Also in Media – “Inside the bear” | The Economist – October 22, 2016

The revolution of 1991 overturned the Soviet Union’s political, economic and social order and put 15 countries on the map where there had previously been only one. But like many revolutions in history, it was followed by a restoration.

The tsar the Kremlin most admires is Alexander III, who on taking office in 1881 reversed the liberalisation overseen by his father, who was assassinated, to impose an official ideology of Orthodoxy, nationalism and autocracy. His portrait and his famous saying, “Russia has only two allies: its army and its navy,” greet visitors to a revamped museum of Russian history at VDNKH, a prime example of Stalinist architecture in Moscow. Stalin himself has had a makeover too. Gigantic portraits of him line the roads in Crimea, proclaiming: “It is our victory!”

Source: Inside the bear | The Economist – 10/22/2016

Also in Media: “Keeping Up with CAIR’s Islamic Radicalism” – Capital Research Center – by Andrew E. Harrod, October 18, 2016.


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Ghassan Elashi, a co-founder of Texas CAIR, was convicted in 2005 of terrorism-related offenses and sentenced to almost seven years imprisonment. CAIR civil rights director Randall Todd Royer was given 20 years for federal weapons and explosives convictions in 2004. Bassem Khafagi, a community affairs director at CAIR, was convicted in 2003 on bank and visa fraud charges and shipped back to Egypt. Rabih Haddad, a fundraiser for CAIR’s chapter in Ann Arbor, Mich., was detained in 2001 for overstaying his visa. Authorities found a firearm and considerable ammunition in his home. He served 19 months in prison and was then deported to Lebanon in 2003. CAIR board member Abdurahman Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment for directing at least $1 million to al-Qaeda. (See Foundation Watch, December 2015.)“

Contending that American Muslims are the victims of wholesale repression, CAIR has provided sensitivity training to police departments across the United States, instructing law officers in the art of dealing with Muslims respectfully,” according to DiscoverTheNetworks. The estate of 9/11 victim John O’Neill Sr., a senior FBI counter-terrorism agent, filed a lawsuit claiming that CAIR’s goal “is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police department and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.”

Source: Keeping Up with CAIR’s Islamic Radicalism – Capital Research Center – 10/18/2016.

FTAC -Solomon’s Folly and the Middle East Conflict


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Third-party adoptions take place too, but let’s not add complications to the retelling of a parable involving the difference between authentic and inauthentic claims. offers a brief look at the Arab sale of land to the Jewish State for the development of a new agricultural economy. As with most facets of the Middle East Conflict, the depth of the bickering has no bottom, lol, but the western principle elevating integrity in the telling of history should stand. The peaceful processes involved in the development of Israel, including the chartering by the United Nations (which then Soviet Russia, among a majority of other states, approved) should not be omitted from accounts of the “baby’s” birth.

As geopolitical space worldwide naturally compartments into politically separable and potentially distinct units — x nation, region, state, county, district, city, neighborhood, township, and individual private property — nonetheless sharing the earth, Solomon’s method fails for immediate relevance: the “baby” — the land — is greater than the “mothers”. In effect and regarding the basic service required for life, common security (policing), and for trade are in fact already co-administered.

The People — either, en masse, or by more parochial organization — may “see” things differently, but that, again (coming from me), devolves to methods in misinformation continuously driven by the “carrot” that is (reward for) tribal loyalty and the “stick’ that is intimidation.

As long as a loyal ruse trumps an inconvenient truth, that is as long as the conflict will last.

However, the conflict is already . . . tired. Old.  Perhaps while the mothers were arguing, the baby grew up.

Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, founder of Islam’s moderate Wasatia Movement, had posted a lovely personal history and parable about the middle east conflict and the biblical Solomon’s famous discerning of the birth mother of an infant laid claim to by another woman.  The true mother, so Solomon decided, was the one who would rather give up her baby than see him divided in two.

Daoudi’s suggestion on behalf of the Palestinian Cause and peace: perhaps both mothers should raise the baby.

There’s probably no need here to suggest that one of the two moms would batter the other over the next step: naming the baby.


So, up top, there’s the response.

The truth of the matter, now long publicized on BackChannels, involves Soviet manipulation and misinformation in its efforts to use the Arab world through the refugees of 1948 to block the further western liberalization that would threaten the political absolutism and totalitarianism on which authoritarian, despotic, and tyrannical regimes sustain themselves in power.

