Tuesday, 29 April 2003

there is the obvious potential that SARS is deliberate global bio research?

"During the 1950's and 1960's the U.S. Army secretly conducted chemical and biological warfare tests on millions of unsuspecting people in at least 44 urban and rural areas and at least 30 military bases across the United States.

A mixture of live biological agents and non-biological simulants (substances that act like another substance without having the same known toxic effects) were released from airplanes, rooftops and moving vehicles, often by civilian employees who had no idea what they were handling. "They told us the tests were strictly weather tests" said Mike Zeiss, who collected samples from the fallout following the sprayings in Fort Wayne, Indiana, one of the targeted cities.

According to Army documents, during the 50's and 60's there were over 700 spraying incidents in at least 33 communities involving ZnCdS, plus another 124 tests at 90 sites using biological simulants. nothing was disclosed to the public until 1993 when some of the documents were declassified and written about in local newspapers

The tests were conducted during the Cold War period after World War II, when the military was worried about a powerful Soviet Union using chemical or biological agents to attack the U.S. According to the Army, these tests were needed to learn how biological warfare agents disperse under different conditions and how to respond to the use of biological weapons."
( via my analog life )

see also: history of american secret human experimentation
and Jeffery Amherst

Monday, 28 April 2003

500 naked people in selfridges department store.

yesterday about 500 unclothed people participated in an installation at london's Selfridges store, by New York-born artist Spencer Tunick.

Earlier this month, 160 people also took part in a nude event organised by the same artist to launch London's Saatchi Gallery.
( bbc news )

"inessential.com: Weblog: 2001-10
... blog and blog us our blog as we blog our blogs and blog us not into blog but deliver
us from blog; pues blog. ... Plop plop, fizz fizz—oh what a relief it is. ..."
anxiety culture .com
containing 101 gems, such as:
Coercion With a Smile – Coercive ‘brainwashing’ techniques of corporate and government PR.

Your Duty to Phone In Sick – Phoning in sick is the best thing you can do for the economy.

Family Values Generator – Randomly generates the tender, caring environment of a stable family upbringing. Well, not quite.

Zombie Plus Loyalty Card – Shopping for the undead, with our all-purpose loyalty card. Get yours here now! Genuine plastic.

The Disapproval System – How advertisers and propagandists exploit our fear of disapproval.

The Consumer-anxiety System – How our economy depends on consumer anxiety.

Letters to Newspapers – A lazy person’s guide to getting unconventional views published.

Stupid, Pointless Jobs – the growth of pointless jobs. If you thought full employment was a good thing, think again.

Creating Anxiety-Free Zones – Desirable, unhealthy, antisocial escapes from reality are good for you when indulged in excessively.

The Puritan Work Ethic – Spend a day in bed.

( via the ever wonderful green fairy. one of my most consistently favourite voices in the whole blogosphere. )

Saturday, 26 April 2003

Dangers of Advanced Nanotechnology
Outlined by The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
[Wednesday, April 23, 2003]

"Eleven separate, significant risks of advanced nanotechnology have been outlined in a preliminary report from a nanotechnology awareness group.

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, a nonprofit organization founded in December 2002 to promote thinking about molecular engineering, issued the report in efforts to avoid irresponsible use of the technology."
(JET.uh.kuht, -ket) n. The rules or norms that govern correct or polite behavior while on board an airplane.

The British Airways "Jetiquette" manual contained a list of five tips for mannerly air travel:

number 3 is: "Don't tell your life story to the person next to you. Small talk is OK but bores are a bugbear for 12 per cent of travellers. Keep it polite and chatty but remember that silence is golden."
( from word spy )

Friday, 25 April 2003

green fairy writes: "If I was still using Movable Type,this post would be filed under the newly-created catagory of 'cunt'."

"George Bush plans to launch his £130 million re-election campaign around the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks....."
collaborative editing

and discussed at plastic bag.org

The Paradox of the Anarchist Superhero

(written in 97 it lacks a perspective of both the invisibles and the authority.)

