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Summer, 1956: Eden, Nasser, Suez

In retirement, Eisenhower admitted privately that his failure to support the British was his greatest foreign policy mistake.

A couple of excerpts from the article, which also presents a timeline:

What We Failed to Learn from Suez

Fifty years on, D R Thorpe – Anthony Eden’s biographer – analyses the lasting impact of this crisis on Britain’s standing in the world

. . .

While British actions in 1956 are routinely described as “imperialistic”, the motivation was in fact economic. As a liberal supporter of nationalist ambitions – as over Sudanese independence – Eden had been ahead of his times, certainly in Conservative ranks.

His 1954 Suez Canal Base Agreement (withdrawing British troops from Suez in return for certain guarantees) was sold to the Conservative Party against Churchill’s wishes.

Nasser broke the agreement six weeks after the troops had left, in June 1956, leaving Eden politically exposed in his own ranks. In retrospect, the nationalisation of Suez seems inevitable – but Eden’s fall did not. Hugh Gaitskell, the Labour leader, was initially supportive of a firm response. “It is all very familiar. It is exactly the same that we encountered from Mussolini and Hitler in those years before the war,” he said.

[ ... ]

At the outset, the main aims had been to keep the canal open, to maintain oil supplies, to remove Nasser, and to keep the Russians out of the Middle East.

The results were that the canal was blocked, petrol rationing began in Britain on December 12, Nasser became the established leader of Arab nationalism, the Russians strengthened their influence in the area and the Arab and Muslim world turned against Britain.

Nasser also suffered in the long term. Suez gave him an inflated view of his own power. In his mind, he had “defeated” the combined forces of Great Britain, France and Israel, whereas in fact Britain had been “defeated” by America.

The Six Day War against Israel in 1967 was when reality kicked in….

Back in Britain.

I have been back in Britain a few days (it feels like years), my impressions are….

“Evening Standard” on the late night-early morning train from the airport.

Weird article attacking “golf club Nazis” (for such clearly Nazi things as likeing Monty Python – no the article made no sense to me either). I have now remembered that this article was supposed to prove that “Citizenship” classes-tests should teach immigrants how to claim government benefits.  No I do not know why that is supposed to be a good (not a bad) thing  – or what it has got to do with Monty Python.

Odd letters to the editor saying they supported the government’s policy of reducing state spending (what reduction in state spending?) but wanted more spending on X, Y, Z – such as railways to places which already have railways going to them.

A big article on the “living wage” idea, which showed no idea of what a labour market is – and how trying to increase wages (with no increase in productivity) can only increase unemployment. But quoted various “leading conservatives” as being in support of the “living wage” concept, as a way of fighting the multinational corporations (why would a conservative want to do that?).

And an article by Mr Cameron on “keeping the spirit of the games alive” – but I could not bring myself to read it.

Back in Kettering told that Holocaust memorial day was used as an excuse for death-to-Israel speeches (killing six million Jews in the 1940s was wrong – but killing another six million Jews now would be good, because Jews are Nazis or something…. a bit like the golf club people?).

Visit London – go round bookshops. Leftist books are the ones pushed forward (on bits of board) or turned to face the customers. Pro free market books very rare in the London bookshops anyway. Do the shareholders in Waterstones, W.H. Smiths, and Foyles know that the staff (including the managers?) want them robbed and murdered?

And why do people employed in comfortable bookshops hate “capitalists” and “capitalism” anyway (it is something to do with the shareholders likeing Monty Python? or are they Jews? or perhaps they play golf?). Anyway the people in London appear to be very prosperious – try to force down “credit bubble city” thoughts….

Lots of students – perhaps this “education” thing explains a lot…..

Try to see the film “Zero Dark Thirty” in Kettering – but it is only on late at night in the cinema. So they can say that there is not much call for it? Something I have noticed before with non P.C. films – they are either not shown at all in the local cinema, or they are shown only once a day and an irritating time.

Notice that leftist newspapers (such as the “I”) still have special stands at the local supermarket or (like the ultra Keynesian “Financial Times”) are raised on boards to make them more visible than other newspapers. Why?

Leftist magazines also still pushed and non leftist ones not. Even “Time” magazine (which is not even a British magazine and has no British news in it) put in favoured position – for no reason.

British television and radio news (and television and radio comedy) scream, gag, slump to floor…….

Oh yes – I almost forgot…..

