“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."

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Why did the Taliban go to Tehran? - In the fight against ISIS, the Taliban has softened its approach toward Iran and Shia groups, says veteran Afghan journalist

Mohammad Tayyab Agha, seated in the center, led an official delegation to Tehran this week. In this file photo, the special assistant to Mulla Mohammad Omar, addresses a press conference in Spin Boldak on 21 November 2001.
Mohammad Tayyab Agha, seated in the center, led an official delegation to Tehran this week. 

In this file photo, the special assistant to Mulla Mohammad Omar, addresses a press conference in Spin Boldak on 21 November 2001. Photograph: Banaras Khan/EPA
Farhad Peikar for Tehran Bureau GUARDIAN
Friday 22 May 2015 14.50 EDTLast modified on Friday 22 May 2015 16.01 EDT
Reports of an official Taliban delegation’s clandestine visit to Iran this week raised eyebrows in both Kabul and Tehran: why would Iran, a Shia powerhouse involved in proxy wars with several Sunni states and sectarian groups in the Middle East, host a radical Sunni militant group on its soil?
The two erstwhile foes once came to the brink of a full-blown war against each other. However, when it comes to regional politicking the two have found much in common, including their fear of the spread of the Islamic State influence in the region.
In 1998, Tehran deployed more than 70,000 forces along the Afghan border in a clear show of military might and threatened to invade Afghanistan and avenge the deaths of at least eight Iranian diplomats at the hands of Taliban in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif that year. Iranian generals predicted they would topple the Taliban regime within 24 hours, but the situation was defused when the United Nations interfered.
Then, when the US-led coalition forces ousted the Taliban in late 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of attacks on 11 September 2001, Iran tacitly supported the operation.
However, more than a decade later, the two archrivals seem to be willing to coexist in the face of the growing threat posed by Isis. This dovetails with another shared goal: pushing the United States and its western allies out of Afghanistan.
While Tehran may not wish to see a return of a Taliban government on its eastern border, Iranian officials would not have a problem seeing the Taliban becoming part of the current western-backed Kabul administration through a much-awaited reconciliation.
It is for this reason that a delegation of Taliban, led by Mohammad Tayyab Agha, visited Iran on Monday and held talks with Iranian leaders. While officials in Tehran denied the visit, Iranian newspapers and Taliban confirmed that the delegation was comprised of Taliban members from their political bureau in Qatar. A Taliban statement said that the delegation discussed a number of issues with Iranian officials, including the current situation in Afghanistan, regional and Islamic world issues, and the condition of Afghan refugees in Iran.
Monday’s visit was not the first time a Taliban delegation has visited Iran. They have already been to the country twice. Two years ago, they even attended an Islamic “vigilance” conference hosted by Iran, according to state media reports.
Given the ideological differences between the two, this tepid friendship between Iran and the Taliban can be explained through regional rivalries and the emergence of Isis in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Isis leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has proclaimed himself as a Caliph of all Muslims, the same title that the one-eyed Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, claimed nearly two decades ago.
Since last fall, the Taliban and a small number of militants have pledged their allegiance to al Baghdadi and raised black Isis flags during several armed skirmishes inside Afghanistan. Although the Taliban themselves repeatedly targeted civilians in the past, its spokesmen have condemned Isis for carrying out a deadly attack in eastern Afghanistan last month that left at least 35 people dead.
Although both groups rival one another in brutal attacks, the Taliban has called on Isis to “avoid extremism” in their war in the Middle East, a plea that al Baghdadi mocked. He reportedly called Mullah Omar “a fool and illiterate warlord” undeserving of a religious title.
Similarly, Iran has been fighting Isis forces through its militia groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Tehran has reportedly sent more than 1,000 military advisers to Iraq, conducted airstrikes against Isis targets, and has spent more than $1b dollars in military aid to Iraq. The last thing Tehran wants is an Isis presence inside Afghanistan, from where the militants could attack targets inside Iran.
Analysis Afghanistan tries to strike balance in escalating Iran-Saudi rivalry
The new Kabul leadership must preserve its strategic ties with the Islamic republic while pursuing better relations with Saudi Arabia, says veteran Afghan journalist 
An Iran-Taliban alliance would not only serve as deterrence vis-à-vis Isis, it could also act as a bargaining chip in Tehran’s relations with the new government in Kabul, whose recent signals of support for Saudi Arabia’s military strikes against Shia factions in Yemen did not go unnoticed. Supporting a fundamental Sunni group could also show that Tehran is not in an all-out-war against Sunni Muslims.
Sectarian violence
During the Taliban regime in the late 1990s, they were accused of ethnic cleansing by massacring Hazaras, a Shia minority ethnic group in Afghanistan, and of burning their villages as they advanced towards northern regions of the country. However, since its ouster, the Taliban has largely avoided sectarian and ethnic undertones in their narratives.
In fact, the Taliban have recently publicly condemned sectarian violence against Shia. When five civilians were reportedly kidnapped and killed in a central region of the country on 17 April, the local officials blamed the Taliban for the killing. However, a Taliban statement rejected the claim a day later, saying the Kabul administration and “certain media” were stoking sectarian violence. It said the Taliban militants on the ground had tried to find and rescue “our Hazara countrymen,” but they were killed before they succeeded.
Additionally, when 31 Hazara passengers were kidnapped on Kabul-Kandahar highway earlier this year (19 were released in an apparent prisoner swap later) the Taliban vehemently denied being behind the abduction. A Taliban statement last month even said that their militants diverted a convoy of Hazaras to protect them from crossfire between their fighters and government forces in the southern region.
Although it is difficult to prove that the recent spate of attacks against Hazaras and Shia are the work of Isis associates or Taliban splinter groups operating without the orders of their leadership, the Taliban’s public positions on the events are noteworthy.
In past months, the Taliban appears to be softening its formerly hostile position towards both Iran and Shia minorities.
When a Saudi Arabia-led coalition began airstrikes against the Houthis, an Iran-backed Shia group in Yemen, in late March, most Sunni Islamic states, including the Afghan government, supported the operation. Hezi Islami, an insurgent group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar that has separately waged war against the Kabul administration, not only supported intervention, but showed readiness to send fighters in support of the Saudi-led operation. However, despite Saudi Arabia being one of the three countries that formally recognized the Taliban regime in 1990s, the Taliban has yet to declare its official position regarding the war in Yemen.
While a public show of cooperation is new for Iran and the Taliban, the two have covertly cooperated in the past. In 2007, Afghan border police officials in the western province of Herat showed this reporter confiscated land mines with clear Iranian trademarks intended for the Taliban in Afghanistan. They blamed Iran for training Taliban near the Iranian holy city of Mashhad.
The same year, Nato officials accused Iran of supplying Taliban with armor-piercing bombs, or explosively formed projectiles, the same weapons that Iran was accused of providing to Iraqi insurgents fighting against US forces. Both sides denied the allegations.
The public rapprochements concerning Iran-Taliban relations proves one thing: when faced with a common enemy – in this case Isis – even archrivals like Iran and the Taliban, which ascribe to opposing radical ideologies, can put aside their sectarian differences for the sake of national and group interests.
Farhad Peikar is a former Afghanistan bureau chief for Deutsche Presse Agentur. This article was written in collaboration with


