Saturday, July 30, 2011

Revving Up that Rhetoric

Iran is back!  In case you hadn't noticed the media has been featuring a new round of Iran bugaboos for the past two weeks.

It started with reports that Achmedinejad was in somebody's doghouse. Sources weren't clear, but it was thought that he'd run afoul of a Mullah or, even worse, the dreaded Revolutionary Guard. The message that an 'Iranian summer' counld be expected at any moment faded off to be replaced by incipient developments on the anti-aircraft front.

 The Iranians were charged with developing and testing a new anti-aircraft missile system that, while it might not prevent any future tactical bombing of terror sites, would certainly make the risk of collision much greater for the jet jockeys deployed. It was even media-ized that the treacherous Russkis were being tempted to give them the S300 missile systems they'd bought, rather than a refund. No doubt the wily Mede is holding out for newer, improved S400's which are reputedly capable of knocking out 10 different targets only slightly larger than gnats at any speed and extreme range in less than a minute!

After the military managed to get the pepto-bismol into them, they started considering the "rapid" increase in Iran's marginal propensity to produce an atomic bomb. This mode of reasoning was triggered by the assassination of, apparently, the wrong Iranian atomic bomb expert. The survivors were said to be increasing the rate at which weapons grade plutonium was being enriched to a whopping 24%, up from the old 17%. And even a dummy knows that's a whopping seven percent closer to the stuff they'll need to get themselves targetted for an ICBM strike. When somebody pointed out that the ounces of material the Iranians had were slightly less than the pounds they were going to need to make a viable explosive, the ADHD department went looking for some other topic.

And they found it over at the CIA news desk. The incoming chief of the CIA General "Orange Julius" Petraeus, long an advocate of Iran being the 'real' boogeyman of the middle east, got over blaming them for arming the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan , only because he has now discovered his arch-nemesis, the foul commander of the notorious 'Al Quds Brigade' of the Iranian Republican Guard is, get this, the de facto 'Ruler" of Iraq. Great minds in America are wondering if Petraeus' reign is going to result in the militarization of the CIA - and especially what the uniforms are going to be like.

Expect the calls for something necessary 'needing to be done' to increase as summer dwindles. For it's going to take more than one Norwegian 'Woody' to upset the applecart of freedom.

The Crucifixion Continues

The persecution of the Rt. Honorable Connie Black of Coal Harbor Esq. by the forces of plebeian lesser lights continues with his recent conviction on outstanding charges. His sentence is another 6 months in the slammer, two years of supervised release and a $125 000 fine. When the dowager Lady Coal Harbor heard the bad news she was stricken in the public chamber and had to be assisted by medical personnel. She was revived and left the courtroom escorting her paramour as he left to settle his business and a acquire a stock of monogrammed prison duds. He'll be signing into the gaol next month, unless, of course he decides to take it on the lam.

Surely there will be 'minions' and prison buddies awaiting his return to the 'lecture hall' where many, according to his lawyers, were elucidated by the tomes bought for the prison Library  as fruits of Lord Black's labor, and by his dulcet tones in viva voce as he disclosed to them the arcanities of Napoleon and the secrets of the classical ancients. Lord Black is no small light when it comes to such trivia. Perhaps he'll extend the learning experience to the area of the business and how to 'give it to them'. 

Rupert should be so blessed..

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

We're Out the Door!

Well not quite. In today's reality nothing is ever as it seems, or as it's cracked up to be. The denouement of Canada's adventures in Panjwai no less than anything else.

The Canada Day papers were full of the 'last' Canada Day in 'Canadahar' stories. Tales of ebullient Canuck merriment as the last 'roto' rotates its way into history. Stories of the Canada Day party at the base, where all the troops - front liners included - were gathered in for a couple of brewskis, some free red ball caps - a corporate 'goody' from Tim's  to repay the 'opportunity to serve' where the Red Cross and Sally Ann served our sires - with donuts and coffee, and a 'good time'.

