Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Food for Thought

As the De Menezes case takes another twist it is worth bearing in mind the words of Efraim Halevy, an ex chief of Mossad, in an article in last years Economist. You can read the full article which touches on WOMD, Iraq, intelligence gathering and the WOT here

"The rules of war are incumbent on the defendant but not on he or she who attacks. International law, the Geneva conventions and the other well-known humanitarian provisions do not apply to the aggressor in this current confrontation. In circumstances like these, the future probably has in store crisis situations the like of which we have never experienced before.

Rather than seeking long-term overhauling and restructuring of the system, and the creation of new high-level slots, surely this is a moment in history when the body politic should swing behind those who are already in the trenches and give them encouragement and support in this fateful battle that has been thrust upon us.

Those who have experienced times of acute crisis know that lines often get blurred and formal functions and positions do not reflect the real influence of various players on the scene. You will find political masters absorbing copious quantities of raw intelligence and forming their own estimates and evaluations of the situation. You will also find intelligence chiefs not only passing on information and assessments, but also advocating specific courses of action. This is simple human nature and no rule or regulation can change it"

Some of this could also apply to the likes of Jack Idema. Generally though I find it worrying that information is constantly leaked to the press for the latest 'shock arent we shit!' media scoop.

OK its slightly annoying it results from Big Brother but I think its worth pinning this up for all to read about one more time! From Scott Burgess (American) over at Daily Ablution:-

“Here's a Press Roundup - a selection of Galloway-related stories from today's papers. I have rarely, if ever, seen such unanimity across the spectrum”


….Calling a text message vote on whether the audience liked or hated Mr Galloway, BBC Radio 1’s Chris Moyles said:

'When we have the final vote, we’ll take it to George (Galloway) and show him what the youth of today think of him and whether he has succeeded in talking to young voters.'
In the space of 20 minutes 19,661 votes were received. Of these, 18,189 (92.5 per cent) declared hatred for Mr Galloway..."

Really great round up and dissection over at
Daily Ablution
See January 26, 2006 Farcical Feline Faces Act II

Great fun!

“Democracy. Unfortunately” was Churchill’s response when questioned on the best way to govern. ‘Unfortunately’ for a number of reasons. Because you can get voted out as well as in. The wrong people might get into power . You might not like them. You may have to wait years to get them out. They might be thugs. Liberals will sneer when democracy yields what appear to be the wrong results in the middle east. Yes maybe the still need a religious enlightenment that drags them kicking and screaming into the 21st century to enjoy the kind of democracy we enjoy. But nevertheless an elected party has to take the responsibilities of governing very very seriously indeed. You are no longer simply chucking rocks, flag burning and regularly blowing yourselves up. You’ve a job to do. I admit I did nervously smile when one blogger suggested Hamas would be busy deciding its Minister for Car Bombs. But. If terrorists acting on behalf of an elected Hamas, attack Israel then the latter - a fully armed state with nuclear capability - will be able to acknowledge this as a proper act of war - and retaliate with the full weight of everything Ken and Cherie and the other tut tutters have been moaning about as thus far ‘unfair’.

Its pay day on Monday. Meanwhile guess who's stuck in on a Saturday night....

I would never have thought 6 months ago that there were so many like minded individuals out there fed up with the same things as me. I mean Id be out and about and I’d meet loads of people who’d say they were but then everyone voted sodding Labour/Livingstone and you’d think ‘what the f happened there then?’ Nor would I have imagined meeting so many Republicans. I spend most of my day working with and listening to Democrats. Then one day i googled something about, im not sure, July 7 i think and i discovered someones' blog.

As Monica over at Grizzly Mama said recently the blogosphere is an opportunity to discover more - and we’re still discovering. You can uncover a new perspective on what people think here in the UK for example.

Obviously I am utterly fed up with PC madness, multi culti ethics, ‘minority’ pandering, empty liberal thinking, Labour, most certainly Ken, definitely Galloway and a spattering of other loons. I wait in vain for a new Thatcher or Elizabeth 1. Im not fervently anti Europe. I keep an open mind as Ive lived there and have family there and in the US - which makes for a giant learning curve all round. Oh and im not a republican. I like the Queen.

I am far removed from the left wing perception of a right winger. He who shall remain nameless arrived here on a crappy student visa 4 years ago and didn’t go back because of me. It hasn’t been an easy journey for either me or the Brazilian. And I actually believe that he has become so pissed off himself for the same reasons I am, about ‘other’ visitors to our country/PC bull, Nu Labour, that to listen to him sometimes you’d think he ran a more fervent section of the BNP. He is an example of how to come here and make something of yourself (legally) as my family did - and put something back. But I could easily have been a liberal or Victoria Meldrew and by now he’d be telling me the UK was crap and claiming benefit/working illegally.

I try to keep an open mind on many issues. I do loathe constant Brit bashing and self hatred. I don’t want the media to create their self-fulfilling phrophecies either. Show enough anti American sentiment and then ‘make it so’.

