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A SENSIBLE FOREIGN POLICY IN ACTION

By Pete Moore On November 25th, 2011

It’s just as well kooks and extremists who don’t intend starting endless wars do not direct foreign policy eh? Otherwise we might not have such desirable outcomes as this, reported in the NYT:

The children were from two families and aged between 4 and 12. The reporting is just words on a page of course, but to those families it’s horrifically real. Their children were slaughtered, blown apart, ending up as dismembered, blackened bits of meat. Still, they hate us for our freedoms, as we’ve been told many times.

“I have been to the scene and haven’t found a single bit of evidence of bombs or any other weapons. The Americans did a serious crime against innocent children, they will never ever be forgiven.”

Well, maybe not.

124 Responses to “A SENSIBLE FOREIGN POLICY IN ACTION”

  1. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – and Afghanistan is where?) wipes out a few more in a far-away place about which most Americans/Britons care little if they know where it is. Tens of thousands of Libyans wiped out in a ‘humanitarian bombing’ campaign which was supposed to protect them, the results of which are not shown on TV; clearly it wasn’t intended to allow the public to see their tax-funded military’s handiwork. But now, in Egypt, the NATO-backed military regime is using toxic gas on demonstrators:

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/egyptian-military-nerve-gas/2011/11/23/id/418927?s=al&promo_code=D935-1

    – At least 23 Egyptians have died and more than 1,700 have succumbed to a lethal gas military forces have been using during the past three days in clashes in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

    The International Business Times reports that demonstrators have been struck with “dangerous levels of CR gas over the past two days of protests” and Australia’s The Age said Wednesday that the canisters are marked “Made in the USA.”

    CR gas is an intense and lethal version of CS gas, called “tear gas,” widely used by police for crowd control. –

    Surely NATO should be intervening in Egypt to protect the lives of civilians?

  2. Pete Moore

    To Troll and his fellow neocons of this parish (you know who you are!) this represents success. Because those children could well have become AQ/Taliban fighters in a few years, and now they won’t be.

    Much better to kill them now and be done with it.

  3. Allan@Aberdeen –

    Two days ago Tim Marshall reported from Tahrir Square for Sky News. His crew filmed victims of gas, which Marshall described as ‘particularly virulent’ and that it (apparently) contained trace amounts of cyanide.

  4. Peter –

    Best not take any chances, eh?

  5. Neocons and Tea Party (is there a difference?) exposed here:

    “One of the most negative things to have happened to the increasingly dysfunctional political system in the United States has been the transformation of the Republican Party over the last generation into the party of fiscal deficits. At one time, the bastion of balanced budgets and no free lunches, 70% of gross public debt through the last fiscal year was accumulated under the last three Republican presidents who ran deficits twenty out of twenty years averaging 3.9% of GDP.

    Having inherited a budget surplus from Bill Clinton, George W. Bush presided over a doubling in federal debt, simultaneously cutting taxes while running two wars on credit. Railing against domestic spending, the same administration implemented a large new unfunded prescription drug benefit. Yet now, as the opposition party, Republicans pontificate about the dangerous levels of gross public debt (now at 101.1% of GDP) and last summer set about playing chicken with a possible default on our financial obligations. In now trumpeting national debt as a paramount evil, the Republicans approach the debate by taking tax increases and defense spending off the table – which is somewhat like resolving to set about losing weight by eschewing dieting and exercise.”

  6. Fortunately for the CIA, none of the poppy fields was reported as damaged.

    Phantom put up a piece supposedly to show Ron Paul and Alex Jones as ‘kooks’ for daring to claim that the CIA is involved with banks in drug-running. Wachovia Bank was the Mexican drug gangs’ bank of choice for money-laundering, and the CIA is up to its neck in drug production. The CIA ensures that Afghanistan’s crop is protected; the CIA recruits for the taliban to continue the phoney war in Afghanistan (Raymond Davis – CIA agent arrested in Pakistan caught in flagrante delicto whilst recruiting for the taliban) as pretext for the presence of US-military Inc. If this weren’t so, why not simply spray the poppy fields? All it needs is helicopters and I’m sure that Monsanto would be delighted with the contract.

  7. No one cares, Pete.

    They aren’t paying attention to the wars we’re waging and don’t give a shit about little kids dying or soldiers coming home missing three limbs and a ball sack. They aren’t interested in the financial costs or scale of human misery.

    No one really cares.

    I don’t know why, but they don’t.

  8. Daphne – I don’t know whether you are old enough to recall the reporting of the Vietnam war. Every tea-time on the TV news would be shown the harsh reality of high explosives, napalm, and the effects on children. Americans saw this and wanted it ended. Such a pity that there hadn’t been such images in WW2. Today, there are no news reports of the effects the acne-prone drone-drivers from Maryland have on the people of Libya, almost certainly now Syria and over the past decade in the giant poppy field of Afghanistan. The footage exists, but corporate media won’t show it.

  9. “They aren’t paying attention to the wars we’re waging and don’t give a shit about little kids dying ”

    How many people who supported Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cared about local kids dying?
    From their statements at the time, I would say very few or none.

  10. Daphne any man that comes back without his ball sack cares…. ouch

    People die every day, there has never been a period in human history where man was not at war. We are quite proficient at killing each other.

    Any day of the week we could post a story about someone or a group of someones being killed that shouldn’t have. It is after all the human condition, but to say people don’t care or that as a species we aren’t trying to improve is just assinine

  11. There is a lot of posturing to be seen in this thread.

    Including Allan.’s concern for the evil actions of Allied pilots in WW2 against his Volk, while he has nothing but the sneer of contempt for those killed in that volk’s gas chambers.

    The death of children esp in circumstances like this, is a great moral horror.

    I think that there is less moral horror in Afghanistan now than before the invasion. a lot less.

    And note that many here didn’t say boo when Gadaffi joyfully announced plans to show no mercy to the people of Benghazi, as they show zero concern for the slaughter in Syria.

    Some care a lot more than you think. But those that see the world through the blind mans glasses of ideology care least of all.

    The isolationists will wash their hands of anything that happens outside our borders. And will cherry pick incidents . The warmongers will continue to have a warmongers concern for ” collateral damage ”

    I don’t think that there are many moral lessons to be learned from the cherry pickers or from those who worship the smell of napalm.

  12. “The isolationists will wash their hands of anything that happens outside our borders. And will cherry pick incidents . ”

    Phantom, the initial US attack on Iraq in 2003 killed thousands of Iraqis, including innocent civilians. If the American people at the time thought that the war would lead to the deaths of the same number of American civilians, they would never have suported it. They supported it because they knew the inevitable dead civilians would be foreigners, Arabs. Wars are always like that, they bring out the very worst in people.

    For example, how many of those here who supported that war knew or know the number of civilians killed to the neartest 100? Well, none of them. Not one of them has ever as much as mentioned the dead. They just don’t care enough to find out, and there’s no point pretending that they do.

  13. That logic could be used against WW2

    People supported the Iraq war out of concern about WMD etc.

    They knew people would die. Of course they did.

  14. People supported the Iraq war out of concern about WMD etc.

    And the WMD were to be found where? If such WMD had existed, US-military Inc. would have had them on display everywhere that their corporate media have outlets. No WMD: no babies thrown fron incubators – all lies. What does that say for those who knowingly disseminate such lies?

