Archive for the UN Category

Should We Arm The Libyan Rebels?

Posted in Al Quada, Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Muslim, Obama, President, Security Council, Terrorism, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 30/03/2011 by floroy1942

President Obama has raised the question of whether or not the Coalition should arm the rebels fighting Gaddafi. That I fear is very dangerous ground!

M136 AT4 Light Anti-Tank Weapon

First of all, arm them with what? Modern anti-tank weapons (i.e. missiles)would be a good idea, and perhaps some artillery pieces, maybe even a tank or two, but what then? Do we follow this up with technical experts to teach them how to fire the darned things.

AT4 Anti-Tank Video:

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q3xsMqHu56g

While it is without doubt in the interests of many countries to see Gaddafi gone, the road to achieving that is a slippery slope unless great caution is exercised. The objective of the UN mandate is clear; “Protect civilian lives from aggressive action by Gaddafi’s forces”. Arming the rebels does not, in my view, come under that heading.

The Security Council Votes

That whole scenario would be going way over the top of the UN Resolution, and bring down upon the Coalition severe condemnation from the vultures sitting on the sidelines sharpening their long knives waiting for us to trip up, make no mistake.

The original intention was good, and you can forget all the ‘lefty’ accusations of ‘it’s all about the oil’. The Coalition has now put itself in the position of being on trial, certainly within the Arab world and the African continent.

The Arab League Waits....

The Middle East countries are sitting on the fence waiting to see if the West will (a) stick to the mandate, or (b) meddle in Libyan internal affairs by actively assisting the rebels, and (c) try to enforce democracy afterwards. We are coming very close to the limits of the Mandate and may even already have overstepped them by actively assisting the rebels with the air strikes.

It has become abundantly clear that the Libyan dictator will not go quietly, he will fight to the last man and will have to be removed by force. If he does win, you can bet his vengeance will not only be levelled at the rebels and Benghazi, but also the Western Alliance. He is quite capable of opening his door to al Quada and giving them a base from which to operate.

Rebels In Retreat....Again!

The sad thing is the rebels do not seem capable of winning without more intervention by the Coalition, particularly in light of the reverses they have suffered in recent days.

Rebel Retreat:

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/_rrDAt-ejL4

Apart from the fact they are a ‘rag-tag army’ of civilians without any military training whatsoever, they have no leadership, no chain of command, or coördination of effort. In the long-term, they have little or no chance of success against a properly trained army such as the one that fights for Gaddafi, and no amount of aerial bombardment by the coalition will change that.

I reiterate what I have said in earlier posts, i.e. that the UN resolution came far too late. Had it been granted even one week earlier the situation on the ground could have been much different. But there is ‘no point in crying over spilt milk’ as they say, we must make the best of what we have, which to be honest, is not a lot.

Is He Giving Us Two Fingers?

It remains to be seen what the eventual outcome of the affair will be, but I have a nasty feeling the Alliance will not come out of it ‘smelling like roses’. There is still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of it depends on how far the UN, the Arab League and the African Union are prepared to back NATO and the Alliance in achieving the removal of Gaddafi.

Roy.

 

African Countries Dare To Criticise Libya Action: Bloody Cheek!

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Muslim, Security Council, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 22/03/2011 by floroy1942

The old saying: “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” comes to mind when I look at the latest news about Libya. It seems that after their initial success in getting western nations to solve what is after all an Arab, and by extension an African problem, now members of the African Union are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ to criticise the way we are handling the situation.

Un Resolution 1973

Firstly, the African Union voted for Resolution 1973 in the United Nations which allows for “all necessary action to secure the no-fly zone”, and secondly, if they did not trust the west to do the job right, why didn’t they do it themselves?

Meddling! So Why Didn't You Do Something?

It’s true what they say you know: ‘You can’t please all the people all the time’, but I do find it extremely petty of the African nations; Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria, whose leaders have come out in open criticism of the way the no-fly zone is being enforced.  Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba was even audacious enough to suggest that the coalition bombing was “meddling in the internal affairs of Africa”.

Zuma - Strong Words

Mr. Zuma of South Africa went even further, saying that all military action should stop and a ceasefire be sought for he: “rejected any foreign intervention, whatever its form”. Funny that, coming from a man who agreed to Resolution 1973!!!

Some African politicians, like Odein Ajumogobia the Nigerian Foreign Minister, have argued why the western powers ‘chose to intervene in Libya and not for example, in Bahrain or Ivory Coast’? The answer is quite simple; We were not asked!!!

The western nations, despite what some people like to think, are not the worlds policemen and it is up to individual countries to solve their own internal problems. However, if the United Nations gets involved because a population is being massacred by a madman, and the Arab League requests action, we will do all we can to help. I for sure have not heard of any Arab nation requesting UN help with the protests in Bahrain. Have you?

The Union of African States

It makes me sick to hear the continual whining of these spineless politicians who leave it to western nations to ‘carry the load’ at their behest, and when we do, can’t wait to sharpen their long knives. In my opinion, if you don’t have the courage of your convictions, stay out of politics!

When this is all over, I have the nasty feeling that the coalition nations are once again going to be crapped upon from a great height by the nations that should by rights be grateful that we are sorting out this problem, i.e. The Arab League and the African Union members. 

