3 Months, 4 days – still sober.
Last Saturday, we took our two ShihTzus to the vet as they had some tufts of hair on their bellies which we had been unable to comb out and were causing them a lot of discomfort. To cut a long story short, on the advice of the vets, we agreed to have their coats shaved off and start all over. It takes around 8 months for a Shih Tzu’s coat to grow out again but we had to put the interest of the little guys first, so that was that. We are now the proud owners of two little ‘rats’ and I will post some pics of them in the next day or so. They are much more comfortable now and it may be my imagination, but they seem to have a lot more ‘freedom’ in their bodies when they, run jump and frolic around.
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but….
There is a guy who goes by the name of The Realist who insists on writing inflammatory comments, (the first two of which I published but the remainder have been trashed), which have accused me of not being truthful in my blog. He has also made assumptions about my behaviour and what I have done in my past life as an alcoholic, which bears no relation to the facts, much of which have been related in my daily blog and in the various ‘true stories’ which I have written and can be found on the tabs or Pages in this blog.
I would have thought that anyone who had bared his soul the way I have, and given detailed accounts of all the unfortunate situations I that have experienced during my eventful life, at least should be given some credit for not hiding the truth or for not distorting the truth to put me in a better light. Quite frankly, I could hardly have put myself in a worse light if I had tried to make it all up.
This guy seems to think that because I am an alcoholic and because I have been married five times and because I used to be an admitted drunk driver (one of countless thousands in Thailand), that I must have left a trail of destruction in my wake and ruined many people’s lives along the way.
Well, I have never tried to defend anything that I have done, and openly admit that my drunken behaviour through the years is nothing to be proud of, but the fact remains that I have never, knowingly seriously hurt anyone along the way. Maybe I have been very lucky. This could well be the case; as even in my three serious motor accidents in Thailand, the only person who was seriously hurt was myself. Not one of my wives and neither of my two daughters have ever suffered from the effects of my alcoholic behaviour and I have always tried to do the right thing by everyone in my life, as some of you will know if you have followed my adventures and biographical accounts from the beginning. Of course I could have done better, but that probably is true for most of us.
He seems to think that because I have been married 5 times, then I must have been an arsehole of a husband and treated my wives so badly that they left me. Unfortunately that just wasn’t the case. The mistake I made was having very poor judgement in the choice of life partners, no doubt due, in part, to my propensity for alcohol.
It is clear that The Realist simply took on board the fact that I was an admitted alcoholic and jumped to the conclusion that I was the type of alcoholic who goes through life destroying everybody and everything in his path. Well not all alcoholics fit this particular stereotype as he would know if he bothered to read my blog, or indeed spent some time to study the subject before running off at the mouth about what a bastard I must be and how I must be ‘in denial.’
If he was prepared to discuss this subject in a sensible and non-inflammatory manner, then I would be quite happy to have a debate with him and even if we did not see eye to eye, I would respect his opinions – as I have done with others, like MobiPholoer. But as it is, I have regretfully decided to block all his comments and they will go straight to the trash bin without me having to read his hurtful, vindictive nonsense.
Why is it that some people seem to truly ‘get off’ on trying to hurt others? I can only imagine that they are so inadequate in their own miserable lives that the only perverted joy they can aspire to is by hurting others; much as a little boy might enjoy pulling the legs off a live spider.
Afghanistan – a ‘Mobi solution’
I listened to a fascinating debate last night on the Aljazeera ‘Inside story’. It was particularly interesting, given that we had a Brit and a Yank saying that the situation there was hopeless and that the sooner the west withdraws its forces the better and we had a very erudite Afghan, who completely disagreed and felt sure that if we remained patient a few more years, the tide against Al-Qaeda would truly turn. I neither have the time nor inclination to set out the arguments for and against this hypothesis, but all three were highly knowledgeable on their subject.
