A thread for all seasons

Quite a day, what with freedom on the march and Al Qaeda smashed, reeling and on the run. Let’s see if we can put the world into perspective in this open thread.

The Discussion: 136 Comments

I went to that thread from LGF someone quoted from earlier and found some other examples of their love for mankind.


I hope and pray our dear British friends will realize the dire threat that has parasitized them and the rest of Eurabia…That Galloway,Red Ken,etc. are the islamofacists handlers who paved the way for this and future tragedies…

Third, to the wimps and whiners that we need an “Israeli peace process” or “tolerance” or “get out of Iraq/Afghanistan/wherever.” Islamofascists were slaughtering Christians and Jews before there was an Israel, before there was a United States, before Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere. These factors are just as totally irrelevant today as they were non-existent in the 7th century.
Islam is a philosophy of islamic supremacy and world conquest and they will not rest until they wipe out everyone who refuses to bow down to their irrational demands or their meteorite-idol. They are worse than the Nazis and Japanese who drove us to World War II. Islam must be renounced, reviled, recanted and spurned or its idol-worshipers whupped-but-good. There is no bargaining, no negotiating, no getting-along. Get your heads out of the sand — and your butts — and get with the program.

I’m sick of the ROP. Somethings got to be done about it. Attacks all over the world, every day and all the media and our politicians can do is repeat, over and over again, “This had nothing to do with the true Islam. Most Muslims are law-abiding citizens who just want to live their lives in peace. Etc. Etc.” This is just BS. Moderate Muslims (i.e. “BAD” Muslims) who have abandoned large chunks of their faith are a very small minority. The large majority are in sympathy with these attacks and are funding Jihadis everywhere with with their Zakat(the charitable gifts that Muslims are required to give to further their faith (a kind of tithe). The whole business is starting to make me sick. We can’t even call the enemy by name; we have to use euphemisms like the “war on terror”. What a joke!

If we really wanted to hit Islam*spit* where it hurt… start taking out every “holy site” of Islam . Start with Mecca, and keep going till they get it,.. even if it means part of Detroit.

The war between free people and Islam is coming . And on 9/11 it came home to America. Most of my family are moonbats and can still not see the problem. All they can see is the right here and now, not 5-10 or 20 years down the road. They all still live in Massachusetts. Not me. Iโ€™m ready . Lock and load.

We are at war, but no-one will call it a war on our true enemy. The war on terror doesn’t exist. Islam has declared war on us and islam is the enemy. To win, western democracies must purge themseelves of islam as post war germany was purged of islam’s closest cousin, nazism.

Well Germany first did some of their own purging of an enemy, the jews. Ethnic-religious genocide cannot be justified.

July 7, 2005 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Brian, could you please use tinyurl.com?? I’ll fix it.

On a lighter note, what do you think of the name of this car? Could it be the Japanese don’t know what that name means in Spanish??

July 7, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

It’s a cum guzzling road whore.

July 7, 2005 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

Speaking of incisive, challenging and ground-breaking intellectual debate, as well as everyone stopping and moving away from the cookie jar……

…top of the morning to you American Man!

July 7, 2005 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

On the Mazda Laputa: one of the most popular anime of all time is a called Laputa: Castle in the Sky, with Laputa pronounced Rapyuta in Japanese (the Japanese name is Tenkuu no Shiro Rapyuta). The director, Miyazaki, took the name from Swift – who had a floating castle of the same name in Gulliver’s Travels – but it’s uncertain he understood the meaning (Swift did, of course). Disney, which has released many of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghilbi films in the US in English, will find it difficult to release it under the same name in Spanish. Disney titled the film Castle in the Sky in English, dropping Laputa out of concern that the name would cause offence.

July 7, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Stephen, how the hell do you know all that stuff?!

July 7, 2005 @ 7:59 pm | Comment

Seems like we have an in-house Laputa authority!

July 7, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

It only matters if the Japanese are going to sell that car under that name outside of Japan. Model names often change from market to market. That’s why you’ll never see a Nissan Cedric (popular in Singapore) in the USA. On the other hand, Daihatsu sold the “Charade” in the US, so some stupid decisions have been made. That’s why we flacks keep collecting paychecks. Except for Richard, who, as we know, is no longer collecting paychecks, but is at least collecting some relief in lieu.

It’s also possible that Mazda’s market research has identified some segment of the Spanish-speaking market that will pay a premium for the car that AM memorably translated as the “Road Whore”. Hey, the valet will notice that.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

Hmm. Brings a new relevance to the phrase “pimp my ride”.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

Richard, I take issue with your snarky intro to this thread. It is because freedom is on the march and because Al Qaeda and their ilk are threatened that they perpertrate these mass murders. Running and hiding isn’t going to solve the problem.

On another note, I got a reply from the Creative Commons people on the Doctor question. They basically said you need to ask a lawyer, but implied that so long as the academic used the work under a similar licence it should be OK. I imagine whichever medical journal publishes the work doesn’t operate under an attribution share-alike licence, so the Doc would be in breach. Oh, and it’s ambiguous as to how CC licences apply to blog comments.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

Sorry, Simon. It is your privilege to take issue, but I will only acknowledge that freedom is on the march when I see it marching. Right now there is less freedom and more terrorism than before. No one is safer, many more are dead. The ranks of the terrorists are swelling. Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen are out there doing the same things. None of the promises have been kept (remember, Dead or Alive?) and we are all as vulnerable today as we were on September 10, 2001. Furthermore, we are stuck in a classic quagmire of our own making, keeping us from attacking terrorism at its roots, i,e., OBL. If our own leaders hadn’t said those exact words, about freedom on the march and that we’ve broken the backs of the insurgency and that they are in their last throes, I wouldn’t say it above. But they said it. They need to be held to account for their false claims.

We need to do the very opposite of “running and hiding.” That’s what we did in Iraq, ran from the real enemy to settle an old Bush family grudge. The WoT is empty, vacuous and meaningless as it’s now being fought. Witness what happened today.

I don’t blame Bsh for what happened, but I do blame him for fighting this war sloppily and deceptively. History will look back at it as an aberration, a time of diseased judgment, unbridled hubris and stunningly poor planning. There is no excuse, and how anyone can approve of this colossal mess is utterly beyond me.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:30 pm | Comment

Simon, in the words of a Chinese colleague who once buttonholed me on a flight to Kunming, I want to have an argument with you.

Al Quaeda and family perpetrate these atrocities when they are not under pressure and on the run, as they did with the African embassy, Yemen harbor and September 11 bombings, and they perpetrate them when they are on the run and under pressure, as they did yesterday. It makes no difference whether you run and hide or stay and fight. If the political motivations remain, bombs are going to go off in your face.

Personally I don’t think Al Quaeda, or whichever miscellaneous splinter group is actually responsible, perpetrated this because they are lashing out like a cornered animal. I think its still all in a day’s work.

