Monday, February 28, 2005

Tipping Point!


Lots happening, I don't have time or bandwidth to cover in detail, will fill what follows out with links in a couple of days.

The ordinary folks in the Arab world decided that what works for blue-fingered Iraqis should work fine for them.
1. Lebanese government
resigned & Syria now under huge popular pressure to pull out.
2. Israel held back after the suicide killings over the weekend, and fingered Syria
3. And the Palestinians have done a decent job stopping their own killers.
4. Syria dropped its sanctuary policy and handed over Saddam’s brother in law.
5. Mubarak in Egypt has agreed to free-ish elections.
6. Russians started the clock ticking to take the Iranian reactor down by
contracting to supply it with enriched Uranium - messy to whack it after it’s fuelled up.
7. The Saudis have said that they may give women the vote. OK, votes are for dogcatcher level, but it’s a start.

The defensive postures of Taiwan and Japan just got much better.
1. An Aegis cruiser with Raytheon's spiffy new Standard-3 missile
took down an IRBM warhead 2 minutes after launch. And the Navy plans to have the S-3 deployed on 18 ships by year-end. This removes the worry that nobody talks about – the vulnerability of US carriers to even small nuclear strikes. Now, the Chinese will be kept away from Taiwan. And Aegis cruisers 100 miles off the North Korean coast will shred any launches from that direction.
2. Japan got its “non-military” satellite launcher
back in business, which gives them their ballistic missile platform.

On the minus side, the British Army is self-destructing, confirming the Granita Tapes.
1. Its Commander-in-Chief apologized to the Iraqis for harming thieves caught stealing their food.
2. The Army is prosecuting another 50 soldiers, including an SAS trooper who killed a non-uniformed person in a firefight – I guess the news that the killers don’t wear uniforms hasn’t filtered through to London yet.

3. In contrast, the USMC won’t prosecute the Marine filmed killing the wounded Iraqi in Fallujah. And the cameraman that made a splash of it is in the Witness Protection Program.