  15. Phantom –

    well that’s just life then, isn’t it? Six children blown to pieces … ‘shrug’. This is exactly the kind of thing which motivates Iraqis and Afghams to take revenge on our troops.

    In a few weeks time a handful of young American soldiers may be blown to pieces by an IED. You know the score, it’s just a few more crushed families, a few more bodybags and someone somewhere will say “These people are terrorists, look how bad they, look at what they do to people”.

    Well I’m afraid that many American soldiers have been obliterated, their lives ended as charred bits of meat instead of the firm-jawed young men in the portraits shown when they are killed, simply because of some prior act against civilians by Americans.

    One day, people might have the humility to wonder what it would feel like to have their family wiped out by a Chinese or Russian pilot, up there ostensibly to catch ‘terrorists’. I doubt Troll would be shrugging it off so easily, I doubt Americans would accept it. If the price paid for every child and civilian killed in Iraq and Afghanistan was an American child and civilian killed in the US your forces would have been home years ago.

    Face it, even if just war aims had lain behind invasion, this is now a protracted, disgusting occuption which is simply killing more and more people because no senior politicians or generals have the balls to speak out against it.

  16. Troll –

    The other day you were telling people you’re trying your best to be a Christian. Today you excuse the killing of six children by an American pilot as “hey, people die every day”.

    What kind of Christianity is that? You then have the gall, the utter cheek to tell others they are being asinine for thinking people like you don’t care.

    Go to church this weekend and beg God for forgiveness.

  17. Allan

    I am not fighting Iraq all over again

    Pete

    I am not responding to this awful event with any shrug

    But I do note the selective morality of The Cult on display here

  18. “But I do note the selective morality”

    Phantom, there’s no selective morality. The Syrian thugs are not armed, supported or given backing by any country represented on this thread. We can continue to condemn them, which I have done many times, but they are beyond our influence.

    Your tax dollars on the other hand pay the soldiers and pay for the weapons used in US wars and your votes empower, or don’t, the people who send them there. That’s a whole different world of moral responsibility. I know it hardly bears comparison, but if my country’s forces were away killing people in their home country, I (and I fancy millions others) would be out demonstrating against them every day.

  19. I have not seen pete saying boo about Syria

    Allan appears to actually support that government.

    And you are only choosing to see Afghanistan separate and apart from all context. Including why we are there and what the alternatives may be

    I will be happy to discuss this matter. There surely are better alternatives. But some of the wailing here – and I do not include you or Daphne in this group- is posturing on behalf of a political stance. Nothing more.

  20. Allan

    I am not fighting Iraq all over again

    No – the super-militarist has moved on, to Syria and Iran.

    Btw Phantom, I’d like to know where your twisted logic deduces that because I don’t want US-military Inc. to invade Syria that I support its government – please explain? Don’t even try to extend that perverted reasoning to cover islamist Iran.

  21. Phantom –

    “And you are only choosing to see Afghanistan separate and apart from all context. Including why we are there and what the alternatives may be”

    In the past you’ve identified why we’re in Afghanistan: to get the people who caused 9/11. That was the casus belli for the invasion.

    Bin Laden is now dead and officials are saying al-Qaeda is virtually defeated, a shell of its former self, no longer operationally effective.

    Yet there’s no prospect soon of our men and women leaving the place.

  22. Pete

    I think it’s time to rethink Afghanistan.

    Allan

    I think that you support Syria the same way you defended Gadaffi and wanted him left alone from a very low cost action that had huge support among the Libyans. You support Assad and want him left alone to kill as many Syrians as he possibly can. Yes you do.

  23. I think that you support Syria the same way you defended Gadaffi and wanted him left alone from a very low cost action that had huge support among the Libyans. You support Assad and want him left alone to kill as many Syrians as he possibly can. Yes you do

    This is one of the few posts on ATW which is not only completely wrong but is a demonstrable lie word for word.

    I don’t support any regime in Syria because it’s none of my business, nor in Libya. This ‘low cost action’ cost the lives of upwards of 30,000 and just because the murder and mayhem wasn’t shown on ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. I linked to video footage on another thread which showed mass murder and horrific mutilations of children which matched the iconic (and war-stopping) horror of the naplam attacks in Vietnam: ‘corporate’ media won’t show it because corporate military doesn’t want it shown. The same template – falsehoods and lies, demonising of the Syrian regime, arming of the ‘resistance’, no-fly zones etc is symptomatic of a military gone mad – and US-military Inc. has just attacked a Pakistani Army base killing 25 soldiers as ‘friendly fire’. Can you imagine what would happen if any country other than Israel had killed 25 US soldiers?

    I’m reading that Congress is debating a Bill which will alow US-military Inc. to lock up citizens in the US. Surely not?

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being

    – The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. –

  24. Allan

    If you convince the Libyans that the intervention was bad, you’ll convince me.

    Now go do it

  25. The situation in Libya was your business because Europe round have been flooded with desperate refugees if Gadaffi had been permitted to engage in massacre

  26. If I can convince the Libyans that intervention was bad – I’ll start with the relatives of the upwards of 30,000 dead. Even the new regime ‘headed’ by the US-puppet doesn’t dispute this estimate.

    “Gadaffi to engage in massacre” is a total fabrication – a contrived pretext for murderous intervention. NATO DID carry out a massacre – upwards of 30,000 out of a population of 6 million is the equivalent 1,500,000 Americans (that’s ONE AND A HALF MILLION – would you notice that?) The machine is cranking up again, just running through the gears, and is being used against Syria.

    So Phantom – because I am opposed to NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention’in Iran, does that make me supportive of the islamist regime in Iran? Are you unable to discern the difference between ‘none of my and your business’ and support for a regime?

  27. I am not speaking if Iran, where I don’t endorse action now myself necessarily

    But to me Libya was an easy call, morally and geopolitically

    And the Libyans very much agree with me, and they do not agree with you

    Your numbers are a lie. Your worldview is a lie too.

  28. So phantom – by not supporting action against iran, does that make you a supporter of the islamist regime in Iran? By your ‘rwasoning’, it certainly does.

    As for your BS on “Libyans very much agree with me”, what sort of keyboard megalomaniac could write something like that? This is what is happening in Libya, although you won’t find it on CNN/CBS/ABC NBC/Fox:

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/30/libya-militias-terrorizing-residents-loyalist-town

    -Human Rights Watch interviewed dozens of Tawerghans across the country, including 26 people in detention in and around Misrata and 35 displaced people staying in Tripoli, Heisha, and Hun. They gave credible accounts of some Misrata militias shooting unarmed Tawerghans, and of arbitrary arrests and beatings of Tawerghan detainees, in a few cases leading to death. –

    I’m sure that they agree with you!

  29. I am not speaking if Iran, where I don’t endorse action now myself necessarily

    Damned krazy kooks.

  30. Do you or do you not think that most Libyans are happy to see the end of Gadaffi rule?

    Do you or do you not think that most Libyans are pleased that the world gave them an assist?

  31. Phantom

    Yes of course most Lybians are grateful. But no more wars please. Especially not against Iran.

    The Neocons need to be put back in their box if we are to avoid WW3.