President Sarkozy

During the interminable weeks the UN was discussing the issue, and people were dying on the ground I might add, neither the African Union nor Arab League raised a finger to help the people of Libya. All they could do was sit around the table wringing their hands and mumbling into their coffee cups! Without the persistence of people like Nicholas Sarkozy (France) and David Cameron (UK) they would still be at it. 

Gaddafi - Not Quite Got All His Marbles?

There should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that had Gaddafi been able to finish the job, there would have followed a massacre of anyone even remotely connected with the revolution. He is well-known as being a little ‘off balance’, and his rambling speeches during the crisis gave a good idea as to his intentions.

Without a doubt, when the dust finally settles, the people of Libya will be well within their rights to ask the Arab and African nations why they did not help them much sooner.

I sometimes think the world would be better off without politicians!

Roy.

 

 

Libya, The Arab League and Double Standards!

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Muslim, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 20/03/2011 by floroy1942

Face Saving?

I guess I should not be surprised that the Arab League is now trying to worm out of its complicity in the current Libyan crisis. I have just read with disbelief a statement by the League Secretary General, Amr Moussa that he is calling for an emergency meeting of the group saying that the actions of the coalition are not what was intended when they agreed to the action. I quote:“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.” It seems to me they are now trying to back out of the agreement they made with the UN Security Council!

It was after all they who asked for such action to be taken, but it is worthy to note that the United Arab Emirates is the only country in the block to be actively taking part. Each of the major arab nations, like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan have strong air forces that could easily have done the job on their own, but not one of them has made a move to assist.

The UAE-At Least An Honest Arab Nation

Now they are trying to backtrack on their diplomatic involvement and before you know it, they will be accusing the coalition of aggression, or at least interference in arab affairs. I have to say I find their attitude both spineless and disgusting.

It would seem they expected the no-fly zone to be enforced without any military action whatsoever, and if that is the case I would ask them how it could be done.

RAF Tornados

Weeks ago US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, made it quite clear that the only way to safely enforce a no-fly zone was for the Libyan anti-air defences to be knocked out prior to overflights. Personally, I can think of no other way.

I can understand they do not want foreign troops on Libyan soil and that should not be necessary, but it is impossible to achieve a no-fly zone without some form of military action. Considering that the arab nations have left it up to the west to do their dirty work for them, I would have at least expected a grudging ‘Thank You’ considering it is our pilots that are being put in harms way on their behalf. Instead, all we get is the proverbial ‘knife in the back’, so typically arab.

AWACS - Ensuring Compliance

We cannot for sure know this, but it is possible they are now starting to get unrest among the arab nations for the fact they requested western assistance in this problem, and are now trying to excuse their complicity by proclaiming: “This is not what we meant…..But we didn’t mean…” etc etc. Well gentlemen, if you call for a spade, you get a spade and that’s that!

Further, how dare he suggest the coalition is bombing civilians! I can only presume he has been listening to the Gaddafi propaganda machine. The west has ‘stepped up to the plate’ and offered to help defend civilians against the onslaught of Gaddafi’s forces, and I must say that is more than the majority of arab nations have done. Instead of backtracking from their decision they should be actively assisting in the efforts.

Finally I have to say direct to Mr. Amr Moussa: If you don’t like the way the west is carrying out YOUR request – DO IT YOURSELF!!!!!

I await further developments with bated breath!

Roy.

Gaddafi Upstages the UN and NATO

Posted in Al Quada, Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Human Rights, Insanity, Muslim, Security Council, Terrorism, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 19/03/2011 by floroy1942

Say what you like about Gaddafi, but he is a wily old coyote! When the announcement was made about the UN backed no-fly zone, he immediately pulled a master stroke by announcing a ceasefire with the rebels, thereby successfully delaying any punitive action by NATO and Arab League forces.

Gaddafi The Cunning Fox!

This clever move has brought him a precious 24 hours in which to insert his troops into the outskirts of the city of Benghazi and other rebel held towns. Any intelligent person will now realise he has successfully cancelled out any chance of an attack on these forces, because to do so would mean attacking built-up areas with the huge risk of civilian casualties.

The People Of Benghazi

Gaddafi does not care if civilians are killed, but the world will roundly condemn any casualties caused by alliance troops, and terrorist groups like al Quada will use any mistakes made to foster anti-west feeling in the arab world. The UN decision was far too late to save the situation in Libya.

As I stated in my last post:

(https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/libya-the-great-betrayal/)

Had this decision for action been made even four days ago, Gaddafi’s troops would not have been in range of Benghazi and could easily have been stopped in their tracks. Now it is too late!

With his troops in the suburbs of the city, does anyone imagine for a minute that those forces will honour the ceasefire? Not on your life! They will not rest until every rebel in the city is dead or captured, unless help can be given to the protesters that does not entail bombing from the sky.

The 'Decision' Makers

Sure we can stop any overflights and bombings, and maybe even the artillery lined up outside the city, but that will do nothing to alleviate the pressures being put on the rebels by mercenaries and tanks already in the city streets.

From his own lips we have heard how ruthless he will be when it comes to dealing with the remnants of the rebel forces. There can be little doubt that despite all his protestations of innocence, it will be a massacre.

