38 thoughts on “No Words Needed”

  1. Considering that Russia’s military, despite improvements in recent years, is not nearly at the same level of technical sophistication as the three Nordic countries I fail to see the point. Ursula von der Leyen didn’t even want that position, she has merely done as well as she can in the position that was forced on her. Based on the spelling of “defence”, I don’t think I need to ask any more about the mentality of those who came up with it.

  2. The Russian fella doesn’t look as if he needs words. The ladies proabably prefer them to his solutions. is that the point of all this?

  3. I dunno, wouldn’t want to cross the blonde in black, has a certain set about her.
    I rather think I might be with christopher on this.
    After all, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher were hardly soft touches in war, were they?

  4. CO: Her name is Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the Netherlands. She is well-known for not brooking nonsense, be it from powers small or large. She resigned as minister for defence last year taking responsibility for failures that took place under her watch in Mali. No passing the buck, mincing words or making excuses. The now-former Norwegian minister for defence, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, was one of the first to grasp the threat that ISIS posed and developed a credible plan to stem the tied of fighters from Scandinavia to the Middle East and back. The now-former Swedish defence minister, Karin Enström, is an officer in the Swedish navy and has been serving in the Swedish military for 30 years — in the amphibious corps, to be precise. Sweden and Norway are both small countries, but they have very disciplined and capable fighting forces. The Netherlands has a respectable military for a country of its size. Germany is a bit of a joke, but we all know that. Never-the-less, von der Leyen has at least done her job reasonably well. Remember that she went to Saudi Arabia without a burqa or even a hijab telling her critics to lump it.

  5. Australia’s Minister of Defence is also a Shelia, who is currently telling the Chinks in Beijing where to get off, to their great consternation. Never judge a Minister by biological structure. 🙂

    Marise Payne – a redhead, what’s more !!

  6. “…….Never judge a Minister by biological structure. 🙂…”

    Why didn’t you just say ‘sex’ instead of biological structure. I suppose it’s all this LGBT sh1t making things complicated.

    Personally I’ll take the malevolent Russian. Without US support the Russians would cream Northern Europe. Not that I think it’s likely to happen but if it does I hope we have the sense to stay out of it.

    Bearsy, Australia is a bit like Europe. Without US support the Chinese would make short work of you if for no other reason that they have nuclear weapons and you don’t and notwithstanding that they have a vastly bigger military.

  7. Jazz: The Chinese have a very different way of going about things. They’d prefer controlling Australia economically and “making things difficult” for them financially to bring them in line. That the US serves as a counterweight makes them play nicer in that sense. So long as they have to compete, they’re less willing to be as nasty as they can be. The Russians have no desire to attack northern Europe. There’s no point for them. They can barely keep what they have in order.

  8. Christopher: When push comes to shove military power prevails. The only reason that we haven’t had a major conflict is the fear of nuclear war and mutual destruction but that could change with technology and the development of smart weapons.

    Janus: The LGBT reference was about Bearsy”s ‘biological structure’ wording and nothing to do with the ladies in the photograph.

  9. My great grandfather fought with Wellington against Napoleon, getting wounded at Quatre Bras, causing him to miss Waterloo, much to his chagrin. My maternal grandfather fought in the Boer War and WW1 getting himself wounded at Gallipoli. My paternal grandfather also fought in WW1, commanding artillery brigades in France and the Middle East.My dad was a member of the SOE operating in Albania, in WW2. Other members of my family, if you allow that great uncles and second cousins are family, founded the Commandos and the SAS. A cousin fought in the Falklands and a nephew flew Apaches in Afghanistan. While my own service was infinitely less notable, though sincere, I did grow up to think that the British Army was an institution of which any red-blooded male could be proud. However, having seen this recruitment video, I am afraid, like most things British these days, all I can feel is embarrassment.

    I rather share Jazz’s implied assessment of the two photographs.

  10. Jazz: The Chinese have a large military and a nuclear arsenal in order to not have to use it. North Korea is in the same position. If you’re Fatty Kim the Third, what the Chinese call him, you can see what happened to Hussein in Iraq, Qaddafi in Libya, etc. By giving up his nuclear weapons, he would make himself a sitting duck. Because he has the means to take out millions in South Korea and Japan, the USA is unlikely to launch an invasion and topple him. The Chinese were trying to arrange for another Kim to be a puppet leader, but he had them taken out to ensure that they’re stuck with him. The Americans tend to invade countries that can’t pose too much of a risk. They tend to leave countries that can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of casualties alone.

    Sipu: I don’t understand why trying to be inclusive is such a bad thing and it doesn’t take away from anyone. If your sense of self worth comes from putting yourself above everyone else and making sure they stay there, that’s a sign of insecurity and weakness. I do agree that the emotional incontinence is a bit grating, however.

  11. Christopher – “I don’t understand why trying to be inclusive is such a bad thing and it doesn’t take away from anyone.”

