26 May 2016   Leave a comment

US President Obama’s foreign policy will go down in American diplomatic history as one of the most paradoxical.  He ran for President promising to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; he will end is Presidency with American troops still fighting in both countries as well as in Syria.  He also pledged in 2009 to work for a nuclear-free world; he is ending his Presidency by developing even more lethal nuclear weapons with “a new class of ballistic missile submarine, a new stealth bomber, upgrades to the current stock of nuclear weapons, a new cruise missile and billions of dollars of other programs.”   Yet he is hardly known as a bellicose or warlike President.  Time, however, will tell.

Russia has released Nadiya Savchenko from prison.  Svachenko was a Ukrainian  helicopter pilot who was captured while fighting Russian forces in Ukraine and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Her early release, after two years in prison, was part of a prisoner exchange, and Ukrainian politicians greeted her as a hero–she was elected to the Ukranian Parliament in absentia.   Her presence, however, will complicate efforts for a peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian dispute since she has no sympathy for the peace process.  She was quoted on her release as saying: “We can achieve peace only through war.”

Nadiya Savchenko while in a Russian prison

The Centre for Research on Globalization is a reliably lefty organization which publishes intelligent critiques of contemporary politics and economics.  It has published an essay on the rise of right -wing parties in Europe and ties that development to the politics of anti-globalization.  The essay relies on a distinction between nationalism and neo-nationalism that I find unnecessarily abstract, but the argument itself is solid.  The essay quotes theleader of the National Front in France, Marine Le Pen, as saying:

“Globalization is a barbarity, it is the country which should limit its abuses and regulate it [globalization].”…Today the world is in the hands of multinational corporations and large international finance” …Immigration ‘weighs down on wages,’ while the minimum wage is now becoming the maximum wage”

The essay is wroth a close read.

 

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Posted May 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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