Thursday, 4 October 2018

Memories Of St Edmund's

Note: This is an essay I wrote for the alumni association magazine of my old school, St Edmund's, which I attended from March 1976 to March 1986.


Apricot CRP!” Mr Lama shouted, the brass knob on the end of his stick flashing in the sunlight. “Get in line and stand straight!”

“Yes, sir,” Apricot CRP said, and got into line and tried to stand straight, trying not to blush.

How do I know that Apricot CRP was trying not to blush?

Because I was Apricot CRP.

Mr Lama, known to us as Drill Sir, had a way with names. I was Apricot because back in those days I was plump, and also because I was fair and had some of the reddest cheeks you saw outside a make-up advertisement. And as for the CRP, which stood for Central Reserve Police – well, for that, blame my parents and their obsession with having my hair cut as short as it could possibly get.

I was no good on the drill field. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t dodge, and though I could march and drill with the rest it was hardly an accomplishment anyone else couldn’t do. But that didn’t change the fact that I absolutely loved – loved, I tell you – drill period. Being out in the sun in the middle of school day, instead of class; that was heaven. It was heaven even though I was terrified of Mr Lama and his flat cap, of his pocket watch, and most of all his brass topped cane.

It was famous, that cane. I recall once Brother Gaffney, then the principal, told us to behave ourselves on the field or else Mr Lama would be there “and with his seasoned cane.” Oh, it was seasoned, all right; it was seasoned by giving us “benders”. That is, I suppose, not something that would be permitted today. Still, it did no harm to us; it might even have done some of us a power of good. And it most certainly did not prevent me from enjoying my time away from class, on First Field, doing drill.

No, I did not enjoy class. To this day I do not enjoy any form of regimented education, but back then I absolutely hated class. This was probably instilled in me in Class One, when I was thrown into the school without speaking or understanding a word of English (no kindergarten or nursery for me) and had to learn fast, or sink. I learned fast, but it left scars which remain to this day.

How did I cope? At first, I tried to become the class comedian. It is not a role that comes naturally to me, and all I did was make myself ridiculous and disliked (by teachers whom I myself intensely disliked). And then I just retreated from the scene; I kept to myself as much as possible, a retreat that continued for the rest of my school years. I still do not regret that one little bit. Spending the lunch period in the library was preferable to being picked on in First Field. It also gave me an education, more than the textbooks did.

I am afraid that if I were to go back over my memories of ten years in St Edmund’s, class and teachers would not occupy the good ones. I’d rather not write here about the things that still, so many years later, make me angry, and focus on the memories that I still smile over.

The first of those was undoubtedly Silly Billy, the janitor. I don’t at this distance in time recall his real name – Dila Ram, maybe – but he was an institution. There was the huge brass bell near the tuck shop that he used to ring four times daily, and the other one, the gong that he had to bang at the end of every period. I still recall watching him, from the class window, bring it over and hang it on a hook and then bang it with the padded gavel, and then take it back again.

Only many years later did it occur to me to marvel at the routine he had to maintain; among all his other jobs, precisely every 45 minutes he had to drop whatever he was doing, bring over the gong, bang it, take it back again, and then get back to his work. If I could meet him again now I would thank him and commend him for all he put up with from us, because of course everyone teased him mercilessly.

It was in Class Five that, in the mysterious manner of schoolboys, we all suddenly discovered the existence of sex. Even before that, whispers had been going around about the word “fuck”, which I did not understand at all except that it was something boys and girls did together. Somehow it got into my mind that it meant “marry”.

So, this happened. One time in Class Four we were doing some English lesson in the Radiant Reader (hey, remember the Radiant Reader? Does the series still exist?) I think it was a chapter from Heidi or some other 19th Century novel. In any case, there was this girl who met a boy in the course of the story, and had just started becoming friends with him at the end. So the teacher looked around and asked, “Right, now, can anyone tell me what the two of them might do next?”

