Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas! And a message from Iran...

All the best lads (and lasses!).

Nutter giving Channel 4's message!

Firstly I would like to wish all readers a happy Christmas. Secondly I wish to send my regards to those serving in the 'sand pit' on behalf of HM Forces. Lastly and importantly I would like to wish a happy Christmas to some of the other bloggers who have commented on my blog and engaged in discussion. Those individuals including Todd, Jenny, Gabriel, Phil, William, Goat and of course as ever Mick Hall. As can be seen I have enjoyed my first year of blogging and have engaged across the political spectrum.

Now as Monty Python would say it's 'time for something completely different'. The Iranian theocrat Ahmadinejad is giving Channel four's alternate Christmas message this year. Doubtless that will please the Islamists and other Moonbat trolls who occasionally appear on these pages. From the BBC. I bet I know what he wants for Christmas! (or Eid). I'm off to check my Turkey is steeping in it's brine correctly, 'av a gud un and I'll see you all after the New Year.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Inspector Gadget on the Consequences of the Welfare State

Note to the real 'working class'.

£400 a week tax free for doing nothing. Result? Carry on doing nothing.

I intend to cross post a few things in the future from Inspector Gadget. Gadget is a serving Police Inspector who highlights the stresses of serving as a front-line cop in today's society. A society where the control of the Police appears to have passed to the New Labour Islington classes. Every day he documents more and more PC restrictions and bureaucratic time wasting. To his bosses and the New Labour machine he must appear quite reactionary. To me his is a sane voice of common sense in a wilderness.

Gadget has expressed his thanks to Karen Matthews for demonstrating what is wrong with the Benefits class in this country. Few people can deny it the problem is we cannot really fix it, so we have to put up with people like this. I am entirely willing to accept that before the launch of the welfare state in 1945 that there were serious problems and desperate poverty in many areas. But the excessive and expensive state nannying has exacerbated rather than solved the problem. Furthermore what is the point in giving out hand out after hand out, all it leads to is a despondent lack of moral responsibility. For instance Matthew's and her entire clique/family. If I am wrong and my taxes should be given with abandon to such people then I welcome such a discussion and invite others to comment below.

Inspector Gadget is here: or

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Of course there are no terror training camps in Pakistan?

Some of the graduates from such a camp who attacked Mumbai last month

Langin was held captive in Pakistan at a terror camp for months

I mean there can't be can there? What about the fact a Briton Sean Langin was held at one for several months here Langin describes his experiences to the NY Times. He describes hearing on a radio in captivity a Pakistani Government Minister their existence. Now this has led to the attack by another ISI (Pakistani Intelligence) sponsored attack against India as we Saw in Mumbai. What does the Pakistan government do? Nothing really they merely engage in further deception and denial. Zardari their foreign Minister has said Pakistan will defend themselves if attacked here. Never mind that India has a right to defend themselves having been the victims of state sponsored terrorism. Pakistan should close down the Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation, arrest those responsible and send them to India for trial. Anything else is just weasel words.
We have a desperate situation but the world should stand with India on this one, I have nothing more to say if others wish to comment do so below.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

BBC with a Damning Indictment of the Welfare State! 'No one in our house works'

I'm tremendously surprised by this as the BBC has published a piece that actually goes firmly against the grain of their liberal/left bias. I'm of the opinion that a 'safety net' to prevent people from starving is one thing. However an entire benefits culture that nanny's people from the cradle to the grave is another. The result an entire class of people devoid of pride, self worth and motivation. The shame is the family here do not seem to be unintelligent they are however lazy and Mrs Malcolm herself admits herself she is a drain on society. If she worked she could be a proud member of society instead of a sponging free loader. I need not comment further, people in the US who consider that Obama may introduce Socialism over there need only look here for one of it's consequences.

'No-one in our house works'
By Paula Dear BBC News

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With redundancies rising and job vacancies shrinking, unemployment is back in the headlines. But for millions it never went away. As part of a series on Britain's jobless, one family explains how and why lack of work has touched their lives.
Elizabeth Malcolm, 43, has never had a job. She lives in a two-bedroom council flat in Glasgow with her three children, one grandchild, two cats and a hamster.
Neither of her two working-age children have a job.
Our series asks, who are Britain's jobless?
Read more about the issues - Britain's jobless: who cares? - here
Interviews with five people who are out of work will be published on the BBC News website in December and January
Week beginning 15 December - ask a government minister your questions about unemployment
Q&A: Who are the jobless?
Key statistics
The family is what the statistics gatherers call a "workless household" - one of three million in the country. In reality it's not quite so easy to put every jobless person into a neat little box. This is their story.
Elizabeth, known as "Biff" to family and friends, wishes now that she had got into work or college back in 1980, when she left school at 15.
It was hardly a great time to be a jobseeker, especially living in Easterhouse, a part of Glasgow long synonymous with deprivation and unemployment. But she concedes that she doesn't really know why she didn't get a job, and that there was an element of just "not getting round" to it.
She doesn't think school wanted her to stay on because she "wasn't too bright" and used to bunk off a lot.
Without any qualifications she assumed she wasn't able to follow her chosen path and join the Army. She never actually made it to the recruitment office to ask.
I did try, but nobody took me on
Elizabeth Malcolm
Send us your comments
After signing on the dole, she was nagged to find a job by her parents - who both worked until redundancy and illness stopped them in their 50s - and says she tried to find something.
"I did try, but nobody took me on," she says.
By 17 she had met the father of her three children and by 22 had their first son William. From then on family, home life and dealing with a failing relationship took over, she says.
While Elizabeth "feels angry" at herself for not getting into work when she was younger, at the same time she believes looking after the kids and the house has been a job in itself. Labour market survey figures for the last quarter showed more than two million women gave the same reason for not working.
Now a lone parent, she shares her bedroom with her son Jon, 13, daughter Danielle, 17, and Danielle's son Rhys, 11 months.

Next generation: More on William, Danielle and Jon
In pictures
William, 21, who served in the Army for three and a half years and went to Iraq and Afghanistan, sleeps in the small second bedroom.
The family survive on a combination of Income Support and Child Tax Credits, claimed by both Elizabeth and Danielle. Both also receive the universal Child Benefit for one child each. It all amounts to about £270 a week between the five of them.
As no one in the house is actively seeking work, they don't count as "unemployed" and none claims Jobseeker's Allowance.
Things will change for Elizabeth next year, when she will no longer be entitled to Income Support for being a lone parent. She is already being asked to attend interviews at the local job centre.
"They send for you every month to ask you why you're not working and if you've been looking for work. I've told them my situation, that I've been having panic attacks when I go out - which started after my dad died - and they've written it all down.

