Saturday, November 12, 2011

Euro meltdown upstages Iran's nuclear bomb

This is a guest post by Zach Johnstone:

It is well-established that in a world of 24-hour news cycles certain issues will entirely dominate the agenda, only for others – often just as deserving of exposure – to fall by the wayside. With Italian bond yields rising, Franco-German emergency summits taking place and Greek motions of no confidence passing, reporters are simply chronicling events as they unfold. It is of little surprise, then, that news of Iran’s imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons has been mentioned only fleetingly in recent days. Following the breaking news that Iran has been enriching its uranium supplies, the issue has been sidelined. Nuclear proliferation is gathering pace and yet engagement with the potential consequences has been wholly absent. There has been no mention of Iran colluding with the North Koreans, or that its nuclear programme has reached such an advanced stage that it could have at least one workable nuclear weapon within a year. It is enough to lead one to question the mainstream media’s grasp of the magnitude of this issue, and the very real prospect of untold catastrophe that accompanies it.

We should be under no illusion as to Iran’s intentions: to rid the Middle East of Israel and to grant itself unquestionable ‘major player’ status in the international arena. For many years Ahmadinejad has set out his position on the matter with alarming forthrightness; readers will recall his promise in 2005 to wipe Israel “off the map”, whilst even in recent days (in a flagrant dismissal of the threat of US intervention) he described the Jewish state as "a kidney transplanted in a body that rejected it", unflinchingly asserting that the United States may want to "save the Zionist entity, but it will not be able to do so." (His brash statements portend an ever-more belligerent Iran, and certainly do not support the idea that Ahmadinejad’s nation is enriching its uranium for peaceful purposes as he still incredulously maintains. He understands that nuclear weapons are “the great equaliser”, the short cut to credibility and to relative immunity from the perceived hegemonic tendencies of US foreign policy. He comprehends, in other words, that a nuclear Iran is one to which the West would have to pay close attention.

After all, how do you diplomatically sideline a country with both the capacity and the desire to launch a nuclear-ready Shahab-3 missile deep into the heart of Tel-Aviv at any moment?

In the face of such a threat it is useful to consider for a moment the remarkable success that the West, led by the United States, has had in reducing the nuclear threat and to see that Iran is one of a small few exceptions to the rule. Ambitions for nuclear disarmament are almost as old as nuclear technology itself - since Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ speech to the UN in 1953 in which he pledged America’s “determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma” successive US presidents have sought to progressively rid the world of nuclear weapons. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 convinced John F. Kennedy of the intolerable threat that nuclear weapons pose to the world, and his 1968 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty has since become the founding document in a series of international agreements to reduce nuclear arsenals in both the US and Russia, as well as to dissuade rising powers from ‘going nuclear’. At present the NPT has the commitment of 184 nations around the world; four countries (Kazakhstan, South Africa, Belarus and the Ukraine) have given up nuclear weapons altogether, whilst many others – notably Libya – abandoned plans to begin nuclear programmes. Indeed, there are no more nuclear powers now than there were at the end of the Cold War.

In spite of this success, however, there are several countries which have decided that the need to guarantee their own national security prevails over the need to adhere to international treaties. Why, they argue, should we enshrine the right of existing nuclear powers to maintain their arsenals and to simultaneously castigate others for merely seeking to level the playing field? North Korea’s primary aim is to neutralise perceived US and South Korean aggression and to elevate the nation’s status as a military force. Its decision to expel IAEA and UN inspectors from the country in 2002 and 2009 respectively, to pull out of the six-party talks and to recommence its nuclear programme at Yongbyon were symbolic – carried out principally to demonstrate that the nation will not be pushed around by heavy-handed, Western-backed international agencies. Essentially, Kim Jong-Il propounds the belief that it is unacceptable for the US to dictate to the world that certain approved countries may possess nuclear weapons but countries outside this exclusive club may not.

In the case of Iran, the issue runs much deeper than a desire to make a point of the West’s hypocrisy. Its motivation is religious, it is historical and it is geopolitical. Before the 1979 revolution relations between the two nations were amicable – Iran was one of the first Islamic nations to recognise Israel after its creation and the two maintained strong diplomatic links, held together owing in no small part to a mutual distrust of neighbouring Sunni states. The game changer was Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who paved the way for the imposition of anti-Zionism and for all existing ties between the two nations to be severed. Khomeini’s Revolution flew in the face of centuries of Persian-Jewish alliance, the strength of which is epitomised by the support that the Iranian state offered to Jews fleeing persecution in Europe at the hands of the Nazis in the Second World War. In marked contrast, the story in recent decades has been one of suspicion and mutual disdain, and it is abundantly clear that for the modern incarnation of the Iranian state all roads lead to Israel’s destruction. Iran’s wish to see Israel perish has given rise to Israel’s own desire to pre-emptively strike Iran should relations deteriorate sufficiently, a fact that has muddied the already desperately complex waters of Middle East relations. It therefore comes as no surprise that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak have refused to rule out Israeli military action in relation to this latest Iranian transgression of various international treaties, though this is a reality that simply cannot be allowed to come to fruition.

It is, of course, easy to say this – what is far more difficult is to say what should be done instead.