I’d like to hope that a variety of blogs become the many sources for a revolution! Link away.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Dumb Jon's done an excellent job on both Commissioner 'Oops did i say racist?' Blair and a noteworthy piece on the BBC. That great bastion of media reporting that sadly results in our cousins across the Pond thinking were all of the same anti-US persuasion, with a roll over & say die mentality (I notice that a certain spider who sits across a Tangled Web crept in there!).
Just so we are clear on this - were not effing impressed with what they tell the world either. And neither do they represent the opinions of a nation, Goddamit!
Yes you can have a good laugh (or feel despair...) at the BBC 'Dont Have Your Say' postings . Check out what im babbling on about over at

House of Dumb

On the ever so hot topic of 'racism' - check out DangerouslySubversiveDads run in with a Canadian socialist (yes they exist outside Europe) - posting on the election results there. Classic moonbat.

I also like his letter to the Palestinians also. (Part of me - the more desperate part- thinks that what tipped the balance was a few old Palestinian women who wanted an end to corruption and thought Hammas (!) were IT. Not much to choose from was there. Then again worryingly we dont have much to choose from now either - do we.

Might have to start looking at some new previously unchartered options.

The Clever Dad

Foxier News' 'Bleedin Obvious'

You can keep LOST and you can certainly keep BONES. And re runs of FRIENDS and FRASIER. But I will definitely take the US style TV news debating programmes. Imagine how the current idiotic remarks by Commissioner Blair Out Any Old Nonsense would play out on lets call it -Foxier News:

Alison: Can you BELIEVE the latest jaw dropping remarks by our very PC PC Commissioner Blair? I mean the guy truly has LOST the plot!

Cavalier: Yeah Alison im with you on that one. I mean whats with the guy?

Alison: I guess one things for sure – you can believe it when he said he wasn’t aware of the de Menezes shooting, and slept right through it - which by the way was accidental if youre smart and a murder if youre a Socialist Worker.

Cavalier- or homeless

Cavalier: Huh huh. If the guy managed to miss the late summers biggest story on Anthony Walker then he truly must have been asleep for de Menezes.

Alison: Viewers wont need to be reminded that Commissioner Blair is suggesting racist bias on news reporting over the Soham murders – the murder of two little (white – like that mattered) girls a few years back. That TOO much attention was given over to the murders because..youve guessed it – they were white! Nothing to do with the nature of this horrendous crime at all eh Neil?

Cavalier – Huh huh, presumably he was unaware of the enormous coverage given over to the Anthony Walker murder case, citing only ONE recent example - which lets just say, dominated the headlines late last summer eclipsing the horrific murder of a white man by a black teenager on a no 19 bus in Islington. A crime police allege was not in the LEAST bit racially motivated!

Alison: Yeah – what WAS that poor guys name again?

Cavalier – Or perhaps he’d like to reflect on Damilola Taylor or Stephen Lawrence. Or even -dare I say it- how much emphasis was placed on de Menzezes’ nationality. Like it mattered.

We say forget the apology – this guy really shows ya just how low the left will stoop to keep suggesting this country -which is what he was REALLY implying - yep you know it - is ‘raaaaciiiiist’!

Alison – Uh huh. Gives em something to chatter about Neil ~ keeps em in a job.

I'M Spartacus! And Im gay by the way.

This week in the UK, everyone’s gay.

The Sun: “Im gay too”.

The E.S “Im gay!”


“My Gay Affairs!”.

Gay gay gay gay gayyyyyy.

This is in relation to some revelation that Wet Dem MP Simon Hughes denied he was gay, ‘lied’ and actually… is in fact gay.

Well, hurray! SO glad that’s settled.

Thing is all this media snooping and probing about what MPs, Cabinet members and Presidents get up to in their private lives: drug taking, being gay, shagging secretary’s and interns, cheating on wives…is it really in the public interest? Does it have an incredibly important effect on how they shape policies?

Do you suppose Cameron is still off his head from his party days as he decides to steer the party to the centre, or is it simply just that he’s a leftie at heart, having lived in London too long. Actually don’t answer that! But a sudden revelation that the young MP DID what every other person in London IS still doing is old news. They all manage to keep making high flying decisions in the City/West End whilst theyre still coked off the heads after all. And if you are worried about the message to the yoof well how about you …don’t break the story?

The ex Lib Dems leader, as much as I dislike him, managed his press interviews quite well with a hang over (I think,…bit sweaty, mumbling at times but still remembered his silly policies).

Really - so what if an MP is gay but couldn’t quite handle the media’s obsession with his sexuality? Which is what it amounts to.

Im not interested what they do behind closed doors. Its not in my interest. I don’t expect him to be forced into an admission either and sneered at for handling it badly. That doesn’t make me question his political judgement. It makes me wonder how anyone manages our media.

The fact that the media like to catch people out and then break the story as though it were the b-all and end all, is more of an indication of their sad demented tittering little hangs up than the people they are pursuing.