  32. Phantom – no and no. In Libya, there was no debt, there was a sovereign wealth fund (now disappeared), 144 tons of gold (now disappeared) which would have formed the basis of an independent, gold-linked currency (very dangerous to the banking cartel), and fully-funded health and education services. With the infrastructure now wrecked by NATO’s “low cost” destruction program, the IMF has moved in to set up loans to rebuild what was destroyed, thus plunging Libyans into debt which they never had previously.

    Now, back to you and your ‘reasoning’. You stated that I support the Assad regime in Syria because I am opposed to NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ and regime change. You also wrote that you do not currently favour intervention in Iran. Are you therefore currently a supporter of the regime in Iran?

  33. Pete Moore

    Troll –

    The other day you were telling people you’re trying your best to be a Christian. Today you excuse the killing of six children by an American pilot as “hey, people die every day”.

    What kind of Christianity is that? You then have the gall, the utter cheek to tell others they are being asinine for thinking people like you don’t care.

    Go to church this weekend and beg God for forgiveness.

    LOL ah poor poor pete he no understand….

    It’s quite simple I am American, and I’m Catholic, the perfect combination of pride and the guilt of sin

    as a catholic I know I am damned to never measure up in the eyes of the church, and of god.
    I am a woeful sinner born a man, a creature so pathetic that god had to send his only son to us to provide the example of what WE SHOULD DO, and what we can never measure up to, Then to top it off after coming here providing us the example that we can never equal he rubbed it in by dying for us….

    Now the good part a few days later he rose from the dead proving there was both hope and consequences because he was so good God rewarded him by allowing him to come back from the dead, this also leaves the unsaid consequence that if you don’t do good you can be punished, you can’t reward if there is no opposite of reward thus the price for not living as Christ is known as well as the reward.

    but Jesus also bought man a gift because living as one of us he knew how petty, violent, and fucked up humans really are, our compassion and genius walk hand in hand with our viciousness and stupidity so if when were dying if we pray to jesus telling him how sorry we truly are for our sins and really mean it he can buy us a pass or at least some leaniancy on the punishment. Praise The Lord Amen

    I understand quite well compassion and wickedness. I also have a basis in reality.

    Because I have the pride of knowing that I live in the promised land, the greatest country yet to be seen on this tiny world of ours, we know no want, in my nation you can be anything you work for, whether that is riches, fame, knowledge, or do nothing and live off the fat of a society aa nation whose poor have two cars, cell phones, enough food to be obese and a 3 bedroom home , the square footage of a welfare section 8 house is larger than an upper middle class german home.

    We know we are the greatist even now as we decline, we know because of europe and the middle east, we have been carrying western europe for 100 years, the Brits taught the tribes in the middle east how play in the world as nations instead of Bedouins, but the US gave the money and the businesses to do it.

    Even today as we sit here in a depression our govt is propping up European banks with billions of dollars. We also have had to twice in the past 100 years come across the ocean and kill a few million on the old continents because you people tend to get out of hand, you always have. How many generations of European nobles would get together every summer and try to kill each other occasionally banding together to go kill non Christians in the desert

    you people are barbarians and we will not allow your pettiness to pour across the pond to this side whther the threat comes from as far south as africa or as far north as siberia we will come and fight you there, because if we have to fight we’re going to kill a lot of people and break a lot of things. That’s the way it’s done.

    If you people left us alone we would let you kill each other, but for 100 years you keep dragging us in whether to help you in some cases or beat you down in others but if you left us alone we would leave you alone.

    However since you can’t WE FEAR NO EVIL, FORE WE ARE THE BIGGEST BADDEST IN THE VALLY AND DON’T YOU EVER DOUBT IT….

    as for six kids getting killed in a war zone, I say the same as I do for those Pakistani soldiers that just got wasted by friendly fire

    OOOPS, Shit Happens

    neither event was intentional move on and ask god for forgiveness

  34. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant:

    If you people left us alone …

    Troll, you’re a genuine idiot.

    Only a dopey bollocks like you can ask to be left alone with 800 American military installations littering the globe, endless American wars causing havoc and six Afhan children blown to pieces because of an American pilot.

    And what’s all this ‘you’ business? Where do you think you come from, you 24-carat moron? Americans didn’t spring from out of the ground. You’re British and Irish and European. Your ancestors are our ancestors.

    You live in what was a promised land, a land promised to freedom by our English liberties (the British founding fathers were asserting English liberties in the constitution, you champion moron) before you socialist Republicans promised it to China now that you’re in mega-trillion debt.

    I hope someone’s checking the water supply round your way, because something’s causing brain degeneration.

  35. my forefathers were kicked out of every nation on the earth, and they have made them pay for it since day one.. it’s the american way baby….

    and me I’m from south philly how bout you?

    didn’t anyone ever tell you envy was a sin? besides we need all those bases because ya never know when one of you foreigners might start actin up, and mess up our shit….lol

  36. Allan

    I am an enemy of the unelected and illegitimate govt of Iran for the very little it is worth

    You repeat conspiracy tales about Libya but somehow you don’t hear too many Libyans saying such things

    Is this more stuff from Alex Jones?

  37. Troll

    Posturing and faux morality by hypocrites is not OK

    but neither is minimizing the horror of civilian and other deaths

    I take no pleasure in recent events

  38. Are you suggesting (Pete Moore), that the NATO airstrike in question was launched with the DELIBERATE and EXCLUSIVE aim of killing six innocent children? Or are you saying that no war waged by the USA (or by anyone, for that matter) can be justified unless there is a 100% guarantee of no civilian casualties?
    I’m just asking, because you are either saying one of those two things (in which case you’re talking complete rubbish and you know it) or else you are using this example of a terrible ACCIDENT as a non-sequitor argument in order to advance your argument against USA military stategy in general. If the former, then you’re being naive; if the latter, you’re being dishonest…or rather, you can’t quite bring yourself to say what you really mean to say, so you’re dressing your true argument up by using this as ‘cover’, in the hope that no-one will see through it. But I do.

    War is shit, and civilians will get killed in a war-zone. We all know that. However, there’s a difference between (say) the IRA, who DELIBERATELY targetted civilians, and the USAF in Afghanistan, who are trying to kill military targets but who most likely ACCIDENTALLY killed children in this specific example.
    If there is blame to be had, then blame the US Command, and the politicians who launched the war in Afgan; don’t attempt to focus the blame in on one pilot, who probably would rather have self-destructed than knowingly kill six children.

  39. Tom – the civilians ARE the war zone and it’s not the first time since WW2 that the USAF has operated in this manner.

    And as for Phantom’s ‘Libyan casualties are “conspiracy tales” and Libyans don’t say such things’, one reads:

    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25966

    – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted intensive attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. EET.

    Civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by NATO.

    A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death. –

    – The only members of the international press that reported the damage of the bombings in detail were Russia Today (RT), TeleSUR, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), and independent journalists. –

    That’s why Phantom doesn’t hear “too many Libyans”: it’s because his corporate media don’t report these atrocities. Besides, when I posted a link to video footage from a hospital in Tripoli, one of the mutilated children couldn’t say much at all: her lower jaw had been blown away yet, because it’s not shown on NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN/Faux, it didn’t happen, according to Phantom who sees and hears nothing.

  40. Phantom you know I take no pleasure either, first off I love choking peoples chains it amuses me, sorry but it’s the only fun you can have with some of you people.

    look people die in warzones that aren’t supposed to, out of all the nations in the world the US plays by the rules as best as we can in a warzone and you all know it.

