Why a likely uprising in Russia may be harder to contain than one in Iran


by FG

(I'll write a subpost tomorrow regarding reasons for my return here. Although this piece centers on Russia we all know that any turmoil there can have very unfavorable repercusssions for her client states which include the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also, much of this fits Khamenei's predicament just as well. Those that don't concern unique consequences caused by Russian geography, weather and demographics. No prediction is guaranteed, thanks to too many variables but I like the challenge).


Growing popular discontent will eventually force any strong man ruler to the same painful decision--either you make drastic concessions to satisfy most critics or you crack down harshly and thereby multiply the original grievances tenfold in order to shut the people up right now. A “Law of Crackdowns” might read like this: "The longer and more brutal it becomes, the smaller any regime’s prospect of a return to 'normal.'” Forget the Tianneman Square quickie. It was an exception inapplicable to Russia, Iran or Arab Spring countries.

Rhetoric suggests Putin will choose “brute force” this spring. Let’s look at his potential assets and liabilities. All dictators start with a huge military advantage which in this case is likely to decrease over time (Note: any substantial introduction of drone aircraft might shift prospects in a regime's favor) A second factor (geography and climate), works both for and against Putin. While sheer size precludes as impractical any foreign intervention, it also makes any revolution damn hard to suppress once underway.

Protestors can take advantage of the regime’s inability to react quickly. The experience of “successfully” putting down a protest in one place only to see it re-ignite just after you’ve been sent to stop demonstrations elsewhere is demoralizing, physically tiresome and induces sleep privation. (Side note: After the Battle of Verdun--mainly conducted by artillery, some troops claimed to have gone eleven days with almost no sleep). Wear and tear all gets worse if new outbreaks occur simultaneously in once “secure” locations.

Here are three more rules any would be tyrant leader must consider: “Lousy conditions precipitate defections” (as the Czar learned in 1917), “Defections tend to go one way only” and “ The more often troops are compelled to murder unarmed protestors, the more defections you can expect.”

In Russia’s case, demographic trends complicate the central problem: finding enough military age boys to confront large scale outbreaks in too many cities with too much space between them--and lousy roads elsewhere (Consider the asymetric potential of IED devices planted along those long roads). Ethnic Russians are not just divided politically. They are disproportionately elderly with low replacement rates. Relatively fertile minorities who despise Putin’s “russification” might supply some of the necessary manpower if not for the fact that many are more likely to revolt that die for Putin‘s cause.

Putin now survives on bribery and force. The reason mercenaries historically make lousy fighters is obvious when you think about it: What good is money unless you live to spend it? Stalin’s once effective way of motivating troops (a machine gun at your back as you charged German troops) will not work quite so well when your troops admire the enemy far more than their own officers.

Unless Putin retires, which I doubt, geography may dictate a prolonged ugly, ugly struggle which no one can win quickly--something similar to the four-year long civil war after 1917, but in this case perhaps followed up by another conflict that could be as bad or worse. Anyone can see the explosive potential in a victorious coalition made up of strong-minded, incompatible, well-armed and suspicious factions (fascists, communists, liberals) with fresh combat experience. Toss in the grievances of minorities determined to escape the meat grinder. The outcome of it all will have powerful impact on three countries that depend greatly on Russian support--Belarus, Syria and Iran.

To see why it appears Putin will choose “brute force“ over softer measures, read:



more from FG

Rebutting Sirius

by FG on

RE: Fortunately, Russia has more than enough power to avoid the kind of "humanitarian help" that Libya received recently.

Russia's power is irrelevant.  A Libyan scenario is impractical for reasons I cited.

RE: (Russians won't)...be fooled into accept the invitation to destroy their own country.

When did they get that imaginary "invitation?" From whom?  The obligation of proof always falls all the one who proposes conspiracy theories.  I see no plausible evidence, Meanwhile, see  my recent blog on the CIA which rebuts this common excuse given by all dictators whohave lost their popular mandate through misrule.

RE: Al Queda terrorists (in Lybya I suppose)

The rebels consisted of a broad and probably incompatible faction.  Any Al Queda types were a small fraction if even that--not a majority as you imply.

