Russia/ Turkey, Detente...... The recent visit to St. Petersbutg by Turkish President, Erdogan, has led to the renewing of relationship with Russia, ten months after a Russian fighter jet was shot down by Turkey. Russia immediately suspended relations, i
That is the question that confronts Britain, on June 23. That is the question that has divided the country, with all major political parties ( Conservative, Labor , Scottish National, Liberal Democratic), the large corporations and insurance companies and banks, joined by such as Blair, Brown, Major, Khan et al. warning of the "outrageous fortunes"( uncertainty and economic disaster), should they vote to leave ( most recent polls show 45%-42% to leave). On the other side are the UKIP, the British National Party, Johnson, blue collar workers etc. who warn against the influx of European immigrants and the financial control of Germany and of the the Brussels bureaucracy, limiting their sovereignty and threatening their identity and security.
Fear-mongering on both sides rule the day and violence ( the murder of MP Jo Cox, being the most serious so far), is in the air. The campaign has been suspended for the last few days after the killing of Cox, who campaigned very passionately for the Remain side, and who favored immigration, especially of the Syrian refugees).
Those campaigning against leaving, talk about a "leap in the dark", about pensions, investments, Health care, the economy on the whole, about free movement of the 2 million expats living in Europe( 800,000 in Spain alone3) and of the 3 million Europeans in Britain. This is not merely fear-mongering but real concern that Britain will be isolated, that it will not have the European markets and must negotiate new treaties ( 47% of trade with Europe (7% with Germany), that investments will dry up; that the economy will shrink ( 5.6% by one estimate)and rather than protecting jibs and security, it would instead see the loss of jobs, a threat to pensions and to health care ( the latter two in direct relation to the aging population). Scotland, Northern Ireland want to stay ( in the case of Scotland, it remember its divisive referendum in 2014...the drop in the price of oil has them breathing a sigh of relief that the referendum was a defeat for those who wanted to leave, and they worry about being alone at this time of economic turbulence and a new currency, if the leave win).
Those in favor of leaving talk about the loss of sovereignty (bureaucrats in Brussels has too much power), the loss of identity ( Eastern Europeans and others), the loss of culture and the loss of religion (Muslims), the loss of jobs to cheap labor from Europe, being swamped by Syrian refugees, loss of control of the courts to European courts, even the loss of democracy
(British), to " others" with no sense of democracy and with different values. Its main proponent is Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and who wants to replace Cameron as leader of the Conservatives, the fascist/ racist/ nativist British National Party, the UKIP and the Sun newspaper which warns against " the relentlessly expanding German-dominated federal state"( the fears that Brussels is controlled by Germany. They have been successful with their message of fear and have them "taking up arms against a sea of troubles".
June 23, 2016, is dawning.
Britain has voted by 52% to Leave, and now we are beginning to see the effects. The immediate casualty is David Cameron who called the referendum The markets are a sea of red from London to Paris to Tokyo to Wall Street. Investment flows are going to affected; the pound is down to its lowest in 30 years; the Bank of Scotland is withdrawing hundreds of workers and the 1000s of companies (3000 from Japan ), which have been operating in GB in order to get access to the 500 million Europeans will be reassessing their position; the 3 million Europeans in Britain and 2 million Brits in Europe will be affected; Scotland which voted by 73% to Remain, will be thinking seriously of another referendum ( Strugeon, has said it is "highly likely"; N. Ireland may well seek to leave also and may even contemplate a closer relation with the Rep. of Ireland. And there is Europe itself, is this the beginning of the unravelling? European leaders are quite concerned about economic, social and political uncertainty and instability.
Whatever the reason for this outcome, whether fear, hate, immigration, jobs, identity, racism, nativism, ignorance, insecurity, whatever, they have sown the wind and the whirlwind is at hand.
The 50s was a time when America was a happy, successful, homogenous and militarily supreme, with factories humming, family values and families intact and where blacks and women knew their place and gays and lesbians and LGBTs, were hidden away; where Ike was president, playing golf and building the highways to connect all; where Reagan was busy touting refrigerators for GE and where the Nelson family, with their handsome, wholesomeness entertained, with Lucy and the "exotic" Desi. It was a time of white picket fences and church-going, and the New Deal was still helping the poor and the banks were regulated.
