Thursday, 5 June 2008

Radical Preacher Released from Jail - Yes its True !!

Radical preacher Abu Qatada has been released from Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire after winning his fight against deportation from Britain. The Home Secretary has said she is "extremely disappointed" by the decision. Orla Chennaoui reports.

Extremely disappointed EH !!!

Its an absolute disgrace to allow this individual to be housed in this country, fed and watered at the taxpayers expense and then allowed to be released. After this weeks losses in Afghanistan and this individuals previous convictions in Jordan for terrorism. How is it that the UK is such a soft touch, particularly if you play the political game.

Colchester Pays Tribute to Fallen

SHOPPERS in a garrison town stood in silence today to pay tribute to five paratroopers killed in Afghanistan during the past five days.
The centre of Colchester, Essex, came to a standstill at 11am as soldiers and civilians remembered the dead troops.
A bugler played the Last Post as the chimes of the town hall clock struck 11.

Moments earlier, onlookers had spontaneously applauded the arrival of paratroopers from the dead soldiers’ regiment. and a Union flag in the centre of the town was at half mast.
The victims were all members of the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment and had left their base in Colchester earlier this year to fight in Afghanistan.
Locals - including old soldiers - gathered outside Colchester Town Hall to pay tribute.
The honour came after soldiers of the Parachute Regiment vowed to fight on last night after it emerged that two more of their men had died.
It was the second tragedy to hit the 2nd Battalion in five days — following the loss of three young soldiers on Sunday.
A senior military source said: "It is a heavy blow for 2 Para to suffer so soon after losing three comrades.
"But they will pick themselves up, fight on and complete their mission."
The latest casualties brought the British death toll in Afghanistan to 102 in seven years.
They died yesterday in a Taliban ambush in Helmand province.
The two privates were hit by small-arms fire during a furious battle.
A third soldier was hit when the militants attacked with rocket propelled grenades and automatic rifles.
The Ministry of Defence said last night: "They were conducting a routine foot patrol in the vicinity of their base at Forward Operating Base Gibraltar in the Upper Gereshk Valley when they came under enemy fire, tragically killing two.
"A third soldier was also injured. They were evacuated to Camp Bastion medical facility where the injured soldier is receiving treatment.
"The soldiers’ next of kin have been informed and have requested a 24 hour period of grace before further details are released."
Officials have not revealed details of the injured soldier’s condition.

1st Woman Soldier to die in Afghanistan

Four UK soldiers, one of them a woman, have died in Afghanistan after their vehicle was caught in an explosion.
The woman, believed to a member of the Intelligence Corps, is the first female UK soldier to have died there.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised the bravery of the soldiers, who died east of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province.
The dead soldiers' next-of-kin have been informed. Their deaths take to nine the number of UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the last 10 days.
The Ministry of Defence is not expected to name the soldiers until Thursday.
Since 2001, 106 British soldiers died as a result of operations in Afghanistan.
'Dangerous job'
Three of the soldiers were killed in the blast and another was pronounced dead at the British military base at Camp Bastion.
A fifth soldier wounded in the attack, which happened at 1540 local time on Tuesday, is in a stable condition.

Mr Brown told MPs that he offered his "profound condolences" to the families and friends of those who died.
He said the country was proud of the soldiers.
"They were undertaking the most difficult missions in the most dangerous of countries," he said.
"Our troops are a second to none, the best in the world. They are on the noblest of missions, they are fighting for freedom for the Afghans in their own country and for the world in protecting us from terrorism."
Conservative leader David Cameron told the Commons that there was a risk of the American and Nato operations in Afghanistan "pulling in different directions".
He asked Mr Brown: "Can you tell us what progress is being made in turning them into one single unified command?"
The prime minister responded: "Yes there are changes being made in the military command but yes also we must back up the civilian effort which is the key to giving Afghan people a stake in the future."

The latest deaths are the biggest single loss of British lives in Afghanistan since an RAF Nimrod crash in 2006 which killed 14 servicemen.
BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said the feeling among British military leaders was that the Taleban were being outgunned and that their command-and-control was disintegrating.
The problem is that this has driven the Taleban to measures such as the latest explosion which are very difficult to defend against, she said.
'Courage shown'
The British army spokesman at Camp Bastion, Lt Col Robin Matthews, said: "While the past week or so has indeed been bruising, and no one would deny that, we must remain fixed on what the strategic imperative is here.
"That is delivering a better life, and progress, to the Afghan people."
He added: "All of us have admiration for the work that both male and female British soldiers are doing here and the courage they are showing, acknowledging the risks that are apparent in this particular part of Afghanistan."

Conservative MP and former infantry officer Patrick Mercer believes more could be done to protect British forces from such attacks.
He said: "If you have off-route mines, roadside bombs, why don't we have the helicopters that are available?
"Helicopters are still vulnerable, but they're not vulnerable to this sort of weapon."
Mr Browne announced this week that British troop numbers in Afghanistan will rise by 230 to a new high of more than 8,000 by next spring.
The new troops will boost protection for UK personnel, improve Afghan security training and aid reconstruction work.
The former head of the Army, Gen Sir Mike Jackson, said on Tuesday that British troops must be prepared to match the "strategic endurance" of the Taleban.
He welcomed the announcement of more troops for Afghanistan, and said it would be wrong to set a time frame on withdrawing forces.
Meanwhile Prince Harry joined 200 service personnel at a memorial service at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh.
They service was to remember the 24 soldiers who died during the deployment of the 52 Infantry Brigade in Helmand from October 2007 until April this year.

