BAGHDAD Friday 13th June 2014. The senior Shiite cleric in Iraq issued an urgent call to arms, telling all able-bodied Iraqis to help the government fight Sunni militants who have seized broad stretches of Iraqi territory.
The call was a sign of the growing desperation of the country’s Shiites and its shaky Shiite-led central government. In a statement read by a representative during Friday prayers, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani said it was “the legal and national responsibility of whoever can hold a weapon to hold it to defend the country, the citizens and the holy sites.”
Ayatollah Sistani has enormous stature among Shiites, but he is also respected by Sunnis and members of other groups, in part because in 2006, in the darkest days of sectarian fighting in Iraq, he refrained from inflammatory language and repeatedly reached out to Sunnis, Kurds, the country’s Christians and other minorities.
The ayatollah’s plea was directed at all Iraqis, but it was most likely to be heeded by Shiites, which could widen sectarian divisions in the country even further.
What is happening in Iraq and around it’s borders now pales into insignificance since the call to arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. He has now effected war against the Sunni’s, one of which the Sunni’s will take an almighty battering from the might of the Shiite’s. Not even Joe Biden can out-wizard this one. Biden in 2010: Iraq Will Be ‘One of the Greatest Achievements’ of This Administration…
What he should have said was Iraq Will Be ‘Just another monumental cock-up’ attributable to this Administration. Yours Aye.
Robert Frettlohr was a German paratrooper left for dead at Monte Cassino who saved the reputation of the man who saved him. Robert Frettlohr, who has died aged 89, was a German paratrooper who was badly wounded and captured at Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944. Years later – having settled in Yorkshire with his English wife – he spoke out in defence of the Polish soldiers who had captured him when they were accused of a war crime. He was also an accomplished musician, and was a member of the first band to play at The Cavern, the Liverpool club made famous by The Beatles.
In May 1944 – having volunteered as a paratrooper because the food was considered better than elsewhere in the Luftwaffe – Frettlohr was a gefreiter (corporal) in the 4th Parachute Regiment, part of the elite 1st Parachute Division, which was tasked with defending the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino. This Benedictine monastery, part of the German Gustav Line, withstood bloody assaults, bombardment and bombing before finally falling to troops of General Anders’s Polish Corps in May 1944. By then Frettlohr was a casualty, having been wounded in the leg by shellfire.
On the morning of May 18 a platoon of Polish Podolian Lancers of the 3rd Carpathian Division finally entered the courtyard of the monastery and rounded up 18 defenders. Ragged, unshaven and exhausted, the paratroopers were at first alarmed by the Polish eagles on their captors’ uniforms. The Polish platoon commander, Lieutenant Kazimierz Gurbiel, quickly reassured them that Poles did not execute prisoners, distributed cigarettes and gave orders for them to be taken to the rear. Frettlohr left of picture
He then descended to the crypt of St Benedict, where he was appalled to discover three wounded men lying close to the altar, among body parts and sacks containing the corpses of former comrades. One of these wounded was Robert Frettlohr. Placing the men in the care of a hospital orderly, Gurbiel then ascended into the fresh air – he and Frettlohr would not meet again for nearly 40 years.
Frettlohr was evacuated to a military hospital near Naples, and from there, via Egypt, to the United States. After the war he settled in England, and in 1950 married Sarah (Sally) Taylor. Her brother Tom – who had been at Monte Cassino with the British Army – was their best man. “Men who have been in the forces have a different understanding than what an ordinary person has,” he later said when explaining how he had been accepted by the family. Below: Kazimierz Gurbiel mid centre ‘facing camera’ and Robert Frettlohr – right
In March 1983 a programme on German television claimed that the Polish troops commanded by Gurbiel had executed wounded German paratroopers in the monastery by machine-gunning them and cutting their throats. The German historian Alexander Tiplt cast doubt on the story , but the absence of a surviving witness made it difficult to establish the full facts. Frettlohr, by this time living at Tingley, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire attended a meeting of the Carpathian Association in London at which he identified Gurbiel from a photograph and testified to the good conduct of the Polish troops who had captured him. He followed this a few months later with a statement under oath that no Germans had been shot or had their throats cut, adding: “We were treated well by the Polish soldiers.” At Frettlohr’s request a meeting with Gurbiel was arranged at Frankfurt airport, where Frettlohr thanked the Pole for saving his life. The two former enemies talked for two hours and agreed to meet at Monte Cassino on the 40th anniversary of the battle, May 18 1984.
