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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Special Relationship's Role in Bombing Syria

2 pieces from me. The first I put on Roger Helmer's blog and is about the constitutional importance of Parliament's vote. The second is a letter, in a more angry vein, about how we have been lied to. It went out to all and sundry but appears unpublished. I have decided to send the first out as a letter too but think it too thoughtful for the press to want to use.
If the special relationship were that we always do what the US wants (and the US always does what the US wants) then it would be over, and good riddance.

But it isn’t. It is primarily a cultural and linguistic relationship. We both have Parliamentary governments derived from George III’s.

In that case the relationship may be strengthened. One of the changes from George III’s government is that they have a Constitution, which is literally and correctly venerated. The right to declare war is reserved to the Congress – one of the differences they introduced from George III. In Britain, up till now it has been the Royal, ie PM’s prerogative.

To Quote Abraham Lincoln on the right to declare war:

“This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings
have always stood.”

Thus Britain deciding that Parliament must approve war making is not a repudiation of our special relationship but a massive endorsement of it as a cultural success. Which is far more important than the issue of the day.

Paradoxically this part of the Constitution has been breached since at least the time of the Kosovo war which Clinton waged without reference to Congress.

The reason for this is that the Imperator/Duce/President/Generalisimo/PM needs to be able to threaten war credibly if he is running an imperial state. For a century and a half after George III we did. Now the US is such and we aren’t.

It is a tension which goes to the heart of whether a country is an Imperium or a Republic.

The best thing Obama could do is the ask Congress’ permission too. If he doesn’t get it he is off the hook. If he does he will have the support nationally, and indeed internationally, he needs.

Despite having the money, ships, aircraft and bombs the US is not a very good imperialist because their heart isn’t really in it. That is their saving grace.
      The spectacular defeat of the government on the issue of making war is not just an almost unique instance in British history of lack of trust in the government.
      It is a popular repudiation of 2 decades of what Robin Cook once called "humanitarian bombing". Popular because this move was driven not just by opinion polls but by the fact that, during their holidays, MPs have been outside the Westminster village and exposed to what real constituents tell them.
      For 2 decades we have been picking fights with smaller countries (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Mali and now Syria). In each case it has been justified by a scare story (that Milosevic was engaged in genocide, that Saddam had wmds, that there was the risk of genocide in democratically minded Benghazi, that if the Mali rebels took Timbuktoo they would next march through European cities and now Syria's alleged use of wmds). All of which turned out to be contrary to evidence.
      Perhaps equally bad is that those we were told were "moderate democrats" when the bombing started, turned out repeatedly to be worse than their alleged oppressors and the countries we broke, were left far more dangerous and often not even nominally more democratic. The most extreme example being Milosevic against whom, despite 4 1/2 years of "trial", no actual evidence could be produced and he died after being poisoned by a chemical that induces heart attacks. In the other hand the gangsters, drug lords, sex slavers, organleggers and WW2 Nazis, NATO recruited and armed as the KLA, proceeded, when appointed as our police, to carry out massacres, racial genocide, ethnic cleansing of 350,000, the sexual enslavement of local schoolchildren and the dissection of 1,800 people, while still alive, to steal their body organs.
       If the Syrian rebels had not obviously been cut from similar, often al Quaeda, cloth but had been seen to be genuinely decent and democratic the doubt that the Syrian government did the gassing would clearly not have existed.
       There is also the history of our government lying. In Yugoslavia they formally promised that they respected that, under international law, Kosovo was (& therefore still is) part of the country. In Iraq there was the wmd lie. In Libya "regime change" was claimed not to be the purpose, we just wanted to stop Libya bombing Benghazi. In Syria we are told, again, that regime change is not the purpose and it would be purely a coincidence if we helped the al Quaeda forces we have been supplying. The British people simply no longer trust the government's word, for obvious reasons.
      The same effect, even more dangerously, affects the rest of the world's valuation of our word. In Libya the Russians accepted a Security Council authorisation that purely authorised the prevention of bombing of Benghazi only to see it "interpreted" to allow bombing of Gaddafi's home town.
        In the 1970s Yugoslavia deliberately decided not to develop its own Bomb, because this would destabilise Europe. Gaddafi gave up his attempts on a specific promise that the NATO powers would live in peace with him.
       Who is going to trust any promise from a western government again?
       Yet, so long as we bring Milosevic to "trial" without evidence while our own politicians, who have certainly engaged in criminal wars and worse, are untouched, how can we ever expect our country, let alone political classes, to be trusted.
       Also Jerry Pournelle used my email about the early videos in his discussion of the war. 

