Saturday, October 24, 2009
British Biscuit Advisory Board
National TV ads and billboards highlighted its campaign to 'educate the public about responsible biscuit choices and promote safer biscuit- eating practices' and a ... 'workplace biscuit risk assessment test' - written in bureaucratic health and safety language - was created and issued to 5,849 council workers across the UK.
But research ... showed the general public is just as health and safety obsessed, with an incredible one in five believing there is a need for more rules and regulations concerning safe biscuit consumption.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents revealed the most recent figures show that 400 people a year in Britain had to be treated in Accident and Emergency departments for biscuit-related accidents.
These included 'somebody falling over while reaching for a biscuit', someone slipping on a chocolate biscuit on their stairs and various people choking on biscuits.
One woman had to be treated after she used a knife to try to remove a Smartie from a gingerbread biscuit and stabbed herself in the hand.
A boy was taken to hospital after he was hit in the eye by a biscuit thrown by a friend.
However RoSPA spokesman Jo Stagg warned that people should not be too scared of biscuits.
A total of 813 ... council employees clicked through to the online survey and 437 risk-averse workers actually took the time to complete it.
Four councils ... reported having specific policy rules on safe biscuit consumption.
One council even claimed to have supervised tea breaks for safety reasons.
However this is from the Mail just about the only bit of the MSM not dipped in bullshit & I have left out some bits about how this came about:
The fictitious 'British Biscuit Advisory Board' was created as part of a £3million marketing drive by Fox's biscuits for its Rocky bar.
Mike Driver, Fox's marketing director, said: 'We developed the idea of the British Biscuit Advisory Board as a parody of the nation's obsession with health and safety, but we never thought it would be taken quite so seriously.'
Well done to them - I think Mike has definitely earned a link to Fox's Biscuits here. I will definitely enjoy their chocolate digestives more next time. I hope the win an advertising award for what is not merely a witty advertising programme but hopefully one some idiots learn from.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Bonnie Greer, the BBC guest on Question Time has said that it may gave been a mistake to make it look like Question Time was set up to lynch Nick Griffin. He himself, perhaps, disagrees since he is making a complaint about it.
The leader of the British National Party is launching an official complaint about his treatment on the BBC's Question Time programme, claiming he was "bullied".Iain Dale says something similar
Nick Griffin says he was the victim of a set-up in which the format of the current affairs debate show was changed "after 30 years".
He said: "That was not genuine Question Time, that was a lynch mob."
He was nervous, trembling, acting with exaggerated gestures, grinning at inappropriate moments and at times incoherent. But. And there is a but. The fact that with one exception every single question was about the BNP or related subjects played into his hands. He was got at. He was ganged up on, and many people watching will have felt a little sorry for him at times. Five against one is never very edifying.That is about what happened. All of the others were prepped with quotes, often pretty embarrassing ones, from Griffin's past. That is a perfectly fair tactic though it may be rough for all the other guests to get together in advance. It is entirely improper for the officially impartial BBC chairman to be part of that conspiracy. It is worth pointing out that Jack Straw, the Labour guest has a history as a communistic student leader of the 1960s & is therefore bound to have a long trail of looney claims behind him. That has never been & indeed should not be the main focus of a current affairs panel.
Dimbleby has regularly claimed that the questions are chosen by the audience & what we think but having once been in an audience I can confirm that that is simply a lie. The BBC hand out a list of questions they want asked which they are invited to rephrase & then they select the best examples to ask. In my occasion Dimbleby had to come back to us & say nobody had asked 2 of their questions but that he was going to give us another chance to get it right. So the fact that the questions were all ways of attacking the BNP is no coincidence. Indeed twice during the programme audience members did try to ask real questions designed to mention BNP policy. The first about the EU membership to which D said "we might come to that" & the 2nd about repatriation to which he said "We will come to that - I promise its the next question". He didn't & it wasn't.
Perhaps some time when there is a Green representative on we will see the BBC orchestrating an entire programme bringing up all the hundreds of scare claims that Fascist Luddite movement has made over the years which have so totally proven to be untrue. Perhaps they will do a programme holding the corrupt Nazi supporting war criminals of the Labour, Conservative & LibDem parties to account for their lies about Yugoslavia & their genocide there. When that happens we will be able to say the BBC is not automatically biased towards the ruling genocidal fascist nomenklatura.
