FTAC: Observation: Arab Refusal of Culpability for the Middle East Conflict


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Prompt: mention of “Israel apartheid” (a standard trope in the anti-Semitic wings of the New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left) and “letting the refugees return”.

How about ending Arab apartheid and absorbing the Arab refugee generations whose first were abandoned between armies in 1948?




Oh, and how about giving the Palestinians their money back, considering the manners in which Arafat and Abbas became multi-millionaires and Haniyeh and Mashaal billionaires.

Sustaining the MEC supports feudalism, makes crooks wealthy, and extends for Palestinians The Preoccupation with the Jews.

Prompt: Israel is the sole cause of the refugee issue.

Arab absence of empathy and favoring of an anti-Semitic posture and related supremacist assumptions at the end of WWII led to the refusal of terms and the subsequent genocidal (river to the sea) gang-up on the new Jewish State. The “Palestinians” — Egyptian and Jordanian Arabs, migrants also to the fields of the new agricultural economy of the day — had been encouraged out of the way of battle with hopes the Jews would be gone when it was over.

It didn’t work out that way.

It takes a mighty and malign narcissism to refuse culpability for a disaster like the one dealt to the Arab refugees of 1948 (never mind the 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands that would follow in the wake of the war) and then to turn the same bereft population into a political “poker chip” for the enrichment of a criminal few unconscionable enough to spend decades manipulating hate in the cause of their own aggrandizement.


It appears that given a choice between encouraging conflict and undertaking development, the Jew-hating and once Soviet-loving portion of the Arab bloc invariably persists in poisoning the Palestinian mind, keeping the conflict alive, and handily siphoning off the world’s charity to line its own pockets in related systems of patronage, not that any should want “powerful families” to find themselves bereft of their portion of the take.

Related on BackChannels




Note from “Saddiq” in Quetta on the Murder of Mashal Khan


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“Saddiq”, which is not his real name, is not well known — and shall here remain that way — while the victim of murder by mob — lynching, we call it — Mashal Khan has had his name played up in newspapers worldwide.

According to an al-Aribya report (April 16, 2017), Khan described himself as a humanist, his friends referred to him as an uncommitted Muslim, some believed him aligned with the Ahmadi faith, and in revolutionary spirit, he had on his wall images of Karl Mark and Ernesto “Che” Guevara.  His father noted that his son was tolerant toward all religions.

And what happened to him?

“He was badly tortured after being shot at a close range… He was beaten with sticks, bricks and hands,” senior police official Niaz Saeed told the AFP news agency (BBC, April 13, 2017).

Had there been even an ounce of Islamic or other “justice” in his murder?

“While Khan was accused of publishing blasphemous content on Facebook, the police has found no evidence to prove these allegations” (Huffington Post, April 21, 2017).

The news suggests Mashal Khan was shot and tortured to death by a primitive mob that believed itself momentarily empowered and sufficiently righteous to commit a most medieval kind of murder (in the name of God, no less) on no more evidence than rumor.

From Quetta, here are Saddiq’s remarks lightly edited for visual appeal, sensibility, and spelling (corrected and converted to American English).

Mashal Khan, a brilliant journalism student of Wali Khan University, Mardan Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan – he was killed by a mob, a crazy mob, in university.

Blasphamy was his crime according to the mob.

I personally knew Mashal Khan.

He was atheist and openly preached his ideas in students gatherings – he didn’t care the extreme religious make up of society.

Wali Khan University is situated in a rural area and most students of it belong to villages where mullah or religious elements are dominant.  Mullahs are blindly followed in those areas.  The day of the killing, the mob was easily influenced.  

I know Mashal was discussing those banned ideas of atheism, but besides that, Mashal also criticized the university administration and teaching staff for doing more than one job.  Most staff was engaged in part-time jobs, which was disturbing the studies of students.  Mashal was planning to mobilize the students and go for protest against the administration, but he was killed. 

In Pakistan, it’s fashion to use blasphemy for personal gains, and it happened in Mashal’s case. 

