The Labour Party pulls a fast one in Hebburn

Since October of last year, myself and a handful of fellow residents from the Lukes Lane Estate, Hebburn (South Tyneside) have organised as the Lukes Lane Community Action Group (our motto: “putting the unity back in the community”). We have undergone ‘participatory appraisal’ training with others involved in community work through the PEANuT Project at the University of Northumbria and with a view to sorting out some of the myriad problems on the estate.

For months, we have been out and about on the estate interviewing residents about the issues on the estate they feel most strongly about. During this period we spoken to about 160 people of all ages, and received close on 600 responses during 15 interview sessions. The group recently came together to assemble all the information and group it under themes in preparation for the next stage.

Having collated the information from the interview sessions with the residents of the esate, the Community Action Group identified 11 improvements that residents feel most strongly about: i.e. improved shopping facilities, better public transport, improved social and leisure facilities, safer streets etc. Plans were made for future group sessions and the next stage of interviews.

From the outset, the residents involved in the PA work made it clear that our work was non-party political, our sole concern being to help improve facilities and services on the estate and create an environment beneficial to everyone.
Tonight all of this work and good intentions have been undermined by the local Labour Party. Tonight we received through our letter boxes Labour News, this being an A4 double-sided newsletter. The first page is a rant about how hard Labour have been working locally, though minus recent press reports about the closure of schools, community centres and 200 redundancies at the local town hall.
Page two had the headline “LABOUR LISTENING TO LUKE’S LANE” above a photo of Monkton Ward’s three Labour Party councillors, with an ensuing paragraph about the work of the Community Action Group. Another paragraph is given over to two community houses that will be created on the estate and this is followed by a two line statement referring to the hard work carried out by our “listening local Labour councillors.” (You cannot beat a bit of alliteration). Cleverly worded, this account of developments on the estate gives the reader the impression that it is the local Labour Party who are to be thanked.

Tonight I spoke with other members of the group and they were as livid as I was; angry that our work was now part of Labour Party propaganda and in the run-up to the local elections in three-months. Needless to say we feel betrayed, conned and used. Our work has been credited to the bloody Labour Party. Hoping to work on behalf of the residents of the estate, we have, it seems, been unwittingly recruited as Labour Party election workers. I spoke with other residents on the estate tonight and they agreed that this is an attempt by the Labour Party to claim praise for work done by others.
I’m pulling out of the PA work. Though useful for the future and no doubt a basis for real improvements, it is tarnished, sullied and undermined by the political aspirations of Blair’s local henchmen.

You have to credit the opportunists in the local Labour Party for this stunt, though – capitalising on the well-meaning work of others. They’re not as daft as they look, are they? They’ll argue that I am mistaken and that they are not aiming to make political capital here, but I’ve watched how Labour operate on South Tyneside for many years and am more than familiar with their underhand shenanigans.


Those 7/7 bombings revisited

I always said that if there was an “Islamic” terrorist attack in Britain it would take place on a date that would stick in your mind and that it would provide a welcome diversion from other front page stories. It would have to be a date like 9/11 – which just so happens to be the one number every one in the US knows, it being the number of the emergency services there and drummed into the heads of kids as soon as they are old enough to use a phone.

I learned of the London bombings of 7/7 when arriving back home after a week at Gleneagles with a fellow comrade. The story was on the TV when we sat down and we looked at one another in disbelief and the first thing that come into my mind was that this was state-sanctioned, and I thought “you bastards!!”

And my reasons for thinking this? Firstly, the talks at Gleneagles were kicking off proper on 7/7; talks at which no great humanity-benefiting decisions would be made. Indeed, most of the decisions had been made before the G8 meeting. With a over million having protested at the events surrounding the G8 gathering and the press and TV news keen as hell to get hold of any story coming from Gleneagles, there just had to be some big bloody diversion. The G8 were making no major concessions and the press were going to have a field day so they needed to be distracted.

So we have the leaders of the G8 together on that first full day of talks, supposedly united in concern for the world’s poorest and the major problems facing the planet; supposedly having brainstorming sessions about how to make this planet a nicer place to live in. And KABOOM!!! Bombs start exploding across London. Suddenly, global warming is no longer an issue. African aid, fair trade and debt cancellation are no longer issues. The G8 leaders can now make a joint statement on the biggest threat facing humanity - Islamic terrorism. Together they issue a promise of victory for democracy. The heinous acts of the morning of 7/7 sticks terrorism and the war on terror, right up on the front page where it was on 9/11. The G8 talks are buried away in the inside pages. Overnight, the political climate has changed. The manufacture of consent has begun - that response for action from an angry public and which the UK and US governments seek as a popular mandate for their continuing crusade.

Secondly, this plays straight into the hands of a government desperate to have more control over all of us, a government mistrustful of us and intent in intruding into every aspect of our lives.

In the wake of 7/7, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke said millions of personal email and mobile phone records could be stored and shared with Europe-wide police and intelligence services to help prevent future attacks. Maybe someone forgot to tell him that the NSA spy base at Menwith Hill had been monitoring our email and phone calls for years.

Clark argued that access to such communications could "quite possibly" have helped prevent such attacks by identifying in advance suspicious patterns of behaviour by possible terrorists. The National Crime Squad contacted internet service providers in the UK, asking them to preserve email messages as they might prove useful in the search for those behind the bombings.

Thirdly, these attacks came one day after Britain secured the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Had the bombings have happened any time before 7/7 the IOC would have said “Sod off. London is too much of a terrorist risk.” But no, this attack came within 24 hours of Britain securing the bid and the profits the Olympic shenanigans will bring. News of the coming decision by the IOC had been big news for weeks – it meant so much to the government, big business and national pride. But out of their love for sport, the terrorists presumably decided to hold off until after the decision was announced.

Fourthly, like 9/11, it was a date that had to stick in your mind, and 7/7 does just that. Sure, the “terrorists” could have used that date for just such a reason, but it is the government who can use it most to their advantage, as a point of reference.

So someone somewhere, with state blessing, had the idea of blowing up a few trains and a bus that day and diverting world attention. Any terrorist worth their salt would have done a bit research before carrying out so monstrous a crime as blowing up trains full of innocents. They would have pulled that stunt well before 7/7 and fucked the Olympic bid to boot. And when Blair and Bush were at Gleneagles? No way! They would have known media attention would have been diverted from that capitalist cabal meeting up in Scotland and which had attracted the attention of well-meaning activists for a week, and sidelined the protests of hundreds of thousands of anti-globalisation activists more than likely to back your case for a withdrawal of imperialist forces from the Middle East.

Considering the high level of anti-war, anti-Blair sentiment in Britain, as well as strong anti-war sentiments in the USA, why would al-Qaeda want to announce itself as responsible and alienate millions of Westerners? This actually happened, until the web pages on which this Al-Qaeda claim was made mysteriously disappeared when people observed that the inclusive quote from the Koran had a few errors.

