23 November 2016   Leave a comment

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech in which he indicated that Turkey does not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and is contemplating joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security/economic group created in 2001 and comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.  India and Pakistan will join the SCO in 2017. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently SCO observers.  If Turkey does join the SCO it will signal its turning away from the liberal system and will be a sign that the liberal system continues to weaken.

Image result for shanghai cooperation organisation

Leila Nasr has written a provocative essay on the liberal conception of human rights, posing the central question of whether these rights are “universal, inalienable, and indivisible”.  Western states have asserted these characteristics to human rights in such documents as the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948.  Nasr raises insightful questions about these assumptions and in so doing enriches the discussion concerning the centrality of human rights.

John Schindler is a former National Security Agency analyst who has written an essay on Russian foreign policy objectives.  It is a hawkish, but incredibly well-sourced point of view.  I hasten to point out that the media outlet that published the essay, The Observer, is published by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law.   But the essay is definitely worth a close read.

A billboard shows U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the town of Danilovgrad on November 16, 2016.

Cars pass by a billboard showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin placed by pro-Serbian movement in the town of Danilovgrad on November 16, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump spoke on the phone on November 15, evening and agreed on the need to normalise ties between Washington and Moscow, the Kremlin said. / AFP / Savo PRELEVIC

From the Economist:  A Depressing Graphic

More Depressing News from The Economist:

“IF YOU had only $2,220 to your name (adding together your bank deposits, financial investments and property holdings, and subtracting your debts) you might not think yourself terribly fortunate. But you would be wealthier than half the world’s population, according to this year’s Global Wealth Report by the Crédit Suisse Research Institute. If you had $71,560 or more, you would be in the top tenth. If you were lucky enough to own over $744,400 you could count yourself a member of the global 1% that voters everywhere are rebelling against.”

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Posted November 23, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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