Thursday, January 17, 2008

Russia, the gangster state

I think it was Simon Sebag-Montefiore who was once quoted as saying:
"If you want to know what Russia is like under Putin, watch the Sopranos".
Probably a more accurate analogy than the cold war comparisons the Foreign Secretary has been making. The big difference between the cold war and the present day is that we took the threat from the Soviets a little more seriously. These days, when it comes to dealing with rogue states, we've become a bunch of wimps. Ahmadinejad knows it, and Putin knows it. That's why they can act with impunity against us, knowing the worst they have to fear are a few feeble protests.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Peace in Pakistan matters far more than peace in the Middle East

One often hears the refrain that the Israel Palestine conflict, our anti-terror laws, or Britain's presence in Iraq has acted as a "recruiting sergeant" for Muslim extremists.

Unfortunately, the tragic events in Pakistan are a timely reminder that even if there is peace in the Middle East or withdrawal from Iraq, a far bigger and more dangerous battle is taking place between Muslims.

To quote William Shawcross....
...the murder of Bhutto should also demonstrate — yet again — that this war is not the fault of the Israelis. The Islamists did not kill Benazir Bhutto because of concern about the West Bank. They killed her because they feared her power to give the Pakistani people more than the Islamists want them to have, and because they seek to push Pakistan into total chaos and unlimited carnage.
To the Islamists, women who wear short skirts, men who consume alcohol, and any form of sexual equality are all "recruiting sergeants" for terrorism. The sooner we wake up to this reality the better.

Articles worth reading

I haven't had much of a chance to blog as I've been away, but there are a few articles worth reading....
  1. Times leader on secular fundamentalism
  2. William Kristol writing in the Guardian about the success of the Iraq Surge
  3. Nick Cohen writing in the Observer about the backlash against environmentalists

Why I wouldn't give a penny to the NSPCC

I once wrote on my blog, that it's only a matter of time before Supernanny and her naughty step are relegated to the ever growing list of "abusive parenting techniques". So when I read that the NSPCC set up a body to protect children who appear on reality tv shows, I wasn't particularly surprised.

For too long, the NSPCC have monopolised the child abuse industry, but as Nick Hume has so aptly put it, they are fast becoming a parody of themselves.

It all makes me wonder how long the public will continue to take them seriously.