Saturday, 27 August 2016

A few years after the Iraq War - a disaster that vindicated many who don't gloat.

Iraq's Regime had gone - but what next?

Meanwhile, until I find my writings about the Caucasus in the context of the recent Russian-Georgian War here's some stuff I wrote a few years ago about the Wars in Syria and northern Iraq

Having just read about ISIS and their Activities in the last 12 Years it seems some of us are being proved right about the disaster that unfurls in the Region formerly called Arabia and the Levant. Those Paramilitaries GWB went on about - which, then, were factitious - are now there in their 1000s - and while the West tries to evaluate which one might be friendly and those that aren't, all have shown that the Arab Expression "Your Enemies Enemy isn't necessarily your Friend" is right. Even the Iraqi Government recently showed support for Syrian Government Air strikes against recent rebel Activity as it encroached into Iraq. So much for the continued Support the West has had for the insurgency in Syria then as it puts them in conflict with their new Protege, while President Obama has asked for yet another $500M to arm what he hopes would be "Moderate" Forces in the Rebellion. I'm sure some of those Moujahedin in 1980s Afghanistan must have seemed quite moderate when the US did something similar then.

Isn't this Folly and for a Number of Reasons? Firstly; that the Afghan example applies and that today s 'Freedom Fighters' are tomorrows 'Terrorists' - or that the Ebb and Flow of Allegiances in the Region could mean the President being duped into supplying People who could change sides at the Drop of a Keffir. Also, if they are defeated those Weapons are captured - just like the many others that have been - in both Syria and Iraq (the latter having a Squadron of Helicopters appropriated by ISIS when they seized Mosul Airport recently). John Kerry must have seen something similar in Vietnam when those 'Vietnamised' Troops (Soldiers from South Vietnam charged with assuming Army Duty once the US withdrew) collapsed and their Weapons siezed by VC and NVA Troops instead. This is why I'm surprised the President even suggested it - particularly when his Secretary of State for Defence must also realise why Vietnamisation didn't work for the same Reason those Iraqi'ised Troops surrendered as promptly as they did. After almost the same Time-scale (about 3-4 Years) Vietnamised Soldiers realised that the People they pointed their Rifles at were as Vietnamese as they were - those they did so on behalf of weren't. The same applies to the Iraqi Army - with the additional Element of whichever Strand of Islam they subscribe to.

Meanwhile, a Consignment of F16s seem to have got lost in the Post - causing Baghdad to buy Sukhoi Aircraft from Russia and Belorus instead - something Saddam used to do - and while those ,and maybe any other FWhatevernumbers, seem to be mislaid in the Sorting Office maybe they'll continue buying Planes from Saddam s former Ally!

All of this is partially because western Intel insisted on identifying Sunnis and Shia Moslems as potential Friend or Foe Groupings rather than as Iraqis - a Policy we saw the beginnings of in 1990 when GHB tried rallying those Shias of the Basra region into Insurrection against Saddam's Sunni Government, and continued when the recent War raged. The Aim of ISIS is to create a pre-1919 Arabia where Islam (the Caliphate) effectively erases the artificially created Countries of the post WWl Era (Sykes-Piquot). Considering they are a Reaction to the predominantly Shia Government in Baghdad - who were a Reaction to the Sunni Government of Saddam - while Assads Regime in Damascus is a Shia Alawite Sect of Islam - the Allegiances in the region are somewhat Skewed. The West backs the new Iraqi Government and opposes Damascus - thus supports Rebels in Syria - but is against those in Iraq. Iraq's Government supports the Government in Damascus and tacitly opposes Rebels.. All of this suggests that Groupings like ISIS could prove very seductive to a People wearied by War in either Countries and begin to see their Presence as potential to end it in both. Even one of their Regions (where Tikrit is located) has the very evocative Name Salah-ah-Din - from a time when Shia and Sunni Saracens were unified in the 12th-13th Century. Something I'm sure isn't lost on those responsible for their Propaganda.

All of this shows that the recent Wars could prove to be counter-productive in protecting western Interests in Arabia and the Levant - while Israel must wince at the prospect of a unified Islamic Caliphate on their Doorstep.

It also shows that whatever they have now is far more extreme than anything they had before - including the Syrian Government and former Iraqi Regime. In the recent Years of the current Conflicts the myriad Combatants have probably killed, maimed, kidnapped and oppressed as many People on every side as either Government had in rather more Years. Even the formerly maligned Kurds during Saddam's Era haven't escaped the Conflict as they have had to defend themselves (and others fleeing the War) against the Paramilitaries. NATO Turkey has seen its Government severely compromised as the Strain starts to cross its own Borders with Syria and the Kurdish PK begin to seize their chance in the uncertainty. This is why ISIS have had an Ascendancy they otherwise wouldn't have as the Wars gradually wear down the People and any Resolve they might have had to retain any Westernisation, where that 12th-13th Century historical Figure who represented Unification and subsequent Peace, seems more attractive as each Day of the Conflict continues - even in Sunni Islamic Turkey. There have even been mass Executions of POWs not seen since the Massacre of the Saracens at 1190s Acre or those of Refugee Camps in Lebanon..They have seen 12 Years of total War - and like any omnipresent Conflict anything that existed before gradually fades into distant Memory.

What makes it all far more dangerous to the West and Israel is how any previous Paramilitary Activity from the PLO and the late Yassur Arafat were waged from Refugee Camps and the tiny Enclaves of Gaza and the West Bank. These were also Nationalist Conflicts - a territorial Battle for Areas of what used to be called Palestine. ISIS and others have an Islamist Agenda that wouldn't be negotiated at Camp David with Maps and territorial and administerial Agreements, while they now control Areas of the Region rather more substantial and not completely reliant on Funding from other Arabist States. This means they are in a much more powerful Position to export 'Terrorism' to other Islamic Regions and the sort of Activity in the West we used to see in the 1960s-90s by the PLO - but on a wider Scale. Arafat might have been behind those Bombings and Hijackings - but at least he and Rabin could be brought to the Negotiating Table to resolve the Crisis.

Even when it was possible to negotiate about Geography like the British and French did with Faisal there were still mistakes........

As these 2 Maps show - the first from the 6th Century - the second after Sykes-Picot - the Anglo-French almost applied their Borders according to traditional Tribal Regions - with one glaring omission - no Homeland for the Kurds.

Also, I remember how Hostages were returned to the West via Syrian backed Amal in Lebanon - to Assad's Damascus and ultimately their Home Countries. The kidnapping Activities of these Groups in the current Conflict have shown no Intent at all of doing the same - quite the opposite - and while Damascus is compromised as a regional Influence so is the prospect of an acceptable Resolution to any Hostage Scenario. That these have - and will - happen in Areas far larger than the Lebanon merely compounds the Problem.

And no-one has even contemplated the Dilemma surrounding the Millions of Refugees scattered across the Region, who - at some Point - will have to return Home. Home - to what exactly - while it's Luck of the Draw as to who rules which Area each Refugee came from and returns to.

What also makes all of this more dangerous than ever before are things like that and the many other Crises that afflict the Region. Israel have fought their Wars with Arabs and Palestinians many times before - the latter a comparatively small Group of Fighters numbering no more than a few Thousand, while the other Arab Peoples watched. This time - and unlike Yom Kippur in 1973 - if things escalated (and Israel seem to have resorted to the usual Tit for Tat Policy with Gaza at the moment) they won't be fighting either a conventional Army controlled from Cairo, Amman and Damascus or that small Group of Palestinians - but an entire Swathe of potentially 100s of 1000s of increasingly desperate People - all armed - and of all Aramaic Demographics. The biggest Mistake the West can make would be to send yet another Coalition into War - where those 'People' they are there to 'Liberate' might just as readily shoot them as support them.

Whoever it was who thought a Rebellion in Syria might be a good Idea ought to be brought to account for this - while the Iraq Conflict suffered because GWB broke one of the most important Rules of War - don't over-deploy your Army on any second Fronts, which he did - as that 250,000 was split - 125,000 each in Iraq and Afghanistan. This means neither were as effective as they could have been had they just focussed on each objective at a time. Those WMDs might or might not have been there (while it could be argued certain former Vice Presidents probably had the Copies of Invoices from the Sale of any that did - as does France, Britain etc with many conventional Weapons) but how any of this could be decisive when you don't have enough Troops in the Conflict is a Question for him. Apparently, amongst the Weapons ISIS have captured was a SCUD Missile - so, so much for disposing of any of those anyway then.

Also, Yitzhak Rabin was killed - not by a Palestinian, or anyone else who might oppose Israel - but by an Israeli (who thought Rabin had made too many Concessions to Arafat) - so the extremist Element in all this isn't just in the Arab Camp and Israel has its own Enemies of Peace too!

What should also be remembered here is that while the 1967 War concluded with the Capture of the Golan Heights and Yom Kippur by the conventional Defeat of a conventional Army (with the usual Announcement of Cessation of Hostilities) any War waged against Israel now won't. Unlike a very small Group of Suicide Bombers from Hamas there are infinitely more of them - and we have seen them do this in their Battles in Iraq and Syria. These Rocket Attacks - launched from Gaza and Southern Lebanon - are limited by the Borders they have with Israel. Now, they could do it from the Syrian Border Region and maybe even Jordan if the Conflict spreads into there too. King Hussein's Government has been regarded by the Islamists as an Enemy and they could make Life very difficult in Amman.

GWBs biggest Error was self-admitted in 2001 when he said how he was going to play one Group off against another - while his under-deployment of Resources showed how he also underestimated how difficult it would be to keep those same Factions from fighting each other long after Saddam was toppled. He broke the Country and Iraqi Society - but couldn't repair it. while the same applied to Syria - but on a much larger Scale as her Russian Allies were prompt in supporting the Government. Suddenly the War reached the Gates of Moscow.

Not sure what George Robertson was doing either when he let Sakashvili loose a few Years ago in the Caucasus. Instead of this he ought to have urged Caution as Secretary General of NATO - but he didn't, thus forfeiting any diplomatic Work via the Kremlin as Putin 'resolved' the Ossetia and Abkazia Crisis in quite predictatble Fashion. Although, for all Putin’s Faults it has to be said it was just as well it was 'concluded' as quickly as it was to prevent South Ossettia and Abkhazia turning into Ingushettia and Chechnya - oeven these being embroiled in a wider - opportunistic Conflict by Grozny. Problem now being those same Chechens are now in control of a Region of Syria - with all that that entails.

(This is where I wish I could access my Piece about the Caucasus being the most dangerous place on Earth - an Analysis of the various Allegiances and enmities in the region).

On the continuing Israel-Palestinian conflict and the contrast..........................

