June 04, 2003

AUSTRALIAN THUNDER LIZARD NOT EXTINCT

AIEEEEE! The Pilgersaurus is back, and itís angry at all you people for messing with Iraq and Afghanistan. Hear it roar!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 4, 2003 06:51 PM
Comments

Tim, You need to be more careful about what you link to. I followed your link and started reading . . . and then my eyeballs started bleeding and I had a very strong urge to bang my forehead very hard on my desk. Fortunately I was able to click off. Can I sue you for wilful/negligent impostion of irrationality?

Posted by: Razor at June 4, 2003 at 07:48 PM

If you read Pilger and knew nothing else at all about the world (and the average dipshit student radical dosn't), then you'd get the impression that countries like Iraq and Afghanistan were peaceful utopias, untroubled by strife or care, in which small, laughing people not unlike smurfs gamboled their careless lives away under the benign leadership of a wise bearded leader, not unlike Papa Smurf.

Until a bunch of American's came and bombed them for no reason.

Pilger, liar, fool, idiot, commie, terrorist loving scumbag, stooge, angry failure, fuckhead etc. Up yours, Pilger.

Posted by: Amos at June 4, 2003 at 08:33 PM

Pilger says:

'They range from Blair's "solid evidence" linking Iraq with Al-Qaeda and September 11 (refuted by British intelligence)'


"Refuted by British intelligence"? What he really means is: "Refuted by me". Is "British intelligence" a new name for himself? British you may be, Pilger, but intelligent, no. Oh well, one out of two ain't bad.

Posted by: HelenClarkIsAnEvilBitch at June 4, 2003 at 08:50 PM

HelenClarkIsAnEvilBitch,

Unfortunately he's Australian. There is now no alternative...

As of today, I am ashamed to be Australian. Oh the collective guilt for which I feel a part of. Oh the agony. Oh the sorrow. Woe is me surrounded by people of obvious lack of sophistication and intellect (like Pilger). Look at me everybody...I'm ashamed...come and see how pious I am!

I think all Australians should be forced, at the point of a gun, to say "Sorry" to the world.

Andy

ps then NZ can collectively apologise for Helen Clark

Posted by: AndyM at June 4, 2003 at 09:06 PM

Hmm, I never knew old Goldilocks Pilger was Australian. My condolences.

Posted by: HelenClarkIsAnEvilBitch at June 4, 2003 at 09:21 PM

Tendentiousness thy name is Pilger.

Posted by: Jim Whyte at June 4, 2003 at 11:51 PM

It sure would make me feel good to grab Pilger by the shirt-front, pull him up close and slap some sense into him. Better yet, wouldn't it be great to watch a queue of liberated Iraqis take it in turns to grab Pilger by the shirt front , pull him up close and slap some sense into him. Oh yeah.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at June 5, 2003 at 12:17 AM

Pilger says in his rant that the truth is now coming out. I think that's the burr under his blanket for the truth is that Afghanistan and Iraq are now much better off. Both have a bright future. The crushing of Muslim theocracy in the former and a mad tyrant in the other has provided new hope for a reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians.

What the puling Pilger hates is brute force and there's no doubt that innocent people suffer when it's applied. What he can't see is that the alternative when dealing with crazed mullahs and psychopathic dictators is worse.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at June 5, 2003 at 12:46 AM

"The judges at the Nuremberg Tribunal..."---*plunk!* ZZZZZZzzzzzzz

Posted by: Emily at June 5, 2003 at 02:16 AM

I hear he's reduced to beating *himself* up these days....


Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal...

Posted by: mojo at June 5, 2003 at 02:19 AM

He's more like the chunder lizard... his only purpose in life is to devour his own vomited ideas, and become angrier and angrier over the fact that they become more bitter each time.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 5, 2003 at 03:00 AM

The judges at the Nuremberg Tribunal following world war two, who inspired much of international law, called this "the gravest of all war crimes".

Pilger, bless his heart, is too noble to actually cite this - he assumes his readers know what Nuremberg was, and that stuff it condemned was bad. His readers assume, for reasons that confound me, that Pilger knows what the hell he's talking about. But he doesn't cite the actual wording:

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under; international law:
a. Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

To prove that Blair et al defied Nuremberg, you'd need to prove that they violated all of the agreements between Iraq and the coalition. Beginning hostilities after another nation has broken a treaty is not a "crime against piece."

OK, Daily Mirror, I expect Pilger's resignation in one, two ... um, three ...

