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A question, or two, in time…

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 11:27 pm

Watched part of Question Time on al-Beeb, and for the first time in a very long time, heard a politician, and what is more a Conservative politician, talk sense while speaking about the war in Afghanistan! David Davis was speaking in resonse to a question about the conduct of the war, with British troops fighting against the Taliban and the vested interests of the Heroin warlords which hover in the background, and he made some hard and truthful points. He asked ‘What is a ‘Win’ in Afghanistan?’ No one, to my certain knowledge, has ever satisfactorily answered that question! He asked why British Servicemen and women were sent into one of the most dangerous places on this planet with personal armour which didn’t work, bullets which didn’t fire, vehicles which were unarmoured and totally insuitable for the work and the terrain, a singular dearth of helicopters which were imperative for daily operations, and on down the line! It wasn’t that we hadn’t read it all before, we had, but it is possibly the first time any politician has poked his head above the parapet and stated exactly what is what about our operations in that singularly god-forsaken stretch of the Hindu Kush!

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we should be there, but well-armed, well-prepared, and above all else, well-equpped!

Unfortunately, the statement should be made truthfully, we might be there, but we are not well-prepared, not well-armed, and definitely not well-equipped!

It’s All Greek to Me

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Auntie Beeb has discussed the issue in the context of Turkey’s attempts to join the European Union.  I wish to analyse it in a different way.  Because, as usual, the government of Cyprus is being totally unreasonable with regard to its stubborn attitude to the Turkish enclave in the North.  Whereas Turkey has given at least a verbal commitment to opening one port and one airport to traffic from the official Cypriot state, there is no reciprocation on easing the isolation of North Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriots were told that a positive referendum result on the island’s reunification would end their international isolation.  To this end they gave an overwhelming endorsement of the EU-sponsored plan back in the Spring of 2004.  Meanwhile, Greek Cypriots were rewarded with EU membership, even though they rejected the plan (even though they were the ones clamouring for a united island since 1974).  Fast forward to December 2006 and the isolation of North Cyprus is no nearer to being terminated now than it was when these disingenuous pledges were made three years ago.

In a typically obnoxious fashion, the Cypriot government has refused to allow Ercan Airport to be opened to direct international flights.  This effectively means that if I want to travel to Cyprus from, say, Manchester Airport, I can fly to Larnaca in the south in a little over 4 hours.  Ercan, a mere 30 miles away on the northern side of the Attila Line, involves a journey of 6.5 hours – inclusive of a 1-hour stop-over in either Antalya or Dalaman.  Why should I, and the thousands who now holiday in North Cyprus every year, have to be inconvenienced because of Greek Cypriot absolutism?  I don’t give a damn about Turkey.  What I do care about are the Turkish Cypriot people who have been treated abominably by the international community for far too long – not least because those ultimately to blame for the conditions which led to Turkey’s invasion thirty two years ago (the Greek Cypriot establishment) always get their own way.

On This Day…07.12

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 4:03 pm

1787 – Delaware becomes the first state of the United States of America.

1817 – Death of Captain William Bligh, captain of British ship The Bounty, which was taken over by mutineers led by Fletcher Christian.

1941 – On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, American neutrality in World War II ends when Japanese forces conduct a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 400 planes from six Japanese carriers bombed the harbour and airfield, and within two hours much of the American Pacific fleet was rendered useless.

1967 – American singer Otis Redding records ‘Dock of the Bay’ – three days before being killed in a plane crash.

1989 – A gunman, claiming to hate feminists, massacres 14 women at the University of Montreal.

1997 – The British children’s TV phenomenon, the Teletubbies, moves to new heights when their first record, Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh, reaches Number One.  It remains at the top spot during Christmas of that year.

dispiriting news

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Bill Roggio is posting from Iraq:

In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the ground. [They] felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and several stated some reporters were only interested in "blood and guts." They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them.

You can read the whole thing.

“When the wind wouldn’t blow….”

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 12:28 pm

As I posted on my own site, I firmly believe that Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, was a disaster on wheels for America, especially in the field of Foreign Affairs; over which he had total control. His one redeeming belief and accomplishment remain; that in the field of ‘Human Rights’ worldwide;  not the wishy-washy union- and liberal-friendly crap which is so loved by the European Union, but the real package, the freedom to worship, even if it’s a mish-mash of ideas like Falun Gong; the freedom to congregate, even in a place like Tianmen Square and talk about honest reform of government; the freedom to say “get stuffed” to a uniformed bully; the freedoms laid down by the United Nations in 1948, but have long since been either forgotten or misplaced.