The Difference now is how the Conflict is infinitely bigger than it was since 1948.........and certainly after the Palestinians established Refugee Camps in Lebanon and Jordan. For Years Palestinians had their internecine Skirmishes, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Peoples Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Revolutionary Justice Organisation, more latterly Hamas and the PLO have squabbled - as have Lebanese Groups like Hezbollah and Amal, Abu Nidal and the Druze. Their common Enemy is Israel and her western Allies, but these Groupings are all comparatively small and even unified haven't really done much Damage to the Jewish State.

The Knesset's biggest Dilemma is how they have been manoeuvred into an unenviable Position by Events and while it might be one thing to launch the usual Air strikes on Gaza or even invade Lebanon like they have in the past - it could be something entirely different if they did on any of these new Groupings in Syria and Iraq. Even the IDF can't be everywhere - and they must realise that if anything would unify these Groupings it would be that. There is an unfortunate Resonance with the Crusades - particularly that of the third - as a Caliphate now occupies somewhere called Salah'ah'Din and we have seen a Massacre of Prisoners of War almost as large as Richard lst's mass Execution of Saracens at Acre. There was no Geneva Convention in the 1190s - there seems to be scant regard for it now!

Iraq, before, during and after the Invasion in Maps.....

For a complete geographical understanding of the current Situation click here..............

Spread the Word and share to Facebook, Twitter etc.....


  1. While People failed to see the strategic disaster that loomed in the Caucasus - the start of what became Cold War ll - they also seem oblivious to how - while Saudi Arabia - that fine example of modern liberal democracy, and Qatar supply people like ISIS and Islamic State the US planning to do same with what they regard as 'moderate' combatants gradually puts them on a proxy war footing with other countries in the region, or at least acrimony. The Islamists might occasionally form alliances with the 'moderates' but they have also fought, as have the Kurds, with elements of all of these - including their continuing spat with Turkey, but what happens if or when Assads government collapses? We then see the onset of a civil war that dwarfs the by-proxy battles that happened in a Lebanon where Shell cases with "Made in (somewhere in the West)" stamped on them strewed the streets of Beirut. There are also Chechen fighters in the conflict - doubtlessly looking for somewhere further afield than Grozny which would raise a few eyebrows in Moscow probably. The potential for organised crime is immense as somewhere that once saw Caravans full of Silk and Spices begins flooding with Heroin from Afghanistan. The Taliban might have stopped heroin production, but this has recommenced in abundance, but before People wrongly think that those producing it are somehow friendly it was pre-Taliban Afghanis who did so, while also resisting the Marxist Policies of Najibullah in the 1970s, 'Communist' yes, but as western as any other Ideology Afghanis have resisted since Khyber.

    This implies a conflict that won't end if Assad capitulates and one that could go on for decades. Lebanon has never really repaired itself since 1975 -but this is much bigger.

    Meanwhile, as Israel have dubbed Iran the most dangerous country in the world one hopes that there isn't a move in the Knesset to wage war on a country whose land mass would accommodate most of Europe and with a population of something like 80 Million. They ought to not only rebuke Sakashvili for his misadventure in South Ossettia but also the West and NATO for not dissuading his war with the Russians. Many mistakes were made a few years ago - one of the biggest being GWB's "Axis of evil" comment against a Tehran with a comparatively liberal leader struggling to modernise (Ahmed Khatami - who was even endorsed by Kofi Annan for his work) and whose People then elected a former Revolutionary Guard as their new President.

  2. As far as I can figure - about the only decent thing to come from all this could be how the Kurds get something denied to them for Centuries - a Homeland that is rather more substantial than a just another Region of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. I say this in the Context of how the US, France and Britain want to arm the Kurds in their War with the Islamists, and it can't have been missed by those Countries that there has to be some sort of trade off with a People who have fought their own War against Baghdad and Ankhara. While the West wants Kurdish support it should be mentioned that they (the Kurds) were supported by a Damascus wanting to prevent their waging paramilitary War against them. The PK have been active in Turkey for Decades and the Prospect of this continuing hasn't diminished because of the current Conflicts. To ensure that the Kurds don't use those same Weapons against Turkey also shouldn't have been missed by the West - which is why, maybe they should seriously consider the international Recognition of a nation State of Kurdistan as a Caviat against further PK Activity against our Turkish NATO Allies. Turkey has had it own Problems with Islamists in recent Years - probably boosted by the Insurgency in Syria and Iraq - and the gradual Ascendancy of Groupings like ISIS. Not everyone in Turkey supports the progressive Ideas of Kemal Ataturk.

    What is tragic about all this - and shows the Transience of the Politics of the Region is how there wasn't any Enthusiasm to arm the Kurdish People in a Decade when all of that was being done with Saddam in his War with Iran. (who used some of it against the Kurds). What is also telling about it is almost an Admission that what they (the Kurds) are fighting against is far worse than even the Ba'athist Dictator. Something many People thought might happen in an Iraq War that was severely under-resourced. Something like 500,000 were involved in the 1990-91 Coalition - including the myriad Support Personnel - and that was to eject Saddam from Kuwait - not depose the Regime in its own Country and then stabilise it against the inevitable Civil Unrest and Insurgency. Al Qaida's Presence in Iraq before the War was a Figment of GWBs Imagination - now, not only are they an established Fact, there are others there now that are worse than even they are.

    (I have to say that there's a certain Irony in the Name ISIS - as - when Islam got established in Egypt one of the first things they did was to de-Pharoise the Country by destroying the Carvings and Statues of the ancient Civilisation.)

  3. Does some of this suggest that the Standard of our Politicians has diminished in recent Years that they couldn't see any of this happening (or at least refused to admit it even if they did?). GHB had the Means to invade Iraq in 1991 but didn't as he would have been in violation of the UN Mandate for the Conflict. It also has to be said that while things seemed to deteriorate in Western Politik things were gradually improving in some of the Arab and North African Regions. Does a Bashar Al Assad modernising the Syrian Economy and floating it on the Worlds Stock Markets sound like someone who would approve of 9/11 for example? Does a Moamar Qaddafi seem like the Pariah he might once have been seen as when he negotiated his Peace with Tony Blair a few Years ago? Even Libya's alleged Involvement in Locherbie hasn't stood the Test of further scientific Investigations. Look at both Countries now to realise the Fallacy of any War-Mongering in certain Corridors of Power. Neither of whose pre-war Incumbents were perfect by liberalist Western Standards - but then those Standards don't apply in those Regions. To assume a 1989 Central and Eastern European Model in the "Arab Spring" is a complete Irrelevance as the former were equally Western in an Aspiration that was kept on hold for 40 Years by the Cold War. Qaddafi was as wary of the Islamists - including his known Disputes with Al Qaida (as a North African he refused to join the Arab League)- as he was any Western Government for example, while even in the lst Cold War Gorbachev warned against Islamic Extremism.

  4. I notice how President Obama is trying to both distance himself from the stance taken by his predecessor (Cheyney's stated aim was to depose Assad in Syria) by attempting to differentiate between the extremists - but continuing the policy that led to what we are seeing now. I would say to him that this is a concurrent continu'um to what happened when Georgia was allowed to launch its war in the Caucasus - causing the gradual deterioration in relations with Moscow - leaving all negotiations via them with anyone forfeit. This had very serious implications not just with Tehran but also with Damascus as events began spiralling out of control and we now have the result of several years of brutal War. If they hadn't upset the Russians they might have had potential influence on the Syrian government to begin a gradual process of democratisation. Syria isn't a western country and doesn't have the institutions of administration and democracy you might find in somewhere like Sweden - while it doesn't have similar aspirations that those European countries had in 1989. The Evidence suggests this was once quite possible as Assad was moving towards modernisation. A country whose economy joins the worlds Stock Markets for example is also somewhere that at some point becomes open to negotiation. This has been rendered impossible now.

    Similarly, if the West wanted to see a more liberalist Syria who do they negotiate with now anyway? They have a government severely weakened by years of war, a hotch potch of warring Opportunists - none of whom have any sort of potential governance in the current climate, others wouldn't even consider any consultation with anyone (the Islamists), and one of whom is a sworn enemy of Moscow (the Chechens).

    People say that the majority of Syrians reject the government - so why haven't they taken up arms against them alongside any of the Militias involved, even groups like ISIS? As the War continues they might even begin to realise in the crumbling Wreckage that used to be somewhere like Aleppo that at least the country functioned with Assad rather than what they have now which is somewhere where all semblance of civic life has completely ceased. The War could prove counter-productive in that should the government prevail they might clamp down further than they ever have, or even out-manouvre the West completely by having a policy of liberalisation that says "This is what we were trying anyway, but someone somewhere insisted on the brutal and bloody War that has now finally ended!" This is where People like Putin show how much more astute they are than many might realise, and rather more adroit than many of his western counterparts. Moscow could support the Syrians modernisation process which is something else the West seems to have forfeit.

    It should also be remembered that a similar process exists with Israel whose Treaties and agreements with Syria after 1973 and 1982 are with the government and not any of the myriad groups currently fighting it. Also, those FSA Soldiers are the same Soldiers who glowered at Israel in the Golan Heights until the War started, so their enemies enemy isn't necessarily Jerusalem's friend either. What Washington also has to consider is whether they want a genuinely independent FSA government or what many Syrians will see as a mercenary puppet of America. Even if the FSA prevailed how long would it be before we saw a surge of Syrian Nationalism?

    Had the West developed its relations with Moscow instead of scotching them a few years ago the potential for something far less tragic might have been realised.

  5. Events in Syria have been lumped in with what has been dubbed "The Arab Spring", which is something of a misnomer, but even if it were anyone knows that a Government or Army however draconian can't survive for long without the support of the People. In Romania the Army realised this and sided with the People within days of the unrest beginning and the Securitae went to its grim work. In Syria this still hasn't happened with a People who haven't even begun a policy of civil disobedience against Assad and start supporting the FSA. This suggests that reports that there is some sort of 100% rejection of the Government are inaccurate and misleading. If after all the years and the considerable weakening of the Administration this still hasn't happened someone somewhere must support it. Ceaucescu was made - in no uncertain terms - to realise just how unpopular he was by a People who, at that stage, didn't know the Army would side with them and took the Risk of an insurrection against the harshest Government in Europe - probably one of in the world, whose ominous omnipresence permeated every sphere of life.

  6. What President Obama's recent comments (another Washington/Moscow Spat) reveal is just how deep the new Cold War seems to have become. It's the same Obama who - as a Senator - formed part of a Delegation that went to Moscow to discuss the sensible disposal of Nuclear Weapons. It's a pity he couldn't find and reactivate that particular political Contact Book - maybe before the current conflicts started - and begin a process of negotiation that attempts to address the damage done by his predecessor. Even the Pentagon has admitted to the failings of the Iraq conflict - politically, strategically and militarily (something unprecedented in the very narrow timescale since is cessation). This is a considerable development when it compromises the Prestige and Credibility of the worlds most famous military institution.