Posted by: Dave Weigel at June 5, 2003 at 03:04 AM

Sayith the Pilger:

"When I saw this image of Blair holding a child in Basra, I happened to be in a hotel in Kabul in Afghanistan, the scene of an earlier "historic victory" of Bush and Blair in another stricken land. I found myself saying out loud the words, "ultimate obscenity". It was in Basra that I filmed hundreds of children ill and dying because they had been denied cancer treatment equipment and drugs under an embargo enforced with enthusiasm by Tony Blair."

John, haven't you been reading the news reports about the lavish palaces built since 1991, the corrupt "oil for food" program, and, oh yeah, the hundreds of millions of dollars in cashing laying around Baghdad that could have been spent on cancer treatment for sick Iraqi children?

While we're on the subject, did you read the news report from northern Iraq about the mass graves of 200 Kurdish children executed by your Saddam? (http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,6539723%5E25777,00.html). Dolls were found in the grave, you amoral idiot.

How you make a living writing this hateful dreck is beyond me.

Posted by: B. Joyce at June 5, 2003 at 05:26 AM

I can see how the actual evil-doers can sleep at night. One does not expect them to have a conscience.

But how their accomplices sleep is beyond me. They know and countenance that evil.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at June 5, 2003 at 05:56 AM

Just how many anti-American journos/politicinas/commentators are there who continue to wrongly blame America for the deaths of Iraqi civilians due to starvation and or lack of medical supplies since the U.N.'s ECONOMIC sanctions were imposed upon the old (Saddam's) Iraq?

These sanctions have NEVER included food and medicine. At least TRY to get your facts straight, Pilger...or move to another paper which puts politics above the truth...say, the Green Left Weekly.

Posted by: Richard at June 5, 2003 at 06:22 AM

"It is now Day 83 in the post-war magical mystery hunt for Iraq's "secret" arsenal."

Working backwards, is he saying that the war itself was part of the search?? Isn't that a little dishonest? Oh wait...

Posted by: Jack M at June 5, 2003 at 06:25 AM

Paul Hogan, The Crocodile Hunter, The Wiggles, John Pilger...what new unholy Hell will Austrailia spawn unto the world next? You must be stopped!

Posted by: J. Dwyer at June 5, 2003 at 07:02 AM

`Cowardly weapons' hmmm:Quick, Shoot that weapon for desertion in the face of the enemy'- seems to ring hollow.

What numbs is , Pilger's column is one of his milder pieces on the Iraq war.For,one article, he used photographs of Iraqis who had been gassed and tortured by Saddam as evidence, the US was murdering Iraqi citizens.That article, needless to say, was shocking , horrific. That the newspaper could publish it was equally offensive.


Crocodile Hunter and The Wiggles are ghastly, but Dwyer, Pilger is in a league of his own , one which is also a moral vaccuum.


Ah, against swinging journos who have accused the US army of deliberately targetting Journos in Iraq, hasn't it occurred to you, if that were true, Pilger would have been number one on the list. And, hey, if it were true and they had popped Pilger off his perch,one's response would have been:
Yae, a victory for all things decent.

Posted by: d at June 5, 2003 at 09:34 AM

Dave Weigel: To prove that Blair et al defied Nuremberg, you'd need to prove that they violated all of the agreements between Iraq and the coalition. Beginning hostilities after another nation has broken a treaty is not a "crime against piece."

I used to love the odd piece back in my day... did you know Rosie from "Whole Lotta Rosie" is a real person?

Anyway, I digress.

Dave, you're completely wrong. The US, Britain and Australia are members of the UN, and therefore bound by the UN Charter; article 2 says:

3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

The legal use of force, authorised by the UN, is dealt with in Chapter VII - that's the bit about getting security council authorisation. Which, of course, the US didn't.

Article 51 deals with self-defence: it says "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations."

Iraq didn't mount an armed attack against the US, so they don't have a case here either.

If a dead rock singer can understand it, how hard can it be?

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 5, 2003 at 11:28 AM

What, Bon Scott, pray tell, is the U.N. ?

And how can countries like the U.S., Australia, UK,be bound to legalese and to `collective decisions' much favoured by communard Crean.
How can the 3 anglos be bound to decisions when the U.N., a refuge for useless blowhards,includes killers and other nice type.Let's see, the names Gaddafi, Mugabe and Hussein were all put forward by that August body for various committees, including the `peace ccommittee' an oxymoron followed by three jokes - well some in the U.N. must ahve a sense of humour, though macabre.

Lastly, how do you get around unpleasant facts: Hussein and Baath as mass murderers of Iraqis.
The recently discovered underground nuclear facility -which prior to the war was more than suspected to exist and, as one recollects , was financed and built by the French.
That the same regime financed and trained Alqaeda, Hamas, Fedayeen ,PLO, PLF, killers.

