This website contains subjects I covered in my seminars (done within the context of a company) with the yellow buttons on the bottom what I used as a foundation for my older seminars between 1997-2007.
For your own comments about related subjects you can contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Dec. 2016: Apart from the strategic consideration that they needed Palestine for the imperial defense of India, the decision by the War Cabinet to authorized foreign secretary Balfour to make a declaration of sympathy with Zionist aspirations in November 1917, one could ad, was also a curious blend of sentiment (the romantic notion of the Jews returning to their ancient lands after 1,800 years of exile) and anti- Antisemitism (world Jewry was a force that could vitally influence the outcome of the war) that led them to this decision. The most comprehensive book to date about the Balfour Declaration remains Jonathan Schneer’s 2010 book by the same title. He does however not list all relevant documents something the three-part true history of the Balfour Declaration intended to complement. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.3.
29 November 2016 discussion about the Balfour Declaration at the British Houses of Parliament.
In recent months a number of Arab States, like for example Amman, have celebrated the centennial of the 'Arab Revolt' 1916-2016.
20 Oct. 2016: Soon I will be posting a series of three research articles about the Balfour Declaration and three more about the Versailles Treaty and the Making of the Modern Middle East, whereby here a general overview. During the First World War, British strategy for the Middle East was aimed at protecting India, which meant keeping India’s numerous Muslim subjects tranquil. Initially, this gained Whitehall’s support, as it feared foreign troops in the Muslim Holy Land would make the followers of Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca, Emir of the Hejaz and potential British ally, oppose him. From Versailles to the Making of the Modern Middle East P.1: The Arab Revolt, Britain, and the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.
24 Oct. 2016: There have been a lot of discussions about the current trouble in the Middle East, the possible un-making of Syria as we know it, or the upcoming battle of Mosul (that earlier plaid an important role in the British search for oil). Following is a critical assessment, with at first a focus on the British. From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.2: The Hashemite Card and the making of Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.
26 Oct. 2016: With the ongoing situation in Syria, and now the (by Turkey) contested battle of Mosul in Iray, I take a further look at how this patchwork of countries originally started to develop. From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.3: The American King-Crane initiative and the British in Mosul, Kuwait and beyond.
29 Oct. 2016: In the Mideast, borders have always been drawn in blood, it is happening once more today. From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.4: A critical assessment, the alleged Arab Spring, and the Middle East predicament today.
6 Nov. 2016: From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East redux: The unresolved sectarian issue in Lebanon today.
25 Nov. 2016: One of the most far-reaching outcomes of the First World War was the creation of Palestine, initially under Britain as the Mandatory, out of an ill-defined area of the southern Syrian boundary of the Ottoman Empire. Considering this, on 16 Nov. 2016, the British Parliament debated the Balfour Declaration and how its upcoming 2017 centennial should be handled. Yet even professionals are often not familiar with the details surrounding the Balfour Declaration, thus here a detailed investigation. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.1.
28 Nov.2016: Showing the topic is of ongoing relevance, following the British Parliament last week, tomorrow a discussion about the Balfour Declaration is to take place in the House of Commons. My analysis, however, is wholly independent of pro or contra stance and instead focuses on discovering the historical details that have been left out in recent discussions. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.2.
6 June 2016: While a Brexit vote is very much possible, the leading voting reason is for Britain to quit the EU in order to curb immigration. But not only would there be the grave economic implications when the UK leaves, the Brexit campaign and the rise of Europe's populist right have also dented Turkish hopes of ever joining the EU. What will happen after Brexit:
17 June 2016: The Islamic State has lost grip on more than 10% of territory in six months, following is what is still there:
25 June 2016: "Whe're out", well sort of. The Implications and Germany's nightmare:
10 July 2016: In the wake of the more than a 100 people that were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today, one photo has stood out:
With a situation where five police officers were shot at in Dallas, the picture, of course, should not miss the complexity of the situation.
