Turkey’s President Erdogan just publicly endorsed the death penalty in front of a crowd of more than 1 million supporters. I wonder where Turkey’s moderates are cowering? Any chance of joining the EU is about to get nixed if Turkey decides to take this tremendous step backwards, and Turkey will join the ranks of dodgy two-bit banana “republics” where human rights are mixed in with manure to fertilize local fields.
The migrant crisis might resurface (did it ever really go away? It really was just swept under a Turkish rug and now someone is about to trip over that lump in the carpet), and moderate Turks might join the ranks of those trying to escape oppressive regimes. Turkey is on a dark precipice and I really hope that some sort of reason and rationality reign in the near future.
China is attempting (and successfully at that) to destabilize the South China Seas by deploying its air force to do maneuvers and patrols around the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal. Local countries are protesting to no avail, and really, those islands might as well belong to China at this point as they’ve not only cocked a leg and sprayed the post, but buried a bone at the base. Unless someone grows a set, there is no chance that China will back down on its expensive land reclamation projects in that hotly contested area.
The UN’s two-bit court ruling that China is in the wrong and that the Philippines are in the right over the disputed area is really just another unfortunate example of how ineffectual the UN really is. The UN only works best in third world countries, and not when dealing with first world countries with power, ego, and eyes towards a very different world order than the one we currently enjoy.
China then flexed another muscle, this time in the face of South Korea, chastising the South Korean President Park for joining the US’s THAAD anti-missile system as conspiring to strengthen the US presence in Asia against China. The THAAD system was really put in place to keep the North Koreans in check (again, these systems are only as good as the powers backing them are willing to initiate the systems), and yes, there is likely some truth to China’s accusation. Yet it’s not like the American presence in east Asia is new; the Americans have always been the schoolyard monitor in that playground. What is troubling is how China is really trying to reassert its imperial dominance in that region, and going about it like a schoolyard bully trying to own the playground. The question is whether the monitor is willing to actually enforce the schoolyard rules.
And then we have the US, with the focus of all eyes on the battle of faux pas, blunders, policies, hair styles/pieces, and wits (or lack thereof) between Trump and Clinton. It’s like a train wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of, because the collateral damage from that accident is going to be the political equivalent of the Lac Megantic tragedy. And as those two trains hurtle towards each other, rest of the world is going to hell in a handbasket.