Dictators like Gaddafi do not take kindly to insurrection, as can be witnessed in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen for example. Any form of protest has quickly been put down by security forces with ‘no holds barred’.

Tank On The Streets Of Benghazi

I believe Gaddafi was caught totally unawares, and as Libya is so large it would be difficult to takes the necessary steps to quell unrest immediately. However, we now have a situation where the rebels are firmly established, but sadly, are being beaten by the African mercenaries hired by Gaddafi.

The Arab League has already stated that it will not accept foreign troops on Libyan soil, and this call has been echoed by the rebels themselves. So while being given a wide ranging mandate for the protection of civilians, it still ties the hands of the coalition when it comes to Gaddafi’s forces already in Benghazi and other rebel held towns along the coast. It quickly becomes evident that by pulling his ‘ceasefire’ trick, Gaddafi has upstaged the UN, the Arab League, and NATO.

Roy.

Related Posts:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/an-enforced-libyan-no-fly-zone-is-it-wise/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-un-europe-and-arab-league-on-libya-blah-blah-blah/

Update: Sunday 20/3/2011: Thanks to an overnight barrage of Tomahawk missiles on the air defence systems, and attacks on military hardware on the road to Benghazi, the attacks appear to have stopped. This is probably more a question of the soldiers themselves not wishing to face Tornado and Mirage jets sat in a steel coffin, than Gaddafi’s will to stop fighting. The latest news reports say that Gaddafi forces are now in the centre of Misratah as well as in Benghazi, so it remains to be seen what the Alliance can do to stop their attacks. This may prove a hard task, and will take some considerable time.

 

 

Libya – The Great Betrayal

Posted in Arab, Britain, Europe, Human Rights, Muslim, President, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , on 17/03/2011 by floroy1942

Once again the world has witnessed betrayal by the impotent United Nations. This great ideal of all nations united against evil, founded in 1945, has been seen, as so often in the past, to fail dismally in the face of adversity.

International Talk Shop - The UN Building in New York

When the Libyan crisis first broke weeks ago, talk began about assistance, and some countries like France, recognised the rebels internationally and called upon the dictator Gaddafi to step down. Then came the reemergence of Gaddafi’s power and the onslaught by his mercenaries and army upon the rebels with tanks, artillery and bombs. Most vocal in their condemnation were as usual the US, Europe and NATO, all of whom called for a no-fly zone to ground Gaddafi’s air force.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12740740

A Proud Boast That Cannot Be Enforced

The UN met and called for an end to the violence, which naturally enough fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile the western nations met again and again proclaiming in loud voices that the no-fly zone should be introduced, but again nothing! Although it must be said for all their good intentions, their hands were tied without the backing of a UN resolution and the approval of the Arab League of Nations (ALN).

As in the UN, the ALN talked and talked for more than a week before finally giving tacit approval to the measures last weekend. So back it goes to the UN and we are still waiting for an answer. Meanwhile, the rebels are being hammered into the ground by the African mercenaries and their backers, the Libyan armed forces. Gaddafi and his son are still defiant and claim the battle is almost won, and by the time the UN gets around to finally agreeing to the proposal it probably will be. You can be certain Gaddafi’s vengeance will be swift and merciless.

A Plea From The People

It has become synonymous with the UN that they can (a) never agree on anything, and (b) if they do, it is always too late. This international body, formed with such high ideals has become the laughing-stock of intelligent people across the world. Whenever one country takes aggressive action against another, or as in the case of Libya, a people rise up to fight for their freedom from oppression, all the members of the UN can do is ‘flap their jaws’.

It’s about time this body came to realise that in a crisis such as this, talking just doesn’t hack it and actions speak louder than words. I am tired of national representatives looking after their own interests ahead of the common good:- “Oh dear! We can’t vote for this motion because we buy oil from Gaddafi!” etc etc.

Blasted By Artillery, Bombed From Above!

Sometimes the problem is Russia and/or China, who to protect their own interests wield their veto. Russia will not approve an action because they sell arms to a particular nation, or China vetoes a resolution because she has economic or political interests in a country. In my view, the entire veto system should be scrapped, for it’s about time the UN was able to make and pass resolutions for the common good without this ‘roadblock’.

For the UN to work as originally intended, it is necessary for all nations to forget their own petty interests and concentrate on the good of all humanity in all countries. Aggression must be met by united resistance and not petty squabbling. The oppression of any people must be met with a firm resolve by all nations before it is too late.

A True Statement That Should Haunt The UN

I feel sorry for the people of Libya who want nothing more than to live in peace, free of their oppressive dictator. We have seen a wave of such rebellions in the past months where populations have shown their wish to be free. Unfortunately for the Libyans, their dictator has been made of sterner stuff than his compatriots. No dictator likes to lose his grip on power as can be evidenced around the world in countries like Bahrain, Iran and Zimbabwe to name but a few.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFzDUd9EIS4

There are still many more oppressive regimes, chief among them China, but also many in the making such as Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez is cementing his position of power for the future by changing the constitution in his favour. It is for sure the UN will eventually be called upon to arbitrate in many of these countries in the future when their people tire of being oppressed. I just hope by then it will be up to the task!

Roy.

Related posts by this author:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/an-enforced-libyan-no-fly-zone-is-it-wise/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-un-europe-and-arab-league-on-libya-blah-blah-blah/

Update: Thursday 17 March 22.00CET.

