01-03-04

What was that password again?

Ahum .. where was I? Oh yes, I used to have this blog ... .

Hey, if this blogger can, why can't I? I'll be straight with you: due to an overload on the professional side of life, I'm having a really hard time to update this blog on a regular basis, and to be completely honest, the thought did pass my mind to let it slip.
Since my first strolls in the Blogosphere my views on the succes of it have changed dozens of times. I think David Bernstein is right when he says

Those of us in touch with the blogging world seem to sometimes forget that most people, at least most people over age 25, never look at blogs, and often don't know what they are.

Bloggers tend to know this but don't often admit to it, for obvious reasons.

Anyway, I've taken the decision to go along with it anyhow. There still is the urge to write about things (or/and to go flat on my face ..), and this medium still attracts me, which is more than can be said for newsgroups or fora. The latter are like pubs where everyone is crying higher than the other one, and the Blogosphere is more of a free podium for everyone. You don't like it? You don't see it. Automatically makes for less one-liner spamming.


00:14 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

04-02-04

Crusty The Clown praises own army

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, in a reaction to Flahautain's clownesk behaviour:

As a front page Wall Street Journal story noted a year ago, "Belgium . . . employs hundreds of military barbers, musicians and other personnel who aren't likely to be called into battle. Yet Belgium doesn't have the money to replace aging helicopters or conduct regular combat training exercises."
If preferring barbers to helicopters is Mr. Flahaut's idea of efficiency, we'll take the U.S. Army, with all its "inefficiency," thank you.

They don't even know half of the story. Military personnel is known here for having sideline jobs during official working hours, have been in different scandals (laying carpets for ministers, constructing swimmingpools, ...) and are generally known with the public as beerdrinking, badly educated lowlifes with no level of responsibility at all, not in the least able to defend our country when things should become heated or troubled. Who said anything about being inefficient?

12:32 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |

03-02-04

I'd pour out some bubbles if I were him

Here he is again: Maarten Schenk, as far as I know the first Belgian blogger being Instashowered twice in less than a week. You go Maarten!

(Wonder if he's still thinking about a possible boys name ... .)

20:58 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (3) |  Facebook |

Middle-aged Super Bowl success

As usual, Scrappleface state-of-the-art sarcasm:

Devil Wins Hajj Battle Again, 244 Trampled to Death

(2004-02-01) -- In the annual contest between stone pillars symbolizing the devil and thousands of devoted stone-throwing Muslims, the devil won again this year as at least 244 pilgrims died of trampling during the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.

Now that's a Super Bowl!

12:46 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

02-02-04

"With an army like this ... " -- the sequel

I am still alive, yes: (too) hard at work and blogging from the same place where I do just that --I just try to eat a little faster. I promise you some new posts this evening, really.

Meanwhile, although I'm sure you've heard the news already, I'm happy to bring you the Clown of Belgian Ministers: André Flahaut, whom I have to thank for the Silly Quote Of The Week on top of this blog:

If I was an American, I'd vote for the Democrats!

Uhu. Not that it's in his job description to reveil this kind of blabber. This one was even better:

The Americans throw so much money at their army that it simply can no longer act efficiently. If they have to get fifteen men from point A to point B, they will use three planes to be certain that it succeeds. We would send one plane, or even better: first examine if we cannot fly along with an ally''

In light of a previous post on the average age of the Belgian soldier I wrote here, I'm sure he's right. Again, with an army like this ... .

The links to all of this will soon be here, got to go now, see you soon!

Additional:

Sorry people, no new post anymore, I just woke up from falling asleep in front of the comp, and I'm probably feeling more abstract than one of Dali's own paintings right now.

Did promise you the links though:

Maarten Schenk was the one to get the Instalaunche poured over his blog, note that he had the translation up of a Belgian newsarticle (a subject to get more detailed into: it's hard enough as it is linking to Belgian news stories, engulfed as we are in press coverage on the Belgian web, and the news of Flahaut flaunting again probably won't get much mainstream media attention. Translating excerpts is probably the way to go over here), and Former Belgian sounded rather mad about the whole stage drama.

And if he wasn't, I am. I know this is old news already, but I couldn't let this blog go along without it. If only we could wake up and have something positive to tell the world for once, instead of being ridiculed over and over by some of the government's clowns (that 'pok' you heard wasn't me falling asleep on the comp again, forehead on keyboard, it's me chastising myself for our leader's sins).

