Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Foreign Digest: Cambodia, Russia, Israel, Yemen, Afghanistan

Cambodia has been continuing to prosecute more and more former Khmer Rouge regime members for crimes against humanity, in addition to the ones I posted about in August of last year in my post, Cambodian Tribunal Convicts Communist Khmer Rouge Leaders of Crimes Against Humanity, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-cambodian-tribunal-convicts-communist.html .  The Maoist Communists conducted a brutal reign of terror against much of the Cambodian population during their 1975-1978 rule, including mass murder, starvation, imprisonment, torture and slavery.

           The recent murder of a major opposition figure in Russia is the latest in a series of killings of political opponents of Communist dictator Vladimir Putin, a former Soviet secret services agent.  Many other dissidents have been subjected to harassment, including phony criminal investigations, or have even been imprisoned or  forced into exile, amidst a climate of a lack of judicial independence and rule of law, and a diminishment of the freedoms of assembly and the press, as few independent media have been tolerated by the regime.  As a result, there are relatively few opposition politicians in office or even willing to seek election.  The argument by the legions of Russian propagandists active both in Russian and global media, many of whom are employed by the Russian government, that Putin could not possibly have authorized the murder because it would have made him “look bad” would, if believed, allow him to escape blame for any crime he wished to commit, while these propagandists conveniently blamed every foreign or domestic opponent of Putin for the murder. 
            The governing center-right party won the Israeli parliamentary elections, despite interference from associates of liberal Democratic President of the United States Barack Obama, and has formed a coalition government with various right-wing parties.  Israel will continue its anti-terrorist policies as a strong ally of the U.S., as well as its opposition to the Islamist terrorist Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program.  Israel’s governing party also benefited from a prosperous economy.

 I had posted last month about possible intervention in Yemen in my post, Calls for the United Nations to Intervene in Libya and Yemen, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2015/02/calls-for-united-nations-to-intervene.html, in which I specifically mentioned the role of Egypt and Saudi ArabiaEgypt and most members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are now participating in a Saudi-led military intervention against the Iranian-backed Shi’ite rebels in Yemen.  The rebels, who are backed by forces loyal to Yemen’s previous longtime dictator, who had been ousted as a result of the Arab Spring, overthrew the internationally-recognized Yemeni government that had been an ally of the United States in the War on Terrorism.  The U.S. has worked with Yemen against al-Qaeda’s branch there, which has been its most dangerous.  The rebel takeover has been an obstacle to American counter-terrorism efforts.  The U.S. is supporting the Arab effort against the pro-Iranian Yemeni rebels. The Arab states deserve praise and gratitude for their efforts.

           President Obama has slowed down the timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, at the request of the Afghan government and based upon the advice of U.S. military leaders in regard to the conditions in theater in this critical battle in the War on Terrorism, in order to prevent Afghanistan from once again being taken over by the Taliban and becoming a safe harbor for terrorists, such as al-Qaeda, who plotted the September 11 Terrorist Attacks from there.  Obama has decided not to repeat the mistake he made in withdrawing from Iraq prematurely after failing to secure a status of forces agreement, despite warnings from military leaders about the conditions there and the possibility of a takeover by Islamists, such as al-Qaeda and its offshoot, the “Islamic State” and remnants of the Baathist regime who are in alliance with them.  These insurgents promptly seized large swaths of Iraq after the American pullout, which has necessitated the U.S.-led air campaign against them, supported by infantry from the Iraqi government and allied militia.  It is hoped that the American-led effort in Afghanistan will be more successful.

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