Notations on The World Over the Past 10 Days....

An Interesting 10-Days Around the World

: Never a Dull Moment
The past 10 days has been, yet again, quite challenging around our World.

I begin this retrospective with some good news. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has been able to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table. We have been here before, though. I am not sure what will be different this time. However, the fact that they are talking is something in fact that should be celebrated. Hopefully it is not talking about talking. What is clear is that both sides are severely hampered by their own internal political challenges as exemplified by Hamas in Gaza and the settler community in Israel.
 Beyond Israel and Palestine, there is Egypt. Sisi, the Defense Minister and defacto ruler of the Country, asked for a "mandate" from the people to help root out terrorists. Masses came out this past Friday and the punditry declared that the end of political Islam was at hand. Morsi, in the meantime, has been accused by Egyptian State Prosecutors of collaboration with Hamas. This is as the Interior Minister has threatened the Muslim Brotherhood sit-in at Nasser City with expulsion. The street politics that has characterized the events of the past few weeks will continue to serve as a challenge to Egypt as it figures out where it wants to be. It is quite ironic that the man picked by Morsi was the man that overthrew him.

I have also been assessing Japan. Prime Minister Abe's win was quite am amazing feat that hopefully will give Japan a measure of Stability it has not had in quite some time. However, I continue to be concerned about the assertive military stance taken by Japan by discussing the creation of a Marine Force and an active conversation about rejecting pacifism. The Prime Minister did say that he is for dialogue. Where that goes is an open question that we will work to explore further here.

The country formerly known as Syria continues to burn. Jordan is hosting the 5th Largest City in Syria. Over 100,000 people have died and Assad has apparently gained clearly the upper hand. The Kurds seem to have carved out their own "conclave" to at least protect their own population. The World, in the meantime, stays silent. Iraq, in the meantime, continues to drift ever closer to civil war with its' daily killings especially during the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan. 3,000 people have been killed over the past 4 months alone.

In the Americas, though, there has been one highlight: World Youth Day. Pope Francis was in Brazil to attend a very festive World Youth Day and it was joyous. Whether it helps to resurrect the Catholic Church remains to be seen. What is clear is that Pope Francis seems to understand the realities that other Catholic Leaders seem not to have recognized up to now.

A challenging World that never seizes to amaze..I only hope that we in Outsiders continue to live up to this admonition:

I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention.
To not be like your parents.
To not be like your friends.
To be yourself.
To cut yourself out of stone.”

~ Henry Rollins

Onward & Upward....
Also released to "http://www.outsiderviews.com" 07/29/2013
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