    Stories like these are enemy propaganda. Not saying the are false, the events are true. What of everyones motives? Did the US purposefully target 6 children knowing they were children and not a threat…. of course not. Does this sort of accident happen often with american troops or fire systems…. NO

    Now what is the motive of the story, it’s the same as it’s been from the early sixty’s Oh me Oh my war is horrible (which it is) but the peace, love, hate america first crowd play these stories, and imply things that aren’t true.

    we maybe a crazy violent culture, but we are an honorable culture, we try are hardest to keep these sort of events from happening. The faux outrage I find offensive

  41. Tom Tyler –

    This isn’t a war for our survival. We have no need to be in Afghanistan still, so I do blame politicians and commanders.

    This “oh people always die in war” is a cop out. If an American child was the price to pay for each Afghan child killed, our forces would have come home years ago.

    Look, they don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for occupying their countries and killing their families. They don’t care if the pilot was sloppy or if it was simply unfortunate.

    How would you feel if a Chinese or Russian pilot did this to your family while ‘chasing British insurgents’ near your home? I can promise you I’d try to kill as many of their soldiers as I could.

    Yes, “war is shit, and civilians will get killed in a war-zone”, so we shouldn’t be so free and easy in reaching for it as the solution.

  42. We had to enter Afghanistan in 2001 – 2002.

    Does anyone here disagree with that?

    All subsequent dialogue will be made with the response you give in mind.

    Straight, one word answers will be highly appreciated.

  43. Of course we(?) had to go into Afghanistan – the taliban had destroyed the opium crop ffs!! What other choice was there?

    As for OBL, the taliban asked for evidence linking him to 9/11 and he would be handed over: none was forthcoming and still the FBI has “no evidence linking Osama bin Laden to the events of 9/11.

    I just love this cop-out though, a new one for ATW:

    All subsequent dialogue will be made with the response you give in mind.

    i.e. if your response doesn’t fit within the narrow, ‘acceptable’ range as provided by corporate media, then I won’t talk to you. Wonderful stuff – a true parody of a corporate lackey.

  44. You are a very sick puppy.

  45. For the record, Allan has just now taken an identical position to the Taliban position on this issue. Allan, go sit down.

    Pete, do you agree that the US and it’s NATO treaty allies were justified in going into Afghanistan in 2001-2002, on the grounds of self defense including the mutual defense provisions of the NATO treaty?

  46. Phantom –

    A straight answer from you is a rare thing.

    Of course we had a choice. Whether or it was just and right, invasion was a choice. I do wonder what Washington and London would have done if the Taliban had coughed up bin Laden (though that would have required presentation of evidence).

    Update: Following your question above, I’d have preferred the FBI first to have indicted bin Laden and presented evidence of his guilt. The Taliban was explicit that he would be handed over on this basis. It wasn’t new or novel or unusual. This is how justice and extradition operates in our societies (usually).

    Whether or not the Taliban was bluffing, that bluff should have been called. Instead, the invasion happened extremely swiftly, you’ll recall. If the invasion was truly to get the perpetrators of 9/11 then I have no argument against it. I doubt that Augustine’s just war theory has been satisfied, and the constitutional solution of issuing letters of marque and reprisal was never considered, but if the reason given for the invasion was truthful then I have no problem with it.

    Since bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda operationally ineffective (as we are told) then we have no business there any longer, do we?

  47. I will take that as another ” no “, Pete.

    You also take the Taliban side of this matter, yet again.

    Yes, we had a choice. To act in self defense, or to monkey around in a charade.

    The Taliban gave aid and comfort and shelter to Al Queda. They were de facto members of the AQ attack on the US.

    You attack this country, we do not sit idly by.

    To give credence to the Taliban position in this matter is quite despicable – and should color every other comment you two make.

    You two claim to be defenders of Western values. But where it counts, you actually side with those who attacked it, as you have done many times before.

    Cheers.

  48. Phantom –

    I updated my answer while you were rushing to put me down as a ‘no’.

    You say: “You two claim to be defenders of Western values”, well one of those values is the rule of law, not the rule of man or the rule of what is convenient at any particular time.

  49. The Taliban is not and was not a legitimate actor the way the government of Japan say is.

    They would have liked to have a six to eighteen month OJ Trial. Johnny Cochran was still alive then. We could have given OBL and OJ trial and Johnny could have created some new poems about 9/11 ” If it does not fit, you must acquit ”

    No.

    We had a choice, to act in self defense or to not act in self defense. We made the honorable choice. There was no other choice for any responsible government to make, any more than FDR had ” a choice ” after Pearl Harbor.

  50. Phantom,
    I personally don’t believe it was essential for the US and its allies to go into Afghanistan, nor Iraq. I believe they could have pursued the suspects by working with relevant agencies around the world.
    That way the US would have kept international goodwill and sympathy, without the need to unleash bloody “shock and awe” tactics on a civilian population causing untold misery and anger.
    I think America is a great country, but you have to wonder at the wisdom of throwing your military weight around…
    I am even more angry that my country’s “democratic” leaders drew us into supporting this ill-thought out exercise. Tony Blair was dazzled by the proximity to superpower strength and status, the opportunity to play at being a “Statesman” when he was only ever a smarmy chancer, responsible for the deaths and amputations of many fine young people living in crummy houses unfit even for immigrants..

  51. Phantom –

    So, it’s the rule of expediency over the rule of law. As long as we’re clear on your preference.

    Are you suggesting the American legal system is incapable if fairly trying a man like bin Laden?

  52. You say: “You two claim to be defenders of Western values”, well one of those values is the rule of law, not the rule of man or the rule of what is convenient at any particular time.

    Self defense is not just what is convenient.

    We didn’t give OJ Trials to Yamamoto either.

    If OBL had surrendered, that would be one thing. He never did.

    You raise the sword against this country, we deal with you. It has been thus since 1776.

    The above comments display the extreme immorality at the heart of the Ron Paul Movement.

    When I say that Ron Paul would not defend this country, I’m not joking. He would not have defended this country after 9/11, and most of his supporters would have liked it that way.

    We’d still be jabbering with the Taliban about OBL’s guilt.

  53. Phantom –

    When you say “Ron Paul would not defend this country”, you betray your ignorance.

    Not only has he never said such a thing, he has been perfectly clear that he believes in a strong national defence (as opposed to national and enduring provocation and attack).

    Ron Paul voted to authorise the use of military force to hunt down bin Laden. Your fixation on making a point over Ron Paul is leading you to make untrue statements.

  54. The spineless little bastard would have been run out of Texas had he not said at least that.

    I know that he has not said exactly that.

    Nor have you or Allan said that. You play the a little dance of the seven veils on this matter.

    But every other thing you guys say leads to only one conclusion – you want to de-fang the US and you did not want it to take robust actions in self defense after we suffered a huge attack.

    In the days after 9/11, you did not want the US to defend itself. You also wanted the UK to dishonor it’s treaty obligations on that point.

    The truth may hurt, but it is the truth.

    We’ve made errors in the past ten years, including big errors in the very recent past in Pakistan, but you and Allan approach this entire issue with a huge moral error that you will never admit to.

    Shame.

  55. There wasn’t definitive proof that Osama Bin Laden had been involved in 9/11 until after the invasion of Afghanistan.

