Thursday, January 31, 2002

Zim Watch

Surprisingly quiet. Two journalists are arrested, and foreign journalists are refused. Here's a South African take on the failure to suspend (the local independent press appears subdued on this), and the Africans try to arrange a safe exit for Bob. Here's the official Commonwealth text. The election commission has a load of army bods in it - and there are allegations of unauthorised ballot papers being handed out. The IMF wants some cash, or else no aid - and there's a bread shortage on the horizon as well as a Malaria epidemic in Harare. Oh well, the stock market's good.
After a few hopeful moves, Pakistan has threatened nuclear war in case of an Indian attack. India has also called on Pakistan to leave Kashmir before peace talks. I'll find the link for the latter story later.

Peace among the Pashtuns

According to Al-Jazera forty people have died in Gardiz. Afghanistan is not a potential problem, not at all.

After a few hopeful moves, Pakistan has threatened nuclear war in case of an Indian attack. India has also called on Pakistan to leave Kashmir before peace talks. I'll find the link for the latter story later.
IDS is set to attack Blair for his "utopian foreign policy". We should concentrate more on our national interest. He actually uses the 'r' word, r for realism that is. And just as I swoon some more he announces that the Tories will opose our deployment in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Africa - and let America find its own accomodation with Muslim fanatics. I was dreaming about the last bit.

And as for acting in the national interest as regards Zimbabwe (ie ignore it), no chance.

Any way more reporting once the speech is delivered later today.

Would you buy a used carpet off this man?

Tony and Cherie Blair in India earlier this year
A comment from my elusive colleague, Christopher Montgomery, on Julian Lewis:

Julian is a very starnge cove, but essentailly a decent, and very hard working guy. Duncan Smith made him (and his nominal front bench rank is junior whip) the party's 'integrity and standards' bod, solely because he had to give him some pat on the back for all the stuff he did during the leadership election.

As to Julian's politics, as Emmanuel says, he is a frenetic, albeit sincere, stooge of America, and a determined partisan of Israel. I don't agree with him on any of that, but give him his due: he is entirely honest and open about his opinions, and he tries to advance his arguments on the basis of logic. All balls, but there we are.

There are other comments on here, and if you don't like what is written, why not join in?

Ripples from Zim

So we failed to suspend Zim from the Commonwealth. The Anglosphere seems awfully First World at the moment, does it not. I will get some well deserved specks of white froth directed my way for this, but it does seem that all those condemning Zim have a similar skin hue. So is Zim part of the Anglosphere? South Africa? India?

It also raises the point of military action. Where on earth will we station any troops?

It also raises a question as to how the hell they didn't see this coming, and if they did why did they want to give such a pre-election fillip to Mugabe? Any way, shouldn't we simply suspend ourselves from the Commonwealth, I don't see why our foreign aid budget or diplomatic efforts should go on propping up nasty (English speaking) dictatorships.

In Joke

Has Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings been promoted? Natalie Solent seems to think so, and says he's now working for the Guardian. The truth, alas, is a bit more prosaic.
Wednesday, January 30, 2002
This should get you through to a Bable Fish type translation of Al-Jazera.

If prompted for a username and password it is:

Breaking News

They failed to suspend Mugabe from the commonwealth. Bit of a pratfall.

Bucket on the head time

Yes, I feel like I have been going around with a bucket on my head. I've just got a rather cross comment (within the comment box) on a piece that I wrote yesterday. I now have an idea as to why all the anglo-sphere true believers are convinced that I'm implying that they're racists. It genuinely puzzled me until one of them actually objected to the term Anglospheracist. I had been using the term purely neutrally, as in "Marxist" or "Socialist", just a use of the suffix -ist. I didnt look at it like "Anglosphe-racist", which is how a lot of people seem to have seen it.

The Anglosphere may be a bad concept, but I accept that it is not a racist one. So here's an apology for insensitivity and, inavertant slander, not for slander itself as it was never intended. I would say that if the term gets into common currency it will also be mangled by far less friendly hands.

So I will try to avoid the term Anglospheracist, and instead use a less pernicious one like "white commonwealth suppremacist". That was a joke, by the way.

And if you didn't click on the link in the previous posting, Perry de Haviland wants you to do so again.
There was a response to the argument that Britain is better off in the European Union. Not the fact by fact dissection that this deserves, but a start nonetheless.

While we're in the weird realm of the Anarcho-Militarists, this speculation on the interaction of domestic politics and foreign policy is worth a read.

Bad Joke

George W. Bush and Tony Blair are at a White House dinner.
One of the guests walks over to them and asks what they're discussing.
"We are making up the plans for World War III", says Bush.
"Wow", says the guest. "And what are the plans?"
"We're gonna kill 14 million Muslims and one dentist", answers Bush.
The guest looks to be a bit confused. "" He says. "Why will you kill one dentist?"
Blair pats Bush on the shoulder and says, "What did I tell you? Nobody is gonna ask about the Muslims."

The Crack Up

Things seem to be cracking up, as a senior Mugabe ally, Edson Zvobgo, leads a parliamentary revolt that buries Mugabe's media bill. The army seems to be behind Mugabe's youth brigade. Britain tries to kick Zim out of the Commonwealth, perhaps if we just left the thing then there would be no problem in legitimising the dictator. The government claims that it is "logistically impossible" to hold pre-election elections in Harare (forecast MDC landslide).

Better off in?

A rather counter intuitive account of the EU. Basically it argues that the American Federal government is more intrusive than the European Union, and Britain is best advised - for the sake of freedom, prosperity and tradition - to keep with the devil it knows. It gets a couple of things wrong (like the idea that EU states are allowed to unilaterally leave - they can only do so if all the other states agree) and I think that the thrust is wrong, but it seems to have been ignored by the Anglospheracists. Anyone, Carr, Murray, Bennet?
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
The Zimbabwe Post allows access to its internet traffic report. The reason I point this out is that it shows where the concern is coming from, once you strip out the .com addresses which are grouped in with the USA, Britain and Canada come out ahead of Zimbabwe in accessing the site - a definate "Anglosphere" sweep of concern.

The really odd statistic was that the busiest day was September 11, although post September 11 there has been just over half the hits that they were enjoying before.

One Week Left

The EU have given Mugabe a week to let EU-approved election observers in, or else it's sanctions. Mugabe, meanwhile has released a list of observers who will be allowed in, Brits need not apply. The Matabele are restless, over former Zapu (the Matabele based opposition to Zanu, that's since been swallowed up property leased out to Mugabe's mates. In the first two and a half weeks of 2002 there is reported to have been "Four killings, 22 kidnappings, and 68 reported cases of torture".

The government reportedly wants the youth camps to be made compulsory.

Some feedback on my leaving:

Just a note to say good luck in all your endeavors. I'll miss your columns even if I didn't agree with their contents. Still, I looked forward to examining other viewpoints, I find that they serve and reinforce my own conclusions. I thank you for providing that "other" viewpoint on so many occasions.

This note is certainly not meant to be argumentative, but I do wish you would re-examine your view on British involvement in the war on terror. You seem to portray the British Government as mere lap dogs of the U.S. In as much as we are a like people facing a common enemy I can't imagine the Brits not wanting to help out. Your logic states that if London suffers a flood or famine, Liverpool should stay out of it if they are not affected. National Interest is whatever you deem it to be, I for one believe it extends beyond boundaries and oceans.