Hour long speech (loud enough to be a speech anyway) on the train to London from a young person who worked in the Cabinet Office (amongst other places) about how he went to see Barack Obama sworn in again – and had the words “Barack Obama” written into his flesh. Supposedly Comrade Barack is a great leader for “our people” (the gentleman had an English accent) and lots of words about Barack Obama’s skin colour (which was the same as that of the person giving the speech).

Does this chap understand that he is a racist? Or does he have some some sort of Frankfurt School way out of basic logic?

Anyway his friends seemed most impressed by his words. And he did make a couple of references to things other than Mr Obama’s skin colour. For example the importance of “networking” to gain money from the state (I suppose the word “networking” is a word that modern people use for “corrupt influence”) and how much money (1.2 million) a friend of his had raised for the Obama campaign.

Oh, of course, also how people joined the “public sector” to “help people”. The young gentleman was expensively dressed – so clearly the “public sector” (the taxpayers) have helped him, and his “networking friends”.

Bradford West – election.

Bradford used to be a conservative city known for solid Yorkshire character. Mr Pickles (the minister in charge of local government) is from there (indeed he was once head of the council)  – and…..

The Conservative vote has just fallen by 22% (over a poor result last year) in the Parliamentary seat of Bradford West – the “deposit” (the money that is paid to cover election expenses, which is paid back if a candidate gets 5% or more of the vote) was barely kept.

The Liberal Democrats are led by an MP who represents a Yorkshire seat (in a nearby city) – and the Lib Dems lost their deposit in the election.

“You do not understand Paul – both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are in government and the government is very upopular, and it is a byelection….”

In which case the Labour party (the main opposition party – and with a leader who also represents a Yorkshire seat – in a town not all that far from Bradford) should have greatly increased its vote – and its vote FELL by 20%.

So who won?

A “joke” candidate won – a man born and bred in Scotland (a long way from Bradford) who used to reperesent a seat in London (at the other end of Britain from Scotland) – a seat that just happens to have a very high Islamic population (just like Bradford West).

“So the man is a Muslim” – no he is not, he is a Red with an “ethnic Christian white” background.

It is the Conservative party whose Chairman (I do not like the terms “Chair” or “Chairwomen”) is a Muslim – and the Conservative party has made lots of “modernizing”, “outreach”, “treating Britain as it is now” moves. Yet (as stated above) the Conservative vote fell 22% (and that is from last year’s less than wonderful result in the seat).

So why did an “ethnic Christian” Red with no connections with Yorkshire (and whose last moment in the public eye, some years ago, was making a total …… of himself on a reality TV show) gain so many Muslim votes? And why did the Labour party (the principle party of opposition to an increasingly unpopular government) see its vote fall by 20% and lose the seat by a landslide?

I have no idea (said Paul with a glance over his shoulder at the new laws of modern Britain).

By the way – two totally unrelated  (unrelated to the above in any way) points.

The successful candidate in Bradford West just happens to be the victim of absurd charges that he wants to wipe Israel off the map (and absurd charges that he is active in the Red/Green alliance of Marxists and Islamists which does not exist – only paranoid people believe in it).

And the leader of the Labour party (again on a totally unrelated matter) just happens to be from a family that, although Marxist, also happens to be “ethically Jewish”.

Two state solution?

There is much muntering at the UN (do they do anything else other than munter and appoint Libya as head of Human Rights?) about a prospective Palestinian State.

Now I have no axe to grind but it just won’t work and that really has nothing to do with Israel. The culture, geography (and changing that is beyond the powers of Allah Himself), politics (recall when Hamas won in Gaza they chucked Fatah off the roofs), economics etc.

The idea of a unified single Palestinian state is…

Well, it’s mental. The only solution is three-state. I’ve never been there (Israel, West Bank, Gaza, whatever…) but I know. I know because a unified Palestinian “State” would be…

An Islamic Republic spatially disconnected with their direst enemy in between.

One, relatively (and I do mean relatively) prosperous and the other an economic basket case.

The more prosperous being the larger and the more prosperous and the smaller being the more densely populated.

Have we not seen this before?

If you read “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie then you see the Hell that follows. Ironically someone (Israel, Turkey…) would have to pick up the mess. Should the Palestinians have a state of their own – yes… (not that I’m into states myself being a libertarian and all) but no… They ought to have states of their own or maybe do without that boondongle. Anyway, is statehood freedom? Not if you ask me. It’s a great achievement for the folks you send to Turtle Bay but for the average geezer on the ground in Gaza or the West Bank it’s a tin full of less than nothing.