No doubt many share the same view as me – I’ve spoken to several who think this way - yet are afraid to say anything in case they get labelled a nutter, a conspiracy theorist and their beliefs dismissed with a wave of the hand and a “you’re fucking insane. The government wouldn’t do that.” But hey, we’re speaking mega profits here! We’re talking about US world domination here and British imperialism plc is definitely after some of the spoils of this global conquest. False flags are nothing new (more about this later) – desperate governments have been putting them up for years – so what was to stop US lickspittles in the UK pulling off a similar stunt? Believe me – I shit you not - the bastards would do it too! There is nothing Blair’s lackeys would not sink to in the interests of Britain’s corporate elite and their cronies across the pond.

Do you like coincidences? How about this one: The three tube stations that were the target of “terrorists” on 7-7 just happened to be the three stations at which Visor Consultants were carrying out simulated terrorist attack exercises that morning. The company’s managing director, Peter Powell, also a former Scotland Yard official and who had worked with the anti-terrorist branch, said in a BBC radio 5 interview:

“At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.”

There are 275 stations serviced by London Underground, so just what the hell are the chances of terrorists attacking the very three Tube stations at which anti-terrorist exercises were taken place? Millions to one?

A quick flashback here: NORAD was actually conducting drills of hijacked planes flying into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon at 8:30 in the morning of September 11, 2001. A CIA planned exercise on September 11 was also built around a plane crashing into a building.
Some have suggested that the bombs were actually planted beneath the trains. Dancer Bruce Lait, a survivor of one of the blasts told the Cambridge Evening News (25th July):

"The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag."

Another trustworthy source, Guardian journalist Mark Honigsbaum, talked to eyewitnesses at the Edgware Road bombing, who essentially described the same thing. Eyewitnesses told Honigsbaum that "tiles, the covers on the floor of the train, suddenly flew up, raised up. Click here to hear the audio.

Consider also that on the 3rd July, four days before the bombings, the MOD had announced plans for a pull out of British troops from Iraq within 18 months. Surely this was what recent terrorist attacks have all been about – the removal of western infidel armies from Islamic soil? Would not a terrorist attack on London just intensify the crusade against militant Islam and prolong the occupation of Iraq and, indeed spread the “war on terror” further afield?

Also, Arutz Sheva, the Israeli National news, reported that the Israeli Embassy was warned in advance of those underground bomb blasts. The tip-off resulted in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu staying in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address an economic summit.

And look at the behaviour of these alleged dedicated Islamic terrorists. Suicide bomber Hasib Hussain ate a last meal at McDonald's before blowing up the No. 30 bus on 7 July, killing 13 people. (Independent, 25th August 2005). An Islamic fundamentalist, so fervent in his beliefs, so loathing of western values and icons, has a final meal of a big mac? Yeah, and Osama Bin laden endorses Coca Cola! Hussain was also captured on surveillance cameras wandering around the streets of London, "bumping into people", before detonating his rucksack bomb?

The Independent of 31st October 2005 reported that one of the suicide bombers who attacked London on 7 July was filmed arguing with a cashier about being short-changed hours before he blew himself up. A young man who will soon have a hoard of virgins waiting for him in paradise is bothered about being short-changed a few pennies?
A third bomber that day, Shehzad TanweerTanweer, played a game of cricket the night before he travelled down to London.

And what of ex-youth leader Mohammad Sidique Khan? When a video tape of Mohammad Sidique Khan was released showing him in Arab attire and talking about bomb attacks, close friends and locals who knew him were adamant that the tape was fake. "A lot of people loved him round here. I have known him all my life, he was a friend to everyone," said one man. "I know people can change in a second, but I can't say he is one of them. He taught my son, he was a very good teacher. He was never hard-line - no one could say he was an extremist - he was peaceful and dedicated to the children. They all loved him."

Do these four young men really fit the image of the vengeful, dedicated suicide bombers the state would have us believe they were?

The Independent of 17th July, 2005 had this to say:

“Suicide bombers do not buy return tickets. Theirs is a one-way trip. When four young men met at Luton railway station a week ago last Thursday, however, they gave every impression of going to London and coming back. They paid and displayed, leaving valid tickets on the windows of a Nissan Micra and a Fiat Bravo in the station car park. They boarded the 7.48am to London carrying return tickets.

“Why would they do that, if they knew they would be dying very soon? The car park can be explained: perhaps they did not want to attract attention or get stopped. But the question of the train tickets has no obvious answer, unless the bombers were not aware that they would be among the casualties at Aldgate, Edgware Road, King's Cross and on the No 30 bus. They may have thought that they could leave their deadly bags on the train or the bus and walk away, merging safely into the crowd by the time a detonator set off the plastic explosive they called Mother of Satan to kill and maim in those enclosed spaces. Or were they told the bombs would go off later than they did?”

So, the bombers purchased round-trip train tickets and paid for long-term (7-day) parking? It gets crazier! These bombers overspend on return tickets they will never return with, yet are so frugal that one will argue over pennies with a cashier?

Allegedly, they also left bombs behind in the car. What the hell for? You’re taking with you all the bombs you need, you’re not coming back and the police will just find the bombs in the boot of the rental car and possibly suss out where the explosives came from.
A few more observations:

It would later be revealed that the bombs were of “military origin”. So how did the four bombers get hold of such high grade explosives? Are military explosives not heavily guarded?
And where were the suicide notes and videotaped messages for the families of the bombers which have been a characteristic of terrorist attacks elsewhere? Were these bombers really intent on coming home to their families and friends?

The Independent of July 17th 2005, said: "Filmed by the closed-circuit cameras at the station, the four men looked, the police said, like ‘happy hikers’, laughing and joking and carrying heavy bags.”

Fox News Channel's Day Side programme revealed that the so called mastermind of the 7/7 London Bombings, Haroon Rashid Aswat, is a British Intelligence asset. Former Justice Dept. prosecutor and Terror expert John Loftus revealed that the so called Al-Muhajiroun group, based in London had formed during the Kosovo crisis, during which Fundamentalist Muslim Leaders (or what is now referred to as Al Qaeda) were recruited by MI6 to fight in Kosovo.

Check out this for video and story.

The Sunday Times of January 22nd this year ran a headline “MI5 knew of bomber’s plan for holy war”:

“BRITAIN’S top spies knew that the ringleader of the London bombers was planning to fight for Al-Qaeda more than a year before the July 7 suicide attacks, security sources have revealed.
“MI5 bugged Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, a second bomber, for two months as they talked about Khan’s desire to fight in what he saw as the Islamic holy war”. The story is continued here.

That lot got you thinking? There's more I could have added. I’m not going to argue here how “they” pulled it off. The attacks for one thing have all the hallmarks of an MI5 operation. Use your own imagination. I think it more important to look at the larger picture, asking what is to be gained by a London bombing.

