A Defence Review 72

The defence review is admitting the bleeding obvious – that there is no real danger of armed invasion of the UK, and that terrorism does not pose an “existential threat” to the UK and our way of life. That is a real advance, because Blair, Reid and Blunkett were determined to convince us that it was an existential threat, “on the scale of the Second World War” as Reid once ludicrously opined of a menace that killed under 70 people inthe UK. What did become a threat to our way of life was New Labour’s hyping of that threat to impose unprecedented authoritarianism.

By contrast the current review is almost rational. Everyone seems very pleased at the highlighting of cyber attack, though I tend to think this too is ramped up a la swine flu. But at least nobody is suggesting drone attacks on weddings to take out laptops – at least yet. I like the whole Dr Who sound of “Cyber attack”. We should prioritise Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in defence spending (sorry, that will mean nothing to anyone under 50. I was 52 on Sunday).

But do not expect any further rationality. Trident missiles are no use against any actual threat, but we will be told we still need them, in reality because they make British politicians feel they are more powerful and important than German and Japanese ones.

The aircraft carriers are important to our ability to support US invasions abroad.They have no other purpose. The big question so far ducked is whether we have abandoned the disastrous “Blair doctrine” of liberal interventionism. or bombing foreigners to make them better people. The unspoken presumption isthat we are still maintaining this option.

72 thoughts on “A Defence Review

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  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Quite right ‘Alfred’ carriers, certainly in the Falklands war, were floating airfields.

    I always remember Admiral Woodward privately saying, ” “Lose Invincible and the operation in severely jeopardized, lose Hermes and the operation is over”.

    We were desperately waiting for Illustrious to complete sea trials at the time because she was fitted with the expensive Phalanx ‘close in’ weapon system with a rate of fire good enough to shoot down Exocet missiles, a threat so severe it prompted a secret mission by the intelligence services pretending to be arms dealers and I believe selling ‘dud’ missiles.

    Even so the threat from Argentina’s submarine torpedoes was a constant concern and passive listening for torpedoes was 24/7. There was a rumour at the time that America would lend us USS Eisenhower with a highly secret American ‘crucial crew’ dressed in British No, 8’s if we lost a carrier and had to re-group (I cannot confirm this).

    The threat from our own nuclear powered ‘hunter killer’ submarines and the sinking of the ‘Belgrano’ by one of them, kept the Argie ships in coastal waters throughout the war.

    The Falklands and Iraq seemed to prove we need these ‘big boats’ and the rumour is that Clinton has promised to ‘rent’ space on the new carriers to help cover the enormous costs – but of course that is a decade on from now.

    In memory of ‘Eggie’ RIP lost when Sheffield was hit by an Exocet missile.

  • Anonymous

    I heard Gareth Pierce speak tonight at the London Review Bookshop. She has a quiet voice and speaks slowly but as she peers out from under her long fringe, you are aware of her burning intensity and her determination to achieve justice for those British citizens who have been tortured either indirectly or directly by our agents.

    She spoke disparagingly of Blair/Brown/ Straw/et al who were complicit in these cruel and unlawful practices and then of the recent speeches of Cameron and Hague which sound good but she thinks they have no idea how difficult it would be to right these wrongs in what if a very secret society. Until we face up to this fact and make changes, nothing will happen. Even Cameron’s inquiry into the security services will be held in secret.

    It is important to obtain all the evidence, who, where and when, and she cited Craig’s evidence on torture in Uzbekistan as being most important, especially Straw’s intervention and the FCO involvement.

    An amazing woman especially as she has been involved in these types of cases since the 70s starting with the Guildford Four. She must have heard many harrowing words over the years.

    Her book is available – Verso –

    Dispatches From the Dark Side


  • Clark

    Paul Johnston,

    Microsoft Windows is a big part of the problem. Windows is a liability because it is so easy to infect. Consider a spreading virus. Each infected machine must infect at least one more machine before the virus gets detected and removed, or the infection will die out. Windows is so easily infected that viruses spread in epidemics. The network of Windows machines can act as a malware delivery system for any would-be cyber attacker. This is precisely the attack method that Stuxnet employed.

    Re: “If you are stupid enough to put something important with an external ip address”, again, look at Stuxnet. It used Internet-connected Windows systems to get close, and jumped to non-connected Windows via USB sticks.

