4 October 2016   Leave a comment

I rarely post about natural events like hurricanes, but Haiti is currently being pummeled by Hurricane Matthew.  Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and has never recovered from the devastating earthquake of 2010.  The government of Haiti is not capable of addressing the problems that the people of Haiti will likely face, and the international community has not done nearly enough to support the long-suffering population.  Haiti is particularly vulnerable to a natural catastrophe like a hurricane because the country has been so deforested that heavy rains inevitably cause mudslides, disease, and destruction.  We should do everything to encourage the international community to come to Haiti’s aid as quickly as is possible.

Image result for deforestation Haiti

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told US President Obama to “go to hell” as he accused the US of refusing to sell advanced weaponry to the Philippines.  He also said that Russia and CHina were willing to supply the Philippines with advanced weaponry and that he would go to them for help.  The growing rift between the US and the Philippines is intriguing because it comes at a time when the Philippines is contesting China’s role in the South China Sea and it needs US support to advance its interests.  It could be the case that Duterte believes that he can reach a mutually acceptable agreement with China on the South China Sea, but he does so at the risk of alienating the other Southeast Asian countries involved in the dispute.

Iraq and its allies, including the US, Iran, and Turkey, are getting close to launching a major battle to take back the city of Mosul from Daesh (the Islamic State) control.  The city symbolizes the apex of Daesh power as it was able to rout Iraqi forces from the city.  The battle will be conducted in phases and will likely take several months.  As always, the civilians stranded in Mosul will likely be the ones that will suffer the most from the siege.  One can only hope that the combatants will allow the civilians to flee the city before the battle intensifies.

Map showing frontlines around Mosul

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Posted October 4, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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