Archive for August, 2014

Boris Beats the Drum, Palestine’s Punishment and World Police

August 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Blonde Ambition

Boris Johnson has not exactly stunned the Westminster village by announcing his intention to run for parliament in 2015. Cameron has issued an enthusiastic, if ‘what else could he say?’ welcome for this. With less than a year to go before the next British General Election. Johnson has chosen his moment to strike. What is Boris playing at? What’s he up to then?

For all the buffoonery and wit, there is a keen strategising brain at work. Johnson knows that on current polls, the likely result will see the Tories being booted from Office and the concomitant likely resignation of David Cameron as party leader. Then who’s in line to pick up the pieces?

Apart from George Osborne and Teresa May, up steps Boris Johnson as Blonde Ambition himself, back to fulfil his destiny as leader until the next election and then, cripes, Prime Minister himself! As Private Eye might say; ‘there’s a turn up for the books, eh readers?!’

The man has style. He has successfully mixed right wing, Thatcherite free market mercantilism along with social liberalism and some nudges to the Left. He is, as politicians go, incredibly well known and popular. London should really be a Labour city; he has bucked the trend and won two mayoral elections in a row.

But nobody knows who’s going to win in 2015, let alone 2019 or 2020. Boris is in the frame now though and on past form, it would be foolhardy to bet against the irresistible rise of Boris Johnson.

Israel and McCarthyism

Israel has a right to exist. It has a right to defend itself. It does not have a right to commit war crimes. What has happened in the recent ‘mowing the lawn’ operation contravenes all international law and humanitarian instincts. What is so devastating for American critics of Netanyahu and Likud in particular is that any criticism of Israel is wilfully misinterpreted as criticism of the Jewish People and therefore Anti-Semitism. These are insidious McCarthy-ite tactics and have been adopted by the Israeli Right since 1967; any attack on Israel’s policy is an attack on the Jews. This is patently absurd. If one is to criticise British or American Government, does that make one anti-British or anti-American? Or, if you’re critical of the Saudi Arabian regime, does that mean you’re anti-Muslim or anti-Arab? Or does is mean that by being critical of one side, you are uncritically supportive of the other? No, no, and no. The true Internationalist tries to uphold a system of universal human rights. But there’s also a recognition that we have a duty to interrogate any narratives that invert and subvert the truth. The ongoing occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands is a running sore in the Middle East. A two-state solution will ultimately have to be found, one that gives both sides security. This may not be possible for decades; but it helps nobody to argue that Israel is entitled to do whatever the state chooses to do, From this we get the old saw; might is right. This solves nothing.

World Police – Necessary for Peace
It may seem naive and is probably a pipe-dream but there’s a need for a fast reacting, well equipped World standing army that can go into trouble zones at short notice. Yes, there’s the United States. There lies the problem; every time the US acts unilaterally, there will be critics citing an imperial motive. So when it comes to humanitarian intervention to try and prevent ISIS doing their evil work in Iraq, the US is the only major power with the resources and the will to react in a swift manner to this crisis. But as soon as they do react, the inevitable criticism starts; they’re just doing it for geo-political reasons, for oil and because of their GI Joe obsession. In other words, they’re damned when they do and damned when they don’t. So a global military unit that could be under mixed command, like the UN, would have a lot to offer when it comes to being able to intervene in conflagrations in what would be seen as in an impartial manner. Of course there are huge problems to setting up such an effective global police force but let’s look at what we can co-operate on when we put our heads together. In trade, there are a series of controversial international agreements, but agreements nevertheless, outlining the overall rules of commerce. In Space, there is collaboration between many nations; the aim is to work together for a common good. Surely, if we accept that wars and conflict are unlikely to be permanently eradicated,  it would make perfect sense to establish a force that can represent the best of humanity; humanitarian intervention can work if there is a consensus on the bona fides of the peacemakers.
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