Then came Vietnam and television to reveal it all; the Civil Rights movement and Affirmative Action and the easing of immigration restrictive laws, that allow non-whites from Asia and Africa and Latin America and women liberation and the Pill and abortion clinics, the yippies and drugs and Manson and the murder of JFK and Bobby and Martin, and gradually "innocence" was lost. There was a rupture in America. Goldwater and Wallace tried to stem the tide but it was not to be and Watergate and the Church hearings about the doings of the CIA and the War Powers Act, began the limitation on America.
Reagan sold nostalgia with a grin and "aw shucks" and America started to believe again. The USSR was a shell and the Wall came down and America was once again "great. Then Reagan was shot, but the smile was not extinguished, but then came the Savings and Loans and the Iran-Contra scandals and 281 killed in Lebanon and attacking Libya and Grenada did not help. The "fantasy" was revealed and America was inconsolable and tried to regain its composure with Panama and Iraq, but to no avail. The Banks, Investment firms and Insurance companies took over the economy under Clinton's neo-liberalism but then came 9/11 and America's vulnerability was laid bare and G. W Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan but this would be a quagmire, draining the resources of America. Barak Obama was the new hope and he managed to repair the economy, but it was a job-limited recovery and the wars stated to be winded down, but then ISIL reared its murderous head and America was re-committed and many longed for the glory days of the 50s.
Enter Sanders and Trump. They promised hope. Sanders attracted the young and progressives, while Trump attracted the middle-aged whites and nativists. Sanders promised to go after Wall street and the 1%, who grew wealthier and wealthier, while the middle class dwindled and the poor got poorer. He promised a revitalised economy without the "ravages" of free trade (TPP, and the drawing away of jobs and investments) and a "new deal", to restore the middle class, reduce poverty and regulate industry. Trump promise to build a "wall" to keep the Mexican "drug dealers and rapists" away; to prevent Muslims entering the country; to make " America great again", blaming immigration, the media, women, LGBTs and minorities for America's decline.
Middle-aged, white, males ( some women also) and anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-LGBTs Muslims, anti-free traders and diverse others who see their "way of life" threatened by the "other", flocked to Trump and his ranting and ravings grew by leaps and bounds without the weight free from the weight of policies. He appealed to their nostalgia of the time when America was white and Christian and women and blacks knew their place and gays and lesbians (LGBT), and abortions were illegal and family values reigned and America was strong economically and militarily. They long for it and believed in it, blinded by their nativism, their confusion and their false sense of what is real. No matter who Trump attacked, immigrants, women, Mexicans, Muslims, judges, the handicapped and especially the media, they believe. No matter the vulgarity of his attack, they believe. No matter the opposition of the Republican "establishment", they believe.
When this "dream" is shattered in November, what will be their response?
Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Philippines, after a bruising and profane election, which saw him appealing to the basest instincts of Filipinos. He once stated that he would have liked to be the first in line to gang rape an Australian missionary, after it was reported that she was gang-raped and murdered. He promised to kill 100,000 " wrong-doers" within six months of taking office and now the mayor of Cebu City has promised to pay a bounty of 50,000 pesos ( about $1,300) to the police for each "criminal" killed. Police are poorly paid and this bounty is about 3 times their salary. No one is safe. Anyone can be killed and deemed a criminal. It's open hunting season in Cebu City and the rest of the Philippines. You get what you vote for.
Meanwhile in the US, the presidential campaign continues. The Republican field of 17, is now down to Trump. He has run a loud, vulgar, and divisive campaign, insulting his opponents..."dull Bush" "little Marco"; "crooked , lying Ted", being some of the mildest. Now he has turned his vileness against Clinton, going after her husband, Bill also, with crudity and crassness.
He has insulted women, calling them "bimbo" and "ugly", affected by their "bleeding". He has insulted Hispanics, calling Mexicans "rapists", promising to build a wall at the border and making the Mexican government pay for it and to deport 11 million "illegals". He promise to ban Muslims from entering the country ( which led to the newly elected Mayor of London, a Muslim to call him "ignorant" and also the Prime Minister to call it " stupid and divisive, Trump childishly and stupidly replied that maybe Cameron will not be invited to the White House, if he wins). He wants to punish China for taking American jobs and holding trillions in Treasury notes ( how stupid is this?). He wants Japan and S Korea and Europe to pay for American troops, stationed there by the US. He wants out of NATO. He wants Japan and Korea and any and everyone else to develop nuclear weapons ( this how dumb he is, he wants a nuclear-filled world and a nuclear arms race). He has alienated practically everyone, except white, middle-aged men and some women.