Interestingly the most effective moment was when the Tory Baroness, a Moslem woman, spoke up for the Conservative policy of cutting immigration to a set figure. Griffin was almost cheering her & it was clear the racially diverse audience agreed. There is no question that immigration is a problem & the only reason for the rise of the BNP is because no official party does anything. We will sees if the Conservatives do now though promising to set a limit without saying what it will be begs the question as well as not saying whether they do so, whether they will do so enthusiastically enough for it to work & whether it is possible to do so while in the EU.
A minor point - Griffin was seated on the left so that he was always filmed from the left showing up his eye which does leave him looking, at his best, like Gordon brown on a particularly bad day. It is possible nobody at the BBC had thought of that & it was a pure accident. Regrettably looks do matter in politics & it was premature baldness as much as anything that did for William Hague.
The Guardian is reported that the Unite Against Fascism protesters outside the BBC are chanting this charming ditty...
"Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Nick Griffin on the top, put the Nazis in the middle, and burn the fucking lot."
I wish the BBC would not continuously refer to them as "anti-fascist" demonstrators. If the word has any meaning people who want to censor free speach to prevent dissent ARE the Fascists.
BBC coverage today has been of the same sort as normal - running quotes from the programme but, for example while running Straw's attack on Griffin over WW2 omitting his immediate rejoinder that Griffin's father fought in the war whereas Straw's was a conscientious objector, & of course interviewing people from both sides - the 2 sides being those who think the BNP are dreadful & should be wholly censored V those who think the BNP are dreadful but should be only regularly censored.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Government shall be required to increase funding, directly or indirectly, of prizes for technological achievement by 10% more than the rate of growth plus inflation until it reaches 4% of its spending or 1% of GNP or half its military budget, whichever is the least & maintain it in that condition.Currently we spend over 2% of GNP on the military & government is over 50% of GNP. For X-Prizes to fall under 1% of GNP military spending would have to be under 2% & total government spending under 25%. 1% of GNP is now about £14 billion, however we currently spend zero on X-Prizes so technically a continuous increase of 10% is still zero. If the country was willing to pass this I am sure they would also be willing to put at least £1 bn into an X-Prize Foundation. Note that "technological achievement" prizes are not limited to space, indeed I have written of the M-Prize which looks like an extremely good use of money.
Following declaration of an emergency Parliament may authorize, by a two-thirds vote of both Houses, suspension of this law. Such suspension to be renewed annually. When it restarts the first year's funding will be not less than the amount, in money terms, than it was at the time of suspension
A rise of 10% annually above growth is not painful if starting at £1 bn yet would reach 1% of then growth in 28 years. The "directly or indirectly" bit is to allow government to support private prize funding, by tax rebates or otherwise. X-Prizes have been almost entirely privately funded so far so I would not be surprised if private prizes would be less politically correct & thus more successful. It is quite likely that if the entire 1% went into tax rebates on private prizes about 3% would be raised in total. Because a Prize Foundation is going to hand out its prizes, if at all, several years forward it is of great benefit that they have a good idea of how much money they will have then. The fact that this is a constitutional requirement, rather than being subject to committee's push & pull, allows them to make that assessment.
The 2nd paragraph is just to allow a suspension during wartime or a severe economic crisis (though economic crisis may be exactly the wrong time to cut technology investment).
In US terms 1% of GNP would be about $150 bn, 8 times what NASA now gets, though NASA is only a part of scientific spending. However, at its height, the US spent 5% of GNP on the space race. 1% is not a lot compared to many other programmes & I have no doubt that, if the results were there, people would be very happy with this investment. Experience shows that prizes, which only pay for results, are a very much better use of investment money than grants & keep bureaucracy & "jobs for the boys" to an absolute minimum.
This is what Jerry Pournelle said about the initial X-Projects programme & thus I am quite certain that any country which amended its constitution in this way would, very quickly, increase its GNP by considerably more than 1% extra & move speedily up the technological ladder.
The X projects were greatly successful. They were effectively ended in the late 1960’s. The X programs were not canceled in the name of economy. Knowledge gained through the X programs helped U.S. aerospace firms to dominate the world industry. In the 1970’s US high technology, particularly aircraft, were the largest single cash export of the nation. They were very important in making up the deficits in our balance of payments.Certainly by the end of the 28 year period mentioned for a small British spend above we would be many per cent better off because of the new technology.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1 The placebo effect when you replace morphine with saline solution but don't tell the saline takes the pain away. Even less understandable - a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.
