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In our common malignancy, perhaps, our narcissism lends repair to psychological damage to self concept. Life’s rough and in part insults us, less or more, but, again perhaps, the greater the insult to esteem — the heavier the hand — the more passionate the want of self-aggrandizement, security, and wealth.

In the healthy, it’s good having basic and somewhat above good circumstance in freedom, money, and general security. In the malignant, the same wants get Up There and Out There. On Back-Channels, I’ve likened such qualities to the recognized psychological pathologies that are bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. In our general political psychology and related sociology, we aspire and trade up in comfort and prestige, and we do that through laws an practices that accommodate a healthy general development with concern spanning the distance from penthouse to street.

The malignant do things quite differently.

Muammar Qaddafi’s Mullah Shweyga story (easily looked up) tells the difference. Such leaders take full advantage of the possession of the power to visit suffering on others with impunity. All of the crimes that may be visited on one may as well be extended to others: capricious “justice” or detainments, imprisonments, hangings, tortures. Each dictator asks: “who is going to stop me?” And off each goes into the high life on the backs of the hungry, the powerless, and vulnerable.

I’m always happy to share the Reuters piece on Khamenei (“Assets of the Ayatollah”), but I think it better that others embark on similar journeys as regards the entire host of figures whose power has proven malignant and resides in the brutalities and related fears and levers (e.g., bribery and patronage; intimidation and murder) known more to the medieval mind than the modern one.

Yes, this may be the only blog on earth suggesting the reader continue doing the research.


Here’s a related comment on Moscow’s role in managing conflicts in a manner fit to destroy those it manages to manipulate and prize from the same conflict-related income and, at least in its own hive-mind, power and prestige.

Moscow, representing Putin’s political police, himself, and the oligarchs, may be a greater power than Tehran. It may barely be keeping its political image clean — remember: officially, Moscow is helping Damascus fight “The Terrorists” — but it may have the habit of manipulating political situations to its advantage.

From Somali General Galal, who is still alive, here’s a densely compacted recap of the Somali vs Ethiopian war over the Ogaden: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03pk9c1

In the PROCESS of that war, Moscow apparently manipulated Somali leaders into laying claim or reclaiming the Ogaden, pitting first guerrilla then regular forces against Ethiopian control of the space. As advances pushed Ethiopia out of the contested space, Soviet Russia stepped in to arm Ethiopian forces, who then pushed back the Somalis. The Ogaden continues to host some related “low-intensity conflict”.

Who won?

Getting away from one’s own interests, in this instance Syria, and venturing to overview Moscow’s involvements in conflicts worldwide across time may help us more brightly resolve (accurately perceive) states of affairs in Syria and the Middle East Conflict.

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