The irony is striking. The response time of the international community to two very different situations is telling. Yesterday Moscow heeded pressure by, amongst others, a group of EU nations and reopened the much needed gas supply to the countries currently not enjoying extreme bouts of cold. The dispute with the Ukraine regarding the price of gas has not been solved and may become acrimonious again but it was sensibly decided to reopen the gas supply and avoid any potential sufferance in the coming weeks.
Zoom to Gaza where Hamas show the first signs of caving in to the might of Israeli rockets. Israel seems set to move into Gaza City as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tries a last ditch mission to negotiate a truce.
Slovakia had been on the brink of blackout. Hungary had to halt supplies to Serbia and Bulgaria for technical reasons. In stepped the EU and before you know it mediation between Russia and Ukraine is in place and the gas is flowing. Of course Russia made its point. It brought Europe to its knees. The Economist cartoon of the week makes the point clearly by portraying an EU man lying down and tied to the ground by pipes in a Gulliver fashion with two other men – Russia and the Ukraine – fighting on top of him. The prostrate Europe is saying to the two “Ok you two… you know where I stand on the matter”. Which is exactly what it could not really afford to do. Stand that is. Russia had Europe by the balls… and all this with the excuse that it had a tiff with Ukraine.
Meanwhile back to Gaza where the rockets fly, Palestinians are living a daily mess and the embargo on journalists means that Palestinian bloggers are the only source of information (and foreign bloggers in Palestine). Mediation is not exactly foreseeable in the near future… at least not until the Israelis are satisfied that they have incapacitated Hamas’ military power.
Elsewhere the sun sets on the Shambles of the Bush Empire. Speaking at his last press conference he referred to the fact that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. “You may call it a mistake…”, said he… talk about no regrets. Pity no journalist was equipped with metal tipped DM’s to hurl at the bastard. May he get itches in places where he cannot scratch.
Such a pity there’s no Gas in Gaza.