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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Our Home Office has raised it's National Terrorist Threat, to critical..
Glasgow Airport.. who would have thought.. But today, two men of 'foreign' origin are now in custody in Glasgow, althought one, who was severly burned during the attach, was in posession of a suicide belt. They tried to drive a Jeep Cherokee into the waiting area of the airport,, a Jeep loaded with propane gas cylinders and petrol cans..
Police are making a direct connection between the attack in Glasgow Airport, to the two cars found in London.. and with al Q'aida.
Now, this raising of the 'threat level' to critical will lead to much more stringent security measures at all airports around the country. Those with high traffic levels, such as Glasgow, will likely have emergency construction in place to stop vehicles of any description getting close to the entrances.. But the question remains, 'How does one stop a man or woman, armed with a semtex vest, from walking in and setting their device off..'. A number of other airports have stepped up security, including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and Blackpool. John Lennon Airport in Liverpool has been closed as a precaution..The critical threat level indicates terrorist attacks are imminent. It is the highest possible level and was also in place after the 7 July 2005 suicide bomb attacks on London.
Britain has been one of the countries expressly targetted by al Q'aida, but this is the first time Scotland has been affected..
It would indicate that finally, we in this part of the United Kingdom, are in need of increased security..
And what makes it even more difficult for police, is that these attackers today, is that both of the men carried British Passports.. indicating there are active cells within this country, who have been here for some time.
Sleepers... a possibility mentioned in this particular blog some years ago, and repeated when it seemed necissary..
We, are at war.
We are at war with a group which is fanatical in nature, and which believes death while killing 'infidels' guarrantees them instant entry into 'Paradise'..
They have managed to set up an infrastructure within this country, to implement attacks when they are called upon..
Now there are analysts who are saying this is a 'home-grown' terrorist organisation, working along the lines, but not directly connected to al Q'aida. One has to believe this is a sop for the public.. something to make what could be a concentrated. co-ordinated attacks, something which does not have the training true a Q'aida operatives..
But it will be interesting to see over these next few days, when the former nationality of those who planned the London attacks is released..
Also intersting is a witness report, which states the man who's in hospital, in critical conditions from his burns, fought those who tried to help him.. shouting 'Allah..Allah..'
Meanwhile.. security has been vastly increased in the venues that will be heavily populated over the past couple of weeks..
Wimbleton.. the Princes Concert for Dianna.. and the Gay Pride Parade..
If these terrorist attacks, although foiled, had managed to be carried out, hundreds, if not thousands of Britons would have been killed or wounded.. And as stated earlier, while this country is used to attacks by groups the likes of the IRA, and can still remember the carnage caused by 'buzz-bombs' during the Second World War. it is not within our mentality to allow such incidents to die off without notice..
If the terrorists had thought to frighten the British people into a situation wherein every foreign national becomes a 'suspect'.. they will have failed. We are not a xenophobic country, but we are a vigilant one..
Those who preach violence or sedition will be immediately arrested, and when possible, deported. And when that is not a possibility, they will be put out of the public reach.. imprisoned for life, for Treason.
We expect those who hear those who preach such violence, to be reported by those who hear it.. such as in the case of Abu Hamza, a Muslim cleric who's message was to kill as many Britons as possible, even at the cost of one's own life.
While we expect more terrorist attacks.. and while we expect some of them to succeed, there is no fear in Britain that they will destroy our faith in our Government, or our Police..
After all, the foiled attack in Haymarket in London, was discovered by a witness to two cars parked illegally, and a Traffic Warden who reponded, and inspected the cars.
It was mentioned not that long ago here, that the US, in States the likes of Montana or Arizona, would never expect an attack in their neck of the woods..
Well tell the truth, we felt here in Britain, that the attacks would be concentrated on London..
We now know better.
But it should be underlined.. emphasised.. that such attacks on our Homeland does not inspire fear in our people.. but rather bolsters the conviction that such groups should be eradicated. It justifies our presence in Afghanistan, and to some extent, our presence in Iraq..
Terrorists fight a losing battle here, for while we may well increase our security measures, we will not turn into a Police State, which automatically distrusts foreigners, Middle Esterners, who visit, or come here for asylum..
We will simply be more vigilant in watching their movements.. and who they might contact while here..
If anything, the attacks on Britain may have been the worst tactic al Q'aida could have employed.. for they could not have chosen a worst enemy than the British public..

Friday, June 29, 2007

While London Police search for those responsible for two car bombs discovered in London.. the British man on the street is, at least for the moment, quietly disturbed that terrorism.. car bombs and the like.. could well become a way of life in Britain..