    There was overwhelming evidence that he was the head of Al Qaeda and that 9/11 was an Al Qaeda style attack.

    If we had gone down the road suggested by Pete and Allan of not doing anything until there was proof beyond reasonable doubt that OBL was involved in that particular attack, then he would literally have got away with mass murder.

  56. Phantom,
    I think the US has often been let down by its European allies, but that doesn’t mean (in the case of Britain) that the only way we can show our support is by going along with everything your government wants to do. That’s not friendship, that’s sycophancy.

    By barreling into Iraq, what really has been achieved? In the case of Afghanistan, had the US collected intelligence and then launched a surgical strike in the Tora Boras, it would have been job done.
    But consider: why did all those Saudi Arabians leave the US just before 9/11, and what was their business relationship with George W and others?

  57. Phantom –

    Screw your head on straight.

    Admit that you were wrong on Ron Paul and defence. His position is to put America first and use the military to defend America instead of embroiling it all over the planet. He’s clear on that, accept reality.

    As for the rest of your “in the days after 9/11, you did not want the US to defend itself” nonsense, I repeat what I said in my 5.02pm:

    “If the invasion was truly to get the perpetrators of 9/11 then I have no argument against it. I doubt that Augustine’s just war theory has been satisfied, and the constitutional solution of issuing letters of marque and reprisal was never considered, but if the reason given for the invasion was truthful then I have no problem with it.”

    I’m not a bullshitter, accept my words, do not misrepresent me.

  58. Agit8ed

    I was not speaking here about Iraq – an action on which there is spirited and legitimate criticism

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein had anything do do with 9/11 and I exclude Iraq from all my NATO discussions here.

    The UK has been an ally in word and deed over time. Where they have not gone along with US policy( Vietnam ) the Brits were right and the Americans were very wrong.

    Pete

    We weren’t going to go back to the says of piracy ( letters of marque ) to deal with 9/11. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

    An act of war was responded to in kind. And rightly so.

  59. Phantom,

    If the truth be known, after 9/11, no-one in the government, or for that matter, in the military, had a clue for certain who to blame, and virtually lashed out at any likely target, the most convenient happened to be Saddam.

    Next in line was Afghanistan. Mention was made of the Saudi’s but they got a pass from on high, even though most of the hijackers were from that neck of the woods.

    OBL virtually made himself the target with all those ‘ego videos’ he insisted on showing, – even so, was attacking Afghanistan the most rational thing to do? especially given the history of the place.

    Everyone has had a go at them – and all have failed. Believe me it takes a lot for Russia to turn tail, – I’m surprised NATO thought they might succeed where others had failed.

    Of course, after 9/11 everyone expected the USA to defend itself – the only problem was they didn’t know who to defend themselves from. As for the UK’s ‘treaty’ obligations, you do have a short memory don’t you? – clues – Suez, Falklands, – it might suit your convenience to forget, but I find it amazing that you even expected a war in Afghanistan to be a concern for NATO, it isn’t actually close to any of us, is it?

    We could go on for evermore quoting this and that in defence of our pov’s, and I am sure we all appreciate your devotion to your country, – but sometimes the gung-ho, tantrum like, approach scares the crap out of those of us who always have stood by you.

    Perhaps having once been ‘World Leaders’ and for a longer period than yourselves, we have attained a certain maturity that taught us that ‘discretion can sometimes be the better part of valour’. It doesn’t mean that all is forgiven nor forgotten, it does mean we live to fight another day, – or as we used to say – ‘Don’t get mad, get even!’

  60. I believe that we came through on the two big wars.

    Suez wasn’t part of the UK the last time I looked. As an anti colonialist power, we could not help you on that one.

  61. Phantom,

    Wasn’t Vietnam more of a French disaster? – didn’t they just cut and run – as per usual, and you were just pulling their chestnuts ‘out-of-the fire’.

    Why would we get involved in that one? Was it a NATO or UN expedition? I suspect it was more UN than NATO given that the reason for involvement was one of containment, are we your only friends in the whole wide world? 🙂

  62. Phantom,

    You really are priceless – ‘As an anti colonialist power, we could not help you on that one.’

    Of course, nothing at all to do with the Canal and its importance to Europe as the main highway for goods, and not to mention oil, which was, at tha time, in direct competition with your suppliers.

    That you write such things is amazing, that you actually believe it is just plain gob-smacking!

  63. Phantom,

    ‘I believe that we came through on the two big wars.’

    You certainly did, – as they say – ‘Better late than never’….

  64. It was a French disaster – and the US very unwisely got in to bail them out on the grounds of it being an anti Communist action. We were very much ” played ” by the French who wanted to keep their ramshackle empire ( as truth be told Churchill wanted you to keep yours, me bucko )

    This despite the fact that Ho Chi Minh publicly had expressed admiration for the US.

    It was neither NATO nor a UN action.

    It was an huge unnecessary wound against the US and much more against Indochina.

    The war and its prosecution were among the worst decisions in American history.

    It is astonishing that there has been a pretty decent reconciliation between the peoples and nations since then, which I am thankful for.

  65. Better late than never’….

    There were Ron Paul types in the thirties and forties and FDR needed to finesse them.

    Please refer to the history section of your local library.

    If Ron Paul had ruled then, you would have been left to the wolves, and no one can dispute that.

    The US could have reached a peace deal with Hitler very easily. Hitler did declare war, only after years of FDR aid to England, etc.

  66. “are we your only friends in the whole wide world?”
    Ernest,
    Lol!
    The fact is that we Brits owe the US a great deal -and not just regarding the two world wars.
    At times it has been like an older and frailer parent trying to rein in an exuberant energetic teenager, who is sure he knows best..
    The “old” Britain (that’s you Ernest), and the “old” US have a lot in common. Unfortunately human migration has changed both countries, and a new generation is taking the place of the gallant ‘old fogeys’.
    As Tevye said in Fiddler on the Roof!
    “It’s a new world, Golda”
    Peace on you both.

  67. Phantom,

    The tragedy of Vietnam was that your government managed to alienate such a large swathe of the younger generation. They voiced an opinion that had never before been heard. The after effects of that little contretemps lasts to this day and, for better or worse, is now a part of ‘American culture’.

  68. It is.

    It should not be overestimated – most Vietnam era young people, esp in blue collar areas on in the South – never took part in any demonstration and never would do so.

    But now most people, period, regard politicians of all stripes as near criminals at best until proven otherwise.

    Which may not be a bad thing.

  69. Pete Moore

    This “oh people always die in war” is a cop out. If an American child was the price to pay for each Afghan child killed, our forces would have come home years ago.

    Look, they don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for occupying their countries and killing their families. They don’t care if the pilot was sloppy or if it was simply unfortunate.

    How would you feel if a Chinese or Russian pilot did this to your family while ‘chasing British insurgents’ near your home? I can promise you I’d try to kill as many of their soldiers as I could.

    Yes, “war is shit, and civilians will get killed in a war-zone”, so we shouldn’t be so free and easy in reaching for it as the solution.

    no if an American child died for every afghan child is the nonsense. we are there because 3000 children of america were killed for no reason on 9/11. What you don’t get and can’t stomach is that if people were dying on the streets of america we would have a paultry little force there bumping off small groups of crazies we would be home because we would have carpet bombed the whole place.

    The past 10yrs in our eyes have been a proportional reaction to 9/11, nothinh more nothing less.