RE: Thinking the West will self destruct.

At least you used the word SELF-destruct.   If Putin follows what appears to be his intended course, it's highly probable for reasons already provided.


Iran gives up 64% of her

by vildemose on

Iran gives up 64% of her oil, in exchange for Russian support in the face of domestic and foreign opposition

CNN via GreenCorrespondents.com / Green Experts of Iran (GEI)

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Rebutting Syrius

by FG on

I'll do so when I get a chance so stay tuned.  First, however, I'm writing a post rebutting what so many dictators claim and what you imply in your opening sentence--that a conscious entity somewhee (the CIA?) is behind all this trouble.  It is totally implausible and fails to account for so much. 

Keep your eye out for an upcoming blog on the CIA  and it's alleged responsibility which will take me awhile.  Meanwhile bear in mind that why such charges are comprehensible for propaganda purposes (even if less believed than in the past) they are disasterous if assumed to be fact in making domestic policy decisions. 

What I mean is that your can't "cure" a disease (which I assume to be the goal here) without identifying it accurately and addressing its true cause. 


Russia and Amirkabear: I disagree

by FG on

re: Don't you think we have enough on our hands to worry about Iran and related issues than thinking about russia.

Most Iranians would disagree too.  Your logic would imply that happens in Syria, Turkey or anywhere else has no effect on Iran's regime.   That's unreal.  In the modern world, every nation is affected by things that happen elsewhere, like it or not.  That's why it's important to know about them, especially the places likely to have major impact on one's own country.  The kind of narrow, isolationist view you advocate would make no sense these days in any country, not just Iran.

If Assad's regime in syria were to fall, and Putin's in Russia, how long could the IRI survive?  If that's the case, how you argue that what happens in these countries is of no importance to Iranians who "have enough problems at home."  Anything that contributes to Khamenei's fall would help remove those problems.

Isolationism as a philosophy is a self-reinforcing trap.  Given such views, you don't follow events elsewhere sufficiently so you are unaware of their importance and can't imagine it.

Assad wouldn't last a month if Russia turns against him.  In return, Russia gets a Mediterranean naval base and money from selling huge arm shipments being used to kill Syrians.

Do you have any idea how much Russia has helped prop up Iran in the UN?  In return for this, for future assistance in helping crush any Iranian protests, Khamenei just gave away most of Iran's future oil wealth in contracts for certain oil fields in the north.  Someone posted on that very recently in the news section here.  Look it up..

Assad and the IRI won't last long but longer than they would have without Russia's assistance.  Putin's policy is short-sighted here because the subsequent regimes in both countries will be hostitle toward Russia.  So will most arab states who are ticked off by two things: First, Russia's proping up of a Syrian regime which is slaughtering the Sunni majority.  Secondly, Russia's proping up of an Iranian regime that has ingaged in endless convert schemes targeting Arab neighbors and seeking to destabilize them.  Putin indirectly assists in both crimes.  

Re: Unless we have some qualification in political sciences we can not comment on their politics.

Ah! The standard argument for "always trust the leaders because they know what we know."  Religious leaders can use it.   Political leaders use it.  Corporation leaders can use it. Bush used it.  I sa: We have minds.  We can learn facts and reach conclusions too.

LBJ supporters of the war in Vietnam always responded to critics by saying, "You don't know what we know" as if there were no intelligent and informed people among those critics--people who questioned a policy based on misapplication of the Munich analogy, based on the assumption that the communist world was monolithic (despite Tito and the Amur River clash between the USSR and China in the early sixties.  If anything, I believe the Viet Name conflict held two naturally diverging regimes (China and Russia) together longer than would have been the case otherwise.  

Your argument could equally apply to trusting Bush's decisions in Iraq.   See where it goes?

You must never have taken a political science course.  If you did you'd never, ever write such a thing.  Poly sci texts are outdated by the time they are printed in this rapidly changing world.  Implied by your logic is that if we all had the same degees we'd all agree on the Big Issues. 

Secondly, consider how many experts on communism went wrong in their predictions that the Soviet Union would last many more decades.  "Experts" can become like a self-reinforcing cult enforcing the consensus of the majority against outsiders including a minority of equally qualified experts who disagree.