So why is he doing so well? This is with Republicans who are under-employed, poorly paid and bitter that the world is passing them by. His message resonate with them. It is the Blacks, the Muslims, the Arabs, the Indians, the Chinese, the Mexicans, the LGBTs etc. who are responsible for their "losses". It is a losers message for losers. So the racism, the misogyny, the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-NATO, the anti-Chinese, anti- free trade and the jingoism and scapegoating, stereotyping, nativism appeals. It is not reason but emotion, raw emotion, that Trump has tapped and it makes for good Cable "news", and CNN and Fox love it and revels in it and it sucks in the other media.
Trump scarcely won a majority of votes in the primaries against the other Republican candidates. His "appeal" only goes so far. The Republican establishment are turned off. Many prominent Republicans have stated that they will not go to the Convention or support him ( even Ryan). Romney got 60% of the white votes and was soundly beaten by Pres. Obama ( now he is leading a group of Republicans, trying to find a candidate to run against Trump).
Over 75% of women, African Americans and Hispanic Americans and young voters are against Trump, and his message of division and bigotry. It has been shown repeatedly that super-Pac spending can only go so far and the supporters of Clinton are building a huge war-chest
Is the race over? No. There are always October surprises ( ask Jimmy Carter).
59 years ago Fidel Castro and his band of freedom fighters, chased the American puppet, Fulgencio Batista and his coteries of corrupt elites and the Mafia, from their homeland, which they had turned into "America's whorehouse, playground and gambling den". Then Fidel went to Washington but was rebuffed and an economic embargo was placed on Cuba. He turned to the USSR and Khrushchev was only too willing to lend assistance and gain a foothold, 60 miles from Florida.
The next 56 years was hard on Cuba and became more so, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Cubans persevered and became self-reliant building a society, where education was free to all, housing was provided for all and health care was free for all, a health care system that was better than what the Americans had, a health care that aw child mortality dropped to lower then in America. The people did not eat "steak" but they ate.
The vindictiveness of the Americans, did not bring the Cubans to their knees and neither did the regime fall. They faced the sanctions and embargos ( thousands did flee, especially after the US, introduced their policy of preferential treatment, such as "wet feet; dry feet") and the various attempts to assassinate Fidel, the Bay of Pigs invasion by a CIA- sponsored group of mercenaries and Cubans living in the US, and prevailed. In the meantime, they sent thousands of teachers, engineers and doctors ( and trained thousands also), to many countries in the region, helped South Africa end apartheid and helped, militarily to win the independence of Angola and Mozambique, from Portugal ( they bested the South Africa military, which was helping Portugal).
America lost tens of thousands killed and wounded in wars against Germany, Japan and Vietnam, but quickly moved to restore relations with them, but not with Cuba ( with which it fought no war and which killed and wounded some of the "invaders at the Bay of Pigs", while defending themselves), which it took from Spain in 1898 and which it turned into a puppet state run by corrupt dictators, like Batista and preyed upon by American corporations.
Why Cuba? Why did it take so long to restore relations and lift the sanctions and embargos? Why the narrow-minded and repressive vindictiveness for 56 years? Was it the pressure from the Cuban community? There was pressure, political, from Florida and New Jersey, where they mostly live. Was it the Cold War? It ended in 1990. Was it to deny the Castros a victory? Somewhat. Was it hurt pride, that " little Cuba", dare to defy them? Yes, because they did not want it to be a symbol for other countries in the region, but most of these countries, from Argentina to Chile to, Guatemala to Nicaragua have kicked out the US- backed military dictatorships, decades ago. For years the UN had passed resolutions, overwhelmingly, in favour of lifting the sanctions, but it was always vetoed by the US and a few of its "puppets". However, any countries like Canada did end their sanctions and began trading with Cuba.
The Pope used his good offices ( after all he is Argentinian, who lived and endured the military junta and their repression) and thus had a different perspective. He helped facilitate the process an Pres. Obama acted.
The Cold Warriors and their political masters, refused to change. They did not want to acknowledge a failed policy and they most importantly did not want to "reward" Fidel.
