More WMDs?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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womd2

Apparently recent reports from Western intelligence sources indicate that the government of Syria is in the process of constructing a new secret nuclear plant aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

I say ‘apparently’ because we all know that the Western Governments, particularly the United States and Britain, are in the habit of telling lies.

But, assuming this time they are telling the truth, the question I want to ask is not, ‘are the Syrians building a new nuclear weapons facility?’, but rather, ‘why are they bothering to try to build one?’.

They attempted it before but, just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007, Israeli bombers destroyed the facility in an air attack. That site was called ‘al-Kibar’, located 20 miles from Deir el-Zor in eastern Syria. Here are the before and after photos.

Syrian_Reactor_Before_After

The giveaway that the Israelis had got it right lay in the fact that the Syrian government has never commented or protested about the incident. If they hadn’t been up to something dodgy the Syrian propaganda machine would have been telling the whole world about the unprovoked Israeli aggression, you can be sure of that.

Not ones to learn a lesson quickly, the Syrians were at it again in late 2008, trying to produce plutonium aided and abetted by North Korea, which is always keen to promote nuclear weapons development in countries hostile to the West, having for some unknown reason been allowed to develop them themselves.

This time the plutonium producing supplies aren’t heading for al-Kibar which is just a hole in the ground. Instead they are supposed to be going to a facility being constructed in the southwest of Syria in a remote mountainous region near the small town of Al-Qusayr.

That’s just about two miles from the northern Lebanese border and close to the area controlled by the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which is supposed to be guarding the plant with ‘elite units’. The construction project is also being assisted by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

While the project is still in construction I’m sure the Israelis will let the Syrians continue to waste their time and money.

When it nears completion, and the capability to produce bomb quality material, then listen out for another big bang preceding another big expensive hole in the ground.

Israeli bombers

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Shock Headline – The President Agrees With Me!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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I’ve been saying it for a long time – and now the President of the United States agrees with me – he doesn’t know WTF he’s doing!

Obama on Syria - we don't have a strategy yet

I can’t say as I take much satisfaction from his admission though.

The US President is the most powerful man in the world and he has at his disposal the most powerful military organization in the world.

Yet he doesn’t know what to do with it, when to do it, or even who to aim it at!

A bit of it, belatedly and half-heartedly, is now pointing at ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Yes, you’re right, they are the very same Islamic terrorists he was funding for a while in Syria! He says he wasn’t, but in practice he was.

Confused?

You should be.

Because the Obama Administration certainly is!

Indeed Obama’s team of idiots have confused themselves to the degree that they don’t know what to do and are afraid to do it even if they did!

The situation is not being helped by the noise coming from the equally ill-informed politicians in the Republican camp either. Some cynics would say they are doing a lot of it with the November elections in mind!

Political Elephant and Donkey Cartoon

As I’ve said before on this blog, America has never been good at foreign policy. There are so many examples over the years to prove this beyond any and all doubt (Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, now Syria). But this latest debacle could turn out to be foreign policy failure on a grand scale.

This is simply down to the fact that, even yet, the Obama administration clearly does not understand the severity of the problem. They haven’t managed to process the long term threat that a well armed, well supported and well funded group like ISIS can become.

Everyone – except the President and his people apparently – knows that these terrorists will not be content even if they are allowed to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in the Middle East. Their hatred of anything and everything in the West is total.

In fact, as we have seen in Iraq and Syria, their hatred even extends to fellow Muslims who they do not consider to be ‘militant enough’ and they have attacked and murdered them in just the same ways as they have attacked and murdered Christians.

In Syria, which is none of our business, the Obama team thought they wanted the Assad regime removed, and to get that done they thought they could support ISIS (or the anti-Assad fighters of whom ISIS were always destined to be a big part).

Now the US may well find itself on the same side as Assad in a fight against the terrorists. And that may be the crux of the US Administration’s problem. They made the wrong move, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, for all the wrong reasons and correcting the mistake will require a major volte face and sizeable portion of humble pie.