Let us muse: Hussein was named for a U.N. committee, right: Anan to Hussein: Well Mr. Hussein, everything is legal at this end of things so just get along doing what you do best.
But that is the U.N. which has now provided one more reason, added to a long list of reasons, why that pack of charlatans and crims should be booted out of New York
You may find the evidence on: NewsMax.com Wires, and, NewsMax.com, and for a brief excerpt,Michael Darby's blogsite which includes a link to the former sources. Go figure, Bon Scott.

Posted by: d at June 5, 2003 at 12:19 PM

This dead rock singer doesn't understand.
The security council had already authorised the attack (even if it didn't intend to). I hate to get into a legal argument but since you brought it up. Look at security council resolution 678 (which was the formal declaration of the first gulf war), which authorized Member States to:

"use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area"

Resolution 687 put a number of demands on the Iraqi government and ordered a ceasefire if they agreed to them.

Resolution 1441 found Iraq in "material breach" of resolution 687.

Member states are then authorized to "use all necessary means" to uphold and implement this resolution as outlined in 678.

End of story

Posted by: pezza at June 5, 2003 at 12:36 PM

Very good point, pezza, I forgot that.

Posted by: d at June 5, 2003 at 12:43 PM

d, you are an idiot. "how can countries like the U.S., Australia, UK,be bound to legalese and to `collective decisions' much favoured by communard Crean?"

Um, perhaps because they signed up for 'em?

Pezza, your point is better. But still flawed. The language of 1441 is deliberately ambiguous; it provides plenty of wiggle room, but in the end it doesn't actually authorise action on its own.

I don't have the earlier resolutions in front of me - I'm a dead rock singer, not a miracle worker - but I have read them. The interesting thing to note about them is that IIRC 660 applies specifically to the situation regarding Kuwait.

So the flow of authorisation is dependent on a reading of 660 that ignores that inconvenient fact.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 5, 2003 at 01:04 PM

,
1441 may have been ambiguous, but one part wasn't, that was the part that found Iraq in material breach of 687. This was all that was needed. The authorisation was contained earlier in 678.
As for 660 relating specifically to Kuwait, this is true but 678 also refers to "all relevant resolutions subsequent to 660". Now I don't think anyone could deny that 687 was a relevant resolution regarding Kuwait, as it was effectively the cease fire declaration. Therefore, as Iraq had breached this resolution for 12 years, and this was confirmed in 1441, member states were authorised under 678 to go in and kick Saddam's baathist butt.

Posted by: pezza at June 5, 2003 at 01:30 PM

B. Joyce at June 5, 2003 05:26 AM - to the sanctions/hospitals bit, add that some time ago Iraqi doctors themselves said the money for medicines was stolen by Hussein.

Posted by: offut at June 5, 2003 at 01:31 PM

Bon Scott, in common law you may sign a contract which is unlawful, entire, or in part.
If the first type, it is struck down. If the second, the unlawful articles are severed.In other words , you can not be bound by a bit of paper which satisfies legalese but is in fact unblawful.
Bon Scott, which school did you go to?

Posted by: d at June 5, 2003 at 02:54 PM

Funny thing about the Iraqi children comment. if Blair cuddling babies is the ultimate obscenity, whagt's the Bilge say about this?

MASS GRAVE IN NORTH IRAQ CONTAINS REMAINS OF 200 KURDISH CHILDREN: PAPER
A mass grave containing the remains of 200 Kurdish children has been discovered in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk, the Kurdish newspaper Taakhi reported Tuesday.
"Citizens discovered on May 30 a communal grave close to Debs, in Kirkuk. But this is different from other mass graves discovered since the fall of Saddam Husseinís terrrorist regime because it contains the remains of 200 child victims of the repression of the Kurdish uprising" in 1991, the paper said.
"Even dolls were buried with the children," it said.
Dozens of mass graves have been uncovered all over Iraq since Saddamís ouster by invading US-led forces on April 9.
Sapa-AFP

Pilger is shouting from the cesspit in which he is up to his neck.

Dave F

Posted by: Dave F at June 5, 2003 at 06:46 PM

Who herds children into a pit and shoots them? And who marches to keep those people in power? I know it's been said a thousand times, but sometimes it just hits me.

Jesus fucking christ.

Posted by: Amos at June 5, 2003 at 07:11 PM

Amos

You'll notice the virtual silence emanating from the BBC, ABC, Guardian and most other news organisations regarding this matter. Remember the golden rule: non-Westerners are never responsible for their actions...

You can just imagine it down at the BBC..

