This is a place to note articles and other information regarding the growing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East and the related refugee crisis…

Google map of the region with pointer to Damascus, Syria:

U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria (NY Times, Sept. 19, 2015)

Dan Carlin puts the immigration crisis into historical perspective in Immigration Breakdown. His Common Sense podcast takes on topics of current political interest. His Hardcore History podcast is also fantastic. I recommend his six-part history of World War I, Blueprint for Armageddon.

And speaking of the World War I, the album Lament by Einsturzende Neubauten takes on the whole shebang. One of the underlying themes is that we’re still fighting it. One illustration of the war’s scale is found in the song Lament: Der 1. Weltkrieg. Listen carefully to Blixa’s introduction. In the course of the piece, voices name each of the battles while Blixa names the entrants into the war. The names are disturbingly familiar.

The history of these things that are still biting us in the ass includes The Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran in World War II. The invasion was to secure oil fields that might otherwise have fallen into the hands of the Axis powers, with whom the shah was inclined to agree. The English and the Soviets deposed him in favour of his more pliable son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. That name sound familiar? Yeah, he’s the one who was deposed by the revolution in ’79.