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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Now, it's not normally a topic one would read about on this blog. The subject has been covered in many other articles preceeding this one.
But, we in the UK are being, in this one's editorial opinion, un-necissarily censored.
MSN Chatrooms, three years ago, used to be stimulating sources of conversation between adults, especially in the Religion and Philosophy Room. In it's wisdom, that room, along with all other MSN chats, have been shut down, for the protection of children who were being 'groomed' by paedophiles.
Now this, in itself, is certainly not a bad thing.. The use of the net to seduce children is abhorrent, and controls were needed to put the stopper on this type of activity.
But to shut down an entire network of communication?
One finds it odd, that it's only MSN that has taken this action. AT&T and Lycos/Yahoo chatrooms are still open and available, and one has yet to even suspect anyone of trying to seduce a child on either of them.
Chatters themselves have reached a point of sophistication, wherein they police themselves, and anyone trying to be even covertly seductive to one suspected of being a child, is immediately reported to monitors.
This should be the rule in all cases.
We all know there are bad people out there who would molest children, and who would go into chat pretending to be that which they are not. But again, chat has evolved, and those who partake in discussions in rooms such as Religion, or Philosophy, can smell a child a mile away, and will have them removed.
There are chatrooms for kids, and they should be monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But those designed for adults, should be left to adults.
It is time MSN reconsiders it's position of censoring itself out of existence in the UK. There are few enough places available wherein intelligent conversation can take place, without having one of the biggest denied us.

Meanwhile, on the political front, it is suspected Tony will announce the date of his retirement at the next Labour Conference. There's a lot of pressure on the man to step aside, although God knows who will take his place and face David Cameron in the next General Election.
Labour is down to 31% public approval, it's lowest since Tony took power, and one can be sure the struggle to fill the vacuum of his leaving will drop public support even more. This is a sad situation for this country, for it means we'll need to adjust to yet another regeme, and adapt to it's new policies. This, while we have thousands of soldiers abroad, and thousands of national issues, economic and social, to be dealt with. We will be in turmoil, at least for a while, and this we cannot afford. Not even for a second.

Keeping a close eye on Kofi Annan's visit to the Middle East. It's a certainty Iran will pay lip service to appease the rest of the world's concerns about the development of a nuclear weapon. But it is also a certainty Iran will continue with it's program to produce such a weapon.
Rock and a hard place ain't in it..

Monday, August 28, 2006

This post was offered to me in a chatroom, and while there are those who decry such forums, and would ascribe many nefarious intentions to those who might use them, this is worth re-printing..

"This is freaky, interesting and scary all in one! You should read down to the very bottom, you don't want to miss the punch line!
1. The garden of Eden was in Iraq.
2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq , was the cradle of civilisation!
3. Noah built the ark in Iraq .
4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq ..
5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!
6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq !
7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.
8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.
9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel ..
10. Amos cried out in Iraq!
11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem..
12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq !
13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the fiery furnace!)
14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon, saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq .. 15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq .
16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
17. The wise men were from Iraq ..
18. Peter preached in Iraq.
19. The "Empire of Man" described in Revelations is called Babylon , which was a city in Iraq! And you have probably seen this one, Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar , and Mesopotamia . The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers ..
The name Iraq means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq ..
This is something to think about!
Since America is typically represented by an eagle, Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages..
The following verse is from the Koran, (the Islamic Bible) Koran (9:11) - For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace. (Note the verse number!) Hmmmmmmm?!
As was commented in the chat, political/economic/sociological studies can find grain among any chaff, and preconceptions of the veracity of the 66 books we call the Bible should not be dismissed entirely.
Observation, on the micro and the maco sociological sense, should be all encompassing..
More on this, and our normal topics, will follow.
This quotation, by the way, came from a chatter in Yahoo/Lycos, in the Philosophy Lounge. If interested, one might discover his name by attending a forum, and asking. I would not breach a confidentiality by publishing his name without his express permission..

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ahh.. regrets from Hezbollah for causing such chaos and mayhem in Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel..
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah says he's sorry.
"Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would have led to this, we would definitely not have done it," he said in an interview on Lebanese TV..
What a collosal misunderstanding.. More than 1,000 Lebanese died in the 34-day conflict which left much of southern Lebanon in ruins.
More than 1,000 Lebanese died in the 34-day conflict which left much of southern Lebanon in ruins.
"We did not think that there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war of this scale and magnitude," Sheikh Nasrallah said.
"Now you ask me if this was 11 July and there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war like the one that has taken place, would you go ahead with the kidnapping?
"I would say no, definitely not, for humanitarian, moral, social, security, military and political reasons.

