Global conflict 

The less than pellucid genius of the Syrian debacle

Just as Trump Derangement Syndrome has long caused opponents of President Donald Trump to lose touch with reality, restraint and reason, so its opposite pathology, Trump Adoration Disorder, has caused various folk to perform mental somersaults over the debacle in Syria. For they don’t regard his abrupt decision to pull US troops out of north-eastern Syria as a debacle. They regard it as an act of genius, just like Trump does himself. How so? Well, apparently he didn’t abandon the Kurds at all. Instead, he forced Turkey to walk into…

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Culture wars Global conflict USA 

How black and white thinking clouds realpolitik

Black and white thinking, which divides the world into absolute camps of good and evil, is associated with religious fanaticism from medieval Christianity to the Islamic world. There are now troubling signs that a secular equivalent is contributing to our current political turmoil. There appears to be an increasing inability to grasp that people are capable of both good and bad acts. There is a corresponding failure to acknowledge that just because someone is the target of falsehoods or bigotry, that person may not always be in the right. Recent…

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Syria Global conflict USA 

A mirror image?

President Trump’s shock decision to pull US troops out of north-east Syria confirms a disastrous slide in American foreign policy. I warned here that Trump was trapped by his own contradictory character into making bad foreign policy mistakes — such as cancelling an airstrike on Iranian targets with only 10 minutes to spare. His previous plan last December to pull US troops out of Syria was deftly modified by his erstwhile National Security Adviser, John Bolton. Alas, Bolton has now departed. So now there’s no-one to corral this most erratic…

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