World View: Iraq's Prime Minister Begs for Military Aid from Washington

This morning's key headlines from

  • Iraq's prime minister begs for military aid from Washington
  • Israel announced plans for 1,500 new West Bank settlements
  • Vladimir Putin tops Obama as world's most powerful man

Iraq's prime minister begs for military aid from Washington

Vice President Joe Biden walks with Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday (AP)
Vice President Joe Biden walks with Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday (AP)

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington on Wednesday, meeting with the vice president and congressional leaders, requesting military aid in the form of Apache attack helicopters and other weapons. When Americans withdrew from Iraq in December, 2001, al-Maliki was quite certain that no further American military aid would be required, and that Iraq could take care of itself. However, since the American departure, violence from Sunni jihadists has been increasing every month, with more than 7,500 deaths so far this year, so now al-Maliki is singing a different tune. On Friday, al-Maliki will meet with President Obama in the White House. Global Post and VOA

Israel announced plans for 1,500 new West Bank settlements

Israel announced plans on Wednesday to build more than 1,500 new homes in Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. As usual, there were expressions of condemnation from Palestinians and from United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon. In the past, Israel has argued that new settlements are only being built in areas of the West Bank that would belong to Israel under any foreseeable peace deal with the Palestinians. Wednesday's announce settlements are particularly divisive, however, several of the settlements are deep inside the West Bank and almost certainly would have to be dismantled as part of a peace deal. Some reports say that the announcement "deals a setback" to the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but those peace talks are considered to be a joke by most observers in the Mideast anyway, incapable of being "set back" any further than they already are. Analysts are always offering various theories about a "solution" to the Mideast problem, but from the point of view of Generational Dynamics there is one and only one "solution" that settles the Mideast problem: A major war. Either Israel will survive such a war or it won't, but either way, the problem will be settled, and a "solution" will have been determined. AP

Vladimir Putin tops Obama as world's most powerful man

For the first time in years, the Forbes Magazine list of the most powerful people in the world does not put the U.S. president in first place. That honor goes to Russia's president Vladimir Putin:

"Putin has solidified his control over Russia and anyone watching the chess match over Syria has a clear idea of the shift in the power towards Putin on the global stage. The ex-KGB strongman--who controls a nuclear-tipped army, a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves--is allowed to serve another six-year term, which could keep him in office until 2024."

President Obama is in second place:

"His signature legislation, Obamacare, is under fire, U.S. allies are outraged over NSA surveillance overseas and the government shutdown for 16 days in October begs the question: who's in control here? It appears that President Obama's lame duck period has set in earlier than usual for a two-term president, causing him to drop one notch from the No. 1 spot. To be sure, though, Obama remains in charge of the the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most innovative economy and the deadliest military."

The top ten names in the list are:

  1. Vladimir Putin, President Russia (61)
  2. Barack Obama, President United States (52)
  3. Xi Jinping, General Secretary, Communist Party China (60)
  4. Pope Francis, Pope Roman Catholic Church (76)
  5. Angela Merkel, Chancellor Germany (59)
  6. Bill Gates, Co-Chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (58)
  7. Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Federal Reserve United States (59)
  8. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King Saudi Arabia (89)
  9. Mario Draghi, President European Central Bank (66)
  10. Michael Duke, CEO Wal-Mart Stores (63)
Forbes and Australian Broadcasting

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