2. Robin Hood and Green Arrow:
Outlaw Bowmen in the Modern Urban Landscape

"On 25 February 1830 Victor Hugo's play Hernani was performed to the most extraordinary scenes of riot and disorder in Paris. The play had been banned by the official censor, but on the first night Hugo gathered around him a gang of long-haired young bloods known as the Romantic Army, who fought pitched street battles to force the authorities to allow the play to go ahead. Hugo partisans all wore a badge bearing the Spanish word for iron, hierro, to identify them and mark their steely determination to fight the forces of conventional bourgeois liberalism.

Hugo's themes- 'Murder as rebellion, suicide as honour, murder and suicide as the joint emblem of human freedom - are a compelling challenge to modern liberal attititudes." (from a review of Terror and Liberalism )

4. At its best, ‘crime’ can be a sort of shared symbol for networks of individuals defining themselves as ‘outsiders’ in relation to the established order, and the key element that allows these individuals to circumvent and subtly attack the social mores and prejudices that are forced onto them.

5.the outlaw as commodity:

5a. the Outlaw Bounty. Persons who might otherwise regard these 'criminals' as heroes will suddenly have to weigh the value of that heroism against the hero’s commodity’ value if delivered, dead or alive, to our masters.

5b. "The most pernicious image of all," British writer Grant Morrison has said, "is the anarchist hero-figure. A creation of commodity culture, he allows us to buy into an inauthentic simulation of revolutionary praxis. . . . The hero encourages passive spectating, and revolt becomes another product to be consumed."
Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering

Technological developments in the past decade have accelerated the pace of research in brain computer interfaces.

Here we demonstrate that neural signals, recorded from posterior parietal cortex of monkeys and related to movement plans, can be readily used by the animals to control a brain-computer interface.

more at neuroprosthesis.org
MORE FROM THOSE DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM LOVING AMERICANS..... thats their own freedom and democracy, not anybody elses.

Children younger than 16 are being held as "enemy combatants" in the American detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the US military admitted yesterday, a practice human rights groups condemned as repugnant and illegal.

the children would be held indefinitely and would not be granted access to lawyers because the US continues to view them as "enemy combatants" - a term it has used to argue that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the inmates, who have not been charged with any crimes.

The United States and Somalia are the only member states of the United Nations not to have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, surprise surprise.

Monday, 21 April 2003

yet more american bollocks

US 'to keep bases in Iraq'

The US is planning a long-term military presence in Iraq, in a move which will dramatically extend American power in the region and spread dismay and fear among its opponents across the Arab world.

US Sugar industry threatens to scupper WHO

The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday.
Bela Tarr's "Werckmeister Harmonies "

what a monumentally fucking superb movie. the totality of human existence choreographed into a black and white genius film. from the creationism of the drunken sun and moon dance at the start to the bread-and-circus manipulation of the masses at its climax. with its extreme contrasts of darkness and light. long mesmerisingly simple takes of people just walking or eating. and perhaps the most compelling shot of a hovering helicopter that i've ever seen. it is pure genius.

Saturday, 19 April 2003

Opening the front door

I came home and needed to open the front door to get into the house. I checked my left hand pocket, but my keys were not there. I checked my right hand pocket and found that my keys were in there. I was then able to open the door.

Friday, 18 April 2003


In very old traditional Romany (Gypsy) belief, the god of all things good. The old Romany religion may be influenced by Zoroastrianism, and there are similarities between Moshto and Ahura Mazda. Moshto has three sons. The eldest son creates new life and things from recycled energy. The middle son preserves and repairs what already exists. And the youngest destroys that which needs to be so that the energy of such things can be recycled by the first son into new things.

Thursday, 17 April 2003

Inside the Soul of the Web
-- a Wired Reporter watches 24hrs of Google Searches ...

'The top half of the screen displays a map of the world that shows where it's day and night.

Tiny colored dots twinkle on and off across the continents, each representing a different language and a burst of several thousand questions.

