20 February 2018   Leave a comment

The Syrian government continues to commit war crimes against its own citizens with an attack on the town of Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.  The reports are still coming in, but the initial estimates are that about 200 civilians were killed in the attack.  The town was considered to be one controlled by Syrian rebels opposed to the government of President Assad, but the bombing was so extensive that it should be considered indiscriminate.  CNN has a video of the aftermath of the attack which is quite graphic and deeply disturbing.  More than 400,000 people live in the eastern section of Gouta and the bombardment seems to be a prelude to a ground assault on the town which will likely increase the casualties significantly.  As has been the case in the past throughout the war (which has been going since 2011), the international community seems to be completely indifferent to its responsibilities to protect innocents.

 

The US is taking actions in East Asia that are low-level provocations to China and potentially disruptive to stability in the region.  For the first time in many years, US defense contractors will be holding its annual conference on security measures in Taiwan instead of in the US.  China considers Taiwan to be a renegade province and the US upheld the principle that there is only “one China” in 1972.  But these efforts to boost Taiwan’s military capabilities are viewed by China as efforts to uphold Taiwan’s hopes for independence.  In addition, the US Congress is considering a law that will allow high level US officials to visit the island, with the implicit sense of recognition that such visits suggest.  On the issue of North Korea, South Korea has announced that the joint military drills with the US that were postponed because of the Olympics will now take place in April.  The Olympics end on 18 March, so this lull in hostility, seems likely to end soon thereafter.

Posted February 20, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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