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27 October 2019


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About the burn pits ,I read about it this morning coincidentally in an article on the rise of cancers in US veterans over past 20 years:
These soldiers and some researchers/clinicians blame burn pits that were burning tons of assorted military refuse on a daily basis in both iraq and afghanistan, not uranium. But I do not buy this explanation



Why do you not "buy" it?



If the burn pits are responsible then teratogenicity would be pronounced in the veteran population like it was for Agent Orange, and it wouldn’t be circumscribed to specific urban areas that saw intense use of certain munitions.

Babak Makkinejad


Interview with Bashar al Assad - 10/31/2019


Babak Makkinejad


Informative essay on why Turkisk leaders have done what they have done:



CK, yes, we all may lean towards educational measures once in a while. Ideally after careful reflections ...

And yes: we are all blind temporarily, or dazzled, if you like. ...


That doesn't answer Lyttenbourg's question. Prison samples, family?

But I wish I would care. Other then maybe wondering that a T-shirt would have done the same job.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

Many thanks for that reference.

I see that the author, Michael A. Reynolds, links to a paper he produced in April last year, entitled ‘Outfoxed by the Bear? America’s Losing Game Against Russia in the Near East.’

(See https://www.fpri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Reynolds2018.pdf .)

The title is somewhat misleading, in that the paper actually deals with the whole history of conflict between West and Russia over the ‘southern rim’ of that country since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the rather radical misreadings common in Washington – as also London.

A paragraph from the opening I enjoyed:

‘For over three centuries, Westerners have likened Russia to a bear. The comparison is not generally flattering. Although bears are large and powerful, the metaphor is commonly deployed to suggest a lumbering and clumsy creature. Hunters and woodsmen who risk encountering bears, however, are rarely inclined to indulge in such smugness. They know bears are clever, agile, and fast.’

The author is apparently associate professor of Near Eastern Studies and Director of the Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies in Princeton University.

A comparison with the – borderline illiterate – demonstrations of ignorance and bigotry produced by figures like Lieutenant-Colonel Vindman is sobering.

In the United States, as in Britain, there is still real ‘area studies’ expertise. It has simply been marginalised from policy-making, in both countries, in favour of a kind of neo-Brezhnevite simplistic ideological dogmatism.


The joke from "the History Boys".

"History? Its just one ffing thing after another"

Babak Makkinejad

For the first 2 decades of Iranian Revolution, I cringed often at the policy statements as well as policies promulgated by the Iranian government: experts and their knowledge were dismissed in favor of ideological fervor and commitment. All of that changed by War and the other great teachers in the School of Hard-knocks. I expect nothing less here.



Translation of the ISIS Baghdadi death announcement and appointment of new Caliph, for those interested in such things:



Russian FM Lavrov is saying that Al-Baghdadi's death is 'still an open question'.




"Trust but verify." I heard that somewhere a long time ago.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.

But those passages do not support your original claim of " sacred bond". The Fifth Commandment is recapitulated in Quran: 46: 15-16.

Babak Makkinejad

Shia are devotees of the Household of Prophet, respecting religious Authority, religious scholarship and Reason in interpretation of Quran, firm believers in Justice, and the intercessionary powers of their saints. They have overlaps with Catholicism and thus, unsurprisingly, they have become political enemies of Protestants.


The same thing was said with Bin-Laden, the first reports of his death were in December 2001 from Marfan syndrome. And then every few years he died again, and again, and again. Till the world got bored with it.

Charles Peterson

I agree the radiation is a non-issue, or at least nearly so. But what about the toxic uranium oxides and other chemicals created and widely dispersed when the slug of depleted uranium burns with everything around it at very high temperatures (in actual use) ?

I am glad to hear that DU weapons are no longer used. (Thanks.) But if the toxic chemicals I mentioned are as highly toxic and persistent as I had heard they are, this may be of little comfort to those who live where it was used in the past, up to just a few years ago.

JP Billen

He was evil based on his championship of slavery and beheadings. The same should also be said of the Saudis.

JP Billen

I also thank you for the reference. Reynolds' knowledge of Turkish/Russian relations far surpasses anything comprehended by Pompeo.

Unfortunately Reynolds has little to zero understanding of the SDF. He pushes Erdogan's line that the SDF is identical to the Kurdish YPG. That is definitely untrue. As can be seen by the current fighting at Tel Tamir where Assyrian and Armenian Christians are fighting under SDF flag against Erdogan's takfiris. And by the long association of the Arab Shammar and Shai'tat tribes with the SDF, and many Arab Raqqawis also. Ditto for those Shia Turkmen in Syria whose Seljuk Brigade is part of the SDF. Yes, the commander of the SDF, Maslum Kobane, is Kudish. But senior leadership is mixed: Kino Gabriel is an Assyrian Christian, Rashid Abu Khawla &
Abdul Karim Obeid are both Arab.

Reynolds is either ignorant of those facts, or he is deliberately pushing the Erdogan propaganda in order to keep open his access to Turkish historical archives.

Babak Makkinejad

There was nothing that ISIS was doing that did not have precedence in Muslim History, if not Muslim Tradition.

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