The new year of 2017 rings in with a horrifying bang, as one attacker (or is it more?) apparently with a Kalishnikov automatic rifle, stormed into a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey and murdered at least 39 people celebrating New Year's Eve. Turkey has had a whole lot of bad crap of late, including bombings, the assassination of the Russian Ambassador, a near-coup, millions of refugees from nearby Syria... in short, a witches' brew of much of the world's instability, sitting conveniently at a junction between Europe and Asia, bordering Greece and Bulgaria on the European side, and on its Asian side, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Nothing to worry about there.
Just for fun, Turkey has a huge internal battle going on with its own Kurdish population in its easternmost regions, even as Iraqi Kurds are a key Western ally in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. And Turkey is perennially involved in negotiations to join the European Union (there's a great idea), and, of course, besides having its own mostly Muslim citizenry of about 70 million, also houses a couple million refugees from conflicts in the Middle East.
There have been night club attacks, of course, in France, and in Florida just within the last few months, so the m.o. is more or less established, and while I am horrified (as, I would hope, any rational human being is), I am at a loss for a response.
The question, I guess, is whether the sh*tstorm first unleashed by the Bush Administration in the aftermath of 9-11, when it decided to "bring democracy" to the Middle East, which, for various reasons, seems to be expanding in all directions, will reach some kind of equilibrium with the coming international Bromance between the leadership of Russia (Pooty Poot) and the US of A (Cheeto Jesus)? Damned if I know.
Let's just say that living and working here in the Donald's hometown for the last fifteen or more years in these "interesting times"... remains as fraught as ever. But at least the Second Avenue subway is open.