"We did not think that there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war of this scale and magnitude," according to the Sheikh .
Nasrallah was speaking on the eve of a visit to Beirut by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to discuss the expanded UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in southern Lebanon.

A force of 15,000 soldiers, 7,000 of them from European Union states, will be deployed to maintain the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
It cannot be emphasised enough, the difference in political action between the West and the Middle East. This 'apology' from Nasrallah is just too convenient, coming on the eve of a United Nations visit.
Mind you, there has been no talk from the Sheikh about the disarmament of Hezbollah, or of any reductions in the scale of their movements towards Israel. There has been nothing said about the return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers..
Y'know, there has to come a time when one must think that we're the donkey, and terrorist groups hold the carrot.
Manipulation is an art form in the Levant, and historically always has been.
We could learn something from them about how to deal from the bottom of the deck.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has inaugurated a new phase of a heavy water reactor project despite Western fears about its nuclear programme.
He said Iran posed no threat to other states, not even its "enemy" Israel.
Heavy water made at Arak will be used to cool a reactor being built that will create a plutonium by-product that could be used to make atomic warheads.
Observers say Iran's move aims to send a signal of defiance days ahead of a UN deadline to halt uranium enrichment.
The US says Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran says it is building a reactor to supply the country with nuclear power.

Now, this report from the BBC simply confirms what most analysts have been predicting for months now, that there will be a nuclear power-struggle in the Middle East in the near future, which could make that between the US and the former USSR seem like a sandbox struggle.
There are no words to describe the intent of the Middle Eastern States, to remove Israel and it's Western presence from the area. There are no expletives to adequately describe the public resentment of the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, and the displacement of traditional Eastern values in favour of those of the West.
We are different peoples, and in our Judeo/Christian ethos we are incapable of imagining that which could be done in the name of Allah, what cost those extremists of that faith would incur upon their own people to effect a return to a Calphate.
We are on the brink of disaster, and still we pour billions of Pounds Sterling and American dollars into the coffers of those bent on destroying us. We are funding our own downfall, in the firm belief that we are 'in the right', and 'are benificent' in our attempts to bring 'civilisation to these peoples.
They have a civilisation. One they are proud and defensive of.
We must open our eyes to the basic differences between 'we' and 'they'. And we'd best do it soon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yet another good reason for us to be looking for alternate fuel sources.
While it may be almost un-noticeable to the average shopper, the cost of food on this island is creeping ever upwards, by some 8% over this last quarter. We're talking about the staples here, the likes of milk, bread, butter, in fact anything we would normally put into our shopping carts.
Now, the farmers are saying this especially hot summer has had an impact on dairy products, and the drought in the agricultural sector in France will certainly have an effect on wheat produce, but the main culprit is the cost of shipping.
And this is directly due to the soaring costs of petrol.
Now as is common knowledge in most Western countries, the bulk of the cost of a gallon of fuel is taxation, and with this country facing a future of more and more dependent on State or private pensions, we're looking at a bleak future. The issue of taxes on fuels must become a primary issue now, while something might still be done to spread the shortfall should these levees be lowered.
It is time for the government to accept the impact of an ageing population, and the effects particular taxes which have a knock-on effect has on this group.
Rising food costs are only the tip of the iceberg, and can only signal what will certainly develop into a lower standard of living for this pensionable population.
Once again, an argument for re-tooling towards alternative fuel sources.
And we'd best get on with it quickly.

