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The alternative axis of power — “Putin-Assad-Khamenei”, which may be more accurately expressed as “Khamenei-Putin-Assad” — is predicated entirely on the destruction of Jewish ethics, morality, and thought that has contributed mightily to the intellectual construction of the Judeo-Christian / Greco-Roman west. The west did not start out where it has arrived, but where it has arrived — equal rights, human rights, rule of law (rather than of men), democracy rather than despotism, etc. — stands as an affront to piratical dictatorships worldwide. Catch on and hang on or let go and get lost (so ISIS — bank robbers, plunderers extraordinaire — can pick you up) that sense of dignity in self and dignity in others might well be, ultimately, the “gift of the Jews”, from Moses to Muhammad in those parts speaking to the “better angels of our nature”. Putin, Assad, Khamenei are each believers in political absolutism. So is Baghdaddi. They may not know that they are really fighting together on the same side.

The tropes are going to take over, e.g., “Putin-Assad-Khamenei: together they are defending political absolutism.”

There’s some truth in them.

Perhaps they – so many repeated kernels, ideas, and puns – just need a page of their own.

Be that as it may, conflict involving “the west” may ultimately devolve to democracy vs despotism.

The details may be complicated, God knows, but the theme may be also just that simple.

Either have a voice in the governance of one’s geopolitical space — or not; either be free among those free to say yes and no to life’s challenges and opportunities — or be enslaved and have a host of decisions already made for you.  Such choosing between good and evil should be stark, but for some torn between a lonely idealism and the seductions set out by tyrants — or promoted by their agents, manipulations, and money — such choosing becomes deeply confused.

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