On that day, having attended Mass at the Monte Cassino Basilica, Gurbiel was mingling in the crowd in the courtyard outside when he heard a cry: “Gurbiel! It’s me, Frettlohr!” The two men fell into each other’s arms and went together down to the crypt where they had first met four decades earlier. Frettlohr and Gurbiel made plans to meet again at the 50th anniversary of the battle, but Gurbiel died in January 1992. Below: Monte Casino 1995
Robert Frettlohr was born in Duisburg-Meiderich on March 28 1924, and for most of his life in England worked for a plant hire firm in Yorkshire. In his spare time he played double bass with the Leeds-based White Eagles Jazz Band. Approached in Liverpool by a young jazz fan, Alan Sytner, the band went with him to a cellar in Mathew Street which he thought would make a good jazz club. Asked what they thought he should call it, two of the band declared: “It looks like a bloody cavern!” Thus was born one of the world’s most famous music venues. The White Eagles were the first band to play at The Cavern and did so regularly thereafter. Among those who watched them were The Beatles, then an unknown local group.
In his later years Frettlohr was closely involved with British ex-servicemen’s organisations and regularly attended Remembrance services. He became a naturalised British citizen in 1968. Robert Frettlohr’s wife predeceased him, and he is survived by their daughter.
Robert Frettlohr, born March 28 1924, ‘crossed the bar’ January 4 2014
By all accounts Robert Frettlohr was a remarkable gregarious man. A keen supporter of the Air Training Corps and a committee member of 868 (Mirfield) Squadron for about 20 years. He was widely known as a war veteran and was interviewed for many television documentaries and books, and was well-known and respected in the community. He also contributed to the British War Museum Archives and the Second World War Experience Centre, a vast archive based near Wetherby. Yours Aye.
Robert Frettlohr of the German 1st Fallschirmjager Division describes the moment when Allied planes dropped their bombs on the monastery at Monte Cassino, one of the most controversial decisions of the war.
Gruesome new U.S. advertising campaign uses shocking car crash scene to warn against the dangers of texting while driving. A shockingly, gruesome new ad campaign has been launched to show the potentially fatal danger of distracted driving. Using the slogan ‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay’, the $8.5million, government campaign will run across the U.S. from April 7 – 15. It will feature on TV, radio and in digital advertisements. The ad shows a teenage girl at the wheel of a car using her phone and chatting to friends before suddenly a truck appears out of nowhere, smashes into the side of the vehicle and causes catastrophic damage. More Here and a video clip Gruesome new ad campaign uses shocking car crash scene to warn against the dangers of texting while driving
In My Humble Opinion: The more shocking the better! In fact a gruesome collection of the ‘end user aftermath’ of photographs and film clips ‘as used as in evidence by the Police and Coroners office’ should be enforced viewing upon novice drivers as part of the pre-driver training exam. It’s bad enough when those texting suffer the consequence of their stupidity, but taking out innocents through their actions ruins generations of family lives. Yours Aye.
Major Terence Murphy RM. Born August 27th 1934. Crossed The Bar November 6th 2013.Major Terence Murphy, who has died aged 79, came up with the idea of a helicopter gunship and fought guerrillas in southern Africa before settling there. Murphy led 45 Commando’s Air Troop when, in March 1966, it was brought in during the Aden Emergency (1963-67). The senior of three RM pilots, Murphy was lent to the Army Air Corps and used Army helicopters for training in both mountainous territory and desert conditions. One exercise involved a tricky landing among rocks overlooking Aden’s Crater. Only when safely landed did Murphy point out the iron grid where the local Parsi left their dead for flocks of vultures to feast on.