Monday, August 21, 2006

There is a growing sentiment, that the future of the Middle East can be found in Biblical prophesy, and this bears addressing.
One must wonder how many Christians believe in their own texts, or actually know the sources of those writings. Odds are the majority believe the 'Book of Revelation' was written by the Apostle John, known as 'The Evangelist'. That is not the case.
'Revelation' was writen by another evangelist, some 90 years after the death of Jesus who was called 'the Christ'. This other evangelist was also called John, but was known by the sobriquet 'The Divine', while he was pining away on the Island of Patmos where he had been banished by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
This is where most religious misunderstandings begin, on a fundamentalist level.
One must question those of Islam who have read, and fully understood the Q'ran. Now they have the advantage of being told it was all written by one man, that being the Prophet Muhammad, but, as with Christian writings, it all began as oral tradition.
At the time of the Flight to Medina, there were very few Muslim converts who could read, and what was passed to then and what has become standard text, began as oral tradition, and depending on who you were listening to, you got a slightly different message.
There is nothing in the Q'ran, as one might read it today, that would justify self-harm and mass murder in the name of Allah, just as there is nothing in the Christian Bible that would call for the same.
Yet both Texts have been used as justification for some of history's most horrific acts, and while we in the West sit back in amazement at the 'teachings' of some Imams, we should also be looking at the messages pumped out by some of our own Ministers.
Fundimentalism is like a disease. It consumes one to the point of irrationality.
May sanity, at some time, prevail.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And as it was written, so it has it been.
This 'ceasefire' between Israel and Lebanon has been breached already, but then again it never really took hold in the first place.
Israeli stratagists, and the rest of the world be told, know that this cessation of Israeli bombardment of Lebanon's main roads is allowing Hammas to re-arm, replenish depleted armament. And it must be known this this new materiel is being shipped in from Iran and Syria.
This not going away, even with the first contingent of 50 French engineers in Lebanon. Just a blue helmet to aim at.
While on the subject of France.
One must ponder the price of grain, considering the severe gamage by the drought in the french Midlands.. That, coupled with the likely rise in the domestic and international price of oil, could leave France in a precarious position. One hopes Canada has had a bumper crop, for while most of the Canadian wheat presently goes to Russia, some may have to be syphoned off for Europe..
And it appears that the phlegmatic British attitude is perhaps going to be tested for at least a while longer. That which can be brought on board is being reduced by some airlines, but the Security Forces are still making stringent searches a part of the travel experience.
However, for the time being, at least in Britain, it's not slowing down the industry to any significant effect.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ahh.. this Middle East. What is one to do?
There are photo's spashed all over the papers, of displaced Lebanese children returning to their homes, waving pictures of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Narzrallah, and reports of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad claiming a massive Hezbollah victory in Southern Lebanon..
Meanwhile, the Israeli's are quietly vacating their positions, as the rocket attacks seem to be holding off in light of this ceasefire agreement, and they await UN troops to take their place. Israel has moved back to a piont south of the Christian city of Marjayoun..
But the battle of words, of ideology continues unabated.
Itan's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is blaming the US for providing Israel with arms and materiel which 'had been used to target women and children' in Lebanon.
This is going to get far too far out of hand, and the effects could be more catastrophic and much sooner than perhaps any of us see today.
The aim of all Islamic terrorist groups is to wipe Israel off the map.
We would be naive to think that stance has changed.
It is a bit disturbing that one of the heads of our military think-tanks, Rear Admiral
Chris Parry, has commented that he believes al Q'aeda 'is a passing phase, an expression of grievance'. Rear Admiral Parry seems to believe it will either mutate into something else (God forbid), or just fade in the light of day.
This organization has been in active operation long before 911. It has financed Taliban efforts in Afghanistan for decades, and will not just fade away. Nor will the other Islamic terrorist groups, and cells, mutate into something that might meet you at an airport with a flower and a donation for a copy of the Q'ran.
We are in an ideological confrontation here, that has existed ever since the French and British ships began forming alliances in the Levant during the Napoleonic Wars.
They see us as weak-minded, an self-indulgent, as spoilt little children with the most expensive toys on the block.
And in fact, they would give anything for a Jihad which would restore the Caliphate, and turn this entire world into an Islamic State. This is their goal, and nothing short of that stated goal will appease them.
This is reality. And we would be fools to ignore it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ahh.. the problems of Policial Office. Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has the unenviable job of trying to separate, in the eyes of the British man on the street, those Islamics which are normal hard-working members of this society, and those who would at a moment's notice strap on a semtex vest and blow as many of us into perdition as possible.
Not that there haven't been attempts..
The key project to come out of the London bombings was the so-called Preventing Extremism Taskforce. A host of community figures gathered in Windsor at the request of the Home Office and came up with 64 recommendations.
These proposals included a scholars roadshow, more work on integration and empowering women and a public inquiry into the bombings.
The proposed road show of leading modern Islamic thinkers has been well received but some see it as only preaching to the converted.

