Please don't misunderstand, I'm not knocking quiet times, I like them - boring is good in my book, especially when it applies to international affairs. But still, somehow, in some way, it don't feel right!
Take Europe for example. Nothing has changed fundamentally, half of them are flat broke, they haven't managed to take even faltering steps towards unification, and yet the markets seem supine. Sky News are running some adverts for a forthcoming report on conditions in Spain and the other 'Mediterranean' countries and they are truly appalling. Whole families sitting linked arm to arm round their homes in an effort to thwart the bailiffs coming to repossess them. I do realise that it is necessary to take statistics from such places with due caution but on the other hand all reports indicate massive youth unemployment of the sort that set off revolutions in countries on the southern side of the Med. And yet ... and yet ... I read somewhere in the last few (for me, hectic!) days a report based on polling evidence that although the populations concerned - Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Irish - are on the rack, support for remaining inside Europe and the euro is still strong. Apparently they are all terrified of reverting back to their own currencies which is, of course, their only real chance of prospering again reasonably quickly. They might not like the German boot on their necks but they are prepared to shut their eyes and kiss it!
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the globe - thank God! - the North Koreans are proving yet again that the loonies are in charge of the asylum, first firing an ICBM and then letting off a nuclear firework. Happily, for the moment at any rate, this seems to be more of a Chinese problem than anyone else's - although South Koreans and Japanese might think differently! It is now crystal clear that either China is unable to control N. Korea, or, is secretly quite happy for them to kick sand in the face of their opponents who are mostly China's opponents as well. My trusty 'intel operators' at NightWatch sum it up thus:
US and Allied deterrence measures have prevented war for six decades, but lately have had no measurable influence in deterring North Korean provocations, preventing the development of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems or in stopping sales of North Korean missiles and conventional weapons to Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Libya. The US also has shown itself recently to be slow or unable to respond to provocations in a timely fashion. As a result, the new North Korean leader seems less intimidated by the US than were his forbears.
China cannot or will not restrain North Korea. [My emphasis]
What is even more worrying is that the pompous, ignorant and arrogant dimwit in the White House appears to have no concerns and instead concentrates what passes for his mind on how to spend more and yet more dollars he does not possess on utter futilities like so-called 'green industries'. Even if 'sequestration' does not occur in a few weeks, he still intends to slash and burn defence spending whilst he diverts funds towards the Democrat voters of America. In the meantime, North Korea either sells to, or advises on, nuclear weaponry and delivery systems to every enemy of the USA, Iran being one of the first in the queue. Back in Washington, 'Mr. Smug 'n' Mighty', with his nose raised, concentrates on delivering ponderous speeches concerned almost totally with American domestic politics. He is Wilson and Roosevelt combined.
See what I mean? It's all just too damned quiet!