The Chilcot ‘Inquiry’: a theatre of the absurd By William Bowles

By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
29 December 2009

Crossposted at Strategic Culture Foundation, 16 December 2009

Why does the extermination of an entire culture cause not a ripple in our public discourse? The answer is obvious: we don’t have any kind of discourse with those who wield power. The Chilcott ‘Inquiry’ demonstrates this down to a tee. It’s brazen in its disregard for the reality of the crimes the British state has committed in Iraq and continues to commit in Afghanistan. And brazen in the way it scoots a lot of very guilty-looking ‘witnesses’ through the process as painlessly as possible. How has this come to pass?

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COPOUT15: It’s the poor wot gets the blame By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
21 December 2009

It seems the ruling classes of the most powerful capitalist states just don’t learn any lessons from the past. It’s as if they wipe the slate clean every time they get us all in a jam and we have to relearn everything all over again! Why do we tolerate such bullshit from the gangster class that controls us?

And as sure as the Sun rises, the USUK has put all the blame on those ‘inscrutable’ Chinese for the ever-so predictable failure of COP15, “Energy Secretary Ed Miliband called it a “chaotic process”, singling out China for vetoing an agreement on emissions.” (‘Climate Summit held to Ransom’, BBC News, 21 December, 2009)

Fact: One-third of China’s industrial output is for export to the US (this is the one-third that used to be manufactured in the US).

The BBC however is very clear about the way forward, it’s called ‘green capitalism’:
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An unholy alliance: The Media, the State and Big Business By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
Crossposted at Strategic Culture Foundation
19 December 2009

Readers might not be very familiar with Private Eye, the UK’s one and only satirical magazine that’s been going for decades and long a thorn in the side of the Establishment in spite of the fact that its editors are very much a part of the Establishment. But then this why they get the ‘inside dope’ on the corruption and other nefarious ‘dealings’ that occupy the ruling elite who assist their business pals in ripping off the public purse.

For me as a lifelong adsorber of information of all kinds, PE’s major strength is in its inside info on the relationship between (big) business and the state, whether at the national or local level. Pretty much every major scandal that finally breaks in the mainstream press, for example the Trafigura disaster was reported in PE first. The oil trading company Trafigura dumped thousands of tons of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, 31,000 people were injured by the foul stuff and 16 died.[1]

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Climategate and Climate Change: Blowing hot and cold By William Bowles

By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
2 December 2009

The leaked emails from the University of East Anglia seem to have put the proverbial cat in with the climatic pigeons. So what to make of it? Firstly, there’s an awful lot of information to wade through, some of which I find extremely confusing eg, Climate Change: This is the Worst Scientific Scandal of our Generation by Prof. Christopher Booker. What is he saying? That the data has been fixed to prove that the planet is heating up? And if so, does the ‘fix’ mean that the planet isn’t heating up after all? And what of the agenda of the individuals who hacked the emails, are they only concerned with the truth? And what is the ‘truth’?

As far as I can ascertain the debate comes down to the finding that the planet’s temperature appears to have dropped by an average of 1C over the past ten years. What isn’t clear is whether this is a ‘blip’ in the graph of steadily rising temperatures or as some analysts claim, a natural process connected to changes in the Sun’s activity?

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Rupert Murdoch: Genius or dummy and should we care? by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
1 December 2009

So the multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch reckons that all his ‘news’ is being stolen by Google and it follows, the rest of us, so next year he plans to start charging for access to his ‘news’.

My first reaction is to say hooray! Aside from research and references, I never read anything News Corp. produces, so let him charge. So for many of us, not being able to read Murdoch’s rubbish online will not a be loss, if anything it might declutter the online world somewhat.

But the issue is much more complex and important than Murdoch wanting to get his pint of blood many times over.

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‘Yes We Can’. ‘No We Won’t!’ By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
27 November 2009

“It was amusing to read that a well-dressed Virginia couple, husband with a tux, blonde wife in a Sari managed to infiltrate the White House State Dinner, presumably an institution known for the highest of security. Red faced secret service officials muttered something about a security post that did not follow procedures. They hoaxed their way in.

