There are several lessons that one should learn from the current crisis in Syria in terms of history, geopolitical strategy and the balance of powers.
America Has Always Been Reluctant To Engage In Foreign Wars
America has always been reluctant to engage in foreign wars. They waited virtually until the last minute to enter World War I and were literally forced into World War II by the actions of Japan at Pearl Harbour. As such, the current reluctance to engage in Syria is nothing new. However, the ghost of the Iraq War does play a major role in this new found affinity for non-intervention. Continue reading
Posted in History, Politics
Tagged AIPAC, America, Assad, Congress, Iraq, Israel, Israeli Lobby, Kerry, Military, Munich, Obama, President, Syria, war
The following is the third in a series of articles on democracy. The first article, on the Arab Spring can be found here and the second article on the EU can be found here.
During the 1980s, despite his hawkish attitude towards the Soviet Union and his placement of US nuclear missiles in Europe, President Ronald Reagan reached agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Some historians say that Reagan’s challenge to the Soviet system was one of the reasons for the downfall of communism.
Fast forward to December 2012 where the US Senate fails to muster the two-thirds majority required for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They failed because Republicans feared the Tea Party would go against them for making deals with the UN, a “foreign power”.
It is a sad statement on the state of democracy in America today—those who claim to be Reagan’s followers have no clue as to how his legacy was developed. It is all a testament to the role race and xenophobia are playing in the political gridlock that is today’s American democracy. Continue reading
Posted in History, People, Politics
Tagged American, blacks, Democracy, Democrat, demographics, economy, Government, latinos, Obama, politics, Racism, Republican, southern whites, States, vote
The Republican Party finds itself in the same position as the average corporation—they have to learn to manage change. However, their problem is while in corporations real change requires the acceptance of facts and logics, the politics of the Republican right is a religion.
In trying to appeal to their white and generally ageing base, the Republican Party seemingly did its best to alienate every other demographic in America.
The anti-immigrant rallying cry was intended to reassure the base that the Party would do its best to ensure that the country remained as white as possible for as long as possible.
Latinos responded by giving Obama 71% of their vote in the Presidential Elections.
Posted in People, Politics
Tagged abortion rights, America, blacks, Democrat, elections, Global Warming, Government, latinos, Obama, Planned Parenthood, politics, President, Religion, Republican, Romney, Susan G Komen, Women
Mitt Romney has stated that he left Bain Capital in 1999 and had nothing to do with the company after that. However, regulatory filings tell a different story. Is there a corporate governance lesson here?
The Presidential election debate in the US between Obama and Romney has for the past several weeks centered on the latter’s involvement in Bain Capital. The questions that have arisen relate to the actual period during which Romney served at Bain including the precise timing of his departure and therefore by definition what actions of that private equity firm could he or should he be made accountable for.
Posted in Banking, Business, Politics
Tagged 2002 winter olympics, Bain, bain capital, corporate governance, elections, Obama, Olympics, politics, President, private equity, Regulator, retroactively, Romney, SEC, US
War is as much about propaganda as it is about fighting and weapons. Wars are popular or unpopular, and therefore winnable or unwinnable, depending on their level of public support. The US and NATO should bear this in mind if they want to win the war against the Taliban.
Napoleon promised the people of Europe freedom from oppressive monarchies—he was successful until people no longer believed in him. Bush and Blair used WMDS to scare people into initially supporting the invasion of Iraq.
America lost the war in Vietnam not on the battlefield but on the TV screen as news channels brought the horror of the war into the living room of the American people. During World War I the British concocted the story that the Germans were throwing Belgian babies into the fire. That was to play a major role in influencing American participation in the war.
Posted in Politics
Tagged Afghanistan, America, Blair, Bush, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim, NATO, Obama, politics, propaganda war, Taliban, war, WMD
Mitt Romney’s failure to respond to harsh attacks on Barack Obama has been criticized in the media. However, in contrasting it with John McCain’s reactions under similar circumstances four years ago, the media has revealed its own startling inadequacies.
Many people around the world, including myself, look up to the United States as a country where for the most part there is relative harmony between people of all races, religions and backgrounds. If anyone is in any doubt about this then you only have to look at the ethnic and religious tensions and conflicts in so many other places around the world. It is for this very reason, and the fact that the US trumpets its values of racial and religious tolerance, that we hold that nation to a higher standard when we look at racism.
Unfortunately, there is still much cause for concern there.
Posted in People, Politics
Tagged ant-Semitism, Arabs, Democracy, Election, Jews, McCain, media, Muslim, Obama, politics, President, Racism, Republican, Romney
Guns imported from the US are wreaking havoc in the Mexican drug wars and thousands have died. Yet, armed with the slogan “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, the NRA and its right wing allies insist on fighting any attempt at gun control.
The Associated Press cited a recent US government report which stated that a total of some 68,000 guns recovered by the Mexican authorities over the past five years actually originated in the US. During that same period the Mexican drug wars has claimed some 47,000 lives.
Yet, the NRA remains steadfastly unrepentant and is sticking to its slogan, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, while it refuses to contemplate any change in US gun legislation. However, that laissez-faire approach to weapons dramatically changes when the NRA and its allies start talking about Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Posted in People, Politics
Tagged Gingrich, Guns, Iran, McCain, Mexico, NRA, Nuclear, Obama, politics, President, Republican, Romney, Weapons