9 June 2017   1 comment

British Prime Minister May indicated that she will try to create a majority in Parliament by inviting the Democratic Unionist Party from Ireland to join in a coalition with the Conservative Party.  When she called for the elections 7 weeks ago, May anticipated a 100-seat Tory majority in the House of Commons–they ended up losing 13 seats and their majority in the House by eight seats.  The defeat was stunning and comes just as Great Britain will begin its Brexit talks with the European Union.  The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held 10 of the 18 seats allocated to Northern Ireland in the election and it was founded “by Ian Paisley” and “is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fifth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.”  The marriage between the Tories and the DUP will be difficult since the DUP has a strong stance against a “hard” Brexit and favors a strong continued relationship with the EU from the outside.  Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party has indicated that it would work with the Labor Party and Jeremy Corbin.

Today was a confusing day in American diplomacy.  The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, made a statement at the State Department in which he said:

“We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar. There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade. We are seeing shortages of food, families are being forcibly separated, and children pulled out of school. We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during this Holy Month of Ramadan, but they can be addressed immediately.”

But an hour later in a press conference with the President of Romania, US President Trump said:

“The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has been a funder of terrorism at a very high level….I’ve decided, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, our great generals, and military people, the time has come to call on Qatar to end its funding. They have to end that funding. And its extremist ideology in terms of funding.”

One would be hard pressed to figure out what the American position on Qatar is, and, given the state of the embargoes against Qatar, there is not much time to offer help to the people of Qatar.

Vision of Humanity publishes an annual Global Peace Index.   It is a fascinating attempt to create measures of peacefulness, internal and external, and the effort is much more broadly based than the typical indices of violence in international relations.  According to the 2017 edition:

“Most of the nations in the GPI became more peaceful over the last year. 93 countries improved while 68 deteriorated. Over the longer run however, there has been an increase in ‘peace inequality’, with most countries having only small increases in peacefulness, while a handful of countries have had very large deteriorations in peace.

“Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark, all of which were ranked highly in the 2016 GPI. There was also very little change at the bottom of the index. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.”

The study is worth careful attention.


Posted June 9, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “9 June 2017

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  1. Pingback: 15 June 2017 | World Politics News

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