Again, good luck and best wishes.
Monday, January 28, 2002
Are Atlanticists or Anglospheracists "a Fifth Column" in the British body politic as fellow
columnist David Carr claims. He says that this is a good thing.

I tend to think of my Atlanticism, whatever little is left, as much as the Gaullists thought of their Anglophilia. Yes they are possible allies in a cause, but to be under the same government? No thanks.

He also makes a rather odd comment in his analysis of the 90% support for the treatment of the Camp X-Ray prisoners. He claims that it had to do with common law. Excuse me? I can't imagine that most people thought much beyond cutting up rough with some foreign terrorists. Any way, isn't it rather out of place to celebrate the common law when you have a rather loose relationship with habeas corpus? I would say that the 8-10% who oppose the treatment have a far too high opinion of the applicability of common law when fighting a war.

By the way, if you're assuming by this that I'm in any way unfavourable towards the bay of brigs, please read this.

Julian the Apostate

If you are interested in what Britain means to do in Zimbabwe you may want to at least glance at this Parliamentary debate last Wednesday. One of the more chilling phrases came from the mouth of Dr Julian Lewis (who initiated the debate) "I would not rule out direct intervention in the event that this dictatorship is not seen to bring matters back into a constitutional position."

One interesting idea was put out by Francis Maude:

Why does the great issue of Zimbabwe matter to us? It matters because of our history, our connections and our historic obligations to it, and because of its strategic importance. It is at the centre of southern Africa. What is happening there is contaminating and destabilising the whole region. Therefore, for every reason that one can think of, it is in Britain's interest and a matter of honour and obligation to do whatever we can to assist the beleaguered people of Zimbabwe.

Julian Lewis MP is an interesting character, on whom Christopher Montgomery will probably have more to say. He is genuinely knowledgeable on a wide range of defence and diplomatic issues. He is however irredeemably Atlanticist, in the sense that he sees no practical difference between our interests and America's. He's also more hawkish than the American think tanks who subsidised him, as he says "I supported the Government over Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan".

The interesting thing is the way in which the debate's been reported in Zim. The independent Zimbabwe Standard has headlined it "UK Urged to Send Troops".

One interesting contribution was from Francis Maude:

Why does the great issue of Zimbabwe matter to us? It matters because of our history, our connections and our historic obligations to it, and because of its strategic importance. It is at the centre of southern Africa. What is happening there is contaminating and destabilising the whole region. Therefore, for every reason that one can think of, it is in Britain's interest and a matter of honour and obligation to do whatever we can to assist the beleaguered people of Zimbabwe.

1) Our history. Our history is in the past. To quote Palmerston "It is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies - our interests are eternal and those interests it is our duty to follow." Our history is more tied to Western Europe, particularly Northern Germany, France and the Low Countries, than it could ever be to any part of Africa. However this is not an argument for keeping in Africa.

2) Our connections. To read British passport holders with large business interests (mainly agricultural). A better argument than many others, however the British state can not hope to be the guarantor for property rights in independent countries in the other hemisphere.

3) Our historic obligations to it. Note the adjective. Rhodesia declared independence in 1965, and voted in Mugabe in 1980. By any reasonable standard Britain's obligations are now out of time, indeed historic.

4) Because of its strategic importance. It is at the centre of southern Africa. This affects Britain, how? Southern Africa has not had any strategic importance since Disraeli secured control of the Suez canal, and even if the Suez canal was blocked neither India nor Australia are now important to us. Livingston and Rhodes may have seen moral or monetary value in Southern Africa, but strategically it was a dead issue for Britain almost a century before UDI (not counting the rather weird conditions in the Cold War, where every country had some strategic import).

For every reason that one can think of? That is if you don't count the strategic, economic or diplomatic fall out.

Zim Hots Up

The opposition MDC has called off all rallies after some nasty incidents with "war veterans". The "veterans" are also reputedly aiming at stopping the circulation of foreign newspapers.

Zimbabwe agrees to let in some foreign observers, although any reader of this web log would know that this was going to happen any way. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Company has sidelined their main correspondant, who is slavish in his devotion to the ruling party - will Andrew Marr be next? Zanu-PF members are getting jittery about the violent campaign. Oh and the cops have been told to vote for the government. Ths South African Star call for South African intervention.
Sunday, January 27, 2002
Another triumph of the United Nations. Bosnian white slavery.
Two interesting essay length biographies on Palmerston and Salisbury. Caveat lector, the Freedom Party - the people behind these essays - are an amalgam of the moderate strand of the BNP and an authoritarian split from the Conservative Party.

All politics is local

The news that two of the terrorist in camp X-Ray are from Tipton may have some unexpected consequances. Tipton a target council seat for both the BNP and another far-right party - the Freedom Party.


Hardwood or diamonds, what is the real beef here? It seems that Mugabe has struck a deal with a foreign businessman for diamond rights. Naturally the Guardian are worried more about the "irreplacable hardwoods" that are being felled - but this story gives an insight into a usually unstated reason behind the demonisation of Mugabe, his involvement in the Congo. Indeed, in one of his madder speeches Tony Blair said the he wante to "sort out the blight that is the continuing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo". No doubt any rebuilding will be helped by favoured companies.

In other news, the EU looks set fair to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe (particularly freezing assets) and a white teenage opposition activist has been arrested for suspected involvement in a kidnapping, although it may be a set up.

A piece that has got little attention over here, the war veteran's national secretary has been arrested. The moral, don't assume that all Mugabe's goons are beyond the law just because the papers say so.
Saturday, January 26, 2002

Konspiracy Korner

If you enjoy good conspiracy theories, this one's a corker. Seriously. Uncle Sam's trying to control the weather.

We won?

According to the Daily Telegraph that is, the war has been won in Afghanistan. So that's why they haven't surrendered any of their leaders and why they are still fighting?

Most of the ingredients are there for a Taliban resurection; disgruntled Pashtuns, feuding warlords and an alternative political structure. All it needs is for a major sign of American weakness and theeeeey're back.

Zim starts to boil

Another daily update on Zimbabwe's woes.

Morgan Tsvangirai has won a court case on residential voting qualifications that should help the MDC, if the government keeps to the court rulings. Mozambique's foreign minister has spoken out against anti-Mugabe "propoganda".

There's also a nice little piece on African radicalism and its reaction to the crisis in Zimbabwe. A lesson that should be drawn is that we must tread carefully, despite what the Daily Telegraph says Africans are not yearning for the return of the European master.
Friday, January 25, 2002

In control in Afghanistan

According to the Times "15 Taleban and al-Qaeda guerrillas were killed yesterday in a gunfight north of Kandahar".

What? I thought that we won and any sceptics just had to crawl beneath rocks.
Quiet(ish) day in Zim

A couple of human rights groups have condemned Mugabe, Zanu seems to be divided and Britain starts to play soft ball on sanctions.
Thursday, January 24, 2002

And the winner is...

David Heathcote Amory. For that European convention, remember?

Herat we go again

More on the Herat situation.

Zim redux

The Soros-funded International Crisis Group has already condemned the election before a ballot has been cast. Funnily enough they only have one mention of neighbouring Zambia:

Zambia’s President Chiluba allowed elections to proceed without him in late December 2001 after a decade in office.

This only tells a small part of the story.

