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04 April 2015

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William R. Cumming

Thanks Dr. Silverman as always for excellent analysis!

rick

When I got to the end of this, and I guess it's more of a gestalt thing than a statement about this particular piece, but the word "dyspeptopian" popped in to my mind. It's that future we find ourselves in that makes our stomachs hurt.

A sniglet for troubled times.

VietnamVet

Dr. Silverman,

I agree wholeheartedly that the problems of the Middle East and Ukraine are at their root due to misplaced borders. Indeed, the borders were drawn by Western Colonists in order to divide and rule. Yet, there are other causes as well. Overpopulation and declining resources, most importantly potable water, also cause chaos. Not to forget capitalism; war for profit. These could be addressed if mankind could care about others as they care for themselves. But, “us versus them” is built into our genes. Tribal conflict is real throughout our evolution; especially since mankind migrated out of Africa. The Clash of Civilizations is real; not fiction. It saw it in person in Vietnam and along the Malay Thai border.

The saddest thing about old age is to see one’s country jump voluntarily into the blood and mud of war for no good reason except to make money for the few and because Western Rulers believe they are exceptional; the Chosen Ones. The people matter only as long as they keep working at slave wages to pay off the personal and sovereign debt owed to the Elite. The post WWII System of regulated capitalism and the rule of law that brought prosperity to the West has fallen apart.

Babak Makkinejad

Adam L. Silverman:

I cannot see the manner in which Saudis are supposed to "guarantee Sunni Islam" against the Shia Iran.

Are the Iranian naval vessels harassing Indonesian and Malaysian merchant fleet?

Or are they going up and down the costs of Turkey or Bangladesh with their Rob-Cop boats saying: "I will kill you, I will kill you, I will kill you."?

Or are there thousands of Iranian tanks massed on the borders of Turkmenistan or Jordan or Pakistan, ready to pounce?

Or is the Supreme Jurisprudent of Iran issuing an ultimatum to all Sunni powers to convert or else?

I must state that is a Saud canard.

They just hate the Shia and Iran; just like in Malaysia or Indonesia they hate Chinese.

I also think that the words Saudi Arabia and Hegemony are incompatible.

Erdogan and his party are Ikhwan which showed that when it came to dealing with international politics, it was as Realpolitik an as Sectarian as the next guy. No Islamic charity there.

Neither Iran nor Turkey have the wherewithal or the inclination to dominate the Middle East; in my opinion. These are, in my opinion, Saudi lies to get US to so something, anything.

I think the only "Good Strategic" move open to GCC is to change its name to Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and invite both Iran and Iraq to join; those Gulfie oil-wells-with-flags are no match for their northern neighbors'; have never been so in historical times.

I agree with your foot note that the colonial powers created many of these countries. But take the case of the Fulani; they would always be spread over so many countries.

In my opinion, the colonial powers did not cause these countries to malfunction or collapse.

If I were an Englishman, I would argue thus:

"We did the best we could to give you guys the structures of a state as well as self-government. In the Levant, we cobbled together disparate peoples into some sort of structure since the Turks had washed their hands off the Levant in any case.

Yes, we made our money off the oil while we were there but when we left after World War II - under US pressure - in Egypt, in Iraq, in Nigeria, in Uganda we left behind functioning countries.

And what did you do; overthrow the government, murder the king and his entire family, murder the prime minister and his family, parade their bodies on the street to cheering crowds while broadcasting it on national television - which we had introduced

And afterwards, for more than 60 years, nothing that you did brought as much security and prosperity and stability than when we were helping you run those countries.

You cannot blame us for everything."


Willow Neilson

Hi, I really like the map showing the tribal groups versus country border for west africa. I am making a unit on Mali and west African history to be used for 5th grade students, who can I seek permission from to use this map?

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