Category Archives: Military

Keneally insults everyone and is running out of luck.

Poor Kristina Keneally doesn’t seem to be having much luck lately.
First David Campbell leaves the front bench to deal with personal issues after his secret gay life is exposed and then she looses two more Minsters in one day. What can go wrong next? I know lets just insult the whole of Australia by down playing Barry O’Farrell’s Kokoda trail achievement as something so easy even Miss Australia has done it. Nice work Kristina.

Kristina Keneally made the gibe at Barry O’Farrell saying “Well, so did Miss Australia – so congratulations, Barry.” after he had used his completion of the trail as proof of his personal strength in a media interview.

Clearly Kristina doesn’t fully understand the significance of the Kokoda Trail to Australia. By down playing Barry O’Farrell’s effort she has insulted not only all Australians but the soldiers that that made this trek out of necessity during World War II and people who have completed the Kokoda Trail since then. She has also insulted all Australian women by suggesting that if a women, and more particularly 2007 Miss Australia winner Caroline Pemberton, can complete the trail then I can’t be so hard.

I would suggest that perhaps Kristina needs to do the Kokoda Trail and even though she claims it is something she would like to do when her kids are older I would suggest that the sooner the better. Until then maybe a bit of research about the Kododa Trail and perhaps the broader subject of Australia history would be in order.

Perhaps some research of the people that Barry O’Farrell did the trail with wouldn’t have gone astray either as Caroline Pemberton is an experienced adventure racer and one of his other fellow participants was Liberal Upper House MP Charlie Lynn has completed the trail 59 times, so Barry O’Farrell was not among beginners by any means.

After the shock loss of two Ministers when Ian McDonald and Graham West resigned from their Ministries the Keneally Government was in a state of panic. Not only did it have to fill two more ministries but it will now have to go into damage control again over Ian McDonald’s alleged travel rorts.
The New South Wales Labor Government would seem to have quite a task ahead of them if they are going to have any success in the next state election in March 2011. Kristina Keneally certainly hasn’t made the task any easier and has perhaps shown how out of touch she is with the people who she claims to represent.
I certainly look forward to an interesting election campaign that seems to be developing in New South Wales. I am sure it will provide many interesting points for discussion.

Could Neda Be What Is Needed To Bring Democracy To Iran.

The sad and needless death of Iranian women, Neda Agha Soltan, has been viewed around the world on sites such as YouTube. It is a disturbing video and I won’t be providing a link to a video here but it is not hard find if you search on a search engine or on YouTube.



Neda Agha Soltan


While Neda is not the only person to be killed during protests in Iran following elections that are regarded by many Iranians to be corrupt, it is the most widely covered and discussed. Its impact on world wide interest on the current events has been significant.

What I think is the most tragic part of the deaths happening in Iran is the fact that these people are dying in their efforts to support democracy in their country due to the very undemocratic actions of the countries leadership and it paramilitary.

These people are protesting over what they see as the flawed and corrupt result of the Iranian presidential election held in June this year. A recount of votes has been carried out, although limited, and while some irregularities have been found they were judged by ‘independent’ electoral authorities to not have influenced the result.

The large number of people attending these protests and the sustained effort of protests so far would seem to indicate the popular wish of the people. Though popular wishes do not always mean much in a country ruled by dictators such as in Iran.

The death of Neda certainly seems to have inspired continued protests and hopefully democracy can win in the end. Hopefully with as little blood shed as possible.

U.S. and Israel Don’t See Eye To Eye On Settlements.

Israel stands firm on its plans to continue building settlements in the West Bank.

The U.S. is also firm on its insistance that Israel must stop the building of its settlements in the West Bank.

Israel asserts that its plans to build settlements in the West Bank are nessecary due to ‘natural growth’. That term has been defined vaguely by Israeli officials, meaning for some that settlements should expand to accommodate only their own children.

Israel “cannot freeze life in the settlements,” Netanyahu said, describing the American call as an “unreasonable” demand.

Whatever the American demands and Israeli definitions, the reality is that no full freeze seems likely.

