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27 October 2015


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1.India as far as i know does not support any Jihadists in Afghanistan.They along with Russia and Iran support the Northern alliance mostly as a reaction to Taliban's (with Pakistan's help) dominance.

2. C.Fair is actually in support of US-Iran accommodation. She never said 'Nuke Iran or Iran is another Pakistan in making". Its quite the opposite. Her point is we are rewarding Pakistan which promotes terrorism in the region and proliferates nuke technology even while we punish Iran. The reason America tolerates Pakistani shenanigans according to her is because it needs logistical support from Pakistan to continue operations in Afghanistan.

Christine Fair on Iran and Pakistan vis-a-vis the United States


I think its time to see ISIS as a solid terrorist entity operating from Syria and Iraq, and start to see it as a huge flock of birds flying, but creating huge shapes of different predators as needed. That is why it does not help to kill off its leaders, because it has a shared common will, it and shifts shapes. Its message is easy to spread among certain pools of the dissatisfied, marginalized, and alienated in almost every nation on earth, especially in times of mass wire media. To me, its a perverse ideology, but to others it has appeal. And how do you kill an ideology, and a method that aims to see that ideology prevails, short of killing all those who adhere to it, provided one can accurately tell who is who.

Maybe it is to make it less profitable to those who tag along, and those who use it, and profit from it for their own narrow aims. And who is going to do it? Million dollar question. Good luck to everyone in Vienna.



Thanks for saying this. I know one can go blue in the face noting that what a commodity is priced in on trading markets means a hill of beans other than ease of exchange. The forex markets are the biggest trading trillions every day and night. Oil further is a fungible commodity. Producers have to sell to generate revenue and they can price bilateral contracts in any currency and even barter. oil producers are running deficits now and are draining their sovereign wealth funds. China and Russia have sold hundreds of billions of their dollar reserves with no impact on dollar liquidity. Another reason why folks hold treasury securities is market depth. Try that with Yuan!

This conspiracy theory that US actions in the ME have to do with the petrodollar is just that. More tinfoil. A reserve currency is not an unalloyed benefit. The fact is that vendors of goods are willing to accept paper from us for now. When it ceases then we have a balance of payments problem. We have massive economic and financial issues but reserve currency status is one of the least threatening.


Clearly, Trey, I should have just searched on this subject sooner.

From the links I'm sharing below the short, but nowhere near complete, answer is "lack of democracy" since Cuba is still a Communist country. Another big piece is "congressional power" on this issue which cannot be undone by presidential decree (see Atlantic article for details) and then the other key pieces have to do ongoing pissiness between the two countries over various "incidents" and the power of Cuban-Americans (please note that the Cuban-American congresswoman mentioned in the pro-con link is no longer the chairman of the House Foreign Relations committee). IMO for the Republican party the larger issue is about fighting communism, and to a lesser degree the feelings of Cuban-Americans.

Should the United States Maintain Its Embargo against Cuba? http://cuba-embargo.procon.org/

The Real Reason It's Nearly Impossible to End the Cuba Embargo http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/the-1996-incident-that-made-it-nearly-impossible-to-repeal-the-cuba-embargo/381107/


"Or the constant war against the Shia in Pakistan that has predated the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran?"

The real shia-sunni violence in Pakistan started after 1980 when Imam Khoemeni decided that it is going to be the policy of Iran to export its revolution. In Pakistan a well known shia religious figure Mufti Jafar invited Imam Khoemeni to intervene in Pakistani affairs when Zakat and Usher regulation was passed. He didnt wanted Shias to be exempt from zakat. He also lead some very disruptive protests at that time which aroused suspicions and made even neutral sunni majority of the country take notice. His successor Allama Arif Hussain re branded Mufti Jafar's organization(formed 1979) Tehreek-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria
(The Movement to Establish Jafari Jurisprudence, or TNFJ) and openly declared that he and his movement were Khomeiniite. Their stated goal was to impose Fiqah of Imam Jafar in Sunni Pakistan. You can understand how ridiculous it would sound if some sunni in Iran declared they want to impose sunni fiqah on the whole country.
For his very open and blatant attempts to use Pakistani shias in the service of Iranian strategic interest, Allama Arif Hussain was made "official representative" of Khoemeni in Pakistan.

To add more fuel to fire, TNJF created a student wing called Imamia student organization which very quickly armed itself and started taking part in violent clashes. Student organizations in have history of turning to militancy in Pakistan. Majority act like armed wings for political parties. Only one student org that is part of Jamat-e-Islami has religious character, but they never indulge in sectarianism. Imamia organization completely changed that, as all incidents involving them started being seen in shia-sunni context. Every single violent sunni group in Pakistan involved in targeting shias came into being after the creation of TNJF. It is a fact that you can verify. Almost all of these sunni secterian groups are offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) which was created in 1985.Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, AWSJ are the two major ones.

