I believe the international community has made a mistake in not challenging the rise of the Islamic State "caliphate" (formally ISIS) at an early stage. The fact that the UK and USA made a mistake over Iraq is not really relevant; they might have sown the seeds of this chaos, but it doesn't mean that any subsequent intervention is wrong or likely to be similarly counter-productive - each case needs to be taken on its own merits. It must have been pretty clear early on that the Iraqi government was impotent (and not helping the situation by being exclusive) and did actually need some help through direct intervention. There must be ways of intervening directly, but minimising western casualties, whilst supporting Iraqi forces to defend themselves, otherwise our armed forces must be pretty unimaginative!
ISIS is clearly an evil force and cannot ultimately win. Distracting our law enforcement and border agencies by stopping fundamentalists from going to Syria/Iraq and fighting for ISIS is simply brewing up trouble at home. Most terrorism is home-grown - remember the Red Brigade, the Bader-Meinhof gang, IRA, PLO, etc - so these people are already radicalised. Let them go; they will most likely die and, if not, then should not be allowed to return.
Sunday, 17 August 2014
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Interesting argument by ex-Israeli ambassador to US on C4 News tonight. The argument went like this: we inform Palestinians that they are in danger if they stay where they are and advise them to leave; Hamas tell them to stay and we carry on anyway and blame Hamas. I would have thought that any compassionate authority would not have carried on knowing that the risk to civilians is the same. I cannot condone the view that two wrongs make a right - if Hamas is putting people in danger (as they clearly are by provoking Israel), then that does not make it right for Israel also to put civilians at risk. If Israel wishes to present itself as a superior authority, then it needs to rise above this fallacious argument and treat innocent Palestinians as it would wish its own people to be treated - it can leave Hamas to dig its own grave.
Sunday, 27 April 2014
The current version of this malware does not allow logging in through any form of Safe Mode on Windows XP. Consequently, most "solutions" will not work with new versions of the virus. However, in my case, because the malware still allows programs to operate, my Avast Antivirus eventually picked it up and offered to do a boot scan (this was the first time in 3 days that I was actually presented with a screen IN FRONT of the offending malware article). The consequent scan found and neutralised the virus which was lodged in file Documents and Settings\"My name"\Application Data\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache\6.0\9\5da9d3c9-70af23b2 and an associated file with the same prefix. It seems that the trojan entered the system through a bogus pop-up inviting me to update Java. Deleting the offending files by other means (eg, through Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10) may also solve the problem.