I (proudly, raising hand): “I think they’ll fuck.”

I brought the house down, and I didn’t even know why.

Sometime in Class 6 or 7 we had this Anglo-Indian teacher called Mr Jones. He was probably in his mid to late twenties, but looked awfully old to us, of course, and he terrified all of us. He also had some decidedly strange ideas about evolution.

Once, he was attempting to teach an English lesson. It was a story of a dinosaur and a mammal arguing; the only thing I remember from the story is the term “Jehovah’s jejune juvenilia”, a bit of artsome alliterative authorship that deserved better than the story it was stuck in. But there was a mention of a “mastodon.” What was a mastodon?

This is how Jones explained it: “A mastodon was a dinosaur, with three horns, you know, one on its nose, and one on top of each eye. That’s what a rhinoceros is descended from.”

Over thirty years later, this remains my absolute favourite bit of confusion so entangled it can’t possibly be disentangled again. Where to start? Let’s see!

First, a mastodon was one of the two families of archaic elephant, the other being the mammoth.

Secondly, the creature he was talking about was one of the ceratopsian dinosaurs, probably Triceratops or possibly one of the other horned dinosaurs like Styracosaurus.

And, for heaven’s sake, no dinosaur gave rise to a damn rhinoceros! It’s just a case of evolving to fit the same ecological niche.

Even then I knew all this, most of us did; but do you think any of us would dare to contradict a teacher? Of course not!

There were a couple of other little episodes between Jones and me.

One time, Jones had asked us to write an essay as homework. The essay was to be on a chemistry diagram which was, for some unaccountable reason, in our English textbook. The experiment was a fairly straightforward one, something we were familiar with, so it wasn’t much of a job to write the essay, and I wrote it that night in my exercise book. Jones had told us to bring the essay two days later – and I’d have done that. Only, I forgot. Yes, I forgot to put the exercise book in my satchel.

I still remember that Jones was in a proper foul mood that day. “Woe betide anyone,” he declared on stepping into the classroom, and in exactly those words, woe betide anyone. “Woe betide anyone who hasn’t brought the essay with him.” As I said, we were all terrified of this guy. Anyway, he then glared around the room and said, “Stand up whoever hasn’t brought the essay.” A scattering of people actually stood, I not so brave as to be among them. Jones stared at them, and just when we were all expecting him to call down the fires of heaven on their heads, he just said, quietly, “OK, bring the essay next time.” Then he turned to the rest of us. “You,” and he was pointing right!!...”yes, you. Am I cockeyed or something? Come up here and read your essay.”

Now I may not be a quick thinker most of the time, but on this occasion I acted with commendable efficiency. I got out an exercise book from my bag at random, walked up to the front of the class, opened a page at random, and began “reading” the essay out loud (making it up as I went along, of course – remember that the experiment was nothing unknown to us). And I must say i did it rather well too. I was terrified that Jones would ask for the book at the end of it, but all he did was glare around at the class. “See,” he said. “That’s the way you should write an essay!”

And then the bell rang for the next period. You should have heard my sigh of relief.

This particular episode had a sequel. For Jones’ next class, of course, everyone made perfectly sure to bring their essays, and Jones took them for correction. He called me over to his desk. “Somehow,” he muttered, as he went over my effort with a red pen, “it doesn’t read quite as well on the page as when you read it out to the class...”

If he only knew.

Then there was the time Jones asked us to write a story as homework. The only criterion was that it should be about a crime; length, style and content were up to us. My own not particularly distinguished effort revolved around a pair of crooks, a male and a female, who used to break into people’s houses on false pretences and steal things. Finally they were arrested by a cop who caught them in the act of...

Now at this point I stopped.

You see, there was a fancy word I was trying to think of, a synonym for burglary. The problem was that the word had for the moment totally slipped my mind, and – try as I might – it was slipping further and further away. I didn’t possess a thesaurus (hell, I didn’t know what a thesaurus was), so I couldn’t open it and discover that the word I wanted was larceny. Another word finally came to mind, a nice word, whose meaning I wasn’t quite sure of, but which I thought was the right one (I’ll tell you in a minute which word it was). The cop caught them in the act of...

