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17 January 2016


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Babak Makkinejad

There was not a single Muslim political leader who publicly defended Mr. Rushdie and condemned Ayatollah Khomeini.

This is the world of Islam; one cannot insult the Honor of Islam and that of the Prophet with impunity.

East is East and West is West and Never shall the twain meet.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

Ahmadinejad? I thought President Khatami was the first who at least advocated for it.

The Beaver

May be the Saudis can hire some Pakistani Taliban since they are looking for Sunnis from Pakistan to fight their war:



Col. Lang,

Could it be because Israel/AIPAC wants Iran contained as a geopolitical rival in the region? Could it be that?

I'm so glad that you pointed this out. Now I can use the the words of an expert to back me up when I continue to make the same comments to friends.


Pakistani militants are already on it. Their support for a Saudi invasion is clear.


Babak Makkinejad

He did it mildly, but like the Republican in US against Obama, his political enemies tried to destroy every step that he took.

Ahmadinejad was a brave man and did not care what his enemies did.


How did the Court come to a conclusion so totally different from from SecDef Perry?

I am reminded of something we were taught on the first day of law school...

- "A" students become Professors
- "B" students make all the $$$
- "C" students become Judges


thanks, cp, interesting. No apparently the narrative is hard to give up. The event was about 4 to 5 years earlier. No direct quote at that point in time, and that one had other capitals filled in, Berlin, London maybe. The revenge for the Holocaust in the text feels new too. But I am not quite sure.

Thanks for the links. Good I mentioned it.

"In campaigns like this, the anti-terror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."

He is aware these aren't conventional wars.

But yes, by now I realized that there are many that cannot tolerate any questions beyond the simple emotional surrender, especially from a German. But apparently not only from us.

Creveld, I always had to look it up again. ... But I can assure I did not misspell his name in the exchanges.


Ok, if you say so. But it was missing in the conspiracy circles like Rense, or however he was called. If I recall correctly they published a translation.





Hmm, I mixed up Khatami and Rafsandschānī somewhere.

But yes, the Swiss Memo that only got to Powell but failed to find reception in the White House is missing in the foreign policy section of him in the English Wiki versions.

Two of the docs they link to over here are WaPo:




Take a look at legendary John P. O'Neill.




thanks, cp, if I may: I somehow don't like "Izzies", but I guess that's a matter of taste, or polite basics in spite of all. But then, yes, I misspelled Martin van Creveld's name. ;)


if I may:

"As always in the Middle East, religious and ethnic factors play a large role in this rivalry. The Shia-Sunni divide within Islam is being reflected in the region’s geopolitics. Moreover, whereas Iran is a Shia country, the overwhelming majority of Arabs are Sunni, reinforcing the salience of Iran’s ethnic distinctiveness."

As always - ok, seems a bit of a cliche - but he tries to let you know, he has this really deep knowledge of the region, from his first trip to Algiers in 1969 invited by Arafat to the PLO Solidarity Conference.

What follows you have to savor, let the sentence melt in your mouth like delicate chocolate. There is a reason why this is at the center! Kissinger is one of his best friends, and I am sure he carefully studied his Diplomacy, maybe even Zbig's Grand Chessboard, who knows. Well, maybe not, since there seems to be a trace of the German Geopolitik, which was handled with care over here up to one point. But here we go:

"The Shia-Sunni divide within Islam is being reflected in the region’s geopolitics."

And now that it melted, go back up and you will suddenly recognize the profundity of the last sentence. See it???

xavier joyce

Jemaah Islamiyah.



I remember reading that Israel knew the attack was coming and didn't warn us. Victor Ostrovsky wrote about it.


I found this characterisation apt:

"Well, the politics of the Middle East, the politics of Saudi Arabia in particular, and other regional powers, are not straightforward. They do not follow a particular logic. They are momentary decisions that seek to achieve limited goals and if those goals are not met, then they move to the next target."

Madawi Al-Rasheed said that in part two of the three part interview linked below. I think it applies as much to the Saudis as to the Israelis.


The Israelis are realists only to the extent that they pursue their limited goals in a realistic assessment of how to get there.

They are IMO perfectly realistic about their chances to overtake, for instance 60% of the West Bank. They could do that without much hassle and there would be little for the rest of the world to do about it. So they may just give Bennett a shot. They may go for Palestinian gas fields in the Med in pursuit of energy independence.

As for a long term plan, beyond that, or beyond, say, planning settlement expansion for the next decades - zilch.

Say what you want about the neoccons, at least in A Clean Break they proposed a way for Israel to attain strategic independence, self reliance and mutuality in US-Israeli relations.

The Israelis tried to achieve te latter by casting themselves as a valuable asset for the US in the GWOT. Didn't work out, as successive CENTCOM commanders have attested to them rather being a burden - getting themselves in hot water over uttering such heresy.

Israel has not achieved the independence envisioned beyond the ability to defend itself - that they already had before the paper. Israel continues to be deeply dependent on the US militarily (aid + arms deliveries + automatic political support) and in terms of intelligence.

So settled for the next best thing, coopting the US through meddling in domestic US politics. Also realistic, but again tactical.

In part, however, Bibi does follow the advice given in A Clean Break:

"To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War which apply well to Israel."

The "Shia-Sunni" war, the "Shia Crescend", the "threat posed by Iran", "bent on exporting revolution", "gobbling up the Middle East" follow well throdden Cold War propaganda patterns. Just exchange Iran and Middle East with Soviet Union/ Communism/ Red China and a given part of the World. The "nuclear issue" follows the well throdden part of the Iraq saga.

All that is, while realistic, also short term i.e. purely tactical.

