14 August 2016   Leave a comment

One of the recurring themes of many political campaigns over the last few years has been the demand for certainty.  Fear of immigrants or of people of other ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation seems to be pervasive, and there appears to be a constituency in many polities that wishes the state to protect a specific national “identity” from these others.  This demand for moral certainty is also often linked to a demand for economic certainty: protection against the economic activities of these “others”.  The combination is toxic but also flawed as it rests upon assumptions about the way things “used to be” that is often imaginary.

Juan Cole is a reliably lefty critic of American foreign policy and a very knowledgeable analyst of Middle Eastern affairs.  He has written a blog essay on why the US should not get involved in the Syrian civil war.  In so doing, he is responding to those analysts who believe that the humanitarian crisis in Syria is so grotesque that the US should operate under the aegis of of the Responsibility to Protect.  Cole gives seven reasons why such a move would be a serious mistake.

Tensions over refugees in Germany are boiling over.  German President Joachim Gauck attended a hiking day celebration in the city of Sebnitz and he was greeted by strong protests.  The video below is somewhat misleading because the protesters are not clearly identified.  Some were protesting German’s lenient policy toward refugees while others were protesting because not enough is being done to help the refugees.  The video is, however, testimony to the strong political feelings in the country that will likely resonate in the 2017 elections. 

 

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Posted August 14, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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