From the Buddha to la Peste: a Dirge in Prose for Hungary
Livingston T. Merchant

High above the city generals of Attila's army of Huns surround him drenched in blood. They are the prequel to Isis, to Daesh. They slaughter, rape, enslave and pillage:this marks the "normal behavior" of humans in some societies in every period of time.
Near by Attila is a center that has displayed Avant Guard "modern art" for decades. Nothing goes out of fashion faster than avant garde.

Across the peaceful Danube on another height on lookout point high above the city Overweight Sergeants from various armies climb to view their conquests. Ottoman, Hapsburg, German, NATO: they soon go home exhausted. A quizzical patron St. Stephen shares their view. In between the heights lies the sparkling Magyar capital. A capital with an extreme nationalist government. Underneath the city lie the corpses of Magyars and the invaders over the centuries. Above the corpses a few businesses promote Yoga to housewi…
I Love Turkey
In this article written seven  years ago, the year before I moved from Turkey to the Netherlands, I outlined my understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this great country. It was written before the bloody coup a year-and-a-half ago and the devastating purges of tens and tens of thousands of journalist, intellectuals, and political figures and government servants. It was also written before the President moved through constitutional changes to consolidate all power in his own hands. But none of this would have surprised me seven years ago. And I still love Turkey - from afar.

I Love Turkey: an Article Written Seven Years Ago
By Livingston T. Merchant, Ph.D.

I love Turkey, but not the way I love a cruise along the sparkling Mediterranean coast, not the way I blindly love a lover, not the way I love an evening eating and drinking with friends in a tavern. Rather, I love Turkey in the way I adore a slightly unhinged cousin who suffers from attacks of genius alternati…

DONALD TRUMP: "gRAB 'EM  BY THE PUSSY"Every power broker in America who fails to help take this pervert out of power is complicit in his crimes. In the future your infamy will be remembered. There will be no place to hide from the generations to come.
Opinion|OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR Billy Bush: Yes,                                                                                     Donald Trump, You Said ThatBy BILLY BUSHDEC. 3, 2017 Continue reading the main storyShare This Page

The Implosion of the Kurdistan Dream Spells Disaster for Turkey

For decades the existence of the Regional Government of Kurdistan in northern Iraq has off and on been a useful tool and a source of annoyance for Turkey. It sometimes seemed to be a moderating force in a region racked by the attacks of the radical PKK. But always there was the underlying suspicion that the Kurds were up to something. Something usually meant listening to the siren call of an independent Kurdistan, which might attract the interest of millions of Kurds living in Turkey.

For decades Turkey has lived with this ambivalence. In the end the fear of Kurdish statehood has dominated Turkish policy. The military success of the PKK-aligned Kurdish fighters in northern Syria has led to something approaching panic in the Turkish government and military circles. It then led to a full-scale apoplectic fit when the Kurds of Iraq held a referendum about whether to found an independent Kurdistan. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of independence. But then there was a sigh of relief …

The Explosion of the Kurdish Crisis

After decades of slow-motion shifts towards Kurdish autonomy/independence/unification, the conflict in this region has shifted into high gear. The Iraqi army has invaded/retaken Kirkuk, which had first been captured by ISIS, then liberated by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The inhabitants of the region are almost 50% Kurdish. 
The possibility of this had been hanging over the head of the Kurdish forces for weeks. The underlying cause for the invasion is the existence of  vast reserves of oil in the region. The spark that set of the explosion was a decision by the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq (since 1970 officially an autonomous but not independent region in with its capital at Erbil/Hawler). On September 26 the government in Erbil held a referendum which showed that the vast majority of Kurds in Iraq prefer an independent state for their region.

Then all hell broke loose. The Iraqi army attacked the Pershmerga in Kirkuk with overwhelming force. Iran supported its long-t…