That is not an argument against taking action, or for complacency. Nor is it a justification for terrorism. But I understand Richard’s skepticism. I’ll be more convinced freedom is on the march when we stop being so selective about where we plant the flag of democracy. Too many of our allies -Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia- are still corrupt autocracies for me to have much conviction in our cedentials as ambassadors of Middle-eastern freedom. And its too easy to harness the resentment arising from our manifest inability to do anything to turn Iraq from an utter disaster into the liberation success story we once dreamed of.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:38 pm | Comment

I’ll agree the Iraq war’s execution has been sloppy. I’ll agree there are some disgusting comments on LGF, just as there have been on Kos.

But how can you say freedom isn’t winning? Let’s do a quick list: Lebanon, Ukraine, Lybia’s giving up WMD, Egypt, the democratic revolutions of central Europe. It is happening.

Let’s not get our issues mixed up. There are three seperate ones: Iraq, the WoT and the Bush Doctrine of bringing freedom and democracy. These issues are linked in various ways, but they are different. I happen to think the Iraq war was the right thing to do. I do not see any evidence that it has diverted fighting the WoT. That is a very different war that doesn’t require infantry and tanks. Indeed it may not be winnable in any conventional sense. But it can be fought by bringing freedom, democracy and economic development to the disaffected. Vested interests will not willingly give up their hold on power without pressure from America. If America’s got a hegemony, they may as well use it to bring about freedom and democracy.

Even you, Richard, can agree with that.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

Will, I accept your challenge. The 3 countries you’ve mentioned are coming under American pressure to reform. It’s not perfect…God knows the shieks running Saudi Arabia are as extreme as most of these terrorists. But there will necessarily be priorities. America has always found useful tyrants. Now it is starting to pressure them, saying if you want to be our b@st@rd, you need to change yourself as well.

You have to pick your battles, Will. Freedom is on the march…it’s not going to be a uniform march, but rather an unsteady, haltering march. But it’s certainly coming.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

Look, in Lebanon Hezbollah won the election. Drop the illusions — elections do not mean freedom. Not in China, not in Iraq. If they vote in a theocratic nutjob as they did in Iran, is that freedom or progress?? It’s ahuge step back. It is way too early to declare any kind of victory, and I only hear it from the Instapundit crowd.

Central Europe, yes there are improvements. But as long as Bush’s partners in this great McWar on Terror are Pakistan, China and Uzbekistan, the whole thing reeks of hypoicrisy and bullshit.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

Simon, I hope you’re right. And I hope America follows through on its pressure, and that it isn’t just rhetoric for the masses. My worry is that America’s useful tyrants have often ultimately been pressured into change by people other than the the US. Sometimes that ends up well. Sometimes it doesn’t. It strikes me as a more random process than we would like to believe.

I do look forward to a day when I can travel that part of the world without having to be extra cautious because I am American. But I worry it will be a long time coming.

July 7, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Just doing my leeeeetle part.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Hang on, Richard. Are you saying that Iran can have elections so long as they elect the “right” person? Nice one, cadre!

Maybe I’m mistaken, but I’m pretty sure the anti-Syrian crowd won the day in Lebanon. Hezbullah won in the South, their stronghold, but didn’t poll well in the rest of the country at all.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Mornin’ Martyn!

July 7, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

Iran can have elections Simon. But that doesn’t mean they are free. You seem to be saying, Hold an election and the people know freedom. I say, Hardly. Bush talks about elections as though they are a turnkey solution, an instant bridge to becoming a mini-America.

As we learned with Iran a few weeks ago, not every society longs to live under Western-style democracy as Flight Suit Boy envisions it.

Keeping this in mind, by offering elections in Iraq now, after we’ve succeeded brilliantly in turning even once-loyal Iraqis against us, we may well be inviting a greater threat than Saddam ever posed. He was a monster, but he was never a theocrat. He always held Bin Laden in great antipathy. Do we really want a “free” Iraq that, in its freedom, sponsors terror against us? That may well be the result of our botching the invasion and occvupatiuon – a theocratic, fundamentalist Iraq (which it wasn’t before!) bent on supporting terrorism in a way Saddam never even considered.

Yes, I wanted them to have freedom and I supported the war – remember? But that was when I believed we had it figured out, that we’d go in and show them compassion and take care of the mess as opposed to setting up torture camps and shooting civilians as though we were playing a video game. We blew it, by having too few troops to control the looting and not providing water and electricity, and people who greeted us as liberatotrs turned against us and were radicalized. And now, in giving them their freedom, they may well choose to be our permanent enemies. Some victory.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

Well let’s put Sadaam back in power, say sorry and pack up and leave.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

I think Richard makes a good point. I’ve always felt the US’ respect for Democracy as an export product pretty much toed the realpolitik line. We’ve never had any compunction about participating in or condoning the overthrow of democratically elected governments that have pursued policies we felt conflicted with our own. My fear is that we are principally interested in democracies that uphold our policy and strategic objectives more than the idea of democracy itself. Well, that’s probably completely understandable from a geopolitical strategy perspective, but it tends to jerk on the rug upon which our moral superiority stands. It’s the whiff of hypocrisy which makes me stay skeptical, as much as I would like to be optimistic.

There wasn’t any concern about Saudi Arabia reforming as long as the house of Saud was stable. With the house of Saud under threat from a restive population we push for democracy. But how long do you think a democratic Saudi government would last if it embargoed oil to the US? I’d measure its lifespan in hours.

So when is democracy good? And under what situations will we tolerate it? Not as many as we should, I fear.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

I never said we should put Saddam back in power. He should be shot (even though I don’t believe in capital punishment; some monsters are an exception). But if we are going to undertake multi-billion-dollar missions that cost thousands of young American lives and tens of thousands of innocent civilian lives, shouldn’t we do it RIGHT? Shouldn’t we do it with just a wee bit of competency? Shouldn’t things be better after we leave as opposed to worse? Saddam sucked, but if we leave them in a state of civil war and theocracy, it will all have been a huge waste. It might have given Coke Spoon Boy and the Instapuppy crowd a gigantic hard-on, but it will have been a tragedy of unprecedented proportions in the entire history of my country. As with Vietnam, we won’t recover for generations, and many families will never, ever recover. Praise be to the Chimp who, in his inimitable manner, cavalierly invited the terroirsts to kill our boys in Iraq — “Bring ’em on,” the draft-dodging drunk said.

Well, we all have a right to choose our heroes. If you want to see Iraq as a good thing, as a case of great leadership worthy of praise, I can’t stop you. It just strikes me as literally incomprehensible, rejoicing in the asphyxiation of a once-great and respected nation.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:51 pm | Comment

Thanks Will. We have been blinded into this attitude that democracy is a panacea, when it could well be used against us. And no one is more pro-democracy than I am. But just thrusting it on a non-democratic system has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with self-delusion.

I love Simon, but he’s been taken in by the neo-con song and dance, holding up meaningless “victories” like elections that result in greater tyranny, as proof of our success. Never mind that terror is on the march and our enemies’ armies are mushrooming. There were some nice window-dressing elections, so Bush must have been right. Yikes.

