Thursday, November 2, 2023

Clausewitz in the Middle East 300 Level

photo: Novel Foundation Archive

Is there any conflict more complex than that which is now transpiring in the Middle East? The war is supposedly between Hamas and Israel, though both are proxies of Iran and the US, respectively. Since Iran is a proxy of Russia along with Syria, the plot thickens. In the background is the movement of Bahrain and the UAE a la the Abraham Accords which might have also brought Saudi Arabia into the Israeli fold. In the context of the present war, the impulse to employ materialism as bait seems like a long lost dream. In fact the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Iranian Shiites could become fellow travelers or strange bedfellows if the Israeli response to October 7th radicalizes and unites a once fractious Arab world. On the other hand imagine a MacArthur plan arising out of the ashes and subsequently a two-state solution. It’s fun to daydream, but not at the expense of reality. Remember Hamas is a millenarian organization that won't be happy until its razed Israel to the ground. It might be argued that terrorism eventuates from repression. You had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the aftermath of apartheid. Is there a Nelson Mandela-like figure who could ignite a movement based on peace and forgiveness? And how would one deal with the complex issues of reparations and repatriation? This course will run for an as yet undetermined amount of time. It will be Pass/Fail but will require more than papers and exams for those participating to achieve a passing grade.

read the review of Francis Levy's The Kafka Studies Department on Booklife

and take part in the Goodreads book giveaway for The Kafka Studies Department

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