So here we are. Pres. Obama has made the journey ( the first since 1928, when "silent" Cal Coolidge) visited. The rain fell. It was a cleansing rain, washing away years of frustration, repression and enmity. These are exciting times. Good luck, happiness to the two peoples.
Valdimir Putin, decided in October 2015, to enter the Syrian conflict in order to save Bashar Assad, and he as so far done that and more. He has not only reversed the gains by the various Syrian factions fighting Assad, but has also dealt severe blows to ISIL and the al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front. This forced the West led by the USA, to use its influence to force the Syrian "rebels" to a ceasefire and come to the peace table, which they did on Feb.27, 2016. The cease fire has largely held ( ISIL and the Nusra Front are not included), and the peace talks continue.
Putin was seen as a "problem" in October, when he entered the fray, sending fighter jets helicopters as well as soldiers and ships. They carried many combat sorties each day and succeeded to turn the tide of war and helped create the conditions for the peace talks. Putin the problem was now an important ally.
Putin was a pariah, shunned by the West. He was shunted to the sidelines and was threatened with a "chest bump" by the Australian prime minister, and lectured by Harper the Canadian prime minister on the Ukraine ( they, by the way are no longer around, one was booted out by his party and the other was booted out by the voters). The Russian military successes, forced the US and its coalition to bring him in from the cold and to become the important player, in this Syrian crisis. Before Putin's involvement, the fight against ISIL and the Nusra Front going badly, with more and more territory falling into their hands. The Russians did not restrict their "sorties" to these two but also targeted the "Syrian rebels". The pariah is now a welcomed partner.
Putin the "peacemaker", is riding high these days and so is Russia. It remains in East Ukraine ( and with Harper gone, you can barely hear a whimper from the West), and is there to stay. In Syria, it has an air base and a naval facility in Syria and will not leave them. It also will keep a number of troops in Syria ( Russia had always wanted a warm water poet in the Middle East and now it has one.
Putin's popularity continues to be very high in Russia, despite the economic sanctions and its effects on the lives of the people. He as brought back pride to his nation ( after the alcoholic- soaked regime of Yeltsin, which saw Russia become a "joke". Back in 1960, the then leader Nikita Khruschev, was asked by the editor of the Egyptian publication al Ahram, what constitutes a superpower's clout, and he replied that " half of a superpower's clout is its prestige and that if a superpower loses its prestige, it becomes nothing more than an old whore". No respect).
Putin has restored Russia's pride, power and prestige and it is an important "player" and no longer an "Old Whore"
Antonin Scalia the longest serving and the most controversial member of the Supreme Court of the United States, has died. This has focused attention on two important issues. The first, of which Scalia is the foremost proponent is, the "originalist" view of the Constitution. This is the idea that came to the fore in the 1980s, that the Constitution must not be interpreted but that it should be applied as the Founding Fathers intended. This " original intent" is what the those who drafted it meant. As Scalia noted, " original meaning (textualism) is what " reasonable persons" living at the time would say the " ordinary meaning" of the text to be.
" If the Constitution can mean anything, then the Constitution is reduced to meaninglessness". In other words it is not subjected to interpretation, but only to discover what was the "original intent". This makes the Constitution above change and even though there is an amending formula, the Constitution is "fixed"....what it does say, cannot be changed. "Originalism" is a means of constitutional interpretation not construction, for it was fixed at the time of enactment. It is, in other words written in stone.
Many have felt that Scalia, a firm Catholic (he had nine children), use the "original intent" doctrine as a guise for a theocratic agenda.. He was strongly opposed to abortion, gay, same-sex and voting rights and he himself is on record as writing that "rights came from the deity, rather than from the text of a constitution". At the Supreme Court he had a partner in Clarence Thomas ( so also was Justice Bork, who failed to get confirmation in 1988).
This brings to the second issue. on two counts. The Supreme Court, without Scalia is split 4-4 and there are many outstanding cases to be heard....cases on abortion, political representation, gun ownership, unionization, presidential power, affirmative action, environmental protection, campaign finance, death penalty all with ideological divisions. These matters have to be resolved or there will be much uncertainty and confusion.