It seems there is finally good news from the UN as there should be a decision on the Libya debate in about another hour. Britain and France have said that initial action in supporting the rebels could perhaps begin tomorrow (Friday). Interesting to note that both Russia and China are expected to abstain during the vote, and will not exercise their veto rights. I guess international pressure has made them think again! Let us just hope it is not “too little too late”!

An Enforced Libyan No-Fly Zone – Is It Wise?

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Government, Insurgents, Muslim, Obama, Parliament, President, Terrorism, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 08/03/2011 by floroy1942

Should America and NATO be allowed to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya? Personally, I think it would be a huge mistake for these organizations to even try, unless they have the full coöperation of other arab nations.

Libyan Rebels

There can be little doubt that the current attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces on the rebels must end, and it is indeed a scandal they are taking place in the first place. However, we have to remember, this is an internal struggle in which non-arab nations cannot impose their will, even in the name of humanity.

To put this in context, what would American reactions have been if South American countries had felt it necessary to intervene during their Civil War? Food for thought!

Once again it has been amply demonstrated the UN is a toothless tiger with nothing to contribute other than useless words and condemnation, but that is not helping the people of Libya one iota. There again, the UN is nothing more than a ‘babble shop’ in my eyes, and throughout its history, with the exception of the Korean war, has never really succeeded in quelling war, aggression, genocide or human rights violations in the world.

Careful Thought Required By NATO Members

In actual fact, NATO has been more proactive with its actions in Kosovo, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But back to the main theme, Libya has suffered an uprising of the common man against a dictatorial regime much the same as other North African countries of late, but this one has turned out different. There is little doubt the military were the deciding factor in Libya, for they had the choice of siding with the protesters or Gaddafi. They chose the latter, and this may well have spelled the end for the popular uprising, because a dedicated man with an AK47 is no match for a tank or fighter-bomber in the long term.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9MQD38nmOs

Libyan Airforce Under Gaddafi Control

In my opinion, enforcement of a no fly zone over Libya will not change the situation on the ground very much, as the pro-Gaddafi forces are far superior in arms and equipment and must eventually win. If they do not, it will not say much about their effectiveness as a fighting force. One can only hope the common soldier gets tired of killing people he is sworn to protect, and eventually rebels against his officers. This however is unlikely to happen if, as reports suggest, most of the fighting is carried out by African mercenaries in the pay of Gaddafi.

But so far as the politics of foreign intervention are concerned, I believe it would be a disaster of international  proportions for either America or NATO to intervene in this struggle. It is worthy of note that the other arab nations have been silent on this issue until very recently. Not one of the main arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or Iran have come out and publically condemned Gaddafi’s actions, or those of the rebels. All stayed silent, just as they do on the question of Islāmic insurgency.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ghGjRqvcbRA

This may well be because most arab countries are run by an elite few who have been in power for decades, and they too fear a popular uprising in their own country. The people of Iran have tried it and were ruthlessly put down by the government.

As a purely arab problem, one would expect the other nations to come together quickly to find a way to end the bloodshed of their brethren, but until very recently all we had was a wall of silence while they sit on the fence and wait to see what happens, again, much as they have done with the insurgency. Declarations of condemnation have now been made, but it seems no move towards actually stopping the bloodshed have yet materialised. 

Oil - Not the Excuse As Some People Think!

Should NATO countries, or indeed the USA, decide to enter the conflict, it will be seen purely as ‘protecting their oil interests’ and they will once again be accused of ‘wielding the big stick’ as they were in Iraq and Afghanistan.

America has long been perceived by many nations to be acting as the world’s policemen, and to a certain degree I believe this attitude is held by many Americans. No matter how powerful a nation, or group of nations is, it does not have the right to intervene in what is, as in the case of Libya, an internal struggle. The motives may be the best in the world, but they will not be seen as such by all.

Considering the tensions that have existed between the arab nations and ‘the West’ since 9/11, it would be a brave fool who intervenes in a purely arab struggle without the participation, or at least a nod of approval, from the rest of the arab block. To do so will only stoke the fires of anti-western feeling within these nations. It is without doubt a very delicate situation, for if anyone decided to enforce a no-fly zone, what then?

Two Men In The Hot Seat

As Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence has already stated, to begin such an operation would first mean attacks on the airfields and missile defence systems of Libya which amount to an act of war. Once that happens, any country embarking on such a task would be fully committed as a participant in the conflict. Would the people of NATO member countries, or Americans be happy at the prospect of their servicemen being killed in such a situation? I think not.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/1Y3f3e2ieqU

I can just imagine the lines of protesters marching up and down outside the White House condemning Barack Obama for getting America into yet another conflict. He could certainly kiss goodbye any hopes of re-election, as would the governments of any other NATO country.

Trying To Bring Down An Air Force Fighter Bomber

War is not something to be taken lightly, people die in wars, and for any country to think of participating in one, especially when so far away and none of your business, governments and Presidents must tread warily. America learnt a hard lesson in Vietnam and the scars are not yet fully healed.

Certainly, it is hard to sit on the sidelines and watch as a country tears itself apart in this manner, but sometimes that is all you can do. To get involved against the will of neighbouring nations and your own people is sheer folly.