In addition to the reasons cited at the beginning of this posting, it is important to realise that the US is clearly out to make the 21st Century the "American Century”. The US sees real competitors flexing their muscles in the future and who must be hamstrung now. So they seek global domination of all major resources. They go about setting up military bases all over the world (in 130 countries so far). And in on the act is the British government who wants a piece of the action. Britain never did get used to losing its world power status to the US and the SU after WW II and has been desperate to get right back up their with the big boys ever since. The coming rewards are well worth any losses now. The end justifies the means and all that.
In the meantime, world public opinion has to be manipulated, consent manufactured, militant Islam portrayed as the villain of the piece and the one obstacle to global harmony. This secured, Iran and Syria can be bombed, Middle Eastern oil resources controlled, more military bases established and the imperialist crosshairs levelled at Russia and China.

So, in the words of Hitler in Mein Kampf : the bigger the lie the more people will believe it.”
And has the precedent for 7/7-type attacks already been set? Have false flags been raised before? You betcha! Just going back to Hitler, didn't he pull of the Reichstag fire and blame the commuists?

Operation Northwoods. The idea was to blow up a passenger plane or ship and blame it on Cuba. Check out the actual Joint Chiefs of Staff declassified document here in PDF format.

Israel had it's Lavon Affair. In 1954, Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits. The deception would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring.

USS Liberty. When Israel attacked a US warship in the hope the US would think it was an Egyptian attack

The Bay of Tonkin incident which provided the US with the pretext for the invasion of Vietnam.
Pearl Harbour. The US new in advance that Pearl Harbour would be attacked, but they needed such an incident to enter WW2. Hundreds of links to this, but try this one.
911 – Again, countless links to what really happened this day. For instance.
Even delving back into the annals of history, it is likely that Nero burnt Rome to blame it on the Christians.
Our leaders declare a "War on Terror" and now we have more terrorism in the world than we had in 2001!
And people wonder why Blair refuses to open an inquiry into what really happened on 7/7!!


Iran - Condi takes a leaf from Powell's book

As I have previously mentioned elsewhere on this blog, any US attack on Iran will be preceded by a campaign for the minds of the US people. It started long before now, but here is Condi Rice yesterday speaking to the Senate Budget Committee:

"It's not just Iran's nuclear programme but also their support for terrorism around the world. They are, in effect, the central banker for terrorism." She added that Tehran was bent on "political subversion, terrorism, and support for violent Islamist extremism….It is Iran's regional policies that really are concerning as we watch them, with their sidekick Syria, destabilizing places like Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and, indeed, even in southern Iraq."

Rice is shortly off to the Middle East to hold talks with regional allies about containing Iran. And what’s the betting mention will be made of that Oil Bourse Iran intends to forge ahead with in march and how it would be bad news all round. No doubt this will later be followed by a speech to the UN that will reminiscent of Colin Powell’s scare mongering performance in February of 2003 when he begged the international community to give their blessing for the invasion of Iraq.

On Wednesday, Rice’s State Department asked Congress for $75m this year to support opponents of Tehran and to finance the first 24-hour official US television station broadcast in Farsi.

Meanwhile, her fellow war pimp, Dubya, is asking congress for another $65 billion for his war kitty. The request would raise war-related spending to nearly 400 billion dollars since September 1th 2001.

Interestingly, today it was revealed that China and Iran are close to finalising plans to develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field in a deal estimated to be worth $100 billion. A Chinese government delegation is expected to travel to Iran as early as March to formally sign an agreement allowing China Petrochemical Corp to develop Yadavaran. The thought of China controlling one of the bihggest oil fields in the Middle East must be causing a lot of sleepless nights for some in the US.
March? Hmmm….why does that month keep popping into my head?


Abu Ghraib photos

Those photos that Washington didn't want us to see! Or did they? I mean, with the US intent on bombing the shit of Iran (see "Real men want to go to Iran", below) and seizing control of its oil fields, what better way to start off than to prod once again at the sensitivities of militant Islam, showing their fellows being beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted in a US prison, and in so doing prompting that anti-US backlash that will then give the US the pretext to carry its War on Terror to Tehran? And these coming at a time when the Islamic world is still riotiong over the offensive Danish cartoons and the British press and TV are showing film and photos of Iraqi teenagers getting a beating at the hands of British troops!
Update on 17th February

Abu Ghraib leaked report reveals full extent of abuse

1,325 images of suspected detainee abuse· 93 video files of suspected detainee abuse· 660 images of adult pornography· 546 images of suspected dead Iraqi detainees· 29 images of soldiers in simulated sexual acts. And this is just the stuff they bothered to film. If this is what is happening in Abu Ghraib, then just what the fuck is going on in Guantanamo Bay?

And of the response in Britain? Well, Tony Blair refers to conditions at Guantanamo Bay an
"anomaly." I'll give you 'anomaly', you gormless bastard!!


Jesus in the Dock (4)

One of the many email lists I am signed up for is the Luigi Casciloli list - this being the Italian atheist and ex-priest, who began legal proceedings in the Italian courts to get another priest to prove that Jesus existed and that he was the son of God. Anyway, the following was in my email box this morning:

Luigi Cascioli has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights

Italy (Viterbo) - Following the January 27th. 2006 hearing, which resulted in the filing of the denounce against the Catholic Church, in the person of don Enrico Righi, priest of Bagnoregio, with which ends the legal procedure of the Italian Law, Luigi Cascioli has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg). Considering it is the Court to which any person may appeal when a "cause is not publicly judged or it is by a judge who has dimostrated not being independent and impartial", in his own country (Art. II -107 European Convention). We will soon publish a review of the filing of the cause spoken about. http://www.luigicascioli.it/home_eng.php


US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites

Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb. Read more at Information Clearing House.


See also: '10,000 would die' in A-plant attack on Iran

and: Iran Consequences Of War: This Oxford Research Group briefing paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which would be extensive.The PDF version is here.

Real Men Want To Go To Iran

It’s going to happen – and sooner than you think. We’ll be watching the news headlines, or maybe there’ll be a news flash, and we’ll be informed that the RAF, along with the USAF’s long-range B2 bombers, and the Israeli Air Force have carried out overnight bombing raids across Iran, targeting nuclear facilities, radar stations, airfields and anti-aircraft bases.

I can’t see a land invasion – at least not for a long time – for the simple reason that Iranian civilians are more patriotic than their Iraqi counterparts, that Iran has a much bigger and better equipped army than Iraq had and a lot more fundamentalists, the type that strap bombs to themselves and run towards you. Moreover, the country is much bigger than Iraq, with a lot of mountainous terrain and with a much larger population, which makes it far more difficult for the largely un-resisted kind of invasion the US enjoyed in Iraq.