    If their findings are to be taken seriously (and they should be) I find it astonishing that more recent Politicians even considered the opening of yet another Front in what starts to look like total war. Any former Soviet General could tell them that Afghanistan is a daunting enough prospect for even the biggest of Armies, but when a subsequently under-resourced and over-deployed force went into both Afghanistan and Iraq they couldn't seriously expect a quick result in Syria too! Even the first 2 Conflicts look comparatively straight forward until we saw the western backed Baghdad government support Syrian government Airstrikes on the Islamists. This not only reiterates the Transience of Allegiances it also shows how quickly any acheivements (such as they are) in Iraq could unravel if or when the Syrian Conflict escalates into something rather more international.

    The West's gradual freezing in their relations with Russia suggests this could become very dangerous indeed because how long would it be before Russian Strikes against the Islamists turn into similar against the FSA - and even Aircraft flown by western Airforces?

    President Obama inherited a poisonous enough Chalice in 2008 when he took over from the Neocons without being embroiled in all this. He should have used his Mandate to distance America from that morass and appear as a genuinely new Political voice as a result. He might find support from those same Pentagon officials who draughted the self-critical analysis of the Iraq War instead of being in danger of appearing like another Politician with ill-conceived foreign ambitions.

    Reports that are over-simplified and inaccurate about Syria also show that the same symptoms that plagued the Media in the pre-amble to the previous Wars are similarly undissipated. That although the pre-1989 Cold-War, and events of that year, might be a long time ago those who remember it are not as obsolete as some of these newer Media People think!

  7. The NATO Secretary General warned that Russian support of the Syrian Government will lead to an escalation of the Islamists as Saudi Arabia will send further and - quote - "Powerful" Weapons to groups like Islamic State and ISIS. Is this just scaremongering, and presumably these "powerful" weapons won't include any biochemical WMDs. It has been proved that even the FSA has used them, so can we hope that NATO will use its influence (if they have any) on the Saudi's that they won't do this? Someone somewhere has to stop throwing yet more Weapons into the Conflict - the dilemma is who makes that first very crucial move?

    Are NATO concerned that the Russians might do a better job on the Islamists than they have as they have no Saudis to be polite to, while - although people have their trepidations about Putin - at least Russia creates an environment that allows potential for the future rather than the Chaos that might have ensued in the Ossettias and the Caucasus before that. Also, wherever that Chaos prevails we see Corridors for mainly Chechen brokered Heroin - which has also happened in what remains of Bosnia. What this implies isn't a pro-Russian anti-westernism, but a Pragmatism, and although late 90s Media showed little Chechnya being clobbered by a big Russian Bear those same Chechen Fighters are now being targetted by NATO as much as they might have been by the Russians in the late 1990s.

  8. What reiterates all this is the complete 180 degree Diametric William Hague (now former British Defence Secretary) made when he went from wanting to arm the 'Rebels' to bombing them - in no more than about a year.

    Further examples of this - or the potential for - are even more disturbing.....

    People might say that President Obama's recent Treaty with Iran will ensure against any potential Conflict - but then Tony Blair had one with Moammar Qadaffi - events in Libya show just how temporary those might be.

    People have differing opinions about the late Libyan Dictator. Some might say that he was a Despot who finally got what he deserved, others that he might have been - but had reformed - running a Country whose recent History since his demise shows what happens when it doesn't have effective leadership.

    Also, others who didn't get what they deserved were the Locherbie Victims - who, because of that demise - never found out definitively who was behind the Bombing. Others - Victims of alleged Libyan sponsored Terrorism didn't either. The 1000s of People who never got to see him tried for any alleged human rights Violations. Then there are the Libyan people, now not getting what they deserve - who now have to endure a Country that is beset by Chaos. Murder and disappearances - far worse than what they knew when he was in charge.

    Ditto for Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, all Evidence disposed of with the Body!

    At present, President Obama is the Buffer against a War with Iran, who back the Government in Damascus, and thus part of the Russo-Syrian Alliance. People might go on about the Kurds - meaning the same Peshmurga who were backed by Assad, and who are now fighting against the Islamists and providing safe Haven for People fleeing the Conflict. Also, how long did it take before the 'democratic' Government in Iraq earned the adjective "Authoritarian" - but whose Shia predominance also means they back the Syrian Government? Thus, now aligned with an Iran People told George Bush they would once the majority Shia Population could vote.

    What happens if Ms Clinton as Secretary of State for Defence had had her mooted Bombing in Iran a few years ago? This was done in a worryingly similar fashion to George Bush and Tony Blairs "Weapons of mass Destruction" Campaign as they touted for the Iraq War. Even with conventional Weapons - every expert - from Munitions specialists to Nuclear Physicists warned that the Detonation required to pierce the Concrete Iran's alleged Facilities are buried under will cause a Fall out as big - if not worse - than Chernobyl. Considering what happened when Radioacative Steam condensed and caused devastation as far from Ukraine as Scotland and even Wales, the potential for this is disastrous. It won't be easily dissipated Steam this time - but radioactive Dust - which can be far more permanent. Falling on anywhere from Dubai to India, Turkey to Nepal, did she think any of this through at all? The irony here is the People forcibly guaranteeing against any Iranian Nuclear Weapons Development are the same Russians we seem to be gradually (and not so gradually) in deepening dispute with.

    As President Obama might know his way around an Atlas rather more than his Predecessor, he'll know the proximity of the Horn of Africa to Iran. How long do the African Union think the Peace in Somalia will last if People start contracting Radiation Sickness in Mogadishu and the Infrastructure couldn't cope? How about Eritrea, Kenya, the Sudan?

  9. Can War with Iran be ruled out?

    Having seen an Interview with who became the defacto Governor of the 51st State during GWB's Presidency - Tony Blair - when asked he made the Idea seem so 'matter of fact' - so everyday - it was chilling. That at no point in the Interview did he say how all other things will be exhaustively explored before even considering it. After Senator Clintons comments President Obama negotiated with the Tehran Government, but what happens after his second term ends? That Tony Blair didn't flinch, glance around the Studio, look at his Shoes - and just came out with it - suggested that somewhere at that Level the prospect isn't entirely unlikely.

    What does Ms Clinton for example think will happen to the Progressives in Iran - who have fought bravely against the Orthodoxy of the Theocracy for the rights they have achieved - if or once the first Drone is shot down over Iran with "USAF" painted on it? Slow, not invisible to Radar. some almost the same size as a small Plane - easy target for Anti-Aircraft fire. They will either be as radicalized as the Voters were in 2005 or crushed by the Government. TV might make War look like a Video Game - and we saw the beginning of this with the rolling News coverage of Desert Storm in 1991 - but it isn't. They might try and make Israels bombing of Syrian Reactors (Operation Orchard) seem safe, comfortable etc - like those "Limited Nuclear War" Scenarios they used to do in Germany, but it isn't, while Iran isn't a country that has been defeated in 1948, 67 and 73.

    I think the first Casualties in a War with Iran could be those who have had the courage to oppose their own Government. As the botched Iraq Campaign has shown, unless any Coalition could guarantee the restoration of Order in the Country very quickly the radicalized Elements of Iranian Society will do what their Iraqi equivalents have done. It's the same in Syria, while it wasn't any western backed Rebels who offered protection to minorities and those who faced the Caliphate.

    The misconception about Syria applies here too. That "Everyone is against the Government". As previously mentioned, an example of when everyone was against theirs was Romania and that of Ceaucescu. He lasted about a week once it started - with a few Demonstrations in Timosoara a month before.

    In that instance the Army came out for the People - the only ones left were the Securitae. But then how long can an Army last without the support of the Civilian population anyway? A series of indefinite Strikes, continuous Demonstrations and Protest would gradually leave it bereft of essential Supplies. Also, an example of when the People brought down a Government despite of the Army in 1979 was..........Iran.

    So if "Everyone" was "Against the Government" why wasn't Assad swept away within a few weeks? If everyone in the Army was then why haven't those who have fought for it joined the FSA since all this began?

    Would "Everyone" in Iran be against the Government? No they wouldn't and the Election results of 2005 show they wouldn't. So if anyone intriguing for an internal Conflict in Iran is somehow hoping that those Progressives and Reformers might be able to launch some successful Insurgency is either a complete Fantasist or misjudging the Situation as much as George Bush Senior did in 1991 when he urged the People of the Basra region to do same with Saddam, even after the Iraqi leader had been defeated by the Desert Storm Coalition.

  10. All Nuclear Weapons - owned by ANYONE are contentious.....

    As far back as the Kennedy Administration Nuclear Weapons were supposed to be halted - or at least their Testing was. This implies that even before those famous S.A.L.T Summits the proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was meant to have stopped. Kennedy opposed the testing of Nuclear Weapons - which common sense and decency tells us this also includes the Launching of Vehicle Missiles. After all, if you don't intend to use or test Detonations - you also don't intend to build the Missiles that would carry them.

    Once that last S.A.L.T Agreement was made any Nuclear Weapons - regardless of whose they might be - are probably illegal according to international Law.

    Deterrence doesn't work anyway, as Argentinian Leader General Galtieri knew he could invade the Falklands in 1982 because Britain's Polaris were aimed at the Soviet Union, and would require American permission before they could redeploy to the South Atlantic. Not that it would ever be given because, in reality, the UK only owns the Franchise to these and Tridents l and ll, America sells the Lease.

    Also, even Stalin shied away from deploying forces too close to the Border with German occupied Europe. NATO hasn't been quite as reticent with it's deployment in not just former Warsaw Pact Countries but also those of the former USSR. This contravenes Agreements Bush senior had with Gorbachev, and is also probably illegal in this Context. Moscow might have been placated rather more if the Region had been regarded as a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)and the original Treaty kept to. Thus, since the 1930s the Region was always potentially fractious and People must have realized how provocative it was when some of its Counties joined NATO in recent years. Vaclav Havel might have been right when he said to Bush Senior that now the Warsaw Pact has been dismantled, shouldn't the same be done with a NATO that was the Wests Cold war Response to it?

    The reversal of the Bush-Gorbachev Agreement is another of those Diametrics - and one which emphasises a deterioration in the Standard of todays Politicians. Gorbachev the Reformer, negotiates with Bush Senior, while if Assad Junior - another Reformer - is deposed who does anyone negotiate with? That while he isn't his Father, Bush Junior isn't his either - and for exactly the opposite reason. It also shows how Agreements don't necessarily continue after those who established them.

  11. What might happen in the Event of a conventional War?

    During the Iran-Iraq war you had a Country using the latest Weapons supplied by the West (Iraq) fighting one who mobilised a Civilian Militia, fought with Weapons that were either out of date or in need of Spares, (covered by the Embargo) and were doing what the VC and NVA did during their Conflict in Vietnam and making their own (Iran). They still, gradually, fought Saddam to a standstill and eventual Withdrawal. This not only shows the resolve of the Iranians in the face of an Aggressor it also does their ingenuity and resourcefulness. And there are something like 3.5 as many of them as there are Iraqis, in a Country similarly bigger, while the years since that Conflict have seen them re-arm.

