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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Friday, October 28, 2005

September 11 was the greatest day ever and I hope al-Qaeda kills every American

Okay, I don’t believe that. At all. I wrote that deliberately provocative headline to illustrate the dangers of the Australian Government's proposed terrorism policies. If they are passed I would be arrested for writing and publishing such opinions as the one above. Of course we’re appalled by such opinions, but are you so offended by them that you would want the author of such comments to be jailed for seven years?

The new sedition laws could see anti-war protesters being arrested. If someone holds the view, for example, that the Iraqi people have a legitimate right to fight back and kill American troops who are illegally in Iraq, they could also be arrested. But not only that, but anyone publishing the views, like a television news program or newspaper, could also find themselves arrested.

It is quite frightening times. This legislation must not be passed. If it is I’ll not be able to criticise the Australian Government or the invasion of Iraq, and perhaps, by default, American and other Australian allied governments on this blog.

For the first time ever I am genuinely and legitimately concerned that my right to freedom of speech and dissent is going to be quashed.


The Age: Watching what you say by Ben Saul

Media Watch: Seditious opinion? Lock 'em up

Perth Indy Media: Sedition Laws Target Peaceful Civil Disobedience

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Early coverage of Baghdad Bombing

Interesting coverage of the truck bombing in Baghdad today. While changing between channels it was funny how CNNI and BBC World were showing footage a little after 1:30am here. But News Corp’s Fox News had their presenters having a good chuckle while they yammered on about the impending hurricane. Sky News, also owned by News Corp., had a reporter in America talking about the hurricane, but at least they had the breaking news on the bottom of the screen, unlike Fox’s incredibly tacky “Wicked Wilma”.

Regarding the second row of photos:

A - When Fox did start to cover the story it was mostly in little windows like you see here.

B & C - CNNI and BBC had a lot of coverage featuring screens of dust.

D - The anchorwoman’s expression in this photo made me laugh.

BBC has had very good coverage. CNNI pretty good. FOX and SKY have been pitiful so far. FOX is mostly just Hurricane Wilma and SKY is focusing on Wilma, the riots in the UK and suicide websites. Fox is focusing mostly on the footage of the close up of the truck, which doesn’t show much (truck explodes, there is distortion) while BBC and CNNI are choosing to mostly use the very wide shot, which includes the truck moving back and forth. It then explodes, sending a huge cloud of dust into the air. The whole shot is then just dust. BBC have also been showing an after effect shot from Japan’s NHK.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Claim: Sex for Info at Gitmo

James Yee, a former Army chaplain with the US Army, has told Australia’s ABC TV that Australian terror suspect David Hicks was offered prostitutes for information. Devine Brown for the Devine War on Terror? Eck!

Oh, and if Hicks is found guilty the long, long years he has spent in Guantanamo Bay will NOT count in the years he would have to serve in any sentence.

The Age: Hicks was bribed: Ex-US Army chaplain

Thursday, October 20, 2005

US atrocity captured on camera

Australian television network SBS has tonight broadcast video footage of American soldiers in Afghanistan burning the bodies of two Taliban fighters. The US troops said they had set fire to the corpses for hygiene concerns. However the area where the bodies were situated was not near any town or homes and posed little to no threat to sanitation. The bodies were also pointed towards Mecca, a direct insult to Islam.

The video shows a group of American soldiers standing around the burning bodies. One of the captivated troops exclaims: “Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one. Fucking straight death metal.” Then one of the soldiers burps as the flames continue to ravage the corpses.

Tampering with the dead bodies of your enemy is a breach of the Geneva Convention.

Later on they use the incident as offensive propaganda to bait Taliban fighters. This message was blared from large speakers mounted on the roof of the Army vehicles: “Attention Taliban, You are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fellow fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You were too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves that you’re the lady-boys we always believed you to be.” Another message contains misogynistic content, “You attack and run away like women.”

As the footage is extremely graphic I am not 100% sure if Blogspot will allow me to show the uncensored footage, so I have decided to block out the scenes. I’m just too worried that if I did my blog would be taken down. Though I think you can imagine the extent of the horror. Hopefully this footage is shown around the world.

Dateline - Psych War in Afghanistan
Includes a complete transcript of the story, as well as an interview with the man who filmed the footage.

UPDATE: 9:02am

The Age: SBS shows troops burning Taliban bodies
The US has reacted.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

“I believe I’ve already answered that question about the ongoing investigation and I can certainly tell you I’m not going to play the blame game."

When "I'm sure" really means "may be"

Scott McClellan, White House Propaganda Secretary, is an arsehole. I’d articulate my criticisms of Scotty Too Fatty if I wasn’t so angry. This guy doesn’t answer simple questions, dances about the obvious and treats common sense and logic with contempt. Now he has sunk even lower by implying that reporter Helen Thomas is a terrorist sympathiser about she is against the invasion of Iraq. From the October 13, 2005 press conference:

THOMAS: “What does the President mean by "total victory" - that we will never leave Iraq until we have "total victory"? What does that mean?”

McCLELLAN: “Free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East, because a free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions-”

THOMAS: “-If they ask us to leave, then we'll leave?”

