Saturday, 30 April 2005

Honesty is a virtue

And I'll tell you this, we are headed for a disaster. We are training for wars we will never fight with kit that will fail and we are going to lose one. We have got away with it so many times now, we are going to go up against some bastards soon who will have spotted our weaknesses and we are going to get a Somalia style stuffing. It will probably be the CSS elements that get it and people are going to die. And quite frankly, no thanks.

These are the words of a senior British soldier. They are relevant now that it seems that we can be taken into a war on the determination of our Prime Minister. There are many allegations flying around that Blair/B Liar is a liar or, at the most polite, has been economical with the truth. My take is that he was quite convinced that the smart thing to do was to follow Bush’s agenda. Once he got there, his political skills – and be not mistaken, they are great – were devoted to getting the result he wanted. It is too late to know whether his leadership would have overcome objectors even had they seen the full opinion of the Attorney General. I do not know if he did lie – what he did do was display an astonishing lack of judgement and he should be punished for that. Poor old Blind Pugh got involved with a woman who wanted him as a sperm donor and he had the morality to resign.

As for the opening quote, I can see it happening. The Falklands War was a damn close run thing – a major attack required the sacrifice of the CO 2 Para to be successful. The endurance of our troops in covering great distances into battle was all that got us home there. The resistance we experienced in the last Gulf War was quite serious at times. That was after the quite disproportionate violence of our Shock & Awe part of the campaign. The kit deficiencies we had would have been fatal had Saddam been able to find a quart or two of WMD.

Bottom line for me is that I cannot trust any system that would allow a commitment to war without full and proper examination of the facts. Relying on the traditions of Tommy Atkins is not enough for modern times.

We seem to have heard little in the campaigning about the environment. Kyoto and things. Wind power. Wave power. Nuclear options. In ‘normal’ times, we are bombarded with this sort of thing. Maybe it is because none of the parties have any real plans other than wait and see what happens as things progress. The idea that high pollution producers can buy credits from those who do not reach their quota encourages inertia. There is still a strong faction that discounts global warning as anything special.

Be nice to the new boy

I have in fact been polluting the air waves with my mongrel thoughts for some little while. This led me into a multitude of other blogs and I realised that seemed to be a weapon of choice for a lot of these others. I have read of expasperation because postings into Firefox go squiffy, late night dramas getting code to work and other things that might make one's hair stand on end. Well, my Firefox seems to accept posts, at my age I do not engage in any late night dramas - indeed, any night time activity. My hair is kept short. The only cloud on the lining is that I have little patience with Windoze - in matters other than broadband I'm a Apple Mac user from way back. So, all these things considered, I chose to move into the community.
I'm going to expand on the My Profile bit here - sort of thing I don't mind people knowing but would not want to push down their throats every time they (I hope) drop by.
I was born way back in 1933 in Essex - that might be enough for those with the knowledge? Just say - for those who know the jokes about Essex Girls - that it was me and my colleagues knowing their grandmothers that made Essex Girls what they are today. I was meant to be an engineer but the Army came along and gave me a life for some twenty-odd years. In that time, I travelled the whole of the near-, middle- and far-East and saw the Union Flag come down at midnight in a lot of places where the white man's word had been law. There were side-trips into Europe and Northern Ireland that added some alternative civilisation to the Eastern ways of life.
I found - and kept - a wife; without any seven-year itches. We raised two girls and two boys. Didn't accumulate a lot of assets but then we are both easy come - easy go. Retired and found employment with the London end of a multi-national oil company (Occidental International in the days when it was Armand Hammer's toy). Moved through a Saudi publishing company and ended up with a major engineering company. Retired and moved to Scotland. My eldest daughter died from a cancerous brain tumor about a year ago. I had a heart bypass back in 1997 - the cardiologist gave me a ten year guarantee so I kept the Army boots to give him a kicking if he was wrong.
Having spent much time where we were the racial minority, I have no patience with racism. That said, I retain the right to comment quite freely. My ideas as to what might - or might not - be politically correct are very flexible. Just say I am not a bunny-hugger.
So. That is it. First shot as one might say. Let us now commit our brother to .............