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Cowards afraid of democracy

A couple of weeks ago some of the management team were discussing whether Webdiary should take a few weeks off over summer. I was reluctant, and flippantly said, "What if there's another tsunami?"

So today we have another assassination, one which has potential to destabilise even more a volatile part of an increasingly volatile world. A few moments ago I heard an interesting BBC interview with Tariq Ali which I shall try to link later; in the meantime, here are some comments on Mrs Bhutto, then over to you for discussion.

From Mr Rudd:

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

...

Mr Rudd said Ms Bhutto was campaigning "resolutely" for democracy in the lead up to the country's January 8 polls.

"Despite a previous attempt to assassinate her on her return to Pakistan in October and the shocking loss of over a hundred lives in that attempt, Benazir Bhutto refused to bow to intimidation and the continuing threat to her life," Mr Rudd said in a statement.

"Throughout her life, Benazir Bhutto showed great courage and defiance in her resistance to extremism."

Mr Rudd said the people behind Ms Bhutto's murder must be stopped and called for a return to democracy.

"The extremists behind this attack cannot be allowed to succeed," he said.

"I urge all parties in Pakistan to act with restraint and to work for a return to a peaceful democratic process.

"It is my hope that a democratic Pakistan will be Benazir Bhutto's legacy."

From the UK:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Benazir Bhutto was killed by "cowards afraid of democracy" Thursday as he led tributes to the slain politician in Britain, where she studied and spent part of her exile.

Brown said Bhutto's death was "a sad day for democracy" and "a tragic hour for Pakistan".

He said Bhutto was a "woman of immense personal courage and bravery".

"She risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards afraid of democracy," Brown said.

"This atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world."

Foreign Secretary David Miliband called for "restraint but also unity" following her assassination after a rally in Rawalpindi.

Opposition politicians in Britain also condemned the killing.

"This is an appalling act of terrorism," said Conservative leader David Cameron. "Today Pakistan has lost one of its bravest daughters.

"Those responsible have not only murdered a courageous leader but have put at risk hopes for the country's return to democracy."

Nick Clegg, the newly-elected leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "Her tragic death is a hammer blow against the dream of pluralism and tolerance in modern day Pakistan."

Bhutto studied at Oxford University and spent some time in London, where she had a home, during an eight-year self-imposed exile which ended with her return to Pakistan in October.

She also had a strong following among the hundreds of thousands of British residents who still have ties to Pakistan.

Bhutto's friends in Britain, including some in high public office, were stunned by the death and expressed fears for Pakistan's future.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw described her as "a personal friend".

"Benazir comes from an extraordinary political dynasty in Pakistan, a dynasty which has been all too acquainted with tragedy," he said.

"She will be sorely missed."

Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, a senior figure in the Anglican Church, also counted her as a friend and said her death "raises serious questions about the government's ability to provide security for its citizens".

Rehman Christi, a former aide and family friend of Bhutto, remembered her as among the "brightest politicians in Pakistan's history who offered the masses hope and inspiration", in an interview with Sky News television.

He added that she had left a letter with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the Foreign Office in London naming three individuals who "posed a risk to her safety".

"She knew the risks but her country needed her, she needed to go back to bring stability to Pakistan," he said.

"She knew there were risks but for the greater good of the country she went back to Pakistan and now has paid for that with her life."

Munib Anwar, a member of the Pakistan Lawyers' Action Committee pressure group, wept as he said it was "a very sad day" for Pakistan.

"She was such a brave woman. The hopes for a democratic Pakistan have been dashed today," he said.

"She was the one great hope for Pakistan. Where are we now?

"I do not have any hope for the future."

Amit Roy, a writer and political commentator who was a friend of Bhutto, said that in one of his last conversations with her, he had joked that she should leave politics and become an academic.

"But she felt that it was always her ambition to return to Pakistan as prime minister. She knew the risks but was determined to stay," he said.

"The elections should go ahead but they might have to be postponed for a while because emotions will be running very high.

"It might be logistically impossible to have them at the moment."

Meanwhile, London-based human rights group Amnesty International condemned the killing, but called on President Pervez Musharraf to respect the rule of law and not curb civil liberties.

"Amnesty International calls on President Musharraf -- and on the security forces -- to exercise restraint and uphold the rule of law," Amnesty's Asia-Pacific Programme Director Catherine Barber said.

"The killing of Benazir Bhutto must not be allowed to become a setback to civilian governance or indeed lead to a further crackdown on civil liberties."

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Scotland Yard: Bomb not Bullets

The Times reports:

Scotland Yard investigators have backed the Pakistani Government’s claim that Benazir Bhutto was not shot, but died after a suicide bomb blast smashed her head against the roof of her armoured vehicle.

The team from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command also concluded that the former Prime Minister and opposition leader was killed by a lone assassin, instead of two, as many Pakistanis believe.

It did not say who was behind her assassination ...

The News in Pakistan is saying Scotland Yard's findings raise more questions than answers:

The Scotland Yard report says nothing as to who sent the killers and is behind Ms Bhutto's assassination. It also raises questions as to the conclusion that one killer was involved, particularly given that a taped conversation of Baitullah Mehsud, released to the media by Pakistani authorities, had spoken of at least two killers being involved. The implication of these findings, then, is that if they are correct, the taped conversation is inaccurate, and its authenticity suspect. Questions are also being asked as to how the Yard reached its conclusions in the absence of an autopsy and the washing away of crucial forensic evidence.

Benazir Bhutto speaks from the grave.

Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a suicide attack last year, had been warned that four suicide squads were targeting her, including one led by Osama bin Laden's 16-year-old son."

The claims are carried in her soon-to-be-released memoirs. Extracts were released today.

According to Bhutto, who had been campaigning in Rawalpindi ahead of planned elections when she was killed on December 27, another of the suicide squads was run by Islamist warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who authorities suspect masterminded her assassination.

Bhutto's memoirs, "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West", will be published on February 12.

BB's book reports what Mush told her

Those AFP reporters are so sloppy. If the first paragraph Eliot has quoted is correct, then this paragraph is wrong:

According to Bhutto, who had been campaigning in Rawalpindi ahead of planned elections when she was killed on December 27, another of the suicide squads was run by Islamist warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who authorities suspect masterminded her assassination.

It would be correct if it were:

According to Bhutto ... Musharraf told her that another of the suicide squads was run by Islamist warlord Baitullah Mehsud ...

I'm still waiting for an answer as to why Musharraf's men where able to eavesdrop on Mehsud after the murder of Ms Bhutto, but not before it.

