Don’t remember where I read it, but apparently the war in Iraq has cost more than Kyoto-compliance would have done for the whole USA. Waytah go, Geordie!
Wendy sent me Iain Banks’s Raw Spirit for my birthday, and I’ve just finished it. I very much enjoyed it; it’s more of an autobiography by way of some whisky distilleries. We have favourite drams in common — Laphroaig and Balvenie being a couple — and we both have a failing for Mull Cheddar, the potency of which can only be described as sinus-clearing. It’s an amusing read, and you don’t have to be a whisky nerd or Banks geek to enjoy it.
I applaud Iain Banks’s stand on the Iraq war, but I do wonder if he’s thought very hard about the the cause of the war. Banks witters on (sorry, but he does so, incessantly) about being a “petrolhead”, and describes his cars in intricate detail: LandRover TD5, BMW M5, Porsche 964 Carrera 4, Porsche 911, Jaguar MkII 3.8l. None of these have sane fuel economy, and fewer of these on the road might’ve meant we wouldn’t have needed to get palsy with the odious Hussein, then need to oust him later. Maybe the fumes — whisky, weed or petrol — went to Banksie’s head.
- We have 10 guards on staff at all times. They live with us. They are Kurdish, from areas 200-400 km north. They have no local loyalties at all – no friends, no family, no one to apply pressure here. While it is always possible they could be compromised, it is far less likely.
- We have house staff to do all local things we need, like run the generators, shop, fuel the cars, etc.
- When we leave, the guards sweep the street and secure the immediate area.
- We are armed at all times. On foot, with a pistol. In a car, with an AK-47 as well.
- We now take two cars with at least 3 guards. And we’ve appointed the most experienced and capable guards as our personal ones.
Doesn’t sound much like ensuring/enduring freedom or democracy to me.