Tuesday, June 21, 2022


The media preoccupation with Ukraine has caused attention

to be diverted from many other international developments,

many of which are significant to U.S. relationships around

the world.

Most recent were parliamentary elections in France in which

newly reelected President Emmanuel Macron lost his

centrist party’s majority as a coalition of parties on the left

made notable gains to be the largest opposition group in

the parliament, and Mme. Marine Le Pen’s party on the

right also made gains to become the next largest party.

In order to pass legislation, M. Macron will probably have

to work with the fourth largest party, a conservative group,

and legislators from smaller parties. President Macron,

after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent retirement,

had become the leading political figure in the continental

European Union (EU), will likely now have to look more to 

his domestic programs, and renewed unrest in France.

Across the Channel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

recently survived a “no confidence” vote in his parliament.

Although the vote was not as close as the hostile British

media said it was, it was serious enough for Mr. Johnson to

need to attempt internal repairs within his party which controls

the parliament if his government is to survive until the next

election. Plagued by controversies, he has been on the

defensive in the House of Commons over various domestic

issues, but has stepped up to be Ukraine’s most consistent

booster in Europe. He is probably much more popular in

Kyiv than London these days.

The European story, of course, is Russian President Vladimir

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, and still ongoing.

The Russian army’s initial efforts failed when Ukraine resisted

the invasion, and gained, under Ukrainian President Vlodomyr

Zelensky’s charismatic leadership, almost universal sympathy

and support in Europe, including Germany which, like so many

of its neighbors, depended on Russian oil and gas. Putin has

now shifted his military operations, and although the outmanned

and outgunned Ukrainian military is holding on, there is

increasing talk of a negotiated settlement. The impact of this

Russian “special operations” has not been limited to Europe, but

has reached China and India, Africa and the U.S. Support for

Ukraine is not global, particularly not among nations which are

customers of Russian resources The consequences of a

long-term Russian military effort in Ukraine is unknown.

In the Philippines, the son of the former dictator Ferdinand

Marcos was recently elected president.  Ferdinand Marcos, Jr..

(known as “Bong Bong”) Marcos brings back a Marcos family 

member to power after more than three decades.

In Australia, conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison lost

his bid for a 4th term to Anthony Albanese of the Labour Party.

In South Korea, People Power Party candidate Youn Sur-Yen

won the closest election in the nation’s history.

BREAKING NEWS: The eight party right-to-left coalition which

has led Israel for a year under Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett

has decided to dissolve the Knesset and call elections (the fifth

time in 3 years). Likely date is late October.  Recent polls

indicate that the current opposition party, Likud (which is led by

former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), leads all other

parties among Israeli voters, but is one vote short of the majority

necessary to form a new government. Foreign Minister Yair

Lapid will now take over as prime minister until the election.



Copyright (c) 2022 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.