Later and latest: “Moscow” — today, a political police state, still fundamentally feudal.
Moscow-Tehran : Red-Green ; Brown-Green: all about force in power.
Mudar Zahran – Mahmoud Abbas has the KGB record, a record that represents a relationship that never disappears. It’s the KGB that set up Arafat and the PLO — and it has been the Palestinian main ranks that have been made to suffer on behalf of those who have mightily enriched themselves.
Nadiya Al-Noor – is there a “modern world” capable of opposing the persistence of the medieval mode in the lives of states?
I think the general conversation on the middle east conflict across the forums has grown way beyond the Che image and poetry of the “freedom fighter”.
We’re all freedom fighters these days.
We should take a good look around at “what was” and needs be no more.
The Soviet Union dissolved in bankruptcy officially on December 25, 1991, i.e., more than 25 years ago, and its offspring Putin strives mightily to sustain feudalism and associated motivations for conflict because his kind of narcissism loves appearing heroic amid the chaos and destruction he himself has created. He’s representative of the worlds so opposed to classical liberalism, justice, and life itself, and perhaps we may now dismiss the phantoms of earlier days.
Are we becoming public figures — are we public figures — enough for leaving the names in?
On this post, I think so.
There’s a lot alluded to in the excerpt, and I incline to leave it be but with the echo of its question:
Is there a modern world capable of opposing the persistence of the medieval mode in the lives of states?
BackChannels has repeated made the case and point that ISIL had been incubated — protected early on from annihilation — by Assad’s preferring to fight the west (and democratic liberalism in the distribution of power) first at the outset of the Syrian Tragedy, and that decision had been flanked by Moscow and Tehran.
By electing to make the primary enemy “The West” and only halting the advance of al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-type organizations at critical points, Bashar al-Assad created conditions in which the true terrorist opposition could gather and grow. While Syrian forces were creating the horrific conditions that would spur the influx of jihadists into Syria while also inducing mass displacement and migration, it turns out that Saddam Hussein’s old Baathist officer corps had in mind some similar ideas regarding their own lives as puppeteers.
Haji Bakr was sent by the group into Syria in late 2012, as a part of a tiny advance cluster, with the mission to help plot out the steps for the emergent “Islamic State,” to capture as much territory as possible in Syria, and from there to launch an invasion back into Iraq. Haji Bakr settled obscurely in the small Syrian town of Tal Rifaat, north of Aleppo, where he put his immense knowledge of Saddam’s intelligence and totalitarian practices to work, charting out the invasion of Syria and emergence of the “Islamic State”—plans that were later meticulously carried out by ISIS.
Haji Bakr was killed by a Syrian rebel group in 2014, but not before he had transmitted his knowledge and intelligence plans learned inside Saddam Hussein’s former totalitarian regime to the nascent “Islamic State.” The documents he produced, discovered after his death, consist of 31 pages of handwritten organizational charts, lists, and schedules, all of which describe how to step-by-step subjugate a nation.
It is into this greater intersection between “east and west” — actually: feudal dictatorship and western democracy — that the pro-democratic talking Kurdish presence and armed Peshmerga have emerged as forces for modernity.
Given, perhaps, that few in the general public get this far into the machinery of war, it’s possible that “Moscow-Tehran” and “baby Damascus” (between them) may now engage ISIS . . . more sincerely, with Moscow recovering some face and flexibility for doing so. As much may account for the Peshmerga’s wishing to work with Moscow against ISIS, but as ISIS has made for Moscow, Damascus, and Tehran the most useful enemy, there may be a little bit of funny business in attempting that.
Duplicity would seem much less known where American forces and political resolve have been involved although Turkey’s preference for suppressing the Kurds (while developing its own dictatorship) has complicated the Yankee do-good in the Syrian-Iraq theaters.
BackChannels feels that Washington and others may try to match Moscow in the realm of corrupt “realpolitik” but may suggest that working modern ideals against bad deals may better suit everyone’s future. Moscow may make a show of shutting down ISIS, but its clinging to dictatorship and totalitarian show business bodes ill for genuinely western and western-leaning cooperation.
“Right now, Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds can’t live together under a single administration.”
While the Hebrews are back in the Land of the Hebrews and mighty independent about being so, Baloch, Kurdish, and Pashtun communities, among others, continue to struggle against the dominance of hitherto more powerful states.
BackChannels would promote ethnolinguistic cultural community and political autonomy — i.e., what is really meant by the term “cultural self-determination of a People” — with central and margin-bearing features. To get there, however, requires great strength in independent cultural identity plus the cooperation of tribal leaders in producing a coherent unified proto-national politics.
