September 11th., 2001: random thoughts

10/09/2001: Oh, dear! A radio mast outside Kabul means that the building was destroyed: And four UN workers. So much for intelligence reports. Canada is to help somewhere. But, since it has no long time feasibility, has no helicopters, has relied on the USA for most of its own defence, what remains? 

10/05/2001: Here is the evidence provided by HM Government re bin Laden and al-Qaida. Bush et al have stated airlifts imminent to drop millions of dollars worth of food into Afghanistan, while shooting at bin Laden, doubtless. Oh, to have such wealth and opportunity. And, one of the first visual jokes: Osama Bean Laden (Mr Bean: Rowan Osama Atkinson).

10/04/2001: This article in the Washington Post by Salman Rushdie. Plus, the mail pages at Jerry Pournelle's site are highly relevant to any discussion of terror and democracy, amongst other matters of importance. The site attracts many erudite, and a few not so, individuals. Here are the Electronic Telegraph's pages on Terrorism. We need to take a stand against this monstrosity, as Trudeau did when nationalists tried to undermine Québec in the seventies. Blair, Chirac and Jospin, Schröder in Europe need to hold hands. And are seemingly doing so. This is no campaign of short duration, and needs to be carrot and stick. But, it must be attempted. Why live in fear? We need the same in Northern Ireland, where dissemblers from both sides mumble untruths about their standings in this frightful miasma. What does the bombing of innocents in Omagh mean now? Lives lost in vain whilst the guns still lie hidden and mealy mouthed vassals of the criminals utter platitudes. See the Gerry Adams quote, below.

09/30/2001: The word according to Gerry Adams, whose lack of friends in the US is related to the capture of three IRA "instructors" in Colombia. This is double speak at its worst. Terrorism is ethically indefensible, indeed.

09/24/2001: The world of Islam has many facets: not all, by any stretch of the imagination are as radical as the Wahhabi's and their ilk. Try this site: Secular Islam. Follow the Dr. Shaikh blasphemy insanity. Remember, most believers consider that Islam is not a peaceful religion: that we, the West, are members of the Dar al-Harb. We are supposed to be killed or converted. But, we may not have converted properly, and can still be punished. Circles within circles. Just like the Bible, a story or saga, made by man in the name of God. Not, never once, by God. One more incidental item to put a different face on this: John Master's autobiography, Bugles and a Tiger, covering his early life and his experiences as an officer in the 4th Gurkha Rifles in NW India, now Pakistan, during 1935-39. He mentions the Pathan songs that include the phrase "my love is as a rose . . ."  have nothing to do with men dreaming about women, but about boys. Premarital sex being forbidden, there was no other choice, or preference. Now, the Taliban, who are Pathans, if grossly ill educated, wish to return to pre-Western ideals, so, what conclusions can one draw??!! 

Another voice of reason: Azadi Afghan Radio and another, from India, about Pakistan (good friends, what!): Sapra India, concerning the ISI, the Pakistani Secret Service. In Sapra India is this article: very worrying, and significant. Thanks to John Dvorak for his recent article concerning terrorism, and his dash of cold water on the foolishness of the unwashed in all parts of the USA. In US speak, at the Center for Defense Information, decent critical articles, not just about terrorism, but also about how much nuclear material is unaccounted for in the USA.

And then there's this, from the AtlanticA former senior Near East Division operative says, "The CIA probably doesn't have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. For Christ's sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don't do that kind of thing." A younger case officer boils the problem down even further: "Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don't happen."

09/23/2001: The SAS are near Kabul? A four man team is in contact with resistance forces. Right! Meanwhile, the US response is a million times more in terms of ordinance, men, transports, aircraft carriers, ad infinitum. Nevertheless, Colin Powell has stated that this will not be like the Gulf War of eleven years ago. Hope not, if the effect of leaving the butcher of Baghdad intact was deemed a good result.

Please support the Red Cross, or any other disaster relief organisation, following the tragedies that occurred in the USA on September 11th., 2001. May we never forget the horrors of that and subsequent days, but let us not strike back blindly. There are uncounted innocents, everywhere. Remember, some of them are Afghani, and some of them are Iraqi, too. It's not just al-Qaida at fault. There is no need to destabilise Pakistan, using blunt force inappropriately. However, by all fair means mete out justice to the fearmongers and deluded zealots who dreamt up this evil.

Steve Bell, The Guardian and, sometimes, The Economist: well, Osama bin Laden's acolytes have crept into the Western world, n'est-ce pas?

A MESSAGE from the Queen, read by the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, drew tears yesterday, 20th September, 2001, at a service of remembrance in New York for the 250 British citizens still missing after last week's terrorist attacks. (This is the worst ever terrorist atrocity inflicted on British citizens: the final total is expected to exceed 300 people, ed).

Her words were read to a congregation of almost 700, who packed St Thomas's Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue, a soaring, neo-Gothic edifice in the heart of Manhattan.

It included Tony and Cherie Blair, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Rudolph Giuliani, the city's mayor, and Governor George Pataki. Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, was also there.

"Each and every one of us has been shocked and numbed by what we have witnessed in recent days. But none of us should doubt the resilience and determination of this great and much loved city and its people. Men and women from many nations, many faiths and many backgrounds were working together in downtown Manhattan when this unimaginable outrage overtook them all.

"At your service today we think especially of the British victims. For some of them, New York was simply a stop-over on some busy travel schedule; for others it was a workplace of excitement and opportunity; for many it was a familiar and second home.

"These are dark and harrowing times for families and friends of those who are missing or who suffered in the attack, many of you here today.

"My thoughts and prayers are with you all now, and in the difficult days ahead.

"But nothing that can be said can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments. Grief is the price we pay for love."