11 July 2016: The new British prime minister will lead a divided parliament and a divided country. The next steps of Theresa May.
12 July 2016: The Hague Tribunal Decides China has "no historic rights" in South China Sea: An international tribunal ruled that China’s claim to historic rights in most of the South China Sea has no legal basis, dealing a severe setback to Beijing that the U.S. fears could intensify Chinese efforts to establish its control by force. Continue…
13 July 2016: Boris is back, and could be a risky pick. Today’s cabinet appointments sends a clear signal however.
16 July 2016: The failed attempt by military factions to overthrow the elected government could be viewed as a victory for democracy. But it also reflects the increasing political polarization, repression of dissent, and fear for the country’s security that have emerged under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey’s new Sultanate.
20 July 2016: WikiLeaks releases 300 thousand internal emails from Erdoğan's AKP - through to July 7, 2016 plus 500,000 documents from in the wake of the failed coup. Crackdown in Turkey targeted over 58,000 people. Greek Air force confirms Erdogan was not chased by fighter jets during coup. Turkey's government fears second coup:
24 July 2016: Today British Intel published in the print edition of Focus Magazine shows Turkey knew in advance about coup plus US Airbase in Turkey engulfed in Fire after Media IDs US General as Coup Leader.
1 Aug. 2016: Like Aleppo, Putin gave Chechen people of Grozny a chance to leave. Then destruction began. the Syrian Civil War is now in a critical stage. The make or break battle currently underway, rebels appear to be losing.
29 July 2016: Up to 1 million people could be forced to flee their homes in Iraq soon as fighting intensifies in a government offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said, plus 'growing evidence' Russia is using cluster bombs in Syria. And then today we have Aleppo. FM denounces "cynical game" of Syrian regime and rebuked Moscow.
6 Aug. 2016: Battle for Aleppo intensifies as rebels around 5 am this morning entered the Ramouseh Artillery Base, and a few hours later, the Islamic Front said the siege of east Aleppo has been broken. Who are the rebels and how will Assad and Russia respond.
11 Aug 2016: Russia announces war games after accusing Ukraine of terrorist plot: Concerns Russia could use the alleged plot in Crimea to justify more military incursions into the Ukraine.
14 Aug 2016: Rebels in Aleppo trying to advance after broken the siege of Aleppo, question is for how long.
22 Aug 2016: Mads Brügger "Cold Case Hammarskjöld" and the making of the Operation Celeste myth, plus not a myth: Head of UN, Ban Ki-moon, seeks to appoint investigator for fatal crash of Dag Hammarskjöld.
27 August 2016: It is not without historical irony that the centenary of the Great War was accompanied by civil war in Syria and Iraq, revolution in Egypt, and violent clashes between Jews and Arabs over the Palestinian question, as if to offer proof that many of the issues raised but not solved by the First World War and its immediate aftermath are still with us today. Investigating the never-ending Great War.
24 Aug 2016: As suggested by me earlier Turkish tanks and jets backed by planes from a U.S.-led coalition launched an offensive into Syria today. President Erdogan said the operation was targeting both Islamic State and the Kurdish PYD party. As I suggested on 25 May, the effect of the operation will be to preserve a corridor between Turkey and ISIS. Turkey told the Kurdish YPG that when they do not move back east across the Euphrates River within a week that Turkish troops will drive them back by force. International rivalry and the battle for Syria.
10 Sept. 2016: The Hajj, Muslim worshipers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca: What two million people are about to do here.
16 Sept. 2016: The US decision to lift all of its remaining economic sanctions on Myanmar, also known as Burma, has surprised many. Did Obama remove pressure on the army too soon?
28 Sept. 2016: Did Aleppo's Grozny moment arrive? If there was ever any hope of salvaging the latest cease-fire in Syria, there isn't anymore.