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Recent Comments

    Roger Helmer did an article on his "I have a dream" of a technologically progressive country. I am proud if this because of his unstinting comment:

There are 2 energy industries to which this parable applies. For at least 40 years the nuclear industry has been suppressed or loaded down with unnecessary costs – if the 2% reduction in western annual growth can be blamed on that, & I think it can our gdp is now about 40% of what it would have been without the Luddites.
Whether shale has the same potential as nuclear is open to question but at least 90% of the cost of nuclear is state regulatory parasitism.
Part of a general principle – that we can’t say how much government banning/regulating costs because we cannot know the maximum growth foregone but we can say that the minimum cost of regulation, which entirely destroys without benefit, is going to be at least twice the cost of taxation, which also has the advantage that much of the wealth taken in taxation continues to exist.

  • Thanks Neil. You’re quite right — we can’t be sure yet that the future of shale in the UK is as rosy as I hope and expect. But it would be criminal not to find out
  A long debate here with Autonomous Mind and Richard North (EU Referendum) engaged in a vitriolic attack on UKIP which I considered had echoes of the Judean people's Liberation Front. North has, on his own blog asserted that I had lost but that is not my reading.

   Immediately afterwards AM declared he was giving up his blog but, I am glad to say, has now changed his mind.
Tim Worstall asks if governments everywhere should get paid for state funded inventions where else should that go.
Spiked - "That is one of the unmentioned instances of the state owned BBC/C4 proving themselves fascist propagandists rather than news reporters.

The way they select which "protests" to cover and the way they conceal and lie to promote government funded "astroturf" environmental organisations as real. Apart from greenpeace virtually every "environmental" body is as much as 90% funded by our government and the EU. Without that there would be no ecofascist movement.

Then they put a mass demonstration of 6 people across the airwaves. Yet when 500 people turned up at a recent party conference to protest against windmills it went almost unreported.
The same tactic is used on other cases. We have had considerable coverage of spontaneous demonstrations against Russia (many of the demonstrators being the same government paid greens) on the gay agenda. Watch foreign demos reported by the BBC and you will often see the filming is close up and low angle to conceal the fact that there are only a few people there (this ignores the case where the BBC took an Iranian pro-government demo and simply captioned it as anti-government).
John Redwood on housing:

What this phenomenon shows is confirmation of my claim that at least 3/4 of housing cost is government regulation.

It is far easier to get planning permission to rebuild your own house than to build a new one elsewhere. It is also inherently far more expensive in building terms to demolish your house, maintaining the façade and then rebuild a new one reattached to the façade. Also there are always economies of scale form mass production – if the government allows mass production.

Imagine that if you wanted a new car you had to handbuild the wheels, engine, interior and chassis and then weld on the body of your old Escort. This is the equivalent.

In fact that (knocking down your own house and rebuilding it) is sufficiently cheaper as to attract anybody into putting up with the inconvenience of doing it strongly suggests that my 3/4 parasitism estimate is understated. Even 90% might well be.
Herald - Since there was no ethnic cleansing of Albanians from Kosovo I must have some doubts about the accuracy of this account. There were a substantial number of both Albanians and Serbs who fled the bombing, though obviously the Serbs fled deeper into Serbia.