Take for example, the other (less important I suppose) ‘revelation’ that Sven thinks the Premiership is riddled with corruption – helpful, isn’t it that they choose to break this story just as we approach the World Cup. Just as they did with Beckham before the Euros. And we all saw what happened to him as a result - though he said then as they all say now - it wont have any effect at all. They would wouldn’t they? Its not as if they will come clean and say “Sven wont bother turning up for training now and we aren’t all that sure he isn’t taking backhanders for his next management job in…Germany/Brazil. We don’t trust him now and well…basically we think we might lose”.

OK so maybe Becks is fair game – along with overpaid Hollywood prima donnas. But Becks’ get out clause is that people really do want their home team to win important matches.

So yes thanks for that. I happen to like sport, football and was sorta, kinda rooting for the HOME team. And I suspect there was more of an overall feeling of the latter from Joe Public - as we rapidly approach the biggest party on the planet - than a desire to rush out and pay to see what Sven says to a feik sheik.

We certainly like to build em up and tear em down in the UK.

I suppose it’s good that the Lib Dems look stupid – but its sad that it takes a story like this rather than their ridiculous policies to make them look….well, ridiculous.

Just as it’s sad that it takes Big Bloody Brother to make Britain’s most demented, egotistical, vile rapist/terrorist/torturer worshipping ‘MP’ look like the idiot we all knew him to be.

Freedom of the press is often lauded about like the most precious freedom we have and yet it is consistently ‘abused’ and wittled down to no more than a token giggling nod to what should be an important tool.

The media is dumbing down the public into apathetic zombies – where nothing matters except Galloway prancing like a prat in a leotard or Simon Hughes being gay. As long as they vote, pay to read about it and someone somewhere gets rich stuff the fact that, for example, the UK has less and less political tour de forces and that come the next election we’ll have ZERO choice. (That worked out really well in Palestine this week).

Then again The Telegraph were totally justified in their position regards Galloway and remain so. But we shouldn’t expect a silly judge to note that THAT might be in the public interest now should we.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Free Jack Idema Blogburst c/o Rottweiler Puppy...

I watched a programme on the SAS last night. In awe. The effectiveness of our special forces was and is obvious. Probably more so when wars werent media circuses though. The SAS were the forerunners of truly effective covert military operation forces and today the importance of such individuals risking life and limb with the current threat still looming is greater than ever. Bombing the shit out of a hidden enemy is not necessarily too effective. Our SAS special forces soldiers are one of our most effective weapons and they have been heavily involved in most if not all major successes in Iraq. And i for one am pretty proud that we have the worlds finest. One thing that struck me was how we think of them generally though. Abstract Supersoldiers that exist only in war myths?

Watching last night, the media footage showed quite clearly the risks they take. It is a whole lot harder and more dangerous for them to do their jobs with little pricks from the press and tv trying to bag a scoop. Pretend rocks might be laugh out loud funny but getting tortured in Iraq or Afghanistan isnt.

Some of these guys returned from operations quite traumatised. They werent speaking to camera themselves but girlfriends and wives were. It humanised the supersoldiers. They arent the cold blooded murderers some people would like them to be. They are certainly funny too. The operation that of course led them into the worlds limelight was the embassy storming in the 80s. One of them spoke of drinking beers in a room after the event watching their success relayed on the box for the first time ever - Margaret Thatcher arrived to congratulate them. At one point with so many crowded round the tv one of the soldiers couldnt see

"Move your fucking head out the head way of the screen" he bellowed.

"Oh im so terribly sorry, of course" replied Mrs Thatcher.

Regiments aside Jack Idema is one such fella who just gets on with it, gets stuck in and sees the enemy for what it is. I like what he has to say below. I enjoyed listening to the matter of fact way the guys on last nights programme spelled it all out also. I enjoyed watching the effective way the SAS would dump pain in the arse thugs and terrorists on government doorsteps bound and gagged. There was something oddly reassuring about hearing supposed Mujahadeen fighters bearded & dishevelled looking issuing instructions with a broad Geordie accent.

We need these guys.

The rest c/o Rottweiler Puppy:-

I talked about the way in which the September 2004 trial which landed U.S. Special Forces soldier Jack Idema and his men in prison was actually conducted by the very terrorists he'd spent three years hunting down.
But there's another side to the story of how Jack, Brent and Ed wound up in the infamous Pulacharke prison, and this involves elements within FBI and U.S. State Department, both of which have done everything within their power to hinder Jack Idema's efforts to gain his freedom.

