September 09, 2017
After the heat in Greece, the Alps are cool and green and very comfortable. My sensei Richard Amos is over here, and we squeezed two weeks of intensive karate training into three days. Nothing makes me feel better than the sense of total exhaustion after a hard day’s fight. We do “kihon” and “kata,” and then we let fly in “kumite.” Except that recently I’ve caught him diving, as they say in the ugly game. “Fight like a man,” I say through gritted teeth. He then picks up the tempo, but my suspicions remain. The sensei, teacher, is taking it easy on the senpai, senior. I hate it but it’s the way of our world, the best world there is—the world of martial arts and the Bushido spirit.
Otherwise it’s been a lousy year, what with Nick Scott, Aleko Goulandris, Alistair Horne, David Beaufort, and David Tang all leaving a place that’s becoming cruder and more brutal by the minute. Perhaps they’re the lucky ones. When I see some of the crappy Gulf people polluting Gstaad I have to go back up to my house and pound the makiwara for a while. Then I have a stiff drink. And think of that poor Christian white girl who has been removed from her family and given to a burka-wearing foster carer who speaks to her in Arabic and has taken away the cross she was wearing. This, in London 2017; heaven help us.
And it gets much worse: The Saudi war crimes being committed with American help in Yemen dwarf alleged Syrian regime crimes, yet the Saudis continue to slaughter children and innocents without a peep coming from, say, the E.U. or Washington, London, or Berlin. Saudi money has a strange effect on those who govern us; it makes their moral compass go haywire. Here is what Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s latest Napoleon, has managed to achieve: 3 million Yemenis displaced, half a million Yemenis infected with cholera—5,000 being infected daily. The Saudi blockade is strangling Yemen, with children dying of malnutrition being the main victims. A U.N. report that threatened to expose Saudi atrocities was shelved when the camel drivers-turned-royals countered by withholding funds. Ban Ki-moon folded quicker than you can say “chickenshit.”
The war in Yemen began as a local conflict three years ago; then the glorious Saudi regime decided to intervene in case the Iranians got a foothold. They bombed hospitals and schools and civilians nonstop, yet the Houthi rebels have somehow survived despite American military help and air-attack guidance. Twenty million Yemenis are now in need of emergency assistance, but the glorious Saudi army and air force say nyet. Watching my boy Trump kiss Saudi ass on his first overseas trip made me reach for the sick bag, but are any of his detractors any better? In fact, they’re more complicit in Yemen war crimes because they were around when the Saudis started murdering children 30 months ago.
Fifty years ago America lost a war in Southeast Asia because it refused to conduct indiscriminate bombing of civilian population centers. Even the warmongers in Congress knew that Uncle Sam would never recover if he played dirty. Today the neocons are cheering whenever a Yemeni hospital is bombed, or when a Yemeni child is burned to death. So who is more evil? The Russians helping Assad remain in power, or the Americans helping the Saudis interfere in another country’s civil war? King Solomon would say both are in the wrong but the Americans ten times more than the Russkies.