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

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Way back in March of 2003, the US launched a 'daring' rescue operation, to extract Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital. She had been taken there, we were told, suffering terrible wounds, having been shot and stabbed, and her retrieval by Special Forces teams was hailed as a 'huge success', and Private Lynch herself hailed as a heroine..
Now, we find, this was spin.
That while indeed a Special Ops detail did rescue her,but, according to Jessica herself, they were firing blanks in the hospital, and setting off harmless explosions in the vicinity in a 'Rambo-like' fashion..
And further, she was not quite the heroine she was portrayed to be.. That she did not 'continue to fire upon the enemy until she ran out of ammunition, and all her comrades killed, but in truth hid until she was pulled from her APC by Iraqi forces..
So Jessica Lynch testified before a Congressional Hearing that her injuries, a broken arm, a broken leg and dislocated ankle, were indeed, as the Iraqi's had originally claimed, consistent with a 'road accident'..
It is interesting, for a couple of reasons, that this story has broken now..
One, is that Jessica Lynch herself wrote a book about her role in the army, in fact, it encompassed the role of all women serving in the front lines of the US Forces..
Keep in mind Jessica herself was basically a secretary.. not meant to be in combat..
and in this book, no mention of the 'spin' was mentioned..
Two, is the fact she was called before a Congressional Hearing, at this critical time when the US is re-evaluating it's role in Iraq, and is about to set a time-line for withdrawal of all forces from the area..
And three, that it undermines George's credibility even more, when it comes to his stance on the 'War Against Terrorism'..
Now George and Tony may well have opened a can of worms they wish they hadn't, when it comes to Iraq.. They may well wish they'd left Saddam in charge and the Kurds to fend for themselves..
But the box has been opened, and while Pandora found 'hope' at the bottom of hers, George and Tony may find ignominy..
Make no mistake, terrorism is real. We've seen it demonstrated in Britain, and discounting the conspiracy-theorists, in the US itself..
We hear of it on a daily basis from the Middle East.. and we know the players and their backers..
It would be utter hubris on our part now, to truely believe we can make a 'Western' State of Iraq.. Iran would not allow another Israel so close to it's borders..
But our efforts against those who would fight endlessly for the establishment of an Islamic world and the re-establishment of the Caliphate, cannot be discounted as 'waste of time and men and money'.. That threat is real, and regardless of how distasteful it may seem to some, it must be continued until it's been brought under control..
But once again..
It is the Islamic World that must perform this containment.
The fact is, we are not capable of eradicating fundamentalism. It must be a job for those who share the same basic ideology..
Our one effective weapon, is economics.
And it is, as simple as that.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's interesting how, while it might take some time, prople do come around to the realities of a situation... Let me quote directly from a Washington Post article.. and when the excerpt have been digested, look back a few months in this missive, and recap..
This is by The Washington Post's columnist Michael Chertoff, and is dated today..
Make No Mistake: This Is War
By Michael Chertoff
Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page B07

As the rubble of the Twin Towers smoldered in 2001, no one could have imagined a day when America's leaders would be criticized for being tough in protecting Americans from further acts of war.
Now, less than six years later, that day has arrived.
Since Sept. 11th, a conspiracy-minded fringe has claimed that American officials plotted the destruction. But when scholars such as Zbigniew Brzezinski accuse our leaders of falsely depicting or hyping a "war on terror" to promote a "culture of fear," it's clear that historical revisionism has gone mainstream.
Brzezinski stated the obvious in describing terrorism as a tactic, not an enemy ["Terrorized by 'War on Terror,' Outlook, March 25]. But this misses the point. We are at war with a global movement and ideology whose members seek to advance totalitarian aims through terrorism. Brzezinski is deeply mistaken to mock the notion that we are at war and to suggest that we should adopt "more muted reactions" to acts of terrorism...."
..."A sensible strategy against al-Qaeda and others in its ideological terror network begins with recognizing the scope of the threat they pose. Al-Qaeda and its ilk have a world vision that is comparable to that of historical totalitarian ideologues but adapted to the 21st-century global network.
Is this actually a war? Well, the short answer comes from our enemies. Osama bin Laden's fatwa of Feb. 23, 1998, was a declaration of war, a self-serving accusation that America had somehow declared war on Islam, followed by a "ruling" to "kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military . . . in any country where it is possible to do it."

End of quote.
Now, this is a statement which begins to show a glimmer of understanding of the position we are in, but does not address the diplomatic Gordeon Knot which is the Middle East..
When articles based on historical knowledge of the area begin to appear.. showing someunderstanding of the inticacies of the Middle Eastern mind, and some appreciation for the manner in which they can turn situations which we would be incabable of justifying into acts of martyrdom, and have the populace accept, or believe it..
When we begin to study the problems we had, when we began to deal with the Middle East in a 'civilised' manner, and realise that our brand of 'civilisation' is but a newcomer, compared with theirs..
Then perhaps we can begin to turn our advantages into advantages, rather than liabilities.. we can learn from their calulated responses to our predicted advances, by altering the phrasing of those advances..
By addressing those who have the most power in the region.. those who hold the most sway.. And that would be the Saudi Arabians..
Chertoff was right in 're-stating' that this is a war..
But it's one which must be waged on two fronts, and against the right enemies..
Sometimes it's hard, to tell your friends from your foes..
And sometimes it's important to find out...
Another word, about two other elections which for most, will pass virtually un-noticed, yet which have an implicatory effect of all of us..
Syria is also voting.
Or to be more accurate, Syrians are not voting..
There is a remarkable apathy about this Presidential election, one in which the average Syrian knows full well, that two-thirds of the seats will go to the ruling Baath Party and its allies..
Even state-controlled newspapers have deplored the lack of enthusiasm from the man on the street..
They are resigned it seems, to the confirmation of the president, Bashar Assad, for a second seven-year term.. and for life to continue much as it has been..
They have little choice, for when Bashar came to power originally, seven years ago, he ordered that many of those who were his poilitical opponents, jailed as 'political prisoners'..
And in Syria, you cannot run for public office if you have a record as a 'political prisoner'..
So while there are over two thousand candidates running for election, they're all singing from the same page..
And thus, so it seems, will it stay..

