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The Tyranny Merry-Go-Round. The Libyan Nuclear Nightmare

The gutlessness has spread. Turning on the despicable 'Wright Stuff' (an embarrassing attempt by channel 5 to be a TV station) I found that the B-list panel and most the callers were parroting the Mohatama McKenzie/Stop the War/Dave Spart line, and were willing to watch the slaughter of the Libyan people, and the death of the Jasmine Revolution in its tracks.
One of the favourite chants goes:
'Why Libya? Wot about Zimbabwe? Sudan! Saudi! Nigeria! China!!! We gonna bomb them too?! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! the CIA are behind it all'
 Round and round and up and down they fly on their Merry-Go-Round of Tyranny, pacifist ribbons braided in their locks, having a lovely time, wallowing in the horror of those names. Their reactions are not rational, but pornographic and exhibitionist. Or at best, the sad pedantry of the winner of the Atrocity Pub Quiz.
They also thought that Gadaffi had refused to sell us any oil for forty years, and that World War 2 started because Hitler attacked Britain. The Ignorati are out in force and are determined to prevent the freedom virus spreading any further than Egypt, which can then be corralled and managed. This was always to be expected from the Xenophobic Tendency, who object to Foreign aid on principle and think that Britain can exist in a vacuum, and is in some ways to be welcomed. The more Kelvin McKenzies the better. In his current incarnation, he is socialism's best recruiting sergeant. Sad then that some who call themselves socialists seem determined to fall in behind him, rather than figure out why he is wrong. Unless they do so soon, they will become another lost tribe of progress, like the Quakers. The People Who Technology Forgot, or rather, the people who forgot about the technology, which is partly what they have done, and which obscures their vision.
People who should know much better are spouting the Glenn Beck nightmare of a covert Jihadi plot, and other incredibly clever theories. All of which denies the facts of the last 3 months, and directly undermines the hope they embodied. And in some people, it seems that years of hating imperialism, while not understanding what it is for, is getting in the way of their humanity. They would rather pursue old vendettas than see the Relief of Bengazi and Misratah. This is a natural result of the money-poisoned intellectual atmosphere of the last 60 years, and a serious software problem for those concerned, but shouldn't distract from the need for urgent action now to allow the Libyan people to liberate themselves.
The scale of the missile attacks has been surprising, but they do not seem to have hit many civilian targets. The Libyan information is naturally discredited. They have cried wolf far too often for anything they say to be taken seriously. And there will undoubtedly be mistakes, in which innocent Libyans will die. But as most testimony finding its way out of Libya confirms, the people are prepared to pay the price of freedom, and know the risks. If they were not, none of this would be happening and RAF pilots would have been in the NAAFI last night drinking tea and watching Machester City Vs Chelsea on Match of the Day. This military action is probably unprecedented in history in being led by the people. Soon, they will be playing a vital military role in co-ordinating attacks. When Gadaffi has gone, they will decide the kind of society they want. And it may be a consumerist paradise, for a while, or it may not. That is for them to decide.
If Libya does fall back into Gadaffi's hands, as would happen if the pacifists have their way, Egypt and Tunisia can kiss their new democracies goodbye. They will be too busy dealing with the madman on their border, who will then believe he is immortal and omnipotent, and will do everything he can to get as many nuclear weapons as possible. Wot about Israel?! Why don't we attack them?! Because they have nukes, that's why. And now the pacifists want Gadaffi to have them too. For those who want to know the 'obective', the 'Endgame', it is to stop Gadaffi becoming a nuclear warlord. Happy now?
About progress they were not wrong, the old Chartists, how it boiled down to a few words:
'By moral force if we may. By physical force if we must.' And while we're about it, Self-defence is no Offence. Those calling themselves socialists should dust off those trusty old slogans until they can re-orientate themselves and join the real world.
Pacifists, however, are almost beyond help. But here goes. Ghandi would not have saved either the lives of one Libyan,  or the future of freedom. His tactics ran out of steam in Bengazi when peaceful unarmed demonstrators were killed with machine guns anti-aircraft guns and mortar bombs. In the face of such brutality, and with the world watching every second online, and discussing every twist and turn, UN 1973 and Operation Odyssey Dawn were inevitable, and inasmuch as they will save lives, and put the Jasmine Revolution back on track, desirable.
It is interesting that during the period when the west dithered and Gadaffi was counter-attacking with force, other tyrannies took heart and followed his example, leading Saudi Arabia to invade Barhain to suppress protest and demolish Pearl Square. Across the region hundreds have been killed in the last three weeks to preserve dictatorships which only have months to go.
But since the passing of UN 1973, the people of Syria are rising. and the Syrian regime is almost as brutal and monolithic as Libya. But the people are now less afraid of it than they were three days ago. And therefore, the regime is more afraid of the people. Human nature is easy to trust, but some find it impossible to trust anything. The sad aspect of this story is the fact that the list of the pathologically cynical includes both the mad and the well-meaning. Which only reveals the range of victims and war-damage of decades of Consumerist wars.