Sensing opportunity, Saudis inserted themselves into this equation and started supporting the sunni secterian outfits. The whole sunni-shia mess in Pakistan is a direct result of actions of so called ummah brothers, Saudis and Iran. But i believe majority of population both sunni and shia as well as establishment have realized that these ummah bros will fight their battle in Pakistan to the last Pakistani. The following gives an account of that realization:


"By the way, Ottomans were not Sunni in the same way that others were Sunni; they revered Fatma and the House Hold of the Prophet."

You have made this point several times that some how sunnis do not revere and respect prophet's family (ahle-al-bait). This is completely ridiculous assertion. There are shias in Iran who almost elevate Ali to level of deity and that is definitely a level to which no sunni will go to but saying sunni do not hold Prophet's daughter and his family from her in extremely high esteem is extremely suspect to say the least. My only disclaimer is that i do not know enough about gulfies and their practices but i can very confidently talk about nearly one third of the muslim world that lives in sub continent.

Hasan,Hussain, Fatma , Zain-ul-Abdeen, Zainab all are extremely popular names in sunnis. My grandfather's (a hanifi )last name was Hussain not because of his father but because it is common practice in sub continent to add that as last name out of respect for Hussain. Majority of sunni syeds classify themselves as Hasani or Hussaini and being a Syed has always been a big thing in Sub continent. Majority of sunnis in sub continent have a sufi bent due to which Ali who is considered the grand master of all sufis is the biggest meme in literature and poetry as well as qawali music.

The biggest issue the hardliner deobandis who target shias is not because they respect ahl-e-bait less than shias, but because shias use tabarah or cursing of a large number of prophet's companions and family who were not descendant from Fatimah and Ali. AWSJ or other sunni militants will target anyone who said anything against fatimah, ali and their descendants just as viciously as they attack shias for cursing umar, abu bakr, ayesha, usman etc.


"He didnt wanted Shias to be exempt from zakat. "

Should be read as "he wanted shias to be exempt from zakat regulation"

J Villain

You mean the state with the nuclear weapons and submarines to deliver them any where in the world? The ones that print stuff like this?


As an aside there will never be a one state solution because the US will never allow the Palestinians to have any power in a nuclear armed country.


1) I did not use the term jihadist, i used the term non-state actors. Indians(are you of indian origin by the way?) like to use the term while describing their decades old proxy war with Pakistan as it gets them sympathetic attention in west. India used Mukti Bahini in break up of Pakistan, supported LTTE in Sri Lanka and supports Baloch insurgents in Pakistan to this day. They have run an effective information effort to link their proxy war with Pakistan to the greater war on terror context. More recently they have become so complacent that they are not afraid to admit publicly. Ajit Doval who is national security adviser to Modi gave a clear hint in a public speech
and then there was revealation in Indian media about TSD.

By the way since you are such a fan of C.Fair, she has in past made similar claims about Indian support for non-state actors from Iran (zehdan consulate)and Afghanistan.

2) i have seen this article and is a recent volte face from C.Fair after the nuke deal.Usually she reserves her more whacko ideas for twitter. It is not just limited to her attitude towards Pakistan, she has similar very extreme ideas about "confronting" China , Russia and anyone who is on love list of neo-cons.

Babak Makkinejad

The religious war in Pakistan started, in my view, when the state declared, through a constitutional amendment, Ahmadhis to be non-Muslims.

That intractable position was further followed by Zia ul Haq's Salafist Islamization, which led to violence in Sindh and elsewhere.

I suppose the Shia - the Twelvers as well as the Ismailis - were later added to the list of non-Muslims.

So, when a fellow walks into a Shia Mosque and blows himself up it is because:

1- Some Shia, somewhere, sometime has cursed Abu Bakr, or Othman or Omar - and that Shia person has done that at the instigation of front organizations of the Islamic Republic of Iran - the Shia International run out of Qum.

2- He has been trained or persuaded otherwise by the Saudi Arabian front organizations - the Salafi International, run out of Jiddah.

And this fellow, is quite innocent and just an automaton whose buttons have been pushed.

Come off it man.

Sunni Suicide bombers attacked Sunnis as well, just look at Nigeria.

You cannot blame the Shia for this - in Iran or anywhere else.

Babak Makkinejad

I am pleased that I have been wrong and the Love for the Household of Prophet is indeed strong in Pakistan - barring Deobandis, Salafist, Jihadists and others.

Yeah, Right

Thanks for the reply, CP.
I agree with everything you have just written, though I guess I'm trying to pose a different question i.e. not:
"How can the USA make this work?"
but instead:
"Is this worth doing?"

Assume for a second that this US Administration has identified a vital US national interest in the Middle East.

And, furthermore, assume that this vital national interest can not be secured without "power projection" by the US military.


There is one way in which the USA can achieve that: its "client states" can give permission for the US military to use their territory in order to "project" US "power" into the region.

But there are two ways in which the USA can fail:
a) Its clients place so many caveats/conditions upon the use of their territory that US military power ends up serving *their* interests, not the USA's national interest
b) The US simply decides that this is a "business model" that is akin to herding cats and so..... the US military simply packs up and goes home.

All three outcomes are possible, but only the first brings success.