I put my pen on the paper to write the word and hesitated. After all, I wasn’t quite, one hundred per cent, sure. But still...

I thought and thought about it and finally chickened out, and wrote that the couple were arrested for burglary, and submitted the story, still wishing I had the moral courage to submit the word I’d wanted.

A day or so later I found a dictionary. I decided to confirm that I was right and the word was in fact a synonym for burglary. I opened it to the A’s, found the correct page, and ran my finger down the column of words until I found it. There it was, in bold type:


Then I remember Patricia Ann Beddoe, who remains a friend of mine to this day, 35 years later, when she is in her mid-80s and I am far from young. Mrs Beddoe with her red boots, her small mirrors and her elocution lessons. She was one of the only two teachers in my entire ten years of school I ever attempted to search for afterwards (the other, Mrs Bhattacharya from Class 2A, has unfortunately almost certainly long since departed from us into the world of shades). Mrs Beddoe, who I later found out rushed from the Air Force station in Upper Shillong to the school every morning, and sometimes again in the evening to Loreto Convent; if there was someone who genuinely loved teaching it was Mrs Beddoe.

I wish I could say the same for the others.

Then there was JP – “Jungle Pig” to us behind his back. His real name was John Prakash. Oh, JP; I owe the poor man a debt of gratitude he never could imagine. It happened this way.

In Class 8, JP was our class teacher. He was also the science teacher. And he was also incredibly reluctant to take us to the chemistry laboratory, which for the subject of science caused a few minor problems, as you can imagine. He waited until he could no longer put it off, and then, when marching us along the corridor towards the lab, would as likely as not find some pretext to shout “ABHOUT TURN and go back to class!” And if he lost his temper in class he would pick up the big – wait, no, not big, enormous – ruler used to draw diagrams on the blackboard, and, swinging it in both hands, try to physically chastise us with it.

This, as you can imagine, made him something of a cartoon figure to us. Sooner or later some of us with writing talent would have inevitably started satirising him; it happened to be Siddhartha Deb, who is now a journalist and author as far as I know. He wrote a poem starting “Our teacher is JP...” I don’t recall how it went, but it was pretty funny.

This poem was a hit among the class, and got me thinking of what I could do. So I wrote a poem also starting “Our teacher is JP” and which continued, as I recall (it was so many years ago, 1983, give me a break) thus:

“Our teacher is JP
JP or Jungle Pig is his name
He goes around snorting like a pig
And everyone teases him like it was a game.
Oh JP, poor JP, what did you do
When you chose the job you did
And joined this school as a teacher too!
Oh JP, you should have been a soldier
Serving in the Indian Army
You’d have been in the Bihari Regiment
And everyone would have thought you were barmy.
You’d have worn a helmet
In the very hottest weather
In the winter you’d have worn a cap
And in it you’d put a hen feather.”

And so it went for many more verses. Not exactly Nobel Literature Prize material, you’ll agree; but I was surprised to see that it was received rapturously by my classmates, and even enjoyed by Steve Beddoe (the aforementioned Patricia’s son, who was then a young monk). It was only then that I started writing more than homework essays. It was fairly juvenile stuff, of course, but without it I would not have been an author of several novels today.

It was all due to JP. Thank you, thank you.

The last two years of my time in St Edmund’s were miserable. The cause was a particular teacher; I won’t mention his name, but those who were in 9B and 10B in 1984 and 85 will know who I am talking about and know exactly how he made my life miserable. If it were today I would have gone to the principal and formally demanded to be transferred to Section A, but then we were unaware of student rights; we were discouraged from imagining that we had any rights. From these two years, I can only identify one real highlight.