This looks like a job for the Politicians

 Craig Rowley says:

"... only if Musharraf allows the UN to lead the inquiry into her murder, something he has ruled out."

The UN is a political forum, not an investigative agency, and that's the point of Ms Bhutto's demand that they "investigate" the murder.

The UN would have to assign the investigation to some kind of panel of specialist investigators drawn from police agencies of UN member states.

That would further bog down the investigation in debates over which foreign agencies could be "trusted", create further opportunities for divisions and splits within the investigation "teams", for various players to announce "conspiracies" by "foreign agencies", and ensure the political waters stay muddied, fan paranoia, etc, etc.

I can well understand Ms Bhutto's reluctance to hand the body over to Musharraf's security agencies (or al Qaeda as they're better known), but if the family can suggest somebody better qualified than Scotland Yard....

In the meantime, the trail's getting colder and colder.

And there's no actual mystery about why an Islamist organisation operating out of Pakistan would prefer Musharraf than a female, pro-western, democracy reformers. Or why they'd want to foster civil unrest in Pakistan. Though they seem to have failed again.

Zombie?

Eliot Ramsey says: "I can well understand Ms Bhutto's reluctance to hand the body over ..."

Can Ms Bhutto having any feelings, let alone "reluctance" to hand over her own body?

Or is Eliot saying she's not really dead?

Who killed Bhutto?

Naveed Ahmad, writing for Newsline in Pakistan, says the investigation into Benazir Bhutto's assassination has raised more questions than it has answered:

Clear answers about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto still seem distant. Every day seemingly brings a new version of the story without any fundamental change in the evidence. Meanwhile, the federal government has lost all credibility with the public. Besides being immediately accused of providing inadequate security to the former prime minister, the government has invited criticism by the initial sloppiness of its investigation, frequently changing its version of events and putting forth an initial explanation that the country, and the world, felt stunk of a cover-up.

Ahmad concludes with a particularly apposite point:

... one thing about the Scotland Yard probe remains contentious. It has been reported that the foreign detectives have been assigned the task of determining how Benazir Bhutto was killed and have not been given the scope to investigate who killed her. In a way, it is tantamount to the government saying, 'We do not want you to help deliver justice.' So much for national reconciliation.

And the family will agree to exhuming BB's body ...

... only if Musharraf allows the UN to lead the inquiry into her murder, something he has ruled out. 

That's what Al-Jazeera has reported (referencing a Newsweek report):

"Exhume it, 100 per cent," Musharraf told Newsweek magazine. "I would like it to be exhumed."
 
However, he ruled out using his executive power to order a post-mortem examination without the agreement of Bhutto's family.

"Everything is not black and white here," he said. "It would have very big political ramifications."
 
"If I just ordered the body exhumed, it would be careless, unless [Bhutto's] people agreed; but they will not ... because they know it's a fact there is nothing wrong."
 
However Bhutto's family said it would agree to an exhumation only if Musharraf allows the UN to lead the inquiry into her murder, something he has ruled out. No autopsy was ever carried out.
 
"There cannot be a UN investigation," Musharraf said. "There are not two or three countries involved. Why should there be a UN investigation? This is ridiculous."

Why should there be a UN investigation?

The news that nearly half of Pakistanis say Musharraf's government is behind Bhutto's death is one good reason, isn't it?

what? not trust Scotland Yard? sheesh.

Hey Craig, about that: "However Bhutto's family said it would agree to an exhumation only if Musharraf allows the UN to lead the inquiry into her murder, something he has ruled out. No autopsy was ever carried out....."

Does that mean that they don't trust Scotland Yard? Imagine my surprise.

Cheers 

PPP wants UN to investigate BB's murder

Faheem Raza reports for The Nation (Pakistan) that last week PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari reiterated his party's stance that the probe into the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto should be conducted by the UN.

Zardari said that he had talked with former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and HRCP head Asma Jehangir who agreed with the PPP stance that probe should be conducted by the UN.

Zardari also said that Musharraf was deceiving the masses regarding the autopsy of Benazir Bhutto’s dead body, adding that he arrived in the country six hours after the incident and the corpse of the slain PPP leader was lying in the hospital where the government did need his permission to conduct the postmortem.

Islamabad CSI

Craig, what would really "reduce pressure on President Pervez Musharraf" would be if Ms Bhutto's family relinquished the body for a post mortem.

Any news yet?

When first we practise to deceive.

Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party believes there is deception involved in the "confession" of teenager Aitzaz Shah.  According to a report by Declan Walsh in The Guardian, they say his is a "cock and bull story" and that it is "intended to reduce pressure on President Pervez Musharraf."

...they weave.

Craig Rowley reports:

"Pakistani police have arrested a teenager who was allegedly trained last year at a camp run by one of Mehsud's commanders in the tribal border region of Waziristan and was allegedly part of a five-man squad in the plot to kill Bhutto.

Yet, Mehsud's "surrender" was reported by Pakistani media in February 2005 and he was reportedly quot;granted amnesty" after "a peace deal" with the administration of the South Waziristan Agency."

Did his commander in the tribal border region also surrender? Or just Mehsud? And is Mehsud still in custody?

And I agree, it is a tangled web.

By the way, have Ms Bhutto's family relinquished the body for a post mortem yet?

O what tangled webs ...

The CIA has concluded (in agreement with Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistani government) that the men who murdered Benazir Bhutto were directed by Baitullah Mehsud. Pakistani police have arrested a teenager who was allegedly trained last year at a camp run by one of Mehsud's commanders in the tribal border region of Waziristan and was allegedly part of a five-man squad in the plot to kill Bhutto.

Yet, Mehsud's "surrender" was reported by Pakistani media in February 2005 and he was reportedly quot;granted amnesty" after "a peace deal" with the administration of the South Waziristan Agency.

So something must have been a deal breaker at some point in the past few years, but scanning the web for news media reports of what that could have been turns up nothing.

After the "surrender" stories in February and March 2005, there's scarcely a story mentioning Mehsud published before June and July 2006 when he was twice mentioned in reports published by the Jamestown Foundation.

First Sohail Abdul Nasir reporting the Pakistani authorities were engaged in "secret meetings with militants" writes that:

In the Waziristan agencies, the situation has tilted toward the militants so much that a writ from local Taliban leaders Baitullah Mehsud or Haji Omar is needed to remove administrative bottlenecks—evidence that the influence of militant leaders has crept into government offices.

