Saturday, March 29, 2003
posted by Barrie , 10:40 AM Þ 

Al Jazeera was born out of the ashes of a BBC collaboration.
posted by Irdial , 10:20 AM Þ 

take a look at this before the cache is flushed:
Google cache of dotster suspension of AJN
posted by Irdial , 10:11 AM Þ 

As I write, the Al-Jazeera website has been down for three days and few here doubt that the provenance of the attack is the Pentagon. Meanwhile, our hosting company, the US-based DataPipe, has terminated our contract after lobbying by other clients whose websites have been brought down by the hacking.[...]

Arab News
posted by Irdial , 9:46 AM Þ 

House Approves National Day of Prayer

By Associated Press

March 27, 2003, 2:23 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- The House passed a resolution Thursday calling for a national day of humility, prayer and fasting in a time of war and terrorism.

The resolution, passed 346-49, says Americans should use the day of prayer "to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation."

Under the resolution, President Bush would issue a proclamation designating a specific day as a day of "humility, prayer and fasting."[...]


Separation of church and state???
posted by Irdial , 8:51 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 8:36 AM Þ 

The REAL Picture

posted by Irdial , 8:02 AM Þ 

Iraq strategy rooted in Soviet doctrine

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Coalition commander Gen. Tommy Franks won't begin his ground attack against the Republican Guard divisions on the outskirts of Baghdad until U.S. air power has whittled Saddam Hussein's frontline units down to less than half-strength. The trouble is that it may be hard to know when or whether that goal has been reached.

So far, Saddam has managed to preserve many of his best forces by moving, dispersing and sheltering them - and, some U.S. officials say, by using decoys to deplete American stocks of precision munitions. U.S. assessments of bomb damage and of the exact locations of enemy units can best be described as "conflicted."

A senior U.S. military officer said Friday that Air Force and Army aircraft have attacked half of all Republican Guard targets, but the assessments of the damage the bombs have done are "imprecise and often unclear." That means the coalition doesn't have a clear picture of how much the bombing has "degraded" the Republican Guard and other units, despite the upbeat public assessments and sensational video footage from Pentagon and Central Command representatives.

The same senior officer confirmed what some U.S. analysts have suspected. Iraq's strategy and tactics have been drawn directly from an old Soviet doctrine called "maskirovka" - a mix of measures designed to mislead the enemy about everything from the disposition of forces and their combat readiness to the commander's plans. That's not surprising: The Soviet Union was Iraq's military mentor for many years.

According to the 1978 Soviet Military Encyclopedia: "Strategic maskirovka is carried out at national and theater levels to mislead the enemy as to political and military capabilities, intentions and timing of actions."

Foreign intelligence sources that U.S. officials called largely reliable said the Iraqis have been deploying a "huge number of various kinds of target mockups and other decoys on the ground." In one U.S. air strike against targets at an Iraqi airfield, American pilots reported destroying all 20 Iraqi planes on the field. The intelligence sources, however, said the bomb damage assessment after the strike showed that the destroyed planes were all mockups.

The Iraqis also have been moving their radars and other air defense assets around Baghdad, and so far they haven't revealed their locations by turning on the radars or launching even one large surface-to-air missile, a trick U.S. intelligence officials said they appear to have learned from Yugoslavia, which learned it the hard way a few years ago. They also have been moving their air defense radars, the intelligence sources said.

U.S. intelligence sources said it appears that the Iraqis, lifting another page from the old Soviet playbook, also appear to have been transmitting phony radio and telephone messages to mislead coalition forces about the whereabouts and condition of Iraqi leaders and military units. Couriers, they suspect, may be carrying some of the real orders so spy satellites and planes can't intercept them.

They said the Iraqis also might have deliberately tricked the Americans and British into believing that key Republican Guard commanders were prepared to surrender.

Trained in counterintelligence by the Soviet KGB and the former East German Stasi, the Iraqis have fooled the West before. In one case, Saddam's agents penetrated a U.S.- and British-backed coup attempt against Saddam, then allowed it to proceed until all the plotters exposed themselves. The plotters were promptly executed, and the Iraqis announced the end of the $6 million enterprise in July 1996 by calling the CIA station in Amman, Jordan on the secret communications gear the CIA had provided to its agents, said a former U.S. intelligence officer who participated in the covert operation.

The second part of the Iraqi strategy appears to have been leading coalition forces to believe that they wouldn't encounter significant opposition until they got to Baghdad, meanwhile sending a few reliable officers and Baath Party enforcers to shore up the resistance in the southern part of the country. As a result, the Iraqis have tied down a significant number of American troops and slowed the march to Baghdad by fighting in Basra and An Nasiriyah and harassing Army and Marine supply lines and rear area bases.

Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington says: "The best Iraqi tactic is to use elements of the Republican Guard and larger elements of the more expendable regular Army to slow down the advance and inflict casualties, while keeping most Republican Guard forces intact for defensive battles."

So it still isn't clear whether the United States will get the Desert Storm-type decisive battle outside Baghdad that it wants, or whether American troops will have to win the war in the streets of a capital city with a population of 5 million people.
posted by Irdial , 7:56 AM Þ 

Matthew Barney
Mess once again gets like, 2000 cookies because Matthew Barney is fucking awesome.

Rate My Gasmask As performed by one of the Blogdialers!!!
But which one is it??!?!?

It's totally Alun! What other Blogdian but a doctor would have a gas mask? Speaking of disease:>ARS screening to be expanded
Seems like we have an interesting near-problem in the Toronto area called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. How pleasant. I find it amusing how the CBC has an entire page devoted to it.
Speaking of the CBC, I'm rather quite apalled at how limp-wristed their coverage of the war has been. They refuse to tackle any severe questions by putting out weak and anemic interviews that have little or nothing to do offer us except for speculation. They only have a couple of good interviewers who push for good answers, but they very often end up frustrating the interviewee, taking up a contrary position to them (that is, if the person interviewed is anti-Coalition)! A news network should be doing more than just speculation! What about the facts of what is going on? While they do decide to air (some) new developments damaging to the US/UK, they are not given nearly enough emphasis. Blarg.
posted by Barrie , 6:40 AM Þ 
Friday, March 28, 2003

Please excuse my ignorance, but can someone please explain to me the connections between UNIX and OS X? And if GNU or Linux is a viable alternative to Apple software, or somewhow compatible with it or... you can see, this is not my area of speciality. Information resources on these areas would be much appreciated.

You can probably tell that the inspirational Stallman links have really got me thinking. Thanks for those!

posted by Mess Noone , 10:00 PM Þ 

Unedited Videotape Is Raw, Painful – and Devastating

Robert Fisk , The Independent

BAGHDAD, 28 March 2003 — Two British soldiers lie dead on a Basra roadway, a small Iraqi girl — victim of a US/UK airstrike — is brought to hospital with her intestines spilling our of her stomach, a terribly wounded woman screams in agony as doctors try to take off her black dress. An Iraqi general, surrounded by hundreds of his armed troops, stands in central Basra and announces that Iraq’s second city remains firmly in Iraqi hands. The unedited Al-Djazaira videotape — filmed over the past 36 hours and newly arrived in Baghdad — is raw, painful, devastating.

It is also proof that Basra — reportedly “captured’’ and “secured’’ by British troops last week — is indeed under the control of Saddam Hussein’s forces. Despite claims by British officers that some form of uprising has broken out in Basra, cars and buses continue to move through the streets while Iraqis queue patiently for gas bottles as they are unloaded from a government truck. A remarkable part of the tape shows fireballs blooming over western Basra and the explosion of incoming — and presumably British — shells. The short sequence of the dead British soldiers for the public showing of which Tony Blair expressed such horror yesterday — is little different from dozens of similar clips of dead Iraqi soldiers shown on British television over the past 12 years, pictures which never drew any expressions of condemnation from the British prime minister. The two Britons, still in uniform, are lying on a roadway, arms and legs apart, one of them apparently hit in the head, the other shot in the chest and abdomen.

Another sequence from the same tape shows crowds of Basra civilians and armed men in civilian clothes, kicking the soldiers’ British Army Jeep — registration number HP5AA — and dancing on top of the vehicle. Other men can be seen kicking the overturned Ministry of Defense trailer, registration number 91KC98, which the Jeep was towing when it was presumably ambushed.

Also to be observed on the unedited tape — which was driven up to Baghdad on the open road from Basra — is a British pilotless drone photo-reconnaissance aircraft, its red and blue roundels visible on one wing, shot down and lying overturned on a roadway. Marked “ARMY’’ in capital letters, it carries the code sign ZJ300 on its tail and is attached to a large cylindrical pod which probably contains the plane’s camera. Far more terrible than the pictures of the dead British soldiers, however, is the tape from Basra’s largest hospital as victims of the US/UK bombardment are brought to the operating rooms shrieking in pain.

A middle-aged man is carried into the hospital in pyjamas, soaked head to foot in blood. A little girl of perhaps four is brought into the operating room on a trolley, staring at a heap of her own intestines protruding from the left side of her stomach. A blue-uniformed doctor pours water over the little girl’s guts and then gently applies a bandage before beginning surgery. A woman in black with what appears to be a stomach wound cries out as doctors try to strip her for surgery. In another sequence, a trail of blood leads from the impact of an incoming — presumably British — shell.

Next to the crater is a pair of plastic slippers.

The Al-Djazaira tapes, most of which have never been seen — are the first vivid proof that Basra remains totally outside British control. Not only is one of the city’s main roads to Baghdad still open — this is how the three main tapes reached the Iraqi capital — but Iraqi general Khaled Hatem is interviewed in a Basra street, surrounded by hundreds of his uniformed and armed troops, and telling Al-Djazaira’s reporter that his men will “never’’ surrender to Iraq’s enemies. Armed Baath Party militiamen can also be seen in the streets, where traffic cops are directing lorries and buses near the city’s Sheraton Hotel.

