Sudan

Nations Breaking Up: Could It Happen Among American States?

We are living in a world where nation states have broken up, and where the potential for more such breakups is increasing.

Yugoslavia broke up into multiple nations in the 1990s, as did the old Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia.

Sudan broke up into two nations in 2011, and Iraq seems on the road to a similar breakup, sadly through religious revolution, fanaticism and loss of life.

There has been the threat in the past of Quebec breaking away from Canada, although that seems less likely now.

Scotland will decide whether to split from the United Kingdom in a referendum this September.

There are threats of the breakup of Belgium and Spain, where strong nationality groups wish for independence.

At the same time, there has been secessionist talk by right wing groups in Texas, and even outgoing Governor Rick Perry talked up the idea a few years back, and then abandoned such talk.

But seriously, without violence, not like the Civil War in the 1860s, there are ideas floating out on the political wilderness of the possible future breakup of eight states, and the theoretical creation of an additional 16 states as a result, requiring an additional 32 US Senators, making the total possibly 132, instead of the present 100, in the upper chamber, while not changing the number of members of the House of Representatives.

These possibilities are as follows:

California–six states instead of one—Jefferson (rural Northern California); North California (centered about Sacramento, the state capital); Silicon Valley (San Francisco and San Jose); Central California (Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton); West California (Los Angeles and Santa Barbara); and South California (San Diego and Orange Counties).

Texas–five states instead of one—New Texas (Austin, the present state capital and College Station); Trinity (Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Tyler); Gulfland (Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston); Plainland (Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco, Abilene); and El Norte (San Antonio, El Paso, Brownsville).

New York–three states instead of one—Suburban counties of Southeast New York (Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange Counties) and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk); New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island); and Upstate New York (including the rest of the state, including Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Binghamton).

Florida—two states instead of one—South Florida (the Keys, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach); and Northern Florida (the rest of the state).

Illinois–two states instead of one—Chicago and near suburbs; and the rest of the state.

Pennsylvania–two states instead of one—Philadelphia and near suburbs; and the rest of the state, including Pittsburgh and Harrisburg).

Virginia–two states instead of one—Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC; and the rest of the state.

Maryland–two states instead of one—Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington DC suburban counties (including Montgomery and Prince George’s County) and three rural eastern shore counties; and Western Maryland.

Is any of this likely to happen? Probably not, but great food for thought. It would require revolutionary changes in the US Senate, and would create new issues of which party would benefit, the Democrats or the Republicans, since the major metropolitan areas would be separate from the more rural counties in these eight states, and it would create a new dynamic in American politics hard to predict long term!

The Obama Doctrine: Uphold Values Of Human Life By Intervening To Stop Massacres Overseas!

President Obama tonight gave a speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, justifying American intervention in Libya as part of an international force to prevent a massacre of civilians in that civil war.

Obama called it a basic principle of the United States that we should oppose all violations of human rights when it involves the likelihood of mass murder by a deranged dictator who does not value human life, and is only too willing to conduct mass operations against civilians in large numbers.

This is a direct contradiction of what the United States did in the past: failure by Woodrow Wilson to intervene in the Armenian Massacre by Turkey in 1915 during World War I; failure by Franklin D. Roosevelt to step in during the mass Holocaust by Nazi Germany against Jews, gypsies, and others during World War II; refusal by Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to intervene during the holocaust in Cambodia in the late 1970s; and failure by Bill Clinton to step in during the massacre that went on in Rwanda in 1994.

All of the above are seen as moral failures by the United States and the world, but this new doctrine, while admirable and principled, does bring up the issue of how the United States and NATO are supposed to afford the cost of constant interventions all over the world!

What if similar massacres are imminent in Syria, Iran, and other unfriendly nations in the Middle East? Why should not the United States step into the situation in the Sudan, the Ivory Coast, the Congo Republic, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and elsewhere?

Are we to be selective in where the US and NATO intervene? And what about the deaths in Bahrain, where the US Naval Command in the Middle East is situated, and in Yemen, where there are dangers of Al Qaeda influences that could affect world wide terrorism?

And how in the world are we to afford more defense and war spending long run, as we cut ruthlessly into education, health care, and other public services all over the country? How much longer can we tolerate the worsening of our every day lives and commit ourselves to reforming the world of its evils?

It is hard NOT to agree with the purposes of the Obama Doctrine in theory, but in practice, it seems impossible and a losing proposition politically for Barack Obama to seem to commit us to never ending intervention in the name of human rights and decency!

This is a torment for those of us who consider ourselves progressives and liberals, as even the best intentions cannot be fulfilled within the budget constraints the country faces in the short run and the long run!