It was the actor Victor Bannerjee’s visit to the school, his alma mater. It was, if I recall correctly, on 15th September 1985, the day on which, coincidentally, I broke the best fountain pen I have ever owned. I hardly knew who Victor Bannerjee even was; I had never watched any of his movies (I still have never watched any of his movies) and I had little interest in him. However, everyone else was certainly either most interested or acting most interested; all of a sudden everyone was planning to get the man’s autograph. (I did too; I still had it ten years later, but then lost it. This isn’t about that.)

The high point of the Great Visit was a kind of press conference at the Concert Hall, taken by us Class 10 pupils. Do you remember the Concert Hall, with its lines of desks, the stage at the far end, and the huge framed charts of a fly’s life cycle, et cetera, on the wall? Bannerjee, standing on the stage, lectured us on how he would give us benders if we even thought of acting instead of studying, and then asked for questions.   

I managed two.

The first: “In which of your movies did you give your best?”

Bannerjee: “In both of them.” (Nice, safe, boilerplate, meaningless answer, but it was an answer.)

Then right at the end, I had another question, and raised my hand.

Brother Noronha, principal : “Right, we have time for one more. Yes, what do you want to ask?”

I stood up, ready to ask my question, opened my mouth......and my brain froze. I absolutely couldn’t remember what I’d wanted to ask.

I waited...nothing happened.

I waited a little brain was still frozen. I tried to get my mouth working.

And this is what came out:

“Oh hell, I’ve forgotten my question!”

That was the high point of  everyone’s day.

I wish I could end this essay on a positive note, talking of how I look back with nostalgia to my St Edmund’s days. But it would be a lie. I’ll just add a few words to explain what I think of St Edmund’s:

I am not a parent. I will never be a parent. But, assuming I was a parent, would I have sent my children to study in St Edmund’s?

Not in a million years. 

There, I’m done now.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Unconscionable Appeasement: Vladimir Putin and the Shooting Down of the Russian Il 20 Off Latakia

By now everyone is aware, or should be, of the shooting down of a Russian Ilyushin 20 maritime reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of Syria, and the presumed deaths of its 15 man crew.

There are four “explanations” for what happened.

First, and immediately advanced by the Imperialist States of Amerikastan: Syrian air defence artillery shot down the plane in error while trying to shoot down “Israeli” (zionazi) missiles that were at that moment attacking a “missile factory” in the coastal city of Latakia, right next to the Russian Hmeimim air base. When it became apparent that the plane was 35 kilometres offshore, this “explanation” quietly disappeared down the memory hole.

Second, a Syrian S200 surface to air missile, aimed at the zionazi F16 jets which fired the aforementioned missiles, accidentally shot down the Russian plane. This swiftly became the Amerikastani account. We will return to this in a moment.

Third, just before the Il20 disappeared from the radar screens, its crew reported missiles being fired from a French frigate in the vicinity. The French criminal regime of the gerontophiliac Emmanuel Macron had already threatened to attack Syria, and was plainly itching for an opportunity to do so. The kind of missiles fired was not mentioned; whether they were surface to air missiles aimed at the Russian plane, or surface to surface missiles to join in the zionazi attack, or a mix of both, is unknown. Therefore these missiles may or may not have shot down the Russian plane.

Fourth, the zionazis, four of whose F16 jets were carrying out the attack, deliberately shot down the Russian plane or engineered its shooting down.

How would the zionazis engineer the Il20’s shooting down, you ask? To know the answer we need to understand what the hell the zionazis were doing there in the first place.

Ever since the terrorist invasion of Syria has started to be rolled back, with Iranian, Hezbollah, and Russian help, the zionazis have been regularly attacking targets in Syria, either from Lebanese airspace or from the sea. The Putin regime in Russia, which enjoys extraordinarily close relations with the zionazi pseudostate, has allowed this to happen with impunity, to the extent that the zionazis have recently become emboldened to bomb targets right adjacent to the Damascus Trade Fair (packed with civilians) and now Latakia, next to the Russian Hmeimim air base. And not once has the Putin regime done a thing about it.