Mohamed Al-Abdullah, Al-Djazaira’s correspondent in Basra, must be the bravest journalist in Iraq right now. In the sequence of three tapes, he can be seen conducting interviews with families under fire and calmly reporting the incoming British artillery bombardment. One tape shows that the Sheraton Hotel on the banks of Shatt Al-Arab River, has sustained shell damage. On the edge of the river — beside one of the huge statues of Iraq’s 1980-88 war martyrs each pointing an accusing finger across the waterway toward Iran — Basra residents can be seen filling jerry cans from the sewage polluted river.

Arab News
posted by Irdial , 8:45 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 6:51 PM Þ 

We -really- need a high capacity Al Jazeera stream; all 4 that I know of are totally overwhelmed. If you have one /msg me!
posted by Irdial , 6:46 PM Þ 

Second Vaccinated Health Worker Dies of Heart Attack

By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 28, 2003; Page A09

A second health care worker recently immunized against smallpox has died of a heart attack, federal officials confirmed yesterday, although they do not know whether the deaths were related to the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has called an emergency meeting today of its vaccine advisory committee, cardiac specialists and military epidemiologists to discuss possible changes in the vaccination program in light of new concerns about heart risks.[...]
Washington Post
posted by Irdial , 4:10 PM Þ 

A little treat...

BBC World
Deutche Welle
Iraqi Satelite Channel
All encoded at 512 KB/s. If they don't work let me know...
posted by Claus Eggers , 3:19 PM Þ 

posted by Josh Carr , 2:45 PM Þ 
posted by Mess Noone , 1:18 PM Þ 

Rate My Gasmask As performed by one of the Blogdialers!!!

But which one is it??!?!?
posted by Irdial , 12:55 PM Þ 
posted by Claus Eggers , 10:50 AM Þ 
posted by Mess Noone , 10:43 AM Þ 


I've chosen the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Sharealike licence for a new musical project I'm working on. I plan to have Oggs of the songs up on the web (once I can get some server space) as well as a freely duplicatable CD available from me, and presuming anyone is interested I totally expect people to not pay much attention to the licence. But I felt the need to protect the work in some way (cf Chris J's post earlier) and the CC licences are short and to the point whilst retaining enough legalese to make you look |337.

I just wish I could find decent graphics for print! The ones on the test version of my artwork look kerrap! Not too late to switch to Open Content I guess... ;)

Of course a music project is not a web project and none of this really applies to what you wrote; however, though the choice is quite confusing it is worth reading up on the whole topic. It's very interesting and certainly stimulating. And if you've time to listen rather than read you could try the Richard Stallman talks on the GNU philosophy on the GNU site.
posted by captain davros , 10:19 AM Þ 
posted by Alison , 9:00 AM Þ 

Cheney's Daughter To Be Human Shield In Baghdad?

by Ian Gurney

The United Arab Emirates leading semi-official daily newspaper, Alittihad, reported on Thursday that a US government delegation had arrived in Amman, Jordan, on its way to Baghdad for negotiations with the Iraqi government about an immediate ceasefire. A diplomatic source told Alittihad that the US government delegation included four leading members of Congress as well as Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the US Vice President Dick Cheney, representing the US Department of State, where she works as an Assistant to the Deputy of the Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs.*

This has fuelled recent rumours claiming that Mary Cheney, the vice president's eldest daughter, is currently in Jordan planning to go to Baghdad to act as a human shield, something that would be a great embarrassment to the Bush administration. This was first reported by the London based Arabic daily Al Quds Al Arabi on Tuesday, March 25, which claimed that the American vice president himself would soon be heading to the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The newspaper claimed that the visit would be an attempt by Cheney to convince his daughter, Mary, to back down from her decision to go to Baghdad with a group of volunteers who want to form human shields against the US led attacks on Iraq. It now seems that instead of the vice president, his younger daughter Elizabeth will try to convince her sister, who is currently staying at a hotel in Amman, not to go to Baghdad.

The White House yesterday denied vice president Cheney would be visiting Amman, but the arrival of Elizabeth Cheney has increased speculation that the Cheney family is trying desperately to dissuade their errant daughter to return home. Already some sons of western officials have volunteered as human shields in Iraq against the American invasion, including the son of the Canadian Foreign Minister, Bill Graham

Mary Cheney, 34, is the lesbian daughter of the Vice President Dick Cheney. She has never kept her homosexuality a secret, either to her friends or to her employer, Coors Brewing Company, where she was the gay and lesbian corporate relations manager.

posted by Irdial , 8:55 AM Þ 

"A senior British military source inside Iraq said: "The information we have received from PoWs today is that an al-Qaeda cell may be operating in Az Zubayr. There are possibly around a dozen of them and that is obviously a matter of concern to us."

If terrorists are found, it would be the first proof of a direct link between Saddam's regime and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington. "

This is a lie. OBL & co think that SH and Baath are "infidels". If AQ are fighthing in Iraq, it is simply to be fighting against uncle sam. There is no linkage; this is clear to anyone with even the slightest understanding of how much the USA is seen as the enemy. People will put down their differences to fight a common enemy, and this is precisely what we are seeing right now.

posted by Irdial , 8:51 AM Þ 

Open Content vs Creative Commons

I'm far too tired to look into all this properly right now. Does anyone (akin?) know the fundamental differences between the two?

I've noticed that MT has a Creative COmmons license feature built in and I'd like to apply a open source / GPL style license to the content on my personal blog, not that anyone would read it or steal it. Anyway, I want to use the OC as I dig the logo R-Art made, much prettier than that CC crap.

Thing is, sometimes I might post examples of commercial work I'm doing for other people, and this probably shouldn't fall under these licenses. Would a disclaimer next to these images be suffice?

What's the point in me applying a license to my blog which has very limited readership (like 10 people at most)? What benefits do I gain and what do others gain? Surely people are going to take stuff whatever, after all this is the internet, d00d.
posted by alex_tea , 12:50 AM Þ 
Thursday, March 27, 2003

The system is intended to destroy modern and future tanks fitted with explosive reactive armour, small size targets, fortifications and troops including the entrenched ones. Modular design and small size of its guidance system allow to use this weapon on different vehicles. The system stands out owing to its high immunity to jamming of laser beam guidance channel of the missile under combat conditions.

The system comprises two types of missiles:

* with shaped-charge warhead;
* with high-explosive warhead.

A thermal sight is provided to fire at night. The system can be used under various climatic conditions and in different geographic regions, in high mountainous areas and over the water surface.

The powerful shaped-charge warhead is capable to engage existing and future tanks at any angle of approach. The missile with high-explosive warhead with thermobaric effect can effectively destroy various fortifications, missile launchers and light-armoured targets as well.

The system does not require tests during its storage and employment.
posted by Irdial , 9:32 PM Þ 

Kornet E is the name given to the export version of the Russian Kornet missile system. The system, first shown in 1994, has been developed by the KBP Instrument Design Making Bureau, Tula, Russia and is in production and service with the Russian Army and has been sold to the Syrian Army. Kornet is a third generation system, developed to replace the Fagot and Konkurs missile systems in the Russian Army.

It is designed to destroy tanks, including those fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA), fortifications, entrenched troops as well as small-scale targets. The system can be fitted to a variety of tracked and wheeled vehicles, including the BMP-3 infantry combat vehicle, as well as serving as a standalone, portable system. The self-propelled Kornet missile system is manufactured by the Volsk Mechanical Plant, Volsk, Russian Federation.
posted by Irdial , 9:31 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 7:30 PM Þ 

OMG, gangs use "crypto":
posted by Irdial , 6:52 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 6:51 PM Þ 

U.N. Expert: Israeli Barrier Is Illegal

Thursday March 27, 2003 5:00 PM

GENEVA (AP) - A barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians that Israel claims is needed for protection represents ``de facto annexation'' and is illegal under international law, a United Nations human rights expert said Thursday.

But Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva refuted that conclusion, saying the report by John Dugard was ``politically influenced'' and failed to consider the security situation created by nearly 30 months of fighting.

Dugard, a South African lawyer who is the U.N. expert on rights in the Palestinian territories, was to present his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

``The wall is being used as a way of expanding Israel's territory,'' Dugard said. ``Israel responds that this is a temporary security measure but I think the reality is that this is a form of creeping annexation of Palestinian territory.''

The current plans for the barrier would enclose about 7 percent of Palestinian land, and proposals made earlier this week to extend it to protect a Jewish settlement in the heart of the West Bank would take much more land, he said.

``I have seen portions of that wall, and it makes the old Berlin Wall look very small,'' Dugard said. ``It has gone largely unnoticed in the West, but this is de facto annexation.'' [...]

The Guardian
posted by Irdial , 5:42 PM Þ 

Phoenix Captured, Claims Iraq
27/03/2003 16:28

A British Army Phoenix battlefield surveillance and target acquisition unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been captured during recent fighting near Basra, claims Iraq.

In front-line service with the Royal Artillery for almost five years, the Phoenixsystem is believed to be making its debut as an artillery targeting platform duringthe US-led Operation 'Iraqi Freedom'. The system had logged around 700 flights by July 2002, including 486 during operations totalling some 2,000 hours over Kosovo.

(Source: JDW)

End of item
posted by Irdial , 5:14 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 4:38 PM Þ 

This is where all those spoof posters are coming from.
posted by Irdial , 4:30 PM Þ 

Link to my music:

One of the tunes (Lopekal) you heard early last year and said it was like 'Clonk' for 2002.

I was in two minds whether to do the 'gig' for free or I might be right in that this guy is tring to do a corporate video on the cheap.
posted by chriszanf , 3:00 PM Þ 

I saw one of these on the tube the other night. I thought it was very bold, but it didn't occur to me that in fact it's one the best guerilla advertising tricks ever!

more info here and here.
posted by alex_tea , 2:24 PM Þ 

Music in the key of EEG


posted by Ben , 1:26 PM Þ 

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Magenis [mailto:m********]
Sent: 27 March 2003 11:14
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: Quote of the day

"Umm Qasr is a city similar to Southampton," UK defence minister Geoff Hoon said in the Commons yesterday.

"He's either never been to Southampton, or he's never been to Umm Qasr" says a British squaddie patrolling Umm Qasr.