How many of to-day's vets will have the same sour taste as their Grampies caused by the Red Cross' habit of charging for what the Sally Ann gave away free? Tim's, after all, is  in Kandahar on a 'cash' basis. Perhaps 'saving the world' and 'defending democracy from evil doers' are substantially different things than 70 years ago and there's supposedly a sense of entitlement missing to-day but it's definitely 'user buys'. I wonder how they work the 'buy a soldier a coffee'  campaign the Legion runs over there? If the bottom line is 'covered' by what they charge the military? The Horton's 'volunteer' staff may qualify for the new 'Afghan service medal' - the one foreign service workers don't qualify for, but this is volunteering with a corporate edge. When the US vets see a Timmy's going up in their neighborhoods, it hopefully won't give them the heeby-jeebies. Let it be known, however, that Tim's plows all the 'profits' of that Afghan operation as charitable donations, back into programs for soldiers. A win-win situation for any 'patriotic' corporation.

There were road hockey games with the politicos, other entertainers and press. 'Bubbles' the Trailer-park boy was there, a French Canadian comic to entertain the rump of the Vandoos was there, the CinC and 'MinDef' were there - sticks, and mikes, in hand. And so was Canada's latter-day 'Cracklin'  Rosie' Di Manno the granny, warrior-groupie of the Toronto Star.

Rosie's is out-doing herself these days. It's almost as if she thinks she won't be going back to Afghanistan over the next decade to report on the 'sacrifices' of our military police units and square-bashing aficionados. She's no spring chicken,  but one might almost suspect she gets moist being around all that military junk  Describing how a unit used an Afghan hill to 'clear' their APC guns and artillery before they were packed for shipping, one might be amused by the apparent glee of the lads on a free-fire exercise. Everybody who hadn't had a chance to shoot something significant must have been bussed out to the site. A jarring little bit of reality intruded into the good time, in the form of a Afghan station wagon,  straying into an area that was thought to 'civilian free'.  It just underscores the fact that our 'intel' still isn't 90 percent.

That doesn't stop Rosie from drooling over some Playgirl candidate's gelled 'stiffie'.  It's good that our guys can manage to look great while fighting terror. And a real bummer they have to slap a 'pot' onto a flashy 'do'. But that's war. To-day's Rosie report is titled, 'No Warning ... No Regrets'.  It tells of the prowess of the Canadian sniper.

The papers speak glowingly, for the saga isn't finished yet, of how Canada's 'footprint' was being 'erased' as we leave. That will be a change, if it's not more BS, as Afghanistan is littered with the detritus left behind by better war-fighters than us. The jury is still out on 'the mark' we've left on Afghanistan. Not only in terms of the stuff we won't be 'repatriating',  but also in terms of  the 'wonders'  Johnny Canuck has wrought. Those wonders are now in the gentle hands of the US Marine Corps. We'll see what happens next.

For the Canadian Forces, however, the gaze is directed northward ... toward Canada's Arctic. The 'challenge' there will not be from Afghan farmers, but from the Bears and Bison. It was our current PM who, only three years ago, 'Stepforded'** the renascent Russian air force's encroaching on Canadian airspace as they flew around their half of the Arctic. Canadian F-18's were scrambled to meet the potential intruder and the case made that we 'need' something stealthier to sneak up on them, and actually 'catch them in some act' or other. I wonder what the PM will think when our 'allies' steam a fleet into the Arctic to protect their vital oil interests and declare the Northwest Passage an 'international seaway'  like the Red Sea, or the Intracoastal Waterway? Our allies seem intent on manifesting their destiny on Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, while our enemas, the Russki's, don't.

Or maybe we'll be saddling-up the Governor General's Horse guards to ride to the rescue of the gallant little Libyans.  Wouldn't that be a shock?  For they don't particularly like us either.

A country in search of an adventure is a country with too much time on its hands.

** The act of pointing and shrieking - at 'aliens'  a la The Stepford Wives' and hecklers who attend Netanyahu speeches. Alerting the herd to danger.