12 October 2016   Leave a comment

For those who wish to understand the great power dynamics in the Syrian civil war, I recommend a very detailed article in Spiegel.  It goes through the dense web of alliances in the civil war, from the local groups fighting for limited Syrian goals to the great power fighting each other through proxies.  The complexity (and inconsistencies) of these alliances give strong evidence for the intractability of the conflict and why, no matter what happens, this conflict will likely drag on for many years.

One of the pivotal events in the evolution of modern Europe was the plague that started to decimate populations in Europe in 1348.  By the time that initial burst of contagion abated, almost 30% of the population of Europe was dead.  But the revealing aspect of the plague was its clear manifestation of the process of globalization that the Europeans would ultimately master and use to control most of the world by the end of the 19th century.  Paradoxically, the roots of imperial Europe begin with a devastating catastrophe.

Image result for the black death

For the second time in four days, someone has fired a missile from rebel-held territory in Yemen at the USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer.  Some believe that Houthi rebels fired on the US vessel in retaliation for a Saudi Arabian air strike that killed as many as 140 people.  The missiles did no damage to the US destroyer, but it is clear that the Yemeni rebels hold the US as equally accountable for Saudi attacks on Yemen.  The Saudi-led coalition has conducted ruthless attacks on the rebels and many countries have condemned the extreme violence being used.  The Saudis fear than Iran is supporting the rebels in an attack to weaken support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Posted October 12, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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