"They said I'd be better off if I was out working because Jon's at an age now where the money I'm getting will stop soon. I'd need to sign on [for unemployment benefit] again and I don't want that because I think I'm too old to sign on."
Elizabeth says she would most want to work in a caring job, with animals, children or elderly people, because she has looked after people all her life.
Jobcentre staff have told her if anything comes up they'll "send her a letter", she adds.
Having a job would help "keep her mind off things" that have happened, she says.
Although there's always been a degree of struggle to get by, the family recently went into a complete tailspin, says Elizabeth.
A catalogue of events have left her and William suffering from panic attacks, while Jon has "gone off the rails" and started truanting from school.
I'll just need to get it out of my head and start going places, or else I'm going to be stuck in the house for the rest of my life
William, 21
Elizabeth lost both her parents in the last four years, with her father's death hitting her and William particularly hard. After his grandfather fell ill William became depressed and left the Army.
"He was his granda's blue-eyed boy," says Elizabeth.
In 2006 the children's father, John Purcell, who was separated from Elizabeth but had been visiting the kids, was stabbed to death. Soon after, William was savagely attacked by local gang members and stabbed several times. After a second attack he stopped straying more than a few feet from the house, and started drinking more and more.
It's left William so afraid to go out, he can't sign on.
"I'll just need to get it out of my head and start going places, or else I'm going to be stuck in the house for the rest of my life," he says. "I can't keep living like this, living off my mum." I'd like to have my own house, and my own wee family... definitely."
For the time being he plays uncle to Danielle's baby, Rhys.
With no dad on the scene, Danielle relies on help from the family. She says she hopes to learn to be a hairdresser or beautician.
"All my pals are looking for work as well. But it's not that easy to get a job straightaway, you've got to write out your CV and everything and then hand it in to places."
Day-to-day she spends her time going to the shops for her mum, collecting her money, or visiting friends who also have children.

Elizabeth - who is besotted with her cats - would like to work with animals
"Some days I'm just sitting in the house. That's what I do, morning til night, unless I go down to see my auntie or something. It's not really a life."
Elizabeth is aware there are some who would criticise her life. She would agree, she says, with those who say it is "terrible" that taxpayers should be in the position of paying for those without work.
"I'm sorry they have to pay tax money to me. If I could get a job... give me a job then and I'll work, and then they won't have to pay me."

Monday, 1 December 2008

A Different National Embarrassment

I rarely blog about sport. But the article speaks for itself. At this rate I will have to start supporting football at which England are not too bad. What is wrong with our RUFC national side? Mind you at least the Welsh were not disappointed. From the BBC:

Autumn Tests 2008
8-29 November 2008
Wales v Aus
Wales quotes
Eng v NZ
Eng quotes
As it happened
England (3) 6Pens: Flood, Armitage
New Zealand (12) 32Tries: Muliaina 2, Nonu Con: Carter Pens: Carter 5
By Mark Orlovac

Conrad Smith and Richie McCaw (right) celebrate one of Mils Muliaina's tries
England were made to pay for their indiscipline as New Zealand comfortably secured a 'grand slam' of the home nations on their autumn tour.
The home side gave away a host of penalties and had four players sin-binned as they slumped to their third straight defeat at Twickenham.
New Zealand battled to a 12-3 lead but they cut loose after the break.
Full-back Mils Muliaina crossed twice in the right-hand corner while Ma'a Nonu added another as England tired.
The defeat completes a chastening autumn series for new England manager Martin Johnson, who has seen his side lose to Australia, South Africa and now New Zealand in successive weeks.
For New Zealand, the result completes their third "grand slam" to add to their successes in 1978 and 2005, and incredibly they end their tour without conceding a single try in their Test victories over Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England this month.
Although England's display on Saturday was much improved from last week's record home defeat against South Africa, Johnson will be angry with the number of penalties his side conceded against the All Blacks - 15 in total.
The indiscipline negated any momentum England built as they took the game to New Zealand, while gifting the visitors easy points.
It also led to hooker Lee Mears, flanker James Haskell, fly-half Toby Flood and replacement open-side Tom Rees all being sin-binned.
New Zealand thoroughly deserved their win, but England can only have themselves to blame for their indiscipline yet again
And the margin of defeat could have been even greater had New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter not missed five kicks at goal.
After an incident-free All Blacks haka, the first half was a scrappy affair with England hassling their revered opponents while New Zealand struggled to find their rhythm.
And the early signs were good for the home side with recalled London Irish lock Nick Kennedy pressurising the All Blacks line-out while the English defensive line were keeping the dangerous New Zealand attack in check by denying them quick ball.
But it was the penalty count that cost England dear in the opening period, with Johnson's men conceding 10 penalties before the break.
Flood, who replaced Danny Cipriani in one of three changes to the starting line-up, had the first chance to put points on the board but his fifth-minute penalty drifted wide.
Carter put his side ahead in the 15th minute after scrum-half Danny Care cynically kicked the ball away from a ruck although England levelled the scores two minutes later through Flood when Tony Woodcock collapsed a scrum.
Mears was the first to be sin-binned after he was caught with his hands in the ruck to slow down a New Zealand attack, but Carter missed his attempt.