The Republicans led by McConnell, in the Senate which has to agree to any and all federal appointments, have signalled that they will not consider any appointment made by Pres. Obama, claiming wrongly that he cannot make an appointment in his last year in office. There is no law stating that and there have been precedents from Lyndon Johnson ( Abe Fortas, who was not confirmed in time) to Nixon to Ford to Reagan ( Anthony Kennedy, after the failed Bork nomination). The chorus of "don't do it", have been joined by the candidates running for the presidential nomination for the Republican party (no surprise here). They are afraid that Pres. Obama would appoint a "liberal" to the bench and thus give them a majority of 5-4 (not including "swing vote" Kennedy).
These "objectors" should rethink their opposition. They will cause a stagnation in the judicial process, because if the Supreme is deadlocked, 4-4, then the decision revert back to the circuit courts and there is no precedent. The decisions of the circuit courts may differ from one to the other and so you will have a checkerboard of decisions on the same issue. Also, Pres. Obama has had 8 years to stack the lower circuit courts with "liberal" judges and thus their decisions will stand, until the Supreme Court rule on them and establish order and precedent. It's a no win position for the Republicans. Also, the next president may well be another Democrat and so nothing will have been gained by this stalling ( except to deny Obama). Perhaps Obama may well be nominated to the Supreme Court. It has happened before when Taft was nominated and served. That would be most galling.
The Republicans are in a no win situation also, because in the November election, one third ( most of them Republicans), Senators are up for re-election and to campaign on this issue may not bode them well. They may lose control of the Senate.
It's a conundrum ( of their own making) for the Republicans. They have the most to lose, including the Presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court.
Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal (supported by 81 other mayors of surrounding region), has started a battle royal with his opposition the Energy East pipeline, on the grounds that the economic gain would be minimal and the environmental risk unacceptable. This pipeline would bring oil sands crude from northern Alberta ( at a cost to Trans Canada $ 15.7 billion), to Quebec and on to New Brunswick for refining and then exported abroad(1.1 million barrels a day).
Alberta and Saskatchewan are reeling from the estimated 100,000 lost jobs and the billions in earning, since the precipitous drop in the oil markets. The response was quick and bitter, evoking similar responses to the National Energy Policy of Pierre Trudeau in the 1980s ( which would set oil prices in Canada lower than world market prices, and which came at a time of depressed prices in the world markets).
The West have always felt that central Canada were benefitting from their resources; that manufacturing especially in Ontario was given preferential treatment by succeeding governments for political reasons ( which was reinforced when Brian Mulroney gave the CF- 18 contract to Quebec and not Winnipeg, even though experts, including the government's, said that Winnipeg was better equipped); that the West was central "milking cow".
The west felt left out ( there were 183 MPs from Ontario and Quebec and only 79 from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and the West felt, largely justifiably, that their interests were secondary) and the shout went out that the "West want in".
The alienation of the West led to the formation of the Reform Party, under Preston Manning, and they would go on to win most of the seats to parliament from Alberta and many more from Manitoba, Sask. and BC, punishing the Liberal Party, which is still to recover from those losses. This would also herald the end on the Progressive Conservative Party when, after 9 years of Mulroney ( and the perception that he, even though they voted for him twice, 1984, 1988, he continued to favor central Canada, especially Quebec), the Party was reduced to 3 seats in the 1993 election ( that saw the return of the "despised" Liberals, to power), and the absorption of the PCs into the Reform/Canadian Alliance Party, under Stephen Harper ( one of their own, from Calgary, who had made a deal with the leader of the weakened PC, Peter McKay). The next 9 years saw the West flourish with a friendly government in Ottawa and rising oil prices. But then a huge slump in the price of oil and the ensuing economic malaise.
Oil has to transported to markets. It can be done by rail, by sea and/or by pipeline. The proposed extension ( the pipeline is already bringing gas to Quebec, so only the extension to New Brunswick has to be built), is what is causing the uproar, and which Alberta and Saskatchewan feel would be a needed boost for their economy and employment. Many agree and so do I, that the pipeline is far safer than rail and sea. Any further concerns about its efficacy can be addressed and TransCanada has shown a willingness to make changes to deal with those concerns.
Coderre's opposition has created a firestorm with the premier of Alberta and Sask. and the leader of the Wild Rose party and the mayor of Calgary all condemning him, calling his position "short sighted", " fear mongering and shaking your fists" , "threat to national unity" " return back their share of the $10 billion equalisation payment", getting downright personal and emotional.
