Blog of Mass Distraction

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Well it's Christmas time and lots of people are getting their holiday spirit on. Starting with the spirit of rememberance. There were commemoration ceremonies in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other places for the tsunami that happened one year ago. I watched a portion of the speech given by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The massive natural disaster brought forth a massive international aid response and more money is needed and being requested for the rebuilding and development efforts. This is all well and good, but I still see barely any news or regular information about the massive drought in sub-Saharan Africa. The only regular information comes from sources like the BBC. Canadian media seems to cover it sparingly (last stuff I saw in the paper was some time ago... maybe a month or more). So the aptly timed tragedy of the tsunami gets coverage because it makes for good tv; 5 million starving Malawians however do not.

The holiday cheer continues with Chad declaring a state of war with neighbouring Sudan.1 Chad was upset with an attack which the Chad government says came from Sudan and killed over 100 of its citizens. The Sudanese government has denied all involvement and said it does not support any rebel groups in Chad. The African Union and a group of Islamic countries have been working on trying to defuse the hotbed issue.

While Israel is celebrating the first day of Hannukah, the Israeli government has said it will declare war on Iran if the US does not take a harder stance with them.2 If Iran is not recommended to the Security Council by March Israel has said it will unilaterally deal with the problem. Israel will strike possible nuclear targets in Iran as it did in Iraq with the Osirak reactor bombing. The problem being that Iran has learned from this incident and there are many different sites for their nuclear facilities. Israel could begin bombing them anyway, but this will draw a swift and brutal response from Iran. Israel is of course trying to get the US to do the dirty work for her. Both current Israeli leader Ariel Sharon and returning leadership hopeful Netanyahu have said they will attack Iran if the situation is not resolved. When asked how far they'll go, Israeli Military Chief Daniel Halutz said "2000 kilometers" (the distance from Israel to Iran).
Iran of course is not the push over that Iraq was for the US (well, the former central government in Iraq anyway). Iran has a strong standing army and could easily attack Israel with ballistic missiles, not to mention American targets in neighbouring Iraq. Unfortunately, the pro-Israeli lobby in the US is probably strong enough to push the United States into some action. If not, the current Israeli leadership is likely nutty enough to follow through on its threats. And Iranian President Ahmedinejad's ranting about Israel being wiped out and the nonsense about the holocaust not happening certainly doesn't help the situation.
Iran is of course entitled to peaceful-use nuclear technology. But the merest possibility of Iran attaining nuclear weapons is enough to push Israel to react violently. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons (which everyone knows thanks to Mordechai Vanunu).


Post a Comment

<< Home