Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama

George Galloway Talks More Sense On Syria Than Anyone Else. Where Is A Credible British Leader?

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George Galloway on the Sunday Politics

George Galloway on the Sunday Politics

On this morning’s BBC politics-fest the most credible views on Syria I heard were from George Galloway.  He was balanced, intelligent, rational and focused on the issue rather than his personal advancement.

Corbyn is a pacifist, whatever he says and that is an untenable position for a leader.  I agree with him about the futility of bombing in Syria and that it will create rather than solve problems for us at home in the UK. However, I think he is incredible and incompetent. His confusion about the use of deadly force against marauding terrorists was unforgiveable.  He won’t last much longer.

Michael Fallon is a bumptious, Tory fool, better suited to life as a provincial solicitor than as defence minister.  Dr Liam Fox would be more use caring for patients than as a warmongering, hard right authoritarian disguised as a friendly GP. Cameron is a liar about there being 70,000 soldiers on the ground ready to support action against Daesh/ISIS, just like Blair was a liar about Saddam Hussein able to launch a WMD attack in 45 minutes.  I’m afraid I think his principal motivation is that he wants to be at the ‘top table’ with Obama and Hollande and he feels left out.  It’s a pathetic reason but I fear it’s true.  It’s his personal prestige he’s most concerned about.

I can see no argument at all that bombing in Syria will make us safer, the reverse is the truth.  The story about British forces having greater precision bombing capability with our Brimstone missiles is propaganda.  I believe that the US, France, Russia and all modern military powers have at least equivalent if not better capability.

Dropping bombsThe most convincing argument I can see for bombing in Syria is that our ally, France, has asked for our assistance.  I would be more ready to support such action if we were prepared to do the job properly and that means putting in our own ground forces.

I don’t want war but Daesh/ISIS is a evil ideology just like Nazism and we need to destroy it.  I think we need to put a substantial force of highly trained professional soldiers on the ground and expect that we will take many casualties but that we will root out the terrorists house by house, room by room until the job is properly done and that includes removing Assad. Thereafter, we need to be ready to stay there for at least a decade until civil society is restored.  This is why we have a military and if we don’t use it as necessary then why do we bother?

I am more convinced every day that the election result this year was a disaster for Britain.  Cameron is an oily, self-serving creep with no integrity, no backbone and interested only in advancing his own interests. The Tory frontbench is composed mainly of toady yes men (and women) who fail to achieve the intellectual and moral qualities that we should expect from ministers.  Personally I blame the Tory dominated press and all those weak, flip flopping voters who turned on the Liberal Democrats.  Another coalition would have set Britain on the right course.  That we now have a government with a mandate from just 24% of the electorate is absolute proof that British democracy has failed.

I fear that the outcome of all this will be more half measures.  Then there will be another terrorist outrage, quite probably in the UK, possibly even in America. Then we’ll have more handwringing and the endless cycle of political posturing with no one having the courage to act will resume.

We have no moral justification for our conduct in the Middle East when we support Israel which is the most dangerous terrorist state, responsible for creating much of the hatred amongst followers of Islam and perpetrator of outrages every bit as heinous as Assad, Daesh/ISIS, Al Quaeda, Hussein or Gaddafi.

Let’s either do the job properly or let’s get out of the Middle East entirely.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

November 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm

When Will They Ever Learn?

with 7 comments

Steve Jobs

The man, the genius, the inspiration that the whole world is feting and eulogising; it turns out he’s just another one of those dirty, disgusting, scumbag drug users.

The estate of Albert Hoffman, inventor of LSD, with exquisite timing, has released correspondence with Steve Jobs, a keen advocate for and user of psychedelic drugs.

David Cameron and Theresa May would have him sent to jail like Casey Hardison for 20 years.

Barack Obama would have him renditioned to wherever he wanted him and subjected to special interrogation techniques.

The Daily Mail and these days, to its eternal shame, even The Independent would have him ostracised, demonised, castigated and excluded.

I know who I think is smart and I know who I know is stupid.

A great man and a great example.  The contrast between his intelligence and the ruling oligarchy is startling.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Obama The Man

with 22 comments

History

My thoughts here will be few and far between now. My focus is on CLEAR and I am learning to moderate my opinion because I have chosen a single issue. If  I strike out in a particular direction I divert my own and others’ energy from the cause.

On Obama though, no man or woman of intelligence can fail to see the progress that he represents, whatever our particular grumbles about him.  However cynical your view of politics, he is better than what has gone before.

So I am very pleased to see his power re-invigorated and his very well-judged presence in Britain. Whatever the pallava and retinue around him, his personal truth shines through and, my God, we need leadership in this difficult and challenging world.

I’ll be here until further notice:  www.clear-uk.org

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Gary McKinnon

with 5 comments

Leaders We Can Believe In

I am intensely moved by Barack Obama and David Cameron taking the time to discuss Gary McKinnon’s case yesterday.  See here for the story.  Also by his mother Janis’ gratitude and gracious behaviour in response.  As she so eloquently put it,  these two men represent a new beginning in our world.  I am full of admiration for them both.