Idema's problems, as those following this story know, appear to stem from his arrest of a senior Afghan judge, Sidiq, in July 2004. At this point in time, Jack was working with the Northern Alliance, operating a safe house where terror suspects could be held for interrogation prior to transfer to U.S. authorities. (There were fifty such safe houses in operation in Afghanistan, and their existence was not a secret from either the U.S. or Afghan authorities.) Although Idema knew the arrest of Sidiq might raise some eyebrows, he had good reason for believing the judge was a high-value suspect -- At the time of the arrest, Sidiq was found to be in possession of the following items:
  • Photographs of Sidiq with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
  • Bomb plans
  • Explosive detonators
  • al-Qaida and Hezb-i-Islami documents and recruiting cards
  • A letter from Taliban leader Mullah Omar
Unfortunately for Idema, the arrest of Judge Sidiq seems to have prompted the Afghan interim government to move against Jack and his men. Sidiq was, after all, an important man, and his detention perhaps alarmed not only those 'ex'-Taliban who were now working with the interim government, but also those sections of the FBI and State Department who still cling to myths like 'containment' and 'realpolitik'.
Idema, it should go without saying, is very much the sort of man who believes that terrorists cannot be appeased or given settlements -- They must, he says, be captured or killed. This difference of opinion came to a head in the following way:
Instead of a "friendly meeting" the men were arrested at Kabul NDS Headquarters and turned over to former Taliban officials at NDS. When first "arrested," the men were placed in the NDS' underground torture chamber where Jack and Zorro were subjected to beatings until they were unconscious. Jack sustained a broken sternum, torn rotator cuffs, both eyes had detached retinas, etc. Major Ezmerai was electrocuted for days, and the screams could be heard throughout NDS. Syhail and Sherzai were beaten, threatened, and Sherzai finally drugged when he refused to sign a statement against Jack. Bennett was interrogated relentlessly, and threatened with death repeatedly shown a knife and told his ears and nose would be cut off. (To date Bennett has lost 8 teeth because of those beatings.) The torture was with the full knowledge and sanction of the FBI who were directing it, using the Afghans as proxies. FBI agents were at some points laughing about it in the hallway.
And yes, you read that correctly. After the arrest of Idema and his team, the FBI assisted 'former' Taliban guards in torturing American citizens and the Northern Alliance soldiers who fought with us to liberate Afghanistan.
The FBI's involvement didn't stop there:
On or about this time, NDS, acting with agents of the FBI [Unnamed Agents 2 & 3], and possibly Ingram [more on her later] herself, removed Bennett's and Idema's dog tags, removed the their Geneva Convention Identity Cards, and removed Idema and Bennett's U.S. passports. The FBI also removed crucial exculpatory evidence from NDS headquarters; including approximately 50 rolls of 35mm film, 200 videotapes, and 500 documents, many of which were official documents which were evidence of actual innocence.
This process of removing evidence of Idema's innocence continued even after the initial trial -- When Jack and his men were granted leave to appeal their sentences, more evidence was disappeared by the FBI.

Then there's the U.S. State Department, who have acted in a similarly illegal fashion throughout Idema's imprisonment:
Sandra Ingram, Acting US Consul, not only refused to acknowledge Idema's assertion [of his POW status], she refused to pass his request on to the appropriate authorities, and refused to provide him with a copy of the Geneva Conventions as required by law. Idema also asserted their POW status and right to protection to NDS, the FBI, and various Karzai officials. During a subsequent visit by Ingram, Idema put his request in writing and demanded she make an entry in her Embassy notebook (Ingram refused to sign a receipt for Idema's POW protected status request). Further, Ingram refused to forward this request to the Red Cross, stating her DOS bosses "ordered" her not to.
This sort of behaviour continues today, with U.S. authorities refusing to relay mail to Idema, Brent and Ed, and even going so far as to deny them access to food parcels, clean drinking water and medical supplies.

Why? There are two reasons:
  1. As stated above, there are those in the State Department, the FBI and the Karzai government who believe that the best way to deal with the Taliban is to incorporate them into the democratic process. To a very limited degree, this makes sense, though only if the Islamofascists are serious about renouncing violence. Judging by the bomb plans and detonators he was carrying at the time of his arrest, Sidiq clearly didn't get the memo on that one.
  2. There was Abu Ghraib. During the latter half of 2004, the people involved in Idema's arrest feared the U.S. would take a propaganda hit by refusing to pursue any allegations of torture by its forces, however baseless those allegations turned out to be. By allowing the Taliban to stage a show-trail and imprison Idema, it seems likely that people such as Consul Sandra Ingram felt they could earn Muslim goodwill and remove an obstacle to the political games they were playing with the Karzai government and its 'ex'-Taliban members at a single stroke.
It should go without saying that this is a shameful way for a Green Beret to be treated. After all, while the FBI and State Department in Afghanistan were playing politics, deciding on which Islamofascists it would be useful in the short term to ally themselves with, Jack was on a very different kind of mission. In his own words:
You can't fight terrorists with law enforcement and prosecution, Clinton tried that for eight years. You can't do it, they are animals– they are not human, just ask the families that lost their loved ones on 9/11. When the terrorists capture us they cut off our heads on television. When we capture them they complain that we don't let them p*ss for twelve hours. Well, sorry about that motherf*cker, you were about to drive explosive rigged gas tankers into Bagram and kill 500 American soldiers in a ball of flames. You should be glad I didn't defenestrate you. I believe that real Americans want real counter-terrorist operations, not bullsh*t press junkets and canned PR stories from PAOs that shot a gun once in their life on the basic training qualification range. I didn't start this f*cking war, not the one with bin laden, nor the one with the press, they started it, but I will finish it, or die in the process.
Just so.

Anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots, without whose work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.

You can also contact the following people and make your feelings known:

Secret US EMBASSY Fax: – 301-560-5729 (Local US Fax: Goes RIGHT TO Ambassador)
c/o US Ambassador Ronald Neuman
6180 Kabul Place
Dulles, VA 20189-6180

US Consul Russell Brown – 011-93-70201908 (Fired)

US Consul Addie Harchik- 011-93-70201908 (denied them water and mail at Thanksgiving)

US Embassy Translator Wahid – new – 011-93-70201902

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Beautiful Brazil

Back from flying round the Litoral Norte, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here are some snapshots for you. Some look a bit repetitious but worth it - lovely light they have & this was the daily view from the pousada (B&B!). And, since this a country I love, im pleased to say they didnt let me down - the only news they reported on from London was the whale in the Thames (no mention of you know who). Nice to be back and blogging as normal soon - just as soon as ive caught up on email at work (yeuch)

Kids on a beach discovering a jelly fish thats washed up on shore.

& a wild yellow canary.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sept 10th 2001

Yikes so were tipping into the second half of the first decade of this brand new century ( i had to get that pointless comment in as it has slipped past most of the MSM :). Er, yes basically its 2006 already.

In the last year I stumbled across the blogosphere. Until then I thought it was just me and the odd taxi driver that had started to feel a bit like Victor Meldrew too early on in life.

For some reason I got to thinking this morning about my relationship with the US and it set my mind racing. This is the long rambling boring result. It goes nowhere, attempts to say very little but I decided to blog it. Because I can.

I think in part this was due to my sister making her return to California. It was quite an emotional farewell. She lives a long way away and the US aren’t generous with holiday time which makes it hard for her to make the trip over. You need a fortnight to make a proper go of a holiday. After moving there she was home sick for a long time. This has lessened a little now she has Mr S and Im glad that she has someone to go home to. When I left the house to go to work yesterday she was still at home waiting for a cab to take her to the airport. It was a pretty odd feeling. It started me thinking about how much my feelings have altered towards the US over time.

Im going to hold my hand up now and say with all honesty that I HAD something of a love hate relationship with the US in a previous life. I had bitter rows as a teenager with my father who was always pro US. I was very anti. At one point I even decided against going on holiday with the family to Las Vegas and LA because of my very strong opinions.

The latter arose from growing up and seeing Gerry Adams being welcomed like the prodigal son in New York. I have very strong memories as a kid - witnessing the death and random destruction heaped on us by that bunch of terrorists. In particular one memory stands out - my mum hurriedly switching off the news when i was very young after the Hyde Park nail bomb. I went to bed traumatised and was haunted for months by the images of those men and horses lying in tatters and agony – it deeply affected me. Then a week or so later you would switch on the tv and watch (never hear) Gerry Adams and his cronies living it large in New York City with the US tut tutting at Britain.

On one occasion my sister was trying on shoes in Kensington only to find herself showered in glass from some bomb left in a bin. There were evacuations every other day, tube delays from bomb scares, bins banned in Oxford Street resulting in overflowing rubbish and a dirty city, a lucky escape with the huge Docklands bomb and one on a London bus. I was plodding down Fleet Street with my walkman on when an armed officer pulled me into the side of the road whilst some stand off went on overhead on the rooftops between armed officers, army and god knows who. I was always very lucky. But often I would switch on the news and view others who weren’t.

The bombing campaign around London that reached intensity in the late 70s was mostly run out of and funded by the US – one of the terrorists running round bombing London and who shot dead a police officer was American. At one time at church I was having a conversation with an American woman when we started talking about some bomb atrocity that had occurred a day earlier– I was fifteen at the time – I started my sentence with “Well the IRA..” and she stopped me dead in my tracks and said very loudly “Im a proud Irish American don’t YOU talk to me about the IRA. Im behind them!”. I was left confused and fuming that i wasnt allowed to opine on something that affected every day living in London , the UK & NI by a woman who lived thousands of miles away in safety.

The fear of terrorism is life altering. It was random, protracted and infuriating. But we carried on.

Back in the 80s everything American was viewed with some fascination and it was always perceived as cooler. To an extent this reinforced my anxiety with America since I had no interest in basketball or Michael Jordan quite honestly. I identified with them on so many levels but not always. I loved Margaret Thatcher but wondered about Reagan. That whole thing about Russia seems like another lifetime. I never felt remotely threatened by the USSR but everyone seemed obsessed with them. Even Sting questioned whether or not the Russsians loved their kids. That wouldn’t be the politically correct thing to do at all nowadays of course. I even suspect that on some level he is even quite embarrassed by that track! Havent heard him ask the same of Osama Bin Laden.

Gradually it all changed. My twenties were heavily influenced by a return of British culture, Trainspotting kicked it all off, post clubbing cups of tea, football, the British guy’s wonderful sense of humour and fascination with the pint, the underground club scene and the music generally which was quintessentially British and occupied that entire section of my life via parties, clubs, fields and festivals. It was bold brilliant and exciting and I had little time any more for Madonna, rap or the Beastie Boys. I was left cold by Clinton, his wife and the obsession with his sex life that went on and on and onnnnnn….I didn’t feel this angst towards the US anymore, I ignored the IRA.

