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Sunday, 09 April 2017


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Thanks for the reference to the book by Bell. The Gallipoli campaign is of particular interest "down here" it being the [almost] first campaign this Nation fought in. My maternal grandfather was a Sergeant in the Australian Field Artillery at ANZAC Cove and I have his correspondence between him and my grandmother from there and later from France and Belgium.

I will be particularly interested in his assessment of the Suvla Bay landing and the inaction of the landing force which led, in Australian opinion, to heavy losses due to the inaction at Suvla.

ANZAC Day, 25th April, is our national day of remembrance - more so than November 11th

Perhaps I should explain the "almost". Australia became a single Nation with Federation in 1901 as prior to that the continent was a group of autonomous colonies.

The colonies in their own right sent troops to the Boer War who became "Australian" with Federation and then fought as a national force rather than individual colonial troops.

Our involvement in "foreign wars" actually began with the Maori Wars in 1860 with the deployment of HMCS Victoria to New Zealand.

AussieD, I will let you know what I think of the book in due course. In the meantime, I still can't quite work out how Churchill managed to get over that fiasco, and several others in which he was involved, and still managed to become PM? An extraordinary man!

"She simply rolled her eyes which I think was very disrespectful!"?

David, she did take note of how weed free the area was didn't she? Surely! So now its insects?

Duffers I have no doubt that he was "the man for the moment" in WW2 and had the gumption to go to France as a fighting man in WW1 when he was ousted from power. For that alone he deserves the utmost respect.

His "Gallipoli Campaign" still attracts some bitter comment in military circles down here due to our involvement and the needless casualties. As a sailor I cannot for the life of me see how he thought he could force "the narrows" with ships in the face of minefields and shore batteries. If the capitol ships had "stood off" and hammered the shit out of the fixed shore batteries it may [and only may] have worked.

For an Aussie perspective on the Gallipoli campaign,and in particular the sacrifice of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade, I can recommend Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You by John Hamilton.

Incidentally this year sees the centenary of one of the greatest "cavalry" charges in Commonwealth Military History. The charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade [who were actually mounted infantry] on 31 October, 1979, to capture Beersheeba in what is now Israel and turn the Turkish flank.

"Does 'The Donald' know something we do not, I wonder? Or did he just get out of bed on the wrong side again?"

He might know something, but it might just have been an opportunity to give Putin a slap. American strategists probably think that he needs one, and the enduring narrative that Trump is somehow too close to Putin makes it politic to do so. Taking a whack at the Crimea would be incredibly risky, so far better to hit his most visible proxy dictator.

Either way, it seems to be another case of America sneezing, and we dutifully catching a cold. Our government is certainly becoming increasingly anti-Russia, with Boris staying at home and Michael Fallon having his say. One hopes there is a clear strategy in there somewhere, but it all looks to be an unholy mess.

The charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade [who were actually mounted infantry] on 31 October, 1979,

That's either a typo, or they were incredibly brave men!

(I've just Googled it, and joking aside they were incredibly brave men anyway. One telling detail is that they rode at the enemy defensive lines with hand-held bayonets...)


Look in your Spam-folder?

Recall David your old commentor Able?

& Whyaxye? Read the comments below


Trump doesn't know as much as you do about foreign policy, but the man understands people and the media. Americans just love to see things blow up:

Yes, JK, I often wonder what happened to Able, he was a very interesting fella'.

Able remains "interesting" David. I haven't "heard directly" from him for some period but, owing to in-common-acquaintances, I think it acceptable that gets mentioned; if only to reassure.


"Does 'The Donald' know something we do not, I wonder? Or did he just get out of bed on the wrong side again?"
I'm not sure how to process these questions. Are they rhetorical? Serious? Attempted humor? This being Sunday rather than Monday, I'll ignore the latter possibility.

The Don is a married man and, therefore, he gets out on the side of the bed that he normally sleeps on, unless he and his wife had such wild sex that they ended up sleeping on each other's sides instead. Having seen pix of the lovely First Lady of the United States, I suppose he could have gotten out of bed on the wrong side yet again.

I don't see how it's possible that The Don knows any more than what you chaps learn from the BBC and/or the "newspapers" you read the following morning. After all, that is where all the American security agencies get all their information, aside what they can glean from the diatribes at the Daily Kos.

Pur-lease, Henry, do not remind me of the lovely Melania who, despite my frequent letters, remains faithful to the dreadful Donald - can't think why!

Also, please refrain from mentioning my ignorance on almost everything, a fact of which I am constantly reminded either by 'JK', my archivist, or actual experience!

David, AussieD, an American's perspective.

Strictly speaking, JK, Canadian but I will watch it later when I have finished his book.

Well then, "strictly speaking" David, the Americas stretch from the Arctic Circle north to, Tierra del Fuego down south.

That final "rumble" is a good one!


When I was a stamp collector (in my youth), the Americas stretched from the Arctic Circle north south to Tierra del Fuego. Have Earth's poles switched positions?

Apologies Henry but you're simply unfamiliar with the hillbilly vernacular.

Not that there's anything articularly wrong about either whichway neither of us'uns gets a'crost.

David & WW,

That batshit-crazy old buzzard will outlive us all. Just for spite. But, as the execrable 0bimb0 used to say, we can always hope for change ...


Ah, I see what you meant to say: The Americas stretch from the Arctic Circle up north to Tierra del Fuego down south. If you add the word "up" it makes sense. My apologies ...

Well Henry, Direckshuns as we both (I reckon) know - as the blue orb spins its way through space, are relative. That's why I ended simply with the "down" part a'cause that's how, again relatively speaking, we'uns hangs our paper maps.

If such hangin' weren't the case we'd all be reduced to standing on our heads to be able to square decipher the print don'cha reckon?


Without the missing word "up", one could read what you wrote and assume the missing word was "heading", as in "heading north".

Moreover, everybody already knows that the Arctic Circle is "up north" [its opposite, the Antarctic Circle is "down south" where Antarctica is located, which everybody knows contains the South Pole].

So if you had written "Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego" there would have been no confusion at all, because you were referring to North, Central, and South America, inclusive, as "the Americas".

Whyaxye the "usual" method of attack by the Light Horse was to ride to the "start line", dismount and leave the horses with designated handlers and then attack on foot with the rifle and bayonet.

From accounts of the Beersheba attack the Turks thought that would occur on this occasion as well and were caught flat footed as a result when the charge continued. As infantry the Light Horse did not carry swords and so used the old long bayonet instead.

There is a quite good Australian film called "The Lighthorsemen" which culminates in the Beersheba charge. Should be on Youtube.

There seems to be rather a large intelligence gap - particularly in the public domain - when it comes to Syria and the "Muddle East." When it comes to chemical weapons, what is the capability of rebel forces to use and deploy this stuff? Presumably, some sort of storage facility would be needed. I am guessing that we are talking some sort of binary chemical weapon system, otherwise the chemicals would degrade rapidly. What was the delivery system for the latest attack? Was it artillery, or was it air? If the latter, do anti Assad forces have that capability at all?

Can anyone on this forum shed any light on any of this? If so, I will read your posts with the greatest of interest.


I'm in possession of "a bunch of stuff" regarding the capabilities of er, "both sides" circa the 2013 reported incident - along with comms shared via email. Now finding precisely where I've got the stuff stashed/filed away ... That will take some time and will likely best be done via the route you've heard from me before - David of course. *All* open-sourced by the way - meaning: the info was available its just that, well, the devil being in the details most people if they lack the affinity for this sort of thing; what usually happens is most depend on their preferred media to inform them that which, to what they were already inclined to.

*Both (All) sides were/are capable. The 2013 incident occurred as reported "in a heavily agriculturized district" ... Ghouta as I recall ... anyway the specific chem-analysis (ie sampling was done haphazardly, unprofessionally which, as you might imagine leads to tampering/degradation, makes it suspect again I figure "knowing you as I do" easily imagined).

Signatures of (in the 2013 incident) Sarin, given such conditions of sampling/timeliness of collection, are commonly mis-identified.

I'm personally pressed for time this date Richard, this was my sole intended blog destination until later in my first available opportunity (US CST) (don't get the big-head David) 'cause there's some stuff/duty I must needs attend to fairly quickly.


Unless you fervently believe financial institutions should have more freedom, don't be too sure you'll like Gorsuch. Indications are he's more of a corporate than social conservative. To quote a bona fide rightist outlet:

While being questioned by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on the destruction of unborn children, Gorsuch stated “the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

When Durbin asked if he accepted that, the judge replied, “That’s the law of the land. I accept the law of the land, senator, yes.”

And when pressed on “same-sex marriage,” Gorsuch acknowledged the Supreme Court had ruled such marriages are protected by the Constitution. He declared Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down “same-sex marriage” bans nationwide in 2015, to be “absolutely settled law.”

There will be some important cases coming up this year. You'd be wise to defer celebration until at least December.


Excerpting from your above, “the Supreme Court of the United States has held" I'm quite sure [now Justice on the Supremes - the Court, not the girl-singers group] Gorsuch, being above all else, a lawyer answered Dick's question *to the best of his [then, from the Appellate] legal ability.*

But you're correct Bob, it's probably best to defer because ... well as Chuck Berry said it, pretty good;


The wingers are probably just nervous because of Souter, but Berry still sounds good.

Chag Sameach TBH

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