24 June 2016: Yesterday we were on transit in N.Thailand where we visited among others “the White Temple” near Chiang Rai:
24 May 2015: In what appeared to be an act of defiance Greece's defense minister recently threatens to send migrants including jihadists to Western Europe. And while this would be problematic, my opinion is that Greece will turn around and agree to yield about austerity. Greece expected to strike a deal with the EU.
21 Aug. 2015: The Weather as influenced by El Nino going forward.
23 Sept. 2015: Why the Islamic State represents a new and more dangerous evolution in the development of violent extremism and demonstrate its deep roots in Islamic history (click on image):
Online tool reveals terrorist networks and behavior over time.
20 Nov. 2015: In the last few weeks, Islamic State has carried out massacres in Baghdad, Ankara, and south Beirut, and downed a Russian plane with 224 passengers. It has taunted survivors with threats of future attacks as if its deepest wish were to provoke violent retaliation. Paris and the end times of ISIS:
21 Nov. 2015: The Paris debacle has also put the “long united long divided” Belgium back in the limelight. Belgium powers have been highly decentralized to try to prevent the country from breaking apart. Why this complicates the reaction to the Paris attacks:
On the left smog in Delhi, India. On the right smog in Beijing, China.
26 Nov. 2015: In a few days world leaders will gather in Paris for a grand conference on climate change, the 21st such get-together since the United Nations began to grapple with the issue. A torrent of pronouncements and promises has already issued forth—from Pope Francis, Xi Jinping, Barack Obama and many others. Here is a blueprint as to how to approach the problems:
28 Nov. 2015: Russia's sanctions might increase: Why Turkey shot down the Russian Jet.
12 Dec. 2015: Three days ago I arrived in Myanmar P.1: I look at why despite the NLD's sweeping win, public doubts linger about the military's government role given its record of political intervention and lucrative network of businesses that could be impacted by future policy shifts. I also look at the background of the so called peace agreement and why the fighting in Myanmar continues. Discovering the background from where today’s Myanmar evolved.
17 Dec. 2015: Myanmar P.2: A lot of the current fighting is taking place in the area around Hpakant, not surprising one of the leading jade-producing zones. Plus concern NLD goes the way of AFPFL in the parliamentary era of the 1950s. To Myitkyina and Kachin State.
19 Dec. 2015: Myanmar P.3 ethnic cleansing in Sittwe: Among others the 969 movement (by some seen as influenced by the psywar department) and how intolerance threatens Myanmar’s nascent transition to a more open, democratic state. Two kinds of Monks.
On the left rural market, on the right walking through Shan State
23 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.4 Shan State: Even after having signed a ceasefire, the Burmese military continued to attack the Burma Army and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North areas. Ethnic rebels in the north of Burma, such as the Kachin Independence Army (KLA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), have accused the Burmese government of actively participating in the drug trade, whilst at the same time claiming to be cracking down on it. The Challenge of Unity in a Divided Country.
27 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.5: If the Kachin have suffered the most at the hands of the Burmans in recent years, it is the Karen who have fought them for the longest. Past the Golden Rock to Karen (Kayin) State.
30 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.6: Moulmein, Orwell, Kipling, the Mon, including revisiting the bizarre insurgency of two teenage boys. Mawlamyine and beyond.
24 Feb 2016: South China Sea: Risks of a clash caused by China’s paramilitary ships that could bring U.S. forces to bear in defense of U.S. allies.
10 April 2016: What is commonly known as the 'Russian Civil War' was, in fact, a whole series of overlapping and mutually reinforcing conflicts. The second First World War.
17 April 2016: After another incident just before in the Baltic Sea, currently the news is abuzz with reckless behavior by Russia vis a vis a US plane: We tell you why it happened.
6 May 2016: Aung San Suu Kyi Asks U.S. Not to Refer to ‘Rohingya’: Myanmar update.
16 May 2016: Does the Middle East Need New Borders?
18 May 2016: Although there are limits to these weapons' effectiveness, N. Korea would counter strike using its considerable artillery, rocket and missile arsenal. Continue…
25 May 2016: As the fighting intensifies in southern Turkey and northern Syria, various Kurdish factions are becoming significantly more important. How close is ISIS to defeat, and will Turkey invade Syria?