This country and it's people are used to the loss of innocents in war.. the history of civilian deaths from the Second World War through the Northern Irish bombs of the past decade and more, have given us some experience with the damage extremists can cause..
But there is, with an escallation of attacks, foiled or not, a better than good chance that we will become more and more suspicious of those who refuse to integrate into this society. Those who have been allowed to come here, to estabish a safe lifestyle and have a chance at prosperity, will face a public that immediately doubts the true intent of their being here.
Again, this is what the terrorists want. A country divided by paranoia is one which cannot sustain a 'foreign' element.. and it's an attitude we have managed to avoid for the most part, throughout our history..
But car bombs..?
In London..?
None of us want the problems caused by extremism to raise it's abominable head in ones own back yard..

As for Gordon.. He has set his new Cabinet, and on the whole he's picked people who have either some talent, or who will agree with his stances unequivocably.
So far, nothing has changed whatsoever..
Not surprising, considering the legacy of domestic and foreign crises left to the new Prime Minister by the last.
However, there will soon come a time, when Gordon will have to step into the limelight, and make some changes that will at least give his Party a chance of forming the next government. Most of these changes will be of an internal nature.. dealing with the Post Office.. those who work for the NHS.. the possibility of Scottish cesession from the Union.. the issue of pensions and benefits..
But there are foreign issues Gordon will have to make a stand on as well.. the likes of the European Union and what role Britain will play in it's membership.. of course, the Iraq War, and how long we will continue to pour our men and resources into trying to establish some unity in a country which simply doesn't seem to want it..
Gordon's going to need to make his position clear, as to what relationship he will maintain with the US.. whether or not to keep the 'shoulder to shoulder' stance adopted by his predecessor.
But again, so far there has been little or nothing from No.10, that anything is going to change.. yet.. other than a sense that the status quo will do for the moment..
Time, is of the essence for Gordon. He must earn the trust of the British public, that will populartise his policies, in spite of his being Scottish, and in spite of his surrounding himself with Scottish Cabinet Members..
The country waits with 'bated breath, to see what Labour will do now the Blair Era is at an end..
And frankly, it had better be good, for David Cameron is a viable alternative..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It's been thirty minutes or so, since Gordon Browns coronation as the new Leader of The Labour Party, and as the new Prime Minister..
The country hasn't fallen part yet..
But what has been the main topic for analytical conversation, is a dissection of Tony's ten years in office...
There are those who see him as a 'visionary'.. who's tenure will be recalled for the forging of links with Europe while maintaining a distance from the amalgamation process.. the consolidation of the bond between Britain and the US.. the improvements at home, such as the increase of the minimum wage and the deft handling of the immense problems within the National Health Service, and the benefit system for an increasingly geriatric population.. improvements in the education system (mind you there are those who would point to that particular issue and disagree completely with the direction Labour has taken us over the past decade..).
There are those who see him as a man who has taken this country down a road that is endlesss, and that will literally take decades to veer away from.. Those who would point to that which has been done concerning internal management, and perhaps correctly point out that any government in power, would have been faced with the same problems, and would have perhaps dealt better with had another hand been on the helm..
The view from Europe itself, appears to be a favourable review for Tony's time in office. They point to his involvement within the European Union..
But there are those on the Continent who point to his Brussels Speech in 1999, in which Tony's decision to leave the decision to discard the Pound and adopt the Euro to the British public in a plebescite.. and his insistance that Britains expanded involvement depended on expansion of the Union.. and when that came to pass, it was precisely the relaxation of passage throughout the Union countries that Britain objected to..
And the same objection raised to Britain's stance on a European Constitution, and Britain's blocking of the adoption of the Berlin Agreement..
But, the one issue which in all eyes clouded Tony's tenture, was Iraq.
Consensus was complete, that the stance of standing 'Shoulder to Shoulder' with the US, blotted Tony's copy book irreparably.
The split this caused with the European Nations was immense.. and the image that projected at the time, that of Tony being 'George's poodle'.. did damage both to future consideration of Tony's judgement, and the reputation of his Party.
Now it will also be recognised that all Party's in the Commons voted to support the US, but there has been constant debate for the past few months, as to the depth of our full commitment in Iraq..
Our Foreign Secretary has yesterday announced, that we will need to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan for, most likely, the next 30 years..
Now Afghanistan is an area the British man on the street sees as an hereditary conflict.. We've been there on and off for the past two hundred years..
But Iraq?
More and more opinion is going to turn in this country.. that while we will always be allies of the Americans, this particular conflict is theirs.. A commitment from us in Iraq, similar to that which we will have to make in Afghanistan..(should issues be examined without prejudice..) would not sit well with the British public..
This will be remembered as Tonys War.. just as the Falklands was Thatchers and the Second World War Churchills..