In theory, the zionazis were supposed to warn the Russians in advance of their (totally illegal, of course) bombing attacks, so that Russian personnel could get out of the way. In this instance, according to Russian sources themselves, they stuck to that agreement and warned the Russians of the attack...a whole, humongous, sixty seconds in advance.

Sixty seconds. That’s one minute. Even if the crew of the Il20 had been informed instantly, it was far too short a time for the lumbering four engine plane to get out of the way.

The zionazi thinking, of course, was clear: what were the Russians going to do, make trouble for Putin’s incestuous relationship with Binyamin Nazinyahu? No? Then they could do what they wanted. The Russians weren’t going to shoot at them.

But what if the accursed Syrians did? What then?

In that case, well, the huge Russian reconnaissance plane, much larger than the zionazi F16s, offered a perfect shield. They would simply hide in its radar shadow, and if the Syrians fired, well, they would hit the Russians, not the zios.

If this was the plan, of course, it arouses another important question. The S 200 is an old system, dating back to 1967; it is a semi active radar guided system, which homes in on its target first by a radar beam from its launcher, and then by its own radar, carried on the missile itself. The thing is that even by the 1950s, all radars had something called Identify Friend Or Foe (IFF) which was designed to ensure that the missile did not strike a friendly target, because it would register as friendly on the launcher’s (and missile’s) radar. Since the Russians had reportedly integrated their air defence system with the Syrians, Russian IFF would work on Syrian radars, and vice versa. So it is rather difficult for me, personally, to believe that the Russian plane could been accidentally struck by a Syrian missile. But then earlier iterations of the S200 were allegedly programmed to head for the largest available target, and with the zionazi F16s sheltering in the radar shadow of the Il20, that would be the “largest target”.  I’m not saying that I believe this happened for a moment (in fact I do not), but let’s admit this possibility.

In fact, that is now the official story. The zionazi F16s hid in the radar shadow of the Il20, and the S200 hit the larger plane instead. A perfectly innocent accident.

A perfectly innocent accident? Are you joking?!?

A few hours after the (hastily revised) Amerikastani claim that the Syrians had themselves shot down the Russian plane in error (something that CNN blared in its headlines right away), the Russians themselves said the same thing. I am not the only person somewhat less than satisfied with the hasty Russian acceptance of this tale.

But let’s say this was correct; let’s say the zionazis hid behind the Russian plane, which was shot down by accident. Where does this get us?

Regardless of whether Russia is lying about Syria accidentally shooting down the Il20 in order to avoid having to grow the intestinal fortitude to retaliate against the zionazi pseudostate - and I'm convinced it is - the zionazis cannot claim innocence. They are in the position of bank robbers who took a hostage to use as a human shield, who cannot claim innocence if the hostage is subsequently killed by police fire directed at them. Now imagine what the reaction would be to a police commander in that situation who absolves the bank robbers of all blame, including for the bank robbery itself.

Who did that? Why, Vladimir Putin. Even before expressing condolences to the families of the fifteen missing, presumably dead, crewmen, he was already on the phone to his dear friend Nazinyahu, to smooth ruffled feathers and ensure that things would go on as usual.