For me nationality is a feeling (like when I watch the Rugby or cricket – not the football – that’s alas a chronic embarrassment) and not a tax-code. Be careful what you wish for Palestinians because it might come true. And it might of course be the mini-me of Pakistan-Bangladesh. Hell, the “hostile” power in your midst might have to intervene as India did when the slaughter in Bangladesh (and the refugees) became so appalling.

States can be made but nations exist organically. I am fortunate enough to belong to one of the latter. It’s been England since some Egg-King called it so. Even the union with Scotland goes back hundreds of years. The union with Wales is even further back. A “union” of a part of Egypt and a part of Jordan – yeah, like whatever! I was going to say it’ll end in tears so I’m calling it the Nírnaeth Arnoediad anyway.

Am I naive? Really am I? But if everyone (that means you, Hamas) knocked off and built their own little polities then fine. Have states if you play fair. If you chuck bottle-rockets at the neighbours then expect F-16s dropping JDAMs and don’t bitch to me about it. It seems to me that (as is typical in politics) this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Gazan widow or the West Bank farmer but about the encirclement and ultimate overthrow of Israel which is best done by one state rather than two. Shall I put it bluntly? I apply the Rugby test (it’s a little like Norman Tebbit’s cricket one except totally different). Your nationality should be no more nor less than who you cheer for. It is not defined by government. It is a signal, core, failing of the UN that it represents countries and not people. At the risk (and I’m sailing bloody close to the reef) of quoting Monty Python. I shall.

But then anyone who derives their sense of self-worth from statehood rather than selfhood (is that a coinage?) is a scumbag.

I’m Nick. I am proud to be English. That feeling is totally disconnected from our state. The Palestinians want a “state of their own”. Allah save them because it won’t be their state at all!

Bloke recently cured of deafness calls Any Answers

This is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone express support for the Palestinian cause on the BBC.

Marvellous what medical science can do these days, isn’t it?

Australia, 2011

Australia, free, open, tolerant. This is the country where I grew, this is the country I remember.

In the last few months, Andrew Bolt, a journalist prosecuted for expressing an opinion disliked by lefties – he dislikes racial classification laws and thinks they may be being scammed. This gets him compared to NAZIs by people who want to censor him.

Yep, that’s right, that’s Oz today. Supporting freedom of opinion and questioning official, state enforced, racial classification gets you up before the courts and your arguments defeated through the magic of reductio ad Hitlerum by the self righteous and tolerant left.

These are the people who lecture the rest of us on history.

In the last month, fifty academics, many with no skills, training or experience in anything relevant to physics, let alone climate change, cooperated in a letter demanding a university, a centre of learning, debate and open discussion, gag Christopher Monckton and ban him from lecturing on climate change – all in the name of scientific and academic integrity. Yeah, right.

In the last month, a different lot, a pack of lefties named Getup, did manage to intimidate a Brisbane venue, a rugby league club of all places, to cancel a Monckton talk.

In the last month, how about a commercial enterprise punished by government for not being sufficiently sycophantic? The Green and lefty Australian government really doesn’t like Rupert Murdoch. I mean really and truly, they do not like Rupert Murdoch. Is there any other name so garlic to the vampire left throughout the Anglosphere? Can you think of any other explanation for this?

And then, in the last month of course, we have Australian journalists getting truly 1940’s on our collective asses. Richard Glover wants ‘deniers’ to be tattooed so they can be recognised by all for all they are, and Jill Singer, a tolerant and oh so sympathetic lefty, has suggested her own final solution, dealing with everyone who doesn’t agree with her. Ok, so they were talking tongue in cheek, maybe, and they didn’t really really mean that, maybe, they just want people who disagree with them to shut up, maybe. Right? So no Evelyn Hall from them regardless. But, do you think Jill even knows her preferred gas, carbon monoxide, was the first choice of gas for the Einsatzgruppen? You think that, like them, she will graduate to Zyklon B? After all, once you start gassing your opponents you would be amazed how rapidly the number of those opponents rise.

Nice people.

And that’s in the last month.

More from the last month? How about the last week? And we have protests and boycotts of Jewish owned businesses. Of course, they were anti Israeli protests, on the surface anyway, but these days? Who really believes that?