July 7, 2005 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

Usually these open threads are light and fun. Can we get this one back on track?

Anyone see any good movies lately? I saw War of the Worlds last weekend and felt guilty because I actually enjoyed it. Stupid and ridiculous, but damn those tripods were cool. And when they came up from the ground — I felt like I was right there. Summer fluff, but a definite rush.

July 7, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

And I fail to see your point. I agree the aftermath of the war was a mess. But I don’t see asphyxiation of a once great nation. Firstly Iraq is a cobbled together British invention. Sadaam did his level best to ruin the place through a violent autocracy. In the war’s aftermath there was damage, not helped by continued violence by those with most to lose – in this case the previously dominant Sunni minority, that are now finding themselves a smaller part of a Shia-Sunni-Kurd union.

In an incredibly short space of time, America defeated Sadaam, started repairing the place, created the interim government, returned sovereignty and are now letting Iraqis draft their own constitution. I choose to see that as leadership worthy of praise. If the end result is the country is in better shape than when this episode started, and to me that is clearly the case, then it will have been worthwhile. If the end result is a true democracy can flourish in Middle East (Israel aside), then it will have been worthwhile.

Indeed then Iraq will become a great and respected nation…for the first time in its history.

July 7, 2005 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

You can’t tell me you actually believe in the sovereignty myth. Their government is so fragile a summer breeze can twist it into contortions. It’s BS. They are on the verge of civil war. Rumsfeld just said we may be there 12 more years. $500-billion and 2,000 US lives and we can’t secure the fucking 6-mile strip from Baghdad to the airport! This is victory??? Sorry, but what are you smoking? You’re reciting Bush platitudes and slogans, like Freedom is on the march. Sounds good, but it means precious little to the marines bleeding to death in the desert and to the millions of Iraqis who went from friends to sworn enemies. Yes, some victory. And you only hear about it on the chickenhawk warblogs, in their alternate reality. Three years later, can we drive from the airport to Baghdad without fearing for our lives? No; so no one can tell me we’ve won. If this is your idea of a victory….

Okay, can we talk about movies now? Or AM’s sex life? Or Laowai’s chili?

July 7, 2005 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

This is too serious for me….

July 7, 2005 @ 10:28 pm | Comment

WHAT sex life? I would recommend Nip/Tuck to anyone who hasn’t seen it. I recently saw Intermission which was really good.

July 7, 2005 @ 10:45 pm | Comment

A few comments from my perspective. I did not think the Iraq war was a very wise option, but once the Governemnt chose to pursue this avenue, then I supported the effort, and still do, not because it is right or moral (all State intervention in the lives of people is based on moral rights to rectify evil, whether from the left or the right), but because we made that decision and expendited lives and wealth.

Given that it was a stupid thing to begin with, nevertheless I am not quite certain what Richard is saying. I have been in war, war is a bloody thing, a very untidy thing, and extremely uneven in its execution. Take WWII, our last “great war”, in the sense that we were all patriotic about it. Right up to the end there was unbelievable carnage and a lot of missteps. The battle of Okinawa was right toward the end, and it was bloody and terrible; and this was after we carpet bombed the major Japanese cities for six months, where a lot of the civilian population had been killed, where Tokyo, for instance, was 70% of destroyed (not even a building left standing), where the populatin was starving and left to fend for themselves. Even after all that, the miliatary was willing and prepared and did fight unbelievable hard. We did not do that to Iraq (to our credit), we did not carpet bomb their cities, we did not kill 10% of their civilian population, we did not starve their people (except for the 10 year blockade where both liberals and conservatives joined together to cause dire hardship on human beings). Because we did not do all that damage at the beginning, we then must cope with much confrontation in the occupation (than what occurred in Germany and Japan, but even there the occupation did not go smoothly, there was unbelievable criticism of what we did then, see NY Times editorials, for instance).

My philosphy is slightly different from what I see written. I divide the political world into two main groups, those who wish for the State to intervene in the lives of its citizens and those, such as I, that wish the State to minimize that intervention. Those who want the State to intervene can be thought of as belonging to two main camps. the Left and the Right. Both wish the State to intervene in the economic ans social aspects of our lives, they just have different agendas as to whom they will confiscate wealth from and to whom they will redistribute that wealth.

July 7, 2005 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Do I get an A for effort?

July 7, 2005 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

richard if it’s any consolation, the percentage of briton muslims that sympathise with al qaeda attacks seems to be dropping, according to one prominent islamic scholar at london met. university.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

How much do avocados cost in Phoenix? I like avocados.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

shulan – when you get this – I’m looking for nice but inexpensive food, german style (but no white sausages please) as well as maybe a safe cheap hostel? and some pointers on cool galleries etc. to check out.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:08 pm | Comment

“did not go smoothly” How’s that for euphemism!?

This war was going to be different. It was to be free of charge — the promise was Iraqi oil would pay for all reconstruction, Remember? We were told specifically we’d be greeted as liberators. Flowers and chocolates, remember? Rumsfeld promised we could use a light force and achieve victory with few boots on the ground. We were told prematurely the mission was accomplished. Look, I’m not going to go through all the sins Bush committed in selling us this bogus war, from WMDs to Niger uranium to the “coalition of the willing.” We were sold a bill of goods, and now we are reeling.

Okay, I gotta go. Now, on to movies and light chit-chat.

Sorry guys, I’m under stress today – tomorrw is my last day at work, and I have to figure out what to do next. So if I’ve seemed a little more on edge than usual tonight, my apologies.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:10 pm | Comment

AM, you crack me up.

Laowai, I believe it – I think Al Qaeda is in for trouble, but that’s due to its own idiocies, not any genius on the part of Commander Codpiece.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

My gay porn name is Blackie Lovebottom.Does anyone else have a gay porn handle?I’m not actually gay.I just need money.Plus,they really know how to party.

July 7, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

Hunt no further my furry friend!

July 7, 2005 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

Howsabout Bryce Canyon?

July 7, 2005 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

Rod Lather?

July 7, 2005 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

River rafting guide- Taz Stoner

July 7, 2005 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

So I’m now about halfway – two-thirds into “Foreign Babes in Beijing.” I usually read books pretty fast and in a sitting or two, but this one is just too good to rush. I took it to the gym tonight and had to stop pedaling on the bike at times cause I was laughing so hard. Plus the author really captures some essential truths about life in China for foreigners that I’ve rarely (ever?) seen expressed. You gotta read it. What a hoot.

I saw the Fantastic 4 movie today. Jessica Alba…Cannot…Act. Not one whit. Not even a little. The funniest line in the whole thing was when Victor Von Doom introduces her as “my Director of Genetic Research.” I just about fell out of my chair.

July 8, 2005 @ 12:16 am | Comment

OL – that’s disappointing. I try not to get too reved up about hollywood but I like comic books, and the FF is one of my old favorites.

Plus Jessica Alba is really gorgeous, and seemingly unsuperficial and unhollywood. Although I like her latina look more than the blond.

