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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yet another domino falls in the Eurozone, with Portugal expected to ask for a 'bailout' loan, to hold their economy together.. With yesterday's collapse of the government, and the resignation of Socrates, that country is now scrambling to arrange yet another general election, a process which could take months, and those who had supported the government in the past, are now left with a shambolic situation..
There is also concern here in Britain, with the possibility of our participation in this bailout.. with the budget only announced yesterday, there are questions as to whether we ourselves can afford to pump some 30 odd billions of Pounds Sterling to keep yet another economy from total collapse..
Should the Portuguese financial situation worsen, it will cause a ripple effect throughout the EU, with financial institutions watching closely the country's standing with analysts the likes of Standard and Poors, which has already downgraded Portugal to an A3 credit risk..
As yet, Portugal has not followed the actions of Greece and Ireland, both of which accepted loans from the IMF at rates which will not be condusive to a recovery within the forseeable future. But, the odds are stacked against such a loan not being asked for, leaving the future of the Eurozone, the Euro itself, and the EU in some question..
We'll see over the course of today, with the leaders of the EU countries meeting in Brussels, with the plan having been discussions on how the growing debt problems of the member nations might be addressed.
One must ask how many straws it will take, to bring this camel down..

The airstrikes continue in Libya overnight, as coalition sources saying they now have virtual complete control of Libyan airspace.. British forces have conducted some 59 sorties against Mohammar's military machine, and there are no plans to bring this bombing to an end. In fact, with the Libyan airforce effectively out of the equation, those coalition aircraft can now fly lower missions, making targetting government military forces easier.
Meanwhile, the Libyan propaganda machine continues to pump out reports of civilian casualties, while the coalition counterpart insisting their attacks are on military targets only..The latest figures from Mohammar are, that more than 100 civilian deaths have been recorded so far..
Again, with the number of human shields that man has inspired, that figure may well be conservative. But it begs the question, if you choose to become involved in armed conflict, are you then a member of the armed forces, or are you still a civilian..?
Regardless, there are those loyal to the regime who are using themselves as human shields, and that would seem to guarantee there be some 'civilian' casualties, brought about by the actions of the regime itself..
There's a fine line between combatant and non-combatant when it comes to the issue of human shields.. Whether one takes up arms, or deliberately puts oneself in harms way.. one is making a choice to 'serve' the regeme..

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