If there’s an appropriate counterpoint, it would be this: all civil societies require principles of organization, and the spectrum most certainly includes elite authority — experienced, knowledgeable, and wise — in several forms, including royalty (rule by divine right).  Even so, other principles involving ethics, human development, and morals needs must apply against the suite of politically criminal behaviors known to unbridled or “unchecked” authorities: capricious justice; corruption; kleptocracy.

Basically, the Palestinians cannot get to their oasis of peace through an ocean of lies, a body of speech that must include not only its fabrications but its own sins of omission.


Also in Media: French Foreign Legion.  ISIS.  Jailbird — “The French Spymaster of ISIS” – The Daily Beast – October 24, 2016

He is not an ethnically European convert to Islam, as one French private intelligence newsletter had it, an assumption apparently based on the lightness of his complexion. Himich is Moroccan, having been born in Rabat in 1989, although it would be more accurate to describe him as a cultural Frenchman, as his kunya, or nom de guerre “Firansi” suggests. He spent the majority of his adolescence and education in Lunel, a southern French town of around 26,000 that has produced as many as two dozen youngish foreign fighters for the Syrian battlefield. Also, he does not appear to have run gyms or fitness centers; instead, he ran drugs. And, typically, before becoming a jihadi, he was a jailbird.

Source: The French Spymaster of ISIS – The Daily Beast – 10/24/2016 – by Michael Weiss.

The ‘War on Terror’ – Not ‘Sacred’ – Practical


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Patriarch Kirill urges all countries to unite in sacred war on terrorism

London, October 18, Interfax – The war on terrorism is a sacred war, and must be a common cause of all countries, not just Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told a press conference at London’s Luton Airport after his visit to the United Kingdom.

“I regret that my words were misread. I never spoke about a sacred war in Syria, I spoke about a sacred war on terrorism. I think very many victims of terrorism in Europe could subscribe to these words. Suffice to recall all that happened comparatively recently in France, in Belgium,” the patriarch said, responding to reporters’ questions about the military operation in Syria.

Who is “running” the terrorists? – 9/14/2016. – 11/16/2015 – 9/8/2015

Perhaps more important than merely noting the framing applied by Patriarch Kirill to confronting the evidently Moscow-manipulated terrorists —

For good measure: – 8/23/2015. – 8/25/2015. – 8/17/2016.

— may be the promotion of the medieval worldview.

In effect, Kirill suggests to the Russian people and others that they may know nothing and that the conflict is religious as painted by the al-Qaeda types against the “crusader west” or Christianity in general.

What say ye, mainstream, moderate, and modern Muslim?

Or Christian?

Is the modern “Other” too much for co-existence and pervasively so?

If the answer is “No”, then the medieval framing — the “holy war” on terrorism that has been used to depopulate and destroy a fair part of Syria — falls away and what is left looks only archaic, barbaric, and evil.

The real war on “Islamist” and other terrorism may involve the combined law enforcement and research practices that have long been applied in the west to extremist violence: accurate comprehension of terrorist motivation; detection of intent to commit a crime accompanied by investigation; interdiction.

There is nothing “holy” about the business of combating extremism and related criminal activity, but may God bless those who authentically engage in diminishing the threat posed to others by the same.



Russia’s Nuclear Scarum


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Having rebuilt a small medieval world in Russia, President Putin has backed himself into his own paranoid corner as regards the “active measures” he has taken against the entire Russian constituency, which he has sewn up with state-controlled misinformation about western behavior.

Veteran nuclear defense analyst Jeffrey Lewis had this to say in Foreign Policy back in August:

Titter has been aflame with reports that the United States is moving the few dozen nuclear weapons stored at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to Deveselu military base in Romania. I am calling bullshit on this one — but it’s bullshit in a telling way.

It’s most likely Russian propaganda, all part of an elaborate strategy to build opposition to U.S. missile defense efforts and deflect criticism of Moscow for violating arms control treaties. This is a particularly irritating manifestation of the bullshit asymmetry principle: “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”

Lewis, Jeffrey.  “Russia’s Nuclear Paranoia Fuels Its Nuclear Propaganda.”  Foreign Policy, August 22, 2016.

Earlier this year:

For Russia, the Cold War had never simply disappeared. It had resulted in defeat and the loss of empire, leaving Russia’s rival of more than 40 years to dictate the terms of peace in Europe. By the time Putin took power in 2000, the only vestige of his country’s superpower status was its nuclear arsenal, which was still the biggest in the world. So he began to use it as a crutch.