2 The horizon problem The distribution of matter in the universe is far more even than we should expect from random chance. Since there has not been time for light to cross the universe we can see, the universe being only about 14 billion years old, it should be impossible, even in theory, for there to be any force which would smooth out the whole thing.
3 Ultra-energetic cosmic rays We have not only detected cosmic rays more powerful than theory should allow to be formed but even if they were formed they should degrade long before they get here.
4 Belfast homeopathy results Results have been found that seem to justify homeopathy. Possibly my prejudice but I suspect they will be found to be unrepeatable & hence wrong.
5 Dark matter At the speed galaxies are spinning centrifugal force should pull them apart. For that not to be the case their gravity would have to be much higher & that means there has to be a lot of matter that we can't see. We can't see it.
6 Viking's methane One of the experiments on the Viking spacecraft produced methane implying life. Others found no sign of life. My guess is there is a better than 50% chance there is life "but not as we know it" which is why the other experiments didn't find it. Antarctic microbes have survived in an artificial martian environment so life can.
next 7 Tetraneutrons
FOUR years ago, a particle accelerator in France detected six particles that should not exist. They are called tetraneutrons: four neutrons that are bound together in a way that defies the laws of physics.
8 The Pioneer anomaly Pioneer 10 & 11 are moving out of the solar system faster than they should be. It is only a tiny effect, 1 ten billionth of a G, but it shouldn't be there. Perhaps there is a hidden planet out there or perhaps it is a genuine new force, or perhaps it is a dark matter effect, whatever that is.
9 Dark energy it is one of the most famous, and most embarrassing, problems in physics. In 1998, astronomers discovered that the universe is expanding at ever faster speeds. It's an effect still searching for a cause - until then, everyone thought the universe's expansion was slowing down after the big bang.
10 The Kuiper cliff IF YOU travel out to the far edge of the solar system, into the frigid wastes beyond Pluto, you'll see something strange. Suddenly, after passing through the Kuiper belt, a region of space teeming with icy rocks, there's nothing.
Astronomers call this boundary the Kuiper cliff, because the density of space rocks drops off so steeply. What caused it? The only answer seems to be a 10th planet. We're not talking about Quaoar or Sedna: this is a massive object, as big as Earth or Mars, that has swept the area clean of debris.
11 The Wow signal IT WAS 37 seconds long and came from outer space. On 15 August 1977 it caused astronomer Jerry Ehman, then of Ohio State University in Columbus, to scrawl "Wow!" on the printout from Big Ear, Ohio State's radio telescope in Delaware. And 28 years later no one knows what created the signal. "I am still waiting for a definitive explanation that makes sense," Ehman says.
Next 12 Not-so-constant constants Light from 12 billion years ago passed through interstellar clouds of metals such as iron, nickel and chromium, and the researchers found these atoms had absorbed some of the photons of quasar light - but not the ones they were expecting.
If the observations are correct, the only vaguely reasonable explanation is that a constant of physics called the fine structure constant, or alpha, had a different value at the time the light passed through the clouds.
But that's heresy. Alpha is an extremely important constant that determines how light interacts with matter - and it shouldn't be able to change. Its value depends on, among other things, the charge on the electron, the speed of light and Planck's constant. Could one of these really have changed?
13 Cold fusion The results on this keep piling up. It may not actually be fusion but something keeps producing energy that physics says it can't do.
2nd Article 14 "Axis of Evil" Instead of finding hot and cold spots randomly spattered across the sky as they expected, the pair's analysis showed that the spots in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) appeared to be aligned in one particular direction through space.
15 Dark Flow a group of galaxy clusters moving at an extraordinary speed towards a small patch of sky between the constellations of Centaurus and Vela. Kashlinsky calls it the "dark flow", in tribute to those other cosmic mysteries dark matter and dark energy.
There is no obvious reason why the clusters should be moving at such breakneck speeds, unless they are experiencing an unusually strong pull from something beyond the visible horizon. But what? The most obvious answer is that there is something big out there, far bigger than anything in our known universe. Such a behemoth would impose a kind of "tilt" on the universe, causing matter to move in one particular direction - as observations of the dark flow suggest.