Who's the Daddy Now? The Revolutionary Balance of Power

It's now undeniable that universal access to information via the internet played a crucial role in the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries. Global opinion is now formed and refined online, and can probably be quantified. If it had been over the last two weeks, it is fairly clear that the body of world opinion was against Moamar Gadaffi, for the Libyan people (as it was for the people of Egypt and Tunisia) and for some kind of international support for the Libyan revolution.
It is also clear that support in the form of UN 1973 relied on  Russian and Chinese abstentions, and that this could not have happened any sooner than the middle of last week. The conversion of the Russians and Chinese, alongside that of the Arab League, is being accredited to superior diplomacy. In fact it was the result of something much more interesting and basic. 
What we have been witnessing is the workings of a fine shift in the way power is directed, and political energy converted into action. 
China and Russia almost always veto any UN action against any regime. Not so much on principle, but largely out of self-preservation. These regimes cannot allow their people to have aspirations to human rights above their station, and need to pose as stout opponents of western imperialism to inspire patriotic loyalty. So while Gadaffi was just another dictator among many, clinging on clumsily but quietly, Moscow and Beijing had no difficulty in shelving any action in the usual way. He had to make himself into a monster to make enough difference to Russian and Chinese domestic opinion for their leaders to be able to afford to support 1973.
When this happened, the balance of world opinion, between the global internet on the one side, and domestic Russian and Chinese opinion on the other, tipped in favour saving Bengazi (at least) from slaughter. As well as kick-starting the Jasmine Revolution, the internet has secured its advance. But more significantly, the last month has shown just how much the old certainties are reversed. David Cameron was not the leader of the defence of Libya, he was being led. He knew what the general public were saying and had to respond in kind. On this issue, he is doing what the internet told him to do. And if role-reversal is good enough for politicians, it's good enough for bankers and Coca Cola too. Who's between the shafts of the cart now? Who's the Daddy now?
As for the future of Libya, the Jeremiahs are wrong. Firstly, there will be no 'stalemate'. Once Misratah is liberated, as it will be (better late than never) Gadaffi will have to retreat to Tripoli and his inevitable fate. The libyan people will drive him there, then rise up to topple him and his few remaining puppets.
Secondly, there will be no divide between east and west, in spite of all the legendary 'tribalism' said to infest the country and make democracy there a genetic impossibility. There may well be a miniature Northern Ireland left as a legacy of the bloodshed, as there was as a result of Britain's transition from feudalism to a form of democracy. We managed OK, eventually.

Operation Odyssey Dawn, Co-incedentally...