Once, flying at fairly low-level over a desolate inland area in the unarmed Sioux helicopter, he saw a lone Arab on a hill raise his rifle and take aim. Feeling exposed, Murphy decided to fix a machine gun on the starboard side of the aircraft, allowing his pilots to fire back. Though attack helicopters were then in development in America, Murphy claimed that he was the first to arm helicopters in this way, and thus that he was the inventor of the modern attack helicopter. Terence Patrick Murphy was born at Grimsby on August 27 1934 and educated at Belmont Abbey, Herefordshire. He was commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1953 and after two tours in 40 Commando, he volunteered for flying training.He gained his wings in 1959, joining 806 Naval Air Squadron flying Seahawk jet fighters. The next year he made his first operational deck landing, on the fleet carrier Albion, becoming the first RM pilot to fly in a jet squadron. When the concept was developed of the assault ship carrying helicopter-borne marines, Murphy volunteered again and in 1961 became one of the first assault helicopter pilots (known as “junglies”), joining 848 Naval Air Station in the Commando carrier HMS Bulwark. After a tour on general duties in 43 Commando, he passed the instructors’ course at the RAF Central Flying School and joined the School of Army Aviation, where he became a helicopter instructor. He returned there following his service in Aden .
In 1966 Murphy attended Shrivenham for the General Staff Science course and then the Army Staff College, Camberley. Two years later he reluctantly went to the MoD as a desk officer, remaining there for two years before moving to Singapore as a company commander in 42 Commando. A couple of years later he decided to return to England overland with his wife, driving through India and Pakistan , Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Greece . In 1972 Murphy took command of 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron (BAS), then considered to have a poor safety record. Two years later, at the end of his tour, the squadron won the Army Air Corps Flight Safety Trophy. He also set up annual mountain flying training at Saillagouse in the Pyrenees.
After leaving the Service in 1974, Murphy turned down an offer to become Aristotle Onassis’s personal pilot, and in August that year joined the Rhodesian Air Force, with which he flew during the closing years of the Rhodesian Bush War. After Zimbabwean Independence, he transferred to the South African Armed Forces, reaching the rank of colonel before retiring aged 61. During the interregnum between the Afrikaner government and the election of President Nelson Mandela, Murphy was recalled to command a camp of 7,000 ANC guerrillas and to integrate them into the new South African Army. In this he was aided by Gilbert Ramano, head of the armed wing of the ANC, who later became Chief of the Army.
Terence Joseph Patrick Murphy settled in Simon’s Town, Cape Province, where he enjoyed fishing and sailing. He married, in 1967, Brigitte Couët, who survives him with their three children.
RIP Royal. Yours Aye.
Main obituary taken from The Telegraph
Three brave men stepped up to be counted. They can hold their heads high over their action. Not so for one or two
men rats who sulked away; snivelling wretches! Armed robber terrorizes passengers aboard Seattle bus
Very well done bonnie lads… United We Conquer Yours Aye
The AC-130H ‘Spectre’ Gunship is one of the most versatile, and oldest aircraft to be used in Afghanistan. Its career spans over 40 years, and it has seen plenty of action from Vietnam, through to modern day. Click both pics to enlarge
The United Sates Air Force is moving forward and looking to bring in its upgraded version once the ‘Spectre’ draw-down is complete. AC-130H Spectre Gunship: ‘Heavy Metal,’ The Final Chapter U.S. Airmen assigned to the 16th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron share their thoughts on this proverbial ‘changing of the guard,’ and reminisce on good times with their own AC-130H affectionately named “Heavy Metal,” as they enjoy their final combat deployment with her. AC-130 gun camera pouring down hard rain on the bad guys Air Force Special Operations Command will begin flight tests later this year on a new gunship that will replace its aging fleet of AC-130s. An ‘MC-130J Commando II’ arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., last month, where it will be converted into a new variant called the ‘AC-130J Ghost-rider.’ The AC-130J will be a combination of the advanced avionics, targeting systems and engines of the MC-130J and the cannons and bombs of legacy AC-130s, which have been in high demand for providing close-air support and armed reconnaissance in Afghanistan. The new gunship will have dual electro-optical infrared sensors and all-weather synthetic aperture radar to help deliver AGM-176 Griffin missiles, small-diameter bombs and blasts from a 30mm cannon. ‘MC-130J Commando II’“Major enhancements will include extended sensor capabilities, more precise fire control and stand-off precision guided weapons capabilities,” said Capt. Belena Marquez, spokeswoman for Air Force Special Operations Command. It is estimated 2014-2016 will see the draw-down and replacement program complete.
