Friday, July 21, 2006

Global Political Generalisations

Israel / Lebanon - Generally the fighting has escalated but contained within the two. Related countries are not barging in to help, which is a good sign. United Nations made a meek call for ceasefire and called Israel's response excessive. Most of the G8 quietly on Israel's side, even most of the Middle East countries quietly hope that Israel succeeds in paralysing or even eradicate the Hez Army. Major nations on the sidelines, meekly protesting the war but holding to the line that Israel have the right to defend themselves. Israel would be very appreciative of that ... and should there be a concerted call next week for Israel to cease fire by the G8 - chances are high that Israel will listen as they know "friends" allowed them to fight the Hez and destroy as much infrastructure as possible, before being told to stop. More positive developments to follow next week. Its like a friend watching his stronger friend pummeling a weak stranger. All the friend did was call out (unconvincingly) to his stronger friend "Eehhh, don't fight la...". Soon when the stranger cannot retaliate anymore, the friend will then actually pull his stronger friend away... sigh...

Food & Missiles - The belligerence of the North Koreans is very hard to understand. You want to go test your dubious missiles and make everyone pissed at you. Yet, North Korea should know how critical is their dependency on other countries for food supplies. North Korea received nearly 600,000 tons of food aid from China last year, and about 400,000 tons from South Korea. It appears that North Korea is changing its dependence by taking less from South Korea this year. The next big donor of food aid is Japan with about 50,000 tons of food aid last year. That is why when you look at the North Korean missile situation properly, the risk is actually magnified by the media. Certainly you cannot afford to go to war with just ANYONE, when you have don't even have enough food. Certainly, it also means you have depleted military supplies and ammunition. Any kind of confrontation will have to have the huge backing of either China or Russia. China is certainly unlikely to back a small potato with an insignificant economic mandate to piss off the other more economically important countries such as South Korea, Japan, USA, UK, the EU... etc... For goodness sake, feed your own people first. When communism cannot give each person a decent meal, the system is not working for you - North Korea is not agriculturally sound/robust enough, it has too many typhoons and floods. Its closed door policy also meant that almost zero in manufacturing and foreign investment into the country. So, everybody will starve while the government shows its silly shallow belligerent front to everyone. Plus, North Korea cannot do anything really rash without getting China's OK as China can really make life unbearable for North Korea in a jiffy. North Korea has very very few friends left, just China and Cuba and maybe Russia.

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