Since the bombing NATO police (as the KLA formally became) have been authorised to ethnically cleanse 350,000 Serbs, Roma, Jews, Christian Albanians and others. They also kidnapped 10s of thousands of teens to sell to western brothels and dissected 1,800 people while they were still alive to provide organs for western hospitals.
This is justified, on those rare occasions it is not censored, by our politicians, the BBC & newspapers as "revenge".
Perhaps if an ugly example of neo-nationalism is wanted that might suffice?

The degree of backwardness and waste in housing cannot be overstated. We have never seen a modern house.
  • Reply The main reason for the price rise is the long term conduct of monetary policy, especially the artificial bubble pre 2008. There has also been a long term trend to better houses, with more equipment as part of the package – e.g. central heating, fitted kitchens etc which justifies some extra cost/price
    • Posted August 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
      Central heating is a reasonable point (though cars have far more add ons since the model T was it.
    • However monetary policy would have had no excess influence if the government had not been unnaturally restricting housebuilding. Speculation only occurs in markets (like old masters) where the laws of supply and demand do not lead to increased supply.


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

BBC FoI - TheyDon't Even Attempt To Deny They Werre Deliberatly Lying To Promote FascisM

FoI to the BBC:

 "(10.22 Radio Scotland Saturday) the BBC has once again had a "debate" on UK in which the various BBC employees have said UKIP contains racists, are "idiots", and should not have a right to speak.

Nobody from the UKIP side of the "debate"  

 The BBC have, on Thursday, claimed as fact that UKIP are opposed to debate. Thus, unless the BBC are an obscene, wholly corrupt, fascist propaganda organisation with not only no slightest trace of honesty but being committed to telling the exact and complete opposite of the truth it must be true and the BBC must have invited a UKIP spokesperson on to answer or debate the obscene lies the BBC were broadcasting. And UKIP must have specifically refused to produce one.   Under the FoI I wish to ask which BBC employee invited this debater and what reason UKIP gave for refusing. 

 Obviously had no such invitation been made it would be impossible to claim that the BBC or any employee is anything other than a corrupt, obscene, lying, thieving, Nazi whore with less integrity or human decency than the people, rightly, hung for running Auschwitz. So I have to assume you will not admit this to be a proper assessment of BBC employees by refusing to confirm having invited UKIP to your "debate". 

The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’..."

     Which is what I expected. The BBC always rely on the journalism exclusion even, or perhaps particularly, when the question has nothing to do with protecting journalistic sources, they nominal reason they got the exclusion.

    However that doesn't matter. What matters is that

(A) the claim that UKIP had refused to debate is clearly a total and deliberate fascist that no organisation not wholly and completely corrupt could have maintained, even if we accept they could have told the lie in the heat of the moment &

(B) the BBC are maintaining this lie as representing the standard of honesty to which they aspire.

Which proves, beyond any possibility of dispute that the standard to which the BBC and its employees aspire is to be wholly and completely corrupt lying totalitarian fascists without aspiring to any trace of honesty6 or decency.

Which brings me to another part of their reply:

" However, I would note that, had the information been covered by the Act, under section 14(1) of the Act public authorities are not obliged to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious.  The Information Commissioner’s guidance with respect to vexatious requests states that ‘determining whether a request is vexatious is a balancing exercise, taking into account the context and history of the request. The key question is whether the request is likely to cause unjustified distress, disruption or irritation’. 
The BBC is of the view that the following questions, which the ICO recommends an organisation considers, are of particular relevance to your request: 

 Is the request harassing the authority or causing distress to staff?

  Does the tone or language of the requester’s correspondence go beyond the level of criticism that a public authority or its employees should reasonably expect to receive?  Is the request designed to cause disruption or annoyance? 

This request could fairly be characterised in terms of the Information Commissioner’s guidance on the matter as ‘harassing the authority’, uses language that ‘goes beyond the level of criticism that a public authority or its employees should reasonably expect to receive’ and is ‘designed to cause disruption or annoyance’.  Based on these factors, had the information requested been covered by the Act, we are of the view that the BBC would not have been obliged to comply with this request.  
Appeal Rights 

Ian Small Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs BBC Scotland

Dear Mr Small,
                          I note your offensive reply.  I am due a public apology on 2 grounds.

