The Aged P

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Archive for the 'War' Category

British Soldiers Abused, Attacked In London – Is It Those Presbyterians Again?

There wasn’t much about this outside the Telegraph, Sun and Express – I wonder why?

Army officers have told troops on duty for the Paralympics to travel around in groups after servicemen were “attacked, verbally abused and harassed” during the Olympics.

In the worst case a lone soldier was abused, attacked and beaten near Tower Hill Tube station. Police are investigating but in a city swarming with CCTV there appears to have been little progress – one wonders if senior officers have have decided that making too much of it would cause trouble with the local Presbyterian community…

Those Presbyterians – always ready to be provoked….

h/t Brendan O’Neill at Spiked

posted by david in UK,War and have Comments Off on British Soldiers Abused, Attacked In London – Is It Those Presbyterians Again?

UK & US Intelligence Professionals Angry At Politicisation Of Underwear Bomber Narrative By Team Obama

The BBC lost no time in pimping the foiling of the Yemeni Underwear bomber plot.

The US has foiled a plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to detonate an upgraded version of the failed 2009 “underwear bomb”, US officials say.

Quotes followed from Sec of Defence Leon Panetta and Sec of State Hilarry Clinton

“These terrorists keep trying. They keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people,”

Full marks to all those involved in the uncovering of this AQAP (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) terrorist attempt to blow up a plane. The US media really went to town on the story with wall to wall coverage in what became a clearly orchestrated valediction of President Obama’s record in the war on terror – and remember, it’s Presidential election year.

First the celebration of the anniversary of OBL’s termination, now this….”tough on terrorism, tough on the causes of terrorism”
As the UK arm of Obama’s re-election campaign naturally the BBC went deepthroat on the story. Except, as the days went by, it became clearer that this was much more of a Saudi/UK operation than a CIA coup.

The Guardian has learned from Saudi sources that the agent was not a Saudi national as was widely reported, but a Yemeni. He was born in Saudi Arabia, in the port city of Jeddah, and then studied and worked in the UK, where he acquired a British passport

The Saudi’s recruited him for their own security service and almost certainly kept the UK’s MI6 in the loop. However the Obama administration’s boastful publicity has probably made AQAP more aware of the threat from double agents. Experienced US intelligence operatives were certainly not impressed

Mike Scheur, the former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult. “MI6 should be as angry as hell………………………..this is really tragic,” Scheur said.
He added: “Any information disclosed is too much information. This does seem to be a tawdry political thing.”

Sorry, Mr Scheur, you obviously haven’t grasped the fact that the item at the top of the agenda was not the need to protect an existing network – it was to create a useful 2/3 day “shining moment” to maintain Obama’s re-election campaign. Kudos to the the left wing UK Guardian for posting this – to date nothing on these lines has appeared in the BBC website; indeed I wonder how much of it has been picked up by the msm in America. One thing is certain, however, if this had happened under President Bush the Beeb would have been in full Bush derangement mode.

Meanwhile, as Obama, Clinton and Panetta bask before the adulation of the media elite, British, American and Saudi agents must be bashing their heads against office walls in frustration…

….and doubtless, somewhere in Yemen, men and women are screaming in agony as they are tortured by AQAP “specialists” tracking down moles. But, as they and their families die, bleeding and broken, they must find comfort that they died for a higher cause – a nice spread of Obama boosting coverage in the New York Times and, naturally, the BBC…

posted by david in BBC,UK,USA,USA Politics,War and have Comments Off on UK & US Intelligence Professionals Angry At Politicisation Of Underwear Bomber Narrative By Team Obama

Oddly Enough The UK Daily Mail, Unlike The Taxpayer Funded BBC, Refuses To Pimp Obama Over OBL…

It’s official – the BBC obviously decided to start openly pimping for Obama from the beginning of May and, unsurprisingly, the oleaginous Mark Mardell was selected to kick off the campaign with a shameless piece of brown-nosing about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Since the BBC is financed by a compulsory surcharge levied on practically every household in the Britain you can now add the UK taxpayers to Obama’s list of campaign donors.

His team won’t allow anyone to run away with the idea that the Navy Seals raid was the inevitable result of obvious decisions taken by shadowy figures within the administration.
Instead, they hammer home the view that the president made a courageous and difficult call, going against the advice of many of those around him.
This is pushed explicitly in a new campaign video narrated by Bill Clinton.
There have been several detailed insider accounts which support the idea of a tough and risky decision-maker at the top.

Fortunately at the moment the media influence of the left leaning BBC is counter balanced by a lively and disrespectful right wing press so readers of the UK Daily Mail were able to get a different perspective from Toby Harnden.

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.
Mr Kyle added: ‘He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’
A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

Once the BBC had a reputation for fairness and balance that was unrivalled in any other part of the world. Sadly that gold standard of reporting and commentary has been replaced by a left wing bias more reminiscent of a Polish TV station in the early 1970s.

