Are we there yet?

The short answer is no. Not by a long shot.

Islamic State took Mosul, needless to say by force, in June 2014. Now, June 2017, they’re on the verge of relinquishing that pivotal gain and, for the first time since becoming a threat, we are realistically talking about their demise.¹’²

All that does not necessarily mean an end to the threat posed by ISIS.³ But it does signify a significant shift in ascendancy of the global will. It does mean the West is back in the scrap.

While the world is not a safe place, far from it, the world is in a slightly more balanced state. Granted, the future does not look good. But, for the first time in many years, we are able to look at the world with clear eyes — and realise the predicament we’re in. Even a year ago that was not the case.

A year ago we were still hurtling headlong into the abyss and, apart from an uneasiness that no-one seemed to be able to put their finger on, none the wiser.

Our eyes have been cleared enough to see how far it is that we have fallen. That’s because we, finally, have a leader who is prepared to call a spade a spade. We have been deluded for far too long. Stuporous from sweet-talk, our senses numbed.

Love him or hate him, for all his faults, it took President Trump 6 months to do what his predecessor seemed incapable of doing in 3 years.

On the contrary, ISIS grew under the previous president’s watch. People should reflect on that fact alone.


¹The Great Muslim Civil War — and Us, Charles Krauthammer – National Review, June 22, 2017

²ISIS Defeat in Mosul ‘Inevitable,’ Ground Forces Commander Says, Lisa Ferdinando – DoD News, Defense Media Activity, U.S. Department of Defense, June 14, 2017

³How ISIS Will End, Mark Juergensmeyer – The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Summer 2016

Featured Image

U.S. Department of Defense

Jerusalem or Babylon

Janet listened to all this in a kind of dream, as she always did when her mother spoke of things that brought the world back there alive in her; she clung to every detail, she couldn’t get enough of it. She was in love with this other life her parents had lived; with Scotland and a time before they came to Australia, before she was born, that was her time too, extending her life back beyond the few years she could actually recall, and giving reality to a world she had need of; more alive and interesting, more crowded with things, with people too, than the one she was in.¹


When she glances up again, for she has been dozing, the misty blue out there has become indigo; the first lights have been doused, though the houses themselves do not fade from her mind, or the children who are sleeping in them. The first bright line of moonlight has appeared out on the mudflats, marking the ever moving, ever approaching, ever receding shore. All this a kind of praying.²

¹Malouf, D. (1993, 49)

²Malouf, D. (1993, 181)

Whether this is Jerusalem or Babylon we know not.  —William Blake: The Four Zoas

Featured Image: Blake Jerusalem Plate 20 copy E lower detail [Wikimedia Commons]

You are your language

Language is intimately tied to identity.

So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language. Until I take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself. Until I can accept as legitimate Chicano Texas Spanish, Tex-Mex and all the other languages I speak, I cannot accept the legitimacy of myself.¹

Take pride in your language.

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.²

Minna Sundberg – Language Tree (expanded) [Tom Wigley, flickr]

¹G. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera (4th edn. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2012), 81

²Matthew 15:10-12 KJV

Middle English Love Poetry

Bitwene March and Averil,

When spray biginneth to springe

The litel foult hath hire wil,

On hyre lede to synge.

Ich live in love-longing,

For seemliest of alle thynge,

She may me blisse bringe,

Ich am in hire baundoun

A hendy hap Ichave y-hent

Ichot from hevene it is me sent,

From alle women my love is lent

And light on Alysoun.

—British Library MS Harley 2253—

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. 2nd Edition. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 47.