Monday, November 20, 2006

Serial Killer

A few of you who wear anoracks may remember a brief meal out I had with Tracy, one of the local street prostitutes, back in October 2005.

Well, it turns out that Tracy is in fact called Gemma, and nobody has seen her since Tuesday 14th November when she was dropped off at the pub opposite my house at 10pm.

Since our chips I’d always got the nod from her and we occasionally said things like ‘Hiya’ and ‘Alright?’ and ‘Take care’ to each other. But that’s as far as it went
– rather like a friendly neighbour three doors down – someone whom you have nothing in common with but acknowledge on your way to the supermarket.

So it’s hard to explain how upsetting her likely murder is. Perhaps its because Gemma was so thin and small and frail looking - with hindsight one of life's victims, although I doubt she thought of herself like that.

Before she disappeared the police were already concerned about another girl called Tania who went missing in the same area a couple of weeks before. They take this 'coincidence’ very seriously.

All over the week-end their helicopter hung over patches of waste ground, derelict buildings were searched, and divers were in the river near the Handford Road Bridge.

I really hope the girls are alive, but doubt it.


What to Do About Iraq?


Monday, November 13, 2006


After the Bush coup in 2000, and the agony of 2004, my last minute doubts inspired by Mark Ames at the Exile mag were perhaps understandable but... WRONG!

Whew! Such a relief when the Dems grabbed the House of Representatives, but gaining the Senate was the real icing on the cake.

And what a tasty cake there is to look forward too - from the possible impeachment of Dubya (sadly, our side are probably too nice to do this - unlike our opponents) to the boot for the UN buffoon and bully John Bolton.

But that's for another post - for now warm congratulations to my friends and colleagues in the USA on winning the election - fantastic! Great job - well done!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Exile's Election Challenge

Mark Ames of the Exile mag makes a daring and nightmarish prediction:

We'll stake ten years of hard-won credibility on just this one foolish prediction -- we're doubling down everything this paper is worth, and placing our girlfriends as collateral just in case. That's how good we feel about this. Ready? Here goes. THIS COMING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2006, THE REPUBLICANS WILL KEEP CONTROL OF BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS.


So confident is he of this prediction that:

In fact, I'm so sure that the Republicans are going to keep control of both houses after this coming Tuesday that I'm willing put my pride where my mouth is. So here is my Pepsi Challenge, which I offer up to any American who writes in telling me I have no idea what I'm talking about: if the Democrats take just one of the two houses, I will hereby register with the Republican Party by the end of this year, and have myself photographed doing so. Moreover, I will promise to write at least two straight-faced editorials in 2007 condemning the new Democratic-led house of Congress for a) playing partisan politics; b) giving in to the radical blame-America-first crowd; and c) giving aid and comfort to terrorists.

Alternatively, if the Republicans keep both houses as we predict, then here is your punishment... well, hell, what could be a bigger punishment than that? Already I'm laughing just reading that sentence. I can't think of anything more slapstick than another two years of Shithead & Gang in charge of the once-invincible United States Armed Forces, its law-making institutions, and its giguillion-dollar budget. It's classic cheap screwball comedy material, like an ambitious remake of Tommy Boy: fuck-up heir to the family's political dynasty winds up destroying the entire country faster than you can say "speedball," with hilarious results. And believe us-you-plural, when Tuesday's election results roll in, we at the eXile will be chortling like hyenas from our Starlite Diner Election-2006 Studio Booth. We'll be cackling even louder and more annoyingly than we cackled in November, 2004, as we watched Bush roll to victory, against what every sane person imagined possible... Bush's supporters waved and cheered at us from the TV sets, with a confidence that said, "If you think we've fucked things up badly in our first four years, then folks, in the words of the great Bachman Turner Overdrive: 'B-b-b-baby, you jus' ain't seen nuthin' yet!'"

The bastard Ames is beginning to convince me, but there's more to come.

You can see we're already celebrating this Tuesday's "Republican Shocker" in advance. We're so sure that, as you've seen, we don't even want to force you to pony up in case you lose. But since we have to accept the fact that you idiots out there, suckers that you are, don't think it's a fair Pepsi Challenge unless you also have to do something humiliating, well, we thought of something. Okay, if another two years of Republican control isn't obviously punishment enough, then here's your dare. Whoever challenges me has to agree to the following: If the Republicans hold on to both houses of Congress, then my challenger(s) must sign a statement confessing that America's experiment with democracy has failed. That America's democracy can no longer be excused as "imperfect," but rather, as your public confession will stress, democracy is the root of America's problem. Your solution? You pledge to support the peaceful transfer of power to a junta, which will work to "restore order." But it can't be a military junta, because the ugly truth is that most Americans would eagerly support a military junta. Hell, they've been trying to vote for the closest equivalent to a military junta for decades now; even the "liberal hawks" love the idea of a military junta. So that's not punishment, folks. No, the junta you, the bet-loser, must argue for is one composed of the American equivalent to Plato's "philosopher-kings": a feeble cabal of university academics and intellectuals drawn entirely from New England and California.

Actually it's the military junta that would scare the shit out of me, unless this junta was composed of people (I use the term loosely) like Daniel (Penis Head) Pipes and the fake intellectual David (Horror) Horowitz...


Monday, November 06, 2006

The Rules of the Game

Counter-Insurgency operations circa 1605

Last night I came home from a long-week-end in London.

The journey was puncuated by the crackle and lights of fireworks celebrating the 401st anniversary of a failed coup d'etat by a group of middle-class religious loonies.

It got me thinking about the whole history of insurgency and armed political movements.

Thankfully that immoral cynic the War Nerd explains things for me in his latest article, here's the last section:

Just remember, everything they told you is wrong. Here's a quick list of the main points. Go and meditate upon them. Memorize them while I whack you with this stick like a good Zen teacher should.
  1. Most wars are asymmetrical / irregular.
  2. In these wars, the guerrillas / irregulars / insurgents do NOT aim for military victory.
  3. You can NOT defeat these groups by killing lots of their members. In fact, they want you to do that.
  4. Hi-tech weaponry is mostly useless in these wars.
  5. "Hearts and Minds," meaning propaganda and morale, are more important than military superiority.
  6. Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics.
You can read the rest here.