  1. Why did the Taliban go to Tehran?

    They wanted to fight for civilization, of course.

    Hillary is refusing to take further questions....on anything.

    Friday night meaningless e-mail dump and got of town.

  2. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - now there is a survivor.

  3. Gulbuddin plus Quirk would be unstoppable.

    I'm in a good mood today. Nice news from overseas.

  4. Iran has consistently opposed the Taliban and ISIS.

    The US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have armed ISIS and has trashed Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    The amount of US weapons transferred to the Saudis and Israel is surely north of $100 billion.

    The Saudis continues to bomb Yemen.

    US military bases and war ships surround Iran.

    Israel impedes the Iranian fight against ISIS.

    The Republicans and their masters in Tel Aviv are itching to get the US into war with Iran.

    The Taliban has also reached out to China, Australia, Germany and Japan in the past.
    06 December 2014 Saturday- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani acknowledged Friday a possible mediation role of China in a final peace deal with the Taliban. Addressing a press conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Ghani said “China is acting as a responsible international stakeholder. We welcome the intense dialogue.”
    The Afghan president acknowledged preliminary talks with China about its possible facilitator role,
    The US Government continues to piss away money in the ME ignoring US domestic needs.

    China is building up a global transportation infrastructure that will benefit billions, including a railway across Brazil, a canal across Nicaragua and colossal mining operations in Africa and Afghanistan with associated transportation facilities.

    The US, absurdly, is neglecting its own hundreds of millions, missing opportunities with billions wasting trillions for the supposed benefit of a minor state of seven million who have never done anything positive for the US.

    Go figure.

    1. Jan. 6, 2015

      China has taken the unusual step of a hosting a delegation of Afghan Taliban officials, creating a potential new avenue for peace negotiations between the insurgents and the government in Kabul.

      Current and former Afghan officials said a group of Taliban representatives traveled last month to China to discuss the possibility of opening talks with the Afghan government.

      “The Chinese are positioning themselves in how they can support the reconciliation process,” said an Afghan official familiar with the matter. “There is not going to be a [Taliban] office; the Chinese could provide a venue for talks.”

    2. ISIS and the Taliban are Sunni, the Iranians Shia.

      The United States hasn't 'armed' ISIS.

      ISIS picked up the guns when the Iraqi Army fled.

  5. India and Iran:

    NEW DELHI: India expects the strategic Chabahar port in Iran, which will give sea-land access to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan, to be operational by December next year, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

    Notwithstanding objections from the United States, India inked a strategic deal with Iran for the development of the port earlier this month.

    "Work has already begun on the Chabahar port. There is a joint venture of Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). We will start port activities in a year or a year-and-a-half," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari told PTI in an interview.


    India to Sign Port Deal with Iran, Ignoring US Warnings Against Haste: Report
    In a $100 million move to counter China, India to upgrade Iran's Chabahar port
    He said a draft agreement will be signed within a month in this regard.

    1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also assured Afghan President Ashraf Ghani of India's commitment to building the port.

    2. The Afghan President isn't Taliban and India doesn't get along so well with Pakistan.

  6. Two nations with over a billion people each are expanding trade and opportunities with Iran, the same country that the Republicans want to fight another Neocon war.

  7. The Republicans would be doing Putin a favor killing a normalization of relations with Iran:

    Russia prefers an Iran under sanctions to an Iran that has economic ties with the US, according to journalist and political analyst Konstantin von Eggert.

    "Russian authorities understand that if Iran reaches an agreement with the six major powers, then after sanctions are lifted Iran will be most interested to establish relations (at the very least — trade and economic relations) with the US," he writes.

    Read more:

  8. We need a political party and a president that places US interests and the interests of the American people as number one on the agenda, instead of the perennial subordination to Israeli interests.

  9. A senior Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked the U.S. for blocking a global document at the United Nations aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, a rare bright spot amid strained relations between the two countries.

    The official says Netanyahu spoke to Kerry on Saturday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to discuss the call.

    The document, rejected Friday, had called on the U.N.'s secretary-general to convene the Middle East conference no later than March 2016, regardless of whether Israel and its neighbors agreed on an agenda.

    Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has never declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program. A conference might force Israel to acknowledge it.

  10. US, Israel said to discuss ‘compensation’ in wake of emerging Iran dealAdditional F-35 jets, anti-missile defense batteries reportedly part of package to win Israel’s quiet acceptance of nuclear accord, Israeli media reportsBY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF May 20, 2015

    Israel and the US have reportedly been holding preliminary and unofficial talks over a “compensation” package for Jerusalem that would include the delivery of advanced weapons in exchange for the Netanyahu government’s quiet acceptance of the emerging nuclear deal with Iran.

    The package could include an increase in the number of F-35 fighter jets the US is to supply Israel, and additional batteries for Israel’s anti-missile defense systems, according to reports in both Haaretz (Hebrew) and Yedioth Ahronoth this week.

    A senior Obama administration official told Yedioth that “the White House is willing to pay a hefty price to get some quiet from the Israelis at this point. We are surprised the demand has not been made.”

  11. The US State Department indicated it will approve an arms sale to Israel worth nearly $1.9 billion, adding thousands of bombs, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles to Jerusalem’s armory for “self-defense” needs.

    The details of the possible sale were sent for congressional review this week after being approved by the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Tuesday.

    If the agreement is finalized, Israel will receive a supply of precision-guided munitions consisting of 750 bunker buster bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 4,100 glide bombs, in a deal worth $1.879 billion.

    In addition, the package includes 14,500 missile guidance systems — known as tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions — which convert unguided bombs into GPS guided missiles.

    A shipment of these weapons will enhance Israel’s military capabilities and boost defense cooperation between Israel and the US, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates major arms deals, said in a statement.

    “The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the statement read.

    However spending for American interests is not vital:

    Republicans continue to refuse to raise revenue necessary to fund infrastructure spending (traditional Starve the Beast), the latest application - Starve the Beast 2.0 - looks to hold hostage any and all necessary spending for cuts to other, unfavored, government spending. In that sense, you have to understand the crucial (even threatening) need for infrastructure spending as identical to the "debt ceiling." For Republicans, the hundreds of billions to trillions of unmet infrastructure spending represents a massive, annual golden opportunity to extort draconian cuts to social, regulatory, non-defense spending. That is why Republicans also reject deficit-financing for infrastructure spending (at historically low interest rates) or alternative proposals like a private-public infrastructure bank. The goal here is not to invest in the country, but to seize upon any vulnerability to "drown the government in a bathtub."

  12. WASHINGTON -- Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that his own party is one of the main problems when it comes to finding a path forward on long-term, increased funding for the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems.

    In an interview with The Huffington Post, Inhofe remained optimistic that Congress could act on a six-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund -- but not until the end of the year, and only if Republicans make highways a priority. The trust fund is the federal money pot that pays for the country’s transportation infrastructure, and it’s in a dire state. Without congressional action this week, the fund will expire on May 31.

    Right now, Congress plans to authorize a two-month extension of the fund, which will allow the Transportation Department to continue giving states money for transit projects up to July. After July, however, legislators will need to find an additional funding source for a long-term bill.

  13. Lost jobs, trade, and standing

    One of the most devastating indirect costs of the US alliance with Israel was the Arab oil boycott of 1973. The Arab states imposed the boycott in protest of US support of Israel during the 1973 war, in which Arab countries attacked Israel to try to reclaim lands Israel had invaded and occupied in 1967.

    "Washington's intervention triggered the Arab oil embargo which cost the U.S. doubly: first, due to the oil shortfall, the US lost about $300 billion to $600 billion in GDP; and, second, the US was saddled with another $450 billion in higher oil import costs," wrote Stauffer in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.[18]

    Then there's the cost in lost jobs. "US policy and trade sanctions reduce US exports to the Middle East about $5 billion a year, costing 70,000 or so American jobs," Stauffer estimates. "Not requiring Israel to use its US aid to buy American goods, as is usual in foreign aid, costs another 125,000 jobs."[19]

    But perhaps the most damaging cost to the US has been its loss of standing in the Arab and Muslim worlds, where US largesse towards Israel as it commits human rights violations[20] provokes deep resentment. "To many of the world's Muslims, it places the US taxpayer on the Israeli side of its conflicts with Arabs," observed the Associated Press article.[21]

    According to Harvard professor Stephen Walt, "The 9/11 Commission reported that 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's 'animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with US foreign policy favoring Israel.' Other anti-American terrorists—such as Ramzi Yousef, who led the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center—have offered similar explanations for their anger toward the United States."[22]

    There are many more potential categories of costs that are even more difficult to quantify. All in all, Stauffer estimates that Israel cost the US about $1.6 trillion between 1973 and 2003 alone—more than twice the cost of the Vietnam war.[23]
    Costs since Stauffer's study in 2003

    1. {...}

      Israel's cost to American taxpayers has remained high since Stauffer's 2003 study. The US currently gives Israel an average of $3 billion a year in military aid, under an agreement signed by the Bush administration to transfer $30 billion to Israel over ten years, starting in 2009.[24]

      All of the other extras and costs remain and in some cases have increased since 2003. For example, "Despite a tough economic climate and expected US budget cuts—including drastic cuts to the US military budget—US lawmakers will provide $236 million in fiscal 2012 for the Israeli development of three missile defense programs," reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz.[25]

      In addition, the US government "has provided $205 million to support the Iron Dome, manufactured by Israel's state-owned Raphael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. The system uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up in midair Katyusha-style rockets with ranges of 3 miles to 45 miles, as well as mortar bombs… Legislation moving through the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives would give Israel additional $680 million for the Iron Dome system through 2015."[26]