Blair was ushered in, Diana died and Saddam Hussein had become the new bad guy. Diana hit home hard. I can distinctly recall bursting into tears over Diana’s funeral whilst frankly never particularly liking her. To me she often represented everything that was abhorrent about a certain kind of woman: pretty, blonde and perfectly capable of turning on the tears when it suited to get her own way with the media. She often came across as incapable and helpless and it pissed me off. Not the kind of woman I wanted to look up to at all. But at the same time she did give you something to smile about when you checked out the magazine stands. She was ravishing - and her relationship with people made the world a brighter better place. Something it lacks today even whilst so many film stars lord it - unsuccessfully filling our lives with their crappy personalities.

Anyway I found myself questioning what it was that made the world tick.

In September 2001 I made my first proper trip to the US. I was meeting a friend in Seattle to travel to L.A by car with a stop off in San Francisco. It was a life changing experience.

I discovered for a start that ordinary Americans were great people. Inquisitive, interested, polite. My view of them distorted by the film industry, occasionally by the brash attitudes of a few that id met – but, mostly, in recent times by the world’s media. We met many people as we rattled down the freeways and through some off beat places. We both drove far too fast with no regard for any of the speed limits. I stopped off at a dried out river bed to enjoy the massive moviescope scene that was unrolling before me. Of course I had to trot down into, get stuck in and take an hour and half to get out of it and back to my friend.

We camped in the Redwoods and watched in fascination as people rolled in, in huge caravans and then duly decked out their homes in Stars and Stripes. They would always pop over to say hello and shake your hand. Wished id taken my Union Jack ;)

My friend had started seeing an American (whom she later married) and was often wrapped up in phone calls from some pay phone in a deserted Redwood street whilst I sat in the little wooden shack like bars and unwittingly attracted table fulls of ‘cowboys’ who’d get me to talk about anything for hours on end. No idea who they were! Were they ‘rednecks’? We’d stack the car full of beer drive back to the campsite and then id spend the rest of the night trying to find the goddamn toilet in the dark. Our tent was always lopsided since we were mostly pissed when we put it up. We’d head off.

The coastline rushed past us towards SF and looked a lot like a large Cornwall, long and rolling and wild. San Francisco was an interesting place. We stayed with two gay men in a house with a cute name (the house that is). They had adopted a daughter. My friend didn’t have an issue with this at all but I felt pretty cold about it. We never argued about it but we weren’t completely comfortable with one another at that point.

I tried to park the car on some SF street that was at an acute bloody angle - but couldn’t reverse in. It took me fourteen attempts and a crowd of blokes watching on. I tried hard not to cry like a total bird with the pressure and refused any offers of help til the last. It did occur to me that he might drive off like Jonny Depp in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas but he turned out to be a decent guy (who didn’t look remotely like Jonny Depp sadly). Anyway they made me laugh out loud. Got directions to the local boozer. SF was smaller than I thought but fun, I liked the jazz and I enjoyed driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. Who wouldn’t?!

The coastline at Pebble Beach was truly stunning. At this point we turned around and headed back up to Seattle where we stopped near Mount St Helens. We decided LA was too far. We drove up and up and up to a campsite that could easily have been Nowheresville and put up our tent up in the dark - with the howling 'somethings' from the forest behind us.

My friend slept easily. I had a restless night. I couldnt get comfortable, it was freezing cold and Id gotten food poisoning after accidentally eating an oyster, yeuch (im allergic). Its not fun chucking up in the dark onto frozen ground (nice sound effects) with something rustling behind you in the bushes. In the UK ive woken up to the odd cow or wild pony outside the tent when we’d camp at music festivals but these noises were louder and the creatures therefore bigger in my mind. The next day it was quiet and we felt somewhat removed from civilisation up by the lake overlooking the volcano. After an odd start to the day we made it down to the café at the bottom of the mountain.

Without my contact lenses im half blind and my heart sank when I saw smoke billowing from a tall building on the small tv screen at the back of the bar.

“Is that London?” I squinted.

“Nope ma’am that’s New York”

The drive back to Seattle was weird. We tried to continue the holiday but things started to shut down. The news filling in the gaps was awful and the images were strange and seemed totally out of place with the US. The drive back became harrowing. We were tired, felt odd and worried and would take turns to burst into tears, sob, drive, sob, drive. Then I felt an odd sense of anger “well you know what…it sucks doesn’t it – terrorism. Horrifying, unjustifiable, frightening and crazy isn’t it. Still think irish terrorism is ok??!” It was a brief knee jerk reaction. This was a vast attack. A nation id always thought of as impenetrable suddenly didn’t feel that way anymore & frankly the world was a changed place.. The Americans we were staying with didn’t seem overly bothered (liberals) to begin with. I wanted to go home.

