Dec. 1st roundup: Turkey-IRI tensions grow/ Assad's troubles mount


by FG

NOTE: I deal with Iran first, followed by its Syrian ally in a subpost. 


Mansour Haqiqatpour, the deputy chairman of Parliament's National Security Committeehas criticised Turkey for serving as “the infantry for the US politico-military objectives” in the Middle East.  

It's a response to accurate Turkish charges that the mullahs have been arming Kurdish rebels and encouraging them to fight against both Turkey and the Syria rebels in a scheme to aid Assad.  Haqiqatpour argued that Turkey should reconsider its wrong policies of interference in the internal affairs of the neighboring countries.

If the IRI and Russia really opposed "interfering with the internal affairs of other nations, then what are they doing helping Assad against his people in Syria?  Why have they engaged in so many covert schemes in the region and globally?   In this case Turkey isn't alone in accusing the IRI.   Most nations friendly to the Turks agree with the charge.  Whoi else believes the charge?  Most Iranians who grumble about the billions of dollars their ruling mullahs are sinking into Syria in a futile effort to prop up Assad.   Here's a nice example of that:

Khamenei's failed plans to save the Syrian dictator



1. No one will believe mullah denials.

Reasons: The Pariah State has been caught red-handed in so many external destabilization plots and in each case denied everything.  Turkey and the world also recall the regime's amazing domestic whoppers ("We did not rig the 2009 election!"  "Our judicial system is fair and we have no political prisoners!"   "We've never employed death squads against reformers and journalists!") 

2. Turkey will not forget.  Tensions will continue and may grow even worse given incompatible rivalries.

3. When Assad falls, Turkey and Syria may follow a "turnabout is fair play" policy directed at a vulnerable IRI and its allies. 

Iran will persist in its covert anti-Turkish schemes anyway so what is there to lose by playing the same game in reverse?  The Supreme Leader got Iran in its present pariah position because he fails to grasp the old adage by now: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." For Syria, shipping jihadis off to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon would make great sense once Syria goes.   Give 'em something to do and pay back Mullahs & Pals at the same time.  Again, why not? 

It's almost funny how Assad keeps trying to persuade the West he is needed as a "bulwark" against radical Islamists.  Everyone knows how the man employed them as a handy-dandy policy tool in Iraq a few years ago.  The world knows he'd do it again if he managed to survive.   In April of 1945 Nazi appealed to the West that they were needed as a "bulwark against communism."  In appeals fell on deaf ears because the loose cannon regimes in question were too discredited, troublesome and dangerous.  The world was/is better off without them.


The Middle East canot stabilize unless the present Kurdish and Israeli/Palestine problems  are addressed,  In the first case the nation in the best position to solve things is Turkey.  By contrast, Iran's discredited mullocracy is in the worst position.

So long as the Kurds seek self rule via autonomy or independence while remaining divided between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, it ought to be obvious by now that neighbors with rival ambitions will not be able to resist using the Kurds in similar schemes.   Of the four countries just listed only Turkey occupies a credible position in which it can resolve the problem in a way that win-win advantages to both sides.  Erdogan would have to grant the Kurds either full autonomy (included the right to its own militia) or full independence and sovereignty to pull it off. In either case his "price" would have to be that the new Kurdish government remained democratic and subject to popular legimacy and respect for the civil rights of all citizens.  The Kurds could demand in turn that Turkey not oppose the right of other Kurds to join.  The Turks would have to ask three other things just as beneficial to the Kurds as to Turkey:  1. a common market that could also include post-Assad Syria, 2. a loose political political confederation of those three fully sovereign states and 3. a defensive-only alliance between all three. 

I've often thought that a settlement based on similar ideas (confederation, common makret) might also be the best solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict especially if Jerusalem (so symbolic to all parties) served as official confederation capital while Tel Aviv reverted to its old role as Israel's national capital and Palestinians chose an equivalent of their own.  The deal would have to include subsubstantial compensation to Palestinians for past grievances.  Naturally radical Islamists and nationalists as Iran would likely try to derail any such deal for selfish reasons.  Either would sell Israelis and Palestinians in a heartbeat if they could.   

In any heterogenous and highly diverse state with past animousities, it is desirable to discourage (but not forbid) the growth of sectarian parties that emphasize "us against them" politics.   The best way to avoid that is to provide a winner-take-all plurality electoral system rather than the usual proportional representation system which evolved in a Europe that was far more homogenous at the time unlike the diverse Middle East, so full of past grievances.   To see why, read:

Extremism and Proportional  Representation 




Proportional representation creates dysfunctional democracies





more from FG

Iranian businessman: TOTAL collapse of economy is a certainty

by FG on


Businessman like Ali Reza, who works in the information technology industry, find it impossible to make any sort of plans under these circumstances. "To me, it seems the government officials wake up every morning with a new idea and that idea affects my dealing right away," he says.

Seemingly uncoordinated government interventions, coupled with the existing international sanctions and the threats of even stricter ones, have created a new economic environment in Iran. This week, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) released its latest data on foreign trade and government accounts. The CBI reports that Iranian oil exports are down by 40 percent compared to last year -- set off, but only marginally, by a 12 percent rise in other exports. (Other sources state that oil exports are down as much as 50 percent.) Of particular note, Iran is increasingly importing natural gas and petroleum products -- such imports this spring were 101 percent higher than during the comparable period last year. The CBI report also reveals that Iranian government debt to the banking sector has increased by 54 percent.