Chapettes and Chaps, that is my act of contrition complete for the ‘alleged’ slur placed against the Chaps of the Air Force, through my post of ‘Fifty Shady Ways of Dress.’ ;-) But what a pleasure reading up on the history of the AC 130 SPECTRE… Yours Aye.
Is the phrase thought up by Clarissa Baldwin 35-years ago, who at that time was asked to come up with a slogan. She has been the CEO of the Dogs Trust since 1986.
The Dogs Trust is a charity that has real teeth, and changed several laws through political means. The charity makes a sincere declaration, and sticks to it vehemently “We never destroy a healthy dog” Canine crusade: Clarissa Baldwin – CEO of the Dogs Trust – has quite a tail to tell Yours Aye.
Getting a homeless man home… An act of compassion towards someone suffering misfortune at any time of the year is an act of humanity, at this time of year even more so. The short clip can say much more than I am able… Yours Aye.
He is one of the most popular stars in music? Now Kanye West is trying to bring his influence to bear by calling on his fans to boycott Louis Vuitton. West attending the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter Collection for 2013/14 in Paris
The rapper pulled the stunt during a radio interview in which he explained his anger at being snubbed by the firm’s vice-president Yves Carcelle. Speaking on 92.3 NOW radio, he said: “I was made for this moment. What happened was while I was out in Paris I wanted to meet with the head of Louis Vuitton, he said I don’t understand why we need to meet with you. I said, let me explain to you why you need to meet with me.” Kanye West calls on fans to boycott Louis Vuitton after snub Pulled the stunt during radio interview “Everybody in New York City right now don’t buy any Louis Vuitton until after January-Now do you want to meet with me? Now do you want to meet with me? Influence! They think that I don’t realise my power.” Kanye is hoping his clout will stop fans splashing out on the French brand’s luggage and handbags, which range in price from £300 and £8,000. A previous delusional Kanye West interview earlier in the year at BBC radio 1
For some one with the dress sense of a rodeo clown, it just goes to show that no amount of money brings class or style to the room. I would also argue the toss over his ‘most popular’ status, at least over here in the UK and Europe. The man is delusional, and balances his walk through the heavy chip he carries on each shoulder. Yours Aye.
What would happen if big business started sponsoring Super Heroes? Many of our favorite superheroes are wealthy, sponsored by the government, or otherwise manage to scrape together the funds to keep up their crime-fighting lifestyles. But what if super- heroes instead took on corporate sponsorships, bearing the colors and logo of whichever company paid their way? Would city-shattering battles turn into scenes of corporate warfare? That’s the question that Roberto Vergati Santos invites with his Sponsored Heroes series. Santos takes images of familiar superheroes from movies, television, and comics, and assigns each one a brand. It’s a simple execution, but one that forces us to contemplate how easy it could be to see super-powered folks sporting Adidas exclusively, or earning a little extra income from Red Bull. What happens when super-heroes stop fighting for the American way and start fighting for the American corporation? Thankfully the manufactures of Preparation H, and Anusal ointment were left out of the equation when the theme of corporate sponsors occurred to Roberto Vergati Santos
And what ‘really’ happens when Super Heroes enter the twilight years of life?Artist Andreas Englund has an idea or two… that doesn’t bear thinking about. Yours Aye.