12:46 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

18-01-04

That's when Greenpeace started to care for the humpbacks

Sunday afternoon, television time. Guess where these lines come from:

Q: "Are you sure you won't change your mind?"
A: "Is there something wrong with the one I have?"

After which the meaning of some 20th century profane expressions are misunderstood by a 23rd century alien with pointy ears, resulting in the fact that "The hell I did!" means "Yes!", and "The hell I didn't!" is also interpreted affirmatively.

The story intensifies because all the time, a 400 Ton cargo consisting of two whales (one pregnant!), together with a rather large amount of their natural environment, needs to be transported 2 centuries further in order to make the mammals communicate with a piece of rock that is floating above Earth and sucking its natural resources away. The whole logistical effort needs to be performed at tremendous speeds, yet still demanding minimum energy levels.

Are you warped yet? I was, long time a movie made me laugh like that.

Ok, in order to minimise the risk of being fisked by some passer-by ST-IV disciples, I am a Star Trek virgin. By the time they aired the series 18 years ago, mom always used to call us into the kitchen for evening dinner.

I did suffer from low (or long, depending on your point of view) attention spans however, once Counselor Troi came in ...

Link goes to a site where you can find a bigger picture. Out.

20:18 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

17-01-04

Looking up

Yesterday there was this:

According to scientists, the picture reaches back to the Universe's "Dark Ages", before the first stars formed. 

But those not privileged to see the image as it is processed at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, US, will have to wait until February to see the image in what will certainly be one of the scientific highlights of the decade.

I was looking forward to it, so today, this came as a little shock:

Nasa is halting all space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope - a move that will put it out of action within four years.

It shouldn't have come as a shock though, because (in the same article):

The shuttle is also gradually being wound down, and virtually all remaining flights until it goes out of service in 2010 will be used to complete the International Space Station.

Aw. We have a saying for this: "choose or share" ... .

More on space: if you want to know more about the do's and do-not's of the new space policies, Rand Simberg has --again-- a very interesting post up in which he explains how things should be viewed, without losing touch with reality:

It's [the Crew Exploration Vehicle or CEV. -- ed.] a supersized Apollo capsule. We have an existence proof that we know how to build them. It will be easier now than it was forty years ago, honest. If we need a separate lander to get down to the lunar surface, we know how to build those, too. It's even possible to develop things in parallel, though I suspect that only the capsule will be required for the 2008 date, so they have something to replace the Shuttle capability for crew transfer in 2010.

Stuff to read.

Related links: I know it's old news, but due to rather busy weeks I try to catch up on things in the weekend, so if you haven't read,  heard or viewed Bush's announcements, I think you should. It's history.

16:32 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

11-01-04

Keep them pumps pumping

Between some weekly ironing sessions, this not-so-breaking-news from Instapundit is very refreshing:

EVERYBODY KEEPS EMAILING ME this story about mustard gas being found in Iraq. It appears to be genuine, but it's hardly news: Saddam gassed people, after all, so we know he had WMD. (Just ask Bill Clinton!) And I don't intend to make a big deal out of this discovery, because I never regarded WMD as the main reason to go to war. The real reason to go to war was (1) to establish a military and democratic presence in the Arab world (which we've done); (2) to make an example of Saddam to intimidate other Arab leaders (which we've done); and (3) to cut off Saddam as a source of support -- both existing and potential -- for terrorists, which we've also done. The WMD was a nontrivial issue, and required for playing the UN game (which I always regarded as a mistake) but not, to me, the most important issue.

The WMD was an alligator, but the point of the exercise is to drain the swamp.

In comes the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy:

"Yeah, but they were buried like, ten years ago, they're not of any use now."

"Hey, c'mon, those were used in the war against Iran."

"Blister agents aren't really WMD's, are they?"

14:09 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

10-01-04

Moon, Mars, Madness?

Interesting quiz: Should there be a manned mission to Mars?

Not hindered by any nuances in the question, I'm with the majority of the voters; it really isn't an easy task to put humans on an 6 month trip --or longer-- towards a very high level of uncertainty, not to speak of the possible adventures while trying to return.
To quote Rand Simberg in his own comments to a post about G.W.Bush's announcements this week:

I fearlessly predict that no part of the announced policy will include a space elevator.

