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Friday, 06 July 2012


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Well, let's look on the bright side. Soon the plonkers in Whitehall/Westminster will not be able to jump into these nice little wars they are so fond of. Because they won't have the men and equipment. We'll just have to let these Arabs and Persians get on with their main pleasure in life - killing each other.

Precisely so, 'Envelope', a 'consumation devoutly to be desired'!

What? The glorious units gonna be put on your fleet?

Good thing you already notified me 'bout Steady the Buffs and what that meant David. Otherwise when I'd gone all bonkers on this or that - you'd probably had to resort to something along the lines of your Chris Huhne.

As Schopenhauer (more or less) said, the honor of a nation depends on the opinion, not only that it may be trusted (its credit), but also that it is to be feared. Something that here in Europe, we seem to have forgotten.

Well, based on Ortega's comment I suppose I can ignore this:

(Yes, yes I realize David, no need to admonish me. I have taken a break haven't I?)

Which wars have Western countries won since 1945? Korea was a draw, Vietnam a defeat. We've won tiddlers such as the Malaya Emergency, the Falklands, and the little war against Indonesia (I don't even know the name of it); otherwise only the first Gulf War springs to mind. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have been turned into defeats by converting them from wars of conquest/punishment into wars of occupation.

I don't deny that many potential wars will have been deterred.

Anyway, many people with an instinct to regret the shrinkage will refrain from doing so for the reason given by backofanenvelope - it's foolish to leave armed forces waiting around to be exploited by a demented PM such as Tony Blair.

Well DM, when we invaded Grenada (the one in the Caribbean) we clearly won. Can't think of any others offhand though.

Oh, did we win in the Balkans, Libya? If so that'd be three.

The black cloud on the other side of my silver lining (see above) is the certainty that the politicians will leap into another war; one in which we are outnumbered and beaten.

I forgive you, JK, because that article by Kaplan was very interesting.

Ortega, it seems to me that we (meaning Europe) are doing far more harm to our (potential) enemies (Russia, China, North Africa) by allowing our economies to fail than anything we might threaten with our armed forces. As Kaplan points out in JK's link, the entire Libyan adventure was 80% the work of the USA not Europe.

DM, I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you! "the little war against Indonesia (I don't even know the name of it)". I will have you know, sir, that I took part in that 'Confrontation', it was called, and it was hell, sheer hell. Of course, I actually contributed my part from Singapore which was several hundred miles away across the sea from the shooting but even so, it was pretty tough going. Do you know that back in those days we didn't have air-conditioning in our office?

JK, you are aquiring the art of irony - Grenada!!! And, no, we didn't "win" in Libya, we simply enabled one bunch of thieving, murderous rascals to take over from the preceding lot. The newcomers are likely to prove even more troublesome than the old lot.

'Envelope', you are right never to underestimate the folly of politicians but 'if you ain't got the means you can't achieve the ends' - er, I hope!

I also took part in the "confrontation" affair. Flying very low over the jungle in a Shackleton. Those were the days. And of course, Shackletons were air conditioned. Well, they had lots of holes in them.......

"Shackletons"! Oh God, that dates both of us, 'Envelope', you flew 'em and I remember 'em!

For what little it's worth- the British Empire was originally built by people seeking personal profit, usually acting as part of a company. The American settlers didn't see themselves as founding the first Empire. The East India company wanted a profit- the conquest of India was just a chore they carried out in pursuit of that profit.
Only when we started to see Empire as an end in itself did the Empire start to founder. It seems obvious therefore that we should again pursue profit for ourselves and our nation- and likely we'll become great again.
One thing's certain, no nation ever became great by dwelling on its past, however glorious.
That being said, I'm not convinced that cutting our military strength is in our best interest- after all, we in Western Europe have been over dependant on US forces since 1945, and if Europe truly wants to be independent of the US that has to end. Also if we in Britain wish to retain the right to self government, we also need to retain the means to fight for it.

As I said, JK, we won "tiddlers". Nothing of substance bar First Gulf.

Will O attack Iran just before the election?

