2 October 2017   Leave a comment

Iran has sent tanks and an artillery brigade to bolster Iraqi troops at a border crossing near the Kurdish autonomous area in Iraq.  Iran thus joins Iraq and Turkey in an attempt to seal off the Kurdish area after the independence referendum passed with 92% approval.  Iraq has closed off air traffic into the Kurdish region and is working hard to prevent movement in and out of it.  Iran and Iraq are also holding military exercises together as a show of strength to the Kurds who support independence.  With such unified opposition, it is hard to see how the Kurdish independence meeting can succeed.

The tragedy in Las Vegas is horrific and defies analysis–there is so much we do not know and will never know.  But it makes us aware of how deeply embedded violence is in many societies.  And it will, one hopes, provide an opportunity for Americans to discuss more openly the phenomenon of domestic terrorism.  The US spends, literally, billions of dollars on the issue of foreign terrorism, but many more Americans are killed by their fellow citizens than are killed by non-citizens.  We should hope that this latest tragedy will force us to answer the question of why it is so easy for these acts of mass murder to occur.

Mass Shootings in the US, 1982-2017

 

There is a lot of soul-searching in Spain as the violence in Catalonia subsides to a degree.  The significance of Catalonia to the entire Spanish economy has been highlighted to a high degree and the violence used to repress the referendum has shattered the legitimacy of the central government.  According to The Guardian:

“With 7.45 million people, the region accounts for 16% of Spain’s population. Its €215.6bn (£191bn) economy, larger than that of most countries in the eurozone, generates more than one-fifth of Spanish GDP, while Catalonia’s exports of €65.2bn represent more than one-quarter of the national total. At about €37bn, foreign investment in Catalonia accounts for more than one-quarter of inward investment to Spain.”

Even though the European Union has verbally supported the Spanish government, the President of the Catalonian region, Carles Puigdemont, has asked for the EU to investigate the behavior of the Spanish government.  The UN is likely to investigate human rights violations by the Spanish government.

Posted October 2, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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