Enduring Monsters

Linh Dinh

[Phnom Penh, 11/14/22]

Leaving my hotel just after 5AM, I had the option of strolling towards the Mekong, just a mile away. At that hour, there was very little traffic, so crossing streets wasn’t so vexing. Most days, though, I’m sucked right into the dark alleys, with its roosters, sleepers, coal fires and eatery owners preparing breakfast. Seeing a large pot of boiling water can make you think everything is still fine. Something delicious will be made.

Although there are Westerners in this neighborhood, almost none ever stray into these alleys, even in daylight. With its motorbikes, playing children, shabby shops, good and bad smells, and so many bodies just inches away from you, these spaces engulf everything, so are essentially medieval. Bobbing in this stew, you’re finally home, pilgrim! The more modern or affluent a man, though, the more privacy he needs, so he hates to be touched by anyone but himself, which he does compulsively.

If such mingling is so great, India must be paradise, but, I must admit, its insane urban density, incessant honking and miserable cows shitting, pissing and eating garbage got to me, so that, after just one month, I found myself collapsed outside an airport, with my seemingly dying wish a return to Southeast Asia’s more manageable chaos. Writing this, I’m again at that café with the smiling, slightly chubby barista.

Hamas Will Defeat Israel

Oriental Review Editorial

Hamas may lose the Gaza Strip, but it will win the regional battle in the Middle East.

Having forgotten about Ukraine, Western experts turned their attention to the Middle East, where the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is turning into a war. Thus, the article by Richard Sindelar, an American expert and former official of the US State Department, on the online edition of 19FortyFive, forecasts future developments in the area and their effects on the whole world. In his view, Hamas, under the onslaught of Israel Forces (IDF), may the Gaza Strip but can win the regional battle in the Middle East.

The Palestinians are increasingly backed by new Islamist groups and Arab countries, causing a growing conflict. They are engaging in asymmetric warfare against the IDF on multiple fronts. Furthermore, leaders of Hamas have examined Israel’s vulnerabilities, such as conflicting politics within the nation, global criticism of the IDF military techniques, and will exploit them to conquer Jerusalem.

The things Hamas and indirectly Hezbollah have learned will be repeated and changed during the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. They will be used not just in Gaza but in other areas of the region where these groups are powerful and have supporters who are prepared to fight against Israel.

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