Archive for February, 2011

Another freak of weather makes freaks commonplace

She’s a Cat5 now and its going to be a long night in Cairns. Bigger than Tracy and stronger than Larry.

Brought on by climate change?

Just saying.

However, the government response prior to this disaster has been excellent and even innovative, I’ll say. Extra trains with $20 fares to assist evacuation of the expected area, along with other traditional preparations. Communication has also been good so far, with strong, unambiguous messages from Bligh. Looks like somebody has been working on their zombie plans. Nice work Qld SES.

Update on yesterday

Lets just add to the list above both Syria [21.7, mil. republic (french/islamic law), Jun 00] and Jordan [24.3, const. monarchy (french/islamic law), Feb 99]. Reports are circulating that home grown advocates in both of these locations are attempting to organise uprisings. In reality both of these places have had much older governments (’70 in the case of Syria and ‘53 in jordan). I am not sure if I lived in either of these places I would try it on were I a democracy advocate just yet. Syria is a very scary place, and the Jordanian king seems pretty popular. In fact all the monarchies in the gulf are likely to see much change as this wave of popular democracy crests and falls back, unless a couple more on my list roll their governments. Barring that, the monarchies in general have done a pretty good job of spreading around wealth and opportunity in their countries to keep the population less engaged in talk of regime change. I mean, I would be quite shocked if Sultan Al Qaboos went down in Oman.

So shock me world. Knock my socks off. Roll, say, 3 or more countries leadership over in places like Egypt, Yemen and Egypt or Israel. And then really surprise me by seeing the USA support democratic change, for a change, 22 years after the cold war ended, instead of playing “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. But why Israel in the list above? Its not an islamic, and its already a democracy.

Well, when Egypt falls, Israel will lose the only direct contact through Mubarak to the peace deal that Egypt took a chance on. It cost Sadat his life, but I am not sure how much the rest of the Egyptian population is committed to the deal. Israel will have a short window for greater peace once they need to establish ties with a new government in Egypt, and I am not sure the current one can do it. It might be time for the government to fall in Israel as well, so that a new one with a clear mandate for peace negotiations is in charge. If they settle well quickly with Egypt, they then have a chance to do something more urgent with the Palestinians. Provided, of course, that the USA applies further pressure in support of democratic movements once again.

But that would be dreaming, wouldn’t it?