“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a selective target?

Iran Guards 'join US terror list'

The US is preparing to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards force as a foreign terrorist unit, US media reports say.
If confirmed, this will be the first time official armed units of a sovereign state are included in the list of banned terrorist groups.

The classification would allow the US to target the force's finances.

The US has repeatedly accused Iran of destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan, blaming the Revolutionary Guards for supplying and training insurgents.

There are currently 42 organisations on the state department's list of foreign terrorist organisations.

They include al-Qaeda, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

'Price to pay'

Unnamed administration officials told the New York Times and the Washington Post newspapers the decision to list the Revolutionary Guards was close to being announced.

The move was intended to increase the pressure on Iran amid growing concern in Washington that Tehran is funding and supporting insurgents in Iraq and the Taleban in Afghanistan, as well as groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the officials said.

  • Officially the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), or Pasdaran
  • Formed after 1979 revolution
  • Loyal to clerics and counter to regular military
  • Estimated 125,000 troops
  • Includes ground forces, navy, air force, intelligence and special forces
  • Also has political influence: dozens of ex-guard sit as MPs
  • Iran President Ahmadinejad is a former member

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was behind the move to add the Guards to the list, the New York Times reported.

Ms Rice has championed a diplomatic approach to relations with Iran over the past 12 months.

But she was said to have backed the plan after progress on tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme by the UN Security Council became bogged down, the Times said.

Speaking at a news conference last week, President George W Bush hinted at a tougher stance against the Revolutionary Guards, accusing them of meddling across the Middle East.

"When we catch you playing a non-constructive role, there will be a price to pay," Mr Bush said.

The Revolutionary Guards force was established after the Islamic revolution toppled the Shah and brought hard-line clerics to power in Iran in 1979.

It is estimated to have 125,000 active members, and operates separately from Iran's main armed forces, boasting its own ground forces, navy, air force, intelligence and special forces capability.


  1. The good sane folks who will control the nukes. But not to worry, just give sanctions time to work. So far all predictions of action against them have been off the mark. Hell if I know. Wonder how that Iranian nuke scientist is doing, that went missing.

  2. What foolishness.

    Giving the Revolutionary Guard some seperate status from that of the Iranian government and State.

    Like taking the position that the Gestapo was independent from the political leadership of the Third Reich, not a central pillar of the power structure of that regime.

    Half-stepping to Armegedon, that's what this is announcement is indicitve of. Fear, on the part of the US to admit to the realities of the situation. While continuing to fund construction projects in Iran.

    Street theater, that's all this is.

  3. It certainly suggests that becoming a terrorist org simply involves politics.

  4. Keep up on Iranian affairs through this Jewish site--Iranalert

  5. Balance of Terror
    By Michael J. Totten

    Iraq, the Unsustainable.

  6. Noticed in the YouTube video some of the IRG had M16s.

    Man, that makes my blood boil. They looked like A2s as well, which is a post-Shah vintage.

  7. If I was president, I would declare them


    That'll show em.
    Price to be paid, and etc.

    Hey, wait a minute,




  8. Replace the whole bunch with Jewish Lawyers.

    At least then we'd have a shot at winning SOMETHING.

  9. Time to go to BC and see what a master stroke of Genius this is that is beyond my ability to divine on my own.

  10. "The other aspect is that a version of the Air Policing approach will probably work just fine in Afghanistan, at least now. Sorry folks, but I really don’t think that there is a band of bandits holed up in the village of Wherzmyroof matters. All that matters is that the guy in charge of Kabul is not giving us the finger when we tell him what we need to do. So the Pashtun are p.o.ed at not getting a piece of the action? Big Freakin’ Deal! As Wretchard’s fellow Aussie, Olivia Newton John might say, let them sing, “Please Mr. Please, don’t play B-52…”

    I mean, what are they gonna do, cut off our access to Chinese silk? "

    I guess the Taliban in Afghanistan was an imminent danger and led to 9-11, but...



  11. Now I get it:
    Compartmentalized thinking wins the day:

    They are only talking about Afghanistan, my Waziristan comment is off topic, so none of that matters, at least in that thread.

    They should all work for the Whitehouse.
    Never seen such mass-denial on "my" side in my lifetime.

  12. exactly, doug.

    Give those Iranians a Billion dollars over four years, we'll get SO MUCH good intel for it.

    Based upon the US standards of proof that the Iranians are backing Iraqi militias. Basicly that the weapons were made in or transitted Iran, the US is guilty of backing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as b d-day relates. All those US weapons in jihadist hands. US weapons in the hands of the PKK, as well.

    We also back the militias that ambush US and British troops, via the Iraqi Security forces. Those 100,000 missing weapons.

    Pot callin' the kettle black, from an outsiders perspective.

    Mr Trotten's report all the more unsettling, as the statistical reports will show those US troops as being very successful in their mission. But only because the enemy has granted that particular post a lull, due to the proximity of the enemy/allies.

    Half-steppin' to armegedon.

  13. Nahncee says those betrayed informants in Basra can go to Hell, so I guess Intel is easy to come by over there, we'll just get some more, now that we need them.

    Didn't finish Totten yet, but the first page is bad enough.
    Can't blame the Iraqi for crying.
    Nahncee would call him a worthless Wuss and move on.

  14. The depth of denial there at the BC never ceases to amaze, this fellow takes the cake ...

    "... At least GWB has had a direction he wanted to go in. This produces an environment which generates a lot of learning by the armed forces, building up assets and strength that we need.

    Obviously he is not well informed.
    The US equipment is worn out, deferred maintainence sky rocketing.

