Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hugo Chavez- leader of the worlds morons

Ever since childhood, I have had a secret loathing of the naivety and gullibility of a lot of latin Americans and South Americans. It seems that with no effort, any snake-oil salesman, corrupt politician on the make, or dim-witted rabble-rouser can almost instantaneously summon up a great crowd in Brasil, Venezuela or Argentina and lead them off on some stupid escapade. Hugo Chavez is a recent example, but the 20th century was littered with them.

What marks these buffoons out is the Ghaddaffi-like estrangement from the world of facts. Very often their public statements read like the more esoteric gibberings from the hippy era of acid-produced incoherence, un-sullied by knowledge or judgement. The fact that they often become President of a whole nation calls into question many things, but most importantly the sanity and judgement of the voters. Chavez may be a favela boy made good, but there must be men of vastly greater wit, learning and judgement still in the favela who would benefit Venezuela by their occupation of high office. The big question is, will Venezuelans ever choose one?

The way of the world

Happened to catch Billy Connolly last night for a second. Although diminished as a comedic force, he is still better than most others. This line really caught my attention-

"Scientists have declared that in our first few milliseconds on encountering something our brains go through a little hard-wired routine. It goes

Can I eat it?
Can it eat me?
Can I fuck it?

Within about 3 milliseconds we've already done that analysis and behave accordingly."

So true. Especially the fact that it starts out with eating, which I consider in the great balance of things provides most people with more pleasure over a lifetime than sex. And unless you are Michael Stipe, more variety.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Racist umpire 'expects us to follow rules'

The Pakistani nation rose up with one voice today to declare the umpire in the Oval test match a racist. "How dare he expect us to obey rules like not tampering with the ball? We are Pakistani's and therefore don't have to obey your WHITE MAN rules. What is this, the 19th century? Next you'll be saying we have to have non-corrupt courts, an economy that doesn't just involve opium and donkeys, and a foreign policy that doesn't just revolve around jihad for all. Disgusting! Take your colour bar with you on the way out!"

All I can say is, cricket would be the better without 'em.

Israels failure and what must happen next

Israel cannot afford to lose wars. The most recent war with Syria/Iran/Hesbollah was not a fiasco, it just wasn't a victory. Hesbollah had far too much time to prepare their defenses, had the latest weaponry thanks to the Russians, and were attacked in the wrong way. Air bombardment against Hesbollah failed for the same reason air bombardment failed in Vietnam- deeply dug defenses and a big area of operations meant that the IAF were really only going after a few guys at a time, with relatively small impact munitions. Hesbollah were well spread out and were only ever damaged locally. The strategy was to bomb lots of Hesb targets and hope that their infrastructure was damaged severely, then send columns of ground forces in to mop up. Both parts of the strategy failed.

A strategy that would have worked would have been to create an Isreali cordon right across Lebanon, on the Litani river, quite narrow and easily defensible cutting off Southern Lebanon completely and isolating Hesb in the south. Then slowly pick off Hesb south of the Litani as they became hungrier, short of ammo and more desparate. No big infantry pushes that would generate large-scale casualties, and no large areas of territory to control while being IED'd and sniped. And no air war- the bombing was spectacular so the western media found it very easy to damn Israel, yet ineffective.

Cutting Hesb in half would have lots of positive results. The southern area would be gradually reduced as the local population would have to rely on the Israelis for supplies through the cordon. These could be manipulated to make sure that Hesb ground to a halt. Constant patrolling by drone would make sure that Hesb had to pretty much keep their heads down- very much not brave and victorious. Slow strangulation of Hesb in the south would have been much more do-able, and clever, and without the propaganda pictures for the Jew-haters at the AFP. Somebody want to suggest this to the Israeli army command? Its not too late yet...

Cricket the revealer of character

Last summer at about this time, us cricket fans were enjoying the most spectacular and tense test series in my lifetime, between two sides who just didn't know when to quit. Australia were immense, both in their commitment to winning and their grace in defeat. And now for the contrast- could there have been a more pathetic end to a pretty dull series of cricket matches than the cheating that brought the yesterdays match at the Oval to a premature end?

I firmly believe that sport reveals the character of individuals and of teams, indeed of nations. England showed spirit, verve, tenacity and being 'up' for the game- Pakistan showed pride, spinelessness, disorganisation and at the final moment, dishonesty. I for one would be perfectly happy not to have to watch a test series involving them ever again. After the disgusting tanking of the world cup final, and numerous other undignified and corrupt episodes of the last few years, Pakistan ought to be stripped of test status. Given that murderous Pakistanis made the last English tour of that country extremely tense and unpleasant, it could well be very good timing.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

At last! British Muslims see the light

"Prime Minister, As British Muslims we urge you to do more to fight against all those who target civilians with violence, whenever and wherever that happens.

It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad.

To combat terror the government has focused extensively on domestic legislation. While some of this will have an impact, the government must not ignore the role of its foreign policy.

The debacle of Iraq and now the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to the attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.

Attacking civilians is never justified. This message is a global one. We urge the Prime Minister to redouble his efforts to tackle terror and extremism and change our foreign policy to show the world that we value the lives of civilians wherever they live and whatever their religion.

Such a move would make us all safer."

So the muslims in Britain (or at least the guys who wrote this letter) have finally seen the light! They want us to change our foreign policy to commit ourselves to destroy Hezbollah and Hamas, whose attacks are always and intentionally against civilians (unless Iran asks them to assasinate a few soldiers to spark a distraction from their nuclear bomb program). Fantastic! Now we all agree that the 'debacle of Iraq' caused by Iranian civil-war promotion and Saudi jihad promotion, in which many thousands of innocent muslims have been murdered by other muslims is the scene of disgusting war-crimes. All those muslims in Iran and Saudi Arabia who are responsible should be tried and executed by the International Court of Human rights. Now we are ROCKING!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A meeting of minds

Mohammed at in his latest post about the Arab media, develops at least two themes that I am very focused on.

First, the lying that cloaks the Arab world like a wraith, guarunteeing failure and behaviour that is completely antithetical to the Arabs own goals.

Second, the blindness of the haters in the Middle East, and their faithful chorus in Europe to any cruelty or bestial behaviour that is inconvenient, or doesn't fit into the dramatic narrative they have written for themselves.

I believe that a worldwide consensus is building up, which endeavors to incorporate all the facts into a coherent picture of what is really going on in the world, especially its more complex and confusing corners. Those of us who don't hate for the sake of hating, and who will peace with justice and without tyranny must bind together to take the world away from the fanatics and the destroyers of life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Help! I'm less than half sentient

Watching the 10 pm BBC news tonight, there just wasn't any time for factual reporting amongst the editorialising and pro-Hesbollah propaganda. Nick Robinson obviously loves them so much he got a bit carried away. He said, and I quote verbatim "...only the less than half-sentient would not want an immediate ceasefire" (in Lebanon). I don't want a ceasefire, ergo I am less than half sentient. I was always told by my mum that as soon as you start insulting those with opposing opinions you've lost the argument.
The argument for no ceasefire is perfectly valid and logical. Israel have fought Hesbollah intermittently for the last 24 years. They are now determined to not spend 24 more years doing so, and are going about the indubitably difficult task of destroying Hesbollah root and branch. Why would they stop in the middle of doing that so poncy western diplomats can have a group hug? I find the arguments FOR a ceasefire weak and mainly misguided. The first and most important effect of a ceasefire would be a precious window of opportunity for Hesbollah to re-arm, get wounds treated and re-organise. Why would Israel give them that gift?
But what do I know, I'm less than half-sentient.