    I disagree. The army, in my opinion, needs a certain type of person. Rather like the much maligned, in my view, Toby Young, I am not an egalitarian. People are very different and posses different skills and temperaments. Just as some people are not suited to be Barristers, Baristas, Gender Studies Advocates or Professional Rugby Players so others are not suited to join the military. That being the case MOD should not target such people purely to appease spineless snowflakes who demand equality, though they are unequal to the task for which they have been recruited and who cry when they are shouted at or have their iPhones confiscated. As was pointed out by one senior commander, the recruitment ad was likely to deter the type of candidate most sought after by the army.

    Janus, the title of the Post is “No Words Needed”. If you are not able to make an inference from that and the accompanying photographs, and I suppose whatever you have learned about Jazz over the past few years, then I hardly think it is worthwhile my explaining what he was getting at or, more to the point, what I believe he was getting at. I could of course be wrong, if Mr Mackie will allow me to use that phrase.

  12. I have never and would never describe myself as a feminist. But, then, I was brought up to believe that anything a man could do – a woman could do at least twice as fast and more than four times better than any male. It took me a good few years to realise that attitude was also, possibly, somewhat discriminatory. So I now reckon that anything a man can do – so can a woman – but, generally, women do it a bit better.

    Consequently, I find it quite insulting that a couple of people here seem to think that a woman in the role of Defence Minister would be less effective than a male in the same position.

    Frankly, I’d rather take on David Cameron than Margaret Thatcher; Malcolm Turnbull rather than Julie Bishop, or, indeed, almost any male against a woman who has managed to get to a position of power.

    Women may come to a decision in a different way to men – but they can be, and often are, just as ruthless.

    As to the Army recruitment advertisement, Christopher has it right. The world has changed since the Napoleonic Wars, the Boer War, and World Wars 1&2, etc. The people the Army is trying to enlist come from an entirely different background from those who were encouraged to join up in earlier eras – and the ad needs to be inclusive to attract a very different population.

    I’d also like to remind those ‘red-blooded males’ so proud of the British Army that in at least the two latter wars, if not earlier, women were also at the front caring for the sick and wounded.

    As to the ’emotional’ aspect of the Ad – it’s a great pity that there was not more concern for the emotional welfare of the troops in earlier wars – especially WWI. Perhaps fewer men would have been shot for cowardice; perhaps fewer men would have been kept in mental institutions for the rest of their lives; perhaps fewer men would have had to be cared for, silently, by loving relatives and perhaps the whole subject of the Trauma after the horrors of a war would have been recognised and dealt with a lot sooner.

  13. Sipu: The ads were sloppy and a bit annoying, I agree with that. There are certain roles different people can fill in the military. Support staff, administration, etc. don’t have to be “red-blooded”. Combat troops have to be, and to be extremely anti-PC, trans people who need to be constantly medicated are not up to it and few women make good combat troops. The IDF are a good example of this. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, you have to join the IDF if you’re Israeli, but certain groups are not put in all positions.

  14. Boadicea: Even now, military administrations have a tendency to encourage people to join and then abandon them when their commitment ends. How many war veterans are left to live on the streets? How many people with PTSD are left to fall through the cracks? People don’t return from wars unscathed. Even if they’re physically sound, they will have difficulties readjusting to peacetime life. Isabella of Castile and Tokugawa Ieyasu of Japan were well aware of these problems and, to their best ability, tried to ensure that those who had only known war had a role to fill in the new society. Unfortunately, the cult of true manhood still to a large degree prevents men, civilian and military, from seeking help or admitting that they have weaknesses and issues.

  15. Sipu, my comment was a reference to Jazz’s ‘no words needed’. I can of course infer many things but guessing Jazz’s own inferences is more difficult. If he simply sees the women as not up to the job, I have no further comment.

  16. Boadicea, I have one word for some of what you say. These claims in particular deserve attention.

    “So I now reckon that anything a man can do – so can a woman – but, generally, women do it a bit better.”

    “Women may come to a decision in a different way to men – but they can be, and often are, just as ruthless.”

    The word is bollocks!

    Meanwhile, this passage makes very little sense. “The people the Army is trying to enlist come from an entirely different background from those who were encouraged to join up in earlier eras – and the ad needs to be inclusive to attract a very different population.”

    Why is it specifically trying to enlist women, Muslims, gays and overtly sensitive individuals? What can they bring to the army that Christian heterosexual males cannot. Sure women and gays are probably better at changing bedpans, but in all other areas, heterosexual men are as good and usually much better, whether as pilots, infantry, technology, mechanics, cooking, medicine and good old fashioned killing people. In trying to appease so many diverse minority groups, the army is going to have more personnel attending to their needs than it will doing what the army is supposed to do, ensure the defence of the country. It will become like the NHS which has more administrators than medical staff, or schools which have more administrators than teachers. Maybe that is the point of the ad. “The army needs you to look after people like you!”

    However you do raise a couple of valid points. Of course Cameron is useless, but that is because he belongs to the touchy-feely culture, currently so prevalent in western society. I cannot speak for Turnbull or Julie Bishop, but Margaret Thatcher was certainly tough and much respected even by me. But I find it interesting that she had almost zero female cabinet ministers and so was not infected by the cringe-making culture that prevails in all major parties in the UK today. (Granted there were very few female members to choose from, but I cannot say that the increase in numbers has been good for the country in anyway. Thatcher got to her position on merit. Most of the current lot are there as a result of quotas.)

