International Politics

Saudis reminded that even impunity has its limits

If the scriptwriters of the blockbuster television series Homeland had invented such a yarn it might have been rejected by its producers as too fanciful, and certainly too gory, to be filmed. A well-known dissident Saudi journalist enters his country's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and is never seen again; soon enough the host country provides lurid details [...]

By |2018-10-29T12:49:24+00:00October 29th, 2018|International Politics, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Vietnam War-like outcomes loom over social engineering schemes

With SA’s currency crashing through the floor, the petrol price going through the roof and confidence going out of the window, few bright spots shine amid a winter of discontent. But one stay-at-home value proposition (at a monthly subscription of just $9) is Netflix. It provides a cornucopia of viewing richness, unadorned by adverts or [...]

The dangerous delusions on planet Zuma

For students of American politics, there are at least three reasons to remember the late U.S. Senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater.  First, as the Republican presidential nominee back in 1964 he posted one of the most catastrophic losses in modern American politics. Incumbent president Lyndon Johnson demolished him by the extraordinary margin of 22.58% of [...]

By |2017-06-29T09:56:38+00:00June 28th, 2017|International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

And the ‘Every Man for Himself’ award on Zuma’s sinking ship goes to…

US President Donald Trump has strong local competition for the award which columnist David Brooks recently bestowed on him.  He declared that the erratic leader of the free world as ‘ the all-time record holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect.’ In 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger – two academic psychologists at Cornell University – described [...]

By |2017-06-27T14:48:45+00:00June 25th, 2017|International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: Expect only the unexpected

'Present at the Creation' was the title of US Secretary of State Dean Acheson's autobiography. As the US's chief diplomat between 1949 and 1953, he inaugurated and witnessed key events that shaped our world after the end of the war against Hitler and the commencement of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet [...]

By |2017-06-20T21:29:28+00:00June 14th, 2017|Brexit, International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Restive voters pull rug from under the feet of complacent potentates

It’s the memes wot won it. This shorthand definition of an image, video or cartoon — usually humorous and shared rapidly by internet users — is one of many explanations for the extraordinary results posted in Thursday’s British general election. Bundled off the campaign just three days before the poll because of a series of [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:03:51+00:00June 12th, 2017|Brexit, International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Two lessons from abroad on how to bring our rainbow back

Israel is one of the few countries available for the South African political establishment to burnish their human rights credentials.  For reasons of solidarity and expediency or simple inattention,  such gross rights violators as Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Syria –where political protestors are shot dead, imprisoned or gassed  with poison respectively, escape both attention and censure. [...]

A tale of two seriously damaged presidents. One of them is ours

'The return of Molefe to Eskom and the ridiculous reasons offered for it makes even Trump’s explanation for firing James Comey seem plausible' Here are two — of several — quotes plucked from the weekend which seem to describe the depressing national condition into which the Jacob Zuma presidency has plunged South Africa with its [...]

Unravelling constitutional threads that keep fabric of nation intact

Small business minister is the latest recruit to the ranks of thread-pullers that put hard-won settlement at risk From the balcony of my temporary accommodation on a marina outside Tel Aviv last Monday, I witnessed the flyover of the latest additions to Israel’s air force, already by far the mightiest in this war-ravaged region. Israel [...]

By |2017-05-16T08:33:01+00:00May 10th, 2017|International Politics|0 Comments

Plunder, stealing – and this they falsely call a presidency

Tony Leon finds parallels in literature ranging from Superman to Tacitus to ‘Catch-22’ for the plight of the president and his party. Several notables are cited as originators of the famous formula, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." Among the claimants is Joseph Heller, author of the iconic 20th-century satirical novel [...]