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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

3 PARA Review And The Issue Of Dividing Jerusalem

Posted by Atilla89 on March 13, 2008

Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I have been very busy with work and with uni. The situation is going to get even more busier so don’t expect many posts in the future. Don’t worry, I will do my best to keep posting as much as physically possible in this situation. First I want to talk about the book that I am reading at the moment, 3 Para. Its a very good book about the British in Afghanistan during the summer of 2006. Its a great read which talks about the war from the soldier’s point of view as well as talking a little bit about the current (then) situation in Afghanistan during the beginning. It successfully combines history, politics and the personal soldiers to make a really memorable read. Get this book from Amazon here. You can also check out what other people have thought of this book. I also want to add something from one of the reviewers which will have significance once you read the book.

“As a postscript (and not part of the book itself), readers will be interested to know that the Commanding Officer of 3 Para Battle Group – Lt. Colonel Stuart Tootal DSO OBE (the DSO being awarded for his outstanding service in Afghanistan) resigned in November 2007 after attacking the Ministry of Defence over “poor pay for soldiers, lack of equipment, the standard of army housing and poor medical treatment afforded to his injured soldiers.”

I was recently emailed this article about the issue of Jerusalem in regards to negotiations between Israel and the PA. The article’s belief is that it is not a matter of if and whether, it is a matter of when and how Jerusalem will be divided. I don’t have a link that I can show you for this article, however, I can tell you that this was written by Douglas Bloomfield in 2008, it is called ‘Dividing Jerusalem – when, not whether’.

Jerusalem will be divided. The question isn’t whether, but when and how. The city’s borders have been shifting for 3,000 years.

Today’s borders will not be tomorrow’s. Already the security barrier cuts off some parts of the city, and the Palestinian Authority, with American funding, is building a road linking East Jerusalem to Ramallah.

The Jewish majority is shrinking as many secular Jews move away, complaining “the city is too poor, too Orthodox and too Arab,” reports the JTA. If a few years, if the present borders remain unchanged, David’s City could be come Daud’s City and have a Palestinian mayor.

This actually is a very real problem. I remember last year when I was in Israel, my tour guide was talking about the issue of there being a lot of Arabs in Jerusalem and what would happen to the city when they were a majority. The problem is, these people can vote. I’ve heard arguments that range from imposing Apartheid on these people to stop them from voting, but I believe that is fundamentally wrong in principle.

Ariel Sharon understood the inevitability of dividing the city; his initial plans for the security barrier included putting some Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the far side. American Jews who are increasingly demanding a voice in deciding the fate of Jerusalem understand the same reality; many oppose any change in the city’s borders, including jettisoning Arab neighborhoods that were added only after 1967, because they oppose any and all land for peace deals with the Palestinians.

Without Jerusalem, no deal is possible. There will be no end to the Arab-Israeli conflict nor will there be international recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, even by the United States.

I kind of agree with the above plan, however I don’t think it will work. The PA will just demand more and more of Jerusalem until they control all of it. It may work, however I have my doubts. As well as this, Bibi brings up another good point as to why this may not work.

All too often talk of an “undivided” Jerusalem is less about preserving Jewish patrimony than blocking a peace settlement with the Palestinians. There is a two-state consensus among Israelis today, but there is also a vocal rejectionist camp. One of its leaders is Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that if he becomes prime minister again he will shut down the US-initiated peace talks begun at Annapolis last November.

This Jeremiah of his generation warns that if Israel leaves any part of Jerusalem “Hamas comes in” and will “start rocketing” and shooting into the Jewish neighborhoods. Withdrawal, he told American Jewish leaders recently, “will just put us one step closer to being forced out of the whole country.”

It is true that allowing Palestinians to build up this close to Jerusalem will allow them to build rockets and use that area as a staging base into Israel. There are two ways to counter this however, one is that the IDF will have to keep a continuous eye on that area and two is that the PA might just be able to control their own militia (terrorists). You can imagine my skepticism I’m sure. You can read the whole article by pressing the ‘more’ link.


Posted in Afghanistan, Hamas, IDF, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Palestine, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Prince Harry Leaves Afghanistan

Posted by Atilla89 on March 1, 2008

Just in case you didn’t know, Prince Harry (nicknamed by his men the “ginger bullet magnet”) who was serving in Afghanistan has been pulled out of there because of leaks from the media, specifically The Drudge Report. Of coarse due to the fact that he is a bullet magnet, he can’t stay in Afghanistan anymore which is a real shame as his time in the military has started to take away the image of a rich brat living the playboy life. Having said this, I have a bit of a mixed opinion regarding this, its not as if Al-Qaeda know which base he is in or where his current location is… But the powers that be have decided that he is to much of a risk now and away he goes. Pajamas Media has a nice little tribute article about this. Here is an section that I really like.

In many ways, this is an ideal tabloid story, tapping in to uncomplicated veins of patriotism, bravery, and the still-strong respect for the institution of the monarchy (if not always its personnel). For the more discerning observer, too, there are plenty of pleasing echoes to the tale; the revelation that it was the monarch herself who told Harry of his imminent deployment; that it was to Afghanistan, setting for the colonial exploits romanticised by Kipling and MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels , that he was posted; and that he was serving alongside the last vestiges of that imperial army – the feared Gurkhas of Nepal, the best infantrymen in the world. Why, even his nickname, Harry, recalls famous warrior princes of Shakespearean legend; should he succeed to the throne, it would be as Henry IX.

I love Fraser’s novels, Harry Flashman for the win!

Posted in Afghanistan, Middle-East, Random, UK | Leave a Comment »