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Thatcher invades Africa ..with 3 Public School chums.

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Sir Stephen Wall was foreign policy adviser to Tony Blair until last year. He is not a radical type ( although I'm just guessing ..but his period of office covered the WMD era ..and he is a 'sir') Yesterday (28July) he said, about today's meeting between Blair and Bush..'There are times when a British prime minister should have been thinking less about private influence and more about public advocacy....

..Could Blair really not speak up for the simple proposition that the slaughter of innocent people in Lebanon, the destruction of their country and the ruin of half a million lives were wrong and should stop immediately? "What kind of ceasefire?" Blair asks. One that stopped the horror, even for 24 hours, would be a start.'

The war goes on. The history of attacks into Lebanon is not good. One blogger 'The Fly Dutchman' wrote in the Guardian site, describing the '82 attacks.'' 'The frustrated ( Israelis) covered the roads and villages of Lebanon with hundreds of charred bodies of Lebanese children; but remarkably few fighters of Hezbollah were killed or taken prisoner...

They wield a secret weapon: it's the first ever Arab body that the (Israelis) have failed to infiltrate. (Moshad) did not know what weapons they have and what plans they prepare. Hezbollah warriors did not oblige the (Israelis by) committing suicide a-calling "Allah is Great": they fight.. and destroy.. the twin myths of Israeli invulnerability and Arab impotence.'

This article is the third and last in a series comparing the present relationship between the US and Britain with the 80s relationship. Whilst I struggle to say anything positive about the Reagan-Thatcher years, Sir Stephen noted that 'Ronald Reagan told Menachem Begin in 1982 that the Israeli onslaught on Beirut threatened to turn into "a holocaust". I doubt Reagan's advisers put those words on one of his famous cue cards. He spoke from anger and conviction. Is it the conviction of our government that we should leave it to Bush to set the bearings of our moral compass?'

Can it be true..were the 80s..surely a bleak time for the world..actually more enlightened than now? And what about the nasty iron lady?.. People were surprised when Thatch was visibly upset, when her son, Mark, was lost on a rally race in the Sahara desert in '82, but even a mother hyena only eats her own, if she is hungry. Whilst some rich kids terrorise towns, driving their sports cars too fast, Mark did the same for entire countries!


The Brit air force was called out, as was the African Automobile Association, which found him, but the breakdown van did not have any gin or tonic water, so he waited for his father. Meanwhile Daddy had arrived in Saudi ...well... there is desert there too! Eventually, Mark was uplifted safely and tried to sell the broken down rally car to the local cop. " Its mumsie's car ..yes... she's the Prime Minister, you know.....of Britain you idiot..."

This started a lifetime of semi believable opportunism. He is reckoned to have made £60 M ( Wikipedia..that's what ..$90M ?) in, mainly, arms deals. Not bad for a lad who, despite a privileged background, struggled at school. He did a roaring trade in slingshots though. His mother's popularity was also struggling, even though her ratings rose briefly at the time, because mothers everywhere felt sorry for her and thought she was genuinely upset about his disappearance..(they should have seen her when she got booted out of office.)

Despite this, her ratings slid. People saw through her.. to the greed and nastiness. What to do? Her daughter Carol refused to get lost as well, but Thatch had a plan. Jim Callaghan, the ex Labour Prime Minister, said the government had simply "taken their eye off the ball" over the Falklands, when they withdrew naval personnel, despite blustering from the Argentinean Junta.

The Argentineans were ridiculously claiming the "Malvinas" as theirs, whereas they had been ours since the dawn of repeating rifles. "Sunny Jim Callaghan" was being diplomatic. Withdrawing the guard was, I think, a little too coincidental and encouraging for the soon-to-be-hated "Argies". "Johnny Gaucho" was the new vote winner and it worked in spades.

The 'Argies' took the Falklands easily as they were so close, (nobody said maybe they had, indeed, a slight claim), however we built a giant task force and Margaret Britannia retook them for the Brit Junta. The "Sun" "Newspaper" was ecstatic. It celebrated the drowning of the 300 sailors in the Belgrano as the famous "Gotcha" headline in a masterpiece of compassionate journalism. The Argentinean vessel was an old American WW2 ship sunk by a state of the art missile.

Thatch won the next election in '83 with a landslide. This gave Ronnie an idea. But where to strike? Luckily Granada had been invaded. By the Brits, unfortunately, but more recently by the Cubans, who were holding some US medic students ..well not hostage exactly.. but in dormitories. The Cubans were masquerading as construction workers and had, deceitfully, built the dorms as cover.

The Cuban aim, they said, was to build an airport. For tourism? Reagan knew that it was really to act as a landing base for the Soviets. I mean, who would want to go on holiday to a beautiful Caribbean island? The problem was that Granada was British. Reagan had a plan. He would not tell the Brits! He too took back what was rightfully ...well...not his.. but what the hell? Thatch was poisonous with rage, but the old charmer had a way with the world bank and she calmed.

Reagan lasted until the taxidermist refused to continue his work, but Thatch remained a little longer..until she was savaged by her own sheep. Her loyal lieutenants turned on her following some poor poll results. She stayed around for a while insulting the new leadership but is now a shadow of her former selfish.

Her son though, is still in and out of the headlines, as is her strangely pleasant daughter, Carol, who won a celebrity show. Mark is alleged to have tried to overthrow Equitorial Guinea with a couple of ex school chums and the following recording of a phone call was not made public. " Mumsie? It's Marko. I'm in a bit of poop again. Remember Biffboff from cadets? No... No, he doesn't do that in public any more...Well, the rotter used one of my helicopters to invade ..."

 

'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.

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