1 Which of the countries on this map have great power and wealth? Every country on this map except for Turkey and Russia has been diminished by economic, war, and internal politics. And at the center of this regional mess, Turkey at the moment is a giant. Also, one very important element is missing from the map: at the north end of war-torn Iraq is the Kurdistan Region, consisting three northern provinces of Erbil, Dohuk, and Suleimaniye. Oil rich and for the moment unified, it is not-so-quietly forging a "strategic relationship" with Turkey. None of this could have been imagined ten years ago.
Whence Turkey' success?
2Turkey is ruled by an enigmatic figure, Prime Minister (perhaps soon to be president) Receb Tayyip Erdoğan. He is a man with two abiding interests: religion and power (Turkey's and is own). One is reminded of Ahmet Zog of neighboring Albania (1895 - 1961) who led his country first as prime minister, then as president, then as king. One major difference is…
President Trump has just come to the Great Game with an immense stack of chips. He is about to discover that not everyone is playing the same game. The game he knows best is Real Estate Scam or Monopoly, which is played with money and without regard to geo-political realities. Two hints about his future behavior: he once asked why we have nuclear weapons if we don't use them, and his comment that the US should have kept tie Iraqi oil and may get another chance to secure it.
The other major players are as follows:
President Erdogan's great achievement is that he managed to make enemies of Russia (later he mended that), the US, Iran, the Syrian Government, all different brands of Kurds, some Sunni Arabs, Isis and other Jihadists, as well as a fair percentage of his own electorate. The advantage of this is that he does not owe anyone anything. The disadvantage is he is condemned to play Whack a Mole with his opponents popping up out all over the place - disturbingly also within T…
Could it be that Making America Great Again means returning to a less democratic past? Is it possible that "Great" means "cowardly and mean spirited"?
China's population makes up about 18% of the world's population and Muslims make up about 23% of the world's population. Are you not disturbed that the President's chief adviser and strategist is a madman who believes we should go to war against both these peoples?
Do Americans have to give up the freedoms that they fought and bled for in wars and freedom marches and demonstrations for racial equality? Are Americans really so afraid of believing that all men (and women) are created equal. Will the light of liberty go out?
Did a narrow election won because of a peculiar system of proportional representation really give an administration a mandate to totally destroy the glue that binds society together? Isn't this what we expect from a dictatorship rather than a democratically elected government?