Now, Nigeria..
The main opposition candidates in Nigeria's presidential election say they will not accept the results of Saturday's poll...
The Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and General Muhammadu Buhari, accused the governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) of rigging the election..
Of the three states announced so far, the PDP's Umaru Yar'Adua won two.. and Mr Abubakar's Action Congress party one.
Now..foreign observers said there were serious shortcomings in the election...
Ballots were delivered late.. voters were kept from their polling stations.. the processing proceedure was ridiculously long.. violence closed some polls entirely..
Nigeria's biggest election monitoring group said the presidential poll was so flawed that it should be scrapped and held again...
In Kano, men armed with cutlasses and guns stole ballot boxes while in Onde state, in the south-west, men disguised as policemen abducted election officials...
The perhaps the most obvious attempt at foiling this election was an attempt to disrupt polling on Friday when a petrol tanker.. laden with gas cylinders.. was used in an attack on the electoral commission's headquarters in Abuja.
Come on..
And we were in such a state over the mis-count in Florida..?
We have to tnink here.. seriously..
What kind of 'democracy' are we spreading..?
Sure isn't a 'chicken in every pot and a car in every garage'..
It's a two horse race in France..
Two candidates representing entirely different points of view.. and the winner will not only form the government, but will also reflect the percentage of French voters which hold certain ideas on hos their country should be run..
Today's first round results Nikolas Sarkovski, called a 'Center-Rightist'.. but with leanings definately towards the right of center, getting about 31% of the popular vote..
His opponent,Socialist Segolene Royal, managed 25%.. added spice to her campaign is that should she win, she would be the countrys first female President..
Our previously mentioned candidate, the far, far Right Jean Marie le Pin, somehwhat disturbingly, managed close to 11% of the vote, and while that is considerably down from the numbers he recieved in the last Presidental election, it still indicates that at least one in ten Frenchmen and women, share his idealism.
Jean Marie le Pin will not be on the second ballot though, keeping in mind he made it through the last time..
Nicolas is something of a hard-liner.. he will 'demand' of his countrymen, a sense of 'identity' they seem to have lost.. a work ethic, stressing in his speeches the values of those who get up every day and head off to their jobs, whatever they may be.
He calls those who took part in the recent riots, both the Unionists and the students,'garbage'.. those who would demand more from the system than they were willing to put into it..
He would cut back on immigration, and increase the deportations of illegal immigrants..
His statements after todays results were to the effect 'that the nation has shown that it wants a final decision made, between two diametrically opposed political systems.. That the time has come to define France..'
Now Segoline, in her remarks said almost exactly the same thing..
" On 6 May we will have a clear choice between two very different paths. I extend my hand to all those who think like me that it is not only possible but urgent to leave a system that no longer works.
I invite you to invent a new France, both protecting and dynamic. A fraternal and conquering France that allows each person to build their life and succeed. I call tonight for the rallying of all those who identify with the values of the presidential pact and who think that it is possible to reform France without brutalising it, who want to make human values triumph over stock market valuations, who want to put an end to the insecurity and precariousness that have painfully worsened in recent years."
So, there you have it.
Both contenders asking for a definative statement from the French..
Socialist.. or Capitalist..
There will be more, 'til May 6th, when the final ballots will be cast..
It deserves some thought to the success of either candidate, for the future of France in the EU, will depend on the outcome..

Friday, April 20, 2007

Jean Marie La Pen.. an ex-paratrooper.. one of the candidates in this upcoming French election..
Now it might seem off that this particular writer is paying any attention to the elections of a country which casually, may have little or no economic or political clout in the not-so distant future.. But for the now, France has a part to play in the Brussels Accord.. the 'constitution hidden within an economic and administrative muddle'..
He's an extreme Rightist.. some would almost call him Fascist..
In fact, when one reporter was moved aside by le Pen's minders.. he was frisked, and almost prompted to explain.. 'Pas ma pote.. pas ma poche'.. that is, 'Not my mate, not my pocket..'
The rallying cry stems from a La Pin campaign poster, with a black man and a white man standing side by side, with the caption 'Touche Pas Ma Pote'.. 'Don't Touch My Mate'..
Le Pin Mr Le Pen says that he's hopeful for these elections.. He was a surprise success in the last, and has gained significant support..
He added, in English,
"I am fighting for it!I'm wary of terms like 'extreme right'.. they are value judgements as much as descriptions".
When asked the question echoes by protesters... Is he a fascist?
"Fascists were Italian," he replies...
Action Francaise weren't however.. referring to the French inter-war fascist party.
The geniality fades, to be replaced by irritation.
"I'm nothing to do with that. I've been fighting elections for 50 long do I have to go on before you consider me a democrat?"
And on this day there's not much talk that would ring any alarm bells. His target today is the European Union.. and particularly fishing quotas..
He was in Bordeau..
More on the other candidates.. to come..
Keep in mind that it's the winner of this election, that will have to deal with Gordon Brown.. an avowed Europhile..
And it will be the continued demands for increased French agricultural and fishing industry subsidies, that Gordon will have to face..

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sadriya: Car bomb kills at least 115 at market..
Sadr City: Car bomb kills at least 30 at checkpoint..
Karrada: Car bomb near private hospital kills at least 10..
al-Shurja: Minibus bomb kills at least two people..
That's the total so far today in Baghdad..
It leaves one speechless.. the extent one 'faith' will go to, to gain control of..
What, really?
A statement from Prime Minister Nouri Maliki that Iraqi forces will take control of security in all of the country's provinces by the end of the year was also made today.. while his government tries to deal with the loss of a major section of it's coalition..
Although electorally allied to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's own al-Daawa party and partners in the big Shia coalition which dominates government and parliament, the two sides had been increasingly at odds as the pressures in the country mount...
And the decision by radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr to order his six ministers to quit the Iraqi government was not a surprising development..
However, Mr Sadr's decision to withdraw from the government appears to have been triggered primarily by its failure to heed the big popular demonstration he called in Najaf a week earlier to demand a withdrawal of coalition forces.
Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly Shias, attended the demonstration, waving banners and chanting slogans calling for the Americans to leave...
It passed off peacefully...
This leaves the coalition between a rock, and a hard place..
Can the Americans, in the face of growing political and public opposition to the war, increase their commitment to the point that the back of the supply of arms and money to the terrorists is broken..and does George have enough time to effect a drastic change in Iraq..
Will the British, in the face of similar dissatisfaction with both the cost and the effects.. under Gordon Brown.. maintain the necissary groundforce, and spend the money on equiping them..
Will the British presence in Afghanistan remain constant, and will the much needed airpower continue to be supplied to them..
We're seeing a drastic change in leadership in both of the major players in most of the major conflicts ongoing..
And what is the result if we pull out again.. this time not 40 miles from Baghdad, but 5 years into the city..
I refer the readers to the statistics at the head of this article.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Several points of interest today..
Lets start with the UN Security Council's meeting today, to discuss the effects of 'global warming'..
Now, this hits on on several levels here.
One: It is a formal acknowledgement by a major world institution, that we're in trouble.
Two: It points out that this trend towards changing climate will have 'security' consiquences.. especially in Africa. That it could lead to more mass migrations, as people leave land left arid, for literally greener pastures. Thos already occupying these lands might not be too receptive to immigrants.. yet where are these millions to go?
So, the Security Council is now, no doubt, formulating contingency plans, not to stop the process of weather change, but to deal with the violence it will produce.
Pity they haven't more clout with those countries who are responsible for the acceleration of this process..
But, the die is cast, and one believes there is no way back.
Not now.

