Friday, August 18, 2006

Hollywood Bomb Plots in the Real World

I had written before about being skeptical (to say the least) about the so-called terror plot that the government said they had uncovered. Thus far there have no charges, no explosives found (that we've been told about) and its seems to be that perhaps the plot existed in the mind of the alleged plotters or event the government. So it was with great interest that I read this in The Register;

So the fabled binary liquid explosive - that is, the sudden mixing of hydrogen peroxide and acetone with sulfuric acid to create a plane-killing explosion, is out of the question. Meanwhile, making TATP ahead of time carries a risk that the mission will fail due to premature detonation, although it is the only plausible approach.

Certainly, if we can imagine a group of jihadists smuggling the necessary chemicals and equipment on board, and cooking up TATP in the lavatory, then we've passed from the realm of action blockbusters to that of situation comedy.

It should be small comfort that the security establishments of the UK and the USA - and the "terrorism experts" who inform them and wheedle billions of dollars out of them for bomb puffers and face recognition gizmos and remote gait analyzers and similar hi-tech phrenology gear - have bought the Hollywood binary liquid explosive myth, and have even acted upon it.

There is also an interesting article on the 60's radicalism; Stay vigilant. The light will come.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Talking War on the Net
There is loads and loads of discussion about the Lebanon/Hezbollah/Israeli thing. What is interesting is the derth of anaylsis of the military and socio-political events going on. Its far more indepth that you would find on TV and very interesting. Thake the reliable War Nerd;

The rest of you idiots actually seem to take Cooper [CNN journalist] seriously when he talks about how the IDF is going to "expel Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon." Christ, Hezbollah IS Southern Lebanon. You might as well try to expel ants.

Indeed. This was the point I too war making - that Hezbollah came from Israeli occupation, so to think a few weeks of bombing is going to remove them when they withstood 18 years of occupation is weak to say the least. War Nerd goes on;

As long as the IDF was beating up on Hamas down in Gaza, it could hide its weakness most of the time...facing Pals with nothing but rifles and old RPGs. It's easy to look tough rolling through refugee camps in the world's most heavily armored tank....But as you may recall, those tanks got a real different reception when they chased Hezbollah's raiding party back into Lebanon after the Hezzies killed three IDF soldiers and kidnapped another two...the first Merkava steamed over the border. Guess how far it got. Ten meters. Ten goddamn meters. Then KABOOM! A Hezbollah mine or shaped charge turned it into a very expensive oven, with four crew killed. Another IDF soldier died trying to rescue them. So within a few minutes the IDF had lost eight men. As far as I know, Hezbollah's losses were zero.

So now we are talking Fourth generation warfare (4GW) - the type of 'war on terror'(tm) thing that emerged from the cold war. Over at Global Guerrillas, there is a good discussion of where all this is going;

Hezbollah's performance in a set-piece battle with the Israeli military (arguably once, a top notch conventional military) is an excellent example of how non-state groups have radically improved their ability to conduct tactical and strategic operations...The central secret to Hezbollah's success is that it trained its (global) guerrillas to make decisions autonomously (classic 4GW), at the small group level. In every area -- from firing rockets to defending prepared positions to media routing around jamming/disruption -- we have examples of Hezbollah teams deciding, adapting, innovating, and collaborating without reference to any central authority. The result of this decentralization is that Hezbollah's aggregate decision cycles are faster and qualitatively better than those of their Israeli counterparts.

So, as Queen stated; We're just waiting/For the hammer to fall.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ceasefire Now Demo (and Terror in the News)
I attended the demo today in Bristol calling for an immediate ceasefire over the Israel/Hezbollah/Lebanon war. It was a lively event with a good mix of people from various ages and ethnicities. It was a warm afternoon and good weather for a stroll around the city while exercising your democratic rights. I'd estimate at its height there were around two hundred people. There was also a smaller counter demo calling for support of Israel. This numbered around two people. As the march wound its way around the city centre and up Park St, this dropped to one. I had a look at the flyer the one support-Israel guy was handing out. I don't agree with the content or framing of his arguments, but I did admire him a little for coming out and having his say against such overwhelming numbers on the other march. (Mind you he did have an undercover copper shadowing him, so I guess his was pretty safe.).