Flood saw yellow for this challenge on Cowan in the second halfCarter did make the score 6-3 when Care went over the top of a ruck but he was wasteful again after Haskell saw yellow for a swinging arm to the head of Rodney So'oialo on 32 minutes.
Two more penalties at the end of the half were slotted over by Carter but it did not seem to affect the home side as they made a superb start to the second period.
Full-back Delon Armitage caught the restart and released number eight Nick Easter but the Harlequins forward was tapped by Carter just metres from the line.
Flood was the next to be sin-binned after being harshly penalised for a high tackle on Jimmy Cowan as the scrum-half broke from deep.
Armitage was given the kicking duties and he reduced the deficit to six points with a well-taken penalty but that was the last moment of joy for the home side.
New Zealand took control of the game when England were pushed off a scrum deep in their own half, the ball was spread wide quickly and Muliaina dived over in the corner.
Carter added another penalty on 62 minutes before Muliaina scored in the same corner after collecting a cheeky kick from his fly-half.
England's battling forwards were tiring by the minute and the All Blacks took full advantage, Nonu running in from halfway after a break and neat offload from hooker Keven Mealamu.
The game ended with Rees yellow-carded for another breakdown infringement but it did not matter - the game was over - and it leaves Johnson with plenty to think about ahead of the Six Nations.
England: Armitage; Sackey, Noon, Flutey, Monye; Flood, Care; Payne, Mears, Vickery, Borthwick, Kennedy, Haskell, Lipman, Easter.Replacements: Hipkiss for Sackey (73), Cipriani for Noon (75), Ellis for Care (60), Hartley for Mears (67), Stevens for Vickery (53), Rees for Lipman (58), Croft for Easter (67).
Sin Bin: Mears (24), Haskell (32), Flood (43), Rees (76).
New Zealand: Muliaina; Rokocoko, Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu; Carter, Cowan; Woodcock, Mealamu, Tialata, Thorn, Williams, Kaino, McCaw, So'oialo.Replacements: Toeava for Smith (69), Weepu for Cowan (70), Afoa for Tialata (56), Reid for Kaino (56).
Not Used: Elliot, Boric, Donald.
Att: 81,180
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Saturday, 29 November 2008

How the BBC Reports on and Frames the Debate around Islamic Terrorism

Right well I have not blogged on the carnage in Mumbai as the situation is being extensively covered elsewhere. However here are the facts that the MSM including the BBC have not mentioned Re 27 November in Mumbai.

1. A series of attacks aimed completely indiscriminately at Western and Hindu citizens.
2. The targets included hotels, restaurants and a Jewish centre.
3. The perpetrators were Islamic Jihadis, which other group would kill Jews because they are Jews? Or ask people whether they are British or American before killing them and taking them hostage.

Okay so the problem is? Well all Al Beeb will call these people who are Muslims killing in the name of Islam is 'militants'. There is no discussion at all of the ideology (Islam) that motivated them and continues to do so.

That is until today 29th November. In a further example of the BBC's bias 'Any Questions' hosted a discussion where Mumbai was discussed. The panel was as is always the case with Question time composed predominately with people from the left. Indeed Caroline Lucas dribbled during and overwhelmingly (Dimbleby did not contradict her or allow an opposing viewpoint) blamed the situation on Israel and actions taken by the west.
The panel comprised of:

1. Caroline Lucas Green party (hard left).

2. Geoff Hoon Labour party (left).

3. Vince Cable Liberal Democrats (left).

4. David Willetts Conservative (centre-right).

So that is what you pay your licence fee for a panel that is 75% left wing and includes the hard left. Where is the balance and impartiality in that. Why in their reporting of an act of Jihadi terrorism will the BBC not accurately tell people who actually conducted the attack and why?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A story with a happy ending from Iraq

'Bishop' with General Petraeus (center) and LTC Crider (right)

I found this story on Michael Yon's excellent website. Yon has travelled to and reported on the situations in Iraq/Afghanistan. His dispatches which he occasionally undergoes significant risk to produce are nothing short of marvellous and the man possesses a wonderful depth of humanity. This is a at times harrowing and yet uplifting story of hope over adversity, the story of 'Bishop'. Sadly many others had a more tragic ending. The full text below:

Between 2007 and 2008, I got to know a man in South Baghdad whose codename was “Bishop.” This is the short story of his life.His parents were Kurdish Sunnis. They moved to Baghdad 34 years ago – recently married and excited to make a new life for themselves and create a family. Bishop’s real name was Bashar Akram Ameen; the name given to him when he was born on October 6, 1978 in the Abu Ghraib apartments in Baghdad. Bashar had three sisters and one brother. His schooling included graduating from a Baghdad high school in the class of ’96 and attending the Agriculture College of Baghdad University from 1997 until 2002 when he graduated. America had just set its sights on toppling Saddam. Shortly after graduating, Bashar began service in the Iraqi Army Reserve, but that lasted only three months, because the U.S. crushed a great part of the Iraqi Army and then officially dissolved the rest. For three months, Bashar was one of those unemployed young men we worried about. He got a job in October of 2003 as a bodyguard for an Iraqi judge. His first job didn’t last long because insurgents assassinated the judge. Feeling lost and a bit frightened, Bashar decided to look for a “safer” job, and began interpreting for, as he called it, “the Sally Port Security Company” in al-Mansour, Baghdad. Insurgents in his neighborhood figured out that he was working for an American company, and on February 21, 2006, as he left his job at 6:00 pm, they started shooting at him in his car, “…but I miraculously survived,” Bashar explained to me, “and that was the reason to leave my job at that company.”His own safety, and therefore that of his loved ones, was in jeopardy, and so, as Bashar recalled, “I quit visiting my family for over four months.” Though he had used caution, his family was forced to flee in order to avoid imminent suffering or death from the insurgents. Bashar explained, “They had killed our neighbor’s son, so their father gave the key of his house to my father to keep the house safe until maybe the situation getting better. Then, on the next day, the same killers of our neighbors came to my father and asked him about the key, so he refused to give it away and he said that he don’t have it and he don’t know anything about it.” The insurgents warned Bashar’s father that they would check the validity of his information, and if it was untrue, “they will teach my father and us a lesson.” His family, doing what they must to survive, reluctantly left their home. Bashar wrote to me, “My father packed some basic stuff and moved from our own house in Ameriya, Baghdad; Iraq.”By now, the civil war was raging in Baghdad. Not everything was so bleak. Even at the height of the civil war, life went on. Bashar met a woman named Alyaa, who worked in legal administration at the “Sally Port Security Company.” They courted for a year, and got married on September 14, 2006 – all the while, sectarian violence raged around Iraq. A year later their first son, Mustafa, was born. Around that time, however, the local Shia militia (called Jaish al-Mahdi, or JAM) figured out that Bashar, who is Sunni, had worked for the Americans at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Falcon (where he got the codename “Bishop”). “They began coming around to bother my wife while I was at work,” he recalls. “So we moved again to live in al-Mansour, Baghdad. And since then, I stopped making any type of relationships with the neighbors just because you can’t trust anybody. In al-Mansour, we had very quiet time….” And so Bashar began working for the American Army as an interpreter, for various units, at the time of peak fighting. I first met Bishop when he worked for 1-4 Cav in South Baghdad. The 1-4 Cav soldiers kept Bishop busy, working him hard, and he became one of the team. As the months rolled by and I came back to 1-4 on several occasions, their area had become quieter and quieter until, really, there was nothing going on except progress. The younger infantrymen were proud of the progress, but wanted to get up to Mosul or out to Afghanistan, where the fighting was. But not Bishop. He’d seen the worst of it and did not want to see any more war. He was old beyond his years and wanted peace.