Europe, Japan, Israel, Korea, and most of North America are dense, nearly permanent galaxies of dots.

In Africa, the Middle East, and South America, the dots are so few that you can often identify precise locations - Brasília, Caracas, Johannesburg, Nairobi, the airport in the Cape Verde Islands.

It becomes apparent that this is a map not just of Google's users but of the spread of technology, and thus of prosperity in the new century.

In an imprecise but important way, it is also a measure of human freedom.'

( via link machine go )
Do bugs control our weather?

Do bugs control our weather? Can viruses travel for thousands of miles on the winds? Is there a whole ecosystem up in the clouds that we have not discovered? The answer could be yes to all three questions, according to scientists exploring the microbial metropolises in the skies.

There is, they say, growing evidence that bacteria, fungal spores, and viruses may spend large amounts of time -- even their entire lives -- in the air, riding clouds across the planet.

And they don't just inhabit the clouds -- they may also be creating them. Certainly many of the clouds' newly discovered inhabitants are exquisitely designed to create the maximum number of ice crystals, the basic building blocks of clouds. Some Darwinian biologists even argue that the bugs may have evolved for this very job.

''The ecology of the atmosphere is one of the last great frontiers of biological exploration on earth,'' says Bruce Moffett of the University of East London in England.
(via my analog life)

"Police in England and Wales are to start carrying a controversial electronic stun gun that will knock out suspects.

The M26 Taser "electro-muscular disruption" gun will be used alongside conventional weapons in London, Thames Valley, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and north Wales from Thursday. "


there are currently just 500 spare places remaining, so book early.

One in 100 uk black adults now in jail

The number of black prisoners in Britain's jails has risen 54% from 7,585 to 11,710 since Labour came to power.

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "There is a growing perception that street crime is a black people's crime, when it may simply be that they are more visible to the police and the courts.

"The courts are picking up on low-level antisocial behaviour on the streets because young black men have nowhere else to go either because they are poor or because it's part of the culture to be on the streets."

The policy of releasing short-term prisoners on tags, which is thought to favour white prisoners, may also partly explain the figures.

there are fears of an American-style penal system, where black men are 10 times more likely to go to prison than whites and one in 20 over the age of 18 is in jail.

Security force collusion with loyalist paramilitary in Northern Ireland.

"the police and army in Northern Ireland helped loyalist paramilitaries to murder Catholics", the UK's most senior police officer has said

this is a classic example of why we must always be questioning the activities of all the suits and uniform wearers.

Mark Twain was painfully aware of many people's inclinations to go along with prevailing evils. When slavery was lawful, he recalled, abolitionists were "despised and ostracized, and insulted" - by "patriots." As far as Twain was concerned, "Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."

"Who are the oppressors? The few: the king, the capitalist and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat."

"Why is it right that there is not a fairer division of the spoil all around? Because laws and constitutions have ordered otherwise. Then it follows that laws and constitutions should change around and say there shall be a more nearly equal division."

"I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."

Twain followed up in early 1901 with an essay titled "To the Person Sitting in Darkness." Each of the world's strongest nations, he wrote, was proceeding "with its banner of the Prince of Peace in one hand and its loot-basket and its butcher-knife in the other."
part one:Jeffery Amherst

Jeffery Amherst intentionally started germ warfare by giving native-americans blankets that were infested with smallpox.

"... in the following spring, Gershom Hicks, who had been among the Indians, reported at Fort Pitt that the small-pox had been raging for some time among them...."
Attacking the Patriot Act

A year after the controversial legislation was passed, the ACLU (american civil liberties union) has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign against the Patriot act, dubbed "Keep America Safe and Free".