As in the case of Iraq, there will be the prior attempt at the mass manufacture of consent. Blair and Bush and indeed other European leaders, who think they will have something to gain, pedalling the line that newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is another Saddam Hussein who, if Iran’s nuclear programme is not halted, will be able to lob a nuclear missile at the west in a few minutes and how Iran is supporting international terrorism, financing terrorist cells all over the world, including Al Qaeda. The case will be made that Iran is still very much a part of the axis of evil, first referred to in George W Bush’s State of the Union Address in 2002, and its people, secretly harbouring thoughts of Western style democracy, the country crying out for regime change. In his January, 2005, State of the Union Address George W said; "Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve.”

The White House has in fact been steadily creating an anti-Iran climate in the US for some time. The Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 3, “in recent polls a surprisingly large number of Americans say they would support U.S. military strikes to stop Tehran from getting the bomb.”
All of this, of course, is part of the desensitisation process, aimed at calming world public opinion in advance. And if Congress and Parliament and the people on the streets won’t buy the cant, then expect the false flags to go up - the state-sanctioned attacks on Western cities, purportedly carried out by Islamic terrorists acting on the instructions of Tehran or on behalf of Al Qaeda, the names by now interchangeable. That’ll win over the damned doubters and ditherers. There will be the mandate for another round of butchery!

And you know how it will all start. Indeed, it has already started. The high profile diplomatic efforts to refer Iran to the UN Security Council will be followed by UN Security Council Resolutions condemning Iran’s uranium enrichment programme and an insistence on an additional protocol for inspections of its nuclear facilities, and in the knowledge that Iran’s Parliament has already moved to reject any further inspections if such a scenario arises.
Sanctions could be imposed aimed at isolating Iran and turning it into a pariah state. Iran, feeling it is doing nothing wrong - it has in fact an “inalienable right” as a signatory of the Non Proliferation Treaty to develop a civilian nuclear technology for generating electricity for its population of 70 million - will, in so many words, tell the UN to fuck off, and this will be the pretext for war, with the US, the UK and Israel, like comic book super-heroes coming to the defence of peace-loving, god-fearing people everywhere. There will be warnings about the consequences from all manner of experts and demonstrations will take place right across the world – as in the case of Iraq – and reference will be made to double standards, to the fact that Israel and India and Pakistan all have nuclear weapons and are yet to sign the NPT, but to no avail. The masters of war will have their day.

It’s improbable that Russia and China will ever agree on a UN Security Council Resolution against Iran which could justify military action if it is thought to have been breached; for they have strong vested interests in Iran which they are desperate not to jeopardise. Not that this will bother the US in the least, as both Russia and especially China are economic powers that threaten US global ambitions, so any attack on Iran, that consequently leads to the overthrow of the present regime in Tehran, upsets the long term ambitions of China and Russia.

An Iranian response
But, make no mistake; Iran will be no push over. The US will not enjoy a hasty capitulation of the Tehran regime, as was the case with Baghdad, exhausted by over a decade of perpetual bombardment and sanctions. The Iranian army comprises about 350,000 active-duty soldiers and 220,000 conscripts and you can add to this 120,000 of the elite Revolutionary Guard. The country’s navy and air force total 70,000 men. Between them, the armed forces have about 2,000 tanks, 300 combat aircraft, and three submarines, hundreds of helicopters and at least a dozen Russian-made Scud missile launchers, the kind Saddam fired at Israel during the first Gulf War of 1991. Iran also has an unknown number of Shahab missiles with a range of more than 1,500 miles. With this in mind you can begin to appreciate the remarks of Under Secretary of State, John Bolton, in the build up to the invasion of Iraq: “Real men want to go to Iran”.

True, a lot of Iran’s military hardware is old, thirty years old in some cases, and no match for the state-of-the-art weaponry the US is wont to use. Nevertheless, it is still weaponry and more than capable of delivering untold damage to US forces or any other country within striking distance of its missiles and who are perceived as being pro-US.

With Iran controlling the Strait of Hormutz, oil tankers could easily be bombed as well tankers and platforms elsewhere in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. And Tehran could easily escalate any conflict, giving the nod for Lebanese Hezbollah militant attacks on Israel, sanctioning also assaults on U.S. interests throughout Central Asia.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Sahimi a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California, co-authored a piece for the Los Angeles Times on January 19th. They said:

“A military attack would only inflame nationalist sentiments. Iran is not Iraq. Given Iranians’ fierce nationalism and the Shiites’ tradition of martyrdom, any military move would provoke a response that would engulf the entire region, resulting in countless deaths and a ruined economy not only for the region but for the world. “Imposing U.N. sanctions on Iran would also be counterproductive, prompting Tehran to leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its ‘additional protocol.’ ’ Is the world ready to live with such prospects?”

Both Bush and Blair have already hinted at military intervention and Israel has previously threatened Iran. The New York Times of 13th January 13 reported Meir Dagan, the chief of the Israeli Mossad declaring that “Israeli policy makers all agree that a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities cannot be ruled out.”

More importantly, The Sunday Times on December 11th last year reported that Ariel Sharon has instructed Israel air force to get ready for a military attack against Iran by the end of March 2006, when Israeli elections are scheduled. Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Israel’s Likud Party, gave notice last year that if Prime Minister Sharon did not wipe out Iran’s nuclear installations, he would see the job was done if he became prime minister in March.

Consider also the statement by ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi, in the August 2005 issue of the American Conservative. According to Giralidi, Vice president Dick Cheney has told the Pentagon to plan for an all-out air attack on 450 sites in Iran if another terrorist incident occurs in the US. Giraldi reports that such a plan would include the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran’s fortified nuclear installations. Likewise, France’s President Chirac caused a furore when he announced France would respond with nuclear strikes against any state believed to be behind terrorist attacks on French soil. With Statements like this and knowing the long-term prize at stake, you just can’t help wondering if one of those false flags is being unfurled right now.

A year ago it was reported that Iran was anticipating an attack by the US and that it was ready for an impressionable response within 15 minutes. For over a year, anticipating a US attack, Iran has been mobilising recruits into citizens' militia and has made plans to engage in the kind of "asymmetrical" warfare that has mired U.S. troops in neighbouring Iraq.

Oil BoarseAnd the real reason for the coming war with Iran? Forget the nuclear threat. Forget the support for terrorist cells and the other hackneyed charges against this “rogue state”. The very simple fact is that next month, in March, Iran intends to launch its Oil Boarse which will facilitate the future trade of oil in the Euro instead of the US petro dollar – the international currency that props up the US economy. (For further info see this blog’s entry for circa May 15th of last year)

John Pilger writes in the latest issue of New Statesman (13th February):

“The effect on the value of the dollar will be significant, if not, in the long term, disastrous. At present the dollar is, on paper, a worthless currency bearing the burden of a national debt exceeding $8trn and a trade deficit of more than $600bn. The cost of the Iraq adventure alone, according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, could be $2trn. America's military empire, with its wars and 700-plus bases and limitless intrigues, is funded by creditors in Asia, principally China.

