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19 February 2014


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Babak Makkinejad

EU Is sanctioning her customers in Syria and in Iran.

She destroyed another one in Libya.

This is not about economics.

Babak Makkinejad

Why is Australia so adamantly against Iran?

Or Syria?

When did Iran or Syria become enemies of Australia?

Or are you, like CP, are going to hide behind US and claim that US brow-beat poor Australia into toeing the "Party Line"?

To me, it looks almost religious - Christians against Shia Muslims and their allies....

Babak Makkinejad


I am really sick and tired of all these people who are unwilling to accept their own countries' significant contributions to wars in Syria and elsewhere.

Why was Spain attaching Iraq?

Or Poland?

Why did a European coalition of the Willing destroy Qaddafi?

[And even then the pathetic Europeans had to run to US for help.]

Why is Iran and Syria enemies of Australia or Austria?

And please spare me the bad bad American wolf putting a gun to the head of the political leaders of these states and threatening to pull the trigger.


Sorry, Babak Makkinejad,

your arguments do not make sense:

Why should we Europeans invest political capital to address "Muslim sensibilities in regards to the 2 mosques on the Temple Mont" etc. when the perceived ROI is considered piss poor.

Think in terms of differential costs. Only if the costs of the alternative are smaller than the support of some problematic US politics, the investmet makes sense.

Or with a different POV: As long as you do not comprehend the basic fact, that most muslimic states do not offer any reasonable "gain", and here your take of religion is ONE your basic problemS, it is IMHO a little bit naive to expect dramatic changes only 20 years after the end of the cold war.

"There is no qualitative difference between EU and US when comes to Iran, Syria, Ukraine, and Russia - in my opinion."

Maybe your opinion is the issue. :-) Or do you really assume that Poland or Germany can afford stupid stunts in respect to Russia as we saw in the last months on the other side of the Atlantic?


CP and Walrus comments suggested

Faust complex
Grand Inquisitor complex
Dragon slayer complex
Quixote complex

as political occupational disorders. need a DSM-POD.


Re: "The R2P crowd are no different from hard core marxists in my opinion".

Well, the neocons at their root are Trotzkyites.

I think you are quite right when you point out that this is about academics and true believers who believe they have found the answer.

They are all ignoring reality.

The neocons IMO read Hegel's philosophy like a cooking recipe for how to hurry up history.

That is to me what underlies the neo-con and neo-liberal (economic shock therapy?) ideas about 'creative destruction' - the notion that if one produces an antithesis (destruction) to a thesis (status quo) something wonderful will inevitably result as a synhesis.

One only is not afraid of this when one believes in that synthesis being determinable, like when one believes in an end of history that history marhes towards, in which all mankind will finally be as awesome as the US, the pinnacle of civilsation - like when one thinks that the world is flat.

Iraq and Libya as exemples for synthesis ought to be a stark warning in theis regard.

I read iirc in Emerald City that initially Lord Bremer of Baghdad found it not necessary to regulate or organise anything in Iraq because he apparently expected that spontaneous order would emerge from the ashes of the bombed and then looted city. Alas, it didn't. What a pity. Maybe, there is no such thing as a free lunch after all?

Or take a neo-liberal lunatic like Milton Friedman, who insists that the market is simply self regulating, just as if the laws and regulations that shape the market don't exist.

You want people to buy smaller cars? Enact a gasoline tax, and the market will change. You punish fraudulent miscreants like the Wallstteet looters and the behaviour of market participants will change. You don't need a mathematical model for that. Ecomnomic orthodoxy maintains that it is all about numbers. This is wrongheaded stuff being taught at western universities.

As far as utopianism is converned, neocons, marxists, a bleeding heard do-gooder types have nothing on neo-liberals.

The only difference is the flavour of utopia they pursue.


Tom in Texas,

I was once in a fairly significant bar brawl in scenic downtown Beeville TX. My experience was real Texas cowboys could throw a punch and take one too. After the brawl those of us who could ,had another beer together. It was all part of the game.