Mr Netanyahu is in a difficult position with factions pushing for the expansion of settlements and many opposed to the establishment of an independant Palestinian State. Support for succumbing to U.S. demands is not at all strong.

Netanyahu has set a stance to stop the spread of unofficial settlements however, that are not within the official settlement plans. Many successive governments have turned a blind eye to these unofficial settlements which largely contain rogue Israeli elements.

President Obama has played down tensions between the U.S. and Israel saying that “Part of being a good friend is being honest” in an interview with NPR News. “And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory, in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests.

“We do have to retain a constant belief in the possibilities of negotiations that will lead to peace,” he added. “I’ve said that a freeze on settlements is part of that.”

“Not only is it in the interest of the Palestinian people to have a state, it’s in the interest of the Israeli people to stabilize the situation there,” he said. “And it’s in the interest of the United States that we’ve got two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Despite Israeli objections to halt West Bank settlements President Obama is confident United States was “going to be able to get serious negotiations back on track” between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the interview with NPR News Obama also said “It’s in the interest of the United States that we’ve got two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Referring to the debate about settlements, he said: “Diplomacy is always a matter of a long hard slog. It’s never a matter of quick results.”

U.S. plans Strong Action Against North Korea

The U.S. is determined to send a strong unified message to North Korea. The U.S. has been working closely with its allies to get a resolution through the U.N Security Council that is strong and decisive.
The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has also met with official from Russia and China in preparation for debates in the U.N. Security Council for tough resolutions for North Korea.

Senior officials have indicated the bans could include restrictions on travel and visa bans on certain members of the regime and tougher trade and economic sanctions, possibly including an arms embargo to prevent North Korea from engaging in lucrative arms sales.

Deputy spokesman Robert Wood said “I think it’s very clear that we are all on the same page with regard to the need to take very strong measures against North Korea.” He went on to add, “They’re going to continue with our discussions on coming up with a strong resolution that responds to the North’s violation of its international obligations.”

Wood made no comment on reports that North Korea is moving missile equipment for another possible long-range missile test but repeated that missile launches by Pyongyang constitute a violation of existing U.N. resolutions.

Senior U.S. officials confirmed that North Korea is moving equipment around, but it is unclear whether the regime is intent on another missile launch or whether it is just trying to rattle the international community.

The U.S. wants North Korea to return to nuclear negotiations with the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, known as the six-party talks.

Although the talks have been stalled for more than a year, Wood said, “just because things haven’t worked doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.”

Israel Will Not Stop Settlements.

The Israeli Government says it won’t bow to U.S. requests for it to stop its settlements in the West Bank.

“I want to say in a crystal clear manner that the current Israeli government will not accept in any fashion that legal settlement activity in Judea and Samaria be frozen,” Transport Minister Yisrael Katz, an official close to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, using the Israeli term for the West Bank. “The government will defend the vital interests of the state of Israel.”

This was the first official reaction from the Israeli Government after U.S. President Obama’s request for the them to halt settlements.

Israel’s settlement of the West Bank is a key hurdle to peace talks with Palestinian authorities. While I understand Israel’s need for security the Palestinian people require the same security. How can the Israeli Government justify forcing people put of their homes so that they can build settlements on land that is in a separate State to Israel. They have effectively invaded this land.

If Israel expect to have security for themselves then they have to respect the need for others to have security. Israel says it requires its settlements on the West Bank for natural growth. What other State in the World expects to be able to legally expand its borders to establish new settlements.
It is my opinion that Israel is being unreasonable in its expectations and needs to halt these settlements now and respect the borders it shares with other sovereign states. Until it does this I cannot see how peace between Israel and other Middle Eastern states can be achieved.

North Korea Explains Its Stand on Nuclear Test.

The latest information on the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) contains a statement from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Ministry (North Korean Foreign Ministry) regarding the UNSC’s threat of additional sanctions.

In the statement they seek to justify their reasons for conducting nuclear and missile tests to maintain their own national security.

