Politics everywhere is hotting up:
In the USA, Donald Trump got 46% of the vote in the Nevada caucus. That’s his highest margin yet. And it looks like he’s benefited from Jeb Bush dropping out of the race. Next week, on Super Tuesday, a dozen states will be voting for their nominee, and if Trump continues to grow in popularity, he looks set to win many of these states too.
What’s the attraction? ZeroHedge:
Let me help you, gentle confused pundits: Trump comes across like a plumber who’s struck it rich: he’s got a beautiful (immigrant) wife (second, third or fourth, who’s counting, the guy has it made), he speaks his mind regardless of who’s offended, and he doesn’t bother with bean-counter trivialities like a carefully scripted agenda that includes all the key demographic groups.
Or, to put it another way, Americans are voting with their middle finger:
In any event, The LA Times is out with a new piece that explores why South Carolina voters are overwhelmingly coming out in support of Trump. Excerpts are presented below, but John Baldwin, a used-car dealer from Greenville summed up the mood quite succinctly: “We’re voting with our middle finger,” he declares. We imagine Bernie Sanders’ supporters would say the exact same thing, if asked. A message to Washington’s entrenched political aristocracy: Americans have just given you the finger. Literally.
It’s not very much different in the EU, where voters are increasingly giving the middle finger to their own entrenched political aristocracy. In the UK, Conservative big hitters Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have joined the Brexit campaign. And now the Dutch and the Czechs are talking about holding their own referendums too. I bet there are plenty more countries who’d like a referendum.
As for the Syrian mess, I hope this is true:
NATO to Turkey: Start a war with Russia and you’re on your own
Which may have something to do with a new ceasefire brokered by Obama and Putin:
Under the deal, signed off in a phone call between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, the Americans will take charge of keeping the Syrian rebels in line, while Russia has responsibility for the Syrian government side led by dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Or maybe this:
It’s Time to Kick Erdogan’s Turkey Out of NATO
…nearly three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO members still make the same solemn vow to one another, known as Article 5, that they made in 1949: that an attack against any member state will be considered an attack against all member states, and will draw an immediate and mutual response. For nearly seven decades, this combination of factors has been the potential Achilles heel of NATO: that one day, its members would be called to defend the actions of a rogue member who no longer shares the values of the alliance but whose behavior puts its “allies” in danger while creating a nightmare scenario for the global order.
After 67 years, that day has arrived: Turkey, which for half a century was a stalwart ally in the Middle East while proving that a Muslim-majority nation could be both secular and democratic, has moved so far away from its NATO allies that it is widely acknowledged to be defiantly supporting the Islamic State in Syria in its war against the West. Since Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2003, Turkey has taken a harshly authoritarian turn, embracing Islamic terrorists of every stripe while picking fights it can’t finish across the region – including an escalating war with 25 million ISIS-battling Kurds and a cold war turning hot with Russia, whose plane it rashly shot down in November. With those fights coming home to roost – as bombs explode in its cities and with enemies at its borders – Turkish leaders are now demanding unconditional NATO support, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declaring on Saturday that he expects “our U.S. ally to support Turkey with no ifs or buts.”