I’ll still go see it. The guy who plays Thing looks like he does a good job.

July 8, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

You want movies? How about some DVD Chinglish? See if you can guess which movie this is, based on the Chinglish on the DVD cover:
“First work, tower that childhood that ten thousand is a tower can man the this war the movie is a beginning for minister slice, scribinging his uncommon business of his head.”

July 8, 2005 @ 12:32 am | Comment

Alert: Small Batman spoiler below

OL, I felt the same way when Nicole Kidman was introduced as a brain surgeon in Days of Thunder. And she, arguably (depends on the movie) can act. Jessica Alba’s talents are obvious, if you take my meaning.

Similarly, in the new Batman movie (now playing in Beijing with only a few mysterious edits), Katie Holmes squeaks, “I’m a Gotham City district attorney!” to get past a police line, and you just have to think to yourself, sure you are.

Of course, if you’re going to watch a movie where a dude bursts into flame and flies (I mean controlled flight, without help from an explosion,) or where there is a fiendish plot to use a giant microwave oven to, er, give everyone in Gotham a bad trip, then you have to make some allowances.

And, by the way, it’s not that women aren’t credible as district attorneys. It’s that 27 year-old starlets are not credible as district attorneys. Glenn Close, maybe.

Hmm. Note odd Tom Cruise girlfriend connection in above post. How did that happen?

July 8, 2005 @ 12:47 am | Comment

Of course, with respect to Jessica Alba (whose work, in all honesty, I am not that familiar with), a bad director can make even a talented actor seem desperately untalented. Two words: George + Lucas.

July 8, 2005 @ 12:49 am | Comment

The guy who played the Thing, Michael Chiklis (sp?) was spot on. Could not have been better. I mean, it wasn’t a BAD movie, and they definitely got some things about the characters and the dysfunctional family squabbling. But Jessica Alba…aiyeee! She was soooo bad it was truly distracting. Not only bad, just so not Sue Storm.

Now which movie was it where some totally uncredible Hollywood starlet was supposed to be a brilliant nuclear physicist?

BTW, Will, your Katie Holmes line practically made me do a spit-take.

July 8, 2005 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Sorry to interupt the movie talk, but is it just me or is there something going on at the top of the CCP? Check out this ….it’s the third thing in a week.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:04 am | Comment

Damn it’s hot today. Especially in this net bar.

Anyone else have Chinese in-laws? They’re a fun group of folks, aren’t they?

I really like the way they spend several days in the same city, but fail to find time to see us until the day they are leaving – expecting us [me] to send them off with some extra cash.


July 8, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Simon, isn’t this something that Hu has been doing for a while? (Dylan may have commented to that effect a few weeks back). I think it’s about trying to reign in local Party bosses who aren’t responding to Beijing’s authority. I don’t know that it’s a direct attempt to reign in protests and demonstrations. As others have pointed out here, the demonstrations are generally about local corruption and grievances as opposed to protesting against the central government. So Beijing’s thinking is, if they can improve the quality of the local cadres, they hope this will reduce the number of protests. But eliminate them? I don’t see how this would do that, and with the disclaimers by the government, I don’t think they believe it will either.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:17 am | Comment

i read through this whole thread, and i really think you give the world leaders to much credit. all this sqaubbling over democrocy and freedom. what a load of rubbish. its all about the oil. america isnt spreading democracy, they are strategically occupying the worlds oil reserves. everything else is just window dressing. wake up.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Dear Simon,

I am just too busy this week to debate with you on this, but very briefly, two things:

(1) Dr Myers has every legal right to quote from blog comments, just as she has a legal right to quote from the comments or letters to the editor section of any newspaper, or to quote lines from a film, or a novel, or another academic article. You are WRONG. Period.

(2) I do not, on sound moral grounds, accept your argument that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was right. You are trying to justify the unjustifiable – and you do so, like all others, by appealing to a fundamentally, philosophically immoral “the ends justifies the means argument.” Well I’m sorry, but it doesn’t. How you can argue that the removal of Saddam Hussein and the forced intoduction of a shaky and ultimately unworkable Western-style “democracy” is worth the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, the destruction of the homes of hundreds of thousands, not to mention the poisoning of large sections of Iraq’s soils with radioactive materials (which will go on killing for generations), and not to mention all of the awful and shocking injuries sustained by hundreds of thousands, or the emotional and psychological damage that who knows how many have suffered, nor to mention anything of all of the US and British soldiers killed and the traumas that their families and friends have had to suffer, ad fucking infinitum… How can you seriously argue that all of that constitutes a price worth paying for? And what fucking right do you have to make that decision anyway? Most Iraqis most certainly do not appreciate the costs, or even support the occupation. Go and ask all of those Iraqis who have lost loved ones, and ask them whether or not the price has been worth it!

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Chris, I disagree. Bush may have wanted to line his and Cheney’s pockets with some sort of free-trade war reparations via Halleburton, but Syria and Lebanon isn’t about oil. Or maybe it is, but I’d like to break it down into two movements:

1) democracy in the middle east (including a palestinian state) will help end violence by fundamentalist islamic groups (won’t help end violence by fundamentalist christian groups in the states, but whatever).

2) There is, of course, interest in oil and securing it’s safe-keeping. I wish it would just run out sometimes, so we could get on with it, but it’s not going to run out any time soon.

so while cynicism is totally warranted, I don’t think the first one is to be dismissed outright. Bush isn’t doing it the way I would have, certainly, and I’ve protested the war, marched on london, voted against the bastard etc. But giving people some choice over their lives, some power, will help end extremism I think.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:29 am | Comment

I agree with Chris – Iraq and Afghanistan are all about plunder.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Gordon, is it me or do the Chinese really , really , really like money?

July 8, 2005 @ 1:48 am | Comment

mark, that has to be your shortest post ever.

I disagree that iraq is about plunder. I don’t think it’s about the march of freedom, but I think it’s about a total lack of perspective, a total obsession with the family history and with saddam. The oil comes second. Freedom comes third.

Afghanistan doesn’t have anything to plunder. Mr. Lif raps about building an oil pipeline there but I think that’s an urban myth. If where would the pipeline go… russia? I think that was a total reaction to 9/11. Bush wanted to go to Iraq, per above, but had to go to afghanistan to try to clean up al qaeda. Not about plunder. About taking out the Taliban. We’ve not delivered on that 3 billion we promised, I don’t think. I hope we do though. Afghanistan was f*cked by russia and the US, and it’d be good of us to help rebuild. Karzai seems like a good guy, and I agree that the U.S. needs to loosen their grip on workings there and act as help to a roughly democratically elected government and not as rulers.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:49 am | Comment

AM, they’re definitely one of the most materialistic cultures I’ve encountered.

How’s that computer of yours doing you selfish bastard?

July 8, 2005 @ 1:52 am | Comment


Iraq, yes, definitely. Afghanistan no. I actually believe was about clearing Al Quaeda. Afghanistan’s not even a good place to have your regional bases. Friendly central-Asian republics are much more convenient for projecting power. What are you going to control from Kabul? Walnut groves and goats?

