Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The world today: crazier and scarier?

If it's just the world's that is going crazy, we can always sing the songs from the Broadway musical Stop The World -- I Want To Get Off. Or, if you are an Arctic Monkeys fan, you might want to sing their Stop The World, I Want to Get Off With You.

But what if the world is getting scarier? An old classmate who knows Russia intimately, and is back, is convinced a new Cold War is brewing. He says the West is trying to put Putin up against the wall with all those sanctions. He adds that, for Russia, its chokehold over Ukraine is non-negotiable. A miscalculation may trigger that new Cold War and a new MAD, mad, mad world.

Meanwhile, Russia and China may eventually find cause to undermine the US dollar (if they have not begun to do so already) -- and hence upstage US global hegemony. My old friend sounded convincing even as I timidly reminded him that Russia and China are ancient rivals too.

Anyway, even "moderate" voices are calling for a New World Order, presumably to forestall such great power rivalries and machinations:

One even gets a glimpse of hope that the world may have its saner moments, as when China recently read the Riot Act to North Korea:

But deadly cat-and-mouse games continue to be played, from the Nordic north...

... to the Indian Ocean:

Even the Americans are worrying about missile-armed Chinese submarines:

Finally, closer to home, Indonesia is starting to flex its nationalistic muscles:

I was intrigued by the last two paragraphs of this story above:

Was ST being timid in not adding that one of the three small civilian planes mentioned above was a Singaporean-registered aircraft, and that its owners had insisted that they had filed all the proper papers in advance to the proper authorities?

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