Then in July 2006, Mehsud was described by Sohail Abdul Nasir as South Waziristan's "Unofficial Amir", "pledged" to Mullah Omar (leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan), and "pledged" to "not provide assistance to al-Qaeda and other militants" nor "launch operations against government forces."

In April 2006, a BBC report on events in North Waziristan in April 2006 mentioned that Mehsud accused the Pakistani military of "not honouring its agreement to withdraw its forces" and also accused the ISI of "of threatening his life and of trying to sabotage the peace deal", but aside from that it was reported that Mehsud was once again threatening war against the Pakistani government only after (very soon after) the Jamestown Foundation's article in July 2006.

By January 2007, reports make it clear that the "peace deal" was broken. For example, the BBC reported:

A peace deal between pro-Taleban militants and Pakistan's government is in the balance after an air strike on an alleged militant camp on Tuesday.

Government forces carried out the attack in the South Waziristan tribal area. More than 20 people were killed in the raid, officials say.

Tribal leaders have called for revenge and want the deal reconsidered.

Waziristan had seen a decline in conflict between pro-Taleban and government forces after the peace deal.

...

Baitullah Mehsud, a leader of pro-Taleban militants from the Mehsud tribe in the region, told the BBC's Haroon Rashid that "revenge will be taken in the next 10 to 15 days.

"The revenge will be such that they will feel its pain in their hearts," the militant leader said.

Guess why the Pakistanis decided to launch that strike, thereby undoing the "peace deal" and turning Mehsud's mind toward revenge?

Craig, very enlightening in this sad topic

Craig, superb reporting!! Pity there is not more like you in the MSM.

And Bob thanks for the details so full of important data and links as usual. Have been away and missed the local content. Will be more relaxed at the end of the month when all the family are home and out of range.

Eliot good point too, any idea yourself why not? Or is it still Epistaxis digitorum for you? Not sure at this point how proving the claim of the government to be false, that she hit her head was not the cause of death helps, in knowing who the gunman and explosion organisers were, although it does show how once again Governments lie to the people - blatantly??

An autopsy- is it just to prove one way or other about the initial government press reports and their validity? Do you have any other reason Eliot, can you see any other benefit for the trauma to the family? I think a frank examination of the hospital data would give a lot more information at this point to be frank, as far as her demise.

But but should it be on principle that sudden or violent deaths get autopsies? Well, it happens to be OUR law but heck:...........not in the Vatican (JP1) and certainly not in Queensland...

Perhaps you can explain also why the UAE sheik two or three Decembers ago did not have an autopsy on the Gold Coast after dropping dead suddenly despite not being unwell before? And his horse in the Hunter, same day, how sad, what a coincidence, also a heart problem. Wow, gosh.Now the former's Bush sympathiser brother is in power, nice. Guess international leaders don't always have autopsies when one might think they should eh? Softy softly.

Some don't even get inquests, poor old David K. Some get blockbuster spy thriller accusations. just depends I guess. Back to the BBQ for all, move along, nothing to see here. We'll tell you when to pay attention. Move along.

Cheers

Another version ...

That's the operative expression - every day brings more and varying accounts of events. Here is a report that the police prevented an autopsy.

More from Tariq Ali.

William Dalrymple.

Justin Raimondo.

Leysh Natarak

Anyone able to point to a translation of the lyrics of the Natacha Altas song? Preferably the English, not Aramaic, although Tok Pisin would do.

Recorded Before The Assasination?

Presumably you mean Osama's assassination Eliot Ramsey, or before he passed away from kidney disease about 5 years ago. Doubt there's much life in the old Bin Laden bogeyman for much longer, unless he's going to become like Santa Claus and be trotted out for every suitable occasion. Then again-, here is already talk of one of his sons carrying the torch - soon those tapes will come from Son Of Osama Bin Laden.

And what is the Aegean Stables Geoff Pahoff - apart from a website that puts the opposite case to Robert Fisk, who at least has spent most of his life in the Middle East and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all the players?

The Wal Mart in Islamabad

Angela, hi!

If the video and pictures of the man firing the gun at Ms Bhutto, and the following massive explosion blowing the man to pieces and killing a number of people around him don't equate to being the cause of the Ms Bhutto's death, then what are you suggesting did cause it?

The bump on the head on the Toyota sun-roof? Well, that's possible given the force of the explosion, but so what? It's still an assassination by a suicide bomber.

Of course, using the popular fringe dwellers'  Epistemological Retardation approach to problem solving, I guess the onus in on us to prove even to you that Ms Bhutto is in fact dead.

I mean, we only have Mushareff's and George W's word for it. Maybe she's managing a Wal Mart in Islamabad and enjoying the quiet life.

Craig Rowley, hi!

The reason Osama Bin Laden's videotaped message would make no mention of the killing is because it was doubtless recorded well before the assassination.

As much as some US National Security Agency evesdropping unit in Virginia would like him to do it, not even Osama is so stupid as to e-mail MP3 files of himself to the world's media.

He shoots it on old-fashioned VHS tape and it's passed from hand to hand, I hear.

 Richard:  .. and then it goes onto the net, to be detected and leaked by the White House?  That's how the story went for the September one, anyway.  I'm still having trouble with the whole thing.  As for "epistomoligical retardardation," Eliot, how are your applications of the theorem to the Haneef saga coming along?

Trees and forests

Oh Eliot, no wonder you have such difficulty with analysis when you accept everything the media presents on a video. Be careful of those movies you watch, they are only special effects remember, don't be scared.

Although to be frank there is the word out that a few special effects have been added here and there by Hollywood types.

Let's put it in your language, dear Eliot. Say a book has a Dewey decimal number that put it in the history section, but upon looking inside one sees it is actually about trees one might say there has been a labelling error. That can be deliberate or accidental or coincidental.

Say a man waves a single shot pistol at Bhutto as she passes by and she is reported dead the next day from hitting her head and the official government version is that there is no evidence of bullets harming her, then one must wonder what is under the cover of this book jacket and look closer.

We do not even know if there was a suicide bomber. We only know there was an incendiary explosion that killed (how? heat/thermal injury/gas injury/pressure flux / or fletchette device?) 30 people.

The simple known facts are thus:

Bhutto was standing with head and upper chest above the sun roof of armour plated car.(very dumb thing to do for such an adroit politician - did she have reason to think nothing could happen?).

She is surrounded by guards beside, in front and behind vehicle. Vehicle is travelling very slowly after rally down a major street and surrounded by people, most making positive and supportive gestures from the ground level, with vehicles around including bikes and some cars. There are a large number of media recording her exit and significant police presence as seen in these media, but few near her.