    The authorities are daft to let this continue. Yes, any system can be compromised, but some systems are stronger than others. Windows in particular is very weak, and yet it is officially encouraged in every aspect of our lives.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Thanks for the link somebody – yes an amazing women.

    Check out:


    I strongly believe that Britain can only ‘climb out of the hole’ we are in if, and only if, we apologise on the world stage for the ill-conceived and devastating ‘war’ that destroyed the sovereign state of Iraq, punish the instigators and move back into a new, revised liberal democracy based on truth instead of the lies and deception that have permeated our security services in their struggle against a ‘demon’ created by their own doing.

    This was a vision of Robin Cook before his demise and I have now taken up the challenge.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    As I said before Alfred, you do embrace militarism, and you start by stating:-

    “Given the enormous complexity of today’s military systems it would certainly require more than a decade to rebuild a competitive military establishment, assuming that were even possible. In other words, to run the military down to accommodate more domestic spending — mostly socially destructive welfare programs and unproductive bureaucratic expansion — without major risk to national security requires greater foresight than possessed by Churchill and the rest of Britain’s political leadership during the 30’s.”

    What is a “competitive military establishment” but an engagement in an arms race to be ahead of most other nations? It seems that the Americans can rationalise their military expenditures because they are in pursuit of Empire ?” not so sure that there will be another British Empire in my life time.

    Indeed there is a provocative tone to my use of the term “militarism”. I don’t hear you advocating merely the use of a standing military force for primarily defensive purposes, but you seem to embrace the idea of going well beyond merely defensive military capacity. The way I see the issue is that once the use of force takes precedence for the settlement of international disputes; the standing army far exceeds the merely defensive needs of a nation; there is a national ethos making the political directorate unquestioningly accommodative of the demands on budgetary expenditures for military purposes; there are engagements in wars of aggression ( e.g. the invasion of Iraq); and a hierarchical designation of the political elected representative as “commander in chief” becomes actually subservient and deferential to the military establishment ?” then we are in the sphere of militarism.

    Alfred you reason:-

    “The idea that since Britain has no external enemies she can simply abandon here defenses seems extremely naive. Britain’s ten-year rule, instituted by Winston Churchill in 1919, which postulated that Britain would not be engaged in a major war for ten years, was not abandoned until 1933, at least four years too late. As a result of such thinking, Britain’s defense budget was, according to Niall Ferguson, cut by a third in the ten years to 1932, while French and Italian spending rose by almost two-thirds.”

    Fine, that is an argument for adequate defensive military expenditure. Let’s now consider:-

    1. Expenditures on more nuclear armaments ?” can we use that on any enemy with nuclear capacity ?” or ?” rationally can we deploy nuclear weapons at all. What use the additional expenditure when a nation can blow the world up one time over, going on to two, three, four times the destructive capacity and beyond? What use the extra expenditure on such weapons of MAD ( mutually assured destruction) capacity if ever used?

    2. Conventional stockpiles, such as the US has of chemical, biological, conventional, and nuclear weaponry ?” where is the rationale in increasing such expenditures ?” when the social and domestic fabric of a country is decaying. Is the opportunity cost better served on guns or butter?

    3. What use all these expenditures when ultimately a single determined person can replicate what the Oklahoma terrorist bomber did when he blew up the Federal Building? So these weapons at all act as any form of deterrent against a terrorist attack?

    And Alfred sees the downside in terms:-

    “In other words, to run the military down to accommodate more domestic spending — mostly socially destructive welfare programs and unproductive bureaucratic expansion — without major risk to national security requires greater foresight than possessed by Churchill and the rest of Britain’s political leadership during the 30’s”

    But, must it be that inevitably given the needs of the people versus the demands of the military, necessary domestic expenditures ( e.g. housing, education, infrastructure, hospitals and the like) must be typecast as some sort of misguided choice to the detriment and jeopardy of military safety?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred and all,

    To be fair to Alfred, here is a more rigorous and detailed analysis of some of the related issues. Squarely on the chin, ‘ol chap, no low blows from me…

    This is an extract from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute:-


    “Military expenditure, arms transfers and development

    One of the most commonly discussed issues in relation to military expenditure is the diversion of resources such expenditure may represent away from other, more productive areas such as health, education and human and economic development. Certainly, in a world where so many people lack access to the basic necessities of life, the more than $1.5 trillion spent on the military worldwide (according to SIPRI figures for 2009) may well be considered an obscene amount by many people.