The ACLU has filed twenty four lawsuits for civil liberties violations since Sept. 11th, some of which are outlined in this Wired news article (Oct. 16, 2002). "The Bush administration has presented Americans with a false dichotomy that we must choose between being safe or free," says one ACLU spokesman, "We're saying there doesn't have to be a choice. We can stay safe and free at the same time."
The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

(the exact words of the defense secretary, as taken from the official transcripts on the Defense Department Web site)

The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
( via greenfairy )

jaded emailed me to add:

That "poem" is no stranger to listeners of Radio Four's Sunday program "Broadcasting House" which has presented each week for the past year "The Donald Rumsfeld Soundbite of the Week". A month or so ago (before the war) they invited the head of Nato to judge the best one, and "Know/Don't Know" won.

i was just in a shop where i overheard a small boy showing his mum a decorative birthday candle. it was in the shape of a number 5 (probably his age) and it was pink.

and his mother snarled at him "are you a girl? you need blue."

how weird was that? the psychotic tyranny of gender policing.
the limbic system etc

the limbic system.... ...smell ...Consciousness
...multiple choice

...Etymology ...Normative Governance ...advertising ...20th c

...the shared hallucination ...the limbic system etc....


A mischievous Hungarian being, quite small, whose favourite game is to wink at people from the bushes. It lives near waters.

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

On War and Transhumanism

"There's one sure way to preempt self-evolution: Let battles waged by undemocratic countries send us back to prehistory"
by Philip Shropshire

"These aren't good times if you believe that you should control your own evolution, and be able to avoid your own destruction.

we must take steps to prevent war's threat to the future by expanding democracy and taking power from corrupt elites.

We have a president who takes the advice of Leon Kass, a guy who is on record as wanting desperately to stop the future.

a war over oil is like fighting a war over floppy discs or pre-1988 television sets. It's just plain absurd. Unless, of course, you happen to make your living in the fossil fuel industry.

the invasion of Iraq is symptomatic of a larger war that Transhumanists can probably appreciate. It is a war between two realities: A race between what we're betting will be a transcendent technological singularity versus a planet-wide catastrophe when Christian fundie fanatics with nukes finally meet up with Islamic fundie fanatics with nukes and subsequently move toward their Final Conversation.

There is one sure way to stop the Transhumanist dream and that's to return all of us to the Stone Age."

updated news, 'superinfectors', 'superspreaders' and a list of blogs "from people living in areas heavily impacted by SARS"

new scientist jobs.com
"Everything is in place for biotech to flourish in Britain, but one vital ingredient is missing........"

A History Of US Secret Human Experimentation

neuroprosthesis blog

baby underwear

DKNY DKNYbaby 6M SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - C. W. F. Children Worldwide Fashion Les Herbiers France R. C. S. 421994658 La Roche Sur Yon 6 mois stat F 67 D 68 Y 71067 )F 207013 H NPJ RN 98816 CA 08991 A NORMA DI LEGGE Nº 883 DEL 26-11-73 100% coton-cotone-katoen baumwolle-cotton algodon-algodao CARE OVER 40º P Do not commercially launder Warm wash and rinse No bleach Cool iron Any solvent Except Trichloroetyhlene Tumble dry forbidden flat dry
New clothes stab bugs with molecular daggers

"Tiny molecular daggers that latch onto fibres stab and destroy microbes have been created, meaning "killer clothes" may soon be available. Anti-fungal socks could take on athlete's foot while, on a more serious note, military uniforms could kill anthrax.

The molecular dagger has two sections. The stubby end, or dagger handle, is made of two interlinked, nitrogen-rich carbon rings. The "blade" is a carbon chain up to 16 atoms long, populated only by hydrogen atoms. It has a strong affinity for fatty surfaces.

When bacterial or fungal spores approach the fabric, their negatively charged fatty membranes are attracted to positive charges on the nitrogen-rich rings and to the fat-seeking blades. This forces the bug or spore onto the blade, which then penetrates the bacterial membrane.

Once inside, this charged end wreaks havoc and kills the spore by disrupting the delicate bonds inside. Each spore encounters a number of these molecular chains and eventually breaks up."

Humanoid Robot Can Quickly Learn Movement and Coordination

"A new humanoid robot has been unveiled that uses a neural network to quickly learn movement and motor coordination.