Are they big enough to swallow it?

We’ll see.   

humble-pie

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The Quizzes March On!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another month and another quiz to get it off to a challenging start.

One or two relatively easy ones today, but I think most of them you will find tough enough.

As usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 5

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Q.  1:  What is the official language of Brazil?

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Q.  2:  Which wife of a politician said in 1981, ‘Woman is like a teabag: you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in the hot water’?

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Q.  3:  Many expanses of water of varying sizes are designated as ‘seas’ such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, etc. But what is the only such sea in the world that does not have a coastline?

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Q.  4:  What book was Denzel Washington protecting in the 2010 movie?

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Q.  5:  What is both unusual and famous about the restaurant in Volterra, Italy called  “Fortezza Medicea”?

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Q.  6:  In which city is the music recording company Motown based?

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Q.  7:  The official country retreat of the President of the USA, Camp David, is located in which mountains?

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Q.  8:  Where did the Incas originate?

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Q.  9:  What was the name of the Cuban President over thrown by Fidel Castro in 1959?

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Q. 10:  Although the United States has Roswell and Area 51, and Hollywood has pushed out a unending stream of movies based on them, the government does not officially recognize the existence of UFOs. However three well known countries do formally recognize the existence of UFOs, can you name them? (A point for each and a bonus point if you can name all three.)

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Q. 11:  Who was coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in 1967?

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Q. 12:  Who was dubbed “Lenin’s left leg” during the early stages of Russia’s Marxist movement? 

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Q. 13:  In which US city was the first skyscraper built in 1883?

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Q. 14:  A double question with multiple points. The US State Department currently recognizes 194 different countries in the world, but how many take up approximately half of Earth’s land area?

HINT: It is a relatively small number of the 194 total and there is a bonus point for each of them that you can name.

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Q. 15:  What phrase is the unlikely link between Barbara Streisand and Bugs Bunny?

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Q. 16:  What is the only state in the Middle East in which there is no desert?

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Q. 17:  What former Soviet state is currently experiencing massive civil unrest and upheaval?

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Q. 18:  Which river has the largest delta?

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Q. 19:  Whoopie Goldberg played one in a movie and Patricia Arquette played another in a television series, what were they? (And bonus points if you can name the movie and the tv series.)

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Q. 20:  Which movie other than ‘The Bodyguard’ featured the song “I Will Always Love You”?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What is the official language of Brazil?

A.  1:  Portuguese.

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Q.  2:  Which wife of a politician said in 1981, ‘Woman is like a teabag: you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in the hot water’?

A.  2:  Nancy Reagan.

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Q.  3:  Many expanses of water of varying sizes are designated as ‘seas’ such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, etc. But what is the only such sea in the world that does not have a coastline?

A.  3:  The Sargasso Sea in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is surrounded by ocean currents and no land and therefore has no coast.

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Q.  4:  What book was Denzel Washington protecting in the 2010 movie?

A.  4:  The Book Of Eli. You also get a point if you said The Bible.

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Q.  5:  What is both unusual and famous about the restaurant in Volterra, Italy called  “Fortezza Medicea”?

A.  5:  “Fortezza Medicea” is a maximum security prison – the cooks and waiters are all doing  sentences of at least seven years.

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Q.  6:  In which city is the music recording company Motown based?

A.  6:  Detroit.

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Q.  7:  The official country retreat of the President of the USA, Camp David is in which mountains?

A.  7:  Appalachians.

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Q.  8:  Where did the Incas originate?

A.  8:  Peru.

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Q.  9:  What was the name of the Cuban President over thrown by Fidel Castro in 1959?

A.  9:  General Batista.

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Q. 10:  Although the United States has Roswell and Area 51, and Hollywood has pushed out a unending stream of movies based on them, the government does not officially recognize the existence of UFOs. However three well known countries do formally recognize the existence of UFOs, can you name them? (A point for each and a bonus point if you can name all three.)