Here's a few interesting links on the subject of this conflict:

Why Israel is losing

Hezbollah Against Democracy

At War with Syria and Iran: The Neo-Cons May Get Their Wish

All this comes on the heels of the deluge of terrorism news, including new security restrictions at Bristol airport – you can't take your electronic gadgets on the plane with you in hand luggage so have to put your Game Boy Advance in the hold (what! No Fire Emblem?). I am a little disappointed by the rush of the media headlong into this story. You'd think some of them would be a little more cautious about reporting the back-handed pronouncements of 'security officials' and 'police sources' as fact, after all we have been down this road before...

Remember the Ricin Plot? Headlines: 'Toxic Terror Plot' (Sunday Mirror) and 'The al-Qa'ida Plot to Poison Britain' (The Times) and so on. Reality after the facts came out? "...there was no ricin – a fact suppressed for more than two years. There was no terrorist cell, just one deluded and dangerous man who killed a police officer during a bungled immigration raid...despite more than 100 arrests and months of investigation which took detectives to 16 countries, no al-Qa’ida plot ever materialised." The Ricin non-Plot kicked off with high profile arrests on 5th January 2003 – just about the time when the plan to steamroller the public into war with Iraq had gone off the rails. A few days earlier the UN weapons inspectors declared they found nothing new to point to any WMDs. The Ricin plot was a helpful push for the pro-war agenda at the time.

But maybe I am being paranoid. This might be coincidence? Then I remember the forest gate terror raids. 250 cops doing a full-on trashing of a house in north London. They find no terrorism but do shoot one person accidentally. Again, it's hard to be get a bit skeptical about the timing. After all the raid "..was triggered by a man with an IQ of just 69 who was described as an 'utter incompetent' when he was jailed for a terror offence, it was claimed yesterday." So why go so gung-ho over that? This all kicked of at the beginning of June 2006 – and the previous month had seen some of the worst news coming out of Iraq as it slid into civil war.

But maybe I am being paranoid. This might be coincidence? But other non-events of terror include; Tanks at Heathrow (February 2003, Iraq war stared in March), Red Mercury (September 2004), the Canary Wharf plot (November 2004), the Jean Charles de Menezes debacle and more. I'm not saying that there is no threat, the 7/7 bombs show there is – and this may yet turn into something more substantial that the smoke-and-mirrors in the media to date – but that does not mean the government is not capable of duplicity and using terror to push its own agenda. The US journalist I F Stone was talking to a class of journalism students. One asked him what the most important piece of advice he could give them was. He replied with two words; "Governments lie."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Goat Lab Radio Aug'06
A new radio show is now up on the site...


Big Joan - Here Comes The Flood (My Ambulance is on Fire RMX) - soon to be released on Death$ucker Records in september!!!
God Forbid - The End of the World
The Jam - A bomb in Wardour Street
Part Chimp - Chimp Happy
Candie Hank - Sunshine Reggae
YT - Real Girl - from the Straight Outta Brittain album
Meatloaf - Paradise By the Dashboard Light - the karaoke classic!!!
Mad Processor - 106 miles
Nam Shub - Nam Shub Wobble - also to be released on Death$ucker Records in september!!!
Tom Waits - The Piano Has Been Drinking
Frank Turner - The Ballad of Me and My Friend
Ebola - Klingon Rave Squad
Uriah Heep - Rainbow Demon
Vom It! - Hairy Blood
Monster Zoku Onsomb - Dark Eyes Glow - new exclusive MZO tunes fresh from australia!!! On Death$ucker!!

PS. Is it just me, or does all this terror alert stuff happening right when the UK govt. is getting a kicking over Lebanon all sound a bit...well convenient?