In an editorial published Wednesday by the Tejarat News website, economist Mohammad Mehdi Behkish warns that the Iranian economy may be on the verge of falling into a deep recession -- a word heard often these days around Tehran. After reviewing the political decisions made by the government that affect Iran's standing in the international arena, he concludes, "The economic consequences of these actions were neither calculated nor taken into account." He asks government officials and members of the business community to come together and devise a strategy to avoid sweeping economic reversals that could last a decade.

To Ali Reza, Behkish's dire observations constitute not a warning but an acknowledgement. "The recession is here! Are they kidding?" He continues, angrily, "The factories have been shutting down for some time now, unemployment is higher than ever."

In his view, the question is not whether a recession can be avoided, but "if there is enough time to save the economy" from total collapse. Ali Reza does not think so. With an air of resignation, even doom, he concludes, "It is too late. We will never come back from this one."

Read more: //


Kurdish-Iraqi government talks collapse amid fear of civil war

by FG on


 Talks between Kurdish and central government forces aimed at defusing military tension in northern Iraq have collapsed amid fears that bitter political divisions are again bringing the country to the brink of civil war....

 Maliki this week dismissed his government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, in a widening scandal over a $5.2 billion Russian arms deal – one of more than a dozen officials being summoned by Iraq’s integrity commission in an investigation over alleged corruption. Iraq, eager to lessen its dependence on the US, had planned to buy attack helicopters and missile systems from Russia. The deal was opposed by the Kurds who fear the weapons could be used against them.



15 Great reasons for educated young to leave Iran for good

by FG on

1. Real universities with real courses in all subjects and real professors (not political stooges in turbans). 2. Social freedoms (no cisgusting religious police!). 3. Equal rights for all, including women and Bahia with no enforced hajib.  4. REAL elections, not reigged in advance or vetted by a Guardian Council.  5. Vastly superior economies and job prospects even with the present Europ crisis. 6. The freedom to speak, write and demonstate peaceful. 7. Real courts with real defense attorneys 8. No Basilj or other thuggish militias. 9. No mullahs and no Supreme Tyrant 10. A realistic chance at a happy future instead of "helll forever" under mullah rule. 11. Access to a totally free press. 12. Access to a totally free internet. 13. Access to all satellite TV, muisic and all films.  14. No arrests or beatings  for attending funerals. 15. No targeting of relatives or defense attorneys for beatings, arrests, etc. to deter criticism.


Report asks: "Are Syria’s rebels about to win?" & shows why

by FG on

The coastal region, where Alawites predominate, has been drained of most reliable men under age 50.  That cannot be good news when the regime needs to replace losses elsewhere due to combat or defections.  

The regime no longer reports casualities because the coffins are coming so fasg.  Grieving Alawites are now grumbling openly about being sacrificed "for the Assads" who are as widely despised as their counterparts in Iran: Khamenei and his thuggish crowd of ultra-conservative reactionaries. 

The Global Post, a news and analysis site out of Boston, examine the situation:


“Every day there are 50 to 60 wooden coffins brought through Lattakia’s Bassel al-Assad Airport. There are funerals in most villages every day,” he said. “The regime’s media used to cover the martyrs’ funerals but in the last few months they stopped broadcasting news of dead soldiers...”

... at least 10,000 of Assad’s men have also been killed.  With ever more coffins flown home from a war now being fought in almost every province, the Alawites — whose support the regime relies on most — are beginning to question their sacrifice...

Assad’s forces are no longer in control of major border crossings to both Turkey and Iraq, Syria’s northern and eastern neighbors (which leaves these borders open to volunteers and supplies).

the regime suffered significant defeats last week with the loss of a strategic military base in the north and another in a key oil-producing region of the east.

Base 46 was the regime’s last major outpost along its border with Turkey....Over-running Base 46 after weeks of siege, rebels made off with more than a dozen tanks, artillery cannons, mortars and rocket launchers, some of the heaviest weapons to fall into their hands since the start of the uprising a year and a half ago.

Rebels say the Sheikh Suleiman base — the final army garrison between Aleppo and the Turkish border — will also soon fall after a two-month battle, giving them full control of a sizeable and contiguous stretch of land between a major city and a friendly border for the first time...

rebels in the north are increasingly able to choke off supply routes for Assad’s troops battling to re-take Aleppo. Despite holding large areas of countryside, the rebels have yet to exert full control over a major city.   

“Regime soldiers who joined us recently said some of their units had not been resupplied with food or fuel for weeks,” said Abu Abdu, a fighter with Liwa al Tawheed, a leading Islamist rebel group in Aleppo. “The regime is sending supplies by the airport, so that is what we will destroy next...”

Two of the region’s three oil fields are now in rebel hands, with trucks lining up to buy $5 barrels of the light crude, a smoky but reliable fuel, as winter sends temperatures plummeting and government supplies dwindle to nothing...

“The rebels are in snowball process, strengthening with each base and arms depot they capture,"