A. 10:  France, Italy and Chile have all formally recognized the existence of UFOs.

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Q. 11:  Who was coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in 1967?

A. 11:  Sidney Poitier.

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Q. 12:  Who was dubbed “Lenin’s left leg” during the early stages of Russia’s Marxist movement? 

A. 12:  Joseph Stalin.

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Q. 13:  In which US city was the first skyscraper built in 1883?

A. 13:  Chicago.

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Q. 14:  A double question with multiple points. The US State Department currently recognizes 194 different countries in the world, but how many take up approximately half of Earth’s land area?

HINT: It is a relatively small number of the 194 total and there is a bonus point for each of them that you can name.

A. 14:  Seven countries take half of the Earth’s land area and they are Russia, Canada, USA, China, Australia, Brazil and Argentina.

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Q. 15:  What phrase is the unlikely link between Barbara Streisand and Bugs Bunny?

A. 15:  “What’s up, Doc?” is Bugs’ catchphrase and the name of a 1972 comedy/romance movie starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neill.

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Q. 16:  What is the only state in the Middle East in which there is no desert?

A. 16:  Lebanon.

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Q. 17:  What former Soviet state is currently experiencing massive civil unrest and upheaval?

A. 17:  The Ukraine.

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Q. 18:  Which river has the largest delta?

A. 18:  The River Ganges.

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Q. 19:  Whoopie Goldberg played one in a movie and Patricia Arquette played another in a television series, what were they? (And bonus points if you can name the movie and the tv series.)

A. 19:  They played ‘mediums’, Whoopie Goldberg in the movie ‘Ghost’ and Patricia Arquette in the hit tv series ‘Medium’.

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Q. 20:  Which movie other than ‘The Bodyguard’ featured the song “I Will Always Love You”?

A. 20:  ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’, a movie starring Dolly Parton who wrote the song.

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Gas Bags And Gas Prices

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Back at the end of July in a previous Sunday Sermon I wrote that:

“Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.”

Obama-Peace-Prize

Of course it’s still being denied by Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and his administration, but there is little doubt now that Syria is next on their war hit list and we are indeed about to be bogged down in another bloody mess.

Already naval and ground forces are being positioned, for example, the cruise missile laden USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan are all in the eastern Mediterranean.

The only remaining part is to con-vince the American public, who do not want another Middle Eastern debacle, that they are wrong and that a strike on Syria is essential for their future well being.

chemical weapons

The pretext that is going to be used this time is ‘evidence’ of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the rebels. And the people that are being relied on to provide that ‘evidence’ are the very same people who provided false ‘evidence’ that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Everyone now knows and accepts that the WMD excuse for getting embroiled in Iraq was a deliberate deceit – otherwise known as a ‘lie’ – so the track record of the ‘evidence’ providers is neither good nor credible.

Already government apologists are making statements about how Syria had “used them [chemical weapons] before”, which is untrue. UN investigators charged the rebels, not Assad’s government’s forces, with use of chemical weapons in Syria earlier this year. Strangely (or perhaps not) Obama did not feel such a moral necessity to send a missile or two towards the rebels, instead he gave them more support. 

Now add to that another good pinch of hypocrisy.

In fact make that two good pinches.

The first, because the rebellion now taking place within Syria would not have happened without the financial and military assistance of the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The hypocritical part of it all is that these three nations are in fact supporting people who, if successful, will become even more bitter enemies than the Assad regime.

And the second, because in an alleged effort to encourage ‘democracy’ in Syria, ‘democracy’ in America and Europe is being ignored.

For example, 64 percent of the French people have said they don’t want to get involved, but as in America the ‘people’ don’t have a say on the final outcome.

In Britain the Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron got a very embarrassing slap in the face in Parliament when he tried to emulate the lies of previous Prime Minister Tony Blair but lost a vote on military intervention in Syria. His spin doctors will be working overtime to cook up a good story for the next debate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

And it is plain that the majority of ordinary Americans do not want the President they elected on the promise of getting their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging them into another conflict which could prove to be as bloody if not bloodier. So plain in fact that until late Friday Obama had planned bypassing Congress obviously trying to avoid a similar embarrassment to that which was suffered by British PM Cameron.

Think this time it will only be a few missiles and drones and that troops won’t be involved? After all Obama has said “We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach”.

Then you need to think again.

Sure, at the outset Obama will try to fool the public by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these alone won’t be enough. Even in today’s high-tech world you can’t wage wars without those boots on the ground. And in those boots are brave, but misled men and women, some of whom will lose their lives or be maimed as a result.

Boots On The Ground Fallen Soldier

The doomsday pundits are saying that all this posturing and war mongering by Obama could spiral into something worse. Possibly even be the start of WW3. Unfortunately grandiose claims like these only serve to lessen the credibility of those who are arguing against another foreign intervention.

Putin seems to have more sense than Obama. The Russians have already made their mistake in Afghanistan and are unlikely to do it again. Even less do they want to start or become involved in, a major conflict – not at the moment anyway.

China has little interest in getting involved in a conflict in the middle east either. They will take the long view, and, as they did with Iraq, they will let the US waste billions more dollars blowing things down and building them up again and then they will step in and secure more oil supplies for themselves.  

If it does get down to the nitty gritty one possibility that is more realistic is that the conflict could spread to other nations within the Middle East.

Iran for example has a mutual assistance pact with Syria. It also knows it is next on the US hit list so the longer the US is focused on Syria the longer it will postpone an attack on itself. It is not beyond imagination therefore that Iran could send arms and even troops to assist Assad.

Neither is it unreasonable to imagine that, if missile strikes on Syria result in retaliatory Syrian missile attacks on Israel, Israeli troops will also be sent into Syrian territory, with US forces backing them up shortly thereafter.

That is boots on the ground, no matter what denials you currently hear.

However it pans out, two things are certain. ‘Evidence’ or no ‘evidence’ Uncle Sam will stick his nose in once again. And if it all goes pear shaped, as it most likely will, then UP is the only way your gasoline and heating oil prices will be heading.   

Happy winter!

gas and oil prices

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Oh No! Not Again!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon.

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If you have read any of my previous entries in the politics section of this blog you will already be aware of my extremely low opinion of the intelligence of those in America who are in charge of foreign policy.

These idiots blunder about knowing little of history or tradition in other nations and make quick reaction judgments that are short sighted and that have continually come back to bite them on the ass.

Well, not them exactly, but the poor servicemen and women who are sent in to mop up their messes.

So what has got me ranting this time?

Only the fact that the morons in charge are currently negotiating what is being called ‘a groundbreaking agreement’ that will give American nuclear know-how to the country where Osama Bin Laden and the vast majority of the 9/11 terrorists came from.

Yes, Saudi Arabia.

Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia

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The short-sighted US strategy is probably to assist an ally (an oil rich one, of course) to make it an unconquerable target for any of the other states in the area who have expansionist plans for the future.

Great – while the Saud family stay in control, or while a sensible member of the Saud family is in charge.

But what happens if, sometime down the road, the ruling dynasty is overthrown? Not an unknown occurrence in the Middle East. Or what happens if one day there is the equivalent of an ‘Osama’ in the Saud family just as there was in the Bin Laden family?

And what happened to all those non proliferation agreements designed to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those incapable of handling them sensibly?

The last thing the Middle East needs is yet another country developing nuclear weapons capability. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.

If the consequences were not so potentially tragic, it would be fun watching the political morons in Washington justifying going to war to take nuclear capability away from Iran, which at least holds democratic elections, yet at the same time giving nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia which is an undemocratic dictatorship.

Not even the most devout liberal could spin that one to make it sound good!

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Mushroom-Cloud

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