Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Havin a Holocaust"

Poor ol Tony Cascarino made a bit of a blunder last weekend whilst commentating during the Arsenal V Manchester United match for Sky Sports. He said that Arsenal defender Armand Traore was "having a holocaust" of a match. Not surprisingly, this hasn't gone down too well and the PC brigade are after his head, especially given that Sky Sports have recently sacked other high profile presenters for making sexist remarks. In defence of Cascarino, a childhood hero of mine, I can confirm from experience in my younger years that to say someone is "having an apocalypse" or "having a holocaust" is fairly common football slang that one might hear in the dressing room to describe a particularly bad performance by a player. Obviously, it was very clumsy of Cascarino to say it on live television. I hope Cascarino does not get picked on too much for this. I certainly hope he doesn't get sacked. Like most footballers, I doubt he is particularly savvy when it comes to historical sensitivities. I personally could never be too angry with him, not after that goal he scored against England in Landsdowne Road during the Euro 92 qualification tournament. Having said that, I would be interested to hear from some Jewish readers of Gubu World about the controversy. Just how offensive were his remarks ? Below is the clip.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gadaffi's False Victimhood

Mary Fitzgerald of The Irish Times broke this story last Friday. I am amazed that it has not made a bigger impact in the international media. Perhaps it still will. Fitzgerald claims to have found evidence that Col Gadaffi's step daughter Hana, who the world believed was killed as an infant when President Reagan ordered the bombing of Gadaffi's Tripoli compound in 1986, is in fact alive and well. Gadaffi has gotten a lot of mileage over the years from this episode, famously preserving the part of his compound that was damaged in the Air Strike, and using it to stage defiant anti American demonstrations. A powerful symbol it was, until the sight last week of anti Gadaffi rebels climbing all over it. Gadaffi frequently made reference to the death of his step daughter, even as recently as a few months ago when he said, "what would President Obama do if a Libyan agent assassinated his daughter". Col Gadaffi was an exceptionally competent dictator. His record (1969-2011) speaks for itself. I believe that if you want to be a successful dictator you need three things, ruthlessness, charisma and the ability to make things difficult for those in the international community that want to oppose you. Gadaffi was brilliant at the latter. I firmly believe that Gadaffi said and did things on a regular basis, that had one specific objective, to provoke a reaction from the left in Europe and America in an effort to make it harder for western nations to confront his tyranny. To this end I believe he was very much in tune with domestic events in Britain and America and understood the nature of the left right debate in the west. He knew the figures involved and knew what to say or do in order to get them on his side. Of all the post war dictators, he was simply the best at manipulating western public opinion to his advantage. Therefor the death of his step daughter was propaganda gold.

When a dictator falls his dark and dirty little secrets inevitably come out. It now appears that the tragic death of his step daughter was a fabrication designed to garner international sympathy for him as a victim of western military aggression. Documents found in his compound have included Hana's school records, college degree as well as details of her assets. The mad dog of the Mediterranean played this sinister lie while ruthlessly suppressing his own people as he sponsored terrorists all over the world including in Ireland, Europe and most unforgivably of all in my view, in Uganda where he financed the blood lust of the LRA, the worlds most gruesome murder gang. Gadaffi is gone, but there will always be shame shame shame on all those "Irish Republicans", Marxist activists and other anti western liberals who bought into the Gadaffi persona and secretly or otherwise worshipped him.

Below is a clip of Reagan addressing the American people shortly after ordering the bombing of Tripoli in 1986.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bush Interview

I am looking forward to this. George Bush has given a rare post presidential interview for the National Geographic for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It is his first ever extensive interview about the events of that day. It will be televised on the National Geographic station next week. Below is a sample.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lets have some fun with Mr Gadafi shall we !

None of these lads are smiling now !

Check out this punter with the best souvenir from the war. Gadaffi's hat !

Muamar Gadaffi joins the ranks of histories greatest monsters. From left to right, bottom Row: Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Paul Pot, Mao. Second Row: Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, Ceausescu, I'm not sure who this guy is, Milosevich, Stalin. Third Row: Sadam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Radovan Karadzic and Osama Bin Laden.
Can anyone tell me who the lad in the center is, between Ceausescu and Milosevich?