    However, while all expenditure undeniably carries an opportunity cost, the relationship between military expenditure and economic development, in particular spending on areas such as health and education, is not as clear or straight-forward as this ‘guns vs butter’ trade-off suggests.

    There is an extensive debate in both academic and policy literature regarding the various economic and developmental impacts of military expenditure in general and the arms trade in particular. SIPRI, in collaboration with the UK development agency Oxfam, has also been engaged in research in this area, making contributions towards a 2008 Oxfam report on the Arms Trade Treaty and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), with a SIPRI policy paper forthcoming.

    The question may be approached both from the point of view of the direct impact of levels of military expenditure or arms imports on a country’s economic growth, spending on social services such as health and education, levels of international debt, and other economic or developmental variables; and from the perspective of the processes by which military budgets and procurement plans are determined, considering issues such as the existence of proper defence planning, transparency and accountability of spending, civilian control, and corruption. Problems in these areas may lead to wasteful spending with no relation to a country’s security needs.

    These issues are discussed below briefly. A more detailed survey of the literature may be found in The developmental impact of military budgeting and procurement, a report prepared by SIPRI for Oxfam UK in 2008. A SIPRI policy paper presenting some more detailed case studies relating to some of these issues is forthcoming.”

  • Courtenay Barnett

    I am suggesting Alfred that excessive expenditure on military hardware, rather than discourage conflagration, actually promotes wars.

    If for example, Chavez perceives the US Empire as a threat, and the US continues to be provocative, then not he makes alliances with Russia and China and purschases large military stockpiles from Russia.

    In an region, the Americas where are no hot interstate conflicts – such developments are to be lamented.

    Surely, the long-term objection for humankind rationally has to be peace. It is barbaric, primitive, savage, to be engaging in these wars of aggression.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Up,up, up and more military expenditures all the way to war…

    Table 1. Military expenditure of the Gulf states, 2000?”2009

    Figures in the last column (marked *) are in current US$ m. for 2009. All other figures are in US$ m. at constant (2008) prices and

    exchange rates. Figures are for calendar years.

    Country 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2009*

    Bahrain 368 387 462 531 535 529 576 609 651 [721] [742]

    Iran 7 409 8 175 6 148 7 195 9 109 11 296 12 233 10 158 9 174 . . . .

    Iraq . . . . . . . . . . (2 845) (2 383) (2 097) (5 324) (3 814) (4 156)

    Kuwait 4 023 3 954 4 080 4 396 4 732 4 580 4 550 5 109 4 660 4 589 4 485

    Oman 2 621 3 049 3 140 3 303 3 713 4 476 4 786 4 849 4 617 4 003 4 018

    Qatar . . . . 1 588 1 602 1 476 1 569 1 657 2 020 . . . . . .

    Saudi Arabia 23 523 25 053 21 995 22 157 24 632 29 680 33 809 38 946 38 223 39 257 41 273

    UAE [10 940] [10 575] [9 725] [10 201] [11 016] [10 254] [12 098] [13 052] . . . . . .

    . . = data not available; ( ) = uncertain figure; [ ] = SIPRI estimate.

    Source: SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, .

  • Ruth


    I don’t think they created the demon. I think the demon’s always been there but the demon expanded hugely in size in the early 90s after the loss of 120 billion pounds in UK investment overseas which was supposed to yield a dividend of 5 billion a year. I believe much of this loss was large sums of money missing from the Export Credit Guarantee Department.

    I believe the intelligence services in their role to maintain the economic security of the UK and of course line the pockets of the elite and their servants have been involved in all sorts of illegal activities including excise and vat fraud.

    And today the people pay the price for the gross corruption of their rulers.

  • TonyF

    All this talk of threat evaluation in defining defence needs for the next decades is entertaining but idle.

    What defence do we have against the banks raiding our public funds? They have done a lot more damage than any suicide bombers and they did it with undeniable evidence of inside help from those within US and UK governments.

    My guess is that at least half the current UK deficit is down to the economic terrorism of the banks. The rest is down to optimistic overspending from the previous government being less cautious than it should have been.