What he said. No harm in dreaming of it though is there?

15:59 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

06-01-04

We fowndem!

[Title inspired by a title running on the frontpage of a left orientated Belgian newspaper a couple of weeks ago, saying "We gaddem!"]

Ivan Janssens links to a Dutch article saying "the" WMD can be found in Syria (article in Dutch, go to the Reason.com link in Ivan's post if you will):

AMSTERDAM - De Iraakse massavernietigingswapens, voor de Verenigde Staten vorig jaar de voornaamste reden de oorlog tegen Irak te ontketenen, lijken terecht. En wel in Syrië. Een hoge Syrische inlichtingenofficier heeft gedetailleerde gegevens hieromtrent doorgespeeld aan een landgenoot in ballingschap. De dissidente journalist Nizar Najoef - die in 2000 in gevangenschap de Unesco-prijs voor persvrijheid kreeg toegekend - speelde zaterdag een brief en landkaart met de exacte locaties van zeer geheime bergplaatsen door aan De Telegraaf.

Urban legend? Hoax? Or just a low trick from the newspaper to boost sales?

My brain is running out of fuel at this moment, but knock yourselves out and start your own wargame by thinking about the nays and the yeas of the above. And remember, everything is possible these days.

22:11 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |

04-01-04

Closer to Mars

The first picture that came in, to be found here, and go here to find a more detailed one. It really is amazing when you look at the detail in it, it's almost as if you're there already, looking over the horizon.

Additional links: the Mars Exploration Rover website, and here's the Beagle Blog. Let's hope professor Pillinger's team is on route towards a little more luck.

17:46 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

03-01-04

Coffee breaks

Recently I added this spiffy "subscribe"-button from Bloglet, which very spiffingly doesn't seem to work and doesn't seem to send any blogposts at all. All advice will be very much appreciated.

The idea of setting up something among the lines of new posts being e-mailed to you is indeed brewing in the dark edges of the mind. In case you don't have the daily newspaper at hand during coffee breaks .. hum.

16:20 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

Egypt: wreckage spotted in Red Sea

BBC:

An Egyptian charter plane with about 141 passengers and crew has crashed after disappearing from radar screens, according to airport officials.

Interesting fact:

A UK Government spokesman told the BBC that the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was safe and well. He has been on a family holiday in the Sharm -el -Sheikh area since before Christmas.

Looking at the latest week in relation to terror threats and airplanes being grounded, we seem to enter a rather heated start of the New Year.

If the Europeans would finally decide to help out in the War Against Islamofascism in 2004, the analogy with World War II wouldn't be that farfetched ... .

Additional: from the reader's comments on the BBC-article:

... although there have been occasional issues with Boeing aircraft in the past, it is a bit early to rule out a terrorist attack at this stage. It will be some months if not years before we can be sure of this and I hope the Egyptian Civil Aviation Safety Agency takes advantage of international assistance in its investigation.
[Name omitted]

Those are exactly my thoughts. On top of this, I'm not inclined to take France's, nor Egypt's word for it as the news trickles in.

08:54 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

31-12-03

See you next year!

I'm off to the coast, and the powerkite is going with me, yeeha! (there's a 3 to 4 knots wind blowing, which is just about perfect: I'm taking some newbees with me..)

Have fun everyone and uhm ... happy New Year!

12:03 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

30-12-03

In dying need of brainfood

"This is your Giant Communal Brain speaking. Resisting is futile."

Guess it's the time of the year that makes me do this, like watching old fotos, but I've been reading a lot of blogs backward these latest days. Not just following up on them, but browsing backward. The amount and the quality of what is out there still keeps amazing me.

There have been numerous arcticles already in mainstream media on blogging, what it is, who's doing it etc., but I think this one (via Kathy Kinsley) is by far the best I've seen on the subject, "this thing of ours" that has taken control of us.

"People are no longer simply consumers of political news. They're publishers of their own," says Bill Mitchell of the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. Professional writers who have turned to blogging say they love the dialogue.

"It's like having a giant communal brain," [Andrew] Sullivan says.

Hmmm, a giant communal brain.

