Showing posts from April, 2013

When God gives permission to kill.

In general humans in a social context do not kill each other. At least they do not kill each other on purpose, even though their driving habits, their pollution of the atmosphere, their profiteering off the manufacture of cigarettes in fact do kill even if it is not their intention. Occasionally a crazed individual may kill, but this is the exception: individual murder is, well . . . individual. But when the killing begins in earnest, as in the case of warfare, of bombardment of human targets, of drone strikes, and of terrorist bombings, we are dealing with a specific phenomenon: in these cases people kill with permission and this is another matter.

In warfare killing normally take place with the permission of a higher authority. The general tells the troops to attack. In the words of a legendary Marine sergeant: "Don't die for your country. Make the other son-of-a-bitch die for his country." This was the case when Lieutenant Calley gave his troops the order to kill the c…

Just when you thought it might be safe to swim in the blue waters of the Aegean economy again . . .

For one who loves Greece, at least the way it was five years, or even better, before it entered the candy shop of the Euro zone, there is nothing at all in the news to cause optimism about the future. The country is being systematically destroyed by very clever people who have no eye to the long-run consequences of their actions. These clever people are financiers and politicians in Brussels, Berlin, and Athens (among other places). They wear extremely expensive suits, speak in an incredibly sophisticated econo-talk, and are expert at spotting their own short-term interests.
We all know the way these politicians and financial king pins (hereafter, “the suits”) first smuggled the Greek economy into the Euro zone candy shop and then systematically set about exploiting easy credit. We all know that these policies have led to disaster. People outside of Greece for some reason cannot understand that these same people are leading the country to complete political implosion and perhaps civil …

Kurdistan has no friends. But neither do Turkey, Israel, Iran, or the United States.

On April 8 Stephen Larabee wrote an open editorial in the CSMonitor about the relations between Israel and Turkey. It contained an interesting sentence, which in my opinion, is a gross over-simplification, but which also contains a substantial grain of truth.

Today, the elected prime minister, not the unelected military, determines policy toward Israel.The over-simplification is obvious. Neither the military in the past nor the prime minister in the present operate in a vacuum. Those who exercise power in Turkey always did, and always will, operate in the context of a complex of forces within the society: economic, religious, ethnic, to name a few.

There is much speculation that Mr. Erdo─čan is trying to a establish revival of the Ottoman Empire in modern dress. This is taken as an explanation for why Turkey is so involved in the politics of its surrounding region.  Much of this speculation comes from people who haven't the faintest idea of what the Ottoman Empire was about and not m…

New Ottoman empire?