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Can we have some backlash *now*, please?

This is a big story that, for some reason, isn’t getting much US attention yet.

So, this guy is walking down a London street today — some reports say he’s a soldier, at any rate he was wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt, a military charity — and these two guys knock him over with a car. Then they get out with a knife, a machete and a handgun and hack the man to pieces while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” and “‘We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you!” and drag his corpse into the streets.

It takes twenty minutes for the police to get there, during which time the two yoots stood around trying to get the horrified bystanders to take their pictures waving their weapons in the air, like they’re going to be on Britain’s Got Talent tonight or something. Africans, from the look of it. Shot, but alive.

It’s already classed as a terror attack, so we don’t have to go through THAT linguistic dance, at least.

So. Doesn’t there come a point where that backlash they’re always wringing their hands about is actually appropriate?

May 22, 2013 — 6:11 pm
Comments: 54

They’re real and they’re…well, presumably spectacular

Deep fried Mars bar. I always wondered if that was for real, but if the Scotsman is highlighting it as their Scottish Fact of the Week, then I guess it’s legit. They turned twenty last year.

Okay, I’m a fraud. I have been following the news. Oh, not American politics, which still makes me want to punch kittens. I’ve been watching, with an increasing sphincter-clench, the Far East hotting up fast. Wasn’t there a time when threatening to bomb the US mainland was an unequivocal act of war? But China has no intention of shutting Pyongyang up.

Meanwhile, they — China — are beefing up their drone arsenal, just as we have been telling everybody we’ll send our drones where we like and shoot whom we please. (Nice precedent, guys. Really, as an aside, we’d better litigate an individual right to shoot at drones before we don’t know whose drone that is over Mr McGregor’s barn).

Oh, skip all that and just read this one, an overview of how tetchy it is between Japan and China at the moment. All it takes is a slip of the finger in the danger zone and I smell history coming at us, fast.

So — fuck it! — candy bars it is. Near as I can figure it, a Mars Bar is what we ‘Muricans would call a Milky Way. Because — again I say, fuck it! — when you’ve got World War Yang coming at you, a 1,200 calorie snack doesn’t seem that big a problem.

March 26, 2013 — 11:12 pm
Comments: 36

Sheep in a wheelchair

Ladies and gentlemen, sheep in a wheelchair. There you go.

Oh, hey, for some reason, the Freedom of the Press Foundation would like to spread these recordings of Bradley Manning reading a prepared statement, smuggled out of his first hearing. Um, okay!

Not sure what they’re hoping to accomplish. He sounds like an unrepentant, self-absorbed whiny little bitch whose motive for breaking his oath and betraying his country was something like, “because war is H – E – Double hockeysticks.” Particularly when you watch it on a monitor from a comfy office Stateside, apparently.

It’s going to be hard going, making a hero out of this little wiggler.

March 13, 2013 — 12:00 am
Comments: 56

Something thoughtful for the weekend

I’ve posted about Richard Johnson before — like, five years ago. He’s a National Post (of Canada) illustrator who, in the tradition of the war artists of old, has embedded himself with Canadian troops in Afghanistan to…well, draw pictures of stuff. He’s good.

About six weeks ago, he emailed to say he was going back (not me personally; I’m on his mailing list) and I keep forgetting to post. So here, for the weekend, is a link to his Kandahar Journal in the Post. Also, his own website. If you’re of a Twittering frame of mind, you can follow him thusly: @newsillustrator.

Something a little more worthy to think about for a while. Good weekend, folks!

October 5, 2012 — 10:16 pm
Comments: 17

Just this once

This year, Remembrance Day is 11/11/11. Also, it’s the 90th observance (I can’t make the math work on that, but the nice man who sold me an enamel poppy with “90th” on it told me so).

When the clock strikes 11:00 anywhere near Flanders Fields, you’ll all be tucked in your warm American beds dreaming your dreamy American dreams. Wait — eleven o’clock in the morning? Yeah, I probably will be, too.

So, why poppies on Remembrance Day? The corn poppy (popaver rhoeas) naturally grows on torn earth. We see them along the edges of the ploughed fields around here. In the blasted earth of the Great War, sometimes poppies were all that grew.

Anyway. Yes. Friday (6pm Weasel Blog Time) we will begin the next round of Laughing at Death. I just didn’t want that to be the only thing up here on Armistice Day. Didn’t seem right.

November 10, 2011 — 11:24 pm
Comments: 49

Mmmm…Awlaki on toast

Well, well, well…Mrs Hill wins the Dead Pool with Anwar al-Awlaki, and never have I been happier to trade a dick for a dick (not counting Round 12, the Osama bin Laden round). It’s unclear quite what happened, but it apparently involved somebody’s boots on the ground, not a drone or something.

Awlaki, remember, “…reportedly spoke with, trained, and preached to a number of al-Qaeda members and affiliates, including three of the 9/11 hijackers, alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, and alleged “Christmas Day bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; he was also reportedly involved in planning the latter’s attack.”