Eyewitnesses and video sound footage record at least two shots(like noises). Within seconds there is a thermal-like explosion beside the car which kills 30 people but causes no harm to interior of vehicle or scorching to the roof level visible in post episode photos, according to published photos in huffington post. Forty minutes later Bhutto is reported dead after being left by the roadside for at approx10 - 20 minutes and then rushed to the hospital. (How did her companions in the car get injured?)

Various reports of cause of death so far. Khan, travelling in the other vehicle and immediately interviewed, claimed she had been shot in the head and neck. He was with her before the ambulance arrives. Both potentially and usually immediately lethal sites, but she lived for 40 minutes so one must consider nonlethal hits if these were the sites hit.

The blood within the car and on the roof hinge is consistent with both lethal and nonlethal hit if it is her blood - needs testing.. The roof hinge theory needs further evaluation and blood testing. The lethality of it may indeed be true as the timing permits such. Thus the head and neck projectile (pistol bullet or other bullet) hits may have been superficial, causing her to fall heavily into the roof hinge causing skull fracture, laceration and (?) intracranial rise in pressure?? But this is easily treated in hospital usually, even when fairly severe. Was there a problem with the hospital staff or facilities?

Unless there was massive intracranial bleed but this is unlikely with the injury , apparently a low velocity blunt trauma to the side of head from solid metal roof hinge.. One needs to have an independent ED person evaluate the blurry and poor quality films, if they are hers.

If, if ,if are all what one must consider in a political assassination, or any murder, Eliot. Why are you so obtuse about this? Do you not think it possible the murderer may want to blame it upon another person or group? Especially one which has a victim that has been pointing the finger at their covert unit, ISI and demanding examination of them!

So Eliot, it is perfectly possible that the nonlethal shots were not the cause of death. It is highly unlikely that the blast was the cause, due to the condition of the car and hence the idea of shrapnel is impossible as she was it appears already below the roof. But this needs to be confirmed by full video of event.

The blast does not have to be a suicide bomber, a simple phone can be the trigger to detonate such on a bike etc. The shots do not have to have come from the pistol either. Only by checking the bullet can one be sure of that. Surely you understand that basic forensic issue.

So, if you were going to assassinate Bhutto you would use a professional marksman with a patsy nearby to take the orchestrated blame depending upon the target of the blame. It seems Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by his Ruby explosive vest in time for the Vietnam invasion/Pakistan nuke/ military control and blame upon the communists/AL Qaeda. Same old tricks. Big game. Media follows along as usual.

But can the official reports or media interviews of eyewitnesses lie????

What I really want to see was the professional film that was taken by the camera man NEXT to the amateur that caught the "gun". I have seen no video that catches the moment yet to assay the direction of vectors involved. As you say, a proper autopsy by independent coroner investigators and investigation of those Bhutto wanted to investigate and what the fellow occupants of the car saw. .

Let us check if this book is properly labelled very carefully. Libraries burn for less.

Mistakes are made if events are not properly analysed and proper forensics are always needed to ascertain accurately what happened and how and who did it. Who paid for the terrorist attacks and what was ISI role it is what Bhutto said she was passionately going to find out. Let us hope they do. So far TWAT apes operation Gladio to perfection . Then it was communism, now it is Islam and oil.

Cheers

Ethical investments

While digging around for the origins of Peter Costello's Future Fund, in Norway's Future Generations Fund, found this - Two companies - Wal-Mart and Freeport - are being excluded from the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global’s investment universe

To the Council’s knowledge, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are the only countries that still allow riverine tailings disposal. While it may not be reasonable to apply Norwegian or Western environmental standards in all situations, the Council considers that lenient legislation in a country does not automatically justify a heavy environmental burden if the damage is considerable.

Historical Revisionist, hi!

Okay, so given that al-Qaeda can't help themselves when it comes to "bragging about it" we should expect a VHS with OBL "bragging about it" sometime later then?

And perhaps you can use your vast capacity for reasoning without  "Epistomological Retardation" to answer these other questions I'd asked:

Why is the Pakistani government saying it was LeJ on the one hand and Mehsud on the other?

Why is the "bragging" not being done by the LeJ Saalar-i-Aala (‘Commander-in-Chief’) - Muhammad Ajmal (alias Akram Lahori)?

Who was able to intercept the call between Mehsud and his co-conspirator, obtaining a telephone transcript as "evidence" after the event?

Why on earth didn't they pick up anything on those telephones (say, some intel on the planning) before the event?

Why is the intel good enough to produce "evidence" of the plan being discussed by Mehsud after the event, but not good enough to learn of the plan or detect it being executed prior to the evident?

If Bhutto's assassination was planned by Baitullah Mehsud, how could the Pakistani government claim "bragging rights" for determining that so quickly after the event when they'd failed to foil the plan?

And ...

Why would al-Qaeda be so quick to start "bragging about it"?

Why would al-Qaeda decide not to make the most of the opportunity to keep Musharraf in the frame for Bhutto's murder (as suggested by Anthony Zinni)?

They'd be better off leaving the responsibility question open and fostering the belief that Musharraf did it, wouldn't they?

Skin jobs

Suppose a massive deposit of an extremely valuable rare earth, Democritum, is found in a tribal region of the wildest part of Pakistan. The raw product is essential to a component of the next generation of electronic wizardry (see Celebrate the genius of capitalism). Assuming lessons have been learned from Ok Tedi, the global mining industry will  know how to go about the extraction. It requires a sustainable development to last 100 years, a semiskilled workforce of 1000 and a support base of 5000. With the current political instability, the pay-off would have to be enormous to justify the risk. However, in 50 years time, the Tyrell Corp may be contracted to supply a workforce of indestructible replicants

If a saviour emerges to guarantee a surer footing for progress in Pakistan, maybe the fiction of Democritum mining can be actualised through private financing on the global market. Go to Prison with a paycheck or a cruise ship ride? to see how Shell hopes to set up Albion Village, a

$12billion facility housing 2,500 workers in Wood Buffalo, in Alberta, Canada, where oil deposits are comparable to those in Saudi Arabia.

In I say development, you say développement, issues are raised that are very pertinent to projects in Aurukun or Sindh. If skills are dropped in by private corporations for a defined purpose, how much of the skill-base will transfer to the surrounding, indigenous population? When the mine is exhausted, will the company exit and leave a decaying husk of spiralling dysfunction, or will they have purposefully established a node of learning that forms a nucleus for liberation. Irfan's article draws a pertinent observation -

Pakistan turned 60 this year. It hasn't been the most pleasant of years for this Muslim nation, one of only two modern nations (the other being Israel) established on the basis of ethno-religious identity.

