A momentous year awaits.
It’s opened with a hell of a bang with the White Island eruption, then the catastrophic incineration of Australia, followed quickly by the uncatastrophic elimination of Iran’s military head and best of all, the Pope physically assaulting a fellow sky-bayer. We certainly need more of that to brighten our lives.
Seemingly, everywhere, from Paris to Chile, Hong Kong, Beirut, Iran, Morocco, Tehran, La Paz, Khartoum, Baghdad et al, people are protesting in vast numbers, pointless as such mass actions rarely achieve anything other than sometimes a change of faces at the top.
Meanwhile Brexit looms and will bring adjustment confusions which I have no doubt in time will heal but will still see a storm of “we told you so” from embittered Remainders.
Ahead lies our general election which looks likely to be a close-run thing, albeit whatever the outcome, nothing significant will change in quiet and steady New Zealand.
Immensely more momentous is the American Presidential election which promises to be the most turbulent in the nation’s history. The House impeachment trial may flush up further damaging revelations but Trump’s greatest concern is a Court verdict, currently being pursued on specious political grounds, to reveal his finances. Trump’s thick skin can dismiss the pay-offs to diverse tarts but what his monumental ego will hate given he measures everything solely in money terms, is the revelation of his true net worth, something I’ll wager is nothing like he asserts.
On a different note, he’s been played like a trout by North Korea’s eating champion, the disgusting Kim Jong Un. The execution of General Soleimani may silence the obese one’s constant threats for if there’s one thing consistent about Trump, that is his erratic behavior which makes him impossible to deal with.
That said, further threats or militancy from the likes of Iran will provide Trump opportunity to use America’s overwhelming military technical advantages for similar actions, knowing as history shows, the public rally round the leader in such times and thus such actions are a fantastic prop in an election year. Trump’s core support is rock solid, so too the Democrats base, thus as is so often the case in western democracies, the election will be decided by the middle floating voters.
But talk of war is infantile. Iran is an enfeebled military power with a second world war style army. It took 8 years to repel Iraq and a few years later, a month for America to do so, thanks to technology.
Wars between nations are now outmoded. Armies everywhere are certainly active only inevitably aiming their guns at unarmed civilians, or, their half-witted personnel shooting down civilian passenger planes, as sadly occurred in Tehran, far from the first such event. Such bravery! Nevertheless there’s been no wars between nations this century. The last was in the 1990s between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed territory. Knowing each country I’d heavily back the Dannevirk rugby club against both their armies.
Military actions, such as in Eastern Ukraine or Yemen, are proxy wars on behalf of stronger powers, in those cases respectively Russia and the Ukraine and Saudi Arabia and Iran. Despite Iranian bluster talk of war is absurd. The main consequence of killing Soleimani will be more innocent civilian deaths in Europe but also America, by mad Moslem loners bawling Allah Akbar.
As said, 2020 promises to be a momentous, bringing to mind Donald Rumsfeld, brainless George Bush’s Secretary of Defense, and his wonderful expression, “there are knowns and unknowns and unknown unknowns,” this very applicable to the year ahead.
As said, we live in momentous times.