If I upset you, maybe you should consider changing your handle to: oh say,"Tommy of Brookline Massachusetts". As for our German friends sensitive natures, history has shown, at the end of the day, they do a damn fine job of taking care of themselves.

Charles I

Frankfurt bankers tapped into the FED.

Charles I

I can't see avoiding it. With our astounding unprecedented personal agency and technological prowess we are still personally and socially in The Cave. Ditto foreign policy apparently.

Once I sorta came to, and began to see the connections and obfuscations between the reality bone and the delusional bone(s), it seemed to me that civilization would greatly benefit if we could insert some explicit emotional intelligence component into primary school. Bit of self awareness and self-control would go a long way toward providing better leadership IMHO.

Of course it'd take a lot of pointy heads to design that to everyone's liking, its hopeless, we can't even get our heads together around sex and death.

William R. Cumming

Thanks David!

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

Have it your way:

What is the ROI in supporting Israel to the hilt when she invades Lebanon or murders Palestinians?

How much money does Germany make from the murder or the humiliation of each Palestinian or Lebanese?

Please put a Euro price on that.

What is the reasonable gain for EU in making 20 million people poorer?

Funny you mention Poland - there were more that 20,000 Polish refugees in Iran during World War II - yet that state also has an anti-Iran posture.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

Actually, Michael MccGwire has argued for half a century, ever since he began contributing to an in-house Royal Navy journal in the early Sixties, that our ‘independent nuclear deterrent’ was quite worthless and should be scrapped. A more recent version of his argument is in 2006 paper ‘Comfort blanket or weapon of war: what is Trident for?’

(See http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/International%20Affairs/Blanket%20File%20Import/inta_559.pdf )

In his 2005 paper ‘The rise and fall of the NPT: an opportunity for Britain’, MccGwire sets out reasons why Iran – in contrast to the U.K. have precisely the kind of urgent security concerns to which nuclear ‘deterrence’ is liable to be seen as the only possible response.

(See http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/International%20Affairs/2005/inta_441.pdf )

From mid-1987 onwards, MccGwire was arguing that the so-called ‘new thinking’ introduced by Gorbachev was not simply propaganda, but involved a fundamental rethinking of Soviet security policy. And he has consistently argued that the likely long-term alternative to the adoption of Gorbachev’s agenda for the abolition of nuclear weapons – which was also Kennan’s – is the widespread proliferation of such weapons, and their eventual inevitable use.

I have been in two minds about this, as the agenda seems to depend upon an assumption that states can act ‘rationally’ for which I can see little evidence. On the other hand, the directions in which American, and European, security policy are headed seem to me fraught with potentiality for catastrophe.

In comments on this thread, ‘walrus’ has once again harked back to Dostoevsky’s polemic against the notion that ‘the ends justify the means.’ Arguments about ends and means are liable to be acutely complex and difficult. But the policies adopted by the Americans and Europeans towards Iran, Syria, and Ukraine seem to involve the worst of all possible words: a patent lack of concern with the physical suffering they inflict, combined with a complete absence of cold Machiavellian calculation about likely consequences.


My admiration.

David Habakkuk


‘And part of their national narrative is that they won the Cold War (I'm not so sure), and won it through militarsy strength (again, I'm not so sure).’

Precisely the people who have most vociferously argued that the Cold War was ‘won’ through ‘military strength’ are those who were caught completely by surprise by the so-called ‘new thinking’ introduced by Gorbachev, and remained in denial right through until the Soviet Union disintegrated.

And even then they kept gibbering on about ‘reversibility.’ I used to think that if they had been alive at the time of the French Revolution, they would have watched the execution and of Louis XVI and then said sagely that anyone who did not grasp that his head might pop back onto his shoulders was a naïve fool.

There are important military dimensions in the disintegration of Soviet communism, but they are only part of a complex picture. A fundamental problem is that within the intellectual frameworks of their own version of nationalism, there was no way in which Americans could understand their own success.

