EU to Start Internal Talks on Brexit Trade Deal -- The trick to understanding the politics of the EU is to realize that most of it involves muddling through, and a key part of that requires numerous fig leaves to hide embarrassing failures. So it is with the Brexit negotiations. Britain and the EU are simply not in agreement about how to divorce one another. The EU is concerned about alimony, while the Brits are trying hard to move onto the post-departure relationship. The EU has given Theresa May's government a scrap today by agreeing to talk among themselves about the future relationship. Actual negotiations with the UK on that point might start in December now. [20 October]
Rajoy Moves to End Catalan Autonomy -- The Catalan independence movement has a secret ally in Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People's Party. It seems that every time there is a decision he could make to reverse the drift of the region toward independence, he chooses the wrong option. Today, his government announced that his cabinet would meet on Saturday to bring Catalonia under direct rule from Madrid. This will force people in the middle to pick a side, and when the middle ground is removed, feelings harden. Reconciliation under any arrangement is harder. This plays into the hands of the pro-independence leaders. [19 October]
Xi Declares "New Era" in China -- President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China opened the Chinese Communist Party's congress today with a rousing speech declaring a "new era" in which China will take center stage in the world. It will play an important role in the history of humanity because socialism with Chinese characteristics has made China a great power. Or so he said. In truth, the PRC is led by a gang of bandits who, like Marxists everywhere, betray all of their principles in order to retain power. China is recovering from a couple of centuries of dysfunction, but for the most part, China is as China was. [18 October]
ISIS Capital Raqqa Falls, but ISIS Won't Die -- Raqqa, Syria, has served the demonic Islamic State in Syria and Iraq since the monstrous polity was born in early 2014. Earlier today, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced victory over ISIS in Raqqa. There will be mopping up of sleeper cells, but the major fighting is over. That, however, doesn't mean that ISIS is at an end. It will know shift shape from a proto-state to a hazy concept that will inspire weak-minded individuals to engage in terrorism. ISIS is beaten to be sure, but it is not defeated. That will take a different kind of fight. [17 October]
Trump Decertifies Iran Nuclear Deal -- Donald Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal over the week-end. He did this despite the fact that the deal is working as expected. He has falsely and ignorantly claimed that the deal is not in America's national interests and that it is the worst, most one-sided deal ever negotiated. However, decertification doesn't mean withdrawal, and the president is acting to keep the US in the arrangement despite his decertification. He said, "I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal's many flaws." This is what comes of giving a game-show host the final say in foreign policy. [16 October]
© Copyright 2017 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.