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16 September 2015

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Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

If I were a Jew, upon reading your comments, I would be saying to myself: "Once again the Jew is being made into the escape goat."

I think you are wrong.

35 years ago, states West of the Diocletian Line made a determination that Wahabis were their bosom buddies and the Shia their enemies.

The rest is history in which the unfolding of its later stages we are witnessing as inassimilable Muslim populations from outside of Seljuk Lands are flooding Western Europe.


Will

This Seljuk/Diocletian stuff mixes me up. Perhaps a better view of the Seljuk lands would have been the Empire of Alexander the Great. (Alexandros Megos). Because the view that is being espoused is that Greek Culture rationalized the populace. So why not use the primary cause.

Of course, the Syrians would have been in the Seljuk lands whereas North Africa save Egypt would not have been?

The Israeli Firsters were anti-Sunnah in Irak but anti-Shia in Syria and Iran. What is the common denominator? They are against secular and semi-secular states that are reaping the fruits of modernity. They want to be surrounded by failed states that can facilitate their expansionist agenda. This is the danger of a state which will not delineate its borders. The Wahabis are their tools.

Castellio

You state: "35 years ago, states West of the Diocletian Line made a determination that Wahabis were there bosom buddies and the Shia their enemies."

Curious: and why did they "make that determination"? 35 years is pretty specific, are you pointing to the Iranian revolution?

Are you actually trying to say that the Iranian revolution caused "west of the Diocletian line" to consider Wahhabis "bosom buddies", and that explains the history of their foreign policies within the Middle East?

I have a bridge I'd like to sell...

jld

May be we shouldn't pay that much attention to Makkinejad hobby horse, since it's borderline trolling the usual remedy seem appropriate.

Babak Makkinejad

The ephemeral conquests of the barbarian king Alexander did not affect the Near East. It was further developments of the Greek Rationalist Tradition after him and during the Roman Empire which has historical import.

Greek Culture at the time of Alexander was not rational - in the sense of contemporary Western world.


Babak Makkinejad

Two events endeared them to NATO states: Iranian Revolution and the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan - in my opinion.

As I argued in this forum in 2012 - you cannot attribute all of this unto the Jews.

Fred

Babak,

Ibn Saud began that alliance with the Wahabis 100 years ago. It is not a flood of inassimilable Muslims it is an invasion.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

These are subjects on which I agree with a good deal of what you have argued over the years. However, on some things I think you are simply wrong.

You write:

'If I were a Jew, upon reading your comments, I would be saying to myself: "Once again the Jew is being made into the escape goat."'

This embodies a fundamental fallacy – that, as Michael Oren puts it, all Jews have some kind of 'story' or 'destiny' in common. Prior to the Holocaust, European Jews had next to nothing in common – neither religion, politics, economic and social position, or culture.

In the post-Holocaust world, Zionists have attempted to use that immeasurable catastrophe to create a common Jewish identity. But, in essence, this means defining Jews as a tribe whom people want to kill.

In the longer term, this provides no good basis for a Jewish future either in the Middle East or the West. Essentially, it invites Jews to be full participants in the modern culture of victimhood: precisely because they have so much reason to identify themselves as victims, this is a kind of demonic temptation.

Among the many problems with the self-identification of Jews as victims, for their self-appointed representatives to go on attempting emotional blackmail of gentile populations, on the basis that they can indefinitely be held to be to blame for the Holocaust, is to court a backlash.

Do not think I want to see such a backlash: this would be precisely the reverse of the truth.

Meanwhile, to see Middle Eastern realities through the prism of the Holocaust is to guarantee catastrophic misunderstanding. The reality of hostility among the surrounding Muslim populations to the presence of a Jewish settler state in Palestine is a central fact about the current situation. But to treat the roots of that hostility as essentially comparable to those that animated Hitler's attempt at a 'final solution' is self-destructively stupid.

As regards British attitudes. The last thing I would want to do would be to try to deflect blame from my own people – ethnically defined, I might say, as someone of mixed English and Welsh descent, with no known ancestors outside the islands – for the current shambles by blaming Jews.

In fact, the British 'Teufelspakt' with Saudi Wahhabism goes back a lot longer than thirty-five years. In two posts last year, the former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke traced it back to the relationship between King Abd al-Aziz and his close advisor, Harry St. John Philby. Apparently, while his son Kim was a convert to communism, the father was a convert to Wahhabi Islam. (Sometimes, a talent for catastrophe runs in families.)

