Friday, January 29, 2016

Peace Is War, Love Is Hate & Present Is Past

Peace is war forgotten, but still there. Love is hate forgotten, but still there. Present is past forgotten, but still there. Always still there. Lingering in the back of our minds. A reality ignored, as we wallow in our useful illusions. 

DDGD January 30, 2016

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Today’s Post is brought to you by…  The Naughty Flippers Society: We flip the lights off, on, then, off again. We stand the truth on its head, and dance. And when the world needs our help, we give the world our fingering hand.

The Delirica

Sally is an American citizen. 
Failure & Consequence: In a sense, Obama’s current policy towards Syria comes, in part, as a recognition of his total failure there, a failure that led to the rise of Daesh, Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar Al-Sham and other Islamist groups – all of which equally problematic and unsavory, and, in another, it represents a continued attachment to Obama’s strategy of limited interventionism and minimalist global footprint. By passing the hot potato on to an eager and ambitious Russian Olidog (a particularly rabid, vicious and overambitious oligarch, see the Deliricon) and his Iranian allies, the administration is divesting itself of the responsibility of setting things right, and allowing Russia and Iran to do most of the dirty work designed to return a measure of stability to the country by: 1) striking all rebels, and 2) re-empowering Assad, at least for the next two years or so (that is, as per the delusion that the administration has chosen to believe in its final days of historical relevance). In the meantime, the administration and in cooperation with its Kurdish allies, has opted to carve a little niche for the United States in the Province of Hasakah, marking its new territory at this stage with an expansion of an old agricultural airfield, something that will give it a continued stake and some say in the outcome of the conflict. A potential Russian challenge to its growing influence there seems to have been checked. The administration has gambled big and lost, but there is no need to acknowledge any of it, now or ever, so long as the buck can be passed to others, including Iran, Russia and the next administration. It is in this fatalist and amoral approach, often descried as realist, that one can find the Real Obama Doctrine.

The Daily Delirynth

The Quest for the Illusive Peace: Geneva's endless peace process plays into Bashar al-Assad's handsSyria's leader knows that the toothless talks of Geneva I and II give him the ideal cover to continue terrorising the population.” While it is true that the talks in Geneva are probably pointless and will to lead to any solution, and that even the proposed political solution will not end the violence in the country for years to come, it is nonetheless important for the Syrian opposition not to boycott the talks, because by doing so they will leave plenty of room for the “opposition” figures sponsored by Russia. While many of these figures are legitimate opposition, even if popular perceptions of them among pro-Revolution Syrians lead towards the negative, there are quite a few of them who represent political mercenaries, and are taking part for pure personal gain, and some are even regime stooges. Moreover, once the talks fail, and they are destined too, it’s the boycotting opposition who will bear the brunt of blame.

By taking part in the talks, it’s the regime’s lack of seriousness that will be exposed, and while this might seem insignificant, it’s in fact quite an important development, as it will allow the opposition to build a record of professionalism and proactivity with its regional and international backers, no matter how reluctant and duplicitous they might be. Continuing to building rapport with Mr. Staffan de Mistura and his team, not to mention whatever Russian, American and European officials and experts that will be there, is also important. Building such personal connections have always been an integral part of diplomacy, and the opposition will not have a real chance to do so if they continued to sit back in Riad, Istanbul or wherever twiddling their thumbs.

For this reason, the decision just made by Mr. Riad Hijab, the former Syrian Prime Minister, and the highest level defector from the Assad regime, currently heading the opposition, comes as a positive development that seems to have been made in response to advice by people like me (Arabic content).

Personally, I find that many of the objections raised by those who are advocating boycott reminding me of the positions long adopted by Islamists and Leftists vis-à-vis the Palestinian Cause, that is, I find them too emotional and too ideological, and I believe that they will eventually lead nowhere. This is not too surprising for me, because they people advocating such positions are the same old Islamists and Leftists, or their intellectual off-spring. They have learned little it seems from their previous experiences.

But the reality is simple: our country has imploded, and has come under myriad occupation forces: Russian, Iranian, Lebanese (Hezbollah), Iraqi, Afghan (Shia militias) and Daeshis coming from all over the world. Extremists have flourished, and some have cultivated indigenous support (Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar Al-Sham and Jaish Al-Islam among others). The infrastructure has been decimated, and the economy has collapsed and is being maintained by the indulgence of our creditors. Whether Assad stays or leaves, now or over the long haul, nothing will change or improve overnight. This magical moment of release for which so many of us yearn, the moment we see in movies, the moment when we get to shout “victory” from some mountain top is not going to come. This is not how our conflict is going to end. This is not how proxy wars end these days. What’s ahead of us is a process, a long process of ups and downs, of too many disappointments, and achievements that are too little to make an immediate difference, but whose amalgamation is exactly what could bring about that elusive victory, in due course, if, that is, we knew how to manage them. For that, to get that, to get there, emotions and ideologies should be set aside.