I'd say that if Israel had rejected all languages except modern Hebrew, or chosen Portuguese, or Sindhi, or Wik Mungkan, the surrounding nations would not be troubled by Israel's technological prowess.

Maybe it's worth exploring whether the Nelson option (Sell India uranium) is more, or less, useful than other options for sustainable development in South Asia.  

Cultural chasm

Irfan Yusuf writes (Fault lines of a nation) in The Age:

Pakistan's "folk Islam" consists of devotion to local patron saints. During my last visit, I stopped at the shrine of Imam Syed Ali Hujwiri, Lahore's patron saint. Islamic scholars know Imam Hujwiri as the author of one of the oldest books on Islamic spirituality in the Persian language. But for the average Punjabi villager, he is Data Ganj Bakhsh, the saint who grants their wishes.

One of the vast gaps was on view at the south-west quarter of the Melbourne Zoo yesterday. They have installed a traditional southeast Asian bullock cart as part of the re-created subtropical environment. I went from that to admiration of the photographic equipment sported by an East Asian man at one of the exhibits. He had two big Canon digital SLR cameras, one of them with a huge (25 cm) zoom lens.

That technology gap must be common throughout Asia. The difference between the wealthy assets of the Bhutto clan would be evident to the remaining 20 million of the Sindhi province. It's been said that the ex-Oxford playgirl, Harvard-educated Benazir was as fluent in Urdu as she is in English, yet had difficulty with Sindhi.

Sure, it was not the acme of Western technology, but the crudest of simple tools, that killed her. However, her evident striving for image enhancement paved the way. What would have been the point of glossing and burnishing herself for eager approval and consumption by the West if she couldn't be on display, above the parapet?

It will be interesting to watch how the "appointment" of more Bhuttos to lead the party will be viewed by the 'folk'. In the meantime, I recommend the Zoological Gardens. They are taking a lot of trouble and expense to show slivers of the cultures practised by our near northern neighbours:  far more effective educational tools than the annual shagfest to Bali or Bangkok. A small army of little kids and bubs in strollers was there on Sunday. Maybe, when some of them are older, they will ask the Indonesian caretaker to translate the Bahasa inscriptions on the exhibits.

I'd Dispute That She Was Shot

But not that she is dead.

The two gentleman with pistols look more like patsies to me. Very difficult to shoot someone even at close range in a jostling crowd by raising a pistol in the air, particularly twice. If she was, it was more likely by snipers with a bomber to wipe away the evidence.

Re: (the late) Osama Bin Laden and Mrs Bhutto's comments. It didn't sound like a slip of the tongue and one would assume she had her own good intelligence sources. There is a theory that Daniel Pearl had uncovered good information about the close co-operation between Pakistani intelligence, the CIA, and the various people who may or may not be members of the umbrella group Al Qaeda.

If Bin Laden hadn't been murdered by now, anyone who has any knowledge of kidney disease (providing he did have it) would know he couldn't possibly be alive today unless he was being constantly treated in a hospital (or perhaps at the Bush compound. A portable digital dialysis machine can't be toted around the countryside and simply propped up and used. And by the time you have dialysis at Bin Laden's age, your days are numbered.

US attack on Iran imminent.

Angela Ryan: "No autopsy is the first step to failure.Hosing immediately away the evidence is a nice follow-up."

Pakistan's government has offered to exhume Ms Bhutto's body for a post mortem. It's her own family resisting this.

Both the US and British governments are urging the government to hold an inquiry into the assasination. And to continue with the election.

There is simply no doubt she was shot - and that the assassin then detonated a bomb killing himself and others.

Two separate amateur images of the assassination are available, clearly showing the assassin raising his gun to shoot.

Not even Bhutto's party is saying Musharraf did the hit - he's being denounced for failing to prevent it.

This is so blatantly an Islamist, al-Qaeda style killing, it's almost hilarious that anyone needs to dispute it.

What is the psychological impulse for Epistemological Retardation?

Fiona: Eliot, you have just given me the most brill idea. Thank you so much, my sweet, and watch this space.

HEAVY MYRTLE, MAN: A NOVEL BY SIR ROBERT FISK

ERII What is the psychological impulse for Epistemological Retardation?

Christ, yr Maj. Who knows? You might put the question to your jolly old head shrinker, next time you're on the couch getting all your most valuable impulses done to fine sheen, with all the sprue collected and melted, then formed into tiny ingots for the Vatican vaults.

Rabbi Dr Sir Zimplats n'Jihad O'Woodforde of Kildare, OAM, Chief Advisor to the US Imperial Consul in Bulawayo

Dark players again, not Israelis per se

Sorry Eliot, but a photo of a man waving a gun does not mean that gun caused the death.

Exhumation and producing the bullet is firmer evidence. With matters of state one must be very careful about what is evidence and what is illusion.

It is apparent from the inside photos of the car that the explosion did not penetrate the vehicle yet her companions in the car were badly wounded. This may have been incorrectly reported. Until a proper report is released with all the details. The x-rays released are far from conclusive and well may be exit wounds if they are indeed her x-rays.

After watching her interview with Sir David I must confess she looked very dangerous to the internal workings of ISI and the secret money movements. Although she used the Patsy Omar's name, perhaps to indicate she would keep some of the game going, I think her definite and carefully crafted words about the funding of terrorism and ISI workings were dynamite. Especially when she carefully claimed that Osama Bin Laden was already dead ...how long??? How many tapes has she just revealed as fake? Sir David did not go into that, nor into the serious claim of ISI being involved in the bombings and that she would get foreign police units in to investigate. No, Sir David just asked does Musharif's uniform bug her. How adroit. A formidable asset for the establishment.

Should ISI and background terrrorism funding be investigated at what point would the alleged money transfers to the US for 911 be further probed? Perhaps even more dynamite. More risky than just a set of propaganda tapes being revealed as fake.

Remember the house of cards that Gus drew? Bhutto is now a part of it too. This is, I think, about the dark players that David Kelly wrote of before he was killed. Not the good guys in the US, UK, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, France, UAE but the dark players within the covert and money networks that are beyond normal laws....or think they are

Cheers

More fuel.

G'day Craig and Angela, a murky situation indeed which raises more and more questions. I dips me lid to those who are seeking information and answers as opposed to those who prefer to publicly indulge in private, solitary vices. And with some more links to add to the mix:

This

This

This.

A few on US machinations:

PM Carpenter.

Larry Chin.

Gary Leupp.

