“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”

That well-known quotation from L. P. Hartley‘s well-known novel, “The Go-Between“, sums up the current dispute between Spain and Mexico. Spain’s government has refused a demand from Mexico’s new president that it apologise for conquering the country five hundred years ago. Firing the first shots in what threatens to become a diplomatic row, the Left-wing Mexican leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Monday that he had sent letters to Spain’s King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologize for crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of what is today Mexico. “There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was

Continue reading

Russia continues Soviet disinformation tactics

I’ve noticed something of a blitz of pro-Russian propaganda, particularly in the military technology sphere, over the past couple of years.  It’s gotten so bad that some outlets (yes, I’m looking at you, Zero Hedge) run pro-Russia articles almost daily, trying to portray that country as a neglected superpower that can still make a lot of trouble for the USA.  Unfortunately, those behind this campaign have overplayed their hand.  Their non-stop bombardment of propaganda is beginning to wear thin, because there’s very little fact backing it up. Russia’s submarines are certainly capable of posing a threat:  the US armed forces

Continue reading

China: worrying signs

China’s economy is now regarded as the largest in the world, by most normal standards of measurements.  Many – in some economic sectors, most – of the consumer goods sold in Europe and the USA are sourced from Chinese factories.  Any impact on the Chinese economy would undoubtedly have a ripple effect in our own – and not just economic, either, as I’ll explain later. That’s why three recent reports have concerned me.  I’ve linked to each one, followed by an extract to highlight the issues they note.  Click each headline to read the rest of the article – which I

Continue reading

Will Iran start a general war in the Middle East?

Strategy Page reports that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which is being hammered by Israel in Syria, is now threatening to unleash terrorist movements Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. Iranian allies Hezbollah and Hamas are both threatening “war with Israel.” Such threats are not made without Iranian permission. That has long been the main Israeli fear, that Iran would support a simultaneous attack by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Israel believed Iran would wait until it had built a significant force of fighters and rockets in Syria before trying such an attack. Iran, however, is more calculating than most Islamic terror

Continue reading

Wars and conflicts around the world

Strategy Page has published its latest update on wars, conflicts and disturbances currently in progress around the world, some very hot, others less so.  It includes the following: Afghanistan Algeria Balkans Central Asia Chad China Colombia Congo Ethiopia India-Pakistan Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Korea Kurdish War Libya Mali Mexico Myanmar Nigeria Philippines Russia Rwanda/Burundi Somalia Sudan Syria Thailand Uganda Yemen Ukraine isn’t listed, but is covered under Russia. Those who think that the world is a peaceful place, filled with sweetness and light . . . clearly haven’t been paying attention. Peter

Continue reading

This man gets it

I have no personal knowledge of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) at all.  I can’t say whether he’s a good or a bad politician, because I have no experience of or with him, and I won’t make that judgment based only on what others say about him.  Nevertheless, his remarks this weekend on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” about the President’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria show, IMHO, an appreciation for the real issues involved.  Here are some excerpts. You know, I think that we should look at some of the statements of the people who are advocating that we stay in Afghanistan

Continue reading

Syria: why is the USA still there at all?

I’ve noted President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, and the outcry that’s followed.  You’d think this country was abandoning poor, innocent people to the mercies of Nazi concentration camps or Soviet gulags, to read and listen to all the fuss.  It’s nowhere near that simple.  Consider these points. In the first place, the President is right.  ISIS has been defeated on the battlefield.  Can it come back?  Sure it can – just as ISIS itself was merely the latest variation on the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist theme to arise in the Middle East over a long, long period.  ISIS was nothing new

Continue reading

Not a bad likeness

Stemming from the gilets jaunes protests in France, someone drew this portrait of President Trump.  I received it via e-mail, so I don’t know who the artist is.  French, perhaps?  Click the image for a larger view. Yellow?  Well, sacred blue and all that sort of thing! Peter

Continue reading

The Philippines’ conundrum over China – and the USA’s, too

Bullying tactics often work if the one being bullied doesn’t have the muscle, strength or willpower to stand up to the bully.  That pretty much sums up what seems to be happening between China and the Philippines right now. Strategy Page reports: President Duterte is trying to be realistic in his policy towards China but that seems to be making the situation worse. Duterte points out that China is already occupying the disputed territory in the South China Sea and no one is willing or able to push them out. China has hired several hundred Chinese fishing boats and their crews as

Continue reading

Is Colombia’s civil war moving to Venezuela?

There’s an excellent in-depth article on the current situation in Venezuela over at Strategy Page.  You should read the whole thing – it contains far more information than you’ll get from the mainstream media.  Among the nuggets in the article was the fact that Colombian leftist rebels are moving their operations to Venezuela, because it’s a safer area for them to operate than their own country. There has been an enormous increase in crime, both official (government employees demanding probes for any reason) and unofficial. Gangs are taking control of many areas, often despite opposition from the security forces. Some of these

Continue reading