Britain's £ went past the £2Am point for the first time in 15 years, albeit briefly, today. And this is not good news..
It would seem at first glance, to those living on this island, that it's great news.. that the £ will now buy them loads more when they go abroad.
But, it means that with the British inglation rate now sitting at 3.2%, and our key interest rate standing now at 5.25%, it is more than a certainty that when the Bank of England sets the new Interest Rate on May 10th, it will be 5.5% if not higher.
This means, that those who have just climbed laboriously unto the housing ladder, will find their mortgage rates increasing substantially, and our banks will end up being perhaps the largest real estate conglomerate in the country.
The dollar is sliding.. against the £.. against the Euro.. and this points to slower American investment in British and European business expansion. This slide, coupled with inevidable interest rate hikes in Britain and Europe, will eventually lead to more plant closures.. movements into Eastern Europe where, even though the currency is the Euro, labour costs are considerably cheaper.. and this will lead to British unemployment, and plant closures.
Again, it comes back to the banks owning more and more property, as people find themselves unable to keep up mortgage payments..
A vicious circle..?
More like an insidious spiral..

And finally, for the moment, Einstein has been proven to be spot on with one of his postulates.. that being 'The Geodetic Effect'..
This effect, if one will excuse an analogy, is one caused by say, putting a bowling ball in the middle of a stretched piece of rubber.. naturally there will be an indentation..distorting the rubber sheet around itself in much the way a massive object such as the Earth distorts space and time around itself.
If the bowling ball is then rotated, it will start to drag the rubber sheet around with it. In a similar way, the Earth drags local space and time around with it - ever so slightly - as it rotates.
This has been measured by NASA's Gravity Probe 'B' satellite.. launched some 4 years ago..
Now.. they working on proving the second half of Einsteins theory..The scientists from Stanford are still trying to extract its signature of frame-dragging from the data.
We should see those results sometime in December..

Monday, April 16, 2007

MP's are about to debate a mental health bill, which would allow those with anti-social problems to be 'detained', without their having committed a crime..
There is some great degree of public support for such a piece of legislation, considering the numbers who have been murdered or injured by those diagnosed with 'untreatable' problems..
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity 'Mind', said the government had not learned the right lessons from a series of high-profile killings...He added: "Countless inquiries into these homicides tell us that it's the services and access to services that makes the biggest difference - not changing the law."
The Conservatives point out the plans will make it easier for people to be detained at a time when the NHS is being forced to close beds in mental health wards.
The number of beds for the mentally ill fell from 36,601 in 1997-8 to 29,802 in 2005-6.. according to David..
And, over the same period, the number of formal admissions to NHS facilities rose by 325 to 25,740...
This is a disturbing trend among those men on the street.. this fear of those who are suffering from mental problems. As has been previously reported here, fully one quarter of Britons, at one time or another, have, or do suffer from depression, and most of those go undiagnosed.
There is a sigma attached.. by friends, neighbours, and perhaps more importantly, by employers..
There is no doubt that something must be done to supervise those who are diagnosed with anti-social behavioral problems, but legislation which could see them locked up indefinately smacks of a Gitmo situation.
No charges need be laid.. no crime committed.. merely the possibility..
This flies in the face of the foundation of our legal system, that being 'innocent until proven guilty'..
It is a Law which must be thought through completely, for if it is passed, it could lead to the indefinate imprisonment of alcoholics.. drug-addicts.. any who display anti-social behavior on a continuous level..
And, it will turn the psychiatric wards of the NHS, into virtual prisons, with the nessisary segregation of those who exhibit violent tendencies from those who are merely 'depressed'..
One wonders which the government considers cheaper.. the construction of new jails, or the approval of expansion of mental units within existing hospitals... the hiring of new warders, against the hiring of nurses to care for these disturbed people..
Again..interesting, to say the least.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It is something the Western mind has something getting itself around..
How Islamic terrorists.. Shi'ite v Sunni, can cause such violence.
It is difficule for us to encompass the concept, that waiting for a bus, going to the local market, going about one's daily routine, can be the death of you.
And not at the hands of foreigners...
Not at the hands of the Occupying Forces..
But at the hands of one's own countrymen.. by groups encouraged, supplied, financed, given specific training and indoctrination, by those who encourage such action in the name of patriotism.. of religious fulfillment..
Now it's not to say the West hasn't had it's own horrific Civil Wars.. There isn't a country in the West that hasn't had it's own..
And it's not to say that atrocities were committed by countryman against countryman in our own societies..
We can't claim that we haven't been goaded into such action by religious fervour..
But, these are all in our 'history', and as such, regarded as a behavior pattern long forgotten..
We've 'evolved' past such.. with the last, we might maintain, ended with the resolution of the Sinn Fein / UDP problems in Northern Ireland..
It is utterly inconcievable to us, how suicide bombers could detonate their cars just feet from hundreds of people at a Baghdad bus station, as one did this morning.
Almost a hundred killed, and that number subject to rise.. almost 200 injured..
The scale of this eludes us, and the motivation unsufficient.
We are, in a way, seeing our past re-lived for us, with far more sophisticated weaponry..
And we must ask ourselves, what would our forefathers have said, being fervently dedicated to one cause or another, if they were told by an outside force, itself insufficient to stop terrorist action, had they been told to lay down their arms.. that their cause was not worth fighting for..
The Middle East is a culture that has not essentially changed, in centuries.
Ahh they have adopted, to a small extent, the trappings of Westernisation.. cars.. cities.. industrialisation..
But it is only a veneer, and one which is fundamentally despised.
The salient word being, fundamentally.
We cannot make the average Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Saudi Arabian, any Middle Eastern citizen, adopt a Western point of view.
Thus, it is utterly inevidable that whether we believe we have established a 'stable' government in Iraq, and we leave.. there will be an immediate civil war.
There is absolutely nothing we can do about it, and all our good wishes.. all our attempts to the contrary, will lead to nothing.
We can, before we leave, try to restore as much of the civil infrastructure. Engineers can try to keep up with repairing bridges and roads, as terrorists continue to destroy them.. supply running water and sweage systems..
We can try to leave a government in place that will last a couple of months, at least.. so some work can be done by the Iraqi's themselves..
But we cannot 'win' this war..
We're fighting our own history..

