Sunday Smack

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A busy week behind us again, unfortunately with more bad news than good.

Even the weather took a worrying turn in many parts of the world. Starting with the hurricane in Oklahoma to all the extreme weather issues across Western Europe these days. Can we blame it on climate change or not? Of course I’ll leave this discussion to those who are experts of the topic while I’ll remain on more familiar grounds.

On world affairs:

Will We Witness the End of Peacekeeping in the Golan Heights?

Recent exchanges of fire between Syria and Israel question the future of a not properly armed and trained UN peacekeeping force, one of the longest standing missions of the UN.

Brahimi’s Last Stand?

So, it seems Lakhdar Brahimi gives one last shot to his mission in Syria. The planned peace talks will be held in June in Geneva, Switzerland, with opening remarks from Ban Ki-moon and representatives from both sides of the Syrian conflict.

UN Panel found that both sides of Syrian conflict violated human rights

Wonder how this will change the conversation in Geneva next month.

Mystery solved: John Kerry really ate turkey shwarma

I haven’t posted much about John Kerry’s Middle East trip, but here’s a really important issue. Turkey or not turkey? 🙂

On the legal side:

Annuled Guatemala genocide verdict  is “slap in the face”

Two weeks ago I wrote this case is about to develop further, just no-one expected this turn. Of course the guilty verdict is still probable, but for now, the trial is reset to where it’s been a month ago.

Speech of the week:

Obama’s National Security Speech and Pakistan

Obama Passes the Buck

The President’s Speech: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Obama nails it on drones

President Obama’s long awaited national security speech sparked a huge debate even before it happened. I read almost as many analysis of it beforehand as after. Then there was no surprise when it contained all the elements its previewers anticipated. Ending the war on terror, closing Guantanamo (more interactive part of the speech than planned), creating a legislative background for drone strikes. Critics say though that the speech lacked any clear concept or plan and just drawn up general ideas.

Jubilee of the week:

African Union: Continental drift?

The African Union turns 50, but the continent’s people deserve so much more

So, the African Union turned 50. Celebrations were under way in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this weekend with some controversial invitees like Sudan’s President Bashir or Kenya’s President Kenyatta. Hard criticism is also due here: what have the AU achieved in its past 50 years?

Heinous act of the week:

London Attack: Is it Terrorism?

I found it notable how the British have not hesitated so long to declare this terrorism as we have seen in the US before. Of course I agree that the method and nature of the act left no question about this, it just made me think. While there is no consensual definition of terrorism to this day, there were several tries to create one. Many of those would exclude this act, since they only consider acts against civilian/non-military targets. Again, there is no question in my view, whether this was an act of terrorism, and this only highlights the ever changing nature of what we call terrorism. What is even more worrying is that it is highly probable that we have to anticipate more of such acts in the future.

On a lighter note:


While the US remembers its fallen soldiers this weekend, it is Children’s Day in Hungary!

Have a great Sunday everybody, and happy long weekend to all of you who have one!

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