So, Iran is offering to help the Iraqi government to oust Al-Qaeda from Fallujah. Fallujah was taken at great cost by the Americans after the invasion. And yet, now here we are back we started. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki said last week that never in his wildest nightmare did he imagine Iraq would be this bad. Before the invasion & the present state of anarchy, there was Saddam Hussein. There were mixed motives for the invasion but as time has gone past there is increasing doubt as to whether it was a good idea, even taking into account that it did rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. The story of Iraq is tragic. But the fact that Iran is offering to eradicate Al-Qaeda shows how muddled, politics in the Middle East has become.  After all it is Iran which is the Islamic Republic, with all the terror inflicted on the population of which Al-Qaeda so approves. To outsiders like myself, Al-Qaeda & the Islamic Republic inflict or at least they seem to inflict the same system upon the population. Maybe there are some doctrinal differences. But their whole doctrine seems to be based upon the harsh of commandments of fundamentalist Islam. It must be for reasons of real politik that Iran is siding with the authorities against Al-Qaeda. Much of diplomacy & shifting alliances are based upon the principle of my enemy’s enemy is my friend especially in the Middle East & North Africa.

The events in Iraq did, at least to some extent, set off the so-called Arab seems at the moment to have ended so disastrously. It seems to have been a hornet’s nest whichhas been well & truly stirred up & the result is the Syrian tragedy. In Syria, there are shifting alliances in Syria, there is factionalism. There is tragedy & betrayal. There is the principle of solving problems through the use of force. There is anarchy, destruction & catastrophe.

2014 is beginning with sirens of doom, with the planet sliding into disaster. The omens don’t look good.

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