Good news on the international front brought to you today by the BBC.
First, it appears that our evaluation (meaning that of the United States) of the threat of a nuclear Iran has been ratcheted down from “high alert” to merely “on guard.” That’s about where the anxiety level should be for detente and containment, which seem to be the only strategies that are both realistic and effective for dealing with Iran. Holy crap do we not want to go to war with Iran. Not that we wouldn’t win on the battlefield, but turning all of central Asia into an anarchy and nearly every Muslim in the world into an America-hater (as opposed to only a significant fraction of them, as we’ve done now) would be decidedly not in our best mid- or long-term interests. And for the future, proceed with all due care, Madam President!
Second, by a very narrow margin, Venezuelans have chosen democracy. A few days ago, I wrote about Hugo Chavez’s bid to be able to run for President indefinitely and otherwise make himself the effective dictator of that country. By a margin of 49%-51%, votes chose “No” over “Si” to that proposed Constitutional change; Chavez himself seems to have accepted that defeat at the polls. He may try again in the future, but for now, he’s still looking at term limits in a year or two. (Good riddance.)
Finally, Sudan’s President has agreed to allow the teacher who let her schoolchildren name their teddy bear “Mohammed” go back to the UK with a pardon, and indeed a pardon given while her head was still attached to her neck, so the pardon will actually do her some good. Apparently some Muslim members of the House of Lords appealed to the “President” of Sudan and persuaded him that things would be better this way. No doubt they were right.
So, there you have it. Sometimes, good things do happen in the world.