Co-incidences are always interesting, for one reason or another.
Iranian Revolution 11/2/79.
Egyptian Revolution 11/2/11
Operation Shock & Awe 19/3/2003.
Operation Odyssey Dawn 19/3/2011
The followers of the Mayan Prophesy must be gloating their boots off. Two revolutions on the same day, and two punitive international attacks on brutal dictators. History obviously repeats itself, moving inexorably in massive, primal cycles or tides beyond the power of man to influence or understand. Like earthquakes or hurricanes. Except that the two wars and revolutions couldn't be more different.
Nevertheless, there are some still determined to confuse the two, just as there are some who tried to sell Tahrir Square as a victory for bloody global Jihad - another Triumph of the Mullahs 1979.
The real significance of the fall of Gadaffi is that it continues the progress achieved at Tahrir Square. Iraq and 1979 were both monumental barriers to progress. And it seems that we have still not achieved enough political sensitivity to appreciate this basic truth, if the knee-jerk reactions of the Stop the War Coalition are typical of those who call themselves 'progressives'.
The really embarrassing spectacle has been the reflex posture of some of those who, correctly, opposed the Iraq invasion. They have simply reached into their intellectual wardrobe and slung on any old clothes from that period of history, without thinking of the occasion. Showing that they didn't truly absorb or feel anything which happened at Tahrir Square. Their opinions are formed purely by inverting those of their traditional enemies. If the nasty man does it, it must be bad. Some are even waving their anti-imperialist stance like a badge of honour, 'Look at me. I'm more anti-western than you!' Watching this unfold online yesterday reminded me of yet another parallel, but this time an accurate one.
Last week I happened to be be in Lewisham (London). Passing a busy roundabout I noticed a memorial shrine of flowers and cards against the railings, which isn't unusual in London, but this one was exceptionally large and lavish. As if for a celebrity of some kind, or in protest at some tragic act of negligence or injustice.
I had my camera with me, and the light was helpful, and I had taken a simple trial shot when I was subjected to a torrent of abuse from behind, and someone poked me with a sharp finger. It was a teenage girl of about 16, in extravagant mourning and make-up, smoking a fag. I hadn't noticed her and her friends seated on the grassy mound behind me.
'What the fuck do you think you're doing??'
'Taking a photograph.'
'Because this is a lovely memorial of someone, and it should be recorded and remembered.'
I would have normally at this point have given my card and offered to provide a print and copy of the file, but the torrent continued.
'Lovely! Fuck off! Who do you think you are? You're a fucking paedo, that's what you are!'
Obviously the girl was very upset, and there was a genuine human tragedy involved. I tried to placate her and sympathise, but it was no use. I turned to her friends, who were silently watching, and asked them to explain that almost everyone now carried a camera in their mobile phone, and that if she erected such a display, people were going to photograph it. She couldn't guard it night and day. They didn't say anything but seemed to understand and were embarrassed for their friend.
As I turned to go she was still shouting obscenities in the rush hour street. And then I realised that the immaculately arranged floral shrine was not really for the deceased, but for her benefit. It was her way of dealing with events and an emotion (grief) she was too immature to understand. She was using a tragic death to draw attention to herself as a teenager would. And at the funeral, she would be determined to cry the loudest. Parading her cartoon grief in  order to stand out, to give her life significance of some kind.
The ridiculous attitude of the Stop the War Coalition to the Relief of Bengazi is just as immature and ill-informed. Like the teenage mourner, it is a flight back to the nursery. In her case an emotional one, in their case, a political one. The nursery of Iraq, with all its certainties and cartoon ape-presidents. They think Libya is the same, that all conflict is the same and that the same response will fit them all. In effect, they are reactionaries, relying on a static set of prefabricated principles from which they can construct a public edifice to order, which makes them incapable of seeing the changes happening before their eyes. The changes in mass political consciousness for one, which is bizarre given the extent to which they use the internet to publicise their work.