Vladdipus Rex vs. Vladdipus Hex: Putin denounces Soviet founder Lenin. Apparently Comrade Lenin was too moderate, or in contemporary parlance, as evinced by the title of this very blog, “delirious,” when he adopted a federal structure for the old USSR. Of course, the fact that the USSR would never have come into existence without this compromise doesn’t seem to resonate with Vladdie the Coupmeister. But then vodka and ideology don’t mix well together, as the last century of Russian history can amply demonstrate to those of us who have not consumed that particularly delirium-inducing Kool Aide. For the problem with Russia does not lie in its adoption of the federal system, but in its continued reliance on the wrong Kool Aide for sustenance and warmth. It’s about time they made the switch to wine and beer, democracy and human rights.

Iranian Emperor Nasir al-Din about the statues he saw in the Winter Palace/Hermitage, where he lived while staying in St. Petersburg, Russia. (From: The diary of H.M. the Shah of Persia, during his tour through Europe in A.D. 1873. By J.W. Redhouse. A verbatim translation. London, 1874.) – Source: Heraldic Iran.
The Faqihnameh – The Conquests of Rouhani The Modest: Rouhani in Europe: Italy covers nudes for Iran president. Indeed, and out of respect for his culture as well, German authorities are reportedly planning to offer President Rouhani a fifteen year old virgin as a concubine to keep him warm during his intended visit to the frigid country. Meanwhile, back in Washington, President, Obama has reportedly opted to hang celebrated author Salman Rushdie from the top of the Washington Monument as an opening act of the weeklong celebration awaiting President Rouhani when he finally makes his first official visit to the United States. The celebrations are also said to include mass execution of juvenile offenders, many of whom, per Obama’s orders, were recently released from solitary confinement and returned to the general population in preparation for the eventual ritualistic sacrifice in honor of the virile peacemaker. Also, and in a long-awaited move, NAMBLA has decided to confer an honorary membership on President Rouhani who will thus join such luminaries as his Russian counterpart, Vladdipus Dicks, in the Valtheon of Vile Vermin. Experts say that these steps are not surprising at all, considering how low the global ethical standards have fallen over the last five years, especially in Western democracies where leaders seem to be falling back on old shitty attitudes and platitudes in a development to which many experts refer as an “anal oral confusion” – a phenomenon where people think and speak out of their asses and shit out of their mouths.  Meanwhile, fascist and neo-Nazi parties everywhere will be holding a series of holocaust denying events in honor of the Great White Turbaned Mullah in which hundreds of Syrian refugees, Europe’s current equivalent of Nazi era Jewish populations, will be gassed and burnt to wild applause. Heil Mullah! Fuck you World!

The Irony to end all Ironies: The Irony of Syrian Disintegration. “Leftists have long defended the marginalized and sought to bring about greater social equality. And they have almost always fought against imperialism. Hence, it is more than a little ironic that, in their confusion, the people who most cherished these goals often found themselves supporting some of the world’s most conservative and imperialistic regimes. Leftist justice activists defended the neo-liberal Assad, to whom the Bush administration outsourced torture; the dictator Putin, who ended Russian democracy and made protesting virtually illegal; the Iranian mullahs, whose merger of church-and-state would have been too extreme for the most fanatical of American evangelicals. And it was all in the service of preventing a war few in the West were actually proposing. Somehow justice activists found themselves lauding dictators in suits, at whose hands they would almost certainly have been jailed and tortured. It was a moral degeneration in values rivaled today perhaps only by the rise of Donald Trump.” The irony involved here is that this quite perceptive article, where every paragraph deserves to be quoted, is written by none of the existing pundits.

Refugenics: Germany has a new plan for Syrian refugees: Give them jobs, not sanctuary. Now this is far more productive than taking the refugees’ jewelry and life-savings away, an unfortunate policy to which German authority succumbed recently following the footsteps of Denmark and Switzerland.  

Quote of the Day

“Iran has not just offered Afghan refugees and migrants incentives to fight in Syria, but several said they were threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan unless they did. Faced with this bleak choice, some of these Afghan men and boys fled Iran for Europe.” --Peter Bouckaert, HRW emergencies director.

Tweet(s) of the Day

Video(s) of the Day

A topless Femen activist hung from a Parisian bridge in protest of Rouhani’s visit

Cartoons: The Cauldron

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