Tensions In Iraq May Be Overblown
As U.S. forces begin their pullout from Iraq, tensions between the Kurdish region and Baghdad are rising. A nationwide census, as mandated by the constitution, has been held up again. And the status of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city claimed by both sides, remains unsettled. But there is reason to be skeptical of the rising tensions.
The Kurds may be overstating the threat posed from Baghdad to keep the American presence in the region. Although their peshmerga is strong, there is concern that the U.S. military is the only thing preventing greater hostilities between the Kurds and Iraqi Arabs. That may be overstating things to keep U.S. diplomats in the area to mediate. The Kurds appear to want only peace and prosperity, not full-blown independence, and they reckon the status quo may be better than a future Iraq sans-U.S. forces.
The Maliki government may also be overstating the threat posed from Kurds to whip up Arab and Iraqi nationalism and rally the country around his government. By projecting strength against greater Kurdish autonomy, Maliki can present himself as a tough leader and defender of Iraq, appealing to both Shiite and Sunni alike. This kind of stance also plays well in Tehran, Damascus, and Ankara, as Iraq looks to boost ties with its neighbors, all of which have sizable Kurdish minorities.
Make no mistake, there is real tension between Baghdad and Erbil, but some of it is being manufactured for political reasons and to sway policymakers in Washington.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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