Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Tusk - Turkey Walking A Thin Line

As readers who knew Turkey in the 1990s will be aware, the country is now very different to that modern, Western, liberal EU-candidate country. Erdogan's backwards, Islamic policies have put the nation into direct conflict with the rest of Europe - as Polish PM (and rotating capo of the EU this week) Donald Tusk has made clear in an extraordinary speech. He doesn't mention Turkey, but it is quite clear which nation he's talking about - as will be clear in the extract below:
"Many of our neighbours look with satisfaction at our troubles and are prepared to extract favours in exchange for halting the flow of migrants. For us, refugees are specific people, individuals, who expect our help. For Turkey, however, the wave of refugees is just dirty business or a political bargaining chip. We are slowly becoming witnesses to the birth of a new form of political pressure, and some even call it a kind of a new hybrid war, in which migratory waves have become a tool, a weapon against neighbours. This requires particular sensitivity and responsibility on our side."
That Tusk is being candid about one NATO member using its own war against Assad to launch economic war on other NATO members is quite extraordinary. Merkel also feels the edge of Tusk's tongue:
He said "Wilkommen politik" had acted as a "magnet" for "millions" of Afghans and Pakistanis, and said Mrs Merkel needed to come up with serious solutions. It was a "beautiful moral gesture" but Mrs Merkel now faces an "exam in responsibility for the protection of the European political community and its external borders," he said.
Well well. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Making sense of Russian activity in Syria

I am indebted to the truly excellent and regularly updated maps produced by IUC Analysts - rapidly available on the Pietervanostaeyen blog.

There are two gateways into Syria through Turkey; through the eastern one, ISIS receive arms, equipment, volunteers, supplies and goods, all with Turkish compliance. Through the Western, the US, French and Saudi supported rebels, including the al-quaeda murderers of Christians, al-Nusra, who hold a number of border towns including Harem, Salqin and Armanaz (clicky to see big - they're the dark grey) do the same. From the news reports, Russian air activity is aimed at a precursor to ground troops first closing the western of the border gateways.

We must then rely on Russia to close the ISIS access to Turkey with the help of the Kurds (yellow on the map); encouraging the Kurds to take and occupy an in-depth zone right alomg the Turkish border will halt the terrorist supplies from the US, France, KSA and do more to bring peace to Syria than anything the UK has done. 

Make no mistake; Turkey and the KSA are our real enemies, and the real threats to peace. We need to pour money and troops into Greece to secure Europe's Eastern flank against Turkey, and give full support to Russia, Syria and the Kurds in blocking Turkey from the South. Only then will peace start to return to Iraq and Syria, and the tsunami of migrants into Europe actively facilitated by Turkey start to stem. Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.

Meanwhile, Russian pilots flying straight line sorties from bases around Latakia to al-Nusra border strongholds are safe to do so until the US gets missile defences in place - when they'll have to start detouring southwards a smidgeon to avoid Turkish territory.

Monday, 5 October 2015

You've got to hand it to the Kermits ...

I know it's not right, but you've got the grant the Kermits a measure of respect for their utter disregard of corporate guidelines on the inappropriate-touching thing and on maintaining an appropriate personal distance. Whilst in the UK we struggle to remember if it's OK to touch a woman's elbow or if anything above the wrist is a corporate no-go zone, or if you can squeeze a queer colleague's shoulder without being brought up on a disciplinary, the Kermits are never slow to display their wonderful uninhibited and tactile Kermitness.

So when these two HR muppets turned up at a workforce meeting to explain in corporate-speak why the firm needed to downsize and outsource, the reaction was typically .... Gallic

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Green burials: the ultimate selfishness & St. Vlad

I suppose it was inevitable. For a generation of people for whom "It's all about ME!" it was unlikely that death alone would halt the selfishness. Now the buggers want to sod the rest of us for two or three hundred years after they relieve us of the burden of soothing their egos. Yes, I'm writing about the story in the Indie this morning about being buried as a sort of fertiliser pod for a sapling, 

Most of the narcissists who will opt for such things are unlikely to pick, say, Scots Pines or Lombardy Poplars, skinny little trees, to mark their graves. No, they will want vast spreading Oaks, Elms and Chestnuts to ensure that even when dead they can deny the beneficial use of at least 150m2 of soil. That's the area under the canopy - the extent of a tree's feeding roots. An allotment holder can tell you what can be grown on such a 5-pole plot. 