    Also, if Iraq now looks to Iran as another Shia Country this implies a complete Collapse of the Government in Baghdad, concurrent Protest and diminished Support.

    What if - and this is a very very big IF - they do have Nuclear Weapons and decide to use them if or when it looks like they might be invaded or attacked? What are the wider implications for this?

    Meanwhile, back in Syria, President Assad might have given the Kurds a semi-autonomous homeland for geo-political reasons and to court favour with them, but that was rather more than Sykes-Piquot did. Also, while he did this, and before people get too enthused about the 'Rebels', in the event of any government collapse, who will guarentee the same protection to non-islamics in Syria or freedom of movement to Kurdish Peoplehe has if this happens if even the FSA have had skirmishes with the Peshmurga?

    On the Subject of the Heroin Trade, if Chechens are using it to finance their Operations in Syria, where does the Money go once it finds its way to Afghanistan? If it forms part of the same Equation then it probably buys the Bullets and Bombs that have killed Coalition Troops and maligned Afghani Security Forces in the years after the Taliban.

  12. Events in Syria have indirectly shown something else too.

    That the Russians unambiguous approach to the Islamists is because they don't have to Kow Tow to the Saudis. They have everything they need, mineral and natural Resources of any description, a huge, highly skilled Workforce and a very advanced Culture. Were it not for the globalised Economy they could close their Borders with everywhere and don't need to invade anywhere. Paradoxically, the NATO presence in the Baltic Countries and former Warsaw Pact is exactly why Stalin refused to withdraw from same after 1945. That it has become they who are now acting like the Pact that everyone in the West deplored before 1989-91. The further expansion of the European Union was another of these - being the Politico-economic equivalent.

    Also, as the Ukraine has proved, Putin is no Gorbachev. That while the former has waged Military War in its eastern Zone, the latter wouldn't send the Army should Warsaw Pact Countries dispense with their Communist Governments. What Strategists failed to realise was how the Ukrainian Stance invoked the Russian response because of that NATO Presence on its Borders. The Georgian President, trying to flex his Muscles to impress NATO with a view to joining invaded South Ossetia. This not only cost him any semi-autonomous Control of it and co-operation with Moscow in the Region, it also cost the Black Sea Seaports of Abkhazia. Thus, because of this they (the Russians) now have those and the Crimea after their Referendum. The moral is don't provoke them at any cost. Sakashvili is no Eduard Shevardnadze, who - as Gorbachevs Foriegn Minister - understood the Kremlin rather more than his Successor and was never as provocative when he became President of Georgia after the end of the Soviet Union.

    How the Ukraine was shown was another of those misleading things - suggesting Prague 1989 or something, but it wasn't and there were as many against as there might have been for the Government in Kiev.

    Also, the inconsistancy in the pro-Euro camp became apparent when they told us how Peace is guaranteed with further economic activity, but that gradually ended east of the Vistula - quite ominously. It almost ended completely when Sanctions were applied by the West a few years ago. When there was a Transaction of Activity it finally ended the cliched Stereotyping of the Cold War on either side, while it was American Money that financed the likes of Kordakovski when he bought Gazprom for $200,000,000. What this also shows is the potential for Reforms in a Syria that was trying to join the Worlds Economy before the current Conflict.

    The other problem People face is something we did within a few years in Northern Ireland should they (the Government) collapse completely, and something we have seen in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When British Soldiers arrived in Ulster they were greeted with Trays of Tea and Biscuits by the Catholics who saw them as Guarantors against the Loyalists. That changed drastically after Bloody Sunday, while the Loyalists preferred the Black and Tans from their own Community rather than the British Army. If this happened in Cities and Towns in Britain what would it be like in Syria? This is why - even if the FSA triumph - the Job won't be completed for very many years after that. Except I wouldn't like to be the President or Prime Minister who has to send them.

    I suppose the Saying "if it aint broke don't fix it" applies here, because just after the Cold War and a few years after there was a Formula that worked. As those who were part of that moved on they were replaced by People who didn't, couldn't ......... or wouldn't ........ realise that.

  13. The awful truth about Syria is how it has gone on for so long there are People who now know nothing else. That if you were born when the first Bullets were fired you are now 6 years old. What this means is all you know depends on who controlled which Area of the Country you lived in. If that happens to be run by ISIS then anything from elsewhere starts to look like hostility. It becomes difficult to convince them about what might be, or even what might have been before it all. After a few years of Chaos in Iraq there were People who harked back to the Regime - where there was a functioning Infrastructure, but some in Syria don't even have that now.

    This is what I meant when I said that some might see ISIS as a legitimate force in their Region and others as Hostiles - regardless of who they might be - they start to support their Leaders even if their 'Government' is the Caliphate. That they become hostile to those who oppose it and wage War on that Region. This is the most difficult thing any Peacekeepers face. How do you convince a growing number of People about something they've never had?

    I'll continue with a Russian Analogy............

    John Kerry calling for War Crimes Investigations against Moscow and Damascus is like Roosevelt condemning Rokossovski for clobbering Von Paulus at Stalingrad (Operation Koltso) without first condemning Hitler for Barbarossa. When the Nazis invaded the Ukraine they were greeted as Liberators against Moscow - rather like anyone who opposed the Government in Damascus - even though the Nazis were so detestable, while ISIS are even more extreme than Al Qaida. I wrote somewhere nearly 4 years ago that any 'War' in Syria is to ignore the Expression "Better the Devil you know than all the ones you don't".

    How wrong those Ukrainians must have felt after a few Months of Nazi Occupation - even more so when their Infrastructure was destroyed as the latter retreated. So much for being 'liberated' then! But had it not been for the Russian resolve to defeat the Invasion that Occupation might have lasted rather more than the 3 years before its eventual Rout. Had that not happened Ukrainians - not Germans - might have flown the Swastika over Kiev after a few more years. Meaning they might have accepted the Reich as their 'Government' and not the Kremlin.

    Assad afforded at least some Guarantees for Ethnic Minorities - while Moscow did for the 3.1 Million Jews in the Ukraine before 22nd June 1941. Ditto for the Jewish Communities elsewhere in the Soviet Union.

    Mr Kerry ought to be venting his Spleen at those who initiated this bloody shambles to start with - while the Chilcot Enquiry was the start of something positive towards that. When that was going on People hoped that the Politicians had finally seen sense.

  14. Also, as Immigration was a huge Issue in recent years - has anyone compared the Figures for Syrian Immigration before - and after - this War started?

    While Politicians completely misjudged the Situation abroad they also did that of at home. That those Foreign Policy Disasters would lead to other Problems shows that a chronic lack of Macro-management was applied here. This has put Syrian Refugees in an awful position where they can't stay at home - while they are unwanted everywhere else too. Calais is turning into a Ghetto of People fleeing Conflict - and the Stories from there are quite harrowing. Paradoxically, David Cameron was a Casualty of this in the Wake of Brexit - while falling into the Trap of his own Foreign Policy Decisions a few years before. The horrible thing about this was how it also revealed Euro-Chauvinism in how People were quite content to Immigrate around the Continent, watching the Wars on Cable, Satellite and Terrestrial TV, even seeing and voting for the various Governments responsible - until People from those Wars started arriving in their Back Yard!

  15. Today we had the terrible News that the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was assassinated by an off-duty Policeman. An obvious attempt to scupper efforts by Moscow and Ankara to establish a working Relationship to solve the Impasse in Syria. It is also symptomatic of the War that has gone on there which has served only to spread Islamism - including Turkey. Hence why many hoped it would never happen. (Read all of the above).

    I hope that it won't prevent Russia establishing a Triumvirate Agreement with Iran and Turkey which is probably one of the only real Solutions to resolving a wider Conflict negotiating with soon-to-be President Donald Trump, while todays Tragedy does nothing to help People in Aleppo who are being evacuated in a deal brokered by Russia. It also reveals that Press Reports of those in the Enclave were all "Moderate Rebels" were inaccurate, and there was an Agenda at work that continued Islamic Extremism.

  16. Meanwhile, here's an Historical Diagram for everyone from former Archbishop Envoys to anyone in the Yippieocracy who tries lumping us in with any Islamic Extremists......

    I decided to post this in all these Threads for those who haven't read it.

  17. As far as I'm concerned this whole 9/11, Al Qaida, War on Terrorism thing is 2 People - a couple of 70's Playboys - who in a Fit of Pique decided to got to War with each other. 1 for Prophet, the other for Profit!

  18. I know that Politicians, Religious Leaders and Media Preachers, and the Media generally might have a Problem realizing this - while there might be some who glibly use the Wars as an excuse for all sorts of other sinister Agendi, along with the Neocons, pro-War Liberals, New Labourists and Osama Trash Can - but there are People who don't - and never wanted to know or have anything to do with it!

  19. In something reminiscent of the sort of Tit for Tat Reportage we used to see during the Cold War recent Events in Syria have shown how dangerous the Conflict is. Even during the Stand-off of the Missile Crisis we never actually had any Military Action like we have seen in Syria - while the potential for 'retaliation' was always just implied. Because of this, and because of the Cold Waresque Reporting some have indulged in it shouldn't just be Russia and Iran calling for an objective Investigation into what happened at Khan Sheikhoun.

    America has to be aware how any Attack on the Syrian Regime is going to be interpreted by the Islamists and although 'Enemies Enemies not being your Friend' applies to the Region they (the Islamists) can only gain from what was done at the al Shayrat airbase. All of this shows the imperative for a Trump-Putin Summit sooner rather than later - while this hasn't exactly set a positive Precedent for that. It sends a Signal to Moscow that the US seems more prepared to attack Damascus rather than ISIS or any of the other Extremists involved in the Conflict and makes Negotiations difficult. Considering the Gravitas of the Situation People had hoped that this would have been on the Agenda for the new Presidents crucial first 100 Days!

  20. Here's a Question that I notice the mainstream Media never asked....

    What would Simon Wiesenthal have made of President Obama's Announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been apprehended in Pakistan and whose Body had been thrown off the Side of an Aircraft Carrier? That while his People - from an Israel infinitely smaller, with a Budget and Military a Fraction of the US - could apprehend Nazi War Criminals - bringing them back to Israel for Trial America couldn't. That they achieved this before the Internet, Mobile Phones, Satellites and Drones - and America couldn't.

    And because America couldn't Americans never found out conclusively who was responsible for 9/11 - rather like, thanks to Hillary Clinton the People of Locherbie never found out who was responsible for the Bombing. Ghadaffi might or might not have done it - but he would have known who was. That while Nuremberg was a very public Trial - as were those of Wiesenthal's Captives - Saddam was tried in a small Room and disposed of as unceremoniously as Bin Laden.

