Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
It's been a truly amazing few days for anyone who recalls anything about the many and varied reasons George Bush and Tony Blair have given us for invading Iraq.
The mess they have helped to generate is awesome in its scope and our children are going to be living with the consequences of the new instabilities in the middle east for a very long time.
Thinking about it, as I heard the latest talking head explaining why now is the time for our military withdrawal*, I remembered the playing cards which the pentagon issued after reaching Baghdad - each one picturing one of Saddam's significant allies.
From there, it wasn't very far to a good cartoon idea. I'm posting it here in traditional form - but there's an animated version up at my site too - use the link at top right or just click on the headline to this article.
* Oh, and why are we talking about withdrawing now? The answer is the US mid-term elections and the likelihood of Bush and the Republicans losing big. And the UK? We're just talking about it because the Americans are.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Following on from the revelation that North Korea has the bomb, everyone is now trying to stay calm - but with about as much success as Corporal Jones from Dads Army.
At a quick count in the past week, I have read stories, presumeably eminating from sources in our own and the US government, that the bomb test;
a) may not have taken place at all
b) must have been very small indeed
c) must have been so small as to have been barely worth recording
Take your pick.
Anyway, what we do know is that US Secretary of State Condi Rice has been despatched to the region to calm down the terrified locals and promise that if Kim Jong-Il twitches, the US will nuke the country faster than the roadrunner can outfox Wile E. Coyote.
Reassuring for all concerned.
It made me think about taking one's eyes off the ball - North Korea has a been an issue a long time and the Bush administration chose to ignore it in favour of regime change in Iraq. I won't talk about that now, but Simon Jenkins has written a thoughtful piece about it in The Guardian today.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Ignoring the excitements over the head of the British Army having opinions in public - and miscreant Labour MPs posting rude videos on YouTube about David Cameron's wife - this week's real story was North Korea and its 'nuclear' test.
The ironies and lies that were told about Iraq's possession of WMD only look worse now - and the really black laugh, is that there really isn't anything the great powers can do about what Kim Jong-il appears to have done.
Korea was partitioned after the Korean War (1950-53) with the north going communist (under Chinese patronage) and the south staying pluralist (guaranteed by the US).
The cold war ensured massive distrust across the border and a long and costly arms race - of which, this appears to be the culmination.
There has been a large outbreak of what-can-we-do'ism as a result. And the unhappy answer, is probably nothing at all.
The weak state of North Korea's economy means that sanctions are probably useless, there is precious little international trade that can be stopped.
Militarily, the options are poor and also extremely inflamatory - China is a next door neighbour. And it is understandably keen to avoid violence and any subsequent mass movement of refugees across the river Yalu and into its southern provinces.
And this lack of useful options isn't terribly reassuring to other local states including South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
So, what price the start of a new regional arms race - after all, in their position, what would you do?
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Well, the rebranding exercise in BoMo, sorry, Bournemouth, is over and now all the world knows about the scary sight of a Tory who appears to be human.
Some commentators claim that the job of leader of the opposition is the 'worst in politics.' I'm not so sure myself. At times, I think it must have a rather appealing freedom to it. You can do- and say - just about anything, with the single aim of getting right up the government's nose.
I think it's becoming clear that David Cameron has a bit of a flair for it.
Anyone up for the prospect of watching lumbering old Gordon chasing him around the media debates?
I chose to draw DC?, Dave?, our future leader? as a balloon launching into a sky full of old-style Tory Zeppelin balloons (very definitely obsolete technologies.) Enjoy