In the face of Iran’s defiance the West has two choices: economic sanctions or military intervention. The problem with the former is that many countries – notably China – would simply refuse to adhere to any such policy; attempting to withhold resources without the support of China would be an exercise in futility, causing little disruption to Iran and certainly doing nothing to persuade it to desist with its nuclear ambitions. The problem with the latter is that it is impossible to tell where military intervention would lead or, indeed, how effective it would be. Would US raids on Iranian targets elicit a response? Ahmadinejad has already promised to respond to Western aggression by harming US interests in the Gulf region, whilst Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke on state television in recent days to affirm that “[military] action will be firmly responded to”. Would military strikes, as the US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta argues, simply delay the inevitable and fail to actually halt Iran in its tracks? The worry in the White House is that Iran would simply pick up where it left off; the best that the West could hope for would be to delay Iran’s nuclear project by three years.

John F. Kennedy once stated that "the world was not meant to be a prison in which man awaits his execution". Words which for many decades held a particular resonance for anybody living within the range of Moscow’s missiles are, for the Israeli people, far too accurate a depiction of the present state of play in the Middle East. The West was not tough enough on Iran when it counted, and now there is little it can do but sit back and prepare for the country to go nuclear. With one course of action unlikely to deter Iran and the other likely to force it to retaliate militarily, the West’s choice is one of its own making, namely that between ineffectiveness and recklessness.


Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Those of us who were brought up under the NATO shield in Western Europe (apart from communist sympathisers) had a greater feeling of security than is possible for Israel. Rightly or wrongly we believed that NATO was (in those days though not, alas, today) a purely defensive organisation.

Whilst Mr Khruschev had proclaimed "We will bury you" and was motivated by a belief in the Soviet Union's eventual, inevitable triumph as if it were a scientific fact, he and his comrades were not cut off from all reason by a medieval death cult of pure hatred - as are the present leaders of Iran with regard to the Jews. The Soviet leaders had also had an experience of total war far more horrific than anything experienced in the West.

The Koran commands slaughter, so slaughter there will be and the consequences are of less concern than obedience to the supposed divine command, supposedly revealed by the prophet.

12 November 2011 at 09:16  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I suggest that the removal of all the ayatollahs, imams and mullahs is the key to containing the threats from islam.

12 November 2011 at 09:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I can't see what can be done about Iran now. I expect it's too late unless there's a coup d'etat and internal politics change.

12 November 2011 at 09:37  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Iran is not known to currently possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has signed treaties repudiating the possession of weapons of mass destruction.
On ideological grounds, a public and categorical religious decree (fatwa) against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons has been issued by the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic Ali Khamenei, and the rest of the clerical establishment.

12 November 2011 at 09:55  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...


Those of us who have gone a little more deeply into Islam know of the doctrine of taqquiya (transliterations vary), usually translated "dissimulation".

This permits and sometimes commands believers to tell lies for the benefit of the faith and the faithful. It goes a lot further than the Jesuits reputedly did!

If an the aim is to achieve something which is obligatory (such as the successful waging of Jihad), then it may be obligatory to lie to deceive the kuffar and achieve victory.

There have been some interesting comparative video clips of Islamic "community leaders" in the West, being all sweetness and light whilst complaining loudly of "Islamophobia" in TV interviews, then preaching an entirely different faith of hatred and conquest when safely in their mosques.

12 November 2011 at 10:34  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

"... there are several countries which have decided that the need to guarantee their own national security prevails over the need to adhere to international treaties."

" ... it is unacceptable for the US to dictate to the world that certain approved countries may possess nuclear weapons but countries outside this exclusive club may not."

Independent, sovereign nations free to rule their own affairs according to the will of people, however measured?

Or a 'family of nations' with a mutual responsibility towards one another and the authority to impose it's will on recalcitrant members?

12 November 2011 at 11:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Edward Spalton
And which part of the Middle East did you live in?
One of the things the Arabs used to say to me was that English people were liars, sometimes with some justification.

12 November 2011 at 11:18  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Way of the Dodo
...or if they have some oil go and grab it!

12 November 2011 at 11:25  
Blogger Zach Johnstone said...

The Way of the Dodo,

And how precisely do you qualify the notion that North Korea's nuclear enrichment is in "accordance with the people"...?

Or, for that matter, Iran's?

12 November 2011 at 11:37  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...or if they have some oil go and grab it...

What stupid remarks this Manfarang person makes.

Given the manner in which the oil fortunate nations hold us to ransom over the price we pay for oil, it can hardly be regarded as being 'grabbed' by the industrialised nations.

And as for Arabs calling us liars - they would know all about that little act of subterfuge - it is after all only Koran sanctioned taquia.

The people (and it is the people not the politicians that matter) of Iran were once seen as one of the most progressive communities in the ME - they still could be; but all we get to hear about is the warped splutterings of the bloody band of gangsters that has them in the grip of Sharia.

12 November 2011 at 12:19  
Blogger non mouse said...

The US is withdrawing from Iraq, where the very long border with Iran will once more be open and free to the desert dwellers.

But that's not the only open border in today's world, after all.

And, pretty soon, that won't be the only desert, either.

So why worry about oil? Let's just breed camels - in case there's anywhere left to go.

12 November 2011 at 12:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Zack. Assuming that Iran manages to get a single bomb off the ground. Assuming it doesn’t end up in the sea, or worse, on one of Israel’s Arab neighbours (...can you imagine that ! The world will laugh for a week !!...) then what happens ? The USA will irradiate Tehran of course. It has to, no choice in the matter. The USA is still top dog and is itching to prove it. “Bring it on” as they would say. Nothing like flexing your strength to show an unstable world that if you mess with them, they will kill your country.

The Inspector is so confident of this outcome, he’s prepared to bet his genitals – any takers ?

12 November 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger dmcl01 said...

Iran is a greater threat to its arabian neighbours than it is too Israel.