But our friend the ‘Peanut President’ seems to have misplaced his memories, or else has had them surgically removed while engaged in the writing of his book entitled  "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,", where he takes Israel to task on just about everything which that state has achieved since 1947. A former Fellow of the Carter Center is quoted as saying:- “ Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Having little access to Arabic and Hebrew sources, I believe, clearly handicapped his understanding and analyses of how history has unfolded over the last decade. Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and for policy-making.”, which seems to give some idea of the vitriol behind some of the other comments emanating from informed commentators and political writers.

This naive old man is giving, not lending, his support to a crowd of thugs and killers who sponsor the artillery rocket attacks into Israel, who send their crazed supporters into a ‘jihad’ march towards Israeli civilians while wearing their ‘waistcoats by Semtex’ and prayers upon their lips! This foolish winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace has abrogated what little sympathy which remained for his ideals, thoughts and principles, and by the tying of the term “Apartheid” to the State of Israel, itself under attack by it’s Arab enemies from the day that it was acknowledged as a State, seeks to tar that Democratic country with a system which failed in another part of the world altogether!

Gym and a Prayer

By ATWadmin On December 7th, 2006 at 12:24 pm

DEARBORN – Fitness USA, a gym chain, is investigating an alleged civil rights violation involving a local Muslim woman who says her afternoon prayer was interrupted by a fellow patron, and that her complaint to management about the situation was rejected.

“The manager told me, ‘You have to respect her (the patron), but she does not have to respect your God,’ ” said Wardeh Sultan of Dearborn. “I’ve had my membership for seven or eight years, and I’ve never had a problem with praying there. “I told that manager, ‘I can’t believe you said that’ ” Sultan said. “Honestly, I feel humiliated and I feel ashamed, right now, to go back to Fitness USA.”

The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, have lodged a formal complaint with Fitness USA on behalf of Sultan, saying the recent spate of conflicts results from a growing intolerance of Islam and a growing restiveness among Muslims that their rights to speak freely and worship are increasingly at risk.

So how DO you balance all these rights, including religious ones? Isnt this all a bit overblown? Cant the dispute be settled like adults? After all if the accusations are true then why did the gym change its dress code to accommodate muslims? The woman who interrupted her has as much right to speak as (presumably) as she has to pray?

Im also pretty certain (though Ill check at lunchtime) that muslims have a sort of ‘round up prayer’ if you will- that allows them to make up for prayers when they find themselves unable to conduct them normally. If that is the case is it fair to insist on praying in such an inconvenient location?! Or is that exhibiting a level of intolerance she accuses evryone else of?

The whole rights issue is a mess. I would suggest a gym might not be a suitable place for prayer. With the AAAD now involved, does this smack of grandstanding to you?

IRAN SENDS BAKER A MESSAGE..

By ATWadmin On December 6th, 2006 at 7:02 pm

Well, I listened to the liberal media going into predictable hyperdrive this evening, expounding the collective wisdom of the Iraq Surrender Study Group. Part of the Fabulous Baker Boy’s report cravenly urges engagement with Iran, as heavily leaked in recent days. Rather than me comment on Baker’s odious report, maybe all those appeasers out there should reflect on Ahmadinejad’s most recent words. 

Talking of Iran’s enemies (The US and Israel in particular) he says… 

They are angry with our nation. But we tell them ‘so be it and die from this anger’. Rest assured that if you do not respond to the divine call, you will die soon and vanish from the face of the earth. Thank to God’s help, we have gone all the way and are only one step away from the zenith. We hope to have the big nuclear celebration by the end of the year (March 2007),"

Good luck with the dialogue James, it’s 1938 all over again.

Name That Soon

By ATWadmin On December 6th, 2006 at 11:50 am

It’s finally the start of the process leading to the day of reckoning for those of us who passionately believe that Northern Ireland’s second largest settlement should retain its official title of Londonderry.  Not so for some of the separatist plebs who, by stroke of historical bad luck, happen to live within its borders.

According to The Guardian, today the High Court in Belfast will launch a judicial enquiry to finally establish the ‘true name’ of the city.  In truth there is nothing to establish.  The name of the city has been legally Londonderry since the Royal Charter was bestowed upon it by King James I in 1613.  Under British constitutional law it is impossible to revoke the terms of a Royal Charter (and a name change here would, I contend, involve a revocation, not an amendment) unless the territory concerned cecedes from the sovereignty of the UK Parliament.  Some point to the fact that Kingstown and Queenstown in the Irish Republic changed to Dun Laoghaire and Cobh, respectively.  What they fail to notice is that the Irish Republic is an independent sovereign entity and, moreover, these two examples were both towns and not cities.  In the UK only a Royal Charter can establish city status.