Though I have some background in political science, I don't have a masters or Phd, yet I knew the system was going down because I read BOTH sides--the arguments not only of the majority of Soviet experts and the "Bad Boys" in the field who disagreed, especially Marshall Goldman.   Nor did I rely on books alone since they are outdated by the time they hit print.  You have to follow all developments closely and put the pieces together if you want to engage in analysis.   Just studying political science won't give you tha ability.



by amirkabear4u on

Don't you think we have enough on our hands to worry about Iran and related issues than thinking about russia.

I know you may not agree but politics is even more complicated there than in Iran. Unless we have some qualification in political sciences we can not comment on their politics.


Fairness and Equality in Justice


when a revolution is upon us

by مآمور on

signs to look when the revolution is winning


and when it is lossing


I want to be a losser

I wear an Omega watch


when a revolution is upon us

by مآمور on

I wear an Omega watch


Seems that the world is

by Sirius on

Seems that the world is full of "evil regimes" that deserve to be toppled...

(See: Even we have here a lot of Iranians that will be delighted to see their own country "surgically" helped with tactical atomic bombs... :( )

Fortunately, Russia has more than enough power to avoid the kind of "humanitarian help" that Libya received recently.

And by the way: I don't believe the Russians would have evolved - without I noticing it - from a country of a very mature and intelligent nationalism and patriotism, to a degree of vileness as to  be fooled into accept the invitation to destroy their own country.

So, like the Al-Queda terrorists + Columbian mercenaries were elevated to the degree of "freedom fighters" by the Western Media, so the Neonazis and Punks that protested against the results of the last elections in Russia, receive the same favor.

But thinking that the West will make Russia self-destruct, cannot be any other thing that a wet dream.  




by vildemose on



 All sound like my kind of

by vildemose on

 All sound like my kind of movies. Here are my recommendations:

 As If I am not there!


 The House I live in


 Shadow Dancer


The Secret of the Grain:


The Graves of Fire Flies


The Iranian Taboo:


The Secret of the Grain:


A state of war only se//www.imdb.com/title/tt0487419/rves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Since when did you go?

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Were you on vacation?


Vildemose: the film Separation & some film recommendations.

by FG on

Haven't seen it but it's on my "Gotta See" list which is quite long.   Years ago I ran a film club and occasionally run a club in campgrounds called "Hidden Gems."  I deliberately avoid big name movies everyone has seen and those will certain well known actors or actresses--some of whom I like. 

The problem is if their film is any good, every member of the audience has problem seen it.   Also, as Jack Palance once told me (he used to shop for shoes in my old home town),  "I made ten pieces of crap for every good fillm."  Most great actors will tell you the same.

Here's a few gems I'll recommend:

Downfall (GermanY)--I've mentioned this one several times but I think Iranians would enjoy it because of the way it shows a regime deteriorating in its final days and how it splits basically into two factions (diehards in denial) and those who sense the trap closing and just wish to get out of Berlin before it does.

Osama (Afghanistan) A girl tries to survive in Taliban Afghanistan by disguising herself as a boy.  I thought it was suspenseful as any mysteryIf you despise social police, this one's for you.  Iranians will nod there heads at the ending which perfectly captures the corruption of the clergy when given power.


North Face (Germany) a film about the first attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger in the Alps in 1936.  The climbing scenes will have you cringing in your seat.

USA:  If you can't stand theocracy, I'd recommend these two films: Our Fathers (Showtime) a great dramatization of how clerics can cover up horrors (in this case the Cardin Law child abuse case that broke all that so open.  The second is Evelyn from Ireland which deals with a guy (Pierce Brosnam) whose kids are taken away and placed in a church-run home after his wife dies.  He sues to get them back though everyone warns him you can't beat the Church/State alliance.

Two comedies from France: My Best Friend and Closet, both starring Daniel Auteil and the latter also featuring Gerald Depardieu. You don't find many good comedies because they are hard to do.

From New Zealand: Once Were Warriors, a biting drama that resembles a cross between Streetcar Named Desire and Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf. 

