17 April 2018   Leave a comment

The Washington Post has an op-ed piece which features a podcast by Robert Kagan entitled “The liberal world order is an ‘artificial construction.’ And now it’s in trouble.”  I disagree with Kagan far more than I agree with him, but this podcast is quite good.  If one can listen to the podcast and ignore Kagan’s assertions about US superiority and focus instead on his analysis of the liberal world order, then one can appreciate more fully the threat that the world faces with the decline of that world order without having a clear and acceptable replacement on the horizon.  The liberal world order was far from perfect, but the absence of a world order, as occurred between 1918 and 1939, is a far more dismal world.


French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in which he said, according to the BBC he “warned that ‘there seems to be a European civil war’ between liberal democracy and rising authoritarianism.”  The speech was a strong endorsement to the European Union process and a call for concern over the growth of “illiberal” regimes, not only in Europe but in other parts of the world.  The Guardian reproduced parts of his speech worth noting:

“There seems to be a certain European civil war: national selfishness and negativity seems to take precedence over what brings us together. There is a fascination with the illiberal, and that is growing all the time…

“In the future, we must struggle to defend our ideals … This is a democracy that respects individual minority fundamental rights, which used to be called liberal democracy, and I use that term by choice. The deadly tendency which might lead our continent to the abyss, nationalism, giving up of freedom: I reject the idea that European democracy is condemned to impotence.

“I don’t want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers, I don’t want to belong to a generation that’s forgotten its own past”.

French President Emmanuel Macron


Israel has been carrying out military strikes in Israel for quite some time, but it has been careful to avoid striking Iranian militia forces in Syria directly.  That changed two weeks ago when Israeli jets bombed a suspected Iranian military base after Iran sent a drone into Israeli airspace.   That attack reportedly killed 7 members of the Iranian Quds force.  Israel is now preparing for a counterattack by Iranian forces which, if it occurs, will signal a dramatic escalation of the wars in Syria.  The Iranian forces have vowed retaliation for the deaths of their soldiers. The Israelis have called many of their fighter jets on a military exercise with US forces in Alaska in case they are needed to fend off an Iranian attack. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has written an op-ed piece outlining the dynamics underlying this possible escalation.

Satellite Image of the Iranian Military Base in Syria Destroyed by Israeli Forces.

T4 Syrian Air Force Base

Posted April 17, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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