You know what is even more worrying? They no longer feel the need to even pretend to be neutral….

posted by david in media,USA Politics,War and have Comments Off on Oddly Enough The UK Daily Mail, Unlike The Taxpayer Funded BBC, Refuses To Pimp Obama Over OBL…

Sorry, Argentina, The Belgrano Was Attacked In A War Which You Started…

Thirty years the Argentinian warship “Belgrano” was attacked and sunk with the loss of 323 lives

The Belgrano – a cruiser – was torpedoed by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror on 2 May 1982.

President Cristina Fernandez used the occasion to reiterate Argentina’s claim to the Falklands. A retired Admiral played the moment by tuning up the emotion meter

“On days like these, we remember that there is a mission that is not over. There are 323 voices calling to us that there is an open wound. Every day they they remind us that the Malvinas are, were and will be Argentine.”

Great stuff – it almost gives the impression that the islands were thronged with hardy Argentinian farmers until 1982 when they were driven out by those land hungry British imperialists under the orders of the Thatcher junta back in London.

Pure nonsense, of course.

The Belgrano and it’s sister vessels were part and parcel of an act of naked aggression undertaken by the Argentinian government of the time. It’s military forces had attacked and occupied the Falklands in the expectation that the British government would make a lot of noise, summon ambassadors, write letters and eventually get involved in “negotiations” that would end up as a kind of shared sovereignty…and that’s how it would have developed under any Prime Minister of the last fifty years – with one exception.

Unfortunately for Argentina the one exception was the woman who happened to be in 10 Downing Street at the time. Margaret Thatcher retaliated to an act of military force with an even greater force – with much tut tutting from the BBC and The Guardian but with the overwhelming support of the British people.

Naturally the BBC uses weasel words to give President Fernandez moral support – after all she is a left wing politician pursuing a socialist agenda so, by definition, she must be right

The General Belgrano was sunk on the orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who said it had posed a danger to British ships. However, the warship was outside the 200-mile maritime exclusion zone Britain had declared around the Falklands and was said to be sailing away from the islands when she was hit. Critics said the action was excessive and scuppered any chance of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

“Was said to be sailing away” is a classic ploy often used by the BBC and the media in general to give a measure of spurious authority to a purely speculative statement. So listen to the words of Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement who was second in command of HMS Conqueror at the time.

No, Argentina, the deaths of those 323 sailors rests fairly and squarely on the Argentinian government of the time and those officers who were so keen to encourage the junta to invade the Falklands as a distraction from domestic problems……which, of course, is why President Fernandez is making such a fuss about the Falklands now….

posted by david in BBC,Latin America,War and have Comments Off on Sorry, Argentina, The Belgrano Was Attacked In A War Which You Started…

The Falklands War – Right 30 Years Ago And Still Right Today

Today is the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the isolated South Atlantic islands. There is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher and her government were asleep at the wheel at the time ignoring the ratcheting up of rhetoric from the military junta over previous months.

When we heard about the invasion there was anger mixed with humiliation as we saw the pictures of UK marines lying on the ground in surrender. Nevertheless most of us believed that after decades of following the advice of our diplomatic mandarins and the sermonising of the BBC the Thatcher government would wring it’s hands, write an angry note and then accept the offer of a UN special conference that would eventually come up with some wheeze like “shared sovereignty”

But we had reckoned without Margaret Thatcher. It was her willpower that drove the organisation of the task force that travelled thousands of miles and drove the invaders into total capitulation. With hindsight, of course, it all appears to have been a foregone conclusion. But, like D Day in 1944 it was a tremendous gamble with only one possible throw of the dice. Failure would have been the final nail in the coffin of British power and self respect, a vindication of the BBC/Guardian siren song of eternal appeasement and, naturally, the end of Thatcher’s political career.

Nothing illustrated the sudden transformation of will than the sinking of the Belgrano. The Argentines realised that they had sown the wind and had now reaped the whirlwind. They faced a foe that would go to all lengths to break them.

Today, of course, another government in Argentina is seeking to use the Falklands as a useful drum to beat to distract attention from domestic problems. But no self respecting UK government could dare offer any negotiation for a land streaked with the blood and bones of those British servicemen who died in 1982.

Ask the widow of Colonel H Jones who died leading his paratroopers in an assault upon machine gun emplacements at Goose Green.

Ask Simon Weston, the Welsh Guardsman who was horribly burned in an Argentine air attack.

1982 uncovered a Britain that had been hidden away for many years. It’s back under cover, of course, but, much to the chagrin of the left and their friends at the BBC, it’s still there….

posted by david in History,UK,UK Politics,War and have Comments Off on The Falklands War – Right 30 Years Ago And Still Right Today

A Story To Lift Your Hearts – The Military Wives Choir….”They also serve who only stand and wait”… .

It’s a choir of women – but they are very special women, very special indeed.

They are British military wives – and their husbands have just got back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

For several months they were on their own, waiting every second of every minute of every day for “that message” – and all the time having to do the mundane family things with the kids and the house and without much of a social network because the families move bases so often they rarely have time to root themselves into a community.

