News from Israel
Dayan Ha Emet.
On October 12th it was an outpouring of grief with the loss of Ali Mazrui
The 25th October, Jack Bruce
has moved on to the hereafter…
As early as the last decades of the last century it was common knowledge in military strategic quarters that he who controls the oceans and the seas is in charge. Of course this does not diminish the importance of air power. I have often thought about this when people start sounding off about the impasse over Iran and their alleged ambition to become the world’s next great nuclear power – thinking of the fleet of nuclear tipped submarines stationed just off the coast of Eritrea and elsewhere and the damage that they could do (God forbid) and not only to Tehran & Qom. And that after the first wave of really ferocious allied bombing the entire Iranian fleet would find their final resting place in a watery grave at the bottom of the Persian Gulf.
He who controls the oceans and the seas.
Here’s another kind of control:
”Melodies, that flow like the breeze
Through the trees, like my forefathers
Command the wind and seas
With my jungle music”
But back to our own home waters.
About the brazen submarine intruder or intruders it’s a pity that we couldn’t have said of it or them,
”WEE, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!”
Sure, along with the whole nation I’ve been following the news this past week, following the trials and tribulations of the Swedish Navy, the hopes and uncertainties that accompanied the wild-goose chase after enemy submarines lurking in the nearby waters of the Swedish archipelago. What a glorious dénouement it would have been if after spending twenty million Swedish crowns on the mission, Anders Grenstad could have finally said “We got you ! You’re under arrest – you have the right to make one phone call or remain silent so you better shut up !”
“The biggest military operation since the Cold War has ended. A week of reconnaissance at a cost of just over 20 million. Result: “We do not know for sure what it was,” says operational chief Anders Grenstad” (Mikael Delin, in this morning’s DN print edition)
Not Veni, vidi, vici – not exactly, but whoever is behind the submarine incursion must be laughing heartily or maybe only laughing quietly. He or she came with impunity, navigated past the booby traps jumped up like a dolphin to be snapped by some photographer who happened to be at the right place at the right time and then like a thief in the night, the submarine (if indeed it was one) slinked away and is now safely out of sight – or are they still there, as in First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is ?
It’s serious. National security is never a laughing matter
I finally got a true picture of the lay of the land when I went through Richard Swartz’s star article in Dagens Nyheter, a very self-critical article – self-critical but far from impinging on t-reason, that “Alice in Wonderland seems to have visited the Stockholm archipelago ” … and the authorities are busy announcing what has been achieved (precisely what has not been achieved) and incompetence is now being touted as competence, defeat has now become success… What looks like totally fruitless activity would nevertheless still have given rise to “pride” and sent a “strong signal” to the world that Sweden is ready to defend its territory. One wonders if the signal is not the direct opposite”(Richard Swartz)
“It can happen very quickly. Last Thursday the little country’s Finance Minister started the parliamentary budget debate by talking about Sweden as a “global model” before she made an inventory of the country’s problems that’s mostly about the children, school, women or jobs. Not a word about defence and the archipelago…..not a pip about this from the minister or of the consequences of the Swedish government not having control over its own territory, that its sovereignty, at least in the physical-geographical sense is questionable.” (Richard Swartz)
There are still conflicting reports, such as ” Submarine hunt in the Stockholm archipelago is cancelled after threats from Russia”
Even Finland is critical of our lack of success in attempting to apprehend this latest foreign submarine incursion into Swedish waters.
About the budget that’s still handing in the air -. to some extent, like the sword of Damocles over the government’s head… this unusual title caught my attention:
The very first paragraph dispels a widespread misunderstanding…
Surprise ! surprise! In spite of the Pope’s recent visit the ”Free churches” are still in the ascendancy in South America’s superpower ! About religion in Brazil I’ve been a little interested in the flowering of Shango and Yoruba cults in the new world, in Liberation Theology (still not a major force in the Roman Catholic Church) and in Bishop Dom Camara who famously said, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist” – And more recently the insights provided by Stephen Sackur who conducted a series of Hardtalk interviews with some select Brazilians just before the world cup kick-off and – inevitably the Ghettoization of Brazil’s big cities cropped up along with a socialist oriented solution which presented itself in these interviews. So I’m surprised that there’s a lot of wind in the sails for Aecio Neves even after the latest corruption scandals at the door of the incumbent government …