Why Afghanistan ?

When I ask the question why are we in Afghanistan. My thoughts revert to 1982 when it was announced that a British Task Force was on its way to the Falklands to despatch the Argentinians from the Falkland Islands.

I can remember newsreels when members of the Parachute Regiment were questioned as to where the Falkland Islands were. Many thought as did most of the British Public that they were in Scotland. However, to each of the individuals assigned to the task force back then, they did not have the priviledge to question why, and understand the rationale and legality of it all.

I can't speak for all soldiers, but for me, I would love to have participated in the conflict at that time as its what we trained for, irrespective of the consequences. Joining the armed services now leaves little scope not to be assigned to either Afghanistan or Iraq on joining your respective battalion, and not just the one tour either.

Now I am older and wiser I still long for that service comaraderie in an environment that I was trained for. The reality is its not going to happen for me. However, I have two sons, none of whom have an interest in joining up anyway. Having said that, if they had joined up and had been injured or killed whilst serving. I would surely question why we are there and why them.

Having seen those pictures of the three members of the 2 Battalion Parachute Regiment who lost their lives last Sunday in Afghanistan really made me question - What if one of those guys was my son ? Immensley proud of course, but being proud doesn't bring back the son you nurtured as a child. The child that became teenager, feeling his feet and leaving school. The teenager developing into a young man with a full life ahead of him.

I decided to Google how the war started in Afghanistan. Many entries show it was a result of terrorism in particular the Twin Towers being attacked and defeating Osama Bin Ladin and the Taliban. Both the US and the UK stood together initially in deciding to initiate attacks on Afghanistan with various other countries becoming involved also.

Having Googled this item I also noticed that there are various articles stating that the US had already planned operatons against the Taliban prior to 9/11. It makes interesting reading.

Begs the question Why, all the more prominent.

Britain investigates al-Qaida document leak

Wednesday June 11, 2008 6:31 PM
LONDON (AP) - Two secret government documents about al-Qaida and Iraq were left on a London commuter train, British officials said Wednesday.

The British Broadcasting Corp. said the documents were found by a member of the public who handed them to the broadcaster. A police investigation is under way.

In a statement, the government's Cabinet Office said that ``two documents which are marked as secret were left on a train and have subsequently been handed to the BBC.'' The documents were in the possession of a senior intelligence official, the statement said.

It said London's Metropolitan Police was investigating the security breach.
The police force confirmed it was making inquiries into the loss of the documents on Tuesday.

Des Browne MP - Arsehole

Our troops aren't fit for jobs in civvy street, says the man who's meant to be fighting their corner.

Defence Secretary Des Browne faced fresh anger over soldiers' pay last night after suggesting their low wages are justified because many would fail to get better-paid jobs outside the Army.

It comes just a day after General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, complained that soldiers who risk death or injury on the front line are paid less than traffic wardens back home.
A young infantry soldier deployed to Afghanistan will earn £16,227, with operational allowances taking his pay to just over £20,000. That is less than the average £20,526 salary for traffic wardens.
Mr Browne told hundreds of delegates from Legion branches: 'Why don't we pay servicemen and women in a comparative rate to uniformed organisations in civilian street?
'I have to say the honest answer to that, for a number of young people, particularly those who join the Army, before they join the Army, they would not have been accepted by any of these organisations.

'But, because of the formative experiences the services have been for you, as a result of what you have gone through, you can bet your bottom dollar that when you come out of the Forces, you will be acceptable.'

WELL Des it appears you haven't engaged your brain it seems - You have the ability to send in servicemen & women to various parts of the world placing their lives in danger and then knock them by saying that many could not obtain better paid jobs in Civvy St. That will comfort the families who have lost loved ones recently.

Are you for real with you 5 figure salary ? Its people like you who sent young men over the top in The Great War, whilst sipping champagne and having dinner in some of the finest restaurants in London. We all know how The Great War turned out.

Thanks Des - nice to know the services have your support. Someone save their last round (7.62mm) for Des please.

Navy what Navy !

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed it has withdrawn the missile capability of one warship and is planning to do so from another currently on deployment.
HMS Southampton, will return from the South Atlantic in December, and will then join HMS Exeter which has already been stripped of its Sea Dart missiles.
The Portsmouth-based Type 42 destroyers will be taken out of service next year.
The MoD said both vessels would still be able to defend themselves and carry out "a wide range of tasks".
An MoD spokesman said: "This decision has been made after careful consideration and is necessary to ensure support to the longer-running Type 42 destroyers can be sustained properly."
He said HMS Exeter was due to be the next Type 42 to be retired after more than 25 years in the front line and HMS Southampton, which is the second oldest Type 42, will follow in 2009.
He added: "HMS Exeter and HMS Southampton will continue to be capable of a wide range of tasks.
"They are armed with a 4.5in (11cm) gun and close range weapons systems and they carry a Lynx helicopter, which can deploy torpedoes, anti-ship missiles or a machine gun.
"Air defence for the fleet will continue to be provided by the other Type 42 destroyers that will remain in service until gradually replaced by the Daring class Type 45 destroyer, the first of which will enter service in late 2010."