    When will the Coalition wake up to the obvious that many of the British public will be more than unhappy about the injustice of being bled dry to pay bankers and bank owners?

    In the end crooked US and UK Debt Derivative and Hedge Fund manipulators have done ten or a hundred times more damage to our society than any distant Muslim peasants demonised in our media.

  • Alfred

    Courtenay Barnett,

    Re: “As I said before Alfred, you do embrace militarism”

    Don’t talk rot, Courtenay. Just look up “militarism” in the dictionary and then try to say something sensible.

    A longer answer to Dreoilin and in effect the rebuttal of Courtenay’s ad hominem attack is this.

    Nobody wants to attack you if you are strong unless, that is, you really piss them off. In the seventeenth century France was the World’s greatest power, but Louis 14th was an arrogant jerk who managed to piss off everyone by attacking Spanish posessions in the low country, occupying Luxembourg, brutally occupying the Palatinate, inciting the Turks to attack Austria and bribing James II who, thus financed, sought to defy parliament and make himself absolute. However, in England, fear of France was so intense that James was compelled to enter into the triple alliance with Holland and Sweden against the French interest before he sparked the revolution that brought William of Orange to the English throne and resulted in the pan-European alliance that eventually humilated France.

    The parallel between Louis 14 and America’s inperial presidency is striking and the reaction similar. Thus we see the Russia, China, Iran alliance. We see Russia pushing back hard against America’s ally Georgia over Abkhazia, China pushing back hard against America’s key Asian ally Japan over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands. We see Venezuela diverting oil from US markets to China, and a leftist government antithetical to the American interest prospering in Brasil.

    The solution is not to throw away our arms. When a new Armada is steaming up the English Channel or 50,000 tanks of a latter day Hitler, Stalin or Genghis Khan are rolling across Western Europe, it will do no good for Courtenay Barnett to stand on the white cliffs of Dover with a placard saying “We are all one species (Homo sapiens).”

    What we need is to remain strong while not only keeping old friends but making new ones. I don’t believe that any sane government would attack NATO unless intolerably provoked. Near intolerable provocation is what we have been engaged in for the last nine years.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Alfred – you are talking past the point. Going smoothly down the side but not at all engaging it.

    A. I accept the right to self-defence.

    B. I suggested that the amounts spent beyond defensive needs does not accomplish security and is not really necessary.

    C. I raised questions about the usefullness of certain types of armaments – namely – nuclear.

    By “going down the side” you do not at all bite into the arugments and observations made – now – have you Alfred.

    Don’t be shy and thin skinned. You are pretty brutal at times. I teased you, but the meat of it is not ad hominem.

    PS. Thought I described “miltarism” reasonably well. Why – don’t you have a copy of the Oxford English dictionary?

  • anno


    I appreciate your taking up the cause of apologising for Iraq, and penalising the leaders who jumped us onto the US war policy regardless of all advice given.

    But, even contributors on this blog are 1/ Islamophobic and 2/ fatalistic about our ability to survive without grabbing oil. They are not ready to condemn the present continuing theft of oil from Iraq as a consequence of previous violent aggression.

    Cyber war as a weapon of the victims of our aggression, is unlikely to diminish as a result of any apology for any previous aggressions, whether two weeks or two centuries ago.

    Our self-created enemies would need to see evidence of post-liberal friendliness to Muslim nations, which means an end to political correctness and a real recognition the inherent value of Islam as a civilising force in the world. Whereas even the contibutors to this blog like to retain their Churchillian chops, by defining Islam as essentially uncivilised and therefore expendable in the process of our surviving as a first world country.

    The kind of apology that I would like to see, is an apology for considering the lives and life-experiences of ‘the other’ as expendable by their millions, while placing the lives of ‘ourselves’ as requiring a standard of living previously only experienced by kings.

    Peace is no longer achievable by mere apologies. That is because the Zionist madmen who inspired the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan did not want to achieve peace. They wanted to be floating on clouds with Jesus while Armaggeddon was raging beneath.

