12-20: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece from the Huffington Post.]

[Wars Cause PTSD. Whether tomorrow, a decade from now, or 30 years down the line, the war experience today will torture a soldier’s mind. It is not necessary to argue, debate, or fight about our reason(s) for going to war; it is the act of war that attacks the psyche. End the wars, end the suffering.]

We live in a dangerous, complex time, as evidenced by the headlines and excerpted articles below—all of which appeared yesterday. One day’s worth of news. Some (may, I hope) assault our sense of being American citizens of the world. All affect our humanity and decency.

Terrorism in Turkey

Russian Ambassador Shot and Killed in Turkish Capital of Ankara

ANKARA, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, calling it a “terrorist act.” Relations between Moscow and Ankara have long been strained over the conflict in Syria, with the two supporting opposing sides in the war.

… and whom do Americans we support?

Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which has long sought Assad’s ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year….

Deja Vu! Another Truck, Another Mass Killing

Truck Plows into Crowd near Christmas Market in Berlin

BERLIN, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital Berlin on Monday evening, killing nine people and injuring up to 50 others, police said….

The incident evoked memories of an attack in France in July when Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. The attack was claimed by Islamic State….

Berlin police said nine people were killed….

… people praying …

Man Opens Fire in Zurich Mosque, Wounding Three People

ZURICH, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A man stormed into a Zurich mosque and opened fire on people praying on Monday evening, injuring three people, police said….

What happens to evacuees from a war zone?

Aleppo Evacuations Resume after Days-Long Standoff

Thousands were evacuated from the last rebel-held enclave of the city of Aleppo on Monday after a deal was reached to allow people to leave two besieged pro-government villages …

Convoys of buses from eastern Aleppo reached rebel-held areas of countryside to the west of the city in cold winter weather, according to a U.N. official and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group….

What does it mean to be victorious?

The recapture of Aleppo is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s biggest victory so far in the nearly six-year-old war, but the fighting is by no means over with large tracts of the country still under the control of insurgent and Islamist groups.

Buses Burned

On Sunday, some of the buses sent to al-Foua and Kefraya to carry evacuees out were attacked and torched by armed men, who shouted “God is greatest” and brandished their weapons in front of the burning vehicles …

 

Russian High-Stakes War Games, Playing for Real

Russian Military Plane Crashes in Siberia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that one of its planes had crashed in northeast Siberia with 39 people on board as it tried to make an emergency landing near a Soviet-era military base….

Putin “Remilitarizing” the Arctic. Why? Does Oil Have Anything to Do with This?

Tiksi, a coastal town of around 5,000 people inside the Arctic circle, hosts a Soviet-era military air base that has been renovated in recent years as part of President Vladimir Putin’s drive to remilitarize the Arctic.

Killing the Old Fashioned Way

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 49 Soldiers in Yemen

ADEN (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 49 soldiers … in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Sunday … as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Nothing New

Officials said at least 60 other troops were wounded in the attack, which occurred near al-Sawlaban military base in Aden’s Khor Maksar district, where another Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up a week ago killing 50 soldiers….

What will we do in the near term in the Philippines?

Philippines’ Duterte: ‘Bye-Bye America,’ We Don’t Need Your Money

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told the United States on Saturday to prepare for repeal of an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises, declaring “bye-bye America,” and “we don’t need your money.”…

The firebrand leader was visibly upset and vented his anger on Washington because of a decision by the Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC) board to defer vote on the re-selection of Manila for compact development due to human rights issues.

“We do not need the money. China said they will provide so many,” he said. “The politics here in Southeast Asia is changing.”

And That Is Just One Day!

*****

The illustration at the blog’s top corner is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.

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