My father spent six years of his life being shot at by people who wanted all of these things, for all of us, forever. Why shouldn’t I judge these people on that basis?

A letter printed a couple of days ago in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The current Israeli government is more responsible for the spread of anti-Semitism worldwide than any ratbag racist groups waving symbols of Germany in the 1930s…

It’s all the fault of DA JOOOOSSS. That’s right, when it comes to exacerbating Jew hatred, world wide, the Israeli government is worse than the NAZIs.This was actually printed, in a major metropolitan newspaper, in Australia, this month. A left wing paper, of course.

You think these people might truly believe they are the first, ever, to blame Jews for their own Jeudophobia? Could they really be that self assured? And that ignorant of history not to understand the company they keep?

How long before we start reading criticisms of rootless cosmopolitans? A bland euphemism with impeccable left wing credentials.

Andrew Bolt writing yesterday:

I never dreamed I’d live in a country in which Jewish businesses were boycotted and blockaded.

The shame. The utter shame.

But then I’d never dreamed, either, that I’d be taken to court for expressing my opinion. Or that a news organisation would be denied a government contact for being politically unsympathetic. Or that news outlets would be banned by government ministers for asking basic questions. Or that academics could protest against free speech.


There we have it, Australia, 2011. To reprise Andrew Bolt –

The shame. The utter shame.

It isn’t much, but if the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions crowd are going to protest Max Brenner for being Jewish, the least I can do is immerse myself in a hot chocolate. So I did, today, and a Belgian waffle as well. I’ll do the same tomorrow.

Please join me.

Update:   If I may stereotype, tongue in cheek, for a few minutes; Max Brenner should gladden the heart of any Jewish mother. After a thick hot chocolate and a chocolate soufflé I think I am going into sugar shock.

Absolutely nucking futz

And this is just from The Telegraph.

A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported on Friday.

Frankly if that is the level of their judgement they probably ought to be insulted more.

Greece is definitely going utterly tits-up. Can the EU sell the Bubbles to Turkey or something?

Morale in the British Army is rock bottom. Is anyone surprised by this? I’m not. Of course the best and brightest are getting out. D’oh! They saw the mass sackings of almost trained RAF pilots recently.

Meanwhile Argentina is rattling it’s rusty sabre. Could we re-take the Falklands? No. But there is a bright side. Could Argentina mount the sort of operation it did in 1982? No. The country is a basket case. We stick a couple of nuclear attack subs there and we can prevent it. One to watch.

And finally Trevor Phillips proves that he is the gift that keeps on giving. It is a while since I read something as incoherent as this. It’s all over the place.

And that is just the Telegraph. I don’t dare yank-up the Mail and the Express is almost certainly suggesting put a paper bag on your head and waiting for the rapture.

It’s a new world tomorrow

The world is about to change, for the better….

1967 and Israel wiped out the Egyptian air force in a single raid. Most of the Egyptian fighter aircraft disabled on the ground and none made it to the air – well, that’s the story anyway.

Into the Egyptian territories of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, whipped Jordan and kicked them out of Jerusalem and pushed right to the West Bank of the Jordan River. The fortified high ground of Syria’s Golan Heights as well.

That was three surrounding countries, all bigger, all with larger armies, all beaten off simultaneously. Not just beaten, but their air forces destroyed, armies pushed back and the war was over in just six days. Iraqi air force was chopped to bits as well.


And the world crowed, cheering the success of plucky little Israel.

Truly, it did.

How times change huh?

The Arab world was pissed off, I mean, well pissed off, but what could they do? They were militarily impotent and frustrated as hell.

So they did something. Some bright spark came up with an idea of going after not Israel, but her supporters. Making life dreadful for everyone else until they started putting pressure on the hated enemy.

How? Easy, OPEC.

Now, OPEC had been founded in 1960, but no one had taken much notice until the Arab members roused it into action in 1973, after another fracas with Israel, the Yom Kippur war.

Then we noticed. Boy, did we notice, oil was cut back, prices jacked up, and we have been beholden to the oil exporters of the Arab world since.

These guys are rich, they are now very very rich. Ok, the people are not, not on a per capita GDP basis anyway, but some individuals are, and the governments have loadsa cash to play with. Cash which they don’t have to account to taxpayers for.