Of the other initiatives, most are "in progress" or "under consideration", say ministers. The call for a public inquiry has been firmly ruled out.
Many Muslims who were involved in the taskforce now believe that unless something is done quickly it will go down in history as a tokenistic exercise. Some of the women involved (and some of those who were not invited) have felt particularly let down.
With much of this work no longer the responsibility of the Home Office, they are pinning their hopes on Ruth Kelly's new team to make a difference at local level. According to some in the four meetings, she started well by asking for concrete proposals, rather than wringing her hands and saying "it's up to you alone".
Top of the shopping list is support for the recently-established Mosques and Imams Advisory Body, a kind of community-run watchdog which aims to turn 1,500 places of prayer into genuine centres of community leadership and support.
This was a key recommendation from the taskforce but its birth was long and difficult.

It is yet to be seen whether this will have a genuine effect, or will lie stillborn, along with so many other attempts at bringing extremism under control.
More later.
One has to pause occasionally, and take an overview, look at all the pieces of the puzzle one has accumulated, and see what sense can be made of them.
We are embroiled in a massively expensive operation, along with our major ally, the United States, in throwing money away. All the salaries paid to all those who manufacture arms which are ultimately either destroyed or abandoned, is so much cash flushed away, taking that much from the pockets of those within these two countries who are truely in need.
We accept that our banks make massive profits as a matter of course, yet those profits, to a large extent, are from charges made to those who can least afford them, and who have no idea that they are in, in fact, illegal. Take that last bank statement you received, and check if you went over your allowed overdraft limit. It may have been that you are paying as much as £35 for a direct debit that was returned, meaning you still have that debt to pay, plus the charge the bank has asessed against you. Then there's the interest charge for going over your allowed limit.
The average man and woman in this country lives in debt, and our banks depend upon that to ensure their stockholders get a fair whack come the year-end, and most of it comes out of the pockets of those who can least afford it.
We, the common man and woman on the street, are financing these disposable conflicts we indulge in on a national basis. We are the ones who pay for all those expended copper casings which litter battlegrounds from Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, anywhere our arms manufacturers sell their goods. We are the ones who pay for each multi-million dollar aircraft shot down, and each of the bombs they might be carrying.
We are the one's who pay for the land mines which still litter Africa, and we also pay for the disposal units sent in to disarm them.
It is a sad fact that this burden falls on those who can least afford either the initial cost, nor the expense of a class action suit to put an end to our unwitting compliance.
Here's a story for you.
A journalist, with impeccable credentials, leaves a job in North America to come to Britain to work for the BBC. This journalist begins to hear, and see unedited documents, and is allowed to talk to those in think tanks, and begins to put some of the pieces together.
This journalist develops Multiple Sclerosis, and is then judged unfit to fulfill his job as Senior Editor, and is summarily 'made redundant'.
As if that were not enough, some of the ideas and thoughts made public through this particular media, bring down the wrath of those in charge, and legal proceedings are instituted.
At least, it must be said, this particular journalist fared better than Tom Kelly, who was inexplicably found dead only three years ago.
This leaves only a pension to live on. And his house, his spouse, and his children are all lost in the ensuing brouhaha over finances. Savings are gone, and what is left to this man who has spent 35 years trying to broadcast the truth, is a pittance. A pittance the institutionalised banking system makes even smaller by preying on his relative poverty.
Now this story could apply to anyone who has lost their job, and is left with debts the State simply cannot subsidize, because of all those empty copper casings and destroyed military materiel.
It's not a sad story, for those who have the will, will still speak their minds, if only through vehicles such as these provided free through this internet.
But it is a damnable shame that there are those who can count on no other way to express themselves, to continue that which they have been doing for years, through a blog which brings in no income whatsoever.
So for those of you who might be reading this, who could use the skills of someone who thinks outside the box and can express themselves reasonably coherently, contact this journalist at , and let the fun begin.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We have a new label.
'Islamic Fascists' are the new enemy, and this new name is perhaps to assure the man on the street that this terrorism is being carried out by only a section, a small section at that, of the general Muslim Community.
The point was make in analysis this evening, that it only took us 6 years to wipe out Nazi Germany, and the Japanese Empire, and this confrontation has all the appearances of being perpetual.
The analagy was facile, and ignores the type of warfare being conducted. In fact, this offensive by the West might better be compared with Viet Nam, where the enemy looks exactly the same as the harmless citizen.
The reports suggest to the man on the couch that Israeli Forces are massing at the border with Lebanon, and are awaiting orders to begin their slog into a foreign country. This is not exactly true, for the port city of Tyre has been under attack for three days now, and Israeli troops are already some 13 miles inside Lebanon.
One point to ponder though. Palestinian Coumpounds, small towns actually within Lebanon, which have been in place for close to 50 years, are not being targeted.
While the streets of Tyre are almost deserted, and shops, for the most part, shuttered and closed, life is going on as if nothing was happening in the Palestinian Compounds. In fact, many residents of Tyre have shifted themselves into these areas for safety.
There must be a reason for this. Could it be that Israel is unwilling to declare war on two fronts, against Hezbollah and against Palistinians? Would this be thought to perhaps be the straw that would break the camels back, and a become a major influence on world public opinion?
It merits some thought, for that which is currently going on, has been in the pipeline for months.
The kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers was fortuitous, to say the least, and has allowed a legitimate war to be declared against Hezbollah.
One could extrapolate, that this could escallate to censure of Pakistan and Iran, where terrorists train en mass. That action against these two countries may well be thought to be justified, should proof emerge those governments harboured extremists
And then there's Saudi Arabia. Surely it cannot be thought that most powerful of Arab nations has not a finger in this pie.
It is a quandary. Where does this all begin, and where will it all end.
But one has to like that label.
'Islamic Fascists'. Has a ring to it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