Hollywood starlets playing nuclear physicists:

Could it be Kidman again in Peacemaker? I don’t think that’s what you have in mind. Give me a hint.

Mike Chiklis has some acting chops, and I look forward to seeing him as the Thing. And I totally believed Clare Danes as a vet in T3.

July 8, 2005 @ 1:53 am | Comment

whew, luckily my gf’s family works in a bank, so i don’t have to worry about them asking me for money! they can get plenty of that on their own, the corrupt mf’s! actually, the strange thing is, they aren’t as bad as a previous gf’s family, where the father actually held a gov’t office. now that was some sleazy shit! oh my god! would i like 1000 yuan baijiu with dinner? “no thanks, i think i’ll just go home…”

July 8, 2005 @ 1:57 am | Comment

Porno-rama, Asian porn, Russian porn, Al Qaeda porn, The Osama Bin Laden golden shower, poop scene is priceless.My wife just caught me having my way with myself.Hate when THAT happens!

July 8, 2005 @ 1:57 am | Comment

My late fiances uncle held an official position in Liaoning too, but he was actually an honest man.

Not all officials in China are corrupt, but unfortunately they aren’t the ones who hold the real power.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:02 am | Comment

AM, get ahold of yourself!

July 8, 2005 @ 2:04 am | Comment

Kevin, Does 1000 yuan baijiu taste like Bill Gates’ shit?

July 8, 2005 @ 2:04 am | Comment

I can’t let go! I’m in to the WD40. Gordon help me!

July 8, 2005 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Sounds like a personal problem.

Ask the wifey to give you a hand.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:08 am | Comment


You could always try laying on your arm until it falls asleep. At least then when you’re doing the five knuckle shuffle it feels like it’s somebody else’s hand.


July 8, 2005 @ 2:09 am | Comment

Our sofa guy looks exactly like a Chinese James Brown.Hilarious.I’M Staring at HIM!

July 8, 2005 @ 2:11 am | Comment


1. Wrong. Under a CC licence, if she publishes any work from a blog under that licence it must be under an attribution share-alike basis. That means she cannot make them annonymous comments, she must state where they are from. Second she must also offer her works under a similar licence. However that would conflict with the copyright that any journal would operate under, thus making her ability to offer on a share-alike basis null and void. It’s not me, this is coming from the CC people. If she can change the copyright regime of the journal, then she’s fine.

2. I don’t see many Iraqis’ begging for a return of Sadaam. The reasons for the invasion include that Iraq’s rulers had spent 12 years avoiding their obligations to the UN, refused to open up about WMD when the onus was on them to do so (whether those weapons existed or not is another matter and beside the point). I don’t know how you suppose to speak on behalf of Iraqis, but the surveys and polls I’ve seen all say that life is better now than it was under Sadaam. Some might not like the Americans there, but the Kurds and many Sunnis sure do. Where do the “hundreds and thousands” come from? There have been many casualties as a result of the insurgency, and that is a tragedy. The interventions in Kosova and Serbia under Bill Clinton justified weren’t controversial. Just because you get resistance from the minority who’s power has been usurped in favour of the majority doesn’t make the cause less just. And see what Laowai said on Afghanistan.

If Iraq was about the oil, why is oil at US$60 a barrel?

Lisa – I agree but it’s curious how this is all hitting at the same time.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:11 am | Comment

i passed on the baijiu. we all know how fuckin’ completely hard it can be to pass on anything here, but i did. i turned out to be a real party pooper.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:11 am | Comment

Dear Laowai and Will,

Afghanistan is indeed all about plunder I’m afraid. In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked, “I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.”

But the oil and gas there is of course worthless, untless it can be moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan, and initially the US tried to negotiate with the Taliban – yes, the US supported the Taliban. But the Taliban remained an obstacle nevertheless, and so the decision was eventually made to remove them by force.

You see, back in 1997, the Taliban signed an agreement that would have allow a proposed 890-mile, $2bn natural gas pipeline project called Centgas, led by America’s Unocal to proceed. However by December 1998, Unocal had pulled out of the project, citing turmoil in Afghanistan as making the project too risky. The answer: remove the Taliban, install a new, more democtratic regime, then hope that this will bring about a sufficient enough level of political and social stability – enough to make an oil and gas pipeline safe and profitable.

The folly of this should be obvious for all to see, and yet, the same mistake was unbelievably repeated again in Iraq.

Tariq Ali has an excellent article in today’s Guardian by the way, in which he writes:

“Ever since 9/11, I have been arguing that the ‘war against terror’ is immoral and counterproductive. It sanctions the use of state terror – bombing raids, torture, countless civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq – against Islamo-anarchists whose numbers are small, but whose reach is deadly. The solution then, as now, is political, not military. The British ruling elite understood this perfectly well in the case of Ireland. Security measures, anti-terror laws rushed through parliament, identity cards, a curtailment of civil liberties, will not solve the problem. If anything, they will push young Muslims in the direction of mindless violence.

The real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Just because these three wars are reported sporadically and mean little to the everyday lives of most Europeans does not mean the anger and bitterness they arouse in the Muslim world and its diaspora is insignificant. As long as western politicians wage their wars and their colleagues in the Muslim world watch in silence, young people will be attracted to the groups who carry out random acts of revenge.

At the beginning of the G8, Blair suggested that ‘poverty was the cause of terrorism’. It is not so. The principal cause of this violence is the violence being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. And unless this is recognised, the horrors will continue.”

I couldn’t agree with tariq Ali’s assessment more! He is absolutely correct I believe.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 2:23 am | Comment


The violence being inflicted upon the Muslim world is by their own doing.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:27 am | Comment

American Man:
Please do not love your neighbor as you love yourself, or else you might get arrested!

July 8, 2005 @ 2:29 am | Comment

Dear Simon,

I assume that Dr Myers would be attributing her quotes to the readers of Peking Duck or which ever other blog she derives them from. This constitutes “fair use” – I am almost certain on that, but not 100 per cent, I admit.

I reject your analysis of the present situation in Iraq. You are merely peddling the official line now, the one also peddled dutifully by the mainstream corporate media. The idea that most Iraqis are happier now than they were before the invasion is just silly. Their country has been largely destroyed, infrastructurally. And where are these polls and surveys that you rely on to show that most are now happier? How were they conducted? And how widespread was the sample? Who organised and conducted the survey?And how does a minority resistence continue to not only survive but to grow, if they are only marginal in their cause?

Iraqbodycount has a conservative estimate of civilian deaths – over 10,000. I said tens of thousands of civilian deaths had occured due mainly to US bombing, with over 100,000 injured. I stand by that. The Lancet provides an estimate which varies from 10,000 at best, to over 100,000 at worst, with 90,000 being the most likely number. It’s methodolgy has been questioned, but surely you can accept 10,000 plus as a civilian death rate attributed to US military bombing.