"DM, I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you! "the little war against Indonesia (I don't even know the name of it)". I will have you know, sir, that I took part in that 'Confrontation', it was called, and it was hell, sheer hell. ..."

Seem to recall some post of your's David, something about, now what was it? ... Uhm, burning the brown stuff under the latrines or somesuch?

That qualifies as taking part in a, er, Confrontation?

Did'ja get a medal David? I'd like to read again that gem of an adventure. Any chance you can search it out in your archives? I've forgotten the post's title.


Great regiments all.

A symptom not the problem.

Hope the keep enough soldiers ro train the new battalions if Europe falls falls apart.

About all these wars we didn't win. We as in The West. Korea a draw? Try telling the North Koreans that. Vietnam. Seems the communists lost that given that they are all capitalists now. Iraq. Bit early to tell about Iraq; but at least they aren't invading their neighbours any more. Libya, still a bit early to tell, but they are also rather too busy to bother anyone else.

Issued as a cheerful thought for the day.

JK,you need to understand that British gentlemen do not talk about their medals, it's not the done thing. I don't talk about mine because I was never given one. If I had, I would talk non-stop about it because, of course, I am not a gentleman!

'E' for Effort, 'Envelope', for trying to cheer us up - but still a fail!

Pat, up above, touches upon the key to it all. National strength is based entirely on economic strength, by which I mean that economic muscle must precede military muscle. I feel a new post fermenting and I will try to get round to it later.

I am going to shoot a few holes in your argument. The economically pathetic Anglo-Saxons seized the prosperous Romano-British economy. The Vikings, dirt poor, took about half Anglo-Saxon England. The Normans seized the whole lot, Danish and Anglo-Saxon. None of these successful invaders were rich, in fact, their poverty was the driver.

Now look here, 'Envelope', you are only permitted to enter these hallowed columns on the understanding that you maintain a slavish and servile agreement with everything I write. 'DM' is permitted to cavil but then he's the 'Fool' to my 'Lear'! I will take your points on in my post - when I get round to writing it!

OK. Cutting thru' my waffle, what I meant was that there are two ways of getting a successful economy. You can work hard and build it up - or you can pinch it. We cleverly combined both methods.

Well DM, as to whether O will initiate an attack on Iran within the next five months, not if he can help it!

I'll avoid long-winded convolutionating pretzel-twisting expounding (leaving those sorts of things to D&N's G-in-C [Gasbag in Chief]) but the problem for all concerned at the moment is Syria. Can't go gallivanting willy-nilly into Iran without some resolution to that area of the Levant in Syria.

In a word - Spillover. But on that:

Thot to add - got sidetracked DM - that Putin/Israeli meeting was likely what got our State Department's attention 'n getting the Karachi pipeline re-opened.

FOX mainly, but "our" MSM was beginning to take notice we [the US] were hesitant confronting Russia (the mostly diplomatic-ignorant US public mind).

With the Pakistani re-supply routes closed, the Russians had us by "the short 'n curlies" had to transit supplies to Afghanistan via Russian routes. Couldn't apply pressure on Russia viz Syria.

So we [the US] needed an expedient - Hillary exlained "We're sorry for killing your Paki border troops" - of course more complicated than that 'cause of a component known in "diplo-circles" as culpability that being absent all the parties avoided what the US populace would "understand" heh. The Paki populace so's not to "lose face."

What's lost on the greater American public is the recent strengthening of China/Pakistan alliance. India of course.

Americans generally expect "We want it now - and we want it immediately" so there's always that component to consider when asking such questions as "Will O attack Iran before the elections?"

Mostly the problem is for the rest of the world - not least the West in general - the United States is an infant. You UK guys much less so. Then there's China.

Forgive if I'm obtuse - first time it's rained here in 44 days. First time in 37 days the temperature's been less at 4:02pm [CDT] than 116°F - I'm suffering from hypothermia.

And there's a Tornado Warning.

One day, the quisling politicians who've done this will answer to the people - on the end of a rope.

I hope.

A plague on all their houses.

I thot Duffin (kin to any Duffs you're aware of?)

Anywise I thot that was s'posed to be, a pox.

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