Is the once communist Kurdish PKK the same as it was back in the 1970s, and may that account for some turn toward Moscow today?
BackChannels hasn’t that answer today. The last time this editor looked into that question was 2007 (as a rank political science beginner on an entirely different blog: http://commart.typepad.com/oppenheim_arts_letters/2007/10/turkeys-pkk-hot.html — Turkey looked every inch a democracy back then; and the PKK looked like old bandits holed up in caves and just about finished as a political force.
Oh my how things have changed!
At this time, it appears that fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria has brought the multiply suzerain Kurdish community together as never before. Now it needs to sustain its cohesion and strength against the pressuring of the errant Arab and Persian worlds once swayed by the Soviet Union and still hungover from the increasingly anachronist experience.
A little BackChannels rah-rah for the home team:
What has given the American model its power has been first and foremost the immense adventurousness and imperialism of the British Empire AND it’s intellectual experience and loading with equal measures Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultural experiences. Had the ideals of the Cyrus Cylinder held sway in the middle east, the conversation would be quite different, but its Magna Carta that has worked its will through the western experience and now returns to intercede on behalf of cultures overrun by gross and malign power.
From the Kurdish general:
“Iraq needs to be divided into three neighboring countries, and each country to govern themselves according to the reality of the region. Sunni and Shia Arabs have different approaches in making relations with others. The Kurdish approach is different than both of them. These things have to be considered, so then each one will be responsible for their people, place and country. And these three groups are better as neighbors. Our message for the world is that Iraq is no longer the same, only its shell remains.”
At the moment, Turkey is not what it was either!
BackChannels suggests the United States would do well to deepen the bond with the pro-democracy forces of the Kurdish political community.
Waiting to pounce on me from my inbox this morning: “Please report that Nicolas Maduro wants to visit Ecuador to seek international support . . . .”
My correspondent alludes to a source within Ecuador’s government: ” . . . the visit will be in April or June . . . .”
Is this really such a good time — a good year even — for travel?
With a country, one cannot simply water the plants, check the faucets, lock the doors and leave, and this is not such a good time for Nicolas Maduro for doing even so little as that.
Reuters reported Tuesday, “A teenager was fatally shot at an anti-government protest in the western city of San Cristobal on Tuesday, state officials said, exacerbating tensions in Venezuela amid an economic crisis and crackdown on the political opposition.”
Kluiver Roa was 14 years old. His father was reputed to be a member of opposition party Copei. Although an arrest was made, Reuters reporters found cause to call the crime scene circumstances — what actually happened — “confusing”.
Camouflaged police smashed into the mayor’s office and carried him away . . . Mr Ledezma was on a list of people and foreign powers named by Mr Maduro last week as attempting to bring down his administration.
Reliant on mineral wealth for wealth, the “Red Brown Green” arc of power’s extension into developing South American economies may be suffering from the same malady: the west’s intent to finish off the Soviet Empire.
It has been about 25 years since the Soviet dissolved without also dissolving the “perks” of the Party privileged and all of its direct associates, including associate leadership in distant states.
Is the Party over?
It appears the power mad — political species “Narcissus communist proto-fascist” — were dependent on climbing oil revenues — the miraculous abundance of “black gold”, and all of it theirs for the taking — for sustaining and growing both the functional and symbolic elements of power within their spheres of control, from state’s military equipage to the payouts in patronage that created the “nomenklatura”, which along today’s neo-feudal path appears to be a “Newest Nobility”, now rapidly deflating while being urged toward productive development investment — including investment in human development — and (gasp!) rule of law.
Financially strangling, the politically dying may be expected to put their people in their own place first, i.e., the privileged may be counted on to make themselves the last to give up privilege.
As our “malignant narcissists” appear to reject criticism, eliminate rivals, and cultivate a ceaseless “narcissistic supply“, one must expect politically geological aftershocks — or revanch birth pangs — basically kicking (whether leaving the world or coming into it) from the Fall of the Soviet Union and the latest squeeze on the oxygen supply that is cold hard cash at the wellhead.
Update – February 27, 2015
The regime’s favourite charge to level at hostile politicians is plotting to overthrow the government, often in conspiracy with the United States. But it is the president, Nicolás Maduro, who is staging a coup against the last vestiges of democracy. Venezuelans call it an autogolpe, or “self-coup”.
“He is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness. I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Saviour, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all.”