Grab-bag of pieces on the Civil War and reasons for Southern secession.
How the South skews America
Buchanan on civil disobedience in polarized times
Brief and nothing new here, but linking anyway: The United States of Secession
Amidst all the recent pieces on American cultural fault lines (see last lagniappe as well), I’m linking to an interesting one from back in 2013. Here’s the full version, the abbreviated one via WaPo, and the book. The gist of the project:
Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.
Excerpt from Randy Barnett’s forthcoming book on the real meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
S.C. Senate votes 37-3 to take down the Confederate flag. The House followed suit, and down it went. Makes me think of this.
Small Mississippi towns removing state flag
Trinity county in upstate CA will consider a State of Jefferson vote.
The Kurdish HDP took 13% of the vote in Turkey’s parliamentary elections in June, landing seats in the legislature for the first time ever. Meanwhile in Syria, the Kurdish YPG and YPJ continue to consolidate territory in their battle against ISIS. Recent gains are highlighted below in red. This control is helping form a contiguous strip of Kurdish-run territory along the northern border of Syria.
Both the election results and the Kurdish Syrian “statelet” have irked Turkish President Erdogan, who had this to say about the latter:
“I am saying this to the whole world: We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria. We will continue our fight in this regard no matter what it costs“
A particularly helpful Foreign Affairs summary of the Kurdish momentum concludes:
In Turkey, the PKK-sympathetic HDP will be an increasingly powerful advocate for granting the Kurds some semblance of autonomy within the nation. As the cease-fire between the PKK and Ankara continues, it is becoming more and more possible that the Kurds can achieve their dream of autonomy through democratic means. Whether the PKK’s ambition to establish autonomous Kurdish regions on both sides of the Turkey-Syria border is ever realized, the progress it is making toward that goal has already altered the political maps of Turkey and the Middle East.
Countering some of the above enthusiasm is a good Q&A on how battling ISIS is actually delaying Iraqi Kurdistan’s progress. Fair enough in the short term, but the opposite is quite possible down the road if Kurdish sacrifices are recognized with greater international support for statehood. Make no mistake, the Kurds are doing the globe a huge solid, which has already been enough in the eyes of some influential Western lawmakers.
Important news on numerous fronts: Turkey just bombed ISIS as well as PKK positions in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Where are all the moderate Syrian rebels?
The Vatican signed its first treaty with Palestine, which it will not show to an angry Israel. Related: The Death and Life of the Two-State Solution.
Tibet’s Tough Road Ahead
More violence in East Turkestan. Turkish protests form against Chinese treatment of Uighurs.
Pushing for statehood in Delhi
Sarawak independence celebrated, despite the Inspector General of police trying to squash it for fear of secessionist motives. Local government downplays secession.
Quebec’s separatism as a lesson for the SNP, who is again causing ripples with talk of another referendum
Greece voted “no” a few Sundays ago, presumably to current austerity terms, by a healthy margin. Interestingly the polls were way off beforehand. For all the antics and high-stakes jockeying, it looks as though the Greek people may get a package very similar to what they already had, and thought they were rejecting. Greek 10 year govt bond yields are back down in the 10-12% range. Difficult to see how this whole episode doesn’t put Syriza down in history as one of the worst governments ever in modern Europe.
Catalan leaders on same page: will push for independence if parliament’s election goes their way.
The Brexit Ramp
Russia taking a second look at the legality of Baltic independence from the Soviet Union. Yikes.
“Surging” Siberian nationalism
Ukranian Right Sector nationalists, Putin, and Transcarpathia
Activists for a Romania-Moldova unification
Serbian PM pelted with stones at commemoration of Srebrenica massacre
Republika Srpska will hold a referendum on the authority of Bosnia’s national court. That is big news. Surprise, surprise: the E.U. and the U.S. disapprove and Russia, well, doesn’t.
ISIS is recruiting in Bosnia.
Hargeisa: Inside Somaliland’s Would-Be Capital City
Burundi remains on the brink as a controversial vote for a third term for Nkurunziza is a go
Is nationalism on the rise more generally?
It turns out that “globalization” hasn’t doused, let alone put out, the embers of nationalism. It has inflamed them. Global and regional frameworks — from the EU to the UN to seemingly stable balance-of-power standoffs –– are under assault amid a renewed obsession with national identity.
Patri Friedman on NRx and anti-entryism
Fascinating piece on Cold War era Russian mapmaking
More city-states please
Against marriage privatization
Evaluating the charter school movement 25 years later