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The current crisis is taken straight from the Litany: 1. Battle, murder, and sudden death - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The current crisis is taken straight from the Litany: 1. Battle, murder, and sudden death


Abroad, there has been battle and murder, and sudden death.


At home, sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion.


Things have actually reached the point at which someone such as I finds himself in agreement with Tony Benn, David Blunkett, and Nick Clegg, in vindicating the rights and privileges of a Tory MP so wet you could shoot snipe over him.


No, really.


Let us take a look at things, shall we? Yes, even at the risk of being thought ‘imperialist’ in looking more to geopolitical consequences than to domestic ones, in speaking of India, Pakistan, Thailand, Iraq, and all the rest.


The fact is, that we, in a globalised world, are as much tethered to what that prize ass Chamberlain called ‘quarrels in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing’ as we were in the palmiest days of Empire.  Take Nepal, for example.  There has been no doubt some remote and Olympian sympathy for the people of Nepal, who have gone from monarchy to Maoism without even a brief moment of democracy.  I, for one, am daily distressed in their behalf.  But in addition to my sympathies, I own also to a purely selfish worry: what happens when the Maoist buggers denounce the arrangements under which the British Army has long been able to rely, with relief, upon those most magnificent of fighting men, the Brigade of Ghurkhas?  I don’t really think that is imperialist on my part: it seems rather to be a valid concern for all who wish to maintain the bulwarks of freedom, which task occasionally involves fighting, and for which fighting the Ghurkhas are indispensable.


The news of late has not been unrelievedly dire: the Sofa – Status of Forces Agreement – for the Yanks in Iraq went through the Iraqi parliament in a perfectly democratic fashion, for example.


Yet there is much that is dire in the world around us.


Winter has long been the most effective marshal in the Russian armies, a master of defensive tactics.  One needn’t approve of the Tsar or of Stalin to have cheered the Russians on when their invaders were that utter shit Bonaparte and that vile creature Hitler.  Now, however, Marshal Winter is being deployed on the offensive.  Once again, the East-West pipeline is a subject of fierce Russian pressure, the more so as Georgia has been callously raped in pursuance of this very advantage; and so long as the Bear’s paw is on the tap, to that degree are Finlandised, not only M Putain’s ‘near abroad’, but the Continental governments.  We want to keep a close eye upon the negotiations between Ukraine and the Kremlin, and also upon tomorrow’s general election in Rumania.


The rape of Georgia – yes, I know the feminists formerly on my friends-list never liked the term; so be it – has had other grave consequences as well, intended or not.  Turkey, although in rather better economic shape than when it last confronted a global economic crisis, is in want of assistance from the IMF; it is however in rather worse domestic political shape.  A significant and growing portion of the populace are increasingly suspicious of – indeed, enthralled by conspiracy theories regarding – the IMF and the global financial system, and they are becoming restive.  The Ataturkan covenant, with secularism as a fundamental pillar of the settlement, is unravelling.  This is a dreadful thing to contemplate.


Nor is it only in Turkey that the covenant is unravelling.  I cannot help but sympathise with pro-democracy forces anywhere, Thailand included.  Yet they can on occasion be manipulated into acting as cat’s-paws; and the internal crisis of credibility and consent that has afflicted the Thai government was the result of Islamist terror campaigns in the south of that kingdom, and the ineffectiveness of the response of the late and current governments.  One wants to see what role the Thai army – and HM the King – chose to play: one similar to that played by the Russian Army and Mr Yeltsin; the Spanish Army and HM King Juan Carlos; and the Philippine Army and Mrs Aquino – or that played by the junta in Burma (Myanmar). 


And then, of course, there is the subcontinent.


As I have remarked, it is even now uncertain to what extent the Pakistani state were involved in the Mumbai terror operations.  Anyone may take a name for their organisation, and DM is meant to evoke the domestic terrorist franchise, IM.  Yet this is in several ways a distinction without a difference.  Firstly, this is a meaningless distinction in that ‘domestic’ Islamist terrorist groups within India are heavily interpenetrated with and by outside state and nonstate terrorism supporters; SIMI’s history in this regard is undeniable, and LeT is for all practical purposes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Pakistan ISI.  Secondly, as I have previously noted, the government of India are constrained by prudence and by political necessity alike, with BJP nipping at the heels of the Congress-led coalition, to treat the terror operations as having links to Pakistan.


Thirdly – and this is a point I have not stressed sufficiently before now – it is meaningless to speak of Pakistan as a state actor or state supporter of or opponent of terrorism, because the government of Pakistan is seeing and has seen its writ run no further than its capital, and not so far as the major players in the state.  The military is a power in its own right with little to tie it to the government of the day or indeed to the civilian structures of the state.  The ISI are still more a case of imperium in imperio.  We are watching the collapse of Pakistan as a state, in ways reminiscent of the decay of both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.  The overruling of the head of government’s stated intention to send the head of the ISI to liaise with the Indian government in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks is unimaginably significant.


Also significant, and suggestive of where responsibility may be lodged, is the specific targetings of US and UK passport holders, the Oberoi and the Taj, and Nariman House (to the families of those slain there, I can do no more than to say, May the Almighty comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem).  But those connexions are easy enough to draw, and we need not discuss them further than I have done in my earlier remarks.


Granted that the world is descending swiftly into an anarchic and Hobbesian state of the warfare of all against all – ask any ship’s captain off Somalia – it is imperative that the free nations be at the ready and capable of action.  Yet at this moment, there is a constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom the gravity of which cannot be overstated.  To that we shall next turn.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: November 29th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
the more so as Georgia has been callously raped in pursuance of this very advantage

There are times when this term is appropriate, and I am sorry to say that the bend over and tell me that you like it actions of Russia in Georgia constitute such a time.

The one factor that I would add is that the attacks on India come in the wake of some apparently genuine progression between the Indian and Pakistani governments (insert '' around governments as desired). I do not think this is coincidental.

I also do not think I can read your following post at the moment as the whole thing is far too depressing, even though it mimics similar acts of bastardry in several other Western nations since the War On Abstract Nouns began.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: November 30th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Quite right, I meant to have noted that. Thank you -

- as ever, for supplying my lapses.

The Westminster crisis is simply too appalling for words; yet words must be deployed in protest, lest we fall into the nicely-nicely candy floss diction that results in Wars on Abstract Nouns (when we ought robustly to have said all along, War on Islamism, and damn the people who've a fit of the vapours over plain speaking).
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