Monday, February 26, 2007

It'll End in Tears...

Having heard Bliar try to justify the war and ignore the reailty - here is a great quote that sums up why it was always going to end in tears...

"The reason our mission in Iraq has proven to be so disastrous and corrupt is very simple -- the advocates and architects of that war are completely corrupt, inept, and deceitful."
Glenn Greenwald

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Iraq War Plan Assumed Only 5,000 U.S. Troops Still There by December 2006!

If there was any doubt of the monumental cock-up the Iraq war has become, this these power-point slides obtained under a Freedom of Information request says it all...

The U.S. Central Command's war plan for invading Iraq postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006, according to the Command's PowerPoint briefing slides, which were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and are posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive (

Saturday, February 24, 2007

SurgeWatch - The Beginning of the End in Iraq

Here is another good article from UKWatch on the so-called 'surge' in Iraq and how it is doomed to fail:

The Bush administration's additional deployment of troops to try and bring Baghdad under United States military control is still in its early days....For Sunni insurgents, though, temporary retreat has been far from the uniform reaction. One astonishing example is a direct assault on 19 February on a heavily protected American military position in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad....In this incident, a coordinated attack involved three suicide-bombers who drove car-bombs straight at the US position, killing three US soldiers and injuring seventeen..

Direct frontal assault! Fuck, that is not normally the way an insurgency goes. Normally the insurgents avoid this type of attack as they are weak in firepower. This is a serious development. its shows the insurgency are developing faster and more intuitively that the forces fighting them. A worrying development if you're a squaddie on the ground implementing Bu$h and Bliar's policies.


The insurgents have developed two new anti-helicopter tactics. The first involves the firing of modern Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, either the SA-14 or SA-16 (see Ann Scott Tyson, 'Copter Attacks in Iraq May Indicate New Battle Strategy' , Washington Post, 21 February 2007). These have a longer range than the previously employed Vietnam-era SAMs, and are also able to overcome some of the defensive systems on US helicopters. One was used to bring down a marine corps CH-46 helicopter on 7 February, killing the seven people onboard.

The second tactic has been used before but is being developed further. It involves careful preparation and coordination in order to direct multiply-sourced, simultaneous ground fire (including from heavy machine-guns) at a particular helicopter. Between 20 January and 21 February, eight US helicopters were shot down ; a Black Hawk and an Apache helicopter have been among the targets, with twenty-people altogether being killed.

Again, this shows an interesting development. During the troubles in Northern Ireland, the IRA were always after a means to take out British Army helicopters as they believed it would tilt the balance in their favour, as they could often control an area of ground, even take out military or RUC bases, the the British could chopper in more forces very quickly. Thus air support became the issue and the main target. The situation is the same in Iraq – the insurgents can control the streets and palm groves, but while the US has eyes-in-the-sky, they will always be able to concentrate firepower and resources quickly. Well that supremacy is now under threat...

The Decline of Neo-Labour - A Bristol Angle

Listening to an interview with Hazel Blears, the Neo-Labour party chair on the radio as she blathered about how democratic the party was, citing a local party debate they had organised about the Trident Replacement as an example of it, I wondered what the Bristol Labour Party had to say on the issue of the succession of a new leader. Doubly revevant as she was saying her role, if elected, would be to look to the party grassroots. Now I know a number of local parties have websites or blogs telling people what they are up to; For example if you google 'bristol lib dems' you get or same for 'bristol green party' you get and both sites seem to be busy hubs of party political activity. (I did not Google the Tories, because, well uurrgggh!!!) So I googled 'bristol labour party' and the top link is to which when you click on it takes you to an odd page which has loads of lines (linked to and then in big red writing 'Bristol Labour Party' which links to the national party page. I checked on who wrote the site and who owns the domain and both are tagged to 'Kelvin Blake' Kevin was a Labour councilor and has had to rebuild his life after being involved in a nasty accident. He told the Evening Post that he hopes to become an MP despite being paralysed from the waist down. I guess the point of this is how much in decline Neo-Labour must be. We hear of it hemorrhaging members - and unless I missed it in my searches - the local web presence seems to be a good analogy for the decline to Neo-Labour as a whole; "But when those who have let their membership lapse for the past six months are discounted as well, the figure stands at 190,000: the lowest since Ramsay MacDonald split the party in the 1930s and a drop of 25,000 in the past six months." I hope its more than a decline, I hope the whole Neo-Labour mess sinks into the Iraq-infested quagmire of its own making and so leaves the stage clearer for more progressive political movements.