    As to the men, well we're in a world of hert there, as well

    The Army is also having problems filling its officer requirements. For example, the Active Component was short some 3,000 officers in 2006 and according to projections the shortage will increase to over 3,500 by next year. Meanwhile, the Guard and Reserve confront a shortfall of nearly 7,500 officers.8 Recent declines in retention rates of West Point graduates are also a source of concern.9
    Under these conditions, despite the Army’s shortage of soldiers—both in quantity and quality—it will take five years to increase its ranks by 35,000.

    Jr went up to the Navajo Depot on his Nat Gaurd drill, this past weekend. Rifle range time.
    His group of 11Bravos, 50 or so patriots, they had a dozen individual weapons between them.

    All the M16 varients they had.

    On the non-pessimistic tone
    In a grim report that helped send mortgage stocks reeling, No. 1 home lender Countrywide Financial Corp. said Tuesday that foreclosures and delinquencies jumped in July to the highest levels in more than five years.

    The company's monthly report also shows that its volume of new loans to people with poor credit has sharply contracted despite the disappearance since last year of scores of smaller rivals that specialized in sub-prime mortgages.

    A spokesman for Calabasas-based Countrywide said Tuesday that layoffs were possible. The company's stock sank 8%.

    Countrywide said mortgages in foreclosure surged in July to 0.79% of the loans it serviced from 0.48% a year earlier and 0.74% in June.

    Delinquent loans accounted for 5.1% of the mortgages on which Countrywide collects payments, up from 4.11% a year earlier and 4.98% in June.
    Countrywide said its sub-prime lending in July totaled $1.8 billion, down 46% from $3.35 billion in July 2006. The company made 14% fewer home loans in July than in June. Daily mortgage applications fell 15%.

    Except for government-sponsored mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which purchase mainly loans to customers with good credit, the secondary market for home loans "is just not working," Piper Jaffray analyst Robert Napoli said in a note to clients.

    By concentrating on loans that Fannie and Freddie will buy and by taking advantage of turmoil in the industry, Napoli said, Countrywide could significantly boost its market share.

    Countrywide "loses a competitor or two virtually every day" and "has the liquidity to work its way through the current environment," he said, "but it is still not an easy time."

    You see, there is good news out there, Dow 13,000 and headed south.
    Time to buy!

  15. Karl Rove said today Hillary will be the democratic nominee, but that she won't be elected President. Too many negatives.

    If Karl says it, don't discount it.

  16. Something I heard on the Medved Show today--interviewing Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch. This old vet from WW2 calls in and says he was in North Africa for 18 months. "I know these people" Says he knows how to stop this suicide bombing. "Ok, how, but be quick, break coming up" He explains the old bury them in pork idea. (How you do this with a suicide bomber I don't know--parts I quess;) Medved kinda poo-poos then turns to Spencer. He says, surprisingly, I wouldn't totally discount that. He says, their concept of Paradise is so physical, and their idea of the purity needed to enter is so real, that it's worth a try. He says, some are more sophisticated than that, but the idea is not quite the whacky urban legend deal it sounds to be, and would be a deterrent to some. Besides, the sophisticates aren't the ones blowing themselves up.

    Have at it.

  17. :):)

    Fight infertility for Mother Russia

    LOL to myself. What a crazy place to world seems to be.

  18. I wonder-there might be some good fishing around the Urals.

  19. "He says, their concept of Paradise is *so physical,* and their idea of the purity needed to enter is *so real,* that it's worth a try."

    Meanwhile, we've abstracted ourselves away from reality, with dreams of death-free wars, triumphalist talk about our
    "superior networked Intel"

    and a wholesale re-definition of things like

    "winning," and "victory." least we don't throw the words around much anymore.

    Also don't hold anyone accountable for saying something is an existential threat one year, and then redefining it as a legal matter 2 years later.

  20. Speaking at a news conference last week, President George W Bush hinted at a tougher stance against the Revolutionary Guards, accusing them of meddling across the Middle East.

    "When we catch you playing a non-constructive role, there will be a price to pay," Mr Bush said.


    No quotation marks around meddling, but the administration has in the past chosen that word often enough in this specific regard: meddling. "Non-constructive role" is even better. So Iran has a constructive role to play, if only it would do so to our satisfaction. But it doesn't so we contemplate adding the Revolutionary Guards, a non-governmental organization, to a meaningless shit list so that we can go to Teheran with a clean conscience.

    And wouldn't it be funny - wouldn't it be ironic (in the words of Alannis Morrisette) - if one of these days, the Revolutionary Guards ended up being our Northern Alliance in Iran.

  21. Ironic, that'd be a word for it, alright.

  22. Do not watch this if you suffer from nightmares.

  23. That ol' boy's got the biggest ear lobes I've ever seen in my life.

  24. Deuce, Why did you just waste 60 seconds, or so, of my life? I'll NEVER get that back. It's Gone. Thanks a lot.

  25. there is something to be said for euthanasia...

  26. My son was in the next room and heard that, and yelled:
    "Dad, you're talking to yourself again!"

  27. So that's what weather looks like.
    All we get here is sun and heat, heat and sun.

    Sometimes the thunderheads roll in during the afternoon. Usually dry lightning shows, rain, not much, not often.

  28. Must have rained like hell in Hilo.

  29. Guess the Age of the Lady in Red,

    Before you go here to read about the lady that runs the above-ground black market in Mexico City.
    Mexico City's princess and the paupers.

  30. Yeah, rains a LOT in Hilo, even on normal days they get regular precip.
    Very clean and pretty, but my favorite climate is the valley's behind Honolulu, where you get plenty of rain to keep things clean and green, but plenty of sunshine too.
    ...and massive quantities of pure underground water.

    ...Must be why they put Honolulu there!