Quite patently Assad’s regime has broken every promise it made in this conflict. Time after time major reform was promoised. Many ceasefires have been agreed. Assad and his merry mob have behaved with the utmost bad faith. They are utterly untrustworthy. Easily 10 000 people have been killed. A few of them have been part of the Assad security apparatus. The great majority of the dead are protestors – mostly unarmed when killed. of course is someone is armed then he is not a protestor.
Now the French Government has mooted military action against Bashir Al-Assad’s hideously oppressive rule. I wonder if this has anything to do with the runup to the second round of the presidential election. I doubt it. Getting stuck in to a Middle Eastern war does not go down well with the French electorate. It sits oddly with Paris’ attitude with regard to the liberation of Iraq in 2003.
I doubt the United Nations will authorise the use of force. China and Russia have thrown him a lifeline. They have invested a lot of political capital in rescuing Assad. They want their ally in the region to survive. They want to show the forces of freedom – this far and no further.
Military intervention might – MIGHT – be the best thing for the Syrian people. Of course it could backfire horribly.
It seems rather cowardly but I am minded to say stay out. What are the likely consequences of such inaction. Assad will finish off the rebels and massacre peaceful dissidents. Yes, it is a grisly prospect. Thousands of people will be killed. This may be less than would be killed than in the case of a foreign intervention scenario.
One problem is if intervention does occur one does not know whom one is dealing with. SOme of them are probably religious extremists who may be worse than Assad.
The Syrian military shelled refugees in Syria. This is a shameful thing to do. If I were Turkey I would be on a hair trigger response. Any more provocation like that and I would launch punitive air strikes.
The most probable outcome is that there will be no intervention and Assad’s men will slay his opponents.
I was on a ship. It was also a boarding school. Children in uniform were around but n lessons went on. The shiop was not that big – it was a little dilapidated. On the ocean for weeks. Then I haeard it stopped ata port every 24 hoiurs wbut we were nt allwoed to disamebalr. Passed through the Panama Canal. Not allowed off but got off anyway. Was with Akaash and Daniel. Akaash was more experienced in these voyages. Panama was tropical but there wer eno houses or people about. We walked by a road. Very steep sandunes were on either side. My feet kept sinking in the loose sand.
Later met Dursun and he was rude. There was something of his I wanted to steal. Maybe a bicycle.
Maybe I think of Daniel and Panama as his child spends some time there. I do not wantr to be far from mine as he is.
One of the most dispiriting things about the Northern Ireland conflict is how much of the suffering of innocents could have been avoided. J Enoch Powell wrote that, ‘the supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils.’ So it is indeed. The United Kingdom was scandalously lenient towards loyalist and republican terrorists. Gusty Spence bears a large measure of responsibility for sparking off the Troubles. The IRA held provocative Easter Rising commemmorations in 1966 but did not launch any attacks. The Ulster Volunteer Force, led by Gusty Spence, committed three murders. These people killed by his band of thugs were in no way connected to the IRA.
Spence got life in prison but was released after only 24 years. Indeed he got parole in 1972 to attend his daughter’s wedding and absconded for a couple of months. In view of that fact he ought never, ever to have been released. I recognise that from 1994 he was a force for peace – counselling against violence. He worked for reconciliation. However, the general principle remains. Those imprisoned for murder and other terrorist crimes should serve their sentences in full.
There amnesties for the IRA in the 1920s, 1940, 1960s and then through the Troubles their sentences and those of the loyalist criminals were not long. If the terrorists imprisoned in 1969 had never been let out then violence would have been much reduced. The terrorist who were released early were never grateful. Very few renounced violence and most returned to their old crimes.
Illegal possession of arms, conspiracy to cause explosions with intent to endanger life etc… should all have carried life terms. When I say illegal possession of arms I am not talking about forgetting to renew a licence for a shotgun.
Look at internment. A few innocents were picked up in 1971 and released within days. Of all the rest practicallt every one of them was a terrorist. They were put in Long Kesh – a former RAF base. They held classes on terrorist activity, they marched in formation and they had ranks. I would have covertly filmed them with sound recording for months and maybe interviewed them. With this mountain of evidence they could have been charged with membership of a terrorist body. The sentence for being part of a terrorist outfit ought to have been raised to life imprisonment.
This should be done now.
If I were the military government I woould have fast forwarded to a handover to civilian rule a year ago. They have raised the suspicion that they intend to engineer an excuse to stay on in office. I think that banning certain candidates – especially the frontrunners – is suspect. People may not accept what has happened. I fear there will be a recrudescence of violence. People may begin to think that the generals wish to preserve l’ancien regime under a new guise. Mubarak’s former Prime Minister is one of the few major candidates who is allowed.
I think that investors and tourists are still staying well away from Egypt. I hope it gets sorted out soon. Egypt has stopped selling gas to Israel. This is a sop to the very widespread anti-Israeli body of opinion in Egypt. No doubt many Islamists will clamour for war against the Zionist entity. If I were Israel I would have drawn up a contingency plan for a war against Egypt. I would be buying military hardware in bulk because now Israel may have an enemy to its west as it did in the 70s. The enemy has a very large army. I really hope that no such war occurs.
Do not mistake my putting myself in Israel’s shoes for me being on their side. Though I have some sympathy for Israel I acknowledge there has been an awful lot of wrongdoing by successive Israeli governments.
