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VIEWING THE WORLD
The United States are definitely engaging deeper in the Indo-Pacific region since the visit of Vice President Kamala Devi Harris to Singapore in August 2021. Although around before, the four-nation Australia-India-Japan-US Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad was significantly boosted with the meeting of their foreign ministers and now again on 11 February in Melbourne, Australia. During a first visit to Fiji two days later, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US was pursuing deeper engagement plans with Pacific nations, reported Radio New Zealand International (RNZI).
Indian politics offers the latest view of common maneuver of leaders and their parties to deflect criticism and objection to one’s own pursuit by criticizing and condemning what the other party seems to be advancing. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actively spreading Hindutva, an aggressive form of Hindu nationalism, under pretense of secular and democratic reform but targeting and threatening India’s Muslims. Clashes result as does volatile criticism and rejection from the Indian National Congress (INC), the country’s largest opposition party. To weaken and denounce Congress, Modi on 8 February launched an all-out attack, accused it of being responsible for several ills confronting the country and blamed family-run parties for being the biggest threat to democracy, reported PTI. Since 1951, with some interruptions, Congress has been presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi, Rajiiv Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi since 1998 – hence the attack on family.
Russia, besides trying to place Ukraine or parts of it, such as Donbas, under its control, also insists on having its own exclusive sphere of influence. Obviously it overlooks or insists its power guarantees such position. There is no international rule under which states can expect or insist on spheres of influence. A state obviously can demand or force but the accepted, non-aggressive and rewarding way is through diplomatic, cultural and economic relations. States can influence or try to influence but there is no accepted right.
French President Emmanuel Macron placed first in the 2nd round of the presidential election while his chief opponent of the extreme right, nationalist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party, Ms. Marine Le Pen came in second with 5.5 million fewer votes. His standing, authority and influence are threatened by what in France is called “the 3rd round,” i.e., the outcome of the two-round election of the 577-seat National Assembly on 12 and 19 June. To add weight to the challenge, four left-wing parties, led by the Socialist Party (PS) and supported by Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV), agreed on 4 May to form an anti-Macron coalition.
Sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs hoping they would pressure President Vladimir Putin to end his war against Ukraine obviously inconvenience them, even make them suffer, but the measure has little effect. It reveals that the originators, mainly inside the White House, are misreading Russia. Power, not money, drives the president and those who share his views. Using this tool also shows the different American view, of a country with a capitalist system, that money solves everything. Nyet, ne b Rossii!
Russia continues waging war against Ukraine,
causing growing number of civilian casualties and destruction of
non-military buildings. At month’s end unconditional talks
between the two governments failed to bring a cease-fire or
the withdrawal of Russian forces. On the last day of the
month, the president formally applied for Ukraine to become
a member of the European Union (EU). While the Russian
president threatened several times that Ukraine joining the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the ‘red
line,’ insiders and observers were certain that the
president really wants to keep Ukraine out of the EU.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres found that the world now is worse than five years ago at the beginning of his second term, he told Associated Press in an interview on 20 January. His priorities of wanting to prevent conflict, deal with inequalities, the COVID-19 pandemic, and global warming have not changed, he repeated. But he says that the continuing pandemic, the climate crisis, and geopolitical tensions and conflicts everywhere are leaving the world worse off, reported AP.
The cold winter - After President John F. Kennedy was threatened with war by the Soviet Premier on 4 June 1961 in Vienna, he reacted to him by predicting “It will be a cold winter.” It appears the same is true now although for different reasons. Invasion of Ukraine or partial intrusion by Russian military forces remains possible while European, United States and Russian diplomats are continuing their talks. Little is said publicly that miscalculation or inability to pull back from aggressive military moves could lead to the use of a nuclear weapon with devastating results in Russia and/or the United States.
April 2022 Vol. 41 No. 622
Viewing the World
Indo-Pacific Region, Ukraine, France, India, United States
Global: Leadership failing on climate, UN Record
Africa: Somali leaders targeted, independent Tunisian council suspended
Americas: Elections in Columbia and Costa Rica, Nicaraguan trials
Asia: Turmoil in Afghanistan, Promotion for Xi? Indian state elections
Europe: EU Record, Nuclear Belarus? Tight French election
Middle East: PLO suspends Israel recognition, Yemen government change
Oceania: Australian election campaign, China advancing in the Solomons
Conflicts and Situations of Concern Maritime, Territorial and Water Claims and Disputes
Observer Data & Documentation
Documentation: US State of the Union Presidetial Address
(Issue contains 48 pages)
GLOBAL SURVEY REFERENCE AIDS
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