12 November 2011 at 12:40  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"The world is not meant to be a prison in which man awaits execution"

How ironic then, that man's lust for destructive power, makes the world precisely so. Of course, the Church has known and taught this for years.

12 November 2011 at 12:41  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Ever heard of the Arab revolt and the promise of independence if they drove out the Turks and the WW1 postwar division of the Middle East?
When Iraq was invaded the first thing the British army did was to secure the oil installations in southern Iraq and the Americans the oil ministry in Baghdad.
It was actually the 'progressive' Shah who was among those who increased the price of oil in the 1970s. Not that it did him any good.The revolution in Iran was a popular one and it still enjoys some support.

12 November 2011 at 12:45  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Office of....
"Nothing like flexing your strength to show an unstable world that if you mess with them, they will kill your country."
Yeah Vietnam.

12 November 2011 at 12:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. Vietnam didn’t have atomic weapons. Do your parents know you’re blogging with grownups ?

12 November 2011 at 13:02  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Office of ....
Strange when MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons in Korea he was relieved of his command.

12 November 2011 at 13:12  
Blogger non mouse said...

"The world is not meant to be a prison in which man awaits execution" ... The remark is, of course, decontextualised. And I confess it strikes me as ironic in coming from Kennedy (I was doing the ironing when news of his assassination hit the airwaves).

In JFK's Christian context, the statement remains troublesome. That is unless he explained that, having earned Death (mortality), we are imprisoned here until we have participated sufficiently in Redemption. It's interesting, though, that so many people refuse to consider that option, a mere 50 years later....

12 November 2011 at 13:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. You really are out of your depth on this site aren’t you young man...

12 November 2011 at 13:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Well if you are that old then maybe you could tell us what you did when you served in Vietnam and how the Vietnamese resisted by using low tech stuff as bamboo as a weapon.
I am glad many Americans are aware of how to use their influence and strengh in a positive way.I do work with Americans but they are a great deal more knowledgeable than you.

12 November 2011 at 13:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...which leaves just one possibility Manfarang. You are a TROLL. What a clever chap you are, you actually had us for a bit. Something to tell your chums down the pub tonight – You’ll be so popular! The Inspector is damn envious of you, you cunning devil...

12 November 2011 at 13:55  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

You are simplifying historical references to the point of inanity; a practice much favoured by the so called 'Left' wing fascists that support the 'Palestinian cause' over the existence of the only democratic State in the ME.

Before the West discovered the multiple uses for (Arab) oil, it was seen by them only as an irritating substance that got clogged up in between the camels' toes. Now their economies rely on it as much as we do and more's the pity.

If you think we would be better served by abandoning our reliance on Middle East oil go right ahead and I would be right behind you, but do tell how the West or the Middle East for that matter would benefit by moving in to your particular new world order.

The delivery of a nuclear attack needs only a dirty bomb planted by some proxy agent to give the Iranian regime all the kudos it craves.

12 November 2011 at 13:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dreadnaught. Well done that man. The Inspector was waiting to see who would pick up on that first {AHEM} !

12 November 2011 at 14:05  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Zach said ...
"And how precisely do you qualify the notion that North Korea's nuclear enrichment is in "accordance with the people"...?
Or, for that matter, Iran's?

I don't!

You may recall I said "however measured. Or are we saying their governments, like China's, are illegitimate and therefore don't count? Should we be seeking 'regime change'?

The point I'm making is that nations are sovereign and entitled to act independently - and take the consequences. Israel can decide to strike at Iran, so can America. China and North Korea can decide to oppose this. That's how world wars start.

I followed up with:

"Or a 'family of nations' with a mutual responsibility towards one another and the authority to impose it's will on recalcitrant members?"

Would Israel surrender it's right to independant action? Would America? China? Russia? An international body that decides such things and an international military force to impose decisions?

12 November 2011 at 14:15  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Pub? Well I could go to JUSMAG and gets some Dr Peppers from the PX but not for now.

12 November 2011 at 14:17  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Inspector - how very Capt Mainwaring! :-)

12 November 2011 at 14:24  
Blogger Zach Johnstone said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 November 2011 at 14:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. Troll or nitwit – you know this is goodbye, don’t you...

12 November 2011 at 14:26  
Blogger Zach Johnstone said...

The Way of the Dodo,

I'm aware that you said 'however measured'. I just feel that, in the case of North Korea, this is simply a phrase you have employed to avoid having to face up to the fact that there is no 'accordance with the people' to measure at all.

I am saying the North Korean government is illegitimate, yes. Who on Earth would argue that it isn't? That, however, does not amount to a call for Western intervention.

To inextricably link a pronouncement of illegitimacy with a desire to overthrow the government suggests that I cannot hold an opinion on a nation's leadership without supporting its immediate removal.

The world is not as black and white as that.

12 November 2011 at 14:27  
Blogger Gallovidian said...

Hi Zach,

In the interests of balance you might mention a Middle Eastern country not exactly known for its human rights record, or its ethnic tolerance, that posseses nuclear, thermonuclear and neutron weapons, biological and chemical weapons, and ICBMs and submarine launched cruise missiles armed with these weapons.

Clue: 1st letter is I but second letter is not R.

12 November 2011 at 14:32  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Regime legitimacy aside, just what do you propose should happen with regard to Iran's nuclear development programme? Let's face it, there is unlikely to be a consistent and effective UN response.

12 November 2011 at 14:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Not that I know much about Middle Eastern politics but presumably a nuclear-armed Iran might think it is feasible to attack Israel with conventional weapons on the basis that Israel's nuclear deterrent is reduced to a mutually-assured destruction scenario.