McCLELLAN: “I'm trying to respond. A free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the broader Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions of al-Qaeda and their terrorist associates. They want to establish or impose their rule over the broader Middle East - we saw that in the Zawahiri letter that was released earlier this week by the intelligence community.”

You can just imagine Scotty practising his lines...

A free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the broader Middle East, a free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the broader Middle East, will be a major blow to the ambitions of al-Qaeda and their terrorist associates, will be a major blow to the ambitions of al-Qaeda and their terrorist associates, a free and democratic Iraq, heart of the broader Middle East, major blow to the ambitions of al-Qaeda. Looking good Scotty, you go get those press bastards. A free and democratic Iraq…

[Interesting note: While typing that up I slipped and wrote “A fear and democratic Iraq…]

THOMAS: “They also know we invaded Iraq.”

McCLELLAN: “Well, Helen, the President recognizes that we are engaged in a global war on terrorism. And when you're engaged in a war, it's not always pleasant, and it's certainly a last resort.”

Could that bastard get any more smug and patronising?

McCLELLAN: “But when you engage in a war, you take the fight to the enemy, you go on the offence. And that's exactly what we are doing. We are fighting them there so that we don't have to fight them here. September 11th taught us-”

THOMAS: “It has nothing to do with - Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.”

McCLELLAN: “Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism.”

Oh. My. God. And this guy still has his job? What a total scumbag, rotten, low-down, piece of trash. Then he treats us with his trademark, lies. And he’s lying about something he said only a few seconds before!

McCLELLAN: “Well, she certainly expressed her concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq and going into those two countries. I think I can go back and pull up her comments over the course of the past couple of years.”

MORAN: “And speak for her, which is odd.”

McCLELLAN: “No, I said she may be, because certainly if you look at her comments over the course of the past couple of years, she's expressed her concerns…”

No, you did not say may be, which means perhaps, possibly, but “I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism” Sure - certain, in no doubt, definite, convinced.

And then...

McCLELLAN: “Just three years ago the Iraqi people were under a brutal, oppressive dictator. Ah, a dictator that killed thousands and thousands of people.”

THOMAS: "How many have we killed?"

McCLELLAN: “We’ve liberated 25 million both in Iraq and in Afghanistan."

THOMAS: "How many have we killed?"

McCLELLAN: "Yeah, Helen, I’m sorry Bob, I just can’t let this go. Our men and women in uniform go out of their way not to target innocent civilians."

Very long list of links to news reports about Iraqi civilian deaths at the hands of American soldiers, including:

March 28, 2004: US troops shoot dead a three-year-old boy

May 20, 2004: 40 dead after US helicopter opens fire on wedding party

June 19, 2004: US missiles kill 20 Falluja residents

September 9, 2004: US bombing kills at least 12 Falluja civilians

September 16, 2004: US helicopter fires into crowd, killing 13

October 2, 2004: US troops kill 100 in attack on town, US says dead were insurgents, but doctors report women, children and the elderly among the dead

November 14, 2004: AP Photographer tells of civillian deaths in Falluja

Marine: US Soldiers Routinely Killed Civilians, Including Woman and Children

McCLELLAN: "They go out of their way to target those who are enemies and to bring them to justice. They are making the world safer for our children and grandchildren.”

Chirac: "There's no doubt that there has been an increase in terrorism and one of the origins of that has been the situation in Iraq. I'm not at all sure that one can say that the world is safer."

Annan: World not safer after Iraq war

Musharraf: Iraq war has made world 'less safe'

CNN: More say Iraq has reduced U.S. safety

TIME: Why Iraq has made us less safe... By Daniel Benjamin

No, war in Iraq has not made the world a safer place By Philippe Sands

The Iraq war has made us neither safer nor freer By Jacob G. Hornberger

Can someone please beam this arsehole to another planet.

Scott McClellan Says Helen Thomas Opposes 'War on Terrorism'

Check out the video:
Crooks and Liars: Scotty's heated Press Conference

Friday, October 14, 2005

Dub the Builder

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Didge turns one!

I’m actually quite surprised by this - Didge Politics (or as it was once known, Dave128) turned one-year-old on October 7. And I just posted my 100th entry. Let’s hope there are many more years of mediocrity to come!

The End of the World… at least there’d be no Fox News

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I’ve been incredibly busy working on a new short story. But before I comment about Fox News I just wanted to say my thoughts are with those in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who have been affected by the massive natural disaster. You can donate to the Red Cross here (US), here (Australia), here (UK), and here (Red Crescent).

I was watching Fox News Live with Martha MacCallum yesterday (Tuesday afternoon in the US), and they were having a discussion about the tragic effects of natural disasters in the past year or so. And with the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Pakistan and India, among other natural disasters to befall the earth in the past twelve months, the only logical conclusion is that the Apocalypse is upon us and God is destroying the world. Well, that’s the logical conclusion of Martha and friends on Fox News.

Just the fact that they even had the idea to discus such a topic, let alone actually go ahead with it, is mind-boggling. I know, I know, I should have learnt by now, but the depths that Fox News is willing to go gets lower and lower every day. It’s truly sickening that at a time when thousands have been killed in a natural disaster the only thing they can think about is furthering their psychotic religious agenda.