Bishop with General Petraeus (center) and LTC Crider (right)
The two most dangerous jobs for Iraqis were probably journalist and interpreter. Bishop wanted to come to the United States. As a result, 1-4 Cav Commander, LTC James Crider, and some of the soldiers Bishop had worked with helped with the paperwork. Just a small aside: LTC Crider and his battalion were serious contributors to success in Iraq. I got e-mails from LTC Crider about his struggles with Iraqi bureaucracy on behalf of Bishop, even after he went home to America. I’d seen this LTC Crider go to bat for Iraqis over and over again in Iraq. In just one example, Crider and his staff waded for months through the Iraqi legal labyrinth to try to free a man who had been wrongfully detained for a bombing he could not have committed; the bombing had never occurred. Crider and his battalion were welcome fixtures in that neighborhood, because he and his men had brought peace and serenity to a place that had previously been one of the most perilous places in Iraq. The last time I was there, I walked around with no body armor or helmet, and bought popcorn on the street. (I was just there again on about November 15; the progress continues without violence.)I heard that many Iraqis cried when 1-4 redeployed to America. One captain had even been offered a home if he would come back to live in the neighborhood. The captain knew how to get things done, while still making the time to learn the names of every kid there. And he knew their mothers and fathers, too. But that was it; 1-4 went home and Bishop was left behind, with his family scattered by the war. His father died in July 2007, his mother and two sisters still live in Baghdad, his brother in Kirkuk, and another sister in Syria. LTC Crider and others struggled…and struggled…and finally succeeded. On November 6, 2008, Bishop emigrated to America, landing in [Nashville], Tennessee along with his wife, Alyaa (who is carrying their second child), and their son, Mustafa. And the amazing 1-4 Cav keeps winning battles, without firing a shot, long after leaving the war.So now, Bashar is no longer “Bishop,” and he has begun an American life, with the many ups and downs we all have to face. His next fight is to find a job in our troubled economy and overcome a high-voltage dose of culture shock. He will come to understand that our culture is just as complicated as the one he left behind – but without the violence, threats and scars of war.Many people have welcomed him to America. I think Bashar can be of particular value to America at this time, simply by getting on the radio stations and talking to reporters and telling his story – the story of Iraq – and showing people how it really is over here. (I write this from Iraq.) Perhaps he can explain why many of us think that it was all worth it. I asked Bashar if I could publish his e-mail address, and he agreed.This is not just a happy ending, but a happy beginning. Please welcome this new family to America and pass this story to your local papers and radio stations. Ask them to talk with a real Iraqi who just got here. People need to know what happened in Iraq. Bashar can be reached at:

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Who likes freedom of Speech? Not these guys, OIC Seeking to outlaw criticism of Islam at UN...

These guys are pleased at the OIC proposals.

From the WEA the Organisation of Islamic Conferences (a multi national Islamic bloc vote at the UN), attempts are being made to outlaw defamation of Islam. Why does this matter? Well for one thing it's an earnest attempt to introduce aspects of Sharia law. Furthermore it would give legal sanction to attempts to stifle criticism of Islam and the problems we face as a consequence of political Islam. Furthermore we should be free to state and honestly discuss all areas concerning religions. By that I mean for instance:

1. In parts of the Islamic world sexual abuse of children is institutionalised by marriage. This follows the example of Muhammad who 'married' a six year old girl whilst he was 54. (according to Hadith).

2. Islam's scriptures mandate warfare against 'non believers' including Jews and Christians until they submit to Islam, (Qur'an 9,29).

3. Islam suppresses women and condones violence against them if they are disobedient. (Qur'an 4, 34).

Now why not have frank and honest discussions about the above? Not according to the OIC you should not.

The WEA article:

