William Goode’s Journal – Syria and Chemical Weapons Revised

a picture of a russian warship in beirut.

A Russian warship on the way apparently to the Syrian port of Tartus. This ship is though to be in Beirut.

There are more alarms raised as to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. The UN is currently investigating the new claims. Currently the UN is able to investigate outside Syria but the UN has requested permission to investigate inside Syria, that will be interesting if that is allowed.

It was only last month that both the Syrian government and the rebels accused each other of using chemical weapons so we can see how complicated this gets in deciding and investigating the use of chemical weapons. The weapons apparently were used on the village of Khan al-Assal outside Aleppo.

Weapons inspectors when checking for chemical weapons need to check for tissue, urine, blood and soil samples amongst other samples needed, which means they need to be able to have permission to enter the areas concerned. The samples then need to be assessed in a certified laboratory.

The US is talking “red lines” as are the Israelis, I talked about “red lines” in a previous blog. I would imagine all the major western style democracies are wary of the “weapons of mass destruction” mess that has never gone away and are now more careful of verifying before real solid proof appears.

We now seem to be in another time view whereby western democracies are providing reasons or at least putting the idea in our heads that 70,000 people may have died in Syria over the last two years but chemical weapons is the point where we say no.

The Russian ship Varyag apparently on its way to Tartus in Syria

The Russian ship Varyag apparently on its way to Tartus in Syria. Another ship berthed at Beirut.

The Russian troop movements have always been interesting in this war. Tartus, a base I talked about in a blog last year and Russia’s only mediterranean base is reportedly expecting at least three more Russian ships and hundreds of troops. With the already significant presence of Russian marines and more special forces on their way this has to have been a deterrent to US and other western democracies involvement, apart from minor aid (flak jackets etc), to the rebels. On the other side of this the US is more wary of stepping into conflicts as in Libya where weapons seem to have landed in the wrong hands.

a picture of A Russian Spetznaz unit

A Russian Spetznaz unit

What Russia troops and ships are heading to Syria?

It is reported that three Russians warships have called into Beruit on the way to Tartus. They apparently have hundreds of marines and missile systems on board.

Russian sources have apparently been quoted in the “London Times” as saying that the arrival of 300 special forces (other quotes say 700 maybe this includes counter terrorism “Spetsnaz” units) plus those 500 marines who arrived apparently in January, will be there as a deterrent to those who wish to overthrow the Bashar Assad regime.

If you read my earlier blog on the Syrian crisis you would have read about the main role of the Russian special forces troops in Tartus. The Russian line is that they are there to evacuate Russians workers and their families should the situation get worse, how worse does it have to get? Not exactly a special forces role but there are possibly Spetznaz units on the ground already who would be involved in safe evacuations.

The bottom line here is that Russia is not about to let there only mediterranean base go and Syria, an ally good or bad, come under the control of the US, Israel and other western democracies. The US and allies may wish to arm the rebels eventually, the sending of more troops by Russia to Syria indicates that the Russian leadership is possibly losing patience.

The Russian special forces as I talked about in another blog of mine, are from what we can gather highly trained to secure Syria’s chemical weapons should they look like they will fall into the wrong hands. The US and Israel have their versions of wrong hands but think Chechnyan rebels when you think of Russian wrong hands.

Whether chemical weapons have been used or not is still to be confirmed but my feeling is that the Russians have control at some level of these weapons and it would be difficult for chemical weapons to be used by the Syrian government. However this is a country in chaos and control of key areas is split.

The US, Israel, Turkey and other western powers have a lot in common with Russia and Iran in the Syrian crisis. A new Syrian leadership that is acceptable to them all. I bet a lot of talking is going on behind the scenes.

Obviously they haven’t agreed on a replacement for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad just yet.

Meantime people die. An estimated 70,000 in the last two years with over an estimated 1,000000 refugees.

a picture of a russian spetznaz unit

Russian Spetznaz unit


William Goode’s Journal – “Poetry And Motion” Chapbook released

picture of william goodes poetry book

The “Poetry And Motion” chapbook front cover

This is a new chapbook of my latest poems. It is available from the “Outer Blue” website or from Etsy.

Here are the details:

34 page poetry chapbook with hand sewn binding and printings from my original lino cuts.

General Information:
Numbered pages.
Acid free papers.
Archival quality 104 gsm text paper.
Transparent paper insert between end papers / covers.
Hand sewn with Irish linen thread bindings, thread drawn through bees wax.

picture of william goode poetry book

A lino cut from the last page of the “Poetry And Motion” Chapbook

Please note that when you purchase an item it will be pretty close to the colours shown.
For example a light brown book will be light brown and a dark green chapbook will be dark green.

Depending on my print runs and the availability of these quality papers I may only from time to time have available to me colours approximate to the pictures shown. I will always endeavour however to match the papers as closely as I can and they will be of the same high quality.

picture of lino cut and poem from new william goode chapbook

A lino cut and poem from the new “Poetry And Motion” chapbook

William Goode’s Journal – Politicians Love A Legacy

When a major politician dies you are presented with obviously, a great amount of press to read. What the words remind me of is how cliched this whole political world is, how responding politicians and those affected by this person spill out the same old chestnuts either in praise or in vigorous outpourings of hate.

It also reminds me of how we seem to get a series of leaders who either want to run a country like they would a household or a business with little regard at times to the enormous worth that communities bring to a “state”. The politician presents as if they have just left school and their mums and dads (even though they do look older) and now wish to apply to the whole country what some parent or guru they have read and believed in (there is always belief) has passed on to them.

Are they qualified for the job? (who is), although many MP’s would say they are especially those that studied the popular interdisciplinary undergraduate/graduate degree (philosophy, politics and economics – PPE) university courses. To be honest most of us really would not remember any positive legacies that our leaders have achieved, that is of course why they and their followers tell us so much about them in a hope that “a legacy” will stick with the population and their time in history will be preserved.

The disregard for the individual over the “success” of the “state” is lazy unstatesmanlike thinking and at best the work of a tryer”, a clumsy person.
The politician who lacks the ability to be inclusive is setting all and sundry and the “state” and its communities on a path to years of pain and suffering. One that can take a lifetime to turn around

I would not be cracking open bottles of champagne for any ones death, a life is too precious and if you do not like someone don’t let that be part of their “legacy”, turning you into someone you are not.

The world moves on to different eras, new generations with new people that no matter how well known or famous you were in your time will not remember you.

Maybe that is something that all politicians should think about at the start of their reign.

It is not about legacies, it is about the now.