The outcome of this conflict, and the time Gordon has to make some impressive international diplomatic moves, will decide how History judges our involvement..
There have also been some general impressions of Gordon expressed which have not been put forward before. There are those who have always seen the Chancellor in the background, a gruff and imposing figure who delivered some absolutely terrible budgets, along with a few strokes of financial brilliance to ballance it all out..who now say he an 'intelligent and perspecatious man', who could possibly bring Labour out of the mire they are bogged in..
And should Gordon need some encouragement, today's polls have Labour leading the Conservatives, albeit by the slightest of margins, for the first time in eight months.
It is a circus act Tony has left Gordon.. a tightwire act involving a plethora of desperately important issues which Labour must address, and show some success with over the next 18 months..
Watch for Gordon and French President Sarkozi to become fast friends..
Watch for Angela Merkel to become Gordon's buddy as well..
And watch how Gordon handles the 'George Issue'.. for Gordon is aware that George himself is leaving.. that the next American Government will almost certainly be Democrat.. but George has less time than Gordon does before he vacates or wins..
Gordon can hang on until 2010.. and dealing with an American Party which is also re-considering it's role in the Middle East could make his successfull withdrawal from the war an honourable option..
Much to consider for our Gordon..
We'll look at them, as they rise to the surface.. and compare that which is emerging, to that which we are told actually comes into view..
Should be fun..

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Much to be pondered..
Let's begin with Gordon Brown, and the future of the Labour Party.. Tony held his last Cabinet Meeting today, looking over a group that will likely be vastly different this time next week. Gordon himself made a lengthy speech, praising Tony for his leadership over the past decade, recalling such changes as the minimum wage, the improvements(sic) in the National Health Service, the general rise of Britain as a world power again through it's extended relationships with other governments, and his handling of the EU... then Tony stood and, while it seemed through gritted teeth, said that he had complete confidence in Gordon's takeover of the Party, and the continued success of Labour..
However, it would appear the Gordon himself does not completely share Tonys hopes for Labour.. In what Gordon has called 'drawing together a Cabinet of the Greatest Talent'.. he has made approaches to the Liberal Democrats, offering the former leader of the LibDems, Lord Paddy Ashdown, the position of Northern Ireland Secretary.. a position Lord Ashdown has turned down with the greatest of contempt..
In fact, the LibDems have accused Gordon of conducting 'underhanded and dirty attempts at political amalgamation'.. and has issued a statement that they, as a Party, will not be drawn into what they call a 'bungalow annex' to bolster what Gordon obviously sees as the distinct possibility of Labour either losing the next General Election, or surviving as a minority government..
Sir Menzies Campbell has assured all concerned, that the Liberal Democrats will remain the 'real' opposition to whatever Party forms the next government, and will have no part in a coalition..
Bad news for Gordon..
And what makes it worse, especially in the eyes of the British man on the street, is that it shows a sense of desperation in Gordons outlook for what may be a difficult 18 months ahead, and a pessimistic view of what next may be the outcome at the polls..

Now, Tony's not quite done yet. He has a week to go, and will attend the next General Meeting of the European Parliament, where he has made it quite plain that he will not support a proposed 'European Constitution, if it would infringe on basically four issues.. those being Britains control over it's Judiciary, it's power to Parliamentary control over British Laws.. control over social services and benefits.. and perhaps most importantly, control over foreign policy..
All of these issues are at the heart of the European Constitution, and leaders of countries the likes of France and Germany have expressed dismay that Britain, the home of modern democracy, the originator of a Parliamentary and democratic system, would veto what would distinctly amount to the formation of an United States of Europe..and send any decision on whether Britain would agree to accepting 'full-membership' in this amalgamation of European powers, to a referendum by the British people. They don't seem to understand why Britains Parliament alone, can make the commitment..
Now herein the problem. Representation in this new European Parliament.
Countries the likes of Poland, which has a healthy population, would have less Members, due to representation by population, than some of the newer Eastern European countries which have just joined the EU..
Britain stands under the same umrella..
While it would benefit the Continental countries to a huge extent to have a common system of Social Welfare.. Judicial powers.. foreign policy powers.. economic unanimity.. It could do nothing but reduce Britain to yet another member of a conglomeration of developing and bankrupt countries, which are desperately trying to correct their own internal powers by allowing as many countries to join as possible, in the vain hope that numbers alone will force prosperity..
The British people have seen enough of their own sovereignty passed over to Brussels, and the EU knows this. A referendum in this country, would scuttle completely the plans drawn up by those countries wanting pre-eminence in this unification process, those being mainly France, and Germany.
One of Tonys last hurrahs, will be to turn this down, unless considerable changes are made to the draft 'constitution'..
