11 September 2014   2 comments

The United Kingdom is not the only state facing a secessionist movement (Scotland):  Many in Catalonia are demanding their independence from the Spanish state.   Catalonia was an independent state until 11 September 1714 when Spain conquered it and integrated its territory into the Spanish state.   The Catalonians believe that they have a sufficient economic base for independence  and a culture that is truly different from Spanish culture.  They are demanding a referendum in November, but the Spanish government is trying to block that option.

The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States have signed what is known as the Jeddah Communique.  The communique is a mutual pledge to staunch the  flow of funds and foreign fighters to the Islamic State.  Most interestingly, the communique also contains the following clause: “as appropriate, joining in the many aspects of a coordinated military campaign against ISIL.”  The cooperation is an initial step toward implementing the policy of containing the Islamic State, but the additional steps are highly problematic.

Uri Friedman has a very thought-provoking piece in The Atlantic on President Obama and the problem of a perpetual war.   I think that it is safe to say that the US is finding itself in a foreign policy situation that defies simple explanation or solutions.  Friedman refers to Obama’s speech last night as “bewildering” and, as I have read the speech several times over, I agree with the characterization.

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Posted September 12, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “11 September 2014

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  1. Bewildering is correct. Today on the Anniversary of September 11th and one day after the President’s speech Sec. Kerry was asked if we are at war with ISIS. Kerry’s response, He would not characterize it as war. I’m confused and I believe most Americans are equally confused. This is what happens when we elect pure politicians and not leaders. There are so many people in DC that would be better leaders than Obama. I’m nervous for our Service men and woman that have no choice but to follow the orders given by a confused and weak politician.

  2. I share your unease, but for different reasons. The rather abrupt shift in public sentiment toward the Islamic State, stems from the lack of confidence in President Obama that you articulate: the brutality of the Islamic State as well as the realpolitik of Putin in Ukraine has led the public to demand a much firmer response to world events–a stance that Obama understands but does not share.
    I still remain unconvinced that a military response to the Islamic States will be effective. The US now finds itself allied with the Syrian government, Russia, and Iran in fighting the IS, and only a tepid response from allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia who are more important to the outcome of the war. I will support my President, but do not believe that he will be any more effective than was George W. Bush.

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