The Statement from the DPRK Foreign Ministry starts by saying “Over the past several decades, the DPRK has made every possible effort for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the U.S., instead of seeking a substantial removal of nuclear threats, has steadily increased the level of pressure upon the DPRK and it has eventually brought even the six-party talks to collapse in wanton violation of the principles of respect for the sovereignty and sovereign equality, the underlying spirits of the September 19 Joint Statement, over the DPRK’s launch of satellite, the universally recognized right of each state.”

The statement goes on to say ” At present, some countries were shocked at the news of the DPRK’s second nuclear test. But an exceptional act has its exceptional reason.
The recent nuclear test conducted by the DPRK is the 2054th one on the earth.
The five permanent members of the UNSC have conducted 99.99 percent of all the nuclear tests.
Those countries have posed the biggest nuclear threats to the world. But they took issue with our first nuclear test, which was conducted in October 2006 as a self-defensive measure to cope with increased nuclear threats by the U.S., terming it a “threat to the international peace” and adopted the sanctions resolution against the DPRK. This is exactly the UNSC Resolution 1718.”

They also explain their position on Nuclear Non Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime saying “The DPRK is neither a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty nor to the Missile Technology Control Regime or MTCR. Such being the case, it has a right to conduct as many nuclear tests or missile launches as it wants in the event that the supreme interests of the state are infringed upon. Such self-defensive measures do not run counter to any other international law.”

Looking at this statement on face value it would seem that North Korea could be quite justified in believing they have every right to conduct these tests. Why shouldn’t they be able to do what they feel they have to, to ensure their own security. Other countries spend huge amounts of money developing sophisticated military technology and what North Korea seems to want is to exercise its sovereign rights as it seems fit. A fair expectation I guess.

The problem that many other countries have with North Korea having nuclear weapons and the capability to attack almost any other country in the world is can they be trusted. North Korea’s boisterous stance is legendary and the fear is that this could lead to extreme action and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea does not seem willing to listen to its large and powerful ally in China and it is this type of attitude that causes such concern.

I guess the problem is how do you balance international security with with a countries sovereign rights. Do you allow North Korea to develop a nuclear capability and trust that they will use it as a deterrent just like every other nuclear power in the world.

I understand the agreement that the existing nuclear powers have not to limit the spread of nuclear weapons with the eventual disarmament and a peaceful use of nuclear energy, but North Korea has never been a signatory of this agreement so you can understand how they can feel that they shouldn’t be forced to comply with it.

What ever happens I only can only hope that a peaceful solution can be found.

North Korea Seems Determined To Go To War

The Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s official news agency, has just reported more missiles being fired by North Korea.

A recent report on its web site says:

“N. Korea fires short-range missile off east coast: source

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — North Korea launched an additional short-range missile from its east coast, an official at the government official said Friday.

North Korea appears to have launched a missile into the East Sea at around 6:12 p.m., according to the official.

The North has been firing a series of missiles since Monday, when it said it successfully conducted a second nuclear test.”

These latest test would seem to further show North Korea’s determination to snub its nose at the World and further antagonise South Korea. It is also sure to push the rest of the World towards tougher sanctions through the U.N. Security Council.

With North Korea’s threat to respond to any action against its shipping or ships enroute to its ports with military action and its continuing aggression it seems determined to force a military conflict with South Korea.

Obama Calls For Israel To Halt West Bank Expansion

Israel must halt their expansion into the West Bank and Palestinians must increase West Bank security to allow the Middle East peace process to advance, said President Obama after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

Obama told reporters “I am confident that we can move this process forward if all the parties are willing to take on the responsibilities and meet the obligations that they’ve already committed to.” during a joint appearance with Abbas following the White House meeting.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority was committed to fulfilling its obligations under the 2003 Middle East road map.

The two leaders called for immediate progress in the peace process in the hope of restarting peace talks directly between Palestinians and Israeli’s.

No formal Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have occurred since the latest Israeli elections brought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.

“What is needed right now is to resume the discussions with the current Israeli government,” Abbas said.