Called HOAP-2, the robot is the next-generation of the HOAP line built by Fujitsu.

Looking like a crude version of Honda's Asimo, HOAP-2 is half a meter tall and weighs seven kilograms."

Artificial Heart Could Be Approved for Wider Use

"A fully implantable artificial heart currently being tested on critically ill patients could soon be available for more people with serious heart ailments.

The AbioCor is a grapefruit-sized, titanium-and-plastic device that is completely implanted in a patient's body with no exterior wires.

Only gravely ill patients with less than 30 days to live currently qualify for the device."

Empathic Computers in the Works
"A three-year research project aims to create computers that can play you a song when they see that you're sad.

Success of the endeavor could produce intuitive technology, such as:
* A CD player that can select appropriate music based on the mood of the listener.
* Games that can change the action based on emotional responses.
* Computers that can judge a student's understanding and adjust teaching levels accordingly.

Currently, computers have the ability to recognize basic human emotions in photographs."

The monocoli only had one leg, but they got around very well by jumping. They jumped so fast and so far that even a man with two legs could not hope to catch them.

Tuesday, 15 April 2003

Eyewitness Charges US
With Encouraging Looting

"The following article is from Sweden's largest daily newspaper" (not that being any country's "largest daily" is any recomendation.)

.....Khaled Bayomi looks a bit surprised when he looks at the American officer on TV regret that they dont have any resources to stop the looting in Baghdad.
"I happened to be there just as the US forces told people to commence looting."

Do you mean to say that it was the US troops that initiated the looting?
"Absolutely. The lack of scenes of joy had the US forces in need of images of Iraqis who in different ways demonstrated their disgust with Saddam's regime ......"

plus Did US Dealers/Collectors
Organize Museum Looting?

"There are two kinds of unprofessionalism being displayed in Baghdad--on the one hand, the general looting has done more damage that all the military fires--and we note that the Marines in Panama stopped looting cold in its tracks by shooting the first looter; on the other hand, the loss of vital official documents to general fires and mob rampaging is extraordinary. "

"We can only conclude that either the CENTRAL COMMAND is completely oblivious to and ineffective in managing the intelligence collection effort--the true prize of the war--or, this strikes us as more likely--they are subject to politically-dictated rules of engagement deliberately designed to trash the city so the smiling Secretary of Defense can genially say, over and over, "it will take years to piece together any evidence, by which time the 2004 election will be over and we can forget about it...."

( via ethel the blog )

plus : we love the iraqi information minister.com

Monday, 14 April 2003


"the brutal occupiers in Palestine have again stolen the news.

They have now killed another innocent peacekeeper.

Thomas Hurndall was defending children when the Israeli Nazis open fired with live ammo.

Say what you will, but anyone who uses live ammunition on a scene of a non-violent demonstration is no better than Hussein or the Chinese. They are brutal Nazis.

the activists were being shot at while protecting some children from Israeli gunfire. Tom was in plain view of the sniper towers and was wearing a bright orange fluorescent jacket with reflective stripes. The nine ISM activists and many children were in the process of leaving the area. Sniper fire from the tower was hitting the wall close beside the children, who were afraid to move. Tom was attempting to bring them to safety when he was shot. There was no shooting or resistance coming from the Palestinian side at all."
Naomi Klein
in the guardian

".....what is a recessionary, growth-addicted superpower to do? How about upgrading from Free Trade Lite, which wrestles market access through backroom bullying at the WTO, to Free Trade Supercharged, which seizes new markets on the battlefields of pre-emptive wars? After all, negotiations with sovereign countries can be hard. Far easier to just tear up the country, occupy it, then rebuild it the way you want. Bush hasn't abandoned free trade, as some have claimed, he just has a new doctrine: "Bomb before you buy"....."

".....Some argue that it's too simplistic to say this war is about oil. They're right. It's about oil, water, roads, trains, phones, ports and drugs. And if this process isn't halted, "free Iraq" will be the most sold country on earth......"