The IMF are sounding warning bells and the World Food Programme are saying that Zimbabwe is on the brink.

Ruling party thugs are insisting on party cards for everyone, while the opposition accuse the war veterans of stealing IDs with a view to fraud.

Blair has also put his view forward:

The actions of Mugabe are a disgrace to his own country and also badly affect the reputation of the whole of southern Africa. However, in order for a motion to succeed at the Commonwealth to expel Zimbabwe, it is necessary to get all the countries supporting it. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we are working urgently and energetically with all other countries to make sure that the policies of Mr. Mugabe are reversed and that proper and democratic elections are held in Zimbabwe. [Emphasis mine]

Meanwhile the Guardian publish a particularly poor defence of Mugabe. My view is the same as South Africa, yes he's bad but that doesn't affect us in the slightest.
Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Our reward

... for standing shoulder to shoulder. Clinton calls for 'global political society' to counter terrorism. As soon as you start defending other people's strategic interests, political merger will soon follow. At least the Anglospheracists will be pleased.
Say's it all


Have you seen me?
Zimbabwe watch

The ruling party revolts over the press freedom bill. How does this affect the simplistic "Mugabe is another Hitler" line? Meanwhile the US mumbles in a menacing tone.

Zambian traders are targetted by ruling party bovver boys, obviously worried about grain shortages.

For what it's worth the domestic human rights group ZimRights have said that there are "signs of the government respecting commitments" on human rights.

War drums are still beating, the German President has said that the position in Zimbabwe is a threat to the entire African continent:

When people in Europe look at Africa and the developments here, they see South Africa but they also see the other countries. They see the developments taking place in a country like Zimbabwe and they hope that the rights of the individual and the rule of law are going to prevail.

Right now that is not the case. They are very much threatened, and that in itself poses a threat to the African continent as a whole.

South Africa's Mbeki is also talking tough.
Mission Creep :The UN says they will need 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan. So this will be a quick deployment?
For any constitution buffs out there, this ploy by the Tories, to elect their representative on to a European body is fascinating. IDS does seem a bit more democratic than he looked.
Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Shout at Africa

Bringing the "Rule of Law back to English-speaking Africa" sounds like a tall order to me, but to Iain Murray it "could be the practical beginnings of a real Anglosphere alliance". And the end of it.

How many body bags does he think midwesterners will tolerate to bring the common law back to Southern Rhodesia?

Beyond the Khyber

It's a quiet day in Zim, so let's have a look at Afghanistan:

Seymour Hersch claims that the allies unwittingly helped to airlift out senior Taliban and Al Qaeda officials. Whoops.

Northern Alliance forces are fighting in Kunduz. I've also heard that they are doing so in Herat, but I've seen no references to this. The Northern Alliance also almost fired on British troops when we were occupying Bagram airport. And a bomb has been exploded outside the American embassy. Of course they want us in.

There are more refugees fleeing the Northern Alliance.
Monday, January 21, 2002
Left Wing War Blog. Shock.

Lefty he may be, but this is one of the best "war blogs" around. Blowback is the creation of Canadian Brian Lamb, and it looks good and has a wide range of links. The content is the standard left wing fare, but it is done in such a way that any half way intelligent right winger can appreciate. That even includes me. Does tend to go on about Geraldo a bit much.
Fellow columnist Christopher Montgomery's article "When Legions Leave" is in the British spot in It is so much more cultured than my irritable carping. Try this for size:

Standing a degree of rank or two above the likes of the Philippines or Saudi you then have those countries (Britain, Japan even) that resemble the old federated states of the later Roman Empire, i.e. the larger and more vicious German tribes, whose usefulness saw them dignified with the status of "partner" in empire. We could all sit back and laugh ourselves hoarse at the idea of Britain or Japan ever attaining the same amount of self-respect as the Philippines, and asking the Americans to leave. When I worked for the current leader of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith – a bog-standard Atlanticist – I would attempt to raise a smile or two by talking to Tory MPs about "occupied East Anglia" (lots of US airbases and intelligence facilities there), and you know, maybe it was the delivery, but I never did get much in the way of mirth.

If you haven't already, read it now.
Sadly, albeit predictably, Tony Martin has lost his appeal in the House of Lords to overturn his conviction for manslaughter

Martin had originally been convicted of murder for shooting dead a teenage burglar named Fred Barrass who had invaded his Norfolk home. Subsequently, this was reduced to manslaughter on appeal and Martin's life sentence reduced to five years. He will be eligible for parole at the end of this year

Martin has become a cause celebre and the inspiration for a support group which is campaigning for a change in the law. Whilst I agree that Martin has been the victim of an injustice (he did no more than I would have done in his shoes) I do not think a change in the law is necessary

The law in the UK does provide for a right to self-defence provided it is employed using such force as is reasonable in the circumstances. This applies even where the self-defence measures taken result in a fatality. A few years ago, Kenneth Noye was charged with murdering an undercover policeman after the former discovered the latter lurking about in the latters garden. Noye claimed that he took the man for a burlgar, feared for his safety and stabbed him to death. Noye was a career-criminal and the policeman was on a surveillance operation. He was prosecuted but pleaded self-defence successfully and was acquitted (although he is now serving a life term for murdering a man in a subsequent road-rage incident)

It is this kind of maddening inconsistency which has helped to fuel the outrage over Martin's plight and I cannot help but wonder if it was, in fact, Martin's choice of weapon that led to his downfall. Would Martin have been convicted had he used a knife or a cricket bat to kill Barrass? Somehow I rather doubt it. It is my view that Martin is the victim not so much of a bad law but of a deep, cultural aversion to the use of firearms in self-defence

I have given Emmanuel my assurance that I would not 'witter on about guns' and so I won't. Nonethless I do feel it appropriate to remark here upon the unfortunate zealousness with which the police and Crown Prosecution Service will drag householders before the courts when they have defended their homes and/or lives and also upon the deep and abiding paternalism of the British establishment which will happily give citizens a right to defend themselves and then strictly prohibit them from employing the most effective means of doing so
The Telegraph has come out with two anti-interventionist articles today, I kid you not.

The first is about Somalia saying its dangerous (next, banging heads against walls cause pain).

They also have a piece saying "Not your business, Mr Straw". Unfortunately its about the Guantanamo bay episode, and not about the whole Afghan adventure which is similarly America's business and not ours.
On the cusp

America will intervene in Zimbabwe if there's a coup, says a "Senior White House Official". Is that big news? I happen to think so.

Meanwhile Mugabe has been threatening to seize British businesses. Polling agents have also been restricted (Note: not banned, which is the impression one gets).

And meanwhile if you saw this headline in the local press would it make you worried?

THE conduct of certain church leaders at last weekend's MDC-organised National Day of Prayer has left many people ashamed to be Christians.

How about the fact that it was at a Zanu-PF organised prayer meeting and the headline was in the opposition press? All I'm saying is don't expect the new guys to be saints.
Sunday, January 20, 2002
By far the most common search that finds me is for "Al Jazeera", which is simply because I omitted a hyphen. Well for all those Arabic TV junkies, I can point you to an old but worthwhile piece in the New Statesman.