I thought I would post this amusing interview with Jeremy Bowen from several months ago when Gadaffi claimed that his people loved him.

The guy really belongs in a Bond movie, Gadaffi seen here with his notorious female bodyguards.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripoli Falls !

As I write this, just after midnight on the 22nd of August 2011, I am watching images on TV of rebels machine gunning murals of Col Gadaffi in downtown Tripoli. The mad dog of the Mediterranean who seized control of Libya in September 1969 is on the run, his fate not yet known. Four Arab dictators have now been overthrown by their people this year. While nobody can be certain what will happen in these countries over the coming months and years, one thing I believe is certain. The era of the Arab dictator, who seizes power violently, and keeps it until his death has come to an end. That is a good thing for the Arab people, Mid East peace and global security. It is also good for human justice and the dignity of man. I find few things more sickening than when a mass murdering butcher dies a free man and of natural causes as the likes of Pol Pot and Idi Amin managed. It is also very satisfying to know that a man who thought for so many years that he got away with it will now face justice, whether that be in front of an international court, or by being ripped limb from limb by his tormented former subjects.

Anchor Woman

The Irish have Anne Doyle. The Brits have Kay Burley. The Yanks have katie Couric and the Libyans have this gun wielding crazy cat. In the movie "Anchor Woman", they should get Rosie O'Donell to play her. Enjoy !

Friday, August 19, 2011

Egypt and Israel, the Future

In light of yesterday's horrific events in southern Israel where six civilians were murdered by militants who penetrated the Israeli Egyptian border I want to discuss the situation with Egypt post Mubarak, and whether or not the criticism aimed at the Obama administration for allowing the former regime to collapse is justified. Yesterday terrorists from Egypt, possibly Hamas members, cut through a border fence with Israel and opened fire on a bus killing six civilians and two police men. In response Israel bombed Gaza last night and there have been reports this morning of further attacks on Israel that have caused injuries. Perhaps most worrying of all is that it appears Egyptian soldiers may have been killed by the IDF as they were pursuing the terrorists back across the Egyptian border.

The scene of yesterdays terror attack in Eliat in which Arab terrorists opened fire on a civilian bus.

Since the Camp David Accords were signed in 1979 Egypt's border with Israel has been relatively secure. President Hosni Mubarak and the military regime which he exercised complete control of never broke the terms of the peace agreement. This proved extremely unpopular with elements within Egypt and the peace treaty with the Jewish state remains the nations' most contentious political issue. When Mubarak was overthrown last February the private fear of everyone was would the new regime honour the terms of the peace treaty. The collection of generals currently in charge have stated that they do intend to follow Mubarak's policy toward Israel. However the inevitable post Mubarak instability in Egypt that is likely to continue for some time has raised fears that a radical regime, possibly the Muslim Brotherhood will eventually take over in Egypt. In any event the situation on the border is certain to become much more precarious as the military in Cairo come under pressure to demonstrate to their people that they are not passive in front of Israeli aggression as the Muslim Brotherhood claim. If Egyptian soldiers have been killed by the Israelis, we might be seeing the beginning of the end of the Camp David Accords.

There is no doubt the instability in Egypt is a security nightmare for the Israelis. They have no idea how this will end but it could finish with Israel having a massive enemy on its southern border that will ally itself with Hamas. This has led many people to criticise President Obama for not supporting Mubark during the unrest. Many have compared it to President Carter's refusal to support the Shah of Iran prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution which brought the current fundamentalist regime to power in Tehran. My view is as follows. The United States should not support dictators unless it is vital to American security. The US should never back a dictator who is crushing an uprising against his people unless it is literally a life or death situation, cold war style. Even if there is a good chance that the fall of a dictator will result in a hostile regime I believe the US does not have the right to pull the strings behind the scenes and altar the course of events to suit American interests.