On Sunday-Monday night I dreamt of being on some dank streets. There was a canal beside me. I decided that the best way to get to where I was going was to swim through the canal. I swam with all my clothes on. No one was about though it was daytime. My clothes did not drag me down. The water was cool. It did not strike me as bizarre to be swimming in a canal. After a short while I saw the fully dressed body of a child floating face down in the canal. The small child was blatantly dead. I felt disturbed. I wondered whether I should pass on but decided to lift the body out of the canal. Then I felt movement in the back – a beating heart. The child was a bo of about 3 with brown hair. He came alive! I was happy about that. I phoned the father – I do not know how I got the number. I told him where his boy was and to come and pick him up. The father showed no interest and expressed a dismissive disbelief that his son could have fallen into the canal.
When I awoke I thought over this dream. That man’s voice on the phone – it sounded like mine. Maybe I fear I am not spending enough time with my baby.
Last night I was in 2 bars here in Boratistan. I chatted to Bob the Geordie and Donald the North Brit. In the second bar I saw a woman of loose virtue as soon as I walked in. Her bosoms were exploding out of her crop top. What marvels a pish up bra will do. I liked her heels. She had bubble gmm pink lip stick. She was a little brown skinned. She was desirable in a cheap way. She was on me like flies on shit. She spoke not much Anglo – Saxon but I did not think she wanted a meeting of minds. She vouchsafed unto me her given name . cannot remember it. I had drink taken but was npt stocious. I have a low alcohol tolerance n account of not having let it pass my lips in 3 weeks owingto medication. This strumpet let me grope her firm buttocks and pet her pert parts . I looked her up and down and waved a hand over her form. I said that immortal Borat line – Very nice – how much? I actually said it! She asked hw much i wuld pay. I said 50 – she answered me nay. She told me she was 28 – that was being generous to herself She asked me to buy her ciggies and I refused. Soon I departed.
I had a dream of being in a ground fooor ar in the area where I lie it was not based on anywhere real. Several hot chicks walked in. All were dressed sytlishyl in dark clothes – skirts and tops. They were nopt revealing. On was French and I snogged her – her lips were painted pillar box red. I have been noticing that lip colour a lot. I used to dislike it but I have seen hw it works sometimes.
Later I saw them hurry off and I saw them on the street clck clakcing in their high heels. I considered hurrying after her to get her number but decided not to.
I cannot remember the rest of the dream.
I had a dream about travel – maybe on a riverboat. The day was slghty overcast. My friend Thomas insulted me. I cannot remember what he said. His facial expression was almost blank. He was downbeat and softspoken when he told me.
Later I had a nasty row with my babymother. I remembered much more about it but cannot recall it now.
I am due to go t Thomas’ stag in June. I fear I may miss it owing to an operation
It astounds me how far Northern Ireland has come. I remember even in 1997 being deeply pessimistic about the chances of peace breaking out there. I never believed that the IRA would settle for such paltry concessions. The Provo poltroons now serve as Ministers of the Crown within the United Kingdom. 14 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed Northern Ireland is still in the UK.
A police officer was murdered a couple of years back. McGuinness and Adams have ordered hundreds of such officers of the law to be stiffed. Yet, they carried the coffin of this honourable young man. It was a moving moment.
Now the DUP and Sinn Fein are the main parties. Yet it is the moderates on both sides who are the peacemakers. The SDLP and the Ulster Unionists deserve the credit as do the Alliance Party. They get ignored. The hardliners are seen to have talked tough and won concessions for their communities. They got the media spotlight and now the votes. In the vagaries of politics one sees parties become by turns popular and then unpopular. The law of averages says that a day will come when the DUP and SF will take a drubbing. Then the UUP and SDLP will regain the prominence that they so richly deserve.
I wish the Republic of Ireland would rejoin the UK. Few people want that. It is unlikely to happen.Plus the UK would not take us back with our economic problems. Even if a plebiscite showed a public appetite to be reincorporated in the UK a tiny group of republican fanatics would commit acts of terrorism against this.
The nationalist vote is 42% and the unionist vote is 50%. The Alliance party is pro-union but prefers not to be designated as unionist. People say the risng Catholic population will lead to Northern Ireland leaving the UK. The birth rate differentaila between Catholcis ad Protestants is negligible. Furthermore, Catholics are not so nationalist as they were. Being in the UK is just fine. The Republic of Ireland is economically unattractive now which it was not 10 years back.
I am glad that Abu Hamza is on his way home. It is a scandal that s has taken so long to boot the brute out. He is a thoroughly nasty piece of work and a danger to all and sundry what with his repeated incitement of terrorism. I am pleased that he will probably be enjoying B and B courtesy of Uncle Sam for many years to come.
He ought never to have been allowed into the United Kingdom. His bloodthirsty tirades were an outrage. Such words lead to actions – such as the murders of 50 people in 2005.
Supermax is not a lot of fun but it is humane. The prisoners live in clean, warm, dry conditions. They are well fed and get good medical care. All being well he shall reside there till he is carried out feet first in a box.
It is disgraceful that the rights of a tiny number of vicious sadists like him should be allowed to endanger those of the millions,
Having been through a painful medical procedure lately it made me reflect on torture. It was not torture. I consented to this treatment for my own good. Yes, torture is horrendous but so is the pain of being wounded in an enemy attack. Indeed being killed is not alluring either. Some people are dreadfully wounded and die in frightful pain. It is not that torture is on top of this. It may be a case of causing pain to some in order to prevent more pain to the many. Therefore it is hard to argue in principle that it is wrong to ever torture. Those who are against torture are seldom against hurting people in other situations such as arresting people and indeed killing people in war.
I had a dream the night before last. I was traveling with my baby boy. I was in the back of a car with him. I think we had been on a train earlier. I have forgotten much of this revery now. The child spoke fluently in English.