    That while his People wanted - and got - closure for the Holocaust - the Charade of the Client Dictator and their Paymasters meant the same never applied. That certain Politicians might be embarrassed as Saddam talks of Meetings he had with them in the 1980's, or we find out what transpired between Bush and the Taliban in the 90's.

    That the Media neglected to mention this says something about what they have become in the years since the Age of Innocence at the end of the 1980's!

  21. The sinister thing is that while PT Barnham only did what he did for Entertainment Purposes - they not only don't tell us what's really going on, they also spin out this Myth - this Lie - about all that, they are no better than a GWB, Condoleeza Rice and since shamed Colin Powell, British Politicians and anyone else continually banging on about "War on Terrorism" etc. That while they cultivate their Clients - like the CIA did whatever Al Qaida might or might not be, they - like the Politicians who lied us into these Wars - have no moral Authority. That while someone who did gave his post-Holocaust Life to hunting down those responsible for the Murder of 6 Million Jews - they are as much a part of the Al Quaida Equation - by default - as any other tall Bloke with a Beard!

    After all, as someone said - the Truth is found in the Result - and while some of us still struggle - they don't, and was anyone dumped in the Sea from an Aircraft Carrier - or do we just have their Word for it? And, 'y'know - I don't particularly care anymore whether certain Spooks say this might be "Perverted" or stuffed Shirts Scoffers, Quaffers and local Dinner Party Club Guarantors find this "Offensive" - I'm sure Mr Wiesenthal would have a few Words to say to them in Hebrew or Yiddish that might not be particularly broadcastable, and I find him infinitely more believable than I could ever find them. If the Truth is found in the Result - absolutely none of this - from those Planes being flown into the WTC, the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and North Africa - seems to have done them any harm at all - quite the opposite!

  22. .....And while I find Mr Wiesenthal far more believable than the Dinner Party Club Media - whose Quaffing and Scoffing came from somewhere anyway, or anyone who works in a Building the same shape as a 50p Piece - I also do former Hostages, their Unions whose Culture of Expend ability is as disgusting as anything any socially incestuous Bovines might say - and even Hostage Namesakes who wrote Books about Roads!


  24. If I had a current Press Card and Accreditation recent Developments would prompt me to ask some hitherto unasked Questions.....

    The first is about the apparent Apprehension and Assassination of Osama Bin Laden..

    If Simon Wiesenthal could apprehend and bring Nazi War Criminals to Trial in Israel from as far away as South America - with nothing like the Technology and Resources the US has - why couldn't they have done same with the Al Qaida Leader? Sure, if those US Navy Seals had located him in Pakistan wouldn't it have been appropriate for them to bring him to the US for Trail? The American People particularly, and the World generally ought to have had the Chance to see him brought to Justice and to answer for his Crimes considering the Extent of the War(s) that have been fought to rout Terrorism since 9/11.

    Even if they couldn't have brought him back alive they ought to have brought back his embalmed Corpse so People could obtain Closure on the Trauma caused by the Attack on the WTC, particularly in New York. An NYC Journalist ought to have asked President Obama this when he made the relevant Announcement.

    When it was announced that Moamar Qaddafi had been killed not only would this prompt Journalist Questions about why he couldn't have been brought to Justice it also prompts a Diplomatic Inquiry. Locherbie was the worst Terrorist Incident we have ever seen in Britain - with an end as inconclusive as anything surrounding Al Qaida and we ought to have been able to put him on Trial to establish once and for all who was responsible. We weren't, and as Ambassador to Washington I would insist on a Meeting with at least the Secretary of State to ask this - taking Copies of all relevant Treaty's (Extradition etc) we have with the US with me. As the Wife of a former President Hillary Clinton should know this - and what the Implications for our Relationship with America mean. As a seasoned Politician she should be aware of the Trauma Britain suffered by an Incident that was almost as devastating as 9/11. By bumping him off like they did it shows scant Regard for that.

    President Trumps Comments on the Manchester Arena Bombing needed Scrutiny that wasn't forthcoming. When he made his Announcement in the wake of the Tragedy he said "There will be more!". As a British Journalist I would have raised my Hand and asked him to elaborate as to what he means "There will be more!". As an Ambassador I would be phoning the Whitehouse wanting a meeting with him to ask what he means by saying this on global TV. After all, it's OUR People being killed, not HIS. He said this himself when he proclaimed how he "represented the People of Pittsburgh, not Paris" - which also means he doesn't represent us. It's in this Context I would insist on a Meeting to clarify his Comment - "There will be more".

    Also, maybe People should compare the response to Locherbie to that of 9/11. it was no less deliberate when they detonated the Bomb in a Plane over Land rather than Sea as it was to fly 2 of them into a Building and the Pentagon. No less ruthless and calculated to cause maximum Trauma. Except, there was no Coalition set up to bomb and invade Libya. No deployment of 100's of 1000's of Troops in Tunisia or Alexandria, no huge Fleet in the Mediterranean launching Airstrikes and Missiles (Gibraltar is only on the other side of that Sea, Malta even closer)- and no Histrionics by Presidents and Prime Ministers. No Public Chest beating and no "War on Terrorism". Margaret Thatcher was no Dove - she'd sent the Task Force into the South Atlantic in 1982 - neither was Ronald Reagan - who fought several Conflicts as President, but their Response to Locherbie and its Contrast to 9/11 is quite telling. An Attack that killed 100's of People, wounded many more and wiped out half a Scottish Village.

  25. Something needs saying here......

    Isn't it a Tribute to the Resolve of all involved that Lebanon hasn't plunged into the Morass that has afflicted Syria in recent years? Be they Christian, Moslem (of any Sect or Grouping), Palestinian, Druze, ALL have ensured Lebanon - whose Peace has always been precarious - didn't resume their War of 1975. Even Names and Groups synonymous with previous Terrorist Activity have defended their Country against the Islamism that engulfed Iraq and Syria. This in no way justifies their Activities in the past but considering Lebanon's turbulent History this puts the Syrian Tragedy in context. There have been incidents but they are sporadic and haven't produced any Tit for Tat Recriminations. That Lebanon can resist what Syria hasn't has created the bitterest of Paradoxes.

    When Hostages were released they invariably were via Damascus. Could we now have a Situation where those in Syria might via Beirut?

    Israel must have noticed how Attacks from South Lebanon have dropped to nothing in recent Years and while it's very unlikely Jerusalem would ever be in the same Country - let alone Room - as Hezbollah they must now see how Events in Lebanon have given those of Syria Perspective.

    I hope the Lebanese continue to get as much support from the international Community as possible so they can maintain their Position in the Debacle!

    Having just seen loads of Documentaries about Vietnam what is astonishing is how the Names Cambodia and Laos can be interchanged with Syria and Iraq. That while the NVA and Viet Cong used the Ho Chi Minh Trail to maneuver Troops and Supplies into the South the Islamists have done same in the Countries of the Levant. In 1990 Assad closed the Border with Iraq to ensure the Gulf War didn't spread to his Country, which is more than can be said of Nixon's Policy towards Cambodia. If War ravaged Lebanon can do this in the current Conflict why couldn't he in Indochina?

    Sihanouks Hand was forced when he had to court Favour with Mau rather than America as the Vietnam War encroached into his Country. How this was going to help Americas implicit and explicit War against Communism is a Question for late 60's-early 70's Washington, while it meant Pnom Penh played, by proxy, into the Hands of the Communist Khymer Rouge. Even if it meant they didn't, the Domino Theory subscribed to by 60's Politicians ought to have prompted them to be rather more proactive in their Support of Sihanouks Government. Commentators have said that Nixon ought to have been impeached for his Policy of bombing Cambodia - it could also be argued that he ought to have been for incompetence and inconsistancy.

  26. Assad's alleged 'Plan' to do another Chemical Attack......

    Here's what Syrian Activists have to say about it...........

    "For their part, Syrian activists are asking why the US is merely issuing a warning instead of acting if they really believe a chemical attack is imminent, she said."

    I find it a bit inconsistent that they've decided to announce it before anything has been done rather than do some sort of Strike against it. If Assad meant to do this he's going to anyway, while the 'Announcement' would prompt him to relocate the Hardware, thus thwarting any Attempt by the Americans to neutralize it. Either it's a strategic Gaff on the part of the Pentagon or they've just made it up. After the Controversy surrounding the previous alleged 'Attack' would Damascus be stupid enough to do it?

    Meanwhile, here's a Documentary I recommend People watch.

    When Syria affected their Pax Syriana in Lebanon in 1976 they did so with the approval of the Americans! It brought an end to a Year of bloody internecine War that killed 1000's, destroyed the Country and caused the disappearance of an estimated 17,000 Lebanese. It's a shame that Washington seems to have completely changed their Perspective on the Government in Damascus and how they don't seem to have applied the Lebanese Template to the Levant since Dick Cheyney's stated intent to depose the Assad Regime. Better the Devil you know that all the ones you don't, while a Lebanese Politician - probably sensing Deja Vu - said they were at risk of descending into the unknown!

  27. Here's something I find completely staggering......

    General David Petraus successfully establishes post-War Mosul, but the De-Ba'athification Process dismantles the Regions Security Forces who have successfully quelled Insurgents and Violence, THEN the Government inconsistently reappoints Gadaui - a particularly brutal former Republican Guard Commander as Police Chief. He then starts alienating the Population with his Brutality. Meanwhile, the Military - not all of whom were Ba'athists - has been disbanded and has to start again with inexperienced Soldiers. By the time ISIS invades Mosul there is no viable defense force. Even Germany employed the Services of non-Nazi Von Mannstein to train post WW2 Soldiers. What is astonishing is how Elements who fought Insurgents in the period just after the Collapse of the Regime - and with the full Knowledge of Petraus - had proved that they wanted a successful Iraq, but were still dismantled.

  28. Here's something that has probably summed up the Syrian Conflict - particularly the last Paragraph. What I hope is that the redrawing of any Syrian Map will now include a Homeland for the Kurds - something that Sykes-Picot neglected when every Opportunity to do so wasn't enacted. Assad even gave them semi-autonomous Status a few years ago. Maybe he will have to concede full independence for the largest Stateless People in the World in any post-war Agreement. The international Community should acknowledge their Contribution (seen by many as the most effective) against ISIS and ISIL.

  29. And it isn't just their Courage and Fortitude in fighting the Islamists it's also their willingness to offer humanitarian Aid to 100s of 1000s displaced by the War. They aren't even Lebanon - who at least have their Independence. As that War protracted - against the Iraqi Backdrop - I've always felt that a Homeland for the Kurd's could be the only decent thing to come from all of this. Iraq has turned into a toxic Spleen-venting of Shi'ite and Sunni Factionalism - while, if the Politicians who sold this sorry Mess to us in 2003 used "WMDs" as a Pretext for their War of that time - wasn't it the Kurds of Halabja who bore the Brunt of those? Certain former Presidents and Prime-Ministers would have to acknowledge that in the Context of the Chilcot Inquiry.

