Author Archives: Tom Arms

Observations of an expat: The hip-thigh bone theory of the world

It is time to explain my hip thigh bone theory of the world.

The theory is based on the 1920s African-American  spiritual “Dem bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones.”

The ditty in turn was based on a Biblical passage in which a collection of dry bones reassemble themselves   before the astonished eyes of the prophet Ezekiel .

The foot-tapping, hand-clapping spiritual is a roof raiser in evangelical churches around the world. It is also a popular song in young children’s anatomy classes.

But to my mind, Its main value is as a perfect metaphor of how the  rapidly shrinking and interconnected world has become increasingly dependent on its constituent parts (or bones) working together.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 1 Comment

Observations of an ex pat: And so it begins…

And so it begins. Or at least it will on Friday January 20th when Donald Trump stands, on the steps of the US Capitol building, places his hand on The Bible and swears to protect and uphold the constitution of the United States.

The US presidential inauguration is a celebration of American democracy and the peaceful transition from one administration to the next. There are parades, marching bands, waving flags, an inaugural ball and a bevvy of Hollywood stars.

Not this time. Oh yes, all the above will occur as usual. But in addition a million-plus protesters are expected to descend on Washington DC to political disown the elected President of the United States. “Not our President” they will shout.

And all the indications are that the forthcoming inaugural weekend  is a mere curtain raiser for the global thrills and spills to come. If you enjoy life on the edge, than you are living on the right planet at the right time. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Observations of an ex pat: Tough for Trump

Donald Trump is in a no-win situation as regards  Russian hacking vs. American intelligence agencies vs Donald Trump.

Putin, as we all know by now, has been accused by all the American intelligence agencies (and several foreign ones) of hacking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and leaking the contents to help Trump win the US presidency.

The Russian President has denied this as he has denied many other misdeeds. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, he channel for the leaks, has backed him up. So has Donald Trump.

On the other side of the fence are, not surprisingly, a Democratic Party in search of a scapegoat to explain the inexplicable and America’s spy nerds.

Trump can’t really say that he agrees with the intelligence agencies. To do so would leave him branded as Putin’s poodle and undermine his mandate to govern. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Observations of an expat: Disastrous Middle East victory

 

It looks as if the fighting in Iraq and Syria will draw to a close in 2017. We won and lost.

Isis,  Isil, Daesh, Al-Nusra, A lQaeeda, whatever name the Jihadists call themselves  have been pushed out of the remains of Aleppo and are hanging on by their blood-soaked fingertips in Mosul and Raqqa.

Also destroyed and seeking peace terms are Western-backed rebels in the Free Syrian Army and its dozens of feuding constituent parts.

The Obama Administration and its 13 allies backing air strikes could claim victory.  They may even try to do so.  And in terms of denying the Jihadists a territorial base, there are justifiable grounds for a victory claim.

However, Islamic extremism is far from defeated. Jihadists have repeatedly displayed their prowess in filling political vacuums wherever they occur, and Western intelligence agencies are issuing dire warnings of attacks on Western soil orchestrated by bitter battle-hardened extremists in full flight from the Middle East.

No, the real winners are Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iran and Hezbollah.  And the real result is a massive defeat for the democratic hopes of the 2011 Arab Spring and a  victory for tyranny

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 22 Comments

A good year for journalists

It has been a good year for journalists. I have never known better.

There has been an endless march of, upsets, twists, turns, worries, cheers, jeers, doom, gloom and unadulterated surprised joy.

Half the world is sunk into a slough of despond deeper than the Marianas Trench and the other half is waving their anti-globalist flags from the top of Everest.

The Western world is the most divided it has been since World War Two.  Divided within countries and divided between countries.

The authoritarian East is a different story. They are  watching the democratic West self-destruct  and going about their business and rattling their sabres to let the rest of the world know that they are prepared to move into the yawning  political vacuum.

Russia is well-placed to pick up the pieces from America’s failed Middle East policy. The victory in Aleppo has established the military supremacy of Vladimir Putin’s buddy Bashar Al-Assad—the dictator everyone loves to hate.  They hate him almost as much as they do Russia and Syria’s other regional ally—theocratic Iran. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 18 Comments

And the winner is…

It’s official. The winner of the US presidential elections is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

I hear you. Putin’s name was nowhere near the ballot papers. It was Clinton versus Trump and a few also rans.

And, of course, it will be Donald J. Trump who takes the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol building and then moves into the prime piece of real estate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Posted in Op-eds | 25 Comments

Stick to the values to win the war

We have won the battle of Richmond Park. No, let’s be honest, we routed the opposition, beat them into the ground and then stomped on them. Quite a feat for the nice people’s party. Richmond Park was an upset of historic proportions of which every Lib Dem can be justifiably proud.

BUT, it is still only the first battle in what will be a long, hard and bloody war. Just how difficult it will be was demonstrated during the BBC’s by-election night coverage when plucky Baroness Susan Kramer skilfully parried vicious attacks from every other person in the room, including chairman Andrew Neil.

Posted in Op-eds | 37 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Pocock 20th Jan - 11:55pm
    Tbh I would protest trump but this protest already feels like it is further left than I'm comfortable. I think at some point we have...
  • User AvatarJen 20th Jan - 11:49pm
    Sarah - to check - you mean the organisers tweeted inviting other parties including UKIP but didn't tweet inviting the Libs?
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 20th Jan - 11:25pm
    Catherine If nearly everyone was the same or similar how dull it would be and how strongly I do encourage a range of views ....
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 20th Jan - 11:23pm
    Lorenzo, I was incredibly proud when Vince Cable as acting leader refused to engage with the Saudi Arabian king who was here on a state...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 20th Jan - 11:14pm
    Caron I think you are right in criticising Trump. I have written a lot about my views on this man, on here , and on...
  • User AvatarGeorge Flaxman 20th Jan - 11:07pm
    Watching Twitter daily there seems no letup in "I joined today" posts. A great time to be a LibDem.