"Bush-Blair-Sharon fascist racist axis of terror...Kyoto...Rich shit-poke Texan oil barons...Vietnam quagmire...Afghanis don't have DVDs...Muslim victims of racism...Israeli Nazi baby eaters...

BTW...Allegedly 300,000 bodies allegedly murdered by the alleged Ba'athists were allegedly conveniently discovered by the Americans...

...cluster bombs...third-world debt...Bay of Pigs...asylum seekers...International Law...I want to shag Kofi Annan...Allende murdered by the CIA...Bush stole the election....."

Posted by: AndyM at June 5, 2003 at 09:35 PM

Just to quickly fisk our deceased rock singer....

"4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

Oddly enough, Saddam himself broke this rule last year when he openly declared that a state of war existed between Iraq and the U.S., before the weapons inspectors even had returned.

"The legal use of force, authorised by the UN, is dealt with in Chapter VII - that's the bit about getting security council authorisation. Which, of course, the US didn't."

Britain didn't have League of Nations authority to declare war against Hitler. Who really cares anymore about the legal authority of a has-been UN organisation where democracies are drowned out by the yelling of nations that are dictatorships?

"Article 51 deals with self-defence: it says "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations."

Iraq didn't mount an armed attack against the US, so they don't have a case here either."

Iraq hosted senior Al-Qaeda representatives in Baghdad back in early '98, three and a half years before Sept 11. It hosted Ansar-al-islam, another Al-Qaeda franchise, in the Kurdish enclave for several years. It also supported Hamas, which has a number of members who have dual membership of Al-Qaeda.

As for the UN security council authority to invade another country, I seem to recall a security council member unilaterally invading a UN member without any resolutions behind it, much less over a decade of sanctions and no-fly zones to attempt to disarm anyone. That would be France, who invaded the tiny african nation of the Ivory Coast with scarcely a wimper from the BBC or The Guardian, much less the security council. Or Bon.

Posted by: Wilbur at June 5, 2003 at 11:06 PM

Wilbur's right, of course.

Interestingly, the UN Security Council has only authorized war twice, in 1950 in Korea (the USSR was boycotting the UNSC at the time or they would've vetoed) and in 1990 in Kuwait.

On both occasions, the US led the seeking of approval. Every other permanent member of the UNSC has gone to war several times since 1945 without UNSC approval. That's the USSR (now Russia), France, the UK, and China. The US too has gone to war without UN approval.

Bush invited the UN to make itself relevant by asking it to enforce its own resolutions but no serious adult believes that the UN withholding a rubber stamp makes the US action illegal.

Posted by: JDB at June 6, 2003 at 10:37 AM

Remember, I'm only a dead rock singer.

pezza, the international law library up here in rock heaven is shut for renovation. It got trashed after the last Marley show - some drunken dispute over Haile Selassie. But I do know that a large number of law prof types disagree with your reading of the resolutions.

d, you're still an idiot. Your point is so deeply irrelevant it's hard to know where to begin. So I won't.

Wilbur, I'll take your points one by one. Firstly, just because Iraq broke the law doesn't mean when other countries do the same thing they're not breaking the law as well. That's an incoherent argument.

Your second point seems to be a concession of the illegality of the invasion. Thanks! The ongoing relevance of the UN is a different question.

Thirdly, let's accept all your assertions about Iraq's hosting whoever - I can't be bothered looking them up (although the one about Iraq hosting people in Kurdish controlled areas is funny, as those areas were, well, Kurdish controlled.) That's still not an armed attack by Iraq.

Fourthly, the French Ivory Coast excursion was well-covered by the BBC at least - that's where I followed it. Dunno about the Guardian, it's not my choice for breaking news in Africa. Yes, France invaded without any kind of international legal cover - Security Council authorisation was, however, given retroactively.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 6, 2003 at 11:15 AM

Ronald Belford,
Your the one who started the legal argument. All of the resolutions are available online and you don't need to be a law prof to understand them. Nice dodge though.

Posted by: pezza at June 6, 2003 at 12:03 PM

Well Bon Scott, let us extend it one jot further: legalese is tranlsation of ditat , rule by decree into administrative instrument , it is the eqation of rules of administration with the rule of law, overthrowing the latter.It is precisely the sort of garbage which increasing numbers of little odious bureacrats churn out against citizens in Australia each and every week of the year because of the sort of communards like those who sit in Spring.

