Tar sands part 2

Lost in the Keystone XL Pipeline furor is the fact that Venezuela has much more tar sands than Canada does. In fact, taking all its oil deposits together, Venezuela potentially has more to offer than Saudi Arabia. That is why there is so much interest in who rules Venezuela, the 20% of Venezuelans who benefit from Big Oil or the 80% of Venezuelans who were forgotten before Hugo Chavez.

Peace in the Middle East

On November 4, 1995, Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel and partner with Yasser Arafat in negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians, was assassinated by a radical right-wing Israeli zealot. His widow, Leah Rabin, later refused to shake the hand of Binyamin Netanyahu when he offered condolences because she believed that Netanyahu’s rhetoric had inspired the assassin. On the other hand, she welcomed the condolences of Yasser Arafat and had this to say:

“‘Sometimes,’ she mused, ‘I feel that we can find a common language with Arabs more easily than we can with the Jewish extremists. It seems that we live in different worlds.’ Arafat’s handshake, she explained, symbolized for her the hope for peace, whereas Netanyahu’s handshake represented no such hope.”

Quoted from The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim.

Civil wars

It is best to avoid taking sides in someone else’s civil war. It is a lesson that we learned in Vietnam and should remember now. ISIS in Iraq is a civil war between the Sunni minority and the Shiite majority. The fighting in Ukraine is between the Russians and the Little Russians (Ukrainians). During our Civil War, the British aided the South and the North (Republicans) resented it. Now that the Republicans have switched sides, in a future US Civil War, they would probably welcome outside assistance for the South from anyone, the British, the Russians or anyone else.

P.S. One hour after I posted this, I received an email from John McCain asking for money for the RNC (Republican National Committee) after blasting the Obama foreign policy. I ignore what McCain says since IMHO McCain is not able.