Ultimately, this is the reaction of the moral middle-classes still in hoc to Ghandi, with a simplistic Hippy interpretation of Satyagrah. They have lazily confused this historic tactic with rumours of the Hindu doctrine of the sanctity of all life, which cannot allow violent resistance or retaliation. It is nothing of the kind. A better translation would be 'Firmness of Purpose'. And the logical implication of it for Ghandi was that victory would still cost millions of lives, it just didn't matter whether whose they were. His policy held human life no more sacred than any general calculating his expected losses for a beach-head.
The people of Libya are quite ready to sacrifice their lives to get rid of Gadaffi and achieve freedom, why won't the steam-age Jeremiahs of STW allow them that inalienable human right? The only one they have, at present. But more than anything, if 'morals' won't allow us to destroy Gadaffi's weapons, who will? What else would have stopped him from turning Bengazi into another Sarajevo? The STW, and Tony Benn, have no answers other that that we should never have sold arms or bought oil from him in the first place. Which doesn't help unless they have a Tardis with which to alter the course of history. But if Stop the War must play Dr Who games,  the appropriate fictional period to visit would be during a successful uprising of the Marsh Arabs and Shia population which had secured the south of Iraq from the Revolutionary Guard and had attracted significant defections from loyalists, as in Libya,  needed a level playing field to topple Saddam.   
In th real world, the STW response totally ignores the fact of the Libyan revolution, and the nature of revolution itself. It refuses to acknowledge that the people will finish the job, and furthermore, that any attempts by the west to impose a solution on them will be met with the same degree of resistance they used against Gadaffi. The lack of faith in the people, and in the Tahrir Spirit, is shocking and tragic and more to be pitied than condemned.
There is also deep resentment that this might bolster the image of the politicians concerned. Frankly I don't care if this does make Cameron and Sarkozi look like Bigshots, as long as it gets the job done. More important things are happening, which don't really include them. They are now enacting the will of the people for once, and this can only be because they feel the pressure of opinion. And the global opinion against Gadaffi is now expressed and formed using the internet, which is what makes this operation different to all others before it, and all comparisons with Iraq meaningless. Just like the battles being fought all over the middle east and elsewhere, this is an information war, being fought with the minds of billions of independent people, adding their contribution to the tide of world opinion. And world opinion said that the heroes of Bengazi had to be saved, and so the UN sanctioned the action. If the events of 2003 were to be re-run now, but at the current level of internet activity, there would never have been any kind of resolution passed to justify the disaster, let alone the shameful excuse which did emerge.
The telephone calls made by Tripoli residents to the BBC yesterday were uncompromising and genuine and said it all. 
"We know the dangers. We want the bombing to continue and intensify. We are glad." 
And from someone who might well have been my local kebab house owner:
"The happiest day of my life. The missiles hit the army base 500 metres from my house. They're really good shots!"
This is the voice of the people, not just the Libyan people, uncluttered by middle-class neuroses and sensitivities and brimming with working class justice, and the willingness to live for the moment, whatever the price. Those seeking to end all violence should first define their limits. Otherwise they will soon find themselves condemning the revolution itself, which has needed to use violence in its defence from the very start. One consolation has been the emergence of Mahatma McKenzie, ranting about how freedom isn't worth one drop of British Blood - 
but not to the Stop the War pacifists, who now find themselves squawking from the same hymn-book.