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Y'know.. it would appear to be patently obvious, that we, meaning humans in general, are the most naive creatures of this planet..
We follow the media for our 'deeper understanding' of the world around us.. and allow our particular source, usually one network's news at ten, or one newspapers daily edition, to set firmly in place our perception of the world around us.
We allow Lobby Groups to feed us disinformation, and follow blindly the nonsense they feed us..
Take for example, the growing movement against those who smoke tobacco, and the industry itself. Now it can be taken as a given, that smoking is not good for you, that it does damage to the smoker who's inhaling all manner of noxious chemicals..
But what is not pointed out, that the amounts of these noxious chemicals are minute, and the chimera of second-hand smoke has been expanded to such an extent that it is risible..
The air we breathe in our homes is unfiltered. It comes directly into our houses from outside.. where literally millions of cars spew the same chemicals found in cigarettes into the atmosphere, in ammounts so much larger than a cigarette, that one cannot use the 'enclosed space' argument, because it is all-pervasive.
We plaster our cigarette packages with warnings that these will kill us, yet allow a new car to roll off the assembly line, without the warning on the bumper, or along the side, that 'this machine cracks gasoline, not burns it, and the chemicals it puts out it's tailpipe is ten thousand times more deadly than the smoking of a carton of cigarettes an hour..
We allow aircraft to take off every minute, which dump again, the same chemicals into that which we amazing amounts..
We allow expansion of businesses which run on natural gas, or oil, or coal, which again not only poisons us, but destroys our entire ecosphere..
We are watching this world change, and entire species disappearing, thinking blythly to ourselves, that it's not affecting 'us'..
It goes beyong naivety.
It's just plain stupidity.
Now there are those who will say our economies will take time to adjust to new technology, and that if we don't allow them the time they need to make these adjustments, our standard of living will fall..
This is to those who live within the States that belong to the G8+5.. the wealthy countries who's populations are insulated from the true effects of our mental isolationism..
But how much farther down the standard of living scale can those in Africa go? Who speaks for them?
Who campaigns for fewer internal combustion engines, with the droughts, or the floods, or the disappearing ice caps, other than a few poorly fundred groups, who most within the affluent nations consider 'tree-huggers' or 'ecological extremists'..
For the airline industry.. it could be suggested that they start re-inventing lighter than air craft.. blimps.. powered by external combustion engines.. electrical engines.. hybrid engines.. It might be much slower to get from point A to point B.. but what's the rush in this day of instant worldwide communication?
For the automotive industry.. re-tooling to produce only hybrid, or external combustion engines.. effectively steam-driven cars... Again, the pace would be slower, but what's the real need for speed?
For the anti-smoking campaigners.. some education. Some information on how their successfull efforts could be turned towards the real problem.. the polution by big business in the name of profit..
For the G8+5 nations.. a concerted effort by those countries with the capital resources to legislate not significant reduction in greenhouse gasses, but the elimination of them entirely, when profit is the only incentive to produce them..
We have the technology.
We have the knowledge available to us, but lack the ethic to implement such sweeping moves..
And for those who take up a cause without finding out all possible information concerning that cause, moronic.
We humans are easily led creatures.. naive to the point wherein we will watch ourselves destroy millions of our fellow humans without a single qualm, for the sake of our own convenience.
And we can't, in good concience, blame our leaders, for we elected them, or accepted them..
We can't blame big business or their lobbyists, for they are motivated by the same incentives we are.
Greed.. and speed.. and a complete lack of understanding of the 'big picture'..
Deliberate ignorance will be our downfall..
Let that, at least be recorded.
The chairman of the 'Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II'.. Rajendra Pachauri.. has announced that if we do nothing about the current levels of carbon, and other noxious gasses into our atmosphere.. we will render parts of this planet absolutely uninhabitable..
Now they had a time frame.. but did not announce that..
It has to be considered, that Governments fund these think-tanks, and to a somewhat greater amount than we would like to think, control what findings are released for public consumption..
Dr. Pachauri continued:
"We have far greater regional detail than in..our previous global assessment in.. 2001 on things like glacier melting, and what the implications of that melting will be.. on sea level rise, which clearly threatens a number of countries in the world including mega-deltas which are particularly vulnerable.. and on agriculture, which has implications for food security."
Twenty-nine thousand 'real world' studies were included in this particulr study group.. the extra detail a testament to the increased experimentation and observation which has been spurred by the real concern over global climate change..
"There is observational evidence of regional impacts on every continent on physical and biological systems,".. according to Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate impacts specialist with the US space agency Nasa..
"There are multiple lines of evidence that human-induced climate change is happening now, and the impacts are being seen now."
Pretty strong stuff.. but not nearly as strong a statement than the one the scientists had planned to deliver.
Going back to the fact that Governments fund these studies, it must be understood that the same Governments would have input into what was released..
The IPCC is an unusual organisation in that the evidence is supplied by scientists, but the summaries of its reports are agreed upon between scientists.. and government representatives.
Thus.. "climate sceptics" and "climate catastrophists" alike have regularly contended that the conclusions are unreliable.. that scientists' drafts are altered through political pressure to make them either too weak or too strong, depending on which direction the criticism is coming from.
Here, a number of governments have sought to tone down the degrees of certainty on various issues.
The draft for this meeting began by stating with "very high confidence".. that natural systems on land and sea are being affected by regional climate changes, a statement not well recieved by Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China...
Of course, these countries are in the business of selling oil, gas and oil, and using vast amounts of coal for industrial development, respectively..
There was a deadlock which continued until the early hours of the final day's negotiations, with finally Dr Rosenzweig presenting a 'note of protest to the chair' on behalf of senior scientists, saying that their evidence-based conclusions were being ignored.
At one point she left the room, and the whole process could have unravelled..
The upshot was diplomatic leadership by the US, the favoured bogeyman of activists, which found a compromise everyone could live with.
"The final document states that observational evidence on every continent and most oceans shows that natural systems are being affected by regional changes, particularly temperature increases," announced Dr Rosenzweig.
This, she said, she was happy with..
Martin Parry, one of the co-chairs of this working group, made this observation on what the involvement of government representatives means for the IPCC's significance:
"The real secret is that governments buy in..otherwise it would be just another report."
These governments.. those which objected and those which concurred.. will soon have the conclusions thrust under their noses at an unprecedented level.
Later this month, the United Nations Security Council will discuss the security implications of climate change.. the very first time this Group has ever considered such a question.
In June, the G8+5 group which includes the world's most powerful and populous nations will also have the IPCC's conclusions on their negotiating table.
"The science has come across as so strong and so confident in this report that really governments have nowhere to hide," commented Catherine Pearce.. an international climate campaigner with 'Friends of the Earth UK'.
That would presume though.. that each government speaks with a single voice on climate change.. and does not take into account the voice, or the clout of very powerfull.. very rich.. lobby groups.
Many governments, including the UK's, have environment departments which include enthusiasts for tough action on emissions, even at the expense of a little economic hardship.
These views will almost certainly not be shared though in departments of finance, transport, energy and industry in these prosperous countries.
And the arguments can be quite hard to win in rich northern nations which.. as the IPCC report acknowledged.. may actually benefit from a modest amount of warming. and where resources are enough to defend against rising sea levels and shrinking rainfall.
It is in the poorest countries that the climate axe will fall.