Another soldier added: "There's no beer, no prostitutes and people are shooting at us. It's more like Portsmouth".
posted by Irdial , 1:18 PM Þ 

Commercial use must be paid for, unless you give written permission. That is the licence under which we work.

Dont be soft soaped into letting them use your music for free. Your work is valuable, and they should understand this.

What is the url to your stuff?
posted by Irdial , 1:14 PM Þ 

>>> For well over a year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey refused to release the audiotape of firefighters' communications from the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. In early November 2002, the tape was released to the New York Times, then to other unspecified "news outlets" (according to the Associated Press). To my knowledge, the NYT is the only outlet to post excerpts from the tape.

The Memory Hole has obtained this recording. We now present it to the public in its entirety for the first time.

posted by Irdial , 1:04 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 12:59 PM Þ 

Just got this email this morning:

"My name is Fredrik Wall and I work at a company called Metso Paper.
In my departent, Service in Sundsvall Sweden we are making a movie about
our working processes.
It became my task to find some music to use in this documentary we are
Surfin around I stumbled over your stuff and I really like it.
Industrial music for workprocesses in the industry!!!
As this is an indoor production for the companys people only we don´t have
any goals of profit.
Neither do we have any money to buy music, so I found myself indulging in
the Free Music Movement.
What I can offer you is a possibility to have your music played for people
who normally wouldn´t find it.
Of course you will be credited in the movie!!!
Maybe we can offer something else in the future, I don´t know.
But if it is OK with you we would like to ask if we can use some of your
Lopekal, Porm affari and maybe Quarnk are the ones I fancy.
Please get in touch with me as soon as possible."

Quick google search reveals that the Metso Corporation is a global supplier of process industry machinery and systems, as well as know-how and aftermarket services. The Corporation's core businesses are fiber and paper technology (Metso Paper), rock and mineral processing (Metso Minerals) and automation and control technology (Metso Automation).

I think its a case of pointing out the section in the free music philosophy displayed on my site:

what say you?
posted by chriszanf , 12:01 PM Þ 

Al-Jazeera wins anti-censorship award

Ciar Byrne
Thursday March 27, 2003

Al-Jazeera, the Arab TV satellite channel whose war coverage has angered the US, has been awarded a prestigious prize for upholding freedom of expression.

The Qatar-based channel won the award for the best circumvention of censorship at Index on Censorship's third annual Freedom of Expression Awards last night.

The judges, including the former Channel 4 news presenter Sheena McDonald and the Daily Mail's veteran foreign reporter Ann Leslie, said: "Al-Jazeera's apparent independence in a region where much of the media is state run has transformed it into the most popular station in the Middle East."

"Its willingness to give opposition groups a high-profile platform has left it with a reputation for credible news among Arab viewers. But that same quality has enraged Arab governments and the US - which have sought to have the station more closely controlled."

The executive director of al-Jazeera's London bureau, Muftah Al Suwaidan, said the station was "proud" to receive the award from "such a prestigious organisation, which has as its core concern the well being and the development of our profession, and the maintenance of professional integrity".

"Since its inception, al-Jazeera has been at the forefront of the struggle to maintain free, independent and balanced reporting," said Mr Al Suwaidan. "Different people have different views but the common denominator should always remain to be the right of people to know and the freedom of all to express themselves."

Al-Jazeera caused a furore when it broadcast shocking images of Iraqi and American victims of the conflict, including pictures of captured US soldiers and of the head of a child, aged about 12, that had been split apart, reportedly in the US-led assault on Basra in southern Iraq.

However, subscriptions to the Arabic language channel in Europe have doubled since the war began, indicating there is considerable demand for an alternative to western news channels.

The Guardian
posted by Irdial , 11:59 AM Þ 

Japan, Ghosts - good one.
posted by captain davros , 10:14 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 9:05 AM Þ 

O: Anita Lavine, Sr. VP Production
FROM: Taylor Donahue, VP Production
SUBJECT: Location shooting for Codename Courage


Assuming the current situation with Iraq leads to combat activity by US troops, I suggest we get a small film crew credentialed as press to shoot over there. This will solve some of the budget vs. production value problems we?ve discussed. In the best case scenario we can also get one or two of our leads over there in costume to do a scene with the mayhem of real war as a backdrop. [Take a look at pages 65, 72-74, and 96 for examples that lend themselves.]

Failing this, we can have the war as a back plate to use with blue screen of our actors or to add CGI on.

We?ll be the only movie with a multi billion dollar effects budget.



Internal Memos
posted by Irdial , 8:58 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 8:51 AM Þ 

In internet exploder, press ctrl-a to see this image.
posted by Irdial , 8:51 AM Þ 

Who armed Iraq?

Iraq's Weapons Declaration underscores a tragic irony: The United States, the world's leading arms supplier, is taking the world to war to stop arms proliferation in the very country to which it shipped chemicals, biological seed stock and weapons for more than 10 years.

According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.

Embarrassed, no doubt, by revelations of their own complicity in Mideast arms proliferation, the U.S.-led Security Council censored the entire dossier, deleting more than 100 names of companies and groups that profited from Iraq's crimes and aggression. The censorship came too late, however. The long list -- including names of large U.S. corporations -- Dupont, Hewlett-Packard, and Honeywell -- was leaked to a German daily, Die Tageszeitung. Despite the Security Council coverup, the truth came out. [...]

SF Gate
posted by Irdial , 8:39 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 8:33 AM Þ 

On March 26, 2003, Al Jazeera news producer Imad Musa was interviewed on the national listener-sponsored radio and TV show Democracy Now! by host Amy Goodman and correspondent Jeremy Scahill.

posted by mary13 , 4:53 AM Þ 

This took me a while but was good to refresh what music means to me.

Anyhow, the list.....

Songs that:

# reminds you of your childhood: "Popcorn" - Hot Butter/G. Kingsley - One of the first tunes I remember that I loved and played continuously.

# makes you cry: "An Ending (Ascent)" - Brian Eno 'Apollo - atmospheres and soundtracks' (A friend 'lent' me this album and then 4 days later he had committed suicide).

# makes you laugh: Half Man Half Biscuit - "Fucking hell, it's Fred Titmus!"

# makes you wanna dance: Fela Kuti - any track/MuslimGauze - Rebina Red Sea (cant sit still to this)

# reminds you of the one you want: (not really the one I want but an old flame I hold dear) My Bloody Valentine - Tremelo EP

# you wish you wrote: Erik Satie - "Trios Gymnopedies"

# fills you with complete joy: Talk Talk - "It's My Life"

# You never want to hear again: Most of whats on commercial radio/TV at any time. Thats why I stopped listening/watching. Trance - I could go the rest of my life not hearing any and it wouldnt matter.

# you want played at your funeral: Global Communication -"Le Soleil et La Mer" (Black Dog remix) / John Beltran - "10 Days Of Blue"

# sums up your teenage years: Early teens:- Man Parrish Boogie Down Bronx/Hip Hop Be Bop (Don't Stop). Late teens: Swervedriver/MBV

# you used to hate but now love: Ive thought about this for a while and nothing springs to mind.

# you like to wake up to: I usually play tunes Im into at the moment which are Candy Chang - "Rodchenko in my Bauhaus" and Ernest Ranglin -"King Tubby meets the rockers"

# you like out of your parents record collection: My mum was really into fairground organ music, as it reminded her of her childhood. I have since discovered that it rocks!

# your parents like out of your collection: My mum liked the house music I played her from '88-'92

# you love that you wouldn't know about if it wasn't for a friend: Nick Drake, Ernest Ranglin

# makes you think of someone who died: The Farcical Society - "MVJ" (I wrote it for my mum so it will always remind me of her)

# makes you think of the moon: Nick Drake - River Man

# makes you think of summer: Charles B - "Lack Of Love"

# makes you think of being alone: Japan - "Ghosts"
posted by chriszanf , 1:49 AM Þ 

Just been listening to Blackout by the Scorpions in my car on the way home from my friend Kathryn's house. I usually drive over to her house at least once a week to chat, but tonight was sad as she had to have her cat put down and was devastated by it all. We found the cat toys from under the sofa, washed up the food bowls for the last time and tearfully pondered the wisdom of pet ownership.

I bought "Blackout" on cassette back in the summer of 1985, and it was amongst the first albums I bought totally by myself (as opposed to like by my parents when I was little). Listening back to it tonight on the A34 I realised just how sonically excellent it is. I mean I know The Scorpions are a quirky Teutonic metal band responsible for "Wind of Change" (classically appropriated by Chris Morris in the Day Today) and Blackout is steeped in crotch thrusting spandex clad cock-rockery, but the blend of instruments they concocted is totally perfect.

The double-tracked whining-helium vocals of Klaus Meine, delivering missives on drunken excess, how much he loves the hard-rock crowd, and how much he misses his woman when on the road, is mixed to perfection with Matthias Jabs's guitar licks, which crop up on nearly every song, answering his vocal melodies at the end of each line before taking flight into the most blistering solos. Jabs's tone is supreme, simultaneously gutsy, rasping, liquid, and sinuous. He favours playing right up to the rhythm pickup at the 22nd fret, an effortless master of this difficult to tame end of the guitar neck, and as such has the core of hard rock's screaming, secret weapon (for what is rock if it isn't beleaguered by screaming guitar solos akin to the death cries of a mutant Jovian space-panther?) hanging by its tail and begging for mercy. And that's just the tone of his instrument. The notes he plays are something else altogether - exquisitely executed, fluff-free and at once flamboyant, glowing and sensitive (imagine Gwyneth Paltrow riding a monster truck, or something like that). Just the pure sound has my eyes rolling in the back of my head every time, never mind the notes.

Meanwhile the Flying-V master Rudolph Schenker plasters the background of the songs with high-precision rhythm riffola, like endless ribbons of thirty storey diamond encrusted pebble-dash, alternating with plush crimson drapes quilted amidst barbed wire. At the core of "No one like you", a paean to the rock wife who is left behind whilst the boys play around the world, is a clean arpeggioed electric guitar figure, doubled on acoustic but mixed to such a degree of symbiosis that the two sounds are only heard as one, the electric carrying the melody whilst the acoustic peeps out at the end of each note like fresh mint on new potatoes.