'Libya isn't worth one drop of British blood!'

So the Stop the war Coalition agrees with Kelvin McKenzie. 'Libya isn't worth one drop of British blood!' And 'Cameron has gone crackers!' Which begs too many questions to bother with right now.
The fact that this is a showcase for the vital British arms industry doesn't mean its wrong. And if anyone had it coming it is Moamar Gadaffi. The opportunities far outweigh the possible disadvantages. So Jeremy Corbyn should calm down and occupy his local Gadaffi family mansion, and add his support to the people of Bengazi. When Gadaffi is gone, the other dictatorships will tremble. He is their hard man, and if he cannot resist the people, and the global opinion they have inspired, what chance for them on their golden toilet seats?

Surely the fact we sold Gadaffi his weapons means we are most obliged to stop him using them against his own people. So there is no time to start measuring Western hypocrisy on the Richter scale. Demands for integrity won't stop Gadaffi slaughtering his people. Objecting to the Relief of Bengazi is like objecting to any vessel of the criminally negligent White Star line rescuing survivors of the Titanic. The pacifist left is committing its old mistakes plus the new one of having learned nothing from the Arab revolution or the technological one. In a display of gutless, high-minded political constipation, they are still fighting the battles of the C20th, just like their opponents (and Gadaffi). Also, they are forgetting the time element here. This isn't happening in Second Life or on an XBox, it can't be paused for a nice chat about who is the most hypocritical. There is no time for moral posturing. Integrity is a luxury commodity at mid-day on March 19th. This is not a choice between evil western imperialism and evil mad dictatorship, it's a choice between the slaughter or relief of Bengazi, the future of the Libyan people, and ultimately the cause of freedom which started in Tunisia. 
When Kelvin McKenzie said 'Libya isn't worth one drop of British blood' what he really meant was 'Freedom isn't worth one drop of British blood.' The Libyan people are prepared to shed their blood, so why is British blood any more valuable?
That is a question pacifism refuses to answer, riddled with Ghandi-itis as it is. The French air force is in the sky at this moment, and trying to justify its existence. If it can't do so today, when can it? If we must have these machines and this industry, what else can they possibly be for?


David Cameron Disagrees With Me

Cameron decided to agree with me throughout his Perth speech, almost word-for-word, until he tried to use UN 1973 as a glorification of our brave heroes, and a justification of the industrial military machine.
Gadaffi was a creature of the industrial military machine. Without it, there would be no need to put our brave supermen in danger over the deserts of Libya, or anywhere else.
But since making machines to kill people is Britain's only all-in manufacturing industry, it is important to display it to the world, to fill the order books. Which, for the cynics, is why Cameron organised this presentation. It's about the Deficit, really. Not blood-soaked dictators at all. The Arms Industry Circus arrives in Libya. Ringmaster, David Cameron.
Nevertheless. A friend in need is a friend in deed, and gift horses shouldn't be looked in the mouth. The Arms industry can earn its keep for once, and by keeping the revolution on the rails, assist in its own downfall. It wouldn't be the first time a vast global corporation acted suicidally.

Gadaffi Fried Chicken

A few hours into UN Resolution 1973 and a nervous Libyan apparatchick appears on TV to bravely declare a ceasefire.  Whatever he means by this, it does mean the end. The Libyan people can now call the government's bluff and take to the streets again. In theory, they could now put down their guns and take up their banners once more, and their campaign could restart with renewed power. The people of Bengazi ecstatically aiming fireworks and bullets at the stars last night knew what Resolution 1973 meant because they knew their enemy. They knew that a loss of face on this scale is fatal to him and excrutiating to his loyalists. And so the people know that they now have a future again.
It's a shame that some can't seem to share this optimism and confidence. Especially those with a long and worthy history of opposing the Oil Wars, Zionism, and all aspects of colonial corporate imperialism. The case against 1973 seems to go: 'What about the Palestinians? If Israel can defy UN resolutions and commit crimes against humanity, why shouldn't Gadaffi?'
 While it is wrong that there seems to be one law for Israel and another for every other country, that doesn't mean that nobody should obey the law. Gadaffi was a criminal, and had to be stopped. The fact that other criminals escape justice is not an argument against laws. And in fact, the Whipping of Colonel Chickenpants might well mean that Israel is now one step nearer to being brought into line.
Personally, I'm delighted that Cameron and the rest of the crew finally agreed with me. I never agreed with them. People should have more confidence in their principles,  and not define themselves in opposition to the failings and crimes of others. The pacifist left in Britain is behaving exactly like the England football team, constantly tinkering with its tactics in response to the opposition, instead of simply playing its natural game, which when unleashed, is one of the most winning formulas around.

The Level Libyan Playing Field. 'Come on if You Think You're Hard Enough!'