The culprits are mostly from well-off political families.  Most belong to the dominant political party “Awami National Party”.  Ironically, Awami National Party is leftist and believes in liberalism, and yet its children used the weapon of blasphemy against Mashal Khan.  To me, the justice does not seem to happen because the culprits are so strongly tribal and political.  

Mashal’s father told media that he would not get justice for his son.

Mashal belonged to a conservative society where religious junta mean mullah denied to offer him their funeral prayers. 

In Pakistan, if you have enmity with someone or any different, you can kill him or tag him with the label of blasphemy.  One can analyze the situation by looking at the murder of ex-governor of Punjab Province.  He was killed by his guard for blasphemous statement, and three hundred lawyers offered their services to the murderer.

In such a society, one must stay silent.

Mashal was stupid in that way: he was warned by friends, but he often discussed atheism.

To the observation about the ex-governor of Punjab Province, BackChannels responded, “Salmaan Taseer was the bravest of men.  He lives in the present and in the future. Those who prefer the murderer have chosen to live backward in time. They chose barbarism over law and blind faith over both faith and reason.”

Noble words for comfort, but the truth remains plain as does in so many other conflicted regions of the world: Mashal Khan, a young humanist, journalist, modern leader in the making, was first shot and then mercilessly beaten to death by an insensate, moronic, and sophomoric rabble of know-nothings.

Additional Reference

Mashal Khan Murder

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/26/lynching-of-a-student-sparks-uproar-in-pakistan-against-blasphemy-laws – 4/26/2017.


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/pakistan-charged-journalism-student-murder-170415104542323.html – 4/15/2017.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1326729 – 4/15/2017.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-04-19/pakistani-journalism-student-was-lynched-alleged-blasphemy – 4/19/2017.

https://www.voanews.com/a/university-student-killed-pakistan-blasphemy-allegations/3809016.html – 4/13/2017.

Salmaan Taseer Assassination


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8248162/The-killer-of-my-father-Salman-Taseer-was-showered-with-rose-petals-by-fanatics.-How-could-they-do-this.html – 1/8/2011.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35684452 – 2/29/2016.










The Quiet Assault – A Glance at Interdicted Tech Smuggling to Russia and China



Set aside Anna and her ring.

Last week’s short wee-hour’s shutdown of a portion of Charleston’s port set off by a potentially disinformed conspiracy blogger and webcaster signaled popular American concern and sensitivity to the defense of the homeland, never mind the capabilities and sensitivities of the nation’s capacious national defense and security industry.

Made curious by the homegrown event, BackChannels recalled an incident in which a young Russian national living in the south had been arrested for shipping rifle scopes to Russian, but memory being what it is — some fluid-inscribed organization of thought suspended in brain chemistry and structure — I thought to briefly explore a more subtle aspect of assault on the homeland.  Two themes emerged: 1) the role of innocents either duped into the smuggling process or possibly ignorant of the law and the import of their actions (perhaps Fermenova’s “delivery” had been intended solely for hunting boar); 2) we might want the struggling democracy to get the shipment 🙂 — but, really, the action must be propelled by our own collective politics and government authorized.

Or else!

Here listed in chronological order are the morning’s result —

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wisconsin-woman-unwittingly-ships-military-hardware-russia/story?id=11290519 – 8/2/2010 – Conspiracy exploited an innocent to work an at-home job fiddling with packaging (“Don’t do it.  Go for a regular job in a regular business”).  🙂 -> Russia.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/latvian-beauty-anna-fermanova-months-prison-smuggling-sniper-scopes-russia-article-1.967810 – 10/25/2011 – Night vision goggles and sniper scope -> Russian ex-husband, “target master” at a hunting lodge.

 https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/houston/press-releases/2012/russian-agent-and-10-other-members-of-procurement-network-for-russian-military-and-intelligence-operating-in-the-u.s.-and-russia-indicted-in-new-york – 10/3/2012 – 11-member “procurement network” – micro-electronics -> Russia.

