The day of reckoning has arrived. The UN must act.

Former UK secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, writes a worthwhile piece in today’s Guardian. He argues that two different approaches are emerging in global politics:

One is the multipolarists’ view that for America to exercise its power unrestrained is destabilising and counter-productive, not least from the standpoint of America’s own national interest; and that the international system should be one in which a number of competing centres of strength, including Europe, Russia and China, provide a counterweight to American power.

The second is what could be termed the multilateralists’ view.

This accepts the realpolitik of American global leadership and that US engagement, however difficult, is essential for the world’s security, Middle East peace and to achieve a conception of global justice based on shared values and prosperity; and that the best way to harness this power is by making America comfortable with the use of multilateral institutions that are consistent and reliable vehicles for international including, as a last resort, military action.

He then concludes that:

Compromise is essential. If this fails, Britain will face a hugely difficult choice. It is tragic that military action could occur without full UN authority, when the case for action is so clear-cut and justified by the UN itself. But it would be an equal tragedy for America to fight alone and victory to be handed on a plate to the unilateralists in Washington, with much wider and longer lasting consequences for the future of the world than the fate of Saddam Hussein. Let us still hope it does not come to that.

Defiance of global will

This week Gary Younge talks about the defiance Tony Blair has shown the people of the UK.He goes on to write a very good article.

Take the “key allies” with whom Bush will bomb regardless. Only 39% of Americans, 22% of Australians, 15% of Italians and Britons, 13% of Bulgarians and 2% of Spaniards back a war without UN approval. So much for the “coalition of the willing”.

He points out:

If and when military action begins, many of these domestic rebellions may well fizzle out. But the pressure that brought them to bear will persist. The war is not, and never has been, solely about Iraq. It is about who runs the world, to whom they are accountable and how we might influence them. As such, the issues it raises are inextricably entwined with those the anti-globalisation movement has been addressing for the best part of a decade.

He concludes:

Both Bush and Blair have made clear the current crisis is about what kind of world we want to live in and whether one nation has the right to defy international will. We should take them at their word.


Even bigger response to Google boycott

What can I say? I have been somewhat overwhelmed by the response to my article on Google. Several other bloggers have taken up the story, and my server was quite busy trying to keep up with referrals from Chris. I will give links to most of the sites that had something to say about me, or Google. In no particular order:

Grant Henninger

Ordinary Life

Simon Willison – with a breakdown of cookies from various sources

Bernie Goldbach

Chris Gulker

I am too tired to write a long piece on this, will do so tomorrow.

Another record month

January has been the best month since this weblog began. After being very happy with my visitor numbers in December, January has turned out to have more than quadrupled my statistics. 8,500 in January! My level of donations has remained low at $0.00, but I am sure that will pick up. LOL.

I just get great satisfaction knowing that the numbers coming here are growing – and I hope they grow more. I am still evaluating Radio and Moveable Type – I may switch to either one of them this month. I have been testing Radio at this address.

I have also been looking into starting another blog, tech related, with Bernie. Anyway that’s for another day. For now, keep coming back – I will keep blogging if you keep reading. And if you like what you read, tell people you know to come here! My hit target for this month is in the 12,000 region – and if things go really well maybe up on 20,000! Who knows!?

All suggestions can be mailed to me here.