Friday, April 6, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Random Thoughts On Russia & Iran

Vladimir Putin has won another term as Russia's President.   As we went to press with this edition of Notations, He was in Turkey as he helped to launch construction of a new Nuclear Power Plant, facilitated the sale of Anti-Aircraft Missiles and hold a summit on Syria as it is increasingly clear that Bashar Asad has won.    The Summit between him, President Edrogan and President Rouhani of Iran in Ankara will be discussing the Syria War--as President Trump noted that The US will be leaving Syria soon--unless Saudi Arabia decides to pay for it.   It must be noted that Iran spent an estimated 17 Billion Dollars with some Two Thousand Iranian Deaths along with over 10,000 Afghani and Pakistanis who were recruited to fight in Syria.
As we reflected upon the challenges of the week, what we found interesting was reports about how the United States had advised Russia that it could replace the expelled Russian Diplomats.   The team at CityLab put together this historical perspective on where Russians could and could not go as the debate goes on--and as the Mueller Investigation continues:

Library of Congress map showing where Russians were once banned from the U.S.

As 60 Russian officials get expelled from the United States this week, consider this 1957 map produced by the State Department, via the Library of Congress. It shows how, at that time, about a third of the U.S. was off limits to Russian visitors. Among the red patches marking banned travel, the green circles mark the cities where Soviet and Eastern bloc citizens could legally go. So why could Cold War travelers go to Nashville but not Memphis? National Geographic has a theory that the seemingly arbitrary “red lines” may have been a way to hide the conditions of Jim Crow. 

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