The OIC & the UN: Islamophobia and "defamation of religion"
Nov 15, 2008
By: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth KendalTHE OIC & THE UN: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND "DEFAMATION OF RELIGION"(OIC: Organisation of Islamic Conference)Durban I -- the UN's first World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance -- which was held in Durban, South Africa, in early September 2001 ended with a walkout over its virulent anti-Semitism. Yet sadly it now seems clear that the Durban Review Conference (or Durban II), which will be held in Geneva in April 2009, is shaping up to be even worse.As a prelude to Durban II, a Second Preparatory Session of the 20-state Preparatory Committee -- of which Libya has been elected chair with Cuba, Pakistan and Iran as vice-chairs -- was held in Geneva from 6 to 17 October 2008. The resulting "Draft Outcome Document for the Durban Review Conference 2009" is now available on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) website at LINK 1.It is clear from the draft document, as well as from reports emanating from the subsequent 63rd UN General Assembly meeting held in Geneva during the first week of November, that a central focus of Durban II will be "Islamophobia", which is being presented as "a new form of racism".Muslims, the draft declaration asserts, are at dire risk of a racial "holocaust" due to "a new form of racism" -- "Islamophobia" -- which is incited through "defamation of Islam".The draft declaration recommends that local, national and international laws and human rights covenants be reviewed and amended as necessary so that "defamation of Islam" is made a criminal offence, losing the protection it has long enjoyed under the "pretext" of "freedom of expression, counter terrorism or national security". It recommends that legal instruments be established to punish offenders -- that is, those who "defame" Islam by associating it with violence, human rights abuses or terrorism.Anne Bayefsky, a York University professor and human rights lawyer who attended the Second Preparatory Session in Geneva, warns: "This is the new dimension of Durban 2, which in many ways makes it a greater threat than Durban 1. It's really setting up a war of ideas, that has rough implications, between Islamic states and everybody else. . . . Durban 1 was called an assault on Israel; a demonisation of Israel as racist and analogous to Apartheid South Africa. But in addition, Durban 2 is an assault on freedom of expression and other essential democratic rights and freedoms." (Link 2)---------------------------------The draft declaration has built on the 17 August 2007 report by Mr Doudou Diene, the then UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and the OIC's Observatory of Islamophobia.For background see:UN Human Rights Council: Watershed days. 18 Sept 2007WEA RLC News & Analysis by Elizabeth Kendal (This posting gives a thorough critique of Doudou Diene's August 2007 report and considers its implications in terms of the Islamisation of international human rights.)ANDOIC: Eliminating "defamation" of Islam. 25 March 2008WEA RLC News & Analysis by Elizabeth Kendal (This posting analyses the OIC's Observatory of Islamophobia which was launched at the OIC Dakar Summit in March 2008. The Observatory of Islamophobia, which is built on Doudou Diene's August 2007 report to the UNHRC, must be seen in the context of the OIC's "Ten Year Program of Action" through which it aims to address the most "prominent challenges facing the Muslim world today". This posting also presents scenarios and means through which the OIC might fulfill its goal of establishing international instruments to punish -- under the pretext of peace and human rights -- those whom they charge with inciting Islamophobia through "defamation" of Islam.)----------------------------------------Canada and Israel have already pulled out of Durban II while several other Western states have threatened to boycott -- most notably Denmark. As reported by Jette Elbaek Maressa in Jyllands-Posten (28 Oct 2008), Danish foreign minister Per Stig Moller told his Arab partners during a round trip to the Middle East that if the Organisation of Islamic Conference did not withdraw its proposal to make criticism of religion equivalent to racism, then Western countries will stay away from Durban II. "If the OIC pushes through this draft resolution, they shall not expect European or Western countries to be present at the table," he said. (Link 3)The Non-Government Organisation "UN Watch" has released a paper on the Durban II Draft Declaration. Entitled "Shattering the Red Lines: The Durban II Draft Declaration", it examines a "small selection of the 646 provisions of the Durban II draft declaration, highlighting several that breach the EU's red lines" (i.e. the lines the EU determined should not be crossed).In its opening summary, UN Watch charges that the draft declaration seeks "to distort human rights laws for the purposes of Islamic censorship" by "inserting a prohibition against 'defamation of religion' designed to restrict free speech and impose the censorship of Islamic anti-blasphemy laws".UN Watch's paper provides a clear, thorough and yet concise overview and analysis of the most contentious elements of the Durban II draft declaration. It is recommended reading. (Link 4)63rd UN GENERAL ASSEMBLYReliefweb has published a report on the 63rd General Assembly that was held in Geneva subsequent to the Durban Review Conference Second Preparatory Session. LINK 5The report describes representatives from Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Pakistan all expressing great concern over the threat posed by this "new form of racism" -- Islamophobia -- which is incited by "defamation of religion". According to the Libyan representative, freedom of speech is not the issue -- at issue is the "misuse" of that right.The representative from Iran told the assembly that modern-day racism is no longer based on supposed inequality between races, but is based on culture, nationality or religion. He claimed that xenophobic acts against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; defamation of religions; religious intolerance and racial profiling are all expressions of this new form of racism which seeks legitimacy and protection under various pretexts such as combating terrorism.According to the representative from Saudi Arabia, Islam rejects all forms of discrimination and so in Saudi Arabia there are legal provisions to protect all the rights of all persons regardless of race, religion, status or gender.Various free, multi-racial Western democracies (a minority in the UN) denounced racism while making strong and clear defences of human rights including religious liberty and freedom of expression.The representative from France (speaking on behalf of the European Union [EU]) reminded the assembly that the EU had supported the organisation of a Review Conference as long as certain conditions were met and certain lines not crossed. He said that the primary goal should be the full implementation of existing normative framework and that new norms should only be drawn up if they were deemed necessary, were subject to a broad consensus and did not go back on universal achievements by restricting the current scope of human rights.He expressed the European Union's concern that the "thought process" on the possible creation of complementary norms was moving in a direction that could reduce the level of human rights promotion and protection. According to Reliefweb, the representative from France said the EU would "not allow the United Nations principles to be undermined" and would work in accordance with the principles that had been set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He said the Review Conference should concentrate on the implementation of the existing framework without restricting any human rights, establishing any hierarchy among victims, or excluding any one group. As well, the review conference should show how promoting human rights, especially the freedom of speech, could play an important role in fighting racism.The representative from the USA expressed concern at the trend of conflating issues of racism and religion which he said were two distinct issues. He likewise asserted that the cure for intolerance is more dialogue, not less.The representative from Israel regretted that alliances had trumped ideals and warned that nations with a genuine desire to promote peace should guard against the co-opting of legitimate language and ideas by racist demagogues. He expressed concern that Durban II risked becoming itself a platform of racial incitement, and he feared that words might quickly turn to actions.--------------------------The OIC formulated its Ten Year Program of Action (TYPOA) in Makkah in December 2005. Item VI on the TYPOA is "Combating Islamophobia". The OIC determined to do this by means of: 1) establishing an Observatory on Islamophobia tasked with monitoring Islamophobia and "defamation" of Islam and issuing annual reports; 2) getting the UN to adopt an international resolution on Islamophobia, and call on all States to enact laws to counter it; and 3) establishing international legal instruments to enforce anti-defamation laws and deliver deterrent punishments to those charged with inciting Islamophobia through defamation of Islam.The Observatory of Islamophobia was launched in Dakar in March 2008 and the UN has been passing resolutions against Islamophobia and "defamation" of religion ever since the OIC and Arab League-incited Cartoon Intifada of February 2006. All that is left on the OIC's agenda for combating Islamophobia is the legitimisation and implementation of national and international laws and legal instruments to punish offenders. It looks like Durban II might be a step in this direction.By E N KendalLinks1) Draft Outcome Document for the Durban Review Conference 2009 Durban 2: New site, same debacle.Kevin Libin, National Post (Canada) 25 October 2008 Danish foreign minister threatens Western boycott of Durban IIJyllands-Posten 28 Oct 2008By Jette Elbaek Maressa Shattering the Red Lines: The Durban II Draft DeclarationSelected provisions of United Nations draft published at Second Preparatory SessionBy UN WATCH (Oct. 2008).5) Strengthening respect for human rights key for preventing conflict, stabilizing post-conflict situations, Third Committee told.GA/SHC/3933Sixty-third General AssemblyThird Committee33rd & 34th Meeting (AM & PM)Hears from Special Rapporteur on Racism, Chair of Mercenaries Working Group; Religious Defamation, Progress towards Durban Review Conference among Issues