They have no back-up plan for what happens when they overdo it in the US, or vis a vis Europe. Or what happens when the US, against Israeli wishes, does make a deal with Iran and normalises relations. The only answer they have is to support Obama's opposition and opt for regime change in DC. Again - tactical.

The Israeli blind spot is that they ignore that there is a reaction to every action, and I insist that Stein's law applies: If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

What they are doing is turning even friends against them. Any self-respecting politician in the US must secretly hold a grudge whenever the AIPAC pukes come around to twist arms again. But bothering about that is so ... tomorrow.

The Izzies don't have plan for that. They are simply so full of themselves that they believe they can delay and shape the process and improvise when the worst comes to pass. And when it then happens - Oy wey! - they will bitch and moan about the only possible explanation for such an unexpected turn of events being antisemitism.

Yes, whate else? Perhaps them having been bullies that everbody has to come to loathe on sight? What about resentment over having to give 29 standing ovations to a pompous jerk only because AIPAC minders take count and will punish insufficient fervor as in Stalinist times (as recounted by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his "The Gulag Archipelago")?


What if Europe eventually did join the BDS bandwagon over Israeli intransigence and declares sanctions? Israel has no plan for that beyond propaganda. You will probably say that this is never going to happen, but, as love affairs end and marriages break, history is full of things that were never supposed to happen.


Israeli propaganda campaigns pushing the guilt buttons in Europe are also short-term responses to symptoms and they do not address the root cause of alienation hat underlies European support for BDS.

In that sense, given that there is a consensus in Israel to continue to expand at Palestinian expense, it is a blessing in form of a curse that the Netanyahoo was reelected since a supposedly more palatable and PR savvier character like Livni would have been harder to oppose despite doing pretty much the same thing.


cp, I should wait for my comments to show up, but I will be gone for a while.

I checked. The good old Yahoo Groups advanced search tools seem to have vanished. New design. You CAN't search it via the Google "site:http//link" command. I can only get the tail of matters in a comment in which I refer to "our earlier clash" on Martin van Creveld in 2005. ... earlier exchanges or "the clash" is not stored apparently. Thus it was as I thought the earlier wave that caught may attention between 2003 and 2005. Richard catches the second wave in 2009.

Two waves, via one of the distributive channels:

Rense, 2003, introduction by Ingrid Rimland, although only the first passage. ...:

Rense: 2009 by "By Nadim Ladki"


"... what did they expect? That Iranians would remain quiescent and do nothing? I wonder what the English would have done if Holland had been invaded and the Dutch murdered indiscriminately."

Actually, the last time that happened they did support them, hosted the government in exile, just like the Belgian and Luxembourgish governments in exile, even though the SOE mission to the Netherlands was a disaster.

Still, the help rendered had lingering effect and laid the roots good Anglo-Dutch relations, and incidentally, for Benelux cooperation.


And you are perfectly right, when it is considered to be perfectly normal for American and European Jews, or governments, to sympathise with Israel and the plight of Jews and render support - Shia, and Iranian, sympathy and support for the plight of Shia in Lebanon should not surprise.


"I somehow don't like "Izzies", but I guess that's a matter of taste, or polite basics in spite of all.

You may be right. I'll consider changing it.

"But then, yes, I misspelled Martin van Creveld's name. ;) "

To fully flavour the cruelty you have to pronounce the misspelled version in German ;) Sounds like German in 1940s American war movies. At best!



"how did the court come to a conclusions so totally different from Perry?" That's easy, Lamberth ruled on the evidence at hand at the time of his ruling in a civil proceeding brought by a DC law firm that specializes in bringing law suits against the Iranian government. Perry apparently made his statement at a later date based on a mature judgment of DIA. pl



"As always - ok, seems a bit of a cliché" Frequent repetition of a truth does not make it untrue. IMO Babak is exactly correct. Ethnicity and sect are ALWAYS present in ME politics. These are societies that do not function as do the societies of the West. pl

Patrick Bahzad

Who can say they didn't get away with it ? At least to a certain degree ...



"Izzie" is a term often used within the intelligence community by working level analysts. pl

Patrick Bahzad

I seem to have a somewhat different recollection of the events in Lebanon at the time, but I haven't had time to counter-check my personal experience there with Wikipedia and other references ... ;-)

In the "Levant" nothing is simple, and Lebanon is probably the country most difficult to read. The Israelis bombed a lot of civilians out of South Lebanon indeed, and the Shia were the most affected by these indiscriminate bombings. Given that they also made up a large portion of the civilians in South Lebanon, I guess, one thing goes with the other. But no "good vs bad" guys story is ever gonna make up for an accurate account of all that happened or why it happened.

Who remembers the war between Shia Amal and PLO in the camps of Sabra, Chatila and Burj El Barajneh in 1985-86 ?? Everybody knows about the Christian "Phalangists" perpetrating the massacre of Sabra and Chatila in 1982, yet when it comes to the events of 1985-86, nobody has a clue ... But it was the Shia who besieged the camps, bombed them and destroyed between 50 and 90 % of them. Thousands were killed, including many civilians.

Who knows about the "War in the Mountain" in 1982-83, when Druze and Shia Amal bombed the Christians out of the Shuf mountains ?

Who was there when it was Shia against Shia in 1988-89, Amal vs Hezbollah, with Hassan Nasrallah fighting against his own brother, who was with Amal. 300 dead and hundreds injured ... self inflicted Shia on Shia.

Yes the Lebanese Shia have long been the poorest and most disposessed group in Lebanon, and they still are, but doesn't mean they were innocent victims all along.

So please, no stories in "black and white" about Lebanon !

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