It has been a grim and desperate attritional battle, against heavy odds, thanks to poor national leadership. That’s enough about the Fifth Test Match the Oval, however. Over to Syria.
I am comfortable that Assad deployed a nerve agent in East Damascus. I am more of a specialist in nuclear weapons than nerve gases, but at this time I am thinking VX. It might however be a new agent. Assad is backed by the DVD, our community partner the Hun does nerve gases better than anyone (three of my great-uncles were gassed by the dastardly Hun in the Great War) and he may have come up with a new variant, possibly a development of an existing gas with greater lethality.
The Syrians and the Germans are bound to be worried about the number of survivors. Their stories, and symptoms, have been very helpful in determining that this was a gas attack.
Forget the Administration. Even if they didn’t green-light the attack, which might well have been cleared with Washington, the Administration will let it go. We are not talking George W. Bush here! When he drew a line in the sand you knew not to cross it. When Mr O draws a line in the sand you just kick some in his face and keep on doing what you were doing.
Innocent Syrian civilians are paying the price for media and political mistakes after Iraq. When hardly any WMDs were found the left wing and the media leapt to the conclusion that because they weren’t there after the war they weren’t there before the war. That was a non sequitur if ever there was one. INTELCOM knew the WMDs had been shipped to Syria (it later emerged some went to Iraq and back to Russia) between the fall of 2002 and spring 2003. The facts were kept back from George W., however.
I am not speaking after the event. I had a letter published in the law pages of the Times (the London Times, not the LA Times, which is rather better written) saying just that, in March 2003, written before we went in.
Unfortunately the job of investigating the Syrian WMD attacks has been given to the CIA. I love them to bits, and they have some good people, but they have history for politicising the intelligence. I haven’t forgotten the problems the White House and the Pentagon had with them over the links between Iraq and 9/11. The problems with the CIA really start with the 5th floor and get worse the higher up you go.
The CIA guys at the coalface will get it right, but by the time the intelligence is leaked to the Post it will be inconclusive and the Administration will have their get out of jail card. In a world as violent and dysfunctional as ours the deaths will soon be forgotten. They won’t even rate a question in the Presidential debates in 2016.
You can forget the UN as well. They are as big a joke as the League of Nations. With a charter drafted by a German spy (John Foster Dulles),you could hardly expect otherwise. It is time the West pulled out of the UN. One you let China into an international organisation it’s time for everybody else to leave. No one in Peking is going to be too worried about a bunch of dead Syrian civilians, and Peking has a veto. By staying in the UN the UK and the USA are simply encouraging the use of WMDs by Syria, and a whole bunch of other problems besides.
There is no way of booting China out of the UN, and no way of reforming it, any more than the EU could be reformed. The organisation isn’t failing, it’s failed. The break-up process should start now.
The refund came through, so I won’t name the guys in Boca Raton why stuffed up my last laptop! The new laptop is lovely, partly because it’s not a Dell. It does however use Windows 8 (I know, but I liked the touch screen). This means that dowloading Word becomes problematic. Why that should be I have no idea. All I know is I have spent most of the day kicking my heels whilst my computer consultant tried to get Word going, having failed with my scanner (‘it doesn’t work with Windows 8, but no problem, you just need to spend another £60 on a Network Storage Device’).
Therefore I am writing this column on a horrible piece of junk called OpenOffice Writer (trust me, you don’t want it!). With a fully working IT set-up I’ll have more time next week to reply to various posts over the last couple of weeks. I seem to have spent an entire fortnight chasing after IT problems.
The inquest has just started into the tragic death of Flt Lt Sean Cunningham, Red Five of the Red Arrows. Sean, 35, an experienced pilot, was blown 200 feet into the air in November 2011 after the ejector seat of his Hawk trainer fired, whilst he was on the ground. The Coroner, Stuart Fisher, with respect is obsessing on ‘faulty design of the ejector seat handle.’ Unless I am very much mistaken it was a Martin Baker ejector seat. They know where to put the handle.
The pilots amongst you will be asking what happened to the parachute. Well may you ask. It failed. Huh. How does the placement of the ejector seat handle stop the parachute from opening? The ‘investigation’ was put into the hands of Lincolnshire Police, probably because some one didn’t want the RAF to find out what really happened.
I intend no offence to Lincolnshire Police when I say that they wouldn’t know one of an airplane from another. They probably think that ejector seats are only fitted to Aston Martins. Martin Baker can’t do anything. If they started asking serious questions they’d lose MOD contracts, like dear old Handley Page did after they stood up to Cabinet Office pressure to transfer technology to France. De Havilland were forced to accept responsibility for the Comet crashes in the same way. Whitehall is vicious when it comes to smashing British companies about, which is why we in the Tory Party need to start getting tough on Whitehall, starting with their feather-bedded pensions and ‘bonuses’ (the in-word for bribes).
I am not buying negligent design as an explanation for the death of Red Five. The incident has all the appearance of sabotage, of both the seat and the chute. Sadly it will never be investigated properly, at least not until Britain leaves the EU. The inquest will carry on its farcical way, no offence intended. It will just be another ‘bash the defence industry’ exercise with the defence industry powerless to answer back. Sabotage will not even feature as an explanation and the failure of the chute will hardly be looked at.
The fact that German assets in the Cabinet Office and MOD have been waging war on the Red Arrows for several years will certainly not be mentioned. The Cabinet Office went after the Arrows after the Coalition was formed in 2010. Having failed to close them down getting GO2 to murder a couple of pilots (Red Five was the second to go down) would be about par for the course. They would know that the chances of a serious investigation or inquest would be next to nil.
CAMERON’S FOURTH HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR
The media have been moaning about the Camerons’ latest holiday. They are not getting the point. The Prime Minister doesn’t run the country, any more than the government does. The Civil Service are the de facto government, and the Civil Service are tightly controlled by the Cabinet Office. As I keep saying Cameron is just a figurehead. He may as well be on a beach in Cornwall as in Number 10. I doubt that the Cabinet Secretary even consults him on major decisions.
The encouraging thing is that there are sharks off Cornish beaches and the Prime Minister enjoys swimming. Sadly, however, our sharks are not what an Aussie would call a shark. They tend to be basking sharks, which only eat plankton, not Prime Ministers, or small tiger sharks. What we really want are the sort of Great Whites (this software is ridiculous – it keeps trying to predict what I want to write, and just suggested ‘great-uncles’!) you get off Western Australian beaches. There’s never a Great White around however, when you want some one eaten.
As you may imagine frustration in the Conservative Party with the Prime Minister and the Hun-loving, shale gas hating, wind-turbine erecting Coalition has reached boiling point.
And, no, the SAS did not murder Diana! The DVD’s French black agency did, working with GO2, which had at least three officers in Paris that night, including its current director, no names, no pack drill.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence, and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.