PM Justin Trudeau, has a serious problem to deal with. How will he deal with it? Can he put out this potential threat to national unity ( and it is a real threat, given past history and real and imagined wrongs and neglects, felt out West)? The National Energy Board will meet and advise the government, but the final decision is with Trudeau. The first and very trying problem for this untested government.
There was hope in the air and joy in the streets, 5 years ago, as the Arab Spring started. Alas, with the exception of Tunisia, where it all started, everywhere else is gloom, despair, destruction, death and suffering.
In Tunisia, the political rivals worked out a compromise, that is still holding. It won them the Nobel Peace Prize. In Egypt, after weeks of street marches, demonstrations and resistance from the government, Mubarak was driven out of office, Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected, but was ousted in a military coup. General el-Sisi came to power and immediately cracked down on the media and political opposition. Thousands were jailed and over 1,000 have been killed. Instability is the order of the day and there have been outbreaks of terrorism.
In Yemen, chaos and misery, as surrogates of Iran and Saudi Arabia are slugging it out in a deadly battle for power. Libya is ungovernable, with rival parliaments and various militias fighting it out. Syria has the government of Assad, fighting off various rebel groups (supported by outside powers, like the Saudis, while Assad is supported by Russia), as well as ISIL, with a coalition led by the USA and including Canada, Britain, France etc. bombing ISIL on a daily basis. This has created a humanitarian crisis with millions uprooted and many killed and others leaving in droves for Turkey, Jordan and Europe. Then there is Iraq with its continuing war and here the Kurds are battling ISIL, and so too are the Iraqi military. Mayhem.
The dreams of Dec.17, 2011, have become nightmares and these nightmares keep repeating themselves, over and over again, with no end in sight.
The execution of the Shia cleric, Nimr al Nimr( and 46 others), by Saudi Arabia has sparked widespread protest and condemnation, none more so than from Iran. Nimr who came to prominence in the pro-democracy protests in 2011, has been a thorn to the Saudis, as he gained influence in eastern Saudi Arabia ( where many Shiites live) and among the youths as he called for the end of the monarchy. He was charged for instigating unrest and of seeking "foreign meddling" ( meaning from Iran).
In Iran the government was quick to condemn the execution and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei, railed that the Saudis will pay a "High Price". This was followed by the burning of the Saudi embassy in Teheran and the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Saudi Arabia. The war of words ( at this point) has picked up with the Saudis accusing the Iranians of supporting "terrorism" and the Supreme Leader warning of "divine revenge".
The Saudis are the leader of the Sunnis, which make up 85% of Muslims spread across the globe from Arabia to Indonesia to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and elsewhere, while Iran is the center of the Shiites, with 60% of Iraq and a minority in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and Bahrain. The Saudis see the Iranians as a threat to their power and influence in the region, what with the Iranians supporting the Shia government in Iraq, propping the Assad government in Syria, assisting the Houthis in Yemen and working closely with Hizbollah in Lebanon.
The Iranians are the leader of the Shiites and they feel encircled by the Saudi-led Sunnis. They have become more emboldened after the signing of the nuclear agreement with the USA. This will mean that in return for restricting their nuclear programme, the economic embargo that was imposed on them will be lifted and so they can sell their oil and gas, have the banking assets unfrozen and open themselves up to the world for trade, investment and tourism. Billions will pour into their coffers and with their economy booming and their young and educated population ( in tune with the outside world), prosperity, power and influence are at hand.
The Saudis with their oil wealth dwindling ( with the rapid fall of price), fear that their power and influence are waning ( their closed society and repressed population are ripe for explosion and that's why Nimr al Nimr and his "kind" are harshly dealt with), as paranoia haunts the Kingdom. It is a fight for survival for their way of life so greatly influenced by their Wahabbist brand of Islam and they see Iran as the external threat and that the signing of the nuclear agreement and America's efforts to work out a peace agreement to end the conflict in the region and defeating ISIL and its "terrorist" ideology, as an advantage to Iran.
Where will this end? With hardliners in both countries; with historic divisions in religion ( Sunni vs. Shia ); with regional ambitions clashing in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and with the USA'S influence especially with Saudi Arabia lessening due to Saudis anger over the nuclear deal and suspicion about the "interests" of the Obama administration, it is tinderbox ready to explode.
A little miscalculation; a tiny spark is all it takes.
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(Fig 2a) The Death of Innocents
Ishwar R. Prashad recently retired from over 47 years of teaching.