Id long since grown up and balanced out my feelings about the US, id enjoyed my experiences there and I knew exactly where I stood on this. I wondered why others couldn’t do likewise and figured it was because moonbats, as I later came to know them, are stuck in teenage mode unable to grow up and open their eyes. No I don’t always think America is right. I question its direction and its modern responsibilities in the world along with the rest of us, I get frustrated at the occasional patronising by those who think the British and Empire = bad. I’m not 100% convinced I liked Roosevelt (from what ive read not from personal experience obviously!).

Sometimes I find their reactions more surprising than my own. When I first stumbled across various blogs I discovered a comment on July 7 from an American who posted “Perhaps we will hear less about Guantanamo now” as his first reaction to July 7. If blogs had existed in 2001 I doubt I would have posted my fleeting knee jerk angry thoughts about 9/11 (above) because ultimately I don’t consider it just dues or a ‘that’ll shut them up’ to see people jumping out of the twin towers to their death - for all my personal anguish towards the political posturing of some IRA supporting New Yorkers.

I would hope that Americans know that there are a lot of us here who couldn’t give a flying f***k what happens to the orange boilers in Guantanamo! I was disheartened by the comment as I scoured the blogs. But that doesn’t change much. To me the US is an extension of a way of life, values and thinking that emanated from western Europe into a larger land mass across the pond. Funding the Irish terrorists has dried up along with for the most part the attitude that championed them.

Whats to dislike. Whats to counter, patronise, undermine and sneer at? I guess some people still need to get over (their own personal) ‘it’ and grow up.

Meanwhile im still enjoying discovering how much we have in common - in spite of the BBC & CNN’s best attempts to make me think otherwise.

To us - to 2006.


The below is courtesy of Rottweiler Puppy who also posted a amazing piece on Jack Idema and the SAS. I would urge anyone to go over and read this (use the links right) as well as read through the below. It was a Xmas post so you will need to go back a week.

One of the most galling aspects of the campaign to free U.S. Special
Forces soldier Jack Idema and his compatriots, Brent Bennet and journalist Ed Caraballo, from their illegal detention in Afghanistan has been the attitude of big media toward the case. Over the past weeks, I've written a great deal about the failure of MSM and human rights groups to shine a spotlight on either the abuses Idema and his men have suffered, or the
fact that he is being held illegally, following an appeal that overturned the original guilty verdict against him. Certainly, the fact that the media have failed to report Jack's conviction was overturned, or that the ex-judge he detained was, in fact, linked to senior terrorists, or that the witnesses who accused him of torturing them were proved to have lied -- Certainly, these are the most serious failures in big media's reporting of the case. But they're not the only errors MSM have made. See, if you do a search for 'Idema' over at the BBC, the $6b news
organisation returns a total of 16 hits, all which are filled with references to 'bounty hunters',
'vigilantes' and 'secret prisons'.

Over at the Guardian it's the same, with another 16 stories, all concerned with Idema's arrest and trial. This is a pattern that you'll find repeated time and again across almost the whole
of MSM. It's as if, prior to his arrest in July 2004, Jack Idema simply didn't exist.

... But why should this be surprising? After all, didn't Jack Idema first come to the media's attention after his arrest? Wasn't the trial in September 2004 the first time anyone outside of the secretive world of Special Ops had heard of him? Well, in a word, no:

In the dusty courtyard outside, Jack, an American special
adviser to the Afghan military, treated Afghan injuries, stitching a
fresh bullet wound in one man's lower leg. Even without anaesthesia the
soldier was thankful for the treatment. As the Green Beret wiped the
blood splatters from his face a dozen Afghan fighters looked on, they
have never had this kind of support in 23 years of war.

This passage, originally written for United Press International during Operation Anaconda, features an early sighting of Idema, hard at work with Northern Alliance troops as they fought the Taliban in 2001. Note that, at this time, the press weren't questioning Idema's credentials --
He's correctly identified as an 'American special adviser' and 'Green Beret'. Also bear in mind that most of the stories quoted from today have been quietly disappeared from their original locations -- Were it not for the fact that the SuperPatriots have maintained copies of the
material, much of it wouldn't be easy to find on the internet today. A year later, and another UPI report on the near-capture of none other than Osama bin-Laden again places Jack Idema in the thick of the action:
'I immediately suspected Bin Laden was one of them' says
Jack, the American advisor to the Afghan Northern Alliance who was first
informed about the location of the fugitives on December 18 while he was
on a trip to Jalalabad. 'Only the top of Al Qaida would be protected and
treated in that way.'

