13 December 2016   Leave a comment

It seems as if the Syrian government is close to taking control of the city of Aleppo.  The news reports of the takeover are horrific.  They include the summary execution of civilians and the refusal to allow children safe passage out of the city.  According to The Guardian:

“We’re seeing the most cruel form of savagery in Aleppo, and the regime and its supporters are responsible for this,” foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, adding that his country was negotiating with Russia to implement a ceasefire. “The wounded are not being let out and people are dying of starvation,” he told a news conference in Ankara.

Confronted with what many have described as a “meltdown of humanity”, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated:

“We are tired of hearing this whining from our American colleagues in the current administration that we need to immediately halt military action.“

The complete breakdown of the international community to respond to this tragedy in Syria is comparable only to earlier failures in the Holocaust and in Rwanda in 1994.  The shame can never be erased.

In the city of Aleppo, one day ago

Image result for aleppo

The news about the Russian government deliberately releasing hacked emails for the specific purpose of damaging Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House has finally elicited a sense of outrage (I have no explanation why it took so long).  But the question is how to prevent similar attacks in the future, particularly since there are suggestions that the Russians are interfering in the German upcoming elections as well.  Fred Kaplan is an astute observer of strategic affairs and he points out the major difficulty of figuring out a suitable response: the fact that the US is probably the most vulnerable state in the system to cyberattacks.  Any action taken by the US to punish the Russians would most likely elicit a counterattack that would damage the US more.

Antony J. Blinken is the current US Deputy Secretary of State and he has written an op-ed piece for the New York Times on the importance of the liberal world order to American foreign policy. He poses the possibility of a world order based on the more traditional balance of power rules and points out how disadvantageous that world order would be to US interests.  The essay is an elegant statement of the world order the US attempted to create in 1945.

Posted December 13, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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