So, they use oil to threaten and intimidate, and cash to bribe and influence. How many universities world wide have established Islamic Studies departments with Saudi cash? Biased towards Arab viewpoints and Wahhabist ideology?

Cambridge (England) and Harvard (Mass)? Both traded their credibility for Saudi cash, and others.

Money has been spent, threats have been hinted at, friends have been made.

It all worked too, now, forty odd years later, who talks of plucky little Israel?

Apartheid Israel.

Racist Israel.

Warmonger Israel.

Nazi Israel.

What’s changed?

Oil, that’s what. Oh sure, part of it is the left hates success, and Israel is the lefts greatest (only?) success, but that’s bye the bye.

Oil buys influence, and Israel, free, open and democratic Israel, doesn’t have any and the thug states surrounding it do.

Ok, they don’t, but other Middle Eastern thug states do, and that’s what matters.

How much oil do these people have? How much oil is there?

Well, conventional reserves, world wide, are somewhere between 1 trillion barrels and 1.3 trillion. Of that, Saudi Arabia has 250 Billion barrels – between 20-25% of total conventional reserves (although, Saudi has been reporting those same reserve levels for years – they just don’t seem to deplete). Iraq has about 143 billion barrels, Iran has 138, and Kuwait has 104.

So, just this little group of Israel’s hatemongering and vitriolic enemies control over half the worlds confirmed conventional reserves of oil. That’s a lot of leverage.

We have all heard the old saw about how Moses should have turned right after his stroll across the Red Sea, rather than the left turn he actually took, plonking his chums down on the one spot in the entire middle east where there is no oil.

Or did he?

Now we get to non conventional supplies of oil.

Have you heard of oil shale? Oil held not in fluid reservoirs but impregnating shale? There is a lot of this stuff, a real real lot. America for instance, has an estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil locked up in oil shale. Yep, that’s right, 2 trillion barrels. Just the US, by itself, has an amount equal to about twice the worlds proven conventional reserves.

The US doesn’t dig the stuff up mainly for regulatory reasons, it is all locked away and the clean and cost effective extraction technology is only pretty new and the disputes are being worked out. However, one country has strong reason to cut through all that guff and get the industry moving.

israel-shale1Venezuela has about the same as the US, but given its (roughly) 300 billion barrels of cheap conventional reserves it is in no great hurry to exploit it, and ,next, is, well, Israel, with somewhere between 250 and 500 billion barrels in the Shfela Basin, south east of Jerusalem .

Yep, when it comes to oil shale Israel has reserves at least equal to those of Saudi Arabia and maybe equal to those of Saudi, plus Iraq, plus Iran.

Game change anyone?

Now, this stuff hasn’t been exploited in the past because it was both too costly and too environmentally damaging, but that has all changed. We now know how to extract the stuff without poisoning the land, and as long as prices are over $35 per barrel it can be done at a profit too.

And Israel has real and immediate reason to take advantage of its suddenly exploitable luck. Think of the game change if Israel can shaft OPEC and engineer a glut of oil on the market. Could Iran or Saudi cope if oil suddenly halved in price? To between $60 and $70 per barrel? They’d still make oodles of cash, but they have oodles of clients too, all sucking at that oleiferous teat. Loads of friends in both the Middle East and the West would suddenly find themselves cut off and having to work for a living.

Mosques in Dearbourn and Bradford, jihadis in Beirut and London, all thrown onto their own resources.

Politicians suddenly bereft of delightful gifts and holiday hosts.

Propaganda no longer financed.

Back to an era of cheap energy for world manufacturing and transport. God! Even more reason for the red Greens to hate Israel.

As a telling side issue, you know the oil majors aren’t involved? Apparently they aren’t working with this free and open society because they don’t want to take the risk of offending Muslims and being cut off from access to the thug states. The whole effort is being driven by Zionist (that is not a pejorative term on this site) businessmen such as Lord Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch.

So Much for the “Tireless Campaigner for Freedom”*

I’m a big fan of free and open-source software – none of my computers runs a proprietary OS, and I try to stick to open-licenced apps on my Android (Linux-based) phone wherever possible – but I don’t talk about it here because… well, it never came up, I suppose.

It just did.