There is also a piece in the same issue about how Britain doesn't really matter in this war. While it is written from the irritating stand point of the breast beating left, it does raise some uncomfortable issues.
Mugabe and Free Britannia

Some more feed back:

Entirely agree re Zim, a country with which we have sentimental ties and all that but which is no longer any concern of ours. No matter what one thought of the Smith regime, it is interesting that, so far as I know, nobody here has offered the rather obvious comment that the rule of law in Rhodesia was considerably stronger then than it is now... Probably too cowardly.

Not long ago I took up a hint of yours to look at a site called, and immediately saw you being subjected to some extraordinarily abusive treatment by people who failed to deal with you politely & rationally, and who dished out some very nasty abuse. Nevertheless I joined, and contributed a few posts, but came in for similar treatment! When I attempted to suggest that being anti-federalist did not mean one had to be hostile to other European countries, especially France, the American "moderators" (wildly inappropriate term in their case) reacted with hostility and total intolerance. Some of the posts, from the US and UK too, were rather disturbing, and I departed, concluding that either they were a bunch of xenophobic crypto-fascist conservative authoritarians, or a bunch of commies seeking to discredit the Eurosceptic movement by painting its adherents as rabid loonies... A distasteful but thankfully brief episode!

Keep up the interesting output.

On the issue of Free Britannia, I don't think that the moderators are fascists or leftist double agents - just a bunch of rather inadequate yanks who desperately wish to be British.
Tim Cavanaugh: Let Slip the Blogs of War. Makes some good points terribly badly.
More feedback on Mugabe:

the man is reportedly riddled with syphilis - QED
Matthew Parris gets a couple of hits in his column:

My difficulty is not with America as America, but with Washington as a hoped-for coalition partner. Partnership in foreign policy is not in their nature. Consensus is not in their lexicon. They do not see their place in our world as we would do. America is either right outside, or right on top. For Americans, alongside is not an option.

If only we could be the same and run our foreign policy in our interests.

On my Back to Africa column:

Incidently, Bob has tried to commit geocide, of the minority tribe (forget the name) in Bobland. He also has the stated aim of removing every white (non black) face in the country. In reality this means every non tribal face in the country.

Check Jim Peron's writings for the names and figures

A most unpleasant man

A Village has been caught short of Euros. It has none, and there's just over a month to go before all the Liras are out of date. Is this a unique situation? We won't know until 1 March.

Predictions of woe for the Euro from Conor Cruise O'Brien.
New Team

Airstrip One is no longer a one man show. Two new people have been added on:

Christopher Montgomery. Christopher is an historian who is currently writing a book on the historiography of the Suez crisis. He has also recently taken some time out to run the Iain Duncan Smith campaign office, and for a while was working in the leader's office of Conservative Central Office. A young representative of the die hard tradition he believes that Enoch Powell was right on everything apart from immigration.

David Carr. David is a solicitor who specialises in I know not what. He is that rare breed, an Anarcho-Capitalist, and that even rarer breed a realistic one. He is active in the Libertarian Alliance and is also a veteran of web logging, writing for "Samizdata". He is an admirer of America, although not a believer in political union with our cousins over the pond.

Hopefully these two young men will make themselves known soon.

If you want to join in the fun please send an e-mail to me. We will be adding one person a month, if there are any suitable people, until we have about ten contributors. To contribute you have to be:

1) British
2) Writing from a national interest viewpoint
3) Prepared to limit your writing for this web log to (broadly) British foreign policy
4) Be a good writer.
It looks like we're going in to Zimbabwe. The pretext is an air rescue of 25,000 Britons, but anyone who's followed Sierra Leone will know how those things can creep.
Have a look, especially if you are one of my American viewers, at next right. He wants some fellow loggers, so if you want to offer your services just e-mail him.
Saturday, January 19, 2002
An interesting article on perfidious Europa, written at the time of the Falklands war. Repays reading.
Europe is old hat

According to Samizdata. Probably true, but I do have a quibble. The author, David Carr, says "Europe's post-war social model has always been a euphamism for high taxes, a bloated public sector and rigid, protectionist policies." Not true.

The European Community, strange as it sounds today was a Capitalist bulwark. France, Germany and Italy all taxed significantly less than us (and hence grew faster than us) until about twenty years ago. Their tax burdens were growing, and overtook us, but they were not always a euphamism for high taxes, etc. On protectionist policies it is blatantly not the case that the European Union was seen as a bastion of high tarrifs, it was primarily a free trade area - as the Treaty of Rome made explicit.

Is there any point to this seemingly theological argument? Well yes. Those of us who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it. The EEC was supported by the right and the center for three practical reasons ("Europe a nation" and "ending all wars" are idealism and for our purposes not relevant). The first two were that we otherwise had no say in EEC decisions that would affect us and that Europe needed a bit of spine stiffening against the still menacing Reds. But the other reason was that joining the "Capitalist club" would mean that economic liberalisation could be done without the need for a political concensus, as we would be harmonising our taxes and public sector downwards. This is why the bulk of the Labour Party and almost all the Trade Unions opposed it and why the bulk of the Conservatives supported it. In fact the Center for Policy Studies was originally set up to look at succesful German market oriented policies and try and bring them over to Britain.

Of course things are different today, but the lesson remains - don't assume that any permanent alliance will retain a permanent nature. In international affairs, nothing is forever.
Friday, January 18, 2002
A few comments about the Overstretch article. A couple in the comments section of the article, one kindly pointing to an article by Douglas Hurd in the Spectator. Also Iain Murray mentions this column, which considering his links with Mossad is well and good.

But is Tom King correct when he says that the measure of overstretch is merely statistical sleight of hand? More investigation needed.
Overstretch? Never.

The House of Lords had a debate yesterday on Army overstretch. An astounding speech by the Earl of Onslow, which is worth reading the whole debate. I particularly cringed at this story:

I start with Exercise Saif Sareea, which was the expedition to Muscat and Oman. We sent a half-armoured brigade there of 68 tanks, a half battery of guns and a battalion of motorised infantry. The object of the exercise was to get all those people half way round the world, land them in the desert and let them play soldiers for a while. They arrived, beautifully organised. The staff worked well and the supply worked well with one or two minor faults. But then none of the tanks worked. None worked because they did not have proper sand filters. If the staff had not known about that, I suppose that that would have been acceptable. But an appreciation of the situation was given to Whitehall which stated that, unless the tanks were desertified, they would not work in the desert. Someone--it may have been at political or army level, I know not--decided that too much money had been spent. Therefore, they crossed their fingers and hoped that the tanks would work. They did not. Seventeen tanks were sent back before the exercise started. That left 51. Fifty-one tanks of the Royal Dragoon Guards went out on a night exercise. Three arrived back in working order.

A bit more comical was this story, which many of you will have heard:

But at least the Army could have considered what happened to Lord Raglan in the Crimea when the right boots went out in one ship and the left boots in another. One ship was wrecked in a storm off the southern peninsular of the Crimea. The poor, wretched soldiers went, "Left, 'splock', left, 'splock'" because all their right boots had been sunk.

Read the debate and prepare to be shocked by the poor state of the Armed Forces.

Together with Bernard Jenkin's article in the Telegraph, it looks like the Tories are going to town on this. Defence is obviously a matter close to IDS's heart, so it's probably his brain child.
Thursday, January 17, 2002
The Bay of Brigs

What's my opinion on Guantanamo bay, I've been asked.