    The chinese and the russians unlike the muslim aren’t stupid the russians never attacked because they understood the consequences, the muslim does not comprehend. Just like you…

    And this paragrah….

    Look, they don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for occupying their countries and killing their families. They don’t care if the pilot was sloppy or if it was simply unfortunate.

    is pure Ron Paul stupidity

    grow up

  70. I never realised until now that Phantom isn’t at all serious – he’s here to entertain the realists among us.

    There were three key points made in my post of 4.52pm and Phantom carefully and concisely avoided all of them. These are:

    1. The opium crop in Afghanistan: destroyed in 2001 by the taliban and recovered spectacularly in 2002, increasing in line with the presence of US-military Inc.

    2. The absence of any evidence of OBL’s involvement with 9/11. The taliban requested evidence (not absolute proof) and the US could provide nothing, even though it was declared within less than an hour on ‘mainstream’ TV that OBL was the perp: how could it be known so soon? To this day, the FBI still has no evidence linking OBL to 9/11 and has stated this.

    3. Phantom’s declared refusal to engage if responses are not within the ‘permitted’ bandwidth – amazing that such a mind is allowed to have gainful employment.

    The scatter-gun declaration that anybody who opposes “low-cost” interventions by US-military Inc. against any regime is a supporter of that regime has been refuted by Phantom’s refusal to clarify whether his currently stated opposition to invasion of Iran makes him a current supporter of the islamic regime of Iran.

  71. And still the mindless soundbites flow.

    Troll –

    You think muslims are stoopid?

    In the last ten years you’ve lost thousands of soldiers, gone trillions further into debt, caused many millions to hate you, alienated half the world from the idea of America as a force for good and gone a long way to building the police state at home.

    They might be stupid, but they’re Einsteins compared to you lot.

    You work in the airline industry, yes? One day get into one of those planes and see a bit of the world. Get out more. You’re too introspective. You’ve watched too many bombastic videos with men singing in front of F-15s. Troll, normal men do hunt and shoot and fish, but they don’t sing in front of F-15s.

    Go to Yurp next summer. Get a passport, strap yourself in and drink a coffee in the sun watching that lovely crumpet stroll by. Don’t worry about exotic diseases, not all foreigners are contagious, you’ll arrive back home speaking English. It’s ok, no-one will harm you. Furrinerland can be quite nice.

  72. Pete,
    Now that is NOT diplomatic.

  73. Vietnam!? Does anybody here really believe that the US could not subdue Vietnam?

    The whole point of that war was to enrich the armaments industry. Why were US fighter-bomber pilots not allowed to attack and destroy the Vietnamese AA-batteries? (Hint – B52s which were shot down by AA-fire had to be replaced) Why was there strictest ‘respect’ of the north-south demarcation lines? A short war with a decisive US victory would have meant reduced contracts for the military-industrial sector.

  74. Allan@Aberdeen –

    You might be interested in checking this out.

  75. Agit8ed –

    Simply a helpful holiday idea, that’s all.

    (Plus the idea of Troll being collared by the Carabinieri following a punch up caused by the refusal of anyone in the bar to agree that “America is the greatest – hell yeah”, is cause for a giggle).

  76. Agit8ed,

    ‘The fact is that we Brits owe the US a great deal -and not just regarding the two world wars.’ And vice-versa, by my count it’s about even, – but do friends keep a score of such things, – I don’t think so.

    By the same token friends are are usually honest with each other, and for us to suggest that the US, as with fools, often step in where angels fear to tread, is not unreasonable nor offensive, yet they do take umbrage when even the smallest criticism comes their way.

    ‘The “old” Britain (that’s you Ernest), and the “old” US have a lot in common. Unfortunately human migration has changed both countries, and a new generation is taking the place of the gallant ‘old fogeys’.’

    I am well aware that cultures change, usually for the better, its not called progress for nothing, is it? I am also well aware of my seniority, and do not appreciate being continually reminded of it in such atrivial fashion. Thank you!

    But just what has that got to do with this thread?

    Were we not discussing Phantom’s excuses for the almost continual state of war that the US and ‘friends’ have found themselves engaged in since goodness know when? – surely a form of ‘colonialisation’ by any other name!

    I was also trying to redress the balance of us always being in their debt, when it is in fact a pretty equal balance sheet.

  77. He could have had a starring role in “Team America”… 😉

    That line,
    “collared by the Carabinieri following a punch up caused by the refusal of anyone in the bar to agree that “America is the greatest – hell yeah”
    reminds me of a film we watched last week.. The Way with Martin Sheen and his son Emelio Estevez walking the Camino D’Santiago. He gets into a confrontation with the Europeans in his group, then gets arrested.
    Good film and inspirational. The wife and I hope to do the walk next year -shoukld be good for a laugh….

  78. Allan

    Not that you are honest on this or any other discussion

    The US was correctly afraid of China entering the Vietnam war. Which would have made that conflict even worse than it was.

    See ” Korea conflict ”

    Land wars in Asia are never a good idea.

  79. Ernest

    You’ve only understood some of what has been said but why should today be different than any other day

  80. Phantom,

    The US could have reached a peace deal with Hitler very easily. Hitler did declare war, only after years of FDR aid to England, etc.’

    Nothing at all to do with Pearl Harbour and that Japan and Germany were called the Axis, along with Mussolini’s Italy?

    ‘Please refer to the history section of your local library.’ – I dont need to I was very much alive and kicking, sitting up and taking solid food at that time…

    I would suggest that before you waste time visiting any library that you actually learn to read and comprehend the written word first.

  81. “Were we not discussing Phantom’s excuses for the almost continual state of war that the US and ‘friends’ have found themselves engaged in since goodness know when? – surely a form of ‘colonialisation’ by any other name!”

    Yes we were, but I am a peacemaker by nature. I once lived and worked with Americans for a year. In fact I was a group leader of about 17 of them, and some Yanks found that hard to swallow!
    Some found it hard to understand my reluctance to be “Gung Ho, go group go!” because winning isn’t everything for me. Others found it hard to accept my willingness to examine all sides of an issue. They preferred to keep it simple.

    I think Americans can be both patriotic and ruthless when it comes to protecting their own interests. But then, they don’t have all the snobby, class stuff that we have, they have a positive approach to problem solving, and they can be really good fun to be with.
    The sad thing Ernest, is that we as a nation have already thrown away our greatness.

    No more references to age -I promise.

  82. Agit8ed –

    Train well and break your boots in first. A long distance trail is no place to discover you’re lacking fitness or that your boots rub.

  83. Phantom,

    Yes I do confess to not reading your ramblings in detail, getting you to stick to the point is rather akin to trying to nail jelly to a fence. However, I do seem to pick the points you have the least inclination to answer. Is your team The Dodgers by chance?

  84. Pete,
    I shall do none of those things, except ensure the boots are comfortable. I shall of course ensure that the wife does circuit and strength training, in case I get tired en route, but otherwise we intend to take it really easy and take as long as it takes.

    We look forward to meeting loads of people from all over Europe, and seeing some magnificent scenery.
    (Hey! Troll might want to accompany us.. 😉

  85. Agit8ed –

    Good man, she’ll need it to pick you up. Did you know the first part is up the Pyrenees?

