Now that those Olympics are out of the way I can lift my eyes to the less important field of global politics in an effort to note what minor changes might have come about during my absence.
The first thing to be noticed is that in the Syrian war, the United States is still professing to support the battling Kurds, who are being attacked by America’s great ally, the invading forces of Erdogan of Turkey, who seems to consider that the Kurds are Turkey’s number one threat. His attitude towards them is distinctly paranoid, since he ignores that the Kurdish militias are the most vigorous Syrian force opposing the power that the United States professes to be preoccupied with to the exclusion of all others, Daesh, as they are now called, which is the belligerent, inhumane, berserk force that the Americans themselves created when they abolished the Iraqi army and refused to countenance the hiring of any members of Saadam Hussein’s Iraqi Baath party. With nothing better to do than hang around the street corners complaining, the trained warriors decided it would be better to make at least some pretence of taking over the country, and so Daesh --- called in English the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria --- was born.
Although I heard an educated Muslim academic remark this week that the “Caliphate has aways been in our hearts,” and the Western world would have to get used to the idea that they would have to accept it in some form or another ---- the Daesh, when they set up shop, turned out to be a really nasty lot, smashing precious monuments, beheading with vigour, suppressing women with glee, and mysteriously appealing to young idealists from many countries including those normally considered to be the heartland of the West.
The best description I have heard of the Syrian war has come from friend of mine who was raised and grew up in Aleppo --- one of the cities in the world that has been longest occupied by human beings, and thus with every claim to be considered a precious place by people everywhere --- when he said that the attacking terrorists, all of them, were Islamofascists, who were engaged in a deadly battle with Pan-arabists.
That these Islamofascists have been divided into good guys and bad guys by Western powers who are engaged in a proxy war involving the entire Middle East, is a measure of how totally the Western powers have misjudged what is at stake. So at this moment, as I try to figure out what is going on, America is continuing at least rhetorical support for the Kurds, who are being attacked by Turkey, ostensibly a major U.S. ally, even though the Kurds are fighting Daesh, which is regarded as the major enemy by the U.S…… figure it all out if you can, brothers.
All of this has been complicated by the U.S. election contest, in which Hillary Clinton is absurdly claiming that Vladimir Putin is the godfather of the U.S. right-wing, and the puppet master of Donald Trump. Her attack line on this subject is classic McCarthyism, hauling us all willy-nilly back into the days of Tricky Dickie Nixon, of blacklists, banned screenwriters and Communist witchhunts. How keenly we must all be looking forward to her as the next president!
Okay fellers, that’ll do for a quick tour d’horizon as they say in French. I have to go watch the tennis taking place at Flushing Meadows.