It's really not my concern. The prisoners were fighting for an Afghan regime against America. This is not a British row. That Britain should not have been involved in what was essentially a justified American war is still true, but this is not like the "revolt" at Mazar-e-Sharif where British forces played a full part. Let America does as it will. I'm neither American nor Afghan, so my voice doesn't count. Nor should it. Nor should Blair's.

And the three Brits who got caught? Well they left the British Isles, and therefore the protection of British law, under their own free will. They shouldn't complain now.

And there's this article in the American Prospect, that says that criminal justice should be tougher and not militarised. Something I've been saying, apart from the fondness for international courts.

Another odd Google search that turned me up. Surplus British Tunics. The set of letters it turned up were distinctly odd as well.

I'm still getting the searchers for Al Jazera. I'm number 5 in their search, and all for one two line comment.
Roland Watson on has a nice piece on small states being better than big ones. One small quibble, he says that the changeover to the Euro has gone well. It's not over yet.
Andrew Dodge has e-mailed me a link to his comments on the Anglosphere, and he kindly calls me a moron. He takes issue with my accusing the Anglosphere cult of being racist. With respect to Mr Dodge he misses the point, I honestly don’t think that the Anglosphere is a racist belief system, it is cultural. The racist tag comes from Tom Roberts, another Anglosphere induct accused me of racism, rebutted by pointing out that the Anglosphere is based on the USA plus the White Commonwealth. And no one can deny that the White Commonwealth, by its very name, was based at least partly on certain genetic ties. However, that is not the point.

My problem with the Anglosphere is not imagined racism, but simply that it subsumes Britain’s strategic interests to cultural links and that it tries to tie us into a permanent alliance when international relations is by the nature of things in a state of slow moving but constant flux.
Wednesday, January 16, 2002
No change there

I'm getting the feeling that the Euro Elite has been a bit too smug a bit too soon. Remember all those triumphant grins on 1 January? What the media didn't say was that the crunch was yet to come. Euroland will be withdrawing the old currencies in the next month to six weeks. And then any shortage of Euros will start to hurt, and not at the start when the local currencies can take the slack.

Of course with M0 money supply being changed overnight, the slightest miscalculation as to replacement levels will lead to a jolt in inflation or deflation in various countries (and differing jolts). This will only show up after a couple of months and will be ignored by the media if it does.
Keeping an eye on Zim

The regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has explained its allegedly soft stance 'Mugabe Can Tell Us to Go to Hell'.

Polling Irregularities Continue to Emerge. But in Zambia, where a pro-Western leader was dubiously elected, so it doesn't matter.

Meanwhile Zanu gets up to some thuggery, burning down an opposition office and in another incident almost killing an opposition MP. They also cut off the opposition leader's electricity.

A draconian media bill has been dropped from Parliament, although they still want to get tough on the unions. Will this be the first recorded time that Thatcher sides with the unions?

Both Britain and America threaten sanctions. The Americans also sent in a human rights observer.

And this little story about attempts to change school names from the old Rhodesian monikers. It seems that they've been putting forward silly names.
The Tories condemn the British deployment in Afghanistan. At last.

Anti-interventionism won't set the country on fire yet, but it is a useful card to store in the sleeve.
Justin Raimondo goes on about warblogs. Doesn't mention that one of his columnists actually runs a web log. Oh well.
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
The Times has put out a run of the mill expose of the Socialist Alliance. Two important paragraphs:

The Alliance was instrumental in the organisation of the main anti-war rallies and protests across Britain, and supplied key speakers who set the tone. The broad Commons consensus in favour of the war on terror has allowed the Alliance to argue that it is the only significant political movement fighting against it.

The Stop the War Coalition is run by, and in the interests of, the Alliance, allowing it to proselytise and recruit. It is only one of several organisations run by Alliance activists. Others include the anti-globalisation movement Globalise Resistance and the race-campaigning National Civil Rights Movement run by Suresh Grover, spokesman for Sarfraz Najeib, the victim in the Leeds United footballers’ assault case. But it has been anti-war protest, and the platform it has given Alliance supporters such as Tariq Ali and John Pilger, that has given the Alliance a particular opportunity to advance its aims to a mass audience.

They have links to a particularly poor set of anti war articles, if leftist polemic is to your taste.

However the main tone, that it is the unoriginal left that is providing the main source of foreign policy dissent (outside the European dimension) is sadly true. What those of us anti-socialist dissidents can do is less obvious. We obviously can't form a movement tomorrow, politcal activity will (rightly) be directed at the European dimension. It is a time for sharpening our analysis of foreign policy and offering a justification of the national interest.

It is the long haul for us.

Meanwhile by all means go to the demonstrations and teach ins, but realise that they are not about changing British foreign policy but merely about recruiting for various left wing factions.
Weirdo Alert

Not an Odinist this time, but an IRA racist:

There is no sectarianism in the six counties. Sectarianism gives the impression that their is two sides to the isue. Only one community attacks school kids, pipebombs homes and intimidates ordinary people.

Yes, its those satanic Prods. Send them to the gas chambers! Not all the IRA are genocidal maniacs, some just believe in expelling the Protestants to Scotland.

As usual, any more political weirdos, please send them to me.

On the same subject, I'm not hopeful, but a recent speech by the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Richard Haass may signal a new Amerian approach.

This rage which spilled out in this inexcusable behavior was rooted in economic distress, lack of educational opportunity and uneasiness over demographic changes, lack of proper housing, and - most importantly - a woeful fear that the new society being built in Northern Ireland offers little place for those doing the protesting: for Protestants, for loyalists, for unionists.

What the world simply saw only as sectarian bigotry was much more. We were witness to a community in the midst of a painful transition. This growing insecurity and feeling of isolation on the part of many in the Protestant community has manifested itself in different ways. It, for instance, underlies both the shift in unionist politics away from the moderate center and the growing violence in loyalist communities.

Is this payback for the support that the IRA has been giving to just about any anti-American group around?

Have any of my esteemed readers got any ideas for a decent strapline for this column? You know, the bit underneath the "Airstrip One" header. Something like "Looking at British Foreign policy from an independent angle". But snappier?

Best entry gets a small mention in a poorly viewed web log.
Will South Africa go in?

I've predicted (wrongly) that the British were about to go into Zimbabwe. Instead they went into Sierra Leone. Well here's another prediction, South Africa will go in. The radical Pan Africanist Congress has backed Mugabe's land invasion. This could mean a wave of farm seizures south of the Limpopo if Mugabe is unchecked. This is going to put the pressure up on the business friendly South African government.

Another sign - Blair's in talks with Mbeki on Zim. Could be a formality, maybe not.

If they do go in then the British government needs to do two things. (1) Stop worrying about sovereignty. If Zimbabwe can't defend its sovereignty against its neighbour it doesn't deserve it. (2) Don't help South Africa, this is none of Britain's business.
Monday, January 14, 2002
Welcome Back

Iain Murray is now back, after a dose of suspected anthrax (flu to those of us who don't work in Washington). He's posted a piece on an article by Jim Bennet (who said that web logs are overly referential?) who takes on crackpot realists, like myself, who claim that Geography is the ultimate answer to all diplomatic questions.

Any Anglosphericists, please use the comments box above.

So we can't find Bin Laden. I thought that those people who said just negotiating with the Taliban to get him out were dreamers.

