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13 November 2013


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sorry, Pat, this was a ill corrected and reflected note. Really superfluous information. Simply remained on my mind, maybe because I would still like to know how old he is and where from. In any case the experience suggested that Babak would not get an answer either. Did he?

"How would that have made a difference?"

Ok, it did make one for me at one point, more precisely the results of re-education in its reality on the ground.

When he used the term it triggered old memories of my struggle with an authoritiarian headmaster, who got me locked out of the cities archives at one point.

Anyway that was in the South "re-education" was called „mission civilisatrice“ there. The French were in charge, at least on practical administrative terms. They were also in charge to select the teachers and had quite a few troubles in the process. ...

But compared to then I now understand how difficult it must have been at the time. Nevertheless close to two decades ago, I tried again to find out why they started down there only in 1972/73 to treat the Nazi period in high schools. There were much earlier agreements that seemed to suggest otherwise. At that point my early experience repeated itself, again no access to the archives. Hmmm? I could try again.


Mr Najjar
While it is possible the various Salafists or rebels are pushed to extremism by the Assad government (using the Russia in Chechnya playbook) one cannot deny that the way salafists treat Shia and other unbelievers is common from Pakistan through Iraq and into Syria. In other words they are behaving as they always do.
In terms of Hezbollah's involvement my take is that they were slow to send combat units to Syria, for sure they were not the first Lebanese based fighters in Syria, that honor belongs to various rebels. Hezbollah's main goal seems to be to defend against Israel, not to fight Sunnis.
You also stated that the main benefactors of a prolonged conflict were AQ and Hezbollah. Please read e.g Chomsky how Syria was identified as the weak link between Hezbollah and Iran. Saudi and Israeli clearly have an interest in common here.


If I may address that, Albayim, "progress of Islamism in Turkey" has hit its logical limits. If not for becoming clearly obvious for what it is, palpable to anyone except those who has a material stake in Islamism's advance in Turkey.

Islamism has not been challenged seriously in the last decade or so for several reasons, one being the economic surge, other being the social/ethnic class tectonic shift. Third being the ideological putsch exercised in all levels of state apparatus. All hit their limits, and metal fatique is setting in.

Interfering with the election process, or even thinking about curtailing them is unthinkable for even Erdogan, it will be his death pell. And believe me, there are a lot of challengers in Turkey by nature, especially since there is always the legacy of Ataturk, still alive.

One good indicator is the number of visitors to Ataturk's tomb on anniversary of his passing, 1,100,000 this November 10th, highest ever.

Norbert M Salamon

Or perhaps Mr. Erdogan is planning a Putin .Mendeleev solution with the possible help of Mr. Gur.

FB Ali

I am frankly baffled by the policies being followed by Erdogan (and Davotuglu). It seems Abdullah Gul has more sense. I fear if Erdogan becomes President he will be able to run wild.

Seems a great shame!


Thanks Babak, what you intimated and what a Sunni Muslim wrote about the event somewhere else helped me to understand that I really never understood the event. Incidentally shortly before the attack in Karbala, which put matters in context.

And information like the one below, slightly unhistorical it feels, wouldn't have helped me either.


In any case, this article would give me the same superficial and false impression, as what I read by now. Hard to understand these matters without a basic grasp of the history of the region.

Medicine Man

I was recently reading more about Kemal Mustafa Ataturk. He was a rare individual. I'm somewhat shocked that Erdogan got away with calling Ataturk and İsmet İnönü "those two drunks".


"While it is possible the various Salafists or rebels are pushed to extremism by the Assad government (using the Russia in Chechnya playbook) one cannot deny that the way salafists treat Shia and other unbelievers is common from Pakistan through Iraq and into Syria."

I mean, that is it, isn't it? Syrian opposition supporters are often quick to excuse opposition atrocities with references to the Assad regime's brutality. I don't think that cuts it.

It didn't take Assad for Jihadis to cut Daniel Pearl's head off not to mention all the other unfortunate folks). These nuts are just like that wherever they go.

When the Syrian rebels of the various factions habitually execute wounded and prisoners and torture people that simply makes them criminal scum. In the end people are responsible for their own actions.

And, but perish the thought, sometimes when rebels hold hapless foreigners for ransom, I can't help thinking that they may just do it for their material gain, and not because the revolution demands it.

These apologetics somewhat remind me of US utterances to the effect that the looting in Baghdad only was so bad because Saddam was so repressive and the folks just had to let steam, and about Freedom (tm) being untidy and all that.

At least to me old Philistine there is nothing obvious in what Saddam did that explains why someone would loot a building to a shell in response. The looting had nothing to do with Saddam. Probably the looters were merely taking criminal advantage of an opportinity.



"Now, given the history of the 30-year War in Germany, why did Europeans support this policy?"

Likely, when one looks at some of the actors, because they don't what the thirty year was about, if they know that it happened. Hollande for one gives me that distinct feeling.

I assume that, when compared to those with the political science or BS background, lawywers have a slight edge there, because they may subconsciously remember to have heard the phrase 'Westfalian Order' at some time in their lecture slumber, if they didn't skip international law altogether.

'History is not where the money is', and most study programs don't encourage their students to pursue that because as far as grading goes, side topics like history are not 'grade bringers' and thus neglected.

Sadly, that probably isn't any different in Europe than in the US.

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