From the USA (HBO or SHOWTIME): Something the Lord Made. Despite the title it has nothing to do with religion.  It's a very good drama about the men who performed the first heart operation, something which everyone said was imposible.  The audience loved his one.

From Sweden:  Babbett's Feast (drama comedy), Song for Martin (drama) and As It Is In Heaven.

From Britain: Downton Abbey, Series One (everyony loves it) and the PBS Mystery Series  Judge John Deed.

From USA: "21 Grams" with Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro.  I think this one didn't make it because of the title.  People assumed, wrongly, is was about drugs.  





Esfand Aashena

FG you be forward. I don't care!

by Esfand Aashena on

I suggested two words "Thank You" in the subject line of a comment in response to ALL those who have responded, not one thanks to each one.

You've spent all these time arguing and ranting and raving about dictators and bullies, but stingy on two words! 

I am the backward Iranian that you hear so much about, but I really don't care what you do, you be the forward American!  You are no better no worse than other users of this website.  

Everything is sacred


 FG: Scathing rebuttle!

by vildemose on

 FG: Scathing rebuttle! Enjoyed it very much...

On a totally different subject: have you seen the movie, "Separation"?

BTW: welcome back...don't let the bullies distract or silence you. That is their job.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Efshand: I think you got it backwards.

by FG on

As for saying "thanks" 50 times, I'm sure most folks are satisfied with once.   Debate that if you will, but I can't see where it is rude or ill-mannered--unless you just seek something to complain about.

As Divenah wrote:

"I think it is important for you and anyone with that line of thinking to
understand that people announce their intentions because they owe it to
others. Leaving without giving a damn to let your virtual friends know
is in my view an ungrateful thing to do.

That's what I did.  No need to "rant or rave" and you'll see none in this post either.  Note that the phrase itself is hyperbolic and suggestive of hysteria on the part of the user.

As for whether I should write thanks first or complete my original post, which already six hours or more in process, and include thanks in a subpost, why exactly is it your business?   You do seem to nag without provocation.   Why would you then get upset when a guy complains about getting an earful?  

I do apologize in mistaking you for someone's nagging wife but given your carps and the hysterical language (ranting and raving?) I couldn't help think of Elizabeth Taylor in "Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" or Amy Vanderbilt giving lectures on where to place one's knife and fork.

Also, I owe you another apology.  I forget to answer the questions in your previous post. I'm American, not Iranian, but cannot abide bullies, whether it's Milosevic or Khamenei.   I have a broad background that includes history, economics and English literature.  I have a fair knowledge of French which I work on occasionally.

The place my wife and I sold was in Pennsylvania.  We are registered in Texas but have no fix address there are RV over much of the West.  Right now we are near Sedona, the Red Rock country seen in many westerns.   Route 89 between Prescott Valley and Flagstaff in among the top two or three scenic routes in the USA. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Don't forget to say Persian Gulf

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Above says it.

Esfand Aashena

As we say in Farsi; politeness/manners dictates.

by Esfand Aashena on

You had time to write this blog and two longer comments raving and ranting and no time to go your previous blog and say "Thank You" in the subject line of a comment? Two words!  So much for your priority of wanting people to read you.

You still haven't thanked those who have read your previous blog and are telegraphing it here!  Oh well.  You certainly don't owe me any explanation but good to know.

Oh and had you clicked on my profile you'd have known I'm a man. Certainly not gay!  Not that there is anything wrong with you and your sweetie! 

Everything is sacred


Here you go again FG!

by Faramarz on

How about a simple, "Thank you guys and I am happy to be back!"


To Ashana re: encouragement to stay

by FG on

I don't believe you were one of them so why would you write this shrewish post, especially since you obviously didn't read the first sentence in the lead post.  You preferred to make scolding assumptions instead.

Not having been here--except very briefly--for several days could I respond to something I had not read until last night?  What especially convinced me to stay was the administrator's explation for how my posts had disappeared.

Next I then spent an hour or two in a final rewrite of the post. By then it was 1:30 AM and I had to get up at 7 a.m. if you must know.  Am I supposed to stay up another hour or two just so you won't henpeck?  I'm not your husband, sweetie!

