Over Here, Over There


If genocide were declared to be virulent (perhaps it is), the world seems to be in the grip of a pandemic. Hindu religious leaders, before a packed audience and an even larger online viewership, urged a violent purge of the nation’s Muslim minority. Zealous advocates seek to convert the Muslims peacefully or with violence, claiming they are “jihadists” as Hindu nationalism has dominated India’s politics

The country’s elected national leadership has been silent at the public proclamation by Hindu monks. Voices of opposition claim the outrage is political, a measure to reshape the secular republic into a Hindu majority.

Myanmar (formerly Burma) has engaged in a years-long national campaign to destroy and eliminate the Rohingya, a Muslim minority sect numbering 1.4 million. An estimated 12 million Uyghur Muslims living in China’s northwestern province have similarly been targeted. The Chinese government has undertaken imprisoning them in large camps for purposes of re-education, not unlike the United States policy toward Native Americans in the 1800s.

President Biden in December 2021 announced a “diplomatic” boycott of the winter Olympics in Beijing. At the opening ceremony, cameras panned the audience to discover Vladimir Putin, apparently dozing, who enthusiastically applauded the Russian contingent, symbolizing proxy support for China.

As certainly as there appears to be little effective international pressure to restrain such genocidal pogroms, the diplomatic proxy wars will also continue to muffle action.


As global anxiety increases while Russia’s chess moves toward Ukraine continue to stymie world leaders, the president of Taiwan has directed a study of the European confrontation to determine how it affects its posture with China, separated by only a few miles of water.

Following the end of the civil war on the mainland, nationalist forces regrouped on the island of Taiwan. While succeeding commercially as an international industrial enterprise, today only 13 countries and the Vatican recognize Taiwan as a sovereign entity. The United States and several other nations have continued to provide moral, military, and political support while withholding sovereign recognition.

Taiwanese concerns about its neighbor’s intentions did not arise from speculation. It opposed Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Prior to the opening of the Olympics in Beijing, Putin and Xi, in a joint announcement, criticized “attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions.”

There are diplomatic wonks who have dubbed the US diplomacy with respect to Russia and China and Taiwan as “strategic ambiguity.”


While attention is focused on tensions surrounding Russia’s strategies in eastern Europe, the fierce civil war in Syria continues to consume and disrupt the lives of residents, including an estimated 40 million Kurdish people.

Kurdistan is a roughly defined region with some autonomous recognition that encompasses parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and northern Syria. Kurds are predominantly Muslim, with significant populations in minority religious sects 

Syria’s ruling royal regime, led by President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey, have been the most notable opponents to the Kurds and their struggle for independence. The United States and Russia have hands as proxies in the Syrian civil war. The stakes in that mélange of interests has been further complicated by the actions of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Recently, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) drove off an ISIS attack on a prison alleged to be holding 4,000 ISIS fighters, a successful two-week battle supported by US military personnel. Close behind, the US staged a commando raid killing an ISIS terrorist leader. President Biden, following the raid, declared the SDF to be an “essential partner” in Syria, without attributing any role to them in the raid.

The diplomatic and military battlefield is tenuously complicated as US forces share space in the region with Russia, which was invited to the region by the SDF as a bulwark against Turkey.

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