box and eventually, across a courtroom.