It may be fine for politicians like Britain’s William Hague to spout about no-fly zones, but I am sure if the people of Britain were asked their opinion, there would be a resounding ‘No!’ to any involvment, and much the same in the US.

Bomb Attack On Rebels

Western nations can do no more than sit on the sidelines and wait to see what happens. The conflict started, and will end, in Libya and the only nations that can stop it are other arab countries, if they have the guts to come out of the shadows and take action. I hold my breath!

Roy.

See related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-un-europe-and-arab-league-on-libya-blah-blah-blah/

Haiti One Year On – So Where Is The Money?

Posted in Britain, Children, Christianity, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Government Spending, Haiti, Health, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 18/02/2011 by floroy1942

One Year On, Are These People Better Off?

How does it make you feel to know that donations given by you to aid the suffering in Haiti following the 2010 devastating earthquake remains in banks, while the people go hungry, and 98% of the damage remains uncleared? I must admit to a great anger at the many charity organisations that are reaping the benefits of other peoples misfortune.

Death and Destruction

The sort of money we are talking about is in the hundreds of millions, spread across various charities known around the world like the Red Cross and the Catholic Relief Fund. While the Haitian people are trying to make the best of their destroyed homes, suffer cholera outbreaks, hunger and death, the charities are holding on to the money that can alleviate this suffering, saying it will be used for long-term improvements in the country. By the time they get to releasing the funds there may not be many people left!

It Can Only Help If You Put It To Use!

While the people suffer, the urgently needed money sits in bank accounts across the world, no doubt making huge amounts of interest for the charity. All this goes to strengthen my long term belief that many charities these days are nothing more than another money-making racket.

I must admit I have not donated money to any of the big well-known charities for years based on this principal. For when I hear that so-and-so, chairman of such-and-such charity is on a salary of $400,000 a year it makes me think.

It's All In The Eyes Of A Child

If I donate $10, the people in need will see on average less than $2 after the charity has extracted all its costs (fair) and salaries (exorbitant)  from the amount. I find it most distasteful that the upper echelon of world charity organisations should earn such huge amounts when working for charity.

Money is given freely by the general public in the belief that it will help ease the suffering of those less fortunate, and it is a system that has worked for a very long time, until the ‘moneymen’ stepped in.

Working To Save Others - A Noble Task.

The sad thing is, most of the people who ask you for a donation, i.e. the collectors, are all unpaid volunteers who believe what they are doing is helping the unfortunates get their lives back together, and indeed saving lives. The sad truth is, they are first helping to line the pockets of individuals at the top of the tree taking home huge salaries at the expense of the victims they are supposedly trying to help. No matter how big the organization, it does not justify the sort of salary scales prevalent in the charity business.

But most damning of all, with relation to Haiti, the money is still floundering in banks instead of being used to relieve the suffering of the Haitian people by providing food, and essential equipment to get their towns and cities rebuilt. For me there is no excuse for delays in releasing the funds to get vital work done, like supplying fresh drinking water to combat the cholera outbreak.

We Have Barely Scratched The Surface.

Now, one year on, only a miserable 2% of the devastation suffered in Puerto Prince has been cleared. I know it is a huge job, and I know it takes time, but 2% in a whole year, that is not acceptable!

Perhaps the effort should be governed and co-ordinated by the United Nations to a greater degree than it is. Perhaps they should decide how the money is to be spent, and more importantly, when! For if it is left up to the charities themselves it could be another ten years before the Haitian people see the money.

It is perhaps time we let these charities know that when we, the people, donate freely to help others in need, our intention is for the money to go to the people not the bureaucrats.

Cholera Strikes!

To be fair, I know it costs money to collect and transport the requirements to any disaster area, and the specialists carrying out the work do need to be paid, and to be honest, I have no qualms about this. To buy and ship 10,000 tents for example needs a lot of cash, and I am sure no-one would disagree. It’s a shame however that many companies supplying the required goods do not feel justified in selling to the charities ‘at cost’ rather than insisting on their profit margin.

Ideal For The Task

I have long held the view that it would do no financial harm to a company making for example, excavators, bulldozers and trucks, to donate say a day’s production, perhaps four or five machines to the Haiti cause. The effort of rubble clearance in Puerto Prince could be greatly accelerated should some companies do this. Unfortunately we are talking big business, and the word charity has no meaning in such circles!

Red Cross Volunteer At Work

Thankfully, there are still aid organisations where more than 50% of donations go to their intended target, but you have to search really hard to find them, and I must also add, that while I may criticise many charity organisations, most are well-minded people who do a good job of work in relieving the suffering around the world. Without these aid groups, and in particular the people working for them, the world would be a sadder place.

Whichever way you look at it, the definition of the word charity has undergone some changes in recent decades, and no longer carries the full meaning it used to have. I can only hope that people can find a way to put pressure on the many organisations in this field.

Roy.



What to Do About Somali Pirates?

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Insanity, Justice, Modern World, Muslim, Oceans, Prison, Ransom, Royal Navy, Security Council, Somaila, Somali Pirates, Terrorism, Travel, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , on 10/02/2011 by floroy1942

Today we hear that yet another super tanker has been hi-jacked by pirates operating from Somalia, and pundits have speculated that if these actions continue, our oil supplies could be put in jeopardy. Do we really want new petrol shortages and prices going through the roof because sailing through the Gulf is too risky?

