A very silly point of view. Britain is supposed to run after the Americans doing whatever it is they want when they want however we may feel and regardless of our doubts?
If we don’t:
“Britain, however, has degraded its position and credibility … While France is reasserting its claim to be a global power”.
What the British parliament did was in sync with what the British public want. The public may not always be right but it is folly to ignore them altogether. It’s their money that will be spent fighting wars, it’s their children/uncles/fathers who will be sent to war zones, it’s their cities that could be terrorised by bombers etc. Prestige of working alongside the U.S should never take precedence over first coming to an agreement that this is what must be done. Maybe the Prime Minister should have spent more time on propaganda before going to the MPs but I think in the end the decision not to back a Syrian attack at this point was the correct one. It may well not be the correct one when the full facts are in. We remember Iraq. France doesn’t because it wasn’t there. France was in Libya and Mali. But those countries are not Iraq and Syria and are not in the Middle East.
Good luck to France being the wingman who jumps when the U.S barks.
The morbid and self-pitying wailing coming from Republicans, post the US election, is not only childish but wretched and pathetic. The way it looks, if Republicans win the White House they earn a mandate to make (or repeal) the laws all Americans must follow. But if they lose they want the President-Elect assassinated, individual states to secede and people to buy ammunition in preparation of the coming fight (or defense) of their Amendment Rights. This coterie of ignoramuses can’t see how much they are making, and have over the last four years made, a mockery of “the country we so love” before the rest of the world, tarring the “good name” of America with the filthy muck more associated with despots and failed states. Multiple comments about how America is now finished, that this is the end, that Obama is a communist (!, go figure), America is now for the takers not the makers etc are asinine if not imbecilic.
Let’s look at this another way: Americans are quick to harp on about their military and how their soldiers are around the world fighting for democracy and freedom. (And yes, they fought for freedom, though not democracy, in World War I and II and we are grateful). Fast forward to the 21st Century and let’s assume American soldiers bring democracy to a troubled country and a political party is elected to office. For what will the blood of “our brave men and women” have been shed if the losing party then decides to rend the country? Isn’t the whole point of democracy to engineer a majority rule as the fairest system of governance (or else we will fight each other to perdition) and everyone else falls in line until the next election? Isn’t the opposition then supposed to help debate issues and proposed legislation, intelligently and constructively, rather than being ingrates and obstructionists as the Republicans have been? Crucially, isn’t the opposition supposed to figure out what went wrong at the previous election and then evolve or better educate the public so they (the opposition) stand a better chance of winning at the next? Is this what Republicans are thinking of doing? Oh no, democracy be damned. They plan to dig in their heels and fight the good fight of conservatism!!! Let the country go to pot. It’s no wonder the typical Republican is regarded by the rest of humanity (except possibly by fascists and extremists) as being thick as a log.
The present state of the Republican Party illustrates very clearly why religion is (or at least one of the reasons why it is) such a dangerous master and this applies from America to Iran to Popery. Religion is grounded in and furthered by near-sighted diehards who are intent on and willing to clubber their way to power; imposing their bigoted and appallingly narrow views on all and sundry. Perhaps this should be less of a surprise given that the god of the Christians and the Muslims, and of course the Jews, (assuming he is one and the same) is an inflexible and unyielding tyrant. It’s always His way or hell. At the rate things are going in America, if the Republicans don’t repent of their self-destructive sin, then the world might just be witnessing the beginnings of a slow moving train wreck: civil disobedience, civil war and the implosion of the “greatest country the world has ever seen”. So in the end, it won’t be China that brings down America but God through the GOP. How tragic. And the experiment that began with such lofty ideals in 1776 would be smashed by the crazy mis-illusions of God’s Own People.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love”
Most good men know that, when it comes to politicians, one must needs doubt truth and reckon it to be a lie. Since getting elected is something of a con game of bribery, deceit and subterfuge, even the gods must forgive many from avoiding politics altogether for risk of despoiling their characters. Sadly, politicians direct our metalives by which I mean the grand framework within which we must conduct our daily tasks and fulfill our individual aspirations. And in moments of crisis especially, the masses hunt for a saviour, sometimes even a tyrant, who will come in from leftfield and bring order to disorder.
And so came Herman Cain from nowhere to dominate the republican presidential race. Like Obama he was unknown, unlike Obama he wasn’t elitist. Or so the story went. Like Obama he is black but unlike Obama he is (or has been) stupid. He was a mathematician and has been chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas so we must grant him some intelligence. But when one is running for president, one is not in Kansas anymore. Mr Cain’s silliness is this: when allegations of adultery and sexual harassment arose, he should not have done what sane politicians do, that is, hunker down in denial mode with the wife by his side. This is incomprehensibly stupid. This strategy does not work. In a world of Twitter, Facebook, 24/7 media and Huffington Post you just can’t get away with saying “I don’t remember” or “It never happened” when in fact you do remember and it did happen. Instead, this is what Herman should have said (with the obligatory wife by his side):
“My wife and I have been married for forty happy years and have two beautiful children and three adorable grandchildren. As anyone who’s been married a long long time knows the incandescent sexual flames that typify early love invariably cool and coalesce into a friendship, companionship and love that is not only magical but also is irreplaceable. My wife and I, I admit, have a relationship no different from most lovers. We have not had sex for, as far as I remember, going on twenty years now. That has not changed the love and respect we have for each other or the ties between us. Speaking for myself, notwithstanding, I remain as any man alive sexually active and frankly, I prefer the warmth of a woman’s body to beating myself off. [Pause to allow the laughter and applause to die down]. I admit that over the last twenty years I have had numerous extramarital affairs. In none of them have I promised anyone my undying love or led them to believe that I might leave my wife. In none has sex not been between consenting adults. In all of them I have treated women with utmost respect even extending financial assistance when needed. I have made passes at many women and, as all men have discovered, not all passes are successful. In some cases I have now been accused of harassment which I absolutely deny. [This may well be a lie but only an eyewitness would know for sure. I’ll leave it in the speech].
If the American people would rather elect a candidate who reluctantly practices celibacy when his loins are in turmoil or if the American people prefer the practice of masturbation to consensual sex then I will withdraw from the race. If on the other hand the American people prefer practical and vigorous men with real life experience in our military and in business, then I hereby extend my hand of fellowship and will be happy to accept your votes as the next president of our great country. I believe the best of America is yet to come. [Pause and wait for applause to die down]. As your next president, this is what we will embark upon. Thank you and God bless America”
Have I contradicted myself and just drafted a speech that lays itself open to accusations of bullshit and cynicism? Perhaps. But I’d have preferred this speech to Cain’s lies and denials. At least my draft has elements of sincerity and candidness. I would still hate the Republican party but would have had more respect for the man Cain. Anyway, so long Mr Cain.