Comments: Green Shoots?

I wouldn't get too carried away. It was Bill Clinton who used the phrase 'It's the economy, stupid' to telling effect against the first George Bush, who had also prosecuted foreign wars while struggling with the effects of recession at home. The same Bill Clinton also came very near to bombing North Korea, hit targets in Sudan, and sent troops into Somalia.

The US is more than just its presidents' apparent personaility quirks. Sure you might feel more comfortable with Clinton (jazz player) in a bar than with Bush (cowboy) but when it comes to geo-politics, you might also find they drink the same brands of beer.

Posted by orfanum at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 9:29am GMT

Thank you for article on hope. Like Desmond Tutu I affirm every day that I am a 'prisoner of hope'. It is a matter of faith. Thanks for your article

Posted by Una Kroll at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 11:05am GMT

Actually, it was Bush I who sent the troops into Somalia -- after he lost to Clinton, IIRC -- hard to figure out how to withdraw them from what was supposed to be a humanitarian mission

Without wanting to defend "Slick" it could be argued that his responses were minimalist in terms of necessary domestic political action -- firing a few missiles into a country is simply not on the same scale as an unprovoked invasion & occupation of a country that has resulted in the displacement, wounding or death of almost half the population (IMHO)

Posted by Prior Aelred at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 2:18pm GMT

REAL Hope holds promise for genuine and sincere acts of positive and good...Bush, and his cronnies, were, and some still are, spoilers and twisters of hope...they live and have acted-out in a convulted manipulated reality of their own greedy grabby, exploiting and reshaping...however, their hope realized has stopped them and dumped many of them into the pit of empty arrogance and grandstanding gone sour...perhaps, that will save them in the will certainly save the rest of us who have another HOPE for Change we can believe in!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 2:43pm GMT

"Baroness Vadera was asked whether she thought there were any ‘green shoots’ in the economy; a phrase which effectively shot Norman Lamont during the last economic recession."

Translation for ignorant Yanks, please? [Who??? What (shot)? When?]

Posted by JCF at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 6:29pm GMT

Actually it could be claimed that the third Afghan War was the one Britain won - courtesy of the Royal Air Force!

Unfortunately rather primitive and crude airpower was used to shock the Afghans, and King Amanullah's palace was directly attacked in what was the first case of aerial bombardment in Afghanistan’s history, forcing an armistice and an angry rebuke from King Amanullah who wrote:

"It is a matter of great regret that the throwing of bombs by zeppelins on London was denounced as a most savage act and the bombardment of places of worship and sacred spots was considered a most abominable operation. While we now see with our own eyes that such operations were a habit which is prevalent among all civilized people of the west"

Mind you the 1919 Rawalpindi Agreement and its latter conclusions enabled Afghanistan to establish a surprising amount of independence, its own foreign policy and diplomatic relations with most major nations.

Meanwhile the British use of airpower to police the empire and quell unrest continued during the 20s in Mesopotamia....

Posted by andrew holden at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 7:19pm GMT

The effective sign of hope is Obama's election, at least for the moment. An African American senate long-shot candidate won against all insider, especially against Republican, odds. Now Republicans are busy saying to each other that they lost the election because they probably were not extremely conservative, consistently. Looks like they might come out of the closet in all their meanness, finally, and stop pretending to be a big tent. Rather as the conserve realign campaign wants all Anglicans to do, globally.

Meanwhile, certain right-leaning Republicans in house and senate are busy figuring out how to attack and oppose Obama on change. Red meat Republicans?

How war could ever be anything besides a grim necessity, even under the best of so-called Just War circumstances, is way way way beyond me. If Pres O can somehow manage both Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East while starting changes in green energy resources, health care access, and stablizing the economy - well, all a real hoot if he more or less pulls it off. Our part? Being ready to consider, investigate, understand, and help row the boats.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 16 January 2009 at 8:40pm GMT

What this article highlights is the end of open-system economics. Once upon a time, a regime/nation/lordship could extent its life/credibility/economics by taking over another nation or part thereof (the US intervention in Mexico early last century springs to mind).

Peter Senge would tell you that this paradigm has come to an end. There are no new frontiers within this earth to be raided with impunity, and if there are any, they contain insufficient resources for one nation, let alone one generation.

It is time to take stock. The era of dodging responsibility is past. Humanity must accept consequence and co-operation or die from its own paradigms. There are some Christians that claim that it is time for humanity to end (if "their" economics won't work then everything must go). They are the witch killers of this generation.

God chooses Life (NOT the Book of Death). This planet was formed to be inhabited not empty (Isaiah 45:18). Souls are either for Life and able to imagine beyond existing paradims (including deceiptful abusive Christian ones), or they are for death.

Jesus is judged by the conduct of his disciples. Do they choose life and diversity (including ending abuse of children and misogyny) or are they for war and tyranny (including insults to Eve and genocide)?

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Saturday, 17 January 2009 at 3:03am GMT

Many plants die back in winter only to start re-growing with Green Shoots in the spring.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 17 January 2009 at 9:12am GMT

JCF -- here's a quick survey of Lamont and Vadera:

Norman Lamont (now Baron Lamont of Lerwick) was Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1990-93. In 1991 he remarked that the recession would be short-lived, and that he could see the green shoots of recovery springing up everywhere. Following the failure of policies designed to support the value of the Pound and budget measures that failed to achieve their stated aims, Lamont left office in 1993 after pressure from PM John Major. Julian Clary made a famous quip when Lamont appeared on the British Comedy awards to general hissing and booing shortly after resigning as Chancellor.

Baroness Vadera is Parliamentary Secretary for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Her appointment is an unusual one because she was not elected to Parliament before being appointed to the Secretaryship (normally held by an MP), but was appointed to the House of Lords at the behest of Gordon Brown. Her remarks about green shoots were made in a television interview last week, and have been taken as a gaffe reflecting the circumstances that led to Lamont's removal from office.

Posted by kieran crichton at Saturday, 17 January 2009 at 10:32am GMT

Thanks, kieran, for clarifying the Briticisms. [I'm not quite THAT ignorant, Erika! ;-/]

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 17 January 2009 at 8:06pm GMT

I did wonder:-))
But then, idioms often don't travel well...

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 17 January 2009 at 10:45pm GMT
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