‘It is undeniably terrifying to watch the western powers trying to grapple with an almost limitless rat’s nest of interconnected problems in the Middle East. The situation is one of such byzantine complexity that the challenge feels like a pan-dimensional chess board on which every piece is wired to electrocute if the wrong move is made. There may be no right moves at all, just a choice of slightly less wrong ones … ‘ (Matthew Norman in todays ‘i’ newspaper, in the article  ‘Boris:  the last remnant of credibility’)

Beware simplistic opinions!

(Chart from joshualandis.com.  I don’t know enough about the situation to be able to vouch for its accuracy but it does show some of the complexities).


33 thoughts on “RAT’S NEST

  1. Excellent comment Anne, thanks. I don’t think that people can be persuaded to give up their identity – it’s what makes us who we are, I would have thought. What we do need, is to learn more mutual respect and tolerance, especially towards those with whom we have fundamental disagreements :**:

    Love the Churchill quote! It’s so true :no:


  2. Globally concerning times, the more we integrate, travel and know of our distant neighbours, the more their issues come to our doorstep. There will be no peace on this Earth until everyone sheds every vestige of identity – no matter who, what, where, or when, as soon as someone feels an injustice has been lobbied against them there will always be one who will say “It’s because I am ….. black/white/brown/chinese/mongolian/Marsian/Plutonian … male/female/transgender … blonde/brunette/dark/red … fat/thin … young/old … fit/disabled … rich/poor … gay/straight/bi … employed/unemployed … christian/hindu/seikh/bhuddist/scientologist/muslim” etc etc etc.

    There is a brilliant Churchill quote that “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back that is an outrage”. It seems to be applicable to actions too.


  3. WE certainly didn’t see ISIS coming, but there had to be a vacuum after the Iraq war. The problems are the artificial boundaries created by the British and french after WW1. There was basically Arabia, and now a multitude of states with their power and intrigue.


  4. Keggy is so right, all this goes way back than the most recent history and most recent interventions. But even beyond. I wonder if people who nowdays find themselves on the opposed sides do even remember still over what had it all begun? And I mean before there was personal, petty, individual interests and greed and insatioable want for power? Or was any of it ever free of that? And I do have to chime in to Davidjohn’s wondering how does a Divine plan fit in it all. I so want to believe that we’re not left in charge here because we’re doing a heck of a lousy job if we are. I’m a big believer in people, though. And I still have hope we’re capable of realising that the world’s ready for one big, huge “ctrl.-alt.-delete”. Someone saying: stop, we start anew, it makes no rense that everyone resents everyone else and everyone is indebted to everyone else – time for a clean slate!


    1. Indeed, I’m sure a lot of people would agree with that. As to God’s plan, he chooses to work through us, and our first responsibility is to live in loving obedience to him. He’s the God who says ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’ Nobody is prepared to do that in the Middle East, and their (our) refusal to live in harmony with God’s expressed will for love and peace, opens the door to violence and mayhem.


  5. This goes back a lot further than the recent western interventions. Over a hundred years ago the British Government was intervening in what is now Iran and Iraq in an effort to rally those tribes against the Turkish invaders. (Turkey was allied with Germany the enemy of Britain at the time). And back in the middle ages Turkish Muslims captured Jerusalem from the Arab Muslims (with me so far?). That’s how the Crusades started with the West intervening to win back the Holy Land. Methinks we have been here before… ??


  6. The world is a very dangerous place right now, I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about doing anything if I was in power, as you say it’s a web all right and ant move may make things worse. It’s so heartbreaking to hear of the endless suffering isn’t it, and what to do about it….I tried to speak of these matters in my latest post….what on earth to do….it’s so very dark isn’t it…and so many are suffering such atrocities….sighs…xxx


    1. I keep reminding myself that this is not the whole story, there are lots of examples of friendship and mutual support between the people who don’t make the headlines. But we as a country with the USA kicked over a hornet’s nest when we went into Iraq, and now we’re seeing the outcome. As the Good Book says – they who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind 😦


  7. Now that so much of Middle Eastern easily-recoverable petroleum has been depleted, it seems more reasonable to pursue other means of energy and stay the H— away from the Middle East & its problems which no longer concern us.


  8. What a good way of describing the conflict….:no: sums it up…. It truly is a web of confusion and seems as if there can be no satisfactory resolution :no:

    Yes…. I kind of zoned in on the ‘Boris’ bit???!


      1. I’ll look at the link.

        One of the prerequisites to be in political leadership, it would seem, is to be skilled at being disingenuous,while appearing to be credible or so ludicrous that you become a dangerously endearing buffoon.


      2. Looked at Norman’s article and the rebuttable presumption by the grace of Boris. Which war zone is okay to visit without invoking it; who decides this and on what bases?

        There are mavericks and clowns, though none as insinuating and insidious as the guy who would be a parliamentary oligarch. What’s worse, he’s being encouraged to get on the Westminster bandwagon by the current oligarchy. Do they see Boris J as the antidote to Nigel Farage? If so, that is scary.


      1. No not at all………….. but it is difficult to see an underlying plan or the hand of God sorting it out.

        Christians are being killed, men, women and children, there are even crucifixions watched by children ……. I would like Divine intervention. Think of the 23rd Psalm……. ‘ I will fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me ‘ .

        Those suffering must be praying daily for Divine help.

        Surly now you understand my point.


      2. As I said to Mirjana, God chooses to work through us, which I know we agree on. So that must mean we need to live in loving obedience to him. However, people choose not to. The Torah of the Jews tells them to love their neighbour as themselves, a teaching the Christian church also believes. This isn’t happening, people are refusing to listen to their understanding of God. And Muslims have a religion called islam, which means ‘peace’ – and many of them are living in direct disobedience to this. When we ignore or flagrantly flout God’s expressed will for us, and choose rage and violence instead, then we are responsible.


      3. I agree with that however the poor Christians who fled to the mountains have done nothing wrong and trust in the promises of God.
        There is the dilemma for thinking people.


      4. Indeed – disobedience to the plain teaching of God leads to the terrorising of the innocent. Jesus was also a refugee, when as a baby he and his family had to flee the persecution of Herod. Evil is real, and has real power. The question for us all is, do we enable it to have its way by our attitudes and actions, or do we stand against it? Because evil will always be here, to the end of time. It twines itself so closely around the good, that to destroy one often destroys the other too.


      5. Your answers are good……….. but if we pray for someone we ask for God’s intervention.

        The ability of God to intervene in one situation but not in another is the puzzle.

        In science if we do an experiment and the outcome is x
        when we repeat it, if we’ve done it right, the outcome is always the same, namely x.

        If God bothers to give us our daily bread why does he seemingly ignore the plight of Christians in a cold mountain in Iraq.

        Surely you can see that we must look for consistent behaviour.


      6. I’m surprised that you’re asking this question, really. Given your theology, that God is not ‘out there’ but is ‘the ground of our being’, surely this means that he has no way of intervening except through us?


      7. Again I agree with you but we prayed to God for your son-in-law Ian…….. we wanted intervention and it seems so far we got it.

        Really fundamentally we do agree………. but the Bible describes God intervening many times. I do prefer God ground of our being as then we are the intervening agency acting for God. Jesus said greater things than I have done ye will do.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s