an incomplete guide to world politics over the last 10 days

Austria: Court throws out presidential election results, which means the far-right FPO party that was barely stopped in the first election may yet win.

Australia: aussies go to the polls, create a tie, no clue who will lead the government, the liberal labor party or the conservative Liberal party.

Spain: Spain goes to the polls, their governing coalition doesn’t change much.  huh, nothing much to talk about there.

UK: hahahahahahahahahahahhaha.

Okay, okay, let’s try to break this down.  First, they vote for a trillion dollar market tanking, confusion over the nation’s future, and in all likelihood, a future where they are bound by all EU rules, but get none of the benefit.  Next, the Prime Minister, David Cameron announces he’s not cleaning up the Leave side’s mess and will be leaving office by October.  Then pro leave politicians backtrack on all their promises, making it pretty clear that they never intended to win.  after that the labor party goes into civil war, as their leader, Jeremy Corbyn was deemed insufficiently against the leave option.  He lost a vote of confidence by ¾, but it was electorally meaningless, meanwhile his supporters marched to show support and polls showed that rank and file voters still supported him.  It’s not done yet though, Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, huge supporter of leave (for a year or two) and a likely candidate for PM announces he won’t run for the office, because one of his supporters in parliament michael gove stabbed him in the back, by planning to run for PM as well.  Now both major political parties in civil war, the leading candidate for PM has bowed out of the race and no one knows what will happen next.

United States: sigh.  okay, Trump, that’s, that’s still happening.  there’s too much to mention it all, but he praised the Brexit in Scotland, which voted to stay, can’t find anyone to speak at his convention, can’t raise any money for his campaign, people are quitting his campaign left and right and on Saturday he tweeted a pic of hillary surrounded by money, called the most corrupt ever, with a star of david.  intentionally or not, it tapped into anti-semetic attitudes and was quickly changed out, but it was too late.  Also, Hillary spoke with the FBI for 3 and half hours about her email usage and could still be indicted.

A little rant regarding recent developments...

You know what’s funny? Until I was about….16 I considered myself to be absolutely, totally German. I mean my parents were born in a different country, Romania,  but they were raised bilingually and thus spoke perfect German when they immigrated to Germany and I was raised in German only and was also born in Germany. Plus I have a German name, so noone ever doubted my German-ness. It was only when they met my parents that they knew I was….not from here, so to speak. Because, while my parents spoke perfect German, they had an accent that sounded Austrian or something to other people. I was unable to hear this accent because I grew up with it and always got quite irritated when people pointed this out to me. 

Then, ages later, there were discussions about whether some players from the German football national team were actually German. I found this to be super silly because, just like me, their parents were of a minority in another European country that had migrated there from Germany ages ago and then returned. The only difference were their last names, which were not German. But this kept being an issue and I realized….I was just like them. To me I was totally German but to others I wasn’t. I’m from an immigrant family. This was quite a shock to me. I had not talked about my family’s heritage to people since I considered it to be irrelevant. But clearly, to some, it was not. For a while I didn’t quite know what to do… but then I realized there were so many things in my upbringing that were from a different culture, we even had different food from the usual German families. At first this made me feel very uncomfortable but then I switched school. In my class there was only one person we considered to be foreign. I always pretended I was one of these pure Germans, like the rest did. I only found out later that another girl had the same background as I did, but it was simply never spoken about. In my new school though there were many immigrants from all over the world and suddenly I felt totally fine talking about my background. Nobody questioned I was German either, more than half of my year had an immigrant background but nobody felt exactly foreign either. Even the girl who was a refugee from Iraq and who had come to Germany just four years ago was just one of us, nothing special. When there were fights in my year, they were never about anyone’s ethnical background or religion. On the other hand we could always ask everyone about their customs and religions. At birthday parties we could try food and drinks from all over the world and hear stories about Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United States and the Philippines and I could tell some about Romania too!  This was so great and taught me a lot about myself and the world and the people in it. It’s wonderful that we are all from different places, have different cultures and languages. And it’s even more wonderful if we can share them and get to know each other. Because we are stronger together.

theguardian.com
If the Syria ceasefire fails, Isis will be the least of the west’s problems | Michael Clarke
The prospect of Russian and Iranian forces putting a vengeful Assad back in control of a broken country is now all too real
By Michael Clarke

Another week, another nightmare:

“Russian military involvement has been a game-changer – saving Bashar al-Assad’s forces from near collapse, blatantly attacking western-backed opposition forces, and supplying T-90 tanks to Assad’s army closing in on Aleppo.” 

“Syrian war deaths are now more than 400,000. Over half Syria’s 22 million citizens are internal or international refugees. The civil war, not the Isis phenomenon, is responsible for about 90% of these deaths and displacements, and the attacks of Assad forces are believed to be responsible for over three-quarters of them.”

My partner and I argue about politics all the time. I am the more optimistic one in our family and  even I am starting to sense the opportunity of a third world war. The kind of jingoism we witness at the moment… Well, there are many ways it can end and none of them bloodless.

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Margaret Anstee talks about the past and future of the United Nations.

To my non-American followers:

First off, hello.

Secondly, I acknowledge my blog has been and will continue to be (increasingly so) related to the upcoming Presidential Election. This should surprise exactly zero percent of you, I’m just saying that this absolutely will continue. My opinions on world politics will diminish as I focus almost solely on this election. Normally I’d apologize but I really can’t. You’re certainly welcome to unfollow me (this is always an option, actually) but I’d also encourage those of you who don’t realize how big of a deal this is to please begin doing so. Say what you want about the United States but who wins this election (should in be Donald Trump and so help me God if it is…) will drastically alter the political world. I can’t think of any countries that would go untouched should that soggy cheeto win. So we can laugh because yes, sometimes the US is ridiculous and we already have a somewhat shameful reputation but I’d really encourage everyone to pay attention too. 

This matters. 

x. 

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Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda discusses the obstacles that the International Ciminal Court faces.