Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Syria ~ Turkey

The public [I am included] are becoming more aware of the situation in this region. It is unstable, it is dangerous, it is complex.

It is the complexity that is stopping politicians from making decisions.

No body really knows who is with who or who is fighting who or who will fight with someone else if they are both against, silly but unfortunately realistic.

The Economist yesterday produced a graphic that shows the complexity people are struggling with. Thousands of people, tens of thousands of people reacted to this yesterday saying "how can we / anyone go in and solve the issues".

Source: The Economist

What do we know today? US F-16 fighter jets have arrived at Turkey's southern Incirlik airbase to join the fight against IS. US drones have already launched raids on IS from there. Turkey says its war on two fronts will prove decisive. Critics say Turkey's strategy - complicated by long-standing problems with its large Kurdish minority - is short-sighted and likely to backfire.

After the incident with the Russian fighter being shot down on the Syrian / Turkish border this makes the West cautious about putting more infrastructure into Turkey as Russia builds up its offensive force in the region. Remember Russia has a land grab programme which facilitates Syria and surrounding districts.

The Turkish government says it is ready to fight all the enemies of its national interest. But many observers believe it is particularly interested in one enemy.

The question is: Which one?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Computer games

I have reached an age where PC games no longer interest me or perhaps I should say I am losing interest in PC games rapidly and rather than the type of game released it is probably my age.

There has been an on-going discussion about the effect that time and money spent on games has on the rest of your life. Real scientific data on the subject is sparse, and there is a lot of sensationalism instead and talk of "addiction". As I do not have a statistical study on the subject, I cannot really comment on that.

I am 60 years old, and I have played games since I was a child. Of course not computer games, they were not available then. I was already in my teens when I got the first console, playing Pong in black and white on a television screen. My first "home computer" was The ZX Spectrum which was an 8-bit model with 16k RAM [haha you might say considering today's mega machines]. So my gaming career started with board games and I wonder if I will return to them or a similar type.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Will Germany fall?

Will Germany be the first to fall after accepting nearly a million refugees this year?

Turkey, Palestine & Yemen have all taken more refugees however, they are not coping well and that is hardly surprising as no country can cope with a huge influx of other people.

Germany's politics now seems to be baulking at the idea of taking in a huge number of refugees which would count as a U-Turn by the government, where would that put Angela Merkel?

Personally Angela Merkel will probably survive as there is no one else in Germany to take over, however it is the country and continent this piece is about rather than the leader.

Last week I wrote about Shengen and I consider it is finished:-

It now appears people more in the know than I are saying the same thing, so what is next?

I think it would be a disaster to return to individual borders if Europe wants to remain as a state so what can they do?

Firstly strengthen the outer circle.

Establish just where the outside border of Europe is as a whole [thinking of UK as an example] and place proper strong checks on anyone coming into the zone, this means relying on other countries to run and police these stations, now that might be a problem.

How about setting up a group specifically to deal with this 'outside border'?

Friday, 20 November 2015

Shengen is Dead

Europe either has to create an intelligence force similar to Interpol which is happy for each country to talk to another or the borders close.

The politicians have to decide what is best for their people, they have to reflect on what has happened not only in the last twelve months, which has been horrific, but for the whole millennium. The ideological view can no longer be supported a pragmatic view must now be adopted.

Once the borders are closed more action can take place for instance not letting people back that have travelled to Syria and surrounding countries and have taken part in the conflict there, expelling people who have expressed views that could be seen as incitement.

Most of the actions that need and could take place require either of the first two options to be implemented.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Europe today

A continent in shock or fear!

Just how does the population of Europe feel today?

Last night [Tuesday 17-Nov-2015] a football match took place between England and France. It was technically a friendly, however, if you take into account how much was spent on security you could hardly call it a friendly.

The reason for the expense was the appearance of the heir to the throne [Prince William] and the prime minister [David Cameron].

The reason for the game itself was to show the terrorists [who had recently cause devastation] that the west will not be cowed by the actions of last Friday night in Paris. The evening itself was successful and the final score was a side issue as the whole event was about solidarity and showing that the two nations [England and France] were completely together in the battle to allow democracy and freedom to survive and flourish.

Does this one single event in England make the population of Europe feel happy and safe, no of course not, it is a public show of strength, but what do the people of Europe feel after seeing their friends and relations gunned down while sitting outside a café or dancing at a concert in a hall?

These people were not politicians or celebrities or members of the security service, they were young people of today out relaxing after a day or week at work and they were gunned down for no reason other than megalomania by a group of radical extremists currently calling themselves Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Have we [in the west] established what these terrorists want?

What is their objective, what is their goal, what is their motive, why are they doing what they are doing which is killing anyone who stands in front of them and destroying any object [usually buildings or structures] that they come across. It does not appear that anyone has fathomed what they are about, so how can we conceive a plan to oust them?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


I have been watching River [TV series] via BBC iPlayer, six episodes of pure fantasy.

Why should I want something real when at the end of my day I want a release into the unknown, fortunately for me this series was available.

I am sure there are dozens of people who deserve credit for this production, but following Stellan Skarsgård & Nicola Walker through this story over the last six weeks I have been enraptured.

I just thought I would mention it.

Monday, 16 November 2015


Ever since the failed attack on a train in France last August [by two Americans and a Britain] it has been clear that for one reason or another France and it's capital Paris are going to be the target of choice for terrorists.

Intelligence gathering is a hot topic not just at the moment but always because of the clash with liberty, but it cannot be under estimated how powerful a tool against terrorists it is.

However, it saddens me when I read of stories like "German police stopped a man [5-Nov-2015] on the highway between Salzburg, Austria, and Munich driving a car with a cache of guns and explosives. The man from Montenegro, had programmed his car’s GPS with directions to Paris and he said he wanted to see the Eiffel Tower." All well and good you might think, except that this information was not passed between the two countries concerned.

I will and have moaned about Europe's open border policy which now seems to be collapsing, but if Europe wants to be tighter together it should start with communication.