Monday 29 January 2024

Trying to find out what is happening, there is just no point in reading the papers any more

A US military source told John Helmer:

“If there’s no coincidence, and if this isn’t a lucky strike for the Arabs, then this may reflect a step-change up in Russian military assistance to the Iranians. Maybe Tower-22 was selected as a small target for demonstration effect, so as to send a message about the bigger targets, Al-Tanf and Muwaffaq Salti. Hitting them next makes ‘regional war’, and then US ground forces are going to be in the thick of it — the Biden Administration will have a new war on its hands — and bodybags, instead of votes, for Election Day. “
No point in reading the papers any more for important stories. Even the Guardian in its account of the suicide attack on Tower 22 links to the arch neo-con Atlantic Council and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Wikipedia says 'The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a pro-Israel American think tank'. Instead Helmer looks well informed.

M. K. Bhadrakumar says Tower 22 was a spy station with which the CIA gathered information useful to Israel.

Caitlin Johnstone makes a very important point. 
"The Biden administration immediately claimed the attack was backed by Iran, with profoundly influential news agencies like AP and Reuters regurgitating this claim as established fact in their headlines immediately thereafter. As DeCamp notes in the aforementioned article, back in October a US official acknowledged to CNN that that there’s actually a “persistent intelligence gap” as to how much these Shia militias are in fact beholden to the orders of Tehran, but apparently this attack being linked to Iran is now being treated as established gospel truth anyway."

Three American soldiers killed by drone strike in Jordan

I got it wrong - the top secret American base on the Jordanian-Syrian border is just inside Jordan and is there legally. It is said to be a 
CIA station for spying and covert operations, at the moment to assist Israel.

Three American soldiers in the base were killed by a drone. 

The US garrison nearby across the Syrian border is illegal. The Americans were there originally to destabilise the government of Syria, but perhaps now to keep an eye on Iran and Iraq. 

The Americans have no more right to be in Syria than the Russians have to be in Ukraine.

Iran attacked Baluchi terrorists or bandits or freedom fighters in Pakistan recently, which was said by fools to be an act of aggression. It was one, of course, but in retaliation for a similar raid by the Pakistani army last month in Baluchistan in Iran, in which 11 Iranian policemen were killed.

To read the British press this morning you'd think it was Iran that is the aggressor but what is America? 

What right had Hillary Clinton days before she lost the 2016 election to say that regime change in Syria would be her top priority? 

Do you imagine that America and Israel are not doing what they can to effect regime change in Iran?

I think the Western intervention in 1990 against Iraq was a good thing. How has subsequent interference in the Middle East by the US , UK  or France benefitted anyone, except possibly Israel that wants to be surrounded by failed states?

Sunday 28 January 2024

Thursday 25 January 2024


'Money is just makeup for men.' Rose Pinochet 

'Maybe this world is another planet's hell.' 
Aldous Huxley. I think this world is wonderful but would not were I in Gaza.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

'Genocide Joe has got to go'

Here is the tweet. How odd a time we live in when leftists like Max Blumenthal and Caitlain Johnstone speak the sort of common sense that conservatives should but don't. 

Monday 22 January 2024

Peter Hitchens today

'As a small chocolate-smeared child, I was taken on a tour of HMS Victory at Portsmouth, in those distant days still showing quite severe damage from German bombing a few years before. The entire visit was about the bravery and endurance of Nelson and his men. I was allowed to stand on the spot where Nelson fell, shot by a French sniper. I walked among the great black iron guns, imagined myself scurrying about as a powder-monkey, bringing gunpowder to the crew amid the smoke. I was shown the red-painted orlop deck, where the wounded were taken to be sawn up without anaesthetic, amid lakes of gore, by crude surgeons. How I longed to have been there at Trafalgar, at the battle which secured this country's liberty and independence for more than two centuries. But 40 years later, when my own children were old enough to make the same tour, it was all sociological – about flogging, the press gang, and health and safety. I don't think anyone even referred to the great signal 'England Expects…'. All that stuff was too big for the small country we had since become.

'I have been unsurprised since then to watch our armed services turned into politically correct, softened bodies, whose main job seems to be to act as bag carriers for the US and its increasingly odd foreign adventures.'

