Aaaaah…the words of the great Sledge Hammer…in response to Mike Yon accusing me “…Simon — the writings on your website have been dishonest. You seem like a basically dishonest person…” I’m flattered to now be in the elite group as GEN McCrystal and others who have tired of the whining of a 19-year-old PFC who never grew up…here’s a guy who spent a whole four years in the Army in the mid-80s accusing professional soldiers of dishonesty and incompetence but who has yet to actually offer any positive alternatives to the current strategies…
I’m not a big believer in GEN McCrystal’s Cursed Earth approach and think that Jim Gant’s Tribal Engagement stratagem would be more suited to both the physical and human terrain of Afghanistan but I’m not on the ground in-theatre and GEN McCrystal is…if Mike Yon really cared – or had anything worthwhile to say – he would have joined the ranks of the COIN information militia to rub conceptual shoulders with the likes of Jim Gant, Josh Wineera, John Nagl and David Kilcullen in fora like the CAC COIN Center and the Small Wars Council…
This did scare me…
While I’m not working we’ve tightened the budget a bit and I’m working through ‘dead stock’ in the pantry to clear the shelves…my experiment on Wednesday night was Chili Sardines…yep, sounds scary alright and didn’t smell too hot while I was preparing it – thought I might have to cook via waldo for a while – but the result was worth the initial discomfort…
2 tins of sardines in tomato sauce
1 big onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of vinegar (preferably malt vinegar)
50g of peanuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
A bird’s-eye chilli or teaspoon of dried chilli flakes ( I used this much but next time will increase by 50-100% as the chili flavour was a bit inconsistent)
2 tablespoons of frying oil or peanut oil.
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
Heat the oil and fry the onion, coriander seeds and chilli together until the onion is golden, then add the vinegar, sugar and sardines all at the same time. Continue cooking for another 3 or 4 minutes and then throw in the peanuts and cook for a further minute until the peanuts are warm. Serve with rice.
Amid much bleating and moaning from the airlines, air services across Europe are returning to normal – what’s the next show-stopper , Iceland, first the banks, now the airlines…maybe this?. I’m fascinated that the same airlines that are clamouring for compensation to cover the effects of the grounding are probably those that would have continued to fly until there were more safety incidents or a crash.
An insight already emerging from the chaos in Europe in the last week is the reminder that destabilising (irregular?) activities are not necessarily man-made: even only a week of the no-fly ban has placed even more strain on the tottering economies of Greece, Portugal and Spain, and further weakened the EU and the euro…Germany must be wondering why it just doesn’t ‘unify’ Europe the old-fashioned way and have done with it this time…