I attended the Honolulu Festival 7-8 March 2015 with underneath some of the photos I took:
1 Jan. 2015: The EU unable to solve its fundamental problem, unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form, why instability in the Arab world is to continue, the problem for China. The world going forward:
6 July 2013: With the approach of the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, attention will focus again on the ‘origin’ of the First World War. Following is the story of an unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. Almost every day it seemed possible that the crisis could be settled as so many had been over the previous decade; almost every day there was a new suggestion that gave statesmen hope that war could be avoided without abandoning vital interests. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincaré were central to the unfolding crisis, how their hopes and fears intersected as events unfolded, and how each new decision produced a response that complicated or escalated matters to the point where they became almost impossible to contain. A new investigation why the First World War broke out.
7 July 2013: Dissecting the events in Sean McMeekin's book; The Real Russian Origins of the First World War.
2 March 2014: Resurgence or is Russia Doomed? Continue:
9 March 2014: Had Israel lost its war of independence in 1948, its territory would have been divided among the invading Arab forces. And as a recent article argues the name Palestine would have vanished into the dustbin of history. After the war, the Arab states continued to manipulate the Palestinian national cause to their ends. The Palestinians' Real Enemies.
16 March 2014: Case Study: The ‘decline of the West’ and a look behind Putin’s new Eurasianism.
30 Nov. 2014: Venezuela’s international reserves declined $1.3 billion following declining oil price. The worsening situation will make 2015 a crucial year for Venezuela:
26 Nov. 2014: While al Qaeda might have longed to take control of a significant nation-state, it primarily remained a sparse, if widespread, terrorist organization. It held no significant territory permanently; it was a movement, not a place. But the Islamic State, as its name suggests, is different. It sees itself as the kernel from which a transnational Islamic state should grow, and it has established itself in Syria and Iraq as a geographical entity. The Future of the Islamic State:
14 Oct. 2012: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: The Intervention Force in Mali.
30 Nov. 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: Consequences for the balance of power between the Brotherhood and the military.
27 Nov., 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: Protesters Storm Muslim Brotherhood Offices.
5 Dec. 2012: The USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast today in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention. Why Assad Won’t Use Chemical Weapons, yet why we should still be worried.
7 Dec. 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: What next with Egypt and Syria to Jordan.
13 Dec. 2012: Will the European Crises soon be over?
20 Dec. 2012: Suitable for Christmas and New Year, the below are just a few of the more than 100 titles about ‘positive thinking’ published this month. Plus then there is ‘The Power of Negative Thinking’ by Bob Knight. The Secret of Positive Thinking, Self Help books and Happiness.
24 Dec. 2012: Of importance to China, the question of the next Dalai Lama is political, not spiritual. The future Dalai Lama:
28 Dec. 2012: Apart from ‘positive thinking’ no other new religious movement coming from the USA has received so much attention as Scientology. Here a complete expose including an update about the signposts for reincarnated Scientologists who come from outer space plus 'could Belgium Bring Down Scientology?' and a review of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief. Enter Scientology:
29 Dec. 2012: Myanmar army jets yesterday fired on positions near the Kachin Capital: China/US, 2013 projection for Myanmar/ Burma.
30 Dec. 2012: What next with Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia: The Arab World in Transition 2013.
31 Dec. 2012: Two of the subjects that will become of increased importance the next months are Europe and the Middle East once more, today: The fate of Europe in 2013.
17 Jan. 2013: Al Quaeda and the Algerian hostage crises plus: Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Morocco, Lybia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal.