As for the 'Berlin Agreement'.. Tony has already put paid to that by demanding that the British people themselves will have their vote, on whether or not we will turn over our national governments efficacy, to those across the Channel..
And those in France and Germany, understand the outcome to such a plebecite, all too well..

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An issue now faces the European Parliament, which might, in essence, define it's purpose..
What actually defines the drink..?
There has been a deliniation formulated.. with the Vodka belt to the north, the Beer belt in the middle, and the Wine belt to the south.. an exceedingly important definition..
And Poland has gone so far, as to set up tables in the foyer of the European Parliamentary Building, laden with this particular alcohol, along with Polish sausages and black bread to help soak up the booze, to demonstrate that their product is superior to that produced by those manufacturers who call their product 'Vodka'..
Now Polish Vodka is made from potatos or grains only.. the Poles would like that definition to apply to everything sold as vodka across the EU. They are open to persuasion on sugar beet, but nothing else.
And they are not alone.
The Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania...along with Finland, Denmark and Sweden are also backing efforts to tighten the legal definition in the EU's spirits regulation, being voted on in the European Parliament today.
"The vodka belt countries produce 70% of the EU's vodka.." says Finnish MEP Alexander Stubb, "..and we consume 70%, so we know what we are talking about."
That being the case.. one would think.. the Finns should be given the right to define their own tipple..
But.. that's politics..

Perhaps more pressing, is a debate going on in Britain today, concerning the state of the prison population.
Not that long ago, it was reported that there were fewer than 80 cells empty throughout the British Isles for new prisoners..
Ahh, the furore which ensued was quite something to watch, as the Government blamed the Judiciary, the Opposition blamed the Government, and the Judiciary blandly ignored the entire issue, and began housing new prisoners in Police holding cells while it waited for some political decision..
Now, it must be pointed out, that quite some time ago the Judiciary was given two directives from both the last Conservative government, and the present Labour regeme.. those being to sentence hard-core violent criminals with more vigour, and to ease off on those charged with lesser offences, the likes of soft-drug dealers and give these 'lesser criminals' more community based sentences..
The first directive the Judiciary took to with a passion.. but the second, seems to have been ignored.. Thus, the call has now be made, to build more prisons.
One cannot imagine a greater waste of public money and resources.
What is obviously a predeliction of those on the Bench to impose inappropriate sentences on those who break archaic laws or commit minor offences, must be brought to task.. A definition of that which defines 'dangerous and violent' offenders, as opposed to those who merely sell substances to what apears to be a willing clientel, or pinch what can admittedly be quite a quantity of goods from stores, must be formulated, and put stringently into effect..
We must define whether 'foreign' prisoners should be sent back to their countries of origin to serve their sentences..
And, we should rethink the Justice System itself, which has introduced some three thousand new offences over the past ten years.. ASBO's.. trespassing.. the list goes on and on and on..
There is a real danger, in any society, whether it be secular or religious, to control the population, ostensibly to protect those who do not break the Law. But when it becomes a reality that there are no innocents among us, simply because of the number of Laws we must obey, it follows that any one of us is a potential victim of the Justice System.
And that word 'victim', is becoming a reality.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ahh.. the Palistinian question..
One which has plagued the world for decades.. since the establishment of the State of Israel..
A focus.. around which the Arab Community can build a wall of inherited hatred..
Much the same, and the Roman Catholic and Protestant divisions in Ireland.. but in Ireland one didn't have the added factor of inter-tribal feudes which have spanned literally centuries..
Effectively..the political situation is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the Hamas-led coalition government and declared a state of emergency...
Not from the seat of government in the Gaza Strip though, but from the West Bank..
Now in the Gaza Strip itself, the Prime Minister, whom had been dismissed with the rest of those holding governmental seats.. is still in power..
Hamas controls Gaza.. Fatah controls the West Bank..
Now heaven forbid anyone mention the term 'civil war'..
As a sidebar.. the Israeli Ambassador to the UN said that as far as his country was concerned, this was a Palistinian issue, and they had no plans for military intervention.. But they would be building up a military presence above Gaza, to at least try and minimize the expected increase of rocket attacks from the south, now the Islamic Hamas movement was in charge..
Hamas.. Fatah.. all the myriad of groups and sects which fall in between the two factions.. each with a conviction that can only be called zealotry..
It's their 'human condition'.. of having always survived in an environment only a few decided to change, to settle down and choose fighting the desert to grow, rather than wandering one's tribes territory in a nomadic existence..with their faith, and their own ethics and honour..
The effect Israel had on the region was cataclysmic.
