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08 February 2015


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Indeed, by that argument, Churchill was a criminal and the Battle of Britain a colossally foolish enterprise when England was fighting alone against the NAZI Germany which commanded the resources of an entire country.

Stalin was the butcher who presided over the death of 25 million people in USSR; all could have been avoided had he surrendered and accepted that "Slave were to be slaves" in the new Pan-European NAZI dispensation.

I wonder what these propagandist would do if some unsavory characters invade their homes; offer their wives and kids to avoid bloodshed?



Speaking of Ziocons, we should all be reaching out to support anyone who doesn't attend the lecture

The chutzpah!



Amen and perhaps the Spanish Republic should have surrendered early to Franco. pl


Of course Lincoln should have accepted Southern secession.


It's provocation. It's like appointing a Leona Helmsley be an advocate/enforcer for radical political feminism.

If anybody remembers Leona Helmsley ...

William R. Cumming

Apparently many Republicans against updating the 2001 AUMF to reflect current situation.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

As a nation we're not very good at playing the long game--everything has an urgency to it driven by politics and self-interested parties.

The best we can (and should) do when it comes to regime change is to lay the foundations for conditions to arise that helps the offending regime collapse. For example, the Cold War. Even then the outcome may not be to our liking. For example, Putin.

But I guess we're exceptional so we keep on calling for the same tactics and expect different results.

Oh wait, isn't that the definition of insanity?

Charles I

I don't know where I saw it, but I saw a claim that ISIS are the very same people that had to rebel against Assad after he wouldn't negotiate with them in the first place, so their existence is all his fault, ergo he, as the cause, needs to go.

So WE can fight ISIS on Syrians behalf.

Charles I

Act, via End The Occupation's petition portal


or via Jewish Voices For Peace:




I'm curious as to whether this article in today's NYT fits the "Ziocon" PR narrative...

I certainly see a connection. BTW, I am also the offspring of the non - "Holocaust survivor" displaced persons faction. Also, this is a smear of General George Patton. Unbelievable!


different clue


"Only the little people pay taxes."

--Leona Helmsley


When Cromwell had his army give no quarter at Drogheda, he justified that with the inhabitants not surrendering, thus forcing him to undertake risky urban combat. Maybe we're back at that?

Perhaps Washington then should have surrendered to George III, after all, fighting on only prolonged the conflict?

Or put that on its head for effect:

By the logic of reason of state George III was acting reasonably in not accepting the insurrection in the colonies.

Lincoln acted by the reason of state when trying to maintain the union even in ligth of secession and a practice as divisive as slavery. It was never just about state rights.

Assad, in trying to restore order, was and is likewise acting for reason of state.

To get the idea: Look at how Ferguson reacted to the protests there. Or at the NYPD and Occupy. That is what states do in face of unrest. They assert themselves. Use of coercion and force is not generally indicative of tyranny but also a characteristic of law enforcement.

The US in their pursuit of regime change blur that reality by asserting that the targeted regime is so corrupt that it is 'no longer legitimate', only self-serving and not acting for reason of state.

But that is propaganda and not reality. The pity for US policy is that for the regime change game to work, they must stay on message anyway. Once demonisation has started, there is no turning back the volume. That, of course, leads into a conundrum.

Once the premise of the enterprise is firmly rooted in fiction, the actors start to act within that wholly fictitious framework.

The only thing that can allow reality to assert itself through all the self-delusion is a deft kick in the balls, like utter failure of proportions that really can no longer be reasonably spun away because doing so would take on absolutely absurd proportions (think Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf).

Just look at Syria:

As a yong Ba'ath activist, Assad's father was iirc stabbed by Muslim Brotherhood cadres in streetfighting in Syria's tumultous politics. In 1980 Muslim brothers almost succeeded in assassinating him in a wave of Islamist terror that swept Syria and targeted Ba'th and Alawis, inmidst of Ba'ath counter-terror.

That his son, in light of this history, does not want to deliver his kin to Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers should not come as a surprise. He has no reason to trust them at all.


"Widescale assassinations led up to 16 June 1979 slaughter of cadets at the Aleppo Artillery School. On that day a member of school staff, Captain Ibrahim Yusuf, assembled the cadets in the dining-hall and then let in the gunmen who opened fire on the cadets. According to the official report 32 young men were killed. Unofficial sources say the "death toll was as high as 83."[9] This attack was the work of Tali'a muqatila, or Fighting Vanguard, a Sunni Islamist guerrilla group and spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood. 'Adnan 'Uqla, who later became the group's leader, helped plan the massacre.[10]

The cadet massacre "marked the start of full-scale urban warfare" against Alawis, cadre of the ruling Ba'ath party, party offices, "police posts, military vehicles, barracks, factories and any other target the guerrillas could attack." In the city of Aleppo between 1979 and 1981 terrorists killed over 300 people, mainly Ba'thists and Alawis, but also a dozen Islamic clergy who had denounced the murders. Of these the most prominent was Shaykh Muhammad al-Shami, who was slain in his own mosque, the Sulaymaniya, on 2 February 1980."

When John Brown attacked Harper's Ferry the US sent in the Marines. In France the world could just see what France was able and willing to mobilise to deal with just three murderers. That is to say, every state would react to such events of terror severely.

What would the US do if an armed militia massacred a hunderd or so ethnically selected air force cadets at Colorado Springs and then withdrew to a city where they had their centre of strength?

In Syria, the current conduct by ISIS and likeminded groups must awaken old, unlpeasant memories about Islamists among Syria's Ba'ath, Christians and Alawis.

Yves Montand quipped that a pacifist is a sheep that believes the Wolf turned vegetarian.

