Jon Cayzer

Insurgents closing in on Zuma, he’ll be gone by 2014

The opposition’s motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma coincided with the Shakespearean fall of CIA director David Petraeus. Both Zuma and Petraeus know about modern insurgencies. Petraeus wrote the US Army counterinsurgency strategy handbook when America was losing her wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Zuma, with less success, is trying to fight off…

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Why SA demands a reluctant Obama

President Barack Obama’s re-election last week reminds us that the embrace of diversity is America’s greatest gift to the world. South Africa, like the United States, is one of the world’s most diverse countries with a similar burden of history of racial separation. This had led some of us in the small cocooned world of…

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Zuma only has his cockups to blame

The orgiastic furore surrounding the depiction of President Jacob Zuma’s genitalia in an infamous painting, The Spear, is yet to reach a climax in the public square. The painting has power for one reason, and one reason alone: it crystallised a public narrative in pictorial form. As I have written here before, sex is controversially…

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Obama: Rip those conservatives apart

Four years ago, Barack Obama and his rival, John McCain, both embodied the American idea of nobility in their respective campaigns. This time Obama enjoys the power of incumbency, and he will fight on his record. While all political figures become repositories of hope by virtue of taking office, Obama had built his entire campaign…

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FW: Why sorry is the hardest word

Amidst the blanket coverage of FW De Klerk’s remarks on CNN, few have stopped to consider that Mr de Klerk may actually have meant what he said, and said what he meant. I believe De Klerk will be judged a towering figure of history, and that his closest historical proxy is Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev did…

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Notes on a genocidal scandal

The memories of the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina in the mid-nineties must never be extinguished from our hearts. The reason why the ending of one was successful, and the failure to end the other is the darkest page in post-war US foreign policy, is banally simple. Bosnia stirred the conscience of the West,…

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‘Arab Awakening’ or doomsday?

The kaleidoscope of power is spinning wildly in the Arab region. While most of us rejoice at the blossoming of the crescent democratic movements from Tunis to Amman, others are asking if the fragile balance of power in the region could be recast. Have decision-makers considered the consequences of if the “Arab Awakening” turns rouge?…

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Doing evil to do good

I have just finished reading Robert McNamara’s In Retrospect, which seeks to provide answers to why the “best and brightest”, who, after skilfully navigating the Cuban Missile Crisis, led the US into the tragic Vietnam War. President Barack Obama’s team, apparently, diligently studied this period of history when they drew up the new administration’s Afghanistan…

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Ronald Reagan at 100: The legacy

Ronald Reagan turned 100 this month, and his legacy continues to shape American politics from the social democrat White House to that woman from Alaska — especially in the realm of statecraft. Reagan, like President Barack Obama in 2008, was elected on a “transformational ticket” and, indeed, the former — politics apart — is said…

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‘Brokeback Mountain’ hits Downing Street

A fictional (?) account of the first post-summer meeting between the British prime minister and his deputy at 10 Downing Street ACT ONE  (Tuesday 5 September 2010) Nick’s heart is pounding. First proper day back after covering while Number One and Sam Cam were in Cornwall, delivering babies. Four months on, he still cannot quite…

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