During the Cold War Uncle Sam and the Red Bear attempted to share a balance of power in order to prevent war. It was a horrendous but successful tactic.

During the Cold War an uprising in Cuba led to the overthrow of President Babtista, a right wing pro American dictator. The failure of the Eisenhower regime to prevent this from happening was a mistake as it almost led to World War Three which would have cost billions of lives. The Americans learned from this mistake and prevented similar things from happening in Chile, Argentina and Guatameala. These were exceptionally difficult decisions that had to be made but they were indicative of the lesser of two evils situation that characterised the Cold War. However since the end of the Cold War when global war was no longer a possible alternative, the policy of coming to the rescue of friendly dictators dissipated. The first real example of this came when President George W Bush refused to commit during an attempted coup against Venezuela's Hugo Chavez in 2001. Bush realised that in a post Cold War environment the policy of actively aiding a dictator to crush his enemies could no longer be justified. I believe that this is still the case. Whatever my feelings about Islamic terrorism and its global threat, I think it pails in significance to the threat once posed by the Soviet Union. That is why the American President, this year or next should continue to support the people of the Middle East as they rise up against their tyrants. They deserve their shot at freedom. They may not succeed and regimes may be replaced by worse, but the President cannot play God in this. It remains however an exceptionally difficult situation for Israel. While it may not be life or death for the world the way it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis it is for Israel which is why I hope that the US, Europe and all others who value international peace and security continue to Lobby the new Egyptian government to maintain its peace treaty with Israel and work hard to prevent similar incidents as yesterdays outrage in Eliat.

Photo of the Day

I was at the "Fleadh" in Cavan town yesterday. It is an annual festival of traditional Irish music. The town was buzzing. There was live music in all the pubs and people playing in every door and alleyway. An all round great atmosphere. I would recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

King Klingon

On of the best things about being an Arab dictator is that you get to experiment with your own vanity. We see it all over the region in palaces, sky scrapers, giant yachts, stud arms and so on. The latest example comes from King Abdullah of Jordan who, get this, is building a $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park powered by green energy. The life long trekkie even managed to get a cameo appearance in an episode Star Trek Voyager. Next time I'm in Jordan, I'm going !

Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo of the Day

I took this photo during my recent journey through Co Cork. Since I was spending the night in Macroom I decided to drive the ten mile or so to view the above monument which marks the spot of a ferocious gunfight in 1920, in which 20 people were killed. On the 28th of November 1920, two trucks carrying 18 members of Royal Irish Constabulary, Auxiliary Division (which consisted of former British Naval, Air and Army officers) left Macrooom and headed for Dunmanway. They were ambushed just outside the village of Kilmichael by 36 IRA men led by flying column commander and former British soldier Tom Barry. In the savage fighting that followed seventeen of the eighteen Auxiliaries were killed as were three IRA men. The ambush was seen by many as revenge for the Auxiliary attack on Croke Park which occurred one week previously and led to the deaths of 14 civilians. The British themselves would retaliate one week later by burning Cork City center to the ground. The ambush itself would be the source of much controversy because it was claimed in later years that the Auxiliaries had attempted to surrender and that it was not accepted. Tom Barry in his 1949 book Guerrilla days in Ireland claimed that the men in the second truck had attempted to surrender but on doing so opened fire on the three IRA men who had stepped forward to disarm them. Barry claims these were the only fatal casualties incurred by the IRA during the engagement. He then openly admits that he ordered his men to resume fire and not to accept any further calls for surrender. The one surviving auxiliary was not in a position to verify as he was severely wounded early in the ambush. Another Auxiliary did escape the ambush site but was killed some hours later by local IRA. Some historians appear obsessed with finding out the truth about the ambush and the false surrender claim. I am not as I believe it is academic. If anything the fact that it remains controversial to this day indicates to me that the IRA of the day (1919-21) did for the most part obey the rules of war.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Test for Conservatives

I have been impressed by David Cameron's robust response to the London riots. Here's hoping it is successful !

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Decision Points???

