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The great unraveling of Middle East nation-states
Jan 6th, 2014 by Warren Swil

National governments

are becoming

increasingly irrelevant

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki effectively governs less and less of his “country’s” territory.

Blog note: Due to recent relevant events, this post has temporarily been rescued from the archives.

RECENT EVENTS in Iraq and its neighbors have once again put the focus on the diminishing role of nation states in the turbulent region.
Sunni rebels said to be supported by Al Qaida have all but taken control of Iraq’s western Anbar province, with sectarian strife now spreading eastwards from Syria across the two countries’ long, porous border.
The same organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (the Levant), keeps appearing in reports of clashes in both countries and in Lebanon, already reeling from a massive influx of Syrian refugees.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad now effectively governs only a tiny sliver of territory. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems to be heading in the same direction – with diminishing amounts of territory under his government’s control.
What role – if any – is left for these central governments?


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WAR ON DRUGS: Could beginning of the end be at hand?

COLORADO POT LEGALIZATION MAY BE STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION
The beginning of legal cultivation and sales of marijuana in Colorado may be the most hopeful sign in America.
Many national initiatives begin at the state and local level (the minimum wage is another current example) and eventually work their way up to become federal law.
If the Colorado experiment proves to be a success, it may lead the way to a more sober view of drug policy first in other states and then, perhaps many years from now, at the federal level.
It is way past time to end the 40-year-old “war on drugs.”


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