As we say goodbye to the bright cooler Autumn weather, we are just about to say hello to a pre-arctic blast of Winter. Last year we took a hit with some serious blizzards, and a drop of minus 22 degrees C. (I had to snap Joss off this tree one morning; frozen mid-flow)!With winter fast approaching, the last of the sun-bright Autumn days are drawing in. One photographer was able to catch fading hues of gold and orange as they battle through the oncoming mist in a collection of landscape scenes in the county of Yorkshire, England. Former science teacher Terry Roberts, from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, decided to put his collection of images together to immortalise the beauty of the countryside he grew up in. The 60-year-old scales tall hills, and cliff faces to achieve best ‘mood and light’ images.England’s green, orange, grey, misty and pleasant land (click pictures to enlarge)“It’s clear from people’s reactions that the landscapes of Northern England are indeed special, with a delicate beauty of their own-and by drawing attention to our beautiful landscapes I hope people will treasure them all the more. Most tourists visiting Britain rarely see the beautiful North of England, and I hope my shots will help to draw attention to this part of the country. The Tour de France is due to visit Yorkshire for two stages in 2014, going through many of the areas I’ve shot”.The Tour de France cyclists will need legs like steam pistons to climb some of the hills around Langdale, where vehicles some times stall on the severe S-bend gradients. If anyone is coming over for a visit, I know a few good pubs where an observer can cheer them on from with a pint of good ale in hand. Yours Aye.
How on earth did our morals and standards of decency fall away from the iron backbone of this; A 13-year-old boy who ran away to join up [aged 12] fought on the front line in the First World War until his mother sent his birth certificate to the War Office and pleaded that he should be sent home. Sidney Lewis, who has now been recognised as Britain’s youngest soldier to serve in the Great War, enlisted with the East Surrey Regiment in August 1915, five months after his 12th birthday, and was fighting on the Somme by the age of 13. The youngest soldier who fought in the Somme: But within weeks he was ordered home to his mother, Fanny Lewis, in Tooting, south London, after she told officials he was too young to fight and should be sent back. Stories about the child fighting on the frontline were printed in papers at the time, but they were never corroborated until now. This weekend the Imperial War Museum in London declared Private Lewis the youngest authenticated fighting soldier after examining papers provided by his only son, Colin. The bundle included Sidney’s birth certificate and letters from the War Office to his mother promising he would be sent home immediately.
To this, which the Main Stream Media and the ‘celebrity’ magazines drool over…
When it comes to shocking her fans, there are few things Miley Cyrus hasn’t tried. But the shock-pop princess took things to a whole new level on Sunday night when she lit up a suspicious-looking cigarette ONSTAGE at the EMA awards at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. As she picked up the award for Best Video for her track Wrecking Ball, Miley grinned as she attempted to shove the award into her bag, before pulling out what appeared to be a joint and telling the audience: “I can’t fit it in my bag… but I did find this!”Miley Cyrus ‘smokes a joint’ ON STAGE at the MTV EMA awards The act was deemed so controversial by MTV bosses that it was edited out of the show when it was aired in America Instead, the two-and-a-half-four show featured only a brief shot of Miley Cyrus accepting her award and thanking her fans. But a 35-second clip of Miley Cyrus lighting up later appeared on YouTube, giving US fans a chance to see the controversial moment.