And Afghanistan is about oil and natural gas – refer to my above comment for details as to why I think it is.

best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 2:37 am | Comment

Dear Will, Simon and Laowai,

And I am not the only one of course who argues that Afghanistan is about oil. Steve Kretzmann, from the US Institute for Policy Studies argues this for one. “Washington’s attitude towards the Taliban has been, in large part, a function of oil,” he says. “Before 1997, Washington refused to criticise and isolate the Taliban because Kabul seemed to favour Unocal, to build a proposed natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the Pakistan coast.”

To secure stability for the Afghan pipeline route, the US State Department and Pakistan’s intelligence service funnelled arms to the Taliban, argues Ahmed Rashid in his book: Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, the book Tony Blair has been reportedly reading since the conflict started. Rashid called the struggle for control of post-Soviet central Asia “the new Great Game”.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 2:44 am | Comment

Mark Anthony, Frankly the “plunder” motive for attacking Iraq is simplistic to the extreme. Exactly what were we going to plunder? Oil. It’s a world commodity. Saddam Hussein would have been happy to sell to anyone with the money to buy. If the U.S. really wanted to “lock up” Iraq’s oil supply, all it had to do was cut a deal with Saddam to lift the embargo.

On a more ominous note, I heard a brief discussion on the radio today that raised the possibility that the rise in oil prices may owe as much to an increase in demand in Asia as to the war in Iraq. If that is even partially, correct, the implication is that the spike in oil prices may be here to stay.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:46 am | Comment

Dear Simon,

And why is oil now so expensive, you ask? Well, that’s because of the present supply and demand situation. Incredible growth rates in the consumption of petrol here in countries like China are mainly responsible for putting pressures on supply, and the instability and lack of security in Iraq hasn’t helped the supply factor either – which just goes to further illustrate the folly of invading and occupying another country in order to exploit it – people, quite naturally, resist! And what results instead is in fact an even greater deterioration in stability and security.

When will people learn I wonder?

Mark Antrhony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 2:50 am | Comment

Dear Lirelou,

I agree that the rise in oil prices are more the result of an increasing global demand for oil, fuelled largely by China in fact. And as you say, this could mean that oil prices will remain high for quite some time – this is not good news for Western economies.

I maintain tjough, that the main reason for the Iraqi invasion and occupation was to secure its oil reserves. getting rid of Saddam Hussein was necessary, because he was more interested in cutting favourable deals with Russia and France than he was with the US, and becasue he was talking about trading oil in Euros rather than in US dollars, which could threaten the long term value of the dollar.

The main reason why both Russia and France opposed the Iraqi war was for these two reasons.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 2:56 am | Comment

Lirelou’s right. Maj, you didn’t answer my question. If Iraq and even Afghanistan are about oil, why is it at $60.

I accept there have been injuries and deaths in Iraq. I do not accept that the Iraqi people are the poorer for the war. Infrastructure smashed? Iraq is receiving massive amounts of aid and getting it not just repaired but massively improved.

MAJ, if we take your quote…do you honestly think if the “occupations” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestinian territories were ended tomorrow that all the terror and violence and emnity from those hostile to the Western way of life would cease? You seriously misunderstand why drives the terrorists. They find pretexts to justify the unjustifiable, but what they seek is an end to the western way of life.

Gordon said it best:

The violence being inflicted upon the Muslim world is by their own doing.

July 8, 2005 @ 2:57 am | Comment

MAJ, on your oil theory…even if Sadaam did decide to deliberately sell his product to anyone but the US, it would not matter a bit. Why? Because those that buy from him would no longer buy from the Saudis, or the Qataris, or the Russians, or the North Sea. Oil is a fungible commodity. That means it doesn’t matter where you buy it from.

I don’t have the exact figures but Iraq has about 10% of the world’s oil. That’s big, but not life threatening to the US or anyone else. After all, the world got by for a year when Iraq’s oil was pulled out during the war.

Finally your theory on dealing oil in Euros makes even less economic sense. The medium of transaction has no impact on the level of the US dollar.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:02 am | Comment

i thought you had to go, mark.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:03 am | Comment

also, i have provided a haphazard translation of some less than sympathetic chinese responses to the bombings, if anyone is interested
remember, these are the same types of websites where anything critical of china is automatically deleted, yet they allow this garbage to remain on?

July 8, 2005 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Dear Lirelou,

Another reason why controlling Iraq’s oil reserves is so critically important to the US is because the world’s supply of oil is expected to peak in 2008 -so oil is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity.

I refer you to an article in The Guardian on this issue of oil scarcity, by george Monbiot, titled “break out the bicycles” (The Guardian, June 8, 2004). Gore Vidal, along with many others, has had a lot to say about the reasons for going into Iraq, where the dollar verses the Euro is concerned.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 3:10 am | Comment

Thanks Kevin,

I didn’t realize that you had your own blog. I linked you to The Horse’s Mouth.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:17 am | Comment

Ivan, My neighbors don’t deserve any lovin’.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:19 am | Comment

“Repay blood debts with blood!!! That’s right!
I won’t sympathize with the British. Invaders are not worthy of sympathy.”

Ha! Who did the Tibetans ever invade?

July 8, 2005 @ 3:19 am | Comment

Dear Simon,

It is clear that we are worlds apart when it comes to our reading of what has, and is taking place in Iraq. I honestly hope that your reading is the more correct – it would be nice to think that life there is improving for the majority of Iraqis. This is certainly what we are told daily almost by those responsible for going in there in our names.

But I do not rely on our mainstream media alone for information. Try reading the Arabic newspapers, or watching the Arabic television stations: try Aljazeera for example, which is an excellent source of news and analysis in English. The picture they paint is the exact opposite to the one you paint. As far as I am concerned, Aljazeera is a far more reliable source of information where Iraq is concerned than CBS or wherever you get your information from. I know your information isn’t coming from Aljazeera, because I read it daily, and as I said, the Iraq that they report on is way different for the Iraq of your imagination.

Time will tell Simon. Britain is keen to get out of Iraq -they recognise the hopelessness of its cause, and are trying to find their way out without losing too much face – a redeployment into Afghanistan as part of the NATO force there. Australia is being urged by the British to do the same. Whether or not Howard will be sensible enough to take this friendly advice remains to be seen.

I think time will, quite sadly, tragically in fact, show that I am the more correct in my analysis. Let is wait and see, shall we?

Best regards Simon, and have a nice weekend. I really need to go now.

best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 3:22 am | Comment

thanks gordon, i put a link to the horses mouth after that “rant” you wrote! that was classic

July 8, 2005 @ 3:27 am | Comment

Some advice on debating Iraq with MAJ: I promise you, the horse aint gonna sing.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:27 am | Comment


Please be more kind in your references to horses.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Haha … hey, I did NOT call MAJ a horse. It’s a comparative allusion, not a literal comparison. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the latest news: as I predicted, Chen Yonglin’s application through “normal channels” has been approved. He and his family have been granted permanent visas to remain in Australia by DIMIA.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:32 am | Comment

Breaking News:

G8 Mulls Qaeda Offer
to End Modern Civilizationl

July 8, 2005 @ 3:35 am | Comment

Dear Gordon,

No need to be quite so ungentlemanly, is there? I always refrain from making personal attacks against you, and against all others. It’s fine of course, to hold a different viewpoint, but there’s no need to insult others is there?

