8 April 2016   Leave a comment

I am constantly looking for articles that shed light on how international politics pervades our daily lives and I sometimes find quirky angles that bemuse me.  One such article popped up in The Washington Post that contained this fascinating factoid: “there are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Wendy’s—combined.”  It appears as if the quintessential American food–the hamburger–is a second cousin to Chinese cuisine.  Unfortunately, there are some places in the US that lack a Chinese restaurant: the poor, benighted souls in North Dakota.

Syrian refugees have become the latest pawn in the power struggle between Turkey and the European Union.  Turkish President Erdogan has bluntly threatened to disregard the plight of the refugees if the EU does not honor its side of the bargain which includes visa-free travel to the EU for all Turkish citizens.  There is little question that Turkey should demand monetary relief for the extraordinary burden of caring for the refugees and the EU should be generous in providing such aid.  But visa-free travel has nothing to do with the refugees and ignores the difficult circumstances in Europe regarding open borders given the recent terrorist attacks.  The refugees should not be held hostage to this peripheral demand which ought to be pursued in in another venue.

Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in Nigeria and the best efforts of the Nigerian government to respond effectively to its attacks have not been effective.  It is unlikely that a purely military response to the extremists would ever be effective.  Ikechukwu Odigbo suggests an alternative course of action that might be more effective, but it is a difficult and long-term solution that requires patience and dedication.  Commitment in the face of atrocities is difficult to maintain.


Posted April 8, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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