Friday, April 06, 2007

President Ahmadenejad appears to have problems, in his own country.
'His' actions, as they are now being called.. 'could have started an International Incident'.. something the Iranian government would avoid at all costs..
'His' bluff, failed.
It has now been firmly established who runs the government in Iran, and while Ahmadenejad has power, it is not the 'absolute' power he counted on... He doesn't have the solid support of the man on the street, as has been proven by statements issued by al Jazeera..interviews with random people in Iran, who 'wondered what has being done to the kidnapped Navy personnel', and 'why' they were taken initially.
The de-briefing of those captives has been enlightening.. of them being stripped and dressed in pyjamas.. of being kept in stone cells.. sleeping on blankets.. only seeing each other when they were paraded on State television.. of being lined up, blindfolded, with armed guards behind them cocking their weapons.. of being threatened with seven years in jail if they did not make the statements prepared for them by their Iranian captors..
Ahh yes.
And those who believed that there was the possibility that the Royal Navy could have made a mistake, and wandered into Iranian waters.. The captives themselves confirming exactly what the GPS and photographic evidence had already done.. that when that freighter was boarded, the Royal Navy was 1.7 miles within Iraqi waters..
And the statement from the captives, that they were confronted with an 'unwinnable' situation, had they decided to fight their way out.. of being outnumbered, with some of the Iranians in the 'black bag' operation appeared to be volotile, unstable, and willing to shoot at the drop of a hat..
It makes the little gift bags the captives were issued when they were set free, somewhat.. what's the word..
While the government in Tehran is now working on damage control.. while those who actually held the reins allowed Ahmadenejad run with his calculated risk evaluate the damage they've allowed..
The President's job itself appears to be on the line..
The Iranian position, wherein they have been supplying arms, money, and personnel to the insurgents in Iraq, is being seriously scrutinised and evaluated..
The Iranian position within it's own Arab Community, is being shored up by disassociation by the Ayatollah Kameini from the entire incident..
As was written in this commentary, just a few days ago.. This was a mistake, and a bad one.
The end effect may well be, an increase in attacks on coalition forces by the Iraqi insurgents, as they try and demonstrate their capabilities..
But soon, it will mean a decrease in such attacks, as these insurgents see their lines of supply drying up.. their financing disappearing.. Iran has demonstrated to the rest of the Arab Community, that the coalition will not be cowed by the possible loss of men, and women, in this conflict.
Four British soldiers were killed by a roadside mortar and following gunfire two days ago..
Two of them were women..
This sends a far more powerfull message to those opposing the reconstruction of Iraq.. the re-establishment of a government which would deal with healing the rift between Sunni and Shi'ite..the rebuilding of oil-pipelines and refineries so Iraq can once again provide it's peoples with an income.. than ever an invasion of Iran ever could..
A scenario Ahmadenejah had counted on..
This, demonstrates to the Arab Community, that having a fanatic in control, is not a wise move..
Now, while most of the countries who follow Islam are tollerant to those who do not adhere to the same creed, there has always been a tacit agreement that the fanatics among them will be left alone.. not publicly 'supported', but allowed to carry out their subversive measures against that which the West has been trying to build in Iraq, and diplomatically work towards in Israel with the Palistinians.
This, will give the Palistinian Hezbollah Government something to think about..
Perhaps they'll look at Northern Ireland, wherein even those as diamentrically opposed politically, the likes of Jerry Adams and Ian Paisley, can eventually find themselves reaching an agreement..
Ahmadenejad, through his actions, may well have done some good in the long run..
Not quite that which he had planned two weeks ago..

