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20 June 2016


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Two simple points:

1. Haass-Burns only make sense as readers of the Israeli script. It is not an American strategic perspective.

2. The Israelis' "fear is that IS would be crushed and the western powers would leave the area with A Direct Land Corridor From Iran/Iraq To Damascus and Hezbollah." The last time such concerns had any basis in reality was around 600 A.D. at the time of the last Sassanid-Byzantine war. Of course, I admit to being hallucinogen challenged.

Babak Makkinejad

Nah, it is a religious thingy.

A few years ago, on this forum, a commentator by the name of Professor Clifford Kiracofe explained all of this - please see: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Crusade-Christian-International-Political/dp/1845117557

And David Habakkuk also elaborated on the genesis of it in UK at about the same time.

My name for it was "The Cult of Shoah"; part of the Trinitarian religion of the Western Diocletian states, the other two being the goddess of Liberty and the god of Democracy.

It used to be, before World War I, two gods - "Progress" and "Reason" which had occupied the place of honor when God had been evicted from that position; in my opinion.

World War I demolished the god of "Progress" and World War II the god of "Reason".

But men evidently cannot live with a higher purpose or a religion, thus the Trinitarian religion of today.

David Habakkuk: Yes, I know, I am oversimplifying a very complex process of intellectual history. But that is the only way that I can make sense out of the contemporary scene.


AARRRGH, RJJ!!! words mean things. same goes for absence of critical words. need to qualify the question: it had NOTHING to do with Israel. It was only about terminology (related to HRC's apparent lack of situational and tactical awareness).

thank you for the response - wrt the final two sentences see "The Servant" as parable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Servant_(1963_film)


Babak Pakistan is a rented country by KSA if Iranians put up the money they can rent them too.


Babak as recent as can be Iranians used balance of power to bring the Americans to negotiating table, by increasing thier nuclear capability, as you knowI am not saying that. Even I. Ghajar time they were balancing between the Russians and Brits. If they didn't he could have they survived as a nation state. If you have a chance read the Froughi memoirs of Paris peace conference.


>Nah, it is a religious thingy.

What do you mean? Old Testament Evangelicals (aka Christian Zionists) and Israel? Of course, it is. But it is not one thingy, there are many of those thingies. Many factors are at play here and flattery felt on eager ears. Believe me, I have a good life experience attending Eastern bazaars from Turkmenistan to Libya included and I know first hand what "sweet tongue" means there. Flattering BS, that's what it is--everything at play to make a sale. Iranian bazaars are hardly different from their counterparts in Azerbaijan, Abkhasia, Dagestan or Armenia. This is exactly what happened with W. in Georgia, it is exactly why Free Willy Clinton enjoyed his tasteless golden statue in Kosovo. Those neocon people are really good at recognizing what Alexis De Tocqueville defined "as being insatiable for praise", because they are such themselves and they can spot a sucker miles away. There are many other factors in addition to what have been pointed out. But these two are major ones. Hopefully, my response is appropriate for what I perceived you meant. If not, my apologies.

Babak Makkinejad

There was no balance of power involved in the 12-year long economic war against Iran; Iran could not retaliate. What Iran did was to escalate where the deal available in 2003 was no longer available in 2006 and so on.

In regards to the Qajars, by 1909, their balancing act had utterly failed them at the grand strategic level, in my opinion.

What Foroughi did was not based on any notional of balance of power between Iran and others - rather a balance of strategic greed between USSR and USA, neither which wanted the other side to get Iran.

That was what UK, Russia, and France were doing in the Mediterranean Sea on the issue of Crete - which at that time was still part of the Ottoman Empire. None of the 3 wanted the other side to gain Crete so they let her suffer under late Ottoman rule.

Yes, there was a balance of power, but among the major powers.

Babak Makkinejad


Babak Makkinejad

Well, how Pakistan finds herself where she is now is not germane to my observation.