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2014/10/08/officials-russian-man-attempted-to-smuggle-military-night-vision-technology/ – 10/8/2014 – Dmitry Ustinov – arms components – night scopes – thermal imaging technology -> Russia.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdga/pr/russian-citizen-sentenced-federal-prison-illegally-exporting-firearm-parts-russia – 12/11/2014 – Viacheslav Zhukov – firearm magnifier scopes -> Russia.

http://nypost.com/2015/09/09/spy-pleads-guilty-to-smuggling-military-technology-to-russia/ – 9/9/2015 – Alexander Fishenko – $50 million – sensitive electronics -> Russia.

https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/smuggle-military-technology-russia-brooklyn-doj/ – 10/6/2016 – Alexey Barysheff (naturalized), Aleksandrovish Karpenko, Alexey Krutilin – sensitive electronics -> Russia

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/27/bay-area-couple-charged-with-illegally-exporting-night-vision-scope-parts/ – 4/27/2017 – Naum and Irina Morgovsky – Night vision rifle scope parts -> Russia.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/23/la-woman-arrested-on-charges-of-smuggling-us-space-technology-to-china.html – 5/23/2017 – Cathy Chen – $100,000 worth of space communications technology -> China.

Also in this morning’s look-see, an attempt to distribute rifle scopes and thermal imaging technology to the westbound state of Ukraine:

http://www.uapost.us/en/news/u-ssha-zaareshtuvaly-ukrayincya-za-kontrabandu-teplovizoriv/ – 3/7/2017 – Volodymer Nedoviz -> Ukraine.  While BackChannels is with reason more concerned with the smuggling of “game-changing” restricted technologies to Russia, which may be reverse-engineered as well as distributed, it understands U.S. State’s interests and others in maintaining oversight of the same in a troubled world.

While the “live fire demonstration” that some consider the atrocious military behavior by Russian forces in Syria has boosted Russian defense sales, it would appear evident that Putin’s Federation has yet to figure out, much less build and distribute (much less commercialize) state-of-the-art night vision and thermal imaging technology.  Caution: don’t take the observation as authoritative, but rather a sensible conclusion drawn from the efforts of so many over time to attempt to ship the same toward Moscow.  If we need to be fanciful, and since the innocent’s packages (first URL cited in the above list) included military or police uniforms, that content suggests some interest in infiltrating American units (same uniform, same arms — slip a person into costume and plant).

Additional Reference

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article156277354.html – 6/15/2017. “No problem on ship at after threat claim at Charleston port” (AP).


FTAC: A Note Involving C. S. Lewis, Bush in Iraq, and the Updating of the Modern Apprehension of Character in Leadership


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My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position [imposing “the good”] would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under of robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likely to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on the level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

The C. S. Lewis quote met a rejoinder involving the Bush Era war in Iraq.

Ask hungry children, also the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs about Saddam.

Bush and the neocons did the right thing but focused too much on “regime change” and seemingly not at all on cultural transition. In the long run, which now characterizes what I believe Iraq has been about all along, natural cerebral and less natural political evolution have a codependent relationship, i.e., the more intelligent we become as a species, the more empathetic, reasoning, and thoughtful we must become as well — or perish in our own nuclear plasma.

C. S. Lewis may not have known that he was addressing a recognizable kind of evil in “good” character, and that would be the do-good messianic character of the malignant narcissistic (related look-ups: bipolar disorder; narcissistic personality disorder. In such people, power becomes the power to visit suffering on others with impunity. This is something that made the Soviet Era Communist Party and its machinery so execrable; it is also the same thing that has made the “Islamists” and their zombie-think intellectual machinery and very real criminal muscle also deeply repugnant to mankind. One may note similar cause and narrative in the Christian “inquisition” and numerous royal and sectarian conflicts.

Let’s not take the words of great writers such as C.S. Lewis as being beyond reproach by way of improved knowledge and new observation and updating.

Regarding Islam’s internecine issues and political psychology: the rancor should come down in geopolitical numbers and scope as feudal methods in power and the medieval worldview become more difficult to “sell” against the full suite of modern administrative alternatives and their presence in the fast becoming archaic fortresses of the medieval mode.


FTAC: “Claims regarding Iran’s innocence . . . .”


