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26 December 2017


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english outsider

I've read that about France. To be fair, Hammond focuses on the Jewish/Arab conflict and not on the international colony bargaining.

Not a drop of oil was discovered in Iraq before or during the war. There were suspicions of oil because the terrain was similar to an oil gusher drilled by the British in Persia in, I think 1903. The size of Middle East oil reserves wasn't realized until the '20s, so I don't know how important a pipeline was in creating the Palestine mandate. War has a way of making itself foremost in countries policy decisions. I always think the religious elemnt was huge.

Babak Makkinejad

The Reconquista will likely continue in the coming centuries.



That's a policy of the state government. In the West it is the actions of individual social justice warriors who will be taking these actions because they know who is "good" and who isn't.



You mean the Europeans are going to launch Reconquista II?


OT, but I see reports of pro-Shah and anti-Islamic "regime" protests in some Iranian cities, particularly in Mashhad. Would appreciate your views on that.

Babak Makkinejad

Iran is experiencing the economic hard times that often follow a war, in this case the Western Fortress's. Government's anti-inflationary policy has made things worse. Many instances salaries are in arrears,

Babak Makkinejad

The slogans are meant in an ironic manner, shaming the government officials into action. I only have heard of those in Mashad. On the other hand, no one wants to admit the pernicious effect of government subsidies over the last 70 years, specially the first 30 years of Islamic Republic.


Gareth Porter explains how Cheney destroyed the Agreed Framework with DPRK. Secretary of State Powell and National Security Adviser Rice were overwhelmed by Cheney's tactics and repeated deceit. Even the CIA was forced into retreat. Cheney wanted a threat so that he could implement huge expensive Missile Defense project. Israel was complicit and influential in Cheney's deceit.
Please read whole story for yourself. As usual, GP provides lots of facts you will not find assembled elsewhere.

English Outsider

Optimax - You point out - "Not a drop of oil was discovered in Iraq before or during the war."

The first strike was apparently in Baba Gurgur, 1927. There followed a long wrangle between us and the French about how to get the oil out. Barr's quotation from an internal French document on that is instructive - "If...England declared war on us, we could, for a while at least, block their supply of Iraqi petroleum, and in the last resort, render the terminus and a significant length of the pipeline running through Syria unserviceable." (1928)

The quotation's instructive because it shows the poisonous relationship between us and the French in the inter-war years (and before, even though we were fighting as allies on the Western Front.) And 1928 was one of the better years. Other times we were openly supporting Druze fighters against the French in Syria, and yet later the French were openly supporting Jewish terrorists who were posting letter bombs across the channel. Must have been one hell of an Entente Cordiale.

But they knew about the Mosul oil long before 1927. German geologists had first identified the possibility of oil there and later it was a factor in the acrimonious post-war ME settlement -

(Barr, Pge 65, 1918) "The prime minister's sudden interest in Mosul was down to Hankey. It was he who had alerted Lloyd George to the importance of the city eight weeks earlier, after he had read a memorandum written by a senior admiral on Britain's need for oil. The admiral explained that, as oil was four times more efficient than coal, it would eventually take over as the major marine fuel. This would leave Britain vulnerable because whereas it had coal reserves of its own, it depended on the United States for its supply of oil. Against the backdrop of President Wilson's hostility to imperialism, if the British Empire was to remain the dominant maritime power, it was therefore vital 'to obtain the undisputed control of the greatest amount of Petroleum that we can'"

(pge 66, again from the admiral's memorandum) 'the Power that controls the oil lands of Persia and Mesopotamia will control the source of supply of the majority of the liquid fuel of the future.' 'This control must be absolute and there must be no foreign interest involved of any sort.'

That admiral, and those who thought like him, were not Zionists manque hunting around for pretexts. They were simply wishing to keep the Navy going and were, in effect, telling the politicians that to do that they had to grab the oil any way they could.

Which they did. Elsewhere one reads that the Navy was fully conscious of the need to ensure oil supplies a decade and more before 1918, but as far as the Northern Iraqi oilfields are concerned, Britain's need for oil, and for a route for getting that oil out, was explicitly part of the mix of considerations that led to the post-war colonial settlement in the ME.

But as you point out so cogently, only part of the mix. Who knows what passions and convictions were concealed behind all those carefully written official documents that Barr examines?

Babak Makkinejad

Clinton did that and not Bush II.


please read the article
here is a small quote, much more in the article

the election of George W. Bush in November 2000 was a major victory for the missile defense lobby. Bush named Rumsfeld, the primary political champion of a missile defense system, as his Secretary of Defense. And no less than eight figures with direct or indirect ties to Lockheed Martin, the leading defense contractor in the missile defense business, became policymakers in the new administration. The most important was Dick Cheney, whose wife, Lynn Cheney, had earned more than half a million dollars serving on the board of directors of Lockheed-Martin from 1994 to 2001.