In an article I wrote in June 2017, I said this:
 Our hero is a certain man, we'll call him Mr P, who lives in a large house with a front garden and a gate. Some way down the lane there lives a Mr A, who is a known Mafia criminal with a history of violent crime. Mr A has paid off the police chief, so there is no point complaining to the law about Mr A's crimes. He owns the law.
Now, Mr A covets Mr P's nice house and garden. He doesn't need either, but he covets them. Also, the fact that Mr P doesn't obey his every whim, like everyone else on the street, rankles with Mr A. And Mr P is not unaware of any of this.
One of the reasons that Mr A can get away with his crimes is that he has a gun. It is a big gun, a machine gun of 14.7mm calibre, and just about everyone else on the street is either unarmed or has only muzzle loaders. The only exception is Mr P, who happens to own a machine gun himself. Not as big as that owned by Mr A, 12.7mm rather than 14.7, but not far behind.
Now one day Mr A comes out of his house carrying his machine gun, comes up the lane, and uses it to shoot the lock off Mr P's gate. Mr P, watching from his window, does nothing. Mr A, seeing that his actions have brought no punishment, walks into the garden, trampling over Mr P's flower beds, and shoots Mr P's pet rabbits. Mr P still watches, doing nothing.
Then Mr A begins hammering on Mr P's front door, to which Mr P's response is to....pull down the shutters on his windows and shout that Mr A's activities are unacceptable and an affront to society.
What would you think of Mr P, here? Would you commend his restraint in not starting a gunfight that would shoot up the street? When Mr A breaks into his living room, isn't Mr P going to have to start that gunfight if he isn't to be robbed of hearth and home?
And what if, as soon as Mr A had emerged on to the lane, Mr P had come out of his house with his machine gun, leaned casually on his gate, and pointed the gun in A's general direction? Would or would not have A got the message? 
Now, here is what I have to say, fifteen months later:

How long will the Russian people and the Russian military continue to tolerate Putin's absurd soft approach towards Amerikastani and ZioNATO aggression? How long until the military decides enough is enough, that it will no longer tolerate its soldiers and airmen being sacrificed at the altar of Putin still pretending that he's going to someday improve relations with the West? Each time Russia shows "restraint" by absorbing a slap in the face, its enemies get encouraged and slap it again. What happens when the Ukranazi regime inevitably invades Donbass? Will Putin show the same "restraint" then? How long will the Russian people and the Russian military allow this?

If you think I'm saying that there will be a coup, or a "soft coup" (foreign policy taken out of Putin's hands) in Russia if things go on like this, yes, that's what I am saying. Whether that is desirable or not is a question for the Russian people to decide.

To anyone who says that Putin's "restraint" is better than nuclear war, here is an unpleasant fact:

At the rate Putin is going he's going to be left with no option but a nuclear war.

There's an old Indian fable about a snake which terrorised people in a village. It lived in a cave in a hill near the village and everyone was terrified to come anywhere near the hill because it would bite and kill them.

Then one day a great sage who happened to be passing saw the snake, and, instead of being frightened, he told it about kindness and compassion to everyone. Overcome with remorse for its past actions, the snake promised that it would never bite anyone again. Soon afterwards, some people passing at a distance from the hill saw the snake outside its cave and instead of it attacking them it just bent its head in submission and friendship. Seeing this, the men took courage, grabbed sticks and stones, and beat the snake, leaving it for dead.

The old sage returned that way shortly after, and, finding the poor snake near death, nursed it back to health. When it was recovered, he asked it what had happened.

"You told me not to bite anyone," the snake responded. "So I approached the men in friendship, and this is what they did to me."

"Oh stupid snake," the sage replied, "I told you not to bite people. I never told you not to hiss and frighten them away!"

The usual argument of Putin apologists, and the internet is rife with them, is that Putin is “showing restraint” because otherwise he would provoke World War Three.

Rubbish. All he is doing is making Russia look absurdly weak, and emboldening Russia’s enemies, thus making WWIII more likely, not less.

Let me be very clear on what I think.

1.Russia's "restraint" isn't any such thing. It is either an admission of fear and weakness or an absurd and indefensible grovelling before the zionazi pseudostate and NATO.

2.Whatever Putinites keep repeating about the virtues of his "restraint" strengthening Russia's position, the reality is that only when he applied military force, in Chechnya in 1999, Crimea in 2014, and in Syria in 2015-18, was Russia's position "strengthened". His "restraint" as in Ukraine in 2014- today, and in Syria right now, immensely weakened Russia's strategic position.