My tape of this LP (long since transferred to minidisc) bears the scars earned from the slings and arrows of years of repeated playing, with only a ragged fringe remaining from the top-end, and sonic pock-marks bearing witness to the dropouts of oxide along the way. But somehow that's how I like it. I want that grit and patina that fogs over well-loved music, and it sounds best on well-matured hard rock. The drums, spot on with their cavemanesque anti-sophistication, inhabit a thousand dollar 1980's stone-roomed universe, where the hi-hats pish like hairspray, the ride cymbals ding like Swiss musical movements, the bass drums click, the toms are soaking wet in bass, and the snares are thick and stodgy like half-eaten birthday cakes. This is what the Roland 707 and 505 were designed to sound like, and it's from this genesis that we got the sound of Michael Douglas stomping over his crumbling life in Falling Down, 6 or so years later.

And let us not forget that somewhere in there is some bass, anonymously underpinning everything and tonking about in Fender Precision territory. Who'd be a rock bassist? Not me.

A few years later Bon Jovi and Guns 'n' Roses would use this template to dominate the airwaves and pub jukeboxes of the late 1980's. But whilst I had a soft-ish spot for Jon Bon (he was good for parties after all, getting everyone together for the "Whoah-oh!"s in the cheese of 'Livin' on a Prayer') I hated GnR, and still do. Gimme Scorps! Yeah!
posted by captain davros , 12:08 AM Þ 

A thing I copied from someone's Livejournal

Do this if you've the time!

Song that:

# reminds you of your childhood: Very early - Glam Rock ala Slade, Sweet etc. Infant School - Anything off ABBA's greatest hits (my first LP). Junior School - Blondie, The Police etc.

# makes you cry: The last song with no name off Green by REM.

# makes you laugh: Cadaver's cover of "The Ketchup Song"

# makes you wanna dance: I will dance to just about anything

# reminds you of the one you want: That one about Sand Dunes by Groove Armada reminds me of the one I already have...

# you wish you wrote: a never ending stream, but "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" by King Crimson springs to mind as a contemporary item, and "Year 3000" by Busted.

# fills you with complete joy: "Lummy Days" by Stackridge.

# You never want to hear again: Robbie Williams, the Strokes

# you want played at your funeral: "Teatime" by Stackridge, followed by "Lummy Days"

# sums up your teenage years: A bizarre mix of Van Halen, Ozzy, the Scorps, Scritti Politti and most of what was in the charts back then.

# you used to hate but now love: Led Zep, Simple Minds, Yes

# you like to wake up to: A well-done slice of Heavy Metal

# you like out of your parents record collection: It is ye other way around. My mum has currently nicked one of my XTC records. My Dad did turn me onto Django Reinhardt though.

# your parents like out of your collection: See above, along with REM, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Jane's Addiction. My mum and dad are 71 and 79 respectively incidentally.

# you love that you wouldn't know about if it wasn't for a friend: Orbital, and most modern electronica, courtesy of a Uni mate, Andy Porteous

# makes you think of someone who died: "Touch me with your love" by Beth Orton

# makes you think of the moon: "Supernaut" by Black Sabbath

# makes you think of summer: "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley (or Dj Sammy).

# makes you think of being alone: "The Flat Earth" by Thomas Dolby
posted by captain davros , 12:07 AM Þ 
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

What has happened to Google Images? I did a search this afternoon for Front242 and this evening for The Scorpions and there are only about 5 valid links per page. The rest are b0rk3d.

Very odd. Can anyone else replicate this (not necessarily with Ver Scorps or Front 242 incidentally)?
posted by captain davros , 10:34 PM Þ 

Iraqi Ambassador in Moscow: Americans Believe "Uprising in Basra" is Held to Support Iraqi Army

The Iraqi ambassador to Russia believes that the Americans took the uprising in Basra as a demonstration of support to the Iraqi Army.

Abbas Khalaf said at a press conference in Moscow that the Iraqis were taking up arms to fight the invaders.

The Ambassador said that an Iraqi girl used an anti-tank gun to set on fire three armoured personnel carriers of the US marines near Kerbela.

"We agree with Washington and London that there are Saddam Hussein's doubles in Iraq. They are every Iraqi man," Abbas Khalaf said.

Iraq has stood up against American and British invaders, the diplomat said adding that this indicated that the USA and Britain were fighting against the Iraqi people rather than Saddam Hussein.

posted by Irdial , 3:46 PM Þ 

finally found information on the sacked BBC journalists:,7521,898838,00.html,7521,911466,00.html

and there's more if you look around.
posted by alex_tea , 3:14 PM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 2:10 PM Þ 

I couldn't hear the audio on that Mike Moore Oscar thing... Came out all weird and robotic.

There's a march against the BBC's biased reporting and also against the fact they sacked two middle eastern journalists just before the war (they were sacked for complaining too much - their complaint? racism!). Groups are meeting in Kensington, Hammersmith and Acton and marching to White City. Another group from Islington is marching to the north London studios, and there may be more protests around the country.

Chris, maybe Critical Mass would like to come along?

I've tried searching to find a report on the sacking but have gotten no luck so far, anyone else heard about this? Akin, maybe it was in the Guardian?
posted by alex_tea , 1:58 PM Þ 

Nando Times
AP Technology Writer

(March 25, 2003 4:09 p.m. EST) - Hackers attacked the Web site of Arab
satellite television network Al-Jazeera [1] on Tuesday, rendering it
intermittently unavailable, the site's host said.

The newly launched English-language page, which went live Monday and
posted images of the corpses of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, was
hardest hit in a bombardment of data packets known as a
denial-of-service attack.

Ayman Arrashid, Internet system administrator at the Horizons Media
and Information Services, the site's Web host, said the attack began
Tuesday morning local time.

Nabil Hegazi, assistant to the managing editor of the English Web
site, denied that an attack was the reason the site was unavailable.
He said it was difficult to access because traffic was almost four
times more than expected.

The Web host is based in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The servers
that host the Al-Jazeera site are in France and the United States.
Arrashid said he could not determine the attack's origin, but only the
U.S. servers were affected, leading him to suspect that the attackers
were in the United States.

He said technicians were working to thwart the attack, but could not
estimate when the site would be fully available again.

In denial-of-service attacks, hackers normally send a deluge of false
requests to Web servers, overloading them and making them unavailable
to surfers.

Al-Jazeera, also based in Qatar, is an unusually independent and
powerful voice in the Arab world whose broadcasts of U.S. prisoners
and war dead has angered many Americans.

Earlier, Al-Jazeera said two reporters had their credentials revoked
by the New York Stock Exchange because of the network's coverage of
the war. The exchange said the decision was prompted by space

Al-Jazeera's English site was unavailable Tuesday from four out of
five locations in the United States, said Roopak Patel, a senior
analyst at Keynote Systems Inc., a San Mateo, Calif., company that
tracks Web performance.

He said the Arabic site had starting Sunday experienced periods of
very poor availability - which may have been caused by hackers, Patel


posted by Irdial , 12:08 PM Þ 

Michael Moore Responds!
posted by Irdial , 11:39 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 11:34 AM Þ 

Gulf States May Be Next: British MP

Roger Harrison, Arab News Staff

JEDDAH, 26 March 2003 — In an exclusive interview with Arab News yesterday, British Member of Parliament George Galloway said he had evidence that one motive for the war on Iraq is the eventual partition of the Mideast.

“Here in the Houses of Parliament there are people who have never set foot in an Arab country openly discussing the partition of Gulf states,” he said in a telephone interview from London.

“They talk about whether it should be one country, two countries, three countries, even four countries. They openly discuss changing the boundaries of old countries, creating new countries — removing this and that leader,” he added.

Speaking about George W. Bush, Galloway said that he was unimpressive. However, “the US has stirred up a vast amount of hatred against itself by this swaggering arrogance of the intellectually limited President, roaring like a bull in a bomber jacket in aircraft hangars to young men and women of the American armed forces who, although they know very little of the world, are ready to get out there and kill.”

He pointed to what he saw as the geo-political aspirations of the US government as the real motives for the current conflict.

“These people have decided that Arab countries must metamorphose into countries acceptable to the US. That means they must change their way of life, their culture, even their religion. It’s openly stated in the American media that the Qur’an itself has to be changed, because in it there are concepts of justice and resistance which are completely unacceptable to the new American century.”

Galloway argued that the British people and British soldiers were told that the Iraqis would be garlanding the GI’s who came to “liberate” them.

“Of course, none of that has happened. The Iraqis, even in the south of the country, even the so-called disaffected Shiite population, have resisted.”

Asked why people who are supposed to be hoping for peace and “liberation” resisted the soldiers who are supposed to be liberating them, Galloway was adamant.

“I asked it of Jack Straw in the House of Commons this morning, and answer came there none — for there is no answer,” he said.

“It lays bare the propaganda myth — the frankly racist propaganda myth — on which this is based. These people are only Arabs, they’re only Muslims - how could they possibly stand up to our shock and awe?”

He pointed out that there are millions of Iraqis who hate Saddam Hussein, but equally, there are millions of Iraqis who do not.

“They are always invisible in the media - but even among the millions who hate him, they will hate a British and American invasion and looting of their country even more,” he said. [...]

Arab News
posted by Irdial , 10:52 AM Þ 

"Many of my friends have gone back already in the last few days," he said. "Even if I just dig a trench by our house and sit in it with a gun, I might kill one of the invaders. They're coming down in parachutes so you might hit one."

Round the corner Mohammed Ali Musa, 23, serves tea in a small room dominated by a television set on a high shelf. The customers, mainly middle-aged men, sit in gloomy silence as al-Jazeera beams the latest news of the war. The normal morning chatter has been replaced by pensive sipping and the rattle of worry beads.

"I'm planning to go back in three days' time," says Mohammed, another Iraqi Shia who left his wife and parents in Nassiriya two months ago in the hope of earning a better wage in Syria.

"I want to cut the Americans' throats and throw them to the dogs," he adds. "If I'd known it would have been like this, I would never have left Iraq. I just pray to God I can go back and make a contribution."