Think about. I expect more maturity from you.

Regards, and have a nice weekend.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 8, 2005 @ 3:38 am | Comment

MAJ, lighten up. It was a joke.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:41 am | Comment

thanks for the news, fs9!

July 8, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

American Man:
(the Righteous Brothers are singing to you):
“You’ve lost, that lovin feeling! Now it’s gone, gone, gone…”

July 8, 2005 @ 3:51 am | Comment

Hi Mark,

I appreciate what you say. This must be why Mr. Lif raps “and you can’t build a pipeline in hostile environments…” about Afghanistan.

However, I think it’s really overlooking the political ramifications of 9/11, which was that people wanted the Taliban out, because they were viewed as responsible, partly for what had happened.

I agree with just about everything you’ll say about why the Taliban was there, and what the US did to bring them to power. I wasn’t old enough, but rest assured my family protested that too.

But to say it’s all about oil kind of belittles a lot of other reasons why afghanistan was invaded. it was much much more than oil, and to say this is not so is intriguing but I’m not likely to be swayed on this issue. Even the doves were on board on this one.

Iraq, as I said, I think was more about blind obsession. Oil second.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:53 am | Comment

Actually Ivan, I think that it was Clarence singing Strokin to him.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:54 am | Comment

Mark, agree to wait and see. Though I will say that exiting Iraq is probably worse for Iraq than staying.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Using Aljazeera as a reliable source is exactly why we are always going to disagree, MAJ.

I think I had a bet on that horse at Happy Valley a few weeks, FSN9.

July 8, 2005 @ 3:56 am | Comment

Now I’m singing,
“I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, I’m a midnight Stroker…”
Hm, now thinking of some good 1970s babes worth stroking. First one who comes to mind is Toni Tenille – hated her music, loved her legs…. ๐Ÿ™‚

July 8, 2005 @ 4:02 am | Comment


Caspian oil and gas? Afghanistan? Afghanistan is separated from the Caspian by Iran, not on the recent list of US pipeline clients. So who’s gas is going where? Caspian oil and gas can move through BP’s Azerbaijani pipeline.

Not being snarky; just trying to figure out exactly why Unocal wanted to build an Afhan pipeline. (Although it makes sense for Unocal, long known for operating in unsavory regions.) It doesn’t even make sense to me for Central Asian oil and gas.

July 8, 2005 @ 4:14 am | Comment

Oh Ivan, It’s yesterday once more.

July 8, 2005 @ 4:20 am | Comment


I’m a legs man myself. I’ve always liked the way they start at the feet and go all the way up to make an ass out of themselves ๐Ÿ™‚

July 8, 2005 @ 4:21 am | Comment

Ma was right.I’m blind!

July 8, 2005 @ 4:21 am | Comment

Gordon and American Man,
Methinks you are both younger than I am – methinks you do not remember the 70s, or the legs of Toni Tennille and other such soft porn which appeared on prime time tv! ๐Ÿ™‚
Now I am sinking into a 70s reverie about the legs of Cher and Helen Reddy. But please don’t remind me of “the Carpenters” or else I might go into shock and lose all sexual impulses forever! ๐Ÿ™‚

July 8, 2005 @ 4:53 am | Comment

I remember Toni and the good Capatain. Now get back funky cat!

July 8, 2005 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Karen had the hottest bod! She coulda lost a few LBS but nobody is perfect.

July 8, 2005 @ 4:58 am | Comment

American Man,
The idea of Karen Carpenter having a hot bod, makes me want to die and be reincarnated in year 3005.

July 8, 2005 @ 5:02 am | Comment

American Man (or anyone else who can tell), is “pete” still sore at me for being “THE pornographic, corrupt and filthy Ivan?”
If so, please tell him I am no longer filthy (just took a shower) but I am still pornographic and corrupt.

July 8, 2005 @ 5:04 am | Comment

Karen was so………………………..brittle. Who gives a rats ass about Pete? Anyway it was Most Pornographic, filthy and vulgar.High kudos indeed!

July 8, 2005 @ 5:24 am | Comment

Check out Kevin’s blog (Kevin In Pudong) as he’s done a great job of translating some distubing posts from those notorious mainland Chinese chat-rooms and massage boards.

Well worth a read. Thanks Kevin, great work.


July 8, 2005 @ 6:14 am | Comment

Simon, Gordon:
“The violence being inflicted upon the Muslim world is by their own doing.”

What a stupid argument is this! You make every muslim in the world resposible for the deads of some fanatics. They use the same stupid argument:

The violence being inflicted upon the Western world is by their own doing.

This leads nowhere!

July 8, 2005 @ 6:34 am | Comment

As I recall, this argument, as Shulan has pointed out, is the same one that the Chinese teens (I can only assume) are professing about the Londoners – that they brought the violence on themselves.

It’s too convenient and argument, and too righteous.

my stunted, sleepy, frustrated post yesterday on the topic:


July 8, 2005 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Oh, god, MUST we be disrtracted from sensible things like smoking weed and admiring women with great legs – to the idiotic Nationalist Chinese argument about how America and Britain deserved to be attacked?
Alright, if we MUST go there, if we MUST go into issues about collective guilt, then China has a hell of a lot to apologise for, for supporting an Internationally Criminal regime of North Korea, and supporting a war which killed millions of people, including millions of Chinese.
If there is any such thing as “collective guilt”, then just by the numbers, the Chinese Communist Party is the most guilty organization in the world at this time – and so are all of the Chinese, IF you believe in “collective guilt”
Now can we go back to talking about marijuana and legs? ๐Ÿ™‚

July 8, 2005 @ 7:21 am | Comment

I like to smoke weed and watch Bukake porn.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:09 am | Comment

Listening to Tony Blair’s live speech at the end of the G8 summit.

He came out with a cracking line in my opinion: (rough quote)

“If we can’t get America involved in a global consenus on combating glodal emissions, then how can involve China and India when they will soon be using more energy than any of us?”

Admittedly, it’s difficult to persuade China to do anything as they’ll blather on for days at a time about their so-called “progress” in this, that and the other but do we have to wait until Chinese low-grade coal burners blacken the entire world before we do something?

China won’t/can’t change quickly from burning coal as its main energy source as it moves to continue the transition from failed socialism to market capitalism (oops, sorry, I mean “Socialism With chinese Chracteristics”).

July 8, 2005 @ 8:14 am | Comment

Tibet and the free world: 1
The CCP and repressive censorship: Nil

(Voice of America)
As Tibetans around the world were openly celebrating the 70th … VOA’s Tibetan Service beamed the program directly to homes inside Tibet, thereby evading Chinese censorship and attempts to jam or block the program.