12 November 2011 at 15:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Lebanon could be considered a democracy.

With that picture I almost thought you were some dude from the south.
For your information many of those in the Home Guard were in reserved occupations and had been soldiers in WW1. Dads Army was good comedy but far from accurate.
Now M*A*S*H was a bit more like it.

12 November 2011 at 15:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Manfarang, ccording to his blog profile, is "a vegetarian living in Thailand,interested in the spiritual and ethical aspects of vegetarianism."

Nuff said? He's probably an aged pot-head who stayed behind after Vietnam. That or a draft dodger.

"All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

12 November 2011 at 15:45  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

Israel will be in before the USA. Also, if Iran nukes Israel, then it will also take out huge swathes of Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan.

I'd lay money on the Israelis hitting them before too long. Now would I blame them for that. It may be extreme - but they are in an extreme position, surrounded by lunatics. Nor will the coming of democracy ha ha in the Maghreb make that any better.

12 November 2011 at 15:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. With that picture I almost thought you were some dude from the south.

Why thank you kindly son. Always held ‘old glory’ in high esteem, don’t you know...

As for vegetarianism, no thanks. If it moves, you can either f__k it or eat it, as the British Army will tell you...

12 November 2011 at 17:12  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Manfarang --- As you are finding, the tenor of Dr. Cranmer's site has changed considerably since you last engaged here.

Be assured that you are not alone in your reception. New respondents have set themselves up as arbiters who presume to police contributions. These creatures are extremely rude to all the Archbishop's long-term communicants, and have basically tried to pick us off one by one. Neither is His Grace immune to their attentions.

How they dare to label anyone else "Troll" escapes me: though it wouldn't were I to while away my time heckling jesuits in an rc boys' playground.

For these aggressors profess themselves roman catholics, - but they're a species of the genus that I've never (knowingly) encountered in the outside world. They are also anachronists: their beheviour turns the clock back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and dislocates us all to Northern Ireland.

His Grace's respondents have maintained our differences in the past but, except for atheists, we have never set about each other so viciously. However, we are all here at His Grace's pleasure; and while we may choose not to take the course the enemy forces upon us, we need to know what they're about. They do reveal the realities developing in our culture.

I am among those who remain grateful that His Grace, beset by this lot, has not carried out his threat to retire from blogging.

I write this also with apologies to Mr. Johnstone. However, I take the opportunity to suggest that present-day 'Nuclear' power manifests itself in diverse ways, not only in fission and fusion of atoms.

12 November 2011 at 18:31  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Army chefs are in fact sympathethic towards vegetarianism.
In WW2 British troops ate soyalink
sausages. The word soyalink was once used as code in an operation to indicate failure.
It's easy to be a vegetarian with English food.You don't put the meat on the plate.
With Thai and Chinese food of course the meat and vegetables are mixed.
I was told not to go Vietnam, advice I followed.However these days it is a nice place to visit.
I do know a lot of Vietnam vets
(a number of them live in Thailand) but none of them are pot heads.Hank,a B52 pilot smoked cigarettes.Fred runs the bingo at JUSMAG, he is a native American.
One of my friends was the last marine to leave the American Embassy by helicopter in Saigon in 1975.Sadly he passed away a few years ago.
To come back to Iran I also knew one of the American Embassy hostages.He worked in Bangkok in the 1980s.
And talking about the oil, before the revolution I remember seeing Iranian tankers landing oil at the pipeline in Eilat.
I don't smoke or drink alcohol. Don't tell me I should work in the Middle East- its full of expat
(and some Arab)alcoholics.The place is awash with booze.

12 November 2011 at 18:33  
Blogger non mouse said...

PS: "behavior" (corrected and Americanized!) ...
And noting -- of the situation described in the above post: that's Deconstruction for ya.

wv: recon Yea, yay!!!

12 November 2011 at 18:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, non mouse you’re with us once again, vicious little creature that are. The Inspector, nay the whole blog, would like to know what 12 November 2011 12:27 was all about. Seriously, old woman, are you loosing it ? Sniff the air. If you detect the smell of urine, fear the worst...

As for For these aggressors profess themselves roman catholics, - but they're a species of the genus that I've never (knowingly) encountered in the outside world. They are also anachronists: their beheviour turns the clock back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and dislocates us all to Northern Ireland. The Inspector has commented before that you are truly barking. Today, he rests his case...

The archbishop is a powerful man. He could silence the Inspector for good. Ask yourself why he hasn’t done that. Meanwhile, until this site is renamed Cranmer in association with non mouse, it’s business as usual. Just as well really, because if the aformentioned ever happens, and the blog descends into the top thousand, no one will be there to notice...

12 November 2011 at 19:05  
Blogger non mouse said...

See that, Mr. Manfarang?

12 November 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

non mouse really said ...

"Please sir! Bad Dodo and nasty Inspector are calling people names again and being rude to them. Please sir are you going to do something?"

It's a bit of fun for goodness sake. The blog is taken seriously and no disrespect meant. Do grow up and stop whinging like a spoilt little baby.

12 November 2011 at 19:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. An interesting life you have led. Enough there for a few films should you ever put it all down on paper one day. By the way, his friends call him ‘Inspector’...

Be seeing you...

12 November 2011 at 19:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

non mouse really said ...

"See I told you so, sir. Look how awful they are to me. Please do tell them off."

Is there a love-hate thing going on between you and the non mousey person? She does seem to have a thing about you.

12 November 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. She’s fallen head over heals for a real man. Ask her what she’s like with a duster...