Cheney set about killing the Agreed Framework and securing the missile defense system even before Bush entered the White House. Cheney chose Robert Joseph, a hardline supporter of missile defense and foe of an agreement with North Korea, as a key member of the transition team that Cheney led. Cheney then made Joseph senior director on the National Security Council (NSC) staff with responsibility for both missile defense and “weapons of mass destruction” proliferation policy.

“Joseph really hated the Agreed Framework,” Larry Wilkerson, then in the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, told journalist Mike Chinoy. “His objective was first to kill the Agreed Framework and to make sure that nothing like it could ever get created again.”
. . .
Colin Powell’s State Department posed the main obstacle to the Cheney group’s plans for trashing the Agreed Framework. The Department’s East Asian Bureau got Bush’s approval for a formal policy review on North Korea, which concluded by defining the policy goal of exploring a deal with North Korea that would involve “an improved relationship.”

But Cheney had a bureaucratic strategy to frustrate that endeavor and finish off the Agreed Framework. The NSC staff initiated a “nuclear posture review,” which was carried out without any participation by Powell’s allies. The final document included North Korea on a new list of countries that could be targets for US use of nuclear weapons.






This isn't an earth shaking article and I would never read it if not for a friend sending it to me. It's part philosophical treatise, part guide, to dumpster diving.



Maybe this linl will work


Babak Makkinejad

Macro level, while prices go up.


thank you. what about the slogans raisedagainst involvement in gaza or against support for hzb. is this a commonly held view?

English Outsider

Babak - not only is that a question I'm not qualified to answer, I believe it's a question no one is. The historian I mentioned, James Barr, does a superb job of setting out all the various strands leading to the disaster, but does not and cannot attempt to rank them in order of importance.

For me, what comes through from start to finish in Barr's account is the sheer force of Blut and Boden Nationalism. Surmounting all obstacles, shying away from no atrocity, summoning all resources, it was an unstoppable primal force even though most of the other players knew that what the Zionists wanted was wrong.

In the Ukraine, in the ME, and in those early times in Palestine we in the West have attempted to harness such primal forces for our own ends. In all cases it has led to devastation for the occupants of those regions and is now backfiring badly on us, as the Manchester bombing showed in England and as the refugee crisis shows in Europe. In a more recent article the Colonel asks us to predict what will occur in the coming year. I can't enter that discussion - I simply don't know enough about the probabilities - but one thing I do hope is that we cease this murderous "Great Game" and attend to our own affairs rather than interfering so ineptly and disastrously in the affairs of others.

Here, towards the end of Barr's study, is an English colonial administrator coming in his own way to much the same conclusion:-

"Years later Sir John Shaw, the former Chief secretary of Palestine who survived the King David Hotel Bombing, was asked to assess Britain's record in the mandate.

'In many cases we thought that we were doing good to the people concerned, and indeed we were,' he said. 'I mean we stamped out all sorts of abuses and malpractices and things but.' he hesitated, ' if you look at it from a purely philosophical, high minded point of view, I think it is immoral, and I think it's ...it's not only immoral but it's ill advised.'

'Why?' Shaw was asked.

'Why? Well ... because it's not your business or my business, or British business, or (for) anybody else to interfere in other people's countries and tell them how to run it, even to run it well. They must be left to their own salvation.'"

Babak Makkinejad

I do not know.

Babak Makkinejad

Please investigate what Cinton did not do. He, like everyone else in DC, wanted a cost-free resolution. He elected to drag his feet, waiting for North Koresn state to collapse.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.
Per the Bayesian approach, I would assign equal ratio; half religious and half profane.
I guess over time, the religious component has begun to predominate.

English Outsider

Babak - As usual you're looking below the surface. OK, if the Colonel permits, let me try as far as I am able to join you. We disagree, I think, and have done several times before on the point of how far modern disputes are traceable to ancient prejudice.

It may be that when you look at what is occurring in the ME what you see is a triumphalist West, seeking to impose itself on other societies, and giving expression in its foreign policy to the convictions and prejudices of the peoples of the West. You see this side of the "Diocletian line" as opposed en masse to the other side, as it always was.

If that's so I have to disagree. What I see is a dysfunctional West with, crucially, the peoples of the West more or less divorced from our political and administrative apparatus. We are of course swayed by the PR put out by that apparatus but we don't and have not for some time had much control of that apparatus. On top of that, and it's a hard thing to say, I'm not sure that we in the West would have much idea of what to do with our political and administrative apparatus even were we to control it. Ideologically, we are rotted out. That the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity isn't just a good bit of poetry. The worst everywhere have always been full of passionate intensity but the best can never have been so devoid of conviction as now. Religion, or ideology, is a bastard when you get it wrong. Even worse when you deny its existence as a force at all.

The "religious (ideological) component" you treat as an entity itself has components. A spectrum of components, ranging from our relationship to, or at the least our acknowledgement of, the Transcendent, to a cultural marker, to a cloak for straight secular prejudice.