Saturday, 15 November 2008

A Pompous Ass on his travels

Stephen Fry presents his series on America during Sunday evenings on BBC1. I am in spite of Fry's commentary really enjoying watching this on Sunday nights on BBC1. Basically Fry travels America and meets people and goes to interesting places across America. I have one criticism, the supercilious nonsense that Fry continually comes out with. This is in keeping of course with the BBC's and Fry's anti-American prejudices. For instance he makes off hand comments when he meets a group of sophisticated Americans here. He says supposedly to himself 'if only their foreign policy was as sophisticated'. This seemingly innocuous piece of arrogance is off course recorded and broad casted. I do not mind off course except it would be great if someone would mention to Fry 'How is British foreign policy more sophisticated'. Of course the BBC love this sort of cheap politicking.

Later in Montana Fry is eating at a German American diner. His hosts like most Americans are of course friendly and indulge their guest. That does not stop fry making plain stupid comments along the lines of 'Invading Poland' etc. Such comments are of course jocular but where is the fun in such a stupid comment that demeans Fry. Again if this programme was actually meant to inform the viewing public about America it would have been fair to point out the unqualified support German Americans such as these gave in world war one/two to the allied cause. It is a fact of history that the last US soldier killed in 1918 was a German American Private Gunther. As for world war two names such as Eisenhower and Nimitz spring to mind. Of course Fry for ever the conceited buffoon he is never mentions this.

I feel this is a shame as generally people in the UK do not understand America. This series with Fry hosting it in such a stuffy and condescending manner represents a missed opportunity to actually tell a great story.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

We will remember them

Today is the 11th November 2008. The first world war ended 90 years ago on this day. Three Gentlemen with a combined age of 330 laid wreaths at the cenotaph to commemorate. They were veterans of that conflict. From the Telegraph:

Great War veterans applauded on 90th anniversary
Three of the last four survivors of the Great War, with a combined age of 330, joined forces at The Cenotaph to mark the exact moment when the guns fell silent.

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 6:47PM GMT 11 Nov 2008

The remarkable trio, the last historic focus for the commemoration, was led by Henry Allingham, Britain's oldest man at 112, an aircraft mechanic who saw action at sea, in the Battle of Jutland, and ashore on the Western Front.
Then there was Harry Patch, 110, a veteran of the horrors of Passchendaele, who is the only survivor of the trenches and Bill Stone, a relative junior at the age of 108, who ended up fighting two World Wars for the Royal Navy. Their faces a living memorial to the First World War, their presence a warning that the sacrifice of their colleagues they left behind should never be forgotten.
As a mark of respect the three men, covered in blankets in their wheelchairs to protect them from the biting wind, were accompanied by some of the most highly decorated serving personnel from the three Services.
L/Cpl Johnson Beharry, VC, helped lay the wreath for Mr Patch, who was injured in the bloody 1917 battle of Passchendaele. Mr Stone, the youngest veteran, was accompanied by Marine Mkhuseli Jones, MC. But it was down to the first female wearer of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Flt Lt Michelle Goodman, to help Mr Allingham place his memorial.
For four minutes Mr Patch struggled to rise out of his wheelchair watched by a silent group of onlookers that included the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and chiefs of the Armed Forces.
At one moment it appeared he had beaten the clock but he managed to rise only a few inches out of his chair.
As Big Ben struck at the 11th hour, of the 11th month, Mr Allingham was still fighting to place his own tribute to his fallen comrades. "Everyone was willing him to stand," said Alexandra Coode, a schoolteacher who was a few feet away. "But he just could not get up so he kissed the wreath to say goodbye. But he showed the spirit that got these men through the war."
The wreath was finally laid at his feet as the Royal Marine buglers sounded the Last Post followed by two minute's silence. Mr Allingham said: "I hope people realise what my pals sacrificed on their behalf. "May they never be forgotten. I can't describe what they mean to me."
The Right Reverend David Conner, Bishop to the Forces told the crowd of 5,000, that including more than 500 servicemen, to remember the price paid "by far too many people" in conflicts since the Great War.
In reference to Iraq and Afghanistan he added: "We shall most certainly not forget those who even at this very minute face danger as they try to make their contribution to the building of a safer future for our all too troubled world.
The ceremony complemented the commemorations that also took place on the site of the Battle of Verdun, France, attended by President Sarkozy, accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni, and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
An estimated 20 million people were killed in the 1914-1918 war including 760,000 from Britain and the Commonwealth.
The Cenotaph service will almost certainly be the last significant anniversary that any of those who fought in the First World War will mark.
Of the five million men and women who served in the Armed Forces in the war, only four are still alive, including Claude Choules, 107, who lives in Australia.
After the ceremony Mr Patch, said: "It is important to remember the dead from both sides of the conflict. Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims."

The second image is of the Commando memorial at Spean Bridge, Scotland. This is a desolate yet beautiful area and it is here that Allied Commandos underwent training during world war two. The US Rangers also underwent training there. It is a beautiful site worth a visit. What makes it particularly poignant are the nearby tributes to modern Commandos lost in Iraq/Afghanistan as well as local Scottish soldiers. I would like to dedicated this simple and unargumentative post to all those who served and have made the sacrifice. As well as those still serving along with their families.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Bridge for Sale! Iranian nutjob welcomes Obama's election!

Well now that Obama has been elected and we can see the liberal media (i.e. the BBC) having a smug love in this has come in from the said BBC.

A bit of info just to clarify matters on Ahmadinejad and his regime:

1. They have killed hundreds of US and UK troops with EFPs issued to Shia militants in Iraq.

2. They have issued rockets used to bombard bases in Iraq and the US Embassy.

3. They support that is they finance and equip Hezbollah whose aim is to destroy Israel.

4. The earlier mentioned Shia militants have killed thousands of Sunni Arabs in Iraq through ethnic cleansing.

5. He has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction and he also hosts holocaust denial conferences where some very unsavoury characters are invited.

