Archive for September, 2014

The anti-Assad rebels must be wondering what just happened. After years of staying their military might – or actually arming the original Syrian rebels – and being blocked by Russia in the UN (so ‘we can’t do anything’)  the US is now doing something.

Far too late of course, and albeit there was never an easy solution, but the US just did actually do something. And it’s happened so fast in political terms following the ISIS beheading of Americans.

No the rebels didn’t get any ‘no fly zones’, a useful consistent supply of modern weapons when they needed them, protected refugee safe-haven areas; just tents and food when it could be got to them in a neighbouring land.

So which of these messages is being sent.

1. Assad is untouchable, and the now likely winner in his 180,000 death civil war

2. Revenge is what sparks the US into belligerence, forget the global policeman complex

3. The US doesn’t need UN specific approval – only when it suits them in a ‘wait and see’ mode

4. Obama’s hand wringing is over, ‘I’ve tried to keep out of this stuff, and see what’s happened’

Maybe now that aerial warfare has started in Syria, Obama can convince himself the US could destroy Assad’s air-power and thus finally aid the collection of rebels on the ground. You can bet he would take that to the Security Council though, and you can bet again that Putin and ilk would veto it.

It may of course be far to late for that, and a likely scenario is that the air strikes will achieve some success and then will stop. ISIS will then push-on, defeat the rebels and sit for years in a deadly stand-off with Assad, while the civilians suffer from both sides brutality.


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“If in doubt, gifts shall not be offered or accepted. Football officials are expected to be aware of the importance of their duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities” – Fifa’s ethics committee orders representatives from the 32 World Cup nations to return the £16,000 watches they were all given in a gift bag from Brazilian FA suits.

From Fiver

And in the Guardian itself: Greg Dyke says he had no idea World Cup gift watch was worth £16,000

•The FA chairman thought present was of little value and put it aside
• ‘It was the fourth watch I’ve had since I started doing this job’

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The Pistorious trial and the misjudgement by the trial Judge Masipa highlights the position women play in Society. Yes there are a few more women in business at the top, but as a reality check read this blog.


When women are killed, we remain just as dead as any man in similar circumstances. It cannot be argued that we have not really died, that the bullet that went through our skull didn’t really hurt us. Our death is an objective truth. It’s just the years leading up to it – all those experiences, thoughts and feelings – that can never quite be verified. For how does one know whether a life has validity unless it was lived by a man?

A man’s story belongs to him. He is more than “just the women”. As Judge Thokozile Masipa said of Oscar Pistorius, not guilty of murder despite firing four shots through a locked bathroom door, “the accused is the only person who can say what his state of mind was at the time he fired the shots that killed the deceased”. His experiences are inviolable. And…

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