Friday, July 26, 2013


Say what you will about George W. Bush as President: he has at least been a good ex-President. He hasn't interfered with his successor, and has stayed on the sidelines, unobtrusively.

Bill Clinton has been more of an activist, but has stuck to public speeches. He did speak out against W. during his two terms, but he also teamed up with Bush Senior in several projects, and hasn't directly interfered in, say, foreign policy.

Then we come to Jimmy Carter. It's hard to think of a worse example of an ex-President. He has often directly interfered with U.S. foreign policy. During the run-up to the First Gulf War he wrote to France and China to urge them not to support the U.S. Sent by Clinton as a negotiator to Haiti, he undermined our policy and made Clinton look foolish.

And now, he makes this comment, not in the U.S., but to the foreign press: "America has no functioning democracy at this moment." One might think, perhaps, that this statement is in response to Congressional stalemate. But no: it's actually in response to Snowden, whom he seems to think is some sort of hero.

One can only hope no one takes him seriously anymore.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

UN Peacekeepers

I've had a very long absence from posting - sorry! - but I will try to improve. There's certainly no shortage of things to say.

Recently read this story about the quality of UN peacekeepers. No huge surprises, but the extent of the incompetence is still amazing:

There was a bunch of Ukrainians, who typically rolled out of bed at noon, cracked open the vodka, and drank until dawn the next day, before going back to bed. The commander no longer bothered asking them to do anything.

Later on...

He was left to rely on a tough and professional contingent of Kenyan soldiers. What proportion of his force could he actually count on? About a third, was his answer. It would have been better for everyone if two thirds of them had stayed at home.

Remind me again what the UN's purpose is? Other than to condemn Israel, I mean.