Sunday 21 January 2024

Genocide by any other name

Left-wing Israeli journalist Gideon Levy three days ago:

'Listen, the Israelis don’t seem to care that so many innocent Palestinians were killed. They just care how to label it, if it’s genocide or not. And I say it doesn’t matter what is the legal definition. Twenty-four thousand people, most of them innocent people, 60, 70% of them women and children, 10,000 children among them, this is enough of a fact that nobody can deny, by the way, to ask ourselves: Do we really have the right to do it? What does it tell about us, about our moral standards? And, above all, how long will we go on, and where are we aiming to? Another 25,000 killed people in Gaza will guarantee more security to Israel? And even if yes, do we have the right to do so?'


Saturday 20 January 2024

"The Hebrew word refers most commonly to a person being uninjured and safe, whole and sound.''

 Gilad Atzmon posted this on Facebook.

I want to remind all interested parties that there is no word in modern Hebrew for peace. The word Shalom, doesn’t mean peace, harmony or reconciliation. It only means ‘security for the Jews.’ Accordingly, the Israeli minister words should be grasped as a suggestion that Israelis have lost faith in their security…if I understand it correctly. This has been Israel’s enemies’ objective

Friday 19 January 2024

The Mihai Voda church

From Christmas to this week the weather was very mild in Bucharest. Perhaps global warming is true after all. I love urban walking, particularly when I walk past old churches. Bucharest has many but most are hidden, deliberately. 

This is the church of St Nicholas, known as the Mihai Voda church, built by Mihai Viteazul in 1591. It contains what is supposedly the saint's hand. Martin Harris when I took him here exclaimed 'Santa Claus's hand!' The church was moved on wheels to avoid demolition when Ceausescu remade the city centre on North Korean lines.

A Black King of Anglo-Saxon England: King Offa


Does any Englishman believe he lives in a free country any more?

 As I have mentioned before, Stanley Baldwin said freedom was England's secret.


The Male vs Female Brain: Key Differences Females: Superior episodic memory, language abilities, emotional processing, social cognition. Optimised for language, social information, emotional experiences. Males: Better spatial abilities, decision-making in risk, object feature processing. Optimised for object analysis, spatial navigation, social hierarchy cognition. Takeaway: Interventions to get more women in STEM fields that are object-focused & not people-focused are probably a waste of time.

Thursday 18 January 2024

The West is heading into degrowth socialism while China is escaping from it. Europe is in steep decline, accelerated by the euro and the EU.

The new Argentinian President's speech at Davos, as Count Dancula said, resembled Ricky Gervais introducing the Golden Globes awards. 

Senor Milei defended freedom and private property and attacks the big state which impoverishes everyone. 

Western rulers had been 'co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism, and therefore to poverty'. He attacked 'radical feminism' and the idea that men and women or man and earth are in conflict, and the 'bloody agenda of abortion'.

Monday 15 January 2024


"A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they seemed normal, except that they were not able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions."

"The existence of nation states is in itself one of the biggest problems with the European project."
Ulrike Guérot

Sunday 14 January 2024

Straw Bear at Whittlesey today

Today at the annual Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesey in the English fens The custom dates back more than 150 years, but was stopped in 1909 by the local constabulary, which saw the "straw bears" as a form of "cadging" or begging and was revived in 1980. 
Morris dancers parade through the town. At the end the bear is burnt.

Jesus and the Palestinians

I think the continuing massacre in Gaza is unspeakably wicked and unjustified but Jesus would not be protesting about it were He present in the flesh.

Nor would He protest about the attack by Hamas that was the proximate cause of this latest round of violence. 

He would not have protested against the Israeli occupation of Palestine any more than he protested against the Roman occupation of Palestine. That was Barabbas. 

Exclusion like hierarchy is inevitable and praiseworthy

The purpose of a nation, like any other club, or like any house or dwelling, is to exclude people. This is its raison d'être. Discuss.


I am sorry if many of these seem sexist. They were not chosen for this reason. Most quotations about women from before 1960 reflect a very different way of thinking from modern progressives. It's the same with many other subjects.