July 8, 2005 @ 8:24 am | Comment

oh, tell me he really used the word blather

July 8, 2005 @ 8:24 am | Comment

Hello Echo. Feeding time at Echoes? I’ve given up this week.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:28 am | Comment

My post on coal and China: (grim stuff)


I totally agree. Bush should be making concessions everywhere to stem total fricking environmental disaster. China has a “sustainability index” of 129 out of 142 countries surveyed by nature. Like I said. Grim stuff.

Also, don’t have Kids in Beijing. they’re mental development will most likely be retarded by lead. All in my post.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:31 am | Comment

Oh dear, by the way, that Dalai Lam’s birthday link is bbbbblocked in the motherland.

China residents must do the proxy shuffle.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:33 am | Comment

Thanks, Laowai, that’s great.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:33 am | Comment

look out, martyn’s on a roll.

outstanding. I wonder if they’ll do that in other regions on other occasions. here’s to hoping.

was just reading kevin’s reprint of the article on the different standard we hold the chinese government to – the phenomenon of different expectations for the good kid than the bad one. interesting stuff.

update :: poor form martyn. unknowingly redirecting to a banned site thus stalling net connections. ouch.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:43 am | Comment

Listening to Ken Livingstone’s live speech on the radio. It’s a great speech so far. I’ll try and find it later and paste it on TPD.

Suffice to say that the city of London and the people who speak the 300+ languages spoken there is by and large completely back to business as usual today.

The terrorists have achieved NOTHING.

Listening to some of the ‘ordinary hero’ stories coming out today really does put one’s faith back into the human race.

One London bobby on the beat who happened to be near one of the bomb blasts actually commandeered a London bus, organised survivors to pack the vehicle with the injured and dying and took the bus to the nearest hospital! Amazing.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:47 am | Comment

By the way, I forgot to say that the mysterious policeman who commandeered the bus has, so far, not come forward.

The story was related from survivors and the identity of the policeman remains unknown.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:49 am | Comment

Sorry Echo, poor form indeed. I hastily moved to warn unsuspecting readers but arrived too late I’m afraid.

My credibility lies in tatters and rightly so….

July 8, 2005 @ 8:52 am | Comment

The only point that I would raise as part of my pathetic defence is that I typed the words “Voice of America” just above the intro to the TB piece.

…and with that your honour, I throw myself at the mercy of the court.

July 8, 2005 @ 9:08 am | Comment

to save time and posting length, I pretty much second Laowai re: Iraq, afghanistan, etc., though I do believe that the possibility of an oil pipeline through Afghanistan cannot be overlooked. Before 9/11 the Bush Administration was negotiating with those enemies of Freedom, the Taliban, in fact, on just such a pipeline deal.

As for Iraq, revenge, oil, support for neo-con ambitions to transform the middle east, all of that surely came into play. Some form of Straussian idealism leaves room for belief in bringing democracy to the region as well. But frankly, democratic transformations are diffficult to achieve at gunpoint. in the examples Simon named early, lebanon, egypt, Georgia (or was it the ukraine?) – well, I’d question that Egypt’s recent elections are evidence of democratization, given how they were conducted. As for Lebanon, they had a tradition of representative government, no? Before the Civil war and the Syrian occupation. Isn’t this more of a case of years of struggle after the war, trying to rebuild, and finally getting fed up by syrian heavy-handedness? I mean, assassinations, so not subtle! And needless to say the same factionalization that led to the civil war is in play now. But we all hope for the best.

I remember reading somewhere that it’s possible to aid democratic movements, but one of the prerequisites is a unified opposition movement, which you had in the Ukraine. in other words, the people of that country have to do the work themselves. they have to organize and they have to work together effectively. None of these conditions, prior democratic traditions of any sort, a unified opposition, existed in Iraq. Maybe the hoped for democracy will come to pass eventually, but at what cost? And who’s to say there weren’t way more effective means to bring it about, without the horrific loss of life on all sides?

As for Libya, maybe you can make the argument that Bush’s aggression had something to do with giving up the WMDs, but on the one hand, Libya, on the other North Korea, Iran….

I do think the invasion of Afghanistan was appropriate. Another benchmark for international intervention is when you have a failed state – the chaos that creates leads to the harboring of terrorists like Al Qaeda, genocidal conflicts like Sierra Leone, etc. There are times when it’s appropriate to intervene.

Though let’s remember just how much support Clinton got for Bosnia and Kosovo from the right here. Absolutely none. Utter condemnation, in fact. “We shouldn’t be engaged in nation building.”


July 8, 2005 @ 10:32 am | Comment

Lisa, if I could reach into cyberspace and hand you a bouquet of flowers, I would. Thanks for your clarity, diplomacy and eloquence. I wish I could be as patient and soft-spoken as you about things that get me impassioned.

July 8, 2005 @ 10:47 am | Comment

Richard, thanks for the flowers, I’ll take ’em! ๐Ÿ™‚

July 8, 2005 @ 11:18 am | Comment

martyn, working on something. maybe for tomorow. might have been tonight if I hadn’t gotten locked out of the net and decided to go for a walk ๐Ÿ˜‰

gotta respect the brits. less than 24 hours later and it’s back to business as usual. now that’s the definition of terrorists not winning.

July 8, 2005 @ 11:20 am | Comment


Before I go to sleep I will just say that even the Chinese government doesn’t stone women to death that have been raped.

July 8, 2005 @ 11:22 am | Comment

Gordon, point being…? That Muslims are bad? How does this tie into Shulan’s comment, questioning your claims that the Muslim world brought this on themselves?

July 8, 2005 @ 11:31 am | Comment

New post on my latest struggle session with chinese censors (being in england I have to go out of my way to find this…)

July 8, 2005 @ 1:13 pm | Comment

just to jump in with a couple of comments on oil.
number one: US$60 per barrel is pretty cheap.
number two: simon said the currency with which oil is bought has no impact on the level of the US dollar.
that is I believe incorrect: if people started buying oil in a currency other than dollars — euros for example — then the value of the dollar would fall dramatically.
one reason why the dollar is a reserve currency and universally accepted by governments everywhere is that you can buy oil with dollars cleanly and simply.
if you had to buy it with euros, governments would keep fewer dollars.
and if people were less willing to buy dollars, the value of the dollar would fall. this would mean that when the US needed to borrow money, it would find it far more expensive to do so, also everyday americans would therefore find it more expensive to borrow, so they’d end up buying less, which would be no good for the service and manufacturing industries in the US, which would mean job losses and so on … in other words, a Bad Thing.

separately, MAJ: you said: refer you to an article in The Guardian … by George Monbiot.
well why on earth refer anyone to an article by George Monbiot? it’s not like he’s an authority or anything. he’s just a commentator, a columnist. one who happens to share your leftism. why bother read him when we can read you?

July 8, 2005 @ 5:22 pm | Comment

MAJ, if you care to respond – and I hope you do – please use the new open thread. This one’s too long and a bit too brutal.

July 8, 2005 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

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