The Guardian
posted by Irdial , 10:45 AM Þ 

Subscriptions to the Arabic-language television network al-Jazeera have doubled since the war on Iraq began last week, signalling a significant demand for an alternative to western media coverage.

The broadcaster said it has signed up 4 million subscribers in Europe since last Wednesday. It has also launched an English-language website, and plans an English version of its TV channel.

Al-Jazeera had around 35 million Arabic-speaking viewers before the start of the war in Iraq but most were in the Arabic world, where it is shown free. Outside the Middle East 10 million people had access to the network.[...]

The Guardian

People are hungry for the truth about the war; this "embedded journalist" bullshit simply isnt working / convincing anyone.

This is why ALL the networks are taking feeds from AJN and the other free stations. They are the only independent sources of news in this fiasco.

4 million subscribers in as many days; that HAS to be some kind of record! If they ever go english, AJN could superceed CNN as the pre eminent source for 24 hour news that you can implicitly trust.

What a world!®
posted by Irdial , 10:05 AM Þ 

The state channel does not broadcast overnight and had been off the air at the time of the bombing. A Reuters correspondent today reported that the station began broadcasting verses from the Koran at around 0600 GMT as normal this morning, quashing US hopes that Saddam Hussein's lines of communication with his people had been cut.[...]

The Guardian Which I buy every day, since you can get it all online.

I think of the paper edition as my "ticket" to read the online articles, which they generously give away for free, and without the need for registration, like the pathetic, useless biased and morally bankrup Daily Telegraph.
posted by Irdial , 9:59 AM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 9:55 AM Þ 
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

How much is it going for?

new they're around £500 ... I've just seen one advertised for £150 ........ my stomach's been turning all day ...... i know i should buy it, but we're having a new door fitted that's working out to be more expensive than was planned ( rotten frame that hadn't been noticed, etc ), and ... well ... ....... it's a purchase that would come close to being lumped into the "extravagence" category at this point in time ...... but ........... but ...............

posted by a hymn in g to nann , 7:36 PM Þ 

>We go 2 steps forward and one step back - it is slow, but we are going forward, after all
"One foot in front of the other, one foot back to counter it."

>I wonder how the Kurds feel about this?
This is an interesting question. Not only does the US seem to want help from the Turks, but they want help from the Kurds as well. But obviously, if the Kurds fight, they are going to be fighting for Kurdistan, which Turkey totally does NOT want to happen. Turkey would be VERY testy over the Kurds getting some oil fields. What happens when a NATO member goes against another NATO member?
posted by Barrie , 6:04 PM Þ 

glad to hear we have this incredible soldier on our side.

like, who's going to mess with us now?! huh?!
posted by Ken , 4:05 PM Þ 

Marine scouts shot two Iraqi men yesterday when they were seen carrying Kalashnikovs. Each man was found to be carrying three magazines, but they never fired at the marines before they were killed.
"They were pointing their weapons in an aggressive manner, and they were taken out," said Sgt Sprague.

Yesterday a British (Colonel?) said all units had orders not to fire unless fired upon, which was hampering their activities.
Meanwhile, at the movies...
Having invited all the nominees for the documentary category on stage, Moore declared: "We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons... we are against this war, Mr Bush. Shame on you, Mr Bush, shame on you!"

Some cheered, some booed. Backstage afterwards, accused of hijacking the show, Moore was unrepentant and told journalists: "What's great about this country is you're able to speak your mind... we kill each other at an enormous rate, more so than virtually any other country on this planet. What was the lesson we taught the children of Columbine this week? That violence is an acceptable means to resolve a conflict."

A breakdown of Guantanemo Bay vs Geneva Convention.

And a follow-on story about atrocities in Afghanistan in which the US are, by simple logic, complicit. Here's the latest.
posted by Alun , 3:30 PM Þ 

Suddenly, the Government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty that impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of Iraqi television cameras, Donald Rumsfeld immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva Convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them".[...]

The Age
posted by Josh Carr , 3:06 PM Þ 

No, but let's face it, it looks lovely! How much is it going for?
posted by captain davros , 2:18 PM Þ 

has anyone ever used, or know anyone who's used one of these ? i've seen one advertised 2nd hand, have been looking into getting one for a while, was wondering whether it really does offer the quality of sound that reviewers suggest ...
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 1:30 PM Þ 

Buy USA.

"I've been all the way through this desert from Basra to here and I ain't seen one shopping mall or fast food restaurant," he said. "These people got nothing. Even in a little town like ours of twenty five hundred people you got a McDonald's at one end and a Hardee's at the other."

The Guardian
posted by Irdial , 11:28 AM Þ 

Back from Bergen

It was cold but great. Hotel was lovely and the kids of Norge kept voting for old AC/DC songs on a weird txt-in video vote channel.

In other exciting news I got a Palm Zire which is very runcible, and am working towards getting my freely distributable collection of music out.

And, sure as the sun doth shine, I LOVE SCOOTER!!! Varispeed vocals-a-go-go! They make me want to air-MC.
posted by captain davros , 11:20 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 9:10 AM Þ 

The Conservative Party introduced the Poll Tax to Scotland a year
earlier than elsewhere in the UK (despite this being illegal under
the Act of Union) and have never regained their support. Now it seems
that the Labour Party wish to introduce "Identity" Cards to Scotland
earlier than elsewhere., with many

>>Scots ID card plan gets green light
>>First Minister Jack McConnell is to place the plan at the heart of
>>Labour痴 Scottish Parliament election campaign, risking the wrath
>>of civil liberties campaigners and his Liberal Democrat coalition
>>partners who believe it breaches human rights.

I trust the latter will do their best to oppose it, though given
their two faced stand on other issues this hope may be a vain one.

>>The Scottish Police Federation says civil liberties must come second
>>to national security in the light of the terrorist atrocities
>>perpetrated on September 11, 2001, and since. In a new policy paper
>>it states: "The world has become a more dangerous place and we all
>>have a responsibility to do what we can to contribute towards
>>greater public safety. If this means a diminution of personal
>>privacy then that is something we must weigh against the benefits to
>>society as a whole."

So there we have it. "Identity" Cards will contribute towards greater public safety and if this diminishes privacy that is a price well worth paying.
posted by Irdial , 8:54 AM Þ 

besides would anyone from the irdial family consider to join the norbergfestival as performers?
posted by Alison , 8:09 AM Þ 

In case you have not heard yet, the Canadian web site,, was shut dow for two hours until they removed content that their hosting company deemed offensive. The 'offensive' content was a photo of an
American POW and a photo of a dead Iraqi child. You can find YellowTimes side of the story here:
Yellow Times
posted by Irdial , 8:08 AM Þ 

posted by Alison , 8:03 AM Þ 

got an email with these words: "You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper in the
world is a white guy, the best golfer in the world is a black guy, France is accusing the US of arrogance and Germany doesn't want to go to war."

You could call it progress ?
Looking back in history, the world is better than before. We go 2 steps forward and one step back - it is slow, but we are going forward, after all

and I think demonstrating (at least in Denmark) is a poor way of doing anything better... It is just spoiled people of the vest that does that
Nobody besides the demonstrants gives a fuck anyway... Rememer to VOTE right next time, just for a start...

The good thing about this situation, is, maybe some people finnaly WAKE UP from their sleep, shopping, telly and get their heads out their arses, and try... please please... to give some love and make this world a better place, start with your self!

O my the sun is shining.... luv

posted by Alison , 7:56 AM Þ 
Monday, March 24, 2003


posted by Josh Carr , 8:46 PM Þ 

E-cyclopedia's words of war

• axis of weasels - France, Russia, Germany and China, according to US tabloids. The New York Post depicted French and German delegates to the UN as weasels, somewhat like the Sun depicted President Chirac as a worm. "Axis of weasel" was coined by weblog In UK English, "weasel" means treacherous, but in US English it has the slightly less damning meaning of using ambiguity to conceal truth.

• big lie - allegations that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, according to Saddam Hussein, alternatively translated as "great lie". Perhaps an attempt to match his "mother of all battles" soundbite from '91.

• cheese-eating surrender monkeys - a stock epithet for the French in certain US circles. Derives from a Simpsons episode in which Groundskeeper Willie was substitute French teacher for the day. The Times reported that France had responded with "an arch shrug, adopting a tone of superiority precisely calculated to send the Americans into even blacker fury".

• coalition of the willing - the White House phrase for the countries militarily involved. US Secretary of State Colin Powell says there are 45 countries taking part in some way, although 15 of them are not prepared to be named. The phrase supplies an echo of the 1991 coalition.

• fair-minded people - those who agree with Saddam Hussein, according to the Iraqi president. "Every fair-minded person knows that when Iraqi officials say something, they are trustworthy," he told Tony Benn, adding: "Every fair-minded person knows that as far as resolution 1441 is concerned, the Iraqis have been fulfilling their obligations under the resolution." Meanwhile, talking about Iraqi disarmament, Saddam's top science adviser, General Amir Saadi, said: "To all fair-minded people who are neutral and free, it's more than enough."

• going kinetic - military term for invading or bombing, shorthand for kinetic targeting. Psyops, such as leafleting propaganda, is known as soft targeting. Time magazine: "'It will be highly kinetic,' an Air Force planner says with grim understatement."

• heroic efforts - what Tony Blair had made to get a second resolution, according to former UK cabinet minister Robin Cook, who wasn't so impressed that he didn't have to resign.

• legs of responsibility - what the UN needs to regain, according to George Bush: " the post-Saddam Iraq the UN will definitely need to have a role. And that way it can get - begin to get its legs - legs of responsibility back."

• liberators not conquerors - President Bush's assertion that the US would free Iraq from Saddam's tyranny. Told US troops: "[Y]ou will be fighting not to conquer anybody but to liberate people." It may be a phrase designed to counter claims that the US is on a crusade, being colonial, or empire building, or simply to claim moral high ground.

• moment of truth - as in "Tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world" - an ultra quotable line from President Bush, warning of the failure of diplomacy. Mr Blair's line "We have reached the point of decision," could not compete for headline-grabbing potential.

