Transcaucasian Trail: Ancient lands & new frontiers in great game
Three days into the renewed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in the Transcaucasian region — also known as South Caucasus — it is becoming clear that the binary narrative dished out by western commentators of this being a Turkish-Russian clash of wills and strategies is either simply naive or purposively deceptive. The point is, Russia and Turkey — and Iran in a somewhat supportive role — are already proactively talking of negotiations involving the warring sides.
Today will be remembered as a grand expose. It was a direct, pointed accusation at the intentions of the US imperium which long for the scalp of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. For WikiLeaks, it was a smouldering triumph, showing that the entire mission against Assange, from the start, has been a political one. The Australian publisher faces the incalculably dangerous prospect of 17 charges under the US Espionage Act and one under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Stripped to its elements, the indictment is merely violence kitted out in the vestment of sham legality. The rest is politics.
What I think of as the cynical left are once again berating the progressive critical left, myself included, for failing to write what they want written about Covid-19. I take this as a kind of unintended compliment: that they think we can write about their concerns better than they can themselves. Continue reading →
Here’s a story that encapsulates the terrible situation of our world: Associated Press reporters were on a Turkish coast guard vessel which picked up 37 migrants, including 18 children, from two orange life-rafts in the Aegean Sea on 12 September. The refugees were from Afghanistan, a country that shudders from an endless war. One of the refugees, Omid Hussain Nabizada told the reporters that the Greek authorities held them in Lesbos, put them onto life rafts, and then sent them into the turbulent seas. They were left there to die.
The first bacterial whole genome to be sequenced was of the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. – Wikicommons/ T CDC/Dr. W.A. Clark (PHIL #1617), 1977. Some rights reserved.
Many believe that tampering with human DNA is tantamount to “playing God”, and a boundary that must not be transgressed. Caution in the face of the unknown has led to blanket bans on certain genetic technologies. Our understanding of genetics, however, is evolving at a dizzying pace. This has led to the development of new genetic technologies, which make it possible to directly edit human genetic makeup.
I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.