Saturday, October 18, 2003

Onward Christian soldiers

'Holy war' general denies being anti-Islamic

A senior Pentagon intelligence official, under fire for his comments about Islam, has defended his statements and apologised to anyone offended by his statements.

"I am neither a zealot nor an extremist," US Army Lieutenant General William Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence and war-fighting support, said in his first official statement.

"I am not anti-Islam or any other religion."

General Boykin tried to explain recent comments he made at churches and prayer breakfasts portraying the US battle with Islamic radicals as a clash with Satan.

In one case he referred to a Muslim fighter in Somalia and said that "my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday declined to criticise Boykin's remarks and praised the three-star general's military record, while General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he did not think General Boykin had broken any rules.

US television network NBC this week broadcast videotapes of the general, an evangelical Christian, giving speeches while wearing his Army uniform at Christian functions around the country.

"I would not expect him to engage in those sorts of speaking engagements in the future," a defence official said.

Last year General Boykin said: 'We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God, have been raised for such a time as this.' He has also said of President George Bush: 'He's in the White House because God put him there.'"

"And you never ask questions
When God's on your side."

Friday, October 17, 2003

Clear as a glocke.

"I don't know. Isn't that clear? You don't understand English?"

DONALD RUMSFELD, defense secretary, telling a German reporter he was unaware of a new White House Iraq policy group

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Now to get back onto matters of great moment.
Mmmm, ANZAC Biscuits.

ANZAC Biscuits

There are a few theories on the origins of ANZAC biscuits (or ANZAC Cookies for Americans) but it is certain that they came about during the First World War, around 1914/15.

Some say that they started as biscuits made by the Troops in the trenches with provisions they had at hand to relieve the boredom of their battle rations. And some say they came about due to resourceful of the women on the "home front" in an endeavour to make a treat for their loved ones that would survive the long journey by post to the war front.

There is even the suggestion that they originated from Scottish Oatmeal Cakes which is entirely possible. Whatever the origin, they have won the hearts of all Aussies the globe over as the pseudo National Biscuit.

I know I'll be knocking up a batch of these to present to George W., Australia's pseudo National Fruitcake when he visits in a few weeks time. I know he swallows anything freshly cooked up. Yellow cake from Niger, even over-egged souffles from MI5.


1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Combine the flour (sifted), oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
Melt the butter and Golden Syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over a low heat..

Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup.

Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Spoon dollops of mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased tin leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.

Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers.


The American tablespoon is a little smaller than the British tablespoon, so be generous with your Golden Syrup (or Honey) and Water.

If you have any thoughts of keeping the biscuits for any length of time I suggest you keep them in a padlocked container!

For a little variety you may wish to add 2 teaspoons of ginger spice or even Wattle Seeds, a recent addition but don't ask me where to get them.

Mmmm, ANZAC Biscuits.


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Goebbelisation and Goebbeldegook

"Identical letters claiming to be from different U.S. soldiers describing successes in Iraq were sent to newspapers around the country and soldiers whose names appeared on those letters admit they did not write them and some say they were ordered by their superiors to sign their names.

(Ye olde Nuremburg defence. That and the "I don't want to end up in Camp X-ray" defence.)

Identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment have appeared in 11 newspapers so far and have been sent to many more, a check with newspaper editors around the country reveals.

In Olympia, Washington, The Olympian newspaper received two identical letters signed by different hometown soldiers: Spc. Joshua Ackler and Sgt. Alex Marois. The paper decided not to run either after discovering they were form letters.

(Flashback to a day or two ago ... "President Bush accused the media of filtering out the good news stories from Iraq.")

The five-paragraph letter tells glowing stories about soldiers' efforts to re-establish police and fire departments, and build water and sewer plants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where the unit is based.

It describes people waving at passing troops and children running up to shake their hands and say thank you.

No sign at all, at all of unglowing reports where people are not shaking hands and saying thank you ... "The latest fatality brings to 97 the number of US soldiers killed in attacks in Iraq since President George W Bush declared major combat operations over on May 1."

"The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored, and we are a large part of why that has happened," the letter reads.

Six soldiers reached by Gannett News Service directly or through their families admitted they did not write the letters. One said he didn't even sign the letter that bore his name.

(Excuse me if I am a tad sceptical about any signed confessions that might emanate from Guantanamo Bay.)

Marois, 23, told his family he signed the letter, but Moya Marois, his stepmother. said he was puzzled why it was sent to the newspaper in Olympia. He attended high school in Olympia but no longer considers the city home, she said. Moya Marois and Alex's father, Les, now live near Kooskia, Idaho.

A seventh soldier didn't know about the letter until his father congratulated him for getting it published in the local newspaper in Beckley, W.Va."

Can't say that Joe Goebbels has made an auspicious start to his new job in the Administration. This would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. Come back Ari Fleischer, all is forgiven.

The parallels with the Tricky Dicky Nixon era keep on rolling out.

Monday, October 13, 2003

IDS vs Superegos

Tony Blair said the lack of a credible alternative to Labour has handed his Government a "huge opportunity".

Mr Blair shrugged off Iain Duncan Smith's outspoken attack on him in the Tory leader's conference speech last week. Mr Duncan Smith accused the Prime Minister of being corrupt and a liar.

Mr Blair told The Times: "I'm not interested in rising to this at all. I am absolutely sure the public would prefer politicians to play the ball rather than the man."

I'm fairly sure that the late David Kelly's family might be a little surprised at Tony's new found ethical approach to blood sports.

If parsonical Tony is right about the public's preference I would think he's but a stone's throw away from his post P.M. career on the U.S. lecture circuit.