• old Europe - taken to mean France and Germany, identified by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as being countries which did not agree with US policy. He later said he was surprised President Chirac had been upset by the term, and said he had a great many friends in France and Germany, adding: "I was thinking of Nato when I said old Europe. I was thinking old Nato... old Nato is at 15, the new Nato is at 26 countries, and the centre of gravity has shifted. It was not disparaging of any of those countries."

• Pentagonspeak - the collection of buzzwords, catchphrases and mots du jour employed by US strategists. Coined by Time magazine, no doubt inspired by Orwell's Newspeak.

• reckless - Clare Short, the non-resigning UK minister for overseas development, asked whether she thought her prime minister had been acting recklessly: "I'm afraid that I think the whole atmosphere of the current situation is deeply reckless; reckless for the world, reckless for the undermining of the UN in this disorderly world, which is wider than Iraq - [which] the whole world needs for the future - reckless with our government, reckless with his own future, position and place in history. It's extraordinarily reckless, I'm very surprised by it."

• roadmap - a plan drawn up by the US, UN, EU and Russia for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, although not yet published. Not an original term - (Clinton had a roadmap for the Middle East, Pakistan had a roadmap to democracy). It does have a connotation of being practical and achievable, but it is not clear how it differs from "a plan".

• serious consequences - the term used in UN resolution 1441 describing what Saddam would face if he didn't disarm. Bush and Blair say it is a clear indication that war would follow a failure to disarm. Chirac and Putin say it means some consequences less serious than that.

• shock and awe - Pentagon buzzword for their tactics for attacking Iraq, the intention being to overpower Saddam with air and ground attacks designed to gain an early victory. How much "shock" an attack will be is doubtful, since everyone knows about it. But in era of "psyops", widespread advance publicity of impending shock and awe could have the desired effect of putting Iraqi forces into disarray.

• simultaneity - another Pentagon buzzword, related to shock and awe, referring to concerted bombing and invasion happening at once. Time magazine reports: "The second Gulf War, if it comes, would be more like the Big Bang- hundreds of towering explosions all across Iraq all at the same time."

• that country - France, according to the UK ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. He said "one country in particular" had declared its intention to veto any proposal that came before the Security Council. "That country rejected our proposed compromise before even the Iraqi government itself." The Financial Times said: "While refraining from identifying France by name, Sir Jeremy abandoned normal diplomatic courtesies to point the finger at Paris."

• under any circumstances - France's intention to veto further resolutions, according to London and Washington, which led to the end of diplomatic efforts. President Chirac's actual words (translated) were: "My position is that, regardless of the circumstances, France will vote 'no' because she considers this evening that there are no grounds for waging war in order to achieve the goal we have set ourselves, that is to say, to disarm Iraq." Some commentators say M Chirac's use of the words "this evening" indicates it was just his position while inspections were continuing.

• vertically envelop - invade (see going kinetic). Pentagon buzzword for the tactic of sending troops in by helicopter to seize key targets in Iraq

• attitude lobotomy - what, according to New York Times writer Thomas L Friedman, the US administration needs. "It needs to get off its high horse and start engaging people on the World Street, listening to what's bothering them, and also telling them what's bothering us."

• called an audible at the line of scrimmage - reported phrase by Gen Tommy Franks, allegedly said when ordering a surgical strike to decapitate Saddam Hussein. Irked some commentators for overtly being a sports phrase. One said: "The militarising of sports terms makes me vaguely uncomfortable. The practice tends to trivialize war and place too much importance on sports."

• catastrophic success - a bad case scenario, identified by the Financial Times. "US troops saunter into Baghdad, opposed only pathetically by poorly equipped Iraqi forces. Then, in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, the supposed existence of which has provided the main public justification for war, they find nothing but a few rusty canisters of chemicals. The name for this outcome: Catastrophic Success."

• decapitation - the attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein, the belief that killing the leader and his cohort cuts the head off the enemy beast. A policy going back decades, but frustratingly for the US with little recent success. Castro, Gaddafi, General Aidid, and Osama Bin Laden himself have escaped decapitation attempts. General Noriega is, however, in a US jail.

• decisive precision shocks - alternative phrase for bomb, according to General Tommy Franks. Reference to doctrine of shock and awe.

• effects-based targeting - a term, initially used by British commanders, characterised by pinpoint rather than blanket bombing - the effect being to strike only military targets. "Put simply," suggests reader AF, UK, "it means 'why use a sledgehammer when a nutcracker will do the job?'"

• embedding - the 500 journalists who are based within US and UK military units, living and travelling with them before and during the war.

• FIBUA, DIBUA, OBUA - "fighting in built-up areas", "defence in built-up areas" and "operations in built-up areas". Reader Anthony Kay, UK, suggests these military acronyms will become common currency as battles are taken into cities and urban warfare becomes the new shock and awe

• friendly fire - one of the most widely loathed terms to come of the first Gulf war, because although the fire comes from friends, it is anything but friendly. Sadly in use again, but alternatives may become popular, eg "blue on blue" casualties, or the more serious-sounding term "fratricide".

• full force and might - President Bush's description of the sanction being used against Saddam. "[T]he only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military, and we are prepared to do so," he said in his ultimatum speech.

• hammer time - alternative to going kinetic (cf) - time to make an attack. As used by US Vice Admiral Timothy Keating on board USS Constellation on eve of war, to strains of Queen's We Will Rock You: "Make no mistake, when the president says go - look out, it's hammer time." Stands in contrast to rhetoric used by UK Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins. Reader David, UK says: "Inspires strange images of parachute-pant-wearing rapper MC Hammer."

• lightly - the correct approach for much military activity, according to Colonel Tim Collins. "Tread lightly" on Iraq, he said, adding that killing was not to be done "lightly". At the same time, he encouraged them to be "ferocious" in battle.

• mercenaries - US and UK troops, according to Mohamed Said al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information. Other words used include "superpower of villains", "superpower of Al Capone", "devils", "tyrants of the century".

• moab - acronym either for "Massive Ordnance Air Blast" or unofficially "Mother of All Bombs". An experimental US precision-guided bomb weighing about 21,000lbs, the largest non-nuclear bomb there is, intended to update the infamous BLU-82B Commando Vault or "Daisy Cutter". Name is a reference to Saddam's phrase "Mother of all Battles", but residents of Moab, Utah, unhappy at new connotation of their name. Reader Chris Bowden-Green, Canada, says: "It's designed for maximum psychological effect at dissuading entrenched troops."

• mosaic - according to General Tommy Franks, the pattern made up by simultaneous approaches of air forces, ground forces and special forces. "That plan... gives me latitude to build the mosaic that I just described in a way that provides flexibility so that we can attack the enemy on our terms, and we are doing so," he told reporters.

• pre-H hour - another phrase for the time of invasion. "...Delta Force and CIA operatives, many of whom are foreign nationals, have been in Iraq for weeks conducting what military planners call 'pre-H-hour' (hour of invasion) activities..." wrote Jack Kelley in USA Today. Reader Johnny Brown says: "Just the right amount of jargon-coolness."

• s, g, a - the format of battle, again according to General Tommy Franks. In his words: "The initiation of combat operations, we refer to that as D-Day. The introduction of special operations forces, we refer to that as S-Day. The introduction of ground forces, G-Day. And the introduction of shock air forces, A-Day. So the sequence you have seen, up to this point, has been S, G, A."

• Stalingrad in Mesopotamia - the historical point of reference of the week, amid fears of prolonged siege and urban warfare around Baghdad

• target of opportunity - related to window of opportunity, a one-off chance which hadn't been planned, perhaps inspired by intelligence. Used after the attempt to "decapitate" Saddam Hussein when his location was believed to have been identified to US forces.

• the mark of Cain - the phrase for being known as an unlawful killer, according to Colonel Tim Collins, when addressing the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish regiment on the eve of war. "It is a big step to take another human life," he said. "It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts. I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them." Draws on religious imagery, which he later emphasised by saying Iraq was the site of the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham.

• tick-tock - the second-to-second attention to detailed events. Donald Rumsfeld said he was "not into the tick-tock of every hour and every minute".

• urban warfare - fighting in streets, houses and buildings, as is feared might happen in Baghdad, when many preparations had been centred on fighting a war in a desert.
posted by Irdial , 8:28 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 8:14 PM Þ 
posted by Mikkel , 7:48 PM Þ 

Michael Moore blasts Bush and the Iraq war at the Oscars

" Asked backstage why he made the remarks, Moore answered: "I'm an American."

"Is that all?" a reporter asked.

"Oh, that's a lot," Moore responded."
posted by chriszanf , 6:00 PM Þ 
posted by Claus Eggers , 3:44 PM Þ 

"The main southern city of Basra remained unsafe for foreign troops. “There are hundreds of Baath Party militia active around Basra,” one said, referring to Saddam’s ruling party. “They have AK-47s and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and there’s a constant threat of ambush. It redraws the laws of war.” - arab news

funny that, I thought the laws of war changed when the US dropped atomic weapons on Japan or when they sprayed Viet Namese villages with agent orange and nepalm.

I thought the US military had learnt their lesson in Viet Nam about guerrilla warfare?

This just sounds like a bully whining.
posted by chriszanf , 3:21 PM Þ 

BBC News

The prospect of thousands of Turkish troops entering Iraq moved closer on Monday, despite the starkest warning yet from the US to Ankara not to proceed with the plan.

"The heroic Turkish Armed Forces, the guarantor of peace at all places and at all times, will once again extend their hand to those in need of help," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

"The presence of Turkish soldiers in the region will be an element of security and stability for Turkey and the region." [...]

I wonder how the Kurds feel about this?

posted by chriszanf , 2:52 PM Þ 

posted by Josh Carr , 2:16 PM Þ 

"The US has pledged to use most of the money for a fund earmarked for rebuilding and providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi population."

Will this be like the Indian Government compensation payouts to victims of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal? Withholding the money for years, letting it accrue interest and then paying out only "most" of the capital sum?

