21 November 2015   Leave a comment

Writing in the British magazine, Prospect, Matthew Goodwin outlines the reasons why the right-wing in Europe is achieving such electoral success.  In many respects, Goodwin blames the progressive wings of European politics for not taking the right-wing seriously and failing to respond to the rhetoric of the right that increasingly appeals to larger numbers of citizens:

Across Europe the radical right is connecting because it recognised early on that public anxieties over migration, refugees and Islam are as much about perceived threats to their cultural security, values and ways of life as they are about welfare states and the distribution of resources. By pitching unequivocally to this feeling of cultural angst, however fluid and abstract it might seem, the likes of Wilders and Le Pen are drawing strength from voters who stand firmly on one side of a value divide in Europe—between liberal progressives who celebrate social change, cosmopolitanism, open Europe and have little patience for those who think otherwise, and cultural conservatives who feel fundamentally under threat from this change, want to assert the values of their own group and worry about the capacity of Islam to accommodate central aspects of democratic life, such as the freedom of expression and gender equality.

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has introduced a new security bill which would allow the state to close mosques if they became “too radical.”  Goodwin’s argument can be made for progressives in the US, although it is probably harder to take Trump and Carson seriously.

Russia is taking serious steps to assure that the world takes its military capabilities seriously.  Russian authorities have issued a video of  two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers flying a 13,000 km journey from Russia to Syria and back, escorted by three Su-30SM Flankers launched from Latakia.  The bombers launched cruise missiles on unspecified targets in Syria.   The You Tube video was for political purposes, but I sincerely doubt that anyone in the know doubts Russian military prowess.

 

 

The UN Security Council has passed Resolution 2249 exhorting member states to take action against the Islamic State.  The text reads as follows:

France: draft resolution REV

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1618 (2005), 1624 (2005), 2083 (2012), 2129 (2013), 2133 (2014), 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014), 2199 (2015), 2214 (2015) and its relevant presidential statements,

Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of all States in accordance with purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,

Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,

Determining that, by its violent extremist ideology, its terrorist acts, its continued gross systematic and widespread attacks directed against civilians, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those driven on religious or ethnic ground, its eradication of cultural heritage and trafficking of cultural property, but also its control over significant parts and natural resources across Iraq and Syria and its recruitment and training of foreign terrorist fighters whose threat affects all regions and Member States, even those far from conflict zones, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,

Recalling that the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida also constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Determined to combat by all means this unprecedented threat to international peace and security,

Noting the letters dated 25 June 2014 and 20 September 2014 from the Iraqi authorities which state that Da’esh has established a safe haven outside Iraq’s borders that is a direct threat to the security of the Iraqi people and territory, S/2015/890 2/2

Reaffirming that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law;

Reiterating that the situation will continue to deteriorate further in the absence of a political solution to the Syria conflict and emphasizing the need to implement the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 endorsed as Annex II of its resolution 2118 (2013), the Joint Statement on the outcome of the multilateral talks on Syria in Vienna of 30 October 2015 and the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November 2015,

1. Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIL also known as Da’esh which took place on 26 June 2015 in Sousse, on 10 October 2015 in Ankara, on 31 October 2015 over Sinaï, on 12 November 2015 in Beirut and on 13 November 2015 in Paris, and all other attacks perpetrated by ISIL also known as Da’esh, including hostage-taking and killing, and notes it has the capability and intention to carry out further attacks and regards all such acts of terrorism as a threat to peace and security;

2. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the people and Governments of Tunisia, Turkey, Russian Federation, Lebanon and France, and to all Governments whose citizens were targeted in the above mentioned attacks and all other victims of terrorism;

3. Condemns also in the strongest terms the continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law, as well as barbaric acts of destruction and looting of cultural heritage carried out by ISIL also known as Da’esh;

4. Reaffirms that those responsible for committing or otherwise responsible for terrorist acts, violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights must be held accountable;

5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;

6. Urges Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, and urges all Members states to continue to fully implement the above – mentioned resolutions;

7. Expresses its intention to swiftly update the 1267 committee sanctions list in order to better reflect the threat posed by ISIL also known as Da’esh;

8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Strangely, however, the Resolution does not invoke Chapter Seven of the UN Charter that authorizes the use of force.  Perhaps the Russians (and the Chinese) were willing to go that far in the resolution.

 

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Posted November 21, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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