ON the subject, I was more than a little surprised to find out that the Co-op Bank have been giving lots and lots of loans to Neo-Labour to help it out of its financial black-hole (As have the Unity Trust Bank, AMICUS and Lloyds Bank). It seems to me that it is a clear aggregation of their own ethical policy - as they say they won't fund the bomb makers, yet are happy to loan money to people who are giving the orders to drop bombs? Come on Co-op, sort it out!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Song for Basra

So British troops are being pulled out of Basra. They are trying to spin this as a victory. It's not, it is a defeat.
"In reality, southern Iraq is a quagmire that has defeated all British efforts to impose order, and Blair was pressed by his military commanders to get out altogether -- and quickly. The departure has only been slowed, for the moment, by the pleas of Bush administration officials like Cheney."
Also ringing hollow is Bliar's recent refusal to admit he was wrong with Iraq. When you hear Neo-Labour/Neo-Cons pushing the line that they had to invade Iraq as part of the War on Terror (TM) - when you read how the war is really going...
"The Sunni insurgency continues to demonstrate an ability to adapt its tactics in its asymmetrical war against the U.S. occupying forces and rival Shiite elements in Baghdad. In addition to continued success in efforts to down U.S. helicopters – eight have been shot down in just over a month – different Sunni insurgent groups have been successful in learning from one another’s strategies and mimicking each other’s attacks, making improvements when possible. The latest product of this type of decentralized co-operation is a terrifying new addition to one of the insurgents’ favorite weapons; the truck bomb. By adding canisters of chlorine to conventional explosive charges, these new impromptu weapons maximize civilian casualties and – perhaps more importantly – panic."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Surge Breakdown

There is an excellent article on about the early signs of the surge and how it has made the situation worse. The article has a quote by a guy from the Association of Muslim Scholars that says it all really; "The American president said in 2003, 'Mission accomplished.' Now in 2007 he uses jetfighters a few meters from the Green Zone."

Check it out: Surging into Catastrophe in Iraq

Friday, February 09, 2007

The BAE Saga...

BAE, employed quite a few people in Filton, North Bristol. I don't know if you have been following the saga of BAE? Here's a brief summary; BAE, one of the largest weapons manufactures in the UK was the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery. There are two alleged points of bribery. One is with Saudi Arabia and the other Tanzania. The Saudi allegations relate to a contract for various military aircraft. The deal, know as 'Al Yamamah' has been described as "the biggest [U.K.] sale of anything to anyone" and has been paid for by the delivery of up to 600,000 barrels of oil per day to the UK government. Nice. The allegations are that the Al Yamamah contracts were a result of bribes to key people in the Saudi royal family and government officials ,that BAE maintained a £60 million slush fund to keep key player sweet. The weapons we are selling are destined for that bastion of democracy, Saudi Arabia. The same place that a recent dispatches program accused of funding radical wahhabi Islamic preachers and literature here in the UK. With friends like that....anyway the Saudis soon put pressure on the UK government to drop the Serious Fraud Office investigation or else they would suspend co-operation on terrorism and Bliar duly agreed and dropped it. The evening post has reported on this story somewhat, but only from the local-jobs angle prompting the Bristol Kingswood Labour MP Roger Berry to remark: "We have to be absolutely up front about this. You either support law and order or not. I do not think it is in the interests of British industry or Bristol jobs if you do not...If we're going to suspend law and order if it costs jobs, then there would be a lot of drug pushers in Bristol who'd be absolutely delighted."A local MP, While Tanzania is a poor country that can ill afford (or does not need, it has been persuasively argued) the £28 million system it purchased from BAE and that Tony 'Africa' Bliar's Government approved for export.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Murdoch's Spin on Iraq

Finally, an admission that big-media (in the shape of Murdoch's News Corporation.) that the Iraq war was spun:
Murdoch was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?

"No, I don't think so. We tried [...] We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East...but we have been very critical of his execution."

Let me repeat this: "We Tried!"

I wonder if the bigwigs at Davos think that only fellow elites are listening and care what is said? The pushing of Davos onto the global agenda for its lack of democracy is another plus for the anti-capitalist/globalisation movement.