      And if, as many experts believe, the US would not have invaded Iraq without intense and sustained pressure from Washington insiders who advocate actively on behalf of Israel,[27] this adds yet another dimension of staggering cost to the equation: "hundreds of billions of dollars, 4,000-plus U.S. and allied fatalities, untold tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and many thousands of other US, allied, and Iraqi casualties," according to retired US foreign service officer Shirl McArthur.[28]

      Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda Bilmes put the cost of the Iraq War at over $3 trillion, and incalculably more if you take into account the opportunity costs of the resources spent on this unproductive war. For example, higher oil prices due to the war have had a devastating impact on America's economy, and so have the surging federal debt and the servicing of that debt. Without the war, the 2008 financial crisis almost certainly would not have been as severe, and the Afghanistan war most likely would have been shorter, cheaper, and more effective.[29]

  14. Why do US politicians place the interest of 7 million foreigners over the interest of 315,000,000 Americans?

  15. Replies
    1. Internationally speaking Israel is a poor country.

      No black gold though plenty of talent and brain power.

  16. You are on a roll today.

    But this -

    Why do US politicians place the interest of 7 million foreigners over the interest of 315,000,000 Americans?

    - is a silly question.

    It's because World Jewry owns the U.S. Congress, of course.

    You know that.

    And I was in a good mood.......:(

    1. Owns, nah, they just 'rent' it.

      Those residents can be evicted, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson knows a little bit about that.

    2. If you applied to rent from us you would not have passed our background check.

      We don't rent to those who do business with drug cartels and brag about body counts.

      That is to say, we don't rent to criminals.

    3. Jack HawkinsThu May 14, 01:12:00 PM EDT
      How much cash I got from the cartels is hard to say, but they were happy
      with the body count I gave them…

      I was desperate to raise money for my 350 acres of bottom lands in AZ

  17. Yesterday our contributor, Legionnaire Q, thought it was some how 'bad form' to mention that the ISraeli have had a plan, published in the 1980's, to deconstruct political structure of the Middle East and North Africa.

    Never mind that the facts on the ground mirror the plan.
    To mention it, just not kosher.
    The similarities must just be a coincidence, not the successful implementation of long range planning.
    That is the world that Legionnaire Q resides in.

    I recall that he thought whatever success that Mr Obama had achieved, those could be accounted for by 'luck'.
    He was going to refer to Mr Obama as "Lucky", but that meme seems to have fallen through a crack.

    Not only does he discount the thinking of John Milton who told the world that ...
    "Luck is a residue of design"
    He tells us that ISraeli design has had no impact on outcome, in the Middle East or North Africa.

    He must not believe what FDR told US ...
    "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."
    - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    The thinking that all of life is a matter of coincidence ...
    That the reading of Mein Kempf in 1926, while providing the reader with Hitler's plan would not, in retrospect, have proved that WWII was anything but a happenstance coincidence.

    To think otherwise, embroiling the reader in a batch of 'Conspiracy Theories".
    Attributing the actions of men and countries to luck and coincidence, makes life so much less complicated, for the Legionnaire.

    “It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos.”
    ― Mel Odom

    1. There are only conspiracies, according to our 'military expert' d. rat's ass, who is going to use his 'rat Doctrine' to cleanse Iraq of ISIS by midnight tonight.


      In fact many in the Israeli military warned the US against going into Iraq to depose Saddam in the first place.

      I have posted articles about it right here in this forum.

  18. ‘A Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash, wife killed in taxi crash

    That was a good movie.

    Can the Islamic State Survive?

    MAY 23, 2015

    This story is included with an NYT Opinion subscription.
    Learn more »

    THE fall of an autocrat leads to foreign occupation and civil war. A revolutionary movement with a messianic vision capitalizes on the chaos to gain power. The revolutionaries rule through terror and the promise of utopia, and inspire copycats around the world. But other nations impose a quarantine, internal rivals regain ground, and despite initial successes the new regime seems unlikely to survive — especially once outside powers, including the United States, join the fight against it.

    This is the story to date of the Islamic State, which defied predictions of its imminent collapse by capturing Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria last week. A “tactical setback,” President Obama called these developments, and quite possibly they are; it’s still hard to imagine that the self-styled caliphate can long endure.
    Ross Douthat
    Politics, religion, moral values and higher education.

    But this is also the story of the Soviet Union’s early days, when it seemed highly implausible that a cabal of Bolsheviks would rule the Russian empire for seventy-odd years. When the Bolshevik regime was about the age that the Islamic State is today, the United States, France, and Britain were supporting its White Russian adversaries and landing troops in Russia; Japan and a reborn Poland were pressuring the Bolsheviks from east and west; and the fear instilled by the Red Terror seemed like the primary force keeping the pariah state from crumbling.

    A generation later, that pariah was a global superpower.

    The differences between the two situations are legion, of course. The Bolsheviks controlled key urban and industrial centers, while ISIS is truly dominant only in the Iraqi and Syrian hinterland.............

    1. Yep, the invasion of Russia, by the US and its allies, putting 'boots on the ground', that was an epic Fail

      If there had been 'Close Air Support', back in that day, the allies would have had another option.
      Supporting those 'White Russians' from the air. Which the Ashkenazi that worked for Stalin, implementing the 'Red Terror' would not have been able to answer, in kind.

      Time marches on, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you are living in the past.

    2. Time is indeed marching on. Only sixteen hours until Iraq will be ISIS Free thanks to your 'rat Doctrine'.


    3. Well, the US response was much more anemic than I had predicted, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      No doubt about that.

      Why are you crying?

    4. White Russians

      Lenin was still alive when the Whites were 'marginalized'.

      The Whites were anti-semitic, for the most part. That is one reason some of the Jews went with the Reds.