  30. Meanwhile, a search through some relevant Media and things really do start getting a bit bizarre..... - It is the same George Bush who became President right???? If you watch this that is the same Vice President Cheyney whose Government were telling us only a few years before that Iraq and Al Qaida were linked? A Government of chronic Inconsistency - I mean, if you're going to scam People at least get your Story straight before you do!

  31. As 9/11 was the thing that started all this and having seen quite a few Documentaries and Podcasts about it I have a few Questions.....

    If Interceptors were scrambled (as official Reports says they were) why didn't they intercept the second Plane at least? There were another 17 Minutes before the second Plane crashed into the South Tower. People might forgive NORAD for failing to do so with the first at 8.46 AM - but not at 9.03 AM.

    The Attack on the Pentagon involved a flight maneuver even one of our legendary Red Arrows Pilots would have found difficult in a Boeing 757 which meant they crashed into a Flank of the Building which happened to be on the opposite side of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelts Office?

    If many of the alleged 'Hijackers' were alive in the days after 9/11 - one of whom finally exacted an Apology from American Security People, others still working in Saudi Arabia and other Arab Countries also didn't - who did hijack those Planes - flying them to certain Death that day?

    These are the obvious Questions - but there are many - like Passports that survive what Titanium Black Boxes and Steel couldn't, the attempt to write off Pentagon Deficits (Moneys that have disappeared) amounting to more than 3 Trillion $'s being investigated in the part of the Building that was hit, Documents in WTC7 that were destroyed when it collapsed implicating IT and Finance Companies, and the presence of Thermite in Residues on what Iron and Steel that wasn't irresponsibly sold to the Chinese within 2 Weeks of 9/11 - suggesting the WTC was demolished rather than collapsed.

    Something else is mentioned that seems to have been ignored - and that is what a former WTC Janitor says - that People were suffering Burns BEFORE the Planes struck. This supports the Idea that Thermite was used to demolish the Building.

    As many Questions as there have been since Dallas 1963 and the JFK Assassination, but Questions that should be asked as all of the above is the Damage and Trauma caused by what happened in 2001.

  32. To give you an Idea of how much the Pentagons alleged Financial Discrepancy amounted to at the end of the 1990's Britain's national (Government) Debt amounted to £1.56 Trillion in the first Quarter of 2015. Documentary Estimates (with some Database Spreadsheets to show this) put the Pentagons at something like $3.4 Trillion, and that's nearly 18 years ago. Attempts have been made to audit the Pentagons Accounts - but those doing it found the Figures so stupefying they eventually gave up.

    Upon becoming D.O.D Secretary Donald Rumsfelt said he was going to do it - but maybe even he found the Task so vast that it was never completed. Donald Trump announced that something like a few $100 Billion were 'missing' (unaccounted for) during his Election Campaign - so either he has severely underestimated the Figure or the Money involved has somehow diminished in the years since the very start of the 21st Century.

    What seems odd about the 2 consecutive 'Hicrashes' is how NORAD failed to intercept either - even after the first confirmed that any unusual Airline Activity was definitely suspect and the Pentagon is the most heavily defended Building in the World - bristling with Anti-Aircraft Missiles. Not only were Accounts of the Deficit destroyed, the 'crash' ensured Donald Rumsfelt would emerge unscathed. That a 'Pilot' who could hardly fly a single Engine'd Cesna suddenly became as adroit as a Red Arrows Flyer is also astonishing.

    I'm not a Conspiracy Theorist who subscribes to any of that 'Greater Israel' Nonsense (as soon as I hear "Zionists of Israel" in any Commentary I switch off), but I can see a huge financial Motive involved here, coupled with the destruction of valuable Documents at WTC7, and all of this has had an Effect far more conclusive than any Document Shredder. The Planes (and subsequent Fireball) crashed into and incinerated the Offices of some of the Companies implicated in the Twin Towers.

    Also, how embarrassing must is have been for both an emphatic Security Community and the Media when one of the NYC18 walked into a Consulate a few days after announcing that he was very much alive? Then it became apparent many of the others were too!

    All of this is enough to put you off of flying and spend the rest of your Life living in a Bungalow!

  33. Also, the disastrous Governor General of post-Saddam Iraq was involved in various economic Subterfuges before he was sent to Baghdad. David Petreus saw all his Progress in the Mosul Province completely undone when Paul Bremner assumed provisional Control of the Country.

    It all gets even more bizarre when you see more recent Interviews with - then - Vice President Cheney who denies Saddam's alleged Link with Al Qaida (like, that is the same VP who was telling us otherwise a few years earlier right?) or when George Bush and Al Gore were in a TV Debate in 1999 and the former told us how he felt America shouldn't interfere in other Countries. That it was those Countries who should "Help themselves"?

    Maybe he changed his Mind when Rumsfelt showed him those Pentagon Balance Sheets, while maybe President Trump should show us how that Deficit had miraculously reduced by 2016. Wish someone somewhere would write off my Debts as effectively! Every Chancellor of Britain's Exchequer has found themselves in more Debt after their Tenure than before, and while very many People might have supported the Iraq War in 2003, how many of them can now see the Connection between that and the Bedroom Tax?

    So, no - this isn't some "Zionists of Israel" Conspiracy to somehow create a 'Greater Israel' in the Levant that would swallow most of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and what remains of Palestine - and I'm sure most Jews are quite happy with their Lives in where ever they might live. That sort of Hamster in Wheel Journalism is just a Distraction - with Argument and Counter-Argument that looks very stage managed.

    In fact, I can imagine many Jews saying in Hebrew, Yiddish, and whatever their Host Countries speak - what they thought of something that not only gives them a bad Name but also smacks of being relocated to what amounts to a huge Ghetto! This sort of Playground Activism gets put into the Street by all sorts of People whose Motives remain a Question for them!

    It's also an Insult to serious Journalism as People strive to find the Truth rather like James Garrison did in the Wake of the JFK Shooting in November 1963.

    Also, apparently, according to other Flight Instructors Mohammed Atta - the supposed Leader of this Gang of marauding Muslims wasn't exactly Biggles either - who couldn't even take off in a Cesna. So, somewhere in the World, up until September the 10th 2001 is a Bunch of People who out-flew the USAF, US Army Airforce, the US Marines Airforce and the National Guard Airforce, out-Intelled the Pentagon, the NSA, the FBI and the Cops, and out-politiked Capitol Hill, the Whitehouse, and every Regional Equivalent.

    Cripes, Wouldn't want to meet them on a dark night!!!!!

  34. That's the Implication isn't it, even if you completely accept the official Report about 9/11, that there were these People who totally outwitted ALL of those Airforces, ALL of that Technology, ALL of those Agencies, and considering the Political Ramifications ALL of those Politicians. Not once - but 4 times - with large Aircraft - none of which could fly above the Speed of Sound.

    It's as embarrassing for those Organizations as Mathias Rust was for the Russians in 1987 when he flew a rented Cessna from Finland after 50 Hours flight Experience and landed in Red Square. The big Difference is that the Kremlin dismissed all of those responsible for allowing a Teenager to enter supposedly impenetrable Air-space. Was anyone even suspended after 9/11? No they weren't - and it seems that the opposite applied, with People being promoted or rising to Prominence because of it.

    Mathias Rust at least invoked a Chortle in a Cold War Environment that gleefully exploited anything that made the other side look silly or incompetent, but there was nothing silly about what happened in 2001. Those responsible should all have at least faced Suspension for the complete Failure to protect US Citizens and others from what happened - while Britain's former Defense Secretary Liam Fox had to resign after the Financial Improprieties Scandal of a few years ago. Did his equivalent in the US do the same when something far worse than some insider Dealing happen? No it didn't - while the Compromising of all Layers of Defense not only showed how flawed it was - it also made the US look farcical and inept. A very dangerous Precedent when America is supposed to be the last remaining Super-Power and their Claim to represent Freedom and Democracy from that Position.

    Then it got worse as they lashed out at all and everyone, while effectively blackmailing the World "You are either with us - or the Terrorists" GWB famously said, thus polarizing the Planet and removing any chance of Neutrality.

    And all of this is in the Context of the official Story - irrespective of any Subterfuge - real or imagined, any Theories, and completely devoid of any Scrutiny.

  35. ..... And when I say Neutrality I mean a Nations sovereign right to decide how it is going to deal with the Fall-out of 9/11. Militarily, our Soldiers might have been better deployed in Strathclyde than Basra when its Airport was bombed a few years ago, diplomatically - everyone has been completely outmaneuvered by a Moscow not stymied by Bush's Stance on Iran. Something that would eventually cost President Obama Billions when he finally negotiated with Tehran in a rapidly deteriorating Relationship with Russia. A Tehran whose Shi'ite Islam puts it at odds with both Al Qaida (who and whatever that might be) and the Islamism of ISIL and ISIS. Even Tony Blairs Summit with Qaddafi proved Whitehall's acknowledgement that Tripoli WASN'T a Sponsor of Al Qaida. After all, why would he be negotiating with them if he thought they were.

    This is the worst part of all of this as it was the one Example of an independent Move by a Western Country in its Dealings with the lesser of some Evils. The Libyan Colonel was one of those Devils we knew - at least - except that was all undone in more recent years. Tony Blairs supposed ethical Foreign Policy that didn't just whither it was pulverized by the War on Terrorism Juggernaut that consumed and laid waste all before it - thus the People of Darfur were slaughtered and starved in their 1000's.

    What if Washington hadn't issued its Proclamation of Absolutism in 2001? What if its Security was secure in September that year, what if 9/11 hadn't happened at all? An eventual Summit with Assad?????

  36. And it was through all that that the current Morass exists....

    Moscow gained a Foothold in an Iran made off-limits by a West bullied, bribed or blackmailed by G.W.B. Because of that, and Tehran's Support of the Syrian Government, Moscow also supports Damascus. People have asked if Russia would ever abandon Assad - but to do so they would have to forfeit Iranian Support in keeping Islamic former Soviet States in check. An influential Force - and an Islamic Authority - in a former Soviet Empire that includes Kazakhstan - and one that has waged recent Wars in the Caucasus. Putin's Army proved its Strength when it obliterated Georgia a few years ago - but even Vladimir realizes the Potential of Diplomacy. It also ensures Surety with their proxy-dealings with Hezbollah. Russians can - and have - become Hostages in the past, while the Group is their Ally in the Lebanon.

