” Russia is still powerful, but in decline. China until recently appeared to be in unstoppable ascent. But now its economy is stalling, its population ageing, and (like Germany before 1914) it has alarmed its rivals. Its rulers may be starting to feel “encircled” as America, Japan, India and now Britain start to react.
If Russia wants another slice of Ukraine, it may not have long to grab it. And if China wants Taiwan, both for prestige and for its semiconductor industry, its chances may not be improving. As for Iran, is it already too late for it to develop usable nuclear weapons, or will it rush to do so while its enemies hesitate? Who might play va banque?
Could past generations have staved off the disasters of 1792, 1914 and 1939? Even with hindsight, there seem no simple solutions, no moment at which any politically feasible action could have saved the world.”
Comment: Betty White died today 2 weeks short of a hundred years. An omen? I first remember her while watching her play knock-knock games on the tiny screen of the first TeeVee that my parents bought in the late ’40s in LA. I remember that several years ago she was involved in an on the air discussion of baking buns and remarked that there had not been a cherry in her bun since 1938. Yes, an omen. pl