So what do you do against a gang of skilled, successful thieves who hold ships and crews for ransoms running into millions?

The Samho Jewelry Rescue

Despite the successful recapture of the ship Samho Jewelry in January by a South Korean Navy vessel in which 8 pirates were killed, and the freeing of a Russian tanker by Russian Navy commandoes a few of weeks ago, it is a difficult situation for the forces of law.

The pirates hold the crew of the vessel they have taken as hostages against any rescue attempt. In fact, the captain of the Samho Jewelry was shot in the stomach during the rescue, and last January, two Thai crewmen were killed by the pirates in a similar situation.

The second major problem is, there are no international laws covering such a situation. Ok, so you recapture a ship and take the pirates prisoner, but what do you do with them. Who do you hand them over to, and who puts them on trial? It is a legal problem that has so far resulted in the Somali’s being released on the spot to attack another ship.

In Control

In this respect, the Russians recently took a positive step by sinking the pirate’s boat and setting them adrift in a rubber dingy 300 miles from shore. Whether they made it to shore or not is unknown, but for that matter, who cares. Certainly not the Russians!

It is clear the first step is to amend maritime law to cover such situations, and perhaps this could be done by an agreement that pirate suspects are tried in the International Court of The Hague, or in the country that owns the ship in question. Whatever the international community decide, we need a decision soon.

The Seabourn Spirit

As far back as November 2005 the pirates even had the audacity to attack a cruise liner the Seabourn Spirit with RPG’s in an attempt to hijack the vessel. A quick increase in speed by the ship made it impossible for them to board, and although more such bold attacks have taken place, none thankfully have been successful. A fully laden tanker however does not have this option, which makes them an easy target.

Pirates Armed With RPG's

Since March 2010 at least 29 vessels have been captured, with an estimated number of crew hostages put at nearly 700. Considering the pirates receive a ransom in the millions of dollars for return of the vessel and crew depending on the ships value, you can imagine it’s a very lucrative business. The latest capture, a Greek super tanker called Irene SL, carries a cargo worth $200m.

In the beginning, attacks only took place within 2 or 3 hundred miles of the coast of Somalia, but since then the pirates have become better organized and bolder, using so-called ‘mother ships’ far into the Indian Ocean to increase their range of operations. In January this year a ship was hi-jacked 1,300 miles off the Somali coast.

The Choi Young - Rescuer of the Sanho Jewelry

The United Nations has for some time had warships from various countries patrolling these waters, but far too few to cover an area of ocean in the region of 4 million square miles.

To me it is clear decisive action needs to be taken to stamp out this menace.

It seems the majority of Somali’s indulging in this lucrative trade may well be Muslims, so perhaps vessels travelling the area should carry tanks of pigs’ blood with which to spray the approaching menace as they come alongside. We all know a Muslims reaction to pork! Put bluntly, it scares the s*** out of them, for if they come into contact with it in any way they will never get into Paradise and bang goes the chance of 77 virgins!

Let Them Paddle Back Home!

Secondly, perhaps we should take a leaf from the Russian approach. As we have no system of justice with which to deal with these people, we should sink their boat and set them adrift. If sufficient of them set sail on their nefarious cruises and never return it might be enough to discourage the rest. To ensure they do not starve to death we could always give them some healthy bacon sandwiches for their journey back to the coast.

The only other option from where I sit, is a marine landing at their bases and take them out once and for all. Either way, it is time for this assault on our maritime trade to cease.

Roy.

Another Reason For Banning the Burka

Posted in Afghanistan, Arab, Britain, Europe, Human Rights, Immigration, Islamic Revolution, Justice, Modern World, Muslim, Parliament, Police, Police Complaints, Political Correctness, Prison, Religion, Sharia Law, Traffic, UK, UN, USA with tags , , , , on 16/01/2011 by floroy1942

Debate has been extensive over whether democratic nations should ban the burka, following the example of France. A very recent occurrence in Australia highlights the need for all western nations to take action on this subject.

The Burka Hides All!

A burka clad woman was pulled over by an Australian policeman for not having her provisional number plates displayed correctly. What ensued was outrageous, and were it not for a video camera running in the back of the police car, the constable could have had his life and career ruined by the woman who claimed he was racist. She claimed he pulled her over because she was wearing a burka and accused him of trying to remove her face covering.

On being released she went to the local media with her story and also filed a complaint against the policeman for racism. When the case went to court, the film was shown and the constable exonerated. The woman then claimed, through her lawyer, it was not her in the car but someone else.

Thankfully justice was served, for the judge did not believe her and it is said she could serve six months in prison.

You can see the full report using the following link:

Which One is My Wife?

The whole episode does however indicate that Muslim women can use the veil as a refuge from justice by the very fact they cannot be identified with certainty. This is wrong in our open society and should not be allowed.

Who Knows What the Burka Hides!

Muslims claim religious grounds for covering their women’s faces and I have no objection to that, but when they live in our society they should live by our rules. Everyone here is readily identifiable from facial features, but where the burka is concerned, even a man can wear one and pass himself off as a woman. This is wrong and it is time to put an end to this farce.