      Quirk's White Russian Recipe

      Quirk learned early on that's it not the color of a Russian that counts, but the character (and alcohol content) of the Russian that counts.

      This was long before MLK ever thought the idea, in an entirely different context.

  19. But, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson going back to the past, it does illustrate why the Iranians do not 'trust' the "West".

    … after the Bolshevik Revolution no longer did the British and the Russia's act in concert and collusion, but, instead, the two diametrically-opposed systems waged a life- and death struggle in Iran.

    The Bolshevik seizure of power created a far reaching transformation in the character of "power politics."

    The expansionist policies of Tzarist Russia, which had long been in unison with the British, were now replaced by the anti-imperialist and revolutionary policies of the Bolsheviks, especially in regard to the total Russian troop withdrawals from Iran [62].

    The Bolshevik decision to withdraw the Russian troops from Iran in favour of supporting the national liberation forces created a vacuum in Iran which the British attempted to fill. The dynamic impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on the Iranian liberation movement and the discovery and exploitation of huge reservoirs of petroleum in Iran made the British move in the direction of colonising Iran [63].

    Throughout the period from 1918 to 1920, the British permitted officers of Denikin and other white Russian generals to use Iran as a base from which to wage their wars against Lenin's Russia [64].

    Apart from supplies furnished to the anti-Bolshevik Russians, the British troops, under the leadership of Dunsterville, moved north through Iran and, with the aid of Russian white Guards occupied the valuable oil provinces of the Caucasus. These military aggressions by the British forces could hardly fail to attract attention in Moscow [65].

    To Lenin and his associates, the fundamental strategic goal in Iran was to see that the British would fail in their attempt to use Iran as a spring board to attack the Soviet Republic.

    But, apart from this important security principle, the Bolsheviks attached importance to the increasing strategic role of Iran in relation to the outcome of the national liberation movements in the East.

    In fact, the theoretical concept of the Bolsheviks in regard to the "semi-colonial" condition of Iran as well as other Asian countries originated much earlier than the time of the Bolshevik take-over in Russia. As early as 1908, Lenin, noting a new significance in the revolutionary movement in Iran, Turkey, and India, pointed out:
    There shall be no doubt that the age-old British system of plunder in India, and the present struggle of these "progressive" Europeans against Persian....Democracy, will steel millions of proletarians throughout Asia, for a struggle against oppressors

    Yeppers, the "West" was plundering Iran, back when Russia was a "Western Monarchy", then the Brits stepped in, stealing the resources of the region. Might makes right, that's Civilization for you.
    Western Civilization, killed over 100 million folks in wars, in the 20th Century.
    Explain how that makes for "Civilization", Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

    1. Seems that the "West" is much more barbaric than any of the regions of the world it conquered.

      We could study the "Belgian Congo" as an example.

    2. The Europeans bringing "Civilization" to Africa, that is oxymoronic.

      What "Western Civilization" brought to Africa was death, mutilation and subjugation. That is "Occupation"

    3. You are rambling.


      Making zero sense.

      One is forced to admit though that you didn't bring much 'civilization' to Arizona.

    4. In the last decades of the nineteenth century the largely uncharted African continent was overrun by a sudden wave of European imperialist expansion. Driven by nationalist pride, imperial ambitions, and the hope of acquiring vast new economic resources, the leading nations of Europe each sought to claim a piece of the African 'cake' for themselves. The Berlin Conference of 1884 - 1885 formalized many of the major powers' claims in Africa and granted the coveted Congo River basin to King Leopold II of Belgium.

      Initially called the Congo Free State, the colony remained a personal possession of King Leopold II from 1885 until 1908 when it was taken over by the Belgian government and renamed the Belgian Congo.

    5. The Congo Free State as it existed under Leopold II is largely known to history for its brutal exploitation of the native Congolese population and the mass death that resulted. Under Leopold II there were virtually no laws or restrictions protecting the native Congolese and their lands. The peoples of the Congo River basin were forced to work as porters, miners, rubber-tappers, woodcutters, and railway builders for European interests. Because there was little oversight and no form of organized government control Europeans were free to adopt brutal policies of kidnapping, mutilation, robbery, and murder to extract desired labor and resources from the local population.

      The harvesting of rubber was a particularly arduous task. Rubber was in great demand in Europe for use in the manufacture of bicycle and automobile tires. But how could Europeans with limited resources and manpower force large numbers of local peoples to harvest rubber deep in the jungles of Africa? A colonial army called the force publique (public force) was created largely from local Africans and a handful of Belgian officers in order to marshal labor, quell revolts, and enforce the collection of rubber and ivory.

      A common tactic used in the Congo Free State was to demand a certain quota of rubber from each village. Missing a quota was punished violently. It was not uncommon for the hands and feet of men, women, and children to be amputated as punishment for not collecting enough rubber or ivory. Hostages were taken from villages and used as leverage when demanding quotas. Villagers knew that not gathering the specified quota of goods could mean the execution of their their family.
      A Congolese girl with amputated hand A Congolese girl with an amputated hand
      Amputation as punishment Amputation as punishment

      Such inhumane policies drove many villages of the Congo to revolt and resist colonial rule. Rebellions were put down swiftly and violently, often by killing all those who refused to work. The bodies of rebels were often displayed as a warning to others.

      While the death toll in the Congo Free State can never be truly known due to a lack of accurate records, historians have offered estimates as high as 10 million dead between 1885 and 1908.

      There are none so blind as those that will not see, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.


  20. You are the anemic predictor, that is sure.

    Wrong on ISIS.

    Wrong on Zimmerman.

    Wrong on your idiotic idea that all is a conspiracy.

    Wrong on the third building at Ground Zero.