"That in woman which inspires respect and fundamentally fear is her nature, which is more natural than that of man, her genuine, cunning, beast-of-prey suppleness, the tigers claws beneath the glove, the naivety of her egoism, her ineducability and inner savagery, and how incomprehensible, capacious and prowling her desires and virtues are." Nietzsche

"You will find that the woman who is really kind to dogs is always one who has failed to inspire sympathy in men." Sir Max Beerbohm


Let me explain why England (and Wales but not Scotland and not Northern Ireland) voted for Brexit. It is not about economics or lack of life chances or any of that rot. Only socialists and liberals are foolish enough to believe that. It's about the love that dare not speak its name. Love of country.

I am ashamed not of the lack of patriotism of Oxford and Cambridge students who disapprove of Remembrance Day, but of their stupidity. The noisy minority were stupid and progressive in my day. They all grow up to be lawyers and doctors but they keep a lot of liberal foolishness and thus do great harm. Oxbridge is to blame for modern Britain. Brexit was an anti-Oxbridge revolt.

Saturday 13 January 2024

Good advice

"Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” 

Mary Kay Ash

"In the article I wrote two months ago, before my [prostate cancer] surgery, I mentioned the three principles that, I felt, were essential to happiness: imagine how much worse it could be, rather than how much better; change what you can change, accept what you can’t; and do not let fear rule your life.


"I used to be the most handsome man in Rome but [gesturing out the window] now I'm just one more ruin." 

Gore Vidal at his 50th birthday party, speaking to the writer Michael Mewshaw.

Thursday 11 January 2024

Wednesday 10 January 2024


Seen on Facebook:

All accounts wishing to remain on Twitter/X must obtain a notarized affidavit affirming Israel's right to exist

"I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart." Saki

"The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened." Saki


"One who is holy cannot dissent from the Pope." Pope St Pius X

"People make the mistake of thinking Catholics always agree with the Pope." Mgr Alfred Gilbey

"'Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said 'It's going to rain', would that be bound to happen?' 'Oh, yes, Father.' 'But supposing it didn't?' He thought a moment and said, "I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'" Fr Mowbray recounts to the Flytes a conversation with Rex Mottram while instructing him in the faith, in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.

The spectre of antisemitism

"....our touchstone should be clear solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. But not as an idiosyncratic fetish divorced from the broader politics of the Left. Rather, we should return it to what it has always been: a focal point of anti-imperialist struggle, where peasants and slum-dwellers are now fighting a desperate struggle against tanks and F-16s, and where their best weapon at the moment may be to starve themselves to death in the hope of fracturing ideological support for Israeli militarism." Editorial in the Marxist magazine Jacobin, 21 April 2013
I have always been an imperialist. I think the British empire did a huge amount more good than bad, though the Jewish homeland was arguably not one of our best ideas. I even started a project for school called Imperialism (we could choose any subject under the sun) when I was only 7.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Douglas Macgregor talks very good sense. I hope he is in the cabinet if Trump returns.

I gave up the English speaking media but listen occasionally to retired US Colonel Douglas Macgregor. In this interview he makes a lot of excellent points.  

When a great power goes to war for a small country the small country ends up controlling the big one. The Czar going to war for Serbia meant the destruction of Russia. 

Colonel Macgregor could have mentioned the way North Korea and North Vietnam manipulated Russia and Israel manipulates America.

He rightly says there is no reason for the USA to be in Syria, Iraq or Africa.  Trump, he said, saw this. Very good for Trump but why did he do nothing about it?

Monday 8 January 2024


“The whole world is not worth one soul.” St. Francis de Sales. 

"Ukrainians have to understand that they and the Russians are brothers and Russians have to understand that once you cross the Dnieper they are completely different from us." Solzhenitsyn quoted by Glenn Diesen

"The sentimentalist preparing the pathway for the brute." Robert Louis Stevenson. This is the history of the this century so far.

Quotations about Palestine and Israel

From "A Line in the Sand" by James Barr

“Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: ‘Ye shall blot them out to the last man.’

"But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier."

Future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1943, when he was one of the leaders of the Stern Gang. 'The occupier' means the British.