”That oil is traded in dollars is critical in maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency. What the Bush regime fears is not Iran's nuclear ambitions but the effect of the world's fourth-biggest oil producer and trader breaking the dollar monopoly. Will the world's central banks then begin to shift their reserve holdings and, in effect, dump the dollar? Saddam Hussein was threatening to do the same when he was attacked.”

Likewise, Krassimir Petrov, Professor of Economics at the American University of Bulgaria, writing of the establishment of an Oil Bourse in the January edition of Energy Bulletin, said:
"In economic terms, this represents [a great threat] because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euros to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether.

"Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans ....The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar."

The Oil Bourse aside. Iran has also sizeable oil reserves that look quite enticing and which other countries have been eyeing up for some time. The highly regarded Oil and Gas Journal reported last year that 125.8 billion barrels of oil were in Iran just waiting to be pumped out. Iran is also the number 2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Most of Iran's crude oil is to be found in an area known as Khuzestan, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf and the location of Iran's largest untapped oil fields - Yadavaran and Azadegan. There are serious profits to be had here but, tellingly, the Chinese state oil company China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation has a 50 percent stake in the vast Yadavaran oil field.

So to has Russia a claim in Iranian oil. Three years ago In 2003 Russia decided to expand its oil procure and distribution methods by shipping Russian crude to Iran, to be refined for domestic consumption, with Iran delivering a corresponding amount of oil to Russia, thus decreasing the cost of exports via tankers loaded at Black Sea ports and making Russian oil accessible to buyers at competitive prices.

Addicted to oil?
George Bush, in his January 2006 State of the Union Address made an interesting statement: “The US is addicted to oil”. That’s perhaps the truest statement Bush has ever said, but he’s mistaken if this is meant to signify that the US is going into detox and will be weaning itself of oil. At the moment there is just too much US corporate interest in the Middle East and Central Asia for the US to even think of cutting back on one barrel of oil.

Furthermore, there are dangerous competitors out there, who have an insatiable thirst for oil, so its important that the US has a say in who has access to the world’s oil resources. The U.S. is not that dependent upon Middle East oil for its own domestic consumption, but is aware that one way to control its foremost economic rivals is to control just how much oil they can have and at what price. The project for the New American Century is well under way, with the war-mongering neo-cons ready to use any excuse to justify the use of US military power to eradicate any regime deemed an obstacle to its global ambitions. With China a fastly growing economic, political and military power, naked aggression is a strategy they will pursue throughout the oil rich regions of the Middle East and central Asia, regardless of the cost of life and the dent to the US’ global image. The petro-dollar needs defending, world’s oil resources need to be controlled and military bases built. Iran is just one step towards total global control – the real enemy is yet to be confronted.

But for now, with International Atomic Energy Agency complaining that Iran isn’t cooperating fully with IAEA inspectors, Washington will use its man at the UN, Ambassador John “Real Man” Bolton, to help hype a global crisis which will consequently be used to justify attacks on Iran, with or without the blessing of the UNSC. No evidence exists as to Iranian desires to create an atomic bomb, but the fact that the country is enriching uranium - quite legally so, and as a signatory to the NPT, unlike pro-US nuclear states - is all the confirmation the neo-cons need for another war for oil.

Polls show the manufacturing consent machine is reaping rewards

Support for the bombing of Iran looks to be gaining momentum.

United Press International report on the findings of a USA Today-CNN-Gallup Poll carried out over 11th-12th February.

Eight out of 10 respondents believe Iran would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists to attack the United States or Israel. Sixty% believe Iran itself would deploy nuclear weapons against the United States.

The poll said 55% showed a lack of confidence in the administration's ability to handle the situation in Iran.


A recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll (27th January) found that 57% of Americans favour military intervention if Iran pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms.

ABC News/Washington Post Poll of January 24th -25th found that 42% would support the US bombing Iran to stop it developing nuclear technology

World Public Opinion. Org reports that a major BBC World Service poll (of 39,435 people) looking at how people in 33 countries view various countries found not a single country where a majority has a positive view of Iran’s role in the world (with the exception of Iranians themselves). In regards to Iran:

“In 24 of the 33 countries polled, majorities (in 14 countries) or pluralities (in 10) say that Iran is having a negative influence in the world. In five other countries a plurality says that Iran is having a positive influence, but in three of these the proportion who says this is less than a third.
On average across the 33 countries just 18 percent say Iran is having a positive influence while 47 percent say Iran is having a negative influence.

“Countries in Europe and North America have the largest majorities expressing a negative view of Iran. The most negative are Germany (84%), the US (81%), and Italy (77%); followed by Finland (74%), Great Britain (72%), Canada (73%), France (68%), Spain (66%) and Poland (60%).

“Latin America is mostly negative. Majorities in Brazil (75%) and Argentina (53%) have a negative view of Iran’s influence, but Mexicans are divided (22% positive, 21% negative) with one in three not taking a position. “

And stats on Iraq:

Two days after 9/11, 78% of Americans thought it was likely that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks; 82% believed that Iraq had some involvement in the attacks.

Half of the US people believed that at least one Iraqi citizen was a 9/11 hijacker despite the fact that the White House had never made such a claim.

A month after the 9-11 Commission issued their report claiming not to have found strong ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, 82% of those polled still claimed that it was likely that Saddam had provided assistance to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network; 69% believed that it was likely that Saddam was personally involved in 9/11.

When asked a month after the 9/11 attacks if the United States might also consider using military force against targets in other countries, 81% supported using military force against Saddam Hussein and Iraq; 71% agreed that the United States should mount a broader war against terrorist groups and the nations that support them

When asked in January of 2002, 77% said they favoured the U.S. taking military action against Iraq while 71% favoured taking action against Iran.

Between September 2002 and March 2003, the percentage of people who favoured the United States taking military action against Iraq to try to remove Saddam Hussein from power fluctuated from 64-80%. The percentage of those who believed the potential loss of American life and the other costs of attacking Iraq was worth the cost fluctuated from 49%-66%.

In March 2003, 56-61% of those polled believed that Iraq was a threat to the United States that required immediate military action; 53% believed that the war was justified even if the U.S. did not find conclusive evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.The day after the war began, 78% of those who said they supported the war said they supported both the troops and the Bush administration's policy on Iraq


Brown's...errr...Brown Shirts?

At a time when British troops are coming in for stern criticism following newspaper revelations that a gang of these uniformed brutes beat the shit out of four young Iraqi teenagers, the last thing I expected to read in a newspaper today was a story about Chancellor Gordon Brown’s plans to introduce state school cadets.

The story was the headlines of the right-wing Daily Mail – a paper I rather prefer not to be seen buying, like one of those glossy porno mags off the top shelf – but the story cried out “read me, read me”, so I coughed up the necessary 40p, furtively stuffed the paper inside my coat and hurried outside the shop. But I digress…

The Mail reports that Brown “wants tens of thousands of state school pupils to volunteer for uniformed army, naval or air force training.” His plan is to “teach young people discipline and pride in their country.”