Killed in the same operation, Samir Khan. Also an American citizen, this little wiggler was believed to be the editor of Inspire magazine — an English-language e-pub that hoped to inspire Muslims living in the West to drive cars into crowds, build bombs in the kitchen and generally fuck the place up.

Jake Tapper over at ABC News is having a little crow about Obama’s jihadi body count. You know what? I’m totally fine with that.

Have a little strut, boys. Pat yourselves on the back. Take a victory lap. Have a cigar. Just keep killing those bad guys, ‘K?

Funny thing is, Obama *is* better-suited to this sort of action than Bush. Because — holy shit! — can you imagine the soul-searching article some hack at the New York Times would be banging out at this very moment if George Bush had, you know, assassinated American citizens on foreign soil?

Will you join me in a little exercise? Here’s a map of the Ma’rib Governorate in Yemen, where this operation took place. Have a look. Zoom in. Zoom out. Pan around.

That, my friends, is a shithole.


New Dead Pool starts next Friday, 6pm sharp Weasel Blog Time (which happens to coincide with GMT).

September 30, 2011 — 9:37 pm
Comments: 66

This is just alllllll kinds of wrong

This is the fighting in Libya. This picture bugs the shit out of me, and I’m struggling to put together a coherent post about it.

I’m not calling fake. These photographers put themselves in actual danger. The photo is nicked from this article describing the four NY Times journalists (including the lady at the far left of this shot) who were later picked up by Gaddafi’s goons at a checkpoint and given a very rough week before being released.

And we certainly have a proud tradition of embedded journalists who show courage and provide a valuable service in times of war. So I’m not knocking that.

But this thing here, this smells wrong. That young man can’t be firing at anything significant, or they’d all be hauling ass for cover. So, he’s…what? Posing? Mmm.

I just. I dunno. When reporters seemingly outnumber the thing being reported upon three to one — and all the cameras point the same way — they aren’t so much reporting as shaping the narrative.

All the cameras but one. The guy who took this picture told me something a lot more interesting than an image of another angry young brown fellow with a shoulder-fired doo-dah.

March 22, 2011 — 10:08 pm
Comments: 33

Now we’ll lick ’em for sure!

Bill (still the .00358% of my traffic that’s from Iraq) T sent me this snapshot. It’s the personal insignia for the Mobile Transition Team based near him and somebody will be out soon with the crayons to color it in.

Thanks, Bill (blah de blah de blah) T!

That’s it. Don’t want to step on the thread below (which you’re welcome to keep adding to). Have a good weekend, everyone!

June 25, 2010 — 10:24 pm
Comments: 10

Unserious people


I’ve got my numbers right, haven’t I? We’re ten months in, and I know the fundraiser tally is correct. As for the number of times he’s met with General McChrystal — there was a briefing back when Obama took office, and then he scraped up half an hour during his craptacular Olympics bid. Did I miss anything?

This is about the level of artwork you can expect from me for a while. I busted the pen to my Wacom tablet. Actually, Damien busted it three years ago, when he was a wee baby psychotic, and I’ve been holding it together with hope and chewing gum ever since. It finally gave up the ghost last night.

I have a spare. Somewhere. I was using it when I first got here, before the rest of my stuff arrived, so it definitely made it. Tragically, finding it will require…housecleaning.

October 21, 2009 — 4:41 pm
Comments: 9

Labour cowards


Y’all have probably heard of the Gurkhas (probably best remembered for their wicked effective kukri knives). The Gorkha people of Nepal had been hiring themselves out for soldiers since the way back. The Brits discovered them when they fought them during the Nepalese War of 1814-16 and somehow managed to call them Gurkhas. They kick all kinds of butt.

Four original battalions of Gurkhas were formed into the East India Company, and they stayed loyal to the Crown through the Indian Mutiny…and every armed conflict Britain’s been part of ever since. Two hundred thousand of them joined up for Dubya-Dubya Eye-Eye and distinguished the hell out of themselves.

And now thousands of them are set to be deported from Britain. Gurkha veterans have been fighting for the right to live in Britain for a long time — and I don’t pretend to know the whole backstory — but the latest immigration rules released today are fucking evil: a soldier can stay if he’s served 20 years. The rank and file are only allowed to serve 15. Nice.

Oh, an enlisted man can stay if he got crippled in battle, or won a conspicuous decoration. You know, Audi Fucking Murphy is welcome, the rest of you can piss off.

I won’t get into a British immigration rant tonight (don’t-do-it-don’t-do-it-Weasel-don’t-do-it). But a country has to be completely retarded to turn away applicants who have put their lives on the line and, you know, spilled blood in defense of the realm and shit. One of these guys is worth a hundred wastrel immigrants like me.

And don’t get me started on the Pakistani splodey-dopes, Kenyan moochers and Albanian pimps…

April 24, 2009 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 28