OK. Everyone is going to

OK. Everyone is going to talk about this today, I’m sure.
There are some nice ideas in there, but a lot of them rely on everyone else in the world being nice and playing fair. It would be great if such an egalitarian utopia existed, and it is probably fair to say that we should be working towards that sort of world, but frankly there are too many people and governments in the world who are ready to screw other people over at a moment’s notice. No doubt, if the US strode towards that world, large chunks of the rest of humanity would follow, or at least find life a lot easier, but I’m sure some government or other organisation, group or individual would pop up to spoil the party.
On the subject of politics, can someone please explain to me why it is that George Dubya wants to bomb Saddam and his nation because they might get a nuclear weapon if they can get hold of the materials (as Mark Steel put it the other day – the WI might build a nuclear bomb if they got the materials), and yet the Americans have no intention of bombing North Korea and Kim Jong-il (Independent editorial, BBC editorial and Asahi) who actually already have possibly two or three nuclear devices and have a known history of exporting military materials to just about anyone who will buy them? There certainly seems to be an inconsistency here. Surely a policy of inclusive region-wide dialogue and diplomatic pressure would work well in other situations?
Interestingly, more and more people, both commentators and politicians, are saying that the real threat to global peace and security comes not from the so-called rogue states or the “axis of evil”, but from more loosely organised and generally stateless terrorists. I think last weekend’s bombing in Bali provides yet more evidence that this is true. The trouble is, fighting a real war on terror (and not using that phrase as a title for other military activity) is likely to be long, lacking in focus and expensive in terms of money and life, with few obvious and measurable gains that could be paraded before voters. It seems that there is actually little real enthusiasm for fighting such a war for political reasons (cf: Palestine, Colombia, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc.).