As you may have seen, this blog unexplicably changed into a Halloween costume overnight (not!), and now and then undergoes little technical tweakings, hopefully without you, as a member of The Communal Brain (alright, sounds a bit heavy), noticing it.

The blogrolls on the left and the right also mutate now and then. Never thought I was going to like the Christmas Holidays this much.

More ... more ... brainfood.

Additional:
this is a good example on how the Blogosphere can work:

Two minutes later I received an email from Alan saying let's do it. Less than two hours later, he had a Blogger Pro account set up and the first draft of the Command Post was born. Two hours later, ten bloggers had joined our ranks.

Three days later, we had a shiny new URL and a Sekimori design.

In the first few weeks, we broke one million visitors. We were featured in Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Newsday, several radio shows and a myriad of other publications I can't think of off the top of my head. We were being fed tips by important people at important locations. We were linked to by major media outlets. It was an interesting time.

Thanks again Michele, also, and not in the least, for the Voices Project.

16:02 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

29-12-03

Saudi Arabia: "unfortunate baseless reports"

Arab News:

“A Saudi security official said that a report by The Mail on Sunday quoting a British politician as saying that Saudi authorities arrested two suicide pilots who were planning to fly two small planes into a packed British Airways plane is not true,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Are the Saudi's starting to hide things as well? Or are things getting out of control in The House Of Saud?

Okay, some British newspapers aren't really known for their outstanding correctness, but this one came from Paul Mercer, someone with a serious background ánd an Opposition Member in the UK's Conservative Homeland Security branch. It's men like these who have connections to "unimpeachable" sources.

One more fact for history's waste-basket?

Update: (via The Insta): The Age says Mercer claimed ...

..., according to the same source, that the Saudi authorities tried to cover up the incident near King Khalid International Airport and withheld information from authorities abroad.

Aha.

01:31 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |

27-12-03

Italy: probable attack

Reuters:

Berlusconi Says Vatican Was Christmas Target

He said in the interview with the Libero newspaper, conducted on Wednesday, Christmas Eve, he had received "precise and verified news of an attack on Rome on Christmas Day. A hijacked plane above the Vatican... An attack from the sky."

...

The decision to block the Conciliazione at night came after the newspaper La Repubblica reported that the Israeli secret services had warned of a "probable attack in Italy" against a major Christian symbol at Christmas. The Interior Ministry had declined to comment on that report.

If the French continue like this, something's bound to happen in the end.

13:07 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

24-12-03

Food for the brain

My stack of DVD entertainment for tonight is in!

Starting with The Rock (Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, ...), continuing with Uprising (Donald Sutherland, Jon Voight, and to top it off, a naturally genuine female beauty, Leelee Sobieski, ...), I hope to end --ok, I'll need some coffee by then-- with Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

I haven't seen neither of these movies --mostly I just walk into the rental store and pick up whatever movie that rings a bell or jumps in the eye--  but I'm quite sure I will be enjoying myself, heh!

Whatever your plans are, stay safe, don't eat too fast, have a nice evening. Merry Christmas!

18:15 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

Hey look, a terrorist!

Should have blogged this ages ago, but the capture of The Lion Of Iraq came in between things:

It will be recalled that in May 2002, Israel agreed to deport 13 of the most heavily-wanted terrorists hiding out in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Twenty-six others were sent to Gaza. The 13, responsible for the murder of many Israelis, were distributed among several European countries, with the understanding that they would remain there between three and six years, unless a PLO state is established first, in which case they would be permitted to enter it. One of the 13 was Halil Al-Nawara, whom the Belgians agreed to host and even provide with a monthly stipend. This week Al-Nawara was arrested by local police for his part in a series of armed robberies of banks and post offices.

You will notice that I got this from an Israeli newspaper, Belgian media does not consider this to be important enough. DoF and Rantburg have more.

Belgium gets visited regularly by Bin Laden's friends and is now hosting them as well. We seem to have forgotten too quickly that the murderers of Massoud were both carrying Belgian passports.

Enter Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (on TV this weekend):

"Blix's opinion appears to be right, indeed, there don't seem to be any WMD's. This [war] was supposed to be about WMD's"

"We did what we had to do [after 9/11], we exposed the terrorist network in Belgium, we catched Trabelsi, we had him followed, the trial is taking place."

Not a word about Khalil Mouhammad Abdallah al-Nawawreh. If this sort of news goes lost unseen, Europe deserves terrorism.

