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  1. #526
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    IMO they absolutely wouldn't surrender their weapons.

    History would suggest otherwise.
    Just visiting

  2. #527
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    The full story will never get published for fear of the crusty backlash.

    "So let me get this straight. The army used actual weapons to shoot people?!"
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  3. #528
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    I think the Irish people in general are not displaying the attitude that the DF should never fire their weapons at someone who is trying to hurt them or someone they are tasked with protecting.

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  5. #529
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmigs View Post
    I think the Irish people in general are not displaying the attitude that the DF should never fire their weapons at someone who is trying to hurt them or someone they are tasked with protecting.
    Not generally, no but there is a large vocal minority (usually seen at any protest about anything) that scream loudly when Irish and Army are mentioned in the same sentence. They're generally quite well backed by the media here too meaning that we hear next to nothing about what the troops are at beyond Christmas/Mothers/Fathers/St. Patrick's/All Ireland Final days. Not saying that that's bad, it's great to hear from the people O/S but it's unrealistic to think that the people head to the Leb/Chad/Syria/wherever for tans and beers because the reality is different.

    This attitude has also (I believe) led to the view of many Irish people regarding the DF that they just go overseas, tan, get a load of cash, come back, do nothing and then guard the banks.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  7. #530
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    ...This attitude has also (I believe) led to the view of many Irish people regarding the DF that they just go overseas, tan, get a load of cash, come back, do nothing and then guard the banks.
    its facilitated by the DF and then the DF complain about its effect on their funding and use.

    the DF press office will conjour up any form of words possible to avoid using terms like 'kill' 'shoot' 'suppressed the enemy' or 'fired 18,000 rounds of 7.62, 84 mortar rounds and 4 Javelin missiles' - then the DF complains when people assume it doesn't do any warry-fighting stuff.

    if i lived in Ireland i would assume the DF does FA apart from getting suntans and saving up for conservatories - why? simple, because the DF goes to great pains to keep the fact that it does actual fighting out of the news.

    Shatter was the only Defence minster in my living memory who made any kind of public comment on wider defence issues. if you want to know why Defence is so far down the list of priorities in Ireland you just listen to political debate (and i mean wider civic political debate) - no one talks about it, even the DF, so people, non unreasonably, decide that if no one talks about it it can't be ver important.

    you have journalists who are interested in this stuff, who think its important - and who have told you that this stuff is newsworthy and would get in the papers - yet nothing happens...

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  9. #531
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    The only issue with that ropebag is that it's not for the df to make those statements. Surely what the df says is dictated by govt?
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  10. #532
    Corporal Mewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    its facilitated by the DF and then the DF complain about its effect on their funding and use.

    the DF press office will conjour up any form of words possible to avoid using terms like 'kill' 'shoot' 'suppressed the enemy' or 'fired 18,000 rounds of 7.62, 84 mortar rounds and 4 Javelin missiles' - then the DF complains when people assume it doesn't do any warry-fighting stuff.

    if i lived in Ireland i would assume the DF does FA apart from getting suntans and saving up for conservatories - why? simple, because the DF goes to great pains to keep the fact that it does actual fighting out of the news.

    Shatter was the only Defence minster in my living memory who made any kind of public comment on wider defence issues. if you want to know why Defence is so far down the list of priorities in Ireland you just listen to political debate (and i mean wider civic political debate) - no one talks about it, even the DF, so people, non unreasonably, decide that if no one talks about it it can't be ver important.

    you have journalists who are interested in this stuff, who think its important - and who have told you that this stuff is newsworthy and would get in the papers - yet nothing happens...
    I have to strongly agree with Ropebag,

    Generally a big complaint members of the defence forces have (and rightly so) is that they are not appreciated by members of the public. Indeed in many cases they are the recipient of ridicule and dismissals by people completely ignorant of the sacrifices and achievements the Irish Defence Forces have made since their foundation. I have had the conversation with many people I would consider quite well educated who are dismissive of the defence forces (purely through a lack of knowledge).

    However... The Defence Forces at least in my opinion do not make a very successful effort at interacting with the public or putting across what exactly their various missions are achieving. I think it might be in part because the Republic of Ireland is a very, ''de-militarized'' if you will, society. International Defence Commitments just are not even remotely near peoples list of things that worry them. With the exception of the RDF (which 99.9% of Irish people still will only recognise as the FCA) there is very little links between the general public and the Defence Forces. They don't seem to have that close public connection/feeling of appreciation that British/American forces seem to have cultivated.

