The National Endowment for Democracy

Blog No.164. “The crisis that we are facing today [requires] our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. After all, why shouldn’t we believe that? […]

Going supernova

     Going supernova Blog no. 163. The brilliant point of light is the explosion of a star that has reached the end of its life, otherwise known as a supernova. Supernovae can briefly outshine entire galaxies and radiate more energy than our sun will in its entire lifetime…..Theoretical studies indicate that most supernovae are triggered […]

NZ’s pursuit of the ‘Rules-Based System.’

Blog No. 162. Wayne Mapp, a former National Party Minister of Defense, published a sensible and mildly cautionary article in the September/October 2018 issue of the house journal of the NZ Institute of International Affairs, the NZ International Review. The former minister was writing about the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018 recently released by the […]

Same old: same old!

  Blog No. 161 Over the previous month my personal life has been subject to considerable disruption. We have sold our home of the past eighteen years and, together with our menagerie of two dogs and three elderly chickens, moved and settled into a new house on the other side of town. Throughout the move, […]

In the Kingdom of the blind…

Blog No 160. It is said that “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed shall be king.” Given the ancient wisdom behind this statement, it is interesting to see its uptake by someone as one-eyed as Donald Trump. To make America great again and to ensure its ascent to the royal throne, America appears […]

Russia’s Syrian triumph

Blog No.159. Russia’s Syrian policy. In my Blog. No. 156, ‘The Tangled Web of Middle East Politics,’ (1) I attempted a résumé of the main ambitions and motivation of the multiple cooks engaged in spoiling the Middle Eastern broth. In this short blog I will expand on that blog by concentrating on Russia’s Syrian strategy. […]

Democratic follies

Western publics gulled into war in which everyone loses. Blog no. 158. I promised a blog about Trump’s two summits, the one with NATO leaders and the other, with Putin in Helsinki. I also promised that after Helsinki, I would comment at greater length on the Russia, Israel and USA triangular relationship in the context […]

Trump saves the World

Trump saves the world. Blog No. 157. I strive to post a blog every second Saturday. The next posting was due next week. However, so much is on Trump’s current itinerary that there is no way there will have been sufficient time for the outcomes of his momentous meetings to emerge and be given due […]

The Tangled Web of Middle East Politics.

     Blog No. 156. All the time, often in the foreground and always in the background of global affairs, there is the East meets West fault line that runs through the Middle East. I thought it might be helpful to have a country by country review of how each contending country stands. Such a review, […]

Summitry – consummate and inconsummate.

  Blog No. 155. Suddenly, the arena of global affairs is filled with multiple gladiatorial spectacles. In the recent period we have had major summits in Quebec, Singapore and Qingdao. In the Middle East, the US has torn up the Iran nuclear deal, there are plausible reports that the US neo-con faction is contemplating the […]