Of Ideals, Unbelief, and Betrayal


America’s leverage to speak on a variety of issues, from the aggressive attitude of certain countries to their record of domestic violations of human rights, is greatly enhanced and improved when America itself is not seeing as an aggressor, in action or in waiting, or as a major violator of human rights of others. This is true. But is this really the only issue, or even the main issue, undermining America’s credibility in this regard? Are those who are raising the issue of America’s hypocrisy and double-standards serious about their moral objection to intervening in other country’s domestic affairs and criticizing their cultural practices?

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What Victory? Whose Victory?

Bolshevik (1920), by Boris Kustodiev
Bolshevik (1920), by Boris Kustodiev

Many people are rushing to remind us these days of the Soviet contributions to the Allied victory in WWII. Most of these people of course conveniently forget to mention that Stalin had signed a pact Hitler that allowed them to divide Poland between them, and that he turned against Germany only after Hitler broke the pact and invaded Russia. The same experts also forget to mention that Stalin, and long before the German invasion, had already killed more Soviet citizens than Hitler’s forces would later do. Indeed, ever since the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia’s “victories” have always come at the expense of her peoples’ basic freedoms and their hopes for a dignified existence.

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Deal or No Deal

VP Joseph Biden addressing participants in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Soref Symposium at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC on April 301, 2015, 7:30 pm. (Photo by Ammar Abdulhamid)

According to Jo Biden, in his dinner remarks to participants in the Washington Institute’ Soref Symposium yesterday, Iran can enrich enough uranium to build several nukes within 2-3 months. The proposed deal with its leaders will prevent this development, he said, by rolling the clock back on some components, and allowing for inspections and for a breakout notice of at least one year.

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Of Geopolitics & Communal Identity

"Syria is our strategic province," said Mehdi Taeb, the cleric in charge of the Revolutionary Guards' Cyber Warfare Unit in February 2014.
“Syria is our strategic province,” said Mehdi Taeb, the cleric in charge of the Revolutionary Guards’ Cyber Warfare Unit in February 2014.

Conflict in the Middle East will have consequences far beyond its borders, especially in Europe.

This is a very important article by Nicholas Blanford and can help us predict the future patterns of conflict in the region. The key quote in it for me, the one that explains how “geopolitical concerns” are understood by Iran’s leaders at this stage and, consequently, how other players are bound to understand them as swell, is this:

In February 2014, Mehdi Taeb, a senior Iranian cleric, underlined the importance of Syria to Iran in stark terms, saying it is a “strategic province for us.”  “If the enemy attacks us and wants to take either Syria or [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan, the priority is to keep Syria,” he said. “If we keep Syria, we can get Khuzestan back too, but if we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”

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