Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Awards for Latvian solders OIF team 7

From the MND(CS) homepage :
Awards for Latvian solders

On Wednesday 12th April MG Edward Gruszka, MND CS Commanding General awarded Latvian soldiers. They were awarded with Multinational Division Central – South badge, which is given to the soldier after 90 days of their service in MND CS in Iraq. Latvian soldiers are an important part of the MND CS Maneuver Group and perform excellent duty as an escort of convoys and patrols.

Another tour well under way and so far so good .... congratulations for a job well done at the sharp end.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Norman Kember says thanks! Sort of.

Oh! The Christian Peacemaker Teams are offended that the British military appears to think them ungrateful for the rescue. Wherever did they get that idea? After all, didn't nonstormin Norman say thanks at least once or twice to those SAS chaps?

The interview with Norman Kember. He started out as a peacenik dodging the draft ... why is that not a surprise?
I have been a peace activist since 1950/52 when I was a conscientious objector.
Kember on the SAS:
“Well, we thanked them … I continue to thank them for what they did. They were brave. I disagree with their profession. But it’s ironic isn’t it? You go as a peace activist and then you’re rescued by the SAS, which is perhaps the most violent of all the British forces.”
Kember on his captors :
“I don’t wish them any harm. I wouldn’t like to feel that they’d been executed, or anything like that. They had humanity; they showed us humanity from time-to-time. They were misguided, because they were obviously men of violence.”
There we have it, Norman Kember, draft dodging peacenik who at heart believes the SAS and the terrorists are essentially interchangeable. At least he did say tank-you, publically .... after a mountain of criticism for his ingratitude.

But wait, wasn't Tom Fox of age for Viet-Nam??? :
Graduating from college in 1973, Fox was unwilling to serve in a combat role in Vietnam and fulfilled his military obligation by joining the U.S. Marine Band.

"During the Vietnam War, Tom figured out a way to have a career as a musician and not fight in Vietnam, which was against his convictions," said the Rev. Carol Rose, a co-director of Christian Peacemaker Teams who worked with him in Iraq.
Why am I not surprised?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chad feat. Sudan

So then, rebels have assaulted the capital of Chad, a move of some 500 miles. Rather impressive by them, less impressive was Chads security and intelligence of course. Even if the rebels have been wiped out as the Chadian government claims, the guesture is significant. Furthermore, according to the CIA factbook there are 200 ethnicities in Chad with a small muslim majority - sounds like a country rife for ethnic-religious fragmentation and strife.

Anybody up for intervention in Darfur?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Flogging Estonian soldier for drunkeness

An Estonian sergeant will get a flogging in the UAE ....

The drinking in the airport is not that unusual, six months in the 'stan will make most people want a stiff drink. Of course, thats six months mostly or entirely without any drinks, so overreaction to the green dragon is no surprise either. Redeployment also tends to be tiring, too many connections, too much waiting for aircraft, after a pre-dark start from whatever base he was deployed.

All this goes strongly towards a understandable tendency for redeployment to be somewhat bleery.

The case appears more and more muddled every time news is heard of it. So is it sexual assault? Or drunkeness? Why is there talk of possible 15 year sentances, or maybe 80 lashes in lieu of three months? What is this business of procedural trangressions and blackmail. Is there any evidence that anything more happened than a tired and drunken soldier stumbled into the wrong toilet by accident? Very dodgy the whole thing.

One opinion that has a rather dark view of mentality underlying the proceedings :
What obviously happened is that he made a mistake, but most Muslims would have raped a woman asleep alone, so they assume he attempted likewise. Any other country this would have been chalked up to an inadvertent wandering of a drunk.

In light of this, it is more than a little surprising is that the Estonian government appears not to be doing its absolute utmost to defend their man .....

Of course, flogging was a traditional military punishment for drunkeness for centuries. Sometimes, I wish it still was.

Yahoo news :
A Sharjah police official was quoted as accusing the soldier of failing to respect the culture and religion of the UAE, a Muslim country.

Not respecting the culture? Here's a deal, the European Parliament should legislate this : Everybody coming to Europe MUST respect our culture. Any muslim transitting the Baltics will be required to dine on roast port with sauerkraut, washed down with about two litres of beer. But we are not barbarians : he may choose the brand of beer. Muslim women on the other hand will drink a selection of liqeuers, be forced to enjoy dancing on the table, thereafter sunning themselves on the beach wearing a string bikini until their husbands sober up enough to collect them.