Turning celebrities into role models, placing them on pedestals and accepting them as idols and heroes is all part of the downward spiral, which allows them to act with impunity and disregard for others. As is reflected by the following…
Producers of Brad Pitt’s new movie provoked outrage when they filmed Nazi war scenes in an English village early in the morning on Remembrance Sunday. American director David Ayer staged pre-dawn explosions in Shirburn, Oxfordshire and had extras act out battle scenes dressed as Nazis as the rest of the UK readied itself to honour the nation’s fallen heroes. Bosses behind the film, Fury, reportedly refused to stop filming over the weekend, despite a plea from the nearby Watlington Parish Council. Council chairman Ian Hill told the Daily Mirror: “Whoever is responsible is insensitive. ‘A letter has been sent to express our feelings of how inappropriate it was for German tanks to be rolling across the countryside while explosions were being let off, local people are very angry.”Some extras have said they felt uncomfortable at having to dress as Nazis on the day devoted to remembering the war dead, but were unable to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. Colonel Richard Kemp (former commander of British forces in Afghanistan) speaking to The Daily Mirror newspaper said; ‘The decision to film was disrespectful. At the very time a nation pays tribute to those who gave their lives to stop Nazis rampaging across our land it seems grossly insensitive to impose such scenes on villagers, a director whose film is profiting from the sacrifices made by 800,000 British and American soldiers in the Second World War has a duty to ensure his crew are allowed to pause to pay proper respect to the dead.” Outrage as ‘grossly insensitive’ Nazi battle scenes are filmed in Oxfordshire village for Brad Pitt’s new film… during Remembrance Sunday services Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones said: “I’m astonished producers would not consider it to be inappropriate to film such scenes on Remembrance Sunday. And it is outrageous appeals from locals to reconsider plans to film on such an occasion were ignored.”
The outrage should be followed through by not supporting or watching the film, or buying any material produced by air head ‘celebrities’. If they wish to worship each other and their industry, let them do it internally, and then we will see how long they last without the oxygen support of the general public. Yours Aye.
President Obama has promised for 4 years that individual health insurance policies will be ‘grandfathered’ in so they won’t change under Obamacare. But the IRS wrote in June 2010 that 40 to 67 per cent’ of those policies will ‘relinquish their grandfather status’ anyway. NBC News found sources close to the Obamacare planning table who put that number as high as 80 per cent. Millions of Americans are already receiving cancellation notices from their insurers. “Ok, so I lied, but it was only this big”
The White House knew all along: Most Americans with individual health insurance plans ‘WILL’ get cancellation notices under ‘Obamacare’ The White House conceded Monday that ‘it’s true’ many plans don’t meet Obamacare’s minimum standards, so Americans won’t get to keep them. The revelations come as the Obama administration is already under fire for the Obamacare website’s horrendous launch on October 1st 2013.
As Margaret Thatcher said “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”. The true definition of socialism in picture format!
Who do you turn to, when those who are entrusted to run the country that you live in constantly lie, or hide the truth? Yours Aye.
Today I spent time securing bit’s and bob’s outside preparing for the howling gales that are forecast over the next couple of days. What I thought would be an all day job actually turned out to be just a few hours work as the forecast changed; effectively, I’ve had more time off than john Wayne’s safety catch. (And that safety catch has spent a lot of time off)…Which reminds me. For those who it effects here in the UK, don’t forget that the clocks go back one hour (officially at 02:00hrs on Sunday morning), as we say goodbye to British Summer Time, and return to Greenwich Mean Time. Those living around Westminster will have a timely reminder from the chimes of ‘Big Ben’! (Spring forward-Fall back)Turning back time TONIGHT: The Keepers of Big Ben are tasked with a five-hour mission to move Britain’s most famous clock hands back one hour: Working almost 100 metres above those charged with running the country, five timekeepers will be working frantically behind the scenes to ensure things run like clockwork. They are the Keepers of the Clock and have the unique job of upholding the world’s most iconic timepiece – Big Ben. Today is the dawn of their busiest hours of the year, as the clocks go back and we move from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. (The last sunset of summer. 2013)The official end of a beautiful summer here in North Yorkshire, with plenty of snow promised for the winter months; Nipper of the Burn (aka; little legs) may well need a set of stilts to get around the field, I can’t wait to see his first reaction to the first flurry. Yours Aye