    Moscow would have to be offered something very substantial indeed before they forfeit any of this - but would NATO even consider withdrawing from, and cancelling Membership of, the Baltic Countries for example? Would the West be prepared to allow full recognition of the Crimea as part of the CIS? How about the very fractious eastern Ukraine? How would Kiev respond if the West ceded it to the Russians?

    And while it was 9/11 that started all of this - what started 9/11 happened in the late 1970's when the Government in Kabul tried to apply a western Ideology to a tribal Society. When I say tribal I mean secularly tribal - not theologically. Najibullah invited (or should that be implored) the Soviet Army to support his faltering Regime - and we all know the rest.

  37. To realize the Danger of any potential Conflict with Hezbollah you have to read what Professor Daniel Byman - who advises on Counter-Terrorism to the US Government - says of their Position in the current Debacle and his Conclusion in this.........

    "The million plus Syrian refugees in Lebanon are a potential destabilizing force that could lead to more violence in the fragile country. The refugees might take part in the fighting in Syria, with Lebanon serving as a base and a haven. It is also possible that the refugees might incite violence in Lebanon, fostering a civil war, as the Palestinians did before them. To prevent this, more U.S. and international aid for refugees in Lebanon is vital. The United States should also assist Lebanon in securing its borders and otherwise trying to prevent the Syrian conflict from spilling over into the country.

    Finally, the United States should work with Israel to ensure its deterrence of Hizballah and that its limited uses of force in Syria and elsewhere do not escalate into a broader confrontation. Should the U.S. step up its role in Syria and Iraq, and thus interact indirectly with Hizballah-linked forces, tight coordination with Israel becomes especially important."

    This implies that any US involvement in Syria and Iraq that might mean conflict with Hezbollah Proxies could bring Israel into the War. Hezbollah, as he says, have been arming and organizing for any Eventuality with Israel while their recent Conflict with Jerusalem was fought to a Draw. This could become very dangerous indeed in the Region and escalate the War which might gradually involve Iran. That any Conflict we have seen before which remained within Lebanon won't be so contained and spread much further than its Borders.

  38. In other Words World War .......

    At the Moment the common Enemy in the Levant is ISIS - but what happens after they collapse - and they've been given approximately 2 years before it's estimated their Caliphate is gone. Who do they (the US) go to War with then? Once ISIS have been routed will they then fight those Proxies, while ISIS then mobilize a Bombing Campaign that could concentrate on Lebanon? Thankfully Lebanon has remained largely peaceful but in Cities like Tripoli there are Enclaves of Alawite Moslems who support Assad surrounded by 100's of 1000s of hostile Sunnis who don't. It doesn't take an advanced Strategist to see what ISIS would try next as they relocate their War to Lebanon. It also doesn't tax the Imagination to see how this could escalate into a Conflict with Hezbollah if the West - and US particularly - fight their proxies in Syria and Iraq once ISIS have gone.

    So, instead of tacit Airstrikes in support of Kurds fighting an Enemy that is uniquely isolated because of its Brutality, and Obnoxiousness do People stop the War at that point and start negotiating or do those Guns and Planes continue against Damascus and their Allies?

    Bashar Al Assad wasn't a Social Democrat in a Democracy with Centuries old Institutions - but he also wasn't his Father, and the Irony is that while the US supported or at least approved Hafez's 'Pax-Syriana' in Lebanon in 1976 they don't support his Son. Seeing what happened in Libya - even if Tony Blair had added Damascus to his 'Diplomacy Things to do' List that US Juggernaut might have crushed that too!

  39. Before People wrap themselves up in Smugness and say "So what, it's just a Region that has known nothing but Conflict since the Crusades - or in modern times, since T.E Lawrence and Faisal waged their Guerrilla Campaign against the Turks in WWl" many Arabs call the War in Chechnya a "Jihad". Some have said how a few of those 9/11 Hijackers fought as Mercenaries in Bosnia - suggesting even more "Jihad".

    Someone once said it was Gorbachev who first warned against the Threat of Islamism. It wasn't, that Piece of Advice was found in the Writings of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" when one of his Characters said "You must be careful of those troublesome Asiatics!" Gorbachev discovered just how troublesome they could be in Afghanistan. A War that started as secular tribal Resistance to it's own Government and Occupation by the Kremlin and ended in ...........

    So, - if a British Defense Minister had to resign his Cabinet Post for Financial Malfeasance why couldn't an American for either tragic Incompetence or an Agenda that has brought us to this?

  40. There's one Problem I have with Mr Bymans Address - and if there was a Questions and Answers Session at the end I would ask.....

    If the US are seen to be consolidating with Israel aren't they playing into the Hands of the "Zionists of Israel" Conspiracy Theorists? That, in the past, Washington has called for Restraint in Jerusalem - which might not happen in this. That it could galvanize an already hostile People - across all Islamic Divides - against them, jeopardizing whatever Allegiances they have in the Region? That Cause will have that Effect?

    I would also add that the last 2 Wars Hezbollah have had with Israel ended with the former winning on average - the first pushing the IDF back to the Israel-Lebanon Border, the second a Draw. This shows those "Zionists of Israel" Conspiracy Theorists - who think there's a Plan to ultimately turn the Levant (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Remains of Palestine and Lebanon) into a Jewish Theme Park that they are wrong and most Jewish People are probably as fearful of all-out War with Hezbollah and their Proxies as anyone else with any sense.

  41. Also, and this is if we continue to subscribe to the the official Story - if NORAD had successfully intercepted the Second (+ Third and Fourth) Aircraft when the Game was obvious after the First would either of the Towers have collapsed at all? Because the Second one struck was the First to collapse suggests that it was hit rather more severely, while the structural Damage done to the Foundations of the other one when it collapsed must have contributed to its eventual Demise. If neither had the Death Toll would have been far less - while probably none of the Emergency Crews who were there would have died at all.

    The tragic Irony is how the only Plane that was brought down by anything was no-where near anything, let alone the biggest Building in New York or Americas Defense Department.

    Meanwhile, if Donald Rumsfelt can reduce his Departments Deficit from an estimated $3.4 Trillion to what Candidate Donald Trump put at about $200 Billion - with no visible Cuts in Expenditure (quite the opposite as the D,o,D spent more then than they ever had since the War of Independence) maybe he ought to have applied for any Countries Chancellor of the Exchequer Job. Heck, he did a better Job of the Defense Department Budget than Gordon Brown did our entire Economy. Liam Fox must be wondering why he resigned at all considering what Rumsfelt got away with in 2001.

    Maybe someone should write a Book about this apparent economic Miracle - calling it "A Tale of 2 Donalds".

  42. This - again - is if you completely subscribe to the official Story.

    That while there are these People who outwitted 4 Airforces, NORAD, Intel and Politicians - as 9/11 happened concurrent to a Plethora of military Exercises which might have helped facilitate the Attacks - then they might have had inside Information that these Exercises were scheduled for that day - and during that time of day. So not only did it show the Incompetence of the supposed Defense Infrastructure it also means that the Military had somehow been infiltrated.

    This is if you subscribe to the official Story.

    Also, if Explosions were heard - and seen - in the Lobby - or that there was one somewhere in the Basement - so devastating the Street collapsed - then this is what was planned in 1993 when Terrorists were going to detonate a Device that would shatter the central Pillar of the Building. The difference is - while that was an apparent Terrorist Attempt there were no concurrent military Exercises.

  43. And it isn't just this Fella who would like an Apology from all sorts of People -

    ..... And I'm neither Moslem, Arabic or anything else you might attribute to these things. Considering the severe Disruption done to that Mans life not sure an Apology can repair that sort of Damage!

    I can only sympathize for Abdul Aziz Al-Omari too!

  44. How is an Apology going to make this right?

    Quote; "The government's case eventually fell apart, but not before the husband and father had lost his family and livelihood."

    What is Mr Kidd supposed to do now - pretend he's still married and have a Family? That'd be like John McCarthy pretending he and Jill Morrell are still an Item.

    These are the other things that are wrong with what happened because of 9/11. Thousands of People suffering huge miscarriages of Justice because either the Agencies were ham-fisted and erroneous or those who have suffered because of the various anti-constitutional things that have been brought in since.

    I could ask how they intend to repair the Damage done here because of it. Maybe we could exhume Mr Havel and pretend it's 1989 again. Why don't those People go to Dublin and pretend to greet Brian Keenan when he came home. How about re-enacting that Scene in the BBC Library when it was "Good News" that John McCarthy has come home.

    Don't get me started on what has been happening here because of it (loads of Stuff on this Website about that).

    Is the Info-ocracy going to delete all that horrible Culture that happened by default?

  45. Someone commented in a 9/11 Documentary that time doesn't stand still - that to think it does because of it is very Americentric - that it continues - like it did for Mr Kidd when he went through his Divorce. Then you have John McCarthy's former Employer - as Jill Morrell observed; most of the Colleagues he knew before he went to Beirut had been replaced while he was a Hostage - so time didn't stand still at W.T.N either!

  46. Culturally, I suppose we could always ask ISIS ever-so-politely to apologize for the wanton Vandalism done to very many ancient Artefacts - which will have to be replaced by Replicas once they are gone!

  47. Maybe I could ask - ever-so-politely - if these horrible Yippies could - y'know, go home or something - who have appeared here by default!

  48. What finally puts paid to any Gung-ho pro-War arguments that were bandied about in 2003-4, and quite nauseatingly still being so now - are the Refugees. What are they fleeing from? The Millions who have fled Syria hadn't fled before the Conflict - thus stayed put during the Assad Government - while the 800 who drowned in the Mediterranean recently didn't flee a Qaddafi who was killed a few years ago. All of this is becoming like a Vietnam War that became more difficult to hide after it had spilled over to Laos and Cambodia.

    The latter saw Sihanouks Government weakened and destabilized, and the subsequent rise of the Khymer Rouge. The comparisons to Iraq and Syria are apparent in how the Iraq War finally spilled over into Syria - while the Syrian Government were also compromised by internal Division and eventual Conflict. How Mosul in Iraq was engulfed in the War by cross Border Islamic Forces was the most startling Example of this. Cambodia got Pol Pot and the Khymer Rouge, Syria got IS!

  49. It's difficult to know what Putin and Assad had to gain with any alleged Chemical Attacks in Douma on April 7th. It's also difficult to imagine how shrewd Politicians like Putin (probably the shrewdest in the World), and a Bashar Al Assad mindful of the Global focus on his War - would jeopardize recent Gains in the Conflict which has almost seen a complete Victory. Why jeopardize that for no strategic Gains at all?

    What today's Events reveal is how quickly certain Leaders seem to be to go to War before exhausting any Inquiry into what happened a few days ago. This prompts questions about the validity of Claims the Chemical Attack was by Syrian Government Forces at all. People not only don't seem to have launched any in depth Investigation, while any military Action could destroy whatever Evidence there might be - irrespective of culpability. It's that promptness for War which causes concern about some sort of pre-emption by these so called "White Helmets".