Now I'm not so sure. They seem to have more of a handle on events than all the war mongers. Who can really doubt that if we had negotiated with the Taliban that Bin Laden would have been standing trial somewhere now?
Hippy alert
Some news sources on Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Post. Excellent selection of news from foreign newspapers on Zim.
The opposition supporting Daily News.
AllAfrica's page on Zimbabwe, particularly good for African reporting that you will not see anywhere else.
ZWNews, supported by the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, itself tied to the British Conservative Party.
Something that didn't make it into my column, but interesting nonetheless, a year old criticism on Britain's policy towards Zimbabwe. It is typically Guardian-esque, but it makes some telling criticisms.
Sunday, January 13, 2002
Sense from the Tories

I'm going to write a column on Zimbawe this week, but I will offer you this statement from IDS on the peace keeping force

Iain Duncan Smith, the Leader of the Conservative Party, expressed his deep misgivings about any such operation, sharing the concerns of the United States about having peace keepers on the ground while search and destroy missions are continuing. In response to the Prime Minister’s statement, he said that he was concerned that British troops would become targets for remaining Taliban soldiers, or others who opposed the interim Government. He said that any deployment of British troops should state an “exit strategy” and a time limit.

Not posting much today. But here's an interesting article, Unlikely Doves: Counter-terrorism Experts
Saturday, January 12, 2002

A couple of weird search requests.

No. 36 in a Yahoo! Search for Adolph Hitler owning land in U.S.

No. 3 in a Lycos search on the single word "antiamerican".
It needs restating. An old Economist article on the economic benefits of the EU. Not many it seems.
Ah, Zimbabwe

The EU have now spoken, Mugabe better behave, or else. No one's saying we should go in, yet, but the justification has been written. We're not really intervening in another country, we're helping them get a Democratic government.

What business it is of ours whether Zimbabwe gets a democratic government is beyond me. However a cautionary tale should come from neighbouring Zambia. There the opposition took over years ago. They were called the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, rather than the Movement for Democratic Change, but they were rather similar. Pro-western, democrats, trade unionists.

Few commentators have picked up on the fact that Zambia may prove to be a precursor of Zimbabwe, were the sainted opposition rig the polls almost as enthusiastically as their predecesors. Of course the election is far more gentle in Zam than in Zim, but then Kaunda's one-party christian socialism (remind you of anybody closer to home) and Mugabe's multi-party quasi Marxism were always quite different.

Of course we can't say that it is a cultural thing, because every Anglosphere country embodies democracy, freedom, the Common Law and the rules of cricket when it was played by gentlemen.
A few comments from one of the Lockean commentators:

If you believe that “civilized war consists in killing, or attempting to kill, men with arms in hand; and that any other kind is simply murder, calling for the universal execration of mankind” then there is a moral imperative to act.

If that were the case then there would have been a moral imperative to act against the American bombing of Afghanistan and the Israeli free fire zones in the West Bank. I do believe that the Just War concept to be a valid idea about how we should conduct ourselves, but like charity I do not see it as an imperative to force it on third parties.

Do you consider Locke’s moral imperative as utterly flawed?

In this case it is.

In this case, in point, is it not the only means to bring peace to the region?

It will not bring peace to the region without exhausting the Western powers, and as a subject of one of their heads, I don't want to see that. The only realistic way for peace in any region is for the people to realise that they get more out of peace than war, and the prospect of military aid is one of the biggest disincentives to peace.

Is it not the first step to ridding the region of despots

Who cares about their despots? It's up to the countries themselves.

and preventing the terror of 9/11 from returning?

As the root of the terror was the American involvement in the Middle East, then more involvement will not solve anything.

And this on Zimbabwe:

Like the animals of Jones Manor, Britons might ponder at some future date that further support of American policy was an advantage. British nationalism is no guarantee of British freedom.

This is a good point. We may need an ally to get us out of the EU. However in the long term we will by definition be unfree if we instinctively back another power - no matter how friendly.

Straining for a story

The Guardian's take on the lumpy sauce saga. The most disturbing thing was not the corporate lobbying or the unaccountable bureacrats but the 280% tarrifs on vegetables. Who said that the EU was a free trade zone?

Someone has read right to the end of this web log. Yesterday, I got this comment on my EU flag article:

What was most amusing to me was when I went to pro-EU speech and some dolt had put the flag upside down. The EU representative spent 45 minutes speaking with his head surrounded by pentagrams. It was rather amusing, especially when thinking about some of Paisley more paranoid rants against the EU
Feast for the eyes

Now, I've got bored with colours and I decided they made the whole thing look far too interesting and distract your attention. Links are now merely emboldened rather than in red. Content is king.
Pins, rattlesnakes and prophecy

Sometimes foresight is strange. Two years ago today Pat Buchanan wrote an article citing a Cato institute report claiming that "Americans are the principal targets of terrorists because of our constant meddling in foreign wars." What was worse was the claim "If we do not abandon our compulsive interventionism, we will one day be subjected to an act of cataclysmic terror, with a weapon of mass destruction, perhaps nuclear."

The point is that anti-interventionist authors agreed on very little indeed, but the one prediction that almost every one made was that this would lead to increased terror. Now anti-interventionists are told that we do not have the answers, because we were proved right.

Now terrorism is not in itself a reason not to do something, it is part of the price that one pays for certain courses of action. If the action is not seen as worth the price paid, then the action should not be carried out. If it is worth the price paid then we should accept the price. What is childish is to deny that the price is to be paid at all.

(Almost) everyone accepts that it was Al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out the attrocity. Al-Qaeda has said that it will target American life and property until the Americans:

1) Stop supporting Israel
2) Stop the Iraqi embargo
3) Take troops out of Saudi Arabia

This is plainly not a protest about Western values, but about American actions. The case must be made by the supporters of these actions as to why they are worth thousands of civilian deaths, and possibly thousands more.

Al Qaeda has also mentioned Britain because of its steadfast support of the United States, something the Home Secretary alluded to. The case must be made as to why "shoulder to shoulder" support for the United States is a greater national interest than the safety of our civilians, rather than the simple assumption that "we must". If the case is not good enough, then we should let America persue its own national interest in its own way.

We obviously can't run our foreign policy with the sole object of avoiding terrorism, but we have to consider the consequances of our actions abroad. As Hoover said after Pearl Harbour "You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten."
Friday, January 11, 2002

I think that this chap may be trying to wind me up, however it deserves publication anyway:

Do you think there is any truth to the rumours that James C Bennett & the Anglosphere cult is involved in conspiracies such as the Bilderbergs and the Trilateral Commission? Is there an ulterior motive behind the Anglosphere?

For the record, may I stress that I do not spend sleepless nights over Bilderberg. The diminuation of our independence has far more complex causes than a high class jolly in five star hotels.
He's still free

It's four months since September 11, and still Osama Bin Laden is free. It has been more than three months since the bombing in Afghanistan started, and still Bin Laden's nowhere near a court room .

When did they take their eyes off bringing the masterminds of this atrocity to justice, and instead on nation building in a state that will never be a nation? The idea behind this project was surely to bring him to justice.

Unless he's dead in a mountain pass, this has not been achieved, has it?

Forget the beards and burqas, let's worry about getting Bin Laden. And then getting out.