One must wonder, when the analysts and think-tanks involved with the ongoing, one might say perpetual problems in the Middle East, will begin sharing their information..
I have yet to hear mention of a similar type attack, one which involved a chemical bomb in a water bottle was attempted in Indonesia.
In 1997 a similar bomb was set off in a crowded airliner, and while in that case only a Japanese passenger was killed and the aircraft hull not breached, this may have been a dry-run for the operation which appears to have been planned for today.
This is common knowledge, and has been for several years, yet no security precautions were even contemplated involving innocuous looking objects being brought into the passenger cabins in carry-on luggage.
Somehow it seems that while we now have an Anti-Terrorist Branch, and a Homeland Security Agency, we have good minds which are ill-equipped to deal with this issue of terrorism, on the whole.
Intelligence Agencies are reknown for keeping their own to themselves, but we have come into a situation which demands change in the manner in which we deal with this threat.
Surely, somewhere in the depths of Whitehall, there are those poring over worst-case scenario's..
They are missing a member who thinks outside the box.
And while all this is going on, let us not forget the conflict continues in Lebanon, and Israeli troops are still marching forward. To a large extent, their mission is the only overt effort to destroy a terrorist group.
One waits now, in safety might be added, for the next radical and conclusive act by extremists in this country, in the US, and especially in the Middle East.
Now, George has just landed in AirForce One, and we are expecting a statement from him immenently.
But in the meanwhile, lets look at the damage this incident has already achieved. The FTSE has dropped significantly, with almost panic selling of shares in air carriers, support companies, hotels and resorts. Thousands of people are crowding Heathrow and Gatwick, and the problems involved with getting them home, or to shelter should they have been Americans returning home, are phenominal.
This, combined with agricultural problems in France, and flooding problems in the northern countries along the Danube, is going to have a long-lasting effect on our European economy.
It's dead easy to shave billions of pounds off the value of shares, but the process of re-investment is much slower.
One has to recall the FLQ threat in Canada during the 60's. It turned out there were only 7 individuals involved, in what was Canada's greatest security threat.
Ahhh. George's speech only reiterates what has already been written here. He has praised both British and American security agencies, and has stated that while the US is safer now since 911, but asserted there are still those who will make bombs. Nothing much of substance, other than the statement that "we live in a dangerous world".
Now there's a surprise.
And the confusion continues.
Charles Clarke, our Home Secretary, has been on television Three times now, explaining that while they believe this threat against airliners has been nipped in the bud, this country will remain on 'critical alert' for a couple of days at least.
George himself is to make a statement at 5:30 or so, GMT that is, and will likely announce that precautions have been raised to 'red alert' on flights arriving from the UK. He will likely announce that he and Tony discussed this potential threat last weekend, and that the situation is progressing towards being in hand.
When a nation of travellers, which Britain is, is reduced to the point of such paranoia that mothers, bringing babies and formulae on board, must drink from the bottles they want as hand luggage to ensure no explosives are mixed in with the milk, it must lead to far heavier actions against those countries which harbour and train terrorists.
Syria, Lybia, Iran, Pakistan, all are known to have training camps for extremists.
The World Bank should seriously think of stepping in, and make movements towards bankrupting those countries involved in allowing terrorist training.
It's hard on the citizens of those particular countries, but the solution is in their hands. Outlaw any association with extremeists, and actively concert their efforts to cleaning their own backyards.
This situation is becoming ridiculous.
Some 180 thousand travellers pass through Heathrow and Gatwick on a daily basis. It is going to take Draconian measures to ensure that none of these have terrorist intent.
Tony can be thankful he travels in a private jet, as does George.
For the rest of us, it's a matter of 'suck it up', and accept there are those who would gladly see them as food for fish somewhere over the Atlantic.
We'll see what George has to say, although frankly, there's not much he can other than flights from Britain and the Continent are now going to be considered a posible security risk.
Just as a psersonal observation, it strikes one that while this country remains on 'critical alert', might it not be seen that this airliner plot is a chimera. Not that the mission would have been welcomed by some groups had it been successfull, but could it indeed be an action that was expected to fail, while another brewing could be the main event.
When our country is held on high alert, we must assume that something else is afoot, and attack on London, Manchester, Birmingham, or any other large city is being considered.
We wait, with 'bated breath.
Ahh.. the terrorists have had limited success again..
There were 21 arrests make in Birmingham and London, men of Pakistani origin, according to reports, were planning on boarding trans-Atlantic flights leaving from Heathrow, and detonate bombs smuggled in in bottles of pop. Their targets were 9 flights to 5 major US cities.
This has brought Britain to the 'critical' state, the equivalent of the American 'red' alert, and travellers have been warned not to use Heathrow airport, with all long and short haul flights cancelled, and 20 flights have been cancelled from Gatwick.
The reports from the Cabinet Ministers, who've been following police raids throughout the night, is that this plot, had it gone through, would have caused a loss of life exceeding that of 911, and even though it appears no aircraft are going to blow up today, the level of paranoia in this country, at least for travellers, has risen exponentially.
