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Western countries and the UK, the US in particular, seem no have absolutely no notion as to how the Middle East operates. The case of 15 British sailors and Marines is a classic example as to how not to conduct diplomacy. The 15 accidentally ventured into Iranian territory through a number of consequential navigation errors and the Iranian Coast Guard subsequently arrested the 15. Instead of admitting that an error had been made, Tony Blair used megaphone diplomacy in an attempt to steamroll Iran into releasing the crew, a tactic that was bound to fail from the beginning. Blair also used doctored pictures off the HMS Cornwall chopper and other 'evidence' as to prove his point. Such tactics simply don't work in the Middle East and certainly not with Iran and sadly for the crew, the Blair bluster only prolonged their stay in Iran. Blair also misled UK citizens by telling them that HMS Cornwall was on a UN mission. Blair clearly did not do his homework as the vessel was not on a UN mission. The UN Iraq maritime responsibility off the coast of Iraq officially ended when the UK, the US and Australia illegally invaded Iraq and became the occupying powers. Blair seems to have absolutely no idea these days as to how to go about Middle East diplomacy. It could have been worse. Just be glad that little Johnny Howard was not involved.




I often wondered why grandparents relate so well to their grandchildren and now I know. The University of Sydney recently did a study and made a rather interesting discovery. Grandparents and grandchildren have a common enemy. Parents.




When Guantanamo Bay terrorist suspect David Hicks pleaded guilty to a charge of 'providing material support for terrorism', those observing the case must have wondered as to the credibility of the guilty plea, and rightly so.


Hicks had been illegally locked up at Guantanamo for over five years without being charged, in a facility that does not even belong to the US and that operates outside international and US law. Apart from that, America's own terrorist organisation, the CIA, has been known to use illegal tactics and torture on detainees. After all that, Hicks would have pleaded guilty to anything that was dished up. And as for the charge of ‘providing material support for terrorism'? It does not have validity in law, any law.



Easter Fun


A few people had a bit of fun and games during the Easter break. Some African children, in Belgium for medical treatment, certainly did.

The UN, the EU Rapid Response Team and the Belgian Government organised a 'chocolate egg-hunt' for some 60 kids and this is how one exchange between a 4-year old child from Angola and one of the invited guests developed.

I have taken the liberty to translate as the conversation was conducted in French.

Child: I have found some eggs. I have nine eggs.

Guest: That's very good and you will enjoy eating those. They look very nice.

Child: Do you have any eggs?

Guest: No, no yet but no doubt I will.

Child: Would you like one of my eggs? I can give you one.

Guest: That would be very nice. Thank you, I would love one, if you can spare one?

Child looks at her eggs, some small, some a bit larger and two large eggs.

Child looks at guest with her big brown eyes as if to see if he is a deserving person.

Child again looks again at her eggs, and then again at the guest.

Child hands guest a 'medium-sized' egg with a huge smile on her face.

Child: Here you are sir, this is your egg.

Guest: Thank you very much. I will enjoy it very much.

It all goes to show. There is still some generosity left in this world.




You might have seen them when your flight taxied to its designated parking bay at the airport late at night. It's the man with the magic wand. Up go two arms attached to torch-like instruments lit up and flickering away like a Christmas tree guiding you to your right location. It has become known that one particular airport worker at Tehran airport has been nicknamed 'Mr one-wand'. Story goes that he once had two wands but that some intrepid 777 driver, no names thank you, sort of 'acquired' one of the man's wands during his stay at the Iranian airport. It can thus be concluded that there are now two 'Mr one-wands'. So 'two-wands' are now two 'one-wands' as one of the Iranian wands wandered away from its other wand. Get the drift? Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander 'Shirley' Downer would have been proud of that statement. Meanwhile, the missing wand is said to have been added to a collection of items that are said to have been 'souvenired' during the past months.




Alexandra, sorry Alexander, Shirley, Downer has come out in the Australian media stating that "Hicks is a dangerous man". What a load of crap. When Hicks rolls out of an Adelaide prison later this year, he will pose no danger to Australia and Australians whatsoever. When we look at Shirley Downer however, the story is vastly different. Now there's a dangerous man. Downer suffers badly from foot in mouth disease, is totally incompetent as Australia's Foreign Minister and has absolutely no idea as to what goes on around the world. I regard Downer as the danger to the Australian community, not Hicks. The man is a laughing stock and a fool. I vote Guantanamo Bay for Alexander Downer.