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Counterproductive Tactics

What a spectacular misjudgement the Spanish government made in their response to the referendum in Catalonia.

Yes it did not have official sanction and therefore was illegal but to send in riot police and beat up citizens is not going to win over voters. It may have the diametrically opposite effect.

In a similar vein, if you wish to convince the citizens of a country with whose head of state you have a dispute to get rid of him themselves and that you are not a threat to those citizens in the way he claims then it isn’t perhaps the wisest pronouncement to say you will totally destroy said country.

A New Iraq?

The lead story on the lunchtime BBC news today (18/2/12) concerned Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. There followed some guy (from the Armed Services Institute?) talking about the ramifications of that on the likes of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc as regards proliferation.

The second story on the guardian‘s front page was headlined US believes strike on Iran is inevitable later this year.

Looks like Cowdenbeath are a banker for the Division 2 title this year, then. (With a side order of Armageddon.)

Seriously, though. What are these guys on? Remember Mr Irresponsible during the 2010 General Election campaign? It seems now like that was a prediction rather than an idle slip of the tongue.

How can I put this?

Iran poses no threat whatsoever to the UK. Still less does it pose a threat to the US. I’ll give you it may be a (possible) threat to Israel but its posture there may be rhetorical rather than real. However, there is no way it could invade either the UK or US; nor could it overthrow their governments.

And if it is in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons why might that be?

It has seen its neighbour, Iraq, attacked, on the flimsiest of pretexts, mainly by the US and the UK – and thereafter thoroughly destabilised. It does not want the same happening to it. It knows Israel has nuclear weapons almost certainly targeted on it; it also knows North Korea has such a “deterrent” and is treated more carefully as a result. In its mind developing nuclear weapons might be a rational response to its current circumstances. We (the UK, along with the US) have a history of interfering with the region that goes back a long way. If I were them I wouldn’t trust us either.

The ratcheting up of the Iranian situation reminds me of the run-up to the (second) Iraq war. Drip by drip of increasingly ludicrous assertions. (A much heightened version of this sort of thing was evident in the German press in the summer of 1939.)

I don’t much go for the idea that we could be the bad guys but, in the absence of any attack by Iran on us (or, at a push, Israel) that would be the case here; as it was in Iraq.

Moreover, and again as with Iraq, it would be thoroughly counterproductive.

The ramifications of an attack on Iran would only confirm the idea that the “West” sees Muslims as a whole as targets and though it would take time might make recent terrorist attacks seem like a garden party. Any occupation of Iran would make our involvement in Iraq seem like a picnic and Vietnam a cakewalk.

Do we really want that?

Kim Jong Il

So now it’s The Dear Leader who’s passed on.

You daren’t switch on the news…..

Mind you, Big Rab, who monitors the North Korean News Agency on a semi-regular basis, has been of the opinion that something was amiss for some while. Perhaps they were trying to ensure the succession.

The Agency seems not to have featured the news of Kim Jong Il’s death yet.

I doubt it will mean better times for the North Korean people whoever takes over the mantle.

Spain 2-0 Honduras

Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, 21/6/10

Well, Spain got their win. Honduras were almost non-existent in an attacking sense and were there to be taken as North Korea had been by Portugal earlier.

While undeniably delightful on the eye, Spain played dreadfully tippy-tappy, nonsense football at times, Xavi a particular culprit. Give it a welly now and again!

David Villa looked sharp, but then missed a penalty. Torres was out of sorts. Perhaps when his touch returns Spain might have more of a cutting edege.

On this evidence, Spain won’t win this World Cup. They might not even reach round two, as Chile need a point from them to be sure of their own progress. That result would condemn Spain to elimination as Switzerland will surely beat Honduras. Even a one goal win would do the Swiss if Spain manage to defeat Chile by two or more.

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