Something outside the visible universe appears to be pulling on galaxy clusters. But what?
If such cosmic megastructures do exist, though, they merely replace one mystery with another. One of the foundation stones of cosmology is the Copernican principle, which says that there is nothing special about our region of the universe. So if there are megastructures beyond our horizon, there should be megastructures in our patch, too. We haven't seen any.
16 Prehistoric hothouse THE Eocene ran from 56 million to 34 million years ago. Geological evidence from the early and middle part of this period offers troubling news: the average temperature in the tropics at this time could have been as high as 40°C while the poles were at temperatures of 15 or 20°C. None of our climate models accounts for how this
17 Fly-by anomalies NASA's Galileo spacecraft slingshotted around the Earth on its roundabout route to Jupiter. As the probe raced away from Earth, it was travelling 3.9 millimetres per second faster than it should have been, according to NASA's calculations. The biggest such discrepancy recorded, in 1998, affected NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft, whose speed was boosted by an additional 13.5 millimetres per second. Rosetta has already had a boost: in 2005 it sped up by about 1.8 millimetres per second more than expected as it slingshotted around Earth. Now that is a repeatable result so something is definitely happening. Is it related to the Galileo acceleration? Who knows, but something that our current understanding of physics says can't happen is happening.
18 Hybrid life Not a mystery but unexpected. DNA of lots of sea life shows it results from interbreeding of species. Since most sea life fertilizes externally (cums in the water & hopes the sperm make it) one can see that contact between the sperm of different species must come in contact often. The odds of any successful crossfertilisation must be astronomic but so are the opportunities.
19 Morgellons disease 17th-century physician Thomas Browne. There were no other reported cases, and the disease seemed to disappear. Then, in 2002, the mother of a child with a skin ailment championed its comeback. My guess is it is some sort of allergic reaction or poison rather than an infectious agent which has been dormant in the interim. Indeed just because symptoms are duplicated doesn't mean the cause is.
20 The Bloop A series of very loud (heard 2,000 km away) noises heard, repeatedly, in the summer of 1997 originating off the coast of South America. ??
21 Antimatter Matter & anti-matter should be created in equal amounts & then mutually destroy themselves. So howcome we live in a matter universe?
Experiments in accelerators now tell us that for every 10 billion antiprotons present in the early universe, there were 10-billion-and-one protons. The same tiny imbalance applied to other particles, such as electrons, too. At some point in cosmic history, matter and antimatter met and annihilated. Left behind, those extra particles eventually came together and formed the matter-filled universe we know today. So what created that initial imbalance?
The short answer is that we don't know.
22 Lithium OUR best theories of the early universe also tell us which atoms should have been forged in the first 5 minutes after the big bang. The existing amounts of hydrogen and helium match theory perfectly - so well, in fact, that cosmologists claim this is the best evidence we have for the big bang. Things aren't so good for the third element, lithium, however is different.
When we count up the lithium atoms held in stars, there is only one-third as much of the lithium-7 isotope as there should be. Another isotope, lithium-6, is overabundant: there may be as much as 1000 times too much of it.
So something in the big bang is not adding up.
23 Varying Speed of Gamma Ray Light In 2005, researchers at the MAGIC gamma-ray telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands were studying gamma-ray bursts emitted by the black hole in the centre of the Markarian 501 galaxy, half a billion light years away. The burst's high-energy gamma rays arrived at the telescope 4 minutes later than the lower-energy rays. Both parts of the spectrum should have been emitted at the same time.
So is the time lag due to the high-energy radiation travelling slower through space? That wouldn't make sense: it would contravene one of the central tenets of special relativity.
24 Monopoles Relativity says that monopoles (magnets with only one pole) should exist in nature but we can't find them.
25 Noise from the Edge of the Universe 2008, physicist Craig Hogan at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, was trying to work out how we might test the idea that everything we see as physical reality is the result of a kind of projection from the boundary of the universe. This is known as the holographic principle. Then in came some results that fitted uncannily with this. I don't really understand this one & if I am a projection from the edge of the universe I'm not sure I want to.
26 Nocebo Effect The opposite of placebo effect. People really do get ill by being cursed - doctors diagnosed a man with end-stage liver cancer, and told him he had just a few months to live. Though the patient died in the predicted time, an autopsy showed the doctors had been mistaken. There was a tiny tumour, but it had not spread.