Roy.

Death Knell For Plastic Bags?

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Government, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, Pacific, Parliament, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Spain, Toxic Waste, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 31/12/2010 by floroy1942

Ever since the common plastic shopping bag was first introduced en masse by high street stores and supermarkets in the mid-1970’s, it has taken a firm grip on our lives and environment.

The 'Essential' Plastic Shopping Bag

Now, the Italian government has announced an outright ban on these everyday items from tomorrow, January 1st, and although it is the first European country to do so, it is not the first world-wide. Eritrea, Rwanda and Somalia banned them as far back as 2005, followed by Tanzania a year later. Strange that it should be African nations that first took positive action against this danger to our environment!

Bag Production - A Major Industry

It is not until you get into numbers that the impact of these shopping aids becomes apparent. The Italian people for example use a staggering 20 billion bags a year, which is about 300 per person. Across Europe the estimate is 100 billion! In 2008, when China introduced a levy for plastic bags, they were using 3 billion a day!

While many countries have over the years introduced a surcharge on plastic shopping bags in an effort to cut consumption, it has been of little use in curbing our habits. There seems little doubt that only an outright ban such as in Italy will work, and it is up to other countries to follow suit. Italian shoppers will now have to use bio-degradable, cloth or paper bags.

Plastic In The City Of Naples

Some of the more developed nations have introduced recycling as the answer to the plastic menace, and although some relief has been seen in the number of plastic bags in city dumps, it has had minimal effect overall. When you consider it, we even add to the mountain by putting all our rubbish in plastic sacks anyway!

There is little doubt that even the very disposal of plastic bags costs a huge amount of energy. According to the Italian environmental organization Legambiente, the ban on bags will reduce the CO2 emissions for Italy by 180,000 tonnes a year.

The Plastic Raw Material

Plastic, as we all know is a by-product of oil, and in 2007 it was estimated that from the world’s oil production of around 84,5 million barrels a year, some 4% goes into the production of all types of plastic. While this may seem an insignificant amount, it should not be forgotten that another 4% is used in the energy required to produce the final product.

Oil, like many other sources of power, will run out eventually as the planets reserves are used up. At the current state of man’s development, life as we know it would cease entirely without oil and its by-products.

As you read this, take just a second and think about all the devices in your home that have plastic parts and would cease to function without it. Once having established that, spread your mind wider and look outside your immediate environment at all the things in your town or city that cannot work without plastic.

 

Also The Cost Of Plastic Production

We as a race, would be thrown back to the time of the horse and our own two feet, to say nothing of candles for light and open fire for heat. It’s scary to say the least

 

A Plastic Bags Best Friend - The Supermarket

When shopping, my wife and I always end up with at least five or six bags from the local supermarket, even though we always ask the cashier to pack the items into as few bags as possible. Like many supermarkets, they are on special hooks that allow the cashier to operate as quickly as possible, and it is very common for them to exit the system containing only one or two items.

 

Maybe Not Quite As Strong - But Otherwise.....

Prior to the introduction of the plastic shopping bag, people used paper carrier bags which by their very nature were biodegradable. Now, we poison the earth and oceans with an item that does not degrade, and becomes toxic. Discarded plastic will be with us for centuries, and there is not much we can do about it.

Today we seem incapable of living without this lowly item, but as the discovery of the Pacific Plastic Island clearly shows, we must change our habits. The size of a large country, it is reservedly estimated to contain 100 million tons of floating plastic. I refer you to one of my previous blogs on the subject.

(You will need to cut and paste the link into your browser)

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/

welcome-to-plastic-island/

 

When We And Our Children Are Dead, It Will Still Be Here!

While doing research for this article I came across an interesting video that describes the life of a plastic shopping bag. It was made by Ramin Bahrami and although somewhat romanticised, gives some insight into the life of a shopping bag made of plastic.

http://futurestates.tv/episodes/plastic-bag

With the exception of a few countries where a proportion is recycled, they all end up in rubbish tips, and sadly, in the oceans of the world. Perhaps it is time for this environmental problem to be handled by the United Nations, who could if they can agree, do something positive for our planet by introducing a world-wide ban on these items.

 

Guaranteed Not Part Of A Six-Pack

Before I finish let me highlight the tragic effects of our plastic rubbish is having on the animal population of our planet.

 

Nice Scarf? Not Really. Just Another Creature Suffering.

There is evidence enough of the cruel way in which many birds and animals die trapped in our plastic garbage. If we saw it with our own eyes we would call it sadistic, but never think about what can happen each time we throw away a plastic bag or six pack holder. So far as the latter is concerned, I always snip open each circle with the scissors before discarding it.

The cost to the environment is incalculable, but future generations will have to deal with our excesses of today.

Roy.

The “Power’ Drug

Posted in Ahmadinajad, Elections, Free Speech, Government, Haiti, Health, Human Rights, Insanity, Iran, Modern World, MP's, North Korea, President, Riot, Somaila, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19/12/2010 by floroy1942

...and you will do as I say, or else!

History has shown us time and again the steps some power-hungry people will take to consolidate their grip on power. One only has to go back to the Second World War and look at the profiles of men like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, to find out what some men are capable of in the their quest to remain in control of a country and its people. Today is no different, even though the tactics used by some have changed.