Arab (inter)-Nationalism failed under its own delusions and we are witnessing the destruction of Muslim Internationalism; in my opinion; "Just give them some petro-dollars and they will sell their religion to the highest bidder..." seems to have been the order of the day.

Islamic solidarity was the delusion of many Iranian revolutionaries; in my opinion.


I agree their fear seems overblown, but should be acknowledged as it is likely an impediment to a meaningful resolution in Syria.


To be clear I am not advocating this. I am just saying, that Haass and Burns are advocating along with 51 diplomats that we attack the Syrian government, which I find to be a bad idea, but if the issue at heart is a land corridor to Iran which they fear, then there are simpler ways of resolving that problem than attacking the Syrian government. I think Haass and Burns are just wrong. Also you point about air corridor is well taken though it has natural limitations that ground transportation does not. Then there is the core issue of how to reduce IS militarily and inevitably it would seem some airfield is needed further to the south than current Kurdish/US positions in NE Syria.



Why should we (US) fear a land corridor to Iran from Syria? I can see why the Israeli hegemonists would fear it. pl


Thanks again. I have not doubt he gave the talk. I just don't trust Arab or Israeli media to give us an unbiased report on it. It stands out as very odd that there isn't a video or transcript currently in open source media on his talk even though other presentations from the conference are in fact posted on youtube. If someone finds the full transcript, please post here.


I don't think we should fear it one way or the other as you rightly point out. What does concern me is the statements attributed to Halevy and to the Charlie Rose interviews linked above that suggest a negotiated peace will not be possible unless this concern of the Israelis and Saudi Arabia about a Shia land corridor is addressed. They have a veto on peace whether we like it or not.

What someone should ask Halevy, Haass and Burns and indeed the 51 foreign service signatories, is "How does anyone in the west or in Israel benefit from the gasping collapse of the Syrian government?" If Halevy was worried about the western powers leaving the ME post IS, how much more unstable would the region be if the Assad regime up and died? That is the nightmare scenario Russian intervention last year prevented. One hopes Lavrov and Kerry could align our countries interests in Syria and eastern Europe in 2016, but the time window on the US administration is closing and we may be witnessing with the proclamation from the 51 a new generation of neocons that wish to perpetually keep the US engaged militarily in the ME. I do not believe the US should maintain any permanent facility in Syria beyond immediate needs to crush IS. Our focus should be on defeating IS quickly and not destabilizing the Assad regime, IMHO.

Babak Makkinejad

OK, good. For a moment you had me going there.

Babak Makkinejad

For more than 60 years the United States, a country which domestically adheres most scrupulously to the doctrine of the separation of Church and State, has stood by the state of Israel and its religious program at great cost to herself.

Only an emotional conviction rooted in religious sentiment can explain that - in my opinion.

Necons are just the convenient alibi of entire countries; electorate bear responsibility - in US, in France, in Germany, in UK, in Spain.

Babak Makkinejad

No apologies needed.


Babak, you can call it what you will, but if going to Putin and convince the Russian to come in and balance the power of Americans and their allies in Syria for your own interests, (like Khajeh Nassier did many centuries earlier against the Arab Khalifs) can't be called balancing of power(s) I have no idea what else it can be called. IMO, it's a tall order to claim Iranian don't and haven't used "balancing" of powers.


Not in 1909 actualy 1907, when Brits and Russian divided Iran, but you must mean in 1919 after the Russian revolution when Brits where Brits where the sole power in ME they tried to pass a law through Iranian parliament making Iran a British protectorate state. Which didn't happen.


Could we call it Fort Courage?


Only if we give Israel a veto over what we do.



What is the basis for your judgment that we need the Israelis and the Saudis more than they need us?

Bill Herschel

"They have a veto on peace whether we like it or not."

Come again? I think you should check with Russia before you say that. Just sayin'.


The Syrian support is also an expression of loyalty to an erstwhile ally, the only Arab country, that supported Iran against Saddam's aggression.


And there was and is a formal mutual defense pact between Syria and Iran on the one hand and Syria and Russia on the other.

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