2 November 2016   Leave a comment

Russia has charged that the US-supported attack on Mosul is the equivalent of its own attack on the city of Aleppo.  The statement is an attempt to deflect the serious criticisms of Russian attacks on civilians in Aleppo.  The comparison was angrily rejected by State Department Spokesperson:

“In Aleppo, as I think we’ve just talked in the last few minutes, you have the specific targeting of innocent civilians, first responders, and infrastructure – hospitals – that are specifically being targeted and destroyed, whereas in Mosul the air power that’s being used by the coalition is very precise, very discriminate. Great care is taken to avoid civilian casualties, and certainly there is going to be no concerted effort, as there is in Aleppo, to destroy civilian infrastructure. In fact, quite the opposite; we’re going to try to preserve as much as we can after so much has been laid waste by Daesh over the last two years.

“As a matter of fact – and this is another big difference – unlike in Aleppo, the coalition and the Iraqi Government are working towards post-campaign stabilization. We’re actually working on building contracts so that people can go in and clean up what rubble there is from the campaign and repaint buildings, and restore electricity and water services, and get people back to work. You don’t hear anything like that coming from Assad and from the Russians with respect to Aleppo.”

The evidence on the aerial bombardment in Aleppo is quite extensive and the reports of attacks on hospitals come from highly reputable sources such as Doctors without Borders.  As of yet, I have not read any reports of aerial bombardments in Mosul.  But the issue bears close monitoring.

Two newly elected members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council have changed the wording of their oaths of office in ways that communicate their firm belief that Hong Kong should be independent of the central government of China.  The two, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung, also displayed a banner that read “Hong Kong Is Not China” at their swearing in.  The Chinese government in Beijing has reacted quite negatively to the dissents and is seeking ways to defuse the threat of secession. Great Britain gave up control over Hong Kong, but the British insisted that the freedoms guaranteed to residents of Hong Kong under its rule be honored until 2047 under an arrangement termed “one country, two systems”.  The dissidents believe that China violated that principle in 2014 when it interfered with the legislative council elections.  The episode is highly embarrassing to China but it is doubtful that the dissidents will succeed in their efforts.

The chief Chinese climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, has publicly rebuked Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump for indicating that, if elected, he would reject the Paris Accord recently signed by almost 200 countries.  The statement is highly ironic since Mr. Trump is on record as believing that climate change is a hoax inspired by the Chinese government to stymie American economic growth.  The lack of attention to the issue of climate change in the current political discussions in the US is inexcusable.

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Posted November 2, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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