6 remaining questions from 2020

Gawd, that year.

Looking back, there are still some issues we never got to the bottom of:

1. Why was Soleimani visiting Baghdad anyway?
According to some sources, he was there to carry a conciliatory message to Saudi Arabia:

Iran’s most powerful general Qassem Soleimani was carrying a message about Tehran’s desire to resolve tensions with Saudi Arabia when he was killed by an American drone strike last month.

Iran wants to resolve differences with Gulf states Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “as quickly as possible”, Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq told the Iraqi state news agency in an interview published on Tuesday (local time).

Was the assassination really about eliminating a US enemy and reducing Iranian influence?

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The ancient struggle

https://assets2.rappler.com/F12E13952661434299AD81541108F173/img/F03B6FC2B07E4426908B852DF83ABBD0/Missing-Watchtowers-Ilocos-Region-July-31-2019-2.jpg
Source: https://www.rappler.com/nation/the-missing-spanish-period-watchtowers-ilocos-norte

A stone’s throw from my house there’s an old Spanish watchtower. It’s similar to the one in the photo but made of large, coral bricks and is even more overgrown.

During the Christmas celebration in the park I heard about its history. Long ago, Moro raiders would come and kidnap people from the area into slavery. When the Spanish arrived they built forts like this to hold them off and the attacks diminished, leading to an increased population as locals took advantage of the security to develop the area.

The clergyman giving the speech gave all the credit to the Church, which seems a bit unfair to the guys with the guns.

I remembered that these days the Moro continue to steal people from other islands, though now it is to hold them hostage. Foreigners are often targeted as their families may be able to pay a larger ransom.

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