November 10, 2010 | Space

It is indeed good that President Obama is at last looking at SPACE, with proposals for stopping the could-be endless (and certainly highly dangerous) pollution being caused by abandoned space craft.

BUT with the National Space Policy of the United States of America [published June 28th 2010] he is not proposing anything that would prevent [...]


November 10, 2010 | US/China

The US has been goading China in various non-economic ways: sending aircraft carriers into seas close to China and far from the US; backing Japan over island sovereignty disputes; proposing to “moderate” other bilateral disputes in China’s, not the US’s, backyard.

According to a Russian scholar, the uninhabited, but seabed-rich, islands were indeed recognised as [...]


November 10, 2010 | Missile Defence/Proliferation

The new US “Prompt Global Strike” programme – even if it plans to use “conventional” warheads – and systems like the X37 (a pilotless space plane, to stay up for nine months) will have discouraged actual and potential proliferators from signing anything serious at the NPT Review Conference. On the contrary, they will probably encourage [...]


November 10, 2010 | The Israel/Palestine Problem

The problem is alas simple: way back in World War One, the Balfour Declaration established the concept of a home for the Jews being established in Palestine, provided the existing inhabitants were not disturbed.

This was asking for trouble: Palestine was not ‘a country without people’; and the Jews, ‘without a country’, turned out to be [...]


November 10, 2010 | Deterrence

Nuclear deterrence hasn’t worked too badly for us all since 1945: it has stopped fools thinking they could attack nuclear-weapon states with impunity. Iran, encircled as she is by nuclear weapons on all sides, is guaranteed, surely, to think of some kind of deterrent – nuclear or otherwise.

With Israel and the United States claiming [...]


November 10, 2010 | The Iraq War

The process that led UK to war was based, we now know, on a pack of lies. Indeed if Saddam Hussein had actually had a “45 minute missile strike” to hand, Deterrence would surely have operated and Tony Blair – and possibly even George W. Bush – would have been “deterred” from attacking. Other governments [...]


November 10, 2010 | Circumcision and Paranoia

Remembering a book I’d read about male circumcision by an American Jewish doctor whose name I foolishly forget and can’t find, it struck me that the answer to why Americans are so panicky, might lie there.

30-50 years ago, apparently a vast majority – some 80% – of American boy babies were circumcised – at [...]


November 10, 2010 | Dreadful Solution?

The American economy picked up after 1938 when there was a war, and massive “deficit spending”. But thank you, that’s hardly the cure we want, though with sabre-rattling against Iran and naval posturing in the Far East is what we might easily get.

If the United States want a fruitful discussion with China on the subject [...]


November 10, 2010 | Haikus

Clouds: lizard pattern
against white early sky, shifting to
zebra – grey, still on white.

Now: mottled, like
on a cow – beige-haloed spots -
West to East – fast…

And banks of cumulus
grey on grey, against faint, long,
steps of other grey.

At last the sun appears,
peers through the southern trees:
the sky begins to clear…

Coffee – caffe~latte – hot
goes to the back [...]


November 10, 2010 | Consequences

‘Ask for trouble and you’ll get it’; knowing this is the basic requirement for national decision-makers.

And very few of them seem to pay much attention to the likely responses to their actions.