And this is exactly what the terrorists wanted. It would have been nice, from their point of view, had they succeeded in carrying out their bombings, but the secondary target, the disruption of the infrastructure has indeed been achieved. Passengers who are still flying out, are being searched rigourously, slowing the boarding process, and delaying takeoffs. Those who do make it on the plane are given their wallets, and their passports, in clear plastic bags. No other carry-on luggage is allowed whatsoever.
No laptops, no Ipods, no Mobiles,nothing with electrical components will be allowed in the hands of passengers, and this is a situation which will become SOP. Even those with babies, who have brought bottles with formula along to feed them, must have that milk tasted before it goes into the passenger compartments.
We are being manipulated by a small group to amazing effect. One cannot lay the blame at the Islamic Community as a whole, for that certainly would be zenophobia at an extreme. But it is an issue which the Muslim Community must become actively involved in, for those being taught extremist views must try and proselytise, and certainly not all approached with the idea of joining a radical group comply. Those approached, and who reject this terrorism, are now in the unenviable position of turning informer, a label no one has ever happily had slapped upon them. But unless this becomes more of a concern to those who follow Islam, we are going to be suspicious of any Muslim's intent.
It's human nature, and again, this has to be chalked up as yet another partial success for the terrorists. When we become wary of any segment of society, we break down years of assimilation and cordial relations. The Terrorists desperately want Muslims in the West to feel singled out, for that in itself will push some towards extremist groups.
Nobody likes to be assumed to be the bad guy, when all they want is to continue with their normal lives. With Ismalic terrorists continuing their plots against innocents, the label is harder and harder to avoid, and is driving a wedge between one segment of British and American society, and in particular, Muslims.
This cannot be allowed.
Thus, the importance of destroying groups the likes of Hezbollah, Hammas, al Q'aida, and Taliban. Our comfortable existence is being kicked by what must be emphasised is a small group, relatively speaking.
We are being manipulated, and those pulling the strings know how to work puppets.
This is taking on the substance of a direct armed attack on Britain and particularly, the United States.
Twenty thousand Israeli troops are perched to push more than 30 miles into Lebanon, which would include the port city of Tyre. These Israeli troops are supplied, if one takes statements from the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations seriously, by the United States. So, extrapolate this conflict to one between the Arab World, using it's extremists, against the West.
The Ambassador, in his statement, returned again and again, despite attempts to get back to the question originally asked, to the role the US plays, and of the need to censure Israel. Hezbollah, according to this statement, is not a terrorist organization, but freedom fighters on a Holy Mission to return Palestine to the Palistinians. And that would require, as the Iranian President has called for, the eradication of the State of Israel. The Ambassador also stated baldly that 'all Arab States' are in agreement, that Lebanon, despite it's overt support of Hezbollah, is the innocent victim of unprovoked agression by Israel, and by the United States.
Now, what we have to understand here is, this is a form of Levantine bargaining. The statements of the Ambassador were heartfelt, and to his knowledge and understanding, perfectly legitimate and correct. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, have all openly supported open terrorism within Israel. It is their duty, as they see it.
And this is the point that we must understand. They are not disseminating what we know to be tripe, for to them it is the truth. They believe in their cause, and no amount of rational discussion nor diplomacy, will alter that 'faith'.
There well may be no solution to the Middle East problem. We are simply too far apart, as cultures and in ethics, that it could possibly be impossible to negotiate a lasting and satisfactory solution.
And that is why, 20 thousand Israeli soldiers will put boots on the ground deep into Southern Lebanon. There is simply no other choice.
In the long run, as has been asserted againand again, the only way we in the West can prevail of the Middle East, is to stop buying their oil. Venezuela may take the side of the OPEC Nations, and that leaves us with Russia.
We can deal with the Russians. They think like us.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's been four weeks of steady fighting in Lebanon and Israel, with Hezbollah aiming south, and Israel aiming north.
To date, over a thousand Lebanese have been killed, and over a hundred Israelis.
If anything positive can be said about this, it is that none of the Israeli casualties have been Hezbollah.
There will be a delegation of Arab Delegates appearing at the UN tomorrow, to ask the terms of a ceasefire, as it has been presented by the UN Security Council, be relaxed in favour of Lebanon, and indeed, one can only feel sympathy for the man on the street in Beirut.
However, it has to be emphasized that Israeli Forces have been told 'they will not lose this war on terrorism', a statement startlingly close to that made by George himself after 911.
As was stated this evening by former Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netenyahu, when taken in context, historical context going back to the Second World War, the casualties are exceedingly light, but we've come a long way from the Blitz, and Coventry, and Dresden, and we've forgotten exactly what real casualties amount to.
The stated objective by Israel, the West, and especially the US, is to ensure extremists in countries such as Iran, do not reach nuclear capabilities. One hopes they can succeed in this venture, for in retrospect, if that bomb is developed in that country, this little skirmish will be nothing more than an hors d'ouvers for the main meal