12 November 2011 at 19:30  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Your Grace has mentioned that “it is useful to consider for a moment the remarkable success that the West, led by the United States, has had in reducing the nuclear threat”. Pardon me but the only country to have used nuclear weapons was the United States and it remains committed to their use if the occasion, on their judgement, deserves it. Notwithstanding the nastiness of the Iranian regime it seems unjust for them to insist that countries with nuclear weapons should insist that others do not. Some may argue that the United States is not a threat to peace – they would do well to consider the actions of the United States over the last century in destabilizing sovereign countries in their own back Yard and even wider afield. Then there is the slaughter emanating from the population policies imposed on the rest of the world by the United States along with the forced sterilizations and the spread of AIDS because the United States does not want a solution based on responsible behaviour involving restraint because that would reduced the profits from the contraceptive industries which are generally American based. No Your Grace, the United States has been the single biggest destroyer of peace over the last 100 years and they are not slowing down their efforts to create a world very much under their control.

12 November 2011 at 19:53  
Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, non mouse @ 18.31, you never spoke a truer word. Sadly the protoganists to whom you refer are best at personalised attacks which save them from the need to think. In another context, as the late Steve Jobs said, 'Dogma is just letting someone else do your thinking'.

In addition, this communicant absolutely rejects any suggestion that you are 'quite barking', as a weaker intellect repeatedly and rudely asserts.

12 November 2011 at 19:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Shacklefree @ 19.53 says, 'the United States has been the single biggest destroyer of peace over the last 100 years'.

...which takes us back to 1911. Care to substantiate? Did they torpedo the Lusitania in 1915, for example?

12 November 2011 at 20:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog old chap. Let’s not fall out over an old woman who thinks she’s Elizabeth I

12 November 2011 at 20:08  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Go on, demonstrate some independent thought. It will make a nice change.

12 November 2011 at 20:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, regarding the Iranian dilemma, your communicant is confident that the Israelis have had the time and support necessary to reconnoiter and plan an operation to knock out the Iranian facilities. It is probably better for the Israelis to do it themselves rather than wait for Obama to summon up the will he lacks.

A pattern is building in which Obama refuses to initiate military action against any Muslim state, and is winding down existing US operations in Muslim states.

Apparently Dave's new best friends in the Libyan NTC have shipped most of Gaddafi's surplus heavy weapons to Hamas. If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

12 November 2011 at 20:13  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Bluedog, The United Staes was part of the surrender arrangements after World War One which was so punitive that the Second World War was inevitable. Indeed Rudolf Hess predicted World War Two when he saw the peace provisions under which Germany was forced to live. I did not justify the torpedoing of the Lusitania but I think you need to take of your blinkers. Remember Animal Farm. We should not assume the goodies are the ones which rule us. Look at the mess they have already made of the world. The other despairing note about this blog is how people are already sucked into the violent/war option and advocating its use. We have seen enough to know all the efforts of men will lead to destruction. The stage is set for a very nasty Armageddon and unless we turn to Almighty God we will not be able to divert the slaughter. As Our Lady prophesied at Fatima in 1917 wars are the result of sin. All our policial planning will lead to destruction. Only a return to God will save us. He alone has the power.

12 November 2011 at 20:17  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

The current world is ruled by powers and dominions as mentioned by St Paul and current events perhaps suggest that the time of great tribulation prophesied by Jesus may soon be upon us. Chapter 12 of Revelation mentions “The Woman adorned with the Sun”. Google the miracle of the sun at Fatima in 1917 and you will see the fulfilment of this prophecy. After the woman adorned with the sun comes the great red dragon which dragged a third of the stars from the sky. The children at Fatima predicted the spread of communism throughout the world so the great red dragon may refer to the communist/fremasonry threat. Then there is the second beast of the sea later on. Some commentaries indicate this to be Islam. Now ask yourself is the Christian faith today threatened by communism, freemasonry and Islam? Do you think that is just a coincidence?

12 November 2011 at 20:31  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

I take it the rooster in you wouldn't laugh if non mouse fell into a pond!

12 November 2011 at 21:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Yuk !

The Inspector has been going back and reading the posts again. It’s amazing we RCs haven’t been rounded up yet ! If we are, watch out when the truck stops and we are invited to ‘stretch our legs’!

12 November 2011 at 21:51  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

ABC has been too quiet for my liking. Maybe giving us enough rope. As I recall, the last time non mouse and bluedog had a collective moan he threatened intervention. Could be a case of sudden excommunication!

What I find odd is that some people think it's okay to accuse the RCC of being the root of all evil and then get all 'offended' and self righteous when we dare strike back.

12 November 2011 at 22:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. We’ll know when we incur the Protestant wrath when we post and are cut off in mid sent

12 November 2011 at 22:49  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"dislocates us all to Northern Ireland"
I've been dislocated there too.
I have known many people who say,"I am a Catholic but I have no religious beliefs". The same is true of the Prods.
Anyway now for the joke-
A man was walking down a Belfast street, someone comes up to him and asks,"What religion are you?"
He replies, "I am a Jew".
The other person asks,"Are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?"

13 November 2011 at 00:37  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

No, we'll be excommunicated for 'unacceptable behaviour'. For not being erudite and reasonable. As you know, I've come close a few times and seen the error of my ways. To be fair, ABC always issues a warning first and gives one an opportunity to reform.

13 November 2011 at 01:02  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

The euro meltdown really exists, and it is of profound consequence for Britain.

The Iranian bomb does not really exist, and it would be no threat to Britain even if it did.

