American “sailors” and “mechanical failures”

The wording sailors is quite amusing. If two Iranian ships full of highly armed soldiers would have had the same kind of mechanical failure both at the same time and would accidentally enter US waters, they would rather have been called: militants, elite soldiers, Qods-Force or what ever seems more threatening.

But in this case all the international press is repeating “sailors”, and even though in this case like in other cases it is clear that these sailors were most probably on a spy mission like in this case (the source is referenced: The Guardian) or like US drones that regularly accidentally enter Iranian Air space.

Guardian story about CIA Agent: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/12/robert-levinson-iran-missing-cia-secret

Anyhow Iran’s reaction has been very mild. Looking back at what Turkey did as a Russian Airplane entered its Airspace for a few seconds, it shows how much Iran has actually softened its stance. While this is good for the “Sailors” it seems that some GOP candidates are quite frustrated that the Americans were set free as easily:

http://lobelog.com/republicans-self-defeating-attack-on-obamas-iran-policy/

US “boats”: speed boats in full camouflage and highly equipped with weapons:

 

US boat camouflage coloring sailors Iran Persian Gulf

More info about the boats: http://www.popsci.com/what-were-boats-that-iran-captured?src=SOC&dom=fb

“On their way from Kuwait to Bahrain”:

US Sailors on the way from Kuwait to Bahrain

These highly trained professionals should be trained better in navigation.

And here their weapons:

US sailors weapons Iran Persian Gulf

Great article by Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept:

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/13/us-media-condemns-irans-aggression-in-intercepting-us-naval-ships-in-iranian-waters/

Glenn Greenwald is the holder of multiple awards including the George Polk Award

The origin of the “modern” Sunni Shia conflict

This conflict is not going on forever as stated by many people who lack the knowledge and hence oversimplify and trivialize. Less than two decades ago there was not such a violent conflict. Hence this is not an endless conflict and we can go back to the situation that we had not too long ago.

We have to take a look at the beginnings, analyze the ones who profited most and stop to listen to their rhetoric

http://qz.com/476191/remembering-the-bomb-that-started-the-middle-easts-sectarian-war/

Another interesting article on this topic is the following one written by Seymour Hersh the Pulitzer Prize winner for the New Yorker in 2007. What he wrote then can explain a lot of things that are happening today in the middle east:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

If you ask me the Sunni Shia conflict as it has gotten momentum after the Iraq war had three main reasons:

  1. It was a “good” way of divide and conquer used by the US who had big problems fighting Sunni and Shia insurgency. Violence between these two groups took the load off the US army in Iraq.
  2. After the invasion of Iraq, Iran had emerged as the winner of the happenings, neither the self called “leader of the Arab world” Saudi Arabia nor their partners, the US, could be happy about this outcome. Saudi Arabia as country that is suppressing its own Shia minority was not happy to have a Shia dominated Iraq, and a democracy as a neighbor. Democracy in Iraq would indeed be poised to put a Shia leadership on Shia majority Iraq.
  3. Arab public polls in 2006 (as effect of the war between Israel and Hezbollah) had shown that the Arab public was in fact favorizing non Sunni leaders. The most favorite politicians were Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad and Ahmadinejad. (Two Shia and one Alawite).
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7347613.stm
    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Poll-Nasrallah-most-admired-leader-in-Arab-world
    This was a major blow back for the wannabe “leaders of the Arab world”. Strengthening sectarianism seemed to improve Saudi Arabia’s position in a Arab world that was favorizing non Sunni leaders that were in contrast to the leadership of Saudi Arabia not appeasing to the West and to Israel.

Iran was in its best position right after Saddam was removed. A huge military threat next to Iran was removed making Iran the undisputed power after Israel in the region. With the start of the sectarian conflict Iran has only lost, as this conflict has inflicted huge costs on Iran. It is also interesting to point out that Iran was in its policies mainly opposed to Israel was never going against Sunnis. Infact Iran’s opposition to Israel was on behalf of Sunni Palestinans, who were supported by Iran and Syria more than by any country in the Persian Gulf region (mostly crazily rich countries that never took any Sunni refugees while advocating them selves as truly Sunni nations).

