June 19, 2017

Frederick the Great of Prussia was a friend of Voltaire and enjoyed ribald evenings with the philosopher discussing the intricacies of life’s dos and don’ts. Before becoming king he was persuaded by Voltaire to become a pacifist. But on ascending to the throne he became the most ferocious and successful of Europe’s warrior leaders. He said of himsel...

June 11, 2017

“The best lack all conviction”, wrote the Irish poet, William Yeats, “while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Is this not true of America today? Some of the “best” are working to bring down President Donald Trump yet are they ready to cut to the chase? He has cards up his sleeve. He came to power partly because he won the support of worki...

June 5, 2017

It was all smiles out on the range last week when, against a deep blue sky, an American interceptor rocket took out an incoming “enemy” long-range, missile (which in a real attack would be carrying a nuclear warhead). Generals and Congressmen and women jumped for joy. 

But what was there to be joyous about? Over the decades of the Cold War the nuclea...

May 29, 2017

In a maudlin sort of way there is a funny story that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who died on Friday, sometimes told. It was when he was national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. It was his job to take any calls from the military on a suspected incoming nuclear attack. In a matter of seconds he had to evaluate it and decide whether to tell the pr...

May 16, 2017

During the French election no candidate talked about France’s nuclear weapons. In Britain, the subject has been raised in its election in an attempt to undermine the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. But the long-time anti-bomb activist compromised his views, saying in effect he was against them but Labour Party policy was for them. Meanwhile, the...

May 9, 2017

Does anyone, however well-informed, know what President Donald Trump thinks about President Vladimir Putin? I hazard a guess that he is still more pro than anti, only he doesn’t quite know where to begin.

It’s time overdue that they met and hammered out on the anvil what their mutual interests are.

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Ob...

May 2, 2017

Last May a court in Senegal convicted and sentenced to life-imprisonment Hissene Habre, the former ruler of Chad, for the crime of torture and crimes against humanity. On Thursday last, an appeal court upheld the sentence and now Habre, who ran from Chad after a coup in a military transport that airlifted him, his entourage and a Mercedes to what he...

April 25, 2017

The result of the first round of the French presidential election has given the Euro-pessimists a knock over the head. About time too. The European Union is not going to face break up. Big crises come but they also go. The Euro currency crisis was not dealt with as well as it should have been- austerity was the policy of the long way round- but it p...

April 18, 2017

There are 29 states which have at one time or another set about becoming nuclear weapons powers or have explored the possibility. Most have failed or drawn back. Only the US, Russia, France, UK, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea have crossed the threshold. Only the first five have long range, nuclear-tipped, missiles. North Korea wants...

April 10, 2017

Are our governments economical with the truth, if not maliciously misleading? Do governments the world over lie? Of course yes, because there are always occasions when realpolitik appears to demand it.

Most recently, many are arguing, we have seen an attempt to obfuscate the truth when President Donald Trump ordered missiles to be fired at an airbase...

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