Interesting times in store as global events take even stranger turns
WHILE very understandably much of the public, media and political focus here has been on the appalling Cervical Check scandal, there are some hugely significant events unfolding across the globe. One of the most bizarre is the dual foreign relations strategy that is being followed by US President Donal Trump who might be about to bring peace to Korea while simultaneously plunging the Middle East into utter and absolute turmoil.
What seems like an age ago – all the way back in 2002 – former President George W Bush in his State of the Union address introduced the world to the ‘Axis of Evil’ a triumvirate of Iraq, Iran and North Korea that, Bush claimed, threatened the peace of the entire world.
We all know what subsequently happened to Iraq and its unfortunate people.
Now the fortunes of its partners in Bush’s ‘axis’ appear to be veering off in sharply different directions.
North Korea – whose despotic young leader appears confident that his nuclear bluster has secured his regime’s survival – is closer to peace with its southern neighbour in decades and there is a genuine international view that, this time, the talks might just work.
That this remarkable turn about on the Korean Peninsula is largely down to Donald Trump’s outlandish, aggressive and completely unpredictable approach to international relations makes the situation all the more bizarre.
Meanwhile in Iran – which is in the midst of an increasingly violent face-off with Israel in Syria – Donald Trump’s unusual take on ‘diplomacy’ and his decision to pull the USA out of its peace deal with the Islamic republic have seen tensions soar to dangerous heights not seen since the days of Ayatollah Khomeini.
A war involving the US, Iran and Israel is worryingly close and the Middle East – already engulfed in war, slaughter and suffering – could be about to go over the cliff altogether and descend into total chaos.
A key player in the middle eastern drama is another man who has had an interesting week, Russia’s President Putin.
Last week Putin was sworn in for what will, supposedly, be his final six year term as Russian premier.
Given the tensions between Russia and the west it is likely to be a tumultuous six years in the Kremlin.
And given his previous actions, if Putin is to leave politics in 2024 – which is far from certain – who knows what lengths he might go to secure his domestic legacy before he finally surrenders his Kremlin throne.
In another famous American speech, this time back in 1966, Bobby Kennedy made reference to an old, often misquoted Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times’.
As was the case in the mid sixties we are once again living in interesting, if not sometimes downright terrifying, times.
Lets just hope that sense can prevail and that things don’t get any more ‘interesting’ in the weeks and months ahead.