3.Do not for a moment imagine that potential Russian allies are not watching the situation in Syria and concluding that Russian "restraint" means using its allies as disposable pawns. Russia has, for example, given away Idlib to Erdogan of Turkey,

4.Putin's "restraint" is, right now, causing colossal harm to the morale of the Russian military; his eagerness to absolve the zionazis for killing his own military's airmen is craven, disgusting, and indefensible.

5.Putin is a capitalist owned by capitalists. That he is less of a capitalist flunky than Yeltsin, by whom he was handpicked and whom he immediately gave immunity to prosecution for his endless crimes, does not make him any kind of hero. The average Russian is still struggling under him. Struggling less than under Yeltsin, but nowhere near the standard of living he/she would have had under a more equitable, even mildly socialist, system.

6. Putin's "restraint" is emboldening Russia's enemies, and allowing them to think that they can get away with anything. And they are right. At what point will Putin stop showing "restraint"? When Poroshenko, with NATO help, destroys the Donbass republics? When NATO bombs Russian forces in Kaliningrad to "protect the Baltic republics from invasion"? (Don't for a millisecond imagine they won't if they think they can get away with it.) When NATO invades Russia itself? When does "avoiding WWIII" and "showing statesmanship" turn into abject surrender?

7. Vladimir Putin has done all he could for Russia. It is time he leaves power. Whether that leaving is by a military coup or a mass uprising, it has to be done, and a nationalist government take over, if Russia is to be saved.

And, as far as Russia’s current stance in Syria is concerned, here is what I think:

An "ally" does not stand aside and watch while an enemy bombs your territory with impunity. An "ally" does not go over your head to negotiate with another enemy to occupy your territory and continue to arm, train and protect hordes of Jihadi terrorists infesting your country and holding your citizens hostage. An "ally" does not rush to reassure your enemy before even expressing condolences for its own servicemen murdered by that same enemy. Is it time for Assad to ask Russia to leave Syria? Russia has conclusively proved that unlike the Soviet Union, which stood by its allies in weather foul or fair, it only plays its own game and treats allies as pawns. For Assad, Iran is an infinitely more reliable partner.

How much Putin is off the right path is clearly seen in only one statement: after his defence minister, the far more principled Sergei Shoigu, blamed the zionazi pseudostate for the shooting down opf the Russian plane, and said it would not “remain unanswered”, the zionazi “prime minister”, Binyamin Nazinyahu, threatened to bomb Russian air defences if they dared strike back against future zionazi attacks. The response from Putin? Dead silence.

With that, here’s my cartoon for the occasion:

Right, I’m done.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A Little Basic Mathematics, Courtesy Syria

I keep hearing terrorist fanboys whining that in Idlib "only 0.5% of the population are terrorists", and that "according to the UN there are three million people" there.

All right. Let's ignore the fact that in Aleppo and in Daraa and in East Ghouta the actual number of civilians present turned out to be a tiny fraction of the so called UN estimates.

Let's ignore America's own statements of last year that al Qaeda controls every facet of life in Idlib. Let's give America amnesia about that.

Let's also accept for the sake of argument that groups like Harakat Nour ad Din al Zenki (which chopped off a sick 12 year old Palestinian boy's head in Aleppo), Ahrar al Sham (which has repeatedly allied with ISIS) and the other Islamist Muslim Brotherhood inspired groups in Idlib aren't "terrorists", but moderate democratic rebels. In fact, let's accept that they're civilians and deserving of the same protection as civilians. Let's accept, then, that 99.5% of the 3 million people present in Idlib are civilians, with only the members of the two al Qaeda fronts (Hayyat Tahrir al Sham and Hurras ad Deen) being terrorists.

So, where does that get us?

Let's check the figures!

0.5% of 3 million people are individuals who even the terrorist fanboys admit to be terrorists.

0.5% of 3 million = 15000

15000 admitted armed and hardened jihadi terrorists.

That's equivalent to a full infantry division.

How many al Qaeda did America invade Afghanistan to dislodge, again?

A hundred?