Crocodile Tears for Kurdistan

Amid the chaos of the Syrian Civil War a chaotic changing of the guard between NATO powers has occurred, with American forces organising a hasty retreat and Turkish forces fighting their way into Northern Syria simultaneously. This Turkish invasion has been greeted with the same tired and inept response from American politicians we have come to expect when an anthropomorphic humanitarian disaster occurs and there is no money or strategic gain to be made in its rectification. First came the storm of tweets and prayers from politicians the world over ready to express in 30 seconds or less their great sympathy for the soon to die innocents of Kurdistan. Once this great sympathy has been sufficiently displayed the serious work government begins in apportioning the blame.  The assignment of culpability in the Syrian civil war requires a certain measure of nuance. Certainly the most guilty of causing of the catastrophe in Northern Syria was the Turkish government which invaded, but such

Shah of Shahs

Shah of Shahs Ryszard Kapuściński 5/5 stars “Everything that makes up the visible outward part of revolution vanishes quickly. A person, an individual being has a thousand ways of conveying his feelings and thoughts. A crowd on the other hand reduces the individuality of the person, limits him to a few forms of behavior. The forms through which a crowd can express it’s yearnings are extraordinarily meager and often repeat themselves, the demonstrations, the rally the barricades. This is why you can write a novel about a man but a crowd - never” Kapuscinski One of the things that Kapuscinski brings to the table which I more often than not find lacking in the modern worlds cold and analytical journalism is a certain element of empathy. The ability to enter a situation , that to us makes little sense and place oneself in the position of both the victims and the perpetrators. To do this selectively is easy, it allows poor journalists to craft one sided narrative of good

Norse Mythology; A Book Review

Norse Mythology Author: Neil Gaiman Rating: 5/5 When I began reading this book I felt somewhat discouraged. The introduction gave me the impression that I was ready to wade through hours and hours of a scholarly account of the poetic edda. I sat on my bed priming myself to endure another dry translation of archaic myths riddled with footnotes and fragmentary accounts. I was happily surprised to find that no such torture would be in store for me. Quite unlike many other authors and translators of ancient myths, Gaiman is able to make use of a compelling and simple writing style of breath new life into the Norse myths. I began reading the book in the dim light produced by the clouded sun that shone through my window. By the time I was finished I was far from that place, gripped with terror and amazement, as the book rendered up before me images of the world serpent in battle with Thor, and armies of the undead clashing in the winter of Ragnarok. Gaiman transported me to a land

Why Trump is here to Stay

There is a natural human tendency to believe that the outcome one hopes for is more likely than the one we deem to be undesirable. This goes for sports fans adamant that their own team’s victory is certain, and to every individual convinced of their own exceptionalism. Everyone believes, not what can be empirically proven, but what they want to be true. This is as much the case with politics as it is with every other facet of life and as a result many of those who wish to see Trump out of office cling to the hope that the allegations around Russia which seem to increase in their potency with each passing day will result in Trumps deposition from the office of the presidency. In all likelihood however this idea that Trumps impeachment is a foregone conclusion is little more than a fantasy. There are three major reasons why Trumps impeachment is highly unlikely. It is not yet confirmed that Trump was directly involved in collusion with Russia The allegations regarding collusion

The Return of Tyranny

On July 4th of 1776 a new republic was founded, at the time it was the sole nation in which democracy, a political model that has become near ubiquitous of late, was the ruling ideology. The new republic marked the onset of a new age in which all could be equal, and in which the rule of tyrants would be prevented. In what Francis Fukuyama termed the end of history, It was to be an age of liberty and with the widespread adoption of democracy across the world in the near 250 years following the establishment of the United States it appeared, that this ideal could be at last realized . But in recent years it has seemed that the world is no longer moving towards the “End of History” as regimes around the world seem to slide ever further back towards authoritarianism. The new tyranny however is not one of monarchs and dictators decrying democracy and taking control as the founding fathers might have envisioned. Rather the new tyranny is one in which the citizenry willingly give up their ow

Trump and the Death of the Republic

“Will no one Rid me of this meddlesome priest” - Henry the second asking for the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury In the past few weeks the eyes of Americans have been fixed on observing the ongoing Russia investigation, which as of yet seems to restlessly expand in its scope. The scandal which has so crippled the Trump administration has been the object of much political grandstanding especially among Democrats with many calling for Trumps impeachment as claims of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign seem to infinitely increase in likelihood as the investigation continues. The actions of the Trump campaign in response to this scandal however are in my mind at least, far more concerning than the idea that Russia ( a nation far less powerful than the United States by close to every measure) would be able to retain any significant influence on US government policy.  Rather the patronage that Trump seems to will upon the federal government is both concer

“Ignorance creates fear and fear is the enemy of peace”

   It is said that knowledge is power. Conversely ignorance results in weakness turning people into little more than intellectual sheep. When one is ignorant, one is more likely to fall for false or otherwise unsound arguments proposed by those who would desire to shape opinion towards a predetermined conclusion. This is buoyed by the natural human tendencies of defensiveness and neophobia (fear of the unknown), both of which can be easily taken to excess. Ignorance creates massive unknowns and there is no lack of people who would desire to mold this ignorance into fear. Once this cycle has begun reversing it is near impossible. Fear inevitably leads to action. Like those of a cornered rat these actions are often fundamentally reactionary and involve the shattering of any illusions of peace and civility in a society. As will be demonstrated in the essay this pattern can cripple anything from individuals to great powers whose effects are far from trivial. This pattern was laid to b