Way to go, Mr. Brown. Spoken like a true future prime minister. Violent crime on the rise, British troops yet again proving the army brings the worst out in people, patriotism linked to xenophobia, narrow mindedness and bigotry and you want to inculcate our kids to the art of murder! And you want to spend £millions on this project too!
At the moment there are over 90,000 army and air cadets in Britain along with 42,000 school cadets and you want this figure doubled? Got a few wars planned have we? Nationwide social control on the fuckin’ agenda?

I wonder how long it will be before the new generation of brain-washed khaki-clad school kids are given medals for informing on their parents and neighbours. How long before the union jack is flying from the roofs of schools and God Save the Queen is sung at morning assembly?

Schools have the opportunity to turn kids into wonderful humans, caring, considerate
and with a first rate social consciousness, devoid of any prejudice and swearing blind allegiance to nobody. And what to you want Mr Brown? To turn them into the breeding grounds of flag-waving nationalists, their brains pumped with tales of Britain’s glorious military exploits.

What was is it Dr Johnson said about patriots and scoundrels?


Arab World's Cartoon Intifada

I’ve mused a lot about this issue, hence my delay in commenting.

Would you believe it? The British press have been priding themselves on not having stooped to the politics of gesture in reproducing the “offensive” cartoons that have upset the Islamic world, adding that they will not create further antagonism and protests witnessed elsewhere in Europe. Many have re-affirmed their belief in the freedom of expression but not the right to gratuitously offend. Fair dos, but what a shame many of these newspapers don’t take the same moral standpoint when it comes to Britain invading other countries, or in urging us to vote for their favourite pro-capitalist political party at election time Indeed, my local newspaper was all for the bloody invasion of Iraq, continually binning the letters I sent to the letters page protesting about that invasion and the lame excuses for it.

It took the Guardian’s editorial of Saturday, February 4th, to alert me to the fact that there are double standards here, that the Arab press regularly rips the piss out of Judaism via their cartoons. Indeed. On 7th February, the Guardian ran a front page story entitled “Iran paper to run Holocaust cartoons”. In a nutshell, Iran’s best selling paper, the right-wing Hamshahri daily announced it was running a competition to find the cartoons that best satirised the holocaust. They needn’t have gone to so much bother – they could simply have phoned up the headquarters of the holocaust-denying BNP.

In a similar vein, the Arab European League (link above) reported:

"Starting from today AEL will systematically publish daring cartoons produced by our own AEL cartoonist "Nabucho" and breaking many taboos in Europe.”After the lectures that Arabs and Muslims received from Europeans on Freedom of Speech and on Tolerance. And after that many European newspapers republished the Danish cartoons on the Prophet Mohammed. AEL decided to enter the cartoon business and to use our right to artistic expression.

“Just like the newspapers in Europe claim that they only want to defend the freedom of speech and do not desire to stigmatise Muslims, we also do stress that our cartoons are not meant as an offence to anybody and ought not to be taken as a statement against any group, community or historical fact.

“If it is the time to break Taboos and cross all the red lines, we certainly do not want to stay behind.”

And with that they produced cartoons that Jews would find offensive (inclusive of the one copied above).

Whoaaaaaa, hold on a second – it’s not Israel that is publishing the damned cartoons. It is the press in West European countries. So why the pop at Judaism? Maybe because it is widely accepted that westerners have little respect for Christianity and that the Monty Python team (who produced the brilliant Life of Brian) are a hard act to follow; that the average western newspaper reader would not have screamed blue murder upon seeing a Jesus cartoon, but rather fell of their chairs with laughter, Neither does the ‘Christian world’ afford its religious preachers as much respect as Moslem countries do their faith’s counterparts – I refer you to Fathers Ted, Dougal and Jack Hackett. But Judaism has had a difficult recent past, its adherents have had a lot of real grief and many are still alive who survived the Nazi concentration camps. Moreover, Judaism has quite a small following – attracting a tiny fraction of the support Islam enjoys - so I guess Judaism, with its raw nerves, is fair game. And Israel is the only Middle Eastern US satellite, so this also cocks a snook at Bush.

Radical Muslims have argued that the Koran forbids images of the prophet Mohammed, which is in fact untrue. The real sticking point is that the offensive cartoons portray Mohammed as a terrorist and Islam as a violent religion, and this pisses a lot of Moslems off. The majority of Moslems lead peaceful lives and go to great lengths to avoid conflict. The more fundamentalist, radical followers of Islam play straight into the hands of their religion’s detractors by responding so violently to affronts to Islam, more or less vindicating cartoon depictions of Islam as a violent belief system. Who offends the Islamic faith the most, I wonder? - some crappy cartoonist, whose cartoon will be forgotten about in a few days, or a follower of Islam who blows himself up, along with another 20 Moslems (it happens every day in Iraq) and in the name of Allah? Who is guilty of the greatest affront to Islam – the newspaper editor who approves a competition to find the best Mohammed cartoon or the religious leader whom tells his followers that the mass murder of infidels gets you a one way ticket to paradise and the chance to bonk 72 virgins?

And is Islam so unstable, so weak and fragile that it is capable of being shattered into a million pieces by a dozen crap cartoons (and they are crap, but one for which is humorous, if not hackneyed)? No, it is a growing religion with over a billion followers. So I really don’t see what the palaver is about. And the argument that those cartoons demonise and ridicule Moslems is as silly as the view that they spread religious hatred. For one thing, the West lost its respect for religion around about the time of the Enlightenment. Maybe that is what Islam needs – its own version of the Enlightenment and philosophes prepared to write “man will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails o the last priest” (Diderot).

What I find ridiculous is the over reaction of Islam’s more fervent followers, demanding the editors and cartoonist are beheaded. If they were that fervent in their belief then they would be satisfied that these evil-doers would be getting their comeuppance in the afterlife. If they believed sincerely in the religion they would see it as being so strong, so unstoppable, so right as to withstand the sarcasm and bitter remarks of a billion infidel cartoonists.

I’m a Marxist, a revolutionary socialist and a lot of my time is given over to the “cause”. If some newspaper ran a series of cartoons about Marx and Engels, say one portraying Marx with a Kalashnikov and another with Engels with his dick in a chicken I’d probably have a bloody good chortle and send a letter to that newspaper logically debunking the suggestion Marx was a violent insurrectionary. I’d even photocopy those cartoons and give them to comrades so they too could have a good guffaw. The last thing I’d think about is looking for bloody revenge and demand a war be waged against those who take the pis out of Marx.

Christ, If only wars were fought with cartoons, instead of weapons and the only thing spilled was ink instead of blood? Now there’s a thought. I’d have Steve Bell on my side.

Harry's Place also reports on the cartoon above and has attracted a fair few comments (now that's what I call a popular blog).