Stalin - The Russian Butcher

Just as in the past, repression of free speech and all dissension against them is used by many, but today the approach by others is more subtle. Voting by the people for their leaders has been a common practice for many years, but these days one can no longer rely on this democratic process.

In recent years, country after country around the world has been embroiled in dispute, and even civil war, after so-called free elections. Famous among these are Zimbabwe, Iran, Myanmar, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and so the list goes on.

Mugabe - His Countries Assassin.

In many countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea, dissension is a thing of the past, for any word uttered against the leader means instant death. President Mugabe hit the world headlines during the last general election in 2008 when he actually lost to the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zanu Victims

Prior to the next round of voting, Mugabe supporters began a reign of terror, carried out mainly by his ZANU party members, who roamed the streets killing, or chopping off the limbs of opposition supporters with machetes.

It was diplomatic pressure from the rest of the world that finally forced Mugabe to accept a supposed power-sharing deal with his opponent Norman Tsvangari, who became Prime Minister. There is little doubt however that the true power remained in the hands of the president.  Lately it has been announced that the deal, which is due for review in February next year, will be scrapped by Mugabe.

Kim Jong-il the Death Merchant.

North Korea, like China, is a totalitarian regime with all the power in the hands of Kim Jong-il who took over from his father Kim Jong-sung when he died in 1994. Even a careless word that is overheard will lead to a lengthy, if not life time period of detention in the infamous labour camps which have been likened to the concentration camps of the Nazi’s.

The Opposition in a Cage - Suu Kyi

Myanmar (Burma) by contrast, solved the opposition problem by annulling the 1990 election in which the National League for Democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi won an overwhelming victory. The military junta placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest where she has spent the greater part of the time since 1990 despite international calls for her release.

Currently, we have Haiti and the Ivory Coast in turmoil because of ‘rigged’ elections.

The problem in Ivory Coast is so severe, that it would seem civil war is imminent. Two contenders for the leadership, and now two separate leaders, each with their own ‘government’ vying for power over the whole country which is currently split North/South. The United Nations have told the ‘out-going’ president, Laurent GBagbo that he should stand aside, but to no avail. It would take but a small spark to ignite this tinderbox.

Haiti meanwhile, has its own cross to bear, exacerbated by the fact the country has still not recovered from the devastating earthquake this year, and the following cholera epidemic. But still the politicians vie for power and control.

Chavez - Ambitious Showman

There are also dictators in the making such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. After coming to power in 1999 he survived a coup d’etat attempt in 2002 and then set about strengthening his position by removing the requirement under the countries constitution for presidents to serve no more than two terms in office. Since then he has further consolidated his power by taking full control of government.

Lukoshenko - Cementing a Position of Power

The West is also accusing Lukashenko of Belarus of following in the footsteps of Hugo Chavez. In 2004 he also changed the constitution, removing the maximum of two terms for a president. While it seems certain he will once again be voted in as president during the current elections, few doubt that the results have been corrupted.

It makes me wonder why these people are so in love with power, for with power comes huge responsibility.

Cholera Victim - Zimbabwe

If you run a country you are supposed to care for your people by making sure they have jobs, suitable housing, and education. The power mongers it seems, care little for this side of the job. In fact, in countries like Zimbabwe, there is 85% unemployment, rampant cholera, starvation and death. In North Korea there is also widespread starvation and disease.

So what do these megalomaniacs gain from this? They are by rote, extravagantly rich from all the money they siphon off for themselves, they have the power of life and death over the people they govern, and quite often have a significant influence on their neighbouring countries e.g. North/South Korea. They also have political standing in the world, mingling with world leaders and top politicians at many top conferences, and the United Nations at will.

Personally I fail to see the attraction of it all, but there is little doubt many do.

Roy.



Pastor Terry Jones – A Simple Solution!

Posted in Afghanistan, Al Quada, Arab, Christianity, Demonstration, Insanity, Insurgents, Islamic Revolution, Modern World, Muslim, Obama, President, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, Terrorists, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 10/09/2010 by floroy1942

Not in My Name!

There is a very simple and cost-effective answer to the furore surrounding the “Quaran Book-Burning Day” threatened by Pastor Terry Jones and his cohorts.

Pastor Jones

Surround the whole church and congregation with fire trucks, and the second someone lights a match, turn on the hoses. Sounds simple, but very affective!

Such a humiliating action would probably be sufficient to take the wind from the sails of the Muslim demonstrators world-wide.

The amount of media attention this whole drama received has turned it into a world headline incident of devastating proportions. Now 4 people (Muslim demonstrators in Afghanistan) have died because the media made the man famous. Let’s face it, before the hype, Jones was unknown outside his own community but has now received international fame. While I can understand his motives, i.e. being against the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’, this is not the way to change the situation (See ‘Pig Power and Ground Zero’ entry on this blog – another simple solution).

Muslim Reaction

Governments, and even the UN now know the name of this man and his notoriety has set the whole Muslim world on its head. I agree with President Obama in that this mans actions will fuel the al Quada and Taliban recruitment enormously. Those who will suffer the most are the soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and probably Iraq. They will be on the receiving end of the Muslim wrath, not our “innocent” man of the church!

Shame on you Sir!

Roy.

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