Because the ‘truths’ of the ‘American creed’ were held to be self-evident, it followed – and continues to follow – that failure to embrace them could only be explained as a result either of ignorance of evil will.

The complete collapse of confidence in their own system and ideology among intelligent elements of the Soviet ‘nomenklatura’ – as distinct from the Orwellian ‘pigs’ who made up a great part of the country’s elites – was something which American elites simply did not understand. Their intellectual frameworks ruled out the possibility that elite opinion could dramatically shift.

Part of this collapse had to do with the fact that members of these elites were looking at themselves in the mirror, and not liking what they saw. This mirror was provided in large measure by the contrast provided by the extraordinary success of the post-war ‘Pax Americana’ in Western Europe and East Asia – although the rediscovery of suppressed elements in the Russian past was also critical.

That the widespread pro-American euphoria among the Soviet elite at the end of the Eighties has dissipated is, to my mind, sad: and doubtless, somewhere down in hell the old Georgian mafioso is laughing, and saying ‘I told you so’.

The more important aspect, however, has to do with the extraordinary, and perhaps fatal, damage which has been done to the United States by the widespread acceptance of the view that the retreat and collapse of Soviet power represents a vindication of militaristic thinking and militaristic approaches.


I am curious as to your take on the Fed's ability to call the ECB's shots.

You are also exactly right. At the end of the day for the entire planet it comes down to energy and demographics.

Babak Makkinejad


When will EU sanction Israel?


When Will Canada and Australia sanction Israel?



Spain and Poland, those were tokens to keep the US from screwing their economies.


Babak Makkinejad

I understand what they were; I am suggesting that those two, as well as other EU states, love to be tokens.

But it is at all times the fault of US, Neo-Cons, AIPAC, Tea Party and others that they are assigned that role.

No, indeed, EU states are paragons of virginal virtue which has been soiled by the uncouth brute from across the ocean....

[Cynics might say that a certain exchange of value took place before the consummation of the deal...]

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

The quotation from Dostoyevsky in the posting by Walrus above is symptomatic of the intellectual affliction reigning over men evidently everywhere since the publication of the Principia by Newton.

That is, if material objects could be subject to the 4 laws of Newton, then social formations and polities must be also subject to such laws of motion.

Once those laws are discovered, then societies could be re-organized/engineered the way any mechanism could be disassembled, re-designed, and re-assembled.

This is the assumption underlying Dostoyevsky's polemic.

If you are like me and reject Human-Society-as-Machine paradigm, then you know what Dostoyevsky poses is an impossibility and with it his rhetoric looses much of its cogency.


The beaver,

Thanks, it appears Isao Iijimia is part of the problem. Your link's author provided the answer to my suspicion that whenever there is a Belligerent and Stupid policy a neo-con is around.

"During his December visit, Iijima purposely avoided contact with experts and officials euphemistically known in Washington as the “Ampo Mafia” (“Security Treaty Mafia”), the don of which is Richard Armitage, the former US deputy secretary of State. Instead, he sought out “neo-con” critics of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy, whom he calculated would be sympathetic to Abe’s nationalistic antipathies toward China."

Contrary to the Protesting Persian here, affluently influential policy factions can bring about their will when they have crewmembers steering the ship of state. That society has to clean up the resulting wreckage of the delirious and delusional is the comma replacing their period at the end of history. And the Tao turns on...


I think Publius Varus could have given the same speech. Where are the 17th, 18th and 19th now?


To Babak

yes, that is indeed the tragedy, there are people around who still think in this mechanistic, deterministic manner.

The irony of Americas position now is that the nation was originally "The Great Experiment" challenging the then orthodoxy. Now of course the majority believe that the experiment was a success and the orthodoxy is that its fruits can be replicated anywhere by the simple means of holding "democratic" elections.

This is just as bad as "scientific" Marxsism in some ways. However I'm unsure of the pivotal work of scholarship - the armature of the democratic belief system.

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