18 Jan. 2013: French colonial policy redux or a new chance?: The Next Phase of the Mali Intervention.
20 Jan. 2013: Algerian hostage crises is over: When will Future Attacks take place.
22 Jan. 2013: Long-term conflict brewing in the Middle East: The Sunni-Shia struggle.
26 Aug. 2013: Obama’s Syria and What the Confrontation Will Look Like:
23 Nov. 2013: China creates air defense zone over Japan-controlled islands. As Japan and China increase air activity around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, the United States is steadily increasing its active involvement to reassure Tokyo and send a warning to Beijing. But Beijing may seek an opportunity to challenge U.S. primacy in what China considers its territorial waters. Continue:
17 Sept. 2012: China: "For The Respect Of The Motherland, We Must Go To War With Japan." History as a political weapon:
21 Sept. 2012: The past ten days Salafi led unrest in reaction to an anti-Islamic video spread through the Muslim world. Here a look at who is behind it: The Salafist Resurgence.
15 Oct. 2012: The Start of Europe’s fragmentation.
20 Oct. 2012: Lebanon on a knife-edge: With Turkey moving warplanes to the Syrian border,US troops on standby in Jordan, the new tensions in Lebanon today are widening the influence of the Syrian civil war to neighbouring countries; Background forms the rebel Free Syrian Army supply lines in Lebanon.
24 Oct. 2012: The insurgency in Thailand: Multiple Dilemmas.
27 Oct. 2012: Satellite pictures show hundreds of buildings by Muslim Rohingya are destroyed in the coastal town of Kyaukpyu alone. Myanmar's Shame:
30 Oct. 2012: Lebanon and what next with Syria: Charting the course of future events.
7 Nov 2012: Upcoming turmoil in Asia?
16 Nov. 2012: The Gaza offensive: Egyptian-Israeli relations, other groups than Hamas, wider relevance or importance.
17 Nov. 2012: Iran and the Gaza Offensive: Why the Iranian connection will complicate the situation.
29 Dec. 2011: Iran threatens to block Strait of Hormuz oil route, yet why they will not. (with Iran's Nuclear Sites map).
22 Dec. 2011: Why the European crisis has been solved (for a while).
6 Nov. 2011: Military steps up plans for Iran attack?
27 Oct. 2011: Europe’s Crises Worsening.
3 Oct. 2011: Geopolitical Imperatives of Greece and Consequences of the Coming Default:
31 Aug. 2011: Three days that rocked the world: The Qaddafi libel against Gorbachev and the last days of the Soviet Union
Enter: Arab Spring 2011
Self invented knights of today: The Knights of the Orthodox Order of Saint John Russian Grand Priory (OOSJ) and The Russian Grand Priory Association of the British Isles also called The British Association Russian Grand Priory of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
23 Jan. 2008: According to the Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism, 2005, p. 1049: "Because of the nature of its worldview, Scientology can be seen as belonging within the domain of Western esotericism" (the latter topic I covered in a seminar in 2001 see update here:) Now, following the recent book by Andrew Morton, “Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography” Case Study (updated July 2008): Scientology Unveiled.
18 July 2008: Proceeding from Thomas Craughwell’s recent description in “How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World” I trace the Huns to their Mongol related origin in what is now China, and how close they came to taking Rome: Continue...
22 July 2008: The following three books focus on the time when Turkish troops under Mustafa Kemal (aka Ataturk) took Smyrna. However, they also present an introduction to the larger context of the events in question. As we will next see, some of these issues still play al role in Turkish bid for EU membership, today:
14 Aug. 2008: Case Study: Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East.
5 Sept. 2008: While ‘Science of the Apocalypse’ drew a law suit demanding that the U.S. halt construction, The Telegraph today reports LHG Scientists get "end of the world" death threats. Apocalypse: The History of an Idea.
Why some people believe the Large Hadron Collider cause the end of the world.
6 Sept. 2008: Today Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has made a landmark visit to Armenia. Due to Turkey’s denial of an Armenian genocide, normally such contact would take place. In fact, it is only recently that also Germany’s historical role in the Armenian drama is emerging. And one reason Germany was so complacent in the matter might have been because Wilhelm II hatched a plan where Turkey would be colonized by Germans. Case Study:
8 Sept. 2008: Last week a new High-tech tool for unmasking counterfeit wine was unveiled. Yet it was hard to be sure whether a wine was fraudulent or not-- when even definitions of what “wine” was were not clear. Hence we researched: The Secret Wine Report.