    Peace will not return, after the declaration of the War on Terror/ Islam, until the thieving West perceives that however much oil they may gain, they have lost their moral authority. They will have to concede that if you want to retain your moral authority, there are some things you have to refrain from doing.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    A global arms race ought not to be permitted to proceed unquestioned and unencumbered. There is far more sense in considering the alternatives for a path to peace by informing people about the configurations of power around global arms sales, be this sales from the US, UK, Russia, China or wherever. The truth is that security does not simply come with having bigger and better guns and armaments: the security of the world, in the sense of not getting to the point of more major wars or the brink of nuclear disaster is not merely an idealistic wish, it is imperative for human survival. Simply noting that big powers produce and sell arms and use smaller proxy powers ( e.g. the US with Georgia vis-a-vis Russia) should be the point of central concern, and there should be a realisation that the global military systems are driven by factors beyond the mere idea of national security. More is to be gained by a global effort at deescalating arms production and sales than increasing. What logical use of producing more weaponry, some such as some of the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons that simply can’t be used? Do these types of expenditures from national budgets bring and guarantee greater national security?

  • Alfred


    Re: “Thought I described “miltarism” reasonably well. Why – don’t you have a copy of the Oxford English dictionary?”

    Yes, as it happens, I have the latest edition of the SOED, a gift from the Oxford University Press.

    There it defines militarist as:

    A soldier, a warrior; a person who studies military science; a person having military or militaristic attitudes and ideals, i.e., a person who attaches undue importance to military values and military strength.

    As an illustration they quote Adlai E. Stevenson: “Much of the World has come to think of us as militarist and … a menace to peace.”

    First, the primary meanings — none of which are applicable to me, are largely obsolete as the set of definitions listed here indicate:


    Second, consistent with the widest acceptation of the term, I stick to the view that you were calling me a warmonger, which would be higly offensive if it were not highly absurd.

    Re your admirably concise points (a) through (c)

    A. I accept the right to self-defence.

    Well I wasn’t denying it.

    B. I suggested that the amounts spent beyond defensive needs does not accomplish security and is not really necessary.

    Defensive need means the ability to defeat any enemy, or combination of enemies actual or potential. So I see no daylight between your position and that of the Pentagon.

    C. I raised questions about the usefullness of certain types of armaments – namely – nuclear.

    I thought you wished to abandon them. But without a nuclear deterrent, you certainly cannot be sure of deterring, let alone defeating a nuclear-armed enemy.

    The points I raised about the British nuclear deterrent concerned the question of (a) whether it was even British, and (b) whether if the warheads, at least, are British there is or could be any independent means of delivering them.

    If there is no means of delivery, then there is no issue. It would be more effective to have a bunch of inflatable ICBM mock-ups with “H-Bomb” painted on the tip. If the weapons are deliverable, the question is under what circumstances might they be used. One use might be as a bargaining chip: we’ll dismantle ours if the ME and Indian sub-continent become nuclear-free zones. It would make the world slightly safer, perhaps. But Britain would certainly not be in a position to defeat any enemy, actual or potential.

  • Ishmael

    The target vehicle is developed by Orbital Sciences, named Coyote. Look it up. But you have sub launched Russian made Granit anti-ship missiles launched from submarines, far more difficult to detect with little time to react. The Kursk had Granit missles on board when it sank and cited as one reason the Russians salvaged it. Did not want the west getting hold of them. I know it is off centre, but the Russians deployed nuclear weapons in that area during the operation with the intention to use them.

  • dreoilin

    “Nobody wants to attack you if you are strong unless, that is, you really piss them off.”

    Alfred, Alfred,

    They ARE pissed off, and with jolly good reason. But if “Islamic extremists” attack Britain, it won’t be by landing on the beaches. It’ll be via bombs or suicide vests in London or Manchester or elsewhere. Something against which nuclear weapons are useless. However, there don’t as yet seem to be too many people that organised or that capable of such bomb attacks, as Craig pointed out. People generally don’t want to attack you if you’re weak, either — unless you have something they want, like coveted natural resources, and the same mocking you did of me (‘what could anyone possibly want in Ireland – peat and whiskey?’) could be done of Britain too (if I was so inclined.) Am I missing something? North Sea Oil? We have natural gas off our west coast, but in global terms, I was unaware that either of these were of huge importance.

    “When a new Armada is steaming up the English Channel … etc”

    And who would you expect that to be? Iran? Iran hasn’t invaded anyone, as far as I know, since the 1700s. Maybe you’re expecting Russia to do it? It won’t be anyone in the EU.