For Assad to believe he'd get mercy from the Muslim Brothers he has to be a sheep.

To expect pluralism in Syria means to ignore the country's history. The Muslim Brothers, and orthodox Islamist, are irreconcilably opposed to both the Ba'ath and the Alawis, beliving both to be apostates.

And where is Syria's twittering youth today? Where is the unicorm army? In effect, the US burned them all by sending them on a quixotian mission they could not win.

In Syria, the US (the odd coalition of Democracy Über Alles dreamers, R2Pers who waynt to create precedent as heritage, and ziocons) want Assad gone, because they consider him the weak. More specifically, the ziocons consider him the weak link between Hezbollah and Iran.

The issue of democracy was but the pretext to remove him with the proven clever and smart means of the color coded arsenal.

They erred and misjudged the prostects of success, but are incapable to concede error and to back down.

Current US foreign policy vis a vis Syria is still about regime change. Not even in ligh of the nature of the remaining almost thoroughly Islamist opposition to Assad they are able to do so.

That is to say, for Assad to believe he'd get mercy from the US he has to be a sheep too. The US record does not inspire trust. Assad, if he makes the mistake to trust the US, may just end up dead in a ditch.

Lured by the mesmerising prosect of regime change the US may just renege on any deal.


À propos Tunisia.

The Danish experience of turning from an absolute monarchy into a democracy was a lifelong process.

Beginning in 1848 but only in 1920 were the role of the monarch in ruling the country finally ended.


I would expect something similar in Tunisia. The change in political culture will take several decades and there is no guarantee for success. But they have a shot at it.



The news reports from the last few evenings have shown Royal Jordanian AF F-16's taking off on their missions with US F-22's reportedly flying air cover. Why would F-22's being flying air cover, besides the fact the USAF would like to show they are deployable?

Adam L Silverman


This is because if you look closely at the photos of the Jordanian F-16s, the armaments are dumb bombs. Only a couple had laser guided smart bombs at all. This means a couple of things: either the Jordanians are flying really low in order to be able to hit their targets as they don't have smart munitions, they are bobbing from too far up, meaning that the efficacy of their strikes is low, or they are being tasked with striking rural targets to minimize the potential collateral damage from not having more precision ordnance. If it's the former, that's why you need the F-22s to provide cover. This is also a huge problem with the nature of this coalition - the disparity in capabilities based on the inventories of the different air forces involved. Someone needs to hurry up and work the military sales of the high end stuff to Jordan ASAP.


Thanks for the prompt answer. I'm presuming the IDF and their friends in Washington don't want the Jordanians to have smart bombs.

Why are we selling munitions to Jordan? If the US wants Jordan and the UAE to participate more, should not we be giving them the bombs? Or does current US law forbid that?

Babak Makkinejad

Dane could rely on the existence of an extensive literature on constitutionalism, separation of powers, the relationship between state and religion etc. which went back at least 300 years.

They also could look around at other European state with working constitutional monarchies.

Tunis has no models to follow and the intellectual basis for democratic government with a Sunni Muslim milieu does not exist anywhere.

Tunis is on her own, she is truly an ab initio experiment.



What cover are you refering to? Against fighters (whose) or AAA?



Thanks for this. A pleasure to read.

Adam L Silverman


My specialty is what happens on the ground, with people - whether they're good, bad, or otherwise... That said, my take is it would be against anti-aircraft. As far as I know ISIL doesn't have an air force... yet...

Give this a read, it's a good analysis dealing with the types of munitions on the Jordanian F-16 and where I first saw the reporting on that and what it says about targeting:

Adam L Silverman


Can't really speak to the first part. As for selling to the Jordanians: we're likely doing a combination, but I'm sure the details are going to be closely held. So if we're doing sales, just giving them the stuff, or a combination, unless someone in the know decides that everyone should be in the know, we won't know.


Separation of power and all that played no role. Also why should Tunisia not look at existing

Denmark went from this : Kongeloven (Lex Regia)to a constitutional monarchy.


"the 1665 Kongeloven ("King's Law") of Denmark-Norway, who ordered that the Monarch "shall from this day forth be revered and considered the most perfect and supreme person on the Earth by all his subjects, standing above all human laws and having no judge above his person, neither in spiritual nor temporal matters, except God alone"."

Such an all powerful role for a monarch just does not disappear overnight. The Danish Kings were absolute in a way French absolute monarchs could only dream about.

The most important factor for our peaceful beginning as a democracy was that the Crown Prince Frederik , later King Frederik VII, was a lazy, drunken fornicator, who did not want the heavy workload of a Danish Absolute Monarch, so when his father was laying on his death bed in January 1948, Frederik got together with his advisors to change Denmark into a constitutional monarchy. The political problems as to the change was connected to the Duchy of Slesvig. And the rise of nationalism in Denmark/Germany.



Missing from
"Also why should Tunisia not look at existing"

democratic practices and ideas of state organization plus their own home-grown traditions.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

All right, have it your way; Denmark is unique and owes her current constitutional dispensation no European thinker or state....

Until 1948, she was an absolute monarchy in which the King ruled with an Iron fist; the liberal and national movements of the 1830s, and the European revolutions of 1848 had no bearing on that - nor that Denmark became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849.


If one reads the Danish constitution the monarch central in all. Though now a days the elected government has stepped into the role of monarch.

There are still remnants of the old days. An example is that no member of the Royal family can be brought to court or be forced to bear witness in a court.

Only the reigning monarch can be judge, jury and executioner for a member of the Royal family.

So in theory a member of the Royal family could commit murder and get away with a slap on the wrist. In practice it would most likely result in Denmark becoming a republic. But still it's possible.

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