Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Foreign Digest: Russia, Syria, Italy

Russian Un-Free Elections
            The parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation earlier this week were not democratic, as only the ruling party or its allies were effectively permitted to campaign.  Many opposition leaders have been imprisoned, driven into exile or killed.  The freedom of the press is severely restricted in Russia, as hundreds of journalists have been imprisoned or killed and independent media outlets have been shut down, while the Communist dictatorship promotes its propaganda mostly unchallenged.  The freedom of assembly is also curtailed.  Recently, even the last independent pollster was banned. 

Democracy in the Russian Federation’s is a farce, as its leader, Vladimir Putin, like a typical dictator, pretends to be strong, but is really too weak and cowardly to tolerate even the slightest legitimate criticism or dissent.  As a result, Russia will continue to suffer a worsening economy, corruption and violations of minority rights domestically and wars and international disgrace abroad, as the Russian people will continue not to be free and, therefore, will lack effective means to correct the erroneous policies of their government. 

Syrian Civil War
            The civil war continues, with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, aiding its ally, the Syrian Baathist dictatorship of Bashar Assad, which assists Iran in sponsoring terrorism.  Russia has been training the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist organization, as well as intervening militarily in support of the terrorist Assad, under the excuse of opposing terrorists. 

Italy’s Tax Cuts  
           Led by the main center-left party, which governs in coalition with a small center-right party and some centrists, the Italian Government has been cutting taxes, which have been one of the factors that have stimulated the Italian economy, which has been recovering from recession, although weakly.  The Government, which has also made spending cuts to eliminate Italy’s public budget deficit and reduce its ratio of debt to gross domestic product, is proposing further tax cuts.  

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