(For the two pieces, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-aim-saudi-arabia_b_5748744.html .)

As I have no claims to any expertise in Middle East politics, I cannot evaluate Crooke's account. However, recent events make critical parts of it difficult simply to dismiss.

'In a sense, Philby may be said to be "godfather" to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to "manage" Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba'athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) - and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia's soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam's intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

'As a result – from then until now – British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

'In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous "gene" within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.'

This brings me to another point. Traditionally, my people had a reputation as 'Perfidious Albion.' In fact, this was a tribute to our common sense.

In international politics, at crucial times, everything is in flux. The combination of strengths and vulnerabilities deriving from Britain's geographical position and distinctive history meant that this was something we used to understand quite well.

So when in 2004 Sir Halford Mackinder published his famous 'Geographical Pivot of History' paper, the focus was on Russia as the enemy. Only three years later, however, the threat from German naval power was causing Britain to seek a spheres of influence agreement with Russia over your country.

To a true 'Perfidious Albionian' like myself, the notion that choices made in the late Seventies and early Eighties should be taken as binding is appalling. Although I did not share the enthusiasm for using Sunni jihadists against the Soviets in Afghanistan, I have no difficulty in seeing why others did. But to go on playing the same kind of games, after the attack on the World Trade Center, seemed to me simply silly.

Likewise, in the completely different world in which we now find ourselves, to continue to treat Iran as though we were back in 1979 is stupid.

Valissa

Very educational as always, thanks David!

If anyone is interested in observing "utter intellectual bankruptcy" in action, I offer the following 36 minute podcast. There are a few moments of insightful commentary here and there, and though some might just find it all too nauseating... I found it fascinating from an sociological/anthropological point of view to observe the worldview to which this group of Borg-ites subscribes (as it is probably typical of the Borg mindset).

The E.R.: American Power at a Crossroads
Is it even possible to "Make America Great Again"? David Rothkopf takes on American exceptionalism with Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake, and Robert Kagan. https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/14/the-e-r-podcast-american-power-at-a-crossroads-rothkopf-brooks-schake-kagan/
David Rothkopf, the FP Group’s CEO and editor, sits down at The Editor’s Roundtable (The E.R.) with FP columnists Rosa Brooks and Kori Schake and historian Robert Kagan. They debate Washington’s current role in the world, whether President Barack Obama’s choices have strengthened or weakened the United States, and whether his views on America’s unique role in the world are still unique.

Babak Makkinejad

I stand by what I have written in so far as I mean to suggest that states, countries, governments and electorates in these NATO countries must accept responsibility for their own actions instead of hiding behind Israel, Shoah, Jewish Lobbies, and other usual suspects.

When did Spain become enemy of Iran and indeed the Shia Crescent and why?

It was not the Zionists that did that, I hope we can agree as much.

Babak Makkinejad

Then don't.

Babak Makkinejad

I am certain that there are very many Iranians that are relieved that the hordes of Arabs from Syria are not marching towards the Iranian borders.

Valissa

Another great example of "intellectual bankruptcy" in our policy elites...

Here is a 20 minute video discussion... Russian Military Is Now Active In Syria http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/russia-military-in-syria/55e90d6a78c90a5cc70003b0

The participants are:
Jeffrey White of WINEP (who wrote the Part 2 article on Russia in Syria)
Neil Shortland, Center for Terrorism and Security Studies
Dmitry Gorenburg, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies
Harvard University

Gorenburg has a blog on Russian Military Reform https://russiamil.wordpress.com/ that I enjoy reading on occasion. IMO, he was the most clear thinking of the 3 participants. White and Shortland still believe in supporting the "moderate rebels". Not hard to see how some countries could interpret the US supporting so-called moderate rebels as the US supporting Daesh/ISIS.

Fred

Babak,

I'm sure they are. Now if Iran used some of that freed up money for generous social welfare programs for any resident then had a politically educated elite that abandoned the principles that made that country what it is like the Europeans have I'm sure all those folks would reverse course.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for the insights of this post and thread. As an analytic framework do I see poster and commentaters agreeing that tensions in the Sects of Islam were misread and misunderstood by Western Leaders for perhaps the last 100 years and that out of ignorance Western Christian and Jewish leaders just aggravated the commotion in the bee's nest?

