Putin-Khamenei | Moscow-Tehran | ME-E.Europe-SA (Some) : two dragons-two fires | one sickness.
Putin-Assad-Khamenei / Khamenei-Putin
I telegraph online impression via schematics like “mouth –> ear –> mind –> heart system” to get a much larger constellation in thought down to something almost memorable.
Nonetheless, reduction goes only so far: “overviewing” picks up some of the slack, which is often what happens here, and then, well, one must turn off the computer in favor of lengthier reading, which lately for me has been Pacepa & Rychlak’s Disinformation, an account of KGB’s accomplishments in the black arts accompanying libel, misdirection, misguidance, slander, and — I say this with “malignant narcissism” in mind — theatrical production.
Writing for The Guardian, Simon Tisdale recently commented on Putin and “The New Cold War” (11/19/2014) — “Last weekend’s G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, showed just how raw nerves have become – over Ukraine and, more broadly, over what the west has come to see as a pattern of expansionist, confrontational and often illegal behaviour by the Putin regime . . . ” — but perhaps not (yet) as aggression on two fronts.
With this week’s reappearance of the post-Soviet PFLP on the terrorist’s global stage, one might wonder if the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem was not meant to distract from activity in Donbas.
In fact, my sources suggest that PFLP representatives met with Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister, earlier in November (possibly Sunday, November 2, 2014) and discussed, among other things, S300 missile shipments placed on hold in 2013.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State since October 8, 1997. Given Moscow’s overtures concerning cooperation, the lower level meeting would seem duplicitous at least:
“I suggested to Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation with respect to ISIL and other counter-terrorism challenges of the region and we agreed to do so,” Kerry said just after the meeting, using an alternative name for IS jihadists.
http://www.dw.de/moscow-denies-working-more-closely-with-us-to-fight-is-terrorism/a-18000389 – 10/16/2014.
Somebody has lied.
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/24/overlooked-palestinian-terror-group-returns-with-a-vengeance/ – 11/24/2014.
As Sarajevo would ultimately like to join NATO and the European Union, they understand that every few years the Americans and the EU will put pressure on them to reduce their ties to Iran, particularly to its intelligence services. A sort of Balkan kabuki theater inevitably follows, with promises by the SDA to crack down hard, this time. A few Iranian “diplomats” are discreetly asked to leave the country, some of the more overt Iranian intelligence fronts in Bosnia shut their doors, usually only temporarily, and the Americans and Europeans are bought off for a couple years. And the Iranians remain.
http://20committee.com/2014/10/24/irans-secret-new-balkan-spy-terror-offensive/ – 10/24/2014.
Related from the same blog:
http://20committee.com/2012/11/04/uncovering-irans-espionage-terror-apparatus-in-the-balkans/ — 11/4/2012.
It is believed that MOIS cooperates with other intelligence agencies. One of these agencies is the Russian SVR, the KGB’s replacement. Despite the two agencies’ dissimilar doctrines and the complicated relationship between Iran and Russia in the past, they managed to cooperate in the 1990s, based not only on their intention of limiting U.S. political clout in Central Asia but also on their mutual efforts to stifle prospective ethnic turbulence. The SVR trained not only hundreds of Iranian agents but also numerous Russian agents inside Iran to equip Iranian intelligence with signals equipment in their headquarters compound. It is unclear whether this relationship is ongoing and whether the two intelligence agencies continue to cooperate.
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security: A Profile. P. 40. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, December 2012.
From page 41 of the above cited piece: “Bin Laden’s phone records, obtained by U.S. investigators working on the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, show that 10 percent of phone calls made by Bin Laden and his lieutenants were to Iran.”
Khamenei, South America
The Mexican law student was surprised by how easy it was to get into Iran two years ago. By merely asking questions about Islam at a party, he managed to pique the interest of Iran’s top diplomat in Mexico. Months later, he had a plane ticket and a scholarship to a mysterious school in Iran as a guest of the Islamic Republic.
Next came the start of classes and a second surprise: There were dozens of others just like him.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/with-lure-of-religion-classes-iran-seeks-to-recruit-latin-americans/2013/08/10/8e3592c6-f626-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html – 8/10/2013.
While Iranian South American “feed and seed” programs may be continuing, the gist of a 2014 Congressional Research Service summary (by Mark P. Sullivan and June S. Beittel) suggests Khamenei’s regime may not be making as much progress as it would like. Rather than excerpt, I’ll leave it to the reader to look-see on this document: Latin America: Terrorism Issues. August 2014.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/19/new-cold-war-back-to-bad-old-days-russia-west-putin-ukraine – 11/19/2014.