13 November 2011 at 01:03  
Blogger Oswin said...

Everyone: the full-moon was a couple of days ago, so relax! Let us refrain from ungentlemanly behaviour.

13 November 2011 at 01:53  
Blogger joe six-pack said...

Iran does not need to use any nuclear weapons that they develop. Just the fact that they have them will enable Iran to increase the activity in their war against us. The plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia is only a recent step. Just think what they can get away with once they have a number of nukes. And this leaves out the risk of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. A very nice, friendly place to have an arms race. On top of this, wars have a bad habit of getting out of control.

13 November 2011 at 02:09  
Blogger Oswin said...

I propose a pre-emptive strike, using a plutonium enriched Dodo, as a 'dirty rascal bomb' : Operation 'Crispy Duck'!

Thus ridding the world of a dangerous and unstable fanatic; and possibly President Ahmadinejad too...boom boom! :o)

13 November 2011 at 02:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Then there is also the possibility that Iran's sabre-rattling against Israel, embellished as it is with the now-familiar pseudo-messianic Islamist nuttery, is merely a crazy-like-a-fox distraction intended to buy the extra breathing room Iran needs to complete its nuclear weapons program. Israel, come to think of it, is actually the last country in the world Iran should want to attack, just for the simple reason that apart from the US, only Israel has the will and ability to utterly destroy it. In the end, it always comes down to capacity, and Israel has plenty of it.

Oddly enough, Iran's over-the-top projection of its apparent dementia over Israel may actually be intended to calm the world, for as long as this world thinks that it's only Israel that is threatened, little will be done to curb Tehran's nuclear plans which, as everyone seems to forget, have more to do with regional hegemonic ambitions over fellow Muslim states rather than vague issues with the “Zionist entity.”

As we'll continue to see, the world will drag its feet with "smart diplomacy" and unworkable sanctions. Obama will continue to fire-up Occupy Wall Street riff-raff and suck up to environmentalists for a few votes, and good old Europe will continue to navel-gaze and philosophise over espresso and Gitanes bought with borrowed money. And anyway, when the grovelling and politicking inevitably fail, there is the old fall-back to the imaginary moral high ground, in this case the notion that everyone has an equal right to nukes, for how dare we old imperialists dictate anything to sovereign nations. Wait and see.

Capacity, I repeat, bears more watching than any declared or imagined intentions. On that note, I chortle with the thought that Europe and Russia (which has its own ambitions in all of this) appear to be blissfully oblivious to the fact that Iran's "delivery systems" they Korean Dongs or Russian missiles bought on eBay...promise to be able to reach most of continental Europe. Hmmm. Curious, that little factoid, what?

13 November 2011 at 05:05  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

".... the West’s choice is one of its own making, namely that between ineffectiveness and recklessness."

Sounds just like the West's approach to solving the debt crisis.

Well, having lived a good life in a period free from the wars my father and grandfathers fought in it looks like our politicians have done it again - recession, debt, war.

Too old now to re-enlist but not too old to carry a gun!!

The next few years could be very interesting and many of us may yet avoid the fate of dying in our beds.

13 November 2011 at 07:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector @ 20.08, in order to protect your reputation as an officer and a gentleman, why not apologise to non mouse for remarks made on this blog that you would never have said to her in person.

13 November 2011 at 09:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Shacklefree @ 20.17, I fully agree that the Treaty of Versailles 1919 was a disaster but think that blaming the US is anachronistic. Apart from a few exercises of Manifest Destiny in Cuba and the Philippines, the US was still very much a fledgling power in 1914. Arguably, if the Germans had not sunk the Lusitania in 1915 the US may never have joined the war. There were many German speaking Americans with strongly pro-German sympathies at the time. But jumping forward to the post war settlement, President Woodrow Wilson was surely the antithesis of the grasping imperialist.

Indeed, if it had not been for Wilson, the UN's precursor the League of Nations would never have seen the light of day. Throughout the 1920's and '30's the US was isolationist and if Japan had not made the mistake of attacking Pearl Harbor, may have stood on the sidelines as the European empires in Asia were overturned by Japan in the 1940's. The US, and Roosevelt in particular, were profoundly anti-imperialism. Throughout WW2, the US was the diplomatic enemy of the British Empire and among the US war aims was the liquidation of our Empire. Together with Hitler, Hirohito and Stalin, the US was successful in destroying British power.

But that was then and this is now.

If Britain is no longer top dog and you despise the US, who do you want? France, Russia, China? Outside the permanent members of the UN Security Council the candidates include possibly India and Japan.

Which nation would you prefer to see as the pre-eminent global power if the USA were to collapse?

The Chinese could give you an answer.

13 November 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Very good! Hand delivered or launched?

13 November 2011 at 12:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog why not apologise to non mouse for remarks made

Were it that simple ! The Inspector was forced to defend his reputation and honour following a pre-emptive artillery bombardment with depleted uranium shells from the character assassin herself. What particularly wounded him was the sectarian nature of the assault on his faith. In the spirit of Christianity, he is happy to attend peace talks if the assailant expresses genuine remorse. Maybe through a third party.

13 November 2011 at 13:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

I see Dreadnought has been issued with a final written warning by ABC for offensive remarks made. It's on the above thread. An understandable outburst on his part, in my opinion, but nevertheless quite rude. So I think we're okay for now.

Would you like me to mediate between you and non mouse? Or perhaps len would offer his services?

Apologise for the urine remark as it was unCalled for. Sign of good faith and all that.

13 November 2011 at 13:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Through you, the Inspector withdraws that disgraceful remark unreservedly. Continence issues are not to be treated in that way.