    Wrong on everything.

    Wrong on life itself.

    Basically pyropsychopathic.

    1. No one in the US government, especially the 9-11 Commission will tell US how or why Building 7 collapsed, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson. It was totally ignored in their report.

      No one with a brain who watches the video thinks it is just a 'catastrophic failure' due to a fire.
      Which must be why you think it was.

    2. On Zimmerman, I was correct.
      The government, Mr Obama and the Attorney General were not racists, or Zimmerman would have been prosecuted.
      Granted they did leave him 'twisting in the wind' for quite a while ...

      But they could have destroyed him, and did not.

    3. Section 5(2) Criminal Law Act 1977 [3] preserved the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud.

      Conspiracy to defraud was defined in Scott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis[4] per Viscount Dilhorne:

      "to defraud" ordinarily means … to deprive a person dishonestly of something which is his or of something to which he is or would or might but for the perpetration of the fraud be entitled.

      bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback. …
      My lawyer thought it to be a hell of a good move. He got most of the money. It was tough, in them days. They couldn't do a damn thing about it, I put her in the rest home, age 96. What you going to do, when she is institutionalized?

    4. 33 Conspiracy theories that turn out to be realities.

      1. The Dreyfus Affair:
      2. The Mafia:
      3. MK-ULTRA:
      4. Operation Mockingbird:
      5. Manhattan Project: 
      6. Asbestos:
      7. Watergate:
      8. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study:
      9. Operation Northwoods:
      10. 1990 Testimony of Nayirah:
      11. Counter Intelligence Programs Against Activists in the 60s:  COINTELPRO
      12. The Iran-Contra Affair:
      13. The BCCI Scandal: 
      14. CIA Drug Running in LA:
      15. Gulf of Tonkin Never Happened: 
      16. The Business Plot:  In 1933, group of wealthy businessmen that allegedly included the heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the DuPont family and Senator Prescott Bush tried to recruit Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup against President FDR
      17. July 20, 1944 Conspiracy to Assassinate Hitler: 
      18. Operation Ajax:
      19. Operation Snow White: 
      20. Operation Gladio: 
      21. The CIA Assassinates A Lot Of People (Church Committee):
      22. The New World Order: 
      23. Kennedy Assassination – the 2nd Investigation by Congress Few People Know About, United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA):
      24. 1919 World Series Conspiracy: 
      25. Karen Silkwood: 
      26. CIA Drug Smuggling in Arkansas: 
      27. Bohemian Grove: 
      28. Operation Paperclip:
      29. The Round Table: 
      30. The Illuminati: 
      31. The Trilateral Commission: 
      32. Big Brother or the Shadow Government: 
      33. The Federal Reserve Bank: 


  21. I am turning to Fox News to see what's up with the world.............

    Cheers !

    1. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson getting his FAUX News from the Saudi proxies.

  22. The fruit of European 'Civilization'

    PARIS— No less than other European powers, Belgium proclaimed its colonial mission to be that of spreading civilization. But while Britain and France, say, had global empires, Belgium's attention was focused overwhelmingly on the vast, resource-rich Central African territory of Congo, 75 times larger than Belgium itself. The deal was implicit: in exchange for extracting immense wealth from its colony, Belgium offered schools, roads, Christianity and, yes, civilization.

    Yet Belgium's pride in its colonial past has always been shadowed by a darker history, one marked by two decades of perhaps the cruelest rule ever inflicted on a colonized people and, a half-century later, by a violent intervention in Congolese politics after the country's independence in 1960. This history, long buried, neither taught in schools nor mentioned in public, is now beginning to surface.

    In February, Belgium admitted participating in the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first Prime Minister, and apologized for it. The motivation for the crime was to avoid losing control over Congo's resources, but Belgium steadfastly denied any involvement until new evidence collected by a parliamentary commission last year confirmed the direct role of Belgian agents in carrying out and covering up the murder.

    It would seem that our "Draft Dodger", the one that earned an English Lit degree rather than stand by his country, never read Joseph Conrad.

    1. The Heart of Darkness wasn't about colonialism.

      It was about a heart of darkness.

      The same thing is going to happen to you.

      Freak out.

      In fact you already have:

      Like this

      Jack HawkinsThu May 14, 01:12:00 PM EDT
      How much cash I got from the cartels is hard to say, but they were happy
      with the body count I gave them…

      I was desperate to raise money for my 350 acres of bottom lands in AZ

      Conrad was Polish IIRC.

  23. .

    I recall that he thought whatever success that Mr Obama had achieved, those could be accounted for by 'luck'.
    He was going to refer to Mr Obama as "Lucky", but that meme seems to have fallen through a crack.

    I simply do not recall any of that, rat. I can't recall any situation it would have occurred in given what we have been through under Obama both domestically and in foreign policy. If the meme has 'fallen through a crack', I can only assume its because there have been so few opportunities to use it.

    Just as I yesterday I gave Krugman (a man I dislike) kudos for his early recognition of the mistake of Bush's Iraq war, I have on occasion given Obama kudos for things he has done (though I can't recall one at the moment).

    My usual arguments are not that Obama is lucky but rather that he he is an egoistic politico that is self-centered, detached and disengaged. On foreign policy, I see him as risk-averse and incompetent. On domestic policy, my opinion of him is formed based more on what he hasn't done than on what he has done.


    1. Just more of rat's ass making shit up.

    2. There was a 'Lucky' talked about by Joe Campbell, though.

      Lucky was a Hindu, one of a dozen or so mediating buck naked on a broiling rock, when the Army of Alexandre the Great happened by.......Lucky was the only one interested, and became a camp follower.