The Palestinian boycott has spread to the Israeli high-tech world. Richard Stallman, who initiated the free software movement and launched the Linux operating system,

Not actually true, by the way: that was Linus Torvalds. He’s responsible for much of the gubbins that makes Linux useful though – the GNU toolchain – and, as importantly (if not more so), the licence under which it’s released, the GPL. He gets quite agitated if you call it anything other than “GNU/Linux”. Anyway…

has cancelled his lectures in Israel following Palestinian pressure, according to Gal Mor’s blog “holes in the net.”
Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.

Now, to be fair to RMS, it does look like this is purely to do with money, and not a deliberate political gesture on his part:

“I am sorry for the disappointment that I have caused,” wrote Stallman.

But to anyone familiar with the man and his activism over the last three decades, that doesn’t really cut a lot of ice. In the software world, he’s famous for being a free software fundamentalist to the point of refusing to use hardware that might be useful to him if it would mean “contaminating” the system with proprietary drivers. His spats with Torvalds and other open-source pragmatists are legendary. The tension between Stallman’s Free Software Foundation and the likes of The Open Source Initiative is actually very reminiscent of that between Randian objectivism and mainstream libertarianism, and for similar reasons. So is the grudging one-sided respect of the pragmatists for the intellectual bloody-mindedness of the hard liners, come to think of it.

So Stallman claims to care deeply about freedom. He’s made a career out of caring about freedom, and not simply in the manner of many better known professional worriers: he’s done a great deal of practical work to promote and enable “the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), [to] receive source code or [...] get it if you want it, [to] change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs”, as the GPL has it. Without him, we probably wouldn’t have Linux, Android, or WordPress, since they’re all GPL-licenced (or, in the case of Android, based heavily on GPL components). Although he has nothing to do with them directly, Wikipedia and Creative Commons both borrow heavily from the ideas he pioneered nearly thirty years ago. This move is all the more disappointing since his contention has always been that software freedom and freedom of speech are one and the same.

The visit isn’t until July. I suspect we haven’t heard the last of this.

*As he was described in a Linux Format interview last month.

This explains a lot

Arab League to ask UN for imposing no-fly zone over Gaza


This is the logo of the 2012 Olympics in London.

What does it look like to you?

Think about it…

Libya – starting to have doubts about my noninterventionist position.

Back in 2003 I was unconvinced by the case for going into Iraq.

Surely (if Saddam was going to be overthrown) 1991 was the moment – when Bush (the first) had called upon the people of Iraq to overthrow Saddam. Both the Kurds and the Shia had risen – and the West betrayed them (George Herbert let them be defeated – although he did have a pang of conscience when they were being slaughtered and established, much too late, the “no fly zones”), they would never forgive such a betrayal, at least the Shia never would, so doing anthing now was pointless……..

This was not because I thought the war was illegal (I am not intestested in the modern definition of “international law” as I am opposed to such organizations as the United Nations and the modern definition of “international law” is bound up with them) – on the contrary, as there was no formal peace at the end of the 1991 conflict (and Saddam repeatedly broke the ceasefire terms – by fireing upon British and American aircraft) both the United Kingdom Parliament and the U.S. Congress were well within their rights to vote to overthrow Saddam.

For those who say “they did not vote for WAR”, the word was indeed not used – but everyone knew they were voting for armed conflict. Indeed in the British context it is very rare to have Parliament vote before the conflict – normally the Prime Minister of the day acts for the Monarch without needing a formal Parliamentary vote.

Of course in the case of the United States there was already an Act of Congress (passed back in the 1990s) ordering the President to overthrow Saddam Hussain. It was hoped the CIA would do the job – but the CIA (which has never really recovered from its gutting in the early 1970s) repeatedly failed to overthrow Saddam.

Still less did I have any love for the mass murderer Saddam Hussain – on the contrary I always detested the life long socialist, even back in the 1980s when it was fashionable to see him as a shield against the Islamic nuttyness of Iran.

I had no problem with the morality of overthrowing Saddam, or with the legality of doing so (see above), my problem with the 2003 operation was that it seemed to make no sense to me as POLICY.

I thought that war and occupation in Iraq would cost vastly more in terms of money and LIVES than Blair and Bush believed (none of their basic assumptions made any sense to me) and I was totally unclear what “democracy” would produce in place of Saddam.

Some sort of pro Iranian Shia government? Would that be better – or even worse, than Saddam? Or would there be total chaos?

As recently as 1998 the above was the position of the arch limpwristed anti interventionists – Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

But after the attacks of 9/11 both men seemed to be totally converted to the “DO SOMETHING” school of policy. That the United States should lash out (without any clear plan) on the grounds that the Middle East was so horrible that any intervention must improve it.