Reading matter for those interested in trying to find answers. Others can please themselves. Or try to.

The return of Epistemological Retardation

PF Journey says:

Now we have:

1. Benazir was killed by a bullet at her neck followed by explosion"

This in and seen around the world by billions...

"Two dramatic photographs from a video that captured the suspected assassin of Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto as he aimed his pistol and fired were released today by Dawn News. The most dramatic image clearly shows the hand of the assassin raised with a hand gun firing at Bhutto as she stood through the sun roof of the car leading her from a rally in Rawalpindi"

 Then there's this...

"Security officials said she was shot in the head and neck but witnesses said an attacker fired at her before blowing himself up, police said at the time."

"Last night one of Ms Bhutto's closest aides said she saw a bullet wound in the politician's head when she had bathed her body after her assassination."

"Ms Bhutto's spokeswoman, Sherry Rehman, said she saw a bullet wound that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side."

Like, anyone seriously doubts this?

It's the return of Epistemological Retardation - Occcam's Razor in Reverse - ignore the most obvious explanations, especially when supported by evidence.

It's the methodological basis for all historical revisionism and the core instrument of propaganda. 

Benazir Bhutto was murdered because she was the West's favourite. A female. And pro-democracy.

Hence the panic...

"She was the vessel of Western hopes for stability and moderation in the make-or-break arena in the so-called War on Terror. She was the focus of a US-led bid to choreograph a staggered return to civilian rule after eight years of military power."

Yet, ironically, according to the Retarded account, her death is a Western victory.

If Musharraf's boys did it, it's because he has been dumped by the West. And he hopes to blame it on al-Qaeda.

If al-Qaeda did it, it's because she was, as they have endlessly stated, a friend of the West and a moderate.

Musharraf has nothing to gain by de-stabilisation.

The military View

Isn't it the case that a lot of senior military are not really very happy with Musharraf, and wouldn't really qualify as his "boys"? In fact, they might see the assasination of Benazir Bhutto as desirable not just in itself, but having the added benefit of destabilizing Musharraf.

Some of them are no doubt sympathisers or agents of al-Qaeda or other Islamist groups (more or less independent of al-Qaeda). There is also nationalist anti-Western sentiment, tribal/ethnic loyalties, simple power hunger and greed, and who knows what else.

Epistemological Retardation? Is It Catching?

I've been having a bit of trouble with my epistemo lately and the thought has occurred to be that it might be suffering from a Parkinsons Disease-type of malfunction which could be fairly described as epistemological retardation.

Eliot, seeing as you're the expert in this area can I call upon you for advice?

P.S. Could I also wish all Webdiarists a Happy New Year and I trust that the coming year will be kind to you all!

Fiona: Happy New Year to you too, Daniel. So you haven't completely deserted us?  I don't know - promises, promises... ;) 

We Make A Sorry Couple.

I'm sorry Fiona. I really did try. But I think I'm suffering from malignant, obsessive Webdiaryocytus!

Along with the previously mentioned Epistemological Retardation (my epistemo wants to run for the American Presidency now) the two of us are having a difficult Festive Season.

Cheers!

Ramsey's Historical Revisionism

"Like, anyone seriously doubts this?"

Has anyone, like, expressed doubt after seeing the footage?

No.

Is there anything wrong, like, with doubting early reports and asking questions before evidence clarifying truth is produced?

No.

Does Eliot Ramsey's "Return of Epistomological Retardartion" comment contain, like, not a jot of "historical revisionism" (the core instrument of propaganda)?

No.

Where is the grassy knoll?

I said previously that there are more shadow plays in Pakistan than all of Indonesia. Now we have:

1. Benazir was killed by a bullet at her neck followed by explosion.

2. The Al Qaeda did it.

3. No,no, no, according to Pakistan Interior Ministry, she was killed by the sunroof of her car.

4. No, no,no, we didn't do it according to the Al Qaeda-linked Pakistani militant Baitullah Mehsud .

Something is missing here, where is the CIA? Where is the grassy knoll? Is Dubya still insisting that: "Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice." The Pakistan Nation killed her and let's put Pakistan on trial.

Sailing to Byzantium

Clearly, this is the work of Anton Chigurh and his captive-bolt gun.

al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. Gee, I wonder why?

Craig Rowley: "Will we ever get to see "solid evidence"?

"Pakistani and Italian media said al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for killing Ms Bhutto"

"A spokesperson of Al-Qaeda has Thursday claimed responsibility for the killing of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Italian independent news agency Adnkronos International (AKI) said"

She was a pro-Western, female, pro-democracy advocate.

"The Bush Administration had been working hard over the past year to entice the popular Bhutto to join forces with Musharraf to put a respectable civilian face on Musharraf's regime as Washington's most favoured ally in the so-called war on terrorism."

They're bragging about it. And it's obvious why.

Bragging? Obvious?

Why would al-Qaeda be so quick to start "bragging about it"?

They'd be better off leaving the responsibility question open and fostering the belief that Musharraf did it, wouldn't they?

"This is one of the worst things that could happen to Musharraf," he continues. "In part, because he'll be accused of doing it."

That's what Anthony Zinni (who believes it was al-Qaeda) indicated in the Time piece pointed out by PF Journey yesterday.

So why would al-Qaeda decide not to make the most of the opportunity to keep Musharraf in the frame for Bhutto's murder? If "bragging about it" was not the better option open to them, why do it?

Why wasn't Bin Laden "bragging about it"?

About an hour ago Skynews reported:

Osama Bin Laden has released a new video message, which appears to be an attempt to further destabilise Iraq.

The message is still being examined to confirm its authenticity, but the 56-minute tape was recorded by al-Qaeda's media production group and is titled The Way to Contain the Conspiracies'.

...

There is no mention of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Things that go bang in a rally, those magic bullets again,

"Osama Bin Laden has released a new video message, which appears to be an attempt to further destabilise Iraq."

Pity Benazir Bhutto spilled the beans aobut his being "murdered" by ISI already on the David Frost interview.......maybe she was speaking metaphorically, hey maybe they sang a song about him and murdered him that way, or murdered his memory with a movie like Hollywood does or....or maybe she, who is rather high up in the "who knows what chain" was told that he was murdered. How was such a comment not acted upon earlier by Frost or other networks?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIO8B6fpFSQ

Silence!. Goldstein lives for ever more.  Get rid of the mouthing babe, Abe.......we need that TWAT , the profits are rollin' in.