    I think if the Army wishes to dismiss the aura of mystery about their operations they need to talk more frankly about their operations and the realities of the job they are doing. I think they would find if they made a better effort at public engagement it could only lead to an increase of respect for what is a world class peacekeeping force.

    Publish, and Crusties be damned!
    "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee." - Lady Astor....
    ''Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it'' - Winston Churchill

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  12. #533
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    The only issue with that ropebag is that it's not for the df to make those statements. Surely what the df says is dictated by govt?
    the DF has a press office, seperate to the DoD press office - there won't be a minister standing over whichever unfortunate Captain happens to be the press officer watching whatever he says. moreover, the DF press officer will by the nature of his job speak to journalists both on and off the record, he'll know who is sympathetic/interested, and who isn't...

    how do you think we do it? we read the papers and see who is interested in what, and when we see the MOD press gimp tell outright porkies about our equipment/policy etc.. we speak to the various journalists (as concerned citizens m'lud...) and we drop the grubby politico's right in the smelly stuff - it turns out that helmet cams, quoted 'ripe comments' and specific figures are rather effective at causing ministers (even if through gritted teeth) to bring about change..

    easiest thing? blame problems on the civil servants and let ministers take the credit for fixing it.

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  14. #534
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    the DF has a press office, seperate to the DoD press office - there won't be a minister standing over whichever unfortunate Captain happens to be the press officer watching whatever he says. moreover, the DF press officer will by the nature of his job speak to journalists both on and off the record, he'll know who is sympathetic/interested, and who isn't...

    how do you think we do it? we read the papers and see who is interested in what, and when we see the MOD press gimp tell outright porkies about our equipment/policy etc.. we speak to the various journalists (as concerned citizens m'lud...) and we drop the grubby politico's right in the smelly stuff - it turns out that helmet cams, quoted 'ripe comments' and specific figures are rather effective at causing ministers (even if through gritted teeth) to bring about change..

    easiest thing? blame problems on the civil servants and let ministers take the credit for fixing it.
    This has gone way OT but the public just aren't interested. The DF has done good work recently with the FB/Flickr accounts etc but generally people don't know and don't care.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  16. #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    This has gone way OT but the public just aren't interested. The DF has done good work recently with the FB/Flickr accounts etc but generally people don't know and don't care.
    our resident journalist thinks they care, he thinks the public would red this stuff.

    moreover, is it not entuirely possible that you're told the public don't care because it suits the political class for you to think the public don't care, just as it suits them for the public to think you're a bit of a joke?

    to be blunt, where has the current 'the public aren't interested, so we won't bother talking to them' idea got you? helicopters that barely leave the ground and never go overseas while soldiers overseas scream for airlift? soldiers in a vastly outnumbered QRF fighting AQ while their artillery gathers dust 4,000km away?

    you need a new plan, because the old one isn't working.

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  18. #536
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    our resident journalist thinks they care, he thinks the public would red this stuff.

    moreover, is it not entuirely possible that you're told the public don't care because it suits the political class for you to think the public don't care, just as it suits them for the public to think you're a bit of a joke?

    to be blunt, where has the current 'the public aren't interested, so we won't bother talking to them' idea got you? helicopters that barely leave the ground and never go overseas while soldiers overseas scream for airlift? soldiers in a vastly outnumbered QRF fighting AQ while their artillery gathers dust 4,000km away?

    you need a new plan, because the old one isn't working.
    You're talking like I want it to stay as it is.

    Nobody has told me the public don't care, my own experiences stuff I've heard tell me the people don't care. You ask "man on the street" about the DF and they'll usually shrug. Mention the RDF and they look puzzled until you say FCÁ.

    It comes from the govt not being interested enough to talk maturely about it and the crusties here convincing everyone that anything to do with guns, bullets and armies are bad (unless they're engaged in a "legitimate peoples struggle").

    If people heard the same stories I've heard from lads that were in Chad and Syria then there would be a collective brick shat by the media and crusty classes. Make no mistake.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  20. #537
    Brigadier General
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mewt View Post
    I have to strongly agree with Ropebag,

    Generally a big complaint members of the defence forces have (and rightly so) is that they are not appreciated by members of the public. Indeed in many cases they are the recipient of ridicule and dismissals by people completely ignorant of the sacrifices and achievements the Irish Defence Forces have made since their foundation. I have had the conversation with many people I would consider quite well educated who are dismissive of the defence forces (purely through a lack of knowledge).