Not sure why Dreadnaught posted that. Perhaps he could explain why...

13 November 2011 at 14:05  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector, did you see his comment before its summarily removal by ABC? Actually it was relatively restrained and I shudder to think what Viking might have said. It was addressed to the obscene opening remark in the thread which was clearly intended to be inflamatory.

Ummm ... is that really an unreserved apology to non mouse? Not sure it will suffice for opening negotiations. It's a start. Perhaps if you reasurred her you have no evidence believe she is incontinent and to suggest she might be was uncalled for. You'll have to give me something to work with.

non mouse will, of course have to reciprocate with an apology of her own. Her comments were a little extreme and, yes, sectarian in tone.

Failing that, one could just ignore bluedog. Maybe he's just trying to be seen as a good little Prefect and wants to be appointed Headboy - assuming he's male.

13 November 2011 at 14:24  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I do not reserve my concerns only for the US. Democracy nowadays is so manipulated, I do not think there is any real choice and we end up electing people who continue the movement towards one world government. The League of Nations and the UN may have been instigated with noble intentions by some people but it is now well and truly controlled and only retains credibility by the occasional bout of humanitarian efforts which we all pay for with our taxes. In addition much of its so called humanitarian work is in fact work of oppression e.g. by sterilization women and depriving them of children who are the only means of old age support in some countries. I think we have to be very sceptical about our so called democracy and where it is leading. It is perhaps not surprising that people who threaten the monied powers of this world find themselves being disposed for the most democratic reasons. Didn’t Gadaffi suggest that African nations club together and create their own currency to rival the dollar? Marcos was deposed in the Philippines after he refused to sign over the wealth of his nation to the real rulers of this world. Read Pilger’s book “The New Rulers of the World” in which he describes how Indonesia was sold off for a pittance. We are already seeing the buying up of Southern Sudan. For some people their greed extend to possession of the whole world and behind it all is satan. What we have now is the blind leading the blind.

13 November 2011 at 15:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. No, missed that removed comment. Makes sense now. The Inspector has great regard for Bluedog, and feels he has let him down in someway. non mouse makes the point that the site is becoming ‘a boys playground’. And she’s right. While the girls were playing hopscotch and swapping their ‘Jackies’ for ‘Bunties’ , the boys were doing more important things – establishing a pecking order and policies. The Inspector would like to know the Archbishop’s opinion on how his site is developing. Inspector happy to fall in line

13 November 2011 at 15:07  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector: please forgive my impertinence but, could it be that your erstwhile generous nature has been subtly er, manipulated by a seemingly lickspittal toady; albeit something of a lurking, 'feathered' amphibian?

Just a thought etc. My apologies if I have transgressed.

13 November 2011 at 16:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin. The Inspector thanks you for enquiring and can assure you he is his own man and always will be. He does admire Dodo for his defence of his views, which are quite stern, and for the fact that he brooks no compromise. The Inspector is a bit more easy going, or at least he hopes he is.

DanJ0. The above for your consumption too (...’Catholic double act’ indeed !!)

13 November 2011 at 17:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Dodo (the undesirable) has been fouling his nest again, aided and abetted by the irascible Inspector.

If these two are anything to go by Catholicism must be the worst religion in the entire Universe!.
I can see them advertising " Come into Catholicism and you can be just like us!"
What a prospect!.

13 November 2011 at 18:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Communicants should know our weasel has laid three scats almost simultaneously on recent threads just now !

13 November 2011 at 19:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Thank you for your support.

What surprised me was the suggestion you were somehow being manipulated. Imagine! It's not the 15th March is it?

We do have a shared view on one subject and you know who will relish all this, believing it to be support for his views. I see he wasn't slow to sleek his way in and pronouce judgement.

I've resolved to say no more about you know who and to have nothing more to do with him. Should I have cause to address his nonsense in the future it will be by referring to his views in the third person.

13 November 2011 at 19:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. He’s given us a chance to set things right. Hopefully the Inspector’s post of 13 November 2011 19:11 will convince the blog that far from being the unfortunate victim of bullying, he is in truth, a friendless attention seeker...

13 November 2011 at 19:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Unfortunately, Inspector, he succeeded in provoking uncharitable words from us. Not a hugh crime in and of itself but one that by association harms the Church. That's how these things work. God willing, we learn through experience and by mistakes.

13 November 2011 at 20:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. There’s a ‘secular cafe’ site he might wish to haunt (..before they block him...)

13 November 2011 at 21:07  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector, some may choose to visit such atheist sites out of interest. Others may want to intrude on the 'party' and attempt to re-evangelise the bloggers. I doubt anyone would be blocked, although obsessionally posting reams of scripture and informing participants they are going to Hell, would attract aggressive responses.

There are a number of Roman Catholic sites too out too that are open to discussing theological issues with other Christians.

13 November 2011 at 21:52  
Blogger non mouse said...

May I express my appreciation---
Thank you, Gentlemen - especially Mr. bluedog and Mr. Oswin.

Explanation is wasted on those who will not see, but perhaps I should note that I distinguish some rcs from others [who taught me that “catholic” means “universal,” or “throughout the whole”]. His Grace reiterates the principle in quoting ABC Fisher, to the right. At the same time, eponymy supports Cranmer's postings in implying that this site represents reformed (non roman) catholicism: otherwise, I would no longer frequent it.

So thank you again -:)

13 November 2011 at 22:13  
Blogger Oswin said...

OIG @19:59 :

Yes indeed, ''bullying'' it most certainly is. Neither, in terms of this site, is Len by any means''friendless''.