Saturday 6 January 2024

Intelligence failures

"Certainly, spies are everywhere, but were they ever any use to anybody? Western intelligence didn't know the Berlin Wall was going up; Soviet agents didn't have a clue it was coming down." Robert Lochner, American journalist in Germany, son of Louis Lochner who was AP correspondent in Berlin until 1941.   

A brave spy risked death to tell Stalin that Germany was about to invade Russia.  Stalin had him killed.  A spy told Roosevelt that Japan was about to attack. Netanyahu was informed beforehand of the Hamas attack and did not prevent it.  Whether these were examples of incompetence, inability to accept the truth or occult Machiavellian stratagems Lochner's point is good.

Hitler did say 'Who now remembers the Armenians?'

Genocide is, alas, alas, extremely much in the news.

I discovered by chance today that the “Lochner Version” of the secret address by Hitler to ministers, generals, admirals at Obersalzberg on 22 August 1939 is genuine, according to German historian Norman Domeier.

This means that Hitler used the well known words 'Who now remembers the Armenians?' and ordered a genocide of Poles. (He said nothing in the speech about Jews.)

Friday 5 January 2024

'The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.' This is inscribed on Karl Marx's grave

Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser (journalism should not be taught, by the way), wants journalism to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice... Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” More here.

Thursday 4 January 2024

'Israel is losing the war against Hamas – but Netanyahu and his government will never admit it'

I heard an interesting interview with Professor Paul Rogers which was spoilt towards the end when he complained that it was 'appalling' that refugees fleeing oppression to the UK (presumably oppression by France) are called 'invaders'.

So his politics are wrong, but he might be right about Gaza. 
He says that Israel is pursuing the Dahiya doctrine or a scorched earth tactics - what the Israelis call a 'disproportionate response'- as it did in Beirut in 2008.

He does not say this but, of course, disproportionate killing of civilians is a war crime.

Here is an article ('Israel is losing the war against Hamas – but Netanyahu and his government will never admit it') he has written for the Guardian. 

He says the IDF know that Hamas or its ideas cannot be defeated.

Obviously. Surely everyone does. But actually that used not to be true. Before October 7 it seemed Netanyahu had succeeded in sidelining the Palestinian Question. Now we see how wrong that was.

I saw from October 7 that it was impossible to defeat Hamas unless Israel deports the entire Gazan population, as Netanyahu would like to do, and not even then. 

Professor Rogers hinted in the interview that the worst atrocities on October 7 might have been committed by random Gazan men who burst through the wall. Who knows?

I start to wonder whether eventually all the Arabs will be swept out of Gaza and the West Bank or one day all the Jews will be forced out of Israel. Neither of these thoughts ever crossed my mind until this so called war (it's not a war really) began.

Most people now accept that a ceasefire that hardens into peace is best for Ukraine - I used to be much criticised for saying so

‘To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.’ Walter Cronkite, 27 February1968,

When the left disliked George Soros

This is from a profile of him published in the British left-wing magazine The New Statesman in 2003.

“The conventional view, shared by many on the left, is that socialism collapsed in eastern Europe because of its systemic weaknesses and the political elite's failure to build popular support. That may be partly true, but Soros's role was crucial. From 1979, he distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland's Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a "civil society", these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for eastern Europe's eventual colonisation by global capital. Soros now claims, with characteristic immodesty, that he was responsible for the "Americanisation"; of eastern Europe. ...

If I expected the Ukrainian counter-offensive to fail (though I hoped it would succeed) why did these people not?

Because the wish was father to the thought? Or were they whistling in the dark? Or trying to build public support for Ukraine?

A clever, well-informed Lithuanian friend was very confident until the US papers were leaked in April.


