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Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.
In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.
Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.
“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.
“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.
For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way. In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?
I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy. Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.
I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.
One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable nor is it to be expected that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another. While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.
Its of course too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of dyed in the wool extreme lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.
I expect there are readers of the Sandpit who are waiting for my next words of wisdom. Well I’m it a bit of a waiting mode too. I have finally connected up our new water-tank I have set it up so that it can both equalize with the house tank and with a bypass that allows me to fill it above what would be the full to the brim level of the house tank. So naturally I’m waiting for it to rain now and the Gods are trying hard to mock my hubris.
In terms of my car building hobby its been a case of one step forward and a couple back. I want to swap out the Honda carbs I have on my sports car for a pair of SUs which I naturally want to rebuild. Naturally enough the mob I order a full kit form have the kit I want on back-order, due late this month. Likewise after a great deal of thought I have decided to fit a manual gearbox . The normal wisdom would be to go for a five speed but I have a very limited budget so I’ve bought a 4 speed out of a KE70 Corolla and guess what I’m waiting for that to be delivered by courier from the importer I bought it from. Those of you who are familiar with my car may be wondering why I chose that particular gearbox well its the manual alternative to the Auto that I currently have in the car which means the adapter plate I made for that box will work for the manual. All I have to do is get a Pulsar flywheel, a Corolla clutch plate make a clutch peddle and of coarse that will all need a bit of finessing . Which means you guessed it more waiting as I try to source all that I will need and waiting between the small amount of time that my pain issues will allow me to tinker with this stuff. What this all means is more waiting…
Hell is the eternal sojourn in a waiting room, where the magazines are filled with print that is just a tiny bit to small to read and the TV plays eternal advertorials for consumer crap that promises far more than it can ever deliver.
Yesterday I had to visit my doctor for myself and to take my son as well so once we were finished visiting the sawbones I gave in to my son’s repeated pleading and we went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” and you know what? I it wasn’t a bad movie at all it both engaged and entertained us both which isn’t too bad from where I was sitting:
Marvel Studios’ new superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy is a smart, funny, self-aware bubblegum movie; like the recent X-Men film Days of Future Past, it features a retro playlist indicating an increasing possibility that middle youth, as well as actual youth, is an important target audience.
Chris Pratt (from TV’s Parks and Recreation) plays the Han-Solo-ish intergalactic freebooter Peter Quill, whose cynicism masks an inner hurt: he was abducted from Earth as a little kid just after his mom had died of cancer – a classic touch of comic-book fantasy, alchemising pain into superheroism – and always carries around the old-fashioned Sony Walkman with a mixtape his mother made for him. (A very prominent British producer once told me pop soundtrack riches like these induce stunned awe in indie film-makers – only the big studios can pay the staggering copyright fees.)
Quill has found himself in possession of a mysterious orb that certain ruthlessly villainous parties would like to have, and this compels him to team up with a ragtag crew of space adventurers whose story takes place in surroundings made to look like classic photorealist sci-fi paperback covers. There is a huge Tolkienian creature in the shape of a tree called Groot (played in motion-capture by Vin Diesel), the enormous musclebound, oddly coloured hombre Drax (Dave Bautista), a strangely beautiful female alien with the off-puttingly biblical name of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Rocket, a cunning little talking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, with hints of Nathan Lane’s Timon from The Lion King and the meerkat in the TV advert who says “simples”.
The makers of this film managed to get the right mix of outrageous action with believable and likable characters. Its not at all deep and meaningful, instead its a roller-coaster ride of colour and movement with a quite satisfactory conclusion. My boy loved the film almost as much as he loved having the bragging rights engendered by seeing it in the first day of its release. Me? Well at least I did not retreat to the land of nod as I did for the Lego Movie so I rate it as a good four on the five star Sandpit scale and that means you won’t regret paying yer money for the seat if you are accompanying a small person for a day out .
Labor’s NBN is damned by the latest review:
“By contrast, with NBN Mark I, the public policy process for developing NBN Mark II was rushed, chaotic and inadequate,” it says.
The plan got just 11 weeks’ consideration and “there is no evidence that a full range of options was seriously considered”.
“There was no business case or any cost-benefit analysis, or independent studies of the policy undertaken, with no clear operating instructions provided to this completely new government business enterprise, within a legislative and regulatory framework still undefined, and without any consultation with the wider community,” the report says.
In other findings, the audit says full cabinet did not consider the policy until very early on the April 2009 morning it was announced, and its role was to “rubber-stamp” a decision by the strategic priorities and budget committee of cabinet.
It also revealed that public servants had “difficulty” in having their “voice” heard on many of the most important policy matters related to Labor’s NBN policy, often finding their advice was ignored or that they were excluded from contributing.
Ah How I remember the many minions of the left were singing the praises of the NBN MK2, the problem for them was/is that what they were really praising was the idea and the dream of super-fast internet even though the reality had turned into a nightmare of confusion and delay that would vex any engine.
Its a good thing that the use of signature for electronic transaction is coming to an end, as far as I’m concerned
But advocates for the elderly and disabled still have concerns about the new system.
‘‘The purpose of this is better security but for some people it will have the reverse effect,’’ Council on the Ageing Australia’s chief executive, Ian Yates, said.
The council has had reports of bank staff advising elderly people with memory problems to carry a written record of their PIN.
‘‘I’m sure that’s not the official bank position … but that’s what some people will do,’’ Mr Yates said. ‘‘The security implications are worrying.’’
The president of Blind Citizens Australia, Greg Madson, said many older members had never navigated a terminal keypad. ‘‘We will be advocating for some sort of uniformity across the design of these [terminals] so that people who are vision impaired … [do] not have to struggle around the keyboard,’’ he said.
The executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, said retailers were prepared for the switch and the majority welcomed it.
‘‘It’s going to be far more secure,’’ said Mr Zimmerman, who knows of one man who regularly signed for credit card purchases as ‘Mickey Mouse’. ‘‘Retailers just do not look at these signatures.’’
I have long thought that it was just too easy to copy a signature on the back of a credit card, so much so that I have long had “Pin only” written on the back of my credit card. To be honest I don’t think that there will be a substantive number of may fellow codgers who have problems with this change. Heck I think that many of them will have , like yours truly, already embraced the Paywave tech which makes the use of even a pin number largely obsolete.
Sometimes change is worthwhile but you won’t hear that said often from me.
Some say that Qantas’s woes are due to global economic circumstances others will insist that its poor leadership from Alan Joyce as their CEO Personally I say that both factors are right up there along with my personal favourite , namely that the era of cheap air travel will not last or be at all enduring, it has only existed this long because so many governments have, for political reasons and a desire to enhance national prestige been propping up so many airlines. Essentially air travel has been heavily subsidised and no that this country has a government who won’t play the same game it hardly surprising that Qantas is in such a dire circumstance. With that in mind lets consider the Union response as reported in the Fairfax press.
Street marches? Digging their heels in? Do these dinosaurs understand nothing of reality? What it boils down to here is the simple reality that the choice is to have a far leaner Qantas or no Qantas at all and it would not matter a damn how many street marches they have the public are just no longer buying into this kind of stupid industrial campaign and no matter how much the usual suspects will insist that we should keep the jobs in Australia their rhetoric is not matched by their credit cards when it comes to their own air travel. Oh its easy to propagate a sort of aviation jingoism about Qantas but if the flying public don’t vote with their bums and chose Qantas above the other purveyors of high altitude near death experiences then the company won’t be able to make a quid and if the company can’t make a quid then the protesting unionists may was well move their protests to their nearest Centerlink office.
On a wing and a prayer Comrades