Some might consider the perceived neutrality of the NIO as evidence that they are not prepared to defend the Constitutional protocol of the State for which they are employed.  The truth is they have no need to get involved because the ruling will be an open and shut case.  And, for republicans who will be demanding a new Royal Charter to replace the existing one, it is down to me to tell them it will be like urinating in the wind.  Londonderry it officially is, and Londonderry it will officially remain.

UPDATE: Information on amendments to a Royal Charter are detailed here.

 

Furious

By ATWadmin On December 6th, 2006 at 11:15 am

Im too cross to get a post up on Channel 4s decision to platform fundamentalism at Christmas without offering up a challenging viewpoint. This isn’t furthering the debate on the veil at all. I look forward to her covering off the injustices suffered by many women forced to wear this garb either in the UK or elsewhere – whose viewpoint is never heard. Perhaps she could extend good wishes to Nazanin whose retrial is set for January. I somehow doubt this will happen. And I also doubt 2007s speech will give voice to some other extreme viewpoint in the name of improving community relations, perhaps the KKK or a BNP swastika bearing thug – who after all is entitled to feel ostracised by society for his or her viewpoints.  A debate is no doubt essential but this is the wrong way to go about it – this is neither a debate nor a reasonable approach to the issue. It is simply designed to aggravate an already sensitive issue. Of all the ways to go about furthering the debate they choose Christmas and a single extreme viewpoint to go unchallenged on air – which many people myself included will simply switch off. However, Jonz has put together some questions for Channel 4’s chief executive Andy Duncan.

1. Why do Channel 4 go out of their way not to offend ethnic minorities, specifically the Muslim community, when Channel 4 is happy to offend large swathes of the british public – on the traditional Christian holy day of christmas – with a muslim women in a full Islamic veil?

2. Will Channel 4 be inviting beer swigging naked women to introduce Ramadan or the Eid festival next year? Or is it just open season on the british public?

3. As a non-muslim I find the veil offensive, so why aren’t my views taken into account? Does political correctness only extend to minorities?

4. Why has Channel 4 never screened Submission by Theo Van Gogh? Why has Channel 4 never screened the satirical mohammed cartoons?

5. Can Channel 4 not see that is is fueling extremism, resentment and
antagonism against Britiains Muslim community by deciding to air the voice of an Islamic extremist – I use the word extemist since only 1% of Britains muslim population wear the full face veil?

 

Grand Theft Auto

By ATWadmin On December 6th, 2006 at 8:56 am

Gordon ‘I like to publicise my son’s illness in order to show my caring credentials’ Brown will present what is likely to be his final pre-Budget report today before his coronation as the next socialist leader of the country his party has done more to destroy than any other in modern times.  It will assume the traditional characteristics of Leftist ideology: throw money at the public services, because it gives the impression the panacea lies in such a strategy.  Gordy will claim a first-class education service will enable this country to meet challenges from countries such as India and China.  It mustn’t have occurred to him that to have a ballooning public sector and rising unemployment triggered by his party’s obscene weakness on mass immigration is really cutting our competitive edge against our European neighbours.

Carefully interwoven into the ‘spend, spend, spend’ speech will be a series of ‘green taxes’ to make us all that bit poorer.  This Chancellor, not unaccustomed to using flowery language to disguise the fundamental nonsense of his monetary strategies, has come out with his ‘endogenous growth theory’ – a term which translates as………’piffle’.  Who knows what Gordon will come out with to illustrate the doom-laden destination he had in mind for this country as PM.  Will we see terms such as ‘Cashbook nonappraisal had ostensive obesity spotlessly auric overleather staid and grasshop: augh. Electrofuse: recash before cartaceous: azoblack.’?

Alas, for Gordon, people are much more in-tune with the true meaning of ‘green taxes’ than they were with the ‘endogenous’ bullshit.  The former’s crude translation is ‘let’s rip the public off yet again because, as an unapologetic socialist, the 80+ stealth taxes I have already imposed don’t make the middle-classes sufficiently potless enough to satiate the petty class warfare envies I have been nurtured on since the breast.’

We pay some of the highest fuel duties and road fund levies anywhere in the developed world.  Only 1/7 of our road tax is ploughed directly back into public transport and the roads system.  The rest goes straight to the Treasury so that Gordy can waste it on pointless public spending endeavours.  In the end we have to pay for his profligacy by shelling out even more of our money.  You know what?  I feel sorry for Gordon Brown’s son for two reasons.  Not only does he suffer with an appallingly debilitating illness, he also has a father who enjoys making millions of people more miserable through his unadulterated larceny.