01:41 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

21-12-03

Person Of The Year 2003

Via Instapundit: Tim Blair reveals The person Of The Year 2003:

Speedy Blogospherians, hah! As for the choice itself, I wish all the troops in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other place they may find themselves working in, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, as well as to their relatives and friends. Thanks guys!

18:27 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

Anti anti-anti-idiotarian maths

Just a quick one on this timely hour, via Ivan Janssens: a calculation by Parapundit of some figures by SIPRI, giving us an idea on who sold what amount of weapons to Iraq and when. Nothing new or surprising, just some handy material to remind the anti-anti-idiotarians of one or two things:

Figures are trend-indicator values expressed in US $m. at constant (1990) prices.

Note: The SIPRI data on arms transfers refer to actual deliveries of major conventional weapons. To permit comparison between the data on such deliveries of different weapons and identification of general trends, SIPRI uses a trend-indicator value. The SIPRI values are therefore only an indicator of the volume of international arms transfers and not of the actual financial values of such transfers. Thus they are not comparable to economic statistics such as gross domestic product or export/import figures.

Country$MM USD 1990% Total
USSR2514557.26
France559512.74
China519211.82
Czechoslovakia28806.56
Poland16813.83
Brazil7241.65
Egypt5681.29
Romania5241.19
Denmark2260.51
Libya2000.46
USA2000.46
South Africa1920.44
Austria1900.43
Switzerland1510.34
Yugoslavia1070.24
Germany (FRG)840.19
Italy840.19
UK790.18
Hungary300.07
Spain290.07
East Germany (GDR)250.06
Canada70.02
Jordan20.005
Total43915100.0

Have a good night.


03:32 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

18-12-03

I am an infidel

Woke up too early so I started to surf around a bit, and since there appears to be more politics and less fun on this website, I thought this might do well for a change:

Useful phrases for westerners backpackers in the middle east:

* Kbar Khali-Kili Haftir Lotfan.
Thank you for showing me your marvelous gun.

* Tikeh Nuneh Ba Ob Khrelleh Bezorg Va Khube Boyast Ino Begeram.
The water soaked breadcrumbs are delicious, thank you. I must have the recipe.

* Ekr Gabul Cardan Davat Parh Gush Divar.
I am delighted to accept your kind invitation to lie down on the floor with my arms above my head and my legs apart.

* Maternier Ghermez Ahlieh Ghorban.
The red blindfold would be lovely.

* Balli, Balli, Balli.
Whatever you say.

* Auto Arraregh Davateman Mano Sephaheh- Hasti.
It is exceptionally kind of you to allow me to travel in the trunk of your car.

* Cashal-Eh Fashal-Eh Tupheman Na Degat Man Goftam Cheeshayeh Mohemarir Behmeshvarehma.
If you will do me the kindness of not harming my genital appendages, I will gladly reciprocate by betraying my country in public.

Nothing but a good laugh to start the day with, is there? Here's where you can find some more, the French are in there as well.

Politically incorrect? That's what jokes are made of sometimes. If, however, you do feel the urge to line up with the Coalition Of The Pissy, tell me where I can find the exact translations, always of good use.

06:44 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |

15-12-03

Links for History

OK, the beard wasn't false, I admit (someone must have spinned me).

The funny stuff: here, here and here.

The strange stuff: Reuters and Al-Jiz use the same headline. Aaahh, those media (?!?) boys and girls ... .

The serious stuff, with lots of links, updates and extras: the Insta of course, and The Command Post. The Truth Laid Bear also has a collection of Weblog Reactions up. Also: Stryker and the others, and don't forget their Iraq page. James Taranto's page is full of content too.

In Belgium: interesting article on IHI by Claude Moniquet, on the possible changes this day may bring forth. (Claude Moniquet is the President of ESISC, the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, I'm looking forward to the launching of their website. And no, I do not link to IHI because they linked to me a few days ago, I just couldn't let this one pass.)

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt gave a short press conference ("... as to transfer authority to the Iraqis, within a multilateral, UN-based form. We will also continue and intensify our support to Iraq, working together with a number of NGO's ...". Blablabla ... . Anyone have a pointer to this huuuge support?)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Louis Michel "didn't see" a trial of Saddam before a The Hague Court very well possible, and said he prefered it to be in Bagdad. Let's see if he sticks to that idea, he appeared very low profile to me.

