This is an excellent read. I’m still going through it but this in particular jumped out: “As former President Barack Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq showed, however, the “how” of a withdrawal is crucial. The U.S. does not seem to have secured any concessions from Turkey that would make the move strategically logical – however morally unsatisfying. If the U.S. wanted to let the region stew in its own juice and work with another country (i.e. Russia) to maintain a stable balance of power, that could also be a viable strategy. Letting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt foot the bill for supporting the Syrian Kurds could work. Supporting the Syrian Kurds – and funneling aid and money to the development of a broader Kurdish national identity –would also be an interesting strategy, the long-term goal being a U.S.-allied buffer state between Turkey and Iran. Instead, the U.S. is engaging in exactly the kind of ad hoc decision-making that countermands strategy. The U.S. has abandoned the Syrian Kurds, antagonized Turkey, opened up the space for the Islamic State to re-emerge, and created a power vacuum that either Turkey or Iran will fill.” This is where my head is at with this situation. It’s not the “what” of abandonment but the “how” of abandonment.

This is an excellent
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t That was brilliantly written Alex and yes there IS hope. I’m considered a Caucasian male. It’s called white although I think pink-skin is probably more accurate for what’s called white (see Gammon memes from the UK). I grew up in a tiny suburban town in NJ that had only 5 black families in it for a long time. (I had a crush on a fellow clarinet player in the 7th grade who was from one of the five families). But were the rest white families? No. There were no white people in my 1 sq mile town growing up. You were either Italian or Irish or “didn’t really fit in”. I was in the 3rd group. As demographics started shifting, anybody with tan or olive skin was “Indian”. (even if middle eastern or mexican). (90s). These are things I’d overhear. I left in 2002 and watched a dramatic change after 9/11. THAT’S when I started hearing “white” and “American” around town, even among people I grew up with. Whether Sikh, Indian, Pakistan, from Egypt, Mexico or Central America: If you had tan/olive skin, you were a terrorist. These are things I’d overhear. “What’s Irish? What’s Italian? There’s just American as long as you look Caucasian enough.” That wasn’t said but it was implied. It’s a kind of solidarity I didn’t join and I don’t like when pink-skinned men stand up and try to say “We Americans”, at me with a wink and a nod because they don’t represent me. But, they also do. That’s why I work against racism within the “We’re all human but those non-whites better shape up” crowd. I know I could’ve been them.

t That was brilliantly [read full article]

 

My mom was married to a Muslim (from Egypt) from 1984-1986. We had our dog Sally. Wasn’t a problem. He prayed 5x a day because he was supposed to like a good Catholic… Muslim – whatever it was – but outside of some minor dietary restrictions (he ate ham accidentally at a party but it was ok because it was out of ignorance), he just got up, went to work, came home. Oh, i couldn’t put my feet up. That was equivalent to mooning (showing the bottom of your feet). But that’s was about it. I remember we played soccer in the backyard.

My mom was married [read full article]