Syria’s Few Options

What is happening in Syria is horrifying. Protests in 2011 were met with shooting by Bashar al-Assad’s troops. Brutality led to civil war. Factions joined one side or the other, including groups linked to al-Qaeda, as ISIS expanded into eastern Syria. The United States and European countries bomb various groups, mostly ISIS, and supply special forces and training. Iran supports Assad with troops and equipment. Saudi Arabia supports rebel groups. Russia entered the fighting last fall and bombs hospitals and markets along with the Assad regime, which has also used chlorine as a war gas. Refugees flee into surrounding states and Europe. Every day my Twitter feed brings photos of more atrocities. Read More

Links – August 1, 2016

The rest of the world keeps going, even though Donald Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the coverage. And I’m as guilty as anyone. It’s hard to know how much to say about the ignorant and bigoted comments that appear daily. There does need to be pushback, but not at all clear how much. Read More

Brexit Links (and more)

So the UK has voted, about 52 to 48%, to leave the European Union. The markets and pound sank on the news but rebounded a bit. Quite a few people are being quoted as saying that they just voted for Leave to send a message that they were unhappy with the government but figured that Remain would win. Some number of would-have-been Remain voters also said that they thought Remain would win. It’s hard to know how many of each there are and whether they would have been enough to switch the result. The media may well be seeking out such people to quote. But they point up a lesson for November in the United States: don’t play with your vote. Seriously consider the alternatives. Read More