Thursday, February 19, 2015
It's getting to look a lot like a Russian win in Ukraine. The most recent "cease-fire" never even got started, much less held. There are those in Congress calling for the USofA to arm the Poroshenko Ukrainians, but that would do nothing to end the conflict or bolster the Poroshenko government — all it would do is confirm Putin's narrative that Russia is in conflict with an aggressive West led by the usual enemy (us). The only remaining sanction that might make a difference is to deny Russian banks access to SWIFT, but that's something of a "nuclear option," and the USofA cannot do it unilaterally.
It's a mess, best avoided if at all possible, bearing in mind that just because some bunch of international criminals say they're part of Islamic State doesn't mean there's any real coordination. If the Egyptians want to screw around there, let them, unaided by the USofA. It's their border, and their citizens, not ours — and we always can be counted on to make things worse.
While the Goodluck Jonathan government is too corrupt and inept to stop Boku Haram, no likely alternatives have presented themselves. Chad, we're told, is making some progress, and Niger and Cameroon are stirring, but only time will tell. As long as oil prices remain low, nobody in the West will be bothered to do anything about Africa.
Israel and Iran
Netanyahu continues to agitate for a US military attack on Iran, but even American Jews are starting to have serious doubts about the sanity of Likud policies. Hopefully, the era of knee-jerk Congressional obedience to AIPAC is ending. Working cooperatively with Iran should not be any more difficult that working cooperatively with Saudi Arabia or, say, Turkey. Face it, we don't give a shit about spreading democracy.
Let's just hope Cristina Fernandez de Kirshner's government can hold it together. The bourgeoisie are wavering, but she still has the support of the working classes, and our State Department already is overstretched. Yes, we're all curious to know who killed the special prosecutor, but we don't need another crisis in Latin America.
Syria and Iraq
If Obama prefers not to use the modifier "Islamic" when referring to Islamic extremists, I suggest he just refer to them as "those shitheads." Throughout history, various groups have used religion to justify all kinds of awful behaviors, and will continue to do so. Come to think of it, "those religious shitheads" just may be more to the point.