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The schematics I feel I’ve observed over the years:

Post-Soviet –> neo-feudal Russia that has been quietly addressed (by sanctions; by a precipitous drop in oil prices and related revenues) as an extension of the former era.

“Putin-Assad-Khamenei” as an arc of power in the region and “Putin-Khamenei” as a hub for the greater development of political absolute power elsewhere.

“Syndicate Red Brown Green” — Putin’s Russia, KGB-to-FSB; new national socialist movements (Hungary); Islamists.

The cultivation of Daesh, self-generated but perhaps manipulated by Khamenei to serve as a Sunni foil for his regime’s Shiite expansion, serves narrative artifice that has been “Assad vs The Terrorists” — an horrific piece of political “theater of the real”.

All of that may be breaking up through the fragmenting of Syria, but nothing is near over, and, indeed, the anarchy and chaos developed in the space will have to be addressed on multiple levels, from combat and counterterrorism effort to some kind of refugee management and resettlement. Count out “Putin, Assad, Khamenei” as being of any help at all.

I had just seen a group of pictures featuring starved Syrian children, the latest in “war porn”, and it had featured an image of a starving adult man bearing a resemblance to President Obama.


Not only agitprop, but propaganda from what appeared to me to be an anti-western, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist “news agency” promoting victimization on one hand while isolating itself on the other.

BackChannels has been to this evil place before: “It’s Hard Helping You When You’re Anti-Semitic, Among Other Things” (March 19, 2014).

Written about the “Obamastarvingman” and the more evidently starved youngsters:

I don’t like the top figure’s resemblance to Obama — it smacks of propaganda, an attempt at not quite subliminal suggestion.

While “Syndicate Red Brown Green” put together the political theater that may be titled, “Assad vs The Terrorists”, the children shown, and of course noncombatant adults as well, were the kind of Syrians killed or punished by, in essence, their own feudal lords.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights may have additional information on the casualties of the breathtaking disaster that has taken place in Syria in the post-Soviet and now feudal context managed by Putin, Assad, and Khamenei. Obama watched; NATO watched; we watched. However: the continuing promotion of anti-Semitism, anti-westernism — basically hateful and undemocratic rhetoric (because it’s dishonest and disingenuous speech) — leaves the Syrian victims of Assad’s grandiose play (“Assad vs The Terrorists”) disenfranchised, helpless, and isolated.

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