   I said nothing about you beeboids which was not totally factual, as your refusal to dispute having lied deliberately in the totalitarian cause on air proves beyond dispute.

2 -  If a correct and truthful description of the BBC and its employees, not even denied to be such, is claimed to be offensive merely because it contains words like "corrupt, obscene, lying, thieving, Nazi whore" then the BBC's continuing claim that everybody who doubts we are experiencing catastrophic global warming is the moral equivalent of a child rapist is unjustified (& indeed would be had the BBC not acknowledged it was wholly false). In which case you obscenities owe most of the population of the country a public apology. I again hereby ask for it.

      I would also like to ask, under the FoI if there are any statements made by any BBC employee which can under any circumstances be treated as not the Fascist lies you aspire to and if so what evidence you have to support the contention?

      Neil Craig

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CO2 Rise - Do the "Greens" Really Want To End It

    This  is from an article by warming sceptic Professor Fred Singer in which he accepts that there has been a major recent rise in CO2 around the world (although not as massive as a cursory look would suggest since the graph starts at 270 not zero). Indeed he suggests, from the ratio of carbon 14, that this increase is indeed manmade.

    His argument is that it would only be if there was a high climate sensitivity to such changes  and that since, as the standstill in warming over the last 18 years shows, that sensitivity must be, at most, fairly small.

    Fair enough - I agree.

   But I previously showed a graph of plant growth to CO2 levels. This Canadian one:

    Which suggests that plant growth, which also means crop growth, has improved by about 50% overall since the Industrial Revolution. Now growth in food production has been well beyond that due to the improvements in technology but that 1/3rd of all world food production is down to CO2 increase certainly looks like a very strong counter argument to all the doomsaying on the subject.

    Are the "environmentalists" seriously in favour of that sort of collapse in world food production? 

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Syrian "Nerve Gas Attack"

      Once again we are being prepared to start bombing somebody. This time it is Syria. And this time, ignoring the undeniable atrocities carried out by our al Quaeda allies in Syria (not worst a rebel leader posting a video of him eating an opponent's body) we are preparing to attack on the basis of a claim the Syrian government used poison gas.

    Jerry Pournelle described them as "utterly unconvincing" primarily because Assad would have no possible reason to do so.

    Somewhat to my surprise BBC radio broadcast 1 person saying it was fake (don't worry they noticed and haven't broadcast anything similar since).

    His position was (A) that nerve gas produces an unmistakable dilation of the eyes and that the films produced had avoided showing close ups of the eyes which would have proven, or disproven, their claims & (B) hoses had been used to wash the bodies clean and the cameramen able to walk through the water. That water would contain the dissolved nerve gas and be deadly - except that it wasn't. This does not exclude some other chemical poison - but that would be available to the rebels as much as the government and it would be perverse to blame the government who have, it is probably correctly assumed, something more effective.

    However the clincher, as pointed out by the Russians and studiously avoided by our media is: 

“We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature. In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”  
Linked here
 the three videos posted on Youtube said to be showing the child victims affected by chemical weapons near Damascus. Despite the date of the alleged attack – August 21 – being mentioned in their titles, they were posted on YouTube one the previous day, August 20.  
Despite the 7-hour time difference between Syria and the US, where the YouTube server is located, the mismatch of the dates in the videos raised concerns among some experts about the exact time of the upload."

     Indeed. If film of it was released before it officially happened either the al Quaeda have their own Tardis, which would be a worrying development to say the least, or they have faked it.

     I don't see any 3rd possibility but am open to Mr Hague producing one.

   During the Bosnian war the Serbs were accused of using poison gas at Srebrenica but, despite the effective NATO occupation of the country no evidence was ever produced. There are also a number of videos and pictures of alleged Israeli actions which turned out to be faked.

    We also have a long series of western politicians and the Doctors Without Frontiers western quango pretending to believe them.

   No change there then.

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