The Kibbutzim turned the desert into proper farmland.. bringing with them emmigrants from all over the world who were skilled.. who had elements of hundreds of various societies to bring with them, but with one burning desire, to be Israeli above all else..
The Westernisation of a piece of the Levant was not without it's struggles.. but it did make a fundamental change to the lives of the Palistinians.. It brought the present in contact with a society that had not really changed in millennia..
Therefor.. it had to have been expected that a coalition Palistinian Government would fail.. One which through coalitions, was actually in power in Parliament.. One which was Islamic, not democratic in nature..
The schism was a certainty..
One wonders how long it will be for Palistinian President asks either the UN.. the US.. or perhaps Israel itself, to roll over Gaza from north to south, and re-establish control.
Now Mahmood has a problem..
Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said Hamas was in total control of Gaza, adding that the crisis had wider implications.
"What is happening now is not only the collapse of the Palestinian national unity government but actually the collapse of the whole Palestinian Authority,"
He has called for 'General Elections' to be held as quickly as possible.. but lets be realistic..
The thought that lingers in the mind.. that bothers one at night.. is, that while we acknowledge the entire Middle East is as volotile as Krakatoa.. There is some pattern to all of this..
More thought need be given this..
But ponder this for a moment..
That we in the West.. are being directed from one Middle Eastern or Asian country to another..
From Iraq.. to Afghanistan.. to Palistine.. to Iran.. to Pakistan.. the al..
All in the same of 'The War On Terror'..
It's odd that States the likes of The UAE.. Saudi Arabia.. Libya..
Never mentioned at all..

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A couple of interesting points today..
It had been said for years, that the British education system was one of the best, if not the best in the world. That those who graduated with Degrees from British Universities, had some qualifications..
But, it seems the worldwide trend towards the effects of 'stress'.. and the movement towards making the lowest common denominator the norm.. has hit the Education Ministry..
The suggestion is that all testing be done away with, for students under the age of 16.
Now, we're talking about regularly scheduled major exams.. designed to see what the student has absorbed over a protracted period of time..
The government, in it's wisdom, has decided that this system is too 'stressfull'.. and I repeat that word because it is the word the legislation itself will contain..
Now, this begs a question.
What has happened over these past few generations, that now, we are one, faced with the problem of 'stress' among our general student body, and two, why it would require government legislation to 'dumb-down' our entire education system..
And they say History has no value..
A precis of the past 50 years.. shows a male workforce returning to find their jobs taken by those who used to run the homes.. Women entered the workforce, and stayed there.. this led to family disruptions on a scale which prompted the rebellion of the 60's.. the beginning of questioning by an entire generation, the values their parents had abandoned.. and this questioning continued through the middle 70's.. when the 'me' generation appeared.. and into the 80's and early 90's when on one hand there were those who had never left the 60's, or the 70's.. and those who became part of the 'Yuppie' movement..
Now these transitions.. these 'movements' were fuelled by one medium, that being television..
The world had become a place of what it believed, at the point, to be instantanious transmission of information. And those who's childhood and adolescence had been formed by the graphics of VietNam.. The Six Day War.. The Iran-Iraq War.. had lost their taste.. one might almost had become innured.. to International Affairs..
One other facet of society changed, one which is integral to the cause of the proposed government legislation, and that was the art of reading.
Only 50 years ago, parents used to read their children to sleep at night. Books, especially encyclopaedia, were a status symbol..
And then, in the mid- '90s.. came the Internet.
Not something immediately available to either individuals, or institutions, it soon became part of normal household goods.. the fridge.. the cooker.. the computer..
And this medium has indeed opened an entire new world, to the world.
One would think this a good thing..
It promotes reading.. provides an immense source for research for students..
But it also makes that which is happening around the world, truely instantaniously available..
Stress.. they say.
Perhaps the relative ignorance of life 50 years ago is proof of the maxim 'ignorance is bliss'..
If that is the case, the government is aiming at just that, with the elimination of examinations..
Yet one also wonder how those who are entering Higher School at the age of 16.. never having faced an exam.. will deal with that 'stress'..
It seems the function of a government to make a Gordeon Knot of every societal problem, by trying to please everybody.
The student seems to be getting lost in this game, somehow.. especially those with some degree of talent or intelligence..
There is the real danger that they will be swept away in the tide of mediocraty.. developing habits, because the work comes so easily to them, that will not serve them well in Higher Education..
What might also be seen as somewhat disturbing, is the weakening of a work ethic.. a phenomina which might well be described as a pandemic throughout the West..
We, as a country, are facing an economic threat which is potentially as great a threat to our way of life as the Second World War.. and we are concerned with 'stress'..
