7 November 2017   Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia has asserted that Lebanon has “declared war” on the Kingdom, signaling its objective of removing Hezbollah from power in Lebanon.  The statement follows the resignation of Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri, a strong ally of Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia considers Hezbollah an Iranian ally and its fears of Iranian influence in Lebanon were accentuated when “Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati trumpeted his regional alliance’s success from Beirut last Friday, declaring victories in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.”  It is not clear what Lebanon’s future looks like.  Hariri was part of a coalition government with Hezbollah as its main partner and it is unclear whether Hezbollah can work with any other partners in forming a new government.  Lebanese politics are some of the most complicated of any nation-state on the planet.  It endured a brutal civil war from 1975-1990 and its governments can only form when all parties act in good faith.  On Lebanon, Israel and Saudi Arabia share the same objectives which complicate the politics significantly.  Israel’s Channel 10 has published a secret Israeli cable from the Foreign Ministry that outlines Israel’s support for the Saudi moves (the page is in Hebrew, but Google can translate it).

 

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.  It was the second revolution in Russia in 1917.  The first, in February, overthrew the Czar because of massive discontent with the war situation and widespread incompetence and misery.  In the past days of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) the day was one of great celebration; today it is observed only by the few ardent communists left in Russia.  The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has said that he wished the Revolution had never occurred.  The Bolshevik victory in 1917 is one of the most contested events in history with widely divergent interpretations of how Lenin and Trotsky were able to seize and consolidate power.

Communists March in Moscow on Tuesday

Demonstrators attend a rally held by the Russian Communist party to mark the Red October revolution's centenary in central Moscow on Nov. 7. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Posted November 7, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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