The Neocon School did have a plan – “democracy” (as a solution to all problems), but certainly Donald Rumsfeld never really signed on to this position (he could not put his brain to sleep – which is what one has to do in order to accept the neocon position), but he had become convinced that the Status Que (which, I agree with the neocons, was evil) was so bad that any change MUST be for the better…….

On this I was filled with doubt.

However, I was deeply disturbed by the sort of people who also opposed the war.

Not just the Communists (of various different groups some admitting they were Reds, and some trying to cover it up, – although a couple of the smaller Communist factions actually supported the war, the RCP “Living Marxism” crowd I seem to remember… but it is some years ago). But also the anti American (and anti Israel) British ultra nationalists. The blackshirt types – whether Fascists, or more moderate ultra nationalists (some of the Daily Mail crowd) and their friends.

So I took no active part in opposition to the war – and once war had actually started I hoped (like all loyal people) that things would turn out for the best.

On Libya I find myself in a similar position. This time with a socialist dictator (Gaddafi) so extreme he makes Saddam look moderate – indeed Gaddafi is so bad that only a university academic could like him. But just because the regime is terrible does not automatically mean intervention is the correct policy….

The locals do not want an armed intervention on the ground – they keep saying that (to anyone who will listen), they say that an armed intervention would turn into another Iraq, with Islamic radicals comming in from everywhere to fight the “Crusaders” and the locals being slaughtered in the cross fire. It is often forgotten that civilians are STILL being killed in Iraq every day (by bombs and so on) indeed at a worse rate than happened under Saddam.

So my antinterventionist gut instinct would seem to be sound, but………

Yet again I find myself in bad company (so I have doubts).

For example, yesterday I bought a copy of what Nick calls the “Daily Fail”. As a person of part Jewish ancestry I always feel a bit uncomfortable with the Daily Mail (although they have Jewish staff and so on) due to its history. However, it had story on yet more leftist academics (this time from the London School of Economics – Ed Milliband pals) who were in love with Gaddafi and his Islamic Socialism, and I do not like reading pages of a newspaper without actually buying it.

However, when I read the newspaper there were some nasty things in it. For example, an article on why there should be no intervention in Libya, by Max Hastings…….

I despise Max Hastings (for various reasons) – I feel very uncomfortable being on the same side as him, on anything…..

But this was not the worst of it – there was also Mr Andrew Alexander.

Mr Alexander linked Libya to Vietnam – claiming that the Vietnam war was not about Communism, but about “nationalism” (the old bullshit line produced by that moron Robert McNamara – as a cover up for his tactical and strategic blunders) and how evil America “invevitably” lost.

No examination (by the way “examination” does not mean going to a place and farting around as a journalist – it means the application of miliary science) of the military situation (for example the failure to put large scale ground forces into Laos – which allowed the left flank, in the Korean case guarded by sea, to be turned by the Communists, allowing them free use of the network of supply lines called the “Ho Ch Minh” trail, with only air attack, and CIA and tribal raids, to worry about).

If Mr Alexander actually bothered to study (I use the word “study” deliberatly – see above) the Vietnam war he would find that defeat was anything but “inevitable”, the Communist forces did NOT have the support of most civilians (as with the “war was about nationalism” bullshit, – in fact the civilians always tended to run AWAY from what Mr Alexander would call their “nationalist liberators”), and the Communists were not the supermen in combat of popular mythology.

Indeed even 19 year old American conscripts with no experience in jungle warfare were often more than a match for the Communists – one on one, hand to hand, or in marksmanship. The same is true of Australian and other allied troops, and also of the much attacked ordinary soldiers of the ARVN (however hopeless and corrupt their senior officers were), of whom 250,000 died in the war (many times more South Vietnamese soldiers died fighting the Communists than Americans did).

A whole series of strategic blunders (such as the one examined above) and tactical blunders (the endless regulations imposed upon the United States military and allied forces generally – for example the crippling of air power by making air operations a POLITICAL matter, with the best military targets ruled off limits, and all offensive operations banned for periods due to absurd “talks” with the enemy) led to the fall of IndoChina.

To the extermination of a third of the population of Cambodia by the pro Chinese Marxists, and the murder of millions of people in Vietnam (leading to the “Boat People” and so on) by the pro Soviet Marxists (both the P.R.C. and the Soviet Union giving vast support to the Marxist forces in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam).