      When Alexandre and his Army departed, headed west again, Lucky, who liked Alex a lot, gave him a personal sendoff by having himself burnt to death on a funeral pyre in Al's honor.

      Pics of pyres;_ylt=AwrT6Vu3MGJVvwwAjvUnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Funeral+Pyre&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

      Why he was called Lucky I am uncertain, but Campbell noted that, according to Hindu belief, he, Lucky, would rise high in the heavens for his efforts, and be graced by a blessed birth and life in the next go round.

  24. .

    Yesterday our contributor, Legionnaire Q, thought it was some how 'bad form' to mention that the ISraeli have had a plan, published in the 1980's, to deconstruct political structure of the Middle East and North Africa.

    Never mind that the facts on the ground mirror the plan.

    Let's discuss

    The Yinon Plan

    [Description of the Plan]

    The Yinon Plan keeps popping up here quite a lot so it might be a good idea to reflect on its author, the background for the plan, and what it is and is not.

    The plan gets mentioned a lot in both main stream papers and conspiracy sites. The author, Oded Yinon, has been called everything in various publications from journalist to Israeli Foreign Service official to Israeli Foreign Minister. Actually, at one time he was in the foreign service but at the time he wrote the Yinon Plan he was a journalist. He was never Foreign Minister. Likely, many of the people who talk about the Yinon Plan have never read it and instead talk about what they ‘think’ it says.

    The plan itself. A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties is often represented as an official Israeli policy paper; however, while it is a suggested policy paper, it is not anything official. It was written by a journalist for the the publication Directions the journal of the World Zionist Organization.

    As for the background of the paper, Yinon gives it to us himself at the beginning of the paper. What follows is in the actual paper. When I read it, it appeared to me to be a Jewish version of the Apocalypse.

    In general, Yinon seems to have taken to heart the warnings of the Club of Rome in their publication The Limits of Growth. He foresaw a dystopic future filled with shortages and conflict in a world unable to meet the needs of its expanding population. Those problems would be especially felt in the ME and Africa.

    The paper was written in 1982 in the middle of the Cold War. He expected a nuclear war. Part of this was because of the calculation that the USSR had concluded that a nuclear war could actually be survived and won. Yinon expected that the USSR would win that war and that there would be a major shift in the world with Western Civilization including the US going into decline. The Jewish diaspora throughout the world would be changed negatively and in the end the only refuge for them would be Israel. Israel would no longer be able to depend on old alliances, especially that of the US, for protection or aid. It would be on its own. But it would survive.

    (continued below...)

    1. .

      Within that context, Yinon offered up his plan. The plan itself consisted mainly of a divide and conquer strategy. Not especially original. That strategy was used in WWII, used by the British Empire, by the Romans, by Ramses II, and probably for 1000 or more years before that. Indeed, many of the ideas expressed by Yinon had been expressed previously by numerous other Jewish politicians and thinkers going back to the early 1900’s. What Yinon did recognize was the disfunctional nature and sectarian divide inherent in all the Islamic countries surrounding Israel. Again, not an especially original thought. However, what he did do was put a special emphasis on his belief that at some point each of them would come apart and probably divide into smaller states. He suggested that Israel had to help out that dissolution in any way necessary.

      (continued below...)

    2. .

      [Critique of the Plan]

      IMO, the Yinon Plan was a plan for survival for Israel in a world predicted to go through massive political, economic, and cultural upheavals. What would exist after the turmoil would be a world marked by survival of the fittest. Yinon expected Israel to be one of the survivors.

      Some observers, including general rat, offer up the Yinon Plan as a blueprint for every event that has occurred in the ME and Africa since 1982. Others demur. There will always be disagreements but it has been over thirty years since Yinon put out his plan and we ought to be able judge its predictive value by results.

      First, where Yinon got it right.

      Yinon rightly saw the divisions within the Islamic countries surrounding Israel. He noted the sectarian divides in many countries and the skewed income distribution and tyranny in others. He rightly suggested that there would be internal struggles that would likely tear these countries apart eventually. He also argued that Israel should intervene in these countries to help the dissolution along, something they have done to a degree but nowhere near the direct intervention Yinon was calling for. He also argued for a Greater Israel, something that the right wing in Israel has been calling for since the early 1900’s and which the current government in Israel seems quite comfortable with.

      All the above ‘predictions’ have proven correct. On the other hand, they are hardly original, and given that Yinon was in the foreign service for a while hardly unexpectedly insightful.

      (continued below...)

    3. .

      Now, for the things Yinon got wrong.

      In 1980, Yinon like many fundamentalist Christians felt that the Apocalypse (although of a different type) was right around the corner. His paper was written in 1982 and was a strategy for the 80’s.

      Obviously, Yinon’s vision of the world has not come to pass.

      - There was no nuclear war.

      - The USSR did not prevail in the cold war and in fact no longer exists.
      Western Civilization did not collapse.

      - Yinon projected we would reach the ‘limits to growth’ when world population reached 6 billion. We are now at 7 billion+ and going pretty strong.

      - Yinon predicted the decline of the US and with that the end of US aid to Israel and Egypt. With end of the US aid, he expected the Camp David agreement to fall apart and Egypt to attack Israel. He stressed that Israel had to take back the Sinai because of potential oil reserves there. He then expected Egypt divide into various smaller states with the only viable one being run by the Copts in the north. Obviously, this has not happened.

      - Yinon predicted why and how each of the various states surrounding Israel would come apart. However, he then predicted that Israel, with the most powerful military in the region would become the last man standing and given the limits of Israeli manpower would establish a series of ‘Haddadlands’ (named after Saad Haddad an Israeli puppet in the Lebanese war) subordinate to the Israeli hegemony in the nexuses where these smaller states interface. Obviously, in today’s world this could not exist.