And of course the Sects of Islam all wanted Western arms and money to support their cause?

nglaer

Interesting link to that 2006 Sy Hersh piece on the GOP/neocon turnabout from fighting Iraq to trying to ignite a war with Iran. Why am I not surprised that Elliott Abrams was at the center of this?

VietnamVet

DH

Thanks. This post fits into my view of why chaos is expanding across the world.

The House of Saud saw a Shiite Crescent to their North and it was destroyed.

Israel wanted to destabilize its surrounding nations into warring tribes and attrite Hezbollah. They’ve been successful.

Turkey wants to lead the Levant Sunnis and eliminate the Kurdish problem. They been unsuccessful.

Western oligarchs are selling weapons into a growing combat zone that is spreading from Africa through the Middle East and the Balkans to China. Their wealth increases. They also want another go at exploiting Russia’s resources. Russia’s ally Syria and Ukraine, next-door, are being destabilized by the ongoing proxy wars. But, to date, the wars and economic sanctions to force a Kremlin regime change have not been successful but this still could bring on World War III.

Babak Makkinejad

The NATO states' policy towards Iran and the Shia were like China designating France - the core state of the Western Civilization - as the enemy for decades - all the while touting the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as worthy of emulation by France and the French people - and keeping Romania and Bulgaria as her bosom buddies.

ex-PFC Chuck

Just a nit David, but I suspect your fingers overrode your conscious mind when you intended to write "1904" for the date of the Mackinder "Pivot" paper instead of the 2004 that found its way into your computer.

rjj

Note: typo - 2004 for 1904.

Aside: to this novice reader of XX century history it looks as if Son of Perfidious Albion has turned out to be 1. a chip off the old block, 2. oedipal.

traducteur

They want to be surrounded by failed states that can facilitate their expansionist agenda.

More precisely, they want to see all the lands of the goyim reduced to fields of rubble inhabited by desperate, starving people.

shepherd

Babak,

I realize you're talking about Alexander's impact in the present day, but I think you're being rather unfair to a person who lived 2400 years ago. I'd like to correct any misconceptions about the massive changes he wrought on the Near East.

First off, Alexander was not a barbarian. He was a Macedonian. Macedonia was a northern Greek kingdom. It was Greek-speaking, and that's really all that matters. If you think he was a barbarian, you're reflecting Athenian rhetoric and modern day politics. Aristotle was Alexander's tutor.

The ephemeral conquests you mentioned resulted in total Greek political control and a flourishing Hellenistic civilization across the Near East, until it was conquered by the Romans hundreds of years later. Greeks ruled in Egypt long after they stopped ruling in Greece. The last remaining kingdom, the Ptolemaic, lasted until the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE. Cleopatra was its last queen. She was a Greek descendant of Alexander's general Ptolemy Soter.

The intellectual impact of the Hellenistic world was even more immense than the political one. Alexander's successors established centers of learning across the Near East that were much more important than any in the West. Because the entire area was ruled by Greeks, Koine Greek became and remained the lingua franca of the region through and beyond Roman times, not Latin. That is why the Byzantine Empire, which is simply the Eastern Roman Empire, spoke Greek. It is why the New Testament is written in it, why Arabs studied Aristotle, among many other things. Alexander also founded a city called Alexandria. For a long time, it was the largest city in the world, and it's still there today.

If you're looking for historical impact on the Near East, I'll take Alexander over just about anyone.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for correcting me about Alexander's civilizational credentials.

When I wrote about the transitory nature of his impact, I was mainly thinking of the Iranian plateau.

I cannot think of any lasting impact - yes there was an Oriental Greek Kingdom of Seleucids which was followed by the Parthians and their coinage "Philhelene" on it but nothing else comes to my mind.

For causes unknown to me, Greek culture never took root on the Iranian plateau - there are no temples, no amphitheaters, no centers of learning that I am aware of - likely because of religious reasons.

David Habakkuk

ex-PFC Chuck,

They did. And to make matters worse, in a response to 'gemini33' on the previous thread, I had the 'Geographical Pivot' paper as written in 1984. My apologies.

shepherd

Babak,

You're welcome. Pretty everyone ignores the Hellenistic Period. But cultural exchanges between the two cultures where huge, especially during the earlier times when Persia ruled Ionia. I wouldn't be surprised if the influence was simply buried culturally. A substantial Greek kingdom occupied Afghanistan, for example, and traces of its influences can be found in India. There's even a thing called Greco-Buddhist art, believe it or not.

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