PS: My subsequent post appears here, exacly as promised.  It did take more than two hours so you see what I mean.


Reason for returning & more stuff

by FG on

Thanks for all the responses.   I already gave my reasons for leaving earlier--the inexplicable disappearance of posts, and the espcially the loss of time invested in them.   Neither personal sensitivity nor any inability to handle disagreements were factors.  Anyone who has read a few of my rebuttals will find the latter idea especially laughable. 

I enjoy rebutting and dissecting, especially when it comes to goofy conspiracy theories for which I have no patience. Ideologues tend to love them--whether Islamists, communists and some monarchists confuse propaganda with facts, losing all sense of reality

Thanks also to the administrator who explained how the odd deletions happens (If you edit after a post appears on the homepage, it will disappear).  I confess to be a lousy proof reader-- a problem complicated by sticky keys, an earlier hand injury (A 800- pound trailer came down on my fingers against a block of wood),  speed reading (I can't slow down), bifocals (not cleaned often enough) and perfectionistic tendencies that lead me to constant fine tuning rather than letting things be.  


Mostly I do round-up or analytical posts that can only be shortened so much.  To reduce analysis of a complex, multi-dimensional situation like Russia's future prospects, to six lines would require vast oversimplication.  What is that worth?

Usually my first draft may be twice as long.  To shorten a post without removing anything essential is no easy trick, especially when you add new and relevant ideas not included in the original.  You'll note any concise the above one is if you ask yourself, "What would I delete?" 

Why is it slightly longer than the original which appears today's Syria, etc. roundup at Enduring America.  Because in the interim I thought of a few things not included in the original.   If I included them it's because they are likely to have huge impact on this sort of conflict in the future--a point that deserves further thought here.


Drones are a one-way deal, the perfect counterrevolutionary weapon.  Imagine what Khamenei, Putin or Assad might accomplish with a substantial fleet of drones and the trained men to handle them (In the USA many are operated not from from where I am right now in Arizona).   Think about how hard it would be for FSA in Syria or an Iranian counerpart to retreat unnoticed or what might happen to any house in which they took refuge.  No wonder they scare Al Queda! 

You don't have to worry yet because Russia isn't quite there but may be soon.  Iran is a bit further away.   However, dozens of countries are working on them.   Revolutions of the sort we see today in Syria and maybe soon in Iran and Russia will be much harder to pull off when drones come into play.

That suggests the current revolutions may not be easy to pull off in the future as such regimes acquire drones and in sufficient numbers.  They are ideal for counterrevolutionary action bit require trained operators.  Many are operated from a base near here in Arizona.


Regimes have tanks, APCs and artillery.  Hence they don't need IED's nor on they in a good position to place them unobserved.  Thus IED's are another one-way deal. This one favors the opposition.  Used effectively they can do substantial damage to regime forces being used to target the people and sap morale. 

The great value of IEDs to people fighting a thuggish regime multiplies in any country will long distances between cities, bad roads and lots of places to hide (Russia).  When the drones come, anyone planting IED's will be far less secure.  You don't even know they are there until the missile arrives.

Even Iranians who advocate peaceful protest exclusively will have second thoughts when Khamenei follows Assad's shelling 'n sniping policy.  It's better to acquire the training, knowledge and equipment now  just in case, rather than play catch-up when the slaughter begins. 

If Assad falls, some may want to provide expertise and training to Iranians or Russians.  I suspect American special forces, will also be willing to assist.  In both cases, it amount to  "returning a favor."


Heck, no kidding, Russian Revolutions could be very dangerous!

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

I am glad you decided to stay. Dont let them  shut you up. Be a punch bag, the harder they hit (yap..) at you the harder come back at their paymasters in Tehran and Qom, using the mightiest tool, the pen (or it's 21st century equivalent, the keyboard). 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Maryam Hojjat

FG, I am very Glad that you decided to Stay

by Maryam Hojjat on

I enjoy reading your blog.  Excellent analysis with great writing skill.

Esfand Aashena

Did you forget to thank those who asked you to stay?

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred