Opinion – Ambassador Panda–Special Coverage–People’s Daily Online – John Gelmini

English: Logo of the People's Daily 中文: 人民日报题字

English: Logo of the People’s Daily 中文: 人民日报题字 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Pandas!! (GIANT PANDA/WOLONG/SICHUAN/CHINA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Pandas are beautiful creatures, as Dr Alf knows from personal experience, and they are powerful diplomatic symbols as well.

The recent episode with a Chinese Panda feigning pregnancy to get itself moved into a cooler air conditioned environment where it would be treated better, given more bamboo shoots to eat and be showered with it’s favorite foods shows that they are also intelligent and cunning.

The ability to manipulate feelings demonstrates the capacity of the animal kingdom to surprise us with the magic of creation although people like Sir David Attenborough and Professor Richard Dawkins would attribute this to a series of arcane and random processes.

The Chinese Government wants the world to see itself as like the Pandas that Dr Alf and his wife cared for (fluffy, lovable, cuddly and harmless devourers of nothing more than bamboo shoots).

We need to learn to distinguish between how Pandas are, the nature of the Chinese Government and how the people are in that enormous country.

Making the mistake of equating all three to the characteristics of the Panda is not one we in the West can afford.

John Gelmini

Opinion – War in Europe is not a hysterical idea – The Washington Post – John Gelmini

English: Anne Applebaum (born 25 July 1964) is...

English: Anne Applebaum (born 25 July 1964) is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Eastern Europe and the USSR / Russia. As of 2006, she is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Washington Post. Polski: Anne Applebaum (ur. 25 lipca 1964 w Waszyngtonie), amerykańska pisarka i dziennikarka. Ukończyła uniwersytet Yale, uczęszczała także do London School of Economics i Oksfordu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is as Dr Alf says alarmist and I would say naive.

Armchair warriors and newspaper columnists, often have no military training and not the faintest conception of what soldiers have to go through during wars and when they come home, particularly if they are maimed. I know a number of these people, and have tried to help those of them who end up in debt and often end up sacked, homeless and jobless on our streets. This was through a program of debt reduction using a panel of specialist providers and debt counselors. Soon a new social enterprise that will mentor ex services people and others who are disadvantaged will be created in Cambridge to get as many of them into self employment as possible well beyond any existing UK based provision.

Who does Anne Applebaum think is going to do the fighting and dying in this war she sees as inevitable?

Her colleagues? Her friends?


It will be someone else’s son, plus millions of others, vaporised in nuclear strikes on cities as one side or the other attempts to gain advantage.

Does she imagine that she can sit at home calmly writing this nonsense and remain immune?


Currently, there are nuclear warheads on Russian submarines off America’s coast and both sides have space based weapons, weather warfare capability and the ability to obliterate every living thing on the planet including Ms. Anne Applebaum, hundreds of times over.

Anne Applebaum is not going to be immune from any large war, so she should find other things to write about and perhaps engage her brain before opening her mouth or writing things down.

Words have power and as the Chinese proverb says “Be careful what you wish for”.

The rest of us, unless we are arms manufacturers, I suspect do not want such a war and simply want to get on with our lives, even though we may wish people like Vladimir Putin did not exist and could be replaced by people more to our liking.

John Gelmini