Cyreenik Says

November 2018 issues

Brexit stays messy

Divorce is never an easy process. It's hard because it is both emotionally unpleasant and because it is a one-time event between those participating. It's not like a school fire drill where you can practice before the real event occurs.

Brexit is now showing all the signs of being a messy divorce. This month some negotiating has been finished, but lots of people on both sides are unhappy with what the negotiators have come up with. Several UK ministers are so unhappy with the current state of affairs that they are resigning from the government. Add to this mix lots of feeling of remorse on the part of many UK people. Lots of people, and media, are asking, "Should we have really gotten into this mess? Should we try to stop this now and go back to being part of the group?"

The hard part of Brexit is far from over.

This 15 Nov Economist article, Into the Brexit endgame How Parliament should weigh up the Brexit deal, talks about the current state of affairs and how messy they are.

From the article, "AT LAST, BRITAIN’S game of three-dimensional chess with the European Union is entering its closing phase. On November 14th the two parties published a draft divorce agreement, 585 pages in length. Nearly two-and-a-half years after the British shocked their own government by voting to leave the EU, they are about to discover what Brexit really means."

Doing an autocrat assassination wrong: The Khashoggi case

Autocrats assassinate their critics. This has been part of human life since the Agricultural Age started producing autocrats. It is part of their getting established ritual, so it is especially common with young and newly established autocrats. But there are good ways and bad ways of doing this ritual. Good ways produce fear and respect for the autocrat and little else. Putin seems to be a current example of an autocrat doing these right.

And then there are the other ways... The Khashoggi Incident is turning into a textbook example of how not to do one.

What has gone wrong with this one is that the clumsy way it has been handled has produced a lot of criticizing finger pointing, not a lot of respectful finger-pointing. The incident is producing a lot of embarrassment, not a lot of respect. And this embarrassment has been continuing for many weeks now.

Yes, this is now textbook bad.

The embarrassment is getting so bad that the CIA is publicly making accusations. This 17 Nov 18 WSJ article, CIA Concludes Saudi Journalist Was Killed on Crown Prince’s Order U.S. assessment contradicts Saudi version of Khashoggi killing and may endanger President Trump’s efforts to protect ties with Prince Mohammed by Warren P. Strobel, says the Crown Prince ordered it.

From the article, "The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was carried out under the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a close ally of President Trump, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.

The determination by the top U.S. spy agency could endanger President Trump’s efforts to protect relations with the crown prince and Saudi Arabia more generally. Mr. Trump said Saturday he expected to receive a briefing from the CIA later in the day."

In Syria the proxy war continues

Proxy wars are definitely a curse for the lands they are being fought on, and the Syrian conflict is showing this off in spades.

One fallout of a long proxy war is warriors dedicated to a cause transforming into truly professional mercenaries, as in, people who will fight for any cause as long as they get paid.

This 1 Nov 18 WSJ article, Iran Ally Hezbollah Pays Syrian Rebels to Switch Sides Militia bolsters forces in Syria near Israel’s border despite threat from Israel by Sune Engel Rasmussen and Suha Ma’ayeh, talks about this happening in Syria.

From the article, "The Iran-backed militia [Hezbollah] has recruited up to 2,000 fighters, these people said, most of them from rebel groups that lost U.S. funding last year, according to the former commander, who tracks recruitment in villages in southern Syria."

These warriors are no longer being paid by US-backed groups so they are moving on. This moving on will keep happening as long as foreigners are will to pay for fighters in Syria.

This long term fighting is the deep curse of a proxy war. The war ends when these outsiders' attention moves on and they no longer want to keep paying. In this case the US's attention is moving on, but many others are still "sincerely interested" and paying big bucks to prove it.



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