If you have received a letter from one of these little mandarins, many come in nondescript envelopes with no stamp to indicate the source you will read such things to the effect: this fine is raised because under the legal rule you are constrained?penalised/whatever else the dribblers dream up.What is this legal rule - something very obscure buried in a mountain of the llegalistic bullshit which is what much Federal,lstate and local legislation amounts to.
What is worse, Bon Scott, much conflicts, contradicts common law, and if it were for the coerce force of govt. most likely wouldn't stand 3 seconds of scrutiny in a court of common law.
In otherwords: legalistic bullshit is nothing but an a-priori dictatorial pronouncemnt of what must be.
Common law is rooted in the messiness and the spontaneity of commerce and yet, lo, produces order and freedom. Legalese is not so generated and it succeeds only in promoting vileness.
Lawfulness requires extended treatment but legalese is not lawful.

And , the notion one can be bound by contracts which are subject to capricious execution is not
principal inlaw. Nor do courts take kindly when some parties to an agreement are criminals who are engaged in crime.
Moreover, international affairs , not just war, is adjustment of relations between governments many of whom in conventions and tradition can not be regarded as on a par with Australia, U.S. and Britain.

The U.N. as a stomping ground for crims and ratbags is not the sort of body which a government should bind not simply its capacity to act but also the freedoms of its own people.The duty of a government is first and foremost to those things which are fundamental to the liberty and commerce of the people it, nominally anyway, serves, and not fucktards in Iraq, France, Cuba, Zimbawe, China, North Korea,Malaysia, South Africa (the USSR can't be included because of the obvious, it is defunct).

Lastly, it is outrageous taxpayers money be handed over to so many self -serving nasty twits who feed at the pigs trough of U.N.jobs.Bugger them, properly, the useless swingeing windbags.

Posted by: d at June 6, 2003 at 12:10 PM

Jesus d, you're not supposed to smoke the whole lot at once.

Posted by: bon scott at June 6, 2003 at 02:50 PM

Better to smoke the whole lot than chum up to the charlatans in the U.N.

New Yorkers are just itching to demolish the building.Wouldn't surprise one if they are studying Isreali techniques of razing vermin filled buildings.For, they're fed up with the rotters too, suffering the additional injustice of having to subsidise an ugly building and its snivelling inhabitants.The U.N. has long overstayed its welcome in N.Y. but they dont take the hint as bell boys rush around packing the swindlers' bags and dumping them on the pavement. Mind you, the cabbies wont' stop to collect - who wants to chauffer a crim?
Drawback is, the rotters find some slave to throw the garbage bags back into building, and barricade themselves in again. Yes, Israeli removal techniques are called for.

Posted by: d at June 6, 2003 at 03:04 PM

"Wilbur, I'll take your points one by one. Firstly, just because Iraq broke the law doesn't mean when other countries do the same thing they're not breaking the law as well. That's an incoherent argument."

It's a coherent argument. I didn't say Iraq broke the law, I said they declared war on the U.S., 19th century style. It was a statement by Saddam repeated ad nauseum on his media. In the post 9/11 environment it was just a little bit of a concern. In fact, declaring war on the U.S. whilst not being able to account for all the WMD's you've used in the past was a pretty silly thing for Saddam to do.

"Your second point seems to be a concession of the illegality of the invasion. Thanks! The ongoing relevance of the UN is a different question."

I don't think it was illegal, I just don't happen to care if it was or not. Following your guidelines, the declaration of war against Hitler wasn't legal either, under the League of Nations rules. Britain wasn't under attack in 1939, Poland was.

"Thirdly, let's accept all your assertions about Iraq's hosting whoever - I can't be bothered looking them up"

No, somehow I think that might be a little too inconvenient for you to think about. Does Ricin ring any bells?

" (although the one about Iraq hosting people in Kurdish controlled areas is funny, as those areas were, well, Kurdish controlled.)"

O.J. Simpson funny, or Groucho Marx funny? If you look up more on this you'll know that the Kurds didn't control all of their own region, and that the Ansar al-islam group was allowed to move freely through Iraqi controlled areas. The Kurds fought Ansar al-islam members in pitched battles that started years ago.

"That's still not an armed attack by Iraq."

It IS an armed attack by Iraq on the Kurds, who where supposed to be enjoying U.N. protection ever since 1991.

"Fourthly, the French Ivory Coast excursion was well-covered by the BBC at least - that's where I followed it. Dunno about the Guardian, it's not my choice for breaking news in Africa."

Well covered? Did it get as much coverage and air time as the gulf conflict? And was the coverage neutral or critical? And do you know which conflict caused more refugees and casualties?

"Yes, France invaded without any kind of international legal cover - Security Council authorisation was, however, given retroactively."

It was not. The UN authorised the ceasefire negotiations, not the invasion.

Posted by: wilbur at June 6, 2003 at 08:06 PM