& Dodo @ 20:38 : ''suceeded in provoking uncharitable words from us'' - in all senses, a sanctimonious canard!

13 November 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 November 2011 at 22:56  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

non mouse said ...
" ... this site represents reformed (non roman) catholicism: otherwise, I would no longer frequent it."

Really? What do you mean?

Are you saying only those of this persuasion have a right to contribute? Now ehat rules a good few regular posters out - Calvanists, Presbyterian and Evangelists.

Or are you suggesting it's just "unreformed" Roman Catholics who should not visit? Amd what about non-christians or homosexuals and atheists? Would you bar Jews? Muslims? Hindi? Budhists?

Admit it, your original post, caustically attacked by the Inspector in his own inimicable fashion, was somewhat hysterical. Perhaps it reflected a predisposition of yours towards exclusiveness or, what some might consider, narrow mindedness?

13 November 2011 at 23:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Disappointing words from you Oswin. The Inspector was rather hoping you High Anglicans had more in common with Roman Catholicism than these ‘born again’ heretics. Still, we live and learn...

13 November 2011 at 23:04  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector, a High Anglican Oswin most certainly is not! Unless, that is, they now accept fanciful myths about early church history.

Oswin, when did you acquire the facility of reading men's hearts?

As for 'bullying', interestingly the person concerned invited it: "bring it on" to quote him.

13 November 2011 at 23:14  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

"You shouln`t go to such lengths to prove me right every time ... "

Proof, I think, of a certain persons strategy.

13 November 2011 at 23:23  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 23:14: Alas, nothing so advanced; I just read what you write, is all.

Whether that comes from heart, head or arse, I really couldn't say.

14 November 2011 at 01:45  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 November 2011 at 02:08  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin, that being so you should withdraw your unfounded assertion of a sanctimonious canard on my part.

14 November 2011 at 02:15  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector @ 15.07 said, 'The Inspector has great regard for Bluedog'.

Why thank you, sir!

14 November 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

non mouse @ 22.13, it's always a pleasure.

14 November 2011 at 09:16  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dodo said

"Unfortunately, Inspector, he succeeded in provoking uncharitable words from us. Not a hugh crime in and of itself but one that by association harms the Church. That's how these things work. God willing, we learn through experience and by mistakes."


14 November 2011 at 10:39  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: We most of us go off half-cocked at times. Most of us, at times, go beyond what is strictly necessary. Many of us enjoy a bit of a kerfuffle/scuffle, ya-boo-sucks, trading of punches in the schoolyard; or even the occasional pricking with a stiletto and/or side-swiping with a Viking axe.

Enjoying the general cut and thrust, is one thing; but to systematically attack, deride, importune and belittle certain persons - persons often absent from the debate itself, is distasteful.

I'm no innocent. I enjoy a spot of thuggery horse-play, a bit of pointy-stick poking; but I would hope never to seek to persecute.

Piece said.

14 November 2011 at 17:10  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oswin wisely stated @14 November 2011 17:10


My lad, you are not only the Northumbrian Master of Mirth but also a damned fine chap.



Was that commented with your wise 'Worzel Gummidge' interchangeable head on. *Chuckles*

Cup a tea and a slice a cake, anyone?

14 November 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin. Rather unfair of you old chap. No one’s out to nail Len onto a cross. He keeps bouncing back like some damn rubber bull, as the song goes - he likes the ATTENTION ! Anyway, he’s hostile to ALL organised religion. Why he continually targets the RCC and none else is a bloody mystery to yours truly, if not the blog....

14 November 2011 at 19:13  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector @ 19.13, Mr Len is equally rude about us Anglicans, but that doesn't mean we vilify him with unpleasant nicknames. The reason that Mr Len devotes such loving care to the Roman Church may be because its adherents seem so easy to provoke.

14 November 2011 at 20:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog. If the Inspector ever has the opportunity, he will kiss Len on the forehead. Just to show that he is a brother in Christ, and of course, for you...

14 November 2011 at 20:55  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin, the general point is accepted but come on now, lets not go overboard! How much harm comes from being called a weasel? Okay, what strated off as a bit of fun got out of hand. No bones broken.

blue dog you're right we RC's rose to the bait a bit too keenly. However, that said, blasephemy and heresay isn't something I take lightly and as for being accussed of worshipping 'another god', well!

To be honest I've never noticed a member of the Church of England ever responding to attacks from the gentlemean concerned. I was raised to be more militant about the faith. Still, there we are, lesson learned. Good manners must be preserved at all times - now naff off!

William, thank you.

14 November 2011 at 21:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector, invite him to Mass and share the sign of peace with him!

14 November 2011 at 21:17  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Better than the 'Glaswegian Kiss!

14 November 2011 at 22:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo The ‘sign of peace’ in the ‘new improved’ mass is a massive source of irritation amongst Catholics like the Inspector. Bring back the proper Tridentine, WHAT !

14 November 2011 at 22:36  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector, I'm perfectly comfortable with either form of the Mass, provided the 'New Order' remains within the parameters set by Rome. None of the 'experimentation' of the Americans.

14 November 2011 at 22:49  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector ? 22:36 : Ah now you see, find the right High Anglican church and you might get a mass nearer to your tastes (subject to contract). That is, if they haven't all been taken-over by some 'happy clapper' sect, or else gone-over to your own, modern revisionists?

16 November 2011 at 12:52  
Blogger Lê Thanh Đức said...

Solutions 'nuclear' Iran - May 11/2011

22 November 2011 at 12:51  

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