Friday, July 15, 2005

I am going to beat the next person who says anything negative to me about the conduct of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Then I'm going to force their bloody ass to watch this video and read the accompanying story.

Click HERE for video.

Click HERE for the story.

Gee, what did those Thai do to piss off the Religion of PeaceTM ?

The "Emergency Powers Law" replaces localised martial law already in place in the three southernmost provinces, where more than 800 people have died in the last 19 months. It brings responsibility for security directly into the PM's office.

"In the past seven days there have been signs that the situation will escalate," Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told reporters after an emergency cabinet meeting prompted by a coordinated set of attacks on Thursday evening in the provincial capital of Yala.

"The last straw that prompted us to impose this law is what happened at seven pm (1200 GMT) in Yala," he said.

In one of the most dramatic episodes of the southern unrest, suspected Muslim separatists set off a series of bombs, bringing down pylons outside electricity sub-stations and plunging the town into darkness for an hour. Two policeman were killed and 23 people injured in the ensuing chaos, as the militants went on a shooting spree in the normally quiet town of 30,000 people around 1,100 km (690 miles) south of Bangkok and near the Malaysian border. The violence continued on Friday, with a small bomb blast at 11.30 a.m. injuring four people in Yala, and unidentified gunmen shooting dead two teachers in neighboring Narathiwat province

Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Theo Van Gogh, is on trial. Detailed translations too at Cdr. Salamander.

"I can assure you that one day, should I be set free, I would do exactly the same, exactly the same," he said, speaking slowly in sometimes halted Dutch.

He said he felt an obligation to Van Gogh's mother Anneke, present in court, to speak, but offered no sympathy.

"I have to admit I do not feel for you, I do not feel your pain, I cannot -- I don't know what it is like to lose a child," he said as Van Gogh's family and friends looked on.

"I cannot feel for you ... because I believe you are an infidel," he added.

"I acted out of conviction -- not because I hated your son."

As usual, the Guardian is not exactly on the side of the victims of Islam, even if those victims are Brits themselves.

Shocked would be to suggest we didn't appreciate that when Falluja was flattened, the people under it were dead but not forgotten - long after we had moved on to reading more interesting headlines about the Olympics. It is not the done thing to make such comparisons, but Muslims on the street do. Some 2,749 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. To discover the cost of "liberating" Iraqis you need to multiply that figure by eight, and still you will fall short of the estimated minimum of 22,787 civilian Iraqi casualties to date. But it's not cool to say this, now that London's skyline has also has plumed grey.

Shocked would also be to suggest that the bombings happened through no responsibility of our own. OK, the streets of London were filled with anti-war marchers, so why punish the average Londoner? But the argument that this was an essentially US-led war does not pass muster. In the Muslim world, the pond that divides Britain and America is a shallow one. And the same cry - why punish us? - is often heard from Iraqi mothers as the "collateral damage" increases daily

Perhaps now is the time to be honest with each other and to stop labelling the enemy with simplistic terms such as "young", "underprivileged", "undereducated" and perhaps even "fringe". The don't-rock-the-boat attitude of elders doesn't mean the agitation wanes; it means it builds till it can be contained no more.

Dilpazier Aslam, tha author of this piece of journalistic garbage, is a Guardian trainee journalist. Mr. Aslam happily types "The don't-rock-the-boat attitude of elders doesn't mean the agitation wanes; it means it builds till it can be contained no more." at the very moment that 30 meters under Londons streets, "rescue" crews recover maimed corpses from the wreckage of commuter trains. 7/7 is one week ago and the temperature in those tunnels is said to be 60 degrees Centigrade. I don't want to know what those corpses look like by now. But Mr. Aslam warns us the time of the don't rock the boat attitude is over.

Time to take the kid's gloves off. I'm done with smooth talking. This is about preservation of our civilization. They want war, they can get war. If you think that's rough, I say they will very likely get the point better.


Sunday, July 10, 2005


The battle of July 11, 1302 between an army of French knights and Flemish infantry was the military apex of the rebellion against attempts by French kings to annex the County of Flanders. In 1300, King Philip IV of France (1285-1314) seemed to succeed in this by appointing as governor of the County Jacques de Châtillon. The Flemish Count Gwijde van Dampierre (1278-1305) and his two sons were taken captive, causing strong resentment in Flanders. Furthermore, the gigantic debts towards France, as well as the division among the population between citizens sympathetic to the French King and anti-French merchants, created a lot of unrest, especially among the artisans in the cities.Flemish Lion, black on yellow

The preface of the conflict took place on 18 May 1302 when citizens of Bruges, who had been expelled by occupying French troops, returned to their city and slaughtered the French garrison. This episode became known as the "Brugse Metten". The French king was enraged and amassed a splendid Knight's Army just to the south of Flanders. This army then headed for Kortrijk and so did the Flemish militia under the command of Willem van Gullik, grandson of Count Gwijde, and Pieter de Coninc, a leading Bruges Guild Chief. Another great Flemish hero of the time was Jan Breydel. A second Flemish contingent, under the command of Gwijde van Namen, son of the Count, joined the first in Kortrijk. The French Army's commander was Count Robert II of Artesia, one of the foremost French knights of that time.

Both armies were roughly 10,000 strong. The French one consisted mainly of heavily armoured cavalry, whereas the the bulk of the Flemish one was infantry. On the 9th and the 10th of July the French tried in vain to take the city of Kortrijk. By the evening of July 10th, the Flemish chose for a battle in the open land near that city.

Jan Breydel, left, and Pieter De Coninc, right
Before the battle, the Flemings chose a strategic position between little streams and moors on an open plain known as the "Groeningheveld", in doing so making it difficult for the French cavalry to force a breakthrough. It is said that before the battle, the Flemings ate a mouthful of Flemish soil so that if they died it would be with the ground of their Fatherland in their stomachs. Hampered by the swampy ground, the French knights kept stumbling over their own infantry and over each other. The heavy weapons of the Flemish completed the gruesome job. At day's end, the French fled in all directions, often pursued by the Flemish. Most French captives were simply killed since, as it seems, the Flemish didn't know the military custom to ask ransom money for a captured knight. Among the booty were numerous golden spurs from French knights, and so the battle got its name in Flemish and Belgian folklore. These spurs were hung in triumph in the Church of Our Lady in Kortrijk.

The political fallout from the Battle of the Golden Spurs was significant. Dutch became the official language of Flanders, and remains so to this day. Administrative power was more and more assumed by artisans and merchants rather than by nobles. Moreover, a new era dawned as far as warfare was concerned : the military importance and effectiveness of well-armed infantry over cumbersome cavalry had been made clear.

Further extensive info here.