I said that we weren't sending a single Muslim country on the peacekeeping mission. We are in fact bringing Turkey along with us (I was wondering how we were supposed to hand over leadership to Turkey after three months). Still, one Muslim country, and a secular one at that, is not really a good thing.
Thursday, January 10, 2002
Harare, Surrey

A posting in Samizdata has brought out an issue here. Now I will not go into a red rage because of their tut-tutting at Tony Blair supporting American interests militarily, just say welcome on board the national interest wagon - it's fairly lonely here.

Any way the tut-tutting goes on to the fact that Blair is not defending the national interest in Zimbabwe. What national interest?

Is this the same Zimbabwe that is a land locked country in Southern Africa whose main export is tobacco?

Zimbabwe itself is not in the British interest. In fact it is hard to think of a country where Britain has less of an interest. (Bhutan perhaps?)

Of course the white farmers are British. Or are they. A minority hold British passports, and a sizeable minority hold foreign passports - particularly from South Africa.

Rhodesia announced UDI in 1965. If the settlers really were British, they had 36 years to make up their minds and come back home.
Battle is about to be joined. The Danes have called for a Euro referendum for next year, as have the Swedes.

If Mr Blair wants to stay in the club he'd better act against our interests soon. It's somewhat depressing to see our nation's destiny at the mercy of a classroom popularity contest.
Wednesday, January 09, 2002
Locke Step

In the entry below there is an interesting comment attached:

Can we also agree with Locke’s principle and apply it to foreign policy?

“Human beings are entitled to be treated as if they were equal on all matters important to them. It is up to the people who accept this moral principle to see to it that everyone has the minimal resources needed to make the principle workable in practise”.

This is the moral imperative that implores the culture of the Anglo-sphere to over-ride strategic interests to ensure the values of democracy.

Mr Tupper is not really an Anglospheracist, as they see the Anglosphere as being in the enlightened national interest, something that Mr Tupper sees through. It is a moral imperative to spread democracy by force.

Well I'm no egalitarian. To me equality before the law in the jurisdiction to which I belong is all I ask. Equality of means is pernicious and equality of opportunity is impossible. And what about equality before the law in other societies? Well that's up to them.

As Churchill (roughly) said when it was pointed out that the Communists would be disastrous to Yugoslavia, "Do you live in Yugoslavia? Do you have any plans of doing so?"
One in the eye for common sense.

We're sending a peacekeeping force to Afghanistan without a single Muslim country! Are we mad? Please don't answer that one.
Anathema pronounced

I have been asked to put these comments on the web log, and I am happy to oblige.

The first are some comments on the Anglosphere and multiculturalism:


It is a quality of small minds to assume that ad hominem attacks will be recognized as rational logic. I would simply point to your cited article's penultimate paragraph and wonder why you think that Anglospherism is in any way restricted to Caucasians on any particular continent except as an historical circumstance in the past. Another citation you may wish to peruse BEFORE you make more comments to Iain Murray is which goes into more detail on the meaning of the Anglosphere or for your racially oriented edification in which Bennett ponders the links between present Anglosphere and that country which may well become a viable Anglosphere component in the next century.

"small and new religions" pah! Skip the polemics and do some reading.
This is from me:

It is a feature of small and new religions that they assume that opposition to them is informed by ignorance, which may be a fair assumption as the world usually is ignorant of them. This is not the case with my knowledge on the Anglosphere, which I recognise as the main challenge in right wing thinking on foreign policy thinking to a policy based on the national interest.

The point about gratitude is interesting and emotionally appealing, however think about where it leads us.

The Arabs fought for us in the First World War, and the more religious of them in the Cold War. Should we base our Middle Eastern policies around this fact?

Should gratitude only be extended to English speaking whites?
re: going to war for Darwin

A suitable precedent would be that Darwin went to war for Britain in 1914 and 1939. Especially in WW II, there wasn't much of a reason for Aussies to die in the Benghazi desert, but they did. Go figure it out yourself, and read Bennett BEFORE you criticize him ignorantly. It may take you a day to read a significant portion of his work.

And this from a comment on the comments:
I never called you a "racist", you misquote my "for your racially oriented edification" which referred in turn to your own division of the world into whites and others. Of course if you prefer to wear that title, de gustibus non disputandem est.

I see from this that there is a question which I havce not yet answered, and I will, after I've done a bit on Blair's insipid speech.
Tuesday, January 08, 2002
Proof we've won in Afghanistan

1) Tony Blair could not visit Kabul because of security fears.
2) When the Prime Ministers plane landed they had to cut off all lights and the pilots had to steer using infra-red.
3) Wasn't it a short visit!
4) We're no longer trying to capture Osama, but aiming at Mullah Omar. And he's evading us.
5) US Troops are still fighting Al Qaeda and the Taleban weeks after "smashing" them.
6) The media and the government tells us we've won, so who cares about careless facts on the ground. Just trust them.

Oh, we were so wrong to say that Afghanistan could become the next Vietnam.
The joys of heresy.

A certain chap called Tom Roberts (within the comments area), an induct of the Anglosphere cult, has decided to take issue with my view on the Anglosphere. He's even been thoughtful enough to link to two articles the high priest of the Anglophere cult Jim Bennett, one on civil society and another on India. Fair enough, although I find it odd that he would assume that anyone who questioned a concept based around the old White Commonwealth must themselves be racist. Both these pieces are pretty constant comments in James Bennett's UPI columns which he will regularly e-mail to you if you ask him.

A small piece on this argument was also put in Iain Murray's log, where he's asked for any more viewpoints on the Anglosphere - except for mine.
Monday, January 07, 2002
Blair says that the war will not end until Bin Laden's tracked down.

Unfortunately it seems that it will not end there.

There's an article in the Guardian pouring gentle scorn on Blair the world remaker. Good stuff until you get to their alternative "Britain is seen to act most effectively when it works through the UN, the EU, or the Commonwealth". Groan.
Sunday, January 06, 2002

A powerful attack on the bankruptcy of the left wing "Peace Movement".

Watching that march and rally, it occurred to me how powerful an image could have been created if each demonstrator had carried an American flag and, perhaps, a black cardboard silhouette representing those who had perished in the attacks.

Instead, the rally unfolded as some kind of robotic rent-a-demonstration, morally and politically detached from this crucial historic moment. A succession of speakers mounted the podium, genuflecting only briefly--if at all--to the dead before campaigning for the usual Top 40 list of progressive issues, from universal health care, to drug-war reform, to freeing death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Written from a left wing point of view it then talks a lot of rubbish about the left wing agenda. The real story is that the anti-war left has failed because its cure all - socialism - was fated to fail. For those people who genuinely wish to oppose the "military-industrial complex" the only place for them now is on the traditionalist and libertarian right.

The alternative is the managerial class - the war mongers.
Blair's Pratfall

From Blair's speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry:

25 per cent of the US population today is Hispanic

From the US Census bureau:

the Hispanic or Latino population grew from 22.4 million in 1990 to more than 35 million in 2000, and now accounts for 13 percent of the population of the United States.

More on this insipid speech later.
What is the world coming to

Mark Steyn is getting so hawkish that he's almost coming out at the other end. Take this:

EVERY time I switch on the television these days, there's a panel discussion on whom we should bomb next. On the need to bomb someone there's general agreement - not just from the ex-commando types in leather jackets who now run mysterious "consultancies" but also the sissy-boy liberals. It's like casting Scarlett in Gone with the wind: Osama and Mullah Omar are being written out, and it's just a question of deciding which lucky "evildoer" lands the plum role of having the next Daisycutter dropped on his head.

