Archive for the ‘international news’ category

Dave on IS: Iraq my brain about this Syria’s problem

The war on terror is more than made-up threat levels and political posturing in one place in particular: Iraq. The UK committed forces to a war on the Islamic State (IS) after an astounding 524–43 Commons vote. (It’s hard to get a consensus about what to call IS/ISIL/ISIS, but apparently it’s easier to get MPs to agree that ISREALLYBAD. Boom boom.)

IS is clearly devastating the lives of local populations, as well as brutally executing westerners. But equally, war has unforeseeable consequences, sometimes creating legacies of dependency, destabilisation and/or hate. It’s complicated. Which is why it’s a relief to hear Home Secretary Theresa May saying:

Dealing with those threats requires a deep understanding of what is going on in the world and a studied, careful response.


A pick-up truck, similar to the bombed one, in that it has four wheels

That’s presumably why our opening salvo last week was to send two Tornado GR4 ground assault aircraft armed with Brimstone missiles to destroy a pick-up truck.

It is also presumably why, in the debate in Parliament that secured the staggering 481-strong majority, David Cameron laid out the studied, careful case for our response:

Isil is a terrorist organisation unlike those we have dealt with before. The brutality is staggering—beheadings, crucifixions, gouging out of eyes, use of rape as a weapon. This is about psychopathic terrorists who are trying to kill us. Like it or not they have already declared war on us.

Psychopathic terrorists!!! They’re trying to kill us! Do you like your eyes all non-gouged, in a head that is still attached to your body? Then it’s time to vote for an expensive foreign intervention with unclear objectives and indefinite length!

It’s disappointing: this man is the Prime Minister of an advanced economy which he’s just led into war with incredible haste, and yet his rhetoric is more over-blown than a light goods vehicle annihilated by a £175,000 missile.

Written by Statto and Tom

October 10, 2014 at 10:01

The planes in Ukraine fall mainly when hit by missiles

Amid the continued ‘did they, didn’t they, of course they did, will they admit it’ Ukraine plane blame game, the BBC today reports that:

UK government sources say intelligence shows rebels deliberately tampered with evidence, moving bodies and placing parts from other planes in the debris.

The separatists must have a pretty unrealistically low opinion of Western investigators who surely have, y’know, some information about what to expect in terms of bits from a Boeing 777:

Investigator A: Sir, I’ve found the left propeller.
Investigator B: This was a jet.
A: I see…so I guess the fact that I’ve located the primary torpedo tube isn’t going to help either?
B: …A passenger jet. So, to recap, the evidence we’ve gathered so far seems to be a tape recorder with ‘black bocks’ written on it, an effeminately-dressed mannequin with President Obama’s face, and the spoiler from a 1997 Renault Megane.
A: Sir?
B: Yes?
A: Planes don’t normally have a snowplough with a Soviet flag on it, right?
B: To be honest, son, I’m not even sure what a plane is any more.

Written by Statto and Tom

July 23, 2014 at 21:39

Posted in BBC, international news

The -ese of fixing headlines

The BBC today has given us a fantastic headline superhero in a fantastical situation. Meet Nepal Man: a national symbol who suffered for a crime he did not, nay could not, commit, for it does not exist. Japan Murder.

BBC News: as of 1634GMT, 7 November

Now, last time I checked, the nation of Japan wasn’t dead at the hands of Captain America’s lesser-known Himalayan counterpart. And, more appositely, there was definitely space in that headline for two ‘-ese’ suffixes.

Written by Tom and Statto

November 7, 2012 at 17:27