“Even in the darkest days of the Russian military, when they weren’t able to afford to pay their soldiers and fly their airplanes, they paid close attention to the readiness and modernization of their nuclear forces,” says David Ochmanek, who served as a U.S. Air Force officer during the Cold War and, between 2009 and 2014, was the Pentagon’s top official for force development. “Their doctrine reflected this,” he says.

Shuster, Simon.  “Why Russia is Rebuilding Its Nuclear Arsenal.”  Time, April 4, 2016.

Back to the moment:

Nuclear proliferation destabilizes the equilibrium of mutually assured destruction. In a multipolar nuclear world, in which many countries have a few nukes and threaten to use them, the possibility of a “limited” nuclear war—one in which all of civilization is not obliterated—begins, for some people, to appear feasible. The truth, however, is that there’s no such thing as limited use of nuclear weapons. Retaliation and escalation are extremely likely.

Krauss, Lawrence M.  “The Real Nuclear Threat.”  The New Yorker, October 13, 2016.

Cogent and published the day after the previous excerpt:

Grievances against the West and predictions of militaristic doom are not new in Russia—they have run through all sixteen years of Vladimir Putin’s rule. But they took on a heightened intensity in early 2014, after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and the U.S. sanctions that followed. Suddenly the question of war was in the air in Moscow. If nothing else, the spectre of a conflict with Washington served as retroactive justification for the Kremlin’s policies, and a ready-made excuse for why the Russian economy had sunk into recession. At home, Russia’s ostracization was spun as a sign of its righteousness.

Yaffa, Joshua.  “Putin, Syria, and Why Moscow has Gone War-Crazy.”  The New Yorker, October 14, 2016.

Political theater?  “Theater of the Real”?  Political Theater of the Absurd?

“A Russian takes a long time to harness a horse, but then rides fast,” said the news anchor, quoting a famous Russian saying.

By “riding fast”, Kiselyov was referring to a string of recent Russian military deployments:

  • Last week, Moscow sent three warships from the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean: on board, cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads
  • Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland
  • Russia announced it would send several hundred paratroopers to Egypt for military exercises
  • Moscow also suspended three nuclear agreements with the United States

Rosenberg, Steve.  “Russia’s top spin doctor in nuclear warning.”  BBC News, October 10, 2016.

As he has done in Syria, which damage so far has been largely contained in Syria and spilled out primarily in mass migration to the west, Putin and Company may well produce a complete medieval and totalitarian theater of politics and war by way of the state’s central control of media and the manipulation of what appears on the surface of so much turmoil.

There has been talk this week, already, of a “CIA cyber retaliation” against Russia in reprisal for meddling with the American election. May it be accompanied by the transferring into the former Soviet Union higher-integrity news coverage and analysis in Russian.

Addendum – Additional Reference

Lockie, Alex.  “How the US’s nuclear weapons compare to Russia’s.”  Business Insider, September 28, 2016.


Also in Media: “Anti-Americanism is ‘cult of Putin’s Russia’ with all the consequences thereof, Pastukhov says” | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | October 15, 2016



“Anti-Americanism,” Vladimir Pastukhov says, “is the Marxism of ‘the Russian spring’ and the religion of the ‘post-modern’ post-communist rebirth. It is the guide to any action and at the same time a universal indulgence” and explanation of all problems Moscow faces.Vladimir Pastukhov (Image: is in short, the Russian historian at the London School of Economics says, “the new cult of Putin’s Russia,” reflecting the fact that “Russia no longer loves America but as before cannot live without her. If the Americans did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.”

Source: Anti-Americanism is ‘cult of Putin’s Russia’ with all the consequences thereof, Pastukhov says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press | – by Paul A. Goble, October 15, 2016.

Also in Media: On the New Antisemitism – “Mitri Raheb Occupies the Bible” – Juicy Ecumenism – October 11, 2016


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Analysts of Raheb’s Israel-bashing would demur. A supporter of Palestinian Liberation Theology, he peddles theories discredited by DNA analysis and scholarly research that modern Jews have no ancestry in the Jews described in the Old and New Testaments. He posits that Palestinian Arabs like him have greater ancestry from Jews like King David than Israeli Jews like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, supposed descendants from European Jewish converts.

Source: Mitri Raheb Occupies the Bible – Juicy Ecumenism – 10/11/2016

Related: – 11/19/2013.