4 March 2015   Leave a comment

Initial indications are that the Democrats in the US Senate have decided not to work with Senate Republicans on fast-tracking new sanctions on Iran, suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress did not yield any immediate support for the Israeli desire to end negotiations.   Senate Republicans do not have enough votes to pass such a measure without some Democratic support.  There are also some indications that Some in Congress were not pleased by the way Prime Minister Netanyahu presented some of his facts concerning the nature of the current negotiations.

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov conjured up ghosts of the assassination of one of Stalin’s colleagues in 1934, Sergei Kirov.  Although Kirov was ostensibly a colleague of Josef Stalin, he was also someone who challenged Stalin by his popularity.  There are some unusual similarities in the assassinations, but perhaps the most compelling parallels is the likelihood that Nemtsov’s death, like Kirov’s, will never be fully explained.

The rise of the Islamic State poses a serious problem for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Since the IS has proclaimed its caliphate, it needs to secure control of the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem to secure legitimacy.  Both Mecca and Medina are under Saudi control, and the Sunni Muslims that control Saudi Arabia are largely under the sway of a Wahhabist interpretation of Islam, an interpretation that is closely related to the interpretation endorsed by the Islamic State.  Over time, we shall have to see how many Saudi Arabians are attracted to the idea of joining the IS caliphate.

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Posted March 5, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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