25 September 2016   Leave a comment

In unusually blunt language, the UK and US Ambassadors to the UN Security Council accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria.  The charges are quite obviously serious and not to be made lightly, but it appears as if the US and Great Britain have decided that there is nothing to be gained by working with Russia for a cease-fire in Syria.  Non-governmental groups have made similar charges, but those lack the gravity of an official government censure.  Russia denied the charges, and nothing will come of them now.  But it seems as if the West is preparing for a different game once Russia succeeds in restoring Syrian President Assad to power.

Oman Air found itself in a serious tussle after it used a map that labeled the Persian Gulf, instead of the Arabian Gulf.  Most of the world refers to the body of water between Saudi Arabia and Iran as the Persian Gulf, but Arab states have historically rejected that appellation.  The issue may seem trivial, but the passions it ignites are quite real.  History quite clearly favors the use of the Persian Gulf.

Image result for Persian gulf name controversy

The Republika Srpska is a curious artifact of the difficulties of mapping nations onto states.  When Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1992, there was an extraordinary outburst of violence as new states emerged from the shell of the old Yugoslavia.  The three most prominent new states were Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia.  But within the new state of Bosnia, there was a northern enclave of Serbs that declared themselves independent rather than be integrated into the Muslim dominated Bosnia.  The world tolerated the emergence of the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic) in order to avoid further bloodshed, and those Serbs would love to be united with the state of Serbia.  They are currently agitating to establish their independence from Bosnia and there is a danger that more ethnic violence could emerge as it did in the 1990s.

Image result for Republika Srpska map

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Posted September 25, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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