But it is also very, very unlikely, precisely because the USA has configured its Empire in such a way that those dudes aren't "clients" at all: they are "customers", and everyone knows that The Customer Is Always Right.

So why isn't the US public having a very public discussion about What On Earth Does The USA Think It Is Doing?

Why aren't they debating this: the real choice is between
a) spending $billions and $billions on a model of global "power projection" that turns out to be not all that successful *or*
b) giving up on that notion and settling on behaving in a way that is less, ahem, exceptional and indispensable.

The latter doesn't sound all that imperial, sure, it doesn't.
But it's a heck of a lot cheaper.



I would say that South Korea has benefitted immensely from our bases and force deployment in the region. So has Japan.


You would be surprised(or maybe not) to know that even some shia scholars supported what was done to Ahmedis. The problem starts even before that but i will spare you those details as i do not think my attempt at giving you more details will go anywhere like last post.

Most of the suicide bombings have targeted and killed sunnis in Pakistan. Do you think it is not possible to brain wash people and make them do terrible, inhuman and violent things?

I do agree with you that the larger share of blame goes to Pakistanis for being so cruel to each other on whims of others.


I am not sure what is your point . What does Indians supporting Mukthi Bahini during 1971 Bangladesh war or other things they have done in South Asia has to do with Pakistan supporting Jihadists in Afghanistan who are killing Americans ? Since you mentioned Mukthi Bahini, are you aware that it was preceded by one of the largest genocides in post World war

Christine Fair is one of the most recognized experts on Pakistan. If the Pakistanis don't like her, how does that invalidate her research and findings ? Besides, she is only one among many Americans experts who highlighted Pakistani duplicity with respect to America.

P.S. I am going to ignore your question on my ethenicity since i don't see how thats relevant here.


P.S. I am going to ignore your question on my ethenicity since i don't see how thats relevant here.

LOL! That explains it.

India: Meet the 'Internet Hindus'


FB Ali

Thank you for clarifying the matter. MartinJ claims to have spent time in Yemen and seems to have a strong anti-Saleh bias. If he does know Yemen, it was probably for a purpose, which now shows in his biases.


Thanks, Valissa, quite interesting to dig through the pro and contra positions, it's partly like a nutshell journey through history, especially on the pro embargo side.

Contra Cuba Embargo.
"8. Cuban Americans, the people who understand the situation best, think the embargo is not working. More than 80% of Cuban Americans surveyed in 2011 said the embargo has worked not very well or not at all. [25, 26] Even though President Obama eased restrictions related to Cuba in 2009, his support among Cuban Americans in Florida increased from a third of the community in 2008 to more than half in the 2012 presidential election. [55]"

Babak Makkinejad

You are quite right, the prerequisite for the one-state solution is the dismantlement of Israeli's nuclear capacity.


Colonel, do you think Powell was aware during his UN speech that he was committing reputational harikari?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

It seems to me that, on the evidence, US foreign and by Clausewitzian extension, it's military policy are constructed on an ad-hoc basis by a shifting collection of connected amateurs, zionist master race theorists, Ayn Rand worshipping Reagan Youth for whom the cold war was something they sprouted wood while reading about in High School history class and hypocritical liberal poseurs like Samantha Power and the Clintons.

Most of it seems to really revolve around a dangerous revival of anglo-isrealite sentiment and a deeply inculcated belief in the lies their forefathers told the rubes as a cover for US imperialism.

The Oded Yinon scheme and the Brzezinski Doctrine bear too much similarity to current events to be a coincidence. As PW Bridgeman said, "A coincidence is what you have left over when you apply a bad theory."


J Villain,
"When the Messiah comes, Ben-Eliyahu wrote, Israel will reverse the Final Solution. “Twenty, thirty atomic bombs on Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, Dortmund and so on to assure the job gets done. And the land will be quiet for a thousand years"


Maybe NATO's missile defence plans are good for something after all, if properly redirected south-east. Just in case.


"The United States needs to make a serious pivot towards India. The world’s oldest democracy and its biggest democracy share, among other things, concerns about Islamist terrorism, the rise of China, and the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Could you tell me, what specific location in time and space I should check to verify that claim? Dear, nerd?

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

I do not believe in the concept of "brain wash explains anything at all; I think it is devoid of content.

People make moral decisions for good or for ill; they cannot and should not be permitted to hide behind "brain wash" concept.

I believe, however, that your own characterization is more appropriate: "Chaotic Religiosity" or Anarchic Religiosity that recognizes no authority.

So, after the Iranian Revolution some Shia found some backbone to resist against discrimination as well as Zia's Salafi Islamization of Pakistan. I guess the Sunnis could not accept that Shia were now fighters and not just so many sheep to be herded here and there.

When some group was systematically murdering Shia physicians in Karachi, what do you think it was a reaction to? Were college students murdering Shia? If so, to which party were they affiliated? And what was the purpose? Do you know?


Ok, cp, maybe I wasn't prepared for Babak vaguely, no doubt much less elaborately using the Salman Rushdie technique? In a less a-political context. But then, maybe, I shouldn't have been surprised.

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