(These are simply raw notes and links to help participants follow and prepare for discussion of the topic.)
The likelihood of Saudi Arabia and Turkey putting ground troops into the Syrian conflict:-
It seems to me that Iran is willing to put resources into supporting Shia muslims, Saudi and Turkey are willing to put resources into supporting Sunni muslims; no ostensibly Christian nation is supporting the now rather small Christian minorities in Syria. Have we our priorities right? The big fear is clearly that there is a strong possibility of Russian (and Iranian) backed Assad forces being in direct conflict with American backed forces, Turkey and Saudi both being US allies and Turkey being part of NATO – is this sufficient reason to hold back? This links to http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-set-to-cease-airstrikes-against-isis-as-syrians-need-help-not-vengeance-a6862491.html
. as well.
and if we’re talking about him, Canada might come up:-
From Henry:- Sometime we should discuss the developing political dynamic in Asia as India moves up and China continues to grow in influence. There’s a potential conflict there as well. I don’t have a recent news story there, though the Facebook internet controversy might play.http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/02/08/facebooks-free-basics-blocked-india-regulators/80014378/
. It has featured in my Google News feed recently, but my news feed may be a bit eccentric. I paid more attention to elections in Guyana, Canada, and the UK than I have so far to the US elections. Like a certain senator from Texas, it turns out that due to a change in Canadian law I suddenly became a dual citizen in 2009. Didn’t realize it until I saw something familiar in the coverage of Cruz’s citizenship.
Also big on my personal horizon (but maybe not relevant in the States) is this development here:-
Henry has made some comments about divestment recently; this, if implemented, would make it illegal for any public body (whether or not it had its own democratic mandate) to pursue divestment here. I also have a major concern that, if implemented, it would leak into potential shareholder actions against companies which seek to follow an “ethical” investment policy.