dunnettreader + iran   24

Misusing Intelligence to Sell Conflict with Iran
by Paul R. Pillar Although nobody knows exactly where Donald Trump intends to go with his campaign of seeking confrontation with Iran, his administration…
Iran  Trump-foreign_policy  diplomacy  Iran-nuclear_accord  US_intelligence_agencies  Trump_admin-lies  from instapaper
december 2017 by dunnettreader
WTF happened in Lebanon and ISIS update - Tommy Vietor's foreign affairs podcast - Crooked Media - Nov 17 2017
With Rob Malley - Crisis Group - was ISIS lead on Obama NSC - he arrived in Beirut, scheduled to meet Hariri, just as Hariri resigned on Saudi TV. The stunt has succeeded in producing the miracle of all parties in Lebanon agreeing on something - that it was effectively a hostage situation and they want their Prime Minister back. The discussion mostly deals with Saudi screwing stuff up and MBS consistently taking counterproductive steps that blow up in his face, the problems when Trump is seen by the region as giving MBS a blank check, and the clean up efforts required, which the Trump Admin isn't (yet?) organized to do consistently. The only winner is Iran, which just has to sit back quietly and get out the popcorn. Interesting discussion of how the Obama administration found it difficult to stay out of supporting Saudis re Yemen - timing with Iran nuclear talks was key consideration in limiting perceived options.
podcast  US_foreign_policy  Obama_administration  Trump_foreign_policy  MENA  Lebanon  Saudia_Arabia  Iran  Syria  ISIS  GWOT  diplomacy 
november 2017 by dunnettreader
The US joins the Turkey-PKK fight in northern Syria - International Crisis Group - June 2017
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) members man a checkpoint near the Kurdish town of Efrin, in Syria, on 27 November 2014. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail Report…
Trump_foreign_policy  US_foreign_policy  Syria  Iraq  Iran  ISIS  Russia  Turkey  US_military  Kurds  from instapaper
june 2017 by dunnettreader
Kenneth Harl - The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes | The Great Courses
36 lectures - list price $320
- the video version is a must in order to follow the names of groups, locations and movements
A few bothered by mispronunciation and a lot of ahs - but most reviewers very enthusiastic - and replaying lectures to get all the info. Counters a few complaints that it's too superficial, or that it pays too much attention to the sedentary civilizations that were affected - the last complaint seems to miss the very purpose of the course.
Byzantium  Eastern_Europe  military_history  Central_Asia  empires  government-forms  medieval_history  military_tactics  Egypt  Persia  ancient_Rome  nomadic_invasions  cultural_history  Ghengis_Khan  trade  video  Eurasia  Roman_Empire  government-revenues  Ottomans  Iraq  Chinese_history  Black_Sea  Islamic_civilization  Atilla_the_Hun  ancient_history  India  Iran  China  late_antiquity  Sufis  Mamluks  cultural_exchange  military_technology  Golden_Horde  Turcic_tribes  Han_China  MENA  religious_history  Mongols  Tamerlane  Caliphate  courses  Buddhism  cultural_transmission  trade-policy  empires-tributary  barbarians  steppes 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Nile Green - The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London | Princeton University Press
In July 1815, six Iranian students arrived in London under the escort of their chaperone, Captain Joseph D’Arcy. Their mission was to master the modern sciences behind the rapid rise of Europe. Over the next four years, they lived both the low life and high life of Regency London, from being down and out after their abandonment by D’Arcy to charming their way into society and landing on the gossip pages. Drawing on the Persian diary of the student Mirza Salih and the letters of his companions, Nile Green vividly describes how these adaptable Muslim migrants learned to enjoy the opera and take the waters at Bath. But there was more than frivolity to their student years in London. Burdened with acquiring the technology to defend Iran against Russia, they talked their way into the observatories, hospitals, and steam-powered factories that placed England at the forefront of the scientific revolution.The Love of Strangers chronicles the frustration and fellowship of six young men abroad to open a unique window onto the transformative encounter between an Evangelical England and an Islamic Iran at the dawn of the modern age. This is that rarest of books about the Middle East and the West: a story of friendships. Nile Green is professor of history at UCLA. His many books include Sufism: A Global History. -- Intro downloaded pdf to Note
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  19thC  British_history  British_Empire  Industrial_Revolution  technology_transfer  Iran  Islam  London  Austen  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_&_technology  networks-social  networks-information  British_foreign_policy  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Philip Giraldi - The Neoconservative "Cursus Honorum" | The American Conservative - March 2015
The warmongering right has carefully built a network of credentialing institutions that secure it outsized influence. -- Wingnut welfare involves crucial initial steps of using their institutions to produce fake validation of expert credentials and then maintain them in an alphabet soup of "think tanjs" for hacks, publishing outlets and cushy private sector positions when the revolving door isn't available.
