Saturday, July 22, 2006



Third world war - who cares?

The global markets are little fussed by the possible outbreak of another world war. This could explain the hugely different attitudes we are seeing.

As David Hume observed, rather disarmingly: 'Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger." . . . What is happening in Lebanon is a human tragedy but it is not an economic one. Lebanon itself is economically insignificant, with an economy three times smaller than that of Manhattan. Its entire gross domestic product is a rounding error in the US growth figures. The reason investors noticed the conflagration at all is that oil prices rose, reflecting a small risk of a severe disruption to supplies. Financial Times

Moreover, the BBC report today on the conflict:

Britain and America are the only countries not calling for a cease fire in the Middle East. The view of the two countries seems to be that an immediate cessation of hostilities would not lead to an endurable peace.


The Times tells us At the G8 meeting the split was six to two for an immediate ceasefire, with the United States and Britain as the two dissidents. The Guardian reported earlier this month The US and Britain insisted on [16 July] at the G8 summit in St Petersburg that criticism of Israel be removed from a joint communique.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Preventing the third world war - a priority for the G8?

Recent events in the Middle East seem to have taken precedence at this year's G8.

The third world war I believe has already started, Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to the UN said on CNN, referring to the war on terrorism. What we’re seeing . . . is a chapter of it. Middle East aflame, but who cares?

Should order be restored? Many members of the G8, and the UN Secretary-General, think yes; they want an international peacekeeping force to go into the area, assuming a peace can first be negotiated somehow. A prisoner release may be a pre-requisite.

However the US, another G8 member, seems to want the two sides in the ME to fight to the death. Recommendations to this effect are appearing in the US media.

A major theme of the new campaign is that the more conciliatory "realist" policies toward Syria and Iran pursued by the State Department have actually backfired by making Washington look weak. US Hawks v State Department

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