Perhaps it might be, that whose who exhibit such symptoms might be moved into classes which will better serve their natural abilities.. thus reducing 'stress'.. and instilling a sense of pride in doing that which they can do well..
That regular examinations, meant to reveal that which has actually been absorbed, and can coherently be put onto paper, or demonstrated in a shop.. could perhaps give a student something to aim for.. a goal..
Encouraging our student population to actually do some work when their not attending classes.. Earn some money.. Eliminate some of the boredom that invariably creeps in..
Case in point.. British strawberry growers are crying out for 'pickers'.. They figure about 45% of their crop with rot on the vine, because the government has cut down on quotas of migrant workers from non-EU countries.. and those from EU countries can find much more lucrative work than picking strawberries..
But a student.. doing it for a month.. could bank over £thousand..
The thought also crossed the mind, that to save these businesses, those convicted of petty crimes, and sentenced to Community Service, could be used for the same job..
Nevertheless.. back to the point of all of this.
The elimination of set examinations for those under the age of 16 is a ludicrous idea.. and to make one more point.. what it points to is the inability of the teachers themselves, to deal with the thoughts and observations of those under 16..
That they cannot see what they themselves have taught, in any other terms than that they themselves percieved it..
That it takes a flexible mind to distinguish whether a student that young, writing an essay answer, has grasped the point of, and answered the question posed, in their own way..
The Teachers Union supports the Government's idea..
No surprise in that, really..Oddly enough.. just to end this with an interesting study.. It's been shown that those children most addicted to both television, and video games, and who have the most problems with weight, are those from second or third generation immigrant families.. from Asia and India..
Seems the British, or perhaps indeed Western indifference, is exceedingly contageous..

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The back-room meetings can often be seen as the most interesting..
While the big news has been the committment hammered out by a Sarcovski/Merkel collaberation on the cut in global carbon emissions by the middle of the century, George has again held back on any firm indication that the US will hold to any agreed amounts..
But.. here's George and Vlad working out an agreement on the emplacement of a new defence system for Northern Europe.. will perhaps the first coalition between the US and Russia, in a defence initiative..
It would allow the construction of the interceptor missiles in Poland.. but rather than building a radar system in the Czeck Republic, the US would share the existing resources the Russians have in place..
Yup. sure signs there of a Cold War..
And.. both India and China have been 'urged' by the G8.. to sign up to the carbon emission targets the rest of the industrialised nations are beginning to do..
Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon says it is unfair to target India when the problem of global warming has been created by the industrialised countries.
Now, somehow this argument would be irrelevant..?
The fact is, the problem exists, and despite the fact that India has the third-largest growing economy, surely it must be obvious that it's prosperity must be tempered with responsibility.. There will surely be fingers pointed, when water levels rise to the point, where during the monsoon season, the entire Eastern Lowlands disappear underwater..
And the source of most of the country's food supply, eradicated..
India and China have an unique chance.
To achieve global presence of some stature, while doing it using energy sources that did not involve primarily the combustion of carbon fuels..
It would be an approach the Western World itself might want to have an active stake in.. supplying the technology and the manufacturing infrastructure to afford the Asian market bio-friendly energy..
That, while beginning the incredibly difficult conversion away from gasoline.. oil.. coal.. in an economy that has grown to it's presence size and stature dependant on those fuels..
Perhaps though.. in the case of China and India.. it could be a case of 'get 'em young.. and teach 'em right..'

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ahh.. this 'cold war' rhetoric.. It's almost as though it's a scenario the current leaders have drempt up to leave to their successors.. A return to the '50s and '60s..
Soon we'll be seeing modernized versions of the 'Duck and Cover' commercials..
The problem seems to be that George is saying that he's concerned about the Middle East.. and wants more missile bases in Europe to counter any threat those countries might pose..
But Vlad has taken the bit in his teeth, and told a German interviewer, that should the US construct these bases, he can only see it as further violations of the ABM Treaty.. which the US pulled out of for some reason in 1992, when George Sr. was in power..
Ponder that..
However, what the US is targeting what George calls 'rogue states'.. the likes if Iran and North Korea.. his plans are to build an interceptor-missile base in Poland.. and a radar base in the Czech Republic..
It's a make-work plan.. with no real function other than to keep the American manufacturing machine running, and give these two countries some guaranteed income..
"The language we're hearing from Vlad is nothing like that which we heard from Yeltsin.. Gorbachev.. Breshnev.. but is more reminiscant of Krushchev.."
That statement, by the way, from Polish Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski..
Vlad wants to ensure that his Russia remains the pre-eminent power in that part of the world.. and the amalgamation of States into the EU.. a huge economic entity.. has Rissia somewhat concerned..
But as for Russia targeting European Cities.. who cares?
