Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Tough sanctions threatened against Iran

September 26, 2009

Violet Elizabeth Bott, the UN Secretary General, announced a terrible sanction regime against Iran over its covert nuclear weapons programme:

“I’ll thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick.”

Lest we forget…September 12

September 12, 2009

Today the continental breakfast was invented. It’s the only day of the year that I have a croissant and coffee (with milk) at home.

September 12th 1683 is the date of the raising of the Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire, which represented the turning point for Turkish expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.

It is said that the armies of Poles, Germans and Austrians that drove the Turks and allies (notably some Hungarians) from the siege camp found curious crescent-shaped pastries and coffee. A Capucin monk is supposed to have added cream to soften the bitter taste of the unfamiliar dark hot drink to create capuccino.

I’m sure the more literate Turks celebrate the Battles of Manzikaert (1071), Myriocephalum (1176) and Hattin (1187)*. I don’t suppose, however, that they found anything from their defeated opponents of such lasting gastronomic influence as the capuccino and croissant breakfast.

* I apologise to Turkish readers wishing to celebrate the exact dates. I don’t have them to hand.

Diplomacy à la française

March 1, 2008

You can generally tell which countries the French government is trying to get an arms deal going with by the amount of diplomatic effort going in.

So this story of a $40,000,000,000 contract to supply new air tankers for the U.S. Air Force indicates a serious amount of lobbying.

Bad news for the U.K.’s influence in the U.S.A.: previously, the lack of sufficient air tankers for the U.S. forces meant they had to arrange help from the R.A.F., for example before the invasion of Afghanistan. Presumably, once this contract is up and running, the U.K. becomes just that little bit more expendable.

For this reason, the U.K. government should have tried to block this deal. But I have no doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy would have innocently pleaded that the EADS contract was a “European” deal and how could the British be so cynical?