    Taking as long as it takes is very sensible. My walking is very slow, but I’ll go all day at a slow pace. It’s a lesson well learned on the Pennine Way, which I did … blimey, 20 years ago. You see these people striding out, ever so eager to get to the end of the day. Six hours later they’re panting like dogs on a hot day at the side of the path as you stroll by.

    If you’re avoiding summer, wear Paramo. It’s God’s gift to walkers.

  86. Ernest

    If you don’t understand what people are saying, you continue to miss excellent opportunities to be quiet and to learn

    The US had been sending formal aid to England for nine months before Pearl Harbor. If we had not sent that aid, Hitler may not have declared war on the US. The aid, which Hitler correctly regarded as an unfriendly act, preceded the war.

    You may have been alive but you were not paying attention

    Here is your Christmas present
    http://www.amazon.com/World-War-Dummies-Keith-Dickson/dp/0764553526

  87. Not that you are honest on this or any other discussion

    Total BS – there is no question that I won’t answer within the context of the thread, or wider. You, Phantom, on the other hand are noticeably evasive on almost anything as is the case on this thread. I enjoy arguing and making argument, and also backing up the argument made. It makes for interesting debate and stimulates one to read beyond what is on the MSM, a boundary which you not only dare not cross, but you denigrate anybody who does so especially if information is available which refutes your arguments.

  88. I don’t evade – and you can’t handle the truth

    The Holocaust happened

    9/11 happened and it was Al Queda who did it

  89. Allan, you do realise that your conspiracy theories can be made to fit any event?

    For example the USA’s refusal to invade North Vietnam is taken as evidence that the military suppliers were deliberately trying to prolong the war in order to boost sales.

    However where the USA does the opposite and simply invades the enemy- such as in Afghanistan- that is also evidence of a conspiracy. This time to do iwth Opium.

    If the USA topples Gadaffi this proves that they want Libyan gold, but when it looked like Gadaffi would survive you were claiming that was proof of a conspiracy to keep Gadaffi in power so he would continue to provide oil.

  90. Pete,
    You make yourself sound like a tortoise!
    My sister and her husband have expressed an interest in accompanying us. If it comes off it will surely be interesting! They are keen walkers. My sister bosses him around, but I won’t let her get away with it..
    They may end up being the first Jewish martyrs on the Camino D’Santiago….
    What’s Paramo Pete? Is it anything like Brut?

  91. Agit8ed,

    Until five years ago I lived and worked in America for fifteen years and I have always got on fine with them, and regard many as friends, but then I was in Florida, which is very different from places in the Norh East.

    My wife and I owned a hotel cum resort of the west coast and the only confrontation – the single one – that we had in all that time was with a couple of Boston Irish, down for St Pat’s Day celebrations, who on learning we were Brits, launched into a vitupertaive tirade that was quite eye watering to listen to. It turned out that they had never even been to Ireland and knew even less than me about the troubles there. Very strange that! – they eventually stayed on an extra week, and became regular annual visitors.

    It was quite a life changing time for us – for the better, I might add. We still visit at least twice a year, as we still have business connections there.

    The gung-ho types are rarely seen there, and when they are they don’t seem to hang around for too long, but then most residents are retired or close to being so. Nice honest folk, – and truly ‘salt of the Earth’…

    Enough typing for today – tomorrow is hopefully another day!… adios!

  92. Believe you’ve told me that before. I told you we had run a guesthouse in the Lake District…
    Nice to hear it again though 😉

  93. Agit8ed –

    Paramo is a brand of outdoor clothing (no, I have no connection apart from often wearing their gear). In terms of comfort, water-resistence and breathability it’s unbeatable.

    Wearing Brut on the Camino is an option, bit a man must sport a splendid Jason King ‘tache with it.

  94. Lol.
    I shall check the Paramo stuff out.
    Depends on the price of course.
    If it’s too expensive, it will be the old flasher’s mack and me trusty balaclava.
    I got that cheap because they cut the hole in the back….
    We are heading for Carcassonne in May, and then a quick trip up to Andorra to spend! Baby, spend!!
    Hey, they might have cheap Paramo stuff in their hypermarkets…
    What a sartorial dash I shall cut on the Camino!

  95. I didn’t catch that, Agit8ed. Are you and wife doing the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago, the Way of St. James?

    Mr. Agit8ed (with urgency):

    If I profane with my unworthiest hand
    This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
    My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
    To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

    Mrs. Agit8ed (softly):

    Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
    Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
    For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
    And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

  96. North port, Port Charlotte, and fortmyers have always been southern accomasations. The gukf coast of Fla is pure heaven my fathers parents lived there as long as I can remember. 24 years ago in january I took the wife for her first trip to fort myers for our honeymoon

  97. BTW, on 10 Dec. I’m taking the test for a Skipper’s License. A license to sail all leisure marine vessels on the open sea.
    It’s bloody tough. You have to learn no less than 360 really difficult technical and legal questions, then do a navigation exercise and a practical test on the water, with man-overboard rescue etc.

    With a bit of luck I won’t drown.

  98. I’m embarrassed just reading it Noel.
    Pretty slushy ain’t it?
    But if it pleases you we shall wear gloves.

    We recently watched “The Way” with Martin Sheen, and we really enjoyed it.
    Acting was pretty wooden, but a good storyline. ‘Course, they had to stick a bloody Irishman in it (James Nesbitt). That lowered the tone somewhat, but what can you do?

    I have what you might call a patronising Protestant fondness for Catholic pilgrims, -ask McMahons,
    and whilst it wouldn’t be a religious pilgrimage in the Catholic sense, we would do it because we are drawing towards the end bit of our earthly sojourn, and we want to do some memorable things before The Big Sleep… 😉

  99. Unnecessary government regulation! 🙂

    Good luck with that. Which country are you taking the test in? Is it good Europe wide?

  100. Pete

    Troll –

    You think muslims are stoopid?

    In the last ten years you’ve lost thousands of soldiers, gone trillions further into debt, caused many millions to hate you, alienated half the world from the idea of America as a force for good and gone a long way to building the police state at home.

    They might be stupid, but they’re Einsteins compared to you lot.

    You work in the airline industry, yes? One day get into one of those planes and see a bit of the world. Get out more. You’re too introspective. You’ve watched too many bombastic videos with men singing in front of F-15s. Troll, normal men do hunt and shoot and fish, but they don’t sing in front of F-15s.

    Go to Yurp next summer. Get a passport, strap yourself in and drink a coffee in the sun watching that lovely crumpet stroll by. Don’t worry about exotic diseases, not all foreigners are contagious, you’ll arrive back home speaking English. It’s ok, no-one will harm you. Furrinerland can be quite nice.

    that my friend is Euro Snobbery…. and the first part shows you don’t understand america, or americans, let alone me. Of course your support for Ron Paul told us long ago that YOU are part of the Lunatic Fringe, susceptible to having all sorts of manure stuffed between your ears

  101. Agit8ed –

    If it’s price then you might be wearing the flasher mac.

    The thing is this: when you’re on the trail you want simplicity and functionality. Those bits of clothing and kit which niggle on a day walk will be a huge pain on a long distance path.

    For example, you can get over-trousers which you can put on when it rains and take off when rain stops. You can do this a few times on a day walk and the weight of the over-trousers won’t be too bad in your pack. But on a long-distance path? A mighty inconvenience over time.

