Last summer it was so much easier for Americans: “Today we are all Georgians,” John McCain declared at the height of the Russian offensive provoked by Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia. This year they’re having to work out if they’re Iranians or Uighurs. And it could get truly confusing if the conflict between Iraq’s Kurds and the government in Baghdad erupts.
This habit of presenting every foreign conflict through the prism of mythologised tales of great (and usually American or American-inspired) triumphs over “evil” has a way of distorting reality, sometimes with tragic effect.
The world is a complex place. Perhaps simpletons would care to think about that.