Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What people are saying

The problem for the US and its allies has always been that, for all their talk of political “transition” in Syria, the dominant force in armed opposition holding territory on the ground in Syria is IS and al Qaeda. If the present regime goes, then they are the only replacement, something that terrifies many Syrians who do not like Assad but fear the alternative as being even worse. In this respect, the plan of Hillary Clinton’s advisers during the presidential election campaign to raise a neutral military force capable of fighting Assad, IS and al Qaeda, all at the same time, was much less realistic than anything Mr Trump has proposed.

Patrick Cockburn on Friday

The biggest loser from last week’s cruise-missile strikes on a Syrian air base wasn’t “President” Bashar al-Assad. It was Vladimir Putin. The Syrian leader was punished, but Russia’s new czar was humiliated.

Even with an hour’s warning of the attacks, Putin’s military in Syria did nothing to defend its ally. For all of the Russian bluster in recent years, Putin couldn’t stop our strikes. His military lacked the means to do so. And any attempt to interfere with our operation would only have revealed the inferior quality of Russian armaments — including their much-ballyhooed air defense systems.

Ralph Peters of Fox News yesterday.

Yet again, Trump is living up to his campaign promises. Conservatives should be giddy because he has yet again shoved our Leftist friends on their heels (does anyone take seriously the claim that Trump is Putin’s stooge any longer?). Everyone should feel safer because Trump has signaled to the world that America is not going away, but at the same time, we are not going to start trying to remake states in our image. We are simply fighting for a modicum of stability.

Brandon J. Weichert yesterday

We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices.

....What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you. No doubt, we would stop fighting you then as we would stop fighting any disbelievers who enter into a covenant with us, but we would not stop hating you.

Dabiq, an online ISIS magazine last week. Read more here.

Ninety-nine per cent of boys I have had to deal with are lazy. Feckless, often. Leave things to the last minute. Often good at last-minute revision, but they are lazy.

Barnaby Lenon, former headmaster of Harrow in today's Times

Five life skills - emotional stability, determination, control, optimism and conscientiousness - play a key role in promoting educational and occupational success in early life but little has been known about their importance in later life.

In the study, published in the journal PNAS, the academics looked at the impact of these attributes in over 8,000 men and women aged 52 and older who took part in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging.

The researchers found that people who have more life skills enjoy a range of benefits including greater financial stability, less depression, low social isolation, better health and fewer chronic diseases.

Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-life-skills-important-wellbeing.html#jCp


  1. I'll have to take a look at that entire article from the Harrow headmaster. His experience seems accurate to my own boys now men. As well as myself as an adult. Not sure we're feckless but procrastinators all.

    Ralph Peter's is a shrill war monger. If I see him on Fox, I change the channel.

    1. Girls at Cambridge were much more conscientious and wrote their lecture notes out in clear handwriting. It reminds me of Hillary who was described as the sort of person who finished her homework two days early. Theresa May is that type. Boris clearly not.

      “Life isn't like coursework, baby. It's one damn essay crisis after another.” ―Boris Johnson