But, of course, to Mr Alexander none of this happened – the war was about “nationalism” not Communism at all.

But Mr Alexander did not stop there.

He went on (on the same page) to rant on about how Israel was to blame for all the problems in the Middle East. As if, for example, the existance of Israel is responsible for the deeds of Muhammed, or what was written in the Koran (and so on) after his death, or for more than a thousand years of Islamic attacks upon Europe.

I would NOT say that Mr Andrew Alexander is an extremist of the type I have recently had experience of, but I certainly feel very uncomfortable being on the same side as Mr Alexander.

If a man can be so wrong about Vietnam and about Israel and Islam (and Mr Alexander is wrong – about all these matters) – can his judgement be trusted concerning Libya?

And so it begins…

It has been reported that two Iranian warships, with the permission of what currently passes for the interim Egyptian authorities, have passed through the Suez canal and are currently steaming towards the Syrian port of Al Alam.  I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on the Middle East or matters military but my gut tells me this latest development is not a good thing.  Iran has stated it wants to erase Israel from the map and Israel has just lost an important ally in Egypt.  Mubarak, having been a very naughty boy, is no longer around to tell the Ayatollahs to fuck off leaving a political vacuum the military are trying to handle until some kind of civil leadership is reinstated.

Of course, this isn’t theocratic Iran’s first sortie into the region.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, formed after the 1979 Iranian revolution, has been giving the Hezbollah terrorists of Lebannon more than a helping hand since 1982.  This help extends to training, funding and arming.  During the 2006 spat between Israel and Hezbollah there were IRGC personnel on the ground.   The IRGC have reportedly been funding the Shi’ite militias in Iraq ensuring the country remains in a state of terror following the dubious intervention by the US and the UK in 2003.  Iran has also given occasional help to Hamas but not to the extent it helps Hezbollah.  Hezbollah is a Shi’ite terror organisation and Hamas is Sunni which might go a long way to explaining the lukewarm link between the Palestinian terrorists and Imadinnerjacket’s Shi’ite regime.  They share a common cause though – death to Israel.

A huge chunk of the Sunni Arab Middle East and North Africa are currently engaged in civil unrest with regimes toppling and now we have the Iranian navy added to the mix.  We do have a Royal Navy presence in the Med in the shape of the Gibralta Squadron.  However, I can’t see two 16 metre patrol launches and three ridged inflatables being much of a match for two fuck-off warships.  I hope we’ve got something more substantial in the vicinity.  That is if the arch Eurocunt fuckwit, Cameron, hasn’t already mothballed/decommissioned it.  The Iranian presence is a deliberate provocation no matter what diplomats say.  It can’t be ignored.  What we need is our own, very solid presence on show.  What we don’t need is the likes of Cameron, the Euroclowns or Obama bleating ineffectively that the Iranians and Islamists are nice people really and that we have nothing to worry about.  This isn’t the time to dismantle our armed forces and reduce our defence capability.

On a final note.  Apparently the Egyptian military are satisfied the Iranian ships are not carrying military equipment.  What part of these are two fucking warships sent by a lying Iranian lunatic doing his utmost to create a nuclear arsenal do they not understand?  Presumably the Egyptian military is using the same logic to assume there is nothing unconventional onboard either ship.  Whatever the reason the ships are there, I’d put money on it not benefitting the security of Israel or the West.


The leaks from Al-Jazeera about the extent to which Fatah would compromise came as no surprise to me (I mean that’s what you do in negotiations, right?). The simple truth is that there is not and never really has been a Palestinian state-in-waiting. There have been two with leaderships – Fatah and Hamas – who have wholly different goals. Hamas recall has in it’s charter a requirement for the destruction of Israel.

The two state solution (Israel and a cobbled together “Palestine”) is and always has been meaningless. The end result would look rather like the partition of India in miniature with Pakistan and what is now Bangladesh expected to be one country. Didn’t that turn-out lovely? I have been saying this for years. The only realistic solution is for Gaza and the West Bank to be two Palestinian states called – well, up to them really. I fervently hope people are beginning to realise this now and draw up a new “roadmap” (or whatever ridiculous metaphor) to reflect this simple geographical truth but I doubt it. The media certainly doesn’t seem to get it.

Only Israel


The world cares nothing for Jewish blood.

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