Maarten Schenk tells you a little more about Indymedia Belgium here: allow me to say they're nothing but ignorant censorers. You have to use CTRL + A to view their blacked-out posts. That's about the badest reaction I could find in Belgium, except for the weatherguy who started with something like "the weather had a long beard today, but we shaved it", and he's just a very friendly joker and it really wás very rainy today.

Even State Television kept things calm and "objective", at least compared to their usual behaviour. Well, of course there where the, by now expected, remarks on our dear own Pravda Brussels (state radio & television services):

"Is that possible, a DNA investigation in two hours time?", while not yet realizing Saddam was already in custody for about two thirds of a day.
And the infamous "It apparently is the real one!" was also heard more than once, while CNN, BBC and other moguls had already passed that stadium aeons ago by that time. Hmmm, the Coalition Of The Pissy indeed.

I'll keep an eye on them for you, and buy a bunch of newspapers tomorrow. At your service!

One more time before I go to bed ... hmmm ... .

00:40 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

14-12-03

Ace of Spades: done.

With the words of Paul Bremer: "Ladies and gentlemen ... we got him!"

Started out as a political gangster, became one of the richest people on earth on the backs of his own people, and ended up in a basement disguised with a fake beard. How life takes turns.

(I would try to put a fake beard on his face, but I'm not really that good in Farking things)

Let's leave the socio-politics out for now, and celebrate. This is a big day for the people who have worked hard for this, but most importantly for the Iraqi people.

13:16 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

12-12-03

A piece of three pies

Welcome to the readers of Institut Hayek Institute, and a big thank you to the authors of IHI for linking to these pages. Much appreciated!

For those of you who do not yet know the site of IHI, they were, with some help of other people, the ones that put up a petition demanding an effort of our ministers to keep NATO in Brussels. Later on, Belgium changed its Universal Competence Law, but it's far from certain that NATO will remain in Belgium. [Note: some pages in French in this paragraph, Google Language Tools can be helpful, if not funny.]

There's Poland, which would receive NATO with open arms (not to speak of other states in Eastern Europe), and there are the ideas to form a European Defense Force.

If Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany want to help rebuild a country, after having left other countries to die for it, ánd keep NATO in, ánd have a possible HQ for a huuuuge European DoD on their territory, Claes was indeed right to put up his finger and notice some anomalies. Born in a very friendly and welcoming province (Limburg) in Flanders, he probably just stayed polite.

16:41 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

02-12-03

UN: "4000 arrested, disappointing result"

UN urges more action on al-Qaeda:

...
"Many of al-Qaeda's sources of funding have not yet been uncovered or blocked," the report said. 
"Al-Qaeda continues to have access to funds through charities, deep-pocket donors and from business and criminal activities, including the drug trade."
Michael Chandler, who chairs the UN monitoring group, said he did not think a biological attack was necessarily imminent. But he told the BBC's World Today programme the signs were there that al-Qaeda wanted to use such tactics. 
"It is probably the fact that they are looking for some technical means of dispersion rather than actually the stuff itself," he said. "The ingredients are available if they want to get hold of them."
...

Go here for the UN News Centre's pressrelease:

...
Mr. Muñoz said about 4,000 people worldwide have been arrested in connection with Al-Qaida or the Taliban - "clearly a disappointing result."
...

Hmm, the UN finally wakes up ... . These kind of messages always make me recall the documentary images of nuclear waste being cleaned up in Georgia: there were about eight (can't remember the exact amount) radio-active batteries (used to power antennas of some sort) missing when finally the IAEA (remember them?) started to search for them.

Actually it turned out to make some hilarious squetches: three or four people just put the glowing containers in protective shells, using a large stick. A fifth person counted the seconds and blew a whistle when time was up: Geigercounters, communist style ... .

After some more research, a local was found who had already burnt virtually all of his skin, just because he ate his sandwiches next to Al Qaeda's favourite toy. Yet another admitted he had found a nuclear battery too. When asked what he had done with it, he smiled and said "I shot it in the air, I melted bullets from the thing!" ... .

Imagine what can happen when someone less friendly finds this stuff. Creepy.