So, who profited:

  1. Saudi Arabia: With the US worried about Iran as emerging power in the region, arms sales to Sunni monarchies took off, making Saudi Arabia the biggest importer of US and European weapons. the result is a more and more aggressive foreign policy by Saudi Arabia. The positive or at least neutral views on Shia and the anger on Sunni monarchies are replaced with fear and hate mongering towards Shia, making Saudi Arabia the protector of Sunnis in the region, though Saudi Arabia has refused to take any Syrian refugees, leaving the load on the shoulders of much poorer nations in the region and on the shoulder of Christian European countries.
  2. USA: Through divide and conquer, the insurgency against the US turned towards violence between the insurgents.
  3. Israel: The opposition and hate towards Israel was replaced with hate between the two main factions of Islam, fighting off each other at heavy costs, while Sunni Arab countries and Israel moving closer together than ever before.
    Israeli official: Israel quite content if Syria war goes on

    Jerusalem Post: Israel treating al-Qaida fighters wounded in Syria civil war
    The biggest opposing Arab power and most dangerous neighbor set back for decades and thrown into a devastating civil war.

But how would these profiteers fuel the conflict and keep it rolling:

  1. Use proxies in Iraq to start attacks on Shia, trying to provoke counter attacks. Thanks god for the most part counter attacks remained quite rare, also because Grand Ayatollah Sistani the most important Shia leader called for Iraqi unity and discouraged counter attacks for almost a decade until finally calling for resistance, not against Sunni Iraqis but against IS.
  2. Declare a for the Arab world NOT uncommon way, of putting down demonstrations in Syria, as a sectarian war towards Sunnis, even though Assad had been the most secular leader in the Arab world and the only one standing up against Israel. Hosting the biggest share of Sunni Palestinians for years,  having a Sunni wife he was hardly some one fighting Sunnis. Using opinion building tools like Al Jazeera and Al Arabia (controlled by the Qatari and Saudi monarchs) the Syrian conflict was miss portrayed of an Army of Alawites fighting the Sunni people of Syria. 5 Years into the conflict it is clear that the Syrian Army is consists of a big share of Sunnis who rather fight against the opposition who is more and more non Syrian with the biggest and most mighty groups (IS and Al Nusra) being mainly foreign mercenaries from Chechnya, Tunisia, … , where as Sunni Syrians often flee from rebel owned areas to Government controlled areas.
    Read more about this: here

 

An interesting anecdote from the Iraq-Iran war

Saddam Hussein’s goal for attacking Iran was to conquer Iranian oil fields.

Saddam was thinking that (Sunni) Arab Iranians would be oppressed in Iran (as Shia are oppressed in many Arab countries) and would join forces with their Arab “brothers” from the Iraqi Army, but the opposite was the case Arab Iranians felt more as Iranians than as Arabs and fiercely defended their homeland Iran and stopped the mighty Iraqi Army until the surprised Iranian army could finally send help to the Iraqi border.

This story beautifully shows how Arab leaders speculated and finally invented an oppression of the (Sunni) Arab minority in Iran, and were surprised by the realities on the ground, that these allegedly oppressed minorities felt pretty much Iranian, and nearer to their fellow Shia Iranians than to external Sunni and even Shia Arabs.

Great book that covers the Iraq-Iran war and other conflicts in the Middle East:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-War-Civilisation-Conquest-Middle/dp/1400075173/ref=la_B001IXS5RS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443905977&sr=1-1

Executions here, police killings there

Proven death sentences in 2014: 35 (USA), 61 (Iraq), 90 (Saudi Arabia), 289 (Iran).

You hear only about Iran, but there are countries that are worse:

In Nigeria, 659 death sentences were recorded in 2014, a jump of more than 500 compared with the 2013 figure of 141.

In Egypt, courts handed down at least 509 death sentences during 2014, 400 more than recorded during the previous year. This included mass death sentences against 37 people in April and 183 people in June following unfair mass trials.

Source: http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/death-sentences-and-executions-2014?page=2

From all countries above who do you think is on the biggest drug smuggling route of the world?

Correct: Iran.

Afghanistan presently produces 80 percent of the world’s heroin which provides billions of dollars in illicit profits for the powerful drug Mafia. Heroin trafficking and production have flourished under US military occupation and transformed Afghanistan into a dysfunctional narco-colony.