".....The United States Agency for International Development has invited US multinationals to bid on everything from rebuilding roads and bridges to distributing textbooks. The length of time these contracts will last is left unspecified....."

".....Republican congressman Darrel Issa has introduced a bill that would require the defence department to build a CDMA cellphone system in postwar Iraq in order to benefit "US patent holders"....."

"....The $4.8m management contract for the port in Umm Qasr has already gone to a US company, Stevedoring Services....."

"....Fadhil Chalabi, a former Iraqi petroleum minister and executive director of the Center for Global Energy Studies, is part of a group of Iraqi exiles that has been advising the state department on how to implement privatisation in such a way that it isn't seen to be coming from the US...."

"....the Iraqi people, starved and sickened by sanctions, then pulverised by war, are going to emerge from this trauma to find that their country had been sold out from under them. They will also discover that their new-found "freedom" - for which so many of their loved ones perished - comes pre-shackled by irreversible economic decisions that were made in boardrooms while the bombs were still falling. They will then be told to vote for their new leaders, and welcomed to the wonderful world of democracy.....
Chris Morris, the maverick satirist behind the controversial Brass Eye paedophilia special that received more complaints than any other programme in TV history, will return to Channel 4 next year.

Sunday, 13 April 2003

"we support our troops when they shoot their officers"
Dada began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916 as a reaction against the extreme horror and absurdity of war along with the strait-jacket of tradition.

during a phone-in on 'the wright stuff', channel five the other week, they were discussing how soldiers are often unprepared for the intense horrors of warfare. how the 'job description' tends to highlight other criteria.....travel, a good career, learn a trade, blah blah.

one caller talked about her sister's husband who returned from the last gulf war with violent mood swings which eventually lead to his suicide.

another caller was a soldier who had just returned from the current war. she described her inability to adjust to the peace of her home life and no longer having any need of her respirator equipment whenever she tried to sleep.

someone on the show mentioned the statistic that a quarter of people living rough in the uk have an army background.

there was one caller however, that they eventually cut off, who complained that modern day soldiers were whingers. he believed that during the prolonged duration of the 2nd world war "people just got on with it." a stiff upper lip and all that.

this brought up the subject of the stigma of mental health problems. how its acceptable to be treated for a bullet wound but mental damage is still not "real injury".

it was mentioned that generally there are many people in psychiatric hospitals who don't get visits from their families because of the "shame".

ex soldier simon barr was a guest and he advised any soldiers watching the show to go through their g.p. rather than through the unsupportive channels of the ministry of defence.

Dissent grows

"a sign of possible dissent in the British ranks is a report (march 31st) that three unnamed soldiers from the 16 Air Assault Brigade have been sent home to face a court martial. They are understood to have complained about the way the war is being fought and the growing danger to civilians."

....meanwhile The British government faces a "huge uphill battle" in countering the "complete fiction" constructed by the Arab media about the war in Iraq, Tony Blair's chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell claimed in a TV interview being screened in Australia (mar 31st).

He added: "Democracies are expected to explain; we cannot tell lies in the way that dictatorships tell lies all the time, both about themselves and about us"......blah blah blah

but hey, truth or lies, who cares when its all adds up to record ratings....

march 24th: ITV won its highest news audience since the death of Princess Diana six years ago, reflecting the nation's hunger for war coverage of the war......(as opposed to war coverage of the war coverage.)

and finally....

mar 31st: "It is reported this morning that American troops are attempting to communicate with Iraqis in the field via a hand-held electronic box known as a Phrasealator, which was first tried out in Afghanistan.