“Oh, how could we be human without human errors? To add insult to injury, Joe Biden had his picture taken with the party crashers. All Smiles. Who knew?

“But a more insidious infiltration may have occurred and is still largely unaccounted for. Could there be an imposter in the oval office? In a scene out of the movie “ALIEN,” Barack Obama’s evil “Mini-Me” seems to have infiltrated the body and brain of the 44th President turning a Yes We Can candidate into the No We Won’t President.” — “Infiltrating” the Oval Office, an “Alien” Obama?, The News Dissector, 27 November, 2009

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The Iraq War ‘Inquiry’: ‘Revelations’? What revelations? By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
27 November 2009

“We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we need pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.” – David Manning (Blair’s policy advisor).[1]

I read with amazement the ‘revelations’ concerning war criminal Tony Blair’s visit to Camp Crawford in March 2002 where Bush/Blair decided that ‘regime change’ was the order of the day. But there’s nothing new about these ‘revelations’, indeed I and many others reported this meeting literally years ago.

“The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March [2003]. This was when the bombing would begin.” — George Bush

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The BNP and bridging the gulf of disbelief By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
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18 November 2009

By now it must surely be obvious to everyone that a vast gulf exists between the rulers and the ruled, so much so that the ruled have all but given up listening. The ruling elite are now so desperate that hardly a day goes by without some political dinosaur telling us that ‘we have to reestablish the trust of the people, a trust that has completely broken down’. But it ain’t ain’t working and with good reason.

Enter the British National Party (BNP).

You have to ask yourself the question, why now? Why did the BBC suddenly decide that it’s on the side of ‘free speech’? Their reason, that large numbers of people voted for the BNP hence the BBC had to give them a voice, simply doesn’t wash. If it were so then why haven’t we seen the BNP on ‘Question Time’ before? Moreover, why do we hear no voice from the left on Question Time if the BBC is so concerned with presenting ‘alternative’ views on its ‘flagship’ programme?

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About Patria, Pageants and Poppies By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
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17 November 2009

“Britain’s last surviving World War I veteran shunned Remembrance Day commemorations Wednesday because he was against the glorification of war” — ‘Britain’s last WWI veteran shuns Remembrance Day’

After eight years and tens of thousands of Afghan casualties, the occupiers are settling down to a war of unknown duration. And contrary to Brown’s earlier declarations that ‘al-Qu’eda’ was operating out of Afghanistan, Brown, all-dressed up for the Lord Mayor’s banquet told the assorted ‘dignitaries’,

“Mr Brown has acknowledged that al-Qaeda is not operating in Afghanistan but cautioned that it continued to recruit and train.

“Al-Qaeda rely on a permissive environment in the tribal areas of Pakistan and – if they can re-establish one – in Afghanistan,” Mr Brown warned.

“He said there were “several hundred” foreign fighters still based in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan, attending training camps to learn bomb-making and weapons skills.”” — ‘Brown plans Afghan handover talks’, BBC News Website, 17 December, 2009

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Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires or just a graveyard with a pipeline running through it? by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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6 November 2009

“The US does not need a final victory over the Talibs. Despite their widely advertized ferocious conflict, the US and the Talibs manage to coexist quite successfully in Afghanistan…”[1]

Come on folks, it’s just good sense, there is no way the Empire can actually win the war in Afghanistan. As I have stated before it’s not about ‘winning’ but occupation. Afghanistan is basically a stepping stone on the way to some place else and leaving an oil pipeline behind with a friendly government in place to protect it. Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and men etc…

And this is why it bears no comparison to the idiotic occupation that the Soviets got sucked into, except for the slaughter of course. But from a strategic and economic perspective, along with Iran, Pakistan and India, Afghanistan commands the entrance to East Asia and there’s gold in them thar hills!