Alex, props to you for joining the socialist party and doing something. When I was more active on the 'party' front, every party had grievencies about the others. It was a bit like 'Life of Brian'.
posted by chriszanf , 2:07 PM Þ 

UBS to hand over frozen Iraqi money

March 24, 2003 1:55 PM

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, has said it will transfer frozen Iraqi-held deposits in the United States to US authorities.

UBS said the funds, blocked in 1990 under United Nations sanctions, had been confiscated by the US Treasury and would be transferred to the US government soon.

The confiscation is part of an order last week from the Treasury Department to 17 banks in the US.

The total money involved, said to be about $1.74 billion (SFr2.41 billion) without interest, comes from transactions between US oil firms and the Iraqi state oil company, the UBS spokesman added.

He declined to reveal how much cash was involved in UBS’s case but confirmed it was likely to be in the millions of dollars. [...]

Swiss News
posted by Irdial , 1:29 PM Þ 

Today, I'm with Nietzsche.

posted by Mess Noone , 11:53 AM Þ 

Better late than never.
posted by Alun , 11:32 AM Þ 

Music for the war.... (excuses if i missed that this has been done already, I am brain dead. severe sinus problems with pressure pain. ouch.)

Time for fear (who's afraid). Art of noise
(also How To Kill on the same LP, but it's not as scary)

Atomic moog 2000. Coldcut. With a very scary sample....

Oh Lord Don't Let 'Em Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me. Mingus. (Also Keith Richards sings it on the fantastic Hal Willner 'Meditations on Mingus' project)

Trouble coming
More trouble

Things noticed while scanning the frequencies... where are all the indie/jazz/experimental/post-x/classical/electronica pirate radio stations? I counted over 40 rap/house/drum and bass stations available in Hackney, one of them blocking Resonance FM.
Similarly, why does 'my' society depend like junkies on Tesco and Sainsbury? The Turkish and caribbean/african markets near me are wonderful, and the prices are half whta Tesco charges and the choice is outrageously good. 'We' are culturally blinded, gagged and bound into 'buy what we offer' and it should be us saying 'give us what we want'.

My first thought on hearing about American PoDubyas (yes, I heard him say it that way last night). Guantanemo Bay.

Finally, I am told I should 'get behind our boys' now that war is on. Why? I disagree with war. Why would I then support 'our boys' killing Iraquis? I will not support either force. I will not support killing. I am told of their 'bravery and courage'. The Army. Job description: follow orders, kill as required. Bravery? No. It is akin (hahahaha!) to calling the entire England rugby team brave if they ganged up to beat me. Are those submarine crews launching cruise missiles brave? No.

And Bush said the war was started 'on my orders'. Good to know this is a coalition, then.
posted by Alun , 11:30 AM Þ 







posted by Irdial , 6:45 AM Þ 

Editorial: Lies, Lies and More Lies

24 March 2003

Yesterday the US-led army invading Iraq — without UN approval, without international backing — woke up to the reality of ground combat.

They learned first-hand that the Iraqi people do not want to be “liberated” by them, and that the Iraqi Army is likely to fight to the very last.

Resistance continues in Umm Qasr, a small port city just inside Iraq which the US claimed to have taken days ago; and independent reports say that in Nassiriyah up to 20 American armored personnel carriers and tanks were taken out by the Iraqis.

What is not in doubt is that dozens of American soldiers may have been killed yesterday. More than a dozen were taken prisoner. The bodies of the dead were shown on Iraqi television. So were the frightened faces of Iraq’s first prisoners of war.

Those who have been getting their news exclusively from US networks probably have not seen these images. Priority was given to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose denials slowly turned as the day progressed into grudging admissions.

Rumsfeld finally commanded the airwaves alone, after having bullied several major American networks — CNN, Fox and MSNBC — into not showing the images of the US prisoners of war and the dead.

He did this by referring to the Geneva Convention. Footage of the captured soldiers constituted “propaganda”, Rumsfeld asserted.

At the same time, he managed to cast doubt on the fact that the captured were indeed American.

Rumsfeld’s newfound affection for the Geneva Convention is remarkable, given that there were images broadcast continuously the day before on US news networks of long lines of Iraqi prisoners surrendering, in US President George W. Bush’s words, “gleefully, enthusiastically”.

The US does not believe that the prisoners now being held at Guantanamo Bay are prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. Pictures of the men there, shackled and living in cages, were distributed by the Bush administration to the world’s media.

The US Army yesterday said that it considers the images of the US prisoners of war shown on Iraqi TV “disgusting.” For those who have seen them, they invoke a complex mixture of emotions, including pity and surprise; but disgust is not among them.

Real war is an ugly business, and the US is now engaged in a real, complex war. All the signs are that the Iraqis do not want the Americans on their land, and are not going to give them as a present their vast oil reserves.

The war, it would appear, is going to be protracted, and things are going to get messier. The messier things get, the greater will be the need for clear, objective coverage from those who are covering it.

The US troops are fighting in the name of the US government. The US media, however, are not a paid-up, fully trained extra battalion of the US Army whose job it is to help the troops to victory. Rather, their job is to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth.

So far, they have told little but lies.

Arab News
posted by Irdial , 6:38 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 6:32 AM Þ 

"You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse. You must still act."
-Mohandas Ghandi
posted by Barrie , 4:38 AM Þ 

It is rumored (how accurate!) the US troops have found a HUGE building, reportedly used for CHEMICAL WEAPONS! That Hans Blix must have TOTALLY MISSED, even though it's HUGE. And USED FOR WEAPONS!
I hope the US realizes that they have no credibility at all when it comes to things like this. Obviously they are going to plant as many things as they can now that they're IN Iraq, or just straight up LIE about it without even planting things ("We, uh, got rid of it all right away").
Accidents, not combat, killing most coalition personnel
On CBC Radio this morning there was an interview with a designer of the Patriot missile system. Basically, he said that the accident that happened in the last couple of days with the missile targeting a US craft was completely HUMAN error. They way he described the interface for firing the missile makes it sound like only a moron could screw it up. I suppose that's the model kind of fellow for the US Army.

In other news: All the snow is melting!
posted by Barrie , 4:30 AM Þ 
Sunday, March 23, 2003

The prisoners, who identified themselves as being from the 507th maintenance company, were wearing military uniforms. They looked dazed and frightened.

They were asked to give their views on the war.

Asked why he had come to Iraq, one said he "was told to come here".

He said he had come to fix "broken stuff".

Asked why he was fighting Iraqis, he said: "They don't bother me, I don't bother them."

He said he did not "want to kill anybody".

When asked how many officers were in his unit, he replied: "I don't know sir."

Asked why he had come to Iraq, another said: "I follow orders."
posted by Irdial , 10:47 PM Þ 

more about war media coverage
posted by alex_tea , 9:10 PM Þ 

Al is down (well I can't connect), and seemingly it runs on IIS servers. A little naively, I thought they would be running on Apache... Weird.

posted by alex_tea , 8:50 PM Þ 

I remember a time when I could turn on the radio and hear ragged samples of soundtracks, dialogue, raps... just anything basically, plastered with sped-up hiphop breakbeats and bass that would kill all the insects in the surrounding area of my speakers. What the fuck happened?

This has been of interest.

posted by Mess Noone , 8:48 PM Þ 

"So you say you a baby? ....wait a minute, I'll just get the suitcase from the van......."
posted by chriszanf , 6:37 PM Þ 

Consider the GPS jammer that 22-year-old Romain Lievin built while a student at France's ESISAR-INPG Grenoble engineering school. Lievin's GPS jammer may eventually be available commercially. Here's a photo of one of his prototype circuit boards.One "hobby" GPS-denial system that I found on the Web uses a Motorola MC145151 PLL-based frequency synthesizer, a Micronetics M3500-1324S VCO module, and a Fujitsu MB506 divide-by-256 pre-scaler.

The VCO feeds the pre-scaler, generating a 1.575 GHz signal that's divided down and routed to one port on the PLL's comparator. The reference is an oscillator running an El Cheapo 10 MHz crystal. Ultimately a signal is derived that's in the audio range, where it's easy to deal with. No strip-lines in that domain, eh?

Augmenting the PLL is a hash generator based on Zener diode noise. A 12-cent 2N2222 transistor amplifies the noise. This develops broadband crud out to 100 MHz.

In this home-workshop GPS jammer, the hash is filtered and then boosted by a ubiquitous National Semi LM386 audio amplifier IC, and then mixed with the VCO's error-tune signal. The result? RF looking like random noise centered on 1.57542 GHz. [...]

Russian Capitalism At Work

Is this improbable? Maybe so, but my ears perked up when I caught a blip on the evening TV news about portable GPS jammers that are being sold to the Iraqis by the Russians. Presumably these units come from the Moscow-based Aviaconversiya Ltd. electronics company.

The company has been flaunting its handheld GPS jammers at military hardware and air shows since 1999. Claimed to be able to jam American GPS and Russian GLONASS satellite transmissions, the Aviaconversiya emitters strike me as true spy-vs.-spy products.

By the way, a Web search reveals that Aviaconversiya is on a list of hundreds of U.S. Department of Defense contractors whose contracts exceed $25,000. (Curious, don't you think?)

So just what does Aviaconversiya's little battery-powered $40,000 box do? Well, for starters, it delivers a hefty 8 W of microwave RF into its high-gain Yagi antenna. That gives a user possible GPS denial out to hundreds of miles. If fitted with an omnidirectional antenna instead of the Yagi beam, the Aviaconversiya system is touted as capable of preventing a cruise missile from finding its mark.
posted by Irdial , 6:34 PM Þ 


Company established 10 years ago has developed and produces: jammers for suppression receivers of different kinds radio systems: navigation Ч GPS/GLONASS, most important radar of different wavelengths (for example HAWKEYE, AWACS, onboard and ground-based radar), mobile telephones, communication links. Jammers in most cases are based on the unified design philosophy Ц by receiving of radio systems signals destined for suppression, storing these signals and using them by multiple read-out for forming any kinds of jammings for creation the specified scenario at the output of suppressed systems medical special coded electromagnetic signal generators for curing wounds and trophic ulcers, insults after-effects, drugs dependence, nerve system functioning disturbance (neurodermite, allergy, neuritis), inflammation of nerve fibres (myiasit, radiculities), relaxation after stress. Aviacor-Aviatzionny zavod, PJSC Pskovskaya Str., Samara, 443052, Russia Phone: +7-8462-926655. Fax: +7-8462-550707. E-mail: aviaprom
posted by Irdial , 6:30 PM Þ 

US accuses Russians of aiding Iraqi defence

The United States believes Russian technicians are helping Iraq jam crucial satellite signals needed to guide bombs and military aircraft as US, British and Australian troops advance on Baghdad, a senior US official said.