With the new American interceptor emplacements built and running.. the threat of nuclear confrontation becomes academic..
Vlad has already discovered that he can manipulate the likes of Bulgaria.. with the effects flowing through the endirety of Europe, by simply turning off a pump.. This rhetoric is aimed at emphasising the fact that even though the USSR is dead, Russia is not..
Had Vlad the forsight, he would have approached these former Soviet States with a similar proposal..

And back to the Middle East itself for a moment..
The Palistinian Government has offered a cease-fire agreement to the Israeli's.. in an effort to stop the incessant Israeli air and rocket attacks.. and the Palistinian rocket attacks on Israeli settlements..
Heavy Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza has killed two Israelis in the last month and retaliatory Israeli military operations have killed about 50 Palestinians, many of them Hamas fighters.
Operative word there being 'many'.. collateral damage has almost become accepted by the entire Middle Eastern Community, as a regrettable, but acceptable fact of conflict..
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President ehud Olmert later this week.. but if a reasonable agreement on a cease-fire doesn't come out of the meeting.. with Abbas agreeing to control all the various Hammas factions.. then the 'regrettable, but acceptable' will continue.
One wouldn't hold one's breath for a resolution to this..
One more brief note for the moment..
American authorities have uncovered a plot to overthrow the Laotian Government, and has arrested 9 people alleged to be involved in the plot..
Among those arrested is former Laotian General Gen Van Pow.. a man the CIA backed the Communist guerillas before their seized power back in 1975.. He, and the other eight, emmigrated to the US in the 1970's.. after their cause was lost..
The plan hatched by these members of the ethnic Hmong group did involve large numbers of civilian casualities.. the blowing up of government buildings and such..
32 years ago.. the CIA was funding this very man, to bring about this very goal.. that being the downfall of the Communist Government.. It is still the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic.. a socialist state..
One must ponder whether this is simply another abandoned American covert war against Communism.. a paradox that those who once fought 'for the cause' are now facing prison for continuing to do so..
Or whether the US simply cannot afford to be linked with another coup attempt.. something that might be spun by another government to possible CIA links to another insurrection.. and the accusation that the US is 'either funding or condoning what could easily be construed as terrorism'..
Or.. consider that despite Laos being of the poorest countries of the world, with 70% of the workforce producing subsistance agriculture.. it's economy grew at 7.5% last year.. 35th in world rankings..
Consider also, that China is the most likely of countries to be developing Laotian ties, and at this point..
The US would not like to be linked to any violent overthrows anywhere in the Far East, with the possible exception of North Korea.. Not right now.
Interesting though..
Once a valued ally.. now a criminal..
It's a disposable society..
So much political noise these past days.. been difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff..
What with Vlad threatening to target European cities if the US continues to place nuclear arms in Eastern European countries... accusing the British of 'politicising' the poisoning of Alexander Litvenyenko..his having to deal with a Chinese government that is pulling farther and farther away from Moscow, and it's tenuous but traditional ties to common 'Communism'..
But.. when all's said and done, it's all part of the 'political noise'..
As China did last week, so Vlad has done this..
Russia and Libia have both been mentioned when a resumption of the 'cold war'..noteably by the American Secretary of the State.. Condalessa.. that Vlad was 'stuck in the cold war era'..
Exceedingly diplomatic, that, one would think..
But the trade restrictions that would ensue in such a situation would set the balance of the world economy on it's ear..
Call it a 'restructuring'.. or a 'revolution'.. the former USSR is changing..
But there are those who with very little persuasion, return to the 'old'ways'.. within their separate countries.. and instead of being vassal states to Russia, would become economic partners..
Then.. George gets a fish in the face, with a judge tossing out two cases being pressed against detainees at Gitmo.. the Judiciary Ruling was that the '..military has not presented enough evidence to link these two men with terrorist activities..'
Casts doubt on Georges tolerance of such a blatent and politically stupid breach of basic American Civil Rights.. doubts on the methods of his 'War On Terror'.. the the effectiveness of the intelligence being fed those in power..
But George is leaving anyway, and his mistakes will go with him. The cleanup effort will needs be drastic on all fronts.. but it will be George who'll carry this mark, against his name, in history.
So.. while embarassing, and in need of immediate attention.. this can be spun away..
And, we have one of leaders of al Fatah.. the Palistinian rebel group.. saying the fight against the elected government will escallate..
You'll recall a couple of days ago this same man, Abu Huiera, said that his people would fight on 'to their last drop of blood'..
His group is ready to take their battle to yet another refugee camp.. this time a larger one, near Sidon..
We will soon be hearing of further civilian deaths in intense gunfights, again in an area chosen by the 'rebels'.. not the residents..