19 Sept. 2008: While a recent book "Alexander Dugin and Extreme Right Networks" claimed neo-Eurasian involvement with the secret services, following a mention by Newsweek and Der Spiegel, the CSM now asks if Alexandr Dugin is really the new sage of the Kremlin. Russian Eurasianism: A New Ideology of Empire?
13 Sept. 2008: Chinese Yellow Turban rebellion, Celestial and Terrestrial Spirits, Taiping Rebellion, Boxer Uprising, Falun Gong. Case Study: The Politics of Qigong.
17 Sept. 2008: Having carefully watched last night’s ABC special “UFOs: Seeing is Believing” we continue with: Investigating, UFOs Seeing is Believing.
24 Sept. 2008: Millenarian Bolshevism and Nazism, Russia's New Map, Analyses of Abimael Guzman’s Shining Path, The Paranoia of Pol Pot's Communism, the Globalization of Genocide, Mongolia and East Germany, Cuba and Bulgaria, Romania and North Korea, Eastern Germany and Soviet Central Asia, Bin Laden's conspirational paranoid , Radical Islam, the Caliphate and Iraq.
28 Sept. 2008: From New Thought to Self Improvement Books:
29 Sept. 2008: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Psychology and Psychiatry:
4 Oct. 2008: Three recent books “Healing, Hype, or Harm?: A Critical Analysis of Complementary or Alternative Medicine”, “Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All" and “Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine” do not only critique alternative medicine, but tells us also a lot about its history. We investigated further: Alternative Medicine in Context.
5 Oct. 2008: But while regulations regarding alternative therapies are now being considered, it might be time to do the same with mainstream medicine today. For example, when do new treatments stop being experimental? We all have a tendency to think that "newer is better" and "more is better" when it comes to medical care. We want to believe the marketing and media hype that describes many modest scientific steps as "lifesaving new technology." Case Study: Medical Advancements to the Test.
14 Oct. 2008: Where today saw the end of a Khmer Rouge trial, early 2009 will see the high level trial of chief interrogator Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch. And while the reason for the genocidal craze remained a mystery to date, we investigated and discovered the utopian longings and delusions of lost or stolen grandeur combined with delusions of persecution along with virulent conspiracy theories. The Why of Khmer Rouge Terror.
7 Jan. 2009: The Problems with Israel and Palestine P2: Geostrategy of the Palestinians.
10 Jan. 2009: The Problems with Israel and Palestine P3: The Palestinian Challenge Beyond Israel.
17 July 2009: Jemaah Islamiah is most likely behind the fatal blasts in two Jakarta hotels today. Jemaah Islamiah and Global Jihad.
25 July 2009: .
20 Oct. 2009: Three days ago a new book appeared on bookstore shelf’s, Christopher Booker‘s long awaited: The Real Global Warming Disaster. The book confirms and partly repeats the information posted here.
9 March 2010:
15 March 2010: The dressing-down from Israel's closest ally over the approval of plans for new homes in Jerusalem during the US vice president's visit continued in full force over the weekend. One solution to leave Jerusalem undivided however would be to internationalize it. A Brief History of the Jerusalem Problem:
10 April 2010: While it will have little effect on the permission for the US to have a transit bases there, it is clear from the April 7 revolution in Kyrgyzstan, that Russia is capable of creating “color revolution”-style uprisings in countries where it wants to increase its influence. And why China might be concerned, plus Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, The Baltic States. Continue:
23 April 2010: Eurozone’s Debt crisis no longer just about Greece. Continue…
16 Jan. 2004:
9 Jan. 2004:
On the left myself as an 18 year old in Afghanistan just before I walked up and trough the Khyber Pass. On the right as an adult in Japan: