Posts filed under 'Politics'

World War III

I’ve heard political and economic commentators say that this global economic depression could lead to another World War, just as the previous depression did. Who would be the powers in such a scenario – China, the USA, Europe? Only if they have any funds left to rage a costly war!

Recently, I started to think that we might have it all wrong. The third World War may already have begun.

Unlike the last World War, it won’t be a war between nation states. It is a war within states. A global civil war. It may be a war unlike any we have seen before. All facilitated by modern social networks. Civilians rebelling against the stringencies and austerity imposed on them by their governments.

“The Arab Spring” in the middle-east. Civil unrest in Greece. London riots today. Where next?

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Add comment August 9th, 2011

The writing exercise for today is …

… rephrase, in plain english, the following classic piece of Donald Rumsfeld obfuscation under press questioning:

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Here’s my attempt:

“I don’t want to answer your question.”

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Add comment November 7th, 2008

Barack to the future!

‘Scuse the dodgy pun, but the news headlines are so full of them today I feel entitled to let my own authorial standards slip a notch. And why not? It’s symptomatic of the relaxed relief that buoys the air today following the election of Barack Obama as American President. The interweb and bloggersphere is awash with euphoria and congratulations, so I might as well pitch in my oar.

And sure, I hear he’s Irish anyway 🙂

The big excitment stateside seems to stem from the fact that he is the first black President. To someone like me, from the other side of the pond, his colour or race was never an issue. But the outpouring from the African-American community last night reminds me how much of a big issue race is over in the States. When I heard the black vox-pop on the news saying things like “we’ve taken over the White House”, and “we’re running this show now,” it only proves how frighteningly close to the surface racial tensions simmer. I can understand why Obama distanced himself from using the black ticket in his campaign, choosing instead to colour his campaign in a more ameloriating and unifying mixed-race hue (oops, there goes the pun again).

But I am glad for the African-American community today. They have had a brutal history and deserve their day in the sun and the glory of a President who reflects their heritage. I wish them all the best that it brings.

For me, the joy and relief I feel is nothing to do with the colour of the man’s skin. Part of me didn’t really care whether Obama or McCain won. Either victor could have heralded a new era free from the reign of the awful George W. Bush/Dick Cheney. What pleases me about the result is that the Republicans have been ousted. Even if McCain had won it, I would have had this niggling fear that — despite his experience — the old Republication Bush machinery might still have been running somewhere, influencing the new inhabitant of 1600 Pennsyvania Avenue.

That the Republicans could have forwarded George W. Bush as a candidate in 2000 forever diminished them in my view. I was amazed, and disappointed, at the American people for voting him in, and there has always been a question mark over his legitimacy as President since that fateful day in Florida in 2000. What amazed and disappointed me even more and what I will never understand is why dubya was voted in for a second term. I’m sure fear played a big part in it, but I lost some esteem for American citizens that day in 2004 when they didn’t display the courage to kick that disasterous administration out of the White House. The financial catastrophe of the last few months mightn’t have been so bad for them, and for all of us, if they could have shown yesterday’s courage earlier, back in 2004.

The redemptive vote they took yesterday might just wipe out that mistake — although Obama will have his work cut out for him. (Thanks W.)

Let’s hope the Democrats, under Barack Obama, can re-build America and even re-invigorate the world. Hope is a wonderful thing.

Barack to the future!

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Add comment November 5th, 2008

President Sarkozy in Ireland to discuss Lisbon Treaty

President Sarkozy is coming to the emerald isle on Monday to discuss the Lisbon Treaty.

The lead-up to this has been surrounded by much controversy. It has been reported that Mr. Sarkozy told his ministers that Ireland will have to vote a second time – a prelude to Monday’s meeting that set noses out of joint on both sides.

This week, it was said that the Irish government was planning a forum with all Lisbon Campaign representatives, but several of the ‘no’ campaigners were concerned that as late as yesterday none of them had been invited to attend. Today, we’ve just heard that most ‘no’ campaigners have been invited. Farcical is how the Irish headlines described the organisation of the event. Was it the Irish government that wanted the dissenters excluded? Or was it the French? Given Sarkozy’s pre-announced agenda, the latter seems more likely. Perhaps in the end, they thought it might be more sensible to dance with the devil in the contained environment of the French embassy, rather than have the devil grab the European media headlines by protesting outside the embassy? Who knows?

I’d love to be a fly in the wall (if not a fly in the soup) in the French Embassy. Still, just guessing what is going on between the various parties at the moment is fun. It will be very entertaining to hear how Monday goes off. Some days, European politics are very interesting indeed – vive la différence!

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Add comment July 18th, 2008

Pardon? It’s like Deja Vu, all over again!

Well, we were expecting it.

Cowen gets year to sell ‘Lisbon II’ in new vote

It’s the same story as the Nice Treaty – go back and vote again, but do it correctly this time. Yet again, the reactions of our EU overlords are to become the compelling ‘Yes’ campaign for Treaty ratification – a ‘Yes’ campaign that our government could not muster nor sell to us.

Despite all the lofty notions of my previous post, reality resounds yet again with the truth that the Federalists have control in Europe and that we are committed to a Union of unequals. Only at times like this does that become plain.

As they say in France: Qu’elle Surprise?

Mon dieu!

Meanwhile, in my own personal world of fiction, I’m currently the eavesdropper in a U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing … I like fiction.

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1 comment June 20th, 2008

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