In the past 30 years, 3,734 Iranian border guards have been killed and more than 12,000 wounded in clashes with smugglers.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/afghan-opium-production-hits-all-time-high/5414293

Iran has a real problem with this:

Iran lies directly in the path of the world’s largest flow of heroin.
There are some analysts who describe Iran’s heroin addiction problem as the “worst in the world.” Estimates of the number of addicts vary widely – from one million to more than three million habitual drug users. A 2006 report estimated that 8 percent of the adult population was addicted to drugs.

Out of the 170,000 people in jail in Iran, 68,000 are there for drug trafficking and 32,000 are there because they are addicts.

Source: http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/iran-heroin-drug-addiction.html

So what should a 3rd world country crippled under sanctions do? Build more jails? Hold more costly prisoners? Be more morale than the US and stopping executions at all? Yes, should it? But then why are you not so much upset when there are death sentences in the US? Are death sentences, invasions, meddling in other countries ok when you are a democracy? Don’t you think these are double standards?

Also what do you think about: US police killings headed for 1,100 this year, with black Americans twice as likely to die. (The Guardian)

How convenient isn’t it? No court costs, no prison costs and no bad image, because all people only compare death sentence numbers. Also, let’s try a test: replace in the title of the Guardian article (above in blue) US with Iran, and black Americans by an arbitrary Iranian minority. The conclusion would be clear, right? (White) US republicans would be furious even the UN, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch would be all over the story.

Speaking of all this: Yes, Iran is a dictatorship, and yes every execution is one execution too much, but after reading this article it should be clear that we have clearly double standards here, we comfortably ignore Iran’s hard situation trying to stop drug smuggling (and thus also protecting not only Iran’s youth but also other countries down the road) while being under sanctions. It should be also clear that focusing on just Iran can only have one reason: political motivation.

The Atlantic: World Public Opinion poll found that Iranians hold a more favorable opinion on the US than anywhere else in the Middle East

A 2009 World Public Opinion poll found that 51 percent of Iranians hold a favorable opinion of Americans, a number consistent with other polls, meaning that Americans are more widely liked in Iran than anywhere else in the Middle East. The U.S. favorability rating isn’t even that high in U.S. allies India or Turkey, and is two and half times as high as in Egypt. The same survey found that almost two-thirds of Iranians support restoring diplomatic ties with the U.S. (Iranians’ view of U.S. leadership is much worse, at 8 percent as of early this year.) But even these figures are likely on the low end of actual sentiment, as many Iranians might fear expressing such views to a strange pollster, out of fear of drawing the suspicion of the authorities…

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/the-iran-we-dont-see-a-tour-of-the-country-where-people-love-americans/258166/

Interested in reading more about USA-Iran? Here is a nice collection: http://theotheriran.com/category/usa/

Tag team effort

and that's the way it was

Putting two and two together, Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent travels and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent chat with Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir point to a coordinated push by Bashar al-Assad’s two biggest allies, Russia and Iran, to follow-up the nuclear deal by recharging some kind of peace process in Syria. In fact, Zarif is supposed to be in Moscow on Monday to meet with Lavrov and discuss, you got it, Syria.

So far, Russia’s efforts at building consensus on a Syrian deal that allows everybody to focus their fire on ISIS have been decidedly less successful than Iran’s, though to be fair Zarif has been mostly talking to friendly audiences in Lebanon (Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah) and Damascus (Assad himself), while Russia has been talking to the Saudis and the “legitimate” Syrian opposition. Lavrov’s meeting on Thursday with Khaled Khoja, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, apparently…

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Is Iran pushing a diplomatic solution for Syria?

and that's the way it was

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is on a bit of a diplomacy jag in the aftermath of reaching the nuclear agreement with the P5+1. On Tuesday and Wednesday he was in Lebanon, where he met with Lebanese Prime Minister (and acting President, on account of they don’t currently have one) Tammam Salam and other top Lebanese politicians, to talk about finding a way to end the Syrian civil war and to collaborate on regional security issues. He also met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and what makes that interesting is that Zarif’s chat with Nasrallah immediately preceded the announcement of a 48 hour ceasefire in the Syrian border town of Zabadani, where government/Hezbollah fighters have been pressing a force of Syrian rebels (mainly Ahrar al-Sham) pretty hard for the past several weeks. Talks on that ceasefire have reportedly been going on for a month, with Turkish

View original post 1,153 more words