And Eliot, sure sounds  like some tink there were bullets involved. But such gives no indication of the perpetrators network if there was one. Such a high level public assassination is ominous if it fails to be properly investigated. No autopsy is the first step to failure.Hosing immediately away the evidence is a nice follow-up.

Simple forensics help. Means motive opportunity. Means-we need the bullet to confirm the weapon and forensics on the explosive would help ID the makers. The man filming beside the video released by AP would have the best view of the event and excellent equipment, but I have not seen his film on the internet yet. Why one wonders. Better price?

 Motive is an active arena. Eliot with respect you fail to grasp the finer points and hence the background motives not so obvious. Discussed earlier and by others. The fact that the media spun immediately without question and without running the bullet stories properly   suggests an official line .  What is being run in Pakistan is different to here which is interesting. A reminder of the Madrid bombing and how they tried to blame it on ETA just the week of their election, or the Jakarta bombing the week of th BangBang anti-terrorist platform election.This time I think the US military will not be tolerated locally. they are not so somnolent about Magic bullets as the dumbed down American people.

There are many who gain from her death, she herself named four Pakistan based groups alone, including the "murderer of Osama Bin laden".

I wonder if this will be properly investigated.

I wonder if the heart of it goes to 911?

And all in a nuclear armed nation. 

Cheers

Bragging Rights?

Bruce Crumley for TIME (in Paris) is saying:

Just 24 hours after the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's interior ministry announced what many people had suspected: al-Qaeda-linked extremists were responsible for the killing. The ministry said that one of Bhutto's assailants was a known member of the extremist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group it said was allied with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

If it was an operation carried out by LeJ why would "al-Qaeda’s top commander for Afghanistan operations and spokesperson Mustafa Abu al-Yazid" be the one "bragging" that "we did it"?

Why is the "bragging" not being done by the LeJ Saalar-i-Aala (‘Commander-in-Chief’) - Muhammad Ajmal (alias Akram Lahori)?

Why does the Pakistani government say the LeJ was responsible for Bhutto's assassination on the one hand and then say it was ordered by Baitullah Mehsud on the other?

Reuters is running an item, filed in Peshawar, with the headline: Al Qaeda militant did not kill Bhutto - spokesman

"I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women," Mehsud's spokesman Maulvi Omar said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

That's a denial; not "bragging".

Why then is "Al Qaeda-linked Pakistani militant Baitullah Mehsud" not also "bragging" about what the Pakistani military says he did?

And why would Mehsud and one of his men be so indiscreet in a telephone conversation after the event, yet not claim responsibility?

Also, who was able to intercept the call, obtaining a telephone transcript as "evidence" after the event? Why on earth didn't they pick up anything on those telephones (say, some intel on the planning) before the event? Or did they? And if they did, why didn't they do something to foil the plan?

Was it because, as Crumley suggested in Al-Qaeda's New Terror Tactic?, the assassination of a political leader is a new terror tactic and therefore unexpected?

Up until now, the violent methods employed by al-Qaeda and its operatives around the globe have largely eschewed single assassinations or the targeting of political leaders. Instead the group has preferred creating chaos and panic through large terror strikes that claim large numbers of random victims — carnage that creates pressure and fear in the societies and governments that the jihadists view as enemies. This was evident in the turmoil and trauma unleashed by al-Qaeda's strikes against civilian populations in Madrid, London, Bali and New York. The strategy, al-Qaeda has always believed, has longer effects on collective psychologies and morale than the assassination of lofty — and constantly protected — political leaders.

...

If the path from Bhutto's murder leads to the al-Qaeda camp, it could well indicate political assassination, once an exception to the rules, has now become a must-do in the jihadist playbook.

No ... probably not, because the intel services could have reasonably foreseen what happened. Crumley also indicated in his piece for TIME that political assassination is not an absolutely new tactic for al-Qaeda:

Islamist radicals have been accused in the past of plotting to kill Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf because of his alliance with the U.S. and its war on terror. Those purported attempts produced near-misses at best. Similarly, Taliban extremists have tried and failed to assassinate Western-backed President Hamid Karzai in neighboring Afghanistan. In 2004, three extremists were arrested in Germany on accusations they were planning to assassinate Iraq's visiting Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi. And just last September, a member of Algeria's al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb killed 22 people in a suicide bombing that had as its primary target Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika. The Algerian President survived.

So then, we're back to asking: Why is the Pakistani government saying it was LeJ on the one hand and Mehsud on the other? Why is the intel good enough to produce "evidence" of the plan being discussed by Mehsud after the event, but not good enough to learn of the plan or detect it being executed prior to the evident? If Bhutto's assassination was planned by Baitullah Mehsud, how could the Pakistani government claim "bragging rights" for determining that so quickly after the event when they'd failed to foil the plan?

wow falling over themselves to blame Al Qaeda as usual before ..

...the bombing begins, like Afghanistan and 911. Formation already in place. Secure those nukes boyz. More anarchy in Islam lands.

And yo Craig, nicely noted.

About this:

"..Why is the "bragging" not being done by the LeJ Saalar-i-Aala (‘Commander-in-Chief’) - Muhammad Ajmal (alias Akram Lahori)?.."

Because he is crapping himself suddenly realising he has been fingered as the patsy. Wow, how convenient , just as the Bush non-cowardly military might is already on its way (if not there) and after three high level meetings with Good old US Commander and Paki mate, the last just a week ago.

So....let me get this straight....Benazir's more unreported last words were regarding her not being a stooge for anyone any more....by backwatcher. Next we have a real electoral threat to Bush Puppet Musharif – whose judges/lawyers don't recognise his candidacy anyway....and hence an election loss in 10 days or so on the cards as those Diebold machines just don't cope so well with all that dirt there.

So we have puppet with power loss in 10 days. We have generals meeting seriously and repeatedly. We have alternative power puppet looking "independent". We have militant neocons and their anti Islam buddies - Israel and India - keen to have the nuke arsenal under US control. We need a real event MAN!

We also have a few missing (?) billions by some wild estimates, under whose name an going to whom? Surely not the "I don't want an Autopsy hubby"!

He probably also wants his kids safe.

So we have a professional hit – head and neck through armour-plated glass – pretty impressive. We have the Psycho-ops explosion blamed upon a "suicide bomber" but all the immediate witnesses are now shrapnel. We have no release yet of the actual moment – anyone got it??? Despite immediately before and immediately afterwards. We have the usual Al Quaeda claim, although as the last few have been rather hilariously ridiculous and found to be from a US based "security "firm run by the son of a retired military man we can probably wait more solid confirmation....ahem. Funny how many turn out to be security assets of this or that country. Whatever. Guess Goldstein is so useful and rather crowded in his basement.