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A statement from Tony, just a few moments ago.. has effectively confirmed that which has been written here over these past few days..
Statements from other analysts have echoed the same sentiments..
Let's recap..
Tony stated plainly two days ago, that 'the next 48 hours would be crucial, as far as relations between Britain and Iran were concerned'..
That, according to today's statement, Irans 'drama' had been influenced by diplomatic efforts from Syria, Iran's closest ally in the Middle East, from Afghanistan, from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, from even Columbia.. all those who had called in their Iranian representatives in those countries, and had effectively told the Iranians that they had committed a 'blunder' in taking British prisoners in a manner which made Iran, and it's government, 'suspect' throughout the International Diplomatic Community..
Now, the point has been made, that President Ahmadenejad is exceedingly popular among the young in Iran.. those who may be somewhat distanced from the real leaders of that country.. the Ayatollah Khameini, and his Islamic regeme. But, this 'theater' he has produced in the release of the hostages on the eve of Easter, would be considered as a master stroke of diplomacy only by the most naive of observers.
It would be well kept in mind that Britain made no concessions to the Iranian regeme, and that the British approach to this situation was on two fronts.. one being diplomatic, which has opened channels of communication hithertofore closed, and the other being the consolidation of international opinion against the trustworthyness of Iran itself..
Iran is now seen, even within the Arab world, as a 'loose cannon'.. a country that would fly in the face of world opinion regardless of the consiquences..
The damage will take some time to repair with those countries Iran had counted on for unconditional support, and in fact, it is moot whether President Ahmadenejad will be capable of effecting such repair work.
If Iran considered itself isolated before, this latest escapade has only increased this situation.
And to further the rift between the West and Iran, Tony has unconditionally accused the government in Tehran of supplying arms, money, and personnel to fuel the unrest in Iraq, and hinder the efforts of the US and Britain to bring stability to a country that could be independantly wealthy.. one which could afford it's citizens with a stability between the two main religious communities.. and provide it's citizens with a decent standard of living.
Ahmadenejad has succeeded in taking the focus off Israel, and the Palistinian issue, and in doing such may well allow those two factions to come to a peaceable agreement..
And this, was certainly not what the man had in mind when he first took the British servicemen captive, thirteen days ago..
He has effectively underlined the fact, that his purpose has been to cause as much disruption as possible in the Middle East, and while this may please the youth in Iran, it has certainly not done the same for those who were his allies, or those who form the actual government, hold the actual power, in his own country..
Now.. let us move on to yet another indication that Britain has not been cowed by this latest incident in Iran..
There is a move within the Moslem Community in Britain, to marginalize those mosques which would foster extremism..
In a speech today, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly is expected to say:
"I do not under-estimate the difficulties we face or the scale of this challenge. But I know from my conversations with Muslim communities up and down the country that the desire and commitment to tackle extremism is there. Success will hinge on forging a new alliance against violent extremism. We need to reach out and give greater support to the overwhelming majority who are disgusted by terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam."
In a related move, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said specialist prosecutors are beginning to work with police officers to improve how they target extremist Imams.
"For some time I have been concerned that we have not taken sufficiently effective action against a very small minority of extremists among our communities who incite others to terrorism.. By bringing together the law enforcement agencies and the prosecutors we now have a commitment to tackle these cases in an effective, focused and well co-ordinated way and the structures to enable that to happen."

It must be emphasised, that Islam itself is not a violent faith.. any more than is Christianity..
And indeed, the historical acts of Christian 'terrorism' against Islam might be said to be greater than those commited by Moslems today..
But the fact remains, that history is history, and this is a world that is growing smaller and smaller by the second..
And if any Community wants to retain it's traditions, then by all means, let that be so.. but within the broader context of the greater society we live in..
This, at the very least, is an absolute imperative..
A comment sent concerning yesterday's post.. something always welcome..
But the writerindicated that Iran, in this latest brouhaha, has 'come out on top'.. has succeeded in embarrasing Britain, the coalition forces in Iraq, and has underlined to the Arab Community that indeed they can force diplomatic crises within the Western ranks..
One cannot agree with this stance.
Yesterday, President Ahmadenejad 'magnanimously' released those servicemen kidnapped on the Shatt al Arab waterway, and appears now to be basking in his political victory..
But in fact, this move by Iran, was more than likely demanded by those above the President, due to the growing International pressure on Iran, and the diminution of the Iranian stance concerning this issue.
It would have happened eventually anyway. There are matters to be resolved concerning the boundaries separating Iran and Iraq along the Shatt al Arab, but in this particular case, the Royal Navy was doing a job, within waters it has patrolled for years now. It would seem unlikely that, again in this particular case, they would have strayed into an area which was outside their sphere of control.. and it would be even more unlikely that Iranian patrols would be there within seconds, had this not been a pre-planned, orchestrated political move.
And now, on the eve of the Persian New Year, the prisoners have been set free, and sent home, with a plea from President Ahmadenejad to Tony, that these troops not be 'prosecuted' for their trespasses.
What is by far more likely the case, is that Iran realised that it's case was quickly becoming untenable.. that some action would have to be taken to secure the release, or the rescue of these prisoners.. and that Iran simply could not have stopped any move by Britain or the US to effect this action.
These are the actions of a small child, who, when having stolen something which belonged to someone else and has held on as long as possible, claiming justification, has finally done a complete 180 degree turn and announced 'even though I'm right, I will give it back'..
It is a transparent move to save face, for not only was the pressure mounting from the West, but also from within the ranks of the Arab Community itself..
Iran wants no more deep scrutiny put upon itself than it already has, with it's development of it's uranium stockpiles. This issue in itself was perhaps the reason for the kidnappings in the first place, with the prisoners meant to be used as pawns, to reduce Western intervention in it's nuclear development program..
But, it has backfired..
So, rather than having shamed the British, Iran has shamed itself. For if it's position was completely justified, let there be no mistake, there would have been no capitulation.. no release.. no lessening of diplomatic pressure..
This is not the way politics works in the Middle East..
Never has been..