    That 'Rebels' are looking for Support as they face terminal rout adds grist to this Argument.

    It does show how much Politicians have deteriorated in recent years and that it hasn't yet yielded an Equivalent of Bobby Kennedy and Anatoly Dobrinin to resolve the Crisis like they did that of Cuba 55 years ago!

    Having just read an Article about Israeli Leader Benjamin Netenyahu saying he is "ready for WW3" suggests even he seems to suffer from a black gap in his memory of the current Syrian conflict. Speaking at the annual Holocaust Commemorations seemed ironic as it was Assad who dispatched Syrian Troops to protect Christians and other Groups from Islamist Fighters during the earlier phases of the War. The Kurdish People have offered Sanctuary to all sorts of same when Islamist Fighters were pitted against them. Very recently Turkish activity against Kurds has been at best ignored by Politicians.

    All of this is reminiscent of People who spoke up for and did Stuff to help Jews during the Holocaust and considering the backdrop to Mr Netenyahu's Comments this makes his Stance somewhat paradoxical.

    As I said, if we are poised for a global War then we ought have global Scrutiny first before a single shot is fired.

    The Man who met Bush Snr at Malta in December 1989 must have been conscious of his historic Negotiations when he commented on the deterioration of Political Standards in recent Years. Also, while Mr Gorbachev will remember the Cold War it seems Mr Netenyahu has no Concept at all about the sort of World war that formed the backdrop to the Holocaust. The slaughter that amounted to Millions of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Communists etc was accelerated and made possible by WW2.

    And while there might be some who do, and others who don't, have any Concept of World War, the WW2 Allies spent the last Months of it assiduously avoiding any Botch-ups. This is why I find it difficult to know why Assad would launch any sort of Chemical Attack on anyone when he is on the verge of a successful Conclusion to a Conflict that has gone on for nearly 10 years. Putin would advise him not to. If he didn't, it'd be like him using Chemical Weapons on Grozny when his War in Chechnya was almost finished.

    In the end - they say the Truth is found in the Conclusion, and what would the Conclusion be to an Anglo-American 'Response' to supposed Chemical Weapons Attacks if it isn't to weaken the Government and bolster the Islamists? Which would please their Saudi Supporters immensely - while strengthening Israels Position in the Region.

    Their (Israels) Wars with Syria were fought to a Conclusion that has meant they haven't fought Damascus for decades. Israelis living near the Golan Heights must be relieved at the years of Peace that has brought them and would probably prefer that to what could happen if Assad's Government collapsed. The Government in Jerusalem might enjoy the added Prestige but at what cost to other Jewish People?

  50. I have to add here a Response to President Trumps Address which is all very emotive. He says that after WW1 we never wanted to see Chemical Weapons ever used again after 1 Million People died because of them. Someone somewhere sold those Chemical Weapons with "Made in USA" stamped on them, found by Troops during the Gulf War of 1991. Weapons that indirectly killed or debilitated more US Citizens because of 'Gulf War Syndrome' than they ever did Kurd's or Iraqis.

    While Mr Netenyahu won't acknowledge that Assad and the Kurds prevented Holocausts of Yazidis, Christians and other Groups in Syria President Trump needs to talk to some of those former Republican Government ministers about some of this!

  51. Has anyone gone into those Syrian Refugee Camps in Countries like Greece and asked them what ought to be done? In the end, they are what any War in Syria is about - not Donald Trump, Theresa May or anyone in Paris, Berlin or elsewhere. What would happen if they said Trump and May should butt out and leave Assad to finish his War (which he very nearly did) so they can go home and resume the lives they had before it all started? Syria's Population has depleted from about 24 - to 18 Million since this started, which means it has caused a Diaspora of almost as many as were Jews in the Holocaust.

    What would happen if you did same with the many Libyans who have sailed the Mediterranean in flimsy Boats - the likes of which we haven't seen since those Boat People fleeing Vietnam in the 1970's. That they might curse Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for their blighted post-Ghadafy Lives?

    And on it goes. That while America, Britain, France and others interfere in these Countries the Lives of Millions are destroyed by a few who are 1000's of Miles away from any Conflict.

    That Trump tries being emotive on CNN makes it all look even more obscene - May following Suit makes it worse.

    While Gorbachev berates modern Politicians for this, has anyone noticed that the new Breed of Politician, Socialist as well as Conservative, has had nothing to offer "their own" People but War and Austerity? Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, Bush Junior, Obama, Trump. Sarkosy, Hollande, Philipe, This has gone on for almost all of the 21st Century, and we have been at War longer that WW1, WW2, Korea and the 1990-91 Gulf War combined.

    Is that all these People are there for now, to rubber Stamp the latest Money Maker for a Military industrial Complex even Eisenhower - Republican President and former SHAEF Leader - warned about in 1960? That a Journalist at any Press Conference hosted by them or Potentials in the future should ask them when in their Term of office will we have the inevitable War (y'know, so we can make the necessary Arrangements).

    Maybe Private Eye should run a Cartoon or one of those classic front Pages showing the CEO's of the big 4 (Lockheed Martin, Hughes, McDonald Douglas, and Fairchild Republic) having their worst Nightmare. That squiggly Line showing Sales Figures plummeting because Assad has won his War and they might have to sell the Big Issue and their Wives sell their Jewelry to make Ends meet. Then, next Week they could have one showing wealthy Frankfurt Business People having to drive around Athens in their Porsche's - giving Food to Homeless Greeks because Syrian Refugees have been able to go home!

  52. Here's something too .......

    While the West backs the Terrorists via Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US and even Israel (where things really have got surreal) their Proxies and even the USA have been bombing the very People who helped facilitate the Release of many Hostages in Beirut. Almost all of them came home via Damascus. When I was listening to the Who's "We don't get fooled again" on YuoTube the Algorhythm automatically selected "Sultans of swing" by dire Straits to play afterwards. That was the song Brian Keenan remembers hearing when he was a Hostage - which always seemed to be playing on a radio he could hear. Hmmm, so - is this some sort of Game where we - as Jim Kerr implored in "Live in the City of light" we always seem to end up on the wrong side? That while someone lumps Native Americans in with the sort of People you might find in ISIS this does People with Lebanese Kidnappers?

    I was watching something else where it auto-selected something about ancient Egypt. Home of those who worshiped the Goddess ISIS. In the context of the above it suggests a sort of streaming Process that has nothing to do with Audio-Visual.

    As someone who represented those Hostages maybe Russians who support those who did help Hostages should write an Algorithm or even a Website that does all the things YouTube does - but without all this!

  53. Finally, here was something that was published on the 15th Anniversary of the Iraq War. It was written by someone from the Iraqi Diaspora - who like many who opposed the conflict (including me) was against it, but in no way a Saddam apologist. Quite the opposite ......

  54. Here's another ..................

  55. Having read about recent Exploits by the IDF in Syria some of us remember that the last time Syria and Israel fought a War it was the end of Yom Kipur in 1973.(although they'd rather we didn't). They might have spent the years since glowering at each other on the Golan Heights - but it never amounted to more than that. There was even the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) of 1974.

    The only time they did Israel had invaded Lebanon in 1982 to fight the PLO - and Syria sent Planes to assist the Lebanese, but there was never a direct Israeli-Syrian Conflict .........

    Until now!

    Also, when Syria forced the Pax Syriana in Lebanon in 1976 - to end a year of Bloodshed and Slaughter between myriad Militias - they had the full Support of the West. Even the US had a Carrier Fleet off the Lebanese Coast and offered some Assistance. Assad quite adroitly declined - the Factionalization making his Job difficult enough without being called an American Stooge.

    When Hostages were released at the end of the 1980's almost all of them did so via Damascus - not Jerusalem, while Syria now is full of People who would do the Kidnappings not try and end them.

    What irks me about the last 15 years of War is how - when you try and mention this Stuff the Crap starts. They claim the Wars are about Democracy - but what Democracy exists when you can vote for anyone - as long as it's Jerusalem? What does Israel do against non-Arabs, non Moslems, non-Citizens of Arabia/North Africa who might oppose a War which treats everyone like Fodder for the Kosher Meat Grinder? When I vote in an Election I do so to put someone in Parliament - not the Knesset!

    While Mr Ordievski gives People like Peter Jackson $300,000,000 to make his pro-war Films how abut these local Film makers in the Photograph?

  56. Here's an Update ........

    In the final Analysis what made the recent Wars so painful and insulting was how they ended. Saddam was captured and tried without any input from any of the Aggrieved. That we had been sold this War on everything from his supposed (non existent) support of Al Qaida to his Treatment of Opposition People and the Kurds.

    Then, after an unknown and incalculable number of Dead, Maimed and Missing, who knows how many Millions becoming Refugees, and all that Destruction and archaeological Vandalism - in the end a small Team of US Navy Seals allegedly assassinate Osama Bin Laden.

    10's of Millions whose lives were irreparably damaged could now ask "Why didn't you do that first?"

    In other Words - if it was that easy, and that cheap, why didn't you do that instead of the Death and Devastation we did have? While the Human Cost in the Region is so huge it's incalculable, the fiscal and moral reputational Cost it inflicted on some western Countries will take years to make right. How many Supporters of the War in 2003 cursed the Government for Austerity and the Bedroom Tax a few years later? the thing is, where do you suppose the Money came from to pay for those Conflicts and how do suppose the Government will attempt to recoup it?

    Then there is that Human Cost .....

    No-one has published the definitive figure for Casualties in those Wars. Those killed and those injured - physically and psychologically. It would be bad enough in our comparatively loose Society but the regions of Arabia and North Africa can have 4 Generations of Family living in the same House. That they are bigger on the extended Family than we are. So whoever's Figures you believe every one of them has all that Family attached to it. All of whom affected by the Loss caused by the War, either in Death of having to care for an injured Relative. Couple this with the devastated Infrastructure and it becomes even more acute.

    And how about that Infrastructure?

    In some ways what has happened is worse than WW1 and 2. The Villages and Towns of Flanders and North East France were rebuilt and People returned to live in them after WW1. Ypres is still the bustling Market Town it was in early 1914. Those of Britain and Europe after WW2 were the same. Coventry, Caen, Dresden, Berlin all continued after 1945 much the same as they were in 1939. The former German capital might have looked like a BMW grafted onto a Trabant because of the Cold War - but it still functioned as a City. Despite the political tumult of the late 1940's devastated Warsaw had its Citizens return and rebuild. Leningrad was the same, rebuilt in both Building and People after the Siege, and even though every Building suffered Damage People still repopulated and rebuilt Stalingrad. Pearl Harbour is still the US Navy's biggest Base in the Pacific.

    There are Areas and People of Iraq and Syria that will never go back to being what they were before the Wars. Many are resigned to being an almost permanent Diaspora, one that equals the Holocaust in Number.