Obama pushed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, last week, for a firm Israeli commitment to Palestinian statehood as part of the so-called two-state solution, a position strongly advocated on Thursday by Abbas.

Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlements but has also committed to continue expansion or “natural Growth” of existing settlements.
Netanyahu has also refrained from committing to a Palestinian state saying that Israel needed security and a clear Palestinian Leader to talk to.

Obama said “It is in our interest to ensure that Israel is safe and secure,” and for steps to be taken towards a Palestinian free state.

At the same time, Obama said he told President Abbas “in a frank exchange” that continuing anti-Israel sentiments and incitements were “impediments to peace.”

The Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas holds power on the West Bank, while the militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas controls Gaza. Abbas is under pressure to negotiate with Hamas on creating a unified Palestinian leadership, Obama noted, and praised him for insisting that such a Palestinian leadership must agree to Israel’s right to exist and commit itself to peace.

Without both sides of this conflict doing their part and recognising each others right to security and a clearly defined boundary peace will be difficult to establish and maintain.

Clearly some large policy shifts will be required from both sides before a suitable peace can be found.

North Korea Threatens War with the South.

North Korea has announced that it no longer recognises the 1953 armistice that ended its war with South Korea. What would seem to make this announcement more serious than previous announcement is that it came directly from the North Korean military rather than its official newsagency.

This renouncing of the armistice comes as South Korea joins the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), with North Korea describing it as tantamount to a declaration of war.
Pyongyang has announced that any attempt to stop and search any North Korean ships or ships delivering goods to North Korea “will face an immediate and strong military strike in response.”

“Our military will no longer be bound by the armistice accord as the current US leadership… has drawn the puppets (South Korea) into the PSI,” said the statement from the North’s military representative at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

What Was North Korea Thinking?

North Korea has again staged an underground nuclear test yesterday. This time much larger and more successful than the test held in October 2006. It has also tested short range missiles yesterday and today.
North Korea has declared an off-limits area for vessels in the Yellow Sea off Jungsan county in South Pyongan province and it is thought that more missile tests may follow.
North Korea’s official news agency reported that the test were carried out “as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way.”
So why does North Korea think it has to show the world that it can defend itself. It closest ally is China, the worlds biggest economy and a world military power in its own right closely followed by Russia, another major world power. So who do they think is crazy enough to attack them and risk drawing themselves in a conflict involving China and Russia.
North Korea has no need to show it can defend itself like this, so why has it sent the World into such a frenzy by performing these tests.
North Korea seems to have a need to make the World take notice of them. Like the naughty kid who shows off to get attention. Carrying these test helps it feel like a world power and watching the resulting flurry of panic as the World struggles to deal with the consequences of these tests just serves to give North Korea the justification they feel they deserve.
North Korea enjoys annoying people and this is exactly what they have been able to achieve.
As well as feeding the ego what else has North Korea achieved with these tests. They have, for the moment at least put China and Russia off side. China has backed North Korea often before the UN Security Council but these tests have made it hard for China to continue doing this. Russia have already announce their intention to support the U.N. against North Korea.
The U.S. already have forces in South Korea and are moving to increase their presence in the area in an effort to be seen to be supporting their close ally South Korea as well as Japan, who also see North Korea as a major regional threat.
With significant sanctions already placed against North Korea by the U.N. they face further sanctions when the U.N. decides what its reaction will be. Many countries around the World have already voiced their support for tougher sanctions.
U.S. President Obama has also promised a strong reaction and will most certainly be pushing for a strong reaction from the U.N.
North Korea is already one of the most isolated countries in the world due the sanctions already in place and any increase in these sanctions or loss of support from China would put a lot more pressure on their already strained economy.
The Worlds biggest fear is that Korea and Iran may form an alliance. Such an alliance could see two new nuclear powers with very little need to conform to the expectation of the rest of the World. Korea has uranium resources, and this combined with its test results and nuclear production technology being married up with Iran’s enrichment technology could result in an alliance to that would give the world good cause to worry.