Putin – Post-Soviet Neo-Feudal Russia
Dawisha, Karen. Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J. Disinformation. Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.
Soldatov, Andrei and Irena Borogan. The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB. New York: Public Affairs, 2010.
The delegation stressed that Syria has been exposed to a U.S.-western-Zionist conspiracy, which is backed by some regimes in the region with the aim of liquidating the Palestinian issue since Syria is the main supporter of the cause.
http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=16800 – 11/3/2014.
Putin, Eastern Europe
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/hungarys-viktor-orban-walks-in-putins-footsteps/504632.html – 8/5/2014.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/06/hungary_is_helping_putin_keep_his_chokehold_on_europes_energy_south_stream_orban – 11/6/2014.
Do we have to ask [Putin] when it comes to Serbia, ask when it’s about the western Balkans? We cannot reconcile this with our values.”
http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21633788-frustrated-putin-germany-and-its-chancellor-may-be-tiring-ostpolitik-merkel-toughens-up – 11/19/2014.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán openly admires the ‘illiberal’ models of Russia and China. Critics say his Fidesz party is using Putin-like tactics to cut the funding of newspapers and NGOs that conflict with the Orbán government.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/1028/Taking-a-page-from-Putin-s-book-Hungary-s-Orban-muffles-his-critics-video – 10/28/2014.
Putin is clearly the dominant force in the relationship. Orban may be currently the master of all he surveys within his own borders but externally, he looks increasing like the leader of a client state that is gently but perceptively gravitating towards Moscow’s sphere of influence. Which in itself is a remarkable state of affairs considering the residual concerns over the 1956 invasion by the Soviet Union.
http://www.policyreview.eu/is-hungarys-viktor-orban-a-miniature-vladimir-putin/ – 7/2014.
Putin, Western Europe
The radicals, of course, are most vocal. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, the U.K.’s anti-immigrant, anti-EU party, has expressed his admiration for Putin “as an operator, not a human being.” Farage has demanded that the West stop opposing Russian actions in Ukraine and ally itself with Putin in the fight against Islamic extremism. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s ultranationalist Front National, is another Putin admirer. And Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, has praised the Russian leader as a “pure democrat.”
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-11-20/putin-has-noncrazy-friends-in-europe – 11/20/2014.
I want to confess that I did something foolish once when I was young. Back in 1993, I abandoned my university studies in California and returned to Moscow. European nations had signed the Maastricht Treaty and I dreamed that Russia would join the European Union.
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/illusions-gone-im-leaving-russia/502173.html – 7/18/2014.
Putin, South America
http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/south-america/item/18804-in-latin-america-russia-and-china-push-new-world-order – 7/29/2014.
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/13945/putin-s-south-american-trip-hides-russia-s-strategic-weaknesses – 7/22/2014.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/15/putin-latin-america-russia-power – 7/15/2014
(Posted to YouTube 11/13/2014).
Putin – ISIS
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/world/2014/09/08/Russia-will-stand-its-ground-despite-ISIS-threats.html – 9/8/2014.
While the U.S. and Russia have pledged to share intelligence on the group, Russia—one of the main international backers of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government—is not a member of the U.S.-led “broad coalition” against ISIS announced last month. As one Russian foreign ministry official recently put it, “We do not expect any invitations and we are not going to buy entry tickets.”
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/11/21/can_putin_turn_the_isis_mess_to_russia_s_advantage.html – 11/21/2014.
Like others of his generation, he is part of a cadre of men who came of age in a massive, multinational, nuclear-armed superstate in the early 1970s. The faceless cogs who made this system work were unremarkable people like Putin, trained in ideology and imbued with the false faith that the USSR’s greatest days were yet to come.
In their later years, these men have experienced the normal anxieties and embarrassments of middle age. (In Putin’s case, she’s a gymnast young enough to be his daughter.) But middle age for the sovoks also brought many to realize they spent their lives serving a state based on lies and held together almost entirely by force.
So spend a moment imagining the better time for which these men yearn.
http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/02/russias-leader-is-neither-a-realist-nor-a-nationalist/ – 9/2/2014.
Update November 25, 2014
http://online.wsj.com/articles/mariam-memarsadeghi-and-akbar-atri-facebook-please-dont-let-the-mullahs-troll-us-1416873076 – 11/24/2014.
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