Note: This is actually to be good. Apart from the film references and some of the more colourful adjectives that could be written by Justin Raimondo.

He raises some interesting points on Britain's "lack" of support for the war. I would say that 70% is still pretty overwhelming for a war which is going to end up with British civilians being at greater risk than previously.

An excellent part of Mark Steyn's work is the way in which he quotes hawkish "bloggers" such as Ken Layne and Glenn Reynolds.
The Final Word

Iain Murray has kindly given me the final word on the Anglosphere debate, for now. So I propose to take advantage of it. His contributions in italics (his full contribution is here). I must firstly apologise to comparing Mr Murray with Christina Odone, he seems to have been mightily peeved. It was the first name that came into my head.

On Jamaican immigrants and crime.
Personally, I think that the only stricter immigration rule that should be applied is increased screening of all persons flying in from Jamaica.

Screening of people is virtually impossible with the present system, which is why compulsory tourist visas are being talked about. Screening for drugs at the airport is not going to have any effect on the large number of "yardies" who are immigrating and proving to be the motive force behind the massive increase in urban gun crime.

That's hardly a step away from the Anglosphere

Presumably Anglosphere countries (including Jamaica) would have more liberal migration rules than with non-Anglosphere countries. Stoping more liberal treatment for Jamaican immigration, as compared with similar third world countries, most certainly is a step away from the Anglosphere.

Australia the Asian power
That's an illusion that Australia is turning away from.

It's an illusion that the right in Australia are turning away from. They won't always be in power.

The monarchy.
I have one simple date that disproves the idea of the monarchy being in any way a unifying factor in the Anglosphere: 1776.

The point is that Commonwealth countries are weakening their links with one another rather than strengthening them. The monarchy is a link that is being weakened. It may not be the unifying factor, but republicanism is certainly seen as a way for many countries to sever links with Britain and to become "normal" countries.

NAFTA and the EU
simple answer is because the EU didn't just "evolve" that way. Monnet and Adenauer were quite blunt about what they wanted.

History is always written by the victors. Most histories of the rise of the EU will always look back at Monnet and Adeneur and see them as the heroes/evil geniuses, behind a Bilderberg style conspiracy. This was not the way in which the EEC actually started. There were large safeguards for state sovereignty, many of the founding members were sceptical - notably the French and the Dutch. There was a conspiracy to unite Europe, but it was not in overall charge. It took years before the EEC become powerful enough to become the EU, and it was not so much the ideologically charged conspirators but the bureaucratic evolution that is necesary for these economic pacts to stay alive.

The recent release of the cabinet papers from 1971 show that anyone who looked at what the EEC was about realized it would at the very least turn into an Economic Union.

David Owen, Labour foreign secretary from 1977 to 1979 didn't see this. Margaret Thatcher, who pushed the Single European Act in 1985 didn't see this. The pro-Europeans want the public to believe that the nature of the EEC was manifest when we joined, so that any argument is swotted by the line "well that's what you voted for in 1975". Well it's not, and it's not what many intelligent and (then)pro-European politicians and business men supported either.

The Bennett Anglosphere idea has no such ulterior motive

I'm not worried about Jim Bennett, I'm worried about the head of the North Atlantic commision in 2025.

Defence Pacts
Defence pacts dictate where our troops go and what our defensive capabilities are. - EG
It's not an objection to the Anglosphere per se.

It is when the Anglosphere includes defence co-operation.

Constitutional protections
Heaven's sake it's difficult enough to get fast-track trade authority for the President. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to give away trade authority to an Anglosphere version of the EU.

Politics ain't static. "It was difficult enough to get Parliament to ratify the Treaty of Accession in 1972. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to ratify the Treaties of Nice or Amsterdam." There's also this article on the way NAFTA limits sovereignty already.

Defence Pacts
With current technology, alliances can trascend geography.

They always could, it is the wisdom that I'm questioning.

It's usefulness, capability and inter-operability rather than geographical proximity that should dictate our choice of allies.

With respect, its our strategic priorities rather than choice of allies, that should be a function of geographical proximity. The problem with bringing in America, Australia or South Africa in as our allies is that we also bring on board their strategic priorities as well. They may be, indeed they are, splendid chaps - but their geography dictates an entirely different set of strategic priorities from our own.

The Anglo-Indians
Of course Britain would be under greater external threat if India were overrun by Pakistan tomorrow. A massively resurgent Islamic power with the bomb and the sense of invincibility that would generate would almost certainly be looking for new targets. The former colonial power would probably be a good candidate.

Why? Pakistan's strategic priorities are to arrest Russian expansionism from the north (often expressed through Pashtun and Baluchi nationalism within Pakistan), and to hold off aggresive Iranian and Indian powers sandwiching it east and west. The Pakistanis have got enough on their hands without worrying about a grudge match.

It has never once occured to Israel's leaders to use their bomb against a (thoroughly disliked) ex-colonial power - even when the old bosses of the Stern gang had their hands on the trigger.

Furthermore, a significant proportion of British Indians would be somewhat unhappy. There would be an internal threat too.

Internal threats can be dealt with by internal measures.

It looks like correspondance is closed from Iain Murray's point of view, but if anyone else would like to join battle - just let me know.
Natalie Solent asks why "when there are 15 members of the EU, were there only twelve mystic stars". The version I heard was that it was supposed to represent the woman with twelve stars around her head in the Book of Revalations, which the predominantly Catholic architects of the European Union would have seen as representing Mary. In fact the design is based upon the window in Strasbourg Cathedral, but they started at six until they got to twelve, and then said stop. (Source Catholic Information Network).

I remember when I heard Ian Paisley put this view forward, and I thought that it was mad (he gets a wee bit agitated about the Holy Mother Church), but much to my shame I found out that Fr Paisley was right.
Saturday, January 05, 2002
Sniping at the Anglosphere

It seems that Iain Murray is a bit sore at Sunderland being knocked out of the cup. Any way he makes some points which demand some answers, later. Unfortunately he will not answer my subsequent points, so I will have to do with the last word. Tomorrow.

It should be no surprise that the Sunday Mirror is a joke, but the forging of an interview with Bin Laden's son still makes journalistic ethics look thin.
What's Osama thinking?

In my view this is the most important question of all. If he is a political animal then he can be dealt with by a mixture of force and calculated negotiation, if a psychopath then we have to eliminate him. Some suggestions from the Bin Laden letters.

I've been commented upon, by Orrin Judd, and he says; no, you have to read it yourself. And I replied and said, again you should read it.

These comments areas are for you, dear reader.
Tories have principles - shock

Some good news, the Tories in Brussels are splitting. It seems that Duncan Smith has insisted that the Center Right grouping does not use any of the Tories money for pro Euro literature, and they've refused. It looks like the Tories are going to leave the Center Right grouping. This will put some of the Tory MEPs in a quandry, as their committee posts will be gone. So a few of the more pro-European members may stay with the Center Right and so split with the Tories. The Times says (no doubt this is an exageration) that this could be as much as a third of the Tory delegation will stay with the Center Right. This gives Eurosceptics two opportunities. Firstly they should demand that the Tories purge all those MEPs who stay in the Center Right group when the Tories leave. Secondly they can suggest at every opportunity that any selection of a pro-European will risk a defection two years down the line (as was the case with Bill Newton Dunn)

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