25 January 2018   Leave a comment

The rift between the US and Turkey continues to widen.  Turkey has disputed the US description of a telephone conversation between US President Trump and Turkish President Erdogan.   The US claims that Mr. Trump asked Erdogan to ease up on the military offensive against the Syrian Kurds, who have been steadfast US allies in the fight against ISIS.   The Turks insist that Mr. Trump did not make comments of that sort.  The dispute is not merely rhetorical.  The US has troops in the area of Syria where Turkey intends to broaden its offensive against the Kurds.  It would be tragic if Turkish troops ended up firing on positions where US troops were stationed.  Turkish-US relations are clearly at a crossroad.

 

US Ambassador Bill Richardson has resigned from an international advisory board examining the plight if the Royingha in Myanmar.   The Royingha are a Muslim ethnic group who have lived in the Rakhine province of Myanmar for centuries.  The population of Myanmar is primarily Buddhist and they regard the Royingha as invaders and as a threat.  The Myanmar military has engaged in an offensive of murder, rape, and torture to force the Royingha into Muslim-majority Bangladesh.  The Bangladeshis are no longer able to support the influx of refugees so the Royingha have no where to go.  The international community has not been able to persuade the Myanmars to stop their policy of ethnic cleansing.   The international advisory board was the only international attempt to offer hope to the Royngha but Richardson’s resignation suggests that even that feeble effort was stillborn.

 

The White House requested a landscape painting, “Landscape with Snow”, by Vincent Van Gogh from New York’s Guggenheim Museum to be hung on a lending basis in the private living quarters.   The request was denied, but the Museum offered an alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet entitled “America”.  According to the Washington Post “the artist who created the toilet, Maurizio Cattelan, would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan.'”  Someone has a sense of humor.

“Landscape with Snow” by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh - Landschaft im Schnee.jpg

 

“America” by Maurizio Cattelan

 

FILE - Maurizio Cattelan’s “America,” a fully functional solid gold toilet, is seen at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Posted January 25, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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