[I don't have the time just now to look into it, but I seem to remember the boss of a muslim terrorgroup --was it the one that was responsible for the hostage-taking in the concertbuilding in Moscow?-- actually delivered such a device as described above to some journalists.]

Update: here's a good article to start with if you want more details on the above stories, and I think this might be interesting as well (link goes to Google's HTML-file, the pdf-version requires subscription). Evening reads.

08:44 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

22-11-03

Willy Claes: we're dangling on the tail

Willy Claes, former Secretary General of NATO, in Canvas's news program tonight, on different subjects:

On terrorism and intelligence in Belgium:

"We're behaving ourselves like little amateurs."

"Belgian Security Services are simply understaffed."

"Do you seriously think we know anything about what goes on in Belgian mosques?"

"We're just dangling on the tail."

On Europe or, more in particular, Belgium's overall attitude towards things:

"There's no doubt about it that there are still, in Washington and London, people who want to bring things into account. This is not forgotten, and consequences will be presented to us."

"What is the exact attitude of Europe towards Iraq in fact? There are as much opinions as there are states. We [Europe] should hurry to come forward with a common policy towards Iraq. We're losing all credibility."

"A small country like ours shouldn't go around with a pointing finger, one has to know where to stop. If there's one thing we can do, it's building bridges between memberstates [in view of a common policy].

Too bad he's retired.

21:39 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

NYT uniformly pessimistic ... in WWII

Via FormerBelgian, excerpts of history which may teach us a few things:

Ghosts of Occupations Past -- "We can lose the peace"

Inspired by the Life magazine from Jessica's Well and the Saturday Evening Post posted by Instapundit, I went off to the library. The New York Public Library has a database of New York Times articles dating form 1857.

In the span of an hour, I found many articles dating from late 1945 and 1946 about the occupation of Germany. They were uniformly pessimistic. I would like to post them here. Due to copyrights, I will only post excerpts.

I think this is the first post where The CounterRevolutionary started his collage of articles. Go up from there.

20:55 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

20-11-03

London protestors, hear this ... .

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- At least 25 people were killed and 390 others injured after at least two explosions rocked Istanbul, CNN Turk quoted local officials as saying.

[RUMSFELDMODE]

Q: Does this prove the terrorism we're up against is international?
A: I should think so!

Q: Is there any chance attacks like the ones President Bush talked about in his speach yesterday will occur in Europe, like London for instance?
A: There's no doubt about it!

Q: Does this mean any country that does not fall within the grace of the terrorists is a candidate for carnage?
A: That seems to be the point the demonstrators in London are missing, yes!

Q: If the bombers of the Istanbul synagogues appear to have bombed their own people, does this say anything about the historical mistake Europe made not to participate in the War Against Terror?
A: Well of course!

Q: What does it say about this stupidity?
A: It says the global terrorism we know today is everywhere, without being hindered by bounderies or nationalities! It says the World should fight terrorism, not the Nations Of The Willing alone!

[/RUMSFELDMODE]

13:17 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

12-11-03

Moussaoui: "RAMADAN = ONLY BLOOD"


No, this is not a drawing made by a bored teenager with a lot of aggressive energy in his body. Yes, it's a piece of art made by the so-called "20th hijacker", Zacarias Moussaoui. On the second page of this two-page "document", there's a line that says

...
After All ANTRAX can be used to ERADICATE Wicked Anglo Satan Parasites.
...

[I have the distinct impression Moussaoui gets a lot of his inspiration from movies ("Natural Born Liars") or TV ("Criminal Nasty Network"), and the above collection of words also translates to "WASP", on which I cannot really put my finger, but I'm almost certain it has something to do with the L.A. Police Departement.]

Thank you, Eugene over at The Volokh Conspiracy to show me where I can find creations like this one.

Browse around in these documents and form yourself an opinion on the culpability of this smart-*ss who's trying to defend himself while making the world turn a little slower just by trying alone; my stomach's already tied in knots just by looking at all of this. Go here to find more of the same stuff.

Additional: this one's where I got my title. I'd love to see a psychological profile of some sort on this man.

Additional2: (see comments) WASP = White Anglo-Saxan Protestants, thanks DoF, it just didn't fall into place. A Google for 'wasp' also pointed to things like 'Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program' ... stupid me ... .

13:07 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |