Wednesday 21st of March 2018

failing the course .....

‘Determining strategic
objectives, and ensuring that those objectives are not contradictory, is the
job of the most senior level of command, in this case the White House. By
demanding that U.S. and allied troops pursue two conflicting objectives
simultaneously, the Bush administration has created a no-win situation. Efforts
to defeat the Taliban only work if they can gain the support of the rural
population, but poppy eradication pushes the rural population toward the
Taliban and its allies. (One could add a third incompatible objective,
promoting women’s rights in a conservative Islamic culture.) 

dumb & getting dumber .....

‘President Bush should talk to the Iranians. Refusing to
talk is childish. How would the Cold War have ended if Ronald Reagan had
refused to talk to Soviet leaders? How would relations with China have been
established if Richard Nixon had said he would never talk to Chinese leaders? 

For heaven's sake, how would the
American Revolution have ended if the Americans had refused to talk to the

Pine Gap New Pearl Harbour?

What if Al Qaeda
deemed Pine Gap a threat to their operations and send a team through
the fence.

Here's a little from a piece posted on Webdiary by Brian Law last Decemberr:


Again we climbed through and realised all the power of the greatest
empire in history could not stop two untrained, unfunded, unarmed
Christian pacifists from entering one of their most important and
secure bases - even after we had told them we were coming.

the price of a bushit democracy .....

‘One in three Iraqi children is malnourished and
underweight, according to a report released by the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) in Amman on 2 May.

should not be accepted in a country like Iraq, with its wealth of
resources," said UNICEF Special Representative for Iraq Roger Wright from
the Jordanian capital, Amman. Wright added that ongoing insecurity served to
deter parents from visiting health centres for essential services, while many
health workers had been kidnapped or killed in different parts of the country.

a sith lord .....

‘He was the undisputed ruler of
one world, convinced that the larger world outside his own immediate control
was corrupt, lacking inspiring heroes and proper values. He acted boldly on the
belief that through his own genius, combined with force, manipulation, and
powerful weapons he had no hand in creating, he could make a difference - a
positive difference, one he'd eventually be lauded for, petty carpers be

To actuate his initially
well-intentioned scheme, he launched an enormous, convoluted and confusing set
of manipulations, tried to rid the world of magic, generated an interplanetary
war, and built a giant cosmic tower capable of creating an endless array of
alternate earths from scratch, powered by the energy forces of kidnapped
Martians, Kryptonians, and random superbeings.’ 

The value of life

Congratulations to the two miners, Todd and Brant, and to their rescuers. Their survival is a complex fantastic story at the forefront of human endurance, good luck, planning and great community spirit.

The media reports on the unfolding events were in general quite good.

The various outlets, print and TV, have a complex dynamic of necessarily reporting the news as it happens as well as the ingrained urge to corner the grand prize without offending too many people. Checkbook journalism for exclusive interviews has never been a proper way towards "objectivity" (a journalist who believes in objectivity is deluded anyway — as no matter what, the reporting always become part of the calculated importance of the story) but in some circumstances cheque book journalism can help victims or accidental subjects...

Pine Gap Guides Missiles To Osama

Australia's Pine Gap base was used to send 32 cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden.

The missiles failed to kill the Al Qaeda leader as he had left the target site approximately twenty minutes earlier.

International affairs commentator and policy advisor Mr Keith Suiter said on  Adelaide radio this morning that the US surveillance installation at PIne Gap assisted in monitoring Bin Laden's satellite phone call to his mother and pinpointing his location for the missile attack.

Speaking on ABC 891 Mr Suiter said that one of the problems with the plan was that many of the missiles destroyed each other while attempting to strike the same target.

real democracy .....

 ‘On May 1, Bolivia's recently elected president, Evo
Morales, the country's first indigenous leader, put on a tin hat and made the
declaration that much of the country had been waiting to hear. "The time
has come," he said, announcing "a historic day in which Bolivia
retakes absolute control of our natural resources". Mr Morales spoke of
"looting by foreign companies" and said it was time the armed forces
"occupy all the energy fields in Bolivia". But he was off pace. The
army had already moved into Bolivia's foreign-owned energy fields, refineries
and distribution depots.’

the vice-criminal at work .....

Cheney, Visiting Kazakhstan,
Wades Into Energy Battle

From the NYT

Published: May 6, 2006 

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, May 5 — A day
after chastising Moscow for its use of oil and natural gas as "tools
for intimidation and blackmail," Vice President Dick Cheney visited
Kazakhstan on Friday to promote export routes that bypass Russia and
directly supply the West. 

Hicks Blair Citizenship Appeal Rejected

He's a step closer.. David Hicks right to British citizenship has been upheld by the UK courts.

A final appeal against Hick's eligibility has been rejected, clearing all legal barriers against Hicks claim.

The application for UK citizenship was made after a chance remark made by the Adelaide-resident Guantanemo inmate to his military lawyer, while discussing the Ashes cricket game in London, that his mother was British.

David's father Terry said from Adelaide today that the only real barrier for his son now was that it would be difficult for him to take the citizenship oath while being held in Guantanemo.

on the potty .....

Speaking in Atlanta today, Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld was sharply questioned about his pre-war claims about
WMD in Iraq. An audience member confronted Rumsfeld with his 2003 claim about
WMD, “We know where they are.” Rumsfeld falsely claimed he never said it. 

The audience member then read Rumsfeld’s quote back to him, leaving the
defense secretary speechless. 

Did You Meet Scott Parkin While He Was In Australia? You Can Help Him

Parkin , to refresh your memory, was the Halliburton protester deported because ASIO knew that the Pentagon had a file on him.  Embarrasingly for ASIO the file was of Parkin handing out peanut butter sandwiches as a means of protest.

Parkin's Australian legal team and his support group want to hear from those who met the man while he was here.  Your written testimony that Parkin acted non-violently during his sojourn here wiould help to prove his innocence.

Parkin was detained at a Melbourne coffee shop while on his way to help present a workshop on passive non-violent resistance techniques.  The Federal Police and Immigration officers placed him in solitary confinement, then flew him to Los Angeles in the company of two Australian Immigration officers.

all smoke & mirrors .....

‘Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
of detainees by U.S. forces is widespread and, in many cases, sanctioned by top
government officials, Amnesty International charged Wednesday. 

The allegations, contained in a 32,000-word report released in New York
and London and posted on the human rights organization's Web site, are likely
to influence a U.N. hearing on U.S. compliance with international torture
agreements that begins Friday in Geneva. Amnesty International sent a copy of
the report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture, which is holding the

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