The background of the debate was the recent horrific riots and killings that have taken place in that country, ostensibly in protest to the burning of the Quran by some nut case pseudo preacher in Florida last month. The Afghan insisted that members of Al-Qaeda had been able to infiltrate the general population and their mosques, particularly after the latest government initiative of opening up dialogue with Al-Qaida leaders. He claimed that the terrorists had stirred them up and had provided the weapons which were used in the violent confrontations. He agreed that the entire country was angry over the book burning but that they would have demonstrated peacefully if it had not been for Al-Qaida. He seemed to really believe that in time, when the Afghans were given control of their own security that the terrorists would be forced out.
The Brit and the Yank were having none of it. They both felt strongly that it was the Afghan people themselves who were largely responsible for the outrages and that even if they had been aided and abetted by Al-Qaeda operatives, it didn’t alter the fact that the situation was hopeless and that there would never be a time when the general population behaved in manner that was ‘acceptable’ to the west and that a true democracy and western-style freedom was established.
Nato and the Americans have been in Afghanistan for ten years. They have spent billions of dollars, lost thousands of lives and have got nowhere. They are reviled everywhere and the country is still riddled with terrorists, is still highly dangerous and unstable and is still a million miles away from peace , normalcy and a functioning democracy. To me, the deliberately targeting of a UN mission and the killing of seven foreign workers there was nothing short of an abomination. The mission was only there to provide help to the Afghans and this act showed the world, as if we needed showing, that we are never going to be welcome in such places and that no matter how hard you try to ‘do good’ and try to be their ‘friend’ they will always hate you, spurn your efforts and given the chance, kill you. We are all infidels and we are all going to Hell; the more infidels they can kill, the greater their prospects of a happy and glorious after life. This is what they truly believe, so it’s time to give up the hopeless struggle.
Although I have been a bit of ‘hawk’ in these matters for many years, I have now concluded that Afghanistan – and indeed Pakistan – is a battle the west will never win. We are simply not equipped to deal with the kind of militant, Muslim, suicidal terrorism that increasingly pervades these countries and whatever we tried to do there, we are despised, castigated, maimed and killed for our efforts.
In my opinion it is time for major rethink. The wily Afghan cited an allegory. He asked us to take the example of a small fire burning on the edge of a forest. He asked whether you would quickly douse the flames before they took hold, or would you wait until the whole forest was ablaze before you attempted to put the fire out? I’m sorry but I reckon that Muslim militancy is no longer just a small blaze, but has already ignited a substantial portion of the world’s ‘forest’. So what do firemen do when a blaze starts to get out of control? They abandon the area which is fully ablaze and create a ‘ring fence’ around the fire. They clear an area large enough so that the fames cannot jump to another part of the forest. I believe that is what we should be doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The fire has already got too strong to fight. These countries will be completely taken over by Al-Qaeda and we should beat a hasty retreat before we are seriously burnt. Once way from the danger zone, we should commence our ring-fence building. We should stop all contact, aid, trade and so on and isolate these countries from the world community. Of course this will be easier said than done and there will always be countries like Russia and China who will seek to serve their own interests and break any embargoes that we may be able to persuade the international community to put in place.
If our resolve is strong enough, at the very least we can try to isolate these evil misogynist murderers and try to confine them within their own borders. If we refuse to trade with them, refuse permission for them to travel outside their own borders, arrest any Afghan or Pakistani in the west and ship them back home, freeze and/or seize all their western domiciled assets we may eventually create a situation where the impoverished people of these countries rise up against their autocratic masters, in a similar way to what is currently taking place in many Middle eastern countries.
As long as Al-Qaeda is able to point to the west as the common enemy of all Muslims, then nothing will ever be done to resolve this ‘clash of culture’. Even if nothing changes within the borders of my proposed, ‘isolated’, terrorist-run states, at least we would be free to go about our business in the west without worrying about our increasingly precarious monetary reserves being wasted and our brave men killed in a war we can never win. Any country in which Al-Qaeda in one of its many guises becomes the dominant authority, should be isolated and boycotted by the world community in a similar manner.
It might eventually end in a ‘stand-off’; not too dissimilar to the cold war. We, in the west will watch our common borders very closely and develop our intelligence and design our defences to deal with any potential militant threats. Eventually, in a decade or so, maybe more moderate minds will prevail and the world will one day relax a little.
That’s the Mobi solution.
What say you?