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Now, the latest is, that Iranian President Ahmadenejad is setting the 15 kidnapped British Naval personnel free.. as a 'gift' to Britain..
He has announced that they will be taken immediately to an airport, and sent to a British Military base.. as a 'gesture of goodwill' from the people of Iran..
This move has made him amazing diplomatic points, both in the West, and more importantly, among the Arab Community..
It has effectively cancelled out the impact of the original kidnapping.. and has demonstrated the magnaminity of Iran..
An exceedingly smart move, by an exceedingly devious man.. One must wonder, what will be expected in return, keeping in mind that his nuclear program is suspect, and his motives must always been evaluated, very carefully..
There is always a purpose for any of his actions..
And there will be a cost attached to this freeing of the servicemen, one can be assured of that.
If not immediately, then certainly, it will be raised as a bargaining point, at some point down the road..
Very canny..
One has to wonder what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenejad is leading up to now, with this latest speech of his which condemns the US and British forces in Iraq, and the 'war' they are conducting against the people of that country..
He also managed to get in a word concerning Islael's 'invasion' of Lebanon.. conveniently omitting the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers by Hammas..
Marking the Persian New Year with a news conference, he condemned those countries which were responsible for the 'misery' and 'destruction' throughout the world.. again omitting those who strap on semtex vests and blow innocents to pieces in the name of Islam..
Ahmadenejad stated there appeared to be 'no one' who would stand up and 'defend the rights of those oppressed..' intimating that he was doing just that, with his New Years speech..
His oratory began with references to the Q'ran.. and followed with a wide-ranging attack on the West, and the history of the Middle East..
The focus, it appeared to be, that Iraq was originally attacked on the premis that there were 'weapons of mass destruction, and that indeed, there were none to be found..
This, amid growing international fears that his own country is developing the means to build it's own nuclear arsenal..
The man is playing to a public, that is willing to believe the West is responsible for the poverty of the Iranian man on the street.. while again conveniently omitting the fact that while Iran has a healthy trade in oil, little of the revenue filters down to the common man..
His rhetoric, one has to fear, has a willing audience.. and again, one must be concerned about his motives..
His country has backed itself into a corner, with the kidnapping of British Servicemen, and this speech does not bode well for the fate of these captives, nor for any developing diplomatic relations which might be develping between Iran and any Western country, or culture..
He is working his people into a frenzy of hatred for anything non-Islamic, or indeed anything which might have cordial relations with the US, Britain, the EU... anything which might show any tolerance for 'the Great Shaitan'..
This man is dangerous.. as is his rhetoric..
And he appears to have a willing audience.. a people who are willing to lay the blame for their poverty, and their lack of standard of living, on any but those who lead them...
He appears to have chosen a path which we will be forced to follow.. if for no other reason, but for our own defence.
And either way, in the eyes of the man on the street in the Middle East, we will be the agressors, the oppressors..
The bad guys..
There was a statement made by someone in a chatroom yesterday.. by someone who called himself 'NotJustAnotherPoodle'.. that the capture of the British Naval personnel was in retalliation for a 'terrorist attack' in Iran, in which a covert operation led by an un-named power, blew up a busfull of the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps last month..
This event simply did not happen, and when challenged, this chatter disappeared..
However, if such lies are repeated in rooms less informed, they might well be accepted as fact..
Disinformation, misrepresentation, downright lies, are what fuel fanatics..
And we are caught between a rock and a hard place, simply because we are successfull, and they are not... We are affluent, and they are poor.. We have at our fingertips a myriad of sources of information representing all sides of any argument, and they have but one..
We cannot win, when those massed against us, have been convinced by their only source of information, that we are at fault..
We can only react, and face the eternal hatred of those convinced of our desire to take from them, what their government has convinced them we covet.
Even though the average income of those in Iran is a fraction of what it could be if their own government allowed them the benefits of their oil revenue.. we will be blamed for their lack..
And there is effectively nothing we can do about it.
This dispute with Iran is becoming murkier and murkier..
Now, there are those who are asserting that the demarkation line, which was agreed upon back in 1970, which divided the Shatt al Arab in half, one being Iraqi, and the other being Iranian, may have shifted over the years because of changing coastlines..
Of course, that agreement was torn up by Saddam back in 1980, but it has been the rule by which the Royal Navy has patrolled the waterway since the deposition of the Iraqi dictator..
It remains a moot point, as to whether the Royal Navy crew which was kidnapped, was indeed within Iraqi waters, or Iranian..
But what is not moot, is the fact that the Iranians were prepared, and acted immediately upon what they claim was an 'infringement' into their territory.
This was not a routine patrol that happened upon this inspection crew.. it was an action meticulously planned and executed, with the purposefull intention of embarrasing the coalition forces in Iraq..
It may well be, that an International Court may be called in, to re-determine the division of this waterway between the two countries. And should this be the case, it is an issue that Iran should have raised some time before taking 15 Royal navy personnel prisoner, and parading them on Iranian television, while demanding a public apology from the British government..
The Iranians have overstepped their boundaries.. no pun intended..
And in fact, an apology for this incident should be forthcoming from Tehran, for taking pre-emtive action in the face of an ambiguous boundary..
If indeed the Royal Navy trespassed into Iranian waters, a simple warning would have been adequate.. the taking of prisoners is, to say the least, an overwhelmingly obvious over-reaction, with obvious diplomatic designs..
However, if the Royal Navy was within its rights, and this is the determination of an International Court, then Tehran is, to coin a phrase, behind the 8-ball.. and has lost both in the eyes of the Arab Community and the International Community both.
A calculated risk by the Iranians, to say the least, and one they may well end up on the short end of the stick because of..
Again, it begs the question..
Was it worth it?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