I just finished reading Decision Points, George Bush's memoirs. It was a a great read. It was a book which left me with one overriding thought. Was I, were we too hard on George W Bush? I suppose it is natural to sympathise with any author after reading their autobiography but the former President did articulate in a very convincing way just how unique the Presidency is as ultimately the job comes down to one man in an office making some incredibly difficult calls that will shape human history. I also got the impression of a man who had little appetite for the partisan game. I never realised what a hard time he got from the Christian right wing of the Republican Party which regularly accused him of selling out on many of their principles. He was clearly less ideological and more pragmatic than most people give him credit for. This is evident in his chapters on Stem Cell Research, Social Security Reform, Hurricane katrina and No Child Left Behind. Yet it is impossible to avoid the reality that Iraq and the 2008 financial crisis render his Presidency largely, a bad one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Photo of the Day

A silhouette of me, as the sun sets in Howth.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Irish in Lebanon

Below is some footage of the early stages of the Irish Army mission to Southern Lebanon which began last month. The objective of the mission is to monitor the ceasefire between Hezbollah and the Israeli Defence Forces and to make the area safe for civilians. This summary is from the Defence Forces website.

Some footage from the 104 Battalion who deployed to Lebanon in Jun/Jul this year as the first Irish unit to return there since 2006. This video gives you an insight to the daily work of the Irish troops and also shows the official handover from the French troops to the Irish troops of the forward observation posts which are on the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. 47 members of the Irish Defence Forces have lost their lives in the service of peace in Lebanon

70 Years Ago Today 7/8/40

Moscow: Joseph Stalin appoints himself Commander in Chief of the Red Army.

Gibraltar: The Royal Naval Submarine HMS Severn sinks the Italian Submarine Michele Bianchi with the loss of all on board, thought to be 44.

Russia: The Red Army retreats to a 20 mile wide line East of Smolensk after that city fell to the Germans after an enormous battle in Which 300,000 Soviet POW's were taken as well as 3,200 tanks captured. The way now appears open for German march on Moscow.

Red Army soldiers are surrendering on mass on the Eastern Front

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Photo of the Day

Some Street Theatre at the top of Grafton Street.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

David Norris bows out, my take !

David Norris waves goodbye to his supporters outside his house yesterday after announcing his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

Senator David Norris has pulled out of the Irish Presidential election. The scandal which caused the eccentric politician to bow out is like something from a fictitious political novel. It is a scandal that involves, love, sex, crime, passion and Israeli conspiracies. There is also a personal connection to the scandal because regular commenter on Gubu World, John Connolly, aka blogger thesystemworks played a central role in the scandal. For my non Irish readers, allow me to summarise the controversy.

Senator David Norris (67) is one of Ireland's few openly gay politicians. Last month he announced his candidate for the Presidency of Ireland, an important even if largely ceremonial position. A few days into his campaign interviews emerged from over a decade ago when he appeared to claim that teenage boys having sex with older men could be acceptable under certain circumstances. The revelation damaged his campaign but he stood his ground arguing that the interviewer had manipulated his words. It seemed to blow over. However, on the 24th of July last, John Connolly posted on his blog a story which proved fatal to the Norris for President campaign. It involved Norris' former partner, an Israeli man named Ezra Nawi who was convicted in 1992 by an Israeli court of having sex with an underage teenage Palestinian boy. Below is an extract from John's post.

In light of the age of consent controversy it would be highly appropriate to bring up facts about his former long-time romantic partner, the Israeli Communist Ezra Nawi. Nawi is a plumber by profession but also a political agitator. Few are aware that Nawi was convicted of sodomizing an underage Palestinian Arab boy in 1992, as well as the illegal use of a firearm, growing narcotics and transporting Palestinian Arab workers who did not possess the proper permits into Israel. Nawi was given light sentences so as to not give him the status of a martyr among Israeli Anarchists and Communists. David Norris was certainly aware of Nawi’s history of intercourse with underage boys while they were a couple. Why has this been ignored in the public debates?

