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Iraq: four years of freedom

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The irrepressible Tim over at Bloggerheads has asked people what they were doing online on 20th March 2003 (the eve of the invasion of Iraq by people who thought they knew better…). Happily, he’s chosen me among others as his first group of taggers! So here goes…

Well, I posted a little anecdote about an Iraqi blogger dodging bombs and that my dad was glued to the television. He LOVES war. In another life, I’m pretty sure he’ll have been a commander of some enormous infantry division or something. And my other post on that day pointed out that underhand goings-on at the EU didn’t stop to make way for the war effort. And over the following days, there were various Saddam-based jokes, like that tasteless host I am….

So, what did you post on 20 March, 2003 (or as near to the day as possible):
Minor9th
Jonola14
Plasticbag.org
John Dale
King’s blog

Doesn’t have to be a blog entry; it could easily be anywhere on the internet.

Saddam Shame

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So, Saddam’s dead then, which will surely come as a shock if you’ve been living under a large rock this Christmas. But, in these cases, it’s always worth looking beyond the headlines. Robert Fisk has two articles showing the emerging murky facts about the execution. In “Our complicity dies with him,” Fisk notes that the many secrets Saddam Hussein had about the West’s business dealings with Iraq are gone forever. which is handy for George and Tony. In “A dictator created then destroyed by America“, he points out that “Osama bin Laden will certainly rejoice, along with Bush and Blair.” And finally, for those that wondered why the “official” execution video had no sound, IraqSlogger describes the common-sense and divisive conclusions you can draw from the timing of the execution and the soundtrack on the new sneaky mobile phone video of the execution. Nothing’s as it seems, is it? Happy New Year, Iraq!

Underground blasts

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(Looking for 21st July blasts? Click here)

London Underground closed after multiple blasts. More at The Guardian. Reason #567 why I… oh never mind.
Update 10:15am :
Most controversial comment so far: “It’s probably the French.”
Update 11:00am:
Flickr has some pictures coming in, and Google News will keep you updated. Also, The Guardian’s blog is keeping track of the updates.
Update 12:05pm:
Fellow blogger Perfect.co.uk has updates at the ready.
Update 12:12pm:
Jihad group in Europe admits responsibility in 200 word statement on website.
Those wikipedia guys are quick: Wikipedia: 2005 London Underground explosions. Also, Londonist has an eye on events as they happen.
Clique update: Friends will be pleased to know that Mel N, Jac, Elli C, Jon B and David B are all ok. Mel was in Aldgate station an hour before the explosions…
Update 1:18pm – Statement from terrorist group, from Europhobia:

Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group)
Organization of Qaeda’t al-Jihad in Europe

In the name of God the most merciful…

Rejoice the nation of Islam, rejoice nation of Arabs, the time of revenge has come for the crusaders’ Zionist British government.

As retaliation for the massacres which the British commit in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mujahideen have successfully done it this time in London.

And this is Britain now burning from fear and panic from the north to the south, from the east to the west.

We have warned the brutish governments and British nation many times.

And here we are, we have done what we have promised. We have done a military operation after heavy work and planning, which the mujahideen have done, and it has taken a long time to ensure the success of this operation.

And we still warn the government of Denmark and Italy, all the crusader governments, that they will have the same punishment if they do not pull their forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So beware.

Thursday 7/7/2005
Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group)
Organization of al Qaeda’t al-Jihad in Europe.

Update 5:58pm :
Reader Nadem Khan raises an interesting question – can anyone vouch for the veracity of this article?
Update 6.18pm : Guardian tells readers that “Bloggers react quickly to London blasts.” Damn right…!
Update 7.10pm : The BBC now has a dedicated subsite.

Who I Should Vote For

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Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Conservative

Your actual outcome:

Labour -48
Conservative 26
Liberal Democrat -3
UK Independence Party 24
Green -3

You should vote: Conservative

The Conservative Party is strongly against joining the Euro and against greater use of taxation to fund public services. The party broadly supported the Iraq war and backs greater policing and ID cards. The Tories are against increasing the minimum wage above the rate of inflation, and have committed to abolishing university tuition fees. They support ‘virtual vouchers’ for private education.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Out Of Their Own Mouths

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After my Hutton Inquiry rants a couple of months ago, politics was politely requested to leave wibbler.com by a few well-respected readers. So, rather than ranting again so soon, a few self-explanatory Iraq-based links to play around with:
– Read the following quote: “I have no ambition whatsoever to use [national security] as a political issue.” President Bush, 23rd January 2002
– Watch Donald Rumsfeld in a spot of bother (1MB video). I guess somehow he thought they wouldn’t have any quotes of his on hand…
– Keep for reference this extensive PDF report on Iraq political statements since the beginning of the present troubles (or search this online database).
– Last but certainly not least, note the title of this Bill trying to get through American Congress.
Disclaimer: Please note no opinion was offered in the making of this post.

Hutton – Uncorroborated bias

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A good Hutton-based point from Edward Heathcoat-Amory:
“Hutton attacked the BBC hierarchy for allowing one of their journalists to criticise the government on the basis of one uncorroborated report from a source … But he was only too happy in another part of his report for the government to make the 45-minute claim on the basis of – yes – a single uncorroborated report from within Iraq”.

Kellywatch: Hutton analysis Day 10

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Kellywatch: The excellent HangingDay comes up with two salient points over the last couple of days: firstly that Andrew McKinley, the reviled Labour MP who publicly and brusquely “interrogated” David Kelly before his death, is actually rather a good egg. Look at HangingDay’s account of McKinley’s appearance at the Hutton Inquiry – he comes across remarkably well, a very underreported fact of today’s papers.
And the second, VERY well-noticed point, centres on the former MI6 chief’s rather too staunch defence of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell – as the Telegraph said, you could “almost hear the sound of ranks being closed”. In his veiled attack of the BBC, Scarlett disputed Andrew Gilligan’s assertions, and managed to reveal that there were actually no missiles in Iraq at all. Read it all here.
Oooh, I feel very political today…