A century ago scientists were sure the universe worked as Newton had said. They thought they were just filling in the gaps. There were a few unexplained things like the Michelson Morley experiment , radioactivity & the fact that it was impossible for the Earth to be more than a few million years old & still have a molten core, but these were all minor technical points of no effect in real life & these anomalies would soon be fitted into the framework. Instead we got relativity, quantum physics, nuclear power & the whole edifice of modern physics.
We may be due another such revolution. The difficulty that has been found in funding "cold fusion" research suggests that, probably because research is so much government funded now & that stultifies progress, we may be overdue such a revolution.
H/T to Pournelle.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
this winter, the mayor of Moscow promises to keep it from snowing. For just a few million dollars, the mayor's office will hire the Russian Air Force to spray a fine chemical mist over the clouds before they reach the capital, forcing them to dump their snow outside the city. Authorities say this will be a boon for Moscow, which is typically covered with a blanket of snow from November to March...Full article here. Now that is what the world needs. A few politicians willing to try some progressive big engineering projects. The northern river reversal project is a, slightly less ambitious, version of my project for greening central Asia.
The air force will use cement powder, dry ice or silver iodide to spray the clouds from Nov. 15 to March 15 - and only to prevent "very big and serious snow" from falling on the city, said Andrei Tsybin, the head of the department. This could mean that a few flakes will manage to slip through the cracks. Tsybin estimated that the total cost of keeping the storms at bay would be $6 million this winter, roughly half the amount Moscow normally spends to clear the streets of snow...
The idea came from Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who is no stranger to playing God. In 2002, he spearheaded a project to reverse the flow of the vast River Ob through Siberia to help irrigate the country's parched Central Asian neighbors
The Chinese have also used cloud seeding to produce desirable weather during the Olympics.
Cloud seeding is not a magic wand, it will not produce rain where there is no excess water in the atmosphere, but the statistics prove it does work.
The results indicated increased rainfall. Compared to the non-seeded cells, the seeded clouds increased in height by 7%, rainfall coverage increased by 43%, duration of storms increased 36%, and volume of rain increased 130% (Rosenfeld and Woodley, 1993).However so strong is the Luddite movement here that people who accept tiny variations in very small surveys (ie well within the limits of statistical variation) as proving the dangers of passive smoking, eating margarine, not eating margarine etc but refuse to accept proof from massive studies of the hormesis theory that low level radiation does no harm also find the statistics of cloud seeding producing rain unproven.
For that & other "environmental" reasons it doesn't happen here. Once again we see that just because the western countries are retreating from even developed technologies much of the world is less backward.
Monday, October 19, 2009
This letter is in the Scotsman today:
The imprisonment of a man for letting a child smoke is a perversion of the law. The legal charge was of "exposing a child in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury to health." Nobody disputes that smoking 40 a day for 40 years produces as strong possibility, though not more than that, of killing. Even then the risk drops dramatically if the smoking stops.There was no editing at all to the letter. I did send it to other papers & while there is no report of it elsewhere via Google not all papers have letters there.
I challenge anybody involved in the case to produce any evidence that the kid, who was clearly perfectly happy since she was asking for more, has suffered measurable "suffering or injury to health." I also challenge them to explain why they don't believe locking him up won't cause emotional harm to the girl. If they can't then perhaps we should hear why any prosecution witness who said it would hasn't committed perjury.
Demonisation (or "denormalisation" as the PC brigade call it) of any group in society is not something governments in free societies exist to do. Perverting the existing law to make an example of one person to frighten everybody is disgusting. Anybody who believes in individual freedom must oppose this.
I have also forwarded this letter to the Home office "I have highlighted the specific legal question which you might like to answer to myself & indeed to the paper. I have asked the same on my blog where you might want to answer."
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We have seen the western powers supporting Richard Goldstone's racist pack of lies accusing the Israelis of "war crimes" in the attack on Gaza. The fact is that the Israeli action was a purely defencive counterattack against Hamas' continuous rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. Such rocket attacks, since they are aimed to kill civilians discriminating only on racial grounds are, by definition, acts of genocide. That they failed to kill many Israeli civilians is not Hamas' fault. Israel would gave been entitled, indeed duty bound, to act against them even if they hadn't been aimed at civilians just as the US government were entitled to act against the people who sent the 9/11 bombers even though they also attacked the Pentagon.