    You fall into the trap of taking a few exceptional examples, in this case strong women, and extrapolating their characteristics across all members of their sex. It is a bit like saying because Austria produced Mozart, all Austrians are capable of composing exquisite music. I could have used Hitler or Schwarzenegger as Austrian examples of outliers in their respective fields.But most Austrians are not exceptional, though there are probably dozens of characteristics that are common to most of them that do not occur in the inhabitants of Ulan Bator. Stereotypes exist because they are an accurate reflection of the way the world works. While exceptions occur, it is more likely that dogs will chase cats than the other way round.Similar patterns are present in human nature as well.

    I submit that more could have been done and still can be done to improve the mental well being of veteran soldiers, but the purpose of an army is defend its country. Mental trauma, like death, injury and destruction, is part of the deal. The army does not exist to provide a safe space for little girls and effeminate nancy-boys who want to play at being soldiers. War is sh*t and no matter how good the after care, there is going to be a considerable amount of trauma faced by those who are involved in combat, whether at close quarters or remotely. But if those are the people you want serving, you can be sure they will be traumatised far more quickly than male heterosexuals and they will be significantly less effective in the process.

    With regards to ruthlessness, you also have a point, but not the one you were trying to make. Women can exhibit extreme ruthlessness,though they do not apply it to physical aggression but rather they direct it towards the acquisition of material possessions, personal relationships and social prestige which they fight for with a frightening ferocity. It is frankly idiotic to argue otherwise. It is simply down to the levels of testosterone produced by men in relation to women. Women are afraid of mice and struggle to cut the neck of a chicken. Men are logical and aggressive. Women are empathetic and nurturing. Get over it.

    Incidentally, it is interesting that while my nephew was going through the selection process to fly Apache helicopters, the ultimate combat aircraft, virtually the entire squad of successful candidates came from colonial backgrounds, i.e. South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia. British applicants simply could not cut the mustard. In fact his own commander had been at the same school, here in Zimbabwe.

    In closing, it is important to emphasise that there is a difference between knowledge and logic, or wisdom if you prefer. I sometimes think your fruit salads would have a few too many tomatoes for my taste.

  17. Sipu I don’t know where the army was getting its British recruits from as there must be plenty of folk in the UK who are more than capable of operating an Apache helecopter which can’t be that difficult. In my last job we had several ex Army Aircorps helicopter pilots (all non comms) they were all Brits and all excellent pilots which is more than I could say for some other ex military types. Even Prince Harry passed the Apache course summa cum laude according to his murcan instructors.
    During my time at sea and in aviation I have noticed a distinct tendency for our colonial cousins to overrate themselves although they were no better than the rest of us, your nephew is either spinning a yarn or his course was an exception.
    I think that generally speaking men are more suited to martial activities than women, particularly grunt work and I think that a commander needs that tough hands on experience to be effective.

  18. Jazz: Many of the ex-colonies, i.e., Australia, New Zealand and Canada are just as PC — if not more so — than the UK. Many airlines, especially Cathay Pacific, recruit Royal Air Force pilots who are finishing their service as they are known for being some of the world’s finest.

    Statistically, you’re absolutely correct. While some women are especially good shots and adept at the arts of war, on average men do far better. Men are on average physically larger and stronger. Men are also less likely to think twice. The Israeli military pulled women from front line combat for that very reason. They continue to serve critical roles in the country’s defence, and women have proven themselves time and time again to be more than capable of filling non-combat roles.

  19. Oh! Sipu! You are so predictable… I knew exactly what you had written before I read your reply… Indeed I knew what you would say when I pressed the “Post Comment” button!

    … and I agree with both of Janus’s responses.

    Biggest smiley!

  20. In many things Mrs J is a lot smarter than I am. However!!!?? when it comes to fixing her computer, leaking pipe, fitting new worktop etc etc etc Guess who she calls on ?

    Sipu, I’m with you.

  21. I believe it is a fact that girlies are physiologically better suited to be fighter pilots than males because they are generally shorter and, ahem, carry a bit more body fat than the boys, which gives them a higher ‘g’ tolerance when throwing a Typhoon around the sky. Conversely, I would say that George is better equipped than Sheila for yomping across somewhere hot and dusty or cold and muddy with a 40kg Bergen on their shoulders.

    It’s horses for courses really and whether or not somebody is a raging pillow biter should have no bearing on the matter unless it affects morale or somebody’s competence to do the job or if special concessions have to be made. What I do not accept is the proactive recruitment of LBGTTURBOXYZQWERTY afficionados purely to fill some PC quota rather than because they are the best available.

    As Monty Python had it years ago,


  22. Oops! I don’t really ‘do’ 05.03 on a Saturday morning. Apologies to Sipu, although I suspect we are both barking up the same tree.


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