Instapaper  US_politics-foreign_policy  US_foreign_policy  neocons  wingnut_welfare  Israel  Iraq  Iran  arms_control  interventionism  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Pillar - The Heavy Historical Baggage of U.S. Policy Toward the Middle East | The National Interest Blog - July 2015
July 8, 2015 There is much to be said for what is commonly called a “zero-based review”—a fresh look at a problem or project unencumbered by existing… For all the insistence each Administration has to have its own strategic doctrine that breaks with predecessors, there's striking continuity in the Foreign policy Establishment attitudes toward MENA that comes from accumulated history of events or shifts in politics and economics in the region that produces a narrow range of what's seen as possible policy. Some of it's just facts that have produced structures that aren't going anywhere anytime soon. But that shouldn't impose strait-jackets on auto-responses.
Instapaper  US_politics  US_foreign_policy  MENA  Iran  Iraq  oil  Saudia_Arabia  Israel  Syria  GWOT  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Scott McConnell - How the GOP Became the Israel Party | The American Conservative - April 2015
He sees it as a long march of the neocons through the GOP-oriented institutions, with The Weekly Standard playing a key role as ideological enforcer from the 1990s (post GHW Bush administration). He recounts how National Review and figures like Buchanan and Novak had an audience for nationalist-based scepticism of lockstep support for Israeli policies, and that Murdoch and the Kristol folks succeeded in making those positions unspeakable within Beltway-accepted polite discourse on the right -- clearly one reason why he helped found AmCon, since NR caved to the neocons and became ideological enforcers themselves. He doesn't see the Christian Zionist support as suddenly becoming more vocal, rabid or effective at enforcing single-issue discipline -- if anything, the Evangelicals are seeing fissures as the Israeli bombing campaigns, settler intransigence, and the reality of occupation has become visible to more Americans. The SCOTUS-authorized tsunami of money into US politics from ultra Likudnik billionaires is a factor, but its effect has been more the final cementing of uniform ultra-rightwing Israeli support from all corners of the GOP -- no one who wants to run for office on the national level as a Republican can even contemplate the least bit of daylight from the Israeli far right. And there aren't any important policy players on the right who have staked out "moderate" pro Israel positions who could create credible space for a GOP politician to take a position to the left of Bibi. The decades of investment in think tanks and Middle East policy shops promoted by the neocons and their affiliated deep-pocket funders made the career opportunities for GOP-leaning foreign policy types nearly exclusively on the far right, and 9/11 and the Iraq war created an enormous further expansion of energy, ideological discipline and funding. Leaving few alternatives for up and coming careerists and politicians.
US_politics  US_foreign_policy  GOP  neoconservatism  political_press  propaganda  politics-and-money  Israel  right-wing  Evangelical  Zionist  millennarian  Islamophobia  Likud  Iran  diplomacy  arms_control 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Joshua Landis - Syria Year-End Predictions and Analysis – (28 December 2014)
Syria will become increasingly fragmented in 2015. The Somalia-ization of the country is inevitable so long as the international community degrades all centers of power in Syria and the opposition fails to unite.
islamist  diplomacy  syria  turkey  us_military  russia  us_foreign_policy  iran  military  global  governance  iraq  un  oil  price  obama  admin  failed  states  mena  civil  wars  congress  Pocket 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Richard Marshall interview with Johanna Oksala - Foucault’s freedom » 3:AM Magazine - August 2014
Johanna Oksala is a political philosopher who broods on Foucault, thinks that its time people stopped thinking in terms of continental vs analytic, thinks about Foucault and freedom, on Foucault, politics and violence, on Chantal Mouffe’s compelling ideas,on state violence, on why neoliberal rationality must be resisted, and on political spirituality. She’s out there making windows where there were once walls…
books  political_philosophy  Foucault  freedom  subject  neoliberalism  capitalism  revolutions  Iran  violence  Hayek  Mouffe  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Ali Mamouri Iran on Quest to Legitimize Velayat-e Faqih in Iraqi Seminaries - Al-Monitor August 2013
With the worsening sectarian crisis in the region and the emergence of a sectarian conflict in Syria, the regime expected Najaf to support the Shiite position in the conflict as represented by Iran and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least remain silent on the matter. But Najaf’s explicit position against waging jihad in Syria and the illegitimacy of the religious edicts calling for participation in the sectarian fighting there have placed Iran in a very awkward position.