Anybody who disapproves of Israel's response either has to explain exactly what else Israel should have done to stop this genocide or shows themselves to be in favour of racial genocide of Jews. Clearly this latter includes many western politicians.
Goldstone has previous in lying to promote racial genocide & clearly knows his master's voice as well as Andrei Vyshinsky, prosecutor in Stalin's show trials did. Presumably this is why he was chosen.
According to the EU president "I think Mr Goldstone is a person of high credibility and high integrity and accordingly his report carries weight," Bildt told reporters in Stockholm. which shows what a disgusting pro-Nazi obscenity the EU is.
His integrity consists in having been chief prosecutor for the NATO funded Yugoslav "court" where he went to any lengths to protect our (ex-)Nazi friend & indeed the assorted EU politicians undeniably guilty, according the Nuremberg Trials precedent, of war crimes & genocide. His racist willingness to fit up any Serb came a cropper when he fitted up a fictional character from Serbian literature for rape in one of the non-existent "rape camps".
As in Gaza, those indictments were also allegedly based on “eyewitness testimony.”Clearly had he posessed the remotest degree of integrity or been in any way whatsoever interested in evidence this would not have happened. It is the equivalent of the British police issuing an arrest warrant against Vlad Dracul on a charge of assisting Tony Blair & the British cabinet in blood drinking orgies - something which they have not done (& to be fair something the cabinet probably haven't done personally even though they are all genocidal organlegging child rapist).
Goldstone headed the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), established by the United Nations in 1993. In 1995, one year into his term as chief ICTY prosecutor, Goldstone presented an indictment of several Serbs for war crimes and crimes against humanity... among those indicted was a man identified as “Gruban”.
Gruban, later identified more fully as Gruban from Bijelo Polje, was charged with viciously raping Muslim prisoners in what was identified by the prosecution as essentially a Serbian concentration camp. His crimes were given weight by an anonymous individual identified only as “Witness F”, who claimed to have suffered at the hands of the notorious war criminal. As described by Makor Rishon, “Within just a few months, the black silhouette of ‘Gruban’ was plastered on a poster of the most wanted war criminals in Bosnia.”
(…)The problem for NATO forces in tracking down the serial rapist was that Gruban from Bijelo Polje, also known as Gruban Malic, is a fictional character from Hero on a Donkey, a famous Serbian novel about World War II by Miodrag Bulatovic
Obviously our MSM gave been silent on Goldston'e corruption & pretended he is a person of integrity.
One of the interesting things about the Yugoslav wars was that western soldiers showed much more integrity than the politicians. Far from the image of soldiers being eager to stir up a fight & politicians & journalists being peacemakers many senior officers repeatedly, presumably at risk to their careers, publicly stated that the worst excesses were on "our" side. Obviously the journalists decided to censor this. Once again we see a British officer telling the truth about The Gaza war
I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland,Obviously newspapers which report Goldstone (14,329) but do not report Kemp(1) are wholly corrupt racist instruments willing to tell any lie & censor any fact to help the western Nazi powers.
Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable
time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism
for the UK government's Joint Intelligence Committee.
Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During
Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the
rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of
Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its
military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
...The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same
extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the
international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are
in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.
The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians
notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over
100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military
capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict,
the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid
virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally
quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.
...More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas's
way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.
Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop
Hamas from attacking them with rockets.
And I say this again: The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians
in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Col. Richard Kemp
Israel has spent many years offering land for peace but such a deal requires that the peace actually be on offer & that signatories, particularly including western guarantors, will stand by it. In supporting this Obama & the EU have overplayed their hand by proving that there are no circumstances under which their word can be trusted. They have therefore proven that their word to Israel is as wholly untrustworthy as their word to "respect the territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia. Col Kemp is clearly correct - if Israel did not have thousands of times more respect for human rights than any NATO power they would have ethnically cleansed Palestine as we did Krajina & Kosovo. Palestine could have been a successful & wealthy nation long ago had the western powers in collusion with oil rich Arabs not ensured that the path to Palestinian leadership lay through their funding of terrorists who have no interest in peace or even in the wellbeing of Palestinians.