Exposing The Jesus Myth

I transcribe the following from an old anarcho-punk newspaper, named Profane Existence, that I was given at a demo about 4 years ago. I’ve looked for the piece on the www but without success. This following article was on the back page and certainly needs a wider audience. Please redistribute – especially to priests, bishops and secondary school religious teachers.

In order to prove that Jesus Christ existed, one must have basic historical facts that can be agreed upon in official records. Though it doesn't necessarily make Jesus a historic figure to assign him a birthplace or a birthday, it's a good start. Unfortunately, neither the bible nor church documents can sustain the claim that Jesus was born on the twenty-fifth of December (a date assigned to most of the saviours of the ancient world, including: Adonis, Attis, Pan, Bacchus, Osiris and Dionysus among countless others). Even the Bible cannot agree with itself, in Luke (1.199), Jesus is said to have been born during the time of Quirinus, making his birth a fourteen-year difference from the time of Matthew (1.199).

So the day and year aren't known exactly; so what! That doesn't mean anything. Unless one realises that his most intimate friends supposedly wrote the gospels during the lifetimes of his mother and siblings Understanding that Jesus' birth is not verifiable through any written document is essential to knowing that he wasn't a real person and only a Universal sun myth (consider this: Jesus' death was accompanied by the darkening of the sun, his resurrection happens to be the date of the vernal equinox, and that this date has progressively shifted from the 25th December to the 6th January). (3.272).

What about the events surrounding his birth? Are they real? No, and they can easily be refuted with a little knowledge of world mysticism and language. In the Gospels, the word for stable is Katalemna, but this word’s actual meaning is a temporary shelter or cave (1.32). Among the babies born in a cave is Pan, Mithras, and Zeus (again...there are many more). The birth of Mithras was said to have been witnessed by three shepherds, equivalent to Jesus’ three wise men (1.33). Even the presents offered unto Jesus were those offered to Adonis, whose sacred incense was myrrh.

The town of Bethlehem was the supposed birthplace of this supposed saviour. The name Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’. Adonis was the god of corn and the god of bread. The star that the three wise men had followed to the birth of Jesus was, in Egypt, a yearly omen of the flooding of the Nile. The flooding of the Nile is associated with the ‘world renewing power of Osiris,’ so it is obvious that this star symbolised in the ancient world the ‘coming of the lord’ (1.33).

What of the miraculous virgin birth? It seems that this too is simply an appropriation of mythology. Throughout most of the ancient religions it is extremely common to have a god impregnate a virgin woman (3.275). From China to Siam and even Mexico to Palestine, all gods chose the method of impregnating virgin women to come into this world. Jesus was born to Mary, Buddha to Maia (as well as Hermes), Agni to Maya, Adonis to Myrrha, Bacchus to Myrrha, and so on (2.301). Most, if not all of these women, ascended to heaven and each were known as ‘Queen of Heaven’.

What about the surrounding situation of this god-man’s death? Well, ‘Good Friday falls not before the spring equinox, but as soon after the spring equinox as the full moon allows, thus making the calculation depend upon the position of the sun in the zodiac and the phases of the moon.’ (3.273). What did that mean? It meant that the festival originally designed to celebrate the Pagan goddess of fertility, Oestera, has become what the Christians now call Easter.
Needless to say, the eggs and rabbits are symbols of fertility and NOT Jesus’ crucifixion.
This calls into question whether or not Jesus was in fact crucified. Cross has a general meaning of stake in the New Testament. Jews used to display the bodies of those they had stoned to death on stakes. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter says that Jesus was “hung on a tree”, and so does St Paul in his letter to the Galatians. Attis and Adonis were both hung on a tree as well, the latter being known as “He on the tree.”

Before the crucifixion, both Jesus and Dionysus wore purple robes, crowns - the former of thorns, the latter of ivy – and both were given wine to drink. Jesus dies next to two thieves. One goes up to heaven with him and the other goes to hell. Eleusis, as well as Dionysus and Mithras, have on their side two torch-bearers, one pointing the torch upwards and the other pointing the torch downwards (symbolising the ascent to heaven and the descent to hell) (1.51). The story originates with the Greek brothers Castor and Pollux, which on alternate days are given the name “The Sons of Thunder,” which in the gospel of Mark are what Jesus calls James and John.

Aside from this immense amount of evidence showing that Christians merely thieved the ideas from their predecessors, there is much more found in other religions. In fact there are fifteen crucified saviours, inclusive of Krishna, Odin, Hesus (not Jesus), Quetzalcoatl, Criti, Baili, and Indra (2.352). Therefore, the crucifixion is an appropriation of Pagan symbolism (the cross originally symbolising spirit in the centre of the four elements). Early Christians and Buddhists wore the swastika because it was a good luck sign meaning “it is well” in Sanskrit. As the Church grew in power they wanted to instil a sense of guilt and therefore changed their symbol into a slaughtered lamb, and then a crucified saviour paying for the sins of the world.

The Jesus story can not even stand up to the criticism of a rational and fairly knowledgeable person, so how can the rest of the beliefs contained within the bible be true? Well, even though the literary works written down during the time of Jesus’ supposed birth to a century after can fill libraries, its interesting to know that neither Jesus nor the twelve disciples are mentioned - and Christianity only get a few paragraphs at the most (1.133). So how is it that Christians can ascertain that there were twelve disciples? Because there have been few god-saviours who did not have twelve apostles or messengers.

Numbers were very important to ancient mythological stories, especially the numbers 12, 7, 3 and 40. For instance, Jacob had twelve sons, there were 12 tribes of Israel, twelve months in the year, 12 gates or pillars of heaven and the Jews were in the wilderness for 40 years. Jesus fasted for 40 days; from the resurrection to the ascension were forty days. Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days. Noah and Hercules were swallowed by a whale, at exactly the same place – Jappo – and were inside the whale for 3 days, the same number of days between the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. The feeding of the five thousand – a miracle interestingly also performed by Elisha in 2 Kings 43-44 – happened with 2 fish and five loaves of bread, equalling seven. In Mark 18:17-21 Jesus is trying to make his disciples understand that his stories are meant to be taken as complex allegories involving numbers. Jesus says: ”To you it is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. But to the rest of them it is only given in allegories.” In Luke 8:1, Jesus admits to speaking in riddles and parables yet only the literal world has been spoken for centuries. Perhaps the message has been “misrepresented” by religious authorities on purpose.

Early Church fathers Origen and Clement tried to establish Christianity amongst Pagans by using the argument that it would be absurd to believe in Paganism and not Christianity. Why would it be absurd? Because of the extreme similarities that they themselves acknowledged (3.273). As a result of the likeness between Pagan religions and Christianity, the latter continued to grow. Alterations of biblical documents, addition of forgeries, and addition of previously held heretical books and the omission of parts of the Bible became a norm in the Church.