There have been some reports by analysts, that Iran might be somewhat excused in their attitude concerning their position in the Middle East.. that they are 'surrounded' by American and British troops.. and are therefor feeling somewhat vulnerable..
Utter rubbish..
Iran has to the north, Turkmenistan..Azerbaijan.. and Turkey.. All states controlled by Islamic governments..
To the east, of course, is Iraq.. where British and American forces are indeed involved in trying to establish a democratic state.. something which the Middle Eastern States are all concerned about..
A tad farther to the east, are Syria.. Jordan.. and Saudi Arabia.. all again Islamic States.. not to mention Kuwait..Qatar..Oman.. and the United Arab Emirates..
So, to imply that Iran's 'vulnerability' is caused by the presence of US and British troops 'surrounding' them, is patently absurd.. In fact, they are surrounded by those who could be considered allies, were their cause considered justified, and their stance accepted as rational.
They have been a constant source of arms for those fighting against the coalition forces in Iraq.. as has Syria..
They have been a constant source of arms and fighters for the Taliban in Afghanistan.. and while the rest of the Islamic Community in the area is well aware of this.. a tacit blind eye has been turned, for that particular area has been at constant conflict with 'the West' since the Middle Ages..
Iran has stated, without hesitation or reservation, that it is dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel, and the establishment of a Palistinian Homeland, in that area now occupied by Israel..
Forget the fact, that when Israel was given that land under the Balfour Declaration in 1947, it consisted of two ports, and desert.. and now is a self-sufficient country wherein Palistinians and Israeli's lived and worked side by side in peace, until Hezbollah decided to stir the Islamic cause into something which has turned into a series of senseless bombings and deaths..
Admittedly, Israel would be in great danger if it did not have the backing of the United States.. forget not that it was attacked by Syria, and twice by Egypt, within three years of it's inception, and fought off these incursions with it's own military, supplied with American arms..
Also forget not that Israel had, and has it's own dark side, with the Stern Gang, and the reputation of the ruthlessness of the Mossad..
But regardless, Israel has nothing in it's short history that has not been equalled, if not surpassed by those Islamic States which surround it..
It remains the one solid foothold the West has in the region, and remains the only State in the area that is not Islamic, and will certainly never declare Jihad against all Westerners within it's borders..
It is a complex issue, is the Middle East.. further complicated with the issue of western dependance on oil..
Our future in that area. depends on the continued 'neutrality' of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and that, in itself, is for us, somewhat akin to ballancing in the head of a pin..
It must always be remembered, that the 'diplomacy' practiced by the Arab States, is not that which we would expect from our European allies. Their plans.. their strategies.. their pledges.. are based on the factor that any agreements made, are not completely binding, for they are made with 'the infidel'..
We have invested much, in the way of capital, and trust, in those we consider our allies in the Levant..
It remains to be seen.. just how much reciprocity can be expected..
Let it not be said that this writer is anti-Islamic, for that is not the case. Each is, and should be, free to follow whatever faith they should choose..
But let it also be understood, that Britain has dealt peaceably with the Middle East since the first sailing ships worked their way down to the end of the Mediterranian in the 17 hundreds, and experience allows an insight into circumstances which have not changed.
And let it also be understood, that Europe has dealt with the Middle East in a hostile manner, since the 11th Century, and such history has also added to insights, on both sides..
Lest we forget..
It would seem that Iran is beginning to realize just what the international political remifications of keeping 15 British servicemen in captivity over a 'border dispute', could actually amount to.
Diplomacy, according to Dr. Ali Larijani, who is the head of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, is the way to resolve this issue, and that a solution 'could be at hand over this issue of a nebulous border issue'..
This would seem to indicate two things.
One, that the Iranian government does not want further sanctions put upon then, with the full backing of the US, Britain, The EU, the UN Security Council, and that they may well be in the wrong by having taken these prisoners in the first place..
And two, that while Ahmadenejad may well continue with his hard line stance, and may well continue to inflame Iranian youth agsinst the West, the facts of the matter are that financially, Iran can afford to bluster, but cannot afford to deal with universal condemnation.
Iran has promised there will not be a repeat of the appearances of the captives on State television.. that the treatment of the captives will be first class.. and that through diplomatic means, their release could be 'immanent'..
Dr. Larijani, it might be mentioned, is the man who heads the negotiations concerning the UN inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities, which will determine whether of not Iran is working towards developing nuclear power, or nuclear weapons. The last thing he wants, is an intensification of the attention paid to the weaponry issue, for if indeed Iran is working on enriching uranium with a bomb in mind, the very last issue he wants to put his country under deeper scrutiny, is the pointless maintenance of this kidnapping..
It's simply, not worth it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

This olny was a matter of time, and had been expected...
In fact, one thought such a demonstration would have taken far less time to orchestrate by those fundamentalist factions within Iran.. far less time to get Iranisn students and youths incensed enough, that they would organise an appearance at the British Embassy in Tehran..
But finally, today, it has taken place..
Thousands of Iranians, the vast majority of them within the demographic of 16 to 28, threw rocks, firebombs, and attempted to storm the walls of the British Embassy.. demanding that all diplomatic ties with Britain be severed, and all diplomats recalled..
It's a common ploy of Fatah and Hammas, to target the i-Pod generation.. to incite them to a point of indignation that they would take violent action. These are the people from whom they draw their followers.. the one's politically naive, and nationalistic in their points of view.. Those who truely believe their plight, their relative poverty, their status within the worldwide community is the fault of the US and Britain, and not the actions of their own government..
These are the people who will be convinced, that strapping on a semtex vest and killing innocents, is a justifyable action, to further the cause of Islam, and to shake the complacency of 'the Great Shaitan'..
Only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, two more British Naval personnel have appeared on Arab television, admitting they trespassed into Iranian waters when they searched that freighter. Again, in the face of irrefutable proof they did not, they were coerced into admitting a wrong they know to be false.
One must wonder what promises have been made by their captors, to prompt such actions. Or whether these personel realise that to we, in the West, realise the uselessness of such 'confessions' by those who have been held incommunicado for more than a week..
President Ahkamenejad continues his rhetoric, accusing Britain of being 'selfish and duplicitous'.. and the use of that word itself..'selfish'.. underlines what must be becoming an increasing sense of discomfort among Iranian officials, as this crisis goes on and on...
It is not an Arabic custom, to allow captives to be held for such a long period of time. Among their community, an apology would be proffered immediately, the captives returned, and denials of any such incursions would follow quickly by those who had lost personnel, with the upper hand, the moral high ground, left with those who took the initial action.
We're not playing by their rules, any more than they're playing by ours.. and to some expent, this is confusng them.
The idea of 'not dealing with terrorists' is foreign to them, for 'plausible denial' has been a part of their diplomatic culture for centuries..
One had to wonder, at the presence of literally truckloads of bricks and stones, which were present at the protest at the British Embassy.. This is something the students themselves could not have provided, for they lack the money and the organisation..
It points directly at the involvement of either the government, or terrorist organisations, in this action.
Stupid of them to allow these sources of ammunition to be filmed by news crews.. An obvious oversight..

Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has proposed holding a regional peace conference following the revival of an Arab peace initiative.
This is a move that had been proposed before, and outrightly rejected by Israel..
But it would seem, that the Israeli's themselves are becoming weary of continuous violence in their own country, and are more receptive to giving a 'homeland' to those who they used to live with, side by side, in perfect peace, until groups the likes of Hammas came in and stirred the youth into a frenzy of nationalism..
We may well see a meeting between the Israeli and Palistinian leaders within the next week or so, with the possibility of concessions being made..
It will be interesting to watch how much opposition is presented by Hammas, and Fatah, and also on the price of Middle Eastern oil, should an agreement be reached..
The Saudi's will be intimately involved in these talks..

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