1. As I started reporting yesterday, we are involving ourselves in yet another civil war in Africa--this time in Mali--that ought best to be left to France and her ECOWAS allies to deal with. But no! We have declared the fundamentalist Islamic separatists in northern Mali (who are fighting both the government and the indigenous Tuareg population) to be Al Qaeda of the Mahgrib! We must stop the people feuding over these hundreds of square miles of useless, parched, semi-arable land, because if we don't they will trade in their camels (not a stereotype, they have camels) for nuclear weapons and be on our shores tomorrow to kill our women and rape our goats. Or if not tomorrow, at least by next Tuesday.
2. The Syrian civil war points out yet two more reasons why it is utter idiocy to take sides in local civil wars: (a) the Syrian rebels that we have been backing are now not just fighting the central government, but also attacking Syrian Christians; and (b) most of the weapons we are sending them (don't tell!) via the CIA et al are . . . ending up in the hands of fundamentalist Islamic jihadists. How do I know that, by the way? Because our government admits it. So we instantly know the real situation must be even worse.
3. President Obama and Governor Romney may both be floating the fictional year of 2014 to get out of Afghanistan (show of hands, how many of you believe them?), but the Brits have their own ideas. Domestic pressure to get out of the central Asian hellhole (domestic anti-war pressure? wonder what that's like) is increasing, has the UK now mulling a partial or even complete pull-out in 2013.