6. His government hang homosexuals publicly from cranes.

7. He wants nuclear weapons and is developing them.

Now before anyone accuses me of making this stuff up I am only too happy to provide sources. Why am I saying this? Well look at what he said Re Obama's election below. He says of his desire for a new US administration 'want US intervention to be limited to its [own] borders, especially in the Middle East. It is highly expected to reverse the unfair attitude towards restoring the rights of the Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans.' He could not give a damn about the rights of people, least of all his own or Iraqis. What he wants is to be appeased and an administration that leaves him alone to pursue his psychotic agenda whilst his economy plummets. I really hope he does not get left alone and is not free to pursue his nuclear ambitions. The free world needs demagogues like him to be constrained, his name sounds like 'dinner jacket' he needs a strait jacket. If Iran was a real democracy he would probably be confined in one!

Iranian leader welcomes Obama win

President Ahmadinejad said opportunities were 'transient'
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has offered his congratulations to Barack Obama on his presidential win.
It is the first official message of goodwill presented to an American leader by the Islamic Republic.
In a key change to US foreign policy, Mr Obama has offered to open unconditional dialogue with Iran about its nuclear programme.
Mr Ahmadinejad called for the new US president to implement a foreign policy of "non-interference".
In a message carried on official news agency Irna, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "I congratulate you on being able to attract the majority of votes of the participants of the election."
The great nation of Iran welcomes basic and fair changes in US policies and conducts, especially in the region
Mahmoud AhmadinejadIranian President
"As you know the opportunities provided by the Almighty God, which can be used for elevation of nations, or God forbid, for their collapse, are transient," the message continued.
"I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never-ending demands of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve people so that you will be remembered with high esteem," it said, according to the English language website of Irna.
Justice and respect
Mr Ahmadinejad said Americans expected the government to "rectify the critical situation facing the US, restore lost reputation as well as their hope and spirit, fully respect human rights and strengthen family foundations".
He continued: "Other nations also expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, contempt of nations and imposing discriminatory policies on them to be replaced by the ones advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.
"They also want US intervention to be limited to its [own] borders, especially in the Middle East. It is highly expected to reverse the unfair attitude towards restoring the rights of the Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans.
"The great nation of Iran welcomes basic and fair changes in US policies and conducts, especially in the region," President Ahmadinejad said.
Diplomatic stand-off
Formal contacts between the US and Iran are very rare, though the two countries held three rounds of talks in 2007 on the subject of security in Iraq.
The two nations have not had diplomatic relations since shortly after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the taking of hostages at the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days.
The country was a member of what President George W Bush called the "axis of evil", while the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini described the US as the "Great Satan".
Dialogue with Iran has been criticised by US ally Israel, with Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni calling on Mr Obama not to talk to Iran. She said such dialogue could project weakness.
Mr Ahmadinejad has made a series of blistering verbal attacks against Israel, calling for an end to the Israeli state, and he has described the holocaust as a "myth".

Friday, 31 October 2008

Taxpayer's money yes your money!Used to fund Pro-IRA film

I suppose green is really a good font for this one. Well a welsh film company has been given a grant of £150K to help produce a film called 'hunger'. This documents the last six weeks of the life of Bobby Sands the IRA hunger striker. Read about it here, the Conservative MP David Davis has criticised this and together with a woman from the film company Laura Hastings -Smith they briefly debate the issue. Needless to say the BBC interviewer harangues Davies constantly but hardly mentions the film's obvious bias at all to Smith. Smith herself answers this question without being prompted to and simply states the film 'highlights fundamental conflicts that cannot resolved through negotiation'. Smith misses the point that reviewers have stated the film is biased in favour of Sands and the IRA. Plus what she says is wrong as the conflict had no end of opportunity to end through dialogue, Northern Ireland was then and still is a democracy with full representation in Parliament. Sands died a failed martyr for a cause that was furthered by murder pure and simple, including deliberate attacks on civilians. Sands himself was a gunman who had targeted police. Still I might watch it when it is released on telly. Now when will taxpayer's money be used to fund drama about the struggle against terrorism hat we faced then and continue albeit in another guise today?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A former Leftist tells of her Concerns Re the alliance between the left and Radical Islam

I was wondering what to blog about and chanced on this video on you tube. The Canadian lady highlights a disturbing factor in modern politics. Why oh why do the left hang around with such misogynistic, undemocratic theocrats? Aren’t they the ones who like the idea of women’s rights, gay rights, and other such ‘equality’ issues? Is it simply because anyone opposed to the US is automatically a good guy?

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Freedom of Speech under threat - Again!

Freedom of speech is under sustained attack by Islamic radicals as the Muhammad cartoon saga and now this latest development shows. It would appear according to the Telegraph here, that four people have been arrested following an arson attack against a north London publishers. These individuals have taken umbrage at the proposed publication of 'The Jewel of Medina' a fictional novel by Sherry Jones. I have not read Jones work of course and I doubt if the arsonists have either, the novel is about the marriage of Muhammad (the Islamic prophet) to Aisha his youngest wife. Aisha was aged six at the time of her marriage (according to Hadith part of Islam's own Scriptures), when Muhammad married her he was fifty four.

Why should we be worried about this sort of behaviour and doubtless many people will naturally say 'well why should we publish something Muslims don't like?' My point is that as a democracy there is a responsibility to uphold the opinions of those we disagree with and not surrender to the mob. Obvious I know but it's surprisingly easy to see these protests as effective in stifling debate, for instance earlier this year the US publishing group Random House refused to publish Sherry's work stating it 'feared protests'. Also when it comes to Islam the BBC itself is overly cautious as I reported here. The point being friends is the groups that oppose these publications (regardless of whether the publication itself is in good taste), are seeking to replace democracy with theocracy and stifle individual expression and thought.

For what it's worth before some idiot accuses me or indeed the author of 'Jewel of Medina', Jones of 'Islamaphobia', Here is the authority from the Hadith that states Muhammad married a child:

From the collection of BukhariVolume 5, Book 58, Number 236: Narrated Hisham's father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64: Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

Child 'marriage' is routinely practised today in Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, Yemen and Iran. I wonder where they got that idea from?

Monday, 15 September 2008

What Sarah Palin Actually Said on ABC!