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Claims regarding Iran’s innocence in relation to global terrorism are fallacious. The state supports Hezbollah and Hamas and is itself an immense kleptocracy — http://www.reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1 .

As regards Sunni-based terrorism, a fair look-up of “Zawahiri, Russia” should straighten that out. In the wake of the Soviet defeat in the 1980s, the criminals appear to have picked up on the CIA/ISI method of producing a treasury-draining proxy (Charlie Wilson’s Taliban) and throwing it back at the west.

The Kingdom has invested heavily in western success (via Kingdom Holdings) and has embarked on cultural updating sufficient to produce an iconic set of accomplished women — https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/11/02/sixteen-women-the-kingdoms-most-powerful/ . However, sigh, in the medieval worldview, the legitimacy of kingdoms rest on the persuasive power of clerics.

My trope for all dictatorships: “Different Talks — Same Walk!”

They all produce leaders who look good on the outside — well, maybe Qadaffi’s a stretch on that — but turn out irredeemably ugly on the inside. I call them “MaligNarcs”, short for “Malignant Narcissists”.

The greater east-west framework: feudal methods, medieval worldview v modern democratic rule of law and the constraint of power by representative means. On that, the House of Saud has a long history with “the English” and may be expected to lean westward with time. The same may not be said today of Moscow / Moscow-Tehran and all the related phantoms of the Soviet Era.


Also in Media: “The Kremlin’s Newest Hybrid Warfare Asset: Gangsters” | Foreign Policy | June 12, 2017


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. . . as they look to prosecute their “political war” against the West, the Russians are emerging as the most enthusiastic users of gangsters’ services. Given that their intelligence services are now up to Cold War levels, it seems ironic that they would even need such amateur auxiliaries. However, so ambitious and numerous are their operations that even they sometimes need some extra capacity or deniability.

Mobilizing Moscow’s Mob

Some of the instances when Russia has used criminals as proxies are well known. Russia’s seizure of Crimea, for example, and the subsequent undeclared war in Ukraine’s Donbass region were carried out not just by Russian special forces, but by local gangsters serving as so-called self-defense volunteers. Similarly, many Russian cyberattacks, especially large-scale ones, involve mobilizing criminal hackers. (Indeed, the cyberespionage division of the Federal Security Service has actually recruited hackers by giving them the choice of prison or service.)

Read the whole enchilada: The Kremlin’s Newest Hybrid Warfare Asset: Gangsters | Foreign Policy

FTAC – A Note on Clinton’s Post-Cold War Knowledge


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The Soviet Union officially dissolved itself in bankruptcy on December 25, 1991. It did so with plans for the survival of the privileged of the Party — reference: Karen Dawisha’s groundbreaking book _Putin’s Kleptocracy_.

KGB Colonel and today President Putin has ditched the old banner, Communism, for “State Capitalism” and rebuilt essential elements of the Russian cultural-political experience: KGB/FSB, Centralized Power (that would be himself), and Aristocracy (“the oligarchs”).

The general public’s knowledge of the Cold War has been dimmed by time and the passing of a generation that needed to impart a base of knowledge in foreign affairs to the general public and failed to do that.


Putin has displayed preference for other autocrats — Erdogan, Orban, Le Pen, Trump — and the cause for that has been the reinstalling of the feudalism and the medieval worldview in the states of the European Union and NATO, and he gotten far with that project using Islamic Terrorism as a goad to getting there.


Read a little bit considerately, independently (no spin — your thoughts only), and quietly.

And look up “Zawahiri, Russia”.

Clinton, for all the many faults of the family and its character, knew the post-Cold War history and what it meant for the United States of America and the open democracies of the west. I don’t defend her; I didn’t vote for her. What I’ve come to observe — and I edit Back-Channels — are the processes by which my fellow Americans have been driven toward polarized extremes.

If BackChannels didn’t post it here, it would be lost somewhere beneath Sean Hannity’s latest Facebook comment about Susan Rice, a thoroughly partisan info-morsel for his hungry crowd — better to preserve it in an obscure blog that matters — or should matter — more and more as the free world, the European Union, and NATO approach Putin’s politically absolute and frequently criminal Moscow.