International Politics

Presidential sounds of silence are fuelling the fire engulfing SA

Workers Day, May 1 2022, offered South Africans sharply contrasting images of President Cyril Ramaphosa and leader of the official opposition John Steenhuisen. Ramaphosa had a double indignity heaped on him at a rally at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, North West. The obvious injury to presidential pride was his forced removal from the keynote [...]

Putin’s war has sorted the wheat from the chaff — and there’s lots of chaff

Today, barring a huge upset, Emmanuel Macron will be re-elected president of France. However, if polling was always accurate President Hillary Clinton would be in her second term in the US and the UK would be still a leading member of the EU. The election in France revolves in part on how toxic the embrace [...]

Don’t cry for us: Argentina’s political nightmare is mirrored in SA

Big investor selloff; huge currency decline against the US dollar; a reformist leader hemmed in by populist and corrupt rivals; the former president uses the head of state’s difficulties to launch their fightback; a resource-rich economy is trapped in negative sentiment and low growth and unemployment and poverty ticks upward. If this looks depressingly familiar [...]

The economic miracle of a land dubbed ‘ardently capitalist communist’

A couple of weeks ago, from 10,000km away, I had an epiphany. Or several of them. On a family vacation, I was standing outside the enormous, postmodern Samsung factory near Da Nang, a coastal city and resort in central Vietnam. The first of these was a remembrance, aided by Max Hastings’ new book, Vietnam — An Epic [...]

By |2019-01-25T09:21:59+00:00January 25th, 2019|International Politics, Opinion, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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
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