Enter choirmaster Gareth Malone.

A soldier’s wife wrote to him and suggested he take a group of those women and form them into a choir.

Now Malone is no ordinary choirmaster.

After a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music, his infectious enthusiasm was spotted by a TV production company seeking a choirmaster to front a new programme about music in schools.
The result was the first series of The Choir, which saw Malone take a group of surly teenagers and prepare them for the performance of their lives at an international choral competition.
Three similar series (and two BAFTAs) followed — as as well as marriage to Becky, an English teacher… and the birth of their daughter, Esther

So he took up the challenge which is why earlier this year he found himself and his BBC TV crew in a Royal Marine base in Devon. He realised that his passionate belief in the power of music to transform people’s lives would certainly be tested in this environment.

“Because they are, to use a hackneyed phrase, unsung heroes. We sing about the Forces and everything they do, but not the people who are left behind. It seemed to me a missing part of the story. Some of the women I’ve been working with have got husbands or sons in really frontline positions. That’s very, very stressful.”
“These women have complex lives, and responsibilities. That makes them rich and fertile territory for a choir – because you’re drawing something out of them that they like to keep hidden. I think everyone felt that it’s positive to get those difficult feelings out through singing.”

It wasn’t easy. Many of the women were shy and self conscious and few had any ever sung in public. But over the months, although there were many ups and downs the women bonded and were transformed from “nervous novices into full voiced confident choristers”

Malone, (“geeky, glasses, bow ties, tweed jackets”) had never ever had anything to do with the services and was distinctly nervous about how he would be received by a military community that tends to keep to itself. But his passion for music, his unbridled enthusiasm and dogged determination won them over.

In the gloomy Officers’ Mess of a rain-swept Royal Marines base on a miserable October morning, choirmaster Gareth Malone is chatting animatedly about the importance of encouraging people to sing, when he is interrupted by a very large, rather menacing individual in green Army fatigues.
“I just wanted to shake your hand,” the marine says, thrusting out his own massive mitt towards Malone. “My wife thinks you’re the dog’s bollocks”
The contrast between the fresh-faced, bespectacled, slightly fogey-ish choirmaster and this gruff giant of British military manhood borders on the comical. Yet the encounter illustrates the degree to which Malone, while making his latest TV project The Choir: Military Wives, has charmed his way into the trust of the soldiers – and, more crucially, the soldiers’ wives – of RMB Chivenor in remote north Devon

Finally Malone and the Military Wives sang in November at the Festival of Remembrance at London’s Royal Albert Hall before the Queen and a huge audience inside the concert hall and live to millions watching on TV. They sang “Wherever You Are” composed by Paul Mealor. He drew the words from extracts given to him by the families, extracts from letter and poems written by the wives and their husbands while they were parted.

Remember the vast majority of these women had never sung in public before March 2011 – and the words they were singing came straight from their hearts…….

That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

See their very first rehearsal here and their first public performance here.

UPDATE See the official Military Wives Choir video with lyrics here – and pre order the single here….there are three good reasons to buy the single
1 It’s a beautiful song beautifully sung
2 All proceeds go to service charities
3 By making it the UK Christmas #1 you will be giving Simon Cowell’s and his X Factor a poke in the eye

posted by david in Music,UK,War and have Comments Off on A Story To Lift Your Hearts – The Military Wives Choir….”They also serve who only stand and wait”… .

On November 11th Remember The Price….

Today is Armistice Day in the UK…

Millions of people across the UK have observed a two-minute silence to mark Armistice Day.
Starting at 11:00 GMT, the event mirrors the time guns along the western front fell silent for a final time at the end of World War I in 1918.
The ceremony also remembers those who died in two world wars and later conflicts, including 385 UK personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Remembering those who have paid the price for our freedom…

posted by david in History,War and have Comments Off on On November 11th Remember The Price….

The Airman’s Grave

In a spot of surpassing peace and beauty on a lonely hillside in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex we often pause for a while at The Airman’s Grave. It is not really a grave but a memorial to brave young men who gave their tomorrows for our today.

In July 1941 a RAF Wellington bomber was returning from a raid over Germany. In bad weather and with only one engine working it crashed onto a hill in the Ashdown Forest, killing the six crew members. A little while after the crash the mother of Sgt Vic Sutton, the 2nd pilot, came to live in the nearby village of Nutley and had a simple wooden cross placed near the site of the crash in memory of her son and his five comrades.

Over the years the Forest Rangers have looked after the memorial, replacing the original cross with one of stone, planting a small garden and finally building a wall to keep the forest sheep away from the plants.

Each year in November, on Remembrance Sunday, hundreds of people gather on the sloping hillside to honour the memory of these men and all others who gave their lives and futures so that we may live free from being terrorised by evil men who wish us harm.

When you go home
Tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today

posted by david in History,UK,War and have Comments Off on The Airman’s Grave

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