    “There it defines militarist as:

    …i.e., a person who attaches undue importance to military values and military strength.”

    And is that not you?


    “In the end crooked US and UK Debt Derivative and Hedge Fund manipulators have done ten or a hundred times more damage to our society than any distant Muslim peasants demonised in our media.” — TonyF

    Yep … unscrupulous greedy bankers aided and abetted by our politicians, have done far more damage to the people of Britain (and Ireland) than any purported “Al Quaeda” or “Real IRA” could do in a month of Sundays. And that is what is bothering the people of Ireland — it’s certainly not Iran. (Ireland has recently refused to attend an OPEC conference in Jerusalem, just by the way.)


    “we’ll dismantle ours if the ME and Indian sub-continent become nuclear-free zones”

    You sound exactly like the USA on climage change (which you don’t believe in, Alfred, do you?) “We’ll adopt targets only if India and China adopt exactly the same ones”, or some other such rubbish. I think the point is that the US and UK have had obligations under the NPT (reduction of nuclear armaments) with which they have not bothered complying. But they are waving a big stick at Iran, despite the fact that US intelligence agencies have said there is NO evidence that Iran is making a bomb. AND, under the NPT Iran is 100% entitled to unlimited nuclear energy. Is it not? The trouble is that Israel, US/UK, cannot bear the idea of Iran being the dominant power in the ME, when they think that that should be Israel — come hell or high water.


    On the subject of rare earth metals, Alfred, please read this from the Telegraph August 2009.


    “A draft report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs.”

    It would appear that the USA is rather late in thinking of creating a “strategic reserve”, and it also appears that China is not interested in selling its “neocondumnium or whatever” as it reckons it needs it all for itself.

    I need coffee.

  • dreoilin

    “I doubt if you will have to go back to cooking over a peat fire anytime soon”

    Lovely stuff, peat. When I get out of the car in Dungloe (Co. Donegal, stamping ground of my ancestors, one of the Earls of Ulster clans) there is a certain aroma of turf + seaweed which tells me exactly where I am, even had I arrived there blindfolded and by teleportation. You can’t beat it.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    As much as I enjoy these exchanges with you, unfortunately I can’t agree with you for if I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.

    With your militaristic mind-set you fail to understand that some wars cannot be won with the armaments that you advocate be built and purchased.


    US with all its military might lost the Vietnam war.

    France lost the struggle in Algeria.

    Wait and see what happens in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan there is no standing army and the “rag tag” resistance fighters are capable of continuing the war for just shy of a decade with no stop in sight.

    As regards your suggestion that my peaceful approach might lead to my waving my sign from the cliffs of Dover, you may have a point, but since you wrote my sign, permit me to write yours when you see the first modern day signs of the Spanish Armada heading this way:-

    “War does not determine who is right – only who is left. We have nuclear weapons ?” stop. We have chemical and biological weaponry ?” stop.”

    Truth be told there is far more chance of a domestic terrorist attack than the invasion that you perceive as the rationale for all the military expenditure that you advocate.

    Have a peaceful day.

  • Alfred

    @ Alfred,

    “With your militaristic mind-set you …”

    Oh fuck off Courtenay.

    Did you even read what I said? You think it is glorification of the military to propose a deal for nuclear disarmament?

    What you want is to mess with Britain’s security in the way that Neville Chamberlain messed with Czechoslovakia’s. He talked them into giving up their strong Sudeten defensive line, which resulted first in their brutal rape by Germany, followed by their rape and enslavement by Russia.

    Incidentally, have you thought of a career as a preacher. You’d be popular with the insomniacs.

  • Alfred

    “Alfred, Alfred,

    They ARE pissed off, and with jolly good reason …”

    Oh God, Dreoilin, you’re as clueless as Courtenay.

    I said they were pissed off. That was my whole goddam point.

    But what is the point of talking? There ain’t nobody here who understands nuthin, nohow.

  • dreoilin


    Not an “OPEC conference” in Jerusalem but an OECD one (me at 11:41 AM).

  • Ruth

    I see why our rulers in the public eye and behind would want wars but I can’t see how the general public would want one given that we have basically nothing to fight for. We might in fact get a better deal from an invader.

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