It's hard to imagine why any of Gadaffi's foreign mercenaries should stay beyond tomorrow. They may be thugs, but they're not that stupid. And Bengazi seems to be positively relishing the chance of giving Gadaffi's land troops a kicking, now that the playing field is a bit more level. The rebels are keen football fans, they know the chant. 'Come on if you think you're hard enough!'
The real danger is of Gadaffi venting his mad rage against the nearest and weakest target. Identifying and intercepting this atrocity is the main task of the Allied forces. Bengazi can now largely take care of itself, as the cold realisation that they backed a loser sweeps through Gadaffi loyalists. Expect mass blue funk from the little green men.

Libya, Japan, and The Night The Neutron Died

On the same night, events in Libya and Japan have spelt the end of nuclear credibility. In Japan we thought we had the one the country which would be trusted with nuclear technology, and they couldn't handle it. And in the United Nations, we are witnessing events which would never have happened if Gadaffi had started his nuclear programme. The world would still be sitting on its hands while Bengazi became a charnelhouse rather than sanctioning the destruction of any of Gadaffi's weaponry pointing east. But in fact, there would never have been an uprising in Libya at all. By its nature, nuclear technology gives the state licence to do whatever it likes to its own people.
Nuclear power is one of the few technologies which cannot be democratised. The materials and support systems it requires and its inherent dangers all conspire to make it the sport of kings and their secret police. Not only that, but nuclear installations are the ultimate terrorist target, and nuclear technology the ultimate terrorist weapon. As such, it can never do anything but act as a barrier both to political progress, and the required economic change to end environmental vandalism.
As for the so-called 'energy gap' which James Lovelock and others sought to fill with lovely cuddly nuclear energy, the only fact worth knowing about it is that we simply cannot pretend any longer that the Consumerism creating the gap makes any sense at all. Morally, ethically, politically. economically, environmentally or spiritually. It doesn't even work arithmetically. We only have one planet and perpetual growth on it is as impossible as a perpetual motion machine. It is baloney. So we will have to drastically reduce our consumption both of energy and raw materials, and reorganise to suit. How we reorganise is the real question, not the sterile dead end of Tony Benn's rhetorical mantra on Newsnight tonight: 'If we're going into Libya, why aren't we going into Saudi Arabia'? As a professed socialist, Benn should have been addressing the kinds of people-power in Libya which might make best use of the new situation, both in the immediate war against Gadaffi, and in the new economic situation we will all find ourselves as a result of the growth in global political awareness. He should be revelling in the confusion of the Great Powers, and the resurrection of some of his dearest principles. As someone who was alive during the Spanish Civil War, he must surely remember the resentment felt against Chamberlain for objectively supporting facism, just as we supported Gadaffi by arming him and paying him for Libyan oil.  Can Tony Benn really look inside himself and say that if Chamberlain and Baldwin had intervened to prevent fascism in Spain, that he would have turned up his nose? 
We are in a very new world, and it is far from clear whether old assumptions and alliances still hold good. From one point of view, it looks as if the old Imperialist powers have been cornered into fighting on behalf of the people, for once. And for a people not struggling for a McDonalds on every street corner, but for real freedom and a sense of purpose. Things which their recent experiences must surely have convinced them that Consumerism does not offer, otherwise they would not be as willing to die as they seem to be. After all, that is the only right which Libyans still enjoy. And some armchair pacifists would deny them even that. 
From the same point of view, playing the same trick on the corporate world is only the next step, as opposed to the academic fantasy it once was. Making them work for us is a real possibility soon, but not while we rely on military grade plutonium to make our toast, nor while we hire oil-crazed gangsters to kill their own people.
The UN have acted too late for many people. But not so late as to save Gadaffi's neck. The NFZ should have been imposed while he was mortaring unarmed protestors in Bengazi three weeks ago, before he was driven back to his Tripoli rat-hole. Now it is more complicated and bloody, but the stronger resolution the UN has passed means that he has nowhere to hide except behind the people, and if his troops do try to hide in Bengazi they will be skinned alive. It will be his Stalingrad. And it is only proper to plead in advance that the hated foreign mercenaries be treated humanely. If that is, they haven't all deserted by tomorrow evening.