And, from the same piece, Idema's position in the Northern Alliance is detailed:
General Hazrat Ali and Commander Sami Ali worked with Jack
for three years, calling him their greatest ally and friend against
al-Qaida and the Taliban. It was those fiercely independent yet loyal
troops that had followed Jack into the Kut Tangai mountains after
approval from General Mohammed Fahim, Minister of Defense, in search of
bin Laden. This was the last time Osama bin Laden was ever

And again. This time around, UPI are reporting on Idema's involvement in the rescue of high-ranking Afghan officials from a terrorist attack:
"Jack," as the special advisor to the Afghan military is
known, managed to rescue the President of Afghanistan's Ariana Airlines,
Robullah Amain, who had escaped from the mob and was surrounded in a
terminal office. Along with seven Afghan commandos, Jack rescued Amain,
Haji Timor the airport manager and five others and escorted them to safety.
An ISAF spokesmen claimed that a small team of British soldiers
supposedly helped to save the national airline executive from certain death.
Ariana President Robullah Amain confirmed that in reality, it was an
American Green Beret and his Afghan soldiers.

And, finally, a report on the assistance Idema brought to victims of the
Nahrin earthquake in 2002:
Wearing a khaki-and-brown, U.S. flag patch on his shoulder,
sporting a beard and carrying an assault rifle, Jack drove through
Nahrin in a local van with a translator asking people if they needed
help. He'd already bandaged more than 30 children by the afternoon and
used up five boxes of field dressings - and quite a few happy-face bandages.
Jack, who began visiting the village late last week, stopped in one tent
Saturday to see a baby who was born while her mother, Sharifa, was
buried under the rubble.
Eight months pregnant when the Monday evening quake hit, Sharifa
crouched for an hour on her hands and knees under the rubble to protect
her newborn until they were rescued. Sharifa asked Jack, who also
treated her back injury, to name the daughter: He chose "Suzzana," or
"new beginning" in the Dari language [Suzzanaya Viktoria as her full name].
"I thought I was dead and I thought the child was dead for sure," the
mother said as Jack tenderly examined the infant to check an eye
infection he had treated the day before.

So let's put all this together. Far from being a 'mysterious figure' (as the BBC called him at the time of his trial), Jack Idema is a man who was:
  • Well known to the media during the course of his work in
  • Was repeatedly referred to as an 'American special
    advisor' and an 'advisor to the Northern Alliance' by the media who
    later denied all knowledge of him.
  • Was known to Generals in the
    Northern Alliance who described Idema as their 'greatest ally and friend
    against al-Qaida and the Taliban'.
  • Led the hunt for
  • Led Afghan commandos in a rescue of senior Afghan
  • Is a hero to the ordinary Afghans he rescued from
    their earthquake-devastated villages

So why, when the BBC are called on to write up a profile of Jack Idema, do they introduce him in the following way:
Idema always claimed to be a defender of American values, a
patriotic ex-special forces soldier working on the front-line of the US
war on terror, with the full backing of the Pentagon.
There are plenty of people who never believed him. Others say they did -
and now regret it.

And why do so many of the search results for 'Idema' only refer to material from the point of his 2004 arrest onwards?

Well, Idema's arrest and trail made for a good news item; exactly the kind of thing the post-Abu Gharib media were looking for. Here, they had the story of a 'rogue' U.S. soldier 'torturing innocent' Afghans in a private jail'. To many left-wing journalists, this must have seemed
like a gift from heaven.

But here's the thing: if MSM had told the full story, the one detailing Jack's hunt bin-Laden, his service with the Northern Alliance during Operation Anaconda, his rescue of government officials, his bandaging injured Afghan children as they cheered his name -- If MSM had told that story, well, then, people mightn't have been so quick to swallow the line they were being fed about Idema hanging prisoners upside down in his (non-existent) basement.

More to the point, people might be more willing to listen to those of us who are pleading for Jack Idema and his men to get a fair hearing today.

So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots, without whose
work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.

Finally, PLEASE NOTE: The SuperPatriots and Jack images on
this site are used with WRITTEN COPYRIGHT PERMISSION and any use by any
third party is subject to legal action by SuperPatriots.US

Technorati Search
for Jack Idema

Happy New Year

Trying to tidy up this blog a bit to start the new year. There is a tonne of interesting stuff to read through and catch up on, the current news and reviews, the updates on Jack Idema. Not sure where to start.

In the US the news broke that the miners trapped underground in Virginia didnt in fact make it when it was mistakenly first thought that they had. The overwhelming reaction to this now is angry blame over the 'mishandling' of information. I cant imagine how they (or the families in Germany) must be feeling having lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances - the horrible wait that ensues with a rescue operation (My heart goes out to them). I expect it is the awful wait that has pushed fraying emotions to the limit.

To me the fight that resulted on release of the tragic news is raw grief manifesting as anger after days of waiting for what was always going to be bad news. From what I can make out the information wasnt circulated deliberately at all, it was overheard and misinterpreted by onlookers. These werent deliberate 'lies' intended to cause great elation and then sudden crushing grief.

The main focus in the era we live in is on how information is circulated. Particularly to the media. There is no room for error. Thinking back to Stockwell it was the same 'we were lied to' first (with never ever ANY sign of any anger directed towards the July 22 suspects at all).

The net result is an unforgiving bitter resentment and anger that is more all consuming than the tragedy iteself and causes more uproar and more head scratching. This is a modern way to handle grief that suits the media entirely and perpertuates a tragedy for the wrong reasons.