Let's look at the top end of the spectrum. It's a truism that we in the West don't do the Transcendent any more. We're atheists or materialists and that's that. Complete nonsense of course. Our rejection of any formal or communally agreed relationship with the Transcendent merely means that we make it up as we go along, integrating scraps from here and there with precepts derived, if derived at all, from Benthamite or utilitarian thinking the foundations of which are never examined. So the reigning Western ideology that we loosely term "progressivism" is in truth a religion, but a religion without its own foundation. A religion that denies it has any foundation, in fact, and is therefore incapable of proper examination or development.

If you look at the kill rate you see that this modern Western religion ends up as considerably more dangerous than the religion of the most doctrinaire Wahhabi fanatic, so such considerations as these are not merely pointless philosophical musings but real considerations with practical and dangerous implications for our and other societies. Religion, or as we in the West prefer to term it, ideology, is not simply a matter of the individual man's relationship with the Transcendent, but of a society's relationship. If that gets skewed we see, according to the means available, such horrors as the Munster Anabaptists or the Jewish genocide in Eastern Europe. But an ideology, or a religion, that doesn't even know it's a religion, and therefore is not susceptible to examination, releases the immense forces of fanaticism that lurk in all ideologies or religions with no means of moderating or controlling those forces. That is the true danger of the Western rejection of the Transcendent.

Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the consideration of religion as a cloak for identity politics, the BNP lookalikes who walk through Muslim areas in England bearing a cross are not of course making a statement about religion. They're grabbing any old symbol to make a statement about Englishness. About their own identity. It's a pity they choose that particular symbol and choose to make their statement in that particular way, but the outside observer should not confuse what they are doing with religious impulse.

The point of all this is that when we are looking at the conflict between the West and Islam the respective spectra don't match. What appears to be Muslim fanaticism to the Westerner may be no more than an intuitive rejection of Western ideology. What seems to some Muslims to be Christian hostility to the Muslim world may be no more than chance events resulting from the dysfunctionality of Western ideology and the resultant dysfunctionality of Western politics.

I think to you, looking at the feeding of arms and Jihadis into Syria that wrecked that fragile country, or watching ME cities being bombed to rubble and the civilian suffering that resulted, it must be impossible not to see that as the result of a settled malevolence on the part of Western society as a whole, as a result of an age old hostility this side of the "Diocletian Line" to the world of Islam. That is how it must appear your side of the line. I do not believe that is true. What you are witnessing is not Western Society on the march against your world. It is Western society failing in itself, and thus unable to control its politics and therefore to control the immense forces of destruction it has at its disposal.

You may not agree with all that, but to return to the original point of this discussion, that's not quite so central in any case when we examine the Palestinian tragedy. Here we need not concern ourselves so much with matching up spectra or with examining how you see things here with how I think things are. The Palestinian tragedy is, callous though it may seem to describe it so, a very ordinary tragedy. The failure of the West in Palestine, and particularly the failure of my own country as that failure is described in James Barr's book, is the result of no settled Western hostility to the Muslim world. It is simply a result of dysfunctional Western politics that allowed play to what I have described as Blut und Boden fanaticism. Zionism is a very ordinary pathology, and what is remarkable is not that it existed but that it found, by the saddest of chances, such a tragic outlet.


IMO is an interesting development which is a step up from the Sham 2. Syria has some creative engineers or are they receiving technical assistance from that other drone pioneer?


What especially disturbs the Russian analysts – and on this point they are still unable to identify the source – is that the drones were accurately programmed not only to reach the bases, but to hit specific targets that could not be attacked using standard GPS-generated maps or rely on GPS for accurate targeting. The single camera-equipped drone was there to help adjust the final target, indicating a fairly sophisticated command and control capability, something that clearly impressed the Russian General Staff. The drones also were programmed with accurate intelligence that was harmonized with GPS maps.

All were stopped by the Pantsir and ECM, but if the ability to make DIY Smart Attack Drones (abbreviate to SAD ? ) becomes more common this will be a significant threat. Although the load is (still) very small, the accuracy will compensate.

I doubt if countries not in a war zone (including the US and Europe) will be able to stop this? Especially when the drones are launched 5 -10 miles from their targets. Off course a solution will be found, but at what cost (to society or required assets)?



"There were some provocateurs, but they were not Turks. We know who they are, who paid who for this provocation and what the actual sum was. As for this kind of incidents, there is nothing good about them. These are provocations aimed at destroying previous agreements," Putin said.

He added that those actions were also aimed at undermining Russia’s relations with Turkey and Iran. "We understand it perfectly well so we will work together," the Russian leader stressed.

"As for these attacks, they were undoubtedly prepared well. We know when and where these unmanned vehicles were handed over [to the attackers], and how many of them there were. These aerial vehicles were disguised - I would like to stress that - as homemade. But it is obvious that some high-tech equipment was used," Putin said.

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