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The nerve of these guys! Karzai ‘wins’ anyway By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
4 November 2009

Have you ever seen anything more outrageous? Talk about double standards! For weeks the BBC bombarded us with outrage concerning the elections in Iran with wall-to-wall coverage of the protests and predicting some other kind of ‘colour’ revolution, a green one this time (what will USAID, NDI, Freedom House, George Soros et al do, when they run out of colours?).[1]

“Millions of Iranians simply did not believe the result. The main demand of the protesters has been an annulment of the result and an election re-run.” — ‘Q&A: Iran election aftermath’, BBC News, 22 June, 2009

Compare the BBC’s squeals of outrage over the Iranian elections with how the BBC ‘delicately’ deals with the Afghan elections. No wall-to-wall coverage of Afghan outrage over a stolen election. Instead, Continue reading

Lest we forget? by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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Creative-i
27 October 2009

There is something ironic—if not downright obscene—about the fact that in the UK the Poppy is used as the symbol of remembrance for all those who have died in the UK’s countless imperial wars, a symbol that is being used to punt the latest ‘adventure’, Afghanistan, home of the opium poppy.

The use of the Poppy flower as a symbol of remembrance stems from the fact that the Poppy grew in abundance in the slaughterhouse called Flanders in WWI, due apparently to the fact that the artillery shells exposed the formerly deeply buried seeds to the sun.

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Reform or Revolution continued… By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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23 October 2009

It’s not fair to leave you hanging like that (see Reform or Revolution?), we really need to know why the left in the so-called developed world has failed so miserably to carry out its allotted task, a task laid down by our ancestors who spilt much blood, sweat and tears.

It occurs to me that the left is trapped in its own history, a history that views the industrial working class as the natural ‘partner’ in the revolutionary project but without recognizing that it is now a shadow of its former self. Compounding this paradox is the lack of debate over who is is to take their place, or join the struggle?

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Reform or Revolution by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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19 October 2009

Note: replaced text with revised edition on Oct. 22, 2009

It’s really time I started writing more about the country I live in, the country of my birth, the UK, a country that has the oldest, the most cunning, the most duplicitous (not to mention the most mendacious) of all ruling classes. After all, they’ve been at it for five hundred years, finally being forced to come up with what they like to call parliamentary democracy over a century ago, but just how democratic is it? And can we really expect real change to come about through a system as corrupt and sclerotic as ‘parliamentary democracy’?

Parliamentary democracy is a closed system, literally owned by the two main political parties who work in intimate cooperation with the state bureaucracy to maintain the status quo. For proof of this we need only look at the panic caused by the ‘expenses’ scandal and how the political class, fearful of any challenge to its hegemony has fought tool and nail, left and right to defend their privilege to spend our money as they please.

How they have managed to do this should be important to us and especially the confidence trick called Parliament. It is a system that has, for around a century, played the central role in the preservation of capitalism, in reality a private game with the political class being the players, the judges and the rule makers. In other words, a fix and a fix carried out, no less, with the complicity of organized labour.

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An Epoch of Rest by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
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17 September 2009

“It is right and necessary that all men should have work to do which is shall be worth doing, and be of itself pleasant to do; and which shall be done under such conditions as would make it neither overwearisome nor over-anxious.” — William Morris, ‘Art and Socialism’.

I first read William Morris’s News from Nowhere, his future history of a ‘return’ to an idealized vision of a pre-capitalist society, part feudal, part agrarian socialism, when I was a teenager, and perhaps oddly, I also read it as a science fiction novel.

Long dismissed by ‘purist’ Marxists as unworkable, in light of the fact that even the original socialist version of industrial society is no more viable than the capitalist one, perhaps it’s time to reconsider Morris’s allegedly utopian vision. And in any case, one can already see the outlines forming of some kind of small-scale, co-operative, community, small business type economy emerging on the back of the information technology revolution (minus all the corporate/state stuff of course) that has much in common with Morris’s vision. ‘All’ that remains be done is to get rid of corporate capitalism and its parasitic ruling political class.

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