Politics Versus Learning. Student Essays to be Scanned for Signs of 'Radicalism'

The latest insane Anti-Radicalisation Programme to analyse student essays for signs of terrorism puts us directly in the middle of the Russian purges, or even Swift's paranoid totalitarian state.
"In the Kingdom of Tribnia, by the Natives called Langdon... the Bulk of the People consist, in a Manner, wholly of Discoverers, Witnesses, Informers, Accusers, Prosecutors, Evidences, Swearers.
... It is first agreed, and settled among them, what suspected Persons shall be accused of a Plot: Then, effectual Care is taken to secure all their Letters and Papers, and put the Owners in Chains. These papers are delivered to a Sett of Artists, very dexterous in finding out the mysterious Meanings of Words, Syllables, and Letters. ... Where this method fails, they have two others more effectual, which the Learned among them call Acrostics and Anagrams. First, they can decypher all initial Letters into political Meanings: Thus: N shall signify a Plot, B a Regiment of Horse, L a Fleet at Sea: Or, Secondly, by transposing the Letters of the Alphabet in any suspected Paper, they can lay open the deepest Designs of a discontented Party. So, for Example if I should say in a Letter to a Friend, Our Brother Tom has just got the Piles, a skilful Decypherer would discover that the same Letters, which compose that Sentence, may be analysed in the following Words: Resist — a Plot is brought Home — The Tour. And this is the anagrammatic method.'
This is a technique now much easier with modern computer power. God help us all. And God help the entire intellectual project, when every student is choking on every word of every essay in case it gets him arrested.


Topple the Tyrants Sequestrate Gadaffi Towers

As predicted, or at least recommended here, valiant Squatters have occupied one of the most conspicuous Gadaffi properties in London on behalf of the Libyan people. And already the bitching has started from the Property Worshippers online and in the push media. (links available on request).
Their cry of 'They're breaking the law!' really shows their true colours, valuing property above freedom as it implicitly does, and is in effect merely a nice way of hiding a belief in slavery, which the current economic law still endorses. But what else is to be expected? Fundamentalist Consumerism bred Ghadaffi and his kind, and so it shouldn't be surprising when Consumerists leap to the defence of his soft-furnishings and right to spend his wealth as and where he wishes.
The propaganda benefits of the action are immense. Surely there will be a Topple the Tyrants TV station within 7 days, if Ghadaffi's henchmen can be kept away. If they can't, and there is an attempted forced eviction, prepare to see a mass defence of the squat - which will be an interesting trial of Values, and all televised from the inside, which would be a focus for global TV attention.
If this sequestration of the ill-gotten gains of a murderous dictator is wrong, then the theft of the funds of a union for representing the interests of its members is also wrong. Especially since the same core values are being fought for by the union and the people of Libya (as the message of support from Bengazi to the Wisconsin workers shows). Needless to say, the orthodox consumerist line is to defend the dictator and attack the union. 
There seems to be a general consensus that Gadaffi's bank accounts should be frozen, and some have. But what is the difference between freezing his property assets and freezing his bank accounts? You can object to both, or neither, but you can't have it both ways, as many are trying to. A Dictator's Hampstead Home is Not HIS Castle, it belongs to the Libyan people, and now cannot be sold. The Squat secures the asset for the Libyan people. But still the dogma keeps reappearing that squatting is theft (whatever that is now). But even if it was, it is teenage shoplifting compared with the monstrous corporate theft of social housing which was the Right To Buy selloff, which was on a par with the 'sale' of the Russian gas industry for 1 dollar and which reduced many young people to squatting as a means of finding a roof.
Again the Consumerist media are forced to reveal the true priorities of the market. Their view is that Ghadaffi Mansions are the sacred property of the Ghadaffi Clan. End of Story. How can it be Ghadaffi's property? Just by paying for it with money like every gangster with a drum on the Costa? Gadaffi doesn't have any property rights. Stolen property is not owned by the thief. His Hampstead hideaway was bought with money stolen from the people of Libya, and the only reason not to occupy it is in deference to his power and ruthlessness. Or, as the apologists would say, all money is good, no matter how blood-soaked, which makes all the moral posing about 'laws and norms of behaviour' look like the ravings of the terminally indoctrinated.
The squatters aren't indoctrinated, they are merely exhibiting natural human morality, not the tribal control mechanism of property rights, a position which comes naturally to them because of a broader perception of modern political realities. They are better informed, and more moral than the property laws as a result, no matter how many Millionaire Birdcages they turn into community centres and creches.
But the main point, which those crying crocodile tears for the Libyan people while defending their murderers bank balance do not get, is to prevent the sale of the property by Gadaffi to help finance his bloodbath. It is one less asset he can liquidate. Everyone's happy except him and the property fundamentalists. The hope is that many other global gangsters will wake up soon to find their luxury pads overrun with determined reclaimers. It could become very popular, in the current climate.