One wonders how the body count in these intramural squabbles, compares with that of the Israeli's.. factoring in the length of time the relative conflicts have been going on..
And just perhaps to take some of the Guantanamo Bay debacle.. Condaleesa has decided to attack Venezuelan President Hugao Chavez.. for refusing to renew the license of an 'opposition' television station..basically she said the closure of Radio Caracas TV (RCTV) was "undemocratic" and called for the Organization of American States to investigate.
Hugo has basically told Condalessa to 'mind her own business..'
Or words to that effect..
But the picture that seems to emerge, considering events of the past couple of weeks.. is that the EU, and Britain, are preparing for some diplomatic problems with the Kremlin, as Vlad tries to slow the Westernisation of his country, and the diminishing values of 'marxism' by signing energy deals with African and Eastern European States..
That the US will continue as it is in the Middle East until there's a change in administration, and will cultivate it's own allies in South America.. denigrating those who accepted with open arms Iranian President Ahmadenejad and supporting those who have declared themselves to be 'allies'..
That there will be a proper adjustment in both the stock markets and the values of international currency, for China will certainly devalue it's yuan, when it's to China's advantage..
And the Middle East..
Well one can only hope that George's advisors have got it right, and there remains enough time to carry out their stabalisation plans..
Seems to be though.. this week, some lines have been drawn..

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The business of violence is having a bumper week..
Lebanese troops have stepped up their efforts to dislodge al Fatah from a Palistinian refugee camp.. latest reports have a company of the rebel group cut off, and hiding in Mosques and private homes, much to the dismay of the owners, it must be added..
This promises to be profitable, with the leaders of al Fatah promising 'to fight to the last drop of blood'.. and the Lebanese government absolutely determined to wipe them out..
Meanwhile, back in Beruit, we have two rival Sunni groups.. residents of Amiriya in Baghdad have been joined by Sunni militants from nationalist groups to rid themselves of al-Qaeda fighters..
US forces have jumped at the chance to strike a deal with the groups less hostile to them.
The al-Qaeda group's severe interpretation of Islam, its use of foreign fighters and its brutality appear to be the main factors driving local hostility towards them..
And.. a US warship has carried out a missile attack on a Somali village. where Islamist militants are reported to have set up a base.
Somali officials said a remote village in the Puntland region was bombarded, days after foreign militants arrived.
American reports suggest the target was an al-Qaeda operative suspected of involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The strike would be at least the third by the US in Somali territory in 2007.
House to house fighting.. religious division with one sect picking off the others.. even a naval bombardment..
And all that, while it's business as usual in Darfur.. Afghanistan.. Iraq..Sri Lanka.. Tanzania.. ahh the list is literally endless..

Meanwhile, those who would protest the upcoming meeting of the G8 are in Rostock this afternoon.. At the moment, estimates are there are some 40 to 45 thousand proestors on the streets, but literally thousands more are appearing by the moment..
13 thousand police are on duty in this small town.. some 13 miles away from Heiligendamm, where the leaders will meet..
Many protesters have travelled to Rostock from all over Europe.. some by bicycle from Denmark, while others came in by train or bus.
Most protesters say they want to stage a peaceful demonstration to vent at G8 leaders...
To quote one protester.."It's very important people all over the world come and protest against the politics of G8, which actually refer to all people of the world, although they are driven from the high elite in the G8 countries," ..
They actually use citizens of the world and the environment of the world as their playground to achieve more money and endless power.."
Somewhat simplistic, but something must be done to light a fire under these leaders, or more pointedly, to their advisors, the importance of keeping their financial commitments.. and keeping these protesters happy..
To meet their commitment to Africa in particular, and the establishment of an international infrastructure for the distribution of the food and equipmment, of the educational opportunities..
Do this, and the wind is taken from the sails of many a protester..
Allow the release of more environmentally friendly cars..
Throw a few cookies..
Then.. the business of war, and governmental manipulation of the distribution of drugs throughout the world can continue.. the masses can be placated.. and profits will continue to rise..
The profit here being of course, clout..
This is one of the many meetings which decide who it is politically expedient to allow to starve.. to prosper..
Who will pledge to give the most while working with already stretched budgets built of a false economy.. and to whom with that be given..
Should be interesting.. carbon emissions.. economic aid.. trade subsidies and concessions..
And it wouldn't be a surprise if there were some mention as to how long China will be designated a 'deveoping nation'.. considering it's Trade Surplus with the US alone..
The 'Three Gorges Dam' is one hell of an engineering feat for a nation that's still getting exception from any carbon emissions whatsoever.. even taking the size of the job facing China, it has the treasury to pay for it all.. and certainly, the workers..

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