Senator Lindsey Graham: “I expect major gains in the coming days and weeks. I think they can expel Russia from Ukraine.” [May 28 Fox News]


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “I think Ukraine will have a very good chance of success.” [03/28/23]


National security adviser Jake Sullivan: “We believe that the Ukrainians will meet with success in this counteroffensive.” [06/04/23]


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: “I’m confident that when Ukraine decides to launch new operations to liberate more land, Ukraine will be successful.” [4/21/23]


Former CIA Director, Gen. David Petraeus: "I personally think that this is going to be really quite successful. .. And [the Russians] are going to have to withdraw under pressure of this Ukrainian offensive, the most difficult possible tactical maneuver, and I don't think they're going to do well at that." [05/23/23] “I think that this counteroffensive is going to be very impressive.” [06/03/23]


Edward Luttwak: “If Kyiv and the West are looking for the most plausible path to victory, this is it.” [05/11/23]


Atlantic Council fellow Richard Hooker: “As we are often told, no plan survives contact with the enemy. There will likely be the occasional tactical miscue or operational hiccup during the coming counteroffensive, but a careful assessment suggests the odds are heavily in favor of Ukraine.” [05/23/23]


Former Chief of the British General Staff, General Richard Dannatt: “after Kyiv's successful counteroffensive, Vladimir Putin ‘may be swept out of the Kremlin.’” [03/28/23] 
Paul Massaro, senior policy adviser, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe: “Full Ukrainian victory is coming. Sooner than you think.” [06/12/23]

Paul Massaro is the most irritating person on the internet, by the way. He is not Graham Greene's Quiet American because he is extremely noisy. 

I thought we had learnt the lessons of Iraq and American overextension. Usually we learn from the mistakes of the past how to make new mistakes (AJP Taylor). 

I know this time it was Russia not America that invaded another country but America intentionally or probably not had provoked Russia.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor was largely right about the counter-offensive, though he had overestimated the Russians in 2022. He quoted unbelievably high numbers of Ukrainian losses last year for which he gave no evidence (I presume he believed Russian propaganda). I don't particularly recommend him, though I sometimes listen to him and he understands things much better than the academics who are very parti pris and not at all dispassionate. Professor John Mearsheimer, whom I recommend highly on Ukraine and Gaza, is the exception - he was right that Ukraine did not have enough ammunition. 

Wednesday 3 January 2024

There is very much blood on Boris Johnson's and Old Man Biden's hands



"I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." Thoreau

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” Einstein

"I'm making such a lot of money from articles - £22 since Xmas so I'm saving it up to be married but Evelyn [Waugh] says 'don't save it, dress better and catch a better man. Evelyn is always so full of common sense.'"


Find your place among great people.

Mozart's father's advice to him, which he followed.

I am really sorry to see my Countrymen trouble themselves about Politics. If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compell'd to be a Tyranny. Princes appear to me to be Fools. Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something Else besides Human life.

William Blake

The French writer Michel Houellebecq needs security guards while a follower is attempting to organise crowdfunded protection for Jordan Peterson. As a Canadian colleague quipped to me: “Swift would now be gunned down by militant Yahoos . . . the targets now assassinate their satirists.”

American empire

America uses "fighting for democracy" (or human rights) as a means to continue an empire originally built to contain Stalin. The cold war was probably never necessary and not after 1952.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Eyeless in Gaza

I fully agree with my Jewish friend who pointed out that the Arabs could have made the Gaza Strip a prosperous state after the Israelis left, leaving behind efficient farms.

I certainly think that the deliberate murder of civilians is very wicked and half the Israelis whom Hamas killed (perhaps as many as sixty percent) were civilians.

The people of Gaza elected Hamas in January 2006 (some of its leaders were less extreme then) but in June 2007, 16 years ago, Hamas staged a coup and suppressed all opposition. 

Almost half of the inhabitants of Gaza were not alive when the last free election was held, let alone able to vote.

The great majority of them did not support Hamas, at any rate up to October 7. 

Support for Hamas has surged since then, as usually happens in wartime, though support for Netanyahu, already very low, has understandably plunged among Israelis.

But even those who do support Hamas do not therefore deserve to die.

Monday 1 January 2024

Another insane newspaper article



Russia has reacted to American behaviour from 2008 onwards. Putin is not another Napoleon or Hitler.


To paraphrase AJP Taylor talking about Hitler, Putin is a rational though no doubt a wicked statesman.


I wish I thought Donald Tusk was rational, though perhaps he is  and is talking nonsense to get money from America.