The attempted coup by the putative leader of the free world continues to grab attention, as it should. It is being used by authoritarians in other nations as excuses for their actions. It signals a significant, ongoing danger in the world’s most prominent democracy. It demonstrates that there is, for the moment, an opportunity for action against our allies and those who are under our protection and motivates them to prepare for such a time when they can no longer rely on us.
In the simplest of terms, the actions of Trump and his supporters once again have been disastrous for the country in both the short and long term.
The world continues to exist outside of our borders, however. When we fail to recognize that, we risk further long-term damage to our defensive and trade arrangements and thus damage both to our citizenry and the worldwide causes of human rights and individual freedom. Here are three notable recent foreign events independent of both US politics and worldwide COVID-19 response; please feel strongly encouraged to add your own in the comment section below.
Kyrgyzstan elected a nationalist/populist leader in a landslide election on Sunday. Sadyr Japarov received about 79% of the vote, rising conclusively to the leadership of the country after being released from prison during demonstrations of public unrest. Japarov was serving a sentence for kidnapping a political rival in 2013. The country has planned referendums for a revamping of their Constitution which had been changed during the last decade to diminish the power of the Presidency, following two strongman regimes. It is expected that much of the government will be placed back under direct control of the President.
His rise is directly related to a Parliamentary system which was seen even by its supporters as grossly corrupt and rigged in favor of the powerful. Japarov has pledged to root out the corruption. The history of strongman Presidents and the deep ties between the country’s leaders and Russia’s Putin combine to raise doubts about his sincerity.
Meanwhile, in Japan, heavy snowstorms have continued to blanket the nation. Beginning in the middle of last month, when parts of the island nation saw seven feet of snow drop during one large storm, a series of large precipitation events have continued to wreak havoc throughout the country. With some areas unable to fully clear away the old snowfall before the newest batch arrives, transportation has been greatly affected. The latest storms have left more than 1000 cars abandoned on highways and train routes affected as shelter is sought.
Meanwhile, in Greece, their border dispute with Turkey looks as if it may be seeing some relief… if Turkey is an honest broker. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier today that the nation has extended an offer to Greece to resume talks about ownership of seas and small islands in the Eastern Mediterranean. His Greek counterpart,
Alexandros Papaioannou, later confirmed to their press that Greece had, as yet, received no such offer. Turkey has been attempting to expand their borders for decades but has seen enhanced operations in that regard over the last few years. Greece has so far successfully repelled such efforts, both by themselves and with the aid of vessels from other EU nations, most notably Portugal.