    However... The Defence Forces at least in my opinion do not make a very successful effort at interacting with the public or putting across what exactly their various missions are achieving. I think it might be in part because the Republic of Ireland is a very, ''de-militarized'' if you will, society. International Defence Commitments just are not even remotely near peoples list of things that worry them. With the exception of the RDF (which 99.9% of Irish people still will only recognise as the FCA) there is very little links between the general public and the Defence Forces. They don't seem to have that close public connection/feeling of appreciation that British/American forces seem to have cultivated.

    I think if the Army wishes to dismiss the aura of mystery about their operations they need to talk more frankly about their operations and the realities of the job they are doing. I think they would find if they made a better effort at public engagement it could only lead to an increase of respect for what is a world class peacekeeping force.

    Publish, and Crusties be damned!
    Unlike most counties in Europe, the Irish people have never experenced the horror of a real war. so think everybody loves the Irish ",sure we are great we just get drunk and sing". The fact Britian

    and America protect us from the real world does not register.

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  22. #538
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    Unlike most counties in Europe, the Irish people have never experenced the horror of a real war. so think everybody loves the Irish ",sure we are great we just get drunk and sing". The fact Britian

    and America protect us from the real world does not register.
    Spot on. The long and short of it is that Irish people have a totally fcucked idea of what it means to be "neutral" and just shout that at you if you argue otherwise.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  23. #539
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    I did my bit today. I am now in Groundhog myself...


    Irish soldiers have had a series of secret gun battles with rebels in Syria - and even blasted two of them shooting from a house, it can be revealed today.

    A Star investigation into our troops' role on the war torn Golan Heights while on United Nations duty has established that they have had up to half a dozen direct firefights mwith heavily armed rebels - and have fired hundreds of bullets in self defence.

    As Defence Minister Simon Coveney continues to consider whether the 130 Irish soldiers on duty with the UNDOF mission there should be brought home as fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels intensifies in their area, The Star has uncovered sensational evidence of the true scale of the incidents they have been involved in there.

    We can reveal:

    * Irish soldiers have engaged fighters with heavy machine gun and rifle fire on up to six occasions - but only after they were fired on first,

    * An Irish heavy machine gun pulverised a house which two fighters were using as cover to shoot at our troops with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The fighters' fate was unknown, but the shooting ceased and military sources admit it's probable they were injured, at best,

    * The €1 million apiece Mowag armoured personnel carriers our soldiers use there have been hit by small arms fire on more than 12 occasions - but their armour has protected the troops inside,

    The Irish camp, called Faouar, has come under direct mortar fire - but our soldiers escaped injury,
    Shelling between rival factions in the war was so close to the Irish camp that steel wardrobes slammed to the ground - and shelves fell; off walls,

    * Irish soldiers have fired up to 300 rounds from their rifles and heavy machine guns at armed groups during their 12 months in Syria, and

    One soldier suffered back injuries when a mine hit his vehicle - and he was blown out of the hatch he was standing in.

    The Irish contingent in UNDOF, officially known as the 44th Infantry Group, hit the headlines late last week when they were involved in a gun battle with Syrian rebels as they rode to the rescue of more than 40 Filipino colleagues trapped in an outpost by fighters.

    It had been thought that was was the first time our soldiers - there as part of a UN plan to keep the peace between Syria and Israel over a 1974 war - have fired their weapons in anger since they went there in September last year.

    But The Star can reveal that our soldiers have been involved in a litany of serious incidents that military bosses have kept quiet - until our investigation today.

    A source told The Star: "Most people think things have only gotten hairy in the last week or so, but the reality is totally different.

    "From when the first group went out there (in September last year) there have been plenty of incidents that have never been publicised.

    "It is heavy out there and has been heavy from day one. There are varying incidents almost constantly.":

    Sources told The Star of one serious incident earlier this year in the tiny village of Jaba - close to the Quneitra border crossing, where heavy fighting has taken place all weekend.

    It's understood a convoy of Mowags was on patrol in the village when it was targeted by rebels - who shot at our soldiers with AK47 assault rifles.

    The onslaught was so fierce that commanders decided to fire back - and blasted the house with dozens of rounds from the 12.7mm heavy machine guns fitted to the Mowags.

    Sources say the heavy bullets practically destroyed the house - and the rebels' firing stopped abruptly. MIlitary commanders privately acknowledge that it's likely the fighters were seriously injured.