The official says Washington has evidence personnel from a Russian firm are in Iraq attempting to help set up and operate a sophisticated system that interferes with the US global positioning technology.

"The system is complex and there is evidence that they (Russian technicians) have been trying to bring this system online and help the Iraqis operate it," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We are extremely upset and have raised this at very senior levels with the Russians."

The official stressed there is no indication the Russian Government was involved in the efforts but said Moscow had been "extremely unhelpful" in addressing the US concerns.

The official confirmed a report in The Washington Post newspaper that said complaints about the sales of the jamming devices by the Moscow-based firm, Aviaconversiya, began in June 2002.

At the time, the official said, the Russians denied the company even existed despite the fact it maintained an Internet site and was the subject of extensive media coverage in Russia.

"It was ridiculous but now it's gone beyond that," the official said. "It is grotesque."

Google Sez

posted by Irdial , 6:22 PM Þ 

There was ignorance to contend with everywhere. It came in the form of journalists who were simply out of their depth, as when one BBC presenter confused Friday with “Ramadan”. He then went on to confuse rain in northern Iraq with a sandstorm in the south. Of course, the cultivation of comprehensive ignorance is part of the United States’ campaign to limit access to information to the absolute minimum. In the name of security, “embeds” may know what is going on, but they are forbidden from reporting it. And those reporters working independently of the US military are kept far away from events — their passes revoked, their movements limited, at the whim of a commander. The Committee for the Protection of Journalists yesterday announced that the Al-Rashid Hotel is Baghdad — a makeshift base for Western journalists — was being evacuated after news filtered through that the US was likely to bomb it. [...]
posted by Irdial , 6:09 PM Þ 

Entry: terror
Function: noun
Definition: fear
alarm, anxiety, awe, consternation, dismay, dread, fearfulness, fright, horror, intimidation, panic, shock, trepidation, trepidity


Roget's Interactive Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.0.0)

Yesterday after the march / rally in Hyde Park there was a sit-in in Oxford Street, oustide Selfridges. A man climbed on top of a number 98 bus, people were in office buildings playing music. There must have been about 200 people, or more. I got there at about 1800, not sure what time it started, but it dissipated at around 1930.

After that there was another sit-in on Park Lane which lasted for another hour or so after we got there. I think after people moved on to Parliament Square, I can't find any confirmation of this though.

I joined the Socialist Party yesterday too. I'm fed up with not really knowing what I can do, and this seems to be one way of getting organised, but I have heard people with grievances about them so I was wondering if any of you had any first hand experience or advice? Is it a good thing?
posted by alex_tea , 2:51 PM Þ 

The design of TV news in this situation is next to useless. There are multiple feeds coming from different sources, and the directors choose to fill the screen with huge text bullet points, and pig ignorant talking heads instead of showing us what we need to see.

You can get more information, more efficiently and fluidly from your desktop, and its this idea that needs to be translated directly to news during a crisis with multiple news sources. The presenters are largely irrelevant as visual elements, as are the pundits. They should be relegated to voice only, as is the case on Euro News.

Each of the multiple feeds that are being collected should be shown live in a series of boxes; when one becomes "hot" it should then fill the screen. A persistent box for bullet points and a very thin scrolling headline should be at the bottom of the screen. In this way, the viewer misses nothing, can choose its own focus of attention, and get the hot feed in high res when needed.

All of this dull explanation of munitions can be done on the web; it is absolutely pointless to keep repeating the specs of the bombs on television. This was actually done while the live search for a downed pilot was continuing in *real time*.

AJN has the pace right; they cut to places all over the world, and all throughout Iraq. They are at RAF Fairford when the B52s take off, they are in Pakistan to cover the demonstrations there - in fact, they seem to be everywhere at once, while the totality of western media is locked in the studio, forced to take feeds from AJN!

AJN is doing the job that western media *should* be doing. They are doing it with 100% efficiency, and lightning speed. Welcome to the future, where the west is relegated to the sidelines as an impotent witness while the "Third World" leaps forward to become the dominant culture and disseminator of truth in the world.

Incredibly, the western media always cautions viewers when they are retransmitting "Arab TV", the subtext being "Arabs are liars by nature". This is being said of LIVE FEEDS and not EDITED FOOTAGE. How can a LIVE FEED be a lie? Do they really think that no one is paying attention when they say these things?!
posted by Irdial , 1:08 PM Þ 

Al Jazeera news, which you can see live on the internet shows regular news conferences by General Al Sahaf and other senior Iraqi staff. While these conferences are going on, each of the news channels, NBC, Sky News, CNN, Fox, Euronews, all show identical, meaningless feeds of dust from the "embedded" journalists and cameras.

Iraqi TV is still on the air, and being uplinked / streamed live. It is never cut to by the western news, never re-transmitted, even when it is showing an Iraqi press conference that is being violently shaken by the Shock and Awe bombing.

You can watch all of these, non-embedded (free) live feeds online, in real-time. It is clearly pointless to watch western news, since they are locked in to the embedded system.

If you are not on broadband, you can even PAY for Al Jazeera news and add it to your Sky package. AJN, on the Astra bird, is giving a totally different picture from the embedded news on the western channels.

AJN is showing the many casualties, the destroyed buildings, and is cutting to every Iraqi news conference. It is also conducting interviews with British and American Generals, and re transmitting the news conferences from US Command and Control.

To the further shame of the western news agencies, AJN is now clearly the nearest thing to an unbiased news source if you want to find info on this conflict. CNN was kicked out for a reason; you can see this reason yourself when you compare and contrast the coverage of AJN and CNN.

There is no excuse for this restriction of what is really happening. AJN, if they were giving away any operational information, would be shut down instantly. They are not doing this. There is no reason why people in the middle east should get the full picture, the blood, guts and devastation, correspondents on the ground all over Iraq and in Baghdad, and everyone in the west get only sanitized "slices" and blurry green 1980s CRT images of what is going on.

This divergence of information (and therefore perception); the far east getting the full horror and facts, and the west being effectively blindfolded will only add to the cultural problems in the future; no one in the USA for example, will understand the rage of the Arab world over this, because they will never have seen the carnage unleashed by this action, which every Arab speaking person will have seen again and again. The Arab world appear to bee even more hysterical and irrational, because they will have been properly traumatized by the images of war, which all westerners will be escaping.

Once again, western journalists and news organizations have completely failed to do their jobs, and are not only facilitating this total insanity, but are making sure that the misunderstanding between eastern and western cultures is more pronounced than ever before.

Well done you FOOLS.
posted by Irdial , 11:15 AM Þ 

Thank you, President Bush

Paulo Coelho

Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.

Thank you for showing everyone what a danger Saddam Hussein represents. Many of
us might otherwise have forgotten that he had used chemical weapons against his own
people, against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Hussein is a bloodthirsty dictator
and one of the clearest expressions of evil in today's world.

But this is not my only reason for thanking you. During the first two months of 2003,
you have shown the world a great many other important things and, therefore, deserve
my gratitude.
So, remembering a poem I learned as a child, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their Parliament are not
for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars.
Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions made
by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for making it clear that
neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair give the slightest weight to or show the
slightest respect for the votes they received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the
fact that 90% of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest
public demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years.

Thank you for making it necessary for Tony Blair to go to the British Parliament with
a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and present this as 'damning
evidence collected by the British Secret Service'.

Thank you for allowing Colin Powell to make a complete fool of himself by showing
the UN Security Council photos which, one week later, were publicly challenged by
Hans Blix, the Inspector responsible for disarming Iraq.

Thank you for adopting your current position and thus ensuring that, at the plenary
session, the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin's anti-war speech was
greeted with applause - something, as far as I know, that has only happened once
before in the history of the UN, following a speech by Nelson Mandela.

Thank you too, because, after all your efforts to promote war, the normally divided
Arab nations, at their meeting in Cairo during the last week in February, were, for the
first time, unanimous in their condemnation of any invasion.

Thank you for your rhetoric stating that 'the UN now has a chance to demonstrate its
relevance', a statement which made even the most reluctant countries take up a
position opposing any attack on Iraq.

Thank you for your foreign policy which provoked the British Foreign Secretary, Jack
Straw, into declaring that in the 21st century, 'a war can have a moral justification',
thus causing him to lose all credibility.

Thank you for trying to divide a Europe that is currently struggling for unification;
this was a warning that will not go unheeded.

Thank you for having achieved something that very few have so far managed to do in
this century: the bringing together of millions of people on all continents to fight for
the same idea, even though that idea is opposed to yours.

Thank you for making us feel once more that though our words may not be heard,
they are at least spoken - this will make us stronger in the future.
Thank you for ignoring us, for marginalising all those who oppose your decision,
because the future of the Earth belongs to the excluded.
Thank you, because, without you, we would not have realised our own ability to
mobilise. It may serve no purpose this time, but it will doubtless be useful later on.

Now that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like to say, as an
ancient European king said to an invader: 'May your morning be a beautiful one, may
the sun shine on your soldiers' armour, for in the afternoon, I will defeat you.'
Thank you for allowing us - an army of anonymous people filling the streets in an
attempt to stop a process that is already underway - to know what it feels like to be
powerless and to learn to grapple with that feeling and transform it.
So, enjoy your morning and whatever glory it may yet bring you.

Thank you for not listening to us and not taking us seriously, but know that we are
listening to you and that we will not forget your words.

Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.
Thank you very much.

March 8, 2003
posted by Irdial , 11:04 AM Þ 

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