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“Obummuh” rhymes with “Jimmuh”, it’s true, but the Administration has been opaque as regards the distance between surface impression and authentic Administration policy. To get at the authentic takes some Washington-style research — down into the world of wonks, Jane’s and other specialized publications, and probably some grip-and-grin plus elbow bending and rubbing with the Georgetown set — only partially available online.

This took place in January: http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-iranian-citizen-caught-smuggling-f-35-plans-to-tehran/ There’s a saga behind the headline and much related that few want to cover and even fewer wish to read about.

Regarding ISIS, the best rumor I’ve heard is Iran’s VEVAK may have been able to blackmail some Saudi and Qatari private wealth into seeding ISIS, expecting in the long run to give ISIS the Great Sunni-Shiite war it wants and thereby ennoble and enlarge the Ayatollah’s image of himself and Iran. 🙂

The hypotheses get a bit mad.

I don’t like the idea that “What ISIS scours, Qatar will devour”, but that too looks like a possibility, one buttressed by an $11 billion arms sale to Qatar.

Perhaps following the principle of “least war possible”, getting the “world left behind” on to the western program may be Washington’s chief headache best owned by Washington’s chief.


Having set out to learn what one might glean about things online, I’ve learned one can learn a lot from “yesterday’s news” combined with old fashioned library-style reading that helps structure and integrate the narratives formed by news clips.

The inside-the-beltway journos involved in political spychology, however, have great advantage in being able to at least park, briefly, at Langley, hoof it down to Foggy Bottom, stop by the National Press Club, and refresh with ears alert in the Georgetown bars.  Such jealousy may be more literary than functional, but, alas, I’m somewhere else where it’s quiet and one may read quietly and without interruption, leaving outlooks right and left to climb up the branches they know before the “Wait a minute — let’s look again” sets in.


ISIS et al may represent piracy cloaked by a pretentious delusion anchored in the Islamic discourse.

Khamenei has built a $94 billion enterprise — Setad — beneath aegis of the “Islamic Devilution” and his station: does he regard himself as a thief? Whether he does or not, the Setad story is a pirate’s story and related political repression on one hand and patronage on the other only underscore it.

Putin, imho, reminds that there is the secular version of the same thing. The Colonel President Emperor (apparent) beneath the Russian Nationalist banner handily plunders the state’s wealth in production and its productive potential while the Russian economy contracts and Russians suffer along with capital flight — or the failure of new capital to arrive.

I’m not going to post a whole (my sided) conversation, but here one may feel that BackChannels has found its theme in political science.  Clearly: the despotic and kleptocratic latched together in common “malignant narcissism” are enjoying a very good ride along the Russo-Iranian crest, and God only knows, truly, how similar psychology and political psychology on the side of immense Sunni wealth and privilege may be navigating similar but perhaps different autocratic interests.

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