Sunday, August 06, 2006

It's interesting, what you read in the news, or hear on the radio, or on your television.. Y'know, it ain't necissarily so..
The news, as it issues from these electronic gagets, at it's last point, goes to the announcer, the news anchor. Before that, it has been written from CN, or CNN, or ABC or CBS or NBC or CBC or Radio-Canada verbatim reports from reporters on the ground. These are perhaps the last time these first-hand reports will come to your attention.
For then the news goes to the editor's assistant, one well versed in political correctness and the stance the government or the opposition wants these 'fact's presented, and depending on his/her subjective assessment, will bring the story down to bare-bones.
This editor's copy is what will go over the air, and one would be somewhat naive to trust the absolute ethical integrity of some, if not all of these 'editors'
Case in point,
Piongyang recently launched two long-range missiles, one which crashed at it's announced 200 mile limit into the Sea of Japan. The other, we were told, exploded during the launch proceedure, thus causing such a collected sigh of relief in East-Asia, that it is said some rose blossoms fell in the Japanese Emperor's garden.
The conflicting report is, that far from destroying itself upon launch, it was shot down by some unidentified source.
This leads us to two questions.
Was North Korea testing a rocket which would have surpassed the distance between Korea and Japan?
And was it an American SAC patrol craft which 'might' have shot it down.
I trust this source.

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