The issue is that the beardy cereal-eaters constructing such schemes aren't from the Welsh mountains or Northumberland but Hoxton. And that they want to do this within the M25. Well, allow me to remind everyone of one of the capital's coming crises - the lack of burial space. Nearly all existing London cemeteries are reaching capacity. Unless we start turning our parks into burial grounds we must either (a) re-use old ones (b) bury people vertically in boreholes (c) cremate everyone (d) turn the green belt into a vast graveyard rather than farmland. The challenge for the future is how to deal with everyone's remains in the manner of their choosing.

Moslems won't be burnt up and won't have coffins. Hindus prefer cremation on open-air funeral pyres but accept crematoria as a good alternative in places such as Southall. Zoroastrians would rather have their bodies laid on the top of the Canary Wharf towers and eaten by wild birds, but accept what they can get. And Hoxton hipsters need to be content with a bunch of wilting daffs above them rather than a vast Oak. 

God Bless President Putin!

From the Catholic Herald:-
There’s something especially sinister about the way our governments have followed a Wahhabi-led scheme to overthrow a secular dictatorship, a revolution that would almost certainly endanger Christians in the land of St Paul.

For example, the rebel group al-Nusra Front, one of the players in the region Russia is now pounding, previously overran the Christian village of Maaloula, 40 miles north of Damascus, executing three Christians and kidnapping a dozen nuns before being driven out by the Syrian army.

During the battle for that village one Christian addressed the BBC cameraman with these chilling words: “Tell the Europeans and the Americans that we sent you St Paul 2,000 years ago to take you from the darkness, and you sent us terrorists to kill us”.....

Russia’s foreign policy is, no doubt, designed to serve Russia and those who rule Russia. But if it can bring an end to the war, and destroy ISIS, the al-Nusra Front and other militant groups, then Russia might just save Syria’s Christians and so fulfil the country’s historic promise to protect the region’s Christians.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Saudi savages 'demand' Putin halts airstrikes - on human rights grounds

You couldn't make it up. The representative of the primitive tribal savages from Saudi Arabia at the UN has demanded, no less, that Putin halts his airstrikes - on human rights grounds

Saudi Arabia is vying with ISIS for the number and savagery of its punishments and executions, and human rights are virtually non-existant within the desert tyranny.  

I think I'll join Tom Lehrer in the park ...


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Putin plays a winning hand

With all the faux-outrage this morning around the Russian airstrikes, there is one accusation that is conspicuously lacking from French and US comments - that Putin is acting illegally. Putin's 'illegal' intervention in Ukraine, you recall, was routinely quoted in every news report of that conflict. And neither will you hear the US condemned on the BBC for acting 'illegally' in Syria - for US airsrikes against the Assad regime, and US special forces active in theatre, are indeed very illegal under international law. In Syria the position in the Ukraine is reversed; Putin, invited by Assad to intervene, is acting legally whilst the US, with neither Assad's blessing nor a UN Resolution, is acting illegally. As for what the biggish players are actually up to;

US - Covertly supporting the rebels in war against Assad under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Airstrikes and special forces in theatre.

RUSSIA - Overtly supporting Assad in war against the rebels under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Airstrikes and special forces in theatre

FRANCE - Making a bid to be Saudi Arabia's biggest arse-licker and arms merchant, is supplying arms to anti-Assad rebels which are routed to ISIS. Almost certainly involved in corrupt Saudi financing of terrorism in Syria. 

UK - Sticklers for international law since Blair's contraventions, UK aid to the rebels is confined to 'non-lethal' supplies and equipment and selected anti-Assad intelligence routed from GC outpost Cyprus. Possibly has special forces in theatre. 

If yesterday's Russian missiles took out any US special forces by accident, we won't hear about it. At least not now. But the squeaks of protest from the Pentagon will put pressure on the State dept to declare openly to Putin exacly how many US special forces are in Syria and exactly where they are - if they don't want them zapped. 

For Putin, it's win-win; all he needs is for the oil price to creep back up.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

'No future for Al-saud family in Arabia' call

"There is no future for the Al-saud family in Arabia. There are two options for a settlement in Arabia. One option is a political process with free and fair elections for all men and women over seventeen. The other option is a military process, which will force the Al-saud family from power"

"This could be a more lengthy process and a more destructive process but the choice is entirely that of Salman Al-saud".

"The Holy places of Mecca and Medina could be cared for and managed by Iran on an interim basis". 

Corbyn and Mr Bean woo Labour