Alien Danger

The British public are to be told all the bizarre details of UFO sightings, it seems. Former Ministry of Defence UFO investigator Nick Pope says that "These files show that whatever you think about UFOs, this is a mystery that is not going to go away".
Possibly. But there are lots of mysteries like that. The real problem of meeting a civilisation capable of inter-stellar travel is that they will have obviously cracked the political code for a permanent sustainable civilisation, but one of the possible options would be distasteful to a lot of people - at the totalitarian end of the spectrum, and to a lot of very powerful political and business interests at the other. So any dialogue with alien envoys would expose us to some very hard choices, and could cause massive political and economic turmoil.
A civilisation which lasts long enough to reach us in any active state would either be some kind of rigid autocracy or a sustainable egalitarianism. The one thing it cannot be is a rapacious consumerist economy which destroys everything which nurtures it. Whichever it turns out to be, we will seem trapped on that same path, which would completely alter Humanity's view of itself, and the whole notion of history and progress.


Man-Made Global Warming Doesn't Matter

Berkeley Project claims to be about to resolve the climate change debate by an advance in open-source number-crunching techniques. Which is great, but like the entire furore around man-made global warming, is totally irrelevant.

The paranoiacs of the anti-science lobby simply cannot absorb the fact that since the industrial revolution we have prematurely released millions of years' worth of carbon into the atmosphere, shortcutting the carbon cycle by eons. Apart from a very few extremist Nutter Denialists, nobody believes CO2 is not a warming gas. So it has had an effect and we caused it, and carry on doing so. Which makes all their statistical contortions and hockey-stick premature ejaculations more meaningless and vain than they already are.
And even if AGW is the vast sinister global conspiracy of Denialist nightmares, it doesn't make any difference. Whether it is real or a fantasy, we will 
still have to take the same measures to defend ourselves, and future generations, from the massive ecological vandalism of Consumerism. We are killing the seas, we are eliminating species and habitats, we are gorging on irreplaceable natural resources as if there was no tomorrow, and by doing so, guaranteeing there won't be a tomorrow, someday. We are devastating the ecosystem. So the Denialists have to get used to the idea of progress, AGW or no AGW - that or retire to their bunkers in the woods to live off squirrels and their nuts. Happy hunting to them.
Every real scientist would be absolutely delighted if AGW turned out to be a massive book-keeping error or statistical practical joke, as would everyone else. The only ones weeping would be the Denialists, who have revelled like adolescents in unwarranted attention for too long.

Then we could get on with preventing the destruction of the ecosystem as if we'd never heard of global warming, which will require exactly the same radical economic and political changes. Which is why environmentalism is the closest definition of modern socialism, and the denialists are the last remnants of those who still believe in the Consumerist Perpetual Motion Machine, and are willing to drag everyone else down into their nightmare future.