It got worse for Norris when it emerged that he had at the time written a letter to the Israeli court appealing for leniency for his former lover. It proved too much for some of his key supporters and they began to withdraw their support. As it became clear that Norris would not get the support of the 20 members required from the Oireachtas (houses of parliament) to get his name on the ballot paper, David Norris withdrew from the campaign. Then began the real madness. Who leaked the story? Was it the Labour Party whose candidate Michael D Higgins is a rival of Norris or could it even have been the Israelis who did not want Norris, a man with a history of criticising Israeli actions, to be the next President of Ireland. The only man who really knows the answer is John.

Who is the source ?
The Israeli Government. My goodness. This is so daft I don't know where to start. The Israelis have a lot on their plate right now. There is the Arab Srping, a nuclear Iran, peace negotiation with the Palestinian authorities and neighbours to the North (Hezbollah) and South (Hamas) who are in a fight to the death with the Jewish state. Does anyone really believe they give monkey's arse about the Irish Presidential election. Well some do, most are the usual Israel bashers who are obsessed with Israeli conspiracies but some more respected figures like Independent TD (MP) Finian McGrath have actually called for an investigation into the role of the Israeli Embassy in the breaking of the story. Astonishing, no wait, embarrassing.

The Labour Party. No, Michael D Higgins is too sweet for that. Presidential elections are dirty but in Ireland, not that dirty and in any event I don't believe anybody in the Higgins campaign would have the ingenuity to do something so crafty. John has however indicated that the source of his story has previous connections with the Labour Party which "unnerved" him a bit. This has sent the speculation machine into overdrive but lets remember people, the crime of Ezra Nawi was a documented crime as was Mr Norris' relationship with him. All it took was for somebody in Ireland, with Israeli connections (who John obviously knows) to join the dots and realise a major scandal was there to be broken. If they hadn't, somebody else would have.

David Norris and the Presidency
I have always liked David Norris. I have met him a couple of times and found his personality very appealing. He was not my candidate but I think it is a shame he has left the race as it will most certainly be a less exciting campaign. He used bad judgement regarding the appeal for Mr Nawi but he remains an honorable man in my view and a guy I would like to have at my fantasy dinner party (along with John F Kennedy and Jack Charlton).

Norris has a history of criticising Israeli actions in Palestine. As always I distinguish between those who constantly and out of all proportion bash Israel and those who do so in an objective manner, even if I disagree. Norris fell into the latter category in my view. In any event, the Irish President's views on Israel are of no importance to me, as long as it is not anti semetic. I want a President who has a strong grasp of the Irish constitution and someone who will protect Irish democracy. I want a President who can inspire Irish people, the nation and who will defend and speak up for the Irish police and Armed Forces in the event they are not properly protected by the government. That it turns out was not David Norris. But I salute him.

John Connolly
John Connolly has been subjected to some outrageous abuse since he broke this story last week. John was perfectly entitled to break this story. It was a legitimate story. If he didn't someone else would have. David Norris' Presidency was only sabotaged by himself when he carelessly wrote a letter defending his former parters pedophile actions. Presidential elections are particularly tough because it is more about the individual. If Norris had have done this in any other country the reaction would have been as bad if not worse. This was neither smear nor slander. It was the rough and tumble of political life. Well done John ! You have proved how powerful the blog can be in Irish politics.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

90 Years Ago This Week

I neglected this historical aspect of Gubu World in recent months but I want to revive it as July 1921 was a crucial month in Irish history in which the Anlgo Irish war would come to an end. For this reason I will cover the whole month.

July 01.

Sligo: Two RIC men were killed in an ambush in Dromore Co Sligo when a seven man RIC cycle patrol was ambushed by the local IRA.

Tipperary: An RIC man is shot dead in the village of Bansha.

Cork: An IRA man is killed in an attack by an auxiliary patrol near Rathcoole.

July 02.

Munster: Three RIC men are killed in separate attacks, two in Oola Co Limerick, the other in Tallow Co Waterford.

July 03.

Wicklow: An RIC man is shot dead when he is attacked just outside Wicklow town.

July 04/05.

