30 September 2009

Iranian Evasion

Testing a feature of Blogger that I haven’t yet utilised, namely creating posts by email.


The discovery that Iran had a secret nuclear facility is rather alarming. They’re clearly being very sneaky. That said, considering the likely results of an attack on Iran by Israel or anyone else, I am not inclined to military action as yet. That said, I favour economic sanctions, as it’s time to hit the mullahs where it hurts.


I don’t want a nuclear-armed Iran. In fact, I don’t want nuclear-armed anybody, although I’m not a unilateralist.

26 September 2009

"The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret!"

I knew about this already, but still it's interesting reading.

There's actually a system of similar purpose in British service, known as the Last Resort letters. These letters from the PM are placed in a safe on each Vanguard missile submarine. In the event that the UK ceases to exist, the letters are opened and the crew follow his or her instructions, which are probably one of four options.

1. Take out Moscow (or whoever)
2. Contact the Americans or the Australians (if they're still around)
3. Do nothing
4. Use your own judgement.

I'm sure other nuclear powers have their own systems.

18 September 2009

Historical Unemployment Figures

Just a little study I'm doing, partly to make myself feel better about the recession and Labour's likely electoral defeat next year.

17 September 2009

Obama and Missile Defence

Obama's announcement cancelling the "third site" in Central Europe today is not an end to missile defence by any means, contrary to how many right-wing sources are reporting this.

He's just moving to another method, namely AEGIS and the SM-3.

I'm actually a supporter of missile defence. I'd rather have protection than deterrence, with all that entails.

16 September 2009

I sunk your Plucky Comic Relief!

They're making a movie of the board game Battleship.

I'd say the world has gone mad, but that happened years ago.

11 September 2009

9/11 Eight Years On

It was when I went to the Ground Zero exhibition and was told that the debris was ten storeys high that it really, really sunk in.

May we never forget.

08 September 2009

Dropping A Blood Clot On Her

I'm not entirely sure whether the demise of a certain female character in a certain UK crime drama last night was poor writing or not.

Having a character die off-screen from a medical complication does seem a bit strange, but then again it's a subtle statement about life. People don't always get better and surgery isn't perfect.

Let's hope we're not dealing with a Replacement Scrappy...

05 September 2009

Realpolitik Stinks- Libya and Afghanistan

So, we've had a convicted terrorist (although there are doubts about his guilt) essentially released from prison to secure an oil deal and bring a former state sponsor of terrorism in from the cold.

These are the choices you sadly have to make though in international politics. I don't personally think al-Megrahi should have been released on compassionate grounds or as part of a "prisoner transfer arrangement", but I understand why Gordon Brown did it.

Meanwhile, the election in Afghanistan looks to have been seriously corrupt, on many sides. I hope, frankly, this ends up in a run-off and that Karzai loses. The "marital rape" law that he allowed to be enacted is fundamentally wrong and should be repealed immediately.

That said, I still support our mission in Afghanistan, provided we put a lot of pressure on Karzai and the warlords. There are many Afghans who are not corrupt, oppose these restrictive laws and they deserve a decent future that does not involve the Taliban. We definitely need an altering of strategy.

However, my view on an exit strategy is this:
  1. Define the job
  2. Do the job
  3. Go when it's done

03 September 2009

70 Years Ago Part Two

Chamberlain's announcement of war from 1939.

If I'd have heard that in 1939, I'd have been very worried. The announcements after hardly sound reassuring.

01 September 2009

70 Years Ago Today...

Hitler invaded Poland, starting the Second World War in Europe.

The Polish people would suffer tremendously in the six years to come, as 7 million Poles were killed in the fighting or murdered by the Nazis in their "Final Solution".

Poles played a key part in defeating Hitler, delaying his invasion of France until spring 1940 by their resistance in Poland, flying in the Battle of Britain, fighting in other theatres such as Italy and, perhaps most importantly, providing key information on Enigma.

As we remember the destruction caused by one man's megalomania, may we also remember those who gave everything to stop it.