    But it is not only in the road that the Irish have been involved in dramatic incidents, sources say.


    In one incident within the last five months, rebel fighters attacked the Camp Faouar, the UN HQ where our soldiers are based, with a mortar - but thankfully nobody was injured.

    And the camp has also been in the firing line during fight between Syrian military forces and the rebels. On one occasion, shelling was so close that our soldiers had to rush to their bunkers. The ground shook so violently from the nearby explosions that furniture in soldiers' quarters fell to the ground.

    And fresh details have emerged of an incident in which a landmine exploded close to a Mowag - blowing one of its eight wheels off.

    Soldiers fired machine gun shots at rebels during the incident. But The Star has learned that the Mowag commander was thrown into the air by the blast - and was injured as he fell on the APC.

    A Defence Forces spokesman declined to comment when contacted by The Star last night.

    The government is now considering whether to bring the 130 troops home from the Golan as fierce battles continue in the UNDOF area.


    ends
    www.twitter.com/mickthehack


  24. #540
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick O'Toole View Post
    I did my bit today. I am now in Groundhog myself...


    *article*


    ends

    Good man Mick. Thanks for posting that.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  25. Thanks Mick O'Toole thanked for this post
  26. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick O'Toole View Post
    I did my bit today....
    cheers bloke, you're a star.

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  28. #542
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    Looking at it from the outside - I'd be all for getting out of the place.

    Not because it's dangerous, but because it seems pointless being there: Assad & the Israeli's are co-operating together against a common enemy - the same guys who are directly targeting & kidnapping UN peacekeepers.

    If they're going to stay, they have to be given greater firepower, equipment & better ROE. But what's going on now is.. it's beyond mission creep.

    Oh and I see IS have gone and beheaded another US journalist, kidnapped in Syria.

  29. #543
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    "You were there Man!"

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  31. #544
    Lt General apod's Avatar
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    Well done Mick.About time the truth came out.
    My only concern is that I hope all the troops families already knew these details.
    The modern Irish soldier is better educated,trained and equipped then any any other generation that has gone before.


    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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  33. #545
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    History would suggest otherwise.
    To paraphrase all those investment ads, past performance is no indication of future results.
    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

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  35. #546
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  36. #547
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    Out of curiosity could the UN send a mission of suitably trained soldiers to rescue the Fijian's i.e ARW or Other special operation groups etc... Or what would happen if negotiation failed who would rescue them?

    The Assad Syrians or Israelis?

    This is hypothetical of course just wondering what can be done for them poor sods..

    If this is OPSEC please remove.
    British officer: You're seven minutes late, Mr. Collins.
    Michael Collins: You've kept us waiting 700 years. You can have your seven minutes.

    [As the British flag comes down]

    Michael Collins: So that's what all the bother was about.

  37. #548
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Max View Post
    ...This is hypothetical of course just wondering what can be done for them poor sods...
    even if the resolutions enabling UNDOF allowed operations outside UNDOF zone (i've no idea..), i rather doubt anyone would lend an SF/SOF with troop carrying and attack helicopters to UN command for such an op - far more likely would be a UN request for 'any interested parties' to assist the mission in securing the Fijians. so someone else - Septics, Israeli's etc.. would then just do it without any reference to the UN command structure, both because they wouldn't want any chance of even an inadvertant leak, and because they aren't exactly enamoured of the UN.

    i would suggest that stuff falls well outside OPSEC - anyone who thinks AN haven't considered the possibility of a rescue attempt is niave..
    Last edited by ropebag; 2nd September 2014 at 20:10.

  38. #549
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    When I heard on the radio this evening that they (the Irish) do not have heavy weapons of any note, I just thought, those Fijians are ****ed. Israel is not going to risk it's men to rescue UN people, but the Syrian Govt might, to score brownie points, as well as clean out the rebels.

    regards
    GttC

  39. #550
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    the only people with the ISTAR capability to find them are the US, Israeli's, UK, Saudi's and Jordanians - with the Jordanians and Saudi's very much in last place.

    wouldn't be that surprised if the Israeli's do it - it would give them good publicity when they could do with it, it would reduce the number of fundy nutjobs in the world, and it quietly underlines the fact that are still the big dog in the desert. the US might also have a go - Barry is in political hot water over not having a strategy or even a desired end state in Iraq, he could do with a good clean win, and rescuing UN hostages is about as clean a win as its possible to get.

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