Dublin: Major developments in back room peace negotiations occur during these two days following on from last months letter from Lloyd George to Eamon De Valera and James Craig (leader of northern Unionists) inviting them to London to discuss a settlement to the conflict. A Key figure in the negotiations between the underground Irish Republic and the British turns out to be Jans Smuts, the Prime Minister of South Africa who traveled to Dublin to meet De Valera in secret. Smuts, a former enemy and ally of the British is relaying the positions that both sides require in order for a truce between the IRA and crown forces to come into effect.

July 08.

Dublin: General MaCready, commanding officer of British troops in Ireland met with Sinn Fein Representatives at the Mansion House to discuss the terms of a truce.

July 06-09

Nationwide: RIC men, some of whom are black n tans, are killed in separate incidents in Limerick, Belfast, Cork, Clare and Wicklow.

July 09

Dublin. At a meeting in the Mansion House between General MaCready and Sinn Fein TD's (MP's) Eamon Duggan and Robert Barton the terms of a truce are agreed between the IRA and Crown forces. The truce is to come into effect on the 11th of July.

Kerry: In the town of Castlemaine a two hour gunfight between the British Army and the IRA breaks out resulting in the deaths of four British soldiers and five IRA men. It turns out to be the last major military action of the Irish War of Independence.

July 10.

Nationwide: Three RIC men are killed in separate incidents in Ennis, Castlerea and Skibbereen.

July 11.

Nationwide: The truce comes into effect at 11 am.

July 10 -17.

Belfast: After an RIC man is killed in an ambush sectarian riots break out in which 30 Catholics are murdered and over 200 injured. Approximately 100 Catholic homes are burnt.

July 12.

London: Eamon De Valera, Arthur Griffith, Robert Barton and Austin Stack arrive in Downing Street to begin negotiations with the British.

July 14.

Dublin: Due to the ongoing violence in the north the Belfast Boycott intensifies. The Irish Government, although still not officially recognised declare that Northern Irish bank notes would not be legal tender in the south.

July 18.

London: Lloyd George offers the Irish dominion status but states this would only be possible for the 26 counties, otherwise it would lead to a sectarian civil war between Protestant loyalist and Catholic nationalist.

July 20.

London: British cabinet agrees proposals (incl. use of word Treaty) - a Dominion status for Southern Ireland whereby South would have full internal control including taxation, finance and land defense; no navy; bases for royal navy; restrictions on number of Irish army, rights of recruiting, free trade between two countries; Irish contribution to British War Debt. In addition, South must recognise "the existing powers and privileges of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, which cannot be abrogated except by their own consent”. The details of these terms are sent to Irish delegation at the Grosvenor Hotel. The harsh terms that were on offer is why many believe De Valera returned home and sent over a different delegation, led by Collins to negotiate the specific details of the treaty.

July 21.

London: De Valera rejects British proposals and returns to Dublin.

July 24.

Belfast: IRA Deputy Chief of Staff Eoin O'Duffy is sent to Belfast as a truce liaison officer.

Eamon De Valera enters Downing Street in July 1921.

De Valera's decision to return home and send a different delegation over to London which he would not be part of has been the source of huge controversy in Ireland for 90 years. Many believe it is because he did not want to be associated with the compromise which was inevitable after the British made clear to him that they would not accept a 32 county Republic.

History Repeating itself

It's a common phrase and there are many examples of history repeating itself but it's not often it happens so literally. In February 1982 Syrian President Hafez al-Assad sent the military into the Eastern City of Hama to suppress an uprising by the Syrian branch of the Muslim brotherhood. In the process, somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 people were brutally killed by the military that ruthlessly pursued a scorched earth policy in the city of less than half a million people. Yesterday, the President of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, son of the 1982 butcher, sent his tanks into Hama which has been under siege since the latest uprising began last February. This eerie repeat of his fathers actions can only end in a blood bath. There are already 200 confirmed deaths. Bashar Al Assad has today shown his true colours. The man who attempted to convince the world that he is an Arab reformer is in fact a tyrant. Below is footage from Hama of the violence.