What Gary is alleged to have done was wrong.  He now needs to be tried by a British court.  If he is found guilty then the punishment must suit the crime taking into account his mental capability.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

Obama From Britain

with 15 comments

After Bush, to my knowledge, the worst US President ever, I was excited about the prospect of Hilary Clinton in the White House.  The election of Barack Obama was simply stunning.  For me, it rejuvenated the whole idea of America – the noble principles of the  Constitution, the idea that anyone can rise to the very top based on merit alone.  It updated that dream by transcending race, prejudice and history.

Ordinary And Extraordinary

As it happened, I  watched his inauguration with my parents.   I  wept at Obama’s words, at the huge symbolism of his achievement, at Jesse Jackson’s overwhelming moment.  My Mum & Dad said that it was like Kennedy was for their generation – the sense of new hope and optimism.  The same idea that makes me think of Churchill’s “broad sunlit uplands”.

So what’s going on now?  I ‘m sure I don’t understand a lot about American politics.  I can only see it from my perspective.  That means I get most of my news from the BBC.  I balance that with a daily trawl through the blogs and online newspapers on the issues that interest me.

In some ways I think the BBC is more British than Britain.  In fact, I trust the BBC more than I trust any politician.  Its standards and independence preserve our national integrity better than any political leader.

Going online gives me a broader view, often composed of ridiculous extremes as well as mainstream media.  There are so many highly literate, super clever bloggers who are completely deluded and beyond any reason.  Going online provides an overall summary of all different points of view and sources of information.

I think Obama is a fundamentally decent man.  There is a coterie of bloggers who believe he is a Chicago politician just the same as when Al Capone was in town.  I think he is bigger than that.

There is also a sisterhood (men and women) of Democrats, bitter supporters of Hilary, who are determined to undermine him.  Republicans say he is un-American and claim that he won the election through fraud.

I still have faith in the man.   In the horribly murky world of American politics I don’t think he would have risen to the top unless he was very special.  I detect authenticity.

The oil spill has been his greatest challenge. I feel that when he speaks for himself, from his heart, he speaks the truth.  When he is confused and manipulated by those around him he fails.  Many will say I am naive but how can anyone triumph without support?  We need leaders who can inspire, who can make us believe in them.

From the very beginning Obama has “extended the hand of friendship” towards Iran but it becomes clearer every day now that the current regime must be condemned without reservation.   He has stood up against Israel better than his predecessors and in the overall moral balance that was well overdue.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the attempted kidnapping of Gary Mckinnon  It’s probably not high enough in his priorities to have had his proper consideration yet.

No one was more critical of Gordon Brown and his foolhardy, self-serving government than me but the way that some Americans criticise their leader horrifies me.  Some of the conspiracy theories and charges levelled against Obama are worse than those against Hitler or Mengele.  There are are so many complete nutters in America I really do wonder what they put in the water.

After re-consideration, from my British perspective, I still have faith in this extraordinary man.  I urge him to continue to have the courage of his convictions.  I wish he could put aside short term political considerations.  I think, almost whatever happens,  he will win a second term so he can afford to look at least six years in advance and ignore his critics.  I still believe in him.

The World Cup Beckons

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The Big Match

I despise football.   I really do.  It’s everything it stands for – the appalling, vulgar display of tasteless, oafish, dare I say “chav” behaviour.  It’s a thin, insubstantial sport populated by overpaid primadonnas who behave appallingly and set a terrible example to youth.

What a pompous old git I am!

It’s a completely different thing isn’t it when it gets infused with the spirit of international competition?

It’ll never be rugby though,  so those that want to see the original, totally uplifting South African story go to the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals.   That was a similar occasion but with a proper sport.  In fact,  go to Invictus, the absolutely fantastic movie which tells the whole story.

I have been taken up by it though.  Africa has a wonderful exuberance and I was caught by the romance of the first match, delighted that South Africa managed a draw.   Then, who could resist a chance to see the French go down?   And go down they did!  Well, they scraped a draw against a 10 man Uruguay side when they were the favourites.  Lovely to watch!

So it looks like I’m hooked in.   There’s nothing else on anyway.  It’s been a welcome relief from the tribes of harridan, conspiracy-obsessed bloggers in the US.  As a Brit, a Welshman living in England, I am grateful to live in a country which has a sense of perspective.   We are not of Europe.  We are certainly not of either the Middle or Far East.  Thank God we’ve got more history than the Americans.  This is still the land of the free.  Nowhere else comes close.

And tomorrow Barack Obama is going to find out whose arse is “gonna get kicked”.  Then maybe he’ll mind his manners and remember who his friends are.

En-ger-land!

New Politics?

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I’m optimistic.  Nick Clegg and David Cameron behaving like grown-ups, Paddy Ashdown singing David Cameron’s praises, Michael Gove giving Andrew Marr a one word answer that he would sacrifice his cabinet seat for the good of the nation.  It’s quite wonderful isn’t it?

You can be cynical if you want to be.  I’m dismayed at reports of the Tory old guard turning on Cameron for not gaining an overall majority.  Lord Tebbit has said some stupid things but then he is even more yesterday’s man than Gordon Brown.  He should get on his bike back into retirement.

No, I think there is every reason to be optimistic and we should encourage this biggest swing of all towards common sense.   The result of this election shows that the Tories need electoral reform just as much as any other party.  The nation certainly does.  Perhaps this is our equivalent of the election of Barack Obama?  Perhaps we have a future after all?

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 9, 2010 at 11:11 am