      - Yinon predicted the demise of the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan at which point the palestinians would take over and that Israel would forcibly relocate all Palestinians in Gaza an the West Bank to Jordan. While I am sure there are many in the right wing that would like to see this happen, I would put the chances of it happening at about zero.

      - Yinon predicted the weakening and disappearance of the Jewish Diaspora. While worldwide some may argue with its strength, there is no doubt that in the US the majority of the Diaspora is alive and growing.

      (continued below...)

    4. .


      In my opinion, the Yinon Plan was based on a number of huge assumptions that never played out, assumptions that would have drastically changed the world we live in today. While many of the prescriptions Yinon offers may have had some chance of happening in the world he predicted, many are far less likely to occur today with some of them having zero chance of happening. In those areas were Yinon proved right, I see it more as the result of his experience in the Israeli foreign office and the fact that he was an Israeli living in the midst of the turmoil in the ME than that he was a Near East Nostradamus.

      For those, who cite the Yinon Plan as the blueprint responsible for all the events occurring in the ME, I can only smile. Some people believe in ‘Big Foot’, others believe in the Yinon Plan and the Khazar myth. The conspiracy theorists will latch on to anything to try to make their point. In some instances, there will be events in the ME that match with the overall thrust of the Yinon Plan; however, that is more the case of an experienced blind squirrel finding a nut than of universal blueprint dictating and acted upon in how Israel will dominate all states in the ME.

      My opinion, of course, others may disagree.


    5. Crapper had it that the third building at the Trade Center was blown up by explosives, among many other things he has hallucinated.

      It's ALL a conspiracy !! The whole world is a conspiracy !!

      Don't be some damned polite.

      Just tell the asshole he's crazy.

  25. Hey, guess who won the vote by the Republican Southern Leadership Conference for Prez.

    Dr. Ben Carson, that's who.

    He beat out the Spaniard, and the Cuban, and the Anglo-Saxon.

    Ben was at 25%, the others in the teens.

    Go Ben !

  26. The 1969 Apollo Moon Landing didn't really happen, and Elvis is still with us.

    eh, rat's ass ?

    And as to Zimmerman the Feds concluded there was no evidence whatsoever to charge him with any Federal crime.

    You, however, rat's ass, are a self confessed Criminal:

    Jack HawkinsThu May 14, 01:12:00 PM EDT
    How much cash I got from the cartels is hard to say, but they were happy
    with the body count I gave them…

    I was desperate to raise money for my 350 acres of bottom lands in AZ

  27. And how is the super secret project of such national importance you have going there off the Coasts of Panama, rat's ass ?

    You so seldom seem to speak of it.

    We were all hoping you would be spending the majority of your time there, even all your time there, as you only waste everyone's time here.

  28. ...He also argued that Israel should intervene in these countries to help the dissolution along, something they have done to a degree but nowhere near the direct intervention Yinon was calling for. He also argued for a Greater Israel, something that the right wing in Israel has been calling for since the early 1900’s and which the current government in Israel seems quite comfortable with.

    It seems to me that this part of the argument rests on the fact that Yinon got more than he dreamed for as the US did it for Israel, knowingly or de facto. Therefore, even though Israel got what it wanted, it doesn't get in the record book because the US picked them up and carried them over the finish line.

    1. .

      Right, and Nostradamus predicted the Great Fire of London and the Rise of Hitler.

      Yinon was pissed with Camp David. He argued it was not in Israel's interests. He viewed the Sinai as the source of petroleum and other resources that would carry Israel through the expected lean years. He felt Egypt had about 50% of the resources and power it had in 1967 and in the absence of Camp David could easily roll over Egypt and reclaim the Sinai.

      Yinon didn't predict al Qaeda or ISIS.

      He offered so much more than was wrong than was what was right that it is hard to take his paper as predictive.

      I'm not saying there aren't plenty in Israel who share Yinon's views or that there are some events in the ME that fall in line with what he wanted. However, to think that events have occurred 'because of' people specifically following a blueprint outline in the vision of some journalist in 1982 Israel is a little far fetched to my mind.

      While it might be easy for the conspiracy minded to assume the connections, to my mind the argument is simplistic. Occum's Razor argues against it.


    2. .

      To my mind, anyone who witnessed the dire population claims of the 1970's fall apart and the fall of the USSR would have a hard time getting past the first half of the Yinon Plan and would likely have never made it to the parts talking about helping promote the dissolution of ME countries.

      And let's not forget what Yinon was actually promoting, nor only active intervention by Israel to help the dissolution of other countries but also setting up a series of Haddadlands from which to control the various smaller countries that would develop. While that may be the vision contained in the wet dreams of many Israeli right wingers, they would have to be batshit crazy to think it they would be allowed to do it in today's world. Israel may have Hegemonic dreams but so do other states in the region, Iran, SA, Turkey, etc. But in the end it won't be these minor players who dictate the end game but the big boys, China, the US, Russia.


    3. .

      If Israel wants to achieve those parts of the Yinon Plan that could be considered at least reasonably 'possible', they don't need the Yinon Plan, the vision of some Israeli reporter whose predictive abilities can only be described as questionable. They can simply look at the words and writings of a whole string of Israeli intellectuals and politicians going back to the early 1900's.


    4. ISrael used its US proxy to fulfill the 'plan', Legionnaire.
      Its agents in the US government to drive the US into the fight against Saddam.

      That the "Yinon Plan" was not 'original' does not mean that it invalidates the goals of the plan the ISraeli have been working towards. If anything it validates the ISraeli infatuation with the strategy the 'Plan' embodies.

    5. .

      Frankly, rat, despite his hypocritical mouthings, I doubt whether GWB gave or gives a shit about Irael.