Life shall require my attention for the nest week, so please do not expect much in the way of new posts. In order to meet my readership's desire for important world news updates and intelligent analysis, I have a compiled a large "Notes From All Over" for your reading pleasure:
- The American craze for narcotics is fueling yet another insurgency. Yet there is a key difference between the Peruvian insurgents and most narco-insurgencies -- it is completely legal to grow the drug crop of choice (coca) across the area of insurgency. An interesting case for drug warriors of all stripes to consider.
Ecuador has begun military operations against FARC. I imagine those in Ecuador have seen the fate of the drug-states around them and are trying to cut this insurgency off while it is still a bud.
- Caracas is shutting down the anti-government TV station, Globovisión. One step of many in the slow erosion of Venezuelan liberty. (Bloggings by Boz has a post up on a similar theme.)
- During the 2009 Summit of the Americas, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias provided a timely critique of Hugo Chavez's, Rafael Correa's, and other Latin American leaders' unfortunate propensity to blame development problems on the West. Rising above populism, he pointed out something most Latin American leaders try to forget- "We did something wrong."
- Guatemala's President, Alvaro Colom, is implicated in the murder of an opposition journalist. The country is rocked with protests demanding his resignation. I agree with Boz (of "Bloggings by Boz" fame)- this is but another sign of the general instability and corruption in the region.
- One hears about America's education gap all the time. If the state of India's newest graduating class is a fair comparison, then America's education outlook is quite bright.
- Is change in the air for the Japanese security apparatus? Tobias Harris thinks so.
- The Lowy Institute has published a report on the state of democracy and the party system of the Republic of Indonesia. It is a very good introduction to Indonesian politics, for those interested.
- Matters do not look well in Southern Thailand. Despite "surging" tactics of the Thai military, the Islamic insurgency racking Yalta and the areas around it is still quite strong. This is a conflict well worth your attention.
- Human Rights Watch has written a damning account detailing the reversal of liberty and democratic intuitions following Iloilo's coup in Fiji.
- The largest problem with NATO's COIN campaign in Afghanistan? We are not conducting one.
- Once again the choice is given: democracy or stability? With the reelection of Kagame, those in Rwanda seem to have chosen the latter option. Still, a stable and honest leader such as Kagame is to the region's benefit. I predict no invasions of the DRC will be authorized by this man
- The Dawa Party has withdrawn from the United Iraqi Alliance. Without the Dawa, I am skeptical of the UIA's electoral viability. Methinks Iraqi politics are up for a rough couple of months.
- Michael Totten proves his mettle once again, delivering a must-read dispatch on current conditions on Iraq. It is a rather long account, but more than worth your time.
- The Russian GDP shrank 23 percent from this quarter. Not a fine day for Russophiles.
- Effect Measure has an excellent summary of the global reaction and overreaction to the flu pandemic and the consequences thereof. Unlike most of the drivel written on the matter, this post is written by experts and reflects a thorough understanding of the issue at hand.