The user points to one of 1,000 phrases on a menu - such as "come out with your hands up" - and the box squawks out the message in Pashtu, Dari, Urdu or, in this case, Arabic. Unfortunately, there is no way the Americans can understand what the Iraqis say in reply."

for fucks sake, they've had long enough to learn.

i was really hoping not to mention the desperately feeble contrivance of that statue in baghdad being pulled down. you know, when every media outlet regurgitated the word "momentous" like mad mother birds feeding pretend worms to their hungry chicks. reluctantly i have to mention it. but i'll begin with sept 11th.

when the events of sept 11th first unfolded i had just arrived at the gym and almost everybody in there was crowded around the tv. now apart from the fact that i seemed to be the only person vocally excited at the prospect of bush being killed, not to mention my obvious glee over the audacious trashing of the pentagon, the thing that i was most struck by was overhearing people saying: "we'll remember where we were when this happened. just like when diana/kennedy blah blah."

in other words there were a lot of people quite literally reading aloud from a banal and dog-eared script. they weren't really expressing any great feeling, they were fixing a single kodak moment in an authorised manner. in fact the banality is all the more extreme when all that most people will actually remember is that they were watching telly and mobiling their friends who were also watching telly.

i mention all this because the other day i heard bush saying something like "just like everybody else who saw those momentous images of the statue of sadam being pulled down, i'll never forget it."

well theres plenty i'll never forget about this war, but a tight camera angle on a statue and a small group of iraqi people, otherwise surrounded by soldiers and journalists, just isn't one of them.

no. something i don't ever want to forget is that on the previous day the invading army shot at and killed yet more journalists in another attempt to silence and terrorise them into towing the line. and its worth repeating again the quote from bbc kate adie concerning the "Pentagon Threat to Kill Independent Journalists"

"The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie.

In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned.

Another guest on the show, war author Phillip Knightley, reported that the Pentagon has also threatened they: "may find it necessary to bomb areas in which war correspondents are attempting to report from the Iraqi side." "

which brings me to this from yesterday's guardian

On one of the bleakest days since the invasion began, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday shrugged off turmoil and looting in Iraq as signs of the people's freedom.

Mr Rumsfeld insisted that words such as anarchy and lawlessness were unrepresentative of the situation in Iraq and "absolutely" ill-chosen.

"I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it," he said. "....all this newspaper could do, with eight or 10 headlines, they showed a man bleeding, a civilian, who they claimed we had shot - one thing after another. It's just unbelievable ..." (unlike the global frontpage 'believability' of a few people with a statue, eh mr rumsfield?)

In an extraordinary performance reminiscent of the Iraqi information minister who assured the world that all was well even as battles raged visibly around him, Mr Rumsfeld quipped: "The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, 'My goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?' "

In what appeared to be a concerted effort to damp down media coverage of the chaos, the British government simultaneously laid into the BBC and its defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, accusing them of "trying to make the news" rather than reporting it.

A spokesman for prime minister Tony Blair claimed that "in the main the anarchy and disorder is being directed against symbols of the regime". Mr Gilligan hit back: "The reality is half the shopping district [in Baghdad] is now being looted. Downing Street may be saying it's only regime targets that are being attacked. I'm afraid it isn't."
april 8th: A Reuters cameraman has died as a result of the US attack on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad

Al-Jazeera cameraman killed in US raid

Spanish and German reporters killed
Reporters Without Borders accuses US military of deliberately firing at journalists

Reporters Without Borders called on US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide evidence that the offices of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera and the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad were not deliberately fired at by US forces in attacks that killed three journalists.

"we can only conclude that the US Army deliberately and without warning targeted journalists. US forces must prove that the incident was not a deliberate attack to dissuade or prevent journalists from continuing to report on what is happening in Baghdad,"

"Very many non-embedded journalists have complained about being refused entry to Iraq from Kuwait, threatened with withdrawal of accreditation and being held and interrogated for several hours. One group of non-embedded journalists was held in secret for two days and roughed up by US military police,"

last sunday afternoon i switched on the bbc news to witness bbc reporter john simpson recounting the friendly fire his convoy had just been hit by.

he mentioned that "some people were burning alive in front of me......which wasn't very nice," as only someone from the bbc could describe people burning before their own eyes. it was like watching a war report delivered by the dead queen mum.

the report included camera footage, with a drop of blood landing on the lens, a hand tried to wipe the blood, but only succeeded in smearing it right the way across our screens.