Time for another LinkSwarm!
Posts Tagged ‘Syria’
This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
Had a busy weekend, so here’s a late LinkSwarm:
“Egypt’s highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country’s interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority.”
Well, things are about to get very interesting indeed. Does the Muslim Brotherhood think it can take on the army in a full-blown civil war? I tend to doubt it, if only because potential sources of money and arms outside the country are somewhat preoccupied with the Syrian civil war right now (on both sides). On the other hand, this is as close to real power as the Muslim brotherhood has ever tasted; they may not want to give up without a fight.
The Guardian is providing live updates.
What the headlines says, although they were repulsed.
If President Hamlet was thinking about helping topple Assad, now would be a Real Good Time to jump off the fence.
Plus, unlike Libya and Egypt, not only would it be very hard for the next government to be worse than the current one. Plus it would be a blow to Iran and Hezbollah, and thus would dramatically improve the possibility of real peace and a stable government in Lebanon.
(Hat tip: Michael Totten)
“In a direct echo of previous events in Libya, France has formally recoginsed the opposition Syrian National Council and proposed that international troops should protect civilians.”
Meanwhile, those rebels are calling for international air strikes against the Assad regime.
It’s quite possible that the Assad regime could unravel much faster than Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya did, since whole army units have already defected, and Assad is much more isolated from his country’s Sunni majority that Gadhafi was (at least ethnically) from his.
Alain Juppe, France’s foreign minister, has raised the possibility that western powers could intervene directly intervene [sic - LP] to protect civilians in Syria from the Assad regime.
He suggested that “humanitarian corridors or humanitarian zones” could be established to protect those under attack.
As the Assad regime presses ahead with its attacks on Syrian rebels, Mr Juppé has become the first senior western figure to raise the possibility of such an intervention. He said the issue would be discussed by European Union foreign ministers at a meeting next month.
Of course he goes on to say that “full scale military intervention by the west in Syria was not being considered.” But I remember hearing much the same thing about the intervention in Libya, and we all know how that turned out.
France’s sudden belligerence may seem out-of-character, but they’ve been pissed at Assad ever since he had Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri assassinated in 2005. France has a long history of ties with Lebanon, and the Hariri assassination was just the most overt act in Syria’s semi-successful attempt to turn Lebanon into a puppet state. I have no doubt that France would be happy to knock off Assad if they were sure they had NATO (or at least American and UK) backing and could be sure the job was done right.
In other news, UNSECO’s executive board unanimously elected Syria to a committee dealing with human rights—even though the U.S. has a representative on the committee. Must be more of that Obama Administration “smart diplomacy” we keep hearing about…