Eventually fanatics came up with the idea known as Diabolical Mimicry to refute the Pagan claim that they were using their ideas to gain power (1.26). Diabolic Mimicry holds that the devil knew the Jesus story thousands of years before and so had created religions similar to Christianity in order to keep people astray from the one true saviour. Unfortunately, for the masses, Christian dogma had won favour with the Roman politicians and this idea was forced onto the people through heresy hunting (the killing of anyone who held different ideas to the Church) mass slaughters (of Pagan followers, “witches”, and other freethinkers), war and repression (1.244-6). All Pagan books were ordered to be burned. Pope Gregory VII burned the Apollo Library. Emperor Theodosius burned 27,000 ancient scrolls. Ptolemy Philadelphius burned 270,000 ancient documents and after 1233 more than 25,000 were burned (even some in the new world). The tragedy is that most of the works burned had nothing to do with Paganism – they were scientific documents seized by illiterate peasants.

So what is the true legacy of the Church after two thousand years? A Church built upon the ruins of an old Pagan temple that symbolises racism, sexism, homophobia, sexual repression guilt, organised crime and HATE!
1. The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke and Peter Ghandi.

2. Deceptions and Myths of the Bible by Loyd M Graham.
3. The Truth About Jesus by M.M Mangasarian, found in You Are being Lied To,
edited by Russ Kick


Make Poverty History is now History

One would think that if 540 organisations – each one set up to try to tackle the myriad problems capitalism throws up – got together and formed a coalition and agreed upon a set of objectives, that they would be keen as hell on maintaining that unity, strengthening it, building on it and pursuing those objectives with more vigour.

Not so the Make Poverty History coalition. This week the 540 constituent charities, trade unions and activity groups that made up the coalition decided it was time to wind up.

The coalition, which campaigned nationally in the run up to the G8 and with the triple demands of free trade, increased aid and debt cancellation, decided that although the British campaign would continue, its central organisation and assembly would shut down. The MPH slogan will still be used as will its trademark white wrists bands (still being made in the sweatshops of China, I wonder?), but the coalition that attracted worldwide media attention will cease to work as one.

That’s what I call irony at its best – an organisation with millions of members, who unite with the intention of making poverty history are themselves now history and, more, not having seen a single one their objectives achieved or ever looking to be remotely achieved.The bloody lightweights! Feckin’ eejits! Not that I supported their demands – see my July 05 G8 posting – but this was perhaps the biggest coalition ever created in Britain, which attracted hundreds of celebrities, which had world-wide attention, which could pull in £millions in donations, and they’ve went and scuppered it!!

One can only assume that it finally dawned on MPH that no matter how massive your support you can just not reform capitalism in the interests of the exploited billions, that at the end of the day not matter how noble your intentions you can’t go interfering when there’s profits to be had and that the best way to carry on is for your constituent parts to disperse and carry on with their single issue campaigns until the end of time.


The "Shock and Awe" Gallery

I came across this site via the Information Clearing House site. Be warned - there are a lot of gruesome "collateral damage" pictures here (the one above is mild) and definitely not the stuff you'd see on mainstream TV.


State of the Unions Address 2006

Looking for the script of the State of the Unions Address 2006 - without success - I came across the following spoof Address, which I personally found more interesting that the official one, and which I will comment on at length on as soon as I get hold of it. Yup, I was one of those sad gits that stayed up until the wee hours to watch Dubya's speech.

I found this State of the Union Address drinking game too, the idea being that you take a shot of the heavy stuff each time Bush uses a specific word or reference. No mention is made of the fact that you will need a stomach pump if you manage to reach the end of the game.


Osama bin Laden plugs Bill Blum book

You must have heard of the story by now. Twenty-four hours after Osama bin Laden told the world that the American people should read a book by little-known Washington historian, William Blum, "Rogue State" shot up from 205,763 to 26 on Amazon.com's index of the most-ordered books.

Like it took bin Laden so long to discover a book so critical of US foreign policy? The present blogger reviewed the book for The Socialist Standard in September 2000. A further edition of the book was reviewed in the April 2003 issue of the Standard.

Information Clearing House (see link to the right) carry a 40 minute C-Span video interview with Blum (you'll need Realplayer to watch this film, downloadable from this web page).

Sections of the book can be read here. And one chapter - War Criminals: Theirs and Ours - can be read on the video page quoted above.

Got a book that is not selling too well in Waterstones, WH Smith's and Borders? Send a free copy to Osama bin Liner and he'll plug it for free - though make sure it contains an attack on US foreign and domestic policy.

Rumour has it that George W has sent My Pet Goat to Afghanistan via Airforce One for Osama's appraisal (this being the enthralling story book which, having just been informed a second plane had slammed into the twin-towers, Dubya continued to read* with a group of school kids).

*Bush actually sat like this for 5 minutes after being informed of the second attack, and that gloopy look just about says it all: "Plane number three should be coming in just about....nnnnow."

The Jesus jokes are safe

Tony Blair was somewhat shamed in the House of Commons last night when he failed to cast the single vote needed to save the Government from defeat over its plans to introduce a new offence of incitement to religious hatred, and in so doing unwittingly allowed blogs like this the freedom to continue putting the much-needed and proverbaial boot into religion.

Blair, for some reason, neglected to vote in a second division when MPs voted by 283 votes to 282, majority one, to back safeguards inserted by the Lords. Had Blair voted, then the division would have been tied, leaving the deciding vote the Speaker, who more than likely would have voted with the pro-Blair faction.

Acknowledging that the Bill, as amended, would still go on the statute book, Home Sec Charles Clarke said: “The Government accepts the decision of the House this evening. We are delighted the Bill is going to its Royal Assent and delighted we have a Bill which deals with incitement against religious hatred."

Because of the Lords amendments, only "threatening" behaviour will be unlawful - the government efforts to prohibit "abusive or insulting" actions having been drop-kicked into the history books. People cannot be now prosecuted for recklessly inciting religious hatred. Instead, prosecutors will have to prove they intended to do so.

So, the Commons has voted to accept amendments designed to ensure only the most menacing statements would be caught by the law. Under the amended Bill statements would only be illegal if they were "threatening", removing an attempt to ban "abusive or insulting" statements and behaviour, all of which I guess makes sense. I'm not into into urging people to harm the religious, but I'm all for hitting out at organised religion's bloody absurdity when the opportunity arises, and if this upsets people, then tough! And no doubt the police in Glasgow will be delighted - the Bill, as it stands, saves them having to cart 50,000 gers and boyz fans down to the nick after a local derby.

From what I can make out the Bill is still ambiguous as to what exactly qualifies as a religion – the capitalistic worship of the god mammon? - and whether it counts if the religious incite hatred towards those who are ant-religious (like me), which is still a religious stance and, indeed, just what qualifies as “hatred” and “incite”. I mean I hate organised religion and wish to help nurture in people a revolutionary class consciousness which would consequently mean they would imbibe a hatred for religion too, but is this “inciting hatred”? Hmmmmm.


Blair, by all acounts, missed the aforementioned vote because he was wathching a football game. When it comes to issues of national importance, Fulham FC will come first every time.