    Or you can wear something like this, which I wear on my walks from autumn to spring, which are soft, comfy, as water resistant as anything, tough, more breathable than over-trousers (and breathability is at least as important as water-resistence) and you just leave them on all the time.

    On a long distance walk this kind of gear is an essential now, in my opinion.

  102. Noel,
    Don’t you have to have so many sailing hours as well?
    Our friend and his mate are working towards that, but they need so many hours as well as passing the test. I wish I had done something like that years ago. Aaah! the freedom!

  103. Blimey Pete!
    A hundred and forty five quid for a pair of trousers!!
    Listen, if they’re not on special offer in Andorra’s equivalent of Go Outdoors you can forget it!
    I’ll send you pictures of the groin rash when I get back….. 🙂

  104. Noel Cunningham –

    Good luck with that police state exam 😉

    What is a ‘leisure marine vessel’ in layman’s terms?

  105. Troll –

    I understand America and Americans, the problem is you don’t understand the world does not wish to move to your beat.

    You also do not understand that until only 50 years ago the Ron Paul view of foreign policy was conservative orthodoxy in America.

    You’re out of step.

  106. Agit8ed, you have to pick up, I think, 300 hours experience within a certain time after passing the test. But that is one area where there’s a lot of bluff and cheating – you can get one of your mates to take you on a trip on the Med and he can log up the hours for you even if you spend the whole time below deck with your lass.

    A leisure marine vessel is any boat, driven by motor or sail, carrying non-paying passengers and used for non-commercial purposes, i.e. a private boat or yacht that can sail the high seas. It’s an international license, i.e. with it you can charter a boat anywhere in the world.

  107. Ross – it is no conspiracy that US pilots were not allowed to destroy the VCs’ AA-batteries and Surface-to-Air missiles: it is verified as fact, and a fact of importance:

    http://www.historynet.com/air-force-colonel-jacksel-jack-broughton-air-force-general-john-d-jack-lavelle-testing-the-rules-of-engagement-during-the-vietnam-war.htm

    – Absolutely forbidden targets included: any MiG base designated as a sanctuary, a MiG fighter that did not have its landing gear retracted, any MiG fighter not showing hostile intent (no fighter jock ever figured that one out), and any SAM site not in operation. A SAM had to be fired at a U.S. plane before the plane could fire back, a dicey situation at best. There were more restrictions, but the rules listed here were the ones that frustrated U.S. fighter pilots the most and formed the backdrop for the Lavelle affair. –

  108. Allan@Aberdeen –

    I’ve not heard of Lavelle or the Lavelle affair, but how very interesting:

    “Lavelle instructed his fighter pilots to take an aggressive approach in responding to North Vietnamese threats. These instructions would later lead to his recall and demotion.”

  109. You also do not understand that until only 50 years ago the Ron Paul view of foreign policy was conservative orthodoxy in America.

    I am afraid that you are completely wrong on that one mein herr.

    Fifty years ago was 1961, the height of the Cold War, when there was near universal support for NATO, US troops in Europe and Asia, and, unfortunately, for US troops in Indochina.

    That was the time when the Democrat John Kennedy was more conservative and more interventionist than any Republican today, and when he was afraid of being taken as too soft by Republicans or by defense hawk Democrats or the military.

    Ron Paul’s neo isolationist views have been out of step in the US since the time of FDR. Before FDR the US Army, funded by an isolationist Congress, was grossly underfunded and was training with sticks because there were not enough guns. That is the past that you guys want to return to.

  110. On the opium in Afghanistan, here it is. The US marines can’t destroy because it might mean the farmer earning less money – utter BS, but that’s what it is said:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUATfLDiwVA

    This with the background of the taliban almost eliminating the crop in 2001. After that, conspiracy theorists say that the crop returned to full size and even increased. OMG – that did happen!!

  111. Allan you moron

    We are aware of this issue and have discussed it many times

    I said ages ago here that the supression of the opium crop is the one good thing that the Taliban did.

    When you are fighting a war in that hellhole if you don’t turn a blind eye to that production you will be at war with everyone there.

    You are not raising any kind of a point here. This is disturbing, one of many disturbing things there.

  112. Phantom –

    Even after 1961, and though it took some years to happen, Nixon, a Republican, was elected to end the Vietnam War as Eisenhower was elected to end the Korean War.

    This is the traditional task of the Republican Party, in line with conservative beliefs of liberty, humility and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Yet just a few decades after Nixon, Republicans are considered kooks for campaigning to end war.

  113. Pete – you didn’t know and I didn’t know of the Lavalle affair. Certainly if it were decided that we should know, then we would have been told. The internet enables us to bypass the corporates, and people like Phantom don’t like that. Phantom (or Ross) will now tell you that it didn’t happen, it’s a ‘conspiracy theory’…. whatever.

    As for ‘isolationism’, is there any geographical region on the planet that US-military Inc. should not have a presence? For example, is there a ‘threat’ to the US in Antartica?

  114. Phantom – you moron. I was answering Ross. Have a look at his comment at 8.51pm. I am stating that the US-military is NOT destroying the opium crop and backing it up with factual evidence. But the covert forces are exporting and marketing it. You don’t think that Afghans have an advanced transport network to get the stuff out of Afghanistan, do you?

  115. Allan

    I reject what you say.

    Afghan is part of the planet earth. It has roads connected to other countries. And high value product will find it’s way to the druggies who want it.

  116. The Taliban were effective because they were merciless to those who produced the poppy.

    It is the one good thing that they did.

    Though if you legalized drugs the way I want us to consider, much of the money and mafia involvement would go out of this trade.

  117. Phantom –

    “Though if you legalized drugs the way I want us to consider, much of the money and mafia involvement would go out of this trade.”

    Would that be important or significant in any way?

  118. Allan@Aberden –

    If you didn’t see it earlier, you might want to check out this and the links with it.

  119. A legal poppy crop would be less lucrative than an illegal one, especially as it makes its way from Afghan fields to Europe and beyond.

    It would not have to be smuggled. There would be little to no need to pay off the cops and border guards etc.

    It is the only way forward – unless you are prepared to execute anyone who touches the stuff the way the Taliban did.

  120. Pete – good find, although those of us who think independently already knew that the CIA is the biggest drug-dealer on the planet.

    Just look at Phantom – scurrying around trying to keep everybody here from looking at what the real news is and making up their own minds: a desperate man indeed.

    Elsewhere he ridicules Alex Jones – so I post what Alex Jones’s site is saying and CHALLENGE Phantom to refute it. The usual evasiveness and insults follow.

    Phantom – you haven’t mentioned the murderous attack by US-military Inc. on the Pakistani Army. Did it not happen because I traced it through Alex Jones’s website, or is it a ‘conspiracy theory’?

  121. Bite me

    We don’t know all the facts on that one.

  122. Phantom –

    Are you willing to concede that you agree with Ron Paul’s drug policy and that every other GOP candidate would keep the status quo?

  123. Pete – I noticed that too, on another thread. Phantom – are you and Ron paul on the same hymn sheet here? Note that I disagree profoundly with Ron Paul on the drugs issue, though disagreeing with you is hardly a surprise.

  124. Pete 1132

    Yes, Paul is right on that issue.

    He is spot on.

    I’ve been stating this here for a long long time.

    I am very anti drug but I am pro legalization / decriminalization. It is the only way.