The real problem is that the local population have to fall for the spin and believe it was a radical Islamic group to justify the military crackdown and remove their freedoms and the building opposition to the usually corrupt regimes. Rather a PAT set now.

Should anarchy occur instead if the people fail to believe it was Al Quaeda, it is still win win as the US steps in with military backing and huge crushing and destruction like Iraq with scientists disappearing and cleansing going on. Win win for the usual Neocon like elements who wanted Paki 'Back to the stone age" just after 911.

I think there are some very wise leaders in the BPP and if he is OK there will be a change for the better, a loss of the nepotism there and whoever they chose to lead, should peace occur, they will win the election. Then there may well be a military coup or further foreign involvement to destabilise the nuclear Islamic well-educated country.

We in the west are played as usual for the unquestioning fools we are. No one asks, no one thinks, no one pushes the questions.

Some even believe that a bump on the roof, after being shot twice and a bomb detonated beside is what killed her. Cute. No autopsy. Unfking believable. Interesting it took so long to die from such an injury. Forty minutes. A bump on the head would not thus kill I think without easy stabilising in hospital. Most of these guys are western trained. She should have been saved in a well equipped hospital if her brain was not internally mashed too much. Unfortunately usually dumbdumb like are used. Anyway, that time lag is very interesting.

Another martyr to the TWAT. The usual fall over themselves to blame Al Quaeda. Says it all.

Cheers

Robert Fisk: They don't blame al-Qa'ida

Robert Fisk writes in the Independent today that They don't blame al-Qa'ida. They blame Musharraf:

Weird, isn't it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us. Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People's Party, is assassinated in Rawalpindi – attached to the very capital of Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf lives – and we are told by George Bush that her murderers were "extremists" and "terrorists". Well, you can't dispute that.

But the implication of the Bush comment was that Islamists were behind the assassination. It was the Taliban madmen again, the al-Qa'ida spider who struck at this lone and brave woman who had dared to call for democracy in her country.

...

George Bush announced on Thursday he was "looking forward" to talking to his old friend Musharraf. Of course, they would talk about Benazir. They certainly would not talk about the fact that Musharraf continues to protect his old acquaintance – a certain Mr Khan – who supplied all Pakistan's nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran. No, let's not bring that bit of the "axis of evil" into this.

So, of course, we were asked to concentrate once more on all those " extremists" and "terrorists", not on the logic of questioning which many Pakistanis were feeling their way through in the aftermath of Benazir's assassination.

Whoever Robert Fisk Blames Is Probably Innocent

The man has form. If it's possible to blame Israel or the US for the acts of Islamist terrorists he will. If it's possible to find an excuse for the terrorists he will be first.

The Independent 2 October 2000.

When I read the word "crossfire", I reach for my pen. In the Middle East, it almost always means that the Israelis have killed an innocent person. ...

So when 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durah was killed in Gaza on Saturday and I read on the Associated Press wire that the child was "caught in the crossfire", I knew at once who had killed him. Sure enough, reporters investigating the killing said the boy was shot by Israeli troops. So was his father - who survived - and so was the ambulance driver who was killed trying to rescue the boy. Yet BBC World Service Television was still saying yesterday morning that Mohammed al-Durah was "caught in the crossfire of a battle that has left hundreds wounded and killed many others". I knew what this meant.

True, the Israeli soldiers who killed the boy may not have known whom they hit. ...

Turns out the IDF soldiers did not and could not have shot the boy and the whole thing was probably staged by Hamas. But I doubt the IDF is holding its breath waiting for an apology from Fisk. Or the families of the hundreds killed in the ensuing intifada.

Fisk suspects Musharraf might have had a hand in this murder? The man must be innocent. I'm surprised he's not blaming the Israelis. No doubt that will come.

FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE FOR 2008, PLEASE. MIND THE GAP ...

GP The man has form.

Ah yes, form. As in benchmark. You would admit, wouldn't you, Mr P old chap, to having a touch of the old form yeself? Just a wee bit, now, on the eve of 2008?

Rabbi Emir Dr Jihad McJihad Woodforde, OAM, Deeply Offensive UberLaird of InverGordon

Happy New Year

Only if you admit it first, Rabbi Emir Dr Jihad McJihad Woodforde, OAM, Deeply Offensive UberLaird of InverGordon.

All the best for 2008.

Mr P

 Richard:  And to you to, Geoff.

BORED?

Mr P Only if you admit it first

Okeydokey, Mr P. Are you on the Copacabana on Gunatanamo Water Board of Works, or the Opus Dei Rack Papists lay'em out 'n stretch 'em form? Shouldn't you be concentrating on freed alleged tourism supporter D Hicks? Think of the great lavish scoops of Reichsmarks, dear boy, Not to mention the platinum bars in Zurich and Leningrad.

Now where does one sign? Always remember, in the place indicated on the "statement", scribble "Get f*cked pigs", in both Samaritan (don't tell the whited sepulchres) AND English, the scrawl not quite so indecipherable that it it couldn't ultimately raise a cackle from all bar the most inert beak.

still Rabbi Emir Dr Jihad McJihad Woodforde, OAM, Deeply Deeply Offensive UberLaird of InverGordon Pty Ltd, his mark

My New Year Is Ruined!

Apparently the notion has recently been floated by a few people in the world that Israel or America might be guilty of something reprehensible. I will not have it, I tell you!

Those two nations, of all others, stand above reproach, above suspicion. They are incapable of any act which is despicable or mean or self-serving. Their Gods have smiled upon them both. He (plural) has bathed them both in the white glow of innocence. Their motives are pure, altruistic, well-meaning (unlike those of some other nations I could mention).

And, if they kill the odd person or persons or subject them to torture in their pursuit of universal justice and freedom and human rights, that person deserved it I tell you! Blood oath! And anyone who says otherwise is a rotten liar!

There, I feel better now.

P.S. Best to Olmert and George for 2008!

Fisk is a good start for more broadly reading

Well Geoff as long as you use sites that are zionist you will get to read what you want to. Little green footballs, MEMRI(zionist intelligence backing and all this little propaganda outlets are useless for unbiased information. Just the spin you wantm Geoff. Once you were going to read more broadly . Fisk is a good start, well done.

 You may not like what is done in your name, it is what you do with that that defines you.

Cheers 

Broadly Fisking

Actually Angela my memory is that it was you who promised to read more broadly.

As it happens I routinely read articles by Fisk and his allies and have for many years. Know your enemy. I draw the line only at buying their books.

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