The following is the full transcript of Sarah Palin's 11 September Interview with Charlie Gibson on ABC. This is important as Mark Levin has shown that the interview was carefully edited to depict Palin as saying things like 'US soldiers in Iraq are on a task from God' or that Palin has threatened war with Russia. As can be seen in fact Palin said no such thing and her statements were far more profound that ABC gave her credit for. The ABC interview and how it was reported was dubious politicking by a biased media. Check out the full transcript here and below:

Apologies for the bold not coming through on pasting check out the link to Levin above or here again.

EXCERPTS: Charlie Gibson Interviews Sarah Palin (September 11, 2008)
GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say “I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?”
PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I’m ready.
GIBSON: And you didn’t say to yourself, “Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I — will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?”
PALIN: I didn’t hesitate, no.
GIBSON: Didn’t that take some hubris?
PALIN: I — I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.
So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.
GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
PALIN: But it is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence that I’ve been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.
GIBSON: I know. I’m just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.
PALIN: It is, but I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security. It’s that important. It’s that significant.
GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.
GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
PALIN: Right.
GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.
PALIN: Right, right.
GIBSON: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state … these last couple of weeks … it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.
GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.
PALIN: Sure.
GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
Sarah Palin on Russia:
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but…
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.
But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to — especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.
We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.
GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.
PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
Sarah Palin on Iran and Israel:
GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?
PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.
GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who’s right?
PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we’re talking about Israel, we’re talking about Ahmadinejad’s comment about Israel being the “stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth,” that’s atrocious. That’s unacceptable.
GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?
PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.
GIBSON: But, Governor, we’ve threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn’t done any good. It hasn’t stemmed their nuclear program.
PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they’re going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.
GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?
PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.
GIBSON: So if we wouldn’t second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.
PALIN: I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.
GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.
PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.
GIBSON: We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?
PALIN: You know, there is a very small percentage of Islamic believers who are extreme and they are violent and they do not believe in American ideals, and they attacked us and now we are at a point here seven years later, on the anniversary, in this post-9/11 world, where we’re able to commit to never again. They see that the only option for them is to become a suicide bomber, to get caught up in this evil, in this terror. They need to be provided the hope that all Americans have instilled in us, because we’re a democratic, we are a free, and we are a free-thinking society.
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
PALIN: I agree that a president’s job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.
I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.
GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we’re going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.
GIBSON: But, Governor, I’m asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.
PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.
Sarah Palin on God:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.
That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It’s an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.
Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”
PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That, in my world view, is a grand — the grand plan.
GIBSON: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?
PALIN: I don’t know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a real easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Review into Police Shooting of Lawyer

This case is tragic. In May Mark Saunders a successful lawyer was shot dead by police marksmen after repeatedly firing a shotgun into the street. The link is to the BBC report. On first sight the shooting seems to be entirely justified and in my opinion still is however tragic and regrettable the outcome. However a judicial review is under way to challenge the notion that Police Officers can confer with one another before making statements to the independent body that investigates matters such as these. That is a fair point and one I hope the court will look at fairly before judgement. Really that should be the end of the matter and the story should be over. However the BBC's Radio 4 'Today' programme carried an interview with Charlotte Saunders (sister of the deceased) in which she implied that the Police murdered her brother. Doubtless the Saunder's family have suffered a terrible bereavement but airing such opinions will not help matters. What has really concerned me however is the way Barry Humphrey's who interviewed Charlotte Saunders for today allowed such severe allegations to go unanswered.

Ms Saunders stated repeatedly here, that when the police opened fire her brother posed no threat to anyone as the police had evacuated the area. Incredibly Humphreys did not point out to her that maybe just maybe the officers present were in danger themselves when this man was shooting at them. The other very serious allegation that Ms Saunders made was that the Police did not try out any alternatives to the use of lethal force when her brother was cornered. In fairness Humphreys reiterated to her that her brother was armed. However Ms Saunders felt that the police with their training and equipment could have disarmed Mark Saunders. That is disarm an individual who was armed, opened fire and ignored repeated requests to surrender and put down his weapon. As Saunders was inside a building and tasers etc will not work through glass or at a distance the only form of action available was to return fire. It is likely that had the police stormed the building in which Saunders was holed up he would have shot at them and killed or injured them. He had already opened fire this signalling his intent. This story is tragic but the police did all that was required of them in this sad episode. They did not murder Mark Saunders, they shot him in self defence. If an inquest finds different I will withdraw my remarks.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The Guardian outlines Al Qaeda in Britain network

Interesting schematic from the Guardian's Ian Cobain here. What the article demonstrates are the links between Jihadists in the UK and those who have targeted Israelis. As a factual resource it is quite informative, what is missing is a commentary on the ideology these individuals shared.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Did Hezbollah deliberately target the Lebanese Government Forces?

Interesting report this that raises a few questions. It seems most likely according to the Lebanese Press that Hezbollah shot down the helicopter that was overseeing the UN sponsored ceasefire in South Lebanon. However was it deliberate targeting or an accident. Hezbollah has not admitted to actually shooting the helicopter down but called it 'tragic'. Why does this matter? Well in spite of the human cost the fact remains that the Lebanese government is monitoring Southern Lebanon as part of a UN brokered cease-fire. The cease-fire that came into play after Hezbollah's war of aggression against Israel in 2006. However Hezbollah retains forces in Southern Lebanon and they remain armed by Iran. Therefore it may be in Hezbollah's interests to pressure the Lebanese government to withdraw from this deal. Alternatively and as Hezbollah are likely to eventually claim. Hezbollah may have targeted the helicopter believing it to be Israeli. Either way the terror organisation known as Hezbollah is flexing its muscles. The reaction from the Lebanese government is likely to be muted. They do not have the strength to remove this poisonous presence from their own country. From the BBC:

Lebanon helicopter hit by gunfire

A Lebanese army helicopter hit by gunfire has had to make an emergency landing in the south of the country.
One officer was killed and others were injured. It is not known who carried out the attack.
The helicopter was flying over the village of Sejoud, 20km (12 miles) from the Israeli border.
Earlier this month, a bus bombing blamed on Islamist militants in the northern city of Tripoli killed 18 soldiers and civilians.
The area in which the incident happened is considered a stronghold of the Hezbollah militant group and political party.
As part of the ceasefire deal that ended the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, the Lebanese army deployed in southern Lebanon along with a strengthened United Nations peacekeeping force.