This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Names of slain women and the Spanish words for “femicide state,” written in lipstick by protesters, cover a door at the prosecutor’s office in Tijuana, Mexico. A woman’s body was recently found in a dump in the city. (Emilio Espejel/AP)

(Image: Emilio Espejel/AP)

For Mexico, a day without women: Female workers plan national strike against rising gender violence

Mary Beth Sheridan and Maya Averbuch
The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s women are going on strike.

In what could be the boldest women’s rights action since the #MeToo campaign, many of Mexico’s 21 million registered female workers are expected to stay home from work or school on Monday to protest gender violence.

After several recent grisly killings, feminists proposed the action to draw attention to Mexico’s stunning levels of attacks on women, and the idea quickly went viral. Federal and local government offices and dozens of universities are granting leave to female employees and students, and some of Mexico’s biggest companies are also backing the action. Walmart has said its 108,000 female employees in Mexico are free to join the one-day strike. Other corporate supporters include Ford, the Grupo Salinas banking and media conglomerate, and Bimbo, the baked-goods giant. (Read more)

 

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This Week’s Top Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Poll workers during parliamentary elections in Tehran on Friday.

(Image: Wana/Reuters)

What Does the Iranian Election Tell Us?

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar

New York Times

On Friday Iran held its 11th parliamentary elections since the foundation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, and the first since the Trump administration renewed sanctions on Iran and battered its economy.

The voting turnout — 42.5 percent — was the lowest since 1979, and a loose alliance of conservative candidates won. In Tehran, the capital, where about 75 percent of the voters chose not to vote, all 30 seats were won by the conservative candidates loyal to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Iranian electorate faces a perpetual dilemma on whether to participate or boycott the elections as the choice of candidates is limited and the Guardian Council — a constitutional committee made up of six clerics and six jurists that vets the electoral candidates — bars those seen as critical of the regime or deviating from its positions. (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan

(Image: Ed Reinke/AP)

This Is How Reaganism and Thatcherism End

Anne Applebaum

Atlantic

In an Italian hotel ballroom of spectacular opulence—on red velvet chairs, beneath glittering crystal chandeliers and a stained-glass ceiling—the conservative movement that once inspired people across Europe, built bridges across the Iron Curtain and helped to win the Cold War came, finally, to an end.

The occasion was a conference in Rome last week called “God, Honor, Country: President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and the Freedom of Nations.” Inspired by the Israeli writer Yoram Hazony, convened under the banner of “National Conservatism,” this event was co-organized by Chris DeMuth, a former president of the American Enterprise Institute (in the era when it supported global capitalism and the Iraq War) and John O’Sullivan, a former speechwriter for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. O’Sullivan now runs the Danube Institute, which is funded, via a foundation, by the Hungarian government. The conference itself was funded, according to DeMuth, by an anonymous American donor. This was the successor to the National Conservatism Conference held in Washington, D.C., last year. That occasion featured a strange agglomeration of new and old conservatives, including both John Bolton and Tucker Carlson, people who still talk hopefully about shrinking the state and those who want to enlarge it, people still jockeying to be relevant and people full of confidence that they now are. (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

(Image: http://www.warontherocks.com)

Russian Demographics and Power: Does the Kremlin have a long game?

Michael Kofman

War on the Rocks

One of the oft-voiced constraints on the longevity, or perhaps durability, of Russian power is that of its demographic decline. If there is a mainstay of wisdom in Washington, it is that Russia’s underperforming economy, and a terrible demographic outlook, mean that Russia doesn’t have a “long game.” President Barack Obama echoed this view in 2014:

I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.’ (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

(Image: Thomas Paterson)

Requiem for a Dream

Roger Cohen

New York Times

I have covered many stories that marked me over the past 40 years, in war zones and outside them, but none that has affected me as personally as Britain’s exit from the European Union. Brexit Day, now upon us, feels like the end of hope, a moral collapse, a self-amputation that will make the country where I grew up poorer in every sense.

Poorer materially, of course, but above all poorer in its shriveled soul, divorced from its neighborhood, internally fractured, smaller, meaner, more insular, more alone, no longer a protagonist in the great miracle of the postwar years — Europe’s journey toward borderless peace and union. Britain, in a fit of deluded jingoism, has opted for littleness. (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Hanover Park children pose for a picture and mimic gang gestures embedded by the suburb's gang culture, although they are not gang members.

(Image: Guy Oliver/TNH)

Demobilising South Africa’s ‘child soldier’ gangs

Guy Oliver

The New Humanitarian

Hanover Park, a depressing neighbourhood of drab buildings and unemployed young men, is one island in a violent gangland archipelago that stretches across South Africa’s coastal city of Cape Town, where even the deployment of the army has failed to stop the shootings.

Gangsters as young as 12 operate within a contested jigsaw of fiefdoms in the historically “coloured” township just a 15-minute drive from well-heeled central Cape Town, South Africa’s legislative capital.

Mary Bruce points to identical three-storey flats 30 metres from her Donegal Court home in Hanover Park. “That’s the Ghetto Kids. Over there is the Dollars, and this side is the Americans: they fight everyone.” A couple of hundred metres towards the taxi rank the “turf” yields to two more gangs – the Mongrels and Laughing Boys.

Up to 500 youths in Hanover Park could be classed as “child soldiers”, according to Brian Williams, a visiting professor for peace, mediation, and reconciliation at the University of the Sacred Heart Gulu, in Uganda. (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Image result for oz katerji soleimani new statesman

Qasem Soleimani brutalised the Middle East, but the bloodshed is far from over

Oz Katerji

New Statesman

Nobody saw it coming. Nobody. General Qasem Soleimani, the most feared man in the Middle East, was assassinated in Baghdad by a US drone strike in the early hours of Friday morning, and not a single Middle East analyst, journalist or pundit had seen it coming. When disbelief finally faded and reality set in, the confirmation of the news that the commander of Iran’s Quds Force had been assassinated on orders from Washington sent shockwaves around the world. We were and are witnessing an era-defining moment for the Middle East.

The Soleimani era is over, not a single person predicted it, and not a single person knows what will happen as a result for the region, or for the world. And that is terrifying. “A multitude of mixed feelings, but ‘fear’ is the dominant one,” tweeted Iraqi journalist and editor of Irfaa Sawtak, Rasha Al Aqeedi. “God-like figures aren’t supposed to die. When they do, it gets very confusing.” (Read more)

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