The conflict between the Iranian regime, which believes in velayat-e faqih, and Najaf, which rejects that notion, has made some researchers in Shiite affairs predict the end of the traditional Shiite reference with Sistani’s death. But this seems unrealistic because of the coherent social structure in the Najaf seminary and its general position in the Shiite world.
Islam  Shiites  Iran  Iraq  Syria  MENA 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Mehdi Khalaji - The Last Marja: Sistani and the End of Traditional Religious Authority in Shiism (2006) - Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Iraqi Shiite cleric Ali Hussein al-Sistani has achieved tremendous popularity in recent years, becoming the greatest marja, or independent religious authority, in the Shiite world. But how does his influence compare to that of Iran's Supreme Leader, who can draw upon the considerable resources of the Iranian state?In this Washington Institute Policy Focus, Mehdi Khalaji offers an in-depth look at the current state of Shiite leadership. Drawing in part from his theological training in the seminaries of Qom, Iran, he traces the gradual marginalization of the seminary system in Iran and Iraq -- the former through political monopolization by the ayatollahs, the latter through direct suppression at the hands of Saddam Hussein. By undermining the traditional sources of independent religious authority in the heart of the Shiite world, he argues, the Iranian regime has succeeded in its goal of dominating Shiite religious, political, and social networks both inside and outside Iran. He goes on to explore what this dramatic shift in Shiite authority means for Western interests and U.S. policy.

51 PAGES 
Islam  Shiites  Iran  Iraq 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Hillel Fradkin , Lewis Libby  > Turkey and the Dream of Ottoman Revival |《 Hudson Institute
Speaking at Dicle University in Diyarbakir on March 15, Mr. Davutoglu called the past century a "parenthesis": a departure from the authentic political order to which Kurds, Turkey and the Middle East will soon return. His talk, titled "The Great Restoration: Our New Political Understanding from the Very Old to Globalization," was colored deeply by the "neo-Ottomanism" that both he and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan champion.

The unity of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as it was, derived from Ottoman power, both Caliphate and Empire. Contemporary Turkey cannot fill that role. Ankara's frustrations in the Syrian civil war show that..... Indeed, the Middle East may soon most resemble the ancient "disunity" of the 16th and 17th centuries, when Ottoman Sunnism contended with Iranian Safavid Shiism.
MENA  Turkey  Iran  Islamic_civilization  Ottomans  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  US_foreign_policy  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
J Judis: Should the U.S. continue to threaten Iran with war? | TNR June 2013
I am not in favor of new preventive wars that are promoted by people who don’t know the difference between a preventive war and a pre-emptive war.
US_foreign_policy  MENA  Iran  containment  diplomacy  just_war 
july 2013 by dunnettreader

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