Just a few current events from the Middle East

As is too often the case these days, most of the international news being reported involves extremists in the Middle East. Iran is in the news again and as usual, the gist of the stories involve Iran’s belligerence against someone. The Iranian government threatens, embargoes, and derides everyone who threatens, embargoes, and derides Iran. Oh, wait a minute, sounds difficult to understand. About all that makes sense is that most of the world is concerned that Iran is willing to do things that no other regime condones and that few regimes would even consider. Russia and China follow along like big, thick bodyguards as they can be trusted to destabilize every situation. Like a trusty, simple boyfriend, Saudi Arabia just writes the cheques for whatever extremist view they can sponsor. Ah well, at least they are all predictable.
In Afghanistan, more of the same. The Taliban continue to preach intolerance for anyone. Theoretically, they are only intolerant of Westerners but they have slaughtered so many Afghans that the target seems to be tattooed on everyone. Exhortations that the only good Afgan is one who is killing a Westerner has been a good excuse to kill anyone who isn’t already strapped into an explosive vest. Once again the Taliban demand that all Afghans to extremism because a number of Koran were unintentionally burned. The damage to the Koran is highly regrettable but the resulting demonstrations, killings, beatings, and captures are misdirected. Beyond escalations of violence, the Taliban seem unconcerned about finding the root cause of the problem or a solution to any problems faced by Afghans. Indeed, once again, they seem committed to the violence rather than to their country.
While Syria is the center of the most incomprehensible violence, Iraq has not lost its cachet for self-destruction. Car bombings continue in Baghdad with another seven dead with another couple of dozen in hospital who may add to this count. News from Syria is slow to get through the government barricades, but every post adds to the picture of another country committed to its own devastation. Perhaps the saddest test of the Middle East is that there are too many days when the same stories could be written with only a few changes in the details.